Morning digest: Army deployed in Assam, Tripura as anti-CAB protests continue; third phase of polling begins in Jharkhand, and more

A policeman attacks students who took out a procession on the streets of Guwahati against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

Anti-Citizenship Bill protests: Army deployed in Assam, Tripura; Internet suspended

Two columns of the Army were deployed in Guwahati and in Kanchanpur and Manu areas of Tripura on Wednesday as protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, continued for the second day.

Third phase of polling begins for 17 seats in Jharkhand

Voting began for the third of the five-phase polling in 17 assembly constituencies of Jharkhand on December 12. The voting began at 7 a.m. in all the 17 constituencies, amidst a tight security arrangement. While polling at Ranchi, Hatia, Kanke, Barkatha and Ramgarh seats will end at 5 p.m., voters in rest of the constituencies can exercise their franchise till 3 p.m.

CAB: Abstained from voting as government didn’t give satisfactory answers, says Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena on December 11 staged a walkout ahead of voting on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha, citing unsatisfactory response to the queries raised by the party. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed by Rajya Sabha on December 11. Lok Sabha cleared the bill late on December 9.

Protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Maharashtra IG quits service

Inspector General of Police Abdur Rahman, currently posted with the State Human Rights Commission, on Wednesday announced his resignation from the service in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Rahman said, “The Bill itself is against the basic structure of the Constitution which is equality before the law. If you want to accept refugees, it is fine, but why do you want to exclude a particular community from getting the same status.” He said the Bill was full of lacunae and the government was using brute force to introduce it.

Union Minister’s house in Assam attacked by Anti-CAB protesters: officials

The house of Union Minister Rameswar Teli in Assam’s Duliajan was attacked by Anti-Citizenship Bill protesters on Wednesday night, officials said. They said properties were damaged at the Minister’s house located in Dibrugarh district, without giving further details. The Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries represents Dibrugarh in the Lok Sabha.

U.S. sub-committee to hold classified hearing on Kashmir issue

The U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Asia Subcommittee will hold a classified hearing on the situation in Kashmir on Wednesday, said the sub-committee chair Brad Sherman on Twitter on December 11, 2019. “As Chair of the House Asia Subcommittee, I arranged a classified briefing. Tomorrow, top State Department and Intel officials will brief members of the Subcommittee and other interested members on #Kashmir,” Mr. Sherman said.

World’s newest nation: Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea

The South Pacific region of Bougainville voted overwhelmingly to become the world’s newest nation by gaining independence from Papua New Guinea, results showed on December 11. Bougainville Referendum Commission Chairman Bertie Ahern was cheered when he announced that more than 98% of valid ballots favored independence. The only other option in the vote was greater autonomy from Papua New Guinea.

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said she was surprised and honoured Wednesday to learn she had been named TIME’s youngest “Person of the Year,” saying the accolade deserved to be shared by others in the global movement she helped inspire. Leaving a U.N. climate conference in Madrid, Thunberg told she was “a bit surprised” at the recognition. “I could never have imagined anything like that happening,” she said in a phone interview. “I’m of course, very grateful for that, very honoured,” Ms. Thunberg said, but added that “it should be everyone in the Fridays for Future movement because what we have done, we have done together.”

China is biggest jailer of journalists, says press watchdog group

At least 250 journalists are jailed around the world, with the largest number held in China, amid a growing crackdown by authoritarian regimes on independent media, a press watchdog group said on Wednesday. Many of those imprisoned face “anti-state” charges or are accused of producing “false news”, according to the report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The report also cited Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Eritrea, Vietnam, and Iran for their jailing of journalists.

Identity of Secular Democracy ‘Incredibly Important’ for India: U.S. Lawmaker Ami Bera

At a time of much discussion on secularism in India and India-related forums in the United States, U.S. congressman Ami Bera said India’s identity as a secular democracy was “incredibly important”. Mr Bera’s comments take on added significance as he has repeatedly backed India-friendly legislation in the House of Representatives and is likely to lead a crucial congressional subcommittee on Asia. “I am a strong advocate of the U.S.-India relationship and want to see India take its place at the table with the leading nations in the world,” Mr Bera, who recently co-sponsored legislation signifying the House’s support for India’s permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council said.

Canadian view of China worsens as row drags into second year, poll results reveal

Canadians have soured on China, according to a poll released Wednesday, as a diplomatic crisis over tit-for-tat detentions of a Chinese tech executive and two Canadians drags into a second year. Two-thirds of 1,499 respondents surveyed in recent weeks by the Angus Reid Institute said they had an unfavourable view of Canada’s second-largest trading partner, up from 51% in 2018.

IND vs WI | India buries West Indies under an avalanche of sixes

Quickfire start? Tick. Power-hitting problem? Tick. Setting a target? Tick. India’s star-studded batting line-up couldn’t have asked for a better venue - and more importantly situation - that the series-decider versus West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium to overcome recent obstacles that have jeopardised it in the shortest format.

UEFA | Liverpool negotiates tricky Salzburg, seals spot in last 16

Holder Liverpool safely negotiated Tuesday’s trip to Salzburg to take its place in the last 16 of this season’s UEFA Champions League while Chelsea is also through, but Ajax suffered a shock group-stage exit. Six clubs secured spots in the draw for the first knockout round in its final group games, with Ajax and Inter Milan the big names to miss out.

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