Morning Digest | PM Modi, President Biden welcome progress in defence ties; Ukraine war unlikely to end in immediate future: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and more

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Updated - September 09, 2023 06:35 am IST

Published - September 09, 2023 06:34 am IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi on Sept. 8, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi on Sept. 8, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

PM Modi, President Biden welcome progress in defence ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday welcomed the completion of the notification process in the U.S. Congress on August 29 for a commercial agreement between General Electric Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India and the commencement of the negotiations. The leaders lauded the settlement of the seventh and last outstanding World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute between the two countries.

Ukraine war unlikely to end in immediate future: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

Efforts to build a peaceful world are faltering and the Ukraine conflict is unlikely to end in the immediate future, said Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres here on Friday. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the G-20 summit that will begin here on Saturday, Mr. Guterres laid out the concerns of the UN and said the world cannot “go on like this” and spoke forcefully seeking change of the global multilateral institutions. He also appreciated India for placing the “development agenda at the centre” of G-20.

New Delhi declaration ‘almost ready’, says India’s G-20 Sherpa, as Ukraine para remains sticking point

The joint declaration is “almost ready”, said India’s G-20 ‘Sherpa’ Amitabh Kant, indicating that the Sherpas or leaders’ representatives for G-20 countries will now hand over the document to G-20 leaders who begin their summit on September 9 in an effort to close the gaps, mainly over the paragraph on Ukraine. Mr. Kant also downplayed issues with China during the negotiations, and said that while all countries have a “veto power” over the joint statement to be issued, India had been able to bring “every single country” on board with its priorities.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang lands in India facing first international test

Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrived in New Delhi on Friday evening for the G-20 summit, which will, for the relatively unknown second-ranked Chinese leader, mark a first major international diplomatic test. Mr. Li earlier this week attended the East Asia Summit in Jakarta, but the G-20 will pose its own challenges with its higher profile and the presence of Western leaders who have been sharply critical of China, especially for its stand on the Ukraine crisis, a major sticking point that threatens to derail a joint communique for the first time in G-20 history.

We have a lot to bring to G-20 table, says African Union chief Azali Assoumani

The African Union (AU) is confident of becoming a full member of G-20 during the Delhi summit beginning in New Delhi on September 9, said AU Chairperson Azali Assoumani. In an exclusive interview with The Hindu, Mr. Assoumani, who is also the President of Comoros, said member countries of G-20 should invest in industrialisation of Africa. Assuring the members that Africa is willing to do what it takes to deal with the immigration issue being faced by the European countries, he urged the G-20 economies to utilise African resources to manufacture products in Africa. 

Criminal trials ideally need dynamic judges not taciturn ones, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court said criminal trials ideally need active and dynamic judges rather than reticent or taciturn ones. “Reticence may be good in many circumstances, but a judge remaining mute during trial is not an ideal situation. A taciturn judge may be the model caricatured in public mind. But there is nothing wrong in his becoming active or dynamic during trial so that criminal justice being the end could be achieved,” a three-judge Bench of Justices B.R. Gavai, J.B. Pardiwala and P.K. Mishra highlighted.

India committed to Global South, says PM Modi after talks with Mauritian leader

In his first bilateral meeting ahead of the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held talks with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth in New Delhi and reiterated India’s commitment to furthering the voice of the Global South. “PM @KumarJugnauth and I had a very good meeting. This is a special year for India-Mauritius relations as we mark 75 years of diplomatic ties between our nations. We discussed cooperation in sectors like infrastructure, FinTech, culture and more. Also reiterated India’s commitment to furthering the voice of the Global South,” Mr. Modi said on X.

Six Opposition CMs may skip G-20 dinner hosted by President

The G-20 dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu is expected to have a thin attendance of Opposition leaders as Chief Ministers of at least six out of the 12 Opposition-ruled States are likely to skip the event for various reasons. The two former Prime Ministers, Manmohan Singh and H.D. Deve Gowda, also won’t be attending the dinner, citing poor health. According to sources, out of four Congress Chief Ministers, three — Ashok Gehlot of Rajasthan, Siddaramaiah of Karnataka and Bhupesh Baghel of Chhattisgarh — are not heading for Delhi. Mr. Gehlot, it is learnt, is still nursing his fractured toes and has restricted travel. Mr. Baghel too has said that he is not well enough to travel to the capital. Mr. Siddaramaiah has given similar reasons.

