FIR registered against JNU student leader

first_imgThe U.P. police on Friday registered an FIR against Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union vice-president Shehla Rashid, based on a complaint from the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union alleging that she had made derogatory and objectionable statements against the Prophet in a Facebook post. Ms. Rashid, maintained in subsequent posts that she had quoted Hindutva abuses against the Prophet to highlight hate speech and blasphemy. Ghazala Ahmad, a member of the AMUSU, who filed the complaint with the Civil Lines police station here, told The Hindu that the JNUSU vice president had used “inappropriate and objectionable words against the Prophet and against other religions”. Ms. Rashid, clarified that she was misunderstood by the AMUSU about her post, where she quoted statements and arguments used by Hindutva leaders and trolls, to make a distinction between hate speech and blasphemy. “In the allegedly blasphemous post, I am making a distinction between hate speech and blasphemy. In fact, it is my topic of research to accurately define hate speech in India. However, some people are hell bent upon insisting that I insulted the Prophet (SAW). This is not true,” she wrote on her Facebook wall.“I have posted, in an earlier post, 11 screenshots where right-wing RSS trolls are abusing me by abusing the Prophet (SAW) using a certain word. If I’m quoting these tweets as an example of abuse, how does it become my statement? It is the abuse that I receive because I support Muslim rights,” she further wrote on Facebook. The controversy has led to several members of the AMUSU coming out in support of the JNUSU leader, condemning the AMU students’ body “for missing out a basic point about language and semantics”. Ms Ahmad’s complaint comes just ahead of a leadership meet in AMU where the AMUSU had invited Ms Rashid meet to speak on ‘The role of student leaders in building contemporary society’. The meet, which was scheduled for Saturday, has since been cancelled by the AMUSU.last_img read more

Order can nix Advani’s chances: Lalu

first_imgEven as the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered reopening of the Babri mosque demolition case, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said the decision could nix chances of BJP veteran L.K. Advani in the presidential race. The RJD chief also asked how could Kalyan Singh remain as Governor even after the Supreme Court order.“Recently, Union Minister Rajnath Singh and other NDA leaders did not turn up at a programme in Patna attended by the President to honour freedom fighters due to my presence. Then how could they make Kalyan Singh as Governor after the court order,” asked Mr. Prasad.The Supreme Court in its order has noted that Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh can be tried only after he ceases to hold the constitutional office.The ruling JD(U) in Bihar too demanded that BJP leaders whose names were mentioned in the court order should be sacked from the Union Cabinet. “Those who are in the ministry should be sacked as they could influence the case,” said senior JD(U) leader Shyam Rajak.Senior RJD leader and Finance Minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui said, “the real face of the BJP has been exposed through the court order.” Education Minister and State Congress chief Ashok Choudhury too echoed the same view.However, BJP leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Patna that he would first go through the court order and then take a decision.last_img read more

Congress leader Rohit Tilak booked for rape

first_imgCongress leader Rohit Tilak, a a descendent of Lokmanya Bal Gangadar Tilak’s family, was on Monday booked for allegedly raping a woman.The Visrambaug Wada Police on late Monday evening booked Pune Congress leader Rohit Tilak under sections 376 (rape) 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) 504, 506 (criminal intimidation) 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) , acting on a complaint filed by a woman on July 8.The accused is a scion of Lokmanya Tilak’s family and the grand son of Jayantrao Tilak, erstwhile Speaker of the State Legislative assembly and son of Deepak Tilak, who is the Vice Chancellor of Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth.The police said the 40-year-old complainant and Mr. Tilak knew each other for the last couple of years.“The complainant alleged that Tilak repeatedly raped her on the pretext of marrying her,” said a police officer.Mr. Tilak had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls from the Kasba Peth seat in Pune against the BJP’s Girish Bapat. (With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Darjeeling tea gardens set to reopen

