India has begun the process to evacuate nationals from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, Hubei province of China. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday said the government was planning to send a plane to Wuhan and a special Air India flight had got the go-ahead from aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Speaking on the recently enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the law was a measure to correct “historical injustices” and to fulfill the BJP’s “old promise” to religious minorities in India’s neighbourhood. Addressing cadets of the National Cadet Corp (NCC) at the annual rally after the Republic Day parade, Mr. Modi said his government was intent on solving decades-old problems facing the country, looking for lasting solutions to them where previous governments had only seen a law and order issue.
Five groups at the European Parliament tabled a joint motion resolution on Tuesday that “condemned” India’s decision to adopt the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). In a boost for the government’s efforts to counter the resolution, one group of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) with 66 members, that had earlier been a part of the resolution, decided to drop out. The other five groups, representing a total of 560 of the 751 MEPs in the Parliament, have agreed to the joint motion, although it is unclear how many will finally vote for the resolution.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that the National Population Register (NPR) in its new format would create confusion in the country and suggested that the Centre should therefore continue to retain the old format, which has been in use since 2011. “The NPR has been there since 2011, it’s not a new thing… but, in the new format with more questions it can create confusion in the country,” Mr. Kumar told journalists, while addressing them after a day-long meeting of the JD(U) party at his official residence on Anne Marg.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the BJP government at the Centre of promoting violence by raising divisive issues, which had set the citizens against each other and created an atmosphere of insecurity. Foreign investors were wondering if they should risk their money in India in such conditions, he said.
The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday served a show-cause notice on Union Minister Anurag Thakur for his “desh ke gaddaron ko” slogan at an election meeting here on Monday. It said prima facie the remarks had the “potential of disturbing communal harmony” and the BJP MP had violated the model code and the electoral law. He has been asked to respond before Thursday noon, “failing which the Commission shall take a decision without any reference to you.”
Observing that minorities in India and the U.S. are “actually minorities” and nowhere close to being dominant, Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee said that he does not feel that it is a “real fear there is going to be a Muslim takeover of India”. He said that the talk that “one hears at least from the fringes of the ruling party about the demography of the Muslim population.. is really just a way to demonise a population.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its seven-year stay on a proposal to introduce African cheetahs from Namibia into the Indian habitat on an experimental basis. The plan was to bolster the nearly extinct Indian cheetah population. In May 2012, the apex court had stalled the plan to initiate the foreign cheetahs into the Palpur Kino sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh fearing they may come into conflict with a parallel and a much-delayed project to reintroduce lions into the same sanctuary. The court was also worried whether the African cheetahs would find the sanctuary a favourable clime as far as abundance of prey is concerned.
Leading low-cost airline IndiGo on Tuesday night announced that it was suspending stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra from flying with IndiGo for six months, as his conduct onboard was unacceptable. Later, Air India announced it would suspend him from flying on any of its flights until further notice. Mr. Kamra had earlier tweeted a video where he is seen accosting television journalist Arnab Goswami onboard an Indigo flight. Mr. Goswami does not respond to Mr. Kamra in the 1.51-minute long video. An airhostess is even heard asking the standup comedian to stop taking the video but Mr. Kamra is heard saying he is willing to go to jail for this.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on January 28, resisting U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinese company from next generation communications over fears Beijing could use them to spy. Britain had to weigh its “special relationship” with the U.S. against Chinese trade and investment ties which it wants to develop after leaving the EU.
As reports of U.S. President Donald Trump having told his former National Security Adviser John Bolton to hold assistance to Ukraine pending politically-charged investigations spread, pressure from within the GOP to call new witnesses intensified, with some GOP Senators publicly expressing their interest in hearing from Mr. Bolton and other new witnesses. Mr. Trump’s defence team, however, side-stepped the Bolton issue as they defended their client in the Senate on Monday.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed creation of a Palestinian state with capital in eastern Jerusalem, dependent on Palestinians taking steps to become self-governing, as part of a peace plan to end decades of conflict in the region. Senior administration officials said that under Mr. Trump’s proposed West Asia peace plan, the U.S. will recognise Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. In exchange, Israel would agree to accept a four-year freeze on new settlement activity while Palestinian statehood is negotiated.
The United States said Tuesday it was developing a vaccine against a deadly virus that originated in China, and urged Beijing to step up its cooperation with international health authorities. “We have already started at the NIH and with many of our collaborators on the development of a vaccine,” National Institutes for Health (NIH) official Anthony Fauci told reporters. The process would take three months to start the first trial, three more months to gather data, before being able to move into its second phase. “But we are proceeding as if we will have to deploy a vaccine,” said Mr. Fauci.
A ruthless India are expected to seal their maiden T20 International series win in New Zealand and only a special comeback from the struggling hosts in the third game here on Wednesday can delay what seems inevitable. A third successive win at Seddon Park will give them their first ever T20I series’ win on New Zealand soil, a feat they were unable to achieve on two occasions previously. India lost 0-2 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni back in 2008-09, and last year, they went down 1-2.
Veteran Leander Paes’ last Australian Open outing came to and end after he and partner Jelena Ostapenko were knocked out of the mixed doubles competition, going down in straight sets to Jamie Murray and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Melbourne on January 28. The 46-year-old Paes and Lativia’s Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, lost to the British-American pair 2-6 5-7 in a second round match that lasted one hour and seven minutes. Paes had earlier announced that 2020 would be his final year on the Pro circuit.