Trump, #MeToo scandal set stage for Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. Controversy stalks the Nobel prizes for peace and literature in a way it rarely does for science.
The revamped panel at the Swedish Academy who will hand out the Nobel literature prizes Thursday for both 2018 and 2019 would relish arguments about the winners, rather than intrigue about the #MeToo scandal that forced the institution to suspend the prize last year. And US President Donald Trump has done his part to kindle intrigue about the 2019 Peace Prize winner, by simultaneously seeming to pitch himself for the prize while also slamming the Norwegian panel that awards it. "Controversy is a natural effect of the literature prize," says Mats Malm, the Swedish Academy's new permanent secretary, appointed to head a reformed 18-person panel after two years of convulsions at the prestigious institution.
Tube tales: Inspired by Delhi's success, Indian cities take the metro. India’s automobile sector is battling slowdown, but metro rail construction is booming.
India has 650 km of metro rail lines, and the government aims to have another 600 km ready in various cities in the next five years. India needs more metro services considering the fact that half of its population will be living in cities by 2030. Proposals to build 1,000 km are at various stages of consideration. Ten Indian cities have metro systems now, with more than half the length accounted for by Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).
Another 150 km of metro rail will debut in Nagpur, Bhopal, Indore, Ahmedabad and Pune. Millions of people take the metro rail in cities, using a cheap, safe and convenient mode of transport that makes their bearable in otherwise barely livable urban India. Delhi Metro: Star of the tracks. Wing Commander Abhinandan likely to be awarded Vir Chakra on I-Day: Report. Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who spent some days in Pakistani custody when his MiG-21 was shot down in a dogfight with PAF jets a day after the February 26 Balakot airstrike, will likely be conferred the Vir Chakra on Independence Day, sources said Wednesday.
The 36-year-old IAF pilot had suffered injuries while ejecting from his MiG-21 Bison during the aerial combat between Indian and Pakistani air forces on February 27. Varthaman, who became the face of a tense military confrontation between India and Pakistan, is set to fly MiG-21 within a few weeks as a medical board cleared his return to fighter cockpit. Official sources said IAF's Bangaluru-based Institute of Aerospace Medicine has given the go-ahead to Varthaman to fly again following a thorough medical evaluation. Give govt time to restore normalcy in J&K as situation 'very sensitive': SC. The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass any immediate direction to the Centre and the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) government on a plea seeking lifting of all restrictions imposed after the abrogation of Article 370.
A three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, hearing a petition filed by activist Tehseen Poonawalla, said it will wait for normalcy to return, and take up the matter after two weeks. The Bench said the situation was “very sensitive” and time should be given for bringing back normalcy in the region. It was an honour to witness you receiving the Bharat Ratna: Modi to Pranab. State GST Act will continue in Jammu & Kashmir for the time being: Experts. The state goods and services tax (GST) will continue, says the Jammu and Kashmir reorganisation legislation, but according to officials and experts, it would be for the time being.
Later, the UT GST Act has to be made for Ladakh and state GST Act for J&K. According to experts, the reorganisation Act says the GST Act will continue because in its absence there will be problems in enforcing the indirect tax on the two union territories that will now replace the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “Although J&K will continue with the SGST since it has an assembly despite being union territory, Ladakh will require UTGST, for which the Centre will pass an ordinance to quicken the process,” an official said.
M S Mani, partner at Deloitte India, said the SGST Act in J&K was not scrapped because it would have been difficult to collect the tax in the absence of such a law. Abhishek Jain, partner at EY India, said necessary amendments would have to be made for including Ladakh in the UTGST Act, 2017. Food security to be severely hit because of climate change: IPCC. Food security will be severely hit because of climate change with decline in yields, reduced nutrient quality and disruptions in availability, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Thursday.
The IPCC, the world body for assessing the state of scientific knowledge related to climate change, in its latest report suggested that balanced diets featuring plant-based foods produced in low greenhouse gas emission systems can help combat climate change. "Food security will be increasingly affected by future climate change through yield declines especially in the tropics increased prices, reduced nutrient quality, and supply chain disruptions," said Priyadarshi Shukla, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III.
Flood, landslide hit Kerala again a year after the worst flood in a century. A year after the state went through the worst flood in a century, Kerala is experiencing another serious flood situation, with many places inundated and landslides killing several in the Wayanadu district.
The Cochin International Airport has closed operations from Thursday night and has been announced to be shut till Sunday 3 pm. The state government has announced the opening of 315 flood relief camps across the state, moving around 22,165 people from 5,936 families in the state till Friday morning. Wayanad has the most number of camps at 105, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
UN chief invokes Simla Agreement, calls for 'maximum restraint' on Kashmir. UN chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged India and Pakistan to exercise "maximum restraint" and refrain from taking steps that could affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir, as he highlighted the Simla Agreement which rejects any third-party mediation on the issue.
The Secretary-General's remarks came after India on Monday revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Pakistan termed the Indian action as "unilateral and illegal", and said it will take the matter to the UN Security Council. India contributes $5 mn to UN agency working for Palestinian refugees. India on Tuesday contributed $5 million to the UN Palestine refugee agency and called for ensuring sustained fiscal support for the organisation's work.