first_imgWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills, which have remained closed for over three months because of the shutdown over , will be opened and bonus will be given to all employed there.She made the announcement after meeting Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leaders Binoy Tamang and Anik Thapa at the state secretariat.“A meeting for opening up the tea gardens will be held at Siliguri on September 21 in presence of the labour commissioner. It will be a tripartite meeting involving owners and union representatives. A decision on opening the gardens has already been taken by the Chief Secretary,” Ms. Banerjee said. About 87 tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills are shut since June 15, following an indefinite strike over the demand for Gorkhaland. Apolitical body formedMeanwhile, with the Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee (GMCC), which was set up by political parties and non-political groups in the hills to take forward the movement of Gorkhaland, turning defunct, members of the civil society in the hills have set up another body called National Gorkhaland Committee ( NGC).The body comprises academicians like Mahendra P. Lama, former vice-chancellor of Sikkim University, Munish Tamang and Shravan Acharya, professors at Delhi University, Lt. Gen. (retd) Shakti Gurung and Trilok Dewan, the former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh.last_img read more

Two doctors to face action for denial of ambulance

first_imgGopichand, a resident of the Sambhal district in Uttar Pradesh, had to carry his dead cousin home on his shoulders after a hospital in Behjoi denied him an ambulance last week. The incident would have remained unknown but for his heartbreaking pictures going viral, after which District Magistrate Anand Kumar Singh ordered action against the erring medical personnel. A probe conducted by Deputy Collector Preet Pal Singh found that two doctors and a pharmacist working with the government hospital in Behjoi showed carelessness and did not provide Mr. Gopichand an ambulance to transfer the body of his cousin to Sadatbadi, his village, which is 5 km away. Senior district officials told The Hindu that the incident was unfortunate, but it also revealed the lack of sufficient ambulances and hearse vans in every hospital. A hearse van was parked outside the Sambhal district hospital, 15 km away from the Behjoi hospital. “It was a complete nightmare at the hospital. My cousin, Surajpal, was a labourer who got seriously injured while working. He was declared dead by the doctors at the Behjoi hospital. Let alone an ambulance, the hospital authorities did not even care to provide me with a stretcher. They just asked me to take away the body,” Mr. Gopichand told The Hindu.‘Complete apathy’“I was alone at the time in the hospital. So, without the stretcher, I took the dead body out of the hospital and asked for the ambulance. But there was complete apathy again. So I carried him on my shoulders. Later, I somehow arranged for a motorcycle and took the body home,” he added. “I have directed the chief medical officer, Amita Singh, to take action against the doctors and the pharmacist,” Mr. Singh told the media, adding that he has asked for one more hearse van for the district.last_img read more

BJP scores ‘cent percent’ in Jamner municipal poll

first_imgIn a resounding victory, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday snared all 24 seats in the Jamner municipal poll in Jalgaon district, with Sadhana Mahajan, the wife of senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Minister Girish Mahajan, being elected to the presidential post.The result is expected to strengthen Mr. Mahajan’s bastion in Jalgaon district. The win was especially crucial for the Water Resources Minister as Jamner happens to be his Assembly constituency.Ms. Mahajan, who was the BJP’s nominee in this ‘battle for prestige’, easily trounced the Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) candidate Anjali Pawar by more than 8,000 votes to be elected as president of the Jamner Municipal Council.She polled 17,893 votes, coasting to victory by defeating Ms. Pawar, who garnered 9,540 votes. Large numbers of jubilant BJP workers staged a victory rally across Jalgaon district soon after the results.“The people of Jamner have delivered an emphatic verdict by voting for the BJP’s development works. They have rendered the politics of caste practiced by the NCP and the Congress completely ineffectual,” said an ecstatic Mr. Mahajan, who joined the victory procession following the results.In the 2013 election to the Jamner Council, the Congress-NCP alliance was in the ascendant, winning 14 seats with the coalition’s candidate Paras Lalwani serving as president for the first two-and-a-half years.A strange turn in political fortunes led to Ms. Sadhana Mahajan serving as president of the Jamner council in 2015.According to election observers, Ms. Mahajan’s victory this time was a fait accompli as Mr. Mahajan had thrown his full weight in the poll arena, even going so far as to canvass in Jalgaon on his wife’s behalf a fortnight before the polling on April 6. The win also enables Mr. Mahajan, viewed as a close aide to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, to score political brownie points over his party rival, former Minister Eknath Khadse, who is another Jalgaon strongman from the Muktainagar constituency.last_img read more

