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Daily briefing: Parliament panel flags Covid concerns; Kerala brings law awarding 5-year jail term for ‘offensive’ post

From Parliament panel flags Covid concerns and Kerala bringing law awarding 5-year jail term for ‘offensive’ post, here are the top news today.

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Among the first official assessments of the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, a report prepared by a Parliamentary Standing Committee notes that the number Government hospital beds was grossly inadequate, contact tracing was poor and testing slow in the initial phase, and the chances of false negatives is high due to the use of less reliable diagnostic kits.

From the Front Page

At the G20 virtual summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a “new global index for the post-Corona world that comprises four key elements—creation of a vast talent pool; ensuring that technology reaches all segments of the society; transparency in systems of governance; and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship”.

In a brief reprieve for Punjab, which has been starved of essential supplies for nearly two months, the farmer unions in the state have agreed to suspend their train blockade for 15 days. The farmer leaders said they would continue with their plans to “lay siege to Delhi” on November 26-27.

The draconian ordinance brought forward by the LDF government in Kerala that provides for a 5-year jail term for any “offensive” social media or cyber post has received Governor’s approval. It is feared that the amendment could have a chilling effect on free speech giving more power to the police and restricting freedom of the press.

Only in The Express 

On November 2, Aishwarya Reddy, a student of Delhi University’s LSR College, killed herself, citing financial troubles. The Indian Express tells the story of the 19-year-old —the front bencher for whom the campus opened a world of possibilities — and her desperate cries for help.

Koneru Humpy is yet to watch the Netflix mini-series The Queen’s Gambit, but the premise, she says, is all too familiar. After becoming the youngest woman Grandmaster in the world (at that time) at the age of 15, Humpy disturbed the status quo which resulted in several insinuations on her credentials.

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BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda and his wife Jagi could land in jail after the Odisha High Court refused to intervene in a case of alleged grabbing of land belonging to people from the Dalit community by a company owned by Panda.

A Delhi court urged former Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar and journalist Priya Ramani to consider settling the criminal defamation case that Akbar has filed against Ramani since the offence was compoundable in nature.

ICYMI

  • The health condition of three-time former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, 85, deteriorated with post-Covid complications and he was put on ventilator support.
  • A discussion between linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky and historian-editor Vijay Prashad, part of the ongoing week-long Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, was cancelled hours before the event.
  • The AIADMK-BJP alliance is set to continue for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau arrested comedian Bharti Singh (36) and seized 86.5 grams of ganja from her home and office in Andheri West.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan’s acting envoy and lodged a protest after the latest Jaish bid to carry out terror strikes in J&K.

And Finally

In 2018, when she turned 50, Mumbai resident Salvi ran the Berking Marathon and set a Guinness record for being the fastest to complete a marathon in a sari. In the 21-km ‘Pinkathon’ this Sunday, there will be 15 others hitting Mumbai roads in saris and sneakers, inspired by Salvi.

Inside Track: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament in December last year with much fanfare, and notified shortly afterwards amidst protests. Surprisingly, the government has yet to frame rules under the Act, although these have to be issued within six months or else an extension has to be sought.

In this week’s Express sports podcast, we look at why this ISL season promises to be better than ever.

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