Wed, 18 September 2019
Pak orders probe into Hindu girl's death

Timeline  Refresh

23:39   Pak orders probe into Hindu girl's death
Pakistani authorities on Wednesday ordered a judicial probe within 30 days into the death of a Hindu dental college student in Sindh province after her family claimed that the girl was murdered, according to a media report.

Namrita Chandni, a final-year student of Bibi Asifa Dental College in Larkana district and a social activist, was found lying on a cot by her friends on Monday with a rope tied to her neck.

Her room was locked from inside.

Police is yet to ascertain whether the girl committed suicide or was murdered.

The Sindh government on Wednesday asked the sessions court of Larkana to hold a judicial probe into the death of Chandni, the Dawn News reported.

"Section Officer Aijaz Ali Bhatti wrote a letter to the district and sessions judge of Larkana, requesting that a judicial inquiry be held in the matter and submit a report to the home department within 30 days so that further action can be taken," it said.

Chandni's family has refuted earlier reports that she committed suicide and demanded a 'transparent investigation' into the circumstances of her death.

Her brother Dr Vishal, a medical consultant in Dow Medical College in Karachi, told the media here that the marks around her neck suggested that she had not committed suicide.

He further claimed that the marks on her neck looked like those made by cable wires, while the wounds on her arms suggested that someone was holding her down, the report said.

Chandni belonged to Ghotki, the district which was in the news since Sunday after three cases against 218 rioters were filed for vandalising properties, including a Hindu temple.

Widespread protests erupted in Ghotki on Sunday after an FIR was filed against the principal of Sindh Public School on the complaint of a student's father who claimed that the teacher had committed blasphemy by his anti-Islam remarks.  -- PTI
22:35   SC gets four new judges
Four new judges were on Wednesday appointed to the Supreme Court, taking its strength to 34, the highest-ever.

According to separate Law Ministry notifications, justices Krishna Murari, SR Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Hrishikesh Roy have been appointed as judges of the top court.  -- PTI
22:09   'Howdy economy...Ain't too good': Rahul jabs PM
The Congress on Wednesday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Howdy Modi' event in the United States that will be attended by United States President Donald Trump, saying investors do not come by sponsoring events abroad.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Modi's event by raising the issue of the state of the economy and said it seems that it is not in good shape.

He took to Twitter to say this ahead of Modi's visit to the United States, where he will address Indian Americans at the 'Howdy Modi' event.

US President Donald Trump will join Modi at the event in Houston.

"'Howdy' economy doin', Mr Modi? Ain't too good it seems," he said on Twitter, using the hashtag 'HowdyEconomy'.

He also cited a media report claiming that shares worth $ 4.5 billion have been sold by international investors.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attacked the government over the state of the economy, saying the confidence of investors is 'shaken' but the Modi dispensation is refusing to acknowledge the truth.

The Congress general secretary also cited a media report which claimed that after pouring $ 45 billion into India's stock market over the past six years on hopes that Modi would unleash the country's economic potential, international money managers have sold $ 4.5 billion of Indian shares since June.

"By showing glitter, saying 5 trillion, 5 trillion, everyday or by doing media's headline management, economy cannot be improved. Investors do not come by sponsoring events abroad," Priyanka said in an apparent dig at Prime Minister Modi's upcoming diaspora event in Houston.

The confidence of investors is 'shaken' and the foundation of economic investment has 'cracked', she said in a tweet in Hindi with the hashtag 'BJP bad for business'.

"But the BJP government is refusing to acknowledge this truth. This slowdown is a speed breaker in the direction of becoming an economic superpower. Without improving this situation, all other razzmatazz is useless," Priyanka said in another tweet.

She has been relentlessly attacking the government over the issue of economy in the last few days and demanding answers from the government over the economic slowdown.

The Congress has been attacking the Modi government over the slowdown in the economy and has criticised it for its economic policies.  -- PTI
21:22   Court orders inquiry into Savarkar's grandson's complaint against Rahul, Sonia
A Mumbai court has asked the police to conduct an inquiry into a complaint of defamation against Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and the party for allegedly calling Veer Savarkar a 'traitor' in 2016.

The complaint was filed by Ranjit Savarkar, grandson of the Hindutva ideologue, in Bhoiwada magistrate's court.

It named Rahul Gandhi, his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and the Congress party for allegedly defaming his grand-father Vinayak Damodar Savarkar on Twitter.

'On March 5, 22 and 23, 2016, the official Twitter account of the Congress....published four tweets in pictorial forms, along with comments, calling Savarkar a traitor,' the complaint said.

The tweets also stated that Savarkar had begged for mercy from the British government (when he was lodged in Cellular Jail in Andaman) and he wanted to be a slave of the British Raj, the complaint alleged.

Rahul Gandhi and his party, thus, tried to 'lower the moral and intellectual character' of the freedom fighter, Ranjit Savarkar said in the plaint.

The court, in order on July 9, directed Shivaji Parkpolice station to conduct an inquiry and submit a report.

"Concerned police station to conduct inquiry under Section 202 of Code of Criminal Procedure and submit report," the court said.

Ranjit Savarkar said he came to know about the court order only on Tuesday.

The inquiry under Section 202 of Code of Criminal Procedure is ordered for 'the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding' on a complaint.

