Wed, 06 July 2022
Crude slumps below $100 for first time since May

Timeline  Refresh

Manda Jagannadham
Manda Jagannadham
23:37   TRS leader Jagannadham takes charge as spl representative of Telangana govt in Delhi
Senior Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader and former MP Manda Jagannadham on Wednesday took charge as special representative of the Telangana government in the national capital in the rank of a cabinet minister. 

After taking charge, Jagannadham told reporters, "I will try to get all the pending state issues resolved and get funds sanctioned for the state, being a negotiator between the state and the central government." 

His appointment comes amid strained relationship between the TRS and the ruling party at the Centre. 

"Anything can be resolved if one sits across the table for discussion," he said. 

Jagannadham will continue in the post for a period of one year. Telangana Bhavan Resident Commissioner Gaurav Uppal was present when the TRS leader assumed office. -- PTI
23:12   Crude slumps below $100 for first time since May
World oil prices plummeted on Wednesday (local time) and dropped below $100 a barrel for the first time since early May. 

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled as much as 10 per cent Tuesday, to hit a low of $97.43 before closing at $99.50, down 8 per cent on the day, reported CNN

The slump reflects investors' growing concerns about a US recession that could crimp demand for oil. 

It's the first time that WTI has been below $100 since May 11. 

That was also the last time Brent, which typically trades a bit higher, was below $102 a barrel. 

Brent has not been below $100 since April 25, reported CNN

Wholesale gas futures fell as well, down almost 10 per cent for the day at the close, or 36 cents a gallon. 

The national average cost of a gallon of gas at the pump is now $4.80, according to the latest AAA reading, down one penny from Monday and 8 cents from a week ago. 

Gas prices crossed the $5 mark for the first time on June 11 and hit a peak of $5.02 a gallon on June 14. 

Rising fears about the chances of a recession are the primary driver of the latest sell-off in oil and gasoline futures, said Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for OPIS. -- ANI
Representational image
Representational image
22:42   Redmi K50i set to launch in India this month
About a few weeks ago it was heard that Xiaomi is planning to launch the Redmi K50i in India. 

Meanwhile, a report claimed on Tuesday that the K50i will debut in India on July 20. 

Incidentally, the report has turned out to be correct as Redmi has confirmed that the K50i is set to launch in India on July 20. 

As per GSM Arena, Redmi hasn't divulged any specs of the K50i yet, but the teaser shared by the company reveals the smartphone's design. 

It has a triple camera setup on the rear, and blue is one of the colour options you will get to choose from. 

The Redmi K50i is similar to the Redmi Note 11T Pro and Redmi Note 11T Pro+ that was launched in China in May. 

They are basically the same phones, but with different batteries and charging speeds. 

The Note 11T Pro has a 5,080mAh battery with 67W charging, while the Note 11T Pro+ has a 4,400mAh battery with 120W charging. -- PTI
Ambulance carrying RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav coming out of airport in New Delhi/ANI
Ambulance carrying RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav coming out of airport in New Delhi/ANI
22:28   Ailing Lalu airlifted to Delhi for treatment
Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday was taken to Delhi in an air ambulance, a couple of days after falling critically ill. 

The 74-year-old former Bihar chief minister was accompanied by a team of doctors and his eldest daughter Misa Bharti, a Rajya Sabha MP who is also an MBBS. 

His wife Rabri Devi and younger son Tejashwi Yadav had left a few hours earlier to oversee the arrangements in the national capital. 

Prasad left for Delhi at around 8.15 pm, nearly 45 minutes behind schedule. 

The delay was attributed to the air ambulance not reaching here in time. 

People were seen at the Paras hospital, where Prasad had been admitted since Monday morning, besides both sides of the road that led to the airport which was a 15-minute drive. 

At the Jai Prakash Narayan Airport, slogans in praise of the messiah of the poor rent the air as the ambulance carrying Prasad sped past the crowds, waiting for their leader despite a drizzle. 

Prasad, who turned 74 last month, has been suffering from multiple ailments including renal and cardiac problems besides diabetes. 

On Sunday last, he had a fall and fractured his shoulder after which the affected area was bandaged. -- PTI
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde
22:17   Maha CM Shinde denies meeting Sharad Pawar
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said that rumours are spread that he had met NCP president Sharad Pawar a day before. 

"My photo with NCP chief Sharad Pawar is being made viral. There was no such meeting. Please don't believe in rumours," Shinde tweeted. 

Shinde's rebellion with 39 MLAs of Shiv Sena against the party leadership led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government last week. 

Shinde took oath as the chief minister on June 30 with BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as his deputy. Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party was part of the erstwhile Shiv Sena-led MVA government. 

When they were camping with Shinde in a Guwahati hotel, Shiv Sena rebels had demanded that Uddhav Thackeray break ties with the NCP and Congress and alleged that the NCP was scheming to finish off the Sena. 

They had also claimed that they were not getting enough funds for the development of their respective constituencies from the finance department, which was then headed by NCP's Ajit Pawar. -- PTI
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
21:56   Bihar CM Nitish Kumar launches '112' for emergency response
Emergency response number '112' was launched by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday. 

Kumar also flagged off 400 police patrol vehicles that will be used to address distress calls received through the helpline. 

"This single helpline number '112' will reduce the response time. Senior officers must ensure that the response time should be within 20 minutes. This will certainly strengthen people's trust in the police force," he said. 

People can call the toll-free number for all emergency services, including police, fire and health. 

The calls, to be handled by a centralised control room, will track the location of the caller and alert the nearest vehicle. 

The centralised command and control centre has been set up at Bihar Police Radio Headquarters in Patel Nagar in Patna. 

"At least 100 people will work in three shifts at the centre to provide emergency services to people in distress," said a senior police officer. People can also reach through SMS and e-mail, he said. 

"In the first phase, we have procured 400 vehicles -- 100 for Patna and 15-25 each for other districts. Total 1,200 vehicles will be procured. About 7,000 personnel have been trained for this new system," said the official. 

The Emergency Response Support System is a central project. 

The Centre also provides funds to the states for its implementation. -- PTI
21:23   Smriti Irani given minority affairs ministry
President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the resignations of Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Ram Chandra Prasad Singh with immediate effect, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement on Wednesday.

Minority Affairs Minister Naqvi and Steel Minister Singh submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, a day before the completion of their Rajya Sabha term.

According to the Rashtrapati Bhavan statement, " advised by the prime minister, the President has directed that Smriti Zubin Irani, Cabinet Minister, be assigned the charge of the ministry of minority affairs, in addition to her existing portfolio."

