Sun, 20 November 2016
German Chancellor Angela Merkel to seek fourth term
21:31 German Chancellor Angela Merkel to seek fourth term
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her party on Sunday that she will seek re-election next year, a move likely to be welcomed in many capitals as a sign of stability following poll triumphs for Brexit and Donald Trump.
After months of feverish speculation, Merkel said at a meeting of her conservative Christian Democrats that she would run for a fourth term, party sources told AFP.
Merkel, 62, has governed Europe's top economic power, which does not have term limits, since 2005.
Another full four-year mandate, which pollsters say is likely, would tie the post-war record set by her mentor Helmut Kohl, who presided over the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
With no clear successor in the CDU, her decision also comes as a relief to her party.
Merkel represents "stability and reliability in turbulent times because she holds society together and stands up to over-simplification" by populists, CDU deputy leader Julia Kloeckner told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
20:29 We have to get rid of 'bad money' from cinema too: Venkaiah
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today called for cleaning of "bad money" from all spheres of life, including cinema.
"I understand there will be bad money everywhere... In every part of the society, in politics, in public life and even in cinema. We need to get rid of it so that we can have peaceful life and we can have a progressive future," he said addressing the inaugural function of International Film Festival of India in Goa.
"This cleansing set in motion by the prime minister should add good to the film industry also. I am happy that the first people to welcome the move of the prime minister are from the cinema industry. They have welcomed it," Venkaiah added.
Calling the demonetisation move a success, he said the money has to be white so one can really sleep well.
"But today you have seen the position, some people are not able to sleep or weep publicly because they have lot of unaccounted money, so cleaning of India is going on," said the Minister.
20:15 Rescuing people is our priority, says Rail Min Suresh Prabhu
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu visited the accident spot where Patna-Indore express train derailed.
After monitoring the situation, Prabhu tweeted, "Visited accident site and reviewed rescue and relief operations. Rescuing people, providing relief to those injured our immediate priority."
Prabhu has ordered a probe into the mishap and made it clear that "guilty won't be spared".
At least 116 passengers were killed and more than 200 injured, nearly half of them grievously, in the worst train accident in recent years when 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in Pukhrayan in Kanpur rural area in the wee hours on Sunday due to suspected rail fracture.
18:59 Pak army"equally ready" for conventional war: Raheel Sharif
Battle-hardened Pakistan army is "equally ready" to fight conventional wars after registering an "unprecedented level of successes" in its war against terror, army chief General Raheel Sharif has said.
Visiting troops and war veterans at Sulemanki Sector on Saturday, Raheel, who is expected to retire from service later this month, said that the military has always measured up to any challenge.
While interacting with the troops, Raheel said that Pakistan Army proudly carries its heritage and tradition of soldiering and chivalry.
"Taking inspiration from our war heroes and their spirit of sacrifice, Pakistan Army has always measured up to any challenge. With an unprecedented level of successes in war against terror, we have become the most battle-hardened army and are equally ready for conventional war," he was quoted as saying by a press release issued by the Inter Services Public Relations.
On Monday, Raheel had attended the funeral of seven Pakistani soldiers who were killed during border skirmishes with the Indian army.
The Pakistan army chief had warned India that Pakistan army "will continue to respond effectively, leave no stone unturned to defend motherland."
He appreciated the troops for keeping vigil along the Line of Control, working boundary and international border.
Raheel is due to retire on November 29 after a three-year stint.
18:49 Muslim Law Board forms women's wing to support Triple Talaq
In a first, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board today decided to form a women's wing to look into burning issues such as talaq, even as it passed a resolution in favour of triple talaq.
The resolution passed at the AIMPLB's three-day convention, which concluded today, stated that the government was infringing into the personal laws of Muslims.
The women's wing would also deal with other issues like family disputes and education, AIMPLB secretary Zafaryab Jellani told a press conference here after the convention.
It decided to launch an all-India Muslim women helpline, a toll free call centre in Urdu, English and eight regional languages to counsel and guide Muslim women on family disputes to go to the Darul-Qaza.
