Sat, 01 August 2020
Restaurant menu to show nutritive value of food
21:15 Restaurant menu to show nutritive value of food
Next time you go to a food chain joint to eat, you may be able to calculate the calories taken in the food consumed.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India under its 'Eat Right Initiative' has decided to implement regulations under which a food chain joint will be asked to inform the nutritive value of the food it serves.
The top food regulator is bringing an amendment to labelling regulation in FSSAI Act under which restaurants owners have to declare "serving size the food" and the nutritive value including vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and total calories.
Initially, these regulations are being proposed for Food Business Operators having more than 10 food chain establishments or those FBOs who have a central licence issued by the apex food regulating agency.
"It would be mandatory for big restaurant owners to mention the presence of calorie value (kcal per serving and serving size) in the food items. They have to display it on the menu card or a booklet on the table. FBOs will also be required to display information on calorie requirements. An average active adult requires 2000 Kcal per day," a senior FSSAI official said.
The restaurant owners will also have to tell information about the presence of eight allergens present in the food items - gluten, crustaceans, milk and milk products, eggs, fish and fish products, ground nuts or tree nuts, soybeans and sulfites.
The display of nutritive information will be voluntary until FSSAI comes up with a notification.
"It is for the first time such amendment is being by implemented by FSSAI in respect to cooked food. Our idea is to provide safe and healthy food to people. There is growing consciousness about eating healthy food. These regulations are being done under 'Eat Right Initiative'. For the time being, it will be voluntary for all FBOs. While declaring nutritional information, we are giving them 25 per cent tolerance limit," another senior official from FSSAI said in the know of this development.
These regulations have been developed by a scientific panel of the food regulator and are likely to be notified soon and would then become mandatory for all food chain giants. As of now, only packed food or ready-to-eat food items have nutritional information on the wrapper of the food item.
Some European countries already have the practice in which shops declare the nutritive value of the cooked food being sold by them. -- ANI
20:48 CISF issues fresh social media rules for personnel
The Central Industrial Security Force has issued a set of new social media usage guidelines for its about 1.62 lakh personnel directing them to "disclose" their user IDs on all platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to the organisation, an official order said.
The fresh guidelines issued on July 31 said violators and defaulters of these rules will face "strict legal and disciplinary action".
The two-page guidelines are being issued in view of the "threat posed" by these online platforms to "national security and general discipline of the force", the order issued by the CISF headquarters here said.
The CISF is the national civil aviation security force guarding 63 airports of the country at present along with some of the most critical assets in the aerospace and nuclear domain apart from various government ministries and buildings.
As per the guidelines reviewed by PTI, they were issued as the force noticed instances where social media platforms "were used by the force personnel to share sensitive information about the nation/organisation and to criticise the policies of the government".
The new guidelines has five points to be followed by the CISF staffers:
"Personnel to disclose their user IDs of all social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube being used by them to the department through respective units and formations."
"Incase of any change in user ID or creation of a new one, they must inform it to the department," the guidelines said.
It added that personnel should not use "anonymous or pseudonymous" user IDs and they should not use these online platforms to "criticise the policies of the government on any matter".
"Social media platforms should not be used as a tool to by-pass the chain of command and the proper channel to air their grievances," it said.
Social media usage policy in the force was first brought in 2016 and revised in 2019. -- PTI
20:44 'Conduct IPL in India as UAE is also not safe'
The original petitioner in the IPL spot-fixing case, Aditya Verma, has requested BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to conduct the cash-rich league in India and not the UAE, which is "also not safe" from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IPL is scheduled to start in the UAE on September 19 and although the BCCI is awaiting approval from the central government, in a letter to Ganguly, Verma pointed out why it must be held in India.
"The Dubai Rugby Sevens is a big event in the UAE and they had to postpone it when it was supposed to be held in November. So how can we take IPL to UAE. I have written to Dada (Ganguly) and requested him to have IPL in India," Verma told PTI.
While India's active case count is more than five lakh besides over 36,000 fatalities, Verma still insisted that creating a bio-bubble in a city like Mumbai will be far more easier than having three separate zones in three UAE cities.
"They can at least try their best to do it in Mumbai," Verma suggested.
Wen told that foreign players will be wary of travelling to India compared to Dubai where the case count is less than a lakh, he said that why doesn't the BCCI think of making it a league full of Indian players.
"We have 60 plus foreigners. If they are not willing to come, we can replace them with Indian players," the secretary of the unsanctioned Cricket Association of Bihar said.
"An IPL in India would help to uplift the mood of the common public which is already stressed by COVID-19. If we can hold a successful IPL in India in these times, it will be a huge achievement," he signed off. -- PTI
20:42 Prez remembers Amar Singh as man of many parts
President Ram Nath Kovind condoled the death of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh on Saturday, saying he was a man of many parts and an able parliamentarian.
"Sad to hear of the demise of senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Shri Amar Singh. A man of many parts, Singh was an able parliamentarian. Condolences to his family, friends and well-wishers," Kovind said in a tweet.
Singh (64) died in Singapore, where he was undergoing treatment, on Saturday. -- PTI
20:07 Govt to allow export of indigenous ventilators
The high-level Group of Ministers on COVID-19 has agreed to the health ministry's proposal to allow the export of indigenously made ventilators.
The decision was taken as India continues to maintain a progressively declining low rate of fatality among COVID-19 patients, which currently stands at 2.15 per cent, "which means fewer numbers of active cases are on ventilators", the Union health ministry said in a statement.
As on July 31, only 0.22 per cent of the active cases were on ventilators across the country, it stated.
The health ministry said the GoM's decision has been communicated to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) for further action needed to facilitate the export of indigenously manufactured ventilators.
"Now with the export of ventilators having been allowed, it is hoped that domestic ventilators would be in a position to find new markets in foreign countries," it said, adding that there has been substantial growth in the domestic manufacturing capacity of ventilators.
Compared to January, there are more than 20 domestic manufacturers of ventilators.
A prohibition/restriction on the export of ventilators was imposed in March to ensure domestic availability of the machines to effectively fight COVID-19. All types of ventilators were prohibited for export vide DGFT notification with effect from March 24. -- PTI
20:05 Mevani alleges multi-crore scam in MNREGS in Gujarat village
Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Saturday alleged that a multi-crore scam has surfaced in a village in Banaskantha district of the state, in which bank accounts were opened in the name of around 500 villagers without their knowledge for the transfer of money under the MNREGA scheme, in order to siphon off the funds.
The Independent MLA said that the scam in Balundra village in Amirgadh tehsil came to light after some villagers, who were financially hit due to COVID-19, went to seek work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), but were told that their names were already registered under the scheme.
Mevani alleged that similar scams were taking place in many other villages of Gujarat, including in his constituency Vadgam in Banaskantha district, wherein money was being siphoned off by others although villagers were shown as its beneficiaries.
"Around 500 people never went for MNERGS daily wage jobs in Balundra village. However, they were shown as working. Their job cards were made and bank accounts were opened in their names. Bank passbooks and ATM cards were obtained and money was siphoned off," he told reporters.
