NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – WEDNESDAY, JULY 18, 2018
Condemning the “sweeping” incidents of lynching as “an affront to the rule of law and to the exalted values of the Constitution”, the Supreme Court Tuesday asked Parliament to come up with a special law to deter such crimes, saying “the horrendous acts of mobocracy cannot be permitted to inundate the law of the land”. The “recurrent pattern of violence”, it said, “cannot be allowed to become the new normal”.
Passing a series of “preventive, remedial and punitive” measures to deal with lynchings and mob vigilantism, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said “apart from the directions… we think it appropriate to recommend to… Parliament to create a separate offence for lynching and provide adequate punishment for the same.
Delivering its judgment on petitions filed by social activist Tushar Gandhi and Congress leader Tehseen Poonawala seeking action against cow protection groups, the bench put the onus on the State and said it had “to ensure that the machinery of law and order functions efficiently and effectively in maintaining peace so as to preserve our quintessentially secular ethos and pluralistic social fabric in a democratic set-up governed by rule of law… In times of chaos and anarchy, the State has to act positively and responsibly to safeguard and secure the Constitutional promises to its citizens”.
The bench said the Centre and states must carry out its directions within four weeks and file compliance reports. It warned that “lynching and mob violence are creeping threats that may gradually take the shape of a Typhon-like monster as evidenced in the wake of the rising wave of incidents of recurring patterns by frenzied mobs across the country, instigated by intolerance and misinformed by circulation of fake news and false stories”.
The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday offered a “new deal” to the Congress, seeking the party’s support to pass two bills that seek to prohibit triple talaq and nikah-halala,along with the women’s reservation bill.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad wrote to Rahul Gandhi, welcoming his initiative to support the women’s reservation bill, which seeks to set aside 33 per cent of seats in legislatures for women, but said the Congress should support the two other bills.
“Since you have shown your deep concern for support of women reservation… I propose that both the national parties – the BJP and the Congress – should come together and offer a ‘new deal’ to Indian women…,” Prasad wrote before flagging the rider, seen as another effort to corner the Congress over the “Muslim party” issue on the eve of Parliament’s monsoon session.
“As part of the ‘new deal’, we should approve, in both Houses of Parliament, the women’s reservation bill, the law prohibiting triple talaq and imposing penal consequences on those who violate the law, and prohibiting nikah-halala,” Prasad said, seeking to politically outwit Rahul. “As national parties, we cannot have two sets of standards in dealing with women and their rights,” he added.
Rahul had on Monday written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take up the women’s bill on a priority basis to show his commitment towards women.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting on Tuesday, where he urged the various parties to cooperate for the smooth functioning of the Monsoon Session and asked the leaders to raise their issues in the Houses as people expected them to do so.
Seven months after he took over as party president, Rahul Gandhi Tuesday reconstituted the Congress Working Committee, its top policy-making body. Abandoning mother Sonia Gandhi’s cautious approach, he has opted for a blend of the young and old — Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada and Deepender Hooda are among those who have been inducted while veterans like Digvijaya Singh, C P Joshi, Janardan Dwivedi, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Oscar Fernandes have been shown the door.
None of the three Congress chief ministers find place in the CWC.
Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh too remain unrepresented.
Rahul Gandhi has also expanded the CWC, increasing the number of permanent and special invitees. The strength of the new body is 51 — 23 main members, 18 permanent invitees and 10 special invitees. In all, 24 of CWC’s 51 members are below 50 years of age in a transitional shift.
Rahul Gandhi has responded to the question the BJP and its ministers are asking again and again and again: did he call the Congress a “Muslim party”?
“I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress,” Rahul tweeted on Tuesday.
Donald Trump sought to reverse course on Tuesday, after top Republicans scrambled to distance themselves from his behaviour in his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Even then, Trump could not resist muddying the waters further. Speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, the president stated that he accepted the assessment of US intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election – and then, moments later, cast doubt on who was responsible.
“Let me be totally clear in saying that … I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said, reading from a prepared script. He then added: “It could be other people also. There’s a lot of people out there.”
He said Russian actions had no impact on the outcome of the vote and the administration would work aggressively to protect the November 2018 congressional elections.
On Monday, Trump met Putin with only interpreters in attendance for two hours then held a press briefing in which he sided with the Kremlin and against US intelligence services.
