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Friday, 22 September

00:00

Punching Below Its Weight: Indias Progress Towards Health-Related SDG Goals The Wire

It is time for India to fully fund and implement its ambitious health policies, and translate them into better health outcomes for its millions. Without health, little else matters.

India is majorly underperforming in health. Credit: Reuters

India is majorly underperforming in health. Credit: Reuters

Last week, The Lancet published a report entitled ...

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Thursday, 21 September

23:45

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here The Wire

Consumers with high hopes of driverless vehicles improving safety might be looking past the boring near-term advances that could make a real difference. It happened before more than 60 years ago.

Visitors look at a self-driving car by Google displayed at the Viva Technology event in Paris, France, July 1, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Visitors look at a self-driving car by Google displayed at the Viva Technology event in Paris, France, July 1, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Fully automated cars are still many years away. Amid the government...

23:30

Maneka Gandhi Clashes With NITI Aayog on Replacing Food With Cash Transfers The Wire

The government is finalising a pilot project in line with NITI Aayogs recent suggestion that children and mothers be given cash transfers instead of cooked or uncooked food.

Union minister of women and child development. Credit: PTI

Union minister for women and child development. Credit: PTI

At a conference on under-nutrition organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development this week, Union minister Maneka Gandhi said that the government is keen to overhaul the Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) and withdraw the provisions of cooked food and rations to children, and pregnant and lactating women, and replace it with cash transfers. She also said the government will shift the focus of the policy from administering food to administering nutrition.

The move is at odds with recommendations by the health ministry, the National Food Security Act and Supreme Court orders. It is, however, in consonance with the NITI Aayogs recent recommendations from a 114 page document,...

23:00

Timeline: Being Rohingya in Myanmar, from 1784 to Now The Wire

As Rohingya people continue to flee Rakhine State and allege widespread persecution, a look at their struggle through the years.

A Rohingya refugee girl collects rain water at a makeshift camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 17, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

A Rohingya refugee girl collects rain water at a makeshift camp in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 17, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Arakan (now Rakhine State) is a state in Myanmar (the former Burma) adjoining Bangladesh. It is a strip of land along the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal from the Naf river on the border of Chittagong to the cape Negarise. It lies between the Arakan Yuma range and the Bay of Bengal. It is separated from the rest of Myanmar by the Yuma range running north to south. The total area of Arakan is 13,540 square miles and its population almost 2,000,000. And it is here that politics and violence around the Rohingya and their identity has been playing out for centuries.

Eight century

The Rohingya, a people of South Asian origin, dwell in an independent kingdom in Arakan, known as Rakhine St...

23:00

Centre Announces New Policy to Promote Private Investment in Affordable Housing The Wire

Central assistance up to Rs 2.5 lakh per house made by private builders will be provided to buyers, even if the construction is on private land.

A man rides his cycle rickshaw past newly-constructed residential buildings on the outskirts of Kolkata December 29, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

A man rides his cycle rickshaw past newly-constructed residential buildings on the outskirts of Kolkata December 29, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

New Delhi: With the aim of attracting private players in the affordable housing sector to meet the housing for all target by 2022, the government has unfolded a new public-private partnership (PPP) policy that allows extending central assistance up to Rs 2.5 lakh per house built by private builders, e...

22:11

Interview 1301 New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato The Corbett Report

[audio mp3="http://www.corbettreport.com/mp3/2017-09-21%20James%20Evan%20Pilato.mp3"][/audio]This week on the New World Next Week: the government sues citizens for asking for information; PM May recruits Big Tech in extremist content purge; and yet another study finds fluoride linked to lower IQ in children.

21:48

BJP Leader Slaps Woman For Relationship With Muslim Man, Police Books Boyfriend The Wire

No charges have been pressed against BJP leader Sangeeta Varshney or members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, who allegedly roughed up the couple.

Sangeeta Varshney slapping a woman. Credit: Video screengrab

Sangeeta Varshney slapping a woman. Credit: Video screengrab

New Delhi: BJP Mahila Morchas Aligarh leader, Sangeeta Varshney, has been caught on camera slapping a woman for being in a relationship with a Muslim man. An FIR has been filed in the case not against Varshney, but the man.

Tujhe itni sharam bhi nahi hai, tu kya zyaada bahi ho gayi? Tujhme itni bhi samajh nahi hi hai ki kaun Hindu hai kaun Musalman hai? (Dont you have any shame, do you think youre that grown up? Can you not even understand who is a Hindu and who Muslim?, Varshney yells at the woman in the video, after slapping her twice.

21:15

Trump"s Was One of the Most Bizarre UN Speeches in History Strategic Culture Foundation

The United Nations General Assemblys annual plenary session has heard a fair share of bizarre speeches by world leaders in the 72-year history of the world organization. U.S. President Donald Trumps speech on September 19, while intemperate and undiplomatic, was not the only rancorous diatribe or the most peculiar oration ever heard within the hall of nations.

20:50

America Is Getting Outclassed by Russian Electronic Warfare Strategic Culture Foundation

The Russian military-industrial complex was successful in showing off the latest technologies during last month's Army-2017 military expo. This international forum, held outside Moscow, showcased hundreds of land, air and sea-based systems, and was attended by hundreds of thousands of visitors. The high-profile event culminated with Russia signing nearly $170 billion rubles ($3 billion) worth of contracts. Among major accomplishments for the Russian defense industry was the delivery to the military of the latest electronic warfare (EW) systemsVitebsk, Krasuha and Moskva.

20:49

Sonia Gandhi Writes to Narendra Modi on Womens Reservation Bill The Wire

Modi Sonia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left), Congress party president Sonia Gandhi. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to get the womens reservation bill passed in the Lok Sabha, taking advantage of the BJPs majority in the House.

Gandhi also assured support of her party to the legislation, which she said would be a significant step forward in the empowerment of women. The Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on March 9, 2010.

I am writing to request you to take advantage of your majority in the Lok Sabha to now get the womens reservation bill passed in the Lower House as well, Gandhi said in the letter, dated September 20. She also recalled that the Congress and its late leader Rajiv Gandhi had first mooted the provision for quota for women in panchayats and municipal bodies through Constitution amendment bills.

She said the bills were thwarted by the opposition in 1989, but were passed by both the houses of parliament in 1993.

The post Sonia Gandhi Writes to Narendra Modi on Womens Reservation Bill appeared first on The Wire.

20:17

Trumps UN Reform Plan Is All About The Lead From Behind Strategy OrientalReview.org

President Trump wants to legitimize the use of military force outside of the existing liberum veto-dependent UNSC structure (international law),

The post Trumps UN Reform Plan Is All About The Lead From Behind Strategy appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

20:15

Barbarism and Shame: Why the US Refuses a Korea Peace Treaty Strategic Culture Foundation

The Korean crisis is a powerful lens on American barbarism, past and present. Despite Washingtons self-righteousness and pretensions of virtue, the modern history of Korea is an especially powerful lesson that destroys the American national mythology...

19:54

MEA Speaks of Rohingya Refugees, Rajnath Singh Calls Them Illegal Immigrants The Wire

The external affairs ministry recognises that those fleeing Myanmars Rakhine state are refugees but the home ministry believes they no longer deserve that designation once they are in India.

Rajnath Singh. Credit: PTI

Rajnath Singh. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that Rohingya people in India do not qualify as refugees who have taken asylum, but are, in fact illegal immigrants. Rohingya are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum. They are illegal immigrants, he said.

Singh added that since Myanmar had said it was willing to take back Rohingya people referring to Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyis statement that the country would accept returning people after a due verification process there is no reason for India not to report them.

Those who have been verified as refugees will be accepted without any problems and with full assurance of security and access to humanitarian aid, Suu Kyi had said on Monday.

Myanmar se Bharat ghus aaye, ye Rohingya refugee nahi hain iss sachchai ko hume samajhna chahiye Refugee status prapt karne ke liye ek process hota hai aur inmein se kisi ne iss procedure ko follow nahi kia hai.. (They have entered India from Myanmar. Rohingya are not refugees, we need to understand this reality. There is a procedure to acquire refugee status and none of them have followed that), ANI quoted Singh as saying.


Also read:...

19:51

High Court Cancels Mamata Banerjees Order On Durga Puja Idol Immersion The Wire

Banerjees government restricted idol immersions to 10 pm on September 30, the day of Vijaya Dashami, and banned it completely the next day, which is Muharram.

Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (left), Durga idol immersion. Credit: PTI, Reuters

New Delhi: The Calcutta high court today cancelled the West Bengal governments decision to restrict Durga puja idol immersions, saying, You are exercising extreme power without any basis. Just because you are the state, can you pass arbitrary order? reported NDTV.

Acting chief justice Rakesh Tiwary said the state administration cannot interfere with the faith of the people and should treat them with equality. People have the right to practice their religious activities, whichever community they may be of, and the state cannot put restrictions, unless it has a concrete ground to believe that two communities cannot live together.

Tiwary said that the government must provide concrete grounds for its decisions. If you dream that something will go wrong, you cannot impose restrictions.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjees government had said that the restric...

19:45

Why Trump Should Study Aung San Suu Kyi"s Speech Strategic Culture Foundation

Two speeches by two leaders made headlines this week one by US President Donald Trump, the other by Myanmars head of government, Aung San Suu Kyi.

19:31

Congress Could Have Done a Lot Better, But We Are Better Than the NDA: Rahul Gandhi The Wire

Young Indians need jobs and the Modi governments record of creating them is worse than ours, said the Congress vice president.

Rahul Gandhi at Princeton University. Credit: Twitter/OfficeOfRG

Rahul Gandhi at Princeton University. Credit: Twitter/OfficeOfRG

Eager for a jolt of energy, the moribund Congress party may have found it in Rahul Gandhis star turn in America. During his two-week US tour, the 47-year-old Congress scion has been able to project himself as a man of ideas, aware of the challenges of a chaotically changing, fitfully modernising India. Most of all, he has succeeded in handling himself with poise, easy confidence and wit in front of some of the USs most hard-boiled politicians, policy wonks and negotiators.

Senior White House officials and Congressmen who interacted with Gandhi described him as warm and personable with an understated style that is almost retro in its appeal. Rahul Gandhi may have a different view, but he doesnt leave a sour taste, said a senior White House official. He had all his facts straight. He is an easy guy to talk to.

Both in Berkeley and New York, Gandhi said intolerance was ruining Indias reputation and invoked the age-old Gandhian doctrine of ahimsa or nonviolence to launch an attack on right-wing politics, which he said is the reason behind increasing hate crimes. The...

19:15

Russia Proposes UN Peacekeeping Mission in Ukraine Strategic Culture Foundation

Russia has proposed a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on the establishment of a UN mission that would provide security for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors activities in eastern Ukraine. I consider the presence of peacekeepers, or rather people who would provide security for the OSCE mission, absolutely appropriate, and see nothing wrong with it, said Russian President Putin following the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, on September 5.

19:13

Communal Contest Over Durga Puja and Muharram Processions is Recipe for Disaster in Bengal The Wire

Has communal hatred seeped into the Bengali-speaking middle class psyche?

Durga puja immersion. Credit: Reuters

Durga puja idol. Credit: Reuters

Kolkata: Durga puja is the most popular festival in West Bengal. Politicians of all hues usually suspend their mutual bickering and agitations mid-autumn and focus on public relations in and around puja pandals. Among the traditional rivals, nationalists of the Congress and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) variety flex their political and financial muscles to put on ostentatious pujas in their paras (neighbourhoods). The old-styled competitive extortion of chanda (donation) has now largely been replaced by contests over corporate sponsorship in Bengals big towns. The Left leaders enjoy inhaling this especially aromatic opium of the masses, but prefer to hang up their boots for a while and man makeshift stalls selling Marxist literature close to the pandals.

This usual seasonal peaceful coexistence is likely to be shattered this time around as the modified BJP is all set to play bull in the china shop. The...

19:08

Storm Maria Smashes Puerto Rico, Leaves a Trail of Destruction Behind The Wire

Damaged electrical installations are seen after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria en Guayama, Puerto Rico September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Damaged electrical installations are seen after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria en Guayama, Puerto Rico, September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Miguel Cruz awoke to the descent of Hurricane Maria on his home on Wednesday morning when the massive storm peeled off most of the roof, sent his belongings flying in all directions, but left intact an icon of Jesus hanging above his bed.

Puerto Ricans picking through the wreckage left by Maria after the hurricane devastated basic services on the debt-laden US territory, pitching most of its 3.4 million residents into darkness as night fell.

Crashing into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, Maria flipped the tops off buildings, knocked out phones and electricity across the island and turned low-lying roads into swollen rivers awash with debris.

I was terrified. I prayed to God that the door and windows wouldnt open, said Sonja Alvarez, 52, who spent 10 hours shut in a bedroom with her family while...

19:07

South Korea Approves Aid to North Korea, North Calls Trump Barking Dog The Wire

South Korean national flags hang on a barbed-wire fence near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, August 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korean national flags hang on a barbed-wire fence near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea, August 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Seoul: South Korea approved a plan on Thursday to send $8 million worth of aid to North Korea, as China warned the crisis on the Korean peninsula was getting more serious by the day and the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington continued.

North Koreas foreign minister likened US Pres...

18:35

Indias Long-Standing Asylum Practices Contradict Modi Governments Stand on Rohingya The Wire

The Rohingya refugees plea offers the Supreme Court an opportunity to bring clarity to the conflict between a statutory vacuum, ad hoc executive policies and binding obligations under international law.

The Supreme Court cannot ignore the history of Indias asylum management practices. Credit: Reuters

India has always adopted a self-contradictory approach towards refugee protection. Thus, while steadfastly refusing to accept any legal obligations, it has allowed persecuted communities to seek asylum, exempting them from the application of domestic laws (like the Foreigners Act and Passports Act).

With the Centre filing its response to the petition challenging the deportation of 40,000 Rohingya, the Supreme Court is now faced with the task of determining the scope of Indias asylum policy, or the rights of refugees and Indias legal obligations towards them. Although the Centre is now citing the lack of a law to justify its deportation order, the Supreme Court cannot ignore Indias asylum management practices that have accorded special humanitarian treatment to refugees as distinguished from other classes of foreigners.

Are the Rohingya illegal immigrants or refugees?

