2019, February, January`, Newsletter

Newsletter Issue Jan 30, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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RETURN ‘NON-DISPUTED’ AYODHYA LAND TO ORIGINAL OWNERS: CENTRE TO SC

The centre yesterday moved the Supreme Court for permission to return
67.390-acre “non-disputed” land acquired by it in 1993 around the disputed
Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya to its original owners.

In an application filed in the top court, the Ministry of Home Affairs
requested it to modify its March 31, 2003 order to maintain status quo on
surplus land until resolution of the dispute.

The Centre said the 0.313 acre plot-on which the disputed structure stood
before December 6, 1992 demolition-was within the 2.77 acre disputed
premises. The PV Narasimha Rao government had acquired 67.703 acre-including
the 2.77 acre-through a law in 1993. The acquisition was upheld by the
Supreme Court in 1994 in Ismail Faruqui’s case in which it had said if the
Centre wanted to return the acquired land to its original owners, it may.

Seeking modification of the 2003 order, the MHA application pointed out that
instead of “confining the order of status quo to the disputed land” the
Supreme Court had extended the restraining order to adjacent acquired land
as well. It said the status quo on non-disputed acquired land was to be
maintained only till the Allahabad High Court decided the title suits. The
order should have been confined to the disputed land only, it added.

FIREBRAND REBEL TO DEFENCE MINISTER, GEORGE FERNANDES PASSES AWAY

The end for George Fernandes, the 88-year-old firebrand socialist politician
and hero of the Emergency, was tragic and lonely. Seven years ago, a court
order placed him in the care of his estranged wife, Leila Kabir Fernandes,
and his son, Sean, with whom he had parted ways over two decades earlier.
After several applications to the court, his long-time companion, Jaya
Jaitly, his brothers in Karnataka and old party workers were permitted to
meet him on occasion. But the issue had become irrelevant by then. A
physically debilitated Fernandes, a victim of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
disease, was unable to converse or even recognise the faces of his old
friends and companions.

The fragile invalid, whose breathing slowly ebbed away on Tuesday morning,
was a far cry from the stormy petrel of the trade union movement who could
bring the city of Mumbai to a complete halt by his call for a hartal back in
the ’60s. He was also the man behind the 20-day nationwide railway strike in
1974, which threatened to paralyse the country.

In 1977, Prime Minister Morarji Desai appointed the capitalist-baiting
Fernandes as Industries Minister in 1977. Not surprisingly, multinationals
like IBM and Coca Cola were asked to leave the country.

Fernandes was the Defence Minister when India carried out five nuclear bomb
test explosions at Pokharan, and when the Pakistanis infiltrated the Kargil
region and were later defeated by the Indian Army.

Later, following a sting operation by Tehelka magazine, Fernandes was
accused of being involved in a defence scam. He resigned his ministership
after the Congress raised a hue and cry, but was later brought back when an
inquiry commission could find nothing incriminating against him. The
Congress also tried to drag him into a row over the import of caskets, but
he was absolved of wrongdoing.

Fernandes was forgotten in the last years of his life, but, after his death,
many who had ignored him for long came forward to pay tribute.

RAHUL GANDHI REPEATS HIS CHARGES AGAINST PM MODI, THIS TIME IN KOCHI

Taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal,
Congress president Rahul Gandhi told party workers and leaders in Kochi on
Tuesday that former Defence minister and incumbent Goa CM Manohar Parrikar
had stated that he has nothing to do with the “new deal orchestrated by Mr
Narendra Modi”.

“Friends, ex-defence minister Mr Parrikar clearly stated that he has nothing
to do with the new deal that was orchestrated by Mr Narendra Modi to benefit
Anil Ambani,” Rahul said.

Addressing a convention of party leaders from the booth-level upward, Rahul
said, “The result of this crime is that thousands of young Indians who could
have got high-paid jobs in HAL will not get a job today. No defence
capability is going to be built in India.”

“The first thing we will do when we win the Lok Sabha election is to pass
the Women’s Reservation Bill in Parliament. We want to see women in
positions of leadership,” Rahul said.

Criticising the “fundamentally flop” GST, Rahul said, “The moment we come to
power in 2019, we are going to restructure the Gabbar Singh tax (GST). We
will redesign the GST so that it is an asset for the country rather than a
liability.”

The major chunk of Rahul’s speech was targetted at Prime Minister Modi.

