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LIVE! Trump hopes China not exerting negative pressure on N Korea

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July 09, 2018


23:58  Trump hopes China not exerting negative pressure on N Korea:  
Expressing confidence that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would honour his commitment on denuclearisation, US President Donald Trump today hoped that Beijing is not exerting "negative pressure" on Pyongyang because of his posture on Chinese trade.
                 
"I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honour the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake," Trump said in a tweet.
               
"We agreed to the denuclearisation of North Korea. China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!" Trump said, after his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returned from North Korea. -- PTI
23:06  China to cut tariffs on Indian cancer drugs: Foreign ministry:  
India and China have reached an agreement on reduction of tariffs on Chinese imports of Indian medicines, particularly cancer drugs, the foreign ministry here said today, days after a Chinese movie on a leukaemia patient highlighted the need for paving the way for import of cheap Indian drugs.
 
However, it is not yet clear whether China has agreed to grant licences to Indian companies to sell cancer drugs in the huge market here, which could be a major step. 
About 4.3 million people are diagnosed with cancer annually in China, according to a report of the state-run China Central Television. Indian drugs, specially cancer curing medicines, are in big demand in China as they are far cheaper than their western counterparts.  
"We have seen China and India have reached agreement on the reduction of tariffs on medicines. For specifics, I will refer you to relevant competent authorities," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here.
   
"We believe expansion of imports and slashing of tariffs on anti-cancer medicines will also usher in great opportunities for India and other countries in the region," she added without providing any further detail. 
Earlier in May, China had lifted tariffs on the import of cancer drugs. It was not clear whether Hua was referring to that announcement. 
 
The May announcement had, however, failed to enthuse Indian companies as they cannot legally market their drugs in China as it requires license from the country's food and drug administration. 
India has been demanding opening of China's IT and pharmaceutical sectors as part of measures to reduce a USD 51 billion trade deficit in over USD 84 billion bilateral trade. -- PTI
22:56   CRPF launches mobile help centre 'Saathi' for Amarnath pilgrims:  
The CRPF today launched a mobile help centre to reach out to people undertaking the annual pilgrimage to the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath. 
 
The initiative 'Sathi' was launched by the Inspector General of the CRPF, Jammu Sector. 
"A need was felt to provide help and information to yatris staying in other camps outside the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu. 
"To achieve this objective, Mobile Help Center 'Saathi' was flagged off by Inspector General of CRPF, Jammu Sector, Abhay Vir Chauhan," a CFRPF spokesman said.  He said this is in addition to various initiative taken by the largest paramilitary force in the world to help the pilgrims.  
A help desk of the CRPF is already functional at the Bhagwati Nagar Base Camp and another named 'Madadgaar' (helper) at the Jammu Tawi Railway Station and other information centres.  
"CRPF personnel of the mobile help centre will be visiting various camps in Jammu and apprising the pilgrims about the security measures to be kept in mind. 
"They will also be providing other relevant information to the yatris, the spokesman said.  -- PTI
22:54  PM wants to hear only his 'Mann ki Baat' from others: Rahul:  
Congress President Rahul Gandhi today took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he not only tells people his 'Mann ki Baat' but even wants to hear his 'Mann ki Baat' from them.
 
Gandhi cited a news report that a woman from Chhattisgarh was tutored to tell the prime minister during an interaction that her income had doubled after she shifted from paddy cultivation to sitafal (sugar apple) farming, and targeted the prime minister.
 
"Everyone knows that the PM tells his 'Mann ki Baat'. But today, it was known that he wants to hear only his own 'Mann ki Baat'," Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, referring to Modi's 'Mann ki Baat' radio address.
 
A news channel reported that the woman from Kanker district in Chhattisgarh had been tutored by officials to claim doubling of her income during the interaction with the prime minister on June 20 through the NaMo App.
 
The woman, however, denied today that she had been tutored by officials for the interaction.
 
Her clarification prompted ministers and BJP leaders to ridicule a section of the media, saying there was "an agenda of deriding" the prime minister. -- PTI
21:42  I didn't know the man: Robin Wright on allegations against Kevin Spacey:  
Actor Robin Wright has weighed upon the sexual assault allegations against her House of Cards co-star Kevin Spacey.
 
