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Live! Modi nuances foreign policy approach ahead of BRICS summit

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July 13, 2014


21:55  Modi's keen area of interest: BRICS Development Bank:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today nuanced his government's foreign policy approach seeking an aggressive Indian engagement on global issues to address regional crises and security threats for restoring global peace and stability while advancing economic stability.

Modi, who arrived in Berlin amid light drizzle for an overnight halt en route to Brazil for participation in the sixth summit of the five-nation grouping BRICS, said in his departure statement in Delhi that he also hoped that negotiations at the summit would lead to establishment of the BRICS Development Bank.

Modi was received at the airport by Indian Ambassador to Germany Vijay Gokhale and senior officials from the German Foreign Ministry.

Berlin was preferred to Frankfurt for a transit halt on Germany's request for a possible bilateral meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel but their team's entry into the FIFA World Cup has rendered it a mere stopover for sleeping off jet lag. Merkel is in Brazil to watch the World Cup final.

Usually, Indian PMs transit through Frankfurt for further journeys across the Atlantic.
20:50  Amazing how the WC has brought fans across the globe together: Modi:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has wished Germany and Argentina good luck ahead of the World Cup finals tonight. "Amazing how the tournament has brought fans from across the world together. Best wishes to Argentina and Germany."

Modi is making a stopover in Berlin tonight before he heads to Brazil for the BRICS Summit.

The PM was invited to attend to World Cup finals in Rio by Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, but has decided to skip it.     
20:30  Veteran actor Dilip Kumar's ancestral home in Pak declared national heritage:  Legendary actor Dilip Kumar's ancestral home here has been declared as a national heritage and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered authorities to acquire the dilapidated property, a move he hopes would bring Pakistan and India closer.

Sharif has already approved a summary in this regard and sent it to Information Ministry, which has forwarded it to director general Pakistan National Council of Arts  for implementation of the orders.

After acquiring Kumar's home the government is planning to convert it into a museum, The Nation newspaper reported. Kumar's 130 square meter home is located in Peshawar's famous Qisa Khawani Bazaar area and is in a shabby condition, the report said.
20:29  AIIMS doctors go on strike after 3 colleagues assaulted:   Three senior resident doctors at AIIMS were today allegedly assaulted by a patient's relatives following which doctors at the premier hospital went on an indefinite strike demanding adequate security measures.

The doctors alleged that those accompanying the patient to the Surgical Emergency of the institute brandished guns and created a ruckus before beating up the three doctors, who were on duty, and fleeing the hospital campus in an SUV by breaking the main gate of AIIMS.

The hospital administration lodged a complaint with the police which have arrested three persons in connection with the incident.
20:29  Rains continue to elude Gujarat; only 41.66 pc water stock left:  Gujarat, which is reeling under dry spell, has witnessed only 32.58 mm rainfall so far, which is just 4.09 per cent of the seasonal average, with as many as 93 talukas still completely deprived of rains.

The lack of rains has left just 41.66 per cent water stock in the reservoirs across the state, while many water bodies in the scarcity-hit Kutch and Saurashtra regions have already dried up.

As per the figures provided by the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, till July 11, 2013, the state had received 310.31 mm rainfall, while this year it was only 32.58 mm, which is 89.5 per cent less than the previous year.
20:05  India will win at least three medals at CWG: Jwala Gutta:  With Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu going great guns, India would surely get a minimum of three medals in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, asserted country's No 1 doubles specialist Jwala Gutta.

India had bagged four medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the doubles defending champion in an interview to PTI said she would not be playing mixed category in which she had won a silver in the team event.

"We will win at least three from badminton, I am not playing the mixed doubles. I am thinking the womens singles and doubles will do well."

"In doubles it would be tough. But in singles there's not much competition. I am hoping that Saina-Sindhu reach final. Even in rankings, I think there's nobody except Saina and Sindhu, but in doubles you have Malaysians, the English and also the Singaporeans," Jwala told PTI on the sidelines of a promotional programme in Kolkata.
19:41  Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today said the show cause notice issued to him by the Election Commission has vindicated his and Congress' stand and "there is no question of paid news."

"Our stand on the paid news issue has been confirmed by the Election Commission. Even the high court and Supreme court had taken a similar stand when our opponents had filed a petition. The courts had rejected their petition. Now this (EC) order is also very clear. There is no question of paid news," Chavan told PTI over phone.

