10:34 How does US screen refugees? Very carefully:
Being a refugee isn’t easy. Neither is getting into the United States.
Just gaining refugee status is hard; most of the millions who seek it don’t get it. Only a fraction of those who do, end up resettled in the US.
The process takes an average of 18 to 24 months, and most of it’s conducted outside the US.
10:32 Combined value of Chinese banks overtake US banks: Report:
The combined value of Chinese banks has surpassed that of US banks for the first time as they emerged as global leaders by asset base as well as brand value, a report by a business valuation consultancy has said.
The report by the London-based Brand Finance Banking 500 places Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the world’s most valuable bank, with a brand value worth $47.8 billion, representing a 32 per cent year-on-year growth.
Marketing investment and the brands credibility with customers, staff and shareholders, among other factors, are taken into consideration in calculating brand value.
The report said Chinese banks have an aggregate total brand value of $258 billion, accounting for 24 per cent of the total brand value of the top 500 global banks by brand value, compared with 23 per cent for US banks, state-run China Daily quoted the report as saying.
10:24 IAF won’t share details on Rafale deal:
Details of the agreement signed between Indian and French authorities regarding supply of 36 Rafale aircraft cannot be disclosed as they are confidential in nature, the Indian Air Force has said.
An Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed between the governments of India and France on September 23, 2016 for supply of the Rafale aircraft, initial consignment of weapons, long-term maintenance support through performance-based logistics, simulators with annual maintenance and associated equipment.
Replying to an RTI query, the IAF said the details are held by it in fiduciary (involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary) capacity.
The information sought is confidential in nature and public revelation of the same may lead to its subsequent availability to our adversaries, it said.
“Further, the information sought is also held in fiduciary capacity and no larger public interest is served by disclosure of such information. Hence, the same is denied,” the IAF said.
10:10 Thambidurai wants Sasikala to be CM:
Business Standard‘s Gireesh Babu reports: Amid growing rumours that AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala will take over as Tamil Nadu’s chief minister from O Panneerselvam next week, a meeting of AIADMK MLAs will be held on Sunday.
The rumours have been fuelled by developments such as the party appointing 15 influential people organising secretary and reports that officials who were close to the late J Jayalalithaa have been removed or have themselves resigned from their posts.
“Sunday’s meeting of MLAs at 1.30 pm. The agenda will be known then,” said a senior party functionary.
Another senior leader accused the media of putting out such stories.
Senior party leaders including Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai want Sasikala to take over the leadership of the government.
On Friday, Sasikala, whom party workers call Chinnamma, released a statement on the appointment of the organising secretaries.
This is interpreted as a move to placate the popular leaders while Sasikala prepares to take charge.
The general perception is that the BJP-led government at the Centre favours Panneerselvam as chief minister.
Panneerselvam has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than once in a short span of time after being sworn in.
According to reports, Sheela Balakrishnan, who was chief secretary and Jayalalithaa’s close aide, was removed, along two others.
After Jayalalithaas death on December 5, 2016, Sasilaka took charge as party general secretary on December 30.
10:07 Jallikattu underway in Avaniapuram; 1200 tamers and 950 bulls part of it:
ANI reports: The bull-taming sport of Jallikattu is underway in Avaniapuram in Madurai district.
Around 1200 tamers and 950 bulls are participating in the event.
The sport began at 8am, with the temple bull unleashed first. Vaadivasal, the entrance to the arena, was given a grand makeover and tall barricades were erected on both sides to prevent the bulls from barging into spectators.
CCTV cameras have also been installed.
The administration has deployed 15 medical teams, 20 ambulances at the spot.
09:54 A beefy battle is being fought in Delhi:
The police are merely a law enforcing agency having nothing to do with the constitutional validity of any statutory provision, the Delhi police has told the high court hearing a PIL seeking decriminalisation of beef consumption in the national capital.
The Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act provisions prohibit slaughter, transport or export and consumption of cattle meat and beef and provide punishment for a term which may extend to five years and fine up to Rs 10,000.
“We (Delhi Police) are a law enforcing agency and we do not deal with the constitutionality of the provision under challenge before this court,” the counsel for the police told a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini while responding to the plea seeking decriminalisation of beef consumption in Delhi.
The court was hearing the plea by a law student and an NGO seeking setting aside of the provisions of the Delhi Act which criminalise possession and consumption of beef.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government has sought time to respond to the plea by May 8, the next date of hearing. The plea claimed that the provisions of the Act were “a case of legislative over-reach”.
It has contended that “prohibition on possession and consumption of beef per se as under the Act is in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners and other similarly situated persons, as it infringes on their personal liberty” and causes “hostile discrimination having no nexus with the objects of the Act”.
