Mon, 15 October 2018
India ranks 103 on global hunger index

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23:46   India ranks 103 on global hunger index
India has been ranked at the 103rd position among 119 countries on the Global Hunger Index, says a report.
According to the report, prepared by Welthungerhilfe and Concern Worldwide, India is among the 45 countries that have "serious levels of hunger".
In 2017, India was ranked at the 100th position but ranking for this year is not comparable, it said.
The GHI, now in its 13th year, ranks countries based on four key indicators -- undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting and child stunting.
Child wasting refers to share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition.
India is ranked below many neighbouring countries, including China (25th spot), Nepal (72), Myanmar (68), Sri Lanka (67) and Bangladesh (86). Pakistan is placed at the 106th position.
While noting that hunger varies enormously by region, the report said this year's GHI scores for South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara reflect serious levels of hunger.
Zero is the best score and a reading above 100 is the worst. The latter signifies that a country's undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality levels are at the highest level, it noted.
Further, the report, released last week, said that the world has made gradual, long-term progress in reducing overall hunger, but this progress has been "uneven".
"Areas of severe hunger and undernutrition stubbornly persist, reflecting human misery for millions," it added.
Since the number of forcibly displaced people is on the rise, and hunger is often both a cause and a consequence of displacement, the report said that actions need to taken by international community, national governments, and civil society, among others.
As per the report, around 124 million people suffer acute hunger in the world, a striking increase from 80 million two years ago while the reality of hunger and undernutrition continues to have a massive impact on the next generation.
About 151 million children are stunted and 51 million children are wasted across the globe. Hard-won gains are being further threatened by conflict, climate change, poor governance, and a host of other challenges, it added.
Welthungerhilfe is a not-for-profit group and Concern Worldwide works towards improving lives of poor people. -- PTI  
23:07   Pickpockets find postboxes a safe haven to dispose stolen wallets
Pickpockets seem to have discovered a novel method of disposing stolen wallets with ID cards finding the ubiquitous mail boxes a safe haven to deposit them, given the number of such cases the Chennai postal department have come across in the past six months.
Pickpockets just drop off the wallets after taking the money from them but the cards remain intact,  a senior official in the city's postal department told PTI.
The department has come across 70 such cases in the past six months in Chennai city corporation limits.
Postal staff have found ID cards such as Aadhaar and PAN besides driving licences in the wallets.
"The sub-postmasters in the post office concerned take the extra pain to ensure the cards are returned to the people to whom they belong. 
Even though there is no income to the department (from this activity), they do it as a service to the citizens," the official said.
Postal staff inform those whose ID cards have contact numbers, asking them to collect it from the respective post office.
In case, no number is available, they put the ID cards in an envelope and despatch it to the address provided, he said.
Identity cards suspected to have gone missing also find their way to some post boxes which are duly forwarded to the rightful owners, the official said.
Recently, passports that were found from a postbox in Chennai were reportedly handed over to the Regional Passport Office. -- PTI
22:54   #MeToo: Women compromise for personal gains, says BJP MLA
Vice president of Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party, Usha Thakur, said Monday that problems like sexual harassment arise because of the compromise with "moral values" and resorting to "short-cuts".
Opposition Congress called the remarks by Thakur, an MLA from Indore, an example of "anti-women thinking" of the ruling party.
Thakur was answering reporters' questions here about her views on the #MeToo campaign.
"I have a clear view on this issue that we have to face such problems when we compromise with moral values and ideologies for the sake of personal gains.
"I request all women and all my brothers that they should never choose a short-cut for progress. It is useless in Indian culture to achieve success by compromising on moral and life values," she said.
Reacting to Thakur's advice, state Congress Media Cell chairperson Shobha Oza said, "The BJP MLA's statement shows the anti-women thinking of the ruling party.
"Cases of rape of women and young girls are increasing in the state due to such thinking. For the same reason (anti-women attitude), BJP is trying to save Union minister M J Akbar against whom serious allegations of sexual harassment have been made," Oza said. -- PTI
22:39   Brexit deal achievable: May
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday insisted a Brexit deal was "still achievable" despite differences with the European Union, but warned against any attempt to "trap" the United Kingdom in a permanent Customs Unions, ahead of a crucial Brexit summit in Brussels later this week.
In her statement to the House of Commons, May sought to quell a "great deal of inaccurate speculation" in the media about a falling out with the EU over the issue of managing the open border between UK territory Northern Ireland and EU member-country Ireland once Britain has formally left the economic bloc on March 29, 2019.
"We are entering the final stages of these negotiations. This is the time for cool, calm heads to prevail," she said, ahead of European Council meetings starting in Brussels on Wednesday.
"We cannot let this (Northern Ireland) disagreement derail the prospects of a good deal and leave us with the no deal outcome that no-one wants. I continue to believe that a negotiated deal is the best outcome for the UK and for the European Union. I continue to believe that such a deal is achievable," she said.
May has dismissed the EU's previous suggestion of keeping Northern Ireland aligned to its trade rules as a safety net, or a so-called "backstop" arrangement, saying this would divide the UK.
In her statement to MPs, she said the EU had "responded positively" to her proposal for a time-bound UK-wide arrangement until a solution to the Irish border can be worked out. But the 27-member economic bloc is still insisting on keeping a specific "backstop" arrangement for Northern Ireland on the table, which is unacceptable to Britain.
The EU is insisting that there is not enough time to work out the details of a UK-wide customs solution in the next few weeks and is therefore calling for a "backstop to the backstop effectively an insurance policy for the insurance policy".
"And they want this to be the Northern Ireland-only solution that they had previously proposed. We have been clear that we cannot agree to anything that threatens the integrity of our United Kingdom," May said.
The UK is leaving the EU in March 2019, along with its single market and customs union, which allow for friction-free trade between members.

