NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2018
Less than a fortnight before the first ‘2+2 dialogue’, the US conveyed to India Wednesday that it has postponed the dialogue due to “unavoidable reasons”. The dialogue was announced last August after a telephone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, which focussed on “strengthening strategic, security and defence cooperation”.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were slated to visit Washington for the first ‘2+2 dialogue’ on July 6 with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis. The meeting was earlier scheduled for April this year but was put off after Trump fired then secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar Wednesday announced that US Secretary of State spoke to Swaraj today “to express his regret and deep disappointment at the US having to postpone the 2+2 dialogue for unavoidable reasons.”
The rescheduling comes in the backdrop of Indian proposals to purchase the S-400 missile system from Russia, which was widely believed to be among the topics up for discussion from the American side during the 2+2 dialogue. The issue has generated interest in America where Congress is debating legislation against Russian defence entities, which could cover the countries purchasing equipment as well under its ambit.
The postponement also comes after Trump’s decision to dismantle sanctions relief provided to Iran under the 2015 nuclear deal.
For the first time since India announced that it had conducted surgical strikes against terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in September 2016, video clips of these operations were broadcast on several television news channels on Wednesday night.
These clips showed some terrorists being killed, besides destruction of bunkers and other military constructions. TV channels claimed these videos, which they had accessed from official sources, were taken by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Thermal Imaging (TI) cameras used by the Army to monitor the operation.
“The videos are real. I can confirm that,” say Lt General D S Hooda (retd), former Northern Army Commander who was directly in-charge of the surgical strikes. “When the surgical strikes happened, my view was that the videos should have been released as proof. It is good that they have come out now,” Lt General Hooda said yesterday.
On the intervening night of September 28-29, 2016, the Army had carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC in PoK. The then DGMO, Lt General Ranbir Singh, had announced on September 29, 2016 that India had conducted surgical strikes on terror pads along the LoC using ground forces, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists.
In October 2016, the then urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu had rejected the Opposition’s demand for proof of the surgical strikes, saying that any further discussions would be an “insult” to the Army. This was echoed by other union ministers who said that releasing the video was not necessary as the Army had already issued a statement on the strikes.
Backed by a strong record of probing and dealing with alleged human rights violations in Kashmir, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday slammed a UN report, terming it “motivated”.
The human rights record of the Army, he said, was well known to the people of Kashmir and to the international community. In the past 24 years, starting 1994 till May 31, there have been a total 1,037 allegations of human rights violations against the Army in Kashmir. A probe has been completed in 1,022 of these allegations and only 15 are pending investigation.
After the probe, only 31 allegations were found correct, while 991 were baseless. A total of 70 personnel have faced punishment in these 31 cases. In 18 such cases the victims have been given compensation too. He said: “…I don’t think we should get too concerned about the report. Some of these reports are motivated.”
Outgoing Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian Wednesday said that removing the highest 28 per cent slab and a uniform rate of cess should be the first step for further simplification of the GST. “I am saying that in an ideal system the 28 per cent rate has to go. The cesses may have to be there because we are going to have higher rates for some products but there shouldn’t be multiple rates even here. In my report, we had called for one 18 per cent rate and then 40 per cent rate. Cesses are a different way of implementing the 40 per cent rate.”
Speaking about the challenges the economy faces, Subramanian said that other than rising crude oil prices “stigmatised capitalism” is coming in the way of reforms.
“In terms of broader challenges that we have, stigmatised capitalism is coming in the way of a lot of reforms. The fact that it is getting very difficult to make decisions that involve bringing in the private sector… In this “mahaul” of the stigmatised capitalism, public sector officials are finding it difficult to take decisions because of the fear that, at some point, it will be questioned or investigated,” he said.
Moscow and Washington have struck a deal to hold a summit soon between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump, Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov said.
Ushakov, speaking after Putin held talks with US National Security Adviser John Bolton in the Kremlin, said the summit would take place in a mutually convenient third country and that several more weeks were needed to prepare for it.
“This meeting has been planned for a long time,” said Ushakov. “It has enormous importance for Russia and America, but it (also) has huge importance for the whole international situation. I think it will be the main international event of the summer.”
Such a summit is likely to irritate US allies who want to isolate Putin, such as Britain or who are concerned about Trump’s attitude towards Russia. It is also likely to go down badly among foreign and domestic critics who question Trump’s commitment to NATO and fret over his desire to rebuild ties with Moscow even as Washington tightens sanctions.
A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that US immigration agents could no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally, and must reunite those families that had been split up in custody.
United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw granted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the family separations.
More than 2,300 migrant children were separated from their parents after US President Donald Trump’s administration began a “zero tolerance” policy in early May, seeking to prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, including those traveling with children.
Sabraw ordered the government to reunite parents with their children younger than 5 years old within 14 days of the order, and children 5 years old and older within 30 days of the order.
