Sun, 15 July 2018
Kumaraswamy's remarks 'emotional outburst': JD-S
21:19 Kumaraswamy's remarks 'emotional outburst': JD-S
The Janata Dal-Secular today termed the remarks of Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy indicating a rift in the coalition government with the Congress as an "emotional outburst" and said too much should not be read into it.
Party secretary general and spokesperson Danish Ali claimed that the alliance government in the state will complete its full five-year term.
He asserted that there was no strain between the coalition partners and the government was running smoothly.
Addressing JD-S workers at a function held by the party to felicitate him in Bengaluru yesterday, an emotional Kumaraswamy said that he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like 'Vishakantha' (Lord Shiva), who drank poison.
He had also said there was no point in honouring him as the party had failed to get a clear majority in the Assembly polls in May.
"That was merely an emotional outburst and some in the media are reading too much into it," Ali told PTI.
"There are no strains between the Congress and the JD(S) and the coalition government in Karnataka is stable and will complete its five-year term under a common minimum programme for the welfare of the people in the state including farmers, Dalits and other oppressed classes," he said.
Ali said Kumaraswamy was expecting that the people of Karnataka will give a majority to the JD(S) in the Assembly, but the party could not get that kind of a mandate despite best efforts.
21:10 Hard to believe that Putin unaware of Russian interference in US poll: US
On the eve of a key summit between President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart, US national security adviser John Bolton said today the hacking of Democratic emails during 2016 campaign was a serious matter and he found it "hard to believe" that Russian President Vladimir Putin was unaware it.
Trump is scheduled to meet Putin at Helsinki, Finland tomorrow. The opposition Democratic Party leaders have demanded that he cancel his meeting in the wake of the indictment of Russian intelligence officials for hacking into servers of Hillary Clinton and her party.
Bolton in an interview to ABC News said that it was unlikely that the US would be able to arrest or extradite the 12 Russians who were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday.
"It's pretty silly for the president to demand something that he can't get legally. And this is a very serious matter. You know, the Russians take the position, you can like it or not like it, that their constitution forbids them to extradite Russian citizens. They have an agreement with the Europeans that looks a lot like an extradition treaty. Europeans, frequently, tried to use that to get the Russians to extradite their nationals and they flat out refused to do it," Bolton said.
Bolton noted that Putin has repeatedly denied any knowledge of Russian efforts to meddle in the US election but he said the indictments cast doubts on the credibility of the Russian president's assertions.
"I find it hard to believe, but that's what one of the purposes of this meeting is so the president can see eye to eye with President Putin and ask him about it,'' Bolton said.
Bolton told ABC News that the indictment strengthened Trump's hand before his meeting with Putin.
"The president can put this on the table and say. This is a serious matter. We need to talk about it,'' Bolton said. -- PTI
20:40 Data breach scandal: Govt refuses to share Facebook's response
The government has refused to share copies of responses received from the US-based social media giant Facebook over global data breach scandal involving London-based data mining firm Cambridge Analytica, saying the information was shared by the companies in confidence.
The responses received cannot be shared since the companies have shared (it) in confidence. They have requested to treat the information contained in their letter as confidential and has furnished (it) only for use of authority, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in reply to an RTI query filed by this PTI correspondent.
It was asked to provide copy of replies received from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica on the notices sent by the ministry.
Facebook had in April admitted that nearly 5.62 lakh people in India were "potentially affected" by its global data breach involving Cambridge Analytica, and asserted that the UK-based firm's use of such data did not have its consent.
In response to the Indian government on the scandal, Facebook had informed that "only 335 people" in India were directly affected through the installation of an application and another 5,62,120 people were "potentially affected" as friends of those users.
Facebook has over 20 crore users in India.
Facebook had said that the data of about 87 million people -- mostly in the US -- might have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.
After the data breach came to light, the ministry had in March and April this year shot off communications to Facebook and Cambridge Analytica seeking clarification on the issue from them.
The ministry's move came after Christopher Wylie, who blew the lid off the scam involving mining of Facebook user data to manipulate elections, tweeted details that claim to expose the British consultancy's work in India dating back to 2003.
Wylie claimed that SCL India (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica) was asked to provide electoral research and strategy for the 2010 Bihar elections for the Janata Dal (United). The JD-U has rejected this claim.
Asked to share details of action being taken by the Indian government to check recurrence of such incidents, the ministry said it has set up an expert committee to draft a data protection framework for India.
This is an ongoing effort. Further, government has set up an expert committee to draft a data protection framework for India and the report is expected soon, it said in reply to the RTI application.
In its letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March, the ministry said India has clear constitutional and legal frameworks designed to secure the integrity and sanctity of the Indian electoral process, including guidelines regarding campaigning, exit polls, etc. -- PTI
20:35 Temples aren't going to create jobs for tomorrow: Pitroda
Debating religion will not create jobs for tomorrow, only science will build the future, technocrat Sam Pitroda told students at a university in Gandhinagar today.
He also said when employment is talked about, it's given a political angle and involves "a lot of rhetoric and very little substance".
"When I hear all the debates in this country about temple, religion, God, caste, I worry about India. Temples are not going to create jobs for tomorrow. Only science will create the future," Pitroda said.
However, there is very little conversation on science in public domain, he said.
"Even when one talks about employment, there is always a political angle. There is a lot of rhetoric and very little substance," he said.
Pitroda was speaking at the 'Youth Parliament' at the Karnavati University.
The country's youth are being misguided by people, mainly politicians, talking about useless things that lead them to the wrong path, he alleged.
Delivering a speech on 'Employment and Entrepreneurship,' Pitroda said India lacked the "right mindset" to look at jobs of tomorrow as the "concept of jobs that we understand today is long dead".
"We have too much conversation in this country on useless issues, and it bothers me. We talk about petty things, we misguide our young, we lead them to the wrong path, we don't tell them facts, we lie to them," he said.
"It hurts, but I see a lot of these leaders saying things that don't make sense at all. Because they are ignorant, they have not achieved much in their life besides giving bhashans (speeches). They are not qualified to guide our young," he said.
The tech entrepreneur who worked closely with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi said jobs today were threatened by technology.
Human longevity and modern technologies like robotics, big data, analytics, cloud computing and open source software are automating things and making routine works redundant, he said.
Creating more jobs remains a challenge, Pitroda said, suggesting to look at the idea of job creation with the mindset of the future and not the past.
Pitroda also suggested laying more focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for job creation.
"We do not have the right mindset to look up the jobs of tomorrow. Jobs of tomorrow will come in the form of entrepreneurship in smaller areas. SMEs will create more jobs, which will come with focus on better energy, infrastructure...
