Thu, 06 July 2017
UK's May now as unpopular in Germany as Vladimir Putin, poll finds

Timeline  Refresh

23:57   UK's May now as unpopular in Germany as Vladimir Putin, poll finds
Theresa May is now as unpopular in Germany as Vladimir Putin, according to a new survey.

The British Prime Minister and the Russian President both have an approval rating among Germans of minus 45, the YouGov poll found.

The low level of support for May is likely linked to her tough rhetoric about the EU, particularly her promise to be a difficult woman during the Brexit negotiations.

Of the five major world leaders included in the poll, only Donald Trump (minus 71) is more disliked by German people.

The findings will come as a blow to Ms May as she prepares to travel to Hamburg for a meeting of the G20, where she will hold talks with several heads of state, including Trump.
23:11   US President Trump finally shakes hands with Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered the US president a firm handshake on Thursday as they met in Hamburg for a bilateral summit, holding the pose for several seconds as cameras snapped around them to make sure the media captured the friendly gesture.

A meeting at the White House in March went awry when President Donald Trump missed several verbal and situational cues and did not offer his foreign counterpart his hand.

Merkel shot her hand out toward Trump today as they stood before a G20 backdrop so that it was clear what she wanted. He did not botch the greeting again. 

The two leaders made small talk that was inaudible to reporters as photographers snapped pictures of them conversing. Merkel then led him away so that they could speak frankly about trade, climate change, and a host of other topics, including Russian aggression. 

Trump arrived in Hamburg, Germany, just before the meet and greet for an intense two-day stretch at the G20 summit that will put his diplomatic prowess to the ultimate test as he sits down with Russia's president, a former KGB spy, for the first time.
23:02   YSR Congress ropes in Prashant Kishor
Political strategist Prashant Kishor, who had helped the successful campaign of BJP, JD(U)-RJD combine in Bihar and the Congress in Punjab in different elections, has now been roped in by the YSR (Yuvajana Shramik Rythu) Congress. 

YSR Congress president and Opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh Y S Jaganmohan Reddy has held a meeting with party leaders here in which Kishor was present. 

Prashant Kishor, whom we taken on board as a consultant, was introduced (to party leaders) in the meeting (in Hyderabad yesterday), YSR Congress MP P Mithun Reddy said at Hyderabad.

Kishor is expected to give inputs to YSRC on strengthening the party organisation besides preparing strategies to take on the ruling TDP headed by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Having failed to gain power in AP in the 2014 elections soon after the bifurcation of undivided AP, the YSR Congress is determined to wrest power in 2019.
22:25   GST to be part of syllabus in UP higher education institutes
The taxation system under GST will soon be part of the commerce and management curriculum in Uttar Pradesh's higher education institutes, a minister said today.

The Goods and Services Tax -- India's biggest tax reform since independence -- came into force on July 1, unifying more than a dozen central and state levies.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said, "GST is a major step in the direction of economic reforms and besides apprising the common people about the new tax regime, there is also a need to include it in the syllabus."

"It will be included in the management and commerce curriculum," he said.
22:07   A message to China? India sends largest ever fleet for naval exercise
In less than a week from now, MiG-29K fighter jets flying off the deck of India's only operational aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya will be 'taking on' state of the art US Navy F/A-18 E/F 'Super Hornet' fighters over the waters of the Bay of Bengal in what will be the largest, most complex Naval war games India has ever participated in. 

The Malabar exercises, as they are known, pit, for the first time, the most advanced Russian built carrier-borne fighter jet in service, the MiG-29K, against the US Super Hornet, perhaps the most formidable fighter jet ever deployed by the US on its aircraft carriers. 

In addition to the Vikramaditya, its flagship, the Indian Navy will also be deploying some of its most capable warships, submarines and maritime reconnaissance platforms including two Made-in-India Shivalik class stealth frigates, two Russian-built Ranvir class destroyers in addition to the indigenous Kamorta class anti-submarine warfare corvette and a Kora class multi-role corvette. 

A fleet tanker that replenishes the ships out at sea will also be a key part of the operations in addition to a Russian built Kilo class diesel-electric submarine and US built Boeing P8-I maritime reconnaissance aircraft. 

The Malabar exercises come at a time when India, the US and Japan have serious concerns on the dramatic growth and deployment of the Chinese Navy. While Japan and the US are deeply concerned about the expanding Chinese presence in the contentious South China Seas and Western Pacific region, India is concerned about the large deployment of Chinese submarines, warships and tankers in the Indian Ocean.
21:27   India ranks 23rd among 165 nations in cybersecurity
India is ranked a high 23rd out of 165 nations in a global index that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cybersecurity.

