INDvsAUS: Virendra sehwag tells who should open for Team India in Test Series


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Delhi Tells Schools To Sensitise Students About Defacing Public Property


Delhi government said that public properties must be protected against defacement and destruction.

New Delhi: 

The Delhi government has asked all schools in the national capital to take measures for prevention of defacement of public property and warn students against it.

Schools have been asked to warn students against defacing public property such as historical monuments, school buildings and flyovers.

“The schools are hereby directed to take all measures for prevention of defacement of public property and also sensitise all students of the school in the morning assembly talks, through SMC members and PTM against defacing and harming public property such as school building, historical monuments, municipal properties and flyovers,” the Directorate of Education (DoE) said in a communication to schools.

“Public money has been invested in all these properties and the same should be protected against any kind of defacement and destruction,” it added.

The DoE further directed the schools that students must be informed that the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act, 2007 has been enacted and as per provision of this act Defacement of Public Property is a cognizable offence and punishment in such cases may be imprisonment or fine or both.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Afghan Peace Council Tells Taliban It Is Ready For Talks: Report


In a first, the meeting of regional officials on ways to end the war included a Taliban delegation.

MOSCOW: 

Members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, a body overseeing peace efforts, met Taliban officials at a conference in Moscow on Friday and repeated President Ashraf Ghani’s offer of peace talks without pre-conditions.

For the first time, the meeting of regional officials on ways to end the war included a Taliban delegation, as moves towards achieving a political settlement pick up.

“We discussed the subject of direct talks with the Taliban and asked them to choose the place and the starting time,” said Ehsan Tahiri, High Peace Council spokesman, according to Russia’s RIA news agency.

The meeting, which underlines Russia’s desire to be involved in any settlement in Afghanistan, took place as U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad prepared for a fresh round of talks with Taliban officials in Qatar.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that “we reaffirm our position on the lack of alternative to a political settlement in Afghanistan and the need for active coordinated efforts by Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and regional partners”.

Western officials and Ghani’s government view the Moscow meeting with some suspicion, seeing it as an attempt by Russia to push its way into a process that they say must be led by Afghanistan.

As well as the five-member Taliban delegation, Russia brought to the meeting several senior Afghan political figures, including some who have clashed with Ghani in the past. Ghani’s government sent only a delegation from the High Peace Council, a group set up to coordinate reconciliation efforts.

The Taliban issued a statement this week saying the conference was “not about negotiating with any particular side”.

It said the meeting was “about holding comprehensive discussions on finding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary and ending the American occupation”.

Ghani offered in February to talk to the Taliban without pre-conditions but the insurgents, who regard his government as a foreign-controlled regime, have refused, saying they will deal only with the United States.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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No Illegal Mining In 115.34-Acre Aravalli Land, Rajasthan Tells Top Court


New Delhi: 

The Rajasthan government has told the Supreme Court that no illegal mining was going on in 115.34 hectares of land in the Aravalli area of the state.

The chief secretary of Rajasthan has filed an affidavit in the top court which had on October 23 expressed shock over 31 “vanished” hills or hillocks in Aravalli area and had asked the state government to stop illegal mining in the 115.34-hectare area there within 48 hours.

“It is stated on affidavit filed by DB Gupta who is chief secretary of the government of Rajasthan that there is no illegal mining going on in respect of 115.34 hectares of land, as mentioned in our order dated October 23, 2018,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur noted in its October 29 order.

In the affidavit, the chief secretary has also said that approximately 27 per cent ground truthing of the area has been done and serious efforts would be made to complete the entire exercise within a period of three months as per directions of the top court.

Ground truthing is an exercise conducted to ascertain the empirical evidence at the actual site.

The top court posted the matter for further hearing after three months.

On October 23, the top court had observed that though Rajasthan was earning a royalty of around Rs 5,000 crore from mining activities in Aravalli, it cannot endanger the lives of lakhs of people in Delhi as disappearance of hills there could be one of reasons for rise in pollution level in the national capital region (NCR).

The court had also referred to a report of the central empowered committee (CEC) which had said that out of 128 samples taken by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), as many as 31 hills or hillocks have vanished.

The state’s counsel had then told the top court that all the government departments concerned in Rajasthan were “on the job” to stop illegal mining.

The court is dealing with a matter related to illegal mining activities in the Aravalli range.





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File Complaint Against Manoj Tiwari, Satyender Jain Tells Top Official


Manoj Tiwari claimed that he was “manhandled and pushed” at the inauguration.