The cheque for the amount was handed over to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees by Representative of India (ROI) in Palestine, Sunil Kumar, at the agency's headquarters in Jerusalem. India increased its annual financial assistance to the UNRWA by four fold, from $1.25 million to $5 million, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palestine in February 2018, the first ever visit by an Indian Premier to Ramallah. Telcos to lose Rs 4-5 crore a day as internet services suspended in Kashmir. India scraps Article 370, UN chief flags 'tense situation in region' UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is following with concern the tense situation in the India-Pakistan region and urges all parties to exercise restraint, his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said here on Monday.
"We are following with concern the tense situation in the region... We urge all parties to exercise restraint," Dujarric said at the daily press briefing, adding that the UN is also aware of reports of restrictions in Kashmir in India. China decision to halt US farm goods may prompt Trump to settle for less. The logic behind China’s decision to ask its state-owned enterprises to halt imports of U.S. farm goods would, at one level, seem blindingly obvious. Amazon's deal to sell new Apple devices under US trade commission scanner. The Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing a deal Amazon.com Inc. made with Apple Inc. to sell iPhones directly on its e-commerce site, signaling the agency has increased oversight of the tech giant. John Bumstead, who sells refurbished Apple products, said in a Facebook post last month that about seven lawyers and an economist from the FTC interviewed him about the deal. He made the posting in a group of Apple resellers that complained about being forced to stop selling their refurbished products on Amazon.
The FTC and the Justice Department are ramping up scrutiny of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies. Facebook Inc. disclosed last week that the FTC is probing its businesses, the same week the Justice Department announced a broad review into whether tech companies are using their power to thwart competition. The FTC and Amazon declined to comment. Business Standard. Massive blackout affects tens of millions across Indonesia: Details here. Tens of millions of people on Indonesia's heavily populated Java island were affected by a widespread electricity outage Sunday after disruptions at several power plants, the state utility PLN said. The shutdown hit parts of the sprawling capital Jakarta -- home to some 30 million people -- and forced the temporary closure of its new mass rapid transit system.
Passengers were safely evacuated from several MRT carriages when the power went out, according to the system's operator, while the city's commuter trains were also impacted. The blackout -- which began around noon local time (0500 GMT) and was expected to last until later Sunday -- caused sporadic disruptions in mobile phone services and cash machines, while some apartment buildings were left in the dark. Facebook defeats lawsuit in US claiming it aided Hamas attacks. Facebook doesn’t have to face a lawsuit by victims of Hamas attacks and their relatives who claimed that the social network unlawfully assisted the terror group, a federal appeals court ruled. In a 66-page ruling issued Wednesday, a divided court upheld a judge’s decision to throw out the case, saying an interactive computer service is not the publisher of third-party information when it uses tools that are designed to match content with consumer interests.
“Facebook does not edit (or suggest edits) for the content that its users — including Hamas — publish,” the Second Circuit Court of Appeals said, noting that the company only requires users to provide basic information and therefore acts as a “neutral intermediary.” Bill introduced in US Congress to ban unlimited scrolling on social media. Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill on Tuesday to ban unlimited scrolling on pages by social media sites such as Facebook and Google’s YouTube. The bill would ban infinite, automatic content additions when users approach the end of feeds on sites.
It wouldn’t apply to music-streaming sites or pre-compiled playlists. The proposed legislation, which is unlikely to pass, represents the latest initiative by Hawley targeting large technology platforms as he emerges as one of the sector’s foremost Republican foes. Earlier in July, he addressed President Donald Trump’s gathering of conservative anti-tech voices, which also attracted conspiracy theorists and internet trolls. Hawley has proposed other bills targeting the industry, including one to ban allegedly addictive features of video games and another requiring that companies face lawsuits for the user content they host if they don’t demonstrate political neutrality.
Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, heir to Al-Qaeda leadership, killed: US media. Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, chosen heir to the leadership of Al-Qaeda, has been killed, US media reported Wednesday citing American officials. NBC News said three US officials had confirmed they had information of Hamza bin Laden's death, but gave no details of the place or date. The New York Times subsequently cited two US officials saying they had confirmation that he was killed during the last two years in an operation that involved the United States.
Donald Trump escalates trade war with new tariffs on Chinese imports. Won't allow Huawei inside US due to national security threat, says Trump. Trump hits China with more tariffs, says Xi moving too slow on trade. LS passes bill seeking crackdown on illegal occupants of govt residences. Heavy rainfall throws life out of gear in Vadodara; airport operations shut. As torrential rains lashed Vadodara and nearby areas, creating a flood-like situation, operations were halted at Vadodara Airport till 9 am on Friday. The Vadodara airport on the outskirts of the city was temporarily shut down and two domestic flights were cancelled, airport authorities had said on Wednesday. The downpour has thrown life out of gear in Vadodara. Highly gratified by cooperation from 'great friend' India on Iran: US. The United States is "highly gratified by co-operation from a great friend and partner like India" on the Iranian oil sanctions, the White House said on Wednesday as the Trump administration slapped sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, ramping up its tension with Tehran.
