Sat, 01 July 2017
Trump tweets out against CNN, NBC, 'dumb as a rock' journalist

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21:30   Trump tweets out against CNN, NBC, 'dumb as a rock' journalist
US President Donald Trump today fired off another volley in his escalating feud with the US media, aiming a Twitter tirade at CNN, NBC and a morning show host he taunted as "dumb as a rock."

The outburst came at the end of a week during which the US leader railed against major news organisations as "fake news," before launching a crude personal attack on Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who headline the "Morning Joe" program on the left-leaning MSNBC cable network.

"Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!" he wrote, seemingly trying to get in the final word in his clash with the journalists.

Apparently stung by critical coverage on the show, Trump on Thursday had tweeted: "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore).

"Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!"

The comments sparked a major backlash, as well as condemnation from within Trump's own Republican party.
20:38   GST will usher in economic freedom: Naidu
Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the Goods and Services Tax would usher in "economic freedom" in the country.

He said the initial hiccups that may arise in its implementation are not "insurmountable".

"What we are getting (with GST) is economic freedom. Sardar Patel is called unifier of India. Now, history will remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi as unifier of the economy," he said.

Acknowledging that there would be initial hiccups and problems as the new tax regime is rolled out today, Naidu, however, said they are not "insurmountable".

"Yes, there will be some problems. But, the problems are not insurmountable," the Information and Broadcasting Minister said.
20:27   President Mukherjee condemns lynching, calls on India to 'pause, reflect'
Condemning the recent string of brutal lynching incidents emerging from across the nation, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday called on the country to pause and reflect if they are being proactive enough to save India's basic system of belief.

"With the change of history we can see colonialism now as dominance, exploitation by one power to another power. When we see on the TV and read the newspapers that an individual has been lynched, and when the mob frenzy becomes so high and uncontrollable then we have to pause and reflect," the President said at the re-launch of the National Herald website.

"I am not talking of vigilantism, I am talking of are we vigilant enough proactively to save the basic tenets of our country?" he questioned.

The President's assertion comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday strongly voiced out against the lynching incidents, saying that there are growing atrocities against innocent people in the guise of cow protection.
19:27   PM says GST is the new path for Indian economy
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the foundation day function of chartered accountants' apex body ICAI where he is speaking on the Goods and Services Tax. 

Here are the highlights:

>> Today is the foundation day of ICAI. I congratulate all of you

>> Today, the 'Good and Simple tax' has come into force. It's an honour for me to present among you all on this historic occasion

>> You are the pillars of Indian economy

>> In 1987, the Swiss Banks started revealing how much money Indians are depositing there. However, in a report we received from the banks last year, we found that the money deposited by Indians saw a decrease of up to 45 per cent

>> Two years from now, we will start receiving real-time data from Switzerland which will deter those who deposit black money there

>> A country where a select few loot, such a nation cannot scale new heights. These select few never want the nation to grow

>> Our government is committed to clean the country - of filth with Swachh India and black money with demonetization
18:19   Lalu invokes gods, seeks astrological remedies to tide over 'difficult' times
Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad and his family seem to be busy in performing religious rituals and seeking astrological remedies, apparently to tide over the difficult times they were facing at present.

Allegations of dubious financial deals have recently been levelled against Prasads family and the re-opening of fodder scam cases, in which the RJD chief is an accused, has only added to their trouble.

On Saturday, nine priests were reportedly called to Prasads 10, Circular Road house to recite Sunderkand, a chapter in Ramcharitra Manas, to invoke Lord Hanuman and seek his blessings to overcome obstacles and ward off any negative vibe.

The priests, who were seen going inside the house with harmonium, dholaks and other music instruments, confirmed to reporters that they had been called to recite the Sundarkand.

Close aides of the RJD chief, however, denied any such religious event at Prasads house.

No, we have not organised any such religious event, one of them said.
18:10   Yogendra Yadav slams govt's 'double standards' towards farmers
Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav today criticised the Centre for its stand against farm loan waivers and said an attitude of "double standards" has been meted out towards farmers.

"Morale of loan waivers are not discussed when it comes to bailouts to telecom industry and also when the previous government bailed out Indian industry in 2009. I find double standards when it comes to farmers," Yadav said.

Ge said the country owed debt to farmers as the prices of their produce have been kept artificially low.

"The country owes debt to farmers. For the last 50 years, the prices of farm products have been artificially kept low because of which farmers faced losses," he said.