SC takes suo motu cognisance of killing of PWD official during demolition drive in Kasauli

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the gunning down of a woman assistant town planner by a hotel owner during an apex court-ordered demolition drive in the picturesque Himachal Pradesh town of Kasauli.A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta expressed their shock at the death of Shailbala Sharma on Tuesday, saying this is a “serious issue” in which a government official has been killed for doing her duty in compliance with the order of the highest court.The court is likely to hear the case on May 3. On April 17, it ordered the demolition of illegal constructions at several hotels and resorts in the town, saying the life of people cannot be endangered for making money.The court had observed that the illegal constructions had put the entire city in danger, causing landslips, and ordered the demolition of such constructions. It said that some hotels and resorts were supposed to construct only two-storeyed buildings but six-storeyed ones existed there.“There was landslide in your premises and you did nothing. You are putting the life of people to danger. For what? Money,” the Bench observed while hearing a plea filed by one of the hotels.Owners of several hotels, resorts and guest houses in Kasauli had approached the court challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to demolish or close down several such establishments that were extended illegally without approvals.During the hearing, an advocate representing some of the hotels admitted the existence of unauthorised constructions.Ultimatum to ownersThe Bench had given an ultimatum to the owners: “Either you demolish it [unauthorised constructions] or we will ask the authorities to demolish it. It is your choice. No instructions are needed. Let the authorities demolish it.”The NGT, in its order, had directed the demolition of temporary structures of several hotels, including Bird’s View Resort, Hotel Pine View, Narayani Guest House, Hotel Neelgiri, Hotel Divshikha and AAA Guest House.It had also imposed hefty fines on many of them for causing irretrievable damage to the ecology, polluting the environment and raising unauthorised constructions. The NGT order came on a plea by the NGO, Society for Preservation of Kasauli and its Environs (SPOKE).last_img read more

Bengal polls take grim turn; 12 dead, many injured

first_imgAt least 12 persons were killed and hundreds injured during voting for the West Bengal panchayat polls on Monday. The entire poll process has been marked by violence, from the very first day of filing of nomination papers on April 2.Reports of poll-related violence and irregularities were received from almost all of the 20 districts where elections were held. According to the State Election Commission (SEC) 72.5% exercised their franchise till 5 p.m.During the six-week run-up to the polls more than 20 persons were killed and with Monday’s killings, the total death toll has crossed 30.In 2013, when the polls were held in five phases in July, over 20 people lost their lives during the polling process. The reports of 12 deaths on Monday came from eight districts of the State.Three persons were killed in Nadia district and two each in Murshidabad and Purba Medinipur districts of South Bengal. In Nadia, three persons, two supporters of the Trinamool Congress (Sanjib Pramanik and Bhola Dapadar) and one voter were killed, in three separate incidents at Shantipur, Nakasipara and Tehatta respectively.Two supporters of the CPI(M) were shot dead outside a polling booth in Nandigram, once a hotbed of political violence. Two deaths were reported from Murshidabad district. A supporter of independent candidate Shaheen Sheikh was killed at Nowda in an incident where seven persons sustained bullet injuries and a BJP supporter, Tapan Mondal, was murdered in Beldanga.One death each was reported in South 24 Paraganas and North 24 Paraganas when polling was on. At Kultali area in the South 24 Paraganas district, Arif Hussain Gazi, a TMC supporter was shot dead while Taibur Gayen, a CPI(M) supporter, was killed in poll-related violence at North 24 Paraganas’ Amtala. There were reports of one death each in Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinapur and Cooch Behar district. Four supporters of TMC, three of the CPI(M) and two from the BJP have died in poll-related violence.House torchedIn South 24 Paraganas’ Namkhana area, the house of a CPI(M) supporter, Debu Das, was set on fire in the early hours of Monday. Debu Das and his wife Usha died in the fire. While the CPI(M) claimed that the house of the elderly couple was burned down by Trinamool Congress supporters, rivals said the incident cannot be termed poll-related violence.Director General of Police Surajit Purakayastha described the violence as “stray incidents” and said it was “far less than during panchayat elections held earlier.” The DGP said they have got reports of 12 deaths, of which only six were related to polls.Video footage of people looting ballot boxes, setting ballot papers on fire, groups of people chasing each other and gun-toting masked men roaming the streets surfaced from several districts of the State.last_img read more

