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Daily briefing: House panel to ask Facebook to explain ‘inaction’ on hate posts linked to BJP; Harris speaks of Gandhi, pluralism

From the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology seeking an explanation on the WSJ report, on Facebook’s inaction on hate posts linked to the BJP, to Rajya Sabha's arrangements for Monsoon Session, read the top stories from print today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 17, 2020 9:05:46 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india top news, india latest news, farmers bill protests, india china border dispute, delhi journalist arrested, paytm google play store, india coronavirus latest updatesSeptember 19, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the political storm set off by Facebook, Prashant Bhushan’s contempt case, the latest in the Naga peace process. 

The Big Story

In what is perhaps the strongest evidence yet that the country’s economy is on the long road to recovery, economic indicators including electricity consumption, e-way bill generation and MNREGA work creation, are looking better in states with higher control over cases and recoveries.

From The Front Page

As The Wall Street Journal report on Facebook’s inaction on hate posts linked to the BJP set off a political storm, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology sought an explanation from the social media company and is also likely to summon it.

In a clear signal to China and Pakistan, Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would stand with India in confronting the threats along its borders. He also said that being “democracies with diversity” was a “mutual strength” of India and the US.

It has been five months since Bihar police took away an RTI activist’s son while he was on way to write his Class 10 exam. The 14-year-old boy is likely to return home today after the state Juvenile Justice Board has declared the boy a minor, and granted him bail in an Arms Act case.

A Festival, Some Restrictions: Setting up of idols in pandals at public places and processions during Ganesh Chaturthi as well as Muharram has been prohibited in Delhi this year. (Abhinav Saha)

The Pandemic

The Rajya Sabha secretariat was working overtime for the last two weeks to see that the arrangements were ready for testing, rehearsal and final inspection ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament. The Upper House will see additional installations like large display screens and audio consoles in galleries.

As many as 5.53 crore households availed MGNREGA, the rural job guarantee scheme, in just four-and a-half months of the current financial year — the highest ever since the scheme’s inception in 2006-07. 

If children could not go to school because of the pandemic, what if the school came to them? With no blackboards and text books, the teachers of a school in a Karnataka village are holding community classes and resorting to innovative ways of storytelling — an idea that has even caught the attention of the state government.

Beyond Covid-19

A Supreme Court observation in 1995 that “members of the bar and others should not speak in public but use only the inhouse procedure” is inadequate to deal with “corruption in the judiciary”, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is facing charges of criminal contempt over his remarks in an interview to Tehelka magazine in 2009, said.

A day after it accused Nagaland Governor R N Ravi of creating an “imbroglio” in the peace process, the NSCN-IM Sunday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given the mandate of continuing discussions to the Intelligence Bureau and that the move did not mean the peace process had been downgraded.

A man sanitises a mosque in Srinagar ahead of its reopening. Places of worship across J&K opened their doors on Sunday after months of lockdown. (Shuaib Masoodi)

Details on transactions related to various items such as business class air travel, foreign travel and expensive hotels and schools will not be sought by tax payers in the income tax returns but from third parties, a Finance Ministry official said on Sunday.

ICYMI

  • Former India cricketer and a Cabinet Minister in the Uttar Pradesh government Chetan Chauhan passed away on Sunday due to Covid-19-related complications.
  • A cloudburst could have set off the deadly landslide in Pettimudi in Kerala’s Idukki district which claimed nearly 70 lives of tea plantation workers and their families.
  • High-speed mobile Internet was restored in two districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, over a year after the services were suspended throughout the erstwhile state.
  • Leader from the Scheduled Caste community, Shyam Rajak, who was on Sunday dismissed as minister in the Nitish Kumar government and expelled from the JD(U), is set to rejoin the RJD today. 
  • Amid speculation that Parth Pawar may join the BJP after being reprimanded by his grandfather and NCP president Sharad Pawar, the BJP has said he was not joining the party.

And finally

When one of the selectors wanted to remove M S Dhoni as the ODI Captain in the 2011 test series in Australia, it was former BCCI president N Srinivasan who exercised all his authority to block the “unanimous decision” to sack the cricketer as the team lead. 

Delhi Confidential: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has found a new way to develop a bonding with MPs across parties. Earlier, every MP used to get a message from the Speaker on his or her birthday, but now Birla has asked the Lok Sabha channel to air a programme on their birthdays.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss what the National Health ID under the newly launched ‘National Digital Health Mission’ proposes to do.

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