Saturday morning news brief, May 06, 2017

Saturday morning brief May 6 2017
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
With the launch of South Asia satellite, PM Modi opened a new chapter in neighbourhood diplomacy. The Rs 450 crore satellite (Gsat-9) will link all Saarc countries except Pakistan as the latter opted out of the project. The 2,230 kg satellite, with a mission life of over 12 years, will provide communications and disaster support among other services to India and its neighbours.
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US seeks to introduce tougher visa rules, including social media checks. United States has proposed tougher questioning of visa applicants believed to warrant extra scrutiny. Questions about social media accounts would be part of the stepped-up criteria, which would apply to 65,000 people per year, or about 0.5% of US visa applicants worldwide. Besides, those applicants would be required to provide all prior passport numbers, email addresses and phone numbers, as well as 15 years of biographical information, when applying for a US visa.
The government replaced two public sector bank chiefs for failing to revitalize their banks. Punjab National Bank managing director Usha Ananthasubramanian was moved to Allahabad Bank and Bank of India boss Melvyn Rego was shifted to Syndicate Bank. In addition, five new MDs and chief executives have been appointed at state-run banks that are grappling with a pile of stressed loans. The appointments came within hours of an ordinance that empowered the Reserve Bank of India to order action against loan defaulters apart from getting lenders to initiate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings.
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Macron’s French presidential campaign emails were leaked online. Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron‘s campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a “massive” computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online 1-1/2 days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen. Macron, who extended his lead in the polls over Le Pen on Friday, is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades.
China’s presence is creating anxiety in Indian Ocean Region, says US. Terming the Indian Ocean as a “sea of stability”, the US on Friday publicly questioned the intent of China’s OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative in the maritime domain. US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift said, “Chinese actions were adding to a sense of “anxiety” in the region and right now there are more questions than answers.” He said his discussions with Indian officials covered what India and US could do to provide stability in the region.
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