23:21 Al Qaeda chief in 9/11 speech calls for attacks:
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Wednesday on Muslims to attack US, European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online activity of jihadist groups, reported that in a video released by the militant group, the 68-year-old al-Zawahri also criticises backtrackers from jihad, referring to former jihadis who changed their views in prison and called the 9/11 attacks unacceptable because innocent civilians were harmed.
If you want Jihad to be focused solely on military targets, the American military has presence all over the world, from the East to the West, he said. Your countries are littered with American bases, with all the infidels therein and the corruption they spread.
The coordinated Al Qaeda hijackings on Sept 11, 2001 killed nearly 3,000 people, when airliners slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and another crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Al-Zawahris speech was recorded in a 33-minute, 28-second video produced by the groups as-Sahab Media Foundation.
As an indicator of when the speech may have been recorded, al-Zawahri references US President Donald Trumps recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, which was announced on March 25. He calls on Palestinians to seek martyrdom by attacking Israelis with a suicide vest in response.
Over recent years, Al Qaeda has been engaged in fending off competition in jihadi circles from its rival, the Islamic State group. IS exploded into prominence by seizing large swaths of Iraq and Syria in 2014, declaring a caliphate and extending affiliates in multiple countries across the region.
23:16 Minor fire on sets of Varun Dhawan's 'Coolie No 1':
A minor fire broke out on the sets of Varun Dhawan's "Coolie No 1" at Filmistan studio in Mumbai in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The fire brigade control room was informed about the blaze in Filmistan studio in Goregaon West at 1.34 am, a civic official said.
A fire brigade team were rushed to the spot and the blaze was extinguished at 4.15 am, the official said, adding that nobody was injured in the incident.
Jackky Bhagnani, producer of the film, took to Twitter and wrote that he was thankful for all the parties concerned for their timely action.
"We would like to thank the Firefighters, Mumbai Police and the BMC officials for their immediate assistance, after a concerning situation on the sets of #Coolieno1. The fire was put out immediately with no casualties. I want to thank everyone for their concern and wishes," he tweeted.
"Coolie No 1" is a remake of the 1995 hit of the same name and is directed by David Dhawan.
22:34 Car in Mohan Bhagwat's convoy kills 6-yr-old:
A six-year-old boy was killed and his grandfather injured after their two-wheeler was hit by a car in the cavalcade of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Alwar district of Rajasthan on Wednesday, police said.
Bhagwat was returning from a programme in Tijara area when the incident happened and there were eight to ten cars in the cavalcade, police said.
"One of the cars in the cavalcade hit a motorcycle leaving six-year-old Sachin dead and his grandfather injured," said Ramswaroop Bairwa, sub-inspector of Mandawar police station.
The cavalcade went towards Behror after the incident, he said.
The car involved in the accident is yet to be seized, police said.
"An FIR has been lodged against the driver of the car on the basis of the vehicle's registration number," Bairwa said, adding that further investigations are underway.
Bhagwat, who gets Z plus security cover, was on a trip to Alwar.
21:48 Amazed, tweets Chidambaram from jail, on interacting with "poor":
Former Union Minister P Chidambaram may be in Tihar Jail but that hasn't stopped him from being active on Twitter.
The veteran Congress leader, who referred to "officers who processed and recommended" the CBI and Enforcement Directorate case against him in a tweet on Monday, said he was "deeply concerned about the economy" in a message posted on his official account this morning.
"I am deeply concerned about the economy. The poor are the worst affected. Lower incomes, fewer jobs, less trade and lower investment affect the poor and the middle class. Where is the plan to get the country out of this decline and gloom?" the former home and finance minister's tweet read.
The former minister also thanked his followers for their support and said he was "amazed by the capacity of the poor to distinguish between justice and injustice".
Chidambaram, 73, was sent to Tihar Jail on September 5 by a Delhi court after his 14-day CBI custody in the INX Media case ended. He has moved the Delhi high court seeking bail in the matter.
His comments on the economy echoed those made by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who blamed "all-round mismanagement" by the centre for the condition of the economy.
21:22 Naidu, son to be under house arrest for 24 hours:
Police have put both TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh under house arrest for 24 hours citing law and order.
A police team of Tadepalli police reached at the residence of former CM at Amravati and put the notices under 151 CrPC.
TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu: This government is violating human rights & fundamental rights. I am warning the government. I am warning police also. You cannot play this type of politics. You cannot control us by arresting. Whenever they allow me, I'll continue 'Chalo Atmakur'.
20:53 6 hurt in Florida stabbing, suspect in custody:
A suspect is in custody after six people were injured on Wednesday in a stabbing incident at an industrial complex in Florida's capital city of Tallahassee, police said.
The stabbing took place at Dyke Industries after 8:30 am (local time) and the injured were provided immediate medical attention by the police after arriving at the site, CNN reported.
"Approximately 8:37 am, police responded to a stabbing near the 2000 block of Maryland Circle. Upon officer's arrival, they discovered multiple stabbing victims and provided immediate medical attention," the Tallahassee Police Department said in a statement.
The six people are currently under evaluation, according to Morgan King, spokesperson for the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.
It is yet to be ascertained whether the suspect is an employee at the industrial complex or not.
20:21 Trudeau calls for Canadian election on October 21:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a federal election for October 21.
