Wed, 10 August 2022
Nitish govt moves no-trust vote against speaker

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Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha
Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha
23:50   Nitish govt moves no-trust vote against speaker
Bihar's new ruling coalition, Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance), on Wednesday brought a no-confidence motion against assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha who is a BJP MLA, a senior JD-U leader said. 

A notice signed by several legislators of the Grand Alliance was submitted to the assembly secretariat. 

The move was made hours after Nitish Kumar took oath as the chief minister of the Grand Alliance. 

"The motion against Sinha will be taken up by the House when it meets to enable Nitish Kumar to move a trust vote,' senior JD-U leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said. 

A special session of the assembly is expected to be called either on August 24 or 25. 

According to the rule, a Speaker can be removed from office by a resolution of the assembly passed by a majority,' said Choudhary. 

While constituents of the Mahagathbandhan have a total of 164 members in the Assembly, the BJP has 77 MLAs.  -- PTI
23:40   Ektaa Kapoor show 'Yeh Dil Mannge More' to be out on DD this I-Day
Ektaa R Kapoor's Yeh Dil Mannge More is all set to be broadcast on Doordarshan this Independence Day. 

It is a show around the 'heroes behind the heroes'. 

The Balaji Telefilms show pays tribute to our brave warriors protecting borders and their families that make personal sacrifices all through their lives. 

As India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, the show promises to touch a chord with every Indian and inspire them. 

Always known to bring riveting and versatile content that resonates with masses across the country, Ekta Kapoor takes us through another emotionally charged and layered piece of storytelling with Yeh Dil Mannge More starring Akshay Mhatre and Twinkle Patel. -- ANI
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23:36   Chinese-built Pak warship to dock in Lanka
Sri Lanka has allowed Pakistan's Chinese-built frigate warship PNS Taimur to make a port call in Colombo while on its way to join the Pakistan Navy in Colombo on August 15 after the Bangladesh government denied it permission to dock at Chattogram port. 

The docking of the Chinese-made Pakistani warship at Sri Lankan port came days after Colombo urged Beijing to defer the visit of a Chinese research vessel at the strategic Hambantota port after India' expressed security concerns. 

The warship was to anchor outside the Chattogram port from August 7 to 10 on its journey from Shanghai to Karachi. 

The Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh denied permission to PNS Taimur as August is a month of mourning for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whose father Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman was assassinated on August 15, 1975. 

The warship which is equipped with laser guided missiles is now anchored at the Colombo port after the Sri Lankan government gave it permission, an official said. 

It will now leave Colombo port on 12th August for Karachi, he said. 

PNS Taimur which has been built at China's Dong port in Shanghai and is expected to reach Karachi on August 15. 

The warship also took part in exercises in Malaysia and Cambodia along its journey to Karachi. -- PTI
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23:25   New NATGRID CEO appointed amid additional secretary-level postings at Centre
Piyush Goyal, a 1994 batch IAS officer of Nagaland cadre, has been appointed as the new NATGRID CEO by the Union government as it issued an order on Wednesday for posting 26 other officers to the rank of additional secretary. 

Goyal is currently serving as an additional secretary in the ministry of home affairs. 

The NATGRID or national intelligence grid is a federal intelligence gathering organisation created to enhance India's counter-terrorism capabilities. 

The post of CEO was lying vacant since June after the then head of the body, IPS officer Ashish Gupta, was appointed as an additional director general in the Border Security Force. 

Goyal will be replaced by Chandraker Bharti, an IAS officer of 1996 batch UT cadre. 

He is serving in the defence ministry rank in the rank of joint secretary. 

Among other appointments, according to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, 1993 batch Odisha cadre IAS officer Ashok KK Meena has been posted as the CMD of the Food Corporation of India in the rank of additional secretary. 

He is currently working in his cadre. IAS officer of 1995 batch (Assam-Meghalaya cadre) Archana Varma has been appointed as director of the National Water Mission under the ministry of water resources. 

Gitanjali Gupta, IAS officer of 1996 batch Union Territories cadre, has been appointed as the MD of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation. She is currently serving as the chief vigilance officer of Rail Vikas Nigam. -- PTI
22:52   Red Chillies Entertainment to remake Alia Bhatt-led 'Darlings' in Tamil, Telugu
Alia Bhatt-starrer Darlings is set to be remade in Tamil and Telugu language, producer Red Chillies Entertainment announced on Wednesday

 The dark-comedy, directed by debutante Jasmeet K Reen, is receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences since its release on Netflix on last week. 

Gaurav Verma, producer and COO, Red Chillies Entertainment said the story of Darlings deserves to be made in multiple languages. 

"We had the script of Darlings with us for a while now and through the journey of making it, we decided to make it in multiple languages. The film has a certain landscape which can be adapted very well in multiple languages. The process is on as we speak," Verma said in a statement. 

The Mumbai-set film explores the lives of a mother-daughter duo (played by Shefali Shah and Bhatt) trying to find their place in the city, seeking courage and love in exceptional circumstances while fighting against all odds. 

Verma said while they will keep the basic plot line same, the story will be localised as per the need. 

The remakes will also mark Red Chillies Entertainment's foray into the Tamil and Telugu market as a standalone banner. 

"To go to the Tamil and Telugu market is not something we will consolidate or have offices there, but it's going to be on a script-to-script basis. 

