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Morning digest: European Parliament to vote on Kashmir and CAA, NBA legend Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash, and more

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell will deliver a statement on “India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019” on January 29, 2020. File

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell will deliver a statement on “India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019” on January 29, 2020. File   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

European Parliament to vote on Kashmir, Citizenship Amendment Act

Close on the heels of a number of critical international statements and parliamentary resolutions, the government is bracing for six scathing resolutions on both Jammu and Kashmir and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, that have been filed by an overwhelming majority of members in the European Parliament. These will be taken up for discussion and voting this week.

Fund crunch hits MGNREGA scheme

The Centre is on the verge of running out of funds for the crucial Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme. More than 96% of the allocated money has already been spent or is needed to pay pending dues, with less than ₹2,500 crore left to sustain the scheme for the next two months. Fifteen States are already in the red. According to the scheme’s financial statement as on January 26, Rajasthan has the highest negative net balance of ₹620 crore, followed by ₹323 crore in Uttar Pradesh.

Protests at Republic Day events across U.S. call for repeal of Citizenship Amendment Act

A coalition of diaspora organisations marked Republic Day in Washington D.C. by gathering to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and related recent policies of the government as part of a U.S. wide “Day of Action”. Among the demands of the protesters are that the U.S. State Department “heed the recommendation of the USCIRF [U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom] and impose sanctions on India’s Home Minister Amit Shah,” a statement from the “Coalition to Stop Genocide”, the banner under which the groups have organized, said.

Coronavirus: U.S. health agency reports five confirmed cases

U.S. Health Authorities, on Sunday, said there are now five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country and more are expected. Nancy Messonnier, head of the Respiratory Disease Section at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said around 100 people in 26 States were being investigated for the virus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Well-being of Indians in Wuhan being monitored: New Delhi

“India is all clear so far,” a senior Health Ministry official said on Sunday on the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (nCov) 2019. “While China is on high alert, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called it a moderate level threat globally as of now,” said the official. Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that the Indian Embassy in Beijing is “constantly checking on health and well-being of the Indians in China”.

Three rockets hit U.S. embassy in Baghdad, one injured

Three rockets slammed into the U.S. Embassy in Iraq's capital on Sunday in the first direct hit reported after months of close calls, as thousands kept up anti-government sit-ins across the country. The attack marked a dangerous escalation in the spree of rocket attacks in recent months that have targeted the embassy or Iraqi military bases where American troops are deployed.

Anti-CAA resolutions are political statements: Shashi Tharoor

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said the resolutions against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, passed by several Assemblies recently, were “political statements” through which they had conveyed their apprehensions over the Centre’s intent behind linking nationality with religion. “The States want the Union government to know of their unhappiness,” he said.

It’s a long road to joy for these adopted children

The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) has recorded 246 instances of disruption over a period of five years between 2014-15 and 2018-19, which translates into six in 100 children being returned at an advanced stage of adoption. On an average there are 4,000 legal adoptions annually within and from India, as per official data. With the number of such cases showing a recent increase, CARA has begun a nationwide capacity building programme for social workers who help assess the suitability of the adoptive family and prepare a child for a new home.

TNPSC scam: Accused re-marked scripts in a vehicle on the move and replaced them

The Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police on Sunday arrested a TNPSC record clerk H. Omkanthan (45) on charges of handing over the key of a safe containing answer script bundles to prime suspect Jayakumar of Chennai who made fresh entries on select papers from another vehicle on the move and replaced them at an opportune time. The police conducted a search in the premises of Omkanthan and seized a couple of mobile phones.

Record-breaking Brazilian rainstorms claim 53 lives

The death toll caused by record rainfall in southeastern Brazil jumped to 53 on Sunday and officials expressed alarm about the continuing deluge. At least 44 people have died in the State of Minas Gerais and nine more in neighbouring Espirito Santo, according to local disaster officials, who said 19 people remained missing. Some 20,000 people have been evacuated due to the threat of floods and landslides. The capital of Minas Gerais State, Belo Horizonte, recorded 171mm of rainfall in a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, the highest rainfall in 110 years.

Grammys 2020 live updates: Lizzo dedicates Grammys to late NBA legend

Los Angeles - The Grammy awards got underway Sunday with superstars Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X primed for glory, as grief over the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant cast a pall on music's marquee night in Los Angeles.

NZ vs IND T20I: Learnt art of chasing watching Kohli bat: Shreyas Iyer

There is no one better than Virat Kohli when it comes to chasing down totals in white-ball cricket, something that India’s newest No 4 Shreyas Iyer wants to emulate on a consistent basis in coming days. With a half-century and 44 off 33 balls in the successful chases in the first two T20 Internationals, Iyer is fast becoming another viable option for the Indian team apart from its talismanic skipper when it comes to tricky run-chases.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant killed in helicopter crash

NBA legend Kobe Bryant died Sunday in a helicopter crash in suburban Los Angeles, celebrity website TMZ reported, in an accident confirmed by police that saw nine people killed. Los Angeles County Sheriff's officials said there were no survivors from the morning crash on a hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, was also on the helicopter, several major U.S. media outlets reported.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:33:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/morning-news-digest-january-27-2020/article30660309.ece

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