Vol. 66 No. 323 | SATURDAY | SEPTEMBER 16, 2023 | 23 Pages | `5 & for Pune `6 only Quality at Value www.freepressjournal.in EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, Pune, Nashik, Konkan, Indore, Bhopal, E-paper DOUBLE THE FUN FOR AVINASH TIWARY DISPATCH SHANKAR RAJ / WASHINGTON US STRIKE HITS 3 AUTOMAKERS F or the first time in many years, workers of all three major car manufacturers walked off their factories early Friday following a strike call by the United Auto Workers after contract negotiations failed to land a new deal. The affected assembly plants are located in Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri and belong to Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Stellantis, which makes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat brands. It is the first walkout to hit Detroit’s ‘Big Three’ auto makers all at once. The unprecedented strike is expected to have an effect on the US economy and would cost $5 billion per week. If it continues, hundreds of families would face financial distress. Union leaders have said they will select new target plants to execute the strike in waves, if negotiations continue to fail. This strategy will keep the companies guessing. The strike comes at a time when automakers are slowly moving to electric vehicles that are less labour intensive and more automated. MISSING MINISTER: US PRODS CHINA T he United States’ ambassador to Japan said in an interview on Friday that the Chinese government should explain why its Defence Minister General Li has not been seen in public for 2 weeks and also why China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, skipped the Group of 20 Summit last week in India and other commitments. China’s defense minister has not been seen in public in more than two weeks, fuelling speculation about further upheaval in the military after the abrupt removal of two top commanders in charge of the country’s nuclear force. General Li’s absence has raised the possibility that he has been placed under house arrest. He had been expected to take part a in meeting last week in Vietnam, but there was no word of his attendance. EDIT WHEN OPPOSITION CRIES ‘ENOUGH!’ The Bombay high court on Friday refused to grant urgent relief to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on its application seeking permission for Ganpati idol immersions at the Aarey Milk Colony Goregaon. , A bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor, had directed the Imports declined for 9th month in a row, by 5.23% to $58.64 bn CJI hints at data, 2 trapped in collapse 149 arrivals on flight in DRI net dossier-based judge selection PREM MORE / THANE A three-storey building at Dombivli East collapsed at 4.30 pm on Friday entrap, ping a woman and a senior citizen under the debris. Firefighters and disaster response force personnel are trying to cut through the iron rods with the help of electric cutters to rescue the duo – Arvind Sambhaji Bhatkar (70) and Geeta Lodhia (45). CONTD. ON NATION ONLINE REPORT / NEW DELHI Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Friday said that the process of appointment of judges to the high court and the Supreme Court will become more transparent and objective parameters will be laid down. ‘‘The idea is to make the process of making appointments more transparent. Not by sharing our discussions in the public realm, which we obviously cannot do. But by laying down objective parameters for selection to the Supreme Court and High Courts,” he said. The CJI said the Supreme Court and the Centre for Planning and Research are working on a broad platform to assess the top judges who are eligible for appointments. A dossier will be accordingly prepared based on objective CJI DY Chandrachud with the law minister criteria. He added that top 50 judges of the country will be assessed for appointment to the Supreme Court. ‘‘Data on judgments of these judges and the quality of their judgements is collected and assessed, he said. “It is a work in progress, but we are improving,’’ he added. CONTD. ON NATION FALSE STATEMENT IN ARTICLE NO OFFENCE FPJ NEWS SERVICE / NEW DELHI Making false statements in an article, by itself, is not an offence under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code, the Supreme Court said on Friday . The top court’s comment comes in the wake of a petition challenging the FIRs that were lodged against Editors Guild of India members over a report on the ethnic violence that has plagued Manipur. GOOD SENSE, AMITY PREVAILS AMIT SRIVASTAVA / NAVI MUMBAI At a meeting arranged by Navi Mumbai Police with the Hindu and Muslim communities in Vashi, a consensus was reached and Muslims have agreed to conduct their Eid-eMilad procession on September 29, instead of the preceding day . The Hindu community will mark Anant Chaturdashi on September 28, during which a large number of idols will be immersed. In order to maintain law and order, In Navi Mumbai and Panvel, Eid-e-Milad procession deferred to September 29; Anant Chaturdashi on September 28 police held meetings with both communities. In the presence of police and representatives of both communities at the Sahitya Mandir Hall in Vashi, the president of the Navi Mumbai Muslim Ekta Samaj (NMMES), Alam Baba, announced that the Eid-e-Milad procession would be rescheduled to September 29. At the meeting, Deputy Commissioner of Police Vivek Pansare, Circle-1, appealed for peace and harmony during festivals and exhorted people from both communities to come forward and set an example. “Since both celebrations fall on the same day there , would be logistical challenges for police. Accordingly police , requested the Muslims to postpone their Eid-e-Milad procession by a day CONTD. ON NATION . TAILPIECE GANPATI FOR RAJDHANI France iPhone 12 ban scares EU FPJ NEWS SERVICE / PARIS An idol of Lord Ganesha being loaded on August Kranti Express for Delhi, at Mumbai Central Station on Friday –PTI Visarjan at Aarey: VHP plea rejected URVI MAHAJANI / MUMBAI EXPORTS DECLINE BY 6.86% TO $34.48 BN IN AUG Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to make adequate arrangements for safer immersion of idols in Mumbai city and suburbs on September 12. Since the bench headed by the CJ was not available on Friday the VHP’s application , was listed for hearing before a bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Manjusha Deshpande. The