Kolkata: The West Bengal Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) on Thursday launched modified Expression of Interest (EOI) for allotment of land at Bengal Silicon Valley Hub in New Town.Thirty-one additional plots with an overall area of 57 acres with sizes ranging from 0.25 acres to 10 acres will be available at special support price for setting up IT, ITeS and Telecom units. The allotment of land in the third phase will be on leasehold basis for a period of 99 years. The application process will start from June 4. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaDuring first and second phases, applications were submitted by Reliance Jio, TCS, CTS, Capgemini, Firstsource, Tech Mahindra, ISI and Sameer. According to a senior Hidco official, in some cases the formalities have been almost completed and payments have been made. “In a few cases, an exchange of equivalent value land has been proposed from Bantala IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ) while in a few others there is a shift from first to second phase and in these cases some more formalities need to be concluded before the allotment processes may be concluded,” the official added. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersApplications for the third phase will take place on a daily basis: this means that, for example, all applications received during 10 am to 5 pm on June 4, 2019 will be earmarked with preferred plots tentatively subject to verification of documents if the earnest money of Rs 25 lakh is given. There is an elaborate procedure in case two applicants looking for the same plot (withdraw or limited bid). Next day, applications for not-earmarked-for-allotment plots will happen again from 10 am to 5 pm. This will continue on all working days till all plots are earmarked for allotment. All such applicants’ documents will be scrutinised plot by plot and sent to state IT and Electronics department for seeking the views of the Board of Webel who may do further due diligence or conduct an interview. If there is no issue raised by Webel Board, the allotment letter for first installment payment would be given after approval of the state Cabinet. The details of the EOI have been posted at the website of HIDCO. A total of 200 acres of land has been allotted for the Silicon Valley Hub. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched the Silicon Valley Hub in August 2018 in Action Area II in New Town.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first port of call after his second swearing-in will be the Maldives. He is expected to make a two-day visit to capital Malé on June 7 and 8. There is a possibility of his making a short trip to Sri Lanka as well either on his way to or on way back home from the Maldives. Five years of the first NDA government’s neighbourhood diplomacy did not bring much success to write home about. Nepal continued to drift closer to China. In Sri Lanka, there was a power struggle within the government. President Maithripala Sirisena of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who was considered friendly to India suddenly dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party and inducted former president and one-time rival Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. Eventually, the Sri Lanka Supreme Court invalidated Rajapaksa’s appointment and reinstated Wickremesinghe as PM. But the cold war between the President and the Prime Minister continues. Unfortunately, the name of India’s intelligence agency RAW was dragged in the internal politics of the island nation. Also Read – A staunch allyChina remained as hostile to India as ever. Only under international pressure did it agree to declare Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. Relations with Myanmar were so-so. After initially agreeing, Seychelles turned down India’s request for constructing a military base on the Assumption island, apparently under Chinese pressure. Only in the Maldives did the political developments took place in a way conducive to improving friendship and cooperation between the two countries. In the elections held in December last year, President Abdulla Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives was voted out by the people. Maldivian Progressive Party of deposed president Mahomed Nasheed stormed back to power, winning 81 seats in the 87-member House. Nasheed’s close associate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih became the new president. Under Yameen, Maldives came under the dominant influence of China. Yameen ruled the country with an iron hand. Democracy was suppressed, all opposition leaders were imprisoned. India-Maldives relations took a nose dive. Also Read – Cuban pathosIt is against these recent developments in the Maldives that Prime Minister Modi is making his first trip abroad after his electoral victory. Yameen’s pro-Beijing policy has cost the country heavily. It has landed itself in a debt-trap. The Maldives owes China nearly $1500 million or a per capita debt of $8000! It does not know how to repay this loan. Incidentally, Maldives is not an exception. ‘Communist’ China has been pursuing the age-old imperialist policy of economic colonialism and many countries are now in huge debt to China that they can never repay. The Maldives expects India to come to its aid in economic development. However, for India, helping the Maldives out of the Chinese debt trap is out of the question. India can build infrastructure projects in the Maldives in a way that will prove beneficial to both countries. But the problem of liquidating the Chinese debt will have to be faced by Nasheed and his government. Tourism and fishing are two major sources of Maldives’ revenue. The archipelago consists of nearly 1200 atolls only 200 of which are inhabited. The possibility of making some other islands habitable and turning them into tourist spots should be explored; India can play a positive role in this. The Chinese navy is expanding