"This scam in Balundra has been going on for the last eight to nine years. Some government officials and others swindled over Rs 9 crore to 10 crore by showing villagers as the beneficiaries," he said.
The modus operandi of the fraudsters was that the villagers would be asked to give their signature or thumb impressions saying that they would get the benefit of different government schemes. They would then open the bank accounts in the villagers' names, Mevani alleged.
"The scamsters would then carry out the work allotted under the MNREGS using JCB machines, which would cost a fraction of what needed to be paid to the villagers for their labour," he said.
Stating that he has got the documentary evidence to prove his allegations, Mevani said that he would soon register a complaint with the police in this connection.
"When the villagers went to seek work under the MNREGS but were told that their names already existed as the beneficiaries, they complained about it to authorities. After that their names as workers were deleted from the website. However, it still shows the past records and the payments made in their names," he said.
Gujarat Congress's working president Hardik Patel was also present at the press conference. -- PTI
19:47 Heavy rains likely in Mumbai between Aug 3-5
Mumbai and some other districts in Maharashtra are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall in a few places from August 3 till August 5, said the India Meteorological Department on Saturday.
The places likely to get heavy to very heavy rainfall during this period, apart from Mumbai, are Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli, Beed, Latur and Osmanabad districts.
Places in Nanded, Hingoli, Parbhani, Jalna, Sangli and Aurangabad are likely to receive light to moderate rain till August 5, the IMD forecast added.
As per IMD classification, "heavy to very heavy rainfall" means precipitation ranging from 64.5 mm to 204.4 mm in a period of 24 hours. -- PTI
19:37 SC stays ex-Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Singh's bail
The Supreme Court has stayed the bail granted to former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh in a money laundering case related to alleged misappropriation of funds at Religare Finvest Ltd.
A bench comprising justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavani and Krishna Murari on Friday passed the direction on a plea moved by the Enforcement Directorate against a Delhi High Court judgement granting bail to
The apex court order came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, submitted that the high court did not consider the grounds raised by the agency.
"Until further orders, status quo with respect to release from jail be maintained and impugned judgment (of HC) not to be treated as a precedent for any other case. Reply, if any, be filed in the meantime," the
apex court said.
The high court on July 23 granted bail to Singh, saying it does not perceive any grave threat to the interests of the society or the public at large with his release.
One of the main grounds raised by the ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana before the HC was that Singh smuggled and used a mobile phone while in custody.
The high court had granted the bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs one crore and two sureties by family members of Rs 25 lakh each, while imposing various other bail conditions on him, including that he shall not tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses, directly or indirectly.
The trial court had earlier denied bail to Singh in the matter, after which he approached the HC.
He was arrested in the money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate and in the fraud case by Economic Offence Wing of Delhi police on December 12 and October 10 last year respectively.
He has not been granted bail in the EOW's case yet. -- PTI
19:35 Amar Singh witnessed some major political developments: PM
Condoling the death of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described him on Saturday as an energetic public figure, who had witnessed some major political developments from close quarters.
Singh (64), a former Samajwadi Party leader, died in Singapore, where he was undergoing treatment, on Saturday.
"Amar Singh Ji was an energetic public figure. In the last few decades, he witnessed some of the major political developments from close quarters. He was known for his friendships across many spheres of life. Saddened by his demise," Modi said in a tweet.
Condolences to his friends and family, he added.
As the general secretary of the SP, Singh was instrumental in saving the Congress-led UPA government from falling after the Left parties withdrew support from it in 2008 over the issue of nuclear deal. -- PTI
19:17 Mumbai Police cooperating in Sushant case, says Bihar Police
The Mumbai Police is assisting the sleuths from Patna visiting the metropolis to probe the death of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, Bihar's Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said on Saturday, dubbing the allegations of misbehaviour as "rumours".
Speaking to reporters, he said the Bihar Police is capable enough to investigate the matter and has recorded statements of a number of persons.
Our team is camping in Mumbai. It has already examined and recorded the statement Rajputs close friend Mahesh Shetty. It also recorded the statement of his ex-girlfriend Ankita Lokhande, his sister Mitu Singh, cook Ashok, Niraj, and Dr Chavda (Dr Kersi Chavda), who treated Sushant for depression, Pandey said.
Some more persons will be examined in connection with the alleged suicide, he added.
Pandey said the Bihar Police wants all medico-legal evidence related to the case handed over to it, asserting that it will bring out the truth at the earliest.
A four-member team of the state police is in Mumbai to probe the suicide after it registered an FIR at the Rajiv Nagar police station here on July 25 based on a complaint lodged by Rajput's father KK Singh.
Our team had a meeting with Mumbai's Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) on Friday evening. The DCP assured of cooperation... Initially, there was some confusion and non-cooperation, Pandey told reporters in Patna.
Stating that the allegations of Mumbai Police's misbehaviour with the Bihar Police personnel were "rumours", Pandey said the local police there helped the sleuths from the eastern state reach its destinations.
He said that the Mumbai Police did so as probably it did not want the Bihar Police to encounter the media.
Pandey said the Bihar Police wants the forensic science laboratory reports, inquest report, post-mortem report and relevant CCTV footage in order to facilitate the probe.
The Bihar Police also wants details of those who were examined by the Mumbai Police and what they have said in their statements, the top police chief said.
Replying to a question, he said, Why would we ask for a CBI probe. Bihar Police is capable enough for probing the case. If needed, an IPS-rank officer may be sent to Mumbai to lead the investigation.
The chorus for a CBI inquiry into the death, which happened on June 14, is growing with parties cutting across the political lines in Bihar, demanding that the central investigating agency take up the case for a fair probe.
The Bihar Police team reached Mumbai on July 27 and began its probe.
The FIR was lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those pertaining to abetment of suicide and fraud. -- PTI
19:04 Chelsea fan Abhishek receives best wishes from football club
Abhishek Bachchan is a happy Chelsea fan as the actor has received a special letter from the football club, wishing him a speedy recovery from COVID-19.
The 44-year-old actor, who is currently admitted to Nanavati hospital along with his father Amitabh Bachchan, shared the photo of the letter on Instagram.
"This made my week. Thank you so much @chelseafc The only thing that would top this is winning the FA Cup this evening. Come on Chelsea!!! #ktbffh," Abhishek wrote in the caption.
ln the letter, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta said that he along with the players of the club were moved when they heard about what Bachchan testing positive for coronavirus.
"We heard you aren't very well at the moment and just wanted to get in touch to wish you all the best. I know the players and I were very moved when we heard about what you have been going through and we
just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and your family in what I can imagine are difficult times.
"On behalf of all the players and everyone at Chelsea may I send you all our best wishes," Azpilicueta wrote in the letter.
Abhishek has been a die-hard fan of the English professional football club based in Fulham, London.
He is the co-owner of Indian Super League football team Chennaiyin FC and has often been seen following football diligently with his colleagues from Bollywood.
The actor was admitted to hospital on July 11. His wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and daughter Aaradhya, who were also tested positive for COVID-19, were recently discharged from the hospital.