Rahul Gandhi is already facing number of defamation cases, including two in Mumbai.

In one case, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker has dragged him to court for allegedly linking the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh to ideology of the RSS and Bharatiya Janata Party, while the other case is about his remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal.   -- PTI
21:13   AP boat mishap: Toll hits 34; 13 more missing
Six more bodies of those killed in the boat accident in river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh were retrieved on Wednesday, taking the toll to 34, with 13 more people still reported missing.

Of the 34 deceased, as many as 23 were men, eight women and three children, the State Disaster Management Authority said in its latest situation report.

The boat was carrying 73 people, including eight crew, to a tourist spot when it capsized in the swollen river on Sunday afternoon.

A total of 26 passengers survived the tragedy.

Two experts from Marine Masters Company, Mumbai, have been engaged to retrieve the ill-fated boat that was found stuck at a depth of 210 feet in the river at the accident spot at Kachhuluru in East Godavari district, about 200 km from Amaravati, the SDMA said.

The missing persons are feared trapped inside the sunk boat. Expert divers from the Indian Navy, specialist deep divers from Uttarakhand, National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force and Fire Services personnel of the state government were engaged in the search operation.

The SDMA said post-mortem had been completed on all 34 bodies and they were handed over to the relatives.

The boat 'Royal Vasishta' was on its way to the picturesque Papikondalu tourist spot in the middle of the river when it met with the accident, apparently on colliding with a large rock formation.  -- PTI
20:41   Computer hardware missing from aircraft carrier; SIT launches probe
Some computer hardware has gone missing from the country's first indigenous aircraft carrier being built in the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) in Kochi and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has launched a probe into the matter, police said.

The SIT launched the probeon a complaint regarding the missing hardware, even as the Kochi police commissioner is monitoring the investigation.

The CSL, however, said the theft has 'no strategic implication'.

"Although reported missing from the carrier, the hardware does not form part of the equipment of the vessel," they said.

The incident was reported from the high security zone of the CSL, where the prestigious warship was being built.

"However, considering the seriousness of the incident,which occurred in the high security zone, we have formed a special investigation team headed by ACP crime branch.

"The probe is being monitored by Kochi Police Commissioner Vijay Sakhare," a top official told PTI.

The CSL authorities had lodged the complaint with the Ernakulam South police earlier this week.

The officials were unaware of the time and date of the alleged theft.

A CSL spokesperson said the theft has 'no strategic implication'.

"Some electronic items were stolen from one of the vessels which is under construction. There is no strategic implication," she told PTI.

When contacted, a defence spokesperson declined to comment, saying the matter does not come under the purview of the Navy.

The indigenous aircraft carrier, which is in an advanced stage of testing of systems, is expected to begin sea trials in 2020.   -- PTI
20:11   Pak refuses to open airspace for Modi's flight
Pakistan has refused India's request to open airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pak media reports.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, "We have conveyed to the Indian High Commission that we will not allow use of our air space for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flight."  -- PTI/ANI
19:09   Trump names new NSA
United States President, Donald Trump: 'I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C O'Brien, currently serving as very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at State Department, as our new National Security Advisor.'

Last week, Trump had fired his National Security Advisor John Bolton, saying he 'disagreed strongly' with many of his suggestions. -- ANI
19:02   DMK defers protest after Shah's clarification
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin: "Our statewide protest against imposition of Hindi has been postponed after Union Minister Amit Shah has given his clarification on the matter.

"DMK we will continue to oppose Hindi imposition."  -- ANI
18:35   TN Cong must join DMK protest against Hindi imposition: Chidambaram
Amid controversy over Union Home Minister Amit Shah's call to culturally unify India with Hindi as its national language, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, currently lodged in Tihar jail, on Wednesday urged Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri to join the protest organised by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to oppose the imposition of Hindi.

Asking his family to tweet on his behalf, Chidambaram said: 'I urge the TNCC president KS Alagiri to ask all Congress workers to join the state-wide protest announced by the DMK on September 20 to oppose the imposition of Hindi.'

'A dangerous idea that Hindi alone can unite the people of this country has been floated. The Tamil people, as well as all others who speak other languages, will never allow the imposition of Hindi,' Chidambaram's second tweet read.

Earlier, Shah's comment on making Hindi as its national language triggered a row when some opposition leaders trained guns on him demanding to reconsider his appeal as it "poses a danger to the national unity.  -- ANI
18:19   Rajnath approves project on writing history of India's borders
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a first-of-its-kind project under which the history of the country's borders will be written, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

Singh held a meeting with officials of the Indian Council of Historical Research, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the Directorate General of Archives, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Defence here on Tuesday in this regard.

The project will cover various aspects, including the tracing, making, unmaking and shifting of borders, the role of the security forces, of the borderland people, encompassing their ethnicity, culture and the socio-economic aspects of their lives.

The project is expected to be completed within two years.

"The defence minister emphasised the importance of writing the history of the Indian borders, reiterating that it would provide a better understanding of the borders to the public in general and officials in particular," a statement issued by the ministry said.

