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22 January 2017

Hirakhand Express Accident: Railway Minister Announces Inquiry, Ex-Gratia
New Delhi,January 22, : Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the Andhra Pradesh train mishap and announced ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each for the kin of those killed in the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express derailment.
The Commissioner Railway Safety will conduct a detailed inquiry into the train mishap and submit the report at the earliest, Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena said.
The Railway Minister has announced the ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each for the kin of the passengers killed in the train mishap near Kuneri station, while Rs 50,000 will be given to those who have grievously injured, he said.
Railways will give Rs 25,000 to those who have received simple injury, he said.
Four coaches of nine derailed coaches have been capsized in the accident killing more than 20 passengers injuring many. This is the third serious train accident in the last three months with the last two happened near Kanpur.



25 schoolchildren dead, 36 injured after bus collides with a truck in Etah
Etah , : 19 January 2017

At least twenty five schoolchildren died and over 30 were injured after a bus collided with a truck in Uttar Pradesh's Etah today. The driver of the bus was also killed in the accident. Eyewitnesses said the accident took place due to poor visibility in the area.
According to reports, the bus was carrying nearly 50 students of JS Vidya School when it collided with a truck in Aliganj area of Etah district.The truck was being driven at a high speed when the two vehicles collided head-on.
Rescue of injured is ongoing, said UP DGP Javed Ahmed said in a tweet. Sixteen injured have been referred to Agra for better treatment.

Expressing pain over the accident and loss of young lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said," Anguished by the tragic accident in UP's Etah district. I share the pain of the bereaved families and condole passing away of young children."
"I pray that those injured in the accident in Etah recover at the earliest," he said.
Anguished by the tragic accident in UP’s Etah district. I share the pain of the bereaved families & condole passing away of young children.
In a separate incident, at least 20 people were injured and the driver of a bus was killed in an accident in Sitapur.
The bus, which was on its way from Dewaria to Delhi, fell into a gorge as the driver failed to negotiate a curve due to thick fog in the area.
Entire Uttar Pradesh is reeling under intense cold wave conditions which has killed at least 28 people so far.
After reopening briefly for two days following an extended winter break, schools in state capital Lucknow have been closed again due to the cold wave.

The driver of the bus was also killed in the accident. (PHOTO: ANI)
District Magistrate Satyendra Singh said the decision was taken after a sudden drop in the temperature and it will be reviewed again after two days.
Icy winds prevailed in the city and also in some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The minimum temperature in the past 24-hours was 7.7 degrees Celsius while the maximum was 20.7 degrees Celsius.
The weather office attributed the sudden change in temperature to heavy snowfall in the states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The cold wave was likely to continue till January 22, the weather office said.

Salman Khan acquitted by Jodhpur court in Arms Act case
Jodhpur, 18, January 2017

Superstar Salman Khan was acquitted by a Jodhpur court in an Arms Act case linked to killing of a blackbuck 18 years ago in Rajasthan. Khan had pleaded 'not guilty' to charges of violating the law by keeping unlicensed weapons and using them. Acquitting the actor, the court said that the prosecution failed to submit enough evidence against the actor.
Chief Judicial Mesgsitrate Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit, after completing the hearing on January 9 in a case registered in 1999, had reserved the judgement for today.
"Justice has won. The prosecution completely failed to prove charges under sec 3/25, 3/27 of Arms Act," Salman's lawyer HS Saraswat told India Today.
"Justice has won. The prosecution completely failed to prove charges under sec 3/25, 3/27 of Arms Act," Salman's lawyer HS Saraswat told India Today.
"He has been given benefit of doubt. We'll decide on appealing against the verdict after analysing the judgement," said the public prosecutor.
The case involves the alleged killing of a deer when the 51-year-actor and his co-stars - Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Tabu - were shooting for 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' in the forests near Jodhpur in 1998. In 2007, Salman had spent a week in Jodhpur jail before the court granted him bail.
Besides the cases of poaching of endangered antelopes under Wildlife (Protection) Act, a case under sections 3/25 and 3/27 of the Arms Act was filed against Khan for allegedly keeping and using the fire arms with expired licence in the poaching of blackbucks in Kankani near Jodhpur on October 1-2, 1998.
Khan arrived in the Rajasthan city with his sister Alvira Khan and reached the court ten minutes before the verdict was delivered.
The defence also raised questions on the prosecution permission arguing that it was given by the then district magistrate Rajat Kumar Mishra and was not lawful.
Arrests Point at ISI Link in Patna-Indore Express Train Derailment
Mumbai:January 18: The Bihar police on Tuesday arrested a man, Moti Paswan, claiming he received funds from Nepal to derail the Patna-Indore express train.
Paswan has confessed he was paid to plant explosives on the Indore-Patna track in November last year that resulted in the loss of 150 lives.
The money allegedly came from a known ISI sympathiser, Dubai based Shamshul Hodi.
Two others have also been arrested along with Moti paswan. The Bihar police has now called in central agencies to investigate the matter.
In a related development, Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad is looking into the claims made by a man named Vasant Kumar, who said that he was approached by a man at his native place in Uttar Pradesh to get trained to undertake train derailment operations.
According to sources, the man in the month of December was approached by one Suresh who said that as Kumar is unemployed he should get into this as he would be given RS 70,000.
Kumar further claimed that on December 25, he along with 8 others, was taken from Varanasi to an isolated spot, where he was given training about how to remove track keys.
He was later told by the other members that in the month of November, they had carried out a similar operation near Kanpur station.

He said that he felt guilty and then eventually came to Mumbai at Jogeshwari at his Uncle's place.
Initially Railway Police Force was looking into the matter but eventually it was transferred to the Maharashtra ATS.
A top Maharashtra ATS official said that they are looking into the credibility of the input although they think there could be some loopholes in it. He added that inquiry is underway.



ISI backed Kandahar hijackers: Plane crisis negotiator Doval
NEW DELHI,Jan 15, 2017, : The Indian Airlines flight IC-814 hijackers were actively supported by Pakistan's spy agency ISI, leaving them under no pressure to end the hostage crisis soon, according to national security adviser Ajit Doval, who was among those tasked as negotiator to defuse the crisis. The Kathmandu-Delhi flight, with 180 passengers and crew on board, was taken over by five hijackers soon after take-off on December 24, 1999, spiralling into one of the worst hostage crises in Indian history.
Doval said that if the Taliban hijackers did not have ISI support, India could have resolved the crisis. Doval's comments are part of 'Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan lost the Great South Asian War', a new book by Myra Macdonald, former India bureau chief for Reuters. The crisis finally ended with the release of dreaded terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mushtaq Zargar.
"There were a lot of Taliban on the tarmac with their weapons," says Doval. The negotiating team made another discovery when they landed.
Two ISI men were on the tarmac and others soon joined them. One was a lieutenantcolonel and the other a major, said Doval, who had spent many years serving in Pakistan. To make matters worse, the Indian officials realised the hijackers were communicating directly with ISI officers in Kandahar.


Defying Supreme Court ban, Madurai village organises jallikattu on Pongal
Madurai , : 14 January 2017

Defying Supreme Court ban, Madurai village organises jallikattu on Pongal
New Delhi, : 13 January 2017
In wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding jallikattu, locals organised the sport in full swing in the Avanipuram village of Madurai district in Tamil Nadu Saturday morning.
It was held at day break but as opposed to the large scale extravagant jallikkattu, it was conducted in a small way.
The sport continues to be held as and when the locals are able to bring in bulls clandestinely.
Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy expressed his views on jallikattu saying he was happy that the police were making arrests all over the state.
for peaceful protest
The Rajya Sabha MP added," While I support Jallikattu but I don't like anti-national elements in Tamil Nadu trying to go against the constitution of India."
Meanwhile, two animal rights groups have urged President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to promulgate an ordinance to allow the bull taming sport.
wide protest in support
This is the second day in a row that jallikattu was held in Madurai. On Friday, the residents of another Madurai village, Karsisalkulam conducted the sport. About 22 bulls were used for jallikattu at Karsisalkulam, in which 50 bull wranglers participated.
Both DMK and AIADMK held protests in support of the sport on Friday.