 After Brexit, it will have a land border with the EU between Northern Ireland and the Republic. 
 Both the UK and the EU want to avoid a "hard border" -- physical checks or infrastructure between Northern Ireland and Ireland -- but cannot agree how. 
In relation to another point of concern for pro-Brexit MPs, she stressed that she would not agree to any non-timebound Customs Union arrangement which would inhibit the UK's ability to do trade deals with other countries around the world.
"I need to be able to look the British people in the eye and say this backstop is a temporary solution I am clear we are not going to be trapped permanently in a single customs territory unable to do meaningful trade deals," she said. -- PTI
21:24   PM should clarify if he backs women or Akbar's defamation suit: Cong
The Congress Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify whether he stands with the women journalists who have accused M J Akbar of sexual harassment or he backs the defamation case filed by the Union minister.
Congress spokesperson R P N Singh said it is "extremely unfortunate" that the prime minister is silent as it is his duty to stand up for the rights of the women of the country and speak up and clarify his stand on the issue. 
"We want to ask the prime minister as to what are his thoughts on this issue and what he has to say on the affected women. We ask the prime minister today, that he has to speak up. Where does he stand on these matters?," he asked.
"We would like to ask the prime minister on which side does he stand? These are 14 women who have come out and with the harrowing experiences that they have gone through," he said.
Singh said the women, who have alleged that they were sexually harassed by Akbar, are not connected to each other and extended full sympathy to them for coming out of this ordeal and bringing this matter in the public. 
"We have heard today that a defamation case has been filed against these women. We would like to ask the prime minister; does he support that defamation case? Is he behind the defamation case?
"He has to make his stand absolutely clear because we have seen earlier, be it in the case of a BJP MLA being involved in a rape case against a girl in his constituency, the UP chief minister trying to save him, the prime minister has not sacked that MLA. The prime minister has not uttered a word in that incident," Singh said.
The Congress leader said one has seen the kind of horrific incidents that took place in the Bihar shelter home and the Deoria shelter home and the prime minister has not uttered a single word yet.
"It is the prime minister's duty to stand up for the rights of the women of this country. While our children, daughters, sisters are getting abused and humiliated, and with great courage they step out and the prime minister remains silent and he comes out with a slogan 'Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao'? 
"Where will our children, young daughters and sisters remain in this country when the prime minister has no support, no voice to give to them? We ask the PM today that he has to speak up. Where does he stand on these matters?," he asked.
After the #MeToo movement started unfolding in the country, a series of allegations of sexual harassment cropped up against Akbar, who has denied all these charges as "false and dabricated". 
The Union minister on Monday filed a private criminal defamation complaint in a court here against journalist Priya Ramani, who has accused him of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago. -- PTI
21:05   Zika virus cases in Rajasthan rise to 72
Twelve new cases of Zika virus were detected in Jaipur Monday, taking the total number of infected people to 72, a Rajasthan health department official said. 
The figures were issued after a review meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary medical and health, Veenu Gupta. 
"Sixty out of the total 72 patients are healthy after treatment," the official said after the meeting where measures required to contain the situation were discussed. 
Most of the cases have been reported from Shastri Nagar area here where fogging and other anti-larvae activities are being carried out to prevent the spread of the virus, he said. 
So far, door-to-door survey of 96,000 households has been conducted in Shastri Nagar and neighbouring localities. Mosquito larvae was found in the area, the officer said. 
He said 68 challans, amounting to Rs 44,000 penalty, were issued after finding larvae in houses.
The state health department has also issued an advisory for pregnant women staying outside the affected area to not visit Shastri Nagar. 
The virus, transmitted through aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. It is harmful to pregnant women as it can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected. 
In India, the first outbreak was reported in Ahmedabad in January 2017 and the second in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district in July that year. Both these outbreaks were successfully contained through intensive surveillance and vector management. 
The disease is under surveillance of the Union health ministry although it is no longer a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the World Health Organisation notification since November 18, 2016. -- PTI
20:47   'Not the 1st or last man to not admit his mistakes': Activists slams Akbar
Some women activists termed as not surprising Akbar's decision to move court against journalist Priya Ramani, saying he was "not the first man to not accept his mistakes" and won't be the last.
Women's rights activist Vani Subramanian told PTI she is not surprised by Akbar moving court as "such people tend to react in this way when their power and entitlement is challenged".
"He is not the first man to not accept his mistake and unfortunately he wouldn't be the last man to not admit his mistakes," she said.
Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of All India Progressive Women's Association, said Akbar retaining his position as a Union minister is a "slap" on the face of all women not only by him but also by the government. 
"Akbar remaining a minister and intimidating victims with defamation cases is a slap on the face of all women - not by Akbar alone but by the Modi government too. This is Modi's version of (US President Donald) Trump's move to confirm Michael Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, mocking women who accused him of assault," she said.  
Ranjana Kumari, the director of the Centre for Social Research, said that as an individual, Akbar has every right to move court but the case is not between him and a journalist but "14 other media persons" have accused him.
"He is in a position of power and he can influence people," Kumari alleged.

Image: Union Minister M J Akbar, who is facing allegations of sexual harassment levelled by several women journalists, at his home in New Delhi on Sunday. Photograph: Vijay Verma/PTI Photo
20:12   Foreign tourists can now visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions
Foreign tourists can now visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands without any restrictions as the home ministry has modified its earlier order which made it mandatory for them to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer within 24 hours of their arrival, a source in the ministry said.
The step was taken on the suggestion made by the tourism ministry to boost the foreign tourist arrivals in the Union Territory through an order dated September 17. 
This order follows an earlier directive which allowed foreigners to visit 29 inhabited and 11 uninhabited islands in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which  were prohibited for visitors under the Foreigners (Restricted Area) Order, 1963, without any restrictions.
The ministry of tourism has been pushing to relax rules in the restricted areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim and other areas to give a boost to tourism. 
It has also proposed that travel restrictions be removed from border areas in Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. -- PTI 
20:11   Pak PM Imran Khan to embark on first visit China from Nov 3
Prime Minister Imran Khan will embark on his first visit to China on November 3 and is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other top leaders and discuss ways to boost defence ties as well as the controversy-hit China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, according to a media report on Monday.
Prime Minister Khan's visit to China, Pakistan's "all weather" ally, will come ahead of a visit to Islamabad by officials of the International Monetary Fund for formal discussions on a bailout package for the cash-strapped country.
The IMF delegation is expected to visit Pakistan on November 7, Finance Minister Asad Umar said last week. 
The US has said that the debts accrued on the CPEC projects were to blame for Pakistan's current economic crisis. 