New Delhi: 

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday directed additional chief secretary (home) Manoj Parida to file a police complaint against Manoj Tiwari, for allegedly indulging in violence at the Signature Bridge inauguration.

In his note, he said Mr Tiwari and his associates indulged in hooliganism to overawe the highest functionaries of the government at the event where chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and other cabinet ministers were present.

“Manoj Tiwari and his associates formed unlawful assembly, forcibly entered (reached the) dias with the intention to attack and harm the chief minister and council of ministers and create ruckus, obstructed and assaulted public servant…” Mr Jain said.

“The home department must immediately lodge a formal complaint with the CP (commissioner of police) and concerned DCP/police station against Manoj Tiwari and his associates…” his note read.

Upset about not being invited to the inauguration, Mr Tiwari and his supporters had allegedly got into a scuffle with AAP members and police.

The BJP had on Sunday said that AAP MLA Amantullah Khan used abusive language and pushed Mr Tiwari.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party responded on Monday, saying Mr Khan was trying to stop him from from getting onto the stage where Arvind Kejriwal and other leaders were present.





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This Is Racist, CNN Tells Trump Jr Why They Didn’t Run His Dad’s Ad


CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that the ad is racist, the channel said

Donald Trump Jr. had a grievance to air Saturday morning.

CNN had refused to run an election ad released by his father, President Donald Trump, earlier this week, a video that featured Luis Bracamontes – an undocumented immigrant who was convicted in the murder of two California sheriff’s deputies – in an apparent attempt to drum up fears about immigration.

“I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda,” Trump Jr. tweeted, linking to a shorter, 30-second version of the ad. “Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday. #vote #voterepublican”

CNN’s public relations department promptly fired back at the president’s eldest child, repeating a statement that the network’s reporters had made last week: The ad was racist.

“CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist,” CNN PR tweeted. “When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”

The full ad, released and tweeted out by the president on Halloween, showed a smiling and unremorseful Bracamontes as he bragged in the courtroom: “I killed [expletive] cops. They’re [expletive] dead. I don’t [expletive] regret that [expletive]. . . . I will break out soon and I will kill more.” (In the advertisement, the actual expletives are heard.)

There is no subtlety to the message the ad is trying to telegraph: Migrants are killers and criminals, and Democrats comprise the party that enable them.

Indeed, the ad “dispenses with whatever restraint Trump may have exercised with his divisive immigration rhetoric,” as The Washington Post’s media critic Erik Wemple described in a recent column:

– – –

In his tweet promoting the video ad, Trump writes, “It is outrageous what the Democrats are doing to our Country. Vote Republican now!” As the ad cycles through Bracamontes’s chilling threats in the courtroom, a banner reads, “DEMOCRATS LET HIM INTO OUR COUNTRY.”

The focus then switches to footage of a migrant caravan overwhelming fences at a checkpoint, and then to a Fox News clip in which a migrant tells a translator that he plans on seeking a pardon for the “felony he committed … attempted murder.” Again, the multitudes splash across the screen, with this banner, “WHO ELSE WOULD DEMOCRATS LET IN?”

… The video stigmatizes a large group of people of color as criminals – killers bent on coming in and killing the law-abiding residents of the United States. It’s another in the long list of shocking-but-not-surprising developments in the Trump presidency. This is Trump’s remarks about Mexico’s “rapists” in video format.

– – –

As Wemple noted, after the ad was released, a slew of media outlets dispensed with the usual equivocations – “racially charged,” “racially tinged” and the like – and described the commercial as outright “racist” (CNN), “divisive” (NBC News) and “fearmongering” (HuffPost).

Moreover, the lines about Democrats letting Bracamontes stay in the country didn’t hold up to a fact check, as The Post’s Eli Rosenberg reported. Bracamontes was deported in 1997 and 2001, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, according to local newspapers at the time. Bracamontes also apparently was arrested, then released, in Phoenix in 1998.

If Trump Jr. was miffed by CNN’s retort, though, he didn’t show it. The president’s son, who once claimed to be so busy running the family business that he had nearly “zero contact” with his father, has been aggressively campaigning for several Republican candidates in recent weeks.

Throughout Saturday, Trump Jr. retweeted others critical of CNN, including attacks on CNN anchor Don Lemon, who had recently said that “the biggest terror threat in this country is white men.” Trump Jr. also shared a clip of a CNN interviewer talking to who she thought was a random person at a rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. The person turned out to be Gillum’s mother.

“No wonder you’re the fakest name in news. #fakenews,” Trump Jr. tweeted at CNN.

