NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 2018
The ongoing BJP-TMC stand-off over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft in Assam refused to abate for the third consecutive day, with the issue echoing sharply in Parliament on Thursday.
As vociferous TMC members forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha post-lunch, protests were witnessed in the Lok Sabha after a team of party of leaders, including MPs and MLAs from West Bengal, was restricted inside the Silchar airport on arrival Thursday afternoon and later taken into preventive detention by the Assam Police. The TMC team was there to hold meetings with a cross-section of people over the publication of the NRC final draft.
The Assam Police further filed two FIRs against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her alleged instigating remarks that threatened unity and attempted to create unrest in the state.
TMC members trooped into the well of House raising slogans soon after the House assembled to discuss farmers’ issue. They said their concerns over the NRC had not been addressed by the government in the House.
They sought a reply from Home Minister Rajnath Singh amid sloganeering. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the minister was present in the House on Wednesday, but TMC members prevented him from giving a reply.
Meanwhile, Assam DGP Kuladhar Saikia said the TMC delegation was barred from coming out of the Silchar airport as Section 144, CrPC, was imposed in the town and that the team had been warned by the administration about the prohibition in force.
The 40,07,707 people left out in the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will get an opportunity to provide fresh sets of documents to present their credentials during the upcoming claims-and-objections process. This is unlike the process adopted so far where the first choice of documents could not be changed.
“If you choose a particular document, or I would rather say, a particular legacy at one time, then during (the past) procedure, you (couldn’t) change that. However, at the time of claims and objections, we will start afresh again and we will allow any fresh document to be submitted completely or partly,” says Prateek Hajela, the Supreme Court-mandated state coordinator of the NRC.
Hajela’s remarks hold significance given that the Supreme Court has asked the Government to provide by the middle of this month the standard operating procedure for the claims-and-objections process scheduled from August 30 to September 28.
Switzerland’s highest court has allowed tax authorities to turn over bank account details of two Indian citizens who had fought the release on the grounds that India’s request for assistance in a tax-dodging probe arose from stolen bank data.
The case involved information leaked by whistleblower Herve Falciani, a French citizen who worked for HSBC’s Swiss private bank and in 2008 disclosed details on thousands of clients he suspected were using accounts to evade tax.
Falciani’s leak forced Swiss courts to grapple with requests from other countries to help prosecute suspected tax dodgers whose Swiss accounts came to light. Last year, the Swiss supreme court rejected a French request for help in investigating a married couple for tax offences, ruling that data stolen from HSBC’s Geneva private bank was inadmissible.
But in a verdict released on Thursday, the Federal Court ruled that India should get access to the client data it sought. Unlike in the French case, it noted, India made no explicit statements about whether it got the data legally and got the data from another country rather than from Falciani directly.
Pakistan said on Thursday that no foreign leader will be invited to the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as the prime minister in-waiting wants to keep the event very simple and dignified.
The 65-year-old leader is expected to take oath on August 11.
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said a simple ceremony will be held at the President House for which no date has been fixed.
“No dignitary from abroad except a few close friends of Chairman PTI Imran Khan would attend the simple and dignified oath-taking at Aiwan-e-Sadar (President House),” said Faisal.
Imran Khan has extended invitations to former Indian cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood star Aamir Khan for the ceremony.
California and 18 other US states said on Thursday they would sue to stop a Trump administration proposal to weaken Obama-era federal fuel efficiency standards, arguing the US has an obligation to protect the environment for future generations.
The administration billed the rollback it announced on Thursday, which would also revoke California’s authority to set its own strict vehicle emissions rules, as a way to lower auto prices for consumers. Critics said it would accelerate climate change and increase fuel prices.
The 19 states, and Washington D.C, announced what is likely to be a legal showdown over the proposal.
“We are prepared to go to court to put the brakes on this reckless and illegal plan,” the coalition of states attorneys, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, said in a news release. The states that have adopted California’s emission rules together make up about one third of the U.S. auto market.
The auto industry is pushing for a negotiated settlement between states and the administration to lift uncertainty over the kinds of cars and trucks they will need to produce for the American market in the coming years.
Pope Francis has changed Catholic Church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published on Thursday that it is always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans.
The Vatican said Pope Francis had approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church — the compilation of official Catholic teaching. Previously, the catechism said the church didn’t exclude recourse to capital punishment “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”
The new teaching, contained in Catechism No. 2267, says the previous policy is outdated, that there are other ways to protect the common good, and that the church should instead commit itself to working to end capital punishment.
