Top News Quick Read – January 21, 2019




Karnataka’s 111-year-old Lingayat seer dies

Shivakumara Swami, the head of the Lingaya-Veerashaiva faith, died Monday in Karnataka’s Tumakuru. The 111-year-old pontiff was undergoing treatment for a lung infection and was on ventilator support. Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy said the final rites will take place on January 22 at 4.30 pm. The State government has declared a three day mourning.

‘Mahagatbandhan’ exposes opposition’s fear of BJP: Rajnath

“I think everybody (opposition) is afraid of the fact that the BJP is again going to form its government. So they are attempting to forge a ‘mahagatbandhan’. It is the fear of his party’s successes that has made them come together,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said.

Choksi opts for Antigua & Barbuda citizenship

Mehul Bhai as Prime Minister used to call him one of the prime accused in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, has surrendered his Indian citizenship in favour of Antigua & Barbuda Isles in the West Indies, official sources said on Monday.

Rahul gets relief from Jharkhand HC

The Jharkhand High Court on Monday ruled that Congress President Rahul Gandhi will not have to appear in person when the case of his “unsavoury” remarks against BJP chief Amit Shah is heard.

A district court here had earlier issued summons to Gandhi following a petition filed by Naveen Kumar Jha, alleging that the Congress leader had made unsavoury remarks against Shah hurting him and denting the party’s image.

Jessica Lall murder: Convict moves Delhi HC for premature release

A month after the Delhi High Court ordered the forthwith release of former Youth Congress leader Sushil Kumar Sharma, who had served over 23 years in prison for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni in 1995, the convict in the Jessica Lall murder case Siddhartha Vashishta, also known as Manu Sharma has moved the court, seeking the same relief.

NCW sends notice to BJP MLA over remarks on Mayawati

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday sent a notice to BJP MLA Sadhana Singh for her sexist remarks against Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
Singh, who represents Mughalsarai in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, at a rally on Saturday called Mayawati “worse than an eunuch” and accused her of being an “opportunist” for aligning with once arch rival Samajwadi Party.

Indian billionaires’ wealth grew daily by Rs 2,200 cr last year: Report

The fortunes of Indian billionaires grew by an astronomical 35 per cent per day last year, or by Rs. 2,200 crore daily, while the poorest 10 per cent of the country have continued to remain in debt since 2004, according to an Oxfam report released today.

Karnataka Congress MLAs return home

Karnataka Congress legislators on Monday left a resort here where they have been residing since Friday and set out for their home constituencies, a party leader said.
“All the MLAs left the resort to return to their constituencies,” Congress state unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao told the media here.

JKLF leader Yasin Malik arrested in Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested here on Monday. Sources said Malik was arrested from his uptown Maisuma residence. Malik’s arrest comes the same day separatist conglomerate, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), has called for a protest shutdown in Srinagar and adjacent areas to remember the 50 civilians who were killed during a security forces firing on January 21, 1990.

Sabarimala tantri gets 15 days more to explain purification rituals

Sabarimala temple custodian, the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), on Monday extended time to Tantri Kantararu Rajeeveru to explain why a “purification” ritual was conducted following the visit of two women devotees to the Lord Ayyappa shrine just after New Year, said a board official.

World’s 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%: Oxfam

The growing concentration of the world’s wealth has been highlighted by a report showing that the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population.

Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900bn in 2018 – or $2.5bn a day.

Facebook users to now petition elected officials for change

Facebook is set to launch a petitions feature called “Community Actions” that will let users request change from their local and national elected officials and government agencies. According to a report in TechCrunch late Sunday, “Community Actions” will be a petition feature in Facebook’s News Feed and reach users in the US on Tuesday and other markets later.

Modi greets Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura on Statehood Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 21 extended his greetings to the people of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura on their Statehood Day.
The erstwhile princely states of Tripura and Manipur were merged with India in 1949 and became full-fledged states in 1972. Meghalaya was a part of Assam before it was carved out as a full-fledged state under the North Eastern Region

White House is ‘out of control’ claims by an ex-staffer

A book written by a former White House staffer has described back-stabbing and duplicity within the West Wing and claimed that it was “out of control”.

