Morning briefing: Arvind Kejriwal likely to meet Rajnath Singh today on car curbs plan

GN Staff | December 8, 2015


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Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is expected to meet home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday to deliberate on the proposed odd-even registration number private vehicle formula.Amid debates over the practicality of the proposed alternate-days rule for plying of vehicles in the streets, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief on Monday recorded an audio message urging people to give the 'odd-even' restriction on plying of vehicles a chance while top officials met to work out its modalities even as the Delhi Police said that they have not yet been approached by the government seeking assistance in enforcement of the rule.
Kejriwal's odd-even formula has earned the backing of new Supreme Court Chief Justice TS Thakur who said he won't mind taking a bus to the court or even walking down from his residence to work.
Delhi home minister Satyender Jain is also scheduled to meet Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today to discuss the rationing of vehicles on the capital's roads from January 1.

No report of disease outbreak in flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu: Centre
There is no report of outbreak of any water-borne or vector-borne disease in the flood-ravaged Tamil Nadu, the Health Ministry said Monday.
A public health team of the Health Ministry met the Tamil Nadu Health Secretary and other officers of the Health Department to discuss the flood situation in the state and public health action that is required for prevention and control of communicable diseases, an official statement said.
The team reached Tamil Nadu on Sunday to extend all possible support and assistance to the state government during the present flood situation, the statement said.
The seven-member team will conduct rapid health assessment of the flood-hit areas and advise the state on public health measures.

Sushma Swaraj to visit Pakistan today, will meet Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz
Two days after National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan met on Sunday in Bangkok, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Islamabad on Tuesday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz.
Swaraj is travelling to Pakistan for a regional security conference and will lead the Indian delegation for Heart of Asia 5th Ministerial Meeting on Afghanistan on December 9 in Islamabad.
She will call on Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and meet his Adviser on foreign affairs Aziz on the sidelines of the 'Heart of Asia' regional conference on Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Court language is English, rules supreme court
The supreme court has refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to make the court judgement available in Hindi and regional languages, saying the court language is English. "We cannot pass such direction as the court language is English," a bench of chief justice T S Thakur, justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said. The plea was for amending the provisions of the Constitution to make Hindi the official language in the supreme court.

Donald Trump calls for Muslims to be temporarily denied entry to US
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States in the most dramatic response by a candidate yet to last week's shooting spree by two Muslims who the FBI said had been radicalized.
 "We have no choice," Trump said at a rally in South Carolina, warning of more September 11-style attacks if stern measures are not taken.
Trump, the billionaire developer and former reality TV star who frequently uses racially charged rhetoric, called for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
"Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life," Trump said.
Trump's statement on "preventing Muslim immigration" drew swift and fierce blowback from many directions, including the White House, rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton and Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney, who said the idea "goes against everything we stand for and believe in."
Other social media reaction led hashtags such as #racism, #fascism and #bigot to trend heavily.

Indian Premier League to get two new teams today

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) will open in Delhi on Tuesday tenders for two new IPL teams. They will replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were suspended by the RM Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to investigate the 2013 IPL corruption scandal. The two new franchise owners will be picked through a reverse-bidding process — the base price for the reverse bid from the central revenue pool is Rs 40 crore, and the party that bids for the lowest share from the central revenue pool will be the winner of the new team.

Beijing on red alert for smog, schools shutdown

Beijing has upgraded its alert for air pollution from orange to red, the most serious level. This is the first time the capital has issued the red alert, which will last from 7 am on Tuesday to 12 pm on Thursday.
According to the city's emergency management headquarters, during a red alert, kindergartens, primary and high schools are advised to suspend classes, outdoor operations of construction sites are banned and some industrial plants are required to limit or stop production. The notice, issued after days of heavy smog last week, also places traffic restrictions on certain types of vehicles in the city of 22.5 million people.
Car use will be limited as cars are allowed on the roads on alternating days depending on the odd or even numbers of their license plates. In addition, 30 per cent of government cars will be banned from streets on an odd and even basis, the statement said.
State television CCTV reported that Beijing authorities for the first time are considering to impose a congestion tax to ease traffic. At present over 30 per cent of the air pollution comes out of automobile emission.

Islamic State chief in race for TIME 'Person of the Year'
Time has announced the shortlist of eight candidates selected by its editors for the '2015 Person of the Year' honor, to be announced later this week. The list of eight includes ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, German chancellor Angela Merkel, Iran President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
Prime minister Narendra Modi, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and Google's India-born CEO Sundar Pichai were among the initial 58 global leaders, business chiefs and pop icons that Time had named as contenders for its annual honour but the three did not make it to the final shortlist announced by Time today.

Court panel gets access to diary of CBI's former boss

The supreme court on Monday allowed its panel headed by former CBI official ML Sharma to access the visitors’ diary of the investigating agency’s former chief Ranjit Sinha.
A special bench of justices Madan Lokur, Kurian Joseph and AK Sikri directed that Sharma share the contents with his team and file a report back in the court.
The diary, maintained in a sealed cover with the Supreme Court, would be crucial to decide if Mr. Sinha’s meetings with persons involved in the coal scam affected the CBI’s probe and prosecution in the multi-crore Coalgate scam.
The diary first made its existence known through advocate Prashant Bhushan, who said an anonymous source had passed it on to him.
It allegedly contains information about visits from both accused persons in the 2G Spectrum and coal scam cases.

Madhesis reject Nepal’s package

The United Madhesi Democratic Front of Nepal on Monday rejected the “Framework Agreement” that the Nepal government had presented as a breakthrough solution to the nearly four-month-long economic blockade.
Rajendra Mahato, former Minister of Nepal and senior member of the UMDF delegation, said that the Nepal government’s disinclination to discuss boundary demarcation for a single Madhes province stretching from Mechi in the east to Mahakali in the west had proved that the government of KP Sharma Oli was not yet sincere about guaranteeing rights to the Madhesi people.

China November exports weaker than expected
China's trade performance remained weak in November, with exports falling by a more-than-expected 6.8 per cent from a year earlier, their fifth straight month of decline, data showed on Tuesday.
Imports fell for the 13th consecutive month, though the decline was not as severe as some economists had feared. Imports fell 8.7 per cent, compared with forecasts of a 12.6 per cent decline and a drop of 18.8 per cent in October.
The weak performance will reinforce expectations of economists and investors that the government will have to do more to stimulate domestic demand given persistent weakness in overseas markets.

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