Opinion polls are indicating it will be a tough race for Trudeau, who is seeking a second term in office.
The campaign is expected to focus on issues of affordability, the economy and climate issues.
19:54 #BoycottMillennials trends after FM's comment:
A day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed 'millennial mindset' as one of the major reasons for auto sector slowdown in the country, #boycottmillenials trended on social media.
Netizens are sharing hilarious tweets with #boycottmillenials and #SayItLikeNirmalaTai which will surely leave you in splits. One of the users shared a picture of Yoga guru Ram Dev performing an 'aasan' and wrote: 'Oxygen crisis will be occur because inhale more oxygen in the morning.'
Another user shared a hilarious picture of a boy who is dressed in cool funky sunglasses while holding a gun."Saaho collection is down because Millennials prefer Hero Alom instead of Prabhas," he tweeted.
Yet another chimed in and wrote, 'The cosmetic industry is down because millennials are using filters and editing apps on Phone.'
Another tweet read, Liquor sales is down because millenials are drinking ethanol in chemistry labs.'
'BHEL production and sales are down because millennials prefer paani Puri' has been one of the tweets widely shared by Twitter users.
On Tuesday, Sitharaman, at a press conference, had said: "The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennial, who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile."
19:51 Former minister and senior NCP leader from Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik, joins BJP
19:08 Hefty traffic fines aimed to save lives: Gadkari:
Minister for Road, Transport, and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that he has no problem with States reducing the traffic fines. He also said that the idea is to reduce accidents and save as many lives by forcing stricter fines.
This statement of his came a day after Gujarat Government announced a reduction in the fines under the new Motor Vehicles Act. Gadkari said that it is upto the states on what they do with the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 that came into effect from September 1.
Gadkari also said that people who do not violate the law should not fear, they do not have to pay anything. He said it is time that people must recognize the law as we have the highest road accidents/deaths.
After the implementation of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019, traffic police across the country are coming down heavily on those who are violating the new rules and various state government are either resisting the new MV Act or bringing changes to it by detuning the violation fines.
Post imposition of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019, from September 1, hefty challans for traffic rules violations by the police has hit the headlines. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said stringent rules were "much needed" as people had taken traffic laws very lightly and there was neither fear nor respect for the law.
18:43 Congress targets Sitharaman over remarks on auto sector slowdown, seeks apology:
The Congress party on Wednesday targeted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her remarks that millennials' preference for taxi aggregators was a reason for the slowdown in automobile sector said the statement reflects the "inefficiency, immaturity and the inexperience" of BJP-led government.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should seek an apology from the minister for her remarks. "This is surprising that the finance minister is teaching us new economics that Ola and Uber are responsible for the slowdown in the automobile sector. The gross overstatement made by the FM is a grave joke on the economy and the country. This remarkable, unbelievable statement by the Finance Minister reflects the inefficiency, immaturity and the inexperience of BJP in governance," Singhvi said.
He said taxi aggregators Uber and Ola have been in the country for years.
"The slowdown is there for some time. How did this reason come all of a sudden?" he asked.
Finance Minister Sitharaman had said that automobile sector has been affected by several things including transition towards BS6 (Bharat Stage 6) and the mindset of millennials, who were preferring not to commit EMIs to buy automobiles but prefer to use Ola or Uber or take the metro.
18:03 Traffic fines too harsh, won't apply: Mamata:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that she will not implement the new law that imposes hefty fines for traffic violations, a day after BJP-ruled Gujarat slashed penalties.
Calling the new Motor Vehicles Act "too harsh" the Trinamool Congress chief said it was against the federal structure of the government.
"We had opposed amendments in Parliament. If we implement the Motor Vehicles Act amendments, it will hurt general people," the chief minister said.
Adding that money is the not solution, Banerjee said that the problem needs to be looked at from the "humanitarian point of view".
17:42 Hope PM will remember Constitution: Owaisi:
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that while cow is a sacred animal in India, the Constitution of the country does give its citizens a right to life and equality.
Asaduddin Owaisi said this in response to PM Modi's remark that critics of the Centre saying those slamming the government over its cow policies are only destroying the country.
Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Cow is a sacred animal for our Hindu brothers but in the Constitution, right to life and equality has been given to humans, I hope PM Modi will keep it in mind."
While speaking in Mathura on Wednesday, PM Modi said, "When some people hear the words Om and cow, they scream that the country is back to the 16th century. Such people are only destroying the nation."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Mathura to launch the National Animal Disease Control Programme on Wednesday.
The PM earlier launched National Animal Disease Control programme in Mathura for eradicating Foot and Mouth disease and Brucellosis in livestock.
17:20 Schumacher now 'conscious' after undergoing stem-cell therapy:
Michael Schumacher is 'conscious' after being admitted to a Paris hospital for stem-cell treatment on Monday, a report claims.
The seven-time Formula One champion was admitted under tight guard on Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital for transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells.
The 50-year-old German, who suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps, is expected to be discharged today.
A nurse told Le Parisien: 'Yes he is in my service ... And I can assure you that he is conscious.'
Following the accident, Schumacher's condition stabilised after he was placed in a drug-induced coma, from which he later emerged.
Since September 2014, he has received round the clock specialist care at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Le Parisien, citing sources it did not name, said Schumacher has been treated at least twice previously at the Georges-Pompidou hospital, admitted each time under a false name and treated by a small medical team.
