Morning Digest: Trump says U.S. terminating relationship with WHO over coronavirus, GST council likely to meet in mid-June, and more

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

Coronavirus | Trump says U.S. terminating relationship with WHO

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he is terminating the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus, saying the WHO had essentially become a puppet organization of China.

One year of Narendra Modi 2.0 | We will decide our present and future, PM tells nation

Marking the first anniversary of his second successive full majority government at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a letter addressed to all Indians, reminded them not only of the bold decisions taken by his government in the last year, but, in a reference to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, exhorted them to “remember that the present and future of 130 crore will never be dictated by an adversity”.

GST Council likely to meet in mid-June

The Goods and Services Tax Council is likely to meet in mid-June after repeated demands from States anxious for their GST compensation dues which have been pending since December.

‘Dinner meeting’ of Karnataka BJP MLAs sets alarm bells ringing in party

A “dinner meeting” held by a section of BJP MLAs from North Karnataka on Thursday night points to simmering discontent in the ruling BJP bubbling up once more. The impending elections to the Rajya Sabha and the Legislative Council in June seem to be the triggers that have brought the politicking back.

Migrant workers | Reports of ‘lost’ trains fake, says Railways

Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav on Friday termed reports of Shramik Special trains “getting lost” as “fake news,” and said only four trains of a total of 3,840 run so far since May 1 have taken more than 72 hours to reach their destinations.

Coronavirus | States show variations in testing contacts, says study

States that are grappling with the highest burden of COVID-19 are those that least tested the contacts of persons who were confirmed positive, suggests data from an analysis of nearly 1,00,000 individuals tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and published by a core group of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientists and independent epidemiologists leading India’s COVID-19 testing.

Locust surge may turn into global plague: expert

The current upsurge in desert locust attacks could turn into a full-fledged global plague by the end of the year if it spreads to West Africa and the insects begin breeding there, says the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s senior locust forecasting officer Keith Cressman.

Madras High Court declares niece and nephew as Jayalalithaa’s legal heirs

The Madras High Court on Friday ordered removal of the term ‘Class II’ heirs from order passed by it on May 28 declaring former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s nephew J. Deepak and niece J. Deepa as her legal heirs. This is because classification of legal heirs as Class I and Class II under the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 would apply only to heirs of a male Hindu who died intestate.

Coronavirus lockdown | Punjab increases fines for norms violation

The Punjab government on Friday increased the penalties in case of violation of instructions and guidelines issued to contain the spread of COVID-19. Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, taking cognisance of violation reports about the instructions and guidelines concerning the COVID-19, the penalties need to be enhanced and made more stringent to keep Punjab safe from the claws of the pandemic.

SC notice to Tata Sons on Mistry’s cross appeal

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a cross-appeal filed by Cyrus Mistry, ousted chairman of Tata Sons, saying the decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in December last year did not secure the interests of his company and minority Tata Group shareholder, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, from prejudicial conduct in the future.

‘High risk’ of T20 WC being put off, says CA

Cricket Australia on Friday conceded that there is “very high risk” of this year’s T20 World Cup being postponed and it is bracing up for huge revenue loss because of that. CA chief executive Kevin Roberts admitted that the fate of T20 World Cup, to be hosted by Australia in October-November this year, is uncertain because of the global travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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