WB Governor: Thursday governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar was made to wait outside the assembly as the gate designated for his entry was locked and the speaker and staff were nowhere to be found though it was a working day. Dhankhar later entered the assembly premises through Gate no 2 meant for media persons and officials. “Why is gate no 3 closed? Despite my prior intimation, the gate is closed. The assembly being adjourned does not mean it is closed. The governor’s gate being locked has put our democratic history to shame. This is not an insult to me, but an insult to the people of the state and the Constitution. I felt bad. But I went inside through a gate that was open. I found inside a deathly silence,” Dhankhar told reporters.”Democracy is being humiliated, not me. It reflects we are trying to cage democracy. My heart is bleeding today. How can this ever happen in a temple of democracy? I went through the entire building, saw a deathly silence, on a working day,” he said further.
Justice Arun Mishra: Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra Thursday said he would “apologise a hundred times” with “folded hands” if anybody is hurt by his words, two days after he had warned a senior lawyer of contempt action while hearing land acquisition matter. Justice Mishra, who heads a 5-judge Constitution bench hearing land acquisition matters, warned senior advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan on Tuesday of contempt while he was advancing his arguments.
Sabarimala: The apex court’s observation came when senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for a woman devotee, Bindu Ammini, alleged violation of the 2018 verdict and said her client was attacked for her bid to enter the shrine. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, referring to a recent verdict of the apex court, said the 2018 judgment was not the final word as the issue was referred to a seven-judge bench for consideration.
Sikh Massacre: Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that the killing of Sikhs followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 could have been avoided had the late Inder Kumar Gujral’s advice to call in the army at the earliest to tackle the violence had been heeded by Rajeev Gandhi….:when the sad event of 1984 took place, Gujral ji on that very sad evening went to the then home minister Shri (PV) Narasimha Rao and told him the situation is so grave that it is necessary for the government to call the army at the earliest. If that advice had been heeded, perhaps the massacre that took place in 1984 could have been avoided,” Singh said.
Anglo-Indians: The Union Cabinet approved a proposal on Wednesday to do away with the provisions that allowed the representation of the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha even as it extended the reservation of Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST) by 10 years. The reservation for these categories in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies was to expire on January 25, 2020.
Climate Index: the Global Climate Risk Index released by international environmental think tank Germanwatch on Wednesday, shows that India has fallen from its 15th rank of countries hit most by climate change-induced weather phenomena in 2017, to number five in 2018. Japan topped the list followed by the Phillipines and Germany.
Uyghur Human Rights Policy: The United States Congress passed a bill seeking in connection with China’s Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, prompting Beijing to threaten possible retaliation. The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which among other things, proposes that America redirects resources to address the mass internment of over 1,000,000 Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in China. The bill was to condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, and calling for an end to arbitrary detention, torture, and harassment of these communities inside and outside China. This bill directs various U.S. government bodies to prepare reports on China’s treatment of the Uyghurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic ethnic group. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence shall report to Congress on issues including the security threats caused by the Chinese government’s reported crackdown on the Uyghur population in Xinjiang province, the frequency with which other governments are forcibly returning Turkic Muslim refugees and asylum seekers to China, and the development or transfer of technology that facilitates mass internment and surveillance. The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall report on topics such as its efforts to protect ethnic Uyghurs and Chinese nationals in the United States from Chinese government intimidation. The U.S. Agency for Global Media shall report on media-related matters, including the reach of U.S. media into Xinjiang, assessments of Chinese propaganda strategies, and U.S. actions to counter such efforts to downplay the crackdown. The Department of State shall report on the scope of the reported crackdown in Xinjiang, including the number of detained individuals, the use of forced labor in the region, an assessment of government surveillance in the province, and U.S. diplomatic efforts to address the crackdown. Read more
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RBI: Despite holding repo rate steady at 5.15 per cent on Thursday and surprising economists and markets alike, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is one of the 26 global central banks out of the major 31 that have been on a rate cutting spree, according to a Julius Baer Research. The remaining 5 – those in Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), Norway, Canada and Czech Republic – have hiked their key rates.
Nirav Modi: A special court of Mumbai on Thursday declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi, the key accused in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate. Special PMLA court Judge V C Barde declared Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender after hearing extensive arguments of lawyers of the diamantaire and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Trump Impeachment: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she has instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival. “The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and (a) crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival,” Pelosi said in a televised statement.