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Tue, 28 November 2017
Modi, Ivanka attend gala dinner at Falaknuma Palace

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23:01   Modi, Ivanka attend gala dinner at Falaknuma Palace
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump, United States President Donald Trump's daughter and presidential adviser, attended a gala dinner at the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad this evening.

The dinner was hosted by the Union government as part of the ongoing Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017.

Famous for its huge Nizam-era table which can seat 101 guests at a time, the palace-turned-plush hotel is one the key landmarks of the city.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao was among those present for the dinner.

A separate dinner was arranged for around 1,500 delegates of the GES on the lawns of the palace.  -- PTI

Photograph: MEAPhotogallery/Flickr
22:48   Court issues non-bailable warrant against Mevani
A court in Ahmedabad has issued a non- bailable warrant against Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani for failing to appear for the hearing in a case against him for stopping Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express during a protest in January.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate R S Langa issued non-bailable warrants against Mevani and 12 other people yesterday after they failed to appear before the court.

On January 11, Mevani and his supporters were arrested for blocking the Rajdhani Express at the Ahmedabad railway station for several minutes as part of a 'rail roko' protest against the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

They were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting) and relevant sections of the Indian Railway Act. A charge sheet was also filed in the case.

The magistrate yesterday refused to consider the exemption application filed by Mevani's lawyer Samshad Pathan who pleaded that his client was busy filing nomination forms as an independent candidate from the Vadagam assembly seat.

This was the second consecutive time Mevani had failed to appear before the court. -- PTI
22:00   Ivanka's praises over fight against poverty was for UPA: Chidambaram
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today claimed that United States President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump's statement that India had lifted 130 million people out of poverty was a reference to the previous United Progressive Alliance government's tenure.

'When Ivanka Trump said that India had lifted 130 million people out of poverty, she was referring to the UPA government's period of 2004 to 2014 (the number was 140 million),' the former finance minister tweeted.

In her keynote address at the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, Ivanka today praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Through your own enterprise, entrepreneurship and hard work, the people of India have lifted more than 130 million citizens out of poverty -- a remarkable improvement, and one I know will continue to grow under the leadership of the Prime Minister," she said.  -- PTI

Photograph: Reuters
21:54   LeT operative carrying out reconnaissance of key installations arrested
Security agencies have arrested an alleged Lashker-e-Tayiba operative and claimed that he was carrying out reconnaissance of vital installations such as Army camps and power projects, officials said today.

They said that the accused, identified as Abdul Naeem Sheikh, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, was arrested from Varanasi recently after being tailed by security agencies for a few months.

The case has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for further probe, the officials said.

It is alleged that Sheikh had visited Kashmir where he had carried out a recce mission involving some vital installations, including Army camps and power projects.

The officials claimed that he had also visited some places in Himachal Pradesh, especially Kasol, which is being frequented by Israeli nationals.

The security agencies have claimed that Sheikh had been roped in on the same lines as David Headley, a Pakistan- American, who is at present serving a prison sentence of 35 years in a US jail for his involvement in terror activities and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008.  -- PTI
20:55   Hadiya will continue studies under former Hindu name: Principal
Kerala woman Hadiya, who is at the centre of an alleged 'love jihad' case, will pursue her homeopathy studies under her previous Hindu name, the Salem medical college principal said today, a day after the Supreme Court freed her from the custody of her parents.

Hadiya, 25, flew to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu from Delhi and headed to Salem by road this evening to resume her studies as directed by the apex court.

A Hindu by birth and named as Akhila Ashokan, she had converted to Islam several months before her marriage.

Hadiya, who was accompanied by the Kerala police, is due to undergo a 11-month internship in homeopathy at the Sivaraj Medical College in Salem, about 170 km from Coimbatore.

She was not permitted to speak to the media at the airport in Coimbatore.

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had given its direction yesterday after interacting with Hadiya even as she pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her husband Shafin Jahan.

Salem medical College Principal G Kannan said Hadiya will be treated as one of the inmates of the hostel and that no special treatment will be accorded to her.

Hadiya will be registered under her Hindu name Akhila Ashokan in the college, he told reporters in Salem.  -- PTI
20:41   Tejas fighter jet very very capable: Singapore defence minister
Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen today hailed India's indigenously-built multi-role light combat aircraft Tejas as 'very very capable'.

As the first civilian foreigner to fly on Tejas, Ng took a half-an-hour flight in the two-seater plane piloted by Air Vice Marshal A P Singh at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal.

"It is a very very capable plane," Ng told reporters in  Kalaikunda after flying on Tejas.