"Like telecommunication, in 10 years, energy will be free. Transportation will be almost free in 20 years. It is with this mindset that we should look at a job, and not the mindset of yesterday," he said.
Pitroda advised students to think in a way different than their parents, teachers and politicians, saying that they have not been able to gauge the changes of the future and the contours of the changing job scenario.
"Think about the future in a very different way than (what) your parents and your teachers have been telling you," he said. -- PTI
20:32 BJP too has contributed to delay in projects: Mayawati hits back at PM
Hitting back at the BJP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the previous governments of neglecting the people and not completing developmental projects in time, BSP chief Mayawati today said the saffron party too had contributed to the delaying of projects.
"Why is the prime minister shying away from accepting this?" the former chief minister asked in a statement, hours after Modi blamed the previous governments by non-BJP parties for delay in completion of various schemes and projects.
"The BJP governments too have contributed in various 'atke, latke and bhatke' (stuck up, pending and derailed) projects in Uttar Pradesh and across the country. Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi shying away from accepting this?" Mayawati asked.
From the way the BJP and Prime Minister Modi are advocating issues such as 'shamshan-kabristan' (cremation place and graveyard), talaq, Hindu-Muslim, fake news against the opposition, casteism and communalism, it seems there is disappointment and it is possible that the Lok Sabha elections may be held this year ahead of schedule, she said.
"By toppling the Mehbooba Mufti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP has already prepared the ground (for early elections)," the BSP chief said.
Mayawati termed the speeches delivered by Prime Minister Modi in Azamgarh and Mirzapur as "misleading".
The BSP chief said the top leadership of the BJP was feeling frustrated and disappointed after having failed to form the government in Karnataka. -- PTI
20:26 Potholes alone can not be blamed for accidents: Maha minister
Maharashtra PWD minister Chandrakant Patil has claimed that pothole-ridden roads can not be entirely blamed for accidents.
The statement came even as five persons have lost their lives due to damaged roads in the Mumbai region in the last two weeks.
Speaking to reporters in Sangli yesterday, Patil said, "When you talk about a death in such an accident, you forget that five lakh other people have travelled on the same road. You can not put the entire blame on the (condition of) roads alone."
The senior minister hastened to add that he did not have all the information about the recent accidents, and action will be taken against officials based on the facts of each case. Family members of the deceased will get due
compensation, he said.
Asked about people slamming civic bodies and the state government over the bad roads on social media, Patil said, "People have a habit of changing their opinions constantly. They will like something for a while and soon pass a negative remark (on the same issue)."
Opposition Congress termed the minister's comment as insensitive.
Patil was questioning people's view of roads, but he will understand what people can do after elections, said state Congress general secretary Sachin Sawant.
"Government is not expected to run away by raising doubts about accident deaths. We condemn the minister for his insensitive comment," Sawant tweeted today.
Accidents on pothole-ridden roads claimed four lives in Kalyan area in the last two weeks. Another death was reported in Navi Mumbai. In all these cases, victims lost balance and fell when their two-wheelers hit a pothole.
Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam claimed today that there were 20,000 potholes on Mumbai roads, and not 300 as stated by the civic body BMC before the Bombay high court.
He was going to "file an FIR" against chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray (whose party rules the BMC), the municipal commissioner and the mayor for the bad roads, he said. -- PTI
20:24 Ahead of monsoon session, Oppn parties to meet tomorrow
Opposition parties will meet tomorrow to formulate a joint strategy to corner the government on various issues during the Monsoon Session of Parliament starting July 18.
Topmost on the agenda will be to finalise a joint candidate for the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman's post which fell vacant after the end of the term of P J Kurien from the Congress on July 1.
Leaders from the Congress and various other parties will meet tomorrow evening in the office of the Leader of the the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House.
"Opposition leaders will meet tomorrow to decide on issues which will be taken up in the Monsoon Session. They will plan a strategy to seek answers from the government on issues related to increasing bank frauds, women safety and threats to national security," deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said.
Sources said that the Congress may agree to a candidate from other opposition parties for the post of the deputy chairman. Among the names doing the rounds for the post include Trinamool Congress leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.
The sources also indicated that the post may go to the NCP. The names of the candidates have not been formally discussed and it will be the first time that the issue will be taken up during the meeting tomorrow.
The opposition candidate is likely to be decided by consensus after discussions among leaders from various parties, they said.
The sources, however, said that the ruling NDA is keen on fielding its candidate and is seeking the support of some parties like the BJD and the AIADMK.
The name of Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral is doing the rounds for the post from the ruling coalition.
During tomorrow's meeting, the opposition parties are expected to discuss a strategy to corner the government on various issues including lynching, atrocities on Dalits, farmer's grievances and security of women. -- PTI
19:27 Behind bars for being daughter of Nawaz Sharif: Maryam
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz, who was arrested along with her father Nawaz Sharif upon their arrival in Lahore, has said that she is in prison for being the daughter of a brave man.
The National Accountability Bureau officials took ousted prime minister Sharif, 68, and Maryam, 44, into custody in the Avenfield case, shortly after their arrival at Lahore airport from London via Abu Dhabi on Friday.
They were shifted to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.
In an emotional audio message recorded before going to jail, Maryam appealed to the nation to pray for her mother's health.
"You all know that I left my mother in a critical condition. I went to London to meet her along with my father Nawaz Sharif," she said.
Maryam's mother Kulsoom Nawaz is on a ventilator after suffering a cardiac arrest in London where she is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
"We found her unconscious and when I was returning back home, she opened her eyes and saw us but could not talk," Maryam was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.
"I wish to hug her in healthy condition," she said.
"They want to make me a weakness of my father (Nawaz Sharif) but luckily, now I am a source of strength," she said in the audio message.
She asked her voters to prepare for the July 25 general elections.
"If I was not in prison, I would fight this historical democratic battle with you on the streets," she said.
Maryam said that she was contesting election from a single constituency but now she is contesting for all the 272 constituencies.
Both Sharif and Maryam have been sentenced by an accountability court to 10 and 7 years in prison respectively.
Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case.
Sharif has been one of the country's leading politicians for most of the past 30 years. He remains popular, especially in Punjab, the most populous and electorally significant province. -- PTI
18:45 Won't allow our soil to be used for any terrorist activities against India: B'desh
Bangladesh today reassured India that it will not allow its soil to be used for any terrorist activities against the neighbouring country as visiting Home Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with his counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan on security-related issues.
Singh, who is in Dhaka on a three-day visit, co-chaired with Khan the 6th India-Bangladesh home minister-level talks.
The meeting discussed "all security related matters of interest including counter terrorism, capacity building and increased cooperation between security agencies, border management, countering illegal activities like fake currency, drug and human trafficking, consular issues", the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said in a statement.
