Republica Morning Brief: October 15

Published On: October 15, 2020 06:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

In case you missed them, here are the major news stories that Republica covered in the past 24 hours.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has reshuffled his cabinet, inducting Bishnu Paudel as the new Minister for Finance. This is the second time Paudel, who is General Secretary of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), has been appointed as the Finance Minister. According to the notice of the Office of the President, Prime Minister Oli has appointed Krishna Gopal Shrestha as the new Minister for Urban Development. Similarly, Parbat Gurung’s portfolio has been changed. He has been appointed the Minister for Communications and Information Technology while Lilanath Shrestha has been appointed as Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens. While retaining the portfolio of the Ministry of Defence for himself, Prime Minister Oli has given the responsibility to oversee the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers to Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel. Deputy Prime Minister Pokharel was the Defence Minister. 

Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane will visit Nepal next month, the Nepal Army headquarters said in a press statement on Wednesday. The Army headquarters, however, has not disclosed the specific dates for the visit. Nepal Army Spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudel said Naravane will be visiting Nepal in November, and the two militaries are in touch to finalize exact dates. Poudel said that there have been discussions between the two sides to fix the exact dates for the visit. An invitation was extended to the Indian Army Chief by the Nepal government on February 3 this year, according to the press release. 

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Sanu Siba Pahadi passed away on Wednesday. The parliamentarian was undergoing treatment in Kathmandu, according to Tanka Shrestha, the chairperson of Taplejung Sarokar Kendra. Pahadi was a parliamentarian under the proportional representation category in the House of Representatives (HoR). She was a kidney and liver patient and was admitted to Kathmandu Medical College. She had undergone a kidney transplant recently. Pahadi was also involved in Nepali music industry. 

Nepal has been re-elected for the second term as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in the elections held at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday. Currently serving as a member of the Council since January 2018, Nepal has been re-elected with 150 votes and will serve a consecutive three-year term of 2021-2023, according to Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Jhalanath Khanal Foundation’s Antivenom Production and Research Center Nepal has been found spending a large sum of money on purchasing luxurious items instead of mobilizing the fund to produce antivenom. The documents received by Republica show that the foundation has spent funds--meant for producing antivenom--on purchasing luxurious items, including motorbikes, vehicles, mobile phones, electronic items, among others. The Center has already purchased a vehicle worth Rs 4.9 million. The document also shows that the Foundation has already spent Rs 1.4 million on electronic items, Rs 1.3 million on office instruments, and one million rupees on hire purchase. 

The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) said on Wednesday that 2,638 new cases, 2,174 recoveries and 12 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were recorded on Wednesday. This takes the country’s coronavirus case tally to 1,17,996. At a virtual media briefing, Jageshwar Gautam, spokesperson for the MoHP, said that 2,638 new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the course of 13,947 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted at various labs across the country in the past one day. As many as 1,403 new cases of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were recorded on Wednesday in the Kathmandu Valley. As of Wednesday afternoon, 47,401 people have contracted the COVID-19 virus in the Valley.

The government has decided to implement the much anticipated clean feed policy in television systems from October 23. With this decision in effect, the advertisers have been barred from publishing advertisements in foreign television channels. Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology directed the foreign television channels which are broadcasted in Nepal to abide by clean feed policy by Oct 23. The Ministry has also warned of prohibiting airing of those channels which fail to do so.

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