Tue, 05 July 2022
Gujarat BJP's app collects voters' personal info

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23:19   Gujarat BJP's app collects voters' personal info
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat on Tuesday launched 'President Dashboard', a computer application which a party leader claimed would not only collect and analyse personal information of voters but also predict poll results with accuracy.

The application was launched by Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil, and party workers would use it to reach out to nearly 50 lakh households across the state to collect information and seek opinion of voters, a release said.

"Each booth in-charge would visit households in his area to collect information such as members in the family, birth date, marriage anniversaries and whether they have taken benefit of any government scheme or not. This data will be uploaded on our party's server," said Gujarat BJP's media coordinator Yagnesh Dave.

"Using the President Dashboard application, the state BJP president can see this data on his laptop or computer. It is the first such application in the entire country. We will also identify each voter. Whether he is a BJP supporter, or a party office bearer, or a supporter of the opposition party or a doubtful one," he added.

On voting day, the booth in-charge would sit outside the booth with the same software and tick mark those who come to vote, and this data, by evening, would predict who is winning, Dave claimed.

Speaking on the occasion, Paatil said voters will be contacted at booth level and information collected from them will be analyzed using the dashboard application.

At present, Gujarat has 1.13 crore BJP members and 67 lakh page committee members.

Paatil said, adding that the state unit has started a new enrollment drive.

He also launched a theme song for the new enrollment drive.  -- PTI
22:28   CAA will be implemented before 2024 polls: Bengal BJP chief
West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party president Sukanta Majumdar on Tuesday exuded confidence that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA will be implemented before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, saying the saffron party has a 'track record of keeping its promises'.

The ruling Trinamool Congress, which has been opposed to the Act, said it would never allow its implementation in the state and noted that such utterances by BJP leaders are aimed at deflecting attention from the Centre's 'failure in managing the economy'.

"BJP has a track record of keeping its promises. We had promised to build the Ram Mandir; we have done it. CAA is our goal, and we will achieve it. It will be implemented before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls," Majumdar told reporters.

The promise of implementing the controversial Act had been a major poll plank of the BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections in the state.

The saffron party's leaders consider it a plausible factor behind BJP's growth in the state.

Majumdar's comment comes just days after BJP MLA Asim Sarkar had said that a delay in implementing CAA would hurt the party's support base among refugees as it has created apprehensions among them.

Sarkar, a BJP legislator from Haringhata, dominated by the Matua community, said the delay was creating confusion among the people who had trusted the saffron camp and ensured the party's victory in 18 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019.

The ruling TMC, however, said the CAA is being used as a 'lollipop to fool the masses ahead of the Lok Sabha polls'.

"We don't believe in the divisive politics of the BJP. It has failed to manage the country's economy. It has failed on all the fronts, and these utterances just two years ahead of the Lok Sabha polls are nothing but an attempt to fool the masses," TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said.           

CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities from Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

The Centre has said that citizenship to the eligible beneficiaries of CAA will be given only after rules under the legislation are notified.

Members of the Matua community, who make up a large chunk of the state's Scheduled Caste population, had been migrating to West Bengal from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) since the 1950s primarily due to religious persecution.

Around 30 lakh Matuas reside in West Bengal, with the community electorally influencing at least five Lok Sabha seats and nearly 50 assembly seats in Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts.   -- PTI
22:14   Mamata's security beefed up after man enters house
The West Bengal government has decided that police personnel posted at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' will not be allowed to use their mobile phones during duty hours, a top bureaucrat said on Tuesday.

The decision was taken as part of measures to beef up security arrangements for Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after a stranger managed to sneak into her residence despite the presence of a large number of police personnel there.

"It has been noticed that most of the time the police personnel on duty are busy on social networking sites that hamper their job. To curb this, we have decided to ban the use of mobile phones by security officials while being on duty," the bureaucrat told PTI.

The police personnel will have to deposit their mobile phones before they join their duty at 'Nabanna' and will get them back after their shift is over, he said.

The decision might also be implemented at other governmental offices.

"It is a part of tightening the security arrangements at Nabanna," he said.

More police personnel will be posted at the chief minister's residence in each shift.

"Earlier, there used to be 70 police personnel in one shift. From now on, there will be 18 more," the official said.

The administration also decided to set up additional bunkers, police pickets and a new watch tower near Banerjee's residence to tighten the security in the area, he said.

A decision has also been taken to install CCTVs at several alleys around Banerjee's residence in Kalighat, the officer said.

Banerjee, covered by a 'Z Plus' security, also has a 24X7 three-tier security around her residence where at least 150 police personnel and 10 commandos are deputed.

She is accompanied by at least 32 to 36 security guards.

On the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday, one person sneaked into Banerjee's residence at around 1.20 am and remained inside until security personnel spotted him at around 8 am.

He was arrested.

The incident triggered a security scare as questions were raised about how he went past the Z-Plus security cover and managed to enter her residence without anyone noticing.

The person is believed to have scaled a wall of Banerjee's house to get an entry.  -- PTI
21:45   Sena MP urges Uddhav to back Murmu for Prez
Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member Rahul Shewale on Tuesday urged party chief Uddhav Thackeray to direct his MPs to extend support to ruling National Democratic Alliance's nominee for presidential polls Droupadi Murmu considering her tribal roots and contribution to the social sector.

In a letter to Thackeray, the Lok Sabha MP from the Mumbai South Central constituency said prior to entering politics, Murmu was a teacher and later became a minister in the Odisha government and also served as the Governor of Jharkhand.

In view of her (tribal) background and contribution to the social sector, I urge you to declare support to Murmu and accordingly give all Sena MPs the directions to do so, Shewale said.

Shewale pointed out that Sena founder late Bal Thackeray did not back the BJP-headed NDA candidate in the 2007 presidential polls and instead supported Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's nominee Pratibha Patil, a native of Maharashtra, for the top constitutional post.

Similarly, the Sena backed UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee in 2012 though it was not a part of the Congress-led alliance which was then in power at the Centre, he said.

His demand assumes significance considering that the Shiv Sena walked out of the BJP-led NDA in 2019 and the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp is locked in a bitter war of words with the national party after the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra last week.

The Shiv Sena has 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha and three in the Rajya Sabha.

