Morning Digest: States on alert as fear of bird flu grows; NIA chargesheets 20 in Kerala gold smuggling case, and more


The U.S. has cooperated with India to counter ‘aggressive’ Chinese actions at the Line of Actual Control, confirmed its Ambassador Kenneth Juster, saying it was for the Indian government to give details of the nature of military cooperation during the ongoing eight-month standoff between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army.

Global economic output is projected to grow by 4% in 2021 assuming widespread roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine throughout the year, as per the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report released on Tuesday.

Culling of chickens and ducks began in parts of Kerala on Tuesday to contain the spread of avian influenza, or H5N8, as 2,000 migratory birds were found dead in Himachal Pradesh, and several hundred birds in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Leaving out Sandeep Nair from the list of accused in the diplomatic channel gold smuggling case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday submitted the charge sheet before the NIA Special Court, Kochi. The charge sheet lists 20 persons, including P.S. Sarith, Swapna Suresh, K.T. Ramees, and 17 others as accused. Sandeep may have turned approver in the case.

Schools, colleges, universities, coaching centres and government training institutes in Rajasthan will reopen from January 18 after a gap of more than nine months. The schools will run classes for IX to XII standards, while the students of final year degree courses will attend the classes in colleges.

A command and control centre set up at the Centre’s aviation cargo wing, AAICLAS, will monitor the movement of COVID-19 vaccines across a network of 41 airports, with Pune — where vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India is located — as the hub.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to treat the Central Vista project as a unique one requiring greater or “heightened” judicial review.

China’s e-commerce giant, the Alibaba Group, on Tuesday announced it will close a popular music streaming platform, Xiami Music. The announcement comes amid continuing investigations into the group and questions surrounding the future of its founder, Jack Ma.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cancelled his planned India visit for the last week of January when he was to be the Chief Guest of the Republic Day festivities.

A Wisconsin prosecutor announced on Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralyzed and setting off sometimes violent protests in the city.

Former Manchester City and England midfielder Colin Bell has died aged 74 following a short illness, the club announced Tuesday.

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