Monday, 28 September 2015

PM Modi to Silicon Valley: Digital India 'unmatched in history'

Lights flashed and chants of "Modi, Modi" filled the 18,000-seat sports arena in San Jose, California, on Sunday as the Indian premier took the stage for the final event of his Silicon Valley tour, marked by sporadic protests over his human rights record. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was winding up a whirlwind two-day U.S. West Coast trip and Sunday's event followed visits to some of the world's biggest technology companies, hoping to convince them to bring more investment and jobs to India.
Modi, 65, was the first Indian leader to visit the West Coast in more than 30 years. His trip followed a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met several tech leaders in Seattle last week.
Modi aimed to deepen ties with the U.S. technology sector and boost India's digital infrastructure by promoting his "Digital India" campaign, which seeks to connect thousands more villages to the Internet.
"(India) has moved on from scriptures to satellites," Modi said. "The world has started to believe that the twenty-first century belongs to India."
Technology executives, eager to expand into India with its 1.3-billion population, embraced Modi's initiative, with CEOs from Facebook Inc, Google Inc and Tesla Motors all hosting him at their headquarters. Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook met with Modi at his hotel.
The second day of his visit began with a town hall at Facebook headquarters with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, where Modi spent 50 minutes on stage and discussed the importance of social media, Digital India and technological expansion in the country. Modi is an avid user of social media and the second-most followed world leader after U.S. President Barack Obama.
He became emotional at one point when Zuckerberg asked him to speak about his mother. "I came from a very poor family. ... We went to our neighbors' houses nearby (to) clean dishes, fill water, do hard chores. So you can imagine what a mother had to do to raise her children."
Modi later visited Google headquarters and met with Indian-born Chief Executive Sundar Pichai, who announced that Google would bring wireless Internet to 500 Indian railway stations, news that Modi revealed at a dinner Saturday night with more than 350 business leaders.
Though Modi remains wildly popular in India with an 87 percent approval rating, some of his stops were met with protests of his human rights record. Some claim that Modi did not do enough to stop 2002 religious riots in Gujarat that killed about 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, when he was chief minister of the state. He has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Mostly Sikh protesters calling on Modi to answer for his rights record temporarily blocked one of Facebook's entrances. Several hundred people gathered outside San Jose's SAP Center ahead of Modi's speech that lasted several hours. Half were protesters shouting over metal barricades and holding signs that said "Modi believes in violence, not development," and "#ModiFail" that resulted in several scuffles.
Much of Modi's U.S. visit, on which he received rock-star welcomes, also focused on connecting with the Indian diaspora in Silicon Valley, the IT professionals who migrated in their droves over the past two decades to seize job opportunities that weren't available back home.
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Cattle smuggling to Bangladesh on the rise

Cattle smuggling through the porous India-Bangladesh border in the Dhubri district is on the rise.
In the latest case, a smuggler was apprehended and 21 head of cattle were seized in Bairere village from border area of the district on Monday.
The market for smuggled cattle is thriving as a cow that costs over Rs 30,000 here can earn double the sum if one sells it to vendors across the border illegally.
A source said the demand for calves has also shot up recently. A medium-sized calf worth Rs 25,000 can be sold at Rs 40,000 on the black market.
Over 16,100 cattle have been seized in the Dhubri sector in Falakata this year. Security forces have seized large herds in Dhubri owing to the porous India-Bangladesh border in the district.
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50 missing as boat with 300 people capsizes in Chaygaon

At least 50 people were drowned and many more were missing when a country boat carrying 300 people capsized in the Kalshi River at Champupara area near Chaygaon in Kamrp district on Monday.
Police said the boat was carrying nearly 300 people. While 200 people drowned, 150 passengers swam to safety while 50 others were still missing.
Senior district administration officials have reached the spot and a search operation is on.
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Thursday, 24 September 2015