Stating that the All-World Gayatri Pariwar will support the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the organisation’s head, Pranav Pandya, on Wednesday said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi may visit them if he wants to, but he will “not be given any VIP treatment” since Pandya does not like Rahul’s face.
Gayatri Pariwar claims to have at least 15 crore followers worldwide, and with 2019 Lok Sabha polls approaching, many political leaders are making a beeline to gain the organisation’s support.
Pandya, who attended a meeting with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Haridwar on Wednesday, said, “(BJP president) Amit Shah ki tarah hum unhe receive nahi karenge. Woh aaye toh aayien. Hamein uski shakal achchhi nahi lagti (We will not receive Rahul Gandhi like we received Amit Shah. If Rahul wants to visit us, it’s up to him. I don’t like his face).”
On Sunday, BJP chief Amit Shah had visited Haridwar and met Pandya to seek the support for the next General Election.
BJP national president Amit Shah on Wednesday said the Congress had neglected the ideals of author Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and censored part of ‘Vande Mataram’ to suit its appeasement policy.
Delivering the first Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Memorial Lecture, organised by the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation in Kolkata, Shah said, “The Congress never respected the national song ‘Vande Mataram’ and had neglected the ideals of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. It had also censored the national song to two stanzas instead of accepting the whole song to suit its appeasement politics. This led to the Partition.”
Shah further said the song cannot be associated with any form of religion. “India is not a geopolitical nation, it is a geo-cultural nation. The definition of India’s nationalism is not narrow. Vande Mataram cannot be associated with any form of religion. However, Congress brought religion into it by censoring the song,” he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday claimed to have identified the three militants behind the recent killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari, saying they belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
A police official said two of the militants were from south Kashmir region, while the third, Naveed Jatt, alias Hanzullah, was a Pakistan national. Jatt, a wanted LeT commander, had escaped from police custody in February while being taken for a check-up to Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar.
Bukhari, editor of a local daily, was killed on June 14 outside his office, triggering widespread condemnation.
Meanwhile, the LeT, among the first terror outfits to condemn the killing, has again denied any role.
Seeking cancellation of non-bailable warrants against him, absconding accused Mehul Choksi has cited “the recent trend of mob lynching” and said there is a threat to his life due to which he cannot travel to India. Choksi on Wednesday approached the special CBI court in Mumbai seeking cancellation of two non-bailable warrants issued against him in April and May, stating 10 reasons for his non-appearance before the court in the Punjab National Bank alleged fraud case.
“It is most respectfully submitted that there have been various reported cases of mob lynching and one of the cases was in relation to an accused who was mob lynched while being inside a jail. This recent trend of mob lynching is growing and is attempting to giving justice on the road by the general public, and subsequently there is no prosecution because of non-identification of a particular individual is giving rise to the said tendency (sic),” his plea says.
The popular Malayalam actress who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted last year resigned on Wednesday from the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists, triggering a chain of exits from the most powerful organisation of film professionals in Kerala.
Three more top actresses followed her out of the AMMA, the guild that had come in for criticism for not safeguarding the interests of women in the industry.
The main reason the AMMA is in the news is because of its decision to re-induct Dileep. The top-notch actor, one of the accused in the case now out on bail, is alleged to have hired a gang of criminals to kidnap and assault the actress.
The four actresses, including the survivor, posted their resignation messages on the Facebook page of the Women in Cinema Collective, a parallel organisation for women professionals that took shape after last year’s incident.
The survivor, however, said she was resigning because the AMMA did not intervene when Dileep had specifically targeted her, ensuring that she did not get film offers.
Messages of resignations followed soon from Remya Nambeesan, Geetu Mohandas and Rima Kallingal.
Germany’s title defence came to a grinding halt with their final group stage match. On a night in which Sweden thrashed Mexico 3-0 and replaced them as Group F table-toppers, Germany imploded in stoppage time and lost 2-0 to South Korea. They thus finish bottom of the table in Group F and become the second consecutive defending champion to be knocked out in the group stage after Spain in 2014.
In simultaneous matches, as Mexico conceded against Sweden, Germany only needed a 1-0 win to confirm their passage to the knockouts. But, despite the likes of Mesut Ozil and Marco Reus in midfield, they could not provide enough crosses into the box for Mario Gomez, Timo Werner and later centre-halfs Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule to convert. Even the chance that did make it into the box were shot wide off target.
It was the first time Germany have been eliminated in the first round since 1938. Kim Young-gwon scored the first goal in the third minute of injury time. Originally called out for offside, the goal was then given after video review.
Son Heung-min made it 2-0 in the sixth minute of injury time after Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came up the field to help his teammates outside the South Korea box.
Besides Germany this year, France in 2002, Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014 were the previous defending champions to get eliminated in the group stage.
