QBullet: China Blocks Bid to Ban Azhar; Boeing Grounds 737 MAX Ops
1. No Terror Tag on Azhar as China Blocks Move
China, on Wednesday, 13 March, blocked a fresh move to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, allowing a major bilateral irritant with India to fester.
A statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi expressed “disappointment” at the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee being unable to come to a decision on the move to sanction Azhar “on account of a member placing the proposal on hold”.
2. Donald Trump Too Grounds 737 Max; India Says Boeing Didn’t Give Confidence
With countries across the world, including India, moving to ground Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft over safety fears following Ethiopia plane crash on Sunday, 10 March, the US bowed to international pressure with President Donald Trump announcing that America would also follow suit.
Hours earlier, Indian aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said that its staggered decision to ground the aircraft was taken after it failed to get assurances on specific safety issues during discussions with the American manufacturer and US regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
3. Secret Papers in Rafale Petition Hurt India: Govt
The Defence Ministry on Wednesday, 13 March, sought the dismissal of a petition seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s December judgement rejecting a court-monitored review of the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal, arguing that the petitioners relied on documents that could jeopardise national security and impair India’s relations with other countries.
An affidavit filed by the ministry, a day before the top court starts hearing the review petition, said: “Documents attached by the petitioners are sensitive to National Security which relates to war capacity of combat aircraft. Since the Review Petition has been widely circulated and is available in public domain, the same is available to the enemy/our adversaries. This puts the National Security in jeopardy.”
4. Kartarpur Talks Today, Delhi Says Looking Forward to It
Delegations from India and Pakistan will meet on Thursday, 14 March, on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border crossing to discuss modalities for the Kartarpur corridor despite the slide in ties following the Balakot air strike and Pakistan’s retaliatory action. A day ahead of the talks, New Delhi said it looked forward to “a constructive, meaningful and flexible approach from the other side”.
India will seek “visa-free access” to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, for Sikh pilgrims who will take the proposed corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
5. Kejriwal Woos Cong in Haryana After Delhi Pact Seems Unlikely
AAP national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday appealed to the Congress to join the proposed alliance between his party and that of Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in Haryana for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
While Kejriwal said the alliance could together defeat the BJP on all 10 seats in Haryana, the JJP was quick to decline the offer, citing ideological differences with the Congress.
Kejriwal’s comment came at a time when speculations have been rife about a possible alliance between the AAP and the Congress for the seven seats in Delhi. While the AAP has been keen on an alliance, the Congress has officially refused it so far.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
6. Eight Killed in Brazil School Shooting, Two Suspects Dead
Two assailants opened fire inside a school near Sao Paulo on Wednesday, 13 March, killing eight people including four children before turning their weapons on themselves, authorities said.
Military police Colonel Marcelo Sales said two assailants burst into the school grounds in the early morning, armed with a .38 caliber revolver and a "medieval weapon that looked like a bow and arrows." After shooting at students in the yard, the killers headed to the language centre where several pupils were hiding and "committed suicide in a corridor," Sales said.
7. Priyanka Gandhi Meets Bhim Army Chief Who Says Will Fight Against PM Modi
A day after BSP Chief Mayawati ruled out a tie-up with the Congress in any state, Congress Uttar Pradesh east General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday, 13 March, met Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad at a Meerut hospital.
Aazad was admitted to Anand Hospital on Tuesday, 12 March, when he fell ill after being detained by the Saharanpur Police for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct in Deoband.
(Source: The Indian Express)
Also Read : Priyanka meets Bhim Army chief, attacks BJP
8. Premji Commits Rs 52,750 Cr More to Philanthropy
Wipro Chairman Azim Premji on Wednesday, 13 March, announced an increase in his philanthropic commitment by Rs 52,750 crore ($7.5 billion), taking his overall commitment to his endowment to a humongous Rs 145,000 crore ($21 billion).
This makes it one of the biggest foundations in the world. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has investment assets of about $40 billion, and the Ford Foundation about $12 billion, according to the website Pensions & Investments. Premji’s largesse comes at a time when the ultra-rich in India are giving less for social causes than they did five years ago, according to estimates by management consultancy firm Bain & Co in its recent India Philanthropy Report 2019.
(Source: The Times of India)
9. UK MPs Vote Against Leaving EU Without a Deal, Set to Delay Brexit Day
British MPs have voted to reject the possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place, a move set to delay the 29 March Brexit deadline.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had tabled a government motion against a no-deal Brexit within the 29 March deadline, which was passed by the House of Commons with a majority of 43 votes as 321 MPs backed it and 278 opposed it on Wednesday, 13 March.
This would now require the Commons to pass a new vote, expected on Thursday, 14 March, which will authorise May to go back to the EU and seek an extension to Article 50 — the legal mechanism for Britain's exit from the union.