LIVE: No foreign head as chief guest for Republic Day this year, says govt

Due to global Covid-19 situation, it was decided not to have a foreign head of state or head of government as R-Day chief guest: MEA
Latest News LIVE: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday announced that there will be no foreign leader as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations due to the global situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today issued directions to open the Ghazipur poultry market after all 100 samples collected from there tested negative for bird flu. 

 
Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addressed the media during his trip to Tamil Nadu's Madurai and slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government for China's alleged entry in Indian territory. The Wayanad MP questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silent about the fact that 'Chinese troops are sitting inside Indian territory'.

On the international front, the US President Donald Trump has been impeached for a second time by the US House of Representatives. Ten Republicans broke ranks and voted to impeach Trump on a day when the debate moved at lightning speed, much of it charged by the bipartisan anger at the scale of the January 6 violence at the Capitol Hill.

Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted in early 2020 to acquit. The impeachment now moves to the Senate, which will conduct a trial and a voting to remove the president from office.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


LIVE UPDATES

Sikkim Governor donates over Rs 1 lakh to Ram Janmbhoomi trust

Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad on Thursday donated Rs 1,01,000 to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra, the trust constituted to look after the construction and management of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra has announced a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of the grand temple in Ayodhya. The drive will begin from January 15 and will go on till February 27.


"A state-level representative committee of the trust officially met Governor Ganga Prasad at Raj Bhavan on Thursday in regard to Ram temple construction in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The Committee members told about the donation drive in Sikkim," Dr Manoj Sandhwar, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Governor Ganga Prasad said in a statement. "On a personal level, Governor Ganga Prasad donated Rs 101000 to Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya," he added.

Donald Trump's impeachment trial likely to begin on Inauguration Day

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial could begin at 1 pm (local time) on Inauguration Day next Wednesday as President-elect Joe Biden is being sworn into office. That's according to a a timeline of Senate procedure obtained by The Associated Press. It's the possible schedule if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate soon.

 
Trump was impeached by the House on Wednesday on a single charge of incitement to insurrection after the deadly Capitol siege last week by a pro-Trump mob. Trump is the only president ever to be impeached twice. Pelosi, D-Calif., hasn't said when she'll send the impeachment charge to the Senate. Some Democrats have suggested holding back to allow Biden time to be inaugurated and to start working on his priorities first.

Bird flu: 382 more birds dead, samples sent for testing, says Maharashtra govt

A total of 382 birds have died today. The samples are being sent for testing. A total of 3,378 deaths of various birds have been recorded till the date since 8th Jan. So far, 9 districts have been exposed to bird flu in the state: Maharashtra Government

Google closes deal to buy Fitbit as Justice Dept probe continues

Search and advertising giant Google has closed its deal to buy Fitbit, the companies said on Thursday, even as the Justice Department said it was continuing its probe of the $2.1 billion transaction. The Justice Department, which sued Alphabet Inc's Google in October for allegedly violating antitrust law in its search and search advertising businesses, said it "has not reached a final decision about whether to pursue an enforcement action" regarding the Fitbit deal.


Google had said it was buying Fitbit, which makes a watch-like device to measure physical activity, as a way to enter the devices market and was hoping to address privacy concerns. "We worked with global regulators on an approach which safeguards consumers' privacy expectations," Google said in a blog post, which said Fitbit had 29 million active users.


"(That includes) a series of binding commitments that confirm Fitbit users' health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and this data will be separated from other Google ads data."

Delhi's air quality turns 'severe'

Delhi's air quality turns "severe" due to prevailing "extremely unfavourable" conditions for dispersion of pollutants: Govt agencies

Kerala suffered revenue loss of Rs 1.56 trn due to Covid lockdown: Thomas Isaac

Kerala suffered revenue loss of Rs 1.56 trillion due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown: State Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac

Indian aircraft Tejas far better and advanced than Chinese and Pakistan joint venture JF-17 fighter: IAF Chief

Parliament session from Jan 29, FM to present Budget on Feb 1

The Budget session of Parliament will commence from January 29, with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present the Union Budget on February 1. The session will be held in two parts -- from January 29 to February 15 and March 8 to April 8. The 5th session of the 17th Lok Sabha will have 35 sittings -- 11 in the first part and 24 in the second part.
 
