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LIVE! ‘He was not doing a good job’: Trump on Comey removal

21:57  ‘He was not doing a good job’: Trump on Comey removal :  

United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey because “he was not doing a good job.”

Trump made his first public remarks since the firing during an Oval Office meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.The White House invited the media in to view the meeting, where reporters shouted questions at Trump.

“He was not doing a good job,” Trump said, referring to Comey. “Very simply he was not doing a good job.”

Trump did not respond to a reporter’s question about whether the new FBI director would be in charge of the bureau’s investigation into possible ties between the president’s campaign and Moscow. 


21:38   You guys are the coolest, honoured to be here: Justin Bieber tells Mumbai:  The crowd turned into a choir as pop sensation Justin Bieber kick-started his maiden India concert with his chart topping number “Mark My Words” from his latest album “Purpose”. 

Dressed casually in white t-shirt and black shorts, the 23-year-old Canadian singer made a stunning entry to the stage. The opening track was followed by “Where Are You Now”. 

For the song the singer was joined by back up dancers with Beliebers continuing to pump up the evening.

The excitement at the DY Patil Stadium reached its peak as Bieber addressed the crowd saying, 

“What a beautiful night tonight. Honoured to be here. You guys are the coolest. Hope you’re ready to have the best night.” 

His special message for the fans was followed by “I’ll Show You”, a track from the critically-acclaimed album.

The fourth track on Bieber’s list was “Feeling” followed by “Boyfriend”. To perform the songs he walked across the stage and stood at the edge. 

He interacted with the fans as they got swayed away by his voice.

The India concert is the part of Bieber’s Purpose World Tour. 

DJ Sartek, DJ Zaeden and Norwegian DJ Alan Walker opened the evening for him.

20:55  Congress won’t name CM candidate in Gujarat:  

The Congress will not project any chief ministerial candidate in Guajarat in run up to the state assembly elections due later this year, the party’s newly-appointed state in-charge Ashok Gehlot said in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

The party is gearing up to contest elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state where it is out of power for over two decades.

Gehlot today attended the executive committee meeting of the state Congress along with senior leader Ahmed Patel.

Ahead of the elections, a fierce race has started between the state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki and the leader of opposition in the assembly Shankarsinh Vaghela to become the party’s CM face.

Vaghela camp also wants that he should be declared the head of the election committee but Gehlot said the decision on the issue would be taken later.

The poster wars and social media campaigns between the two camps have already started with several state leaders and MLAs, owing allegiance to the one or the other camp urging the the high command to declare their favourite leader the CM candidate before the polls, as was done in Punjab recently.

“We are out of power in the state for the last 22 years. There is speculation in the media on who will be declared the chief ministerial candidate,” Gehlot said at the executive committee meeting.

“Let us unitedly capture the power and then the high command will decide who will be the chief minister,” he said.

“If we cannot unite after being out of power for 22 years, when will we be united? Nobody should talk about naming of chief ministerial candidate. First you all should work together to get us back to power,” he said.


20:33  Sachin and I show patriotism through work, says A R Rahman:  

Academy award-winning composer A R Rahman says the one quality he shares with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar is that they both show patriotism through their work.

Rahman has composed the music for “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, a film based on the life of the Master Blaster.

When asked what is similar between him and Sachin, Rahman told reporters, “Everybody finds something common. I don’t know what it is. I think both of us look young. We have the same height.

“But I find the kind of patriotism in his approach (similar to me).”

The composer was speaking at the anthem launch from the film.

“I wanted to sing the song because it is his movie. I wanted to be a part of it,” Rahman said.

Sachin, who was also present at the event, said he did not give any inputs to Rahman for the song.

“What can you say standing in front of the Mount Everest? He is the ultimate, right?” he said.

Rahman said he had created 14 versions of the song before zeroing on the final one. The song has been sung by Sukhwinder Singh.

Directed by James Erskine, “Sachin: A Billion Dreams” is releasing on May 26.


19:48  Ready to respond to ICJ’s query on Jadhav’s sentence: Pak army:  

Pakistan Army on Wednesday said it will respond at an “appropriate level” to any query by the International Court of Justice over the death sentence given to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav by its military court on the charges of “spying”.

Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told the media that Jadhav was sentenced by a military court after “due process of law”.

“If the ICJ requests Pakistan anything about Jadhav, then the government of Pakistan will respond to it at an appropriate level, he said.