When asked to comment on the EC order which says that Chavan has failed to file his election expenses in the requisite manner, Chavan said, "There is a provision under which a notice can be served to us. We will reply to that. I have not seen the order in detail yet. But (the issue of) paid news is ruled out totally."
19:21  PM to make a stopover in Berlin before heading to Brazil for BRICS Summit :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Berlin for an overnight stopover on his way to Brazil fora summit meeting of the BRICS nations that will address regional crises and security threats to restore a climate ofpeace while advancing global economic stability.   

In a departure statement in New Delhi before leaving for Berlin en route Fortaleza in Brazil for his first multi-lateral engagement with global leaders, Modi said that India looks forward to the BRICS initiative for setting up the New Development Bank and Contingent Reserve Arrangement.   

The BRICS Development Bank with a corpus of $100million will fund projects in a number of countries and other developing countries. India along with China are in contention for establishing its headquarters either in New Delhi or in Shanghai.
18:34  Indian-American surgeon chosen for BBC lecture series:   A well-known Indian-American surgeon and writer Atul Gawande will deliver this year's prestigious BBC Reith Lectures in four global cities, including Delhi. Dr Gawande, a Harvard professor and best-selling author, will give four talks later this year, grouped under the title 'The Future of Medicine'.

The 48-year-old said he was "flattered and grateful" to be invited to speak in Boston, London, Edinburgh and Delhi.

"I hope to use the lectures to bring together my thinking on how medicine is changing and must change globally," he said in a statement. Dr Gawande follows on from Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry, who looked at the state of art in the 21st Century in last year's lectures.
18:31  Digvijay ends fast over delayed compensation to farmers:  Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today ended his seven-day-long fast here seeking immediate disbursal of compensation to farmers affected by the crop damage and a CBI probe into alleged MPPEB scam.

Singh also gave a 15-day ultimatum to administration to do the needful and threatened to approach court of law if "justice is not done to affected farmers".

Singh ended his fast, which he had begun near the collectorate on Monday, in presence of his MLA son Jaivardhan Singh, former MP and his brother Laxman Singh and the state unit party vice-president Rameshwar Neekhra.
18:30  Narrow escape for US plane with 168 passengers struck by lightning:  Over 160 people aboard an American carrier had a lucky escape when the aircraft was hit by lightning which damaged the plane's weather radar.

Following the incident, the Frontier Airlines flight to Seattle was diverted to Salt Lake City on Friday night. The lightning damaged the plane's weather radar, said Tyri Squyres, a Frontier spokeswoman.

Because of bad weather in Denver, it was not safe to return to its starting point without the radar system, she said. The plane was traveling to Seattle when lightning hit around 6:50 pm.

It made a U-turn to get to Salt Lake, Squyres said. None of the 168 passengers were injured, and no other damage was caused to the airplane, Denver Post reported. The number of crew aboard the flight was not mentioned. The flight was delayed in Salt Lake for several hours while repairs were made.
18:21  EC rejects Ashok Chavan's explanation in paid news case:   The Election Commission has found former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan guilty of fudging poll expenses in 2009. It

It has issued a showcause notice to Chavan in the paid news case. It has rejected his explanation and asked Chavan to submit his representation within 20 days.

The former CM has failed to lodge his account of election expense as required.

The EC order on Chavan says he failed to file his election expenses in the manner as required by the law.
 
17:09  Shakira, Carlos Santana to glam up WC closing ceremony :  Colombian star Shakira, Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana, Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo and a samba school will lead the musical entertainment at Sunday's World Cup closing ceremony.

The show will start at 2230 IST, an hour and a half before Argentina and Germany emerge to do battle at the Maracana stadium in Rio.

Following the opening song, Shakira, will sing "La la la (Brazil 2014)" alongside home favorite Carlinhos Brown.

Shakira says she is "very excited." "Hi Brazil, here I am, miss you. very happy to see you again! Shak," she wrote on her @shakira Twitter feed in Portuguese after arriving in the country with baby son Milan Pique, whose dad is Spain star Gerard Pique.
16:26  50 pc sexual crimes committed by 16-year-olds: Maneka Gandhi:  Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi today favoured treating juveniles accused of heinous crimes like rape on par with adult offenders.   

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, she said according to the police, 50 per cent of all sexual crimes were committed by "16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it."   

"But now for premeditated murder, rape, if we bring them into the purview of the adult world, then it will scare them," she said.
15:11  3 pilgrims die en route Amarnath, death toll reaches 25:  Three more pilgrims have died en route the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 25,officials said.  

A 55-year-old woman pilgrim, identified as Sarojini G from Vadodara in Gujarat, died after she suffered a heart attack enroute the cave shrine last evening, police said.

