2019, June, Newsletter

India Newsletter June 14, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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SCO: CHINA, RUSSIA TO OPEN UP MARKETS FOR INDIAN TRADE

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday received assurances of significant
trade and investment opportunities in bilateral meetings with Chinese
President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Modi and several other world leaders are in Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to
participate in a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on
Friday.

In a brief discussion on Pakistan with Xi, Prime Minister Modi said India’s
position was to peacefully utilise bilateral mechanisms to settle disputes.
He had personally invested in the relationship but his efforts had been
derailed. “The PM informed Xi that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere
free of terrorism but India did not see it as happening,” said Foreign
Secretary Vijay while briefing newspersons.

While Kremlin offered India scope for investment in Russia’s Far-East and
Arctic regions, China said it had dismantled regulatory procedures that
would lead to an “uptick” in Indian exports of non-Basmati rice, sugar and
pharmaceuticals.

Xi assured Modi that China was in the process of dismantling even more
regulatory barriers. Xi had made a similar promise at the Second Belt and
Road summit in April this year.

In the meeting with Putin, PM Modi promised to visit the Russian Far East in
September where he will interact at a greater length with the Russian
President.

Modi’s visit to Vladivostok will be preceded by tours of the Far East by
delegations from Indian states who will scout for business opportunities.

India also accepted Russia’s offer for investing in major oil exploration
projects. Modi said skilled Indian manpower could be used to develop the
region.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two leaders did not discuss any
specific military equipment nor could regional issues be aired due to
paucity of time. Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with the Chinese President
was relatively brief. The discussions mostly revolved around speeding up of
border talks and smoothening bilateral trade. “PM said that we have a
consistent position with respect to Pakistan. We discuss all issues through
a bilateral mechanism and we look for peaceful settlement through
negotiation. We are committed to this process,” added Gokhale.

HOPE PM MODI USES HIS MANDATE TO RESOLVE ISSUES WITH PAKISTAN: IMRAN KHAN

Pakistan’s relationship with India is probably at its “lowest point”, Prime
Minister Imran Khan has said even as he expressed hope that his Indian
counterpart Narendra Modi will use his “big mandate” to resolve all
differences, including the Kashmir issue.

Imran Khan is also in Bishkek for the two-day Shanghai Cooperation
Organisation (SCO) summit.

In an interview to Russian news agency Sputnik before heading to Bishkek,
Khan said the SCO summit provided him an opportunity to speak to the Indian
leadership to improve ties between the two neighbours. “At the moment, our
bilateral relationship with India is probably at its lowest point,” he said.

Khan said Pakistan was open for “any kind of mediation” and seeks peace with
all its neighbours, especially with India, asserting that the three “small
wars” have damaged both the countries that now grapple with the “greatest
amount of poverty”.

The Ministry of External Affairs last week said that no bilateral meetings
had been planned between Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Khan on the
sidelines of the SCO Summit.

Khan has written to Prime Minister Modi twice seeking resumption of dialogue
on all issues, including on Kashmir.

BJP YET TO REACH FULL POTENTIAL: AMIT SHAH TO HIS PARTYMEN

BJP president Amit Shah urged the party to not rest on its laurels and work
harder, saying that the party has not yet reached its full potential despite
winning 303 seats in last month’s general elections-the most it has won in
any elections.

Chairing a meeting of the party’s national office bearers and its key
organisational representatives from states, Shah said the party will reach
its zenith when it will be running governments in states like Kerala and
West Bengal, among others.

He also gave final touches to the party’s membership drive, which will be
launched soon with an aim to increase its members by 20 per cent, BJP
general secretary Bhupender Yadav told reporters.

In his address at the meeting, Shah told party leaders that the Narendra
Modi government’s return to power with a massive mandate mark the victory of
the BJP’s agenda of nationalism, good governance and welfare of the poor.

Shah said the BJP strengthened itself in states like West Bengal, Odisha and
Telangana during the last five years while maintaining its dominance in
states where it had done well in the last general elections. In a similar
way, the party will expand itself in new states in the coming years, he
said.

Shah noted that he had made a similar observation during his presidential
address at the party’s national council in August 2014 and was proved
correct when the party improved its tally of 282 seats by winning 303 seats
in the recent polls.