"It has been decided for the first time that we will form a women's wing to go into issues concerning Muslim women and an all-India Muslim women helpline, a toll-free call centre in Urdu English and 8 regional language," Kamal Farooqi, a member of AIMPLB said.
"It seems that the government is bringing up this isssue of Triple Talaq and Uniform Civil Code ahead of Uttar Pradesh polls in order to communally polarise people and reap political dividends," he said.
The AIMPLB said it wanted to be the part of a discussion with the government, though the government did not bother to hear their views.
18:37 Queen to invite 'President' Trump to palace: Report
British government is planning to use Queen Elizabeth II as a "secret weapon" to invite US President-elect Donald Trump to Buckingham Palace in the first half of 2017 to bolster US-UK ties, a news report claimed today.
Ministers believe the Queen is their "secret weapon" and British Prime Minister Theresa May will use the state visit to help strengthen the "special relationship" between Britain and the US, The Sunday Times reports.
A source who has discussed the issue with a Cabinet minister told the paper: "The government has decided that their secret weapon to get in with Trump is to offer him an early visit to the Queen, him and [his wife] Melania staying at Windsor Castle."
A senior official said the details of the invitation had been held back for protocol reasons because Mrs May was due to meet Barack Obama in Berlin next week.
17:54 Akshay Kumar shares his first look from 'Robot 2.0'
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar has shared his first look from upcoming film "Robot 2.0" starring southern superstar Rajinikanth.
Akshay will be playing the main antagonist in the Shankar-directed movie.
"Evil has a new face! #2Point0 #3Diwali2017 #2Point0FLLaunch," the actor captioned his character poster.
The movie also marks Akshay's first project in Tamil cinema.
The poster has the 49-year-old actor in a devil look with long sharp eyebrows, grey hair, yellow lenses and black nails. "Robot 2.0" will release next year on Diwali.
17:20 7-yr jail for those depositing black money in others account: I-T
Warning people against depositing their unaccounted old currency in someone else's bank account, the tax department has decided to slap charges under the newly enforced Benami Transactions Act against violators that
carries a penalty, prosecution and rigorous jail term of a maximum seven years.
In a related development, official sources said that the department has detected over Rs 200 crore in undisclosed income after it conducted over 80 surveys and about 30 searches in cases of suspicious usage of the scrapped currency. About Rs 50 crore has also been seized in these operations since November 8, they said, across various states.
The sources said the taxman has initiated a country-wide operation to identify suspect bank accounts where huge cash deposits have been made post November 8, when government demonetised the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
Such instances where the suspicion is found to be true will be prosecuted under the Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, applicable on both movable and immovable property, that has been enforced from November 1 this year.
They said the Act empowers the taxman to confiscate and prosecute both the depositor and the person whose illegal money he or she has "adjusted" in their account.
16:34 More highlights from PM's speech
- This decision on currency notes was not taken to trouble anyone. It was taken to safeguard future of our youth
- More than 5 lakh crore rupess has been deposited in banks
- Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes ceasing to be legal tender has adversely affected those in fake currency rackets and narcotics
16:25 Demonetisation move was appreciated by poor: PM
Speaking at a rally in Agra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government is dedicated to the poor and demonetisation move was appreciated by them. Here are the highlights.
- The initiative of demonetisation was highly appreciated by poor people. The poor and middle-class citizens do not have access to black money. They are honest citizens and our efforts will help them
- This is a huge work, it will create inconvenience
- This government is dedicated to the poor, Pradhan Mantri Jan dhan Yojana was started so that the poor can have a bank account
- Those who refused to pay power bills, bills to civic bodies have been forced to pay them
16:04 'Political error' not to bring Babri under Centre's control: Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today said it was a "fatal political error" on the part of the Narasimha Rao government not to bring Babri Masjid under the Centre's control despite mounting evidence that it was under threat.
The former Finance Minister said he would not brush aside the incident as a mere judgemental error and that as a result of the incident, Prime Minister Rao lost the trust of the rank and file of the party.
