Morning digest: Kargil war veteran declared a foreigner, Amit Shah’s potential role in Cabinet, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day.

Kargil war veteran declared a foreigner

The family of a retired soldier, who fought in the Kargil war two decades ago, approached the Gauhati High Court on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was sent to a detention centre for foreigners or illegal migrants.

Mohammed Sanaullah, who retired as an honorary Lieutenant in the Army, was arrested soon after he was summoned by the Assam Police Border Organisation, or the Border Police, in Guwahati on Tuesday.

Registration software helps unearth illegal abortions in Tiruvannamalai

Every pregnant woman has to register on a software, PICME (Pregnancy and Infant Cohort Monitoring and Evaluation), in Tamil Nadu. It was one such registration in Kadaladi Primary Health Centre (PHC) that helped district officials zero in on illegal abortions in Tiruvannamalai town.

When one registered woman did not turn up for her antenatal check-up for eight weeks, the PHC’s medical officer asked the Village Health Nurse (VHN) to meet her — a common procedure when pregnant women do not arrive for check-up.

Amit Shah to get on board Narendra Modi Cabinet?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah held marathon meetings on Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon to finalise the list of the new Council of Ministers to be administered the oath of office on Thursday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Senior party leader Rajnath Singh, too, met Mr. Modi, with sources saying that the issue of just what Mr. Shah’s role in the new government would be was also on the anvil.

Narendra Modi swearing-in: Foreign leaders begin to arrive

Foreign leaders began arriving here from Wednesday evening for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The first to arrive was Bangladesh President Mohammed Abdul Hamid.

Mr. Modi’s swearing-in is to be attended by Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering, President of Myanmar U Win Myint, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, and President of Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov. With the exception of Mauritius and Kyrgyz Republic, rest of the invitees are from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping. Most of the leaders will land here by Thursday afternoon.

Aid to relative for buying property not a benami transaction: Supreme Court

Mere financial assistance provided to purchase property for the welfare of family members cannot be classified as a benami transaction, the Supreme Court has held in a recent judgment.

A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao has upheld a Karnataka High Court order which dismissed a plea that the financial help given by G. Venkata Rao to his family members to purchase property was a benami transaction.

Opinion | Why the integrity of data matters

The announcement that the government has decided to merge the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) into and under the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has caused both surprise and concern. What exactly the ‘merger’ means remains unclear. Recent attempts to question the veracity of National Sample Survey (NSS) data and the way the issue has been handled have given rise to apprehensions within academia, State governments and the media about the prospect of radical changes in the present system for deciding substantive issues of scope, design, scrutiny and validation of the surveys.

Iran behind attacks on ships: Bolton

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that naval mines “almost certainly from Iran” were used to attack oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this month and warned Tehran against new operations.

Mr. Bolton said the “prudent and responsible” approach taken by the United States, which has beefed up its military presence in the region, had made it clear to Iran and its proxies that such actions risked a “very strong” U.S. response.

Robert Mueller says charging Donald Trump was never an option

Washington Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said that charging U.S. President Donald Trump for obstructing the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections was not an option for his team. Mr. Mueller also said that there were other ways to accuse the President of “wrongdoing”.

“…Under long-standing Department [of Justice] policy, a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional,” Mr. Mueller said. “Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited.”

Marketmen bet on lower volatility, rate cut, positive re-rating

A decline in market volatility, rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and an overall re-rating of the equity markets, especially that of the financial sector stocks, appear to be the key themes of market participants post the election results that saw the BJP-led NDA getting a huge majority.

2019 World Cup: Cricket’s showpiece event is back to where it all began

Just a few kilometres from the bustling markets in Lambeth, a London suburb where Asians, West Indians and Africans sell bananas, rice, dal curry and spicy chicken, England’s sporting gift to the Commonwealth — cricket — returns with its showpiece event: the World Cup.

The nearby Oval will host the opener featuring England and South Africa on Thursday and over the next 45 days, fans will be glued to contests at venues ranging from Lord’s to Edgbaston.

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