Sat, 04 August 2018
Weinstein's lawyers ask for rape, sexual assault charges to be thrown out

Timeline  Refresh

21:23   Weinstein's lawyers ask for rape, sexual assault charges to be thrown out
Harvey Weinstein's lawyers have asked a New York judge to dismiss rape and sexual assault charges against him, releasing emails between one of his accusers and Weinstein they said were not shown to the grand jury that indicted him.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, of sexual misconduct, including rape, dating back decades.

In a motion filed in New York state court in Manhattan, the movie producer's lawyers said the emails showed "a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship" between Weinstein and an unnamed woman who has accused him of raping her in 2013.

Weinstein's lawyers said they meant "not to ignore that rape can occur in relationships", but that prosecutors should have shown the grand jurors the emails in order for them to make an "informed decision".

The woman and Weinstein communicated over a four-year period after the date she said he raped her, Weinstein's lawyers said.

The case against Weinstein in Manhattan involves three women. Weinstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and is free on $1 million bail.
21:11   Man commits suicide, mentions lack of reservation for Marathas
A 25-year-old man allegedly committed suicide in neighbouring Navi Mumbai today, with his purported suicide note mentioning his anguish over the Maratha community not getting reservation, police said.
It would be the eighth such suicide in the state in the last two weeks, where the deceased linked their decision to end life to the Maratha quota demand.
Arun Jagannath Bhadale, a resident of the Turbhe area, ended his life by hanging himself from the ceiling of the balcony of his house, Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhakar Pathare said. 

"We recovered a suicide note in which he mentions failure to get loan and the Maratha reservation issue. We are verifying if the note was written by him," he added.
Bhadale, hailing from Bhor in Pune district, worked at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Pathare said.
According to another police official, his purported suicide note said he had applied to a private finance company for personal loan and deposited Rs 27,000 as demanded, but he was cheated by the company.
"On one hand we are not getting loan and on the other hand government is not giving us Marathas the reservation, there is no option left other than committing suicide," the note said.

-- PTI
20:45   Leave politics outside, focus on people's welfare inside Rajya Sabha: Naidu to MPs
Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today asked newly elected members "to leave politics outside" and focus on people's welfare inside the House.
He made a passionate appeal to all MPs to ensure smooth functioning of the Rajya Sabha and Parliament by making good use of opportunities and improving the quality of debates. 

"I firmly believe in discipline and upholding rules. I do get emotional if rules are violated and the House is disrupted," he said.

"Mobocracy should not be allowed to derail deliberative parliamentary democracy. A group of MPs rushing into the well of the House and disrupting the proceedings subverts democracy. We need to respect each other irrespective of being in majority or minority. We need to respect the people's mandate," he told the members.

Naidu complimented Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri for attending the 'Orientation Programme' despite having piloted quite a few bills and answering several questions in both the Houses of Parliament over the last one year. 
20:16   Trump insults NBA star Lebron James
US President Donald Trump has taunted US basketball player Lebron James and suggested that he prefers Michael Jordan.

It came after the LA Lakers star accused Trump of being divisive in a CNN interview.

The US president responded on Twitter by saying: "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon.

"He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do."

The president implied that he preferred basketball star Michael Jordan, perhaps a reference to the debate over whether Jordan or James were the better player.

In his interview with Don Lemon, James said that sport had offered him the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and race, adding: "Sports has never been something that divides people. It's always been something that brings someone together.

"He [Mr Trump] is dividing us and what I noticed over the last few months that he's kinda used sport to divide us and that's something I can't relate to, because I know that sport was the first time I was ever around someone white."
19:40   Shelter case: Rahul joins Tejashwi's protest against Nitish
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi joined the protest called by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav to demand the resignation of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after several cases of alleged sexual exploitation in various state-run shelter homes were reported.

"Leaders from many parties will be a part of our protest," Tejashwi said.

Eleven employees of a child shelter home in Muzaffarpur were arrested on July 24 for allegedly sexually harassing the inmates.

After receiving information, the police raided the vicinity and rescued 44 girls.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court also took suo motu cognizance in the Muzaffarpur shelter home case.

