Thu, 07 July 2022
Speculation rife as Anand Sharma meets Nadda

Timeline  Refresh

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23:59   Three-day meeting of RSS begins in Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu
A three-day annual meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh began in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan on Thursday. 

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is participating in the Akhil Bharatiya Prant Pracharak meeting, which began in Jhunjhunu's Khemi Shakti temple complex. 

A spokesman of the Sangh said on the first day of the meeting, "prant pracharaks" shared information and experiences about their areas of work. 

The meeting will continue till July 9 in which issues like the expansion of the organisation, the works related to the centenary year of the Sangh and the work plan for the coming year will be discussed. 

RSS functionaries from across the country are participating in the meeting. -- PTI
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23:35   IMD issues red alert for Goa; schools partially shut for two days
The India meteorological department on Thursday issued a red alert warning of extremely heavy rainfall in Goa over the next 24 hours and very heavy showers till July 10. 

In light of the weather warning, the state government has announced to shut schools for students up to Class 8 for the next two days, an official said. 

The IMD has forecast extremely heavy rainfall over Goa on Friday and very heavy rainfall on July 9 to 10, it was stated. 

As per a release issued by the state information and publicity department, necessary instructions have been used to the disaster management authority to activate the field machinery for taking precautionary actions and to tackle any situation arising out of heavy rains. 

"The general public are requested to take precautionary measures - avoid staying near weak trees/structures or areas vulnerable to landslides and rock falls and not drive into flooded areas. Avoid going to areas that face water-logging problems," the release said. 

People have been asked to take precautions while dealing with electricity and avoid venturing into water bodies, it said. 

Considering the situation, state director of education Shailesh Sinai Zingde on Thursday issued a circular announcing a two-day holiday for school students up to Class 8. -- PTI
Anand Sharma/ANI
Anand Sharma/ANI
23:13   Speculation rife as Anand Sharma meets Nadda
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma on Thursday said that he has every right to meet Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda and both of them share the same alma mater. 

"If I have to meet him, I will go openly. What is the big deal in it? I belong to INC. Being ideological opponents does not mean that there is any personal division between us. We do not make ideological opponents our social enemies," Sharma said. 

"If I have to meet BJP chief JP Nadda, I have every right to meet him, for me, he is just not the BJP president. We both come from the same state and share the same alma mater. There should not be any political significance attached to it," he added. 

There were reports of Sharma meeting Nadda on Thursday. 

However, the Congress leader refuted the reports. 

Notably, Sharma is a member of Congress' G23 group. -- ANI
22:35   Naqvi to move out of official residence on Friday
With his resignation from the Union cabinet and Rajya Sabha term coming to an end, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will move out of his official residence along with his family on Friday and shift to a private accommodation in New Delhi, sources said. 

Though the former minority affairs minister had at least one month's time to move out, he has decided to leave his official 7, Safdarjung Road residence on Friday itself after his tenure as Rajya Sabha member ended on Thursday, they said. 

Naqvi, who resigned as a Cabinet minister on Wednesday, wants to set an example by moving out just a day after his Rajya Sabha term ended Thursday, a source close to him said. Naqvi will be moving to a private accommodation in east Delhi on Friday, the sources said, adding that his office paraphernalia will be cleared out within the next couple of weeks. 

Earlier in the day, Naqvi handed over the charge of the minority affairs minister to his party colleague Smriti Irani, who has been assigned the charge of the ministry, in addition to her existing portfolio of minister for women and child development. 

Wishing Irani, Naqvi said in a tweet, "Your energetic & dynamic leadership will further strengthen PM Shri @narendramodi Ji's commitment to 'Development with Dignity' of all sections." -- PTI
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22:22   CR holds 2-hour block on Harbour line in Mumbai to demolish dilapidated wall
The Central Railway conducted a two-hour-long 'emergency block' on the Harbour line in Mumbai on Thursday afternoon so that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation could remove a dilapidated wall near Masjid station, a portion of which fell near the tracks in the morning, an official said. 

During the block that was held between 2 pm and 4.10 pm, suburban trains did not operate between the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Vadala Road stations, CR's chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said. 

"But the passengers were permitted to travel on the main railway line via Dadar and Kurla stations during this period," he said. 

The emergency block was necessitated after some portion of the wall fell near the track between Masjid and Sandhurst Road stations on the Down track of the Harbour line around 7.15 am on Thursday, which affected the local traffic on the corridor for about 15 minutes, he said. 

According to the CR officials, a suburban local was supposed to pass from the track within a few moments. 

But the motorman of a Panvel-bound local train from CSMT observed that some portion of the wall fell near the track, making it unsafe for the train to pass. 

Therefore, he did not start the train from the Masjid station, they said. 

"Motorman SN Kamble did a good job by timely stopping the local train before the spot this morning," Sutar said, adding that the motorman informed about the wall collapse to the train guard, who immediately conveyed it to the control room. 

The CR said that it then informed the BMC about the incident and the civic body advised that the remaining portion of the structure be pulled down to avoid traffic disruption. -- PTI
TMC's Mahua Moitra
TMC's Mahua Moitra
22:04   BJP goes to police against Moitra, Manimekalai
Delhi BJP leaders on Thursday filed a complaint with the police against TMC MP Mohua Moitra and Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, accusing them of "hurting" the sentiments of Hindus. 

The complaint received from the BJP leaders at Parliament Street police station was forwarded to the cyber cell of Delhi police for further action, a senior police officer said. 

The BJP leaders also demanded that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee should dismiss Moitra from the party. 

"Moitra has hurt sentiments of Hindus by using derogatory language against Goddess Kali," Delhi BJP vice president Rajan Tiwari alleged. 

Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy with her remarks 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. 

Manimekalai came to the centre of a huge storm over her documentary Kaali. The filmmaker is facing several FIRs following outrage over the poster of Kaali showing the goddess smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag. 