"Darlings has the potential, so we are taking it there," he added. -- PTI
Sushil Kumar Modi
Sushil Kumar Modi
22:20   BJP should have made Sushil Modi CM: Nitish
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said the BJP should have let its senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi occupy the top post after the 2020 assembly polls instead of insisting that he run for another term in office. 

The JD-U leader, who snapped ties with the BJP on Tuesday and joined hands with the opposition RJD to return as the CM, made the remark as a riposte to allegations levelled against himself by Modi, his former deputy. "He has been a dear friend. Why was he not made the CM? Had he been appointed to the post, things would not have reached this stage," he told reporters in reply to questions about Modi. 

Kumar has been maintaining that he was in no mood to continue after the elections in which his party fared badly but relented upon the insistence of leaders of the BJP. 

The alliance was called off in keeping with a "unanimous sentiment" expressed by JD-U leaders who accused the BJP of a "conspiracy" to obliterate the party. 

Modi was replaced as the deputy CM by two less-known BJP leaders after the polls. -- PTI
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21:31   Hindus near Kanhaiya Lal's shop save 'tajiya' from fire during Muharram procession
In an act with potential to fill some of the breach between the two communities, Hindus rescued a tajiya from fire during a Muharram procession which was being carried out barely a few metres from Kanhaiya Lal's shop in Udaipur. 

Lal, a tailor, was brutally murdered in a hate crime over a month back by two Muslims, with the incident sending the entire region on edge with fear of communal riots. 

The top of a 25-feet high tajiya caught fire on Tuesday evening, as the procession made its way through narrow lanes in Mochiwada street. 

Muslims revellers trailing behind the tajiya failed to notice the fire immediately, which was spotted by locals who were witnessing the procession from their second or third floor balconies. 

Locals, when they spotted the fire, did not waste time and took it upon themselves to put it out and started throwing water at it. 

Ashish Chowadia, Rajkumar Solanki and their family members kept pouring water on the structure from their balconies till the flames were doused, the police said. 

"Not only was the incident averted, but it also became an example of communal harmony. This incident has won everyone's heart,' district collector Tara Chand Meena said. 

Deputy SP (East) Shipra Rajawat, who was also present there, said the fire was probably caused by a short circuit or sparks from the incense sticks. 

After the Hindus extinguished the fire, Muslims thanked them by clapping, she said. -- PTI
21:19   Mukesh Khanna sparks row with anti-women remark
Veteran actor Mukesh Khanna on Wednesday found himself at the centre of a row for his remarks comparing women who ask for sex to "sex workers". 

Best known for playing Bhishma Pitamah in BR Chopra's Mahabharat and superhero Shaktimaan, Khanna said a girl belonging to a "civilised society" would never initiate a sexual conversation. 

"If a girl asks a boy to have sex, she is not a girl, she is a sex worker. Because a decent girl belonging to a civilised society would never say such things," the 64-year-old actor said in a video posted on his YouTube channel called Bheeshm International recently. 

Following the criticism, Khanna said he was not making comments on general man-woman relationship and his purpose was to make the "youth aware about sex racket". 

In the video titled Kya Aapko Bhi Aisi Ladkiya Lubhati Hain?, Khanna was talking about internet sex rackets where men are blackmailed. 

"I also get messages from girls, where they say they want to chat with me and they ask for nude photos. We don't know whether it is actually a woman or a man. I also get messages, I do not reply to them. Some people who I know too have received messages from girls, who have their own channels," he said. 

The two-day-old clip went viral on internet on Wednesday morning. 

After being criticised for his derogatory remarks, he told PTI, "People have trolled me in the past also by watching only a small or certain part of the video. People should see this entire video first. My only purpose was to make the youth aware about the sex racket. I am not talking about the general relationship between a man and a woman. I respect woman." -- PTI
20:47   CPIML-L seeks common minimum programme from new Bihar govt
The Communist Party of India Marxist Leninist-Liberation on Wednesday said it is seeking a common minimum programme from the new Bihar government while promising outside support to it. 

The party which has a dozen MLAs in Bihar assembly and was a key player in the drama surrounding Nitish Kumar's move to embrace the `Mahagathbandhan', said that it will work to provide a bridge between the civil society's demands and the new government in the state. 

"We are proposing that a common minimum programme of the new government be created," Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary of the CPIML-L said at a press conference held here on Wednesday. 

"We do not wish to be in the ministry," Bhattacharya said, while promising "creative and critical cooperation from outside" to the new government in Bihar. 

He said that the party will provide policy inputs and help the government in policy making and implementation. 

"If the government moves in this direction as an anti-BJP dispensation should, then certainly our cooperation will be there," he said. 

Asked about Nitish Kumar's track record of switching allies, Bhattacharya said that he would not comment on the past or future possibilities but only about the present. 

"The question is not Nitish Kumar, but the BJP," he said, adding that the saffron party has put itself in such a position that its own leaders like Yashwant Sinha left the party and its long-standing ally Nitish Kumar had to part ways with it. 

Bhattacharya said that at present no support is with both hands, but is relative to the present situation in the country where he claimed the BJP is trying to establish a one-party system. 

Bhattacharya said that the party's Bihar state committee will meet on August 13, where he and other leaders will be present. -- PTI
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20:24   At 852, Mumbai's new Covid cases surge by 79%
Mumbai on Wednesday reported 852 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily rise after July 1, and a single fatality, taking the tally to 11,29,285 and the toll to 19,661, the city civic body said. 

On July 1, the metropolis reported 978 cases and two fatalities, before the daily number of cases started dipping gradually. 

Barring the first two days of this month, Mumbai has been reporting more than 400 coronavirus infections everyday. 