The second Global Cybersecurity Index released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union said only about half of all countries have a cybersecurity strategy or are in the process of developing one and urged more countries to consider
national policies to protect against cybercrime.

India is ranked 23rd on the index with a score of 0.683 and has been listed in the "maturing" category, which refers to 77 countries that have developed complex commitments to cybersecurity and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives.

The index has been topped by Singapore with a 0.925 score.

The top 10 most committed countries to cybersecurity are Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France and Canada. Russia is ranked 11th.
20:56   West Bengal says no to 400 more central troops for riot-hit areas
The West Bengal government has said it does not need an additional 400 central troops for deployment in the riot-hit areas of North 24-Parganas district, according to a Union home ministry spokesperson.

"We have sent eight companies of paramilitary forces (comprising 100 personnel each) to West Bengal for deployment in the communal violence-affected areas. However, the West Bengal government has conveyed that it does not require four of the eight companies," the spokesperson said.

The state government has not cited any reason for its decision.

The state's refusal came in the wake of an unprecedented public spat between Governor KN Tripathi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, triggered by a telephonic conversation between the two on the communal violence.

Communal clashes broke out in Baduria in Basirhat sub- division of the district on Monday following an objectionable Facebook post.
20:21   J-K cops crack case of lynching of police officer
The Jammu and Kashmir Police today said it had cracked the case of lynching of a police officer last month by arresting "three to four" persons.

Other accused have also been identified and will be arrested soon, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan said.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Ayub Pandith was stripped and lynched by a mob outside Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar on the night of Shab-e-Qadar on June 22, triggering an outrage in Kashmir.

"We have been able to identify the real persons involved in that case and we have arrested three-to-four persons. We will be arresting others also," Khan said.

"We have been able to recover the belongings (of the DySP) such as the identity card and the pistol," the IGP added.

He said the investigation was going in the right direction.
20:03   UPDATE: PM Modi ends his 'historic' Israel visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi ends his historic three-day visit to Israel and is now on his way to Hamburg for the G20 summit. 

Modi became the first ever Indian prime minister to visit Israel and the two countries signed seven deals -- including those on water and space -- during the three-day visit. 
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended his visit to Israel, he tweet, "Thank you my friend, PM Netanyahu for the signed photo, your kind words, hospitality & passion towards India-IsraelFriendship."
19:26   Amid Sikkim standoff, China holds military drill in Tibet
Amid the Sikkim standoff, the Chinese Army is carrying out exercises simulating real battle scenarios at high-altitude areas in Tibet, testing new equipment, including a light battle tank.

The exercises were being carried at an altitude of 5,100 metres.

Besides testing the new equipment, the exercises involve conducting live firing exercises.

The exercises also involve combat operations command, combat synergies, live fire shooting training, and comprehensive inspection of arms integration, the report said.

The simulation also involves offensive and defensive training.

Last week, Chinese Defence spokesman Colonel Wu Qin told the media here that the trials of the tank, reportedly weighing about 35 tonnes, were taking place during military exercises.

The exercises were being held in the backdrop of heightened India-China tensions at Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector.
18:57   Not a full-time politician, hope to return to my mutt soon: Adityanath
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday claimed that he was not a full-time politician, and serving the public was the only reason for his foray into politics.

When asked about his chances of becoming Indias future premier, Adityanath said he considered himself fortunate to have been given the responsibility of heading Uttar Pradesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. After I have successfully carried out my responsibilities, I would like to return to my mutt. I dont think its acceptable to devote my entire life to politics," he said. 

Adityanath said he was able to achieve a lot during his first 100 days in office, including establishing his commitment to good governance and improving the law-and-order situation by not according protection to criminals.

The chief minister also claimed that his spiritual prowess helped him immensely in carrying out administrative work, and his shift from Gorakhpur math to the chief ministers bungalow has not brought about any big change in his lifestyle. He remains an early riser who performs his rituals as a mahant in the morning before taking up chief ministerial responsibilities that keep him up till midnight.

-- Hindustan Times
18:28   NDTV seeks quashing of CBI FIR, stay on probe
NDTV and its promoters today sought a stay in the Delhi high court on the CBI's investigation proceedings and quashing of an FIR against them over alleged defrauding of a bank.

The NDTV and RRPR Holdings Private Limited filed a petition to this effect in the high court, which asked the CBI to file a status report regarding its ongoing probe in the matter.

Justice Vinod Goel, who did not issue a notice today on the plea, directed the agency to file the status report on its probe against NDTV, RRPR and the promoters by September 21, the next date of hearing.