Three Kashmiri students held in Punjab for links with militant outfits

first_imgThree Kashmiri students were arrested on Wednesday in a joint operation of the Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab police from Jalandhar district of Punjab for their alleged links with militant outfits — Ansar Ghazwatul Hind and Jaish-e-Muhammad. Another person, a suspected handler, was arrested from the Kashmir valley.”The students were arrested after we received inputs about their links with militant outfit headed by Zakir Musa. One AK-47 and a pistol were seized from what seems like a module working for Musa,” said Director General of Police Dilbag Singh. Some explosives were also seized from the students.A police officer in Srinagar said the students were held from the hostel of CT Institute of Engineering Management and Technology in Shahpur on the outskirts of Jalandhar. The students, pursuing engineering courses, were identified as Zahid Gulzar of Rajpora, Awantipora, Mohammad Idrees Shah alias Nadeem of Pulwama, and Yusuf Rafiq Bhatt of Noorpura, Pulwama. “The weapons were recovered from Gulzar’s hostel room,” said the police.The fourth suspect was arrested from Pulwama’s Awantipora and is being questioned by the police. The police said the person may be the module handler.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Black Holes Grow Through Galaxy Collisions

first_imgAstronomers know that most supermassive black holes start out small and grow over time. But how does this growth occur? Researchers who have measured the spin of a supermassive black hole in a quasar—the shining core of a distant galaxy—6.1 billion light-years away say that such black holes have likely grown through mergers between their host galaxies and other galaxies. Researchers were able to study the quasar (seen above) in detail, thanks to the magnifying effect of a gravitational lens—a massive galaxy cluster in front of it—that caused it to appear brighter than it would have otherwise. From analyzing x-rays from the quasar, the researchers were able to figure out that the black hole was spinning very rapidly. If the black hole had grown by feeding on gas streaming into it from different directions, it would have been spinning a lot more slowly than observed, the researchers report online today in Nature. Rather, the gas that the black hole ingested over time to become supermassive fell toward it in the direction of its spin, accreting material in a coherent manner. And so, like a merry-go-round that goes around faster and faster with every additional push given to it along its rotational direction, the black hole spun faster and faster with time. The likely scenario in which this could have happened is if the galaxy hosting the black hole experienced mergers or collisions with other galaxies through its evolutionary history. Each time a merger occurred, material from the new galaxy got incorporated into the accretion disk around the black hole, spinning in the same direction as the black hole and eventually contributing to its growth.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

