Today’s Current Affairs December 18

December 18, 2019

Front page

Delhi continues to reel under mob fury

At least 21 persons have been injured in mob violence in Seelampur area in New Delhi where two police booths were torched, and angry crowds confronted the police. The previous day’s incidents of police heavy-handedness in Jamia campus continued to roil the people. The police arrested 10 miscreants for involvement in the earlier riots. All of them were known hoodlums. No student of Jamia was arrested.

Good words used .. Reel under, Roil

Campuses around the country simmer against the CAA

Campuses of most prestigious universities including the IITs, IIMs, and National Law Schools continued to echo the anger of the people against the CAA pointing to widespread disaffection with the controversial Act.

Good words used .. Simmer, Echo as verb, Disaffection

Amit Shah affirms CAA is here to stay

The Home Minister has rubbished suggestions to roll back the CAA, or dilute it in any way. He has said that Act is for the good of the country, and can’t be repealed.

Good words used .. Repeal, Rubbish as verb

SC refuses to intervene in the Jamia –AMU police action matter

After hearing long arguments from lawyers of both sides, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the matter in any form, and suggested that the aggrieved parties approach the high courts.

Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death on charges of high treason

The ex-President of Pakistan, who wielded humongous power both as the army chief and the President of Pakistan, has been sentenced to death by a Special Court trying cases against him. Musharraf is presently out of the country. In the meanwhile, the Army has expressed its disapproval of the harsh sentence portraying their ex-chief as someone who had served his country with aplomb.

God words used .. Treason, With aplomb, Wield

National

GST Council meeting headed for a stormy start

The GST Council meeting slated for today is likely to be stormy as States press for early payment of their dues by the Center. Kerala’s Finance Minister, Thomas Issac will led the charge and will find in his side his counterparts from Bengal, Delhi, Chhatisgarh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

Andhra Pradesh moots as many as three capitals for his state

Jagan Mohan Reddy has a unique idea to ensure balanced development of his state which got down-sized after the separation of Telengana. He wants to have as many as three capitals in places like Vishakhapatnam, Kurnool, and Amravati. To justify his arguments he has cited South Africa that has three capitals in cities like Cape TownPretoriaBloemfontein. How far such a grandiose vision can be implemented remains a question.

Good words used … Moot, Grandoise

Limit use of CAPF personnel, says Rajya Sabha Panel

The Rajya Sabha panel has expressed its misgivings a the way the personnel of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have been used for a plethora of functions like internal security in disturbed areas, election duty etc. Such frequent deployment saps their fitness level as they don’t get time to rest and recoup. Further the 15-member panel has recommended that deputation of IPS officers to CAPF be limited to 25%, so that the promotion prospects of CAPF officers are not undermined.

Good words used .. Misgivings, Sap, Recoup

Broadband availability to all villages by 2022

The government intends to provide broadband access to all villages by 2022. The National Broadband Mission will facilitate this role-out that will cost Rs.7 lakh crores to be borne by different stakeholders.

BJP and Shiv Sena exchange barbs

BJP and its erstwhile ally, Shiv Sena engaged in a public spat over the latter’s criticism of police action inside Jamia. In a complete volte face that took many political observers by surprise, the Shiv Sena leader, Udhav Thackeray had likened the police invasion of Jamia campus to the infamous Jalliwanwala bagh incident.

Good words used .. Barb, Liken, Spat, Ally

Protests at Jamia continue un-abated, all though peacefully

The campus agitation in JMI shows no signs of dying down as moral support for the students’ cause pour in from prestigious universities in the U.S. and the U.K. Volunteers from nearby areas came with food and drinking water to demonstrate their solidarity with the students. Loud chants of Azadi, Azadi  rented the airas speaker after speaker voiced their determination not to be cowed down by police threats.

Good words used .. Cow down, Solidarity, Rented,

CAA is good for Christians, says NCM Vice-Chairman

George Kurien, the Vice-Chairman of the National Commission of Minorities (NCM) has expressed his view that the CAA will serve the purpose of Christians well.

International

Bangladesh offers to take its citizens back

In a response that is sure to jar India-Bangladesh relations, Gowher Rizvi, the advisor to Prime Minister Hashina has offered to take back all of its citizens unwanted in India. He said, however, that the Indian government has not provided any such list to Bangladesh.

Defence ties with U.S. to get a boost after the 2+ 2 meet

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Jayshanker are to sit down for discussion with their American counterparts, Mike Pompeo, and Mark Esper to deliberate about the way the two countries can work together in matters relating to Afghanistan, and Iran. Other matters to be discussed are India’s desire to buy high-tech arms from U.S. Manufacturers. The Indian side will try to address American reservation about CAA and Kashmir that continue to attract a lot of hostile attention in U.S. media.

U.S. mining firms sued for children’s deaths in Cobalt mines in DR Congo

Child laborers working in Cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) is commonplace. The malaise of poverty drives vast number of impoverished children to slog in the Cobalt mines in exchange of low wages. Cobalt mined through these places is bought by tech giants like Google, Apple, Dell, and Microsoft. A law suit has been filed against these tech giants for perpetuating such an exploitative practice by procuring Cobalt from the mining companies.

Good words used .. Sue, Exploitative, Perpetuate, Malaise, Impoverish, Commonplace

Pakisitan shrouded by fear and angst as Court orders death sentence to Musharraf

The military will take it as affront to its prestige, because most people in the military feel the ex-President served the army well, like a professional soldier. Seeing their general sent to the gallows will not be acceptable to most army men, both serving and retired. In what form they will express their resentment over the death sentence is unknown, but the situation could be dangerously volatile where the military has a sway over the civilian government and can easily arm-twist it. By all accounts, Pakistan finds itself on tenterhooks.

Good words and phrases used .. Sway, On tenterhook, Gallows, Arm-twist, Affront, Shrouded

Boris will bulldoze the Brexit deal

Boris Johnson will brook no more delay in pushing his pet project – the Brext. He will use his parliamentary majority to shred all opposition as he pilots the bill.

Good words used .. Brook, Bulldoze, Shred

Trump shoots off angry recriminatory letter to Nancy Pelosi as impeachment looms

An extremely angry Trump sent a missive to Nancy Pelosi excoriating the Democrats for their stubborn move to impeach him. The formal impeachment is just hours away.

Good words used .. Recriminatory, Loom as verb, Excoriate, Missive

Australia endures the hottest day in record

Australia has experienced a blistering day when the average temperature reached 40.9C (105.6F). The earlier record was 40.3 C. To make the situation worse, bush fires sprang up in umpteen locations. A prolonged spell of drought is making life insufferable for the Australians.

Good words used .. Endure, Blistering, Umpteen, Insufferable

Finance

Major reprieve for telcos as TRAI defers  IUC by a year

The order of the Telephone Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to defer the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) by a year came as a big relief for Bharti Airtel and Vodaphone Idea. This will boost their profitability.

Retail loans to double by 2024 to reach Rs.96 lakh crores

A CRISIL – ICICI Bank study has revealed that retail lending will record a healthy growth in the next five years to reach Rs.97 lakh crores.

VRS implementation could help BSNL to turn green

The VRS scheme, if implemented, would reduce the wage bill by a whopping Rs.1300 crores this financial year. Nearly 78,600 BSNL employees have responded to the VRS offer. Quite likely, BSNL would return to profitability after such drastic reduction of overheads.

LIC eyes good business times ahead

LIC expects to achieve policy sales and first premium targets rather easily. By October, it has sold one crore policies.

Global stock market rally spurs India growth

A buoyant global stock market brought cheers to the Indian share market. Inflow of foreign funds might reach 25 billion as a result of this.

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