Cabinet Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has been assigned the charge of the ministry of steel, in addition to his existing portfolio.
21:14   Coast Guard rescues 22 crew members from sinking ship off Gujarat coast
The Indian Coast Guard on Wednesday rescued 22 crew members from a sinking merchant vessel off the Porbandar coast in Gujarat, an official said.            

"At about 0820 hrs, the ICG received a distress alert regarding uncontrolled flooding onboard merchant vessel, Global King-1. The ship was reportedly 185 km off the Porbandar coast. The ICG immediately responded and alerted all stakeholders," it said in a release.         

The swift action of the ICG saved the lives of 22 crew members, including a Pakistani and a Sri Lankan (the rest are Indians) who are safe and being brought to Porbandar, it said.         

Dornier aircraft was launched from the ICG Air Station Porbandar to assess the situation and relay information to the vessels in vicinity amid adverse weather, it said. -- PTI
21:02   Mir resigns as J-K Congress chief ahead of reshuffle
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee president GA Mir has resigned from the post to pave the way for the restructuring of the party in the Union Territory.  

"It is the tradition in the Congress party that before any reshuffle, the existing office-bearers put in their papers. I have done the same," Mir told PTI on Wednesday.

He said he submitted his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday.

Mir, who was the JKPCC chief for over seven years, dismissed reports that infighting within the party unit was the reason for his resignation.

"It is up to the Congress president to appoint the new PCC chief. There is no question of infighting (being the reason for resignation)," he said. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
20:35   RSS to hold three-day meeting from Thursday in Rajasthan
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will hold a three-day meeting beginning Thursday in Jhunjhunu in poll-bound Rajasthan. 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Sarkaryavah (general secretary) Dattatreya Hosbole and other senior leaders, including Krishna Gopal, Manmohan Vaidya, CR Mukund, Arun Kumar and Ram Dutt will participate in the 'Akhil Bharatiya Prant Pracharak' meeting. 

Sangh's Prachar Pramukh (communications head) Sunil Ambekar said in a statement that the meeting, which is held annually, will continue till July 9 at the Khemi Shakti temple complex in Jhunjhunu. 

He said that in this meeting the Prant Pracharaks from all 45 prants of the country will share the information and experience of the actual situation in their respective areas of work. Rajasthan will go to polls in late 2023. -- PTI
20:32   Ilayaraja, PT Usha nominated to Rajya Sabha
The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday nominated music maestro Ilayaraja and India's legendary athlete PT Usha to the Rajya Sabha. Also nominated were philanthropist Veerendra Heggade and screen-writer/director V Vijayendra Prasad. 

Tweeting his greetings to the RS nominees, Prime Minister said, 'The creative genius of @ilaiyaraaja Ji has enthralled people across generations. His works beautifully reflect many emotions. What is equally inspiring is his life journey -- he rose from a humble background and achieved so much. Glad that he has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. 

'The remarkable PT Usha Ji is an inspiration for every Indian. Her accomplishments in sports are widely known but equally commendable is her work to mentor budding athletes over the last several years. Congratulations to her on being nominated to the Rajya Sabha. 

'Shri Veerendra Heggade Ji is at the forefront of outstanding community service. I have had the opportunity to pray at the Dharmasthala Temple and also witness the great work he is doing in health, education and culture. He will certainly enrich Parliamentary proceedings. 

'Shri V Vijayendra Prasad Garu is associated with the creative world for decades. His works showcase India's glorious culture and have made a mark globally. Congratulations to him for being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.'
20:21   NIA nabs 6th accused in Udaipur tailor murder
The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday arrested a sixth person in connection with the killing of Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor, in Udaipur in Rajasthan and took him into custody till July 12, officials said. 

Wasim Ali, who ran a meat shop opposite the tailoring shop of Kanhaiya Lal, was picked by the federal agency Tuesday night and questioned for his alleged role in helping other accused carry out a recce of the area. 

He was placed under arrest on Wednesday and produced before a designated court which remanded him in the custody of the NIA till July 12. 

Elaborate security arrangements were made in the court premises for the production of the accused. 

"After hearing the matter, the court sent Wasim Ali to the NIA custody till July 12," special public prosecutor TP Sharma said. 

Lal was killed with a cleaver inside his tailoring shop on June 28. 

The gruesome attack by Riaz Akhtari on the tailor was recorded on a phone by Ghouse Mohammad, and it was posted online. 

They said in a video later that they hacked Lal to death to avenge an alleged insult to Islam. 

The duo were arrested within hours of the killing. -- PTI
Umesh Kolhe
Umesh Kolhe
19:47   NIA searches 13 places over Maha chemist's murder
The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday conducted searches at 13 locations in Maharashtra over the killing of pharmacist Umesh Kolhe, in Amravati on June 21. 

The NIA sleuths seized digital devices, pamphlets spreading hate messages and other incriminating materials including knives during the raid. -- ANI
19:43   Sensex top gainers
Benchmark stock indices Sensex and Nifty rebounded over 1 per cent on Wednesday following buying in FMCG, financials and auto stocks amid softening crude oil prices and foreign funds turning net buyers of domestic equities after a long gap.

Among Sensex shares, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Titan, Maruti Suzuki India, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Nestle were the major gainers.
19:14   12 Maharashtra villages cut off in rains
At least 12 hamlets were cut off after a bridge got flooded due to heavy rains and flooding in Maharashtra's Palghar district, an official said on Wednesday.

According to authorities, Pandartara bridge, which connects Usgaon in Vasai taluka, was inundated and submerged because of incessant rainfall in the region.

At least 12 hamlets in the region are cut off and the situation will remain so for a couple of days till the water recedes, they said.

Rain-related incidents were also reported in the neighbouring Thane district.

A 73-year-old woman was injured when a slab of a protection wall on the third floor of ESIS hospital collapsed around 1 pm in Wagle Estate area of Thane city, said Avinash Sawant, the chief of the RDMC said. The rest of the wall at the hospital was in a precarious state and the hospital itself was in a dangerous condition, he said.

Local firemen and a team of the RDMC rushed to the scene to provide assistance. Civic officials were examining the building, he said.

In another incident, boulders crashed on the Mumbra bypass road at around 1 pm, and rescue teams were busy clearing the scene, the official said, adding that no one was injured in the incident the official said.   -- PTI
Saji Cheriyan
Saji Cheriyan
18:17   Kerala minister critical of Constitution quits
Kerala Minister Saji Cheriyan, facing protests for his anti-Constitution remarks, announces resignation.

