Thu, 02 August 2018
Not scared, says Mamata after 2 more FIRs over 'civil war' remark

Timeline  Refresh

23:06   Not scared, says Mamata after 2 more FIRs over 'civil war' remark
Two more FIRs were filed against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Assam today for her alleged "instigating remarks" that threatened the unity of the country and her attempt to create unrest in the state, Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said.
The DGP told reporters in Guwahati that two cases were filed against Banerjee today at the Pan Bazar and Basistha police stations in Guwahati, in addition to the one filed against the Trinamool Congress chief in Lakhimpur district yesterday.
Reacting to the development, Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata, "They have done such a great thing. I am sitting here in West Bengal. What will the FIRs against me in Assam do?"
Taking a dig at the BJP, she said the saffron party lodged an FIR every day.
"They had lodged an FIR when we had gone to Arvind Kejriwal's residence. They will get it back. I am not scared. I speak for the people. They can lodge millions of FIRs against me, I do not care.
"We know we are living in a super emergency. There is no democracy in the country," Banerjee said.
She also wondered why section 144, CrPC was imposed in the districts of Assam if there was peace and everything was fine. -- PTI
22:22   'Sri Lanka part of China's OBOR'
Sri Lanka is very much a partner in China's ambitious One Belt One Road initiative, a Communist Party delegation said in Colombo today.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's multi-billion initiative focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe.
Guo Yehou, a Chinese Vice Minister, met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as part of the ongoing close relationship between the ruling Communist Party of China and Wickremesinghe's United National Party, the prime minister's office said in a statement.
Wickremesinghe is the main negotiator of the Sri Lankan government's trade links with China.
The Chinese delegation assured Wickremesinghe of all assistance to make Sri Lanka a commercial and financial hub in South Asia, the statement said.
The prime minister has faced internal criticism for his furtherance of the Chinese projects including the construction of the port city in Colombo and the industrial park around the sea port in Hambantota.
Both were Chinese infrastructure projects funded under commercial loans during the 10-year rule of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In December last, Sri Lanka had handed over the control of the southern sea port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease, triggering concern here over Beijing's efforts to expand influence in the region.
The opposition has dubbed the deals as the sell out of national assets. --  PTI  
22:10   Apple becomes 1st US company worth $1 trillion
Apple Inc today became the first $1 trillion publicly listed United States company, a profound achievement for a company that was days away from bankruptcy only 21 years ago. 

The tech company's stock jumped 2.8 percent to as high as $207.05, bringing its gain to about 9 percent since Tuesday when it reported June-quarter results above expectations and said it bought back $20 billion of its own shares.

Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple has pushed its revenue beyond the economic outputs of Portugal, New Zealand and other countries

Apple's stock market value is greater than the combined capitalization of Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble and AT&T. It now accounts for 4 per cent of the S&P 500.

One of three founders, Jobs was driven out of Apple in the mid-1980s, only to return a decade later and rescue the computer company from near bankruptcy.

