Top news highlights from the third week of January
Ninth round of talks between Centre and Farmers
The ninth round of discussion between Centre and farmers who are demanding a repeal of the three agriculture laws ended with no progress on Friday. The meeting was held days after the Supreme Court stayed enactment of the three new fam laws “until further orders.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 19, the day when the court-appointed committee was likely to start consulting stakeholders to end the protest and farmers’ concern.
The farmers union has decided to intensify their stir with a tractor rally on January 26 in New Delhi to increase pressure on the government.
Supreme Court puts new farm laws on hold
The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard petitions related to the central government’s new three new agriculture laws and those concerning people’s right to free movement in the backdrop of the farmers’ protest. The Supreme Court said it was putting a hold on three new farm laws till further notice. The top court also set up a four-member committee to give a report to the court on the farm laws. A bench headed by CJI SA Bobde heard a bunch of pleas challenging the new farm laws. It was also hearing pleas related to raising issues of citizen’s right to move freely during the ongoing farmers’ protest.
EC allows Centre to share voter’s data
The Election Commission has agreed to share its electoral database with the central government authorities and assured all possible help in identifying beneficiaries at the polling station-level for the coronavirus vaccination programme. However, it has asked the authorities to delete the data once the vaccination process is completed. The NITI Aayog and Health Ministry had met the EC top brass last month seeking help in the distribution of coronavirus vaccine as EC has a robust data network at the booth level. As per the reports, the electoral roll of the general election and recent Assembly elections will be used to identify the priority population.
Impeachment of Donald Trump
The US President, Donald Trump became the first-ever US President to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted for the impeachment of Donald Trump and charged him with ‘inciting an insurrection’. This came just a week after a violent mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building.
222 Democrats and 10 Republicans supported the impeachment in the House of Representatives, while 197 Republicans didn’t support it. 4 Republicans didn’t choose to vote. A simple majority is required in the House of Representatives (Lower chamber of Congress) to impeach a US President.
Now, the next major step is for the Senate (the upper chamber of Congress), which will have a trial to determine the guilt of Donald Trump, where a two-thirds majority is needed to convict Trump. If all 100 senators are present in the senate, then Democrats would need the help of 17 Republicans to reach the two-thirds majority. Both the Republicans and Democrats have 50 senators each in the lower house after the results of Georgia elections.
Vaccination Drive launched by PM
PM Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive in India by pressing the button to kickstart the event all over the nation. While launching India’s vaccine drive in the battle against Covid-19, Prime Minister Modi said only two other nations have conducted such massive vaccination drives US and China.
Speaking about the hesitancy in some people about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, PM Modi assured that scientists have given their nod to both the Indian vaccines (Covaxin and Covishield) after being sure of their effects. He also urged citizens to not pay attention to propaganda and rumours.
Manish Kumar, a sanitation worker in New Delhi, became the first person to receive coronavirus vaccine at AIIMS-Delhi on Saturday soon after the Prime Minister launched the vaccination drive.
WhatsApp delays data sharing
The famous social media application, WhatsApp on Friday postponed a data-sharing change as several users across the world concerned about privacy uninstalled the app and flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal. WhatsApp, a huge hit all over the globe, cancelled its February 8, 2021, deadline for accepting the new terms and condition concerning sharing data with Facebook. The WhatsApp said that it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around security and privacy.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp says that the new update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to chat with customers can share data with Facebook, which could use the information for targeted ads.
Nitish Kumar loses his cool
The fourth time Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday lost his cool when the media persons pointed it out to him that there had been no breakthrough in the murder case of Rupesh Kumar Singh, Indigo Airlines Station Manager. Rupesh Singh was shot dead on Tuesday evening at his house, barely two kilometres away from the CM’s official residence.
Nitish Kumar got angry on reporters and said, “Do you have any idea how the rule of Pati-Patni was?” in an oblique reference to the Lalu-Rabri regime in the state from 1990 to 2005. “Yaad kijiye tab ka raj. Aur aaj ka. (Recall those days and compare it to present). Today, Bihar ranks 23rd in India in terms of crime.
When asked about why not one person has been arrested in the high-profile murder case in Patna, the CM said, “We not only apprehend the culprit but ensure speedy justice through speedy trial.”
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