The spike in the number of cases in the last 24 hours is nearly 79 per cent or 376 more compared to 476 infections reported on Tuesday. 

The metropolis has been witnessing a steady rise in the cases for the last few days. 

The tally of active cases surged past the 3,500-mark to reach 3,545, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation bulletin said. 

Of the 852 cases, only 36 patients were symptomatic while the rest 816 were asymptomatic, it said. 

A total of 9,670 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours raising the cumulative tally of the samples tested so far in Mumbai to 1,79,04,139. 

A day before, 6,580 tests were conducted in the city. -- PTI
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20:08   28 years after rape, victim gets justice; 2 brothers behind bars in UP
A child born out of rape has helped his mother get justice, 28 years after the crime. 

The police put one of the alleged rapists behind bars last week and the other on Wednesday. 

The police said a DNA reported nailed the criminals -- two brothers who had fled to Hyderabad once the investigation began. 

The woman was allegedly raped by them in 1994 when she lived in Shahjahanpur's Sadar Bazar as a 12-year-old, Shahjahanpur superintendent of police S Anand said. 

The child later gave birth to a boy. 

Over the years, she married and was abandoned by her husband. 

The case was lodged at the Sadar Bazar police station on March 4, 2021, after her grown-up son nudged her into filing a complaint. 

The police said Naki Hasan and his younger brother Guddu raped the 12-year-old, then living with her relatives, several times when she was alone at home. 

The family kept mum about the rape when the girl gave birth, fearing humiliation. 

The child was separated from her and handed over to a relative in Hardoi. 

In 2000, the rape victim was married off to a man in Ghazipur. 

But the marriage broke up when her husband came to know about the rape.

The victim, now an adult, was abandoned and stayed alone. 

A few years ago her son contacted her and asked her about his father. When she told him about the incident in her past, he encouraged her to lodge an FIR and seek justice. 

He accompanied his mother to Shahjahanpur and the FIR was eventually registered on the orders of the court. 

But as the police began the investigation, the brothers who lived in the same Shahjahanpur locality, left the city. 

"The accused moved to Hyderabad and started a business there. But we were able to trace their location using mobile surveillance," an officer said. 

The police arrested Guddu when he returned to Shahjahanpur for some work, officials said. 

Naki Hasan was arrested Wednesday. -- PTI
19:55   Comedian Raju Srivastava undergoes angioplasty after suffering cardiac arrest
Comedian Raju Srivastava, who suffered a heart attack on Wednesday, underwent angioplasty at Delhi's All India Institutes of Medical Sciences. 

A source informed ANI that Raju is "responding to the treatment." 

Reportedly, he was running on the treadmill when he complained of chest pain. 

He will be kept under observation for a few days before being discharged. 

Raju is best known for featuring in several films, including Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya

He also appeared in the third season of the reality show Bigg Boss

After performing as a stand-up comedian on the show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, he came into the limelight for his great comic timing. 

More health details are still awaited. -- ANI
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19:41   3 held for threatening to blow up Ranchi airport
Three persons have been arrested from Nalanda in Bihar for threatening to blow up the Birsa Munda airport in Ranchi, the police said on Wednesday. 

The accused were identified as Nirman Kumar alias Maruti, 24, Pappu Kumar alias Kudi, 23, and Radhe Kumar,29. 

The police recovered the SIM card and mobile through which the threat was issued, an official release said. 

Four mobile phones were also recovered from the accused. 

On July 28, a threat call and message had been received on the official phone of the airport's terminal manager, the release said. 

The caller had demanded Rs 20 lakh as extortion money. 

In this regard, a complaint was lodged at the Airport police station on the same day. 

A similar threat was repeated on July 29 and August 1 by the caller, the release said. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the senior superintendent of police, Ranchi, set up a team, and a search operation was launched. 

The trio was finally arrested from Nalanda. 

The accused have admitted that they had committed the crime, the release added. -- PTI
19:08   AAP promises Rs 1,000 monthly allowance to Gujarat women if voted to power
Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday promised that if voted to power in Gujarat, his party will give a monthly allowance of Rs 1,000 to all women above the age of 18 years if they are willing to accept such a grant.
This was the fifth "guarantee" Kejriwal has given to the people as part of his ongoing poll campaign in Gujarat, where Assembly elections are due by the year-end.

"Rs 1,000 (per month allowance) is not revdi (freebie). This is your right. People's money should go to the people, not in the Swiss bank," said the AAP leader while making the announcement here in front of hundreds of women. 

Earlier, Kejriwal had promised free electricity up to 300 units to each family and Rs 3,000 per month to unemployed youths if the AAP comes to power in the state. -- PTI
19:03   Not scared of ED, CBI, asserts JD-U after dumping BJP
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United on Wednesday asserted that it was "not scared of ED and CBI" following its break-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules the Centre and is often accused by the opposition of misusing investigating agencies.
JD-U national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, who addressed a press conference here to reply to the BJP's charge of "betrayal", accused the former ally of having deceived the coalition dharma "by weaning away our MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh, who were already supporting their government".
Lalan also mocked former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi for claiming that Kumar got miffed over not being considered for the vice president's post, saying "he has been shunted by the BJP as a punishment for his close relations he shared with Nitish Kumar. May such antics bring him some degree of political rehabilitation".
Modi had made the allegation at a press conference earlier in the day.