Cheriyan on Tuesday landed in trouble for his harsh remarks against the Constitution, triggering a huge political row in the state with the opposition demanding for his sacking, but the Left leader later expressed regret and claimed news reports in this connection were 'distorted'.
Representative image only
Representative image only
18:10   Vistara aircraft engine fails after landing at Delhi airport, passengers safe
An engine of a Vistara aircraft on way from Bangkok failed after it landed at the Delhi airport but all passengers disembarked safely, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Wednesday.

The airline said one of the engines had developed a 'minor' electrical malfunction after the aircraft landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday.

After vacating the runway, the engine number 2 of the aircraft was shut down as pilots wanted to do single-engine taxiing using engine number 1, DGCA officials said.

However, as engine number 1 failed at the end of the taxi way, a tow truck was brought to take the aircraft to the parking bay, they said.

All passengers safely disembarked from the plane, they said.

In a statement, a Vistara spokesperson said: 'After landing in Delhi, while taxing to the parking bay, our flight UK122 (BKK-DEL) had a minor electrical malfunction on 05July, 2022. Keeping passenger safety and comfort in mind the crew elected to tow the aircraft to the bay.'   -- ANI
17:47   Will be 'doubly careful': SpiceJet CMD
SpiceJet will now be 'doubly careful' and strengthen inspection of aircraft before they leave to operate flights, airline's CMD Ajay Singh said on Wednesday.

Aviation regulator DGCA issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet on Wednesday following eight technical malfunction incidents involving the airline's planes in the last 18 days.

"We will work with them (DGCA) to ensure that if they feel that there are any gaps at all in our system, we will address them. There is nothing more important than safety," Singh told PTI in an interview.

He said none of the incidents that have happened in the last few weeks have anything to do with shortage of spare parts.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), in its show-cause notice, mentioned the financial audit of SpiceJet in September 2021 according to which the airline is not paying component vendors regularly and that has led to shortage of spare parts.

"A lot of these incidents that are being reported are relatively minor in nature and happen to every airline. This is nothing unique," he said.  

When you have thousands of flights, sometimes the air conditioning will fail, sometimes a bird will hit the plane, and sometimes a fuel indicator will light up, he said.

"These things are going to happen and, of course, we have to minimise that to the greatest extent possible. That is our job and it is the regulator's job to push us to make things better, which we will do," he said.

When asked what changes SpiceJet will now undertake to deal with the safety concerns, he said, "We have to be doubly careful. We will rigorously inspect aircraft when they leave for a flight, which we already do, but we will strengthen the inspection."

He said SpiceJet has asked the DGCA to take a look into the working of the airline because the processes that it follows have been audited several times by the regulator and in the 15 years that SpiceJet has flown, there has been nothing significant that has really transpired on its aircraft.

In its show-cause notice to SpiceJet, the DGCA said the airline has failed to 'establish safe, efficient and reliable air services' under the terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

On Tuesday, the airline's Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning fuel indicator and its Kandla-Mumbai flight did priority landing in Maharashtra's capital city after cracks developed on its windshield mid-air.  -- PTI
Bhavana Gawli
Bhavana Gawli
17:32   Shiv Sena replaces Bhavana Gawli as chief whip in LS
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Wednesday nominated Rajan Vichare as the party's chief whip in Lok Sabha replacing MP Bhavana Gawali, party leader Sanjay Raut said.

"It is to inform you that Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party has nominated Rajan Vichare, MP (LS) as the chief whip in Lok Sabha in place of Bhavana Gawali, MP (LS), with immediate effect," Raut said in a letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi.

Raut is the leader of the Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party.

Gawali, who represents the Yavatmal-Washim LS constituency in Maharashtra, was one of the Sena MPs who had suggested that the Sena ally with the BJP again amid the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde.
17:23   Naqvi, RCP Singh resign from Union Cabinet
Union ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and R C P Singh submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, a day before the completion of their Rajya Sabha term, sources said.

Earlier in the day, Modi had lauded both Naqvi and Singh during the cabinet meeting for their contribution to the country during their tenure, in an apparent suggestion of it being their final cabinet meeting, sources said.

With their term as Rajya Sabha MPs set to end on Thursday, both ministers submitted their resignations to fulfil the constitutional obligation as they will cease to be parliamentarians from Friday.

Naqvi, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader, is also the deputy leader of the Rajya Sabha.

Singh is a minister in the Modi Cabinet from Janata Dal-United quota. -- PTI
Leena Manimekalai
Leena Manimekalai
16:30   Twitter removes Manimekalai's Kaali poster tweet
Social media platform Twitter has pulled down filmmaker Leena Manimekalai's tweet about her documentary Kaali, which is currently at the centre of a controversy, in response to 'a legal demand'.

In the said tweet posted on July 2, the Toronto-based director had shared the poster of Kaali, which depicted the titular goddess smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag.

'This Tweet from @LeenaManimekali has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand,' read a message in place of the original post.

It is unknown when the tweet was taken down by the microblogging site.

On Tuesday, the Delhi Police and the Uttar Pradesh Police filed separate FIRs against Manimekalai over the controversial poster.

Further, the Indian High Commission in Ottawa had urged the Canadian authorities to take down all 'provocative material' related to the film after it received complaints from leaders of the Hindu community in Canada about the 'disrespectful depiction' of Hindu gods.

Kaali was showcased as part of the 'Under the Tent' project at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.

Under attack for the poster, Manimekalai had on Monday said she will continue to use her voice fearlessly till she is alive.

'I have nothing to lose. Till the time I live, I wish to live with a voice that speaks what I believe without fear. If the price for that is my life, it can be given,' she wrote in a tweet in Tamil in response to an article on the controversy.

