1. 3 terrorists killed in J&K: Three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on Wednesday. The encounter started after a joint team of police, army’s 55 RR and the CRPF launched a search and cordon operation in Tiken. The terrorists were associated with Pakistan-backed al-Badr terror outfit.
2. WANI scheme ‘historic’: PM: The Union cabinet has approved PM-WANI (Wi-Fi Access Network Interface), a key scheme in the telecom sector to expand internet coverage across the length and breadth of the country.PM Narendra Modi said the scheme would “revolutionise the tech world” by significantly improving WiFi availability.
3. Maharashtra nod to Shakti Act: The Maharashtra cabinet has approved the draft proposal to the Shakti Act 2020, which recommends death penalty for heinous crimes against women and children.The law sets a 15-day investigation limit into such crimes and will set up fast-track courts that will complete the trial within 30 days.
4. Pat for India vaccine progress: Foreign envoys, who travelled to Hyderabad on Wednesday to visit two biotech companies working on Covid-19 vaccines, said they are impressed by the progress made by Indian drug companies. Australian ambassador Barry O’Farrell said India has the manufacturing capacity to produce sufficient quantities to satisfy the demands of citizens in every country.
5. Farmers reject Centre proposal: A 20-page proposal offered by the Centre has been rejected by farmer unions for being “vague”. Farmers, who are steadfast in their demand that the three farm laws be repealed, said any further talks with the government would be based on the proposals they receive.
6. Farmers threaten to intensify stir: Farmers have threatened to intensify their agitation by blocking more highways leading to Delhi. On December 14, they said the residences of BJP leaders, ministers and offices would be gheraoed and dharnas would take place at district headquarters across the country.
7. Allergy warning for UK vaccine: The UK has issued a warning for people with “significant” history of allergic reactions to medicines, food or vaccines to not have the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, a day after the first set of patients were administered their first of two doses of the vaccine against Covid-19. The warning came after two health care workers suffered adverse reactions.
8. China on LAC deployment: External affairs minister S Jaishankar said China has offered “five differing explanations” for its deployment of thousands of soldiers on the Line of Actual Control that pushed bilateral ties into their most difficult phase ever. However, he didn’t go into the details of the explanations.
9. Japan’s bird flu outbreak worsens: Japan has called for disinfections of poultry farms across the country to contain an outbreak of bird flu. Highly pathogenic flu, most likely brought by migrating birds from the Asian or European continent, has spread to eight of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The wave of avian influenza that began earlier this year is the worst in around four years.
10. K’taka clears anti-cattle slaughter bill: The Karnataka Assembly has passed the Prevention Of Slaughter And Preservation Of Cattle Bill, 2020, amid massive ruckus. The bill bans slaughtering of cattle or intentionally killing cattle throughout the state.