He said, “The process is continuing within the army over the decision by the (military) court against Jadhav.”

However, he did not explain the nature of “process”.

The statement came after Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed the ICJ’s stay order on the execution of Jadhav.

Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the government was analysing the Hague-based ICJ’s authority in freezing the execution of Jadhav.

Aziz said the government would issue a statement on the issue in the next few days.

“We are analysing the Indian petition and the ICJ’s authority in this case, Aziz said after the Hague-based ICJ stayed the execution of 46-year-old Jadhav.


19:43  Have my own sources in home ministry: Digvijaya on IS claim:  

Defending his claim that the Telangana Police were trapping Muslim youth by encouraging them to join Islamic State, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh today claimed that his sources in the home ministry informed them about it.

“I have my own sources in the Home Ministry and police,” he told NDTV.

In a series of tweets, Singh alleged that the police in the southern state had set up a bogus ISIS site and were posting inflammatory information to trap young Muslim men.

Singh, who was recently stripped off the charge of important states by his party, said that a reshuffle is welcome. 

“We have been here for so long, something called fatigue sets in,’ the 70-year-old said, adding that his boss, “Rahul (Gandhi) wanted new people to come in and I am fine with that.”

18:38  Sanjay Mitra, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, to be the next Defence Secretary.


17:50  Former AAP minister attacked during dharna against graft:  Suspended Aam Aadmi Party MLA Kapil Mishra, who went on a hunger strike this morning, was attacked during a press conference a few minutes ago.

“I was lying down, on a fast, when suddenly a guy came and jumped on me. I am not hurt. I  don’t want to name anyone. But I want to make it clear that I am on the warpath against those few individuals who corrupt, but I am not against the Aam Aadmi Party. I am against corruption,” Mishra said.

He asserted that he would not end his agitation until the party leaders disclose details of the funding for their foreign tours.

The person who attacked Mishra is believed to be a man named Ankit Bhardwaj. Mishra said he doesnt know Bhardwaj.

The man is now in police custody and claims to be a volunteer and a supporter of the AAP.

Eyewitnesses said that as Mishra was speaking to the press, Bhardwaj came in from the back and leaped on him and reached out to his neck. Mishra’s aides pulled him back and handed it over the police.

Earlier in the morning Mishra said he was sitting on Satyagraha till he got details of the international travel expenses of some senior AAP leaders. “It is not a dharna but a satyagraha. I would like to send out a message to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to put out the details of the foreign tours of his five AAP leaders — Satyendra Jain, Ashish Khetan, Raghav Chaddha, Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak in public domain, Mishra told the media. 


17:21  AAP plans stir outside EC office over EVMs:  The Aam Aadmi Party will take its fight against EVMs to the doorstep of the Election Commission tomorrow, demanding that VVPAT-equipped voting machines be used in all future elections.

Casting aside the poll panel’s assertion that EVMs cannot be manipulated, the party claimed that its MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj’s “live demonstration” (pictured) in the Delhi Assembly yesterday had “conclusively proven” that EVMs can be rigged.

The party announced that its Delhi MLAs and senior leaders will lead a protest rally — ‘Save Democracy Movement’ — in front of the Election Commission office in Central Delhi around 11 am tomorrow.


16:21  Rain dance at Sensex: Closes at fresh all-time high after monsoon forecast:  The Sensex rises to 314.92 points to end at 30,248.17. Nifty closes at 9,407.30 with indices closing at a fresh all-time high. The rally was boosted on the back of better than forecast monsoon rains.

India is likely to receive above average monsoon rainfall as concern over the El Nino weather condition has eased in the past few weeks, the chief of the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday, raising prospects of higher farm and economic growth.

The IMD on 18 April forecast this years monsoon rains at 96% of a 50-year average of 89 cm.


16:03  Triple talaq case to be heard at 10:30 am tomorrow:   The Supreme Court to hear the triple talaq case at 10:30 am tomorrow.

A Constitution bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justices Kurian Joseph, R.F Nariman, UU Lalit and Abdul Nazeer will hear the petitions challenging practices like triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala from tomorrow.

A bench headed by chief justice J S Khehar had on March 30 2017 referred the petitions to a constitution bench and had said first the issues shall be framed before day-to-day hearings commence.

The bench had on February 16 asked all sides including aggrieved women petitioners, Centre, All India Muslim Personal Board and women rights bodies to submit written submissions by today on the issue of triple talaq, polygamy and nikah halala.