Both China and Pakistan have rejected Washington's statement.
The three-day visit to China will be the cricketer-turned-politician's third foreign trip since assuming office in August. 
He went on an official visit to Saudi Arabia and from there to the United Arab Emirates last month. 
Prime Minister Khan will reach China on November 3 and is expected to hold talks over economic and defence cooperation as well as the CPEC projects, Geo News reported.
He will also attend the Chinese International Import Expo 2018 in Shanghai on November 5, it said. -- PTI
19:49   CBI ends search for missing JNU student Najeeb
The Central Bureau of Investigation has finally closed the case of missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmad as the agency's efforts to trace him have yielded no results, officials said on Monday.
The agency has submitted his report in Patiala House court recently after getting permission of the Delhi high court, they said.
The court is likely to hear the matter on November 29, they said. 
While taking permission of the Delhi high court to close the case, the agency which began their probe in May last year had said all aspects were looked into but it could not find any trace of an offence.
Najeeb Ahmad had gone missing from the Mahi-Mandvi hostel of the JNU in New Delhi on October 15, 2016, following a scuffle the previous night with some students allegedly affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
The agency had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone giving information about Najeeb and informed police chiefs of all state police in the country, they said.
It also received some inputs from Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi where teams were immediately dispatched but to no avail, the officials said.
The agency had carried out a thorough check on unidentified bodies and pasted Najeeb's photograph on toll stations seeking information about him but these efforts did not result in any positive results, they said.
After exhaustive search, the agency has decided to close the case, they added. -- PTI 
18:58   Goa BJP's web site hacked, 'Pakistan Zindabad' message posted
An old web site of BJP's Goa unit was hacked Monday by unknown persons, who posted the message 'Pakistan Zindabad' on it, a party functionary said.
The identity of the group which possibly carried out the cyber attack "Team PCE" and an individual's name "Mohammad Bilal" were also posted on the web page, after it was hacked.
The hacker, after defacing the web site, left the message "".
A BJP functionary attached to the party's IT cell said the web site in question was an old one. He added that the new web site has anti-hacking security measures in place.
He said the BJP had integrated its state units with the new web site, which remained unharmed in the cyber attack.
BJP Goa general secretary Sadanand Tanavade refused to divulge details in connection with the cyber attack.
The party has not filed a police complain as yet, functionaries said. -- PTI 
18:57   PIL in Delhi HC to regulate Netflix, Amazon Prime Video content
A PIL has been moved in the Delhi high court seeking framing of guidelines to regulate the functioning of online media streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime video, alleging that they show "uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar" content.
The petition was listed for hearing on Monday before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao, but was not taken up as the judges did not sit.
The petition, by an NGO, has been listed for hearing on November 14.
NGO Justice for Rights Foundation, in its plea, has claimed that online media streaming plaftforms, also including Hotstar, show content which is "unregulated and uncertified" for public viewing.
In its petition filed through advocate Harpreet S Hora, the NGO has said that television series like Sacred Games, Game of Thrones and Spartacus, shown on online media streaming platforms like Netflix, contain "vulgar, profane, sexually explicit, pornographic, morally unethical and virulent" content which often "depict women in objectifying manner".
It has sought directions to the ministries of Communication, Information and Broadcasting as well as Law and Justice to frame guidelines to regulate such platforms and the content they broadcast.
The plea has also sought an order to the ministries to direct the online platforms "to remove legally restricted content with immediate effect". -- PTI  
18:53   Ready to fight defamation case: Priya Ramani hits back at Akbar
Journalist Priya Ramani today hit back Union Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar who filed a private criminal defamation complaint against her for levelling charges of sexual misconduct against him.
Ramani in a statement issued on Twitter said that Akbar wants to silence the women through intimidation and harassment.

"I am deeply disappointed that a Union minister should dismiss the detailed allegations of several women as a political conspiracy. By instituting a case of criminal defamation against me, Mr Akbar has made his stand dear: rather than engage with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment," she said.

"Needless to say, I am ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence," she added. 

Here is her full statement:- 

The past two weeks have seen an upheaval, with several women from different professions, including journalists, making serious allegations of sexual harassment at the workplace and instances of sexual misconduct against various editors, writers, filmmakers and others.

These testimonies have emerged as a consequence of a slow but increasing empowennent of women over the years and a #MeToo movement unfolding across social media in India and across the world.

In the case of Mr MJ Akbar, at the time these incidents occurred, the complainant women were working for him. Those who have spoken up against Mr Akbar have done so at great risk to their personal and professional lives.

At this moment, it is disingenuous to ask why they have spoken now, as we are well  aware of the stigma and shame that sexual crimes inflict upon victims. Rather than cast aspersions on the intent and motives of these women, we must reflect on how to improve the workplace for future generations of men and women.

This is why I wish to register my strong protest against Mr Akbar's most recent statement, which pays no heed to the trauma and fear of survivors or the courage required to speak truth to power.

I am deeply disappointed that a Union minister should dismiss the detailed allegations of several women as a political conspiracy. By instituting a case of criminal defamation against me, Mr Akbar has made his stand dear: rather than engage with the serious allegations that many women have made against him, he seeks to silence them through intimidation and harassment.

Needless to say, I am ready to fight allegations of defamation laid against me, as truth and the absolute truth is my only defence.