Besides the JD(U), he drew flak from the RJD which has now become part of the new ruling coalition.
"Sushil Kumar Modi had alleged police assault when Lalu Prasad was the CM. He got himself bandaged but when Lalu challenged him to show his wounds he never agreed because that would have exposed him. He is a habitual liar," alleged RJD national vice president Shivanand Tiwary. -- PTI 
18:52   China successfully 'completes drills' around Taiwan
China on Wednesday announced that it has successfully completed its high-voltage 10-day-long military drills around Taiwan in protest against the visit of United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.
The People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command said the joint military operations around the Taiwan island have been completed successfully, the state-run Global Times newspaper tweeted.
The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Senior Colonel Shi Yi, the spokesman for the Eastern Theatre Command, as saying that the Command recently organised a series of joint military operations in the seas and airspace around Taiwan island and successfully completed various tasks, effectively testing the military's integrated joint combat capability.
The PLA Theater Command will keep a close eye on the changing situation in the Taiwan Straits, carry out training and war preparation, regularly organise combat readiness police patrols across the Taiwan Straits, and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Yi said.
The drills involved forces drawn from all wings of the PLA in the busy Taiwan Strait virtually laying siege to the breakaway island which Beijing claims as part of its mainland, sparking global concerns of possible military assault by China to annex Taiwan. -- PTI
18:47   CJI Ramana congratulates Justice Lalit on being appointed successor
Chief Justice of India N V Ramana Wednesday congratulated Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on being appointed his successor and 49th head of the Indian judiciary with effect from August 27.
CJI Ramana, who took oath as 48th head of the judiciary on April 24 last year, would be demitting office on August 26 after the conclusion of his over 16-month-long tenure.
The CJI had initiated the process of appointment of Justice Lalit as his successor after receiving a letter to this effect from the Law Ministry on August 3.
"Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India Shri Justice N V Ramana today congratulated Hon'ble Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on being appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August 2022," a statement from an apex court official said.
The CJI conveyed his best wishes to Justice Lalit for a glorious tenure as the Chief Justice of India.
"Shri Justice Ramana expressed confidence that with his long and rich experience in the Bar as well as on the Bench, Shri Justice Lalit will take the institution of the judiciary to greater heights through his able leadership," the statement added.
Earlier in the day, Justice Lalit was appointed as the 49th CJI after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment. -- PTI 
18:12   Black magic cannot end you bad days: PM taunts Cong
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress for wearing black dresses on August 5 in protest against price rise, saying those who believe in "black magic" will never be able to win the trust of people again.
Dedicating the second-generation ethanol plant worth Rs 900 crore here, the Prime Minister also attacked certain opposition parties for engaging in politics of freebies, saying such things would only do a disservice to the nation as it hampers investment in new technology.
"On August 5, we saw how some people tried to spread 'black magic'. These people think that by wearing black clothes they can end their despondency. But they do not know that by engaging in witchcraft, black magic and superstition, they cannot earn the trust of people again," Modi said.
The Congress protested against rising prices on August 5 by wearing black clothes in Parliament and outside.  
17:56   Domestic airfare caps to be removed from Aug 31: Govt
Limits imposed on domestic airfares will be removed from August 31, after a span of approximately 27 months, the Union Aviation Ministry said on Wednesday.
"The decision to remove air fare caps has been taken after careful analysis of daily demand and prices of air turbine fuel (ATF). Stabilisation has set in and we are certain that the sector is poised for growth in domestic traffic in the near future," Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Twitter.
ATF prices have been coming down during the last few weeks after jumping to record levels, primarily due to the Russia-Ukraine war that began on February 24.
On August 1, the price of ATF in Delhi was Rs 1.21 lakh per kilo-litre, which was around 14 per cent lower than last month.
The ministry had imposed lower and upper limits on domestic airfares based on flight durations when services were resumed on May 25, 2020 after a two-month lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, airlines currently cannot charge a passenger less than Rs 2,900 (excluding GST) and more than Rs 8,800 (excluding GST) for domestic flights of less than 40 minutes.
The lower caps were there to protect the financially weaker airlines and the upper caps to protect passengers from high fares.
On Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry stated in an order: "After review of the current status of scheduled domestic operations viz-a-viz passenger demand for air has been decided to remove the fare bands notified from time to time regarding the airfares with effect from August 31, 2022."
17:54   Justice Lalit is new CJI, in office for 3 months
Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was on Wednesday appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment. 

He will assume charge on August 27 after incumbent N V Ramana demits office the day before. 

"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August, 2022," a law ministry notification said. 

Justice Lalit will have a brief tenure of less than three months. He will turn 65 on November 8 when he demits office.
17:23   Nitish ends alliance as he was refused VP post: BJP
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wanted to become the vice president and he dumped the BJP after the party failed to accommodate his ambitions.
The former deputy CM's charge was rebutted by Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, national president of Kumar's Janata Dal-United, who also mocked Modi as a leader abandoned by the roadside by his own party as a punishment for close relations he had with Nitish Kumar". 
17:00   Sunil Bansal made BJP's national general secretary
BJP leader Sunil Bansal was on Wednesday appointed the party's national general secretary and will be in-charge for West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana. 

Bansal was general secretary (organisation) in Uttar Pradesh. He will be replaced by Dharampal in this position, a party statement said. 