Singh also welcomed various suggestions and directed the officials to consult experts on the source material, broad contours, methodology and action plan required for completing the project expeditiously, the statement added.  -- PTI
18:06   Never asked for imposing Hindi, says Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah says he 'never asked for imposing Hindi over other regional languages'.

"I had only requested for learning Hindi as the second language after one's mother tongue.

"I myself come from a non-Hindi state of Gujarat. If some people want to do politics, its their choice," Shah said.

On September 14, Hindi Diwas, Shah pitched for a common language for the country and said it is Hindi which is spoken the most and can unite the whole country.

'India has many languages and every language has its importance. But it is absolutely necessary that the entire country should have one language that becomes India's identity globally,' he said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

His remarks sparked protests by political parties in Tamil Nadu, including Bharatiya Janata Party ally All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also said that Kannada is the principal language in the state and its importance would never be compromised.   -- with ANI inputs
17:31   Delhi court defers hearing on Shivakumar's bail plea
A Delhi court deferred till Thursday the hearing on the bail plea of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar, arrested in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate.

Special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar on Wednesday posted the matter for hearing on September 19 at 3 pm after the ED sought adjournment.

The agency told the court that Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj was not available so the matter be posted for Thursday.

Shivakumar was on Tuesday sent to a 14-day judicial custody till October 1.

The sitting MLA from Kanakapura assembly seat is in ED custody since his arrest on September 3.  -- PTI
17:08   Mamata meets PM Modi in New Delhi
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today.

This is her first meeting with the PM after general elections 2019.

Yesterday, she describing her scheduled meeting with PM as a 'courtesy' one, and said she would highlight various issues like funds that are due to the state during her talk with the PM.

Details of the meeting are awaited.   -- ANI/PTI
16:40   Abdullah not arrested in last 35 days: Javadekar
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah was not arrested in the last 35 days, said Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday.

Replying to a query, Javadekar told mediapersons, "You are right in stating that Farooq Abdullah was arrested the day before yesterday under this law (Public Safety Act). This means that he was not arrested in the last 35 days."

On September 16, Abdullah was booked under the stringent PSA.Reports of the NC leader being booked under the PSA came on Monday when the Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir administration on a petition seeking his release from detention.

PSA is a stringent law that enables detention without trial for up to two years. -- ANI
16:31   Sensex rises 83 points; energy, metal stocks climb
Market benchmark BSE Sensex rose 83 points on Wednesday, led by gains in energy, metal and power stocks as global crude oil prices eased and rupee recovered against the dollar.

After a rangebound session, the 30-share index ended 82.79 points, or 0.23 per cent, higher at 36,563.88. The index hit an intra-day high of 36,712.99 and a low of 36,465.92. 

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 23.05 points, or 0.21 per cent, up at 10,840.65. Top gainers in the Sensex pack included Tata Steel, Vedanta, SBI, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance, Asian Paints, M&M, NTPC and PowerGrid, rising up to 3.95 per cent. On the other hand, ONGC, Yes Bank, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharma and Maruti fell up to 2.08 per cent. 

After plunging over 2 per cent in the past two sessions, equities took a breather as oil prices cooled after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said that more than half of the country's daily crude oil production, that was knocked out by the drone attack, has been recovered. He also assured that production capacity at its targeted plants would be fully restored by the end of the month. -- PTI
16:15   A Pakistan inside the very heart of India
"The most dangerous enemy that has been created in the Indian psyche over the decades is Pakistan. For successive Indian governments, Pakistan, touted as the most dangerous enemy, has actually been a trusted friend. This is especially true when the economy is doing badly because the anti-Pakistan sentiment helps deflect public attention.

"Pakistan has often been criticized for being slow in terms of development when compared to other Asian countries. An analysis of underdeveloped countries of the world shows that Pakistan is similar to African nations like Benin, Niger and Ethiopia than it is to socially developed neighbours like Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Burma."

Read the column by Kabir Rana here. 
16:04   Heavy rain alert in Mumbai from Sept 19-21
Heavy rainfall today and extremely heavy rainfall warning in Mumbai city and suburbs for the next 24 hours issued by IMD. The BMC has requested Mumbaikars to avoid venturing around the sea and into water-logged areas. "Please take care and be careful. For any assistance #Dial1916," the BMC tweet says. 

In fact, the India Meteorological Department had issued a red alert yesterday for a heavy rainfall from 19 to 21 September in Mumbai and suburban Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts.

File pic
15:30   Govt announces bonus for rail workers
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar who was also at the press briefing on Cabinet decisions announced a bonus for 11 lakh railway employees. "This govt has consistently for the last six years being giving record bonus, equivalent to the wage of 78 days. This year also, 11,52,000 employees will get 78 days wage as bonus. This is the reward for productivity," 
15:30   Govt bans E-cigarettes
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces that the Union Cabinet has given approval to ban e-cigarettes. It means the production, manufacturing, import/export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertising related to e-cigarettes are banned. 

The government says data shows there is a 77 per cent increase in the use of E-cigarettes among young adults. 

"Reports say that there are some who are probably getting into the habit of e-cigarettes as it seems cool. It is believed that there are more than 400 brands, none of which is manufactured yet in India. And they come in over 150 flavours," she said.
15:04   PM showed Pak its place by scrapping Art 370: HM
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed Pakistan its place by abrogating Article 370 and 35A. Shah also said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi should clarify whether he is in favour of the Centre's decision on Article 370.