The Supreme Court on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of Muzaffarpur shelter home rapes and issued notices to the Bihar Government and the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
It directed the investigating agency (CBI) to take assistance of professional counsellors and qualified child psychiatrists for questioning the victims.
The Bench took suo motu cognisance after receiving a letter by one Ranvijay Kumar from Patna, highlighting the plight of girls in the Muzaffarpur shelter home for the destitute where dozens of inmates were allegedly sedated and raped. Many girls were found missing and it’s alleged that those who resisted rape were killed.
The shelter home was run by a local NGO, Seva Sankalp and Vikas Samiti. NGO owner Brajesh Thakur has since been arrested.
The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has told a special court, in Ahmedabad, hearing the 2002 Naroda Gam massacre case that BJP chief Amit Shah’s statement defending one of the main accused and former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani is “not believable” and should not be considered.
In September last year, Shah had appeared as a defence witness for Kodnani, who had requested the court to summon him to prove her alibi—that she was present in the Assembly and later at the Sola Civil Hospital on the day the 2002 riots broke out and not at Naroda Gam.
Special Public Prosecutor Gaurang Vyas told Justice MK Dave on Wednesday that Shah’s statement defending Kodnani was irrelevant, as it was made after a long delay.
“Shah’s statement is not believable, as none of the other accused mentioned about her presence at the Sola Civil Hospital,” Vyas told the court. The matter will now be heard on Friday.
Shah had told the court that he met Kodnani in the Gujarat Assembly in Gandhinagar and later at the Sola Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad on the day the riots occurred.
The CBI has registered a murder case against Army Major Vijay Singh Balhara and seven others for the killing of a 12-year-old boy in Manipur in an alleged encounter in 2009, the agency said on Thursday.
The CBI named Maj Balhara in an FIR filed on Tuesday against the accused in the death of Azad Khan, a Class VII student with no criminal record. Balhara was attached with Assam Rifles and was heading a team when the alleged encounter took place.
The CBI’s move comes after the Supreme Court on July 14 directed the agency to go through the records of the case, lodge necessary FIR and complete the investigation on the basis of a report submitted by the Justice Santosh Hegde Commission.
Khan’s father Wahid Ali, a resident of Phoubakchao village in Manipur, had deposed before the commission that his son was killed by security personnel in a staged encounter after rounding him up from his home on March 4, 2009.
Terming Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code as “manifestly arbitrary”, the Supreme Court on Thursday raised questions over desirability of the law on adultery, saying it treated a woman as a “chattel” as it required her to get husband’s consent to have sexual relationship with another man. “If there is consent of husband, then there is no adultery, which is absurd. This is another indicator of gender bias in which a woman is considered as chattel,” said a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that includes Justices Rohinton F Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra
According to Section 497 of IPC, whosoever has sexual intercourse with the wife of another man is guilty of adultery, which is punishable. It says the woman in question can’t be punished as an abettor.
An Italy-based NRI, Joseph Shine, has challenged the provision, terming it “unjust, illegal and arbitrary and violative of citizens’ fundamental rights.”
While hearing on petitions challenging constitution validity of Section 497 IPC, the top court said, “Definitely the matrimonial sanctity aspect is there, but the way the provisions are enacted or made run counter to Article 14 (Right to Equality of the Constitution).”
Coming down heavily on central and state agencies probing the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the Bombay High Court Thursday said the authorities are showing no urgency despite the country witnessing a “tragic phase” where one cannot speak or move around freely.
A bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and Bharati Dangre said it was not satisfied with the probe and returned the ‘confidential reports’ submitted by the Maharashtra state CID and the CBI with an observation that there was nothing confidential in those reports.
The bench observed that one was witnessing a “tragic phase” in the country where one could not even speak or move around freely, and yet, the authorities in the above cases had failed to show urgency, or make concrete progress, in probing the killings.
Dabholkar was shot dead on August 20, 2013 in Pune while on his morning walk. Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and succumbed to his injuries a few days later on February 20.
The CBI and the state CID are probing the killings of Dabholkar and Pansare, respectively.
In a major setback to the prosecution in the rape case against Kerala Catholic priest Robin Vadakkuncheril, the victim, who is prime witness in the case, and her mother, the second witness, have turned hostile and stated in court that she had consensual sex with the priest.
The victim also told the court that she wants to marry Vadakkuncheril.
Special prosecutor Beena Kaliyath said the victim told the designated POCSO court in Thalassery, when the trial began on Wednesday, that she was not a minor when she had consensual sex with the accused.
