Archive | April, 2016

Supreme Court bans diesel, petrol cabs in Delhi NCR from May 1

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Supreme Court bans diesel, petrol cabs in Delhi NCR from May 1

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 April : The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to extend the deadline of April 30 given to private petrol and diesel run taxis to convert to CNG, virtually banning the taxis being run on liquid fuel from May 1 in the NCR.A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur held a special hearing on Saturday and examined various options which could be put into force to curb the menace of pollution in the National Capital Region.
Ban of diesel, petrol taxis would be implemented not only in Delhi but entire National Capital Region which included Gurgaon, Noida, FaridabadThe bench turned down the plea of taxi operator seeking more time to comply its order. It said that court had granted many extensions over time and it was high time for taxis to follow the direction. The bench said that it was firm on its decision of not granting extension when an individual taxi owner made an impassioned appeal on the ground that the order would affect his livelihood.
The court also pulled up the Centre for not exploring and implementing new technology to control pollution. It accused the government for being casual in its approach and said that the Centre had woken up from deep slumber only after court intervene in the issue.

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Hindu tailor hacked to death in north Bangladesh

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Hindu tailor hacked to death in north Bangladesh

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 April :  (AFP) A Hindu man was hacked to death in central Bangladesh on Saturday, police said, following a spate of similar attacks in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation.Authorities are investigating whether the killing of Nikhil Joarder was connected to a 2012 complaint against him for alleged comments he made against Prophet Muhammad, said Aslam Khan, a police officer in the district of Tangail, where the attack took place.

Joarder was attacked with sharp weapons by two men on motorcycles as he sat in his tailor shop, Khan said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Joarder spent two weeks in prison in 2012 and was released after the complaint against him was withdrawn.

The attack on him was similar to recent killings of atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and most recently a gay rights activist in Bangladesh by radical Islamists.

Five people have already been killed in such attacks this year and nine were killed last year. While there have been some arrests – mostly of low-level operatives – there have been no prosecutions so far and authorities have struggled to make any headway in naming those planning the attacks.

For the 2013 killing of an atheist blogger, a court has sentenced two men to death and six others to time in prison.

Nearly all the attacks have been claimed by international Islamist extremist groups, including the Islamic State group and various affiliates of al-Qaida. The government, however, has refused to accept that these groups have a presence in Bangladesh, and has blamed the violence on its political opposition.

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OROP: Ex-servicemen suspend agitation, to fight it out in Supreme Court

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OROP: Ex-servicemen suspend agitation, to fight it out in Supreme Court

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 a APRIL : : Protesting ex-servicemen suspended their 320-day-old agitation for complete implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) on Friday as senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani assured them of leading their legal battle in the apex court.”The indefinite relay fast has been suspended now as we will be taking the legal recourse. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had said that proverbial gun was been held to the head of the government by virtue of our presence at Jantar Mantar.
“Now that we have suspended the agitation, we believe that Parrikar will now keep his promises made to us,” said Col (retd) Anil Kaul, spokesperson of the ex-servicemen movement.
Addressing armed forces veterans staging protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, Jethmalani said he would fight their case in the Supreme Court.”I am 93-year-old and I can die any day but I assure you that it will not happen before I get you justice from the Supreme Court,” Jethmalani said.
Major General (retd) Satbir Singh, leader of the protesting veterans, claimed a case will be filed by Jethmalani on OROP demand in the Supreme Court in next 3-4 days and he will not charge any fee.

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AgustaWestland bribery scam: CBI questions ex-IAF deputy chief JS Gujaral

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AgustaWestland bribery scam: CBI questions ex-IAF deputy chief JS Gujaral

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

New Delhi, 30 April : The CBI is questioning former Indian Air Force (IAF) officer, Air Marshal JS Gujral (retd.) today in connection with the VVIP AgustaWestland helicopter deal, sources said.

Sources said that Mr Gujral, who has earlier been examined as a witness in the case, was asked by the agency to come for questioning in the case.

Mr Gujral had retired as deputy chief of air staff, where he was in charge of procurements.

The Central Bureau of Investigation managed to get the complete tranche of records, received from Italy, translated into English.

Sources said the records were being analysed by sleuths who would decide on the charges to be pressed against the accused named in the FIR, including former IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi (retd.), and his three cousins.

Sources said that Mr Tyagi has also been asked by CBI to appear at its headquarters in Delhi for questioning on Monday.

The CBI had named 13 individuals in the FIR, including Mr Tyagi and European middlemen Carlo Gerosa, Christian Michel and Guido Haschke, in connection with the alleged bribery.

Italian agencies had arrested the then CEO of AgustaWestland, Giuseppe Orsi, for alleged bribes given to Indian middlemen to clinch the deal.

The supply of 12 VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland had come under scanner after Italian authorities alleged that bribes were paid by the company to clinch the Rs 3,600 crore deal.

The Italian prosecutor who carried out the preliminary inquiry alleged that the CEO of Finmeccanica, the parent company of the Britain-based AgustaWestland, had used services of middlemen to bribe Indian officials.

