Morning digest: India records a 40% spike in COVID-19 infections over a week; Congress BJP demand postponement of Punjab polls, and more

On Sunday, India recorded 2,55,025 new COVID-19 cases, a 40% increase from a week ago. The total number of infections has reached 3.72 crore, and the active cases have crossed the 16.2 lakh mark. Maharashtra recorded 41,327 cases on Sunday, the most for any State, followed by Karnataka (34,047) and Tamil Nadu (23,975).

After Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI), demanding the postponement of the February 14 Assembly polls in Punjab in view of Guru Ravidas Jayanti, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) on Sunday raised a similar request.

Hindu priest Yati Narsighnanad alias Deepak Tyagi was on January 15 arrested by the Uttarakhand Police in two separate cases — the Haridwar hate speech in which calls were made for genocide against Muslims, and another case registered recently for derogatory remarks against women, according to the State Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar.

Novak Djokovic arrived early Monday, January 17, 2021, in Dubai after his deportation from Australia over its required COVID-19 vaccination ended the No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player’s hopes of defending his Australian Open title.

Ahead of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s Mission Uttar Pradesh, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Naresh Tikait has appealed for support for the Rashtriya Lok Dal-Samajwadi Party alliance in the upcoming U.P. polls. So far, both the SKM (the umbrella grouping of farmer unions) and BKU have refrained from endorsing any political party.

More than a month after the helicopter crash in which former Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others died, the Tamil Nadu police are awaiting details of the circumstances that led to the incident in Coonoor.

In an unprecedented move in December 2019, around 100 BJP MLAs sat on a dharna in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly premises in Lucknow against their own government, accusing it of arrogance and high-handedness.

The law that governs inter-faith marriages in the country, the Special Marriage Act (SMA), 1954, is being challenged for endangering the lives of young couples who seek refuge under it. More than a year after a writ petition was moved before the Supreme Court, seeking striking down of several of its provisions, the government is yet to submit its response.

While the Union government told the Delhi High Court, which is hearing a batch of petitions on marital rape, that a consultative process was underway to bring amendments to criminal laws, women’s rights activists say consensus building on the issue is only a delaying tactic and that their hopes are pegged on the court.

Top journalists’ bodies, including the Editors Guild of India (EGI), Press Club of India and Mumbai Press Club (MPC), on Sunday expressed dismay over the “forcible” takeover of the Kashmir Press Club (KPC) by a group of journalists, and demanded restoration of the Club’s registration as a society and early elections.

Standby buffer staff, internal lockdowns, workplace “buddy systems”, compulsory reporting of fatigue, and workshops to cope with mental and emotional exhaustion — these are among the few changes that have been introduced to the healthcare landscape to help COVID-19 health warriors stay fighting fit in the ongoing pandemic.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “shock and hurt” that the proposed tableau of West Bengal has been excluded from the Republic Day parade.

Hostages who had been held for hours inside a Texas synagogue were rescued Saturday night, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, bringing an end to a standoff that had lasted nearly 12 hours. “Prayers answered. All hostages are out alive and safe,” Mr. Abbott tweeted.

When it mattered, Lakshya Sen produced the strokes needed to stay out of trouble and finally nailed recently crowned World champion Loh Kean Yew to claim his maiden singles title in the $400,000 India Open badminton on Sunday.

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