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  • When India and the US cooperate, they can do incredibly important things not only for themselves but for the entire world.
  • United States and India have been able to work together on a number of shared priorities.
  • A lot of scepticism internationally about whether the Paris climate agreement would be reached if India was not prepared to engage constructively in pursuit of a solution.
  • But to his credit, that is exactly what Prime Minister Modi did.
  • He did that frequently consulting with President Obama and other world leaders.
  • It’s a testament to the fact that the world’s two largest democracies, when we cooperate, can do incredibly important things, not just for our two countries, but for the planet and the president is proud of the legacy of the US-India relationship that’s been established under Prime Minister Modi and President Obama’s leadership.

 

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  • India is of opinion that Nepal should move constitutional amendments in the near future to address Madheshi grievances as Prachanda arrives here on Thursday on his maiden trip abroad after being anointed PM for the second time.
  • Making resolution of Madhesi grievances as a key deliverable in his stint as the PM there is hope in Delhi that the issue which had rocked the Himalayan State last year would be addressed within a timeframe.
  • Expected to figure prominently when Prachanda meets his Indian counterpart here on Friday.
  • It is in Nepal’s interests that Kathmandu should initiate the Constitutional amendments in the country’s Parliament at the earliest.
  • Prachanda had earlier desired to introduce constitutional amendments before he landed in Delhi.

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  • After India made its statement at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), accusing Pakistan of  the illegal occupation of Kashmir, both the countries have engaged in a war of words accusing and counter-accusing each other of human rights violations.
  • Pakistan responded to India’s statement stressing that Kashmir was not a part of India — the UN high commissioner for human rights visit will help end the “culture of impunity” that exists in “India-occupied J&K” (IoK) where human rights violations are “rampant”.
  • Latest upsurge was triggered by the “extra-judicial execution of a 22-year-old Kashmiri” on 8 July. It is characteristic of “oppressive” regimes to label those struggling for their rights as terrorists,and Claims of restraint shown by India are “preposterous”.
  • India has not yet agreed to the high commissioner’s visit showed that it had something to hide.
  • India exercising its Right of Reply (RoR) responded to Pakistan by stating that Pakistan uses terrorism as a state policy “under the garb of human rights” and systematically violates the human rights of its own people, including in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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  • India’s development assistance, will focus on capacity building in the social sector as well as clean energy projects of hydel-power and solar energy.
  • President Ghani accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to revisit India for the Heart of Asia summit to be held on December 4 in Amritsar.
  • $ one-billion assistance which will add to roughly $ two billion India has already committed to Afghanistan in the past decade, will be used for “capacity and capability-building” in education, health, agriculture, skill development, empowerment of women, energy, infrastructure and strengthening of democratic institutions.
  • Supply of medicines and flights between India and Afghanistan were discussed as areas of importance.
  • Both leaders reaffirmed their resolve to counter terrorism and strengthen security and defence cooperation as envisaged in the India-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement.

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  • CBI to probe allegations that the Brazilian aviation major Embraer hired a UK-based agent and paid commissions to swing the $208 million deal for three Emb-145 aircraft inked with India during UPA rule in 2008.
  • In order to establish any criminality, if any, the CBI has been asked to initiate a probe through the diplomatic channel.
  • “If there is a criminal angle, then the CBI will probe as the Ministry cannot”. “If only procedural issues are involved, then the ministry can do an internal investigation,” – Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.
  • September 8 that the 2008 deal was under the scanner of the US justice department, which has been investigating Embraer since 2010, after a contract with the Dominican Republic raised suspicion.
  • Scope of the investigation has now been widened to examine Embraer’s dealings with seven other countries.