rapidly and Beijing is eager to extend its footprint in the Indian Ocean. Maldives’ location makes it strategically important to both India and China and hence will continue to be at the centre of India-China competition for dominance in the Indian Ocean Region. Important shipping routes pass by the Maldives archipelago. China has been trying, without success, to make a naval base in the Maldives. So India will have to take a long-term view of its relations with Maldives vis-à-vis China. Cooperation in the defence field assumes importance in this context. India can also help the Solih government in strengthening the democratic foundations of the country so that another Yameen-like takeover can be prevented. The Maldives faces another challenge of radical Islam. Little known to the outside world, radical Islam has been growing fast in the Maldives. A couple of years ago there were reports that some two hundred Maldivians had joined the ISIS along with militants from other Muslim countries. The Constitution adopted in August 2008, makes Islam the State religion of Maldives. Section ‘D’ of Article 9 of the Constitution debars non-Muslims from acquiring citizenship of Maldives. During the heyday of Yameen’s rule when democracy was suppressed, Islamic extremists became active. There were reports of liberal bloggers being stabbed to death by extremist elements. A journalist, Ahmed Rilwan, who opposed both the Yameen regime and radical Islam, was abducted. The inquiry into his mysterious disappearance was stopped by Yameen. Rilwan was officially declared dead just after December elections and before the new government came to power. A liberal blogger, Yameen Rasheed, was stabbed to death for holding liberal views. If the rise of Islamic radicalism is not checked it is very likely to lead to a drop in tourist traffic. That will directly impact the Maldivian economy. Tourism accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s GDP. However, President Solih is aware of the threat posed by radical Islam. After the exit of Yameen, there is a new mood prevailing in the country. Radical Islam will no longer enjoy State patronage. (The views expressed are strictly personal)
Bangkok: A group of 65 Rohingya Muslims have been found on a shipwrecked boat off the coast of southern Thailand, Navy officials said Wednesday as authorities investigated whether they had been trafficked. The boat was discovered early Tuesday in the Tarutao Marine National Park in southern Thailand, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the border of Myanmar. Some 740,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since a brutal military crackdown in 2017 against the stateless minority in the Buddhist-majority country. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Most have escaped into overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh, while others have fallen prey to human trafficking rings as they seek better lives in Malaysia or Thailand. A Thai Navy spokesman said there were 31 women and five children among the Rohingya on the shipwrecked boat. One Thai man and five Burmese citizens were also in the group. The men said they were fishing in the area and had no link to the Rohingyas. The six men “were detained for questioning because of their suspicious behaviour,” Thai Navy spokesman, vice admiral Khan Deeubol, said Wednesday. A provincial official said the group was initially investigated for illegal entry but the probe had broadened. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”Authorities are not ruling out other issues such as human trafficking,” an Internal Security Command (ISOC) source in Satun province said. Photos from the Thai Navy showed the group on a beach, some eating rice near the marooned ship. Bangladeshi authorities have intercepted several suspected traffickers seeking to transport refugees from squalid camps in Cox’s Bazaar, where nearly one million Rohingyas are living — almost all refusing to go back to Myanmar out of fear for their safety and rights. Myanmar has said the 2017 crackdown was aimed at rooting out insurgents who attacked military posts. It has signed a repatriation agreement with Bangladesh to return Rohingya refugees, but so far virtually none have volunteered to go back. United Nations investigators have said the violence amounts to “genocide” and called for the prosecution of top generals.
Kolkata: Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee lashed out at BJP for circulating fake news over the induction of some of the Panchayat members of Trinamool Congress to their party fold. “It is a party that survives on giving false information,” he said, while addressing a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.It may be mentioned that BJP leader Mukul Roy has claimed on Wednesday that members of Champadanga Gram Panchayat and Talpur Gram Panchayat in Hooghly have joined BJP. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaRefuting Roy’s claim, Banerjee presented the members whom BJP had claimed to have joined the saffron party and said: “Spreading such false information among people has become a habit of BJP.” He said Panchayat members like Archana Pal, Rupali Chang, Sanjoy Biswas, Dipali Saha, Bulu Barui, Madhuri Maity and Belal Hossain Mondol had never joined BJP and so the question of their coming back to Trinamool does not arise. “By giving false information Roy is actually trying to keep the bosses at Delhi in good humour,” Banerjee said. He maintained that many councillors in North 24-Parganas who have joined BJP are keeping in constant touch with Trinamool and they will come back to the party soon. Meanwhile, at Balurghat in South Dinajpur, a Panchayat pradhan of Balurghat block who recently joined BJP from Trinamool, came back to her old party on Wednesday. The newly appointed district Trinamool chief Arpita Ghosh welcomed Mousumi Roy, pradhan of Boaldar Gram Panchayat, back to the party fold and later handed over the party flag to her.