Ravi Shankar Prasad: Original manuscript of constitution had images of Hindu gods
New Delhi, : 13 January 2017

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday invoked Hindu gods and gurus featuring in the original manuscript of Indian Constitution to suggest the extent of 'minority appeasement' and 'pseudo secularism' prevalent in the country.
Addressing a seminar at the India International Centre where former chief justices, ex-diplomats, constitutional experts and lawyers were part of the panel, he said original manuscript of the Indian constitution had pictures of several Hindu gods and idols like Ram, Krishna, Arjun Nataraja, Vivekananda and Guru Gobind Singh. He said if the constitution was drafted today, one wondered the pictures would have been allowed on its pages. "Where has this country gone? We will have to reflect. I am only trying to provoke a debate", he said.
"Today is the birthday of Swami Vivekananda. I would request all of them sitting here to have a look at the original constitution. When the constitution was being conceived, a debate arose if it should be plain or there should be more in it to show the world that India has arrived and Nandlal Bose was commissioned by drafting committee members Nehru, Mauilana Azad and Ambedkar to beautify and decorate it", he said.
"Atop the page on fundamental rights we have a visual of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana returning to Ayodhya after the victory in Lanka…the page on directive principles of state policy had another of Krishna propounding the Gita to Arjuna at the Kurukshetra. There are also scenes from the courts of Ashoka and Vikramaditya," he said.
"This question troubles me sir and I am asking if the constitution was framed today and the constituent assembly resolves that we will have such pictures what will happen? We will have to reflect where we have come along. India is a democracy not because democracy is a form mentioned in the constitution but because the cultural and civilization heritage also sanctioned democracy," he said.
On the burning issue of justice delivery getting effected due to shortage of judges, Prasad hoped the concerns regarding appointments and infrastructure would be addressed expeditiously", adding, "I can tell you now that with the leadership of Justice Khehar as the new Chief Justice, we will be able to work together in a very meaningful way to address the concerns in judiciary, to expedite appointments, to ensure people of merit are appointed and also overall reinforce infrastructure needed for justice delivery".
"We have made 126 appointments, the highest since 1990, and in high courts about 131 additional judges have been confirmed," Prasad said a day after Chief Justice Khehar said the shortfall in the number of judges was affecting work. He said in terms of fundamental duties, justice delivery is integral to good governance. Therefore, justice delivery has to be faster, expeditious and also to be delivered in the spirit of integrity and accountability.

INS Khanderi, Indian Navy's second Scorpene-class submarine, launched in Mumbai
New Delhi, : 12 January 2017

Khanderi, the second Kalvari class submarine, was today launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
Scorpene submarine Khanderi, known for its superior stealth, was launched by Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre.
"I'm confident that the day is not too far when Mazagon Dock Limited will build submarines for other nations as well," Union minister Subhash Bhamre said soon after the launch.
The state-of-the-art features of this Scorpene class submarine includes superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons.
The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The Stealth features will give it an invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.
The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force.
It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, Mine Laying, Area Surveillance etc.
It is built according to the principle of Modular Construction, which involves dividing the submarine into a number of sections and outfitting them concurrently.
Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century, the release said.

Delhi: Coldest day today as temperature drops to 4°C
New Delhi, : 11 January 2017

Delhi witnessed a chilly Wednesday morning with the minimum temperature further dropping to four degrees Celsius, three notches below the season's average and the lowest this season.
On Tuesday, the minimum temperature was 5.2 degrees Celsius.
The IMD forecast no rain and predicted the cold wave could mellow down from January 13 (Friday) onwards.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the minimum temperature was expected to be four degrees Celsius on Thursday, while the maximum temperature on Wednesday was likely to hover around 17 degrees.
"The sky will remain clear with shallow to moderate fog in the morning," an IMD official told IANS.
The visibility at 8.30 am was 1,200 metres at Safdarjung and the humidity was 85 per cent.
Tuesday's maximum temperature settled at 17.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average, the weather office said.
26 trains delayed, 11 cancelled due to fog
At least 26 trains were running late and 11 cancelled due to dense fog in parts of north India today, a railway official said.
The status of the delayed and cancelled trains was last updated till 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
According to the Northern Railway official, seven trains were rescheduled.
The cancelled trains included Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express, New Delhi-Trivendrum Central Kerala Express, Visakhapatnam-New Delhi A.P. Express, New Delhi-Puri Purushottam Express.
The others cancelled were Delhi Sarai Rohilla-Chennai Central G.T. Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Hydrabad Deccan Dakshin Express, Hazrat Nizamuddin-Visakhapatnam Link Express,
More of those cancelled included New Delhi-Varanasi Kashi Vishwanath Express, Delhi Junction-Sealdah West Bengal Sampark Kranti Express, Amritsar-New Delhi-Amritsar Shan-E-Punjab and Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi.

Jammu: 3 killed in terror attack in Akhnoor sector, high alert sounded
New Delhi, : 9 January 2017

Three employees of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) were killed in a terror attack in Khour area of Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor sector early this morning. Terrorists infiltrated into Batal village from the LoC.
Three employees of the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF) have been killed in a terror attack in Khour area of Jammu and Kashmir's Akhnoor sector.
The area has been cordoned off and Akhnoor bridge has been shut. No vehicle movement being allowed on this bridge.
Terrorists attacked a GREF camp in Batal village near the international border along the Line of Control (LoC). A high alert has been sounded in Khour area and at all Army camps following the infiltration.
According to intelligence sources, terrorists infiltrated into Batal village from the LoC and targeted the GREF camp early this morning.
The GREF camp is about two kilometers from the LoC. Gunshots were heard in Batal village. How many GREF employees are injured in the attack is not yet known.
"The attack has taken place in the morning. Reinforcements have been rushed to tackle the terrorists," a senior police officer said in Jammu.
Police, Army and village defence committees have also been put on high alert in Akhnoor sector to stop the movement of terrorists towards Jammu city as the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is in session.
The GREF is the parent cadre force of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) that builds and maintains border roads in the country.

Florida shooting: Iraq war veteran opens fire at Ft. Lauderdale airport, kills 5
New Delhi, : 7 January 2017

An Iraq war veteran took a gun out of his checked luggage and opened fire in a crowded baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale's airport on Friday, killing five people before being taken into custody, authorities said.
Eight other people were wounded in the shooting rampage, which sent panicked travelers running for cover inside the terminal and onto the tarmac.
The gunman was identified as Esteban Santiago, 26, who was carrying US military identification, according to a spokesman for US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, citing officials at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
An aunt said he came back from his deployment "A different person," MSNBC reported. In November, Santiago told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that his mind was being controlled and agents sent him to a mental hospital, said a federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Santiago served from 2007 to 2016 in the Puerto Rico National Guard and Alaska National Guard including a deployment to Iraq from 2010 to 2011, according to the Pentagon.
A private first class and combat engineer, he received half a dozen medals before being transferred to the inactive ready reserve in August last year.
The shooter arrived on a flight to Fort Lauderdale with a checked gun in his bag, and upon claiming the luggage went to the bathroom to load the gun, Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca said on Twitter. He came out firing, LaMarca said, and witnesses told MSNBC television he only stopped after running out of ammunition, at which point he surrendered to police.
Cellphone video posted on social media showed travelers kneeling and treating victims on the floor next to a carousel. At least two victims had pools of blood from apparent head wounds.