“Team of Vipers”, written by Cliff Sims, a former communications staff member and a President Donald Trump loyalist who worked on his campaign, is slated to be published at the end of January, reports The New York Times.

Democrats stand firm against Trump’s exchange offer

Despite President Donald Trump’s offer to end the ongoing partial government shutdown and fund a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for groups of immigrants, Democrats stood by their demand to reopen the government before negotiating about the border.

“Let’s not hold the American people, especially the federal workers, hostage to these negotiations,” South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, a member of Democratic leadership, told Fox News on Sunday.

China’s economic growth rate slowest since 1990 amid trade war with US

China’s economic expansion languished to its slowest pace in nearly three decades last year, as a bruising trade fight with the U.S. exacerbated weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

The 6.6% growth rate for 2018 reported Monday is the slowest annual pace China has recorded since 1990. The economic downturn, which has been sharper than Beijing expected, deepened in the last months of 2018, with fourth quarter growth rising 6.4% from a year earlier.

31 stranded Rohingyas: India-Bangladesh to hold meeting

Indian and Bangladeshi border guards are likely to hold a meeting on Monday over the 31 stranded Rohingya Muslims, stuck for the past 2 days at the zero line on Tripura frontier, a BSF official said.

“A meeting between the sector commanders of BSF (Border Security Force) and BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) is likely to be held tomorrow (Monday) over the 31 Rohingya Muslims,” Deputy Inspector General of BSF Brajesh Kumar told the media late on Sunday.

Trump, Erdogan discuss Syria, bilateral ties

US President Donald Trump has spoken over phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the ongoing tension in Syria, and bilateral ties, said the White House.

According to Xinhua news agency reported statement of the White House, the two leaders “agreed to continue to pursue a negotiated solution for Syria that achieves our respective security concerns.”

10 UN peacekeepers killed in an attack in Mali

At least 10 peacekeepers from Chad have been killed and 25 others wounded in an attack on a United Nations camp in northern Mali, according to the world body.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack, saying it was “in reaction” to the visit to Chad by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Mauritanian Al-Akhbar news agency, which regularly receives statements from this armed group.

Bihar: Grand Alliance in trouble after Lalu refuses to give more than eight seats to Congress

The Grand Alliance in Bihar is going through seat-sharing troubles with tension growing among partners, according to a report published in The Economic Times.
According to the report, while Lalu Yadav is not ready to give more than eight seats to Congress, the Grand Old Party is bargaining for 12 seats again.

The Congress had contested on 12 seats during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections while the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had fielded candidates in 27 seats.

Amit Shah discharged from AIIMS

BJP president Amit Shah, who was undergoing treatment for swine flu at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, was discharged Sunday.

“Shah was discharged at 10.20AM from AIIMS after recovering from swine flu,” said an AIIMS official.

BJP leader and in-charge of the party’s IT cell Amit Malviya said Shah was fine and has returned home from the hospital.

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill not applicable to Nagaland: CM

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said on Sunday that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is not applicable to Nagaland since the state is protected under the provisions of Article 371(A) and the Inner Line Permit.

“The cabinet was of the unequivocal view that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not applicable to Nagaland and we stand protected under the provisions of Article 371 (A) and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) as per Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, (BEFR) of 1873, affirmed under Clause 16 of the 16 Point Agreement,” Rio said in a statement.

India likely to surpass UK in largest economy rankings of 2019: PwC Report

India is likely to surpass the United Kingdom in the world’s largest economy rankings in 2019, according to a report by global consultancy firm PwC.

As per the report, while the UK and France have regularly switched places owing to similar levels of development and roughly equal populations, India’s climb up the rankings is likely to be permanent.

PwC’s Global Economy Watch report projects real GDP growth of 1.6 per cent for the UK, 1.7 per cent for France and 7.6 per cent for India in 2019.

Bihar: Daughter of Bihar takes oath as Washington State Senator

Bihar-born Mona Das has been elected Senator of the 47th district of the State of Washington in the US in her very first attempt. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Mona Das, 47, migrated to the US along with her parents when she was just eight months old.

Mona Das, who took oath as a Senator on January 14 with the Gita in her hand, takes pride in her ancestry. Her ancestors belonged to Dariapur village of Kharagpur division in Munger district of Bihar.