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Morning Digest | Bhadrachalam in Telangana reels under severe flood threat; India-China military talks to be held on July 17, and more

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July 16, 2022 07:56 am | Updated 07:56 am IST

An aerial view of the  low-lying areas of the temple town of Bhadrachalam, surrounded by flood water from the swollen Godavari, in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana.

An aerial view of the  low-lying areas of the temple town of Bhadrachalam, surrounded by flood water from the swollen Godavari, in Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Godavari at 71 feet nears highest-ever level

As the Godavari touched the second highest flood level of 71 feet after 32 years and inched towards the highest ever flood level of 75.6 feet of 1986 at Telangana’s Bhadrachalam on Friday night, the State government requisitioned the services of the Indian Army to aid the civil administration in the relief and rescue efforts.

India-China military talks to be held on July 17

The 16th round of military talks between India and China on the lingering border standoff in eastern Ladakh will be held on July 17 on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the region, official sources said on Friday, July 15, 2022.

Delhi court grants bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair

A Delhi court granted bail on Friday to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to a tweet in 2018, stating, “The voice of dissent is necessary for healthy democracy. Therefore, for mere criticism of any political parties it is not justified to invoke Section 153A (promoting enmity) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings) of the IPC.”

U.K. Prime Minister contenders spar over tax in first television debate

The five remaining Conservative candidates to become Britain’s next Prime Minister clashed on Friday night over tax and honesty in politics in their first television debate, as they fight to make an eventual two-person run-off. The 90-minute debate — the first chance in the days-old contest for both the frontrunners and lesser-known contenders to pitch their credentials to a national television audience — saw relatively few direct confrontations between them.

Biden says he raised Khashoggi murder with Saudi Crown Prince

President Joe Biden on Friday held a carefully choreographed meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the man he had once shunned for human rights abuses, as the two leaders sought to reset one of the world’s most important diplomatic relationships. Mr. Biden said he raised the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the beginning of his meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince on Friday.

IIT-M ranked India’s top higher education institute

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, is yet again the top higher educational institute in the country followed by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, and IIT Bombay, according to the Ministry of Education’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) 2022.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa quits, Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as acting President of Sri Lanka

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has officially resigned as Sri Lanka’s President, the Parliamentary Speaker announced on Friday, ending days of uncertainty since the deposed leader fled the island amid monumental public protests over an economic crisis gripping the country. “I have accepted the resignation,” Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told reporters. Hours later, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Acting President as per the Constitution, even as members of Parliament prepare to elect a new President from among themselves through a secret ballot.

Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis meets Raj Thackeray, triggers speculation

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis visited Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray at the latter’s residence in Mumbai on July 15. Despite both leaders terming the meeting purely a courtesy call, it has set political mills abuzz given the MNS’ heavy tilt towards the BJP in recent times.

Dalai Lama’s Ladakh tour ‘completely religious’, says government functionary

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Friday, began his month-long visit to Ladakh, and said India-China border disputes should be resolved through “talks and peaceful means”, as use of military is an outdated option.The spiritual leader’s visit to Ladakh is expected to rile China as it comes amid the military standoff between Indian and Chinese troops, at several friction points in eastern Ladakh.

Congress says PM Modi is ‘harmful for rupee’ that is in free fall against dollar

As the rupee touched nearly ₹80 against the U.S. dollar, the Congress on Friday led a scathing attack against the Narendra Modi government and questioned its silence on the free fall of the currency. Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party said Mr. Modi is “harmful for the rupee” and recalled his comments as Gujarat Chief Minister, when he had attacked the UPA government saying “the prestige of the PM is attached to the falling rupee”.

Rise in unvaccinated children in India

The number of children in India who were unvaccinated or missed their first dose of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) combined vaccine doubled due to the pandemic, rising from 1.4 million in 2019 to 2.7 million in 2021, as the world recorded the largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in approximately 30 years, according to official data published by the WHO and UNICEF.

SP-ally Om Prakash Rajbhar’s party to support NDA presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu

In yet another setback to the Opposition ahead of the Presidential election, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) led by Om Prakash Rajbhar, a key ally of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, announced its support for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential nominee Droupadi Murmu on July 15.

Over 13.3 lakh precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered on July 15

Over 13.3 lakh precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 18-59 years till 10 pm on Friday, with a majority of those being free under a special 75-day drive launched by the government. The “COVID Vaccination Amrit Mahotsav” to provide free precaution doses of the vaccines to everyone aged 18 years and above at government vaccination centres commenced on Friday.

More than 40,000 flood-hit shifted in Gujarat

Incessant rains continue to batter parts of Gujarat, particularly south Gujarat districts and the Saurashtra region where the floods have caused massive damage to crops on over 50,000 hectares. On Friday also, south Gujarat districts and parts of Saurashtra received heavy showers. The authorities have so far shifted more than 40,000 people from flood-affected areas. 

Farmers’ leader poses question over the I2U2’s decision to create food parks in India

The country has an agricultural surplus and there is no need for the government to join hands with the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates for food production, said a senior representative of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Friday. Speaking to The Hindu, general secretary of BKU Yudhvir Singh said the organisation will “strongly” oppose the food agreement under the I2U2 grouping and argued that the decision will reduce farmers to landless peasants.

Last-minute flyer Eldose Paul gets lucky with 10-year U.S. visa

Despite running around for a few days in New Delhi for his visa and then a late dash to the USA for the World Athletics Championships, which began in Oregon on Friday, triple jumper Eldose Paul was thanking his stars. “I got a 10-year US visa,” Paul told The Hindu soon after landing in Oregon on Friday. Many others were not so lucky.

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Test match | De Silva returns, Oshada to open in first Test match against Pakistan

Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva will return to the team after recovering from COVID-19, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said Friday ahead of the first Test against Pakistan. The two-match series starts on Saturday in Galle, where the hosts first lost to and then hammered Australia in recent weeks.

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