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25 May 2018
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NEWS 14/5/18

NEWS 14/5/18

National News

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is expected to win his Old Mysore seat of Chamundeshwari but faces a very tough fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s tribal leader Sriramulu in North Karnataka’s Badami. A deep dive into the India Today – Axis My India exit poll data reveals that Sriramulu, who’s a close associate of the Reddy brothers, has given the chief minister a run for his money in Badami.Ironically, the exit poll data shows that the Reddy brothers themselves may not have done as well as the BJP would have hoped. Axis My India data suggests that Gali Janardhan Reddy’s elder brother G Somasekhara Reddy faces a tough fight against Congress’s Anil Lad in Bellary city. In Bellary Rural, the going is far from easy for associates of the Reddy brothers.

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It has become impossible for banks to exchange soiled banknotes of Rs 200 and Rs 2,000 denomination as the rules governing their exchange are yet to be amended. Exchange of mutilated and imperfect notes is governed by Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules which are part of Section 28 of the RBI Act. The Act specifies currency notes of Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 1,000, Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 denomination, but Rs 200 and Rs 2,000 notes are conspicuously missing from the list.
Members of the group included actresses, directors and other women in the film industry, including Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayek and “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, The Associated Press reports.Blanchett, the jury president of this year’s festival, led the group and read out a statement from the steps of the Palais des Festivals, joined by French film director Agnes Varda, who read the statement in French.In her remarks, Blanchett explained the significance of the number 82.

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We have still not been able to get over how gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looked at her previous red carpet appearance at Cannes 2018, and the actress has, once again, cast her spell with her second look on the red carpet.Adding yet another stunning ensemble to her 17th chapter at the Cannes Film Festival, the diva stepped out in a dreamy, shimmering, strapless Rami Kadi outfit.

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At least 41 people were killed on Sunday in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi after dust storms and thunderstorms wreaked havoc in multiple parts across the country. High-velocity winds coupled with rain and lightning uprooted trees and disrupted rail and flight services and brought traffic to a standstill. Eighteen people were killed in Uttar Pradesh, while 12 died in West Bengal and nine in Andhra Pradesh, PTI reported. Three deaths were also reported from the national capital.According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the rain accompanied by strong winds will continue for the next 72 hours across the country, though the intensity might not be as strong. “There is a circulation of a western disturbance in northwest India. We had forecast that the weather will be adverse for two-three days. This thunderstorm will continue for the next 48-72 hours,” said Charan Singh, Scientist, IMD, on the weather change in Delhi. “Thunderstorms, accompanied by winds, are also very likely at isolated places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west UP, Bihar, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala,” said the IMD advisory.

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Confronted with crippling operational shortages in ammunition stocks that would not last even 10 days of “intense fighting”, the defence ministry and Armyare now finalizing a Rs 15,000 crore long-term plan to get the domestic private sector to manufacture seven different types of ammunition.The aim is to develop capability in the private sector companies, which can set up joint ventures with foreign manufacturers, to bridge the gaps in the production capacity of the 41 factories of the Ordnance Factory Board. “This indigenization of ammunition production over a 10-year time-frame will gradually reduce our heavy import dependence,” said a senior official.
The government was rudely jolted out of its slumber after the terror attack at Uri in September 2016 when it found that the 13-lakh strong Army simply did not have certain categories of ammunition to undertake a full-blown war with “intense fighting” for 10 days.

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Agitated villagers blocked the national highway and protested against the local administration after a 12-year-old girl was mauled to death by stray dogs in Sitapur on Sunday. At least 13 children have been killed since November last year after being attacked by stray dogs in Sitapur.Reena, resident of Maheshpur village, was killed by a pack of dogs. The incident created even more panic in Khairabad block of Sitapur district.”This was the seventh such death this month. The administration is leaving no stone unturned to tackle the menace. The number of dogs in packs is decreasing. Earlier dogs attacked in packs of six to eight, now they are reduced from two to four,” said Superintendent of Police Anand Kulkarni.Immediately after the incident, the villagers protested accusing the administration of not taking enough measures to resolve the problem.

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Walmart shares slumped more than 4% in the morning trade on Wednesday wiping off nearly $10 billion from its market capitalisation, hours after the retail giant announced $16 billion worth Flipkart deal.The shares took a beating amid concerns that the deal could impact profits of Walmart. The American retail major’s shares fell over 4% on the New York Stock Exchange at around $82.13 apiece.At this level, the market capitalisation was more than $242 billion, which is way lower than Tuesday’s closing level.At Tuesday’s closing price of $85.74 per share, Walmart had a market capitalisation of little over $253 billion.

