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Indonesia plane crash: death toll rising

Written By Kvartha People on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 | 9:30 AM

MEDAN, Indonesia: The death toll from the crash of an Indonesian air force plane, which had been packed with military personnel and their families, rose to 141 on Wednesday as rescuers used heavy machinery to search the debris.

The Hercules C-130 transporter crashed into a residential area in the city of Medan on Tuesday, shortly after taking off from an airbase in the city on Sumatra island.

Buildings were heavily damaged, cars reduced to flaming wrecks and the plane itself was almost completely destroyed, with the tail the only part of the 51-year-old aircraft still recognisable after the disaster.

Many of those on board the flight to an island off Sumatra, which was carrying 122 people, were believed to be servicemen and women and their families. The air force has said no one survived the crash.
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Greece on the brink of financial collapse

The Alexis Tsipras government on Tuesday pleaded for a short-term bailout extension to avert a midnight default as frantic efforts gathered pace to salvage a deal that could keep Greece in the euro, with Germany warning that time had run out to extend vital credit lines.

As the clock ticked down towards midnight, when billions of euros in locked-up bailout funds are due to expire, Eurozone finance ministers called a last-minute conference call to discuss the Greek request.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appealed to Athens to accept the deal proposed by international creditors last week while holding out hopes that some extra tweaks could still be possible.

Leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has called a referendum for Sunday to vote on the bailout terms, responded with a counter-proposal, requesting a two-year deal covering funding support and debt restructuring, an issue the lenders have so far been reluctant to tackle.
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Minimal releif in petrol, diesel prices

New Delhi: Petrol prices were on Tuesday cut by 31 paise per litre and diesel by 71 paise a litre in line with fall in international oil rates and rupee appreciation.

The cut in petrol prices comes on back of three successive increases since May, while this is the second reduction in diesel rates this month.

Petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 66.62 per litre from tomorrow instead of Rs 66.93 at present. A litre of diesel will cost Rs 50.22 per litre as against Rs 50.93 earlier, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation's largest oil company, said.

Auto fuel rates were last revised on June 16 when prices of petrol were hiked by 64 paise a litre but diesel rates were cut by Rs 1.35 per litre.

"Since last price change, there has been a decrease in international prices of both petrol and diesel. Indian rupee-US dollar exchange rate has appreciated during this period. Combined impact of both these factors warrants a downward revision in prices, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price decrease," IOC said.

Prior to June 16 revision, petrol prices were hiked by Rs 3.13 a litre and diesel by Rs 2.71 per litre on May 16.

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MEA rejects RTI application on Sushma-Lalit row

Written By Kvartha People on Monday, June 29, 2015 | 9:07 AM

The Ministry has refused to answer an RTI application containing seven questions including who had taken a decision not appeal in the Supreme Court the Delhi High Court's decision restoring Modi's passport.

"Kindly note that the office of External Affairs Minister (EAM) has informed that the questions in Serial 1 to 3 of your RTI does not seem to fall under the purview of the RTI act, 2005. As regards to queries Sl No 4 to 7, no information is available with EAM’s office," the MEA said in its reply dated 26 June.

The MEA, however, said the application has been "transferred" to its Consular, Passport and Visa Division as well as to the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home.
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PM ‘radio silence’ on Lalitgate

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sidestepped the Opposition’s demand that he speak out on controversies engulfing his government, devoting his “Mann ki Baat” radio address to welfare schemes, the success of International Day of Yoga and the need to save the girl child.

Though Mr. Modi had not been previously averse to using the monthly programme to transmit a political message, he indicated toward the end of the address that it was not meant for big political statements; it was more in the nature of a personal conversation. “People expect that during ‘Mann ki Baat’, I will talk about big plans of the government. That is not correct. This is only a place where I make light conversation with people,” he said.
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"Hindu religion has solutions for all problems in the world", BJP Chief

Ahmedabad: Addressing audience at a book launch in Ahmedabad, BJP chief Amit Shah on Sunday said that "Hindu religion has solutions for all problems in the world".

"I am not saying this because I am born Hindu," Mr Shah said while unveiling former President A P J Abdul Kalam's book 'Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji' at the Gujarat University convention.

"When I faced difficulty for two years, I visited each and every religious centre in India. In that period, I sought blessings from all the 'jyotirlings' and 'shaktipeeths' of India, except Somnath temple (in Gujarat)," Mr Shah said referring to the two years that he was barred from entering Gujarat due to legal proceedings in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case.

Mr Shah was acquitted in the Sohrabuddin encounter case in December last year by a Mumbai court.