DOE watchdog to look into why Los Alamos scientist was fired

first_imgAn independent watchdog at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will investigate whether political scientist James Doyle was booted out of Los Alamos National Laboratory this summer after writing about the futility of nuclear weapons as a deterrent.In a letter today to Doyle’s attorney, Mark Zaid, DOE officials rejected Doyle’s petition to reverse or modify his dismissal this summer. Doyle had argued that the lab’s decision to classify the scholarly article—“Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?”—after it had appeared in the February-March 2013 issue of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy violated federal guidelines and that he was wrongly punished. Los Alamos officials have said that Doyle was laid off for budgetary reasons.It’s no surprise that DOE stands by that decision. But what has raised eyebrows is that the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, has asked the department’s inspector general to determine “whether Mr. Doyle’s termination resulted, in whole or in part, from the publication of his article … or the views expressed in it.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The letter, from the director of DOE’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, explains the rationale: “The Department’s senior leadership takes the issue you raise seriously, and will not tolerate retaliation or dismissals of employees or contractors for the views expressed in scholarly publications.” Zaid calls DOE’s decision “a smart move on their part.”Gregory Friedman, DOE’s longtime inspector general, has been outspoken over the years in criticizing what he sees as lax security, wasteful spending, or inappropriate conduct by DOE lab officials. So outsiders are eager to see what conclusions Friedman might draw from the Doyle case.Correction: 9/16/2014, 12:05pm: The caption on the photo has been corrected; the sign marks the entrance to the municipality of Los Alamos, not the laboratory.last_img read more

Cabinet gives nod to moving official amendments in 2016 Surrogacy Bill in bid to ban commercialisation of practice

first_imgThe Cabinet, on Wednesday, gave its approval for moving official amendments in a bill which aims at banning commercial surrogacy, allowing altruistic surrogacy to needy infertile couples and its effective regulation in the country.The ‘Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016’ proposes to regulate surrogacy by establishing appropriate authorities at the central level and in states and Union Territories, an official statement said.Read it at First Post Related Itemslast_img

Shangri-La caught between superpowers

first_imgThe country’s capital, Thimphu, is a refreshing delight to those who are tired of traffic and pollution in mega cities. The fresh air and the lush green mountains and snow peaks in the distance offer a visual treat.Men, women and children calmly walk around in the country’s traditional attire. It is probably the only country in the world where there are no traffic signals – just traffic police officers giving hand signals.Read it at BBC Related Itemslast_img

The Priciest Lunch In The World

first_imgAn Indian American investment fund manager successfully bid $650,000 in eBay for a three-hour lunch date with billionaire-philanthropist Warren Buffett. Mohnish Pabrai, an investment fund manager in California, ponied up $433,000, with a friend Guy Spier put up the rest.Pabrai has been bidding for the lunch, whose proceeds go to charity, since 2003 as a form of “guru dakshana” for Buffet, whose ideas he claims he has been shamelessly plagiarizing: “My guru is Mr. Buffett and I have only taken from him so far and have never given back. This lunch is the only meaningful way that I can give back to Mr. Buffett. The guru dakshana remains mostly unpaid, but I’m excited about having made a dent in the right direction. Having 2-3 hours of Mr. Buffett’s undivided attention is priceless and I can hardly wait to break bread with the messiah.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

93% Of Indian Bank Deposits Fully Safe

first_imgEven though India’s Deposit and Insurance and Credit Guarantee scheme only protects just Rs 1 lakh ($2,000) in each account (compared to $250,000 that the FDIC does in the U.S.) , the Indian government says 92.6% of all bank deposits are within that limit and so are fully protected.  Related Itemslast_img