“The right to eat the food of one’s choice is an integral part of the Right to Life and Liberty,” the PIL said, adding that the Constitution “mandates the state not to make law towards enforcement of a particular religious practice”.
09:46 Just In: 4 dead, more than 30 injured after a bus rammed into a tree in Mujagarh’s Baunsanala in Odisha.
09:24 Chennai oil spill: Clean-up ops drag on, TN CM to review today: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to visit Ennore Port to review the clean-up operations in Chennai. A week after several tons of oil spilled into the Bay of Bengal, a large black pool still remained gathered against the rocky shore.
And the massive struggle to clean up the polluted waters continues. Authorities said 125 tons of sludge had so far been taken out.
Personnel from various government departments, fishermen, non-governmental organisation workers and other volunteers were still manually scooping out the viscous oil using buckets.
It all began in the early hours of January 28. Two ships collided near the Kamarajar Port in North Chennai. One ship, MT BW Maple, carried liquefied petroleum gas. The other, MT Dawn Kanchipuram, carried petroleum oil lubricants from which several tonnes spilled into the sea. There is still no clear information about how much oil was spilled exactly.
09:08 Iran vows ‘roaring missiles’ if threatened, defies new sanctions:
A Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran would use its missiles if its security is under threat, as the elite force defied new US sanctions on its missile programme by holding a military exercise on Saturday.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have risen since a recent Iranian ballistic missile test which prompted US President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the Revolutionary Guards.
Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn said the Washington was putting Iran on notice over its “destabilising activity”, and Trump tweeted Tehran was “playing with fire”
“We are working day and night to protect Irans security,” head of Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
“If we see smallest misstep from the enemies, our roaring missiles will fall on their heads,” he added.
09:01 Alleged Bengaluru ATM attacker caught in Andhra town:
Bangalore Mirror reports: Nearly 39 months after the attack on a bank official at Bangalore ATM for money, the Andhra Pradesh police have nabbed the accused. Madanapalle police in Chittoor district have reportedly taken into custody Madhukar Reddy.
Chittoor district superintendent of police G Srinivas confirmed the arrest of Madhukar Reddy. “We are questioning him he confessed to having committed the Bangalore ATM offence”, he said.
The police will present Madhukar Reddy before the media later in the evening. Madhukar, a native of Maddulapuram village of Thamballapalle block in Chittoor district is believed to have confessed to having committed the offence.
It may be recalled that Jyothi Uday, a Corporation Bank official, was attacked at the ATM on November 13, 2013, when she went to withdraw money to buy a gift for her friend’s child. She was in hospital for nearly three months to recover. Last year, she joined duties and was also promoted as senior manager in the Corporation Bank.
* PM Narendra Modi scheduled to address poll rally at Numaish Maidan of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh
* BJP President Amit Shah to address several poll meetings in Shamli, Amroha & Noida today.
* Scores of poll rallies of BSP Chief Mayawati & SP chief Akhilesh Yadav scheduled in western & central Uttar Pradesh.
* Congress party to release its manifesto today in Dehradun.
* Iconic Mughal Garden of Rashtrapati Bhavan to open for general public from today.
* Bengaluru ATM attacker who hacked woman with a machete caught after 3 years.
* In a familiar trick, the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa looks set to evade the “crackdown” on it and its chief Hafiz Saeed by resurfacing as Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir, a platform purportedly wedded to the Kashmiri cause.
* Senior BJP leader & Finance Minister Arun Jaitley schedule to visit parts of Nainital district in Uttarakhand. Senior BJP leader & Home Minister Rajnath Singh to address public rallies in Pithoragarh & Haridwar districts.
08:17 Bad people are very happy: Trump slams judge on Twitter:
US President Donald Trump has denounced the judge who lifted the travel ban he had imposed on citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries, taking an unusual jab at an independent branch of the US government as he vowed to bring back the restrictions.
Trump’s personal attack on US District Judge James Robart went too far for some who said he was undermining an institution designed to check the power of the White House and Congress.
In a series of tweets, TRump said: “What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into US?”
“Because the ban was lifted by a judge, many very bad and dangerous people may be pouring into our country. A terrible decision.”
“Why aren’t the lawyers looking at and using the Federal Court decision in Boston, which is at conflict with ridiculous lift ban decision?”
“The judge opens up our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart. Bad people are very happy!”
Trump’s administration has appealed a federal judge’s order that blocked the US president’s ban.
The Justice Department appeal on Saturday came one day after a US district judge filed a nationwide order halting the ban’s implementation. Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has reverted to standard, previous procedure in admitting people from the affected countries.
08:06 Good morning…