Accumulated debt of farmers is nothing short of Rs 50 lakh crore, and farmers are demanding just a fraction of it, he added.
17:32   17 people shot, injured at US nightclub following dispute
At least 17 people were shot in an Arkansas nightclub early Saturday morning and more were injured trying to escape or being trampled, police said.

One person was initially listed in critical condition, but later updated to stable, according to cops. The other injuries did not appear to be life-threatening after the 2:30 am shooting at Power Lounge in Little Rock, according to police there.

According to police, there was a dispute during a concert and an exchange of gunfire took place.

There was no immediate information about suspect, but police said the situation did not appear to be connected to terrorism or an active shooter.
17:28   Gujarat's cloth markets remain shut protesting 5% GST
On the day the goods and services tax came into play across the country, a majority of cloth shops in Gujarat remained shut while those who kept it open said they did not carry out any business transaction.

Various cloth merchant associations in the state as well as in some other states had earlier called for a three-day protest across the country from June 27 to 29.

The bandh and protests continued in different parts of the state as a majority of shops remained closed today, and those which remained open saw no transaction as none had any GST number.

There are around 2.5-3 lakh cloth merchants in the state who will suffer losses due to the ongoing protest, said Gaurang Bhagat, president of Maskati Kapad Mahajan, an association of cloth merchants in Ahmedabad.

"Not that we are against GST. What we are saying is that government should listen to our concerns and address it properly. Our business will remain suspended and we hope government will come out with some solution," he said.
17:04   Pakistan must pay for supporting terrorism, says US Congressman
Pakistan knows it is supporting terrorism, as does the United States and Afghanistan, and therefore, must face the consequences, financial or otherwise for doing so, a member of the United States Congress has said.

Congressman Ted Poe of the Second District, Texas, squarely accused Pakistan of "playing the United States" and insisted that it is high time for Washington to act firmly and put a stop to giving any kind of aid to the former.

Listing three immediate steps to be taken, Poe said, "The United States does not, and should not, continue to give Pakistan money, because the money we give them goes to ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), and that money goes to support terrorist activity in Afghanistan that kills Americans. Why are we doing this?"

"But we continue to do it, for some reason that I think is absurd. So, the first thing we need to do is cut off the aid to Pakistan. We don't need to pay them to kill us; they will support killing Americans on their own. Cut off the aid," he said.

"The second thing we do is to label Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism. That is what they are: a state sponsor of terrorism. Congress needs to label them and make that designation so they suffer the consequences for their terrorist mischief throughout the world," he added.

"And, the third thing we do is we need to remove and revoke their major non-NATO ally status. That is a fancy word for: because Pakistan is a major non-NATO ally, they get certain benefits, militarily, that other countries don't get. Revoke that. Quit giving them military aid. Quit giving them money. Designate them as a state sponsor of terrorism, and remove the major non-NATO ally status against Pakistan," Congressman Poe said.

Describing Islamabad as having a long history of supporting extremist elements and terror activity, that most Americans were not aware of, Congressman Poe said, "Those consequences need to come down to get attention.

The longest war in American history continues today, and it is a war supposedly against terrorism."

"But Afghanistan still is a hotbed because of what takes place and supported from Pakistan. The Afghan Government knows it, we know it, and the Pakistan Government knows it. So, there must be consequences. I think
16:41   Have not violated any law or insulted the army: Azam Khan
After a total of three complaints were filed on Saturday against Azam Khan over his controversial remark on the Indian Army, the Samajwadi Party leader asserted that he has not violated any law or not insulted any army.

"Whatever I said were not my words. I have not violated any law or insulted any army. We should be shameful for that day when on one side Pakistan was beheading our soldiers and on another side Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Pakistan," Khan said.

Earlier in the day, three complaints were registered against Khan over his controversial remark against the Indian Army.

One complaint was registered in Hazratganj second in Rampur's Civil Lines Police Station and third in Bijnor.

Khan waded into another controversy with his statement that appeared to suggest that Indian soldiers have been indulging in rape. The comments triggered an angry reaction from the entire political fraternity.

Khan had said, "Armed women attacked soldiers and cut off their private parts. They cut the part they had problems with. India should be ashamed. How will the country face the world now?"

However, Khan downplayed his comments and said, "My statement was misconstrued by media. How can army's morale fall because of me? I am nobody. Army's morale fell when Prime Minister Modi went to Pakistan."
16:06   GST effect: Pay more to buy home appliances from today
People planning to purchase white goods will have to shell out more money from today as most appliances and durable makers have increased their prices in the new tax regime under GST.

