Here are the top 5 news of December 21, 2020:
1. Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora passes away at 93
A day after celebrating his 93rd birthday, veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Motilal Vora passed away today afternoon at Delhi's Fortis Escort Hospital.
Vora was one of the tallest leaders of the Congress party. He had served as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and was also the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.
He was a Rajya Sabha MP from Chhattisgarh till April this year and held several positions in the party, including the post of treasurer.
Condoling Vora's death, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said: "Vora ji was a true Congressman and a wonderful human being. We will miss him very much. My love and condolences to his family and friends."
2. West Bengal: BJP MP Saumitra Khan's wife Sujata joins TMC
Sujata Mondal Khan, wife of BJP MP Saumitra Khan, switched over to the TMC from the saffron camp today, claiming that she did not get her due recognition even after taking several risks to get her husband elected during 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
She alleged that "newly inducted, misfit and corrupt leaders" are getting more importance in the saffron camp than the loyal ones.
"Despite enduring physical attacks, sacrificing so much to get my husband elected to Parliament, I got nothing in return... I want to work under our beloved leader Mamata Banerjee and our dada Abhisek Banerjee," Mondal Khan said, after joining the party in the presence of TMC MP Saugata Roy and its spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.
Meanwhile, Saumitra Khan has described his wife's decision as a "big mistake" and said he will soon send her a divorce notice.
3. India suspends all UK flights from Wednesday to Dec 31 after new COVID-19 strain identified
All flights from the UK to India and vice versa will remain suspended from Wednesday to December 31, the Civil Aviation Ministry said today in view of the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus there.
Moreover, the ministry said passengers coming from the UK through flights till Tuesday would be tested for COVID-19 on arrival at the airports "as a measure of abundant precaution".
A number of countries like Canada, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Israel have banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control" and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.
The Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted: "Considering the prevailing situation in UK, Govt. of India has decided that all flights originating from UK to India to be suspended till 31st December 2020 (23.59 hours)." This suspension will start after 11.59 PM of December 22 and consequently flights from India to the UK shall also stand temporarily suspended during above said period, it added.
4. 'Kisan Ekta Morcha' page was blocked by automated systems, restored in 3 hours: Facebook issues clarification
Clarifying the reason behind the suspension of the Kisan Ekta Morcha page, Facebook today said its automated systems found an increased activity on the page and flagged it as "spam". A company spokesperson pointed out that the page was restored within 3 hours.
Facebook had on Sunday temporarily blocked the page of Kisan Ekta Morcha for allegedly "going against" the platform's "Community Standards on spam". The page, which was being used by the farmers protesting at the borders of the national capital, was later restored.
"As per our review, our automated systems found an increased activity on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/kisanektamorcha and flagged it as spam, which violates our Community Standards. We restored the page in less than 3 hours when we became aware of the context," a Facebook spokesperson said.
5. Mumbai: Arjun Rampal appears before NCB for second round of questioning in drugs case
Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal today appeared before the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) at its office in Mumbai for questioning in connection with a drug-related case.
Earlier, Rampal had sought time till December 21 to appear before the NCB. He was summoned by the anti-drug agency to appear before it on December 16.
Notably, Arjun Rampal was questioned by the NCB on November 13 in the matter.
NCB officials had on November 9 conducted a raid at the residence of Arjun Rampal and seized some electronic gadgets. Rampal's girlfriend Gabriella was later questioned for six hours on the same day.
(With input from agencies)