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Friday, September 18, 2020

Daily briefing: Monsoon Covid session begins today; former JNU student Umar Khalid arrested under UAPA

From the Express Investigation into China's snooping on over 10,000 Indians to the beginning of Monsoon Session in Parliament, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | September 14, 2020 8:21:17 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news today, india top news today, parliament updates, parliament farmers bill, india china border news, rajnath singh on china, arun shourie property, delhi riots probe, india coronavirus latest updateSeptember 18, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

Express Investigation

China is watching. And this time it’s not just peering over some ridgeline at one of the fronts at Line of Actual Control (LAC). From President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Singh Rawat to at least 15 former Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force are among thousands of influential Indians being monitored in real-time by a Shenzhen-based tech company with links to the Chinese government.

Politicians account for the largest group of high-profile individuals being monitored. The range of targets is sweeping as the database includes at least 1,350 politicians and lawmakers across parties — BJP, Congress, Left and almost all regional outfits.

Those on the list also include the top brass of the country’s military and scientific establishment. At least 60 senior serving and retired officers of the military, including at least 14 former chiefs of the three services and scientists from the Atomic Energy Commission to Indian Space Research Organisation are among those being watched.

What kind of data has the Chinese firm collected on the targets, what does it mean when it says it’s engaged in hybrid warfare, what’s the cause for concern? We answer the key questions.

From The Front Page

Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Umar Khalid was arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) last night in connection with the Delhi riots probe. He will be produced before a Delhi court today.

A 21-year-old in Uttar Pradesh had left home in July and put up a video a few days later saying she had married a Muslim man and converted. Since the woman is a major, there was nothing for the police to do. However, this has not stopped right-wing Hindu organisations from pushing the cops to look into cases of “love jihad” across the state.

It has been more than 17 days since former DGP of Punjab, Sumedh Saini, is on the run, leaving behind his Z-plus security and a trail of unanswered questions. With an arrest warrant against him over a murder case, senior cops are not surprised that Saini, who knows the system only too well, has managed to stay a step ahead of the rest.

Must Read

The Monsoon Session in Parliament today is likely to begin on a stormy note as the Congress is set to oppose four Bills, including three farm-related ones that are to replace ordinances, and demand that these be sent to the select committee of Rajya Sabha. 

Express Exclusive: BJP’s tallest leader in Bihar, Sushil Modi’s voice carries weight as the state gears up for Assembly polls. He tells The Indian Express that Covid-19 fear is abating and won’t impact voting, admits the “vacuum” left after Arun Jaitley’s demise, and denies charges that Bihar mishandled the migrant situation post-lockdown.

ICYMI

  • Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Sunday has asserted that he will take the first shot of the Covid vaccine to address any “trust deficit” over its safety.
  • Amid her ongoing tussle with Shiv Sena, actor Kangana Ranaut met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on Sunday and told him about the “injustice” done to her.
  • Shut for close to six months since the Covid lockdown, gyms and yoga centres can reopen with immediate effect in all parts of Delhi, except containment zones.
  • Amid threats of protests by Maratha community outfits, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday reached out to Opposition BJP despite the acrimony between the parties in recent weeks.
  • Dominic Thiem became Austria’s second Grand Slam singles champion as he defeated Alexander Zverev in the US Open final on Sunday.

And finally

When Siddhant received the brief for penning the now sensational song “Aunty Kisko Bola Bey”, a part of Netflix’s latest series Masaba Masaba, little did he know the song will go trending and be pegged as the feminist song of year, smashing conventional stereotypes to the core.

Delhi Confidential: In the absence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury chaired the meeting of Congress Parliamentary Party on Sunday ahead of the Monsoon session. As he explained the seating arrangement for MPs and suggested that those aged above 60 will be given seats in the chamber on the ground floor, the younger MPs were not amused.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the results of the first national serological survey and how it reveals the failures of India’s containment strategy and surveillance measures.

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