It is understood Professor Philippe Menasch was due to treat Schumacher with 'infusions of stem cells' which are designed to produce a 'systemic anti-inflammatory action.'
17:01 Ball in FM's court to cut GST: Gadkari:
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said it is up to the finance ministry along with state governments and GST Council to decide on reduction in GST rate for automobiles and that he has already spoken to the finance minister in this regard. The Road Transport and Highways Minister also said a scrappage policy, which also includes two-wheelers, is in the works and will be launched soon.
Last week at the SIAM annual convention, Gadkari assured the auto industry that he would take up the issue of GST reduction for automobiles to 18 per cent from 28 per cent.
"I have already discussed with the finance minister. But ultimately if the FM has to take any decision it must be with the consultation with state finance ministers and GST Council," Gadkari said at the launch of a BS-VI scooter by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India. He further said, currently the ball is in the court of the finance ministry and he is confident that the ministry in consultation with state governments will take a positive decision.
Commenting on vehicle scrappage policy, Gadkari said a draft has already been prepared. "But there are still problems related with various stakeholders. We need cooperation from the manufacturers as well as the finance ministry," he added. Some of the issues are related with tax while some are related with state governments, he said. When asked how soon such a policy could become a reality, he said,"we are ready with the process. My ministry is trying to get it cleared as early as possible and I am confident that in the limited short time we would come to a conclusion and we will launch the policy."
He said such a policy would also include old two-wheelers and "if the two-wheeler industry wants to suggest anything we are going to listen to it with an open mind". Acknowledging the current distress in the auto industry, the minister said the reasons could be myriad due to demand and supply issues, global economic slowdown or due to business cycle. He, however, exuded confidence that within five to six years, India will become a global manufacturing hub for automobiles. -- PTI
16:45 BJP defends FM's 'Uber-Ola' remarks :
BJP on Wednesday sought to defend Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for saying millenials were averse to EMIs and their preference for Uber and Ola were the major reasons for the slump in automobile sector.
Party Vice President Baijayant Panda told ANI that emergence of cab services did impact the automobile industry as millennials found shared mobility convenient.
Yesterday, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the ongoing slump in the automobile sector can be traced to a factor that millennials do not want to commit themselves to EMIs.Panda also launched a scathing counter-attack on the opposition Congress.
"Two things here -- First, Congress is not in a position to talk about the economy. When Vajpayee government ended, because of a lot of difficult reforms, it ended with a growth rate of 9 per cent and inflation of 4.5 per cent. When UPA government took over, during the first term they continued to be benefited from the momentum of the Vajpayee era. They did not bring any reforms," Panda said.
He said the numbers declined during the UPA government. "The Congress-led UPA era ended with inflation at 9 per cent and growth rate at 4 per cent. All due to mismanagement," he said.
The BJP leader said that even during its second term, the UPA did not initiate any reforms."It was an era of lots of scams and scandals. It took the Modi government to raise the growth rate to 8 per cent. Good economic management, inflation is low. What is happening now is a factor of external factors as the global economy has slowed down and it has an impact on the Indian economy as well. We are not happy about it but we are trying to deal with it but it is still better," he said.
Accepting that the automobile sector was not doing particularly well, he said there were sectors that were doing very well.
"Amazon for that matter has opened centre giving jobs to 15,000 people. IT sector has had the biggest hiring jump in the first quarter. FDI has seen a 28 per cent increase. It is a mixed picture," he said.
Trying to present a complete perspective of the automobile sector, Panda said that some niche and new entrants to the market were still doing well.
"In the automobile sector, some new entrants are doing very well. But it is true some of the established brands are facing a tough time. But what finance minister said is also true and said by many like industry leader Uday Kotak, who certainly understands finance. New paradigm such as Uber and Ola are having an impact like it had in other countries," he said.
"Some people are unnecessarily trying to criticise the finance minister for no reason. We should separate fact from emotions. It is a fact that Uber and Ola are impacting the business. We cannot like it but we should accept facts," he added. -- ANI
16:14 Cong's Maha stalwart Harshvardhan Patil joins BJP:
Former Maharashtra minister and Congress leader Harshvardhan Patil joins BJP. Patil's exit is likely to be a big setback for the Congress as he has been a top leader of the party in the state. He has been an MLA four times from the Indapur Assembly seat in Pune District. Patil also has a record of serving as a minister in all state governments from 1995 to 2014.
15:54 50,000 cops will watch over Mumbai tomorrow:
More than 50,000 police personnel will be deployed across the financial capital of the country on Thursday to ensure that Ganesh idol immersion processions pass off without any untoward incident, police said on Wednesday.
Key routes of processions will be monitored by drones, an official said. The 'Anant Chaturdashi' day, which falls on September 12 this year, marks conclusion of the ten-day Ganesh festival in Maharashtra.
In Mumbai, immersion of idols will take place at 129 places including Girgaum Chowpatty, Shivaji Park, and at Juhu, Aksa, Versova and Marve beaches of the Arabian Sea. Lakhs of Mumbaikars are expected to participate in key processions like that of 'Lalbaug cha Raja', the official said, adding that appropriate security measures are being put in place for crowd management.
Various wings of police including the State Reserve Police Force, Riot Control, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, Quick Response Teams will be deployed in the city, he said.