President Ram Nath Kovind will address both Houses of Parliament -- the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha -- at 11 am on January 29.
 
Sitharaman will present the Union Budget at 11 am on February 1. Parliament will adjourn on February 15 to enable various Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries/Departments and prepare their reports, and reconvene on March 8.

Centre, states team up with RBI, Big Tech to fight Chinese lending apps

The Centre and State governments, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Big-Techs and even regulated digital lenders, are moving together to tighten the noose around unscrupulous Chinese lending apps operating with near impunity in the country and wreaking havoc in the lives of borrowers.
 
On Thursday, Google announced in a blog post that while working on complaints by users and government agencies, it reviewed “hundreds of personal loan apps in India”, and those that were found to violate its user safety policies “were immediately removed from the Store (Google Play Store).” READ ON...

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms India entry

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed the company's plans to enter the Indian market, within days of the electric vehicle maker registering its arm in the country.
 
"As promised," Musk tweeted in response to a thread linked to a blog that analysed how India could still be a market to be developed for Tesla cars despite its high prices.
 
Earlier this week, it emerged that US electric car maker Tesla has registered its Indian arm amid indications that the company is set to enter the country's automobile market. According to a regulatory filing, the firm has registered Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd with Registrar of Companies (RoC) Bangalore.
 
The company has been registered as an unlisted private entity with a paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh.

No foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for Republic Day this year: MEA

East and North Delhi civic bodies 'bankrupt', can't pay salaries to employees: Manish Sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed on Thursday that East and North municipal corporations in the national capital are "bankrupt" and are not in a position to pay salaries to their employees.
 
"North and East municipal corporations are bankrupt, they have Rs 12 crore and Rs 99 lakh in their bank accounts respectively. They have a loan amount of Rs 6,276 crore to be paid to the Delhi government. The BJP has left the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) bankrupt," Sisodia, a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), said at a press conference.
 
"In 14 years of corrupt rule, BJP has sucked the MCD dry. The municipal corporations are not in a state to pay the salaries of their employees. Even BJP leaders have agreed that corruption is at its peak in MCD," he added.
 
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said, "After reducing the budget of several departments of Delhi government, we are releasing Rs 938 crore to pay for the salaries of MCD employees.

Bird flu: Teachers not be deployed on inspection duty, says Manish Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said teachers will not be deployed on inspection duty in view of the bird flu situation in the national capital. The move comes following complaints that teachers were asked undertake random inspections at markets and other places to see whether guidelines are being followed amid the bird flu scare.
 
"Received complaints from few districts about teachers being deployed on inspection duty in view of bird flu. Following instructions from the chief minister, teachers have been relieved from this duty. DM's have been instructed to not put teachers on such duty without prior permission," Sisodia tweeted.
 
Bird flu has not spread among chickens in Delhi, an official said on Thursday after all the 100 samples taken from Asia's largest poultry market in Ghazipur tested negative.

India does not want conflict with anyone; it wants peace and friendly ties: Rajnath Singh

Bird Flu: Delhi CM issues directions to open Ghazipur poultry market after samples test negative

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday issued directions to open the Ghazipur poultry market after all 100 samples collected from there tested negative for bird flu.
 
"Samples taken from poultry markets have tested negative with respect to Bird Flu. Have directed to open the poultry market & withdraw the orders to restrict trade & import of chicken stocks," the chief minister tweeted.
 
Earlier in the day, a senior official of the Delhi animal husbandry unit said there is no spread of bird flu among chickens in Delhi as all the 100 samples taken from Asia's largest poultry market in Ghazipur have tested negative. The results come a day after civic authorities imposed a temporary ban on sale and storage of poultry or processed chicken meat in view of the bird flu situation here.
 
Earlier, samples taken from crows and ducks at parks and lakes in the national capital tested positive for avian influenza.
 
