Morning Brief: Countdown Begins For South Asia Satellite Launch; Pakistani Channels Stoking Kashmir Rage
Brief: Countdown Begins For South Asia Satellite Launch; Pakistani Channels Stoking Kashmir RageCountdown begins for GSAT-9 or South Asia Satellite launch. 

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Countdown Begins For Launch Of South Asia Satellite: The countdown has begun for the launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F09), carrying the GSAT-9 or the “South Asia” satellite, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh today. The satellite, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said will be a “priceless gift” to neighbouring countries, is meant for providing communication and disaster support, connectivity among the countries of South Asia region.

Saudi-Pakistan Channels Stoking Azadi Rage In Kashmir: More than 50 Saudi and Pakistani channels, including Zakir Naik's banned Peace TV preaching Salafist Islam, and others indulging in anti-India propaganda are running without necessary clearances via private cable networks in Kashmir. Saudi clerics and Pakistani news anchors are stoking the fires of azadi in Kashmir. Saudi channels are propounding the Salafist version of Islam in the Valley, said an Islamic scholar in Anantnag. "It is radicalising youth and adding fuel to the violent separatist movement that is being mobilised by invoking Islam. Wahhabism has stoked Islamist extremism and terrorism across the world," he said.

Army Chief Seeks Defence Spending Boost: The armed forces are not getting their fair share of India's financial resources, Army chief General Bipin Rawat said on Thursday, arguing for an increase in defence spending that would enhance India's strategic clout. Pitching for investing more in strengthening India's armed forces, Rawat, addressing a defence think tank, spoke of China to drive home the point that India's true potential will be realised only when both economic growth and might of the military go hand-in-hand.

SC Issues Notice To Kerala In Mullaperiyar Dam Row: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to Kerala seeking its response to a petition by Tamil Nadu, which has alleged that it is not being allowed to carry out maintenance work on the Mullaperiyar Dam by the neighbouring state. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar posted the case for hearing in the second week of July. The petition has cited an earlier apex court judgment which said Tamil Nadu will have the right to maintain the dam, while Kerala will take care of its security. Tamil Nadu alleged that its officials were not being allowed to perform maintenance work at the masonry dam situated in Idukki district in Kerala.

SC Strikes Down Plea To Make Hindi Compulsory In Schools: The Supreme Court today rejected a public interest litigation which sought a direction to the Centre to make study of Hindi compulsory for all students of Classes I-VIII. The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar told the petitioner, “Look the court cannot interfere in such issues. Today you are asking for Hindi. Tomorrow somebody will come to court and ask for making study of Sanskrit mandatory. You and me would ask for Punjabi.”

To Survive Humans Must Leave Earth In 100 Years, Says Hawking: Humans will need to colonise another planet within the next 100 years to survive climate change, asteroid strikes and overpopulation, according to renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking. In a documentary Expedition New Earth – part of the BBC's new science season ‘Tomorrow's World’ – Hawking claims that time is running out for the earth and to survive, humanity will need to leave the planet. He said global warming, nuclear war or asteroid strikes among other reasons that could end human life.

US To Seek Social Media Details From Visa Applicants: As part of the Donald Trump administration's enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors, the US state department wants to review social media, email addresses and phone numbers from some foreigners seeking US visas. The new rules would also require applicants to provide 15 years of travel and work history and the names and dates of birth of all siblings, children and current and former spouses or partners. The state department said it wanted the additional information "in order to more rigorously evaluate applicants for terrorism or other national security-related visa ineligibilities."

US House Passes Bill To Repeal Obamacare: US President Donald Trump extracted a much-needed victory from Congress on Thursday as Republicans narrowly pushed through the House a bill repealing the landmark health reforms of his predecessor. The vote of 217-213 could hardly have been closer in the Republican-controlled chamber. Obamacare is "essentially dead," the president triumphantly declared in the White House Rose Garden, surrounded by key Republican lawmakers. "We're going to finish it off and we're going to go on to a lot of other things."


Kashmir Politics: Not A Stone’s Throw Away: A soft approach towards the violent protesters has failed to yield any positive result. If the situation continues like this or worsens, the central government would be compelled to deal with it with a firm hand.

Time To Stop Letting Pakistan Call The Shots: Building a strong “deterrence by punishment” posture in the medium term will require the Indian ruling class to learn one important lesson: Pakistan cannot be made to enter into a peaceful relationship with India by talks alone. A serious reconfiguration in the Pakistani army and polity is necessary for that.

Discovering Saturn Through Cassini’s Lens: We have learnt a lot about Saturn today via images taken by the Cassini spacecraft, which was launched in 1997 and has been orbiting the planet for 13 years now. Cassini’s swansong is a series of dives through Saturn’s famous rings – that is, between the planet and the rings.

China Is Repeating The West’s Mistakes In Pakistan: Chinese President Xi Jinping will no doubt tout the Pakistan investments at his massive ‘Belt and Road’ conference later this month. It’s far from certain that China’s CPEC investments will produce a more stable and prosperous Pakistan.


India’s ‘Good Boy’ Trap: Why Being Bad Is Key To Taking On A Global Brigand Like Pakistan: America is never afraid of playing the Ugly American to get what it wants. China cares two hoots about what the world thinks of its bullying in the South China Sea. India needs to abandon the “good guy” trap. It needs to become a bad guy.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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