NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2018
Hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the Union government and the Lt Governor were violating the Supreme Court order by refusing to hand control of the Services department to his government, the Centre Friday said it would be against the law to take a final view on the Services matter since it was still pending before the top court.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal too made it clear that he would retain control of the Services department unless the regular bench of the Supreme Court rules on the 2015 notification of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that authorised him to decide on transfers and postings of bureaucrats in the Delhi government.
A spokesperson for the MHA, responding to Kejriwal’s allegation, said: “The MHA has not advised L-G to ignore any part of SC order. This is a misleading statement. The MHA has only advised the L-G, based on a reference received from him, to follow the law.”
“This advice is based on Ministry of Law’s opinion that the Constitution Bench has clearly ordered that the matter be placed before the appropriate regular Bench. In fact, it would be against the law to take a final continued view on matter related to Services which is still pending before the regular Bench. This is also in accordance with the Proviso to Article 145(3) of the Constitution,” the spokesperson said.
Comparing Indian economy to a “rudderless boat” on choppy water, the Congress on Friday claimed that the Union Finance Ministry has “fallen between two stools”.
“The Finance Ministry has fallen between two stools…. You have an acting Finance Minister and you have a pretending Finance Minister. The acting one does not know whether he is acting, and the pretending one does not know whether he is pretending,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said. “And, therefore, the economy is like a rudderless boat on a very choppy ocean.”
He said, “It is time the NDA government and the PM realise the consequences the country will have to face because of their mal-governance and maladministration of the Indian economy.” Referring to incidents of lynching, he said, “In the past one year, 27 people have been lynched across nine states. When lynching becomes the overriding headline day after day…it clearly shows that as long as there is social discord there cannot be any economic development, howsoever the government may try and window-dress its economic achievements.”
Referring to a June 2013 tweet by then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, stating that there is a competition between the Congress and the rupee on who will fall lower, Tewari said, “The rupee that day was trading at 59.27 to the dollar. Five years later, almost to the date, the rupee has been hovering around 69 to a dollar. And that is the lowest the rupee has ever fallen…. So we would like to tell the PM that there seems to be a competition between the BJP and the rupee on who will fall lower.”
He said while data put out by the RBI suggests that deposit growth in banks has slowed down by 7.59 per cent year on year, revised data of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) show that enrolment numbers have come down.
Tewari said, “Prime Minister Modi had used the EPFO data to claim that in 2017-18, 70 lakh new jobs had been created. He had based his assertions on a study which was carried out by some economist…. Now the revised data show that between September and March 2017-18, EPFO enrolment actually fell by 12.58 per cent. In absolute terms, it fell by 4.95 lakh…. We would like to ask the PM that if on the basis of this data you were asserting that 70 lakh new jobs had been created, then are you prepared to concede, now that the data has been revised, it means that either people have become unemployed or that the (earlier) data was incorrect?”
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has publicly ruled out deporting Islamic preacher Zakir Naik so long as he desists from creating any problem for Malaysians.
“As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” Mahathir told a media conference in Kuala Lumpur in response to questions.
The statement is being perceived as a diplomatic blow to India’s efforts to bring Naik, accused of inciting people to terrorism, although New Delhi feels the option of extradition is still open. Extradition is a judicial matter, unlike deportation which is an executive decision.
Naik makes provocative speeches but is yet to be linked to any specific terror plot. Interpol has turned down an Indian request to issue a red-corner notice against him on the ground of insufficient evidence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a brief halt in Kuala Lumpur on May 31 to meet the newly elected Mahathir. Some media reports had recently suggested that Malaysia was planning to deport Naik. Amid the reports about Naik being sent back, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said on Thursday that New Delhi’s request for Naik’s extradition “is under active consideration of the Malaysian side. Our high commission in Kuala Lumpur is in regular touch with the relevant Malaysian authorities in this regard.”
It is in this context that journalists had asked Mahathir about the preacher on Friday.
The Supreme Court on Friday reaffirmed that the Chief Justice of India was the “master of the roster”, rejecting a plea from jurist Shanti Bhushan who said the five-judge collegium should collectively allot cases as a shield against possible arbitrary allocations by the CJI.
The bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said in separate but concurring judgments that although the Chief Justice constitutes benches and allocates cases, he has no control over the proceedings and should not be accused of bias. “The power of the Chief Justice does not extend to regulating the functioning of a particular bench to decide cases… once the cases are allocated to that bench,” the judgment said.