Hailing Tejas as 'very impressive', Ng said, "This is the reason why our air force trains with your air force. Pilots are superb, planes are pretty good."

Praising Air Vice Marshal Singh as a 'superbly confident and supremely professional' pilot, Ng said he felt as if he was riding a car and not flying in a fighter aircraft.

"In fact the plane ride was so smooth that despite the G-turns and manoeuvres, I managed to even take some selfies," Ng said.

Singh, who flew Tejas, is the project director of the National Flight Test Centre -- Aeronautical Development Agency.

Asked whether Singapore is interested in buying the Tejas fighter aircraft, the minister said he was not a pilot and it was up to the technical people to take a call on it.

Indian defence sources, however, said Singapore has evinced interest in Tejas.

During the Bahrain air show where Tejas aircraft was showcased, some Middle Eastern countries had also shown interest, the defence sources said.

Two Tejas aircraft were flown in  to Kalaikunda from Bangalore so that the Singapore defence minister can have a look at the aircraft.

Tejas aircraft was designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

The Singapore defence minister is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi tomorrow.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen flying Tejas fighter aircraft piloted by Air Vice Marshal A P Singh at Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI
19:46   Here's what Modi gifted to Ivanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented Ivanka Trump a wooden box of Sadeli craft.

This craft technique of fabricating geometric patterns in wood is native to Surat, Gujarat. -- ANI
18:57   Parl panel summons Bhansali, I&B, CBFC over Padmavati
Parliamentary panel on IT calls Padmavati director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I&B ministry and censor board officials to hear their views on the controversy over the film, the panel head Anurag Thakur tells PTI.

The Supreme Court today asked people holding public office to desist from reacting on the Deepika Padukone-starrer Padmavati, saying such statements violated the rule of law and could prejudice the censor board's decision.

Politicians of all hues, including some chief ministers, have recently made public statements, mostly against the film based on the saga of the historic battle of 13th century between Maharaja Ratan Singh and his army of Mewar and Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi.

"When a matter is pending for consideration before the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), how can persons in public authority comment on whether the CBFC should issue certificate or not? It will prejudice the decision of CBFC," a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.
-- PTI
18:45   Melania truly loves what she is doing: Trump
While Ivanka held her own in Hyderabad, back in the US, her father and the US President Donald  Trump tweets: @realDonaldTrump "Melania, our great and very hard working First Lady, who truly loves what she is doing, always thought that "if you run, you will win.' She would tell everyone that, "no doubt, he will win.' I also felt I would win (or I would not have run) - and Country is doing great!"

This is probably in reference to the report doing the rounds that Melania never wanted to be the First Lady. Read the report here.
18:31   Ivanka will inspire women entrepreneurs: Sushma
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit:

-- I am the 'chinamma' (literally means 'little mother', but aunt would be a better descriptive) of Telangana, that's why I can say that it is a perfect mix of traditionalism and modernisation.

-- I would like to thank Ivanka Trump, co-host of this summit. She represents the energy and spirit of an entrepreneur that characterizes the youth of today. I am sure her presence will inspire women entrepreneurs from India and across the world.

-- I have no doubt that under the leadership of PM Modi and President Trump India and US relations will reach new heights & contribute to global peace and prosperity.
18:22   Come, Make in India, says PM@GES
Update on the PM's Modi's speech at the GES in Hyderabad.

-- Aadhaar covers 1.15 bn people; 40 mn digital transactions happening daily, says the PM.

-- Smartphone users in India projected to grow to 580 million by 2018, offering opportunities for job creation.

--  The BHIM app is processing 280,000 transactions daily. 

-- Govt has made changes in law to prevent wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets. We have succeeded in containing fiscal and current account deficits and curbing inflation; foreign reserves crossed USD 400 billion.

-- To my entrepreneur friends across the world, I would like to say come make in India, invest in India, for India and for the world.

18:01   Tinkering Labs in 900 schools: PM
PM Modi speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Hyderabad. Updates on this speech...

-- Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions.


--  My govt has launched the Atal Innovation Mission. We are opening Tinkering Labs in more than 900 schools to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among children.


-- A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the GST across the country.
17:56   We've made it easier to do business in India: PM
PM Narendra Modi speaking at the GEC Summit after Ivanka Trump. Excerpts from his speech.

-- This summit brings together a lot of fields relevant to the issues of mankind and prosperity of mankind.

-- GEC17 showcases close ties between US and India and underlines the shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.  

-- The summit is being held for the first time in South Asia. It brings together, leading investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, think tanks and other stake holders to propel the global entrepreneurship ecosystem.