Mumbai: Taking a cue from global markets, the key Indian equity market indices on Thursday opened lower. The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 39,756.81 points on Wednesday, opened lower at 39,679.35 points. Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 39,651.30 points, down by 105.51 points, or 0.27 per cent. At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader Nifty 50, which had closed at 11,906.20 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 11,871.40 points, down by 34.80 points or 0.29 per cent. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents As many as 14 stocks advanced in the Nifty 50 index while 36 stocks declined. In the BSE Sensex, 20 stocks including Tata Steel, ITC were trading in red while 10 stocks including Coal India, HDFC were trading in green at 9.21 a.m. Concerns over slowing growth along with the outflow of foreign funds pulled the Indian equity market lower on Wednesday. The Sensex was down by 193.65 points or 0.48 per cent at the Wednesday’s closing. In the day’s trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 39,982.10 points and a low of 39,623.53 points. The Nifty, too was down by 59.40 points or 0.50 per cent. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chief On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a negative trend. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was quoting in red, down by 0.52 per cent, Hang Seng was also down by 0.71 per cent.A South Korea’s Kospi was quoting in red, down by 0.77 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite was however trading in green, up by 0.10per cent. Overnight, Nasdaq closed in red, down by 0.38 per cent while FTSE was also down by 0.42 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.
Los Angeles: An American teenager has been charged with conspiring to murder her “best friend” after a man she met online offered her USD 9 million to commit the crime. According to investigators, Denali Brehmer, an 18-year-old from Alaska, was recruited to kill her friend by a man a few years her elder, 21-year-old Darin Schilmiller of Indiana. The pair had previously hooked up online, with Schilmiller assuming a fake identity and posing as a millionaire named “Tyler.” Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: LondonCourt documents say that during the course of their online relationship, they discussed a plan to rape and murder someone in Alaska. Schilmiller promised Brehmer USD 9 million or more to send him videos or photographs of the macabre attack. Brehmer then proceeded to recruit four friends and the group settled on Cynthia Hoffman — described as one of Brehmer’s best friends — as their victim. On June 2, authorities say 19-year-old Hoffman was lured to a hiking trail northeast of Anchorage where she was bound with duct tape and shot once in the back of the head before being pushed into a river. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassadorHer body was discovered on June 4. Local news reports said Hoffman’s father has described his daughter as having a learning disability and the mindset of a 12-year-old. Police say the victim was driven to Thunderbird Falls by Brehmer and Kayden McIntosh, a 16-year-old boy, under the guise of going on a riverside hike. McIntosh allegedly shot Hoffman with Brehmer’s gun and dumped her body in the water. Authorities say Brehmer communicated with Schilmiller throughout the murder, sending him “Snapchat photographs and videos of Hoffman tied up and of the body afterward.” Both Brehmer and McIntosh have been arrested and charged in relation to the murder. Schilmiller has also been arrested along with three others accused of assisting in the planning or execution of the killing. A grand jury last Friday indicted all six defendants for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, two counts of second-degree murder and other charges. Schilmiller and Brehmer were also indicted on Tuesday on federal child pornography and child exploitation charges. Police said that a search on Brehmer’s phone during their investigation into Hoffman’s death revealed that the teen — at Schilmiller’s direction — had produced videos depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a minor and sent them to Schilmiller. Court documents say Schilmiller admitted to attempting to blackmail Brehmer after the murder into sexually assaulting young girls. Both face up to life in prison on the child pornography charges. They also face up to 99 years in prison for each of the murder charges, the conspiracy to commit murder charge, and the solicitation to commit murder charge.
