UNGA President calls for more international action to aid Rohingyas

UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak has said that “much more action is needed” from the international community to address the “human tragedy” of the Rohingyas. During a meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque at the UN headquarters on Thursday, he praised the country for its generosity as a host community, Lajcak’s spokesperson Brenden …

Contaminated packaged water could be behind diarrhoea outbreak: Kolkata Mayor

Refusing to admit that water contamination as a reason for the diarrhoea outbreak in several wards in the city, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Thursday indicated the source of contamination could be spurious packaged drinking water. He, however, reiterated that no contamination was found in water supplied by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Meanwhile, monthly session …

‘Note ban hit Indians tourists’ visit to South Africa’

Note ban and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the Indian government have reduced the number of Indian tourists visiting South Africa last year, a South African tourism official said on Thursday. “South Africa witnessed a slowdown in terms of the number of bookings from Indians in 2017 as a result of demonetisation and …

BJP ‘match fixing’ with NPP in Meghalaya elections: Congress

Meghalaya’s ruling Congress on Thursday accused the BJP of “match fixing” with the National People’s Party (NPP), while terming the United Democratic Party (UDP)its “side player” for the February 27 assembly polls. Ridiculing the BJP’s vision document for Meghalaya polls released by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Congress said the BJP is “nationally known now …

India living example of co-existence: Iranian President

Citing India as a living example of peaceful co-existence of people of different religious and ethnicities, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday called for unity between Shias and Sunnis. Stating that there can be no military solution to conflicts, he said that Iran seeks brotherly relations with all the Muslims nations and the countries of …

Italian, Turkish Defence Ministers meet amid military blockade dispute

Italy’s Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti met her Turkish counterpart Nurettin Canikli here on Thursday amid a bilateral row over the blockade by warships in the Mediterranean of a drill ship owned by Italian energy giant Eni. “Bilateral meeting between Roberta Pinotti and Nurettin Canikli at NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels,” Italy’s Defence Ministry tweeted. Pinotti …

Parrikar being treated in Mumbai for ‘mild pancreatitis’: Aide (Second Lead)

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has been admitted to a Mumbai hospital, where is currently undergoing treatment for “mild pancreatitis”, a party official said on Thursday. “CM Manohar Parrikar will be indisposed till February 19, as he is admitted in a Mumbai hospital and is undergoing treatment for mild pancreatitis,” former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA …

Italy unveils new economic diplomacy project to help companies

Italy’s Foreign Ministry and its foreign trade institute Ice have developed a new project to aimed at supporting the internationalisation of firms, especially small-to-medium-sized companies that want to bid for international projects. The ‘Gara con Noi – Tender Lab’ project takes the form of a free training programme for companies on “the instruments and strategies” …

Odisha invites European nations to partner in Make in Odisha Conclave

The Odisha government on Thursday invited European nations to be partner countries in Make in Odisha Conclave to be held in November this year. The second edition of the flagship investors meet of the state government will be organized November 11-15. A state government delegation on Thursday held a round table meeting with trade counsellors …

No Italian police deployed to Syria amid ‘uncertainty’

Italy will not send police officers to Syria “as long as the political and military situation remains uncertain”, Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti has said. Italy has not received a request to deploy policemen to Syria although it had discussed with the US the idea of extending its police training mission in Iraq to the war-wracked …

Partially blind Delhi teacher held for molesting two minor girls

A partially blind teacher working with a government school in the national capital has been arrested for molesting two minor students, police said on Thursday. The police said the incidents were reported to them by the school management on Friday, but the accused teacher — identified as Awadhesh Kumar — was arrested on Monday. “The …

Waqf Council to fund digitisation of state waqf boards

The Central Waqf Council will provide funds to the state waqf boards for completion of their digitisation in the stipulated timeframe, it was announced on Thursday. The decision was taken at the 78th meeting of the Central Waqf Council chaired by Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi which reviewed the functioning of state waqf …

Italy eyes support in western Afghanistan

Italy needs to redistribute the troops it deploys world conflict zones and wants military support from other countries for its contingent in western Afghanistan, Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti has said. “We are facing other emergencies in Africa and the Mediterranean and we need to better distribute our forces,” Pinotti told Italian daily Corriere della Sera …

‘Namocare’ to make India largest drug maker: Union Minister

The Central government’s ‘Ayushman Bharat’ health insurance scheme, or ‘Namocare’ as it is popularly known, would make India the largest drug maker in the world, said Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar on Thursday. Inaugurating the third edition of the ‘India Pharma 2018 and India Medical Device 2018, International conference and exhibition’ here, Ananth …

India’s exports fall in January, so do imports (Lead)

India’s exports plunged by 9.80 per cent to $24.38 billion in January, from $27.03 billion worth of merchandise shipped out in December 2017, official data showed on Thursday. However, on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis, the exports for January grew by 9.07 per cent to $24.38 billion from $22.35 billion reported for the corresponding month of …

Government to revise GDP base year, measure women’s economic contribution

The government is set to revise the base years of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) in order to “accommodate and factor” the economic changes in the country, it said on Thursday. Addressing the media, Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation D.V. Sadananda Gowda said that …

Delhi in trouble after narrow loss to Himachal in Vijay Hazare tourney

Rishabh Pant’s brilliant 93-ball 135 went in vain as Delhi lost a thriller to hosts Himachal Pradesh by two runs, in a Group B match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, with a serious possibility of losing out on a quarter-final berth. The hosts scored a competitive 304/5 in 50 overs with Prashant Chopra scoring 150 …

Punjab to crack down on illegal occupation of government land

The Punjab government has decided to crack down on illegal occupation of government land in the state and a cabinet sub-committee has been set up for this, a state government spokesperson said here on Thursday. The land under illegal occupation is worth hundreds of crores, government sources said. “Expressing concern over the illegal occupation of …

Vermaelen, Dembele resume Barcelona training

Barcelona’s French forward Ousmane Dembele and Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen on Thursday resumed team training after recovering from their physical issues. Vermaelen had sustained a hamstring injury during Barca’s 5-0 win over Real Betis which resulted in him being sidelined for three weeks, reports Efe. Dembele, meanwhile, recovered from stomach problems that forced him to …

‘Strictest’ action taken against Nirav Modi, Congress playing politics: Prasad (Lead)

The NDA government has taken “strictest” and “fastest” action against jeweller Nirav Modi accused of duping the state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) of thousands of crores but the Congress was doing politics over national interest, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Thursday. Addressing a press conference, Prasad said that the scam started …

Can’t have talks with countries training guns at us: Venkaiah Naidu

Without naming Pakistan, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said that talks cannot be held with countries that have trained their guns at India. “We are open to conflicting views but we are not so open to senseless violence and irrational terrorism,” Naidu said while releasing here a set of five books on Indian …

Have evidence of graft against North Delhi Mayor: AAP

Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday claimed to have “clinching evidence” against North Delhi Mayor Preeti Aggarwal, who is facing allegations of largescale corruption. AAP spokesperson Dilip Pandey told the media here that a senior officer in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) wrote to the civic body’s commissioner asking to register an …