The probe agency has alleged that during his tenure as IAF chief, Mr Tyagi and, “with his approval”, Air Force “conceded to reduce the service ceiling for VVIP helicopters.

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Forest fires rage in Uttarakhand; three NDRF teams deployed

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Forest fires rage in Uttarakhand; three NDRF teams deployed

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

Pauri, 30 April : Tehri and Nainital are the worst hit by forest fires as they abound in Cheed and Sal trees which are highly inflammable.
Days after massive forest fires blighted 1890.79 hectares of forest land in Kumaon and Garhwal regions killing five people, a NDRF team is scheduled to reach Pauri tomorrow to conduct rescue operations.
Pauri superintendent of police Rajeev Swarup said that the police has been taking care of everything and the situation was under control.
Pauri, Tehri and Nainital are the worst hit by forest fires as they abound in Cheed and Sal trees which are highly inflammable. “The NDRF companies, assisted by experts, will launch fire extinguishing and rescue operations in affected areas immediately,” Chief Secretary Shatrughna Singh said, adding precaution is a must to minimise loss to forest wealth and wildlife.
IG Sanjay Gunjyal has been asked to coordinate with the NDRF, the district magistrates concerned and Principal Conservator of Forest to supervise the rescue operations, he said. Locals have being told to report a fire incident to the district magistrate concerned as soon as they sight it so that it can bee controlled in time. “Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul convened an important meeting of officials concerned on Thursday evening to review the steps being taken to control the forest fires spreading to residential areas,” Gupta, who is also the nodal officer for fire incidents in Kumaon and Garhwal regions, said.
The governor has doubled the number of personnel deployed from 3000 to 6000 to control the fire and asked all agencies including the SDRF, district administration and the rural population to contribute their bit, he said. Forest fires are natural during summer but this time they have occurred on a bigger scale as the fire season which normally begins by February 15 began on February 2 when two women were charred to death in the jungles of Uttarkashi, the PCF said.
The other three casualties including that of a woman and her six year old child were reported from Nainital and Pauri districts, he said. The PCF said the scale of forest fires in Uttarakhand this time has been bigger due to little or no rain during winter at most places.
Pre-fire alerts listing possible fire points over the next seven days in forest areas are being made available in the Forest Department website http://www.forest.uk.govt. Former chief minister Harish Rawat has asked the governor to declare Uttarakhand as fire-disaster stricken state and involve locals in fire extinguishing efforts

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US President Barack Obama hosts jazz concert at `Blues House`

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US President Barack Obama hosts jazz concert at `Blues House`

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

WASHINGTON, 30 April  (AFP)  : For a few hours on Friday, the White House became the Blues House.Musicians including Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Aretha Franklin and Hugh Masekela joined US President Barack Obama for a special concert to celebrate International Jazz Day.

“Tonight, we are turning this place into the Blues House. I did not issue a new executive order, I just invited all my favorite jazz musicians to play in my backyard,” Obama said, kicking off the event on the South Lawn with about 550 guests.

“Perhaps more than any other form of art, jazz is driven by an unmistakably American spirit,” Obama said, noting that the genre was shaped in the melting-pot southern city of New Orleans.

Quoting Duke Ellington, the president emphasized that jazz is “a good barometer of freedom.”

“There is something fearless and true about jazz. This is truth-telling music,” he said.

Obama shared a personal story about his father, whom he did not know well, taking him to his first jazz concert during a monthlong visit in 1971.

The young Obama saw Dave Brubeck perform in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The world that that concert opened up for a 10-year-old boy was spectacular. And I was hooked,” he said.

Franklin opened the performances with “A Song for You,” which she played on a grand piano. Actor Morgan Freeman was the evening’s emcee.

Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Pat Metheny and Bobby Watson were also among the artists performing Friday night in the concert that will be broadcast Saturday on ABC.

Washington is the global host city of the 2016 International Jazz Day. The annual event was launched in 2012 by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

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Naked restaurant Bunyadi opening in London now has nearly 30k waiting list

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Naked restaurant Bunyadi opening in London now has nearly 30k waiting list

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

London, 30 April : A pop-up restaurant where people are encouraged to dine completely in the buff has more than 27,000 on its waiting list – just weeks before it opens.The Bunyadi , which is London’s first nude restaurant, will offer an entirely natural eating experience, where people can be free from the trappings of modern life.This includes phones, electric lights and even clothing.The venue also offers a “clothed” section for those who don’t wish to drop their drawers before dining.As the restaurant will only be open for three months it seems not all of those that have signed up will be able to get in as the space only has a 42 person capcity.Unconfirmed locationThe concept is set to open this June in an unconfirmed location.The restaurant’s Facebook page shows a map with a pin on Whitehall, but a spokesman confirmed this is not the correct location and refused to reveal where it will be.The eatery is the latest idea from Lollipop, the people behind the Breaking Bad-inspired cocktail bar ABQ.Guests at Bunyadi restaurant – which means fundamental, base or natural – will enjoy wood-flame grilled meals served on handmade clay crockery and edible cutlery.They will dine under a canopy of candle lights, partitioned with bamboo and wicker.Without any impuritiesLollipop founder Seb Lyall said: “We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to.”The idea is to experience true liberation.””We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked,” Seb continued.”The use of natural bamboo partitions and candlelight has enabled to us to make the restaurant discreet, whilst adhering to the ethos behind it.”No doubt, this has been the most challenging project for us yet, which makes us very excited about it.”The as yet undisclosed menu will include a vegan and non-vegan tasting menu of food cooked on wood fire.Gowns, changing rooms and lockers will be provided for those who are stripping down, and no photography will be allowed.