New Delhi: The Delhi University for all its affiliated colleges will release first cut-off list for undergraduate courses on June 28. Additionally second, third, fourth and fifth cut-off lists will be released on July 4, 9, 15 and 20 respectively, mentions statement released by the university.For postgraduate courses, the first cut-off list will be released on July 17. Second, third and fourth cut-off lists will be released on July 22, 27 and August 2 respectively. Moreover, the fifth cut-off list’s dates will be announced later. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkThe documents verification will be done for three consecutive days from the cut-off release dates, barring Sundays. The statement further mentioned that the applicant has to log on to the undergraduate admission portal to make online payment of the fee. This may be done till 3 pm of the next day of the approval of the admission in the portal. “In PG courses the applicant has to log on to the postgraduate admission portal to make online payment of the fee. This may be done till 3 pm of the next day of the approval of the admission in the portal,” reads the statement. The DU statement further added that document verification and approval timing will be 10 am to 3 pm for department/faculty abd 9.30 am to 2 pm for the college. Earlier reports were coming that the Delhi University (DU) is likely to release its first cut-off list by the end of this month as the Delhi High Court directed the university to extend its registration date to 22 June.
New Delhi: Senior Congress leaders will meet here later on Monday to discuss the situation in Karnataka where the Congress-JD-S coalition government is on the brink after several MLAs from both parties resigned. According to party sources, Congress leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora will discuss the Karnataka situation. It is not clear if Rahul Gandhi, who has resigned as Congress President, will also attend the meeting. He did not attend a similar meeting on Karnataka on Saturday. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! General Secretaries Mallikarjun Kharge and K.C. Venugopal are now in Karnataka. Congress leaders had met on Saturday to discuss the issue. After the meeting, Kharge went to Karnataka. Venugopal flew to Bengaluru from Kerala. Monday’s meeting comes at a time when all Congress and JD-S Ministers on Monday resigned in Karnataka in a bid to save the tottering government even as the BJP asked Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to quit saying he had lost majority support in the House. The Congress has accused the BJP of destabilizing the state government, a charge denied by the BJP.
New Delhi: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar Monday expressed concern over delay in sowing due to deficient rains but said there is still time for planting of Kharif (summer-sown) crops. The Centre is in touch with the states to jointly tackle the situation if there is any drought like situation.”Delay in sowing of Kharif crops is a cause of concern. There is still time for farmers to complete sowing operations,” Tomar told reporters on the sidelines of State Agriculture Ministers conference’ held here. Area under Kharif crops has declined by 27 per cent at 234.33 lakh hectare till last week of the ongoing Kharif season of 2019-20 crop year (July-June), as against last 319.68 lakh hectares in the same period last year. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”We are in touch if there is any drought like situation, we (centre and States) will work together,” Tomar said. Asked about expected Kharif crop production, he said it is too early to comment. The Indian Metereological Department (IMD) has projected good rains in July and August which could boost sowing operations. Sowing of kharif crops begin with the onset of southwest monsoon, which this year arrived late delaying the sowing operation.
India vs New Zealand, Live score and updates: Ravindra Jadeja slams a breathtaking half-century has single-handedly revived the Indian chase. Jadeja-Dhoni stand have put together a good stand as India are back in the hunt. New Zealand are looking to break this partnership as India are chipping away with the runs comfortably.(Inputs from Hindustan Times)
Kathmandu: Nepal’s only international airport here was on Friday temporarily shut down after a domestic flight with 66 passengers on board skidded off the runway while landing, injuring two passengers, officials said. The incident happened at 11.05 am when the Yeti airline’s flight NYT-422 from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu skidded off the recently repaired runway at the Tribhuvan International Airport after it became slippery due to the continuous downpour since morning. “The aircraft skidded 20 metres off the runway and landed at nearby grassland,” a senior official said. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping”We regret to inform you that Yeti Airlines Flight Number NYT-422 (9N-AMM) was involved in a runway excursion incident at KathmanduAirport at 11:05 Am today. All 66 passengers (64 adult and 2 infant) and 3 Flight Crew members onboard are safe and have been evacuated,” the Yeti airlines said in a tweet. According to the airport authorities, the work to remove the ATR 72-500 from the runway was underway and the airport is shut until 5 pm. “Efforts are still underway to remove the aircraft of Yeti Airline from the area and clear the runway for regular flight operations. Many technical precautions need to be taken to remove the aircraft and that all available resources were being used to get the task done,” the Himalayan Times quoted Rajan Pokjhrel, a senior airport official, as saying. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangDuring the incident two of the passengers sustained minor injuries, the official said. In a similar incident, authorities took 11 hours to remove a domestic aircraft that suffered a similar runway excursion in September last year, months after a Malaysian jet with 139 people on board had aborted its takeoff and skidded off the runway, according to media reports. In March 2018, a US-Bangla Airlines aircraft crashed and burst into flames while landing at the TIA, killing more than 50 people.