The subject had aroused public curiosity after an unprecedented news conference on January 12 by four members of the then collegium, who accused Chief Justice Dipak Misra of arbitrary allocation of cases. The insinuation was that Justice Misra was assigning key cases to handpicked benches to influence the outcomes.
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by an accountability court in Pakistan Friday in one of the three corruption cases against him in the high-profile Panama Papers scandal. The verdict came after the court had earlier postponed it four times in the Avenfield corruption case – pertaining to the ownership of four flats in the posh Avenfield House in London.
The Avenfield case was among the three corruption cases filed against Sharif and his children by the NAB on the Supreme Court’s orders.
The ruling came weeks before the Pakistan general elections scheduled to be held on July 25. Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir pronounced the verdict behind closed doors.
While Sharif was fined 8 million pounds his daughter Maryam was handed down a 2 million pound fine. The former prime minister has previously described the court proceedings against him as politically motivated and a judicial witchhunt.
68-year-old Sharif is in London attending to his wife Kulsoom Nawaz who was diagnosed with throat cancer last year.
At the stroke of midnight (Thursday) Washington time, the US implemented 25% duties on about $34 billion in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment, including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs. Beijing said retaliatory measures “took effect immediately”.
China did not immediately release details of the counter-tariffs but has previously said it would match the US measures dollar-for-dollar.
Today’s tariffs could just be the opening skirmishes in the trade war, as US President Donald Trump has vowed to hit as much as $450 billion in Chinese goods, the vast majority of imports.
Economists have warned that the tit-for-tat measures could throttle global growth and strike at the heart of the world trade system, causing shockwaves across the planet.
Months of dialogue between the two economic superpowers appeared to have failed, with Trump warning just hours before the tariffs came into effect that Washington was ready to impose duties on hundreds of billions of dollars more in Chinese imports.
The Rajasthan government is spending over Rs 7 crore to ferry the beneficiaries of welfare schemes to a rally that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to address here on Saturday, an official order suggests.
It adds that the money for this would come from the funds for the schemes.
The administration expects a gathering of about 2.5 lakh beneficiaries of 12 schemes run by the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state, where the party faces an Assembly election later this year.
Some 5,579 buses have been arranged to bring people to the Amrudon Ka Bagh stadium, officials said.
According to an order of the general administration department, the government will spend Rs 722.53 lakh to bring people from 33 districts to the state capital. Department joint secretary Rajeev Jain has told all the district collectors that the cost would be met from the funding for the welfare schemes. The government will pay Rs 20 per kilometre for each bus, which comes to about Rs 7.2 crore in all, the order says.
A day after Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said some Congress leaders may have a “soft corner” for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Congress on Friday said the RJD had “always been a tried and tested ally of Congress, unlike Nitish who betrayed the 2015 Assembly poll mandate” by joining hands with the BJP.
Tejashwi’s remarks came after four Congress MLAs, including the party’s legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, recently praised Nitish. Tejashwi has made it clear that the RJD could think of having an alliance with the JD (U) only after Nitish retires from politics.
The Ayodhya issue returned to centrestage Friday after the Uttar Pradesh government opposed demands to refer to a Constitution Bench a 1994 ruling of the Supreme Court which stated that “a mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open”.
In October 1994, a five-judge bench, headed by the then Chief Justice of India M N Venkatachaliah, had held that “under the Mahomedan Law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession… If that is the position in law, there can be no reason to hold that a mosque has a unique or special status, higher than that of the places of worship of other religions in secular India to make it immune from acquisition by exercise of the sovereign or prerogative power of the State. A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open. Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions in the Constitution of India”.
Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the appellants, said: “Mosques are not built for fun. There are thousands and thousands of mosques all over the world and hundreds in India. If they are not essential, why do Muslims go to mosques on Fridays. Islam is also a congregational religion… If the congregational part of Islam is taken away, a large part of Islam collapses,” he said.
Hearing will resume on July 13.
A former Thai navy diver died working to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped inside a flooded cave, highlighting the risks for rescue teams trying to find a safe way to bring the group out after 13 days underground.
Dwindling oxygen level in the cave and weather forecasts predicting heavy rain added to the pressure to work out a rescue plan. Samarn Poonan, 38, a former member of Thailand’s elite navy SEAL unit, died on Thursday night as he worked underwater in the cave complex, laying oxygen tanks along a potential exit route, the SEAL commander said.
