Morning Digest | First technical team from India arrives in Maldives; Massive fire kills 43 in Dhaka, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

March 01, 2024 07:01 am | Updated 07:01 am IST

A firefighter carries a body of a victim from a fire that broke out at a commercial complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 1, 2024.

A firefighter carries a body of a victim from a fire that broke out at a commercial complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 1, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

First technical team from India arrives in Maldives

The government has confirmed that a team of Indian technical personnel have landed in Maldives to replace military troops that have been operating aircraft there. The development indicates a compromise between the Modi government and the recently elected Muizzu government on the contentious issue of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives that had become the target of the “India Out” campaign run by the ruling party. 

End pact with Kuki-Zo groups, Manipur Assembly tells Centre

As the Manipur Assembly has passed a resolution to urge the Union Government to abrogate the suspension of operations (SoO) pact with Kuki-Zo insurgent groups, in effect since 2008, suspense prevailed over the extension of the agreement. The 10 Kuki-Zo-Hmar legislators in the 60-member Assembly were not present in the House when the resolution was passed.

Abki Baar, 400 Paar’ slogan coined by public, not BJP: PM 

The slogan ‘Abki Baar, 400 Paar (This time, above 400)’ was not coined by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) but by the public itself to bring back the current government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said. “Today, there is only one thing being heard everywhere: ‘Abki Baar, 400 Paar’. This has happened for the first time that the public itself has elevated a slogan like this to bring back its beloved government. It has not been given by the BJP,” he said, virtually addressing the ‘Viksit Bharat, Viksit Madhya Pradesh‘ programme, a part of the Centre’s Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.

WTO talks extend as leaders discuss ways to break impasse over agri, fisheries issues

WTO ministerial meeting has been extended by a day amid hectic parleys to bridge differences between developed and emerging economies on issues such as agriculture, fisheries subsidies, and e-commerce moratorium.

Multiple data rejigs lift GDP growth to 7.6%, with 8.4% spurt in Q3

Making a flurry of revisions in the economy’s growth estimates, the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Thursday raised India’s real GDP growth esimate for this year to 7.6% from the 7.3% projected last month. It also scaled down its 7.2% growth estimate for 2022-23 to 7%, and raised its 2021-22 estimate from 9.1% to 9.7%. The Gross Value Added (GVA) in the economy is projected to rise 6.9% this year, with the NSO downgrading last year’s GVA growth to 6.7% from 7%. GDP growth for the first two quarters of this year was raised to 8.2% and 8.1%, further rising to 8.4% for the the October to December 2023 quarter (Q3).

Dhaka: At least 43 dead, 22 injured in a fire at a commercial complex

A fire at a six-story commercial building in Dhaka killed at least 43 people and injured dozens of others, Bangladesh’s health minister said on March 1. The country’s Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen said the fire broke out late on February 29 in the building in Dhaka’s Bailey Road area. Firefighters rescued survivors and pulled out dead bodies, and by early Friday, at least 43 people died and at least 22 others were being treated, he said. Firefighters said the fire began in a popular restaurant on the first floor of the building, and that many people were trapped by the fire.

Biden and Trump tour U.S.-Mexico border highlighting immigration as an election issue

U.S. President Joe Biden and likely Republican challenger Donald Trump walked the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on February 29, duelling trips underscoring how important immigration has become for the 2024 election and how much each man wants to use it to his advantage. Each chose an optimal location to make his points, and their schedules were remarkably similar. They each got a briefing on operations and issues, walked along the border and gave remarks that overlapped. But that's where the comparisons ended.

ZSI names a newly discovered head-shield sea slug after President Droupadi Murmu

The Zoological Survey of India named a new marine species of head-shield sea slug with ruby red spot which was discovered from West Bengal and Odisha coast after President of India Droupadi Murmu. This species belonging to Melanochlamys genus was discovered from Digha of West Bengal coast and Udaipur of Odisha coast. The new species of head-shield sea slug, which is found nowhere in the world, is named as Melanochlamys droupadi.

F1’s longest season set to kick off after an eventful off-season

After the most dramatic offseason in Formula 1 history, comes its longest-ever season. All three past and present champions on the grid — Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso — agree 24 races push the limits of what F1 drivers and team members can take.

“When I started we had 16 races,” said two-time champion Alonso, who has a record 377 career race starts. “Now we are up to 24 and this is not sustainable for the future for anyone.” “I feel already that we are way over the limit of races,” said Verstappen, who questioned if some drivers might “start shortening their careers” over the workload.

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