The chorus for Nitish Kumar's resignation has grown after a photo of the owner of the shelter home, Brajesh Thakur being felicitated by the chief minister emerged.

Thakur is the prime accused in Muzaffarpur's shelter home case, where more than 30 minor girls were sexually assaulted over a period of time. 

-- ANI
18:21   Chandrayaan 2 delayed, Israel could beat India in race to moon's surface
India's ambitious mission to the moon piggybacking a lunar rover is postponed once again with a possible lift-off only in 2019. The Chandrayan-2 mission was earlier slated for October 2018 and is now rescheduled because of technical glitches. This delay may now give Israel an opportunity to edge past India with its moon landing.

Israel through a non-profit company called SpaceIL seeks to launch its moon probe, Sparrow, in December this year. The Israel mission will be using the American Falcon-9 rocket hoping to soft land on the moon on February 13, 2019. It is now a wait and watch game as to who grabs the fourth spot of soft landing on the moon -- India or Israel.

On the second visit to moon, India hopes to soft land near the south pole of moon and explore the lunar surface with a tiny six-wheeled moon rover and conduct experiments. Technical glitches are causing delays at ISRO.

Dr M Annadurai, Director of U R Rao Satellite Centre confirmed that the launch date for Chandryaan-2 "is slipping to 2019" from the initially planned launch in October this year. 
17:52   AP CM, Union minister Prabhu visit hospital to enquire about Karuna's health
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Union minister Suresh Prabhu today visited a city hospital where DMK president M Karunanidhi has been undergoing treatment since July 28.

Naidu, the TDP supremo, visited the Kauvery Hospital and enquired about Karunanidhi's health from his son and DMK working president M K Stalin.

"Visited @kalaignar89 at the Kauvery hospital, Chennai today and met with @mkstalin to discuss the DMK Chief's health. Praying that he (Karunanidhi) recovers soon and gains his health back," Naidu said in a tweet.

Similarly, Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, also met Stalin, besides DMK MP Kanimozhi.

He was accompanied by senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain and the party's state unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan.

"Called on @kalaignar89 Dr Karunanidhi with @ShahnawazBJP @DrTamilisaiBJP and our party leaders. We all wish he will get well soon to guide millions of his well wishers @arivalayam (DMK hq) (sic)," Prabhu tweeted.

-- PTI
17:35   Jammu-Kashmir: BJP says ready to debate on scrapping of Article 35A
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP today said the party was open to a debate over Article 35A of the Constitution, which confers special status to permanent residents of the state, as protests continued against the August 6 Supreme Court hearing on petitions challenging the provision.
The apex court is hearing a batch of petitions in the matter, including the one filed by an RSS-linked NGO 'We the Citizens', seeking quashing of the article.

"The BJP is open to a debate with anyone or any political party on whether or not Article 35A is in the interest of the people of the state. We are extending an open invitation," the state BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi told reporters.

He said over the last few days, the political climate in the state has heated up over Article 35A and some political parties, especially those active in Kashmir, have taken an "anti-national and anti-people" stand on the issue.

Targeting the National Conference and the Congress, Sethi said people in the Valley are being misled over Article 35A by being told that it is for their betterment and in the interest of the state.

"The continuation of Article 35A will not have any benefit for the state. The central government has pumped crores of rupees into the state over the last 70 years but the development has not been as it should have been," he said.

He said Article 35A has acted as an obstacle in the state's development because it did not allow outside investment.

-- PTI
17:12   Major Leetul Gogoi likely to be indicted by Army CoI for hotel incident
Major Leetul Gogoi, who was detained by police in a Srinagar hotel after he was seen with a local woman in May, may face punitive action as a Court of Inquiry ordered by the army into the incident is likely to indict him in the case, official sources said here.
They said the CoI has found that he violated the army's rule against developing relationship with a local woman in a conflict zone and breaching the standard operating procedure of staying away from place of duty.

The sources said the findings of the CoI are being placed before the top brass of the Srinagar-based XV corps for approval following which charges against Gogoi may be slapped under relevant sections of the Army Act. 

On May 23, Gogoi was detained by police following an altercation at the hotel in Srinagar where he was allegedly trying to enter with an 18-year-old woman. 