He launched the iPhone in 2007, dropping "Computer" from Apple's name and super-charging the cellphone industry, catching Microsoft, Intel, Samsung Electronics and Nokia off guard. That put Apple on a path to overtake Exxon Mobil in 2011 as the largest US company by market value.
22:01   Rishi Kapoor's 'Mulk' banned in Pakistan
Mulk has been banned by the Pakistan's censor board, says director Anubhav Sinha, who has appealed the viewers there to watch the movie even if it means downloading it illegally.
The courtroom drama, which deals with Islamophobia through the story of a family, is releasing this Friday.
In a letter addressed to "dear citizens of Pakistan", Sinha said his film talks about an important issue: love amongst Hindus and Muslims and peaceful co-existence.
"I have recently made a film called Mulk. Unfortunately, you will not be able to see it legally as the censor board in your country has banned it from you watching it," Sinha said in the letter.
The director said he was trolled viciously for making the film as some in India thought the film was pro Muslim while others in Pakistan thought it stereotyped Muslims.  
Sinha said, "Here is my question to you. Why is it so that they do Not want you to see the film that talks about co-existence. I know, sooner or later, you will have access to the film. Please do watch it and give me your opinion why did the Pakistan censor board ban the film?
"I really wanted you all to see this film legally bt do watch it illegally if you must., though our digital team at home is working hard to stop all piracy."
Presented by Kamal Mukut and Soham Rockstar Entertainment, a Benaras Media Works production, Mulk is produced by Deepak Mukut and Sinha. 
Mukut urged Pakistan's censor board to reconsider their decision. 
"They will realise how essential it is to the well-being of the human race across the world," he added.
Rishi Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Prateik Babbar, Rajat Kapoor, Ashutosh Rana, Manoj Pahwa and Neena Gupta feature in the film.
Veere Di Wedding, Padman and Pari were the recent films that were banned in Pakistan. -- PTI 
21:19   Anna Hazare to launch hunger strike, again, on October 2
Social activist Anna Hazare has conveyed to the Centre that he will launch a hunger strike on October 2 against "non-fulfilment" of promises on welfare of farmers and appointment of Lokpal and Lokayuktas.
In a letter addressed to minister of state in the PMO Jitendra Singh on July 31, the anti-corruption crusader said he would start his protest at Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district.
Hazare said he had written to the Centre at least four times in the past demanding implementation of the written assurances made by the government on March 29 this year, when he called off his protest at Ram Leela Maidan in Delhi.
"I will go on a hunger strike from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, at my native Ralegan Siddhi village," he said.
Hazare criticised the NDA government, saying it had earlier assured to appoint the Lokpal and implement the Lokpal Bill, passed by Parliament and signed by the then President in January 2014.
Hazare demanded the Central Agriculture Price Commission, which is currently under the ministry of agriculture, need to function independently in interest of farmers.
"At present, various State Agriculture Price Commissions send the support prices for different crops to the CPAC. The CPAC reduces the support prices recommended by the SAPCs by 50 per cent because it is under the Agriculture ministry," he said.
Hazare said the farmers do not get adequate price for their crops due to the CAPC halving the recommended support prices.
"The CPAC should consist of agriculture specialists and experienced agriculturists who are not associated with the government," he demanded.
Recalling his Jantar Mantar stir in March, Hazare said he was told that a high-level committee would be set up to implement the assurances.
However, the response received (from the Centre) last month didn't mention implementation of them, he said.
Hazare said his other demands included: fixing the milk price on per litre cost to the farmers; a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 to those farmers who are above 60 years and still dependent on agriculture for livelihood.
Questioning the "delay" in appointment of a Lokpal, Hazare said the government seemed to be lacking the will to act.
"Had the current government implemented the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act after coming to power in 2014, the level of corruption in the country could have been checked," he stated.
The Supreme Court had last week expressed dissatisfaction over the Centre's response on appointment of search committee members for a Lokpal.
The Centre had earlier told the apex court that the Lokpal selection committee, headed by the prime minister, was scheduled to meet to set up a search panel for recommending a panel of names for the appointment of the anti-graft ombudsman and its members. -- PTI
20:51   Trump thanks Kim, hopes to meet North Korean leader "soon"
United States President Donald Trump today said he looks forward to meeting Kim Jong-un "soon", as he thanked the North Korean leader for handing over possible remains of US Korean War dead.
Fifty-five cases of what are believed to be the remains of Americans who were killed or captured during the Korean War were transported to a military base in Hawaii yesterday, after they were handed over to US officials who had travelled to North Korea last week.
"Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter - l look forward to seeing you soon!" Trump tweeted.
The repatriation of US remains was agreed by the two leaders during their historic June summit in Singapore.
An estimated 5,300 US service members listed as unaccounted for from the 1950-53 conflict in North Korea.
In his tweet, Trump also thanked the young North Korean leader for his "nice letter", without elaborating.
During the summit, President Trump had hinted the possibility of an invitation to Kim to visit him at the White House.
Last month, North Korean state media reported that Kim had accepted Trump's invitation to visit the US.
No date for a visit has been announced.
But critics question whether the two leaders' bilateral meetings will yield its promised objective of "complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula".
US spy satellites have detected fresh activity at the North Korean facility that produced its first intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told senators that North Korea was continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs. -- PTI 
20:27   Want resumption of talks with India: Pakistan
Pakistan today welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's congratulatory phone call to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and said it wants resumption of bilateral talks which were halted in 2015.
On Monday, Prime Minister Modi telephoned Khan to congratulate him on his party's victory in the general elections and hoped that "Pakistan and India will work to open a new chapter in bilateral ties".
Khan thanked Modi for his wishes and emphasised that disputes should be resolved through dialogue.
During his weekly press briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that he hoped the phone call would pave the way for bilateral talks between both India and Pakistan.
Faisal said that Pakistan was ready to host the SAARC Summit postponed in November 2016, which will help to address regional issues.
He hoped that it would lead to an improvement in ties with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states, including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka, in addition to India.
The 2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad but after a major terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to "prevailing circumstances" and stepped up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.
The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate.
The India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.
The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India's surgical strikes inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to death by a military court in April last year further deteriorated bilateral ties.
The two sides often accuse each other of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, resulting in civilian casualties.
In his victory speech, Khan had said that better relations between Pakistan and India would be "good for all of us". -- PTI
19:19   Assam TMC chief resigns over Mamata's opposition to NRC
Assam Trinamool Congress president Dwipen Pathak and two other party leaders resigned today in protest against party supremo Mamata Banerjee's opposition to the final draft of the NRC, which has evoked a sharp reaction from different parties and organisations in the state.

Pathak's resignation came within hours of a TMC delegation arriving at the Silchar airport in the Bengali-dominated Barak valley at Banerjee's instructions and being stopped from exiting it by the police.

The ruling BJP as well as other parties in Assam said the TMC had no existence in the Barak valley.

Pathak, a former MLA from Hajo, told reporters in Guwahati that he had apprised the party leaders of the 'ground realities' in Assam after the publication of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and urged Banerjee not to send the delegation to the north-eastern state now.

"The party did not pay heed to my suggestion and refused to understand the ground situation here. In this backdrop, it is not possible for me to remain in a party that does not value the Assamese sentiment," Pathak, who was a TMC MLA from 2011 to 2016, said.

Two more TMC members -- Pradip Pachani of Sibsagar and Diganta Saikia of Golaghat -- too resigned, saying they could not remain members of a party that wanted to compromise the identity of the indigenous Assamese people.

Saikia also threatened to file a case against Banerjee for taking an anti-Assamese stand.

The TMC delegation that arrived at Silchar had to return from the Kumbhirgram airport as the district administration did not allow the party leaders to enter the town, where prohibitory orders under Section 144, CrPC are in force since last night.  -- PTI
19:14   17 oppn parties to approach EC demanding 2019 polls on paper ballot
At least 17 opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress, are planning to approach the Election Commission, demanding that ballot papers be used to conduct the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The 17 parties would meet next week to discuss the plan.

"This is a matter on which all opposition parties agreed. We are planning to meet next week. We plan to go to Election Commission and demand that the EC conduct the coming Lok Sabha elections using ballot papers," TMC leader Derek O'Brien told reporters.

The initiative to solicit the support of all opposition parties on the matter was taken by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee yesterday, when she visited Parliament to meet opposition leaders and invite them for her planned rally in Kolkata on January 19.

Banerjee was heard appealing to opposition party leaders who visited her in the TMC office in Parliament, to send a joint delegation to the Election Commission over reports of EVM tampering and to demand that the 2019 general election be held on ballots.

"All opposition parties should go to EC on this matter. There should be a joint delegation of opposition parties to EC," Banerjee was heard telling opposition party leaders, including from the Congress.

The TMC had staged protests outside Parliament, questioning the neutrality of electronic voting machines, and demanded that ballot papers be brought back for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

The ruling party in West Bengal said it is a 'common programme' that will unite all opposition parties.

