LIVE: You won't face troubles your parents did: PM Modi to Kashmir youth
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Latest news live updates: On the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Jammu and Kashmir today and address gram sabhas across the country. He will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple development initiatives worth over Rs 20,000 crore. The Prime Minister will visit Palli Panchayat in Samba district.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Africa reached 11,403,955, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said. The specialised healthcare agency of the African Union (AU) added that the death toll across the continent stands at 252,048 and some 10,781,861 patients have recovered from the disease so far as of Saturday evening, Xinhua news agency reported. South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya are among the countries with the most Covid-19 cases on the continent, said Africa CDC.
Another AIMIM leader arrested in Hubli stone-pelting case
Another All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Hubli unit president Dadapeer Betgeri was arrested on Sunday in connection with the stone-pelting incident that took place at Old Hubli Police Station on April 16.
Earlier, the husband of AIMIM Corporator Dadapeer Betgeri, Irfan Nalvatwad was arrested in connection with the incident.
More than 100 people have been arrested by the state police.
The stone-pelting incident took place at Old Hubli Police Station on April 16 in which several policemen, including one inspector injured. The mob which gathered outside the police station suddenly turned violent and started pelting stones at the police station and police vehicles.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has assured action against the perpetrators of the incident.
"Police will not hesitate to take stringent action against those who take the law into their hands. We will act against those who instigated it too. Let us not give political colours to it," Bommai said.
Cash-strapped Pakistan, IMF agree to extend stalled bailout, raise loan size to $8 bn
Cash-strapped Pakistan and the IMF have agreed to extend the stalled bailout package by up to one year and increase the loan size to USD 8 billion, giving a breathing space to the new government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a media report said on Sunday.
The understanding was reached after the crucial talks between Pakistan's newly-appointed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh in Washington, The Express Tribune reported, citing sources.
Subject to the final modalities, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed that the program will be extended by another nine months to one year as against the original end-period of September 2022, while the size of the loan would be increased from the existing USD 6 billion to USD 8 billion, the paper reported, citing sources.
The IMF is expected to issue a statement on Monday on the development.
Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, outgoing State Bank Governor Dr Reza Baqir, Finance Secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh and Pakistan's Executive Director to the World Bank Naveed Kamran Baloch also participated in the meeting with the IMF team.
Ismail was in Washington to renegotiate the USD 6 billion bailout package that was stalled by the previous Imran Khan regime.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government and the IMF had signed a 39-month Extended Fund Facility (July 2019 to September 2022) with a total value of USD 6 billion. However, the previous government failed to fulfil its commitments and the program remained stalled for most of the time as USD 3 billion remained undisbursed.
Before taking Pakistan's case to the IMF Board for approval, Islamabad would have to agree on the budget strategy for the next fiscal year 2022-23, the sources said.
Sonowal asks Paradip Port to augment cargo-handling capacity
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal, Sunday asked Paradip Port authorities to augment the cargo handling capacity of the all-weather port to 500TPA by 2030.
The Paradip Port presently has a capacity of 279TPA.
Sonowal, who undertook his maiden visit to Paradip Port here, reviewed various infrastructure projects, PPA (Paradip Port Authority) projects, ease of doing business initiative, and business development activity of the facility, an official said.
The Union minister also reviewed the progress of Paradip Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) with officials of state-run Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO), and Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL).
He stressed on collaborative approach for faster development to bring overall development of the area through the PCPIR project.
Sonowal also planted saplings of fruit-bearing plants such as mango, guava, lichi, and water apple.
Hindus, Muslims take out 'Tiranga Yatra' a week after Jahangirpuri violence
Hindus and Muslims on Sunday together took out a Tiranga Yatra' in Jahangirpuri's C block the epicentre of the April 16 clashes giving a message of peace and harmony.
The rally was facilitated by the Delhi Police, who deployed a heavy security in the area. It allowed about 50 people from the two communities to participate in the rally.
Waving Indian flags, the participants raised slogansBharat Mata ki Jai' and Vande Mataram'. Residents of C-Block lined up the streets, while others walked to their windows and balconies to witness the rally. They, too, waved the tricolour and showered flower petals at those that participated in the event.
This rally gives the message of harmony and peace. The members of both communities have showcased that the Tiranga is of utmost priority. They have the given the message that the nation comes first, DCP North-West Usha Rangnani said.
The rally, which started and culminated at Kushal Chowk, covered nearly a kilometre in and around C-block.
