Russia lures traditional US ally Philippines with arms and friendship
World > Russia-Philippines > Jan 05
Russia is ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons including aircraft and submarines and aims to become a close friend of the traditional US ally as it diversifies its foreign ties, Russia’s ambassador said on Wednesday. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has thrown the future of Philippine-U.S. relations into question with angry outbursts against the former colonial power and some scaling back of military ties while taking steps to boost ties with China and Russia.
US obtained evidence after election that Russia leaked emails, says officials
World > US-Russia > Jan 05
US intelligence agencies obtained what they considered to be conclusive evidence after the November election that Russia provided hacked material from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks through a third party, three US officials said on Wednesday. US officials had concluded months earlier that Russian intelligence agencies had directed the hacking, but had been less certain that they could prove Russia also had controlled the release of information damaging to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Government can’t unveil schemes for poll-bound states in budget
India > poll-bound states > Jan 05
The government can go ahead with presenting the Union budget on February 1 even though elections will be held in five states over the next two months. The government will need to follow the Model Code of Conduct and not announce any scheme or incentive for the poll-bound states, a government official told ET. “Election code of conduct will have to be followed and there cannot be any announcement specific to the states that are going to polls,” the official said.
Record-breaking extreme weather in Australia in 2016 devastates ecosystems
World > Australia > Jan 5
Australia’s weather was extreme in 2016, driven by humankind’s burning of fossil fuels as well as a strong El Niño, according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s annual climate statement. That extreme weather led to devastated ecosystems both on land and in the sea, with unprecedented bushfires in regions that don’t usually burn, the worst coral bleaching on record, and has been attributed as the cause of damage to vast tracts of crucial kelp forests, oyster farms and salmon stocks across southern Australia.
Turkey identifies Istanbul gunman, makes new arrests
World > Turkey > Jan 5
Turkey said today it had identified the gunman behind the New Year's massacre on an elite Istanbul nightclub that killed 39, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the attack aimed to polarise Turkish society. The assailant stormed the glamorous Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus early on Sunday morning, spraying 120 bullets at terrified partygoers celebrating the start of 2017.
MS Dhoni gives up India's ODI and T20 captaincy
Sports > Cricket > Jan 4
MS Dhoni has stepped down as captain of India's limited-overs teams ahead of the ODIs and T20Is against England in January. He will still be available for selection as a wicketkeeper-batsman for the series, though, the BCCI said on Wednesday evening. The selectors are meeting to pick the ODI and T20I squads on January 6 in Mumbai. The BCCI did not immediately name a successor for the matches against England, though Virat Kohli, who leads India in Test cricket, is the frontrunner for the job.
The world's highest bridge opens for traffic
World > China > Jan 4
China recently opened the world's highest bridge — a marvel that stands 1,854 feet above a river and connects two mountainous regions in the country. The Beipanjiang Bridge, which links the province of Guizhou and Yunnan, should shorten travel times from Liupanshui to Xuianwei from about five hours to two hours, according to the Guardian.
Jagdish Singh Khehar sworn in as 44th Chief Justice of India
India > CJI > Jan 4
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, who led the five-judge constitution bench in the Supreme Court which had struck down the controversial NJAC Act for appointment of judges, was on Wednesday sworn in as the 44th Chief Justice of India. President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office and secrecy to Justice Kehar at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Istanbul Nightclub Shooting: 2 Indians Including Filmmaker Abis Rizvi Among 39 Killed In Terror Attack
World > Turkey attack > Jan 02
Union minister Sushma Swaraj today tweeted that two Indians have died in the terror attack at a nightclub in Istanbul in which 39 people died and 65 others were wounded. One of them, she said, was Abis Rizvi, the son of former lawmaker Akhtar Hasan Rizvi. The other has been identified as Khushi Shah, a resident of Gujarat.
Supreme Court removes Thakur, Shirke from top BCCI posts
Sports > Cricket > Jan 02
The BCCI's existing power structure has been dismantled by the Supreme Court of India in a landmark order, which directed the removal of the board president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke from office with immediate effect. The order was the culmination of a long-standing impasse between the BCCI and the Lodha Committee: the board had resisted implementing the majority of the committee's recommendations despite being told to do so by a Supreme Court order on July 18.
Samajwadi Party crisis boils over: Akhilesh Yadav is new party chief, Mulayam Singh expels Ramgopal
Politics and Government > Samajwadi Party > Jan 02
The crisis within the Samajwadi Party refused to die down as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was on Sunday crowned as the party chief, a position that has been held by his father Mulayam Singh Yadav for decades. At the party’s national executive Party meeting convened by national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav today, party leaders unanimously elected Akhilesh to lead Samajwadi Party. The decision was termed as “unconstitutional” by Mulayam and has once again expelled Ramgopal from the party for six years. Party vice-president Kiranmoy Nanda and state general secretary Naresh Agarwal were also expelled for attending the meeting.
Ordinance Criminalising Holding Old Notes Gets Prezident's Assent
India > Old notes > Dec 30
In a bid to check a parallel economy being run on old currency, the government today made holding, transfer and receiving of the demonetised note a criminal offence, punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 10,000. This follows President Pranab Mukherjee approving promulgation of the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Ordinance, 2016 that provides for a fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher, on holding of more than 10 banned 1,000 and 500 rupee notes.
Pakistan's Chashma 3 nuclear plant inaugurated
World > Pakistan > Dec 28
Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister, today inaugurated the country's fourth reactor - unit 3 of the Chashma nuclear power plant in Punjab province. Construction began on the Chinese-designed CNP-300 pressurised water reactor in March 2011. The unit achieved first criticality on 3 October and was connected to the grid on 15 October. The unit's output has since been gradually increased to 100%. On 7 December, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said Chashma 3 had completed a "100-hour reliability demonstration test", marking the end of acceptance tests for the unit.