-- The theme, 'women first, prosperity for all' makes this edition of GSE stand out.

-- Over 50 per cent of the delegates to the summit are women.

-- In Indian mythology, women are an incarnation of Shakti - the Goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development.

-- Our many ports and harbors and world's oldest dockyard in Lothal bear evidences of ancient trade linkages.

-- We've made it easier to do business in India. We have launched a mudra scheme to make it easier for women entreprenuers.

-- Make in India is an incubator for start-ups.

-- The payment interface Bhim enables digital payments.

-- With Aadhar we have the largest digital database.

-- High-speed internet for all Indians by 2019.
17:41   Ivanka to promote women in India amid questions about garment workers who make her clothes
When Ivanka Trump leads a US delegation to southern India this week, the president's daughter will use her official role as a White House adviser to promote female entrepreneurship and economic power. But looming over her visit will be an uncomfortable question that Trump's company has refused to answer: What are the work conditions for laborers in India who have pieced together clothes for her fashion line?  Read more
17:34   From selling tea to being PM you have proven change is possible: Ivanka
US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka speaking at Global Entrepreurship Summit at Hyderabad. Excerpts from her speech.

-- India has a true friend in the White House, India is one of the fastest growing economies.

-- The people of India, I want to congratulate you as you celebrate the 70th anniversary of Independence. It's incredible to be in this ancient city brimming with technology.

-- I am proud to see that for the first time a majority of 1500 women entrepreneurs are participating in such an event. What you are achieving here is truly extraordinary.

-- From your (PM Modi's) childhood selling tea to your election as India's Prime Minister, you've proven that transformational change is possible.

The summit is being hosted for the first time in South East Asia by the Governments of India and the United States.

With the theme of "Women First, Prosperity for All," a number of leading female voices will speak at various plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including tennis champion Sania Mirza, Google'sVice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob. Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
17:06   Russia loses contact with satellite hours after launch
Russia has lost contact with one of its crucial satellites just hours after it was launched from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. This was the second launch from the Vostochny spaceport. The first launch from Vostochny was carried out in April last year. The Meteor M2-1 weather satellite had earlier failed to detach from the rocket this morning. The satellite was launched in a bid to monitor weather and the climate on behalf of Russia's meteorological agency. -- ANI
16:56   Google can't replace guru, says Naidu
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday reiterated Google can never replace Guru (teacher). Speaking at a function in Amaravati, the Vice President made this remark while emphasising on the importance of education and teachers.


"Google can never replace Guru. A guru gives not mere academics, but gives insight also," Vice President Naidu said.


On November 11, the Vice President had also said in Odisha that teachers play a key role in transforming the society and they can never be replaced by anything, including Google.


He said a state's future is built in the classroom.
16:46   Suu Kyi stripped off Freedom of Oxford award over Rohingya crisis
Myanmar's State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi has been formally stripped of the Freedom of the City of Oxford award over her response to the Rohingya crisis, the Guardian reported.

The council of Oxford city voted unanimously to permanently remove the honour given to the de facto leader of Myanmar in 1997, saying that it did not want to celebrate "those who turn a blind eye to violence".

Suu Kyi studied as an undergraduate student at the Oxford University, where she was granted the honour in 1997 for her "struggle for democracy".
In October, Suu Kyi's portrait was removed from public display at the Oxford college. The governing body of St. Hugh's college decided to remove the painting of the Nobel laureate from its main entrance, days before the start of the university term and the arrival of new students. 
16:34   No loan waiver for capitalists, says Jaitley
The government has not waived any loans of big NPA defaulters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today dismissing rumour that loans of capitalists are being written off by banks.


In a blog, Jaitley said that over the last few days, a rumour is being propagated regarding waiver of loans of capitalists by banks.


Observing that the time has come for the nation to be apprised of facts in this regard, he said one should ask at whose behest the loans, which have turned NPAs were disbursed between 2008 and 2014 by public sector banks.


"The public needs to ask the rumour mongers at whose behest or under whose pressure were such loans disbursed. They should also be asked that when these debtors delayed in repayment of their loans and interest thereon to Public Sector Banks, what decision was taken by the then Government," the finance minister said. -- PTI
16:28   No IFFI screening for 'S Durga'; CBFC orders reexamination
The censor board has ordered a re- examination of Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's controversial film "S Durga", derailing its court-ordered screening at the International Film Festival of India, which ends today.


A screening of the censored version of the film was held for the jury last evening and in a letter dated today, the Central Board of Film Certification wrote to the producers asking them to resubmit the movie, which was earlier given a U/A certificate.


