Express daily briefing: Rahul Gandhi to appear before Surat court in defamation case; Turkey strikes a US ally in Syria; and more

Top news on Thursday morning.

Modi-Xi summit: 9,000 cops, 7,000 students, 700 artists in Mahabalipuram

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to attend an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mahabalipuram, 55 km from Chennai, Tamil Nadu is going all out to ensure that the pieces are in place for the 200-member delegation from China. Nearly 7,000 students on the road to cheer the two leaders, 9,000 police personnel, 700 performers have been lined up while 24/7 vigil, stringent traffic curbs and 500 CCTV cameras have been set up along the coast.

PMC bank fraud case: Several red flags fluttered right under RBI’s nose

The PMC scam went undetected for around 11 years despite the RBI requiring all regulated entities — including cooperative banks — to submit details of transactions and accounts to it since February 2016.

In first three replies to HC, J&K drops PSA charge after challenge

The Jammu & Kashmir administration’s decision to drop the PSA charge in the first three challenges is significant given that the majority of over 250 writs of habeas corpus filed since August 5 challenged detentions under Section 22 of the PSA, saying it was ‘not in good faith’.

Opinion: The test in protest

The episode featuring sedition charges against eminent writers and directors — now belatedly withdrawn — is a reminder of the peculiar nature of the crisis of liberal institutionalism in India. What is new is the choking up of the channels of protest in the time of civic oppression. Where does a politics of resistance to civic oppression go? The government engages in what you might call serial authoritarianism, picking out targets one by one, writes PB Mehta.

Rahul Gandhi to appear before Surat court in defamation case

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is expected to appear before a Surat court today in connection with a defamation case filed against him. Gandhi returned from a brief foreign trip Wednesday to attend the court proceedings. A case was filed against Gandhi by a BJP leader after he had said during a 2019 poll rally: "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi... how come all thieves have Modi as common surname?"

Kerala ‘serial killings’: Demands raised to probe three more deaths

The mystery surrounding the alleged serial killings of six members of an extended family by a woman in Kozhikode deepened, with demands being raised to probe three other deaths — two in the same extended family. Last week, police arrested Jolly Joseph, 47, who confessed to the murders.

Days after Trump’s Green Light, Turkey strikes a US ally in Syria

Turkey launched a ground and air assault on Wednesday which killed 7 members of a Syrian militia, that has been a crucial US ally in the fight against the Islamic State, days after President Donald Trump agreed to let the operation proceed. After about 6 hours of airstrikes, Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies crossed the border, opening a ground offensive.

And finally…

A team of experts, including from the Forest Department and the University of Leeds, has begun an operation to fix a prosthetic limb to a tiger in captivity. If all goes well over the next three-four weeks, experts say, this would be the first instance in the world where a tiger would get an artificial limb.