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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches German capital Berlin on the first leg of his four nation tour; To Participate in 4th Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations tomorrow; Trade, economic cooperation and counter terrorism high on the agenda.
  • CBI registers cases against unidentified officials of Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India for alleged irregularities in purchase and lease of aircraft during 2004-2008.
  • Cyclonic storm ‘MORA’  likely to cross Bangladesh coast near Chittagong by tomorrow forenoon; Met department issues severe weather warning for next three days at several parts of North East.
  • Sports Minister Vijay Goel says no bilateral cricket series with Pakistan till terrorism continues from across the border.
  • In French Open Tennis, defending champion Novak Djokovic and 9-time winner Rafael Nadal enter second round of Men's Singles.


In the first leg of his four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached German capital, Berlin. Trade and commerce, economic cooperation and counter terrorism will be high on the agenda during Mr Modi's visit to the European countries. In a tweet message, Mr Modi expressed hope that his visit to Germany will lead tobeneficial outcomes and deepen Indo-German friendship. He will have an informal dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the official country retreat in Berlin tonight.

The Prime Minister will take part in the 4th Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations tomorrow and meet German Chancellor to strengthen bilateral relations. The inter governmental consultations will identify areas of mutual interest in bilateral trade and investment to strengthen their relationships. Speaking to AIR exclusively, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, since trade and investment related agreements of the countries belonging to the European Commission have to be done through it,  Germany being a part of the European Union, needs to take up the issue so that FDI  projects from the 27 partners of the Union could benefit.

Germany being a part of the European commission, trade and investment related agreements will have to be done through the EC only. On behalf of all members, France, Germany and other 27 partners, it is the commission which will have to talk with India on any FDI or investment promotion We are also talking with the Commission. The German support in having this done at the earliest will be beneficial both for India and for the European Community countries.

The Minister said, FDIs will be allowed in areas in which India has strength in goods and manufacturing sectors and also the services sector. Our correspondent reports that India and Germany will also hold ministerial level talks on various issues including trade and industry, technology, medicine and defence.

"India's initiative in improving bilateral trade ties with Germany has been gaining momentum after the Inter Governmental Consultations. Germany, one of the leading trade partner of India and also an important role player in the European Commission will divulge in bilateral talks in many sectors including defence, health and pharmaceuticals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit will not only invigorate trade ties between both countries but also encourage countries in the European Union to look forward to investing in India. As procedures have been simplified in improving the investment climate and doing away with red tapism investments in states will become more easy and simple making India to stride forward as a stronger economy. Joy, AIR News, from Berlin."

Later, on the second leg of his tour, Mr Modi will be reaching Madrid, Spain on a two day visit tomorrow. The visit to Spain by the Indian Prime Minister is happening almost after 30 years. Talking to our correspondent, Indian Ambassador to Spain D B Venkatesh Varma exuded confidence that Prime Minister's visit will take relations between the two countries to a new level in all fields such as political, strategic, defence, energy and people to people contacts.

On issue of terrorism, Mr Varma said, India and Spain have to work together to develop a strong international response to counter terrorism.

India and Spain have both been hit by terrorism for over several decades. There is a common desire and will to work together to develop a strong global response to counter international terrorism both in terms of bilateral cooperation and also working together at the United Nations.

Asked about the growing economic relations between New Delhi and Madrid, he said, there are possibilities that Spanish investments will increase in coming future.

Spain is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. India is one of the fastest growing economies among the large economies of the world, that provides a large common ground for taking our economic partnerships to a new level. There are about 200 to 250 Spanish companies in India involved in a number of projects. There are number of possibilities for further Spanish investments in India, including in the government's flagship programmes.

The Indian Ambassador said, a number of agreements are expected to be inked between the two sides during the visit.


CBI today registered three FIRs and a preliminary enquiry to probe alleged irregularities in Indian Airlines-Air India merger and purchase of 111 aircraft, leasing of planes and giving up of profit-making routes by Air India.

The agency spokesperson said, the FIRs have been registered for criminal conspiracy and corruption against unidentified officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry and Air India. He said, the cases relate to decisions taken during the tenure of the UPA causing a loss of tens of thousands of crore of rupees to the exchequer. The Ministry had purchased aircrafts worth 70 thousand crore rupees  between 2004 and  2008.  A preliminary inquiry was also registered to probe the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India that led to a loss of crores of rupees.


CBI today took custody of controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal, RJD, leader Shahabuddin in connection with murder case of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan. According to CBI sources, Shahabuddin, who is accused in the case, was brought to the agency headquarter for questioning. Shahabuddin is facing trial in more than 45 criminal cases and is presently lodged in Tihar prison. The four-time RJD MP from Siwan is alleged to have been involved in the murder of Ranjan, a journalist of a prominent Hindi daily in Siwan last year.


