U.S.-China trade war likely to dominate Narendra Modi-Donald Trump talks
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump will meet in Biarritz, France, on August 25, where India is a special invitee to the G7 summit. The meeting comes ahead of the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders on August 26, where trade issues are expected to overshadow proceedings.
While the impact of the growing U.S.-China trade war will be centrestage, New Delhi is also closely watching a special meeting at the G7 on how to reform the World Trade Organisation (WTO), where U.S. trade officials have indicated Mr. Trump could bring a proposal to stop India and China from availing special rights as developing countries.
Walling off the sea to save Sunderbans temple in West Bengal
The Kapil Muni temple on Sagar Island in the Sunderbans, where a large number of devotees gather every year during the Gangasagar fair, is facing the threat of rising seas and will be submerged in the next few years.
Bankim Hazra, the local MLA and Gangasagar Bakkhali Development Authority (GBDA) chairperson, is campaigning to save the temple located 400 metres from the sea. The Finance Department has given in principle approval for the construction of sea walls using offshore submerged geotubes (sand-like material filled into geo-textile tube). The cost is ₹77 crore.
One-third killed by elephants in north Bengal were drunk
One-third of the people killed by elephants in north Bengal between 2006 and 2016 happened to be drunk and chasing the animal. During this period, a total of 476 persons died and 1646 injured in elephant attacks in the four districts of the region: Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, and Cooch Behar.
The study was published earlier this year in science journal Plos One. It analysed the age, profession and identity of the victims and found that 36% were drunk (on local rice beer called handia) and were chasing away elephants from their fields or the vicinity of their homes.
Rafale will join IAF in full force in a year
The first batch of Rafale fighter jets will be handed over to India in September in France, but they will arrive in India only by the end of April 2020. During that time, Indian Air Force pilots will undergo advanced training on those jets in France, defence sources said.
The first batch is scheduled to be handed over in September. From then to April 2020, three batches of eight IAF pilots [each], along with engineers and technicians, will undergo advanced training on the Indian jets in France, a senior source said. “The Indian-standard Rafale with all India-specific enhancements (ISE) will be operationally ready latest by September 2021.”
Meeting ‘brother’ in UAE, PM Modi urges NRIs to invest in J&K, Ladakh
Weeks after the UAE backed India on revoking special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the NRI business community based in the UAE to invest in India, particularly in J & K and Ladakh. The NRI business community demonstrated their enthusiasm in this regard.
The Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “At the Business Roundtable in Abu Dhabi with NRI businessmen based in the UAE, PM urged them to invest in India, particularly in J&K and Ladakh, in view of the recent changes. The NRI business community demonstrated their enthusiasm in this regard.”
Brazil records highest number of fires since 2013
Hundreds of new fires are raging in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, official data showed on Saturday, amid growing international pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro to put out the blazes.
Official figures show that 78,383 forest fires were recorded in Brazil so far this year, the highest number of any year since 2013, and experts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has accelerated the deforestation.
U.S. to open Greenland consulate
The Donald Trump administration is planning to open a U.S. consulate in Greenland for the first time in decades amid increased strategic and economic interest in the Danish territory. The State Department said in a letter to Congress that re-establishing a consulate in Nuuk is part of a broader plan to increase the U.S. presence in the Arctic.
MSMEs seek more sops to tide over crisis
Despite Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing several initiatives for providing relief to the MSME sector, a section of the industry said that those measures alone would not help it come out of its problems.
Today, the main problem of MSMEs is the financial issue. To solve this, both the central and State governments must immediately clear all dues towards supplies and services rendered by MSMEs within 30 days.
Russian spacecraft carrying humanoid robot fails to dock
A spacecraft carrying Russia’s humanoid robot failed to dock with the International Space Station on Saturday morning, Russian state news agencies reported.
Fedor, also known as Skybot F-850, is a life-sized, artificially intelligent robot sent to space by Russia. It is the first humanoid robot sent to space by Russia and was scheduled to spend two weeks running tests on board the station with Expedition 60 Commander Alexey Ovchinin before returning home the first week of September.