220 people killed, 500 injured in stampede during Hajj outside Mecca

At least 220 pilgrims have been killed in a stampede in Mecca as millions of Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia as part of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
The stampede reportedly broke out in Mina located in the neighborhood of Mecca in Makkah Province, in western Saudi Arabia.
It is understood the number of causalities are likely to increase.
The deaths come two weeks after at least 111 pilgrims were killed when a giant construction crane collapsed on the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Saudi Arabia has partly blamed the construction giant Saudi Binladin Group for the collapse of a crane.
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John Abraham unveils NorthEast United FC team jersey in Guwahati

Bollywood actor John Abraham, who co-owns Indian Super League franchise NorthEast United FC, today unveiled the team jersey in Guwahati.
The actor unveiled the team jersey at an event at Reliance Trends in Guwahati. He also addressed a press conference there.
Unveiling the team’s jersey for the second edition of the Hero Indian Super League starting next month he said: “This time we have an incredible team. We keenly look forward to the team playing their special brand of football.”
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Indrani Mukerjea planned to kill Sheena Bora six years back: Mumbai Police

Former media honcho Indrani Mukerjea had tried to kill her daughter Sheena Bora six years ago, a report claimed.
According to a media report, Mumbai Police sources are saying that six years back, Indrani made an attempt to kill her daughter Sheena after she demanded a flat from her.
Indrani along with her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai are the prime accused and are in judicial custody till October 5.
The high-profile murder case was taken away from Mumbai Police and transferred to the CBI as the Maharashtra government wanted to ensure a free and impartial probe.
Sheena Bora was murdered on April 24, 2012, allegedly by Indrani, Khanna and Rai who disposed off her partly burnt body in the forests in Raigad district.
Earlier, The Times of India had reported that Sheena had been blackmailing her mother Indrani Mukerjea and demanding a three-BHK flat in Bandra (W).
According to the report, Indrani Mukerjea's former driver Shyamvar Rai told police that Indrani was extremely violent while strangling Sheena to death in the car.
She kept saying, "Now take your three-BHK flat in Bandra" many times while committing the heinous act, Rai reportedly told the Khar police.
Sheena had reportedly threatened to expose Indrani in front of Peter Mukerjea, who was convinced that his wife and Sheena were sisters.
Notably, Indrani, Khanna and Shyamvar Rai are under arrest in connection with the murder of her daughter Sheena for dumping her body near a forested area in Gagode village in Raigad district.
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Second season of ISL to begin on 3 October this year

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) is back for its second season after a successful first year in 2014.
The league attracted an average of 26,505 spectators to its matches over 10 weeks, making it the fourth post popular league in the world by that measure. The only three leagues to top it are: Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League.
The eight-franchise league will kick off on October 3 and end on December 20, 2015. Atletico de Kolkata will begin the defense of their title down south against losing semi-finalists Chennaiyin FC in the league’s opening game.
Runners-up Kerala Blasters, the team owned by Sachin Tendulkar, will try to go one better than last time starting with a home game against North-East United FC on 6 October.
Mumbai City FC's first game will be a much-anticipated 'Maha Derby' - as it was billed by ISL last season - against FC Pune City, to be played on October 5 in Mumbai.
The anticipation this time around from fans would be to see if the ISL can woo bigger stars than they managed to last time around. The Indian players, many of whom will be a part of the World Cup qualifiers beginning in June, would also be keen to perform well and catch the attention of foreign clubs.
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12 new parliamentary secretaries sworn in

12 new Parliamentary Secretaries have taken oath today in Guwahati. Sushanta Burhagohain, Arati Kachari, Monika Bora, Rupjyoti Kurmi, Ghanashyam Kalita, Habul Chakravarty, Rumi Nath, Hemanta Talukdar, Kamlakshya Purkayastha, Jamaluddin Ahmed, Shivcharan Basumatary and SR Subba took oath today.
One Parliamentary Secretary, Arun Phukan, who could not take oath today is expected to take oath later. 
With the appointment of new Parliament Secretaries, the total number has gone up to 24 in Assam.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Fuel scarcity hits Manipur, petrol at Rs 190/litre

Petrol prices in India has raised up to Rs 190 per litre. Yes, the news is true and people are buying petrol from Rs 170 to Rs 190 in Manipur, where the actual price is Rs 57.

