Times Top10: Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News from India & across the World

5 THINGS FIRSTToday: India observes one-day mourning as a mark of respect for former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe; Launch of ‘Nagar Van’ scheme across 75 cities of the country; 2nd T20I – India Vs England in Edgbaston; Tomorrow: Eid-ul-Azha (Bakra Eid) will likely be celebrated; 3rd T20I – India Vs England in Nottingham
1. Cloudburst lays death trap near Amarnath caveTragedy: At least 13 people died and several others were reported missing as of late Friday night under the impact of a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Several tents and community kitchens, where pilgrims are served food on the route, came under the cloudburst. The yatra has been suspended.The cloudburst was reported at around 5:30 pm. A cloudburst is a weather situation in which very heavy rainfall is reported over a short period of time in a limited geographical area.Rescue operation was immediately launched by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) along with associated agencies. Those injured were being airlifted for treatment.PM Modi tweeted: “Anguished by the cloudburst near Shree Amarnath cave. Condolences to the bereaved families. Spoke to [Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor] Manoj Sinha and took stock of the situation. Rescue and relief operations are underway. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected.”Under control: The situation is under control even as rains continue, said the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, and the yatra could resume if the weather remained normal and makeshift arrangements were made on Saturday.Bad weather earlier this week, too, forced the Amarnath Yatra to be briefly suspended. The annual pilgrimage began on June 30, following a two-year gap due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The 43-day yatra commenced from the twin base camps — traditional 48-km Nunwan-Pahalgam in Anantnag and 14-km shorter Baltal in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.Over 1 lakh pilgrims have offered prayers at the Amarnath cave that houses the naturally formed ice-shivling. The yatra is scheduled to end on August 11 on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. Latest updates here2. A rare political killing that stuns the worldJapan’s longest-serving leader and former prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on Friday while campaigning for a parliamentary election, leaving the entire world stunned and outraged. Police arrested a 41-year-old man and said the weapon was a homemade gun.First case in post-war Japan
The incident shocked a country where guns are tightly controlled and political violence almost unthinkable.Abe’s assassination was the first of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the 1930s during the days of Japan’s pre-war militarism.Former PMs Saito Makoto and Takahashi Korekiyo were assassinated on the same day in 1936, while then-Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated in 1932.Stringent gun laws
Japan’s gun-ownership restrictions do not allow private citizens to have handguns, and licensed hunters may own only rifles. Shootings, when they occur, typically involve “yakuza” gangsters using illegal weapons. In 2021, there were 10 shooting incidents, eight involving gangsters, according to police data.Motive unclear
The shooter, identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, was a Nara resident and had worked at Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Forces for three years but now appeared to be unemployed, police said, adding they were investigating whether he had acted alone.‘Loss of a great friend’
India has announced one-day national mourning today as a mark of respect to its “great friend” Abe, known to be the architect of strategic ties between the two countries as well as the common vision for the Indo-Pacific.President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him as a statesman and an outstanding leader. More details here3. 5-day bail but jail continues for ZubairAlt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair got a five-day bail in a case registered against him in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through a Twitter post. But he stays in jail in a case registered in Delhi.The Supreme Court granted interim bail to Zubair in the Sitapur case on the condition that he would not post further tweets on case-related issues, and not leave the jurisdiction of the Sitapur Magistrate’s court. The court also directed Zubair not to tamper with electronic evidence in Bengaluru or anywhere else.Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on June 27 over a four-year-old tweet that he said was a screenshot from a Hindi film released in 1983. An FIR had also been lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh on a complaint by Hindu Sher Sena Sitapur district president Bhagwan Sharan on June 1 over one of his tweets referring to certain religious leaders as “hatemongers”. It was in this connection that Zubair was taken to Sitapur.Zubair had moved the Supreme Court on Thursday, citing death threats and to seek immediate stay on the UP case. The Supreme Court’s bail order came after a Sitapur court had sent Zubair to the UP police’s custody till July 14. Zubair is currently in Tihar Jail as a Delhi court sent him on July 2 to a 14-day judicial custody. Meanwhile, the UP police are ascertaining whether Zubair is part of a “syndicate whereby such tweets are repeatedly put out with a view to sensationalise and destabilise society”, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the UP government told the Supreme Court. “There is something more to it than meets the eye.” More details here4. How an air skirmish was averted in LadakhIndia activated air defence measures when a Chinese fighter jet flew very close to a friction point in the eastern Ladakh sector in June.How and when: The incident took place around 4 am on one of the days in the last week of June. The aircraft was picked up by Indian radars deployed in the border area.Response: Soon after the possible air space violation was detected, the assets of the Indian Air Force got activated as per the standard operating procedures.PLA exercise: The incident took place at a time when China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) was holding exercises involving its fighter jets and air defence weaponry including the S-400 air defence system in the areas bordering the eastern Ladakh sector.China’s deployment: China has a large number of fighter jets and drones deployed at positions near the Indian territory including the major airfields in Hotan and Gar Gunsa which have been upgraded immensely in the past two years.The 2020 conflict: It was during such wargames on the Chinese side in 2020 when PLA diverted its troops in heavy numbers towards eastern Ladakh, which led to multiple face-offs and physical fights with the Indian Army.Indian officials, however, clarified that the particular incident was not a very serious one but such instances should be avoided by the other side as they can lead to possible escalation amid the ongoing border row.6. Now, Sena locks horns with GovernorThe Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on July 11 a fresh plea of the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction challenging the appointment of Eknath Shinde as chief minister of Maharashtra.A new petition
Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai has challenged the Governor’s June 30 decision to invite a coalition of the Shinde faction and the BJP to form the government.In his plea, Desai argued that the June 30 action of the Governor in calling Shinde to be the CM is completely arbitrary and unconstitutional.Earlier, several petitions have been filed by the Thackeray faction on various issues related to the Maharashtra political crisis, which are coming up for hearing on July 11.‘Face elections’
Sena chief Thackeray on Friday said nobody can take away his party’s ‘bow and arrow’ symbol, a remark made in the wake of the rebel faction’s assertion that it was the real claimant of the symbol.He also dared the party rebels and the BJP to face mid-term elections, saying that people should be allowed to take a stand on the toppling of Sena-led MVA government.7. Take a decision on allowing Vivo access to its accounts: Delhi HC to EDThe Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Enforcement Directorate ((ED) to decide by July 13 on whether Chinese mobile maker Vivo can operate its bank accounts which have been frozen by the economic crimes investigating agency.What Vivo says
The mobile phone manufacturer pleaded that the funds in the frozen bank accounts — to the tune of Rs 250 crore as it claimed — were required to meet the company’s statutory obligations as also to pay salaries to its 9,000 employees.Terming the ED’s action a “carte blanche order” that will result in the company’s “sudden death”, Vivo said the investigating agency’s actions were taken “without any concern about business model, source, where the money has come from, where it is going.”The ED’s counter
The ED, which earlier this week had conducted raids at several of Vivo’s premises, opposed the plea to allow Vivo access to its bank accounts, saying that it was premature as the search operation at one of the company’s locations was yet to be carried out.Vivo has been accused by the ED of repatriating nearly 50% of its earnings in India to China in order to avoid paying taxes here. According to the FIR of the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing, Vivo — which also owns the brands Oppo and Xiaomi — earned over Rs 1.25 lakh crore in the last two years, of which Rs 62,476 crore was remitted to mainland China to avoid paying taxes in India.The agency added that it had seized 119 bank accounts of various entities, containing cash amounts totaling roughly Rs 73 lakh and fixed deposits worth Rs 66 crore from Vivo India as well as 2 kg gold bars and a gross balance of Rs 465 crore seized under the terms of PMLA, 2002.8. And now, it’s Amnesty which gets into ED’s crosshairsHuman rights watchdog Amnesty India International has come in for some harsh punishment from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has levied a fine of Rs 51.72 crore on Amnesty India International for alleged violation of foreign exchange act. The ED has also slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore on Amnesty’s former India head, Aakar Patel.The ED alleges that Amnesty International — the parent organisation of Amnesty India International — had remitted a “huge amount” of foreign contributions through its Indian entities using the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) route, which was in direct violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). This was done despite the refusal by the Union home ministry to register Amnesty International India Foundation Trust (AIIFT) and other trusts under FCRA.This is not the first time that Amnesty and the government have been at loggerheads. The human rights watchdog downed the shutters on its Indian operations in 2020, alleging a “witch hunt” by the Centre, which, it alleged, had frozen its bank accounts forcing it to lay off its staff. In April earlier this year, Patel was stopped from boarding a flight to the US at the Bengaluru airport where immigration officials said a lookout circular against him had been issued with the CBI.9. Is it high time the rupee went international?Where it stands: The rupee has declined by 6% this year against the US dollar due to various factors including the economic uncertainty caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, tightening of monetary policy by the US Federal Reserve and massive flight of investment from India. On Friday, the rupee slid 10 paise to close at 79.23.A wayout: To arrest the rupee’s fall, the latest SBI Research paper has suggested that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should make a conscious effort to internationalise the Indian currency. This will help India deal with the disruptions in payments caused by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. International currency means that the currency can be freely transacted by both resident and non-residents, that it can be used as a reserve currency for global trades. Benefits: Making the rupee an international currency can lower transaction costs of cross-border trade and investment operations as it would mitigate exchange rate risk. But it would also make the simultaneous pursuit of exchange rate stability and a domestically oriented monetary policy more challenging. To meet this challenge, the rupee needs support from large and deep domestic financial markets that could effectively absorb external shocks.Inevitable: In February 2021, an RBI report on currency and finance had favoured internationalisation of the rupee as “inevitable” while cautioning that the move “can potentially limit the ability of the central bank to control domestic money supply and influence interest rates as per domestic macroeconomic conditions”. Now, the SBI report has said it is a good opportunity to insist on export settlement in rupee, beginning with some of the smaller export partners.3 CURATED WEEKEND READS1. Meet the Muslims BJP wants to woo
At the party’s recently concluded national executive in Hyderabad, it was decided that efforts should be made to gain support of the Pasmanda Muslims. Who are they and why does the BJP think they will vote for it?2. Javelin in their hands, champion in their dreams
As Neeraj Chopra continues his fine form, the ripples of his feats are being felt by the girls in Fatehabad district. But, the girls from Haryana’s north-west are determined to carve out an identity of their own. 3. The mystery of India’s deadly exam scam
It began with a test-fixing scandal so massive that it led to 2,000 arrests, including top politicians, academics and doctors. Then suspects started turning up dead. What is the truth behind the Vyapam scam that has gripped India?
Answer to NEWS IN CLUESTCS. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reported its first quarter FY23 earnings, with net profit up by 5.25% to Rs 9,478 crore, year-on-year. TCS, which listed in 2004, had in 2020 surpassed Accenture to become the world’s most valuable IT services company by market cap.Follow news that matters to you in real-time.
Join 3 crore news enthusiasts.Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta
Research: Rajesh Sharma

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