Mon, 03 December 2018
Delhi's air quality deteriorates, recorded in very poor category

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23:20   Delhi's air quality deteriorates, recorded in very poor category
Delhi's air quality deteriorated through the day and was recorded in the 'very poor' category as authorities predicted further rise in the pollution level in the next two days.
The Central Pollution Control Board recorded an overall air quality index (AQI) of 337, which falls in the "very poor" category.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor" and 401 and 500 is considered to be "severe".
The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting said the air quality index dropped speedily as expected, but remained 'very poor'.
"Although increasing-AQI trend is predicted from tonight for next two days, it will remain in 'very poor' range only. This is mainly due to decline in wind speed along with adverse meteorological conditions. The contribution from long-range dust or stubble biomass is negligible," the SAFAR said.
According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the maximum ventilation index is likely to be 3500 sqm/second on Monday and Tuesday.
A ventilation index lower than 6000 sqm/second with average wind speed less than 10 kmph is unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants, the IITM said.
According to the CPCB, 21 areas of the national capital recorded "very poor" air quality, while in five areas it was in the "poor" category.
The PM2.5 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) level was recorded at 174 and the PM10 level at 357, it said.
Ghaziabad and Noida recorded "very poor" air quality. In Faridabad and Gurgaon, the air quality was "poor", the CPCB data showed. -- PTI
23:16   WWE to hold first ever talent tryout in India
WWE on Monday announced it will visit India in search of the next generation of superstars by holding its first-ever talent tryout in Mumbai in March next year.
The four-day tryout will give up to 40 athletes from India the opportunity to showcase their abilities with the goal of being selected to begin training at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, United State. 
The talent pool will comprise elite performers with a diverse background in sports and athletics, including kushti, kabaddi, wrestling, American Football, basketball, combat sports, cricket and body building.
"India has an extremely large and passionate fanbase and remains a top priority for WWE as we continue to localize content globally," said Paul 'Triple H' Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative. 
"I am confident this latest talent tryout will result in a world-class pool of athletes ready to pursue their dream of becoming the next WWE Superstar from India."
A major success story from WWE's global talent recruiting efforts is Kavita Devi of Haryana, who was discovered at WWE's first open tryout in Dubai in April 2017. 
Kavita made WWE history becoming the first woman from India to compete in a WWE ring when she made her debut in the inaugural Mae Young Classic. She has also competed on WWE's biggest stage during the Women's Battle Royal at WrestleMania in New Orleans. -- PTI

23:14   Sidhu to file defamation case against channel
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said Monday he would file a defamation case against a television channel for allegedly running a fake video about slogans purportedly in support of Pakistan during his rally in Rajasthan's Alwar district two days ago.
He said the slogans were of 'jo bole so nihaal' and was shown as in favour of Pakistan in the video.
"I am going to file a defamation case after consulting with my lawyer. I cannot compromise with the name I have earned," he told reporters at the Congress office in Jaipur.
Sidhu said he do not need to give any proof for loyalty towards India. Without clearly blaming the BJP, the Punjab minister said such things were done because his campaigning was getting "tremendous response".
Targeting the Narendra Modi government, Sidhu said he had raised questions related to farmers, minimum support price, demonetisation at the rally.
But, there was no answer to them and instead such videos were broadcast, he added.  -- PTI
23:09   A N Jha replaces Adhia as new finance secretary
A N Jha, Secretary, Expenditure, has been appointed as new Finance Secretary, a government order said Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has cleared Jha's appointment to the post after incumbent Hasmukh Adhia, a 1981-batch Gujarat cadre officer of the Indian Administrative Service, retired on November 30.
Fifty-nine-year old Ajay Narayan Jha, is a 1982-batch IAS officer of Manipur Tripura cadre.
An alumnus of St Stephens College from where he passed with first class in Graduation and post graduation in History, Jha is a recipient of World Bank scholarship to pursue Masters in Economic Policy Management from McGill University in Canada. 
He is also an MPhil in public administration from Delhi University. -- PTI 
22:16   Harmanpreet, Smriti want Powar to continue as coach
The acrimonious end to coach Ramesh Powar's tenure Monday split the Indian women's cricket team with T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and her deputy Smriti Mandhana demanding his return despite senior player Mithali Raj's fallout with him.
Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai told PTI that Harmanpreet and Smriti have backed Powar to continue as coach till 2021. Powar's interim tenure ended on November 30 and the BCCI has already invited fresh applications for the job. Powar is free to re-apply. 
"Yes, they have written a letter stating that they want Ramesh Powar to continue," Rai said.
Though Harmanpreet and Smriti are for Powar's extension, it is learnt that Ekta Bisht and Mansi Joshi are against his reinstatement along with ODI captain Mithali. 
Powar's term ended a week after India lost the semifinals of the World T20 to England. The team management dropped Mithali for the knock-out fixture, triggering a huge controversy.
Mithali went on to accuse Powar and COA member Diana Edulji of trying to destroy her and having a bias against her. 
Powar, on his part, accused Mithali of threatening to retire midway into the World T20 after being denied the opening slot and creating chaos in the team. 
On Monday, things became more dramatic with Harmanpreet throwing her weight behind the former spinner. 
"I, as the T20 captain and ODI vice-captain is appealing before you to allow Powar to further continue as our team coach. There are hardly 15 months for the next T20 World Cup and a month to go for the New Zealand tour. The way he has transformed us as a team, I feel no reason to replace him," Harmanpreet wrote in the letter which is in PTI's possession.
In the letter, which is also addressed to BCCI office-bearers, Harmanpreet and Smriti said the team has improved significantly since Powar was appointed full-time coach in August. 
"Our defeat in the semi-finals was very disheartening and it brings us all to feel more miserable to see how the controversies has stained our image and questioned the entire cricket fraternity," Harmanpreet said.
"Sir Ramesh Powar not only improved us as players but did motivate us to set targets and challenge our own limits. He has changed the face of Indian women's cricket team both technically and strategically. He has inculcated in us the sense of winning."
The star batswoman also reiterated that dropping Mithali was a decision of the team management.
"With regard to the exclusion of Mithali Raj, Sir Ramesh Powar was not single handedly responsible. The decision was entirely based on the cricketing logics and observations from the past. 
"Keeping in mind the need of the hour where me, Smriti, the selector (Sudha Shah) and the coach together in the presence of our manager felt that we should go ahead with the winning combination. 