The statement added that Karamveer has been appointed as general secretary in the party's Jharkhand unit.
16:51   Maharashtra has been avenged, says Cong in Bihar
The Congress in Bihar feels BJP's downfall in the state was just comeuppance for its attempts to oust the grand old party from national politics and engineering defections in Maharashtra.
Lashing out at the saffron camp, Bihar Congress in-charge Bhakta Charan Das on Wednesday quipped that BJP-mukt Bihar is the new message that has been sent out to people.
Speaking to a television channel on Wednesday, Das said that Congress has always been a sturdy pillar when it came to the progress of the nation, freedom of the country and its recognition.
"The saffron party wants to wipe out all smaller parties. It wants to establish just one party in India (BJP), one colour... and one religion," Das claimed.
Asked if the speaker of the new Mahagathbandhan' Bihar government will be from the Congress, which has 19 MLAs in the Assembly, Das said whatever will happen, will happen for the good.
"Yesterday I had said that history was in the making This is indeed a historic achievement. Bihar has sent out the message of BJP-mukt Bihar," he said. 
Meanwhile, Congress leader and MP Jairam Ramesh, in a tweet, said that Bihar was 'no operation lotus'. 
"No cash caught. No ED raids. No Assam CM. No resort travel. All done in characteristic Bihar style, civilised & low-cost. CM gets support of largest party and others. In Maharashtra, BJP engineered defections. In Bihar, BJP was rejected and ejected," he wrote. -- PTI 
16:31   Nitish calls for united Oppn after taking oath
Moments after Nitish Kumar was sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister on Wednesday after parting ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party and joining the Grand Alliance to form government in the state, he called for a united Opposition ahead of the General elections scheduled to be held in 2024.

"Those who came to power in 2014, will they be victorious in 2024? I would like all (opposition) to be united for 2024. I am not a contender for any such post (on PM post)," he said.

Soon after the swearing-in ceremony, Kumar said that the party made the decision together to leave the BJP.

"The party made the decision together (to leave BJP). I did not want to be the Chief Minister after the previous election. But a lot of pressure was put on me to handle the post. When there were talks with them (points towards Tejashwi Yadav), the decision was made. whether I will stay or not (till 2024)...they can say what they want, but I will not live in the year 2014," the chief minister said.  -- ANI
16:19   Comedian Raju Srivastava rushed to hospital following heart attack
Popular comedian-actor Raju Srivastava on Wednesday was rushed to the AIIMS following a heart attack, said hospital sources.

The 58-year-old stand-up comedian was brought to the AIIMS emergency at around 10:45 am.

"Srivastava had to be resuscitated twice and was rushed to catheterisation lab for emergency angiography," the source told PTI.

Srivastava's colleague Sunil Pal said the comedic is doing much better now.

"He is doing fine now. He is out of danger," Pal said in a video he shared with media.

He also thanked Srivastava's fans for their best wishes.

Srivastava has been active in the entertainment industry since late 1980s even though he  first received recognition after participating in the first season of stand-up comedy show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.         
He has appeared in Hindi films like Maine Pyar Kiya, Baazigar, Bombay to Goa and Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya

He was one of the contestants on Bigg Boss season 3.

Srivastava is the current chairman of the Film Development Council Uttar Pradesh.
15:46   Snake has entered your home: Giriraj to Lalu
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Wednesday took a dig at Lalu Prasad Yadav referring to the Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo's old remarks in which he had described Nitish Kumar as a 'snake' and said that now the same snake has entered Yadav's house.

When Nitish Kumar snapped ties with the RJD in 2017 and allied with the BJP again, Yadav in a tweet described him as a snake that sheds its skin every two years.

Sharing Yadav's tweet, Giriraj Singh, who has often been critical of Kumar, on Wednesday said, 'The snake has entered your home.'

He said that Nitish Kumar considers himself prime minister material and his ambition leads him to ditch the people's mandate and jump to the other side to form the government.

'One who cannot become chief minister on his own, dreams about becoming the prime minister,' Singh said.

He also dared the Jnata Dal-United chief to seek a fresh mandate from the people of Bihar.

Even when the BJP was in alliance with JD-U, Singh had many times expressed his reservations about various decisions of Kumar and his stance on various ideological and Hindutva-related issues.

A dharna was held in front of the BJP office at Birchand Patel Marg in Patna that was attended by all party MPs and MLAs from Bihar who vowed to expose the 71-year-old JD-U leader through agitations at district and block levels later this week.

"There is no other reason for the turnaround except his prime ministerial ambitions which make him envious of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He should first try to win a state election on his own, without using an alliance as a crutch," said Union minister Giriraj Singh.   -- PTI
14:58   BJP needs to worry about 2024 LS polls: Nitish
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was on Wednesday sworn in for the eighth time, asserted that the NDA government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to "worry" about its prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

Talking to reporters shortly after he was administered the oath of office by Governor Phagu Chauhan, Kumar also rubbished the BJP's claim that the new government will not last its full term, and said his former ally "will be back where they were after the 2015 assembly polls". 

Kumar was sworn in besides RJD's Tejashwi Yadav, who is likely to be designated as his deputy. 

Sources in the seven-party ruling coalition said that a cabinet expansion would take place later. 

Leaders of the BJP, which is the second largest party in the assembly with 77 MLAs, were conspicuous by their absence at the swearing in ceremony that took place inside the Raj Bhavan. 

Earlier, senior BJP leader and former Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi had claimed that the party, with which Kumar broke his alliance the previous day, had received "no invitation".
14:27   Nitish uncomfortable with BJP: Prashant Kishor
Poll strategist Prashant Kishor on Wednesday said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not comfortable in the alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and that is why he moved from one political formation to the other. 

