DD/AIR News

  • Sri Lankan sport minister Faizer Mustapha in a statement today said the decision is a blow to the spirit of game but added that it will be accepted without any reservation as his country is a responsible ICC member. The minister pointed out that the law governing the offence of ball tampering is somewhat vague and lacks clarity.   It called upon ICC to revisit the applicable laws and ensure that a set of simple, clear and certain rules are put in place regarding the issue. The statement came after ICC review mechanism upheld the charges against the three Sri Lankans related to conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game. The three were charged for their involvement in the Sri Lanka cricket team's refusal to take to the field in second test match against West Indies last month after Sri Lankan captain was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball.

  • Here's a ground report on how the comprehensive cover makes farmers tension-free. 

  • Here's a report from Itanagar.

  • It is one-of-its-kind initiative to develop connect with farmer customers, resolve their grievances and educate them about their various rights and bank's initiatives.  SBI, which has close to 1.50 crore farmer customers, plans to connect with at least 10 lakh farmers through this mega mela. As part of the mela, SBI also plans to offer Kisan Credit Cards to farmers. The bank will also make farmers aware of the benefits of timely renewal of KCC account and usage of KCC Rupay Card for transactional convenience.

  • The death toll from the recent storms has exceeded more than 200, with dozens still missing in the aftermath of Japan's worst weather disaster in three decades. After days of heavy downpours, the weather has finally cleared in western Japan. Residents are taking this opportunity to go back to their homes, but only to empty them of trash and debris as the storms have made many of them uninhabitable. Although Akiko Masaki's parents' home was well above the river, it still wasn't spared from the massive flooding that inundated their entire community. Masaki went over to her parents as quickly as she could and has since been taking care of all their needs with help from her family and friends. "I don't think they can come here in a few months, maybe before winter, hopefully," said Masaki. "We bring them, everyday or many friends of them, or friends of mine, come here everyday to bring something to eat, something to drink," she added. Usually when a disaster hits Japan, it's the convenience stores that are the first go-to places of survivors for their necessities, but this time around even the convenience stores in the area were completely destroyed. Food, water and other necessities have all been in short supply in the aftermath of the flooding. But aid is now slowly making its way out especially to the thousands of evacuees that remain. "A couple of days ago, they managed to restore the electricity and water supply here. There's air-conditioning now but before then, they had to endure the heat," said Yuichi Yamada, the public relations head of the Japanese Red Cross Society. That's not to say, however, that evacuees are completely safe from health risks, especially since they may not be able to return home soon. If there is anything that worries survivors here though, it hasn't been evident. The overwhelming sentiment expressed by many of them is a desire to restore normalcy in their lives as soon as they can.  

  • The 12 Thai boys and soccer coach who were rescued from a flooded cave will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday (July 18) and are set to hold a news conference the same day to satisfy huge media interest in their story, a government official said. The boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were safely brought out of the Tham Luang mountain cave complex near the border with Myanmar last week after a perilous rescue operation that drew global media attention and hundreds of journalists to the scene. The authorities have been concerned about the impact of sudden fame and media attention on the boys' mental health, so Wednesday's news conference will be carefully controlled.

  • NDRF Commandant, PK Srivastava said on Tuesday, "Two male dead bodies have been recovered. Four NDRF teams and dog squad are present on the spot, chances of any victim being alive are scant. Operations will continue until all victims are rescued." Several people are feared trapped under the debris. Police and rescue teams are present at the spot. Union minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma who visited the site, said, "Our top priority is to save any life that is still left under the debris.' Soon after the mishap, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath took cognisance of the incident and asked the District Magistrate to follow up with the National Disaster Response Force team and Police for relief measures and to ensure immediate rescue. 