The bone of contention seems to be the hashtag that follow the letter "S" in the revised title of the movie, which was earlier named "Sexy Durga". -- PTI
16:18   Tourism ministry exits Y-category security
Tourism and Information and Technology Minister Alphons Kannanthanam has cut out his Y-category security, choosing to travel with a personal security officer in his car instead. According to sources in the minister's office, Alphons said he did not require additional security and it was an unnecessary waste of resources.
16:16   The royal wedding
The last time a British royal married an American it caused a global scandal. Read more
15:56   Power-puff girls
EAM Sushma Swaraj met Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the US President and Leader of the US delegation at Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The MEA says they had a productive discussion on women entrepreneurship and empowerment.
15:55   PM meets Ivanka ahead of Hyderabad summit
Hyderabad: Ivanka Trump meets PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. They will be inaugurating and addressing the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad today.

Speaking a day ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant called for providing greater impetus to women entrepreneurs, as this would be critical for India's growth.

"The summit comes at a time when the government is working on several initiatives to empower women in India,such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and others. This summit will witness women taking center stage in all fronts,including panel discussions. This summit has a majority of women participation (52.5percent), with over 10 countries being led by all-women delegation," Kant said at a joint press conference with US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster.

The summit is being hosted for the first time in South East Asia by the Governments of India and the United States.Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the event that will be attended by Ivanka, who reached here early today.

With the theme of "Women First, Prosperity for All," a number of leading female voices will speak at variousplenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including tennis champion Sania Mirza, Google'sVice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob.
15:47   Trai bars operators from discriminatory practice on Net access
Telecom regulator Trai today recommended prohibiting Internet service providers from making any discrimination in traffic while providing web access by either blocking or throttling some apps, websites and services or by offering 'fast lanes' to others. In its much awaited recommendations on Net neutrality, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) upheld the principles of Internet as an open platform.


Trai, which had last year barred discrimination in Net access through differential pricing, wants to "regulate the manner in which the current licensing requirement of unrestricted access to all content on the Internet is implemented and enforced", during pendency of a decision on its recommendations by the government. -- PTI
15:40   BJP rakes up Rahul's 2010 quip on Hindu terror
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday raked up a 2010 incident in which Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had termed 'Hindu terror' as a threat to the nation instead of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed.

Prasad's latest salvo comes in response to Rahul Gandhi's 'hugplomacy' jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"In 2010, then US foreign minister Hillary Clinton came to India. Then prime minister Manmohan Singh invited her for dinner and Rahul Gandhi was also present there. US Ambassador Timothy Roemer, who was also there, asked Rahul's opinion on the Lashkar-e-Taiba. On that note, he said 'leave that, Hindu terror in India is a more crucial issue'," Ravi Shankar Prasad said, at a press briefing.

The union minister further said the international media had reported it all over.

Prasad further elaborated, "The Guardian', in its news piece wrote, 'According to WikiLeaks, Rahul Gandhi said Hindu groups were more dangerous than Lashkar-e-Taiba. Responding to Ambassador's query about Lashkar-e-Taiba, Rahul said there was evidence of some support for the group amongst certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community."

"However, Rahul warned the bigger threat maybe the growth of radicalised Hindu groups which create religious tensions'," he added.

Prime Minister Modi too, yesterday, tore into the Congress party for criticising the Centre over the recent release of Hafiz Saeed.

"A Pakistani court released a Pakistani terrorist and the Congress is celebrating and calling it our failure. I don't know why they are celebrating this," he said.

Questioning the leadership of the Congress regime, the prime minister compared the steps taken by his government in the aftermath of the Uri attack with the previous dispensation post 26/11 Mumbai attack. -- ANI
15:33  
Ivanka Trump arrives for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad. 
15:22  
Senior IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola appointed as Air India CMD.
15:03   Naidu omitted from Ivanka dinner
US First Daughter Ivanka Trump, the chief guest at the dinner at the Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad, tonight is at the unwitting centre of a fight between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The Prime Minister's Office drew up a list of 101 invitees, the who's who of the country for the dinner, but omitted Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.

There were lots of behind-the-scene activities to ensure Naidu is not invited, but at the same time, there was a pressure on the PMO to include him.