Kishor, once considered a close confidant of Kumar, said the impact of the political developments in Bihar will remain limited to the state at present. They were unlikely to have an impact on the national level in the short-run, he said. 

"From 2017 to 2022, he was with the BJP. But I never found him comfortable because of many reasons. He may have thought that let us experiment with Mahagatbandhan," Kishor told television news channels in Patna. 

On reports that Kumar harbours prime ministerial ambitions, Kishor insisted the developments were strictly 'Bihar-centric'. 

He said Bihar has seen six experiments in government formation since 2012-13 and Nitish Kumar has been a constant as the chief minister. 

"Since 2012-13, this is the sixth experiment as far as government formation is concerned. In all these six experiments, Nitish Kumar has remained the chief minister. And there has been no change in the situation in Bihar. I hope that the new government will do something good," Kishor told Republic TV. 

Kishor told CNN News 18 that it will have to be seen whether the new government performs or not as the RJD and JD-U have contradicting stances on a number of issues, including corruption.
14:18   Tejashwi Yadav sworn-in as Bihar deputy CM
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav takes oath as Deputy CM of Bihar. -- ANI
14:09   Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM for 8th time
Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM for the eighth time, after he announced a new 'grand alliance' with Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and other opposition parties.  -- ANI
14:02   Nitish Kumar arrives at Raj Bhawan
Nitish Kumar arrives at Raj Bhawan for the oath-taking ceremony.
14:01   Tejashwi Yadav arrives at Raj Bhawan
Tejashwi Yadav arrives at Raj Bhawan, likely to be sworn in as Bihar Deputy CM.
13:57   Ahead of swearing-in Nitish speaks to Lalu
Before taking oath as the chief minister of Bihar on Wednesday, JD-U leader Nitish Kumar called up RJD supremo Lalu Prasad. 

Prasad welcomed Kumar's decision and conveyed his wishes to him, the RJD chief's daughter and MP Misa Bharti said. 

Prasad is recovering from an illness and stays with his daughter in New Delhi. 

Kumar, who was once the bete noire of Yadav, had allied with him before the 2015 assembly polls in Bihar and the alliance swept the elections. 

Now, seven years later, he has again joined hands with the RJD after breaking his alliance with the BJP.
13:49   Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM shortly
Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM at Raj Bhawan in Patna, shortly.

"This is not the oath-taking ceremony of just two persons, but of Bihar. History has taken a new turn today," Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Kumar Jha said.  -- ANI
13:31   BJP never betrayed its allies: Sushil Kumar Modi
Sushil Kumar Modi, the BJP member of the Rajya Sabha and former deputy chief minister of Bihar to Nitish Kumar, has denied the accusation that his party was seeking to break up the Janata Dal-United. 

In an interview to ANI Modi said, "The BJP has never betrayed anyone. We made Nitish Kumar the Bihar CM five times. The Rashtriya Janata Dal made him the CM twice, and we did that five times. We had a relationship for 17 years, but you (Nitish Kumar) severed ties (with us) twice." 

Ahead of Nitish Kumar's swearing-in in partnership with the RJD, Modi said, "They are saying that attempts were being made to break the JD-U, and the example of Shiv Sena is being given. But the Shiv Sena was not our ally, it was the ruling party there (in Maharashtra). You (JD-U) were our ally. We have never broken up any of our allies."
12:48   If I've hurt anyone I regret it, says Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan has time and again trended on Twitter for his past controversial remarks. Recently, netizens brutally trolled him on the micro-blogging site once again and went one step ahead by making the hashtag #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha go viral. 

With Aamir's film Laal Singh Chaddha releasing on Thursday, the actor has been busy promoting it. 

The actor was in the national capital on Tuesday where he addressed the 'Boycott' trend on Twitter and responded by saying, "If I have hurt anyone by any means, I regret it. I don't want to hurt anyone. If someone doesn't want to watch the film, I'd respect their sentiment." 

"I'd, however, love for people to go watch the movie because it's our labour of love. A lot of people have worked hard on this film, and I hope people like it," Aamir added. 

For the unversed, last month, some Twitter users started using the hashtag #BoycottLaalSinghChaddha, asking people to not watch the movie. 

Some Twitter users went through the archives and dug up Aamir's controversial "India's growing intolerance" statement and circulated it on the micro-blogging site. 

Some of Kareena's controversial statements from the past have also been surfacing online. 

Helmed by Advait Chandan, Laal Singh Chaddha is an official Hindi adaptation of the Academy Award-winning 1994 film Forrest Gump which had Tom Hanks in the lead role. 

It is scheduled to release on August 11. 

Telugu star Naga Chaitanya is also a part of the film.
12:37   Murmu pays tribute to former President VV Giri
President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday paid homage to former President V V Giri on his birth anniversary by offering floral tributes to Giri's portrait at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
12:20   SC grants bail to activist Varavara Rao
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted regular bail to activist and poet Dr P Varavara Rao, an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case, on medical grounds.

The Supreme Court also ordered that Rao shall not leave the jurisdiction of the concerned trial court without the permission of the trial court, he shall not misuse his liberty, and he shall not be in touch with any witnesses.  

The apex court said Rao shall be entitled to have medical treatment of his choice and shall keep the national Investigation Agency informed about the medical treatment being received by him. 

The SC also made it clear that bail is only on purely medical grounds; also says this order shall not impact the case of other accused.
Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters
12:14   Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.88 bn
Elon Musk, the world's richest man, has sold 7.92 million shares of Tesla Inc worth around $6.88 billion, as per a series of regulatory filings by the company. 