Extending supporting to Murmu, Deepak Kesarkar, a spokesperson of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, said the MLAs and MPs of the state should be united in backing the NDA nominee.

Kesarkar said this is for the first time that a person from an adivasi community and that too a woman is set to be elected to the top post, given the numbers in the electoral college in her favour. Polls to elect India's new President -- the first citizen of the country and the supreme commander of the armed forces -- will take place on July 18.

NDA nominee Murmu is contesting against Yashwant Sinha, a former Union minister who is the joint candidate of major Opposition parties, including the Congress.

If elected, Murmu will be India's first woman tribal President.

The President is chosen by the members of the electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of Parliament, and elected members of the legislative assemblies of all states, including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.   -- PTI
20:44   Kali eats meat, accepts alcohol: Mahua Moitra
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy by saying that she has every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess, as every person has the right to worship god and goddess in his or her own way.

While the Bharatiya Janata Party went hammer and tongs against Moitra and wondered if it was the official stand of West Bengal's ruling party to insult Hindu gods and goddesses, the TMC distanced itself from the comment and condemned it.

While taking part in India Today Conclave East held in Kolkata, the Krishnanagar MP said it is up to individuals how they view their gods.

"If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whisky to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whisky to your god as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous," she said.

Moitra said that people have the right to imagine their gods or goddess in the way they want.

"For me, Goddess Kali is a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess. And if you go to Tarapith (a major Shakti peeth in West Bengal's Birbhum district), you will see sadhus smoking. That is the version of Kali people worship (there). I, within Hinduism, being a Kali worshipper, have the right to imagine Kali in that way; that is my freedom," she said.

Moitra said this when asked about a film that had courted controversy after it had put up posters showing Goddess Kali smoking.

Moitra said, I have the freedom to do it (envision a meat-eating goddess) as much as you have the freedom to worship your god as vegetarian and white-clothed.

After her comments went viral, Moitra issued a clarification attacking the Sangh Parivar.

'To all you sanghis - lying will NOT make you better hindus. I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara,' she tweeted.

The BJP wondered whether insulting Hindu gods and goddess is the official stand of the TMC.

"TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should clarify it. This is not the first time that such instances have been reported. Earlier too TMC leaders have done the same. We think this is the official stand of the ruling TMC to hurt the sentiment of Hindus to get votes," BJP state vice-president Rathindra Bose said.

The ruling TMC, however, distanced itself from the comments and condemned the remarks by Moitra.

'The comments made by @MahuaMoitra at the #IndiaTodayConclaveEast2022 and her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are NOT ENDORSED BY THE PARTY in ANY MANNER OR FORM. All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments,' the party said in a Twitter post.

Asked about the row over the poster of documentary film 'Kaali' and Moitra's comments, Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said in Delhi he would not like to comment on Moitra's remarks as it was a matter that concerns her and her party.

He, however, added, "We respect gods and goddesses of all religions and that is the character and beauty of our country."

"Neither myself nor my party acknowledge any medium or any statement by which the religious feelings of any community is adversely impacted. But we have to understand why these things are happening today -- because the government is interested that we should not discuss why five per cent GST is imposed on flour," Vallabh said.  -- PTI
19:48   Twitter challenges Indian govt's blocking order
Twitter has moved the Karnataka high court, challenging the government's orders to take down content under the new IT rules, saying it is an abuse of power by officials.

The microblogging site has challenged a government order issued in June 2022, terming the blocking orders 'overbroad and arbitrary', failed to provide notice to the originators of the content and disproportionate in several cases.

Sources aware of the Twitter writ petition told PTI that several requests placed by the government are allegedly for action against political content that has been posted by official handles of political parties and the firm views blocking of such information is a violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen users of the platform.

"The content requested to be blocked does not have any apparent proximate relationship to the ground under section 69A," the source said.

E-mail queries sent to Twitter and the Ministry of Electronics elicited no immediate reply.

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar in a tweet said all platforms have the right to approach court but they have unambiguous obligation to comply with laws.

'In India,all incldng foreign Internet intermediaries/platforms have right to court n judicial review. But equally ALL intermediary/platforms operating here,have unambiguous obligation to comply with our laws n rules,' Chandrasekhar tweeted.

According to Twitter petition, several blocking orders were issued under section 69A but failed to demonstrate how the content falls within those grounds or how the said content is violative of section 69A, the source said.

"Twitter has sought judicial review of the blocking orders from the court," the source added.

The government in May had asked Twitter to act on content related to Khalistan and accounts eulogising terrorists in Kashmir.

Later in June, the government asked Twitter to act on around 60 accounts.

According to sources, Twitter has taken action on the request and reported compliance.

On June 26, the microblogging site submitted a separate list of over 80 Twitter accounts and tweets that it blocked based on a request from the government in 2021.

The request from the government was to block multiple accounts and some tweets from the international advocacy group Freedom House, journalists, politicians and supporters of the farmers' protest.  -- PTI
18:51   'Terror link': BJP issues notice to Jammu official
Facing flak over its alleged link with arrested Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) terrorist Talib Hussain Shah, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to party's Jammu Minority Morcha president Sheikh Bashir after an order purportedly written by him about the appointment of Shah as official of the unit emerged on social media platforms.

On Monday, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said LeT terrorist Talib Hussain Shah was briefly associated with a political party and also posed himself as a mediaperson.

A political slugfest erupted between the BJP and the opposition in the Union territory after Shah, overpowered by locals and handed over to the police, was reported to be an active member of the saffron party who was recently selected as its IT and social media cell in-charge of the Minority Morcha in the Jammu province.

J-K BJP disciplinary committee chairman Sunil Sethi served the notice to Bashir, based upon a letter being circulated in the media, which indicates that 'you had appointed one Talib Hussain as an official of Minority Morcha, who has been found involved in terror activities'.

'You (Sheikh) are directed to explain your position on above issue within 48 hours. Please clarify whether you have issued order in favour of a person (Talib Hussain Shah), who is not even primary member of party as per official records and without checking credentials of the person,' Sethi said.   -- PTI
18:36   Akhilesh reveals why he didn't campaign in by-polls
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said he did not campaign in Azamgarh and Rampur constituencies in the by-elections to the Lok Sabha as partymen had assured him that his presence was not required there.