Priya Ramani

15 October 2018
18:14   If you are not in suit-boot you are not PM's bhai: Rahul
Repeating his 'suit-boot' jibe at Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged there is no place for the poor in the prime minister's heart, adding, "If you are not in suit-boot you are not PM's bhai".
Gandhi also accused Modi of remaining silent when Dalits, women, minorities, tribals and the poor are attacked in the country and alleged that he and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were trying to save a rape accused BJP MLA in the northern state.
On a campaign trail in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, the Congress president again took on Modi over the controversial Rafale jet deal and alleged he had close proximity with businessmen like Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Anil Ambani.
He also said that loans of farmers will be waived in 10 days if the Congress comes to power in the state.
Gandhi earlier began his two-day tour of the state by offering prayers at the famous Maa Peetambara Peeth temple complex in Datia in Gwalior division.
Taking a swipe at BJP's assurance on women's safety, Gandhi, without naming anyone, said there is a "need to save our daughters from BJP MLAs". Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a BJP MLA from UP, is accused of raping a minor girl in Unnao district.
Noting that the prime minister had said before the 2014 polls he wanted to be a "chowkidar" (guard), Gandhi alleged only 15-20 industrialists of the country benefitted under his government, instead of farmers.
"The Prime Minister addresses Mehul Choksi as Mehul bhai (brother), Nirav Modi as Nirav bhai and Anil Ambani as Anil bhai but he never addresses a labourer, a poor and a farmer as bhai or hugs them. There is no place for them in his heart.If you are not in suit-boot you are not PM's bhai," Gandhi said addressing a public gathering in Datia.
"The prime minister let jeweller Nirav Modi escape with Rs 35,000 crore, which is equal to the entire budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)," Gandhi further charged.
He was referring to the PNB banking fraud allegedly involving Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others.
Taking a dig at the ruling party over the issue of women's safety,  Gandhi said, "The BJP gave a good slogan 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' (save and educate daughters).
"But in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were trying to save a rape accused BJP MLA. The PM didn't speak a word," he alleged.
"There is a need now to save our daughters from BJP MLAs." -- PTI
18:00   IFTDA sends notice to Sajid Khan over sexual harassment allegations
Indian Film & Television Directors' Association issued a notice to director Sajid Khan on Monday following allegations of sexual harassment against him by three women.
In a letter to Sajid, IFTDA has demanded an explanation from the director for his alleged offensive behaviour within seven days.
"Your lewd and obscene actions have brought disrepute to Indian Film and Television Directors' Association. 
 "We, therefore, want an explanation from you for such offensive behaviour within seven days of receipt of the notice for further action as per the rules and regulations," said the letter, signed by IFTDA president Ashoke Pandit.
In case of no reply, the letter stated, ex-parte decision would be taken.
Sajid has been accused of sexual harassment by actors Saloni Chopra and Rachel White and journalist Karishma Upadhyay.  
Following the allegations, Sajid stepped down as the director of "Housefull 4". He has been replaced by Farhad Samji. -- PTI 
17:02   Rahul should answer whether he is a Hindu or not: BJP
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused the Congress of using its leaders to build a momentum against the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and wondered if its president Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu or not.
BJP's attack at Gandhi came following the reported comments of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor that no good Hindu would have wanted to see the Ram temple built by demolishing somebody else's place of worship, a reference to razing down of the Babri mosque in December 1992.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said his party wants an early verdict from the Supreme Court on the Ram temple case but the Congress is trying everything to delay it. 
Congress leaders had earlier filed plea in the court to delay the matter, he alleged, adding that Tharoor is the latest to join the bandwagon by linking construction of a temple with the "demolition of disputed structure" that happened decades back.
The BJP wants a grand Ram temple and will wait for the court's verdict, Rao said, asking Gandhi to clear his stand.
"You (Congress) are conspiring to ensure that there is no verdict from the court," he said.
The Congress is doing "vote bank politics", he said, alleging that Gandhi had earlier claimed that his party was a "Muslims party".
Rahul Gandhi wears his "Shiv bhakti" (devotion to Lord Shiv) on his sleeve but he should answer whether he is a Hindu or not, Rao said.
Speaking at an event in Chennai, Tharoor had said as a Hindu he was very conscious that a vast majority of his fellow Hindus believe that this (the site in Ayodhya) was the specific birth place of Lord Ram. 
"And for that reason most good Hindus would want to see a Ram temple at the site where Ram was supposed to be born. But I also believe that no good Hindu would have wanted to see that temple built by demolishing somebody else's place of worship," he said. -- PTI
16:15   Parrikar's health has improved: CMO
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's health has improved and doctors have advised him rest for a week, his office in Panaji said on Monday.

Parrikar, 62, returned to Panaji on Sunday by a special flight from New Delhi, where he underwent treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for pancreatic ailment.

After landing in Goa, he was taken to his private residence at Dona Paula near here, where a team of doctors from the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital have put up a make-shift medical facility.

"Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's condition has improved further. He had a chat with his family members this morning," Rupesh Kamat, personal secretary to the chief minister, said in a statement.

"Doctors have advised him to take rest for a week," he added.

Earlier in the day, a senior official in the CMO said that the chief minister has been following the line of treatment prescribed by doctors at AIIMS.

"Parrikar is at home and is being taken care by a team of doctors from the GMCH," he said.

Parrikar, ailing since mid-February, has been treated at different hospitals, including those in Goa, Mumbai and the US.

On Friday, Parrikar had met Goa Bharatiya Janata Party's core committee members and ministers from coalition partners at the AIIMS in Delhi to discuss ways to ensure that his government functions normally during his absence from office due to ill health.

Leaders of the ruling BJP and its allies, who met Parrikar separately, had ruled out any change in leadership in the coastal state.

The core committee is the BJP's key decision-making body in Goa, comprising senior leaders like Parrikar, Union minister Shripad Naik and party state chief Vinay Tendulkar, among others.  -- PTI
15:49   Alok Nath files defamation case against Vinta Nanda, seeks Re 1
Actor Alok Nath has filed a civil defamation suit against writer producer Vinta Nanda seeking a written apology and Rs 1 as compensation.

Nanda had accused Alok Nath of rape.  -- ANI
15:40   Rahul begins MP tour with prayers at Peetambara Peeth
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday began his two-day tour of poll-bound Madhya Pradesh by offering prayers at the famous Maa Peetambara Peeth temple complex in Datia.

