Today’s Current Affairs December 20

December 20, 2019

Front page

Two die in Mangaluru in violent anti-CAA protests
Violence flared up in Mangaluru where angry mobs attacked a police station. In the retaliatory fire, two persons received fatal injuries. The authorities have declared curfew for two days, and shut down internet to preempt further escalation. The coastal town remains tense.
Good words used .. Retaliatory, Preempt

Trump is impeached
The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to impeach Trump. The President will find it impossible to erase the mortification, and would live with the shame till his death. The Republicans are scurrying to protect their president from further damage in the Senate where a tough fight with the Democrats is in the offing.
Good words used .. Scurry, Mortify, In the offing

National

Delhi in partial lock-down as restive crowds swarm Jantar Mantar to vent their frustration against the CAB & NRC
Delhi’s citizens from all walks of life congregated in Jantar Mantar in a show of inter-religious solidarity and loyalty to the Indian Constitution. The police ordered the shutting down of Metro stations and internet in a few areas to impede the movement of people towards the protest venue. People had to make detours through narrow alleys to bypass traffic restrictions. The atmosphere in Jantar Mantar was electrifying as the protesters braved the evening chill to make their voices heard.

Section 144, a legacy of the Colonial era used extensively to prevent congregation of protesters
Section 144 that gives absolute powers to the executive magistrates to ban assembly of crowds is an oppressive act that was freely used to hinder assembly of people in trouble spots. Such excessive use of Section 144 was deprecated by eminent lawyers.

Portugal sets up Gandhi Prize
Portuguese Prime Minister Anotonio Costa during a visit to Delhi has announced that his country will institute a Gandhi Prize, and the first edition will be dedicated to animal welfare.

U.S. and India ink defense pact
During the visit of Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Esper to Delhi, a defense pact has been signed that would pave the way for American defense manufacturers to collaborate with Indian partners to jointly produce arms including fighter jets in India.

Onion imports fail to lower domestic prices
Import of onions has failed to have any salutary effect on the prices of onions. With onion prices hovering around Rs.150 a kilo even after sizable imports, consumers continue to fret as they see no respite in the near future.

SC disapproves of speedy trial in the name of justice
The Supreme Court has set aside the sentence of a rape accused whose trial was completed in just 12 days. The Court said the extraordinary haste in the trial denied a fair chance to the accused to defend himself

As nation-wide protests continue, Center advises against incitement
The central government, rattled by spontaneous nation-wide protests against the CAB and NRC advised political parties to desist from saying or doing anything that could fuel more unrest.

International

Gotabaya declines Indian help in Mattalaair port construction
The President said his government doesn’t intend to seek joint-venture arrangement with India for the Mattala airport building. The airport is located not very far from the Hambantota port being built with Chinese help. He however, called upon Indian IT Companies to come and invest in the country.

Scotland MP Nicola Sturgeon reaffirms her desire to press for a referendum
The leader of the Scottish National Party in Westminster (British parliament) has thundered that she will explore all possible options to take Scotland out of the United Kingdom. Her determination to follow through on her campaign promises has sounded alarm bells in Westminster that sees the prospect of secession of Scotland with understandable angst.

Ethiopia plants four billion trees
Ethiopian government headed by Aby Ahmed has claimed to have planted four billion trees this year to claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records (GBR). The children took part in this massive program.

Finance

Indian corporate want further easing of doing business
Corporate leaders have urged the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman to think of ways to make it still easier to start and run a business in the country.

MPC says rising inflation hindered further rate cut
The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) attached to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that restricting the rising inflation of the country made them re-think their desire to cut lending rates of RBI. Since ensuring a stable Rupee is the primary interest of the central banker, it had to hold back on its move for a further rate cut.

Jet Airways lenders may invite fresh EoI
The lenders of the grounded airline could invite a fresh Expression of Interest (EoI) from Indian and foreign entities interested to buy the airline. Earlier attempts in this regard had failed to evince much interest among prospective buyers of the airline.

Market may revive by mid of next year, says Hyundai CEO Kim
The CEO of Hyundai Motors has expressed confidence that the depressed conditions of the auto market might recede by the middle of next year.

Cyrus Mistry free to sell his 17billion USD shares in Tata Sons
After the recent NCALT order restituting Mr. Mistry and ordering conversion of the Tata group to a public limited company, the restrictions on sale of shares by Mistry no longer apply. The earlier status of Tata Sons as a private company made it mandatory to offer his shares to Tata Sons for buy-back. After the company becomes a public one, he is free to sell his shares anyway he likes.

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