Newsletter

Newsletter Oct 2, 2018

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2018

 

BJP SEEKS SHASHI THAROOR’S APOLOGY FOR CRITICISM OF SUSHMA SWARAJ’S SPEECH AT UNGA

 Taking strong exception to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s criticism of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s UN General Assembly (UNGA) speech, saying that the scathing attack on Pakistan was aimed at sending out a message to the ruling party’s voters in India, the BJP on Monday said the Congress has lost its right to call itself the Indian National Congress or Mahatma Gandhi’s Congress.

BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi accused the Congress and its leaders of “speaking in the same language as that of Pakistan”.  Alleging that Tharoor had violated the norm that the country’s stand at the UN is not criticised domestically, Trivedi said, “How is it the Congress and its leaders always speak in the same lines as that of Pakistan? The party should clarify.”

In Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday, Tharoor had said: “Some of the things Sushma-ji said one can fully appreciate and welcome. But some of the statements were disappointing…. We get the sense that everything is about the political environment in India. And this was a speech aimed at BJP voters and sending a message to the voters, particularly on the subject of Pakistan rather than projecting a constructive and positive image of India in the world.”

 

  • TRUMP SAYS INDIA WANTS TRADE DEAL PRIMARILY TO KEEP HIM HAPPY

US President Donald Trump on Monday slammed India for the allegedly high tariffs on American products and said New Delhi wants to have a trade deal with America primarily to keep him happy.

Trump described India as a “tariff king”. After he warned against imposing similar tariffs on import of Indian products, Trump said Indians called him that they want to have a trade deal with the US.

When US officials asked Indians why they want to have a trade deal with America, Indian officials told them that they want to keep the US President happy, Trump told reporters.

 

  • IN SATYAM-LIKE MOVE, GOVT TAKES OVER IL&FS

The Central govt has taken over management control of the troubled Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) company after superseding its Board of Directors.

The new Board of Directors being put in place by the govt will be headed by Uday Kotak of Kotak Bank, who will be the non-executive chairman. Others on the board include GN Bajpai ex Sebi chief, GC Chaturvedi — ICICI Bank chairman, and three retired IAS officers — Malini Shankar, Vineet Nayyar and Nand Kishore.

The move by the govt is reminiscent of the manner in which Satyam Computers was taken over in 2009 after its promoter B Ramalinga Raju confessed to committing fraud.

According to reports, IL&FS is reeling under a debt burden of Rs 91,000 crores as on June 30 this year. The company has defaulted on interest payments which has caused panic in the stock markets.

The markets which opened in the red today gained towards the close after news of the management change of IL&FS came in.

 

  •  SC: MOB VIOLENCE A CRIME, NONE HAS RIGHT TO BE LAW UNTO ONESELF

Nobody has the right to become a “self-appointed guardian” of law as mob violence runs against the very core of legal principles signalling chaos and lawlessness, the Supreme Court said on Monday while making it clear that states have a duty to protect the citizens.

Deprecating the “disconcerting rise” in violent protests and demonstrations by private entities targeting exhibition of movies, social functions and sections of people on moral grounds, the court said such acts highlighted deeper malaise of “intolerance” towards views of others and passed a slew of directions to curb such incidents.

The verdict has come on a plea filed by Kodungallur Film Society which had highlighted the serious law and order problem that had arisen before the release of controversial movie ‘Padmaavat’.

 

 

  • CONG. SABOTAGING THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES’ OPERATIONAL READINESS: DEF MINISTER

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that her predecessor under the UPA government wrote on the file containing an agreement related to the Rafale fighter jet deal: “something not probably alright, will you please come back to me.”

A K Antony held the post until May 26, 2014. “An agreement on which, before going out of power, the then Raksha Mantri has written in the file: ‘Something is not probably alright. Will you please come back to me’,” Sitharaman told the media on Monday. “Will you ask the person (Defence minister under UPA), as to why before concluding the agreement, he wrote that… rather than ask us (about details of the deal)?”

She said, “The negotiations between Dassault Aviation and HAL did not reach a conclusion during their (UPA) regime. The question should be asked to them why it did not come through… If the then Raksha Mantri and the MoD (Ministry of Defence) had helped HAL from their respective sides, the deal could perhaps have been concluded.”