Interestingly, Banerjee had also urged the Shiv Sena, a Bharatiya Janata Party ally, to be a part of the delegation. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray previously demanded that the 2019 Lok Sabha election be conducted using ballot papers instead of EVMs.  -- PTI
18:49   TMC to bring privilege motion over detention of party panel in Assam
The Trinamool Congress is planning to move a privilege motion in Lok Sabha tomorrow against the detention of its members of parliament in Silchar in Assam today.

The TMC delegation consisting six members of Parliament, one MLA and one minister from West Bengal government had left for Silchar to interact with people left out of the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on Monday.

The TMC has launched a strong protest against the draft NRC inside and outside Parliament.

The members of the delegation has alleged that they were stopped at the Silchar airport and confined 'unlawfully'.

"As soon as we landed in Silchar hundreds of state policemen led by commissioner and deputy commissioner surrounded us and confined us illegally and unlawfully in a room. They have even manhandled many of us. This is super emergency here," TMC lawmaker Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar told reporters in New Delhi on the phone from Silchar airport.

The matter was also raised inside Lok Sabha by party leader Saugata Roy, who said Assam is not out of the country and how Assam government could stop members of Parliament from entering Assam.

"I said I will raise the privilege motion against the Assam government," Roy said.

Launching a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and its government in the state, TMC lawmaker Derek O'Brien said the delegation was stopped even though the members decided to go and meet the people left out of NRC in groups of two.

They were stopped and 'beaten up', he alleged.

He claimed that though the police had informed the members of the delegation that they would not be allowed to move out as the situation is tense outside, police could not show any restraining order to prove its claims.

"They are not law-breakers but lawmakers," O'Brien told reporters.

The TMC delegation members, who staged a sit-in at Silchar airport, has accused the BJP of using the state administration for political vendetta.  -- PTI
18:24   Bihar: Girl stable after being pulled out of borewell shaft
A three-year-old girl, who was rescued from a 165-foot deep borewell shaft following a 30-hour-long operation in Munger district last night, was stable, doctors treating her said today.

The girl, Sanno, was dehydrated but had responded well to intravenous therapy, district Civil Surgeon Yogendra Prasad Bhagat said.

She underwent a CT scan after swellings were noticed on her neck and head, he added.

"As of now, we find that her condition is stable. Prima facie the swelling does not seem to have been caused by any internal injury," Bhagat said.

The civil surgeon said Sanno would probably recuperate in Munger, though her CT scan report was awaited.

"On the basis of the report, a decision will be taken on whether she needs to be referred to Patna for better treatment," he said.

The teary-eyed parents and maternal grandparents of the girl thanked the locals for their moral support and the administration for its relentless efforts in rescuing her.

Sanno had come to her maternal grandparents' place at the Murgiyachak locality of Munger town.

She fell into the shaft while playing and got stuck around 45 feet below the surface at about 4 pm on Tuesday. She was taken out, smeared with mud, at 9.45 pm yesterday.

Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said those who left borewell shafts open would be punished.

He added that the unfortunate incident took place because of the reckless manner in which people got borewell shafts dug and left those open.

"In future, those responsible for such lapses will be severely punished," Modi said in a statement. He also congratulated the rescue team.  -- PTI
17:55   3 held for chopping off Muslim youth's beard
Three persons were arrested today for allegedly assaulting, abusing and chopping off a Muslim youth's beard in Sector-37 in Gurugram, police said.

The accused were identified as Gaurav, Eklash from Uttar Pradesh and Nitin from Harayana, the police said.

The incident occurred on July 31 when the accused started insulting the victim in Khandsa Mandi area.

"Jaffruddin initially ignored the religious insults but he finally retorted. Following which, the accused persons assaulted Jaffruddin. Then they took him to a saloon and chopped his beard off," Gurgaon Police PRO Subhash Bokan told PTI.

Before leaving the saloon, the accused warned the victim with dire consequences if he approached the police, the officer said.

On the next day, Jaffruddin approached sector 37 Police Station and registered a case.

A native of Haryana's Mewat, Jaffruddin had come to Gurgaon to meet his friend Ibrahim.  -- PTI
17:22   Beginning of the end, Mamata says on detention of TMC MPs at Silchar
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee reacts to the detention of TMC MPs at Silchar airport. Speaking to ANI, she said, "These atrocities being done, aren't only being condemned, I think this is beginning of the end. They are frustrated, they are political tensed and depressed. And that's why they are showing muscle power."

A Trinamool Congress delegation which reached Silchar today to assess the situation in Assam in the wake of the publication of the complete draft of the NRC was stopped at the airport, official sources said.

TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who is a member of the delegation, told PTI that the police stopped them at the airport on their arrival saying their visit might create trouble. He said there were 1000 cops at the airport.

The TMC delegation including six MPs were kept in the VIP lounge of Kumbhigram airport here in Cachar district under Barak Valley region, the sources said.

The Cachar district administration last night issued prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC and banned entry of any person not involved with the NRC process in the district.

The TMC team went there at the instructions of party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee has been accusing the BJP-led central government of resorting to "vote-bank politics" on the NRC issue and saying that "Indian citizens have become refugees" in their own land.
17:15   This is a govt school in AAP-run Delhi!
Atishi Marlena @AtishiMarlena tweets this image of a government school, which breaks down preconceived notions. She writes, "Yesterday a friend called - the Principal of a private school had seen pictures of the new desks in Delhi Govt schools and wanted to buy the same for their private school. Now Pvt schools want to follow govt schools! Who would have thought this was possible?!"

Atishi Marlena is an adivsor to the Delhi government and has been credited for turning around the abysmal public education system in the national capital.

However, in April she was dismissed by the HRD ministry. Education department officials said Marlena was the most critical person for the Aam Aadmi Party in its efforts in the field of education, something the party has said is its electoral plank in other states.
16:47   Lorena Bobbit 2.0
The woman who is making news for castrating her husband. Police said the husband, Yunus had two wives and his first wife was unhappy with him as he didn't provide any support for her children. Angry, she castrated him. The woman has been arrested.