An illegal immigra...

18:32

State Reprisals Targeting Rights Activists at an All Time High: UN The Wire

Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse - RTS10K8D

Delegates arrive for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, February 27, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Geneva: A record 29 states, including China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have retaliated in the past year against citizens who cooperate with the UN, the UN human rights office said on Wednesday.

People communicating with the rights body have been abducted, detained, held incommunicado, or have disappeared, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour said.

Nine of the states named in the report Burundi, Egypt, Rwanda, Cuba, Venezuela, China, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Em...

18:28

Kenyas Election Board Faces Criticism From Supreme Court on Poll Verdict The Wire

Supporters of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta carry placards as they demonstrate outside the Supreme Court in protest of the nullification of Kenyattas victory by the Supreme Court Judges in Nairobi, Kenya, September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Supporters of Kenyas President Uhuru Kenyatta carry placards as they demonstrate outside the Supreme Court in protest of the nullification of Kenyattas victory by the Supreme Court Judges in Nairobi, Kenya, September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters

...

18:27

Legendary Mole Rescuers Heroes Again on Mexico City Home Turf The Wire

Rescue workers search through the rubble for students at Enrique Rebsamen school after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico, September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Rescue workers search through the rubble for students at Enrique Rebsamen school after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico, September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Mexico City: After earning fame burrowing into piles of rubble in disasters the world over, including the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, Mexicos mole rescue workers are on tragically familiar ground, pulling people from ruins in their home city.

The moles, Topos in Spanish, formed as a volunteer search and rescue group in the aftermath of the devastating quake that struck Mexico City in 1985, saving lives in the working class neighborhood of Tlatelolco where there had been a poor government response.

They became known as fearless...

18:25

Afghan President Ghani Backs Trumps South Asia Strategy The Wire

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a panel discussion at Asia Society in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Jeenah Moon

Afghanistans President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a panel discussion at Asia Society in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Jeenah Moon

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trumps strategy to win the war in Afghanistan will work where his predecessors failed because the Afghan army is stronger and Trump wants a regional approach and a harder line with Pakistan.

Ghani also said that former President Barack Obama did not have a partner in Afghanistan, implicitly criticizing former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who frequently disdained US policy and the US-led international military force.

President Trump is not just an individual (but) a team of partners in Afghanistan, Ghani told the Asia Society in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly. The Trump administrations strategy has the uniqueness of immense consultations with us.

At the same time, Ghani said, Obamas decision to maintain some US forces in...

18:15

The Congress Still Has a Long Way to Go The Wire

Rahul Gandhis speech at Berkeley has given the Congress a reason to cheer, but theres much to be done if it wants to capitalise on the growing dissatisfaction with the BJP.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at the University of California, Berkeley. Credit: PTI

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi at the University of California, Berkeley. Credit: PTI

Going by reports coming in from the US, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is making quite an impression there, at least in academic, policy and journalistic circles. There has been none of that glitz and garishness of Prime Minister Narendra Modis 2014 trip, during which he addressed thousands of NRI devotees in Madison Square Garden, but Gandhis low key style, where he has spoken on policy issues, India and China, the social tensions in India and even on why dynasties are endemic in this country, seems to have impressed his audience. He even complimented Modi on his superior communication skills.

Some have said they were surprised at his grasp of issues and his clarity. Why surprised? Because they had been led to believe, by what they had read in the media and heard on the grapevine, that he was a dud and little more than a good-looking scion of a big political family. Gandhi had an explanation for that: his political rivals  the BJP  had a large team of people working full time to create jokes and memes to rubbish hi...

18:11

More Than 60 Years on, Japans Mercury-Poison Victims Fight to Be Heard The Wire

The sister and brother-in-law of Minamata disease patient Jitsuko Tanaka, 64, take care of her as she lies in bed at their home in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, September 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters

The sister and brother-in-law of Minamata disease patient Jitsuko Tanaka, 64, take care of her as she lies in bed at their home in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, September 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Minamata, Japan: Shinobu Sakamoto was just 15 when she left her home in the southern Japanese fishing village of Minamata to go to Stockholm and tell the world of the horrors of mercury poisoning.

Forty-five years on, she is travelling again, this time to Geneva, to attend from Sunday a gathering of signatories to the first global pact to rein in mercury pollution.

Sakamoto is one of a shrinking group of survivors from a 1950s industrial disaster in which tens of thousands of people were poisoned after waste water from a chemical plant seeped into the...

18:07

Theresa May Set to Make High-Stakes Brexit Speech The Wire

Anti-Brexit protesters wave flags in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, September 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Anti-Brexit protesters wave flags in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, September 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters

London: After months of Brexit talks that have made little progress and deepened rifts in her party, British Prime Minister Theresa May will try this week to put the negotiations on track and reassert her authority.

In a speech in the Italian city of Florence, May will set out on Friday her vision for future ties with the European Union and try to fill an apparent policy vacuum that has left her Brexit team adopting what Brussels regards as wrecking tactics in the talks on unravelling four decades of union.

The 60-year-old leader has deliberately chosen an EU city to deliver the speech so that she can speak directly to the other 27 nations in the bloc, but has her work cut out in seizing back the initiative.

May has been largely quiet on Brexit since her Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in a June election that she need not have called, saying little beyond...

18:00

Earthquake Leaves Mexicos Disaster Response System Struggling to Keep Up The Wire

Although basic public services have been restored, economic, commercial and educational activities have come to a halt.

The September 19, 2017 earthquake toppled nearly 50 buildings in Mexico City, and left many uninhabitable. Fire fighters carry out an inspection the day after in an apartment building that is still standing but will have to be demolished, in a neighbourhood in the centre of Mexico City. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

The September 19, 2017 earthquake toppled nearly 50 buildings in Mexico City, and left many uninhabitable. Fire fighters carry out an inspection the day after in an apartment building that is still standing but will have to be demolished, in a neighbourhood in the centre of Mexico City. Credit: Emilio Godoy/IPS

Mexico City: Central Mexico faced Wednesday the challenge of putting itself back together after the powerful 7.1-magnitude quake that devastated the capital and the neighbouring states of Mexico, Morelos and Puebla the day before.

In Mexico City the air smells of dust, destruction, death, panic and hope, brought by the quake, whose epicentre was in Morelos, 120 km to the south of the capital. So far the official death toll is 230, with hundreds of people injured and 44 collapsed buildings in Mexico City.

Everythin...

18:00

Why Do Dravidian Intellectuals Admire a Man So Prickly as Periyar? The Wire

The reason is simple. The national intellectual landscape is verdant. The Dravidian landscape, on the other hand, is an arid desert, and Periyar was the only cactus plant to have bloomed in it.

M. Karunanidhi (front row, third from left) and Periyar (fourth). Source: YouTube

M. Karunanidhi (front row, third from left) and Periyar (fourth). Source: YouTube

P.A. Krishnan is an author in both English and Tamil. He regularly contributes to various journals and magazines.

The Jews are only interested in themselves, and nobody else. They somehow contrive to have the rulers in their pocket, participate in governance and conspire to torture and suck the lives out of other citizens in order that they live (in comfort). These blatantly anti-semitic lines were penned on March 20, 1938, when Hitlers flag was flying high. If you had read them in isolation and if you were familiar with the history of the Nazis, it is likely that you would think they must have been fished out of some sordid pro-Nazi tabloid.

These are the next lines: Are they not comparable to the Brahmins who too have no responsibility but have the rulers in their pocket, have entered the ruling dispensation and been lording over (all of us)? 

This is Periyar E.V. Ramasamy writing in his magazine Kudiyarasu, ...

17:48

Forces to Employ Full Measure to Avoid Collateral Damage, Says Myanmar The Wire

Myanmar Vice President Henry Van Thio addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Myanmar Vice President Henry Van Thio addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

UN: Myanmars vice president told the UN on Wednesday that security forces in his countrys Rakhine State, from which hundreds of thousands of people have recently fled, have been instructed to take full measures to avoid collateral damage and harming innocent civilians.

Violence in Rakhine State erupted on August 25th, when Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks on government outposts, provoking a fierce crackdown by the Myanmar military that has been greeted with widespread international condemnation, including at the annual UN General Assembly this week.

Addressing the assembly, Vice President Henry Van Thio said it was not only Rohingya Muslims who had fled, but members of other minority groups too. He said human rights violations would be dealt with in accordance with strict norms of justice.

At least 420,000 Rohingya Muslims have since fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what a seni...

17:15

Hum Bhi Bharat, Episode 1: Student Politics The Wire

Arfa Khanum Sherwani discusses whether student politics have national implications.

Joining her for this episode are former vice president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University students union Shehla Rashid Shora, Jahnavi Ojha from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and The Wire Hindis reporter Srishti Srivastava.

The post Hum Bhi Bharat, Episode 1: Student Politics appeared first on The Wire.

17:13

G4 Countries Seek Early Reform of UN Security Council The Wire

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. Credit: Reuters

Minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, US, September 26, 2016. Credit: Reuters

UN: Foreign ministers of G4 countries, including India, have called for an early reform of the UN Security Council and expansion of its permanent and non-permanent members.

At a meeting here on the sidelines of the annual General Assembly Sessions of the UN, the ministers of G4 countries Brazil, Germany, India and Japan asserted that such a reform was essential to make the most powerful wing of the UN more representative and effective, reflecting the ground realities of the 21st century.

A joint statement was issued after the meeting attended by external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Brazilian foreign rel...

16:41

Catalan Government Raided by Spanish Police to Halt Banned Referendum The Wire

Protesters carry Esteladas, Catalan separatist flags and Basque flags, during a rally in favour of a referendum on independence from Spain for the autonomous community of Catalonia, in the Basque city of Bilbao, Spain September 9, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Protesters carry Esteladas, Catalan separatist flags and Basque flags, during a rally in favour of a referendum on independence from Spain for the autonomous community of Catalonia, in the Basque city of Bilbao, Spain September 9, 2017. Credit: Reuters

...

16:40

Zero Role for India in Afghanistan, Says Pakistan Prime Minister The Wire

We dont foresee any political or military role for India in Afghanistan. I think it will just complicate the situation and it will not resolve anything.

Pakistan's former Petroleum Minister and Prime Minister designate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrives to attend the National Assembly session in Islamabad, Pakistan August 1, 2017. Credit:Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

Pakistans former Petroleum Minister and Prime Minister designate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrives to attend the National Assembly session in Islamabad, Pakistan August 1, 2017. Credit:Reuters/Faisal Mahmood

New York: Pakistan sees zero political or military role for India in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said today, weeks a...

16:34

Aid Shipment to Rohingya in Rakhine State Blocked by Myanmar Protesters The Wire

Rohingya refugees have a dinner at a makeshift shelter near Gundum in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 3, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Rohingya refugees have a dinner at a makeshift shelter near Gundum in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 3, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Sittwe, Myanmar: Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar tried to block a shipment of aid to Muslims in Rakhine State where the United Nations has accused the military of ethnic cleansing, with a witness saying protesters threw petrol bombs before police dispersed them by firing into the air.

The protest was testament to rising communal animosity that threatens to complicate the delivery of vital supplies, and came as US President Donald Trump called for a quick end to the violence that has raised concern about Myanmars transition from military rule.

The aid shipment, being organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was...

16:28

With Modis Skill India Scheme Faltering, Centre Plans to Make It More District-Centric The Wire

Of the 30.67 lakh candidates who had been trained or were undergoing training across the country in June 2017, only 2.9 lakh received placement offers.

An employee works inside an undergarment factory in Kolkata, India, February 29, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

An employee works inside an undergarment factory in Kolkata, India, February 29, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi governments much-touted skilling scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), isnt quite achieving the results the Centre had hoped for. According to a report in the Indian Express, data revealed that of the 30.67 lakh candidates who had been trained or were undergoing training across the country in June 2017, only 2.9 lakh had received placement offers. Thats less than a tenth.

In order to address this issue, the newspaper reported, the government is...

16:06

Convicted Lawmakers Need Not Be Automatically Disqualified From Legislature: Centre Tells SC The Wire

The Centre said convicted MPs or MLAs need not be automatically disqualified from parliament or state legislatures since they can appeal convictions.

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that convicted lawmakers need not be automatically disqualified from parliament or state legislatures as they have the right to move an appellate court to stay such a verdict.

A number of lawmakers had been asked to vacate their seats after the Supreme Court ruled in the Lily Thomas vs. Union of India case that a convicted lawmaker automatically stood disqualified. The NDA government, despite this ruling, said that a legislator could approach a court to stay a conviction and remain in their post, the Telegraph reported.

Some convicted legislators from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have continued in their posts despite convictions, which was brought to the apex courts notice by NGO Lok Prahari,...

15:30

Lack of Data Continues to Cast Centres River-Linking Plans in Poor Light The Wire

The data on which rivers are running low and which are carrying surpluses is not publicly available. There is also no conceptual clarity of the indicators needed for defining deficit and surplus.

The Ken river as it flows through Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. Credit: Abhishekkolay/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

The Ken river as it flows through Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. Credit: Abhishekkolay/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bharat Dogra is a freelance journalist who has been involved with several social movements and initiatives.

At a time when efforts are being stepped up to drum up support for the controversial river-linking project, people need to become more aware about some important aspects of this project. In several ways, it seeks to change not just the flow of many of our rivers but to some extent the countrys geography as well.

Such large-scale and irreversible changes should not take place without a broad-based, sincere and well-informed debate among the citizens of the country. However, this is precisely what is not happening, as the authorities have been trying to bulldoze ahead with clearance for one sub-project after another, trying to muzzle all objections voiced by many affected people, eminent persons and independent experts.

The National River Linking (NLR) Project involves the linking of...

15:28

A UN Force For Ukraine: Beware the Trojan Horse New Eastern Outlook

453412123123Russia has proposed that a UN peacekeeping force be placed in Ukraine to protect Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) representatives, who are supposed to be monitoring adherence to the Minsk agreements. But already the problems with the idea have become obvious with the United States and the Kiev regime reacting to the proposal with statements that they want to use the force to restore Ukrainian sovereignty and its territorial integrity.

