Thu, 13 October 2016
Washington Post endorses Clinton as president

Timeline  Refresh

23:25   Swamy takes a dig at Rajan again over inflation
As a slowing inflation supported interest rate cuts, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today took a dig at former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and his cheer choir. 

"Why has since Rexit Consumer Price Index declined and interest rates too? R3 and his cheer choir a hoaz, or pushing an anti Indian agenda?," he tweeted. 

While Rexit refers to exit of Rajan, he uses R3 to describe Raghuram Rajan. 

Swamy had virtually carried out a campaign against Rajan calling his inflation-centric policies anti-growth. 

Consumer prices inflation slowed to 4.31 per cent in September from 5.05 per cent in August. 

The all-powerful Monetary Policy Committee headed by Urjit Patel, Rajan's successor at RBI, last week cut benchmark interest rates by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. 

 While he had signaled more tolerance for price pressure, the easing in CPI inflation rate was in line with the RBI's forecast for average 5 per cent inflation in fourth quarter of 2016. 

This, many expect, would create more room for interest rate reduction. The next monetary policy review is scheduled for December 7. 
22:16   Washington Post endorses Clinton as president
Top American daily The Washington Post on Thursday endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton as the next United States president asserting that she is not only "well-qualified and well-prepared" for the top post but also has the potential to be an excellent commander-in-chief.

"In the gloom and ugliness of this political season, one encouraging truth is often overlooked: There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation," the editorial board of the Post said.

Endorsement of a candidate by major publications in the run-up to an election is a unique feature of the American democratic system.

This is unlike India where media outlets do not officially side with a candidate, do not ask their readers to support a candidate and maintain an independent position.

So far almost all major US publications including The New York Times have endorsed Clinton as the next president while her Republican rival Donald Trump has failed to win even a single major endorsement.

In fact, many of the publications, which traditionally sided with Republican nominees for decades, have this time endorsed Clinton for the November 8 general election. 

"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is dreadful, that is true '" uniquely unqualified as a presidential candidate. If we believed that Ms Clinton were the lesser of two evils, we might well urge you to vote for her anyway '" that is how strongly we feel about Mr Trump. But we would also tell you that was our judgment," the Post editorial board wrote in its endorsement.

At the same time, the daily acknowledged that Clinton has several weaknesses as she lacks charisma and she is secretive.
22:13   'Russia-Pak exercises did not affect Putin's India visit prep'
Russia on Thursday said its recent military exercises with Pakistan had not affected the preparation for Russian President Vladimir Putin's India visit this week.

"The Indian partners did not link in any way their concerns (over military exercises with Pakistan) with the president's visit," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by Russia's state-run TASS news agency. 

He made the remarks in response to a question about "whether the recent Russia-Pakistan military exercises in the zone considered by India as a disputed territory had affected the preparation of the Russian leader's visit". 

Russian President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks in Goa on Saturday, ahead of the BRICS Summit. 

The Kremlin aide said that apart from the bilateral agenda, "the Russian and Indian leaders would discuss the situation in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries, and also the fight against terrorism".  

21:03   PM to inaugurate digital expo on Sardar Patel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a digital exhibition on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 31 as part of a series of events to mark the birth anniversary of the first Deputy Prime Minister of independent India. 

Being observed as Rashtriya Ekta Divas (National Unity Day), it has been decided that Union ministers will visit various parts of the country on the day to participate in programmes marking the birth anniversary of Patel, also known as the 'Iron Man of India', on the lines of the recently-organised mega 'Tiranga Yatra' on the eve of Independence Day.

Events lined up for the occasion include taking a unity pledge, unity runs, public rallies and various competitions such as elocution, an official said.
The decision was taken during a 45-minute meeting which was attended by several Union ministers, including M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Suresh Prabhu, Ram Vilas Paswan, Anant Geete, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Narendra Singh Tomar and Dharmendra Pradhan.
21:01   Congress, AAP object to BRICS summit logo
Ahead of the BRICS Summit in Goa, the Congress has expressed its objection to the logo of the event, which it said looks like the party symbol of the BJP, even as the AAP questioned the absence of the name of the place,
where the meet is being held, from the logo.
"It is highly improper on the part of the relevant BRICS Committee to select the election symbol of a member country, India, when it is well-known that lotus is BJP's poll symbol. Elections of the Goa assembly are due to be held in February 2017. In Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur also polls are due," Congress MP Shantaram Naik told reporters.
The Congress leader also filed a petition in the Election Commission of India demanding that steps should be taken to "freeze" BJP's election symbol, as the party has "misused" it by going against the spirit of Symbols Order, 1968, the law which regulates the allotment of symbol.