On the work front, Abhishek was last seen in Amazon Prime Video web series Breathe: Into The Shadows. He will next feature in The Big Bull, Anurag Basu's Ludo and crime thriller Bob Biswas. -- PTI
19:00 Ram temple not political issue, but matter of pride: Sena leader
Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday said that the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was not a political issue, but a matter of pride and faith for lakhs of devotees.
Shinde, who is scheduled to visit Gadchiroli district, of which he is the guardian minister, was talking to reporters at the Nagpur airport.
When asked about a Vishva Hindu Parishad functionary's recent statement that those opposing the Ram temple and subjects linked to it were doing so to achieve their political goals, Shinde said, "Ram temple is not a
political issue. It is a matter of pride and faith for lakhs ofdevotees of Lord Ram."
"Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray went to Ayodhya when he was not a chief minister and later when became the CM. It is a matter of faith, devotion and pride," he added.
Replying to a query over MNS chief Raj Thackeray's statement that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will not survive for a long time, Shinde said, "In a democracy, everybody has the right to speak and express themselves."
"But the MVA government is doing a good work under the leadership of CM Uddhav Thackeray. It has been working hard to tackle the COVID-19 situation in the state," the minister said.
BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had on Friday said that the three MVA allies- Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress- were not a family, but were in a live-in relationship and the government will collapse on its own.
When asked about it, Shinde said, "This is not a time to play politics. We need to work together to tackle the COVID-19 challenge." -- PTI
18:47 NEP emphasises on making 'job creators': PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the New Education Policy announced by the government emphasises on making 'job creators' instead of 'job seekers' and asserted that attempts are being made to transform intent and content of education in the country.
Addressing the finale of the Smart India Hackathon, he said the New Education Policy-2020 announced earlier this week emphasises on inter-disciplinary study which will ensure that the focus is on what the
student wants to learn.
The role of the youth is very important in achieving the goal of 'ease of living' to give a better life to the poor, he told students. -- PTI
18:24 PM Modi should stop this: Gehlot on Raj crisis
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the alleged attempt to topple his government stopped and said he is open to welcoming back the Congress rebels led by
Answering queries from reporters, Gehlot said if the Congress high command forgives the dissidents, he will embrace them.
Since the power tussle between him and Sachin Pilot resurfaced this month, the Congress veteran has used harsh words against his former deputy, once even referring to him as "nikamma" or useless.
Gehlot said he will do whatever the Congress leadership wants and gave the party the credit for becoming the Rajasthan chief minister thrice.
The chief minister was on his way back to Jaipur after an overnight stay at Jaisalmer's Suryagarh resort, where loyalist MLAs have been shifted ahead of the assembly session from August 14.
The Congress has accused the BJP of playing a major role in the rebellion by the now sacked deputy chief minister and 18 other Congress MLAs who are threatening his government.
"We have no quarrel with anyone. In a democracy, fights happen over ideology, policies and programmes and not for toppling a government.
"Modi should get stopped whatever is going on in Rajasthan," the chief minister said outside the hotel where the MLAs were shifted Friday.
Gehlot and the ministers are likely to spend most of their time in the state capital as the Congress tries to keep its numbers intact in Jaisalmer.
He claimed that democracy is under threat in the country is and the Union Home Ministry is after his government in the state.
He repeated the charge that the "rate" for trying to lure MLAs away has gone up after the announcement of the assembly session.
Reacting to BJP state president Satish Poonia's statement over the shifting of Congress MLAs to Jaisalmer, Gehlot called him a new leader who wants to take on former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. He commented that Raje has "disappeared" from the scene.
Poonia had mocked the Congress, asking if the Gehlot loyalists will next move further westward across the border into Pakistan.
MLAs from the Congress and its allies had remained confined to Fairmont hotel in Jaipur since July 13 before being flown to Jaisalmer on chartered flights. -- PTI
17:43 Schools, colleges in Assam may open on September 1
The Assam government has made preliminary plans to reopen educational institutions on September 1 but the final decision will depend on the directives of the Centre, state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.
All teachers and employees of the schools will have to get themselves tested, and the education and health departments will coordinate the efforts for the tests that will be conducted from August 23-30, the minister said while addressing a press conference.
"We have drawn up a preliminary plan for reopening schools but it is still open for further discussions with parents and other stakeholders, and will be implemented only in accordance with the directives of the Union government," Sarma said.
Schools will remain closed for students up to Class 4 till September-end, he said.
Classes will be held in open spaces such as the playground or courtyard of the school for students of standard 5-8, he said.
The classes will be divided into sections of 15 students and only these many students can attend classes at a time, he said.
Students of standard 9 and 11 will attend classes in their classrooms for two days a week with 15 students being present at a time. Those in standard 10 and 12 will attend classes four days a week.
Only 15 students will be present at a time in a classroom and classes will be held for only three hours in a day, the minister said.
"Efforts will be made to ensure maximum social distancing with schools initiating shift systems with a particular class coming at an allotted time of the day," he said.
At the degree level, classes will be held only for the final semesters while for the post-graduate students, the universities will take a decision.
All these proposals will be put up on the website of the education department and people are welcome to give their suggestions till August 20, Sarma said. -- PTI
17:41 Now, Indian expats in UAE can renew passport in just 2 days
Indian expatriates in the United Arab Emirates can now get their passports renewed in just two days with a new operating procedure taking effect from August, according to a media report.
Further, the Indian consulate in Dubai can now accept passport applications from expatriates living across the UAE, the Gulf News reported.
Earlier, each emirate had its individual centre for verification.
The passport renewal forms will be processed on the same day as it is received, Consul General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri told the newspaper.
Puri said some applications could take longer to process. It would take a longer time, an average of two weeks, if there is any need for special approvals like police verification or any other clearance from India, he explained.
Last year, the Indian mission in Dubai issued over 2 lakh passports, the highest count for an Indian mission across the world. -- PTI
17:39 Karnataka minister tests positive for COVID-19
Karnataka agriculture ninister B C Patil on Saturday said he and his wife have been under home quarantine after they were tested positive for coronavirus.
In a video message posted on Twitter, the minister said he and his wife Vanaja were asymptomatic and there was no need for anyone to panic.
He was confident that both of them would recover and would be back to work soon.
Patil had tweeted on Friday night that his son-in-law too has been found infected by the virus.
Prior to Patil, forest minister Anand Singh and tourism minister C T Ravi had tested positive for COVID-19.
The independent MP from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh recovered from coronavirus recently.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa too was under self- isolation for some time a couple of weeks ago after a few staff at his office-cum-residence-'Krishna' were found infected by the virus.
As on Friday, 1.24 lakh people were found COVID positive of which 2,314 people lost their lives and 72,005 are recovering. -- PTI
17:35 Sushant case: Rhea Chakraborty 'under watch' of Bihar police
The Bihar police, who are in Mumbai to investigate an "abetment to suicide" case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, said they were keeping a watch on his friend and actress Rhea Chakraborty.
The four-member Bihar police team arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday to probe the 'abetment to suicide' case registered against Chakraborty and others in Patna.
On Saturday the team visited the Bandra police station in connection with the investigation.
