Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

The Expresso News Update

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Episode 1615 December 22, 2023

Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News at 8:30 pm on 22 December 2023

From French President Emmanuel Macron’s scheduled visit to India as the chief guest for Republic day celebrations to the country recording 640 fresh Covid-19 cases, and the death toll in Gaza crossing 20000, we look at the top news of the day.

Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News at 8:30 pm on 22 December 2023From French President Emmanuel Macron's scheduled visit to India as the chief guest for Republic day celebrations to the country recording 640 fresh Covid-19 cases, and the death toll in Gaza crossing 20000, we look at the top news of the day.

Today's Latest News Transcript at 8:30 PM on 22 December 2023

Beginning today's evening bulletin with the top national news: French President Emmanuel Macron will visit India on January 26 for the Republic Day celebrations, the Elysee French presidential palace said on Friday, adding that Macron would be welcomed as the chief guest. The Ministry of External Affairs also confirmed the same in a statement saying, “At the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France, will be visiting India as the Chief Guest for the 75th Republic Day celebrations.” This will be the sixth time that a French President will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. President Macron had visited India for the G20 Summit on September 8-9.


Next up: India recorded 640 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday, with which, the number of active cases climbed to 2,997 from 2,669 the day before, according to Union health ministry data. The country’s Covid-19 tally now stands at 4.50 crore. The death toll climbed to 5,33,328 with one more fatality reported from Kerala, the data updated at 8 am stated. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has increased to 4,44,70,887. The national recovery rate stands at 98.81 per cent, according to the health ministry’s website. The case fatality rate stands at 1.19 per cent.


Moving On: Wrestler Bajrang Punia on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he is returning his Padma Shri award as a mark of protest over the results of the recent Wrestling Federation of India elections where Sanjay Singh, a loyalist of the controversial Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was elected as the president. On Thursday, former WFI chief Brij Bhushan’s close associate Sanjay Singh was elected as the president of Wrestling Federation of India after he beat Anita Sheoran 40 votes to seven. Prem Chand Lochab, who was from the opposing faction seemingly supported by the protesting wrestlers, was elected as the secretary-general.


In news from South: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi and urged him to declare the floods in the state as a national calamity and release relief funds at the earliest to bolster the efforts for livelihood support and repair of public infrastructure affected due to the recent floods in the southern districts. According to the statement issued by the Tamil Nadu government, Stalin also talked about the incessant rainfall in the southern Tamil Nadu districts from December 17 to December 18. He also urged PM Modi to release interim funds of Rs 7,033 crore and a permanent relief fund of Rs 12,659 crore soon.


The Tamil Nadu government Thursday said the emergency oil recovery work in the aftermath of an oil spill from the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limted refinery in the Ennore Creek area got over on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by Supriya Sahu, additional chief secretary of Environment, Climate Change and Forest Department, the work was completed at five points. Close to 900 people, including trained personnel of sea cleaning agencies, with the support of local fishermen, completed the task. An oil slick was formed in Ennore Creek in north Chennai following heavy rainfall for 36 hours from December 3 due to cyclone Michaung, causing severe flooding in the state capital and neighbouring districts.


Also: In the wake of the Opposition INDIA bloc’s Tuesday conclave during which West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee proposed the name of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge as the alliance’s Prime Ministerial candidate, the JD(U) seems to have revisited its strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The JD(U), which has been looking to project party supremo and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar as the alliance’s PM face for the past several months, is now likely to pitch for a collective leadership for the grouping’s campaign in a bid to foil similar attempts that may be mounted by any of its constituents in the run-up to the 2024 elections.


Shifting focus to international news: The war in Gaza has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, health officials in the Hamas-run territory said Friday, a new reflection of the staggering cost of Israel’s military offensive as pressure grows to scale it back. The figure, amounting to nearly 1% of the territory’s prewar population, is just one measure of the devastation wrought by the conflict, which over 11 weeks has displaced nearly 85% of Gaza’s people and leveled wide swaths of the tiny coastal enclave. Gaza’s Health Ministry said it has documented 20,057 deaths in the fighting. It does not differentiate between combatant and civilian deaths.


And lastly: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information about a 29-year-old female student from India who went missing from New Jersey over four years ago. Mayushi Bhagat was last seen leaving her apartment in Jersey City on the evening of April 29, 2019, wearing colourful pyjama pants and a black T-shirt. Her family reported her missing to police on May 1, 2019. The FBI Newark Field Office and the Jersey City Police Department are seeking the public’s help in solving Bhagat’s disappearance. Born in India in July 1994, Bhagat was in the US on a student visa and was studying at the New York Institute of Technology.

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