Meanwhile, AAP spokesman Rupesh Shinkre sought to know why the name of Goa is not mentioned in the logo, whereas in the past BRICS events, the logo carried the names of the host places.
"As India is gearing up to host the 8th BRICS Summit, it is a matter of pride to Goa to host the event, where the leaders of the next world powers would set their foot," Shinkre said.
"Goa has been earlier a venue to such world events. But BRICS is the biggest among them. Venues of such meets are very significant because the declarations are named after the place of its convention. The 8th BRICS Declaration would be a called as the Goa Declaration," he said.
"With all the humility we would like to draw the attention of stakeholders to issue which has been neglected. The logo of a summit should incorporate the name of the place. Like BRICS summits held in the past since 2009. That is Yekaterinburg (Russia) in 2009, Brasilia (Brazil) in 2010, Sanya (China) in 2011, New Delhi (India) in 2012, Durban (South Africa) in 2013, Fortaleza (Brazil) in 2014 and Ufa (Russia) in 2015. But the BRICS 2016 logo doesn't find the mention of Goa. This is strong exception to the precedence," he added.
20:50   Passenger plane evacuated in Geneva after bomb threat
An Aeroflot jet has been evacuated moments before take off from Geneva airport after a bomb threat, it has emerged.

Bomb disposal experts have descended on the passenger plane which is still on the tarmac at the Swiss terminal.

It comes after a bomb threat was made at a ticket counter before the Russian airline jet was due to take off.

Geneva prosecutors say a Russian man has already been arrested and an investigation is underway. 
An Aeroflot statement said it was flight 2381 to Moscow and passengers would be transferred to other aircraft for the journey. 

Representative image
20:26   8-year-old Pakistani boy beaten on US school bus
 A 8-year-old Pakistani-origin boy was allegedly beaten up by five classmates on a school bus in the US for being a Muslim, an incident that has forced his family to move back to Pakistan fearing "Donald Trump's America".

The parents of Abdul Usmani have alleged that he was bullied and beaten by five students on the bus while returning home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina, as they made references to Muslims and the boy's Pakistani heritage.

"Welcome to the United States of America of Donald Trump," Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani captioned a Facebook photo showing his son, Abdul, with his left arm in a sling.

"He is in grade 1, bullied and beaten by his own classmates in school bus for being a Muslim," Usmani said.

Usmani told BuzzFeed that he his wife along with their three sons have left the US for Pakistan after this latest incident in a long history of discrimination towards his children and family.
20:07   UN appoints Guterres as new secretary-general
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday formally appointed Antonio Guterres as the new secretary-general of the United Nations, replacing Ban Ki-moon.

The 193 member states adopted by acclamation a resolution appointing the former prime minister of Portugal for a five-year term beginning January 1.

The socialist politician, who also served as UN refugee chief for a decade, is expected to play a more prominent role as the world's diplomat-in-chief than Ban, the South Korean former foreign minister who will step down after two five-year terms.

Guterres won unanimous support from the UN Security Council during a vote last week that capped the most transparent campaign ever held at the United Nations for the top post.
18:24   Dalit writers forced to leave lit meet over Shivaji remarks
Noted Dalit writer Pradnya Pawar and Dalit scholar Raosaheb Kasabe were reportedly forced to leave a Marathi literary meet over their "objectionable" comments on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The meet was organised at Patan in adjoining Satara district by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad and the alleged incident took place on Sunday when a mob asked the duo to leave the event for "hurting" the sentiments of the Maratha community with their remarks on the 17th century warrior king. 

Kasabe was invited as a special guest, while Pawar was nominated president of the two-day event which was dedicated to Dalit icon Babasaheb Ambedkar.

"The first day (Saturday) of the meet was quite good as I and Kasabe delivered our speeches and received an overwhelming response from the attendees. However, on the second day, when the event was underway, a mob of over 100 people came to the venue and asked us to leave.
18:11   Man fleeing to Syria to join ISIS found guilty in UK
A 26-year-old man who wanted to flee to Syria from the UK to join the dreaded Islamic State militant group was today found guilty in a secret trial here. 

Anas Abdalla, from Birmingham, has denied preparing for acts of terrorism by hiding in a lorry with another extremist.

He was convicted by a majority of 11 to one and will be sentenced at a later date. 

Abdalla, born in Mogadishu in Somalia, who first came to the UK as an asylum seeker told the Old Bailey court that he was fleeing unwarranted security services intrusion in his life.
18:01   4 dead as 5-storey structure collapses in Mumbai's Bandra area
A five-storey structure in Behrampada slum, Bandra East collapsed killing four people on Thursday afternoon.  At least five fire-brigades and ambulances have rushed to the site. Rescue operations are underway. 

The building is located at Anant Kanekar Marg, Behrampada, near National School, Bandra East. The incident occurred at around 1.21 pm. Two girls are reportedly trapped according to eye-witnesses present at the spot, says a fire officer.

Disaster management officials have said that one person has been injured and has been taken to Bhabha hospital.

While rescue operations are underway, six to seven are feared to be trapped. 

National Disaster Response Forces has reached the spot to advance the rescue operations. More details are awaited.
17:59   Winter session of Parliament from Nov 16-Dec 16
Just In: The winter session of Parliament will be held from November 16 to December 16, the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs has decided.

17:53   Retail inflation declines in September
Just In: Retail inflation slows to 4.31 per cent in September from 5.05 per cent in August.
17:28   Maldives leaves the Commonwealth
The Government of Maldives today decided today to leave the Commonwealth.

Issuing a communique the Ministry of Foreign Affair of Maldives said the decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but inevitable.

Here's the full statement:

"The Government of Maldives has decided today to leave the Commonwealth. The decision to leave the Commonwealth was difficult, but inevitable.

The Maldives joined the Commonwealth in 1982 with high hopes and expectations, convinced that the organisation will be an arena for coordinating critical issues that the member States, in particular, the smallest members of the organisation face.

Since 2012, the Government of Maldives has been giving maximum cooperation to the Commonwealth, shown maximum transparency, and engaged with the Commonwealth at the highest levels. The Government had high hopes that such level of engagement will produce fruitful results.

Regrettably, the Commonwealth has not recognised that progress and achievements that the Maldives accomplished in cultivating a culture of democracy in the country and in building and strengthening democratic institutions. The Government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has enacted a total of 110 pieces of legislations. Out of which, 94 legislations were directly related to the core values set out in the Commonwealth Charter. An overwhelming majority of these legislations (69 out of 94) were specifically designed to promote human rights, to strengthen democratic governance, and to reinforce the separation of powers. These achievements have resulted in strengthening the rule of law and produced tangible outcomes in strengthening democratic institutions in the country.

The Commonwealth has sought to take punitive actions against the Maldives since 2012 after the then President of Maldives resigned, and transfer of power took place as per the procedures set out in the Constitution.

The Commonwealths decision to penalise the Maldives was unjustified especially given that the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), established with the help of the Commonwealth, found that the transfer of power in the Maldives was consistent with the constitutional provisions.

Since then, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and the Commonwealth Secretariat have treated the Maldives unjustly and unfairly.

The Commonwealth has sought to become an active participant in the domestic political discourse in the Maldives, which is contrary to the principles of the Charters of the UN and the Commonwealth. The CMAG and the Commonwealth Secretariat seem to be convinced that the Maldives, because of the high and favourable reputation that the country enjoys internationally, and also perhaps because it is a small State that lacks material power, would be an easy object that can be used, especially in the name of democracy promotion, to increase the organisations own relevance and leverage in international politics.

The Maldives reassures that its international engagement will continue both bilaterally and multilaterally."
17:21   Mr Dylan's secret archive
For years, Bob Dylan scholars have whispered about a tiny notebook, seen by only a few, in which the master labored over the lyrics to his classic 1975 album "Blood on the Tracks.'

Rolling Stone once called it "the Maltese Falcon of Dylanology' for its promise as an interpretive key.But that notebook, it turns out, is part of a trinity.

Sitting in climate-controlled storage in a museum here are two more "Blood on the Tracks" notebooks -- unknown to anyone outside of Mr. Dylan's closest circle '" whose pages of microscopic script reveal even more about how Mr. Dylan wrote some of his most famous songs.  
Read more
17:17   Domestic reforms to cushion India from global shocks: FM
Promising continued policy push to boost economic activities and investment flows, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said domestic reforms will "neutralise" any adverse impact of the global slowdown.

Addressing the BRICS investment seminar in Mumbai ahead of the 5-nation Summit beginning in Goa tomorrow, he said the government has put FDI on automatic route in almost 90 per cent of the areas that are eligible for foreign direct capital.

"Over the last two-and-a-half years most of the sectors have been reviewed and we now have probably the most open FDI policy in the world with 90 per cent of FDI coming in through the automatic route," he said.
16:47   Songwriter Bob Dylan wins Literature Nobel
The Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 goes to American songwriter, 
artist and writer Bob Dylan, "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Dylan (75) has been influential in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when his songs chronicled social unrest, although Dylan repudiated suggestions from journalists that he was a spokesman for his generation. Nevertheless, early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the American civil rights and anti-war movements.

American novelist Don DeLillo emerged as an outside contender for the Nobel prize in literature -- at least in the minds of the betting public. The prize was announced by Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time".108 Nobel Prizes in Literature have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on seven occasions: in 1914, 1918, 1935, 1940, 1941, 1942, and 1943.

The nominations and the opinions written by the members of the Nobel Committee in Literature each year are kept secret for 50 years.

In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says: "If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds."

During World War I and II, fewer Nobel Prizes were awarded.The youngest Literature Laureate is Rudyard Kipling, best known for The Jungle Book. He was just 41 years when awarded the Nobel Prize in 1907. Dario Fo who passed away today at age 90. was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature.
15:36   43 cases, 2 arrests for spreading rumours on Jaya's health
Two persons, who allegedly circulated rumours on social networking sites on the health status of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, have been arrested, police said today.

Police have warned of stern action against those spreading rumours on the health of Jayalalitha, who is undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital here, and have registered 43 cases so far.

Already, two persons have been arrested for spreading such rumours. 28-year-old, Mani Selvam, a bank employee, hailing from Ottapidaram Taluk, Tuticorin and 42-year-old Bala Sundaram hailing from Pammal, Chennai, were the latest to be arrested by the Central Crime Branch police, an official press release said.

Soon after Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration, rumours were going on about her health on social networking sites including FaceBook and WhatsApp.

To end such rumours, the police have formed a team comprising private cyber experts to keep a watch on those who spread false information about the health and warned of strong action against those involved in such acts.
15:20   Building collapse in Bandra
Just in: A five-storey building in Bandra, Mumbai, has collapsed. Two people feared trapped. 
15:17   21 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram freed
Twenty-one of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been freed, a senior Nigerian government official has told the BBC.

It is thought that they are now with the security services in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri.It is not yet clear how the girls were rescued.The Islamist militant group kidnapped more than 250 students from a school in Chibok in April 2014 - an act that provoked international condemnation.
15:05   Thai king Bhumibol passes away
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej passes away, says People's Daily, China.

On Sunday the palace announced that the king was in an unstable condition after receiving haemodialysis treatment.

King Bhumibol, 88, is widely revered, and a crowd of well-wishers have gathered outside Siriraj hospital.
14:42   MHA seeks report on murder of BJP worker in Kerala
The Union Home Ministry has called for a report on the murder of a BJP worker in Kannur, Kerala.

A statewide dawn-to-dusk hartal has been called in the state by the opposition BJP after the murder of the party worker on Wednesday.

There is a complete shutdown in Kochi and state capital Thiruvananthapuram. State transport KSRTC buses were not plying.

On Wednesday, the BJP said that Ramit, a party worker, was hacked to death by CPM workers in Pinarayi town in Kannur district. Police said armed men on bikes stood ready with swords waiting for Ramit to step out of his house. They attacked him in the presence of his mother and sister. Although he was taken to the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.

Representational picture
14:19   Sena workers tried to kill me: BJP MP
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya today alleged that Shiv Sainiks tried to kill him, and wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner asking him to unravel the plot. "Shiv Sena workers tried to kill me," Somaiya alleged, referring to the attack on him on Tuesday in suburban Mulund. Police have so far arrested 13 people in connection with the assault, in which some BJP workers were injured.

The assault took place in suburban Mulund after Sena workers allegedly disrupted a programme organised by Somaiya wherein an effigy of 'corruption mafia in MCGM' was to be burnt to mark the festival of Dussehra. The Sena activists objected to the effigy burning as they are in power in Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and tried to stop the programme. However, police had intervened and brought the situation under control.
14:02   Trump grope toll goes up to 5
Donald Trump is in the eye of a fresh storm after at least five women accused him of sexual assault and harassment, threatening the controversial Republican presidential nominee's already fragile campaign, less than a month before the election day.

The latest accusations against 70-year-old Trump come just days after a 2005 video surfaced of him in which he is talking in lewd and sexually explicit terms about women and bragging about groping them and getting away with it because he was a "star".