The way Manimeklayi has depicted goddess Kali in a poster, has hurt the Hindus, said BJP leaders Harish Khurana and Harihar Raghuvanshi who lodged the complaint on the behalf of the party.
Maharashtra's Chief Minister Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra's Chief Minister Eknath Shinde
21:35   Auto drivers stage demonstration in Thane to show support to Maha CM Shinde
Hundreds of autorickshaw drivers staged a demonstration in Thane city on Thursday to extend their support to new Maharashtra's Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. 

The auto drivers, sporting white t-shirts with a picture of the three-wheeler printed on it, braved the incessant rainfall and gathered near the Thane Municipal Corporation's headquarters in the afternoon. 

They carried placards of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray and Shinde and shouted slogans lauding them. 

Notably, Shinde also drove an auto rickshaw in Thane in his early days to earn his livelihood. -- PTI
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21:19   Next hearing in Mathura temple case on July 11
A court here fixed July 11 as the next date for hearing in a Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah mosque dispute case. 

The court will hear arguments of parties on the maintainability of the case and the plea seeking a survey of the mosque to find out signs of a temple there. 

The Hindu side in the case has demanded that the mosque be shifted, which according to them has been built at the birthplace of Lord Krishna, within the 13.37-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple. 

Ten different suits have been filed in courts of Mathura over the issue. 

District government counsel Sanjai Gaur on Thursday said while one of the parties wanted the disposal of the application seeking a survey first, the other wanted a ruling over the maintainability the case. 

He said the court fixed July 11 as the date for next hearing in the case. -- PTI
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20:49   Bombay HC directs civic bodies to take prompt action on complaints about potholes
Civic bodies should take prompt action whenever they get complaints of potholes, the Bombay high court on Thursday said, citing the death of a 23-year-old man who was run over by a bus after he fell off his motorcycle on hitting a pothole in neighbouring Thane. 

A bench of Justices AK Menon and MS Karnik said that the Thane Municipal Corporation must take action against those responsible for not having complied with a 2018 high court order on fixing potholed stretches and repairing roads across the state. 

"People are dying. You (civic bodies) must prevent accidents, save lives. You have to act immediately once potholes are brought to your notice," the court said. 

Referring to the Thane incident, the court said, "The TMC has the responsibility to take action against such non-compliance (of the 2018 order), as people are dying." 

In 2018, the high court had initiated a suo moto (on its own) PIL and directed all municipal corporations and councils across the state to repair arterial roads under their jurisdiction. -- PTI
Satish Agnihotri/NHSRCL/Twitter
Satish Agnihotri/NHSRCL/Twitter
20:40   Bullet train project in-charge Agnihotri sacked
The Railways has terminated the services of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited managing director Satish Agnihotri who was in charge of the government's prestigious bullet train project, senior officials said on Thursday. 

Rajendra Prasad, director, projects, NHSRCL has been handed over the charge for three months, the officials said. 

Senior railway officials said there were several allegations against Agnihotri, including misuse of official position and diverting funds in an unauthorised manner to a private company. 

They said the decision to terminate the services of Agnihotri came following a June 2 Lokpal court order directing the CBI to probe charges of a 'quid pro quo' deal allegedly struck by the former NHSRCL MD with a private company during his nine-year tenure as CMD of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited. 

The Lokpal court has directed the CBI to 'ascertain whether any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, is made out' against Agnihotri and to submit the probe report to the Lokpal office within six months or before December 12, 2022. 

"The competent authority has approved the termination of office of Satish Agnihotri. He has been directed to be relieved with immediate effect," read the July 7 letter of the railway board, addressed to the company secretary of the NHSRCL. -- PTI
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20:27   Beaches in Mumbai to remain open from 6 am to 10 am due to heavy rains: BMC
The Mumbai civic body has on Thursday said that all the beaches in Mumbai would remain open for the general public from 6 am to 10 am only due to the heavy rainfall in the city and keeping in view the drowning incidents. 

"In the wake of heavy rainfall & keeping in mind the drowning incidents, all the beaches in Mumbai shall be opened to the general public from 6 am to 10 am only,' said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. -- ANI
20:08   Rupee resumes slide, tumbles 19 paise to 79.13 against US dollar
Resuming its slide after a day's pause, the rupee declined 19 paise to close at 79.13 against the US dollar on Thursday as a firm greenback overseas and unabated foreign capital outflows outweighed the impact of RBI's measures to support the domestic currency. 

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened at 79.05 and shuttled between a high of 78.90 and a low of 79.26. 

It finally settled at 79.13, down 19 paise over its previous close of 78.94. -- PTI
RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav being shifted to Delhi for treatment/ANI
RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav being shifted to Delhi for treatment/ANI
19:54   Rajnath speaks to Tejashwi on Lalu Prasad's health
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Rajnath Singh Thursday called RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and inquired about the health of his father and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav who is admitted at the AIIMS in New Delhi. 

Singh conveyed his wishes for the speedy recovery of the RJD supremo and prayed for his long life. Lalu Yadav was admitted to the premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Wednesday night after being airlifted from Patna where he underwent initial treatment at a private hospital for multiple fractures suffered due to a fall. 

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 reached Delhi earlier on Wednesday to oversee the arrangements. -- PTI
19:35   Raj Babbar gets jail for attacking polling officer
A court here awarded two-year imprisonment to Bollywood actor and Congress leader Raj Babbar in a case involving the assault of a polling officer. 

Babbar was convicted for voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from performing his duty and three other offences. 

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 8,500 on him. 

The polling officer had lodged an FIR against Babbar during an election in May 1996. 

The complaint was lodged at the Wazirganj police station in Lucknow. 

At that time, Babbar was contesting from the Samajwadi Party. 