Gandhi reached Datia district in the morning by a helicopter from Gwalior.

He then went to the temple complex where he offered prayers to the deity and stayed at the 'shakti peeth' for about half-an-hour.

State Congress president Kamal Nath and senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia accompanied him. Scindia introduced priests and other members of the temple trust to Gandhi.

Elections will be held in Madhya Pradesh on November 28.

The Congress chief is scheduled to address a public meeting here later in the day.

Many political bigwigs have visited the shrine in the past, state Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi told PTI.

"Indira Gandhi (Rahul Gandhi's grandmother) visited the shrine in 1979, before polls in 1980 and later after becoming the prime minister. Later, Rajiv Gandhi (the Congress chief's father) also paid a visit to the shakti peeth after becoming PM in 1984-85," he said.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia is the chairperson of the Peetambara Trust, that manages the affairs of the shrine.

Chaturvedi also recalled when the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had fallen very sick, senior Congress leader Kamlapati Tripathi organised a special 'puja' for his recovery there.  -- PTI
15:07   Maha man killed over WhatsApp post
A real estate broker was killed for allegedly posting some comments on a WhatsApp group, police said on Monday.

Moin Mehmood Pathan, 35, was attacked with swords, knives and rods on Sunday night by a group of around 20 persons in Fatimanagar locality of Harsul area in Aurangabad, police said.

Police attributed the killing to enmity between two local groups, police said.

Pathan had a bickering with members of the rival group, police said.

On Sunday evening, he posted a message on the WhatsApp group, challenging his opponents.

Hours later, around 20 youth reached Fatimanagar with weapons and attacked Pathan, police said.

His nephew Irfan Shaikh Rahim tried to intervene and was also assaulted, police said. He received head injuries.

Pathan was taken to the government medical college and hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.

Police nabbed six alleged assailants early Monday, while search is on for the others, an official said.  -- PTI
14:59   M J Akbar sues scribe levelling #MeToo charges for defamation
JUST IN: Union Minister M J Akbar files criminal defamation case in Delhi's Patiala House Court against journalist Priya Ramani, who had accused him of sexual assault, through his advocates Karanjawala and Co.

More details awaited. -- ANI
14:29   Amid protests outside his house, Akbar reaches MEA
The Youth Congress activists on Monday staged a protest near the residence of Union minister M J Akbar, demanding his 'immediate resignation' over allegations of sexual misconduct by several female journalists.

The activists gathered at Teen Murti roundabout raised slogans against the junior foreign minister and tried to march towards his residence when they were stopped by the police.

A few protesters who tried to march ahead towards police barricades were removed.

'The Indian Youth Congress (IYC) is protesting against M J Akbar for his sexual misconduct and harassment of journalists.

'As many as 10 female journalists have come forward and detailed sexual harassment by him,' said a statement of the outfit.

The ruling coalition of National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party which had made tall promises of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' cannot and must not be allowed to shield a man of 'questionable conduct', it said.

Earlier, Akbar arrived at the Ministry of External Affairs in South block.

He had yesterday issued a statement denying allegations of sexual harassment against him and said had that he would take legal action.  -- PTI, ANI
13:55   Prince Harry and Meghan expecting first child
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are expecting their first baby in the first half of next year, Kensington Palace said on Monday.

'The Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019,' the palace said in a statement

'Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public,' it said.

The exciting news comes just hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Sydney for their first international tour.  -- PTI
13:17   WPI inflation rises to 5.13% in September
Inflation based on wholesale prices rose to a two-month high of 5.13 per cent in September, mainly due to hardening of food prices and rise in cost of petrol and diesel.

The Wholesale Price Index-based inflation stood at 4.53 per cent in August and 3.14 per cent in September last year.

According to the government data released Monday, food articles witnessed hardening of prices with deflation at 0.21 per cent September as against 4.04 per cent in August.

Deflation in vegetables was 3.83 per cent in September, compared to 20.18 per cent in the previous month.

Inflation in 'fuel and power' basket in September was 16.65 per cent. Individually, in petrol and diesel it was 17.21 per cent and 22.18 per cent, respectively, and for LPG it was 33.51 per cent.

Among food articles, potato inflation spiked to 80.13 per cent in September, while onion and fruits witnessed deflation of 25.23 per cent and 7.35 per cent, respectively.

Deflation in pulses stood at 18.14 per cent.

The 5.13 per cent inflation is the highest in two months, and a higher inflation than this level was last seen in July at 5.27 per cent.

Data released last week showed retail inflation rose to 3.77 per cent in September from 3.69 per cent in the previous month.

The Reserve Bank of India mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy.

In its fourth monetary policy review for the fiscal last week, the Reserve Bank maintained status quo on the benchmark interest rate but warned that volatile and rising oil prices, and tightening of global financial conditions pose substantial risks to the growth and inflation.

For October-March, the RBI pegged CPI-based retail inflation to be between 3.9-4.5 per cent.  -- PTI
13:02   Modi, Xi to meet on G20 sidelines in Argentina: Chinese envoy
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Argentina next month, China's Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said on Monday.

Luo was speaking at the inauguration of the first Joint India-China Training Programme for Afghan diplomats in New Delhi.

He said the event was just the first step in Sino-India cooperation on Afghanistan and collaboration will deepen in future.

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in November, the Chinese envoy said.

Modi and Xi have met twice after their informal summit in Wuhan this year -- at the Shanaghai Cooperation Organisation summit in June in Qingdao, China, and at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, in July.

Luo also said China's state counsellor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit India in December to launch the first India-China high level people to people exchanges mechanism.

The first India-China Joint Training Programme for Afghan diplomats began Monday and will continue till October 26, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The joint training programme is being held after an understanding for such a cooperation was reached during the informal summit between Modi and Xi in Wuhan city.  -- PTI
12:36   BJP core committee to discuss Goa's political situation today
The Bharatiya Janata Party core committee in Goa will meet Monday to discuss the political situation in the state, a senior party leader said.

The discussions have been planned a day after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar returned to Goa from New Delhi where he was undergoing treatment for pancreatic ailment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

"The state core committee will meet today and discuss the current political situation in Goa," the leader said.