The FIR has been lodged by CBI against the firms and NDTV co-founders Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy for allegedly causing losses to the ICICI Bank for over Rs 48 crore.

They have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct.

-- PTI
18:11   Police directs suspension of social media sites in Kashmir from tonight
The Jammu and Kashmir Police today directed internet service providers to block all social media sites or shut down their services in Kashmir from 10 pm today till further orders in view of the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani this weekend.

The order was issued by Inspector General of police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan to various lease line internet service providers in the valley.

"In view of the apprehensions of misuse of internet services by anti-national elements, which is likely to cause deterioration in law and order situation, you are directed to block all social media sites," the order read.

It added that if blocking of the social media sites was not possible, the service providers should shut down their services in Kashmir valley from 10 pm today till further orders.

The authorities are also likely to suspend mobile internet services across the valley as a precautionary measure.

Burhan's killing in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year had triggered massive protests and prolonged period of curfews and shutdowns across the valley.

-- PTI
JUST IN: Govt bans dual MRP. Companies cannot charge more for water, soft drinks and snacks at airports, malls
17:48   Pranab all praise for 'role model' Nitish-Kovind ties
The cordial relationship between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Governor Ram Nath Kovind and their approach were the "role model", not once did Nitish fight with Ram Nath Kovind in the years they have served Bihar.   

These words from President Pranab Mukherjee come against the backdrop of  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's spat with Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi, Pondicherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy's fight with Governor Kiran Bedi, and Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy's out-of-turn remarks. 

Most of the gubernatorial appointments by the Narendra Modi government have an RSS element to them. One study points to there being 14 governors who are hardcore RSS followers, like Padmanabha Acharya in Arunachal Pradesh, Kalyan Singh in Rajasthan, and Ram Naik in Uttar Pradesh.   

Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee is clearly concerned about the differences and squabbles among constitutional appointees, and considers it to be not a good sign for the democratic process. 

Hopefully, someone is paying attention.
17:43   Current GST imperfect, should have been delayed by 2 months: Chidambaram
Almost a week after the rollout of the landmark Goods and Services Tax, the Congress today called it "imperfect" and a "mockery" of the original draft, and added that it should have been delayed by at least two months since it fails to achieve its purpose in its current form.

"The GST rollout should have been delayed by two months. The GST Network should have undergone a dry run before implementation," former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in a press conference in New Delhi.

"This is not the GST the UPA government had envisaged. It's imperfect, a mockery of GST," Chidambaram said, adding that his party, the Congress, will press for the reduction in rates and an 18 per cent cap.

"The aim was that one indirect tax will subsume all other indirect taxes. This GST fails to achieve that," he said.

The senior Congress leader demanded that real estate, electricity and petroleum products must be brought under GST. 
17:23   Paswan turns 72 and what a birthday bash it was!
Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan turned 72 on Wednesday, July 5, and his birthday was celebrated as a gala affair in his Delhi bungalow with the who's who of New Delhi turning up.   

President Pranab Mukherjee was there as was Vice President Hamid Ansari. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent him a birthday card from Tel Aviv.   

But the most interesting guest was Ram Nath Kovind, the BJP's presidential candidate. Paswan told him that he was lucky to be greeted on his birthday by the sitting President as well as the incoming one. 

Chirag Paswan, the MP from Jamui, put together his father's birthday bash with meticulous care. President Mukherjee remembered the time when Paswan entered Parliament for the first time, in 1977 from Hajipur, remarking then that he was very young. Paswan was all of 31 then. Now you are the treasure of Bihar, Pranab said, and wished Paswan many more birthdays to come. 

Paswan told Pranab that he considers the President his elder brother, and thanked him profusely for all his guidance in parliamentary procedures and practices.
16:58   Tamil Nadu theatre owners call off strike over 30% local body tax
Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu have called off their indefinite strike over a 30 per cent municipal tax on movie tickets introduced after the Goods and Services Tax  was launched at midnight last Friday. Movie shows will resume this evening.

The strike has been called off as he Tamil Nadu government would form a committee to study the issue.

More than a 1,000 cinemas in the state have been shut since Monday to protest against the hike in taxes - they say that the state tax of 30 per cent on tickets on top of the new national tax GST of 28 percent will deter cinema-goers and encourage piracy.

Tamil film industry representatives say the taxes could affect the livelihoods of nearly one million people.

Superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have already extended their support to the strike.

