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Friday, October 30, 2020

Daily briefing: Never use the word Negro, HC tells Punjab cops; Cox & Kings used offshore route to cut tax in UK

From Nepal's urgency to clear its new map in Parliament to the impact of monsoon on the coronavirus spread, read the top stories from The Indian Express print edition.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 15, 2020 9:03:07 am
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Dear Reader,

The Pandemic

* A day after it declared all nursing homes in the Capital with capacities of 10-49 beds as Covid-only, the Delhi government withdrew the order amid red flags from owners of such establishments.

* Booking windows at select suburban railway stations in Mumbai are set to reopen, but the train services will not be available for everyone.

* The Kerala government urged the Centre to ensure that Indian embassies make arrangements for a Covid-19 test for expats flying home on chartered flights.

* Now that the monsoon season is here, the likely impact of rain on the virus, and its transmission, is the subject of discussion.

Big Story

There has been a remarkable slowdown of the coronavirus infections growth rate in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. This has been matched by an unusual consistency in the number of new cases reported every day, which are largely confined to narrow ranges. Daily death numbers have also been similarly consistent. Nationally and in other states, however, these numbers show a greater randomness.

From the front page

Nepal has been showing an unusual sense of urgency over the border issue with India. The country has now fast-tracked the passage of a constitution amendment Bill to approve its new map at a time when New Delhi’s stand has been to hold talks on all outstanding boundary issues.

Punjab Police got a rap on their knuckles for using “the offensive term ‘nigro’ or ‘negro’ while referring to ‘black’ persons in case papers”. A high court judge said: “The police appear to have assumed that every black is a drug peddler and should be treated as such. This is terrible thinking.”

The upcoming autumn semester in IITs, in all likelihood, will be conducted virtually for “continuing” undergraduate students or those already enrolled. Campus life, however, will not completely shut down as the IITs intend to bring back PhD students whenever feasible.

Beyond Covid-19

A further investigation into the money laundering case against travel company Cox & Kings has revealed that the bankrupt firm had exploited a loophole in the British tax rules and had “siphoned off majority of the money” after selling its UK subsidiary Holidaybreak Education Limited for Rs 4,387 crore. The case is related to a Rs 3,642 crore fraud at Yes Bank Ltd.

Desktop computers, laptops, photocopiers, earthing pits and other such office and engineering goods will perhaps no longer be imported. With government agencies tweaking policy directives to push the Centre’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programme, we look at the new norms and criterias for government contracts and tenders.

Falling viewership, goof-ups by anchors, mix-ups by presenters, OscarsSoWhite accusations, and now the pandemic — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been struggling to get things right the past few years. So what is going to be new at the Oscar Awards this time?

For its first prayer service since the lockdown, a Protestant church in Bengaluru came up with a concept of ‘Worship on Wheels (WOW)’, a drive-in Mass where people could take part in the service while in their cars or on their bikes.

And finally

Producer Arun Pandey recalls his moments spent with actor Sushant Singh Rajput while shooting the biopic on former India cricket team captain M S Dhoni. “Desperate to pick everyone’s brains”, Singh once told the former India cricket captain, “Bhaisaab, everybody is going to search you in me, I will have to do everything the same way as you do.”

🎧 Here is a snippet from an interview with the actor who died by suicide on Sunday.

🔎 In ExplainSpeaking this Monday, Ravish Tiwari looks into the lack of public confidence as we enter the third week of Unlock, while Udit Mishra makes a case for continuing foreign trade.

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