"By abrogating Article 370, Modiji (Narendra Modi) showed Pakistan its place, and established that Kashmir is an integral part of India," he said in Jharkhand, addressing a public meeting after launching the BJP's 'Johar Jan Ashirwad Yatra'.

"Rahul Gandhi should tell the people of Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Haryana, when he goes to these states, whether he was with the decision to abrogate Article 370," the BJP president added. Assembly elections are due in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Haryana this year. -- PTI
15:02   Ambani raises stake in Reliance Industries to 48.87 pc
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani has raised promoter stake in flagship Reliance Industries by 2.71 per cent to 48.87 per cent, according to regulatory filing by the company. Reliance Services and Holdings Ltd, controlled by promoter group firm Petroleum Trust, acquired 17.18 crore shares or 2.71 per cent stake in Reliance on September 13, it said. 

The acquisition was pursuant to a scheme of arrangement not directly involving Reliance, the filing said without giving details. Ambani and his private firms held 47.29 per cent stake as on June 30, 2019 in India's second-most valuable company.

As on June 30, FIIs held 24.4 per cent stake in the firm, mutual funds had 4.56 per cent and insurance companies 7.1 per cent. The remaining share was with public. -- PTI
14:09   India asks Pak to allow use of air space for PM's flight to US
India has formally requested Pakistan to allow use of its air space for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flight to New York, US. Pakistan to respond after consultations, reports Pakistani media. Pakistan has closed its airspace to India in the aftermath of the abrogation Article 370. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is flying to the US on September 21. The following day, he and US President Donald Trump will be jointly addressing 'Howdy, Modi', a rally in Houston for which over 50,000 Indian-Americans have registered. 

The White House has confirmed President Donald Trump's participation at the event that is being organized by the Indian diaspora. 

The Houston event will be Modi's third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the prime minister in 2014 and the first after his re-election in May.

Modi will then visit New York from September 23, where he will address the 2019 Climate Action Summit hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He will return home on September 27.
13:56   Sitharaman, Javadekar press briefing today
Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Prakash Javadekar to hold a press briefing at 3 pm today on Cabinet decisions. Stay with us. 
13:46   Terrorists seal shops, paste 'LW' posters in J-K
Incidents of terrorists sealing shops and posters, both handwritten and typed, being pasted in markets, mosques and other areas with do and don't diktats have become a regular feature in Kashmir Valley, say officials. 

There have also been instances of armed militants walking into shops to warn owners to keep shutters down and barging into Jammu and Kashmir Bank branches in south Kashmir to ask employees to stay away from work, they said. 

Jammu and Kashmir Police has officially kept mum with no one willing to come on record, but officials said on condition of anonymity that the situation could be slipping out of their hands. 

Two shops in Modrigam village in south Kashmir's Kulgam district were recently sealed by adhesive tapes with a seal of the banned terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, sending shock waves in the area. And it is not just about a far-flung village or one terror group, officials said. 

In Karan Nagar market in Srinagar's Civil Lines area, the words 'LW' were emblazoned on two shops followed by an insignia of the Hizbul Mujahideen. 

Police deciphered 'LW' to mean 'last warning' as the two shops had defied the militants, officials said. "We want to open markets but who will guarantee our security when we return home. We have held talks with senior police officials privately but no solution to our problems is forthcoming," said a shopkeeper who did not want to be identified. It's a common refrain in the Valley, which has been under virtual lockdown since August 5, when the Centre announced the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and the bifurcation of the state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. -- PTI 
13:15   Rajnath Singh gives approval for writing history of India's borders
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh gave his nod for initiating the work of writing the history of the country's borders which is expected to be completed within two years.

His approval came following a meeting Singh had with eminent experts including members of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Directorate General of Archives, and officials of Home, External Affairs and Defence ministries.

It is proposed that history of borders will cover various aspects of borders including tracing its making, making and unmaking, shifting of borders, the role of security forces, the role of borderland people encompassing their ethnicity, culture and socio-economic aspects.

India shares land borders with seven countries including Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan and maritime borders with Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia.India's border with Pakistan is considered fragile with replete incidences of cross-border infiltration and ceasefire violations. 

While Line Of Control (LOC) separates India and Pakistan, Line of Actual Control (LAC) demarcates India's border with China. -- ANI
13:01   Don't impose Hindi, says Rajini
Superstar Rajinikanth on Wednesday said the concept of a common langauge in India was not possible and asserted any attempts of Hindi imposition will not be only be resisted by southern states, but even many in the North.
The actor's remarks came in response to Union home minister Amit Shah's recent pitch for Hindi as a common language.
The superstar  said Hindi should not be imposed as the concept of a common language was "unfortunately" not possible in the country.
"A common language not just for India but any country is good for its unity and progress. Unfortunately, (one cannot) bring a common language in our country. So you cannot impose any language," he told reporters at the airport in Chennai.
"Especially, if you impose Hindi, not just Tamil Nadu, no southern state will accept that. Many states in northern parts will also not accept that," he said. -- PTI  
12:44   Pak launch pads 100 m from LoC, warns Army
Pakistan continues to push terrorists into India and has increased terror activities in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) even as the FATF's sword hangs on its head.In a video accessed by ANI, it can be clearly seen that Pakistani troops or terrorists backed by Islamabad attempted BAT action and were immediately eliminated.