Babbar was present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. -- PTI
19:14   Former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to be new Sherpa of G-20
Former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant will be the new Sherpa of G-20, replacing Union Minister Piyush Goyal, as full-time sherpa required for India's presidency, sources said on Thursday. 

India assumes the G-20 presidency later this year. 

"With the G-20 presidency coming to India this year, the Sherpa would need to devote a lot of time to numerous meetings that will be held in different parts of the country. 

"Union Minister Goyal, holds the charge of multiple portfolios in the Modi cabinet which consumes a lot of his time," a source said. 

In addition, the minister is also tasked with other pressing duties like the leader of Rajya Sabha, the source added. 

Kant was NITI Aayog CEO for almost six years and completed his extended term last month. 

Prior to that, the Kerala-cadre IAS officer was secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. -- PTI
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18:58   Akasa gets DGCA licence, to fly from this month
Akasa Air said on Thursday said it has received the Air Operator Certificate from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation and will start commercial operations later this month. 

The grant of the AOC marks the satisfactory completion of all regulatory and compliance requirements for the airline's operational readiness, Akasa Air said in a statement. 

The process concluded with the airline having successfully conducted a number of proving flights under the supervision of the DGCA, it added. 

The airline, backed by ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, had taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 max aircraft in India on June 21. 

"We are thankful to the Civil Aviation Ministry and the DGCA for their constructive guidance, active support and the highest levels of efficiency throughout the AOC process. We now look forward to opening our flights for sale, leading to the start of commercial operations by late July," Vinay Dube, founder-chief executive officer of Akasa Air, said. 

Following the government's initiative to usher in a new era of digitisation, Akasa Air is the first airline whose end-to-end AOC process was conducted using the government's progressive eGCA digital platform, the airline said. -- PTI
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18:40   Sridhar Chiruvolu, Saurabh Shukla get one-year extension in PMO
Senior bureaucrats Sridhar Chiruvolu and Saurabh Shukla were Thursday given one-year extension as joint secretary and director in the Prime Minister's Office, according to a personnel ministry order. 

Chiruvolu, a 2001-batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Bihar cadre, has been given extension as joint secretary, PMO beyond August 4, 2022, it said. 

Shukla, a 2005-batch Indian Audit and Accounts Service, has been given one-year extension as the director, PMO, beyond October 19, 2022, the order said. -- PTI
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18:21   ACB chief files petition to expunge remarks by Karnataka HC judge
Anti-Corruption Bureau ADGP Seemanth Kumar Singh has moved the Karnataka high court seeking to expunge the remarks made by a single judge against him and the state anti-graft bureau during hearing of a bail petition in connection with a bribery case. 

The ADGP's new petition recalls Justice HP Sandesh's remarks calling the ACB a "collection centre" and Singh its head a "tainted officer". 

"The petitioner is deeply hurt by the oral observations made by the learned single judge which has caused a severe dent to the reputation of the petitioner and also that of the ACB," the petition said. 

It all began with, Singh, a senior IPS officer being asked to be personally present before Justice Sandesh on May 30 during the hearing of the bail petition of deputy Thasildar Mahesh PS, who was working in the urban deputy commissioner's office when an ACB raid had resulted in the bribery case. 

The court had questioned as to why then DC Manjunath was not made an accused in the case, following which the court was promised he would be made a party in the case. 

On June 29, during next hearing of the case, Justice Sandesh on noticing the DC was not yet made a party, made observations against ACB and the ADGP. 

On July 4, Singh was again present in the court, during which the judge stated that he was threatened with transfer after his remark against the ACB that it had become a "collection centre", and that he was unfazed by such threats. 

Singh in his petition says, the judge asked for his service records to be submitted and there were negative remarks in it. 

"The learned single judge has also stated that the petitioner is apparently powerful and has made several other unwarranted and baseless statements," the petition said. -- PTI
17:55   India's consistent policy to wish Dalai Lama: MEA
MEA on PM Narendra Modi wishing the Dalai Lama: "PM Modi did speak with Dalai Lama last year also, it has been a consistent policy of our govt to treat him as a guest in India. He has large followers in the country. His birthday is celebrated in India and across the world."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday conveyed wishes to Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday and prayed for the long life and good health of the spiritual leader.
"Conveyed 87th birthday greetings to His Holiness the Dalai Lama over phone earlier today. We pray for his long life and good health," Modi said in a tweet.
China on Thursday criticised the PM for greeting the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on his 87th birthday, saying India should stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing that "the Indian side should fully recognise the anti-China separatist nature of the 14th Dalai Lama." 

It should abide by its "commitment to China, speak and act prudently and stop using Tibet related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs," Zhao said. 
17:26   Sanjay Raut meets Sharad Pawar
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday met NCP president Sharad Pawar at the latter's residence in Mumbai. Raut, who has been the target of the rebel Shiv Sena legislators, did not speak to the media. 

 The Sena rebels have accused the Rajya Sabha member of being closer to the NCP chief than the leaders of his own party. 

 Both Pawar and Raut were instrumental in the formation of the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. The two-and-a-half-year old dispensation comprising Sena, NCP and Congress collapsed on June 29 after Thackeray resigned as the chief minister following a rebellion within his party. Rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde took oath as the state chief minister last Thursday. PTI
17:20   Sad to give up best job in the world: Johnson
The UK prime minister finishes his statement by saying that until his replacement is found, the public's interests will be served.

I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, the Johnson says.

"But them's the breaks," he says.

"Even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden," Johnson says.
17:10   Will serve till a new leader is in place: Johnson
UK PM Boris Johnson addresses the press outside 10 Downing. "It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of the party and therefore a new prime minister," Boris Johnson says. Johnson says he will serve until a new leader is in place.

He says it is preposterous to change governments, rejecting the idea of a general election, when we're "delivering so much and such vast mandates, when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally".

