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Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World


5 THINGS FIRST

Sonia Gandhi to join Rahul for Bharat Jodo yatra in Karnataka; Delhi HC to hear lawsuit against Ramdev over the use of Coronil; Data release – PMI Services for September; Nobel Prize for Literature to be announced; First ODI – India vs South Africa in Lucknow

1. Ravan, to each their own
1. Ravan, to each their own
  • Uddhav’s Ravan: Former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray took a swipe at incumbent Eknath Shinde, who earlier rebelled against him to run away with a majority of the Shiv Sena MLAs to form a government in alliance with the BJP. Without naming Shinde or other rebels at Shivaji Park, Thackeray said, “What will happen to the Shiv Sena? Seeing the crowd here, the question now is — what will happen to the traitors? All have gathered together. Like every year, this time, too, Ravana will burn. But this time Ravana is different.”
  • Shinde’s salvo: Holding a parallel rally at the MMRDA grounds, a short way off from Thackeray’s Matoshree home, Shinde teased the Uddhav camp at his competitive Dussehra celebration by presenting Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray’s second son Jaidev Thackeray on the dais. See here
  • Jaidev Thackeray, Uddhav’s brother, said, “Don’t let Eknath be alone. You all should support him. Shinde is working for the poor and farmers.”
  • Quoting Bachchan: Earlier in the day, Shinde targeted his former party boss with a tweet quoting renowned poet Harivansh Bachchan, implying that the legacy of Sena founder Bal Thackeray doesn’t necessarily have to pass on to his son. His tweet read, “My son will not be my heir by being my son; whoever is my heir will be my son — Harivanshrai Bachchan.”
  • Modi at Kullu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian PM to attend the International Kullu Dussehra festival. He witnessed the unique Rath Yatra of more than 300 deities. Earlier, PM Modi addressed a rally in the poll-bound state’s Bilaspur saying he is the son of Himachal Pradesh.

More details here

2. How to control population & what is a ‘Hindu Rashtra’?
2. How to control population & what is a ‘Hindu Rashtra’?
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Wednesday India should frame a well thought-out, comprehensive population control policy applicable to all social groups equally.

On minorities

  • Flagging the issue of demographic “imbalance”, Bhagwat said community-based “population imbalance” is an important subject and should not be ignored.
  • Speaking at the annual RSS Dussehra rally at the Reshimbagh Ground in Nagpur, he also asserted there was no danger to minorities. “The Sangh resolves to stand on the side of brotherhood, amity and peace,” he said.

Use of mother tongue

  • Bhagwat emphasised on the use of mother tongue and said “English language is not important for building a career”.

Women empowerment

  • The RSS, the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP, invited acclaimed mountaineer Santosh Yadav as the chief guest for the event. She is the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest twice.
  • Bhagwat laid emphasis on women’s empowerment and said a society cannot progress without women.

‘Hindu Rashtra’

  • The RSS chief said the concept of “Hindu Rashtra” is being taken seriously. “Many people agree with the concept, but are opposed to the word ‘Hindu’ and they prefer to use other words. We don’t have any issue with that. For the clarity of concept – we will keep emphasising the word Hindu for ourselves,” he said.