"Post Article 370 abrogation, numbers of launch pads have been activated by the Pakistani Army close to our own posts along the Line of Control and these are only a few hundred meters to 2 km from the LoC," Indian Army sources said.

"These launch pads in the areas facing Gurez, Machchal, Keran, Tangdhar, Uri, Poonch, Naushera, Sunderbani, RS Pura, Ramgarh, Kathua harbor more than 250 terrorists," they said.

Army sources said a communication centre has been activated in the Kalighati area since early August to coordinate and facilitate infiltration.

"It is also emerging that the recruitment of terrorists in Pakistan's Punjab has commenced. Daura-e-Aam of LeT and JeM have also begun their training. These training activities are being conducted in Muzaffarabad-Manshera-Kotli clusters," the sources said.While commenting on growing activities of the LeT and Jaish in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir region, the sources said that proscribed terrorists Hafeez Sayed and Maulana Masood Azhar are back in game and fully duly supported by the Pakistan Army. -- ANI
12:38   Farooq Abdullah's daughter issues appeal
Farooq Abdullah's daughter Hinna Abdullah has issued a public appeal to authorities to allow her elder sister Safiya to meet her father, saying Safiya alone has been helping him meet all his medication needs.

The 81-year-old former chief minister and Srinagar MP was booked under the draconian Public Safety Act on Monday, six weeks after he was put under house arrest at his Gupkar residence in Srinagar. The house has been designated as a sub-jail for his detention.

Farooq's second daughter Hinna, who lives abroad, is the only member of the Abdullah family who has so far publicly reacted to the family's troubles after the revocation of special status.

Hinna tweeted: "Please don't believe any reports about Farooq Abdullah being allowed to have visitors. Even my sister, who lives next door, is not able to see him. And she is the one who helps with all his daily medication needs'. At least allow his daughter to see him.'  -- The Telegraph.
12:25   Only Mahatma Gandhi is father of nation, says Kharge
Hitting out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' wife Amruta on her recent remark of calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi as father of the country, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday said that only Mahatma Gandhi can be given the title of 'Father of the nation'.

"Mahatma Gandhi is the only father of Nation. Just for popularity, they give such statements. If they want to consider Prime Minister Modi as their father of Nation, let them," Kharge said. 

On Tuesday, Amruta Fadnavis wished Modi on his birthday and called him "Father of our country"."Wishing the Father of our country Narendra Modi Ji a very Happy Birthday - who inspires us to work relentlessly towards the betterment of the society", Amruta Fadnavis tweeted. -- ANI
12:14   Over 75 pc Indians feel working for one employer for entire career is 'old-fashioned': Survey
Over 75 per cent Indians believe that the notion of working for one employer your entire career is "old-fashioned" and so is the traditional retirement, according to a survey. Twenty-five per cent Indians would want a second innings post-retirement in a career they love, it said. The survey also pointed out that 84 per cent Indians ended up choosing a career based on what they majored in but 31 per cent ended up switching careers eventually. 

According to the survey, 78 per cent Indians believe that students today have technology to support their learning and make it easier and more fun. There is a strong belief (74-79 per cent) that smart devices will play a greater role in learning, virtual learning will become more common, print textbooks will become obsolete and YouTube will become a primary learning tool.

More than 11,000 people from across 19 countries, including over 1,000 Indians in the age group of 16 to 70, participated in the Pearson Global Survey. At least 22 per cent indicated that a formal education is good, but not necessary; 22 per cent said formal education is not relevant today as one can be successful without it, the survey report said. -- PTI
12:12   Vinesh wins wrestling quota for 2020 Olympics
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat won India its first wrestling quota at the 2020 Olympics afte beating former world silver medallist Sarah Ann Hildebrandt of the USA in the women 53kg at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday. She won the contest 8-2.With this win, she also reached the brozne medal match at the world championships.
12:03   Amul on the Mumbai rain
Amul's take on the relentless rains in Mumbai. 

For those not from Mumbai, the words Lai Bhaarish is a pun on the Marathi blockbuster film, Lai Bhaari, which roughly translated means 'darn good', but in this context means 'Plentiful'.
11:51   Ramsay 'Brother' Shyam Ramsay dies in Mumbai hospital
Shyam Ramsay, one of the seven Ramsay Brothers known for cult horror films such as Puraani Haveli" and "Tahkhaana", died in a hospital here on Wednesday, his family said. He was 67. Shyam Ramsay died of pneumonia on Wednesday morning at a city-based hospital. "He was hospitalised today morning as he was not feeling well so family members got him hospitalised. He passed away in hospital due to pneumonia," a relative told PTI. 

He is survived by two daughters Sasha and Namrata. Shyam Ramsay was one of the seven Ramsay Brothers, who for the longest time ruled the horror genre in Indian cinema with low-budget movies in the 1970s and 1980s. The films were widely popular for their unique mix of horror and erotica. Shyam Ramsay was considered the brain behind the group. He directed films such as "Darwaza", "Purana Mandir", "Veerana" and "The Zee Horror Show". PTI
11:47   What Farooq Abdullah wants for Kashmir
Anyone who doubts that Dr Farooq Abdullah -- who the Government of India has detained under the Public Security Act -- is a vociferous supporter of Kashmir's accession with India must watch this video recorded during the memorial for the late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee or this one.

