Archive | February, 2017

Himachal’s 6-week Budget session starts tomorrow

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Himachal’s 6-week Budget session starts tomorrow

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Shimla : The six-week-long Budget session of Himachal Pradesh is to commence here tomorrow with the Governor’s address of the Assembly.

The session would have 21 sittings, including two private member’s days, with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who also holds the finance portfolio, slated to present his fifth budget for 2017-18 on March 10. The budget is to be passed on March 30.

There would be a nine-day recess from March 18 to 26 with four days each having been earmarked for discussions on motion of thanks on the governor’ address and the budget and demands.

Speaker BBL Butail has urged the members to cooperate in smooth running of the house and raise the issues of public importance under relevant rules.

As many as 561 questions, including 396 starred and 165 unstarred questions have been received and 254 questions have been received online.

While the Congress and BJP legislature parties are meeting this evening to chalk out the strategy for the session, the Speaker today convened an all-party meet and urged the leaders of both the Congress and the BJP to maintain decorum and cooperate in smooth running of the house.

The session being the last budget session of the present Vidhan Sabha is expected to be stormy as the BJP has already announced to raise issues of “Mafia Raj, corruption, increasing drug abuse, non-implementation of central schemes and pathetic condition of the health services, roads and other services.

Both the Congress and the BJP is set to switch over to election mode after the session as Assembly elections are due in November this year. The BJP would also raise the issues mentioned in its charge-sheet to pin down the government in the Assembly.

The ruling Congress, which has been claiming that all the poll promises have been fulfilled and there was no section of the society which has not been benefited from the programmes and the schemes of the government, is set to highlight its government’s achievement.

PTI |

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Malaysia to charge women for airport murder of North Korean

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Malaysia to charge women for airport murder of North Korean

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Kuala Lumpur : Two women – an Indonesian and a Vietnamese – will be charged with murder on Wednesday over their alleged involvement in the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea`s leader at Kuala Lumpur`s main airport, Malaysia`s attorney general said.
Police have said that the women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a UN list of weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam`s face in an assault recorded on airport security cameras on Feb. 13.

US and South Korean officials believe Kim Jong Nam was the victim of an assassination orchestrated by North Korea. He had criticised the regime of his family and his half-brother Kim Jong Un in the past and had been living in exile, under Beijing`s protection, in the Chinese territory of Macau.

While Malaysian police arrested Doan Thi Huong, the Vietnamese, and Indonesian Siti Aishah in the days after the attack, they are are also holding one North Korean man and have identified seven other North Koreans wanted in connection with the sensational case.

Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the North Korean in custody will not be charged yet. His remand period ends on Friday.

The security camera footage, which has been released in the media, showed two women assaulting Kim Jong Nam in the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the victim stumbling into a medical clinic. He died within 20 minutes of the assault.

Both women have told diplomats from their countries that they had been paid to take part in what they believed was a prank for a reality TV show.

The attorney general said the women will be formally charged on Wednesday under section 302 of the penal code, which carries the death penalty.
“I can confirm that,” he told Reuters in a text message.

Reuters |

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Iraqi security forces approaching main government complex in western Mosul: Officer

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Iraqi security forces approaching main government complex in western Mosul: Officer

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Iraqi security forces approaching main government complex in western Mosul: Officer

Baghdad : Iraqi security forces are getting close to the main government complex in western Mosul in their offensive to dislodge Islamic State militants from their last stronghold in the city, a military media officer said on Tuesday.

“The provincial council and the governorate building are within the firing range of the Rapid Response forces,” a media officer with the elite Interior Ministry units told Reuters.

Reuters |

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Virat Kohli also human, had to fail one day: Sourav Ganguly on India’s defeat to Australia in Pune

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Virat Kohli also human, had to fail one day: Sourav Ganguly on India’s defeat to Australia in Pune

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Mumbai : When Mitchell Starc dismissed Virat Kohli for a duck in the first innings in Pune, it became clear that the hosts were in for a rough ride. India went on to lose the game by 333 runs, while Australia took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

It was Kohli’s first duck in Tests in India and fifth in Test cricket. The batsman only managed 13 runs in the second innings, lowest in a home Test for Kohli where he batted in both innings.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said Kohli will make a strong comeback against the Steve Smith-led Australia in Bengaluru.

“Kohli is human and he had to fail one day,” Ganguly told India Today. “He failed in both innings in Pune. I think he played a little bit of a loose shot in the first innings outside the off stump but the Australians bowled him there.”