I regret to not be successful in arguments and it's painful not to see through so many ideas and projects."
16:37   Markets gain for 2nd consecutive day
Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty advanced nearly 1 per cent each on Thursday following positive trends in global markets. The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 427.49 points or 0.80 per cent to settle at 54,178.46.

 During the day, it rallied 503.82 points or 0.93 per cent to 54,254.79. 

 The NSE Nifty advanced 143.10 points or 0.89 per cent to close at 16,132.90. 

 Among the Sensex pack, Titan, Tata Steel, Larsen & Toubro, IndusInd Bank, M&M, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the major gainers. Dr Reddy's Lab, Nestle, Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever and Bajaj Finance were among the laggards.
16:15   My tweets are my personal opinion: Tharoor on Mahua
"Everything I tweet is my personal opinion", Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Thursday, a day after his Twitter post on Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra's Goddess Kali remark on Goddess Kali was termed as "personal opinion" by his party. 

Without making any reference, Tharoor tweeted, "Two points: 1. Everything I tweet is my personal opinion. I don't have any other kind. 2. 'Those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.' - Alexander Hamilton." Moitra on Tuesday had stirred a controversy with her remarks 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 BJP severely criticised Moitra and her party Trinamool Congress distanced itself from the comment and condemned it, Tharoor said he was "taken aback by the attack on Moitra" and urged everyone to "lighten up and leave religion to individuals to practice privately".

 In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Tharoor said, "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.

 When asked about Tharoor's post, Congress communication department head Pawan Khera said the party's stand is that these comments are Tharoor's "personal opinion". 

 Replying to a post criticising him for his remarks and accusing him of "selective politics", Tharoor had also ticked off the person, saying "if you can't tell the difference between a Hindu lady insulting the Prophet of Islam and a Hindu lady describing ways in which devotion is expressed to a Hindu goddess, then I'm afraid you're beyond redemption".
15:47   We make mistakes, says Mamata as Mahua faces FIR
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said 'people make mistakes but they can be rectified'.

"We make mistakes while working but they can be rectified. Some people don't see all the good work and suddenly start shouting... Negativity affects our brain cells so let's think positively," said Mamata while addressing a students' credit cards distribution event in Kolkata. 

Her statement comes at a time when Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra is facing an FIR for her comments on Goddess Kali.

TMC distanced itself and said in a tweet that the comments made by Moitra 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."

On Wednesday, Moitra dared the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to prove that whatever she said is wrong.

"I do not want to live in an India where BJP's monolithic patriarchal brahminical view of Hinduism will prevail and the rest of us will tiptoe around religion. I will defend this till I die. File your FIRs - will see you in every court in the land," tweeted Moitra.

"I challenge the BJP anywhere in the country to prove anything that I said is wrong," Moitra added.

The TMC leader has been booked for allegedly hurting religious sentiments after her comment on Goddess Kali stirred a controversy.

An FIR has been registered in Bhopal against Moitra under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for hurting religious sentiments. She had called Kali "meat-eating" and "alcohol-accepting".

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that Hindu religious sentiments have been hurt by Moitra's statement and that insult to Hindu deities will not be tolerated at any cost.
15:36   Larry did it
Larry, the 10 Downing Street cat, tweets her contribution to the PM Boris Johnson agreeing to resign. "That did the job. No need to thank me," Larry said, and retweeted an earlier post that said, "If Boris Johnson hasn't resigned by 10am I will be forced to crap in his shoes. #DowningStreetSiege." 
15:35   From the Punjab CM's wedding
AAP MP Raghav Chadha shares one for the album. Chadha along with his mother, attended Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann's wedding today. Mann married Dr Gurpreet Kaur in a private and restricted function. AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal also attended the wedding. 
15:19   In the hot seat
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde formally took the charge of CMO, today, in the presence of Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. His family was also present at the occasion.
15:04   Anandrao Adsul quits as Shiv Sena leader
In a setback to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, former MP Anandrao Adsul has resigned from his post as a leader of the party.

Adsul had earlier represented the Amravati Lok Sabha seat, but was defeated by Navneet Rana in 2019.

Talking to PTI, his son Abhijit Adsul said his father has resigned from the post of Shiv Sena leader.

To a question on whether he will join the Eknath Shinde-led Sena faction, Abhijit said, "My father will continue to remain a Shiv Sainik."

Thackeray-led Shiv Sena recently faced a rebellion launched by senior leader Shinde.

Majority of party MLAs sided with Shinde, leading to the collapse of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government helmed by Thackeray.

Thackeray resigned from the post of chief minister on June 29, and a day after that Shinde took oath as the state CM.   -- PTI
14:37   Uddhav continues to be Sena chief, says party MP
Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant on Thursday asserted that Uddhav Thackeray continues to be the Sena chief, even as most of its MLAs have rebelled and joined the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

The Shiv Sena as a political party and the Sena legislature party are "two different entities", Sawant told a web portal, and claimed the "rebel group does not have recognition".

"Even if two-third of the MLAs go, Uddhav Thackeray remains the Sena chief and according to law, only he is the one who can appoint leader of the legislature party," he said. You cannot separate Thackeray and the Shiv Sena," Sawant asserted. 

 Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Gulabrao Patil on Wednesday said the faction led by CM Shinde was the real claimant of the party's 'bow and arrow' poll symbol, a claim contested by the Uddhav Thackeray-headed camp. Patil had also said that 12 of the 18 Shiv Sena MPs were supporting the Shinde-led group. Sawant, who has been one of the leaders handling the Thackeray camp's legal front in the midst of the setback that it has been facing, said according to the anti-defection law, the "rebel MLAs have to merge their group with some another party immediately. 

 The rebels have not merged their group with another party. They don't have any recognition. The law says they have to merge with a political party, Sawant said. Last month, a majority of the Sena MLAs, led by Shinde, rebelled against the party leadership, asking it to snap ties with the NCP and the Congress.
Jemima Goldsmith
Jemima Goldsmith
14:17   Reactions to Johnson
First reactions to news that the UK PM will be stepping down...

