1. Himachal election on November 9
The Himachal Pradesh Assembly poll will be held in a single phase on November 9, the Election Commission announced on Thursday. However, the electoral body did not declare the schedule for election in Gujarat, where the Assembly term is to expire on January 22 next year.
2. U.S., Israel quit UNESCO
The U.S. announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), accusing it of “continuing anti-Israel bias.”
UNESCO is the first UN agency to have admitted Palestine as a full member in 2011. As required by law, the U.S. has stopped funding UNESCO since then. The U.S. withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018. Until then, it will remain a full member.
3. Bharti acquires Tatas’ mobile arm
The country’s largest operator Bharti Airtel said it would acquire the loss-making consumer mobile business of the Tata Group on a ‘debt-free, cash-free’ basis, while taking on some spectrum-related cost. The deal, which is Bharti Airtel’s seventh acquisition in the past five years, will entail the operator paying a “small portion” of unpaid spectrum liability of the Tatas, estimated at Rs. 2,000 crore.
4. EU, India are natural partners based on values
The 14th EU-India summit completed in New Delhi last week has given the two sides a much clearer political strategic direction, says the EU Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski, also dismissing comments by the German Ambassador that it was a failure that EU and India leaders didn’t agree on the resumption of the Free Trade Agreement talks
5. New norms for toys may hurt majority of retailers, says RAI
Retailers Association of India (RAI) said the government’s new standards for toys will severely hurt a majority of retailers.
The norms, notified in September, specify all imported toys should be tested locally and comply with the standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, said RAI, the apex body of the retailers.
6. Allianz eyes India realty play via SP Group alliance
German insurer Allianz has partnered with the Shapoorji Pallonji Group to set up SPREF II, a rupee-denominated, closed-ended fund that aims to raise $500 million for investments in India’s office space market.
7. Talks soon to bring realty under GST
The issue of bringing real estate under the Goods and Services Tax’s ambit will be discussed next month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, as he acknowledged that it was the one sector where maximum amount of tax evasion and cash generation takes place.
8. Trump links immigration reform to border wall
President Donald Trump said he could consider a lenient approach towards young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children provided the Democrats and Congress support his plans for building a border wall and restrictions on immigration.
The Trump administration has discontinued the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era immigration reform that protected residents who entered the country illegally as children from deportation. The DACA was introduced as an interim relief even as the debate on a comprehensive immigration reform to address the status of 11 million undocumented residents in America is caught in a political logjam for years. DACA protected 8,00,000 people, 7,800 of them of Indian origin.
9. Kuldeep is Anil bhai’s product: Raina
Away from the scene of action in international cricket in recent times, Suresh Raina attributed his Uttar Pradesh teammate and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav’s success to the work done by former India head coach Anil Kumble. In about eight months, Kuldeep has played Test, ODI and T20 cricket for India and has taken 32 wickets in all. Raina was fielding questions at a promotional event to launch the eighth Skechers Performance Goa River Marathon to be held on December 10.
10. Schools observe ‘black day’ against govt. intrusion
Over 60,000 unaided private schools across the country associated with the National Independence Schools Alliance (NISA) observed a “black day” on Thursday, complaining of intrusion by the government in their daily functioning which has increasingly been threatening their autonomy.“The black day is not association oriented. It is about saving education in the State and country. It is a silent protest by the education fraternity as a response to the government’s interference through their contradictory policies”