Morning briefing: US condemns Pathankot terror attack, wants Pakistan to take action

GN Staff | January 4, 2016


#pathankot   #terror   #pakistan   #US   #arun jaitley   #arvind kejriwal   #saradha scam   #nalini chidambaram   #barack obama   #smriti irani  

The US expects Pakistan will take actions against the perpetrators of the terror attack on Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, a top American official said, hours after Islamabad said it is working on the "leads" provided by India. "The government of Pakistan has spoken very powerfully to this and it's certainly our expectation that they'll treat this exactly the way they've said they would," State Department Spokesman John Kirby has said. "We urge all the countries in the region to work together to disrupt and dismantle terrorist networks and to bring justice to the perpetrators of this particular attack. I would note that the government of Pakistan, also publicly and privately condemned this recent attack on the Indian air base."

Lt Col Niranjan's last rites in Kerala today
The body of Lt Col EK Niranjan of the National Security Guard, who was killed in the counter-offensive against terrorists at the Pathankot air base, will be cremated on Tuesday at his ancestral home.  The body was flown in a helicopter from Bengaluru last evening, while his close relatives and colleagues came in another chopper to his Elumbulsherry village in Palakkad district in Kerala. Even though Niranjan was bought up in Bengaluru, where he did his schooling and college education, he maintained close links with the village and was last here during Onam festival.

Hearing in Jaitley's defamation suit against Kejriwal today

Patiala House Court will on Tuesday hear the criminal defamation case filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders. The case comes in the wake of the AAP leaders charging the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) with widespread financial irregularity under the tenure of Jaitley as president. The case has been filed against five members of AAP namely, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai apart from Kejriwal.

Saradha scam chargesheet names P Chidambaram's wife Nalini
In a development, which is likely to increase trouble for former Union Minister P Chidambaram, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has named his wife Nalini Chidambaram in a supplementary charge sheet in Saradha scam. The chargesheet, filed on Monday, names Nalini neither as witness nor accused, but as one who has knowledge of the controversial channel deal.  It mainly names estranged wife of former Union minister Matang Sinh, Manoranjana Sinh, along with Saradha group Chairman Sudipta Sen and businessman Santanu Ghosh. At one time, Nalini Chidambaram was lawyer for Manoranjana Sinh, and money from Saradha scam was used to pay her fee. In April 2013, Saradha boss Sudipta Sen has also mentioned Nalini name in his letter to CBI. In letter Sen has claimed that Saradha money was used to pay for her fee.

India-Nepal friendship bus service resumes
In the midst of uneasiness in India-Nepal relations, a friendship bus service between the two countries was restarted on Monday after a gap of 27 years. The bus, which runs between Kanchanpur in Nepal close to Banbasa border in Champavat district of Uttarakhand and Delhi, was regularised from today after a trial for a week, said B M Upreti, In-charge of Sharda barrage international police station. The service had been suspended 27 years back in the wake of the Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty, he said. Resumption of the service between the two countries after its prolonged suspension has been welcomed by locals on either side of the border as about eight to ten thousand Nepalis travel in these buses on a daily basis from Kanchanpur district, Dandel Dhura, Voti, Sapen, Acham, Kalali, Jagbuddha and Siddhartha Nagar areas in Nepal, he said. The resumption of the bus service marks a positive step amidst the uneasiness in India-Nepal ties since the adoption of new Constitution by Nepal.

Prejudice against women scientists exists: Smriti Irani
Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani on Monday told the Indian Science Congress in Mysuru that prejudice against women scientists "dramatically exists" and doing away with it is the most fundamental challenge that needs to be addressed. "A very famous physicist had once said that science can enrich plutonium but cannot enrich the hearts of men. I find that to be very honestly true to this day. For if science couldn't enrich the hearts of men, we would not need a separate Women's Science Congress," Irani said. Inaugurating the 5th Women's Science Congress here as part of the ongoing 103rd five-day ISC, she said, ".

Science does not preach or teach prejudice, it helps us understand differentiation between beings and encourages us to celebrate that diversity." Stating that prejudice against women scientists "dramatically exists", she said, "That is a scientific anomaly." Noting that no school-going child in the country today would be able to name an Indian female scientist, she said "...that is the prejudice that we need to address at the school level." "As we look to address the challenges that female scientists face, first and foremost, we need to engage with our children at the school level and tell them the remarkable contribution made by female scientists of Indian origin. That is the challenge that I hope to address at the earliest."

Railways seeks public suggestions on development authority
Seeking suggestions and comments from the public on the concept draft of the proposed Rail Development Authority of India, the Railways has uploaded it on its website. Earlier known as Rail Tariff Authority, the nomenclature was changed to development authority making it a broad-based one covering more areas besides the key function of fixing tariff. Since railways aims to attract private investment, the Authority will have responsibility of ensuring fair play and level playing field for private players in railways. It will also define the efficiency and performance standards. Dissemination of information is another responsibility of the proposed authority. The concept paper on the Rail Development authority of India has been uploaded on the www.indianrailways.gov.in. Suggestions and comments from the public are to be submitted by January 30, 2016 through email at railwaydevelopmentauthority@gmail.com.

Barack Obama tightens gun laws, says approval of US Congress not necessary
The White House unveiled gun control measures on Monday that require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks, moves President Barack Obama said were well within his authority to implement without congressional approval. The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now will require that people who sell guns at stores, at gun shows or over the Internet be licensed and conduct checks, officials said. The ATF was finalising a rule requiring background checks for buyers of dangerous weapons from a trust, corporation or other legal entity as well.

The National Rifle Association, the top US gun rights group, is feared and respected in Washington for its ability to mobilise gun owners. Congress has not approved major gun-control legislation since the 1990s. Obama, speaking to reporters before the measures were made public, said they were consistent with the US Constitution's Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms. Obama is igniting a political firestorm by bypassing Congress with the measures, which could spark legal challenges. Republicans say Obama is misusing his powers.

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