John Bobbitt and his wife Lorena made world headlines in 1993 when Lorena cut off her husband's penis with a knife while he was asleep in bed. The penis was subsequently surgically reattached.  Bobbitise has become a part of the urban dictionary used to describe castration inflicted by a woman.
16:35   SC says IPC on adultery violates right to equality
The Indian Penal Code's provision on adultery violates the fundamental Right to Equality as it treats married men and women differently, the Supreme Court said today.

Terming IPC's Section 497 "manifestly arbitrary", a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it treats a married woman as "chattel" because her relationship with a married man depends on the "consent or connivance of her husband".

The bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, which is hearing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 497, was critical of a part of the provision stating that no offence of adultery is made out if a married woman enters into a sexual relationship with a married man with the consent of her husband.

Section 497 of the 158-year-old IPC says: "Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery."

"Definitely the matrimonial sanctity aspect is there, but the way the provisions are enacted or made run counter to Article 14 (Right to Equality of the Constitution)," the court said.

The bench added that it would see whether the provision can stand the test of the Right to Equality on grounds like "discretion and manifest arbitrariness".

Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj, appearing for petitioner Joseph Shine, an Indian living in Italy, referred to various facets of Section 497 and said the provision does not apply to a consenting sexual relationship between two unmarried adults and it treats married men and women differently with regard to their prosecution for adultery. He said married men can be prosecuted for the offence of adultery but this is not the case with married women and referred to various inconsistencies in the section.

The apex court had yesterday commenced hearing on pleas seeking quashing of the adultery provision in the IPC on the ground that it only punishes married men for having extra-marital sexual relations with a married woman. -- PTI
16:18   FIR against six for denying drinking water to Dalit officer
An FIR was registered against six people, including two village heads, for allegedly denying drinking water to a woman Dalit officer in Kaushambi, UP.

A deputy chief veterinary officer was allegedly denied drinking water because of her Dalit identity in Ambawa Poorab village in Manjhanpur block, around 167 km away from the state capital Lucknow, on July 31. An FIR under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

SP Kaushambi Pradeep Gupta said the matter is being thoroughly probed and strict action will be initiated against those found guilty.

The officer, Dr Seema, said she had gone to the village on the directions of the DPRO to review developmental works. She claimed that she was not given water for two-and-a-half-hours despite her being a diabetic.

"I was told to visit the village only after contacting DPRO Ravi Dutt Mishra and BDC (block development chief) Tiwari, popularly known as Jhallar in the block. They behaved very abnormally with me, and when I asked for water, I was not given water for two-and-a-half-hours by six people sitting there. I am a diabetic. My body started trembling and I had to rush out from there," Seema told PTI.

"I was also told that the bottle would get spoiled (if I drink water from it) and had to be thrown away," Seema said. She alleged that when she sought water from the villagers, village head Sampat and the DPRO gestured not not to give her water.  -- PTI
16:12   Dabholkar, Pansare murderS: HC slams CBI, SIT for status reports
The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected the status report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Special Investigation Team in the Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare murder cases.

The court also criticised the agencies for submitting similar reports every time as status reports in the matter.

Dabholkar was murdered by unknown bike-borne assailants on August 20, 2013, in Pune, while he was returning home from a morning walk.

A CBI investigation is underway in the matter and is being monitored by the Bombay High Court. However, no major breakthrough has taken place in the case so far despite several warnings and deadlines front the high court.

After Dabholkar's murder, another rationalist, MM Kalburgi, was murdered in Karnataka's Dharwad district two years later.The investigation had earlier revealed that there was a similarity of modus operandi in both the murders and were reportedly committed using the same weapon.
-- ANI

Image: Rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare
16:07   Maha govt to give reservations to Marathas
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on quotas for Marathas: "Today a meeting was held with state leaders from diverse sections and a joint statement has been signed to give reservation to Marathas lawfully. State Govt stands in absolute support for Maratha reservation and we are following requisite processes to do it at the earliest."
15:39   Super emergency, rages TMC, after MPs stopped at Silchar airport
First reactions from the TMC on its leaders being barred from exiting the Silchar airport in Assam. TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien says, "Our delegation was detained at Silchar airport. It is our democratic right to meet people, this is a super emergency like situation."

An eight-member TMC team is being detained at the Silchar airport in Assam. The team which includes six TMC MPs and two MLAs was sent by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to assess the situation in the Bengali-dominated Silchar in south Assam's Barak Valley in the aftermath of the National Register of Citizens draft.

The TMC team says it will not leave the airport. The team is sitting on dharna at the arrivals lounge raising slogans. Outside the airport is large-ish police contingent.

When the team was heading to the VIP exit at the Arrivals section of the airport, they were stopped by CISF personnel and prevented from exiting the airport. The MPs said they were law makers and not law breakers, but the personnel at the airport did not allow them to exit.

The team was supposed to meet various sections of people from Silchar and hold public meetings on the NRC issue.

TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who is a member of the delegation, told PTI that the police stopped them at the airport on their arrival saying their visit might create trouble.

The TMC delegation including six MPs were kept in the VIP lounge of Kumbhigram airport here in Cachar district under Barak Valley region, the sources said.

The Cachar district administration last night issued prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC and banned entry of any person not involved with the NRC process in the district.
15:05   TMC team on dharna at Silchar airport, barred from entering city
A eight-member team from the Trinamool Congress has been detained at the Silchar airport in Assam. The team which includes six TMC MPs and two MLAs was sent by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to assess the situation in the Bengali-dominated Silchar in south Assam's Barak Valley in the aftermath of the National Register of Citizens draft.

When the team was heading to the VIP exit at the Arrivals section of the airport, they were stopped by CISF personnel and prevented from exiting the airport. The MPs said they were law makers and not law breakers, but the personnel at the airport did not allow them to exit. Last reports said they are now on dharna at the airport.

