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Friday, July 03, 2020

Daily briefing: LAC de-escalation talks stretch; Nepal PM asked to prove India charge or resign

From LAC talks to Chinese apps, read the top stories from The Indian Express print edition.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 1, 2020 10:02:04 am
india lockdown, india lockdown 4.0, india flights resumption, shramik trains, indian railways, coronavirus india, covid treatment, satyajit ray, p chidambaram July 1, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

Big Story

The third meeting between Indian and Chinese commanders saw them burn the candle at both ends as talks began early and continued well into the night at the Chushul border point. While there was no official word yet on what transpired at the meeting, sources in the Army say the standoff is likely to “continue well into the winter”. And since the last meeting on June 22, there has only been “miniscule reduction of troops in the friction pockets,” sources said.

From the Front Page

The ban on 59 apps with Chinese links is “interim in nature” and the companies behind them have been given 48 hours to respond to Centre’s concerns over China’s data-sharing norms. A Chinese law requires companies of Chinese origin to share data with that country’s intelligence agencies, irrespective of where they operate. The final decision on whether to ban the apps permanently or ask for some changes in compliance norms is left to a secretary-level panel.

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s party leaders, including three former PMs, have given him two choices: either resign or prove that India was trying to topple his government. Trying to defend his allegations, the Oli shot back, “How come accounts of a confidential meeting are getting reported verbatim in the Indian media?”

Similar cases of alleged torture by Tamil Nadu police have begun to emerge after the custodial deaths of a father and son at the Sathankulam Police Station. One of them is an auto driver who was arrested for not wearing a mask and smoking a beedi while driving. He alleged that he was tortured for two hours before being let off. After receiving severe kicks to his stomach, he is now undergoing dialysis and his condition is deteriorating.

The Pandemic

With Covid-19 cases tripling in a fortnight, an alarmed Telangana government has scaled down testing after increasing the number of tests from an average of 700 per day to over 3,000. Till June 15, there were 5,193 Covid-19 cases in the state. This went up to 15,394 by June 29. After increasing the tests to over 4,000 per day on June 24, authorities brought it down to 2,648 on June 29.

A video emerged on social media purportedly showing bodies of Covid-19 victims being brought out of a hearse van and dumped into a common pit in Karnataka’s Ballari district. With no official funerals permitted in Covid-19 deaths, and family and friends usually not allowed on account of being contacts of the victim, the final rites in most cases have been done by municipal and health workers.

A wedding in rural Bihar has emerged as a super-spreader of Covid-19, setting off what seems to be the biggest infection chain in Bihar so far, with 113 people testing positive after the groom, who was running high fever, died and was cremated without a coronavirus test. Those infected include either the 30-year-old groom’s relatives or guests at the wedding. Fifteen of them are believed to have infected others. Most of them are asymptomatic and admitted to isolation centres in Bihta and Phulwarisharif.

Beyond Covid-19

Acknowledging that the Covid pandemic and the lockdown have hit the poor the hardest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for 80 crore people till the end of November. The scheme to distribute free ration to the poor during the lockdown was to end Tuesday.

D K Shivakumar, who will take over as president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee on Thursday, has grand plans for his swearing-in event. He is taking his function to every gram panchayat in Karnataka by installing LED television screens at 7,800 locations across the state. Nearly 10 lakh people are expected to witness the function and they will all be connected using the Zoom platform.

In a first, the Lucknow administration sealed two shops as part of its drive to recover damages for destruction of public and private properties during the protests held on December 19 against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens.


And Finally…

“TikTok is banned, not the talent,” says a top content creator on TikTok. Now, many of the creators, who are youngsters in small towns, cities, even villages across India, are beginning to migrate to other social media platforms after the Centre’s ban took them by surprise. Though they say “nothing comes before the nation”, they are worried it will take time to build a similar following.

🎧 In today’s Three Things Podcast, we’re looking at the impact of India banning 59 Chinese apps and The Indian Express’s Nandagopal Rajan explains how much it affects them.

🎥 E-xplained with former ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale: Galwan and what happens after

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G

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