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LIVE! PM launches E-wallet Bhim App

17:02  Expected China to be more understanding: MEA on Azhar deadlock:  China blocks proposal at UN to list Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist; MEA reacts, says expected China to be more understanding. The inability of the international community to list Masood Azhar as designated terrorist is a blow to counter terrorism efforts; shows double standards, says MEA.  The decision by China to block the proposal to list Masood Azhar as terrorist is surprising as China herself is affected by scourge of terrorism. 

16:46  PM launches E-wallet Bhim App:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a mobile app to make digital payments easier at Digi-Dhan Mela in Delhi. Highlights…

Government of India has launched a gift under which for the next 100 days, every day 15,000 people will win prizes through lucky draw.

These prizes will go to those who transact between 50,000 – 3 lakh online. This is so that poor people get the prize.

Today we also had a draw for the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana. This will happen once a week.

This is for those sellers who can encourage customers to buy products through digital mode

On Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary – April 14 – there will be a mega draw which will see prizes worth crores.

I want to thank people for embracing digital transactions.

But the most important thing we have done is launch a new app called BHIM. It will be compatible with all phones.

Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was an economist. The RBI was born on principles he wrote in his thesis.

Mantra of Dr Ambedkar was to work for the upliftment of the poor. And the biggest power of technology is that it can empower the poor. For those with a positive mindset, India has several opportunities.

People can bank with their thumb.

In two weeks, payment through use of biometric finger print will start in India.

Kuch log hote hain jinka subah nirasha se hi start hota hai; aise nirashawadi logon ko unki nirasha mubarak.

Look at the newspapers 3 years ago, the news was about what is lost (in scams), today it is about what has come back or what is the gain.

Digital connectivity can do wonders for India and can empower poor.


16:23  CBI arrests TMC MP Tapas Pal :  CBI arrests TMC MP Tapas Pal. Bengali film actor and MP Paul was arrested by the CBI after he reached the CBI office in North 24 Parganas today. Pal was summoned by the investigative body in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam case.

TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien reacts saying atrocities against those who opposed notes ban. We will fight it.


15:44  ED slaps money laundering case against hate preacher Zakir Naik :  The Enforcement Directorate registers a criminal case against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik under money laundering laws. The economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police has been investigating the foreign funding of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation and the ED has referred to the polices findings in this regard as well.

The central government recently banned the IRF and declared it as a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for five years.

In an open letter, Naik, 51, who is abroad, said he will pursue all legal options to get the ban repealed and that the judiciary will fail the Modi government in its ‘plans’.

Naik has been booked along with unnamed IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) beside various sections of UAPA.


15:30  In the drink :   Passenger bus falls into a canal in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh; Police at the spot; Rescue operation underway, reports ANI. 

15:23  Sanjiv Bhatt (IPS) @sanjivbhatt  From “I promise to pay the bearer” to “I promise to arrest the bearer”… all it took was 50 days.

Bhatt, a former Gujarat police officer, was first sacked and then suspended from service. He had taken on then Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the 2002 riots. In a Facebook post, Bhatt said he was sacked “after conducting a sham, ex parte inquiry on completely fabricated charges”.

15:18  CBI carries out searches at two locations including the offices of OSD of Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

15:17  BJP to support “only” Pema Khandu in Arunachal Pradesh:  The BJP in Arunachal Pradesh today made it clear that it will “only” support Pema Khandu government in the state and “will never” support any other chief minister. The party decision came in the backdrop of the unprecedented political development where Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA) temporarily suspended Chief Minister Pema Khandu, his deputy Chowna Mein and other five MLAs late last night for alleged anti-party activities.

14:45  Rahul Gandhi’s 5 questions to PM on demonetisation are… :  Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi poses five questions to PM Narendra Modi on demonetisation. Rahul tweeted the questions saying:

“India is waiting for your answers Modiji

— Amount of black money recovered after 8th November 2016?

— Economic loss to the nation and number of jobs lost?

— How many people died due to demonetisation, has the compensation been paid?

— Who all did the PM consult on demonetisation? Why were experts, economists, RBI not consulted?