The objective of the NATO alliance is clear, to use the force as a device to crush the Donbass republics. Russia sees it as a way advance the Minsk agreements, to stop the harassing criticism of the NATO powers that the Russians and Donbass impede the work of the OSCE observers and perhaps to have some control over the OSCE to make sure it is neutral and objective in its mission. For in fact the OSCE is seen by many in the Donbass Republics as a group of spies for the west, not to be trusted.

The Russians seem to think a UN force could be created that would actually be neutral between all the parties to the hostilities, give some assurance to the Donbass and create another layer or buffer between the Kiev forces besieging the Donbass and the Donbass forces resisting that siege. A logical idea it would seem if one were not aware of how UN peacekeeping missions actually work. The trouble with it is that unless such a force is officered by Russians, or nations allied with Russia, no UN force could be trusted. History shows that UN peacekeeping missions can turn into regime change missions, as happened in Rwanda and Yugoslavia.

I will focus on the Rwandan war and the role of the UN there since that is better known to me through the war crimes trials at the Rwanda War Crimes Tribunal. During those trials a lot of the evidence of the real role of the UN in Rwanda was revealed. The situation deserves remembering because the UN force sent to Rwanda in order, supposedly, to keep the peace between the invading Ugandans of the Rwanda Patriotic Front supported by the US, UK, Canada and Belgium, on one side, and and the government of Rwanda on the other, in reality acted as division of the invading forces.

The Canadian UN force commander, General Dallaire, and officers under him, actively helped the invading forces to violate weapons limit agreements, troop deployment agreements, helped them bring into the country arms and artillery for a final offensive, were complicit in the assassination of officials and politicians, were complicit in the murder of the President of Rwanda an...

14:00

Brazils Uncontacted Indigenous Amazonians Must Be Protected The Wire

A history of disease and violence shows that leaving them alone is necessary for their very survival, yet their unique isolation also means they cant participate in the political system.

Credit: Reuters

In a remote corner of far-western Brazil lies the Vale do Javari, home to one of the greatest concentrations of isolated or entirely uncontacted tribes in the Amazon. Unlike indigenous lands elsewhere in the country, which have been colonised and polluted, the Javaris very inaccessibility has kept it largely untouched. But the people who live there remain extremely vulnerable. Recently, illegal gold miners in the region were alleged to have boasted of a brutal mass murder of ten members of an uncontacted tribe.

The allegations emerged a decade after the UN General Assembly adopted its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) on September 13, 2007. The declaration was a result of decades of tireless campaigning by indigenous activists across the world, yet ongoing horror stories of abuses deep in the Amazon show how far countries like Brazil still have to go.

The UNDRIP affirms indigenous people, as a collective or as individuals, must enjoy the same human rights as everyone else. It also says they must give free, prior and informed consent regarding the use of traditionally held land...

14:00

A Year After Alleged Police Violence, Ahmedabad Meat Trader Still Waiting for an FIR The Wire

Despite a high court order, the local police station refused to file an FIR. The case has now been transferred to a different station.

Ahmedabad: Shabbirhussein Gulamnabi Qureshi, a resident of the Khanpur area, is one of close to 8,000 meat traders based in Ahmedabad. The business has been the prime source of livelihood for the Qureshi community for generations. Qureshi is a distributor who, like many others, buys his stocks from the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-approved wholesale meat market at Mirzapur.

On the morning of May 21 last year, Qureshi, like on any other day, set off to deliver 120 kg of meat to his buyers Rajubhai at Gomtipur and Safikbhai at Bapunagar. However, police personnel from the Shahpur police station stopped him en route, arrested him and seized his meat on the suspicion that it was beef.

They picked me up at around 7:30 am and kept me at the Shahpur police lock up. In the afternoon, two police constables transported me to the Delhi Chakla police chowki (about one km from the Shahpur police station). One of the police constables called up another police personnel, who was identified as the sub inspector of police then posted at the Shahpur police station. He thrashed me first and then broke a wooden staff on me. After he got tired of beating me, he turned to other two constables and they took turns to hit me. The ordeal lasted about three hours, Qureshi told The Wire.

Mian ko marke punya kama lo (thrash the Muslim man and you will earn blessings), the sub inspector said to the constables while offering them a chance to thrash me, claimed Qureshi.

...

13:45

Life for Rohingya Refugees in Nepal Is Better Than in India and Bangladesh, but Only Marginally The Wire

It isnt enough to be safe from physical violence and state persecution. The Rohingya must be given the right to live and work, no matter where they are.

Rohingya refugee in Nepal

Rohingya Muslim children who live in a refugee camp in the outskirts of Kathmandu in Nepal. Credit: Puja Sen

On September 28, 2012, three Rohingya Muslim families beat a perilous path, crossing three country borders in South Asia, to reach Nepal. Jafar Alam, Amir Hussain and Abu Takir and their wives and children, all from border villages north of Maungdaw in Myanmars Rakhine state, were the first from the Rohingya community to seek refuge in Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, the same year, in India, right wing politicians were stoking up fear against the Bangali migrant in Assam; Pakistan was planning to revoke the refugee status of all Afghans living within its borders; and Bangladesh had decided to shut its borders to fleeing Myanmarese refugees following a fresh spate of violence in the Rakhine state. International attention at the time was riveted on the Syrian refugees. All the host countries both in Europe and South Asia made arguments about the threat to law and order, security and disruption to local culture to justify barring or limiting entry to terrified populations fleeing persecution, war and terror.

Rohingya refugees have been called one of the most persecuted minority in the world...

13:30

Increasing Public Investment Is Crucial to Arresting Indias Economic Growth Slowdown The Wire

Public investments across all industries, with a policy focus on increasing female labour force participation, can go a long way in improving Indias economic growth performance.

Shoppers crowd at a roadside market next to a handcart loaded with apples for sale in New Delhi, India, November 13, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

Shoppers crowd at a roadside market next to a handcart loaded with apples for sale in New Delhi, India, November 13, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

A year ago, the Indian economy was being projected as a bright spot in the global economic landscape. The aggregate growth rate of 7-8% seemed consistent even though domestic private investment levels were low, with a lag in the domestic industrial productivity levels. Over the last year, the strength of Indias macroeconomic fundamentals have seen a significant fall (particularly since the implementation of demonetisation and the GST system), p...

13:30

Can the Worlds Megacities Survive the Digital Age? The Wire

For megacities, its time to start planning for a disrupted future.

Metropoles like Shanghai have survived and thrived in large part because of their massive populations. But what happens when people start to become a liability rather than an asset? Credit: Reuters

Metropoles like Shanghai have survived and thrived in large part because of their massive populations. But what happens when people start to become a liability rather than an asset? Credit: Reuters

Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product.

Many analysts and...

13:00

The Aesthetics of Resistance The Wire

Resistance should be free of uniformity, as much as our polity must be reflective and respectful of our diversity.

Gauri Lankesh was not killed for any one particular reason, but for being a fearless opponent of fascist regimes, irrespective of the subject or occasion, and a woman at that. Credit: Rashmi Sawhney

Gauri Lankesh was not killed for any one particular reason, but for being a fearless opponent of fascist regimes, irrespective of the subject or occasion, and a woman at that. Credit: Suresh Kumar

On September 5, 2017, Gauri Lankesh, activist and editor of the Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was shot dead by two men on a motorbike, outside her home in Rajeshwar Nagar, Bengaluru. The brazenness of her murder sent a sharp stab into the collective consciousness of a society that is increasingly being gagged into passive muteness. Gauri Lankeshs murder was a symbolic act, like an act of terrorism, whose primary objective was to establish a rudimentary if (x) then (y) equation if you criticise divisive Hindutva politics, if you write against the state, if you write in support of the marginalised, if you promote rationalist thought, if you disagree with the normative, then, you will be violently smothered too.

The silencing of independent thinkers, activists, writers, artists, filmmakers indeed, those who leverage influence over society and are in a position to affect change and unsettle the status quo has been a tradition that continues from Socrates time to our own. In the Phaedo, Plato describes Socrates trial by a jury, on charges of...

13:00

Post-Conflict, Colombia Struggles With Justice in Cash for Kills Scandal The Wire

As the post-conflict justice system takes shape in Colombia, there are many individual rights violations and atrocities to be addressed.

Credit: Reuters

As Colombias 50-year armed conflict enters a post-conflict phase, the country is having to face up to the toll it took on millions of lives. There are more than eight million registered victims, and today, Colombia is host to 7.4 million internally displaced people more than anywhere else in the world. Atrocities were committed by all sides, including the government, and civilians were the principal casualties.

As the post-conflict justice system takes shape, there are many individual rights violations and atrocities to be addressed. But the conflicts most emblematic atrocity is the extrajudicial murder of thousands of innocent civilians during the so-called false positives scandal.

After the right-wing paramilitary AUC...

12:07

Suffering Has a Name The Wire

Aung San Suu Kyis response to the crisis at home is starkly duplicitous and false.

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su/File Photo

Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Credit: Reuters/Edgar Su/File Photo

Suffering is universal and part of the human condition and life. In history however, suffering is quite specific. Suffering carries a name, sometimes of an individual and often of a community. Suffering has a face, or faces. Today we are witnessing the suffering of isolated groups of individuals who are victims of terror attacks. But we are also witnessing the deep violence against communities that are targeted in the name of racist and religious nationalism. These are forms of historical violence that do not fall within the general idea of universal suffering. It includes the collective plight of people, of refugees and minorities, who face majoritarian violence. These instances are often accompanied by the apathy of the state or its direct or tacit encouragement. These sufferers have a nam...

10:33

Rhetoric on MA63 misses the real issue Hornbill Unleashed

The continuing rhetoric and polemics on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) in Borneo, with an occasional response from Putrajaya, misses the real issue in Sabah and Sarawak: decolonisation. Bingkor assemblyperson Jeffrey Kitingan, a longtime Borneo rights advocate, has called for a new MA63, where Sabah and Sarawak will be equal partners with Malaya in the []

10:32

Sex, beer and our social ills Hornbill Unleashed

I dont have a drinking problem cept when I cant get a drink.  Tom Waits The cancellation of Better Beer Festival 2017 has nothing to do with social ills or any of that other claptrap that Islamists claim is destroying the moral and social fabric of this country. This has everything to do with []

Miri MP leaves fate to PKR, wont give in to other PH parties Hornbill Unleashed

The member of Parliament for Miri, Dr Teo Yu Keng, is leaving it to his party PKR to decide whether he should defend his seat in the coming 14th general election (GE14). However, he said the seat must be defended by PKR and not to be given to any other Pakatan Harapan (PH) party to []

Umno quashes rumours of Selangor coup Hornbill Unleashed

Umno has denied claims that Selangor PKR and PAS assemblymen were to follow Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib in joining the Malay nationalist party, ending speculation on the matter. Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that it was pointless to engineer a political coup in Selangor so close to the 14th []

10:32

Nurul Izzah honours Reformasi on anniversary of first Anwar arrest Hornbill Unleashed

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar has renewed her pledge to the Reformasi movement on the day that marks the 19th anniversary of her father, Anwar Ibrahims dramatic arrest. Nurul Izzah, who is Lembah Pantai MP, told FMT in a statement that the mere fact that Reformasi is still going strong having been adopted in todays []

10:32

Sabah church seeks basis for Allah ban, but govt says its a secret Hornbill Unleashed

A Sabah church today asked the courts to order the government to disclose documents showing why it had banned non-Muslims from using the Arabic word Allah, but the government objected by saying such documents were classified as official secrets. Lim Heng Seng, the lead counsel for the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah church, argued that []

10:32

Police have completed 1MDB probe, says IGP Hornbill Unleashed

The police have concluded their investigations into 1MDB and there are no new developments, pending any further instruction issued, inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun said. Fuzi told reporters in Kelantan today that any such instruction, if issued, would come from the Parliaments Public Accounts Committee (PAC) or from the federal cabinet. No, no. We []

Suhakam to probe reclaimed land project Hornbill Unleashed

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will be probing into reclamation works in Teluk Muroh, about 10km from here. The reclamation project, which began last year, drew the ire of fishermen who claimed that it would destroy the environment and their source of income. Gabungan Selamatkan Pantai Warisan Teluk Muroh, led by its pro-tem []

10:32

Church is non-partisan, says Sabah Council of Churches Hornbill Unleashed

Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) president Bishop Melter Jiki Tais has refuted claims that the church is pro-opposition. Melter was quoted by the Borneo Post as saying that he had recently been told of unfounded and unjust remarks that the church was pro-opposition. As a religious body, the church is non-partisan and will continue to []

10:32

Apex court allows EC to pose three questions in voters suit Hornbill Unleashed

The challenge mounted by three Hulu Selangor voters on the Election Commissions (EC) recent redelineation exercise will take longer than expected, as the Federal Court allowed the commission to pose three questions of law. The three voters P Maradeveran, Zahar Rusuli, and Yong Chan Hee found themselves part of the Kuala Kubu Bharu []

10:32

Lawyer Siti Kasim demands Hadi, HarakahDaily say sorry over alleged defamation Hornbill Unleashed

Siti Kasim has sent a letter of demand to Islamist party PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and its online mouthpiece HarakahDaily over reports deemed defamatory to the lawyer. In a copy of the letter dated yesterday sighted by Malay Mail Online, the two parties were given 48 hours to publish an apology and []

10:32

Sabah opposition leader risks losing seat over bankruptcy Hornbill Unleashed

Sabah opposition leader Lajim Ukin risks losing his Klias state seat over a bankruptcy notice linked to an outstanding debt amount of RM160,951.81 with a local bank, according to a local Sabah daily. The Daily Express reported that another local daily had published an Insolvency Department notice attributed to Sabah director Monica Linsua yesterday, raising questions over Lajims []

Let them be syok sendiri, Mat Taib says of oppositions mocking Hornbill Unleashed

Former Selangor menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib is unfazed at the opposition mocking his re-entry to Umno. Let them be syok sendiri (be full of themselves), he said in a text message to Malaysiakini when asked to respond to the reaction to him rejoining Umno. He who laughs first, laughs last (sic), he added. Muhammad []

10:32

False claims hinder perimeter surveys Hornbill Unleashed

Owners of native customary rights land are reminded not to let greed overcome them when asking for their land to be surveyed under the new perimeter survey initiative. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said they should not make false claims over the boundary of their lands, which had become one of []

10:31

Politicians should stop talking only about politics if they want to win, forum told Hornbill Unleashed

Politicians need to find better ways to engage the youth including not talking only about politics all the time, panellists at a forum said last night. The Youth Perception on Economy, Leadership and Current Issues survey released before the start of the forum found that over 70 per cent of Malaysian youth polled do not []

10:31

Ambiga loses leave to appeal bid over travel ban to Sabah Hornbill Unleashed

Former Malaysian Bar president Datuk S. Ambiga loses her bid to obtain the green light from the Federal Court to appeal over the Sabah State Immigration Departments decision to ban her from entering Sabah in November 2014. Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, chairing the Federal Court three-man bench, unanimously dismissed Ambigas application []

02:53

Journalist Killed While Covering Violent Clashes in Tripura The Wire

The police has reportedly taken four members of the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura into custody in relation to Santanu Bhowmiks death.

