Current Affairs ONLY (Daily Editorials Analysis, Date: 9th July 2018)

  1. No, Minister: on Jayant Sinha’s decision to felicitate convicts

Context

Jayant Sinha does his office a disservice by felicitating cow vigilantism convicts on bail.

Why In News?

For Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, to have serious reservations about the verdict of the fast track court in Jharkhand that convicted, and sentenced, a bunch of people to life imprisonment in a cow vigilantism case.

IMPORTANT POINTS

  • It is quite another to felicitate those convictedmerely because they were let out on bail by the Jharkhand High Court. A release on bail, as Mr. Sinha surely knows, is not an acquittal.
  • The eight garlanded men he posed with for celebratory photos are still convicts, who were tried in a case in which a meat trader was savagely beaten to death on suspicion of transporting beef.
  • That a Central Minister could have hobnobbed in such a public fashion with those convicted of murder is inexcusable.
  • The group of eight was released from prison on the ground that the available visual evidence showed them only as onlookers as opposed to assaulters, the Jharkhand High Court’s order is not a proclamation of innocence. This depends on the outcome of the appeal — something that Mr. Sinha did not care to wait for.
  • From the string of statements he made on social media, it is far from clear whether Mr. Sinha has so much as paused to consider, leave alone care about, what the eight were doing at the scene of the
  • This strengthens the charge that narrow political considerations, as opposed to a presumed miscarriage of justice, played a role in his action — to first champion their innocence and then to celebrate their release.
  • His clarifications notwithstanding, Mr. Sinha has lent the impression he has been guided by the political exigencies that prevail in his Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency, where the murder took place.
  • Wittingly or unwittingly, he has opened himself up to the charge that he is indulging cow vigilantism and taking sides on the basis of the party affiliation of the convicts.
  • One of the convicts, Nityanand Mahto, is a local leader of the BJP, and is known to Mr. Sinha. For him to claim he did nothing more than wish the eight well when they came to see him on their release on bail is neither convincing nor acceptable.
  1. No one wins: on the US-China trade war

Context

The U.S.-China trade war is on; unless saner counsel prevails, it will affect others too.

Why In News?

The trade wars have finally begun. After exchanging several threats over the last few months, both the United States and China implemented a tariff of 25% on imports worth $34 billion last Friday.

IMPORTANT POINTS

  • The official beginning of what China dubs as “the biggest trade war in economic history”. While this trade war is far from the biggest the world has seen, it has the potential to cause some significant damage to the world economy. U.S. President Donald Trump, who began the year by imposing tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, has vowed to possibly tax all Chinese imports into the U.S., which last year added up to a little over $500 billion.
  • In a globalised world, no country can hope to impose tariffs without affecting its own economic interests.
  • Apart from disadvantaging its consumers, who will have to pay higher prices for certain goods, tariffs will also disrupt the supply chain of producers who rely on foreign imports. So both the U.S. and China, which have blamed each other for the ongoing trade war, are doing no good to their own economic fortunes by engaging in this tit-for-tat tariff battle.
  • The minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve June policy meeting show that economic uncertainty due to the trade war is already affecting private investment in the U.S., with many investors deciding to scale back or delay their investment plans.
  • China, which is fighting an economic slowdown, will be equally affected.
  • The ongoing trade war also threatens the rules-based global trade order which has managed to amicably handle trade disputes between countries for decades.
  • It could also isolate the U.S., which has refused to settle differences through serious negotiations, as other global economies strike trade deals on their own.
  • In March, for instance, 11 Asia-Pacific countries went ahead to sign a trans-Pacific trade deal while leaving out the U.S., which had pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017. If global trade tensions continue to simmer, however, it may not be too long before countries resort to other destructive measures such as devaluing their currencies to support domestic exporters.
  • The world economy, which is on a slow path to recovery, can do without such unnecessary shocks.

 

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