The filmmaker also urged people to watch the documentary to understand the context behind the poster.   -- PTI
16:05   Is this the cost of toppling Maharashtra govt: Cong on LPG hike
The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre over the hike in price of domestic LPG cylinder, asking if this is the cost of toppling the Maharashtra government.
The price of domestic liquid petroleum gas cylinders on Wednesday was hiked by Rs 50 per cylinder, the third increase in rates since May.
In a tweet in Hindi, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the BJP spoke of welfare of the poor at its national executive meeting while imposing five per cent "Gabbar Singh Tax (GST)" on flour, cereals, curd and paneer, and then broke the back of the poor and middle class by increasing the price of domestic cooking gas by Rs 50.
Taking a dig at the government, the All India Mahila Congress said in a tweet, "Another ?50 hike in LPG Gas Cylinder! Is this the cost of toppling the Maharashtra Government?"
The attack comes days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde won a crucial confidence vote in the state Assembly, cementing his grip on power five days after assuming office with BJP support following a revolt in the Shiv Sena.
The Congress has accused the BJP of engendering the revolt.
Congress spokesperson Shama Mohamed said LPG price has spiked from Rs 834 to Rs 1,053 in one year. 
"This is at a time when food inflation and unemployment are at a record high. Does the BJP govt want to save its rich friends or the common man!" she said.
Non-subsidised LPG will now cost Rs 1,053 per 14.2-kg cylinder, according to a price notification of oil companies.
Non-subsidised LPG rate is the one that common household users pay. Ujjwala beneficiaries are the only ones who get subsidies. -- PTI
16:02   12 of 18 Sena MPs will join us: Shinde camp MLA
A day after a Shiv Sena MP requested party chief Uddhav Thackeray to declare support for National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu, a rebel MLA on Wednesday claimed that 12 out of 18 Sena MPs would soon join the Eknath Shinde-led faction.
Talking to reporters in his constituency in Jalgaon district, Gulabrao Patil, a minister in the previous Thackeray-led Maharashtra government, said the Shinde faction will restore the party's glory.

"We (rebel camp) have 40 out of 55 MLAs with us, and 12 out of 18 MPs are coming with us. So who does the party belong to? I have met four MPs personally. We also have 22 former MLAs with us," he said.

On Tuesday, Shiv Sena Lok Sabha member Rahul Shewale urged  Thackeray to ask party MPs to  support NDA's nominee Draupadi Murmu, considering her tribal roots and contribution to the social sector.

Both Uddhav Thackeray loyalists and the Eknath Shinde faction have claimed that their respective group represents the original Shiv Sena.

Of the 55 Sena MLAs, 40 are with Chief Minister Shinde. 

Patil further said that they had not quit the party for power, but "left power while we were ministers."

"Not one, but eight ministers left the party. This means we want to save our Shiv Sena," he said. -- PTI 
15:53   China's average life expectancy goes up to 77.93 yrs amid falling birth rates
Life expectancy in China has increased by over 0.6 of a year to 77.93 years even as the world's second-largest economy grappled with a demographic crisis due to declining birth rates, according to the National Health Commission.
As per the latest census, the number of Chinese people aged 60 or above reached 264 million by 2020, accounting for 18.7 per cent of the country's total population.
"The health literacy rate has risen to 25.4 per cent, and 37.2 per cent of Chinese people regularly take part in physical exercise," Mao Qun'an, the director of the National Health Commission's department of planning and information, told a media briefing on Tuesday.
China faced a demographic crisis as its child births decreased alarmingly while numbers of the old-age population grew, warranting the government to expand geriatric care facilities.
China permitted all couples to have two children in 2016, scrapping the draconian decades-old one-child policy which policymakers blame for the current demographic crisis.
Last year, China passed a revised Population and Family Planning Law allowing Chinese couples to have three children, in an apparent attempt to address the reluctance of couples to have more kids due to mounting costs.
The decision to permit the third child came after the once-in-a-decade census in 2020 showed that China's population grew at its slowest pace to 1.412 billion.
Also, the average life expectancy in Tibet where Oxygen levels remain low due to high altitude terrain, has increased from 35.5 years in 1951 to 72.19 years last year, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported in March this year.
Gao Yuanyi, an official with the General Administration of Sport of China, told the media on Tuesday that by the end of last year, the average fitness area per capita had reached 2.4 square meters.
"More than 90 per cent of people reached the average physical standard level of their age in 2020," he said.
Gao added that a lack of funds and public facilities dedicated to meeting the public's demand for exercise have been effectively addressed in recent years.
"Each year, the administration and the Ministry of Finance will invest nearly 1 billion yuan (USD 149 million) to subsidise fitness centres that are either free or charge very little," he was quoted as saying by the official media.
Liu Peijun, an official with the Ministry of Education, said the rate of myopia among children and teenagers dropped by 0.9 of a percentage point from 2018 to 52.7 per cent in 2020, due to the concerted efforts in reducing academic burden, increase outdoor activities and improving indoor lighting.
The use of e-cigarettes has registered an upward trend among teenagers in recent years, according to Mao from the National Health Commission.
He said the commission has launched a campaign to crack down on illegal sales of e-cigarettes to teenagers and will publish prevalence rates of tobacco use among the young population regularly, the state-run China Daily reported. -- PTI
15:42   Bring it on BJP: Mahua Moitra amid FIRs over Kali remark
A day after she faced a barrage of criticisms over her remarks on Goddess Kali, with the BJP seeking her immediate arrest, Trinamool Congress Party MP Mohua Moitra on Wednesday said she, a "worshipper of the deity", was not afraid of saffron camp "goons".
Moitra also said that "truth doesn't need back up forces".
"Jai Ma Kali! The goddess Bengalis worship is fearless & non-appeasing." she tweeted.
"Bring it on BJP! Am a Kali worshipper. I am not afraid of anything. Not your ignoramuses. Not your goons. Not your police. And most certainly not your trolls. Truth doesn't need back up forces," Moitra added.
The Bengal BJP leadership has sought the arrest of Moitra for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus with her controversial remarks on Goddess Kali.
The party said it would move the court alleging police inaction if no measure was initiated against her in 10 days.
Its women wing also submitted a deputation at Bowbazar police station in the city seeking her arrest.
The Krishnanagar MP had on Tuesday kicked up a controversy at a conclave by saying that she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting deity, as each person had his or her unique way of offering prayers.
The TMC MP was asked for her response to the latest outrage over a film poster that showed a woman dressed a Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette and holding a pride flag.
Shortly after, the BJP went at the remark hammer and tongs and wondered if the ruling party of West Bengal had adopted a policy of "insulting Hindu gods and goddesses".
"According to the norms of the Sanatan Hindu dharma, Goddess Kali is never worshipped as a goddess who consumes alcohol and meat. Hindus had been revering Goddess Kali for ages as a symbol of power against evil. Her comments have hurt religious sentiments. We demand her arrest in the light of the statement against Goddess Kali," BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said hundreds of police complaints had been lodged against Moitra across the state.
"The TMC government and the state police have been very active in seeking police action against Nupur Sharma. But they have not taken any action against Mahua Moitra. There can't be a different set of rules for BJP and TMC leaders. We will wait for ten days and then move the court," the saffron camp MLA said.
The ruling TMC has distanced itself from the comment, stating that it does not endorse it.
15:29   FIR registered against TMC MP Moitra for remark about Goddess Kaali
Police in BJPBharatiya Janata Party-ruled Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday registered a case against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra over her remark about Goddess Kaali.
The First Information Report was registered by the crime branch in state capital Bhopal under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (outraging religious feelings), an official said.

