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Updated on: Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 07:35 PM IST

Free Press Bulletin: Top 5 news updates of August 25, 2021; watch video

Free Press Bulletin |

Free Press Bulletin |

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Here are the top 5 news updates of August 25, 2021:

1. Why is COVID-22 trending? Reports of upcoming variant 'deadlier' than Delta spark frenzy online


Nearly one and a half years into an ongoing pandemic, the COVID-19 virus shows no sign of slowing down. New mutations are cropping up even as millions are vaccinated on daily basis and there have been frequent reports suggesting that there is worse to come. But on Tuesday as netizens exploded into discussion about a 'new strain' of the virus, things got a tad confusing.

You see, the discussion centered around the approach of something dubbed 'COVID-22'. The origin of the phrase appears to be Dr Sai Reddy, an Associate Professor of Systems and Synthetic Immunology at ETH Zurich. According to a report in The Sun, Reddy had recently spoken about the possible emergence of a new variant (in 2022) that could pose a "big risk." But while the immunologist may have have dubbed it COVID-22 to underscore his point, this is something of a misnomer. One that has since led to misconceptions on social media and even news articles.

“Covid-22 could get worse than what we are witnessing now," Reddy was quoted as saying. He contended that a combination of existing strains could lead to a new and far more dangerous phase of the ongoing pandemic. The name appears to be a natural progression, especially when one considers that he had reportedly also told German publication Blick that the Delta variant was 'COVID-21'. The problem however lies in the way the remark has been interpreted.

2. FPJ Legal: Narayan Rane files petition at Bombay High Court seeking quashing of FIR filed against him in Nashik

Union Minister Narayan Rane has formally filed a petition at Bombay High Court seeking quashing of FIR filed against him at Nashik. A division bench of justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar was hearing the petition filed through his advocate Aniket Nikam.

The petition claims that filing multiple FIRs for the same crime is “nothing but causing harassment and multiplicity of litigation”.

Rane’s advocate said that he has given a copy of the plea to the prosecution as well. The High Court has asked the prosecutor to confirm the same and kept the matter for hearing at 2.30 pm.

Earlier today, the Nashik police issued a notice to Union minister Narayan Rane, asking him to appear before them for questioning on September 2 in connection with an FIR registered against him over his remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, an official said on Wednesday.

As per the notice, Rane has been directed to remain present before the investigation officer - police inspector Ananda Wagh - at 12 pm on September 2 at Cyber police station in Nashik city, located about 160 km from here, he said.

3. As evacuations continue, India makes it mandatory for all Afghan refugees to have an e-Visa

As the Taliban take over the reigns of the Afghan government, thousands have been left scrambling to evacuate. Not only foreign citizens, countless locals are also making a desperate attempt to exit the country before the Taliban consolidates its position. But those looking to travel to India will have to first obtain an e-visa.

Days after the US announced that it would allow only its citizens, people from other NATO countries, and green card holders to enter from August 23, India has also laid down some ground rules. According to reports quoting the Ministry of Home Affairs, all Afghan nationals must henceforth travel to India "only on e-Visa".

Over the last two weeks, there have been some heartrending visuals and news updates highlighting the plight of Afghanistan's people. Even as some mount a resistance in parts of the country, others have been photographed falling off in mid-air after clinging to the wheels of a plane or jostling in near-stampedes to board a flight.

Some reports suggest that Afghan mothers had thrown their babies over the wire at Kabul airport, requesting foreign soldiers to take them away. And in one rather memorable photo, an US flight left with more than 600 people crammed together in close confines.

4. As Rahul Gandhi slams Centre for 'putting India on sale', FM Nirmala Sitharaman defends National Monetisation Pipeline

Days after launching the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday afternoon slammed the Opposition, urging them to do their homework first. Her remarks came even as Congress MP Rahul Gandhi accused the BJP-led government of "putting India on sale".

The government has planned a Rs 6 lakh crore pipeline of assets that can be monetised which includes a range of assets put on the block for private sector participation, over a four-year period, from Financial Year 2022 to Financial Year 2025.

Sitharaman was quick to counter the criticism, wondering whether Gandhi understood the concept of monetisation. Reiterating that the government was not selling off public assets, the Finance Minister questioned the contributions of the Opposition party over the last 70 years. The Congress, she added, was very good at selling and had made kickbacks.

5. Sensex, Nifty touch new highs but end on a mixed note in lacklustre trading session as investors turn cautious

The Sensex was down 14.77 points or 0.03 percent at 55,944.21, and the Nifty was up 10.10 points or 0.06 percent at 16,634.70. About 1941 shares have advanced, 1180 shares declined, and 107 shares are unchanged.

"Nifty traded in a small range today. It made a new all-time high of 16,712 and took resistance there. It closed flat at 16,635 up by 10 points. Nifty has resistance in 16,700-16,720 range above which it can test 16850 levels. Nifty has strong support in 16,550 – 16,580 range. Traders can consider a buy on dips strategy for the current market scenario," said Gaurav Udani, CEO & Founder, ThincRedBlu Securities.

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Published on: Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 07:35 PM IST
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