"We have been highly gratified by cooperation from a great friend and partner like India, and even less well-aligned countries such as China, in making the rather obvious choice that the United States would be the business partner of choice, not Iran," a senior official told reporters during a conference call after the Trump administration slapped sanctions against Zarif.
India, which has galloping energy needs, went out of its way to co-operate with the United states. Non-subsidised cooking gas price cut by Rs 62.50 per cylinder: IOC. Postal dept decides to convert India Post Payments Bank to a SFB. Mumbai records second-wettest July in the last 60 years, says IMD. US, China negotiators wrap up trade talks after Trump's Twitter tirade.
Over 1,21,000 mt of plastic waste being slyly imported into India: Report. More than 1,21,000 metric tonne (MT) of plastic waste is being "slyly" imported in India by companies and recyclers, which is adversely affecting the efforts to curtail plastic pollution, according to a study. The study, conducted by NGO Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Smriti Manch (PDUSM), stated that 55,000 metric tonne of plastic waste is being imported in India from Pakistan and Bangladesh. India ranks fourth in terms of business optimism globally: Grant Thornton. Environmental damage: The devil is in packaging, biodegradable or otherwise. After LS, triple talaq bill passed in Rajya Sabha with 99 votes in favour. How to review and download all data related to your Google account. Now a new computer model can predict India's pollution levels in advance. Delhi's Humayun Tomb among ten monuments to be open for visitors till 9 pm.
Lok Sabha passes bill to scrap 58 laws mostly dating back to British era. Lok Sabha passes bill to scrap 58 laws mostly dating back to British era. Apple likely to launch three iPhones in 2020 with 5G support: Report. Unnao rape survivor critical as truck rams into car; Oppn demands CBI probe. Imran Khan's remarks on terrorists glaring admission by Pak leadership: MEA. 1.26 mn jobs created in May, tad higher than 1.11 mn in April: Payroll data. Airports Authority of India to soon implement real-time surveillance system.
Chandrayaan-2: 2nd orbit-raising smooth, expected to reach Moon on Aug 20. Kargil Diwas 2019: PM Modi shares pictures of 'unforgettable' 1999 visit. Big wins for govt: LS passes Triple Talaq Bill, RTI Bill clears RS hurdle. Karnataka BJP leaders meet Amit Shah to discuss new govt formation. Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir joins Shiv Sena ahead of Maharashtra polls. Waiting for leadership's instruction on forming govt, says Yeddyurappa. Do regional parties overlook violence in exchange for political support? Chandrayaan-2 expected to reach Moon on Aug 20, landing on Sept 7: Isro. SC seeks reply from Centre, 5 states on plea alleging illegal sand mining. Is India running out of time to cash in on its booming young workforce?
IT industry holds key in strengthening ties with US: Indian envoy in US. US on defensive mode: Kashmir a 'bilateral issue', says State Department. Rainwater harvesting mandatory for new buildings: UP rural minister. Business Standard. Bihar population problem: 94% women know about contraception, 20% use them. PM Modi did not request Trump to mediate on Kashmir issue: Jaishankar.
Chandrayaan-2 begins 48-day journey to the Moon amid anxiety and euphoria. Bitcoin causing annual CO2 emissions comparable to those of Vegas: Study. Day 1 of China's Nasdaq equivalent: 3 billionaires created on 'Star' US Congressman apologises for Trump's 'embarrassing' remark on Kashmir. Grandson of Prince who tried to kill Hitler renews fight over Nazi-era land.
Malaysia seizes $240 million from Chinese state firm's bank account. CIA spy ring busted, death sentence awarded to some of the arrested: Iran. Africa's working-age population likely to top Asian labour force by 2100. Iran warns UK against escalating tensions, says crew of seized ship safe. Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition secures a majority in Japan's upper house.
Female suicide bomber hits hospital in Pakistan, at least 9 killed. Pakistan hires scandal-tainted former American lawmaker as US lobbyist. Slogan for independent Balochistan raised during Imran Khan's address in US. Oil price to rise? Millions of barrels of Iran oil piled up in China ports. We have lost over Rs 8 bn due to airspace closure: Pak aviation minister. Google contractors listening, recording your bedroom talks via Assistant. Spurred by Amazon, supermarkets try swapping cashiers for cameras. When will we finally learn we cannot predict people's character from face? Exposing the moon's surface: Equipment that changed space photography. A five-passenger electric airplanes start to take off: All you need to know. The big obstacle on global auto industry's road to an electric future. Prospects of FB's Libra may be dim but cryptocurrencies likely to roll on. Is Facebook a bank? US lawmakers push for answers on Libra cryptocurrency. Netflix loses 130,000 US customers, shares fall 12% as global growth slows.
China's leaders head to secretive summer camp to discuss economy, trade war. US defence secy nominee wants to enhance military collaboration with India. IMF issues fresh warning, says trade war risks weighing on global economy. Global tech giants face the heat from US lawmakers over content liability.