In an interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC's Today, Wright was asked if there was any red flag regarding Spacey's alleged behaviour on the show's sets.
"We were coworkers, really. We never socialized outside of work. (It was a) respectful, professional relationship. He was so great with me. He was never disrespectful to me, so that's my personal experience. That's the only thing that I feel I have the right to talk about," she replied.
"Kevin and I knew each other between action and cut, and in between setups where we would giggle. I didn't really... I didn't know the man. I knew the incredible craftsman that he is," she added.
Last October, actor Anthony Rapp had accused Spacey of sexual assault in an interview and had alleged that the incident happened at a party in 1986, during which the American Beauty star made sexual advances towards his then 14-year-old self.
In response to Rapp's accusations, Spacey issued a statement claiming he did not recall the incident, but apologised for what he said would have been "deeply inappropriate drunken behaviour." The actor also came out in his apology letter.
Wright said the cast and the crew of the show were "surprised, of course, and ultimately saddened" when they learned about the allegations against Spacey.
"We forged ahead, and we were so thankful that we were able to complete the series as planned," she said.  
The sexual assault allegations led to Spacey's firing from the Netflix show. His character, Frank Underwood, was written out of the series while Wright's Claire Underwood was made the central figure in the eight-episode sixth and final season, which is expected to air later this year. -- PTI  
21:28  Amit Shah promises 'respect' to allies, says will bring 'new friends':  
With the Bharatiya Janata Party's ties with some of its allies under strain, party chief Amit Shah today spoke of giving "respect" to the existing partners and expanding the Centre's ruling National Democratic Alliance by bringing in "new friends" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year.
In Tamil Nadu, where the party is looking for allies to broaden its support base after winning one seat in the last Lok Sabha elections, Shah invoked Tamil pride, insisting no other party was as committed to preserving it as the BJP.
"We will give respect to our existing allies and bring in new friends before the Lok Sabha elections and give the nation a clean government," he told a meeting of around 15,000 members of the Shakti and Maha Shakti Kendras of the BJP on the outskirts of Chennai.
While a Shakti Kendra in-charge is vested with the responsibility of overseeing the party work of five booth level functionaries, a Maha Shakti Kendra office-bearer is the overseer for five Shakti Kendra functionaries.
Shah, under whose stewardship the BJP has scripted victories in many state assembly elections after the party came to power at the Centre in 2014, said he would announce its new partners in Tamil Nadu before the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP had tried to rope in superstar Rajinikanth without any success.
The state's ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which has lost much of its sheen following the death of its charismatic leader J Jayalalithaa, is being seen as attempting to cosy up to the BJP.
The BJP's relations with some alliance partners, including its oldest ally the Shiv Sena, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United, Akali Dal and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, have been somewhat tense, and Shah's comments are being seen as an attempt to smooth their ruffled feathers.
Without naming the main opposition in Tamil Nadu -- the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam -- Shah said it had started a "disinformation campaign" on the issue of "Tamil pride".
"Those who are raising the issue of Tamil pride are engaging in disinformation against us. No party is as committed to preserving Tamil pride and Tamil language as the BJP and its Tamil Nadu unit.
"When they were in power at the Centre as part of the UPA, railway tickets were not printed in Tamil language. It has happened when Narendra Modi is in power. The BJP respects the pride of all states at it is embedded in our cultural upbringing," he said.
The DMK has often accused the Centre of neglecting Tamil language and culture.
Shah said from the day a government, which has the BJP as its constituent, takes office in Tamil Nadu, it will start making efforts for teaching Tamil language beyond the state to those who are interested in learning it. -- PTI
21:19  2 BSF jawans killed in blast triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh:  
Two Border Security Force personnel were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh today when they were patrolling the area on a motorcycle, police said.
   
The incident took place at around 5 pm in the forest of Tadbauli village under Chhotebethiya police station limits when a team of the BSF's 121 battalion was out on an area domination operation on motorcycles, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Anti-Naxal Operation) Sundarraj P told PTI over the phone.
 
When the team was passing through a dirt track near Tadbauli, about 7 km from the BSF's Marbeda camp, the motorcycle was blown away in the blast carried out by the Naxals using an improvised explosive device hidden underground, he said.
 
The jawans were seriously injured and died while being taken out of the forest, the DIG added.
 
They were identified as Santosh Laxman and Vijay Nand Nayak, both natives of Karnataka, the IPS officer said.
 
Soon after getting information about the blast, reinforcement was rushed to spot, located 300km from the state capital Raipur, he said.
 
A search operation has been launched to trace the Naxals involved in the attack, Sundarraj added. -- PTI  
20:39  Quoted 'selectively' and charged 'erroneously': Baijal hits back at Kejriwal:  
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal today said he was "selectively" quoted and "erroneously" charged of 'selective acceptance' of the Supreme Court verdict on the power tussle between Delhi government and the Centre.
 
Baijal's response came after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused him of being "selective" in accepting the apex court judgement. 
 
"But how can you be selective in accepting the judgement? Either you should take a position that all the matters now would be placed before regular bench and therefore, you would not implement any part of the order. Or you should accept the whole order and implement it.
"How can you say that you will accept this para of the order but not accept that para of the same order?" Kejriwal had said in his letter to the L-G. 
Baijal also accused the chief minister of leaking his letter to media.
"Before your letter reached my office, it appeared on social and electronic media," he said in his reply to Kejriwal.
Baijal noted that the chief minister "quoted selectively" from his letter of July 6 and "erroneously" accused him of selective acceptance of the July 4 verdict of Supreme Court, a statement by the L-G's office said. 
"While the entire judgement and its implications are still being studied, it may kindly be noted that in the concluding paras, Hon'ble Court while answering the reference has directed to place the matters before the appropriate regular Bench.  Therefore, further clarity will be achieved when the appeals pending before the Ld. Regular Bench are finally disposed off, the L-G had written in his July 6 letter.
The lieutenant governor reiterated in his response today that as appeals were pending before the regular bench of Supreme Court, it would be "premature" to draw any conclusions at this stage. -- PTI
20:19  Doctors remove 856 stones from 45-yr-old man's kidney in Delhi:  
In a rare case, doctors at a Delhi hospital removed about 856 stones from the kidney of a 45-year-old man through minimally invasive surgical techniques.
 