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Haryana government strips former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda off cabinet rank

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Haryana government strips former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda off cabinet rank

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

Chandigarh , 30 April : The Haryana Cabinet on Friday stripped off former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of cabinet rank, bringing him on par with other MLAs of the state.

Announcing the government’s decision at a press conference here, Haryana Minister of State Krishan Kumar Bedi said, “He (Hooda) has been given Kothi Number 70 in Sector 7 of Chandigarh with staff assigned to a cabinet minister, vehicles and security. The budget was too high. Thus, taking into consideration the public demand, the cabinet has decided to withdraw it.”

“The decision will come into force today itself. He is only an MLA now, and whatever facilities an MLA avails will be provided to Hooda ji,” he added.

Saying that the scheme was formulated and implemented by the Hooda government of the Congress party, Bedi added under the scheme former chief ministers of the state had been given the cabinet rank that entitled them of accommodation, vehicle, security and staff.

“When the scheme came into being there were just two former CMs- Late Chaudhry Hukam Singh and Om Prakash Chautala. Chautala ji was sentenced for 10 years in connection with the JBT Recruitment Scam. He is not taking the benefit of the scheme, whereas the facilities were withdrawn from Hukam Singh’s kin after his death. Only one former chief minister, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, is left,” he said.

“In the meantime, pressure was mounting on our government from several quarters to withdraw the scheme. After contemplation, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar too arrived at the conclusion that leaders who have dedicated themselves to the service of people should not avail such facilities. And thus, the Haryana cabinet under chairmanship of Chief Minister Khattar decided to repeal the scheme.

When asked the Khattar government was practising animosity, he said, “There is no animosity in it. It was a matter of public interest. People had complaints; they were dissatisfied; and taking into consideration their feelings, the cabinet decided to repeal the scheme.”

Responding to a question that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is also enjoying the cabinet rank, Bedi said: “It is a matter of Parliament and the Centre. Haryana is a small state which did not have such provisions earlier neither do any neighbouring states has such a provsion.

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100% hike in salaries and allowances for our ‘good conduct’, demand Members of Parliament

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100% hike in salaries and allowances for our ‘good conduct’, demand Members of Parliament

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 APRIL : Members of Parliament have recommended a 100 per cent hike in salaries and allowances for themselves, and say they deserve a raise in view of their “good conduct.” A bill for this is expected to passed in the next session of Parliament.A parliamentary committee has suggested that the salary of MPs be raised from Rs. 50,000 to a lakh a month and a constituency allowance from Rs. 45000 to 90000. If the committee’s proposal are accepted, the total compensation package for an MP will go up from Rs. 1,40,000 to 2,80,000.

The committee, headed by the BJP’s Yogi Adityanath has also recommended a 75 per cent rise in pensions, and an automatic revision in salaries periodically. MPs’ salaries were last hiked six years ago.

A cabinet note on this has been sent to all ministries for feedback, before the recommendations are presented to Parliament for approval.

Naresh Agrawal of the Samajwadi Party had brought up the salary hike in the Rajya Sabha on Monday alleging, “A parliamentary committee which decides on the salary and allowance of MPs had given a report which has been suppressed due to media pressure.”

MPs deserve the hike for their “good conduct,” Mr Aggarwal said, adding that many lawmakers “want this, but are not speaking due to fear… You expect us to maintain three accommodations in this salary? It is not possible.”

The Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, backed Mr Agrawal saying, “I support my friend from the opposition, especially on the issue of conduct of MPs. Inflation affects everyone, MPs are also hit.”

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Norway helicopter crash: All 13 people on board dead, 11 bodies recovered

Norway helicopter crash: All 13 people on board dead, 11 bodies recovered

Posted on 30 April 2016 by GGS News

Oslo, 30 April : A helicopter ferrying passengers from a Norwegian oil platform crashed in the North Sea on Friday (April 29) killing at least 11 of the 13 people on board, rescue officials said.

The rescue coordination centre said on Twitter that there were eleven passengers and two crew on board: all Norwegian except for one Briton and one Italian.

The area of the crash lies just west of Norway’s second largest city Bergen. It sees frequent air traffic to and from offshore oil platforms.

The Norwegian aviation authority said the model of aircraft that crashed, a Eurocopter EC225LP, was discovered to have issues in 2002 “when errors in the main gear box were identified” but that the manufacturer had since produced a modification that was approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Twitter the news of the crash was “horrible”.

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