"And I believe it should have come to your understanding that the intent was not personal but entirely based for the welfare of the team."
Harmanpreet added that a change of coach at this juncture will hamper the team's growth.
"Another change of coach will effect our growth and we will have to start from the scratch. And whatever may be the reason for Ramesh Sir's and Mithali Raj's conflicts, they should solve it across the table like a family and call it truce. This will provide more sense and security to them and the entire team."
Mandhana too endorsed Harmanpreet's view on the controversial matter, saying Powar has made them better cricketers.
"Since the introduction of Powar, he along with the support staff has boosted our confidence as a team which has helped us win 14 consecutive T20 matches. He changed the intent of the players and gave everyone confidence," the opener wrote. 
The deadline for applying for the coach's job ends on December 14 and the BCCI is looking for a high-profile candidate to fill the vacancy. -- PTI
22:09   Crisil cuts India growth forecast to 7.4% on weakening global growth
Crisil Monday cut India's growth forecast for current fiscal to 7.4 per cent on the back of weakening global GDP and trade growth.
India's growth in the July-September quarter slipped to 7.1 per cent from 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter.
"For fiscal 2019, we are lowering our GDP growth forecast by 10 basis points to 7.4 per cent from 7.5 per cent estimated earlier. Forecasts of lower global trade and GDP growth has created a downward bias to growth in emerging economies," Crisil said.
India's export, which saw a revival in early part of 2018, could likely see a slower growth, it projected.
"The forecast has a downward bias given that global growth prospects are turning weaker than estimated earlier. Also, if liquidity issues persist in the financial system, demand could get further dented," Crisil said.
Despite the downward revision at 7.4 per cent, India's growth in fiscal 2019 will be faster than both, the 6.7 per cent seen in fiscal 2018 and the trend rate of growth, Crisil said.
It said the long-term average growth rate seen in the last 13 years, as per the recently released GDP back series data is 6.9 per cent.
"For the rest of this fiscal, growth will find support from private consumption, driven by continues government spending on construction activities, benign inflation and revision in government salaries at the state level," Crisil said. -- PTI  
21:53   'Justice Joseph should come out with basis of allegations against Justice Misra'
A former Chief Justice of India on Monday said it is for Justice Kurian Joseph to come out with the basis on which he has levelled serious allegations against former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra that he was being "remote controlled" by some external source.
His views was shared by former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran who, while terming the allegations of Justice Joseph as serious, said the retired judge should also come out with the basis on which he had made such statements after his retirement.
Joseph, who retired on November 29, on Monday dropped a bombshell claiming that Justice Misra was "remote-controlled by an external source" and that impacted the administration of justice.
Reacting to the explosive accusation, a former CJI on condition of anonymity said, "I would not like to comment and it would also be not appropriate for me to comment. Ask the person who had made those comments and against whom the comments were made".
He added that statements have been made against an individual and he could be the best person to give his point of view. 
Parasaran said the views of Justice Joseph were personal as he was inside the Supreme Court and therefore, it is very difficult for outsiders like us to comment on the issue.
"He has to come out with evidence. I am not concerned about x,y or z. I am concerned about the institution. I have great respect for Justice Joseph. As the thing is over, the Chief Justice (Justice Ranjan Gogoi) knows what to do, he is a disciplinarian and will take a corrective action," Parasaran said.
On being asked if there should be an enquiry on the allegations of Justice Kurian, he said who is going to conduct the enquiry as it is an institutional thing.
"It is a case of washing dirty linen in the public. Who is going to do that," he said.
The former CJI said the statements made by the individual do not mean that entire institution has crumbled.
"It is not like entire institution has come under clout. This institution had very eminent and independent judges who had stood up to any pressure. Those judges would never cow down to any kind of pressure to anybody. I have faith in this institution," he said. 
"When it comes to testing times, judges stand up or withstand the pressure. Its not like that. There may be some aberrations within the system but saying like entire system has collapsed or crumbled is not correct", he said.
When asked whether the episode has brought disrepute to the judiciary, the former CJI said, "It has nothing to do with the institution. He (Justice Kurian Joseph) is not telling that institution has crumbled".
He said that Justice Joseph talked about one individual (former CJI Dipak Misra) and the appropriate comment can be given by the concerned individual only.
"It is Justice Kurian, the other three judges or ex-CJI Misra, who can educate the people in the country as what exactly happened and what were the implications. I would not like to comment on this issue," he said.  -- PTI
21:12   Intruders from Kashmir to Kanyakumari would be pulled out of country: Shah
Bharatiya Janata Party  president Amit Shah on Monday asserted all "intruders" would be pulled out of the country if BJP was voted back in 2019, as he appealed to people to return the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan and the Modi government at the Centre.
Addressing a public rally Bundi, he said if the BJP led dispensation is re-elected, "each and every intruder from Kashmir to Kanyakumari would be identified and pulled out of the country". 
Shah criticised Congress national president Rahul Gandhi terming surgical strike to be 'BJP's political assets' saying that martyrdom and sacrifices of the soldiers, pain and plight of their families fail to be visible to "Rahul Baba through his Italian goggles'. 
Shah slammed Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party for "worrying and growing restless for the 40 lakhs intruders" the BJP government had identified after assuming power in Assam 
It may be recalled that as many as  40 lakh people were left out in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the process of filing of claims and objections of these people commenced in September. 
'Are they (intruders) your (Rahul's and Congress') cousin and that's why you are worrying where they would go, what they would eat?' Shah asked and alleged Congress perceived its vote bank in intruders as they (Rahul's and Congress')don't worry about the safety and security of the nation. 
Shah mocked at Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party for raising questions over Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi fleeing the country and said this was due to stern and strict rules and regulations brought by the Modi government. -- PTI

