Sun, 12 February 2017
'Indian techies welcome in Canada after Trump ban'
21:41 'Indian techies welcome in Canada after Trump ban'
Indian-origin tech leaders in Canada say the controversial visa and travel restrictions imposed by US President Donald Trump will be a boon for tech recruitment and investment in Canada.
"This provides a great opportunity for the best talent from India to come, live and work in Canada," said Shafin Diamond Tejani, the CEO of Fantasy 360, a Vancouver-based global leader in creating immersive experiences and games using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality.
"We are already getting inquiries from Indian techies, both in India and in the United States, about relocating to Vancouver," said Tejani, whose family is originally from Gujarat.
20:44 Hundreds held in immigration raids across US
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants from a dozen Latin American countries have been arrested in at least six US states this week, following US president Donald Trump's executive order to broaden the scope of immigration enforcement targets.
The Immigrants were netted in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina, Xinhua news agency quoted US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as saying on Saturday.
Among them 161 arrests were made in Los Angeles and some 200 in Atlanta, said local media reports. The authorities didn't reveal the total number of the arrests.
Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, said the crackdown was part of "routine" immigration enforcement actions.
20:30 Explosion kills 2 children in Pakistan
Two teenaged brothers were killed and their sister seriously injured today when a bomb they were playing with exploded in this restive Pakistani city.
The incident occurred in Khaista Baba Kotkay area of Buner district bordering Swat in northwest Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The shepherd brothers aged 17 and 14 years and their 10-year-old sister found the bomb while grazing their animals in the mountainous area and started playing with it before it exploded, an official said.
The boys died on the spot while their sister was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital, the official added.
19:43 'Haven't kept MLAs hostage, AIADMK is a family'
After meeting MLAs from her party at the Golden Bay resort in Mahabalipuram, AIADMK secretary VK Sasikala addressed the media.
In what could be considered as very symbolic, she spoke to the media with a photograph of Jayalalithaa posed by her side.
She told the media, ""None of the MLAs have been held captive. They are staying here as one happy family. The MLAs have full access to their phones. They talks to their families and children regularly. They have even received threats from some people. Some defectors and enemies of the party are spreading lies."
When asked about her pending verdict in the disproportionate assets case, Sasikala said, "Let it come, I will see."
Asked about the future of the party, she responded, "Party workers, and forces now opposing us will not succeed in their attempts, won't let it happen."
19:23 Hamburg Airport evacuated 'after a gas leak in the terminal leaves 50 people in hospital'
Hamburg Airport is on lockdown after the entire building was evacuated amid fears of a chemical leak.
Unconfirmed reports suggest 50 people were taken to hospital after a toxic chemicals spread through the air conditioning system.
People were treated for coughing, breathing problems and burning eyes by paramedics at the scene.
The alarm was raised when what is describes as a 'nasty odour' swirled around the airport.
All flights are grounded until the issue is resolved.
Passengers and flight crew were sent to the car park away from the terminal in temperatures as cold as -4 degrees Celsius, according to local press.
Flights were halted at 12.20 pm due to the fire brigade taking over the terminal building.
19:04 Nabha jailbreak mastermind arrested in Punjab
Police arrests Nabha jailbreak mastermind Gurpreet Singh Sekhon in Moga (Punjab).
With Sekhons arrest the police have now nabbed three out of total six, fled from the Patiala jail, after firing on police on November 27.
Apart from Sekhon, his cousin Manvir Sekhon, Rajwinder Singh, Sultan Mangewal and another gangsters Kulwinder Sidana, brother of gangster Surinder Sidana, were nabbed.
Sekhon was arrested for the murder of gangster Sukhbir Singh (Sukha) Kahlwan in January 2015 and was in Nabha Jail, from where he escaped after planning jail break.
18:47 No link between immigration, increased crime in US: study
Crime and immigration patterns in the US are not linked, with places with higher immigration levels experiencing lower robberies, burglaries and murders, according to a new study which comes shortly after US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban order.
