Morning Brief: Special Court Gives 90 Days Extension For Probe Against ‘Urban Naxals’; ISRO To Launch 31 Satellites In A Single Flight On 29 November; And More
Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.
Special Court Gives 90 Days Extension For Probe Against ‘Urban Naxals’
Pune Police has been granted an extension of 90 days to continue its probe into the activities of the four ‘activists’ accused in the Elgaar Parishad case. These far-left activists, who have also been called ‘Urban Naxals’, include Sudha Bharadwaj, P Varavara Rao, Arun Ferriera and Vernon Gonsalves. The four, and another activist named Gautam Navlakha, were arrested on 28 August by the Pune Police following multi-state raids and accused of having links with Maoists.
The Pune Police has, through district government pleader Ujwala Pawar, submitted to the court a confidential report about the progress in the probe. The four activists were put under house arrest for four weeks as per a Supreme Court order. Navlakha was released on 1 October after a Delhi High Court order. The police had sought an extension for filing a supplementary chargesheet.
ISRO To Launch 31 Satellites In A Single Flight On 29 November
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 31 satellites atop its workhorse rocket PSLV-C43 on 29 November. Apart from carrying India’s earth observation satellite HySIS, 30 co-passenger satellites, including 23 from the United States, will be placed in the 636 km polar sun-synchronous orbit. HySIS will study the earth’s surface in visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This will enable distinct identification of objects from space. The remaining satellites are from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain. In the past, the agency has placed in orbit 104 satellites in a single launch.
ISRO has lined up 10 missions before the launch of Chandrayaan-II in January 2019, Press Trust of India has reported. According to ISRO Chairman K Sivan, six of the ten missions will be related to satellites and four to launch vehicles. These missions will be undertaken before the new year, the report said.
Trump Signals US May Go Ahead With China Tariff Hike
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Monday, US President Donald Trump has said that he would impose tariffs on a final batch of $267 billion of Chinese goods if a deal with Beijing is not reached, adding that the rates could be between 10 per cent and 25 per cent. Trump also noted that it's “highly unlikely” that he would delay an increase in tariffs from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on goods that are already subjected to existing tariffs.
On the question of a deal with Beijing, he said, “China has to open up their country to competition from the United States”. The last salvo in the trade war was fired by the US in September in form of a 10 per cent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Trump is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina, which starts 30 November.
NASA’s InSight Spacecraft Lands On Mars
National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s InSight lander made a successful touchdown on the surface of Mars on Monday. The lander reached the surface of the Red Planet after a 205-day journey from Earth, travelling at 19,795 km per hour. After reaching Mars’ atmosphere, it ejected its heat shield, deployed a parachute and fired 12 descent engines to slow the last part of its fall. The 800-pound lander descended 70 miles through the Martian atmosphere.
Instruments on the lander got to work just 10 seconds after it landed, establishing a direct-to-Earth signal and taking photos of the landing site. Just minutes later, NASA got its first glimpse of Mars through one of InSight's "eyes”. InSight will sit on the planet’s surface and listen for quakes over the next two years.
Maldives President To Visit India On 17 December
Maldive’s newly elected President, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, will make his first overseas visit to India on 17 December. This announcement comes just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the island nation for Solih’s swearing-in. Foreign Minister of the Maldives also visited India last week, asking New Delhi for financial assistance of $250-300 million to steer the country out of a crisis.
The ties between India and the Maldives had nosedived under former president Abdulla Yameen. Yameen jailed opposition leaders, including former president Mohammed Nasheed, on trumped-up charges. When the Supreme Court of the country intervened and ordered the release of political prisoners, Yameen ordered the arrest of the judges and refused to comply with the ruling. Ignoring India’s security concerns, he steered the country closer to China and deeper into its debt trap. He was defeated in a closely watched election by Sohil, who was fielded jointly by the opposition parties in the country.
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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!
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