News18 Afternoon Digest: Macron Slams Critics on Cartoon Storm, TN Minister Succumbs to Covid and Other Top Stories

·3-min read

Understand the Shock But Violence Can't be Justified, Says Macron, Slams 'Distortions' by Political Leaders French President Emmanuel Macron sought to calm flaring tensions with Muslims around the world on Saturday, telling an Arab TV channel he understood that caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed could be shocking while lashing out at "lies" that the French state was behind them. France is on edge after the republication of cartoons of the prophet by the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which was followed by an attack outside its former offices, the beheading of a teacher and an attack on a church in Nice Thursday that left three dead. "I can understand that people could be shocked by the caricatures, but I will never accept that violence can be justified," he said. READ MORE

TN Agriculture Minister Doraikkannu Succumbs to Covid-19 at 72 Tamil Nadu agriculture minister R Doraikannu, who was battling Covid-19, has died, a private hospital in Chennai said on Sunday. The 72 year-old minister breathed his last late on Saturday, the Kauvery Hospital said in a medical bulletin. Doraikkannu was elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly from Papanasam in Thanjavur district in 2006, 2011 and 2016, with the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa inducting him in the cabinet in 2016. The minister's health had suffered a significant deterioration in vital functions on Sunday. READ MORE

Nirmala Sitharaman Wanted Me Out Before 2019 Budget, Says Former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, the former finance secretary who was shunted out of the finance ministry within three weeks of Modi-2.0 government's first budget last year, has alleged that then new finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman got him transferred out. Garg, who took voluntary retirement soon after being moved from the finance ministry – where he handled the Department of Economic Affairs – to power ministry, said Sitharaman, unlike her predecessor Arun Jaitley, had "a very different personality and knowledge endowment". READ MORE

18 Trump Rallies Estimated to Have Led to Over 30,000 Covid-19 Cases, 700 Deaths: Stanford Study About 18 election rallies by President Donald Trump are estimated to have led to more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and likely led to more than 700 deaths, a new study by Stanford University researchers said, stressing that the communities where the Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death. The study titled ‘The Effects of Large Group Meetings on the Spread of COVID-19: The Case of Trump Rallies' took into account rallies conducted between June 20 and September 22. READ MORE

Re-release of Modi's Biopic in Cinema Halls Ahead of Bihar Elections Doesn't Violate Poll Code: EC The "re-release" of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not attract provisions of the model code of conduct, the Election Commission has concluded. On April 10 last year, the Election Commission had banned the screening of the film till the Lok Sabha elections concluded. It had later cited the same order to bar the streaming of a web series on Modi on an OTT platform during the Lok Sabha elections. READ MORE

Elon Musk's SpaceX Will Make Its Own Laws on Mars, Not Follow Universal Ones In space, where nobody can hear you scream - earthly laws don't apply. Or so believes Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, the tech mogul who has mentioned 'colonizing Mars' several times, now wants to make his own laws on the red planet. According a report in The Independent, SpaceX will not be recognising any international law on Mars and will instead follow a set of “self-governing principles” that will be laid down during the Martian settlement. READ MORE