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Morning Digest | India’s current account deficit a concern, says Finance Ministry; Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Israeli flights, and more

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July 15, 2022 07:46 am | Updated 07:47 am IST

UAE, Jordan, U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s flag flutter ahead of the preparations for U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 14, 2022.

UAE, Jordan, U.S. and Saudi Arabia’s flag flutter ahead of the preparations for U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 14, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Kerala reports India’s first confirmed monkeypox case

The first known lab-confirmed case of monkeypox in India — the official declaration is yet to come from the Union Health Ministry — has been reported in a 35-year-old male in Kerala, who reached the State capital three days ago from the UAE. State Health Minister Veena George, who earlier on Thursday informed media about a possible suspected case of monkeypox, said in Thiruvananthapuram at 7 p.m. that the National Institute of Virology, Pune had confirmed the disease.

Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Israeli flights amid Biden visit

Saudi Arabia on Friday, July 15, 2022, opened its airspace to "all air carriers," signalling the end of its longstanding ban on Israeli flights overflying its territory — a key step toward normalization between the two nations as President Joe Biden visits the region.

England vs India second ODI | Topley topples India as England win by 100 runs to level series 1-1

Indian top-order fell like ninepins as Reece Topley’s 6 for 24 headlined a fine England bowling performance in a series-levelling 100-run win while defending a modest target in the second ODI at the Lord’s on Thursday. With parity restored in the three-match series, the decider at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday promises to be a mouth-watering contest

Fiscal deficit reined in, CAD a concern: Finance Ministry

India’s macro risks have receded in recent weeks and concerns about the fiscal deficit target being breached may be misplaced, the Finance Ministry asserted on Thursday, while conceding that the current account deficit could, however, deteriorate this year primarily due to rising trade deficits, especially if global food and energy prices don’t cool off.

Ripudaman Singh Malik, once accused in the 1985 Kanishka bombing case, shot dead in Canada

Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was once suspected to have funded the bombing of the Air India Kanishka in 1985, was shot dead in Canada on July 14. Preliminary reports suggest that Malik was fired at by unknown gunmen near Vancouver. He died on the spot, said sources close to Malik. Malik was one of the persons accused of playing a crucial role in the bombing of the Air India Flight 182 Kanishka.

JMM formally offers support to Droupadi Murmu

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Thursday officially announced its support for Droupadi Murmu, the Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The election for the next President of India is scheduled to be held on July 18.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Singapore, sends in his resignation

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday sent his resignation letter by email from Singapore, the Parliamentary Speaker’s office said, deferring an official announcement to Friday in order to verify the “authenticity and legality” of the document. The development came a day after Mr. Gotabaya, who rose to power in 2019 on a thumping election win, fled the country and sought refuge on two other islands, as mass anti-government protests rapidly escalated last weekend.

Zubair urges Supreme Court to quash six FIRs against him in Uttar Pradesh

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair has moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash six First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against him in Uttar Pradesh for insulting religious feelings on Twitter. The FIRs have been registered at Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad, Sitapur, Lakhimpur and Hathras. The fact-checker has also challenged the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) by the Uttar Pradesh Police to investigate the cases.

Droupadi Murmu will get record number of votes: Eknath Shinde

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu would receive a record number of votes from Maharashtra in the July 18 presidential election, asserted the leadership of the new BJP-Shiv Sena government led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Devendra Fadnavis.

Rishi Sunak tops second round of voting in U.K. leadership contest

Former British finance minister Rishi Sunak won the most votes in the second round of voting to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, as one candidate was eliminated. Mr. Sunak came top with 101 votes, followed by junior trade minister and bookmakers’ favourite Penny Mordaunt on 83 votes and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on 64 votes. Suella Braverman was eliminated.

Congress leaders meet to strategise on Monsoon session

Congress leaders of the Parliamentary Strategy Group (PSG) on Thursday asked party president Sonia Gandhi to clarify on the party’s stand on Agnipath recruitment policy in the wake of the contrasting stand taken by senior leader Manish Tewari, who is also a member of the strategy group. The hour-long meeting, presided by Ms. Gandhi, met to identify the key issues that the Opposition would raise during the upcoming Monsoon session.

Debut edition of India’s second largest entrance exam ‘CUET-UG’ to begin today

The debut edition of the Common University Entrance Test-UG, the second biggest entrance exam in the country, will begin on Friday at test centres in over 510 cities of India and abroad. With 14.9 lakh registrations, the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) — the common gateway for undergraduate admission in all central universities — is now the second biggest entrance exam surpassing JEE-Main's average registration of nine lakh.

Spike in production of vegetables, fruits: Centre

The total horticulture production in 2021-22 is estimated to be 341.63 million tonnes (MT), an increase of about 7.03 MT over 2020-21. This is an increase of 2.10%, according to the second advanced estimates of area and production of various horticultural crops released by the Union Agriculture Ministry here on Thursday. Last year, the total horticulture cultivation was in 27.48 million hectares and according to the second advanced estimates, in 2021-22, it could be 27.74 million hectares.

India to give land for I2U2-backed food parks

India will provide “appropriate land” for “food parks” across the country that will be built in collaboration with Israel, United States and the United Arab Emirates. The plan for the “integrated food parks” was announced in a Joint Statement after the leaders of the I2U2 grouping - India, Israel, the UAE and the USA - announced on Thursday that they would bring in private capital for specific projects in the fields of water, energy, transportation, health, space and food security

China waits and watches on Sri Lanka crisis

China on Thursday declined to say whether it was considering financial assistance to Sri Lanka, continuing a studied silence over the unfolding crisis and what analysts called a “wait and watch” approach. “As a friendly neighbour and cooperation partner, China sincerely hopes all sectors in Sri Lanka can bear in mind the fundamental interests of the country and people and overcome difficulties to restore stability, revitalise the economy and improve livelihoods, at an early date,” Chinse Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Thursday.

Italian Premier Draghi’s resignation rebuffed by President

Italian Premier Mario Draghi offered to step down on Thursday after a populist coalition ally refused to support a key government bill, but the nation’s President rejected the resignation, telling Mr. Draghi to see if he can still find a majority in Parliament willing to support him.

This could be our best World Championships, says Anju George

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic gold in Tokyo appears to have inspired everybody. And Anju Bobby George feels that the World Athletics Championships, which begin in Oregon (USA) on Friday, could be India’s best ever. “If you look at this year’s performance statistics, for the first time we have multiple medal hopes,” said Anju, the country’s lone World Championships medallist, in a chat with The Hindu on Thursday evening.

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