SC denies meeting of senior judges with Bobde committee
The Supreme Court today denied a media report that said justices RF
Nariman and DY Chandrachud met Justice SA Bobde who is heading an in-house
committee inquiring into the sexual harassment allegations against Chief
Justice of India RanjanGogoi.
The apex court, in a statement, termed the report that the two judges
met Justice Bobde on Friday evening as wholly incorrect. The statement, has
been issued from the office of the Supreme Court's Secretary General.
The statement further said, the in-house committee which is deliberating
on the issue concerning the CJI deliberates on its own without any input
from any other judge of the apex court.
A newspaper report today claimed that justices Nariman and Chandrachud
had met Justice Bobde and expressed their view that the three-member
committee should not go ahead with the proceeding ex parte.
Besides Justice Bobde, other members in the committee are two women
judges of the apex court, justices InduMalhotra and Indira Banerjee.
Cyclone FANI destroys portions of historic Puri temple
Parts of the 12th century Shree Jagannath temple in Puri were damaged as
Cyclone Fani ripped through the holy town on Friday, officials said on
“The main structure remains unaffected. We will request the ASI to
inspect the shrine,” P.K. Mohapatra, the chief administrator of Shree
Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), said.
The impact of the devastation was visible from the Lion’s Gate or as
‘Jay-Vijay Dwar’ — the main entrance of the temple.TheKalpa Bata — a huge
banyan tree revered as a wish fulfilment tree within the temple premises —
has also broken.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who visited Puri twice since the cyclone
struck on May 3, on Sunday visited Penthakata, the fishermen’s colony along
Announcing a relief package, he said all families in Puri and in parts
of Khurda that had been “extremely severely affected” in the storm will get
50 kg of rice, Rs. 2,000 in cash and polythene sheets, if covered under the
Food Security Act (FSA).
Whatsapp payment only to be launched after complying with RBI guidelines
Instant messaging app WhatsApp on Friday told the Supreme Court that it
is conducting a trial run of its payment service and will comply with RBI
norms on data localisation before launching the full service.
A bench of Justices R.F. Nariman and Vineet Saran was hearing a plea
filed by an NGO, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), which
has claimed that WhatsApp has not fully complied with RBI’s circular which
prescribed data localisation norms.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that
WhatsApp was not complying with data localisation norms which is evident
from the affidavit filed by the RBI.
To this, the bench said that if norms laid down by RBI are not followed
by Whatsapp, then it can be prosecuted.
WhatsApp reportedly has over 200 million users in India and almost one
million people are “testing” its payments service. India is one of the
largest bases for the Facebook-owned company that has over 1.5 billion users
The petition also alleged that the social media giant does not comply
with tax and other laws of India, but its reach was such that it is used by
everyone, be it a commoner or even the judges of the apex court.
U.S, Canada are the most favoured tourist destinations this summer
The U.S., Canada and Australia are the most favoured destinations for
educational and family-friendly vacations for Indian tourists this summer,
according to a survey.
As per the data revealed by leading travel search engine KAYAK this
year, Houston topped the list as the most trending international
family-friendly destination, recording the highest year-on-year search
growth of 151% on its platforms.
Boston bagged the second spot with a significant increase in
year-on-year search growth at 103%, while Los Angeles was trending at third
position with 87% year-on-year growth.
Melbourne was at fourth position with 51% year-on-year search growth and
Toronto at fifth position with 44% rise
“This summer, KAYAK looked through its data and identified the top
trending destinations that are family-friendly, such as Houston, Boston, Los
Angeles, Melbourne and Toronto,” said Abhijit Mishra, regional director,
APAC of KAYAK.
As a leading travel search engine, KAYAK searches other sites to show
travellers the information they need to find the right flights, hotels,
rental cars, and holiday packages. KAYAK is an independently managed
subsidiary of Booking Holdings Inc.
India and Australia have agreed to further deepen counter-terrorism
co-operation through regular exchange of information and sharing of best
practices on countering extremism and radicalization.
The two countries held the 11th Meeting of Joint Working Group on
Counter-Terrorism at Canberra yesterday. In a release, the External Affairs
Ministry said, the two sides discussed contemporary counter terrorism
challenges such as financing of terrorism, the use of the internet for
terror purposes, radicalization and Foreign Terrorist Fighters.
Both sides welcomed the listing of MasoodAzhar, leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad,
as a Global Terrorist by the UNSC 1267 Sanctions Committee.
U.S hikes tariffs on Chinese goods
President Donald Trump has announced that the United States would raise
tariffs on 200 billion dollars of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent,
complaining of a lack of progress in trade talks.
In series of tweets Mr Trump today said trade deal with China continues,
but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. He said for 10 months, China
has been paying tariffs to the USA of 25 percent on 50 billion dollars of
high tech, and 10 percent on 200 billion dollars of other goods. He added
that the 10 percent will go up to 25 percent.
The two sides have imposed tariffs on 360 billion dollars in two-way
trade since last year but Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to a
truce in December to refrain from further escalation.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists identify reasons for drying up of north eastern part of India
Northeast India, one of the wettest places on the Earth has been
experiencing rapid drying, especially in the last 30 years. Some places
which used to get as high as 3,000 mm of rain during the monsoon season have
seen a drop of about 25-30%.
A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology,
Pune, and Assam University set out to understand whether this decline is
caused by anthropogenic activity or is it part of natural changes.
Just like El Nino/La Nina in the tropical Pacific, PDO has a signature
for a longer time (on the decadal scale) in the sea surface temperatures and
its interaction with the atmosphere, which in turn affects the northeast
Indian summer monsoon.
The team used observed rainfall and sea surface temperature data for the
period 1901-2014 for the study. The results show out that the reduction in
rainfall during a major part of the last 114 years may be associated with
global man-made factors, while the trend during the last 36 years is
associated with natural phenomena.
“Only about 7% of the rainfall in this region is associated with local
moisture recycling, which means that anthropogenic activities can affect
only this small percentage. So we concluded that the recent rapid drying is
a part of interdecadal variability of monsoonal rainfall which is strongly
associated with the PDO,” says Subodh Kumar Saha from IITM, Pune.
The researchers note that this study can be used to predict the monsoon
rainfall over the northeast region on a decadal time scale using Pacific
Ocean region data.
Saurav and Joshnawins Asian individual squash titles
Ace Indian squash players SauravGhoshal and JoshnaChinappa won their
respective Asian Individual Squash Championship titles in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia today. SauravGhoshal defeated Leo Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong .
Ghoshal who had become the first Indian male player to reach top ten of
the world rankings is the finalist of the previous edition.