Rajinikanth, who is currently in the US for a health checkup, had yesterday requested the government to consider the film industry's plea.
"Keeping in mind the livelihood of lakhs of people in the Tamil film industry, I sincerely request the Tamil Nadu government to seriously consider our plea," he said in a tweet.
16:42   A murder most foul
Lauren Smiley delves into the lives shattered when Adam Purinton pumped bullets into Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February 2017. A must-read article in the Wire, here.
16:34   Modi to meet leaders of Canada, Japan, UK at G20: MEA
India said today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold meetings with leaders of countries like Canada, Japan, and the UK on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg but ruled out any scheduled bilateral meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"The PM is visiting Hamburg from July 6-8 for G-20 Summit. His pre-planned bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Summit are with Argentina, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, the UK and Vietnam," external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when
asked about Prime Minister Modi's schedule in Hamburg.
16:08   Sunanda Pushkar case: Swamy files PIL seeking court-monitored probe
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy today filed a PIL in the Delhi high court in the Sunanda Pushkar case, seeking a court monitored probe and re-investigation by the Delhi Police.

The petition filed by Swamy asserts that the Sunanda Pushkar's case is "extreme example of the slow-motion of the criminal justice process and the extent to which it can be subverted by the rich and influential".

The PIL in the case has sought setting up of a Central Bureau of Investigation headed Special Investigation Team to probe in a time bound manner under a court monitored mechanism under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950, the murder case of the former in which inordinate delays have been caused.

Pushkar, 51, was found dead at a suite in a five-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014, a day after her spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar on Twitter over her alleged affair with Tharoor.
Netanyahu gives a demo of a mobile seawater desalination unit to PM Modi at Dor beach in Haifa.
15:24   When Indian bravehearts were commemorated at Haifa for the first time
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Indian cemetery in the Israeli city of Haifa today to pay homage to Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the World War 1 while protecting the city from the powerful forces of the Ottoman Empire, here's a must-read Rediff article from September 2010, the first time a ceremony was being held to honour the Indian heroes of this battle.   

In it, Vaihayasi Pande Daniel writes about the commemoration ceremony to honour these 'Indian bravehearts' on Haifa Day, 92 years after the campaign, that was attended by a handful of dignitaries -- representatives from the Haifa City Council, Israel's ministry of defence, the Haifa Historical Society, the Commonwealth Graves Commission as well as defence attaches from several countries, and India's Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna.   

You can read the moving article here.
15:11   Russia 'could have' interfered with 2016 US election: Trump
United States President Donald Trump for the first time has admitted that Russia could have interfered in the US election. 

Speaking at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump said he thinks Russia and possibly other countries could have meddled with the election he won in November.

Possible Russia interference in the election is currently the subject of a US investigation, however, the Kremlin has strongly denied all allegations.

"It could very well have been Russia but I think it could have been other countries and I wont be specific but I think a lot of people interfere," he said.

"Its been happening for a long time. Its been happening for many, many years," he added.

In the conference, he said that former president, Barack Obama, learnt of the hacking allegations in August but took no action until after the Republican was elected.

"He was told in early August, presumably by the CIA, that Russia was trying to get involved, meddling, pretty strongly with the election," he said.
PM Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu at Dor beach to visit desalination plants in Haifa, Israel. 
14:38   Decoded: What makes online trolls so mean
Why does the Internet bring out the worst traits in mankind?   

Researchers at the School of Health Science and Psychology at Federation University in Mount Helen in Australia set out to discover what traits in "normal' people (social media users above age 18 who did not appear to be trolls) that might make them susceptible to trolling behaviour, writes Cassie Werber in

Some 415 men and women were tested for a range of personality traits, as well as for online behavior that indicated a propensity to troll -- such as agreeing with the statement, 'Although some people think my posts/comments are offensive, I think they are funny.'   

And the "trolls' in the study scored higher than average on two traits: psychopathy and cognitive empathy, she writes.   

The study is forthcoming in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. It doesn't offer advice on how to stop trolling behavior, but adds a wrinkle to our knowledge of why people act out online, says Cassie Werber, here.
14:22   Tamil Nadu theatres remain shut for 4th day over double taxation
The indefinite strike by theatre owners and distributors in Tamil Nadu demanding withdrawal of 30 per cent local body tax on movie tickets entered the fourth day today.
Since new films are traditionally released on Friday, considered auspicious in the film fraternity, industry sources are hoping the situation gets resolved after talks with government scheduled later in the day.
Nearly 1,000 cinema halls in the state have been shut since July 3 to protest the imposition of 30 per cent local body tax in addition to GST on movie tickets.
Besides the local body tax, a GST of 18 per cent has been fixed for tickets priced below Rs 100 and 28 per cent for those above Rs 100.
Members of the Tamil Film Producers Council, the South Indian Artistes Association, along with the theatre owners and distributors, had met Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday.      But they decided to continue the protest as the meeting did not yield any positive result.
The issue also echoed in the ongoing assembly session with opposition parties DMK and Congress raising it.
Municipal Administration Minister S P Velumani informed the members that the government would give due consideration to the problems of all sections of people.       

