Morning Brief: Trump Rejects Media’s Russia Dossier; Amazon Falls In Line; Deadly Air Pollution

Brief:  Trump Rejects Media’s Russia Dossier;
Amazon Falls In Line; Deadly Air PollutionTrump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York City. (Spencer Platt/GettyImages)

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

Medias Russia Dossier Phony Stuff, Says Trump: In his first full press conference after winning the 2016 US presidential elections, Donald Trump on Wednesday dismissed as “nonsense” the media claims that Russia has compromising information on him. He dismissed the media’s Russia dossier as ‘phony stuff’ from ‘sick people’, branding BuzzFeed “a pile of garbage” for publishing the allegations. Trump, however, acknowledged for the first time that he believes Russian operatives hacked the Democratic Party during the election.

SC Dismisses Plea Seeking Tax On Political Funding: The executive has the power to grant legislative exemptions to whoever it wants to, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday, refusing to entertain a petition that challenged the basis for keeping political parties out of the Income Tax law’s ambit. The court maintained that if agricultural income can be exempted from the ambit of the Income Tax law, the same can be done for political parties.

Amazon Falls In Line After Visa Threat: Days after reports about Amazon Canada offering Indian flag-themed doormats, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashed out at the e-tailer on Wednesday and threatened to rescind visas of officials of the e-commerce giant if it did not offer an “unconditional apology”. Amazon’s Canadian site has however removed listings for the doormats.

NITI Aayog Seeks To Cut Subsidies: Government think tank NITI Aayog has sought up to three times increase in social sector spending, partially by cutting down on the mega subsidies that the government doles out every year as well as diverting the extra revenue earned over the next three years to sectors such as health and education.

SC Rejects Probe Into Sahara-Birla Bribe Charge: The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday the demand for a probe into bribes allegedly paid to politicians mentioned in the so-called Birla-Sahara diaries, saying it would be dangerous for democracy to order a probe on the basis of loose sheets inadmissible as evidence. A bench of Justices Arun Kumar Mishra and Amitava Roy concluded that "no case is made out to order an investigation".

Air Pollution Causes 12 Lakh Deaths Every Year In India, Says Report: Delhi tops the list of 20 most polluted cities in the country where 1.2 million (12 lakh) deaths take place every year due to air pollution, according to a Greenpeace India report published on Wednesday. It also claimed that none of the 168 cities it assessed complies with air quality standards prescribed by the World Health Organisation.

New Manmohan Singh Warning: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, expressing concern that growth would plunge after the notes ban, warned on Wednesday that "the worst is yet to come”. Addressing Congress party’s "Jan Vedna" conclave, Dr Singh said, after demonetisation "things are going from bad to worse and that the worst was yet to come".

Jaitley Says GST-Demonetisation Will Strengthen Economy: Speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on Wednesday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), coupled with a digitised economy ushered in by demonetisation, will make India’s economy “look much cleaner and bigger”. He reiterated that the centre is still aiming to roll out the GST regime from 1 April.


Demonetisation And Monetary Policy: The original objective of central banking was monetary and financial stability. India’s currency swap is yet another example of how the powerful monetary policy tool is a victim of its own success.

For Economists To Stay Relevant Under Trump: By shifting their focus to state and local government, economists who study policy issues can ensure their continued relevance during the long winter of Trump’s populist reign

A New Corporate Benchmark For Human Rights: The businesses are to be judged for “their human rights policy, process and performance, harnessing the competitive nature of the markets to drive better human rights performance”.

Kashmir Is But An Excuse For Islamabad To Continue Its Perpetual Fight With New Delhi: Unable to solve issues and unable to achieve parity, Pakistan has chosen a path of perpetual animosity. Peace talks are, thus, an interregnum and a tactical ploy.

Hand In The Cookie Jar: In sectors such as mobility, healthcare, energy and agriculture, disruptive solutions are important, but even more important is the consumer need for multiple solutions and fair competition, and respect for privacy and security concerns.


Where Is Article 370 Now That Rohingyas And Bangladeshis Are Being Settled In Jammu And Ladakh? The Jammu and Kashmir government should either implement in toto or abolish Article 370. It can’t be one rule for Rohingyas and another for all Indians.

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

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