Recalling that liberalisation, telecom and computer revolutions undertaken
by previous Congress governments had transformed the country, Rahul said,
“Modi has spent five years wasting the country’s time, telling one lie after
another.

“The former president of France told the press clearly that he was told by
the Indian Prime Minister to give the Rafale deal to Ambani. Why was the man
who does not have any experience in aircraft-making given the deal?” The
answer, he told the meeting, is that the “PM of India is corrupt. He is
protecting himself when he removed the chief of CBI and ensured that no
inquiry is carried out.”

PAKISTAN FOREIGN MINISTER SHAH MAHMOOD QURESHI CALLS UP MIRWAIZ UMAR FAROOQ

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday dialled All Parties
Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to brief him on “the
efforts of the government of Pakistan to highlight the gross human rights
violations” in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the first time that the new
government in Pakistan, under Prime Minister Imran Khan, has reached out to
the Hurriyat.

Qureshi also informed the Hurriyat leader about events being organised in
London, including at the House of Commons and an exhibition on February 4-5,
where these issues will be highlighted. Official sources in Delhi say that
it is “extremely unusual” for a top Pakistan government representative to
call Hurriyat leaders directly, and said that they do not recall any such
conversation in the last decade. Usually, they said, Pakistani
representatives meet Hurriyat leaders while visiting India, and the Ministry
of External Affairs is kept in the loop.

The NDA government, however, has drawn a red line on meetings between
visiting Pakistan representatives and Hurriyat leaders over the last
four-and-half years, even leading to the cancellation of talks at the level
of Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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BREXIT: MPs BACK MAY’S BID TO CHANGE DEAL

British MPs have backed seeking “alternative arrangements” to replace the
Irish backstop in Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan. May had urged
MPs to vote in favour of it, to give her a mandate to return to Brussels and
re-open negotiations in order to secure a “legally binding change”.

But the EU has said it will not change the legal text agreed with the UK PM.

MPs voted on a string of amendments to Mrs May’s plan to change the
direction of Brexit.

Mrs May said that, after taking the votes into account and talking to the
EU, her revised deal would be brought back to the Commons “as soon as
possible” for a second “meaningful vote”.

Another amendment, rejecting a no-deal Brexit, also won the support of
Parliament on Tuesday, but the vote was not binding – meaning the date for
exit remains 29 March.

VENEZUELA BARS SELF-DECLARED PRESIDENT GUAIDO FROM LEAVING COUNTRY

Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice barred self-declared president Juan
Guaido from leaving the country and froze his bank accounts Tuesday, as
leader Nicolas Maduro seeks to neutralize the American-backed opposition
chief.

The 35-year-old head of the National Assembly legislature “is prohibited
from leaving the country until the end of the (preliminary) investigation”
for having “caused harm to peace in the republic,” high court president
Maikel Moreno said.

The court is stacked with Maduro loyalists.

Guaido shrugged off Maduro’s efforts to choke his progress as “nothing new.”
“I’m not dismissing the threats, the persecution at this time, but we’re
here, we’re continuing to do our jobs,” he told reporters as he arrived at
the National Assembly.

PAKISTAN’S SUPREME COURT REJECTS CHALLENGE TO ASIA BIBI ACQUITTAL

Pakistan’s Supreme Court rejected Tuesday a challenge against its decision
to acquit Asia Bibi, lifting the last legal hurdle in the years-long
blasphemy case and potentially paving the way for the Christian mother to
leave the country.

“Based on merit, this review petition is dismissed,” Chief Justice Asif
Saeed Khosa told a hearing at Pakistan’s highest court, which overturned Ms.

Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy last year.

The ruling ignited immediate calls from activists to allow her to leave the
country, where she remains a prime target with the government refusing to
reveal her whereabouts and Islamist extremists calling for her murder.

Speculation is rampant that she will seek asylum in Canada, and unconfirmed
Pakistani reports claim her children have already fled there.

“She should now be free to reunite with her family and seek safety in a
country of her choice,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

THE REST

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‘PUBG-WALA HAI KYA’, PM ASKS WORRIED MOTHER ABOUT SON’S GAMING ADDICTION

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a growing concern for parents about
online gaming addiction during the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha 2.0’ Talkatora
Stadium in New Delhi on Tuesday.

During a question and answer session with Prime Minister Modi, a worried
mother asked him how she could deal with her son, who was studying in Class
9 and was always distracted by online gaming.

The ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ or ‘PUBG’ game is an addictive game
available on smartphones and computers.

He added: “Board exam is not the exam for life. Board exam is just like any
other exam. Kuch khilaune ke tootne se bachpan nahi marta (some broken toys
don’t lead to a broken childhood)… It (board exam) doesn’t stop our lives.
But exams are important for us”.

The Prime Minister said children shouldn’t be kept away from technology. “If
we want our kids to turn away from technology, they will fall behind,” Modi
said.

MAYAWATI SLAMS RAHUL GANDHI FOR MINIMUM INCOME PROMISE

BSP chief Mayawati on Tuesday called Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s
promise of minimum income guarantee if his party comes to power unreal and
suspicious.

“The country is surprised and suspicious with the Congress party
announcement.that if this is a cruel joke similar to that of ‘garibi hatao’
slogan by previous government and present government’s ‘acche din’ by
bringing back black money and providing Rs 15-20 lakh to every poor
(person),” read a statement issued by her office.

It further said, “Before making any such promise to the country, Congress
president should have properly implemented those policies of people welfare
in Congress-ruled states, mainly Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh. This is so that people can trust that these (policies) can be
successfully implemented.and the announcements are not just cheating.when it
comes to trust, both BJP and Congress have such a record that people cannot
easily trust them.”

“What was the result of the much talked slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ by the
Indira Gandhi government.people already have that example in front of them.
All promises by BJP and Congress related to end the suffering of farmers and
free them from the compulsion to commit suicide, have just proved to be mere
cheating. Both Congress and BJP should not make any promise to the crores of
poor, labourers, farmers and unemployed which they cannot fulfil,” it said.

AMIT SHAH CLAIMS CHIT-FUND OWNERS BUYING MAMATA’S PAINTINGS; TMC ISSUES
DEFAMATION NOTICE

BJP president Amit Shah launched a scathing attack against the Trinamool
Congress government in West Bengal on Tuesday claiming Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee’s paintings were brought by chit fund owners for crores of rupees.

Vowing to uproot the TMC government in West Bengal, he said if the BJP
formed the next government in the state, it would ensure that each and every
defrauded investor in chit funds got back their money.

Shah said at his rally: “Are you all aware of Mamata Banerjee’s qualities?
She is a very good painter. Even if someone is a great painter, how much
would his paintings cost? (Rs) 10,000, (Rs) 20,000, (Rs) one lakh or (Rs) 10
lakh. But her paintings were brought by chit fund owners for crores of
rupees”.

“So, will the chit fund owners ever be arrested if the person, whose
paintings they had brought, is the chief minister?,” he asked a public rally
at Kanthi in East Midnapore district of West Bengal.

The TMC was quick to react. The Banerjee-led party dismissed Shah’s charges
as “baseless” and alleged that the “BJP is trying to malign our party”.

They later issued a defamation notice to Shah.

SWINE FLU SEES UPTICK WITH 532 CASES, 11 DEATHS, SOME WORRY IN DELHI SCHOOLS

Delhi has witnessed an alarming rise in the number of swine flu cases this
year, with 532 people diagnosed with the disease so far at various
hospitals. This is far more than the 205 cases which were reported during
the entire 2018.

The report has been released by the Integrated Disease Surveillance
Programme, under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

A total of 11 suspected deaths have been reported from the hospitals in
Delhi – with eight patients from the capital and three from other states.
The city has witnessed 173 fresh cases of influenza in the last six days.

The disease is also keeping schools on their toes. After a child tested
positive for swine flu, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya got the school fumigated and
asked students from nursery to Class IV to stay at home till February 4.
Other schools have sent out advisories to parents.

PAK OPENS UP TO NRIs

More than one million NRIs based in the USA and the UK will be able to visit
Pakistan more freely and easily for the government of that country has
decided to extend visa-on-arrival facility to British and US citizens of
Indian origin under its new and what was described as a ‘revolutionary visa
regime facility’ to project soft image of the country.

Those visiting Pakistan on a tourist visa would now be allowed to visit all
parts of the country, including the earlier restricted areas like POK and
Gilgit-Balistan, sans any No Objection Certificate.

The American Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the Sikh Coordination
Committee of East Coast have hailed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
government’s initiative.

