Morning Digest: Rajnath Singh meets Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow; India’s COVID-19 cases cross 4 million, and more

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow on September 4, 2020.   | Photo Credit: ANI

Rajnath Singh meets Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ meeting in Moscow on Friday. Details of the meeting, however, were not known.

Coronavirus | India’s COVID-19 cases cross 4 million

India became the third country with more than four million COVID-19 cases in the world on September 4, after the U.S. and Brazil with 6.253 million and 4.047 million cases respectively. The death toll in India reached 69,000, third behind the U.S.’s 1.898 lakh and Brazil’s 1.247 lakh. Data was based on reports from the State governments and the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.

Sushant Singh Rajput: Life and death in the spotlight

More than two months since actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s body was found, three premier Central agencies are probing his death. Alok Deshpande, Devesh Kumar Pandey and Sonam Saigal piece together an account of the investigations under way even as rumours and accusations fly thick and fast.

We are neither dissenters nor rebels but reformists, says Anand Sharma

Congress’ Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, who was among 23 leaders who had expressed concern over the state of the Congress in a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, in an exclusive interview told The Hindu that the party needs a new narrative and cannot be in denial.

Bihar elections | In or out of NDA: LJP to take a call on September 7

After months of posturing and public statements highlighting the “shortfalls” in governance by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) will take a call on Monday at a meeting of its State Parliamentary Board on whether to stay on in the National Democratic Alliance alliance (NDA), where the JD(U) is also a partner, or walk out.

Ladakh standoff | Situation along LAC is tense: Army Chief

The situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is tense and the Army had undertaken precautionary deployments, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Friday, the second day of his visit to Ladakh.

Kaziranga National Park set to be expanded by 3,053 hectares

The Assam government has approved the addition of 30.53 sq km to the 884 sq km Kaziranga National Park. The additional areas straddling two districts — Nagaon and Sonitpur — would make the larger Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) grow to 1085.53 sq km. However, the wildlife habitat still awaits the possession 14.62 sq km “added” earlier in two other districts.

Supreme Court rejects appeal by 6 State Ministers against JEE, NEET

A three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, dismissed a plea filed jointly by Ministers from six non-BJP-ruled States against the conduct of the JEE Mains and the NEET-UG amid the pandemic. The Bench, also comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari, found no merit in the plea to review an apex court order on August 17 refusing to entertain a petition by students to postpone the NEET and the JEE.

Very nasty situation along India-China border, says Donald Trump

Asserting that the situation along the India-China border has been “very nasty and the Chinese are “going at it” much more strongly, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would love to get involved and help.

Could border tensions with China push India toward accepting a militarisation of the Quad alliance? | The Hindu In Focus podcast

In today’s episode we focus on strategic affairs and, in particular, on the quad alliance between India, the United States, Japan and Australia. The occasion for doing so is statements made by India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday, September 3, where he said that the ‘Quad’ alliance among India, U.S., Japan, and Australia could be a mechanism to ensure ‘Freedom of Navigation’ in the Indian Ocean and surrounding regions.

Messi decides to stay on at Barcelona

Lionel Messi said on Friday he will stay at Barcelona, insisting he could never go to court against “the club of his life” But he launched a stinging attack on Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of going back on an agreement to let him leave for free at the end of last season.

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