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News18 Evening Digest: Oxford-AstraZeneca Shot Set to Get Approval and Other Top Stories

Representative image.

Representative image.

Here are the top stories we are covering this evening: Oxford-AstraZeneca shot set to get approval; China offered bounties to fighters in Afghanistan who attacked US soldiers; Suvendu Adhikari says brother Soumendu, 5,000 others will join BJP; Unexplained radio beam from star has 'excited' scientists; Deepika Padukone shares audio note on New Year after mysteriously deleting all social media posts; T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur replace Injured Umesh Yadav & Mohammed Shami; Pakistani man arrested for wearing a wolf mask on New Year's Eve.

On New Year’s, India Closer to Covid Vaccine as Oxford-AstraZeneca Shot Set to Get Approval

India on Friday took a step closer to licensing a vaccine against Covid-19 as an expert panel appointed by the government recommended that the apex drug regulator grant emergency use authorisation to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The approval by the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) paves the way for mass immunisation with the vaccine to begin within the next few days. READ MORE

China Offered Bounties to Fighters in Afghanistan Who Attacked US Soldiers, Donald Trump Briefed

President Donald Trump was briefed this month about intelligence reports that China had offered to pay bounties to fighters in Afghanistan who attacked US soldiers there, but the information was uncorroborated and comes months after Trump dismissed as a “hoax” a CIA assessment that Russia had paid for such attacks. READ MORE

Another Jolt to Mamata as Suvendu Adhikari Says Brother Soumendu, 5,000 Others Will Join BJP

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Friday said his disgruntled brother and TMC leader Soumendu -- recently removed from the post of administrator at Contai Municipality -- will join the saffron camp with a few councillors and 5,000 TMC workers later in the day, asserting that the TMC, of which he was a part till about a month ago, will disintegrate soon. READ MORE

Was That a Dropped Call From Aliens? Unexplained Radio Beam from Star Has 'Excited' Scientists

Nobody believes it was ET phoning, but radio astronomers admit they do not have an explanation yet for a beam of radio waves that apparently came from the direction of the star Proxima Centauri. “It’s some sort of technological signal. The question is whether it’s Earth technology or technology from somewhere out yonder,” said Sofia Sheikh, a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University leading a team studying the signal and trying to decipher its origin. READ MORE

Deepika Padukone Shares Audio Note on New Year After Mysteriously Deleting All Social Media Posts

Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone deleted all her tweets and Instagram pictures on December 31. Now, she has restarted her social media activity with an audio note that says, "Hi everyone, welcome to my audio diary, a record of my thoughts and feelings. I am sure all of you will agree with me but 2020 was a year of uncertainty for everybody. But for me, it was also about gratitude and about being present. As for 2021, all I can wish for myself and for everyone around me is good health and peace of mind. Happy New Year." READ MORE

India vs Australia: T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur Replace Injured Umesh Yadav & Mohammed Shami

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) on Friday announced pace bowler T Natarajan as replacement of Umesh Yadav in the India squad for the last two Test matches against Australia to be played in Sydney and Brisbane. BCCI also added that Shardul Thakur had been added to the squad in place of Mohammed Shami, who was hit on his bowling arm during the first Test in Adelaide. READ MORE

Pakistani Man Arrested for Wearing a Wolf Mask on New Year's Eve, Twitter Asks 'What's Wrong?'

If there's one thing that 2020 taught humanity, it was the importance of wearing face masks in the ongoing pandemic that has claimed the lives of millions of citizens across the globe. However, a man in Peshawar, Pakistan had to pay the price for masking up while venturing out on New Year's Eve of 2021. What's wrong you ask? The mask, in itself, wasn't a protective covering but a costume mask to scare off people. Yep. READ MORE

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