NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2018
- MODI-PUTIN SUMMIT: ONE MORE N-POWER PLANT IN INDIA, ONE PROJECT OVERSEAS
India and Russia have reached an understanding on the setting up of a nuclear power plant with six light-water reactor units at a second site, going beyond Kudankulam in coastal Tamil Nadu where two reactors set up jointly by the two sides are currently in operational stages and four more units are slated to come up.
After the conclusion of bilateral talks, India’s ambition to expand its nuclear expertise to projects beyond its borders has also got a further boost with the two sides having reached a pact on facilitating the participation of Indian companies in Russian-designed nuclear power projects in at least one more country other than Bangladesh, where Indian companies are already participating in an upcoming project.
The two sides are also understood to have agreed to proceed with negotiations on the terms and conditions for the production of nuclear fuel assemblies in India. So far, fuel was being supplied by state-owned fuel utility JSC Tvel from Russia.
On the second location, the Russians had earlier been offered a site in West Bengal — Haripur — but agitation by landowners forced the state-government to drag its feet on land acquisition. The Department of Atomic Energy is subsequently learnt to have commenced the search for a different site.
- S-400 DEAL ANNOUNCED QUIETLY
The low-key announcement on Friday of India’s $5.43-billion purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence missile system contrasted sharply with the flourish with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande announced their April 2015 agreement to supply India 36 Rafale fighters.
Meeting the press in New Delhi, Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin avoided any mention of the S-400 during their comments to the media. Nor did the contract feature in an official Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) list of documents signed.
Eventually, India’s biggest overseas arms contract since the Rafale buy found official mention only through one brief sentence in the Indo-Russian joint statement, released by the MEA.
The joint statement noted: “The sides (New Delhi and Moscow) welcomed the conclusion of the contract for the supply of the S-400 long-range surface-to-air missile system to India.”
Reportedly, top Indian government officials disagreed on whether to risk US ire by concluding a deal that Washington has made clear it disapproves of.
Sources close to the negotiations said, while Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharman has consistently backed the S-400 purchase, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval — who is more alert to the US signalling — wanted to postpone signing the contract.
- INDIA PROTESTS PAKISTAN MINISTER SHARING STAGE WITH HAFIZ SAEED
India on Friday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a minister in the Imran Khan-led government sharing a stage with 26/11 terror attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, days after the images of the two emerged.
India pointed out that Saeed is a UN-proscribed terrorist, and the US has offered a $10-million bounty on him.\
Pakistan’s minister of religious affairs and interfaith harmony Noorul-Haq Qadri addressed the All-Parties Conference (APC) organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an umbrella coalition of more than 40 Pakistani political and religious parties that advocate conservative policies. The DPC supports “Kashmir’s freedom movement”.
Qadri was seen seated near Saeed as he addressed the APC in Islamabad on Sunday.
On Wednesday, even Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said that Qadri “should have been more sensitive” while sharing the dais with the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind.
- BSP HASN’T RULED OUT 2019 PACT: RAHUL
Snubbed by Mayawati in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Congress yesterday said it had indications the BSP chief would join an alliance for the 2019 General Election.
“Alliance in the state and alliance at the Centre are different. I think Mayawatiji has indicated that. I think in the national election the party (BSP) will come together, particularly in Uttar Pradesh. She has not ruled out an alliance for 2019. That’s the indication we have,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said. Visibly disappointed with Mayawati’s exit, Gandhi insisted her walkout from alliance talks won’t impact Congress prospects in the forthcoming MP elections.
The Congress chief also placed his party at the head of any potential coalition in 2019 when he said the Congress was the “ideological centre of the fight against RSS”.
Gandhi also said the Congress cannot and should not build cadres. “If Congress were to build a cadre like the BJP, it will become the BJP. We can have a set of people who are ideologically engrained in our philosophy. But Congress cannot and should not develop cadre system like the BJP. The aim of RSS cadres is to capture institutions and penetrate those with one idea. We believe multiple ideas should exist,” Gandhi said.
- NRC IN ASSAM: ‘THOSE EXCLUDED WON’T BE DEPORTED, MODI TOLD HASINA’
A top Bangladeshi official on Friday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has personally assured premier Sheikh Hasina that people excluded from the NRC would not be deported to the country.
“Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi personally assured our premier that those who were excluded from the list under the NRC exercise will not be sent to Bangladesh,” H T Imam, Political Adviser to Hasina, told PTI. Although Imam did not elaborate on the two premiers’ communication, he emphasised, “We have been repeatedly assured by India that no such thing (deportation) will happen to create any sort of political instability in Bangladesh, particularly when we (Bangladesh) are approaching our national elections by the end of the year.”
In New Delhi, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra did not comment. Imam said that Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, “repeatedly told us not to worry about the exercise and indeed, it should not be our concern either”. It is India’s internal affair, he added.
- CONGO DOCTOR, IS EX-HOSTAGE WIN NOBEL
Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work in fighting sexual violence in conflicts around the world.
The pair won the award “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict,” Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in unveiling the winners in Oslo, an announcement which won international praise.