Days later, the army had ordered the CoI into the incident after Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said in Pahalgam that exemplary punishment would be given to Gogoi if he was found guilty of "any offence".

"If any officer of the Indian Army is found guilty of any offence, we will take strictest possible action," General Rawat had said.

The sources said the army authorities are likely to examine the legal aspects of the case before taking a final call on future course of action.

Major Gogoi had hit the headlines last year after he tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone pelters during polling in the Srinagar Lok Sabha by-election on April 9. 

Gen Rawat had supported the young officer's action and honoured him with the Army chief's 'Commendation Card' for his 'sustained efforts' in counter-insurgency operations. 

-- PTI
16:41   Blackbuck case: Salman needs court's nod for foreign travel
A Jodphur sessions court on Saturday ruled that Salman Khan will need to seek its permission every time he has to travel abroad. The ruling came as a development in the blackbuck poaching case against the actor. The order came following an application by the 52-year-old's lawyers asking for an exemption from seeking permission for foreign travel.

Another plea by the actor, seeking permission for travel to Abu Dhabi and Malta from August 10 to 26 for a shoot, is still pending before the court.

Salman Khan was on April 5, 2018, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment after being found guilty of killing two Blackbucks in Jodhpur during the shooting of his 1998 movie 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'. The 'Bharat' star was later granted bail after spending two nights at the Jodhpur Central jail.

Salman's 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' co-stars- Saif Ali Khan, Neelam, Tabu and Sonali Bendre, and Jodhpur resident Dushyant Singh - were all acquitted due to lack of evidence. 
16:09   PM reviews preparations for launch of health assurance scheme
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reviewed the progress of preparations for the launch of the health assurance programme under Ayushman Bharat.
The scheme will provide health assurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family. It will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families in the country.
Top officials of the ministry of health and family welfare, NITI Aayog and the Prime Minister's Office briefed the PM on various aspects, including the preparations in states and development of the technological infrastructure associated with the scheme, a PMO release said.

In April, on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, the Prime Minister had inaugurated the first 'health and wellness centre' under Ayushman Bharat in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh.

-- PTI
15:52   PNB scam: Senior executive of Nirav Modi firm gets bail
A special CBI court today granted bail to Vipul Ambani, senior executive of a firm owned by diamantaire Nirav Modi, in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank scam.
Ambani, president (finance) of Modi's firm Fire Star Diamond, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in February this year.

According to the CBI, Ambani was aware of the fraudulent letters of undertaking issued by PNBs former deputy manager Gokulnath Shetty in favour of Modi's

Special CBI Judge J C Jagdale today allowed Ambani's bail plea and directed him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh.

Ambani had sought bail on the ground that his custody was not required as the CBI had already filed its charge sheet in the case.

"The court, while granting Ambani bail, has asked him not to leave the country without prior permission from the court and not to tamper with evidence in the case," Ambani's counsel Amit Desai said.

On January 31 this year, the CBI had registered a case against Modi, his uncle and owner of Gitanjali Gems Mehul Choksi, and several others, including PNB officials.

In its FIR, the CBI had listed eight fraudulent transactions worth over Rs 280 crore.
15:23   Osama bin Laden's mother breaks her long silence
For the first time, Osama bin Laden's mother, Alia Ghanem, has given an interview. 

Conducted in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by Martin Chulov of The Guardian, the interview is noteworthy because bin Laden, the architect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and his mother were exceptionally close.

What Ghanem says in the interview is largely credible and tracks with the little that is publicly known about her relationship with her son. Ghanem recalls bin Laden as "a very good kid and he loved me so much."

Read the full interview HERE
15:02   Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony to be postponed?
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, who is set to be sworn in as the next prime minister of the neighbouring country, may not take oath of office next Saturday, as expected earlier. The swearing in ceremony is now expected to be held on August 14, when Pakistan celebrates Independence Day, or August 15.

Pakistan-based Dawn News quoted Pakistans caretaker law minister Ali Zafar as saying that he, along with caretake prime minister Nasirul Mulk, want the oath taking ceremony to be conducted on August 14.

He told Dawn News that the newly-election National Assembly can be convened on August 11 or August 12, following which the members can elect the next prime minister, whose swearing-in would be held on the day when the neighbour celebrates Independence Day.

