BIDEN ALMOST THERE; TRUMP CRIES FOUL
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden won Michigan and Wisconsin
Wednesday, putting him on the brink of taking the White House from President
Donald Trump, hours after the president's team opened legal fights to stop
vote counting in at least two states.
Meanwhile, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said that the President would
formally request a Wisconsin recount, citing "irregularities in several
Wisconsin counties." Trump claimed he had already won the elections and
further counting of votes was like committing a "fraud on the American
public". He didn't elaborate on the alleged fraud.
The Trump campaign said it also filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan,
laying the groundwork for contesting the outcome in undecided battleground
In the race to 270 electoral votes, Biden has 253, while Trump has 214.
Biden is likely to win Arizona (11) and Nevada (6) too, taking his count to
The other states where clarity is yet to emerge but Trump is leading, are,
Georgia (16), North Carolina (15, Pennsylvania (20)
With millions of votes yet to be counted across several key states - there
is a reason that news organizations and other usually impatient actors were
waiting to declare victors. If Biden can hold Arizona and Nevada, the former
vice president could win the election even without Pennsylvania, which has
long been viewed as a must-have battleground state.
"We feel good about where we are," Mr. Biden told rattled supporters early
Wednesday morning. "I'm here to tell you tonight we believe we're on track
to win this election. I'm optimistic about this outcome."
One source of Biden's resilience lies in the nature of the votes still to be
counted. Many are mail-in ballots, which favor him because the Democratic
Party spent months promoting the message of submitting votes in advance,
while Trump encouraged his voters to turn out on Election Day. And in
Michigan and Pennsylvania many of the uncounted votes are from populous
urban and suburban areas that tend to vote heavily for Democrats.
Early Wednesday, Mr. Trump prematurely declared victory and said he would
petition the Supreme Court to demand a halt to the counting. Biden urged his
supporters - and by implication, Trump - to show patience and allow the
process to play out.
Republicans however grew increasingly confident on Wednesday that they could
maintain narrow control of the Senate and make a considerable dent in the
size of the Democrats' House majority.
ECONOMY RECOVERING FASTER THAN EXPECTED, SAYS CENTRE
India stands poised to recover at a fast pace and reach pre-Covid levels by
the end of the year, barring a second wave that may be triggered by the
fatigue with social distancing, says the Finance Ministry's report for
It said the steady contraction of active Covid cases and a low case fatality
rate has instilled measured optimism that the worst is behind us. At the
same time, a second wave of the pandemic in advanced nations is a grim
reminder of how reality hits back when caution is compromised.
Citing several macroeconomic indicators such as increased demand of power
and higher GST collections, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on
Wednesday that economy was getting back on track "quicker than expected",
despite the Covid pandemic.
The sustained surge of activity levels in India is a reflection of a
relatively more manageable pandemic situation in the country as compared to
The movement of high frequency indicators in October point towards
broad-based resurgence of economic activity, notably in healthy kharif
output, power consumption, rail freight, auto sales, vehicle registrations,
highway toll collections, e-way bills, rebound in GST collections and record
Rural consumption has stayed strong, in part helped by sustained MSP
procurement of foodgrain, while the manufacturing purchasing managers' index
rose from 56.8 in Sept to 58.9 in Oct, pointing to the strongest improvement
in the health of the sector in over a decade.
Prospects of economic normalisation are evident in the external sector
indicators with consumption of petroleum products increasing in Sept and
exports rebounding with a year-on-year positive growth for the first time in
the past seven months.
October witnessed some moderation in exports growth, primarily driven by
weak oil exports. The expected current account surplus during the year is
likely to provide a cushion to increased spending in the economy, it said.
ARMY CHIEF ARRIVES IN NEPAL TO RESET TIES
Army chief Gen MM Naravane arrived in Nepal on Wednesday on a three-day
crucial visit that is largely aimed at resetting the bilateral ties that
came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two
Gen Naravane is visiting Nepal at the official invitation of Nepal Army
chief Gen Purna Chandra Thapa.
