Zee News : India National

Aug 232014

Mathura: With the Supreme Court asking the Centre to make its stand clear on the Leader of Opposition issue, BJP on Saturday said confrontation between judiciary and Parliament is not good for democracy and that the latter should be allowed to do some work independently.

“The Parliament runs on the basis of the Constitution as well as some set norms. However, few political parties take the issue to courts in its attempt to make it controversial. Parliament should be allowed to do some work independently,” national spokesman of BJP Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here while talking to reporters today.

“Confrontation between judiciary and Parliament is not good for the sound health of democracy. Democracy will not be in peril if both are allowed to work independently,” he said.

“Congress is passing through a stage of dejection as it has not been allowed to sit in Opposition by the voters. It is upset as it is not getting any chance to commit corruption,” he alleged.

Attacking the SP government in Uttar Pradesh, Naqvi said there is “anarchy” in the state.

“Steep rise in crime rates shows that criminals and unsocial elements have taken over UP government,” he alleged.

Naqvi said BJP will contest the upcoming state elections on the issue of development.

“No government can be formed without the support of BJP in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.


First Published: Sunday, August 24, 2014, 00:48

Aug 172014

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday greeted the nation on the occasion of Janmashtami.

“On the joyous occasion of Janmashtami, I convey greetings and good wishes to all my fellow countrymen,” Mukherjee said in his message.

“On this auspicious festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, let us strive to build a world free from malice and full of brotherhood and compassion,” he said.

“May Lord Krishna’s noble message of righteous conduct and action inspire each and every one of us to strengthen the moral foundations of our society and strive selflessly to take our country to new heights,” the president said.

The prime minister tweeted: “Greetings on Janmashtami! May Lord Krishna bless our lives with peace, prosperity and happiness.”

Janmashtami marks the birth of Lord Krishna.


First Published: Sunday, August 17, 2014, 16:18

Aug 152014

Carolina: World number one Serena Williams stormed into the semi-finals with a 58-minute thrashing of Jelena Jankovic but men`s third seed Stan Wawrinka was stunned by Frenchman Julien Benneteau at the Western & Southern Open on Friday.

Williams, bidding for her first title at the Cincinnati, Ohio hardcourt tournament, romped to a 6-1 6-3 victory over her Serbian opponent.

The unseeded Benneteau, meanwhile, overcame Swiss world number four Wawrinka 1-6 6-1 6-2 to reach his first Masters semi-final.

Williams needed just 25 minutes to claim the first set against Jankovic. She fell behind 2-1 in the second with an early break, but won five of the next six games, closing out the match with back-to-back aces.

“She`s beaten me several times, so I knew today I just had to be focused and do the best I could,” Williams told reporters after claiming her 10th win in 14 matches against Jankovic.

“It didn`t seem fast,” Williams said. “I was just trying my best. And she played some great points. I was just trying to not make many errors, stay focused and do the best that I could.”

The top seed wound up with as many winners as unforced errors at 22-22 while the eighth-eeded Jankovic finished made five winners and 24 unforced errors.

Williams is bidding for a first title in six attempts at Cincinnati. The five previous failures are her second-most attempts at a WTA tournament without winning it. She has played the Sydney event six times without lifting the trophy.

Benneteau belted nine aces and broke serve four times in his 80-minute win as he earned his second victory over a top-10 opponent this year and became the first Frenchman in 14 years to advance to the Cincinnati semis.

Once world-ranked number 26, Benneteau lost the first set in 27 minutes. But he found a new head of steam and broke for a 2-0 lead in the second before claiming 12 of 15 games behind an impressive display of defence, winning 25 of 37 points and hitting 19 winners.

“It`s my best result in a Masters 1000,” Benneteau told reporters. “The Masters 1000 are very, very difficult tournaments . . . . It`s top 45 players in the world on every tournament at this level. You don`t have a lot of opportunities to make a very big result.”

He was joined in the semi-finals at the U.S. Open warm-up by Canadian fifth-seed Milos Raonic, who breezed to a 6-1 6-0 triumph over 15th seed Fabio Fognini of Italy in 57 minutes.


First Published: Saturday, August 16, 2014, 03:19

Aug 142014

Colombo: India on Thursday thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for releasing all Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka’s custody as a goodwill gesture ahead of India’s Independence Day.

India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, YK Sinha, called on Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees to convey his gratitude.

“Mr Sinha expressed his appreciation for the President’s gesture to release Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody on the occasion of India’s Independence Day that is celebrated tomorrow,” Rajapaksa’s office said in a statement.