Two male pilgrims also passed away following cardiac arrest en route the shrine on Friday night but their identities are yet to be known, they said.
15:09  Modi likely to hold his first ever meet with Chinese prez on July 15:  Setting up Chinese Industrial Parks in India, increased access to Indian products to bridge the ballooning trade deficit besides border issues was expected to figure in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of BRICS Summit.   

Officials say that a mix of bilateral economic, trade and strategic issues was expected to figure in the maiden meeting between the two leaders who had the reputation of being strong leaders in their respective countries.  

Their meeting likely to be held on July 15 is taking place in the backdrop of signing of MoU to facilitate the Chinese Industrial Parks in India during last month's visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari in Beijing.   

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was part of Ansari's delegation, held extensive talks with her Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng.
14:43  3 more bodies found in Assam's Baksa, curfew remains in force:  The bodies of three more persons kidnapped by suspected NDFB-S militants were recovered from Beki River in Assam's Baksa district today even as police fired in the air to disperse a mob holding a protest against the kidnapping in violation of indefinite curfew in Salbari sub-division.

"We have recovered three more bodies this morning from Beki river. We do not know the type of injuries these bodies have. The details will be known after the investigation," Baksa Deputy Commissioner Vinod Seshan told PTI. With this, the bodies of all the four kidnapped yesterday, including two teenaged boys have been found.

The first one, bearing a cut mark on the head, was recovered last evening from the river in Barpeta district. The bodies recovered today were identified to be those of Ataur Rahman, 27, Rubul Amin, 45, and Saddam Ali, 13, while that of Bakar Ali,13, was found yesterday.
14:02  Saradha scam: CBI may call Mithun to record his statement:  The CBI may examine Bollywood actor and Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Mithun Chakraborty in connection with its probe in the Saradha ponzi scam as the agency has found that he was allegedly part of the promotion exercise undertaken by the promoters.

The agency sources said examination of all those concerned with the schemes, through which thousands of investors were allegedly cheated, will be undertaken by CBI in a structured manner.

The sources said since Chakraborty was part of the promotional exercise undertaken by the promoters, he will also be examined. They however refused to give details as to when the CBI might call him for recording his statement.

Chakraborty did not respond to SMS seeking his reaction.
13:27  Air Force scrambles jets after 2 international flights squawk similar codes :  Times NOW reports: The Indian Air Force was alerted today after two international flights sent out similar codes over the Indian airspace. The IAF scrambled fighter jets from its Jodhpur base in Rajasthan.

Both flights while entering India via Karachi squawked similar codes, the news channel reported.

More details are awaited.

Image: Representation picture     
13:13  Jaitley says 49 pc FDI in defence significant establishing domestic market:   Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today said the decision to raise FDI limit in defence sector to 49 per cent was a "significant step" in establishing indigenous military industry and suggested that any further increase could have created "larger complications domestically".

"Our assessment of the market is that the 49 per cent FDI limit in the sector, would be a significant step in establishing domestic defence market. The public opinion and Parliament's opinion in India is ready to accept the proposal that I have made. Other proposals may have created larger complications domestically," he said.

The minister was asked if the decision to enhance the FDI limit to 49 per cent from existing 26 per cent was enough. In an interview with Karan Thapar on news channel 'Headlines Today', Jaitley said the Indian public opinion was "more comfortable" with the proposal to have 51 per cent Indian control over these companies in future.
12:46  26 persons arrested from Hyderabad rave party:  The Cyberabad police today busted a rave party and arrested 26 persons, including 12 women, after raiding a poultry farm premises at Shamirpet area in Hyderabad.

Acting on a tip-off that a rave party was being organised, a police team raided the farm in Turkapalli area of Shamirpet on the city outskirts in the early hours and found the participants allegedly indulging in obscene dance acts, Shamirpet Police Station Inspector T N Babji said.

As many as 26 persons, including 12 women -- three from Mumbai and one belonging to Kolkata, were arrested in connection with the rave party, the inspector said.
12:30  Decision on govt formation in capital soon: Delhi BJP chief:  Tasked to strengthen the party, newly-appointed Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay today said a final decision on whether to attempt a shot at government formation or seek fresh mandate in the capital will be taken "soon" after eliciting the opinion of MLAs, MPs and senior leaders.

Fifity-two-year-old Upadhyay, known to be close to the RSS, said the party was "confident" of getting "sizable" number of seats in case of fresh elections and referred to BJP coming first in 60 of the 70 assembly segments in the Lok Sabha polls.