Photograph: PTI Photo
21:03   Case filed against Raj Thackeray for insulting Hindi language
A complaint case was filed against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray in a court in Bihar's Muzaffarpur on Monday for allegedly insulting the Hindi language.
The case was filed by social activist Tamanna Hashmi in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Arti Kumari Singh in Muzaffarpur, which fixed December 12 as the date for hearing the matter.
The complainant felt aggrieved by the report aired on various news channels wherein Thackeray allegedly said that Hindi was not the country's national language and went on to abuse it.
Thackeray's utterances have not only hurt me deeply, but all other Hindi loving people, the complainant said, adding that it was an insult to the entire country.
The complainant sought a case against Thackeray under Indian Penal Code sections 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 296 (Disturbing religious assembly) and 298 (Uttering, words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person).
Under these sections the accused could be sent to jail for one to two years or fined or both. -- PTI  
20:29   Kartarpur corridor's opening was not 'googly', says Imran Khan
Attempting to do some damage control, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday that the Kartarpur corridor's opening was not a googly but a straight-forward decision, contradicting his foreign minister's remarks that led to a war of words with his Indian counterpart.
Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri along with Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the event in Pakistan on November 28.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Prime Minister Khan bowled a "googly" to ensure Indian government's presence at the groundbreaking ceremony of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor.
Qureshi's controversial comments drew sharp criticism from India with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj saying his comments "exposed" him and that Pakistan has "no respect for Sikh sentiments".
Asked to comment on the recent war of words between Qureshi and Swaraj, Prime Minister Khan said that Islamabad is sincere in establishing peaceful ties with New Delhi.
"The Kartarpur corridor opening was not a googly or a double game but a straightforward decision," Khan told Geo news.
On November 26, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Gurdaspur.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Swaraj said: "Mr. Foreign Minister of Pakistan - Your 'googly' remarks in a dramatic manner has exposed none but YOU. This shows that you have no respect for Sikh sentiments. You only play 'googlies'.
"Let me explain to you that we were not trapped by your 'googlies'. Our two Sikh Ministers went to Kartarpur Sahib to offer prayers in the Holy Gurudwara," she said.
In cricket, when a leg-spinner delivers an off spin bowl using the leg-spin technique, it is called googly. It is a leg-spinner's prize weapon which is almost undetectable.
The corridor will connect Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev's final resting place in Pakistan's Kartarpur to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur district in India, fulfilling a long-pending demand of the Sikh community.
The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.
The corridor is expected to be completed within six months. -- PTI  
20:25   Ffire breaks out in Mumbai's Aarey colony
A fire broke out Monday near the IT Park in suburban Goregaon, a fire brigade official said.
The spot is an open plot adjacent to Arun Kumar Vaidya Marg in Goregaon which is in vicinity of Aarey Colony, the biggest green lung in the metropolis.
Fire brigade control room received the information about the blaze at 6.30 PM, the official said, adding that fire engines and two water tankers have been rushed to the spot.
Various agencies including the police are being informed about the fire, the official said, adding that efforts are on to put out the flames. -- PTI 
20:21   IPL auction to held in Jaipur on December 18
The player auction ahead of the 2019 Indian Premier League will be held in Jaipur on December 18, the BCCI announced on Monday.
The auction will be a one-day affair and there is also a change in venue with the event moving to the Pink City from Bengaluru.
Only 70 players -- 50 Indians and 20 overseas -- will be up grabs with eight teams left with a total purse of Rs 145.25 crore.
Ahead of the auction, teams announced their retentions last month, while releasing a few big names.
Yuvraj Singh was released by KXIP while Delhi Daredevils let go of Gautam Gambhir.
Rajasthan Royals released Jaydev Unadkat after paying a whopping Rs 11.5 crore for his services at the auction held ahead of the 2018 edition.
Sunrisers Hyderabad dumped injured Wriddhiman Saha along with West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite.
Mumbai Indians released some top international stars like JP Duminy and fast bowling duo of Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman of Bangladesh.
The 2019 edition may be held outside India, partially or completely, if it clashes with the general elections. -- PTI
19:52   PETA slams Priyanka, Nick for using animals at their wedding
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals India chapter on Monday called out newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas for using elephants and horses at their wedding procession.
PETA India took to Twitter to blast the couple who tied the knot as per Hindu traditions on Sunday in Jodhpur. They had exchanged wedding vows as per Christian rituals on Saturday.
"Dear @priyankachopra and @nickjonas. Elephants for weddings live and chains and horses are controlled with whips, spiked bits. People are rejecting elephant rides and having horse-free weddings. Congrats, but we regret it was not a happy day for animals," the animal rights' organisation wrote on the microblogging site.
PETA also shared its video from four years ago, highlighting the woes of the animals, titled, 'Captive Elephants in Jaipur: PETA India's 2014 Inspection'.
The couple, who left Jodhpur on Monday, are yet to respond to the remarks.
Priyanka, who is a vocal asthmatic, was lambasted for hypocrisy after the sky was lit up with spectacular fireworks post the first nuptials.
On Diwali, the actor had urged people not to burn firecrackers and celebrate a pollution-free festival of lights. -- PTI  
19:38   Trump writes to Imran Khan; seeks help in bringing Taliban to negotiating table
United States President Donald Trump has written to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking Pakistan's support in bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table to end the 17-year brutal war in trouble-torn Afghanistan, officials here said on Monday.
The development came weeks after Trump said Pakistan does not do "a damn thing" for the US, alleging that Islamabad had helped al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden hide near its garrison city of Abbottabad.
The foreign office said that the president, in a letter, has sought Pakistan's cooperation in bringing the Taliban to negotiating table.
In the letter, Trump "stated that his most important regional priority was achieving a negotiated settlement of the Afghan war. In this regard, he has sought Pakistan's support and facilitation," the foreign office said.
The president also acknowledged that the war had cost both the US and Pakistan, and emphasised that both the countries "should explore opportunities to work together and renew partnership".
Pakistan welcomes the decision to explore ways for a political settlement of the Afghan issue, the FO said.
"Since Pakistan has always advocated a political settlement to end the war in Afghanistan, US decision is welcomed," it said.
Pakistan also reiterated its commitment to play a facilitation role in good faith, stressing that peace and stability in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility.
Last month, the Pentagon said that the US has suspended USD 1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan after President Trump's directive.
Ties between the US and Pakistan strained after Trump, while announcing his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in August last year, hit out at Pakistan for providing safe havens to "agents of chaos" that kill Americans in Afghanistan and warned Islamabad that it has "much to lose" by harbouring terrorists. -- PTI
19:18   CBI files chargesheet against Delhi minister Satyendar Jain
The Central Bureua of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against Delhi health minister Satyendar Kumar Jain, his wife and a few others in a disproportionate assets case, officials said Monday.
The move comes days after the ministry of home affairs granted to the CBI the sanction to prosecute Jain in a case registered by the probe agency in August 24 last year for acquiring assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The case was registered against Jain, his wife Poonam and a few of his associates.
Four companies -- Prayas Info Solutions, Akinchan Developers, Managalyatan Projects and Indo Metal Impex Pvt Limited -- were also named in the case. -- PTI  
18:47   Pawar-Rane meet fuels talks of Konkan strongman's return to opposition
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar set tongues wagging Monday after he met former Congress leader Narayan Rane amid the speculation of the latter's possible return to the opposition-fold ahead of the 2019 general election.
Pawar, who is currently touring Sindhudurg district in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, visited former chief minister Rane's residence in Kankavli.
Rane, who has a strong support base in the Konkan region, had quit the Congress in September last year and floated a new party -- the Maharashtra Swabhimani Paksha. 