NEW DELHI: Delhi is likely to get more than 1000 new bus shelters across Delhi. The Delhi government will also place this proposal in front of the cabinet soon. In this project, the outskirts of Delhi will get priority, said the sources. “We want to start work on making of nearly 1,397 new and modern bus shelters across the city, including its outer and rural areas. A cabinet note will be prepared soon and this time outskirts to get priority,” said an official. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsDelhi government is now going to entrust Public Works Department (PWD) with the job, sources said. The decision to entrust the PWD to carry out the design and construction of bus Q shelters is likely to be taken in the board meeting of the Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (DTIDC) scheduled. With private players not coming forward to construct bus Q shelters, the Delhi government has decided construct these on its own and PWD has been selected as the executing agency, according to sources. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderWhile PWD would have to come up with a new design, according to sources, the theme behind the design shall have to maintain a balance between simplicity, innovation and context responsiveness. The government wants that the new bus shelters should be cost-effective without compromising on its function, experience and appearance, apart from being durable and easy to maintain. The new design of bus shelters are also expected to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists by incorporating elements of footpaths and cycle tracks. The bus shelters would also be placed keeping in mind existing trees and other street furniture and should also not obstruct passenger’s view of the bus. The design would also incorporate dust bins and street vendors, where relevant.
Dubai: India’s national carrier Air India will launch the Delhi-Toronto direct flight on the occasion of the World Tourism Day on September 27 despite facing the threat of privatisation due to mounting debts. The airline is also planning to launch a direct flight to Nairobi, Kenya sometime in October due to immense tourism potential in that area. “We will launch Delhi-Toronto non-stop flight from September 27 on the occasion of the World Tourism Day,” Air India (AI) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashwini Lohani told PTI onboard the Indore-Dubai maiden flight. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep AI 903 is the first international flight from Madhya Pradesh providing the much needed connectivity to the Gulf and beyond to the people of the state. “We are also planning to launch a direct flight to Nairobi sometime in October in view of immense tourism potential in that area,” Lohani said. Though the AI is facing a debt of nearly Rs. 60,000 crore, the spirit of its CMD is very high and is taking all possible steps including reducing operational costs to keep the national carrier afloat. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs Air India also plans to introduce Bhopal-Bangalore flight in October to fulfil the major demand of the people. He also said that after Dubai flight, AI will also start it’s services for Bangkok from Indore to meet the popular demand of the fun-loving people of the city (Indore) which is the country’s cleanest city. From Indore, Air India is operating a 162-seater A320 neo aircraft, which will fly three times a week directly to Dubai on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday while from Dubai it will fly on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, he said. “At present, AI has a capacity of 4,500 seats for Dubai and it plans to enhance it to 5,800 seats by winter by starting four more flights for the Gulf nation,” an AI official said. The new flights will commence shortly from Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kunnoor and Kochi during winter session which starts from October 10. Indore-born Sunish Kumar Bhargava will be the commander of this maiden international flight from his home city, the official said. “The flight will take a route via Kaccha (Gujarat) to fly over the Arabian Sea to reach Muscat, Oman to enter Dubai due to closure of air space over Pakistan,” Bhargava told PTI before entering cockpit. However, he clarified that it will not enhance the flying time. From Dubai, people of Madhya Pradesh will be able to visit major tourist destinations in the world and the biggest city of the UAE with well-known cities like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman and Al Ain all near by. Newly elected Indore MP, Shankar Lalwani in the presence of the CMD, Indore Mayor Malini Gaud and former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan flagged-off the maiden international flight to Dubai from Indore. An elated passenger, Aditya Dubey from Dewas, who is going for the first time to Dubai in the maiden international flight from Madhya Pradesh displayed handmade posters in flight “Thanking Air India” for launching this flight and took photos with the CMD. The authorities have made elaborate arrangements for welcoming passengers of this maiden flight by rolling out red carpet.