Santanu Bhowmick. Credit: Facebook

Santanu Bhowmick. Credit: Facebook

New Delhi: A journalist working for a local channel, Din Raat, was fatally attacked today while covering a clash between the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the ruling CPI(M)s tribal wing, Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP), in western Tripuras Mandai area, about 25 km from the state capital Agartala.

According to police, the journalist, Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was covering the road blockade called by the IPFT at Mandai when he was hit from behind and abducted. Police later found him with serious stab injuries and rushed him to the Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital in Agartala, where he was declared brought dead.

Since September 19, as many as ten places in Khowai and West Tripura districts, including Mandai, have been under curfew after witnessing violent clashes between the two political outfits. According to media reports, as many as 60 TRUGP cadres were injured by IPFT members on September 19 in about 12 places in these districts.

Reports said police had to resort to baton charge in Mandai on September 20 to disperse a mob which assembled there, violating the Section 144 of the Criminal Penal Code which has bee...

02:22

Muslim and Hindu Clerics Pitch for Temple and Mosque at Disputed Ayodhya Site The Wire

Hindu, Shia and Sunni religious leaders were present at the event held in Ayodhya on Wednesday.

At the communal harmony conference. Credit: Arshad Afzal Khan

At the communal harmony conference. Credit: Arshad Afzaal Khan

Faizabad/Ayodhya: Even as the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sanghs Muslim organisation, held an event to pave the way for the construction of a Ram Mandir on the Babri Masjid site, a different way forward emerged from a communal harmony conference held in Ayodhya on Wednesday that saw the participation of senior clerics from both communities.

Clerics at the conference were in favour of solving the Ram Janambhoomi/Babri Masjid dispute through negotiations.

Convenor of the conference Mahant Janmajay Sharan, chief of the Bara Sthan Janki Ghat temple, said, To solve the issue of the Ram Janambhoomi, the senior clerics of both Shia and Sunni communities gathered here. The conference was attended by senior Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and Maulana Fazal E. Mannan, the imam of Tile Wali Masjid of Lucknow.

The formula which I am trying to adopt is a peaceful negotiated settlement of this Ayodhya issue. The Ram Mandir should be built on the site of the Babri Masjid, and the mosque should be constructed a few yards away from the temple but in the same premises, he added.

Jawwad said that groups must...

01:58

What Explains the Recent Bump in Indias Inflation? The Wire

While food, housing and petroleum inflation all played a role, a SBI research report also notes that the inflationary impact of GST may have been slightly more than what was expected.

The initial effect of GST has indeed been slightly inflationary. Credit: Reuters

The initial effect of GST has indeed been slightly inflationary. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: The goods and services tax (GST) regime and a rise in food and housing prices have pushed Indias consumer price inflation to a five-month high in August 2017.

Over the last five months, CPI (consumer price index) inflation has touched a high of 3.36% in August, compared to 2.17% in July 2017 and 2.47% in August 2016.

According to a market note put out by SBI research, the 190 basis points jump in headline CPI inflation over the last two months can be attributed to food (151...

01:54

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 121: Make in India and Unemployment The Wire

Vinod Dua discusses Make in India and technology transfer agreements, and job losses due to the economic slowdown.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 121: Make in India and Unemployment appeared first on The Wire.

00:39

What If the North Korean Crisis is in the Bag Already? New Eastern Outlook

438592What if North Korea is being cut off from world markets to shore up big mining businesses in the west? As crazy as this sounds, one was of explaining the crazy logic and policy moves from Pyongyang is to think outside the box. In a geopolitical world where nothing is as it seems, anything is possible. Could Kim Jong-un just be playing his role in a game of good cop bad cop?

What if scenarios can tell us a lot about todays foreign policy strategies. So, what if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un takes periodic calls from some 007 Spectre character? Its not hard to imagine a sinister figure calling to give the order, Okay Kim, stir up the chickens with some more rocketry like we discussed. Yes, like I said, its a crazy world. But there is some circumstantial evidence if we look into markets.

An article about North Koreas untapped mineral wealth on MENAFN caught my eye this morning. The piece entitled The $10 Trillion Resource North Korea Cant Tap reminded me of something my Dutch research colleague, Holger Eekhof brought to my attention some months ago. Enter a man named Hans Werner Truppel, a German business man convicted in German courts for attempting to provide aluminum tubes to North for the countrys nuclear program back in 2003. This Seattle Times story lays out the voyage of the French cargo ship Ville de Virgo, and black-market business of supplying strategic materials and weapons to North Korea. The story uncloaked a CIA operator named Truppel, owner of a tiny German export company called Optronic, in a village about 85 miles northwest of Munich. Author Mike Chinoy also outlined the clandestine effort to build up North Koreas nuclear capability in his book Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis, but his account frames US and European intelligence communities as the good guy investigators in the case. But this notion was manufactured subterfuge and only for plausible deniability if the US Senate should get involved.

When I asked Eekhof about the connection in between Truppel, the North Koreans, and the US agencies, he pointed out that Truppels wife Elisabeth had managed Optronic while he was in the German prison. Eekhof also pointed me in the direction of Optronics current operations, supplying temporary personnel to the US Army in Ge...

00:30

Ethnic Fermented Foods Help Preserve Some Bacteria and Fungi The Wire

The technique involved help keep alive important bacteria and fungi found in Indias northeast, and which would otherwise disappear with time.

Marcha (left) and thiat. Credit: doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11609-y

Marcha (left) and thiat. Credit: doi:10.1038/s41598-017-11609-y

Monika Kundu Srivastava writes for India Science Wire.

New Delhi: Fermented foods from jalebi to dosa are common across India. Scientists are now focusing on them because they also harbour a diverse array of microbes.

A study of starters that are used to prepare ethnic fermented foods in Sikkim and Meghalaya has revealed that they have rich microbial diversity. The study was undertaken to find out the types of bacteria and fungi present in two traditionally prepared starters: marcha and thiat, used to ferment a variety of starchy substances and produce a sweet alcoholic beverage that popular in the two northeastern states.

Marcha...

00:09

Thyssenkrupp, Tata Steel Agree to Forge Europes No. 2 Steelmaker The Wire

Heinrich Hiesinger, chief executive of ThyssenKrupp AG arrives for a news conference in Essen, Germany, September 20, 2017, on the Thyssenkrupp and Indian peer Tata Steel preliminary agreement to combine their European steel operations. Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

Essen, Germany: Germanys Thyssenkrupp and Indias Tata Steel agreed on Wednesday to merge their European steel operations in a preliminary deal that would create the continents No.2 steelmaker after ArcelorMittal.

The deal will not involve any cash, Tata Steel said, adding that both groups would contribute debt and liabilities to achieve an equal shareholding and remain long-term investors.

The companies say they need to consolidate to address overcapacity in the European steel market, which faces cheap imports from China and elsewhere, subdued demand for construction and inefficient legacy plants.

We want to avoid our steel team restructuring itself to death, Thyssenkrupp CEO Heinrich Hiesinger told reporters, noting its steel operations would face deeper restructuring needs if they remained part of the group.

No one is able to solve the structural issues in Europe alone. We all suffer from overcapacity and that means that everyone is making the same restructuring efforts, Hiesinger told broadcaster n-tv.

Thyssenkrupp shares rose 3.2%, boosted by hopes that the joint venture will also ease the burden on its balance sheet, which will be freed from 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) in mostly pension liabilities.

Tata Steel shares r...

00:08

Reliance Plans Major Expansion at Worlds Largest Oil Refinery Complex The Wire

Reliance may expand the capacity at its dual refinery complex in Jamnagar in Gujarat by 30 million tonnes a year to 100 million tonnes per year.

A woman walks past a poster of Reliance Industries installed outside the venue of the company's annual general meeting in Mumbai June 7, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash/File Photo

A woman walks past a poster of Reliance Industries installed outside the venue of the companys annual general meeting in Mumbai June 7, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash/File Photo

Mumbai/New Delhi: The Reliance Industries, operator of the worlds largest refining complex, is considering expanding its oil processing capacity by over 40 percent by 2030, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Reliance may expand the capacity at its dual refinery complex in Jamnagar in Gujarat by 30 million tonnes a year to 100 million tonnes per year, ac...

00:04

The police brutality haunting Tel Avivs backyard +972 Magazine

For nearly an entire week in early August, it felt as if Jaffa was teetering on the edge. Enraged over the shooting death of 22-year-old Mahdi Saadi at the hands of an Israeli police officer, hundreds of Arab youth hit the streets for several days of spontaneous demonstrations on one of the ancient port citys main thoroughfares.

Mainstream media ran a story most Israelis have become desensitized to, portraying the youth as Arab rioters burning trashcans, smashing car and storefront windows, blocking roads, and throwing stones at security forces.

The killing catalyzed the citys youth most of them from its poorest neighborhoods to protest years of firsthand police brutality and a growing sense of disillusionment over any potential for change. The headlines missed the real story: the Arab residents of Jaffa saw Mahdis death not as a random killing resulting in a confrontation gone wrong  they saw it as murder.

Mahdi Saadi was killed in the early hours of July 30 when police were called to respond to a shooting an incident on Yefet Street, in the heart of Jaffas mostly-Palestinian Ajami neighborhood. Saadi and a friend, Suleiman, were reportedly driving on a motorcycle in the area. Suspecting that the two were somehow involved in the shooting, police attempted to apprehend them. A chase ensued. Mahdi was reportedly shot between four and six times in his upper body on one of Jaffas backstreets, not far from Army Radio station. A single bullet hit Suleiman, severely wounding him.

At around noon the following day, a few dozen Arab youth gathered around Haj Kahil Square and began burning tires and throwing stones at police, sounding the opening salvo of a week-long standoff between a small group of protesters and large numbers of riot police stationed along Yefet Street, which was immediately sealed off.

00:00

Is Delhi Polices Special Cell Using an Al-Qaeda Recruiter as a Pawn to Vilify Rohingya in India? The Wire

The charges levelled against the British citizen of Bangladeshi origin by the Delhi polices special cell raise grave doubts about the agencys intentions.

Saimum Rahman. Courtesy: CAGE

Saimum Rahman. Courtesy: CAGE

The arrest of Samiun Rahman, a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, in East Delhi on September 17, came a day before the government in New Delhi told the Supreme Court that the 40,000 Rohingya refugees in its territory constitute a national security threat. The government had submitted its plea in a sealed envelope to the court, so it is not definite whether Rahmans case is included in the list of evidence. Media reports have described him as al-Qaedas key recruiter, although some other reports have been circumspect to name him only as a suspected al-Qaeda militant.

Twenty-eight-year-old Rahman, whose family is still in London, had previously been arrested in Dhaka in September 2014. That time, the Banglade...

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23:57

Kazakhstan: Children in Hijabs Barred From Schools EurasiaNet.org - Inside the Cocoon

The management of educational affairs in the town of Zhanaozen, in western Kazakhstan, plans to sue the parents of 60 pupils. Girls are unable to attend classes because they wear Islamic dress in violation of the school rules, RFE/RLs Kazakhstan service, Radio Azattyk, has reported.

The childrens parents maintain that as of September 1, schools in Zhanaozen have not been allowing their children to go to classes because they wear headscarves. They have called the school policy a violation of their religious freedoms.

The head of the educational department in Zhanaozen, Tattimbet Zhumagaliyev, said that schools are simply executing orders from the Education Ministry about uniforms. Zhumagaliyev said it is not just girls in hijabs that have been reprimanded, but also students in mini-skirts and with painted fingernails.

But parents say that their children are complying by wearing school uniforms, but just that they are also adding another element in line with their faith.

The issue will now be decided in the courts.

Similar occurrences have taken place in other educational establishments since rules were adopted in October last year to ban the wearing of religious attributes as a way of combating Islamic extremism.

Elsewhere, in the city of Aktobe, a local resident, Guljanat Berdibayeva, whose daughter was not allowed in school in her Islamic clothing, has filed a complaint with the General Prosecutors Office and the presidential administration. Berdibayeva said her aim is to seek the repeal of dictates that she feels discriminate against the children of devout Muslims.

Prosecutors in Aktobe have said they are looking into the matter to see if her complaints have any grounds.

23:43

The beat goes on: The story of Palestines national dance +972 Magazine

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict gets more than its share of attention. And yet, listening more attentively to the narrative of the dabke, Palestines national dance, gives a new angle to resistance and struggle.

By Dana Mills

The Budrus youth dabke troupe performs at the graphic novel launch event.

The Budrus youth dabke troupe performs at the graphic novel launch event.

In July 2015 Palestinian activists in London took to the streets to hold a Day of Rage to commemorate the bloodiest day of the Protective Edge, Israels 2014 war in Gaza one year earlier. In addition to signs and posters, chants and cries, protesters stormed the British Museum and Barclays Bank in London with a dabke flash mob. In 2012, students at Arizona State University commemorating the Deir Yasin massacre in 1948 also danced dabke.

[tmwinpost]

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has had more than its share of coverage. Dance history, however, is not always the first place one goes to find political stories. And yet, listening more attentively to the narrative of the dabke, Palestines national dance, gives a new angle to resistance and struggle.

The dabke is a participatory dance in which people form a line that can be expanded as new dancers join the moving chorus. The movements of the line are led by a lawith, a dancer who leads and initiates changes in the line formation, and who is followed by a chorus. The dance involves movements up and down in space, and includes rhythmic stomping, clapping, and changes of pace. There are breaks created by individual dancers performing solos and the group response to them.

