March 21: Top news at 1 pm  

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Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Amarinder to seek legal opinion on Sidhu's TV stint

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh will seek legal opinion on whether his minister Navjot Sidhu can continue as a celebrity-judge on a popular TV comedy show. He told a TV news channel that he will ask the Advocate General to give his opinion on Sidhu's continuation as a celebrity-judge on 'The Kapil Sharma Show'. "It will entirely depend on legal opinion and then I will bring it to Navjot Singh Sidhu's notice. Frankly, I do not know whether it is a conflict of interest. Once I get an opinion from them (advocate general and legal experts), I will have a chat with him," Singh told the channel. Reacting to the issue, Sidhu insisted his TV shows will not interfere with his Cabinet responsibilities. "I have no liquor, sand mining or transport business like former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. "I earn a living through TV shows and I will be in Chandigarh from Monday to Thursday and in Amritsar from Friday to Sunday. What I do at night should not be anyone's concern.

Note ban: ED arrests Sekhar Reddy, 2 others in PMLA case

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested sand mining baron J Sekhar Reddy and his two alleged associates, K Sreenivasulu and P Kumar, in connection with a money laundering case registered post demonetisation. Officials said the three were arrested on Monday under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after they were called for questioning by the ED in Chennai and were later produced in a court, which sent them to jail till March 28. Reddy was earlier arrested by the CBI too in the same case of alleged black money generation post demonetisation and was out on conditional bail. The ED too had arrested two other people in this case—Mahavir Hirani and Ashok Jain in December last year. The agency had filed a criminal complaint against Reddy and others based on a CBI FIR in the case which was registered after the I-T department first searched his and his associates' premises in November, 2016. The I-T department has made one of the biggest detection of alleged unaccounted income of over ₹142 crore in this case with the seizure of ₹34 crore in new notes, post demonetisation.

We should not have left: Trump on fight with ISIS

US President Donald Trump has questioned the decision of his predecessors to first send the American troops to Iraq and then withdraw them, while assuring support to the war torn country to maintain stability. "I know Mosul is moving along, but Mosul was ours until we left," Trump told reporters during a brief media appearance with the visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abidi in the Cabinet room of the White House. "So perhaps we shouldn't have gone in, and certainly we shouldn't have left. We should never ever have left, and the vacuum was created, and we discussed what happened," Trump said after the two leaders met in the Oval office. "We're going to get rid of ISIS. It will happen. It's happening right now," he said.

63 million in India do not have access to clean water

India has the maximum number of people—63 million—living in rural areas without access to clean water, according to a new global report released to mark World Water Day tomorrow. This is almost the population of the United Kingdom, said "Wild Water", a report on the state of the world's water. Lack of government planning, competing demands, rising population and water-draining agricultural practices are all placing increasing strain on water, said the WaterAid's report. Without access to clean water, diseases such as cholera, blinding trachoma, malaria and dengue are expected to become more common and malnutrition more prevalent, it said. Rural communities dependent on farming to make a living will struggle to grow food and feed livestock amid soaring temperatures, and women—typically responsible for collecting water—may have to walk even greater distances during prolonged dry seasons, the report forewarned. Describing India as one of the world's fastest growing economies, it said ensuring water security for the growing population is one of the main challenges facing the country.

China says will push Silk Road projects after UNSC endorsement

China has said it will give a global push to its ambitious Silk Road initiative after a UN Security Council resolution called for its implementation by member-states, notwithstanding India's sovereignty concerns in PoK. China's official assertion came as the state media here asked India to adopt a "more pragmatic" approach towards the initiative, claiming global support for President Xi Jinping's pet project whose stated aim is to link China with Euro-Asia through a maze of connecting rail, road and port projects. Resolution 2344 called for strengthening economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours through Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and Chabahar port project between Afghanistan, India and Iran, and China's Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road initiatives. The multi-billion 'One Belt, One Road' initiative is the official name of the Silk Road or the Belt and Road project. It includes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to connect China with ports across the world as well as the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)—which connects western China's restive Xinjiang region with Pakistan's southern port of Gwadar through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir—and the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic (BCIM) corridor. India has protested to China over the CPEC and has reservations over the Maritime Silk Road as it impacts the Indian Ocean which is vital to India's security interests. However, New Delhi has backed the BCIM and is actively supporting it, according to Indian officials.

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Published: 21 Mar 2017, 1:10 PM