Writer, Stephen Fry: "He's going! Bless my soul"

Screenwriter Jemima Goldsmith: "I can't think of anyone less qualified to take care than our caretaker PM Boris Johnson." She was married to the former PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan.

Broadcaster Piers Morgan: BREAKING: I am told on very good authority that Boris Johnson is preparing to resign as Prime Minister.

Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan: So 'Bulldozer' #BorisJohnson resigns. He was a good phrand of Modiji like Doland Trump.

UK Education Secretary Michelle Donelan, appointed 36 hours ago, resigns from government. UK government resignations now number 54 in past two days
14:10   Boris Johnson agrees to resign as UK PM
Update: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday finally agreed to step down as Conservative Party leader, triggering a leadership election for a new Tory leader who will go on to become the new premier, according to reports from Downing Street.

Johnson, 58, will remain in charge at 10 Downing Street until the process of electing a new leader is completed by the time of the Conservative Party conference, scheduled for October. He is expected to formally announce his resignation later on Thursday. 

 The move came after days of high drama and a steady stream of resignations from his Cabinet since Tuesday and just minutes after his newly appointed Chancellor to replace Rishi Sunak wrote a public letter calling for him to go now. Nadhim Zahawi, the Iraqi-origin minister seen as a frontrunner to replace Johnson in 10 Downing Street, wrote a damning letter which openly questioned his boss' authority and demanded his exit. While not officially resigning from his new Cabinet post, the 55-year-old minister said the time was up for Johnson. 

 "Prime minister, you know in your heart what the right thing to do is, and go now," he signs off. PTI
14:05   Boris Johnson to resign as UK PM
UK's Guardian says, Boris Johnson will quit as prime minister after telling chair of 1922 Committee he will resign.

Boris Johnson spoke to Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, and agreed to stand down, No 10 sources are saying. The decision was reportedly taken at about 8.30am.

Johnson is expected to resign after over 40 ministers and aides, including three 3 cabinet ministers have quit the government since late Tuesday. Resignations continue to trickle in overnight.
Chancellor Of Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid late Tuesday set off a chain of resignations. On Thursday, UK Education Minister Michelle Donelan resigned two days after in the office.
13:58   Boris Johnson to quit as Conservative leader today
Boris Johnson will resign as Conservative leader today, but will continue as Prime Minister. A Conservative leadership race will take place this summer and a new Prime Minister will be in place in time for the Tory party conference in October, reports the BBC.

Johnson will publicly announce his resignation later today.

A No 10 spokesman told the BBC: "The prime minister will make a statement to the country today."
13:49   UK's Johnson defiant even as opponents tell him time is up
British Treasury chief Nadhim Zahawi has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign, just 36 hours after Johnson put him in the job, while another newly appointed Cabinet minister quit her job. 

 Zahawi said Johnson knew the right thing to do was to go now. 

 Zahawi was appointed late Tuesday to replace Rishi Sunak, who resigned saying he could no longer support Johnson after a series of ethics scandals.

 Education Secretary Michelle Donelan, who was also appointed on Tuesday following the resignation of her predecessor, announced her resignation Thursday morning. More than 40 ministers have quit since but Johnson is refusing to go.
13:47   Only 1 Sena ex-Thane corporator supports Uddhav
In a setback to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena group, 66 out of the 67 former party corporators of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) have extended support to the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. 

The term of the 131-member TMC, which has been a stronghold of the Shiv Sena, ended sometime back and its elections are due. The 66 former Sena corporators, led by ex-mayor Naresh Mhaske, met CM Shinde at his 'Nandanvan' bungalow in Mumbai on Wednesday night and extended support to him, a release from Shinde's office said. 

 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 in the state led by Uddhav Thackeray. Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister on June 30 and BJP's Devendra Fadnavis had taken oath as the deputy CM.
13:39   Mohammed Zubair sent to jail for 14 days
Sitapur court in Uttar Pradesh sends Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to 14-days of judicial custody. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear on Friday the bail plea of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in connection with a case registered against him in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly outraging religious feelings.
13:26   UK PM asked to resign
Nadhim Zahawi who was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer on Tuesday calls on PM Boris Johnson to resign and says current situation is 'not sustainable'.
13:17   The journalists who fought back in Uttar Pradesh
On March 31, a video caught the attention of many on social media: in it, a man with neatly parted, close-cropped grey hair, surrounded by half a dozen policemen, raised his fist and bellowed slogans in a gravelly voice.

"Ballia DM chor hai, Ballia SP gunda hai.' Ballia's district magistrate is a thief, Ballia's superintendent of police is a thug.

Ballia is the easternmost district of Uttar Pradesh, on the border with Bihar. The man in the video was Digvijay Singh, a reporter for the Hindi daily Amar Ujala, who had been arrested the previous day and was being produced in the court.

13:05   India presses China to resolve LAC issues
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the need for an early resolution of all outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, and asserted that bilateral ties should be based on mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interest. 

 At a one-hour meeting in Bali on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations, Jaishankar and Wang looked forward to the next round of military talks between the two sides at an early date to resolve the border issue. 

 Jaishankar also discussed with Wang the vexed issue of the return of Indian students to China and the resumption of direct flights between the two countries.

 On the discussions on the border row, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar reaffirmed the importance of "fully abiding" by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between him and Wang in their previous conversations.

 "The External Affairs Minister (EAM) called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh," the MEA said in a statement.

 Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, Jaishankar reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in border areas. 

 "He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two ministers during their previous conversations," the MEA said. 

 "In this regard, both ministers affirmed that the military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should continue maintaining regular contact and looked forward to the next round of senior commanders' meeting at an early date," it said.
12:55   Forever together
Another picture of the Punjab CM's wedding ceremony. Bhagwant Mann (48), is marrying Gurpreet Kaur (32). Sources say it was Mann's mother's wish that he should get married.
12:48   India-China ties should be based on 3 mutuals: Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday conveyed to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the need for an early resolution of all outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and that bilateral ties should be based on "three mutuals" of respect, sensitivity and interest. 