Who all dedpositd more than Rs 25 lakhs in bank accounts, in 6 months preceeding 8th november 2016.”

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has been attacking the Prime Minister over demonetisation, accusing him of practising politics of fear and anger and exhorted party men to defeat his ideology.

14:10  RBI’s stress test shows further worsening of bank’s asset quality:  Bank’s asset quality that has been under pressure may deteriorate even further if the macroeconomic condition takes a beating, a stress test undertaken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suggests.

The quantum of bad loans may cross the 10 per cent mark at the system level in the next financial year, the test suggested.

As per the Financial Stability Report published by RBI, the stress test indicated that under the baseline scenario, the Gross Non Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio may increase from 9.1 per cent in September 2016 to 9.8 per cent by March 2017. This could further increase to 10.1 per cent by March 2018.

Nupur Anand
/Business Standard


13:50  Navjot Sidhu Cong’s CM face for Punjab: Kejriwal:  Just in: Navjot Singh Sidhu is Cong’s CM face in Punjab, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and added that AAP had offered Sidhu the deputy CM’s chair, but he refused.

Sidhu’s wife, Navjot Kaur Sidhu, said Sidhu has been telling people that one of the reasons the couple didn’t join AAP was because the party refused tickets to their ‘favourites’ named by her husband, a former BJP MP.

Navjot Kaur Sidhu is the likely Congress candidate from Amritsar (East) Assembly constituency. After failure of talks with AAP, the couple, who quit BJP this year, had claimed they had not demanded any ticket from the party.


13:42  Bengaluru software firms seek flexi working hours:  Software firms in Bengaluru have asked the state government to relax the laws on working hours and allow flexi-timings for engineers, which would help them engage employees better and tackle competition for talent from Chennai and Hyderabad.

Under the Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, engineers are not allowed to work beyond the stipulated nine hours. Software firms want Karnataka to replicate the policy adopted in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where they account work to a total of 48 hours a week than on a daily basis.

“We should have flexi hours. The government should leave it to the employers to determine the working hours. There is acute labour shortage in Bengaluru and we need to create more jobs. The way to do this is to create more jobs with flexible labour working condition,” says TV Mohandas Pai, former Infosys director and chairman of Aarin Capital.

Bengaluru, India’s technology hub, employs a million workers in the software and back office sector, contributing to a third of India’s software exports. It also has emerged as a hub for start-ups, where engineers work on solving business problems locally as well as target overseas customers. As they work on deadlines, organisations say that the government should bring progressive laws to bring in flexi-timing.

Anita Babu & Ayan Pramanik/Business Standard


13:40  Frauds in banking sector see an uptick:  The Financial Stability Report has raised concerns over the increase in frauds due to technological innovations.

“In the recent past, frauds in the technology environment have accentuated through malware attacks and skimming frauds in ATMs, misuse of SWIFT messages by employees and attacks on the SWIFT messaging system of a bank,” the report said.

The Reserve Bank of India said with the increase in ATM penetration, it was important that transactions at ATMs were carried out in a more secure manner.

Another area of concern for the central bank has been instances of large-scale forex remittances in the guise of import advances/payments.

While banks may not have any credit exposures to such parties remitting forex, misuse of banking channels for such remittances is a serious concern, and, therefore, banks need to enhance rigour in their data analytics and reporting structures to aid board level governance, the report said.

Nupur Anand/Business Standard

13:37  Demonetisation effect: Smaller firms help shore up advance tax numbers:  While advance corporation tax collections from large companies have been muted in the third quarter, robust tax payments by smaller firms may have made up for the shortfall.

Advance corporation tax posted a 10% growth in the first three quarters, against 8% in the first half of the financial year, said an official. This meant that growth in tax numbers was more than 10% in the third quarter (up to December 15). The growth in the first three quarters of the previous financial year was only seven%, the official added. Small and medium players may have reported higher earnings in their books to explain large unaccounted cash in old notes.

Dilasha Seth/Business Standard


13:36  Demonetisation did NOT affect foreign tourist arrivals: Tourism ministry :  The ministry of tourism’s November report card after demonetization.

