Uttar Pradesh


UP Election 2017 Opinion Poll Summary

According to India Today-Axis survey, the BJP would win around 180-191 seats in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The poll also predicts a good number of seats for newly formed SP-congress alliance, giving them 168-178 seats, slightly behind the BJP. The poll also predicts a dismal performance by Bahujan Samaj Party which according to it would … Continue reading UP Election 2017 Opinion Poll Summary



Thinking about stardom is scary: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

New Delhi: His name adds credibility to the films he does and the actor has A-listers vying to work with him but Nawazuddin Siddiqui does not want to think about stardom as he fears it will corrupt his performances. Film after film, there has been a growth in Nawazuddin’s fan following so much so that … Continue reading Thinking about stardom is scary: Nawazuddin Siddiqui



UP Election 2017 Opinion Poll Summary

According to India Today-Axis survey, the BJP would win around 180-191 seats in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. The poll also predicts a good number of seats for newly formed SP-congress alliance, giving them 168-178 seats, slightly behind the BJP. The poll also predicts a dismal performance by Bahujan Samaj Party which according to it would … Continue reading UP Election 2017 Opinion Poll Summary

Category: International

WASHINGTON ― National security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday, following revelations that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador in the days surrounding their imposition ― and weeks prior to Donald Trump’s inauguration.

 Retired Lt. Gen. Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr. will serve as acting national security advisor until a full-time replacement is named, the White House announced. Kellogg, as well as Vice Adm. Robert Harward and retired Gen. David Petraeus are the three candidates in line to succeed Flynn, according to the administration.

Flynn’s resignation came after a tumultuous few days of revelations about his ties to Russia and his role in attempting to ease sanctions that were put in place weeks before the Trump administration took office.

In late December, President Barack Obama announced the sanctions, which included the expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence operatives, in response to Russian interference in the November election designed to help Trump win.

UN News Centre (DKJ): Hailing Mongolia’s recent abolition of the death penalty, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, commended the move as a “welcome step in the fight for the human rights of all.”

“This development is very encouraging and a clear example of positive progress in the fight for human rights for all – including people convicted of terrible crimes,” Mr. Zeid said in a statement, in which he added: “We must not allow even the most atrocious acts to strip us of our fundamental humanity.”

According to the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR), Mongolia’s passage of the law to end the death penalty, which is the result of strong and sustained leadership on the issue, has reaffirmed this essential truth.

Last week, Mongolia became the 105th country to abolish the death penalty in law. Another 60 States have moratoria, or have not carried out executions in the last 10 years, says OHCHR.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated the people of Myanmar for “their patience, dignity and enthusiasm” in historic elections and has encouraged all stakeholders “to maintain the dignified spirit, calm and respect throughout the completion of the electoral process.”

Prefacing his remarks by saying “more considered comments on the election results will follow during the coming days,” Mr. Ban’s Spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, told correspondents at the regular daily briefing at UN Headquarters that Mr. Ban congratulated the broad masses of the people from various walks of life in Myanmar for their patience, dignity and enthusiasm as they participated in Sunday’s “epochal” national polls.

He said that the UN chief also commended Myanmar’s Union Election Commission, as well as its various state, regional and local institutions for their important work.

Noting that results of the “momentous event” have started to come in, he said the Secretary-General encouraged “all stakeholders in Myanmar to maintain the dignified spirit, calm and respect throughout the completion of the electoral process.”

The Israel-Palestine conflict has “once again entered a dangerous phase,” United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council today, warning that the latest eruption of violence, rising tensions at holy sites in Jerusalem and the alarmingly vitriolic nature of public discourse in the region is rooted in the lack of hope on both sides that peace is possible and the absence of a genuine political horizon.

Stressing that the violence gripping the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as Israel and Gaza shows no signs of abating, Mr. Eliasson strongly condemned all attacks against Israelis and Palestinians alike. “The recent wave of knife attacks and shootings is particularly appalling. There can be no justification for such despicable acts,” he declared.

Mr Eliasson’s briefing to the Council, in a meeting chaired by José Manuel Garcfa-Margallo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, which holds the 15-member body’s presidency for the month, comes as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is wrapping up a three-day mission to the region, including Jordan, to ease tensions.