15:25  Stone-pelters target Lt Umer Fayaz’s funeral procession:  Reports say that stone-pelters on Wednesday targeted the funeral procession of slain Lieutenant Umer Fayaz, who was abducted and shot dead by militants in the Shopian district of Kashmir.  Lt  Fayaz was later laid to rest at his hometown in Pulwama.

He was abducted by five to six militants from his relative’s house from Kulgam town late on Tuesday evening. His bullet-riddled body was found in Harmain area of Shopian this morning, a police official said.

The officer had gone to attend the wedding ceremony of a relative.

Hailing from Kulgam district, Fayaz was in the Infantry and was posted in Akhnoor area in Jammu. He was commissioned in the Army in December last year.

Fayaz had passed out from National Defence Academy and was to go for the Young Officers’ Course in September this year. He was also a hockey and volleyball player.


15:01  Ed Sheeran to perform in Mumbai on November 19:  ‘Galway Gal’ hit-maker, Ed Sheeran, will be in Mumbai on November 19. Sheeran who launched his third album ‘Divide’ on March 3, after a year long hiatus has extended the Asia leg of his ongoing tour to 14 new destinations and Mumbai is one of them. The Grammy Award winner will be coming down this November, but the venue of the gig has not been revealed yet.

Sheeran had originally tweeted that he would come to India on April 1. The tweet was later taken off his feed.


14:46  Army pays homage to Lt Ummer Fayaz:  Army Northern Command tweets: ArmyCdrNC & all ranks pay condolences to the family of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz on his supreme sacrifice. 

14:43  No jawan martyred from Gujarat, quips Akhilesh:  The generally measured Akhilesh Yadav goofs-up with this comment: “UP, Madhya Pradesh, Dakshin Bharat har jagah se shaheed huye hain, Gujarat ka koi jawan shaheed hua ho toh batao. There are martyrs from every state — UP, Madhya Pradesh, South India… is there is a single soldier who has been martyred from Gujarat?”

14:36  AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi on the ICJ order: It was an extraordinary move by Centre to move ICJ. Now Pakistan should respect decision and I hope Kulbhushan Jadhav is back safe.


14:34  Lt Umer Fayaz cremated :  J&K: Wreath laying ceremony of Lieutanant Umer Fayaz underway in Kulgam. Lieutenant Fayaz was abducted by five to six terrorists from his relative’s house in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Tuesday night. His bullet riddled body was found in Harmain area of Shopian on Wednesday morning, a police official said.

Hailing from Kulgam district, Fayaz was in the Infantry and was posted in Akhnoor area in Jammu. He was commissioned in the army in December last year.


14:31  MEA hails Swaraj’s ‘legal’ precision for Jadhav’s execution stay :   With the International Court of Justice putting a stay on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s execution, the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday hailed the precision and the legal action taken by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the matter.

MoS (External Affairs) VK Singh told ANI, “ICJ’s approval to our stand proves that India was always right in saying that Pakistan was unnecessarily playing politics by giving a penalty of death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav.”

Singh applauded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for putting her special attention on this matter.

“First and foremost we should all compliment our external affairs minister Sushma ji for taking very keen interest and a great concern she has exhibited,” Singh said.

“Swaraj called all people who could give legal advice, she herself is a lawyer and based on the legal advice we were able to file our petition to the ICJ and they have agreed to our stand,” he added.


14:12  India moved ICJ as Jadhav’s life is in danger: MEA :  The Ministry of External Affairs holds a press briefing after the International Court of Justice on Tuesday stayed the hanging of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of spying.

MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India had approached the ICJ after Pakistan denied 16 requests for consular access to Jadhav and refused to give visas to Jadhav’s family. “Denying consular access is in contravention to international law. We don’t know the status of his mother’s appeal,” Baglay said.  He added that the decision to approach the ICJ is for consular rights.

The World Court has initiated action and it is a big win for India, the MEA spokesperson said. “We were informed by the ICJ of the action initiated on our application and the  provisional measure that we sought,” he said.
India moved ICJ in the case after careful deliberations as he is in illegal detention in Pakistan and his life is under threat.  He said unfortunately there is still no information on Jadhav’s location or condition.

For now, Pakistan has admitted India’s application and initiated action on it.