Serious fuel scarcity has haunt Manipur again after stocks of petrol, diesel and SK oil have reduced the supply due to heavy landslides, breaking of Barak bridges and strikes.

Locals are standing in long queues in few running petrol filling stations. Many filling stations are closed due to shortage of fuel.

The north-east state is facing a huge crunch and the public transport is in limbo.

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Crackdown continues against errant city buses in Guwahati

The district transport office (DTO) of Kamrup (Metro) on Wednessday has launched an operation against city buses in Zoo road that violate safety rules and other traffic guidelines. The drive aims to reduce congestion on roads and make commuting easy in the city.

The DTO had faced strong criticism for not acting against errant city buses and autos.

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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Central ministers to visit Assam to assess flood loss

A central ministerial team will visit Assam soon to assess the flood situation that has affected 21 districts and several lakhs of people in the state, union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Monday.

Interacting with the media, Sonowal countered the Tarun Gogoi led Congress government's claim of lack of fund flow from the Centre to deal with the flood situation.

He said the BJP will publish a white paper at an appropriate time to show the actual flow of central funds to Assam.

"The Assam government has Rs.1,425.45 crore under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), which is yet to be utilised. We feel this is not the time to indulge in politics and we urge the Assam chief minister to refrain from politicising the flood issue," Sonowal said.

Slamming Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Sonowal said the state government has been shirking its responsibility by citing fund crunch.

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Over 1.5 million people hit by floods in Assam

The overall flood situation in Assam remains grim as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries continue to flow above the danger level on Monday.Five more people died in the floods taking the toll in the current wave to 41 even as an estimated 18 lakh people have been affected by the flood. Assam state disaster management authority on Monday said that two persons died at Mayong and Laharighat in Morigaon district, while another two died at Lakhipur in Goalpara. One person lost his life at Barkhetri in Nalbari district on Sunday, it said.

The Army has been inducted to assist the civil administration in Nagaon district for rescue and relief operations. According to the ASDMA, nearly 1.38 lakh people have taken shelter in the 277 relief camps set up by the state government.The authorities also said that river Brahmaputra was flowing above the red mark at Dibrugarh town, Nematighat in Jorhat district, Tezpur in Sonitput, Guwahati and Goalpara and Dhubri towns.

The Kaziranga National Park has also been submerged, forcing animals to move to the highlands in the neighbouring Karbi Anglong hills.Meanwhile, road links between Guwahati and Shillong were severely affected after landslides triggered by heavy rainfall hit the region on Sunday.Landslides in the Byrinhat region and Unming near Nongpoh brought the traffic along National Highway 40 to a halt, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded on both Assam and Meghalaya sides. According to official sources, the National Highway Authority of India has pressed into service several bulldozers to clear the landslides.National Highway 40 connects Assam with Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Locals protest as flood-hit farmer commits suicide in Barpeta

Local people staged massive protests in Barpeta after a farmer committed suicide as flood water damaged his fishery and crop land.

Protesters slammed the Tarun Gogoi led Congress government in Assam for failing to provide adequate relief to the affected farmers.

Meanwhile, Assam Agriculture minister Rockybul Hussein today announced that the state government will conduct an inquiry the incident.

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Woman alleges molestation by BJP leader in Nagaon

A woman has alleged molested by a local leader of BJP in Doboka area of Nagaon district on Sunday evening.

According to allegations, Doboka BJP leader Radheshyam Sahani allegedly tried to molest a woman by dragging a woman into his Scorpio car on the road on Sunday.

Public beat him up following the incident.

The victim has lodged a complaint against the BJP leader in Doboka police station.

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Monday, 7 September 2015

Farmer commits suicide after floods spoil crops in Barpeta

Taras Ali, a farmer of Datibari village at Bhabanipur in Barpeta district, who owned nearly 2 acres of land which was being used for cultivation of crop, committed suicide on Sunday.