The relations between the two countries came under strain after Defence
Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated an 80-km-long strategically crucial road
connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8. Nepal
protested, claiming it passed through its territory. Days later, Kathmandu
came out with the new map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its
THREE MORE RAFALE JETS ARRIVE IN INDIA AFTER FLYING NON-STOP FROM FRANCE
A second batch of three Rafale fighter jets arrived at Jamnagar airbase in
Gujarat on Wednesday evening after flying non-stop from France, in a further
boost to strike capability of the Indian Air Force.
With the arrival of the new batch, the number of Rafale aircraft has
increased to eight. The first batch of five Rafale jets arrived in India on
July 29, nearly four years after India signed an inter-governmental
agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on October 5 said that
the induction of all 36 Rafale jets will be completed by 2023.
TWITTER FLAGS POSTS BY TRUMP
For the sixth time in less than 24 hours, Twitter on Wednesday flagged
tweets by President Trump for violating its rules because they included
unsupported claims of widespread election fraud and premature declarations
of victory in key battleground states.
Twitter attached warnings to each of the president's tweets, but also to
others posted by his allies, including, among others, his official campaign
account, the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the
president's son Eric Trump. All three had, like the president, claimed
victory for Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania, a race that no major news
organization has said is decided.
At least three of Mr. Trump's posts were hidden and one was partially
hidden, but each allowed Twitter users the option of viewing them. The
platform also restricted the ability of users to retweet or repost the posts
by the president that had violated the company's standards.
COVID-19 ORIGINATED IN CHINA, BUT EUROPE SPREAD IT AROUND WORLD, SAYS STUDY
China may have been the origin point of Covid-19 but it is Europe that
spread it around the world, a study has said.
Led by scientists from the UK's University of Huddersfield and Portugal's
University of Minho, the research is based on an analysis of the genetic
sequence of 27,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes. The study was published in a special
edition of the peer-reviewed journal, Microorganisms, on 29 October.
"Whilst the source of Covid-19 was clearly in China, the spread of the
global pandemic during the first six months was largely fueled by the
expansion in Europe," state the authors in their paper, adding that travel
restrictions in the continent were "too little and too late". According to
the authors, although the European Union (EU) was closed to outsiders on 17
March, the borders between member countries remained open with varying
restrictions. The UK, the researchers pointed out, implemented strict travel
restrictions only in June 2020.
As the United States teeters on the edge of what some say is the start of a
dark winter with roughly 90,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, Europe is
already seeing an "astronomical" number of new cases and deaths, prompting
governments to roll out strict lockdown measures to slow the spread.
Like the U.S., pandemic fatigue has set in across Europe where residents say
pubs and bars in the U.K. and France have been packed ahead of the
lockdowns. It's led to a resurgence in the virus across Europe and America
where people miss human contact and have grown weary of working in isolation
for months on end.
The worsening outbreak in Europe is starting to strain hospital systems
there, which epidemiologists worry will happen in the U.S. in the coming
ARNAB ARREST: 'ATTACK ON PRESS FREEDOM', 'REMINDS US OF EMERGENCY'
Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami was on Wednesday arrested for
allegedly abetting the suicide of a 53-year-old interior designer in 2018, a
police official said. He was remanded to judicial custody till November 18.
Goswami, who was seen being pushed into the police van, claimed before being
taken away that he was assaulted by police inside the house.
Soon after the vehicle carrying Goswami reached Alibaug, just over 90 km
from Mumbai, he was produced in a local court, which directed police to take
him to the civil hospital there for medical check-up, after his lawyer
alleged the senior journalist was assaulted by police.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leaders reacted strongly to the police action against
Terming the Goswami's arrest as a "blatant misuse of state power", Union
Home Minister Amit Shah said the "attack on free press must be and will be
The home minister also slammed the opposition parties, saying Congress and
its allies have "shamed democracy" and that the incident "reminds us of
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar described it as "an
attack on press freedom" in Maharashtra and said it reminded of the
Union minister Smriti Irani condemned Goswami's arrest, saying if those in
free press don't stand up in support of him then they are tactically in
support of fascism.
