Daily Bulletin: Narendra Modi to begin two-day visit to Thailand, RCEP negotiations on cards; Sonia Gandhi to meet all Congress presidents; day's top stories
Here are today's top stories: Narendra Modi to begin two-day visit to Thailand for ASEAN-India, East Asia and RCEP summits today; West Bengal govt to facilitate return of 131 people working in Jammu and Kashmir; and more
Narendra Modi to begin two-day visit to Thailand for ASEAN-India, East Asia and RCEP summits today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Thailand from 2 to 4 November during which he will attend the ASEAN-India, East Asia and RCEP summits. Modi will be visiting Bangkok at the invitation of Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, secretary east Vijay Thakur Singh said at a media briefing. He will attend the 16th ASEAN-India summit, 14th East Asia Summit, and 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) summit and related events, it said.
Negotiations for resolving outstanding issues on RCEP are going on in Bangkok, it said, adding the leaders will review the state of negotiations at the summit.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) bloc comprises 10 ASEAN group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
Sonia Gandhi to meet all state Congress presidents today to discuss organisational issues
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has called for a high-level meeting of the general secretaries of the party along with presidents of frontal organisations on 2 November to discuss organisational issues.
The meeting will be conducted at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general headquarters in New Delhi at 5 pm, say reports. She had held a similar meeting on Friday. The meeting on Saturday is the second such since the announcements of the results of the Haryana and Maharashtra State Assembly elections.
The meeting is likely to take stock of the preparation for the nationwide agitation, which the party has planned for 5 to 15 November. The Congress had decided to hold these nationwide protests against the Narendra Modi government's policies with special focus on the economic crisis, unemployment, farm distress and the "adverse" impact of the proposed RCEP agreement.
Congress general secretary organisation KC Venugopal said in a statement that the protests against the BJP Government's "misrule" would be carried out at all state capitals and district headquarters.
Through these meetings, the Congress wants to ensure that it has a plan to build a narrative around various issues grappling the country such as economic distress, agrarian crisis and unemployment.
West Bengal govt to facilitate return of 131 people working in Jammu and Kashmir
The West Bengal government is facilitating the return of 131 people working in Jammu and Kashmir, to the state, a senior official said on Friday.
The state government has arranged for a special coach for the workers, who have expressed the desire to return following the killing of five workers from the state in Kashmir on 29 October, she said. "We are bringing back 131 people who had gone to J&K for work, but are now unwilling to continue there," the official said.
While nine labourers have already reached Jammu, the rest are on their way from Srinagar for the same destination, from where they would board the train to Kolkata.
The official said the West Bengal government took the decision after a senior minister received video footage in which Bengali labourers were seen urging the government to take steps in bringing them back.
"The workers are fearful that they will be killed if they continued to live in the Kashmir Valley," she said. They belong to North Dinajpur, Coochbehar and Murshidabad districts and have been working in the Valley for more than 15 years, she said.
Bollywood's Badshah Shah Rukh Khan turns 54 today as fans flock to Mannat to wish him
Actor Shah Rukh Khan, who turned 54 on Saturday, greeted his fans and waved at them as they waited outside his residence, 'Mannat' to wish him. A sea of fans were seen being immersed in the spirit of celebration, waiting outside his house for hours to get the glimpse of Bollywood's Badshah. And like every year, Shah Rukh's fans gathered outside his residence in Mumbai to wish and get a glimpse of him on his 54th birthday. Despite rains, fans who arrived in the city from Delhi, Bihar and other states, waited outside the actor's residence to personally wish him and pour lots of love.
Indian men's and women's hockey teams aim to seal Olympic spots
After winning their respective matches on Friday, the men's and women's hockey teams of India will look to cross the final hurdle en route to Tokyo 2020 Games by clinching victories in their second-leg qualifying matches. The women's team performed exceptionally well to down USA 5-1 in the first-leg and they would try to repeat the same performance on Saturday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Manpreet Singh-led men's side struggled to play at their fluent best but managed to beat their opponents Russia 4-2. They cannot afford any slip ups and can't take their match for granted as lowly-ranked Russia showed their appetite to fight till the final minute.
Blizzard President apologises at BlizzCon over Hearthstone ban fiasco
Blizzard Entertainment's annual event, BlizzCon 2019, kicked things off with an apology from it's President, J Allen Brack. "We moved too quickly in our decision-making, and then, to make matters worse, we were too slow to talk with all of you," he said but didn't mention even once about Hong Kong or the protests. Brack claimed accountability for it and promised that they will do better. The show later went on to announce Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, World of Warcraft Shadowlands expansion and more.
With inputs from agencies
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