Morning Digest: India, China avoided open clash at BRICS summit over COVID-19 origins; U.S., U.K., Australia form new partnership for Indo-Pacific, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

India, China avoided open clash over COVID-19 origins

India and China avoided an open clash over views on the origins of the COVID-19 virus at the BRICS summit last week, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong intervention in favour of a “transparent investigation” into the origins of the pandemic, a subject China has been sensitive about.

U.S., U.K. and Australia announce new security partnership for Indo-Pacific

A week before a meeting of Quad leaders in Washington DC, the Biden administration, on September 15, announced a new trilateral security partnership for the Indo-Pacific, between Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. (AUKUS).  As part of this, Australia will acquire nuclear-powered submarines with help from the U.K. and the U.S.

Lifeline for telcos as government offers four-year moratorium on dues

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved several measures to extend a lifeline to the cash-strapped telecom sector, including a redefinition of the much-litigated concept of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) to exclude non-telecom revenue and a four-year moratorium on players’ dues to the government.

Supreme Court gives government two weeks to fill all tribunal vacancies

The Supreme Court on Wednesday accused the Centre of “cherry-picking” names for appointments to tribunals groaning under backlog and left almost defunct by long-pending vacancies.

SpaceX launches 4 amateurs on private Earth-circling trip

SpaceX’s first private flight blasted off Wednesday, September 15 night with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor, the most ambitious leap yet in space tourism. It was the first time a rocket streaked toward orbit with an all-amateur crew — no professional astronauts.

Fresh start for report on data protection bill

Nearly 21-months after the Personal Data Protection Bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee, sources said that work on the report will have to start afresh under the new chairman and BJP MP P.P. Chaudhary.

NCLAT acting chief exit case concerns ‘premature’ replacement: CJI

Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Wednesday requested Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to get instructions from the government and be present when the court takes up a petition on September 16 regarding the exit of Justice A.I.S. Cheema as Acting Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

Sansad TV launched; Modi calls it new voice of Parliament

Sansad TV, a news channel combining the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha TV, was launched on Wednesday at a function presided over by Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Speaker Om Birla.

In U.P., BJP lays hopes on hike in sugar cane prices

The BJP is looking at an anticipated rise in sugar cane procurement prices, to be announced by the Uttar Pradesh government as early as this week to give it a much-needed push in the Jat heartland of western Uttar Pradesh.

Sri Lankan Minister quits after ‘threatening prisoners at gunpoint’

Sri Lanka’s prisons minister resigned on Wednesday, following allegations that he asked Tamil prisoners to kneel, threatening them at gunpoint. A statement from the Presidential Media Division said: “Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Prison Management and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation has tendered his resignation, acknowledging his responsibility for the incidents”. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accepted his resignation, it said.

Women’s tennis heading in right direction: Sania

The women’s event of the US Open produced a magical final, between two unheralded teenagers in Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. With a straight-set win over Fernandez, Raducanu stunned the world to become the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era.

Source: Read Full Article