A team of doctors performed percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a keyhole surgery for renal stone. All the stones were removed from the left kidney and urinary tract/pelvis in one go with a single 1 cm puncture.
Munesh Kumar Gupta was admitted to the Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh with blood in his urine. No other symptoms related to kidney stones were present. He had a history of stones in the left kidney and was first operated in 2007.  
The ultrasound showed the presence of two large stones in his kidney, which were roughly 33 millimetres each in size, Rajinder Yadav, Director, Department of Urology and Kidney and Transplant at the hospital, said.
However, during the surgery, which took place in April end this year, the doctors found 856 stones in his left kidney and urinary tract. 
On further evaluation, it was discovered that there was a swelling in the left kidney and its functionality was compromised, he said.
"A temporary tubing (DJ STENT) was put in the left ureter after removing the stones to circumvent the ureteric obstruction. Subsequently, the patient was planned for a second stage surgery to correct the obstruction with minimally invasive procedure-laser endopyelotomy," Yadav said.
The surgery was done using minimally invasive techniques, which resulted in less pain and loss of blood and lasted for over two hours. The patient was discharged the next day post the surgery.
According to a statement issued by the hospital, it was a case of the highest number of kidney stones reported in north India so far.
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys, which makes the urine concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallise and stick together. Drinking plenty of fluids reduces the risk of stones, the doctor said.
The common symptoms of kidney stones include, persistent ache in the lower back, pain in the groin, acute pain in the back or side of the abdomen, pain during urination, blood in urine, persistent need to urinate and pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity, he said. -- PTI 
20:18  Goyal downplays Amartya Sen's observations:  
Union Minister Piyush Goyal today sought to downplay the observations made by Nobel prize winning economist Amartya Sen on the present government saying that he had been saying this for a long time.
       
Sen had said yesterday that the country had made a quantum jump in the wrong direction since 2014.
       
"He has been saying this for a long time", Goyal, who holds the portfolios of finance, coal, railways and corporate affairs, said when his comments were sought.
       
Sen had said at a book launch in Delhi yesterday, "Things have gone pretty badly wrong... It has taken a quantum jump in the wrong direction since 2014. We are getting backwards in the fastest-growing economy.
"Now, India is the second worst. Pakistan has managed to shield us from being the worst," Sen said. -- PTI
19:47  British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns :  
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has resigned amid a growing political crisis over the United Kingdom's Brexit strategy.

He is the second senior cabinet minister to quit within hours following Brexit Secretary David Davis's exit.

The resignations are a blow to British Prime Minister Theresa May as she seeks to win over Eurosceptic MPs to her proposed Brexit vision, which would form the basis of the UK's position in ongoing talks with the EU.

In a statement, the government thanked Johnson for his work and said a replacement would be announced shortly.

Earlier, Britain's Brexit minister David Davis resigned from the cabinet stating policy differences over Prime Minister Theresa May's exit plan from the European Union but insisted that he had no plans of backing a revolt against her.
19:08  Modi opens world's largest cellphone factory near Delhi:  
The world's biggest mobile factory was launched in Noida near Delhi on Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae. The unit will have a capacity of fabricating 120 million phones a year -- ranging from low-end smartphones that cost under $100 to the company's flagship S9 model. It will build 10 million phones a month, 70 per cent of which will be earmarked for domestic usage.

Already 40 crore Indians own smartphones, 32 crore people use broadband, the Prime Minister said in his address at the event. The 30 per cent phones for export will help place the country in the Global market, he added.

"This step today would lend pace to Make in India, apart from empowering citizens... This is matter of pride for Uttar Pradesh and India," said PM Modi, who has been pushing foreign firms to set up plants in the country.  

Last year, the government imposed taxes on import of key smartphone components as part of a plan to make India a electronics-manufacturing hub to boost growth and create tens of millions of new jobs.

"Samsung has provided employment to approximately 70,000 people, the new plant will provide employment to 1000 more," the Prime Minister pointed out.

PM Modi and the South Korean president travelled to Noida for the Samsung factory launch on the Delhi Metro. In photos tweeted by PM Modi, the two leaders were seen chatting on the metro, the Akshardham temple visible in the window behind them.
19:03  Mandsaur rape victim wants to go home, says MYH doctor:  
An eight-year-old girl, who was allegedly gangraped in Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district on June 26, has been telling the doctors treating her that she wants to go home, a senior doctor of the hospital, where she has been admitted, said today.
  
The girl, who suffered severe injuries to her neck, face, head and private parts in the incident, is being treated at the state-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital since June 27.

"She is frequently saying that she wants to go home. We are going to form a team of expert doctors, including the paediatricians treating her, to decide when she should be discharged," MYH superintendent Dr V S Pal told reporters here.

He added that the girl had recovered a lot physically and was mentally stable now.

The victim was allegedly abducted from outside her school and raped by two men on June 26.

The accused had also allegedly tried to kill her by slitting her throat with a knife.

The police subsequently arrested the two accused -- Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20) and Asif (24) -- and charged them under the relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

They are now in judicial custody.

-- PTI
18:50  SC to hear pleas on homosexuality from tomorrow; rejects govt's plea to defer it:  
The Supreme Court is all set to commence crucial hearing tomorrow on a clutch of pleas challenging re-criminalisation of consensual gay sex between two adults, rejecting the Centre's plea seeking postponement of the proceedings.