Briefing reporters after his talks Singh, Khan said security issues largely featured in their meeting, with particular focus on border management, cross-border crimes and illegal activities.
"We had a successful meeting," Singh said in his brief comment. He did not join Khan for the media briefing.
Khan said Bangladesh reassured India that "we will not allow its soil to be used for any terrorist activities particularly against India in line with our zero tolerance policy to terrorism and militancy".
He said India has extended all types of support to Bangladesh to counter terrorism and militancy.
"They are now exchanging militancy related information with us," he said.
"Discussions were held to ease travel arrangements between the two countries as well," he said, adding that under a revised travel agreement signed today Bangladeshi freedom fighters and elderly nationals would get five years' multiple Indian visa.
Khan said discussions were held to make easier the visa issuance process for students and medical treatment seekers in India.
Khan said the Rohingya issue was also discussed and his counterpart conveyed India's commitment to extend its assistance for safe, speedy and sustainable return of these people to Myanmar's Rakhine state.
India has offered to send more relief material and supplies to help Bangladesh deal with the needs of those in the relief camps. India is simultaneously working on a project to construct pre-fabricated housing in Rakhine to ensure the displaced Rohingya are properly resettled post-deportation. -- PTI
Image: Home Minister Rajnath Singh holds talks with Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. Photograph: PIB
18:27 Woman gangraped, burnt alive by five in UP
A woman was burnt alive after having been gangraped allegedly by five persons in her house in Gunnaur area Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal, the police said today.
The incident took place on Friday night when the 30-year-old victim was alone in her house with her daughter, the police said, adding the five persons barged into her house and allegedly raped her.
The five later took her to a nearby hut and burnt her alive said Gunnaur Circle officer Aqil Ahmad, quoting from the complaint lodged by the victim's husband.
He said an FIR has been registered in the case against five persons including Aram Singh, Mahaveer, Charan Singh, Gullu and Bhona.
The body of the victim has been sent for autopsy and the police has launched manhunt to nab the accused, who are absconding.
The victim's husband is a labourer and reside in Ghaziabad. -- PTI
18:26 Garib Rath tickets set for hike
Bedroll kits could soon be included in the ticket price of the poor man's no frills AC train, the Garib Rath Express, but it could cost significantly more with the railways considering a hike from the Rs 25 fixed over a decade ago, senior officials said.
The review, in keeping with the steep rise in cost of maintaining the linen, is likely to be applicable in other trains as well, the officials said. Like the Garib Rath trains, prices for bedrolls have not been revised in the last decade for the other trains, they added.
The rethink follows a note from the office of the deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, asking why a revision had not taken place for the "poor man's chariot" and recommending that the cost of the bedroll be included in the train fare.
"We have received the note and we are reviewing it. Prices cannot remain the same forever. There will be a review of the bedroll charges of the Garib Rath trains and they will likely be included in the price of the ticket in the next six months," a senior official said.
Presently, the railways supplies bedroll kits in all its air-conditioned coaches and their prices, around Rs 25, are included in the ticket fare. However, this does not hold for Garib Rath and Duronto trains where passengers across classes can book the kits while purchasing their tickets at the same rate.
Senior officials told PTI that there has been no revision of prices of the kits despite the rise in cost of procuring and maintaining them.
In the letter, the deputy CAG has said the railways should increase the cost of the bedrolls as it has not been reviewed in the last 12 years.
The note highlights the need for a review of the cost of the bedroll kits, comprising two sheets, one face towel, one pillow with cover and a blanket.
The cost of the kit, which a passenger has to pay for separately "according to his need", was fixed at Rs 25 in 2006, it said.
An official in the auditor's office said it was found during a review of the charges "recovered" for bedroll kits from the 26 Garib Rath trains that it had remained the same for 12 years, raising questions on the need for a hike to meet the steep rise in cost of maintaining them.
"It has been conveyed to the board that the office had calculated the increase in costs of such a kit since 2006 and found that the cost of washing them, cost of staff employed for the distribution of bedrolls to passengers, cost of space occupied in keeping them in trains and the cost of its maintenance had increased to a large extent during the span of last 12 years," the official said. -- PTI
18:07 Mumbai: Western railway running late by 10-15 minutes
"Due to technical problem all suburban locals are running late by 10 to 15 minutes," Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Division of Western Railway, said on Twitter.
Image: Railway employees work on tracks during a jumbo block. Photograph: Kind courtesy @WesternRly/Twitter
17:58 4 killed, 25 injured as huge rock rolls down waterfall in J&K's Reasi
Four people were killed and 25 injured when a boulder rolled down and hit people bathing in a waterfall in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior police officer said.
The incident occurred around 3.30 pm at Siar Baba waterfall, a major attraction for holiday-makers, Senior Superintendent of Police Reasi Tahir Sajad Bhat told PTI.
According to preliminary information, a loose rock rolled down through the waterfall, killing four people on the spot and injuring 25, he said, adding police personnel rushed to the scene.
According to officials, the toll might go up as more people were believed to be trapped under the debris which fell along with the rock from the hillock.
Located 10 km from the Reasi town, the waterfall on the Chenab river at an elevation of 466 metres, is one of the biggest in north India.
The spectacular view of the water falling from a height of over 100 feet attracts a large number of tourists. -- PTI
17:47 Sindhu falters in final hurdle again, loses to Okuhara in Thailand Open
Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu lost in straight games to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the summit clash of the USD 350,000 Thailand Open World Tour Super 500 badminton tournament in Bangkok today.
Seeded second Sindhu struggled with her consistency through the duel as Okuhara dominated the proceedings to beat the Indian 21-15 21-18 in exactly 50 minutes.
By virtue of this win, Okuhara has taken a 6-5 head-to-head win-loss record over Sindhu.
The last time the duo met at the All England Championships earlier this year, it was the Indian who prevailed over the Japanese. PTI
17:42 Rahul doesn't even know how onion grows: MP CM
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took a dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi's recent visit to Mandsaur to meet farmers, and said that he does not even know how an onion grows.
"A bhaiya (Gandhi) recently visited Mandsaur. He himself said I am ready to become prime minister. Who is making you PM? He hardly knows how a chilli grows, upward or downward, and has no idea whether onion grows above the ground or below," Chouhan said while addressing a gathering.
Rahul had visited Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh last month to pay homage to six persons who were killed in police firing during a farmers' agitation last year.
The chief minister earlier on Saturday kicked off his "Jan Ashirwad Yatra" from Ujjain.
