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Chidambaram arrested by ED after questioning at Tihar Jail

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has arrested former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media case, a day after a Delhi court allowed the agency to take him into custody. ED sleuths reached Tihar Jail on Wednesday (October 16) to grill the 74-year-old Congress leader who has been in prison since September 5 after the CBI finished questioning him in the case. A court had on Tuesday (October 15) allowed three ED officials to interrogate Chidambaram in the INX media money laundering case.

The investigating team followed procedure after a court here on Tuesday had allowed the agency to interrogate the senior Congress leader, lodged in the jail in the CBI case, and arrest him, if necessary, in this case, they said.

A three-member team of investigators of the central agency who arrived at the prison at 8:15 am remained in the premises for about two hours during which they briefly questioned 74-year-old Chidambaram after which he was placed under arrest. The arrest has been made under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and his statement was also recorded under this same provision, they said. The ED subsequently sought 14-day custodial interrogation of the former Union minister from a court here.

Sources indicated that Chidambaram will now be put through some fresh evidence, obtained from offshore jurisdictions, and confronted with the statement of other accused in the case once his full-time questioning begins, after the grant of custody.

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing on Chidambaram’s bail application in the INX Media corruption case filed by CBI after solicitor-general Tushar Mehta said he was preoccupied with another case before a constitution bench. Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the government was deliberately delaying proceedings.

However, Mehta told the bench headed by Justice R. Banumathi that “no prejudice” would be caused to Chidambaram if the matter was posted for Friday as the ED had arrested him.

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Without a China trade deal, the U.S. will hike tariffs

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Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would raise tariffs on imports of Chinese goods if no trade deal is reached with Beijing to end a tit-for-tat trade war that has roiled markets and damaged growth worldwide.

“China is going to have to make a deal that I like. If they don’t, that’s it,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “If we don’t make a deal with China, I’ll just raise the tariffs even higher.”

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was more measured in his comments, saying that the White House remains “optimistic” that an agreement can be reached.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that he still expects a deal to be reached, but he also anticipated an additional 15 per cent tariff to be placed on about US$156 billion of Chinese imports on December 15 if there is no agreement.

“I have every expectation if there’s not a deal, those tariffs would go in place. But I expect we’ll have a deal,” Mnuchin

Predictions of a resolution have come and gone repeatedly as Trump veers from hints of imminent deals to declaring his satisfaction with the current standoff, because the United States is pulling in billions of dollars in trade tariffs.

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