He is currently a Rajya Sabha member backed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Asked about the meeting, Rane's MLA son Nitesh, who too was present when the two senior leaders met, called it a "courtesy visit".
"He (Pawar) was heading towards Ratnagiri from Kankavli. He said he would come for tea, so he did," the legislator said, refusing to divulge any details.
However, a source said, "An informal discussion was held during the meeting on the current political scenario. Few more meetings between the two leaders may follow."
According to sources in the NCP, the option of fielding Rane from the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg Lok Sabha constituency on a party ticket was currently being explored.
They claimed that Rane was upset with the BJP extending an olive branch to its alliance partner Shiv Sena ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Rane had left the Sena on a bitter note in 2005.
The sources also referred to Rane's latest criticism of the BJP-led central government over a range of issues.
"The BJP cajoling the Shiv Sena is not something that will go down well with Rane as he does not enjoy a good rapport with the Shiv Sena," a source said.
The Congress, which is in seat-sharing (for the LS polls) talks with other like-minded parties, including the NCP, does not have a strong candidate to field from the Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat, currently represented in Parliament by Shiv Sena's Vinayak Raut, he added. -- PTI
18:14   Ex-CJI was working under some influence of external source: Justice Joseph
Days after he retired, Justice Kurian Joseph, one of the four Supreme Court judges who held an unprecedented press conference in January, on Monday made a sensational claim that the previous Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was working under some influence of an "external source", adding this impacted the administration of justice.
Justice Joseph along with three of the most senior judges of the apex court -- Justices J Chelameswar, who has since retired, Ranjan Gogoi, who is the current Chief Justice, and Madan Lokur -- staged an open revolt against justice Misra by convening the press conference on January 12 to flag their concerns about preferential allocation of sensitive cases to judges low down on the top court's hierarchy.
"The then CJI was working under some influence of some external source. He was remote-controlled by an external source. There was some influence of some external source that was impacting the administration of justice," justice Joseph told PTI

Joseph retired on November 29.  

Asked about the basis on which he was making his claim, Justice Joseph said this was the perception among the judges, who went public over issues dogging the apex court, as well as among other judges of the court.
He refused to elaborate on who the external source was and the cases where there was a bias and administration of justice affected.
Pressed again on whether the alleged influence was exerted by some political party or the government in any particular case, justice Joseph said the judges were only of the view that there was some bias by the judge concerned.
He said there was no need to make a reference to any particular case.
"I am sorry. I don't want to take it any forward," he said.
The retired judge, however, said the presser had an impact and things started changing for good during the remaining part of justice Misra's tenure as CJI and is now continuing under the stewardship of the justice Gogoi. Misra retired on October 2. -- PTI
17:17   Cop killed in violence over cow slaughter in UP's Bulandshahr
A police inspector was killed in violence that broke out on Monday in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district after reports of illegal cow slaughter, the police said. 

Additional Director General of Meerut zone Prashant Kumar said a mob pelted the police with stones and indulged in arson, setting several vehicles and the Chingarwathi police chowki on fire.

Police inspector Subodh Kumar has died in the violence, he said.

As tension prevailed in the area, policemen from several police stations have been rushed along with senior officials to take control of the situation, the police said.

Image used for representational purpose.
17:04   Relief to Kejriwal in case of alleged rioting in front of PM's house
A Delhi court on Monday discharged chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and six others in a case of alleged rioting in front of the house of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2012.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal passed the order.
According to the prosecution, on August 26, 2012, Kejriwal and others had held a demonstration against coal scam in front of Singh's house and in order to stop them, water cannons were used following which the volunteers became violent.
Thereafter, police had fired several rounds of tear gas to driving them off. Certain mischievous elements then attacked the police with flag sticks. The barricade was damaged along with certain plants, the police said.
The Delhi Police had booked them for the alleged offences under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code.
Kejriwal and other accused persons were represented through advocate Mohd Irshad in the court.
Besides Kejriwal, the court also discharged Ghan Shyam, Mahesh, Deepak Chhabra, Ranjit Bisht, Amit Kumar Singh and Gautam Kumar Singh. -- PTI
16:28   Police book employee of TV news channel for rape
An employee of a television news channel has been arrested for allegedly raping his colleague in west Delhi's Punjabi Bagh area, the police said on Monday. 

Based on a complaint filed by the victim at the Punjabi Bagh police station, the man was arrested in connection with the incident last week, they said. 

The police said the accused heads one of the departments at the news channel.
16:25   RBI panel begins 3-day deliberations on interest rate
The six-member Monetary Policy Committee, headed by RBI governor Urjit Patel, began its three-day policy review deliberations on Monday amid expectations of status quo on interest rate. 

Experts are of the view that the RBI may not change the benchmark lending rate (repo) despite moderation in economic growth and easing inflation. 

In its last bi-monthly monetary policy, the RBI had kept the repo rate (at which RBI lends to other banks) unchanged at 6.5 per cent with warning that volatile and rising oil prices, and tightening of global financial conditions pose substantial risks to the growth and inflation.

The MPC meet will continue till December 5. The decision of the MPC will be placed on the RBI's website in the afternoon of December 5.

Since the previous policy announcement, the rupee has appreciated against the US dollar and moved above the psychologically crucial mark of 70. 

Global crude oil prices too have softened significantly, slipping below USD 60 per barrel from USD 86. 

However, India's economic growth slowed to 7.1 per cent in the September quarter after peaking to an over two-year high in the first three months of this fiscal, as consumption demand moderated and farm sector displayed signs of weakness.

The growth in Gross Domestic Product in July-September is the slowest in three quarters but better than 6.3 per cent in the same period of the previous year. 

The Indian economy grew by 8.2 per cent in the April-June quarter, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office. Retail inflation fell to one-year low of 3.31 per cent in October on the back of cheaper kitchen staples, fruits and protein-rich items, official data showed.
16:22   J-K police bust 2 Jaish terror modules, arrest 10
Two modules of militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad were busted in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir in which 10 persons were arrested and huge quantity of incriminating material recovered, the police said on Monday. 

 A police spokesperson said a special team was constituted to investigate the surge in militant attacks in Tral in which civilians and security forces were targeted and created an atmosphere of panic and fear in the area. 

"Police in south Kashmir busted two terror modules of proscribed terror outfit JeM and arrested 10 of its associates in Tral area of Awantipora and Khrew area of Pampore," the spokesperson said. 

On the basis of material evidence collected, four persons, identified as Younis Nabi Naik, a resident of Pinglish, Fayaz Ahmad Wani, a resident of Reshipora, Riyaz Ahmad Ganaie, a resident of Nigeenpora, and Bilal Ahmad Rather, a resident of Hafoo Nigeenpora, were taken into custody, he said. 

Investigation into the cases revealed their complicity in the attacks carried out in Tral area of south Kashmir, the spokesperson said.

