Evening digest: El Nino weather pattern to continue into winter, crops to be hit

GN Bureau | September 10, 2015



Japan's weather bureau said on Thursday that an El Nino weather pattern was continuing and reiterated there was a strong possibility it would stretch into winter. The El Nino - a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific - can trigger drought in Southeast Asia and Australia and floods in South America, hitting production of key foods such as rice, wheat and sugar. A deficient monsoon this year could harm farm sector outlook as both kharif and rabi crop output could be hit. Even though rural demand could remain resilient on account of increase in non-farm jobs, one needs to be cautious of food inflation as imported items could be costly on account of a weak rupee, cautioned ratings firm India Ratings (Ind-Ra).

'Hawalabaaz' Congress' ego clashing with democracy: PM Modi
Two days after Congress president president Sonia Gandhi's 'hawa baazi' (empty talk) comment to describe the BJP's election promises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday retorted by calling the Congress 'hawalabaaz' (corrupt). "Those involved in 'hawala baazi' (corruption) are questioning my accountability," he said accusing the Congress party of parliamentary logjam, creating hindrances and forcing government to end the Monsoon Session without passing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. Modi, however, claimed that his government will find a way out of the parliamentary crisis and logjam. Meanwhile, responding to Modi's 'hawalabaaz' (corrupt) jibe, the  Congress on Thursday hit back at the ruling BJP by calling its leaders 'dagabaaz' (betrayers). "Let the 125 crore population of this country decide who is the 'dagabaaz'," the opposition party said.

India calls in Saudi ambassador over rape case
India called in the Saudi Arabia ambassador on Thursday to seek his cooperation with an investigation into allegations one of his diplomats repeatedly raped two Nepalese women, a foreign ministry spokesman said.The women have filed complaints with police alleging the diplomat beat and sexually assaulted them while they were imprisoned at his apartment in Gurgaon.The foreign ministry "conveyed (a) request" to Ambassador Saud Mohammed Alsati from the police for the embassy's cooperation "in the case of 2 Nepali citizens", MEA spokesman Vikas Swarup said on Twitter.

Winter Session could be advanced to pass GST Bill: Naidu
The government, which had to give up its plan to call extended Monsoon Session of Parliament to get the GST Bill approved, Thursday said the Winter Session could be advanced immediately after the Bihar polls to pass the key reform measure, which it proposes to roll out from April next year.Asking Congress, which virtually vetoed the government's plan to convene the special session, to "eschew from negative politics", Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said there is still scope for meeting the deadline for the GST Bill and expressed readiness to call an early Winter Session, which usually begins in the third week of November.

A portal to help pensioners get digital life certificates soon
A new portal to facilitate lakhs of pensioners in getting digital life certificates and other beneficiary features will soon be made functional, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said here on Thursday. There are about 56 lakh pensioners. The Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said the portal will have a feature for a pensioner to upload his biometric details like fingerprints, from his home or anywhere through internet to enable him in generating a digital life certificate. A pension disbursing bank can access the portal to get digital life certificate, the Minister said.

Sensex falls nearly 100 points, Nifty ends below 7,800
After a two-day monstrous rally, BSE Sensex and Nifty ended lower on Thursday, tracking weak global markets. The Sensex fell as much as 432 points in early trade but a late pullback saw the benchmark index end 97 points lower at 25,622. The Nifty settled 30 points lower at 7,788. Metal, realty and IT stocks came under pressure today while auto and capital goods stocks ended with gains.

Three FTII students go on indefinite hunger strike
Intensifying their agitation, three students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) went on an indefinite hunger strike on Thursday to press their demand for the removal of Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the prestigious institution. The three students are Hiral Savad, Alol Arora and Himanshu Shekha. The decision to thus step up the stir follows 91 days of sustained protest by the students that has seen all academic activity on the campus having come to a halt since June 12.

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