"Policemen in civic clothes will will be part of processions to prevent any untoward incident involving women and children. Processions will be continuously monitored by more than 5000 CCTV cameras," the official said.
An "anti-sabotage checking" will be conducted at every important immersion point, he said, adding that coastal police will patrol in their speed boats near immersion points.
He said at least 53 roads will be closed for traffic in Mumbai while vehicular movement will be allowed one-way on 56 roads. A total of 18 roads will be closed for heavy vehicles while parking of vehicles is not allowed at 99 places.
Meanwhile, Railway Over Bridges at Byculla, Arthur Road (Chinchpokli railway station), Currey Road and Juhu Tara have been declared dangerous for movement of heavy vehicles by the Central Railway, he said. "Accordingly, vehicles weighing more than 16 tonnes will not be allowed on these ROBs," the official added.
Members of Ganesh pandals will be held responsible in case of any untoward incident taking place on these ROBs during immersion processions, he said. -- PTI
15:37 Don't join NDA just for ministerial berth: Raut:
With many politicians switching sides and migrating to rival political parties in a bid to stay in power, Shiv Sena MP Raut on Wednesday advised such leaders to not join BJP-Sena alliance only to become MPs or MLAs.
He said leaders joining the NDA bandwagon should first endorse the Hindutva ideology and then join the alliance.
"The leaders who are planning to join us should come up with the full acceptance of the ideology of Hindutva. This is because our doors are not open for people who only want to become an MP, MLA or minister. We want the expansion of Hindutva ideology in both the country and the state. Therefore, if they join with a similar thought, then we shall welcome them wholeheartedly", he told ANI.
Raut strongly mooted that the leaders who are quitting their parties to join the BJP-Shivsena alliance should not join them just for the sake of acquiring any ministerial status.
"We want the opposition to stay strong but what can be done when they could not save their own leaders like Urmila Matondkar, Kirpashankar Singh", he added.
Meanwhile, several leaders from the Congress and NCP have joined BJP-Shiv Sena alliance following the state elections which are slated for October and November this year. -- ANI
Image: Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Gandhi Nagar Anil Bajpai joined the BJP in May ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
15:27 Tabrez lynching: Cops defend dropping murder charges :
The Jharkhand Police on Wednesday strongly defended its decision to scale down charges -- from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder -- against the 11 accused in the lynching case of Tabrez Ansari, saying it was based on investigation and medical report.
Ansari, 24, was seen on national television being beaten up with rods while tied to a pole and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' over an alleged theft. The Seraikela-Kharsawan district police had charge- sheeted 11 of the 13 named accused in the case on July 29, dropping the stringent charge of murder under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. All 11 of them will now face the law for lesser offence under section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
"We have taken the decision to convert section 302 under the IPC to 304 of the code after consulting the authorities. The decision was taken based on proper probe and post-mortem and forensic reports, which said that Ansari died of cardiac arrest," Superintendent of Police Karthik S said.
Questioning the hue and cry over the police decision to drop murder charges, the SP said, "Why are people undermining section 304 of the IPC? The undermining of the section tantamount to undermining of the Indian Penal Code."
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday reacted sharply to the dilution of the charge and said there was a "chance that the prosecution will do its best to do a shoddy job". Twitterati has also raised questions over the move to water down charges against the 11 accused.
Asked whether the police received the Central Forensic Laboratory report from Chandigarh, the senior police officer replied in the affirmative but refused to give any details. He also asserted that the video of the mob attack on Ansari was "not tampered with, but it did not synchronize with the audio".
Talking about the petition filed by Ansari's widow Shahista Perveen in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Manju Kumari, he said, "As the case was filed under section 295(A) of the IPC (maliciously insulting the religion or religious beliefs of any class), the district administration has forwarded it to the state government to take a decision." -- PTI
15:12 Another Maharashtra Cong leader may join BJP:
In yet another shock for the Congress in Maharashtra, party general secretary Satyajit Deshmukh is "positively considering" joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"I am not joining BJP today but I am considering it positively. Any decision on this will be taken after due discussions with my senior colleagues and constituents in Sangli," he told ANI on Wednesday.
Acknowledging reports of the possible shift, he indicated he was not happy with his party.
"I had to look for options because if I cannot do anything for my supporters, then there is no point in continuing here. But still I would be taking the call after a proper discussion with my folks," he added
Satyajit Deshmukh is the son of ex MPCC president and chairman of Maharashtra Legislative council Late Shivajirao Deshmukh.
The Deshmukh family has a stronghold in Sangli district. Satyajit Deshmukh is considered as one of the prominent youth faces of MPCC.
15:00 UK announces 2-year post-study work visa for students:
In a move that addresses a long-standing demand to boost Indian student numbers choosing British universities, the UK government on Wednesday announced a new two-year post-study work visa route for all international students.
The new 'Graduate' route, to be in place by next year, will be open to all overseas nationals who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at a government-approved UK higher education institution.
The visa will allow eligible students to work, or crucially look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has effectively re-instated a policy ended by his predecessor Theresa May around nine years ago, said the change would see students "unlock their potential" to begin careers in the UK.
"The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers,' said UK home secretary Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin member of Johnson's Cabinet.
Image: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes the change will help students "unlock their potential".
14:45 Vokkaligas protest against DK Shivakumar's arrest:
The members of Vokkaliga Sangha on Wednesday protested in Bengaluru against Congress leader DK Shivakumar's arrest by Enforcement Directorate.