According to the report, if the National Assembly meets on August 11, the swearing-in will be held on August 14, but if it meets on August 12, then Imran Khan will take oath as Pakistans 21st elected PM on August 15.
14:37   Man carrying knife enters Kerala House, tries to attack CM Vijayan
A man tried to barge inside Kerala House in Delhi with a knife today. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was present inside. 

According to the police report, the man in question is 80 per cent mentally unstable and has been sent to Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.

Earlier today, a man tried to barge inside former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullahs house at Bhatindi in Jammu on Saturday morning. The man was gunned down by CRPF security guards.
14:17   Man beaten to death in Haryana over suspicion of cattle theft
A man in Haryana's Palwal, about 80 kilometres from Delhi, was beaten to death last night on the suspicion of being a cattle thief.

The man's hands and legs were tied and he was thrashed by three men in Bahrola village in Palwal, police said. The men who beat up the victim say he had come to steal their cattle along with two others who fled from the spot.

The police has sent the body for a post-mortem, and filed a case against the three brothers for the killing. 
13:53   Vasundhara Raje begins her 58-day 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra'
BJP president Amit Shah today flagged off Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's pre-poll tour 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra' from the Charbhujanath temple in Rajsamand district.
The 58-day tour is aimed at seeking people's mandate in the assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.

Raje and Shah offered prayers at the temple before the chief minister boarded the specially designed bus with the party president.

They left for a helipad nearby to head to Kankroli city in the district to address the first meeting of the tour. The 'rath' will reach Kankroli by road and will be used by Raje for her onward journey.

During the yatra, Raje will spend 40 days touring and addressing public meetings and the remaining 18 will be off.

The 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra' will cover 165 of the total 200 assembly constituencies in the state before its culmination on September 30 in Ajmer.

-- PTI
13:28   North Korea continuing nuclear programme, says UN report
North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes, violating UN sanctions, a report commissioned by the UN Security Council says.

It also says Pyongyang has resorted to a "massive increase" of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of oil products and has been trying to sell weapons abroad.

The confidential report by a panel of independent experts was submitted to the UN Security Council. 

North Korea has so far not commented on the document's findings.

Last week, US officials said Pyongyang appeared to be building new ballistic missiles despite recent warming ties with US President Donald Trump's administration and pledges to denuclearise.

Unnamed US officials told the Washington Post that spy satellites had spotted continuing activity at a site that has produced ballistic missiles.

US President Trump met North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June, and the two leaders then pledged to work towards denuclearisation, without specifying exactly what this would look like.
13:00   Muzaffarpur shelter case: Wouldnt you have taken action if any of victims was your daughter, DCW chief
"Sir, you dont have any daughter. But I want to ask you would you not have taken any action against anyone in the Muzaffarpur shelter abuse case if, out of those 34 girls, anyone would have been your daughter? Due to this one act of yours, you have lost respect among crores of women and girls in the country, said Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal in a letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Maliwal asked the Bihar CM what steps are being taken by the state government in the interest of the girls of the shelter home. My team and I are ready to work for the betterment of those girls. Lakhs of people like us in the Country want to help them, she wrote.

Describing the details of the case, Maliwal said, The Muzaffarpur shelter home incident has taken away my sleep. The pain of the girls has shamed the people of our country. I know Bihar is not my work area but I am writing to you regarding this being a woman and I hope you would read it.

Maliwal further said, A TISS report had reported about this shelter home in April, and I am saddened that the Bihar government did not take any action against it in three months. Rather it gave more projects to the NGO run by the demon Brajesh Thakur. You were not seen taking any strong decision even after the media highlighted the whole incident. You just handed over the case to the CBI to get rid of the situation. And this is the reason, we saw a big smile on Brajesh Thakurs face after his arrest.

Meanwhile, breaking his silence on the incident, Nitish Kumar had on Friday said the incident has shamed the government, adding that those found guilty will be severely punished.
12:30   Delhi-bound AI flight returns to Milan after passenger tries to enter cockpit
A Delhi-bound Air India flight from Milan had to return to the airport in Italy within 30 minutes of take-off after a passenger tried to enter the cockpit, the airline said today.
According to an airline spokesperson, the incident happened on August 2 when the passenger, and Indian citizen whose seat no. was 32C, tried to enter the cockpit in clear violation of aviation rule. 