Image: Vehicles stopped at Gupkar Road in Srinagar which has residences of former CMs -- Mehbooba Mufti and the Abdullahs. Pic: Umar Ganie     
11:44   Army recruitment drive in Kashmir Valley on Oct 3, 4
The Army will organise recruitment rallies to select recruits for 2780 vacant posts in the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry regiment on October 3 and 4.Rallies would be conducted by Army Recruiting Office at Jammu and Srinagar and at JAK LI regimental centre to select the recruits. SL Sharma, Commandant, JAK LI Recruitment centre Srinagar said: 

Last week Lt General KJS Dhillon informed that a fresh army recruitment drive in Kashmir Valley will take place on October 3 and 4. Prior to that, 15 days of training will be imparted so that the boys can compete and get recruited, he had said.
11:26   Trump to give 'special treatment' to Oz PM too
Prime Minister Narendra D Modi will not be the only world leader to be given special treatment from Donald J Trump this weekend. On September 22, the day he travels to Houston to attend the Howdy Modi event with the pradhan sevak, Trump will also appear in Ohio later that day with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

In Wapakoneta, Ohio, Trump and Morrison will tour an Australian-owned manufacturing plant. A couple of days before they meet up in Ohio, on Friday, September 20, Trump will host Morrison and his wife Jenny at a White House state dinner.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel meet former finance minister P Chidambaram at Tihar Jail: Sources.
11:20   SC: Arguments in Ayodhya should end by Oct 18
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that if parties to the Ram-Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid land dispute case want to amicably resolve the matter through mediation, they can still go ahead with it.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it has received a letter from former Supreme Court judge F M I Kalifulla, who was heading the three-member mediation panel, saying some parties have written to him for resumption of the mediation process.

The bench said the day-to-day proceedings in the land dispute case have reached "an advanced stage" and will continue.

The court, however, said the mediation process under the chairmanship of Justice Kalifulla can still continue and proceedings before it will remain confidential. 

Ranjan Gogoi said, "As per the estimate of tentative dates to finish the hearing in the case, we can say that the submissions have to be likely completed by October 18." The court said it was ready to hear the arguments on Saturday.  -- PTI
11:10   Big News: India-US trade breakthrough
"US and Indian officials are nearing a trade negotiation breakthrough, according to multiple administration officials and industry insiders familiar with the talks, hoping to unveil at least a preliminary agreement during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit this week," the Washington Examiner newspaper has revealed.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizers team, the Examiner reported, 'is racing to conclude discussions about the preliminary agreement over the course of this week.'

'The framework could set the table for a finalized agreement in November, when Trump may visit New Delhi,' the Examiner stated.

You can read more of that story here 
11:08   MNS leader slams Amitabh for supporting metro construction
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Akhil Chitre on Wednesday slammed megastar Amitabh Bachchan for joining the chorus of voices lobbying for the construction of the metro in Mumbai by cutting trees.

Speaking to ANI, Chitre said, "In 2010, Amitabh Bachchan was opposing the metro just because his privacy was getting hampered. But, within a few years, after the change of the government, his views changed. I do not know what deal he has done with the current government. His views may also have changed because of the change of route of the metro. It is very sad when people across Mumbai are protesting against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest, he is tweeting in favour of metro construction there." 

On Tuesday, Bachchan took to Twitter and called metro as a faster, convenient and efficient mode of transport and suggested that metro is the solution to combat the menace of air pollution."Friend of mine had a medical emergency, decided to take METRO instead of his car .. came back very impressed .. said was faster, convenient and most efficient .. Solution for Pollution ...Grow more trees .. I did in my garden .. have you," the Bollywood actor tweeted.
10:52   Development not at cost of citizens: Aaditya
Asserting that development should not be at the cost of citizens and environment, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray has said his party opposed the Nanar refinery project in Maharashtra as "sons of the soil" were against it.

The proposed Rs 3 lakh crore refinery at Nanar in the state's Ratnagiri district was scrapped earlier this year after the Sena put up a stiff resistance.

Justifying his party's opposition to the project, Thackeray said its proposed location would have adversely affect the environment. "Wherever else it is suitable and does not affect the environment and locals welcome it, the Sena will never oppose it. The Sena is not against development, but not at the cost of citizens. We are against the Nanar project as 'sons of the soil' are opposed to it," he said.

Incidentally, Thackeray has been quite vocal against the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees to make way for a Metro car shed in Aarey Colony of Mumbai. Environmentalists and activists are also opposing the Metro car shed project and have been demanding its relocation. 

The Yuva Sena chief, who is the son of Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, was talking to reporters here on Tuesday night on the sidelines of his 'Jan Ashirward Yatra', a public outreach programme, ahead of the upcoming state polls.   -- PTI
10:35   'The Devil Wears Prada' to have musical adaptation with score by Elton John
And while on music and culture,  The stage musical adaptation of 'The Devil Wears Prada' is set to debut this summer at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago.Singer John Elton will provide the music for the upcoming musical with lyrics from singer-songwriter Shaina Taub, reported E! News.