A special TADA court in Mumbai today said that it would give the final judgment against seven accused including Abu Salem for their involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, on June 16. On March 12, 1993, 12 bombs went off at several locations in the city, killing 257 people, and injuring 713.


Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today strongly supported Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s recent assertion on Kashmir. Talking to media, Mr Naidu said, he totally agrees with Indian Army chief's statement that the dirty war in Jammu and Kashmir calls for innovation.

Army chief Rawat yesterday came to the rescue of Major Gogoi, and said such innovative ways are required to counter the dirty war underway in Kashmir.


Union Minister of Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya today said Narendra Modi led government is a scam and corruption free government which delivers best services to people. He was addressing a seminar in New Delhi on the achievements of the Labour and Employment Ministry in last three years.

Mr Dattatreya said, the government has shown the country unprecedented development and it has established prestige of India in international arena. He said, country's GDP has reached 7.5 per cent and in coming days implementation of Goods and Service Tax will bring more development in the country.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on  वस्‍तु और सेवाकर के लाभ” (Vastu Aur Sevakar Ke Labh).This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 p.m.


Cyclonic storm ‘MORA’ now lies about 660 kilometres south-southeast of Kolkata and 550 kilometres south-southwest of Chittagong. The system is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It is likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Bangladesh coast. Our Dhaka correspondent reports that authorities are evacuating people from all coastal upzillas of southern Chittagong district as cyclone Mora is bearing down on the shore.

Local officials  have been instructed to go to risky areas to ensure that people move to safer areas. Chittagong port has been shut down and ferry and launch services across the country have been suspended. Disaster Management Department Director Abu Syed Mohammad Hashim told reporters that a total of 479 cyclone shelters capable of accommodating over 4 lakh people have been made ready with necessary food supplies. Medical and rescue teams have been formed  in every upazilla to handle emergencies.  control rooms have also been set up in every upazilla to monitor the cyclone preparedness. Melinda Dias, AIR news, Dhaka.

Meanwhile, Indian MeT Department has issued severe weather warning for the three days at several parts of North East. Tomorrow, heavy to very heavy rain is likely at isolated places over South Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

Director of MeT department of Tripura Dilip Saha said that, rain fall will start from today night and from tomorrow heavy rainfall with gusty wind with a speed of 60 to 70 kmph may occur. Officials from the State Emergency Operation Centre said, all the district administrations have been informed and the information related to cyclone is being disseminated to the field officers. The rescue team has been kept alert. Nishith Joshi, AIR News,  Agartala.

Several parts of Odisha are also likely to witness heavy rainfall in coastal and interior parts of the state during the next 12 hours under the influence of Mora.

Met office said, heavy rainfall with wind speed reaching 50 to 60 kilometre per hour likely to occur at some places in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur districts in the State. It also said, the interior pockets may face Nor'wester because of high moisture content in the air due to Mora. The local Met department issued advice for hoisting Distant Cautionary Signal number two at Paradip and Gopalpur ports in the state. It has also asked the fishermen not to venture into the sea. With SN Pattnaik's report from Bhubaneswar, Nupur Goswami for AIR News.


Election Commission has decided to launch a special drive from 1st of next month  for registration of eligible electors and removing the discrepancies  in the rolls. In tune with the theme of - No voters to be left behind-  the Commission  will  utilize the period of continuous updation  for maximization of enrollment of young electors particularly in  18-19 age group by launching a special drive in all States. The campaign  will  continue till 31st July  this year.


The domestic stock markets continued to scale new record highs for the third straight day, today, but the rupee lost some ground against the dollar.

Extending its record breaking climb, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 81 points, or 0.3 percent, to a fresh record closing high of 31,109. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange rose 10 points, to a new closing peak of 9,605. At the forex market,the rupee  snapped three days of gains, losing 6 paise, to 64.50 against the dollar. Gold rose 100 rupees, to 29,350 rupees per ten grams in Delhi. And Brent crude oil futures declined 15 cents, to 51.98 dollars a barrel. Pradeep Kumar, AIR News.


Sports Minister Vijay Goel has said India can not play bilateral series with Pakistan till the terrorism from across the border continues. Mr Goel said, terrorism and cricket cannot go hand in hand. Replying to a media query on BCCI-PCB meet in Dubai, the Sports Minister said, BCCI should first talk to government before giving any proposal.


In French Open Tennis, the second Grand Slam of the season, defending champion Novak Djokovic and 9-time winner Rafael Nadal  began their campaigns with easy wins today. Second seed Djokovic beat M. Granollers 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, while  fourth seed  Nadal defeated B. Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 to enter into second round.


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