ISRAELI PM THANKS MODI FOR INDIA’S VOTE AGAINST PALESTINIAN GROUP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked his Indian counterpart
Narendra Modi for voting in favour of a decision introduced by the Jewish
state that objected to granting consultative status to a Palestinian group
at the UN’s Economic and Social Council.

In a rare move, India on Tuesday voted in favour of Israel in the UN
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to deny the Palestinian
non-governmental organisation ‘Shahed’ the observer status, after Israel
said the organisation did not disclose its ties with Hamas.

“Thank you @NarendraModi, thank you India, for your support and for standing
with Israel at the UN,” Netanyahu said in a tweet on Wednesday, almost a
week after the June 6 vote.

It is the first time that India has voted on a resolution at the UN that is
being perceived as pro-Israel.

The ECOSOC vote, which took place at the UN, saw countries such as the US,
France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, South Korea and Canada polling in
favour of Israel, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others
voted against it.

The proposal made by the Palestinian NGO ‘Shahed’ to obtain observer status
in the UN was rejected by a 28-14 vote.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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TWO TANKERS ABANDONED AFTER ATTACKS IN GULF OF OMAN

Two tankers, Front Altair and Kokuka Courageous, have been abandoned in the
Gulf of Oman followed suspected torpedo attacks.

The Front Altair was reported to have loaded Napatha before being involved
in an incident about 60 miles northeast of Fujairah.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) confirmed that the Marshall
Islands-flagged aframax Front Altair was attacked at 6.03 am in waters
between the UAE and Iran. “There were reportedly three detonations on board
the ship. The crew have been rescued by a passing ship and no injuries are
reported,” the authority said. “The ship is now on fire, and measures to
resolve the situation have been implemented.”

The crew of the Frontline tanker were reportedly rescued by the vessel
Hyundai Dubai.

Multiple reports have said the vessel was hit by a torpedo, although the
Norwegian authorities said the background to the attacks was not entirely
clear.

Maritime security firm Dryad Global said: “Both vessels appear to have
indicated that they believe the attack originated from the surface, however
further reports from the Front Altair indicate that the hull was breached on
the starboard side partially below the waterline.”

A statement from the US Navy 5th Fleet said: “We are aware of the reported
attack on shipping vessels in the Gulf of Oman. U.S. Naval Forces in the
region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 am local (Bahrain) time
and a second one at 7:00 am. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile
destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) is rendering assistance.”

The crew of product carrier the Kokuka Courageous, loaded with a cargo of
methanol abandoned ship “after the incident on board which resulted in
damage to the ship’s hull starboard side” according to a statement from
manager Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM).

The manager said the 21 crew were rescued from a lifeboat by the car carrier
Coastal Ace which was nearby, and one seafarer was slightly injured and
receiving medical attention. “The Kokuka Courageous remains in the area and
is not in any danger of sinking. The cargo of methanol is intact,” BSM said.

Earlier there were reports that Front Altair had sunk but it firmly refuted
by the owners.

UK HOME SECRETARY SIGNS ASSANGE EXTRADITION ORDER TO US

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said here on Thursday that he had signed
an extradition request from the US for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that
will be before the courts tomorrow (Friday), but yesterday (Wednesday) I
signed the extradition order and certified it. It will be going in front of
the courts tomorrow,” Javid told BBC Radio 4.

Assange, currently in custody in the UK, is wanted in the US on a score of
charges, including espionage.

The Australian national is due to appear before a London court on Friday for
an extradition hearing to the US, which has accused him of conspiring to
intercept Pentagon computers

BORIS JOHNSON TOPS FIRST ROUND OF POLL FOR BRITISH PM

Boris Johnson on Thursday secured his position as the frontrunner in the
race to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister as he won the highest
number of votes in the first round of the leadership poll.

The former Cabinet minister received 114 votes in the first round of a
secret ballot of Tory MPs held in the House of Commons, followed by UK
foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in second place with 43 and environment
secretary Michael Gove third with 37 votes.

Three contenders – Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey – were
knocked out of the race after failing to secure the minimum requirement of
17 votes.