Yadav charged that the state government officials deleted SP supporters' names from the voters' list, distributed money and sent 'trucks of liquor'.    

He presented his defence for the first time after his party's stunning loss in the by-elections in Azamgarh and Rampur.

The seats were vacated by Yadav and veteran party leader Azam Khan following their election to the state assembly.

The SP chief's absence from campaign has been cited as a  reason behind party's defeat in its traditional strongholds.

"My partymen had said that there is no need for me to come and they will win. I had faith in my organisation and people, but I did not know that officers would not allow people to go to vote, lure voters, distribute money, and send trucks of liquor," Yadav said.

"SP votes were identified and their names were cut from the voters list," he told reporters while launching a party membership drive in Lucknow.

Pointing to the reports of Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak seeking details over the transfers done in the health department, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the state assembly had said, 'some forces are running the (BJP) government in the state from behind'.

"Deputy CM had gone out of Lucknow and when he returned he came to know that transfers were done in his department without his knowledge," he said.

"He is the same Deputy CM, who is conducting raids and has found shortcomings. But, has he initiated action against anyone? It shows that 'Koi sarkar peeche se chala raha hai' (someone is running the government from behind)," Yadav added.

Earlier, with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the SP supremo launched the party's membership drive.

The membership drive, according to party leaders, is an attempt to strengthen the party base ahead of the elections.

In the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, the SP won 111 seats, while the BJP and its allies got 273 seats and retained power.  -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
18:33   SpiceJet plane's windshield cracks mid-air
A Q400 plane of SpiceJet on Tuesday conducted a priority landing at the Mumbai airport after its windshield cracked at 23,000 feet altitude, according to officials of aviation regulator DGCA. 

This is at least the seventh incident of technical malfunction happening on SpiceJet aircraft in the last 17 days. 

Earlier in the day, SpiceJet's Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi as the fuel indicator started malfunctioning. 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the two incidents which took place on Tuesday, along with the previous five incidents, the officials noted. 

Officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight of SpiceJet was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield's outer pane cracked. The pilots then conducted priority landing at the Mumbai airport, they said. 

Reacting to the latest incident, SpiceJet said, "On 5th July, 2022, SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating SG 3324 (Kandla-Mumbai). During cruise at FL230, P2 side windshield outer pane cracked. Pressurisation was observed to be normal. The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai."
17:56   Uddhav to visit Hingoli after MLA turns hostile
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has said that he was 'hurt' to see some members ditching the party despite getting benefits and will visit Hingoli in Marathwada soon, party leaders said on Tuesday, a day after local Sena MLA, Santosh Bangar, crossed over to the Eknath Shinde faction just ahead of the floor test.

Interestingly, Bangar, the MLA from Kalamnuri in the Hingoli district, was recently seen weeping asking rebels to return to the Sena fold in videos during the earlier days of the revolt.

After Bangar joined the Shinde camp and voted in favour of the trust vote in the assembly on Monday, a meeting of district Shiv Sena leaders was held at the government guest house in Hingoli on Tuesday where Uddhav Thackeray spoke to party workers over the phone and told them that he would visit Hingoli soon, Shiv Sena leader Ramesh Shinde told PTI.

Thackeray told Sena workers that it was painful to see that those (MLAs and ministers) who won due to Sena workers and got everything (positions in the party) have left him.

"But those who didn't get anything are with me. I shall fight and reinvigorate Sena. I will come to (Hingoli) soon to meet you," Thackeray told the party workers in the meeting, a video of which has gone viral.

Shinde said Sena workers were shocked to see Bangar joining the Shinde group at the last moment.

"Shiv Sena is intact. The Sena workers who were informed about the meeting attended it," he said.

One video had shown Bangar sobbing and saying that the environment in the state had turned bad and all dissidents with Shinde must return to the party fold as Uddhav Thackeray would surely forgive them.

He had also hailed the Sena as followers of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Bal Thackeray and said it was the duty of everyone to keep the saffron flag of Hindutva flying high without any taint.

Shinde on Monday won the crucial floor test in the state assembly on the last day of the two-day special session of the House.

In the 288-member House, 164 MLAs voted for the motion of confidence, while 99 voted against it.

With Bangar's crossover, the tally of Sena legislators in the Shinde camp went up to 40.   -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
17:44   More than 100 Sikhs lose jobs in Toronto over cleanshaven rule
'More than 100 Sikh men have lost their jobs as private security guards for the City of Toronto because of a policy that requires them to be clean shaven so they can wear properly fitting N95 respirators while working,' Dakshana Bascaramurty in The Globe and Mail

The World Sikh Organization of Canada has called the policy "absurd' and said the guards are being punished for their faith, which requires them to grow their facial hair, she adds. 

'A manager at one Toronto security company told its team of security guards that security staff employed by the City of Toronto had performed compliance checks on contractors and noted which ones were not clean shaven.'

The manager said the city had deducted almost 200 billable hours from his company for non-compliance, Bascaramurty writes, but city spokesperson Erin Whitton described the dispute as one between the security guards and their private employers, not the City of Toronto. 

You can read her report, here.
17:42   Vastu expert Chandrashekhar Guruji stabbed to death in hotel
Chandrashekhar Guruji of 'Saral Vastu' fame was stabbed to death in a Hubballi hotel on Tuesday, police said.

Visual footage showed two people repeatedly stabbing him at the reception area of the hotel.

Police have launched a vigorous search to trace the killers.

Learning about the incident, the Hubballi Police Commissioner Labhu Ram rushed to the spot.

Hailing from Bagalkote, Guruji had started his career as a contractor and later got a job in Mumbai where he settled, family sources said.

They added that he subsequently pursued Vastu business there.

Three days ago a child in his family had died in Hubballi, for which he had come here to attend a ceremony.   -- PTI
Scene near Andheri subway
Scene near Andheri subway
17:20   Four key subways in north-west Mumbai shut in heavy rains
Four arterial subways in the north-west part of Mumbai had to be closed for traffic on Tuesday due to heavy rains since the early hours of the day, officials said. 

These subways -- namely Golibar, Milan, Andheri and Malad -- connect the east and west stretches of the north-western suburbs, which are otherwise divided by the Western Railway tracks. 

"Motorists have been diverted to alternate routes due to the closure of these four subways at present. Rains have caused traffic snarls in several places, leading to vehicles moving at snail's pace or getting stalled for long periods," a traffic police official said. 

