Morning Digest | Zelensky meets Joe Biden in U.S., pledges no compromise in bid to end war; Omicron subvariant linked to China spike was first found in India in July, and more – The Hindu

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December 22, 2022 07:37 am | Updated 07:37 am IST
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oval Office of the White House on December 21, 2022, in Washington. | Photo Credit: AP
Zelensky meets Joe Biden in U.S., thanks Congress and the ‘ordinary people’ of America for their support
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid a defiant wartime visit to Washington on Wednesday to thank U.S. leaders and “ordinary Americans” for their support in fighting off Russia’s invasion and pledged there would be “no compromises” in trying to bring an end to the war. President Joe Biden and Congress responded with billions in new assistance and a pledge to help Ukraine pursue a “just peace.”
Omicron subvariant BF.7, linked to China spike, first found in India in July
The BF.7 variant of COVID-19, believed to be driving the recent surge of cases in China, was first identified in India as far back as July.
Four instances of the Omicron subvariant had been genome-sequenced in people in Gujarat and Odisha in subsequent months, but it was not linked to increased severity or infectiousness in the two States, two senior officials who were part of a meeting convened by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday independently confirmed to  The Hindu.
Supreme Court stands up for a retired sweeper’s right to pension
The Supreme Court stood up for the little man against the power of the state by putting an end to “frivolous” rounds of litigation waged by the School Education Department of the Tamil Nadu government against a sweeper-cum-sanitary worker who wanted his pension after putting in 20 years of work for a starting wage of ₹150 a month.
Only 30% of SC, ST, OBC faculty vacancies filled at IITs, Central Universities in a year: Centre
Despite a year-long mission mode recruitment drive to hire faculty for reserved category positions at the elite Indian Institutes of Technology and Central Universities, just over 30% of identified vacancies were filled, the Education Ministry told Parliament this week.
We will enter Karnataka like China entered India: Sanjay Raut
The Maharashtra-Karnataka border cauldron was kept boiling with Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday censuring Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s alleged “failure” to take any stance on Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s continuing “verbal aggression”, remarking that the opposition could enter Karnataka in the manner in which China has entered Indian territory.
Rajya Sabha passes Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the Maritime Anti-Piracy Bill on Wednesday, two days after the Lok Sabha passed it. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said the Bill would fulfil all the expectations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which India is a signatory to, for cooperation and repression of piracy in high seas.
NGOs not following FCRA rules will not be tolerated, says Amit Shah
The Union government on Wednesday said that certain Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) were trying to “change the demography” of the country through foreign funding and this would not be allowed. Replying to a short discussion in the Lok Sabha on the drug abuse crisis in the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said some NGOs and civil society organisations were working with the government to create awareness on the drug menace.
President Biden hits Russia’s Wagner group with tough new export curbs
The Biden administration on Wednesday unveiled new curbs on technology exports to Russia’s Wagner military group, in a bid to further choke off supplies to the contractor over its role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Wagner group, which was added to a trade blacklist in 2017 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, will now be labelled a military end user and face tough new curbs on access to technology made anywhere in the world with U.S. equipment.
U.S. to send $1.8 billion in aid, Patriot battery, to Ukraine
The U.S. will send $1.8 billion in military aid to Ukraine in a massive package that will for the first time include a Patriot missile battery and precision-guided bombs for their fighter jets, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, as the Biden administration prepares to welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington.
Allowing private cryptos to grow can precipitate next financial crisis, warns RBI Governor
Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday warned that allowing private cryptocurrencies to grow can precipitate the next financial crisis.
Speaking at the ‘BFSI Insight Summit’ organised by Business Standard here, Mr. Das also said the government and the central bank have been working in a coordinated manner to tame inflation and the Centre is ‘equally serious’ about curbing price rise.
Spin trial awaits India as Bangladesh looks to avoid a clean sweep
Not all matches are won in the first innings. But very many are lost. It is this threat that Bangladesh has to guard against to prevent a clean sweep when it welcomes India to the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium for the second and final Test from Thursday.
Sepp Blatter criticises Gianni Infantino’s plans for FIFA World Cup formats
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter is criticising successor Gianni Infantino‘s plans for a 48-team World Cup and an expanded Club World Cup. In an interview with German weekly  Die Zeit released Wednesday, Blatter said that “what is happening at the moment is an overcommercialization of the game.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis / international relations / diplomacy / USA / state politics / politics / Bharatiya Janata Party / corruption & bribery / Coronavirus / cricket / soccer / Test cricket
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