Mumbai: To ensure “transparency” in system, information regarding all rail bridges in the country would soon be made available for common people through newly-launched “Rail Drishti” portal, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said here Saturday.He was in city to kickstart the makeover project for Byculla railway station, which is one of the oldest and busiest suburban stations on the Central Railway. “Very soon, our ‘Rail Drishti’ portal would have information on the entire 1-1.25 lakh rail bridges across the country. It would entail all the vital details of a bridge such as its year of manufacture, the year of its auditing and about auditors. Also Read – MP woman hangs herself after killing three children”Possibly the phone numbers of auditors and concerned officials….(might be posted on the portal). All such information related to bridges would be made available in the public domain. Such initiative will ensure transparency and efficiency in the Railways,” he said. Addressing a gathering on the concourse of the station, Goyal said restoring heritage was not an easy task. “I am quite happy that several people have come forward to restore beauty of this majestic station building and the entire premises. Everyone who has come forward to make this station beautiful, deserves big thanks,” Goyal said. City-based NGO “I Love Mumbai”, led by BJP leader Shaina NC, had last year signed an MOU with the Central Railway (CR) for restoration of heritage and beautification of Byculla station. The NGO has embarked on restoration work in association with conservation architect Abha Lambah. Byculla was one of the original stations when the Bombay-Thane railway was inaugurated in April 1853.
New Delhi: Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Friday reported a 81.39 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 102.68 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2019. The company had posted a profit of Rs 551.96 crore in the same period a year ago. Revenue from operations declined to Rs 14,820.89 crore during April-June period as compared with Rs 15,907.53 crore in corresponding period last year, SAIL said in a regulatory filing. “The domestic steel industry has witnessed subdued demand during the first quarter of the financial year compared to corresponding period last year,” SAIL Chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary said in a separate statement. However, he said, with the government announcing planned investments in steel intensive sectors including infrastructure and construction, a positive impact can be expected for the industry for the rest of the financial year. During June quarter, SAIL’s crude steel output was at 3.930 million tonne (MT) as compared to 4.945 MT in the same period of 2018-19.
Oslo: A Dutch WikiLeaks associate who went missing under mysterious circumstances a year ago probably had a kayaking accident, Norwegian police said Friday, adding that his body had not yet been found. Arjen Kamphuis, a cybersecurity expert then aged 47, had not been seen since he left his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo on August 20, 2018. His disappearance had triggered a wave of conspiracy theories on social media, ranging from CIA and Russian involvement to a mission to carry out a secret project for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThen police discovered a kayak in the same area where a fisherman had found some of Kamphuis’s personal belongings floating in the waters about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Bodo. “The police have concluded that Mr Kamphuis most likely suffered an accident in the evening of August 20, 2018, while kayaking in the Skjerstad Fjord a few kilometres north of the village of Rognan in Nordland County in northern Norway, and was subsequently lost at sea,” the police said in a statement. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”His body has still not been recovered,” they added. WikiLeaks, which published secret US military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010, called Kamphuis’s disappearance “strange”. The mystery deepened when a phone linked to Kamphuis was briefly switched on in an area near the southwestern city of Stavanger, located 1,600 kilometres from Bodo, on August 30 last year. But on Friday, police explained that two truck drivers from eastern Europe had found the phone, a laptop and other items belonging to Kamphuis while they were fishing in the spot where his kayak was found and took the items with them. “The police have no reason to believe that the truck drivers were involved in the disappearance of Mr Kamphuis in any other way,” the police statement said.
Kolkata: A fifteen-year-old girl who was out on a cycle ride with her boyfriend was allegedly sexually assaulted by four local boys in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district, the police said on Wednesday. “Based on the family’s complaint filed on Tuesday we have arrested Biswajit Patra, Samir Mondol, Saurav Dolui and another juvenile boy for sexually assaulting the girl. They have also blamed her boyfriend for taking her out late in the evening,” an officer of Kolaghat police station said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The police said that the incident took place on August 24 when the girl, along with her 16-year old boyfriend, went out around 7 p.m. The family initially tried to talk to the boy’s family and solve it through discussions. According to the girl’s statement, the accused boys saw them in the deserted field and threatened to tell everyone in the village. “Two of the boys held her boyfriend while others took turn in molesting her”, the officer said. “The medical examination has been conducted and the investigation is on,” the officer added.
