QBullet: 7 Deals Signed Between India, Israel; Lalu’s 2019 Pitch

Here’s a look at the top news making headlines in dailies across the country.

6 min read
PM Modi with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

1. After the Bear Hugs, 7 Deals Signed by PM Modi and Israel

PM Modi with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
PM Modi with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/PMO India)

There were more bear hugs today (Wednesday) and a working lunch for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu – but the focus was on getting business done. A total of seven agreements were signed in sectors ranging from agriculture to water conservation and space as they sought to deepen ties beyond high-priced defence deals.

The two leaders presented a series of agreements between India and Israel for cooperation on satellite technology, water and agriculture, as well as the creation of a $40 million innovation fund.

Source: NDTV

2. WB Communal Clashes: Mamata Appeals for Peace, BJP Demands President’s Rule

Communal clashes broke out in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Monday night.
Communal clashes broke out in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Monday night.
(Photo: IANS)

As the West Bengal government struggles to restore peace in Darjeeling, violent clashes between two communities in North 24 Parganas district has put the state once again on boil. The clashes that broke out on Monday night prompted the Centre to rush 300 paramilitary personnel to the spot to pacify the situation.

As a precautionary measure, Section 144 was imposed in Basirhat and the state government was asked to submit a detailed report to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the violence.

However, the war of words between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi has worsened the situation.

3. Karnan's Actions Turned Judicial System Into a Laughing Stock in India and World: SC

Justice CS Karnan.
Justice CS Karnan.
(Photo: PTI)

Terming former Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan's action making wild and obnoxious allegations against serving and retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts as the grossest and gravest actions of contempt, the Supreme Court has justified its decision to sentence him to six months’ imprisonment.

A seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said that it was required to convict the former judge for his "unsavoury actions and behaviour" as his conduct had made the judiciary a laughing stock not only in India, but also across the world and Justice Karnan failed to substantiate his baseless allegation against members of judiciary.

4. Shashi Tharoor Appears Before Court in Defamation Case Against Arnab Goswami

Shashi Tharoor (left) and Arnab Goswami.
Shashi Tharoor (left) and Arnab Goswami.
(Photo altered by The Quint)

Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor told a magistrate court on Wednesday that television news anchor Arnab Goswami had deliberately sullied his image to increase the ratings for the newly launched Republic TV.

Clad in his trade-mark light blue cotton kurta, Tharoor spent over 15 minutes in the witness box articulating the grief he had endured when the channel had “unfairly” linked him to his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death in a hotel suite in New Delhi in 2014.

He told Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) PV Aneesh Kumar that Goswami had used a series of audio tapes of questionable veracity and biased talk show participants to slander him repeatedly.

Source: The Hindu

5. China Says Open To Discussing Options On Kailash Yatra

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Nathula. 
The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra via Nathula. 
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/dixitsudhir12)

China said that it was open to discussing with India "the possibility of alternative arrangements through other routes for Indian official yatris who had planned to visit Kailash and Mansarovar via Nathu La Pass".

The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement that the entry of Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims to Tibet through the Nathu La Pass had been halted for their safety.  It said Beijing respects Indian sentiments on the pilgrimage.

“We are willing to discuss the possibility of alternative arrangements through other routes for Indian official yatris (pilgrims) who had planned to visit Kailash and Mansarovar via Nathu La Pass,” embassy spokesperson Xie Liyan said. The official said that “the official yatra through Lipuleku Pass and non-official yatra through Lhasa and Purang are still on the rails”.

Source: NDTV

6. SC Allows Liquor Sale Near Highways Within City Limits, Punjab Will Still Wait for Governor Nod

Punjab will wait for Governor’s assent on Punjab Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2017, to restart sale of liquor in hotels, clubs and restaurants, located within 500 metres of state and national highways even after Supreme Court’s observations on Tuesday that highway bars and pubs falling within city limits are exempt from its December 2016 prohibitory order.

The Assembly had passed the Bill during its budget session on 23 June, but it has not reached Governor VP Singh Badnore yet. Sources said the file will take some time before it reaches Badnore as it would go to the Legal. Remembrance (LR), then to the Excise department and the CMO before being sent to the governor.

7. Lalu Pitches New Grand Alliance to Take on BJP in 2019

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav hinted at a possible alliance between arch-rivals Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, making a case for opposition unity to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 general elections.

The powerful Bihar politician said a united opposition would spoil the BJP’s chances, which is why the ruling party had launched a political witch-hunt to break rival leaders.

He accused the BJP of trying to put a scam taint on him and his family:

Mayawati-ji, Akhilesh-ji, Robert Vadra-ji, Priyanka Gandhi-ji, Mamata Didi or Kejriwal… because it knows our power very well

8. Bihar Muslim Lawyer, Sons Convert to Hinduism

Accusing his Muslim neighbours of “harassing” him, a 46-year-old Muslim lawyer has converted to Hinduism in Bihar’s Begusarai district. Mohammed Anwar converted amid Vedic mantras on Tuesday along with his sons – Mohammed Amir, 11, and Mohammed Shabir, 9. He has been renamed Anand Bharti and his sons have taken the names Aman Bharti and Suman Bharti. Anand said that his wife, Shabnam, would convert later.

“Though I have been living in Pokharia, Begusarai, for over 18 years amid 12 Muslim households in a Muslim-dominated area, a Syed family, which thinks itself as contractor of Islam, has been harassing me for last seven months, sometimes by saying that I hardly offer namaz and at times by leaving bones outside my house,’’ Anand said.

9. Can't Wait Forever for Fund, SC Tells Sahara

Sahara group on Wednesday met the deadline to pay an installment of Rs 1,500 crore to market regulator Sebi, but failed to convince the Supreme Court to accede to the request to defer the 15 July deadline by a month for depositing another Rs 500 crore.

Advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi argued for leniency while reiterating the group's commitment to pay the balance Rs 9,000 crore, but in vain. "Please extend the deadline for payment of Rs 500 crore till 15 August, by which time we will also present a roadmap for repayment of the balance Rs 9,000 crore. We have so far paid Rs 13,316 crore. How much has Sebi refunded to the so-called investors?”, they argued.

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