We are very happy that such an initiative was taken. This really showcases the true image of Jahangirpuri. Hopefully, this will help restore peace, Aslam, a local, said.
Indramani Tiwari, the president of the Residents' Welfare Association, who represented the Hindu community, expressed hope that the rally will help restore ties between the two communities and bring back confidence among the locals.
Fire breaks out in signal-telecoms store at Delhi's Sabji Mandi railway stn
A fire broke out in the signal and telecoms store at Delhi's Sabji Mandi railway station on Sunday, an official said.
The incident occurred outside the boundaries of the station, away from the passenger area, a spokesperson of the Northern Railway said.
"All train movement is normal. Fire brigade tenders are already at site," he said.
Candidates vote in French presidential runoff
The two candidates for France's presidential runoff have cast their ballots and basked in adoring crowds outside their polling stations.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen went first, cheerily greeting election workers in the northern town of Henin-Beaumont, in France's struggling former industrial heartland.
She emerged from the ballot booth beaming to drop it in a transparent box. Outside, she took selfies with supporters.
Then came incumbent Emmanuel Macron, who shook dozens of hands and was handed a small child to hold up on his journey from his family home in the resort town of Le Touquet on the English Channel to his voting station.
Inside, he greeted yet more people, posed for photographs with his wife Brigitte, and cast his ballot with a wink for the cameras.
The voting booths were shielded by curtains in the red-white-and-blue of the French flag.
About 48.8 million voters are eligible to take part in the runoff, which is being watched around Europe. Early results are expected Sunday night.
Turnout in the Sunday round is slightly higher than it was at the same point in the first-round vote two weeks ago.
Manhunt on for suspects as 100 die in Nigeria refinery blast
At least 100 people may have died in a refinery explosion in southeast Nigeria, an official said on Sunday as the search intensified for bodies at the site and for two people suspected of being involved in the blast.
The explosion on Friday night at the Ohaji-Egbema local government area in Imo state was triggered by a fire at two fuel storage areas where more than a 100 people worked, state officials told The Associated Press.
Dozens of workers were caught up in the explosion while many others attempted to escape the blaze by running into wooded areas.
Those who died in the disaster are estimated to be within the range of 100, said Goodluck Opiah, the Imo commissioner for petroleum resources. A lot of them ran into the bush with the burns and they died there.
Although Nigeria is Africa's largest producer of crude oil, for many years its oil production capacity has been limited by a chronic challenge of oil storage and the operation of illegal refineries.
Nigeria lost at least USD3 billion worth of crude oil to theft between January 2021 and February 2022, with shady business operators often avoiding regulators by setting up refineries in remote areas such as the one that exploded in Imo, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) said in March.
There are no arrests yet but the two culprits are on the run with the police now looking for them, said Declan Emelumba, the Imo State commissioner for information. Officials did not reveal the identities of the suspects.
Stuck in war-torn Ukraine, wheels of Vande Bharat trains reach Romania, to be airlifted to India
India's import orders to a Ukrainian firm for thousands of wheel sets for Vande Bharat trains have been hit by the war, but 128 wheels have been taken to neighbouring Romania by road and these will be airlifted by the railways for trials next month, sources said.
They also said that to meet its target of launching 75 semi-high speed trains on prominent routes across the country by the end of this year, India has now placed orders for wheels with Czech Republic, Poland and the United States.
The sources also said that India may look at China too as it supplies wheels.
The sources indicated that Ukraine, which is one of the world's largest suppliers of such wheels, has virtually stopped new production with most staffers joining the war effort against Russia.
With this, they said, the Railways' plan of launching dozens of new Vande Bharat train this years ran into troubles as the entire order given to a Ukraine-based firm -- 36,000 wheels at a cost of $16 million -- looked undeliverable.
The sources said the payment was to be made through a Letter of Credit.
The wheels were planned to be shipped from the Ukrainian Black Sea Port to Maharashtra's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), which has not happened due to the war.
However, the sources said told PTI this has not delayed trials in India scheduled for next month.
Jharkhand: 39,513 nominations filed for first phase of panchayat polls
A total of 39,513 candidates filed nominations for the first phase of panchayat elections in 72 blocks of 21 districts in Jharkhand, officials said on Sunday.
The nomination process for the first phase, which started on April 16, concluded on Saturday, State Election Commission (SEC) officials said.
A total of 1,127 panchayats will go to the polls in the first phase on May 14, while counting will take place on May 17, they said.