The ministry, in a press release, said the Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that no hardship is faced by the tourists and the industry is not affected. The Archaeological Survey of India smoothly transitioned to cashless mode of payment by simplifying the process of etickets.

The ministry said the government’s efforts have paid dividends as there has been a notable growth in the comparative figures of Foreign Tourists Arrival Foreign Exchange Earnings  and online sale of e tickets after demonetization.

For intstance foreign tourist arrivals for 2016 grew to 8.91 lakh in November as compared to 8.16 lakh for the same month last year. Forex earnings grew 14.4 per cent over last year.

The tourism ministry said that demonization did not have any impact  on the foreign tourist arrivals and Foreign Exchange Earnings.

It may also be noted that the number of e-tickets sold during 09-11-2016 to 08-12-2016 increase to 28,176 from 2807 during 09-10-2016 to 08-11-2016 with corresponding amount being Rs 181.49 lakh and Rs. 3.10 lakh respectively.

It can therefore be seen that sale of etickets and earnings from have increased significantly by 10 and 58 times respectively as people are buying tickets for ASI monuments online through cashless payments. 


13:27  Mulayam calls meeting with his list of candidates tomorrow :  The ruling Samajwadi Party may be heading towards a split ahead of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Ramgopal Yadav, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brother, said he stands  stands Akhilesh. Speaking to news channels, he said he was not consulted over the candidates list and chances of an agreement on the list of candidates was unlikely. 

Mulayam Singh has said that he will meet the candidates on his list at 10:30 am tomorrow. India Today reports that the Congress has begun its back channel talks with Akhilesh.

The UP Chief Minister defiantly released a list of candidates for seats already allotted by his father and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav to others on Thursday night. His list of 235 candidates includes several party leaders who are close to Akhilesh and who did not make it to the party’s official list announced a day before by Mulayam Singh Yadav. The rebels said they have been asked by the chief minister to go back to their constituencies and prepare to contest the elections. 


13:20  Seven miners dead in Lalmatia colliery mishap in Jharkhand:  Seven miners were killed and several others feared trapped following a mishap in Lalmatia opencast coal mine at Rajmahal area of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) last night.

“So far, bodies of seven miners have been recovered from the mine. Rescue work is on,” R R Mishra, officiating CMD of ECL, told PTI. There was a cave-in at the mine in Godda district at around 7.30 PM last night when excavators and tippers were working there following which rescue operations were launched immediately, Mishra said.

Director General of Mines Safety and senior officials were there to supervise the rescue operation, Mishra said. Police said two persons were injured in the incident and were being treated at a hospital.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Raghubar Das over phone and took stock of the situation. The PM said Jharkhand Government and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal were “working to restore normalcy”. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF)has been engaged for rescue & relief operations.

13:17  Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to address a Press Conference today at 5 pm.

12:56  Saibaba temple gets Rs 31.73 cr in donations post note-ban:  

The Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust has received donations of Rs 31.73 crore during the past 50 days post the government’s demonetisation move, an

official said today.

These donations include Rs 4.53 crore in the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and Rs 3.80 crore in the new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes denominations, said Sachin Tambe, one of the trustees of the Saibaba Sansthan.

During the last 50 days, the Sansthan received Rs 18.96 crore in donation boxes, Rs 4.25 crore, including Rs 2.62 crore through credit/debit cards, at its various donation counters, Rs 3.96 crore through bank demand drafts, Rs 1.46 crore in donations online and Rs 35 lakh through money orders.

Apart from cash donations, the trust also received gold ornaments weighing nearly 2.90 kg worth around Rs 73 lakh and silver ornaments of 56 kg worth about Rs 18 lakh, he said.


12:16  Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s office burgled:  

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office in Vinod Nagar area of his Patparganj constituency in east Delhi has been burgled, with the thieves decamping with computers, documents, CCTV camera DVR among others, police said today.

“Some materials have been stolen from the reception area of the office which is in the process of being shifted. The burglary is expected to have taken place late last night. The matter is being probed,” said a senior police officer.