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  • Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, the key accused in the cricket match-fixing scandal of 2000 has been arrested in London on the request of Delhi Police.
  • Delhi Police Crime Branch had filed a chargesheet in 2013, for the match-fixing involving the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje.
  • Court had issued extradition warrant (non-bailable warrant) against the accused Sanjeev Kumar Chawla, a resident of Monk Villa Avenue, London.
  • Specialist prosecutors Andrew Glover and Alison Riley of the Extradition Unit informed through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that the accused did not consent to extradition and had raised a number of questions about the security and facilities at Tihar jail.
  • The extradition process has started but the case is in the early stages. and that the issue of prison conditions is often raised in extradition cases, whereupon the accused seeks to show that conditions in particular location would breach their rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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  • It’s now obvious to everybody that not everything is fine with the collegium system. Its internal problems – lack of transparency, arbitrariness in decision-making and personal prejudices overwhelming collective judgement – which were talked about in hush-hush voices have come out in the open after Justice.
  • A member of the collegium, pointed to the opaqueness in the functioning of the five-member body while demanding that records of its deliberations be maintained to register dissent, if there is any.
  • He has been backed by former members of the collegium such as Justice Lodha and other senior members of the legal fraternity.
  • For an institution locked in a bitter battle with the executive over the power to make appointments in the higher judiciary, the development comes as an embarrassment.
  • Not only snatches away the high moral ground the judiciary seeks to occupy in the debate but also makes the case of the executive seeking more say in the appointments sound more reasonable.

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  • America and Russia of another partial ceasefire in Syria’s five-year-long civil war had sceptics guffawing. An earlier deal brokered in February quickly collapsed after fighting flared around the country’s besieged second city, Aleppo.
  • Tens of thousands were killed in the north during this phoney ceasefire, the south in fact grew significantly calmer. Since February, more than 95% of the fighting has occurred in the north, according to the Carter Centre, an American think-tank.
  • A map of Syria’s conflict in the week before the latest ceasefire showed the north dotted with icons pinpointing clashes, aerial bombardment and death around the epicentre in Aleppo, and almost devoid of icons in the south.
  • The south is no stranger to rebellion. Syria’s 1925 revolt against French rule started there as did the 2011 uprising, which kicked off in Deraa, a city abutting the Jordanian border, and precipitated the ongoing civil war.
  • As the fighting started, hundreds of Jordanians swelled the ranks of global jihadist groups in the south.

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  • South Korean activists launched tens of thousands of anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border into North Korea today, denouncing its latest nuclear test and defying threats of retaliation.
  • The leaflets, criticising leader Kim Jong-Un for putting nuclear weapons before the wellbeing of his people, were launched with helium balloons from the border city of Paju.
  • Defector-turned-activist Park Sang-Hak, came amid surging military tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North’s fifth and largest-ever nuclear test last week.
  • Hours before the balloon launch was scheduled to begin, the North’s official KCNA news agency published a commentary describing Park as “human scum without an equal in the world.
  • Balloon launch was a desperate response to the success of last week’s test, and a bid by Seoul to “stoke confrontation” over the holiday period.

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  • Indonesian security forces have captured the leader of the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), a militant group once headed by Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist Santoso.
  • National Police Chief Tito Karnavian confirmed yesterday that Basri, the militant who took over the MIT after Santoso was killed in July, was nabbed earlier in the morning.
  • “No. 2 target” after Santoso, and the catch would significantly weaken the remnants of the terrorist group.
  • Latest arrest came on the same day the body of MIT fighter Andika Eka Putra was found along a river in Poso.
  • It is unclear how he died but Agence France-Presse reported yesterday that “another member of the group was shot dead” without naming Andika, also known as Hilal.

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  • Just as Devendra Jhajharia was moving towards a gold medal finish in the javelin event at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, there was another athlete who was on the starting list and allegedly in the arena but didn’t start or register a score.
  • Focus of the Indian sporting world has been towards Jhajharia for his gold medal winning exploits – and rightly so.
  • His throw of 63.97 meters registered as a world record and earned him a second gold medal at the Paralympics.
  • Sundar Singh Gurjar finished without registering a score and was expected to give Devendra strong competition as he was registering 70 metres in his practice throws which is way over the final result.
  • Gurjar reportedly turned up late owing to which he was disqualified. “I really don’t know why he was late,“ Jhajharia.
  • Both of us had travelled by the same bus to the venue. He moved to the other side of the field for warm-up.