India Visa Fraud

first_imgPublicly leaked Wikileaks cables from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai suggest that fraudulent visa applications in India are on the rise, especially from Gujarat, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh.The India Biannual Fraud Update, dated, Oc. 13, 2009, stated: “Fraudulent civil documentation is common in India, both in terms of documents that have been fabricated outright, and documents issued improperly. (U.S. diplomatic) posts see a myriad of fraudulent documents, including fake civil registry documents, counterfeit entry/exit stamps and third-country visas, employment letters, sponsorship and financial documents, bogus degrees and entrance examination scores, and altered marriage and site photographs. It said: “Visa consultants sell such documents to applicants who seek their advice about how to qualify for visas. Peddlers of fraudulent documents abound and operate quite openly in major Indian cities and even some of the smaller towns. Government officials are not above fraudulent issuances either. Virtually all birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage registration documents can be purchased from corrupt local government officials or brokers…”In 2008, U.S. missions processed 756,000 non-immigrant and 27,000 immigrant visa applications and identified 3,083 cases of non-immigrant visa fraud. The number of B1 (business) and B2 (pleasure) visa fraud cases doubled from 1,089 to 2,121 in first six months of 2009, according to the report. “During the six month period from March through August 2009, MissionIndia’s consular sections identified a total of 3,596 cases of suspected visa fraud (Chennai – 1,237, New Delhi – 949, Mumbai – 809, Hyderabad – 523, Kolkata – 78). 5. Most of India’s fraudulent applicants come from specific and easily defined regional areas within each consular district.” It said, “The state of Andhra Pradesh, and in particular its capital of Hyderabad, has been identified as a large center of documentary fraud which affects all India posts…. In the 18 months prior to the start-up of consular operations in Hyderabad, FPU Chennai investigated 150 companies in Hyderabad, 77 percent of which turned out to be fraudulent or highly suspect.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

Nissan Seeks $770 Million From India Over Outstanding Dues

first_imgJapanese automaker Nissan has sued India for $770 Million over outstanding dues. The company has initiated international arbitration against the Indian government in a dispute over unpaid state incentives.The first arbitration hearing will be in mid-December, Reuters reported. The notice said that the repeated requests sent by the company to state officials to clear the dues of 2015 were overlooked. A plea was also sent by the company’s chairman, Carlos Ghosn, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March last year, seeking the Center’s help, and even that did not help matters.Nissan sent a notice to Modi in July 2016 where they were seeking payment for the incentive due from the government of Tamil Nadu, which is part of a 2008 agreement to build a car manufacturing unit in the state.“There is no discrepancy with regard to the amount due, and we are trying hard to resolve the issue,” a senior state official from Tamil Nadu said, according to the news agency.Soon after the notice was sent to Modi, many meetings were held between central and state government officials as well as Nissan executives. Officials from many ministries had reportedly assured that the automaker earlier that the dues will be cleared and there was no need to file a suit, but in August Nissan asked India to appoint an arbitrator, the report added.The development is being seen as a possible setback for the government’s efforts to invite more foreign players to invest in the country and create new jobs. It also reflects the many challenges faced by foreign companies in India. There are 20 cases currently pending against India, the highest number of cases against a single country.A Nissan spokesman said the company was “committed to working with the government of India toward a resolution,” but did not elaborate, the report said.Nissan has less than 2 per cent share of India’s passenger car market. It builds and sells cars like the Micra hatchback, Sunny sedan and Terrano sport-utility vehicle. It also sells low-cost cars under its Datsun brand.Over seven years, Nissan and Renault, the French carmaker and its global alliance partner, invested a sum of Rs 61 billion ($946 million) and set up a plant with annual production capacity of 480,000 vehicles in Tamil Nadu. This entitled them to receive the incentives in 2015, said the legal notice.Nissan’s lawyers also said in the notice that the state government’s decision to not pay the incentive was arbitrary and that made Nissan incur significant losses. In the eight-page notice, the automaker claimed unpaid incentives worth Rs 29 billion and Rs 21 billion in damages, plus interest and other costs.Tamil Nadu, also known as the Detroit of South Asia, is home to production hubs of many automakers like Hyundai and Ford. Related ItemsAutomobileIndiaNissanlast_img read more