The prosecution has chargesheeted Vadakkuncheril and nine others in the case, which was reported last year.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said the “culture of banning books” must go since it hinders “the flow of ideas”. It prima facie felt there was nothing objectionable in the Malayalam novel Meesha, authored by S. Hareesh, which a petition has accused of denigrating women, particularly Brahmin women.
“This culture of banning books cannot be countenanced as it directly impacts the flow of ideas, unless it hits Section 292 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code),” Chief Justice Dipak Misra told N. Radhakrishnan, counsel for the petitioner.
Section 292 deals with “obscene” materials.
Hareesh had last month abruptly withdrawn the novel, which the Malayalam weekly Mathrubhumi had just started serialising, after fringe outfits alleged that Meesha insulted Hindu traditions and women.
On Thursday, while declining to ban Meesha, the apex court asked Mathrubhumi to place before it within five days an English translation of select portions from the novel.
As its stock price crossed $207.05 on Thursday, Apple became the first company in the world to be valued at $1 trillion on above.
Last week, analysts were betting on Amazon to reach the mark first — it has to cross $2060.89; it is at $1,828.57 now. But Apple’s positive performance in Q3 gave it the push Amazon did not get.
Vivek Wadhwa, technology entrepreneur, academic and author, says it is a more creditable win for the innovative Apple compared to the aggressive Amazon. “Amazon is a predator that is eating every industry in its path, while Apple has set new standards for the industry in product design for the very rich. I would give greater credit to Apple for its achievements.”
Is the next trillion, for instance, going to be easier? “It is surely going to be harder for Apple because it has to keep innovating. Amazon can use its monopoly powers to eat everything in its path,” explains Wadhwa.
Wadhwa warns that Amazon is “a danger for India”. “With the immense power it has, it can dominate several industries; it has more money and power than governments do,” he says, adding that it could rival the East India Company in its ability to dominate.
Virat Kohli moved down the track. He walked across to the off. He stood outside the crease. He took an off-stump guard. He stood on the crease. Incredibly, he almost never stretched fully forward. He was here, there, everywhere. A moving target; no wonder England bowlers couldn’t take a proper aim.
The cricket lore overflows with instances of a batsman making one big adjustment or sacrificing a shot. Tendulkar not playing the cover drive in Sydney, Gavaskar deciding to hook everything that Marshall and Holding pelted down at his throat, Hayden sweeping away like a man possessed – but rarely, if ever, has a batsman strung together so many little adjustments in a single innings.
There was just one constant: a fiery ambition to drag along his team. The streetfighter who is forever looking for a sports brawl, wasn’t ready to give an inch.
This was the story of the day. Kohli came in at no. 4, was the last man out and scored 149. The next highest score among the Indian was 26. He dragged the team score from 59/3 to 100/5 to 182/8 to 217/9 to 274 all out, falling just 13 short of England’s first innings total.
The last wicket partnership with Umesh Yadav lasted 74 balls and produced 57 runs. Kohli faced 58 of those balls and scored 52 of those runs.
Scores at end of day 2: England 287 & 9/1; India 274
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu sailed into the quarterfinals with straight-game wins but it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth at the badminton World Championships. Saina downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 21-16 21-19 to set up a meeting with Carolina Marin of Spain.
Sindhu, seeded third, eased past ninth seed Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea 21-10 21-18 in another third round clash. Sindhu will next play eighth seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
B Sai Praneeth also eased into the quarterfinals with a comfortable 21-13 21-11 win over Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. He will next take on sixth seed Kento Momota.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also stood one step away from a medal after pulling off a stunning 20-22 21-14 21-6 victory over the Malaysian world No.7 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
However, fifth seed Srikanth’s dream of winning a medal came crashing down after he was outwitted 18-21 18-21 by the experienced Malaysian Daren Liew in a 41-minute clash.
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Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it. – David Starr Jordan
An old man went to the college that he went to when he was a youth. He knocked on room number 3 of the hostel and said, “May I come in. I lived in this very room thirty years ago when I studied in this college.”
A young man opened the door and let him in. The old man examined the room, fondly remembering everything.
He said, “The same old room, the same old wooden table, the ventilator and the same old window that opens to the garden. And the same old bed.”
When examining it he found a young girl under the bed.
The young man got alarmed and said, “Don’t mistake me. She is my sister. She dropped her ear ring and is searching for it.”
The old man said, “And the same old story…”
Newsletter Aug 3 2018
August 3, 2018