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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Daily Briefing: As Covid surge sweeps rural Maharashtra, hunt for beds; Ravi Shankar Prasad interview; and more

From Shapoorji Pallonji Group's imminent exit from Tata Sons to BCCI sacking 11 coaches, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | September 23, 2020 8:42:28 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 Shapoorji Pallonji Group’s imminent exit from Tata Sons, financial transactions of companies linked to Max Group founder raising red flags and BCCI’s sacking of 11 coaches. 

Big story

India and China held a 12-hour meeting at the Moldo border point Tuesday during which the two countries agreed not to engage in “escalatory behaviour” along the Line of Actual Control, The Indian Express has learnt. However, there has been no agreement on “disengagement” at the friction points.

From The Front page

Protesting the suspension of eight MPs, the Opposition has decided to boycott Rajya Sabha proceedings till it is revoked. But, the government is insisting that the MPs — suspended for “unruly behaviour” during the passage of two key farm Bills on Sunday — should first “express regret”.

The Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group, which is the largest minority shareholder in Tata Sons with 18.37 per cent stake, has told the Supreme Court that it would exit from the later if it gets an “early resolution” and a “fair, equitable solution” in the protracted legal battle between the two sides. The two groups have been working together for the last 70 years.

September has been particularly harsh for Maharashtra. As coronavirus spreads to rural areas, hospitals like Karad’s are struggling. The hospital has 45 beds and none in ICU due to the lack of an intensivist and oxygen tank.

FinCEN Files

Over 100 transactions worth $104.4 million by companies associated with Max Group founder and chairman Analjit Singh were red-flagged by Standard Chartered Bank, New York, to US financial watchdog FinCEN. A company in which Singh is a director, the bank said, carried out transactions with “unknown entities, located in high-risk jurisdictions.”

An antiques smuggler who is currently in a Tamil Nadu jail continued to receive millions of dollars even years after his arrest in 2011. Transactions of $27.88 million were made between March 2010 and March 2017. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the “total value of stolen antiquities known to have been trafficked by Kapoor exceeds USD 145.71 million”.

FinCEN Files — Delhi, Dubai: US bank red-flags garment export firms under DRI, ED scanner 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

Marking its first big staff lay-offs since the Covid outbreak, the BCCI has decided to not renew the annual contracts of 11 coaches at its premier National Cricket Academy (NCA), including five retired India players. And at least five of them told The Indian Express that they were not alerted before the decision was taken or given a “real reason”.

Interview:  Union minister and senior BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad on the contentious farm Bills and the Opposition protests in Parliament. “The opposition to the Bill is for the sake of politics. The Congress in its 2019 manifesto had said it would rationalise the mandi Act, and create scope for farmers to sell their produce anywhere.”

With the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections likely to be held in May 2021, the BJP is playing mediator between the rebel faction led by V K Sasikala and the AIADMK on talks of a possible merger. Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran is said to have demanded that she be made the party general secretary and he be given a key post.


And Finally…

Delhi confidential: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who returned to the country Tuesday after 10 days, will not be able to attend the Parliament proceedings. Party leaders said they will have to undergo home quarantine for a week. They will not miss much, since there is a buzz that Lok Sabha will be adjourned sine die on Wednesday.

In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we’re analysing a Delhi Police chargesheet in a Delhi riots case, we have a profile of former JNU student Umar Khalid, and what happened when the opposition boycotted proceedings in Parliament.

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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