This had led to banning of sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city and shutting the wholesale poultry market in east Delhi for 10 days as a precautionary measure by the Delhi government on Monday. The Ghazipur market located on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border is a key supplier of poultry products in the region. Chickens, geese, ducks and turkey are among the poultry birds bred by farmers for their eggs and meat.

LIVE: Delhi orders poultry market to open after safety test

NSG commandos contingent rehearsed at Delhi's Rajpath ahead of Republic Day

Minor fire incident at Safdarjung hospital

A minor fire broke out in a room on the fourth floor of Safdarjung hospital on Thursday afternoon, a Delhi Fire Service official said. No one was injured in the incident. According to the fire department, they received a call about the incident around 1.24 pm. The fire broke out in a room used by the nursing staff in the OPD block situated on the fourth floor of the hospital.
 
Seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire was brought under control by 1.40 pm, said Atul Garg, Director, Delhi Fire Service. The cause of fire is being ascertained. Officials suspect short-circuit may have led to the incident.

Delhi reports 850 bird mortality, 468 complaints related to avian influenza

As many as 850 cases of bird deaths due to avian influenza have been reported in the national capital, Delhi's Animal Husbandry Department said here on Thursday. As per official data, till 10 am on Thursday, the Animal Husbandry Department has received 468 more "complaints related to bird flu". The department has further deployed 11 surveillance teams who are working to reach at the spot to collect samples from where complaints are made.
 
Speaking to ANI, Rakesh Singh, Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Delhi, said his department has directed people not to touch the dead birds with bare hands, and in absence of proper gears, they must wrap their hands with a polythene bag.
 
"We are getting reports from across Delhi and just from specific areas. We are getting reports of bird mortality in fewer numbers from overall Delhi, however, numbers of crow mortality is more," said Singh. He informed that a total of 46 samples were sent for testing on Monday and Tuesday, but added that no samples went for testing on Wednesday.
 

No spread of bird flu in poultry in Delhi, all samples taken from Ghazipur market negative: Official

Bird flu has not spread among chickens in Delhi, an official said on Thursday after all the 100 samples taken from Asia's largest poultry market in Ghazipur tested negative. The results come a day after civic authorities imposed a temporary ban on sale and storage of poultry or processed chicken meat in view of the bird flu situation. Earlier, samples taken from crows and ducks at parks and lakes in the national capital tested positive for the avian influenza.
 
This had prompted the Delhi government on Monday to ban the sale of processed and packaged chicken brought from outside the city and shutting the wholesale poultry market in east Delhi for 10 days as a precautionary measure. The Ghazipur market located on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border is a key supplier of poultry products in the region. Chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys are among the poultry birds bred by farmers for their eggs and meat.
 
"Test results of 104 samples arrived on Wednesday evening. Of these, 100 samples were collected from 35 poultry birds in the Ghazipur market. All samples have tested negative for bird flu," the Delhi animal husbandry unit's senior official Rakesh Singh said. "It means there is no spread of avian influenza in poultry birds in Delhi," he said.

Tamil culture, history, language essential for India's future, needs to be respected, says Rahul Gandhi

Tamil culture, history and language are essential for the future of India and are needed to be respected, said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on who is in Madurai to attend the traditional bull-taming sport -- 'Jallikattu' -- and celebrate Pongal.
 
The Wayanad MP along with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin's son and actor Udhayanidhi, attended the Jallikattu event in Avaniyapuram in Madurai.
 
Addressing the event, Gandhi said it was quite a lovely experience to see Tamil culture, history in action.
 
"I'm happy that Jallikattu is being organised in a systematic and safe way that both the bull and the youngsters are safe and everybody is being taken care of. I have specifically came here because I think Tamil culture, history, language are essential for the future of India and need to be respected by everybody in India. I have come here to give a message to those people who think they can push aside Tamil language and Tamil culture," Gandhi said.