On landing back, he was handed over to the local police who are probing the incident. The aircraft had over 250 passengers onboard. 

"AI 138 Milan-Delhi flight delayed by 2.37 hours as one unruly passenger Gurpreet Singh tried to enter the cockpit after take-off from Milan on schedule. The aircraft landed back and the passenger was handed over to the local police," an airline statement said.

Gurpreet's action could land him in the 'no-fly-list' pending the completion of enquiry, the airline hinted.

The 'no-fly' list was introduced following several reports of unruly incidents involving passengers, including Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who allegedly assaulted an Air India staffer at the Delhi airport for not being allowed to fly business class.

-- PTI
12:11   Pakistan polls: 1.67 million votes rejected, says report
A total of 1.67 million votes cast across Pakistan in the 2018 general election were rejected, which was 11.7 per cent more than that of the 1.5 million ballots discarded in the 2013 polls, according to an independent election watchdog report. 

A ballot is rejected from the count if it does not clearly show which candidate has been marked by the voter or more than one candidate have been marked.  

As per the Election Commission of Pakistan, there were over 100 million registered voters but only about 51 per cent exercised their franchises. 

The Free and Fair Elections Network report released was based on its monitoring of the entire polling process in the four provinces of Pakistan as well as the Islamabad Capital Territory.

The report stated that the number of ballots rejected from the count is more than double than that in the 2013 elections in the ICT region.

There was a 40 per cent increase in the number of rejected votes in Balochistan, 30.6 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 7 per cent in Sindh and 6.6 per cent in Punjab, it said. 

-- PTI
11:58   Malala condemns attack on schools in Gilgit-Baltistan
Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai on Friday condemned the attack on 12 schools in Gilgit-Baltistan which took place late on Thursday night.

She tweeted, "The extremists have shown what frightens them most - a girl with a book. We must rebuild these schools immediately, get the students back into their classrooms and show the world that every girl and boy has the right to learn."

According to Dawn, Diamer Superintendent Police Roy Ajmal said 12 schools, including only-girls schools were set on fire. He also said that in a few cases, books were also thrown out and torched.

Dawn quoted local police officer Mohammad Bashir as saying that the attack on schools took place near Chilas before dawn on Friday, however, no casualties were reported as the schools were closed when the attack took place.

Police added that no group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Local residents and journalists said explosions were heard in GPS Ronay and Girls School Takya, however, police said that they did not receive reports about blasts.

-- ANI
11:34   Man shot dead after ramming car into Farooq Abdullah's house
A man has been shot dead after he rammed his car into the Jammu residence of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

Speaking of the security breach, SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta said, "The intruder breached the main gate and went inside. He had a scuffle with the duty officers there. Duty officer was also injured. After that he entered the residence, there has been some sort of damage to the articles over there. Subsequently,he was shot dead."

Shortly after the incident, former J-K CM Omar Abdullah, son of Farooq Abdullah, tweeted, "I am aware of the incident that took place at the residence my father & I share in Bhatindi, Jammu. Details are sketchy at the moment. Initial reports suggest an intruder was able to gain entry through the front door and into the upper lobby of the house."

He added, "Further details are awaited as the security personnel carry out the anti-sabotage checks and ascertain the background of the person who was able to force his way in to the house."
11:00   CWC meeting begins, likely to discuss NRC, assembly polls
Congress Working Committee meeting begins at party headquarters in New Delhi.

This is the second CWC meeting under Rahul Gandhi's chairmanship.

The National Register of Citizens in Assam is likely to be the key agenda of the meeting.

The meeting of the CWC, the Congress' highest decision-making body, is also expected to discuss the preparations for the assembly polls in four states this year and the issue of alliances for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
10:48   Andhra stone quarry blast: CM announces ex gratia
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the blast which took place in Kurnool on Friday.

Furthermore, Naidu ordered an inquiry into the blast and asked the deputy chief minister and the mining minister to monitor operations at the spot.

He also asked the district collector to assist the ones injured and affected with all the amenities.