 At a one-hour meeting in Bali on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations, Jaishankar and Wang looked forward to the next round of military talks between the two sides at an early date to resolve the border issue. 

 The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar reaffirmed the importance of "fully abiding" by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between him and Wang in their previous conversations. 

 "The External Affairs Minister (EAM) called for an early resolution of all the outstanding issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh," the MEA said in a statement. 

 Recalling the disengagement achieved in some friction areas, Jaishankar reiterated the need to sustain the momentum to complete disengagement from all the remaining areas to restore peace and tranquillity in border areas. 

 "He reaffirmed the importance of fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols, and the understandings reached between the two ministers during their previous conversations," the MEA said.

 "In this regard, both ministers affirmed that the military and diplomatic officials of the two sides should continue maintaining regular contact and looked forward to the next round of senior commanders' meeting at an early date," it said. 

 Jaishankar also reiterated that the India-China relationship is best served by observing mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests.
12:40   Elated at RS nomination, says PT Usha
Elated over being nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the Centre, sprint legend P T Usha on Thursday thanked supporters and well-wishers across the country and said their faith in her would go a long way in shaping her journey forward. 

"Elated by the wonderful wishes from all over India! Your support and faith in me will go a long way in shaping my journey forward from here. Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat," Usha tweeted. 

 She also shared a photo of her cutting and sharing a cake with her husband and some others to mark the occasion. Soon after the announcement came last night, she, through her Twitter handle, also expressed her gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said she was "deeply touched" by his "kind words" about her. 

 "I will always give my best to any responsibility bestowed on me, and work towards the betterment of all of us Indians. Jai Hind," she tweeted on Wednesday. -- PTI
12:37   Punjab CM's wedding rituals begin
Wedding rituals of Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann and Dr Gurpreet Kaur underway.
Umesh Kolhe was killed on June 21
Umesh Kolhe was killed on June 21
12:35   ISIS-inspired gang killed Amravati pharmacist?
The perpetrators of the killing of a pharmacist in Maharashtra's Amravati might have been "self inspired" by the violence carried out by the dreaded Middle East group ISIS and the investigators are trying to ascertain if they have links with any terror outfit, officials said. 

 Umesh Kolhe was killed on June 21 by two motorcycle-borne men by slitting his throat, allegedly for supporting now sacked BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, who made objectionable remarks against Prophet Mohammad. 

 Pamphlets spreading hate messages, knives, mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards and other incriminating documents were found during the searches from the premises of the accused in Maharashtra. 

 The manner in which Kolhe was killed prima facie indicated that the killers might have been "self inspired", taking cue from the ISIS, an official said. 

 The investigators were also trying to find out whether they have any links with foreign terror groups, including the ISIS. 

 The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday carried out searches at 13 locations in Maharashtra in connection with Kolhe's killing.

 In its First Information Report (FIR), the agency has called it "an act of terror to terrorise a section of people". 

 The Maharashtra Police had arrested seven people before the case was taken over by the central agency on July 2. There have been instances of "self inspired" groups carrying out terror activities in the past. 

 The terrorists who carried out multiple bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019, were also members of a "self inspired" group. Over 250 people, including 45 children and 40 foreign nationals, were killed in those deadly explosions in the island country. The killing of pharmacist Kohle in Amravati had taken place a week before the beheading of a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal, in Rajasthan's Udaipur on June 28.
12:28   Rumbles in the UK govt
The secretary of state to Wales has become the third member of Boris Johnson's cabinet to resign, bringing the total number of resignations from the UK government to 43 in the past two days.

Read the report here.
12:25   China: MI5 and FBI heads warn of immense threat
The heads of UK and US security services have made an unprecedented joint appearance to warn of the threat from China.

FBI director Christopher Wray said China was the "biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security" and had interfered in politics, including recent elections.

Read the report here. 
12:23   A blank board sends a message
NCP MP Suprya Sule makes a point: "Have seen this board opposite Mantrayala for many years while going to work daily showing the work done by Government of Maharashtra. It has been BLANK for a week. Even today it is BLANK."

The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government took charge last week.
12:19   Scindia assumes additional charge of Steel Ministry
Union Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia on Thursday assumed the additional charge of the Steel Ministry. Scindia is currently in charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry. 

The 51-year old MP, who represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha, is the third steel minister in the current Modi government. Before taking his seat, he took off his footwear and placed an idol of Lord Ganesha on the table of his office in Udyog Bhawan in Delhi.

 He took the charge in the presence of Steel Secretary Sanjay Kumar Singh and other senior ministry officials. He succeeds Ram Chandra Prasad Singh who resigned from the post on Wednesday, a day before the completion of his Rajya Sabha term. Singh, a former bureaucrat and Rajya Sabha Member, last year on July 8, had replaced Dharmendra Pradhan, who was allotted the ministry of education along with the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship in a Cabinet reshuffle. 

 On the advise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday directed that Minister of Civil Aviation Scindia to be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Steel in addition to his existing portfolio, according to an official statement. -- PTI 
12:07   Eknath Shinde takes charge at Mantralaya
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde officially took charge of his post at the state secretariat Mantralaya on Thursday. 

 A puja was held at the tastefully decorated office of the chief minister before Shinde took charge. His chamber had a large photograph of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and a picture of Shinde's mentor Anand Dighe next to it. 

 As soon as he entered the secretariat building, Shinde paid floral tributes to Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Dr B R Ambedkar. Speaking to reporters, Deepak Kesarkar, spokesperson of the Shinde-led faction of MLAs, said Bal Thackeray was nobody's property.

