NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018
- MILITARY BASE JOLT AS SEYCHELLES PREZ ARRIVES
President of Seychelles Danny Faure landed in Ahmedabad on Friday as part a six-day visit, during which he is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the wide-ranging areas of cooperation between the two countries, including defence and security. The visit holds special importance as it comes days after the Seychelles Parliament blocked a joint project between the two countries to develop a naval base at the African nation’s Assumption Island.
At a press conference on June 4, Faure had said Seychelles will develop military facilities at Assumption Island on its own and that the project with India “will not move forward”. He also said the issue would not be discussed with the Indian leadership during his visit to New Delhi.
India was keen on developing the Assumption Island as a naval base to expand its footprint in the strategically-key region where China has been trying to enhance its military presence. The agreement on the Assumption Island between India and Seychelles was first signed in 2015 during PM Modi’s visit to the country.
An updated version of the original deal was finalised by the two sides earlier this year. However, opposition leaders in Seychelles came out openly against the agreement after the original document as well as the revised version of it surfaced online in March.
- ‘DEALING WITH TERRORISTS WHO REFUSE TO SURRENDER IS NOT MUSCULAR, BUT RULE OF LAW’
Days after pulling out of an alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir in “larger national interest”, the BJP on Friday targeted the opposition Congress and junked the human rights argument from certain quarters against the government’s “muscular policy” in Kashmir.
While Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad targeted the Congress over remarks of party leaders on Kashmir, senior minister Arun Jaitley defended the government’s policy.
“It is paramount to protect India’s sovereignty and the right to life of its citizens. At times we get caught in the idioms that we create. One such phrase is ‘muscular policy in Kashmir’. To deal with a killer is also a law and order issue. It can’t wait a political solution… A terrorist who refuses to surrender and refuses a ceasefire offer has to be dealt with as anybody taking law in his own hand. This is not ‘muscular’. It is the rule of law,” Jaitley said in an article posted on the BJP website declaring that “our policy has to be ‘Save the Human Rights of every Indian – be it a tribal or a Kashmiri’ from terrorists”.
The BJP leader went on to virtually suggest that rights champions cautioning against the muscular policy were the “over-ground face of the underground”. “These human right organisations are an over-ground face of the underground. In the system that they believe in, there is no place for life, liberty, equality and free speech. In fact, there is no space for election or Parliamentary democracy,” Jaitley said, lamenting that opposition parties like Congress, AAP and TMC were lending support to these groups.
The BJP also came down heavily on senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for his remarks alleging that Army operations kill more civilians than terrorists in Kashmir. Addressing mediapersons at BJP headquarters, Prasad alleged that Azad’s observations had been endorsed by organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba. “These organisations and their patrons in Pakistan would be the happiest to hear such statements of Congress leaders,” Prasad said, alleging that senior Congress leaders have gone to the extent of seeking to compromise the courage and respect for the Armed forces due to their pathological hatred of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
- CONG TARGETS SHAH ON DEMO
Archrivals BJP and Congress were engaged in a Twitter war on Friday, each out to disprove the other on whether demonetisation was a scam. Both launched Twitter hashtags on their respective narratives with the BJP’s #DesperateLiesofCongress outdoing Congress’ #ShahZyadaKhaGaya.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi launched an offensive against BJP president Amit Shah, pointing out that the latter was chairman of the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) that had received Rs 745 crore worth of demonetised currency within five days of PM Narendra Modi announcing the note ban. He asked how this was possible unless the bank had prior knowledge of what was coming even as his party’s media head Randeep Surjewala demanded a probe and a statement from the PM on the “scam.”
Within seconds, BJP launched a hashtag with party’s social media head Amit Malviya questioning the Congress leader’s IQ and asking if it was not normal for the ADCB — a bank with massive operations and 194 branches (not one branch) — to receive that kind of money. The BJP wondered if the lone factor of Shah being ADCB Director was evidence enough of illegality in deposits.
The Congress maintained that 11 Gujarat-based district cooperative banks headed by BJP leaders could not have received Rs 3,118 crore worth of demonetised currency within days of the move, unless they had prior knowledge of it.
The Congress Twitter handle said, “ADCB accepted Rs 745.59 crore in demonetised cash in that five-day window. The Gujarat State Cooperative Bank, the apex body in the state, accepted only Rs 1.11 crore. All 370 district cooperative banks in India accepted Rs 22,271 crore, which is about Rs 60 crore per cooperative bank on an average. How is it that a bank with Amit Shah as director accepted 12 times more demonetised cash than any other DCCB?” The party cited demonetisation rules that said district cooperative banks would have five days to accept demonetised cash as against 50 days given to public sector banks.
- BENGAL CONG TO PARTY: NO PACT WITH TMC, LET’S GO WITH LEFT
Being pushed to the margins, the West Bengal Congress unit has sent a report to the AICC proposing a 21-step approach to defeat the “TMC-BJP nexus” in the state, including an alliance with Left parties and the opening of common offices.
