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Showing posts from March, 2018

VHP’s Ram Rajya Rath Yatra reaches Tamil Nadu amid protests by Oppn, 300 arrested for blocking chariot

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Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palniswami defended the AIADMK govt’s decision to allow the yatra and accused the opposition of trying to give political colour.

US: Student opens fire in Maryland high school, killed

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The Great Mills High School shooter, who injured two students, has been wounded himself. All three are in critical condition
A student opened fire at a high school in the US state of Maryland on Tuesday, hitting two fellow students and exchanging fire with a security officer before being killed.
The shooting took place Great Mills High School in St Mary’s County — about 200 km south of Washington — shortly after classes started at 8 am. Local police initially said three students, including the shooter, were critically injured. The shooter later died in hospital. Sheriff Tim Cameron said the shooter had exchanged fire with the school resource officer — an armed police officer assigned to the school — but added investigations will determine how the gunman was shot. The school resource officer was not injured, the sheriff added. The public school’s roughly 1,600 students were later escorted off campus by police, classroom by classroom. The victims and the shooter had not been identified. …

Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats over chemical attack on ex-spy

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Theresa May said the biggest expulsions from London in 30 years would degrade Russian intelligence capabilities in Britain for years to come. Britain will expel 23 Russian diplomats in response to a nerve agent attack on a Russian former double agent in southern England, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday, adding it was the biggest single expulsion in over 30 years. May told parliament Britain would also freeze Russian state assets wherever there was evidence of a threat and downgrade its attendance at the soccer World Cup this summer. Former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4 and remain in hospital in a critical condition. May has said the pair were attacked with Novichok, a Soviet-era military-grade nerve agent. She had asked Moscow to explain whether it was responsible for the attack or had lost control of stocks of the highly dangerous substance. Russia has denied any involvement, and …

Stephen Hawking, great scientist who wrote of space, time and black holes, dies at 76

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Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has died at age 76, on the 129th birth anniversary of Albert Einstein

Renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking, whose mental genius and physical disability made him a household name and inspiration across the globe, has died at age 76, his family said Wednesday. Hawking, whose 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” became an unlikely worldwide bestseller and cemented his superstar status, dedicated his life to unlocking the secrets of the Universe. His genius and wit won over fans from far beyond the rarified world of astrophysics. He died peacefully at his home in the British university city of Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,” professor Hawking’s children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim said in a statement carried by Britain’s Press Association news agency. “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.” Hawking …

UP Board to withdraw elementary mathematics from high school syllabus from 2018-19

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Till last year, UP Board students had the option of mathematics and elementary mathematics. The UP Board will discontinue elementary mathematics subject for its high school students from 2018-19 as it has decided to adopt the new National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus, said a board official. Till last year, students had the option of mathematics and elementary mathematics. “Presently for classes 9 and 10, Mathematics and elementary mathematics is a compulsory subject but from 2018-19 onwards due to adoption of NCERT syllabus, there was no logic in carrying on with Elementary Mathematics,” board secretary Neena Srivastava said. A letter dated March 7, 2018 issued by deputy secretary of UP government Santosh Kumar Rawat and received by UP Board officials mentions approval of the proposal sent by the board for amendment in the Intermediate Education Act 1921 for discontinuing the elementary mathematics subject from 2018-19 session onwards. Hence, students …

Hurricane Heist is a really bumpy ride. Stay home instead, says Rashid Irani

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A bunch of thugs are planning a mega robbery in the midst of a natural disaster, and it’s up to three people to stop them. This film is just as cliched as it sounds. They rank among the most successful genres in American cinema. But don’t get your hopes up for this hybrid disaster-robbery caper. The Hurricane Heist — a generic title if ever there was one — is a whirlwind of vacuousness that strains your credibility from the get-go. Here’s the plot: a ‘heroic’ meteorologist (Toby Kebbell), his whisky-sodden brother (Ryan Kwanten) and a US Treasury official (Maggie Grace) must prevent a bunch of nasties from stealing $600 million from the vaults of a mint, in the midst of a storm. The script is stodgy, the effects absurd. Saddled with shootouts, explosions, and stormy devastation, the film does little more than place cartoonish stereotypes in perilous situations. The climactic chase occurs across the eye of a hurricane. And yes, it looks as absurd as it sounds. Throughout, the action sc…