It leaves seven candidates in the fray for the second round of voting next
week, including former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in fourth place with 27
votes, home secretary Sajid Javid fifth with 23, health secretary Matt
Hancock sixth with 20 and international development secretary Rory Stewart
in last place with 19.

The two most popular MPs from among the seven will be put to the wider Tory
party members in a final vote later this month, with the winner of the
contest to succeed May in Downing Street expected to be announced in the
week of July 22.

THE REST

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ALL 13 PEOPLE ON BOARD AN-32 AIRCRAFT DEAD: IAF

The Indian Air Force on Thursday said all 13 people, including eight
officers, on board the AN-32 plane are dead. A mountaineering team reached
the site–at an altitude of 12,000 feet–on Thursday morning. The plane went
missing on June 3 and the wreckage was located on June 11.

The IAF twitter handle announced the demise of all 13. It even tweeted the
names of those dead.

The flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CDR) of the
AN-32 have also been recovered.

The IAF is now retrieving the 13 bodies.

The crash site indicates that the plane was on the flight path towards
Mechuka. The wreckage was located some 12-kms north of the last habitation
in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

GUJARAT REMAINS ON HIGH ALERT EVEN AFTER CYCLONE VAYU CHANGES COURSE

Bringing relief for Gujarat, Cyclone Vayu on Thursday began moving away from
the state coast, even as the danger of heavy winds and rainfall continued.
State authorities have already evacuated three lakh people from low-lying
areas near the coast to safer places, an official said.

“The cyclone is likely to move north-northwestwards for some time and then
northwestwards, skirting the Saurashtra coast (and) affecting Gir Somnath,
Diu, Junagarh, Porbandar and Devbhoomi Dwarka with wind speed of 90-100 kmph
gusting to 110 kmph during the next 12 hours,” the IMD said in a release
issued at 5 pm Thursday.

A Coast Guard official at Porbandar said the next 50- 60 hours will be very
important, adding fishermen and coastal residents were requested to shift to
safer places if they had not done so yet.

BENGAL DOCTORS’ PROTEST: MAMATA TALKS TOUGH, HER COLLEAGUE’S DAUGHTER SLAMS
INACTION

Battlelines hardened Thursday in the snowballing agitation by doctors across
West Bengal with Chief Minister and Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee turning
up the heat on them.

Banerjee gave an ultimatum to agitating junior doctors saying that strong
action would be taken against them if they do not get back to work promptly.
But junior doctors and interns vowed to continue their “ceasework” until
their demands for security were met. They have been on strike after angry
relatives of a patient who died in the Nilratan Sircar Medical College and
Hospital were joined by neighbours and local residents as they barged in and
beat up doctors, injuring two of them.

On Thursday, violence erupted again as outsiders protested and pelted stones
at agitating junior doctors at NRS Hospital and one of them received head
injuries.

In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Shabba Hakim, student of KPC Medical
College and daughter of Firhad Hakim who is also Mayor of Kolkata, voiced
her strong support in favour of the strike by doctors. “For those saying
‘Onno Rugider ki dosh?’ (What’s the fault of other patients?) Please
question the government as in why the police officers posted in government
hospitals do little to nothing to protect doctors? Please question them that
when 2 truckload of goon(s) showed up why wasn’t back-up sent immediately?
Please question why goons are still surrounding hospitals and beating up
doctors? We have a right to peaceful protest. We have a right to safety at
work. As a TMC supporter I am deeply ashamed at the inaction and the silence
of our leaders,” she said.

INDIA PLANNING TO HAVE OWN SPACE STATION, 1ST SOLAR MISSION: ISRO CHIEF

India would have its own space station and solar mission, ISRO chief K.
Sivan said here on Thursday. The project will be an extension of the
Gaganyaan mission.

“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of (the) human
space mission. In this context, India is planning to have its own space
station,” Sivan told reporters here.

India is to launch Aditya-L1, its first mission to study the sun, in 2020,
K. Sivan said. “The aim of the mission is to keep a permanent eye on the sun
without any disturbance. Aditya-L1 is meant to observe the solar corona,”
Sivan told media in a press briefing. He said there are still a lot of
things that are to be learnt about the sun.

