Morning Digest: Talks end inconclusively, farmers protest to continue; no move for universal COVID-19 vaccination, says government; and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day.

Talks between the Centre and farmers demanding a rollback of the three recent farm sector legislations, ended inconclusively on Tuesday. The farmers’ unions rejected the government’s proposal to set up a small expert committee to examine the three controversial laws.

Government has never spoken about vaccinating everyone, against COVID, said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Tuesday, speaking at a press conference in the national capital. He added that it is important to discuss such scientific issues based on factual information only.

The announcement came a few hours after a delegation of PMK leaders, led by Anbumani Ramadoss, met Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy at the Secretariat on a day when the PMK launched an agitation for 20% reservation for Vanniyars in government jobs and higher education.

The pick-up in GST revenues over the last two months could reduce the shortfall in GST compensation dues to States, but economists urged caution till December to assess if the economy is truly out of the woods after the festive demand factor has played out.

Also Read: Low voter turnout in Hyderabad civic polls

European countries were on Tuesday given a clear timeframe for the start of their vaccination programmes after the bloc’s medicines regulator said it would decide by December 29 whether to grant emergency approval for the first COVID-19 jabs.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for India’s manufacturing touched 56.3 in November, signaling that even as an improvement in wider industrial activity continued, the sector’s expansion as well as the pace of of new orders slowed down while employment declined further as business optimism faded during the month.

Environmentalists have alleged that the contractors deputed by the government to make roads as part of the Chardham project are violating the Supreme Court orders on the appropriate road width to be followed in mountainous terrain.

China and Pakistan have signed a new military memorandum of understanding to boost their already close defence relationship, as China’s Defence Minister and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Wei Fenghe met Pakistan’s leadership in Islamabad and visited the headquarters of the army at Rawalpindi.

Also Read: China successfully lands spacecraft on moon to retrieve lunar rocks

Five people including a nine-month-old baby were killed and up to 15 injured on Tuesday when a speeding car ploughed into a pedestrian area in the western German city of Trier in what authorities said appeared to be a deliberate act.

On the podcast, the assasination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist, is discussed. This happened last Friday and has triggered the possibility of a new crisis in West Asia.

GuestStanly Johny, International Affairs Editor, The Hindu.

Last season’s MVP Hugo Boumous finally found form much to the delight of head coach Sergio Lobera as Mumbai City FC blanked SC East Bengal 3-0 in their ISL encounter at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday.

Chasing a seemingly challenging 192 to win, England breezed to victory with 14 balls to spare to move to the top of the T20I world rankings. The world’s top-ranked batsman in the format, Dawid Malan, finished 99 not out after sharing a 167-run unbroken stand for the second wicket with Jos Buttler, who ended unbeaten on 67.


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