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News18 Evening Digest: Govt's China Statement in Parliament, Bill Gates Floats Vaccine Hope and Other Top Stories

File photo of defence minister Rajnath Singh.

File photo of defence minister Rajnath Singh.

These are the top stories we are covering this evening: defence minister Rajnath Singh makes statement on India-China standoff in Parliament; Bill Gates says three of six leading coronavirus vaccine candidates should work by early 2021; China denied laying cables at Line of Actual Control; Jaya Bachchan’s defence of Bollywood in Parliament sets off sexist trolling; Vivek Oberoi’s brother-in-law absconding as Sandalwood drugs probe picks pace; Putin critic Navalny posts photo from Berlin hospital month after poisoning.

China's Attempt to Unilaterally Alter Status Quo at LAC Not Acceptable, Rajnath Singh Tells Lok Sabha

Briefing Parliament on the ongoing standoff with the Chinese military in Ladakh, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the Indian Army has repeatedly foiled China's attempts to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and that the Indian forces are fully geared and "prepared to deal with all contingencies". Singh said while India is fully determined to defend its borders, it has also through high-level meetings with Chinese counterparts proposed several measures that, if implemented, could de-escalate tensions at the LAC. Congress MPs staged a walkout shortly after the defence minister's statement over the "lack of opportunity to discuss the Soni-India standoff. READ MORE

3 of the 6 Leading Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates Should Work by Early Next Year, Says Bill Gates

Three of the leading six coronavirus vaccines currently will probably work by early next year, Bill Gates said on Tuesday, setting an optimistic timeline for the development of the vaccine and distribution of the doses. Making the assessment, the Microsoft co-founder said he expects some of the vaccines will work very well by next year, although how they work in terms of blocking transmission or avoiding sickness will still have to be studied. READ MORE

China Denies Laying Cables at LAC, Says in Touch with India Through Diplomatic and Military Channels

China's foreign ministry on Tuesday denied reports that Chinese troops are setting up a network of fibre optic cables at the Ladakh flashpoint. China and India will remain in communication through diplomatic and military channels, a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters. Earlier, the news agency reported that two Indian officials had said that Chinese troops were laying optical fibre cables south of Pangong Lake in Ladakh and that such cables would provide forward troops with secure lines of communication to bases in the area. READ MORE

Jaya Bachchan Defends Bollywood in Parliament, Sexist Trolls Ask Big B to ‘Tame’ His Wife

Veteran actor and Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan’s strong defence of Bollywood amid ongoing investigations by the Narcotics Control Bureau set off sexist trolls who asked her husband Amitabh Bachchan to “control” his wife. While some trolls made misogynistic and ageist remarks against Jaya Bacchhan, others alleged she was trying to “protect” her daughter Shweta Nanda. READ MORE

Sandalwood Drug Case: Vivek Oberoi's Brother-in-Law Aditya Alva Absconding

Intensifying its investigation into the Sandalwood drug case, the Central Crime Bureau of the Bengaluru City Police on Tuesday conducted raids on properties owned by Aditya Alva, brother-in-law of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi and son of the late former minister Jeevraj Alva. Aditya Alva has been absconding ever since the police carried out raids on Sandalwood star Ragini Dwivedi's residence. She was remanded to judicial custody on Monday for 14 days and is in the Parappana Agrahara prisons on the outskirts of the city. READ MORE

Putin Opponent Navalny Posts Photo From Hospital, Plans To Return To Russia Month After Poisoning

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny shared a photograph from a Berlin hospital on Tuesday, sitting up in bed and surrounded by his family, and said he could now breathe independently following his poisoning last month. The photo – the strongest evidence yet of Navalny’s advancing recovery since he fell violently sick in Siberia on August 20 – was swiftly followed by confirmation from his press spokeswoman that he planned to return to Russia. “Hi, this is Navalny. I miss you all,” he wrote in the caption to his Instagram followers. “I can still hardly do anything, but yesterday I could breathe all day on my own.” READ MORE