  • Obstfeld made the remarks during an interview as the IMF released its updated World Economic Outlook report on Monday. The IMF kept its growth forecasts for the global economy unchanged for this year and the next year, but warned of escalating trade tensions that could derail the global recovery. "There are a number of challenges, I think the biggest is around trade policy and trade tensions, where there is a real big risk to global growth if the threatened measures and countermeasures all come to pass and the business confidence suffers as a result. There are other risks out there for high levels of private and public debts in many economies, as interest rates rise could cause problems. The strong dollar that we are seeing is having an effective tightening financial condition in emerging and frontier markets. And that is affecting a few of them right now. If interest rates in the U.S. rise very sharply, that could be a bigger effect down the road," said Obstfeld. The IMF report came after the Trump administration unilaterally imposed high tariffs on imported steel and aluminum products, provoking strong opposition from the domestic business community and retaliatory measures from U.S. trading partners. The risk that current trade tensions escalate further -- with adverse effects on confidence, asset prices and investment -- is the greatest near-term threat to global growth, Obstfeld warned at a briefing, adding that countries must resist inward-looking thinking. "Well, what we would like to see is a move to strengthen the multilateral system that has been so successful in promoting trade expansion throughout the entire post-war period. To address some of their concerns, whether it's about intellectual property, whether it's about support by state-owned enterprises in the Chinese case, I don't think the steel and aluminum issues are beyond being resolved also if countries will work together," said Obstfeld.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Party President Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad and several senior BJP leaders participated in the meet.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan, Anu Priya Patel of Apna Dal, RLD's Upendra Kushwaha, Sukhdev Singh from Akali Dal, Ramdas Athavale from RPI and Shiv Sena Sanjay Raut participated.  A strategy was drawn up for the Monsoon session. A decision was taken to act unitedly on proposals put forward by the opposition.  The recent decision to raise MSP for farmers was hailed by all. A resolution congratulating Prime Minister Modi for this move was passed.  Prime Minister shared the credit with all parties and termed it a success for the NDA.  He said that the alliance was growing from strength to strength and was morphing into NDA plus. Prime Minister Modi tweeted Wonderful interaction with our valued NDA allies.  The NDA family is united in our pursuit of development and good governance for 125 crore Indians.

  • Replying to Rahul Gandhi's letter to Prime Minister Modi, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has written to Congress President, appreciating his support on the women's reservation issue, but also asked why the opposition party was adopting a selective attitude rather than a holistic one on women's issues. The Congress has been stalling the Triple Talaq bill in Rajya Sabha so far. He appealed to the congress to work with the govt on the anti triple talaq and Nikah halala legislations. Ravi Shankar highlighted that the initiative of introducing the Women's Reservation Bill was first taken by the NDA government. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government had  presented the bill twice, but could not get it passed due to lack of cooperation from the opposition. In 2010 the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha. But due to opposition by SP, BSP and RJD on issues like quota within quota, the Bill was allowed to lapse in Lok Sabha. Ravishankar Prasad questioned the Congress why the UPA could not get the bill passed in the Lok Sabha for 3 whole years. The letter also asks whether Rahul Gandhi had consent from UPA allies on the issue. Ravi Shankar Prasad also sought Congress' cooperation on granting constitutional status to OBC Commission. Meanwhile, BJP has targeted Rahul Gandhi for his 'I am Congress' tweet. The BJP said these tweets are an admission of the party's alleged statement of being a Muslim party. The BJP also alleged that the Congress President is in competition with AIMM president Asaduddin Owaisi for the legacy of Pakistan founder MA Jinnah. It was reported in an Urdu daily recently that Congress President Rahul Gandhi at a program described the Congress as a party of Muslims. Since then, the BJP has been asking for a clarification on those reported remarks. Government welcomes your initiative to support the Bill. however, the government would like to understand fully the reasons why the Bill was not taken up for three years by the UPA government in the Lok Sabha and allowed to lapse.  The bill was originally proposed by the NDA government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee but could not be passed for want of consensus in Parliament. Despite disturbances, in 2010, The BJP and NDA stood in firm support of Bill and had it passed in the Rajya Sabha. Another Bill of Significant social importance is granting constitutional status to the national commission on backward classes. It also deserves your party's unqualified support for assured passage.