Shivakumar, who belongs to the Vokkaliga community, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 3 in connection with an alleged money laundering case.
The agency had started its probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in September 2018 on the basis of a report submitted by the Income Tax department against Shivakumar.
On August 29, the Karnataka High Court had dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued by the ED in December 2018.Later that night, he was summoned by the law enforcement agency under the PMLA and was asked to appear before it on August 30, following which he was interrogated for four days.
The 57-year-old leader had earlier asserted that he has not done anything wrong and will fully cooperate with the investigating agency."It is all a conspiracy. I have not made any mistake, murder or indulged in corruption. The money you found is my money and I earned it," he had said. -- ANI
14:31 Very close to restoring normalcy in J-K: DGP:
Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh on Wednesday said the region was very close to restoring normalcy.
"We are very close to normalcy. If you take the entire region into account, All 10 districts of Jammu have become entirely normal, all school, colleges, and offices are open. Leh and Kargil are also normal, there is no restriction of any kind there," he said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.
"In this region, we have tried to ease out the restrictions whichever kind of restrictions were imposed. More than 90 per cent areas are free of restrictions, 100% telephone exchanges are working now. You have got two districts where the cellphones are also working now," he added.
The DGP said due to restraint and very minimal use of force by the security personnel, the casualties on the civilian side have been absolutely nil barring an incident where a stone-pelter got injured in down-town and he subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
"On the contrary, we have had incidents where stone-pelters caused injuries to the civilians and also caused a civilian death in Bhijbhera," he said referring to the truck driver being killed by stone-pelters.
The DGP further said that during this period, militants killed three people while two terrorists have also been neutralised. -- ANI
14:00 Hackles rise when people hear 'Om', 'Cow': PM:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched the National Animal Disease Control Programme for eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis in livestock.
With 100 per cent funding from the central government till 2024, the Rs 12,652 crore programme aims at vaccinating over 500 million livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs against the FMD.
The programme also aims at vaccinating 36 million female bovine calves annually in its fight against Brucellosis disease.
Modi also launched the National Artificial Insemination Programme before interacting with farmers.
During his visit, he joined women in segregating plastic from waste at the 'Swachhta Hi Seva' programme.
He also addressed a rally in Mathura.
"A century ago, Swami Vivekananda gave his historic speech at Chicago about world peace on 11th September. Unfortunately, the same day also witnessed 9/11 terrorist attack in US that shook the world.
"Iss desh ka durbhagya hai ki kuchh logo ke kaan par agar 'om' aur 'gaaye' shabd padhta hai to unke baal khade ho jate hain, unko lagta hai desh 16th shatabdi mein chala gaya, aisa gyaan, desh barbaad karne walo ne desh barbaad karne mein kuchh nahi chhoda hai. Unfortunately, there are some people in this country who are alarmed whenever they hear the word 'Om' or 'Cow'. They think the country has gone back to the 16th Century. Such is their knowledge. Such people have left no stone unturned in ruining this country.
"Today terrorism has become an ideology, which is not bound by national boundaries. This is a global problem. This has become a global threat whose deep roots are flourishing in our neighbourhood.
"Yogi Adityanath fought all his life against Encephalitis & brought it to the attention of Parliament & country. However, few vested interest groups blamed his govt for deaths of children due to it but Yogi-ji's spirit was not deterred and he continued his work."
13:32 Definition of true love, say fans at this Virushka pic :
As soon as India skipper Virat Kohli posted a picture with wife and Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma, netizens swarmed his account and termed the couple a 'definition of true love'.
In the picture, both Kohli and Anushka are seen spending quality time on what appears to be a beach. The 'NH-10' actor is sporting thick-rimmed black sunglasses with a bikini top of the same colour, while the skipper showed off his tattoos as he posed shirtless.
"VIRUSHKA is the DEFINITION of TRUE LOVE. People are truly lucky who have followed them since 2013 when virushka started dating. To be 100% involved in the world, still be ABSOLUTELY DETACHED from it & have pure love for each other is legendary, RESPECT for both," one Twitter user wrote.
"King and queen," one user commented."love u both huge fan on Anushka acting and a huge fan of you are on the field," another user tweeted."God bless u both," one Twitter user wrote. Earlier this month, Kohli surpassed MS Dhoni to become the most successful Indian Test captain. -- ANI
13:16 PK Mishra takes charge as PM's Principal Secretary:
PK Mishra takes charge as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He takes over from Nripendra Misra, who stepped down from his post after serving as a key aide of PM Modi for over five years.
13:09 Chidambaram moves Delhi HC seeking bail :
Former Union minister P Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Media corruption case, on Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail. Chidambaram also challenged the trial court order's September 5 order remanding him to 14 days judicial custody in the case till September 19. The 73-year old Congress leader was arrested by the CBI on August 21.
12:49 Parrikar memorial foundation stone to be laid on Dec 13:
The foundation stone for a memorial dedicated to Goa chief minister late Manohar Parrikar will be laid in Panaji on December 13, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday. Parrikar, who also served as the country's defence minister, died on March 17 this year at the age of 63.
