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Today’s Latest News Transcript at 8:30 pm on 5th August 2022
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Beginning today’s evening bulletin with the top national news: Several Congress MPs, including Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi as well as Shashi Tharoor, were detained amid the party’s nationwide protest against the Centre on issues of inflation, unemployment and GST on food items. Security has been tightened in several places and Section 144 has been clamped down across the New Delhi area, except Jantar Mantar. Earlier this morning, Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack against the government, saying India was no longer a democracy, but a dictatorship. Addressing a press conference, he said “India is witnessing the death of democracy.” Meanwhile, Congress leaders and workers are staging protests in every state capital across the country.
Amid nationwide protests by the Congress on the issues of inflation, unemployment and GST on essential food items, Haryana Congress workers, led by Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee president Udai Bhan and Congress Legislature Party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, were detained by the police as they held a protest march in Chandigarh. The Congress leaders, who started the protest march this noon from Congress party headquarters in Sector 9, were headed to Haryana Raj Bhavan but they were not allowed to reach the governor’s residence. A number of Congress leaders were made to board a bus by the Chandigarh Police and taken to Sector 3 police station.
In top international news: China said it is suspending dialogue with the United States on issues from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This response is the latest in a series of targeted steps intended to punish Washington for allowing the visit to the island it claims as its own territory. The statement come as China continues to hold threatening military exercises in six zones off Taiwan’s coasts. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan, including missiles fired into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, represent a “significant escalation.” China’s military drills were launched following a visit earlier this week by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan that infuriated Beijing.
Meanwhile, China has announced unspecified sanctions on US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her visit earlier this week to Taiwan. A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said that Pelosi had disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the self-ruled island, which Beijing claims. Pelosi was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years. China claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes it having its own engagements with foreign governments. The Chinese statement called Pelosi’s visit provocative and said it undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It said that sanctions would be imposed on Pelosi and her immediate family but did not say what they would be. Such sanctions are generally mostly symbolic in nature.
Shifting focus back to national news: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has clarified that members of Parliament do not enjoy any immunity from arrest in criminal cases when the House is in session and they cannot avoid summons issued by law enforcement agencies. Rajya Sabha proceedings were adjourned for almost half an hour till 11.30 am as Congress members created an uproar alleging misuse of probe agencies by the government. More than 10 Congress members trooped into the Well of the House, protesting against the alleged misuse of central probe agencies. The Congress members said the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has been “insulted” as he was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday during the working hours of Parliament.
Moving on: Kanpur police have lodged an FIR against The Week amid a row over “objectionable pictures” of Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali that has led Hindu activists to burn copies of the magazine and economist Bibek Debroy end his association with it. Kanpur’s Kotwali police registered the case against the editor and management of the magazine following a complaint Thursday by former BJP state vice-president Prakash Sharma, who accused them of hurting religious feelings. Bajrang Dal workers burnt copies of the magazine at the city’s Bada Chauraha on Friday, seeking action against the editors of the magazine brought out in English by the Malayala Manorama group.
The Enforcement Directorate said it has frozen bank deposits of Rs 64.67 crore as part of a money laundering probe against crypto currency exchange WazirX. The federal agency said it conducted raids against a director of Zanmai Lab Pvt Ltd, which owns WazirX, on August 3 in Hyderabad and alleged he was “non-cooperative”. The agency’s probe against the crypto exchange is linked to its ongoing investigation against a number of Chinese loan apps (mobile applications) working in India. The agency had charged WazirX last year for alleged contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
In news from South: Stating that bribery has become routine in government offices, the Karnataka High Court rejected the bail application of IAS officer J Manjunath, who was arrested on July 4 in a bribery case by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the state police. Justice K Natarajan also pulled up the state government and the ACB for being lenient on Manjunath, a former Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner, by merely transferring him to another department and not naming him in a corruption FIR despite a prima facie case of corruption emerging at the stage of the police complaint.
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