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News in Short

News in Short - 25-December-2020

President Putin signs bill to give lifetime immunity to Russian presidents

Date: 25 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that will grant former presidents lifetime immunity once they leave office.
  • The bill gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during their lifetime.
  • They will also be exempt from questioning by police or investigators, as well as searches or arrests.
  • The legislation was part of constitutional amendments that were approved this summer in a nationwide vote that allow Putin to remain president until 2036.
  • Prior to the bill becoming law, former presidents were immune from prosecution only for crimes committed while in office.

Pollution sources of Periyar river being identified

Date: 25 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The potential sources of pollution of the Periyar river of Kerala is expected to emerge after a study.
  • The report identifying the sources responsible for the pollution of the river will be filed by the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) in response to a stringent directive from the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on restoring the river to its original state.
  • An expert committee appointed by the tribunal has completed survey of the Idukki stretch of the river under the first phase of the project. The collection of samples from the tributaries, streams, and drains on the Thrissur-Ernakulam stretch will also be completed
  • Besides the board officials, the team consists of representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority.
  • The pollution load assessment is expected to provide information on possible sources of pollution.

India challenges Vodafone retrospective tax verdict in Singapore tribunal

Date: 25 December 2020 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments
  1. India has challenged in Singapore an international arbitration court's verdict against it over a $2 billion tax claim involving Vodafone Group Plc. This development comes after the government lost an international arbitration case against Vodafone.
  2. The international arbitration tribunal at Hague had ruled that the Indian government's imposition of a tax liability on Vodafone was in breach of the investment treaty agreement between India and Netherlands.
  3. The tribunal had said the government must cease seeking dues from Vodafone and pay more than ? 40 crore to the company as partial compensation for its legal costs.
  4. The tax dispute involves interest of ? 12,000 crore and ? 7,900 crore in penalties that stems from Vodafone's acquisition of the Indian mobile assets from Hutchison Whampoa in 2007. contested.
  5. In 2012, India's top court had ruled in favour of the telecom provider but the government changed the rules later that year enable it to tax deals that had already been concluded.

British model Stella Tennant passes away

Date: 25 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Stella Tennant, the aristocratic British model who was a muse to designers such as Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace, passed away at the age of 50.
  • Tennant, the granddaughter of a duke, rose to fame in the 1990s while walking the runway for Versace, Alexander McQueen and other designers.
  • Besides fashion, Tennant maintained a lifelong interest in sculpture, and also established a studio at her home in Berwickshire.
  • In recent years, she also raised her voice for environmental causes, appearing in various campaigns for the non-profit outfit Global Cool and others.

Malayalam film director Naranipuzha Shanavas passes away

Date: 25 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Malayalam filmmaker and scenarist Naranipuzha Shanavas passed away in a private hospital in Kochi after losing a battle with illness. He was 40.
  • Shanavas suffered from a massive heart attack on Sunday, while he was shooting for his upcoming film ‘Gandhirajan’.
  • Naranipuzha Shanavas was known for making socially relevant films and his debut film 'Karie' (Black), was based on the ritual of Karinkaliyattam and the caste system. His last outing ‘Sufiyum Sujathayum’ too spoke about an interfaith love story.