Mamata has maintained that the NRC exercise was targeted at those with Bengali surnames and would lead to a "civil war". The team is expected to go to Guwahati tomorrow to meet eminent citizens in the city. 
14:31   Will surely go to Pak for Imran's oath-taking ceremony: Kapil Dev
First reactions from former cricketer and now golfer Kapil Dev on reports that he has been invited to Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony.

Speaking to ANI, Kapil Dev said, "I haven't checked yet about the invitation, but if I get the invite then I will surely go to Pakistan for the oath ceremony after approval from the government."

Imran Khan has decided against inviting foreign leaders and celebrities to his oath taking ceremony as Pakistan's new prime minister as he wants to keep the event very simple, according to a media report.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in the elections held on July 25. The 65-year-old leader is expected to take oath on August 11.

His party had initially planned to invite several foreign leaders and personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Amir Khan and Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavasker and Navjot Singh Sidhu to the event.

However, in an apparent change of heart today, Khan has opted against a fancy ceremony, Dawn newspaper reported. "The PTI chairman has directed to stage the oath-taking event with austerity," Dawn newspaper quoted PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry as saying. "He will take his oath in a simple ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr (President House)," the spokesperson said.

"It has been decided that no foreign personalities will be invited to the ceremony '" it will be a completely national event. Only a few close friends of Imran Khan will be invited." "There will be no show of extravagance at the event," Chaudhry said. However, he added that some foreign friends of Imran will be invited to the event.

"A few of Imran's friends are the only foreign nationals being invited to the event," he said. President Mamnoon Hussain will administer him the oath of the office.

Navjot Sidhu also announced that he would attend. "It's a personal invitation from him and not a political one.  I respect the foreign policy of the government and the country, but this is a personal invitation. I believe sportspersons and artists break barriers."
14:21   India, China armies want to improve ties along LAC
The Indian Army and it's Chinese counterpart have expressed mutual desire to maintain peace and improve relations at the functional-level along the Line of Actual Control, a defence official said today. 

"The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) was held yesterday on the occasion of China's PLA Day at Chinese BPM hut of Chushul-Moldo meeting point in Eastern Ladakh,' Srinagar-based defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a press statement here.

He said the ceremonial BPM was marked by saluting of national flags by delegation members. "The ceremonial address by both delegation leaders included exchange of greetings and vote of thanks and reflected the mutual desire for improving relations at functional-level at the border.

Thereafter, a cultural programme showcasing Chinese culture and traditional grandeur was organised,' the spokesman said. He said both the delegations interacted in a free and congenial environment. -- PTI
14:15   No new investment coming to Bengal: PRS Oberoi
PRS Oberoi - the 89-year-old son of the patriarch MS Oberoi - grimaces at the sight of the squalid pavement that rings Oberoi Grand, the group's iconic Kolkata property, which is now overrun by squatters and hawkers who choke every corner of the building. Oberoi doesn't mince his words: "It is very sad to see what is happening to the centre of the city.... I feel very sad when I come to Calcutta. The city has deteriorated. There is no real development.... No new investment is coming to Bengal.... You should know the reason. If you want to buy something from the Grand Arcade, you can't go there. The shopkeepers are crying."

Read more
14:03   Govt wants to pass SC/ST bill in current Par session: Rajnath
The government intends to pass a bill in the current Parliament session to restore the original provisions of a law on atrocities against SC/ST people, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

As the Opposition criticised the government for not taking action to restore the provisions which were struck down by the Supreme Court, Singh told the Lok Sabha that the Union Cabinet has already cleared a bill in this regard.

The bill to restore the original provisions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was approved by the Cabinet on Wednesday, acceding to a key demand of Dalit groups ahead of their call for a 'Bharat Bandh' on August 9.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge said the Supreme Court judgement regarding the Act was "very dangerous" for the SC/ST people. In a ruling in March, the Supreme Court had introduced safeguards against arrests, which Dalit leaders and organisations said diluted the Act and rendered it toothless. -- PTI
13:56   Swiggy acquires Scootsy for approximately Rs 50 cr
Food ordering and delivery firm Swiggy today said it has acquired Mumbai-based on-demand delivery platform Scootsy. The all-cash acquisition of Scootsy is for approximately Rs 50 crore, a source in knowledge of the deal said.

With this acquisition, Swiggy will further strengthen Scootsy's curated restaurant network and help the brand expand to newer cities on the back of its operational excellence and back-end strength, Swiggy said in a statement.

Scootsy will continue to operate as an independent app post the acquisition, it added. Commenting on the development, Swiggy CEO Sriharsha Majety said, "With a shared belief of providing a superior user experience, its addition will extend the convenience and reliability that Swiggy is synonymous with." 
13:47   The shocking silence of Muzaffarpur
Articulate segments of Muzaffarpur have been at the the forefront of all anti-establishment mobilisation, which makes their silence over the atrocities in a shelter home in the town puzzling. Could it be that if those accused of horrific crimes belong to dominant castes and if the victims belong to the vulnerable groups, then the middle classes become mute, asks Mohammad Sajjad. Read the column on
13:31   No foreign leaders to be invited to Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony: Pak
No foreign leaders will be invited for PTI chief Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony as the prime minister of Pakistan, says the country's foreign office.

This ends speculation on whether Khan would invite PM Narendra Modi for his swearing-in ceremony and whether he would attend.

Khan has however extended invitations to Indian actor Aamir Khan and former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Singh Sidhu to his oath-taking ceremony on 11 August.

Khans Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party in Pakistans National Assembly after the 25 July general elections but it is short of numbers to form the government on its own. The PTI is said to be in talks with other political parties and independents join its ranks to make up the numbers for a coalition government.

Sidhu held a press conference today accepting Khan's invite and said it was a huge honour for him.