At least 10 people died in a massive blast that took place on Friday night at a stone quarry in Kurnool's Hathi Belgal.

Five more people, who were labourers working at the site, got injured and were rushed to Aluru Government Hospital for treatment.

However, one among them succumbed to injuries.

The fire that broke out in the quarry reportedly spread to the nearby area and burnt three tractors, one lorry and two sheds to ashes.

A case was subsequently registered under Section 304 part-2 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 3 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.Kurnool Superintendent of Police (SP) said the matter is being investigated, and accused will soon be arrested.  -- ANI
10:29   India becomes 3rd Asian nation to get STA-1 status from US
India has become the third Asian country after Japan and South Korea to get the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status after the United States issued a federal notification to this effect, paving the way for high-technology product sales to New Delhi, particularly in civil space and defense sectors.

India is the 37th country to be designated the STA-1 status by the United States.

The federal notification, issued yesterday, gains significance as the Trump Administration made an exception for India, which is yet to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Traditionally, the US has placed only those countries in the STA-1 list who are members of the four export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassenaar Arrangement (WA), Australia Group (AG) and the NSG.

In its federal notification, the Trump Administration notes that India is a member of three of the four multilateral export regimes.

Mainly because of the political opposition from China, India's membership application has been pending before NSG, which takes decision by consensus.

By placing India in the STA-1 list, the United States has acknowledged that for all practical purposes India adheres to the export control regimes of the NSG.

This exception for New Delhi is intended to send a strong political message to China and the world, taking into account that America's closest ally Israel is yet to be given this status, primarily because it is not a member of these multilateral export control regimes.

"This action befits India's status as a Major Defence Partner and recognises" the country's membership in three of the four export control regimes -- the MTCR, WA and AG, the federal notification said.

This rule is another in the series of rules that implement reforms to which the US and India mutually agreed to promote global non-proliferation, expand high technology cooperation and trade, and ultimately facilitate India's full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes.

This rule also makes conforming amendments, the federal notification said.

According to the notification, the US and India continue their commitment to work together to strengthen the global non-proliferation and export control framework and further transform bilateral export control cooperation to recognise the full potential of the global strategic partnership between the two countries.

This commitment has been realised in the two countries' mutually agreed upon steps to expand cooperation in civil space, defense, and other high-technology sectors and the complementary steps of the US to realign India in US export control regulations, and support India's membership in the four multilateral export control regimes, it said.

To date, with the effective support of the US, India has been admitted to three of the four multilateral export control regimes, the MTCR on June 27, 2016, the Wassenaar Arrangement on December 7, 2017, and the Australia Group on January 19, 2018.

These memberships, important to the two countries' global strategic partnership, are enhanced by the US' recognition of India as a Major Defence Partner in the India-US Joint Statement of June 7, 2016 titled, "The United States and India: Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century."

"This recognition facilitates and supports India's military modernisation efforts with the US as a reliable provider of advanced defense articles," the notification said.

As a result, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), formally recognises under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) India's membership in the WA multilateral export control regimes and revises the EAR accordingly, the federal notification said.

"In addition, to export control-related benefits for India as a result of prior amendments to the EAR in furtherance of the US-India global strategic partnership, BIS places India in Country Group A:5, which provides the benefit of greater availability of License Exception Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) for exports and reexports to, and transfers within India under the EAR," it said.

The federal notification states that because India has been admitted to the MTCR, Wassenaar and AG multilateral regimes and is a 'Major Defense Partner', it is listed in favoured country groups for purposes of license requirements, licence application review policy and availability of license exceptions.

Membership in favoured country groups generally reduces the number of licenses required and increases the number of license exceptions available.

"Therefore, BIS believes that this rule will reduce the paperwork burden to the public," the notification said.

Significantly, the US did away with the public notification period before issuing this notification.

"Because this regulation involves a military or foreign affairs function of the United States," it argued.

"This rule implements decisions of multilateral export control regimes, of which the United States is a supporting member, and the rule furthers the objectives of the strategic commitment established between the United States and India," the notification said, while observing that delay in implementing the rule to obtain public comment would undermine the foreign policy objectives that it is intended to implement.

