News18 Daybreak | 36 Union Ministers to Visit J&K over 5 Months after Article 370 Move and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For
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U.S. President Donald Trump introduces Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to speak during a signing ceremony for "phase one" of the U.S.-China trade agreement in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2020
Today’s Big Stories
36 union ministers to visit J&K over 5 months after Article 370 move
A group of union ministers is set to visit Jammu and Kashmir between January 18 and 24, more than five months after the Narendra Modi government scrapped its special status and bifurcated the state into two union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
A list of the 36 ministers, however, showed that most of this outreach effort will remain restricted to Jammu as 51 of the 59 places that they will visit are in the district, while the remaining eight are in Srinagar. The list includes Piyush Goyal, Ravi Shankar Prasad, G Kishen Reddy, Smriti Irani and VK Singh.
Omar Abdullah shifted: Meanwhile, to accommodate the ministerial delegation at Hari Nivas, former CM Omar Abdullah will be shifted to a house near his official residence, 163 days after he was taken into preventive custody.
Trump signs 'momentous' trade deal with China, Beijing to buy $200 million more in US goods over 2 years
US President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited "phase one" trade deal with China, in which the latter agreed to buy $200 billion more in US goods over two years than it did in 2017 before the trade war erupted. This includes an additional $32 billion in American farm products and seafood, nearly $78 billion in manufactured goods like aircraft, machinery and steel, and $52 billion in energy products. The agreement will also roll back some tariffs, defusing an 18-month conflict between the world's two largest economies.
In other news
Kashmir in UN: A closed-door consultation on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir will take place at the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday evening, said sources. France said it has opposed a fresh request by a member country for the discussion, saying that the issue must be settled bilaterally.
Anti-CAA stir: A Delhi court granted bail to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, accused of inciting people to violence during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Jama Masjid on December 20. The court restrained him from staying in Delhi and to hold any protest till February 16. Meanwhile, the Jamia Millia Islamia decided to move the court against police action on its campus in December.
Rethinking RCEP: India has not closed its doors on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and will carry out a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate its merit, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said. He said India pulled out of the deal as the offer made by countries of the bloc did not match expectations.
Nirbhaya case execution: The Delhi High Court rejected the petition filed by Mukesh Singh, a convict in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, against the death warrant issued by the trial court even as the state government said the four convicts can “surely not be hanged” on January 22 as a mercy petition filed by Singh is pending.
Alarm bells: The past decade has been the hottest on record, the United Nations said, warning that the higher temperatures were expected to fuel numerous extreme weather events in 2020 and beyond. The World Meteorological Organization said it also confirmed data released by the European Union's climate monitor showing that 2019 was the second hottest on record, after 2016.
On our specials
Unexplained bias: The Delhi Development Authority's LIG and Janta flats in Badarpur are roughly 500 metres apart. In one, residents wake up at the crack of dawn and have less than 30 minutes to fill enough water for the entire day, while in the other, people enjoy the leisure of not only longer sleeping hours but almost three times as much time for the same purpose. Rounak Kumar Gunjan reports from Badarpur the skewed water distribution system of which is a sample case for almost the entire city.
Indefinite delay: With the Delhi government making a statement in the high court that the Nirbhaya case convicts cannot be hanged on January 22, questions galore over the delay caused by the Tihar Jail administration in ensuring the convicts exhaust all their remedies within a reasonable time-frame. Utkarsh Anand writes that although the high court asked one of the convicts Mukesh Singh to go to the trial judge for a stay on the death warrant, the statement by the Delhi government lawyer makes the execution an uncertain affair also because the other three are yet to move their mercy plea.
Amazon.com Inc will invest $1 billion in digitizing small- and medium-businesses in India and expects to export $10 billion worth of India-made goods by 2025, its founder Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday. Watch to know more.
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