December 8, 2022

Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World | Times of India


Today: New guidelines kick in for international arrivals with non-mandatory isolation for people arriving from ‘at-risk’ countries; PM Modi to interact with district magistrates about progress of govt schemes; Australia Open; Tomorrow: Modi to unveil hologram statue of Netaji; India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI, Cape Town

1. ‘Eternal flame’ at India Gate is no more
1. ‘Eternal flame’ at India Gate is no more
The ‘merger’

  • The 50-year-old Amar Jawan Jyoti (AJJ), under the arch of the India Gate in Delhi, is no more. A part of the eternal flame was taken and “merged” with a similar flame at the adjoining National War Memorial (NWM).
  • The 30-minute ceremony saw chief of integrated defence staff Air Marshal B R Krishna lighting a torch from the AJJ, which was then escorted by a tri-service guard contingent of over 100 military personnel to the NWM around 300 metres away.

The flame

  • The AJJ was inaugurated by the then PM Indira Gandhi on January 26, 1972, to honour the 3,843 soldiers who sacrificed their lives while liberating Bangladesh in December 1971.
  • The India Gate, which was inaugurated in 1931, was constructed by the British in memory of over 84,000 Indian soldiers killed fighting for the Empire in World War-I and the Anglo-Afghan campaign.

The reaction

  • Veterans were divided on the decision to “extinguish” the AJJ, with many stressing that the better option would have been to allow both the eternal flames to co-exist, like they have for the last three years.
  • Congress slammed the government for “extinguishing” the AJJ, with Rahul Gandhi saying that the eternal flame will be lit again. “Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice – never mind… We will once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for our soldiers!”

The clarification

  • The names inscribed on the India Gate are of only some martyrs who fought for the British in the World War-I and the Anglo Afghan War, and thus are a symbol of our colonial past, media reports quoting government sources said.

A statue

  • A statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate, the Centre said. Until the installation is completed, a hologram of Netaji will be projected at the site of the statue.
2. AG gives nod to contempt action against hate spewing priest
2. AG gives nod to contempt action against hate spewing priest
The Attorney General (AG) of India K K Venugopal gave the go-ahead to launch criminal contempt proceedings against Yati Narsinganand for his remarks against the Supreme Court.

The offence

  • Narsinganand, in a statement attributed to him, said that “those who believe in this system, in these politicians, in the Supreme Court and in the Army will die the death of a dog.”
  • He was arrested last week for his anti-Muslim hate speeches at the Haridwar Dharam Sansad and is currently in the custody of Uttarakhand Police.

The reasoning

  • Noting that Narsinganand’s statement “is a direct attempt to lower the authority of the Supreme Court in the minds of the general public”, the AG, who gave the consent in response to a letter by an activist seeking initiation of contempt proceedings, added that the offensive remark “would certainly amount to contempt of the Supreme Court of India.”
  • Under the Contempt of Courts Act’s Section 15, the consent of the Attorney General is mandatory before the apex court can hear a criminal contempt of court petition filed by a private individual.

The argument for contempt

  • The letter, calling Narsinganand’s statement “the most vicious attack on the Supreme Court in its history”, said that if the statement was allowed to go unchallenged, it “can result in complete chaos and anarchy.”
3. Indian family freeze to death trying to enter US on foot
3. Indian family freeze to death trying to enter US on foot
  • Four members of a family, including an infant, believed to be from India froze to death while attempting to enter the US by foot from Canada.
  • The bodies were found in barren, snow-covered terrain less than 15 metres from the US border, in a remote area near Emerson, Manitoba, in Canada, The New York Times reported.
  • The family had got separated from a larger group of Indians who were being smuggled across the snow-covered border. The U.S. Border Patrol agents had earlier stopped a 47-year-old American, Steve Shand, while he was driving a 15-passenger van near the Canadian border.
  • Two passengers in the rented van were undocumented citizens of India. Officers further found five more Gujarati-speaking Indian citizens walking in the snow near the border towards the direction of the van. They informed officers of a family who were them but had got separated.
  • Canadian authorities then began a search with snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles that led to the discovery of the four bodies in Manitoba, NYT reports.
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said: “Shocked by the report that 4 Indian nationals, including an infant have lost their lives at the Canada-US border. Have asked our Ambassadors in the US and Canada to urgently respond to the situation.”
4. India tamely concede ODI series as well
4. India tamely concede ODI series as well
  • Sparkling half centuries from openers Quinton de Kock (in pic) and Janneman Malan helped South Africa take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Their run-a-ball 132-run stand followed the good work by their spinners who throttled India earlier.
  • Winning the toss and opting to bat, India were 179/2 at the end of 31 overs and threatening to post in excess of 330 with two set batters — captain KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant — finding regular boundaries. However, both departed in quick succession after the drinks interval and once again, the scars of the middle-order got exposed. If it wasn’t for the 38-ball 48-run partnership between R Ashwin and Shardul Thakur, the total could have been much worse.
  • In their reply, South Africa were 181/1 at the end of 31 overs, almost similar to India’s situation. And Man of the Match de Kock was magnificent as he came out swinging and connecting with pristine timing. Malan could afford to take his time to settle in due to de Kock’s fireworks, and then he made it count as well. Despite a couple of quick wickets around the 35th over mark, there just wasn’t enough runs to create any sort of pressure on the Proteas, as they reached home with 11 balls to spare.
  • India have looked largely ragged and bereft of spark and ideas, batting, bowling and fielding. And they would have thought before this tour that they had a good chance to win the Tests and ODIs. They’ll end up winning neither.
  • Scorecard: South Africa 288/3 (Malan 91, de Kock 78) beat India 287/6 (Pant 85, Rahul 55) by 7 wkts
6. Barty & Nadal power into fourth round, Osaka dumped out
6. Barty & Nadal power into fourth round, Osaka dumped out
  • Top-ranked Ash Barty (in pic) advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open with an emphatic 6-2, 6-3 win over 30th-seeded Camila Giorgi. Barty has only conceded eight games and spent less than three hours on court in the first three rounds at Melbourne Park. The Wimbledon champion and 2019 French Open winner is aiming to be the first Australian woman to win her home championship since 1978.
  • But it won’t be the much-anticipated contest against defending champion Naomi Osaka, who was stunned 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) by Amanada Anisimova later in the day. This after the 20-year-old Anisimova saved two match points in the third set ahead of the tiebreaker and ended the match with an ace. She hit 46 winners to Osaka’s 21.
  • In the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal dropped a set for the first time at this year’s Australian Open but played his best match since injury to overcome Karen Khachanov and steam into the fourth round. The 20-time Grand Slam champion rolled into a two-sets lead and was looking to sweep it in straight sets, before the Russian hit back to take the third. That stung the Spanish sixth seed into action as he broke early to power home. Nadal won 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 in 2 hours and 50 minutes.
  • Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Radu Albot, a No. 124-ranked qualifier from Moldova. The third-seeded Zverev finished it off with his third match point in just under two hours.