India so far was listed in STA-2 category along with Albania, Hong Kong, Israel, Malta, Singapore, South Africa and Taiwan.  -- PTI
09:57   Prove your nationality or go back: Raman Singh on NRC row
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh today said that the issue of National Register of Citizens for Assam should not be hyped up as India was not a 'dharamshala' (guest house) where foreigners would keep on infiltrating.

He told reporters in Durg district that those who could not prove their nationality should leave the country.

"There is no need to hype up the issue. Is our country a dharmashala that foreigners will keep on infiltrating," he said, when asked to comment on the issue.

"Anybody comes here and start living. They must be dragged out, and for this purpose only such persons have been identified (in Assam)," he said.

He said the exercise was the result of an eight-year-long protest by the Assamese youth.

"The Supreme Court had formed a committee which was constituted during the Congress' rule...Today, the matter is being twisted," he claimed.

"Either these 40 lakh people (who were excluded from the NRC) who have come from outside should prove their nationality or go back from where they have come," the chief minister said.  -- PTI
09:31   Dalit youth set on fire in Mathura
A Dalit youth was allegedly set on fire by two men in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district, police said on Friday.

The two accused allegedly assaulted Pardesi first, poured kerosene and set him on fire in Satoha village on Thursday night, said Deputy Superintendent of Police Vinay Singh Chauhan. People rushed towards him and doused the fire.

Pardesi received nine per cent burns and has been hospitalised.

He is out of danger, Chauhan said.

Search is on for the two unidentified accused, who are absconding, he added.  -- PTI
08:48   5 terrorists killed in fresh encounter with security forces in Shopian
Four more terrorists were killed in a fresh exchange of fire with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, the Army said today.

With these deaths, the number of terrorists killed in the overnight operation reached five.

"Four more terrorists have been killed in the operation at Kiloora in Shopian. One terrorist was killed last night," an Army official said, adding the operation was still going on.

The security forces had cordoned off the area last night following specific intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists there and had started a search operation there.

The search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the security forces, an official had said.  -- PTI

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00:05   Trinamool files 'illegal detention' cases against Assam CM
Two police complaints were lodged against Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Kolkata on Friday over alleged 'manhandling' and 'illegal detention' of Trinamool Congress delegates at the Silchar airport yesterday by Assam police officials, TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said.

One complaint was filed at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport police station under the Bidhannagar Police commissionerate and another at Alipore police station in the city.

TMC MLA Mohua Moitra had herself filed the complaint at Alipore police station.

The charges made against Sonowal by the TMC were illegal detention of public representatives and manhandling, Dastidar said.

An official of the Bidhannagar police commissionerate confirmed receiving the complaint from Dastidar.

"I and our party MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar have lodged two separate complaints against the Assam Home minister, who is also the chief minister, over manhandling and illegal detention yesterday. We were assaulted by the police officials (at Silchar airport)," Moitra said.

The officials yesterday told us that they have orders from the 'highest level of the state government' to ensure that we don't leave the airport, she claimed.

"Assam home minister should answer, why elected representatives were manhandled and illegally detained," she said.

Dastidar and Moitra were part of the delegation of the eight-member TMC delegation comprising six MPs, an MLA and a state minister, who were stopped at the Silchar airport and taken into preventive detention.

They had travelled to Silchar to assess the ground realities in Bengali-dominated Cachar district of Assam after the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in that state on Monday.

Reacting to the police complaints against Assam Chief Minister, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the TMC is trying to 'disturb the peace and stability in Assam'.

"The TMC is trying to put national security at stake and gain political mileage out of it. In the video clippings we have seen how the police personnel were pushed by TMC leaders," he said.

Incidentally, three FIRs were filed recently against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Assam for her alleged 'instigating remarks' that threatened the unity of the country and her attempt to create unrest in the state.

Two cases were filed against Banerjee yesterday at the Pan Bazar and Basistha police stations in Guwahati, while one FIR was filed against the TMC chief in Lakhimpur district on Wednesday.

Banerjee has opposed the NRC in Assam, saying it will lead to 'civil war and bloodbath in the country' as over 40 lakh applicants have been excluded in the final draft of the citizen's register.  -- PTI