Sri Lanka has released 225 Indian fishermen since the Narendra Modi government took over in May this year.

A total of 93 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were still in Sri Lankan custody.

The fishermen issue continues to be a major irritant in the Indo-Lanka ties.

Last month, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Modi urging him to take immediate steps to get all 93 fishermen released along with 62 boats that were confiscated by the Sri Lankan navy.


First Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 22:33

Aug 132014

New Delhi: Slamming Pakistan, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday came to the defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he had said nothing wrong about proxy war emanating from Pakistan.

“I do not think what the Prime Minister has said in itself is inappropriate or wrong,” the former Union Minister of State for External Affairs said.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused it of indulging in a proxy war against India, Pakistan today hit back by dubbing it as “baseless rhetoric” and said both countries should focus on resolving issues instead of engaging in blame game.

Stating that Pakistan is suffering because of terrorism within that country, Tharoor said that terrorism turns back and hits like a monster.

“I have seen the Pakistani response. We all understand that Pakistan has suffered and Pakistani civilians suffered from terrorism greatly from within that country… When you encourage, finance and nourish terrorism, it can turn back and hit you just as a monster escape the control of creators and that’s what happened in Pakistan,” he added.

Tharoor also attacked Pakistan of not taking action against some LeT members.


First Published: Thursday, August 14, 2014, 00:48

Jul 072014

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: As the Budget Session commences on Monday, all eyes will be set on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, which would present its first Railway and Union Budget in the next few days.

The session will begin today and conclude on August 14.

The BJP-led government at the Centre will faces its first test in the Parliament as the Opposition is expected the corner it on the issue of price rise, rail fare hike and the plight of Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has said the government is ready for a discussion on any issue and appealed to the Opposition to “cooperate” to ensure that the decorum and dignity of Parliament is maintained and the House business was carried out smoothly.

The government has outlined its legislative agenda, which includes bills for amending insurance laws and regulating the real estate sector, in the Budget session.

The Rail budget will be presented on July 8 and the General budget on July 10, revealing the economic priorities of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government which came to office in May.

The government also intends to bring bills to replace the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 and the Ordinance with respect to Polavaram project under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

The TRAI (Amendment) Ordinance cleared on May 28 ensured that the government could appoint Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. The Andhra Pradesh ordinance was promulgated on May 29, ahead of the official division of the state on June 2.

Naidu also said that Commerce Ministry will be bringing a bill on the National Institute of Design.

Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that price rise was a major issue for the party.

“There has been hike in rail fares. Prices of diesel and petrol have gone up. This government had talked of bringing ‘ache din (good days)’. Is this the way to bring them,” Alvi told IANS.

He also said that the party will also raise the issues concerning Indians in Iraq.

Asked about Congress’ keenness on its leader in Lok Sabha getting leader of opposition status, Alvi said that party should be recognised as the main opposition party.

Congress with 44 members is the second-largest party in the Lok Sabha, but falls short of the 10 percent mark — 55 members in the 545-member house — which the government has cited as mandatory as per rules for getting the leader of opposition status.

Alvi contended there was “no hard and fast rule” about the need for the main opposition party to have 10 percent of the house’s membership to be recognised, and noted the position was necessary as it “plays a role in some key appointments”.

Apart from Congress, Trinamool Congress has also made it clear that it was keen to raise issues of price hike and increase in rail fares.

First Published: Monday, July 07, 2014, 01:50

Jul 042014

Five English PL players figure on Twitter`s top 10 list

London: Five English Premier League Players figure in Twitter`s list of top 10 most followed players in the FIFA World Cup 2014.

According to the Dailystar, Chelsea`s Oscar saw 428 percent growth in followers while Spurs player, Paulinho`s following rose by 300 percent.

The micro-blogging platform listed Oscar Junior from Chelsea club at the second position followed by Paulinho from Tottenham Hotspur at the fourth. Fernandinho from Manchester United Club stood seventh in the list and Ramires and Willian from Chelsea finished at the ninth and tenth positions respectively.

The country that came first with its players amassing most number of followers on Twitter was Italy followed by Iran.

The top tem players are:

1. Paul Pogba

2. Oscar

3. Pirlo

4. Paulinho

5. Bernard Duarte

6. Manuel Neuer

7. Fernandinho

8. Luis Gustavo

9. Ramires

10. Willian


First Published: Friday, July 04, 2014, 15:33

Jun 272014

Tiger misses cut at injury comeback PGA event

Bethesda, United States: Tiger Woods struggled to a four-over par 75 and missed the cut Friday at the National, a frustrating return from a three-month layoff as he looks ahead to July`s British Open.

