News18 Wrap: Chidambaram in CBI Custody, Militancy May Head North in Kashmir & Other Stories You Missed

News18 Wrap brings you some of the biggest stories on today to help you stay updated at all times.

In case you missed it

Chidambaram's Custody: Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who was arrested by the CBI Wednesday night from his residence in connection with INX media corruption case amid high drama, was produced in a special CBI court today. After a hearing that lasted for close to three hours, the court gave the central probe agency custody of the Congress leader till August 26.A CBI spokesperson earlier said Chidambaram was arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by a competent court. Meanwhile, Chidambaram's advocates opposed the CBI plea on the ground that all the other accused, including his son Karti, have already been granted bail in the case. He also questioned why bureaucrats in the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) were not arrested if they had given wrong approval for foreign investment in INX Media. He contended that grant of bail was a rule and the issue before the court was of personal liberty. Read more.

Kashmir Dispatch: In January, police declared Baramulla as Kashmir’s first “militancy-free” area, saying that no local militants were active in the district anymore. However, within months, violent insurgency became visible again. While many parts of Kashmir remain under lockdown since August 5 when the Centre stripped it of its special status granted under the Constitution, authorities this week carried out their first anti-militancy operation after more than 20 days. An LeT gunman was killed after a joint party of forces—the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Central Reserve Police Force and Army—carried out a late-night operation in old town area of Baramulla, in north Kashmir. Over the years, most militants have been active in south Kashmir, but this operation, after a lull of about three weeks, took place in north Kashmir. Read more.

Modi's Visit: PM Modi is set to visit France, the UAE and Bahrain, Prime Minister from August 22-26. The prime minister said the engagements will strengthen India's relations with time-tested friends and help explore new areas of cooperation.During the visit he will have bilateral meetings in France, including a summit interaction with President Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. Modi will also interact with the Indian community and dedicate a memorial to the Indian victims of the two Air India crashes in France in the 1950s and 1960s. Read more.

Support for Thackery: While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray continues to be probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Kohinoor square land case, several leaders have come out in his support. Among those who rallied behind the MNS chief are his estranged cousin and Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, who has stated that the ED probe will reveal nothing. As the MNS leader reached the ED office on Thursday, his family members camped at a nearby hotel. The senior leaders of the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Lok Bharati, and AAP have also spoken out in support of Thackeray, along with senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut. Read more.

Akshay on Forbes: Forbes has released the list of the world's 10 highest-paid actors in 2019 and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has securing the fourth place with an earning of USD 65 million (approx Rs 466 crore) in June 2018. The list was topped by Hollywood actor Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock, earning USD 89.4 million (approx Rs 640 crore) during the period, a Forbes report said. Basking in the success of Mission Mangal, Kumar is the only Bollywood actor to feature on the Forbes list of world's 10 highest-paid actors. Read more.

Agree or disagree

Long ago, the Supreme Court had said that access to pure water is a part of Right to Life. Article 21 of the Constitution ensures that right of citizens and the apex court says unless one gets access to pure drinking water, the right does not mean much. A WHO report says at least 2 billion people worldwide are forced to use contaminated sources for drinking water and all of them are at high risk of contracting water-related diseases. Unless we address this concern — of how to preserve water and stop the denudation of water resources — we are actually heading for a disaster. Society as a whole has to rise to meet this daunting challenge. ‘Cauvery Calling’ is a classic example of how the community can get involved in these kinds of movements because apart from actually aiming at saving the resources, it aims at coming up with an economical and ecologically profitable model for people living around rivers and river sources. Read the piece by Arijit Pasayat to know more.

Art of the Day

Amazon Rainforest

In the year 2019, between January and August, nearly 73,000 fires were recorded in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest. In addition, the Rainforest has been on fire for a number of days, without receiving much attention from the concerned authorities.