The first priority for all, Mr. Eliasson said, to immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and urgently achieve real progress towards a negotiated two-state solution. Underscoring the urgency of swiftly calming tensions, he reported that from 1 to 21 October, 47 Palestinians and seven Israelis had been killed. More than 5,000 Palestinians and some 70 Israelis have been injured.

He added that the conflict deteriorated mainly due to loss of hope in Palestinians to achieve a viable Palestinian state, poor economy in the country along with lack of job and opportunities, lack of security and legal and administrative processes and the ‘stifling and humiliating occupation’ that Palestinians have lived under for almost half a century.

“They see, instead, the growth of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, which undermines the very possibility of a two-state solution and poses growing security risks to all. They see the emergence of a parallel de-facto settler community, with better infrastructure, services and security than in Palestinian populated areas,” Mr. Eliasson explained.

Additionally, he stressed that the Israeli population is also gripped with a sense of fear as the recurrence of violence threatens their personal security. Moreover, Israeli’s are alarmed over the signs that anti-Semitism is on the rise globally.

“We must understand these Israeli concerns. Israelis see growing attempts in the international community at what they believe is aimed at ‘de-legitimization’ of the State of Israel. When confronted with a climate of terror, Israelis rightly expect their authorities to enforce security,” said Mr. Eliasson.

He further condemned attacks against holy sites and urged both sides to respect the sanctity of such sites, especially by denying ‘extremist elements any opportunity to transform the current situation into a religious conflict.’

He condemned the shameful boasts by militant Palestinian groups, including members of Hamas and specified that “there is nothing ‘heroic’ about the killing of an innocent man and the serious injury of his wife and two-year old child as they walked through Jerusalem’s Old City.”

He also condemned attacks on the 65-year-old woman near a bus station in Tel Aviv and the killing of an Israeli couple while driving with their four children. Failing to stop all attacks against Palestinian and Israelis would only let extremists to promote their aggressive agendas.

“This is murder, full stop. Crimes like these risk perpetuating the current climate of fear and mistrust. We call on all stakeholders, including the Palestinian leadership, to unequivocally condemn the violence and stand up publicly to extremism and incitement.”

He also welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s repeated assurances that it will not change the historic status quo at the Haramal Sharif and Temple Mount. He further commended the Prime Minister’s decision to ban Ministers and Knesset members from visiting the Holy Sites.

Mr. Eliasson also expressed the concerns of the Secretary General about Israeli authorities targeting homes of alleged perpetrators of attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces.

“Incitement is another factor significantly fuelling the situation. While the leadership on both sides have tempered their rhetoric of late, misleading and inflammatory public statements continue to surface from all sides.

The vitriolic nature of the public discourse is alarming. “Every incident that takes place evokes impassioned narratives and counter-narratives that feed a vicious cycle of hatred and division,” he added.

Mr. Eliasson stressed the need to de-escalate the violence and emphasized that efforts must be taken to restore hope in Palestinians and Israelis that peace is still possible.

“We must urgently achieve real progress towards a negotiated two-state solution. To do so, we must see significant change of policies, consistent with prior agreements, which will strengthen the Palestinian institutions, economy and security,” said Mr. Eliasson.

“We need to hear Palestinian leaders address sincerely Israelis’ legitimate security concerns and see them take steps to end incitement,” he added.

Lastly, he urged the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process to continue its outreach to regional and international partners to contribute to a comprehensive resolution of the conflict.

He also reaffirmed the commitment of United Nations to at the side of Israelis, Palestinians and international partners to advance this crucial goal towards peace and reconciliation.

13 October 2015 – The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has reported that it is on “high alert” as the situation in the war-torn country remains fragile, with armed groups threatening to destabilize its capital city, Bangui.

The Mission’s update was provided by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General at the regular press briefing at UN Headquarters, who said that MINUSCA “remains on high alert to prevent any attempts of armed ex-Séléka moving towards the capital, Bangui.”

On Saturday in the Kemo prefecture, MINUSCA and Sangaris (French-led) forces “confirmed the presence of approximately 150 ex-Séléka or Front Popularie pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique (FPRC),” said the Deputy Spokesperson.