People on the airport ramp area near terminals 1 and 2. Photo: Reuters
Flying with firearms is routine and legal in the United States as long as the guns are kept in a locked, hard-sided container as checked baggage only, under TSA rules. Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on bags but is allowed in checked luggage.
The suspect was unharmed as law enforcement officers never fired a shot, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at the airport, adding it was too early to assign a motive.
"At this point, it looks like he acted alone," Israel said while police continued to search the airport.
The gunman, who wore a "Star Wars" T-shirt, said nothing as he fired, witnesses told MSNBC. He appeared to use a 9 mm handgun, which he tossed aside once it was empty, MSNBC reported.
"This is a senseless act of evil," Florida Governor Rick Scott told reporters.
Also read: Afghanistan: Militant in police uniform opens fire in Kabul shrine, 18 killed
A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama had spoken to Scott and Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief and had extended his condolences to the loved ones of the victims.
The attack was the latest in a series of mass shootings that have plagued the United States in recent years, some inspired by militants with an extreme view of Islam, others carried out by loners or the mentally disturbed.
A federal law enforcement official told Reuters that in November Santiago turned up at a FBI office in Anchorage and told agents that his mind was being controlled by a US intelligence agency, which was ordering him to watch Islamic State videos.
Santiago was sent by the FBI to a mental hospital and a subsequent investigation turned up no evidence that he had connections to any foreign terrorist organization, the source said.
John Schlicher, who told MSNBC he saw the attack, said the shooter was "directly firing at us" while passengers waited for their bags. His wife gave first aid to a victim who had been shot in the head, and his mother-in-law used her sweater to tend to another victim but it turned out that person was already dead, he said.
Mark Lea, another eyewitness, told MSNBC, "He didn't say anything; he was quiet the whole time."
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the second largest in South Florida, serving as an intercontinental gateway.
Nearly two months ago a former Southwest Airlines worker killed an employee of the company at Oklahoma City's airport in what police called a premeditated act.
The deadliest mass shooting in modern US history took place last June, when a gunman apparently inspired by Islamic State killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Veteran actor Om Puri dies of heart attack at 66
New Delhi, : 6 January 2017
Om Puri, veteran actor and Padma Shri winner, passed away this morning due to a heart attack. He was 66.
The actor, best known for films like Ardh Satya and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, is survived by his estranged wife Nandita Puri and son Ishaan Puri.
Om Puri's sudden death has left the industry in shock and his colleagues have expressed their sadness.

Rattled by Agni, China asks India to cool its missile fever
New Delhi, : 5 January 2017
The Global Times editorial piece shows how two back to back missile tests, earlier Agni V with a range of over 5000 Km and now Agni IV, have rattled China.
Global Times, the mouth organ of China's ruling Communist Party, has dismissed India's missile programme saying 'India needs to cool its missile fever'.
The Global Times editorial piece writes that 'India should realize that owning several missiles does not mean it is a nuclear power. Even though India does become a nuclear power, it will be a long time before it can show off its strength to the world.'
Successful Agni IV missile test rattles China
The write-up uses some harsh words for India after its successful Agni IV missile test yesterday that has a range of 4000 Km and can reach China. It shows how two back to back missile tests, earlier Agni V with a range of over 5000 Km and now Agni IV, have rattled China. These tests show India's prowess for its Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) development programme.
When India had test-fired its ICBM Agni V on December 26, China was quick to question India quoting an 18 year old UNSC resolution that seeks that India and Pakistan should shut their ballistic missile development programmes. Reacting on India's launch, Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said that 'the UN Security Council had explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons'.
India treading on path that breaks the United Nations' protocols
The editorial piece says that India is treading a path that breaks the United Nations' protocols, "India has broken the UN's limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council's five permanent members."
India claims for permanent seat in UN Security Council
India's claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council is another soar point for China and like India's bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China tries to thwart the Indian efforts here as well.
Though the editorial piece, that we can say conveys the official position of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), speaks on the need of developing rapport between India and China, the tone is both patronizing as well as threatening.
China's overall military industrial capacity is better than India
Demeaning India, the editorial says that at present, India's GDP accounts for about 20 percent of China's whereas China's strategic nuclear missiles have long ago realized global coverage, and China's overall military industrial capacity is much better than that of India.
India knows cost of posing nuclear threat to China
Threatening India, the editorial says that India knows the cost of posing a nuclear threat to China. It says that China wants to better relations with India 'but will not sit still if India goes too far'.
The editorial also brings in Pakistan in its sermonic run of commentary and advocates that the world community should treat India and Pakistan equally when it comes to their nuclear development programmes.
Missile tests by India would see counter launches by Pakistan
Repeating the Chinese rant of maintaining strategic balance in South Asia, the editorial says that these missile tests by India would see counter launches by Pakistan with missiles of longer ranges. Pakistan claims China is its all weather ally and China proves it by its acts time and again, like blocking the Indian proposal at the UN to declare Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief, a designated terrorist, in its most recent show of bonhomie with Pakistan.

Madras High Court judge on Jayalalithaa's death: Media has raised doubts, I also have them
New Delhi, : 29 December 2016
The Madras High Court is hearing a PIL seeking the appointment of a judicial commission to probe into the death of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
The Madras High Court today expressed its doubts over the December 5 demise of J Jayalalithaa, saying the death was sudden and there was no medical report submitted of her long illness.
"Media has raised a lot of doubts. Personally I also have doubts in Jayalalithaa's death," Justice Vaidyalingam of the Madras High Court said.
"When she was admitted in hospital, it was said that she was on proper diet. At least after her death now, truth should be revealed," he said. As conspiracy theories continue to do the rounds over Jayalalithaa's death, the Madras High Court is hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the appointment of a judicial commission to probe into the death of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. ayalalithaa loyalist Shihan Hussaini has alleged that she was killed. He wants Amma's body exhumed and an autopsy conducted on it.
Hussaini, who has floated a party named after Jaya, has accused Sasikala's husband M. Natarajan of the "murder" and terms him the "mastermind".
The PIL cites a Calcutta High Court order appointing a judicial commission to unravel the mystery surrounding Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's death.

Sasikala Natarajan era begins in AIADMK: Jayalalithaa's aide elected party General Secretary
Chennai : 29 December 2016
The general council of the AIADMK today passed the resolution at its meeting in Chennai, attended among others by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. Sasikala Natarajan, close aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has been elected as the AIADMK General Secretary unopposed in a party meeting in Chennai today.
The general council of the AIADMK today passed the resolution at its meeting, attended among others by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Sasikala did not attend the meeting but that did not stop the party leaders from electing her as their new leader.
The council also passed a resolution condoling the death of Jayalalithaa, who died of cardiac arrest on December 5 following a long admission at Chennai's Apollo Hospital.
While it is true that Sasikala will have to wait for the imprimatur of the electorate to confirm her legitimacy as a successor, it is obvious that her uphill political journey will be far more arduous than Jayalalithaa's.
For starters, she doesn't have the latter's charisma or the kind of political experience which Jayalalithaa gained through years of tutelage under MGR. Instead, Sasikala comes across as a reclusive, dour personality.
Another disadvantage besides her lack of charisma is the "baggage" of a family. Moreover, she and her relatives are still under the cloud of malfeasance.
It has to be remembered that despite her closeness to Jayalalithaa, the latter evicted her for a while from her Poes Garden residence following charges that Sasikala's family had used her proximity to the former Chief Minister to make financial gains.
Jayalalithaa, too, had followed the same pattern. When her mentor MG Ramachandran died in 1987, his widow, Janaki, assumed his mantle and became Chief Minister, but for a mere 24 days.
Following an electoral defeat of her breakaway faction of the AIADMK in 1989, Janaki had no option but to step aside, as MGR's co-star in the film world and longstanding companion, Jayalalithaa, took the reins of a reunited party in her hands.

Indrani Mukerjea Out On Conditional Bail, Performs Father's Last Rites
Mumbai : 27 December 2016
Indrani Mukerjea, accused in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, has been granted a conditional bail for the first time since her arrest to perform her father's last rites.
She has been allowed to go out of the jail on bail for a day for her father's last rites, however Indrani will be accompanied by a police escort throughout.
Indrani had pleaded the court to let her out of the jail to perform the last rites of her parents. She was not allowed a bail when her mother had passed away. However, the court this time, allowed her a conditional bail.
She was out of the jail premises today morning.