“They must have seen Stuart Broad and James Anderson bowling to him in England outside the off stump. In the second innings, I think the game was already over. A 441-run target was a humongous task. Kohli will come back because he is a class act. His record against Australia is unreal,” he said.

Ganguly also sighted Kohli’s impressive record against Australia to make a case for his claim. In the 2014-15 four-match series away from home against Australia, Kohli amassed 639 runs in four Tests at an unreal average of 106.5. The India skipper also registered four tons during that series.

“To watch those four back-to-back Test match hundreds against Australia in Australia (was surreal). I have not seen even Sachin Tendulkar do that,” said Ganguly.

“Getting four Test match hundreds in every venue on your second trip to Australia is a special special effort,” added the former captain.

DC |

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China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea

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China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of South China Sea. Reuters file

Beijing : China will build its first long-term underwater observation platform in resource-rich South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with many south-east Asian countries including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The platform aims to observe underwater conditions in real time.
“Construction work on the long-term observation platform covering key areas in the South China and East China seas will be done with the help of Shanghai’s Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics,” Wang Pinxian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.
Building the observation network showcases that China is actively joining in the international competition, Wang told scientific forum in Shanghai last Saturday, state-run Global Times reported.
Institute of Acoustics refused to reveal the exact location and further details of the researches on the platform due to its sensitive nature, it said.
China has maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
It claims almost all the waters, which carry a third of the world’s maritime traffic and has huge amounts of oil and natural gas.
The waters are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China also contests Japan’s hold over the islands in the East China Sea.
Quoting a report from ‘sciencenet’, Global Times report said the observation platform will probe the undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics, and will also be used for other purposes.
At an offshore drilling project led by Chinese scientists, 33 scientists from 13 countries including the US, France, Italy and Japan left Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 7 for the South China Sea.
The scientists have completed the first drilling task of the expedition to the South China Sea.
The first hole, identified as U1499A, has reached 3,770 meters below sea level, for collection of sediment samples, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
According to Sun Zhen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, chief scientist of the research expedition team, a preliminary lithologic study was conducted on sediment believed to have been formed eight million years ago.
The second drill, close to the first hole, has begun and is expected to gather information from the sediment core, Sun said.
Scientists will explore the lithosphere extension during the continental breakup, by drilling four sites to a depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters in the northern area of the South China Sea.
The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow.
A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions, as part of the International Ocean Discovery Programme.

PTI |

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ICC Match Referee Chris Board rates Pune pitch ‘poor’; BCCI given 14 days to respond

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ICC Match Referee Chris Board rates Pune pitch ‘poor’; BCCI given 14 days to respond

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

ICC Match Referee Chris Board rates Pune pitch ‘poor’; BCCI given 14 days to respond

New Delhi : The pitch used for the first Test between India and Australia in Pune has been given a “poor” rating by the ICC match referee Chris Broad.

Australia won the Test match, which ended in the post-tea session of day three, by 333 runs, bowling India out for 105 and 107. India’s match total of 212 runs was their lowest in a home Test in which they had lost all 20 wickets. Spinners accounted for 31 of the 40 wickets that fell during the Test.

According to the ICC’s pitch and outfield monitoring process, a pitch is said to be poor if any of the following apply:

  • The pitch offers excessive seam movement at any stage of the match
  • The pitch displays excessive unevenness of bounce for any bowler at any stage of the match
  • The pitch offers excessive assistance to spin bowlers, especially early in the match
  • The pitch displays little or no seam movement or turn at any stage in the match together with no significant bounce or carry, thereby depriving the bowlers of a fair contest between bat and ball

In accordance with Clause 3 of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, Broad submitted his report to the ICC, expressing concern over the quality of the pitch. The ICC has forwarded the match referee’s report to the BCCI, which now has 14 days to respond.Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s General Manager – Cricket, and Ranjan Madugalle, ICC’s chief referee, will review the BCCI’s response and study footage from the match, before ruling on whether or not the pitch was substandard.

The penalty for a pitch that is ruled substandard for the first time – as would be the case for Pune, which was hosting its first ever Test match – is “[a] warning and / or a fine not exceeding USD 15,000 given together with a directive for appropriate corrective action”, according to Clause 4 of the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process.

Indian pitches have been under the ICC scanner for a while. In December 2015, the Nagpur pitch was rated poor by the ICC match referee Jeff Crowe after India had defeated South Africa inside three days.