Two computers, letter pad, hard disk, documents, digital video recorder of CCTV camera among others were stolen by the burglars who entered the premises by breaking the lock of the office, sources said.

Police said they received a burglary call at around 9:20 am following which a team was sent to the spot.

“The whole office was ransacked and we we are trying to ascertain what others item are missing. The office was locked at 2:30 am yesterday, In-charge of the office Upendra said.

The matter is being probed, police added. 


12:07  Takam Pario likely to be next chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh:  

The ruling Peoples Party of Arunachal on Friday is likely to name Takam Pario, the richest MLA in Arunachal Pradesh with declared assets of Rs 187 crore, as its leader in the assembly as well as the chief minister of the northeastern state, a senior party leader said.

With continuous protests within the Peoples Party of Arunachal  against the leadership of Pema Khandu, the present chief minister of the state, the party president sent a letter to the Speaker and Governor informing them that the CM and six MLA’s have been suspended from the party.

The party will now meet on Friday around 2 pm to decide the new face of leadership in the state and next chief minister too.

Peoples Party of Arunachal president Khafa Bengia said the party is not happy with the leadership of Pema Khandu, and that he has not been able to take the party into confidence on policy decisions.


11:54  Asuras trying to disturb demonetisation yagna, quips Naidu :  Comparing the Opposition to an ‘asura’ who tries to disturb peace during a ‘yagna’, NDA managers lashed out at them while hailing the success of demonetisation.

As the scrapping of high-value bank notes completed 50 days, information and broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu claimed the move improved cashless transactions without affecting agriculture.

He also took potshots at the Opposition, saying, “Some asuras always try to disturb peace during yagna (demonetisation).” He added, “India has changed but the Congress has not changed”, while claiming that despite demonetisation, rabi crops were sown in 573.42 lakh hectares, which is higher than the average sowing for the past five years at 539.06 lakh hectare.

Naidu dubbed the note ban an effective “anti-scam vaccine’ and said demonetisation was an anti-corruption plan as per their 2014 mandate.


11:47  Defiant Akhilesh calls for SP core group meet today :   This son won’t be eclipsed.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has called for a Samajwadi Party core group meeting at his residence on Kalidas Marg in Lucknow today.

The meet is to be held shortly and is expected to see the participation of both, senior leaders and young leaders.

On Thursday, Akhilesh released a list of 235 candidates out of a total of 403 seats for the upcoming state assembly elections, a day after his father and party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav had released the official list, hinting at a deepening crisis within the party.

Some pro-Akhilesh MLAs had earlier said that an unhappy chief minister was likely to release a parallel list of candidates for the state assembly elections slated.

Intense political activities continued at the Samajwadi Party headquarters and at official residence of the chief minister yesterday. Akhilesh met Mulayam Singh, but as per sources, the party chief refused to make changes in the list of 325 candidates issued by him on Wednesday.

“We have declared list of 325 candidates for the 2017 assembly polls. 78 seats still remain. Name of candidates for rest of the 78 seats will be announced soon,” Mulayam had said while announcing the list.

11:31  Dalits discriminated in Vardah relief, says study:  Relief measures extended to those affected in the cyclone Vardah, which hit the city on December 12, had not reached the Dalits, but only the dominant castes, in the villages of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, according to a study by an NGO working on Human rights. Read more

11:26  Jharkhand mine collapse: 4 bodies recovered, 1 visible :   Rescue teams recover four bodies till now, one more body visible; work underway, says Rajiv Ranjan Mishra CMD of the Jharkhand coal mine.

At least 50 workers are feared trapped under the debris of a 200-feet deep mine collapse in Lalmatia, Jharkhand. Rescue operations have begun, while one NDRF team from Ranchi and three teams from Patna are en route. CISF workers have begun rescue ops.

Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das said he is monitoring the situation closely, and asks concerned officials to intensify rescue operations. Three excavators, seven dumpers were identified at the mining site where the incident took place. Officials told ANI that according to rules, one person is allowed per equipment and as two dumper drivers fled during the incident, the number of people trapped may actually be less than seven. The CM has asked concerned officials to intensify rescue operations.