Jet Airways Goa-Mumbai flight with 161 on board skids off runway, all passengers evacuated

Mumbai : 27 December 2016
Jet flight 9W 2374 scheduled to fly from Goa to Mumbai at 4.40 am today was aborted before take off due to a technical snag.
The flight with 154 passengers and seven crew members, veered off the runway at Dabolim Airport while aligning for take-off.
Passengers were made to de-board and brought back to the airport safely.
"Few guests have sustained minor injuries during the evacuation process and medical assistance is being coordinated by the Jet Airways team and the airport authorities," the airlines said in an official statement.
It stated that all guests and crew were safely evacuated but some passengers sustained minor injuries and fractures that are being tended to.
Navy sources said 15 people suffered "minor injuries and fractures" in the process.
When the evacuation was on, the aircraft tilted forward, an eyewitness said, triggering panic among passengers.
In the wake of the incident, the Goa airport will remain shut till 12:30 pm today.
The runway of Dabolim airport, which was shut for a few hours in the morning due to maintenance work, is now operational.

Over 65 lakh income tax non-filers for 2015-16 identified by authorities
NEW DELHI : 23 December 2016

67.54 lakh potential income tax non-filers who carried out high value transactions in 2014-15 but did not file return of income identified by authorities.
The Income Tax Department has identified an additional 67.54 lakh potential non-filers who carried out high value transactions in 2014-15 but did not file return of income.
The Non-Filers Monitoring System (NMS) was initiated by CBDT, the policy making body of I-T department, for identification of non-filers with potential tax liabilities.
"The Income Tax Department has conducted the fifth cycle of data matching which has identified an additional 67.54 lakh potential non-filers who have carried out high value transactions in the financial year 2014-15 but did not file return of income for the relevant assessment year i.e. AY 2015-16," CBDT said in a statement.
Non-filers have been identified based on data analytics carried out by the Systems Directorate of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) about whom specific information is available in the Annual Information Return (AIR), Central Information Branch (CIB) and TDS/TCS databases.
"While the government urges all tax payers to disclose their true income and pay taxes accordingly, the Department would continue to pursue the non-filers vigorously till all the high potential non-filers are covered," the statement said.
CBDT has made available in the 'Compliance Module' on the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Department the information relating to the identified non-filers.
The information will be visible only to the specific PAN holder when they log into the e-filing portal at https.//
"The PAN holder will be able to respond electronically and retain a copy of the submitted response for record purpose," CBDT added.

29 dead, dozens injured in explosion at fireworks market in Mexico
Mexico : 21 December 2016

Local television showed a flurry of multi-colored fireworks exploding in all directions as a massive plume of smoke rose above the market while people frantically fled.
A massive, multicolored explosion decimated a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, leaving it a charred wasteland and killing at least 29 people with dozens more injured.HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Television images showed a flurry of pyrotechnics exploding into the early afternoon sky as a giant plume of smoke rose above the market. Fireworks detonated in a peal of clattering bursts reminiscent of a war zone.
The technicolor blast was the third such explosion in just over a decade to hit the popular San Pablito marketplace in Tultepec, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Mexico City. The detonations struck in the run-up to the busy Christmas holiday when many Mexicans stock up on fireworks.
"People were crying everywhere and desperately running in all directions," said 20-year-old witness Cesar Carmona.
Some 13 children suffered burns to over 90 percent of their bodies and were being sent to the U.S. city of Galveston in Texas for treatment, said Eruviel Avila, the governor of the State of Mexico where Tultepec is located. He put the death toll at 29.
Avila also vowed to find and punish those responsible for the blast and provide economic assistance to those who had lost their livelihoods.
Isidro Sanchez, the head of Tultepec emergency services, said a lack of sufficient safety measures was the likely cause of the blast.
The federal police said it had sent a forensic team to investigate the incident, adding that at least 70 people had been injured. Videos from the scene showed people frantically fleeing, while aerial footage revealed blackened stalls and a flattened tangle of metal and wood.
Over 80 per cent of the 300 stalls at the market were destroyed by the explosion, said state official Jose Manzur. Local media reported there were 300 tonnes of fireworks at the market at the time of the explosion.
Federico Juarez was present when the first explosion rocked the market.
"Everyone started running to escape as bricks and pieces of concrete fell everywhere," said Juarez.
The blast is the latest in a long-running series of fatal explosions and industrial accidents that have roiled Mexico's oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
A blast struck the Tultepec fireworks market in September 2005 just before independence day celebrations, injuring many people. Almost a year later, another detonation gutted the area again.
"I offer my condolences to the relatives of those who lost their lives in this accident and my wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured," President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a tweet.
Pena Nieto is the former governor of the State of Mexico, the country's largest which surrounds the capital.

No questions if old notes deposited in one go till Dec 30, says Arun Jaitley
NEW DELHI : 20 December 2016

The Finance Minister said that since all exemptions to certain sectors and utilities, which had been allowed to accept the banned currency post demonetisation, ended last week, those in possession of the old notes are supposed to deposit them with banks.
Following RBI's announcement of stricter rules for depositing demonetised currency, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has clarified that no questions will be asked if any amount of old currency is deposited in one go, but repeated deposits may provoke queries.
"If they go and deposit with bank any amount of currency no questions are going to be asked to them and therefore the 5000 rupee limit does not apply to them if they go and deposit it once," Jaitley told reporters on Monday night, after the Reserve Bank of India announced earlier in the day that deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in excess of Rs 5,000 will now be allowed only once till December 30 -- that too after strict scrutiny.
"But if they are going to go everyday and deposit some currency, same person, that gives rise to suspicion that where is he acquiring this currency from. In that event a person may have something to worry about. Therefore everyone is advised whatever old currency you have please go and deposit it now," he said.
The Finance Minister said that since all exemptions to certain sectors and utilities, which had been allowed to accept the banned currency post demonetisation, ended last week, those in possession of the old notes are supposed to deposit them with banks.
"Anyone who has old currency notes is not allowed to trade in them. He can only go and deposit them with banks," he said.
Earlier on Monday, the RBI said when a person deposits over Rs 5,000 in withdrawn currencies, then credit shall be given to that person's account only after questioning him or her, in the presence of two bank officials, as to why the notes were not deposited earlier.
The bankers will keep the explanatory statement on record for future audit trail.
Deposits of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes up to Rs 5,000 in value received across the counter will be allowed to be credited to bank accounts in the normal course until December 30.
But if the deposits are less than Rs 5,000 at a time but cumulatively the value exceeds Rs 5,000, then the bank officials have to follow the procedure of getting on record the explanation from the depositor why the deposit was not made earlier.
These restrictions do not apply to deposits under the Taxation and Investment Regime for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
The government demonetised the high value currency notes on November 8, in a move to combat the problems of black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing.

Will Lt General Bipin Rawat's appointment bring an end to factionalism in the Army?
NEW DELHI : 19 December 2016

When Indian Special Forces raided the camps of National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang), Army chief designate Lt General Bipin Rawat was the commander of the unit. He was the Vice Chief of Army staff when the Indian army conducted a surgical strike across the border and targeted terror camps near the Line of Control.
This considerable experience in handling counterinsurgency operations is what landed Rawat the top job in the Army, senior defence ministry officials said.
"The top political leadership including the PM and defence minister Manohar Parrikar are aware of his capabilities in handling anti terrorist and counter insurgency operations. The other capable officers lagged behind on this front," a senior official said. Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Let Gen P M Hariz were the generals superceded by Rawat.
Defence officials say the appointment of Rawat also ended the cycle of 'line of succession' in appointment of services chiefs and will likely stop factionalism in the force. "Based on date of birth and seniority, officers would know five years in advance about the next man in line and factions formed among officers based on these calculations. This will end," they said.