A newly re-constituted five-judge constitution bench has posted tomorrow for hearing the petitions challenging section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises unnatural sex between two consenting adults.

The new five-judge bench will be headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprise Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

A bench led by the Chief Justice today did not agree to the submission of the Centre that it should be granted four weeks to file its reply to the petitions and the hearing be adjourned.
"No, no. It will not be adjourned," the bench, which also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said when Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, sought deferment of the crucial hearing.

Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine. 

The apex court had in 2013 had restored the criminality of the sexual relationship between persons of the same sex, after the Delhi High Court' had decriminalised it in 2009.

-- PTI
18:36  1 Burari family member had second thoughts, tried to save self:  
A week after 11 of a family were found dead at their north Delhi home in Burari, in what appears to be a bizarre case of deadly rituals leading to suicide, the police say that at least one of them had second thoughts when faced with death.

The Bhatia family's older son, Bhuvnesh, appears to have struggled in his last moment but failed to survive. While the hands of seven of the deceased were tied, Lalit, Bhuvnesh and Tina's hands were not tied.

Bhuvnesh and Lalit's mother, Narayani Devi's body was found lying in another room. One of Bhuvnesh's hands was up in the air as if trying to take the noose off.

According to forensic experts probing the evidence, Bhuvnesh could have tried to save his life by removing the noose around his neck, but failed.

According to police sources, Lalit, his wife, Tina, and Bhuvnesh might have tied up the mouths and eyes and hands of the other family members.

Crime Branch sources say it was clear that the Bhatias were following some ritual in which every family member was to hang from the iron grill in their living room like the roots of a banyan tree.
17:55  Congress questions Modi's silence on lynching cases, demands Sinha's resignation:  
The Congress today questioned the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on incidents of lynching in the country, and demanded the resignation of Union minister Jayant Sinha for garlanding eight convicts in a lynching case after they were released on bail. 
  
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said the silence of the prime minister and BJP president Amit Shah, and honouring of the convicts by a minister give "a guarantee to" the perpetrators that they have the support and encouragement of the government.
Accusing the BJP and the government of spreading hatred and violence in society, he said the issue would be raised by the opposition in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament starting July 18.
"When will Prime Minister Modi unequivocally condemn the growing acts of violence which are creating a further divide in the fault lines that exist? Does PM Modi believe that his silence will reap political benefits for the BJP?
"Is the tacit support of various BJP leaders to such criminals who incite mob violence a tool to further attack and intimidate the marginalised sections of the society?...Is the silence of the prime minister not giving rise to such incidents?" he asked.
Tiwari also asked when Home Minister Rajnath Singh was going to seek a report from various states that were reporting growing incidents of such hate crimes and mob violence.

"Why is Modi government continuing to maintain criminal silence on the growing mob lynching incidents? Is the country, under the BJP rule, turning into a mobocracy, where anarchy prevails? 'Maun Modi' (Silent Modi) and Kadi Ninda' (strong condemnation) is the only defence through which the Modi government is giving itself a clean chit," he told reporters.

The Congress leader alleged that when ministers felicitate convicted criminals, what does it indicate. "What is this if not an act of encouragement? he asked.

Training his guns on Sinha, he said, "Jayant Sinha is a member of Modi's Council of Ministers and if he garlands those convicted of lynching, he should have no place in council of ministers. If the prime minister does not sack him, at least he should resign of his own."

He said BJP's Sinha supported convicted mob lynchers and felicitated them. "Does this not indicate the nation that Indian government supports lynchers?" he asked.

He noted that the nation does expect a minister who has taken an oath on the Constitution to glorify convicts. "This is an insult of the Constitution and the judiciary, which has given them punishment, he said.

Sinha stoked a controversy after he felicitated eight convicts in the Ramgarh lynching case when they came out of prison on bail last week. Meat trader Alimuddin Ansari was beaten to death on June 29 last year by a mob at the Bazaar Tand area under Ramgarh police station on the suspicion that he was carrying beef in his car.

The Congress leader also demanded a judicial probe into the killing of a gangster inside the high security jail in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, saying a mere magisterial probe would not suffice.

-- PTI
17:28  Transfer accused in Kathua case to Gurdaspur jail: SC:  
The Supreme Court today ordered transfer of the accused in the Kathua gang rape and murder case from Kathua prison in Jammu and Kashmir to Gurdaspur district jail in Punjab.
  
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra directed the J and K Police to file a supplementary charge sheet in the case within eight weeks.

The apex court granted liberty to the litigants of the case to move Punjab and Haryana high court in case they felt aggrieved by the trial court orders.

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, directed the Punjab and J and K governments to provide security to the trial judge and the Special Public Prosecutor of the case respectively. 

"The Jammu and Kashmir government shall ensure that family of the accused is allowed to meet the accused at Gurdaspur jail at its expenses," the top court said.

-- PTI
17:19  UPDATE: The sixth and seventh boy have been rescued from the Thai cave. 
17:12  UK queen to miss christening of Wills-Kate's son Prince Louis:  
Prince Louis, the third child of Britains Prince William and wife Kate, will be christened at a small, private ceremony overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury later on Monday, but Queen Elizabeth will not be there, his fathers office said. 