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  • The use of Aadhaar identity cards is set to become mandatory for all central and state government subsidies and benefits which require funding from the central exchequer with the Centre notifying the unique identity (UID) regulations.
  • While the law had empowered the Centre to mandate use of Aadhaar, the rules stipulate any agency -such as the oil ministry dealing with cooking gas or HRD’s scholarship schemes –has to ensure all beneficiaries are enrolled under UID.
  • Ministries will have to notify schemes for which Aadhaar number is required. In case someone does not have Aadhaar, he will be asked to enrol for the same.
  • Enrolment facilities are not in a convenient location, the agency has to ensure that people are not left in the lurch.
  • Regulations strongly address privacy concerns over Aadhaar misuse by incorporating a three-year jail term for an offence – Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

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  • On Saturday, a sailor on board the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower visited the aircraft carrier’s medical department, complaining of stomach pains.
  • The ship’s doctors would soon discover why: The sailor was pregnant.
  • Hours later, she gave birth to a 7-pound baby girl.
  • The infant’s date of birth? Sept. 11.
  • The place of birth: At sea, somewhere on the Persian Gulf.
  • “Both the mother and the baby are healthy and are doing well,” Cmdr. Bill Urban, a 5th Fleet spokesman, told The Washington Post in an email.
  • The baby may have come as a surprise to more than the other service members aboard the carrier.

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  • Words could be as scarring as a limb seared by a live wire, and coach Ripu Daman Singh — R D Singh to his wards — understood the enormity of the challenge of coaching Devendra Jhajharia when a pair of coaches threw a nasty line at him back in 2000.
  • He was at Gwalior’s Laxmibai National University of Physical Education with his boy, Devendra, after three years of training the then teenager, and came face to face with two other athletics coaches at an open inter-university meet.
  • As an eight-year-old, Jhajharia had lost part of his left arm after contact with an electric wire while climbing a tree in Rajasthan’s Churu district.
  • Found some succour in school and college athletics, participating alongside able-bodied sportsmen in javelin throw.
  • R D Singh knew a few boys from the two universities and they respectfully spoke to him before the two coaches turned up.
  • Could you not find an able-bodied athlete in all of Rajasthan that you picked a disabled boy?” they  said.

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  • Much before the likes of Thangavelu Mariyappan, Varun Singh Bhati, Devendra Jhajharia and Deepa Malik became the talk of the town, Arhan, a 17-year-old Delhi boy who studies in Gurgaon, was perturbed by how little the nation knew about the para-athletes and went on to create an app which provides information about such sportspersons.
  • App also attempts to help the paralympians by suggesting disability-friendly hangout spots and gyms in Rio, and giving tips on nutrition.
  • “I went to participate in a race organised by the Sports Authority of India along with the Paralympics Committee of India (PCI) in 2014 & learnt that the PCI needed to prepare an audio-visual and volunteered.
  • Arhan was already toying with the idea of developing an app that would help create awareness about para-athletes and the incident made him fast-track his work on the app, which was his way of getting these sportspersons their due credit via technology.

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A meteorite entering the Earth's atmosphere (left), and the Gancedo meteorite found in Argentina. (Images: Left, photo by George Varros and Dr. Peter Jenniskens/NASA/Getty Images; right, screen grab from video released by Argentine government.)

  • A humongous meteor has been found buried five metres down in a field in Argentina, which was discovered by scientists in an area called Campo del Cielo which translates to “Sky Field”or “Field of Heaven”.
  • Meteorite was discovered last weekend by researchers from the Chaco Association of Astronomy and is world’s second largest meteor which weighs 30 tonnes (30,000 kg).
  • The meteorite was buried about 5 metres deep and has a width of almost two metres.
  • This huge piece of boulder has been named “Gancedo meteorite”.
  • This meteor is the second largest meteorite ever found. The largest, known as Hoba, weighs 60 tonnes and lies in Namibia, Africa.

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