Global issues

  • Bhagwat said the way India recently helped crisis-hit Sri Lanka and New Delhi’s stand during the Ukraine-Russia conflict showed the country was being heard at the global level and that it was gradually becoming self-reliant on the national security front.
3. ‘I’ve a clear mandate that I don’t want to talk to Pak’
3. ‘I’ve a clear mandate that I don’t want to talk to Pak’
  • Twin-message: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has ruled out talks with Pakistan while addressing a rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla. He slammed the Gupkar alliance for “laying down a red carpet” for Pakistani terrorists in India and demanding that the Centre should talk to Pakistan.
  • Direct quote: “There are some people who have ruled for the last 70 years and are advising me to talk to Pakistan but I have a clear mandate that I don’t want to talk to Pakistan. I want to talk to the Gujjars, Paharis and Bakarwals in Baramulla. I want to talk to the youth of Kashmir.”
  • Two models: “There are two models. One of PM Modi which gives employment, peace and brotherhood; and another is the Gupkar model which led to the Pulwama attack,” said Shah.
  • Stones vs degrees: “PM Modi built a hospital in Pulwama at an expense of Rs 2,000 crore. The Gupkar model is laying the red carpet for the Pakistani terrorists into the country, whereas the Modi model is implementing an investment of Rs 56,000 crore on the ground giving employment to the youth. The Gupkar model placed stones, closed colleges, and machine guns in the hands of the youth. The Modi model has IIM, IIT, AIIMS, NIFT, and NEET for the youth,” said Shah.
  • The Gupkar alliance refers to the political alliance of the six regional parties in J&K formed by Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The alliance seeks restoration of Article 370 and J&K’s statehood, and resumption of bilateral talks with Pakistan. The Modi government ended the special status of J&K in August 2019, and suspended diplomatic talks with Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack in February 2019.
  • On assembly polls in J&K, Shah said, “I assure you that once revision of electoral rolls is completed, free and fair elections will be held.” More here
4. Tragedies in the hills
4. Tragedies in the hills
At least 25 people were killed and 20 others injured when a bus carrying 45-50 members of a marriage party fell into a gorge in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district, police said on Wednesday.

  • The accident: The bus was on its way to Kanda village in Bironkhal from Laldhang town in Haridwar when it fell into a 500-metre gorge near Simri bend at around 7 pm on Tuesday.
  • Rescue operations were carried out throughout the night, police said. Eighteen bodies have been retrieved so far while seven-eight bodies could still be trapped inside the bus. Two of the injured died on the way to hospital.
  • Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, who arrived for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation, announced financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.

And an avalanche…

  • Meanwhile, 14 members of a mountaineering team which had gone missing after being hit by an avalanche at Draupadi Ka Danda peak in Uttarkashi district were rescued on Wednesday as a multi-agency rescue operation aided by IAF helicopters was underway to find the several others missing.
  • Col Amit Bisht, principal of the Uttarkashi-based Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), had said on Tuesday that 10 bodies were spotted out of which four had been recovered. However, police confirmed the death of four.
  • Earlier in the day, the Uttarakhand Police released a list of 28 trainee mountaineers who were missing in the avalanche at the height of 17,000 feet.
  • The trainees hail from West Bengal, Delhi, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
6. What new will a rebranded TRS offer?
6. What new will a rebranded TRS offer?
A new name

  • Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Wednesday changed its name to ‘Bharat Rashtra Samithi’ (BRS), in a bid to expand its electoral footprint beyond the state.
  • The party was founded on April 27, 2001, by K Chandrasekhar Rao and has been firmly on the saddle of power in Telangana since 2014, when it was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

A new contest

  • The name change move comes against the backdrop of next year’s Telangana Legislative Assembly election and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

A new agenda?

  • TRS president and Telangana Chief Minister KCR, who has been very critical of the BJP for about a year, is expected to step up his attack against the saffron party and its government at the Centre.
  • In 2020, the BJP emerged as a force to reckon with in Hyderabad civic polls and also won Assembly constituencies in by-polls held to segments including Huzurabad.
  • The BJP leaders have been vigorously focusing on Telangana as part of the party’s efforts to expand its footprint in southern parts of the country.

What’s on offer?

  • Farmers’ issues such as free power are likely to be the focal points in BRS’s agenda.
  • Rao had earlier promised to supply free power to farmers across the country, if a non-BJP government was voted to power in 2024.
  • The BRS would also showcase the welfare programmes being implemented in Telangana like ‘Rythu Bandhu’ investment support schemes for farmers, ‘Rythu Bima’ life insurance for farmers and ‘Dalit Bandhu’ (grant of Rs 10 lakh per household to Dalits). More details here.
7. A Nobel Prize for making molecules ‘click’
7. A Nobel Prize for making molecules 'click'
The winners

  • Three scientists from the United States and Denmark were jointly awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a way of “snapping molecules together” that can be used to design better medicines.
  • Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless were cited for their work on click chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions, which are used to make cancer drugs, map DNA and create materials that are tailored to a specific purpose.