Like his son, President Trump has regularly attacked CNN on Twitter and in his rally speeches. The president once tweeted a doctored video clip that showed him slamming a man representing “CNN” to the ground. Another time he retweeted an image depicting “CNN” squashed beneath his shoe.

On Saturday, CNN representatives included an apple emoji in its reply to Trump Jr., a reference to the “Facts First” campaign the station launched last year to try to fight claims by Trump – and his supporters – that the network is “fake news.” Though CNN’s “Facts First” video never called out Trump by name, it hinted at tactics used by the president.

“This is an apple. Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana,” the ad said. “They might scream banana, banana, banana over and over and over again. They might put BANANA in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana.

“But it’s not. This is an apple.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Ousted Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe Tells NDTV


Ranil Wickremesinghe says he is still the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, unless a floor test dethrones him

Colombo: 

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has plunged the island nation into a constitutional crisis, with Mr Wickremesinghe still refusing to leave the prime minister’s official residence, Temple Trees, in Colombo. “I am the prime minister,” Mr Wickremesinghe told NDTV, days after the president named former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse to take his place. “According to the constitution, the person who commands the confidence of parliament is the prime minister.”

Mr Wickremesinghe said unless he fails a floor test, he will continue to be the prime minister. “Sri Lanka at the moment has no government. No one knows what the legal situation is,” Mr Wickremesinghe told NDTV when pointed out that the country has two prime ministers now.

The president had suspended parliament until November 16 in the hours after the sacking last Friday, deepening the crisis which led the parliament speaker to warn of a “bloodbath” unless a vote is held. One activist has already been killed in fallout from the tensions. The Sri Lankan crisis has put the whole country on edge and threatened to polarise voters.

According to the latest count, Mr Wickremesinghe has 104 parliamentarians in the 225-seat chamber while Mr Rajapakse and Mr Sirisena together have 99. A majority of the 22 remaining Members of Parliament are expected to back Mr Wickremesinghe, news agency AFP reported. “I have the numbers,” Mr Wickremesinghe said.

The president cited a threat of assassination as the reason for his sacking, which Mr Wickremesinghe said was clearly an excuse as there was no evidence. “He would have told me or the cabinet if there was some evidence,” Mr Wickremesinghe said.

On whether news reports about India’s spy agency RAW having a hand in the alleged assassination plot, Mr Wickremesinghe told NDTV, “There was an insinuation (by the president)… That’s how many members of the cabinet construed it… Maybe he said it in the heat of the moment, people say various things in the heat of the moment.” India has denied the allegations. “The government of Sri Lanka says there was no involvement of India, that’s the position of Sri Lanka,” Mr Wickremesinghe added.

India and China are closely watching the impasse between the two contending prime ministers to see who will take the lead and add to their own geopolitical interest. Less than a month ago a pro-Chinese leader was defeated in the presidential elections in Maldives, where India and China have been eyeing to expand trade and influence.

India and Sri Lanka has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the eastern part of Colombo port, a project that Mr Wickremesinghe has backed since 2016. However, the Sri Lankan minister of ports recently proposed that the island nation go with another proposal.

Many analysts see Sri Lanka riding a tightrope between India and China no matter who wins the power struggle in Colombo.





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Driver Of Fatal Taiwan Train Tells Relatives


Driver Yu Cheng-chung wept uncontrollably as he knelt and apologised at the memorial in Taitung (AFP)

TAIPEI: 

 The driver of a train that derailed and killed 18 people this month apologised to victims’ families at an emotional memorial service in southern Taiwan Wednesday after being accused of “professional negligence” by a court.

It was the first time driver Yu Cheng-chung had spoken in public since the Puyuma Express derailed on October 21. He wept uncontrollably as he knelt and apologised at the memorial in Taitung county, home to 15 of the dead.

“I’m sorry, this will be forever a pain in my heart,” he said in footage aired on local television.

The crash on the popular east coast line also injured over 200 people and left the carriages lying zig-zagged across the tracks in the island’s deadliest rail accident for a quarter century.

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The disaster was Taiwan’s deadliest rail accident since a 1981 collision that killed 30 people (File)

Flags at government buildings in Taitung flew at half-mast in memory of the victims while Premier William Lai also attended the memorial service to pay his respects.

Relatives at the service appeared forgiving.

“Please don’t be like this, we don’t blame you,” one woman identified by local media by her family name Tung told Yu. She had lost eight family members in the crash.

“Let’s find out the truth together,” she said.