In the first phase, polling will be held to elect 146 zilla parishad members, 1,405 panchayat samiti members, 1,127 mukhiyas and 14,079 panchayat members, they added.
A total of 1,032 nominations were received for the posts of zilla parishad members, 5,233 for panchayat samiti members, 7,855 nominations for the posts of mukhiyas and 25,393 for panchayat members.
The second phase of polling will be held on May 19, and the votes will be counted on May 22. In that phase, polling will be held in 50 blocks of 16 districts.
So far, 4,261 nominations have been filed for the second phase of polling till April 23.
Niira Radia, 7 others booked for alleged negligence in treating Covid patient
Nayati Healthcare chairperson Niira Radia and seven others have been booked for alleged negligence in treating a COVID-19 patient who died after being discharged from the hospital here, police said on Sunday.
The FIR was registered after Bhagwati Verma, a resident of Krishnanagar area, accused the Neyati Medicity hospital management of negligence in the treatment of her husband and not following Covid guidelines.
According to a complaint filed by the woman at the Jaint police station, the hospital discharged the patient without any prior information.
She further alleged that her husband contracted the coronavirus infection last year and was admitted to Nayati Hospital on May 10, 2021. She said her husband was discharged on May 15 and later died.
The woman also claimed that the hospital fraudulently took more than Rs 1.90 lakh from them as treatment expense.
Police said the FIR was registered against Niira Radia, hospital director Narendra Singh, Senior Accounts Officer Sunil, Accounts Officer Balkishan Chaturvedi, Finance Director Yatish Behl, Finance Controller Hemant Java, and Chandan Singh and Sagar Tuteja under sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Sadar) Praveen Malik said the matter is being investigated and there will be arrests soon.
The hospital has been closed for the last few months and there was no immediate comment on the FIR.
NIA chargesheets 20 Maoists for conspiring to carry out terrorist acts, waging war against India
The NIA has filed a charge sheet against 20 Maoists before a special court here for their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to strengthen proscribed terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist) with an intention to commit terrorist acts and waging war against the Government of India, an agency spokesperson said on Sunday.
Kalidas of Ramanathapuram, Sreemathi B P of Chikamangaluru, Savithri of Chickamangaluru, S Danish of Coimbatore, Vikram Gowda of Uduppi, Soman of Wayanad, Sharmila of Bijapur, R Ragavendran of Vellore, A Santhosh Kumar of Coimbatore, P Thiruvengadam of Thiruvannamalai, B G Krishnamurthy of Chickamangalur, Rajan of Thrissur, Deepak of Bijapur, Dinesh D H of Coimbatore, Karthik of Theni, Ramesh of Bangaluru, T K Rajeevan of Kannur, Ramesh of Ranippettai, Iyyappan of Virudhunagar, Annesh Babu of Thirunelveli have been charged with various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The case relates to the conspiracy for conducting physical and arms training, conducting zonal committee meeting of Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee of CPI (Maoist) in the Nilambur forest in Malappuram district in Kerala in 2016 in order to strengthen the proscribed terrorist organisation with an intention to commit terrorist acts and waging war against the Government of India, the NIA spokesperson said.
The case was initially registered by the Edakkara Police Station in Malappuram in September 2017 and taken over by the ATS Kerala subsequently. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) re-registered the case in August last year.
The accused, members of the CPI (Maoist), had trespassed into the reserve forests of Nilambur and conspired for conducting training camps, organised meetings of the Zonal Committee of the banned terror outfit, the NIA official said.
Lata Mangeshkar's brother Hridaynath in hospital, son says he is stable
Musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar is admitted to a hospital and is "doing well", his son, singer Adinath Mangeshkar said on Sunday.
The 84-year-old musician, younger brother of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, will be discharged within ten days, Adinath said without divulging the cause of his hospitalisation.
At the inaugural Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Award, Adinath addressed the gathering and said it was his father who would always deliver the welcome address and give information about the trust, but wasn't able to do it this year.
"All these years it was my father, Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar ji, who would deliver the welcome address and give information about our trust. This year he's unable to do so because he's in the hospital currently.
"By the grace of God, he will be back home in the next 8-10 days. He is stable and doing well," Adinath said during his speech at the Shanmukhananda hall, here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the first recipient of the Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar Puraskar, was also present at the event and wished Hridaynath Mangeshkar a speedy recovery at the start of his address.
