Evening news briefing: SC refuses to stay CAA, Interpol notice to trace Nithyananda; and more

Evening news briefing: JP Nadda elected BJP President, South India gets its first Sukhoi-30 MKI squadron; and more

A wrap of top news today evening.

SC refuses to stay CAA, Centre gets four weeks to respond

Hearing a clutch of over 140 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the Supreme Court Wednesday said it will not grant any stay on the Act without hearing the Centre and added that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the pleas. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde gave four weeks to the government to file a reply. It also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on the CAA till it decides petitions. Read the full story

Interpol issues notice to trace fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda

The Interpol Wednesday issued a Blue Corner notice to help locate fugitive self-styled godman Nithyananda’s, weeks after the Gujarat Police sought the agency’s interference for the same, PTI reported. A Blue Corner notice makes it compulsory for countries to share information on any person involved in a crime. Nithyananda fled India last year amid allegations of rape and sexual abuse. Read more

Maximum City to remain open all night as Cabinet approves ‘Mumbai 24 hours’ policy

In line with the phrase "the city that never sleeps", Maximum City Mumbai will now remain open all night as the proposal to keep eateries and malls open 24x7 was approved by the Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday. “From January 27, malls, multiplexes, shops and eateries in non-residential areas like Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point will remain open 24×7,” state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said. However, Thackeray said keeping shops, malls, and eateries open in the night was not mandatory. Read more

Democracy Index: India falls 10 spots to 51st rank, ‘erosion of civil liberties’ behind downtrend

India plummeted 10 places to 51st position in the latest Democracy Index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the report, the “erosion of civil liberties” in the country has been attributed as the primary cause for the downtrend. Included in the “flawed democracy” category, India’s overall score slipped from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in the Index that provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories. This report comes even as India witnesses nationwide protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).  Read full story here

You have to laud the courage of a girl like Deepika: Naseeruddin Shah

Lauding the courage of actor Deepika Padukone for standing with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University who were attacked inside the campus, Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah said ‘these people have more courage and less to lose.’ On the silence of big actors on the issue, Shah said, “It’s understandable why the established figures of the industry don’t speak up. However, one wonders how much do they have to lose? Will it kill you? You have to laud the courage of a girl like Deepika (Padukone), who is at the top and yet takes a step like this.” He also came down heavily on actor Anupam Kher who had posted cryptic tweets on the violence during the anti-CAA protests saying, he is a clown and should not be taken seriously. Read the full story

Shaheen Bagh just knows how to fight every battle

It has been over a month since New Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj-Shaheen Bagh stretch has turned into ground zero for the anti-CAA protests in the country. From the coldest winters in decades in the national capital to charges of being “sponsored”, the protest led by Shaheen Bagh women has faced a lot so far – only to emerge stronger, sharper, and a lot smarter, media-savvy in other words, in response. No matter where you stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC, there is no way that the grit and perseverance of Shaheen Bagh protesters as also their warmth can go unnoticed by anyone, writes Sahil M Beg. Read more

Re 1 for 1GB: Meet the startup that wants to give India data access via laser

India might have the cheapest data rates in the world, but that does not mean it is still accessible to everyone. And that is exactly the problem the Bengaluru startup Wi-Fi Dabba set out to solve three years ago. The startup wants to fix the connectivity problem with its “reliable and affordable service” called supernodes. Founded in 2016, Wi-Fi Dabba started with the aim to offer “sasta” internet connection. WiFi Dabba doesn’t rely on third-party hardware, software or infrastructure and instead has developed proprietary hardware, software and networking. This saves a lot on vendor margins and more. Read full story

Which Indian dish is US Senator Elizabeth Warren talking about?

US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s response, when asked to name her favourite Indian food, has left netizens scratching their heads. The interaction between Warren and a news website was tweeted by campaign reporter Zohreen Shah, requesting desi netizens to guess the dish the senator was referring to.

“@ewarren is asked about her favourite Indian food at @vicenews ‘ #BrownandBlack forum: “It’s like big tapioca. And you serve it with daal!” she says. If you know what she’s referring to, feel free to chime in,” Shah tweeted. “I assumed she meant kheer but I’ve never had it with daal,” tweeted a user, “She might be confusing Native American and Indian,” wrote another. Read the entire story