Researchers explored whether larger scale immigration patterns in communities could be tied to increases in crime due to changes in cities, such as fewer economic opportunities or the claim that immigrants displace domestic workers from jobs.
"Our research shows strong and stable evidence that, on average, across US metropolitan areas crime and immigration are not linked," said Robert Adelman, associate professor at University at Buffalo in the US.
"The results show that immigration does not increase assaults and, in fact, robberies, burglaries, larceny, and murder are lower in places where immigration levels are higher," said Adelman.
18:37 Kulgam encounter: Defence experts laud soldiers, slam govt's attitude
Defence expert Major General SR Sinho (retd) on Sunday expressed concern over the ongoing gun battle between security forces and terrorists in South Kashmir's Kulgam and lashed out at the government and politicians for their unconcerned attitude towards the soldiers.
"The country is in elections mode and the politicians are least bothered about what is happening. For how long will our soldiers keep sacrificing their lives? I am deeply pained by seeing the unconcerned attitude of the people towards our soldiers," he said.
Another defence expert Sunil Deshpande on his part lauded the security forces and appealed to the intelligence agencies to be more alert.
"Security forces have done a good job by finding out their hideouts and then encircling them and carrying out the attack. Our intel agencies need to be alert now. Only then, we can carry out such kind of successful operations," said Deshpande.
As many as four terrorists, two security personnel and one civilian were killed in the encounter that broke out in Kulgam this morning.
"O Panneerselvam, Amma's only political heir" - posters put up outside O Panneerselvam's residence in Chennai.
17:59 SP leader Azam Khan attacks BJP over PM's 'dog remark'
Taking potshots over the prime minister's 'dog' remark, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan today asked "what kind of culture is he promoting by speaking of dogs and puppies?"
Speaking at a rally in his familiar style, the UP minister who is known for making controversial remarks said, "what kind of culture is the prime minister promoting by referring to dogs and puppies in his statements. Will this facilitate 'acchhe din'?"
Modi had attacked Congress for "claiming entire credit" for the country's independence and objected to certain comments made by Congress' leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on February 6 regarding sacrifices made for attaining freedom.
"Hum kutton ki paramapara se pale bhade nahi hain (we have not grown in a culture of dogs)," PM Modi had said in response to Kharge's earlier remark.
Firing another salvo at PM Modi, Khan said, "he is a 'fakir' who has got clothes worth Rs 80 crores in last two years."
17:36 INS Sarvekshak goes green; instals solar power system
Indian Navy's survey vessel INS Sarvekshak has gone green by installing a solar power system on board.
Navy said the system, equipped on the ship, works on sunlight and hence is 100 per cent reliable for power source that can be used for communication equipment, battery charging and general lightings onboard round the clock with battery outputs during night.
The system is "maintenance free" whereas the the diesel generator requires regular maintenance, it said.
17:21 Demonetisation 'biggest scam of 2016': Chidambaram
Terming demonetisation as the "biggest scam of 2016", former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said the country is likely to grow by 6-6.5 per cent in 2016-17, much lower than what have been predicted by the Central Statistical Organisation and RBI, due to the impact of note ban.
Notably, the CSO has predicted a growth rate of 7.1 per cent and RBI pegs it at 6.9 per cent for financial year 2016-17.
"I am sorry to make the prediction that 2016-17 will end with growth (rate) between 6 and 6.5 per cent, a good one per cent down from the earlier estimate and that means a hit of Rs 1.5 lakh crore on GDP. The GDP this year is Rs 150 lakh crore, so one per cent hit is Rs 1.5 lakh crore," Chidambaram said.
Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, "So, somebody hit an idea in his head, he decided to go on television and announce demonetisation, and the hit is Rs 1.5 lakh crore (on GDP)."
16:58 PM Modi congratulates India on Blind T20 World Cup
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Indian team for lifting T20 World Cup for Blind for the second successive edition after defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final at Bengaluru.
Modi sending his wishes on Twitter said, "Delighted that India won the Blind T20 World Cup. Congratulations to the team. India is proud of their accomplishment."