PAK EXTENDS AIRSPACE BAN ALONG ITS EASTERN BORDER WITH INDIA TILL JUNE 28

Pakistan on Thursday extended its airspace ban along its eastern border with
India for the third time till June 28, according to a notice issued by the
country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Pakistan fully closed its airspace on February 26 after the Indian Air Force
struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist training camp in Balakot.

Since then, it has only opened two routes, both of which pass through
southern Pakistan, of the total 11. Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority is
expected to review the situation on June 15.

The IAF announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions imposed on
Indian airspace post the Balakot airstrike have been removed.

MUMBAI POLICE CLOSE TANUSHREE DUTTA’S CASE AGAINST NANA PATEKAR

In a significant development, the Mumbai Police have filed a closure report
in the alleged #MeToo sexual harassment case lodged by actress Tanushree
Dutta against actor Nana Patekar. “Yes, we have filed a B-Summary Report
before the court,” Mumbai Police spokesperson, Deputy Commissioner of Police
Manjunath Shinge said.

The police move comes after they reportedly did not find enough evidence in
the matter, virtually ending the case as they cannot continue further
investigations.

Dutta’s lawyer, Nitin Satpute said that they would challenge the police move
in the matter. He accused the police of conducting a shoddy probe in the
entire matter, not recording the statements of many other witnesses, but
relying on the evidence of only “one or two” witnesses in a bid to protect
the accused.

TRUMP GETS HARPOONED FOR ‘PRINCE OF WHALES’ SPELLING ERROR

There he blows again. President Donald Trump’s erratic spelling habits on
Twitter spouted again on Thursday when he wrote about having recently met
with the “Prince of Whales”.

That would be Charles, Prince of Wales, whom he met last week at World War
II commemorations in Britain.

The error prompted a wave of hilarity online, with one Twitter critic asking
if the president had made the mistake “on porpoise”.

Trump, who is an enthusiastic user of social media and has some 61 million
Twitter followers, quickly corrected the original tweet. But his new version
did not change another inaccurate reference, this time to the “Queen of
England”. Elizabeth II, who hosted Trump at a state dinner in London, is
actually queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of which England is
only one part.

INDIA-NEW ZEALAND MATCH WASHED OUT

A World Cup game between India and New Zealand was Thursday abandoned due to
rain without a ball being bowled here.

The toss was delayed due to inclement weather and in the end it never
happened.

Both sides collected one points each from the abandoned match.

India now have five points from three matches while New Zealand have seven
from four games.

This was the 4th match to be washed out so far in this World Cup

INDICATORS

Sensex 39,741 (-16), Nifty 11,914 (+8), Trading Value NSE (Rs.crores) 31,300

Nasdaq 7,837 (+44) Dow 26,107 (+102), S&P 2,892 (+12)

US$-Rs. 69.37 GBP-Rs. 87.98, Euro-Rs. 78.29, UAE Dhm-Rs.18.88, Can$-Rs.
52.05, Aus$- Rs. 47.95

GBP 0.78 /US$, Euro 0.78 /US$, Jap.Yen 108.38 /US$, Aus$ 1.44 /US$, Sing
1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.04 /US$, Can$ 1.33 /US$, Mal Ring 4.16 /US$,

Pak Re 151.99 /US$, Phil Peso 51.87 /US$, Russian Rouble 64.61 /US$, NZ$
1.52 /US$, Thai Baht 31.17 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 26.22 /US$, Norway NOK 8.66
/US$

Bitcoin – USD 8,168

Dollar Index 97.03 Brent Crude 61.31 BDI 1080

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,347 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 3275 / 3097,
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 39,700

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

It’s bad policy to speculate on what you’ll do if a plan fails, when you’re
trying to make a plan work. – Condoleezza Rice

OFF TRACK

I am a funeral director. While I was getting ready to leave for work one
morning, the phone rang. I answered it and it was a frantic sounding woman
asking if I could come over right away because there was water all over the
place.

Baffled, I inquired if she was sure she had the right number.

“Isn’t this Bob Larson, the plumber?” she asked

“No,” I replied, “I’m a funeral director.”

After a pause she said, “Well, I’m going to keep your number anyway. I think
the family will need it after my husband gets home and sees what I did to
the washing machine.”

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