The GOP Plot to Steal Elections

first_imgAfter the drubbing they received in the last two presidential election cycles, shell-shocked Republicans are gravitating toward a novel strategy to get around voters by rigging the electoral process so that they can win even when they lose.The idea is ingenious — and corrupt. Presently, in all but two states — Maine and Nebraska — the winner of the popular vote receives all the state’s electoral college votes for president. The GOP proposes to distribute the electoral college votes proportionately. That in itself is not a bad idea; indeed if it were implemented by all states, it would even improve the antiquated electoral college system.However, the GOP plans to introduce the rule selectively in only those states it lost to Pres. Barack Obama and where the party presently exercises legislative and executive control — Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania. It would retain the winner-take-all system in the states it routinely wins in the South, but use its political clout in states it lost at the federal level, to manipulate the outcome of presidential elections to its advantage. Under the proposed new system in these six states, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would have picked up an additional 50 electoral college votes, significantly narrowing his 332-206 rout in the electoral college to a squeaky 280-258, even though Pres. Obama trounced him by nearly 5 million in the popular vote.The strategy is an extension of the unscrupulous tactics Republicans deployed to rig Congressional elections. Nationwide, Democratic candidates won a majority of the Congressional ballots cast — more than 1.3 million votes than the GOP — but lost the House, nevertheless. Republicans, who took control of state legislatures and the governor’s mansions in 2010, gerrymandered Congressional districts during the redistricting process.As a result, in Pennsylvania, Democrats edged out the GOP 2.72 million to 2.65 million, but Republicans won 13 of the 18 Congressional seats, because redistricting by the Republican controlled legislature had boxed the vast majority of Democratic voters into just a handful of odd-shaped districts. In Ohio, GOP candidates overall won a majority of the votes by a nose — 2.31 million to 2.06 million — but won 75% of the 16 seats at play in that state. And in Virginia, the GOP won almost 70% of the seats, even though the two parties were separated by fewer than 100,000 votes — 1.83 million for Republicans to 1.74 million for Democrats.Thanks to the gerrymandering, Republicans control the House of Representatives 234-201 despite winning a minority of the popular vote. Speaker John Boehner has some chutzpah to claim a voter mandate.The objective behind redistricting, which is done every 10 years, is to make accommodations for demographic shifts, as reflected in the decennial census. But during the past two redistricting cycles, Republican strategists have schemed to rig districts in their party’s favor by disproportionately packing urban Democratic-leaning districts to create vast swaths of safe Republican constituencies, as the accompanying bizarre map of Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts shows. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has decided to defer to state legislatures on these political questions, so we are locked into these rigged Congressional districts until 2022, when the next redistricting process, very likely equally corrupt, will occur. But Americans should be vigilant against the new Republican tactics to now steal presidential elections by packing the Electoral College as well.There is little doubt that the vast majority of Americans would be outraged by this crass and dishonest manipulation of the electoral process — if only they knew. Unfortunately, the complexity of redistricting and the local nuances involved to make it work are lost on most Americans. And the media are too distracted by rating-boosting fake controversies over birth certificates to look out for those who are simply stealing and making off with the ballot box. Related Itemslast_img read more

A day after its inauguration, breach in Konar irrigation project embankment

first_imgA day after the Konar Irrigation project was inaugurated by Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, water flow to Giridih district’s Bagodar area under the scheme was stopped following a breach in an embankment on Thursday, an official said. Work to repair the embankment was on, so water flow to Bagodar area of Giridih district under the Konar Irrigation project was stopped, the official said. Additional Chief Secretary, Water Resources Department, Arun Kumar Singh in a tweet said after getting information about the washing away of a part of embankment and damage to crops on Thursday, a report was summoned from the chief engineer of the Water Resources Department, Hazaribag. Prima facie, ‘rat holes’ caused the damage to the ‘kacha’ embankment, breaching 25/30 feet near Kusumraja village in Giridih district’s Bagodar block, he said. A high-level team headed by chief engineer, ‘agrim yojana’ (plan in advance project) of the department has been set up, asking it to submit a report within 24 hours, he said. The chief minister on Wednesday inaugurated the first phase of Konar Irrigation Project to benefit 85 villages in Hazaribag, Giridih and Bokaro districts of the State.last_img read more