But dabke is much more than just a dance. It is a form of storytelling through movement, and for many, a way to showcase solidarity and cooperation, cultural resistance, and the strength of the human spirit.

The use of dabke is hardly new. During the British Mandate, Palestinians danced the dabke as a statement of resistance to Jewish immigration to Palestine before 1948 (there is evidence of performance of the dabke in 1923 in the village of Nebi Musa during a protest against the arrival in large numbers of Jews), as well as the growing international support for Zionism. After 1948 dabke dances were choreographed into stories of the villages destroyed in the Nakba. Like many other elements in Pa...

23:30

If Only Durga Could Slay the Asura of Politicking The Wire

This years controversy around West Bengal polices order about idol immersion after Durga puja, on Muharram, was uncalled for, because the state has, through decades, celebrated different festivals at the same time.

A man decorates an idol of the Hindu goddess Durga at a pandal, a temporary platform, ahead of the Durga Puja festival in Kolkata September 25, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

I grew up in a respectable middle class South Calcutta (as it was called then) neighbourhood defined by Harish Mukherjee Road and the very well known SSKM Hospital. The big crossing near our ancestral home had a gurudwara and a mosque facing each other across a wide road.

Plus, police traffic restrictions willed that all immersion processions after any kind of Hi...

23:22

Kannada Author Loses Plea Against Ban on Her Book, SC Dismisses It Without Reasoned Order The Wire

The Karnataka government had banned Mate Mahadevis book Basava Vachana Deepthi in 1998, two years after its publication.

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

Supreme Court. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: In a surprising denouement, the Supreme Court bench of Justices S. A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao, on Wednesday, dismissed Mate Mahadevis appeal against the ban on the sale and circulation of her book, Basava Vachana Deepthi, without a reasoned order.

We are deliberately not giving a reasoned order, said the bench, while abruptly concluding the hearing of the case this afternoon.

Today, the bench heard senior counsel, Basava Prabhu S. Patil, representing the state of Karnataka, the respondent and the advocate representing Mate Mahadevi, Naveen R. Nath.

Patil, while explaining the interplay between Sections 95 and 96 of the CrPC, told the bench that the intention of the author has to be inferred from the nature of publication. He said that it is fallacious to mathematically equate Sections 95 and 96 of CrPC with Section 295A Indian Penal Code.

Relying on case law, he argued that the offence under Section 295A need not be proved, as a prerequisite for action under Sections 95 and 96 CrPC. The government have an opinion, he said, and the remedy for the author and the publisher is before the three-judge bench of the high court which can test its validity.

Comparing this with the...

23:00

Is the Congress Crawling Out of Its Self-Imposed Shell? The Wire

Between university elections, Rahul Gandhis speech in Berkeley and the BJPs defensive attitude, it seems as though the grand old party may be re-emerging as a political alternative.

NSUI members celebrating after students' union election results were announced in Gauhati university. Credit: NSUI/Twitter

NSUI members celebrating after students union election results were announced in Gauhati university. Credit: NSUI/Twitter

Is the Congress re-emerging from its own shadows to challenge the BJPs stronghold over Indian politics? Is everything alright within the BJPs rank and file, especially at a time when the Narendra Modi government is facing criticism from various corners? Or is the growing public concern over issues such as rising prices and the surging unemployment rate pushing the saffron party to rethink its tactics? These are some of the questions which political observers have been asking of late. With the 2019 general elections only a year and a half away, these questions are difficult to ignore.

Three separate but interconnected developments in the second week of September signal that political equations in the country may well be in a state of transition.

Rejection of ABVP in...

23:00

What Amit Shahs Testimony in the Maya Kodnani Trial Means The Wire

Manoj Mitta, author of The Fiction of Fact-finding: Modi and Godhra, and Siddharth Varadarajan discuss Amit Shahs testimony in defence of Maya Kodnani, and the 2002 riots.

Siddharth Vardarajan: Welcome to this Facebook live video at The Wire with Manoj Mitta, author of The Fiction of Fact-finding: Modi and Godhra. Mittas is arguably one of the most comprehensive books to emerge out of the 2002 Gujarat massacre. It is unique because it comes at the end of the process of investigation and prosecution and is essentially a critique of the special investigative teams efforts in probing the Gujarat violence in general, and in particular the manner in which it discharged its duty on the task of ascertaining whether the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, along with 60 plus other political and state officials, had a case to answer for when it came to their alleged complicity in the 2002 violence.

The immediate peg for our discussion is the testimony that Amit Shah, the BJP president, gave on September 18 in the trial court for the Naroda Gam massacre case. This was testimony he was asked to give as a defence witness for Maya Kodnani who, at the time of 2002 massacre, was simply a BJP leader. She was elevated to cabinet by Narendra Modi in 2007. Even though there were allegations in the previous five years of her involvement in the Naroda Patiya massacre for which she has since been convicted and Naroda Gam, Modi took her in and she resigned only after she was convicted by the trial court in the Naroda Patiya massacre for playing a central role in directing the mobs and being part of the conspiracy to massacre over 90 people. She was sent to jail and she is out on bail right now. The issue at hand is her alleged involvement in the Naroda Gam case. She had earlier complained to the court that she had been unable to reach Amit Shah, and finally Shah was summoned and then he appeared. There he corroborated her claim, that at two moments in the morning, around 8 to half past 8 and at 11 am, Amit Shah corroborated her claim that she was in the first instance in the assembly building and in the second instance in the hospital with her. Some eyewitnesses say she was at Naroda Gam around those times. So Manoj, start by giving us your assessment  about the significance of Shahs testimony in the context of what she has been saying and in the context of the Naroda Gam case itself.

Manoj Mitta: As you said this is something that happened rather belatedly and since it is in the run up to the Gujarat elections, it has raised eyebrows. It trigg...

23:00

Photo Essay: Batla House Beyond 2008 The Wire

Yes, Batla House is a ghetto. But it is also so much more than that.

A morning scene from Bhatla House. Credit: Nabeela Paniyath/The Wire

A morning scene from Batla House. Credit: Nabeela Paniyath/The Wire

The cityscape is made up of countless neighbourhoods which share physical proximity but are separated along countless lines. How do we differentiate one neighbourhood from another? What makes some spaces the dark underbelly while some the poster images of a city? Questions like these had kept me awake in my hometown in Kannur, but more so, when I moved to Delhi a year ago.

I had only heard of Batla House through a report in a Malayalam local newspaper. I was a high school student and I remember feeling a tinge of fear after reading the stories about the encounter. Living in Kerala, it somehow felt alien to me at that time. Little did I know that this alien neighbourhood would one day become an integral part of my life.

Having just enrolled in Jamia Millia Islamia for my post graduation, my friends and I decided to search for an apartment to stay. It was no coincidence that we found one in Batla House. Getting used to a new city was a painful process and everywhere I went, I felt like an unwelcomed guest. My perception of this neighbourhood too was no different from what the mainstream media had propagated. The long, twisting curves of the congested road somehow resembled a dark snake. The rickshaws, the autos and the cars were like the scales on its skin, each glued to the other. I feared that someday all of it would ram into each other. But to my relief, everything managed to co-exist in orderly chaos.

Slowly,...

22:39

Noida Police Cremates Manipuri Youth Without Informing Family The Wire

Suspecting foul play, Pravish Chanams family has demanded a thorough CBI investigation into his disappearance, death and cremation.

A vigil in the memory of Pravish Chanam at Delhi University. Credit: Facebook/Manipur Times

A vigil in the memory of Pravish Chanam at Delhi University. Credit: Facebook/Manipur Times

New Delhi: A Manipuri youth, who had been missing since September 8 night from Greater Noida, was found to have been cremated by the local police three days later without informing his family members, even though the family had filed a missing persons report on September 9.

While three policemen have been suspended for failing to inform the control room about the missing persons report filed at the police station, the death 22-year-old Pravish Chanam under mysterious circumstances, followed by the cremation of his body in a hurry, has created huge outrage in the state.

A candle light protest was also held in the arts faculty of Delhi University on September 15 by the Manipur Students Association Delhi and others seeking justice for Pravish.

According to his brother, Ravi Kant Chanam, Pravish came to Delhi from Hyderabad on September 7 and stayed with a friend in Safdarjang Enclave. He went to attend a music concert in Greater Noida on the night of September 8. Ravi said Pravish was accompanied by his friend and two others to the concert. However, around 9:30 pm he went missing from the venue, following which the friend informed Ravi brother about it.

On not finding him till the next morning, a miss...

22:33

Kurdistan and the Veil of Lies New Eastern Outlook

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With the Kurdish referendum vote upcoming, a few things are clear, clear as mud as the saying goes. After all, everyone loves the Kurds, the warmest kindest people on earth. Is this why the Turks are slaughtering them or why Baghdad is in an uproar or why, when we take the clock back a bit, American President George Herbert Walker Bush allowed a defeated Saddam Hussein to gas 30,000 Kurds to death with tacit American approval?

Maybe it isnt the Kurdish people themselves, but something else. We are going to take a look at the upcoming vote and those involved behind the scenes. We begin.

The Kurdish referendum is, perhaps, the single misreported and misrepresented event in recent times. To the fake news consumer, the Kurdish people are looking for a government of their own, no longer under rule by Bagdad. This of course is true, although steeped in alternative facts, spin and conjecture. In reality, the scam of the century is going on.

Lets jump right into it and not waste any time. The new Kurdish nation will be a jack of all trades for the clients who have operated the Kurdish people like hand puppets through their oligarchical leadership. Yes, we are talking huge Swiss bank accounts and many years of affiliations with Israeli, American, Turkish and Saudi intelligence agencies.

The Kurdish people themselves, perhaps among the most decent and forgiving people on earth, hold down some of the most valuable real estate on earth. They sit on or near huge oil and gas reserves, pipeline routes and, perhaps more importantly, could be formed into a snake-like nation stretching from near the Mediterranean in Syria, across that nation, though Iraq and into Iran to the Caspian Sea.

The Kurds, who wish only for their diaspora, spread across the globe, to return home to safety and stability, will find themselves again in the soup. You see, there would have been no ISIS in Iraq without the deal cut between the Saddams former Baathists, the army built by General Petraeus, combined with Saudi cash, CIA training and an army of Israeli advisors.

The hotels of Erbil, and excellent hotels they are, no longer the lonely Erbil International of a decade ago, have now for years played home to the ISR (Intelligence/Reconnaissance and Surveillance) teams that made ISIS a force to recon with.

Erbil, with its international airport, was the real headquarters of ISIS. Businessmen working for imaginary oil companies move...

21:59

Cuba Reacts to Trumps Comments, Voices Strong Protest in UN Assembly The Wire

US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

US President Donald Trump addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US, September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Havana: Cuba on Tuesday slammed US President Donald Trumps latest comments about the island as disrespectful, unacceptable and meddling, while reiterating it was not involved in the alleged incidents that had harmed US diplomats in Havana.

The sharply worded Foreign Ministry statement came after US and Cuban delegations met in Washington to discuss bilateral relations, the first such high-level meeting between the Cold War foes since Trump took office in January.

Their meeting took place on the sam...

21:22

Trumps Tough Talk Opens Door for Macrons Diplomacy at UN The Wire

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting on "Housing First" in Toulouse, southern France, September 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a meeting on Housing First in Toulouse, southern France, September 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters

UN: French President Emmanuel Macron cast himself as the antithesis of Donald Trump at the UN on Tuesday, a position that could enable him to play the honest broker in international conflicts.

A few hours after the US president pugnaciously defended his unilateralist America First doctrine and launched scathing verbal attacks on North Korea and Iran, Macron took to the same stage to advance a diametrically opposed stance.

Multilateralism is the most efficient way to face global challenges. It is the realization of a vision of the world that protects us, Macron said in his first address to the UN annual gatherin...

21:21

US Will Totally Destroy North Korea If Threatened, Vows Trump The Wire

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) is introduced by Defense Secretary James Mattis (R) during the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. on July 22, 2017. Credit: Reuters

US President Donald Trump (L) is introduced by Defense Secretary James Mattis (R) during the commissioning ceremony of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, US on July 22, 2017. Credit: Reuters

UN: US President Donald Trump escalated his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge on Tuesday, threatening to totally destroy th...

21:11

Teachers, Students Approach Delhi HC as JNU Disbands Sexual Harassment Watchdog Body The Wire

Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. Credit: PTI

Jawaharlal Nehru University campus. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: A section of JNU teachers and students today approached the Delhi high court challenging the varsity administrations decision on disbanding the Gender Sensitisation Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) and forming the ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) instead.

The administration had in its 269th Executive Council meeting held yesterday ordered for dissolution of the GSCASH, an independent body.

Ever since the administration announced the decision in a circular that was issued a week ago by the registrar, the students and teachers were up in arms against the move.

The circular had also ordered for putting on hold polls for electing student representatives to GSCASH.

However, the petitioners, three teachers and three students professor Madhu Sahni, professor Rajat Dutta, professor Hemant Adlakha, and Ritika Kar, Rituraj Sharma, and Sonam Goyal today approached the Delhi high court by filing a writ petition with the help of a legal team led by Indira Jaising, senior advocate, Supreme Court.

The petitioners have sought quashing of the office orders super seeding the GSCASH by the ICC and the registrars circular putting elections to GSCASH on hold, JNUTA president Ayesha Kidwai said in...

21:10

Could a Pest of the Honey Industry Clean up Plastic Waste? The Wire

In 12 hours, 100 wax moth caterpillars had reduced a mass of plastic by 92 milligrams, the fastest plastic degradation process known so far.

Wax moth caterpillars in a Petri dish. Credit: Csar Hernndez/CSIC

Wax moth caterpillars in a Petri dish. Credit: Csar Hernndez/CSIC

Update (September 20, 2017): Three scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, say the study doesnt show clinching evidence that wax moths digested polyethylene and excreted ethylene glycol. They point out the original study did not have adequate controls to rule out other influencing factors. They followed the same protocol but rubbed egg yolk and ground pork on polyethylene film instead of mashed moth caterpillars. Under the infrared spectrometer, fats and oils from these products clinging to the film gave similar readings as the original study. However, they dont rule out the possibility that the worms may be digesting plastic. Much more rigorous experiments are needed to prove it. This was published in the same journal, Current Biology, on August 7, 2017.

