Morning briefing: Paris climate-rescue summit with leaders in attendance from today

GN Bureau | November 30, 2015



About 150 leaders will be in Paris today for the first day of the talks and give  much-needed political momentum into the tortuous negotiations on climate change.The summit kicks off nearly a fortnight of talks intended to end two decades of international bickering with a pact that would limit emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change.Scientists warn that unless action is taken soon mankind will endure ever-worsening catastrophic events, such as droughts that will lead to conflict and rising sea levels that will wipe out low-lying island nations."We have to decide how we will be living together on this planet," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is also the president of the UN-brokered talks, said Sunday as he appealed to negotiators for compromise.

The US and France said 20 countries will also pledge today to double their investments in clean energy.important progress has been made ahead of the meeting. One of the key successes has been a process in which 183 nations have submitted voluntary action plans on how they would tackle global warming.While not nearly enough, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said these provide the architecture for more ambitious efforts that could eventually limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-Industrial Revolution levels.Two degrees C is the threshold at which scientists say the worst impacts of global warming will be inevitable.

Modi to participate in French and US presidents programme with Bill Gates
Prime minister Narendra Modi has reached Paris for the 12-day UN climate change summit to face what is being seen as one of the big diplomatic challenges for India. Before leaving for Paris, PM Modi talked about the meeting and his plans in a series of tweets, the first of which read, "Leaving for Paris, where I will join @COP21. In the Summit, we will deliberate on crucial issues relating to environment & climate change."PM Modi said at the COP21, he would inaugurate the India Pavilion, "showcasing India's harmony with nature, environment & commitment to mitigate climate change".He said he would also jointly host a meeting of International Solar Alliance with French president Francois Hollande and attend the 'Mission Innovation' hosted by US president Barack Obama. Microsoft founder Bill Gates will join the three in launching the initiative.India's 25-member delegation will focus on PM Modi's call for "climate justice" and "common but differentiated responsibilities", despite being under pressure from the developed nations to cut down on emission.

Discusssion on intolerance issue in LS today
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said that the centre was ready to discuss the issue of 'intolerance' in the ongoing session of Parliament if Opposition allows the House to function. Meanwhile, Congress and JD-U have given notices in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue after suspension of business under Rule 267, while in Lok Sabha Congress and CPI-M have submitted notices for a debate under rule 193, which does not entail voting or require suspension of business. In Lok Sabha, the matter has been listed for Monday "The BJP government is ready to discuss (the issue of) intolerance if opposition shows tolerance and allows the House to function. Some of the so-called intelligentsia are worried that they are losing their grip over cultural and literary organisations," the parliamentary affairs minister said.

Australian govt okays sale of uranium to India
After eight years of intense negotiations, the Australian government has finally given the green signal to the export of uranium to India "which can begin immediately". The Australia-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement permits Australian companies to commence commercial uranium exports to India, an important milestone in Australia's relationship with India, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a media release."The supply of Australian uranium will help India meet its rapidly growing electricity demand and improve the welfare of its people," said Bishop in the media release. "The administrative arrangements have been signed and uranium exports can begin immediately."

Indian Parliament is not sovereign, says Jethmalani
Eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani on Sunday asserted that Indian Parliament "is not sovereign" for its decisions can be challenged in court and sought to answer critics of the supreme court verdict to scrap National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act on appointment of higher judiciary."Every student of the Constitution in the LLB class knows that Parliament of India is not a sovereign body...Parliament of England is sovereign because the judiciary has no power to set aside any legislative Act by the Parliament," Jethmalani said."Parliament of India is not a sovereign body. It is a truth," he said.

NIA seeks to question Headley’s Moroccan wife
The NIA has sent a fresh request to Moroccan authorities for recording the statement of Faiza Outalha, mainly pertaining to her knowledge about her estranged husband David Headley’s association with Lashkar-e-Taiba — a move aimed at unravelling the role of state actors in Pakistan in 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Faiza Outalha had visited India twice and was used by Headley, a US national of Pakistani origin, while carrying out a reconnaissance mission at Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai.The NIA has sent a fresh request to the Moroccan authorities to allow a team of the NIA to question Ms. Outalha so that the role of two Pakistani army majors and Lashkar terrorists Hafeez Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is further ascertained.

Heavy rain skips Chennai, weekend dry
Residents of Chennai, pounded by record-breaking rainfall over the month, heaved a sigh of relief as the city did not witness the predicted heavy rain over the weekend. Though it did rain on Sunday, it was very less — Nungambakkam recorded 1.6 millimetres and Meenambakkam 4.9 mm.According to officials at Regional Meteorological Centre, isolated heavy rain might occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.Officials said the trough of low pressure over central parts of south Bay of Bengal has moved and now lay over southwest bay as an upper air cyclonic circulation extending up to 3.6 km above mean sea level.The threat of downpours is expected to shift northward along the east coast during this week, they said.

Karnataka may abolish orderly system of constables working in officials homes
The system of orderlies dating back to the colonial times is likely to be scrapped by Karnataka. “We are collecting data of orderlies from across the State, and planning to scrap the system,” state mome minister G Parameshwara has said. He pointed out that the same people could be used to maintain law and order, considering the shortage of manpower. These constables, more than 3,000, are doing menial jobs in homes of police officers of the rank of deputy superintendent of police and above. Recently, an RTI application revealed that the State government incurs expenditure of nearly Rs. 80 crore a year for providing orderlies to police officers.

Sensex and Nifty flat, waiting for numbers
The S&P BSE Sensex traded rangebound on Monday following muted trend seen in other Asian markets. At 10.30 am sensex was 26,118, down by 10 points and the Nifty50 was trading around its crucial psychological level of 7,950. Currency market investors are keenly awaiting the second quarter GDP numbers and October industrial output data scheduled for release later in the day. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy review, slated for Tuesday, is also keenly awaited, even though the apex bank is largely expected to maintain status quo on the key policy rate.Most other Asian markets traded weak ahead of key events in the week. Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3 per cent while the South Korean Kospi was trading lower by 1.66 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.36 per cent. China's Shanghai Composite traded lower by 1 per cent.

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