"Its a personal invitation from him and not a political one.  I respect the foreign policy of the government and the country, but this is a personal invitation. I believe sportspersons and artists break barriers."
13:11   Can't use images of rape victims even if blurred: SC tells media
Supreme Court restrains the media from telecasting images and videos of minor rape victims even in blurred and morphed form. Court also expresses concern over identity of child rape victims being revealed by media and as to how the media has revealed their identities.
13:07   I'm not heartbroken: Jennifer Aniston on break-up, baby rumours
Lunchtime read.

Jennifer Aniston's love life and womb are nobody's business. The actor who has gone through intense media scrutiny over her split with husband Justin Theroux earlier this year, said she is not "heartbroken" and it's about time people moved on from the narrative of 'Jen can't keep a man' or she is 'selfish' and does not want to have a baby.

In an interview with Molly McNeary for InStyle's September issue, the 49-year-old actor said media should stop with sexist stories about female stars. "It's pretty crazy. The misconceptions are 'Jen can't keep a man', and 'Jen refuses to have a baby because she's selfish and committed to her career. Or that I'm sad and heartbroken," Aniston said referring to tabloid stories about her split with Theroux after two years of marriage.

"First, with all due respect, I'm not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions. No one knows what's going on behind closed doors. No one considers how sensitive that might be for my partner and me. They don't know what I've been through medically or emotionally. There is a pressure on women to be mothers, and if they are not, then they're deemed damaged goods. Maybe my purpose on this planet isn't to procreate. Maybe I have other things I'm supposed to do?" Asked whether she faced sexual harassment at work place, Aniston said there were some "sloppy" moves made on her by other actors but she handled it by walking away.

"I've never had anyone in a position of power make me feel uncomfortable and leverage that over me. In my personal experience I've been treated worse verbally and energetically by some women in this industry." The actor said it is unfair to pick women apart and pit them against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff. "When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it's the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She's the failure. F that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?" Aniston hopes things with improve for better in the post #MeToo and Time's Up movement and she believes men should be a part of this conversation. -- PTI
12:53   Rs 10-lakh damage at bungalow vacated by Akhilesh Yadav, says report
A probe by the Public Works Department has revealed that the damages at Akhilesh Yadav's government bungalow in Lucknow, which he vacated in June, cost Rs. 10 lakh to the state exchequer.

The 266-page report, submitted by the PWD to Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday, extrapolates that most of the disfigurement in the state property was caused to tiles, sanitary and electrical equipment fitted in the house.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, in June, had instructed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to order a probe against the Samajwadi Party leader for leaving the government property disfigured.

When Yadav became chief minister in 2012, he was allotted a bungalow at Lucknow's Vikramaditya Marg, which he retained after his party lost state assembly elections in 2017.

But in May this year, the Supreme Court held that former chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh cannot retain government accommodation after demitting office. The ruling forced Akhilesh Yadav to vacate the bungalow.

Soon reports emerged, alleging Yadav of dismantling the palatial house out of jealousy, a charge that the 46-year-old leader denied.

-- ANI

12:50   Kerala CM visits hospital, enquires about Karunanidhi's health
DMK president M Karunanidhi's health is improving, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said today after he met the veteran Dravidian leader's family members at a hospital to enquire about his health.
Vijayan told reporters he met Karunanidhi's son and the party's working president M K Stalin and daughter Kanimozhi, besides others family members and DMK leaders.

"They all informed us (CPI-M delegation) that his condition is improving," he said.
"Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) is a fighter by birth itself. In his life he fought in several fields," Vijayan added and praised the 94-year-old leader's willpower.
The chief minister said he wished Kalaignar a speedy recovery.
Karunanidhi, admitted to a private hospital after his blood pressure dropped on July 27, has been advised an extended hospital stay. 
On July 18, he underwent a procedure at the same hospital to replace a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe normally.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Congress president Rahul Gandhi visited him in hospital. 
-- PTI
12:30   Rajnath Singh: Want to enact the SC/ST Bill in this session itself
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to Congresss Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP government, led by Prime Minister Modi, wants to enact the SC/ST bill in the parliament in the monsoon session itself.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill to restore original provisions of a law on prevention of atrocities against people of scheduled castes and tribes, a move seen as a reach-out by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government to Dalits days ahead of their proposed August 9 nationwide protest with this key demand.
12:03   SC notice to Bihar, Centre, on Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes
The Supreme Court takes suo moto cognizance of the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape cases. The court has issued a notice to the Bihar government and Centre and sought a detailed reply from them.

As many as 34 girls were sexually assaulted in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, with fresh medical reports confirming rape of five more girls.

Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Harpreet Kaur told PTI that fresh medical reports of 13 girl inmates have confirmed that five of them were sexually abused.

Investigations have also revealed that the girls were regularly given sedatives claiming that it was de-worming tablets before they were sexually assaulted.

During their medical examination many girls have said that they were given the deworming tablets every night after dinner, after which they would soon go to sleep.

Also read: How the Muzaffarpur sex scandal was unearthed
11:54   Kerala CM visits Karunanidhi in hospital
Chennai: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan meets MK Stalin and Kanimozhi at Kauvery Hospital, where DMK Chief M Karunanidhi is admitted.

The condition of Karunanidhi is stable.
11:49   #KikiChallenge may get you a kick of law: Bengaluru Police
The Bengaluru Police, just like other state authorities, has issued a warning against the viral 'In My Feelings' challenge - also known as the 'Kiki' challenge - and urged people not to do it.

The challenge requires people to jump out of their cars and dance on the streets to singer Drake's hit 'In My Feelings' song. The bizarre social media sensation has been causing numerous accidents, which has got the authorities worried.

The Bengaluru City Police's official Twitter handle posted the warning, writing, "BCP's Kiki: If you dance for #KikiChallenge on the roads, We're sure of making you dance behind the bars!! Kiki Challenge may get you a KICK OF LAW not KICK OF DANCE"

Earlier on Tuesday, the Delhi Police took to social media and requested everyone to "keep Delhi roads safe for all."