“We have sent the report to New Delhi and are awaiting a response. The main thrust of the report is to not only look at the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but draw a long-term plan to see how we can make a recovery in the 2021 assembly elections, defeat the TMC and come to power. We are not averse to forming a coalition government with the CPM in the state,’’ says West Bengal Congress general secretary O P Mishra.
“At the national level, in Parliament, TMC has given tacit and indirect support to BJP on a number of occasions through occasional but calculated abstention, not joining the other Opposition parties against the government on crucial issues and, more recently, by trying to subvert and weaken efforts at Opposition unity by flouting political formulations that may indirectly benefit the BJP’s quest for power in 2019 Lok Sabha election,’’ the report states.
- INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
- MELANIA’S ‘I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ TRIGGERS SOCIAL UPROAR
Melania Trump wanted to show the world that she was a compassionate first lady by visiting a migrant child detention centre in Texas but her insensitive choice of a jacket during the trip has caused an uproar on social media.
As she boarded a plane, she wore an olive green jacket, which said on the back: “I really don’t care. Do U?” in white graffiti-style lettering.
Melania, 48, was not wearing the branded Zara jacket when she landed in McAllen, Texas yesterday on a visit to personally witness the humanitarian situation along the US-Mexico border that has captured global attention.
Under President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy, nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and placed into holding facilities between April 19 and May 31 of this year.
Responding to the social media criticism, the first lady’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said “there was no hidden message” in the former fashion model’s sartorial choice.
President Trump, in an apparent attempt to deflect the criticism over his wife’s attire, tweeted that the jacket Melania wore “refers to the Fake News Media”.
- KOREAS AGREE TO AUGUST REUNIONS FOR WAR-SPLIT FAMILIES
North and South Korea yesterday agreed to resume reunions for families separated by the Korean War in August-the first such meetings since 2015 and the latest step in a remarkable diplomatic thaw on the peninsula.
Millions of people were separated during the 1950-53 conflict that sealed the division of the two Koreas. Most died without the chance to see or hear from their relatives on the other side of the border, across which all civilian communication is banned.
The resumption of the family reunions was among the agreements reached between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s president Moon Jae-in at their landmark summit in April.
- THE REST
- GUNBATTLE NEAR AMARNATH YATRA ROUTE, FOUR ISJK MILITANTS KILLED
Four militants, including the head of the banned terror outfit Islamic State-Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), were killed in an encounter with security forces Friday in the Khiram area of Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir. The operation, in which a policeman and a civilian were also killed, took place just six days before the start of the annual Amarnath Yatra near Sirigufwara, a village close to NH-44, through which the Yatra convoys ply after crossing into Kashmir.
In what is the first acknowledgement of possible IS presence in the region, J&K Police claimed that the militants killed in Anantnag were associated with the ISJK. The militants were “IS inspired and had a history of attacking policemen in the state,” IGP, Kashmir SP Pani said. According to Director General of Police, SP Vaid the terrorists were “reportedly affiliated to ISJK”.
- DON’T REGRET HOLDING PRESSER, SAYS JUSTICE J CHELAMESWAR
Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who retired from the Supreme Court Friday as the most senior judge, believes that there is a lot of speculation about the selection of the next Chief Justice of India, but he does not think that Justice Ranjan Gogoi, next in line to succeed CJI Dipak Misra in October, will be superseded.
The judge, who has been hailed by senior members of the Bar for standing up for the independence of the judiciary, reiterated that he would not be seeking any post-retirement employment with the State. He, along with three other members of the Collegium — Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph — had held an unprecedented press conference on January 12, making public a letter they had written to CJI Misra in November.
Asserting that he did “not find anything wrong with the press conference”, Justice Chelameswar said, “I believe that without an independent judiciary, no democracy can survive. When we held the press conference, we believed that there is a threat to the independence of the judiciary and we thought that one way is to keep the nation informed. I acted according to the dictates of my conscience. It is for the civil society and future generations to decide whether I was right in my belief and action.”
- MAMATA BANERJEE CANCELS CHINA VISIT OVER REJECTION OF MEETING REQUEST
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday cancelled a high-profile visit to China after Beijing said no to her request for a meeting with one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
China not agreeing to Banerjee’s request and the cancellation of her visit are being seen as a “small setback” to bilateral ties. She was to visit China under an exchange programme between India and the CPC’s international department.
In a letter to the CPC, Banerjee said the visit had been cancelled because meetings at an “appropriate level” could not be arranged.
- LARGER THAN CHANDIGARH, NEW CITY WILL RISE NEXT TO GURGAON
To leverage the potential of the region, the Haryana government plans to develop a new city next to Gurgaon in the National Capital Region. The new city is likely to be spread across at least 50,000 hectares, which is far larger than Chandigarh (11,400 hectares). The proposed city is located south of New Delhi and will share boundaries with the Gurgaon-Manesar urban area to the North and the Aravalli hills to the North-East.
The Opposition in Haryana has already raised questions about the proposed new city. “Why has the incumbent government thought of this new city with barely a few months of their tenure left. It appears that it is being done to oblige some of their favourites by appointing them as consultants for this coveted project”, said RS Chaudhary, INLD’s National General Secretary.