Unions allege ‘scam in import of fuel for power plants’

Trade unions in the power sector have alleged that recent directions and statements of the Centre related to the import of coal for thermal power generation are contradictory, misguiding, deceitful and against the interest of the energy consumers, people and the nation. All India Coal Workers’ Federation (AICWF) and Electricity Employees Federation of India (EEFI), the two federations comprised of several unions in power and coal mining sectors, said on Friday that these moves favour one or two private companies. The federations are also mulling legal action against the Centre’s decision. 

PM Modi, Sheikh Hasina hold talks on diversifying India-Bangladesh cooperation

A day before the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 8 held talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on diversifying bilateral cooperation and discussed issues such as connectivity and commercial linkages. In a post on his second bilateral of the day after holding talks with Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, Mr. Modi said he had “productive deliberations” with PM Sheikh Hasina. “The progress in India-Bangladesh relations in the last 9 years has been very gladdening. Our talks covered areas like connectivity, commercial linkage and more,” Mr. Modi said.

India ‘very important’, but it is for members to decide on its UNSC membership, says Antonio Guterres

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on September 8 described India as “the country of the world” and a “very important” partner in the multilateral system but said it is for the members and not him to decide on its UN Security Council membership. Addressing a press conference here ahead of the G20 Summit, he made a strong pitch for immediate reforms to UNSC and other multilateral institutions, as he asserted that the future of the world is multipolar but “our multilateral institutions reflect a bygone age”.

INDIA wins four seats, BJP three in Assembly bypolls

In the first set of bypolls to be held after the formation of the INDIA bloc of Opposition parties, held in seven seats in six States, the BJP won three seats, with the Opposition constituents of the INDIA bloc bagging four seats, including the crucial Ghosi Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh which was won by the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Gyanvapi survey: ASI granted further four weeks’ time to submit report

A Varanasi court on Friday granted four more weeks to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to complete the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex and submit its report. The order for the extension of ASI survey deadline was announced by district Judge A. K. Vishvesh. “ of the important question and the issue remains which has to be decided by this Court that what was the religious character of the Gyanvyapi precincts dated on 15th August, 1947 as Muslims were claiming there right also. Whatever will be seen/found and existing Hindu sign/symbols will determines the fate of the Original suit. In the light of above prayer this interlocutory application liable to be allowed,” the court noted.

Nancy Pelosi says she’ll seek House reelection in 2024, dismissing talk of retirement at age 83

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on September 8 that she will run for reelection to another term in Congress as Democrats work to win back the majority in 2024. Ms. Pelosi made the announcement before labor allies in the San Francisco area district she has represented for more than 35 years. “Now more than ever our City needs us to advance San Francisco values and further our recovery,” Ms. Pelosi, 83, said in a tweet. “Our country needs America to show the world that our flag is still there, with liberty and justice for ALL. That is why I am running for reelection — and respectfully ask for your vote.”

Will hold free, inclusive and credible election: Bangladesh Minister

Bangladesh will hold a “free, inclusive and credible election”, assured Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen here on Friday. Speaking at the end of a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mr. Momen said the upcoming election would not be held under a caretaker government and said the two Prime Ministers discussed “regional peace and stability”. Sharing details about the meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said India had welcomed “Indo-Pacific outlook” of Bangladesh that the Sheikh Hasina government introduced earlier this year.

U.S. Open | Bopanna creates history as the oldest doubles finalist in Open Era

India’s doubles ace Rohan Bopanna, who is playing some of the best tennis of his career, became the oldest Grand Slam doubles finalist in the Open Era as he, partnering Matthew Ebden, reached the U.S. Open final. Producing outstanding tennis at the Flushing Meadows in front of a handsome Louis Armstrong crowd, Bopanna and Ebden defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in Thursday’s semifinals to set a summit clash against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

Stokes, Buttler help England post 291-6 against New Zealand in first match of ODI series

Ben Stokes marked his return to one-day internationals with a half-century before captain Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone put on a rapid stand of 77 late in the innings to help push England to 291-6 against New Zealand in the first match of the Cricket World Cup warmup series on Friday. Stokes (52) opted to come out of ODI retirement ahead of England’s World Cup title defense in India starting next month and was one of four batters to post fifties on a tough track at Sophia Gardens.

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