After Germany’s exit and Argentina’s nerve-shredding escape, Brazil made more serene World Cup progress on Wednesday when goals by Paulinho and Thiago Silva earned them a 2-0 win over an outclassed Serbia and a knockout tie against Mexico.
The victory, and Switzerland’s 2-2 draw with Costa Rica, meant Brazil finished top of Group E on seven points, two ahead of the Swiss who will face Sweden in the last 16. Serbia ended third on three points and are eliminated along with Costa Rica.
Brazil took a while to find their stride against a physical Serbian side who still had hopes of progress and briefly rattled the favourites, but once Paulinho put them ahead after 36 minutes they always looked comfortable and Silva’s 68th-minute header settled it.
Playing just hours after holders Germany suffered their shock exit, the five-times champions were desperate to stamp their authority on a tournament where World Cup pedigree has counted for so little.
They had yet to click in their earlier games, where they limply drew 1-1 with Switzerland and needed two stoppage-time goals to beat Costa Rica, and they didn’t exactly sparkle in the first half-hour on Wednesday.
However, a superb lofted pass from just inside his own half by the outstanding Philippe Coutinho sent Paulinho clear and he stretched high to toe the ball over goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic and ease the pressure.
Brazil’s often-overlooked defence, which has now conceded three goals in 13 games, did still have to stand up strongly against a Serbian side.
India beat Ireland in the first T20I at The Village, Dublin by 76 runs. The decision to send India in backfired for the Irish as the Indian batsmen ambushed them with ease. Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma did most of the damage with yet another century partnership as India ended up with 208/5 on the board.
In reply, Ireland got off to a decent start but the introduction of spinners turned the game on its head as wicket fell at regular intervals. Kuldeep Yadav (4/21) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3/38) ran riot as Ireland ended up with 132, falling short by a big margin.
India are to paly 2 T20Is in Ireland before moving to England for 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests.
The second T20I against Ireland will be played tomorrow.
India vs England
1st T20I, (D/N) at Manchester, Jul 3 2018
2nd T20I, (D/N) at Cardiff, Jul 6 2018
3rd T20I, at Bristol, Jul 8 2018
1st ODI, at Nottingham, Jul 12 2018
2nd ODI, at London, Jul 14 2018
3rd ODI, at Leeds, Jul 17 2018
1st Test, at Birmingham, Aug 1-5 2018
2nd Test, at London, Aug 9-13 2018
3rd Test, at Nottingham, Aug 18-22 2018
4th Test, at Southampton, Aug 30 – Sep 3 2018
5th Test, at London, Sep 7-11 2018
India put up a valiant fight before defending champions Australia pipped them 3-2 in an absorbing encounter in the six-nation Champions Trophy hockey tournament, here today. The reigning World Champions produced their best show of the tournament, scoring through Lachlan Sharp (6th minute), Tom Craig (15th) and Trent Mitton (33rd) to secure full points.
The Indians, however fought till the end, scoring through Varun Kumar (10th) and Harmanpreet Singh (58th), producing a nail-biting finish.
The defeat means India have slumped to the third spot in the standings with six points from three games while Australia climbed to the top with seven points from an identical number of matches. Netherlands are second in the table with six points.
The top two sides after the round robin stage of the six-team event, will play in the final on Sunday. India’s next match is against Belgium.
Sensex 35,217 (-273), Nifty 10,671 (-98), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 28,959
Nasdaq 7,445 (-117) Dow 24,118 (-166), S&P 2,700 (-23)
US$-Rs. 68.59 GBP-Rs. 90.37, Euro-Rs. 79.65, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.57, Can$-Rs. 51.50, Aus$- Rs. 50.54
GBP 0.75 /US$, Euro 0.86 /US$, Jap.Yen 110.09 /US$, Aus$ 1.35 /US$, Sing 1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.48 /US$, Can$ 1.33 /US$, Mal Ring 4.02 /US$,
Pak Re 121.37 /US$, Phil Peso 53.51 /US$, Russian Rouble 63.13 /US$, NZ$ 1.46 /US$, Thai Baht 32.97 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.14 /US$
Bitcoin – USD 6,082
Dollar Index 94.96 Brent Crude 77.53 BDI 1323
Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,253 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3112 / 2924, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 43,100
Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery. – Matthew Arnold
Three little rabbits escaped from a testing lab and found an entire field full of carrots. They ate themselves into a stupor and slept through the night.
The next morning, they found an entire field full of female rabbits with no males in sight. They had fun through the day and slept throughout the night.
The next morning, the rabbits got to talking.
“I’m gonna go back to that field of carrots,” said the first one.
“I’m gonna go back to those cute little rabbits,” said the second.
“I’m going back to the lab,” said the third. “I’m dying for a cigarette.
Newsletter 28th June, 2018
June 28, 2018