Morning Digest | India leads ‘Laundromat’ countries buying Russian crude, selling refined products to Europe; U.S. projected to hit debt ceiling as soon as June 1, and more

Here’s a select list of stories to read before you start your day

May 02, 2023 07:52 am | Updated 07:52 am IST

India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries, thus sidestepping European sanctions against Russia, says a Helsinki-based group. File.

India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries, thus sidestepping European sanctions against Russia, says a Helsinki-based group. File. | Photo Credit: Reuters

India leads ‘Laundromat’ countries buying Russian crude and selling oil products to Europe: report

India leads five countries named as the “Laundromat” countries that buy Russian oil and sell processed products to European countries, thus sidestepping European sanctions against Russia, says a Helsinki-based group that cited the latest figures for the first quarter of 2023. The report accused Indian sellers and European buyers of possibly “circumventing sanctions” by selling crude products from a refinery in Gujarat that is co-owned by Russian oil company Rosneft.

Yellen says U.S. could hit debt ceiling as soon as June 1

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified Congress on May 1 that the U.S. is projected to reach its debt limit as early as June 1, if the body does not raise or suspend the debt limit before then. While Russia's invasion of Ukraine remains a burden on U.S. economic growth, Treasury officials say the debate over the debt ceiling poses the greatest risk to the U.S. financial position.

Inaugural ASEAN-India maritime exercise in South China Sea from May 2-8

In a further step, in the expanding India-ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) military cooperation, the maiden ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise (AIME) is set to begin on May 2 with war games in South China Sea.  Navy Chief Adm. R. Hari Kumar is in Singapore for the exercise as well as to take part in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX-23) and International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC) being hosted by Singapore.

U.P. urban local body polls: India’s border with Nepal to be sealed Tuesday

India's border with Nepal will be sealed on May 2, 48-hours before urban local body polls here, to prevent anti-social elements from crossing the boundary and vitiating the election atmosphere, officials said. Urban local body elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held in two phases — on Thursday (May 4) and May 11. The votes will be counted on May 13. Maharajganj will go to the polls during the first phase of elections on Thursday.

Centre bans 14 apps in J&K citing use by terror organisations

The Union Government instructed service providers to ban 14 applications in Jammu and Kashmir, following recommendations by the Ministry of Home Affairs, officials said. Most of the apps are communication platforms that allow encrypted messaging, which the government said has been used by terror organisations in the region. The list of apps was determined after authorities examined phones used by detained operatives, an official said.

Can hang me but don’t stop wrestling activities: Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh

Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh said on May 1 that ever since the top wrestlers of the country began protesting, all sports related activities had come to a standstill. Speaking to the media, Mr. Singh said, “Wrestling activities have come to a standstill since the last four months, I say hang me, but don’t stop wrestling activities and don’t play with the children’s future. Cadet nationals should be allowed to take place, whoever is organising it, either Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, but don’t stop the wrestling activities.”

May Day: World’s workers rally, France sees pension anger

People squeezed by inflation and demanding economic justice took to streets across Asia and Europe to mark May Day on May 1, in an outpouring of worker discontent from Tokyo to Pakistan to France not seen since before the worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns. While May Day is marked around the world as a celebration of labour rights, this year’s rallies tapped into broader frustrations

Ludhiana gas leak: Night-long efforts undertaken to decontaminate affected area, says official

A portion of the Giaspura locality in Punjab's Ludhiana where 11 people died allegedly after inhaling toxic gas remained cordoned off on May 1 while the district authorities said the affected area underwent a night-long decontamination process. Eleven people, including three children, died after allegedly inhaling toxic gas in the city's thickly populated Giaspura locality on Sunday, with high levels of Hydrogen sulphide detected in the air and authorities suspecting that it emanated from a sewer.

Japan to train 1,000 Indian engineers before transfer of bullet train tech

Up to 1,000 Indian engineers will be trained by Japanese experts before starting work on the High-Speed Rail Track system for Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor (MAHSR). “Up to 20 Japanese experts will impart intensive training to the Indian engineers, supervisors and technicians and certify their skills. This will also help in ‘Transfer of Technology’ of Japanese HSR track system,” said Rajendra Prasad, MD, NHSRCL.

Despite truce, Sudan near ‘breaking point’, says UN

Gun battles and explosions again rocked Sudan's capital on May 1 despite the latest truce formally agreed between the warring parties as the UN warned the humanitarian crisis had brought the country near its "breaking point". More than 500 people have been reported killed since fighting erupted on April 15 between Sudan's Army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Russia missile attack on Ukraine injures 34, damages homes

Russia launched its second large salvo of missiles at Ukraine in recent days early May 1, damaging buildings and wounding at least 34 people in the eastern city of Pavlohrad but failing to hit Kyiv, officials said. Eighteen cruise missiles were fired in total from the Murmansk region and the Caspian region, and 15 of them were intercepted, said Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

LSG vs RCB: Bangalore beats Lucknow by 18 runs in low-scoring encounter

Aided by KL Rahul’s injury early in the match, Royal Challengers Bangalore did just enough to eke out an 18-run win over Lucknow Super Giants in a low-scoring Indian Premier League game in Lucknow on May 1. LSG skipper Rahul pulled his right thigh muscle in the second over of RCB innings while trying to stop a boundary and came out to bat only towards the end, which acted in favour of the visitors.

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