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MORNING NEWS

0815 HRS

20.09.2017


THE HEADLINES:

  • India will continue to work on climate change beyond the Paris agreement, says External Affairs  Minister Sushma Swaraj.
  • President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani expresses his concern over terrorism and backs new US policy on the issue.
  • In Mexico, 139 people killed in 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
  • Madras High Court to hear a petition today seeking to nullify disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs supporting Dhinakaran.
  • Heavy rain disrupts normal life in Mumbai.
  • And in Badminton, Japan Open Championship begins in Tokyo  today, Indian Shuttlers to play 11 matches.

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India has said that it understands its responsibility towards planet Earth and will continue to work on climate change issues above and beyond the Paris Agreement. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in UN Secretary General's meeting with select leaders on Climate Change in New York yesterday said, India's commitment is for the future generations. Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters that Mrs Swaraj said, India is also ready to work closely with UNSG and relevant UN agencies, especially in the context of the International Solar Alliance.

Mrs Swaraj has said a decisive, energetic and action oriented leadership is in-charge in India now and it is making special efforts to connect to all its friends across the world. She said, there have been interactions between the leaders of India and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member States on the sidelines of international meetings and forums. She, however, said there is also a need to exchange visits at the highest level from both sides to further strengthen political, economic and people-to-people ties. She said this in her closing remarks at 3rd India-CARICOM Ministerial Meeting yesterday. She also that counter-terrorism requires a strong global collective action and also a strong legal framework to address this problem.

The External Affairs Minister said New Delhi's support for the Palestinian cause has been a reference point of its foreign policy. In her intervention in the Non- Aligned Movement-NAM Ministerial meeting on Palestine, Mrs Swaraj yesterday said, India’s commitment and its solidarity with the Palestinian people can never be undermined.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has termed the visits by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump as "truly historic". Mr Netanyahu said this during his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has expressed concern over terrorist threats and backed the new US Strategy in this regard. He was addressing the United Nations General Assembly yesterday in New York. Mr Ghani said US President Donald Trump’s new Afghan strategy sent a signal to Taliban fighters as that they cannot win on the field and must negotiate peace. He said, Afghanistan now also have an opportunity for a dialogue with the neighbours on how to work together earnestly to eliminate terrorism and contain extremism.

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A strong earthquake has struck central Mexico, killing at least 139 people and toppling dozens of buildings in the capital, Mexico City. Officials say, the capital's airport has suspended operations after the 7.1 magnitude quake, and buildings across the city have been evacuated. People were feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings as rescue teams rushed to the hardest-hit areas.

 The US Geological Survey said, the epicentre of the quake was next to Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km from Mexico City, with a depth of 51km. The megapolis is home to 20 million people.

The tremor happened as an earthquake drill was being held in Mexico City, on the 32nd anniversary of a quake that killed up to 10 thousand people.

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The latest major Atlantic hurricane of the season, Maria, has powered back to category five strength after pounding the Caribbean island of Dominica. It weakened to a four after wreaking widespread damage on the island but is now packing maximum sustained winds of 265 km per hour again. The storm is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, this season's other category five hurricane. At least one person was killed and two others are missing in Guadeloupe.

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The Madras High Court is expected to take up the case against disqualification of the 18 AIADMK dissident MLAs today. The DMK petition seeking to convene the state Assembly for a trust vote also is scheduled to be taken up today by the High Court. The court earlier granted stay against any trust vote in the Assembly till today. However, after the stay, the TTV Dhinakaran loyalist legislators of the AIADMK have been disqualified. On the other hand, DMK working President K Stalin has also said his next moves in the ongoing political tussle will depend on the High Court’s decision. Our correspondent reports that State interim Governor Vidyasagar Rao arrived in Chennai last evening.

"The disqualified AIADMK MLAs have claimed in their petitions that their action of withdrawing support to the Chief Minister does not amount to defection. They argue that they still remain in the AIADMK and have not shifted their loyalty to any other party. They have prayed for quashing the Speaker's disqualification order and to permit them to attend the Assembly when it is convened.  Political observers say, the Governor may take into account the decisions of the Court in this ongoing political turmoil. His decisions and the Court rulings are set to play vital roles, and the power struggle in Tamil Nadu is nearing yet another crucial phase. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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Mumbaikars had a harrowing experience yesterday again as the city experience rainfall that started in the afternoon and continued till late night. In many areas showers were experienced through the night. Our correspondent reports that due to heavy rain five long distance trains of Western Railway have been cancelled.

"Heavy rains lashed Mumbai city and its suburbs yesterday. In the afternoon, heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning started in several parts of the city, including South Mumbai, Borivali, Kandivili, Andheri and Bhandup. People, fearing a repeat of the massive floods last month, left their offices early. Due to the heavy downpour, the many areas including South Bombay witnessed traffic jams. As the visibility dropped below 550 metres  runway operations at the Mumbai airport were suspended for a brief period during which some flights were diverted to nearby airports. State government has instructed that schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region to remain closed today. With Prarthna, this is Pooja Pal, AIR News, Mumbai."