Stating that the first of the Rafale aircraft will be delivered by September 2019, Sitharaman said that under the UPA, 18 aircraft were to be obtained in fly-away condition and the remaining to be produced over a period of time. The NDA government, she said, has doubled the number. “In place of 18, we are getting 36 aircraft in fly-away condition. For the rest, we have already issued an RFI [request for information] and seven OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have approached us,” she said. Sitharaman said production of the remaining planes will take “the RFI route.”

Asked whether the Rafale controversy has dented the Modi govt’s image, she said, “It does not tarnish the govt’s image. But I am afraid that the campaign the Congress party is doing with half-truths and baseless arguments, they are almost sabotaging the Indian armed forces’ operational readiness. Strangely, it is also worrying that most of this is getting support from our not-so-friendly neighbour.”

 

 INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  • GOODBYE NAFTA, HELLO USMCA

In a big victory for his agenda to shake-up an era of global free trade that many associate with the signing of NAFTA in 1994, President Donald Trump coerced Canada and Mexico to accept a more restrictive commerce with their main export partner.

The new deal will be known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement or “USMCA.” Trump, who had long disdained NAFTA, had suggested he might call it the “USMC,” in honour of the US Marine Corps, but in the end, USMCA won out.

The new pact is aimed at bringing more jobs into the US, with Canada and Mexico accepting more restrictive commerce with the US, their main export partner. While it avoids tariffs, it will make it harder for global auto makers to build cars cheaply in Mexico and is aimed at bringing more jobs into the US.

In a joint statement, Canada and the United States said it would “result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region”.

Trump took credit for salvaging the trilateral free trade accord, marking it as a victory in his campaign to reshape global commerce as financial markets breathed a sigh of relief.

 

  • PAKISTAN CUTS CHINESE ‘SILK ROAD’ RAIL PROJECT BY $2BN DUE TO DEBT CONCERNS

Islamabad has cut the size of the biggest Chinese “Silk Road” project in Pakistan by $2 billion, railways minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Monday, citing government concerns about the country’s debt levels.

The megaproject to revamp the colonial-era line stretching 1,872 km from Karachi to the northwestern city of Peshawar was initially priced at $8.2 billion, but wrangling over costs has led to delays. The changes are part of Islamabad’s efforts to rethink key Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged about $60 billion in financing.

“Pakistan is a poor country that cannot afford huge burden of the loans,” Rasheed told a news conference in the city of Lahore. “Therefore, we have reduced the loan from China under CPEC for rail projects from $8.2 billion to $6.2 billion,” he added, referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The United States has criticised BRI projects, warning that the loans could turn into debt traps for poor countries unable to pay them money back. Beijing denies the claims, saying the loans are a win-win situation for both countries.

 

THE REST

  •  JUSTICE GOGOI ALL PRAISE FOR OUTGOING CJI DIPAK MISRA

“The independence of judiciary stands erect and that shall stand erect, and there is the collegiality amongst the brother and sister judges of the court, and the Supreme Court stands supreme, not (just) today, but in times ever to come,” outgoing Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, speaking at a farewell organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on his last day in office.

Praising the outgoing CJI, Chief Justice-designate Ranjan Gogoi said he had “displayed exemplary erudition and remarkable fortitude since his elevation to the bench in 1996”. “As a judge, his greatest contribution to Indian jurisprudence has been on issues of Constitutional significance, particularly with regard to civil liberties,” he said.

Earlier this year, on January 12, Justice Gogoi, along with three of his Supreme Court colleagues, Justices J Chelameswar (now retired), Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, had held an unprecedented press conference making public a letter they had written to outgoing CJI Misra in November, raising questions on various issues pertaining to the functioning of the court, particularly allocation of cases.

 

  •  LUCKNOW KILLING: EYEWITNESS COLLEAGUE’S VERSION

The two policemen who intercepted Apple executive Vivek Tiwari’s vehicle in Lucknow late Friday night, before one of them allegedly shot him dead, wanted them to stop and step out of the car but as one of them tried to force his cane inside the window, “Sir did not find it proper to stop” and wanted to get away from the scene, Sana Khan, eyewitness in Tiwari’s murder case, said on Monday.

