Morning Digest | Hopes pinned on rat miners to rescue workers trapped in Uttarkashi tunnel; Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza extended by two days, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

November 28, 2023 07:05 am | Updated 07:05 am IST

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce on November 27, 2023.

Hostages who were abducted by Hamas gunmen during the October 7 attack on Israel are handed over by Hamas militants to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross as part of a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel amid a temporary truce on November 27, 2023. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Silkyara tunnel rescue operations enter 16th day, hopes pinned on rat miners

Despite multiple setbacks, officials were hopeful of a breakthrough in their operation to rescue the 41 workers trapped in Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi, as manual horizontal drilling commenced on Monday. Madras Sappers, an engineering group of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army, are overseeing the digging operation which employs “rat mining” technique to remove debris. Civilians experienced in rat-hole mining are assisting the Sappers in the process.

Political slugfest in Telangana over Rythu Bandhu money

A political slugfest has broken out over the Rythu Bandhu scheme that provides monetary support to farmers during the cultivation period, after the Election Commission of India (ECI) first permitted the release of funds and then withdrew the order citing violation of model code of conduct. The ruling Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) and the opposition Congress have blamed each other for the ECI’s decision, though the ECI in its order clearly said the orders were being withdrawn after the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Telangana sent a report saying Minister for Finance T. Harish Rao had claimed in a public meeting that the government would release funds. 

Israel-Hamas truce in Gaza extended by two days, says mediator Qatar

A humanitarian pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas will extend by two days, mediator Qatar said on November 27 as an initial four-day truce in Gaza was set to expire. “The State of Qatar announces that, as part of the ongoing mediation, an agreement has been reached to extend the humanitarian truce for an additional two days in the Gaza Strip,” Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari said on X.

Israel’s plan for more settlements ‘appalling’, says European Union diplomat Borrell

The European Union’s (EU) top diplomat Josep Borrell has called the idea of Israel planning further illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories “appalling” and Israel’s biggest security liability. He also called for an extension of the four day ceasefire due to expire after Monday (November 27).

Monsoon mayhem in Shimla rings alarm bells, triggers calls for course correction

Environmentalists in Himachal Pradesh’s capital, Shimla, have called for the implementation of urgent remedial measures after an expert committee set up by the State government recently released its report revealing the main reasons why the hill town suffered major damage during this year’s monsoon.

BRS a sinking ship, says PM Modi

Terming the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) as a “sinking ship”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said people of Telangana are all set to decimate the BRS in the November 30 Assembly elections and elect the BJP to ensure a bright future for the State over the next five years.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman demands action, not words at COP28

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday called for concrete action on climate funding and transfer of technology at the upcoming global climate summit, saying that India will be pushing forward to showcase what it has achieved with its own funds.

Time is ripe for permanent political solution to Gorkhaland issue: Binoy Tamang after joining Congress

A former aide of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, Binoy Tamang says it was the Congress that gave recognition to Nepali language, which he considers as the biggest achievement for the Gorkhas, while the BJP made only “fake promises”.

Privatisation move by Union government will nullify all struggles for equality: Akhilesh Yadav

If the Union government privatised everything, people from the oppressed sections of society would lose the rights that various political leaders had secured for them, Samajwadi Party president and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said in Chennai on Monday.

Kharge accuses KCR of insulting Dalits, calls him ‘master of liars’

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday criticised Telangana Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao, calling him a ‘habitual liar’ and questioned him over breaking the promise of making a Dalit the Chief Minister of the State.

Delhi police arrests sharpshooters of Canada-based terrorist Arsh Dalla’s gang

Five members of Canada-based designated terrorist Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dalla’s gang were on Monday arrested by Delhi Police, which claimed they were planning to kill popular Punjabi singer Elly Mangat. Dalla has links with banned terror outfit Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) and is wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Punjab police for heinous crimes such as murder, extortion, targeted killings and running terror modules.

Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee extends financial aid to affected MGNREGA workers

Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee is extending financial aid to around 3,000 Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) job card holders in West Bengal deprived of their dues, party sources said on Monday. Mr. Banerjee has started sending letters to the MGNREGA workers who participated in Trinamool’s protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in October.

IND vs AUS third T20I | Upbeat India will be keen to seal the series straightaway

The Indians should be hoping to make it 3-0 and thus clinch the series with two games remaining. But as the World Cup final reminded us only a few days ago, cricket’s greatest charm is its uncertainty. And Australia, though it is without some of its big stars including skipper Pat Cummins, boasts some of the proudest men in sport.

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