Tournament page here

7. Mumbai police arrest three from Haryana for online abuse
7. Mumbai police arrest three from Haryana for online abuse
  • Mumbai police have arrested three men from Haryana for abusing Muslim women on the audio chat app, Clubhouse. Jaishnav Kakkar, 21, and Yash Parashar, 22, were arrested from Faridabad, and Akash Suyal, 19, from Karnal.
  • According to the complainant, participants of a Clubhouse live discussion has made objectionable remarks against her and other women, shared private photographs, and spoke about “auctioning female body parts”.
  • This is the latest case of online abuse targeting women, especially women from the Muslim community to come to light. Creators of two apps published on Github, called Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals, were recently arrested for harassing and “auctioning” prominent Muslim women online.
  • The accused in those cases two were young men (and a woman). A court in Mumbai Thursday had dismissed the bail pleas of the accused in the Bulli Bai case, Vishal Kumar Jha, Shweta Singh and Mayank Rawat.
8. Taliban to hold talks in Norway amidst humanitarian crisis
8. Taliban to hold talks in Norway amidst humanitarian crisis
  • The Taliban will hold talks with Western diplomats and Afghan civil society members in Oslo beginning Sunday, Norway announced on Friday.
  • The visit will see meetings with “Norwegian authorities and officials from a number of allied countries”, including Britain, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy and the United States, it said. The Taliban representatives will also meet female journalists and leaders from Afghanistan.
  • The meeting will focus on humanitarian aid and human rights in Afghanistan, including girls’ education, Norwegian foreign minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.
  • Norway, however, stressed the meeting is not providing legitimacy to the militant group. “This is not a legitimation or recognition of the Taliban. But we must talk to those who in practice govern the country today,” Huitfeldt said.
  • Afghanistan is facing a looming humanitarian crisis as international aid came to a halt and the United States has frozen $9.5bn in assets in the Afghan central bank. The U.N. estimates more than half of the country’s nearly 40 million people face acute hunger.
  • Western powers are seeking certain guarantees from the Taliban before they resume or increase their aid to the nation.
9. Over Rs 10 lakh crore investor wealth wiped out in 4 days
9. Over Rs 10 lakh crore investor wealth wiped out in 4 days
  • A weak week: Benchmark indices, the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty ended in the red for the fourth consecutive day in what has been the worst weekly loss suffered by the stock markets since late November, wiping out Rs 10.17 lakh crore of investor wealth. Since Tuesday, the BSE Sensex has shed 2,271 points while NSE Nifty has lost close to 691 points — or 3.5% each.
  • The day’s action: While the 30-share Sensex fell 427.44 points to close at 59,037.18, the 50-share Nifty fell almost 140 points to end the day at 17,617.15. Thursday’s fall alone wiped out Rs 3.36 lakh crore of investor wealth of BSE listed firms.
  • The cause: Apart from FII selling and a weakening Indian rupee, what has spooked the markets is the sustained weakness in the global stock markets over inflationary worries, which could see the US Federal Reserve, which meets next week, announcing the first of its intended interest rate hikes. Added to that are Q3 earnings of several Indian marquee companies which have disappointed the market.
  • The greatest unknown: The stock markets have also been jittery due to the upcoming budget on February 1, with apprehension that the assembly elections in five states — UP, Punjab, Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand — could force the Centre to come up with a populist budget which may not be very industry friendly.

Goa. Utpal Parrikar (in pic), son of former Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, has announced that he will fight the upcoming Assembly polls in the state as an independent candidate from his father’s seat Panaji. Utpal has resigned from BJP. This move came after BJP denied him the ticket and chose sitting MLA Babush Monserrate.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh Nippun Singh
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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