4. What happens with Trump down with Covid-19
  • The campaign: US President Donald Trump’s next presidential debate with Joe Biden is scheduled for October 15 but that can easily be a virtual one with a precedent already set 60 years back when John F Kennedy, in New York, debated with Richard Nixon in California, while the moderator in Chicago.
  • The presidency: Currently, Trump’s symptoms are described as mild. However, should he be incapacitated, Section 3 of the 25th Amendment will be invoked wherein Mike Pence, the Vice President, becomes ‘Acting President’.
  • The opposition: Biden, who was in an enclosed space with Trump during the first debate, tested negative for Covid-19. However, he will need to tread a fine line between using Trump’s absence from the campaign trail and appearing to exploit the President’s condition.
  • The polls: Only the US Congress has the power to delay or postpone an election (which has never happened before), that too by bringing in a change in the federal law which requires both the Senate and the House to pass the law, with Trump then signing it — all this before November 3 (the polling day). However, regardless of how much delay may be caused in the day of polling, Trump’s term, as per the 20th Amendment, will end ““at noon on the 20th day of January”.

Today: PM Modi to inaugurate world’s longest highway tunnel; IPL — RCB vs RR, DC vs KKR; Indian and Bangladeshi navies to hold military exercise in the Bay of Bengal. Tomorrow: IPL — MI vs SRH, KXIP vs CSK; Civil services prelim exams

1. Hathras village, family remain out of bounds
1. Hathras village, family remain out of bounds
  • The village in UP’s Hathras where the 19-year-old Dalit woman was brutally assaulted and allegedly gangraped by upper caste men before she died was off limits to the media and politicians for the second day in a row.
  • The victim’s 10-year-old cousin managed to slip past the barricade and relate an account of his family. “All phones have been taken away and switched off. We are not allowed to go anywhere. My aunt (the victim’s mother) wants to talk to the media,” he said. “Our house has been surrounded by the police on all sides. We are being threatened. An officer with the administration kicked my uncle (the victim’s father) yesterday,” he said just as the cops posted there came after him. “There is no truth to the allegations levelled by the victim’s family,” police said.
  • Member of Parliament Derek O’Brien was pushed to the ground when he tried to enter the village with other politicians. A woman journalist was pushed around by male cops, who cited ‘strict instructions’.
  • “Media entry has been banned so SIT investigation isn’t hampered,” a police officer said.
    Panchayat new
  • Members of the upper caste community meanwhile moved around and staged a counter-protest (pic above) in support of the four accused (who are from their community) despite large gatherings being prohibited.
    Police 1
2. After this…
2. After this…
  • The tragedy: In a declaration recorded before a magistrate on September 22, the Dalit girl from Hathras named four accused and said she was raped by them.
  • The claim: Two days after she passed away in a Delhi hospital, the UP police said the post-mortem and forensic reports indicated that she wasn’t gangraped.
  • The coincidence: Police’s claim was in line with what the opposition had warned the police and the state government would resort to after the administration cremated the girl forcibly at night without informing the family (read an eye-witness account here).
  • The guideline: The Centre’s guidelines for collecting samples for forensic labs in cases of sexual violence say: “The likelihood of finding evidence after 72 hours is greatly reduced; however, it is better to collect evidence up to 96 hours”.
  • The evidence: The samples, in the Hathras girl’s case, were taken on September 22 at the Aligarh hospital where she had been first admitted on September 14 (a delay of 8 days) and received by Agra’s lab three days later, on September 25 (a total delay of 11 days).
  • The threat: The state has announced a special investigation team, but the victim’s family has accused the administration of mounting pressure against speaking up.
  • The clampdown: The local administration has sealed district borders and stopped opposition leaders from meeting the victim’s family. That was after it allowed the BJP MP from Hathras and UP’s panchayati raj minister, who also happens to be BJP’s district incharge, to meet the family of the victim.
  • The PR: A Mumbai-based PR firm sent out a note “received from the UP government” to journalists on Thursday talking about a “conspiracy to push the state into caste turmoil” and police “is sure to unveil evil design behind the whole incident”.
3. India becomes 3rd country to cross 100,000 Covid deaths
3. India becomes 3rd country to cross 100,000 Covid deaths
  • On Friday, India became the third country in the world after the US and Brazil to record 100,000 Covid-19 deaths. The toll in the US is more than double that of India while Brazil has far less number of cases. However, in the past two months, India has reported the highest number of fatalities in the world, with nearly 63% of all deaths in the country occurring during the period.
  • India reported 33,255 Covid deaths in September, at a daily average of more than 1,100 fatalities. But at 7.5 deaths per 100,000 population, India is in the 18th position among the world’s 20 worst-hit countries. Also, India’s CFR, at 1.6, compares favourably with most countries, notably the US (2.8), Brazil (3), Mexico (10.4), the UK (9.2).

Friday’s count:

  • Cases: 80,446; Overall: 6,471,244.
  • Deaths: 1,076; Overall: 100,800
  • Active cases: 950,000+

  • Also: The share of rapid antigen testing in India’s cumulative Covid tests remained at around 45% in the last two months, official data showed. Bihar, Telangana, Gujarat, Odisha and Delhi have a significantly higher proportion of rapid antigen testing, ranging between 85.4% and 68.4%, of the total tests.
5. Who is the longest-serving car company CEO in the world?
  • Clue 1: He launched his first company, Zip2 Corporation, in 1995 with brother Kimbal.
  • Clue 2: Per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he’s the world’s third-richest man with a net worth of $108 billion.
  • Clue 3: The South Africa-born 49-year-old has the middle name ‘Reeve’.

