FPJ Evening Brief
FPJ Evening Brief

1. Indian, Chinese soldiers engage in fresh clash along LAC in Sikkim; injuries reported

Indian and Chinese troops engaged in fresh clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) last week, this time near Naku La area in Sikkim, reports said on Monday.

Soldiers from both sides are injured, ANI reported.

Reports said that Chinese soldiers tried to cross the border but were challenged by Indian soldiers, resulting in a violent physical clash.

While around 20 Chinese soldiers were injured in the clash, four Indian Army soldiers reportedly sustained injuries, India Today reported.

The Indian soldiers successfully managed to push back China despite hostile weather conditions in North Sikkim, it said.

The Indian Army clarified that there was a minor face-off between Indian Army and Chinese PLA troops at Naku La, Sikkim on January 20 and it was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.

The fresh round of clash comes six months after 20 Indian jawans were killed in the violent faceoff with PLA soldiers in June.

2. 'Love Jihad' Law: SC refuses to entertain UP govt plea seeking transfer of petitions from Allahabad HC

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government to transfer all the petitions pending in the Allahabad High Court against Anti-Conversion Ordinance passed by the state.

The Yogi Adityanath had approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to transfer to itself all the petitions pending in the Allahabad High Court after the apex court issued notices to the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand on the petitions against the law.

The Uttar Pradesh government in an application said that Apex Court is already seized of the matter challenging the Ordinance so the petitions pending before the High Court should be transferred and heard by the top court.

Hearing the plea on Monday, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that the court will not stop the Allahabad High Court if it is seized of the matter. " If the Allahabad High Court is seized of it, and we are not going to hear before it, why should we stop the HC?" the CJI asked the state's counsel.

"We have issued notice does not mean High Court cannot decide. People are making light of High Courts these days. High Court is a constitutional court," he said.

"We will not stop the High Court", CJI-led bench observed.

Earlier, the top court on January 6 agreed to examine the constitutional validity of a spate of laws enacted by States such as Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand that criminalise religious conversion via marriage and mandate prior official clearance before marrying into another faith.

3. Farmers from across Maharashtra gather at Mumbai's Azad Maidan; Sharad Pawar, key MVA leaders address rally

Farmers from various districts of Maharashtra have gathered at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to protest against the Centre's farm laws.

On Monday, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and some other prominent leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) in the state will address the rally.

Speaking to ANI, one of the protesters was quoted as saying that they will give a memorandum to the Maharashtra governor today (25 January 2021). "Our families have also come with us, because if we lose farming, it is as good as the entire family being left out on the street," he added.

Farmers from across the country are marching towards Delhi to take part in the 'Kisan Gantantra Parade' on the occasion of Republic Day. Tractors from Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan have reached Tikri border.

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha has asked the farmers to take part in the agitation from 23 to 26 January, including rallies to the residences of state governors.

Now, the farmers marching towards Raj Bhavan have been stopped near Metro Cinema.

4. Billionaires add $3.9 trillion to their wealth while poor suffered during COVID-19 pandemic: Oxfam report

The coronavirus pandemic has worsened income inequality, with the world's richest people regaining their losses while the number of people living in poverty has doubled to more than 500 million, non-profit group Oxfam said on Monday.

According to a report by Reuters, the report titled 'The Inequality Virus', which is to be tabled at the Davos summit in Switzerland, stated that the richest people have already managed to recoup the losses they recorded in the early days of the pandemic because of the bounce back in stock markets.

Using figures from Forbes' 2020 Billionaire List, Oxfam said the world's 10 richest people, including the likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett, saw their fortunes increase by $540 billion since the crisis began even though the global economy remains smaller than when the pandemic started a year ago.

"Worldwide, billionaires' wealth increased by a staggering $3.9 trillion between March 18 and December 31, 2020... The world's 10 richest billionaires have seen their wealth increase by $540 billion over this period," the report said.

"At the same time, the pandemic saw hundreds of millions of people lose their jobs and face destitution and hunger... It is estimated that the total number of people living in poverty could have increased by between 200 million and 500 million," it added.

Meanwhile, using data specially provided by the World Bank, Oxfam said that in a worst-case scenario global poverty levels would be higher in 2030 than they were before the pandemic struck, with 3.4 billion people still living on less than $5.50 a day.

By contrast, Oxfam said it could take more than a decade for the world's poorest to recover their losses.

5. WhatsApp treating Indian users differently from Europeans matter of concern: Centre tells Delhi HC

WhatsApp is treating Indian users differently from Europeans over opting out of its new privacy policy which is a matter of concern for the government and it is looking into the issue, the Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Monday.

The central government told the high court that it was also a matter of concern that Indian users were being "unilaterally" subjected to the change in privacy policy by the instant messaging platform.

The submissions were made before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma during the hearing of a petition by a lawyer against the new privacy policy of WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook.

At the start of the hearing, the court reiterated what it had said on January 18 that WhatsApp was a private app and it was optional whether to download it or not.

"It is not mandatory to download it. Every other app has similar terms and conditions regarding sharing of user information with others," the court said and asked why the petitioner was challenging the policy of WhatsApp.

The court also observed that the Personal Data Protection Bill was being considered by Parliament and the government was looking into issues raised in the plea.

During the hearing, ASG Sharma told the court that by not giving Indian users the option to opt out of sharing their data with other companies of Facebook, WhatsApp prima facie appears to be treating users with an "all or nothing approach".

He also told the court that though the issue was between two private individuals -- WhatsApp and its users -- the scope and expanse of WhatsApp "make it a germane ground that reasonable and cogent policies are put in place which is being done by the Personal Data Protection Bill and discussions are very much on".

Sharma said the government was already looking into the issue and has sent a communication to WhatsApp seeking certain information.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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