Exactly 4 years after Nirbhaya horror, girl raped in a moving car bearing MHA sticker in Delhi
NEW DELHI : 16 December 2016

A job-seeking girl was raped last night in Moti Bagh area in a moving car bearing MHA sticker. The car belongs to a CISF head constable. The accused was the constable's personal driver.
Exactly 4 years after the Nirbhaya gangrape came to light, a case of rape has been reported from Delhi's Moti Bagh area.
The girl was raped in a moving car bearing Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sticker on Thursday night.
The victim, who is a resident of Noida, had gone to Delhi to look for a job. On her way back home, she was waiting for a cab in Moti Bagh area when the accused stopped near her and allegedly offered to take her home. His car has a Home Ministry sticker which, according to the police, is fake.

The girl has alleged that she was later raped inside the moving car.
The car is owned by a CISF head constable. The accused, identified as Aman Kumar, has been arrested. He was a personal driver of the head constable.
It was on December 16, 2012 that the brutal gangrape of Nirbhaya had shocked the nation. The monstrosity of the crime had led to nationwide outrage and triggered protests all over the country over lack of safety of women. The victim, who was beaten, gagged and thrashed with rods, suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals and finally died in a Singapore hospital on December 29 that year.

Virat Kohli-Led India Win Mumbai Test, Win Series Vs England
NEW DELHI : 12 December 2016
The Indian cricket team defeated England by an innings and 36 runs to win the five-Test series 3-0.
This is Virat Kohli's 13th win as Test captain of India putting him behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin.
India are unbeaten for 17 games in the longest format of the game.
Resuming the day at 182/6, England were bowled out for 195 to hand the hosts a comprehensive innings and 36-run win.
Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the star of the show as he picked up a total of six wickets, four on Monday morning, to bowl out the visitors for a meagre total in the second innings.
Ashwin, with seven 10-wicket hauls in a Test, is now only behind the legendary Anil Kumble (8).
England had posted a respectable total of 400 runs in the first innings but backed by Virat Kohli's third double century in 2016, the home team put up a formidable 631, taking a 231-run first innings lead.
England, however, failed to provide any resistance and could only muster only 13 runs on Monday to be bowled out for 195.
GST Council Meet Inconclusive; April 1 Target Seems Undoable
NEW DELHI : 12 December 2016
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council - headed by union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and which has as members finance ministers of all states - met for four hours on Sunday, but failed to sort out the contentious issue of dual control of assessees. With only three working days left in the current winter session of parliament, the government's mega tax reform GST now faces a real threat of being delayed beyond the roll-out deadline of April 1, 2017.

The next meeting has been fixed for December 22 and 23. Most of Sunday's meeting, the council's sixth, was taken up by discussions on the GST-related draft legislations -- Central GST, Inetr-state GST and the Compensation Law -- that need to be passed by parliament before the one tax for a unified market is implemented. After the winter session ends this week, parliament will meet next for the Budget session in January.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the meeting that the centre still hopes for an April launch. "The Budget session starts in January," said Mr Jaitley. "We do not have the luxury of time to have any discretion. By September 16, 2017 the curtains will draw on the old taxation rules," he added.

But several states did not share his optimism. Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told reporters that states are not looking at the April 1 deadline but the Constitutional deadline. "We are not looking at April 1. That's out of the picture now but GST will be implemented by September next year," he said.

The Constitutional amendment bill, passed by parliament earlier this year to replace existing indirect taxes with the new GST law, was notified on September 16 this year and the new indirect tax regime has to be in place within 12 months of that date.

Tamil Nadu too said on Sunday that the April 1 target would not be met. "Too many sections of the law are yet to be finalised, GST can't happen without consensus on dual control," the state's finance minister said.

State governments have proposed that businesses whose turnover is less than 1.5 crores per year should be administered by them. The centre doesn't agree as it wants to share control with states over taxpayers on goods in all segments. Also, the centre also wants exclusive control on taxpayers who pay service tax, but states too want a share.

7-storey under-construction building collapses, 1 dead
Hyderabad: 9 December 2016
At least one person was dead after a multi-storied, under-construction building collapsed on Thursday night.
Two people including a child have been rescued from the collapsed building and shifted to hospital.
The incident occurred in Nanakramguda, an information technology suburb under the limits of Cyberabad police commissionerate limits.

Construction workers and their families who were asleep were trapped under the rubble.
Police and fire brigade personnel launched rescue operation. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams also joined the rescue work.
Rescue workers pulled out 12 people from the rubble and shifted them to a nearby hospital.
Cyberabad Police Commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said 15 to 20 people could be trapped under the debris.
Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy, Excise Minister Padma Rao and senior officials rushed to the scene to supervise the rescue work.

When Cho Ramaswamy introduced PM Narendra Modi as Merchant of Death
New Delhi, 7 December 2016

In multiple tweets today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the death of "dear friend" Cho Ramaswamy, calling him "a multidimensional personality, towering intellectual, great nationalist and fearless voice who was respected and admired".
"Cho Ramaswamy was insightful, frank & brilliant. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family & countless readers of Thuglak," the Prime Minister tweeted from his personal handle, @narendramodi.
"Above all, Cho Ramaswamy was a dear friend. I have been to his annual readers meeting which were an unprecedented editor reader interface," Modi said in another tweet.

Modi's admiration and love for Cho evident from two more candid tweets that he posted today - both videos of an event he attended in Chennai on Cho's invitation.
"The feisty Cho Ramaswamy introduces me as the 'Merchant of Death.' Do watch this memorable interaction," Modi invites his over 25 million followers to watch a YouTube excerpt from the event.
In his introductory remarks, Cho, in his characteristic style, had this to say about Modi:
"I now invite to address you the Merchant of Death, the Merchant of Death of terrorism, the Merchant of Death to corruption, the Merchant of Death to nepotism, the Merchant of Death to official inefficiency, the Merchant of Death to bureucratic negligence, the Merchant of Death to poverty and ignorance, the Merchant of Death to death and despair... he will now address you."
'The Merchant of Death' phrase was first used by Congress president Sonia Gandhi for Modi during an election speech in the run-up to the 2007 Gujarat Assembly election. The controversial statement was made in the context of the 2002 Gujarat riots, when Modi was the state Chief Minister.
In his tribute to Cho today, Modi also posted the video of his address, saying he doesn't think he matched "Cho's eloquence".
"I returned the favour, but don't think I matched Cho's eloquence. Hear what I said about him," Modi posted.

Jayalalithaa: Why funeral procession on Tuesday after 4.30 pm
New Delhi, 6 December 2016
In 1999, Jayaram Jayalalitha shocked Indian politics by suddenly withdrawing support to the then Atal Behari Vajpayee government. Differences were political and but the decision was influenced by astrology.
Before announcing withdrawal of support, Jayalalithaa reportedly locked herself up in her New Delhi hotel room. She refused to meet anyone as the moon was in its inauspicious eighth house.
After having consulted her astrologers, Jayalalithaa gave the letter of withdrawal of AIADMK's support to the Vajpayee government. That was to be handed over after 9 am but before 10 am. It happened that way only on April 14.
Born in a very conservative Iyengar family, Jayaram Jayalalithaa had absolute faith in astrology and numerology. Jayalalithaa would not do anything without consulting astrologers and which was not suited according to Panchangam- the Tamil calendar.
She was known to take all decisions, big or small in accordance with Panchangam.
If she were to announce any scheme, Jayalalithaa would consult astrologers for the date and exact time of the launch. Jayalalithaa would do new things during the muhurta of Budhan Horai of Panchagam.
She once cancelled the oath-taking ceremony because she found out at the last moment that the time was not auspicious.
In 2001, the then Jayalalitha added an extra 'a' to her name. The name change was attributed to a yajna that she performed a year ago to goddess Kali at a temple in Thanjavur.
The yajna was performed with the aim of coming back to power, which she did in the 2001-assembly elections and then the journalists were asked to spell her name with 12 characters instead of 11- from Jayalalitha to Jayalalithaa.
Based on the analysis of her birth chart, she believed that that numbers 5 and 7 were auspicious for her.
And, what an irony that she breathed her last on December 5. The Apollo Hospital's statement said that her demise took place at 11.30 pm- half-an-hour to December 6.
Given her popularity and emotional connect with the people of Tamil Nadu, it was only natural to keep her body till Wednesday the least to allow as many followers as possible to pay their last respects to the departed soul.
It would have been befitting farewell to a leader of Jayalalithaa's stature and mass connect. However, people close to her in AIADMK decided not to wait even for 12 hours because of Jayalalithaa's beliefs in astrology.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Ashtami. And, Jayalalithaa would not do any new thing on Ashtami of the Panchangam. How could the final journey begin on Ashtami!
The time of cremation was also decided in accordance with astrology.
According to Tamil Panchangam there is a Rahu Kala during 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm. Jayalalithaa would not do anything during the period of Rahu Kala. So, the wait till 4.30 pm before the funeral procession is taken out.

