08:17 RBI approved PM’s note ban bid 3 hours before announcement:
The Reserve Bank of India board approved the move to ban high denomination notes less than three hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision in a televised address to the nation.
Information on how many members favoured or opposed the move isnt on record, RBI said in response to queries from Bloomberg News under the Right to Information Act.
Power minister Piyush Goyal had told lawmakers on November 16, that it was the authoritys 10-member board that came up with the idea.
The decision to withdraw the legal tender character of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to the central government was taken at 5:30 pm on November 8, at a board meeting, RBI said in its responses.
The banks board consists of governor Patel, his three deputies R Gandhi, S S Mundra and N S Vishwanathan along with a host of eminent personalities, including the economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.
07:55 Rs 4,200 crore in dirty cash detected since November 8:
The income tax department detected undisclosed income of close to Rs 4,200 crore.
Since November 8, nearly 1,000 surveys and search and seizure operations were conducted across the country. Between December 22 and 28, over 200 such operations were undertaken, data available with the department showed.
Of the Rs 458 crore cash seizures, Rs 105 crore, which is a tad under a quarter, was in new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, indicating the widespread use of banking and cash mules to convert old currency into new ones, which is stored as cash in offices and homes.
The move mounted through field offices is meant to identify those who used various tools — from depositing in banks to buying gold and jewellery soon after PM Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8 — to try and protect their unaccounted wealth which was stashed away in the form of cash.
01:42 Serena Williams engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian:
CNN reports: Tennis star Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian are engaged.
A spokesperson for Ohanian confirmed that he popped the question while the two were vacationing in Rome.
Williams first announced the news herself in a Reddit post on its “r/isaidyes” forum.
“I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage awaited” Williams said in her Reddit post, which was written like a poem and had a cartoon of the couple at the top.
“Destination: Rome/To escort me to my very own ‘charming’/Back to where our stars first collided/And now it was full circle/At the same table we first met by chance/This time he made it not by chance/But by choice/Down on one knee/He said 4 words/And/r/isaidyes.”
00:52 US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds:
The United States on Thursday expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Moscow, a senior US official said.
The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave the United States.
Access to the two compounds will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon on Friday, the official added.
“These actions were taken to respond to Russian harassment of American diplomats and actions by the diplomats that we have assessed to be not consistent with diplomatic practice,” the official told Reuters.
Egypt’s government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and sent it to parliament for ratification, despite a legal dispute over the plan, according to state television.
The deal, announced in April, caused public uproar and protests by Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country.
The controversy has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided Egypt with billions of dollars of aid but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations.
In June, Egypt’s higher administrative court annulled the agreement, saying Egyptian sovereignty over the islands could not be given up. The Egyptian government lodged an appeal.
00:48 Arunachal crisis: Ram Madhav says BJP will stand by CM Khandu:
The newly formed People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh is in a crisis. The newly-formed outfit has suspended its own chief minister Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorji Khandu, who died in a helicopter crash four years back.
The reason for the sudden shift in position is not known but the PPA has decided to suspend seven MLAs.
A floor test is expected to take place in Itanagar on Friday.
Sources say that the ruling party decided to do away with the chief minister because of his continued closeness with the Congress.
Sources indicate that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was pretty much clued into the affairs of the development, which took place in the north-eastern state.
Ram Madhav, BJP general secretary, who is in charge of the state, said: “The president does not have the power to remove the chief minister. BJP is supporting Pema Khandu’s government. The chairman can only do so. Let’s see what happens.”