"Moitra's  statement has hurt religious feelings of Hindus. We will not tolerate disrespect to any Hindu Gods and Goddesses at any cost," said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a statement.

The Bengal BJP leadership has sought the arrest of Moitra for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus.

According to the norms of the Sanatan Hindu dharma, Goddess Kali is never worshipped as a goddess who consumes alcohol and meat. Hindus had been revering Goddess Kali for ages as a symbol of power against evil. Her comments have hurt religious sentiments. We demand her arrest in the light of the statement against Goddess Kali, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said hundreds of police complaints had been lodged against Moitra across the state.
"The TMC government and the state police have been very active in seeking police action against Nupur Sharma. But they have not taken any action against Mahua Moitra. There can't be a different set of rules for BJP and TMC leaders. We will wait for ten days and then move the court, the saffron camp MLA said.
The ruling TMC has distanced itself from the comment, stating that it does not endorse it.
"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 (sic)," the party said in a Twitter post. 

Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy with her remarks that she has every right as "an individual to imagine Goddess Kaali 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.
15:21   Rebel Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar visits Raj Thackeray
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar on Wednesday met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray at the latter's residence. 
"I paid a courtesy visit to him as he has undergone a surgery. Also, we live close by, Sarvankar, who belongs to the Shiv Sena faction led by Eknath Shinde, told PTI.

The Sena MLA represents Mahim in central Mumbai, the area where Raj Thackeray lives. 

Thackeray's MNS, which has only one legislator in the Maharashtra Assembly, had supported the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Rajya Sabha and state Legislative Council elections last month.

It also supported the Shinde-led new government during the trust vote earlier this week. -- PTI
15:15   IMD issues heavy rain alert for Maha from July 6 to 8
The India Meteorological Department issued a heavy rainfall alert for Maharashtra on Wednesday and the next two days, as state capital Mumbai continued to witness heavy downpour for the third consecutive day, resulting in a landslide near a chawl, water-logging at many places and traffic disruptions. 
Three persons were injured in the landslide, an official said, as Mumbaikars continued to face hardship due to flooding on roads. A citizen in a tweet said they now need a boat to commute, instead of a car.   
A landslide also occurred on a road leading to the Pratapgad Fort in western Maharashtra's Satara district on Wednesday following heavy rains. There was no report of any casualty and no one was trapped in the debris, the Public Works Department's executive engineer, Sanjay Sonawane, said.
IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said an off-shore trough lies across the Gujarat and Maharashtra coast and low pressure over west Madhya Pradesh, resulting in heavy rainfall over Maharashtra and Gujarat.  
The IMD has issued a 'red alert' for south Konkan, Goa and south central Maharashtra from July 6-8. It said heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places during this period. 
It issued an 'orange alert' for north Konkan.
For north central Maharashtra, east Vidarbha and west Vidarbha, the IMD issued a 'yellow alert' for Wednesday and orange for Thursday and Friday. There was a 'yellow alert' for the Marathwada region, forecasting heavy rainfall on Wednesday and the next two days.
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.
Skymet, the private weather forecasting company, said active monsoon conditions will likely continue for the next 10 days due to the development of an intense low-pressure system. It said there could be extremely heavy rains in parts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, and Gujarat on Thursday and Friday. 
Several parts of the state have been witnessing heavy rainfall since July 4. In many parts, rivers have been flowing near the danger mark and inundating low-lying areas.
In Mumbai, a minor boy and two other persons were injured after a portion of a hill crashed on the two-storey Narayan Hadke Chawl (tenement) in Chunabhatti area around 10.30 am, a civic official said.
Three rooms in the chawl were damaged due to the landslide. As a precaution, the civic body has evacuated residents from other adjoining rooms in the chawl, he said.
The injured persons -- Shubham Sonawane (15), Prakash Sonawane (40) and Surekha Virkar (20) -- were immediately shifted to the nearby civic-run Sion Hospital, the official said, adding that their condition is stable.
The Central Railway and Western Railway officials said the local trains were operating normally, but some commuters claimed the suburban services were running a little late.
A spokesperson of the BEST Undertaking said their bus services were diverted on two dozen routes at six locations.
Mumbai is likely to witness another wet day as the India Meteorological Department has predicted moderate to heavy rain in the city and suburbs, with a possibility of extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in the next 24 hours, according to civic officials.
15:04   Kejriwal announces Delhi Shopping Festivalfrom Jan 28-Feb 26 next year
The national capital will host 'Delhi Shopping Festival' from January 28 to February 26 next year and it will be the country's biggest such event, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Wednesday. 
The festival will have guests from the country as well as abroad to experience Delhi, its culture, food and shopping and the event will generate thousands of employment opportunities, he said.
Kejriwal also said the government is in talks with hotels and airlines to provide special packages to those who want to visit Delhi at the time. 
"It will be the biggest shopping festival of India and we will make it the biggest in the world in the coming years. Delhi will be decked up as a bride and there will be heavy discounts on products," he said during an online briefing.
The festival will have exhibitions on spirituality, wellness, health and gaming, and several entertainment avenues, he mentioned. 
"There will be a special opening and closing ceremony and 200 concerts will be organised to entertain the visitors. Special food walks will be held that will see the participation of international restaurants and national restaurants since Delhi is known for its food," he stressed. -- PTI
15:03   Landslide near Maha fort after heavy downpour
A landslide occurred on a road leading to the Pratapgad Fort in western Maharashtra's Satara district on Wednesday following heavy rains, an official said.
There was no report of any casualty and no one was trapped in the debris, the Public Works Department's executive engineer, Sanjay Sonawane, said.
The incident took place in the wee hours on the mainm district road (no.17) which leads to Pratapgad, located about 140 k from Pune and over 200 km from Mumbai. 
 "There was a minor incident of a landslide as a portion of the hillside crashed on the road leading to the Pratapgad Fort. After receiving information, our team reached the spot and clear the debris from the road," Sonawane said.
The western Maharashtra district is witnessing heavy rains since the last few days.
The famous Mahabaleshwar hill station in Satara district witnessed heavy rains on Tuesday. 
It recorded 197 mm downpour in the 24-hour period ending at 8 am on Wednesday, a district official said. -- PTI 
Soon to be Mrs Mann
Soon to be Mrs Mann
14:56   Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to marry Gurpreet Kaur tomorrow
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann will tie the knot with Dr Gurpreet Kaur in a private ceremony on Thursday at his Chandigarh house.

Mann got divorced from his earlier marriage almost six years ago.