"Dance on the floors, not on the roads! #KikiChallenge is not worth the fun. #InMyFeelings Keep #Delhi roads safe for all," read the tweet. -- PTI
11:43   Every state should have NRC: Assam governor
Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi backs the draft National Citizens' Register of Assam saying it is historical for the Assamese people as it has been done as per the wishes of the Assamese and the Assam accord.

He said many people are worried over the non-inclusion of their names in the NRC, but he assured them that anyone who is an Indian will certainly find their name in the final NRC list.

"The government assures that each and every Indian shall be included in the final NRC report and guarantees security of each and every citizen in the state.

"The Central govt has a right to know about the foreigners staying in the state or country. It will be better if every state has NRC prepared, they should not only prepare NRC rather they should update it with every census, this will ensure full proof security in the country."

A day after BJP president Amit Shah said the NRC would weed out ghuspethiye (infiltrators) in Assam, the Supreme Court-appointed coordinator for the exercise termed such descriptions as too premature and said that all the 40,07,707 people left out of the complete draft cannot be clubbed under that description, or as illegal migrants, merely on the basis of the register.

Yesterday, disappointed over Mamata Banerjees remarks on the final draft of the Assam National Register of Citizens two All India Trinamool Congress leaders quit the party.

The leaders Diganta Saikia, Pradeep Pachoni said that the West Bengal Chief Minister has been commenting and slamming the NRC Assam final draft without any knowledge.
11:38   No decision yet if Trump will accept India's R-Day invite: White House
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on India's invite to US president Donald Trump as the chief guest on Republic Day. Sanders confirmed the invitation had been extended, but no decision has been made. "Secretary Mattis and Secretary Pompeo will be in India next month and will begin discussion for a potential visit next year," she said.

The Narendra Modi government has invited US President Donald Trump to be the chief guest for next year's Republic Day parade. The invite was sent out in April.

In 2015, the then US President Barack Obama was the chief guest during the Republic Day celebration. It was also the first R-Day celebration during the Modi regime. If Trump accepts the invitation, this could be touted as India's biggest foreign policy coup in the past few years.
11:24   Sushma prostrated before China: Rahul
Rahul Gandhi shifts his sights from PM Modi to Sushma Swaraj. Slamming the external affairs minister, @RahulGandhi tweeted, "Amazing how a lady like Sushmaji has buckled and prostrated herself in front of Chinese power. Absolute subservience to the leader means our brave jawan has been betrayed on the border. #Doklam."

Rahul's barb comes after the Swaraj told the Lok Sabha yesterday that status quo was being maintained at the Doklam trijunction and that the issue had been resolved in August last year through "diplomatic maturity."

Responding to a question  raised by Sugata Bose of the Trinamool Congress during question hour, Swaraj said the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in April this year, was without any fixed agenda, which is why the word "Doklam" was missing from reports of the meeting.
10:53   Dalit vet refused water in UP village
India's shame.

A deputy chief veterinary officer was allegedly denied drinking water in Uttar Pradesh's Kaushambi district because of her Dalit identity, officials said today. The incident happened yesterday in Ambawa Poorab village in Manjhanpur block, 167 km from Lucknow.The officer, Dr Seema, said today that she had gone to the village on the directions of the district panchayat raj officer to review developmental works. As there was no water in her bottle, Seema had asked the village pradhan, Shiv Sampat Pasi, and village development officer, Ravi Dutt Mishra, for water. She alleged that both of them refused to give her water as she was a Dalit. She added that when she sought water from the villagers, the two allegedly gestured them not to give water to her.

When contacted, District Magistrate Manish Verma said, "We have taken cognizance of the incident after the officer lodged a written complaint. Superintendent of police has been asked to probe the matter." -- PTI
10:45   FM off on a 3-nation tour
Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj leaves for three-nation tour of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan.
10:40   All is well
Sanno, the three-year-old girl, who had fallen into a 165 ft-deep borewell is now recuperating in hospital. She was rescued last night after a 30-hour long operation in Bihar's Munger district, officials said. She has now been referred to a bigger hospital in Patna.
10:28   RBI rate hike a 'win-win' situation for markets, banks
The Reserve Bank of India's decision to raise the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.50 per cent is a "win-win" situation for both markets and the banks as inflation is expected to rapidly decelerate to sub-5 per cent in coming months, suggests the report from the Economic Research Department of State Bank of India.

The report has been authored by Dr Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, SBI. "The Monetary Policy Committee decided to increase repo rate by 25 bps (for the second time in a row) to 6.50 per cent by 5-1 vote and kept the stance neutral. RBI had to choose the timing of rate hike between now and later in the October 2018 policy.

However, RBI decided to walk the talk and the rate hike is a win-win situation for both markets and the banks as inflation is expected to rapidly decelerate to sub-5 per cent in coming months and it would have been difficult for RBI to hike then and convince the markets," the SBI report suggested. -- ANI
10:18   Fadnavis to meet MLAs, senior leaders over Maratha quota stir
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to chair meeting of party MLAs and senior leaders over Maratha reservation issue in Mumbai today.

The Maratha Kranti Morcha protesters on Wednesday blocked the Pune-Solapur Highway in the ongoing Maratha stir over demand for reservation for the Maratha community. The Maratha Kranti Morcha released a press note according to which the community is organising a Jail Bharo Andolan for their major demands.

Protests took place at Azad Maidan in Mumbai, but were low-key. The Mumbai police had also tightened security for the Jail Bharo Andolan to maintain law and order. The police have also been asked to be on alert in other parts of Maharashtra.

A 35-year-old man committed suicide at Beed district while eight protesters attempted suicide in Latur on Tuesday as the agitation by the Maratha community demanding reservation intensified. As the state witnessed the fifth suicide over the issue, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that for the quota to be valid, it needs to stand legal and constitutional scrutiny. 
09:59   Woman chops off husband's genitals for 'staying with 2nd wife'
A woman chopped off her husband's genitals for allegedly neglecting her and "staying with his second wife", police said today. The incident took place in the Mimlana area of Muzaffarnagar yesterday.

