The Hindu Morning Digest: January 5, 2024

Families of victims of the explosions gather at the courtyard of a hospital in the city of Kerman, about 510 miles (820 kilometres) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 3, 2024.
| Photo Credit: AP

Eight Indian Navy veterans get 60 days to contest Qatar jail terms

Qatar has commuted death sentence for eight Indian Navy veterans and turned that into “varying quantum” of jail terms, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday, putting out the official confirmation about the high-profile case regarding the men who were arrested by the Gulf country in August 2022. Addressing the weekly press briefing, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said the legal team had been given 60 days to appeal against the jail terms.

Health Ministry seeks data on single women taking the Assisted Reproductive Technology route

The Union Health Ministry has sought data from all States and Union Territories on the total number of single women (divorcees/widows) and unmarried women who have successfully used Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in order to assess the functioning of the ART Act, 2021. Fertility experts have welcomed the move, along with the inclusion of single women/unmarried women as a category.

INDIA bloc seat-sharing talks delayed as Congress panel presents State units’ wishlist to Kharge

With their INDIA bloc allies breathing down their neck to come up with a seat-sharing formula at the earliest, the Congress’ five-member National Alliance Committee on Thursday briefed Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on the consultations they held with the party’s State units, 12 days after their first meeting on December 23. 

Aadhaar enabled payment comprised 11% of financial frauds: I4C analysis

Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AePS) frauds were 11% of the cyber financial scams that had its origin in India in 2023, an analysis by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has said. Most of these were committed in Bihar and Jharkhand. Last year, the central government’s portal (cybercrime.gov.in) and 1930 helpline received 13,10,329 complaints regarding cyber enabled financial frauds. The AePS frauds included cloning of biometrics.

Trinamool needs the support of Congress more than the Congress needs them: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday said that the Congress party was not going to beg for seats from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the forthcoming General Election. The remarks come at a time when Congress MP from Malda Dakshin Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury has said that a deal had been struck with the Trinamool on giving two seats to the Congress in the State. The Congress MP was referring to the Malda Dakshin and Behrampore Lok Sabha seats.

Congress holds first meeting of manifesto committee 

The first meeting of the Congress Manifesto Committee was held here on Thursday. It was presided over by Chairman P. Chidambaram and attended by other members of the committee, including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah, Jairam Ramesh, T.S. Singh Deo, Anand Sharma, Shashi Tharoor and others. 

Election Commission tweaks rules for allocation of symbols to unrecognised political parties

The Election Commission of India on Thursday brought in new rules for allocation of symbols to Registered Unrecognised Political Parties (RUPPs), making it mandatory for them to furnish audited accounts of last three financial years, expenditure statements of last two elections, and the signature of the authorised office-bearer of the party along with the application form for symbols.

Iowa school shooting | One dead, five wounded at high school in Perry; suspect dead

A 17-year-old opened fire at a small-town Iowa high school on the first day of school after the winter break, killing a sixth-grader and wounding five others as students barricaded in offices and fled in panic. The suspect, a student at the school in Perry, died of what investigators believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and at least one of the victims is a school administrator, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Iran attack

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and first Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber vowed revenge on Thursday for explosions that killed at least 84 at a ceremony to commemorate top commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone in Iraq in 2020. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier, a senior official in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said the blasts appeared to represent “a terrorist attack” of the type carried out in the past by Islamic State militants.

Myanmar’s military government pardons nearly 10,000 prisoners to mark Independence Day

Myanmar’s military government on Thursday pardoned nearly 10,000 prisoners to mark the 76th anniversary of gaining independence from Britain, but they apparently included just a small proportion of the thousands of political detainees jailed for opposing army rule.

Centre keen to expand ECGC cover to individual jewellery exporters

Union minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that the Centre was keen to expand the ECGC (Export Credit Guarantee Corporation) cover, now provided to banks towards the credit limits for exporters, to even individual exporters of gems and jewellery. He was speaking at the India International Jewellery Trade Show (IIJS) organised by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council at Jio Centre in Mumbai.

India’s heavy digital footprint makes it more attractive to cybercrooks: experts

With a population of over 1.4 billion and a rapidly expanding economy, India’s digital footprint has made it an alluring target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities, warned a group of cyber-security providers. Data breaches would skyrocket in 2024, there would be continued acceleration in ransomware activities in addition to a surge in identity-based attacks resulting from increasing cloud adoption, and deepfakes would also pose a looming threat to the country’s cybersecurity this year, they cautioned.

IND vs SA second Test | Fiery Bumrah helps Team India break a Cape Town hoodoo

The final frontier will remain the final frontier for some more time, but India’s cricketers will head back home, their heads held high. They expectedly wrapped up the second Test with plenty of time to spare on Thursday to square the two-Test series 1-1. Aiden Markram scored a stunning hundred (106, 103b, 17×4, 2×6) on an incredibly challenging track where nobody else touched 50, but that could only delay the inevitable. India’s seven-wicket victory came in the second session on the second day. It was the team’s first-ever Test victory at the Newlands Cricket Ground.

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