Wed, 02 September 2020
1-day spike of 1,622 COVID-19 cases in Mumbai

Timeline  Refresh

23:52   Biden raises record-breaking $360 million in August
Joe Biden raised at least $360 million for his election effort in August, a record shattering sum that will give the Democrat ample resources to compete in the final two months of the campaign.
That's according to a person with direct knowledge of the fundraising effort who requested anonymity to discuss internal campaign details.

Biden's campaign declined to comment. US President Donald Trump has not yet released his fundraising figure for the month.

The money was raised in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee. While candidates face a $2,800 limit, Biden can raise far more than that through a joint fundraising committee with the DNC that allows him to collect individual checks worth upward of $600,000.
23:28   Berlusconi has tested positive for coronavirus
Silvio Berlusconi, the media tycoon who served as Italys prime minister in four governments, has tested positive for Covid-19.

The 83-year-old is currently in isolation and working from home at his house in Arcore, near Milan, his staff said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement added that Berlusconi will still contribute to the electoral campaigns of candidates from his Forza Italia party at local elections scheduled for September despite his diagnosis.
22:58   1-day spike of 1,622 COVID-19 cases in Mumbai
Mumbai on Wednesday reported 1,622 new coronavirus positive cases, its biggest single-day rise in over 100 days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said.

With this, the city's case count rose to 1,48,569, while the death toll increased to 7,724 as 34 persons succumbed to the infection during the day, it said.

The number of recovered patients rose to 1,19,702 after 838 of them were discharged from hospitals on Wednesday, the civic body added.

The city's recovery rate is now 81 per cent, it said, adding that there are 20,813 active cases at present.

On May 24, Mumbai had recorded a single-day rise of 1,725 cases. Since then the number of one-day cases from the city were below 1,500 cases, barring a few days.

The highest number of 537 deaths were reported from K-East ward, while the lowest number of 72 deaths from A-ward, which includes Colaba, Nariman point and Fort areas.
-- PTI
22:34   US imposes new restrictions on Chinese diplomats
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced that the Department of State will now require senior PRC diplomats in the United States to receive approval to visit US university campuses and to meet with local government officials.

"The Department of State will now require senior People's Republic of China diplomats in the United States to receive approval to visit US university campuses and to meet with local government officials. Cultural events with an audience larger than 50 people hosted by the PRC embassy and consular posts outside of mission properties will also require Department of State approval," Pompeo said. 

"The Department of State will also take action to help ensure that all official PRC embassy and consular social media accounts are properly identified as PRC government accounts, since the US Embassy is denied unfettered access to PRC social media and PRC citizens are blocked from using Twitter and Facebook, amongst other social media platforms," he said.

Relations between the US and China have worsened in recent times with the two countries sparring over a range of issues including China's territorial aggression in the South China Sea.

Pompeo said the US insists on reciprocal access to educational and cultural institutions for the United States diplomats around the world.

"These new requirements on PRC diplomats are a direct response to the excessive restraints already placed on our diplomats by the PRC, and they aim to provide further transparency on the practices of the PRC government. Should the PRC eliminate the restrictions imposed on US diplomats, we stand ready to reciprocate," he said.
-- ANI
22:13   Rhea's father questioned for 10 hrs for 2nd day
Rhea Chakraborty's father was questioned by the CBI for the second consecutive day on
Wednesday in connection with the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, a police official said.

He was interrogated for around 10 hours by the central agency team, the official said.

The 28-year-old actress and her family members are accused of abetting the suicide of Rajput (34), who was found hanging in his flat in suburban Bandra on June 14.

Her father Indrajeet Chakraborty reached the DRDO guest house in suburban Kalina, where the Central Bureau of Investigation team is stationed, around 10.30 am in a car escorted by a police vehicle, the official said.

After the questioning, he left the place around 8.30 pm, he added.

According to the official, Rajput's manager Samuel Miranda, his cook Neeraj Singh, house staff Keshav and business manager Shruti Modi, who had also reached the guest house in the morning for questioning, left the place at night after Chakraborty.

Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and mother were not summoned on Wednesday, the official said.
The actress was earlier questioned for around 35 hours over four days from last Friday till Monday.

-- PTI
21:43   Michelle Obama talks about marriage on her latest podcast episode
Talking about the latest episode of her podcast, Michelle Obama on Wednesday reflected on marriages and how she has taken it well with her husband -- former president of America Barack Obama, given its flip sides.

The former first lady of America, on Instagram, shared a video montage where she is explaining why one should not "give up" on marriage during difficult times. 

Taking cues from her own personal life, the 56-year-old author went on to note that if one "walk away" from marriage during tough times, they wouldn't be able to the "beauty" that was there.

Sharing a glimpse of what her podcast listeners can expect from the sixth episode, the former first lady said: "You got to know that there are going to be long periods of time when you can't stand each other".

"I said it on the book tour as a joke, there were times that I wanted to push Barack out of the window, and I say that because you got to know the feelings will be intense. But that doesn't mean you quit," she continued.

In the latest podcast for this week, she will be heard having a conversation with Conan O'Brien, reflecting their own marriages as parents and also about the "importance of honesty, authenticity, and being your true self with your partner".

Earlier, during one such podcast episode, Michelle Obama had opened up about "dealing with some form of low-grade depression" in this week's episode.

-- ANI
21:15   Maharashtra reports 17,433 new Covid cases
Maharashtra reports 17,433 new Covid-19 cases, 13,959 recoveries and 292 deaths, taking active cases to 2,01,703, recoveries to 5,98,496 & death toll to 25,195. 

India's COVID-19 case tally has crossed 37 lakh mark with 78,375 new COVID-19 positive cases.
20:41   Isha, Akash Ambani on Fortune's influencer list
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's twin children Isha and Akash, and edtech startup Byju's founder Byju Raveendran are among the Indians who have debuted on Fortune's '40 Under 40' list of influential people around the globe.
Stating that the coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered the way people work and socialise, Fortune magazine said executives have moved quickly to support and empower employees while grappling with daunting challenges to the way their businesses operate.
"To reflect this wave of transformation, we decided that we needed to embrace change in this year's 40 Under 40. We needed to go bigger -- and search more widely," it said. 
This year's list includes 40 influential people under 40 years of age in five categories -- finance, technology, healthcare, government and politics, and media and entertainment.

In the technology list, Isha and Akash Ambani feature with Byju Raveendran.

"They say data is the new oil -- and when it comes to Reliance Industries, India's largest company, that's literally the case," Fortune said, adding the 47-year-old conglomerate amassed a fortune in petrochemicals before dominating the country's mobile connectivity market with Jio, a low-cost wireless carrier which debuted in 2016.

