Daily Bulletin: Two Independent MLAs move SC seeking direction to conclude Karnataka Assembly floor test today; Chandrayaan-2 launch at 2.43 pm; day's top stories

Karnataka political crisis: Two Independent MLAs move SC seeking direction to conclude Assembly floor test today

Two independent Karnataka MLAs on Sunday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to conclude a floor test in the state Assembly on Monday before 5 pm.

 Daily Bulletin: Two Independent MLAs move SC seeking direction to conclude Karnataka Assembly floor test today; Chandrayaan-2 launch at 2.43 pm; days top stories

Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. ANI

Two lawmakers — H Nagesh and R Shankar — have made Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, and the Centre as the respondents in their petition.

The petition moved through advocate Diksha Rai has sought the enforcement of their fundamental rights under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, which the petitioners allege are being "violated with impunity".

The petitioners have submitted that a minority government, which does not have the confidence of the majority, is being allowed to continue in office. "It is submitted that the actions of the respondents are leading to a Constitutional crisis in the state of Karnataka," the plea stated.

 "The intention of the government is to delay the trust vote and indulge in horse-trading and defections from the BJP in the meanwhile," the plea submitted. "It is submitted that this court may be pleased to intervene to uphold the rule of law and constitutional democracy," it added.

Chandrayaan-2 launch at 2.43 pm today from Andhra Pradesh's Sriharikota launchpad 

The launch of Chandrayaan-2, India's second mission to the moon which was called off due to a technical snag on 15 July 2019, will be taking off today at 2.43 pm IST. The spacecraft, carrying an orbiter, lander and a rover, will be launched on a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-MkIII from a launchpad in Sriharikota, as was planned earlier. The mission will be streamed live on DD National's YouTube channel and Tech2's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter handle, made available 30 minutes before the launch window opens.

ISRO said that the Orbiter and Lander modules of Chandrayaan-2 have been stacked together with the rover tucked away inside the lander as a single integrated module that was recently fit into the GSLV MK-III-M1 rocket for a ride to orbit. The Chandrayaan-2 integrated module is expected to reach the Moon's orbit by September, and make a landing on 6 September.

Chandrayaan-2 will be India's second mission to the moon, and the first to attempt a soft landing. It is a follow-up mission to Chandrayaan-1, which launched in October 2008 and helped provide the first confirmation of water (in the form of hydroxyl ions) on the moon in 2009.

Bihar floods: Toll rises to 102 as five more dead in Madhubani; over 72 lakh affected in 12 districts

Five more people died in Bihar flood, taking the death toll to 102 on Sunday, as over 72 lakh people were affected in 12 districts, the state's disaster management department said. All the five deaths were reported since late Saturday from.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday visited relief camps in Sitamarhi and Darbhanga. Around 72.78 lakh people of 104 blocks in 12 districts were affected by the floods that have hit the state in the wake of torrential rainfall in the catchment areas of neighbouring Nepal.

Of the 12 affected districts, Sitamarhi, with 27 deaths, remained the worst-affected, followed by Madhubani (23), Araria (12), Sheohar and Darbhanga (10 each) and Purnea (nine), Kishanganj (five), Supaul (three), East Champaran (two) and Saharsa (one).

Two of the flood-hit districts — Muzaffarpur and Katihar — have reported no deaths till date, the department said in a report. More than one lakh people have been displaced, with 1.14 lakh taking shelter at 133 relief camps of which 127 have been set up in Sitamarhi alone.

Food is being prepared for the affected population at 776 community kitchens and distributed by 796 personnel equipped with 125 boats, who are assisted by 19 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams.

Imran Khan arrives in the US, expected to meet Trump on Monday

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan arrived in Washington on his maiden trip to the US during which he will hold talks with Donald Trump and reboot bilateral ties that were hit after the US president publicly criticised Islamabad, cancelled military aid and asked it to do more to fight terrorism.

Khan, 66, is scheduled to meet President Trump at the White House on Monday during which the American leadership is likely to press him to take "decisive and irreversible" actions against terrorist and militant groups operating from Pakistani soil and facilitate peace talks with the Taliban.

The cricketer-turned-politician arrived on Saturday afternoon aboard a commercial Qatar Airways flight and is staying at the official residence of the Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Asad Majeed Khan.

During his three-day visit, Khan, in addition to his meeting with Trump, is also scheduled to meet IMF acting chief David Lipton and World Bank president David Malpass. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will call on him on Tuesday.

Trump, in addition to a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office, will host the visiting delegation over a working lunch at the White House on Monday. Khan is also scheduled to meet lawmakers at the US Capitol Hill.

The relations between Pakistan and the US have remained tense during Trump's tenure. The US president has publicly said that Pakistan has given us "nothing but lies and deceit" and also suspended security and other assistance for backing terror groups.

GST Council to decide on tax cut on electric vehicles this week

The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will meet on 25 July and decide on lowering tax rates for electric vehicles, officials said.

The 36th meeting of the Council, which will happen through video conferencing, is also likely to decide the valuation of goods and services in solar power generating systems and wind turbine projects for the purposes of levying GST.

The Council, which has state finance ministers as members, in its meeting last month, had referred the issue relating to Goods and Services  (GST) concessions on electric vehicles, electric chargers and hiring of electric vehicles, to an officers committee.

Google fined over YouTube Kids privacy issue

The US Federal Trade Commission has approved a multi-million dollar settlement over the probe investigating YouTube's privacy issues when it came to safeguarding the kids using its service. According to the commission, Google and YouTube haven't been able to protect the privacy of children and the collection of their data violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 22, 2019 08:53:55 IST