Mukwege, 63, was recognised for two decades of work to help women recover from the violence and trauma of sexual abuse and rape in the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Known as “Doctor Miracle”, he is an outspoken critic of the abuse of women during war who has described rape as “a weapon of mass destruction”.
Alongside Mukwege, the committee honoured Murad, a 25-year-old Iraqi woman from the Yazidi community who in 2014 was kidnapped by Islamic State militants and endured three months as a sex slave before managing to escape. The Nobel committee said Murad had shown “uncommon courage” in recounting her own sufferings, saying she had “refused to accept the social codes that require women to remain silent and ashamed of the abuses to which they have been subjected.”
- KAVANAUGH INCHES TO SC, FINAL VOTE TODAY
President Donald Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh took a step toward joining the Supreme Court on Friday when the US Senate approved him in a preliminary vote, despite accusations of sexual misconduct against the judge.
After a bitter partisan fight, lawmakers backed Kavanaugh by 51 to 49 in a procedural vote that moved the Republican-controlled Senate toward a definitive decision on whether to confirm him.
The full confirmation vote could take place as early as Saturday. Given the result of Friday’s vote, federal appeals court judge Kavanaugh looked on track to get the lifetime job on the SC. But a change of heart by some lawmakers in the final vote would mean his confirmation could still be derailed.
- RAPE SETS OFF REVENGE ATTACKS ON UP, BIHAR MIGRANTS IN GUJARAT, 180 HELD
The Gujarat police Friday said that at least 180 people have been arrested across five districts for targeting migrants, particularly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in violent protests across the state. With the protests continuing unabated since Wednesday, several migrant workers have reportedly left the state in fear.
Protests erupted in the districts of Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Patan, Sabarkantha and Mehsana after the arrest of Ravindra Sahu, who hails from Bihar, for allegedly raping a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district last week.
Director General of Police Shivanand Jha said that “following the case of rape…people from a particular community have targeted non-Gujaratis.” The victim belongs to the Thakor community, which, according to police, has targeted migrants since the incident.
Alpesh Thakor, president of the Thakor Sena, which has been blamed for the attacks, has demanded, within 72 hours, the withdrawal of cases against members of his community who were “innocent”. “I appeal for peace to all those behind these incidents. There could be members from our community and Sena but no such instruction (to launch attacks) was given out from our side (Thakor Sena). This is to only defame us and the Sena. We are only aiming at peace and employment in the state,” said Alpesh Thakor.
He said that their target was the “state government and companies”, not individuals or a community or caste. “Despite the rule of employing 80 per cent locals companies do not follow this. The state government should ensure its proper implementation”, Thakor said.
- J&K: FIFTEEN PULL OUT OF LOCAL BODY POLLS AFTER 2 NC WORKERS KILLED
At least 15 candidates withdrew from the J&K local body polls after two workers of the National Conference, which is boycotting the polls, were shot dead and another injured by suspected militants in Srinagar’s old city Friday morning. Late evening, the house of a candidate in Hajin in north Kashmir was attacked by unidentified men who, police said, hurled “some type of substance” that set ablaze a pile of clothes. The candidate was not in the house at the time of the incident.
The J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) said the incident was “shocking and highly painful.” “Both State and Centre cannot escape the responsibility of killings in the Valley,” the JKPCC said.
- OPS MET ME, PROMISED TO JOIN ME TO OPPOSE EPS: DHINAKARAN
T T V Dhinakaran, the AIADMK rebel who now heads Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), on Friday said that Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) had made many attempts to strike a compromise deal and join his camp.
Speaking to the media, Dhinakaran said that his first meeting with OPS was in July 2017, after his release from Tihar prison in connection with a Delhi Police case. After his return, Dhinakaran said, OPS sent a message through a mutual friend seeking to meet.
“I discussed with my party leaders and decided to meet him at the friend’s house. I think it was July 12. During the meeting, OPS said he made a mistake (by leaving the party challenging party chief Sasikala in early 2017). He said he was in a hurry. He said he would speak to his MLAs and others, promised that he would join me to oppose Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. I never wanted to tell anyone except my party leaders. OPS is an old friend, elder to me, he was in party much before I joined,” Dhinakaran said.
When asked why he was revealing this now, Dhinakaran said OPS had been making statements against him and the Sasikala family while privately trying to strike a deal.
- THREE COPS PROTEST ARREST OF CONSTABLE WHO SHOT DEAD APPLE STAFFER, SUSPENDED
Three Lucknow policemen were suspended Friday for wearing black armbands to work in protest against the arrest of constable Prashant Chaudhary who allegedly shot dead Apple executive Vivek Tiwari in the city last week. Station House Officers of three police stations were also being removed for lack of supervision, police said.
Police swung into action after photographs of the constables sporting black armbands began doing the rounds of social media. Initially, police tried to play down the incident, saying the photographs had been morphed. But as the day progressed, an inquiry was ordered.
- RBI HOLDS INTEREST RATES, WARNS OF INFLATION UPSWING
The RBI yesterday left key rates unchanged though it warned that rising global oil prices and tightening financial markets threatened economic growth and could increase inflation.