16:35 Top 15 parties deposited Rs 167 crore during note ban, BSP tops list, shows data
The Bahujan Samaj Party made the highest cash deposit among political parties during 50 days of demonetisation, reveals data analysis by the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Income Tax department (I-T).
The top 15 national and regional political parties deposited Rs 167 crore during demonetisation, data accessed has revealed. Besides Rs 104 crore cash deposit by the BSP, other 14 parties have put Rs 63 crore of banned currencies.
Senior finance ministry sources said nearly all of the Rs 15.44 trillion in circulation returned to the government chest.
16:25 Do 'kaam ki baat', Akhilesh tells Modi
The downfall of those who had "befooled" the people promising "achche din" has started, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav today said, attacking the Prime Minister, and asked him as to when will he do "kaam ki baat".
"He (PM) says the SP did a lot of "karnama" (misdeeds). He says 'man ki baat' on TV and radio, I want to ask him as to when will he do 'kaam ki baat' (talk of something worthwhile)," Yadav said at an election rally.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday attacked Akhilesh saying, "Akhileshji says 'kaam bolta hai', (but) even a child here knows that it is your karnama (misdeed) which is speaking for you."
15:55 It's hard for a woman to survive in politics: Sasikala
AIADMK general secretary Sasikala Natarajan says that the party believes in democracy. "It is well known who is behind all these issues and you'll know why MPs are going there [OPS's camp]."
"I have witnessed similar scenes after MGR's death too. After Ms. Jayalalithaa took over, she worked hard and nothing can break our party. Such a negative campaign is not new for us," she says.
She displays a copy of a letter that was circulated on social media and claims that it is conspiracy to divide the party. "It's difficult for a women to survive in politics. I've seen this from Amma's [Jayalalithaa] times."
Sasikala said this before heading out to Koovathur to meet the MLAs.
15:09 Sasikala told us she doesn't have any political ambition: MLA staying in resort
AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, who has been patiently waiting for an invitation from Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to her to form the government, told MLAs staying in a resort at Koovathur near Mahabalipuram that she did not have any political ambition, said Gudiyattam MLA Jayanthi Padmanaban.
"I (Sasikala) decided to stay with Amma (late chief minister J Jayalalithaa) and live for her at the age of 29 and left my husband and family members. Now, I am 62-years-old and I don't have any political ambition. I want to the movement (AIADMK) that is the third biggest party in the country to flourish. It was nurtured by Amma and I don't want to see the movement to fade away in my life time," Jayanthi said quoting Sasikala.
"I am a lawyer by profession and no one can hold be captive against my will," said the MLA and added that she had been staying with other party MLAs in the resort at their own will.
"We want the party to continue the legacy of Amma (Jayalalithaa). We decided to take a unanimous call and are waiting for Governor's response," said the MLA.
15:02 SRK deserved an Oscar for 'My Name is Khan': Paulo Coelho
Celebrated author Paulo Coelho has said superstar Shah Rukh Khan deserved an Academy Award for his performance in the film "My Name is Khan", if Hollywood fraternity was not biased.
The 69-year-old novelist took to Twitter to praise the actor on the seventh anniversary of the Karan Johar-directed film.
"'My Name is Khan and I am not a terrorist'. Congratulations @iamsrk for the 7th anniversary of this wonderful movie!" wrote Paulo.
'The Alchemist' author also posted a screenshot from his Facebook page, where he also wrote that the 2008 movie was only the time he had watched any of Shah Rukh's acts.
14:39 Congress ruined Uttarakhand, opposed creation of state: Modi
Asserting that the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have only progressed in the recently formed states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Samajwadi Party and Congress of ruining Uttarakhand and playing with the aspirations of the people.
"Why did Congress oppose creation of Uttarakhand as a state? Those who cannot think well of the people here, how can they govern?" Prime Minister Modi said while addressing an election rally here.
Training his guns on the Congress, the Prime Minister said the former insulted the soldiers by asking for proof of the surgical strikes conducted last year across the Line of Control (LoC).