"The foundation stone for the 'smriti sthal' in the name of Parrikar would be laid at the Miramar beach on December 13, the late BJP leader's birth anniversary," Sawant told PTI. After Parrikar's death, his final rites were also performed at the Miramar beach located in the state capital. Sawant chaired a high-level meeting on Tuesday to finalise the architect and design for the memorial. -- PTI
Image: Sand artist Manas Sahoo pays homage to Goa's Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who passed away battling a pancreatic ailment on March 17.
12:43 'In-camera' proceedings to record rape survivor's statement begins at AIIMS:
'In-camera' proceedings commenced on Wednesday at AIIMS here, where a temporary court has been set up for recording the Unnao rape survivor's statement in the case of alleged sexual assault by expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017.
The woman's statement is being recorded by District Judge Dharmesh Sharma. 'In-camera' proceedings are not open to the public and the press. Sengar, along with co-accused Shashi Singh, was brought to the temporary court at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, where the woman is presently admitted following an accident on July 28.
The Delhi High Court had on Friday approved recording the rape survivor's statement at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Trauma Centre.
A notification to this effect was issued by the high court from the administrative side, which said special judge Sharma, who is conducting trial of the cases, shall record her testimony. The rape survivor was air-lifted from a Lucknow hospital to Delhi on the Supreme Court orders.
The high court notification came after the apex court during the day asked it to expeditiously decide on the request of a special judge for setting up a temporary court at the AIIMS to record the Unnao rape survivor's statement. -- PTI
12:27 MDMK Chief & Rajya Sabha MP, Vaiko, has filed a habeas corpus petition (requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge) in the Supreme Court for former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah. Vaiko says Abdullah was supposed to come for an event but couldn't be contacted.
12:25 J-K DGP on encounter: LeT's Asif created terror in Sopore :
J&K DGP Dilbag Singh on the encounter this morning that led to a Lashkar terrorist's death.
"LeT's Asif had created a lot of terror in Sopore. Over the last 1 month he was very active. He made use of Over Ground Workers to print posters threatening civilians not to open shops and not to go for their day-to-day activities. Today morning on specific information, nakas were laid. He (Asif) was challenged to stop but he didn't. He threw grenade at our parties in which two of our police personnel were injured; they are out of danger."
On restoring normalcy in the state: "All 10 districts of Jammu have become entirely normal, all school, colleges, and offices are open. Leh & Kargil are also normal, there is no restriction of any kind there. More than 90 per cent areas are free of restrictions, 100 per cent telephone exchanges are working now."
12:03 Deeply concerned about economy, tweets PC:
Arrested Congress leader P Chidambaram has sent another message from behind the bars in Tihar saying he is deeply concerned about the economy. This comes even as the Enforcement Directorate is seeking his custodial interrogation.
In two tweets, Chidambaram says he has asked his family to tweet on his behalf.
"Thank you all for your support. I must say I am amazed by the capacity of the poor (who I have had the chance to meet and interact with over the last few days) to distinguish between justice and injustice.
"I am deeply concerned about the economy.
"The poor are the worst affected. Lower incomes, fewer jobs, less trade and lower investment affect the poor and the middle class. Where is the plan to get the country out of this decline and gloom?"
The former Union minister, who has been given 14-day judicial custody, also tweeted, or rather got his family to tweet on his behalf on Monday. "People have asked me 'If the dozen officers who processed and recommended the case to you have not been arrested, why have you been arrested? Only because you have put the last signature?' I have no answer."
In another tweet, Chidambaram added, "No officer has done anything wrong. I do not want anyone to be arrested."
Chidambaram was arrested on September 5 after a CBI court sent him to two-week judicial custody dealing a severe blow to the Congress stalwart.
Chidambaram, who was brought to the Tihar jail last week, has been given no special facilities except a separate cell and a western toilet as specified by the court.
Like other inmates, he also has access to the prison's library and can watch television for a specified period.
Chidambaram has been lodged at Jail No. 7 of Tihar.
11:43 Artist body wants MEA to cancel Diljit Dosanj's visa:
The Federation of Western India Cine Employees has requested the Ministry of External Affairs to cancel the visa of singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh, who accepted the invitation for an event which is being promoted by Rehan Siddiqi, who is of Pakistani origin.
The performance is scheduled to take place in the US on September 21. In a letter written to the MEA, the film body stated that, "We, at FWICE want to draw your kind attention towards the unbridled race of Artists/ Singers/ Dancers/ Anchors/ Performers at the behest of a Pak National Rehan Siddiqi promoter of shows in America despite strict warnings given to them."
"We have come to know that the performing singer and actor from Punjab Diljit Dosanjh has accepted the invitation of Rehan Siddiqi for staging his performance at the United States on September 21, 2019," the statement read.
The film body further stated that Diljit is a "thorough gentleman" and "superb singer-actor" but has been "allured" by Siddiqi and his performance will set a "wrong precedent" in the wake of the current situation between the two countries.
Last month, Mika had performed in Karachi, Pakistan with his group at an event which was organised by former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's close relative.This did not go well with netizens and fans who revolted over the idea and called the singer a 'traitor' on social media.
After the social media uproar, FWICE and AICWA (All India Cine Workers Association) banned the singer. FWICE even stated that any artist who works with Mika will be banned henceforth. -- PTI
11:22 Watch this stock for signals of Indias consumption revival:
For equity investors seeking early signs of any revival among India's consumers, here is a stock to watch: the distributor of Domino's Pizza and Dunkin' Donuts in the country.