  • He added that he hopes time will be utilised constructively. "I have always expressed my hope that Parliament should run smoothly and that the government is ready to debate on any issue that the Opposition wants to," PM Modi concluded. The government has listed a substantive legislative business for the Monsoon session. This includes 48 items in all.  Pending bills like the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill or the anti-instant triple talaq bill is among them besides six ordinances that the government intends to enact into laws. The monsoon session begins on 18 July and concludes on 10 August. It will have 18 sittings. The issues outlined by the opposition for the session include, reservation in the appointment of teachers to universities, reservation in jobs, farmers issues, price rise, situation in jammu and kashmir, atrocities on Dalits, women security and lynching. On the government's agenda are 48 items including 46 Bills and two financial items. The bills prioritised by the govt include the The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill or the anti-instant triple talaq bill, The Constitution (123rd  Amendment) Bill, that gives Constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. The National Medical Commission Bill, The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, The Consumer Protection Bill, The Dam Safety Bill and Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill. On the govt's agenda are also the six bills replacing ordinances promulgated in the inter-session period which are:   --The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance --The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance --The Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance --The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance --The National Sports University Ordinance --The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance  

  • While the opposition brought up issues that it wants to highlight in the session, the government assured that it is willing to discuss all issues. Here's how the government, Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman reached out to the opposition to ensure a smooth Monsoon Session. Three attempts by the government for a smooth monsoon session of parliament. The focus was on keeping disruptions on bay and discussion on issues of public interest. The outcome was a broad consensus between the treasury and oppostion benches on the need for debate on all key issues. The first all-party meeting of the day was convened by the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Union ministers, and representatives of Congress, SP, RJD, YSR Congress, TDP, Akali Dal, Shiv Sena, NCP, AAP, CPI, JD(U), TRS and several other political parties participated in the meeting. Addressing floor leaders of parties in the two Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Government gives huge importance to the issues raised by all Political Parties and urged them to collectively strive for a constructive atmosphere in the Monsoon Session for national good. Legislative business and issues of importance were discussed in the meeting. The opposition leaders took up the issues they intend to raise during the session and the government assured that it is willing to discuss all issues. The government said that the opposition has promised to co-operate in the smooth functioning of the Monsoon Session. In the evening, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu convened a meeting of floor leaders of all parties in the Upper House and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan met floor leaders of all parties in the Lower House. In both the meetings, there was broad consensus among all parties in favour of smooth functioning of the session. All eyes are on the Monsoon Session since the second half of the budget session was nearly washed out leaving substantive legislative agenda hanging in the balance. The government is hoping for a turnaround in the approach of the opposition in the interest of Parliamentary democracy.  

  • Here's a ground report from Banda in Uttar Pradesh.

  • Here's a report from Chhattisgarh.

  • During raids at around 22 locations, officials stumbled upon  Rs. 160 crore in cash and around 100 kg bullion was found.  Tax officials termed the recoveries as probably the highest so far in a raid anywhere in the country. 17 premises were in Chennai, 4 in Aruppukotai and 1 each in Katpadi and Vellore.  Searches are still underway at few locations.

  • Giving its observations on a petition against lynching by cow vigilantes, the apex court called such incidents as horrendous acts of mobocracy.  SC made it clear that no individual can take law into his own hands.  The apex court also directed the state governments to take appropriate action and said that in case of fear and anarchy, the state has to act against violence.

  • However, the latest growth rate projection for India is slightly less -- 0.1 per cent in 2018 and 0.3 per cent in 2019 than its April projections. India's growth rate is expected to rise from 6.7 per cent in 2017 to 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.5 per cent in 2019, as drags from the currency exchange initiative and the introduction of the goods and services tax fade, said the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update. The projection is 0.1 and 0.3 percentage points lower for 2018 and 2019, respectively, than in the April WEO, reflecting negative effects of higher oil prices on domestic demand and faster than-anticipated monetary policy tightening due to higher expected inflation, it said. Despite this slight downgrade in its projections, India continues to outperform China, IMF's WEO update figures reflect. "Growth in China is projected to moderate from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.6 per cent in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019, as regulatory tightening of the financial sector takes hold and external demand softens," the report said. The IMF said global growth is projected to reach 3.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019, in line with the forecast of the April 2018 WEO, but the expansion is becoming less even, and risks to the outlook are mounting. The rate of expansion appears to have peaked in some major economies and growth has become less synchronised. In the US, near-term momentum is strengthening in line with the April WEO forecast, and the US dollar has appreciated by around five per cent in recent weeks, it said. Growth projections have been revised down for the Eurozone, Japan, and the UK, reflecting negative surprises to activity in early 2018, it said. Among emerging market and developing economies, growth prospects are also becoming more uneven, amid rising oil prices, higher yields in the United States, escalating trade tensions, and market pressures on the currencies of some economies with weaker fundamentals. Growth projections have been revised down for Argentina, Brazil, and India, while the outlook for some oil exporters has strengthened, the IMF said.  