Back on US soil, Trump claimed the fury that greeted his display was the result of a misspoken word. Citing the transcript of his remarks, Trump said his assertion that he did not see “any reason why it would be Russia” behind election inference should have been: “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.” “So you can put that in,” he said.
But Trump had said much more in Helsinki. Standing beside Putin, he said: “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.” He also repeated conspiracist-tinged complaints about a Democratic National Committee server and the FBI.
Before Trump spoke, Republicans struggled to defend him on Capitol Hill. House speaker Paul Ryan told reporters: “They did interfere in our elections. It’s really clear. They should be no doubt about that. Russia is trying to undermine democracy itself….I understand the desire and the need to have good relations. That’s perfectly reasonable. But Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests and it does not share our values.”
Asked if he agreed with former CIA director John Brennan’s characterization of the president’s actions as “treasonous”, Ryan said: “I do not.”
Russia’s political and media establishment heralded talks between the Russian and U.S. leaders in Helsinki as a victory for President Vladimir Putin in breaking down Western resolve to treat Russia as a pariah.
“The West’s attempts to isolate Russia failed,” read the headline on a report on Monday’s summit meeting in state-run newspaper Rossiisskaya Gazeta.
The praise from Russia’s elite for Mr. Putin’s performance at the summit contrasted sharply with the reaction in Washington where U.S. President Donald Trump’s own Republican party accused him of failing to stand up to him.
In Moscow, there was a recognition that the summit did not produce any breakthroughs on issues such as Syria, Ukraine or arms control. Instead, the focus was on the symbolism of the leader of the world’s biggest superpower sitting down one-on-one with Mr. Putin after four years of international isolation triggered by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
On Sunday evening, a grounding in the Suez Canal led to a multi-vessel pileup. The container ship Aeneas reportedly went aground, and three bulkers following her in the convoy collided. The boxship was not involved in the collision herself, and she was refloated and towed to Suez.
The bulkers involved in the multiple collision were named as the Sakizaya Kalon, Panamax Alexander and Osios David. After the vessels were cleared and towed away, the northbound container ship NYK Orpheus had a separate collision with the Panamax Alexander.
Separately, the crude oil tanker Kimolos (IMO 9791145) grounded briefly in the canal on Saturday, before the collisions. In addition, an unnamed bulker of 39,929 dwt and about 12.2 meters draft went aground on Monday. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the bulker was refloated the same evening and arrived at the Great Bitter Lakes by Tuesday morning.
The multiple casualties led to delays for dozens of vessels, but the waterway is now ready for resumed transits, according to the SCA.
A six-storey under-construction fell on top of a four-storey in Greater Noida near Delhi on Tuesday evening. Eighteen families lived in the four-storey building, according to reports. Three people have been confirmed dead.
A team of the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF has been called in from neighbouring Ghaziabad to help in the search and rescue operations, along with the police, which is trying to control the crowd.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked the District Magistrate to follow up with the National Disaster Response Force team and Police for relief measures and to ensure immediate rescue.
The Finance Ministry on Tuesday approved infusion of Rs 11,336 crore in five state-owned lenders – PNB, Corporation Bank, Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas bank – to help them meet regulatory capital requirement.
This is the first ever capital infusion in the current fiscal and the remaining amount of Rs 53,664 crore would be disbursed during the course of the year.
These banks have come under pressure because of interest payment to their bond holders of Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds. Banks raise capital through AT-1 bonds, which are perpetual in nature and therefore provide higher interest rate to investors. High bad loans and widening losses have made it difficult for banks to service these bonds from their own earnings.
The infusion would be part of remaining Rs 65,000 crore out of Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion over two financial years.
Social activist Swami Agnivesh was punched, kicked and verbally abused by a mob Tuesday outside a hotel in Jharkhand’s Pakur district. While Chief Minister Raghubar Das has ordered an inquiry, Agnivesh (79) said the mob included activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), which is affiliated to the BJP.
The police have registered an FIR against eight BJYM activists, including its district president, and a special investigation team was formed to probe the incident. Senior doctors in Pakur said that Agnivesh suffered minor injuries and that he was discharged soon after.
BJYM state chief Amit Singh claimed that while a protest was planned against Agnivesh, youth wing activists were not involved in the assault.
The Delhi High Court, while hearing pleas seeking to make marital rape an offence, observed that marriage does not mean that a woman is always consenting for physical relations with her husband.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar said that in a relationship like marriage, both man and woman have a right to say ‘no’ to physical relations.