"A lot of people had warned Narasimha Rao... the mosque was under threat. Our government had issued a statement that under no circumstances would we allow the mosque to be demolished. If necessary, we would station the military, the paramilitary forces," he said during a panel discussion on 'Narasimha Rao: The Forgotten Hero' at the Tata Literature Live festival in Mumbai.
He said the threat to the mosque was not sudden and neither was it a spontaneous action on part of 'karsevaks'.
"Stones were being carried from as far as Rameshwaram and they were travelling by trains. Whole trains were being booked. Everybody knew that lakhs of people would assemble. Threat to Babri Masjid was a real threat which had been there from at least 1987-88," he said.
Chidambaram said that Rao should have moved the paramilitary forces and the army and should have made it absolutely clear that the Babri Masjid area was under control of the Central government.
15:01 Shridi's Saibaba temple stops accepting old notes
Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust today said it has stopped accepting the defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes at its donation counters.
After the Centre demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on November 8, from the next day onwards the temple trust started accepting donations and making other transactions through credit or debit cards, the trust's chief accountant Babasaheb Ghorpade said.
However, the defunct notes have been found in the temple's 'hundis' (cash boxes) and the trust is depositing it in the nationalised banks, he added.
14:57 Aamir attends wrestler Geeta Phogat's wedding
Actor Aamir Khan attends wrestler Geeta Phogat's wedding ceremony in Haryana.
Aamir is playing Geeta's father, Mahavir Singh Phogat in his upcoming film 'Dangal'.
Geeta is the eldest daughter of Mahavir and is an international wrestling champion.
14:25 Rail fracture suspected to be cause of Indore-Patna train derailment
The train tragedy near Kanpur that left over 100 passengers dead could have been caused due to rail fracture, according to sources in the railways.
While the exact cause of the Kanpur accident will be ascertained after the inquiry report, prima facie it indicates towards rail fracture, the sources said.
Casualties also increased due to absence of modern Linke Holfmann Bush coaches in the train, the sources added.
Had there been stainless steel LHB coaches, then the damage could have been less as these coaches have more in-built safety features which can absorb shock and impact of derailment more effectively and as a result do not topple, they said.
Poor track maintenance including lack of proper fittings and ballast on the railway lines causes fracture on the tracks.
The accident comes at a time when railways are undertaking a massive brainstorming exercise to generate new innovative ideas to improve rail functioning and making the train journey a pleasant experience.
Fourteen coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed near Pukhrayan in Kanpur.
13:42 PV Sindhu wins China Open title
India's ace shuttler PV Sindhu defeats Sun Yu of China 21-11, 17-21, 21-11 to win the prestigious China Open.
This is Sindhu's first title victory after winning the silver at Rio Olympics earlier this year.
This is also Sindhu's first-ever Super Series title.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the family of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured hailing from the state, who were travelling by Indore-Patna Express, which derailed near Pukhraya in Kanpur dehat district in the wee hours today.
12:48 Indore-Patna train derailment: Guilty won't be spared, says Prabhu
Ordering a probe into Kanpur train accident, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday made it clear that "guilty won't be spared".
Prabhu, who has ordered a probe into the accident, said, "An enquiry team will start investigation for cause of accident".
In a tweet, the minister said rail mobile medical units have been rushed to spot and primary medical assistance have been provided to the accident victims.
Prabhu will also visit that accident spot to monitor rescue operations.
12:37 Smoking e-cigarettes kills mouth cells: study
E-cigarette vapours can kill a large number of mouth cells, increasing the risk of infection, gum disease inflammation and even cancer, a new study has warned.
Researchers found that exposing gingival epithelial cells to e-cigarette vapour in the laboratory causes them to die within a few days.
"Mouth epithelium is the body's first line of defence against microbial infection. This epithelium protects us against several microorganisms living in our mouths," said Mahmoud Rouabhia from Universite Laval in Canada.
To simulate what happens in a person's mouth while vaping, researchers placed epithelial cells in a small chamber containing a saliva-like liquid.
