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News18 Afternoon Digest: Harsimrat Kaur Quits Modi Cabinet Over Farm Bills, India's Covid Caseload Tops 52 Lakh & Other Top Stories

File photo of Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

File photo of Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

These are the top stories we are covering right now: President accepts Harsimrat Kaur’s resignation; India caseload tops 52 lakh; PM takes swipe at Opposition in cheeky reply to Milind Soman's birthday wish; Thousands in China test positive for infection that can leave men infertile; Apple India online store opens Sept 23; and farmer attempts suicide during protest over agriculture bills.

President Accepts Harsimrat Kaur’s Resignation from Centre as Farm Sector Bills Sour BJP-Akali Dal Ties

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday accepted the resignation of Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who had resigned the previous night in protest against three farm sector bills. "The President of India, as advised by the prime minister, has accepted the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Union Council of Ministers, with immediate effect," the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement. Further, as advised by the prime minister, the president has directed that Cabinet Minister Narendra Singh Tomar be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, in addition to his existing portfolios, it said. READ MORE

India Count Crosses 52L With 96,000 New Cases; Global Infections Top 30M

India’s coronavirus count crossed 52 lakh-mark on Friday with more than 96,000 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. The total death toll stood at 84,372. The health ministry has said that 60% of India’s case active coronavirus cases are concentrated across five worst-hit states -- Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh -- while 13 states and Union Territories have less than 5,000 active cases. Coronavirus infections topped 30 million around the globe on Thursday as the World Health Organization warned of "alarming rates of transmission" across Europe and cautioned against shortening quarantine periods. LIVE UPDATES HERE

In Cheeky Reply to Actor Milind Soman’s Birthday Wish, PM Modi Takes a Swipe at Oppn

Prime Minster Narendra Modi took a jibe at the opposition late on Thursday while replying to model-actor Milind Soman’s wishes for his 70th birthday. Wishing the PM a happy birthday, Soman had tweeted: “I wish you good health and a good and proactive opposition, to push you to do better for our great country”. In a cheeky reply, Modi thanked Soman for the birthday wish and for “wishful thinking”, the latter a swipe at the opposition which earlier in the day walked out of the Lok Sabha in protest against the passage of two agriculture reform bills. READ MORE

Thousands in China Test Positive for a Bacterial Infection That Can Leave Men Infertile

Several thousand people in northwest China have tested positive for brucellosis, a bacterial disease, the Chinese authorities confirmed on Tuesday, in an outbreak caused by a leak at a biopharmaceutical company last year. As per the Health Commission of Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, 3,245 people have tested positive for the disease, which is reportedly caused by contact with livestock carrying the bacteria Brucella, and according to some reports, it can have the side effect of inflamed testicles and can render some men infertile. READ MORE

Apple India Online Store Opens September 23 With iPhone Trade-in, Mac Configure To Order & More

The much-awaited Apple India online store is finally going Live in a few days from now, that is September 23. This comes just in time for the shopping spree usually seen around the festive period that includes Dussehra and Diwali festivals. The Apple online store for India, which will be available on Apple.com/in, will now join similar e-commerce platforms that Apple has in 37 other countries, including the US and UK. The online store will be Apple’s first direct retail presence in the country. Till now, Apple relied on authorized distributors and retailers in India for offline sales as well as on online shopping platforms such as Amazon.in and Flipkart. Apple will also offer trade-in for your existing iPhones as well as other smartphones when you buy a new Apple iPhone from the Apple India online store. READ MORE

Farmer Attempts to Die by Suicide During Protest in Badals' Hometown Over Passage of Agriculture Bills

Aday after the Lok Sabha passed two contentious agriculture Bills, despite the opposition by BJP's oldest ally Shiromani Akali Dal terming it as an "anti-farmer" move, a protesting farmer in Punjab on Friday attempts to die by suicide by consuming poisonous substance. The farmer tried to die by suicide at a protest site in Badal village, the hometown of the Badals, in Muktsar district. Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) state secretary Shingara Singh Mann said farmer Pritam Singh, 60, was disturbed over the passing of the agriculture Bills in the Lok Sabha. READ MORE


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