She said as Tiwari tried to move ahead, the policemen’s bike fell down. “The policemen were standing on the other side. As Sir tried to move the vehicle again, the one who was riding the bike and had parked it shot at Sir. Sir drove for a few minutes and then the vehicle banged on the wall. He was bleeding profusely,” Khan said.

Stating that she had left her cellphone at home that day, and that Tiwari’s phone was locked, Khan said, “I got down — I cried, I shouted for help. Some trucks were parked on the roadside. I went to the drivers and asked them to make a call. But they said they did not have mobile phones. After about 15 minutes, a police vehicle arrived and called for an ambulance” she said.

As the ambulance was taking time, Khan said she requested the police to take Tiwari to hospital – he was subsequently taken to Lohia Hospital in the police vehicle.

  

  • DELHI HC ENDS ACTIVIST NAVLAKHA’S HOUSE ARREST

The Delhi High Court on Monday allowed Gautam Navlakha, one of the five rights activists arrested in connection with Koregaon-Bhima case, to be freed from the house arrest.

The high court granted him the relief saying that the Supreme Court last week had given him the liberty to approach the appropriate forum within four weeks to seek further recourse, which he has availed.

The high court also quashed the trial court’s transit remand order which he had challenged before the matter was taken to the apex court.

However, the court made it clear that its order will not preclude the state of Maharashtra from proceeding further.

 

  • GITA GOPINATH IS IMF’S NEW CHIEF ECONOMIST

 Harvard University professor Gita Gopinath has been appointed as the new chief economist of International Monetary Fund on Monday. She will be the second Indian to hold the position after former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan.

“Gita is one of the world’s outstanding economists, with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership, and extensive international experience,” IMF chief Christine Lagarde said. “All this makes her exceptionally well-placed to lead our Research Department at this important juncture. I am delighted to name such a talented figure as our Chief Economist.”

Gopinath is a US citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India. She is currently serving as the economic adviser to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while holding other distinguishable positions. Her appointment as Vijayan’s economic advisor had caused a stir in Kerala as her views on economic policies go against the Leftist ideology.

 

  • SUBMIT PLAN TO DELINK AADHAAR IN 15 DAYS: UIDAI TO MOBILE FIRMS 

Acting on the Supreme Court’s verdict, which struck down the requirement of linking Aadhaar to mobile phone numbers, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has given major telecom operators a fortnight to come up a plan to stop using the 12-digit ID for authentication.

In a letter sent to seven major telecom operators Monday, the parent body of Aadhaar also asked them to take “immediate cognisance” of requests to delink Aadhaar from mobile numbers “as and when such requests are received from its subscribers”.

In such cases, it said, telecom operators will have to conduct a fresh Know Your Customer (KYC) exercise using one of the ID proofs approved by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

All telecom service providers, UIDAI said, “shall immediately notify their customers the facility of delinking their Aadhaar number” and the Unique ID token — a service launched by UIDAI this year — from “their database and establish a system to accept and process such requests for delinking”.

 

  •  SABRIMALA TEMPLE: KERALA GOVT WORKS ON FACILITIES FOR WOMEN PILGRIMS

 Separate, expansive bathing ghats for women at Pamba, enhanced lighting facilities at night, special seats for women in buses and women-friendly toilets are some of the key measures the LDF government in Kerala is planning to undertake at the hill shrine of Sabarimala.

This comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Court order ending age restriction for entry of women to the hill shrine. Earlier, women in the 10-50 years age group were not allowed entry into the shrine.

Following a high-level meeting attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister for Devaswom Kadakampally Surendran, members of Travancore Devaswom Board — which manages the temple — and senior police officers on Monday, the administration listed steps it would take to implement the apex court order.

 

  •  CANCER RESEARCHERS WIN NOBEL

Two immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body’s natural defences can fight cancer, the jury said on Monday.