 "Balasaheb belongs to the entire state and nobody can change this fact," he said, when asked about the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction's objection to the use of the late Sena founder's name and photograph by the Shinde group.

Targeting Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Kesarkar said, "Raut is closer to Sharad Pawar, I don't know about Uddhavji. When I realised that the Shiv Sena is facing problems in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA- comprising the Sena, NCP and Congress), I tried to convince Uddhavji. I have never met him for a ministerial post." "In 2014, he had told me he was unable to make me a cabinet minister because he had to give first priority to Sena leaders who had worked with Balasaheb. That is why I respect Uddhavji," he said.

Kesarkar also criticised the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena's decision to replace Bhavana Gawali as the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha. 

 "With such an action, you are insulting women. She is a five-time MP, who has held the Shiv Sena flag high," he said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led faction on Wednesday nominated Rajan Vichare as the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, replacing Gawali. PTI
11:37   Raghav Chadha arrives for Mann's wedding
"Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will be arriving shortly with his family. I have come here with my mother...I wholeheartedly congratulate Mann Sahab and his family on this special occasion," says AAP MP Raghav Chadha as he shares this picture with the groom.
11:35   Kulche, biryani, lasagna at Punjab CM's wedding
The menu at Punjab CM Bhagwat Mann's wedding function is going to be replete will all food that's tasty.

According to the information obtained by ANI, the guests will get to savour Karahi Paneer, Tandoori Kulche, Dal Makhani, Navratan Biryani, Mausami Subzian, Apricot Stuffed Kofta, Lasagna Siciliano and Burrani Raita among other delicacies.
No meal is complete without desserts and a variety of lip-smacking sweets such as Fresh Fruit Trifle, Moong Dal Halwa, Shahi Tukda, Angoori Rasmalai and Dry Fruit Rabari will satiate guests at the Bhagwnat Mann wedding. 

Those who are health conscious will not be disappointed either as different types of salads will be available.

Bhagwant Mann will wed Dr Gurpreet Kaur in a private ceremony at his residence in Chandigarh today. 

Mann was divorced six years ago.

The wedding ceremony will be attended by Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and his family. However, no minister or other big leaders have been invited to the ceremony. Sources said it was Bhagwant Mann's mother's wish that he should get married.

His former wife Inderpreet Kaur and their children live in the USA. His daughter Seerat Kaur Mann (21) and son Dilshan Mann (17) had flown from the US to attend his swearing-in ceremony on March 16 this year.
11:08   SC to hear Mohammed Zubair's plea tomorrow
Alt News Fact Checker Muhammad Zubair case reaches Supreme Court. Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves tells the court, "His job is to fact check news. There are death threats against him and people who deliver hate speech say that they might kill him."

SC agrees to hear Mohammad Zubair's petition tomorrow. 

He has challenged Allahabad High Court's order refusing to quash FIR registered for a tweet in which he allegedly called Hindu seers -- as 'hate mongers'.
EAM S Jaishankar with Chinese FM Wang Yi
EAM S Jaishankar with Chinese FM Wang Yi
10:48   China to India on ED raid on Vivo: Abide by law
Statement from China on the ED raids on Vivo premises. 

Zhao Lijian, Chinese MoFA Spox: "We hope the Indian authorities will abide by laws as they carry out the investigation and enforcement activities and provide a truly fair, just, and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in India. 

"The Chinese side is closely following developments (on ED raids on Vivo). The Chinese govt has always asked Chinese companies to abide by laws and regulations when doing business overseas. 

"We firmly support Chinese companies in safeguarding their lawful rights and  interests," the Chinese MoFA Spox said.

Chinese directors Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie of a firm GPICPL, in association with mobile maker Vivo, fled India last year, an Enforcement Directorate official informed on Thursday.

The official corrected the report which mentioned that Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie were directors of Vivo and they fled when the ED intensified its inquiry into the money laundering case against the Chinese firm and conducted raids over 40 locations in connection with the case. "Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie are directors of GPICPL, a firm associated with mobile maker Vivo, and they fled last year," the ED official told ANI requesting anonymity.

Today, EAM S Jaishankar met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali as the two "focused on specific outstanding issues in the bilateral relationship pertaining to the border situation. They also spoke about other matters including students and flights."
10:31   Gita Gopinath joins wall of fame
"Breaking the trend (fist emoji, light flash emoji)... I joined the wall of former Chief Economists of the IMF," writes Gita Gopinath. She is the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF and was previously Chief Economist of IMF.
Vehicles ply a waterlogged street in Mumbai
Vehicles ply a waterlogged street in Mumbai
10:24   Heavy rains continue unabated in Mumbai
Mumbaikars had no respite from heavy rains which continued to lash the city for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday, delaying local train services on the Central Railway route following a wall collapse on a track, officials said. 

 The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy rainfall in the city and suburbs with very heavy to extremely heavy rains very likely at isolated places on Thursday. 

 The IMD has also predicted the possibility of occasional strong winds reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph, a civic official said. 

 While there was no water-logging on rail tracks in Mumbai, a small portion of a wall collapsed between Masjid and Sandhurst Road stations in south Mumbai on the down (north-bound) track of the Harbour Line, affecting train operations on the route for some time, a Central Railway official said. 

 The suburban services were delayed by a few minutes, due to heavy rainfall in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane district, he said. The Western Railway said its "train services were running normal", but some passengers complained of trains on the route running late by a few minutes and overcrowding in coaches. 

 The island city (south Mumbai) received 82 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours, while the eastern and western suburbs received 109 mm and 106 mm downpour, respectively, a civic official said. 

There was no major water-logging anywhere in the city, barring some low-lying areas like the Andheri subway, sources said. Due to good rainfall in the catchment areas of reservoirs supplying water to the city, their levels improved up to 19 per cent on Thursday morning, a civic official said. -- PTI
Representative image
Representative image
09:28   Heavy rains in Thane, flooding near CM's house
Heavy overnight rains caused flooding at various places in Maharashtra's Thane district and also led to water-logging around Chief Minister Eknath Shinde's residence in the city on Thursday morning, officials said.