According to the police, Taras Ali committed suicide by hanging himself.

Due to floods, his crop of cotton had been spoilt and, perhaps, due to this reason, he took the extreme step, police said.

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Teachers are architects of society: Tarun Gogoi

Assam Chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday felicitated schoolteachers and urged them to act as architects of society.
Gogoi said teachers need to dedicate themselves, especially at the primary level, to laying the foundation of students.

"The role of primary teachers in building the future of students is huge," Gogoi said at a Teachers' Day function in Guwahati. He added that the state's matriculation results were improving and the number of girl students in educational institutions was also on the rise.

Education minister Sarat Barkotoky said the education department had already established 12 model degree colleges in the state to provide quality higher education to students.

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Friday, 4 September 2015

Abhiruchi Sports Day celebrated

The central function of the 32nd edition of Abhiruchi Sports Day was celebrated here in the city with a day-long programme. The Sports Day has been organised on the occasion of Bhogeswar Baruah’s birth anniversary, the first Arjuna Award winning athlete from Assam.

In the central function in Guwahati, Former table tennis star Monalisa Barua Mehta lead the mass jogging on Thursday.

The mass jogging has begun at the Chandmari flyover at 6:35 am and culminated at the RG Baruah Sports Complex. Then inter-school and club PT and group dance competitions will be held from 8:30 am onwards.

The sportspersons to be felicitated are Jayanta Talukdar, Sanjoy Boro, Dhaniram Basumatary, Himani Boro, Satbeer Kaur (archery), Shiva Thapa, Lovleena Borgohain, Jamuna Boro, Pwilao Basumatary, Anee Lama (boxing), Lymoon Narzari (athletics), Arijit Chaliha, Pragyan Jyoti Gogoi (badminton), L Thoinu Chanu, K Rajen Singh (sepak takraw), Rekharani Gogoi (taekwondo), Nafisa Sadiq (rowing), Birdie Boro (TT), Rajani Deori (wushu), Monalisa Sonowal, Swapnapriya Baruah, Champak Dutta (weightlifting), Nijum Muchahary, Holicharan Narzari, Bishnu Bordoloi, Anjana Saikia, Binit Rai, Milan Basumatary, Kapil Boro (football), Parikshit Somani (tennis), Rituraj Singh (shooting). Bhabajyoti Goswami (RG Baruah sports organiser award).

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Assam Floods: Over 2 lakh people taken shelter at relief camps

Over 2 lakh people have taken shelter at relief camps in Assam as there is no improvement in overall flood condition.

Official sources said that the number of flood hit people has increased to 12 lakh 40 thousand in 19 districts today. New areas have been inundated in parts of Nagaon, Morigaon and Barpeta districts during last 24 hours.

However, train services to Dhemaji have been resumed following the repairing of damaged tracks. Rescue and relief works are being carried out by the army and State Disaster Response Force.
Union Sports minister Sarbanand Sonowal has visited flood hit areas in Upper Assam today.

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Thursday, 3 September 2015

15 cr trade union members hold one-day nationwide strike

Nearly 15 crore workers from 10 central trade unions are on a one-day nationwide protest on Wednesday against changes by the government in labour laws. The strike has adversely affected the essential services across the country.

These ten unions claim a combined membership of 15 crore workers in public as well as private sector enterprises including banks and insurance companies. Union leaders said the strike will affect the functioning of essential services like transport and supply of power, gas and oil.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) claimed that power, oil and gas supplies will not be affected as a large number of public sector workers in these areas would not participate in the industrial action. 

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Assam floods critical, 10 lakh people affected, death toll rises to 24

The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated as incessant rains pounded the state and four more persons lost their lives taking the death toll up to 24. The calamity has affected nearly 10 lakh people in over 2,000 villages. A total 29 people have been killed in the two spells of floods in 2015.
The Dibrugarh administration has called in the Army to evacuate marooned people from different parts of the district, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in its flood report.
ASDMA reports said two persons were killed under Naduar revenue circle in Sonitpur district, while one died in Mayong revenue circle of Morigaon. Another person lost his life at Samaguri revenue circle in Nagaon district since Tuesday.

