Morning Digest | Roll-out schedule of 3 new criminal codes will be notified by January 26; Top Hamas official Saleh Arouri killed in Beirut blast, and more 

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

January 03, 2024 07:08 am | Updated 07:08 am IST

People search for survivors inside an apartment following a massive explosion in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, on Jan. 2, 2024. An explosion killed Saleh Arouri, a top official with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and three others, officials with Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah said.

People search for survivors inside an apartment following a massive explosion in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, Lebanon, on Jan. 2, 2024. An explosion killed Saleh Arouri, a top official with the Palestinian militant group Hamas and three others, officials with Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah said. | Photo Credit: AP

Home Ministry seeks to pacify truckers protesting new hit-and-run law

As transporters across the country struck work to protest the increase in punishment in hit-and-run cases in the yet to be implemented Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) convened a meeting with the All India Motor Transport Congress on January 2. Transporters, including bus and taxi unions, have called a nationwide strike from January 1 to January 30 to protest Section 106 of the BNS, which prescribes a maximum of punishment of 10 years in cases of rash and negligent driving. 

Roll-out schedule of 3 new criminal codes will be notified by January 26

The date to implement the three criminal codes that were passed by the Parliament in December 2023 will be notified before January 26, a senior government official said on Tuesday. The official added that it will take nine months to a year for the three criminal laws to be implemented across the country, and a pilot project is all set to begin in Ahmedabad in the next two months.

312 COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 cases detected in India

A total of 312 cases of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 have been detected in the country so far, with about 47% of them recorded in Kerala, according to the INSACOG’s data updated on Tuesday. Ten States and 2 Union Territories have so far detected the presence of the JN.1 sub-variant of the virus. They are Kerala (147), Goa (51), Gujarat (34), Maharashtra (26), Tamil Nadu (22), Delhi (16), Karnataka (eight), Rajasthan (five), Telangana (two), and Odisha (one), according to the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG).

Transport unions’ protest at Jantar Mantar on January 3 against new provisions on hit-and-run

Transport unions from across the country will join a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday against the new penal law on hit-and-run cases. The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh will also participate in the protest on Wednesday and will host another gathering at Rajghat on Thursday.

Shahenshah enacted a law in Parliament against truck drivers, says Rahul Gandhi on truckers strike over criminal laws

Expressing solidarity with truckers who have gone on strike to oppose changes in the new criminal code, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making laws without consulting stakeholders or the Opposition. Under the new criminal code, hit-and-run cases can attract up to 10 years in jail and a fine of ₹7 lakh. Those who operate commercial vehicles, including truckers and cab drivers, are opposed to this and have argued that they cannot pay such a high fine in the event of an accident.

Adani-Hindenburg case | Supreme Court to deliver verdict on ‘conflict of interest’ allegations against panel

The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgment on January 3 on a plea to form a separate Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate Hindenburg Research’s allegations against the Adani Group. A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud had reserved the petition filed by Anamika Jaiswal, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had argued that the earlier committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice A.M. Sapre, had a “conflict of interest” on the issue.

CAA rules likely to be notified before 2024 Lok Sabha poll: Home Ministry official

The rules of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) are likely to be notified before the announcement of the next general election, a senior government official said on Tuesday. Members of the Pakistani Hindu community who had entered India legally and their documents expired while awaiting citizenship will also be eligible to apply online under CAA, the official added.

Harvard president Claudine Gay resigns amid plagiarism claims, backlash from antisemitism testimony

Harvard University President Claudine Gay resigned on Tuesday amid plagiarism accusations and criticism over testimony at a congressional hearing where she was unable to say unequivocally that calls on campus for the genocide of Jews would violate the school’s conduct policy. Ms. Gay is the second Ivy League president to resign in the past month following the congressional testimony. Ms. Gay, Harvard’s first Black president, announced her departure just months into her tenure in a letter to the Harvard community.

Hezbollah’s TV station says top Hamas official Saleh Arouri killed in Beirut blast

The TV station of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group says top Hamas official Saleh Arouri was killed on January 2 in an explosion in a southern Beirut suburb. Arouri, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing, had headed the group’s presence in the West Bank. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened to kill him even before the Hamas-Israel war began on October 7, 2023.

Jet bursts into flames after collision with relief plane in Tokyo; five dead

Five people aboard a Japan coastguard aircraft died on Tuesday when it hit a Japan Airlines passenger plane on the ground in a fiery collision at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. All 379 passengers and crew on board the passenger plane, which burst into flames were safely evacuated, Japanese Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito told reporters.

Vodafone Idea says not in tie-up talks with Elon Musk’s Starlink, shares fall

Vodafone Idea is not in talks to tie-up with billionaire Elon Musk’s satellite internet unit Starlink, the Indian telecom operator said on January 2, sending its shares down 5%. The clarification from Vodafone Idea came after its stock surged in the past two sessions on what BusinessWorld said were “markets betting” that Mr. Musk was looking to buy a stake in the company to help Starlink enter India.

Core signals: Coal output growth at six-month low in December

India’s coal output growth slid to a six-month low of 10.75% in December 2023, with production levels nearing 93 million tonnes (MT), as per data released by the Coal ministry on Tuesday. Coal has a weightage of over 10% in the Index of Core Industries, which had slid to the lowest levels since March 2023 in November, with the growth rate slipping to a six-month low of 7.8%.

India in South Africa | India desperate to bounce back; looks to improve standing in WTC points table

Having lost the first at Centurion rather badly, India will be desperate to bounce back, ideally with a win, which it needs not just for its morale but for improving its standing on the World Test Championship points table. It is very early days yet, but the finalist of the last two championships is lying sixth. South Africa is on top, and it should be hoping to consolidate its position with another strong show against India. In Temba Bavuma’s absence, opener Dean Elgar will lead the side. 

AUS vs PAK third Test | Australia bids for Pakistan sweep in Warner Week

Australia will go for the tried and tested as they look to sweep Pakistan in their three-match series and send veteran opener David Warner out a winner at his home ground in his final test this week .Pat Cummins confirmed on January 2 that the same team that won the first test in Perth by 360 runs and the second in Melbourne by 79 runs would take the field for the final clash at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

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