Louis, the fifth in line to the British throne who was born on April 23, will be christened at The Chapel Royal of St Jamess Palace in central London. 

However, his great-grandmother the queen and her husband Prince Philip will not be among the guests, Kensington Palace said.

A royal source said it had been agreed some time ago that the 92-year-old queen would not attend the small, family affair and her absence was not due to any health issues. 

Kensington Palace said Williams father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla would be present along with younger brother Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

Also attending are Kates parents, her brother and sister and Louiss six godparents, who are close friends or relatives of William and Kate. 
16:58  Dhule lynching case will be tried by fast-track court: Govt:  
The Dhule lynching case will be tried by a fast-track court and it would be ensured that stern punishment is given to the guilty, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the legislative assembly today.
  
The July 1 lynching of five people, members of a nomadic tribe, by a mob in Dhule district on suspicion that they were child-lifers was an inhuman act, he said.

"The inhuman act of lynching people on the suspicion that they were child lifters showed how the beast in a human being can come to the fore.

"Police rushed to the spot immediately after a Panchayat Samiti member alerted them about the incident.
"But the village is 40km away (from the district headquarters) and when the police reached the site, the victims had already been lynched," Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, told the House.

"The video footage of the incident is with the police and all the culprits would be booked based on the available evidence. Nobody will be let off," Fadnavis said, replying to a debate on the issue of lynchings raised by Bharat Bhalke of NCP.

He said the case will be tried by a fast-track court and assured the House of stern punishment to the guilty.

The chief minister said a rehabilitation policy for members of the nomadic tribes will be prepared. The families of all the victims will also be rehabilitated.

The lynching incident in Dhule's Rainpada village in North Maharashtra sent shock waves across the state and the country. Over two dozen people have been arrested till now.

According to the videos which went viral, one of the five victims apparently tried to speak to a six-year-old girl after which they were pounced upon, stoned and thrashed with sticks and chappals by a mob.

The provocation was apparently some rumours on social media that suggested that a gang of child-lifters was active in the area in North Maharashtra.

-- PTI
16:52  Delhi gang rape case: 'SC took decision under pressure':  
Minutes after the Supreme Court dismissed review pleas filed by three of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case, advocate of the accused on Monday claimed that the verdict was taken under public, political and media pressure.

"This decision was taken under public, political and media pressure. I totally disagree with this order as justice has not been given to them," Advocate AP Singh said.

Singh further said the fourth convict, Akshay, will file a review petition shortly.

"Akshay Kumar Singh has not filed a review petition yet. We will be filing it soon. He could not be present today as he had some family problem which he had to cater to," he said.

Upholding its earlier order, the Supreme Court earlier in the day dismissed review pleas filed by three of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

The judgment came in response to a review petition filed by three death row convicts- Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta- against the Supreme Court order of May 2017, which said that Nirbhaya's rapists and killers should be hanged.

Speaking to ANI, Asha Devi, the mother of the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim, said, "I am very happy with the judgment. The sentencing should happen soon."

-- ANI
16:31  JUST IN: SC orders transfer of accused in Kathua gang rape and murder case from Kathua district jail to Gurdaspur district jail in Punjab
16:14  Giriraj Singh meeting with riot accused not acceptable: Nitish:  
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said Union minister Giriraj Singh's meeting with jailed Bajrang Dal members in Nawada district was 'not acceptable' and made it clear that his government would not tolerate any attempts to disturb communal harmony in the state.

Singh, who represents Nawada in the Lok Sabha, had on Saturday called on the jailed activists, one of whom was arrested recently in connection with a communal flare-up that took place last year, and the remaining were held while trying to enforce a bandh in protest.

His visit to the Bajrang Dal members in the jail came close on the heels of Union minister Jayant Sinha felicitating eight convicts in the Ramgarh lynching case after they came out of prison on bail in Jharkhand.

The firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party leader had told reporters yesterday at the house of one of the jailed Bajrang Dal activist that he saw the arrests as an 'attempt to suppress the Hindus', even when the other side was at fault and remarked that he 'felt helpless' at not being able to do anything in this regard though his party was in the ruling coalition in the state.

Replying to a query about the episode, Kumar said, "This was not acceptable. One may have an opinion about anything and may express it at a proper place. But an open display of sympathy for those whom the administration has found guilty on some counts, is not proper. If someone appears to have been wrongly arrested, one should move the court against it."

The chief minister was talking to reporters in the presence of his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi after his weekly public interaction 'Lok Samvad' programme.

Asked about Singh's remarks with allegedly communal overtones, Kumar said, "There are many attempts in today's society to disturb social harmony. People have given up decorum in speech. But our government has always been committed to maintaining communal harmony and no attempts to disturb the same will be encouraged, or even tolerated."

Meanwhile, reacting to the chief minister's disapproval of the stance adopted by Singh, BJP MLC Sanjay Paswan told some regional news channels that 'Kumar is our highly respectable leader. But it has been a problem with the socialists that they do not rise above the politics of appeasement'.  -- PTI
15:50  Thai cave rescue: 5th boy brought out hours after op resumes:  
Update on Thailand cave rescue operation:

A fifth boy has also been brought out of the cave by the tam of rescuers.

The boy, who was seen on a stretcher, joins four others who were rescued from deep inside the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex by a team of international and Thai dive experts on Sunday, CNN reported.