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Southwest Monsoon had shown signs of receeding from Kerala. The heavy rain that was continuing for the past few days has weakened in the state. But certain pockets of central kerala is still receiving rain. Meteorological department predicts that kerala will be witnessing rain for two more days. Rehabilitation process are in full swing in rain affected areas.

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A statutory inquiry has held the Railway staff responsible for the derailment of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express last month. The Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northern Circle, Shailesh Pathak has submitted his preliminary report over the accident.  According to an official release, these findings are under the consideration of the government.

On 19th of last month, several  coaches of the Utkal Express derailed at Khatauli near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh killing 22 people and injuring over 100 passengers.

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 A delegation of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha and others met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and called for tripartite talks to resolve the Gorkhaland issue. Talking to reporters after the meeting yesterday, Morcha leader Swaraj Thapa said, it was a very fruitful meeting  and they have demanded tripartite talks involving  the Centre, West Bengal government and the GJMM. He said,  they are expecting a positive development within few days.

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Uttar Pradesh government has announced to link land records with the Aadhar Card. Talking to media persons in Lucknow yesterday on the completion of six months of the BJP government in the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, the decision has taken to check the benaami land transfer and frauds in land sell deeds. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"Uttar Pradesh government has written to Centre seeking permission to initiate the process for issuing Khatauni with mention of number of Aadhar cards. The government has accepted that one lakh 57 thousand complaints have been received during last six month for grabbing of lands illegally. Land disputes are one of the major reason for litigation in the State and lakhs of cases are pending before different level of the courts on illegal transfer or sell of lands. Sunil Shukla, air news, Lucknow."

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The Centre has received a communication from Haryana government seeking a CBI probe into murder of a seven-year-old boy at the Ryan International School in Gurugram. A senior State government official informed this. Earlier, accepting a demand of the victim's family, the State government decided to hand over the probe to the CBI.

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Chhattisgarh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issued a circular to all district collectors directing them to submit a report on the initiatives taken for protection of children in schools in their respective districts within 15 days.

 The circular said courts and the Centre have issued directions and guidelines from time to time regarding protection of school children. The commission has asked all concerned to ensure strict compliance of these guidelines.

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Indian Army has taken Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Siachen, the highest battle field in the world. Defence Ministry has said that the drive is aimed at cleaning the areas, which remains snow clad throughout the year. Here is a report:                                   

"The prime motive of the drive is to maintain ecological balance of Siachen glacier. Since the launch of the campaign in October 2014, Siachen troops have removed and sent back more than 63 tonnes of garbage to the base. These loads of garbage include packing material, barrels and perishables. A huge amount of garbage has been brought back through man-pack loads, porters, ponies and sometimes returning helicopters. On arrival of the trash to disposal areas, these are buried in deep trenches dug mechanically in areas which are not on run of the rivers and where landmass is not fragile. With Dipendra Kumar, Anuja Kumar, AIR News, Delhi."

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 In Japan Open Badminton Championship, which began today in Tokyo, India will play eleven matches in all formats of the game. Newly-crowned Korea Open champion, P V Sindhu will take on the Minatsu Mitani whom she defeated in the Korea Open, in the opening round of Women's singles while Saina Nehwal will clash with Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong whom Indian shuttlers defeated twice earlier.

In Men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth will face China's Tian Houwei in the opening round. In the main draw of men's singles, H S Prannoy, B Sai Praneeth and Verma brothers- Sameer and Sourabh, will also look to put their best foot forward.The qualification round ended yesterday.

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In Telangna, the Bathukamma festival has begun today amidst traditional fervour and enthusiasm. Our correspondent reports that the nine-day festival, which reflects the spirit of Telangana culture and traditions is celebrated by women with a variety of flowers that grow exclusively in the region.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES

  • President Donald Trump warning that US is ready to 'totally destroy' North Korea and vowing to confront Iran's 'murderous regime' over its weapons programme makes for front page news in most of the dailies. "At UN, Don threatens to destroy North Korea" says The Asian Age. "Rocket man on suicide mission, says US President in his maiden UNGA speech" writes The Statesman.
  • On India at the UN The Pioneer writes, "Probe Pakistan - North Korea nuke nexus." The paper also adds that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held trilateral with US, Japan at UN; also meets Ivanka Trump.
  • On Pakistan being put on notice by the US, Hindustan Times leads "US senate links aid to action on Lashkar." The paper writes that in a boost to India, Pakistan could lose 350 million dollars in defence funding if House of representatives passes similar legislation.
  • Referring to the Rohingya crisis The Hindu leads "Suu Kyi promises to resettle 'verified' Rohingya refugees" adding "In national address, she offers no solution to halt 'ethnic cleansing' in Rakhine."
  • Writing on the arrest of Iqbal Kaskar Hindustan Times notes "with brother's arrest, police try to close in on Dawood."
  • "Mobile bills to drop as interconnect rates slashed 57 per cent" states The Times of India.
  • And finally, stay awake when plane lands or you can suffer hearing loss! Well, The Times of India reports that according to research by the Harvard Medical school if you are asleep on a plane during a sudden change in altitude your ability to equalise the pressure in your eardrum might be compromised and could cause permanent damage.

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