Saturday morning news brief, March 17

Saturday morning brief Mar 17 2018
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
BJP government looks safe despite the Opposition rallying around no-trust move. The competitive politics between YSR Congress and Telugu Desam Party over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh saw both parties moving a no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, leaving most opposition parties with little choice but to support the move in keeping with their anti-BJP stance. Read more
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SP and BSP have the opportunity to put their alliance to another trial – bypolls for Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly seats. Bypolls for Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur assembly seats are due within next five months. The two seats fell vacant following the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh and MLA Lokendra Singh. Sources in the two parties said that the bypolls could actually decide the finer contours of a possible alliance as they gear up to take on BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Modi government red-flagged growing Chinese presence in India’s neighbourhood. In remarks to Parliament’s standing committee for external affairs recently, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said under Xi Jinping, China is determined to “spread its presence abroad to protect its interests.” This is clear in the establishment of foreign military bases, as in Djibouti, as well as undertaking projects in almost all south Asian countries.
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India, in an official communication, accused Pakistan of blocking government websites. Stating that the Indian government websites had opened only intermittently since then in Pakistan, official sources said as many as 5 note verbale (a form of diplomatic communication) had been issued to Pakistan to not block access to any Indian government website.
PV Sindhu defeated 7th seed Nozomi Okuhara to book her spot in women’s singles semi-finals of the 2018 All England Open Championships. Sindhu rallied from a game down to beat the Japanese 20-22, 21-18, 21-18 as she made it to the last-four stage of the tournament for the first time. It was a physically exhausting contest which lasted an hour and 24 minutes. It was the third straight three-game affair for Sindhu in the tournament.
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