bench noted that the plea should be heard by the CJ-led bench which had issued specific directions in the PIL by NGO Vanashakti, to prevent immersions in the three lakes within Aarey part , of the eco-sensitive zone of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The VHP urged the HC to stay/suspend the September 12 order and allow immersions there. CONTD. ON NATION Apple has been hit by a controversy over its iPhone 12 software with France suspending sales of handsets after tests that it said found breaches of radiation exposure limits. France said the iPhone 12 recently failed one of two types of tests for electromagnetic waves capable of being absorbed by the body On Tues. day France’s government or, dered a halt to iPhone 12 sales and told Apple to issue a software update to address the problem or face a recall. Apple, which just unveiled its newest generation of iPhones, the iPhone 15, contested the findings, saying the iPhone 12 was certified by multiple international bodies as compliant with global standards. However, the company said on Friday it would issue a software update to accommodate the testing methods used in France. The company may have to take similar action in other European nations as the radiation warning in France, though based on results of tests that differ from those carried out in other countries, has ignited concerns across EuCONTD. ON NATION rope. CHANDRAYAAN-1 DATA SUGGESTS… Earth electrons forming water on Moon A team of scientists, which has analyzed remote sensing data from Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, has found that high energy electrons from the Earth may be forming water on the Moon. The team led by researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in the US discovered that these electrons in Earth's plasma sheet are contributing to weathering processes -- breaking down or dissolving of rocks and minerals -- on the Moon's surface. The research, published in the journal Nature Astronomy found that the elec, trons may have aided the formation of water on the lunar body . Knowing the concentration and distribution of water on the Moon is critical to understanding its formation and evolu- tion, and to providing water resources for future human exploration, the researchers said. The new finding may also help explain the origin of the water ice previously discovered in the permanently shaded regions of the Moon, they said. Chandrayaan-1 played a crucial role in the discovery of water molecules on the Moon. Solar wind, which is composed of high energy particles such as protons, bombards the lunar surface and is thought to be one of the primary ways in which water has been formed on the Moon. The team investigated the changes in surface weathering as the Moon passes through Earth's magneto-tail, an area that almost completely shields the lunar body from solar wind but not the Sun's light photons. ‘‘This provides a natural laboratory for studying the formation processes of lunar surface water," Shuai Li, an assistant researcher at the UH Manoa School of Ocean, was quoted as saying. CONTD. ON NATION METRO BRIEFS GLOBAL Read on to find out what these two OTT projects are all about WORLD OZONE DAY S SC IN EDITORS’ GUILD CASE A case had been filed against the president of the Editors Guild of India (EGI) and three members of the guild’s fact-finding team, which had gone to Manipur to assess the media’s reportage of the ethnic conflict in the state. The complainant had alleged that the report submitted by the team was “false, fabricated and sponsored”, and the charges in the first information report included promoting enmity between different CONTD. ON NATION groups. CELEBS UNDER ED LENS everal Bollywood celebrities are under the Enforcement Directorate scanner in the Mahadev app case. FPJ has footage of these celebrities attending and even performing at the wedding of Saurabh Chandrakar, the kingpin and absconding accused in the case. Chandrakar and his associate, Ravi Uppal, who are among the most wanted in India and allegedly have close ties with Dawood Ibrahim, are suspected have run their Mahadev online book operations from Dubai. Chandrakar married a woman from Chhattisgarh in February 2023 in Dubai, with Bollywood stars charging hefty fees for performing at the ceremony according to the ED officials. , Seized contraband valued at `14cr DHARMESH THAKKAR/ MUMBAI A record 149 of 156 passengers on a flight from Oman to Chennai were held on Thursday night by officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), for mass smuggling of contraband to the southern capital of Tamil Nadu. A total of 13kg gold, more than 2,500 smartphones and saffron, valued at Rs 14 crore in all, was seized from the 149 passengers, who were attempting to smuggle in the items to evade high customs duties. In view of the strict vigil at the Mumbai and Delhi airports, crime syndicates have changed routes from the Middle East to south Indian airports such as Chennai, Cochin and Hyderabad, where there has been a rise in seizures and arrests in the last three months. “A new trend has emerged, with labour immigrants from the Gulf being used as mules to smuggle gold and other contraband to southern airports. This follows the crackdown on gold smuggling rackets in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Delhi. In the last three months, a phenomenal rise in gold seizures from Tamil Nadu airports and sea routes has been observed,” explained a senior customs and revenue officer. In its sustained effort to combat gold smuggling, DRI Chennai has so far seized around 163kg of gold worth Rs 97 crore in 29 cases and 43 people have been arrested since January 2023 onwards, in different parts of Tamil Nadu. CONTD. ON NATION The payments made to the celebrities are currently under ED scrutiny The ED is likely to summon these celebrities for . questioning, according to sources. SEE MUMBAI–ASHISH SINGH NAINA PLEA REJECTED: The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea by Naina Desai, wife of late film art director Nitin Desai, against the order of the NCLAT upholding the NCLT order initiating corporate insolvency proceedings against the late art director’s company Desai was found hanging at his studio in . Karjat on August 2. He had taken loans of Rs150 crore and Rs35 crore in 2016 and 2018, respectively, from the Edelweiss Group, and defaulted.