Electronic cigarette vapour was pumped into the chamber at a rate of two five-second "inhalations" per minute for 15 minutes a day.
Observations under the microscope showed that the percentage of dead or dying cells, which is about two per cent in unexposed cell cultures, rose to 18 per cent, 40 per cent, and 53 per cent after one, two and three days of exposure to e-cigarette vapour respectively.
11:56 14 bogies of goods train derail in C'garh; none hurt
At least 14 bogies of a goods train derailed in Raipur today, leading to disruption of rail traffic on the Howrah-Mumbai route, Railway officials said.
No one was reported hurt in the mishap.
"The 14 wagons of the cargo train carrying ash-like substance and travelling towards Raipur from Bilaspur derailed between Silyari and Mandhar railway stations, around 22 kms away from here, in the wee hours," a Raipur Rail division spokesperson here told PTI.
"However, no injuries have been reported," he said.
The incident affected the movement of trains on middle line and up line (Howarh-Mumbai) route, as a result of which over half a dozen trains were cancelled, he said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to visit accident spot in Kanpur Dehat to monitor rescue operations.
11:37 Kenya's Olympic champion Kipchoge wins Delhi Half Marathon
Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the men's race of Delhi Half Marathon in a fast time but below the course record while Ethiopia's Worknesh Degefa clinched the women's title as thousands of people thronged the roads of the capital city on a Sunday morning.
Kipchoge, considered one of the greatest marathoners of all time, clocked 59 minute and 44 seconds to cover the 21.097km distance and win the race at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium ahead of Ethiopia's Yigrem Demelash, who clocked his personal best of 59:48, in a close finish.
Among Indian men, G Lakshmanan, who has won the 2013 edition of Delhi Half Marathon and also TCS World 10K 2016, emerged the winner with a timing of one hour, 04 minutes and 34 seconds while Mohd. Yunus (1:04:38) and Man Singh (1:04:40) were second and third respectively.
Another Kenyan Augustine Choge was third in 60:01. Kipchoge, running here in his first competitive race after winning Rio Olympics marathon gold in August, was clearly the pre-event favourite in men's elite race but many had thought he would lower the course record of 59:06 set by Guye Adola of Ethiopia in 2014.
Just In: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces ex gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured in the UP train derailment.
11:00 Photo taken by Mangalyaan lands National Geographic cover
Just days after finding place on the Rs. 2,000 currency note, there's another high for India's Mangalyaan that completed three years in orbit this week.
In a rare admission of the global importance of India's maiden mission to Mars, a photo of the Red Planet taken by the simple, low cost camera of Mangalyaan, has found place on the cover of the venerable National Georgaphic magazine, known for its high quality images.
There are less than a dozen images of the full disc of Mars and experts acknowledge that India's Mangalyaan has taken some of the best images. More than fifty missions before Mangalyaan did not manage to take such high quality images of the full disc of the Red Planet.
India's mission cost Rs 450 crore and was made to nominally last six months but has now survived for three years beaming back data.
List of trains diverted/cancelled following Patna-Indore express train derailment near Kanpur.
10:29 Demonetisation: I-T dept turns heat on NGOs, firms
As people across the country queue up to exchange notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, the income tax department has turned the heat on individuals, small companies and NGOs run by tax-exempted trusts.
The department has been issuing notices to individuals and companies that deposited Rs 2.5 lakh or more, asking them to show the source as well as I-T returns for at least two years.
As for NGOs, the I-T department has asked them to show their cash balance as on March 31, 2016, and on November 8 when Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetisation.
"In the wake of demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500, the I-T department is examining the source of cash deposits with banks. We have information that your company has deposited between November 8 and November 12 more than Rs 4.5 lakh in cash," said a notice sent to a company.
Notices have also been sent to all NGOs seeking details on cash balance.
"We got notices from the I-T department a few weeks after the Union home ministry cancelled the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 registration or asked for more documents. This follows information that many people are using NGOs to launder black money," Voluntary Action Network India (Vani) chief executive officer Harsh Jaitli said.