Yu is suspected of negligence for switching off the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system used to monitor speed before the train flipped off the tracks, according to initial findings by a local district court.

As the train approached Xinma station, the site of the crash, it was travelling at 140 kilometres per hour (87 miles per hour) instead of the 80 kph speed limit imposed due to a curve in the track, said the Yilan district court which questioned Yu as part of his bail hearing last week.

A special cabinet task force has said its initial probe also showed that the ATP system was turned off at the time the train derailed and it was travelling at excessive speed.

The crash was the worst rail accident in Taiwan since 1991, when 30 passengers were killed and 112 injured after two trains collided in Miaoli in western Taiwan.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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On Statue Of Unity Ex-Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela Tells PM Modi To Unite CBI, RBI First


Gandhinagar: 

Former Gujarat Chief Minister and expelled rebel Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela on Monday mocked at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his ambitious Sardar Patel’s “Statue of Unity” project dubbing it a “marketing gimmick” and asked him to first unite the CBI and the RBI.

The Prime Minister is slated to unveil 182-metre tallest statue in the world, Statue of Unity (SoU), at Kevadia in Narmada district on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on Wednesday.

When the internal fighting among the top brass of leading institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has emerged into the public, the Prime Minister should deal with this crisis first and then speak of unity, Mr Vaghela said.

“Which unity are you talking about?” the former BJP leader asked while talking to reporters in Gandhinagar. “First unite the CBI, the RBI. Unite for saving the downfall of Indian rupee, unite for bringing down fuel prices,” he said.

“When you are talking about Sardar, release the jailed Patidar youth,” Mr Vaghela asserted, referring to Alpesh Kathiriya, a close associate of firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel, who is in jail on sedition charges. Mr Patel also faces similar charges.

The former Gujarat Chief Minister said: “There can be no comparison between the simplicity and austerity of the Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel, and the construction and the motive behind the State of Unity. The project is of around Rs 3,000 crore, a sheer wastage and unproductive expense of public money when Gujarat is laden with a public debt of Rs 2,50,000 crore.”

Mr Vaghela, who was credited with building the BJP in Gujarat with Narendra Modi in tow in the late 80s and early 90s, asked: “Why the sudden love for Sardar whose very name you did not like once?”

Mr Vaghela recalled the time when he was the Chief Minister and during an event on the naming of the Ahmedabad airport as the Sardar Patel International Airport, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members dressed in black and waving black flags had vehemently opposed the naming in front of then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

“One shouldn’t have the impression that these people love Sardar… This is just using his name to market themselves. They make a hue and cry of injustice meted out to the Iron Man. When I met Maniben, Sardar Patel’s daughter, she said there was never any injustice to Sardar. He didn’t even have the aspirations to be the PM. Which injustice are you talking about?” asked Mr Vaghela.

“I challenge these people to show me one instance of injustice to the great man,” he said.

The former chief minister said: “I see the unveiling of the Statue of Unity as a desperate attempt by the BJP to gain political mileage and nothing else. They are losing public support. Not a single work was done by this government in four-and-half years for the common man. Tribals are unhappy, farmers are committing suicides… The government should listen to them,” he added.

“The UPA government allotted around Rs 15 to 17 crore for the Sardar Patel memorial near Ahmedabad airport. Has Modi even visited the place once? After UPA, what have you done for it if you love Sardar so much?” Mr Vaghela asked.





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Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Must Concern Us All, Jim Mattis Tells Arab Forum


Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. (File)

Manama: 

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis warned Arab leaders on Saturday that the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul “must concern us all”.

The United States “does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence,” Mattis told a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

“Failure of any nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most.”

A critic of Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

On Thursday, CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed US President Donald Trump on the latest developments in the investigation after a fact-finding mission to Turkey.

Pro-government Turkish media said that intelligence officers showed Haspel video images and audio tapes of Khashoggi’s killing gathered from the consulate.

His murder has generated international outrage and undermined relations with Riyadh, which Washington is hoping can help counter Tehran’s influence in the Middle East.

Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has denounced the “repulsive” murder, denying any involvement. The kingdom’s leadership has pushed responsibility down the chain of command.

Trump has called the case “one of the worst cover-ups in history”.

Washington moved late Tuesday to revoke the visas of several Saudis. Britain followed suit on Wednesday.

Mattis said more measures would follow.

“We will maintain our ‘twin imperatives’, as stated by Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo, of protecting America and holding accountable those responsible for this murder,” he told the forum.

“Our secretary of state has already revoked visas and will be taking additional measures.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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