"That was the time when I was not able to do my activities... Perhaps God made me seek his blessings in my youth," Mr Shah added.
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US urges Europe and IMF to find way to keep Greece in eurozone

Top US officials have waded in to try to help resolve Greece's financial woes, urging Europe and the International Monetary Fund to come up with a recovery plan that keeps the country in the eurozone.

In a series of phone calls on Saturday to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and the finance ministers of Germany and France, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged them to "find a sustainable solution that puts Greece on a path toward reform and recovery within the eurozone," according to a Treasury Department statement on Sunday about the calls.
Greece is facing a looming Tuesday deadline on a €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) payment due to the IMF.

Earlier on Sunday, Greece announced it would impose capital controls and keep its banks shut on Monday, after international creditors refused to extend the country's bailout.

Mr Lew also underscored the need for Greece to adopt "difficult measures to reach a pragmatic compromise with its creditors", the Treasury statement said.

The Treasury spokesperson said senior department officials had been in regulator communication with Greece and that Mr Lew had spoken to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras "multiple times" over the past two weeks.

The department had urged Greece to work closely with its international partners on planning for a bank holiday and capital controls, the spokesperson said.

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Nitish broke his silence says the rule of law would prevail on the arrest of Janata Dal (U) MLA

Written By Kvartha People on Saturday, June 27, 2015 | 9:22 AM

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday broke his silence on the arrest of Janata Dal (U) MLA Anant Singh, saying the rule of law would prevail in the State and he was not under pressure from anyone.

His clarification comes after Lalu Prasad, chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, an ally of the ruling JD (U), said the Mokama MLA had been arrested after he mounted pressure on the government.

“In such issues, I don’t come under anyone’s pressure … As long as I am here, the rule of law will prevail in Bihar. My government neither implicates anyone nor saves anyone … Everyone is equal before the law…,” Mr. Kumar said.

He said the arrest had nothing to do with the coming Assembly elections.

After Mr. Anant Singh was arrested on Wednesday night and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days, Mr. Prasad told presspersons that the government had acted because of his intervention. “Yes, I spoke to Nitish Kumar on the phone and asked him to take action against the MLA and it was done. The MLA reaped what he sowed,” said Mr. Prasad, who, ahead of the Assembly election, could not have ignored the killing of a Yadav youth in a constituency where the Yadavs and the Bhumihars have been locked in a political tussle for long.
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Cops use Saffron flags in anti-riot drill, anger BJP, Hindu organizations

ALLAHABAD: BJP activists and other Hindu organisations expressed their outrage over mock rioters waving saffron flags during anti-riot drill at reserve police lines here on Friday, saying it was a deliberate attempt to show Hindus as rioters and terrorists at the behest of Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.

Allahabad BJP chief Shashi Varshney said the mock drill has hurt Hindu sentiments and that the police's brazen display of partisan behaviour was at the behest of Samajwadi Party leadership. She added that the BJP would take up the issue with the both state and Central governments and demand stern action against erring police officials.

When asked about the saffron flag-waving mock rioters, UP DGP said he was unaware of the mock drill. Allahabad SSP K S Emanuel said that the police had no intention of hurting the sentiments of any community.
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World economy may be slipping into Great Depression problems of 1930s: RBI's Raghuram Rajan

MUMBAI: When Raghuram Rajan warned about a looming financial market crisis a decade ago, former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said he was being 'Luddite'. In the event, Rajan was right. Now the Reserve Bank of India governor is sounding the alarm again — the very efforts of central banks in the developed world to avoid another Great Depression by keeping interest rates at zero may lead to precisely that outcome.

But this time around, there seem to be few dissenting voices. ""I do worry that we are slowly slipping into the kind of problems that we had in the thirties in attempts to activate growth," Rajan told an audience at the London Business School on Thursday. "And, I think it's a problem for the world. It's not just a problem for the industrial countries or emerging markets, now it's a broader game."

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Kuwait mosque blast 25 dead

A suicide bomber struck a Shia mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during Friday prayers, killing at least 25 people and wounding many in an unprecedented attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The Islamic State group, which marks the first anniversary of its “caliphate” straddling Iraq and Syria on Monday, claimed Friday’s assault.

It was the first bombing of a Shia mosque in Kuwait and the first terror attack in the Gulf state since January 2006. The IS-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, said militant Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid bombed the mosque which it claimed was spreading Shia teachings among Sunni Muslims.

Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said in a statement cited by the official KUNA news agency that hundreds were wounded in the mosque explosion. “Twenty-five people have been martyred and 202 other wounded as a result of the blast at Al-Imam Al-Sadeq Mosque.”Pictures circulating on social media showed several bloodied bodies and debris at the mosque in the capital Kuwait City. A security official said “it is a suicide bombing.”

Witnesses gave a similar account, saying a suicide bomber entered the mosque during the weekly noon prayers.
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