The production is set to be directed by Anna D. Shapiro. It will also feature a book from Paul Rudnik.

Producer Kevin McCollum confirmed the news to the Chicago Tribune, stating that it was "important" for director Shapiro "that we premiere in Chicago.

"However, he did not comment about a future move to Broadway in New York City.The musical adaptation is based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger and the 2006 movie starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anne Hathaway.  -- ANI

Image: The 2006 movie starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anne Hathaway.
10:31   Army chief at Badrinath
Uttarakhand: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat with his wife Madhulika Rawat visited the Kedarnath Temple today. The Army Chief is also scheduled to visit Badrinath.
10:30   U2 to perform maiden show in India on Dec 15
Rock band U2 is coming to India in December for their first-ever show in the country, the music group announced Wednesday.  The Irish rockers will close 'The Joshua Tree Tour 2019', in honour of their 1987 album, in Mumbai on December 15 at DY Patil Stadium. In a statement on U2's official website, band's drummer Larry Mullen said Mumbai is the "perfect city" to end the tour.

"Very excited to see you there," Mullen added. Bassist Adam Clayton said the group is looking forward to bringing a dash of Dublin to India.

"A country famous for its rich culture of art, music, movies, theatre, literature, food and so much more. There is a lot of excitement in the U2 camp," Clayton said.

Guitarist The Edge added, "We have been around the world with 'The Joshua Tree'. And we can't think of a better place to celebrate the end of this tour. Mumbai, India, we're coming for you, I hope you're ready!"   Frontman Bono, too, was in high spirits. "Mumbai. Lets rock the house..." he said. 

'The Joshua Tree Tour 2019' kicks off in Auckland on November 8 and will visit Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, before moving on to Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Manila and finishing up in Mumbai.  Tickets for the concert are available on

Image: U2 guitarist The Edge 
10:24   Rupee rises 35 paise to 71.43 against USD in early trade
The Indian rupee appreciated by 35 paise to 71.43 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday as gains in domestic equity market and easing crude prices strengthened investor sentiments. Forex traders said reports that half of Saudi Arabia's daily production has been recovered post-attack enthused investors. Saudi Arabia's energy minister has said that more than half of the country's daily crude oil production that was knocked out by an attack had been recovered. He further noted that the production capacity at its targeted plants would be fully restored by the end of the month. At the interbank foreign exchange the rupee opened at 71.47 then gained further ground and touched a high of 71.43, registering a rise of 35 paise over its previous close. On Tuesday, rupee had settled for the day at 71.78 against the US dollar. -- PTI
09:56   Sensex rebounds as oil prices cool off
Domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex jumped over 200 points in early session on Wednesday, driven by gains in energy and banking stocks, amid positive global cues. The 30-share index was trading 186.94 points, or 0.51 per cent, higher at 36,668.03 at 0930 hours, while the broader Nifty rose 43.15 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 10,860.75. In the previous session, the BSE barometer plunged 642.22 points, or 1.73 per cent, to 36,481.09, while the Nifty fell 185.90 points, or 1.69 per cent, to 10,817.60. Top gainers in the Sensex pack in early trade included Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries, SBI, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, Vedanta, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech, HDFC and TCS, rising up to 2.10 per cent. 

On the other hand, Maruti, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, HUL, ONGC and ITC fell up to 1.50 per cent. According to experts, market sentiment recovered on positive news on multiple geopolitical fronts like oil prices and US-China trade talks. 

Equity markets took a breather as oil prices cooled off after Saudi Arabia's energy minister said that more than half of the country's daily crude oil production that was knocked out by an attack had been recovered, assuring that production capacity at its targeted plants would be fully restored by the end of the month. 

Further, US President Donald Trump said a trade agreement between the US and China was likely to happen either before or immediately after the American elections. -- PTI
09:42   A long walk for normalcy in Kashmir
It will require political and tactical genius to assuage the hurt feelings of the locals over the denial of their state's privileged status, and then to accommodate the national objectives of integration and development as spelt out by New Delhi, points out Amulya Ganguli. Read more 
09:38   Israeli exit polls show Netanyahu falling short
Has the Benjamin Netanyahu era ended in Israel?

