Migrant influx from African transit countries slashed, says Italy

The number of migrants who reached Libya from Niger fell dramatically in 2017 from the previous year, as did those crossing the Mediterranean from the conflict-wracked North African country, Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday. Just over 60,000 migrants entered Libya from Niger last year, compared with 330,000 in 2016, he said, adding …

Kidnapped minor is back home after 12 days, 1 kidnapper killed (Lead)

A five-year-old minor abducted 12 days ago from the national capital returned safely to his parents on Tuesday, after he was rescued from the kidnappers. One of the kidnappers died in the exchange of fire that led to the boy’s rescue. “In retaliatory firing by the police team one of the kidnappers was killed. Two …

Union budget anti-farmer, pro-corporate: Farmer leaders

Terming the announcement of 50 per cent profit over the input cost for agriculture commodities a “jumla” and “big fraud”, All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on Tuesday said the Union Budget presented by the BJP government was anti-farmer and would only benefit corporates. The government has come up with new definition for Minimum …

Bengal Governor refuses to comment on Trinamool’s allegation

West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Tuesday refused to comment on the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress’ allegations that he was trying to bypass the state government in administrative matters. “I am not here to answer these questions. I am here to enjoy books,” Tripathi, who was present in a book launch in Kolkata Book …

Development committees to come up in every Delhi village

Delhi Development Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday said that village development committees will be formed in every village of the national capital. He made the announcement during a meeting of the Village Development Board of the Delhi government on smart villages here, saying Smart Cities can only be built from “smart villages”. The village development …

Cannot seek livelihood, complain about pollution in same breath: Parrikar

It is not possible to seek jobs and other means of livelihood and at the same time complain about pollution, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, while flaying coal pollution-related protests in South Goa’s Vasco port town, 35 km from Panaji. Speaking at a public meeting in South Goa’s Curchorem-Quepem area, 50 km …

Niger must authorise Italian military mission, says Alfano

Italian troops will only be sent to Niger at the request of its government and any military mission will fully respect the West African country’s sovereignty, Italy’s Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday. “The mission can only be despatched if Niger’s government requests it and on a consensual basis. Once we have Niamey’s authorisation …

Manipur opposition walks out in protest against disqualification ruling

The opposition Congress walked out of the Manipur Assembly on Tuesday protesting against Speaker Y. Khemchand’s ruling on its demand to disqualify Forest Minister T. Shyamkumar who had joined BJP after being elected on a Congress ticket. Congress MLA A. Mirabai said that she was not satisfied with the Speaker’s ruling on Monday on her …

Won’t leave BJP, let it throw me out if it wants: Yashwant Sinha

Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday categorically said he would not leave the BJP but said the party could throw him out if it so desired because of his criticism. He also accused the Narendra Modi government of not fulfilling the promises it had made ahead of the 2014 general elections. “Why shall I …

Government launches manual on ‘social inclusion’

The central government on Tuesday launched a manual that focuses on capacity building to ensure that dignity is restored to all who are “socially excluded”, an official statement said. The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) in association with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and CARE India launched the “Manual and Tool Kit on Social Inclusion”, …

Chief, members of real estate authority in Haryana take charge

Former senior IAS officer K.K. Khandelwal on Tuesday took over as the first Chairman of the Haryana Real Estate Authority (H-RERA). Sameer Kumar and A.C. Kush took charge as members of the authority. Khandelwal, a 1985-batch Indian Administrative Service officer who took voluntary retirement, told the media that builders taking consumers for a ride will …

Karnataka scheme for free LPG has no central approval: Government

Denying that the Karnataka government is implementing the Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane (MMABY) in collaboration with the Centre, the Union Petroleum Ministry on Tuesday said that the state is going ahead with scheme directly without involving the national oil marketing companies (OMCs), and thus does not have the approval of the Union government. Under …

Completely dismayed by GST council’s approach: Yashwant Sinha

Criticising the Narendra Modi government for bringing changes in GST rates in terms of various items, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said this was not the correct way and that he was “completely dismayed by the approach of GST council” led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. “Can anybody tell what are the financial implications of all …

‘CBI examining laptops, hard drives allegedly linked to AAP Minister Jain’

The CBI on Tuesday seized three laptops and four hard drives allegedly belonging to Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain from the residence of DMC President Arun Gupta and was examining them, informed sources said on Tuesday. “The seizure was made today (Tuesday) during searches at the premises of Arun Gupta, President of the Delhi Medical Council,” …

114 students expelled for cheating in Class 12 exams in Bihar

At least 114 students caught cheating in the Class 12 examinations were expelled in Bihar on Tuesday — the first day of examinations, an official said. Anand Kishore, the Chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), told the media here that more than 114 students were expelled “for adopting unfair means”. He claimed that …

MSP based on production cost to have minimal impact on inflation: SBI study

Fixation of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agriculture commodities over the production cost will have minimal impact on inflation, said a report of SBI’s Economic Research Department (ERD). “We believe the impact on inflation will be minimal. The long run trend of growth of MSP of paddy, bajra and wheat with food inflation suggests that …

Kuwait calls for UNSC transparency, end to veto on crimes against humanity

Kuwait on Tuesday called for more transparency in the working of the UN Security Council and asked its permanent members to refrain from using their veto rights on issues relating to crimes against humanity. Permanent members should not use their veto powers in matters involving crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide or humanitarian issues like …

Connectivity projects should be based on international norms: EU envoy

In the light of China’s One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR), European Union Ambassador to India Tomasz Kozlowski said on Tuesday that connectivity projects should be based on international norms and transparency. “Concerning OBOR, we, as the European Union, are very much interested in improving or expanding connectivity in today’s globalised world, including connectivity between …

BSF seizes arms, ammunition on Punjab border, including 3 AK-47s

BSF troopers on Tuesday seized weapons and ammunition, including three AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades, found dumped in Dera Baba Nanak Sector of Punjab, BSF officials said. “We seized three Chinese-made AK-47 rifles along with six magazines, 150 rounds of ammunition, six hand grenades and two Chinese .30 bore pistols and two magazines, 100 …

Meghalaya CM, Agatha Sangma file nominations

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Manda Sangma on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for the February 27 assembly polls from Ampati assembly constituency. Sangma, who has been winning for five consecutive terms from Ampati constituency since 1993 but will also be filing his nomination papers from Songsak assembly seat on Wednesday, said the Congress will return …

Hike in customs duty neither protectionist, nor inflationary: CBEC Chairperson

The hike in customs duty in nearly 45 items of mass consumption in Budget 2018-19 is meant to push ‘Make in India’ and is neither protectionist nor inflationary, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairperson Vanaja Sarna said on Tuesday. Addressing a post-Budget interactive session organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, …

Farmers’ incomes have declined 1.38% since 2014: Yashwant Sinha (Lead)

Criticising the recent budget announcements of the Narendra Modi government, BJP leader and former Union mMinister Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said currently there is distress in rural India with farmers’ income declining by 1.38 per cent in the last four years. “There is tremendous rural distress and it is not merely because agricultural growth rate …

Opposition accuses Rajya Sabha chairman of muzzling voice; Naidu says he was misunderstood (Roundup)

The opposition on Tuesday accused the Rajya Sabha Chair of ignoring the “rules, regulations, procedures and traditions” by not allowing its members to raise some crucial issues and by giving long adjournments. However, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, who is the ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha, defended his decision of adjourning the House for longer …