“We won’t let his life go in vain. We will carry on,” Admiral Arpakorn Yuukongkaew said. Samarn was working with a partner placing oxygen tanks in a section of the cave. As they returned, Samarn fell unconscious about 1.5 km from the cave entrance. PM Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed his condolences over Samarn’s death but it would not deter the rescue teams, a spokesman said.
On the back of recent lynchings triggered by fake news circulating on its platform, Whatsapp has decided to look outward in search of solutions to handle misinformation.
In a first, WhatsApp yesterday commissioned a competitive set of awards to researchers interested in exploring issues related to misinformation on the application. The popular messenger service application also plans to engage law enforcers across India to help them see original news from fake.
“WhatsApp is a powerful medium for political actors to connect and communicate with their constituents. However, it can also be misused to share inaccurate or inflammatory political content. We are interested in understanding this space both from the perspective of political actors and the voter base,” a company spokesperson said.
Belgium reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 32 years by holding off five-time champion Brazil 2-1 Friday.
Belgium had taken a 2-0 lead by the 31st minute. As Belgium lost cohesiveness in the second half and Brazil’s changes stirred the team, substitute Renato Augusto reduced the deficit in the 76th with a header. But it was too late for Brazil to muster an equalizer as efforts to force the game into extra time were thwarted by Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
For the third time in a World Cup – after 1982 and 2006 – the semifinals will feature only European teams. Belgium and France will meet in St. Petersburg on Tuesday who beat Uruguay 2-0 in another quarter final match yesterday.
There is guaranteed to be a fourth straight European team winning the World Cup on July 15 in Moscow. Belgium, which finished fourth at the 1986 tournament and has never won the European Championship, will hope its golden generation can deliver its first trophy.
In the last 2 quarter final matches, to be played today, Russia take on Croatia while England take on Sweden.
Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer advanced to the Wimbledon last 16 without dropping a set after a 6-3 7-5 6-2 win over German Jan-Lennard Struff on Friday.
Federer is seeking a record ninth Wimbledon title.
Seven-times champion Serena Williams also moved ominously into the last 16 at Wimbledon when she recovered from a sluggish start to beat France’s Kristina Mladenovic 7-5 7-6(1).
However, there was no great escape for Venus Williams as the five-times champion became the latest top-10 seed to perish at Wimbledon after she was beaten 6-2 6-7(5) 8-6 in a pulsating third-round match by Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens.
The American, at 38 the oldest woman in the draw, had to recover from a set down in her first two matches but her days of living dangerously were ended by a opponent who simply would not give up.
The result meant both last year’s finalists have lost before the fourth round, with Venus following 2017 champion Garbine Muguruza out of the tournament. Her exit also continued the horror show for women’s seeds as only two of the top 10 — world No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 7 Karolina Pliskova — are still in the tournament. It is the worst showing by the women’s seeds in the professional era.
Alex Hales kept his nerve with 58 not out to see England home and square the international T20 series against India 1-1 with one to play in Cardiff on Friday. Set 149 to win off their 20 overs England needed 12 off the final over and Hales put Bhuvneshwar Kumar out of the Cardiff ground off the first ball and the second for four. A single followed and David Willey hit Kumar for the winning runs to set up the decider on Sunday. Hales made his runs from 41 balls with four fours and three sixes to get his side over the line when they were faltering. England’s big hitters at the top of the order Jos Buttler and Jason Roy were both out cheaply trying to get the early run rate up to Umesh Kumar.
Earlier, Liam Plunkett and David Willey had put the squeeze on India as the tourists were restricted to 148-5. Plunkett took 1-17 and Willey 1-18 as India were kept on a leash despite 47 from captain Virat Kohli and some late hitting from MS Dhoni who scored 32 not out and helped plunder 22 in Jake Ball’s final over
The series concludes with the third T20 game in Bristol on Sunday before three 50-over internationals and a five-match Test series.
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
It is not for our faults that we are disliked and even hated, but for our qualities. – Bernard Berenson
Three friends, one Indian, one British, one Saudi Arabian were talking over dinner…
British: Why India is called Incredible India??
Indian: I can explain…. What you would do if a newly constructed bridge breaks down crushing 20 people under it….
British: Well, the irresponsible engineer and official would be jailed for the rest of their lives, for sure.
Saudi Arabian: Irresponsible engineer and official would be shot or hanged in public for sure.
Indian: we have a very different method here in India… We will take the injured to the Hospital and we beat up the doctor if anyone dies…
British: Oh, incredible!!!
Newsletter July 7 2018
July 8, 2018