Mann's first wife Inderpreet Kaur along with her two children is staying in America.
14:41   After 8 snags in 18 days, SpiceJet gets DGCA notice
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to SpiceJet following eight technical malfunction incidents in the last 18 days.
"The review (of incidents) transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system related failure) have resulted in degradation of the safety margins," the notice stated.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has given SpiceJet three weeks to respond to the notice.
"Financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has also revealed that the airline is operating on 'cash-?and-carry' (model) and ?s?uppliers/?a?pproved ?v?endors are not being paid on a regular basis leading to shortage of spares and frequent invoking of MELs (minimum equipment lists)," it stated.
The DGCA said SpiceJet has failed to "establish a safe, efficient and reliable air services" under terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.
Reacting to the DGCA notice, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia asserted that passenger safety was paramount.
"Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated & course-corrected," he said in a tweet. -- PTI
14:35   Police detain suspect in murder of Afghan spiritual guru in Nashik
The Nashik police have detained a suspect in connection with the murder of a Sufi spiritual leader, who hailed from Afghanistan, an official said on Wednesday. 
Khwaja Ahmad Zarif Chishti was shot dead allegedly by a group of four unidentified persons in Nashik's Yeola town  in Maharashtra on Tuesday, Nashik Rural Police Superintendent Sachin Patil told reporters, adding that prima facie the incident took place due to a financial dispute of property issues.
Chishti, popularly known as 'Sufi Baba' in Yeola, was a refugee from Pakistan. He came to India four years ago and the Government of India had given him a refugee pass and an extension of two years to stay in the country, another official said.

The police are also looking at other angles in the case, Patil said. 
Elaborating on sources of income of the deceased, the official said Chishti used to get donations from various people, as he was spiritual leader and was also involved in providing spiritual guidance.
He also had his YouTube channel, which has followers in India and abroad. He was also getting an income from the channel, the official said. 

The official said "there are three main accused in the case and the role of one more person is being investigated."  
On Tuesday, Chishti and the accused persons had gone to Yeola town from Vavi, where he used to live, and performed a prayer, he said.
After having lunch together, they went to the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation) area to perform another worship at an open plot as they were trying to buy it, he said. 
While they were sitting in a vehicle after the worship, one of the accused pulled a firearm and fired a round in Chishti's head, Patil said. 
The accused persons also include Chishti's driver, he said. 
Chishti had an Afghan passport and came to India four years ago. He stayed in Delhi, Karnataka and then in Nashik district of Maharashtra, the official said.
Being a foreign citizen, he was not able to purchase a property in his name, hence he used to buy properties in other people's names, the official said. 
He had purchased a vehicle in other person's name, he said.
Hunt was on for the accused persons, the official added. -- PTI
14:00   Kaali row: Shashi Tharoor backs Mahua Moitra
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said he is "taken aback by the attack" on Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra for her comments on Goddess Kaali, and urged people to "lighten up and leave religion" to individuals to practice privately.
Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy with her remarks that she has every right as "an individual to imagine Goddess Kaali 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 BJP severely criticised Moitra and asked 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.
Reacting to the row, Tharoor said on Twitter, "I am no stranger to malicious manufactured controversy, but am still taken aback by the attack on @MahuaMoitra  for saying what every Hindu knows, that our forms of worship vary widely across the country. What devotees offer as bhog (offering) says more about them than about the goddess".
"We have reached a stage where no one can say anything publicly about any aspect of religion without someone claiming to be offended. It's obvious that @MahuaMoitra wasn't trying to offend anyone. I urge every1 to lighten up & leave religion to individuals to practice privately," he said.
While taking part in India Today Conclave East held in Kolkata, Moitra had 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 had said. -- PTI
The accused in Udaipur tailor's killing
The accused in Udaipur tailor's killing
13:26   Hate speech leads to acts of terror
'A UN paper said 'hate speech is a very dangerous form of speech because it explicitly and deliberately aims at triggering discrimination, hostility and violence, which may also lead to or include terrorism or atrocity crimes,' writes Vappala Balachandran, ex-Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, in The Tribune

'As a student of terrorism for 46 years, I can say that there is empirical evidence that hate speeches have a direct bearing on acts of terrorism,' he avers, here.
13:24   SC stays Madras HC order on AIADMK leadership row
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Madras high vourt order which restrained passing of any unannounced resolutions in the meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general and executive councils concerning the issue of single leadership of the party.
A vacation bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari issued notices on the plea of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami challenging the Madras High Court order.
"Notice be issued to respondents, returnable in two weeks. In view of the facts and circumstances of case and subject matter of litigation and high court orders, it is considered appropriate that operation and effect of order June 23, 2022 shall remain stayed," the bench said.
The high court division bench had held an extraordinary sitting past midnight and passed the order at 4 am on June 23.
The court had ruled that no unannounced resolutions could be taken up at the meeting of the AIADMK general and executive councils here, restraining the camp led by joint coordinator Palaniswami from initiating any such move over the possible single leadership issue. -- PTI
13:08   Another SpiceJet plane faces snag, 8th in 18 days
SpiceJet said its freighter aircraft, which was heading to Chongqing in China, returned to Kolkata on Tuesday as the pilots realised after take off that its weather radar was not working.
This is at least the eighth incident of technical malfunction happening on SpiceJet aircraft in the last 18 days.
On Tuesday itself, the airline's Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning fuel indicator and its Kandla-Mumbai flight did priority landing in Maharashtra's capital city after cracks developed on its windshield mid-air.
"On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet Boeing 737 freighter was scheduled to operate from Kolkata to Chongqing. After take-off, the weather radar was not showing the weather. The PIC (pilot-in-command) decided to return to Kolkata. The aircraft landed safely at Kolkata," SpiceJet spokesperson told PTI on Wednesday.  
12:52   Lt Gen Mohan Subramanian appointed as Force Commander of UN Mission in South Sudan
Lieutenant General Mohan Subramanian of the Indian Army has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as his new Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Lt. Gen. Subramanian succeeds Lt. Gen. Shailesh Tinaikar, also from the Indian Army, "to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his tireless dedication, invaluable service and effective leadership as UNMISS Force Commander, a statement issued here on Tuesday said.
Tinaikar was appointed by Guterres as the UNMISS Force Commander in May 2019.

