30 October 2020
A) Eight core industries’ output contracts 0.8% in September.
The output of eight core infrastructure sectors dropped by 0.8% in September, mainly due to decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and cement. This is the seventh consecutive month of contraction for these sectors. The production of eight core sectors had contracted 5.1% in September 2019, data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry showed on Thursday. The decline in output during the month under review was lowest since March. Barring coal, electricity and steel, all sectors — crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilizer and cement — recorded negative growth in September 2020. During April-September, the sectors’ output dropped by 14.9% as compared to a growth of 1.3% in the same period of the previous year.
B) NIA raids 6 NGOs, trusts in Kashmir, Delhi in connection with terror funding.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 29 October raided nine locations in the Valley and one in Delhi in connection with a case related to NGOs and trusts diverting funds meant for charitable activities to secessionist and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Several incriminating documents and electronic devices were seized, the NIA said in a statement. Those whose premises were searched include Falah-e-Aam Trust, Charity Alliance in Delhi, Human Welfare Foundation, JK Yateem Foundation, Salvation Movement, and JK Voice of Victims. The case was registered on October 8 under various sections of the IPC and the UAPA on receiving credible information that certain NGOs and Trusts are collecting funds domestically and abroad through so-called donations and business contributions and then using them to fund terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.
C) Rajinikanth says statement on his political entry is fake, but content on his health is true.
Following widespread speculations regarding his political entry being called off, actor Rajinikanth clarified on 29 October that an announcement would be made on his entry into politics at the right time after discussions with office bearers of the Rajini Makkal Mandram. A leaked letter attributed to Rajinikanth and circulating on social media had suggested that his plans of entering politics were being called off. A letter appearing to be my statement is being shared virally on social media and in the press. Everyone knows that it is not my statement, the actor tweeted. However, some references made in the letter about my health and my doctor’s advice to me were true. I will make an announcement regarding my political stand to the people regarding this at the right time after due consultation with members of Rajini Makkal Mandram.
D) Former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel passes away.
Former Gujarat Chief Minister and a stalwart who played a key role in building the BJP in Gujarat, Keshubhai Patel, died of cardiac arrest on the morning of 29 October. He was 92. Patel was rushed to a private hospital in Ahmedabad after he fell unconscious at his residence in Gandhinagar. The nonagenarian had recently tested positive for Covid-19 but had recovered. The BJP veteran was Gujarat’s chief minister in 1995 when the party came to power for the first time and again during 1998-2001. Prime Minister Narendra Modi succeeded him as Gujarat chief minister in October 2001. As news of his demise became public, condolences began pouring in from top functionaries and leaders, including the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
E) Vizag gas leak: Supreme Court defers NGT proceedings, asks LG Polymers to file response in 10 days.
The Supreme Court on 29 October has deferred the National Green Tribunal (NGT) proceedings indefinitely, and ordered LG Polymers to file its response to a Joint Monitoring Committee report that had highlighted many lacunae in the functioning of its Visakhapatnam plant prior to a gas leak on May 7 that left 12 dead and several injured. A Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit gave LG Polymers 10 days’ time as a last opportunity to file its objections to the report, which was uploaded on the NGT website on May 23. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the company could not file its response to the report after June 1 due to several unexpected reasons. They are willing to defer the hearing for you to file the objections to the report, Justice Lalit told Rohatgi said. The Bench scheduled a hearing for November 16. On June 15, the Supreme Court had stayed an NGT order of June 1 directing LG Polymers to pay ₹50 crore for the restoration of environment and payment of interim compensation to victims of the gas leak. In its June 1 order, the tribunal had also directed the framing of a restoration plan, final quantification of the compensation to be paid to victims, and action against officials responsible for allowing the company to function without statutory clearances. All of these directions were stayed by the Supreme Court.
F) Kejriwal launches app where citizens can upload images of polluting activities.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 29 October has launched the ‘Green Delhi’ mobile application, using which citizens can bring pollution-causing activities to the government’s notice. The Chief Minister said the government wants to involve everyone in the fight against pollution as no big change can take place without the support of the people. He said citizens can click pictures or make a video of pollution-causing activities, such as burning of garbage, industrial pollution, dust, etc. and upload them on the application. The application will identify the location and the complaint will be automatically forwarded to the concerned department for time-bound redressal, he said.
A) Three dead as woman beheaded in knife attack at French church.
A knife-wielding attacker shouting “Allahu Akbar” beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a suspected terrorist attack at a church in the French city of Nice on 29 October. Nice’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, who described the attack as terrorism, said on Twitter it had happened in or near the city’s Notre Dame church and that police have detained the attacker. Estrosi said the attacker had shouted the phrase ‘Allahu Akbar’, or ‘God is greatest’. One of the people killed inside the church was believed to be the church warden, Estrosi said. The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to the hospital, he is alive. The attack comes while France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of middle school teacher by a man of Chechen origin. The attacker had said he wanted to punish the teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a civics lesson. It was not immediately clear if the attack was connected to the cartoons, which Muslims consider to be blasphemous. France has raised the security alert for French territory to the highest level after the knife attack, Prime Minister Jean Castex said.
B) U.K.’s Labour party suspends Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism failings.
Britain’s Opposition Labour party suspended its former leader Jeremy Corbyn on October 29 for seeking to deflect blame away from himself after a report found that under his leadership the party was responsible for unlawful harassment and discrimination. Corbyn’s successor, Keir Starmer, apologised and said the Labour was facing a “day of shame” after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found serious failings in how the party had dealt with allegations of anti-Semitism within its ranks. Corbyn’s tenure was marred by persistent complaints of anti-Semitism in the party and criticism of the leader’s response. He was suspended after saying he did not accept all the report’s findings, that his attempts at reforming complaints processes had been stalled by obstructive party bureaucracy, and that the scale of the problem had been overstated for political reasons. In light of his comments made and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation, the Labour party said in a statement. The party added it had removed the Labour whip from Corbyn, meaning that the former leader will no longer be able to take part in House of Commons votes as a Labour lawmaker.
C) Pakistan Minister admits Islamabad’s role in Pulwama terror attack.
In a sensational admission, a senior Pakistani Minister on 29 October has admitted that Pakistan was responsible for the Pulwama terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 that killed 40 CRPF personnel and brought the two countries to the brink of war. Humne Hindustan ko ghus ke maara (We hit India in their home). Our success in Pulwama, is a success of this nation under the leadership of Imran Khan. You and us are all part of that success, Science & Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in the National Assembly during a debate. Chaudhry, a close aide of Prime Minister Imran Khan, made the remarks a day after Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq said that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in an important meeting, had pleaded for the immediate release of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was captured by the Pakistani Army on February 27, 2019 after his MiG-21 Bison jet was shot down in a dogfight with Pakistani jets. Chaudhry, who was the information and broadcasting minister at the time of the Pulwama attack, criticised Sadiq’s remarks and termed them as inappropriate. The international community led by the U.S. has pressed Pakistan to deny safe haven to terror groups operating from its soil and bring the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack to justice.