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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Daily Briefing: Post 9/11, took steps to weather fallout in markets, says Yashwant Sinha; Last India vs England Test cancelled over Covid fears

The fifth and final Test between India and England that was due to start at Old Trafford in Manchester was cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 11, 2021 7:57:34 am
A look at the top news today, September 15, 2021.

Good Morning,

Big Story 

Industrial output rose by 11.5 per cent in July 2021 as against a 10.5 per cent contraction in July 2020, led by sharp expansion in the mining sector and growth recorded by the electricity and manufacturing sectors, data released by the National Statistical Office showed. The July data show industrial output at near pre-pandemic levels, and analysts expect growth to rise further in August.

9/11: 20 years later

Even though the attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York happened more than 7,000 miles away, the Indian government was well aware that the tremors would be felt at home. Then-finance minister Yashwant Sinha recalls that the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), of which he was a part, took immediate decisions to tighten the belt and shield the public from the volatility that was expected to follow in the global markets.

On September 11, 2001, Jupiter Yambem, a banquet manager in New York, was on the 107th floor of the ill-fated North Tower of the World Trade Centre, where he was in charge of a breakfast meeting at a tech conference. Four days later, his body was recovered from the rubble that remained after a hijacked plane crashed into the iconic building. Thousands of kilometres away, in Manipur, Yambem’s family marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attack with Manipuri rituals and a feast. 

Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes on the unprecedented acts of terror on 9/11 and how  it drastically changed global geopolitics: “The West was weakened in two ways. The United States was drawn into wars that it could neither win nor sustain. They also left a trail of political dislocation from Iraq to Afghanistan. This weakened the US’s geopolitical credibility and authority. But the West was weakened through a betrayal of liberalism domestically and abroad.”

It was an unusual sight, says Leander Paes, as he remembers watching the attack on the World Trade Centre come crashing down. A day earlier, Paes was at the World Trade Centre Tower 1 before he took a car to the airport. He watched in horror the news about planes crashing into the towers. “That’s where I saw the twin towers go down.”

From the Front Page 

Three days after the Taliban announced a cabinet with inadequate representation of ethnic minorities and minus any woman member, India called for an “inclusive dispensation” in Afghanistan, representing all sections of society. Underlining that it was its “immediate neighbour and a friend to its people”, New Delhi said “the current situation is of direct concern to us”. This was India’s first response to the announcement of the Taliban government, days after the Pakistan ISI chief reached Kabul and handpicked the appointments.

The fifth and final Test between India and England that was due to start at Old Trafford in Manchester was cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. While BCCI said it was working on rescheduling the game, and would continue to be in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the latter stated that India were “regrettably unable to field a team” amid Covid fears.

Income Tax surveys were conducted on the premises of news portals Newslaundry and NewsClick in Delhi, with a senior department official telling The Indian Express that the surveys were related to alleged tax evasion. The Income Tax Act empowers officials to enter any premises of the assessee, such as residences, shops, factories or offices for a search and seizure operation.

Must Read 

From big firms to start-ups, agencies offering campaign services to candidates and political parties are making a beeline for poll-bound Punjab. The fees can go up to Rs 2 crore, but smaller firms are willing to offer services for even Rs 5 lakh per seat. While most parties and candidates are cagey about their deals, the package mostly includes surveys, door-to-door reach, social media handling, creative designing, photography and videography, editing and other services. 

India should not be desperate to recognise the Taliban, rather it should be the Taliban seeking India’s stamp of approval, former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Vikram Sood Told the Indian Express. “What is it that Afghanistan will give us that I must be desperate to deal with them? There may be a possibility of threat, but that does not mean I should be recognising the Taliban,” he said. 

And Finally 

A midsummer nightmare it has been for England this season as for the first time this century, they would end the season without a series win at home. Worse, they have lost both their series at home, to New Zealand first, and more heartbreakingly to India, a first since 1999. And to top it all, from the furnace, they would be landing straight into the inferno in Australia later this year, for the Ashes, their morale already turned to dust.

Delhi Confidential: Damdaar (decisive) and imaandar (honest) would be the key words of the BJP’s election campaign in UP, with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at the forefront. Achievements of his government are set to be projected with the tag-line “fark saaf hai” (the difference is visible) on social media.

Until tomorrow, 
Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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