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MIDDAY NEWS

 

 

1400 HRS.

23.05.2018

THE HEADLINES:

  • Five civilians killed and over 30, including five BSF personnel, injured in Pakistani shelling along International Border in Jammu region.  
  • Madras High Court stays extension of Sterlite plant at Thuthukkudi, a day after 10 protesters were killed in police firing; Home Ministry seeks details of the incident from Tamil Nadu government.
  • JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy to take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka this afternoon.
  • US President Donald Trump says his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may not happen next month.
  • And, in IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders to face Rajasthan Royals in eliminator this evening.   

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Five civilians were killed and over 30, including five BSF personnel, injured as Pakistani forces continued heavy shelling along the International Border in Jammu region for the third day today.

Heavy mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers is still continuing in R.S. Pura, Arnia, Ramgarh, Samba and Hiranagar sectors as well as Samba and Kathua districts.  In retaliation, the BSF has inflicted heavy damages on Pakistani troops. More from our correspondent:

"A woman and an eight year old boy were killed in shelling in Samba sector. Three civilians lost their lives as mortars landed the houses in Hiranagar and R.S. Pura sectors this morning. People from the shelling affected areas are being evacuated to safer places. Most of the people from the affected border areas have moved to the residences of their relatives and relief camps set up by the administration. So far, 11 persons including two BSF Jawans have lost their lives while around hundred others have been injured in the Pakistan’s shelling and firing along the International Border in Jammu region since 15th of this month. Yogesh Sharma, AIR News, Jammu."

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The Madras High Court today stayed the extension of the plant of Sterlite Copper industry at Thuthukkudi where ten people were killed and 95 injured in police firing on protesters yesterday. Disposing of a petition in this regard, a High Court bench ordered that all works in this regard must be stopped immediately. The bench also ordered that a public hearing should be held regarding the functioning and extension of the industry within four months. The court has also asked the central Government to provide details about the approval given for extension activities of the industry. The case has been adjourned till the 13th of next month. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy has ordered an inquiry by a retired high court judge into the firing incident.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has asked the state government to provide details of the incident. It said officials of the ministry are in touch with the state government over developments in the port town. Locals have been demanding closure of Sterlite Copper mining industry in Thuthukkudi, expressing serious environmental concerns. They have been on a protest for more than 100 days in support of their demand. Our correspondent has filed this report:

                                                 

 "The Tamil Nadu government has issued orders appointing retired High Court Justice Aruna Jagadeesan as the single member enquiry commission into the police firing incident in Thuthukkudi yesterday. The state administration in Tamil nadu has declared prohibitory orders under Rule 144 in the violence hit Thuthukudi for 72 hours, starting today morning. For the second consecutive day today, shops have downed shutters while buses and autos are still off the road.Dr. K Parimeshwaran, AIR News, Trichi."

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The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC today issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government over the death of people at Thuthukkudi. Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports, the Commission has sought replies from Chief Secretary and Director General of Police within two weeks. The Commission observed that the authorities probably failed to foresee the tragic violence which took place. 

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JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy will be sworn-in as Chief Minister of Karnataka at 4:30 pm. Governor Vajubhai Vala will administer him the oath of office and secrecy at the grand steps of Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat. Congress leader G Parameshwar will be sworn-in as Deputy Chief Minister. Congress MLA Ramesh Kumar will be the Speaker. The new cabinet will have 22 ministers from Congress and 12 from JD(S). A host of leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chief Ministers of non-BJP states and heads of regional parties will attend the swearing-in ceremony. Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, N Chandrababu Naidu, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati are attending the programme. More from our correspondent:

                                                             

"JD(S) with 37 MLAS and Congress with 78 are forming the coalition Government in Karnataka. H D Kumaraswamy will be sworn in as 25th Chief Minister of the State at 4.30pm. Addressing media persons in Mysuru today, Kumaraswamy said that it will be an uphill task to run the coalition Government. On farmers’ loan waiver, he said, a decision will be taken after consultation with the coalition partner Congress. BJP with 104 members fell eight short of majority in the assembly election. B S Yeddyurappa who was Chief Minister of the state just for three days stepped down before facing the floor test. The BJP is staging a protest and observing anti people’s mandate day across the state today. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."

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Former Union Minister and BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya's son Vyshnav died in Hyderabad today following a massive heart attack. He was 21. Vyshnav was pursuing his third year MBBS in a college on the outskirts of the city. His family informed that he complained of uneasiness after having dinner last evening at their residence in Ramnagar and breathed his last while undergoing treatment at a private hospital at Musheerabad during the wee hours.

Vyshnav was the only son of Dattatreya, who represents Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. Vaishnav was also actively involved in BJP's activities in Secunderabad. A large number of BJP activists gathered in front of the hospital to pay homage to Vaishnav. It is learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Mr Dattatreya and conveyed his condolences. He also asked one of the Cabinet ministers to attend the cremation.

