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Last Updated : Aug 26 2019 3:25PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM to address sessions at G-7 Summit; to hold bilateral talks with German Chancellor, US Prez on sidelines of Summit            Home Minister reviews security situation in Left Wing Extremism affected areas            SC refuses to entertain Chidambaram's plea in CBI case against dismissal of anticipatory bail in INX media case            Manipur police seize drugs worth Rs 400 Cr in international market            Tennis: US Open begins in New York this evening           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
14.03.2019
THE headlines:
  • India says ready to engage with Pakistan only in an atmosphere free from terror.
  • Election Commission holds central observers meet in New Delhi as part of preparations for upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
  • Special Observers reach Srinagar for fresh assessment for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Senior Congress leader Tom Vadakkan and TMC lawmaker Arjun Singh join BJP.
  • First India and Pakistan meeting to discuss modalities for Kartarpur Corridor underway on Indian side of Attari-Wagah border. 
  • And, Special Olympics World Games 2019 begin in Abu Dhabi this evening.

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India has made it clear that terror and talks cannot go together, and New Delhi is ready to engage with Pakistan only in an atmosphere free from terror. Addressing an event in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, Islamabad should take strictest action against terrorism and must stop sponsoring it against India, if it wants talks with New Delhi.
"मैं कहना चाहती हूं वजीरे-आजम पाकिस्तान से कि टेरर पे बात नहीं एक्शन चाहिए। हमने बहुत साफ कह रखा है। टेरर इन टॉक् कॉन् गो टूगैदर वी आर रैडी टू इंगेज़ विद पाकिस्तान इन ऑटमोसफियर विद्आउट टेरर एंड वायलेंस।"
Ms Swaraj said, some people say that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is a statesman. The External Affairs Minister said, if Mr Khan is so generous, he should hand over Jaish-e-Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar to India.
"अब जो अपने-आप को सच्चा दिखा रहे हो नया सोच, नया पाकिस्तान  तो जरा नया एक्शन भी करके दिखा दो। दे दो मसूद अजहर को कर दो हमारे हवाले। जो बाकियों से संबंध हैं वो उतने अच्छे हैं इनसे भी हो सकते हैं बशर्ते ये अपने यहां के आतंकवादियों के खिलाफ कठोर कार्रवाई करें और अपनी धरती से भारत के खिलाफ आतंकवादी गतिविधियां बंद करें।"
The Minister said, Pakistan has been misleading the international community over the issue of terrorism and shielding and encouraging it.

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The first meeting between India and Pakistan to discuss and finalize the modalities for Kartarpur Corridor began on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border this morning. The corridor will facilitate Indian pilgrims to visit the holy shrine of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. The meeting is being held in keeping with the government's decision to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November this year. A report:-
"India has identified 50 acres of land for the Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Punjab. The Passenger Terminal Building complex, to be built in two phases, will be a state of the art building and display murals and photographs based on rich Indian cultural values. The design of the complex is inspired by the symbol 'Khanda' which symbolizes values of oneness and humanity. The building will facilitate movement of nearly five thousand pilgrims every day. Efforts will be made to ensure that the first phase of the Passenger Terminal Building become operational well before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji this year. TRIPTI SRIVASTAVA, News Desk."
New Delhi maintains that security is of paramount importance for the Indian side and discussion with Pakistan is only related to pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib.

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The Election Commission is holding a meeting of central observers in New Delhi today as part of preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The meeting is being held to brief the central observers about their role and responsibilities while being on election duty. This is the first such meeting since election dates were declared earlier this month. The Commission's mechanism to curb black money and illegal inducements like liquor and drugs will be shared with the expenditure monitoring observers during the day-long meeting. The observers are drawn from various central services like the Indian Revenue Service, the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, apart from others, and they are considered to be on EC duty till the election process ends.

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The Special Observers appointed by the Election Commission have reached Srinagar on a two-day visit for fresh assessment of the ground situation for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The team comprising Vinod Zutshi, Dr Noor Mohammad and AS Gill will interact with the representatives of political parties, district election officers, security and administrative officials and other stakeholders today. 
The team would hold similar exercise in Jammu tomorrow and meet Chief Secretary and State Police Chief.
An Election Commission team, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, had visited the state earlier this month before the announcement of Lok Sabha polls.

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In Assam, Nalbari district administration has decided to use Assamese folk art to increase voter awareness for the Lok Sabha polls. Nalbari Deputy Commissioner Bharat Bhusan Dev Choudhury said, the folk arts would include Biya Naam, Ojha Paali and Dhuliya to create awareness. Mr Choudhury said, folk groups in the district have been entrusted with the task of writing s and lyrics for the exercise.
The Bongaigaon district administration is also engaging in Vote Mitra and Vote Sakhi to promote ethical voting.

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Senior Congress leader Tom Vadakkan has joined the BJP. He was inducted to the party fold by senior party leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi today.
Trinamool Congress MLA Arjun Singh also joined BJP today. He was inducted in the party in the presence of party leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Mukul Roy at party headquarters in the national capital.