The six-member Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI voted to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. The reverse repo rate (6.25%) and the Cash Reserve Ratio (4%) also stand unchanged.
Later, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said the MPC voted 5:1 in favour of maintaining status quo while only one member, Chetan Ghate, voted for a 0.25% hike.
The central bank had raised rates by 0.25% at the last two meetings. “The MPC reiterates its commitment to achieving the medium-term target for headline inflation of 4% on a durable basis,” its resolution after the three-day meet said.
The RBI Governor said emerging markets were facing headwinds from rising crude oil prices. The RBI’s forex reserves, he said, was sufficient to finance 10 months of imports. The recent fall in rupee was moderate compared to that of other emerging markets, he said.
Equity markets racked up heavy losses for the third straight session yesterday. The Sensex declined by a massive 1,850.15 points or 5.10%, and the Nifty lost 614 points or 5.5%, this week.
- HC ACQUITS SUHAIB ILYASI IN WIFE’S MURDER CASE
The Delhi High Court on Friday acquitted former TV serial producer Suhaib Ilyasi, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court for murdering his wife in 2000
A Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel set aside the trial court order of December 2017, wherein Ilyasi was convicted and sentenced to life for stabbing his wife Anju to death. It held that the prosecution had failed to prove his guilt, while allowing the TV anchor’s challenge to the trial court’s order.
The trial court had on December 20, 2017, sentenced Ilyasi, who had shot into limelight after hosting TV crime show “India’s Most Wanted”, to life term for stabbing his wife to death, saying he “committed murder and gave it a colour of suicide”.
Ilyasi has claimed that the police had not collected any material for three months after the incident and there was no evidence to charge him with murder. The police had claimed that he had misled the investigating agency, proving his involvement in the crime.
- WARNE GIVES THUMBS UP TO ‘BODYLINE’ SKIPPER JARDINE
Australian great Shane Warne has endorsed one of the most controversial figures in cricketing history. Warne, Test cricket’s second-most prolific wicket-taker with 708 scalps, revealed his admiration for Douglas Jardine, who led England’s “Bodyline” tour, in his new book No Spin published this week.
Warne said he believed Jardine was among the best captains ever to have played the game. “Douglas Jardine, of course, for what he achieved against Bradman and having the courage to change the game’s parameters,” Warne wrote.
Jardine is generally regarded as a villain in Australian cricketing circles. His tactics of instructing fast bowlers, led by Harold Larwood, to aim at batsmen’s bodies — in a bid to curb run machine Donald Bradman — provoked anger amongst the host nation at the time.
Jardine’s tactics worked and England won the series 4-1 but Australians regarded it as unsporting. He was mercilessly hounded by Sydney crowds.
But Warne, who called for Australia to use Bodyline tactics against England last year, backed the captain.
- RONALDO RAPE ALLEGATION HITS JUVENTUS SHARES, NIKE WORRIED
US sportswear giant Nike says it is “deeply concerned” by rape allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo and shares of Italian champions Juventus fell over five percent on the Italian stock exchange on Friday. Ronaldo’s coach at Juventus, Massimiliano Allegri, said the striker is “doing well” and is “ready to play” when the Turin giants travel to Udinese in Serie A on Saturday.
But the player’s relationship with Nike, which is rumoured to be worth $1 billion dollars is under scrutiny after police in Las Vegas announced this week they were reopening an investigation into allegations made by a former model, Kathryn Mayorga, relating to an incident in 2009.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” said a Nike spokesman.
According to Forbes magazine, Ronaldo is one of the only three athletes to have been given a lifetime deal with Nike, joining an elite club that also includes NBA icons LeBron James and Michael Jordan.
- RAJKOT TEST, DAY 2: AFTER AN INDIAN RUNATHON, A WINDIES TOP ORDER COLLAPSE
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja ravaged a clueless West Indian attack with strokeful hundreds as India headed towards a demolishing win with a near-perfect performance on Day 2 of the first Test. The hosts piled up 649/9 in their first innings before reducing West Indies to 94/6 in 29 overs at the draw of stumps.
After Prithvi Shaw’s debut ton on Day 1, skipper Kohli (139) and Jadeja (100 not out) made hundreds as India put up a mammoth 649/9 before declaring at tea. It was a maiden Test ton for Jadeja, who had to wait for almost six years to reach the three-figure in the five-day format.
In reply, West Indies were in all sorts of trouble, first against pacer Mohammad Shami (2/11) and then the spinners, who cleaned up their middle order.
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- THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy
- OFF TRACK
The district attorney was cross-examining the murderess on the witness stand.
“And so after you had poisoned the coffee and your husband sat at the breakfast table partaking of the fatal dosage, didn’t you feel any qualms? Didn’t you feel the slightest pity for him knowing that he was about to die and was wholly unconscious of it?”
“Yes,” she answered. “Come to thik of it…there was just a moment when I sort of felt sorry for him.”
“And, when was that?”
“When he asked for the second cup.”