Subramanian has a "distinguished military career with the Indian Army spanning over 36 years and most recently, he served as the General Officer Commanding, Military Region (Operational and Logistic Readiness Zone) in central India, contributing to the Army's operational and logistic preparedness.  
Previously, he served as the Additional Director General for Procurement and Equipment Management at the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Army) (2019-2021), General Officer Commanding a Strike Infantry Division (2018-2019), Deputy General Officer Commanding of Infantry Division (2015-2016), Commander of a Mountain Brigade (2013-2014) among other appointments within the Indian Armed Forces.
He has served as India's Defence Attache to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (2008-2012) and as a Staff Officer with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone in 2000.

He holds two Master of Philosophy degrees in Defence and Management Studies as well as in Social Sciences.
India is among the largest contributors of uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping. The UN mission in South Sudan, a country born in July 2011, has 17,982 personnel deployed with it as of November 2021.
India is the second-highest military troop-contributing country to UNMISS with 2,385 Indian peacekeepers serving with the mission, second only to Rwanda. In addition, India currently contributes 30 police personnel to UNMISS.
Representational image
Representational image
12:34   Toronto withdraws no-beard rule, terminated Sikhs to be reinstated
The City of Toronto has formally apologised to the World Sikh Organization of Canada for "any delay" in reinstating the Sikh security guards whose services were terminated over a "no-beard" policy. 

Effective from Tuesday (local time) the city will immediately permit "under-mask beard covers" as a reasonable accommodation option for individuals who maintain facial hair as a tenet of their faith, according to an official statement. 

It has also asked contracted security service providers to accommodate any Sikh security guard employees who have requested religious exemptions and reinstate any employee whose employment was terminated. 

Notably, the World Sikh Organization of Canada had demanded the City of Toronto change the rule requiring all security guards to be clean-shaven. 

Toronto Sun had in its report cited WSO as saying that over 100 Sikh security guards had lost their positions at City of Toronto sites over the rule that requires them to be clean-shaven, so they can wear N95 masks. 

Contracted employees who maintain facial hair were not fitted for protective N95 respirators required by public health directives in shelter settings where a COVID-19 outbreak is suspected or present. 

The Toronto Sun cited WSO legal counsel Balpreet Singh as saying that private contractors that employed the guards told them that they were following city orders and when the guards were told they could ask for an exemption based on religious requirements, companies either moved them to lesser-paying positions or laid them off rather than deal with the city's demands. 

Addressing the complaint of the organization, the City of Toronto released a statement. "Effective Tuesday, the City of Toronto said that it will immediately permit "under-mask beard covers" as a reasonable accommodation option for individuals who maintain facial hair as a tenet of their faith and are required to be present at City sites with protective N95 respirator requirements."
12:29   Maha cabinet expansion likely after July 11 SC hearing
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde is likely to conduct the state cabinet expansion after the Supreme Court hears pleas seeking disqualification of 16 Shiv Sena rebels, and the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction's plea challenging the Speaker's decision to recognise the new party whip of the Shinde group.
The top court will hear all the pleas on July 11. 
"The cabinet expansion is likely to be done after hearing of the pleas in the Supreme Court," a source said on Wednesday.
On June 30, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had administered the oath of office only to Chief Minister Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.
Fadnavis told reporters in Nagpur on Tuesday that the cabinet expansion will be done soon and he would hold talks with the CM to discuss the distribution of ministerial portfolios.
Last month, Shinde had launched a rebellion against the Sena and majority of the party MLAs sided with him, which led to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray.
After winning the trust vote on Monday, Chief Minister 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 recently in the state). 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.
Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear on July 11 the plea of Shiv Sena's Sunil Prabhu seeking suspension from Assembly of CM Shinde and 15 rebel MLAs against whom disqualification pleas are pending.
12:14   Active Covid cases in country rise to 1,15,212
India logged 16,159 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,35,47,809, while the active cases increased to 1,15,212, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Wednesday.
The death toll climbed to 5,25,270 with 28 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
The active cases comprise 0.26 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.53 per cent, the ministry said.
An increase of 737 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 3.56 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 3.84 per cent, according to the ministry
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,29,07,327 while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent.  -- PTI
11:46   Mumbai waterlogged as heavy rains continue
Incessant rainfall was reported in Mumbai on Wednesday morning, after spells of heavy showers over the last two days, and citizens complained of water-logging in some low-lying areas of the city. 
An aggrieved citizen in a tweet said they now need a boat to commute, instead of a car.
The Central Railway and Western Railway officials said the local trains were operating normally, but some commuters claimed the suburban services were running a little late.
Mumbai is likely to witness another wet day as the India Meteorological Department has predicted moderate to heavy rain in the city and suburbs, with a possibility of extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in the next 24 hours, according to civic officials.
In the 24-hour period ending at 8 am on Wednesday, the island city (south Mumbai) received an average 107 mm rainfall, while the eastern and western suburbs recorded 172 mm and 152 mm downpour, respectively, a civic official said.
Some low-lying places like Hindmata, and areas in Dadar and Sion, including the Gandhi Market and road number 24 in Sion, were inundated, forcing pedestrians to wade through the water and making it difficult for motorists to commute.
"Flooding in Sion, Matunga, Dadar. Need a boat instead of car to commute," a city resident tweeted. 
Some buses were diverted due to water-logging in Sion and Gandhi Market, according to sources.
The BEST Undertaking spokesperson did not respond to a query on bus operations in the city. -- PTI
11:27   SpiceJet shares slide 7% over multiple incidents of technical glitches in flights
Shares of SpiceJet continued to fall on Wednesday, declining 7 per cent to hit its one-year low level, amid multiple instances of its planes suffering technical glitches in recent weeks.
The scrip tanked 7 per cent to hit its 52-week low of Rs 35 on the BSE.
SpiceJet shares opened at Rs 37.10 apiece after falling 2.33 per cent to close at Rs 37.65 on Tuesday, a day when its Dubai-bound plane was diverted to Karachi due to malfunctioning of the fuel indicator.
In morning trade on Wednesday, shares of the airline were trading 2.66 per cent down at Rs 36.65 apiece.
The broader market was in the positive territory and the benchmark Sensex rose nearly 400 points to 53,533.84 points.
SpiceJet's Delhi-Dubai flight suffered a mid-air malfunction in its fuel indicator on Tuesday and was diverted to Karachi and cracks developed on the windshield of another plane of the budget carrier at a height of 23,000 feet forcing a priority landing in Mumbai in a double whammy for the airline.
The two episodes on a single day have taken the total number of technical malfunction incidents involving SpiceJet aircraft to seven in the last over a fortnight.
According to officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the aviation regulator is investigating all the seven incidents. -- PTI 
10:59   Price of LPG cylinder hiked by Rs 50
The cost of domestic liquid petroleum gas cylinders weighing 14.2 kilogrammes will get dearer from Wednesday as their prices have been raised by Rs 50 per unit. 