May 1, 2017: Federica Bertocchini, a molecular biologist from the University of Cantabria, Spain, tends bees in her spare time. Several months ago, when she took her honeycomb panels out of storage, they were infested with the caterpillars of the honeyco...

20:59

Everything you think you know about Israeli-Palestinian peace is wrong +972 Magazine

Israelis and Palestinians have grown the furthest apart during periods of quiet; it is in times of violence that the two nations have suddenly become flexible in their positions. That defies everything we tell ourselves about prospects for peace, and everything the world has told Palestinians they must do to achieve it. A review of The Only Language They Understand, by Nathan Thrall.

Israeli police fire tear gas at protesting Palestinian youths in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, October 6, 2015. (Flash90)

Israeli troops attempt to disperse protesting Palestinian youths in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, October 6, 2015. (Flash90)

The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine, by Nathan Thrall, Metropolitan Books, 2017, 336 pages.

The year 2012 was particularly noteworthy in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: for the first time since 1973, not a single Israeli was killed in the West Bank. This was also the final year of then-Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyads state-building project, celebrated by the in...

20:58

In Bihar, Rs 389-Crore Dam Collapses Hours Before Inauguration By CM The Wire

A canal wall broke up after being forcefully hit by the Ganga river waters when the pump was switched on for a trial run yesterday at of the dam.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Credit: PTI

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Credit: PTI

Bhagalpur/Patna: In a major embarrassment for the Bihar government, the inauguration of the Rs 389.31 crore Ganga pump canal scheme by the chief minister today was cancelled after a canal wall collapsed and the gushing waters inundated parts of a township.

The wall broke up after being forcefully hit by the Ganga river waters when the pump was switched on for a trial run yesterday at Bateshwarsthan in Bhagalpur district.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate the canal scheme, which was aimed at providing irrigation facilities in the state and neighbouring Jharkhand.

The water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in NTPC township as well some civil areas including the residence of the Kahalgaon civil judge and the sub-judge.

The proposed programme of the chief minister at Bhagalpur today has been cancelled due to technical reasons, an official statement said in Patna yesterday.

Advertisements were inserted in newspapers yesterday about the inauguration of the project by the chief minister in the presence of water resources and irrigation minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and local Congress MLA Sadanand Singh.

RJD workers burnt an effigy of Kumar and Lallan in Bhagalpur, al...

20:51

Madras High Court Extends Stay on TN Assembly Floor Test The Wire

File Photo/DMK working president M.K. Stalin addressed the partys MLAs in Chennai on Tuesday, a day before the Madras HC hearing on the partys plea on a floor test in Tamil Nadu assembly. Photo Credit: PTI

File Photo/DMK working president M.K. Stalin addressed the partys MLAs in Chennai on Tuesday, a day before the Madras HC hearing on the partys plea on a floor test in Tamil Nadu assembly. Photo Credit: PTI

Chennai: The Madras high court today extended its stay order on a floor test in the Tamil Nadu assembly till further directions.

Justice M. Duraiswamy gave the order while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs belonging to the T.T.V. Dhinakaran camp by the assembly speaker P. Dhanapal on Monday. There was also no stay on the disqualification of the MLAs.

The judge had on September 14 ordered there will be no floor test till today.

The judge also directed that no poll notification be issued for the 18 assembly seats falling vacant due to disqualification of the dissident MLAs.

Eight of the 18 MLAs had moved the court yesterday, challenging the action against them under the anti-defection law.

The dissident MLAs condemned the speakers order as unauthorised and illegal in their individual petitions.

The petitio...

20:48

Myanmars Hindu Refugees Hope for Shelter in Modis India The Wire

FILE PHOTO: A Hindu family is seen at a shelter near Maungdaw, Rakhine State, Myanmar September 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/File Photo

A Hindu family is seen at a shelter near Maungdaw, Rakhine State, Myanmar September 12, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Stringer/File Photo

Kutupalong, Bangladesh/New Delhi: Caught in the crossfire between Myanmars military and Rohingya insurgents, hundreds of Hindus who have fled to Bangladesh are placing their hopes on the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in neighbouring India.

Nearly 500 are sheltered in a cleared-out chicken farm in a Hindu hamlet in Bangladeshs southeast, a couple of miles from where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims who have also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25th are living in makeshift camps.

The Hindu refugees say they are scared of going back to their villages in Buddhist-majority Myanmars restive Rakhine State, but also wary of staying in mostly Muslim Bangladesh....

20:45

Whatever Happened to America? Strategic Culture Foundation

When I was born America was a nation. Today it is a diversity country in which various segments divided by race, gender, and sexual preference, preach hate toward other segments. Currently white heterosexual males are losing in the hate game, but once hate is unleashed it can turn on any and every one...

20:22

The News is a Social Construct. It is Used to Program You. The Corbett Report

If all the "alternative" media ever does is report on "the news" (as decided by the MSM), then aren't they just unwitting participants in the mockingbird media system? Join James for this heady thought for the day as he dissects the idea of "the news" and talks about the real value of an outlet like The Corbett Report.

20:15

Ban on Kaspersky Software: Hypocrisy of US Internet Agenda Strategic Culture Foundation

On September 18, the US Senate voted to ban the use of products from the Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab by the federal government, citing national security risk. The vote was included as an amendment to an annual defense policy spending bill approved by the Senate on the same day. The measure pushed forward by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen has strong support in the House of Representatives, which also must vote on a defense spending bill. The legislation bars the use of Kaspersky Lab software in government civilian and military agencies.

20:07

Railways Announces Special Trains, Employee Bonus for Festive Season The Wire

About 9,500 extra coaches will be added on 306 existing train services for Patna, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai to accommodate more passengers. Credit: PTI

About 9,500 extra coaches will be added on 306 existing train services for Patna, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai to accommodate more passengers. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Gearing up for the festive season, the Indian Railways will press close to 4,000 special trains into service for the extra rush during Durga Puja, Deepawali and Chhat festivals.

There will be no sale of platform tickets during the festival period at certain busy stations, in order to regulate rush at platform till October 30.

In addition, about 9,500 extra coaches will be added on 306 existing train services for Patna, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Mumbai to accommodate more passengers.

However, passengers will have to pay about 30% extra for availing these special trains to reach their destinations during the festival.

Last year, the railways had run about 3,800 special trains to facilitate passengers movement during the festival, said a senior railway ministry official.

While some special trains have already been pressed into service since September 15, more such services are being readied and will continue till October 30.

While tickets will be made available online, there will be the option to buy them from counters as well. There will be more ticket counters at railway stations to handle rush.

In order to keep the touts at...

20:00

Eight Decades Later, the Original Mahalaya Still Unites Bengalis in Communion The Wire

Many attempts have been made to modernise the Mahalaya, but Bengalis still retain their love for the first one recorded for Akashvani in 1932.

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Note: This article was first published October 14, 2015 and is being republished on September 20, 2017.

Remakes of the story of Mahishasura Mardini, or the Mahalaya programme as it is popularly and universally known to all Bengalis, have bombed with the audience and the Bengali remains hungry for the original opera on radio, for age cannot wither nor custom stale its infinite appeal. The men who made it Birendra...

19:45

Western Contempt for China Turns to Panic Strategic Culture Foundation

Not since the British garrison at Singapore surrendered to Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita in 1942 has Western opinion of an Asian power changed so fast. When Chinas 2015 stock market bubble popped, prevailing Western opinion held that Chinas economic boom would flame out in a debt crisis comparable to Americas subprime disaster of 2008 or the near collapse of Europes southern tier in 2013.

19:31

Trump Using Campaign, RNC Funds to Pay Legal Bills From Russia Probe: Sources The Wire

U.S. President Donald Trump at a luncheon hosted by the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Donald Trump at a luncheon hosted by the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

New York:  US President Donald Trump is using money donated to his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay for his lawyers in the probe of alleged Russian interference in the US election, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Following Reuters exclusive report on Tuesday, CNN reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) paid in August more than $230,000 to cover some of Trumps legal fees related to the probe.

RNC spokesperson Cassie Smedile confirmed to Reuters t...

19:15

What to Make of Hillary's "What Happened" Book Tour Strategic Culture Foundation

The American Democratic Party Presidential nominee for the 2016 US Presidential Election Hillary Clinton has given her insider account and perspective on the historic 2016 American Presidential Election and her loss as the Democrats candidate against the Republican Party candidate of Donald Trump. Mrs. Clinton was the first and only American woman nominated by a major American political party to stand and run for President of the United States...

19:00

Dear Minister: Maybe an Indian Didnt Fly the First Plane but He Definitely Tried The Wire

The point of teaching ancient technology, such as it is, is to inculcate the spirit of perseverance and entrepreneurship instead of fixating on giving the world successes.

Satya Pal Singh. Credit: PTI

Satya Pal Singh. Credit: PTI

Success is a strange thing. It is one moment in a long and arduous journey of enterprise. It is Sachin Tendulkars 100th century alone but not the 99 centuries that came before. It is Thomas Edison & co.s famous incandescent lightbulb and not the 6,000+ attempts that came before in search of the right materials. Success is a brief flaring up of the candle of perseverance before it settles back down and keeps glowing. To put it out after that moment maybe fair to the flare, but its not fair to the candle.

When Satya Pal Singh, the minister of state for human resource development, says that engineers must be taught the story of an Indian who flew an airplane eight years before the Wright brothers feat, he is blowing his nose over that candle. Singh is blinkered by his lust for Indian supremacy so much so that he is fixated on an Indian, a Mumbaikar, flying an airplane in 1895 an event that may not have happened and ignores the en...

18:45

Indias Billionaire Raj Era: Time to Reform Personal Income Tax The Wire

It is puzzling that Indias political parties, which swear by the motto of poverty alleviation, have yet to properly implement any system of progressive personal income taxation.

In India, the maximum marginal rate on personal income tax (statutory rate plus surcharge and cesses) has been steadily declining over the period 1970-2015. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

In India, the maximum marginal rate on personal income tax (statutory rate plus surcharge and cesses) has been steadily declining over the period 1970-2015. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel, in their new paper From British Raj to Billionaire Raj? have pointed out that the share of national income accruing to the top 1% income earners is...

18:44

Rohingya Muslims Trapped After Myanmar Violence, Told to Stay Put The Wire

Rohingya refugees are seen in a camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Rohingya refugees are seen in a camp in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Sittwe, Myanmar: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims trapped by hostile Buddhists in northwestern Myanmar have enough food and will not be granted the safe passage they requested from two remote villages, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

The Rohingya villagers said they wanted to leave but needed government protection from ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who had threatened to kill them.

They also said they were running short of food since August 25, when Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks in Rakhine State, provoking a fierce crackdown by the Myanmar military.

At least 420,000 Rohingya have since fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what a senior UN official has called a textbook example of ethnic cl...

18:30

Hurricane Maria Headed for St. Croix, Puerto Rico After Devastating Dominica The Wire

Hurricane Maria which bore down menacingly on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday after devastating the tiny island nation of Dominica and Hurricane Jose (top) are both seen in the Atlantic Ocean in this NOAA's GOES East satellite image taken at 21:45 p.m. EDT on September 19, 2017 (0145 UTC, September 20, 2017). Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project/Handout via Reuters

Hurricane Maria which bore down menacingly on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday after devastating the tiny island nation of Dominica and Hurricane Jose (top) both are seen in the Atlantic Ocean in this NOAAs GOES...

18:30

Hypersensitivity in Religious Matters Has to Be Discouraged Says Supreme Court The Wire

The bench was hearing an appeal against the ban on Kannada book Basava Vachana Deepthi by scholar, mystic and writer Mate Mahadevi.

Rally demanding a separate religion for Lingayats in Bidar

Supreme Court (left), Rally demanding a separate religion for Lingayats in Bidar, Karnataka (right). Credit: PTI, Twitter/@SUMEETRAO5

New Delhi: In the course of hearing an appeal against the ban on Kannada book, Basava Vachana Deepthi, imposed by the Karnataka government in 1998, the Supreme Court bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao on Tuesday observed that hypersensitivity in religious matters has to be discouraged.

The bench was responding to an observation by the senior counsel for the All India Veerashaiva Mahasabha an intervener in the case R. Basant. Defending the ban on the book, Basant argued that since India is a multi-plural faith society, the responsibility is on the state to prevent writings that have the potential to outrage religious feelings.

The appellant in the case, who is the author of the banned book, Mate Mahadevi, is a scholar, mystic, writer and the first woman Jagadguru of the Lingayat community installed in 1970. She is the head of Basava Dharma Peetha and has been seeking independent religious status for the Lingayat sect. She began writing vachanas  a form of didactic poetry. Mahadevi maintains that Lingayat is a religion by itself, free from Hindu doctrines.

Among her many books is Basava Tatva Darshana, on the life and teachings of Basava, a 12th century social re...

18:00

With the Post-GST Trend of Rising Prices, Has the Government Taken the Public for a Ride? The Wire

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is awfully complex and has confused not only businesses and the public, but also the government.

Credit: Reuters

Have prices of goods and services risen because the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is faulty or because it was not designed properly? Eighteen percent GST is levied on the food in a restaurant. This has raised the cost of eating out. Is this what was intended in the original design of the GST? One of the benefits of the GST touted by the government was that prices would come down, but the opposite has happened. Prices of most services have also gone up as they are now taxed at 18% while they were charged 15% in the pre-GST regime. Hence, insurance, credit card charges, banking charges and so on have all risen.

Unfortunately, the wholesale price index (WPI) does not capture much of this price rise since services are not a part of this index and constitute 60% of the production in the economy. Consequently, the rise in prices of services is not reflected in the inflation index based on WPI. Since it is the prices of services that have risen the most in the last several years, inflation is being grossly underestimated. Why have the prices of services risen? Because the government has increased the tax on services from 12% to 15% and now to 18%. It is well known that when an indirect tax is raised on any good or service, it is passed on to the consumer by the producer.

Why were prices expected to come down under the GST?

The GST is supposed to eliminate the cascading effect of taxes. Cascading effect signifies the levy of a tax on a tax so that the effective rate of tax becomes higher than the rate of tax levied. For ex...