With this, eight more boys with their coach now remain inside.   -- Agencies

IMAGE: An ambulance is seen Tham Luang cave complex, where scoolboys are trapped. Photograph: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
15:08  Satisfied with ruling, but justice getting delayed: Victim's parents:  
Soon after the Supreme Court dismissed the review pleas of three of four death-row convicts in December 16 gang rape and murder case, the victim's parents said the verdict 'reaffirmed their trust in the court'.

However, they also said that 'justice is getting delayed'.

"We knew that review petition will be dismissed. But what next? So much time has gone by and threat to women has gone up in this span. I believe the sooner they're hanged, the better it is," said Badrinath Singh, father of the victim.

"They were not juveniles. It is unfortunate that they committed such crime. This decision reaffirms our trust in the court that we will definitely get justice.

"Our struggle does not end here. Justice is getting delayed. It's affecting other daughters of the society. I request the judiciary to tighten their judicial system, serve justice to Nirbhaya by hanging them as soon as possible and help other girls and women," Asha Devi, victim's mother, said.

Meanwhile, Rohan Mahajan, lawyer of the family, said, "It is a victorious moment. Faith in the judiciary has been reinstated. We are satisfied today. The only request to the central government is to expedite whatever process is to follow now."

"I welcome this decision as it proves justice can be delayed but not denied. It's a landmark decision. This judgment shows that law takes its own course in this country," said Rekha Sharma, Chairman of National Commission for Women.   -- ANI
14:25  Nirbhaya rapists to hang as SC rejects review pleas:  
JUST IN: Supreme Court has rejected the review pleas of three out of the four convicts sent to the death row in the December 16 gang rape and murder case.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan delivered its judgment on the pleas of Mukesh, 29, Pawan Gupta, 22, and Vinay Sharma, 23.

The SC rejected the life term plea of the convicts, confirming the death sentence.

More details awaited.
14:00  Xiaomi shares fall on Hong Kong debut as trade war deters investors:  
Shares of Xiaomi fell from their initial offer price during their trading debut in Hong Kong, a victim of bad timing as the unfolding trade war between the United States and China deterred investors from putting their money into the equity markets.

Shares opened at 16.60 Hong Kong dollars ($2.12) in Hong Kong, down from their IPO price of 17.00 Hong Kong dollars.

Investors felt a lack of confidence even before public trading started, selling their shares at a discount on the unofficial 'grey market' last week, Bloomberg News reported.

Despite being one of the most anticipated Chinese technology IPOs this year, Xiaomi saw a disappointing valuation of $54 billion, well below its ambitious $100 billion target.

A delay in Xiaomi's plan to launch new so-called Chinese Depository Receipts (CDRs) in Shanghai as well as doubts about the sustainability of its business model were also among reasons for the lower valuation, analysts said.

Chinese authorities devised the CDR programme, under which homegrown companies listed abroad can simultaneously list at home, after watching technology heavyweights Alibaba and Baidu launch on Wall Street.

The plan aims to help development of China's still relatively immature and volatile share markets and allow domestic investors to invest in the country's big tech champions.   -- Agencies

IMAGE: Xiaomi founder, Chairman and CEO Lei Jun hits the gong during the listing of the company at the Hong Kong Exchanges in Hong Kong on Monday. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters
13:48  Trains delayed/rescheduled due to waterlogging at Nallasopara:  
Here are the details of trains rescheduled due to waterlogging at Nallasopara:

Train no. 19115 Dadar: Bhuj Express of 09/07/18 (Sch. Dep. 15.05 hrs) has been rescheduled at 16.05 hrs Ex Dadar.

Train no. 12989 Dadar: Ajmer Express of 09/07/18 (Sch. Dep. 14.35 hrs) has been rescheduled at 15.35 hrs Ex Dadar.

Train no. 12931 Mumbai Central: Ahmedabad Double Decker of 09/07/18 (Sch. Dep. 14.20 hrs) has been rescheduled at 15.20 hrs Ex Mumbai Central.

Train no. 12933 Mumbai Central: Ahmedabad Karnavati Express of 09/07/18 (Sch. Dep. 13.40 hrs) has been rescheduled at 14.30 hrs Ex Mumbai Central.

Train no. 12480 Bandra Terminus: Jodhpur Suryanagari Express of 09/07/18 (Sch. Dep. 13.30 hrs) has been rescheduled at 14.30 hrs Ex Bandra Terminus.    -- @WesternRly/Twitter
13:39   Verdict on Nirbhaya rapists should serve as a message: Women activists:  
 Hours ahead of the judgment on the review petitions filed by the accused in the 2012 Delhi gang rape, women activists on Monday hoped justice would be served to the victim and her family.

Speaking to ANI, women activist Annie Raja opined that a message needs to be sent across the society through the judgment.

"The family of Nirbhaya, who have been waiting for justice since years, should find peace. Through this verdict, a message needs to be spread in the society that if you commit such a heinous crime, you will have to face the consequences," she said.

Raja further said justice should be delivered to victims of such crimes in a time-bound.

"None of the rape cases should be used for a political purpose," she added.

Echoing similar views, another women activist, Sandhya Rani, asserted that quick reaction and response on rape cases is essential.