The order by the Hague-based International Court of Justice came a day after India approached it against the death sentence handed down to Jadhav by Pakistans Field General Court Martial last month, official sources said.

13:32  US teacher rips off 8-year-old girl’s hijab, fired:   A teacher at a US school has been fired after he allegedly ripped the hijab off an 8-year-old girl’s head for “misbehaving” in class. Oghenetega Edah, 31, demanded that the girl at the Bennington School, Bronx, take off her religious scarf, police said. The girl was misbehaving in class and sitting in the teacher’s chair without his permission. So the teacher tapped her on her arm to get her to move, The New York Post reported.

When she did not comply, Edah, a subsitute, threatened to take the scarf. “I’m taking it off,” he said as he pulled the hijab off her head, causing an injury to her right eye, according to police.

Doctors at Jacobi Hospital determined that the girl’s cornea was not damaged. “This alleged behaviour is completely unacceptable,” Michael Aciman, a Department of Education spokesman, said in a statement.

“This individual was removed from the school immediately and his employment has been terminated,” he said. Edah became a per diem substitute teacher in January 2017, the report said.

His termination was effective May 3. The incident that took place last week was under investigation, police said. The Department of Investigation was also looking into it.


13:27  Ominous silence in Pakistan over ICJ order staying Jadhav’s hanging:  Pakistani officials today kept mum over the International Court of Justice’s stay over the execution of Indian citizen Kulbhushan Jadhav who has been sentenced to death by a military court on charges of “spying”.

Pakistan has not officially reacted to the Hague-based ICJ’s order.

The Pakistani media, which was initially slow to respond, rejected India’s claim.

Geo TV said that the ICJ has no jurisdiction over Pakistan as it can only take cognizance of the matter with the consent of the parties. Dawn online did not report about the Indian claim of the stay order.

Similarly, The Express Tribune in its report on the issue has not reported about the stay order.

Jadhav, 46, was awarded the death sentence by a Field General Court Martial last month. India moved the ICJ against Pakistan, accusing the latter of violating the Vienna Convention in the case of Jadhav.

India, in its appeal, contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights.

It further asserted that, in violation of the Vienna Convention, the Pakistani authorities were denying India its right of consular access to Jadhav, despite repeated requests.

The ICJ through a statement on May 8 confirmed that it received an application from India. In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday said that she spoke to the mother of Jadhav and “told her about the order of President, ICJ under Article 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court.”

Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.

It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” Jadhav was sentenced to death for “espionage and subversive activities”. India acknowledges that Jadhav had served with the Navy but denies that he has any connection with the government.

It also said that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran. India has also handed over to Pakistan an appeal by Jadhav’s mother, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.

Image: Pakistan Army chief Qamar Bajwa. The Pak Army Court sentenced Jadhav to death.


13:04  Don’t stoop so low! Vadra lashes out at media over security cover for mom :  Robert Vadra today hit out at the media after reports that Delhi Police security personnel have been posted for years at his family home in a posh Delhi locality where his mother Maureen Vadra resides.

A section of the media had reported that six Delhi Police personnel have been deployed at the Vadra residence in New Friends Colony for the last 13 years, starting from the UPA-I regime.

“Really!! We have to stoop to the levels of now demeaning and harassing, elderly people…With all respect, please stop going after my mother…,” Vadra, who is Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, said in a Facebook post.

Please remove my security and anything provided for me… no matter what the assessment, I will take every risk in the book, but lets have some level of decorum….Journalism at the worst I’ve seen,” he said.

Image: Robert Vadra posted this picture with his mother on his Facebook page.


12:18  Dastardly act of cowardice, Jaitley slams J-K Army officer’s killing :  Defence minister Arun Jaitley on the abduction and killing of Army officer Lieutenant Umer Fayaz by terrorists in Kashmir: The abduction and murder of Lt Ummer Fayaz by terrorists in Shopian is a dastardly act of cowardice. This young officer from J&K was a role model. Lt Ummer Fayaz of 2RAJRIF was an exceptional sportsman, his sacrifice reiterates nation’s commitment to eliminate terrorism from the Valley. We share the grief of family of Lt. Ummer Fayaz & stand in solidarity. He will continue to inspire youth from the Valley.”

Lieutenant Umar Fayaz from RAJRIF unit in Akhnoor had gone to attend the wedding of his uncle’s daughter at Batapura (Near Behibagh) on Tuesday, from where he was reportedly abducted by terrorists at around 2200 hours yesterday and this morning his bullet riddled body was found at Harmen, said the Army in a statement.