If the exit polls results are to be believed, the country's longest serving Prime Minister will fall short of securing a parliamentary majority and is set to suffer a setback in his quest for a record fifth term in office.
If the exit polls do not go horribly wrong, then there are no clear winners as well.
The right-wing bloc led by Netanyahu is projected to win between 55-57 seats, but his main challenger Benny Gantz's Blue and White party also does not have the possibility of reaching the magical figure of 61 in a 120-member Knesset (Israeli Parliament), making the possibility of a unity government the most likely one.
The Central Elections Commission said that 69.4 per cent of the eligible voters cast ballots in Israel's unprecedented repeat elections on Tuesday, a slightly larger number than those that took part in April's vote.
Avigdor Lieberman, who has earlier served as Foreign and Defence Minister in Netanyahu led government's, has emerged the kingmaker as per the exit polls.
His Yisrael Beteinu party is expected to get between 8 and 10 seats and the ultra-nationalist leader has made it clear that he will back a unity government with or without his party's inclusion.
In an address to his party workers after the polls closed at 10 PM (local time) on Wednesday, Lieberman said that his party would stick to its stand and only support a unity government given that the country faces "an emergency situation both politically and economically".
Yisrael Beteinu had recommended Netanyahu's name to the President for Prime Minister after the April 9 polls, but refused to join a coalition government under him on the question of draft exemption for ultra-orthodox Jews.
The Israeli Prime Minister could not muster a coalition of 61 members without Yisrael Beteinu, leading to an unprecedented repeat polls on Tuesday.
Ultra-orthodox Jews backed parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, were Netanyahu's important coalition partners.
Gantz has also been careful in his post-election address, shying away from declaring victory and has called for unity and national healing.
Netanyahu took to the ruling Likud party stage late on Wednesday, vowing to create a "strong Zionist government" and thwart the formation of a "dangerous anti-Zionist" government.
"We will protect this country," he asserted.
He started by saying, "As you see, I am hoarse", drawing cheers from the crowd, "and as you know, it's better to lose your voice than to lose the country".
"I said the election was hard. That's not the word ....We faced a campaign that was so tilted against us by the biased media, so against us," he said.
"We're still waiting for the results. But one thing is clear, the State of Israel is at a historic turning point. We are facing immense opportunities, and immense challenges... including the existential threat from Iran," Netanyahu emphasised. -- PTI
09:18   People deserve to know the truth about Netaji's death, says Mamata
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that "people deserve to know the truth" about what happened to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose following the air crash in Taiwan.

"On this day in 2015, our Government of #Bangla declassified 64 #NetajiFiles in possession of Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police. What happened to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after the air crash at Taihoku? People deserve to know the truth," Mamata tweeted. 

The mystery surrounding the circumstances of Netaji's death has led to various theories, one of which being that he did not die in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945, as widely believed but escaped to the then Soviet Union. -- ANI
08:55   Trump to deliver major address on religious freedom: White House
United States President Donald Trump will deliver a major address on religious freedom next week in New York in which he will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religious beliefs, the White House has said.
Trump will host and provide keynote remarks at the Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom event on Monday, September 23, at the United Nations Headquarters, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Tuesday.
Vice President Mike Pence will also be in attendance and will introduce President Trump.
"The President will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religion or beliefs and to ensure the sanctity of houses of worship and all public spaces for all faiths," Grisham said.
Trump is working to broaden international support for ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom in the wake of increasing persecution of people on the basis of their beliefs and a growing number of attacks on and destruction of houses of worship by state and non-state actors, the White House official said. -- PTI  
08:38   External extravaganza: Sibal on 'Howdy, Modi'
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should organise 'Howdy Modi!' like events in rural areas of country instead of holding 'external extravaganzas' so that people can share with him 'what they are facing'.

Commenting on the mega event, Howdy Modi! that is scheduled to be organised in Houston, Texas, Sibal told ANI, "If Howdy Modi! is being held out of India then it should take place here as well. Modi should go to the rural areas of this country and have an event like Howdy Modi! and the people of India will tell him what they are facing." He also called it a 'publicity' event which does not lead to any prosperity for the citizens of the country.

"I hope he organises such events here but he holds these external extravaganzas for both internal and external consumption. But I think extravaganzas don't result in prosperity for the ordinary people of this country, such things are okay for publicity" he said.

Further speaking about the current economic situation, Sibal said that the government has destroyed the future of the Indian economy and therefore the future of the citizens has also been destroyed.

"I am really surprised because the first thing that the government must do is to recognise where the problem lies. Unless you do that, you'll not be able to find a solution. The problem all started with demonetisation. The economy was well on its way back with seven to eight per cent growth pattern until demonetisation happened. Demonetisation didn't allow cash transactions to take place, especially in the informal and rural sector," said Sibal.

Earlier on Sunday, the White House had confirmed that the US President will be making a joint appearance with Prime Minister Modi at the Houston event.

The mega event is believed to be one of the largest events to welcome a foreign head of government ever in the history of the United States.

It will mark the first time that the two leaders would meet outside of either capital Washington DC or New York, where the United Nations is headquartered.

Over 50,000 people have already been registered for the event, which will be hosted by the Texas India Forum. -- ANI
00:00   Kashmir won't be major topic during Modi-Xi meet
China on Tuesday said the Kashmir issue may not be a major topic of discussion during the planned second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, notwithstanding the high voltage campaign by its close ally Pakistan over India revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5. Reacting to India's move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

A senior Chinese official said it should be left to Modi and Xi on the issues they would like to discuss.

"As for Kashmir will be on the agenda, I'm not sure because this is kind of informal summit and leaders' meeting I think better we need to give the leaders much time to discuss whatever they would like to discuss," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing.

"For this kind of informal summit, I think it is better to leave the leaders much time to discuss whatever they would like to discuss," she said.

Hua said Kashmir may not be a major topic of discuss between the two leaders.  

China, the all-weather ally of Pakistan, already tried to take the Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council last month. But a closed-door meeting of the UNSC, in a snub to both Beijing and Islamabad, ended without any outcome or statement.

-- PTI