Saturday evening news brief, April 21 2018

Saturday evening brief Apr 21 2018
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to allow death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years. The ordinance also prescribes increasing the minimum punishment for rape from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, extendable to life imprisonment. For speedy trial of rape cases, new fast track courts will be set up in consultation with States/UTs and High Courts. Read
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Former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha said he’s quitting the BJP. As reason behind the decision, Sinha said the NDA government led by the BJP is undermining democratic institutions. He clarified, he will not be joining another party, but try to unite all non-BJP parties. Sinha had formed ‘Rashtra Manch’ in January, saying it will be an apolitical forum to highlight “anti-people” policies of the Centre.
The world’s debt load has ballooned to a record $164 trillion, the IMF has warned. This could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, IMF said in its semi-annual Fiscal Monitor report. The data clouded IMF’s otherwise upbeat outlook of the world economy, predicted to expand at 3.9% over 2018-19.
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The Centre has approved a proposal for an ordinance to confiscate properties of economic offenders. The provisions of Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 will apply for fugitive economic offenders like Nirav Modi, who refuse to return, persons against whom an arrest warrant has been issued for a scheduled offence as well as wilful bank loan defaulters with outstanding debt of over Rs 100 crore.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Beijing on a four-day visit. She will hold talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and take part in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. She along with other foreign ministers of the group would call on Chinese President Xi Jinping. Swaraj will visit Mongolia in the next leg of the trip.
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