Jubilant Foodworks Ltd., the nation's biggest fast food stock and a bellwether for discretionary consumption, has seen its shares shed almost a quarter of their value from a record high about a year ago as Indians cut back on spending. But some analysts are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Read the report here
11:05 Unnao rape accused to record statement at AIIMS:
Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is a key accused in the 2017 Unnao rape case, was on Wednesday brought to the AIIMS to record a statement of the rape survivor in a temporary court set up in New Delhi. He was brought along with co-accused Shashi Singh.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma arrived at the temporary court for recording the statement. He had on Saturday given directions for setting up a temporary court at the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, where the woman is presently admitted following an accident on July 28, after the high court gave him permission on Friday.
The high court had on Friday issued a notification to this effect from the administrative side, which said special judge Sharma, who is conducting trial of the cases, shall record her testimony.
The woman, allegedly raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into her car in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli on July 28, killing two of her aunts. Her lawyer was also injured in the accident. -- PTI
10:58 In Case Against Shehla Rashid, a Glimpse Into Centre's Approach to Kashmir Crisis:
The widespread use of fear and intimidation, having rammed through a particular vision of India -- 37 days and counting '" must be called out at every twist and sordid turn.
Shehla Rashid Shora has been a voice of sobriety. Her stand, nuanced and even-handed. I trust what she says while rubbishing the blatantly engineered reports that masquerade as news. That a series of tweets from this 20-something activist sends the mighty Indian state burrowing into the IPC is as pathetic as it is indefensible. This is the action of a haughty, unconfident state that routinely settles upon the softest of targets to reiterate a misplaced sense of omnipotence. It does so at the cost of its dignity and credibility.
10:29 LeT terrorist killed in encounter in Sopore :
A top-ranking Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist, Asif, has been neutralised in an encounter in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir, say police. The LeT terrorist was responsible for the recent attack on the family of a fruit trader in Sopore, which left three members of the family injured and including a young girl, Asma Jan.
Asif was also responsible for shooting at a migrant labourer Shafi Alam in Sopore.
Two police personnel were injured in the encounter.
10:17 Sensex jumps over 150 points; infra, bank stocks rise:
Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex jumped over 150 points in early session on Wednesday, led by gains in infra, banking and auto stocks. After touching a high of 37,145.45, the 30-share index was trading 89.72 points, or 0.24 per cent, higher at 37,235.17 at 0950 hours, while the broader Nifty rose 21.55 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 11,024.60.
In the previous session on Monday, the BSE barometer ended 163.68 points, or 0.44 per cent, higher at 37,145.45; and the NSE Nifty settled 56.85 points, or 0.52 per cent, up at 11,003.05. Stock exchanges were closed on Tuesday on account of Muharram.
Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, Tata Motors, Vedanta, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto, M&M, IndusInd Bank, Maruti, SBI and L&T, rallying up to 6 per cent.
On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, HCL Tech, TCS, PowerGrid, ITC and Kotak Bank fell up to 1.13 per cent. According to experts, market sentiment has improved due to positive global cues and hopes of further measures by the government to boost economy.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government has set up a task force to boost investments in infrastructure projects and is in the process of identifying the sectors which needed funding from the centre.
On Monday, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net of Rs 188.08 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased shares worth Rs 686.47 crore, provisional data showed. -- PTI
10:06 How will India become 5 trillion economy, asks Congress:
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Wednesday made a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government alleging an economic slowdown and questioned how it would fulfill the promise of making India a 5 trillion economy.
In a rather rhetoric tweet Singhvi wrote, "Modi ji's Twitter followers have crossed 50 million. Economy will cross 5 trillion (dollars), but how? Youths are not getting jobs. Will you hold opposition responsible even for this. Uber, Ola have ruined everything (Uber, Ola ne sab kar diya bantadhar)."
"Whatever good has happened has been done by us (Modinomics). Whatever bad has happened has been done by others (Nirmalanomics). Then, why have people elected you? (Publiconomics)," he said in another tweet.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that the mindsets of millennial were adversely affecting the automobile industry as they prefer to use radio taxi services instead of buying own vehicle.
"The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS6 and the mindsets of millennial, who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile," she said while addressing reporters in Chennai. -- ANI
09:10 Chandrababu Naidu, son put under house arrest:
Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh have been put under house arrest.
Naidu was supposed to hold a hunger strike from 8 am to 8 pm at his residence.
TDP leaders and workers who were trying to go to Naidu's residence were stopped by police and taken into preventive custody.
Earlier, Andhra Pradesh police had put several TDP leaders under house arrest in view of party's call for Chalo Atmakur rally today, alleging political violence by the ruling Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure imposed in Narasaraopeta, Sattenapalle, Palnadu and Gurajala.
Police said the TDP has no permission for the rally. -- ANI
09:04 Indian IT firm accused of discrimination against non-Indians:
In a class action lawsuit, an Indian digital service company in the United States has been accused of discrimination against non-Indians and giving preference to people from South Asia in hiring and jobs.
In her lawsuit, American national Tami Sulzberg alleges that at least 90 per cent of the US workforce of San Jose-based Happiest Minds, whose headquarters is in Bengaluru, are South Asians, primarily from India.
Happiest Minds employs over 2,400 individuals worldwide and approximately 200 individuals in the US.