We are told that as a compromise, the PMO has decided to invite his daughter-in-law, who is an industrialist. The TDP is believed to be upset with what they perceive to be a slur on their leader But nothing can be done.
14:47   PM inaugurates Hyderabad metro
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates the Hyderabad metro and takes a ride. The metro stretch of 30 km, to be thrown open for public, would be the longest in the country on the inauguration. It will be thrown open to the public tomorrow. The PM will travel on the 'Red Line' along with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, from Miyapur to Kukatpally, and back.
14:32   Wish I had given more lady-like reaction after my win: Manushi
It was a moment of overwhelming joy for Manushi Chhillar when she was crowned Miss World 2017, but the beauty pageant winner wishes her reaction could have been "more lady-like" when she won.


Manushi recently won the coveted title at a grand event held China's Sanya. The 20-year-old medical student from Haryana says she watched the clip of her victory a number of times now. In an interview with PTI, Manushi says, "I won't deny that I've seen the video several times. It still gives me goosebumps. (But) I do wish I had given more lady-like reactions. It was something which came out naturally. Now I like to look at it and laugh."

Her win triggered a war of words between former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and the incumbent Manohar Lal Khattar over honouring Manushi. Hooda's suggested the state government should offer Rs 6 crore and a plot to honour state-born Manushi for bringing the title home. Khattar objected to Hooda's suggestion, saying "his thinking is confined only to plots and cash. One should think above all this".


Commenting on the same, Manushi says, "I think it is absolutely up to my state as to what they want to give me or not. I am just happy I could give them this moment of victory." She believes her win will bring focus on Haryana.
14:05   PM reaches Hyderabad
PM Narendra Modi arrives in Hyderabad where he will inaugurate the Metro Rail Project and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit later today. CM K Chandrashekhar Rao received him at the airport.
13:52   Love jihad case: Don't want a terrorist in the family, says Hadiya's dad
KM Ashokan, the father of Hadiya Jahan reacts to the Supreme Court order yesterday which freed her from his custody and sent her to college to pursue her studies.

Ashokan said, "We never abused her. I am happy with the Supreme Court order. I was worried about her education but now I am happy. The annulment of their marriage stands upheld."

Asked about his stance on inter-caste marriages, Ashokan said he believed in one religion and one god but could not have a terrorist in the family. "Hadiya does not have any idea about Syria, where she wanted to go after getting converted to Islam," Ashokan said. "I cannot have a terrorist in the family," he added.    

The Supreme Court yesterday freed Hadiya, alleged to be a victim of 'love jihad', from the custody of her parents and sent her to college to pursue her studies, even as she pleaded that she should be allowed to go with her husband.

After prolonged proceedings in the open courtroom, the top court did not accede to Hadiya's plea that she should be allowed to go with her husband.

She also told the court she wanted 'freedom' to live and profess the Islamic faith.
 

The apex court, which interacted with 25-year old Hadiya for nearly half-an-hour in the courtroom against the wishes of her father who had sought an in-camera interaction, directed the Kerala police to provide her security and ensure that she travelled at the earliest to Salem in Tamil Nadu to pursue homepathy studies at Sivaraj MedicalCollege there.

Hadiya was in the custody of her parents for almost six months, after the Kerala high court had on May 29 annulled her nikah with Shafin Jahan.

Hadiya, a Hindu by birth, had converted to Islam several months before her marriage.

The court fixed the plea of Jahan, challenging Kerala high court's order annulling his marriage with Hadiya, for hearing in the third week of January next year.
13:39   Harvey Weinstein resigns from Directors Guild of America
After two new lawsuits of sexual harassment were filed against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced film producer has resigned from the Directors Guild of America. A spokeswoman from the guild yesterday confirmed the news in a statement Monday, reported Los Angeles Times.
13:37   Body of deaf and mute man found hanging from tree in Rajouri
The body of a 32-year-old deaf and mute man was today found hanging from a tree outside his house in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said.


The man, identified as Mohammad Naseer, was found wearing women's clothes, the official said. He said Naseer was living alone in a cattle shed, about 200 m from his house, at Darreri village and his body was found hanging from the tree by his family this morning. The body was sent for post-mortem, he said.


The police has started inquest proceedings in this connection, the official said, adding it was too early to say whether the man had committed suicide or was killed. -- PTI
13:34   Modi hopes for early resumption of Israel-Palestine talks
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hoped for early resumption of dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive negotiated resolution as he reaffirmed India's steadfast support for the Palestinian cause.


In a message on the occasion of the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, he also said that India hopes for early realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine co-existing peacefully with Israel.