When asked whether Chakraborty would be interrogated, an official of the Bihar police said, "It is not required as of now. But she is under our watch."
Another member of the visiting team said they have sent notice to Chakraborty under CrPC sections, asking her to cooperate with the police in the probe.
He also said that the Mumbai police was cooperating with them in the investigation of the case. -- PTI
17:16 GST collections drop to Rs 87,422 cr in July
GST collections in July fell to Rs 87,422 crore from Rs 90,917 crore in June, according to a finance ministry statement.
However, July collections are higher than Rs 62,009 crore in May and Rs 32,294 crore in April.
"The gross GST revenue collected in the month of July, 2020 is Rs 87,422 crore of which CGST is Rs 16,147crore, SGST is Rs 21,418 crore, IGST is Rs 42,592 crore (including Rs 20,324 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 7,265 crore," a finance ministry statement said.
The revenues for the month are 86 per cent of the GST revenues in the same month last year.
The ministry further said although the June collections were higher than that in July, however, it is important to note that during the previous month, a large number of taxpayers also paid taxes pertaining to February, March and April 2020 on account of the relief provided due to COVID-19.
It may also be noted that the taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 5 crore continue to enjoy relaxation in filing of returns till September 2020. -- PTI
17:15 Govt to bring helmets under mandatory BIS regime
The government has initiated a process to bring helmets under mandatory BIS regime as part of efforts to reduce fatal injuries involving two-wheelers, the road transport and highways ministry said on Saturday.
Once the process is completed only BIS-certified helmets for two-wheeler riders would be manufactured and sold in India.
"Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a draft notification for bringing Protective Helmets for two wheelers rider under compulsory certification as per Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016," the MoRTH said in a statement.
This will enable to have only BIS-certified helmets for two wheelers to be manufactured and sold in India, it said.
"It will also improve the quality of two wheeler helmets and would improve road safety scenario, and further would be helpful in reducing fatal injuries involving two wheelers," it added.
The ministry has invited suggestions or comments in this respect which can be sent to the joint secretary, ministry of road transport and highways within a month. -- PTI
17:11 Salman wishes 'Eid Mubarak' with Covid twist
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has wished his fans on the occasion of Eid al-Adha in his own style but with a COVID-19 twist.
Since the country is celebrating Eid amid COVID-19 restrictions, the actor made sure to inspire his fans to follow COVID-19 norms.
The actor took to Instagram to share a picture of himself in which he is seen posing in the field with his face covered with a checkered scarf.
Keeping the caption simple, Khan wrote, "Eid Mubarak!"
16:58 India's fatality rate lowest since lockdown 1
The country's total number of recoveries from COVID-19 has surged close to 11 lakh, while the case fatality rate has declined from 3.33 per cent in mid-June to 2.15 per cent, the lowest since lockdown was clamped in March, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
In the global platform, India continues to register and maintain the lowest COVID-19 mortality rate, it said and asserted that this is a testimony to the focused, coordinated, pre-emptive, graded and evolving "test, track, treat" strategy and efforts of the Centre, states and Union Territories.
With 36,569 patients discharged in 24 hours, the total number of recoveries has jumped to 10,94,374 on Saturday and exceed active COVID-19 cases by 5,29,271. There are 5,65,103 active cases in the country at present, according to health ministry data updated at 8 am on Saturday.
"The recovery rate stands at 64.53 per cent," the ministry said.
"Emphasis on early detection through aggressive testing and effective clinical management of the hospitalised cases have resulted in the continuously falling case fatality rate (CFR), indicating that India has been able to successfully contain the fatality rate of COVID-19," it said.
While the CFR has been kept low, successful implementation of effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardised clinical management protocols based on a comprehensive standard of care approach have resulted in a consistent addition of more than 30,000 recoveries daily, the health ministry said.
It also said that three-tier hospital infrastructure with seamless patient management has ensured prompt triaging and treatment.
As on Saturday, there are 1,488 dedicated COVID hospitals with 2,49,358 isolation beds, 31,639 ICU beds, 1,09,119 with oxygen support and 16,678 ventilators.
Also, 3,231 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 2,07,239 isolation beds, 18,613 ICU beds and 74,130 oxygen-supported beds and 6,668 ventilators have been made operational. Moreover, 10,755 COVID Care Centres with 10,02,681 beds are now available to combat COVID-19, the ministry said. -- PTI
16:52 Want to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: Xi
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said he wants to push for a continued advancement of ties with Nepal amidst Beijing's sustained forays to shore up pro-China Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli's grip on power in the backdrop of intra-party feud in the ruling communist party.
In an exchange of congratulatory messages with his Nepalese counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari on the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, Xi asserted that he was ready to work to bring greater benefits to the two peoples of the two neighbouring countries.
The Chinese President said that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Nepal relations and is willing to work with his Nepali counterpart Bhandari to push for the continued advancement of the bilateral relationship.
Xi, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, said that since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, the two countries have always respected each other, treated each other as equals, enhanced political mutual trust and deepened mutually beneficial cooperation.
Noting that he and Bhandari exchanged visits last year and elevated the bilateral ties to a strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity, Xi said the two sides have stood together through thick and thin in the fight against the COVID-19 and have written a new chapter of friendship between China and Nepal, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Nepalese counterpart Oli too exchanged greetings.
China's political profile in Nepal has been on the rise in the recent years with billions of dollars of investments under Beijing's multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative, including the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network.
Besides the investments, China's ambassador to Kathmandu Hou Yanqi has made open efforts to garner support for Oli, who faced a massive rebellion in his party headed by co-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda'.
Hou met Prachanda and other leaders seeking their backing for Oli but the rebellion against the prime minister has not subsided.
China attaches high importance to Oli continuing in power as during his brief tenure in 2016, he widened China-Nepal ties by signing the transit trade treaty with Beijing to reduce the dependence of his land-locked country on India.
Nepal's ambassador to China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, in an article published in the state-run China Daily on Friday, said that the "cooperation under the BRI is of great significance for both Nepal and China.
"Our leaders stressed the need to intensify implementation of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation under the BRI under the framework of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network".
The construction of tunnels from Jilong in Tibet to Kathmandu, development of the three North-South corridors in Nepal-Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali and the Nepal-China electric power cooperation plan are some of the landmark projects in the areas of infrastructure and industry that were agreed to be initiated in Nepal during President Xi's state visit to Nepal last year, he said.
Last month, Oli alleged that India was conspiring with his political rivals to throw him out of power.
The internal feud in the NCP intensified after Prachanda and senior leader Madhav Nepal asked for Oli's resignation following his controversial remarks against India as well as his autocratic style of functioning.
Oli and Prachanda factions are currently engaged in holding internal consultations, though the date for the formal meeting of the powerful Standing Committee is yet to be fixed. -- PTI
16:14 Nitish may demand CBI probe in Sushant case: JDU
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would definitely act if demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe comes from the family of Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput who died by suicide, a state minister said on Saturday.
Sanjay Kumar Jha, the state water eesources minister and a confidante of Nitish Kumar, said the chief minister and his government are committed to bringing justice to the actor's family and would take every step towards that end.