Gunman in California veterans home identified as ex-patient who was kicked out

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Albert Wong, 36, was identified as the man who went to The Pathway House therapy centre on the sprawling campus of the largest veterans homes in the country and took a psychologist and two executives hostage. The gunman, who killed three people working for a California programme that treats veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder, was kicked out of the programme, a relative of one of the victims said on Friday. Albert Wong, 36, was identified as the man who went to The Pathway House therapy centre on the sprawling campus of the largest veterans homes in the country and took a psychologist and two executives hostage, authorities said. Wong slipped into a going-away party for two employees of The Pathway Home, authorities said. Gunshots were fired around 10:30am after he arrived at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville but nothing more was heard from him or the women until their bodies were found at about 6pm, authorities said. Wong’s rental car was found nearby. A bomb-sniffin…

Putin says will not change constitution to cling to power

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Putin has always prided himself on respecting the constitution, which bars him from serving more than two presidential terms in a row. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to be reelected for a fourth term in an upcoming ballot, said Saturday he had no plans to change the constitution to stay in the Kremlin beyond 2024. Asked by the US television network NBC whether he would follow in the footsteps of China’s Xi Jinping, who is eyeing a limitless tenure, Putin insisted he had no such intentions. “I never changed the constitution, I did not do it to suit myself and I have no such plans to do so today,” he said in an interview whose transcript was released by the Kremlin on Saturday. Critics accuse Putin, who was first elected president in 2000 and is running for a fourth term in March 18 polls, of harbouring ambitions to stay in power indefinitely. Putin has always prided himself on respecting the constitution, which bars him from serving more than two presidential terms i…

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ‘not feeling well’, cancels activities in Kenya

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Tillerson, 65, is four days into his first diplomatic trip to Africa, where he has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, and is scheduled to go on to Nigeria and Chad. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cancelled scheduled events on Saturday on the second day of a visit to Kenya because “he is not feeling well”, a State Department spokesman said. “The secretary is not feeling well after a long couple days working on major issues back home such as North Korea and has cancelled his events for the day,” spokesman Steve Goldstein told reporters travelling with Tillerson. “Some events will go ahead without him, while they are looking at the possibility of rescheduling others,” said Goldstein, under-secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department. Tillerson, 65, is four days into his first diplomatic trip to Africa, where he has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, and is scheduled to go on to Nigeria and Chad. During the trip he has also been involved b…

Blast, fire in Maharashtra chemical factory; 13 injured, rescue operation underway

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The Palghar blast is suspected to have occurred in a boiler room and efforts were on to douse the fire in the factory precincts.Resources Hindustan Times

Donald Trump agrees to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: White House

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South Korean National Security Adviser says Kim Jong-un conveyed to the South Koreans he was committed to denuclearisation and had “pledged” to suspend all nuclear and missile tests.
US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at his invitation, at a time and place to be determined at a later date, the White House said on Thursday. The announcement followed consultations between American and South Korean officials, who had arrived early in the day bearing the invitation from Kim from their meeting in Pyongyang on Wednesday. Chung Eui-yong, the South Korean National Security Adviser, at the White House said Kim had “expressed eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible” and the American leader had agreed and said he “will meet Kim by May”. He added the North Korean leader conveyed to the South Koreans he was committed to denuclearisation and had “pledged” to suspend all nuclear and missile tests. In a separate statement shortly after, White H…

H1-B visa: Tech group says US likely to revoke work permits for spouses of foreign workers

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The Trump administration plans to delay till June the end of a programme that granted work authorisation to spouses of H-1B visa holders awaiting their Green Cards, mostly from India. A technology industry group said the delay of a Trump administration proposal to rescind work permits for spouses of high-skilled foreign workers isn’t likely to lead to any change in plans to end the programme. The Department of Homeland Security said this week it’s delaying issuing a proposal to remove work eligibility of H-1B spouses, citing the need to perform a new economic analysis, according to a February 28 court filing. The filing was in connection with a suit filed by an advocacy group, Save Jobs USA, which argued that DHS doesn’t have the right to grant work permits without congressional approval. “In the short term, it helped. In the long run, we think they are still moving forward with the rescinding rule,” said Andy Halataei, senior vice president of government affairs at the Information Te…

China’s increased defence outlay more about modernising military than ‘India threat’

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China’s defence budget is now three times that of India’s, which has raised questions about how much Beijing sees New Delhi as a threat. China’s decision to increase its defence outlay by 8.1% has more do with the situation in the South China Sea, the volatile Korean peninsula and modernising its armed forces than the threat perception from India, experts said on Monday. Beijing announced the increase in military spending for 2018 against the backdrop of a “large reduction” of non-battle personnel and the streamlining of the number of group armies from 18 to 13. “The 2018 defence budget will be 1.11 trillion yuan (US$175 billion),” said to a statement released before the opening of the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC). China’s defence budget is now three times that of India’s and against the backdrop of last year’s military standoff at Doklam or Donglang near the Sikkim border, it raised questions about how much Beijing sees New Delhi as a threat. Shanghai-ba…