From the Newsroom: PM once again defends new farm laws

From the Newsroom: Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again defends new farm laws

In your evening news brief, From The Newsroom, Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again defends the new farm laws; S&P Global Ratings retains its forecast of 9% contraction in the Indian economy for the current fiscal; Tamil Nadu and Kerala brace for heavy rain over the next few days; Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s political secretary NR Santhosh got discharged from the hospital and Maryam Nawaz says Imran Khan should have "some courage" to question ISI 

Here are the top stories of November 30, 2020:

Amid the ongoing protests by the farmers from Punjab and Haryana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday once again defended the new farm laws and said that the opponents are ''spreading apprehensions' and 'misleading' the farmers.
Speaking at a function on the occasion of completion of a six-lane highway connecting Prayagraj and his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, Modi launched a veiled attack on the Congress and said that those, who had 'duped' the farmers over the years, are now opposing the new farm laws. ''Earlier the nature of the protests was different....they were against the decisions but now they are based on apprehensions, propaganda and misinformation,'' the prime minister said.

S&P Global Ratings on Monday retained its forecast of 9 per cent contraction in the Indian economy for the current fiscal, saying there are now upside risks to growth, and it will wait for more signs that Covid infections have stabilised or fallen.

S&P, in its report on the Asia Pacific, projected the Indian economy to grow at 10 per cent in the next fiscal. "We retain our growth forecast of negative 9 per cent in fiscal 2020-2021 and 10 per cent in fiscal 2021-2022. While there are now upside risks to growth due to a faster recovery in population mobility and household spending, the pandemic is not fully under control.

Tamil Nadu, which faced Cyclone Nivar just last week, and Kerala are bracing for heavy rains over the next few days as a depression over the South-east Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a deep depression and later into a cyclonic storm.

The depression lay centered about 710 km east-south-east of Trincomalee in Eastern Sri Lanka and 1,120 km east-south-east of Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of the Indian mainland, at 8.30 am on Monday.

Tamil Nadu received heavy to heavy rains last week under the influence of Cyclone Nivar, which made landfall between Marakanam and Puducherry. At least four people died in cyclone-related incidents.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s political secretary NR Santhosh got discharged from the hospital Monday, denying that he had attempted suicide. Santhosh, 31, was hospitalized last Friday evening allegedly due to an overdose of sleeping pills.
“Three days ago, there was a personal, family event. It was my cousin brother’s marriage. There, I suffered from food indigestion. I ended up taking a different medicine and due to an overdose, I got drowsy. My wife rushed me to the hospital. This was just a mistake,” Santhosh told reporters.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said on Monday that "puppet" Prime Minister Imran Khan should have "some courage" to question the country's top spy agency - Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) - as to why it is tapping his telephone calls. Her remarks came in response to Prime Minister Khan’s recent disclosure that he was aware that the agencies tap his phone calls.