The yatra was flagged off by Bharatiya Janata Party national president Amit Shah. -- ANI
17:32 UP 'anti-Romeo squads' to get wardrobe-mounted cameras
The Uttar Pradesh Police has decided to strengthen its 'anti-Romeo squads' to protect women from stalkers and eve-teasers, official sources said.
Dressed in plain clothes, the sleuths -- both men and women -- would be deployed at public places like colleges, shopping malls, markets, parks, bus stands, stations and even schools, Director General of Police office sources said.
As part of its efforts to strengthen the squads, the personnel deployed would also be provided with wardrobe-mounted cameras to ensure that no one slips from the hands of the police.
The 'anti-Romeo squads' was formed soon after Yogi Adityanath assumed office of chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, thereby fulfilling the BJP's election promise to 'protect the honour of women' once the party comes to power.
Since the squad was constituted after formation of the Adityanath government last year, as many as 34,49,646 persons were checked till July 12. Besides, 2,481 FIRs were lodged and action was taken against 4,392 persons, the sources said.
Besides, 15,69,145 persons have been warned, they said.
During this period, 12,616,18 public places, schools, parks, bus stations, malls, markets were checked by the 'anti-Romeo squads'.
As per the official data, seven FIRs were lodged by the squad every day and 2,410 persons were warned daily by these squads across the state.
As per the latest guidelines issued by the Uttar Pradesh Police, the youth who provoked others to take part in such activities aimed at troubling women would be provided with counselling by the police, if necessary, they said.
All the police stations will have their own separate registers to keep a record of crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh, and review meetings will be held every week to check these crimes and the progress achieved.
The decision to strengthen these squads has been taken in mind so that the offenders do not go unchecked, the sources said.
Several people have also complained of a feeling of terror among youth due to the 'anti-Romeo squads' as some of them were made to shave their heads or do sit-ups for eve-teasing. -- PTI
17:29 Pak yet to crush terror groups despite tall claims by govt: Local media
As Pakistan observed a day of national mourning following the massacre of nearly 150 people in terror attacks ahead of the general elections, leading newspapers have questioned the claims of the government and the army that they have crushed terrorism in the country.
Three deadly back-to-back attacks on election rallies in the restive provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that killed two prominent political leaders along with around 150 civilians have renewed concerns that violence could disrupt the elections scheduled for July 25.
Reacting to the spate of terror attacks, the Express Tribune, in a stinging editorial, said, "There is a blood-drenched hole in the claim of the government to have rolled back the forces of terrorism in Pakistan."
The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is one of the terror outfits said to be in retreat as a result of sustained efforts by the police, paramilitary and military forces, but not so far in retreat as to be unable to mount lethal bombing operations, it noted.
With campaigning now in full swing the attack calls into question the effectiveness of the state when it comes to countering organisations such as the TTP, it said.
The caretaker government has been briefed as to the clear and present dangers faced by campaigning politicians, and at the very least ought to be extending the duty of care to encompass the security of candidates of all parties, the editorial said.
The Dawn newspaper in its editorial noted that the sudden upsurge in terrorist incidents calls for several urgent responses, including state protection extended to all candidates who ask for it -- without delay. All three candidates who came under attack this week had survived previous attempts on their lives.
Electioneering is a public activity requiring a guarantee of public safety. It is a poor indication of the health of this election if on-ground campaigning is suppressed or forcibly suspended, the editorial said.
It pointed out that these mass-casualty attacks were carried out without apparent warning indicates lapses in intelligence gathering.
In order to ensure peaceful elections, the authorities should not only beef up security but also mobilise the entire intelligence apparatus to do the job they are actually meant to, i.e. preventing attacks, the paper noted.
With just days for the polling day, every effort must be made to ensure that the election is not derailed by elements hostile to the democratic process, for that is what the perpetrators of these attacks are.
"In many ways, the real battle in 2018 is between pro-democracy and anti-democracy forces. Even now, it is not too late, if the political class were to stand in solidarity to defeat these elements.
"Over 100 Pakistanis lost their lives this week exercising their democratic right to participate in defining this country's future. It is time to realise what is at stake," the editorial said.
The News in its editorial said that as the death toll continued to go up, people watched in horror at the violence that has suddenly become a daily nightmare.
"Even though we have repeatedly been told that the back of militancy has been broken, that so many attacks could be carried out in such a short time shows that is far from the case," it said.
The state needs to explain why it has not done enough to ensure the integrity of the elections by providing those under threat sufficient security. When certain parties are being targeted by militancy, their campaigns are naturally hamstrung putting them at a disadvantage to other parties, the editorial said. -- PTI
16:43 See, how Irrfan Khan is fighting cancer with a smile
Actor Irrfan Khan, who is currently in London undergoing treatment for neuroendochrine tumour, has updated his display picture on Twitter.
In the picture, which the 51-year-old actor shared today on the microblogging site, he appears slightly weak but happy.
In the latest photo, Irrfan is seen in a yellow T-shirt standing next to a glass window with earphones around his neck and a smile on his face.
In March, the actor revealed that he has been diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour, a rare form of cancer that can target various parts of the body, and is out of the country for treatment. PTI SHD
"Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect: Margaret Mitchell. The unexpected makes us grow, which is what the past few days have been about. Learning that I have been diagnosed with NeuroEndocrine Tumour as of now has now has admittedly been difficult, but the love and strength of those around me and that I found within me has brought me to a place of hope. The journey of this is taking me out of the country, and I request everyone to continue sending their wishes. As for the rumours that were floated NEURO is not always about the brain and googling is the easiest way to do research :-) To those who waited for my words, I hope to be back with more stories to tell," he wrote in a tweet.
16:03 Anurag Kashyap, Swara Bhasker laud Rahul Gandhi's stance on 'Sacred Games'
"Sacred Games" co-director Anurag Kashyap and actor Swara Bhasker have praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's stand on the uproar over the Netflix Original series.
Amid a row over alleged use of derogatory language in the web series while referring to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP and the RSS believe that freedom of expression must be policed, while he regards it as a fundamental democratic right.
"My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character on a fictional web series can never change that," he wrote on Twitter yesterday.
Kashyap quoted Rahul Gandhi's tweet and wrote, "That's a yay..."
Bhasker rooted for the political leader, saying it is "gracious" how Rahul Gandhi is able to keep personal and national interests aside.
"It is impressive that a mainstream politician like @RahulGandhi is taking this clear and progressive stand on freedom of expression and censorship. Also it's gracious and mature that he is able to set aside the personal for the larger goal of democratic rights. #CreditWhereDue," she tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi's remarks come days after a plea was filed in the Delhi high vourt seeking removal of certain scenes from "Sacred Games", claiming that some of its content was derogatory to Rajiv Gandhi. The high court has said it will hear the plea filed by advocate Nikhil Bhalla on Monday.
