Daily Bulletin: Politics rages over Balakot air strikes; Rajeev Saxena to record confession in AugustaWestland case; day's top stories
Day's top stories: Politics rages over the casualty figure of the Balakot air strike; Rajeev Saxena who was extradited from the UAE is set to record a key statement in AugustaWestland case; India looks for a second victory against Australia in the ODI series; and more.
Amid massive global pressure, Pakistan has reissued orders to freeze the assets of designated terror groups
Opposition leaders have increased the volume of their clamour for proof that the Balakot air strike took place
Rajeev Saxena, who was deported from Dubai, will be recording an important statement on the AgustaWestland case
Confusion, politics reign supreme over Balakot air strikes
With Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah claiming that 250 terrorists were killed in Indian Air Force air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp at Balakot in Pakistan on 26 February, Opposition leaders have increased the volume of their clamour for "proof" that as many were killed.
Shah's comment on the casualty comes after Union minister SS Ahluwalia said on Saturday that neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor Shah ever claimed that the air strikes killed over 300 terrorists.
The demand for "proof" has been raised by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, along with Opposition leaders like Arvind Kejriwal, Kapil Sibal, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati, Mehbooba Mufti, Salman Khursheed and others. The BJP has alleged that those doubting the strike speak in Pakistan's voice.
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Monday said the Indian Air Force's (IAF) job was to hit its targets, not count casualties. He made the statement at a press briefing in response to a question on the number of terrorists killed in Balakot.
Pakistan cracks down on terror groups
Amid massive global pressure, Pakistan has reissued orders to freeze the assets of designated terror groups and individuals. Pakistani government departments have been asked to ensure that the clampdown imposed after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 be reinforced.
The foreign office said that the government issued the UN Security Council (Freezing and Seizure) Order, 2019, in accordance with the provisions of Pakistan's United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Act, 1948.
"The objective of the UNSC (Freezing and Seizure) Order 2019 is to streamline the procedure for implementation of security council sanctions against designated individuals and entities," it said in a statement.
Lok Sabha polls: BJP to meet minority leaders; AIADMK-DMDK alliance takes off; Congress-CPM to tie up in Bengal
As many as 100 minority leaders and intellectuals are set to meet the BJP brass in Delhi on Thursday, 7 March. The exercise will help the party prepare its election manifesto.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh, on Tuesday to kick the BJP's poll campaign in the state. BJP workers, mainly from the tribal-dominated Dhar and Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seats, will take part in the Vijay Sankalp rally. Modi is scheduled to address a public meeting in Ahmedabad in Gujarat at noon before leaving for Indore.
Meanwhile, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has confirmed that talks with the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam party are inching closer to a deal. A formal announcement is expected ahead of Modi's visit to Tamil Nadu.
The central committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has put an end to longstanding speculation and given its seal of approval on the wishes of the party's West Bengal wing to forge a seat sharing arrangement with the Congress in Bengal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
AgustaWestland scam: Rajeev Saxena to confess at Delhi court
Tuesday looks to be a crucial day in the Enforcement Directorate's investigation into the alleged VVIP helicopter or AgustaWestland scam. Rajeev Saxena, who was deported from Dubai, will be recording an important statement before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Delhi. Saxena had moved a plea to become an approver in the Rs 3,600-crore money laundering case.
On 25 February, the Delhi court had granted regular bail to the Dubai-based businessman and had directed Saxena to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 5 lakh. It had also stated that Saxena could not leave the country without its permission.
Trump denies reports on discussing military drills with Kim
US president Donald Trump on Monday said he had not discussed anything regarding the issue of US-South Korea spring military exercises during his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last week.
The US president took to Twitter saying, "The military drills, or war games as I call them, were never even discussed in my mtg w/ Kim Jong Un of NK—FAKE NEWS!"
The statement comes amid reports that Washington suspended the two military exercises as a concession to North Korea despite having failed to reach an agreement on the denuclearisation of the entire Korean Peninsula.
Oppo F11 Pro to launch today
Oppo's latest mid-range smartphone, the F11 Pro, is set to debut at 5.30 pm on Tuesday. The phone features a nearly bezel-less design and, interestingly, ditches the notch and offers a pop-up selfie camera instead.
Other highlights include a 48 MP selfie camera, a MediaTek Helio P70 chip, 4,000 mAh battery and a 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage option. The official price will be revealed at the launch, but we are expecting it to be in the Rs 25,000 range.
Vijay Mallya's defiance prompts SEBI to seek changes to Companies Act
Capital markets regulator SEBI has asked the government to amend the Companies Act to ensure that a director declared by it as a disqualified person should immediately vacate the position, a plea triggered by defaulter businessman Vijay Mallya's reluctance to do so.
Under the Companies Act, the office of a director becomes vacant in the case of he or she being disqualified by an order of a court or a tribunal, among other reasons, but there is no explicit mention of an order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which is mandated with the regulation of thousands of listed firms in India.
In a proposal, SEBI has now proposed that the Companies Act should also clearly mention that a person should vacate the office of a director if it orders his or her disqualification.
Officials said the Finance Ministry is in agreement with SEBI on the proposed amendment and has asked the regulator to get it approved by its board and subsequently forward it to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, which is the nodal ministry for the Companies Act.
India aim to continue winning ways in second ODI against Australia
Virat Kohli's men look to extent their 100 percent win record against Australia at Nagpur in the second ODI on Tuesday. Despite a comfortable six-wicket win in the opening ODI in Hyderabad, the hosts look to fix few batting chinks at the VCA stadium.
KL Rahul could possibly be included in the playing XI. While Australia have their own batting woes to address starting with captain Aaron Finch, who has been in a dreadful rut in the past few ODIs.
'We love cinema': Netflix responds to Spielberg's criticism of streaming services
Netflix on Monday said traditional cinema and digital platforms can coexist in harmony, in an apparent response to Steven Spielberg's push for a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to exclude streaming services for Oscars eligibility.
"We love cinema. Here are some things we also love: Access for people who can't always afford or live in towns without theaters; letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time; and giving filmmakers more ways to share art. These things are not mutually exclusive," the streaming giant said in a statement shared on official Twitter account of Netflix Films.
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Mike Barker, whose credits include episodes of The Handmaid's Tale and Fargo, will direct Luckiest Girl Alive from a script by Jessica Knoll, on whose 2015 novel the movie is based.
Fistful of Vengeance, starring original Wu Assassins cast members, is set to shoot in Thailand.
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