Today’s Latest News Transcript at 10:30 AM on 20 November 2023
In top national news: The Chinese presence in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in clashes with Chinese troops in 2020, is way behind India’s perception of its boundary, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, B D Mishra, has told The Indian Express. Mishra, who took over from R K Mathur in February. amid protests seeking restoration of Ladakh’s statehood, also said that while statehood was not “a viable option” for the region, the interests of the local population will be protected. According to Mishra, his assessment of Galwan came from his own experience, having served in the Army for 40 years and led operations in the 1962 India-China war.
In sports news: Emotion ran high among the Indian players as they walked back to the dressing room after coming second-best by a distance to Australia in the World Cup final. It was a feeling of disappointment at not realising the dreams of more than a billion people. The trophy that had eluded them since 2011 remained out of reach. Rohit Sharma’s tears found their way out, he tried not to show but to no avail. Mohammed Siraj sobbed and head coach Rahul Dravid revealed that the dressing room was an emotional place. Dravid said: “It was tough to see as a coach, because I know how hard these guys have worked, what they’ve put in, the sacrifices they’ve made.”
With efforts to rescue the 41 workers trapped inside the under-construction Silkyara-Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi since last Sunday undergoing several setbacks, authorities have come up with a five-point plan that involves drilling operations from three sides. There will be a vertical drilling operation taking place from the top of the hill under which the workers are trapped. The efforts to drill horizontally through the debris blocking the tunnel at the Silkyara side will continue, and an operation to drill a small tunnel from the Barkot side will also begin, according to the plans. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari visited the spot on Sunday, along with Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, and reviewed the rescue operations.
In other news: Flight operations at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal, Manipur, were halted for several hours on Sunday after what was described by officials as an unidentified flying object (UFO) was seen hovering above the airport. Sources said the UFO was sighted by a pilot of an Indigo flight that was about to depart around 2.20 pm. All flight operations were immediately suspended but resumed around 6 pm. The UFO was said to have been visible till 4 pm. Imphal West Superintendent of Police Ksh Shivakanta Singh said the object hovered for several hours, baffling everyone.
In top international news: Israel said Yemen’s Houthi rebels seized an Israeli-linked cargo ship in a crucial Red Sea shipping route on Sunday, raising fears that regional tensions heightened over the Israel-Hamas war were playing out on a new maritime front. There was no immediate comment from the Houthis, an Iran-backed rebel movement in Yemen that threatened earlier Sunday to target Israeli-linked vessels in the Red Sea. Last month, Houthi rebels were suspected of sending missiles and drones over the crucial shipping lane of the sea. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said 25 crew members of various nationalities, including Bulgarians, Filipinos, Mexicans and Ukrainians but no Israelis, had been on board the hijacked Bahamas-flagged ship.
In other news: Russia launched several waves of drone attacks on Kyiv early on Sunday for the second night in a row, stepping up its assaults on the Ukrainian capital after several weeks of pause, the city’s military administration said. Ukraine’s Air Force said its air defence systems destroyed 15 of 20 Russia-launched Shahed kamikaze drones over Kyiv, Poltava and Cherkasy regions. There had been no initial reports of “critical damage” or casualties, Popko said earlier. He also said that close to 10 of the drones were downed over Kyiv and its outskirts. Cherkasy Governor Ihor Taburets said on Telegram that debris “slightly damaged” five houses but no people were injured.
Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who has been detained since his arrest last year for showing support to anti-government protests, was released on bail from Isfahan prison, Iranian human rights group Hengaw said on Sunday. Following the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September 2022, Iran experienced months of nationwide protests that represented one of the fiercest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979. Salehi, who wrote songs about the protests, was released late on Saturday after Iran’s supreme court rejected a ruling sentencing him to six years in prison on multiple charges, including “corruption on earth”.
Lastly: Bangladesh’s highest court on Sunday dismissed an appeal by the country’s largest Islamist party seeking to overturn a 2013 ruling that barred it from participating in elections for violating the constitutional provision of secularism Bangladesh is set to hold its next national elections on Jan. 7. A five-member bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan handed out the ruling. Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s main lawyer did not appear before the court due to “personal problems” and his petition, filed previously, seeking to postpone the hearing for six weeks was also rejected.