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Morning News

0815 HRS
14.03.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • United States to set up six nuclear power plants in India.
  • China blocks bid to designate JeM Chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist in UNSC.
  • India and Pakistan to discuss modalities for Kartarpur Corridor today.
  • Election Commission to hold Central observers meeting for Lok Sabha elections in New Delhi.
  • British MPs vote to reject possibility of the UK leaving European Union without a withdrawal agreement.
  • And in cricket, Australia clinch one-day series against India by 3-2, defeating hosts in the final ODI.

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India and the United States have committed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of six US nuclear power plants in India. US reaffirmed its strong support of India’s early membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This commitment was made at the 9th round of the India- US Strategic Security Dialogue held in Washington DC yesterday. The Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement said, the Indian delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, while the US delegation was led by Andrea Thompson, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
India and US reaffirmed to their commitment to work together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors.

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China has blocked bid to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist in the UN security Council. New Delhi expressed its disappointment last night over the non-listing of JeM chief under the UN regime, as China put technical hold on the proposal. The Ministry of External Affairs in a release said, this move prevented action by the international community to designate the leader of JeM, a proscribed and active terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack on 14th February.
However, India said, it will continue to pursue all available avenues to ensure that perpetrators of heinous attacks are brought to justice.
New Delhi said it is grateful for the efforts of the Member States, who moved the designation proposal and the unprecedented number of all other Security Council members as well as non-members who joined as co-sponsors.

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India and the United States have sought tangible and irreversible action by Pakistan against terrorist groups and leaders. US National Security Advisor, NSA, John Bolton in his meeting with visiting Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the Washington stands shoulder-to-shoulder with New Delhi in its fight against terrorism.
In a tweet, Mr Bolton said that he met Mr Gokhale to advance progress on the US-India strategic partnership and shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, as well as reiterate that the US stands shoulder-to-shoulder with India in the fight against terrorism.

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India and Pakistan will discuss and finalize the modalities for Kartarpur Corridor today. The first meeting between the two countries will be held at the Indian side of the Attari- Wagah border. Both Indian and Pakistani delegations reached Amritsar yesterday to participate in the meeting. India has also proposed a technical level discussion on the alignment of the corridor today.
The meeting is being held in keeping with 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. Ankush Vats, 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 the Kartarpur Sahib.

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The Election Commission has called a meeting of central observers in New Delhi today as part of preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. An official said, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora along with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra will brief the observers. Our correspondent reports that this is the first such meeting since election dates were declared on 10th of this month.

"Election Commission has till now earmarked deploying over 800 expenditure monitoring observers for the multi-phase polls that begin on 11th of next 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 today. 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 elections process ends.  Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."

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The Election Commission appointed Special Observers Team is visiting Srinagar today for fresh assessment of ground situation for holding the Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Official sources said the three-member team comprising of Vinod Zutshi, Dr Noor Mohammad and A.S. Gill, will interact with the representatives of mainstream political parties, district election officers, security officials and other stakeholders today.
The team would hold similar exercise tomorrow in Jammu. The team would also meet the Chief Secretary and state police chief in Jammu.
Earlier, the Election Commission led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had visited the state on 4th and 5th of this month before announcement of the Lok Sabha elections.

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The Congress has released second list of 21 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The list consists of 16 candidates for Uttar Pradesh and five for Maharashtra.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Chief Raj Babbar will contest from Moradabad, Party leader Sanjay Singh from Sultanpur, former Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal from Kanpur.
The party has fielded Priya Dutt from Mumbai North Central, Sushil Kumar Shinde from Solapur and Milind Deora from Mumbai South.

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The Janta Dal (United) will contest three Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. Party General Secretary K.C. Tyagi said they will put candidates in Robertsganj, Kanpur Dehat and Pilibhit. He said the party will also contest elections in Manipur and Lakshadweep.

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British MPs have voted to reject the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place. This vote is set to delay the March 29 Brexit deadline. British Prime Minister Theresa May had tabled a government motion against a no-deal Brexit within the March 29 deadline, which was passed by the House of Commons with a majority of 43 votes as 321 MPs backed it and 278 opposed it yesterday.
All eyes will now be on a vote today, which is most likely expected to seek an extension to the time available for the UK to negotiate a new divorce arrangement with the EU.

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Global aircraft manufacturer Boeing has recommended a temporary suspension of its entire world fleet of the 737 MAX aircraft. The move comes after several countries, including India, China, European Union and the United States banned the use of the aircraft in wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board. Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing's President, CEO and chairman in a statement said that the company was doing everything to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators and help ensure this does not happen again.  

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In Syria, 13 civilians were killed including six children in Idlib province, in Russian air strikes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 60 people were also injured in the air strikes yesterday at the last major rebel bastion.

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Back Home,
The Supreme Court is set to hear the review plea on the Rafale case today. The Centre, filing an affidavit in the court yesterday, 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 the security in jeopardy by leaking them. It said, an internal enquiry is underway to find out the leakage.
The affidavit said, documents attached by the petitioners -- former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan are related to war capacity of the combat aircraft.

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Arunachal Pradesh BJP president Tapir Gao said that they will declare the name of candidates for the forthcoming Assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections in the state on Sunday. Speaking to media person in Itanagar, Mr. Gao said that the BJP will have no alliance with any party in the state and will field candidates in all the 60 Assembly seats.

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Today is World Kidney Day. This 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, which calls for universal health coverage for prevention and early treatment of the disease.

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Australia clinched the one-day series against India by 3-2 after defeating the hosts by 35 runs in the final ODI in New Delhi last evening. Chasing a victory target of 273 runs, India were all out for 237 runs in the stipulated 50 overs.
Australia's Usman Khawaja was adjourned Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

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Special Olympics World Games 2019 will commence at Abu Dhabi in UAE today. Our correspondent reports that the event has already made history by welcoming a record-breaking 200 nations at the Games.
" 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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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES
  • China blocking move of tagging Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, repercussions of grounding 737 Max 8 flights among other stories, dominates the headlines today.
  • The Hindustan Times writes, "No terror tag on Azhar as China blocks move," while The Asian Age reports, "Azhar terror tag: China blocks UN move yet again."
  • "Flyers hit rough winds as India grounds 737 Max," notes Hindustan Times while The Tribune writes, "Spice Jet cancels 35 Max 8 flights today."
  • Papers have widely covered Wipro chairman, Azim Premji committing another 34% Wipro stake to philanthropy. Business Standard notes, "Premji raises philanthropy contribution to 21 billion dollars.
  • The Pioneer, on its front page, has covered many stories of tie-ups before the Lok Sabha Polls. Some of its headlines are, "Bihar grand alliance amorphous," - " Eyes to UP Dalit vote, Priyanka meets Ravan," on Priyanka Gandhi meeting Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad alias Ravan, and "BJP wins north east poll partners, AGP back in government."
  • While the world celebrated International Women's Day and we vouched for equal opportunities for women, a survey in Financial Express makes for a distributing headline. "Start- ups protest new maternity leave rule, go slow on hiring women." But on the other hand, The Hindu bring some good news in its story headlined, "First person on Mars may be a woman, says NASA".
  • And finally, for those who want to savour the beauty of the legendary Red Fort at night, there is some good news to cheer. Union Culture Ministry has decided to keep the Red Fort and Purana Quila open till 9 PM. The Times of India reports, "Red Fort will stay open till 9 PM, Purana Quila follow suit soon."

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