The government, he said, was committed to solving the problem.
Superstars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have already extended their support to the strike.
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu lays wreath at cemetery for Indian soldiers of WWI in Haifa.
13:50   Update: 'Atmosphere not right' for Xi-Modi meet at G20: China
Amidst a border standoff, China today said that the "atmosphere" was "not right" for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.
"The atmosphere is not right for a bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi," a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said ahead of the G20 Summit in the German city of Hamburg from tomorrow.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan tri-junction for past 19 days after a Chinese Army's construction party attempted to build a road. Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.
There were reports that Modi and Xi may meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to resolve the standoff.
China's state-run media yesterday had quoted Chinese analysts as saying that Beijing would be forced to use a "military way" to end the standoff in the Sikkim sector if India refuses to listen to the "historical lessons" being
offered by it.
13:48   PM Modi pays tribute to Indian WW I heroes at Haifa
Prime Minister Modi paid homage to Indian soldiers who laid down their lives during the World War in 1918 while protecting Haifa from the powerful forces of the Ottoman Empire.

The Battle of Haifa was fought on September 23, 1918 and every year on this date the Indian Army celebrates Haifa Day to pay respect to the martyred Indian soldiers. 

Battle of Haifa is considered to be one of the most bravely-contested battles of World War I.
13:07   IAF's MiG 23 aircraft crashes in Jodhpur's Balesar
A MiG-23 trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force today crashed in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district, with both the pilots ejecting safely.
The incident occurred in Balesar area, SP (Jodhpur Rural) Dr Ravi said.
It was a MiG-23 UB trainer plane and both the pilot and co-pilot are safe, defence source said.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered.

Further details are awaited.

This is second crash within a week as on June 4, an Indian Air Force helicopter went missing. 

Later, its debris was spotted in a deep ravine yesterday.
12:55   For Netanyahu, both India and China ties are a marriage made in heaven
Socio-political activist and columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni tweets: #Netanyahu to #XiJinping on 20.3.17: "This is a marriage made in heaven" #Netanyahu to #Modi on 5.7.17: "This is a marriage made in heaven"   

The Hindu's Suhasini Haider had made the same point yesterday when she tweeted: 'PM Netanyahu: India Israel ties are a marriage made in heaven, practiced on earth. Same line he said for China in March this year.'
12:20   Hope you didn't fall for this fake photograph
The photo alongside, of a street artist, has been making the rounds since Prime Minister landed in Israel for his three-day visit, but don't fall for it, warns the Quint, because, the website points out, the image is a photoshopped version of a photo from 2005.   

The actual image was taken at the Centre of Pompidou in Paris. And the street artist was captured reproducing Vermeer's Het Meisje Met de Parel, the website says, here.
12:14   Coming up today: Mallya's extradition case in London
The Westminster magistrates' court in London will hear today the extradition case of fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya. Britain's crown prosecution service will argue in the extradition case on behalf of India.  

A joint team of the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate went to London last month with relevant documents to bolster the Crown's case.  

Mallya, a liquor baron, owes as much as Rs 9,000 crore to Indian banks. He has been accused of "dual criminality" -- of cheating and money laundering.  

The liquor tycoon is currently out on bail after being arrested by Scotland Yard in April 18 after India made a formal extradition request for him on February 8. 

The 61-year-old chief of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines fled India on March 2 last year, and has been living in Britain, mostly, since then.
12:02   Achal Kumar Joti takes charge as CEC

Achal Kumar Joti today took the charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Joti, 64, was the chief secretary of Gujarat when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief minister.

Joti, a 1975-batch Indian Administrative Service officer, had joined the three-member poll panel as an election commissioner on May 8, 2015 and would be in office till January 17 next year.

He retired as the Gujarat chief secretary in January 2013.

A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
11:50   Woman gang raped in front of children; 4 arrested
A 35-year-old woman was allegedly raped by two men in front of her three children at her house in Visakhapatnam, police said.

The police yesterday nabbed the two accused and their accomplices and are interrogating them. 

In her complaint lodged with the Gajuwaka Police Station on Tuesday night, the woman stated that the incident occurred on Monday evening when her husband was away for work.

According to the complainant, the gang of four men, including a minor, barged into her house.

