News18 Afternoon Digest: Bihar Voting Off to Slow Start, China Hits Back at Pompeo and Other Top Stories

Voting underway for Phase 1 of Bihar Assembly Elections 2020

Voting underway for Phase 1 of Bihar Assembly Elections 2020

These are the top stories we are covering this afternoon: Voting underway for Phase 1 of Bihar Assembly elections; China hits back at Pompeo after he warned of the threat posed by Beijing; India's Covid-19 tally nears 80 lakh-mark; Bengal logs record Covid-19 recoveries; UK vaccine taskforce chair says early Covid-19 vaccines may be imperfect; Donald Trump's campaign website hacked; Karnataka temple priest walks on burning coal with infant in tow; Simon Doull schools an upset Dhoni fan; and Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi Face-off to not happen after Juventus star tests Covid-19 positive again.

7% Turnout Recorded Till 10am as Bihar Votes in Phase 1 of Assembly Elections

Polling began Wednesday morning in 71 assembly constituencies of Bihar in the first phase of three-phase elections amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines in place. Of the total 2,14,84,787 electors eligible to exercise the franchise, 1,12,76,396 are male voters, 1,01,29,101 are female electors and 599 are in third gender category, according to data provided by the Election Commission. There are 78,691 service electors. LIVE UPDATES HERE

Boundary Question Bilateral Matter, No Space for Third Party to Intervene, Says China After Pompeo's Attack

After US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the threat posed by an increasingly assertive Beijing and backed India's efforts to confront threats to its sovereignty, China on Wednesday shot back saying that the "boundary question" is a bilateral matter and asked the US to "respect facts and truth." Pompeo, who arrived in New Delhi on Monday along with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said after the 2+2 talks with respective Indian counterparts S Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh that the two countries had to work together to confront the threat China posed to security and freedom. The third edition of the India-US 2+2 talks were held at a time of heightened tension in the region, with Indian troops confronting Chinese forces on their disputed Himalayan border. READ MORE

With 43,893 New Cases, India's Covid-19 Tally Nears 80 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Climbs to 1,20,010

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: With 43,893 new Covid-19 infections, India's total cases surge to 79,90,322. Over 500 new deaths were reported, taking the toll to 1,20,010. Total active cases are 6,10,803 after a decrease of 15,054 in the last 24 hours. Total recoveries stand at 72,59,509 with 58,439 new discharges in last 24 hours. Total 10,54,87,680 samples have been tested for Covid-19 up to October 27. Of these 10,66,786 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Wednesday. Today's positivity rate stands at 4.1 percent. LIVE UPDATES HERE

Bengal Logs Record Covid-19 Recoveries Despite Fear of 'Tsunami of Infections'

West Bengal reported the highest single-day recovery of 3,917 coronavirus patients on Tuesday, a day after the Durga puja was concluded, though there was apprehension of a “tsunami of COVID-19 infections” if people were allowed to visit marquees in large numbers. The health department said that 3,957 more people tested positive for the disease during the day, while the figure was 4,121 on Monday, the last day of the festival. READ MORE

'Might Not Work for Everyone': UK Vaccine Taskforce Chair Says Early Covid-19 Vaccines May Be Imperfect

UK Vaccine Taskforce Chair Kate Bingham said on Tuesday that the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines "is likely to be imperfect" and that they "might not work for everyone". "However, we do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism", Bingham wrote in a piece published in The Lancet medical journal. "The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long," she added. READ MORE

‘World’s Had Enough of Fake News by Trump’: US President’s Campaign Website Hacked

Hackers briefly broke into Donald Trump's campaign website on Tuesday, just a week before Election Day, officials and reports said. "This site was seized," said a message that popped up on, which normally carries details of rallies and fundraising appeals. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded daily by president donald j trump", the message went to say, US media reported. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the site was quickly fixed and no sensitive data was compromised. "The Trump campaign website was defaced and we are working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the source of the attack," Murtaugh said. READ MORE

Karnataka Temple Priest Walks on Burning Coal with Infant in Tow, Draws Flak as Video Goes Viral

In a video that has gone viral, a temple priest is seen walking on fire holding a child in one hand as part of the Dussehra ritual in a village in Haveri district of Karnataka. Every year at the Durgadevi temple in Bulapur village, walking on burning coal is a common ritual that is performed as part of the Dussehra traditions. This year too, temple priest Basavarajappa Swami was seen carrying a young infant in one hand and walking on burning coal. READ MORE

Simon Doull Just Schooled an Upset Dhoni Fan Who Asked IPL Commentator Not to Criticise CSK Captain

Former Kiwi cricketer turned commentator Simon Doull, who is currently commentating in the IPL 2020, has been asked by a loyal Dhoni fan to not criticise Thala. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has, over the years, brought Indian cricket to great heights. In his career spanning over 15 years, Dhoni won several laurels for the country and is regarded as one of the finest captains India has ever produced in Tests and ODIs. His stint in the T20 format has been equally praiseworthy, leading the winning side in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007. Dhoni has also represented the highly successful franchise Chennai Super Kings, lifting the trophy thrice since the inception of IPL. READ MORE

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi Face-off to Not Happen after Juventus Star Tests Positive for Covid-19 Again

Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive again for coronavirus on the eve of Juventus's Champions League clash against his great rival Lionel Messi's Barcelona, according to media reports in Italy and Portugal. Portuguese TVI reported that Ronaldo "has once against tested positive for Covid-19" following a swab carried out by Juventus. The 35-year-old is now awaiting the result of a UEFA test which, if also positive, would rule him out of the Group G game in Turin. READ MORE

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