In Chamunda Circle in Borivali, traffic was disrupted for some time after an autorickshaw overturned, though no one was injured in the incident, while in areas close to Kalina University in Santa Cruz, vehicles were facing bottlenecks on the way to Kurla, the official said.
16:59   Ajmer cleric threatens to 'behead' Nupur Sharma
Police are on the lookout for a cleric at the Ajmer Dargah after he allegedly offered on camera to gift his house to anyone who beheads now-suspended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remark on Prophet Muhammad.

The Rajasthan Police registered an FIR Monday night on the basis of a complaint against Salman Chishti, a dargah khadim', over a video clip.

In the video, the cleric purportedly says he would give his house to anyone who brings Sharma's head to him.

Chishti is heard saying that he would have shot her dead for insulting Prophet Mohammad.

"You have to give a reply to all Muslim countries. I am saying this from Ajmer, Rajasthan and this message is from Huzur Khwaja Baba ka Darbar," he said in the video, referring to the Sufi shrine that sees many Hindu visitors, apart from Muslim devotees.

Dargah Station House Officer Dalveer Singh Faujdar said 'efforts are on trace the khadim'.

He said the accused has a criminal background. Recently, four people were arrested in connection with another provocative speech allegedly delivered at the main gate of the Ajmer Dargah on June 17.

Though that video was in circulation earlier, the arrests were made after the murder a week back of an Udaipur tailor by two men who said they were avenging an insult to Islam.

Hours after the Udaipur murder that triggered communal tension in the state, the two main accused were caught by police.

Three others were arrested later and the National Investigation Agency is now handling the case.

Condemning the latest video, the office of Ajmer Dargah Dewan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan said the shrine is seen as a place of communal harmony.

The views expressed by the 'khadim' in the video cannot be considered a message from the dargah, it said.

It added that the remarks were a statement by one individual and were highly condemnable.

Nupur Sharma was suspended by her party over a remark on Prophet Muhammad during a television debate that outraged the Muslim community.  -- PTI
16:29   Book review for The Song of the Cell is out
The first review of Pulitzer prize winning novelist Siddhartha Mukherjee's new book is out. Dr Mukherjee, tweets, "The first review of my new book, The Song of the Cell. Almost the end of the road. Putting in last few corrections/changes....phew !!"

His 2010 book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2011. 

16:21   Fadnavis holds road show in Nagpur
Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis holds a road-show in Nagpur. "The coming 2.5 years are meant for 'Karma Yoga.' We will work round the clock to make Maharashtra the No 1 state in the country. We'll not only complete these 2.5 years in power but will also form a govt with a majority for the next 5 years.
Eknath Shinde with the rebels in Guwahati last week
Eknath Shinde with the rebels in Guwahati last week
16:15   Coterie surrounding Uddhav responsible: Rebel MLA
A rebel Shiv Sena MLA from Maharashtra's Aurangabad district on Tuesday alleged that a "coterie" of four people surrounding Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is responsible for the rebellion in the party. 

 Speaking to reporters a day after the Eknath Shinde-led government comfortably won the floor test, Vaijapur MLA Ramesh Bornare said Shivsainiks are happy with Shinde becoming the chief minister. 

 He evaded a query on whether development works in his constituency remained stuck in the last 2.5 years when Thackeray was in power.

 "Notably, 50 MLAs have left (to join the Shinde camp) en masse. But I don't blame Uddhav Thackeray for this situation. A group of four people around him is responsible. They mistreated Shiv Sena MLAs," he said without taking names. "Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray is our ideal and we cannot forget the Thackeray family."

He said he had joined the Shinde faction to ensure that five major issues in the Vaijapur segment are resolved.

 "If these issues are not addressed, voters will not forgive me in 2024 (elections)," Bornare added. Referring to the protests held against rebel MLAs in the Aurangabad district when they were camping with Shinde in Guwahati, Bornare said the agitating Shivsainiks were misled. PTI
15:54   Rupee plunges to lifetime low of 79.36 against USD
The rupee fell by 41 paise to close at a fresh lifetime low of 79.36 (provisional) against the US dollar on Tuesday amid a strong greenback overseas and unrelenting foreign fund outflows. 

 At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 79.04 against the greenback and witnessed an intra-day high of 79.02 and a low of 79.38. It finally settled at 79.36 (provisional), down 41 paise over its previous close. On Monday, the rupee had closed at 78.95 against the US dollar.
15:42   LoP Ajit Pawar pays courtesy visit to Governor Koshyari
Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar paid a courtesy visit to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Tuesday. NCP leader Pawar had served as the deputy chief minister in the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

 Last month, Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde launched a rebellion against the party. Majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government (which comprised the Sena, NCP and Congress) led by Uddhav Thackeray. 

 On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra, while Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the deputy CM. Ajit Pawar was on Monday named the leader of opposition in Maharashtra Assembly.
15:08   Heavy rainfall in Mumbai today, July 7, 8: IMD
The Indi Meterological Department on the rains in Maharashtra: The situation is favorable. Expect Maharashtra to get widespread rainfall in next 5 days. Heavy to very rainfall in scattered areas. Ghat areas also expected to get good rains. In Mumbai, 5, 7 and 8 July will see heavy rainfall. Red alert for Ratnagiri and Raigad," says Jayant Sarkar, IMD.

The NDRF has deployed two teams in Kolhapur after a yellow alert of heavy rains in the ghat areas today was issued.

"Inundation is possible in areas that will see heavy to very heavy. Floods are possible in ghat areas & landslides in areas that have loose soil. Traffic woes may also rise. We have to be careful," Sarkar said.
14:36   How the Modi government has weaponised the ED to go after Indias Opposition
The money laundering law was always stringent. Amendments in 2019 have made it even more draconian. Cases have risen astronomically. Read the report here. 
14:33   Snake Island returns to Ukraine
Ukrainian flag raised on Snake Island. According to Captain Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for the joint southern command of Ukraine's Armed Forces, Snake Island officially returned under the Ukrainian flag, yesterday.

Ukraine foreign office tweets, "The #Ukrainian flag is on Snake Island. #Ukraines state symbols will be returned to every corner of our country."
14:28   Former Mumbai top cop appears before ED
Former Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Pandey appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi on Tuesday for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged National Stock Exchange (NSE) co-location scam. 