"Two members of the gang raped the woman in front of her children. They also threatened her with dire consequences if she disclosed the matter to anyone," Gajuwaka police station inspector T Immanuel Raju said.

Police have registered a case under IPC section 376, for punishment for rape, against the accused. "We have nabbed all the four members of the gang and further investigation is on," Raju said.
11:35   Saudi Arabia funding Islamic terrorism in UK, says report
Saudi Arabia is the chief foreign promoter of Islamist extremism in the UK, a new report has claimed, reports the BBC, here.   

'The Henry Jackson Society said there was a "clear and growing link" between Islamist organisations in receipt of overseas funds, hate preachers and Jihadist groups promoting violence, and the foreign affairs think tank called for a public inquiry into the role of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations,' BBC reported.   

The full report can be accessed here.
11:30   The toxic path Pakistan still treads
'If Pakistan does not rid itself of its networks of extremism, terrorism and militancy, domestic or regional circumstances will invariably create an excuse for the next big wave of violence. Seventy years into its existence, this country must no longer be held back by forces four decades old,' Dawn notes in its strongly-worded editorial, here.
11:26   Jawan goes missing in Kashmir with AK-47, suspected to have joined terrorists
An Army jawan has gone missing along with his service rifle from a camp in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, officials said today.
Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, a resident of Pulwama district in South Kashmir, was reported absconding since last night by the army unit located in Gantmulla area of Baramulla, the officials said.
They said Thoker's service rifle and three magazines were also missing.

An alert has been sounded and security forces have been directed to remain vigilant as the jawan could have joined militant ranks, the officials said.
11:19   SC strikes down jobs, admissions based on fake caste certificate
Just In: Supreme Court holds that jobs and admissions secured on fake caste certificate in reserved category can't be sustained.  Apex court does not agree with Bombay HC ruling that a person can be allowed to continue in job if caste certificate is found fake after a long period.
10:55   Why US Senator John McCain talked tough in Pakistan
'US Senator John McCain's warning that if Pakistan does not stop supporting the Haqqani network, the United States should change its 'behaviour' towards the Pakistani nation reflects the changing mood in Washington towards a country once considered a close ally,' reports Anwar Iqbal in Dawn.   

But it's not just the United States which talks about forcing Pakistan to change its Afghan policy, he writes. In a recent statement, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a sterner warning. 'It is absolutely unacceptable that a country provides sanctuary to terrorist groups which are responsible for terrorist attacks inside another country.'   

'A recent Pentagon report -- which describes Pakistan as "the most influential external actor' in Afghanistan -- explains that this new emphasis on Pakistan stems from a realisation that there can neither be peace nor stability in Afghanistan if Islamabad does not support the efforts to do so,' reports Anwar Iqbal, and this report, which blames Pakistan for lack of success in Afghanistan, in fact was presented to McCain before he flew to the Af-Pak region this week.   

You can read Anwar Iqbal's report here.
10:41   Withdraw troops before talks: China to India over border standoff
Amidst the ongoing tension between India and China over the Sikkim border issue, the political counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in India, Li Ya, has suggested India to withdraw its troops from Doklam before peace talks between the two sides.

"As far as solution is concerned, the Indian troops must pull back to Indian side of the boundary unconditionally and immediately. This is the precondition for any meaningful dialogue between China and India," said Li, in a video issued by the Chinese Embassy, over the border standoff between the two sides.

He claimed there was no support to India's claim that the Doklam area belong to Bhutan, adding that China has strong evidence to prove that Doklam belongs to them.

"We have strong evidence to prove that Doklam belongs to China. Doklam has always been the traditional pasture for Chinese border inhabitants. Archives of Xi Zang Autonomous Region still retain some receipts of the grass tax paid by Bhutanese herdsmen. Today, the Chinese border troops still patrol there and the herdsmen graze their livestock there, and production and living facilities have been built there," he explained.

"As to changing status quo, since Doklam is part of Chinese territory, activities conducted by China in Doklam are within China's sovereignty," he added.

Li alleged that it was the Indian side that had trespassed into Chinese territory on June 18 and changed the status quo, triggering a close range face-off.
09:55   Birmingham cancels permission for Burhan Wani rally
The Birmingham City Council has been forced to withdraw permission granted to the organisers of 'Burhan Wani day' to mark the first death anniversary of Hizbul- Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani after India lodged a strong protest over the same. 

Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces in the Tral region of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8, 2016. 

-- ANI
09:54   Lankan Navy arrests 8 Tamil Nadu fishermen
Eight Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of fishing in the island nation's territorial waters. 