The man was rushed to a hospital in a serious condition, they said. The man had married the second time with consent of his first wife, as they did not have a child.

The second wife had recently given birth to a child, Station House Officer, Kotwali police station, Anil Kaperwan said. He had been staying at her second wife's residence for some time, and it apparently angered the woman, he said. The man's relatives have filed a complaint with police against his first wife, the SHO said. -- PTI
09:28   4 members of family found buried over each other in their house in Kerala
A family of four, thought to be missing in Kerala, was found dead on Wednesday, their bodies stacked up in a pit behind their house.

The bodies of Krishnan and Susheela, both in their 50s, their daughter Arsha, 21, and son Arjun, 19, were found after the police dug up a pit in the compound of their house in Idukki district. The police suspect witchcraft.

The bodies were decomposed, positioned one over the other.

The police had been called in by neighbours who said they had not seen the family for four days.

On Wednesday, neighbours and some relatives of the family went to the house and were alarmed to see bloodstains on the floor and walls.

A post-mortem report is not out, but sources say the wounds on the bodies indicate the family may have been beaten with a hammer. The family could have been killed after Sunday, the police said.

-- PTI
08:59   PM Bengal rally tent collapse: Probe finds cops were not enough
An inquiry conducted by a central team to assess the circumstances leading to the collapse of a tent during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in West Bengal's Midnapore has blamed the local authorities for the alleged lapses and said adequate cooperation was not provided to the advance security liaison team, officials said.
The inquiry report, submitted to the Union home ministry, suggested that not enough state police personnel were deployed within the five km radius of the Prime Minister's function.

The central team also submitted that the Special Protection Group, which guards the prime minister, provides security in the inner arch of the Prime Minister while the responsibility of giving security in the outer layers rest with the state government in which the local authorities allegedly failed, an official said.

The enquiry has also found that proper logistical help was not given to the advance security liaisoning team which visited the state two weeks before the PM's visit.

During their interactions with the state government officials, the findings of the team was refuted by the local authorities saying it had deputed 1,000 personnel for Modi's rally and all cooperation was offered to the advance security team, another official said.

The makeshift tent, erected next to the main entrance of the rally venue to shelter people from rain, collapsed when Modi was midway through his speech on July 16.

The prime minister later visited the hospital where the injured, including 50 women, were undergoing treatment. 

-- PTI
08:29   Navjot Sidhu to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony in Pakistan
Punjab cabinet minister and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu said that he would attend Imran Khans swearing-in ceremony as the Prime Minister of Pakistan and described the Pakistani World Cup winning captain as a man who can be trusted.

It is (a) great honour, I accept the invitation. Men of genius are admired, men of power are feared, but men of character are trusted. Khan Sahab is a man of character. He can be trusted. Sportsmen build bridges, break barriers, unite people, Sidhu said in a statement.

Sidhu was among those who had reportedly been invited by Khan to attend his oath-taking ceremony. Imran Khans party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single-largest party in the National Assembly after the general election on July 25.

Earlier on Wednesday, a PTI spokesperson said that the party plans to invite former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Navjot Sidhu and Bollywood star Aamir Khan to Imran Khan swearing-in ceremony.

Khan had said he would take oath as Pakistans prime minister on August 11.

08:02   US caps security aid to Pakistan at $150 million
The United States Congress has passed the National Defense Authorisation Act-2019 which capped its security-related aid to Pakistan to $150 million, significantly below the historic level of more than $one billion to $750 million per year.

This year's defense legislation, however, removes certain conditions like action against Haqqani network or Lashkar-e-Tayiba -- as was the case in the past few years for disbursement of US aid to Pakistan.

The Senate passed the conference report on NDAA-19 by 87 to 10 votes. The House of Representatives had passed the conference report last week. It now heads to the White House for President Donald Trump's assent.

"The legislation reduces the total amount of funds provided for reimbursement to Pakistan to USD 150 million. This is a significant reduction from the $700 million that was authorised through Coalition Support Fund last year," said Anish Goel, who was part of Barack Obama's White House National Security Council.

However, in doing so, the legislation gets rid of the certification requirements for Pakistan's action against the Haqqani Network and it also gets rid of the authority to reimburse Pakistan for counter-terrorism, he said.
00:05   Bihar girl rescued from borewell in 30-hour operation
A 3-year-old girl, who had fallen into a 165 ft-deep borewell, was rescued on Wednesday night after a 30-hour long operation in Bihar's Munger district, officials said.
Sanno had fallen into the shaft and got stuck at a spot around 45 feet below the surface at about 4 pm yesterday. 
She was taken out, smeared with mud, at 9.45 pm today, Munger Superintendent of Police Gaurav Mangla told reporters.
The girl, accompanied by her parents Nachiketa Sao and Sudha Devi, was taken to the Sadar hospital in an ambulance, he said.
Local people, who were consoling the distraught parents, shouted slogans applauding the local administration, the Army, the NDRF and the SDRF for their concerted effort to rescue Sanno.
Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal and DIG Jitendra Mishra were also present at the spot.
Sanno had come to her maternal grandparents' place at Murgiyachak locality of the town and she fell into the borewell while playing, the SP told reporters.
Some of her family members were a few yards away and they raised an alarm, he said. 
"Rescue work began almost instantly. A trench parallel to the shaft was dug, a little over 45 feet deep the level at which the girl was estimated to be trapped. She was provided oxygen with the help of cylinders and pipes  which were being handled by doctors who were pressed into service," the SP said.
"We sent our team by the state government's helicopter. They did primarily two things. First, they helped the girl's mother talk to the girl inside with the help of a device. Second, a horizontal axis was carved into the trench so that the girl could be pulled out safely," Commandant, 9th Battalion NDRF Vijay Sinha, told PTI.
As it began to drizzle in the evening, tarpaulin sheets were placed above the trench to prevent water from seeping as it could have jeopardised the rescue operation.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed delight over the girl's rescue and congratulated all those involved in the operation. -- PTI