- A YEAR LATER, GST HAS FAILED TO FORMALISE ECONOMY: REPORT
A year into implementation, Goods and Services Tax (GST) has not delivered on the promised formalisation of the economy as yet, while the glitches in the one-nation-one-tax regime has increased the demand for cash, says a foreign brokerage report.
“The GST regime was originally associated with formality. But so far, in our view, it has not been able to live up to that promise. Nor has it brought down the demand for cash which has in fact only gone up,” British brokerage HSBC said in a report on Friday. The report, however, noted that over the long-term, GST will lead to more formalisation of the economy.
“Cash in circulation is rising above trend, but not because rural India is faring better, rather it is due to a revival in the ‘informal’ sectors, thanks to the continued remonetisation,” the report said.
- USING AADHAAR BIOMETRIC DATA FOR INVESTIGATING CRIMES NOT ALLOWED: UIDAI
A day after NCRB made a case for limited Aadhaar data access for the police to crack crimes, UIDAI on Friday asserted that use of Aadhaar biometric data for criminal investigation is not allowed under the Aadhaar Act. It also informed that Aadhaar data has never been shared with any crime investigating agency.
The statement from UIDAI came after National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Director Ish Kumar on Thursday made a strong pitch for the police to be provided with limited access to Aadhaar data, to aide them in catching first-time offenders and for identification of unidentified bodies.
“The “very limited” exception to this, said UIDAI, is allowed under Section 33 of the Aadhaar Act, which permits use of or access to Aadhaar biometric data in cases involving national security only after pre-authorisation by an oversight committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
“This is also the consistent stand taken by Union of India in the ongoing Aadhaar case in the Supreme Court,” UIDAI said.
- YOUTUBE OFFERS NEW WAYS TO EARN
YouTube, often criticised for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships. Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief products officer. Viewers will pay $4.99 a month for channel memberships, giving them access to exclusive content on channels with more than 100,000 subscribers. Creators will also be able to sell merchandise like shirts or phone cases directly on their channels, the company said.
- INDIA TAKE ON PAKISTAN IN LAST TANGO AT CHAMPIONS TROPHY
The Indian hockey team would begin its pursuit of a maiden Champions Trophy title, taking on arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening clash today. Asian champions India have never won the Champions Trophy in its last 36 editions but will be hoping to claim the feat in the tournament’s last edition.
The world’s best six teams compete in the Champions Trophy and this year’s line-up include reigning Olympics champions Argentina, world No. 1 Australia, Belgium, hosts Netherlands, Pakistan and India. India will open against Pakistan before taking on Argentina (June 24), Australia (June 27), Belgium (June 28) and the Netherlands (June 30).
Launched in 1978, this year’s Champions Trophy, 37th overall, will be the last edition of the tournament. FIH has announced a new hockey structure from 2019 onwards.
- BRAZIL 2-0 COSTA RICA; NIGERIA 2-0 ICELAND; SERBIA 1-2 SWITZERLAND
Late strikes by Philippe Coutinho and Neymar gave Brazil their first win of the World Cup in thrilling fashion against Costa Rica on Friday and sent the Central Americans crashing out of the tournament.
The clock had ticked past 90 minutes, and the five-time champions looked to be edging to a second disappointing draw, when Marcelo floated the ball in from the left and substitute Roberto Firmino headed across to Gabriel Jesus. Jesus’s first touch took the ball away from the defender and into the path of Coutinho who raced in to poke past goalkeeper Keylor Navas from six metres out for his second goal of the tournament.
Neymar added the second with practically the last kick of the match, volleying home following a quick counter-attack as Costa Rica pushed for an equaliser.
The result leaves Brazil with four points from two games after they drew 1-1 with Switzerland in their opening match.
Switzerland scored a dramatic 2-1 win over Serbia in a swashbuckling World Cup Group E match on Friday. Serbia went ahead with an Aleksandar Mitrovic header after five minutes to the delight of their fervent supporters at the Kaliningrad stadium.
Xhaka silenced the Serbian contingent in the 52nd minute, however, when he left fly with a left-foot shot which flew into the net from 25 metres before Shaqiri broke away to win the game at the death.
The result left Brazil, 2-0 winners over Costa Rica, top with four points, ahead of Switzerland on goal difference with Serbia on three.
Brazil and Serbia meet in their final game while the Swiss face Costa Rica, who have already been eliminated.
Nigeria has moved into second place in the World Cup’s Group D after beating underdog Iceland 2-0 on Friday thanks to two goals from Ahmed Musa. The result placed his team in a great spot while also giving Argentina life.
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- THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“When a man knows how to live dangerously, he is not afraid to die. When he is not afraid to die, he is, strangely, free to live.” – William O. Douglas
- OFF TRACK
Hubby came home drunk. To avoid wife’s scolding, he opened his laptop & started working quietly.
Wife: Peeke aye ho kya?
Hubby : Nahi meri ma…
Wife: Phir suitcase khol ke kya type kar rahe ho??