 The agency recorded his statement under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials said. 

 The 1986-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer retired from service on June 30. Before his four-month stint as Mumbai's commissioner of police beginning March 1, he served as acting Maharashtra director general of police (DGP). 

 Pandey's questioning by the ED is related to the functioning and activities of a company called iSec Securities Pvt. Ltd, one firm amongst a few others that conducted a security audit of NSE around the time the co-location irregularities are alleged to have taken place. 

 The company was incorporated by Pandey in March 2001 and he quit as its director in May 2006. His son and mother took over charge of the company. The ED wants to understand the mandate, operations and results achieved by the company while it worked with the NSE, officials said. 

 The agency has already recorded former NSE managing director and chief executive officer Chitra Ramkrishna's statement in connection with the case.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
14:25   Odisha tops state ranking for implementation of National Food Security Act
Odisha has topped in the state ranking for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) through ration shops, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, the government said on Tuesday. 

 Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal released the 'State Ranking Index for NFSA' 2022 during a conference of state food ministers on food and nutrition security in India.

 Among the special category states (the North Eastern states, Himalayan states, and the Island states), Tripura has obtained the first rank. Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim are at the second and third positions.

 Despite the logistical limitations in these areas, they displayed a high degree of accomplishment in competing with the general category states as well, the report said. 

 As per the government's ranking, Odisha is at first position with a score of 0.836, followed by Uttar Pradesh (0.797) and Andhra Pradesh (0.794). Gujarat is at fourth place, followed by Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. Kerala has been ranked at the 11th position, Telangana (12th), Maharashtra (13th), West Bengal (14th) and Rajasthan (15th). 

 Punjab is at the 16th position, followed by Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Goa. The current version of the Index measures the effectiveness of NFSA implementation majorly through operations and initiatives under TPDS (Targeted Public Distribution System). PTI
13:50   Mumbra wall collapse, families move to school
A 16-feet long security wall in the Mumbra area near Thane, collapsed on 4th July, owing to the incessant rainfall in the district. Seventeen families from the Anil Bhagat Chawl have been temporarily shifted to the Thane Municipal Corporation school.

In the unlikely event of India becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025, the poor and marginalised will remain the way they are. 
Protests in Sri Lanka in April against the govt
Protests in Sri Lanka in April against the govt
13:48   In talks with IMF, Sri Lanka is participating as bankrupt country: PM Wickremesinghe
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that the island country is participating in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a bankrupt country. 

In his speech in Parliament today regarding the economic recovery plan, Prime Minister of the crisis-ridden country noted that a round of negotiations has been successfully conducted with the IMF.

"Our country has held talks with the IMF on many occasions before. But this time the situation is different from all those previous occasions," he said in Lankan Parliament. 

 "We are now participating in the negotiations as a bankrupt country. Therefore, we have to face a more difficult and complicated situation than previous negotiations," Wickremensinghe said. Sri Lanka has been facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, leading to an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel across the island nation. 

 The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.
13:43   SpiceJet Delhi-Dubai flight diverted to Karachi
Update: SpiceJet's Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi on Tuesday as the fuel indicator started malfunctioning, officials of the aviation regulator DGCA said. This is the sixth such incident on SpiceJet aircraft in the last 17 days. 

 The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating all the six incidents.

 The Boeing 737 Max aircraft that was heading from Delhi to Dubai started showing unusual fuel quantity reduction from its left tank when it was mid-air, the officials said. Therefore, the plane was diverted to Karachi, they said. 

 When an inspection was done at the Karachi airport, no visual leak was observed from the left tank, officials noted. 

 In a statement, SpiceJet said, On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi-Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked. 

 "No emergency was declared and the aircraft made a normal landing. There was no earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft. Passengers have been served refreshments. A replacement aircraft is being sent to Karachi that will take the passengers to Dubai," it said -- PTI
13:24   SpiceJet plane makes emergency landing in Karachi
SpiceJet SG-11 flight from Delhi to Dubai makes an emergency landing in Karachi (Pakistan) after developing a technical fault. All passengers on board are safe. SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 was diverted due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely in Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked, a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

"No emergency was declared and aircraft made a normal landing. There was no earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft. Passengers have been served refreshments. A replacement aircraft is being sent to Karachi that will take the passengers to Dubai," SpiceJet said. 
13:21   PM, HM assured full support for Maha growth: CM
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have assured him full support for the development and growth of the state. 

Addressing hundreds of Shiv Sainiks on Monday night during his first visit to hometown Thane after taking over as the CM, Shinde said the risk that he took (referring to political developments over the last fortnight) has been appreciated by people, despite criticism from certain quarters.

"I am going to undertake a tour of the entire state and allot projects in every constituency. There will be a total transformation of the state. I do not exaggerate much, I do work and then speak," he said.

 He said Prime Minister Modi has told him to work for the development and growth of the state. "He (the PM) told me that he and the central government would support me. Even Union Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed his full support. They said I am good work for Hindutva," Shinde said. 

 Referring to the political developments of the last fortnight when he along with some Sena MLAs left for Surat, later stayed in Guwahati and then in Goa before returning to Mumbai, Shinde said 50 legislators had faith and confidence in him. 

 "We had stood up against injustice and not revolted. (Shiv Sena founder) Balasaheb Thackeray had asked us to rise against injustice, this was his teaching and also of (Shinde's mentor) Anand Dighe," he said, adding that it was due to the blessings of the two leaders and good wishes of citizens that he became the CM. 

 "We were out for 15 days, and as much as you wanted to meet me, I was also eager to meet my Shiv Sainiks and activists. Even now I don't feel like I am the CM. I am one among you. Henceforth also, I will be a 'karyakarta' among you all," he said. Shinde said no matter how big his stature may grow, the Shiv Sainik in him will always remain. -- PTI
13:11   'SC crossed Laxman Rekha in Nupur Sharma case'
A group of former judges and bureaucrats on Tuesday criticised the recent Supreme Court observations against suspended BJP member Nupur Sharma, alleging that the apex court surpassed the "Laxman rekha" and called for "urgent rectification" steps. 