"Nirbhaya case is a landmark case (a court case that is studied because it has historical and legal significance). I wish justice will be given to Nirbhaya and her family," she added.

The Supreme Court is slated to pronounce judgment on the review petitions filed by the three convicts in the brutal December 2012 Delhi gang rape case at 2 pm today.    -- ANI
13:37  SC seeks BJP leader's response on Ahmed Patel's plea:  
The Supreme Court today sought the response of a Bharatiya Janata Party leader on a plea by Ahmed Patel seeking a stay of proceedings in the Gujarat High Court which is hearing a petition challenging the senior Congress leader's election to the Rajya Sabha.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, however, allowed the Gujarat High Court to frame the issues to be decided by it on the petition filed by BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput challenging Patel's election to the Upper House. Rajput had lost the election to Patel.

The bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, made it clear that the high court will not proceed in the matter thereafter.

The bench then posted the matter after four weeks and asked both the parties to complete their pleadings by filing replies and rejoinder affidavits in the mean time.

In his plea, Patel has said that the election petition filed by his rival BJP nominee Rajput in the high court was not maintainable and needed to be dismissed.

Patel was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year after defeating Rajput, who had resigned from the Congress to join the BJP which had nominated him as its candidate.

Immediately after Patel got elected, Rajput had filed a petition in the high court challenging the poll panel's decision to invalidate the votes of two rebel MLAs.  -- PTI
12:54  Live-streaming of court proceedings can be undertaken: Centre to SC:  
Live streaming of court proceedings across the country can be undertaken, the Centre informed the Supreme Court today.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the parties to give suggestions to the attorney general for formulating holistic guidelines for live-streaming of court proceedings.

The apex court had on May 3 sought the response of the Centre to pleas seeking live streaming, video recording or transcribing of judicial proceedings in courts.

The A-G had earlier told the court that live streaming of court proceedings was an accepted practice in various countries.

In a bid to bring in transparency, the top court had last year allowed the installation of CCTV recording with audio in trial courts and tribunals in every state.

A petition, filed by a law student, has also sought a direction for setting up of live streaming rooms within the apex court premises and granting access to legal interns.

The plea, filed by Swapnil Tripathi, a student of National Law University in Jodhpur, has asked for requisite guidelines to facilitate witnessing of proceedings for the interns.  -- PTI
12:41  Petrol, diesel prices hiked for fifth consecutive day:  
Petrol and diesel prices have yet again witnessed a hike for the fifth consecutive day, as per data provided by the Indian Oil Corporation.

Petrol is being sold in Delhi at Rs 76.36 per litre, as against Rs.76.13 on Sunday, while diesel is being sold at Rs 68.07 per litre, as against Rs 67.86 on the previous day.

In Mumbai, petrol prices have been hiked from Rs 83.52 on Sunday, to Rs 83.75 per litre on Monday, and diesel prices from Rs 72 to Rs 72.23 per litre.

Moreover, petrol prices in Chennai stand at Rs 79.25 per litre, up from Rs 79.01 on Sunday, with diesel prices at Rs 71.85 per litre.

Meanwhile, petrol in being sold at Rs 82.56 per litre and diesel at Rs 70.62 per litre in Kolkata.

Last month, members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), agreed to jointly increase oil production, which was estimated to be about one million barrels a day.

The deal, which came after a week of tense negotiation, was reportedly aimed at easing fears of a global supply crunch.    -- ANI
12:24  Mistry's plea against removal as Tata Sons chairman rejected:  
The National Company Law Tribunal today dismissed the pleas of Cyrus Mistry challenging his removal as Chairman of Tata Sons.

Mistry was removed as the Tata Sons board and majority of its members lost confidence in him, the NCLT Mumbai's main bench of B S V Prakash Kumar and V Nallasenapathy said in a judgment.

The tribunal said it was not accepting Mistry's contentions that his removal was due to the result of mismanagement by the board and oppression of minority shareholders of the group.

Mistry was removed because the board and majority of its members lost confidence in him after he sent out certain crucial information about the company to the I-T department, leaked details to the media and came out openly in public against the company's shareholders and its board, the bench said.

In October 2016, Mistry was ousted as Tata Sons Chairman.

Two months later, he and his family-run investment firm, Cyrus Investments, approached the NCLT as minority shareholders against the corporate monolith and others, including Ratan Tata, alleging oppression and mismanagement.

As per the plea, five months later he was also removed from the post of director of Tata Sons' board for approaching the NCLT.

Mistry can appeal against this order before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal.  -- PTI
12:18  SC refuses to adjourn hearing on pleas challenging Sec 377:  
The Supreme Court today refused to adjourn tomorrow's proposed hearing by a five-judge Constitution bench on a batch of petitions challenging its verdict that had re-criminalised consensual carnal sex between two adults.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra refused to defer the hearing after the Centre sought more time to file its response on PILs on gay sex.

"It will not be adjourned," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khawilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The newly re-constituted five-judge constitution bench is scheduled to commence hearing of four crucial matters, including the issue of sexual relationship between persons of same sex, from tomorrow.

The Supreme Court had in 2013 restored sexual relationship between persons of same sex as a criminal offence.

After the apex court had set aside the Delhi high court's 2009 judgment decriminalising sex between consenting adults of same sex by holding as 'illegal' Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, review petitions were filed, and on their dismissal curative petitions were filed by the affected parties for re-examination of the original verdict.