Reliance is a family business. Akash joined the company in 2014 after receiving an economics degree from Brown University. Isha joined a year later, following stints at Yale, Stanford and McKinsey.

-- PTI
20:19   Neymar tests positive for coronavirus
PSG star Neymar has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, with the Ligue 1 club confirming that three players have contracted the virus. 

The Ligue 1 champions and Champions League finalists did not name the players involved, but Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes are believed to be the other two players to have tested positive, as reported by French outlet L'Equipe. 

After losing in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on August 23, all three players have recently spent time on holiday on the Spanish island of Ibiza.    

"Three PSG players are confirmed positive after a Sars CoV2 test and have undergone the appropriate health protocols," the club said on social media. 

'All players and staff will continue to be tested over the next few days.'

All three players will now spend time in quarantine - the first PSG fixture of the new season is in eight days' time, on September 10 against Lens. 

For the time being, the match is not believed to be in doubt.  

Positive tests have already disrupted the start of the new season, with the opening match of the campaign between Marseille and St Etienne postponed when Marseille reported four positive tests.
19:57   Govt not running away from debate: Joshi
Amid criticism by several opposition leaders for dropping the Question Hour from the upcoming Parliament session, the government on Wednesday said it is not running away from any debate and that all opposition parties were told beforehand about the move with most of them agreeing to it.
The government is ready for unstarred questions and it has requested presiding officers of both the Houses to facilitate the same, said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. 

Unstarred questions are those to which written answers are given by ministers, while 'starred questions' are those to which answers are desired to be given orally on the floor of the House during the Question Hour. 

"We are not running away from any debate and is ready to discuss any issue or topic which will be decided in the Business Advisory Committee," Joshi said.

Underlining that the monsoon session is being held in unprecedented circumstances in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshi said officers from ministries would have to come to Parliament if the Question Hour is held and that can make the place crowded.

Therefore, for the safety of members, there will be no Question Hour during the monsoon session, the minister said.

He also said the government had approached all opposition parties before the notification was issued for the session and most of them were in agreement for not holding the Question Hour during the session.

There will be a Zero Hour of at least 30 minutes, he said.

Several opposition leaders, including from the Congress, Trinamool Congress and CPI, have criticised the decision of not having the Question Hour and have accused the government of trying to "murder the democracy" in the name of the COVID-19 pandemic and of reducing "Parliament to a notice board".

-- PTI
19:43   Pained by campaign against Sushant: Lawyer
Sushant Singh Rajput's family lawyer Vikas Singh Wednesday said a malicious campaign was being run by few channels to defame his family and benefit actress Rhea Chakraborty, who has been accused of abetting the actor's suicide.
The senior advocate told the media that Sushant's three sisters -- Priyanka, Mitu and Rani -- told him that they are extremely pained by the negative and false campaign related to his mental health which has been started by some news channels.

-- PTI
19:09   Lasith Malinga withdraws from IPL 2020
Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday announced the signing of Australian speedster James Pattinson as a replacement for Lasith Malinga for the upcoming IPL.
The veteran Sri Lankan pacer is unavailable for the season due to personal reasons. 
"Lasith Malinga has requested unavailability for the season for personal reasons and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka," a media release issued by Mumbai Indians said.
Pattinson will join MI, currently based in Abu Dhabi, this weekend.
Malinga has been a key bowler for MI and has played a crucial role in the team's campaign over the years.
Owner Akash Ambani welcomed Pattinson on board and extended his support to Malinga.
"James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season in UAE."
Malinga last featured for Sri Lanka in a T20 International during the home series against West Indies in March this year, with his last ODI appearance coming more than a year ago.
"Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI's strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith's cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith's need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time."
"Mumbai Indians is founded on the values of one family and for us the members of our squad and their wellbeing will always hold utmost importance," added Ambani.
The IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. 

-- PTI
18:49   Delhi records 2,509 fresh COVID-19 cases, highest daily spike in nearly 2 months
The national capital on Wednesday recorded 2,509 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day spike in nearly two months, taking the tally to over 1.79 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 4,481, authorities said.
Nineteen fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health department.

The last time Delhi recorded more than 2,500 fresh cases was on July 3 (2,520 cases).

The city on Tuesday reported 2,312 new cases.

The number of active cases in the city rose to 16,502 on Wednesday from 15,870 the previous day.

On June 23, the national capital had reported its highest single-day spike of 3,947 new cases till date.

The COVID-19 death toll in Delhi stood at 4,462 on Tuesday.

The bulletin on Wednesday said the death toll from the coronavirus infection has risen to 4,481 and the total number of cases has climbed to 1,79,569.

The positivity rate stood at 8.7 per cent, while the recovery rate was over 88 per cent, it said.

-- PTI
18:28   Mumbai metro services may resume in October
The Maharashtra government has decided not to resume operation of metro rail services in September. Mumbai Line-1 and Maha Metro operations to commence from October or as the State Government may decide further. 

This comes even as Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri released the SOPs for resumption of Metro services and said that Metro services across country will resume in a graded manner.
18:24   Mumbai airports acquisition will provide group with transformational platform: Adani
Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani on Wednesday said the addition of Mumbai International Airport and the Navi Mumbai International Airport to group's existing portfolio of six airports would provide the group with a transformational platform that would help shape and create strategic adjacencies for their other business-to-business (B2B) operations.

"This acquisition helps us redesign the way we will serve our customer base and bridge our B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B business models. The Mumbai International Airport is absolutely world-class and I compliment the GVK Group for having built such an outstanding airport," Adani said in a statement. 

He said, from a medium to long-term perspective, Mumbai is well on its way to become one of the top five global metropolitan centres of the 21st Century.

"It is expected to be the nation's leading airport as well as a core domestic and international hub as passenger traffic across our country grows 5-fold and India builds 200 additional airports to handle over 1 billion domestic and international passengers across the Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, majority of which will connect to Mumbai. Over this period, India's top 30 cities are expected to each require two airports and Adani Airports sees itself well-positioned to help build the infrastructure platform required," Adani said.

He further said in the present world order airports have increasingly come to define the character of a city and become a critical factor for the choice of a business location, tourism, urban economic growth and global economic integration.

"Our view is that the economic value that the cities of the future create will be maximised around airports. It was Le Corbusier who had said that a city made for speed is made for success. It is airports that enable this speed and we see airports as the nucleus around which we can catalyse real-estate and entertainment facilities, e-commerce and logistics capabilities, time-sensitive industrial ecosystems, aviation-linked business and put in place other innovative business concepts - many of which will be enabled as a result of the mainstreaming of digitization across every aspect of business and our daily lives," he said.