Image: An upturned dumper truck at the mine

11:18  A day of mishaps… Now, the roof of a godown collapses in Lucknow after fire broke out, labourers feared trapped.

11:07  Not engaged, says Virat:   Virat Kohli rubbishes reports of engagement: We aren’t getting engaged and if we were going to, we wouldn’t hide it. 

10:42  Jharkhand mine collapse: 50 people feared trapped :  At least 50 workers are feared trapped under the debris of a mine collapse in Lalmatia, Jharkhand. Rescue operations have begun, while one NDRF team from Ranchi and three teams from Patna are en route.

Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das said he is monitoring the situation closely, and asks concerned officials to intensify rescue operations. Three excavators, seven dumpers were identified at the mining site where the incident took place. Officials told ANI that according to rules, one person is allowed per equipment and as two dumper drivers fled during the incident, the number of people trapped may actually be less than seven. The CM has asked concerned officials to intensify rescue operations.

Image: The site of the mine collapse. Officials have put the figure of people trapped as between seven and 50. Pic courtesy: ANI


10:33  Cold waves grip Delhi; train, flight services affected :  As the dense fog continues to grip northern India, due to the fall in temperature, several train and flight services have been affected on Friday morning.

As many as 13 international and 13 domestic flights, arriving and departing from Delhi, got delayed due to foggy weather while two domestic flights were cancelled.

At least 54 trains were delayed and 12 were rescheduled due to poor visibility and other operational reasons. The meteorological department has predicted that the nation will witness an ‘above normal’ winter this season.

10:23  Counterview: Taimur’s actions were uniquely horrific in Indian history:  The unlikeliest of events set off bitter historical debates in India. Last week, it was the name actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan gave their newborn child. What should have been a purely personal decision became an occasion for Hindutva trolls to excoriate the couple on social media.

This is why Taimur was one of the bloodiest conquerors.  Read

10:06  Sensex gains:  Stock market got off to a positive start in the final trading session of 2016, with the benchmark Sensex surging 211 points to 26,577 on widespread gains amid further strength in the rupee.

09:55  Pune bakery fire: 6 workers locked in die of suffocation :  At least six people have been killed in a fire at a bakery in Maharashtra’s Pune.

The fire broke out early this morning at the “Bakes and Cakes” shop on the ground floor of a multistorey building. A short-circuit is believed to be the cause.

Workers sleeping inside the bakery were trapped as the door was bolted from outside, and suffocated. “The fire wasn’t very big but since there was no outlet, the workers inside died of suffocation,”said a fire official.

The police are investigating why the workers were locked in.

09:45  Russia shuts down American School of Moscow in retaliation of US sanctions :  Russia has ordered the closure of the American School of Moscow in retaliation of U.S. sanctions.This comes after the United States on Thursday ordered 35 Russian diplomats in Washington and San Francisco to leave the country in the next 72 hours as a realiatory measure against Russian election hack.

The order from the Russian Government closes the school, which serves children of US, British and Canadian embassy personnel, to US and foreign nationals, reports the CNN.

The order also closes access to the U.S. embassy vacation house in Serebryany Bor, near Moscow.The U.S. administration described Russia’s involvement as “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities” and sanctioned four Russian individuals and five Russian entities for what it said was election interference.

However, Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have denied all allegations regarding meddling in the U.S. presidential election.


09:21  After 50 days, only 40 per cent machines have cash:  

Fifty days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation policy, an acute shortage of currency persists at ATMs across the country with only 35-40 per cent of the 2.2 lakh machines dispensing cash, according to leading deployers.

According to Ramaswamy Venkatachalam, managing director, India and South Asia of Fidelity Information Services, a banking and payments technology provider, banks are still not able to provide the full cash requirement for running ATMs on a 247 basis.

While all ATMs have been recalibrated to hold and dispense new notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500, a number of them are only dispensing the higher-denomination note because of the shortage of notes of lesser value.