According to Sulzberg, Happiest Minds prefers to hire and employ South Asians and Indians, and it effectuates this preference in three ways.
First, she said, the company engages in a practice of securing H-1B visas (and other visas) for South Asian and Indian workers located overseas, who will then be used to staff US positions.
The lawsuit alleged that non-South Asian and non-Indian individuals are often displaced from their current positions in favour of South Asian and Indian visa-ready individuals.
For instance, Sulzberg was replaced in her Director of Business Development position (a sales role) by an L-1 visa holder, Chandan Das, who travelled from India to the US for work, the lawsuit says.
According to the lawsuit, Happiest Minds gives preference to South Asian and Indian applicants located in the US over non-South Asian and non-Indian applicants.
As a result, Happiest Minds hires a disproportionately high percentage of South Asians and Indians within the United States that far exceeds the proportion of those individuals in the relevant labour market.
For example, from January 2014 to October 2018, Happiest Minds hired 52 individuals in the US, 29 of whom (56 per cent) are South Asian and 26 (50 per cent) of whom are visa-dependent.
The lawsuit alleges that because of its discriminatory preference for South Asians and Indians, Happiest Minds terminates non-South Asians and non-Indians at disproportionately high rates, compared to South Asians and Indians.
Non-South Asians and non-Indians assigned to projects and those working in sales roles are terminated at substantially higher rates than South Asian and Indians, it alleged.
The lawsuit seeks an order from the court, asking Happiest Minds to adopt a non-discriminatory method for hiring, firing and other employment-related decisions.
It also seeks an unspecified damages from the IT company. -- PTI
08:32 US media's J-K coverage one-sided: Indian envoy:
Some sections of the American media, especially the liberal media, is focussed on a perspective on Kashmir that has being 'pushed forward' by those who are 'inimical' to India's interest, India's ambassador to the United States has said.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla said New Delhi's move to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month and bifurcate it into Union territories was done for the 'benefit' of the people.
In an interview to PTI, the top Indian diplomat called Article 370, which gave special status to the state, an 'anachronistic provision' that was 'stifling the economy and encouraging the inflow of Pakistani terrorism'.
"Unfortunately, some of the media in the United States -- particularly the liberal media -- have, for reasons of their own, chosen not to provide this perspective, which is very important," Shringla said.
"Instead (they have) focused on a perspective that has been pushed forward by those who are inimical to our interest."
Shringla said he and the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC had started a massive outreach to the members of the Congress, senators and the think-tank community about the factual positions on India.
According to the Indian ambassador, the recent changes in Kashmir would bring change for the better and in the interests of the residents of Jammu and Kashmir. It will help them get rights that have been 'denied to them for many decades'.
"That is the point of view that we are trying to bring across," said Shringla, who had posted a lengthy video on YouTube last week to reflect on the 'real reasons' for changes in the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
"As we go along, this perspective -- with the restoration of services, more than 90 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir being free of any restrictions without any violence, without any shot being fired -- are important signals to the international community that a lot is being done in a manner that is in the best interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said. -- PTI
00:40 Baldev Kumar free to live wherever he wants: PTI:
A minister in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has no objection to former party member and parliamentarian Baldev Kumar seeking political asylum in India.
Kumar (43), along with his wife and two children, came to India last month. They are presently staying at Khanna in Punjab's Ludhiana district. Kumar said he left Pakistan as minorities "were deprived of their rights there".
Speaking to the media, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Ali Yusafzai said Kumar is free to live wherever he wants.
Kumar has served Pakistan's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party as the president of Swat distrct in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for three years.
Yusafzai said Kumar has no connection with the PTI as his party membership had been suspended over alleged role in the assassination of Sardar Soran Singh, the special assistant to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister from 2013 to 2018.
Yusafzai dismissed Kumar's comments made in India about injustices meted out to minority groups in Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, Kumar told reporters in Ludhiana that terrorism is gets support in Pakistan and even Muslims are not safe in the country.
"When Muslims are not secure there, how can the people like me be secure?" the Sikh leader said. PTI
00:19 Pawar meets Sonia over seat-sharing arrangement:
Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in New Delhi on Tuesday and is learnt to have discussed the seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties for the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections.
The Congress and the NCP have already decided to contest the polls together.
The two parties had contested the assembly polls in 2014 separately, but got together in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and contested the seats as part of a coalition.
Leaders of the two parties in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday held deliberations on selection of candidates.
While the Congress screening committee for Maharashtra met in Delhi under the chairmanship of Jyotiraditya Scindia and discussed candidates for the assembly polls, Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat and NCP's Ajit Pawar held separate talks in Mumbai over seat-sharing arrangement, sources said.
Top sources in the party said out of the total 288 seats of the legislative assembly where elections are held directly, the two parties have held talks on seat-sharing and candidates for over 240 seats.
Pawar, the sources said, is learnt to have given a final shape to the broad seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties for the Maharashtra Assembly polls slated to held in October, but detailed discussions will continue for the next few days before a final tie-up plan is laid out.
Sources point out that leaders of both the parties are going by the winnability factor and are holding deliberations on the best available candidate.
Over the past few weeks, state leaders of the two parties have met several times to discuss the matter.
Pawar also attended a 'Shradhanjali Sabha' held in the memory of former Union minister Arun Jaitley in Jawaharlal Stadium. -- PTI