As India progresses towards becoming the world's third-largest economy, the Group's ability to serve this growth through a rapid build-out of airport infrastructure can be a significant enabler, Adani said.Adani group had on August 31 said it has entered into an agreement to acquire the debt of GVK Airport Developers, paving the way to acquire 74 per cent stake in Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) that operates India's second-largest airport in Mumbai.  -- PTI
18:07   Sushant was cut off from his family, says lawyer
Sushant Singh Rajput was cut off from his family and therefore despite wanting to help him with his problems, they were not able to assist him, advocate Varun Singh, briefing lawyer of the family, said on Wednesday.

"It has never been our case that the family was unaware. We have always said that there seemed to be a lot of problem and for which we (family) wanted to eventually rescue Sushant at an opportune time," Singh told ANI. 

He said a look at the FIR in the case clears what the case has been made out."Because he (Sushant) was cut off, the family was unable to assist him and help him tide over the problem, which is why unfortunately things have happened the way they have," Singh said.

"To dispel rumours and bring some clarity about the family's stance and their case, Mr Vikas Singh (lawyer of Sushant's father) will address media today," he added.

Speaking about the recently registered drug case registered in the matter, Singh said that the family's FIR has nothing to do with the drug angle.

"The credible investigative agency has taken note of the fact that these situations had occurred and there is something worthwhile to investigate. However, we as complainants have not really stressed up or made that a basis for our case," he said.

When asked about the questioning of Sushant Singh Rajput's sisters by the CBI, the lawyer said he cannot reveal the information as it is a matter of investigation. He also said that he cannot release what his three sisters discussed with their lawyers when they came to meet them today, without their consent. It was also recently reported that Sushant's sister Priyanka knew about his mental health condition. 
17:30   India bans China's PUBG, 117 mobile apps
Just in: Ministry of Information & Technology bans PUBG and 118 other mobile applications. With 180 million downloads, PUBG accounts for 24% of total game downloads worldwide and has generated close to $28 million since July 2019 through in-app purchases.

The government has blocked these 118 mobile apps which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, the defence of India, the security of the state and public order.

PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik, PUBG MOBILE LITE, WeChat Work and WeChat reading are among the banned mobile apps.
17:22   Muted at Justice Mishra's farewell: Dushyant Dave complains to CJI
Senior advocate and SCBA President Dushyant Dave Wednesday shot off a letter to the Chief Justice expressing disappointment at being allegedly deprived of an opportunity to speak at the farewell ceremony of Justice Arun Mishra. Dave wrote to the Chief Justice S A Bobde expressing "strong disappointment and condemnation" and said he will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till his term as Supreme Court Bar Association president is over in December. 

"I must confess, the Supreme Court has come to such levels where the Judges are afraid of the Bar. Please do remember, Judges come and go but we the Bar remain constant. We are the real strength of this great Institution because we are permanent.

"I must say, I am personally deeply saddened by this events and will never again participate in any function being organised by the Supreme Court till my term is over in December," Dave said.

He alleged that he got a link at 10.06 am to join the Ceremonial Bench of the Chief Justice of India at 12.30 pm from the Team SCI VC and which was sent on WhatsApp by the concerned Registrar. "I responded at 10.16 am accepting it which was acknowledged by the Registrar at 10.18 am. I joined through the link around 12.20 pm and was confirmed by the Team saying Video and Audio were perfect. I then had conversations with the Attorney General K K Venugopal, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, President SCORA Shivaji Jadhav, amongst others. Once the Court assembled, I saw and heard all the proceedings clearly. At the end Mr Mukul Rohtagi bid farewell," he said. 

Supreme Court judge Justice Arun Mishra, who is superannuated on September 2, had earlier declined farewell invitations of bar bodies citing "severe situation and sufferings the world over" on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dave further wrote that after Court work, Attorney General was requested to speak. "When he ended, I thought that I will be requested to speak, instead Mr Jadhav was requested knowing full well I was present. For some unknown reasons, I was being disconnected again and again but I persisted and rejoined each time. I saw and heard Shri Jadhav fully and at the end of his address again I was not requested to speak though Shri Jadhav has acknowledged my presence in his address," Dave said.

He further wrote that after an address by the CJI, Justice Mishra was invited to speak. "At that stage realising the game plan I exited in the larger interests of the dignity of the Bar and Myself. But what is most important is that I messaged the Secretary-General on WhatsApp at 12.49 pm and again at 12.53 pm asking why I was kept on mute and why was I at all invited.

"Only at 1.02 pm, he responded saying he is instructing Registrar to look into it, by which time it was too late and so I messaged him informing that I had exited. The entire episode leaves much to be desired on the part of this great Institution. The whole attempt was to prevent me from addressing on behalf of the SCBA and its Executive Committee, after having invited and invitation having been accepted. This was clearly an affront to the Bar and to me personally," he said. PTI
17:15   Markets extend winning run as Reliance sparkles
Equity benchmarks notched up gains for the second straight session on Wednesday, propelled by market heavyweight Reliance Industries amid upbeat global cues. However, border tensions with China and a weakening rupee capped the upside, traders said. After starting on a choppy note, the BSE Sensex gained momentum in late-afternoon trade, before finally closing at 39,086.03, up 185.23 points or 0.48 per cent. 

On similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty climbed 64.75 points or 0.56 per cent to close at 11,535. Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5.77 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, HCL Tech, ONGC and Infosys. Reliance Industries jumped 1.97 per cent, accounting for over half of the index's gains. 

On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, HDFC, Nestle India and HUL were among the laggards, shedding up to 2.62 per cent. "After initially trading with uncertainty, the markets gained strength, in sync with positive global cues. European and Asian markets gained from encouraging economic data which could be assumed as an indicator towards an economic recovery in most of the major economies. -- PTI
17:00   43K daily wagers, farmers died of suicide in 2019
Nearly 43,000 people engaged in farming sector and daily wage earners committed suicide in 2019, according to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. As many as 32,563 daily wage earners ended their lives during the year and formed 23.4 per cent of the total suicide cases in the country, up from 30,132 in 2018, the data showed. 

As many as 10,281 people involved in farming sector (consisting of 5,957 farmers or cultivators and 4,324 agricultural labourers) killed themselves in 2019, accounting for 7.4 per cent of total suicide victims (1,39,123) in the country, it stated. 

The suicide figures for people engaged in farming sector stood at 10,349 (7.7 per cent) of the total in 2018, previous data showed. Out of 5,957 farmer or cultivator suicides in 2019, a total of 5,563 were male and 394 female. Out of the 4,324 suicides committed by agricultural labourers during 2019, 3,749 were male and 575 were female, the NCRB, which functions under the Union Home Ministry, stated. 