In the national capital Delhi, it will now cost Rs 1,053 per unit while in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai it will be priced at Rs 1,079, Rs 1,052.5, and Rs 1,068.5, respectively, Indian Oil Corporation said. 

Previously, the prices for domestic cylinders were revised on May 19, 2022. 

On the other hand, rates for the 19-kilogram commercial cylinder have been cut by Rs 8.5 per unit effective today. 

In metros such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, a cylinder will now cost Rs 2,012.50, Rs 2,132.00 Rs 1,972.50, Rs 2,177.50, respectively, data showed.
10:50   Cloud burst in HP's Kullu, at least 4 feared washed away
At least four people have been feared washed away in flash floods triggered by cloud burst in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu district on Wednesday, an official said.
Though rescue teams were rushed, they are stuck midway due to landslides, the senior State Disaster Management official said.
Four to six people have been missing following the cloud burst at Chojh village in Challal panchayat at around 6 am. At least five cattle have also been washed away in the flash floods, he added citing information from the Kullu District Emergency Operations Centre.
Further details are awaited. 
10:40   MVA was indecisive over Hindutva, Savarkar: Shinde
Noting that there must be "big reason" for 50 MLAs to leave a ruling alliance,  Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday said that the previous MVA government which had Congress and Shiv Sena as constituents could not take a decision when matters concerning Hindutva or Veer Savarkar or that on Mumbai blasts and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim came up.   

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Shinde said they had decided to take further "Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray's ideology.

"We have decided to take our Hindu Hriday Samrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva ideology, his role further. If 50 MLAs take such a step, then there must be a big reason for it. Nobody takes such a big decision for small reason. Even a corporator does not take such a decision. Why did 50 MLAs take such a decision?  There was a need to think about this," Shinde said.

"Shiv Sena, BJP contested 2019 assembly elections together but the government was formed with Congress, NCP. Due to this, whenever issues of Hindutva came up, matters relating to Savarkar came up, Mumbai blast issue came up, on Dawood issue came up and other issues when (these) came, we were unable to take a decision," he added.  

Shinde was referring to Nationalist Congress Party leader and former Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in February this year in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.

Dawood Ibrahim is the main accused in the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 257 people. The Enforcement Directorate had in May submitted a chargesheet against Malik in the money laundering case.

Shinde, who led a revolt in Shiv Sena leading to the resignation of Uddhav Thackeray as Chief Minister on June 29,  had asked earlier how can Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena support people "who had a direct connection with culprits of Mumbai bomb blast, Dawood Ibrahim and those responsible for taking lives of innocent people of Mumbai".
10:34   Kerala assembly adjourned after UDF protest over Minister's anti-Constitution remarks
The Kerala Assembly on Wednesday witnessed intense protests by the Congress-led UDF opposition over Minister Saji Cheriyan's remarks against the Constitution, following which Speaker M B Rajesh declared  the House adjourned for the day.
As soon as the House proceedings began,  the opposition members trooped into the well of the House raising slogans demanding the resignation of Cheriyan.
They urged the Speaker to suspend the question hour and take up the notice for their adjournment motion to discuss the issue.

However, the speaker decided to adjourn the House for the day as the UDF members did not pay heed to his request to go back to their respective seats.

The opposition members later walked out of the House and staged a protest at the portal of the Assembly hall with placards and raised slogans against the minister and the Left government.

Saji Cheriyan, the minister for Cultural Affairs and Fisheries, on Tuesday landed in trouble for his remarks against the Constitution, triggering a huge political row in the state, but expressed regret soon claiming that he is a public servant upholding the noble constitutional values.

In the visuals aired by the TV channels, the minister could be seen saying in a recent event that the Constitution of the country "condones exploitation" and is written in a way helping to "plunder" the people of the country, drawing sharp reaction from the opposition parties which sought his immediate removal from the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF cabinet. -- PTI 
09:40   Thawar Chand Gehlot, NDA's VP candidate?
After selecting Droupadi Murmu as NDA's presidential candidate, the Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to announce the candidates for the August 6 vice-presidential election on Friday.

There is speculation that the BJP would pick Karnataka governor Thawar Chand Gehlot as its VP nominee. 

Gehlot is a prominent Dalit leader who has served the BJP in various capacities including as a member of the BJP's Parliamentary Board and the Central Election Committee. 

Gehlot was also minister of social justice and empowerment in the first term of the Modi government.

The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10 and the next vice president will take oath on August 11.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has a clear edge in the election, in which the members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, including the nominated ones, are eligible to vote.
The vice president is also the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
09:08   Ajmer Dargah cleric held for remarks against Nupur Sharma
Salman Chishti, Khadim of Ajmer Sharif Dargah, was arrested by the Rajasthan Police on Tuesday night, for making provocative comments against suspended Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nupur Sharma. 

"It was brought to my notice that Salman Chishti, Khadim of Ajmer Dargah shared an objectionable video and FIR was filed. He was nabbed from his house and is being questioned. It seems he was in an inebriated state when video was made. He is a history-sheeter,"  Additional Superintendent of Police, Vikas Sangwan said.

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

He is also heard saying he would have shot her dead for insulting the Prophet.

Rajasthan is on the edge after the gruesome murder of Kanhaiya Lal, a tailor in Udaipur, shortly after he alleged that he had been receiving threats over his social media post in support of Sharma.
08:37   2 terrorists surrender on parents' appeal during JK encounter
Two local terrorists surrendered before the security forces during an encounter in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, police said.
The encounter had started at Hadigam area of the south Kashmir district during the night, the police said.
However, the terrorists surrendered before the forces on the appeal of their parents and police.
"During the #encounter, 02 local terrorists #surrendered on the #appeal of their parents & police. #Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition recovered," Kashmir Zone Police wrote in its Twitter handle. 
00:39   Eknath Shinde backstabbed me: Uddhav
Days after he resigned as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said Eknath Shinde, who led the rebellion with party MLAs to bring down Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, backstabbed him.

Addressing Shiv Sena workers in Mumbai, Thackeray said that he gave Shinde the responsibility of the party.

"Shinde to whom I have given the responsibility of the party backstabbed me, while NCP and Congress remained with us. It is painful to see that those (MLAs and ministers) who won due to Sena workers and got everything has left him," Thackeray told media persons in Mumbai.

Earlier in June this year, Eknath Shinde led a group of Sena MLAs against the MVA government, resulting in it losing its majority in the Maharashtra assembly.

This also led Shiv Sena chief Thackeray to step down as CM ahead of a floor test.   -- ANI