Top news of the day: SC to hear on March 20 Telangana’s plea over Governor’s delay in giving assent to Bills; China opens borders to tourists after 3 years of restrictions, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

March 14, 2023 06:58 pm | Updated March 16, 2023 11:55 am IST

Toll booth from Bengaluru side to go to Mysuru on  Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway.

Toll booth from Bengaluru side to go to Mysuru on Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway. | Photo Credit: K. Bhagya Prakash

Telangana Govt. vs Governor | Supreme Court to hear on March 20 State’s plea over delay in giving assent to Bills passed by legislature 

The Supreme Court on March 14 agreed to urgently hear a petition filed by Telangana Government against Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan for creating a “constitutional impasse” by refusing to act on several Bills passed by the State legislature. Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud assured senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the State, that the case would be listed next week on March 20.

China opens borders to tourists after 3 years of restrictions 

China will, starting March 15, 2023, fully reopen its borders and allow tourists back into the country after three years of pandemic restrictions. The country’s embassies abroad will resume “issuing various categories of visas to foreigners Wednesday,” the Department of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said.

Bhopal gas tragedy case | Supreme Court dismisses Centre’s petition seeking additional compensation 

The Supreme Court on March 14 dismissed the government’s curative petition to secure more money from Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) to pay the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy as an attempt which came 39 years too late after what came to be known as ‘the world’s largest industrial disaster’. The Constitution Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said any attempt to enhance the compensation should have been made in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy and not three decades later.

India’s wholesale inflation eases to 3.85% in February 

India’s Wholesale Price Inflation (WPI) moderated to a two-year low of 3.85% in February from 4.73% in January, with manufactured products’ inflation cooling from 3% in January to a little under 2%, and primary articles food and fuel and power inflation recording milder downturns in inflation month-on-month inflation. Base effects also played a role as February 2022 had clocked a 13.43% uptick in wholesale prices. Fuel and Power inflation eased slightly from 15.15% in January to a 14.8% price rise this February, compared to 30.8% in the same month of 2022. Inflation measured by the Wholesale Food Index dropped from 2.95% in January to 2.76% in February, the pace of decline slightly higher than witnessed in consumer food prices, which moved from 6% to 5.95% over the same period.

Protests as toll collection begins on recently inaugurated Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway 

After a few outfits staged protests opposing the NHAI’s decision to impose toll on the Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway from March 14, the toll plaza near Kaniminike turned into a fortress with heavy police security. Since today is still the first day of collection, some technical glitches are also being faced. Many commuters were not happy to pay toll and could be seen fighting near the toll gates. A road user who was travelling to Ramanagara was angry as he was asked to pay a toll of ₹130. “Why are they imposing tax everywhere? Why should I pay so much to go such a short distance?” he questioned.

Lakhimpur Kheri violence case | Trial not ‘slow paced’, says Supreme Court, asks sessions court to apprise it of future developments 

The Supreme Court on March 14 said the trial in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, in which Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is among those facing prosecution, is not “slow paced” and directed the concerned sessions judge to keep apprising it about the future developments of the trial. The top court observed, though it is not monitoring the trial, it is having an “indirect supervision” on it.

Sony launches Alpha 7R V camera with 61 MP sensor and Bionz XR processing engine in India 

Sony on Tuesday launched the Alpha 7R V aimed at professionals as the newest R series camera. The new Alpha 7R V offers 61.0MP still images along with an effective 8-step image stabilisation system, as well as refined 8K movie output. It comes with a new 4-axis multi-angle monitor, high-speed communication functions, high-level operability, and smooth workflow integration.

Auditorium in Ariyalur Medical College campus named after Anitha, whose death intensified T.N. opposition to NEET 

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Tuesday announced that an auditorium at the Government Ariyalur Medical College campus, would be named after S. Anitha, a meritorious medical aspirant whose death in September 2017 intensified the Tamil Nadu government’s strong opposition to the Union government’s decision to use the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical admissions. The auditorium is being named “in memory of Anitha, who undertook a legal struggle against NEET in the Supreme Court and gave her life,” an official release from the State government, quoted Mr. Stalin as saying. “Her death made the world realise the brutal nature of the NEET”.