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Inc, sold around 7.92 million shares of the company between August 5 and August 9. 

Musk has sold Tesla shares just months after declaring that he would not sell any more stock of the company. 

"No further TSLA sales planned after today," Elon Musk had said in a tweet on April 29. 

Tesla share price has slumped by around 30 per cent so far this year. The scrip traded at around $850 on Tuesday. 

Musk is involved in a high-stakes legal battle with microblogging site Twitter. 

Twitter recently sued Musk after he decided to back out of the $44 billion takeover deal. 

In April, Musk reached an acquisition agreement with Twitter at $54.20 per share in a transaction valued at approximately $44 billion. However, Musk put the deal on hold in May to allow his team to review the veracity of Twitter's claim that less than 5 per cent of accounts on the platform are bots or spam. 

Back in June, Musk had openly accused the microblogging website of breaching the merger agreement and threatened to walk away and call off the acquisition of the social media company for not providing the data he has requested on spam and fake accounts. 

Musk alleged that Twitter is "actively resisting and thwarting his information rights" as outlined by the deal, CNN reported, citing the letter he sent to Twitter's head of legal, policy and trust, Vijaya Gadde.
11:20   Corbevax booster okayed with Covishield/Covaxin
The government has approved Biological E's Corbevax as a precaution dose for those above 18 years fully vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin, official sources said on Wednesday.

This is for the first time that a booster dose that is different from the one used for primary vaccination against Covid has been allowed in the country.

The sources told PTI that the Union health ministry's approval is based on the recommendations made recently by the Covid-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).        

"Corbevax will be considered as a precaution dose after completion of six months or 26 weeks from the date of administration of the second dose of either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines for those aged above 18 years enabling use of Corbevax as a heterologous Covid-19 vaccine for precaution dose administration in this age group," the sources said.        

This will be in addition to the existing guidelines for homologous precaution dose administration of Covaxin and Covishield vaccine, the sources added.

All necessary changes in regard to the administration of precaution dose of Corbevax vaccine are being made on the Co-WIN portal.
11:08   IMD forecasts more showers with strong wind in Mumbai
Mumbai and its suburbs witnessed moderate rains in the last one day and the India Meteorological Department has Mumbai has predicted more moderate showers with strong wind over the next 24 hours.

The local trains and bus services of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) were operating normally.

There was no diversion of any bus service, a civic official said on Wednesday.

After heavy overnight downpour on Tuesday, the rain intensity reduced in Mumbai, he said.

The city recorded 26.87 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period till 8 am on Wednesday, while the eastern and western suburbs recorded 31.38 mm and 33.06 mm downpour respectively in the same period, he said.

The IMD has predicted moderate rain in the city and suburbs with the possibility of heavy showers at isolated places in the next 24 hours.

It has also forecast occasional strong winds with a speed of 40-50 kilometre per hour and very likely to reach up to 60 kmph.

There will be a high tide of 4.34 metres in the Arabian Sea at 10.45 am on Wednesday. The next high tide will be of 3.81 metres at 10.39 pm, according to civic officials.   -- PTI

IMAGE: Vehicles pass through the waterlogged road due to heavy rains, in Mumbai on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI Photo
10:30   Don't hesitate in breaking laws for...: Gadkari
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday stated that there should be no hesitation in breaking such a law 'even 10 times' which comes in the way of the welfare of the poor, adding that this is what Mahatma Gandhi said.

Gadkari's remarks came at an event in Maharashtra University of Health Sciences in Nagpur.

"I know that no law comes in the way of the welfare of the poor, if such a law has to be broken even 10 times, we should not hesitate, this is what Mahatma Gandhi said," Gadkari said.

The Union minister, on the occasion, also recalled how he dealt with a problem when Manohar Joshi headed the Maharashtra government in 1995, and said that the bureaucrats will have to say 'yes sir' to 'whatever the ministers are saying' and implement them.

"I always tell the officers (bureaucrats), that the government will not work according to what you say, you only have to say 'Yes Sir'. You have to implement whatever we (ministers) are saying, government will work according to us," he said.   -- ANI
10:01   Encounter in Budgam, Rahul Bhat's killer among 3 LeT terrorists trapped
Three Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists, including Lateef Rather who was involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit government employee Rahul Bhat in May, are trapped in an ongoing encounter with security forces in Budgam, police said Wednesday morning.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Waterhail in Khansahib area of the district following information about the presence of terrorists there, a police spokesman said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the security forces.

Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar said the three Lashkar men including highly wanted Lateef Rather were trapped in the encounter.

Kumar tweeted, '03 #terrorists of #terror outfit LeT(TRF) including terrorist Lateef Rather trapped in ongoing #encounter. Terrorist Lateef is involved in several #civilian #killings including Rahul Bhat & Amreen Bhat.'

No casualties were reported in the encounter on either side so far.

Rahul Bhat, who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 20120-11, was gunned down by terrorists inside the Tehsil office in Chadoora town in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on May 12.

Days later, TV artiste Amreen Bhat was shot dead by LeT terrorists inside her house at Chadoora in Budgam district.   -- PTI
Photograph: Courtesy @INCIndia/Twitter
Photograph: Courtesy @INCIndia/Twitter
09:47   Rahul ill, Priyanka tests Covid positive again
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's visit to Rajasthan's Alwar was cancelled after he suffered illness, the sources confirmed on Wednesday.

He was scheduled to attend the party's 'Netratv Sankalp Shivir' there.