Durable makers would also go for another hike before the festive seasons as the industry is considering a price revision based on input credit, when their existing stock of raw materials and components would replenish.
15:43   India again asks Pak to provide consular access to Jadhav
India today again asked Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to its national Kulbhushan Jadav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court as the two countries exchanged a list of prisoners lodged in each other's jails.

According to the list Pakistan shared with India, at least 546 Indian nationals, including nearly 500 fishermen, are languishing in jails in that country. 

"India again requested Pakistan to grant full and early consular access to the Indian nationals lodged in the custody of Pakistan, including Hamid Nehal Ansari and Kulbhushan Jadav," the external affairs ministry said in a statement in Delhi.

Jadhav was in April sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and sabotage activities. India had moved the International Court of Justice against the death penalty. The ICJ on May 18 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav.
15:27   Pakistan hands over list of 546 Indian prisoners to high commission
The Pakistani foreign ministry on Saturday handed over a list of 546 Indian prisoners in Pakistan, to the High Commission of India in Islamabad.

According to the foreign ministry statement, the list contains the names of 52 civilians and 494 fishermen, the Dawn has reported.

Pakistan and India exchanged lists of prisoners in each other's custody twice a year, on January 1 and July 1, respectively under the Consular Access Agreement between the two countries, signed on May 21, 2008.

The Indian government will also hand over the list of Pakistani prisoners to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, said the statement.

On January 6, 2017, the government had released 219 Indian fishermen whereas 78 more are expected to be released during the ongoing month.

In accordance with the Agreement on Consular Access between Pakistan and India signed May 21, 2008, both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other's custody Jan 1 and July 1 every year.(ANI)
14:54   How ATC ensured that GST was launched on time
On Friday, Delhi Air Traffic Control played a significant part in ensuring that GST was launched as per schedule. 

For those wondering how, here's the entire story. 

On Friday, around 9 pm, two Indian Air Force special aircraft -- carrying President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- were to land at New Delhi's Palam VVIP Air Force station. 

In such cases, the president arriving from Kolkata gets precedence over the prime minister. However, in this situation, the PM's flight had reported to the ATC first. 

When the Special Protection Group requested the ATC for first landing, there was a little discomfort as protocol states that the president gets priority over the PM. 

However, things went off smoothly as they suggested that the PM's flight land on a separate runway and the president lands on a separate one. 

In order to do this, they stopped commercial landings for a bit and ensure both flights landed smoothly and that both dignatories could reach their destination as per their schedules. 
14:32   Jharkhand lynching: Muslim women threaten to take up arms against cow vigilantes
The mob lynching of a Muslim trader in Jharkhands Ramgarh two days ago has sent ripples of anger through the local population with women of the community saying they would pick up arms against self-styled cow protectors.

The women say they are disillusioned with the police and believe the government is in cahoots with cow vigilantes. A mob of 100 people on Thursday thrashed trader Alimuddin, also known as Asgar Ali, and set his car on fire on the suspicion that he was transporting beef the latest in a string of similar incidents of cow-related violence.

Mob justice would be meted with mob-justice, said Mariam Khatun, the wife of the dead trader, as scores of people flooded her modest home to console her. Around her, 70-odd women, many of them associated with local organisations, nodded in agreement.

We are scared of rising incidents of lynching targeting only Muslim men in the state. These are not accidents but a deliberate act of few groups supported by the administration, said Mamina Khatun. She said that women were living in fear every day, worried that the male members of the family might not return home.
13:49   Top LeT commander killed in encounter in J-K's Anantnag district
Two terrorists, including a top Lashkar-e-Tayiba commander, were killed after an hours-long standoff with security forces in Dailgam village in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district

Earlier in the day, security forces launched cordon and search operations in the Brenti-Batpora area, acting on intelligence on the presence of terrorists in the area.

Police sources said after receiving specific information regarding presence of terrorists, including top LeT leader Bashir Lashkari in Dailgam, security forces laid a cordon in the wee hours. While the cordon was being laid, some terrorists believed to be hiding in a house opened fire on the security personnel, who also retaliated in kind. 

On June 16, SHO Feroz Ahmed and five other policemen were killed on the outskirts of Anantnag district. Lashkari is believed to have been involved in the killing of the six policemen last month and was reportedly one of the ultras trapped in the security forces cordon on Saturday. 
13:23   Ivanka Trump keeps mum on dad's tweets assailing TV host
Ivanka Trump has been vocal in using her White House role to advocate for women. But when US President Donald Trump lobbed a demeaning attack on a female TV host on Twitter this week, his daughter and
senior adviser kept quiet.

