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MORNING NEWS

0815 HRS

19.08.2017

THE HEADLINES,

  • JD(U) National Executive to meet in Patna today; Likely to accept the invitation to join BJP-led NDA.
  • Merger of two warring AIADMK factions in Tamil Nadu again hits a roadblock as differences continue.
  • BJP President Amit Shah says, Narendra Modi-led NDA government is working to serve the people and has taken 50 big initiatives in just three years.
  • No improvement in flood situation in Bihar; 10,000 leave relief camps in Assam following improvement in situation.
  • Steve Bannon, who played a key role in US President Donald Trump's electoral victory, steps down.
  • And, in Tennis, Indian campaign ends in Cincinnati Open as Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna bow out.

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The National Executive of Janata Dal (United) will meet in Patna today. The meeting has been called at the party's National President and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s official residence where the party is expected to formally accept the invitation to join the BJP-led NDA. Loyalists of Sharad Yadav, who has opposed joining hands with the BJP, are also organising a programme - Jan Adalat in Patna. The two meetings make it clear that battle lines within the JD(U) are drawn and the party may be heading for a split after the disintegration of the grand alliance in the state. JD(U) principal secretary general KC Tyagi, however, said, there is no split and that Mr Yadav has left the party voluntarily. Mr Tyagi said, the national executive meeting is the party’s official programme.

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In Tamil Nadu, the merger of two warring factions of the AIADMK has again hit a roadblock as differences continue. Leaders of the ‘AIADMK PTA’ led by O Panneerselvam and the ruling ‘AIADMK Amma’ party led by Chief Minister EK Palaniswamy held separate meetings in Chennai last evening and discussed at length the proposed merger and its after-effects. However, it is said that in the Panneerselvam faction, a majority of the office-bearers voiced their reservations against the unification move. MLAs and MPs of both the factions and party workers converged in thousands at the mausoleum of late leader Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK headquarters in Chennai, anticipating a merger announcement. However, they began to disburse after getting indications that the merger may not come through immediately. More from our correspondent:

"The merger moves by the two AIADMK factions have been taken even in the past. But, Mr O.Panneerselvam disbanded the negotiations panel he formed for the unification talks, saying it did not make any headway. As another factional leader of the party, Mr TTV Dhinakaran's recent Melur rally was attended by about 20 of the party MLAs and 6 MPs, the renewed efforts for the unification took shape. However, as the plans for a merger have hit the road block, things are now back to square one in the party. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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BJP President Amit Shah has said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government is working with an aim to serve the people. He was addressing senior party leaders and workers in Bhopal last evening. Our correspondent reports that Mr Shah, who is on a three-day visit to Bhopal under his nation wide tour, held several party meetings yesterday.

"BJP President Amit Shah said that they should work to strengthen the BJP and ensure that  not a single poll booth in any part of the country remain without BJP workers. Addressing a seminar on the New India-Sankalp se Siddhi, Mr. Amit Shah said that the Modi government took 50 big initiatives in just three years. The BJP president  also released a book on three years of the Narendra Modi government. Mr Shah will take several meetings today and meet social workers and religious leaders in a function to be held at the CM House. SHARIQ NOOR, AIR NEWS, BHOPAL."

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The BJP President has called a meeting of Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states on Monday to review their work, and discuss the strategy to achieve the target of winning over 350 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The meeting, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be present, will be attended by 13 Chief Ministers and five Deputy Chief Ministers. The meeting will also discuss the ground report on the implementation of central schemes.

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Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti and Election Commissioner OP Rawat inaugurated a two-day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference in New Delhi yesterday. Addressing the conference, Mr Joti stressed on the need for providing E-services to stakeholders and emphasised the requirement to develop E-Payment gateways for various election services of the Election Commission. He also underlined the need for extensive training programmes on Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) as the Commission has decided to conduct all future elections using it along with Electronic Voting Machines.

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for quick news updates, round the clock, follow us on our twitter handle- @airnewsalerts.

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There is still no improvement in the flood situation in Bihar. Over one crore people in 19 districts are affected and 164 have, so far, lost their lives. Our correspondent reports that relief and rescue operations are in full swing in the affected areas.

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ordered to intensify airdropping of food packets in the four worst hit blocks of Araria district and one block of East Champaran district. He has also directed the road construction department to restore the Kishanganj -Araria road to facilitate rescue and relief operations.  Army, NDRF and SDRF teams are conducting the relief operations. Close to 1300 relief camps have been set up where about 4 lakh people have taken shelter. Cooked food is being served in community kitchens set up across the state. with KK LAL's report from Patna, Tripti Srivastava, AIR News."

Normal life is also out of gear in several districts of Uttar Pradesh as thousands of villages are reeling under flood waters. 22 districts in Eastern and Terai regions are the worst affected. Our correspondent reports that leave of state government employees has been canceled in flood affected districts in view of rescue and relief works.

"Normal life in village located on the banks of rivers and low lying areas is out of gear. Transport is disrupted in several in Gorakhpur, Basti, Sidharthnagar and Balrampur districts. About 15 lakhs people are affected with flood across the state. Most of the rivers including  Ganga, Gandak, Ghaghara and Ramganga are flowing above danger marks at several places. A total of 38 people have lost their lives in flood related incidents. Sunil Shukla, air news, Lucknow."