Majority of victims engaged in farming sector were reported in Maharashtra (38.2 per cent), Karnataka (19.4 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (10 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (5.3 per cent) and Chhattisgarh and Telangana (4.9 per cent each), the data showed. However, the NCRB stated that West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi UT, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported zero suicides of farmers or cultivators as well as agricultural labourers. Altogether, India reported1,39,123 suicides during 2019, up from 1,34,516 in 2018 and 1,29,887 in 2017, the data showed. In profession-wise categorization of suicides in 2019, daily wage earners (23.4 per cent) were the biggest chunk of such fatalities, followed by housewives (15.4 per cent).
16:25   Cabinet approves Bill to include Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi as official languages in J-K
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill under which Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi, apart from the existing Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Announcing the decision at a news briefing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 will be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. 

The Bill received the Cabinet nod on Wednesday at a meeting presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The minister did not divulge further details saying the bill be debated in Parliament soon. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said the government has accepted the long pending demand of the region for the inclusion of Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as officials languages in J-K. 

"It is not only a fulfilment of a long-pending public demand of the region but also in keeping with the spirit of equality which was ushered in after August 5 last year," he told reporters. -- PTI
16:17   You have undermined federalism: Mamata to PM
Depriving states of GST compensation is an "attempt to undermine federalism", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. 

Urging the prime minister not to belie the trust between the states and the Centre on the issue, Banerjee asked him "not to allow an insufferable blow to the federalist polity of the nation by depriving the states of the GST compensation". 

"I am deeply anguished by the GST imbroglio which tantamounts to a betrayal of the trust and moral responsibility of the Government of India towards the states, violating the very premise of federalism. 

"This is a travesty and an abrogation of the fundamental basis on which the states gave up 70 per cent of their taxing powers, including the entire VAT regime, to usher in the GST regime," Banerjee said in the four-page letter.

The chief minister added that the "agreed formula" for giving up taxing powers was the promise of full compensation of shortfall in GST collection for five years. -- PTI
Journalist Pandurang Raykar
Journalist Pandurang Raykar
15:50   Covid+ve scribe died due to lack of care: Family
Journalist Pandurang Raykar, who tested COVID-19 positive, died due to lack of care at a government COVID centre in Pune, his family members alleged.

"There's chaos, doctors aren't trained. They made centres worth crores but couldn't arrange cardiac ambulance to shift him. That's why he died," said Akshara Shendage, sister of the deceased journalist. 

Ashwini Satav Doke, a colleague of the deceased said, "He was taken to COVID centre in Hinjewadi but his oxygen level was 77, and there was no high-pressure oxygen available at Hinjewadi. So he was given an injection. Then we started looking for a bed and in the night a bed was made available here at Jumbo COVID Centre. But he required oxygen."

"Yesterday, his oxygen level was 85, but we decided to take him to a private hospital. A bed was also available at the private hospital and it was just seven minutes distance away. But we did not get the cardiac ambulance," Ashwini Satav said.

"We arranged for an ambulance but they came with faulty ventilator and another without doctor. This all happened until 2 am today. So we decided to shift him in the morning as the doctor here was saying that we cannot shift the patient in a critical condition," she said.

"In the morning, around 4 am we were informed that his oxygen level was between 50 and 55. We arranged for another ambulance and we were told that it will be available at 6:30 am but in the meantime, we reached here, we got to know that Pandurang has died," she said.

"From 8 pm yesterday we were arranging for the cardiac ambulance, and it was only available to us in the morning after 4 am today," she added. -- ANI
15:27   AIIMS suspends routine OPD admissions for 2 weeks
With increasing number of non-COVID patients being admitted in the emergency department of the AIIMS in Delhi, hospital authorities have suspended routine OPD admissions in general and private wards for two weeks. However, routine OPD services to enable patients seek medical advise and counselling, which were recently resumed will continue, AIIMS Medical Superintendent, Dr D K Sharma, said.

"In view of the need to optimise usage of available inpatient beds for hospitalisation of seriously ill emergency/semi-emergency patients, it has been decided to temporarily stop routine OPD admissions to general wards as well as private wards in AIIMS hospital and all centres with immediate effect for a period of two weeks which will be reviewed after that," a circular issued by Sharma on Tuesday said.

Emergency patients, who require inpatient hospitalisation in general wards or such patients who are advised private wards hospitalisation owing to emergency and semi-emergency conditions will continue to be admitted. "Notwithstanding above, EHS (employees health scheme) patients will continue to be hospitalised as clinically warranted," the circular stated.

"The decision has been taken in view of increased admissions of non-COVID serious patients through emergency, particularly trauma emergency as the Trauma Centre has been converted into a dedicated COVID-19 facility. There has been an almost two-fold increase in emergency admissions," Sharma explained. -- PTI
15:21   Tharoor on his 'elixir of life'
It's world coconut day today and Kerala bred MP Shashi Tharoor raises a toast with this throwback picture: "Today is #WorldCoconutDay -- as we know in Kerala, which is named for the coconut, it's the elixir of life! Kept me going on the campaign trail last year..."
15:16   You may find me back in CSK: Raina
Suresh Raina has broken his silence over his unexpected pullout from the IPL, saying he returned to India for his family and he might even fly back to Dubai to rejoin the Chennai Super Kings for the tournament beginning September 19. 

Raina, who announced his international retirement alongside M S Dhoni on August 15, also rubbished reports claiming a rift between him and his longtime franchise. 

The contingent recorded 13 COVID-19 cases, including two players, and Raina's pullout was attributed to that. "It was a personal decision and I had to come back for my family. There was something that needed to be addressed immediately on the home front. CSK is my family too and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is very important to me and this was a tough decision," Raina told 'Cricbuzz'. 

"There is no issue between CSK and me. Nobody will just turn their back on Rs 12.5 crore and walk away without a solid reason. I might have retired from international cricket but I'm still young and I am looking forward to playing for them in the IPL for the next 4-5 years," he said. He also dropped a hint on rejoining the team in Dubai when asked about his future with CSK. 

"I've been training even while quarantining here. You never know you might see me in the camp there again," said the southpaw. When CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan was asked about Raina's long-term future with the franchise, he said the team backs all its players. 