New Delhi: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has showered praises on Steve Smith of Australia, who continued his brilliant run of form in the Ashes series by slamming a double century against England in the ongoing fourth Test in Manchester. On Thursday, Smith — who had to miss the third Ashes Test due to concussion — played an incredible knock of 212 to help Australia post a mammoth first inning total of 497/8 and take the driver’s seat at the Old Trafford. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Complicated technique but an organised mindset is what sets Steve Smith apart. Incredible comeback!” Tendulkar tweeted while praising Smith. While hitting his third ton, his 26th overall, in the five-match Ashes series, Smith also went past Tendulkar in an illustrious list led by Aussie great Don Bradman. The 30-year-old has now become the second fastest cricketer in the history of the game to hit 26 Test tons. The former Australian skipper pushed Tendulkar to the third spot as he reached the milestone in 121 innings, while the ‘Master Blaster’ got to this mark in 136 innings.
Kolkata: A fresh controversy has erupted over director Srijit Mukherji’s latest flick with 32 members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s family claiming that the filmmaker has altered the movie’s name from ‘Gumnami Baba’ to ‘Gumnaami’ to get the Censor Board’s clearance. The upcoming film has already raked up controversies for delving into theories over Bose’s ‘disappearance’. The director, who had on Sunday screened the film’s trailer at the office of All India Forward Bloc – the party founded by Bose – termed the charges levelled by some of the descendants of the freedom fighter as “untrue”. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja The film, which got the CBFC clearance in the last week of August, will hit the screens on October 2. A statement, signed by Netaji’s niece Chitra Ghosh, his nephew Dwarka Bose and 30 other members of the Bose family, said on Monday, “For the past year, ever since Srijit Mukherji announced the film ‘Gumnami Baba’, he had said it is based on the book ‘Conundrum’ by Chandrachur Ghosh and Anuj Dhar and (he) had appeared with the authors (at events). Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “Now he (Srijit Mukherji) has suddenly changed his stance to get past the Censor Board and says the film is based on the Justice Mukherjee Commission report. He has also changed the name of the film.” Denying the charge, Mukherji said in a Facebook post, “What absolute nonsense and a bunch of lies! The name of the film from day one was Gumnaami, in all announcements including the teaser poster. “And the decision to base the screenplay on the Mukherjee Commision report and not Conundrum, was made before the film was shot, “months before this controversy.” “Clearly the Bose family thinks one can overnight change the screenplay of a film and shoot it,” the award winning filmmaker said. Mukherji also iterated that the film without arriving at any conclusion refers to all three theories over Netaji’s ‘disappearance’ – his death in a plane crash in 1945, his death in Russia and the appearance of a hermit in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad in the 1970s, who many believed was Subash Chandra Bose in disguise. “The third theory (Gumnami Baba’s appearance) only remains a theory even if it was negated by the Mukherjee Commission, in the absence of clinching evidence,” he said. Mentioning that people of the country “deserve to know the theory about Gumnami and its negation” along with the two other theories over Netaji’s disappearance, Mukherji said by issuing statements, the members of the Bose family were “resorting to fascist arm twisting” technique. The fresh statement by some of the members of Bose family also flayed the AIFB for having allowed screening of the trailer at the party office. “It is shocking that the Forward Bloc has been taken in by this and invited Srijit Mukherji to show a trailer in the presence of media,” the statement said. The statement, under the title ‘Majority members of Bose family’ demanded the film should not be screened on the scheduled date and said “It is imperative the AIFB immediately dissociate themselves from this and actively oppose the screening which is nothing but denigrating Netaji.” Mukherji had said on Sunday that senior AIFB leaders had seen the trailer and agreed to see the premier of the film. “A 20-member AIFB delegation will decide whether ‘Gumnaami’ hurt the sentiments of the people and followers of Netaji,” the filmamaker had said. Senior AIFB leaders Naren Dey, Haripada Biswas, Debabarata Biswas, Naren Chatterjee were present at the screening on Sunday at the state party headquarters. The party secretariat will take a call on the invite to attend the premier, Chatterjee had said. Last week, a statement signed by the 33 members of the Bose family had contended that “a misleading and defamatory campaign was being made to malign the image and legacy of the legendary leader”.
