Top news of the day: Centre files affidavit against same-sex marriage in Supreme Court; Biden, Sunak, Albanese to meet in San Diego to finalise AUKUS deal, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

March 12, 2023 07:22 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST

Members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters march demanding equal marriage rights in New Delhi on Jan uary 8 2023.

Members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters march demanding equal marriage rights in New Delhi on Jan uary 8 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

Same-sex marriage case | Marriage has a sanctity to it, is a holy union between man and woman, Centre tells Supreme Court

The Centre in the Supreme Court frowned upon same-sex marriage while invoking the “accepted view” that a marriage between a biological man and woman is a “holy union, a sacrament and a sanskar” in India. “The institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament, a holy union, and a sanskar. In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values,” the Centre said in a 56-page affidavit filed on March 12.

Rishi Sunak, Joe Biden, Anthony Albanese to meet in San Diego to finalise AUKUS deal

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is heading to San Diego on March 12 to finalise the AUKUS deal — a trilateral security partnership between Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. that will provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia. The partnership was announced in September 2021 as part of the U.S. and U.K.’s strategies to more deeply with the Indo-Pacific, largely to counter Beijing’s assertiveness in the region, including what Canberra has described as Beijing’s “economic coercion”.

Second leg of Budget session from March 13; government says priority to pass Finance Bill

The second leg of the Budget session will commence on March 13 with the government asserting that its priority is to pass the Finance Bill and the Opposition planning to raise issues like the action of central agencies against the BJP’s political rivals and allegations against the Adani group. The Opposition parties will meet on March 13 morning to evolve their strategy in both Houses of Parliament after protests by them on the Hindenburg-Adani issue overshadowed most of the first half of the Budget session.

PM Modi inaugurates Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway, holds roadshow in Mandya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 12 inaugurated the 118 km-long ten-lane expressway between Bengaluru and Mysuru and laid the foundation stone for four-lane highway between Mysuru and Kushalnagar. The access-controlled Expressway between Bengaluru and Mysuru built at a cost of ₹ 8,480 crore encompasses a portion of National Highway 275 comprising four rail overbridges, nine significant bridges, 40 minor bridges and 89 underpasses and overpasses.

India, France conduct maritime partnership exercise in Arabian Sea

Indian Navy’s guided missile frigate INS Sahyadri joined two frontline warships of France in carrying out a two-day maritime partnership exercise in the Arabian Sea. The exercise on March 11 and 12 witnessed a wide spectrum of drills at sea including cross-deck landings, boarding exercises and seamanship evolutions, Indian Navy officials said on March 12. The French Navy deployed Mistral-class amphibious assault ship FS Dixmude and La Fayette class frigate FS La Fayette in the exercise.

No intention to disrespect women, says New Delhi Bar Association president

The President of the New Delhi Bar Association (NDBA), Jagdeep Vats, in a statement on March 12, said that there was no intention to disrespect or hurt any member of the Bar whether a woman or man. The Delhi High Court had condemned the ‘inappropriate’ dance performances held on March 6 during the ‘Holi Milan’ function organised by the NDBA, on the premises of Patiala House Court Complex, New Delhi.

West Bengal government employees on hunger strike meet Governor Bose

West Bengal government employees who are currently on a hunger strike demanding DA (dearness allowance) parity with the Union Government staff met Governor C.V. Ananda Bose on March 12. The Governor has urged the employees to end the fast “sit together and find an acceptable way out of the imbroglio”. “Governor is deeply pained that the hunger strike of the aggrieved employees is entering its fourth week. The issues involved may be complex but there is always a simple way out,” a post on the governor’s official Twitter account said.

RSS to increase women participation, big organisational changes may take place in annual meet

The RSS on March 12 paid tributes to late Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, socialist leader Sharad Yadav, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother Heeraben and around hundred other people who died in last one year, at the beginning of its annual general body meeting at Samalkha, Panipat. The three-day meet will see several resolutions and discussions including the women participation in the organisation. The annual general meeting of the RSS, headed by Mohan Bhagwat, is being attended by over 1400 representatives from 34 organizations directly or indirectly affiliated with the RSS, from all over the country. BJP Chief JP Nadda and national general secretary BL Santosh are also present.

U.K. records spike in Indians crossing over illegally in small boats

Britain has recorded a spike in Indians crossing over illegally into the country across the English Channel last year, when a total of 683 largely Indian men were reported to have landed on its shores via small boats. This figure, according to the latest U.K. Home Office “Irregular Migration to the U.K.” statistics for the year ending December 2022, shows a progressive rise from the 67 Indian nationals recorded to have crossed over in small boats in 2021, 64 in 2020 and none in 2019 and 2018.

Israeli strikes in Syria wound three soldiers: state media

Israeli airstrikes targeting locations in central and west Syria on March 12 morning wounded three soldiers, state media reported. “At around 7:15 am (0415 GMT), the Israeli enemy carried out an air attack, firing missiles from the direction of north Lebanon with targets in the Tartus and Hama countryside,” the SANA news agency reported, citing a military source. “The attack wounded three soldiers and caused some material losses,” the report said, adding that Syrian air defences intercepted some of the missiles.

Israeli Army shoots dead three Palestinian gunmen in West Bank

Israeli soldiers shot dead three Palestinian gunmen after they fired at troops in the occupied northern West Bank near Nablus, the army said on March 12, as violence in the region continued. The military said that “gunmen opened fire” at an army position near the Jit junction west of Nablus, with the soldiers responding with “live fire”. “Three armed gunmen were neutralised during the exchange of fire and an additional armed gunman surrendered himself to the forces,” the army said in a statement, noting none of the Israeli forces were wounded in the clash.

Finding COVID-19’s origins is a moral imperative: WHO’s Tedros

Discovering the origins of COVID-19 is a moral imperative and all hypotheses must be explored, the head of the World Health Organization said, in his strongest comments yet that the U.N. body remains committed to finding how the virus arose. “Understanding #COVID19’s origins and exploring all hypotheses remains: a scientific imperative, to help us prevent future outbreaks (and) a moral imperative, for the sake of the millions of people who died and those who live with #LongCOVID,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Twitter.

IND vs AUS, 4th Test, Day 4 | Kohli’s 186 puts India ahead by 88 runs

Virat Kohli hit his first Test century in more than three years with a towering 186 as India batted themselves out of danger of a series-levelling defeat to Australia in the fourth Test on March 12. The hosts finished their first innings on 571 to overhaul Australia’s 480 and get a first-innings lead of 91 on another run-filled day four at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. Kohli was the last man out after he fell to Todd Murphy in the final session of play as India lost their ninth wicket and Shreyas Iyer did not bat due to back pain. Australia reached three for no loss at stumps with Travis Head getting the runs while alongside nightwatchman Matthew Kuhnemann.

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