Also, a police complaint has been filed by a Congress activist in Kolkata against the producers of the web series and actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui over the issue.
Siddiqui, streaming giant Netflix and "Sacred Games" producers are "jointly responsible" for abusing Rajiv Gandhi on the show, Congress activist Rajeev Sinha has alleged in his complaint, filed in the Girish Park Police Station in north Kolkata.
The first season of the show, comprising eight episodes, was released on July 6 and is available in 190 countries in four languages. -- PTI
15:59 Ahead of MP polls, farmers' body to campaign against 112 MLAs
A farmers' organisation in Madhya Pradesh has said it will campaign against 112 legislators, who belong to various parties, for their "failure" to take up the issues of cultivators.
Farmers would be asked to evaluate the works done by MLAs for their welfare, and cast votes "tactically" in the state assembly elections due later this year, Aam Kisan Union leader Kedar Sirohi told PTI.
"We have identified 112 MLAs, who were elected from rural areas but never asked a question on the issues of farmers in the assembly," he said.
The strategy is to focus on MLAs whose victory margin was less than 5,000 votes in the last state polls, he said.
Out of the 112 legislators identified by the organisation, 86 are of the BJP, 24 of the Congress and two are Independents, Sirohi said.
"Our (union) leaders will not go to every village of the identified constituencies, but they will visit only 20 villages having sizable farmers' population in each assembly segment. We will interact with farmers and talk about their issues to convince them to vote tactically," he said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had last month said that his government deposited over Rs 35,000 crore into the accounts of farmers as part of various state-run schemes over the past one year.
Sirohi said their organisation was not against any government or political outfit.
"Farmers from rural areas elect representatives to raise their problems in the Assembly. But, instead of raising the farmers' problems, legislators speak and talk at the behest of their party leadership," he alleged.
Farmers in MP have collectively lost Rs 22,000 crore due to the 'Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana' and there has been a loss of Rs 33,000 crore due to damage of crops in natural calamities, Sirohi claimed.
But, farmers across the state have been paid only Rs 5,300 crore under the crop insurance scheme, he said.
The Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana is a direct benefit transfer scheme under which farmers are paid the difference between the modal price (average market price for a particular commodity over a stipulated period) and the minimum support price of crops.
Madhya Pradesh ranks third in terms of farmer suicides in the country, Sirohi pointed out, adding that such cases have gone up by 43 per cent in the last five years. -- PTI
15:07 Winds, rain hindering rescue operations to trace 7 missing in AP boat capsize
Surging river water, coupled with rain and strong winds, hampered operations to trace seven people, most of them teenagers, who have gone missing after a boat capsized in the Gautami river in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, officials said today.
As many as 20 teams of rescue personnel, including Navy divers, have fanned out in the river from the accident spot at Pasuvullanka up to Yanam coast, both upstream and downstream, and are continuing the search.
"Our operations are hampered by strong winds and rain. Besides, water level in the river has also risen by three feet due to heavy discharge of water from the Godavari. Still, we are carrying out the search," National Disaster Response Force Deputy Commander Madhusudan Reddy said.
A navy helicopter has been positioned at Rajamahendravaram for the search operation and it will be deployed once the weather clears, the State Disaster Management Authority said.
The SDMA informed in a communique here that six girls and a woman were missing after the boat capsized yesterday.
They have been identified as Kondepudi Ramya (13), Polisetti Veera Manisha (15), Sunkara Sreeman (15), Tirukoti Priya (13), Polisetti Anusha (14), Polisetti Suchitra (12) and Galla Nagamani (35).
Thirty-two passengers were travelling in the boat that was on its way from Saladivari Palem to Pasuvullanka when it capsized after colliding with a pier of an under-construction bridge.
Twenty-five passengers were rescued.
Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa is camping at Yanam and monitoring the search-and-rescue operation.
The Gautami river is a tributary of the Godavari. -- PTI
14:53 Facebook disables accounts of Hafiz Saeed's political party: Report
Ahead of the general election in Pakistan, Facebook has disabled numerous accounts and pages of the Islamist Milli Muslim League, in a setback to the political outfit launched by Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa, according to a media report today.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had said that it was his priority to make sure his social networking website supports positive discourse and prevents interference in the upcoming elections in Pakistan, India, Brazil, Mexico and other countries.
Recently, Facebook officials contacted the Election Commission of Pakistan and offered help to local authorities to identify and remove fake pages of different political parties ahead of the July 25 general election, the Express Tribune reported.
The ECP has not recognised the MML as a political party.
In April this year, the United States placed the MML on its list of foreign terror organisations for its links with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba terror group, which launched the 2008 Mumbai carnage.
After the ECP denied recognition to the MML, JuD chief Saeed announced that around 200 candidates of his party would contest the polls under the banner of a little-known party, the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, which is already registered with the election commission.
MML spokesperson Tabish Qayyum told journalists that Facebook has removed numerous accounts of their election candidates and workers without giving any reason.
He said Facebook's act is a gross violation of its own policy and sanction on freedom of expression. -- PTI
14:24 Monsoon session: Left to press for PM's reply on discussion on communal violence, lynching
The Left parties intend to corner the government in Parliament on incidents of lynching and communal violence in the country and press for a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming monsoon session.
As they chalk out their strategy for the session, that begins on July 18, the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the CPI alleged that recent incidents of lynching and communal violence have "claimed" many lives in the country and the prime minister should state in the parliament what the government was doing to control the "divisive politics" unleashed by the RSS-BJP.
"We would raise the issues of lynching and communal violence in the country in both the Houses of parliament," CPI-M Lok Sabha member Mohammad Salim told PTI.
He alleged the government was supporting "divisive policies" and the politics of BJP-RSS which is spreading violence in the country and that the party would demand a discussion on this.
"We would certainly demand an answer from the prime minister."
Holding the RSS-BJP and other right-wing outfits responsible for the increasing incidents of alleged hate crime and attacks on Dalits, CPI Rajya Sabha MP D Raja said Modi must answer as to why the SC/ST Act was "diluted" and why so many Dalits are being "killed" across the country.
"The government does not want to touch the right-wing organisations with affiliations to the RSS and the Sangh Parivar. This is a dangerous trend. Definitely, we want the prime minister to answer on the issues of lynching, Dalit killings, the SC/ST Act. People have their apprehensions that why this Act was diluted," Raja said.
Apart from this, the parties have also decided to bring to the fore agrarian crisis focusing on farmers suicides and also the fact that the government ignored the Swaminathan Committee report while announcing the increase in MSP for farm produce.
The left leaders also termed the prime minister's slogan of "Sbka Sath, Sabka Vikas" (together with all, development for all) a completely "bogus" one, and alleged farmers have "not benefited at all" from the recent move of the government.
