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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Daily Briefing: MSP up for six crops, BJP tells MPs to spread the word; Taj Mahal gets first visitor after March

From the Indian and Chinese military commanders returning to the talks table to the deployment of two women Naval aviators on warships for flying missions, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 22, 2020 8:54:06 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india news briefing today, india coronavirus latest updates, trp scam, bihar assembly elections 2020, Narendra Modi Coronavirus, Punjab farm bills, Hathras caseOctober 21, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning, 

We are covering the marathon talks between China and India over the border issue, a New York bank that flagged transfers to Adani Group and educational institutions that chipped in for the PM CARES fund. 

Big story

As protests intensify against the contentious farm Bills ahead of the Bihar elections, the government has announced an increase in MSP for six rabi crops. With this step, the BJP has kickstarted a campaign to counter Opposition claims that the laws are “anti-farmer”, by asking its MPs and leaders to go on the offensive and explain the salient features of the Bills.

From the Front page

Indian and Chinese military commanders have returned to the talks table to try and resolve the situation along the LAC, which started in early May. This is the first time that an official of the MEA is part of the military talks between the two sides.

RTI records accessed by The Indian Express show that a sweeping range of educational institutions, from Navodaya schools for rural students to IITs, IIMs and central universities, have together contributed Rs 21.81 crore to the PM Cares Fund — mainly from staff salaries. However, the PMO has declined to furnish details of contributions received.

In its 2,695-page “final report” in the chargesheet filed against 15 people in a case of alleged conspiracy related to Delhi riots, the Delhi Police Special Cell has concluded that the “end objective of all the conspirators had conspired was to uproot a lawfully elected government by sheer use of engineered, vicious and visceral communal violence”.

Fincen Files

The head of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money said that the disclosures on “suspicious” banking transactions revealed in the FinCEN Files have been brought to the attention of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Finance Ministry and the panel would convene a meeting to discuss the import of the revelations.

A New York-based bank raised red flags over four wire transfers received by the global arm of the Adani Group from an investment company in the tax haven of Seychelles. The bank said the amount totaling $5.6 million looked “suspicious” since they were sent in “high round-dollar amounts (rounded off to exact hundred or thousand).”

A former Congress MP figures in an investigative memorandum on a Ukrainian businessman, prepared by FinCEN, the US regulatory agency for enforcing money laundering laws. The memorandum includes a 2013 indictment by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly conspiring to pay at least $18.5 million in bribes to secure mining licences in Andhra Pradesh. 

The FinCEN Files contain a 20-page “intelligence assessment” on the mirror network and list 54 shell companies which, they say, moved billions of dollars annually from Russia through European securities markets to other jurisdictions beginning as early as 2011.

Must read

At 5.39 am on Monday morning, with the entry of Chinese national Liang Chiacheng, the Taj Mahal got its first visitor since March. The six-month Covid-enforced break was the longest the 17th Century monument, which is among India’s most visited and photographed, had gone without visitors.

The Indian Navy announced on Monday that for the first time, two women officers will operate flying missions from warships. The Navy deploys women staffers in logistics and medical wings on-board fleet tankers, but it will be for the first time they will be onboard destroyers and frigates.


And Finally

The country cannot “print” its way out of “this mess”, said Ruchir Sharma, Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Sharma was speaking at the Express e-Adda on why India’s high public debt and fiscal deficit makes it difficult to follow countries like the United States in extending sizeable fiscal stimulus packages.

In today’s podcast, Manoj CG talks about the ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over the contentious farm reform bills. Next, Krishn Kaushik talks about how patrolling patterns have changed along the LAC. And in the end, a quick look at a new investigative series by the Indian Express called the FinCEN files.

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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