A double delight

  • Sharpless, who previously won a Nobel Prize in 2001, is now the fifth person to receive the award twice.

The work

  • Sharpless first proposed the idea for connecting molecules using chemical “buckles” around the turn of the millennium.
  • Meldal, based in Denmark, and Sharpless independently found the first such candidates that would easily snap together with each other but not with other molecules, leading to applications in the manufacture of medicines and polymers.
  • Bertozzi “took click chemistry to a new level,” the Nobel panel said. She found a way to make click chemistry work inside living organisms without disrupting them, establishing a new method known as bioorthogonal reactions.
  • Such reactions are now used to explore cells, track biological processes and design experimental cancer drugs that work in a more targeted fashion.

The cash

  • The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895. More details here.
8. A North-South arms race that triggered panic
8. A North-South arms race that triggered panic
  • An explosion: A malfunctioning South Korean ballistic missile blew up as it ploughed into the ground on Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States. The test came a day after North Korea successfully launched a weapon that flew over Japan.
  • Panic: The explosion and subsequent fire panicked and confused residents of the coastal city of Gangneung, who were already uneasy over the increasingly provocative weapons tests by rival North Korea. Their concern that it could be a North Korean attack only grew as the military and government officials provided no explanation about the explosion for hours.
  • The missile: South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said no injuries were reported from the explosion, which involved a short-range Hyumoo-2 missile that crashed inside an air force base in the outskirts of the city. South Korea’s military acknowledged the malfunction hours after internet users raised alarm about the blast.
  • Joint drills: The US and South Korean militaries are conducting the joint exercises to show their ability to deter a North Korean attack on the South. During Tuesday’s drills, they conducted bombing runs by F-15 strike jets using precision munitions and launched two missiles each that are part of the Army Tactical Missile System.
  • North Korea’s successful launch of a nuclear-capable ballistic missile hours before the drills was the country’s most provocative weapons demonstration since 2017 and was its fifth round of weapons tests in 10 days.
  • Capability: That missile has a range capable of striking Guam, which is home to one of the largest military facilities maintained by the US in Asia. North Korea has fired nearly 40 ballistic missiles over about 20 different launch events this year.
9. ‘A powerful message of tolerance, peace & harmony’
9. ‘A powerful message of tolerance, peace & harmony’
A majestic new Hindu temple that blends Indian and Arabic architecture designs has been inaugurated in Jebel Ali Village, Dubai.

Where

  • Located in a neighbourhood referred to as the emirate’s ‘worship village’, the temple formally opened its doors to worshippers across the UAE on Tuesday. Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, India’s Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir thanked the UAE government for their support to the 3.5 million-strong Indian diaspora in the UAE, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi tweeted.

Symbolism

  • A powerful message of tolerance, peace and harmony, bringing together people from various faiths, marked the official opening ceremony, the Khaleej Times newspaper reported.
  • The ‘worship village’ in Jebel Ali now houses nine religious shrines, including seven churches, the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Gurudwara, and the new Hindu house of worship.

The project

  • Plans to construct the 70,000-square-foot house of worship were announced in 2020, shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic struck the city.
  • The temple features detailed hand carvings, ornate pillars, brass spires and striking lattice screens that blend Indian and Arabic architecture.
  • By the end of the year, there will be a spacious community centre where Hindu ceremonies, rituals and prayers can take place, including weddings.
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES
Answer to NEWS IN CLUES
World Trade Organization. The Geneva-based trade body on Wednesday dramatically lowered its global trade forecast for 2023, as Russia’s war in Ukraine and other shocks take their toll on the world economy. WTO economists said they anticipate global economic growth to rise by 2.8% this year but for 2023, GDP growth is now expected to be just 2.3%, down from the previous forecast of 3.2%. More details here
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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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