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Narendra Modi at a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 22. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims at a rally for his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday, accusing opponents of the bill of pushing India into a “fear psychosis," AP reports.

Why it matters: The law passed by Parliament earlier this month allows religious minorities from neighboring countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted because of their religion, but it does not apply to Muslims. The move has set off nationwide protests and international outcry, with 23 people killed since the demonstrations began.

What he's saying: “People who are trying to spread lies and fear, look at my work. If you see any trace of divisiveness in my work, show it to the world. ... They are trying every tactic to push me out of power,” Modi said, according to AP.

In photos
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (C) along with Congress Party leaders, workers and supporting parties take part in a march against India's new citizenship law in Jaipur. Photo: Vishal Bhatnagar/AFP via Getty Images
Supporters of the citizenship law wave the Indian flag during a demonstration held in solidarity with the new legislation at the Town Hall in Bangalore. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP via Getty Images
Demonstrators shout slogans and display placards to protest against the government's Citizenship Amendment Bill and National Register of Citizens at India Gate in New Delhi. Photo: Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Go deeper:

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1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Inside Biden's Taiwan flubs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twice this year, President Biden has blurted out commitments that the U.S. is prepared to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion — forcing the White House to walk back his statements and leading to confusion over a high-stakes national security policy.

Why it matters: U.S. defense officials have publicly aired their concerns that China will take Taiwan by force in the next four to six years, perhaps sooner. The president's position on this question may soon have real-world, life and death consequences.