He said another module was busted in Khrew area of Pampore in which six associates of JeM identified as Javaid Ahmad Parray, Yasir Bashir Wani, Tahir Yousuf Lone, Rafiq Ahmad Bhat, Javaid Ahmad Khanday and Imran Nazir -- all residents of Khrew area -- were arrested on the basis of incriminating materials recovered.

"Huge quantity of incriminating material was recovered from this terror module, including gelatin sticks, detonators, materials for making IEDs and grenades. All the incriminating material has been taken in case records to probe their complicity in other terror crimes," he said. 
16:02   Rajapaksa can not take actions as Sri Lanka PM, says court
A Sri Lankan court on Monday barred Mahinda Rajapaksa from acting as prime minister, in a major set back to President Maithripala Sirisena who had installed his former rival in place of Ranil Wickremesinghe in a controversial decision.
The Appeal Court issued notice and an interim order against Rajapaksa and his Government, preventing them from acting as prime minister, cabinet and deputy ministers, Colombo Gazette reported.

The order was issued in a Quo Warranto case filed by 122 MPs against Rajapaksa and his Government.

Lanka is witnessing a political crisis since October 26 when President Sirisena sacked Wickeremesinghe and replaced him with Rajapaksa.

Sirisena later dissolved Parliament, almost 20 months before its term was to end, and ordered snap election. The Supreme Court overturned Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament and halted the preparations for snap polls.

Both Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa claim to be the prime ministers. Wickremesinghe says his dismissal is invalid because he still holds a majority in the 225-member Parliament.

The UNF has moved three no trust motions against Rajapaksa, who has refused to step down
15:22   Delhi govt fined Rs 25 crore for pollution; to be deducted from officials' pay
The National Green Tribunal on Monday imposed a fine of Rs 25 crore on the Delhi government for failing to check the menace of air pollution in the city.

The NGT came down hard on the Delhi government for being unable to check the consistently polluted air quality. The NGT also said that the fine has to be paid by deducting it from salaries of Delhi government officials and from people polluting the environment.

In a stern warning, the NGT also said that a fine of Rs 10 crore would be imposed every month if the Delhi government fails to pay the initial amount of Rs 25 crore.

Locals in Delhi, as well as in adjoining areas of Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad, have been breathing air that is several times over the safe limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation. 

PM 2.5 levels have hovered above 300 in most parts of the National Capital Region for several weeks. This is far higher than the 'Safe' level of 60.

Government agencies have said that prevailing weather conditions -- falling temperatures, lack of strong winds and a low ventilation index -- could ensure Delhi and adjoining areas continue to choke on invisible poison.
15:15   Bidding adieu to Rajasthan!
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas leave from Jodhpur. The couple tied knot in a two-day event at Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace on December 1-2.

Photograph: ANI/Twitter

14:59   Bidding adieu to Rajasthan!
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas leave from Jodhpur. The couple tied knot in a two-day event at Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace on December 1-2.

Photograph: ANI/Twitter

14:54   Petition filed in Bombay HC against quota for Marathas
A petition was filed in the Bombay high court on Monday challenging the Maratha Reservation Act. It was filed soon after the Maharashtra government filed a caveat on the Act before the Supreme Court.   

Advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, who filed the petition, argued that the reservation given to Maratha community is beyond permissible limits of the Constitution. A caveat has also been filed in the high court by Vinod Patil, a petitioner from the Maratha community.   

The Devendra Fadnavis-led government filed the caveat before the apex court earlier in the day on the Act which was passed by both Houses of the state assembly on November 29. A caveat is a legal process in which a party, which files it before the concerned court, is given a hearing and the court passes its order only after the hearing.   

On November 30, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao signed the Maratha Reservation Bill that proposes 16 per cent reservation for Marathas under educationally and socially backward category.   

On November 18, the Maharashtra government cabinet had approved the Bill for which the community has been protesting since 2017. 
14:52   Maha farmer gets 20 paise a kg for brinjal, destroys entire crop
Driven to despair by being offered a meagre 20 paise per kilogram for his brinjal production, a farmer in Maharashtra destroyed the entire plantation on his land to save himself from incurring further losses.   

Rajendra Bawake, from Sakuri village in Rahata tehsil of Ahmednagar district, claimed he earned only Rs 65,000 after investing Rs 2 lakh and putting in all his energy to cultivate the brinjal crop.   

Frustrated with the low income, the distraught farmer uprooted all brinjal plants from his field and threw them away on Sunday.   

"I had planted brinjal on two acres of land and laid pipes for drip irrigation. I used fertilisers, pesticides and modern mulching techniques to enhance the production. The total investment came to around Rs 2 lakh. In return, I earned only Rs 65,000," Bawake told PTI on Monday.   

The cultivator said he now owes dues worth over Rs 35,000 to fertilisers and pesticides supplier. "I don't know how I am going to raise that money," he rued.   

Bawake claimed that when he tried to sell his produce at the wholesale markets in Nashik (Maharashtra) and Surat (Gujarat), he fetched merely 20 paise per kg.   

"This frustrated me, so I decided to destroy the entire plantation to save myself from further loss," he said.   

As a routine practice, the cultivator had been selling his produce in cartons on a weekly basis.   

"But I never got better returns in the last three-four months and so, I decided to do away with the plantation," he said.   

Bawake said he rears three cows at home and needs money to buy fodder for the cattle.   

"I had hopes from brinjal farming, but now I don't know how to take care of my cattle," he said.
14:31   Row in AMU as students allege served food cooked in oil used for non-veg dishes
A controversy erupted in the Aligarh Muslim University on Monday after a group of vegetarian students alleged that they were served food cooked in oil used to prepare non-vegetarian dishes, a charge denied by the university.  
Students at the Sir Syed Hall (North), in a letter to the vice chancellor, alleged that they were served vegetarian food cooked in the same oil in which non-vegetarian meals had been made. They demanded action against the provost for negligence.

The matter came to light on Sunday when Bhartiya Yuva Morcha's city unit chief Nikhil Maheshwari issued a statement alleging that the incident was a "deliberate ploy" to hurt the sentiments of Hindus.

A written complaint was also filed at the Banna Devi police station on Sunday.

The university authorities, however, vehemently denied the allegations.

AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai said preliminary inquiries conducted by the provost revealed that the allegation was "completely baseless".

He said respect for religious sentiments of all students was the hallmark of the university's secular traditions from the time of its foundation.

Kidwai said four members of the cooking staff have confirmed to the university that "fresh cooking oil released by the kitchen stock was used for cooking the entire vegetarian meal". 

-- PTI
14:10   Navy looking at inducting 56 warships and submarines: Admiral Lanba
The Indian Navy is looking at inducting 56 warships and submarines and the process for bringing in a third aircraft carrier has been moved, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said Monday, vowing to enhance the force's maritime capability. 
He also assured the country that the navy is keeping round-the-clock vigil on India's maritime domain.