 "In the annals of judiciary, the unfortunate comments have no parallel and are indelible scar on justice system of the largest democracy. Urgent rectification steps are called for as these have potentially serious consequences on democratic values and security of the country," the statement signed by 15 former judges, 77 ex-all India services officers and 25 veterans said. 

 The signatories include former chief justice of the Bombay High Court Kshitij Vyas, former Gujarat High Court judge S M Soni, former Rajasthan High Court judges R S Rathore and Prashant Agarwal and former Delhi High Court judge S N Dhingra. Former IAS officers R S Gopalan and S Krishna Kumar, ambassador (retired) Niranjan Desai, former DGPs S P Vaid and B L Vohra, Lt Gen V K Chaturvedi (retired) and Air Marshall (retired) S P Singh have also signed the statement which said the SC observations are not in sync with judicial ethos. 

 "By no stretch these observations, which are not part of the judicial order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of Judiciary," it said. The Supreme Court had on July 1 come down heavily on Sharma for her controversial comments against Prophet Mohammad, saying her "loose tongue" has "set the entire country on fire" and that she is "single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country". 

 Refusing to entertain her plea for clubbing of FIRs lodged in various states against her for the remark, the bench held that the comment was made either for cheap publicity, political agenda or some nefarious activities.

 Criticising the observations, the statement said, "We, as concerned citizens, do believe that democracy of any country will remain intact till all the institutions perform their duties as per the constitution. Recent comments by the two judges of the Supreme Court have surpassed the Laxman Rekha and compelled us to issue an open statement." 

 These "unfortunate and unprecedented" comments have sent shockwaves in the country and outside, it claimed. Noting that Sharma sought access to justice system before the highest court, the statement said the court's observations have no connect jurisprudentially with the issue raised in the petition and "transgressed in an unprecedented manner all canons of dispensation of justice". 

 "She was defacto denied access to judiciary and in the process, there was an outrage on the preamble, spirit and essence of the Constitution of India," it alleged.

In the observations, there is virtual exoneration of the "dastardliest beheading at Udaipur in broad daylight," it claimed. 

 It further said, "Legal fraternity is bound to be surprised and shocked at the observation that an FIR should lead to arrest. The observations on other agencies in the country, without notice to them, are indeed worrisome and alarming." The signatories also defended Sharma's plea for clubbing all FIRs against her citing previous orders of the apex court. -- PTI
12:55   Landslide in Mumbai's Ghatkopar, house collapses
A landslide incident was reported on Tuesday morning in Ghatkopar's Panchsheel Nagar in Mumbai amidst heavy rains, informed Mumbai Fire Brigade. A house was badly damaged in the landslide. However, no casualties have been reported so far. 

 "A landslide incident reported in Ghatkopar, Panchsheel Nagar in Mumbai amidst the heavy rains. Fire vehicles reaching on the spot. No casualties reported so far," said Mumbai Fire Brigade. 

 The capital city is witnessing heavy rain since last night following which areas are waterlogged and traffic movement has been affected. In the last 12 hours, Mumbai has recorded 95.81 mm of rain.
12:41   Maharashtra cabinet expansion soon: Fadnavis
A day after the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government won the trust vote in the Assembly, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state cabinet expansion will be done soon.

 Speaking to reporters at the Nagpur airport on Tuesday, Fadnavis expressed his determination towards the development of the state's Vidarbha region.

 "The cabinet expansion will be done soon," Fadnavis said. 

 On his arrival to his hometown Nagpur following the formation of the new government in the state, BJP workers accorded a grand welcome to the deputy CM, who was accompanied by his wife Amruta Fadnavis. From the airport, the BJP leader embarked on a 'jallosh yatra' (victory celebration) organised here by his supporters.

 Last month, Shinde launched a rebellion against the Sena. Majority of MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray. 

 On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra, while Fadnavis took oath as the deputy CM. After winning the trust vote on Monday, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had said he will need some time before he and Fadnavis discuss the allocation of cabinet portfolios. Let us breathe properly. 

"It was quite hectic for us (referring to political activities over the last fortnight). I and Devendra Fadnavis will sit and discuss cabinet portfolios and their allocation. We will also get the allocation vetted from national leaders of the BJP," Shinde had said. -- PTI
12:35   Kaali poster row: FIR against filmmaker in UP, Delhi
The Uttar Pradesh Police has lodged an FIR against director Leena Manimekalai for deliberately hurting religious sentiments by tweeting a poster of her new documentary film Kaali, where a woman dressed as the Goddess is shown smoking a cigarette.

An FIR was registered on July 4 at Hazratganj Police Station on charges of criminal conspiracy, offence in the place of worship, deliberately hurting religious sentiments and intention to provoke breach of peace against the filmmaker.

The FIR has been lodged under Sections, 120-B, 153-B, 295, 295-A, 298, 504, 505(1)(b), 505(2), 66 and 67 of Indian Penal Code.

The Delhi Police IFSO unit has filed the FIR under IPC sections 153A and 295A. 

Earlier, a lawyer from Delhi, Vineet Jindal, registered a complaint against the filmmaker over the controversial poster, demanding a ban on the objectionable photo and the clip from the documentary showcased at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada.

According to Jindal, a woman dressed as Goddess Kaali smoking a cigarette, is "hurting the sentiments and beliefs of the Hindu community."

Gau Mahasabha Member Ajay Gautam has also filed a complaint against Leena.

The poster of the documentary, shared on social media by the Madurai-born filmmaker depicts a woman dressed in a costume portraying the goddess and smoking a cigarette.

A flag of the LGBT community is seen in the background.

After facing flak over her poster, Leena took to Twitter and defended herself and urged people to choose "love over hate." 

Amid the negative feedback, she tweeted, "The film revolves around the events that take place one evening, when Kali appears and strolls the streets of Toronto. If you see the picture, don't put the hashtag "arrest Leena manimekalai" and put the hashtag 'love you Leena manimekalai.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commission on Monday urged Canadian authorities to withdraw the disrespectful depiction of Hindu Gods showcased as part of the 'Under the Tent' project at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto.