"India hopes for early resumption of dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive negotiated resolution," Modi said. India believes in a two-state solution in which both Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist peacefully. -- PTI


IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Hyderabad House, during the latter's visit to New Delhi in May.
13:27   British MP backs 'vindaloo visas' to plug curry chef shortage in country
Britain's Liberal Democrat party leader Sir Vince Cable has called on the government to introduce temporary "vindaloo" visas to address severe staff shortages being faced by curry restaurants in the country.
The temporary visas would be valid for a year and open to chefs from the Indian sub-continent to help address the crisis facing the UK's curry industry, Cable said.
"We need more urgent measures, including what has been dubbed a 'vindaloo visa', to save the nations favourite cuisine," said the Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham at the British Curry Awards in London on Monday night.
The estimated 3.6-billion-pound curry industry, comprising restaurants with roots in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, are feared to be closing at a rate of four a week due to a clampdown on visas used by these restaurants to bring in chefs from the Indian sub-continent. 
"If there was any doubt beforehand, the shortage of curry chefs is now a crisis The curry industry is rightly aggrieved by Brexiteer false promises that a vote to Leave [the European Union] would mean more workers, including chefs, from South Asia could come into the country, because there would be fewer EU workers. This has not materialised," Cable said.
According to a British Curry Awards analysis, 50 per cent of all curry restaurants -- around 6,000 -- are expected to permanently shut down within 10 years. -- PTI
13:04   Gujarat poll is not about Modi, has he forgotten he is PM?: Chidambaram
Congress leader P Chidambaram today hit out at the prime minister and said the elections were not about "Mr Modi, the individual" but the promised "achhe din" that had not arrived even after 42 months.
In a series of posts on Twitter, the former finance minister also asked if Modi had forgotten he was prime minister.
"Mr Modi's campaign is about himself, his past and the alleged disdain of Gujarat and Gujaratis. Has he forgotten he is Prime Minister of India?
"The Gujarat election is not about Mr Modi, the individual. It is about the promised achhe din that has not come in 42 months," he tweeted.
Continuing his attack, Chidambaram said the prime minister does not talk about issues like joblessness, lack of investment, collapse of SMEs, stagnant exports and price rise because he has no answers to the "hard reality".
According to him, Modi had forgotten that Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian and the son of Gujarat.
"Gandhiji was, and is, revered as Father of the Nation; and Gandhiji's chosen instrument to lead the freedom struggle was the Congress party," Chidambaram asserted.
The prime minister and the BJP, he added, may now "desperately embrace" Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, "but the redoubtable Sardar had rejected the BJP's parent RSS and its divisive ideology". -- PTI
12:57   Disney introduces its first male princess
In an inclusive move, Disney has presented the first-ever male princess in one of its television shows.
Disney XD channel's "Star vs The Forces of Evil" is chronicling the adventures of an interdimensional princess, called Star Butterfly (voiced by Eden Sher) and her human teenage roommate Marco Diaz (Adam McArthur), reported The Independent.
In a recent episode, the viewers witnessed Marco dress up as Princess Turdina to salvage the life of students at St Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses from the wicked headmistress, Heinous.
But just as Marco is about to reveal his real self, Heinous turns up to out him on her own, by pulling down his shirt to reveal a strand of chest hair.
And that is when one princess shouts, "That doesn't prove anything. Princesses can be hairy."
"Yeah, we believe in you, Turdina," another royalty shouts in support. A fellow princess points out, "Why does it matter if he's a boy? Nothing he said was wrong".
Whereas another adds, "He can be a princess if he wants to!" and with other exclaiming, "Turdina is a state of mind."
This is not the first time "Star vs The Forces of Evil" has taken Hollywood's call for inclusion forward.
In February, the show was the pioneer to feature same-sex kisses in an episode.
The series was created by executive producer Daron Nefcy, the second woman to lead her own animated show on Disney. -- PTI
12:32   Disgraced Chinese general commits suicide
A top Chinese General has committed suicide by hanging himself after authorities started a probe against him over his links to two corruption-tainted former PLA generals, official media said today.
Zhang Yang, 66, a member of the Central Military Commission -- China's highest military body -- hanged himself at his home in Beijing on November 23, state-run Xinhua news agency reported quoting CMC as saying.
Since October last year Zhang was under investigation over his links to Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, two former Vice Chairmen of the CMC who were expelled from the ruling Communist Party, the report said.
Guo was convicted of corruption and sentenced to life in 2016. Xu died of cancer in 2015 while undergoing a probe.
Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted sources as saying that Zhang hanged himself in his home and the news of his death had been conveyed to all People's Liberation Army (PLA) theatre commands.
Zhang was head of the powerful Political Work Department of the CMC when he along with the then chief of general staff General Fang Fenghui reported to have faced investigations since October last when they were not seen in public. 
Both Fang and Zhang faced anti-corruption investigations ahead of last month's once-in-a-five-year Congress of the party.
The CMC is headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping who was re-elected by the party for a second five-year term. He has also reconstituted the CMC reportedly with men loyal to him.
The "ousting" of Fang and Zhang is further proof that Xi is "cementing his control over the military", the Post reported at the time.
Fang was replaced by Gen Li Zuocheng, a decorated veteran of the Sino-Vietnamese war, and Admiral Miao Hua, formerly the PLA Navys political commissar, has been appointed as head of the Political Work Department.