11 killed, 70 others injured as fire breaks out in hotel in Karachi, rescue efforts on
Karachi, 5 December 2016
At least 11 people were killed and around 70 others injured in a huge fire that erupted at Karachi's Regent Plaza hotel early on Monday, rescue officials said.
The blaze broke out in the kitchen in the ground floor at the Shahrah-i-Faisal, and spread across the six-floor building, trapping scores of hotel guests in their rooms, Dawn news reported.
Three fire tenders of the fire brigade reached the site and started the rescue operations. The fire-fighters were able to contain the fire after three hours.
11 people were killed, said Faisal Edhi of the Edhi Foundation.
At least 65 others injured and affected by the fumes were brought to the emergency department, said Seemin Jamali, head of the emergency services at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.
People trying to escape the blaze jumped from upper floor windows sustaining fractured bones, while others had shattered glasses piercing their body. Many were treated for smoke inhalation, she said.
She said 10 bodies were brought into the hospital. Six men, including two doctors and four women, are among the dead.
Two foreigners affected by the fire were alive and their condition was satisfactory, said Jamali.
The rescue operation continues, and some people are still reportedly trapped inside the hotel.
The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained.

Army jawan killed as terrorists attack Nagrota base; 3 militants trying to enter India killed in Samba

New Delhi, 29 November 2016
An encounter is underway between militants and security forces in Nagrota area of Jammu and Kashmir. Latest reports said one soldier has succumbed to his injuries, and at least three militants are holed up inside the base.
According to reports, the terrorists targeted a military location near White Knight Corps in Nagrota at 5:30 am today.
"A group of heavily armed militants, believed to be four-to-five in number, attacked the 166 field regiment camp in Nagrota area of Jammu today (Tuesday) morning," the police said.

The field regiment camp is located in the garrison town of Nagrota near the headquarters of Army's 16 corps in the state.
One jawan martyred, two others critical.
As per latest reports, this is a suicide attack and terrorists have come from the Srinagar side of the national highway.
The artillery unit attacked in Nagrota is on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, about 15 kms from Jammu and 39 kms from Pakistan border.
According to the sources, the terrorists first threw a grenade on the guard stationed at the main gate after which they started firing indiscriminately.
Three terrorists holed up in the area..
All schools have been ordered to shutdown.
Army has cordoned off the area.
Terrorists attacked the 166 field regiment camp in Nagrota.

In another encounter, three militants were killed and a BSF jawan Sanjay Kumar was injured in a gunbattle along the border in Samba area.
Some suspicious movement was noticed by thermal imagers in the intervening night of November 28-29 2016, in the general area of Border Out Post Chamliyal, Samba.
The area was immediately cordoned off and when challenged, a BSF patrol was fired upon by miscreants holed up in a tube well pumphouse in the fields.
The fire has been retaliated by BSF parties. Firing is still going on.
This area falls very close to the border fence and International Border.
According to reports, the terrorists crossed the IB in Ramgarh sector of Jammu and took shelter in a village close to the border.

Modi hits back at note ban critics: They accuse us of being unprepared, we gave them no time to prepare

New Delhi, 25 November 2016
Hitting out at the critics of his demonetisation move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said while they accuse the government of not being prepared, it is they who are hurting because the government gave them no time to prepare.
"Aalochna ye hai ki sarkaar ne puri tayyari nahi ki. Peeda iss baat ki hai ki sarkaar ne tayyari karne ka mauqa nahi diya (The criticism is that the government was not prepared. Their pain is that they were given no time to prepare)," Modi said in Hindi during the release of a book in Parliament to mark the Constitution Day.
"If we had given them time, they would have said: wah wah, Modi jaisa koi nahi," the Prime Minister said.

Modi's statement outside Parliament is further going to rile a united Opposition which has been demanding his participation for a debate on demonetisation in the House.
On Thursday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had led the Opposition's attack by calling the banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes a "monumental mismanagement" and a case of "organised loot and legalised plunder", warning that it will drag India's GDP by 2 percentage points.

"Why can't we use mobiles?"
The Prime Minister once again said the country can go cashless and use the mobile techonolgy for payments amid the cash crunch.
"Everyone has the right to use their money but today the world is changing. Money is not just available physically, it is digital. We must move towards cashless economy," he said.

NIA files FIR against Zakir Naik, conducts searches at 10 IRF premises in Mumbai
New Delhi, 19 November 2016
Government recently banned Zakir Naik's IRF for five years terming it illegal. The ban was enforced under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and was approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.
Naik's "objectionable and subversive" speeches, criminal cases filed against him,"dubious" links with Peace TV that allegedly features "communal" and "pro-jihad" were among the reasons cited by the Centre.
Top sources in the Home Ministry told India Today there was a strong case based on inputs and material shared by Maharashtra government and the central intelligence agencies. Multiple agencies including state police, NIA and Intelligence Bureau (IB) in recent months scanned hours of tapes to look for evidence against Naik and his NGO.
Naik has been under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
Several ISIS Indian recruits also confessed before NIA that Naik deeply influenced them.
As per a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the IRF and its members, particularly, the founder and President of the association, Zakir Naik, has been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups.
The Central Government has received information that the statements and speeches made by Zakir Naik, the President of IRF are objectionable and subversive in nature as he has been extolling the known terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, proclaiming that every Muslim should be a terrorist and claiming that if Islam had indeed wanted, eighty per cent of Indian population would not have remained Hindus as they could have been converted "if we wanted" by sword, justifying the suicide bombings, posting objectionable comments against Hindu gods, claiming that Golden Temple may not be as sacred as Mecca and Medina and making other statements which are derogatory to other religions.
Through his speeches and statements, Zakir Naik has been promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups and inspiring Muslim youths and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.
The Central Government is of the opinion that the aforesaid activities of the IRF and its President Zakir Naik are highly inflammatory in nature and prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between various religious groups and communities and if urgent steps are not taken there is every possibility of many youth being motivated and radicalized to commit terrorist acts leading to promoting enmity between different religious groups.
The Central Government, having regard to the above circumstances, is of the firm opinion that it is necessary to declare the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an unlawful association with immediate effect.

Now withdraw Rs 2000 a day at select petrol pumps
New Delhi, 18 November 2016
In a bid to ease cash crunch, the government today allowed dispensing cash of up to Rs 2,000 through debit card swipe at select petrol pumps.
The facility will be available at 2,500 petrol pumps across the country. "It has been decided that an amount up to Rs 2,000 per day per person in cash, can be dispensed against swiping of debit card from select petrol pumps, where POS machines of SBI are already available," an official said.
POS machines are the machines which are generally used for debit or credit card transactions.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (independent charge) for petroleum and natural gas, retweeted the press release on Twitter, saying, "It has been decided that an amount of up to Rs 2,000 per day per person can be dispensed against swiping of debit card from select petrol pumps."
The petrol pumps, run by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited where POS machines of the SBI are available, will have the facility. This facility will be available till the situation of cash crisis improves across the country.
The new measures for withdrawing cash came after people have been complaining of problems faced by them. The oil industry is also in further discussions with SBI and other banks to extend this facility to over 20,000 petrol pumps gradually.