"We urge the Canadian authorities and the event organizers to withdraw all such provocative material," read Indian High Commission in Canada press release. -- ANI
12:13   Return of the prodigal
Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis gets a warm welcome as he arrives at Nagpur airport to visit his home after his recent victory in the government. 
12:10   ED conducts raids against Vivo
The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday conducted searches at 44 places across the country in a money laundering investigation against Chinese smartphone manufacturing company Vivo and related firms, officials said. The searches are being carried out under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency is conducting searches at 44 places related to Vivo and associated companies, they said. PTI
11:58   River in Maha above danger mark; CM takes charge
The IMD on Tuesday issued a heavy rainfall alert for Maharashtra over the next four days, following which Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed the state administration officials to take precautions and ensure there is no loss of life or property.

The Kundalika river in Raigad district, located near Mumbai, has crossed the danger mark, as per an official statement. Mumbai and some of its neighbouring districts witnessed heavy rains and flooding on Tuesday morning.

 The IMD has issued an 'orange alert' for south Konkan region and Goa and a 'yellow alert' for north Konkan, north central and south central Maharashtra and Marathwada regions. 

 The MeT department issues four colour-coded predictions based on the prevailing weather systems. The green colour indicates no warning, yellow is to keep a watch, orange is to stay alert, while red means a warning and that action needs to be taken.

 The Marathwada region is likely to witness thunderstorms accompanied with lightning, heavy rain and gusty winds with a speed of 40-50 kmph, the IMD said. The Chief Minister's Office in a statement said CM Shinde is in touch with collectors of Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. 

The National Disaster Response Force has also been asked to remain alert. The situation in Mumbai is also being closely monitored, it said. 

 The Kundalika river in Raigad has crossed the danger mark. The water level of the Amba, Savitri, Patalganga, Ulhas and Gadhi rivers was a little less than the danger mark, it said.

 In view of the increasing rains and flood-like situation, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has held discussions with Chief Secretary Manu Kumar Srivastava.

 Guardian secretaries have been asked to reach their districts and monitor the situation, the statement said. Instructions have been issued that there should be no loss of life or property in view of the heavy rainfall and flood like situation. 

The chief minister is in touch with collectors of all districts in the Konkan region, it said. Officials of the water resource department have been asked to remain alert and take necessary precautions in view of the heavy rains, it said. People, especially in Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Kolhapur, where the rainfall intensity is more, should be alerted about floods in advance, the statement said. -- PTI
11:45   Raut: Still hopeful rebels will return to Sena
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut: "We are still hopeful that these MLAs will return. We were always in talks with rebels. They are our people, they will come back. "Subha ka bhoola agar shaam ko ghar aa jaye to usse bhoola nahi kehte."

"Shiv Sena is Bal Thackeray's. Cannot be anyone else's. You cannot hijack it through money. CM Mamata Banerjee has said, not just money but something else was also given. It will be a big expose when this 'something' is revealed.

"We are confident of winning 100 seats as Shiv Sena. Uddhav Thackeray had said let's have mid-term polls and everything will be clear.. who will win and who will lose."
11:38   Carry your visa hard copy while travelling from Chennai airport
The Chennai airport has instructed all the passengers traveling outside the country to carry hard copies of their visas.

"As per the latest MHA guidelines, Foreign Visa copy of all the Indian nationals departing from India should be scanned in the immigration counters at all the ICPs. Hence, carrying hard copies of foreign visa by Indian passport holders has been made mandatory by the Govt of India," the Chennai airport authority said in a statement.

" Henceforth, all Indian Passengers (excluding the sticker visas which are pasted in the Passport) departing from Chennai International Airport should compulsorily carry a hardcopy of the visa and the same may be produced to the Immigration officers at the airport.," it stated.
Rohit Ranjan
Rohit Ranjan
11:18   Zee anchor in police custody over Rahul video
A Zee Hindustan news anchor, Rohit Ranjan, was taken into custody by the police from his home near Delhi today, days after the channel ran a misleading Rahul Gandhi video for which it had apologised.

As the Chhattisgarh police landed at his home around 5.30 am, Rohit Ranjan tweeted to the Uttar Pradesh police, alleging that the local police were not informed.

The Chhattisgarh police replied that it is not required to inform anyone as long as there is a warrant.

The Ghaziabad police then took him away, preventing his arrest by the Chhattisgarh team. 

He is currently in the custody of the UP police, facing relatively lighter charges.

Cases were filed against the TV anchor in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh soon after Rohit Ranjan, on his show, played a Rahul Gandhi statement on an attack on his office in Kerala's Wayanad and allegedly ran it as a comment on the Udaipur tailor's killers.

The video was shared by BJP leaders like Rajyavardhan Rathore, who have also been charged in an FIR.
10:39   Heavy rains lash Mumbai, waterlogging in some areas
Heavy rains lashed Maximum on Tuesday, which led to waterlogging in low-lying areas and affected vehicular movement on major roads.

People were seen wading through knee-deep water in low-lying areas.

The India Meteorological Department has predicted "moderate to heavy rainfall" for Mumbai and its suburbs and the possibility of "very heavy to extremely heavy" showers at isolated places for the next few days.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has directed the authorities in Mumbai and neighbouring districts to be on alert and keep a vigil. 

"In the wake of heavy rainfall in various parts of the state, CM Eknath Shinde held a discussion with Chief Secretary Manukumar Srivastava along with directing all the related districts' guardian secretaries to keep a vigil and control the situation," his office tweeted.
10:07   'Stolen majority': Sena on Shinde's trust vote win
A day after Eknath Shinde won the Vote of Confidence in the Maharashtra Assembly, Shiv Sena on Tuesday termed the victory as "stolen majority" and said that it was "not the belief of the people" of the state.

The party also took a jibe at Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asking who was the person who stopped him from taking oath as a Chief Minister.

"At the time of floor test, the BJP-backed Shinde group was supported by 164 MLAs and 99 voted against it. Some MLAs of Congress, NCP were absent at the time of the majority test. It is surprising that senior ministers like Ashok Chavan and Vijay Wadettiwar could not reach the assembly. Devendra Fadnavis has thanked the invisible forces that made the majority test successful. He gave a speech on how strong, great leader Shinde is, but who is the invisible force stopping Fadnavis from taking oath as the chief minister?" Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna said in its editorial on Tuesday.

"This question stands before Maharashtra. The BJP and the Shinde faction got the vote of confidence passed in the assembly, this is a stolen majority. This is not the belief of 11 crore people of Maharashtra," it added.