 "He has said he is not available for the season. We always support the player. He said he has got some personal issues going on. So he can come back whenever he is fit and ready. That is what we want. --PTI
14:54   SC Judge Arun Mishra retires today
Supreme Court judge Arun Mishra, who is superannuating on September 2, 2020, has declined farewell invitations of bar bodies citing "severe situation and sufferings the world over' on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keeping with a long-standing tradition of the court, Justice Mishra was today set on a bench with Chief Justice of India SA Bobde. The CJI, after hearing cases through video-conferencing, said Justice Mishra has been a beacon of light, courage and fortitude in face of all adversities. 

CJI Bobde said that Justice Mishra is leaving behind a "legacy of hard work, erudition, great courage and fortitude". The CJI said he is "aware of the great difficulties which Justice Arun Mishra had to face on the personal front and despite that he carried on his duties. He had excellent relations with all his colleagues.

"Also speaking on the occasion, Attorney General KK Venugopal called Justice Mishra the "iron judge" of the Supreme Court. "I have not seen in the Supreme Court a judge so firm and unshakeable. I would describe him as an iron judge of the Supreme Court. He has contributed tremendously," Venugopal said.
14:47   HC permits Parsis to pray at community temple on Thursday
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed the Parsi community in Mumbai to offer Farvardiyan prayers at the Doongerwadi tower of silence here for a day on Thursday after the Maharashtra government denied permission for the same.

The court also said its order was to be treated as an exception, and others seeking permission for any other religious event or prayers cannot use this as a precedent.

A bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and M J Jamdar granted the permission on the condition that no person below the age of 10or above the age of 65 would be allowed at the premises in the wake of the COVID-19-related restrictions.

The bench also mandated that attendees will compulsorily use masks, sanitisers, and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Centre and the Maharashtra government last month on implementing safety precautions in the wake of Covid-19. As per the order, the prayers will be held between 7 am and 4.30 pm and not more than 200 people will attend it. At any given hour, only a maximum of 30 people will be permitted inside the premises. -- PTI
14:24   Metro services to resume in Delhi
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gave his nod to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government's suggestion to resume the metro services in the national capital, according to the sources.

Baijal's approval came during a meeting of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) held today. 

Besides Baijal, Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and other officials were present in the meeting.Delhi Metro operations are shut since March 22 (Janata curfew). 

After the Ministry of Home Affairs permitted metro services in Unlock 4, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) announced that it will resume its services from September 7 in a calibrated manner.

Further details on metro functioning and its usage by the general public will be shared once the detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) on metros is issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the next few days, DMRC said.

Kejriwal had also welcomed the MHA's decision.The Delhi Transport Minister had earlier said his government will ensure that COVID-19 norms are followed by the commuters. -- PTI
13:53   HC refuses to stay streaming of 'Gunjan Saxena'
The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to stay at this stage the streaming of Netflix movie, 'Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl', on the Centre's plea that it depicts the Indian Air Force (IAF) in bad light. Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the Centre as to why it did not approach the court before the release of the movie on the Over The Top (OTT) platform, and said an injunction cannot be granted now as the film is already streaming.

The movie was released on Netflix on August 12.

The high court issued notices and sought response of Dharma Productions Private Limited, which produced the film, its directors Karan Yash Johar and Hiroo Yash Johar, CEO Apporva Mehta, Zee Entertainment, Netflix Entertainment Services India LLP and M/s Netflix on the Centre's suit and interim application to remove the movie from all OTT platforms. 

The court said it was of the view that former Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, on whose life the film is based, should also be made a party to the suit and issued notice to her seeking her response. 

The court has listed the matter for further hearing on September 18 and asked the Centre to remove IAF from the memo of parties, saying the government can itself take this forward.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain (ASG), representing the Centre, said the movie has dented the image of the IAF as it showed that the force is gender biased, which is not correct.

The government, in its suit filed through central government standing counsel Gaurang Kanth, sought a decree of permanent injunction against the defendants from broadcasting or releasing in theatres or any other digital platform the film Gunjan Saxena', without grant of no-objection certificate (NOC) from it.

Jain argued that the picture was never shown to the preview committee, set up in accordance with the Ministry of Defence's 2013 guidelines, NOC was not taken from the Centre of IAF, objections flagged by them were ignored and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoC) was not signed. -- PTI
13:36   U'khan CM goes back into self quarantine
Uttarakhand Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has gone into self-quarantine once again with his OSD testing positive for Covid-19, official sources said on Wednesday. A meeting of the state cabinet scheduled for Wednesday has been postponed as a result, the sources said. 

With an OSD to the chief minister testing positive for the coronavirus the latter has had to quarantine himself for three days, they said. Rawat had earlier gone into self-quarantine for three days as a precaution on August 25 after one of his advisors had tested positive for COVID-19 leading to the postponement of a meeting of the state cabinet scheduled to be held on August 26. 

Rawat came out of self quarantine after testing negative on August 30 and the cabinet meeting was rescheduled for September 2 which has once again been deferred.
Imran Khan with Mohammed bin Salman
Imran Khan with Mohammed bin Salman
13:30   Pakistan's balancing act in Muslim world
Amid ongoing strategic realignments in the Middle East and the wider world, we are likely to see many more ups and downs in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in the coming days. It appears Saudi Arabia will continue to move closer to India, ignoring Pakistani demands for support on Kashmir. Pakistan, meanwhile, is unlikely to give up on its diverse partnerships and return to Saudi Arabia's orbit,' say Abdul Basit and Zahid Shahab Ahmed in aljazeera.comhere.
13:15   Democracy killed: Oppn on 'No Question Hour'
Opposition parties on Wednesday questioned and criticised the decision of doing away with the question hour in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor sought justification of no question hour in the monsoon session. "I said four months ago that strongmen leaders would use the excuse of the pandemic to stifle democracy and dissent. The notification for the delayed Parliament session blandly announces there will be no Question Hour. How can this be justified in the name of keeping us safe?" he asked on Twitter.

"Questioning the government is the oxygen of parliamentary democracy. This Govt seeks to reduce Parliament to a notice-board and uses its crushing majority as a rubber-stamp for whatever it wants to pass. The one mechanism to promote accountability has now been done away with," Tharoor said in another tweet.

Criticising the move, TMC MP Derek O'Brien accused that the pandemic is an excuse to murder democracy. "MPs required to submit Qs for Question Hour in Parliament 15 days in advance. Session starts 14 Sept. So Q Hour cancelled? Oppn MPs lose right to Q govt. A first since 1950? Parliament overall working hours remain same so why cancel Q Hour? Pandemic excuse to murder democracy," O'Brien said in a tweet.

