News for the day – 19 July, Wednesday
Tensions rise over Doklam Plateau trespassing
China has launched a high-stakes propaganda blitz, painting India as the aggressor and holding out the threat of a full-scale confrontation as the two countries face off on the Bhutanese Doklam plateau. Worried about being seen bullying a small country like Bhutan, it is desperate to blame India for the stand-off on the border. China confirmed on Tuesday it was connecting with foreign missions to explain its version of the Doklam controversy, though it did not name any country or group of countries being briefed by it, even other P-5 members of the UN Security Council. Three of the five members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, and France — confirmed to TOI that they did not attend any group briefing by the Chinese on the border stand-off with India. It is not clear if the Chinese officials held a separate briefing for envoys of Russia, which is seen to be close to China these days.
GOP may have to work with the Democrats after failure of Obamacare repeal campaign
Congressional Republicans, their campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in shambles, face mounting pressure to work with Democrats to make fixes to the 2010 healthcare law rather than roll it back. But it remains unclear whether the White House and GOP leaders are prepared to reach across the aisle to stabilize insurance markets and shield Americans from rising healthcare costs, especially if that also means being seen as betraying their years-long promise to repeal Obamacare. President Trump continued to attack Democrats after the collapse of the GOP healthcare overhaul bill Monday, followed the next morning by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to rally Republicans around a last-ditch bid to repeal most of the law without a replacement.
Saudi woman arrested for wearing skirt, crop top in viral video
A woman in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after a short Snapchat video showed her wearing a skirt and crop top in the desert heat. Her outfit would be unremarkable in the U.S., but it violated Saudi Arabia’s strict, conservative dress code for women. The footage went viral online over the weekend. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabian state TV announced via Twitter that the woman had been taken into custody by police and that the case had been referred to the general prosecutor.
Two Army Jawans killed in shelling along the LoC
Two Army jawans were killed and 6 people, including 3 civilians, were injured as Pakistani troops pounded several villages and forward areas with mortar bombs along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir today, officials said. Terrorists also made a bid to infiltrate into Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) via the Gurez sector which was foiled by the Indian troops who killed one of the infiltrators, the officials said. Over 8,000 people have been affected by Pakistani shelling during the last two days and 3,361 border migrants have been housed in camps. Nine people, including 6 soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in over a dozen ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army along the LoC this month.
Ravi Shastri to be paid Rs 1.25 crore more than predecessor
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to pay new chief coach Ravi Shastri a whopping salary, which could go upto Rs 8 crore per annum. It was learnt that the top brass of BCCI was unanimous in their decision on Shastri’s perks, which is atleast a crore more than previous coach Anil Kumble’s salary of Rs 6.5 crore. Ironically, in Kumble’s demand for an increment was exactly to the tune of what Shastri will be getting. The three other coaches — Bharat Arun, R Sridhar and Sanjay Bangar are expected to be bracketed between Rs 2.3 crore taking into account that they need to be compensated for foregoing their Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts.