Thu, 31 August 2017
French magazine Charlie Hebdo mocks Harvey victims as neo-Nazis

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23:51   French magazine Charlie Hebdo mocks Harvey victims as neo-Nazis
On its newest cover, controversial French magazine Charlie Hebdo appears to mock Texans, depicting them as neo-Nazis caught in the deluge of tropical storm Harvey.

The magazines cover reads God Exists! He Drowned All the Neo-Nazis of Texas. The words accompany an illustration showing swastika flags and arms raised in a Nazi salute -- all submerged in water. 

The cover has sparked criticism on social media. 

The weekly magazine is known to cause controversy with its cartoons, which often create a backlash against the magazine including a terrorist attack in 2015 in which two gunmen opened fire on the publications staff in their Paris offices for mocking an Islamic State leader.
23:22   Cabinet reshuffle on September 2?
As ministers -- Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Uma Bharti -- put in their papers from the Union Cabinet, reports are coming in that the Cabinet reshuffle will take place on September 2 between 5 pm and 7 pm. 

Speculation is rife that Piyush Goyal is likely to get cabinet promotion. Additionally, Nitin Gadkari is likely to be the new railway minister replacing Suresh Prabhu who had offered to resign following a series of train accidents. 
23:01   After Rudy, Uma Bharti resigns from Union Cabinet
Uma Bharti, the Cabinet Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, has resigned from Modi's Cabinet on health grounds. 

The development comes shortly after it was reported that Rajiv Pratap Rudy had also resigned as minister of state skill development & entrepreneurship (Independent Charge). 

The resignations come amid rumours of a Cabinet reshuffle. 

The reshuffle is due because of the vacancies that have been created due to the sudden demise of environment minister Anil Madhav Dave and the return of former defence minister Manohar Parrikar to Goa state politics. The election of M Venkaiah Naidu as vice-president also deprived the cabinet of a key minister.
22:45   Apple will likely unveil new iPhones on September 12
iPhone users awaiting the arrival of Apple's next-generation smartphone now have a date to circle on the calendar.

Apple will hold its annual product launch -- where it typically shows off new iPhone models and other product updates -- on Tuesday September 12.

For the first time, the event will be held at the spaceship-shaped Steve Jobs Theater on its new Cupertino, California headquarters, expected to open later this year.

This year is expected to be a big one for Apple, since 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone. 

Rumours indicate the company will introduce three new devices at the event: the iPhone 7S, iPhone 7S Plus and the so-called iPhone 8, which will be the 10th anniversary edition.

The iPhone 7S line is expected to feature incremental updates, but the anniversary phone could get a whole new look.
22:18   Rajiv Pratap Rudy resigns from Union Cabinet
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, minister of state skill development & entrepreneurship (Independent Charge), has resigned from the Union Cabinet.

Speculation is rife that Modi's Cabinet will undergo a reshuffle over the weekend. 

The changes in the Union cabinet would reflect the expanding electoral clout of the coalition  -- most recently Nitish Kumar dumped his Janata Dal-Uniteds alliance partner Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and returned the BJP to power in the key state of Bihar.

The expansion of the council of ministers is also due because of the vacancies that have been created due to the sudden demise of environment minister Anil Madhav Dave and the return of former defence minister Manohar Parrikar to Goa state politics. The election of M Venkaiah Naidu as vice-president also deprived the cabinet of a key minister.

Senior leaders of the BJP point out that this would be the third cabinet reshuffle of the NDA and possibly the last before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
21:55   US tells Russia to shut down San Francisco consulate
The US State Department on Thursday said Russia will have to close its San Francisco consulate, as well as annexes in Washington, DC and New York, by September 2. 

The US State Department said it was responding to Russia's decision to reduce the size of the US mission in Russia, which was in response to US sanctions imposed on Russia. 

Both countries will remain with three consulates each, the State Department said.
21:19   Rajiv Mehrishi appointed Comptroller and Auditor General of India
Former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has been appointed Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The appointment comes after Mehrishi stepped down as the Union Home Secretary. 

The government also announced that former bureaucrat Sunil Arora was
the new election commissioner. After Nasim Zaidi retired as Chief Election Commissioner in July, there was a vacancy in the poll panel.

Arora, 61, had been the Information and Broadcasting
Secretary, and Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development
and Entrepreneurship.
JUST IN: Former I&B secretary Sunil Arora appointed as election commissioner
20:35   13 fresh deaths at BRD medical college; toll reaches 309 in Aug
As many as 13 children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital, taking the toll so far this month to 309.

With this, the death toll in the hospital has touched 1,269 so far this year.

Confirming the fresh cases of deaths, newly-appointed principal of the college Dr PK Singh said, "On August 30 till midnight as many as 59 children were admitted. Of them, 13 died. As of now, there are 354 children undergoing treatment."

He said that since flood waters were receding, chances of infection were high.

"We advise parents to give boiled water and milk to children. Giving stale food should be avoided. Special focus should be on maintaining cleanliness and instead of rushing to the BRD Medical College, parents should first take their children to the nearest government hospital or primary health centre which are closer to their residence," Singh said.

Hospital officials said that the children who came here were generally underweight, suffering from chronic pneumonia or were cases of pre-mature delivery.

Giving a month-wise break up, Singh said the toll in January was 152, in February 122, March 159, April 123, May 139, June 137 and 128 in July.
20:07   4,208 people recommended rape convict Ram Rahim for Padma award
More than 4,200 people recommended 'Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan' for a Padma award in 2017, while the self-styled godman and now rape convict proposed his own name for the honour five times.

According to the list of recommendations or nominations for Padma Awards 2017, the Union home ministry received 18,768 applications.

The highest 4,208 recommendations, including two from 'Saintgorge William Sonet' and 'India Saintgorge', both from Hissar in Haryana, were received for conferring any one of the three Padma awards on the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda chief, reveal documents.

All recommendations were marked in the name of 'Saint Dr Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan', also known as 'rockstar baba' and 'guru of bling', and almost all had come from Sirsa in Haryana, the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
19:41   UPDATE: India's first private sector-built satellite launched by ISRO unsuccessful
The maiden launch of India's first private-sector manufactured satellite, the IRNSS-1H from the launchpad in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh was declared unsuccessful today. 

The 1,425 kg satellite had piggybacked on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, which was on its 41st mission. 

The satellite will fill in for one of the seven orbiting satellite of NAVIC, which is malfunctioning. NAVIC, which is a system of seven satellites, powers India's homegrown Global Positioning System.

The IRNSS-1H, was built by a consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies, a defence equipment supplier from Bengaluru, over eight months.

19:37   China says it will beef up patrols in Dokalam but mum on road
China's military today said it will beef up the presence of troops and patrols to protect "every inch" of its territory in Doklam but was evasive on the construction of the road which was stopped by Indian troops, leading to a 73-day standoff.

India and China on Monday ended their standoff in Doklam by withdrawing their troops from the area, just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China to attend the BRICS summit.

"The Chinese military will continue to carry out its missions and responsibilities, beef up patrols and troops stationed there and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security," Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for the Chinese defence ministry, said. 

He, however, was evasive about People's Liberation Army's move to build the road close to the strategic Chicken Neck area in Doklam which prompted the Indian troops to intervene and stop its construction.
19:00   Modi condoles deaths of people in Mumbai building collapse
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed grief over the Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar building collapse and also condoled the death of people in the tragic incident.

"Collapse of building in Mumbai is saddening. My condolences to families of those who lost their lives & prayers with the injured," the prime minister said in a tweet.

A five-storey building collapsed on Thursday in Mumbai's Bhendi Bazaar area claiming 19 lives.
18:19   Note ban pulls down Q1 GDP from 6.1% to 5.7%
India's economic growth has slowed down further in the 2017-18 first quarter for the three months spanning April-June, dropping to 5.7% from 6.1% in the 2016-17 fourth quarter ended January-March, according to data released by the government on Wednesday. The government says the growth is slower than expected. The drop in GDP could be attributed to demonetisation.
18:04   Mumbai building crash: 19 dead, 12 wounded
A more than century-old five-storey residential building collapsed today in the congested Bhendi Bazar area of south Mumbai, killing at least 19 people and wounding 12 others, officials said.

They were declared dead at the state-run JJ hospital, where they were taken after being pulled out of the debris, as rescue teams with heavy machinery continued to look for survivors of the crash, a senior police official said.

About 30 others are still feared trapped under the mounds of concrete and twisted iron rods. The process of identifying the bodies is on. At least 12 people injured in the incident were carried out on stretchers and rushed to the JJ Hospital in ambulances that faced difficulty in navigating the narrow streets due to the crowed that has gathered around the place.

The official also said five fire brigade personnel and an NDRF jawan also sustained injuries during the rescue operations. They have also been shifted to the JJ hospital. Fire brigade officials said some nine families lived in the dilapidated Husaini Building.

The building also housed a play school but children had not arrived yet when the tragedy occurred. The building, mostly housing lower-middle class families, was located in the Muslim-dominated Pakmodia Street close to the J J Hospital.

The building, which also had six godowns on the ground floor, crumbled at around 8:30 a.m. It is not clear yet if the heavy rains that inundated Mumbai this week weakened the building.
18:00   Note ban "biggest scam"; Congress asks Modi to apologise
The Congress today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise for demonetisation, describing it as the country's "biggest scam" which had inflicted "misery" on the people and dealt a "body blow" to the economy.

None of the measures that Modi had promised with the ban on high currency notes, put into effect in November last year, had been realised, Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said.

"Demonetisation is the biggest scam, as the government has helped the wrong people legitimise their illegitimate money through it and has betrayed the poor people of the country with false promises," he said. He stressed it was the prime minister's "direct responsibility as it was his personal decision".
17:58   It sounded like an explosion, says Dawood's brother on building crash
There was an explosion-like sound, followed by a swirl of dust as the five-story Husaini building in his neighbourhood collapsed, said Iqbal Kaskar, absconding gangster Dawood Ibrahim's younger brother.

The dilapidated building in congested Bhendi Bazar area in South Mumbai collapsed this morning.

The death toll had reached 19 by evening.

Kaskar, who lives in a nearby building, said he was at home and had just woken up when he heard a loud "explosion-like sound", followed by a swirl of dust.

"I immediately rushed down," he said. "We felt our building vibrate," Kaskar said, speaking to a Marathi news channel. Not many people lived on the upper floors, but several workers lived on the ground floor, Kaskar said.

It was a residential-cum-commercial building, he added. The building is located in the Muslim-dominated Pakmodia Street near JJ Hospital. It crumbled at around 8.30 am today. It's not clear if the heavy rains that inundated Mumbai this week led to the collapse.

File pic.
GDP growth slips to 5.7% in April-June, from 6.1 per cent in January-March: Govt
17:34   Deadline for linking Aadhaar-PAN card extended to Dec 31
Government extends by four months the deadline for linking income tax PAN with Aadhaar to December 31. The deadline for linking Aadhaar with PAN was today.

Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says every person with PAN as on July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain Aadhaar must intimate his Aadhaar number to tax authorities.

However, those categorised as non-resident Indians as per income tax laws, people who are not citizens of India, those above 80 years of age and residents of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir had been exempt from the requirement.

The tax department had on July 31 stated that "unless a finding is made that Aadhaar is constitutionally not valid, tax return filers will need to link their PAN with Aadhaar by August 31, 2017".

Incidentally, December 31 is also the deadline for people to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar. Tax filers however were allowed to file their annual income returns by August 5 without linking their Aadhaar with PAN. They were to just quote Aadhaar or acknowledgement number for having applied for Aadhaar.
17:27   I heard a loud noise and ran out: Mumbai building crash survivor
Twenty-five-year-old Mohammed Rafiq had a hairbreadth escape as he managed to dash out of the dilapidated Husaini Building in Bhendi Bazaar moments before it collapsed, leaving at least 16 dead.

"I had come to collect my belongings last night before leaving for my native place in Uttar Pradesh this morning. I ran out as soon as I heard a loud noise," Rafiq said.

Some people in his room were brushing teeth when they heard cries outside, "Run... the building is about to crumble." "I dont know how many people were there in the building. I ran out immediately. My mobile phone and bag remained inside, but I am relieved that I am alive," he said.

Another man, living in the opposite building, said, "The incident happened at around 8.30 am. There was a big noise. When we heard it, we came out and saw that the building had crumbled like a pack of cards."

People in the ill-fated building were occupying the second, fourth and fifth floors, while some workers were living on the ground floor, he said. "There was a playgroup in that building which opens around 9 am, so thankfully there were no children around there," he said.

"People used to stay on the ground floor shops and godowns. Workers in the Tawakkal Mithaiwala sweet shop on the ground floor also stayed there," he said. "There was a 10-day old boy who was with the Lifewala family on the second floor," claimed a resident of the locality. Another resident claimed that six members of one Chasmawala family were also in the building when it collapsed. "The family included three men, two women and a three- year-old boy," he said.
16:31   Pervez Musharraf declared fugitive in Benazir Bhutto assassination case, 5 accused let off
An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has declared former military ruler Pervez Musharraf a fugitive in ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination trial, ordering his property confiscated, a court official said on Thursday. The court sentenced two former senior policemen to 17 years each in prison and acquitted five others in the case.

Pervez Musharraf was charged with Bhutto's 2007 assassination in 2013, but has been in Dubai ever since a travel ban was lifted three years later. The court official said the former President he has "absconded".

Bhutto, a two-time premier, was killed in a gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007, when she came out of a park after addressing an election rally. A case was registered soon after the assassination and the trial went through many ups and down until it was concluded yesterday in Rawalpindi.
16:20   14 days custody for Gorakhpur medical college ex-principal, wife
Former principal of BRD Medical College, Rajiv Mishra, and his wife Purnima Shukla were today sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a local court in Gorakhpur in connection with the deaths of scores of children in the state-run medical college hospital.   

The doctor couple, arrested on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh's Special Task Force (STF), was produced before the court of additional sessions judge Shivanand Singh, who sent them to the Gorakhpur district jail on a 14-day judicial remand.
16:18   2 Pak senior cops sentenced in Benazir murder case
A special anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentences two senior police officers to 17 years in jail in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.   

Details soon.
16:15   Government rules out new window to deposit scrapped notes
The finance ministry today ruled out opening another window for depositing the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, with the government now saying that it had expected all the annulled currency to be returned, in line with the latest Reserve Bank of India data.
While the Reserve Bank yesterday revealed that 99 per cent of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore currency junked on November 8 last year had come back, some had pleaded with the government for another window to deposit their small holding old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
"At this point... No way," Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said when asked if people can get second window for depositing specified bank notes (SBNs) they are left with.
After the RBI statement, the ministry had yesterday stated that "the government had expected all the SBNs to come back to the banking system to become effectively usable currency".
While the then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had in December last year told the Supreme Court that the government had expected only Rs 10-11 lakh crore to be returned, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had on December 7 tweeted: "Did not make prediction that govt expects all demonetised money to come back to the system."
Garg said most families had high value currency notes and they used it for making payments during the pre-demonetisation era.
"I think there was a clear expectation that much of it would come back. Whether all of it would come, people had different estimates and guesses. But the Centre never said that it expects any currency not to come back," he said. 
He said the government had not made any statement on not expecting all of the money to return back.
"I don't think government ever made any statement in Parliament or other otherwise or as part of an affidavit" he added.
15:54   Bihar road rage case: Rocky Yadav convicted
Rakesh Ranjan alias Rocky Yadav, the main accused in the killing of a student in a road rage case in Bihar, has been convicted by Gaya District Court.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on September 6.

On May 7 last year, Yadav shot dead class XII student Aditya Sachdeva for overtaking his SUV in Bihar's Gaya.

Rocky is the son of suspended Janata Dal-United MLC Manorama Devi and alleged history sheeter Bindi Yadav. 

The couple, accused of sheltering their son while he was on the run after the murder, were recently granted bail.
15:33   Trouble for Virbhadra, Rahul does not like senior leaders
Buzz in the AICC headquarters at 24, Akbar Road in New Delhi is that the Himachal Pradesh Congress is heading for a major split.

Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh has become a big headache for Rahul Gandhi.

While Rahul was away in Norway last week, Virbhadra wrote a three-page letter to Sonia Gandhi, with a copy to Rahul, indicating that the AICC should project him as the face for the 2018 Himachal Pradesh assembly polls.

Himachal has 68 assembly seats, but there are six major internal groups in the Congress Party in the state.  Virabhadra during his private interactions with newsmen and Congress leaders has openly said that Rahul Gandhi does not like old leaders. However, he was unstinting in his praise for Sonia Gandhi.

Interestingly, Priyanka Gandhi is considered to be close to Virbhadra as the Gandhis have built a house in Shimla.

Dissidents in the party are camping in  New Delhi to create maximum political problems for the 82-year-old leader.
15:01   Mumbai building collapsed minutes before playschool was to start
About 50 children had a narrow escape today when a building collapsed some 20 minutes before their playschool in the five-storey structure was to start for the day.

The school functioned on the ground floor of the Hussaini building located at Pakmodia Street in the Bhendi Bazaar area in Mumbai.

The structure collapsed just about 20 minutes before the playschool was to start at 9 am, the father of a two-year-old playschool-goer said. The Mumbai resident was taking his child to the playschool -- meant for pre-schoolers-- when he saw the building crash.

"I came down from my house, located opposite the Hussaini Building, to drop my child to the playgroup when we saw the structure come crashing down like a pack of cards," he said.

At least 10 people were killed as the building near the J J Hospital in south Mumbai caved in. A fire brigade official said the children had a narrow escape. "A major tragedy was averted," the official said. The incident occurred two days after the city was pummeled by torrential rains, which may have caused damage to the building.

Image: Firemen rescue people trapped inside the collapsed building in Bhendi Bazaar. Picture: Sahil Salvi.
14:46   Prez Kovind institutes media ban
President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu are going the Narendra Modi way.

At least in terms of accessibility to the media.

While Presidents, vice-president's and prime minister's past, have embraced the media which has accompanied them on foreign and domestic tours, a policy since Independence, PM Modi has rewritten the rules.

As with the PM, President Kovind and VP Naidu will now on allow only official communiques and videos from Doordarshan.

The media will not be permitted to accompany the President on domestic or foreign tours.

Quite naturally, the media is upset with the decision. In fact, even briefings with Opposition leaders will not be held inside Rashtrapati Bhavan. The venue now is Vijay chowk.  

So, today when Congress, DMK and CPM MPs met President Kovind to complain against Tamil Nadu Governor, the TV crews were told to move from the President's estate to Vijay Chowk.

Unlike past presidents -- Pranab Mukherjee (who opened house and hearth to the media), Dr SD Sharma, APJ Abdul Kalam, R Venkataraman, Prathibha Patil, KR Narayanan -- President Kovind has decided to steer clear of the media.

Image: A delegation of MPs from the DMK, Congress, CPI and CPI (M) led by DMK MP Kanimozhi, called on President Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
13:56   Cabinet reshuffle likely on Sunday morning
A Union Cabinet reshuffle on the cards for a while, is now directly connected with Tirupati Balaji, say senior BJP leaders who are expecting a call from the PMO for inclusion in the cabinet.

President Ram Nath Kovind will be at the Tirupati Balaji temple on Friday and Saturday to inaugurate the new hospital building of the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences and the Sri Padmavathi Medical College for Women.

On the same day, he will also attend a civic reception and public meeting at the Sri Venkateswara Art College Ground, Tirupati.

On September 2, the President will have darshan of Sri Varahaswamy temple in Tirumala before returning to Delhi.

So the Union Cabinet shuffle and expansion will be either on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, says a source in the  Prime Minister's Office.

On Sunday afternoon, the Prime Minister is leaving for Myanmar and then China for the BRICS summit. Therefore the only window open for a Cabinet shuffle is Sunday morning.

An expansion of the council of ministers is also due because of the vacancies that have been created due to the sudden demise of environment minister Anil Dave and the return of former defence minister Manohar Parrikar as the chief minister of Goa. The election of M. Venkaiah Naidu as vice-president also deprived the cabinet of a key minister.

Guwahati: Fire breaks out at Janata Bhawan (Assam Secretariat); rooms sealed, investigation on
Death toll in Mumbai building collapse climbs to 10, says police.
12:58   News updates at this hour
Bhendi Bazaar building collapse: Death toll rises to 10, 15 including 2 fire officers injured, 25 rescued.

BJP election in-charge of Gujarat Arun Jaitley and co-incharges NS Tomar, N Sitharaman, J Singh, PP Chaudhary meet Amit Shah at his Delhi residence.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj departs for Sri Lanka's Colombo to attend Indian Ocean Conference 2017.
12:53   Large deposits post DeMo ends anonymity of cash: Jaitley
A day after the RBI revealed that almost all of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore junked currency had come back, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said deposits of "overwhelmingly large amount" of money in banks has ended anonymity around it and helped fix liabilities.

He said the fallout of the demonetisation of old 500 and 1000 rupee notes was on predicted line, with a hit on economic activity in one to three quarters but gains would accrue in medium to long term from integration of formal and informal economy.

The RBI, which had so far shied away from revealing how much of junked currency came back to system post the November 8 note ban decision, in its annual report yesterday said banks have received Rs 15.28 lakh crore, or 99 per cent of the currency invalidated.

Also read: The great DeMo deception
12:31   Hope I won't be defence minister for long: Jaitley goes nudge nudge wink wink
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has hinted that he would not be serving the post for long. Responding to a poser, during a press briefing, on his tenure as the defence minister, the union minister said, "At least I hope not very long. That's anyway not me to decide."

Re-iterating his stand on the cash squeeze that has posed a threat for the terrorist elements in Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh, Jaitley yesterday claimed that the shortage of currency has resulted in a shortage of 'stone throwers' for the separatists.

"For the first time, the RBI has scrutinised each note, which has helped them differentiate between fake notes from the authentic ones. The cash squeeze is evident, since these terrorist elements are finding it difficult to mobilise support for them. Without enough cash notes, it is difficult to gather stone throwers as before," said Jaitley.

Speaking on the way forward, Jaitley stated that the next step would be to put an end to black money used in elections, adding that the final stage of proposals is being deliberated.
12:23   One Rajiv retires, another Rajiv takes charge as Home Secretary
Senior IAS officer Rajiv Gauba today took charge as the Union Home Secretary after incumbent Rajiv Mehrishi retired from service. He will have a fixed two-year tenure.

A 1982 batch officer of Jharkhand cadre, 58-year-old Gauba was appointed as the home secretary about two months ago and since then he has been serving in the home ministry as Officer on Special Duty (OSD).

Gauba had served as secretary in the Union urban development ministry before being appointed in the sensitive post.

Earlier, he had worked in the home ministry as additional secretary, looking after crucial left wing extremism division, among many other responsibilities.

Image: Rajiv Gauba (left) with Rajiv Mehrishi.
12:15   SC allows plea to abort foetus without skull
The Supreme Court today allowed a Pune-based woman to abort her 24-week foetus, which does not have a skull or a brain. The apex court relied on the report of the medical board of the Pune-based B J Government Medical College that there was no medical treatment for the anomaly.

"We consider it appropriate and in the interest of justice to allow termination of pregnancy," a bench comprising Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao said. The 20-year-old woman was examined at the Pune hospital. The doctors said in their report that there was a "complete absence of brain and skull" of the foetus and survival rate was minimal.
12:13   Mumbai building collapse death toll goes up to 7
Mumbai building crash update: Seven persons were killed, 15 others injured, while around 25 people are feared trapped after a five-storey residential building collapsed in Bhendi Bazaar area of south Mumbai today.
11:41   Four dead, 30 feared trapped in Mumbai building collapse
Mumbai building collapse: Four persons were killed, 12 others injured, while around 30 people are feared trapped after a five-storey residential building collapsed in Bhendi Bazaar area of south Mumbai today, fire department sources said.

The building, located at Pakmodia street near JJ Hospital, with 12 rooms and six godowns on the ground floor, crumbled at around 8:30 am.

According to fire brigade sources present at the spot, "There were around nine families staying in the building. Thirty people are feared trapped."

"Our disaster management cell received a call at 8.40 am about the collapse. We immediately rushed fire brigade personnel to the site to rescue the trapped people. We fear that several people are trapped under the debris," a senior official of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) said.

A senior police official said that 12 people were rushed to JJ Hospital so far. "The exact number of trapped people cannot be known immediately. The rescued people were rushed to JJ Hospital," DCP, Zone 1, Manoj Sharma said.

Meanwhile, fire department sources have informed that three persons, including an elderly couple, died in the mishap.

A 45-member team (of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is carrying out the rescue operation with the help of fire brigade personnel. It is not known whether the building was on the list of dangerous structures under the MCGM limits. The incident occurred two days after the city was pummeled by torrential rains, which is may have caused damage to the building.

Picture: Sahil Salvi.
Mumbai building crash: Death toll goes up to four. Rescue operations in full swing.

Picture: Sahil Salvi. 
11:07   Demo: Deposited money may not be legit money, says Jaitley
In other news, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the fallout of demonetisation was on predicted lines and the economy will benefit in medium and long term.

A day after the Reserve Bank said that almost all of the demonetised currency came back into the system, Jaitley said the fact that money got deposited in banks does not mean that all of it is legitimate money.

"It's nobody's case that black money has been completely eliminated after demonetisation," he said. He said demonetisation, coupled with GST, will give a "significant boost" to direct tax revenues as many people have come under the tax net. Although an overwhelming amount of money was deposited in banks it is not a concern for the government as it is good for the economy that more money has come into the formal system.

"The fallout of demonetisation is on predicted lines ... the fact that money got deposited in banks doesn't make it legitimate money," he said, adding the country was ready for demonetisation even though there was political resistance.

The RBI yesterday said about 99 per cent of Rs 15.44 lakh crore demonetised currency came back into the system.

On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Jaitley said its inflationary impact has been avoided and there is a scope of convergence of tax rates going forward. The minister also said that consolidation of PSU banks is on cards as the country needs "fewer but stronger banks".

On bad loans, he said that resolution will take time. "You can't have a surgical solution to it", he said, adding that if private sector cannot pay back its debts then someone else should be allowed to take over. The RBI has already recommended banks to initiate insolvency proceedings against 12 large defaulters.
10:58   20-25 feared trapped in building collapse
The 50-year old building housed at least 12 families. While three people have died, 11 people have been rescued so far. Picture: Sahil Salvi.
10:56   Mumbai building collapse: 3 dead, 11 rescued, 25 trapped
A five-storeyed, 50-year-old residential building, collapsed near the JJ junction at Pakmodia street of the Dongri area of Mumbai, Maharashtra on Thursday morning.

The Husaini building, is located at the Bohari Mahal and falls under the jurisdiction of the JJ Marg Police Station. The building had shops on the ground floor and it was residential on the floors above. Residents of another building, cheek-by-jowl with the collapsed building, have been asked to vacate.   

As many as 20-25 people are fear trapped under the debris, with three confirmed dead. Nine people have been injured in the collapse.

The DCP Zone 1, Dr. Manoj Sharma, has confirmed that three people have been rescued from the debris, and the look-out for more survivors is underway.

Meanwhile, a police team, a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the fire brigade and ambulances have been rushed to the spot. There are at least 10 fire tenders at the spot. 

The collapse occurred at around 8:30 am with locals lending a helping hand to the NDRF and fire brigade. JCB cranes have also arrived at the spot. A dog squad is likely to be brought in. Early reports say the building housed 12 families.

 Mumbai has been receiving heavy rains since Tuesday disrupting the normal life of the people. The city received over 300 mm rain on August 29 alone, almost touching the July 26, 2005 deluge. 791 buildings have been identified as the 'most dangerous' in its pre-monsoon survey.

Image: Remains of the 50-year-old building which collapsed at around 8:30 am today. Picture: Sahil Salvi.     
Senior IAS officer Rajiv Gauba takes charge as new Union Home Secretary.
10:18   Riot sleuth to be envoy
The Narendra Modi government has picked former CBI chief R.K. Raghavan, who led a probe that cleared then chief minister Modi of complicity in the 2002 Gujarat riots, as high commissioner to Cyprus in its first political appointment to India's diplomatic establishment.

Unlike its predecessors, the Modi government had so far avoided political appointments to ambassadorial positions, earning the Prime Minister much goodwill within the Indian Foreign Service. With Raghavan, it has decided to make a departure from practice. Raghavan, 76, who retired in 2001 as director of India's premier investigation agency, has over his career investigated multiple high-profile cases. Read more

This is what Raghavan had to say on the role of a CBI director.
10:04   Bihar road rage case: Verdict to be announced against Rocky, others
The Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ), Sachchidanand Singh, is scheduled to deliver the judgement in the Gaya road rage case, in which suspended Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) leader Manorama Devi's son Rocky Yadav was involved, today.

While talking to ANI, the parents of the class XII student, Aditya Sachdeva, who lost his life in the road rage, said, "We hope that the law does justice with us and with our son."

On March 6, the Supreme Court denied to vacate its order of cancelling the bail of Rocky Yadav in the case.The Apex Court, earlier in October last year, stayed the bail granted by the Patna High Court to Yadav, who is the main accused in the killing of Aditya Sachdeva in the road rage case in Gaya on May 7.

Rakesh Ranjan Yadav, also known as Rocky, was granted bail by the Patna High Court earlier on October 19 last year.The police arrested Rocky from his father Bindi Yadav's mixer plant in Gaya on May 10 last year.

Rocky's parents, accused of sheltering him while he was on the run after the murder, were recently granted bail.The police filed a chargesheet in a Gaya court against Rocky and another accused in connection with this case.

They also filed charge sheets against Rocky's cousin Teni Yadav, his father Bindi Yadav and his MLC mother's bodyguard Rajesh Kumar in this connection.The state government had put the case on speedy trial. The investigation was completed within three weeks and the chargesheet was filed within a month of the incident.
09:56   2 days after he went missing in Mumbai rains body of doctor found
The body of renowned Bombay Hospital gastroenterologist Deepak Amrapurkar, who went missing near Elphinstone Road station following heavy rains on Tuesday, has been found in a drain near Worli seashore.

The 58-year-old doctor had left for his Prabhadevi home from the hospital on the evening of August 29, Tuesday, by car but due to water logging on the road he asked his driver to drop him off near Elphinstone Road station and started walking towards his residence, a senior police official said.
The doctor went missing thereafter.
"According to eye-witnesses, Amrapurkar fell into a manhole. Police recovered his umbrella from near the spot," said Sunil Deshmukh, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dadar Division.
Torrential rains pounded the metropolis throughout the day on Tuesday. The city gauged a whopping 298 mm of rainfall, the highest in a day in August since 1997.
09:34   Mumbai: 3-storey building collapses in Dongri, many feared trapped
A three-storey building has collapsed in Mumbai's Dongri today.

Many people are feared trapped inside the building.

Fire brigade and rescue teams are at the spot. 

More details are awaited.
09:31   US has 11 thousand troops in Afghanistan, says Pentagon
The United States has about 11,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan as per the policy of President Donald Trump for the war-torn country, the Pentagon has said.
The announcement is part of the new transparent accounting procedure set in motion by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, Chief Pentagon spokesman Dana W White told reporters at a news conference.
"Under the new, simplified accounting methodology, the current total forces number in Afghanistan is approximately 11,000. This does not include any potential future adjustments the secretary of defence may make in order to accomplish the president's new strategy for South Asia," said Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of joint staff.
However, White noted that said this is not an announcement of a troop increase.
"We are simply being more transparent about the way we communicate America's military commitment in Afghanistan, while still protecting sensitive information," he said.
McKenzie had said that in November 2016, the previous administration authorised the increase of the force manning level to 8,448.
And until now, the department has routinely reported approximately 8,400 forces, with a complex series of authorised exemptions above that, he said.
Congressman Mac Thornberry, chairman of the house armed services committee said he is pleased to see that ahead of the execution of a new strategy in Afghanistan, Trump and Mattis have chosen to put the facts on the table.
"The Obama Administration did not shoot straight on how many people they sent to Afghanistan, which added cost to the mission and made it harder to succeed. It is important to be upfront about the importance of the mission and what it takes to succeed," he said.
White said similar calculation is being done in on troops deployed in Iraq also. 
09:02   'Despite toilets, large number of people defecate in open'
A large number of people in India defecate in the open despite having toilets at home, a senior government official said.
Only 30 per cent of the households in Bihar have toilets. 13 per cent of them are not being used, Permeswaran Iyer, secretary in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, said in a statement.
He said 37 per cent of the households in Jharkhand are equipped with toilets. But one-third of their users prefer to relieve themselves in the open.
In Odisha, 40 per cent of the households have toilets but 20 per cent of the families do not use them, Iyer said.
"Unlike earlier sanitation programmes, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is not a toilet construction programme but a behaviour change mass movement," he said at an event organised by NGO Sambodhi.
While it is relatively easier to construct roads, bridges and airports, bringing about a change in human behaviour is "complex", he said.
The government is now focusing more on bringing a change in human behavior, the official said.

Image: A film poster for Toilet Ek Prem Katha
08:54   We're going to use all methods: White House on North Korea
The White House has said that it has put all options on table to tackle the threat posed by nuclear-armed North Korea, which fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan on Tuesday.
"I think the President (Donald Trump) has been very clear about his position on North Korea, certainly in his statement by saying all options are on the table, and that continues to be the case," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters yesterday on board with Trump on the Air Force One.
She was responding to questions on statements by the president and his Defence Secretary Jim Mattis on the repeated ballistic missile tests by Pyongyang.
In a tweet, Trump had riled out talks with North Korea, while Mattis has said that US is not out of diplomatic options.
" we've said before, we're going to use all methods and that will continue to be one of them, but only a part of the integrated policy and plan moving forward," Sander said.
She said the Trump administration has been taking serious action by putting strong sanctions on North Korea, continuing to put pressure across the board, and weighing its options.
"When the president makes a decision about next steps, we'll certainly keep you guys in the loop on that front," she said.
The missile, fired on Tuesday, travelled around 2,700 kilometers (1,677 miles) and reached a maximum height of 550 kilometers (341 miles) as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The launch appeared to be the first of a North Korean missile to cross over Japan, though some rockets were used to put satellites into space have done so. It also appeared to be the North's longest-ever missile test.
08:41   India's first private sector satellite to be launched by ISRO today
India is ready to launch its first private sector-built navigation satellite today at 6.59 pm from Sriharikota. The satellite will replace one of NAVIC's seven satellites that is malfunctioning. The 1425 kg IRNSS-1H satellite will lift off on the back of PSLV, India's workhorse that will be on its 41st flight.

The Indian space agency has conducted 150 missions over the last three decades, staring with Aryabhatta in 1975. But with India setting its sight on becoming one of the key suppliers of commercial satellites, it was decided to rope in the private sector. In the future, it is the private sector which is expected to take the lead.

The launch vehicle PSLV-C39 will use the 'XL' version of  PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of  propellant.
The over 1,400 kg spacecraft was built and tested by ISRO along with a consortium of six small and medium  industries.
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India on par with US-based GPS.
The system that offers services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers, was named 'NavIC' (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ISRO had launched seven satellites - IRNSS-1G on April 28, 2016, IRNSS-1F (March 10, 2016), IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014) and IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013.
According to ISRO officials, the total cost of all the seven satellites was Rs 1,420 crore.
01:08   No talks with North Korea, says Trump
United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday ruled out any talks with North Korea, which fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, forcing people to seek shelter.

However, his Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said that there was still room for diplomacy in dealing with North Korea's ballistic missile launches.

The missile flew over Hokkaido island before crashing into the northern Pacific Ocean.

This is the first time North Korea has fired what is thought to be a ballistic weapon over Japan.

'The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!' Trump tweeted.

Hours later, the Defence Secretary Mattis said that the US is not out of diplomatic solutions yet on North Korea.

"No," Mattis told reporters when he was asked about Trump's tweet in this regard during a welcome ceremony for his South Korean counterpart at the Pentagon.

"Secretary Mattis, you have often said you seek a diplomatic solution to North Korea. The president this morning tweeted that talking isn't the answer. Are we out of diplomatic solutions for North Korea?" Mattis was asked.

"We're never out of diplomatic solutions," he replied.

"We continue to work together and the minister and I share responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation our populations and our interests, which is what we are here to discuss today," Mattis said.      

Responding to a question, he said, 'look for all the areas we can collaborate -- there is already very strong collaboration, we always look for more, we are never complacent'.

A day earlier, Trump had warned a defiant North Korea that 'all options are on the table'.

'But you said 'all' options were on the table. The negotiating table itself should be one of them. Don't discount the power of dialogue,' tweeted former State Department spokesman John Kirby.

'I doubt Trump taking diplomacy with NK (North Korea) off table was coordinated with Asian allies or will go down well there. Stakes too high for improv,' tweeted Ben Rhodes, a top White House National Security Official during the Obama administration.  -- PTI