India vs England Live Score: 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam, Day1
New Delhi, 17 November 2016
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane complete 50-runs stand for the fourth wicket. India reach 298/3 in 83 are looking in a commanding position against England. Virat Kohli batting on 142 and Ajinkya Rahane is unbeaten on 15.
Four runs. Virat Kohli flicks Ben Stokes to backward square leg boundary. Single off the next ball and Ajinkya Rahane is back on strike. Four runs. perfect timing from Rahane; uses Stokes pace and open the face of the bat to guide the ball to third-man boundary. India 276/3 in 75 overs.
Here is a story on the dog who forced an early tea in Vizag:
Did enjoy commentating on this: evidence of what our friend left behind at deep point. And it's is still there!
OUT! A brilliant innings from Cheteshwar Pujara comes to an end. Plays a rash shot off James Anderson outside the off stump and gets caught by Jony Bairstow at the slips. James Anderson gets his second wicket. Pujara made 119 runs off 204 balls. India 248/3 in 66.4 overs.
Preview: Under fire after a below-par show on a good batting strip, the Indian spinners will aim for an improved show on a comparatively more helpful track as they take on a gritty England in the second cricket Test, starting Thursday.
The pitch at the ACA-VDCA ground is expected to be a rank turner that will test the visiting side's batting unit big time after skipper Virat Kohli expressed his displeasure about the Rajkot strip where Indian spinners got a total nine wickets with four English batsmen scoring hundreds.
Kohli on Wednesday declared fit-again KL Rahul as the team's No.1 choice opener, putting paid to veteran Gautam Gambhir's chances of playing any further role in the ongoing series against England here.

Families can now withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh for weddings from one account, says govt-modified demonetisation rule
New Delhi, 17 November 2016
In a latest modification and relaxation in the demonetisation drive rules, families will now be able to withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh for weddings from one account. The rules have also been changed for farmers who will be able to withdraw Rs 25,000 per week from their accounts.
This was announced by Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday morning.
However, the limit to exchange old currency notes at banks has been reduced from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,000 per person.
Speaking at a press conference, Das said, "The government has decided to permit farmers to draw up to Rs 25,000 per week against crop loans sanctioned and credited to their accounts.
ly condition is that the accounts have to be in the farmer's name and will be subject to loan limits.
The government has also decided that the time limit in crop insurance premium cases will be extended by 15 days.

New Zealand hit by second strong quake
An earthquake measuring 6.3 in

magnitude has hit New Zealand's South Island, hours after an initial quake killed two people.
The new tremor struck at 13:45 local time (00:45 GMT) at a depth of 10km (6 miles), northeast of Christchurch.
A 7.5-magnitude quake, with the same depth, had hit the same area just after midnight, triggering tsunami warnings.
A large river dammed up by a landslide has now breached its banks sending a "large wall of water" downstream.
Residents around the Clarence River - one of the largest on South Island - were being urged to move immediately to higher ground.
There have been hundreds of strong aftershocks, causing power shortages and cuts in water supply, since the initial quake.
GeoNet, a government-funded project monitoring earthquakes, said the first earthquake was actually two related tremors, and that aftershocks would continue over the next few months.
As the aftershocks keep coming, Kiwis up and down the country are sharing the same emotions.
Exhaustion from a sleepless night, concern for those still cut off from communication, and sadness for the two people who lost their lives. But there is also real relief.
This earthquake was greater in magnitude than 2011's Christchurch tremor, but it didn't bring the same level of devastation.
The cost of rebuilding will be huge - major parts of New Zealand's infrastructure have been twisted and snapped out of shape.
But as is often the case when disaster strikes, New Zealand's people have pulled together, checked on their neighbours and offered each other a safe haven.
Authorities have spent the night and day rescuing and evacuating residents along the east coast.
New Zealand media reported that a 100-year-old woman and her daughter-in-law were pulled out alive from their home in the town of Kaikoura, after the house collapsed in the first earthquake. The younger woman's husband died.
A woman also died at Mount Lyford, southwest of Kaikoura, though there are reports she may have died from an existing medical condition.
Waves of around 2m (6.6ft) hit the coast shortly after the first earthquake. Authorities have since lifted the tsunami alert, but are still warning people to stay away from the shoreline.
Residents in Christchurch and surrounding towns have rushed to stock up on basic supplies. Some schools in the affected area have remained closed on Monday.
A map showing the epicentre of the earthquake in New Zealand
Image caption
Culverden and Kaikoura are thought to be the worst affected areas
Kaikoura, a popular tourist destination, saw its main road blocked by landslides, with telecommunications, water and power supplies cut off.
The military and fire service have dispatched teams in helicopters to the town, and some people are being airlifted out.
The New Zealand Herald shared images of three cows left stranded on a tiny island after the surrounding earth collapsed from landslides near Kaikoura.
Picture of overturned car in aftermath of 13 November earthquake in New ZealandImage copyrightHENRY MCMULLAN
Image caption
New Zealand resident Henry McMullan tweeted this picture of an overturned car on State Highway One, with the words 'Driver out and safe' written on it
A handout picture released by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) on 14 November 2016 shows an aerial view taken during aerial surveys by Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft showing damage to infrastructure following the 7.5 magnitude Hanmer Earthquake near the Kaikoura Coast, New Zealand.Image copyrightEPA
Image caption
The New Zealand Defence Force released this photo showing a huge landslide on State Highway One near Kaikoura
Prime Minister John Key told reporters that he believed the number of fatalities would remain low, while civil defence minister Gerry Brownlee said damage to infrastructure appeared to be the biggest problem.
One expert told TVNZ that the low number of fatalities may have been due to the fact that the first quake struck in the middle of the night.
"People were safe in their homes, homes might get damaged but they're safer for the people inside," said Ken Elwood from the University of Auckland.
Empty shelves in the bread aisle at the Four Square Hanmer Springs after the 7.8 magnitude Hanmer Earthquake, in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, 14 November 2016.Image copyrightAP
Image caption
Christchurch residents have rushed to stock up on supplies like bread and water in the aftermath of the quake
The quake was also felt in Wellington on the North Island, where the city's central business district (CBD) remained quiet on Monday as workers cleared debris and checked buildings.
Resident Adam Roland told the BBC: "The CBD's been closed off so most people are either working from home or not working today."
A paved road is lifted at the ports in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, 14 November 2016, following an earthquakeImage copyrightAP
Image caption
The tremors were felt in Wellington as well, where cracks emerged on roads
Logs are dislodged from their stacks at the ports in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, 14 November 2016, following an earthquake.Image copyrightAP
Image caption
The quake dislodged logs at Wellington's port
GeoNet said the first quake was the strongest to have hit New Zealand since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2009 in a remote area of the South Island.
New Zealand lies on the Ring of Fire, the fault line that circles virtually the entire Pacific Rim bringing frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions.
Christchurch is still recovering from a 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed the city centre.

US Election 2016: Trump wins key battleground states

NEW YORK: 9 November. 2016
Donald Trump spent much of the end of his campaign claiming the election would be rigged - but at the moment, the New York Times is predicting he has a better chance of winning than his rival.

It also suggests the Republican could win enough electoral college votes to become president but lose the popular vote.
Trending emojis tell the story of upset Clinton supporters
Emojipedia, the "emoji search engine", is tracking all the emojis that have been trending tonight.

The pistol emoji has just started trending in the past 30 minutes.

The Canadian flag has been trending as well as a variety of facial expressions, which have been growing increasingly dire in recent minutes.
Could third-party voters have swung Florida for Clinton?
According to the latest reports, Trump won the state of Florida by about 130,000 votes. At the same time, votes for third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein topped 260,000.