Shifting his focus on One Rank One Pension (OROP), Prime Minister Modi said the Congress Party deceived the soldiers as they had no knowledge of the scheme.
"The Congress made a joke out of OROP. It was implemented once we assumed," he said.
Extending his support to the commoners, Prime Minister Modi assured that he would not let the ones who looted the common people have a sigh of relief.
Uttarakhand goes to polls on February 15
14:13 Pakistani Senate chairman stops senators from visiting US
Taking notice of a delay in issuance of visa to the Deputy Chairman Senate Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri by the US Embassy in Islamabad, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on Saturday cancelled the planned visit of senators to the US.
A two-member delegation, comprising Deputy Chairman Senate and PML-N Senator Lt. Gen. (retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi, was scheduled to travel to the US to attend the Inter-Parliamentary Union proceedings at the UN Headquarters in New York on February 13-14.
13:37 Guv has to decide TN CM issue by tomorrow, else case can be filed: Swamy
A day after calling on Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today said the former has to decide on the issue of government formation by tomorrow else a court case "can be filed charging abatement of horse trading".
"The TN Guv must decide CM issue by tomorrow otherwise a WP (writ petition) under Art 32 of the Constitution can be filed charging abatement of horse trading," he said in a tweet.
Ever since the issue of government formation has broken out, Swamy has been favouring AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala to be sworn-in as chief minister, saying she has the numbers in her favour.
However, the BJP's state unit sought to distance itself from Swamy, saying he has taken a "different path".
13:24 Sasikala hits back, sacks MP who sided with OPS
Sasikala has hit back and sacked AIADMK MP R Lakshmanan from Vizhupuram North district secretary's post. Lakshmanan has sided with O Panneerselvam in the battle for Tamil Nadu.
Earlier today, the chief minister's camp received a boost when three more MPs extended support to him. The partys Lok Sabha MPs Jaisingh Thiyagaraj Natterjee (Tuticorin), Senguttuvan (Vellore) and R P Marutharaja (Perambalur) extended their support to Pannerselvam.
13:13 With an eye on Venus and Mars, ISRO attempts mega world record
India will boldly go to Venus for the first time and re-visit the Red Planet very soon.
Buried and hidden in the hundreds of pages of the new format electronic budget documents, is the first formal acknowledgement by the government about these two new bold inter-planetary sojourns to Earth's immediate neighbours.
This uplifting news comes ahead of the Indian Space Research Organisation attempting to undertake its mega launch where it will drop off into space not one, two or three but a full load of 104 satellites in space in a single mission.
No other country has ever tried to hit a century in a single mission. The last world record is held by Russia which in 2014 rocketed 37 satellites in a single launch using a modified inter-continental ballistic missile.
If all goes according to plan, on the morning of February 15, Isro will hurl into space using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle three Indian satellites and a 101 small foreign satellites.
12:39 30 per cent of cast work on 'Statue Of Unity' completed: Ram Sutar
Nearly 30 per cent work on casting of the monumental bronze statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, billed as the world's tallest sculptural work, has been completed, says noted artist Ram Sutar.
Sutar was commissioned to craft the artistic modellings for the majestic 522-ft-high 'Statue of Unity' that will be installed on Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat.
The sculptor, who turns 92 on February 19, and known for his iconic statues of Mahatma Gandhi, one of which sits in the lawns of Parliament, is being assisted by his son Anil (59) in this project.
12:26 Why Modi is wrong when he says the timing of demonetisation was right
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thinks he couldnt have picked a better time to demonetise the economy. Speaking during the motion of thanks on the Presidents address to Parliament, Modi used the analogy of medical surgery to defend his decision.
No matter how critical, a surgery is carried out only after ensuring the patient is scoring fine on vital parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate etc. The Indian economy was in good health when the government decided to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, Modi said. Also, it was done at the risk of minimal disruption because it came days after Diwali, when the economy usually enters a lull phase.
That is why, he argued, the government could successfully implement what has now come to be known as the biggest disruption in Indias financial history.
Read full story HERE
JUST IN: Union Home Ministry's website hacked.
