Daily briefing: Trump U-turn on international students visa policy; Kerala minister name pops up in gold smuggling case

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 15, 2020 9:06:49 am

 Cong strips Sachin Pilot and loyalists of all posts; First intel on PLA came mid-April, long before Pangong clash July 15, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear reader,

Big Story

After stripping Sachin Pilot and his loyalists of their titles, the Congress is likely to seek their disqualification as MLAs. But the battle is going to be long-drawn-out, like we have seen in Karnataka, as any decision taken by the Speaker will be challenged in the courts. Meanwhile, the BJP has sounded out Pilot, saying he is welcome to join the party. All eyes will be on Pilot’s presser at 10 am this morning. 

Bonus reads: So, what led the Congress to crack the whip? Here are Pilot’s demands. 

And former union minister Mani Shankar Aiyar writes on the impact of his exit from Congress

From the Front Page 

The first reports on sighting of PLA troop movement on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control came in mid-April, but the Army says these reports never reached it, raising questions on how effectively intelligence inputs are shared among stakeholders and acted upon following the disbandment of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) two years ago.

In part-1 of The Indian Express investigation into how Cyclone Amphan relief funds were utilised, we found glaring irregularities in the way money has been paid out to relatives of politically powerful members of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zilla Parishads even if there’s no damage to their homes while deserving applicants wait. Many of these beneficiaries are from TMC since it dominates the Panchayats but there are also cases from BJP and CPM. 

The arrests of “some Hindu youth” from riot-hit areas in Northeast Delhi has led to a “degree of resentment among the Hindu community” and “due care and precaution” must be taken while making arrests, the Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) has written in an order to senior officers heading probe teams. 

The Pandemic 

A 48-year-old civil defence volunteer who had been toiling for hours every day for the last few months, carefully handing over packets of food along serpentine queues, has breathed his last after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this month. 

Adapting to the post Covid world, the Indian Railways has developed two prototype coaches that will allow commuters to travel in a safe and hygienic environment, ensuring minimal contact with frequently-touched surfaces such as basins and toilets.

The first ever clinical management study of Covid-19 patients in Kerala, by the state medical board, has reported that the administration of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in early stages improved both their chances of getting better and the time taken for it.

Beyond Covid 

The Donald Trump administration has dropped its plans to deport international students whose courses move fully online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The U-turn comes after some of the top universities suing the government over the change in policy. 

In more trouble for the CPI(M)-led government in Kerala, calls records shown by TV channels on Tuesday indicated that the accused in the gold smuggling case were in regular touch with the state’s Higher Education Minister, K T Jaleel. 

The recent political developments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan appears to have influenced Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel to accommodate 15 Congress MLAs as parliamentary secretaries attached to offices of cabinet ministers in the state. The decision was surprising considering that the Congress criticised the practice while it was in opposition.

And Finally…

Does opening with white in chess have anything to do with racism? The topic for a radio show has put the spotlight on racism in the board game, or the absence of it.

🎧 In the latest episode of the Three Things podcast,  Manoj CG explains the options before Sachin Pilot after his sacking as the deputy chief minister of Rajasthan

📽️ Explained: In Home Quarantine? Here’s what to do

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G

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