HALIFAX – Stephen McNeil is a soft-spoken man with a lower-register voice and a somewhat imposing 6-foot-5 frame. He doesn’t always exude warmth on TV, and he understands that.“Some might see me as a bit stiff and not as jovial as I really am,” said the 52-year-old Liberal premier. “For most Nova Scotians, that’s how they know me, through the television screen.”David Johnson, a political science professor at Cape Breton University, said that is McNeil’s biggest challenge as he seeks a second straight majority in the May 30 election: his image, as conveyed through the mainstream media.“I’ve always sensed that for a Nova Scotia premier to do well, they need to be seen as avuncular — everyone’s favourite uncle,” Johnson said.“If there’s an Achilles heel for Stephen McNeil … it’s that he comes off as being rather cold and aloof, and a bit condescending at times — some would say arrogant. If I was a campaign manager, I’d be telling him, ‘Be warmer, but more avuncular.’”In an interview with The Canadian Press in his seventh-floor office overlooking Halifax harbour, a more easygoing manner emerges as McNeil talks about growing up in the Annapolis Valley, the 12th of 17 children.He points to treasured items, including signed photos of NHL greats Sidney Crosby and Bobby Orr. Above those pictures are collages showing a jumble of photos of his two children when they were young. Colleen is now 27 and Jeffrey is 25.On another wall, there’s a picture of the 13th hole at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, where he and his son travelled to watch the 2010 Masters Tournament. The premier says he’s not much of a golfer, but his son is accomplished at the sport.On a shelf facing his desk, there’s a single, black-and-white photo of his father Burt, who choked to death while eating Sunday dinner when McNeil was eight years old.McNeil recalls how he and 13 other siblings were ushered out of the house that day, the youngest only 18 months old.“There’s a big gap in people’s lives when something like that happens,” he said, recalling how his mother Theresa suddenly faced the daunting task of raising so many young children on her own.“She had no driver’s licence and hadn’t worked outside the house … The next morning, she woke up and said, ‘We’re it.’ We were all looking at her.”She would later work in a factory before becoming Canada’s first female high sheriff, which made her responsible for court security in Annapolis County.McNeil studied refrigeration repair in Dartmouth, N.S., before opening his own appliance repair shop in Bridgetown, east of the family home in Granville Ferry. He ran the business for 15 years before winning his first provincial election bid in 2003.“I didn’t train to be the premier,” he said. “I was out working. I made my living carrying a tool box.”McNeil is a self-described fiscal conservative who has made it his mission to balance the province’s books.Throughout his first term, the premier has taken aim at public sector unions, saying members’ wages have increased 11.5 per cent over the past seven years, well above the increases seen in the private sector.“Most Nova Scotians who aren’t in the public sector would have liked to have that over the last seven years,” he said. “(But) we didn’t remove anything. We just said, ‘Let’s just slow down and let the economy catch up.’”Last February, McNeil’s government imposed a contract on 9,400 public school teachers, ending a two-month work-to-rule campaign.In April 2014, the government forced 2,400 striking nurses back to work by introducing legislation that requires all health-sector unions to draft essential services agreements before any job action can occur.It has made him some enemies, and harshened his public image, and both opposition parties have built much of their campaigns around that.The premier said he got a whiff of what was coming on April 19 when Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie took what McNeil felt was a personal shot at him.“His style of leadership, which has been to divide people, which has been to keep people down — like nurses and teachers who want to make the system better — is not getting us where we need to be,” Baillie told CBC.A few days later, NDP Leader Gary Burrill described McNeil as “morally deficient.”McNeil said he expects the campaign will be nasty.“I’m bruised up enough now that I can deal with all that stuff,” McNeil said. “But I worry about the slope we’re on.”In particular, he said the rise of social media has led to a debasement of political discourse, where reasoned debate has been replaced by taunts that reverberate through the Internet’s echo chambers.McNeil noted a recent online post from one of his own constituents referred to him as a latter-day Hitler.“There are people, that’s all they do. They sit there, and it’s their avenue to say whatever they want to say without ever having to be held accountable for it … And it’s becoming part of campaigns.”An opinion poll in March suggested voter support for the Liberals had declined sharply since the previous quarter, but the numbers still pointed toward another majority win for the governing party.Decided voter support for the Liberal party dropped from 56 per cent to 44 per cent, according to a survey of 1,210 adults conducted by Halifax-based Corporate Research Associates Inc. The Progressive Conservatives stood at 28 per cent, up eight points, and the New Democrats were at 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent, while five per cent supported the Green Party.McNeil said he wasn’t concerned about his party’s dip in the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.He said the poll shows most Nova Scotians understand the tough decisions were for the right reasons.“There isn’t a four-year premier in Canada that wouldn’t take those numbers,” he said.—–TOMORROW: NDP Leader Gary Burrill