Why are the Chinese people sitting inside Indian territory? asks Rahul Gandhi

New Trump admin rule will raise wage cost for employing H-1B workers

The Trump administration has announced a final rule that will significantly raise the minimum wages the employers in the US must pay to foreign workers on visa programmes like the H-1B as part of the efforts to protect American workers from being undercut by cheaper labour from abroad.
 
Days before the exit of the administration of President Donald Trump, the US Department of Labor said that the final rule would help protect the wages and job opportunities of American workers by reforming the wage methodology it uses to set prevailing wage rates to prevent potential abuses of its Permanent Employment Certification, H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Visa foreign worker programmes.
 
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. READ ON...

Over 3,400 birds culled in Maharashtra's Parbhani district

More than 3,400 poultry birds have been culled at a village in Maharashtra's Parbhani district after bird flu was confirmed as the cause of death of hundreds of hens there, a senior official said on Thursday. Last week, around 900 hens died at a poultry farm in Murumba village of Parbhani. The district administration later decided to cull birds in one-km radius of the place where the deaths took place.
 
"The culling of birds was undertaken on Wednesday. A total of 3,443 birds were culled till last night," Parbhani collector Deepak Muglikar told PTI. Samples of some dead birds from Kupta village have also been sent to a lab for testing, he said. "There is no adverse report till now from anywhere else in the district. Residents of the Murumba village are fine and have no flu symptoms," the official said.
 
Earlier, over 11,000 birds were culled in Kendrewadi and Sukni villages of Latur to stop the spread of bird flu infection, Collector B P Prithviraj said on Wednesday. He said a report is awaited on the samples of birds found dead in Vanjarwadi village of Latur.

US politics: Biden forgoing Amtrak trip to Washington over security fears

President-elect Joe Biden will no longer be taking an Amtrak train to Washington for his inauguration because of security concerns, a person briefed on the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
 
The president-elect's decision reflects growing worries over potential threats in the Capitol and across the U.S. in the lead-up to Biden's January 20 inauguration.

PayPal becomes first foreign firm in China with full ownership of payments

PayPal Holding Inc has become the first foreign operator with 100% control of a payment platform in China, according to Chinese government data, as the U.S. fintech giant eyes a bigger foothold in a booming market for online payments.
 
PayPal acquired the 30% stake it doesn't already own in China's GoPay, formally known as Guofubao Information Technology Co., on Dec. 31, 2020, according to shareholder data from the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System. Read on...

WPI Inflation eases to 1.22% in December from 1.55% in November

WPI Inflation eases to 1.22% in December from 1.55% in November

Rupee slips 3 paise to 73.18 against US dollar in early trade

Rupee slips 3 paise to 73.18 against US dollar in early trade

Avian influenza not detected in poultry birds in Delhi: Animal Husbandry Unit

Avian influenza not detected in poultry birds in Delhi: Animal Husbandry Unit

Madhya Pradesh: A kite festival organised in Bhopal on Makar Sankranti

Last week, we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy, says Biden on US Capitol attack

Last week, we saw an unprecedented assault on our democracy. It was unlike anything we have witnessed in the 244-year history of our nation. This criminal attack was planned & coordinated. It was carried out by political extremists & domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump. It was an armed insurrection against the US and those responsible must be held accountable: US President-elect Joe Biden.

Fearing taxes after Brexit, dealers moved artworks worth millions out of UK

Among the thousands of trucks backed up in Dover last month trying to get across the Channel, one was carrying a painting by Henri Matisse. A piece by the Argentine-born artist Lucio Fontana was also in the queue, along with tens of millions of dollars of other artworks.
 
The owners wanted to get their art back to the continent before the U.K. left the European Union’s single market. Read on...

Snapchat permanently bans President Donald Trump over US Capitol attack

Snapchat has decided to permanently ban US President Donald Trump's account over his role in inciting the Capitol violence, a week after Twitter, Facebook and Instagram imposed bans on his personal account on their respective platforms.
 
CNN quoted a Snapchat spokesperson as saying, "Last week we announced an indefinite suspension of President Trump's Snapchat account, and have been assessing what long term action is in the best interest of our Snapchat community." Read on...

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