The senior Janata Dal-United leader also came down heavily on the Mumbai Police, alleging that it did not conduct a proper investigation into the death of the actor and instead "indulged only in event management and photo-op in the name of inquiry".
"The chief minister will definitely act if demand for a CBI inquiry comes from the family of Rajput," the minister told PTI.
Jha, who was approached by the actor's family for help, said people want the truth to come out and those found guilty punished.
It is only now that a fair investigation has begun after the registration of an FIR in Patna on the written complaint of Rajput's father KK Singh, he said, lamenting the "non-cooperative" approach of the Mumbai Police.
"For a good 45 days, they (Mumbai Police) did not do anything to unravel the mystery shrouding Rajput's suicide, except for using the time to indulge in photo-op and event management... and now when the Bihar Police team is doing a sincere probe they are creating hurdles for them," the minister rued.
An FIR was lodged with the Rajiv Nagar police station in Patna on the basis of the bereaved father's complaint on July 25 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including those pertaining to abetment of suicide and fraud.
The chorus for a CBI inquiry into the death, which happened on June 14 in Mumbai, is growing with parties cutting across the political lines in Bihar, demanding that the central investigating agency take up the case for a fair
The Bihar government has already made it clear that it will oppose a petition filed by Rajput's rumoured girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, challenging the jurisdiction of the Patna Police in lodging an FIR in the suicide case.
The matter is scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court on August 5.
Bihar's Advocate General Lalit Kishore has said that the state will be represented before the apex court by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi. -- PTI
15:44 Punjab hooch tragedy: Death toll rises to 39
The death toll in the hooch tragedy in Punjab rose to 62 on Saturday, as two more people were arrested in Amritsar for their alleged involvement in selling spurious liquor, a police official said.
The deaths took place in Tarn Taran, Batala and Amritsar districts of the state since Wednesday.
"Two more people were arrested Saturday morning in connection with the incident," Inspector General of Police S P S Parmar told PTI over phone.
"Raids are still going on," he said.
Five persons have been detained in Tarn Taran for questioning in this connection, the officer said.
Meanwhile, officials said 62 people have so far died in the incident.
Officials , however, feared that the death toll could rise.
On Friday, eight bootleggers were arrested in over 40 raids conducted across the three districts.
A large amount of spurious liquor, drums and storage cans were recovered from the accused and have been sent for chemical analysis.
According to officials, some of the families of the deceased refused to record their statements.
Whereas some held protests at Muchhal village, seeking compensation from the government.
15:38 Mother-son duo from Maha conquer SSC exams together
While most parents push their children to study hard for the Maharashtra state board exams, Baramati resident Bebi Gurav led by example, by appearing for the exam along with her son and passing out with flying colours.
The 36-year-old secured 64.40 per cent marks, while her 16-year-old son Sadanand scored 73.20 per cent in the Secondary School Certificate examination, results of which were declared on July 29.
"I could not complete my school education because of my marriage at a very young age. But my husband encouraged me to appear for the Class 10 exams with my son," said Bebi, who works for a cloth manufacturing firm.
The woman's husband Pradip Gurav and her son helped her study and egged her on the journey to becoming an SSC passout.
"Both my wife and son studied hard together and secured good marks. I am happy and proud of their performance," said Gurav, a journalist with a regional daily.
Bebi would carry her textbooks to work and study during breaks and revise grammar, mathematics and other subjects with her son, while cooking meals for the family.
With her new-found confidence, Bebi has now set her sights on the Higher Secondary School Certificate or Class 12 examination. -- PTI
15:35 Apple dethrones Saudi Aramco to become world's most valuable company
Apple has surpassed oil giant Saudi Aramco to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company with a market valuation of 1.84 trillion dollars.
Apple rode the company's strong earnings report and its shares closed up by 10.47 per cent on Friday, reports CNBC.
Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable publicly listed company since its market debut last year, now trails at 1.76 trillion dollars as of its last close.
Apple's strong fiscal third-quarter earnings released on Thursday boosted its stock as investors rallied behind the company's 11 per cent year-over-year growth.
It also announced a 4-for-1 stock split.
The company has recovered from its pandemic low-point in March. Shares are up more than 44 per cent this year, said CNBC. -- ANI
15:33 Extension of detention of Mehbooba an abuse of law: P Chidambaram
The extension of the detention of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti under the Public Safety Act is an abuse of law and an assault on the Constitutional rights guaranteed to every citizen, Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Saturday.
"How is the 61-year-old former chief minister, a protected person under security guard round the clock, a threat to public safety? She rightly rejected the offer to release her on conditions that any self-respecting political
leader would refuse. One of the reasons given for her detention -- the colour of her party's flag -- was laughable," Chidambaram tweeted.
"Why should she undertake not to speak against the abrogation of Article 370? Is it not part of the right to free speech? I am one of the counsels appearing in a case in the Supreme Court challenging the abrogation of Article
370. If I speak against Article 370 -- as I must -- is that a threat to public safety? We must collectively raise our voices and demand "FREE MEHBOOBA MUFTI IMMEDIATELY"," he added.
Mufti's detention under PSA was extended by three months on Friday.
15:30 Stalin steps up attack against new education policy
Stepping up his attack against the Centre's new National Education Policy 2020, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M K Stalin on Saturday said it was an attempt at "imposition" of Hindi and Sanskrit and vowed to fight against it by joining hands with like-minded political parties and chief ministers of other states.
The sweeping reforms were not new education policy but "a glossy coat on the old oppressive Manusmriti," he alleged.
In a letter to partymen, Stalin said the party was committed to the struggle against such policies of the government, and recalled it (also) moving the Madras high court on the issue of OBC reservation in All India Quota in medical admissions.
There was an "undeclared emergency" in the country, he said referring to detention of political figures in Jammu and Kashmir among others.
On the NEP, he questioned why the "successful" 10+2 system was being replaced with 5+3+3+4 and described the vocational education for children as a "psychological attack" on them.
He further said "with Education placed in the State List, the Centre will assume the remaining rights of the states and take in its control (aspects ranging) from syllabus to university."
"This is an attack on the federal structure being underscored by the Constitution of India," Stalin said in the letter.
The DMK was therefore opposing the NEP and will also join hands with other like-minded political parties and chief ministers on the issue, he added.
15:01 10 killed after crane collapses in Vizag shipyard
At least 10 workers were killed and several others injured when a huge crane crashed on them at the Hindustan Shipyard Limited in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam on Saturday, the police said.
The crane collapsed during load-testing trials.
The massive crane suddenly crumbled and crashed to the ground with a massive sound.
14:48 Manish Tewari flays 'ill-informed' Congressmen
Former Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari slammed few members of the Congress party for "taking swipes at the Dr Manmohan Singh led UPA Government" rather than fight the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"BJP was out of power for 10 yrs 2004-14. Not once did they ever blame Vajpayee or his govt for their then predicaments. In @INCIndia, unfortunately, some ill-informed's would rather take swipes at Dr Manmohan
Singh-led UPA govt than fight NDA/BJP," tweeted Tewari.