Jharkhand's Jamtara becomes country's first district with library in every village
Jamtara in Jharkhand has become the only district in the country where all gram panchayats have community libraries.
This district with a population of about eight lakh has a total of 118 gram panchayats under six blocks and each panchayat has a well-equipped library which is open for students from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Career counselling sessions and motivational classes are also held free of cost here. Sometimes, IAS and IPS officers also visit these libraries to guide students. Everyone is welcome to visit these innovative sites!
Most of these libraries, whose details, GPS location, photographs and contact numbers, have been provided on the district's official website, were set up around two years ago with the assistance of Deputy Commissioner Faiz Aq Ahmed Mumtaz.
The story of the beginning of this initiative is also interesting. A Janta Darbar was initially organised by the district administration to know the problems of the villagers in Changidih Panchayat.
However, when a villager complained about the lack of proper educational institutions and books here, Faiz decided to facilitate these libraries across the district.
When he received information about derelict buildings in each district, Faiz planned to renovate them and convert them into libraries. On November 13, 2020, the district's first ever community library was inaugurated.
From the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds received from several companies and money received by the district under the 14th and 15th Finance Commission, Rs 60,000-2.5 lakh was spent on the restoration and infrastructure of these libraries.
Gradually, libraries were set up in panchayats such as Chandradeep, Panjaniya, Menjhia, Gopalpur, Shaharpura, Champapur, and Jhilua. The villagers elected a President, Treasurer, and Librarian from amongst themselves, to run these libraries.
They also contributed furniture, water filters, blackboards and emergency lights for some.
When schools were shut during the Covid-induced lockdown, villagers used at least two teachers to teach students at each library.
Right to healthcare a basic human right: SC judge
Justice Indira Banerjee of the Supreme Court on Sunday described right to healthcare as a basic human right, while inaugurating a telemedicine centre in Kolkata.
The telemedicine consultation centre in Kolkata's Elliot Road, the first Teladoc clinic in India, will be operated by Meenakshi Mission Hospital of Madurai.
"Right to healthcare is a basic human right and I hope that people of West Bengal and the neighbouring states will benefit by the starting of Teladoc here in Kolkata," Justice Banerjee said.
Teladoc is considered the world's most advanced telemedicine platform, and the Kolkata centre is its seventh globally, an official of the hospital said.
Justice Banerjee said that during the pandemic, there has been a spurt in the use of computers and even the courts had to function virtually.
She said that as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, she had to go to Madurai once a month as the high court has a bench in the southern Tamil Nadu city.
Justice Banerjee said that in Madurai, she had the opportunity to visit the hospital's children's cancer section and had got engulfed in emotion.
"But the treatment that was being meted out was indeed impressive, the hospital was neat and clean, the doctors had a humane approach," she said.
Ukraine leader pushes for more arms; US officials to visit
Ukraine's leader petitioned for more powerful Western weapons as he prepared to meet with top U.S. officials in the war-torn country's capital Sunday and Russian forces concentrated their attacks on the east, including trying to dislodge the last Ukrainian troops holding out in the battered port city of Mariupol.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the planned visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a lengthy Saturday night news conference held in a Kyiv subway station.
The White House has not commented.
Zelenskyy said he was looking for the Americans to produce results, both in terms of arms and security guarantees.
"You can't come to us empty-handed today, and we are expecting not just presents or some kind of cakes, we are expecting specific things and specific weapons,'' he said.
The visit would be the first by senior U.S. officials since Russia invaded Ukraine 60 days ago.
Blinken stepped briefly onto Ukrainian soil in March to meet with the country's foreign minister during a visit to Poland.
Zelenskyy's last face-to-face meeting with a U.S. leader was Feb. 19 in Munich with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Rajnath, Jaishankar to address 4-day Navy commanders conference
Top commanders of the Indian Navy will carry out a comprehensive review of the country's maritime security, including the situation in the Indian Ocean region and the possible implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, at a four-day conclave beginning Monday.
The Navy said the conference will be addressed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who will also interact with the commanders.
It is perhaps the first time in many years that the external affairs minister will also address the naval commanders' conference that serves as a platform to discuss important maritime matters at the military-strategic level.
The commanders are expected to have specific deliberations on the Chinese Navy's increasing forays into the Indian Ocean as well as its increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
"The conference would also dwell upon dynamics of the geostrategic situation in the backdrop of security scenario in the neighbourhood as well as changes emerging due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict," Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
He said Army Chief Gen MM Naravane and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari will also interact with the naval commanders on issues like ensuring convergence among the three services vis--vis a common operational environment with an aim to augment tri-services synergy and readiness.
