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Daily briefing: Nepal PM Oli alleges India plot to topple him; ‘Kingpin’ of fixing racket in Australia is Indian on BCCI radar

From Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's allegation that his rivals are plotting to overthrow his government with help from India to the auto hub in Manesar resuming activity, here are the top stories from the print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 29, 2020 8:36:25 am
top news today, top news briefing today, india latest news today, india coronavirus latest updates, india china border news, latest news today, indian express news A look at the top news today, June 29, 2020.

Dear Reader,

Big Story

During closed-door discussions among the government’s top leadership on the ongoing standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, words like “clash” and “fight” have cropped up. Highly placed sources told The Indian Express that there is a growing consensus that while talks with China will – and should – continue, the country should be ready and prepared for a “military response” as and when it’s needed. “Nobody wins a war these days and India in 2020 isn’t India in 1962…,” said a top official who is closely involved in these discussions.

From the front page

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has alleged that his rivals are plotting to overthrow his government with help from India. Relations between the two neighbours have been at an all-time low after Nepal cleared a Bill endorsing the country’s new map that includes Indian territories. And Oli’s party has been a divided house over his government’s move to align with the Communist Party of China.

A Mohali resident has emerged as the “central figure” in a major international tennis match-fixing scam where operatives convinced low-ranked players to throw matches while associates placed bets with bookies. And the same man has been on BCCI’s radar for quite some time as national and domestic cricket players were repeatedly told not to entertain him.

The auto hub in Manesar, which is on the outskirts of the national capital, has sprung back to life. Auto giants have begun calling workers to rejoin after halting work for several weeks during the lockdown period. Though production is still far short of pre-Covid levels, migrant workers from UP, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal are trickling back to Kasna and Bansgaon, the villages nearby where most of them stay on rent.

The Pandemic

The demand for work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) saw a huge jump in May in 116 districts across six states as migrant workers returned to their hometowns during the lockdown. An analysis of data on the MGNREGA portal shows that the number of households availing MGNREGA work in these districts jumped to 89.83 lakh during May — 86.27 per cent up from 48.22 lakh in the same month last year.

State-owned ONGC Ltd and infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro are among several companies across sectors who operated chartered flights to fly back employees who had left their places of work during the lockdown. “We have operated multiple charters paid for by companies to transport employees to work locations within and outside the country. One big Indian company, for example, has been regularly booking our aircraft to ferry its employees to different stations,” a SpiceJet official told The Indian Express.

Contact tracing of Covid patients is likely to get easier now as the ‘Exposure Notification’ solution developed by US tech majors Apple and Google, and launched last month, has started rolling out on iPhone and Android devices in India. Notably, India’s contact-tracing platform Aarogya Setu is not compatible with the ‘Exposure Notification’ solution.

Beyond Covid-19

Former media advisor to Prime Minister of India Sanjaya Baru explains why former national security advisor to US President Donald Trump, John Bolton’s latest book should concern India. 

“Read from a purely Indian perspective, Bolton’s book raises questions about US interest in, if not commitment to, Indian national security. India hardly figures in the book. It remains to be seen whether political change in the US will make a difference and, if so, what kind of difference to the bilateral relationship.,” he writes.

Days after it was attacked over funding to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, the Congress Sunday raised questions on the PM CARES Fund receiving donations from Chinese companies like Huawei and TikTok and demanded an explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “China lulled India into complacency by Jhoola diplomacy and Chinese money. Was it not an abject failure on the part of the Modi government?” former Union minister P Chidambaram said.

In Brief

  • Amit Shah said that India would win both the battles it’s fighting — one against Covid and the other against China’s attempts to intrude along the Line of Actual Control. 
  • The Telangana government is considering a total lockdown in Hyderabad including stopping flights and train services as Covid-19 surge.
  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is yet to issue a formal order or talk even informally to private telcos to desist from using Chinese equipment.
  • E-commerce companies are making a beeline in the job market as demand for their services have increased in the aftermath of the nationwide lockdown
  • Two weeks ago, several alleged torture by same Tamil Nadu cops who are being accused of custodial torture in connection with the deaths of a father and son.

And finally

The Covid-19 pandemic may have pushed the world economy into a tailspin, with 2020 projected to be worse than any of the years since the global financial crisis. But billionaires, at least a select group of them across countries, have seen their wealth soar during the past three months, which have been financially painful for most people across the world. 

🎧 In today’s Three Things Podcast, we take a look at the two custodial deaths in Tamil Nadu that have made national headlines.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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