“MINUSCA engaged with their leader, Nourredine Adam in Kaga Bandoro and conveyed a strong message that the International Forces would not accept any movement of the armed groups towards Bangui.”

Mr. Haq added that the Mission is “very concerned over what it calls the organized infiltration of several armed groups in Bangui and has condemned all attempts to destabilize Bangui.”

“In accordance with its mandate to protect the civilian population from the threat of physical violence, the Mission, with support from Sangaris, has used force in reaction to attacks from FPRC elements around Sibut,” continued the spokesperson.

He also noted that, “unknown persons targeted MINUSCA on two occasions on Saturday,” although no casualties were recorded.”

“MINUSCA is determined to continue to use all necessary means to protect civilians, strengthen State authority and support the political process,” he said.

The ‘ad hoc Committee on elections’ agreed on a preliminary electoral calendar for CAR, which is scheduled to be presented to the National Transitional Council next week.

MINUSCA, set up in April 2014 to help bring peace after a breakdown of governmental authority and vicious intercommunal fighting between mainly the Muslim Séléka group and the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement, currently maintains nearly 11,000 uniformed personnel in the country, one of the world’s poorest.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has said that India is concerned about the spill over effects of instability in the Middle East Region, resulting in increased terrorist activities across the world, including in South Asia. He was replying to written questions from the Jordan Times on the eve of his visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel from October 10 to 15, 2015.

The President said the reality of global expansion of terrorism, including in Syria and Iraq and globalization of the supply chain of terrorism is a matter of great concern to India. India has faced terrorism for almost four decades, largely sponsored from across our border. India has sought to challenge and repudiate the terrorist narrative that global counter-terrorism efforts are directed against any particular religion or ethnic group. India is convinced that terrorism can be rolled back only through comprehensive, coordinated international cooperation combined with a strengthened, enforceable international legal regime.

The President said India and Jordan share similar views and perceptions on regional and international issues, including Syria and the Middle East Peace Process. India strongly rejects religious fundamentalism and extremism as well as terrorism in all forms and manifestations. Given the commonality of security concerns of both the countries, India looks forward to further strengthening cooperation in the area of security and counter terrorism.

New Delhi(DKJ):INS Saryu, an indigenously built NOPV based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, shall participate in the 26th edition of the coordinated patrol (CORPAT) being held this year. The expanded version of the CORPAT, with the first ever bilateral exercise element embedded, is scheduled from 03 Oct to 21 Oct 15. Inaugural India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise, is scheduled from 17-18 Oct 15 in the Andaman Sea.

INS Saryu entered Port Belawan, Indonesia on 01 Oct 15 and is sailing out today 03 Oct 15 for the coordinated patrol with Indonesian Navy.

Defence relations between India and Indonesia have been growing steadily with regular joint activities and exchange of personnel between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Under the broad ambit of this strategic partnership, the two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrolling (CORPAT) along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002, with the aim of keeping this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade. The CORPAT has strengthened understanding and interoperability between the navies, instituting measures to prosecute vessels engaged in unlawful activities and conducting Search and Rescue as well as pollution control.

The importance of this bilateral cooperation has increased significantly with the scheduling of the first Bilateral Maritime Exercise along with the 26th edition of the CORPAT being held this year. The Bilateral Maritime Exercise and the CORPAT would see participation by one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both sides.

In line with the significance of the event, the Opening Ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia from 01- 03 Oct 15 was attended by Vice Admiral PK Chaterjee, the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.

Seeking to warm bilateral ties and project a sunny climate for U.S. business, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Wednesday to cut restrictions on foreign investment, while his chief Internet regulator appeared to lay the groundwork for a basic agreement later this week on cyber warfare.

Xi’s busy stop on the West Coast is the first leg of a week-long trip to the United States and offers him a chance to highlight China’s cooperation with U.S. companies before he heads to Washington, where he will contend with the full spectrum of irritants in relations, from tension in the South China Sea to human rights.

The Chinese leader started the day by publicly assuring U.S. business leaders that he is making it easier to invest in China, and he was later quizzed in a private session about intellectual property protection, common standards and clear, transparent regulations, according to the Paulson Institute, which hosted the event.

