Current Affairs in Short: 26 February 2021
A UK court on February 25, 2021 ordered fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi to be extradited to India to stand trial.
UK judge orders extradition of Nirav Modi to India to stand trial
• A UK court on February 25, 2021 ordered fugitive economic offender Nirav Modi to be extradited to India to stand trial.
• The court dismissed his arguments of "mental health concerns," saying they are not unusual in a man in his circumstances. The court ordered his extradition to India saying he has a case to answer for in India.
• The judgement was delivered by a District Judge at the Westminster Magistrates' Court.
• The UK extradition judge will now send an order to extradite Nirav Modi to UK Home Secretary, who will then decide his fate.
• Nirav Modi is expected to appeal the decision in the High Court. The ruling comes after almost a 2-year-long battle. The fugitive offender is wanted for money laundering in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam.
BCCI looking at multiple cities to host IPL Season 14
• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking at four to five cities to host the IPL Season 14. The board was initially planning to hold the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in one city,
• However, the logistical part of hosting the IPL in multiple cities is expected to require further discussion. The feasibility of the bio-secure bubble will be crucial to determine the final venues.
• BCCI mainly aims to take the event to more fans as the situation is moving towards normalcy. The health of the participants will be the primary concern.
• Few of the cities that are likely to host the IPL 2021 season include Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
US launches airstrikes in eastern Syria, destroys infrastructure of Iran-backed militant groups
• The United States on February 25, 2021 launched airstrikes in eastern Syria targeting infrastructure utilised by Iranian-backed militant groups.
• The US military forces conducted the airstrikes at the direction of US President Joe Biden.
US Defense Department Press Secretary John Kirby said that the strikes were authorized in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel.
• The strikes specifically targeted and destroyed multiple facilities located at a border control point used by several Iranian-backed militant groups, including Kait'ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kait'ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS).
• The military attack was conducted after consulting the coalition partners.
Sri Lanka permits burial of COVID-19 victims
• The Sri Lankan government on February 25, 2021 permitted the burial of bodies of the people who died due to COVID-19.
• Till now, over 450 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Sri Lanka, out of which a significant number belong to the minority Muslim community.
• However, the Sri Lankan government had issued health guidelines last year that mandated compulsory cremation of the COVID-19 victims. This was continued for several months despite international pleas and recommendations.
• Last month, several UN human rights experts called on the Sri Lankan government to end its policy of compulsorily cremating victims of COVID-19. They emphasised that the practice ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities.
• Following this, the Sri Lankan Minister of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi issued the Extraordinary Gazette Notification amending the regulations of the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance to allow "cremation or burial of the corpse".
• However, the burial of the bodies of COVID-19 victims will be allowed only at places specified by the health authorities and under their supervision.
India claims top spot on ICC World Test Championship Points Table, England out of race
• India has claimed the top spot on the ICC World Test Championship Points Table after its comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the third test (Pink Ball Test) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on February 25, 2021.
• On the other hand, England fell out of the race for a position in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match Test series, needed to win at least three matches to play the WTC final against New Zealand.
• The World Test Championship Points Table is now led by India with 71 percentage points, followed by New Zealand with 70 percentage points.
• While New Zealand has already secured its place in the finals, India needs to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, which is in third place with 69.2 percentage points.