Wednesday Morning News Brief, January 17

Wednesday morning brief Jan 17 2018
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has called for an ‘alliance of democracies’ and strengthening of Indo-Israel ties to face up to threats. “Our way of life is being challenged. Most notably, the quest for modernity, the quest for innovation is being challenged by radical Islam and its offshoots from a variety of corners, and this can upset the international system… One of the ways to overcome such a challenge is to strengthen the relation between our two great democracies. The alliances of democracies is important to secure our common future,” Netanyahu said.
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A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra yesterday ordered that the PIL seeking an independent probe into the death of special CBI judge B H Loya be put up before an ‘appropriate bench’. “Let the documents be placed on record within seven days and if it is considered appropriate, copies be furnished to the petitioners. Put up before the appropriate bench,” the bench of Justices Mishra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar said, triggering speculation that they were preparing to recuse themselves from the case.
The year 2017 ended on a high for India with the number of foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) crossing the 10-million mark. The increase in numbers pushed the country’s earnings to over 27 billion dollars and has helped India ramp up its overall ranking on the Tourism Competitiveness Index, 2017. The sector is contributing 6.88 per cent to India’s GDP and had a 12 per cent share of jobs in the total employment figures in 2017, Union tourism minister KJ Alphons said yesterday.
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The income tax (I-T) department has made another big haul, of Rs 21 crore, from private lockers operated from a single room in Delhi’s South Extension. This has taken the total seizure of cash and bullion to over Rs 85 crore in the past few weeks. The I-T department has approached the finance ministry seeking to bring private locker services under a regulatory regime to make them compliant to KYC norms followed by banks. At present there is no reporting mechanism or any accountability on maintaining a locker with a private vault.
India’s total expenditure on R&D continues to be less than 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), a study has revealed. The study of the National Science and Technology Management Information System (NSTMIS) under department of science and technology (DST) compared the pattern of expenditure in 14 countries, and found that India topped the list in terms of share of government sector spending. In other countries, private sector industries and institutions of higher education spent more than the government.
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