Daily Bulletin: Modi to inaugurate Satyagraha Memorial in Dandi; fuel prices decline; Apple disables Group FaceTime; day's top stories
Today's top stories: Narendra Modi to inaugurate Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi today; Venezuela targets Juan Guaido with probe, travel ban; Apple temporarily disables Group FaceTime; and more.
Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Gujarat on Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary today.
After remaining stable for nearly a week, petrol and diesel prices declined by up to 9 paise and 11 paise respectively in major cities across the country.
At the heels of the release of Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut now plans to make a biopic on politician George Fernandes who passed away in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Venezuela’s government struck back at self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts.
Narendra Modi to inaugurate Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Gujarat on Wednesday on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary. During his day-long visit to the state, he will also lay the foundation stone for the extension of a terminal building at Surat airport.
"The memorial has statues of Mahatma Gandhi and the 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March. It also has 24 narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March," an official statement said.
Modi will also address a public meeting later.
BJP moves on Ram temple construction, AIMIM calls it 'insidious'
The Ayodhya matter is likely to continue to make headlines on Wednesday as the Centre has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in connection with the title dispute. It has requested the court to release the "excess vacant land" the government had acquired around the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Uttar Pradesh so it can transfer this "non-disputed" plot to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, this writ petition is being seen as the BJP-led government's move to reaffirm its commitment towards building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Describing the Centre's plea in as "insidious", All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the NDA government was trying to prevent fair adjudication of the dispute.
"This insidious attempt by the central government should not be ignored. They're trying everything in their capacity to prevent a fair and independent adjudication of the Babri Masjid dispute," the AIMIM leader tweeted.
Fuel prices decline after a week
After remaining stable for nearly a week, petrol and diesel prices declined on Tuesday by up to 9 paise and 11 paise, respectively, in major cities across the country. This followed a dip in crude rates in the past few days.
After the fuel rates were revised on Tuesday, petrol was priced at Rs 71.19 a litre in Delhi, Rs 76.82 in Mumbai, Rs 73.90 in Chennai and Rs 73.28 per litre in Kolkata, according to the Indian Oil Corporation.
Similarly, diesel retailed at Rs 65.89 per litre in in Delhi, Rs 69 in Mumbai, Rs 69.61 in Chennai and Rs 67.67 a litre in Kolkata.
Fuel prices remained unchanged for six straight days after they spiked on 22 January. This month, state-run oil marketing companies reduced fuel prices just three times due to the rise in crude oil rates in the international market and a weak rupee.
Petrol and diesel rates hit their highest level of this month in Delhi at Rs 72.27 per litre and Rs 66 on 22 January. Petrol and diesel rates rose by Rs 2.54 and Rs 3.23, respectively, in Delhi since the beginning of this month.
Crude oil prices crept up on Tuesday after Washington imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA in a step set to severely curb crude exports from members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to the US.
Venezuela targets Guaido with probe, travel ban, asset freeze
Venezuela's government struck back at self-declared interim president Juan Guaido on Tuesday, with the Supreme Court imposing a travel ban and freeze on his bank accounts, despite a warning from Washington of "serious consequences" if it did so.
The Supreme Court approved a request from Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek Saab to open a preliminary investigation into Guaido based on accusations that he had helped foreign countries interfere in internal matters. The court also imposed a travel ban on the 35-year-old leader and froze his bank accounts.
The United States and several other countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate head of state and denounced Nicolas Maduro as a usurper. Maduro, sworn in as president on 10 January for a second term after disputed elections last year, accuses Guaido of staging a US-directed coup against him. Maduro is backed by a number of countries, including Russia.
Apple temporarily disables Group FaceTime to address security bug
Apple has temporarily disabled its Group FaceTime feature in iOS and macOS as a quick fix to a critical security flaw that was exposed recently. The FaceTime bug could allow an iPhone user calling another iPhone through Group FaceTime to hear the audio from the other handset, even if the receiver did not accept the call.
Apple was quick to react, stating that a software patch was in the works to solve the problem. However, considering the severity of the issue, the Cupertino giant has now remotely disabled the feature altogether to address the problem. The feature won't be available till a patch is released.
Pound falls against dollar and euro as 'hard' Brexit seen as more likely
The pound tumbled against the dollar and euro on Tuesday after the British Parliament rejected a proposal to delay Brexit.
On a mixed day for global stocks, the trajectory of Britain's departure from the European Union was as murky as ever after a series of votes in Parliament, which included a rejection of a proposal to order Prime Minister Theresa May to delay the exit if no new deal with the EU emerged by 26 February.
Parliament then went on to vote 317 to 301 in favour of the amendment asking May to replace the deal's so-called backstop provision preventing a hard border with Ireland — a proposal immediately rejected by an EU spokesman.
Will make biopic on George Fernandes, says Sanjay Raut
At the heels of the release of Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut now plans to make a biopic on former defence minister George Fernandes who passed away in New Delhi on Tuesday.
"I will make a biographical film on George Fernandes. It will focus mostly on the period from the mid-1950s in Mumbai to the Emergency, and the crucial role he played in coalition-era politics," Raut told media persons on Tuesday.
Incidentally, there's a scene in Thackeray where Fernandes, played by Prakash Belawadi, visits Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, essayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, in a Pune jail.
The engineer-innovator, who gained national fame after inspiring the lead character in the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots, is demanding an extension of the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule for Ladakh and environmental protection from ‘unchecked industrial and commercial expansion’
While India is broadly in favour of globalisation and free trade, the Modi government has placed the national self-interest stage centre in the mix. It wants reciprocity and mutual advantage, or it tends to lean towards Aatmanirbharta
Diesel prices have already jumped since the war started on 24 February, and they could rise again for the fuel that is key to the global economy