Over a million Communist Party officials were punished since Xi launched a massive anti-corruption campaign when he took over power in 2015.
Over 13,000 Chinese military officials of various ranks including over 40 top Generals have been punished in the anti-graft campaign. -- PTI
12:25   SC rejects plea to ban Padmavati AGAIN; rebukes netas for comments
The Supreme Court today turned down a request to ban Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmavati and said, "Those holding public offices should not comment on such issues."

The top court's observation came as a rebuke to chief ministers and others who have spoken out against the film. 

The judges reiterated that it is the prerogative of the national censor board to review the film and make a decision on whether it is suitable for screening.  

"When the matter is pending the consideration of the CBFC (Censor Board of Film Certification), how can persons holding public offices comment on whether CBFC should issue certificate or not? That will prejudice the decision of the CBFC," the judges said.

The SC said that these kind of statements are violative of the principle of Rule of Law.

Padmavati has been opposed by several top politicians who say that the film cannot be allowed to "distort history" and offend the sentiments of Hindu groups.  
12:04   Techie dies after he hit 'illegal' political hoarding in Coimbatore
In a shocking incident, a 30-year-old software engineer died on Friday last when his motorcycle crashed into a temporary wooden hoarding set up on a road by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for MGR centenary celebrations in Coimbatore.

The young engineer, Ragupathy Kandasamy came to Coimbatore from the United States to meet a prospective bride. He was to return to the US over the weekend.

Police said that Ragupathy was not wearing a helmet at the time of the incident. He fell from his bike after hitting the structure and then a truck ran him over.

After his death, many took to social media to express their anger against the government. 

Hours after the accident, someone painted "Who Killed Ragu?" in large, white lettering at the spot where Ragupathy was killed.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Working President MK Stalin condemned the accident and tweeted, "Under the pretext of #MGRcentenary, the AIADMK govt. continues to blatantly violate the High Court's order on obstructive & dangerous hoardings - now resulting in the death of Raghu, a promising young engineer in Coimbatore. I condemn this lawless govt. in the strongest terms."

The structure that Ragupathy crashed into took up space on both sides and police investigators said he was thrown off his bike when it hit a portion that extended well on to the road. 

Activists have alleged that the hoarding on Coimbatore's Avinashi road covered about 30 per cent of motorable area.

On Saturday, the Commissioner of the Coimbatore Corporation ordered the removal of hoardings, which had no permission, calling them illegal. 
11:38   Vasco Da Gama train derailment: Rail official suspended
The Indian Railways today suspended a senior section officer in-charge of tracks in connection with the November 24 derailment of the Vasco Da Gama Express which left three passengers dead.
Thirteen coaches of the Patna-bound passenger train had derailed near Manikpur Railway Station in Uttar Pradesh.
"A permanent way inspector also called a senior section officer, Rajesh Verma, who was in-charge of Manikpur has been suspended over the incident pending investigation", railway spokesperson Anil Saxena told PTI.
While the real reason behind the accident will be ascertained only after a probe by the Commissioner of Railway Safety, initial investigations suggested that a rail fracture led to the derailment. -- PTI
11:29   SC dismisses plea against Asthana's appointment as CBI special director
The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea challenging appointment of senior Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as a special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre said "the writ petition is dismissed".
The apex court had on November 24 reserved the order in the matter.
The centre had opposed the plea, saying Asthana had an outstanding career and had supervised over 40 high-profile cases like coal scam, AugustaWestland scam, blackmoney and money laundering cases.
Common Cause, the petitioner NGO, had opposed Asthana's appointment, saying it was illegal as his name had surfaced in a diary recovered during a raid conducted by the Income Tax department at the offices and other premises of company Sterling Biotech Ltd.
The centre, however, had claimed that Asthana, who was earlier an additional director in CBI, was looking after its eleven zones. -- PTI
10:38   SC to hear plea against Padmavati
The Supreme Court will hear the plea filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma against the film Padmavati today.

Sharma is seeking direction to delete certain objectionable scenes from the movie.