The core committee is the BJP's key decision-making body in Goa, comprising senior leaders Parrikar, Union minister Shripad Naik, Lok Sabha MP Narendra Sawaikar and party state chief Vinay Tendulkar, among others.

Meanwhile, Parrikar, 62, was undergoing treatment at his private residence at Dona Paula near Panaji, where a team of doctors from the state-run Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) have set up make-shift medical facility.

"Parrikar is at home and is being taken care by a team of doctors from the GCMH," a senior official in the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) told PTI.

The chief minister is following the line of treatment prescribed by the doctors at AIIMS, he said.

BJP legislator and power minister Nilesh Cabral Sunday said, "We hope that he recovers fast. I think it must be his personal decision to come back to Goa. When I met him last time, he spoke well."

State civil supplies minister and Independent MLA Govind Gawade, who is supporting the Parrikar-led coalition, said the chief minister should have stayed back at AIIMS for some more time and fully recovered before returning to Goa.

"But we welcome him back. Goa was missing its leader," he added.

Parrikar was Sunday morning discharged from the AIIMS, where he was admitted on September 15, and was flown in a special flight to Goa.

He was later taken to his private residence in an ambulance.

Parrikar had Friday met Goa BJP's core committee members and ministers from coalition partners at AIIMS to discuss ways to ensure his government functions normally during his absence from office due to ill health.

Leaders of the ruling BJP and its allies, who met Parrikar separately, had ruled out any change in leadership in the coastal state.  -- PTI
WPI inflation rises to 5.13 per cent in September from 4.53 per cent in August.  -- PTI
11:46   Trump admits climate change not a 'hoax'
President Donald Trump on Sunday backed off from is claim that climate change is a hoax, but said that it's not man-made with permanent impacts and climate will 'change back again'.

In an interview with CBS News' '60 Minutes', Trump accused scientists of having a 'very big political agenda' and asserted that he does not want to put the United States, the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, at a disadvantage in responding to climate change.

Asked whether he still thinks climate change is a hoax, Trump said, "I think something's happening. Something's changing and it'll change back again. I don't think it's a hoax, I think there's probably a difference. But I don't know that it's man made."

"I will say this. I don't wanna give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don't wanna lose millions and millions of jobs. I don't wanna be put at a disadvantage," the US president said.

Trump, who had previously called the climate change a 'hoax', in June last year pulled the US out of the historic Paris Agreement on climate change arguing that deal agreed by more than 190 nations unfairly benefited countries like India and China and hit American economy and jobs.

When asked if he could go to Greenland, watch these huge chunks of ice just falling into the ocean, raising the sea levels, Trump said one doesn't know whether or not that would have happened with or without man.

"I'm not denying climate change. But it could very well go back. You know, we're talkin' about over a millions of years." Trump accused scientists who say hurricanes are getting more frequent and intense because of climate change of having 'a very big political agenda'.

"They say that we had hurricanes that were far worse than what we just had with Michael," Trump said.

"You'd have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda,' he said.  -- PTI
11:29   Kerala nun rape: Bishop Franco gets bail
Kerala high court on Monday granted bail to Bishop Franco Mulakkal, arrested on charges of repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a nun.

Earlier, his bail plea was rejected by a lower court.

The HC has laid down conditions that Mulakkal should not enter Kerala and should surrender his passport to the court.

The bishop was arrested on September 21, days after a nun had alleged that he raped her at a guest house in Kuravilangad in May 2014 and later sexually exploited her on several occasions.

However, the bishop has denied the charges.  -- Agencies
11:13   Naveen Jindal, others get bail in coal scam related case
A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to industrialist and Congress leader Naveen Jindal and 14 others, accused of money laundering in a case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted the relief on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount.

Besides Jindal, those granted relief are Jindal Steel and Power Ltd's then adviser Anand Goel, Mumbai's Essar Power Ltd's Executive Vice-Chairman Sushil Kumar Maroo, Nihar Stocks Ltd's Director BSN Suryanarayan, Mumbai-based KE International's Chief Financial Officer Rajeev Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Green Infra's Vice-President Siddharth Madra.

Those arrayed as accused also include K Ramakrishna Prasad, Rajiv Jain and Gyan Swaroop Garg.

The case filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) pertains to the allocation of the Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand.  -- PTI
10:55   Pak bypoll: PTI loses seats vacated by Imran, PML-N improves tally
Pakistan's deposed premier Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz recovered some ground in the by-elections by eating up the votes of prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, winning four out of 11 parliamentary seats which went to the polls, according to the results on Monday.

The PTI lost its two seats vacated be Prime Minister Khan.

His seat in Lahore was won by former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi of the PML-N and in Bannu by of Zahid Akram Durrani of the Muttahida Majlis Aml party.

The outcome of the by-election will not impact the federal or provincial government but help reinvigorate the opposition parties.

Polling for 11 National Assembly -- the lower house of Parliament -- and 24 provincial seats saw a tough competition between the ruling PTI led by Khan and the main opposition PML-N.

The PML-N and the PTI won four seats each of the National Assembly whereas Pakistan Muslims League-Quadi won two seats and Muttahida Majlis Amal one seat, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said.

The PTI won 11 seats of the provincial assemblies while the PML-N won seven.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP), led by former president Asif Ali Zardari, and Awami National Party won two each and independent candidates grab two seats.

The PML-N won six out of 11 contested seats in Punjab while its arch-rival PTI won five.

The PML-N also won a provincial assembly seat in Khyber-Pakhtukhwa, which is the stronghold of the PTI.

The PML-N won several seats vacated by the PTI candidates during July 25 general elections including at least two seats of the National Assembly.

According to the ECP, 9.28 million voters were eligible to vote.

For the first time, overseas Pakistanis also participated in the elections though a special online portal designed by the ECP.

Thousands of army soldiers, police and paramilitary Rangers and Frontier Corps were deployed to provide security at 7,489 polling stations.

The ECP had designated as many as 1,727 polling stations as highly sensitive where extra troops were deployed and security cameras installed.