The Congress MP further went on to say that in times of unity, the members are creating a divide.
"When unity (is) required they divide," the tweet read further.
This comes on the back of the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan triggered by simmering differences between Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
Pilot was removed as the deputy chief minister and the state unit chief of Congress.
The Congress has accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading to bring down the Gehlot government.
The BJP has rejected all the allegations. -- ANI
14:43 Second round of sero survey begins in Delhi
A fresh sero-prevalence survey began in the national capital on Saturday, with the five-day exercise set to cover all districts and various demographic segments.
The exercise is being undertaken for a comprehensive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in Delhi.
The survey has begun and samples will be collected from four districts, including North Delhi and Northwest Delhi, to start with on Saturday.
A senior government official said 15,000 samples would be collected from August 1 to 5 as part of the exercise, spanning different areas and age groups.
Representative samples will be taken from all the 11 districts.
A sero-prevalence survey involves testing the blood serum of individuals to check for the prevalence of antibodies against infection.
Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain on July 22 had announced that after analysing the results of the last survey, it was decided that more such exercises would be undertaken every month to formulate better policies for tackling the COVID-19 situation in the city.
The last sero-prevalence survey was conducted by the Delhi government in association with the National Centre for Disease Control from June 27 to July 10.
The fresh round would follow the same protocol as that was for the last survey, officials said.
The Delhi health department has prepared a detailed plan under which every district medical officer has been asked to conduct the survey in their respective jurisdictions, they said.
All CDMOs have been tasked with carrying out the survey in their districts.
Random people will be tested for antibodies.
The last sero-prevalance survey had found that around 23 per cent of the people surveyed had been exposed to the novel coronavirus, the central government had said.
The previous study had tested 21,387 samples. Prior to that survey, a similar exercise was carried out only in the containment zones of the city.
The Delhi government had decided to conduct more monthly sero surveys to find a greater percentage of such people who had got infected and recovered so as to formulate better policies for tackling COVID-19, Jain had said. -- PTI
14:42 Delhi Police suspends 36 personnel for failing to report on time
The Delhi Police on Saturday suspended 36 of its own personnel for failing to join duty on time on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, officials said.
The personnel were posted in northwest district of Delhi Police.
"On the occasion of Eid al-Adha, the police officers had to report by 5 am, but they did not report till 6.30 am, following which they have been suspended," Deputy Commissioner of Police (northwest) Vijayanta
The personnel have been suspended till further orders, a senior police officer said. -- PTI
13:59 India celeberates Eid al-Adha in 'new normal' way
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, devotees from across the country, celebrated Eid al-Adha by offering prayers at mosques and at their homes on Saturday.
At Delhi's Fatehpuri Masjid, the devotees were seen offering prayers while following all COVID-19 norms.
Normally, people on the occasion greet each other with hugs but this time people are wishing each other -- Eid Mubarak -- keeping in mind the importance of social distancing to combat the virus.
"We have ensured that we are cautious that we don't hug each other. We would be wishing each other by saying Eid Mubarak," said one of the pilgrims.
Another devotee added, "We are adhering to the orders passed by the administration of maintaining social distancing at the mosque. There is a stark difference in the celebrations this year and last year because of the pandemic. But despite all of this, we have come here to read the namaaz."
Several worshipers also assembled outside a mosque in the national capital's Usmapur area of Northeast Delhi as well.
However, in Uttar Pradesh's Rampur, the celebrations were curtailed as weekend restrictions are in place from Friday till Monday, restricting devotees to offer namaz at home. -- ANI
Image: A man offers Eid-ul-Fitr namaz at an empty Eidgah in Srinagar. Photograph: Umar Ganie for Rediff.com
13:35 Sushant case: Ankita Lokhande recorded statement
The Bihar police team, which is in Mumbai to investigate an "abetment to suicide" case related to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, has so far recorded the statements of six persons, an official said on Saturday.
The four-member Bihar police team arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday to probe the 'abetment to suicide' case registered against Rajput's friend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, and others in Patna.
"Till now, the police team from Bihar has met the late actor's friends, colleagues and relatives. They have recorded the statements of six persons -- Rajput's sister, who stays in Versova, former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande, a cook, his friends and colleagues," the official said.
The police team is also likely to question the members of Rajput's staff, he said, adding that some of them had been changed.
"They also gathered information about Rajput's various bank accounts and also visited the banks to look into the financial transactions," he said.
The visiting team had on Friday gone to the crime branch office to submit an application seeking assistance from the Mumbai police in probing the case.
As a large number of media persons gathered at the spot, the Andheri police personnel took the officers of the Bihar police in their vehicle for safety.
A video of the Bihar police team being taken into the vehicle surfaced on some social media sites and messaging apps with the netizens criticising the city police over their behaviour.
When asked about it, the official said, "As it was issue of the safety of the Bihar police personnel, the city police put them in a van and dropped them at a safe place."
Krishna Kumar Singh (74), Rajput's father, had lodged a complaint against Chakraborty and six others, including her family members, for alleged abetment to suicide, in Patna on Tuesday.
The Patna case was registered under various IPC sections including 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 380 (theft in dwelling house), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 306 (abetment of
Singh accused Chakraborty, a budding TV and film actor, of having befriended his son in May 2019 with the intention of furthering her own career.
Rajput was found hanging in his suburban Bandra apartment on June 14.
The Mumbai police, who are already investigating the alleged suicide by the actor, have questioned several people from the film industry in connection with the case. -- PTI
13:27 Yogi to visit Ayodhya to review preparations for Ram temple event
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will visit Ayodhya on August 2 to take stock of preparations for the Ram temple foundation stone laying ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5, according to Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust.
The construction of the Ram temple will begin after the ceremony to lay the foundation stone in which Chief Ministers of several states, ministers from the Union Cabinet and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat are also likely to participate. -- ANI
13:10 'Money Heist' to end with season 5
Netflix has renewed its megahit Spanish drama Money Heist, also known as La Casa de Papel, for a fifth and final season.
According to a press release shared by the streaming platform, the production on the 10-episode final season is set to begin on Monday and the show will film in Spain, Portugal and Denmark.
"We've spent almost a year thinking about how to break up the band. How to put the Professor on the ropes. How to get into situations that are irreversible for many characters.
"The result is the fifth part of La Casa de Papel'. The war reaches its most extreme and savage levels, but it is also the most epic and exciting season,creator and executive producer Alex Pina said in a statement.
The global hit stars Ursula Cobero (Tokyo), Alvaro Morte (The Professor) , Itziar Ituno (Lisbon), Pedro Alonso (Berlin), Miguel Herran (Rio), Jaime Lorente (Denver), Esther Acebo (Stockholm), Enrique Arce (Arturo), Darko Peric (Helsinki), Hovik Keuchkerian (Bogota), Luka Peros (Marseille), Belen Cuesta (Manila), Fernando Cayo (Coronel Tamayo), Rodrigo de la Serna (Palermo) and Najwa Nimri (Inspector Sierra).
The upcoming season will also feature actors Miguel Angel Silvestre and Patrick Criado.