17:27

Heavy Rains Lash Mumbai Again, Air and Road Services Disrupted The Wire

Flights were diverted with the main runway out of use and inter-city trains cancelled, stalling transport services in the commercial capital.

Vehicles wade through a flooded road after heavy rains in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, on Tuesday. Photo Credit: PTI

Vehicles wade through a flooded road after heavy rains in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, on Tuesday. Credit: PTI

Mumbai: Heavy rains pounded the city and suburbs for the second day today, disrupting flight operations at the Mumbai airport and delaying suburban train services in the financial capital.

According to an official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC) disaster management cell, no untoward incident was reported after the incessant downpour.

Schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region have been instructed to remain closed today in view of heavy rains.

Several parts of the metropolis, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup, received heavy rainfall. However, no untoward incident has been reported so far from any part of the city, he said.

The Mumbai Police has warned of a high tide at 12:03 pm and 6:04 pm today.

From 8:30 am yesterday to 5:30 am today, the Colaba observatory recorded 210 mm rain, while the Santacruz observatory recorded 303.7 mm rain in the period, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the deep sea, an IMD official said.

...

17:24

Under Trump, Number of H-1B Visas Being Challenged Almost Doubles The Wire

In addition to querying applications more often, the Donald Trump administration is targeting entry-level jobs offered to skilled foreigners.

FILE PHOTO: International passengers arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport after the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration's emergency request to put its travel ban into effect later in the week pending further judicial review, in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., June 26, 2017. Credit: Reuters/James Lawler Duggan/Files

International passengers arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport after the U.S. Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administrations...

17:20

Aung San Suu Kyi Denies Going Soft on Military The Wire

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi gives a memorial speech for Aung Shwe, former chairman of National League for Democracy (NLD) party, during his funeral in Yangon, Myanmar August 17, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi gives a memorial speech for Aung Shwe, former chairman of National League for Democracy (NLD) party, during his funeral in Yangon, Myanmar, August 17, 2017. Credit: Reuters

Yangon: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected a suggestion she is soft on the military, which the United Nations has accused of ethnic cleansing, saying her relationship with the generals was normal and her objective was national reconciliation.

Suu Kyi on Tuesday condemned rights abuses in Rakhine State, where conflict that began last mont...

17:17

Farmers in Chhattisgarh, Punjab Allege Anti-Democratic Police Crackdown on Protests The Wire

Several farmers and union leaders were arrested or detained ahead of a planned farmers protest in Chhattisgarh and Section 144 was imposed in three districts.

Farmers dump potatoes on a road in Mohali on Tuesday during a protest demanding a remunerative price for their crop. Credit: PTI

Farmers dump potatoes on a road in Mohali on Tuesday during a protest demanding a remunerative price for their crop. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh police on Tuesday took action against farmers who were planning to launch a three-day rally heading towards chief minister Raman Singhs house in Raipur. Several farmers and farmers leaders were arrested or detained, and Section 144 was imposed in Balod, Kabirdham and Rajnandgaon districts.

According to the Indian Express, government officials said they had inputs that the protest would turn into a law and order issue. The protestors, however, have said that democratic rights are being curtailed and demanded the immediate release of those taken to pri...

17:10

Earthquake of 7.1 Magnitude Near Mexico City Leaves at Least 226 Dead The Wire

Mexico city

A rescue worker motions for everybody to be quiet as they are searching for people under the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Claudia Daut

Mexico City: Rescue crews and citizens searched through rubble for survivors as night fell on Tuesday on battered cities in central Mexico, including the capital, where the death toll from a major earthquake grew to at least 226.

The magnitude 7.1 quake toppled dozens of buildings, broke gas mains and sparked fires less than two weeks after another powerful quake killed at least 98 people in southern Mexico. It also hit just hours after emergency drills marked the anniversary of a temblor that killed thousands in 1985.

Millions of people fled into the streets, where they weathered the violent shaking and desperately sought word about the welfare of family and friends.

Emergency personnel in Mexico City, a metropolitan region of about 20 million people, searched frantically with picks and shovels for survivors beneath the rubble of what the sprawling citys mayor calculated to be as many as 44 collapsed buildings, including at least one primary school.

Mexican President Enrique Pea Nieto said late on Tuesday more than 20 children and two adults had been found dead at the school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the neighborhood of Coapa. Another 30 children and 12 adults were missing, he said...

16:45

Sambhal Police in Uttar Pradesh Invoke NSA Against Three for Cow Slaughter The Wire

The three accused were arrested over the last two weeks following a police raid after a tip-off about alleged cow slaughter.

Men load a cow onto a truck in the Jantar Mantar area of New Delhi (Representational image). Credit: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

New Delhi: Police personnel in Uttar Pradeshs Sambhal invoked the National Security Act (NSA) against three people, currently in Moradabad district jail, accused in a case filed under the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act.

The three accused, identified as Qasim, Shahadat and Mesar, were arrested over the last two weeks, reported the Indian Express, while two other accused, Babu and Sharafat, who were arrested on August 12, were given bail soon after. The other three surrendered before the court.

After obtaining orders from the district magistrate, NSA was invoked against Qasim, Shahadat and Mesar on Monday, station officer of Baniather police station Praveen Kumar Solanki told the Indian Express. The superintendent of Moradabad district jail, Rizvi, confirmed that the order had been recei...

16:39

US Defence Firms Want Control Over Tech in Make In India Plan The Wire

Companies do not want to be held liable for defects in products manufactured in collaboration with local partners under the Make in India drive to build a military industrial base.

A U.S. naval F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft takes off from the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier during wargames between navies of India, Japan, Australia and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal September 7, 2007. Credit: Reuters

A US naval F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft takes off from the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier during wargames between navies of India, Japan, Australia and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal, September 7, 2007. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: US defence firms offering to set up production lines in India to win deals worth billions of dollars want stronger assurances they wont have to part with proprietary technology, according to a business lobby groups letter to Indias defence minister....

16:19

CBI Arrests BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal in Odisha Chit Fund Scam, Party Cries Foul The Wire

Biswal, who the CBI had quizzed four times in the past, denied the charges levelled against him and said that his arrest was politically motivated.

After Biswal's arrest, the BJD cried foul and accused the Bhartiya Janata Party of using the CBI to intimidate its political opponents. Credit: PTI/Twitter

After Biswals arrest, the BJD cried foul and accused the Bhartiya Janata Party of using the CBI to intimidate its political opponents. Credit: PTI/Twitter

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday arrested ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Prabhat Biswal in connection with an allegedly dubious land deal with the kingpin of a Rs 500-crore chit fund scam in Odisha.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, officials said Biswal was arrested from his Cuttack residence early Tuesday morning over the land deal with Seashore Group chief Prashant Dash, accused of swindling more than Rs 500 crore from people through a pyramid scheme.

The legislator was remanded in CBI custody for five days by the special chief judicial magistrate, CBI, reported the Telegraph.

Several other MLAs and MPs of the ruling party were arrested earlier for their all...

15:29

On the Military Activity of the Republic of Korea and its Allies New Eastern Outlook

4523423423Against the background of the news on the military activity of the North, the untrained reader may have a misleading impression that the Republic of Korea is like an innocent schoolgirl whose throat is held at the edge of a knife by a North Korean hooligan, and that only an American military presence can save the Republic of Korea from imminent annihilation.

This is certainly not the case. But by how much is this not the case? Below, we shall examine both the modernization programmes of the South Korean armed forces and the number of military exercises undertaken in the spring and summer of 2017 in response to the North Korean provocations, apart from such high-profile ones as the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian or the Foal Eagle.

On March 22, the famous B-1B Lancer bomber took part in the joint South Korean-American military exercise, Foal Eagle. The bomber flew from the United States Andersen Air Force Base to Guam in the morning, and, together with F-15K and KF-16 fighter aircraft from the South Korean Air Force, conducted bombing exercises over the sea.

Later, two B-1B Lancers carried out a similar flight in July 2017 in response to the missile tests by Pyongyang, simulating the destruction of Pyongyangs missile and nuclear facilities. The DPRK immediately labeled the exercise a provocation that is bringing a nuclear war on the brink.

On April 20, the active phase of the regular South Korean-American air exercise, Max Thunder, which has been held since 2009, was put into motion. This event saw the participation of about a hundred aircraft of the Seventh Air Force of the United States and the South Korean Air Force, which included fighters, ground attack planes, bombers, transport aircraft, air reconnaissance aircraft, and others. In the course of the exercise, bombing was carried out using high-precision weapons and antiaircraft defense systems.  

On April 23, a US strike force, led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, launched a joint exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force near the Philippines. Earlier, in March, the navies of the two countries also conducted two joint exercises in the East China Sea.

On April 25, the headquarters of the Eighth United States Army began redeploying from the Yongsan District of Seoul to the area of the city of Pyeongtaek,...

14:00

WTF: The Story of the Strangest Star Weve Known The Wire

Theres clearly something mysterious going on. We dont know what it is or how it works and were as close to figuring it out as we were in 2009.

An artist's impression of Tabby's star. Credit: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

An artists impression of Tabbys star. Credit: NASA/Wikimedia Commons

Sandhya Ramesh is a science writer focusing on astronomy and earth science.

In May of 2009, several hundred people around the world noticed a star in a galaxy far, far away. It looked like nothing theyd ever seen before. They thronged to discussion forums on the web for the citizen science project called Planet Hunters and frantically discussed what they were seeing. Theyd all been working on data obtained by the Kepler Space Telescope. The star, later called KIC 8462852, was blinking in a very strange way.

Hunting for planets outside the Solar System is an active field of astronomy today. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992. Only 25 years later, there are more than 3,500 confirmed planets orbiting stars other than our own. NASAs Kepler Space Telescope alone was responsible for finding over 2,000. It did so by watching the stars in a patch of the sky...

13:30

Modi Governments Institutions of Eminence May Increase Inequities in Higher Education The Wire

If broad reforms are not carried out alongside creating institutions of eminence, the governments proposal could reinforce existing structural inequalities in the education system.

Indian higher education

MBA students attend a lecture at the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon on May 2, 2012. Credit: Reuters

As part of a broader set of policy reforms being implemented by Indias Ministry of Human Resource Development, last week, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced the opening of applications to the proposal of establishing Institutions of Eminence (IoE). The proposal has been the highlight of debates on higher education in the country since finance minister...

13:00

Meet the Hunter S. Thompson of Elementary Particles The Wire

Particles called gluons are responsible for mediating the strong nuclear force, a fundamental force of nature. But one of their properties complicates this picture profusely.

Hunter S. Thompson, pioneer of gonzo journalism, in May 1989. Credit: Rs79/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hunter S. Thompson, pioneer of gonzo journalism, in May 1989. Credit: Rs79/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the more fascinating bits of high-energy physics is the branch of physics called quantum chromodynamics (QCD). Dont let the big name throw you off: it deals with a bunch of elementary particles that have a property called colour charge. Like electrons have electric charge, particles studied by QCD have a colour charge. It doesnt correspond to a colour of any kind; its just a funky name.

(Richard Feynman...

13:00

How We Can Counter Colonial Myths About The Arrival of Muslims in Sindh The Wire

Just as Sindhs past cannot be reduced to the history of one community, one sect or one faith, so should we aim for an inclusive present for the province.

Battle of Miani, oil on wood. Credit: Dry leaves from young Egypt, Volume I

Battle of Miani, oil on wood. Credit: Dry leaves from young Egypt, Volume I

It is a fact not so easily known, thus rarely acknowledged, that the in India at one moment turned into an excavation of Indias pasts. This excavation was aimed at exploring the arrival of various foreign people, cultures, religions and politics into the Subcontinent. After all, the Indian peninsula had been the site of commercial, political and military incursions by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Timurids since 1498. Surely, one reason for the excavation was that, as the latest foreigners to arrive in India, the British wanted a justification for their own arrival. The other reason is tied to the way in which the British saw themselves as heirs to the Romans.

Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his book The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in 1776, the year Great Britain lost 13 of its colonies in America. All six volumes of the book came out by 1788 to tremendous acclaim and sales. A central theme in Gibbons work was his quest for historical linkages between Pax Britannica the period of British-dominated world order and Pax Romana.

He provided the foundational stone for a theory that sought to legitimise British colonial enterprise as a successor to a great empire of the past that brought a long era of peace and prosperity for Europe in its wake. Even...

12:24

Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 120: GST and Clean Ganga Campaign The Wire

Vinod Dua discusses how the inefficient implementation of the GST is hurting the Indian economy and the clean Ganga campaign.

The post Jan Gan Man Ki Baat, Episode 120: GST and Clean Ganga Campaign appeared first on The Wire.

11:41

Jeffrey Tucker Reveals the Future Bit by Bit The Corbett Report

Jeffrey Tucker of Fee.org joins James to talk about his book, Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World. We discuss how "the market" is about cooperation and discovery, and how revolutionary peer-to-peer technology is now making the state and all of its functions and functionaries obsolete.

10:32

Sarawak CM: 40 Unimas medical students to receive scholarship from state govt Hornbill Unleashed

The state government through the Sarawak Foundation will finance the education of 40 students pursuing medicine at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) beginning this year, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. He said the decision was made to produce more doctors from the state as well as to reduce the ratio of doctors []

03:43

What happens when teaching diaspora Jews about occupation gets too political +972 Magazine

An item on Israels top news program falsely accused a volunteer program that allows young diaspora Jews to directly engage with the occupation, of sending its members to clash with IDF soldiers, causing it to lose its main source of funding. Now one of Achvat Amims organizers is speaking out: I hadnt experienced being lied about and mischaracterized in public in such an extreme way before.

Achvat Amim leader Karen Isaacs speaks at a Combatants for Peace event in Beit Jala, West Bank. (Rami Ben-Ari)

Achvat Amim leader Karen Isaacs speaks at a Combatants for Peace event in Beit Jala, West Bank. (Rami Ben-Ari)

Karen Isaacs was on her way to her sisters wedding in Toronto when Israels most-watched news program ran a primetime item accusing her and her partner Daniel of sending diaspora Jews into violent confrontations with IDF soldiers in the West Bank. Channel 2 openly based the segment almost entirely on information provided to it by radical right-wing group Ad Kan, which had put Isaacs organization, Achvat Amim, in its crosshairs.

[tmwinpost]

According to t...

