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Monday, August 03, 2020

Daily briefing: Will attend House if Congress issues whip, says Pilot loyalist; Assam keeps close watch on tea gardens over Covid spread

From the Enforcement Directorate's probe into the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide to China's refusal to come clear on the LAC point at Pangong Tso, read the latest stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 1, 2020 8:42:34 am
unlock 3.0 guidelines, top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news, india coronavirus latest updates, rafale jets, rajasthan government crisis August 1, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning readers,

Here’s a peek into this morning’s top stories. Most observers are eagerly waiting for China’s next move along the border after its envoy in New Delhi refused to come clear on the LAC point at Pangong Tso. The Enforcement Directorate has also joined the probe into the suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. And a Congress rebel MLA says he is ready to attend the Assembly session. 

The Big Story

“Finally 5 days short of a year.” It was nearly a year after he was detained amidst the abrogation of Article 370 that People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone was on Friday officially “released” from house arrest.

Bonus reading: With Lone’s release, Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti is now the only political leader still detained under Public Safety Act. The J&K administration extended her detention by three months for the second time on Friday.

From the Front Page

Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong’s refusal to clarify the LAC point has prepared the Army for yet another long haul, with enhanced deployment on the disputed Ladakh border till the two sides agree to totally disengage at the points of friction, a senior Army officer told The Indian Express.

“You are abusing your own family members.” Former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot’s loyalist and MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat told The Indian Express that if the Congress issues a whip, he is ready to attend the upcoming Assembly session.

The policemen in whose presence a mob in Palghar lynched two sadhus and their driver in April had chosen not to intervene for fear that they too would be killed, the most senior officer present at the spot has told investigators.

The Pandemic

Even though it has become the state with the third highest Covid load in the country, after Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh has ruled out the reimposition of a lockdown and instead, increased the focus on testing to contain the spread. 

If given the nod, Serum Institute of India is likely to be ahead in India’s own race for a vaccine as an expert committee has recommended that it be allowed to conduct late-stage human trials for the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine candidate in India, The Indian Express has learnt.

The large-scale transmission in the tea gardens of Assam could be the latest challenge for the government after 69 workers tested positive for the virus, The Indian Express has learnt. “If due to any reason there is community spread of Covid-19 in the labour lines, it will lead to a major catastrophe,” state Labour Commissioner Ghanshyam Dass said.

Beyond Covid-19

Exclusive: With the pandemic and the flood situation facing the upcoming Assembly elections, Bihar Water Resources Minister and national general secretary of JD(U) Sanjay Kumar Jha tells The Indian Express that these are not ordinary times and that efforts are on to handle the situation.

An FIR by the Enforcement Directorate filed against film actor Rhea Chakrabory, who was dating Sushant Singh Rajput, showed prima facie siphoning off of “over Rs 15 crore” belonging to him into the “bank accounts not known to the deceased actor”.

ICYMI

  • At least 10 people died in Karichedu mandal area after allegedly consuming alcohol-based hand sanitiser in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. 
  • In Punjab, at least 41 people have died in three districts of Majha region allegedly after consuming spurious liquor in the last two days.
  • BSP president Mayawati has said it would have been better had an invitation been extended to “Dalit Mahamandaleshwar” Kanhaiya Prabhunandan Giri for the Ayodhya temple ‘bhoomi pujan’.
  • There is no upper limit to fares that private players can fix for passenger trains they will run, and operators will not need any approval from any authority for it, the Railways Ministry has clarified.
  • High drama was witnessed outside a private hospital in Punjab’s Derabassi on Friday after rats allegedly nibbled away parts of a dead woman’s face and ears.

And finally

The Birmingham Games have come under heavy criticism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, with some academics in the United Kingdom even questioning the relevance of the CWG as a concept. The man who started it all is Ammo Talwar, a British-Indian entrepreneur in Birmingham.

Delhi confidential: Requests for help from children seem to be moving President Ram Nath Kovind. On Friday, he handed over a racing bicycle as an Eid gift to Riyaz, a Class IX student who washes dishes to finance his studies and wants to be a cyclist. After seeing his story in a Hindi daily, Kovind asked his office for his details. 

Movie review: Lootcase, a film directed by Rajesh Krishnan, needed a crisper plot and faster pace to make it  what it was aiming to be. The length of the film begins weighing upon the plot, which starts stretching and flattening. But done well, this kind of film can be a full-on entertainer.

Thirty-three long years since he started preparing for the exam, a 51-year-old man from Hyderabad, Mohd Nooruddin, has finally cleared his 10th board exams due to Covid-19 exemption.

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