Pina will serve as showrunner as well as executive produce the season along with Jesus Colmenar and Cristina Lopez Ferraz.
Colmenar, Koldo Serra and Alex Rodrigo are attached to direct. -- PTI
12:40 Army jawan killed in firing by Pak along LoC
An Indian Army jawan was killed when Pakistan opened heavy fire on forward posts along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Saturday, a defence spokesperson said.
He said the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire agreement by opening fire along the Line of Control in Rajouri sector.
"Indian troops responded strongly to the enemy fire," the spokesperson said.
In the incident, Sepoy Rohin Kumar was critically injured and he later succumbed to his injuries, he added.
Kumar, a resident of Himachal Pradesh, was a brave, highly motivated and a sincere soldier, the spokesperson said.
He said that the nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.
Pakistan has been firing and shelling forward areas along the LoC one to two times a day in several sectors for almost the past one month. -- PTI
Swami Parthasarathy with his daughter Sunanda
12:26 Catching up on Swami Parthasarathys Guru Poornima lecture
Those of you who missed out on watching Swami Parthasarathy's talk on personal rehabilitation on July 26, fret not, you can still catch up.
You can watch the video of the talk on Vedanta TV, here, till August 26, 2020.
12:12 AP govt to liberalise inter-state movement of people
It has not opened its borders fully yet but the Andhra Pradesh government is now liberalising inter-state movement of people in tune with the Unlock 3.0 guidelines issued by the Centre.
People coming into AP will now only need to register their details on the government's Spandana portal to obtain an entry pass, according to Principal Secretary (Transport) M T Krishna Babu.
The system would be operational from August 2 on spandana.ap.gov.in portal.
"An auto-generated e-pass will be sent to the persons mobile as well as email. They can carry the auto generated e- pass along with a valid identity proof to get entry at the border checkpost," Krishna Babu, who is also the state nodal officer, said in a release.
Since it's auto-generated, there would not be any delay in securing the e-pass, he said.
"This system is to ensure recording of the people coming to AP so that the local health staff can keep a watch on the health of the concerned," Krishna Babu added. -- PTI
12:06 BSF, Bangladesh border guards exchange sweets on Eid
Border Security Force exchange sweets with Border Guards Bangladesh at India-Bangladesh border in Fulbari on Eid al-Adha
11:45 Sushant case: SC to hear Rhea's plea on Aug 5
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on August 5 a plea filed by actress Rhea Chakraborty who has sought transfer of an FIR, lodged against her in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, from Patna to Mumbai.
As per the cause list uploaded on the apex court's website, the transfer petition filed by Chakraborty will come up for hearing before a bench of Justice Hrishikesh Roy on Wednesday.
Rajput, aged 34, was found hanging from the ceiling of his apartment in suburban Bandra in Mumbai on June 14 and since then the Mumbai Police has been probing the case keeping in mind various angles.
Governments of Bihar and Maharashtra have already filed caveat in the top court seeking to be heard before any order is passed on Chakraborty's plea in which she has sought transfer of the FIR, lodged against her and others for alleged offence of abetment of suicide, from Patna to Mumbai.
Krishna Kishore Singh, father of the late actor, has also filed a caveat in the apex court in the matter.
Caveat is a pre-emptive legal measure taken to ensure that a party does not get any favourable order without a notice or a hearing accorded to the opponent.
On July 25, Rajput's father had lodged an FIR at Rajiv Nagar police station in Patna against Chakraborty and six others, including her family members, accusing them of abetting the actor's suicide.
In her plea filed in the apex court, Chakraborty has alleged that Rajput's father has used his "influence" in roping her in FIR lodged at Patna in Bihar accusing her of abetment of suicide of his son.
The actress has said in her plea that she was in a live-in relationship with Rajput and has been in deep trauma due to the death of the actor and moreover getting rape and death threats.
"It is pertinent to mention that the deceased and petitioner were in live-in relationship since a year up till June 8, 2020 when the petitioner had temporarily shifted to her own residence in Mumbai," she has said in her plea.
Chakraborty has also said in her plea that, "The deceased (Rajput) was suffering from depression for some time and was also on anti-depressants and he committed suicide on the morning of June 14, 2020 at his Bandra residence by hanging himself."
She has said in her plea that it becomes abundantly clear that the commencement of investigation in Patna is erroneous in absence of any cause of action having arisen at Patna.
The entire cause of action as alleged in the FIR had arisen at Bandra in Mumbai, her plea has said. -- PTI
11:07 Elaborate security in place for Ram Mandir event
The Ayodhya administration is leaving no stone unturned ahead of the August 5 Ram Mandir bhumi pujan that is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi among other VIPs. Gatherings of five or people will be banned in Ayodhya on August 5.
The police have said gatherings of more than five people wont be allowed around August 5 with an aim to follow coronavirus protocols for the mega bhumi pujan event to mark the beginning of construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Deepak Kumar, DIG in-charge of the security arrangements in Ayodhya, said, In view of the historic event and the presence of Prime Minister Modi for the bhumi pujan, extensive security arrangements are being made and first among those are coronavirus protocols.
The officer also said that the local administration has held a series of meetings with different security forces to ensure safety of all.
He also said that in Ayodhya, on August 5, gatherings of more than five people wont be allowed as a measure to prevent spread of coronavirus during the bhumi pujan ceremony.
Politicians, top leaders of the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation and ministers are expected to turn up for the event on August 5. However, the Ram Janmabhoomi trust has asked followers to witness the event from their homes and watch on television instead of gathering at the venue.
11:03 UPA internal sabotage led to poll defeat in 2014: Manish Tewari
The blame game in the Congress intensified on Friday as party leader Manish Tewari made a sensational charge that internal sabotage from within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was responsible for the defeat of the Congress in the 2014 that brought the National Democratic Alliance to power.
The MP from the Anandpur Sahib constituency said the 2019 defeat must also be analysed, especially as no charge of corruption has been proved in a court of law six years on. He referred to the 2G spectrum scam and hinted at a larger conspiracy to destabilise the UPA.
"What would be interesting to find out someday is not that the report was fake but who set him to it," he tweeted, referring to Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, whose audit report suggesting the government had lost Rs 1.76 trillion by faulty allocation of 2G spectrum was a major reason for the BJP to spin out a narrative of corruption against the Congress that caused the BJP's landslide victory in 2014.
Tewari's comments come against the background of a meeting of Rajya Sabha MPs from the Congress called by interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.
At this meeting, former finance minister P Chidambaram and former telecom minister Kapil Sibal said the leadership was muddled and fuzzy and needed to be more focused to regain political ground.
What followed was a fierce debate between the old guard and acolytes of Rahul Gandhi, who charged that the seniors were simply not doing enough to attack the government.
-- Aditi Phadnis, Business Standard
10:32 Sushant's sister urges PM to 'scan whole case'
Sushant Singh Rajput's sister Shweta Singh Kirti on Saturday penned down a note, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the entire case.
Seeking justice for her late brother, Shweta has been sharing a lot of updates on her social media handles.
After her father levelled serious allegations against actor Rhea Chakraborty, she had written, "If truth doesn't matter, nothing ever will. #justiceforsushantsinghrajput".
