Morning briefing: Posco suspends $12 bn steel project in Odisha

GN Staff | July 17, 2015


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South Korean steel giant Posco has put on hold its USD 12 billion steel project in Odisha due to delays in various regulatory approvals.“We are tentatively suspending the Odisha (India) project due to lack of any progress,” Posco Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh Joon said. “Business conditions at home and abroad have changed due to drop in global steel demand, growing deficit of subsidiaries, which have led us to come to a conclusion that we must step up our reform efforts,” he said at an investor event in Seoul on Thursday. The steel major’s India spokesperson said however that it is not quitting Odisha, even as its over USD 12 billion project has been hanging fire for almost a decade.

SC urged to vacate stay on usage of Aadhaar cards in social welfare schemes


The government has urged the supreme court to vacate a two-year stay which prevents the centre from mandatorily using Aadhaar cards to extend social welfare schemes. The stay is adversely affecting direct benefit transfer schemes, the government conveyed to the court. The government wants to extend the use of Aadhaar identity cards to issuance of passports and PAN cards and in other clearances such as in immigration, railways, telecom and prison management systems.

1 killed, 4 go missing as cloudburst hits near Sonamarg

A teenaged girl was killed and four people went missing today when a cloudburst struck near Sonamarg, a place enroute to the Amarnath shrine, as Army stepped in to help Jammu and Kashmir government to cope with the nature''s fury. Gagangir is the place before Sonamarg from where the prestigious Z-Morh tunnel across Zozila Pass is proposed to be constructed for an all-weather road between Srinagar and Kargil. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has pressed its men and machines in operation along with Army engineers and Rashtriya Rifles jawans who had been posted on guarding the smooth conduct of Amarnath pilgrimage.

Top minister meet on Pak firing, armed forces allowed to retaliate

Home minister Rajnath Singh held an urgent meeting with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and NSA Ajit Doval to review the Kashmir border situation aftr Pakistani firing. Doval also held a meeting with the Army chief, foreign secretary and the BSF DG, where it was decided to reply to Pakistan's provocation. Ceasefire violations by Pakistan Rangers killed two civilians and injured two BSF jawans on Wednesday.

A year after MH17 crash, memorial services today

 
The names of the 298 passengers and crew who died aboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 will be read aloud by relatives on Friday, a year after the passenger jet was shot out of the sky over rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
Commemorations in the Netherlands and Ukraine will mark a painful milestone for the families, some of whom have had to wait until now for scattered remains to be recovered. The tragedy marked a turning point in the conflict in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatist rebels.

St Stephen's lodges complaint against student Devansh Mehta

St. Stephen's College has filed a case against Devansh Mehta for vandalism and trespass in a chemistry lab in the college . Devansh Mehta had clashed with principal Valson Thampu over the publication of a college e-zine in April this year. The college complaint has alleged that Mehta alongwith a researcher barged into the chemistry lab and damaged the equipments there. Interestingly, the researcher mentioned in the complaint is the same woman who has accused a professor of St Stephen's of molestation.

Utility vehicle sales see first quarterly decline in five years


Sales of utility vehicles declined for the first time in five years in the June quarter. In the three months to June, sales of utility vehicles—sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and multi-utility vehicles—dropped to 128,064 units, a decline of 0.57% from 128,796 units in the same period last year, according to data from industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam). The decline has been the steepest in the so-called UV1 segment - vehicles with lengths of up to 4.4m and priced up to Rs.15 lakh. Sales of the UV2 segment—vehicles with a length between 4.4m and 4.7m—have expanded to 53,027 units from 49,973 units a year ago.

Coffee exports climbing, record harvest likely

 Coffee shipments from India may increase the most in four years as prospects for a record crop in Asia’s third-largest producer spur farmers to liquidate inventory. Exports will rise as much as 10% in the year through March 2016 from 286,516 metric tonnes last year.That would be the biggest gain since 2011-2012, when sales jumped 11% to 333,181 tonnes, Robusta coffee accounts for about 70% of India’s exports and its  futures last month rose 9.3%, the most since February 2014.

SBI wants to give 3% of profits to employees as incentive

State Bank of India is seeking the government's permission to dole out up to 3 per cent of its annual profits to staff (nearly 2 lakh) in incentives in an attempt to attract and retain top talent, which tend to join private sector banks. It also plans to give stock options to employees above the rank of assistant/deputy general manager

Emmy nominations 2015: Game of Thrones leads with 24 nods

Epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones led the pack of contenders for television's coveted Primetime Emmy awards Thursday for a second straight year, with nods in an impressive 24 categories. The grisly show will once again vie for the coveted outstanding drama series trophy -- an honor that has so far eluded it -- against Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Homeland, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Mad Men. American Horror Story: Freak Show scored the second highest tally with 19 nods, followed by Olive Kitteridge with 13.
The awards are television's equivalent of the Oscars and final results will be out on September 20.

Google profit tops analyst estimates as company curbs costs

 Google Inc.’s second-quarter earnings topped analysts’ estimates amid slower spending, reassuring investors who had been concerned about the Internet search giant’s ability to keep costs in check. Second-quarter net income was $3.93 billion, compared with $3.35 billion a year earlier, Google said.The number of clicks on ads in the second quarter rose 18%, compared with a 13% increase in the first quarter, while the average cost per click fell 11% after declining 7% in the first quarter. Profit before certain items was $6.99 a share, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Sales, minus revenue passed on to partners, rose 13% to $14.35 billion. Analysts on average had projected $6.73 a share in profit on $14.3 billion in sales.

Unlock your smartphone and apps with eyeprint instead of fingerprints


With more megapixels being added to the front camera of most smartphones, it can be used for securing your smartphone instead of just taking good selfies. Eyeprint technology uses the front camera to scan the pattern of blood vesels on the white part of the eyes. Then the same is used to unlock a device or app when there is a perfect match. A company called EyeVerify has already partnered with OEMs like ZTE, Alcatel Onetouch and Vivo to deliver smartphones with in-built Eyeprint ID.

4 US marines, gunman killed in attack at military sites in Tennessee


Four US marines and a gunman were shot dead at two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Thursday, in an attack investigated by officials as "domestic terrorism." The gunman has been identified as 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. Abdulazeez is believed to have been born in Kuwait and held a Jordanian passport. reports said the gunman, driving an open-top Ford Mustang, fired at two locations -- a Naval Operation Support Centre and an Armed Forces Recruiting Centre  that houses army and marine recruiting office. Most of the the fatalities and injuries are reported to have taken place at the Naval Operation Support Centre.

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