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LIVE! Delhi may breathe a little easy as Met dept predicts light rain

14:50  Delhi may breathe a little easy as Met dept predicts light rain:  

Delhi woke up to a hazy morning today, with the weather office predicting light rainfall later in the day, which may clear the smog enveloping the national capital.

A dense blanket of smog enveloped Delhi this week, prompting authorities to announce the “odd-even” rationing of cars from November 13 for five days, closure of schools till tomorrow and a four-fold hike in parking fee for vehicles.

According to the Met department, humidity levels in the national capital shot up to 91 per cent this morning.

“The minimum temperature was recorded at 12.6 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal,” an official of the department said. 

Visibility was recorded at 800 metres at 5.30 AM, which dropped further to 500 metres by 8.30 AM.

The maximum temperature is expected to settle at 30 degrees Celsius, the official said. — PTI

14:06  Netflix cuts ties with Louis CK after sexual misconduct claims:  

Netflix has decided to pull the plug on a new Louis C K stand up special after reports surfaced alleging the comedian engaged in sexual misconduct with multiple women during his career.

C K had signed a deal to produce two new stand up specials for the streaming service, the first of which debuted in April, reported Deadline.

“The allegations made by several women in The New York Times about Louis C K’s behaviour are disturbing. Louis’s unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour with female colleagues has led us to decide not to produce a second stand up special, as had been planned,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.

The New York Times published a piece alleging that C K had repeatedly asked women he encountered in work-related environments to watch him masturbate.

This is the latest fallout post the expose. HBO had earlier announced that C K would no longer be performing on the charity event “Night of Too Many Stars,” and that his past projects would be removed from HBO On Demand services. — PTI


13:32  India doesn’t want 5 different types of taxes: Rahul on GST :  

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today said that structural changes are needed in the goods and services tax.

Speaking at a rally in Gandhinagar, Raul Gandhi said, “It’s a good thing that the Bharatiya Janata Party government has slashed the tax rate from 28 percent to 18 percent for many products due to the pressure made by the Congress and the people of India.”

He further said, “We are still not happy and won’t stop here. India doesn’t want five different types of taxes, we want one. There’s a need to make structural changes in the GST.

Earlier on Wednesday, while interacting with traders in Gujarat’s Surat, the Congress vice-president said that his party will reassess and restructure the GST, if they come to power at the Centre in the 2019 general elections.

“We were against the implementation of GST because the government’s version was not right. Eventually when Modi ji realised it was a mistake, he said the Congress was also a part of it,” Rahul said.

He further said that ruling government is making the uniform tax reform “complex”.

“The GST is one tax reform not five tax. The centre does not know the meaning of GST. They made the GST complex. We asked them for a simple version,” he said. — ANI


13:22  Amul boards Indian Railways via Twitter:  

Nearly a month after dairy giant Amul approached the Indian Railways on its official Twitter handle with a business proposition to use refrigerated parcel vans to transport butter across India, the first shipment is on its way.

“First refrigerator van with 17 MT #Amul butter being flagged off from Palanpur to Delhi with our milk train. Thanks @RailMinIndia for the prompt action,” Amul tweeted today.

On September 23, Amul had reached out to the railway ministry on its Twitter handle for advice on the proposition, saying the dairy major was “interested in using refrigerated parcel vans to transport Amul butter across India.”

The railways promptly responded on the micro-blogging site, using a popular tag line of the company. “IR will be utterly butterly delighted to get the taste of India to every Indian,” the ministry’s handle @RailMinIndia tweeted.

The national transporter uses Twitter extensively to address passenger woes. But that was perhaps the first time it received a business proposition on the popular social site.

The Indian Railways had introduced the refrigerated van service a few years ago with an aim to facilitate the transportation of perishable commodities such as fruits, vegetables, frozen meats/poultry and chocolates.

However, these services existed only on specific routes.

Photograph: @Amul_Coop/Twitter


12:54  NGT gives green signal to odd-even plan in Delhi:  

The National Green Tribunal today cleared path for implementing odd-even scheme in Delhi to counter pollution. 

The NGT directed that the scheme must be implemented in Delhi NCR as and when PM 10 crosses 300 level and PM 2.5 crosses 500 

However, the green court asked the city government not to exempt two-wheelers, women drivers, and government cars from the scheme.

The NGT exempted e-CNG buses, ambulances, fire brigade trucks, vehicles carrying solid waste from the odd-even plan.


12:14  Why no odd-even earlier, why exemptions, NGT asks Delhi govt:  

The National Green Tribune today questioned the Delhi government over implementation of odd-even scheme.

Asking tough questions, the green body asked the Aam Aadmi Party-led government,”Why didn’t you introduce odd-even scheme earlier when the air quality was worse?”

The NGT asked the Delhi government to show the letter on basis of which this decision was taken, and whether the LG’s approval was taken for the same. 

The NGT also asked the city government about reasons behind exemptions and the impact of pollution emanating from two wheelers.

