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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Daily Briefing: Gautam Singhania acquired entity to hold Swiss Bank account; Govt may open beach sand minerals mining

In a freak accident, Golden Globe winning actor Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun during the shooting of the Western film Rust, fatally wounding a cinematographer and injuring the director.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
October 23, 2021 7:40:57 am
A look at the top news today, November 21, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

Security forces are grappling with two major situations in J&K — the killings of civilians in Kashmir, and a hunt for the militants who killed nine soldiers last week in Jammu’s Poonch area. The long-drawn operation in the Poonch heights at Bhatta Durian completed its twelfth day without success. All that can be said from the firefights in which the soldiers lost their lives, is that they appear to be well armed and well trained, a clue that they are unlikely to be from Poonch or from Kashmir, across the Pir Panjal range. 

Pandora Papers — Part 14

Gautam Hari Singhania, Chairman and Managing Director of Raymond Limited, acquired two companies in the British Virgin Islands in 2008, records in the Pandora Papers investigated by The Indian Express have revealed. While Singhania is named as a beneficial owner in one of the companies, he is listed as a shareholder in another.

From the Front Page 

For 13 horrifying seconds, Arun Tiwari hung from the 19th-floor balcony of a Mumbai high-rise, before plunging to death. Arun, 30, who worked as a security guard, had ended up as the lone casualty in a fire that broke out at Avighna Park, a residential building in Mumbai’s Lower Parel. In videos of the incident, Arun can be seen hanging from the balcony and trying to reach a window ledge on the floor below but loses his grip and falls to the ground.  

The proposal in the Prime Minister’s action plan to open two restricted sectors — beach sand minerals and offshore mining — for exploration by the private sector seeks to reverse a series of measures taken by the Centre over the last five years to restrict the involvement of private players in the sector with the stated objective of curbing illegal mining. The proposal to set up a panel to reopen the sector could have strategic implications, given that monazite and other minerals are refined and used in stages of the country’s nuclear power programme.  

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has said that police will carry out an investigation into former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s Pakistani journalist friend “Aroosa Alam and her ISI links”. A bitter slugfest ensued on Twitter between the two senior leaders — the media adviser to Amarinder Singh posted a picture that appeared to show Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Aroosa Alam shaking hands, along with the comment, “Just by the way.” 

 Must Read 

In 2012, then 23-year-old Vittala Malekudiya and his father Lingappa Malekudiya were arrested by an anti-Naxal unit of Karnataka. Nearly a decade later, the two men, who belong to a tribal community in Dakshina Kannada district, were acquitted by a court after it observed that most of the material seized to prove their Naxal links were articles “required for day-to-day livelihood”. The materials in question include a book on Bhagat Singh, a letter seeking boycott of Parliament polls until his village gets basic amenities, and some newspaper clippings. 

Four men, arrested by the NIA for allegedly receiving money from Pakistani terrorist outfit Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), to “create unrest in India, were discharged by a Delhi court on Thursday.  The NIA’s case was based on two messages recovered from the phone of one of the accused, in which the words ‘ghee’ and ‘khidmat’ were used. The investigation agency alleged that the accused were using code words to communicate with the terror outfit, under the garb of constructing a mosque — a claim that was rejected by the court. 

Who will lead the Gujarat Congress? Several senior leaders have told Rahul Gandhi that they want an “experienced leader” to be appointed as the next state party president — signalling that there is resistance to Hardik Patel’s bid to become the GPCC president. When Rahul met 23 Gujarat Congress leaders this week, some of the names suggested for the post were former state Congress presidents Shaktisinh Gohil, Bharatsinh Solanki and former Lok Sabha MP Jagdish Thakor. 

BJP National President J P Nadda writes on India crossing the major milestone of administering over 100-crore Covid-19 vaccinations: “Sadly, there is no vaccine for the pandemic of political cynicism, hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that tries to undermine the historic milestones of India by peddling half-truths and biased narratives. These milestones don’t belong to one party or one government, but the entire nation.” 

And Finally 

In a freak accident, Golden Globe winning actor Alec Baldwin misfired a prop gun during the shooting of the Western film Rust, fatally wounding a cinematographer and injuring the director. But this isn’t the first accident that has taken place on the sets of a film. From Amitabh Bachchan getting grievously injured while shooting ‘Coolie’ in 1983, to Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee’s death on the sets of ‘The Crow’ in 1993 — we take a look at some major mishaps on film sets over the years. 

In this week’s episode of ‘Love Matters’, Evelyn Sharma and her guest, comedian Kaneez Surka, talk about tackling the stigma and shame associated with being divorced in India, the strength it takes to leave a marriage, and the joy and freedom one can find in learning to be on their own again.

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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