In Assam, 10,000 people have left relief camps in the past 12 hours following improvement in the situation. Relief measures have also intensified in the flood-hit areas. 60 people have, so far, died in the current wave of floods. More from our correspondent:

 

"Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said, the unprecedented flood caused major damages to Kaziranga national park. A total of 105 casualties were reported at Kaziranga national park in the first wave of flood this year. However, the water level receded at the park. There was no causality reported from any other wildlife parks in the state. The Minister said that highland will be constructed at Kaziranga to shelter inhabitants during flood. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR NEWS, Guwahati."

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Home Ministry regarding reported deportation of illegal Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar. Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report, NHRC issued a notice to the Home Ministry and sought a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. The Commission observed that refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings and before taking a big step, the Centre has to look into every aspect.


Nearly 40,000 Rohingyas are residing in various parts of India.

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India has said, it has not received any communication from Pakistan about the launch of a consultation process by it to nominate an ad-hoc judge for the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters in New Delhi that India has not been informed officially about the process by relevant authorities. According to a Pakistani media report, Islamabad has begun consultations over the nomination of an ad-hoc judge for the Jadhav case and that an ex-attorney general and a former Jordanian premier have emerged as the top contenders.

India had moved the ICJ against the death penalty handed to Jadhav by a Pakistani military court. ICJ had, in May, restrained Pakistan from executing the death sentence.
On the Doklam stand-off, the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson
said, India will continue to engage with China to find a mutually acceptable solution.

"We will continue to engage with chinese side to find a mutually acceptable solution. As we have said in the past, peace and tranquillity in border areas is an important pre-requisite for a smooth development of bilateral relationship."

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US President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon has stepped down. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the exit, saying Friday was his last day. Bannon, who had played a key role in the electoral victory of Mr Trump last year, has returned as head of Breitbart.com, the right wing website he ran. Over the past few days, there had been an increasing demand from Trump's political opponents, Democrats in particular, to fire all those from the White House who are believed to be close to right wing nationalists. Bannon is the third high-profile White House official to have left the Trump administration in recent weeks.

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In Spain, police has released the names of three Moroccans suspected of deadly terror attacks and who were shot dead overnight by security forces in the seaside resort of Cambrils. Police stepped up their investigation into the twin vehicle attacks in Spain that left 14 dead and over 100 more injured in a tourist area of Barcelona.

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In Assam, following the Prime Minister's call to make India corruption free, an ‘Imandari Ki Dukan’ or Honesty shop has been opened in the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Silchar. Our correspondent reports that the shop has been set up to inculcate a sense of honesty and transparency among the students.

 

"In a first of its kind initiative, an unique shop has been opened in the school premises which have no shopkeeper. If students want to buy something, they can pick up and the price of that item is put in a box placed inside the shop. The idea is a brainchild of Cachar district administration. A pledge of honesty was also administered to the students before the shop opened. Officials claimed that, the student is not only learning to be independent but they will also act as whistle blower in case they see any one stealing. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Silchar."

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In Tennis, the Indian campaign at the Cincinnati Masters came to an end this morning after Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna crashed out in their respective Doubles categories. In the Women's Doubles, Sania and her Chinese partner Shuai Peng lost in the semi-finals against the Taiwanese-Romanian pair of Su-Wei Hsieh and Monica Niculescu, 4-6, 6-7.
In the Men's Doubles quarter-finals, Bopanna with his Croatian team-mate Ivan Dodig lost the quarterfinal to the Brazilian-Polish duo of Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot, 1-6, 6-7, 7-10.

<><><> 

NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES

Vishal Sikka quitting as Infosys chief, dominates headlines across dailies this morning.

"Sikka quits as Infy CEO over 'personal attacks' " is the lead in the Hindustan Times. "Vishal Sikka quits as Infosys CEO,  shares take a beating", is The Hindu headline. "Vishal Crisis at Infosys as Devalued Sikka Quits", comments The Economic Times. The Indian Express states "Infosys war out in open, CEO quits, board blames Murthy".

DNA draws attention to "India's quiet move to outsmart China", as PM Modi calls Nepal counterpart, and prepares to host Japanese PM, Shinzo Abe. "Ladakh scuffle bad for India, China", The Pioneer cites Ministry of External Affairs. "China refuses to share hydrological data as Assam combats floods", notes The Business Standard. The Statesman observes "Modi's visit to China for BRICS Summit uncertain."

"JD(U) Mantris set to join Team Modi" as the Nitish Kumar-led party is likely to officially announce its alliance with the NDA at the national level soon, is the lead in The Asian Age.

"Replace bureaucrats in Sports Authority of India with professionals", The Indian Express cites the task force appointed by the Prime Minister, to improve India's performance at the Olympics.

The Times of India reports "Swine Flu spurts in Delhi : 1,066 cases last month".

And finally, The Business Standard informs " Coke to cut sugar, offer more products in India" including juices and ethnic carbonated drinks.

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