They said the government needs to tell the Parliament whether they are with farmers or not. -- PTI
14:22 Over 2000 girls, women from Mumbai remain untraced: Maha govt
During the last five years more than 26,000 girls and women went missing from Mumbai alone, out of which 24,444 were found and 2,264 are yet to be traced, revealed the Maharashtra government data.
The data was produced by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a written reply while replying to a query by Congress MLAs in the Legislative Assembly.
The monsoon session of the state legislature is currently underway in Nagpur, the second capital of Maharashtra.
"(A total of) 26,708 women, including 5056 minor girls, had gone missing from 2013-17, out of which 24,444 were found. However, 2,264 of them are yet to be traced," stated Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and other Congress leaders had sought to know the number of missing women and girls.
Fadnavis said 4758 of 5056 girls who had gone missing had been found.
Among the 26,708 women who had gone missing, 21,652 women were above 18 years, of which 19,686 have been found.
The figures exhibit a rising number of minor girls going missing since 2015, while there has been a consistent rise of women, over 18 years of age, going missing since 2013.
The chief minister clarified that as per the Supreme Court directives given in May 2013, all missing complaints regarding minors should be registered as kidnapping and not missing. Hence the data shows an increasing trend.
Fadnavis said in the case of minors, a total of three offences had been registered in city police stations for kidnapping with intent to make children beg for money. Out of those, two accused have been convicted while one was acquitted.
In the case of women over 18 years of age, 11 offences were registered for using women to perform immoral acts, out of which 10 are sub-judice, as per the data. -- PTI
14:16 Centre, Lt Guv creating hurdles: Pondy CM
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said his government is struggling to carry out its routine administration because of "hurdles" caused by the Centre and lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi.
Narayanasamy alleged that even for preparing the territorial budget and to present it at the appropriate time, they had to face "several hurdles."
"The budget presented (in the Puducherry assembly) on July 2 should have been presented in May itself. But want of timely release of funds from the Centre and unnecessary movement of files from the cabinet to the Lt
governor dislocated the schedule to present the budget on time and implement various schemes without delay," he said.
Naryanasamy was addressing a meeting at the Congress party office on the occasion of the birth anniversary celebration of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and congress leader K Kamaraj.
Paying tributes to Kamaraj, Narayanasamy said it would not be smooth sailing for the Congress government here till there is Congress rule at the Centre.
He said the government was, however, firm on implementing the free rice scheme, allocate 16 per cent of budgetary funds for welfare of scheduled castes under special component plan and pay monthly assistance to the aged and widows.
Narayanasamy, who has been at loggerheads with Lt governor Kiran Bedi ever since she assumed charge in May, 2016, said "we are accountable to the people and we have to overcome several hurdles caused both by the Centre, which is delaying sanction of grants, and by the return of files by the Lt governor without according approval to cabinet decisions." -- PTI
14:14 Wish Amartya Sen spends some time in India: Niti Aayog VC
Days after Amartya Sen lamented that India has taken a quantum jump backwards since 2014, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar today said the Nobel laureate should spend some time in the country to see the structural reforms undertaken by the Modi government.
"I wish Professor Amartya Sen would spend some time within India and actually look at conditions on the ground. And at least review all work that has been done in the last four years by the Modi government before making such statements," Kumar told PTI in an interview.
He was responding to a query regarding Sen's recent remarks about the present government.
"I actually would like to challenge him to show me another period of four years where so much work has been done for the making India cleaner, inclusive and more caring economy," Kumar said.
According to him, structural reforms that have been taken are ensuring that benefits of growth reach to the last person.
"If these things are not clear to him, then, I think he should spend some time here," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Chairman of Niti Aayog.
On July 7, speaking at the launch of 'Bharat aur Uske Virodhabhas' -- the Hindi edition of his book 'An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions' -- Sen had said that due to moving backward the country is now the second worst in the region.
"Things have gone pretty badly wrong... It has taken a quantum jump in the wrong direction since 2014. We are getting backwards in the fastest-growing economy.
"Now, India is the second worst. Pakistan has managed to shield us from being the worst," Sen had said. -- PTI
13:27 I support One Nation One Election proposal: Rajini
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday came out in support of the proposal to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies across the country.
"I support One Nation One Election. This will save money and time," said the actor-turned-politician in Chennai.
He also said a decision on contesting in the general elections will be taken later.
The central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been toying with the idea of holding simultaneous elections for quite sometime now.
Recently, the Law Commission had invited all political parties to hold discussion on the issue, in which four parties supported the idea while nine opposed it.
NDA ally Shiromani Akali Dal, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Samajwadi Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti supported the idea.
However, BJP ally Goa Forward Party opposed the concept as did the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of INdia-Marxit, CPI, Forward Block and the Janata Dal- Secular.
The ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress had stayed away from the meet.
12:45 Army distributed 17000 solar lights in un-electrified hamlets in J&K's Doda
The army has distributed 17,000 solar lights among the residents of un-electrified and inaccessible hamlets in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The initiative under 'Roshni' (light) project, the army said, was launched after it was felt that electricity was the most critical requirement in the far-flung areas during interactions with the locals including the floating population of nomadic Gujjars and Bakherwal communities.
"The initial aim was to lit up 5,000 homes and 'dhoks' (mud-houses)," it said.
"After approaching several NGOs and municipal corporations, a Mumbai-based NGO, 'Eco Solutions', headed by Yatendra Aggarwal agreed to be a part of the project in 2016, as their primary aim was to reach out to remote areas in the country and provide lights through solar-based LED lighting systems," Brigadier Rohit Nautiyal of the Rashtriya Rifles told PTI today.
He said the execution of the project has genuinely uplifted the standard of living of the rural population in high-altitude remote areas and has also led to better relation between the Army and the local population.
"The distribution of solar lights has made a dramatic difference in the lives of many, as it not only provides 6-8 hours of free light, with simple operating and re-charging procedures but has also given them a sense of security during hours of darkness in remote areas and enabling children to pursue their studies in hassle free manner," the officer said.
According to official figures, over 100 villages are still un-electrified in the state and efforts are on to achieve 100 per cent electrification under various centrally sponsored schemes.
The solar lights were distributed among people of different far-off villages including Tanta, Bagdan, Wani Pura, Draman , Kuthal, Ganoori, Yarivan, Magray Mohalla, Bain-Goth, Bani-Batoli, Dooru, Kota-Top, Shankhoja beside several meadows including Qatari, Kainthi Dhar, Dhadkaie, Lalu Pani, Jaie, Lal Draman and Padri Dhar.
