THE WEEK morning brief: Court to hear police petition in Hyderabad gang rape case

Protests continued in parts of Telangana demanding death penalty for the accused

OPINION: Harsh punishment only to the guilty in Hyderabad rape and murder case People in New Delhi protest against the rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman in Hyderabad | Reuters

A look at the headlines today: 

1. Vet rape and murder: Court to hear cops' plea today

A court has posted for today a petition filed by police seeking 10-day custody of the four people arrested for raping and murdering a woman veterinarian, even as protests continued in parts of Telangana demanding death penalty for the accused. The Shadnagar court also directed issuance of notices to the four accused after the Shadnagar Bar Association decided that it will not represent and offer any legal services to them. The Cyberabad police filed the petition for custodial interrogation of the accused, a senior police official told PTI. The official said they would complete the probe in a time-bound manner. Telangana Director General of Police Mahender Reddy, who reviewed the progress of the case on Sunday night, instructed police officials to ensure time-bound completion of the investigation. The official also said they were in the process of requesting the law ministry for setting up of a fast track court to try the four accused.

2. PM Modi to address two poll rallies in Jharkhand today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address two election rallies in Jharkhand today. His first rally is scheduled at Birsa College in Khunti district at 11am, while the second one is at 1pm at Steel Maidan in Jamshedpur. Chief Minister Raghubar Das is contesting the polls from the Jamshedpur (East) seat, where his former cabinet colleague Saryu Roy is contesting as an independent candidate. Roy had resigned as a minister last month after his name did not figure in the BJP's candidate list. Roy, who won the 2014 assembly elections from Jamshedpur (West), filed nomination from Jamshedpur (East) to challenge Das. Nitish Kumar's JD(U) withdrew its candidate from the seat in support of Roy. The Congress has fielded Gourav Vallabh from Jamshedpur (East). State Rural Development Minister Neelkanth Singh Munda is contesting from the Khunti (ST) seat.

3. Army Chief Gen Rawat begins four-day Japan visit today

Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat will embark on a four-day visit to Japan beginning today with an aim to bolster bilateral military cooperation. Officials said the Army chief will hold talks with the top brass of the Japan Self Defence Force on further expanding defence and security cooperation. Gen Rawat will also meet Defence Minister Taro Kono during which key issues of mutual interests would be discussed. 

4. US considering tariff on USD 2.4 billion French goods

The Trump administration has determined that the French Digital Tax is discriminatory against American companies and as such has proposed tariffs of up to 100 per cent on $2.4 billion of French products. The US Trade Representative announced this on Monday after it completed the first segment of its investigation under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  The investigations, it said, concluded that France's Digital Services Tax or DST discriminates against US companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies. Specifically, USTR's investigation found that the French DST discriminates against US digital companies, such as Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. In addition, the French DST is inconsistent with prevailing tax principles on account of its retroactivity, its application to revenue rather than income, its extraterritorial application, and its purpose of penalizing particular US technology companies, USTR said. The decision sends a clear signal that the US will take action against digital tax regimes that discriminate or otherwise impose undue burdens on its companies, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

5. Citizenship bill: Manipur CM, MANPAC team to meet Amit Shah

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, representatives of state civil society organisations and political parties will meet Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday to deliberate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, likely to be tabled in the ongoing session of Parliament. Shah will meet the delegates, including nine representatives of the Manipur People Against Citizenship Ammendment Bill (MANPAC), in New Delhi on Tuesday evening, officials said. MANPAC would urge the home ministry to not implement the contentious bill in the entire north eastern region. The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who come to India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they do not possess proper documents. 

6. BJP parliamentary party meeting today

The BJP parliamentary party will meet today as the party deliberates on its strategy for the remainder of the Winter Session, which ends on December 13. BJP MP Pragya Thakur, whose praise for Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse had triggered a row last week, will not be able to attend the meeting as the party leadership has barred her from participating in the weekly gathering of its lawmakers during Parliament's sessions. The BJP had also sacked her as a member of a consultative committee to the defence ministry for her comments. She later apologised in Lok Sabha. During parliamentary party meetings, senior party leaders brief MPs on relevant issues and also important bills that may come up in Parliament during a session. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to attend the meeting as he will be in Jharkhand to address election rallies. 

7. NorthEast secure late draw against Jamshedpur FC in ISL

NorthEast United scored a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw against Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League match at the JRD Tata Sports Complex. The hosts were the dominant side in the encounter and surged ahead through Spanish striker Sergio Castel's fifth goal of the season in the 28th minute. But a 90th minute equaliser from Panagiotis Triadis ensured NorthEast United's unbeaten record remained intact. The result enabled Jamshedpur to remain on the second spot on the table, while NorthEast are now fourth with 10 points in their kitty. Jamshedpur started on the front foot and looked dangerous going forward. Six minutes into the game, Noe Acosta dribbled to the byline on the left flank and chipped the ball to the centre of the box for Farukh Choudhary whose acrobatic overhead kick flew just over the bar. NorthEast defence struggled to contain a clever Jamshedpur forward line, led by Castel. The former Atletico Madrid player finished off a wonderful team move close to the half an hour mark to give the home team the lead.