She tweeted: "You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may
despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression.
Who speaks if you are next?".
Several journalists' organisations appealed to the Maharashtra government to
not "misuse state power for vendetta" and follow "due process".
The self-regulatory body of television news channels, the News Broadcasters
Association, said that though the media is not above the law, due process
needs to be followed. It condemned "the manner" in which Goswami "was
arrested by the Raigarh Police". It stated that "according to the police,
Goswami was arrested in a 2018 abetment to suicide case". "NBA is dismayed
in the manner in which he was arrested. Even though NBA does not agree with
his type of journalism, we denounce retaliatory action, if any, by the
authorities against a media editor. Media is not above the law but due
process must be followed."
WHO WILL SEND ANYONE OUT OF COUNTRY: NITISH ATTACKS 'RUMOURS' ON CAA
Addressing rallies Wednesday in the Seemanchal region in the state's
northeast, which has a sizeable minority community, Chief Minister Nitish
Kumar reached out to Muslims, addressing fears over the Citizenship
(Amendment) Act and reminding the crowds that his government had increased
salaries for teachers in madrasas.
With the region seeing widespread protests against the CAA, Nitish said at
Kishanganj that his government had worked to "spread love, peace and
brotherhood", and "nobody had the strength to send anyone out of the
Attacking those "spreading rumours on the CAA and NRC (National Register of
Citizens)", the JD(U) leader said, "Who keeps spreading misinformation,
keeps talking rubbish? Who will send anyone out of the country? Nobody has
the strength to do that to our people. Sab Hindustan ke hain, sab Bharat ke
hain. Kaun isko bahar karega (All belong to Hindustan, all belong to Bharat.
Who will throw anyone out)?"
With Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM expected to make gains in the region, Nitish
urged the crowd to think "carefully" about "how much work" his government
had done. "Earlier how many madrasas were recognised? How many more madrasas
did we recognise?"
Nitish also focused in his speeches on his government's work for
marginalised communities as well as women, considered his loyal
Attacking the RJD over its government's record on law and order, the CM
said, "Did anyone dare go out earlier? Now you can see the peace in society.
There was so much crime, so many riots, so many kidnappings. We controlled
J&K: POLLS FOR NEWLY CREATED DIST COUNCILS FROM NOV 28
The first-ever elections to the newly conceived District Development
Councils (DDCs) in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be held
over eight phases beginning November 28. The setting-up of 14 territorial
constituencies or DDCs in each district was facilitated by an amendment to
the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, by the Central government on
The members of the DDCs will be elected directly by voters in the Union
Territory. Along with DDCs, bypolls for the vacant seats in existing urban
and local bodies have also been scheduled. Elections for DDCs and urban
local bodies will be held on party basis.
In the first set of elections to be held in J&K since the erstwhile state
was split into two UTs, anybody ordinarily residing in the Union Territory
of J&K for the past six months will be eligible to vote, even irrespective
of the person's domicile status.
KERALA REVOKES GENERAL CONSENT FOR CBI PROBES
The CPI (M)-led government in Kerala Wednesday decided to withdraw the
general consent given to the CBI to probe cases in the state and
investigations will now be handed over only with special permission of the
Kerala has become the fifth state to withdraw general consent after
Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh - all five are
What is said to have provoked the government is the CBI's decision to probe
into the alleged FCRA violations in an apartment project - part of the
state's Life Mission project - constructed with the funding of Emirates Red
Crescent. The project had run into allegations of corruption after Swapna
Suresh, a key accused in the gold smuggling case, reportedly told central
agencies that she pocketed Rs 4.25 crore as kickbacks from the Rs 20-crore
ANTI-MACRON STIR: MLA, 6 OTHERS BOOKED FOR PROMOTING ENMITY
Police on Wednesday filed a separate FIR against Madhya Pradesh Congress MLA
Arif Masood and six others, charging them with promoting enmity between
groups after a protest here against French President Emmanuel Macron over a
cartoon row, an official said.