It was only the 10th time Woods has missed the cut in a US PGA Tour event since he turned professional in 1996.

Woods, a 14-time major winner chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, finished 36 holes at Congressional Country Club on seven-over 149 in his first competitive rounds since undergoing back surgery March 31 to relieve a pinched nerve.

He was four strokes beyond the projected cut line to the low 60 and those tied from a field of 120 at the $6.5 million event, which benefits Woods` charity foundation.

Woods had not missed the last 36 holes of a PGA event since the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, two weeks before he shared third at the British Open.

While his personal best is a PGA record of 142 events in a row without missing a cut, his run of 26 made cuts in a row that ended on Friday ranked fourth on the active list.

Woods, who has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open, had not played competitively until this week since March 9 at Doral, where he fired a 78 for his career-worst final-round score.

The 38-year-old American was trying to shake the rust off his game ahead of the British Open in three weeks at Royal Liverpool, where he won the Claret Jug in 2006.

Three weeks after that will come the year`s final major tournament, the PGA Championship at Valhalla, where Woods won the PGA crown in 2000.

Woods was inconsistent Friday, seldom able to combine solid tee shots, approaches and putts although he was strong at moments in all three areas.

He parred the first three holes after hitting into the rough, found the fairway at four but missed a seven-foot birdie putt, then needed two shots to escape a greenside bunker at the fifth, making a double bogey.

Woods had a 60-foot eagle putt at the par-5 sixth but settled for par and left a seven-foot par putt on the edge of the cup for bogey at eight.

Woods rallied with a 26-foot birdie putt at the ninth and a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 10th, moving within one stroke of the cut line.

But Woods made bogeys on the next four holes to doom any chance of reaching the weekend.

Woods hit into the trees off the tee at 11 and 12, missed the green at the par-3 13th and found greenside rough at the 14th and was unable to rescue par with his putter.

It was his longest bogey run since this year`s third round at Torrey Pines when he suffered five in a row.

Woods dropped his approach to two feet at the par-5 16th and made a birdie but missed a four-foot birdie putt at 17 and also settled for par at the last.

Woods, a winner at Congressional in 2009 and 2012, has fallen from first to fifth in the world rankings during his layoff.

Woods, whose 79 career titles are three shy of matching Sam Snead`s PGA record, has not won since last August`s World Golf Championships event in Akron, Ohio.


First Published: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 04:12

Jun 252014

New Delhi: Congress today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of concentrating power in his hands and said the government’s decision asking Secretaries to report to the PMO is “dilution of and disrespect to” the cabinet system.

Seeking to drive a wedge in ruling BJP, party spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters that even the Home Minister of the country cannot appoint his private secretary as government has issued orders that officials who have worked in that post in the previous regime cannot find a place in the new government.

“The decision is arbitrary, discriminatory and disrespectful to the Constitution of India”, Sharma said adding “we cannot allow coopted and politicised bureaucracy and civil servants”.

A government circular had said “it has been decided by the competent authority that any officer/official/private person who has worked earlier in the staff of a minister in any capacity for any duration may not be appointed as personal staff of ministers in the present government”.

Alleging that for the first time in India, power is being centralised in the PMO, he said now the PM will appoint the Secretaries of Ministers.

“A circular was issued that Secretaries to the government will report to the PMO. The question now arises as to what will cabinet ministers do, who under the parliamentary form of government are responisble for the work done in ministries.

“Are we going to revisit the issue of cabinet minister’s responsibility in a parliamentary form of government? It is a dilution of and disrespect to the cabinet form of government”, he alleged.

The PMO has reportedly told bureaucrats that they could interact directly with the Prime Minister through the PM’s website for suggesting “changes in the sphere of governance and suggestions for reforms.”


First Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 23:19

Jun 082014

London: Hundreds of British Sikhs today held a march in central London to protest against Operation Bluestar 30 years ago.

The march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square involved some sloganeering and chanting.

“Thousands were killed or disappeared,” said Balvinder Kaur of the Sikh Council UK.

The military raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June, 1984, was conducted to flush out Sikh militants led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

British Sikhs have also been angered by recent revelations in de-classified documents published by the UK government in January, which showed that a British SAS officer was recruited to help plan the operation.


First Published: Sunday, June 08, 2014, 16:02