1. Priest dies by suicide amid farmers’ stir: A priest from Haryana’s Karnal died by suicide near the Singhu border on Wednesday. According to his suicide letter, he was shooting himself in solidarity with the farmers protesting against three new farm laws. The note read: “I feel the pain of farmers fighting to ensure their rights… To support farmers, some have returned their awards to the government. I have decided to sacrifice myself.”
2. Suvendu quits as MLA: In a much-anticipated development, rebel Trinamool Congress leader and former minister Suvendu Adhikari has formally resigned from the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. Sources suggest he’s likely to join the BJP.
3. Modi to attend AMU event: In a first, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the virtual programme of Aligarh Muslim University on its centenary celebrations on December 22. The last time a sitting PM attended an event at the university was in 1964 when Lal Bahadur Shastri delivered the convocation address.
4. Pleas for uniform grounds of divorce, alimony: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear pleas seeking “uniform grounds of divorce” and alimony for all citizens of the country keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and international conventions. It has sought the Centre’s response on the same.
5. US adds India to ‘monitoring list’: The US has added India along with Taiwan and Thailand to the “monitoring list” of currency manipulating countries that includes major trading partners like China and six others. It also branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators.
6. India, UK launch ‘virtual vaccine hub’: India and the UK have launched a virtual vaccine hub to facilitate the delivery of vaccines for Covid-19 and other viruses and to foster cooperation between experts on clinical trials and regulatory approvals. Visiting UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab announced the launch of the hub.
7. Chinese capsule returns from moon: A Chinese lunar capsule returned to Earth with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years. The successful mission was the latest breakthrough for China’s increasingly ambitious space programme that includes a robotic mission to Mars and plans for a permanent orbiting space station.
8. Turkey slams US: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at US sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of Russian missile systems. Erdogan called this an attack on Turkey’s sovereignty. Turkey bought the Russian S-400 missiles in 2017.
9. K’taka to help restart Wistron: The Karnataka government whose investment-friendly image has been left bruised by workers who vandalised the Wistron iPhone plant over alleged non-payment of wages, has assured investors of its support while taking up the need to protect labour rights.
10. Teachers on K’taka streets: Over 6,000 teachers, non-teaching staffers and members of the managements of private unaided schools in Karnataka staged a protest on Wednesday demanding for inclusion for Covid-19 vaccination in the first phase free of cost. They also demanded distribution of food kits to teaching and non-teaching staffers on humanitarian grounds while seeking honorarium and free insurance.