The plea filed by Sharma also sought prosecution of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Earlier on November 10, the apex court rejected the petition filed against the release of Bhansali's magnum opus

The film has been embroiled in a spate of controversies ever since its inception.

The period drama starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor has been facing protests from various communal groups, including Shree Rajput Karni Sena, for allegedly tampering historical facts. -- ANI
10:17   Bali volcano: Swaraj monitoring situation, Indian mission opens help desk
As Indonesia raised Bali volcano alert to the highest level, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said she was monitoring the situation closely and that the Indian Mission there would provide assistance to Indians requiring help.
The Indian Consulate in Bali has opened a help desk at the city airport to provide any assistance to the Indians stuck there.

"I have just spoken to Pradeep Rawat Indian Ambassador in Jakarta @IndianEmbJkt. We have set up a facilitation centre at the airport and are providing assistance to the stranded Indian nationals there. I am in constant touch with our mission," Swaraj said on Twitter 
Massive columns of thick grey smoke that have been belching from Mount Agung since last week have now begun shooting more than three kilometres (two miles) into the sky, forcing flights to be grounded.
The airport in Bali's capital Denpasar, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year, has been closed for the second day today.

Photograph: Johannes P Christo/Reuters
09:39   Hafiz Saeed files petition in UN to drop terrorist tag
Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed has filed a petition in the United Nations seeking to remove his name from the list of designated terrorists.

Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder, was put in the list on December 10, 2008 by the United Nations Security Council. 

Saeed's petition comes on the heels of his release from house arrest in Pakistan.

Last week, the global terrorist was set free after a Judicial Review Board of Pakistan released him for the lack of evidence. He had been under detention since January this year.
 
The UNSC website states Saeed was proscribed for being associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (QDe.118) and Al Qaida (QDe.004) for participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of both entities.

The LeT had been banned by the UN in May 2005. The United States also designates Saeed as a terrorist and has put a $10 million bounty on his head.
08:45   PM Modi to inaugurate Hyderabad metro today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the much-awaited Hyderabad metro today.
The 30 km-long first phase of the metro rail project between Miyapur and Nagole, having 24 stations, would be launched at 2:15 pm today at Miyapur station. Its commercial operations would start the day after.
During its inaugural run, Modi and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will travel by the metro from Miyapur to Kukatpally, and back.
The trains would run from 6 am to 10 pm initially and the timings would be rescheduled to 5:30 am to 11 pm, depending on the traffic and demand.

Modi would arrive at the Begumpet airport at 1:10 PM on a day-long visit to the city to inaugurate the metro rail project and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Telangana's Information Technology Minister K T Rama Rao said.
Rao told reporters that Modi would arrive at the Begumpet airport at 1:10 PM on a day-long visit to the city to inaugurate the metro rail project and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Modi would spend about 30 minutes at the airport for a reception, Rao said.
He would leave from Begumpet airport and reach Miyapur metro depot in an IAF helicopter, Rao said, adding Modi would unveil a metro rail pylon at Miyapur and watch a film on the development of metro rail at the concourse level of the metro station.
Modi would go by air to Hyderabad International Convention Centre to attend the GES, Rao added. 
Modi is scheduled to attend a dinner at the Falaknuma Palace built during Nizam era before leaving the city tonight. -- PTI
08:14   Ivanka Trump arrives in India to attend GES
United States President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump arrived in India for the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by India and the US.

For the first time, the GES is being held in South Asia. The three-day summit, from November 28-30, will be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre and Hyderabad International Trade Expositions.

The inaugural session of the summit will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Ivanka.

Ivanka will also be part of a discussion on increasing women in the workforce through skills training, education, and mentorship on the second day. 

Over 1,500 delegates, including entrepreneurs and investors and CEOs of major knowledge-based companies, are expected to attend the summit. 

Ivanka is leading a delegation from the US at the three-day event.

Photograph: @USAmbIndia/Twitter
00:08   Students in MP will now have to answer roll call with 'Jai Hind'
Madhya Pradesh Education Minister Vijay Shah on Monday said that students in government schools would now have to respond with 'Jai Hind' during attendance call.

"From now, in government schools during attendance call, students will reply with 'Jai Hind' instead of 'Yes sir' or 'Yes Madam'. This will instill a sense of patriotism among the youth," Shah told reporters in Bhopal.

"I don't think anyone will have an objection to it," Shah added.

In September, the Education Minister had passed a similar order for all schools in the state's Satana district, with effect from October 1.

At the time, he had also stated that that if this mission is successful, he would take approval from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and request to implement this rule all over Madhya Pradesh, whether it's a public school or a private school.  -- ANI

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