Morning Digest | Canada pulls 41 diplomats out of India; Biden addresses Americans to make case for Israel, Ukraine aid, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

Updated - October 20, 2023 07:00 am IST

Published - October 20, 2023 06:53 am IST

Representational image of security personnel standing guard in front of the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Canada has withdrawn 41 diplomats from India

Representational image of security personnel standing guard in front of the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Canada has withdrawn 41 diplomats from India | Photo Credit: AFP

Canada withdraws 41 diplomats from India as row over separatist killing grows

Canada said Thursday it had withdrawn 41 diplomats from India - fallout from a bitter row over the killing of a Sikh separatist on Canadian soil.

New Delhi planned to revoke diplomatic immunity for all but 21 of Canada’s diplomats and their families by Friday, forcing Ottawa to pull out the others, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said.

Israel-Hamas war, Day 13 updates | Aid for Israel, Ukraine will boost U.S. security ‘for generations’: Biden

Speaking from the Oval Office, U.S. President Joe Biden made the case for U.S. assistance to Ukraine and Israel, and said ‘won’t let “terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win”.

Akhilesh Yadav questions INDIA bloc’s viability as Congress decides to go it alone in Assembly polls

With the Congress deciding to go it alone in the upcoming Assembly elections in five States, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav appeared miffed, not only at the Congress’ unwillingness to share seats in Madhya Pradesh, but also at the lack of clarity on whether the four-month old Opposition coalition INDIA was meant as a partnership only for the 2024 Lok Sabha election and not for the Assembly polls.

Israel’s envoy says bombardment of Gaza to continue, ground operation needed to rescue hostages

Israel will not stop the bombardment of Gaza, and still plans a ground offensive to “eradicate Hamas’s capacity” and free about 200 Israeli hostages taken by the group during terror attacks on October 7, said Israel’s Ambassador to India Naor Gilon.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements, Mr. Gilon said on October 19 that he hopes India, which has not so far designated Hamas as a terror group, would do so. Despite calls from neighbouring Arab countries for an immediate ceasefire, the envoy said that continuing with the operation was necessary for Israel’s “future”.

Court rejects Delhi Police plea against order to release journalists’ electronic devices

A Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed the plea filed by the Delhi Police against the orders of a magisterial court which had directed them to release the electronic devices seized from the editors and journalists of news portal, The Wire.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Singh Rajawat of the Tis Hazari Courts noted that the investigating agency, by continuous seizure of electronic devices of the respondents, is not only causing undue hardship to them, but impinges upon their fundamental right of freedom of profession and speech.

Steps in place to check price rise during festival season: Centre

Union Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said here on Thursday that the Centre has taken adequate measures, including extension of restrictions on exports of sugar, wheat and rice, to ensure that the prices of these essential items do not increase further and remain stable during the festival season.

Southwest monsoon withdraws from India

The southwest monsoon has ended and the northeast monsoon is likely to set in “in the next 72 hours”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on October 19.

The onset of northeast monsoon, also known as the ‘retreating monsoon’, would likely be “weak”, the agency added.

More than 118 cases of corruption await prosecution sanction

There are six cases involving Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers among over 118 cases of corruption involving public servants that await prosecution sanction from the Central and State governments, according to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) data.

In M.P., BJP’s strategy this time is going to polls with Modi’s face alone

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wrote a letter to the people of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh in an attempt to make a direct connect with voters by saying that their vote will work as “direct support” to him at the Centre.

The letter was made public by BJP State unit president and parliamentarian V.D. Sharma at a press conference in Bhopal by saying “chitthi aayi hai [a letter has arrived]”.

Nitish Kumar talks of ‘friendship’ with BJP leaders, slams last UPA government

Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha election, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar — who is running a coalition mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) government in Bihar with allies Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Left parties — made some surprising remarks on Thursday (October 19), saying that as long as he was alive, his “friendship” with BJP leaders would remain.

Sikkim dam collapse will not slow India’s hydropower plans: R.K. Singh

The glacier lake outburst (GLOF) that triggered a flood in Sikkim and destroyed the Chungthang dam will not slow India’s reliance on hydropower, R.K. Singh, Minister for Power and Renewable Energy, has said.

Ind vs Ban |Kohli gets into the act again as India makes light of yet another chase

India’s pursuit of happiness continued unhindered in the World Cup. A fourth successful chase, this time against Bangladesh, ushered in a seven-wicket victory at the MCA Stadium here on Thursday night. Trailing Bangladesh’s 256 for eight, India finished at 261 for three in 41.3 overs, with Virat Kohli’s masterly hundred (103 n.o., 97b, 6x4, 4x6) playing the guiding light.

Australia and Pakistan face off in big-ticket clash at Chinnaswamy

A week is a long time in politics — former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson is supposed to have said, referring to the fast-changing pace of the political landscape. The Pakistan cricket team will hope that the adage comes true in sport when it takes on Australia in a crucial World Cup encounter at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.

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