News18 Afternoon Digest: Barack Obama on Rahul Gandhi, BJP’s Nitish Logic and Other Top Stories

Rahul Gandhi speaks with US President Barack Obama at a state dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on November 8, 2010. (REUTERS/B Mathur)

Rahul Gandhi speaks with US President Barack Obama at a state dinner at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on November 8, 2010. (REUTERS/B Mathur)

These are the top stories we are covering this afternoon: In new memoir, Barack Obama compares Rahul Gandhi to a “student eager to impress the teacher”; why BJP is sticking with Nitish Kumar as Bihar chief minister despite JD-U’s poor show; Joe Biden takes Arizona to cement presidential win; conspiracy theories on Trump’s refusal to concede range from coup to just a political circus; Delhi sees highest single-day death toll of 104 as India's Covid-19 tally rises above 87 lakh; Sero study reveals 44% of rural, 53.8% of urban Karnataka was exposed to Covid-19 by August; Twitter restores Amit Shah’s profile picture after temporarily removing it; YouTube decision to cancel 2020 Rewind faces backlash.

Has a 'Nervous, Unformed Quality' About Him: Barack Obama on Rahul Gandhi in His New Memoir

Former US president Barack Obama says Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has a "nervous, unformed quality" about him like a student eager to impress the teacher but lacking aptitude and passion to "master the subject”. The New York Times reviewed Obama's memoir A Promised Land, in which among other issues, the first African-American President has talked about political leaders from around the world. Congress president Sonia Gandhi also finds a mention in the memoir, while former prime minister Manmohan Singh comes across as having a kind of impassive integrity, the review states. READ MORE

Bengal & 2024 LS Polls on Mind, BJP's Smart Play Behind Picking Nitish as CM Despite JDU's Poor Show

By all accounts, the mandate of the Bihar elections has gone against Nitish Kumar but the BJP has made it clear that the JD-U leader will be the chief minister as promised before polls. The BJP, which is on an expansionist mode, will not like to alienate Nitish Kumar - its only ally after the Akali Dal decided to quit the NDA over agricultural reforms. Though the BJP has emerged as numero uno of NDA in Bihar, it plans to use Nitish as a mascot and appropriate the votes of the Extremely Backward Caste in the West Bengal elections and 2024 Lok Sabha elections. READ MORE

Joe Biden Takes Arizona, Cementing Presidential Win Despite Donald Trump's Refusal to Concede

President-elect Joe Biden will win the battleground state of Arizona, Edison Research projected on Thursday, dealing another blow to President Donald Trump's struggling effort to overturn the results of the November 3 presidential election. Biden's win in Arizona gives the Democrat 290 electoral votes in the state-by-state Electoral College that determines the winner, more than the 270 needed to claim victory. Biden is also winning the popular vote by more than 5.2 million votes, or 3.4 percentage points. READ MORE

Is Trump Mounting a Coup — or Just Putting on a Circus?

Is President Donald Trump's unprecedented assault on the US election results a coup in progress — or mere political show? For some, Trump is finally showing his true authoritarian colors. In the most extreme scenario, some warn of a coup within the Electoral College. What if Republican state legislatures managed to send hand-picked electors who would ignore the vote and choose Trump instead? The doomsday scenario is being widely discussed in the media but appears far-fetched in real life. READ MORE

With 104 Deaths, Delhi Sees Highest Fatalities in a Day as India's Covid-19 Tally Rises Above 87 Lakh

India's Covid-19 tally rose to 87.28 lakh on Friday with a single-day increase of 44,879 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The death toll reached 1,28,668 after 547 more fatalities were reported in the country in a span of 24 hours. Delhi reported its highest single-day death toll of 104, taking the national capital's total fatality count to 7,332. READ MORE

44% of Rural, 53.8% of Urban Karnataka Was Exposed to Covid-19 by August, Reveals Sero Study

A sero study revealed that nearly half of Karnataka’s population was infected with the deadly coronavirus by the end of August. The study also indicated that at least 44.1 per cent of the population in rural areas and 53.8 per cent in urban areas were exposed to Covid-19, therefore developed antibodies for the infection. The study- ‘Prevalence of COVID-19 In Rural Versus Urban Areas in a Low-Income Country: Findings from a State-Wide Study in Karnataka, India’ is based on data collected from a representative sample of households in 20 districts from mid-June to August. READ MORE

Twitter Restores Amit Shah’s Profile Picture after Temporarily Removal, Calls it 'Inadvertent Error'

In the midst of the Indian government's stern warning to Twitter over the incorrect portrayal of Leh on a map, the microblogging site stoked yet another controversy after it pulled down a photo of Union home minister Amit Shah in response to a "report from the copyright holder". Restoring the photo later, spokesperson for Twitter later clarified that it was an "inadvertent error". READ MORE

'It Doesn't Feel Right': YouTube Just Cancelled 2020 Rewind and People 'Disliked' it

YouTube is taking a break from Rewind this year. The video-sharing website has been dishing out the yearly recap videos since 2010 but it seems like 2020 has been too much for humanity, including YouTube.The global content creators who were confined to their homes during the pandemic were in disagreement with the platform's decision to ignore 2020 completely -- a year, according to them, when humans had to work doubly hard to stay afloat. READ MORE

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