09:10  JUST IN: Many feared dead as a major fire has broken out in a Pune bakery. 

More details are awaited. 


08:17  RBI approved PM’s note ban bid 3 hours before announcement:  

The Reserve Bank of India board approved the move to ban high denomination notes less than three hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision in a televised address to the nation.

Information on how many members favoured or opposed the move isnt on record, RBI said in response to queries from Bloomberg News under the Right to Information Act. 

Power minister Piyush Goyal had told lawmakers on November 16, that it was the authoritys 10-member board that came up with the idea.

The decision to withdraw the legal tender character of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to the central government was taken at 5:30 pm on November 8, at a board meeting, RBI said in its responses.

The banks board consists of governor Patel, his three deputies R Gandhi, S S Mundra and N S Vishwanathan along with a host of eminent personalities, including the economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das.


07:55  Rs 4,200 crore in dirty cash detected since November 8:  

The income tax department detected undisclosed income of close to Rs 4,200 crore.

Since November 8, nearly 1,000 surveys and search and seizure operations were conducted across the country. Between December 22 and 28, over 200 such operations were undertaken, data available with the department showed.

Of the Rs 458 crore cash seizures, Rs 105 crore, which is a tad under a quarter, was in new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, indicating the widespread use of banking and cash mules to convert old currency into new ones, which is stored as cash in offices and homes.

The move mounted through field offices is meant to identify those who used various tools — from depositing in banks to buying gold and jewellery soon after PM Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8 — to try and protect their unaccounted wealth which was stashed away in the form of cash.


01:42  Serena Williams engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian:  

CNN reports: Tennis star Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian are engaged.

A spokesperson for Ohanian confirmed that he popped the question while the two were vacationing in Rome. 

Williams first announced the news herself in a Reddit post on its “r/isaidyes” forum.

“I came home/A little late/Someone had a bag packed for me/And a carriage awaited” Williams said in her Reddit post, which was written like a poem and had a cartoon of the couple at the top. 

“Destination: Rome/To escort me to my very own ‘charming’/Back to where our stars first collided/And now it was full circle/At the same table we first met by chance/This time he made it not by chance/But by choice/Down on one knee/He said 4 words/And/r/isaidyes.”


00:52  US expels 35 Russian diplomats, closes two compounds:  

The United States on Thursday expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to a campaign of harassment by Russia against American diplomats in Moscow, a senior US official said.

The US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the Russian diplomats would be given 72 hours to leave the United States.

Access to the two compounds will be denied to all Russian officials as of noon on Friday, the official added.

“These actions were taken to respond to Russian harassment of American diplomats and actions by the diplomats that we have assessed to be not consistent with diplomatic practice,” the official told Reuters.

00:49  Egypt approves deal to hand over islands to Saudis:  

Egypt’s government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and sent it to parliament for ratification, despite a legal dispute over the plan, according to state television.

The deal, announced in April, caused public uproar and protests by Egyptians who said the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir belonged to their country.

The controversy has become a source of tension with Saudi Arabia, which has provided Egypt with billions of dollars of aid but recently halted fuel shipments amid deteriorating relations.

In June, Egypt’s higher administrative court annulled the agreement, saying Egyptian sovereignty over the islands could not be given up. The Egyptian government lodged an appeal.


00:48  Arunachal crisis: Ram Madhav says BJP will stand by CM Khandu:  

The newly formed People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh is in a crisis. The newly-formed outfit has suspended its own chief minister Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorji Khandu, who died in a helicopter crash four years back.

The reason for the sudden shift in position is not known but the PPA has decided to suspend seven MLAs. 

A floor test is expected to take place in Itanagar on Friday.

Sources say that the ruling party decided to do away with the chief minister because of his continued closeness with the Congress.

Sources indicate that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was pretty much clued into the affairs of the development, which took place in the north-eastern state. 

Ram Madhav, BJP general secretary, who is in charge of the state, said: “The president does not have the power to remove the chief minister. BJP is supporting Pema Khandu’s government. The chairman can only do so. Let’s see what happens.”

Source: Rediff