MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 27 JANUARY
PICTURE OF THE DAY
A soldier faints during the official celebration for Republic Day at Sher-i-Kashmir stadium. Business establishments and shops are closed in Srinagar and internet services on mobile phones have been temporarily suspended in Kashmir as part of the Republic Day security arrangements.
Anadolu Agency/GETTY IMAGES
Narendra Modi has turned India into a quagmire
January 26, 2021 marks 70 years of India as a republic. Yet, the country is in no condition to celebrate. The annual military parade has been abridged and the conventional foreign dignitary as chief guest will be absent after COVID forced the withdrawal of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The economy is emasculated, Chinese troops are brazenly entrenched inside Indian territory in the Western Himalayas and people in the sensitive Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir are widely disenchanted with Delhi. More critically, Narendra Modi's Hindu majoritarian, supremacist agenda has dangerously divided a multireligious society.
Controlled by extremists, Indian media stokes conflict with China
On January 24, more than two months after the 8th round of Corps Commander Level Meetings, China and India held the 9th round to negotiate a settlement of border confrontations. Although the official press release had not come, the Indian media began exaggerating the tension on the border, saying that the border troops of the two countries had a physical conflict in the Sikkim section of the Sino-Indian border. At least 20 Chinese soldiers were injured, while only four Indian soldiers got injured, the media said. But Chinese sources quickly responded saying: "The Indian media often have no bottom line and make up false reports. The Indian army army also issued a non-alarmist statement on January 25.
India meddling behind halt of Sinovac vaccine trials in Bangladesh: Source
A recent report in the Hindustan Times claimed that Bangladesh had to turn to India for help as Chinese vaccine producer Sinovac asked the Bangladeshi government to share cost of clinical trials. However, the report is different from what the Global Times has learned, and experts condemned Indian media for hyping what would be normal international cooperation on vaccine development.
Violent clashes as Indian farmers storm Delhi's Red Fort
Farmers protesting against new agriculture laws in India broke through police barricades around the capital and entered the grounds of Delhi’s historic Red Fort on Tuesday, in chaotic and violent scenes that overshadowed the country’s Republic Day celebrations. Police hit protesters with batons and fired teargas to try to disperse the crowds after hundreds of thousands of farmers, many on tractors or horses, marched on the capital. One protester was confirmed to have died in the clashes and dozens of police and protesters were injured. Mobile internet services were suspended in parts of Delhi and some metro stations closed. As the clashes continued into the afternoon, home minister Amit Shah met Delhi police to discuss how to get the protests under control.
Myanmar military refuses to rule out coup as it presses claim of fraud in Nov. election
Myanmar’s military refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup when asked how it intended to proceed after making several claims of fraud in relation to the November general election, which delivered a mandate to the National League for Democracy (NLD) to continue governing the country for a second term. The military (or Tatmadaw) publicly claimed to have found 8.6 million irregularities that could have led to opportunities to vote “more than once” or “voting malpractice” in its scrutiny of voter lists in 314 townships in all states and regions. However, it has yet to produce on-the-ground evidence proving that voter fraud actually occurred on election day.
The world's 10 richest people made $540bn in a year – we need a greed tax
$13,000,000,000. If all those 000s are making your eyes go funny, I’ll spell it out: thirteen billion. That’s how much Jeff Bezos added to his net worth in one day last July after the pandemic caused Amazon’s stock price to surge. Bezos’s $13bn (£10bn) payday set a record for the largest single-day increase in individual wealth ever recorded; however, he was far from the only billionaire getting that corona cash. According to a report by Oxfam, the combined wealth of the world’s 10 richest men has increased by $540bn since March 2020.