Most of the seats which went to the polls were vacated by those candidates who had won on more than one seat during the July 25 general elections. Prime Minister Khan had won five seats and vacated four which were also up for grabs.  -- PTI
10:40   Alok Nath replies to CINTAA notice, rejects charges
Alok Nath's lawyer Ashok Saraogi says the actor has responded to the notice issued by Cine And TV Artistes' Association against him.

He has denied all allegations of sexual harassment.

The CINTAA had said on October 9 that it would send Nath a show cause notice after writer-producer Vinta Nanda accused the him of raping her more than once 19 years ago.

Later, actress Sandhya Mridul had also tweeted her own #MeToo moment with Nath.

The actor, known to play 'babuji' roles in movies, had denied all allegations.    -- with ANI inputs.
10:31   Sensex slips 71 points on negative economic data, weak rupee
The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex after reclaiming the 35,000-mark fell 71 points to quote at 34,662.73 Monday, as the IIP slipped to a three-month low in August and retail inflation rose marginally in September.

Besides, weak Asian cues on worries over China-US trade dispute influenced sentiment.

The 30-share barometer pushed lower by 70.85 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 34,662.73. It opened higher and touched a high of 35,008.65.

The gauge had climbed 732.43 points in the previous session on Friday.

Sectoral indices were negative across the board, with oil&gas, auto, consumer durables, PSU, bankex, capital goods, metal, infrastructure and realty falling by up to 1.25 per cent.

The NSE index Nifty was trading lower by 21.85 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 10,450.65 after shuttling between 10,524.60 and 10,432. Selling activity emerged after data released by Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday showed that industrial production slipped to a three-month low of 4.3 per cent in August, while retail inflation up marginally to 3.77 per cent in September.

Meanwhile, the rupee depreciated by 36 paise paise to 73.93 against the dollar in early trade after Brent crude again went past the $81 a barrel, which also dampened sentiments.

Hindustan Unilever, emerged top loser in the Sensex pack, falling 3.28 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank at 2.46 per cent. Other big losers that dragged both the key indices were Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, PowerGrid, Kotak Bank, Coal India, Adani Ports, Asian Paint, HDFC Ltd, SBI, Vedanta Ltd and Tata Steel.

However, stocks of Sun Pharma, ITC LGd, TCS, Infosys, RIL and Wipro were trading higher. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) gave up shares worth a net of Rs 1,322 crore, while Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) remained net buyers, picking up shares worth a net of Rs 1,287 crore on Friday, provisional data showed.

Most other Asian markets too were down on trade war worries and surging crude prices following rising diplomatic tensions between Riyadh and the West.

Japan's Nikkei fell 1.39 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.30 per cent, Taiwan was down 1.10 per cent in their early deals. Shanghai Composite Index, however, was flat.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average had closed 1.15 per cent higher on Friday.  -- PTI
09:58   4 arrested for attacking journalist in Mumbai
The police on Monday arrested four people who allegedly attacked TV journalist Herman Gomes in Mumbai.

The journalist and his friend were allegedly beaten up by four unidentified miscreants near outside his house around 1:30 am on Saturday.

"I was attacked by four people out of nowhere.. I have got six stitches on my right eye. All I can say is, these people were waiting for me for a long time. It was not a last-minute provocation. They stood ready for the attack. They thrashed my friend as well and took away his mobile phone," Gomes told ANI.

Gomes also took to social media to share the ordeal.

'I was attacked by an unknown group of people right outside my Bombay House.. It was clearly pre planned. They were armed with a knuckle duster.I always mind my own business and do stories that I firmly Believe in.

'Last night was something different and they came out to KILL me. My eye is badly affected and so is my body. I don't know which story affected people so much. I don't know these people too. Mumbai Police has asked a senior IPS officer to look after the case. FIR filed at Gamdevi Police station shortly. I managed to take on 2 people but another group was waiting to take on me at the back I've got 6 stitches around my eye, among others . My family and I are affected,' Gomes wrote on Facebook. -- ANI
09:43   #MeToo: BCCI CEO to skip ICC meeting
Board of Control for Cricket in India Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri will not be representing the cricket body at the upcoming two-day International Cricket Council's chief executives' meeting in Singapore in the light of sexual harassment allegation against him.

Amitabh Chaudhary, the acting secretary of the BCCI will represent the board in place of Johri, sources said.The decision has been taken by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) after a woman alleged that she was sexually harassed by Johri when he was her colleague at a satellite TV channel.

The allegations were posted on Twitter by another individual on behalf of the accuser.

Johri was also asked to give an explanation on the allegation within a week.

However, he has not made any statement on the matter yet.

The meeting of the ICC scheduled to be held from October 16 to 19, will discuss the possibility of including cricket at the summer Olympic Games and how to tighten various T20 and T10 cricket leagues in the future. -- ANI
09:17   Gurugram shooting: Judge's son declared 'brain dead'
Gurugram judge's 18-year-old son, who was allegedly shot in a crowded market area his personal security guard, was declared 'brain dead', hours after his wife succumbed to her injuries, officials said on Sunday.

Additional Sessions Judge Krishan Kant's wife Ritu, 45, and son Dhruv, 18, had gone for shopping in the Arcadia market on Saturday when they were shot by Mahipal.

They were admitted to a hospital in critical condition. Regional Medical Officer, Gurugram Civil Hospital, Pawan Choudhary confirmed the death of Ritu and said the post-mortem examination had been conducted.

"The reason for Ritu's death was excessive bleeding. A panel of three specialist doctors found two gunshot wounds on the right side and in the middle of the chest," Chaudhary said.

Dhruv, who was shot in the head, is brain dead. He has been put on life support system. It would be a miracle if he is saved, the medical officer said.

Mahipal was brought to a Gurugram court at 1 pm which sent him to four-day police custody.

The police had sought a week's custody for extensive interrogation of Mahipal to establish the reason why he shot Ritu and Dhruv.

It has set up a Special Investigation Team to investigate the case from all angles.