The New York Times reported two women's detailed accounts of Trump groping them. There was a similar account from another woman in the Palm Beach Post. Former Apprentice contestant Jennifer Murphy and People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff also levelled similar allegations against him.

Jessica Leeds, 74, said Trump had groped her when the two were seated next to each other on a flight more than three decades ago. Rachel Crooks, who worked for a firm based in Trump Tower in 2005, found herself in a lift with Trump and tried to introduce herself by shaking his hand. The Apprentice star kissed Crooks, then 22, "directly on the mouth", she told the New York Times.
13:44   US rules out treaty alliance with India, says that era is over
The US has ruled out any kind of treaty alliance with India, saying the 21st century is not an era of alliances and a mutual agreeable concept of major defence partner is a very apt description for India.

"21st century is not an era of alliances. It is an era of identifying interest, common values and working together in solving all those problems. I do not think that anyone in the United States Government or the Indian Government has any compulsion at all to form a treaty alliance," said Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), White House.

He was responding to a question at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a top American think-tank. "Why have that shackle (of being a treaty alliance). I think, the friends that benefit from that are probably satisfactory. I would highlight a phrase that should not be underestimates '" Major Defence Partner (with India)," he said.
13:34   Jaya's biggest fan?
In Chennai: An auto driver and J Jayalalithaa's supporter, Sugumar (in striped shirt) distributes tender coconuts to the supporters gathered outside Apollo Hospital. Sugumar has been distributing the coconuts free among the supporters and said he had spent Rs 19,000 so far. 
13:13   Uniform Civil Code not good for India: Muslim Law Board
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board holds a press conference on the Uniform Civil Code. Highlights.

-- Uniform Civil Code is not good for this nation. There are so many cultures in this nation; all have to be respected,' the Muslim Personal Law Board says.

-- In America everyone follows their personal laws and identity, how come our nation doesn't want to follow their steps in this matter?

-- We are living in this country with an agreement held by the constitution. Constitution has made us live and practice our religion, the AIMPLB says.

-- Muslims equally participated in India's freedom struggle, but their participation is always underestimated.
12:30   Feel sad for what Parrikar said: Antony
Former defence minister A K Antony criticises Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for remarks on surgical strike, saying the latter 'insulted the army' by his comments.

"I feel sad for what Parrikar said. He insulted Indian army and our country as well," Antony said.

"He called surgical strike a burden and frustration of last 30 years? Somebody must control him. I strongly object to his statement," Antony said.

12:14   Cabinet okays IIM in Jammu
Just In: Union Cabinet approves setting up of an Indian Institute of Management in Jammu.
12:07   PM Modi likely to visit Jayalalithaa in hospital on Oct 15
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to make a detour to Chennai to visit ailing Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital.

Modi is likely to make a stopover at Chennai on his way to Goa where he will be attending the BRICS summit on October 15.

Yesterday, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP president Amit Shah visited Apollo Hospital in Chennai to meet Jayalalithaa. The two senior BJP leaders have conveyed their impressions about Jayalalithaa's health to the Prime Minister. 

The AIADMK, which has 50 MPs is important for BJP for the smooth functioning of Parliament, which has also prompted visits to the Chennai Hospital.

The CM was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22 for fever and dehydration. According to a recent medical bulletin, the chief minister requires a longer stay in the hospital.

AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi said yesterday that she Jayalalithaa was recovering fast and was in fact reading newspapers.

The two BJP leaders spent around 25 minutes inside the hospital and left the premises at 2.35pm yesterday.

Image: A file picture of PM Modi and J Jayalalithaa
11:16   Let us loose on India, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief to Pak govt
Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar has called for jihadist groups to be allowed to escalate their operations against India, arguing that a lack of decisive decision-making could rob Pakistan of a historic opportunity to seize Kashmir.

The Indian Express reports that his appeal, published in the current issue of the Jaish weekly magazine al-Qalam, comes amidst reports of strains between Pakistans civilian government and military over the continued operations of anti-India jihadist groups from that country.

If the government of Pakistan shows a little courage, Azhar writes in a front-page article in the magazine, the problem of Kashmir, as well as the dispute over water, can be resolved once and for all right now. If nothing else, the government simply has to open the path for the mujahideen. Then, god willing, all the bitter memories of 1971 will be dissolved into the triumphant emotions of 2016.

Azhar directly addresses Pakistans policy establishment, arguing that the jihadist policies it backed in the 1990s had brought strategic benefits to the country. India had sought to build Akhand Bharat, Azhar goes on, but its hopes were degraded in the course of the jihad which left every one of its limbs badly injured.

What remained of its military prowess was exposed in Pathankot and Uri, he writes.

India is putting pressure on Pakistan at this time. Looking at the situation in Kashmir, though, Pakistan should have been doing all this. Given that Kashmir is our jugular vein, we should have cancelled the SAARC conference ourselves, and cancelled the ceasefire on the Line of Control. In the last ninety days, how many Muslims have been martyred, and how many more injured?

The article argues that jihadist operations in Kashmir have significantly eroded Indias military capacities. Consider India before and after the jihad in Kashmir, Azhar writes. You will see a dramatic difference. In the course of this journey, which I have been an eyewitness to, I have seen India reduced from a serpent to an earthworm.

11:05   97th day of curfew in Srinagar today
Curfew today remained in force in interior areas of Srinagar as a precautionary measure even as normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 97th day.

A police official said curfew remains in force in five police station areas of downtown Srinagar. Curbs on the movement of people in the police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal and Maharaj Gunj have been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

The official said while there were no curbs on the movement of people anywhere else in Kashmir, restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc were in force throughout the Valley.

He said security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to maintain law and order as also to instill a sense of security among the people so that they can carry out their day-to-day activities without fear.

There was increased movement of private transport and auto-rickshaws in the civil lines areas of the city including around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk.

IMAGE: A policeman stops a biker at a blocked road during curfew restrictions in Srinagar last month. Photograph: Umar Ganie/
10:43   Silver medallist paralympian forced to remove prosthetic leg at airport... again
Aditya Mehta, a two-time para-cycling silver medallist at the Asian Paralympics 2013, said he was strip-searched and asked to remove his prosthetic limb at Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport when he was boarding a flight to Hyderabad on early Tuesday morning.

Just two months ago, in a similar incident, the Hyderabad-based cyclist was strip-searched twice within the span of a few days at the Delhi and Bangalore airports.

Mehta mentioned Tuesday's incident on his Facebook page, saying, "Yet again I was forced to remove my prosthetic leg at KIA, Bangalore. Possibly an generous Dussehera gift from CISF - Central Industrial Security Force."

"Sarcasm aside, in my earlier posts, I have already mentioned how painful the procedure is to remove the prosthesis and wear it back. Worth mentioning is the psychological scar that it can leave on a physically challenged person's mind.

"And seems like CISF personnel are not yet sensitized to deal with such cases. Such shame, such disgrace," he added.

Image: Aditya Mehta. Pic courtesy his Facebook page.
10:26   The Dawn's watershed moment
The editorial in Dawn is seen as another watershed moment for media in Pakistan's complicated civil-military balance and coincided with the 74th anniversary of the first issue of the country's oldest English daily.

It was on October 12, 1942, that the first issue of the Dawn newspaper, then the mouthpiece of the Muslim League and edited by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was published from Delhi's Latifi Press as a daily. Less than a year ago -- on October 26, 1941 -- Dawn had been launched as a weekly, making this the diamond jubilee year of the media group.

Some social media users reminded Indian journalists condemning the treatment meted out to Dawn journalist Cyril Almeida of the hypocrisy of a section of their colleagues who have been reluctant to ask questions and eager to serve as cheerleaders of the government. Read more
10:18   New Prez should meet Modi in 100 days: US think tank
With just 100 days left in Barack Obama's presidency, a top American think-tank has suggested the new US president should meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi within first 100 days to strongly signal importance of continuing close relations between the two countries.

In a major report on 'India-US Security Co-operation', the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) urges the upcoming administration to ensure that India signs the foundational agreements, which it believes is important for strengthening the India-US defense relationship.

The absence of such agreements will also make it nearly impossible (if not completely impossible) for the US to provide to India certain advanced sensing, computing and communications technologies that India believes are necessary for its own defense capabilities, it said.

"The next administration should work with Australia, India and Japan to establish a quadrilateral security dialogue, led by the US State Department and foreign ministries. The dialogue should focus on issues of common interest across the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions," the report said.

It said creating a specific opportunity for the US president and Indian Prime Minister to meet in the first 100 days will send a strong signal about the importance of bilateral ties.

CSIS in its report recommends that the US and India should deepen announced efforts on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare to include combined training and exercises to expand the capability of both countries as well as their interoperability with each other.

Seeking to increase the FDI limit in defense sector to 100 per cent, the report also calls for strengthening and expanding the homeland security dialogue.
10:08   Xi leaves for Cambodia, Bangladesh, India visits
Chinese President Xi Jinping today left for state visits to Cambodia, Bangladesh and India during which he would take part in the BRICS Summit in Goa.