While announcing the car-rationing scheme — starting from November 13 to 17 from 8 am to 8 pm — the Delhi government had exempted women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniforms, besides VVIPs from the scheme under which cars bearing registration numbers ending with odd digits are allowed to ply on odd dates while those ending with even digits run on even dates.

The court will today decide if the Delhi government’s odd-even plan will be implemented in the national capital from next week.


11:03  Rahul visits Akshardham temple to begin fourth leg of his Gujarat yatra:  The fourth leg of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s Navsarjan Yatra  begins today.

As part of the yatra, he will travel from Gandhinagar to Banaskantha on Saturday.

He visited the Akshardham temple in the morning before starting the yatra.

Addressing people in Chiloda, Gandhinagar, Rahul said the Congress and people of India put pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party and they had to lower GST on many items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent.

He also said that note ban and GST caused losses to people and the prime minister is harming the economy. — ANI


10:10  After threats, stones pelted at Muslim woman yoga teacher’s house:   Unidentified assailants allegedly pelted stones at the house of a woman yoga teacher in the Hatia area in Ranchi, following which security was increased at her residence, an official said.

Two days ago, Rafia Naaz was allegedly threatened by members of her community after she performed yoga.

She had informed the Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) about it, Deputy SP Vikas Chandra Srivastav said.

Following her meeting with the SSP, the police had provided security to her. But after she gave an interview to a TV channel on Friday, some people pelted stones at her house, the police officer said.

Two quick response teams have been stationed near Naaz’s house, Srivastav said, adding that senior police personnel have assured security to the teacher and her family.

The police is investigating the matter, he said.  — PTI

Image for representation only.


09:23  I-T raids at Jaya TV office continue for 3rd day:  Income tax raids at offices of Jaya TV and Tamil newspaper Dr Namadhu MGR  continue for the third day in alleged tax evasion matter.

The raids are being conducted at 40 locations, including the residences of managing director Vivek Jayaraman and his sister Krishna Priya.

Earlier, Jaya TV premises in Chennai and deposed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary T T V Dinakaran’s farm house were searched as part of ‘Operation Clean Money’.

Dinakaran condemned the searches undertaken by the Income Tax department mostly in Tamil Nadu as a conspiracy and targeted the Centre.   — ANI

Photograph: R Senthilkumar/PTI Photo


08:18  Delhi smog delays 64 trains; situation better in some areas:  Residents of Delhi today said the smog situation is a little better now, though air quality index in several areas continued to be in ‘hazardous’ category.

Saturday also brought a smoggy morning for the national capital.

Residents at the Rajpath area said the situation was better than the past four days but long-term solutions must be found.

Meanwhile, 64 trains were delayed, 14 rescheduled and two cancelled due to smog/fog conditions in Delhi.

In terms of Air Quality Index, Delhi’s Mandir Marg with AQI 326, Anand Vihar at 430, Siri Fort at 316, Dwarka at 327, and Shadipur at 331 fell in the ‘hazardous’ category.

Following a directive by Delhi’s Environment Minister Imran Hussain, the Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited on Friday has been assigned to settle down particulate matter (PM) in the national capital region through aerial sprinkling in Delhi.

This measure has been taken up due to the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas that has hit 70 times the World Health Organisation’s safe limit.

The Ministry of Food and Supplies, Environment and Forest, Election in a letter, addressed the possibility of carrying out the exercise to sprinkle water aerially through helicopters to settle the PM in Delhi.

Meanwhile in Haryana, Vikas Sadan Gurugram had AQI 330 in ‘Hazardous’ category, while Sector16A Faridabad with AQI 204 fell in ‘Very Unhealthy’ category.  — ANI

IMAGE: Smog at Rajpath area in New Delhi on Saturday morning. Photograph: ANI


00:15  I am yet to understand GST, says Madhya Pradesh minister:  

A candid confession by Madhya Pradesh minister Om Prakash Dhurve that he did not understand the goods and services tax left the BJP red-faced as it argued that he is only a minister and not a chartered accountant.

According to Dhurve, even big CAs are not able to understand the GST leave aside traders and people like him.

He made the remarks during an address to a gathering of BJP workers organised to mark anti-black money Day at Umaria town on November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation.

A video of his speech has gone viral on social media.

“The results (of GST) would come after some time… there  are problems as of now. What is GST, I am not able to understand myself… (Hence) I will not speak on this issue, let the experts speak,” Dhurve told the gathering.

“Even big CAs are not able to understand. What it is…. even traders are not able to understand,” he added.

The BJP, however, tried to defend him stating that Dhurve is right in saying that people would gradually understand the new taxation system.

“GST is a new tax regime. He (Dhurve) is a minister and not a CA. So, what he was saying is that people would gradually understand about this new tax system,” state BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said.

Dhurve’s statement gave an opportunity to the opposition Congress to slam the BJP-led NDA government as it said that the GST is complex and even the Centre is unable to understand it. — PTI

Source: Rediff