"Navy is looking at inducting 56 warships and submarines to enhance its strength. This is apart from 32 warships under construction," he said at his annual press conference.

The process for installing automated identification transponders on around 2.5 lakh fishing boats has been started as part of efforts to enhance coastal security, Admiral Lanba said.

The process for induction of a third aircraft carrier has been moved, he said.

Talking about the contract given to Reliance Naval Engineering limited for five offshore patrol vehicles, he said, "We are looking into the contract."
"Bank guarantee for the deal has been encashed," he added.
Asked about the status of the proposal to set up a base at Seychelles' Assumption Island, he said talks were on with the government of the island nation.
With Maldives now having a favourable government, the two countries are set to strengthen their maritime cooperation, the navy chief said. 

-- PTI
14:00   SC puts off to January Zakia Jafri's plea on clean chit to Modi
The Supreme Court on Monday deferred till the third week of January the hearing on a plea filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Godhra riots. 

Zakia, the wife of Ehsan Jafri, an ex-MP who was killed in one of the worst incidents during the riots, has challenged the Gujarat high court's October 5, 2017, order rejecting her plea against the SIT's decision. 

 A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Hemant Gupta posted the matter for hearing in the third week of January.
13:57   NC, PDP to join hands?
Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference coming together? The idea could not have been countenanced a few years ago, given the difference of approach in the politics of the two parties. But now, the proposal is being actively discussed.   

Whenever the J&K assembly elections take place, there is chatter that the two parties have decided to help each other where one or other is weak and will keep all options open in a post-poll scenario.   

The question is whether singly or together, they can address this problem. 

-- Business Standard  
13:54   Sully the service dog to accompany Bush one last time
Sully H W Bush, a yellow Labrador service dog who worked with the late former US President George H W Bush, will be travelling with Bush's casket on his flight to Washington, DC, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman, posted an image of Sully next to Bush's casket on Sunday along with the caption, "Mission complete."

A highly trained service dog, Sully will now go back into service to help other veterans and is going to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, former President George W Bush wrote in an Instagram post.

"As much as our family is going to miss this dog, we're comforted to know he'll bring the same joy to his new home, Walter Reed, that be brought to 41," Bush wrote.

Sully went to work with Bush this summer after former first lady Barbara Bush passed away earlier this year.
13:29   IIT-M students allege harassment by vigilance officers, Dean denies charges
Several research scholars and hostel inmates of IIT-Madras have alleged harassment and violation of their privacy by vigilance officers during checks conducted in their rooms, a charge denied by the Dean of students.

The hostel residents, both men and women, allege that officers barge into rooms, insult and click pictures without consent and their behaviour violates the students' right to privacy and dignity.

The dean of students, M S Sivakumar, said that they had received complaints from students and the vigilance officers have been apprised of the issues and told not to click photographs.

He said the charges do not reveal the whole picture, adding checks are conducted by ex-servicemen trained to deal with such issues.

"Vigilance officers are the ones tasked to enforce hostel rules and check for violations. We don't know if we can call it harassment or enforcement," he said.

A woman research scholar, who did not wish to be named, alleged that vigilance officials barge into rooms, pull things out and call them names for their personal choices.

"We are all adults... it is really demeaning to experience all this. We might have a lot of stuff that we do not want others to see. It need not even be prohibited things. It is a clear violation of our right to privacy and dignity," she said.

An informal report, a compilation of harassment faced by students on campus, initiated by the students last year, had alleged rampant "moral policing" by security personnel, non-academic staff, faculty and fellow students.

The survey had also said students were targeted for the kind of clothes they wore and public display of affection, among others.

A male post-graduate student, who resides in one of the 20 hostels, alleged the fines imposed for violation of rules were "arbitrary" and ranged from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000.

"Students have no idea about the slabs and it has not been put up anywhere on the campus," he said.

A woman PhD scholar alleged that vigilance teams take note of girl students visiting boys in their hostels and conduct checks even if they go there during permitted hours.
However, Sivakumar said vigilance officers do not conduct checks in every room, but only random checks.

-- PTI
13:05   Amarinder a father figure: Sidhu softens stand on 'Captain' row
"Captain Amarinder Singh is a fatherly figure," Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said, in response to the raging controversy over him calling Congress Rahul Gandhi his 'captain'.

Sidhu had referred to Rahul as his captain when reporters asked him about going to Pakistan, despite Singh's disapproval. He said, "Rahul Gandhi is my captain. It is he who sent me to Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi is the captain of the captain (Amarinder Singh) also."

"I love him [Capt Amarinder Singh], I respect him. You don't wash dirty linen in public. I will sort it out myself," Sidhu further said, on Monday while answering mediapersons in Rajasthan's Jhalawar.

Sidhu visited Pakistan on November 28 on its prime minister, Imran Khan's personal invitation, as he puts, to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the Kartarpur corridor. The Kartarpur corridor will connect the shrine in Pakistan to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Gurdaspur and give visa-free access to Indian pilgrims.

Sidhu's visit to Pakistan had riled Amarinder Singh, who said he tried to dissuade Sidhu, following a grenade attack in Amritsar that left three people dead.

Also, Sidhu's recent remark that Rahul was his 'Captain' reportedly irked Singh even more and several cabinet ministers too.
12:48   Modi, KCR, Owaisi are one, don't be fooled by them: Rahul to people of Telangana
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi were "one" and urged the people of Telangana to not be "fooled by them".
He also claimed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi was the BJP's "B team" and its chief  K Chandrasekhar Rao "operates" as Prime Minister Modi's "Telangana Rubber Stamp".

"Owaisi's, AIMIM is the BJP's 'C' team, whose role is to split the anti BJP/KCR vote," Gandhi tweeted.
"Great people of Telangana, Modi, KCR & Owaisi are one. They speak in twisted tongues. Do not be fooled by them!" he said.
Earlier, in an another tweet, he said Telangana was "born of idealism and great dreams", but four years of "TRS/BJP incompetence, arrogance and corruption" has made the people cynical. 

-- PTI
SC directs Maharashtra Police to submit before it by Dec 8 the chargesheet filed against activists in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. 

SC fixes Maharashtra's appeal in Koregaon-Bhima violence case for hearing on December 11.
12:13   After Christian wedding, Priyanka-Nick take 'saath pheras'
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas got married in a lavish, Hindu ceremony that ended in the early hours of Monday at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur tying the knot twice over after a Christian "I do" wedding the night before.
Doffing their hats to their Indian and American origins, the Indian actor and the American singer exchanged wedding wows for the Christian wedding on Saturday evening at the glittering Umaid Bhavan Palace and went through a traditional ceremony Sunday evening.
Priyanka, 36, wore a red sari, while Jonas, 26, was dressed in a traditional outfit and turban, People magazine reported late Sunday. 