"This is the best gift I had ever got in my life. The solar lights definitely brought a lot of change in our household, Sarmeena Bano, a Class 12 student of village Bagran Tanta said.
She said the effort of the army provided the students of the un-electrified villages an opportunity to experience reading under lights instead of "irritating smoke" of kerosene lamp. -- PTI
12:43 Dhoni booed by Indian spectators during 2nd ODI
On a day when he crossed the 10,000-run milestone in ODIs, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was booed by the Indian supporters at the 'Home of Cricket' for his slow batting during the team's 86-run defeat against England in the second game of the three-match series on Saturday.
Dhoni was widely criticised for not showing initiative in his 37-ball 58 as India could only manage 236 in 50 overs after England posted 322 for seven.
While England's Joe Root found it "surprising", India's Yuzvendra Chahal said that he was unaware about the booing incident.
Before the start of the 46th over, the match was as good as over with 110 required off 30 balls.
However the crowd got restless when Dhoni failed to score off the first four balls of David Willey's over. There was booing after every dot ball, a rare occurrence considering the huge fan base Dhoni enjoys around the cricketing globe.
In fact at the end of the over, substitute fielders Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel came in with an energy drink and replacement bat, which on air commentators termed as a message to push things.
Off the very first ball in the next over, Dhoni was caught at the deep mid-wicket boundary ,trying a wild heave.
Chahal, who came for the post-match press conference, however said that there was no message from the dressing room for Dhoni to accelerate.
"I don't know what was said to him (when he changed bats). After Hardik was dismissed, there was only me, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep. So it wasn't like there were 2-3 specialist batsmen remaining.
"He hadn't batted much, so this was a chance to get a knock. If he had hit a shot earlier and got out, we couldn't have even batted all 50 overs," Chahal said.
While it didn't concern the English team, Root did find it a bit surprising.
"Yes (it was surprising), but ultimately it doesn't really concern us. We always try and judge how we approach the game and how we go about things. We try to maintain a professional approach and be as ruthless as possible. We managed to see India through by bowling them out by the end of the game. So we are looking after our own game and putting ourselves in a strong position by the end of the game," Root said. -- PTI
12:07 Opposition shedding crocodile tears for farmers: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today accused the opposition parties of shedding crocodile tears for farmers.
Addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur, Modi said, "Those who are shedding crocodile tears for farmers today should be asked why did they not see irrigation projects which were left incomplete throughout the nation during their tenure."
"Those who are indulging in politics in the name of farmers had no time to raise the prices of MSP. They sat on files," he added.
The PM also attacked previous governments for not completing projects.
"Previous governments used to come up with incomplete projects and stall them. You are the people who suffered through all of that. Had this project been completed beforehand, you would have been benefited by it two decades back," Modi said after he inaugurated Bansagar canal project and laid foundation of a medical college in Mirzapur.
11:45 Lynching incidents: Maha police to devise ways to deal with rumour-mongering
Concerned over a string of lynching incidents in Maharashtra, the police have decided to launch a campaign to check the spread of rumours on social media and come up with new ways to deal with the menace.
The move comes days after five people were killed in north Maharashtra's Dhule district over child-lifting rumours on social media.
As part of the campaign, the police will devise models to focus on sensitising people about fake videos, messages and posts whose authenticity is in doubt and can cause social unrest, Maharashtra's Director General of Police Datta Padsalgikar told PTI in an interview.
WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging service, was also cooperating with the government in checking the rumour menace, Padsalgikar said.
Mob violence and lynching triggered by rumours have claimed 10 lives in 14 incidents in Maharashtra in the past one-and-a-half months.
On July 1, five people were lynched by a mob in Dhule on the suspicion of being child-lifters, sending shock waves through the state.
To curb such incidents, the unit commanders of the two-lakh strong state police force will be empowered to create models of their own to fight rumour-mongering, said Padsalgikar, who recently took charge as the DGP.
The best model devised by a district or a city will be replicated across the state, Padsalgikar said, adding that the police were keen on having some unique and effective solutions to fight the rumour menace.
"The idea is to tell people to avoid forwarding videos and posts which can disturb peace and harmony in any way," he said.
Instructions have been issued to Superintendents of Police (SPs) and police commissioners about this, he added.
Besides, as part of the recommended guidelines, posters were being distributed across villages and SPs were asked to hold community meetings, he said.
"We are also taking help from social media to send across a message to the public about what to share and what not to share on apps. Some online groups and forums are also helping us in this," the DGP said.
"WhatsApp is also lending a helping hand in sensitising people. All these measures are being taken at the government-level," he said.
Padsalgikar also appealed to people to come forward and report to the police any post which, they feel, could pose a problem in society, instead of forwarding it without verification.
Enquiries have been initiated about some videos which have already come to the police's notice, he said, adding that a majority of such clippings have been found to be "manipulated".
"These kind of forwards can create serious problems. Stern action will be taken against those who are found forwarding such posts," he said. -- PTI
10:59 Have swallowed pain of coalition govt: Kumaraswamy breaks down
Indications that all may not be well between JD-S and Congress despite showing BJP the door in Karnataka, an emotional H D Kumaraswamy broke down at a public event as he highlighted pains of leading a coalition government.
Without giving out details of possible differences with Congress, Kumaraswamy said that he cannot accept bouquets and garlands for becoming CM of the state because he is unhappy. "While you may be happy thinking that your Anna or Thamma has become the chief minister, let me tell you that Im not. I know the pain of coalition government. I became Vishkanth and swallowed pain of this government," he said, wiping tears from his face.
Kumaraswamy had taken oath as the state CM on May 23 after a bitter battle for power in Karnataka. His party had emerged third -- behind the BJP and Congress -- but when BS Yeddyurappa quit just before a show of strength on the floor of the assembly, Kumaraswamy took the mantle with support from Congress. Things have not been too well since.
While reports of rift have been aplenty, Kumaraswamy himself admitted last month that JD-S and Congress have differences over presenting the state budget. "Some have suggested that let the budget be presented after the parliament election, so there are issues," he had said while also asking Congress president Rahul Gandhi to intervene in the matter.
Kumaraswamy had previously also said that he is at the mercy of Congress. "The people of the state rejected me and our party. I had sought an absolute majority. Today, I am at the mercy of the Congress. I am not under the pressure of the 6.5 crore people of the state," he had said before clarifying that he meant no disrespect to people of the state.
10:50 Mumbai may face highest tide of the season today, BMC on alert
Mumbai is likely to face the highest tide of the season at 4.97 metres on Sunday at 1.49 pm. It is likely to be coupled with heavy rains, raising fears of waterlogging and flooding in low-lying parts of the city.
