Morning Digest: Trump offers to mediate between India and China; U.S. strips Hong Kong of special trading status, and more

LAC standoff | Now, Trump offers to mediate between India and China

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he had offered to help New Delhi and Beijing resolve their ongoing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The offer came as a surprise on a day when the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) appeared to soften its line on the stand-off, suggesting the situation was “stable and controllable” now.

U.S. strips Hong Kong of special trading status

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer enjoys the autonomy promised by Beijing, stripping the financial hub of its special status under U.S. law. Hours before Beijing will hold a key vote on a controversial new security law on Hong Kong, Mr. Pompeo sent a notice to Congress that China was not living up to obligations from before it regained control of the territory from Britain in 1997.

India should pull out forces from Kalapani: Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

India should withdraw security forces from the Kalapani region and restore status quo, Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Wednesday. He said a solution to the border dispute should be found urgently, even as Indian sources confirmed that they were closely monitoring the debates in Nepal’s Parliament to provide a constitutional guarantee to the new map that shows the disputed region as part of Nepal’s sovereign territory.

Coronavirus | ICMR removes ₹4,500 cap on COVID-19 test

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has written to all the States and the Union Territories, suggesting that the upper ceiling of ₹4,500 for the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test be removed so that they can negotiate with the approved laboratories and introduce cheaper tests. The ICMR said the option was being given now as the “testing supplies situation has stabilised with greater local procurement”.

Locust threat is bigger this year, warns Agriculture Ministry monitor

The threat of locusts, which have invaded vast swathes of land in Rajasthan and entered neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, is bigger this year in comparison with the damage caused to standing crops in a limited area in 2019. The tropical grasshoppers have been crossing over to India via Pakistan’s Sindh province since April 11.

Migrant workers returning to Bihar jump off trains to flee isolation

Migrant workers returning to Bihar are jumping from trains to escape the 14-day mandatory quarantine. On Tuesday, 350 migrants returning from Delhi and Patiala pulled the alarm chain at two different places and jumped off the Shramik Special trains. Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel and local villagers, however, caught 180 of them.

Weather delays SpaceX's first astronaut launch from Florida

SpaceX, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private rocket company, was forced by foul weather to scrub a planned launch on Wednesday of two Americans into orbit from Florida, a mission that would mark the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years.

Mirabai Chanu recommended for Khel Ratna

The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has nominated former World champion S. Mirabai Chanu for the Arjuna Award. Mirabai, who won the World title in 2017, is one of the rare athletes who bagged the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2018 even before getting the Arjuna Award.

Fate of T20 World Cup uncertain

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board is likely to adopt a wait-and-watch approach when discussing the fate of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played in Australia in October-November.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 10:21:17 PM |

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