Lending support to the Opposition cause, RJD MP Manoj Jha said, "It is disappointing. No question hour in such a time when coronavirus has taken so many lives, infection is rising, management regarding it is below poor and also there is a situation at the border, is like a death of the soul of democracy. The Zero Hour is reduced to half an hour. Cannot stand by this decision."
13:09   Vistara, Japan Airlines enter frequent flyer partnership
Vistara and Japan Airlines have inked a partnership that allows members of their frequent flyer programmes to earn and spend points on each other. A frequent flyer program (FFP) is a loyalty programme wherein a passenger earns points for travelling on an airline's flights, which can then be used to get rewards on the same airline or partner companies.

"The partnership enables Club Vistara members to earn and redeem CV points on flights operated and marketed by Japan Airlines," Vistara said on Wednesday in a press release. Vistara's FFP is called Club Vistara and Japan Airlines' FFP is called JAL Mileage Bank. Members of JAL Mileage Bank will be able to earn and spend their miles on flights operated and marketed by Vistara, the release noted, adding the partnership came into effect from Monday. Now, Club Vistara members can earn and redeem points when travelling on partner airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Silk Air, United Airlines and Japan Airlines. The aforementioned two airlines entered a code-share agreement in 2019. 

A code-share agreement allows an airline to sell seats of other airline's flights on its distribution network. Vistara is yet to start flight operations between India and Japan. --PTI
12:56   Entire world beginning to unite against China: Pompeo
The entire world is beginning to unite against China's unfair practices and countries like India, Australia, Japan and South Korea are going to partner with the US to push back Beijing on every front, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

The US is intensifying pressure on China, piling on visa bans, sanctions and other restrictions that are battering the already unsettled ties between the world's two largest economies. 

In an interview to Fox News on Tuesday, Pompeo said, "I think you're seeing the entire world begin to unite around the central understanding that the Chinese Communist Party simply is going to refuse to compete in a fair, reciprocal and transparent way." 

"So, whether it's our friends in India, our friends in Australia, friends in Japan or South Korea, I think they have all come to see the risk to their own people, to their own countries, and you'll see them partner with the US to push back (China) on every front that we've talked about this evening," he said, responding to a question posed by the host, Lou Dobbs, on India reportedly sending a warship into the South China Sea. 

Dobbs said India's act was in response against the clashes on the border with China, and also it appears with some affinity with the US Navy that is in the South China Sea. Dobbs wanted to know the importance of the US relationship with India in meeting the threat from China. 

"It's central that we have friends and allies in this battle. We've worked for two years now to build that out. We've made real progress. You've seen lots of countries turn away from Huawei. You've seen them acknowledge the threat. They slept on this threat the same way America did for two decades," Pompeo said. -- PTI
12:48   Banks can't penalise borrowers availing moratorium benefit, SC told
Banks are free to restructure loans but they cannot penalise honest borrowers by charging interest on deferred EMI payments under the moratorium scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic, a petitioner opposing the move said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. 

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, which commenced final hearing on a batch of pleas raising the issue of interest on instalments deferred under the scheme during the moratorium period, was told that paying interest on interest is a double whammy for borrowers. 

Senior counsel Rajiv Dutta, appearing for the petitioner Gajendra Sharma who has taken home loan from a bank, assailed the accrual of interests on EMIs even during the moratorium period. RBI came out with the scheme and we thought that we will be paying the EMI after the moratorium period and later we were told that compound interest would be charged and it will be double whammy for us as we will be paying interest on interest, Dutta told the bench. They have given so much relief to banks and we are not given any relief in actual terms, he said, adding that there is no default on my (petitioner) part and we cannot be penalized for availing a scheme by being charged the interest on interest.

Dutta claimed that RBI is a regulator and not an agent of banks and borrowers are being penalised during the COVID-19 times. "Now the government is saying that they will restructure the loans. You restructure but don't penalise the honest borrowers," he said. 

Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), told the bench that moratorium should be extended for at least six months. If interest can't be waived, then please reduce it to a level on which banks pay their depositors, he said. Sundaram referred to the August 6 circular of RBI which gave power to banks to decide on moratorium to industries.

The Centre and the RBI had Tuesday told the apex court that moratorium period on repayment of loans during the COVID-19 pandemic is extendable by two years and several steps have been taken to help the stressed sectors. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and RBI, had said that the economy contracted by 23 per cent in the April-June quarter due to coronavirus-related lockdown and restrictions. -- PTI
12:44   51% of Covid deaths in 60+ age group: Govt
The Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday that 54 per cent of the Covid-19 cases reported in India are in the age group of 18-44 years, while 51 per cent deaths are among people aged 60 and above. Presenting an analysis of COVID-19 cases and mortality on the basis of age, it also said that 36 per cent of the fatalities reported are in the age group of 45-60 years, 11 per cent in the age group of 26-44 years and 1 per cent each among people aged 18-25 years and those below 17 years.

The same figures were shared by Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan during a press briefing on August 25. He had also said that 69 per cent of Covid-19 deaths have been reported among males and 31 per cent among females. The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

As far as cases of coronavirus infection are concerned, 54 per cent are in the age group 18-44 years, 26 per cent among those aged 45 to 60 years, eight per cent among those below 17 years and 12 per cent among those 60 years and above, it stated. India's COVID-19 tally of cases galloped past 37 lakh on Wednesday with 78,357 new instances of the disease reported in a day, while the number of recoveries crossed 29 lakh pushing the recovery rate to 76.98 per cent, the Union health ministry data showed.

The death toll climbed to 66,333 with 1,045 more fatalities reported in 24 hours. India has so far reported 37,69,523 cases of the viral disease, according to the data updated at 8 am.

The total number of Covid-19 recoveries in the country has surged to 29,01,908, while the fatality rate has further declined to 1.76 per cent. There are 8,01,282, active cases in the country which comprises 21.26 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. -- PTI
12:21   China using coercion for territory: Pentagon
China has been using "coercive" tactics in pursuit of territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas, as well as along its border with India and Bhutan, according to a Pentagon report. China has been fast expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, triggering concern in various countries of the region and beyond. "China's leaders use tactics short of armed conflict to pursue China's objectives. 

China calibrates its coercive activities to fall below the threshold of provoking armed conflict with the United States, its allies and partners, or others in the Indo-Pacific region," the Pentagon said on Tuesday in its annual report on China to the US Congress.

"These tactics are particularly evident in China's pursuit of its territorial and maritime claims in the South and East China Seas as well as along its border with India and Bhutan," said the report titled 'Military and Security Developments involving the People's Republic of China 2020'. The 200-page Pentagon report, however, makes no mention of the latest border row between India and China in eastern Ladakh.
12:06   Sushant case: Rhea's father at CBI for 2nd day
Actress Rhea Chakraborty's father was called for questioning by the CBI for the second consecutive day on Wednesday in connection with the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, a police official said. The 28-year-old actress and her family members are accused of abetting the suicide of Rajput (34), who was found hanging in his flat in suburban Bandra on June 14. 