The navy personnel also seized two boats of the fishermen belonging to Kottaipattinam in Pudukottai district late last night, Fisheries Department Assistant Director Chandrasekhar said.

All the fishermen were taken to Kagesanthurai, he said. 

In another incident, a boat sunk off Neduntheevu coast and the four fishermen in it were rescued by fishermen in another boat and brought to the shore Rameswaram early today, he said.
09:42   MP denies nod for rally at Mandsaur but farmers adamant
Farmers' plan to launch a vehicle rally today from the site of last month's police firing in Mandsaur has hit a roadblock with the local administration vowing not to give permission for the stir.   

The ryots want to start the nationwide-rally on tractors and four-wheelers from Pipalia Mandi -- the place where five farmers were killed in police firing during an agitation on June 6.   

On the other hand, the district administration is not giving permission to the farmers' outfits to start the rally from the town, around 17 km from the district headquarters, saying tension still prevails in the area.   

"We won't allow farmers to hold a condolence meeting at (nearby) Bahi-Phanta area (to mourn the death of the five farmers) and then take out the rally from Pipalia Mandi," collector O P Shrivastava told PTI over phone.   

"Tension still prevails in Pipalia Mandi. Besides, Bahi-Phanta is a place from where a four-lane road passes. Traffic on that road will come to a halt if farmers arrive for the condolence meeting on their tractors," he added.   

The collector said the farmers are adamant on assembling at Bahi-Phanta and then coming to Pipalia Mandi for a public meeting to start the rally.   However, shops were burnt during the farmer stir at Pipalia Mandi and the area is "still tense", he said.   

"Farmers are free to start their rally from any other place in the district. We don't want to curtail the democratic rights of any person or group," Shrivastava contended.   

"We have made some preventive arrests," he said, but did not elaborate.   

Ujjain division range Inspector General of Police Madhu Kumar said adequate security arrangements are being made to maintain law and order.   

"Nothing (untoward) will happen. We will handle the situation," he said.   Notwithstanding the administration's tough stance, a farmer leader said there will be no change in the venue.   

"We are going to take out the rally from Pipalia Mandi," Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sabha president Jaswinder Singh, who has already reached Mandsaur, said.   

"Farmer leaders from different parts of the country are coming to Pipalia Mandi. They will demand that a memorial be built for the farmers killed in police firing," he added.   

"More than 150 farmer organisations are going to take part in the rally," he said.   

The vehicle rally has been organised by farmer outfits to demand remunerative prices for agriculture produce and waiver of farm loans, among other things, he said.   

Singh said the rally will pass through Maharashtra, Gujarat and reach New Delhi on July 18 where farmers are planning to hold a demonstration in front of Parliament.   

The vehicular procession will continue from the national capital and culminate at Champaran in Bihar on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Singh added.
09:15   VHP brings in more stones in Ayodhya for construction of Ram Mandir
At least three trucks of red stones were brought for building the controversial Ram temple in Ayodhya, under the supervision of the Vishswa Hindu Parishad.

"These red stones are for Ram Janam Bhoomi mandir's construction. The stones were brought here previously also and now again it's coming," said Ram Janam Bhoomi VHP representative Prakash Kumar Gupta.

"The former government (Akhilesh Yadav's Government) in Uttar Pradesh imposed restrictions verbally but the present government (Yogi Adityanath Government) has not done something like that," VHP's media advisor Sharad Sharma Prantiya said.

The stones were unloaded at Ayodhya's Ramsevak Puram, the storehouse for Ram Mandir construction set up by the VHP.

The carving of stones for the temple is being done under the supervision of an organisation of VHP, 'Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas' and saints.
08:44   Maharashtra extends waiver to farmers who took loans post 2008
The Maharashtra government has expanded the ambit of its loan waiver scheme to include even those farmers who had taken loans after 2008, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced on Wednesday.
Earlier, the loan waiver scheme, titled the 'Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Sanman Yojana', covered only those farmers who have the loan outstanding between April 1, 2012 and June 30, 2016.
Fadnavis made this announcement during his fortnightly programme 'Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy'.
BJP legislators Anil Bonde, Ashish Deshmukh, Sanjay Kute and Prashant Bamb called on the chief minister earlier in the day and demanded that farmers who have taken agriculture loans after March 1, 2008 and before May 31, 2012 be given benefit of the loan waiver scheme announced last month.
The erstwhile Congress-led UPA government under Manmohan Singh had announced an agriculture loan waiver and a debt relief scheme of Rs 71,000 crore for the country in 2008.
That scheme covered cultivators who had an overdue of agriculture loans up to February 29, 2008.

