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Daily briefing: AG speaks up for Bhushan, sought action over his tweets last year; BJP summon to 4 Rajasthan MLAs

Former union minister and journalist Arun Shourie exclusive interview to The Indian Express to China's reluctance to step back from Pangong Tso, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 21, 2020 8:27:16 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 contempt case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan, the latest from the talks over LAC and social boycott in 2020.

The Big Story

“I do not ask for mercy…”: That was Advocate Prashant Bhushan, held guilty of contempt for his tweets, making it amply clear to the Supreme Court that he has no intention to apologise despite the bench hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment giving him time till August 24. 

A surprise intervention: During the hearing yesterday, Attorney General K K Venugopal urged the bench to spare Bhushan from punishment but, incidentally, he had moved the court early last year to punish the advocate for posts allegedly “scandalising” the court and “denigrating” his office.

Bonus read: Former union minister and journalist Arun Shourie, in this interview with The Indian Express, had this to say: “No advertising executive could have devised a better advertisement for the company that owns Twitter: ‘Come, join Twitter: see, so powerful is our platform that with just two tweets you can undermine the central pillar of the largest democracy in the world’.”

From The Front Page

The Chinese reluctance to step back from Pangong Tso, where its troops continue to occupy the ridgeline at Finger 4, and the Gogra-Hot Springs area has stalled the disengagement process at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) despite diplomatic and military talks.

The National Conference held its first in-person political meeting at party president Farooq Abdullah’s residence more than a year after J&K special status was abrogated and mainstream political leaders were detained. An all-party meeting would be convened soon, Abdullah said.

Mumbai Police told the family of a Mumbai youth that he was lynched by a mob after a failed robbery attempt. But the CCTV footage from where the incident happened told a different story.

The Pandemic

A private hospital in Patna was sealed for allegedly billing a Covid patient Rs 6.34 lakh. A district official said patients would be “confined and tortured if bills were not paid.”

Even as the economy continues to reopen, a new job appears to be a distant dream for migrant workers returning to Kerala. Like several others, Bikram Singha from West Bengal was forced to board the next train back home, the moment he arrived at Kozhikode station, after he refused to take up paid accommodation for quarantine.

Beyond Covid-19

It’s 2020 and and there is still no vaccine to this centuries old virus—caste discrimination. A 15-year-old Dalit girl in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district had plucked flowers from the backyard of an upper caste family two months ago and this led to the social boycott of forty families from the community. 

Kathmandu is learnt to have proposed a meeting of the Boundary Working Group with India in August end or early September. This meeting does not pertain to the Kalapani border dispute directly but to review the overall boundary work and clearance of ‘no-man’s land’ among other technical tasks.

“The Congress cannot anchor its political strategy exclusively in saying what is wrong with the BJP. Of course, that is an essential part of every opposition party’s functioning… but alongside that we must give an alternative narrative,” former Union minister and senior Congress leader Ashwani Kumar tells The Indian Express.

ICYMI

  • The BJP has summoned four party MLAs in Rajasthan who missed the Motion of Confidence moved by the ruling Congress in the Assembly on August 14.
  • BJP MP and member of the standing committee on Information Technology Nishikant Dubey Thursday wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, seeking removal of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor as chairman of the standing committee.
  • India on Thursday said that it wants an Indian lawyer to represent Kulbhushan Jadhav in the Islamabad High Court. 
  • A war of words has broken out between senior AIADMK and BJP leaders in Tamil Nadu after the state government denied permission for Vinayaka Chaturthi festivities citing the Covid-19 situation.
  • Starting August 17, seven VFS centres became operational to receive select visa applications, while complying with Indian travel regulations, the French embassy said.

And finally

Eleven years ago, Joy Sebastian took a leap of faith when he wound up his career as a tech consultant in Kochi and moved to a village near Alappuzha where the state government had set up a 66-acre Info Park. That leap has now landed the 44-year-old and his company Techgentsia Software Technologies Pvt Ltd on the national centrestage — and a prize of Rs 1 crore.

Delhi Confidential: Shashi Tharoor has left the Congress leadership in Kerala red-faced. While the state Congress has opposed leasing out the Thiruvananthapuram international airport to Adani group, the Thiruvananthapuram MP has said the city needs a first-class airport worthy of its history, status and potential.

In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the indicators that point to a possible improvement in India’s Covid situation.

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