13/12/2016 7:03 AM IST | Updated 13/12/2016 9:04 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: Cyclone Vardah Kills 6; BJP To Distribute Laddoos To Take Bitter Taste Out Of Demonetisation

Our selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

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The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.

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Guido Ralph Haschke, one of the alleged middlemen wanted in the ₹3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal in India, has disappeared from Interpol's public list of wanted people. India's Enforcement Directorate, which issued the Red Notice that put him on the list in the first place, has not given an official response for the mysterious development. But the other two suspected middlemen in the case are still there on the public Interpol list.

In a recent interview to BBC, actress Sunny Leone claimed that there was more sexism in Bollywood than in the adult entertainment industry. "I know when I am hired, people want me to show off. They want the Sunny Leone shot. But that's the image I created, so I am okay with it," she said.

A CRPF personnel, who took five bullets to his chest in a terror attack in Kashmir's Baramulla in 1990, and survived, shot himself to death on Saturday morning after allegedly failing to withdraw cash from the bank even after repeated visits. Rakesh Chand (54), who retired as head constable in 2012, had tried to withdraw the money he needed urgently for his medical treatment from SBI's Tajganj branch every day, without success.

Main News

Cyclone Vardhah is creating a havoc in the southern parts of the country, especially Tamil Nadu. The winds were howling at the speed of 140 kmph throughout Chennai at night, and have already killed six people, including a child. Normal life has completely been disrupted, with overturned trees and virtual blackout.

Nusli Wadia attacked Ratan Tata in his first scathing letter to the shareholders. Wadia claimed that Ratan was trying to save British Steel (now Corus Tata Steel Europe) at the cost of Tata Steel. Wadia claimed that Ratan was providing continuous financial resources to Corus since 2012. "From that date to now, the capital employed in the business has risen by about ₹25,000 crore with nil return," he wrote.

Hacker group Legion, who were allegedly behind the high-security breaches of the Twitter accounts of Rahul Gandhi, Indian National Congress, have now said that they want to breach the government website, which is the official platform used for email services for the officials.

Off The Front Page

In an attempt to take away the bitter taste left by PM Modi's announcement of demonetisation, which has led to long queues in banks and ATMs, BJP Delhi is now planning to distribute laddos (sweets) in the city. Reportedly, the BJP cadre has been asked to go to every household in the city and hand out laddos at every house in the city to thank the people for their patience.

Pankaj Advani won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title by beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the summit clash on Monday.

Indian-origin British actor Dev Patel earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in the film Lion, which also stars Nichole Kidman. The movie is based on the true story of an Indian boy who gets separated from his brother and mother when he ends up 1,000 miles away from his home, lost at a train station in Kolkata.


The solar power sector has enormous potential but many challenges lie ahead as well, says an editorial in Mint. "The solar sector has had an impressive compound annual growth rate of 59% in the last four fiscal years and its installed capacity at the end of the FY2016 was pegged at 6.8GW. Similarly, the share of renewable energy in India's total energy mix has also increased from 12.5% in FY2013 to 14.1% in FY2016. Yes, this also shows how fossil fuels still make up the majority of India's energy basket but let's not ignore how quickly renewables are catching up," it says.

A strong Lokpal and protection of whistleblowers hold the key to eliminating corruption in India, write Christophe Jaffrelot and Basim U Nissa in The Indian Express. "In the absence of Lokpals, RTI activists remain particularly important among those exposing corruption cases the most effectively. The Right To Information Act, that was passed in 2005, is, despite all its loopholes, one of the major contributions of the UPA government to, as the Act itself says, 'promoting transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority'," they say.

The government should ensure that all tobacco products, including bidis and smokeless tobacco, are taxed at the highest rate of the Goods and Services Tax, write Mark Goodchild and Henk Bekedam in The Hindu. "Tobacco taxation as a fiscal policy is a 'win-win' situation. It not only increases revenue generation but also reduces the consumption of tobacco, especially for the young and poor. Realistically, the greatest barrier to raising taxes on bidis is the potentially negative impact this might have on bidi workers. This is a valid concern — these workers currently have few livelihood alternatives available to them and so they are heavily exploited as a cheap form of labour by the middlemen in the trade," the say.

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