Unlike more traditional forms of cancer treatment that directly target cancer cells, Allison and Honjo figured out how to help the patient’s own immune system tackle the cancer more quickly. The treatment that the researchers helped develop, often referred to as “immune checkpoint therapy”, has fundamentally changed the outcome for certain groups of patients with advanced cancer.

The award-winning discovery led to treatments targeting proteins made by some immune system cells that act as a “brake” on the body’s natural defences killing cancer cells.

The Nobel Assembly said after announcing the prize in Stockholm that the therapy “has now revolutionised cancer treatment and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed”.

 

  • BCCI BROUGHT UNDER RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT

The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Monday ruled that the Indian cricket board (BCCI) should be held accountable under the RTI Act because it performs “state functions” such as selecting a cricket team to represent the country.

The BCCI has fought tooth and nail for several years to avoid being held accountable, waging a long legal battle against the CIC, which is the top appellate body in RTI matters.

Five years ago, the CIC issued a notice to the BCCI to appear before it and present its case regarding being brought under the RTI Act. The cricket board then petitioned the Madras High Court, which stayed the CIC’s notice to the BCCI in July 2013, and no further proceedings occurred in the case. The CIC on Monday ruled that the Madras High Court stay was valid only for six months.

The Law Commission ruled that the BCCI should be treated as a public authority, as it has been getting “financial assistance in other forms and manner such as granting concessions in income tax, customs duty etc, providing land at excessively subsidised rates, and allowing the use of their infrastructure among others”.

 

  •  WARNE HAS A GO AT STEVE WAUGH IN HIS NEW BOOK

Shane Warne thought of Steve Waugh as “the most selfish player” and wanted to “puke” at the “baggy green worship”. The revelations and claims come from Warne’s soon-to-be-released book ‘No Spin’, the extracts of which came out in The Times, London.

“All that worship of the baggy green — some of the guys went with it, like Lang (Justin Langer), Haydos (Matthew Hayden) and Gilly (Adam Gilchrist), but it wasn’t for me,” Warne wrote.

“They loved it but, to be honest, they made me want to puke with it half the time. I mean, wearing it at Wimbledon! Who wears a green cricket cap to Wimbledon? It was just embarrassing! Mark Waugh felt the same. I don’t need a baggy green to prove what playing for Australia means to me or to the people who watch us.”

Warne said he found Waugh to be “niggling” after taking over as captain. “…there was more to it than my performances — I think it was jealousy. He started to niggle away, telling me to look at my diet and spend more time on deciding what sort of person I wanted to be in my life, how to conduct myself – that sort of stuff. I said, ‘Mate, worry about yourself’,” he wrote.

 

  • INDICATORS

Sensex 36,526 (+299), Nifty 11,008 (+78), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 38,663

Nasdaq 8,037 (-9) Dow 26,651 (+193), S&P 2,925 (+11)

US$-Rs. 72.89 GBP-Rs. 95.06, Euro-Rs. 84.48, UAE Dhm-Rs.19.84, Can$-Rs. 56.87, Aus$- Rs. 52.62

GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.86 /US$, Jap.Yen 113.94 /US$, Aus$ 1.38 /US$, Sing 1.37 /US$, Bang Taka 82.97 /US$, Can$ 1.28 /US$, Mal Ring 4.13 /US$,

Pak Re 123.22 /US$, Phil Peso 54.09 /US$, Russian Rouble 65.39 /US$, NZ$ 1.51 /US$, Thai Baht 32.21 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 28.08 /US$

Bitcoin – USD 6,540

Dollar Index 94.92 Brent Crude 85.01 BDI 1555

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,191 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3003 / 2915, Silver (Rs. Per KG) 41,100

 

  • THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions. – Leonardo da Vinci

  • OFF TRACK

I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven’s door,

Not by the beauty of it all, by the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven who made me sputter and gasp,

the thieves, the liars, the sinners, the alcoholics, the trash.

I nudged the angel, “What’s the deal? I would love to hear your take.

How’d all these sinners get up here? God must’ve made a mistake.

And why’s everyone so quiet, so somber? Give me a clue.”

“Hush, child,” said he. “They’re all in shock. No one thought they’d see you.”

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