It said nearly 10 lakh persons are affected in 2,005 villages across Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Goalpara, Morigaon, Cachar, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Kamrup, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Golaghat and Nagaon districts.

Dhemaji is the worst-hit district where nearly 2.4 lakh people are reeling due to the flood. It is followed by Dibrugarh where more than 1.34 lakh people have been affected. ASDMA said nearly 1.7 lakh hectares of crop land are under water and authorities have opened 308 relief camps in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Cachar, Dhemaji, Tinsukia, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Dibrugarh, Morigaon and Nagaon providing shelter to more than 1.75 lakh people.

Kamrup metropolitan district authority has indefinitely suspended all types of ferry and boat services on Brahmaputra in Guwahati city as the river is flowing above the danger mark. The ASDMA report said Brahmaputra is flowing above its danger marks also at Dibrugarh, Goalpara and Dhubri towns, Nematighat in Jorhat and Tezpur.

Also flowing above their danger marks are Burhidehing at Khowang, Desang at Nanglamuraghat, Dhansiri at Numaligarh, Jia Bharali at NT Road crossing in Sonitpur, Puthimari at NH Road crossing in Kamrup, Beki at Road Bridge in Barpeta and Kushiyara at Karimganj town.

Flood waters have damaged at least 18 roads in Morigaon, Golaghat, Dhemaji, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Goalpara, Cachar, Dibrugarh, Sonitpur and Darrang and over four bridges were damaged in Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Darrang and Nalbari since Tuesday.

ASDMA said 13 embankments were also breached in Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Nalbari and Nagaon districts.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Flood situation in Dibrugarh unchanged, all 22 wards under water

Due to incessant rain for last couple days flood have affected many areas in Dibrugarh. The normal life has virtually come to a standstill in the city following havoc caused due to unprecedented rains and artificial floods in the entire municipality area since the past few days.

A few hours of downpour on monday morning crippled the Dibrugarh town with all 22 wards under water.

Floodwaters inundated Milannagar, Grahambazar, Khalihamari, KP Road, Padum Nagar, Amolapatty, Naliapool, Santipara, Chowkidinghee, Ganagapara, Bansbari, Gabharupathar and Seujpur areas.

The residents were caught unawares by the flash flood and had a harrowing time with water seeping into their homes. Major portions of the busy Mancotta road were under water. It is the town's lifeline and the downpour threw traffic out of gear.

The situation was the same in several other arteries like RKB Road, KC Gogoi Road and PN Road.

The SP office, DC office campus, police reserve, Gabharupathar police station remained submerged.

Waterlogging during monsoon has been a perennial problem of Dibrugarh town. The Dibrugarh town protection drain maintained by the embankment and drainage (E&D) department has lost the capacity to flush out rainwater from the town.

However, encroachment and lack of maintenance has hampered the normal functioning of the drain. Many houses, shops and places of worship have come up on the edge of the drain even though it is illegal to construct any structure within 10 ft on both sides of the drain.

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Agitated mob sets fire to houses of Manipur minister, lawmakers

Irate mob set afire the houses of Manipur Health Minister Phungjathang Tonsing, Lok Sabha MP Thangso Baite, Hill Areas Committee Chairman of State Assembly Chaltolien Amo and four Congress MLAs TN Haokip, Manga Vaiphei, Ginsuanhau and Vungjagin Valte in Churachandpur District last night.

In the Sadar Hills sub-division of Senapati District, the house of Congress MLA Nemcha Kipgen was set ablaze and the house of another Congress MLA Yamthong Haokip was also damaged by the mob.

Three persons have been killed and another ten were injured in the police action to control the mob in Churachandpur District.

The district administration promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedures Code as a preventive measure.

State government spokesperson and Education Minister Moirangthem Okendro said the passing of the three Bills by the state assembly will never affect the interest of the people in the hill areas of the state.

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