For their Christian wedding, the couple wore custom-made Ralph Lauren outfits and their wedding parties also donned the same label. 

The Hindu wedding took place at the Umaid Bhawan palace grounds, with the Mehrangarh Fort as the backdrop. 

The complete Jonas family was in attendance -- Nick's parents Denise Jonas and Kevin Jonas Sr, a pastor who officiated at the Christian wedding, and his brothers, Kevin, accompanied by wife Danielle, Joe and his fiancee, "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner, and Frankie Jonas. 

From the bride's side, all her close friends and family members, including mother Madhu Chopra, brother Siddharth and cousins Parineeti and Mannara, were present at the ceremony. 

An E! online source said the bride looked "breathtaking in her traditional red Indian wedding outfit".

"Nick did a beautiful job following the customs of a Hindu ceremony, it was lovely seeing how they honoured both of their heritages," the source added. 

Prior to the Hindu wedding ceremony, Priyanka and Nick had traditional mehendi and sangeet functions. 

The couple wore outfits by designer duo Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla for both the ceremonies. 
JUST IN: Qatar to withdraw from OPEC from January.
11:57   A message to Sidhu?
Posters of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh have been put up in different parts of the state. 

Interestingly, the poster reads, "Punjab da Captain, Sadda Captain."

Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sindhu kicked up a controversy a few days ago when  he had said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi was his captain and Capt Amarinder Singh was an army captain

On being asked why he chose to ignore the advice of his captain to visit Pakistan, Sidhu said, Which captain you are talking about. Oh Captain Amarinder Singh. He is Army Captain. My captain is Rahul Gandhi. Captains captain is also Rahul Gandhi.

Miffed over Sidhus comments on Amarinder, a fellow cabinet minister, sought his resignation from the state cabinet. "If he does not consider Capt Amarinder as his captain then he should resign on moral grounds from the cabinet and do whatever work is assigned to him by Rahul Gandhi," Punjab cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said.
11:54   Note ban had no impact on use of black money in elections: Former CEC OP Rawat
Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Monday said that there was no impact of demonetisation on the misuse of money in elections. 

"After demonestisation, it was thought that misuse of money during the election will be brought down. But it couldn't be proved on basis of the data of the seizures. Compared to previous elections, there were more seizures in the same states," he said.

The former Chief Election Commissioner also said that there was no check on black money that has been used in the elections. "It seems political class and their financiers have no dearth of money. Money used in this manner is generally black money. As far as black money used in elections is concerned, there was no check on it," he said. 

Rawat, who retired as the CEC last week, had said that his "only regret" as head of the poll panel is that the EC was unable to recommend to the law ministry a fresh "legal framework" in tune with the changing times vis-a-vis the use of money and social media.

Responding to a question on transparency in funding of political parties, Rawat had said that it is "a long-term reform". "All political party meeting in August (this year) had recommended that there should be a ceiling on party expenditure and commensurately there should be transparency in funding. I think it will see the light of day in time to come. Almost all parties agreed to a cap on expenditure, he said.
11:33   Note ban had no impact on use of black money in elections: Former CEC OP Rawat
Former Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Monday said that there was no impact of demonetisation on the misuse of money in elections. 

"After demonestisation, it was thought that misuse of money during the election will be brought down. But it couldn't be proved on basis of the data of the seizures. Compared to previous elections, there were more seizures in the same states," he said.

The former Chief Election Commissioner also said that there was no check on black money that has been used in the elections. "It seems political class and their financiers have no dearth of money. Money used in this manner is generally black money. As far as black money used in elections is concerned, there was no check on it," he said. 

Rawat, who retired as the CEC last week, had said that his "only regret" as head of the poll panel is that the EC was unable to recommend to the law ministry a fresh "legal framework" in tune with the changing times vis-a-vis the use of money and social media.

Responding to a question on transparency in funding of political parties, Rawat had said that it is "a long-term reform". "All political party meeting in August (this year) had recommended that there should be a ceiling on party expenditure and commensurately there should be transparency in funding. I think it will see the light of day in time to come. Almost all parties agreed to a cap on expenditure, he said.
11:01   Flights cancelled due operational reasons, not pilot non-cooperation: Jet
Jet Airways has claimed that the reason behind the cancellation of at least 14 flights on Sunday was not non cooperation from pilots but operational circumstances. 

"The reason for cancellations of 2 December flights was due to an unforeseen operational circumstance and not pilot non-cooperation, as being unduly speculated," the Airlines said.

There were reports that at least 14 flights to various destinations had to be cancelled on Sunday after some of its pilots reported "sick" over non-payment of their dues. Jet Airways also asserted that the management is in regular dialogue with pilots and other teams to discuss and resolve on-going issues including disbursement of salaries.

The private carrier has been defaulting on salary disbursement to its senior management along with pilots and engineer since August due to severe cash crunch.

Jet Airways said the passengers of the affected flights were duly informed about their flight status via SMS alerts and they have been re-accommodated or compensated.

"The company continues to enjoy the complete support and cooperation of all its employees, including pilots and engineers, individually and through their respective representative bodies, who have extended their solidarity and full support to the airline," the airline stated.

The airline has partially paid to these staff for September while the full salaries of October and November also remain unpaid.

Pilots have been protesting against non-payment of salary, dues and the indifferent attitude of the National Aviator's Guild in taking up the issue with the management. The NAG is a domestic pilots body of Jet Airways, representing over 1,000 pilots.
11:00   Who will BJP put up from Bengaluru South?
Who is going to contest the Bengaluru South constituency from the BJP? 

The death of Union minister Ananth Kumar, image alongside, a six-time MP from constituency, is giving rise to speculation. 

The party feels it has a chance of retaining the seat only if Kumar's wife Tejaswini contests. But she has been steadfast in avoiding politics so far. 

-- Business Standard  
10:33   China agrees to 'reduce and remove' tariffs on US cars: Trump
China has agreed to scale back tariffs on imported US cars, President Donald Trump said Sunday, one day after agreeing with Xi Jinping to a ceasefire in the trade war between the world's top two economies.
Asia stocks had rallied on the news that Washington and Beijing would not impose any new tariffs during a three-month grace period, during which the two sides are meant to finalize a more detailed agreement.

"China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the US. Currently the tariff is 40 per cent," Trump said on Twitter.
10:12   RSS slams BJP over Statue of Unity; questions govt's inability to pass law for Ram temple
Taking a dig at the BJP government, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh wondered why an act cannot be passed for the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya while a huge statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel can be built in Gujarat.