"A decision on whether to go for fresh polls or try to form a government will be taken by senior leaders of the party after taking views of the MLAs and MPs. It will be a policy decision which will be taken as soon as possible," Upadhyay told PTI in an interview.
11:45  159 Palestinians have died in the air strikes: Gaza officials :  BBC reports: Israel has carried out overnight air strikes against Gaza's security headquarters and police stations, in the heaviest bombardment since operations began on July 8. It also said its troops had carried out a brief raid against a rocket-launching site in the coastal territory.

Israel says Palestinian militants fired about 90 rockets from the Gaza Strip into its territory yesterday.

At least 159 Palestinians have died in the air strikes, Gaza officials say
11:20  We meet at a time of political turmoil, humanitarian crisis: PM ahead of BRIC summit:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left from Delhi for Brazil to attend the five-nation Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- BRICS -- summit slated to be held for two days, starting tomorrow.

The meeting is expected to finalise the setting up of a development bank and seek reforms of the United Nations and international financial organisations.

Following is the text of the Modi's departure statement, ahead of his visit to Brazil.

"I leave today for Brazil at the invitation of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to attend the Sixth BRICS Summit being held in Fortaleza and Brasilia on 15-16 July 2014."

"India attaches high importance to the BRICS forum for promoting global economic growth, peace and stability. In the course of the past five summits and several ministerial and official processes, BRICS has made major strides in pursuit of these goals."

"The meeting in Brazil will usher in the second cycle of BRICS Summits. We meet at a time of political turmoil, conflict and humanitarian crisis in several parts of the world, and persisting weakness and risks in the global economy. Many emerging economies have experienced a slowdown, which has increased the challenge of pursuing inclusive and sustainable economic development."
00:10  PM Narendra Modi heads for Brazil today:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Brazil on Sunday to attend the 6th Brics summit of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

On the sidelines of the summit, which will be held on July 15 and 16, the PM will also meet leaders of other Latin American nations.

The summit, which will be held in Fortaleza, will address political, economic and financial issues and challenges.

Apart from his meetings with all Brics leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping, Modi will meet the heads of governments of as many as 11 countries. Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela make the 11 countries.

Read Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt's piece on the PM's trip HERE
00:07  Supermoon to be visible tonight:  
Supermoons appear during this time of the year when the moon looks bigger than normal. 

And tonight is the big moment when 'supermoons' of summer 2014 will become visible to the human eye. 
 
While the other two will be seen on August 10 and September 9, respectively, the one which will be seen in the month of August would be closest to the Earth. 

Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the moon's orbit. A supermoon appears when the moon is closest in reach to the earth than usual. 

It appears as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ('perigee') about 50,000 km closer than the other ('apogee'). 

Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory said, Generally, full Moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it's not all that unusual. In fact, just last year there were three perigee Moons in a row, but only one was widely reported. 

Interestingly, the term supermoon is not used within the astronomical community, which prefer to use the term perigee-syzygy or perigee full/new moon.
00:05  Woman in red is seen as a threat by other women:  
In the 1939 film classic The Women, much is made of the alluring quality of a specific color of nail polish: Jungle Red. It turns out that the characters faith in the product was not misplaced.

New research suggests the color red on a woman does indeed signal sexual availability -- not only to men, but also to other women.

As we have noted previously, studies have found that men tend to view women in red as more sexually attractive. But, ladies, if you were thinking wearing that color would send a subliminal signal only males would pick up on, youre out of luck.

Read more HERE
00:04  US military develops self-guiding 'smart bullets':  
We have seen high-tech guns cropping up in the private sector, and now the US military has taken them to the next level. 

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance, or EXACTO, programme recently completed its first live test, firing a series of .50-caliber shots that use "in-flight guidance" to maneuver to their target.

The military bought six Linux-powered TrackingPoint rifles earlier this year, but DARPA's version seems to move beyond that.

While a TrackingPoint rifle calculates things like gravity and wind and fires when the gun is properly aligned, DARPA's system maneuvers the bullet after it's been shot. 

A guidance system and maneuverable bullet can "compensate for any unexpected factors" such as wind, weather, or a moving target, according to the EXACTO program page. 

Read more HERE
00:02  Top headlines at this hour::  Blame mobiles for rape; ban them in schools, colleges: Karnataka MLAs 

Gaza bombardment continues, Israeli tanks at border

Hunger strikes are of no help: Kejriwal to striking teachers 

Parents pressurise Goa school to kick out 13 HIV+ students 

Delhi University struggling for time to revise FYUP syllabus 

Draw on cards after records tumble in Nottingham Test 

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