Earlier this month, the ICC chief executives committee, backed by the ICC board, decided to punish severely venues that presented substandard pitches. A system of imposing demerit points against each venue was proposed by the Chief Executives Committee. The proposal will be ratified at the ICC annual conference in June and subsequently, the news rules will take effect.

“It was agreed that a system of demerit points be introduced, similar to the new Code of Conduct system. Demerit points will remain active for a rolling five-year period. When a venue accumulates 5 demerit points, its ICC accreditation will be suspended for a period of 12 months. Should a venue reach 10 points, its accreditation will be suspended for 24 months,” an ICC release said.

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28Fab War veterans line up in Gurmehar Kaur’s support

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28Fab War veterans line up in Gurmehar Kaur’s support

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

PATIALA : Support from the war veterans has started pouring in for Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur, whose social media campaign against ABVP drew a volley of hate messages on her Facebook account.
The Punjab State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (Sewa) has stepped forward to fight a legal battle on her behalf. Other war veterans have also voiced their concerns against “rape threats” issued to the daughter of Kargil martyr Captain Mandeep Singh.War veterans line up in Gurmehar Kaur’s support Sewa president Col Kuldip Singh Grewal (retd) said they would fight for the martyr’s daughter and see to it that a formal complaint against is made with the authorities concerned. “We will make certain that the case is filed and taken to its logical conclusion,” he said.
Col Grewal, a 1971 India-Pakistan War veteran, said it was shameful that the daughter of a Kargil martyr who laid down his life for the country was being threatened with rape. “All daughters of the country should be respected, especially of the Army men who fought for the country and laid down their lives. Gurmehar’s opinion should have been respected as she has the right to raise her voice,” he said.Col Tejinder Singh Bajwa (retd), another 1971 War vetaran settled at Mohali, said the countrymen should raise their voice in unison to protect the daughter of a martyr. No one should remain unaffected when a daughter is threatened with rape, he said.
“What sort of example is being set by the frontrunners of this generation? It is highly condemnable and should be disapproved of by all in one single voice,” said Brig Balwant Singh Tejey (retd).

TNN |

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5.6-magnitude quake hits off Japan’s Fukushima, no tsunami risk

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5.6-magnitude quake hits off Japan’s Fukushima, no tsunami risk

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Tokyo : A 5.6-magnitude earthquake today struck northeastern Japan near the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear plant but there was no fear of a tsunami, Japanese and US authorities said.
The quake struck at a depth of 42.3 kilometres in the Pacific Ocean 34 kilometres east-northeast of the town of Namie, the US Geological Survey said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said there was no risk of a tsunami from the quake, which caused some swaying in high-rise buildings in Tokyo.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries though some local service train services stopped, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Tokyo Electric Power, operator of the Fukushima plant, said no abnormalities were detected.

A massive undersea quake on March 11, 2011 sent a tsunami barrelling into the northeast coast, leaving more than 18,500 people dead or missing and sending three reactors into meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

In November a powerful 6.9-magnitude quake sparked panic and triggered a one-metre (three-foot) tsunami that washed ashore at the Fukushima plant but caused no damage.

Japan sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year.

AFP |

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Kerala Catholic priest arrested for raping 17-year-old girl

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Kerala Catholic priest arrested for raping 17-year-old girl

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Kannur (Kerala) : A Catholic priest in Kerala was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl, who subsequently gave birth to a baby boy, police said.

Robin Vadakkanchery, 49, a parish vicar near Kannur, was also the manager of the Church-backed school, where the girl was a Class 11 student.

Vadakkanchery was taken into custody on Monday night when he was reportedly getting ready to slip out of the country as police after him following a complaint registered by the Childline agency that works among school children.

The police official leading the probe told media persons that this act has been done by a person who is duty bound to protect children and give them the right perspective on life.

“And when someone like that becomes an accused, the charges will be very strong,” the police official added.

Police is now probing the role of the hospital where the girl delivered the baby if they followed all the necessary documentary procedures.

IANS |

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Bomb recovered ahead of Rahul Gandhi visit to Imphal

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Bomb recovered ahead of Rahul Gandhi visit to Imphal

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Imphal : A bomb was recovered here on Tuesday ahead of the visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for campaigning for the Manipur Assembly elections.Police said the bomb was found near the gate of a residential building around 6 am in Khongman Bashikhong Turel Mapal area in Imphal East district.

The bomb was later defused.

The bomb was recovered about 6 km from the venue where the Congress vice-president is scheduled to address a rally.

Rahul Gandhi will campaign for Congress candidates at Hapta Kangjeibung ground.

Elections in the state are slated for March 4 and 8.

PTI |

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