"During the conference, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will address and interact with the naval commanders on matters pertaining to the national security," Commander Madhwal said.
Beijing on high alert to curb COVID clusters; 39 deaths in Shanghai in a day
China's capital Beijing has gone on high alert as the situation turned grim following the emergence of clusters of COVID-19, while the country's financial hub Shanghai reported 39 more deaths due to the virus, the highest in a day so far during the current outbreak since last month.
The Chinese mainland on Saturday reported 21,796 cases, including 1,566 positive cases and the rest asymptomatic cases mostly in Shanghai, China's National Health Commission reported on Sunday.
Beijing, the seat of China's top leadership, went on high COVID-19 alert as the city braced to test some sections of the population after the city recorded 22 new community cases on Saturday.
The city went on high alert after 10 middle school students tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday following which city officials suspended classes in the school for a week.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of the Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said undetected local transmissions started in the city about a week ago, and involved schools, tour groups and families.
There were hidden transmissions for a week and the infected people came from different backgrounds and a wide range of activities, Pang was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
Delhi govt to meet stakeholders on cloud kitchen policy on Tuesday
The Delhi government will hold a stakeholder consultation on Tuesday on the formulation of a cloud kitchen policy announced in its annual budget for 2022-23.
Several cloud kitchen operators and food delivery aggregators have been invited to the session to be chaired by Dialogue and Development Commission (DDC) vice-chairman Jasmine Shah, said an official statement.
Cloud kitchens have a huge potential to attract investments, increase the market size of the food and beverages sector, and generate large-scale direct and indirect jobs, Shah said.
The consultation, organised by the DDC in collaboration with the industries department, aims at understanding the various challenges faced by Delhi's cloud kitchen operators and exploring the potential and viability of setting up cloud kitchen clusters across the city.
The government is deliberating upon the provision of land and other incentives to cloud kitchens, easing of licence regulations for such units and setting up of cloud kitchen clusters with plug and play features across different land parcels in Delhi, the statement said.
Fresh Covid norms in Karnataka after video meet with PM Modi on Apr 27: Bommai
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the state government will bring guidelines after the video conference of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with chief ministers regarding COVID-19 on April 27.
Amid apprehensions of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Modi is set to hold a video conference with the Chief Ministers of the states on April 27 to discuss the precautions to tackle it, Bommai informed.
Speaking to media persons, Bommai said, "The Union government has already issued a caution alert. A slight increase in cases has been recorded in Kerala and Maharashtra in the last 8-10 days. Based on the experience of the last three waves, experts too have suggested suitable precautionary measures. The health minister has already issued a few instructions. Clear instructions would be issued for COVID management in the State after the video conference with the Prime Minister."
"It is important for people to be careful. COVID second wave started slowly and later exploded. The scientists are studying the virus variants," he added.
UK Minister backs coal mine opening to cut energy dependence on Russia: Reports
UK Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, is supporting plans to launch the first coal mine in the United Kingdom in decades, aiming to curtail the dependence on Russian energy supplies, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Sunday, citing sources in the UK Conservative Party.
According to Telegraph, Gove is backing opening a coal mine in Cumbria County in northwestern England. The pit will focus on extracting coking coal widely used in steel production.
Opening the first pit in the UK in over three decades was endorsed by the UK government back in October 2020. Yet the protests by environmental activists forced the Ministers to revisit this issue. At the same time, the government sources claimed that in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, the UK cabinet unilaterally stands for putting the mine into operation, the Telegraph said.
Gove must make an ultimate decision until July 7, meanwhile, the sources said that the decision could be pronounced earlier in mid-May, the newspaper added.
The UK's dependence on Russian energy is primarily confined to the coal sector. In 2021, the UK imported over 50 per cent of its all coal supplies, with Russia accounting for 43 per cent of those. Moreover, Russia occupies a leading position in exporting both steam coal and coking coal to the UK, ensuring 46 per cent and 39 per cent of deliveries, respectively.
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, the UK alongside the United States and European allies embarked on the path of completely abandoning Russian energy commodities. On April 6, UK Prime Minister Boris Jonson pledged to halt Russian coal and oil imports by the end of 2022, with UK marginal gas imports to be ceased as soon as possible thereafter.
First Published: Apr 24 2022 | 07:06 AM IST