"Mahipal is frequently changing his statements and becomes furious whenever he is questioned. He said he was depressed due to family problems," said a senior police officer, who is part of the interrogation team.

"As per the statement of the accused, he was not happy with the behaviour of the victim's family members. He was also upset due to frequent fights with his wife which was confirmed by his neighbours in police lines," the officer told PTI.

After initial interrogation of the accused, police officers said he was a Haryana police head constable and was serving as personal security guard of the judge for two years.

He had been demanding leave to go home for the past few days but this was not granted, the officer said.

"The judge also used to scold him often," one of the interrogating officers said.

On Saturday, the judge's wife scolded him inside the car when they were going to the market, the officer said.

"He harboured a grudge against the judge."

Additional Sessions Judge Krishan Kant in a statement said that after committing the crime, Mahipal informed him about the incident on the phone.

Ritu's family members had earlier decided to take her body to Hisar, her native city, for cremation.

They later returned to the Medanta hospital to donate her organs.

Police had earlier said the shooting happened around 3.30 pm Saturday.

A police official said Ritu had suffered a bullet injury in her chest.

In video footage of the incident recorded by a witness, Mahipal is seen with the gun in his hand.

He was also seen trying to push Dhruv inside the car.  -- PTI
08:45   AI air hostess falls off aircraft at Mumbai airport, hospitalised
A 53-year-old air hostess suffered serious injuries after falling off an Air India aircraft which was getting ready for departure for New Delhi from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, a source said on Monday.

The incident happened on Air India flight AI 864 operating on Mumbai-Delhi route, according to the airline source.

"The woman crew member was closing the door for the push back when she fell from the aircraft, " the source said.

She has been admitted to Nanavati Hospital.

Air India spokesperson was not immediately available for comments.  -- PTI
08:42   Saudi King, Erdogan discuss Khashoggi's disappearance
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz discussed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance over a phone call on Sunday night.

Khashoggi has been missing ever since cameras captured him going inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Hatice Cengiz, his fiancee, who was waiting outside the consul, had stated that she did not see him re-emerging from the building.

Both the leaders emphasised on the need for a joint working group for investigations.

The Saudi King also thanked the Turkish President for accepting a Saudi proposal to create the joint group, according to Al Jazeera.Abdulaziz further highlighted that no one could undermine Saudi Arabia and Turkey's relationship.

Saudi Arabia had earlier rejected all allegations levied on the nation due to Khashoggi's disappearance and also threatened to retaliate 'with greater action' against any sanctions put on the nation.

They released a statement earlier on Sunday which read, "The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations that will not undermine the Kingdom and its staunch positions and Arab, Islamic and international status, the outcome of these weak endeavors, like their predecessors, is a demise."

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy is affected only by the impact of the global economy," the statement further added.

There is mounting international pressure on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to explain Khashoggi's disappearance.

Earlier, United States President Donald Trump had threatened of 'severe punishment' for the Gulf country if there has indeed been any Saudi hand in the scribe's disappearance.

The United Kingdom's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt had also said that they would have to 'think about the appropriate way to react' if Saudi Arabia is found guilty in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish officials had previously claimed that their Saudi counterparts carried out Khashoggi's kidnapping and murder.

They had alleged that a 15-man team flew from Riyadh to Istanbul on the day the senior journalist visited the consulate and carried out the alleged murder of the journalist.  -- ANI

IMAGE: Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters
08:38   Diesel prices increase, petrol stagnant
Fuel prices continued its upward march on Monday, with diesel prices surging by 8 paise and 9 paise in four metropolitan cities.

While Delhi and Kolkata saw a hike of 8 paise, a litre of diesel has increased by 9 paise in Mumbai and Chennai.

After the revision of the rates, diesel in Delhi is being retailed at Rs 75.46 per litre and Rs 77. 31 per litre in Kolkata.

In Mumbai, diesel touched Rs 79. 11 per litre mark, while the same is being retailed at Rs 79.80 per litre in Chennai.

Meanwhile, the petrol price across the four metropolitan cities remained stagnant.

The fuel price has been soaring since the past few months in the country, causing many problems for the common people.

The Opposition has repeatedly blamed the Centre for the steep hike in the fuel price, while the latter has maintained that global crude oil prices and other international factors are responsible for the increase in prices of petroleum products. -- ANI
08:17   China also meddled in US elections: Trump
President Donald Trump has alleged that China, in addition to Russia, meddled in the 2016 United States presidential elections.

Last month, chairing a United Nations Security Council meeting on the sidelines of the UN general Assembly in New York, Trump had alleged that China was trying to interfere in the 2018 mid-term polls and that it did not want him to be the President.

China has denied these allegations.

However, for the first time Trump came out in open to say that China also meddled in the 2016 Presidential elections.

"They (Russians) meddled. But I think China meddled too," Trump told CBS News's popular '60 Minutes' in an interview.

Recorded on Thursday, the interview was broadcast Sunday night.

"I think China meddled also. And I think, frankly, a bigger problem," Trump said and denied that by saying so he is not trying to divert the entire Russia thing.

"I'm saying Russia, but I'm also saying China," he said.

But it's the investigation of Russia's intervention in the 2016 election that hangs over his presidency and caused a rift with his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, because he recused himself from the inquiry.

Trump expressed disappointment that his Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescued himself from the Russia investigation.

"I was disappointed that he recused himself and many people think I was right on that. I was very disappointed. Why should he have recused himself? So I was very disappointed," he said.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is conducting investigations into the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Responding to a question, he said he has no intention of shutting down the Russian investigation.

"Well, I don't pledge anything. But (I) will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it's a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind," he said.

To date, 32 people have been charged or pleaded guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

President Trump's campaign chairman, top campaign aide, former national security advisor and longtime personal attorney are all cooperating in the inquiry, which the president calls a witch-hunt.

Trump questioned the very proposition that he called Russia to help him in the elections.

"Do you really think I'd call Russia to help me with an election? Give me a break. They wouldn't be able to help me at all. Call Russia. It's so ridiculous," he said.  -- PTI