Scroll below for answer

6. CSK stay rooted to bottom spot
6. CSK stay rooted to bottom spot
  • The story: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) aren’t familiar with last place on the IPL table. The three-time title holders have traditionally kickstarted their IPL campaigns with aplomb, winning nearly 65% of their opening seven games of the season over the last four editions. However, their two previous games in IPL 2020 had pettered out into no-contests less than halfway into their chases.
  • Well, CSK’s bowlers got them off to the perfect start against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Dubai, accounting for the top four by the 11th over for just 69. But then SRH’s young guns Priyam Garg (Man of the Match) and Abhishek Sharma decided to put up a fight. CSK’s indisciplined fielding didn’t help either, and the target ticked over past 160.
  • In reply, CSK’s top three were back in the hut by the end of the Powerplay, with 36 on the board. SRH’s bowlers kept the chokehold on and despite the late bravado from Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, they finished short yet again. (The last time CSK lost three consecutive matches was back in 2014.)
  • The scorecard: SRH 164/5 (Garg 51 not out) beat CSK 157/5 (Jadeja 50, Dhoni 47 not out) by 7 runs
7. Trump’s visa ban overturned but it may not help much
7. Trump’s visa ban overturned but it may not help much
  • A San Francisco federal judge has barred the Donald Trump administration from enforcing its ban on issuing new H-1B visas that allows US-based companies to hire skilled foreign workers.
  • The US President had in June issued an executive order that banned issuing of H-1B visas, along with H-2B, J and L visas till the end of this year, citing the need to stop possible Covid-19 positive people from entering the country and prioritising jobs for Americans first.
  • The order however is temporary as it’s valid only till the end of the year. Moreover, the relief will only be enjoyed by the four organisations which filed the suit, though together, they represent lakhs of companies, including major Silicon Valley names.
  • In addition, there’s little clarity on its enforcement methodology as it would require US visa officers to determine which companies are represented by the petitioners. The US annually issues about 85,000 new H-1B visas, a major beneficiary of which are Indian techies. The order also doesn’t overturn the ban announced by the trump administration in April which bars family members of US citizens and work-based green card holders from entering the US.
8. Big guns stay ruthless at French Open
8. Big guns stay ruthless at French Open
  • Rafael Nadal added another straight-sets victory to his 2020 Roland Garros tally on Friday, cruising past Stefano Travaglia 6-1, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the Round of 16 for the 15th time. The 12-time champion converted six of seven break points to beat the Italian in just 1 hour and 35 minutes. Nadal improved to 44-0 in the opening three rounds at the clay-court Grand Slam championship with his 96th win in 98 contests at Roland Garros.
  • Earlier in the day, third seed and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem extended his winning streak to 10 consecutive matches after a 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 drubbing of Norwegian Casper Ruud in the third round. Also, women’s singles top seed Simona Halep avenged her defeat to Amanda Anisimova in the quarter-finals last year by crushing the American teen 6-0, 6-1 in the third round in a mere 54 minutes. Tournament page here.
  • Football: Check Friday’s UEFA Europa League draw here.
9. On Gandhi Jayanti, Godse trends again
9. On Gandhi Jayanti, Godse trends again
  • What: For the second year running, a pro-Godse hashtag trended on Twitter on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. However, tweets saluting The Father of The Nation were overwhelmingly more in number. Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on Jan 30, 1948.
  • How: Analytics tool, tweetbinder.com, revealed that the number of “original tweets” (unique tweets, excluding retweet) out of 500 posts, which used the hashtag was just 54 in number. Other users, also mainly from anonymous handles, just retweeted the original tweets or copy-pasted them.
  • Why: Twitter trends don’t just depend on the volume of tweets, but also the timing of those tweets. This means that sometimes a sudden surge in tweets on a particular hashtag can make it a trending topic. According to trends analytics tool, keyhole.io, the pro-Godse hashtag started trending on Friday around 5am.
10. Oh, to be poor in Geneva!
10. Oh, to be poor in Geneva!
  • The Swiss city of Geneva has introduced the world’s highest minimum wage of $25 per hour, amounting to $4,100 (over Rs 3 lakh) per month for a 41-hour working week. The new wages, to be implemented this month, had earlier been rejected twice in 2011 and 2014. It is more than triple the minimum hourly wage rate of $7.25 in the US and over twice the highest UK basic hourly wage rate, of $11.20.
  • However, this time around, the pandemic has accentuated the city’s poverty problem — it is one of the most expensive cities to live in. The irony couldn’t be more stark in a city known more for its private banks and luxury watchmakers, with reports of thousands of people forced to stand in queues for hours to get food.
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Elon Musk. Tesla’s CEO suggested on Friday that the US electric carmaker will make a foray into India in 2021. “Next year for sure,” Musk said on Twitter in reply to a post with a photograph of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.

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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Judhajit Basu, Sumil Sudhakaran, Tejeesh N.S. Behl
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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