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Monday, October 19, 2020

Daily briefing: Month before standoff, China blocked 5 patrol points in Depsang; Rs 1,350 crore relief package for J&K

From the farmers rally across Haryana today to the arrest of nine alleged al-Qaeda operatives, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 20, 2020 8:35:12 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news today, punjab stubble burning, india coronavirus peak, kerala covid cases, bengal governor mamata fight, bihar assembly elections 2020October 19, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the Chinese blockade at Depsang Plains, a proposed Bill that offers more flexibility to lay off factory workers and the first game of cricket’s biggest blockbuster league. 

The Big Story

More than a month before the current standoff began in May, the Chinese troops had cut off access to five patrolling points (PPs) in Depsang Plains that are located well inside the line that marks Indian territory. According to a government source, Chinese soldiers have not “settled down” at the PPs, but they come and block Indian troops when they go there.

From The Front Page

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday claimed to have foiled plans for terror strikes in various parts of the country with the arrest of nine alleged al-Qaeda operatives reportedly acting at the behest of handlers from Pakistan. 

Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayadu helped his team beat Mumbai Indians in the opening match of the Indian Premier League but he had to pick up the Man of the Match award himself from a table. That’s just one of the changes viewers would notice this season. Digital cheerleaders, canned applause, fist bumps and blowers in headbands are the new normal

The INS Viraat, the world’s oldest aircraft carrier, set sail for the final time on Saturday. After efforts by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra governments to convert the Viraat into a maritime museum failed, the vessel was bound for the ship-breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat, where it will cease to exist within a year.

Parliament Session

With several within their ranks testing positive for Covid, including Cabinet members, Lok Sabha MPs agreed on cutting short the monsoon session but there was disagreement over what the unfinished business was and how to address it. While the Government is insistent on pushing a slew of Bills, the Opposition is pressing for debates on crucial issues.

In a step that is likely to provide more flexibility to employers, the government has proposed to introduce more conditions restricting the rights of workers to strike, alongside an increase in the threshold relating to layoffs and retrenchment in industrial establishments with 300 workers, from 100 workers or more at present

Amid protest against the three farm Bills which are expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha today, Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar Saturday tried to allay farmers’ apprehensions by underlining that the Minimum Support Price regime will continue as before.

Must Read

In a major relief to the business community, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has announced a Rs 1,350 crore rehabilitation package with a 5% interest subvention (a grant by the government) to all borrowers “irrespective of size” for six months.

Six months ago, India enforced its first lockdown to contain Covid-19. What do you remember of the last normal day before the pandemic turned lives upside down?  A book seller and a tennis player, a doctor and a child, among others, recall the shape of life before coronavirus.

ICYMI

  • The Patna High Court has asked the Bihar government to look for ways beyond online classes to teach 1.19 crore children in the state.
  • Two more persons have been arrested in connection with the Official Secrets Act case, Delhi Police said on Saturday. 
  • To oppose the three farm sector Bills, Haryana’s farmers have announced to block all roads, including highways, across the state on Sunday.
  • Gujarat recorded the third-highest number of Covid-19 deaths among doctors in the country, after Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, according to the Indian Medical Association. 
  • The Election Commission has requested the Central Board of Direct Taxes to probe allegations of false affidavits filed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and two others.

And finally

Indian cricket’s biggest blockbuster is off to a start, shorn of high jinks due to Covid-19. The Indian Express goes behind the scenes to find out how 75 days of staying locked up, monitored by CCTVs and Bluetooth wristbands, is impacting the game’s superstars, and finding relief in family, Ludo, and a new craze — guessing cost of Chicken Tikka Masala.

🎧 In today’s podcast, we discuss why this season of IPL will come with additional pressures for the player and whether the organizers will manage to pull this off without anyone getting infected.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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