Cummins to stay back in Australia, Steve Smith to lead side in ODI series 

Senior batter Steve Smith will lead Australia against India in the upcoming three-match ODI series as regular captain Pat Cummins, who lost his mother recently, will not return to the country for the white-ball contest. Cummins had left for home after the second Test in Delhi to take care of his mother Maria, who died of breast cancer last week. The first game of the three-match series will be played in Mumbai on March 17.

Williamson, Southee to be released early for IPL, not named in NZ squad for white-ball series against SL 

Four New Zealand players, including Kane Williamson and Tim Southee, were given go-ahead by the country’s cricket board to join their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams without taking part in the home white-ball series against Sri Lanka. The quartet of Williamson (Gujarat Titans), Southee (Kolkata Knight Riders), Devon Conway, and Mitchell Santner (both Chennai Super Kings) will be released after the second and final Test against Sri Lanka beginning here on Friday so that they are able to join their respective IPL franchises early.

‘Well-orchestrated’ personal attack based on ‘lies’: Sam Pitroda on criticism of Rahul’s remarks in U.K. 

Amid a political storm over Rahul Gandhi’s “democracy under attack” remarks in the U.K., Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda on March 14 said the former party president never invited any foreign countries for help and was being subjected to a “well-orchestrated” personal attack based on “lies and misinformation”. Mr. Gandhi’s remarks in the U.K. have rocked Parliament with both Houses of Parliament failing to transact any significant business during the first two days of the second half of the Budget Session. A battery of senior Union Ministers have led the charge against Mr. Gandhi, demanding an apology, while the Congress has countered it with its JPC probe demand on the Adani issue.

20 years since U.S. invasion of Iraq, Saddam’s yachts attest to legacy of excess, war

Frozen in time for 20 years, two superyachts lie at the confluence of Iraq’s Tigris and Euphrates rivers, bearing witness to the false glories of former dictator Saddam Hussein. Just a few hundred metres separate the grandiose vessels on the Shatt al-Arab waterway in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, but despite their proximity, they have met very different fates. The Al-Mansur (Victorious) now lays on its side, having capsized after it was struck during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that ended Saddam’s decades of iron-fisted rule.

Police arrive at Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore to arrest him 

A heavy contingent of police on March 14 surrounded the residence of Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan in Lahore as Islamabad police intended to arrest him in the Toshakhana case. The police blocked all roads leading to the house of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman by placing containers and riot personnel took positions to launch the operation. A large number of PTI workers equipped with clubs are also present outside the 70-year-old leader’s residence to resist the police action.

‘Dasara’ trailer: Nani, Keerthy Suresh in an intense action drama directed by Srikanth Odela 

The trailer of Dasara, the first big Telugu film to arrive in theatres this summer, was unveiled in Lucknow on Tuesday evening. The film starring Nani and Keerthy Suresh, written and directed by first-timer Srikanth Odela, aims to capture the attention of audiences across India and will release in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam on March 30. The trailer shows glimpses of the characters and their lives in the vicinity of coal mines at Godavarikhani in Telangana. The rugged action drama is said to be inspired by real incidents and narrates the struggles of those working at the coal mines. The Dasara festivities such as Bathukamma and the burning of an effigy of Ravana are part of the film’s narrative, going by the trailer. 

PM Modi is afraid of AAP: Kejriwal in Madhya Pradesh 

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on March 14 said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is afraid of the AAP and that he (Mr. Modi) would suffer in the Lok Sabha elections. “Modiji is afraid of AAP as the way we have performed in Gujarat, like challenging a tiger in its den and the way people supported us..,” Mr. Kejriwal told reporters outside the State hangar when asked about ruling BJP targeting opposition leaders in the country.

No proposal under consideration for creation of any new State: Govt. 

There is no proposal under the Central Government’s consideration for the creation of any new State, Lok Sabha was informed on March 14. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said this while replying to a written question on whether the government has received any proposal for the constitution of Bundelkhand state.

Cancer cases in India projected to rise from 14.6 lakh in 2022 to 15.7 lakh in 2025: Govt. 

The number of cancer cases in the country is projected to go up from 14.6 lakh in 2022 to 15.7 lakh in 2025, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Cancer Registry Programme (ICMR-NCRP), the government informed Parliament on March 14. Elaborating on the steps taken by the government in this regard, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said a population-based initiative for prevention, control and screening for common non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers, has been rolled out in the country under the National Health Mission (NHM) and also as a part of comprehensive primary healthcare.

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