"Fadnavis agreed to the demand raised by the BJP legislators and announced to include those farmers in his loan waiver scheme," stated a release issued by the Chief Minister's Office.
The CM also extended the date to repay overdue of loans taken by farmers in the year 2016-17 and who are regular payees from earlier June 30, 2017 to July 31, 2017, the statement said.
In the One Time Settlement scheme, farmers can repay outstanding loan in four instalments. Once they repay three instalments, the government will give the fourth instalment of Rs 1.5 lakh as the loan waiver, he said.
08:41   18 Naxals killed in op between June 23-25: Chhattisgarh Police
The Chhattisgarh police on Wednesday claimed that 18 Naxals were killed during a joint counter-insurgency operation by security forces in Tondamarka area of Sukma district last month.
The operation, named 'Prahaar', was conducted by the Central Reserve Police Force, its elit unit, the CoBRA and the state police's Special Task Force and District Reserve Guard between June 23 and 25, police said.
The area, situated deep inside forests under Chhintagufa police station limits, is considered a "Naxal den".
While the body of only one Naxal was recovered, Sukma Superintendent of Police Abhishek Meena said the police had confirmed reports of death of 18 Naxals.
Body of Uika Lakhu, a hardcore "military cadre", was recovered, Meena told PTI.
Several other rebels were either killed or injured but their colleagues managed to drag their bodies away, he said.
Three DRG jawans were also killed and six other security personnel injured in the operation, the SP said.
"We have received confirmed reports that 14 Maoists were gunned down in exchange of fire with security forces during that operation, while another four injured cadres succumbed later," Meena said.
As per the local intelligence sources, six of these slain Naxals were identified as Sodhi Budhra, Podiyam Suresh, Muchaki Jogi, Madvi Hidma, Veti Joga and Sodhi Lakhe, all belonging to People's Liberation Guerrilla Army squad of Maoists, he added.
On April 24 this year, 25 CRPF personnel who were providing security for a road construction work were killed in a Naxal attack in Burkapal area of Sukma. 
08:21   Chinese soldiers should leave Bhutanese territory to reduce tension: India
The border standoff between armies of India and China at the Sikkim sector can be resolved diplomatically and Chinese soldiers should leave the Bhutanese territory to reduce tension in the area, Minister of State for
Defence Subhash Bhamre said.
"I think the issue can be resolved at the diplomatic level. The Chinese troops should stay where they were earlier. China is approaching towards Bhutanese territory. We want them not to come forward.
"This is our security concern and this is our stand. Bhutan's King had given a statement that Chinese (troops) are entering into its territory. This tension can be resolved at the diplomatic level. Across the table we can solve all the problems," Bhamre said.
Bhamre's comments came on a day China accused India of "trampling" on the principles of the Panchsheel pact and demanded that India "correct its mistakes" by pulling back its troops immediately.
Chinese envoy to India Luo Zhaohui had said China had ruled out a compromise in the military standoff with India and put the onus on New Delhi to resolve the "grave" situation.
China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area near the Bhutan trijunction for the past 19 days after a Chinese army's construction party came to build a road.
00:23   Fans of Trump Taj Mahal can take a piece of the casino home
Fans of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort can take home a piece of the former casino before it's gutted to make way for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Furniture, poker tables, grand pianos, art and even its famous chandeliers will be among the merchandise up for grabs at a liquidation sale that starts at 10 am tomorrow.

National Content Liquidators says the sale will continue until everything's gone.

US President Donald Trump opened the Taj Mahal in 1990, proclaiming it to be "the eighth wonder of the world."

But within a year it had filed for bankruptcy, crippled by choking debt. Trump cut most of his ties with Atlantic City in 2009, having lost control of the casino company he once owned in a bankruptcy.

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn shut the Taj Mahal down in October after a bitter strike with the casino's main union, and he sold it to Hard Rock International in March for $50 million.
00:06   Indians in Israel who have served in the army to receive OCI cards
Continuing his address to the Indian Diaspora, the PM to the chants of 'Modi, Modi' speaks:

>> We have developed a holistic approach to promote ease of doing business in India

>> For the first time in India, we are linking tax incentives with job creation

>> Make in India has become a brand now, taking everyone by surprise

>> India and Israel can walk together shoulder to shoulder in the field of technology

>> The skills you are learning here will be useful to India in the times to come

He also brings some good news for the Indians living in Israel. 

>> Those who have served in Israel's army under the conscription rule will receive an OCI card

>> In order to deepen cultural ties with Israel, soon Indian government will open an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel, which will help you connect to your history

>> A Delhi-Mumbai-Tel Aviv airplane route will also soon begin