02:51

Watch: Shehla Rashid on Republic TV Controversy and JNU The Wire

The Wires Amit Singh talks to JNU student leader Shehla Rashid about JNUs gender sensitisation committee against sexual harassment (GSCASH), trolling on social media, her spat with a Republic reporter and more.

The post Watch: Shehla Rashid on Republic TV Controversy and JNU appeared first on The Wire.

01:48

Reliance Set to Benefit as Telecom Regulator Cuts Termination Charges The Wire

Incumbents Airtel and Idea, for whom net IUC income accounts for roughly 15% of their wireless business, are likely to be hit hard.

A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, July 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade

A woman checks her mobile phone as she walks past a mobile store of Reliance Industries Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, July 11, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Shailesh Andrade

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday cut interconnection usage charge (IUC), or the charges that operators pay when their customers terminate calls on the networks of their competitors, to 6 paise per minute from the current 14 paise rate.

...

01:28

EU is About to Put an End to Chinas Carefree Shopping Spree New Eastern Outlook

4524234234In late August, German Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Brigitte Zypries issued an official letter to the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in which she proposed to tighten the existing merging and acquisition principles applied in cases when a European company is to be acquired by legal entities that operate outside of the EU.

Its no secret that it was primarily the heads of large Chinese companies that have been making over the recent years the so-called shopping trips to Europe to buy a handful of companies at a time. Usually they would be bying off manufacturers of various high-tech products by investing in their businesses or simply by acquiring them.

The above mentioned letter was based on a study conducted by the Berlin-based private institute for the study of Chinas economy, the so-called Mercator Institute for China Studies (MerICS), which was established in 2013 by Stiftung Mercator. The report presented by MerICS would note a spike observed in Chinas foreign direct investments (FDI) in recent years, which reached a level of 200 billion dollars last year.

Its no secret that Europe is the main market for overseas investments for China, but their level has spiked by 77% in just a year, while a third of the above mentioned sum was invested in Germany. Together with Great Britain and France, Germany receives almost 60% of direct Chinese investments in the EU region.

At the same time, the total volume of direct Chinese investments in the countries of Eastern Europe remains rather small, in spite of the official rhetorics about the plans to make this region a part of the One Belt One Road project. This last remark in the MerICS report is going to become particularly noteworthy if you care enough to finish reading this article.

The study provides concrete examples of multi-billion Chinese investments in European companies engaged in the development and production of high-tech products. In this connection, Germany has been observing an ever increasing anxiety across the state that those investing from abroad may present a security threat to the state, since Berlin is running the risk of losing the competitive advantages of that are achieved by this countrys technological achievements.

It should be note...

00:51

India Acknowledges Rohingya Outflow a Result of Operations of Myanmar Security Forces The Wire

This is the first time India has mentioned the cause of the refugee crisis, though it has still not named the Rohingya.

Rohingya refugees are seen at Thaingkhali makeshift refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Rohingya refugees are seen at Thaingkhali makeshift refugee camp in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

New Delhi: For the first time, India has publicly admitted that the large outflow of people of Rohingya people has taken place after security operations by Myanmar military following a terrorist attack in Rakhine State last month.

This was noted by India at the informal interactive dialogue of the fact-finding mission on Myanmar at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.

This was the first interaction with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission set up by a resolution in March. India had disassociated from the resolution, which was adopted without a vote. Myanmar had also not accepted the resolution and refus...

00:30

Blaming Congress for the Chakma Issue Will Not Help BJP Resolve Its Arunachal Dilemma The Wire

A Rajya Sabha committee led by Sushma Swaraj in 1997 first recommended that these refugees from Bangladesh be granted Indian citizenship.

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu meeting home minister Rajnath Singh on September 13. Credit: Facebook

Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu meeting home minister Rajnath Singh on September 13. Credit: Facebook

New Delhi: Soon after the news spread on September 13 that the Narendra Modi government as per a Supreme Court directive in 2015 would finally be granting Indian citizenship to the Chakmas and Hajongs who fled the erstwhile East Pakistan and have been residing in Arunachal Pradesh since the mid 1960s, Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju tried giving a Congress spin to the decision.

After a meeting with Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu and Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on the citizenship issue, Rijiju, a member of the parliament from Arunachal West constituency, said, The Congress made a mistake by settling them in Arunachal without taking approval of the local community. They shou...

00:13

Ritabrata Bandhopadhyay Is Only a Symptom of the Disarray Within CPI(M) The Wire

The upheaval the CPI(M) is going through in West Bengal can be attributed to a split in the central and state party lines. Unless resolved, this could lead to further outbursts from party members.

Ritabrata Bandopadhyay (left), Sitaram Yechury (right)

Ritabrata Bandopadhyay (left), Sitaram Yechury (right). Credit: Youtube, Reuters,PTI

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in West Bengal has been making headlines for the wrong reasons once again this time over the outbursts of Rajya Sabha MP Ritabrata Bandopadhyay against the party leadership in TV interviews, which has led to his expulsion from the party.

A CPI(M) statement issued by its West Bengal state secretary on September 17, 2017, said that the concerned MP has faced an internal party enquiry following allegations of:

(i) continuous leakage of internal party matters and discussions to the media,
(ii) moral degeneration in relation to women,
(iii) serious inconsistencies between his income and expenditure,
(iv) lavish life-style incompatible with the (sic) member of the Party.

In its report the enquiry commission found him outright guilty, the statement continues.

The party statement also mentions that while the state committee had initially recommended a milder punishment for Bandopadhyay, his attacks against the party in a TV interview in tune with the tirade of the enemies has precipitated the summary expulsion.

The nature of Bandopadhyay...

00:00

What Role Can India Play to Resolve the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis? The Wire

Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, Amy Kazmin and Kabir Taneja discuss the situation in Myanmar and beyond with Maya Mirchandani.

Maya Mirchandani: The Rohingya issue is something that has been dominating the headlines, certainly in India, on the diplomatic front for the last few weeks. The reason for this perhaps is that the junior home minister had said all Rohingya in India would be sent back, they would not be welcome.

Now how many of them are actual refugees who have been identified by the United Nations? What really is the nature of this crisis that is pushing them out of their own country in Myanmar? Statelessness, landlessness, homelessness are all wrapped up in the issues that confronts this large group of people that today are being considered really nowheres people, nobodys people. Joining us to talk about this we have with us Mr Vijay Nambiar. Ambassador Nambiar has just retired from the United Nations as special envoy on Myanmar to the secretary general. Mr Nambiar thanks very much for being on Wide Angle today.

You have actually had first hand experience of the crisis that the Rohingya face in Myanmar. Give us your perspective on why it has reached this situation today.

Vijay Nambiar: Well, let me say I was first involved with the Rohingya problem when the conflict sort of erupted in 2012. It got fairly serious and there was large-scale violence in Maungdaw particularly and Rathidong and Buthidaung, and I was perhaps among the first foreigners to reach the place almost within two days of it happening.

Now this was seen in the context of a kind of complicated problem which has been going on for generations. But during the military regime it had been more or less been contained to some extent. Of course it was also exploited by the military regime for their own purposes but a large part of the Muslim communal problem in Myanmar affecting basically the Muslims was under control and occasionally used by the army. But the process of democratisation in a sense released the worst stereotypes among the people of majoritarianism. In fact, that brought a whole kind of different attitude on the part of the Buddhist majority particularly in Rakhine. And, all kinds of developments came to place from 2012 onwards and erupted into almost a kind of a large-scale violence. In a sense it was controlled but it also spread and particularly the influence of the clergy, some elements of the clergy, also resulted in radicalisation of the Buddhist and in some ways it also spread to other parts of the country ...

Tuesday, 19 September

23:55

Violence During Bandh Brings Arunachal Pradesh to a Standstill The Wire

In the state capital, protesters damaged several vehicles including torching a state transport bus and a private vehicle during morning hours. Credit: Reuters

In the state capital, protesters damaged several vehicles including torching a state transport bus and a private vehicle during morning hours. Credit: Reuters

Itanagar: Violence marred proceedings as normal life came to a halt in Arunachal Pradesh following a dawn-to-dusk statewide bandh called by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU).

In the state capital, protesters damaged several vehicles including torching a state transport bus and a private vehicle during morning hours, SP Sagar Singh Kalsi said. Reports of violence were also pouring in from Namsai, Changlang and several other districts.

All government offices, educational institutions, markets and commercial establishments remained closed while public and private transport remained off roads. Though a few state transport buses were seen plying during the morning hours, the services were suspended later, police said.

The AAPSU has called the bandh in protest against the union home ministrys recent decision to grant citizenship to the Chakma and the Hajong refugees in the state.

The post Violence During Bandh Brings Arunachal Pradesh to a Standstill appeared first on The Wire.

23:37

CBI, IB Arent Exempt Under RTI Act on Matters of Corruption, Human Rights, Delhi HC Reiterates The Wire

Both the Intelligence Bureau and CBI have been directed to reveal information to RTI petitioners in the last month.

Intelligence agencies may no longer be able to claim they are exempt from the RTI Act completely. Credit: Reuters

Intelligence agencies may no longer be able to claim they are exempt from the RTI Act completely. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: The days of intelligence and investigating agencies denying information sought under the Right to Information Act 2005 by claiming exemption under Section 24(1) of the Act even if the matter pertains to allegations of corruption or human rights abuse and are not covered by the exemption clause appear to be coming to an end. In two distinct cases over the past month, the Delhi high court has directed premier agencies like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to reveal information not covered by the exemption clause.

First IB, now CBI told to reveal information on corruption cases

A bench of the Delhi high court has directed the CBI to consider the plea of an RTI activist, Subhash Chandra Agarwal, about corruption within the agency. This direction has come less than a month after another bench of the Delhi high court upheld a decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and directed the IB to reveal why it refused disclose to whistleblower and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi a report that cleared his name in a number of cases. The court told the agency to provide the officer with a copy of the report on the grounds that the informat...

23:30

Faltering Growth: Will Modis Fiscal Push Do the Trick? The Wire

Growing buzz indicates that next years budget will come with a fiscal stimulus package. However, better governance is what is the need of the hour.

A worker separates casting joints of gearboxes inside a small-scale automobile manufacturing unit in Ahmedabad. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave/File Photo

The recent news that Indias economic growth rates over the last four consecutive quarters have been declining is disturbing for policymakers. The economy is seeing a swelling of foreign exchange reserves, which is raising the value of the rupee and hurting exports. As exports fall, Indias trade deficit is widening which comes with rising inflationary potential. These are challenges to the Reserve Bank of India, which is committed to keep the annua...

23:21

In the Land of the Free, No One is Above Suspicion New Eastern Outlook

453123123123The Russia probe is making a lot of Americans unhappy, either because they are convinced that Vladimir Putin is an enemy who must be taught a lesson, or because they know the deep state is fabricating a case for war.

One thing I never hear mentioned, however, is the fact that political issues turn into legal issues much more often in the US than perhaps anywhere else. I have lived in half a dozen foreign countries for a total of half my life, without encountering a similar phenomenon.

The United States founding by people escaping religious prosecution by a powerful ruler all-but guaranteed a suspicion of everything foreign, reinforced by our geographical location on the far side of a great ocean: THEY were over there, in places from which WE had happily escaped, determined to do things differently.

But different does not mean more just: four hundred years later, our government is still opening investigations at the drop of a hat, in an almost maniacal determination to track down the tiniest clue concerning citizens behavior. A phrase that become a mantra during the Watergate investigation of President Nixon has become a leitmotif: What did X know and when did he/she know it? Knowledge has become a liability.

Take the case of Donald Trump, Jr: When he received an invitation to meet with someone who offered to provide dirt on his fathers presidential opponent Hillary Clinton, the legal code required him to alert the FBI! Every media anchor assured us that they would have done so because it was their duty as citizens.

How can this be??? Well, presidential candidates are forbidden to accept any aid from a foreign government meaning not only money, but also information. Of course, like any state, the US attaches great importance to having allies who are treaty-bound to come to its aid in the event of an attack, but it forbids them to help any candidate get elected: Other are foreign before they are allies.

To assuage its fear of the Other, the young republic quickly turned to the law: The ...

23:15

Malaysia Allows Generics for Gileads Hepatitis C Drug for Which India Issued Patent The Wire

India had first rejected a patent for this breakthrough drug which sells at $1000 per pill but later overruled its own decision and granted Gilead a patent for it.

Credit: Reuters

The Malaysian government has approved a government-use compulsory license which would allow the import of generic versions of Gileads patented hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi. The decision was made in August but has become public this week. On September 14, Malaysias The Star reported that the Malaysian cabinet had approved for this license. The move will make generic and cheaper versions of the same drug, which has been sold globally at $1000 per pill. The low-cost versions will now be available in Malaysian public hospitals and will benefit around 4,00,000 people in Malaysia. Sofosbuvir, which goes by the brand name Sovaldi, is on the World Health Organizations list of essential medicines.

In 2015, Indias patent office had rejected Gileads application for a patent on the same drug, which meant India would be able to make and sell generic versions domestically and globally. However, in 2016, Indias patent office reversed its own decision. This happened after Gilead appealed to the Delhi high court, which directed Indias patent office to reconsi...

23:00

Who Will Shatter the Conspiracy of Silence Around Those Displaced By the Sardar Sarovar Project? The Wire

Affected people who owned property are still awaiting proper rehabilitation, while others are not even being recognised as affected.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat on September 17, 2017. Credit: PIB

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat on September 17, 2017. Credit: PIB

With the BJP ruling in the Narmada riparian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, a conspiracy of silence seems to have engulfed the government on the issue of rehabilitation and resettlement of people displaced by the mega Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been at the helm of those urging the project forward, first as the chief minister of Gujarat and now as prime minister. On his 67th birthday on Sunday, Modi dedicated the SSP to the people. Obviously, with elections in Gujarat slated for later this year, the matter has assumed urgency so much so that even the not-so-auspicious pitru-paksha was set aside for colourful festivities at the dam site in Kevadia.

Modi hailed the gravity dam as an engineering feat, which it no doubt is, second only to the Grand Coulee gravity dam in the US. The 1.2-km-long and 163-metre-high (from its foundation) dam on the Narmada river originating in Madhya Pradesh is expected to bring irrigation to Gujarat and Rajasthan i...

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