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The Kerala government has announced a compensation of 5 lakh rupees to the families of those who died of nipah virus. The government also announced a compensation of 20 lakh rupees to the family of the nurse, Lini, who succumbed to fever after attending to a Nipah patient.

Addressing a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram, the State Health Minister KK Shylaja said the situation is under control and all necessary medical arrangements are being made. She thanked the Central government for its effort and cooperation in containing the situation.

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As part of the special series on NDA government completing four years in office, we will bring you an interview with Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar tonight at 9.30 on FM Gold channel. The theme of today’s programme is “Economic Reforms in the country." Dr Rajiv Kumar believes that India’s economic growth can be augmented further by speeding up reforms in land and labour sectors. In an exclusive interview to AIR, Dr Kumar said investment rate has picked up.

                                                 

"A lot of investors have raised money from the IPOs and corporate debt, which is, there is huge rise in that and also form the alternate investment fund, AIF. So the investment activity has pickedup for sure."

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In Maharashtra, around two crore 22 lakh accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana as on 9th of this month. The account holders have deposited more than four thousand five hundred crore rupees. A report from our Pune correspondent:

                                               

"Out of 2 crore 22 lakh Jan Dhan account holders in Maharashtra more than 1 crore fifty four thousand beneficiaries received their Rupe cards enabling them to start digital transactions.  A beneficiary Chintaman Ananda Yadav from pune expressed happiness that because of this account he is getting the subsidies directly into his account..."

 

After more than three and half years since the launch of the scheme, with the power of Jan Dhan account and Rupay card in their hands the hitherto economically excluded sections of the society are definitely coming into the fold of mainstream economy. Manoj Kshirsagar, for AIR News, Pune."

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In International News: US President Donald Trump has said there is a very substantial chance that a historic summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un next month may not happen. Trump was speaking as he received South Korea's President Moon Jae-in at the White House. Pyongyang has said it may cancel the summit if the US insists on it giving up nuclear weapons unilaterally.

Meanwhile, North Korea has agreed to let in journalists from the South to watch the dismantling of its nuclear test site. The group, who had earlier been denied visas, will join a team of international media to watch the dismantle. The demolition of the site has been billed as a goodwill gesture but may be delayed by bad weather.

Later during a news conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US was still working towards the 12th June summit.

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 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the expulsion of two top US diplomats a day after President Donald Trump ordered additional sanctions on Venezuela. The order also bans the sale, transfer or acceptance as a guarantee of any collateral in Venezuela in which the Venezuelan government or a public entity holds over 50 per cent of shares. Maduro also said that the diplomats must leave the country within 48 hours. He reiterated even though he wanted the best relations with the US but it seems not possible.

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In Sri Lanka, at least ten people have died and another 25 are missing due to heavy monsoon rain and strong winds across the country. The Disaster Management Center said around 85 thousand people in 14 districts have been affected. It said more than 23 thousand people have been displaced and sheltered in 163 safe places Over 17 thousand families have been affected by the adverse weather. The government has deployed the Army and Navy to rescue the flood stranded and provide relief to the affected people as the water levels in several tributaries of major rivers are rising.

Meanwhile, the country’s Meteorology department said the prevailing rainy weather in the southwestern part of the island is expected to improve from today.

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Back Home: In Rajasthan, intense heat wave is sweeping across the state, badly affecting normal life. The maximum temperature was recorded above 45 degrees Celsius at many places. The MeT Department has issued a heat wave warning for the next 24 hours in the state. More from our correspondent:

                                     

"The intense heat has disturbed the normal life in the state. Maximum temperature is continuously being recorded above 45 degree Celsius in Bundi where it has crossed 48 degree Celsius mark yesterday. Like this, most of the places in eastern and western Rajasthan are also under immense heat. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur.

Delhi continues to reel under an intense heat wave. The minimum temperature recorded this morning was 26.7 degree Celsius. Yesterday was the hottest day of the season with the mercury soaring to 46 degrees in Palam area.

The MeT Department has forecast partly cloudy sky today. The maximum temperature is likely to hover around 44 degree Celsius.

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Benchmark domestic stocks logged mild losses in afternoon trade amid weak global markets. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange lost 75 points to 35,577. The Nifty at National Stock Exchange also fell 43 points to 10,494. The rupee hit a fresh 16-month low. It depreciated 25 paise to 68 rupees 29 paise against the US dollar.

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In IPL Cricket, Kolkata Knight Riders will meet Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator of the tournament in Kolkata at 7 this evening.

Last night, Chennai Super Kings entered the final after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 2 wickets in the first qualifier at Mumbai. Hyderabad can still make it to the final if they beat the winner of today's eliminator. The second qualifier of the tournament will be played on Friday. The Final is slated to take place on Sunday.

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