“Marriage does not mean that the woman is all time ready, willing and consenting (for establishing physical relations). The man will have to prove that she was a consenting party,” the bench observed. The court in its observation disagreed with the submission of the NGO Men Welfare Trust which was opposing the plea calling for making marital rape an offence.
The court has now fixed the next date of hearing on August 8.
Earlier, Kolkata-based NGO Hridaya had also opposed the plea to make marital rape an offence, saying consent for physical relations is for all time when a person enters the institution of marriage.
Tourism Minister K J Alphons Tuesday wondered what was the problem in entrusting a private company with the task of restoring the Taj Mahal under the government’s Adopt-a-Heritage scheme if Italy can turn to a footwear firm to restore the 2000-year-old Colosseum in Rome. Talking about the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme of the tourism ministry at an event in New Delhi, he said it had run into controversy when the Red Fort was entrusted to the Dalmia Bharat Group, a cement company for maintenance, but the deal was proceeding as per plan.
The Taj Mahal is now on the list of monuments under the Adopt-a-Heritage scheme.
The scheme aims to entrust heritage sites, monuments and other tourist places to private companies, public sector undertakings and individuals for the development of tourist amenities there.
Alphons said that the scheme is a “big part of the government’s tourism policy” and encouraged NGOs and corporates to come forward and adopt more such monuments.
Unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 170 crore and over 105 kg gold were seized in a raid on premises of a high-profile road contractor in Tamil Nadu, according to the Income Tax (I-T) Department.
The raid started on Monday and continued on Tuesday on at least 20 locations associated with Nagarajan Seyyadurai, the promoter of SPK and Co, a leading company engaged in civil, road and highways construction projects in the state.
According to a statement from I-T Department, Nagarajan had admitted the undisclosed assets and explained the modus operandi of generation and acquisition of these unaccounted assets by inflating his sub-contract expenses and labour payments with the help of “accommodating” sub-contractors and labour contractors. “The main sub-contractors, the chartered accountant and the jeweller who had converted his unaccounted cash into gold were also searched,” the statement said.
A senior I-T officer said Nagarajan was a regular visitor to the state Secretariat and wielded influence in political circles. “He used to visit at least three ministers on a regular basis and was very close to the son of a top politician who has interests in state road and highway projects,” the officer said.
The use of gene editing technologies to alter the DNA of human embryos could be “morally permissible” as long as the science and its impact on society is carefully considered, a British ethics panel said on Tuesday.
Experts from UK’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics said while the law should not currently be changed to allow human genome editing to correct genetic faults in offspring, future legislation permitting it should not be ruled out.
The council urged scientists and ethics experts in the US, China, Europe and elsewhere to engage as early as possible in public debate about what human genome editing might mean.
The procedure, currently banned in the UK, could in time become available as an option for parents wanting to influence the genetic characteristics of their future child.
A gigantic 186-run partnership between Joe Root and captain Eoin Morgan helped England cruise comfortably to an eight-wicket victory over India, sealing a 2-1 ODI series win, in Headingley,
After restricting India to 256/8, both Morgan and Root made light work of the run chase on a wicket that was assisting the spinners, with Kuldeep Yadav, the chief wicket-taker for the visitors in the first game, unable to bag a single scalp. England were rarely troubled, bringing up 100 runs within the 15-over mark, making the most of some sloppy fielding by India.
Root was yet again the tormentor-in-chief, scoring a second century in as many games and becoming the top run-scorer in the series as a result. He got ample support from skipper Morgan who struck an unbeaten 88 off 108 balls.
Root finished on 100 not out as the hosts reached the victory target with more than five overs to spare after having lost both their openers by the 10th over.
India got off to a cautious start, reaching 32/1 from 10 overs, after England won the toss. But Kohli (71) and opener Shikhar Dhawan then increased the scoring rate as India took 68 from the next 10 overs. Dhawan was run out for 44 by a brilliant piece of fielding from Ben Stokes and thereafter India lost wickets at regular intervals.
The teams start a five-Test series on August 1 in Birmingham.
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The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds. – John Maynard Keynes,
The teacher asked the children in the Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into Heaven?”
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into Heaven?”
Again, the answer was, “NO!”
“Well,” the teacher continued, “then how can I get to Heaven?” In the back of the room, a 5 year old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead.”
Newsletter July 18 2018
July 18, 2018