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News18 Afternoon Digest: Oxford Vaccine Volunteer Dies, BJP Releases Bihar Manifesto and Other Top Stories

A test tube labelled with the Vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

A test tube labelled with the Vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

These are the top stories we are covering this afternoon: Oxford vaccine test volunteer dies in Brazil but trials to continue; BJP releases manifesto for Bihar assembly elections; Dr Reddy’s shuts plants after data breach; US state department proposes not renewing business visas for H-1B speciality occupations; Wall Street banks in India see rare payday bonanza; Kangana Ranaut’s sarcastic response to Mumbai Police summons.

Oxford Covid-19 Vaccine Volunteer Dies in Brazil, Trial to Continue

A volunteer participating in clinical trials of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University has died in Brazil, officials announced on Wednesday, though media reports said he had received a placebo, not the test vaccine. It is the first death reported in the various coronavirus vaccine trials taking place worldwide. However, organizers of the study said an independent review had concluded there were no safety concerns and that testing of the vaccine, developed with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, would continue. READ MORE

Free Covid-19 Vaccine for All, Developing Bihar as I-T Hub Among BJP's Poll Promises in Poll Manifesto

Union finance minister and senior BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday released the party’s manifesto for Bihar assembly elections which promises free Covid-19 vaccine for everyone and spells out plans to make the state an I-T hub. Appealing to the electorate to vote for JD(U) chief and CM Nitish Kumar, Sitharaman said the NDA in the next five years aims to make Bihar a “progressive and developed” state. Moments later, the Congress questioned why the BJP, rules at the Centre, was mum on special status demand for Bihar. LIVE UPDATES

Dr Reddy’s Shuts Plants Due to Data Breach Days after Receiving Nod for Russian Vaccine Trial: Report

Pharma giant Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has closed all its major plants across the world after a data breach, ET Now reported on Thursday. After the news broke out, the share price of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories plunged. The stock was trading 2.94 percent lower at Rs 4,898.45 on the BSE, at 10:30 am. The firm's plants in India, Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States were hit by the data breach which took place between 4.00-5.00 pm (US time), the report said. However, the firm's spokesperson declined to comment on the issue. READ MORE

US Proposes Not to Issue Business Visas For H-1B Speciality Occupations in Setback for Several Indians

The US State Department in a federal notification has proposed to make changes to its existing visa regulations under which foreign professionals would not be issued temporary visa for business, as has been widely prevalent currently. If finalised, this proposal will eliminate any misconception that the “B-1 in lieu of H policy” provides an alternative avenue for foreign professionals to enter the US to perform skilled labour that allows their employers to circumvent the restrictions established to protect US workers, the State Department said. The move is likely to impact a lot of Indian companies who send their technology professionals on B-1 visas for a short stay to complete the jobs on site in the US. READ MORE

Wall Street Banks in India See Rare Payday Bonanza Despite Covid-19 Pandemic

Major Wall Street banks in India raked in their second-highest fee income since the global financial crisis in the first nine months of this year, benefitting from a flurry of private-sector deals despite the coronavirus pandemic. Five US banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs earned $170 million in investment banking fees in January-September, the highest for that period since 2018, according to Refinitiv data, putting them on course for one of their most profitable years. READ MORE

Obama Blasts Trump's Tweets, Track Record in 2020 Campaign Trail Debut

Former President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail with a blistering attack on Donald Trump with less than two weeks to go before the Republican president's Election Day face-off with Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Speaking at a drive-in rally in Philadelphia on behalf of Biden, his former vice president, and Democratic running mate Kamala Harris, Obama took aim at Trump's divisive rhetoric, his track record in the Oval Office and his habit of re-tweeting conspiracy theories. "With Joe and Kamala at the helm, you’re not going to have to think about the crazy things they said every day," Obama said. READ MORE

'You Miss Me So Much': Kangana Ranaut's Sarcastic Response to Mumbai Police Summons Over Sedition Charges

In a significant development, the Mumbai Police have issued summons to Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel for investigation following a FIR lodged against them with sedition charges included. Responding to the summons, Kangana took a dig at the Mumbai Police and the ruling Shiv Sena. “Obsessed penguin Sena ... Pappupro of Maharashtra, bahut yaad aati hai k-k-k-k-k-Kangana, koi baat nahin jaldi aa jaungi (You miss Kangana so much, never mind, I will be there soon),” she tweeted. READ MORE


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