  • Terming the existing data protection framework as inadequate, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a set of recommendations to DoT said that companies should not use meta-data to identify users and should disclose any data breaches. Stating that each user owns his/her personal data and information submitted to any entity, it said entities controlling and processing user data are "mere custodians" and all of them should be brought under a data protection framework. The government, it said, must notify policy framework to regulate devices, operating systems, browsers and applications. Batting for telecom consumers, TRAI said in its recommendation to the Department of Telecom that users be granted the right to choice, consent and to be forgotten to safeguard privacy. It has suggested that all entities in the digital ecosystem be brought under a data protection framework to guard against the misuse of personal data of telecom consumers. The recommendations assume significance as issues around data protection have come into the spotlight, and privacy concerns have amplified in the wake of the recent Facebook data leak fiasco. Recommending a series of measures on "privacy, security and ownership of data in telecom sector", TRAI held that consumers are owners of their data and that entities controlling, processing their information are "mere custodians and do not have primary rights over this data". "The Right to Choice, Notice, Consent, Data Portability, and Right to be Forgotten should be conferred upon the telecommunication consumers," it added. This is first time 'Right to be Forgotten' has been given weightage by an Indian authority. It empowers users to delete past data that he may feel is unimportant or detrimental to his present position. Past data could be in terms of photographs, call records, video clippings and so on which could potentially harm the reputation of the consumer. However, the regulator has added a rider that the right to data portability and right to be forgotten are restricted rights, and the same should be subject to applicable laws in this regard. It has suggested that till a general data protection law is notified by the government, the existing rules applicable to telecom operators for protection of users' privacy be made applicable to all the entities in the digital ecosystem. "For this purpose, the government should notify the policy framework for regulation of devices, operating systems, browsers and applications," TRAI has recommended. It said that in order to ensure sufficient choices to the users of digital services, detailing in the consent mechanism be built-in by service providers. TRAI has suggested that all entities in the digital ecosystem, including telecom operators should transparently disclose the information about the privacy breaches on their websites along with the action taken for mitigation, and preventing such breaches in future. TRAI had floated its discussion paper on the data privacy and security for telecom sector last year and had followed it up with an open house discussion in February this year. When contacted, TRAI Chairman R S Sharma said that the regulator will also share its recommendations as inputs with the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, which is working on a detailed data protection framework for the country. TRAI, in its 77-page recommendations, said,  

  • The diplomatic missions based in Colombo wrote a letter to Sri Lankan President Maithri­pala Sirisena yesterday that they fully oppose the recent statement by him that he will reinstate the death penalty. The missions said that they were writing to verify the worrying information in the public domain about the intention of Sri Lankan government to resume implementing the death penalty after a moratorium of more than 40 years. They called upon the president to maintain the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and to uphold Sri Lanka’s tradition of opposition to capital punishment. Earlier,  Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission wrote to President Sirisena, urging him to reconsider imposing the death penalty. President Sirisena has said recently that he would sign required orders to execute capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations while in detention.

  • The Maldives has been in turmoil since strongman President Abdulla Yameen jailed or exiled all his main opponents in recent months. "The European Union adopted today a framework for targeted sanctions in view of the situation in the Maldives, making it possible, if the situation does not improve, to impose a travel ban and an asset freeze on relevant individuals and entities," the EU said after foreign ministers met in Brussels. The EU said it would target people "responsible for undermining the rule of law or obstructing an inclusive political solution in the Maldives as well as persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations". Yameen declared a state of emergency in February after the Maldives' top court ordered that MPs sacked by the president be restored to power and dissidents freed from jail. The Maldives' chief justice and Supreme Court judges were subsequently arrested, along with Yameen's half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a former strongman who ruled for 30 years until 2008. The EU and the United States have expressed deep concern over Yameen's actions, while rights activists have asked the EU to slap sanctions on Yameen and key aides.

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