Her father Indrajeet Chakraborty reached the DRDO guest house in suburban Kalina, where the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team is stationed, around 10.30 am in a car escorted by a police vehicle, the official said.

Rajput's manager Samuel Miranda, his cook Neeraj Singh, house staff Keshav and business manager Shruti Modi also reached the guest house in the morning, he said. Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and mother have not been summoned on Wednesday so far, the official said. On Tuesday, the probe team questioned the actress's father and mother for over eight hours in connection with the case. 

The actress was earlier questioned for around 35 hours over four days from last Friday till Monday. Rajput was found hanging in his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14 following which the Mumbai Police registered a case of accidental death. The late filmstar's father subsequently filed a police complaint in Patna, accusing Rhea Chakraborty and her family of abetting his suicide and misappropriating his money. --  PTI
11:35   US backs out from global effort to develop, distribute Covid vaccine
The United States has said it will not join a global effort led by the World Health Organisation to develop, manufacture and distribute a vaccine to cure coronavirus.

Over 170 countries are in talks to take part in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility, aimed at fast-tracking vaccine development, secure doses for all nations and distributing them to the most high-risk segment of each population, The Washington Post reported. 

The initiative, co-led by the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the vaccine alliance, was of interest to some members of the Donald Trump administration and is supported by US allies including Japan, Germany and the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union.

However, the US will not participate as Trump pulled out his country from the WHO in July after he criticised the body for covering up the outbreak of COVID-19, which first emerged in China last year.

"The US will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organisations influenced by the corrupt WHO and China," White House spokesperson Judd Deere was quoted as saying. -- PTI
Delhi HC refuses to stay streaming of Netflix movie 'Gunjan Saxena - The Kargil Girl', on Centre's plea that it depicts IAF in bad light.
Rahul Gandhi speaks to migrants in May
Rahul Gandhi speaks to migrants in May
11:21   India reeling under Modi-made disasters: Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and listed issues such as GDP reduction, job losses, highest daily Covid-19 cases and external aggression at the border as "Modi-made disasters".

In a tweet, the Congress MP listed six issues the country is facing and termed them as "Modi-made disasters". 

"India is reeling under Modi-made disasters: Historic GDP reduction -23.9%, Highest Unemployment in 45 years, 12 Crores job loss, Centre not paying States their GST dues, Globally highest COVID-19 daily cases and deaths and External aggression at our borders," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress leader has been repeatedly criticising the Central government over the past few weeks on various issues including its handling of the economy, Covid-19 situation and tension at India-China border.

On August 31, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the NDA government has been attacking the informal sector over the past 6 years and asserted that the aim of demonetisation, "wrong" Goods and Services Tax (GST) and lockdown is to destroy this sector.His remark came in the first video of his new series on "how the Modi government has destroyed Indian economy" released on Monday. -- ANI
11:12   Goa CM Pramod Sawant tests Covid +ve
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tests Covid positive. The CM says he is asymptomatic and under home isolation. 
Yesterday, Goa Airport on Tuesday announced it had done away with a rule which laid down that domestic travelers must carry Covid-19 negative certificates on arrival.

The move came after the Union home ministry issued guidelines as part of 'Unlock 4' under which many restrictions in place for the coronavirus outbreak were eased. 
11:05   Rajnath leaves for Russia to attend SCO meet
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday left for Russia on a three-day visit to attend a crucial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu on further boosting bilateral defence cooperation. 

The defence ministers of all eight SCO member nations are expected to deliberate on regional security challenges like terrorism and extremism and ways to deal with them "collectively" in Moscow on Friday, officials said.

The meeting is taking place under the shadow of a fierce border row between India and China, both members of the influential bloc. Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe and Pakistan's Pervez Khattak are expected to attend the SCO meeting. 

Asked about the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Singh and Wei on the sidelines of the SCO event, officials said there is no such plan. "Heading to Moscow. During this visit, I shall be attending the combined meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) & CIS members in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of victory in the World War II," Singh tweeted.

He said issues of mutual interest will figure in his talks with Shoigu. "India and Russia are privileged Strategic Partners. Looking forward to further this partnership during my visit," Singh said,
11:03   Ex-CM of Bihar's party to join NDA tomorrow
Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) to join National Democratic Alliance tomorrow, in Bihar. The party had left the  'Mahagathbandhan' last month. 
10:32   Sushant case: NCB detains drug dealer in Mumbai
The Narcotics Control Bureau on Tuesday detained an alleged contraband dealer who has "links" with its probe in the drugs trafficking case pertaining to the death case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, officials said.
The man, who has not been identified, apprehended by the federal anti-narcotics agency is understood to be involved in the supply of narcotics in the high-end party circles of Mumbai.
He is expected to be arrested by the NCB on Wednesday after his questioning gave the agency sleuths some "vital leads" into the narcotics case registered against Rajput's live-partner Rhea Chakraborty and others, they said.
The agency last week arrested two men for alleged drug trafficking in the western metropolis and it is understood that the leads against the detained man came after questioning them.
A special NCB team from Delhi, headed by deputy director (operations) K P S Malhotra, is camping in Mumbai to take forward this probe. The team also includes agency officers from Mumbai and has been constituted by NCB Director General Rakesh Asthana.
The agency filed a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act after the Enforcement Directorate, also probing the death case of the 34-year-old actor, shared with it a report after it cloned two mobile phones of Rhea.
As per officials, the mobile phone chats and messages indicated procurement and consumption of drugs and these leads were shared by the ED with the NCB and the CBI.
The NCB, as part of a linked operation, also seized about 3.5 kgs of bud or curated marijuana from foreign post offices in Delhi and Mumbai.
Officials said the operation in Mumbai led them to a Goa-based man identified as F Ahmed who works as a driver at a prominent resort in the coastal state.
"Ahmed was supplying bud to some prominent receiver at Bangalore who has linkages with page 3 celebrities," an NCB officer said.
An intensive operation has been conducted against the illegal import of curated marijuana (bud), which is primarily sourced from USA and Canada, and has huge market demand in Mumbai, he said.
While the seizure made in Delhi was destined for Mumbai, the one made in Mumbai was sourced from Canada and destined for Goa, the officer said.��
"The widespread use and demand of bud in Mumbai region has jacked up the prices in the grey market and it has huge pecuniary gains in the trafficking. The sourcing of the bud is primarily through the darknet and cryptocurrency which provides layers of anonymity to buyers and sellers," the NCB officer said.
In the Delhi seizure, he said, the source of the bud was found to be the US.
"The consignee of the contraband was based in Delhi but was misguided by his contact at Mumbai that some legal stuff was being procured from the US and it was to be collected by Mumbai-based persons, whose search is underway," the officer said. -- PTI
10:26   Army personnel killed in firing by Pakistani troops
A Junior Commissioned Officer of the army was killed on Wednesday in firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said.
Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire and opened fire at forward posts in Keri sector, drawing retaliation from the Indian Army, the sources said.
The JCO was critically injured in the Pakistani firing and later succumbed to injuries, the sources said, adding Pakistan also suffered casualties in the retaliatory action but the exact details are awaited.
This was the second such incident in the past four days. 
On August 30, a JCO was killed in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. -- PTI 
10:06   India's COVID-19 tally crosses 37-lakh mark
India recorded a single-day spike of 78,357 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the tally past 37-lakh mark, according to the Union health ministry on Wednesday.