Earlier today, Shweta penned a note tagging Prime Minister Modi which reads, "Dear sir, somehow my heart says that you stand with and for the truth. We are from a very simple family. My brother had no godfather when he was in Bollywood nor do we have anyone right now. My request to you is to immediately look into this case and make sure that everything is handled in sanitised way and no evidence are tampered with. Expecting justice to prevail."
"I am sister of Sushant Singh Rajput and I request an urgent scan of the whole case. We believe in India's judicial system and expect justice at any cost. @narendramodi @PMOIndia #JusticeForSushant #SatyamevaJayate", she further added.
On Friday, Shweta had taken to Instagram to post a photo of Rajput's whiteboard in which he had written down his plan from June 29, 2020, which includes starting workout sessions and transcendental meditation.
"Bhai's White Board where he was planning to start his workout and transcendental meditation from 29th June daily. So he was planning ahead. #justiceforsushantsinghrajput", she wrote.
Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai residence on June 14.
10:17 Pilot camp may skip assembly session citing FIRs, say sources
Sachin Pilot and his camp of dissident MLAs may not attend the Assembly Session, CLP meetings until FIRs remain pending against them, sources said.
They still maintain that they are not joining BJP, adding that it would be the easiest thing to do, but they were instead fighting for respect, sources said, adding that there has been no decision yet on whether the camp will attend the assembly session or not, and will be done so after consultation with MLAs.
Congress MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot shifted from a Jaipur resort to Jaisalmer on Friday, prepared to spend at least the next fortnight holed up in a hotel there.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot boarded one of the five chartered flights to the city, 550 kms away from the state capital by road. But he indicated he will be back.
He told reporters at the airport there will be no compromise with the government's work as he and the ministers will remain in Jaipur. In Delhi, the Congress approached the Supreme Court against the Rajasthan High Court order restraining the assembly Speaker from acting on the disqualification notices issued to Sachin Pilot and 18 other dissident MLAs.
09:47 57,117 cases: India sees highest COVID spike
India reported a new record surge this morning in coronavirus cases with more than 57,118 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 16,95,988.
The country also witnessed 764 COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said. The total fatalities due tothe virus now stand at 36,511.
The country's Covid tally had crossed the 16 lakh-mark just three days after crossing the 15 lakh infections. More than 10.94 lakh patients have recovered; the recovery rate stood at 64.52 per cent this morning.
09:32 US temples to hold prayers to mark Aug 5 event
Hindu temples in North America will hold a virtual national prayer to celebrate the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, religious groups have announced.
The Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference and the Hindu Mandir Priests' Conference, in a statement, called for a virtual collective national prayer across America to rejoice the upcoming 'Shree Ram Mandir Poojan' at Ayodhya.
On the auspicious occasion, the temples across the US, Canada and Caribbean Islands will join in offering seva (service) in the 'Lotus feet' of Lord Rama on the eve of the Ram Mandir reconstruction poojan (prayer), the statement said.
"For a joyful global Hindu community, the historic ceremony on August 5, 2020, marks the ushering of a new era. We should cherish and celebrate this day as a festival now, and forever in the future," said Pandit Krishna Kumar Pandey, founder, president and Acharya of the Shiv Durga Temple in Bay Area, California.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America said it is organising prayers to mark the August 5 ceremony in Ayodhya, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be laying the foundation stone of the temple.
A collective chanting by priests in North America will be held, followed by a devotional song by playback singers Anup Jalota and Sanjeevani Bhelande.
09:22 PM Modi extends Eid greetings
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday extended Eid greetings and hoped that the festival inspires us to create a "just, harmonious and an inclusive" society.
Eid al-Adha, also called the festival of sacrifice, is being celebrated on Saturday.
"Eid Mubarak. Greetings on Eid al-Adha. May this day inspire us to create a just, harmonious and inclusive society," the prime minister tweeted.
May the spirit of brotherhood and compassion be furthered, he said.
08:53 Trump says US 'may ban' TikTok
US President Donald Trump said that his administration is weighing action against TikTok, a popular Chinese-owned video app that has been a source of national-security and censorship concerns.
Trump's comments came after published reports that the administration is planning to order China's ByteDance to sell TikTok. There were also reports Friday that software giant Microsoft is in talks to buy the app.
"We are looking at TikTok," Trump said. "We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things. There a couple of options, but a lot of things are happening. So we'll see what happens."
TikTok issued a statement saying that, "While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok."
ByteDance launched TikTok in 2017, then bought Musical.ly, a video service popular with teens in the US and Europe, and combined the two. A twin service, Douyin, is available for Chinese users.
TikTok's fun, goofy videos and ease of use has made it immensely popular, and US tech giants like Facebook and Snapchat see it as a competitive threat. It has said it has tens of millions of US users and hundreds of millions globally.
But its Chinese ownership has raised concerns about the censorship of videos, including those critical of the Chinese government, and the potential for sharing user data with Chinese officials.
08:20 Devotees offer namaz at Jama Masjid on Eid Al-Adha
Devotees on Saturday morning offered namaz at Delhi's Jama Masjid on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha. The temperature of devotees was also being checked with thermometer gun, as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.
A large number of devotees flocked Jama Masjid on the occasion. "We have ensured strong arrangements here. In fact, we have ensured a safe environment in several big and small mosques on this occasion. namaz will be offered at 6:05 am," said Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner of Police.
"I feel really good to be here on this occasion. Everyone followed lockdown norms and even Muslims had earlier offered namaz at their home, they followed all the rules and regulations. We are still adhering to the rules," said a devotee.
Another devotee, Amanullah said that that there is an environment of fear but everyone here followed norms in order to stay safe amid the COVID-19 crisis.
"We are maintaining social distancing. Things have changed this year due to COVID-19,' he added.
Eid al-Adha or Bakr Eid, also known as "Sacrifice Feast" is marked by sacrificing an animal, usually a sheep or a goat to prove their devotion and love for Allah. Post the sacrifice, devotees distribute the offering to family, friends, neighbours and especially to the poor and the needy.
07:48 Covid-19 effects will be felt for decades: WHO
The World Health Organisation said that coronavirus pandemic effects would be felt for decades as its emergency committee assessed the situation six months after sounding its top alarm over the outbreak.
The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 675,000 people and infected at least 17.3 million since it emerged in China last December.
The World Health Organization's emergency committee, comprising 18 members and 12 advisers, is meeting for the fourth time over the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's sobering to think that six months ago, when you recommended I declare a public health emergency of nternational concern, there were less than 100 cases and no deaths outside China." WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as the meeting began.
"The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come."
The committee can propose new recommendations or amend existing ones.
However, there is little doubt that the WHO will maintain the pandemic's status as a PHEIC -- its highest level of alarm -- first declared on January 30.
The WHO has been sharply criticised for the length of time it took to declare an international emergency.
The United States, which accused the organisation of being too close to China, officially began its withdrawal from the organisation in July.
The agency has also been criticised for recommendations deemed late or contradictory, in particular on wearing masks, or the modes of transmission of the virus.