Local firemen got a call around 6.15 am on Thursday about inundation near the CM's residence in Louiswadi area of Thane following heavy showers throughout the night, Thane Municipal Corporation's regional disaster management cell chief Avinash Sawant said.

Civic personnel rushed to the spot and cleared the locality of the flood waters, he said.

There were also reports of tree falls at some places in the district, he added.

In neighbouring Palghar district, the wall of a Zilla Parishad school collapsed in Dahanu taluka on the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday after heavy downpour, an official from the district disaster management cell said.

No one was injured in the incident, he said, adding that students of the school have been accommodated in some nearby schools.

Local helped in the removal of debris from the area.

Villagers have decided to send a proposal to the district administration for the construction of a new school building, the official said.  -- PTI
09:17   NDRF deploys 17 teams in Maharashtra amid heavy rains
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 17 teams in areas of Maharashtra that have reported heavy to very heavy rainfall.

"In Maharashtra, we have recently seen very heavy rainfall. The Maharashtra government had requested 17 teams and all 17 teams have been made available and are deployed in Mumbai, Thane, etc," NDRF DG Atul Karwal told ANI.

A landslide was reported near Pratapgarh Fort in Maharashtra's Satara district today after heavy rainfall that pounded the parts of the state overnight.

Areas of Dadar and Sion recorded waterlogging while the Powai Lake started overflowing due to the downpour.

On Tuesday, a landslide incident was reported in Ghatkopar's Panchsheel Nagar in Mumbai amidst heavy rains, demolishing a house.

The Central railway informed that the trains on all corridors are running, However, some main and harbour line trains are running late.

Several rivers in the state have reached the warning level.

The Kundalika river has crossed the warning level and the water level of the Amba, Savitri, Patalganga, Ulhas and Garhi rivers is slightly below the warning level.

The IMD had also issued an orange alert for Thane, Palghar, Pune, Beed, Latur, Jalna, Parbhani and several other areas in Maharashtra for the next five days.

Ratnagiri and Raigad are on red alert.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had put all the districts on high alert and is monitoring the situation.

He directed the officials to make all arrangements including the shifting of people living in vulnerable areas.

The NDRF DG said that situation in Assam is improving as the floodwater in the state was receding now.

Referring to cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu earlier in the morning, the NDRF DG said teams have been dispatched for assistance from Manali.

"There has been a cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh's Kullu. Four-five people are missing. About 2-3 people are trapped in some house that has been washed away. Our team has been dispatched from Manali," he added. -- ANI

IMAGE: An auto moves through a heavily waterlogged Milan Subway road during heavy rainfall, at Santacruz, in Mumbai, on Tuesday. Photograph: ANI Photo
08:43   Vivo India directors leave country amid ED probe
Rajnish Singh/ANI reports from New Delhi

Vivo India directors Zhengshen Ou and Zhang Jie left the country as the Enforcement Directorate intensified its inquiry into the money laundering case against the Chinese firm, said sources.

The information comes a day after the agency carried out searches at 40 locations in connection with the case.

The federal agency on Tuesday conducted searches at 40 locations in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and some southern states in connection with a case linked to Vivo Mobile Communications and some other Chinese firms.

The case is already being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

IT department, as well as the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, is also keeping a close eye on the Chinese manufacturing firms.

The ED raid is an extension of the probe against Chinese firms.The ED conducted these searches with respect to violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Sources said that local units of Vivo Mobile Communications are under the radar for alleged financial improprieties as part of an investigation into other China-based firms.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is learnt to have a special focus on potential violations including fraud.

In the case of Vivo, an inquiry was sought in April this year to detect if there were 'significant irregularities in ownership and financial reporting'.

Further investigations are underway.   -- ANI
Kanhaiya Lal
Kanhaiya Lal
00:49   Udaipur killing: Rajasthan announces government jobs to sons of Kanhaiya Lal
The Rajasthan cabinet on Wednesday decided to give government jobs to the sons of Kanhaiya Lal who was hacked to death inside his shop in Udaipur. 

The state cabinet also removed salary anomalies of state employees, approved policy for issuing government advertisements to news websites, and formed Rajasthan College Education Society for better management of new state colleges. 

A one-time special ex-gratia amount of Rs 21 crore has been approved for the rehabilitation of people living in villages of submerged area of Takli Medium Irrigation Project. 

Women and Child Development Minister Mamta Bhupesh said the cabinet has decided to appoint Yash Teli and Tarun Teli, the sons of Kanhaiya Lal Teli, in the government service. 

She said relaxation has been given in the rules for the appointment. 

This appointment will be provided under Rule 6C of Rajasthan Subordinate Office Clerk Service (Amendment) Rules, 2008 and 2009. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
00:26   Singapore confirms 1st local monkeypox case
Singapore's ministry of health announced on Wednesday that it has confirmed one local case of monkeypox infection in the city-state. 

The patient is a 45-year-old male Malaysian national who resides in Singapore. 

He tested positive for monkeypox on July 6 and is currently warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases. 

The ministry said that the patient's condition is stable, and he is not linked to the imported case announced by the ministry on June 21. 

According to the ministry, the case first developed lower abdomen skin lesions on June 30, and subsequently experienced fatigue and swollen lymph nodes on July 2. 

On July 4, he developed a fever and a sore throat and sought medical attention where initial tests for other possible medical conditions were done. 

When these tests returned negative, he was subsequently conveyed to the NCID on July 6, where he was isolated for further assessment. 

The ministry said that three close contacts have been identified as of July 6, involving two housemates and one social contact. 

All close contacts will be placed in quarantine for 21 days from their last contact with the case. -- ANI