With 1,045 new deaths reported in the country, the cumulative toll reached 66,333 deaths.

The total coronavirus cases climbed to 37,69,524 including 8,01,282 active cases, 29,01,909 cured/discharged/migrated.

Maharashtra has 1,98,866 active coronavirus cases while Andhra Pradesh reported 1,01,210 active cases.

10,12,367 samples were tested on Tuesday whereas overall over 4.43 crores samples have been tested so far, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.
09:33   4-storey building collapses in Nalasopara
A 4-storey building collapsed in Achole area of Nalasopara near Mumbai on Tuesday night.

The entire building was evacuated and no injuries were reported in the incident. 

Meanwhile, authorities are trying to ascertain the reasons for the collapse.

"There were five families with 25 people in the building. The moment we saw the construction material falling off from the walls, we immediately started the evacuation and saved lives," said Rajesh Tiwari, a local said,
09:12   No question hour in monsoon session of Parl
In the wake of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no question hour and private members' business during the monsoon session, according to a notification issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

However, zero hour and other proceedings will be held as per schedule. 

Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and will conclude on October 1.

Those who attend the session would be required to follow the necessary coronavirus protocols, including getting tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours.

Top government sources confirmed to ANI that the monsoon session of Parliament is to be held on a daily basis with no break even on the weekends. 

On day one (September 14), Lok Sabha will be held from 9 am to 1 pm while Rajya Sabha proceedings will be held from 3 pm to 7 pm. 

After September 14, Rajya Sabha will sit in the first half from 9 am to 1 pm and Lok Sabha's processing is scheduled from 3 pm to 7 pm.

Every precautionary measure would be taken by the government in view of the pandemic.

Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman already held a meeting with officials and gave instructions in the presence of the health ministry officials regarding how COVID-19 guidelines should be followed in this monsoon session.  
08:43   India, China to hold another meeting today
India and China to hold another round of military talks to ease escalating tension triggered by fresh confrontation between the two sides on the southern bank of the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, top army sources said.

The Brigade Commander-level talks will begin at 10 am in Chushul in eastern Ladakh with a specific agenda to discuss the situation around the Pangong lake, they said.

India on Tuesday said China again engaged in "provocative action" two days after the Peoples Liberation Army made a bid to change the status quo in the South Bank area of Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh, calling the attempts a reflection of "complete disregard" to bilateral understandings.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Indian side was able to prevent these attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo due to the timely "defensive action", and asked China to "discipline and control" their frontline troops from undertaking such "provocative" actions.

He said the Chinese side violated previously agreed understanding and engaged in provocative military manoeuvres in the late night of August 29 and on August 30 in an attempt to change the status quo in the South Bank area. The attempt seen as China's bid to open a new front in the prolonged border standoff in a fresh confrontation was thwarted by the Indian troops.

"As stated yesterday by Indian Army, the Indian side responded to these provocative actions and took appropriate defensive measures along the LAC in order to safeguard our interests and defend the territorial integrity," he said.
08:16   UP govt can frame me in another case: Kafeel Khan
The Uttar Pradesh government instead of doing 'Raj Dharma' was indulging in 'Baal Hatth' or childlike-stubbornness and could frame him in another case, Dr Kafeel Khan said after he was released from the Mathura jail late on Tuesday night.
The Allahabad high court on Tuesday quashed Khan's detention under the National Security Act and ordered his immediate release.
Following the court's order, Khan was released from Mathura jail late on Tuesday night.
"Mathura jail administration informed at around 11.00 pm that Dr Kafeel will be released, and at around midnight, he was released," Khan's lawyer Irfan Ghazi told PTI.
Speaking to PTI after his release from the jail, Khan thanked the court and said, "I will always remain thankful to all my well-wishers, who raised their voice for my release. The administration was not ready for release, but because of the prayers (duaa) of people, I have been released."
"In Ramayana, Maharshi Valmiki had said that the Raja (king) should act for 'Raj Dharma'. In UP the 'Raja' is not doing 'Raj Dharma' but is doing 'Baal Hatth' (being stubborn like a child)," Khan said.
He also said he was apprehensive that the government can frame him in any other case, and claimed that he and his family had to face many hardships as the state government was "after" him because of the oxygen issue in BRD Medical College.
Khan said he now wants to help flood-affected people in Bihar and Assam.  
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh, passed the order on a petition filed by Khan's mother Nuzhat Parveen.
The petition alleged that Khan was granted bail in February by a competent court and he was supposed to be released on bail. However, he was not released for four days and the NSA was subsequently invoked against him. Hence, his detention was illegal, the petition argued.
Khan was in jail since January after he delivered an allegedly provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act  protests in December last year. 
00:12   Trump denies 'series of mini-strokes'
After it was reported that Mike Pence was put on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Donald Trump had needed to be anesthetised during a surprise hospital visit last November, the US president was moved to tweet a denial that he suffered a series of mini-strokes.

Previous speculation around the visit has centered on whether the US president had a heart attack, which Trump has denied.

On Tuesday, he wrote: It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favourite president, me, went to Walter Reed medical center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes.

Citing three anonymous sources, the novelist and anti-Trump campaigner Don Winslow has said he has been told Trump suffered a series of strokes.

Dr Sean Conley, Trumps physician, said in a statement the president had not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke) or any acute cardiovascular emergencies.

Trump also wrote: Never happened to THIS candidate FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another party!

The US president, who is 74, has consistently accused Joe Biden, his 77-year-old opponent in this years election, of mental frailties related to his age. But the presidents own mental health has also been widely questioned, in light of slips while reading teleprompter speeches and uncertain movements in public.