It’s impossible to say how those voters might have cast their ballot were Johnson and Stein not in the race, but some “protest voters” might be questioning their choices now – just as thousands of Brexit voters did.
Clinton 'the devil you know', Trump 'the great unknown'

The BBC's Asia Business Correspondent Karishma Vaswani says:

"A Clinton victory is seen as broadly positive for Asia because, as one trader told me, it’s very much the case of 'the devil that you know'. As secretary of state she has travelled out here before. Meanwhile Trump is the great unknown, prompting great uncertainty with moves such as calling for a tariff on Chinese imports. That has concerned Asian investors."
Californians "Legalise It"

Legal marijuana is now the law of the land throughout the entire West Coast of the USA!

If approved in the other four states where it is being considered, more than 75 million Americans tomorrow will live in states where it is legal to light up for fun.
Clinton 'has one path to victory'
Hillary Clinton now needs to win Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin if she is going to win the White House, Norm Ornstein tells BBC News.

"She has one path to victory and he (Trump) has many others."

Why are voters queuing at this grave?
Clinton voters have been flocking to the grave of Susan B Anthony, who fought to gain womens' access to the ballot box.

It wasn't until 1920 that women were permitted to vote in the US.
Controversial sheriff loses Arizona race
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona - 18 December 2013
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a Republican, is projected to lose his bid for a seventh term.

Sheriff Arpaio, 84, became known nationally after cracking down on illegal immigration.
He lost to Democrat Paul Penzone.
Canadian immigration website crashes
The websites for Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department have crashed, Twitter users have found.

People who tried to access the site couldn't load the page, when they tried around 22:30 EST (03:30 GMT).

Prior to election night, many celebrities and people online had claimed that if Trump were to win, they would head north of the border.

But Business Insider still has a helpful guide for anyone fleeing northwards.
'Clinton will lose Florida' - former US Senator
Clinton ran a "textbook ground game" to drive voter turnout in the Sunshine state but she's simply not getting the support that she needs, according to former Democratic Party senator Bob Graham.

US media are projecting a win for Donald Trump in the state, but the result has yet to be confirmed.

What UK Wants: More Trade. And India? Student, Techie Visas: 10 Facts

NEW DELHI: 7 Nov. 2016
UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in Delhi today that Britain will become the ultimate free trade champion as she laid the groundwork Monday for a potential post-Brexit deal with India, the world's fastest growing major economy.
Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:
Although Britain cannot sign any bilateral trade deals until it has left the European Union - most likely in 2019 - Ms May is indicating a desire to get the ball rolling as early as possible. "Identifying... (areas of common interest) does not need to wait for us to leave the European Union," she told a group of industrialists today.
But with the Indian government keen to secure more access to Britain for students and skilled workers, visa numbers are likely to be a sticking point in any talks. Ms May promised to ease access for Indian business travellers but not for its students.
Britain's need to cut deals quickly once it leaves the EU gives PM Modi added bargaining power for a potentially huge market.
Ms May, who said she wants Britain to be a global leader in free trade, has said she plans to use the visit to try to reduce barriers to trade with India and pave the way for a post-Brexit free-trade deal.
While the benefits of a deal to Britain are evident, sealing one will be no easy task. India still has a rigorous regime of tariffs and red tape which have traditionally made it one of the most complex places to do business. Also, bilateral trade is relatively low - $14 billion last year, smaller than the volume of trade between India and Germany
There is particular unhappiness in Delhi over visa restrictions on students wanting to stay on in Britain after completing university courses which have led to a 50 per cent drop in Indians enrolling.
Ms May, however, said Britain already gives Indians special status by letting them apply for same-day visas and planned a new "registered travellers fee" allowing Indian businesspersons to be fast-tracked through customs.
Accompanied by a delegation of around three dozen business leaders, Mr May arrived smog-thick Delhi late last night and will travel to the tech hub of Bengaluru tomorrow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was vital that India and Britain work together to define the knowledge economy of the 21st century, and invited UK partners to get involved in his signature policy initiatives such as his plan to develop 100 "smart" cities.
He also called for "greater mobility and participation of young people in educational and research opportunities" - an apparent reference to the sharp fall in the number of Indian nationals studying in Britain since 2010.

Plane Fire Sparks Frantic Evacuation On Chicago Runway, 20 Injured

CHICAGO: 29 OCt. 2016
American Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Miami caught fire during take-off
161 passengers and nine crew were on board the plane when it caught fire
The cause of the incident was not immediately clear
Approximately 20 people were injured when an American Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Miami caught fire Friday as it attempted to take off from Chicago's O'Hare airport, emergency officials said.

The blaze broke out on American Airlines Flight 383 -- with 161 passengers and nine crew on board -- as the plane was on the runway at one of the nation's busiest airports.

"We transported about 20 patients with minor injuries to several hospitals," Juan Hernandez of the Chicago Fire Department told a news conference.

He described the injuries as bruises and ankle injuries incurred as passengers exited via emergency slides.

"We are taking care of our customers and crew and are re-accommodating our passengers on another flight to Miami this evening," American Airlines said in a statement.

The cause of the incident was not immediately clear, with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airline offering conflicting information.

The FAA said the plane suffered a tire blowout, but spokesman Tony Molinaro told AFP that that information was preliminary and based on initial reports from the plane's pilots.

In a separate statement, American Airlines blamed the incident on an "engine-related issue."

Timothy Sampey, with the Chicago Fire Department's airport operations, said the fire was in one of the plane's engines.

"There was substantial fire on the starboard (right) side of the aircraft," he said. "There was substantial fuel leak."

Officials did not explain the cause of the leak, saying it would be determined by the ensuing investigation.

Bystanders posted photos and videos on social media showing black smoke billowing from the airliner.

One video showed passengers coming down emergency slides and running away from the aircraft, with black smoke and flames visible on the right side of the plane.

Emergency crews surrounded the jet, which appeared to be intact on the runway, though its right side and right wing were charred.
The FAA said it was investigating the incident and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.

Service was not interrupted at O'Hare, but the FAA said delays were expected.

Don't Make It About Ego, Supreme Court Warns Centre Over Selecting Judges
NEW DELHI: 28 Oct. 2016
In an ongoing dispute, the Supreme Court today accused the government of holding up essential appointments of judges, warning "Don't make it an issue of ego".
The government and the top court have been unable to decide on a new process to select judges, with both sides accusing each other to trying to exercise unfair control over the procedure.
"You can't bring the institution to a grinding halt. We are working very patiently. We don't want to have situation where the institution is decimated and courts are locked," said Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.
"You can't sit over on our recommendations. Don't make it an issue of ego," he said to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
The case will next be heard on November 11.

Expelled Pak High Commission Officer Met Alleged Spies At Delhi Zoo

NEW DELHI: 27 OCt. 2016
A Pakistan High Commission officer has been asked to leave India over alleged espionage. Two men from Rajasthan have been arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive intel and documents to him.
The official, Mehmood Akhtar, was questioned by the Delhi Police but let off because of diplomatic immunity. He has been declared "persona non grata" for espionage, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned this morning and told by the foreign ministry.
Abdul Basit reportedly registered strong protest and said Akhtar's detention was a "violation of the Vienna convention."
The men, from Rajasthan, have been arrested for allegedly leaking the documents to Pak High commission official.
The men who were arrested, Maulana Ramzan and Subhash Jangir, had accessed sensitive defence-related documents and information and allegedly handed them to the official.

Some employees in the Pakistani mission came under scrutiny last year after a spy ring associated with Pakistan's intelligence was exposed and five people, including a non-commissioned Air Force officer, were arrested. The police say today's arrests may be connected to that network.
The spying allegations have resurfaced amid strained relations between the two countries over terror attacks from Pakistan, especially last month's Uri attack in which 19 soldiers were killed. In what was widely seen as retaliation, the army carried out surgical strikes on September 29 across the Line of Control to target staging camps for terrorists planning to target cities in India.

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