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News podcast, morning of 10 December 2020

News in the morning of 10 December recorded in the voice of Editor-in-Chief Surajit Dasgupta: most reports were gathered the previous night

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Podcast News podcast, morning of 10 December 2020

News this morning: The farmers agitating against the three new agriculture laws on Wednesday rejected the government’s offer of a “written assurance” that the existing minimum support price (MSP) for procurement of crops would continue. They have said that the agitation would be intensified and have called for a nationwide protest on 14 December.

Union minister Raosaheb Danve has claimed that China and Pakistan were behind the ongoing protests by farmers, who are seeking repeal of three new farm laws.
He also alleged that Muslims were earlier misled over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), but as those efforts did not succeed, now farmers were being told that they will face losses due to the new laws.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson seemed to confuse two separate issues when he reiterated the UK government’s stance that any dispute between India and Pakistan was for the two countries to settle bilaterally. When pro-Khalistan British Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Desi raised the issue of farmers’ agitation in Delhi, Johnson responded by saying, “Our view is that, of course, we have serious concerns about what is happening between India and Pakistan but these are pre-eminently matters for those two governments to settle.”

Andhra Pradesh Health Department officials investigating the mystery illness that has affected more than 550 people in Eluru have said that excessive use of bleaching powder and chlorine, as part of Covid-19 sanitation measures, may have caused the water contamination that made people sick.

Delhi Police on Tuesday denied the allegation by the Aam Aadmi Party that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had been put under “house arrest”. Soon after, the police released a video of Kejriwal leaving his house and later entering a wedding venue inside a five-star hotel in Paschim Vihar.

The requests for emergency use of vaccines being manufactured by the Serum institute and Bharat Biotech were not cleared today by the government-made committee of health experts. Both have been asked to submit more data at the next meeting. The date of the next meeting has not been decided yet. The Drug Controller of India will take a final call on the suitability of the vaccine.

A charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate last month in the ICICI Bank bribery scandal, which involved its former managing director Chanda Kochhar, reveals how her husband Deepak Kochhar and Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot had appointed drivers, gardeners, office boys and other junior employees as dummy directors in their companies.

Family heirlooms are often carefully preserved and handed down from generation to generation in a bid to preserve a family’s history and the origins of its forebearers. During a recent cleaning drive, a man called Vijay Basrur found an autograph book in which his grandfather had collected the autographs of some historically important Indian personalities including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru and CV Raman.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that China had given India “five differing explanations” for deploying large forces at the Line of Actual Control. He said this violation of bilateral pacts had “very significantly damaged” the India-China relations that are now at their “most difficult phase” in the last 30 to 40 years.

Jammu and Kashmir Police said that two unidentified terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out at the Tiken area of Pulwama on Wednesday. The encounter started in the wee hours of Wednesday. The police and security forces are engaged in the operation.

While big pharmaceutical companies are waiting for regulatory approval for their COVID-19 drug, nine out of 10 people in 70 low-income countries may not get vaccinated next year. This is because most of the vaccines have been bought up by the richer countries in the West. The report published in The Guardian highlights the irony. The rich countries have a mere 14% of the world’s population but they have secured 53% of the most promising vaccines.

British regulators have advised people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions to not get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus disease, Covid-19. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued precautionary advice to the National Health Service after two health care staff members experienced allergic reactions.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to fall by 7% this year compared to 2019 but the world will still be heading for a temperature rise of over 3 degrees C this century. However, the Emissions Gap Report 2020 has said on Wednesday that a green recovery due to the worldwide lockdown with investments in sectors that will help curb carbon dioxide emissions can take the world to a 2 degree C rise pathway as defined in the Paris Agreement goals.

Delhi on Wednesday recorded 50 COVID-19 deaths, the lowest since 1st November according to Health Minister Satyendar Jain. Sharing information about the health facilities in the capital, the Delhi minister wrote on Twitter that the city recorded 2,463 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday while the authorities were carrying out over 72,000 tests a day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Thursday lay the foundation stone of the new parliament building in which Lok Sabha will be three times of its existing size and Rajya Sabha will be substantially bigger. The PMO said that the new building is an intrinsic part of the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and will be a landmark opportunity to build peoples’ Parliament for the first time after independence, one which will match the needs and aspirations of ‘New India’ in the 75th anniversary of independence in 2022.

The Indian Air Force had recently objected to the programme Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl on an OTT platform for making the viewers believe that the force is misogynistic or anti-women. It has found some atrocious content on Netflix again. The IAF has taken exception to AK vs AK. Actor Anil Kapoor wore the Air Force uniform ‘inaccurately’ in the movie and also used ‘inappropriate’ language.

Scientists have developed a new technology for conducting COVID-19 diagnostic test that uses a smartphone camera to provide accurate results in less than 30 minutes. The CRISPR-based test can not only generate a positive or negative result and also measures the concentration of virus in a given sample.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasgupta
The founder of Sirf News has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life and columnist in various newspapers and magazines, writing in English as well as Hindi. He was the national affairs editor of Swarajya, 2014-16. He worked with Hindusthan Samachar in 2017. He was the first chief editor of Sirf News and is now back at the helm after a stint as the desk head of MyNation of the Asianet group. He is a mathematician by training with interests in academic pursuits of science, linguistics and history. He advocates individual liberty and a free market in a manner that is politically feasible. His hobbies include Hindi film music and classical poetry in Bengali, English, French, Hindi and Urdu.

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