After two-day visit to Cambodia, he would travel to Bangladesh, the first visit by a Chinese President for 30 years. From Bangladesh, Xi will travel to Goa to attend the BRICS Summit.

He will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Summit. He will be meeting a host of other leaders including heads of the BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand), countries who have been invited to the Goa Summit. In all 11 heads of state from BRICS Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries will attend the meeting. The two-day BRICS summit will start on October 15.
10:05   There were no surgical strikes or Pak would have responded: Basit
Pakistan's High Commissioner to New Delhi Abdul Basit in an interview with India Today rejected Indian claims of a 'surgical strike' across the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday.

"As far as the government of Pakistan is concerned, there was no surgical strike whatsoever, otherwise they would have responded immediately," he said.

When 'video evidence' of the strike was brought up during the interview, Basit rubbished the claim. "There can't be any video... Because the surgical strike did not take place."

"No surgical strike across the LoC was conducted in the dark hours of Sept 29," he reiterated.

Responding to a question about investigation into the Uri attack, Basit said, "We would like to get out of this blame game, so why not get an international investigation into this incident?" "You did not leave any room for cooperation. When you start blaming Pakistan and terming us as a terrorist state, you are closing all the doors for cooperation," the high commissioner said.

"If India believes Pakistan has done it then the best way forward would be to have an international probe." The high commissioner added that when both sides commence a dialogue process, resolution of issues can be taken forward.

"When we're not talking to each other, then this cooperation is not possible," Basit said, adding that Pakistan's investigation into the Pathankot air base attack was ongoing.
09:19   Start building Ram temple to avoid losing UP: Sena to BJP
Raking up the Ram temple politics again, the Shiv Sena said that the Bharatiya Janata Party will lose the upcoming Uttar Pradesh polls if Ram temple is not built.

Asking its ally to start work on building a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Sena said the BJP has the mandate to take such a decision.

It also asked the BJP to 'stop raising slogans and act' on the temple issue, CNN News 18 reported.

Polls are due in Uttar Pradesh in 2017.
09:07   Helpless BJP had to disclose surgical strikes: Khurshid
Former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday said that the National Democratic Alliance government had to disclose details of the surgical strike across the Line of Control, as it was in a helpless position.

"Surgical strikes just mean a target, and if they (the BJP) are saying that they have not targeted anyone before this, then it is very surprising. They (BJP) need not say they were not able to carry forward a surgical strike in the past two years. I believe that all responsible people should not become a part of this debate," said Khurshid.

Stating that he trusts the government and the army, the former foreign minister said, "Once our army said that they carried out the surgical strike, we are satisfied with it. We are not raising any questions. Every matter cannot be disclosed and that is why we didn't disclose too many things."

Yesterday, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar rejected the Congress' claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the United Progressive Alliance regime.
08:56   Trump threatens to sue NYT over sexual harassment report
Donald Trump's lawyers are 'drafting' lawsuits against The New York Times and The Palm Beach Post, hours after those newspapers published separate reports in which women claimed Trump had touched them inappropriately.

CNN quoted 'two high-ranking' Trump campaign sources as saying that a lawsuit against the NYT was in the works, but has not been filed.

The NYT story features two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, who say that Trump made inappropriate physical advances.

Read more.
08:24   I will cancel Paris deal, says Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he will cancel the historic Paris Climate deal if voted to power as the agreement would cost the United States economy $5.3 trillion (Rs 3.5 lakh crore) and 'skyrocket' electricity prices.

Speaking at an election rally in Florida, Trump said he will create jobs all across America and provide cheaper energy to people, especially farmers.

"I believe so much in the environment. Believe it or not, people are shocked -- I've won many environmental awards. Many. But the Paris deal, supported by Hillary, will cost our country another $5.3 trillion over a period of time and skyrocket electricity prices," Trump said.

"We will cancel this deal so that our companies can compete. We want clean beautiful air. We want crystal clear water. That's what we want. We want to be able to do business throughout the world, not so that we cant compete because of these crazy deals that our president is making," he said.

03:00   Germany bomb plot suspect commits suicide
A Syrian migrant suspected of planning a bomb attack on a Berlin airport has committed suicide in his prison cell in Leipzig, Germany.

The website of Der Spiegel said Jaber al-Bakr had been on hunger strike and was under round-the-clock surveillance.

German police had been watching him for months, but failed to arrest him when they raided his flat on Saturday.

