Here are the top 5 news updates of August 21, 2021:
A group of Indian nationals is learnt to have been stopped and taken to an unknown location near the Kabul airport today for questioning and verification of travel documents, triggering some confusion and concerns in India. These Indians were learnt to have been released subsequently. People tracking the developments in Kabul said there were no specific reports of any harm to Indians in Kabul so far. The Indians were among 150 people who were heading towards the Kabul airport when they were stopped by Taliban fighters, according to Afghan media reports. A news portal initially reported that the group was "abducted" by the Taliban fighters but it later updated the report saying all the people were released and on their way back to the Kabul airport.
Drug firm Zydus Cadila today said it is looking to supply its COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by the middle to end of September, adding the pricing of the dose will be announced in the next one or two weeks. The company's indigenously developed needle-free three-dose COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the drug regulator on Friday, making it the first vaccine to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country. "Post the emergency use authorisation, now we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to work on the pricing and modality of delivery of the doses of our vaccine. In next one or two weeks we will have better clarity on the pricing," Zydus Group Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a virtual press conference.
Fourteen people were arrested from across Assam for alleged social media posts supporting the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, police said today. The arrests were made since Friday night and they have been booked under different sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IT Act and CrPC, a senior police officer said. "We were on alert and monitoring social media for inflammatory posts," the officer said. Two people each were arrested from Kamrup Metropolitan, Barpeta, Dhubri and Karimganj districts, police said. One person each was arrested from Darrang, Cachar, Hailakandi, South Salmara, Goalpara and Hojai districts, they said.
In yet another setback to the opposition Congress, party's Tripura state President Pijush Biswas today resigned and announced to quit politics "for the time being". Biswas, a renowned lawyer, quit the Congress six days after the All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmita Dev left the party and joined Trinamool Congress on August 16. "I will be out of politics for the time being. I have sent my resignation letter to the Party President (interim) Sonia Gandhi today (Saturday), Biswas, who was appointed Tripura state President in December 2019 after the former state chief quit the party, told news agency IANS. According to a report, Biswas is likey to join Mamata Banerjee's TMC.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today said Delhi recorded 139 mm rainfall, the highest one-day rain for August in at least 13 years, and issued 'orange alert' for the city. Officials said heavy rains lashed parts of the national capital that brought the mercury down and provided relief to Delhiites. The Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for Delhi, recorded 139 mm rainfall, while the Ridge Station registered 149.2 mm rainfall from 8.30 am on Friday to 8.30 am on Saturday, they said. This is the highest one-day rain for the month of the August in at least 13 years, they said. The all-time highest rainfall was 184 mm on August 2, 1961, they added.
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