The mouthpiece further said Fadnavis' remarks on his return were funny and cautioned that he "should not forget that Eknath Shinde is the Chief Minister".

"I came again and brought others along, Devendra Fadnavis made such a statement on this occasion, which is funny. The way he came, it must not have been in their dreams. He should not forget that Eknath Shinde is the Chief Minister. There is a change of power in Maharashtra, in which the love of principles, morals and ideas is also not visible," it said.

Saamna also hit out at MLA Santosh Bangar who jumped ship from the Uddhav Thackeray side to the Eknath Shinde faction ahead of the trust vote.

"The BJP-backed Shinde faction government has won the majority test in the assembly. MLA Santosh Bangar stood in favour of Shiv Sena till the election for the post of Speaker of the Assembly and what happened in the 24 hours that he joined the vamp of the 'loyal' Shinde faction at the time of the vote of confidence?, the editorial asked.

The new Eknath Shinde-led government in Maharashtra won the floor test on Monday by a 164-99 margin, proving his government's majority and cementing his position as chief minister of the state and the leader of the Shiv Sena. -- ANI
Singapore President Halimah Yacob
Singapore President Halimah Yacob
09:31   Singapore President, Parliament Speaker, and minister test Covid +ve
Singapore President Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, and Minister Edwin Tong have tested positive for COVID-19. 
Madam Halimah, 67, said in a Facebook post on Monday, "Just tested positive for Covid-19 with mild flu-like symptoms. Thankfully, I have been vaccinated and boosted. I hope to recover soon and am sorry to have to miss the events this week."
Tan, 53, also, in a post on Monday, said that he had tested positive for COVID-19, reported The Straits Times.
Tan took an antigen rapid test before Monday's parliamentary sitting and it came back positive, which means he will miss both days of the current Parliament sitting.
Writing in his post, Speaker Tan said, "Hope the symptoms would be mild. Continue to remain vigilant. Vaccination helps so do get the boosters when it's your turn to do so."
It was also revealed in Monday's Parliament sitting that Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Tong, 52, too was down with COVID-19.
Over the last 28 days, Singapore has reported 140,965 COVID infections.
 To date, 1,473,180 infections and 1,419 COVID-linked deaths have been reported in the country since the outbreak of the infectious disease in 2019. -- PTI 
Image tweeted by Twitter handle @AnilSehmi
Image tweeted by Twitter handle @AnilSehmi
08:43   Indian fans racially abused during India vs Eng Test
Some Indian fans were allegedly subjected to racial abuse during the rescheduled fifth Test match between India and England at Edgbaston in Birmingham. 

The Indian fans took to Twitter to post photos and videos of the alleged incident, which they claimed took place in the final session on Day 4 of the Test on Monday. 

England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire released official statements, promising to investigate the matter.

"We are very concerned to hear reports of racist abuse at today's Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston who will investigate. There is no place for racism in cricket. Edgbaston has been working hard to create a safe and inclusive working environment," the ECB said in a statement.

A number of allegations were made on social media on Monday evening following the close of play.

The allegations were highlighted by Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who said it was "disappointing to read", and flagged several of the allegations via retweets on his Twitter account. 

Rafiq's testimony in front of a parliamentary select committee last year sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire which resulted in ECB charges and ultimately major reforms.

One of the Tweets that Rafiq retweeted read: "Racist behaviour at @Edgbaston towards Indian fans in block 22 Eric Hollies. People calling us Curry C**ts and paki bas****s. We reported it to the stewards and showed them the culprits at least 10 times but no response and all we were told is to sit in our seats. @ECB_cricket"

A reply from the official Edgbaston Twitter account in response to Rafiq said: "Were incredibly sorry to read this and do not condone this behaviour in anyway. Well be investigating this ASAP."

Stuart Cain, Chief Executive at Edgbaston, said: "Im gutted by these reports as we're working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all. 

"Having seen the initial tweets, Ive spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and were now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened. Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once weve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly," Cain added.
08:15   Amravati chemist's murder: NIA takes custody of all accused
The National Investigation Agency has taken over custody of all the seven accused in the murder of Amravati-based chemist Umesh Kolhe, a police official said on Tuesday.
The NIA took custody of all the accused, who were granted four days' transit remand on Monday after they were produced before the Amravati court, he said.

The accused are likely to be produced before the NIA's Mumbai court on or before July 8, the official added.

Amravati police had found inks between social media posts supporting former Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Umesh's murder during the investigation and didn't suppress the case as was alleged, police commissioner Arti Singh said on Monday.

Police didn't disclose the information earlier given the "very sensitive" nature of the murder case and to avoid any untoward incident, she said.

The seven are Muddasar Ahmad (22), Shahrukh Pathan (25), Abdul Taufiq (24) Shoaib Khan (22), Atib Rashid (22) and Yusuf Khan (32) and alleged mastermind Shaikh Irfan Shaikh Rahim.

Police are on the lookout for one more suspect Shamim Ahmed in connection with the case.

Umesh was allegedly attacked with a knife by a group of three men between 10 pm and 10:30 pm on June 21. 

He died during treatment at hospital. 

He had supported a post on social media in support of Nupur Sharma, who made a comment on Prophet Muhammad in a TV debate. -- PTI  
Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray
00:57   Sena chief whip issues notice to Uddhav camp MLAs
After winning the trust vote in the Maharashtra legislative assembly, the Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena on Monday night issued a notice to 14 legislators from the Uddhav Thackeray camp for violating a whip issued by Shiv Sena chief whip and Shinde loyalist Bharat Gogawale. 

The notice, however, excluded the name of Aaditya Thackeray, son of party chief Uddhav Thackeray, out of respect. 

The whip issued by Gogawale had asked all the MLAs of Shiv Sena to vote for Eknath Shinde in the trust vote. 

Gogawale was recognised as the chief whip of Shiv Sena by Maharashtra Speaker Rahul Narvekar on Sunday, a day before the floor test. 

It is true that we have issued a notice for the violation of the whip to Shiv Sena MLAs who did not vote for CM Shinde. 

However, we have omitted the name of Aaditya from it out of respect, Gogawale told PTI. 

He said all Shiv Sena MLAs, including those in the Uddhav Thackeray camp, had worked together for a long time with Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray. 

"We respect them. But they should have addressed our concerns," he added. -- PTI