A few days ago, Masood and 49 others were arrested in a separate case
related to the protest held here last week against the French President over
the cartoon row in the European country in violation of COVID-19-related
curbs. They were later freed on bail.
The Congress MLA also warned the Central government and its ministers for
supporting France over the cartoon controversy.
PUNJAB FARMERS TO VACATE STATION PREMISES, BUT STILL WON'T ALLOW PASSENGER
Farmer organisations agitating against the Centre's farm laws on Wednesday
agreed to leave the railway station premises where protests are currently
Refusing to concede to the appeal of the Punjab Cabinet Ministers' committee
to allow passenger trains to operate, farmer leaders said they will allow
only goods trains to operate in the state. "We have agreed to leave the
platforms. But we will not lift our dharnas. We will agitate at a distance
from the stations. The relaxation has been given only for goods trains. We
will not allow passenger trains," farmer leader Jagmohan Singh said after a
meeting of all the farmer organisations at Kisan Bhawan in Chandigarh.
SUPREME COURT LAYS DOWN NORMS ON ALIMONY, ENSURES UNIFORMITY
The right to claim maintenance under all enactments, including those under
Section 125 of the CrPC, must date back to filing of the application, the
Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.
"Financial constraints of a dependent spouse hamper their capacity to be
effectively represented before the court. In order to prevent a dependant
from being reduced to destitution, it is necessary that maintenance is
awarded from the date on which the application for maintenance is led before
the court concerned," a Bench headed by Justice Indu Malhotra said.
As courts adopt different judicial yardstick to grant interim maintenance
and permanent alimony in matrimonial cases, the SC also laid down guidelines
to ensure uniformity in judicial practice in such matters.
VIDEOCON-ICICI CASE: ED CHARGESHEETS CHANDA KOCHHAR, OTHERS
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a chargesheet, along with "five
trunks" of supporting documents, before a special court in Mumbai on Tuesday
in the case of alleged money laundering against the former managing director
and CEO of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, and
Videocon Group chief Venugopal Dhoot, among others.
The ED's case against the Kochhar family pertains to the alleged illegal
sanctioning of loans of Rs 1,875 crore by ICICI Bank, during the tenure of
Chanda Kochhar, to Videocon Group.
Deepak Kochhar, who was arrested by the ED in September 2019 in connection
with the case, is currently in judicial custody.
Sensex 40,616 (+355), Nifty 11,908 (+95), Trading Value NSE ,(Rs.crores)
Nasdaq 11,590 (+430) Dow 27,848 (+368), S&P 3,444 (+74)
US$-Rs. 74.44 GBP-Rs. 96.71, Euro-Rs. 87.05, UAE Dhm-Rs.20.26, Can$-Rs.
56.47, Aus$- Rs. 53.15
GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.85 /US$, Jap.Yen 104.64 /US$, Aus$ 1.40 /US$, Sing
1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.36 /US$, Can$ 1.31 /US$, Mal Ring 4.16 /US$,
Pak Re 159.81 /US$, Phil Peso 48.32 /US$, Russian Rouble 78.52 /US$, NZ$
1.49 /US$, Thai Baht 31.02 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 28.28 /US$, Norway NOK 9.39
Bitcoin - USD 14,274
Dollar Index 93.40 Brent Crude 40.41 BDI 1,263
Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,908 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 5,090 / 4,990
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 61,200
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Destroying is a necessary function in life. Everything has its season, and
all things eventually lose their effectiveness and die. - Margaret J.
Some letters to Agony Aunts:
I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until he
came home sober yesterday.
I am a twenty-three-year-old liberated woman who has been on the pill for
two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half
the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.
I have a man I never could trust. He cheats so much I'm not even sure this
baby I'm carrying is his.