He was overpowered by three Syrians refugees in Leipzig on Monday.
02:31   Trump presidency 'dangerous', says UN rights chief
Donald Trump's "deeply unsettling and disturbing" views make him a danger internationally, the UN's human rights chief has said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad al-Hussein cited Mr Trump's comments on the use of torture and his attitude to "vulnerable communities".

The Republican presidential candidate's campaign has been marked by a number of controversial comments.

Recent crude remarks about women have caused the biggest political fallout.

President Barack Obama, at a rally for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, condemned those comments, saying: "The guy says stuff that nobody would find tolerable if they were applying for a job at 7-Eleven."

02:12   Janet Jackson confirms pregnancy at 50
Singer Janet Jackson is finally letting the world in on her big news.

The superstar has confirmed to People magazine that she is indeed expecting her first baby at age 50.

"We thank God for our blessing," she said.

The magazine shared a photo of Jackson, dressed all in white and sporting her baby bump.

There had been speculation that the singer and her husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, were expecting. In April, Jackson announced she was halting her concert tour for personal reasons.

02:08   US Navy destroyer targeted again by Yemen's Houthis
A United States Navy destroyer was targeted on Wednesday in a failed missile attack from territory in Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, the second such incident in the past four days, US officials told Reuters.

The USS Mason, which was accompanied by the USS Ponce -- an amphibious transport dock -- fired defensive salvos in response to the missiles, neither of which hit the ship or caused any damage as it operated north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The renewed attempt to target the US Navy destroyer will add pressure on the US military to retaliate, a move that would represent the first direct US military action against Houthis in Yemen's conflict. The Pentagon hinted about possible retaliatory strikes on Tuesday.

The incidents, along with an October 1 strike on a vessel from the United Arab Emirates, add to questions about safety of passage for military ships around the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world's busiest shipping routes.

01:23   ATS nabs two suspected Pak spies in Kutch
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad has nabbed two persons allegedly working as spies for Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, police said. 

Both of them were held on Wednesday night from Kutch district, which shares border with the neighbouring country.

"ATS was keeping a close watch on the movement of two residents of Khavda village of Kutch for last one year on the suspicion that they are working as spies of Pakistan's ISI. Both of them were held by ATS today," a police official said on the condition of anonymity.

"We have learnt that ATS has recovered one Pakistani SIM card along with a mobile phone during the search of their house," he added.

The arrest comes amid rising tension between India and Pakistan.
00:37   Russia denies meddling in US election
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed claims that his country is interfering in the United States presidential election as "ridiculous".

In an interview with CNN in Moscow, Lavrov said it was "flattering" that American officials think Russia is meddling in the election, but the accusations were baseless.

The US last week accused Russia of being behind a series of email hacks, including communications from the Democratic National Committee.

"It's flattering, of course, to get this kind of attention -- for a regional power, as President Obama called us some time ago," Lavrov said.

"Now everybody in the United States is saying that it is Russia which is running the presidential debate," he said.

00:34   Russia announces Syria talks with US, regional powers Saturday
Russia on Wednesday said it will hold Syria talks with the United States and key regional powers this weekend, the first meeting on the conflict since Washington froze bilateral ceasefire negotiations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to hold talks aimed at "creating the conditions for the resolution of the Syrian crisis" in Lausanne on Saturday, alongside top diplomats from "key countries in the region", Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement. 
00:09   France's Hollande admits 'problem with Islam'
President Francois Hollande speaks of "a problem with Islam" in French society, in excerpts published on Wednesday of a book in which he also suggests that immigration needs to be curbed.
"There is a problem with Islam because Islam requires (holy) sites and recognition," Hollande told two journalists from Le Monde newspaper for the book which will be published on Thursday.
"It's not Islam that poses a problem in the sense of its being a religion that is dangerous in itself, but because it wants to assert itself as a religion in the (French) republic," he is quoted as saying in "Un president ne devrait
pas dire ca", which translates as "A president shouldn't say this".
Elsewhere in the book, Hollande says he thinks "there are too many arrivals, immigration that should not take place."
Immigration and national identity are key themes in campaigning for next year's presidential election, which has echoes of the US race for the White House, with far-right leader Marine Le Pen riding high in the polls.
A string of jihadist attacks in France in the past two years, coupled with the Europe-wide migrant crisis, have stoked anti-immigration sentiment.
A heated debate about Muslim integration in staunchly secular France came to a head over the summer when around 30 towns banned the body-concealing burkini swimsuit.