MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 14 JANUARY
PICTURE OF THE DAY
Villagers participate in a community fishing event during Bhogali Bihu harvest celebrations at Goroimari Lake.
Rohingya Repatriation: Bangladesh-Myanmar-China tripartite talks January 19
Bangladesh, Myanmar and China will hold a tripartite meeting on Rohingya repatriation in Dhaka on January 19, as Dhaka finds their repatriation to Myanmar as the only solution to the crisis.
"We hope it would be a fruitful meeting," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters on Wednesday about the tripartite talks.
He said the meeting would be held at secretary level. The last tripartite meeting like this was held on January 20 last year.
Lankan President says Eastern Container Terminal will be a JV between Lanka, India and other parties
Sri Lankan President GotabayaRajapaksa on Wednesday assured representatives of Port Trade Unions that the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) in the Colombo Port will not be sold or leased out.
The President, who met representatives of the port unions, made it clear that the plan is to develop the ECT as an investment project that has 51% ownership by the Government of Sri Lanka and the remaining 49% as an investment by India's Adani Group and other stakeholders.
Explaining the participation of India, the President said that India contributes 66% of the ECT’s re-export operations. 9% of re-exports is accounted for by Bangladesh and the rest by several other countries.
Nepal Communist Party has been cleaved in two, but a formal–legal–split seems to be heading to stalemate
The Nepal Communist Party has been practically cleaved in two–but technically, it is still one.
It is the Election Commission that has the final say on a political party splitting up based on its interpretation of Political Parties Act-2017. But the commission says the law has not been followed for a formal split.
The two factions of the party—one led by Oli and the other by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal—have been claiming that theirs is the legitimate party.
Both factions have been given the deadline of Wednesday, to stake their claim to legitimacy with the necessary paperwork.
India and Indonesia push ahead with defense relationship
Speaking at a New Delhi think tank event on January 11, the outgoing Indonesian ambassador to India announced that his country’s air force will exercise with the Indian Air Force soon, Indian media reported. According to The Print, Ambassador Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro noted at the Aspen Ananta Center, “in terms of military cooperation, we have strengthened from coordinated patrol in the Andaman Sea, that has been going on at least for the past 17 years. We have army-to-army exercises, navy-to-navy, and soon we will start air force to air force [exercise].”
Battle over India’s ‘love jihad’ laws continues
There has always been a controversy in Indian society about inter-religious marriages, especially when it is between Hindus and Muslims. On January 6, a hearing was held in the Supreme Court on a petition challenging “love jihad” laws in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand against religious conversions for marriage.
A bench consisting of Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Justice A S Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian, while hearing the petition by Delhi-based advocate Pradeep Kumar Yadav for petitioner Vishal Thakre and the Mumbai-based non-governmental organization Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), refused an immediate stay on the provisions of those laws that require pre-conversion permission for the inter-religious marriage from a district magistrate.
India to hold inaugural cow science exam, but many question 'facts' in government guidebook
Milk from Indian cow breeds contains traces of gold. Walls coated with cow dung can protect against harmful gas leaks. The animal even has the power to absorb the sun's energy, thanks to a "solar pulse" situated on their humps.
These are some eye-popping claims that form part of a reference booklet released last week by the government in India to help candidates prepare for the country's inaugural "cow science" exam on Feb 25. Certificates and prizes will be given out to meritorious candidates. Even state chief ministers, education ministers, as well as school principals, besides other officials, have been asked to lend their support to ensure the exam is a "grand success".
Turkey drought: Istanbul could run out of water in 45 days
Major cities across Turkey face running out of water in the next few months, with warnings Istanbul has less than 45 days of water left.
Poor rainfall has led to the country’s most severe drought in a decade and put the megacity of 17 million people close to running out of water, according to Turkey’s chamber of chemical engineers. The Ankara mayor, Mansur Yavaş, said earlier this month the capital had another 110 days’ worth in dams and reservoirs.