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Daily briefing: Modi to attend BRICS summit, share platform with Xi again; Alagiri likely to form a political outfit

From Barack Obama talking about Manmohan Singh in his memoir to Moderna saying its vaccine candidate is 94% effective, here are the top news today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | November 17, 2020 8:43:42 am
Top news today, today's top news, daily briefing, Top news this morning, Tarun Gogoi, coron avirus vaccine, PM Modi, RBI< Jaummu and kashmir, Love jihad, Indian expressNovember 24, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning,

Big story

Starting today, The Indian Express will be publishing a series of stories based on the confessions of key accused in the Rs 3,000-crore Augusta Westland VVIP chopper deal case. Part-1 of the series focuses on the interrogation statements of Rajiv Saxena, chartered accountant and key accused. And former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Bakul Nath, his nephew Ratul Puri, Congress leaders Salman Khurshid and Ahmed Patel find mention in Saxena’s statements.

From the Front Page

American biotech company Moderna says its vaccine candidate is 94% effective, making it a promising option for India, according to health experts. What makes it feasible is that the vaccine’s long term storage is at minus 20°C, the same temperature at which India stores its polio vaccines. However, the biggest hindrance is the vaccine cost: $37 (more than Rs 2,750).

Retaining power in Bihar is an achievement the BJP has been talking up since the results came in, but deep down, the party is aware of the challenges thrown up by the close verdict. The RJD-led alliance secured an almost similar vote share is a red flag, indicating how it managed “wider support group” than envisaged by the NDA. 

“Why can’t you go to the high court?” A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde made the remark while hearing a plea challenging the arrest of Kerala-based journalist Siddique Kappan, who was held on his way to Hathras in October. The court observed that it is trying to discourage petitions under Article 32 of the Constitution—which grants individuals the right to approach the top court. 

Only in The Express

The Indian Express has learnt that an internal assessment of India’s bilateral free trade agreements with nine countries, including five signatories of the RCEP has played a pivotal role in the government firming its position against joining the mega trade pact. The assessment showed a “moderate utilisation rate” of Free Trade Agreements over a five-year period, and a trade deficit for India in most cases, save in regard to SAARC nations. 

Ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, the state unit of BJP is working towards obtaining the support of M K Alagiri, the elder son of late M Karunanidhi, and brother of DMK president M K Stalin. At this point, an alliance with Alagiri, who will likely meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on November 21, may give shape to a broader political front in the state. 

Even as the Centre has announced production-linked incentives worth some Rs 2 lakh crore for a host of sectors to boost manufacturing investments, the sugar industry is complaining of huge non-payments against schemes notified more than a year ago. “From where can we pay? The Centre owes us roughly Rs 2,400 crore of export incentive and another Rs 280 crore as buffer stock subsidy.”

In his much-anticipated book, ‘A Promised Land’, which hits the bookstores on Tuesday, former US president Barack Obama has recalled his conversation with Manmohan Singh during his visit to India in December 2010 and said Singh had resisted calls to retaliate against Pakistan after the 26/11 attacks, “but his restraint had cost him politically”. “He feared that rising anti-Muslim sentiment had strengthened the influence of BJP.”


And Finally

Walker, a radio-collared tiger in India which grabbed global attention in March by traversing a circuitous forest route from Yavatmal in Maharashtra through Telangana before re-entering the state to finally settle down in Buldana, is now at the centre of a conservation challenge to find whether establishing corridors from one “island-like forest” to another is the solution to accommodate the country’s growing tiger population.

Delhi confidential: The worsening pandemic situation seems to be making it difficult for Parliament to meet for winter session. Many MPs are learnt to have pointed that during monsoon session, many had got affected by coronavirus despite all precautionary measures taken, and the session had to be curtailed in the end.

In today’s podcast episode, The Indian Express’s Udit Misra talks about the Indian economy’s first ‘technical recession’ since Independence and the challenges of pulling the economy out of it.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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