27 killed as special forces storm hotel, free hostages – (Security)
- At least 27 people were reported dead on Friday as Malian special forces, aided by the U.S. and French commandos, stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, where gunmen had held at least 170 people, including 22 Indians, hostage.
- Two gunmen were among the dead, according to a spokesperson of the Malian Foreign Ministry. Security Minister Salif Traore said there were no more hostages inside the Radisson Blu hotel, but the government troops were still fighting gunmen. India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson also confirmed that all Indian hostages “have been safely evacuated.”
HC sees red, stays ban on Greenpeace – (Environment)
- In a temporary relief to Greenpeace India, the Madras High Court on Friday stayed for four weeks an order passed by the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS) cancelling its registration earlier this month.
- The issue pertains to a petition moved by the international environmental NGO, challenging a June 16 show-cause notice issued by the RoS alleging violations of the Societies Registration Act by the organisation.
SC seeks Centre’s view on Governor’s removal – (Indian Polity)
- The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre, the Madhya Pradesh government and the State’s Governor, Ram Naresh Yadav, on a plea seeking the removal of the Governor owing to his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Vyapam scam, which is currently being probed by the CBI.
- Issuing the notice, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu gave three weeks’ time to respond in the Supreme Court.
Consumer Affairs Dept. has no concrete power: Paswan – (Governance)
- Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday said that his department had “no concrete power” to rein in the prices of essential commodities and vegetables — a remark that was picked up by the Congress to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- “The Consumer Affairs Department does not have any concrete power to check food inflation,” Mr. Paswan told reporters here.
FCRA notice served on Jaising’s firm – (Governance)
- Noted lawyer Indira Jaising’s human rights advocacy firm Lawyers’ Collective has been served a notice by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for allegedly receiving foreign funds of over Rs.11 crore when she held the post of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) from 2009 to 2012.
- Ms.Jaising was appointed by the then UPA government, and the MHA has said in its notice that she received foreign funds while holding a government post, which is a violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA).
Trade ties top Modi’s agenda at Asean meet – (International Relation)
- Enhancing the existing trade and economic ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is top on the agenda of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is arriving here on Saturday to participate in the thirteenth Asean-India and the tenth East Asia summits.
- Besides the two summits, the Prime Minister is slated to address the Business and Investment Summit, where he wants to emphasise the need for closer economic cooperation and investment opportunities.
Mali battles gunmen in capital as Islamists hit Iraq, Yemen – (International Relation)
- The raid on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, which lies just west of the city centre near government ministries and diplomatic offices, comes a week after Islamic State militants killed 129 people in Paris.
- The identity of the Bamako gunmen, or the group to which they belong, is not known. One security source said as many as 10 gunmen had stormed the building, although the company that runs the hotel, Rezidor Group, said it understood that there were only two attackers.
An expected raise – (Economics)
- The Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations represent quite a bonanza for government employees, both current and retired. The 23.55 per cent increase in pay, allowances and pension that is recommended may be lower than the 40 per cent increase that the Sixth Pay Commission brought, but this difference is accounted for by the fact that India currently has a weaker economic and financial situation.
- This Pay Commission recommends an increase of 16 per cent in basic pay, 63 per cent in allowances and 24 per cent in pension. Involving 47 lakh employees and 52 lakh pensioners as it does, this expenditure scale would in ordinary circumstances have been quite a drag on the economy.
Government could face substantial damages, warns Cairn counsel – (Economics)
- Cairn Energy plc could seek a claim of as much as $900 million from the Indian government for ‘losses’ caused to it by the latter’s actions as part of a $1.6 billion tax dispute, warned a senior counsel at a law firm representing the London-listed company in this matter.
- Cairn Energy has initiated international arbitration against the Indian government under the U.K.-India Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) seeking to ‘protect its legal position and shareholder interests’.
CBDT outlines roadmap to phase out corporate tax exemptions – (Economics)
- The government on Friday announced its roadmap towards phasing out corporate tax exemptions, a commitment made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech.
- The Finance Minister had promised the dual actions of reducing the corporate tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent in a gradual manner, and the removal of corporate tax exemptions.