Meanwhile, the party's general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra informed via a tweet that she has tested positive for the Coronavirus infection.

'Tested positive for Covid (again!) today. Will be isolating at home and following all protocols,' she tweeted.   -- ANI
08:51   Nitish to swear in as Bihar CM for 8th time today
Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar will take oath as Bihar's chief minister again on Wednesday afternoon after having announced a new 'Grand Alliance' which includes Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and other Opposition parties.

Tejashwi Yadav will also take oath as the deputy chief minister.

"As many as 164 MLAs of seven parties, along with an independent MLA, are in our mahagathbandhan," Kumar said at a joint presser with Yadav after meeting Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan.

Kumar ended his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and rejoined hands with the RJD on a day of rapidly changing political developments in Bihar.

According to a tweet by Kumar's new alliance partner RJD, the swearing-in ceremony will be held at 2 pm at Raj Bhavan.

'The swearing-in ceremony of Honorable Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister will be held tomorrow at 2 pm at Raj Bhavan,' the party said in a tweet from its official handle.

While the RJD tweet did not mention any names, it is widely expected that Nitish Kumar would be the chief minister while Tejashwi Yadav would become his deputy.

On Tuesday, Kumar met Governor Chauhan twice, first to hand over his resignation as NDA chief minister and then, after being elected the leader of the 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance), to stake a claim for the top job in the state once again.

Kumar said he submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the Governor who will decide when the oath-taking can take place.

The effective strength of the state assembly is 242 and the magic figure is 122.

Notably, it will be the eighth time when Nitish Kumar will be sworn in as the chief minister of Bihar.

Meanwhile, the BJP lashed out at Kumar over his decision and said he had 'disrespected the mandate given by the people of Bihar'.

Kumar, who talked to the media with Yadav, said they have the support of seven parties in the mahagathbandhan.

Yadav attacked the BJP and claimed the party does not have an alliance partner across the Hindi heartland.

He accused the BJP of trying to destroy parties with whom it forms alliances.

"Across the Hindi heartland, the BJP does not have any alliance partner. History shows that the BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms alliances. We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra," he said.

He also referred to the remarks of BJP president J P Nadda.

"J P Nadda said they will end regional parties. The BJP knows only to intimidate and buy people. All of us wanted the BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar, we all know Lalu ji stopped the 'Rath' of Advani ji, and we won't relent at any cost," Yadav said.

Kumar, who was a long-time BJP ally before snapping ties in 2013 and again joining hands in 2017, said that there was a unanimous decision in the party meeting in the morning 'to break off ties'.

The JD-U and the BJP had fought the 2020 assembly polls together and Kumar was made the chief minister of the alliance though the BJP had won more seats.

Kumar's ties with the BJP stretched to over two decades and he was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1996.

JD-U leaders indicated that factors including the developments related to the exit of R C P Singh from the party had soured ties with the BJP.

JD-U leaders have also been chaffing at the role of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan during the 2020 assembly polls and have indicated that his putting up candidates from seats contested by the party had damaged it.

The JD-U and the RJD had fought the 2015 Bihar polls together.

The JD-U has 45 and the RJD has 79 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar assembly.

The JD-U is the third major ally to leave the BJP in the past over three years after Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal.   -- ANI
Representational image
Representational image
01:39   Residents of remotest hamlet on Sino-Indian border take out tricolour rally
Residents of Chumur, the remotest hamlet on Sino-Indian border in south-eastern Ladakh, took out a tricolour rally as part of the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign on Tuesday. 

People chanted slogans of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" during the rally, officials said. 

Chumur, located 300 kilometers from Leh, is in Rupshu block, south of the Tso Moriri lake, on the bank of the Parang River. -- PTI
00:53   Nine killed in auto-bus collision in West Bengal's Birbhum
Nine people were killed in a colllision between an autorickshaw and bus in the Mallarpur police station area of Birbhum district in West Bengal on Tuesday. 

Following the incident Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the family members of the deceased. 

"Nine people were killed in an auto and bus collision in Mallarpur police station area," said Dhiman Mitra, SDPO Rampurhat. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the tragic accident. 

"Anguished by the loss of lives due to a tragic accident in Birbhum district of West Bengal. Prayers with the injured," he said. 

Modi also announced Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of each deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured. 

Earlier on Sunday, 10 people died in West Bengal's Cooch Behar after a pickup van carrying passengers enroute the Jalpesh Temple got electrocuted. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
00:27   New animal-based virus infects 35 in China: Report
A new type of animal-derived Henipavirus has so far infected people in Shandong and Henan provinces of China, official media in Beijing reported on Tuesday. 

The new type of Henipavirus (also named Langya henipavirus, was found in throat swab samples from febrile patients in eastern China, state-run Global Times quoted media reports. 

Scholars who participated in the study pointed out that this newly discovered Henipavirus, which may have come from animals, is associated with some febrile cases, and the infected people have symptoms including fever, fatigue, cough, anorexia, myalgia, and nausea. 

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Henipavirus and the only treatment is supportive care to manage complications. 

The cases of Langya henipavirus so far have not been fatal or very serious, so there is no need for panic, Wang Linfa, a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School who was involved in the study said, adding that it is still a cause for alert as many viruses that exist in nature have unpredictable results when they infect humans. 

Further investigation found that 26 out of 35 cases of Langya Henipavirus infection in Shandong and Henan provinces have developed clinical symptoms such as fever, irritability, cough, anorexia, myalgia, nausea, headache and vomiting, the report said. -- PTI