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The CBI will submit a chargesheet against Allahabad Bank CEO & MD Usha Ananthasubramanian and several others on Monday in the over Rs 13,000 crore PNB scam allegedly perpetrated by businessman Nirav Modi. Ananthasubramanian was the MD and CEO of PNB in 2016.The new names included in the chargesheet are of PNB executive directors Brahmaji Rao and Sanji Saran, and general manager Nehal Ahad. Sources said these officials had not complied with circulars issued by the RBI on the SWIFT control system in 2016. All of them have been questioned by the CBI in this case.Some of the names that have been excluded are Ami Modi, wife of Nirav, his brother Nishal Modi and uncle Mehul Choksi. The CBI will file a supplementary chargesheet later with more details.

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Seeking to enhance the capability of the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Indian Air Force is planning to equip it with a long-range missile of the Meteor class which will help it get an edge over the jets of the adversaries.The missiles are required to be equipped on the 83 Mark 1A LCAs for which an order has been placed by the air force with the public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.”The request for proposal has asked the aircraft to be equipped with a long range beyond visual range missile of the class of Meteor which can take out enemy aircraft in the range of more than 100 kilometres. This would help the LCA get an edge over the aircraft with adversaries,” said government sources.

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A 23-year-old staffer of budget carrier IndiGo was arrested for allegedly making a hoax call regarding a bomb on a Mumbai-bound flight on May 2, police said today. The accused, identified as Kartik Madhav Bhat, wanted to teach a lesson to the airlines since he had been warned about his poor performance, they added.On May 2, a call about a bomb on a Mumbai-bound flight was received at the IndiGo Airlines Office in the Cargo Complex at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA). Subsequently, a few Mumbai-bound flights from the IGI airport were checked and the call was declared as a “hoax”. The police zeroed in on Bhat, a resident of Pune, on the basis of the number from which the call was made and nabbed him.

International News

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China’s largest bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), has launched the country’s first India-dedicated publicly offered investment fund, the bank said on Monday.The fund, named the ICBC Credit Suisse India Market Fund, will “invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and the US that are based on the Indian market”, according to the state-owned bank, which said it would be “China’s first publicly offered fund for investing in India”.”It will invest in the future of the Indian economy and track the distribution of the industrial structure across the Indian market,” said Liu Weilin, a fund manager with ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Company, in an article in the State-run Global Times.

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At least nine people were killed and more than 30 injured when terrorists detonated bombs and stormed a government building Sunday in a continuing attack in an eastern Afghan city, officials said.
A thick column of smoke rose into the sky after two explosions near Jalalabad’s directorate of finance, the Nangarhar provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told AFP, adding that “a number of attackers” had entered the building.
“Security forces are in the area chasing and fighting them,” he said, adding that one attacker “is down” and the clearing operation was continuing.”Around noon a big boom shook our building,” Qaisar told AFP from a Jalalabad hospital.
“I then saw at least two armed attackers entering the building. My friends ran to hide and I jumped from a window.

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Eight Nepali climbers reached the top of Mount Everest on Sunday, the first of hundreds of climbers expected to summit the world’s highest mountain in coming weeks.The team reached the summit on Sunday afternoon while fixing ropes for foreign climbers, who will begin this week to ascend the mountain.

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Toyota is gearing up for the launch of its latest sedan for the Indian car market, the Yaris on May 18, 2018. Earlier, Toyota had already opened bookings for the Yaris. The Toyota Yaris comes at an introductory price which ranges from Rs 8.75 lakh to Rs 14.07 lakh, ex-showroom. Toyota has stated that the prices will be uniform across India. The Yaris, upon launch, will lock horns with the likes of Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Skoda Rapid, Hyundai Verna, and the Volkswagen Vento.The Yaris is available in four versions which also comes with an option of a manual or a CVT gearbox. The Yaris is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine which churns out 107bhp. There will no diesel engine in the lineup.

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Pakistan is virtually holding an American diplomat hostage after preventing him from boarding a US military plane sent to bring him out of Islamabad, where he is sequestered at the US Embassy while the two sides are locked in a dispute over his diplomatic status and immunity issues. Fraying ties between once-close allies saw a few more threads snap this weekend after what appeared to be a failed American rescue mission aimed at airlifting Col Joseph Emanuel Hall, a defence attaché at the US Embassy in Islamabad. Hall is accused of running a red light on April 7 while driving an SUV and knocking over a Pakistani national on a motorcycle, killing him.

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