Here are the top 5 news updates of December 29, 2021:
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope today said that the state is planning to administer vaccines to 15 to 18 year olds in schools. "We need to focus on the COVID-19 vaccination. We are planning to administer vaccines to 15-18-year-old children in school", Tope said. He also expressed concern over the rise in the number of fresh as well as active COVID-19 cases in the state, and termed it as an "alarming situation". Talking to reporters, Tope urged people and authorities to exercise caution. He added that the Maharashtra government may impose a few more restrictions in wake of rising Omicron cases. CM Uddhav Thackeray will chair a meeting either today or tomorrow with the task force and health department, in this regard.
The Enforcement Directorate today filed a supplementary chargesheet against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money laundering case. The probe agency filed the 7,000-page chargesheet, which also names Deshmukh's sons as accused in the case, before a special court here assigned to hear matters related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had earlier filed a chargesheet against 14 accused, including Deshmukh's private secretary (an additional collector-rank officer) Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde. Deshmukh was arrested by the ED on November 1 this year in connection with the case and is currently in judicial custody.
France said today that nightclubs would remain closed for a further three weeks after nearly 180,000 new Covid cases smashed the record for daily cases since the pandemic began. The roughly 1,600 clubs were ordered shut on December 6 for four weeks as officials hoped to avoid a wave of infections prompted by holiday travel and festivities, fuelled by the highly infectious Omicron variant. Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told France Inter radio that the decision to extend nightclubs closures was part of a series of new measures announced by the government this week in a bid to halt the Omicron spread. "I can imagine the distress for these employees and entrepreneurs," he said. Financial aid would be provided for the huge loss of holiday business, he added.
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has been named as one of the most corrupt officials of the year by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a nonprofit investigative news reporting platform for independent media outlets around the world. The list was topped by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Others included in the list were - Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, and disgraced Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, reported OCCRP. OCCRP said Ghani deserved an award because he "deserted his people leaving them to misery and death." Drew Sullivan, a co-founder of OCCRP who served as a judge on the panel, said that Ashraf Ghani deserves such an award due to his corruption and incompetence.
Equity benchmark Sensex dropped by nearly 91 points today due to profit booking in HDFC Bank, SBI and ITC after a two-day rally. The 30-share index ended 90.99 points or 0.16 per cent lower at 57,806.49 in a volatile trade. The broader Nifty fell by 19.65 points or 0.11 per cent to 17,213.60. SBI was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 1 per cent, followed by ITC, NTPC, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank and M&M. On the other hand, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy's and Bajaj Finserv were among the gainers.
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