“We are working to create a new open economic system, push forward reform of foreign investment management and greatly reduce the restrictions on foreign investment,” Xi told the gathering of executives in Seattle, including Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett.

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, tomorrow belongs to innovation of new ideas and the manner in which the world is shrinking and becoming smaller with high degree of competitiveness, the scene will be dominated by those who have the ability to experiment with new ideas. He was addressing the inaugural session of the conference of SAARC Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC) hosted by FICCI Ladies’ Organization (FLO), the women wing of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), here today.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, not only the world is becoming uni-polar, it is also becoming uni-sex, at least in terms of our attitude and approach in professional matters, which allows women equal opportunity as men to realize their potential as entrepreneurs. If there are still some past prejudices prevailing, it is because the Indian society is still in an evolution stage of learning trying to unlearn several things from the past and at the same time trying to learn the new practices of contemporary global society.

Innovation, originality and creativity will be the “Mantra” for future success regardless of whether it is a man or woman and therefore, there seems to be a brighter and a more prospective time ahead for women entrepreneurs in the years to come, said Dr. Jitendra Singh. In this regard, he referred to several new enterprise initiatives undertaken in the Northeast including the Organic Farming mission engaging countries like Bhutan, Mayanmar and Bangladesh in the endeavor to empower the Northeast through “Act East” policy. If these initiatives have met with some success within a short period of few months, it was possible only because they had the backup of innovative minds and creative ideas, he added.

On the occasion, the FICCI Ladies’ Organization also announced the launching of its “Women health and medical” component which was inaugurated by Dr. Jitendra Singh and followed by a brief talk on the control and prevention of Diabetes, high blood pressure and related diseases among women. An investigation laboratory stall to carryout blood tests was also put up at the premises of the conference.

Referring to India’s increasing role in the community of SAARC nations, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, we have already become leaders in certain areas like, for example, Space technology and in the years to come, India is destined to play a lead role in enhancing women entrepreneurship as well as status of women health in the region.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Ms. Shaista Pervaiz Malik, member of Pakistan National Assembly who is the current Chairperson SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC), Ms. Indira Dutt, former Chairperson SCWEC & former President-FLO and Ms. Anuradha Goel, Vice Chairperson, SCWEC.

A construction crane crashed through the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, killing 107 people and casting a grim shadow on a yearly pilgrimage that draws millions to Saudi Arabia.

At least 238 others suffered injuries when a powerful storm toppled the crane, according to the nation’s civil defense authorities.

The crane fell 10 days before the start of the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage expected to bring 2 million people to Mecca.
The mosque is the largest in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest site known as the Kaaba.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited the site of the crane collapse Saturday, according to the state-run Saudi Press agency.

The ruler gave his condolences to the victims’ families and vowed to investigate the cause of the accident. He also visited a hospital where he wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

Will the accident deter pilgrims? One American says it won’t stop her.

“My main concern is safety issues that arise with such a big crowd,” said Faten Abdelfattah, 32, of Texas, who was leaving Saturday. “It’s a reminder to put my trust in God and that I can’t stop death if it’s my time whether I’m there or sleeping safely in bed.”

She thinks the Saudi government will take extra precautions.

“I feel more comfortable after learning that they prevented pilgrims from entering the [site of the Kaaba] to check on construction equipment,” she told CNN. “I believe they have the pilgrims’ best interests in mind and after the incident they won’t leave anything to chance.”

Witnesses posted photos and video on social media showing the crane crashing through the mosque roof. Scores of bodies, blood and debris lay scattered across the courtyard.

“We just washed and were getting ready to head to the Masjid al-Haram for the Maghrib prayer (sunset prayer),” said Yahya Al Hashemi, 30, a CNN iReporter who shot iPhone video of the crane striking the roof of the mosque.
“It was a sandstorm which turned to rainstorm and lot of the construction covering boards were flying around, and lots of cracking noises which unfortunately ended with this tragedy. … Everybody was pushing trying to escape from inside towards the exits,” Al Hashemi said.

The crane collapsed after a strong thunderstorm hit Mecca, bringing gusty winds that shifted direction and caused the local temperatures to drop, CNN meteorologists reported.