Your Daily Wrap: Boris steps down as UK PM, India puts curbs on wheat flour exports; and more | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

In the big story of the day, Boris Johnson announced he would quit as British prime minister, acknowledging that it was “clearly the will” of his party that he should go. The announcement came after the latest ethics scandal around Johnson’s leadership led some 50 senior lawmakers to quit the government and left him unable to govern. “The process of choosing that new leader should begin now. And today I have appointed a cabinet to serve, as I will until a new leader is in place,” Johnson said.

The BBC quoted Tory MP Andrew Mitchell as saying about Johnson: “It’s a bit like the death of Rasputin. He’s been poisoned, stabbed, he’s been shot, his body’s been dumped in a freezing river and still he lives.” But the Prime Minister has been finally pushed out of the office he insisted on clinging to. How and from where did the final push come? Read here.

After banning wheat exports in May, the government has imposed restrictions on outbound shipments of wheat flour or atta, maida and semolina, a move aimed at containing price rise. Exporters of these commodities would now need approval of the inter-ministerial committee on export of wheat for the shipments from July 12.

The CBI arrested the executive director of the Power Grid Corporation and five office bearers of Tata Projects Ltd in a case of bribery. The agency is currently carrying out search operations at 11 locations across the country in connection with the case. Sources said some employees of Tata Projects had been caught offering bribes to BS Jha, the Executive Director of Power Grid Corporation. During searches, the CBI recovered RS 93 lakh from Jha’s residence. According to the Ministry of Power, the project is related to the development of the power sector in the North East and is based on the “Pasighat Proclamation on Power” released during the first Sectoral Summit of North Eastern Council at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh in January 2007.

Akasa Air said it has received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from aviation regulator DGCA and will start commercial operations later this month. According to the airline, it will commence operations with two aircraft and subsequently add planes to its fleet every month. The airline, backed by ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, had taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 max aircraft in India on June 21.

Political Pulse

After sailing through the trust vote in the Maharashtra Assembly on July 4 smoothly, the rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde-led alliance government is now faced with its next major test: the Cabinet expansion. With the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP as the senior partner in the alliance, the Cabinet expansion is set to be a formidable exercise, given the legion of aspirants in both the breakaway Sena and the much-larger saffron camp, many of whom are experienced as well as eligible for the ministerial posts. Shubhangi Khapre reports.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak is known as a leader unafraid of speaking his mind and for whom his approachability is a key strength. The “Brahmin face” of the second Yogi Adityanath government, Pathak questioned Health Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad earlier this week over the transfer of doctors. Pathak’s run-ins with the state health department began during the Covid-19 pandemic when he was among the few BJP leaders to question the government’s handling of the pandemic. He targeted the health department for not being prepared for the health crises. Party insiders said the Deputy CM was given the health portfolio to give him a chance to improve the functioning of a department he had questioned.

Express Explained

The government on Wednesday nominated musician Ilaiyaraaja, track-and-field icon PT Usha, Telugu screenwriter V Vijayendra Prasad, and philanthropist and spiritual leader Veerendra Heggade to Rajya Sabha. The four new entrants to Rajya Sabha belong to four southern states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. The Upper House of Parliament now has nine nominated members. What does the Constitution say about nominated members? Why are members nominated to the Rajya Sabha? What is the role of nominated members? We explain.

Apple has announced a major change to iPhone security in an effort to make it harder for mercenary spyware firms like Pegasus-maker NSO Labs to target and hack users of the iPhone. This has come in the aftermath of several private cyber offensive companies finding zero-day flaws, and letting their clients — typically government agencies and authorities — to hack into the devices of journalists, activists, dissidents, etc. What is the new iPhone feature? Why is Apple rolling out these features? Read here.

Preparing for Civil Services and other competitive examinations. Read The Indian Express’ UPSC Key and UPSC Essentials to stay informed.

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