Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of May 17, 2021:

1. Mumbai: 'Extremely Severe' Cyclone Tauktae causes havoc, brings life to standstill; 3 deaths reported in Maharashtra

Cyclone Tauktae, now labelled as the 'Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm', hit Mumbai with full fury bringing heavy rains, strong gales which wreaked havoc by uprooting scores of trees, damaged some homes, and disrupted road traffic, though there were no human casualties, officials said today. As per the latest report, 3 deaths have been recorded in Maharashtra. In Jalgaon, two people died after a tree fell on a hut. The third death was reported from Uran in the Raigad district, where a woman was killed when a wall of a temple collapsed. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today on the Cyclone Tauktae related situation in the state.

2. First batch of anti-COVID drug 2DG rolled out

The first batch of anti-COVID oral drug 2-DG, developed by the DRDO, was rolled out today as a severe wave of the coronavirus pandemic continued to ravage large parts of India. Releasing the drug along with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) has brought a "new ray of hope" in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and exuded confidence that it would be effective. The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) approved 2-DG for emergency use as an adjunct therapy in moderate to severe coronavirus patients earlier this month. "This is a great example of the scientific prowess of our country," Singh said in his brief remarks.

3. Protests erupt across West Bengal after arrest of TMC leaders in Narada sting case

Hundreds of TMC activists today took out protest rallies in Kolkata and elsewhere in West Bengal, thumbing their noses at lockdown regulations, after the CBI arrested two state ministers, an MLA, and a former party leader in connection with the Narada sting case. Many of them were seen demonstrating outside the central agency's office and Raj Bhavan, prompting the police to push them back. The CBI has apprehended state ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and former party leader Sovan Chatterjee for their alleged involvement in the case. The agitators, waving TMC flags, raised slogans outside Raj Bhavan against Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who had recently sanctioned the prosecution of the four leaders. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was also seen protesting against the arrest.

4. No deferment of privacy policy, trying to get users on board: WhatsApp to Delhi HC

Mobile messaging service WhatsApp today told the Delhi High Court that it has not deferred the May 15 deadline for users to accept its new privacy policy. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing WhatsApp, submitted before a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that it is trying to get users on board, but if they do not agree to the privacy policy, then the company will slowly delete these user accounts. Sibal submitted before the court, "there is no deferment of policy." Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma, representing the Centre, submitted there are concerns that the policy was in violation of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Rules thereunder. Sharma informed the bench that the government has written to the CEO of the company, and it is waiting for a reply.

5. Sensex rallies 848 pts; financial stocks sparkle

Equity benchmark Sensex zoomed over 848 points today, driven by strong buying in banking shares amid a reduction in daily domestic COVID-19 caseload. The 30-share BSE index ended 848.18 points or 1.74 per cent higher at 49,580.73, and the broader NSE Nifty soared 245.35 points or 1.67 per cent to 14,923.15. IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying over 7 per cent, followed by SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC twins, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv and UltraTech Cement. On the other hand, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Nestle India, Sun Pharma and PowerGrid were among the laggards.

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