JUST IN: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announces ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh for deceased families, Rs 50,000 for critically injured
09:44 Blue alert issued in China for heavy snow, blizzards
China's national observatory today issued a blue alert with some areas in northern part of the country likely to see heavy snow or blizzard.
Some parts of Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei are forecast to embrace heavy snow between 8:00 am today and 8:00 am tomorrow, according to the National Meteorological
The public in these regions have been advised to stay indoors, and warned to take protective and emergency measures against snow and frost, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China has a four-tier colour-coded system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
09:24 Threat of a nuke war with Pakistan has increased: Former NSA
Former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon has said the threat of a nuclear war with Pakistan has increased, but criticised Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for suggesting that India should give up its no first use policy.
He believes the September 29 surgical strikes, following the Uri terror attack, were inevitable, but disagrees with the Narendra Modi governments decision to go public with the information.
Menon had played a key role in the India-US civil nuclear deal and was Indias foreign secretary when the 26/11 terror attacks took place in Mumbai in 2008.
Menon told India Today TVs Karan Thapar in an interview that he was wrong in advising the then Manmohan Singh government to retaliate after the 26/11 terror attacks. Pranab Mukherjee, then the external affairs minister, had seemed to agree with him. While Menon didnt reveal Singhs response, India had eventually not retaliated militarily.
On Parrikar, Menon said the defence minister did not have a right to voice his personal opinion on nuclear policy in public, particularly when that opinion contradicted the official policy of the country.
09:02 Keep Rs 5 cr cash ready to pay our staff: LS, RS Secretariats to bank
The Lok Sabha Secretariat and Rajya Sabha Secretariat have asked the State Bank of Indias Parliament Annexe branch to make available Rs 5 crore by November 21, so that they can pay advance salaries in cash to their staff.
The SBI branch manager, Sudhir Malhotra, has sought the Reserve Bank of Indias guidance.
Confirming this, Malhotra told The Sunday Express: We received requests from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha offices on Friday, to arrange Rs 5 crore in cash by Monday (November 21) so that they can give Rs 10,000 as advance salary to their staffers I have sent the requisition to my senior authority and also sought RBIs guidance, as there are standard norms about paying Rs 24,000 to a savings bank account holder and Rs 50,000 to a current account holder."
Malhotra said all Parliament employees normally get their salaries in their accounts, and no cash requests from the secretariats had been received in the past.
About 4,000 Parliament employees have salary accounts in the SBI branch.
The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats could have just asked the branch to transfer the advance salary amount to their staffers accounts . They may be asking for cash to save their employees from the inconvenience being faced by others, said a senior SBI officer
08:46 Anguished beyond words on loss of lives: PM Modi on train derailment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took to Twitter and expressed his anguish over the deaths caused due to derailment of Patna Indore express near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Anguished beyond words on the loss of lives due to the derailing of the Patna-Indore express. My thoughts are with the bereaved families, the PM tweeted.
He added that he had spoken to Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu. Prayers with those injured in the tragic train accident, he said.
At least 45 people have lost their lives in the accident so far.
The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, Suresh Prabhu said that strictest possible action will taken against those found responsible and offered compensation to the families of those killed.
08:07 At least 30 dead after Patna-Indore Express derails near Kanpur
At least 30 people were killed today when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna express train derailed near Pukhrayan area in Kanpur Dehat district, with railways officials saying the number of casualties could rise. The incident took place at around 3 am near Pukhrayan.
At least 30 people have been killed and several others injured, IG (Kanpur range) Zaki Ahmed said.
Railways Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said several people have been rushed to nearby hospitals with injuries, and the casualties may go up. Accident relief train was rushed to the spot, he said.
Northern Central Railways spokesperson Vijay Kumar said that doctors and senior railway officials have reached the spot. Rescue and relief operations were being carried out by district administration and railway officials.
Though the cause of the derailment was not known immediately, sources said the nature and timing shows that the accident was caused by a rail fracture. However, the exact reason would be known only after an inquiry.