The tussle between her father and "Morning Joe" co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough offered a pointed reminder to Ivanka Trump that this is a city where it's impossible to separate policy and politics.

The MSNBC hosts, in a Washington Post column yesterday, called on women close to the president to condemn him for questioning Brzezinski's intelligence and saying that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" in a December encounter.
13:05   Cow vigilantism: Adityanath urges people not to take law into their hands
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has urged the people to not to take the law into their hands in the name of cow vigilantism, adding that they should just inform the administration in any case of illegal smuggling of cows.

"The directions given by the National Green Tribunal and the Supreme Court are being followed in the state. We are are not banning slaughter houses, but will take action against those not following instructions of the government," Adityanath said. 

"People should not take the law into their hands, but should just inform the administration about the smuggling of a cow," he added.

Vowing to restore peace and prosperity in the state, Adityanath said his government is making an effort for its development.

"We are making efforts to increase investment in the state and lots of companies are showing their interest," he said.

Adityanath also emphasised on restoring law and order in Uttar Pradesh.
JUST IN: Nevada becomes the fifth state in the US with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes.
12:32   AAP most likely to back Opposition's nominee Meira Kumar
Even with the Congress cold-shouldering the Aam Aadmi Party on upcoming presidential polls slated for July 17, the AAP is most likely to back the Opposition's nominee Meira Kumar. 

Though the party is yet to convene a meeting of its highest decision making body, the Political Affairs Committee that will formally decide who the party will vote for and thereafter communicate to its representatives, sources from AAP said that the party will 'absolutely not vote for the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.'

The AAP roughly has 9000 votes, which though not sizeable, is significant in symbolic terms. 
12:08   'Insulting question' prompted Parrikar to plan surgical strikes
Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar said an "insulting" question by a television anchor to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore after the 2015 anti-
insurgency operation along the Myanmar border prompted him to plan last year's 'surgical strikes' in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The Goa CM said, "The surgical strikes against militants in PoK was planned 15 months in advance."

On June 4, 2015, north-eastern militant group NSCN-K ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Chandel district of Manipur and killed 18 jawans.

Parrikar said when he was informed about the incident, "I felt insulted.... A small terrorist organisation of 200 people killing 18 Dogra soldiers was an insult to the Indian Army and we sat in the afternoon and sat in the evening and worked out the (plan of) first surgical strike which was conducted on June 8 morning in which about 70-80 terrorists were killed (along the India-Myanmar border)."
"But one question (from media) hurt me. (Union minister) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, an ex-Armyman, was on TV and he was explaining about all kinds of search operations. An anchor asked him 'would you have the courage and capability of doing the same on the western front'," Parrikar recalled.

"I listened very intensely but decided to answer when the time came. The starting of September 29 (2016) surgical strike on the western border was 9th of June, 2015....We planned 15 months in advance. Additional troops were trained. Equipment was procured on priority basis," he said.
11:25   Adobe chief, former US Surgeon General to be honoured with Great Immigrants award
Indian-Americans, Adobe chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country's society, culture and economy.

Narayen and Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious 'Great Immigrants' annual award on US's independence day on July 4.

Murthy, 39, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country.

However, Murthy was dismissed this year in April by the Trump administration.

Narayen, 54, a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master's degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He is a board member of Pfizer and US-India Business Council. 
11:00   Complaints registered against Azam Khan for remarks 'against' Army
Two complaints have been registered against Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan on Saturday over his controversial remark against the Indian Army.

One complaint was registered in Hazratganj and the other one in Rampur's Civil Lines Police Station.

Earlier, Khan waded into another controversy with his statement that appeared to make allegations of rape against the Indian soldiers.

The comments triggered an angry reaction from the entire political fraternity.

Khan had said, "Armed women attacked soldiers and cut off their private parts. They cut the part they had problems with. India should be ashamed. How will the country face the world now?"

However, Khan downplayed that his comments affected the Indian Army's morale and said, "My statement was misconstrued by media. How can army's morale fall because of me? I am nobody. Army's morale fell when Prime Minister Modi went to Pakistan." -- ANI
10:34   GST a major step towards India's economic revolution: Yogi Adityanath
The goods and service tax launched on July 1 is a crucial step towards ensuring India's economic revolution said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

"The rolling out of the GST is a wonderful moment. It is a major step towards the country's economic reform and we should be thankful to Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi for this," Adityanath said in an interview.