During the pendency of the curative petitions, the plea was made that an open court hearing should be granted and after the apex court agreed to it, several fresh writ petitions were filed seeking decriminalising of Section 377.

Section 377 refers to 'unnatural offences' and says whoever voluntarily has carnal inter course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine.

The new five-judge bench will be headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and would comprise justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.  -- PTI
12:09  Mumbai: Traffic diversion due to heavy rains:  
Mumbai Police tweets:

'Due to waterlogging at Railway colony, SV road , Traffic closed (Both bound)
1 ) North bound traffic is diverted towards Turner road Linking road &
2 ) South bound traffic is diverted from Khar traffic chowky Linking road.
12:01  Mumbai schools, colleges shut in view of heavy rains:  
Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde has declared holiday today in all schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region due to heavy rainfall.

'Precautionary holiday declared for schools, colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region for the safety of the students due to the heavy rainfall experienced in the city and the suburban areas. Heavy rains forecasted, every one is advised to stay safe,' Tawde tweeted.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Police has advised that 'the visibility today, will mostly be poor, please ride and drive with care'.

Western Railway deployed pumps to clear tracks at Dadar, Matunga, Goregaon and other locations.

'Heavy duty pumps throwing water from tracks at Dadar, Matunga Road, Goregaon & other locations. All efforts being made to run WR suburban services continously inspite of very heavy & incessant #MumbaiRains,' WR tweeted. 
11:16  Japan flood toll 88, thousands displaced:  
At least 88 people have died so far and over 50 others are still missing as torrential rains in parts of Japan unleashed flood and landslide.

Apart from this, around thousands of people have been displaced after their homes were destroyed in the natural calamity, reported the Japan Times.

The rescue operations are underway in disaster-hit areas, while Japan's weather agency has warned of the continuing danger of landslides and flood.

The normal life continues to be disrupted and the Business is severely hit by the downpours.Automaker Mazda Motor Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co., have also suspended their operations in factories in Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi, keeping in mind the safety of the employees.

The number of casualties is expected to rise as damage in affected areas unfolds.

About 48,000 emergency responders from the police, fire department and defense forces are participating in the search-and-rescue operations, as per media reports.

"There are still many people missing and others in need of help, we are working against time," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Residents are being evacuated from areas of stricken Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, in south-western Japan.

According to the report evacuation orders remained in place for some 2 million people and another 2.3 million were advised to evacuate.  -- ANI

IMAGE: A helicopter flies over Mabi town which was flooded by the heavy rain in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, on Monday. Photograph: Kyodo/via Reuters
10:16  3 children drown while taking bath in Ganga barrage:  
At least three children drowned while taking bath in the Ganga barrage in Kanpur on Sunday, police said.

Five children, aged between 12 to 15, had gone to take bath in Babupurwa area when they drowned, Superintendent of Police (west) Sanjeev Suman said.

Three bodies were fished out late in the evening while bodies of two children were yet to be located, he said.

According to eyewitnesses, when one child started drowning, others rushed to save him and they got trapped in deep water.

The three children were taken to Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital where they were declared brought dead, the police said.  -- PTI
09:28  Heavy rain continues to batter Mumbai, local services hit:  
Heavy rains continue to lash Mumbai on Monday morning with several areas waterlogged.

The MeT department has issued a warning for 'heavy to very heavy with isolated extremely heavy rainfall' in the metropolis and the neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts.

Local trains were running slower in Nallasopara due to waterlogging on tracks.

Western Railway tweeted on Monday, '... trains being run at restricted speed at Nallasopara due to water on tracks. Some delay due to this. No water logging anywhere else on WR.'

Yesterday, of the 26 weather stations in Mumbai and its suburbs, 14 recorded more than 100 mm rainfall since yesterday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Mumbai said, adding the city's Chembur area received the highest 184.2 mm rainfall followed by Goregaon (162.2 mm).   -- PTI

IMAGE: A waterlogged foot overbridge at Kurla station. Photograph: ANI
09:16  Terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in Kupwara:  
An unidentified terrorist was killed early this morning in an overnight encounter with security forces in Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

One terrorist has been killed in the encounter so far, a police official said.

The encounter in a forest area of Handwara, in north Kashmir's Kupwara, broke out late last night after security forces launched a cordon and search operation there following specific information about the presence of terrorists.

The operation is underway, the official said.  -- PTI

Image only for representation.
08:37  Gangster Munna Bajrangi shot dead in Baghpat jail:  
JUST IN: Gangster Munna Bajrangi has been shot dead in Baghpat District Jail, reports ANI.

Munna Bajrangi, whose real name was Prem Prakash, was a dreaded criminal in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

He was brought to Baghpat from Jhansi jail.

He was to be produced before the court today in a case of extorting money from a Bahujan Samaj Party leader, local media reports say.

More details awaited.
08:19  Thai cave rescue op resumes to bring out remaining boys and coach:  
The rescue operation at a flooded cave in Chiang Rai in northern Thailand has resumed after several hours to bring out the remaining nine members of the Wild Boar football team and their coach.

Four boys were rescued yesterday.

The operation was suspended for lack of oxygen.

Aged between 11 and 16 years, the boys were trapped in the flooded cave for nine days before being found.   -- Agencies

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