11:51 Sasikala may go on hunger strike today, say sources
The deep fissure in the AIADMK seems to prolong its existence by day as sources say that VK Sasikala may lead a hunger strike by her legislators at former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaas memorial in Chennai on Sunday.
NDTV reported that if the Governor of Chennai does not consent to the formation of Sasikalas government, the close confidante of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa may sit on hunger strike.
Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, on the other hand, wants to test the water as he is inclined to invite Sasikala to form the government only after Supreme Court passes its verdict in a corruption case. The order, which will be announced next week, will be tantamount for Sasikala for the formation of her government.
11:18 BSF in talks with RBI to train jawans to identify fake notes
BSF is in talks with Reserve Bank of India for imparting of training to its troopers for identifying fake notes smuggled through Indo-Bangla border.
The paramilitary force and intelligence agencies are having sleepless nights over consignments of counterfeit Rs 2,000 notes being seized from the border in past one month.
"The amount of counterfeit notes that has been recovered by security agencies is a matter of concern. The security features have been expertly replicated, half of the security features of the new Rs 2,000 notes is there in the fake notes. We are in talks with RBI for a training program for our soldiers and officers on ground duty for identifying fake Rs 2000 notes. Hope we will would be able to do it very soon," a senior BSF official said.
11:02 Two more AIADMK MPs back OPS
Two more All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members of Parliament have extended support to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
MPs B Senguttuvan and J Jeyasingh joined the Panneerselvam camp and met him at his residence on Sunday.
On Saturday, AIADMK MPs P R Sundaram, K Ashok Kumar and V Satyabama, apart from Tamil Nadu School Education Minister K Pandiarajan and veteran AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan, had extended support to Panneerselvam.
10:43 US stands behind Japan '100 per cent': Trump after N Korea missile launch
President Donald Trump has said that the United States stands behind Japan '100 per cent' after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on a visit to the US, condemned the missile launch by North Korea.
Earlier, South Korean defence ministry had said that North Korea launched a ballistic missile which flew 500 kilometres towards the Sea of Japan before falling into it. Seoul said the action of the North was aimed at 'provoking' the new US President.
"I just want everybody to understand and fully know that the United States of America stands behind Japan, its great ally, 100 per cent," Trump said at a joint news conference with the Japanese PM.
The latest North Korean launch also comes after Trump assured visiting Japanese prime minister that Washington was committed to the security of its key Asian ally. -- Agencies
Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters
09:51 Kulgam encounter: 2 terrorists killed, firing continues
UPDATE: Bodies of two terrorists have been recovered during encounter between security forces and terrorists in Kulgam's Yaripora in Jammu and Kashmir.
The operation still on. -- ANI
IMAGE: The house where the terrorists were hiding. Photograph: ANI
09:16 Terrorist killed, jawan hurt in encounter in Kulgam
UPDATE: One terrorist has been killed, while a jawan is reportedly injured in the ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces in Kulgam of Jammu and Kashmir, NDTV reported.
The encounter broke out on Sunday morning in Yaripora area of Kulgam district.
More details awaited.
JUST IN: An encounter is underway between security forces and terrorists in Yaripora of Kulgam district in Jammu and Kashmir.
More details awaited.
Image for representation only.
08:25 N Korea fires ballistic missile to 'provoke' Trump, says Seoul
North Korea has fired a ballistic missile apparently to 'provoke' new United States President Donald Trump, the South Korean defence ministry said on Sunday.
The missile was launched at around 7.55 am (local time) from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan. It flew 500 kilometres towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea) before falling into it, a defence ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by news agencies.
The exact type of the missile is yet to be identified.
'It is believed that today's missile launch ... is aimed at drawing global attention to the North by boasting its nuclear and missile capabilities,' the ministry said in a statement.
It is also believed that it was an armed provocation to test the response from the new US administration under President Trump, it added.
Yonhap news agency said the South Korean military suspected the North might have been testing an intermediate-range Musudan missile. -- Agencies
Image for representation only.