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The BJP has expressed deep disappointment over China blocking India's bid for listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar in UN Sanctions regime as a global terrorist. Briefing media in New Delhi, Senior leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticized Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his views expressed on the matter.
"भारत और भारतीय सबको बहु पीड़ा हुई है चीन के इस एटीच्यूट से। क्या मसूद अजहर ऐसे नृशंस हत्यारे अंतराष्ट्रीय आतंकवादी के मामले में भी कांग्रेस का स्वर दूसरा होगा। राहुल गांधी मेरा आपसे पहला सवाल यह है 2009 में यूपीए के समय में भी चायना ने वही टैक्नीकल ऑब्जेक्शन लगाया था जो आज लगाया है। उस समय आपने कोई ट्वीट किया था क्या? उस समय आपने कोई कमेंट किया था क्या?"
In a tweet, Mr Gandhi had said, the Prime Minister should react on China putting the technical hold. He said, not a single word has been said by the Prime Minister when China has acted against India in the matter.
Mr Prasad said, the technical hold on proscribing Azhar as global terrorist by China was put even when UPA was in power. He said, there must be consensus on the issue of foreign policy and every one should speak in one voice in this regard.
Mr Prasad said, except China, the whole world is standing with India on the announcement of Azhar as a global terrorist. He said, this is India's diplomatic victory in a way.

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The United States has slammed China for its human rights violations in the country. Talking to reporters in Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo highlighted the abuses in China, Iran, South Sudan and Nicaragua in the state department's annual reports on Human Rights Practices. He said, China was in a league of its own, when it comes to human rights violations.
" 'China in a league of its own' when it comes to human rights violations. In Just 2018, China intensified its campaign of detaining muslim minority groups at record levels. The government also is increasing its prosecution against Christians, Tibetans and anyone who espouse different views from those or advocates of those of government or advocates change in government."  

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President Ram Nath Kovind today conferred three Kirti Chakras and fifteen Shaurya Chakras to Armed Forces Personnel for displaying conspicuous gallantry, indomitable courage and extreme devotion to duty. Mr Kovind conferred the Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations at the Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Two Kirti Chakras and one Shaurya Chakra were given posthumously. The President also conferred fifteen Param Vishisht Seva Medal, one Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and twenty-five Ati Vishisht Seva Medals to senior officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service of an exceptional order. Param Vishisht Seva Medal was conferred on Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.

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The Supreme Court is set to hear the review plea on the Rafale case today. The Centre had filed an affidavit in the court yesterday and said that the documents filed by the petitioners in the case are sensitive to national security. The Defence Ministry's affidavit said, those who conspired in photocopying the papers have committed a crime and put security in jeopardy by leaking them. It said, an internal inquiry is underway to find out the leakage.
The affidavit said, the documents attached by the petitioners -- former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan relate to war capacity of the combat aircraft. The government said, the documents unauthorisedly produced by petitioners, are exempt from disclosure under the Right to Information Act.
The apex court was hearing petitions seeking review of its verdict in December last year in which it gave a clean chit to the government in the deal with France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. It had dismissed pleas challenging the deal and seeking a Special Investigative Team led probe into the alleged irregularities in the deal.

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In Sri Lanka, the official talks between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) were held in Colombo today to discuss formation of a political alliance. SLFP termed the talks as success adding that the second round of talks will be held next Thursday. SLPP national organiser Basil Rajapaksa had earlier said they would attend the discussion with an open mind with no strings attached. He said their presidential candidate would be decided by former President and their leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, when the time is right.

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Today is World Kidney Day. The day is observed annually on the second Thursday in March to create awareness on the importance of kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney diseases. The theme this year is, 'Kidney Health for Everyone Everywhere'. It calls for universal health coverage for prevention and early treatment of kidney diseases. Several events are being held across the country on the occasion to raise awareness about kidneys and highlight that diabetes and high blood pressure are key risk factors for Chronic Kidney Diseases.
Talking to AIR News, Professor in Nephrology Department in AIIMS, RK Yadav said, one should control blood sugar and avoid pain killerS to avoid kidney-related diseases.
"First we have to control blood pressure and blood sugar. Secondly, we have to avoid pain killer, thirdly regular exercise to reduce weight, fourth adequate hydrate. These are the four major prevent kidney disease. Kidney disease' initial symptons are when kidney are affected more than 60 or 70%. In advance stage you can feel nauesia, vomitting and in severe cases you can find uncontrolled blood pressure."

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Special Olympics World Games 2019 begin at Abu Dhabi in UAE this evening. The event has already made history by welcoming a record-breaking 200 nations at the Games. More from our correspondent:-
"A record 200 nations are being represented at the World Games - 195 participating and 5 observing. The games are being held in the Middle East for the first time. Hosts UAE has the biggest team at the World Games followed by India, while Saudi Arabia for the first time has sent female athletes to the Games. 7,500 athletes will take part in 24 Olympic-style sports over seven days. With the highest number of women taking part and the largest number of Unified team mates on board, the World Games will capture the attention of the globe. Kanchan Prasad, AIR News, Abu Dhabi."

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Inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose to 2.93 per cent in February. According to government data released today, inflation of primary articles, which includes kitchen essentials like potato, onion, fruits, and milk increased to 4.84 per cent during the month, as against 3.54 in January. The inflation for 'fuel and power' segment increased to 2.23 per cent as against 1.85 per cent.The WPI-based inflation stood at 2.76 per cent in January, while it was 2.74 per cent in February last year.

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Benchmark domestic stocks witnessed losses in afternoon trade today after three sessions of gains. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange fell 12 points to trade at 37,740. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange slipped 13 points to 11,329.
At the foreign exchange market, the rupee weakened three paise to 69 rupees 57 paise against the dollar in afternoon deals.

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