In view of the forecast, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has put its officials on alert. The BMC closes the flood gates to prevent seawater from entering the city during high tides. However, rainwater also gets stuck as it has no way of getting out adding to the problems of waterlogging.
As per a report in the DNA, the BMC has for the first time identified seven days when there will be neap tides when the disaster management team will be put on high alert. The seven neap tide days are June 7, July 7, August 19 and 20, September 17, 18 and 19.
Neap tide days are when the difference between the high tide and low tide is very less and the Arabian Sea's water level is above the city's storm water drains. This rain water does not flush out in to the sea, thereby flooding the city.
As per the BMC's report on August 29 deluge last year, the neap tide was the only reason for the severe flooding, which halted the city for almost two days, claimed 14 lives and another 12 were missing. The rain water receded only the next morning. On these seven days, BMC's disaster management has informed all agencies like traffic police, fire brigade, BEST, etc, to be on high alert.
10:20 Trump says will run for re-election in 2020, discussed Brexit with UK's Queen
US President Donald Trump said he intends to run for re-election in 2020 because everybody wants me to and there are no Democratic candidates who could defeat him.
Asked by British journalist Piers Morgan in an interviewwhether he was going to run in 2020, Trump was quoted by the Mail on Sunday as saying: Well I fully intend to. It seems like everybody wants me to.
Trump said he did not see any Democrat who could beat him: I dont see anybody. I know them all and I dont see anybody.
Before leaving Britain for a summit in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump breached British royal protocol by publicly disclosing the details of a conversation he had with Queen Elizabeth about the complexities of Brexit.
When asked if he discussed Brexit with the monarch when they met for tea at Windsor Castle on Friday, Trump said:
I did. She said its a very - and shes right - its a very complex problem, I think nobody had any idea how complex that was going to be... Everyone thought it was going to be Oh its simple, we join or dont join, or lets see what happens.
Speaking of the 92-year-old queen, Trump was quoted as saying: She is an incredible woman, she is so sharp, she is so beautiful, when I say beautiful - inside and out. That is a beautiful woman.
Asked if Trump felt the queen had liked him, he said: Well I dont want to speak for her, but I can tell you I liked her. So usually that helps. But I liked her a lot.
Just very elegant. And very beautiful. It was really something special, Trump said of the meeting. She is so sharp, so wise, so beautiful. Up close, you see shes so beautiful. Shes a very special person.
09:34 Cops saving accused cow vigilantes at behest of Yogi govt: Hapur lynching survivor
The police are trying to weaken the Hapur lynching case at the behest of the BJP and the Yogi Adityanath government, said the witness and survivor of the June 18 murder allegedly by cow vigilantes after he was discharged from a hospital on Saturday.
Samiyuddin also sent his first statement detailing about the incident to IG Meerut Range Ram Kumar, expressing his distrust on local police and asking for a judicial investigation into the murder of cattle trader Qasim in Hapur district.
On the fateful day, as he intervened to save Qasim, Samiyuddin was thrashed and is yet to recover from several injuries including fractures of both arms, right leg and ribs.
Samiyuddin recalled how he was mercilessly beaten up by the group that lynched Qasim at Bajhera village in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, 75 km east of New Delhi.
09:05 2 BSF jawans killed in encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh
Two Border Security Force jawans were killed and another was injured in a gunbattle with Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district today, police said.
The gunfight took place in a forest near Mahla camp of BSF under Partapaur police station limits when a team of BSF's 114th battalion was returning after carrying out an anti-Maoist operation, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Anti-Naxal Operations) Sundarraj P said.
When the patrolling team was advancing through forest of Barkot village, located around 250 km from the state capital Raipur, it came under heavy fire from a group of Naxals leading to the gun-battle between the two sides, he said.
After a brief exchange of fire, the ultras fled into core forest, he said.
Two constables identified as Lokender Singh and Mukdhiyar Singh, belonging to Rajasthan and Punjab respectively, were killed while another constable, Sandeep Dey, sustained injuries in the gunfight, he said.
Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the bodies of the deceased were brought to the headquarter of BSF's 114 battalion in Pakhanjore, he said.
The injured jawan was being airlifted to Raipur for further treatment, the DIG said.
On July 9, two BSF jawans, belonging to the 121st battalion, were killed when Naxals had triggered an IED blast while they were on a bike patrol in the Chhotebethiya area of Kanker.
08:47 Cops parade Bhopal hostage crisis accused, women hit him with slippers
Police paraded a man through the area in Bhopal where he had held a woman captive at gunpoint for more than 12 hours demanding that she marry him, as women bystanders angry over the hostage crisis assaulted him with slippers.
Rohit Singh, 30, on Friday, barged into the fifth-floor apartment of the 26-year-old woman in Misrod area of Bhopal. He had held the woman, a professional model, hostage at gunpoint. She was rescued by the police 12 hours later.
Today, the woman told reporters that she did not want to marry the man and urged authorities to put him in jail fearing he would again attempt to harm her.
Misrod Police Inspector Sanjeev Chouse said that Singh was presented before the court of judicial magistrate Ashish Parsai, who remanded him to one-day police custody.
Before being produced in the court, Singh was paraded in Misrod area, where the hostage crisis took place, Chouse said.
Witnesses said Singh was also assaulted by women as he crossed the area under police custody.
Chouse said Singh, who claims to be an assistant casting director, has been charged with attempt to murder and other offences under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The woman is undergoing treatment at a hospital for injuries suffered during the crisis. She told reporters that she wanted him to be given the death penalty. "Rohit should be hanged," she told reporters.
08:30 Maryam Nawaz issues statement refusing 'better facilities' in jail
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam, who has been sentenced to jail along with father in connection with Avenfield property case, has refused to apply for better facilities in jail.
The development comes a day after the father-daughter duo was arrested. In her, statement she said that she refused the better facilities offered by the superintendent of the jail by her own will.
Maryam is presently lodged in Adiala Jail in Rawlpindi.
According to earlier reports, Nawaz Sharif and his daughter were being given 'B' class facilities inside the jail which include permission to get home-cooked food, attached washrooms, bed, mattress, table and chair, a room cooler, a 21-inch television. They will also be allowed to meet each other.
As per the rules, Class 'B' consists of prisoners who by social status, education or habit of life have been accustomed to a superior mode of living. Habitual prisoners can be included in this class by order of the government, Geo News, a news channel from Pakistan, said in a report.
The former PM and his daughter spent their first night inside the prison on Friday after officials of the National Accountability Bureau took them into custody, immediately after they landed at the Lahore airport from London.
After being taken into custody on Friday, they were flown to Islamabad on a special aircraft and then taken to the Adiala Jail in separate armoured personnel carriers escorted by police convoys.