Addressing a public rally, senior Sangh leader Dattatreya Hosabale said though a separate bench has been formed by the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya title suits, no decision has been taken yet on the pending issue.

"If Sardar Patel's statue can be erected on the banks of the Narmada river (in Gujarat), why an act cannot be passed to build a giant Ram temple?" questioned Hosabale, the Sah Sarkaryavaah or Joint General Secretary of the RSS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated an imposing 182-metre statue of the country's first Home Minister, touted as the world's tallest, on 31 October at Sadhu Bet near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district.

In his annual Vijaya Dashmi rally in Nagpur this October, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had demanded a law to pave the way for construction of the temple in Ayodhya.
09:30   Michelle Obama cancels book tour stops to pay respects to George H W Bush
Former US first lady Michelle Obama canceled part of her book tour so she can pay her respects to US President George H W Bush who died Friday at the age of 94.

Its important for me to join the Bush family in celebrating President George HW Bushs exemplary life. This will unfortunately preclude my visits to Paris and Berlin, Obama tweeted Sunday. Ive been deeply touched by the enthusiasm for my memoir, and Im working to reschedule my trip for next year.

Obama has been on tour promoting her autobiography, Becoming, which became 2018s best-selling hardcover book last week.

I hope readers and ticket holders will understand my decision regarding my desire to attend President Bushs funeral, and join me in paying tribute to him and his tremendous contributions to our world, Obama added.

Both Michelle and former US President Barack Obama have become close to the Bush family, with Obama visiting Bush 41 in Houston three days before he died.

The Obamas also attended the April funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.
09:15   India my father's country, nobody can force me to flee: Owaisi to Yogi
India is my father's country. Nobody can force me flee," was how AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi reacted to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's comment that if BJP comes to power in the Telangana, Owaisi will have to flee.

"It is my religious belief that Prophet Adam, when he descended on the Earth from Paradise, came to India. Thus India is my father's country and nobody can force me flee," the Hyderabad MP told an election rally.

Speaking at an election rally of the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier at Tandur, Adityanath had said that if his party comes to power in Telangana, Owaisi will flee the way Nizams had to flee Hyderabad.

Owaisi said the Uttar Pradesh chief minister was ignorant of the history as Nizams did not flee Hyderabad.

"Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan did not flee Hyderabad. He was made 'Raj Pramukh' and when there was war with China, he offered his gold to India," he said.

The MP said he would not be scared by such threats and propaganda. "This is only Yogi's speech but the language and mentality is of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

Owaisi said Yogi should speak like a chief minister and uphold the dignity of the office he is holding. He suggested that the Uttar Pradesh chief minister should first take care of his constituency where 150 children die of encephalitis every year.
08:32   No move to change permanent residency rules, J-K Gov tells Kashmir parties
Parties in Jammu and Kashmir alleged governor Satya Pal Malik was trying to change rules for issuing permanent resident certificates - a touchy issue in the state. The governor, however, denied any move to tamper with the existing law.

Former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah alleged that the governors plan reportedly to change the process for issuance of permanent resident certificate was aimed at distorting the demography of the state, while People Conference President Sajad Gani Lone also urged the administration to restrict itself to basic governance and not to invent new problems for the state.

The regime in the state, which is currently under governors rule, is reportedly planning to change the existing process for acquiring permanent resident certificate in the state. It was, however, not clear what changes are being mulled. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kavinder Gupta had said there were moves to simplify the procedure and fixing a timeline for its issuance under the Public Services Guarantee Act, reported PTI news agency.

We are obliged to write to you at a time when you are mulling changes to permanent resident certificate rules. Our party, the National Conference , is of the opinion that this is an attempt to distort the demography of the state and finds it detrimental to J&Ks special status, Abdullah wrote in a letter to the governor.

We hope that you roll back any decision made in this regard immediately. We also want to convey and register our displeasure and a unanimous decision to oppose this move, he added.

Responding to Abdullah, Malik said, At the outset I would like to mention that the government is not making or even considering any changes to the act governing permanent resident certificates in the state. It is an integral part of the legal structure of Jammu and Kashmir and there is no attempt whatsoever to tamper with this law.

The governor clarified they were seeking comments from people for hassle-free issuance of the certificates to the genuine residents, as many applicants face avoidable difficulties in getting a PRC within the stipulated timeline of 30 days from the date of application and there were complaints of delays due to a variety of procedural reasons.
08:12   World Bank unveils $200 billion in climate action for 2021-25
The World Bank on Monday unveiled $200 billion in climate action investment for 2021-25, adding this amounts to a doubling of its current five-year funding.
The World Bank said the move, coinciding with a UN climate summit meeting of some 200 nations in Poland, represented a "significantly ramped up ambition" to tackle climate change, "sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same".

Developed countries are committed to lifting combined annual public and private spending to USD 100 billion in developing countries by 2020 to fight the impact of climate change -- up from 48.5 billion in 2016 and 56.7 billion last year, according to latest OECD data.
Southern hemisphere countries fighting the impact of warming temperatures are nonetheless pushing northern counterparts for firmer commitments.
In a statement, the World Bank said the breakdown of the $200 billion would comprise "approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank".
Around one third of the remaining funding will come from two World Bank Group agencies with the rest private capital "mobilised by the World Bank Group".
"If we don't reduce emissions and build adaptation now, we'll have 100 million more people living in poverty by 2030," John Roome, World Bank senior director for climate change, warned.
"And we also know that the less we address this issue proactively just in three regions -- Africa, South Asia and Latin America -- we'll have 133 million climate migrants," Roome said.
07:59   World Bank unveils $200 billion in climate action for 2021-25
The World Bank on Monday unveiled $200 billion in climate action investment for 2021-25, adding this amounts to a doubling of its current five-year funding.
The World Bank said the move, coinciding with a UN climate summit meeting of some 200 nations in Poland, represented a "significantly ramped up ambition" to tackle climate change, "sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same".

Developed countries are committed to lifting combined annual public and private spending to USD 100 billion in developing countries by 2020 to fight the impact of climate change -- up from 48.5 billion in 2016 and 56.7 billion last year, according to latest OECD data.
Southern hemisphere countries fighting the impact of warming temperatures are nonetheless pushing northern counterparts for firmer commitments.
In a statement, the World Bank said the breakdown of the $200 billion would comprise "approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank".
Around one third of the remaining funding will come from two World Bank Group agencies with the rest private capital "mobilised by the World Bank Group".
"If we don't reduce emissions and build adaptation now, we'll have 100 million more people living in poverty by 2030," John Roome, World Bank senior director for climate change, warned.
"And we also know that the less we address this issue proactively just in three regions -- Africa, South Asia and Latin America -- we'll have 133 million climate migrants," Roome said.