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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Daily briefing: Geelani’s resignation blows lid off Pak medical college racket; Ganguly brand role raises conflict of interest issues

From US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo's quiet call to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the ongoing India-China tension to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's conflict of interest over an Instagram post, read the top stories from the print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 5, 2020 8:35:12 am
top news today, top news briefing today, latest news today, india latest news today, india china border news, india coronavirus latest updates, ipl resumption, p chidambaram July 05, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Big Story

At the centre of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s resignation as “chairperson for life” of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) last week is a two-year-old controversy over medical seats reserved for Kashmiri students in Pakistan colleges. Most seats were fully sponsored by the Pakistan government, which used the Hurriyat, to decide the allocation of these seats. Geelani had alleged that the then convenor of APHC’s Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir was “selling” these seats in Kashmir.

From The Front Page

US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo had made a quiet call to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. At the height of tensions between India and China following the June 15 incident in Galwan Valley. Sources said information about the call was not made public for “strategic reasons” since India and China were in the middle of military and diplomatic talks.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is looking at a sweeping overhaul of criminal laws — from criminalising marital rape, making sexual offences gender-neutral to legalising euthanasia and revisiting sedition. A five-member committee, constituted by the MHA, is also considering the introduction of special laws to counter violent incidents that have dominated social and political discourse including mob-lynching and “honour killing.”

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly appeared in an Instagram post wearing a JSW Cement (Jindal Steel Works) T-shirt while “at work” as the company’s brand ambassador. And he insists his new role cannot be construed as conflict of interest. ” I don’t see any conflict in it. I am not associated with their cricket; had I been, it would have been a conflict,” he says.

The Pandemic

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) dialed down on its August 15 deadline to launch a Covid-19 vaccine, saying its letter to hospitals shortlisted for clinical trials was “was meant to cut unnecessary red tape”. ICMR said: “The aim is to complete these phases at the earliest, so that population-based trials for efficacy could be initiated without delay.”

More than a month after the resumption of domestic flights across the country, the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Saturday asked airlines to suspend services to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad — all cities with high Covid caseload — between July 6 and July 19 following a request from the West Bengal government.

A lavish birthday bash amid the era of social distancing proved to be fatal to a top Hyderabad jeweller who died of coronavirus on Saturday. The incident sparked panic among the atleast 100 attendees who scrambled to get themselves tested at private labs in the city. The owner of another top jewellery chain, who, too, attended the party, also died due to the virus.

Beyond Covid-19

Former Union minister P Chidambaram writes on the Tamil Nadu police custodial deaths. He says: “The seed of custodial torture is sown not after the custody, it can be traced to the stages of arrest, denial of bail, allowing police custody, and remanding to judicial custody. At every stage, the law is clear, but its application is often wrong and perverse.”

Last week, amidst a tense border standoff with China, the government banned 59 mobile applications with links to the neighbouring country. The Indian Express sheds light on how Chinese companies came to dominate India’s digital space — from apps to devices and ancillaries, there’s more than a little bit of China on our phones.

And finally

In an e-Adda hosted by The Indian Express, Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company (Asia Pacific) and Chairman, Star & Disney India, spoke on broadcasting in the time of Covid-19 and tensions with China, the possibility of conducting IPL and why TV will survive in India.

🎧 Earlier this month, the once-influential and wildly popular Hindi magazine ‘Cricket Samrat’ announced it was shutting down after 42 years. In our latest podcast, we discuss why the magazine was like ‘ESPNCricinfo, Sports Illustrated and Star Sports in one package’ and how it made cricket accessible to a whole generation from the Hindi heartland before TV and the internet.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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