REPORT ACCUSES DHFL OF ‘SIPHONING OFF’ MORE THAN RS 31,000 CRORE OF PUBLIC
MONEY

Investigative news website Cobrapost on Tuesday alleged that it has
“unearthed a financial scam to the tune of more than Rs 31,000 crore”
through which the “primary promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation
Limited (DHFL) and their associate companies have committed a systemic
fraud” to siphon off public money.

Cobrapost alleged that the scam has been pulled off mainly by sanctioning
and disbursing funds in secured and unsecured loans to dubious
shell/pass-through companies, related to DHFL’s own primary stakeholders
Kapil Wadhawan, Aruna Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan through their proxies
and associates, which have in turn passed the money on to companies
controlled by the Wadhawans.

“The money has been used to buy shares/equity and other private assets in
India and abroad, including in countries like UK, Dubai, Sri Lanka and
Mauritius,” creating offshore assets of around Rs 4,000 crore, Cobrapost
said.

The website also alleged that DHFL advanced monies to several companies in
Gujarat and Karnataka around state elections, and also gave donations to the
BJP

IB RED-FLAGS 9 PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES AS ANTI-MODI, CLAIMS A MEDIA REPORT

The Centre has kept pending the grant of Institute of Eminence (IoE) tag to
several top-ranking private higher education institutions after a reported
Intelligence Bureau (IB) report said that those associated with these
institutions have been critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the
ruling BJP. The institutes include Indian Institute for Human Settlements
(IIHS) and Azim Premji University in Karnataka.

“The IB sent its inputs in a note to the Human Resource Development (HRD)
Ministry, headed by Prakash Javadekar, last month,” said a report published
on The Print, a news portal, on Monday.

The HRD ministry, however, denied the report. “There is no such IB report on
these Institutions received by the Ministry. The matter will be examined by
the UGC in it’s meeting on Tuesday purely based on merits,” the ministry’s
higher education secretary R Subrahmanyam said posting a rebuttal to The
Print story on the Twitter. The news portal claimed to have published the
story based on the documents “accessed” by it.

The IB note reportedly described the vice-chancellor of Ashoka University,
Pratap Bhanu Mehta, as an unrelenting critic of the government. It said that
the university’s chairman, the board of trustees, and founder Ashish Dhawan,
“also fund anti-government propaganda sites like the Wire.in.”

JET AIRWAYS GROUNDS 6 PLANES ON LEASE RENTAL DEFAULT

Crisis-ridden Jet Airways was on Tuesday forced to ground three of its
Boeing 737 planes due to non-payment of lease rentals, leading to
cancellation of around 20 domestic flights.

The number of aircraft on ground due to non-payment of lease rentals by the
carrier now stand at six in the last two days, the source added.

The airline is negotiating with its partner Etihad for additional cash
infusion.

INDICATORS

Sensex 35,592 (-64), Nifty 10,652 (-9), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 33,411

Nasdaq 7,028 (-57) Dow 24,580 (+52), S&P 2,640 (-4)

US$-Rs. 71.08 GBP-Rs. 93.40, Euro-Rs. 81.24, UAE Dhm-Rs.19.34, Can$-Rs.
53.58, Aus$- Rs. 50.87

GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.87 /US$, Jap.Yen 109.33 /US$, Aus$ 1.39 /US$, Sing
1.35 /US$, Bang Taka 82.95 /US$, Can$ 1.32 /US$, Mal Ring 4.10 /US$,

Pak Re 138.48 /US$, Phil Peso 52.45 /US$, Russian Rouble 66.16 /US$, NZ$
1.46 /US$, Thai Baht 31.46 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 27.63 /US$, Norway NOK 8.49
/US$

Bitcoin – USD 3,405

Dollar Index 95.51 Brent Crude 61.35 BDI 797

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,313 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3306 / 3126,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 43,200

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The formula for success is 2% talent, 8% luck, and 90% of showing up every
day. – Jeffrey Fry

OFF TRACK

After being away on business, Tim thought it would be nice to bring his wife
a little gift. “How about some perfume?” he asked the cosmetics clerk.

She showed him a bottle costing $50.00.

“That’s a bit much,” said Tim, so she returned with a smaller bottle for
$30.00.

“That’s still quite a bit,” Tim complained. Growing annoyed, she brought out
a tiny $15.00 bottle.

“What I mean,” said Tim, “is I’d like to see something really cheap.”

The clerk handed him a mirror.

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