Morning Digest – March 24, 2023

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi arrives at a court in Surat, India, Thursday, March 23, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AP

Does Rahul Gandhi stand disqualified as an MP following his conviction?

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and sentencing in a 2019 defamation case by a court in Gujarat has put a question mark over his continuation as a Lok Sabha MP. Experts though have differing views on whether the conviction and sentencing means immediate disqualification or the Wayanad MP gets time if he appeals.

Anger at Macron mounts as French unions hold new protests

Large crowds in Paris and other French cities took to the streets in the first mass demonstrations since President Emmanuel Macron inflamed public anger by forcing a higher retirement age bill through parliament without a vote.

Strikes upended travel in France on Thursday as protesters blockaded train stations, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, refineries and ports.

Dhankhar fails to broker peace as protests stall Rajya Sabha

With the second part of the Budget Session likely to be a complete washout, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday said that “the two sides in the House have taken a rigid stand” and if a way out has to be found out of this deadlock, then the entire House must interact amongst themselves.

Ukraine President visits front-line areas as new phase nears

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday made his third visit in two days to areas that have felt the brunt of Russia’s war, with a trip to the southern Kherson region that was retaken from the Kremlin’s forces, and as a senior Kyiv commander hinted that a brewing Ukrainian counteroffensive could come “very soon.”

Kharge, other Congress leaders meet to discuss fallout of court verdict against Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday convened a meeting of top party leaders at his residence to discuss the situation arising out of the conviction and two-year sentence of Rahul Gandhi by a Surat court in a defamation case.

Senior Congress leaders, including party MPs, gathered at Mr. Kharge’s residence in the evening and deliberated on the political fallout of Mr. Gandhi’s conviction.

Israel passes law protecting Netanyahu as protests continue

Israel’s Parliament on Thursday passed the first of several laws that make up its contentious judicial overhaul as protesters opposing the changes staged another day of demonstrations aimed at raising alarm over what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy.

Thousands of people protested throughout the country, blocking traffic on main highways and scuffling with police in unrest that shows no sign of abating, especially as the overhaul moves ahead.

Kejriwal launches ‘Oust Modi’ campaign, calls PM ‘insecure’

Launching the Aam Aadmi Party’s ‘Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao’ campaign from Jantar Mantar on Shaheed Diwas on Thursday, party chief Arvind Kejriwal questioned whether an “uneducated” leader can steer the country towards development.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of promoting corruption, Mr. Kejriwal said, “It is clear that the PM is not waging a war against corruption, but saying that ‘you can join the BJP and continue being corrupt. But if you are in the Opposition, we will jail you’.”

One conviction for unsafe sewer cleaning so far, House panel raps government

The Union government has informed a Parliamentary Standing Committee that FIRs have been registered in 616 cases where contractors had not provided safety gear and equipment to sewer workers. Among the cases registered under the Manual Scavenging (Prohibition) Act, one conviction has been secured so far, the government said. 

India rejects Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to extend monopoly on lifesaving TB drug

In a victory for patients fighting for wider access to crucial anti-tuberculosis drug Bedaquiline, the Indian Patent Office on Thursday rejected U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) attempt to extend its monopoly on manufacturing the drug in India beyond July 2023.

MI and Warriorz face off for a spot in title clash

Three teams, two matches. The Women’s Premier League has finally come down to that, after 20 days of intense action.

Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz face off at the D.Y. Patil Stadium on Friday in the Eliminator, to determine which side will earn the right to take on Delhi Capitals in the final. Capitals moved straight into Sunday’s final after finishing on top of the table in the league phase, a double round-robin affair involving five teams.

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