Adityanath also described the July 17 presidential election as an honour for Uttar Pradesh, as presidential hopeful Ram Nath Kovind belongs to the state.

"This can only be possible under Prime Minister Modi's regime that someone belonging from a Dalit community will hold the highest constitutional post of the country," he said.

Lauding Prime Minister Modi's leadership skills at the Centre, Adityanath expressed his gratitude for him visiting Lucknow on the occasion of International Day of Yoga.

"We have learnt a lot from the ruling government at the Centre and Prime Minister Modi. We are thankful for his guidance. It is a privilege that he is leading the country," he added.

He also praised Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, saying that he has acquired a reputation for always achieving the goals he strives for.

"It's a challenge for me to stand up to Amit Shah's expectations. In an ideal governance system, reliability is important and I will try to stand up to his expectation," Adityanath said. -- ANI
09:18   Terrorists holed-up inside Anantnag building, woman killed in encounter
At least two to three terrorists including top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander have been holed up inside a building in the Dailgam village in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district.

A woman identified as Tahira Begam has been killed during the cross firing between the terrorists and security forces.

Cordon and search operations are being conducted.

"After receiving specific information regarding presence of militants in Dailgam's Birnhi Batpora, security forces laid a cordon in the wee hours. While the cordon was being laid some militants outside a house fired upon which the security personnel retaliated. In the cross firing one lady sustained injuries and later on succumbed. However, some militants are holed up in the house. Efforts are on to take out the civilians out of this house," police said.

Further details are awaited. -- ANI
08:48   India accepts US use of 'administered Kashmir': The Hindu
Our former colleague Suhasini Haidar has a scoop in this morning's The Hindu newspaper.

Suhasini reports that 'The External Affairs Ministry, in an apparent volte face, accepted on Thursday that the US's usage of the term 'Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir' was acceptable and 'affirms' India's position.

'The acceptance of the term,' Suhasini points out, 'appears to be in contrast to the government's position earlier this month, when the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Offices in Geneva, Mr Rajiv Chandar told the Human Rights Council that the term was unacceptable.'

Read more HERE
08:11   Doctor kills 1, hurts 6 at New York hospital before killing self
A doctor with a rifle hidden under a lab coat opened fire at the Bronx, New York, hospital where he used to work, killing one person and wounding six others before taking his own life. 
The shooting started at 2:50 pm Eastern on Friday, June 30, inside the Bronx Lebanon Hospital. 
Hospital employees barricaded themselves in rooms to escape the violence. 
The shooter was identified as Dr Henry Bello, a family medicine physician.
00:58   SP's Ramgopal Yadav falls ill midway through GST launch
Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav briefly took ill at the midnight star-studded GST launch event at the historic Central Hall of Parliament and had to be assisted out.

He, however, returned in less than 10 minutes to witness the historic launch of the GST.

Samajwadi Party, which broke ranks with opposition Congress, RJD, Left and TMC to attend the one hour event, got front row seat for its leaders.

Ramgopal Yadav, who is the cousin of SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, was seated on the front row with an AIADMK leader and midway through the event fell unwell and was escorted out by Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
JUST IN: Gunfire reported at New York City's Bronx Lebanon Hospital, two people shot
00:53   Venus Williams faces lawsuit for car death
Venus Williams faces a wrongful death lawsuit from the family of a man who died in a Florida car crash involving the tennis star, says a lawyer.

The 78-year-old man suffered "massive" fatal injuries from the 9 June collision in Palm Beach Gardens city, an attorney for his widow says.

According to police, Williams was at fault for the traffic accident, which caused the death of Jerome Barson.

The 37-year-old is due to make her 20th appearance at Wimbledon on Monday.

According to the police report, Linda Barson told police she was driving with her husband, Jerome, in the passenger seat of their 2016 Hyundai Accent at the time of the collision.

Barson told police that as they passed through an intersection on a green light, Williams' 2010 Toyota Sequoia cut across in front of their car.
00:22   Council chief quits over London blaze response
The head of the local authority responsible for a residential block in the UK that went up in flames earlier this month, today resigned from his post following backlash over his council's response to the tragedy that claimed at least 80 lives.

Nick Paget-Brown, head of the Kensington and Chelsea Council, had come under increasing pressure to step down since Thursday evening, when he adjourned a council meeting held to discuss the fir at Grenfell Tower. 

Announcing his resignation, the council leader said he had to accept responsibility for "perceived failings" by the council after the tragedy. "I have therefore decided to step down as leader of the council as soon as a successor is in place," he said.