His mortal remains are undergoing postmortem at the District Hospital in Shopian and will subsequently be brought to Sursun for burial with full military honors.

Lt. Fayaz was commissioned on 10th December 2016 from the National Defence Academy and was set to head for the Young Officers Course in September this year.


12:01  Army foils Infiltration bid at Baramulla:  The Army has foiled an infiltration bid by militants along the Line of Control in Baramulla district of Kashmir, an official said today. There were no casualties in the incident and the militants were forced to retreat to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“Army troops opened fire on a group of terrorists attempting to sneak into our territory yesterday night and forced them back across the Line of Control in Rampur sector of Baramulla district,” the official said.

The Army has launched a combing operation in the area to ensure that none of the militants managed to get in.

Representational image.


11:58  We will send you Jadhav’s dead body: Footbal Fed website hacked :  In an embarrassing incident, the official website of the All India Football Federation`s (AIFF) was hacked on Tuesday by an anonymous group called `Zero Cool`.

The hackers posted a message provoking India over Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian, Pakistan has accused of espionage and sabotage activities against it. The website had a picture of Jadhav, and said a country which did not know the difference between Snapchat and Snapdeal deserved Jadhav’s death and promised to send his dead body. It ended with a message, ‘This is payback to you Lammers.” Lammers is slang for people who know very little about computing.

Jadhav was awarded the death sentence by the country, which is now on hold following the intervention by the International Court of Justice.

The site was down soon after it was hacked and AIFF apologised through a message on Twitter which read, “Sorry for the inconveniences faced by you due to a technical glitch. Please stay tuned, we’ll come back shortly.”

The hackers posted messages against the India and its demand for the release of Kulbhushan Jadhav. The AIFF has not yet released a statement on this.

Jadhav was arrested in March last year in the restive Balochistan province and was accused of being a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent.


11:30  Preet Bharara raises red flag over FBI chief’s sacking :  India-born former top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara today raised concerns about US President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, saying “everyone who cares about independence and rule of law” should be troubled by the move.

Trump fired Comey, saying he was no longer effectively able to lead the bureau and it was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in it.

Bharara, 48, who himself was fired by the Trump administration, tweeted, “EVERYONE who cares about independence & rule of law in America should be ‘troubled by the timing and reasoning’ of Comey firing.”

Bharara was one of 46 attorneys Trump asked to resign after taking office. His dismissal had also came as a surprise after the attorney said Trump asked him to remain in his post shortly after the election.


11:26  Militants working with locals, say defence experts on Army officer’s killing :   Condemning the dastardly abduction and murder of an Indian Army Lieutenant by terrorists in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, Defence experts have asserted that the entire development reeked of locals being involved with untoward elements in the Valley.

Defence expert Shivali Deshpande told ANI, “The situation indicates that locals are supporting militants, this is very alarming .The separatists are fulfilling their aims through the locals of Kashmir. Somehow, the locals and the militants came to know that the young Lieutenant was coming in for a wedding and they planned accordingly.”

Deshpande further suggested the Indian Army should use restraint and maintain caution while attending local functions.

“Somewhere we are lacking in connecting with people. Prime Minister Modi needs to reach out to the people of Kashmir. This is the need of hour,” she added.

The body of an Army Lieutenant was found with multiple bullet injuries in Herman in Shopian district of South Kashmir on Wednesday.

The resident of Kulgam district, Umar Fayaz, was posted with a RAJRIF unit in Akhnoor. Fayaz was on leave, to attend a wedding when he was abducted by terrorists yesterday following which he was shot dead and his body was disposed. The young officer was commissioned in December 2016.

Representational image.


11:26  Army officer will be cremated with full honours at Pulwama :   The young Indian Army officer who was abducted and then brutally killed by terrorists, will be cremated with full honours in Sursun in Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir.

Lieutenant Umar Fayaz from RAJRIF unit in Akhnoor had gone to attend the wedding of his uncle’s daughter at Batapura (Near Behibagh) on Tuesday, from where he was reportedly abducted by terrorists at around 2200 hours yesterday and this morning his bullet riddled body was found at Harmen, said the Army in a statement.

His mortal remains are undergoing postmortem at the District Hospital in Shopian and will subsequently be brought to Sursun for burial with full military honors.

Lt. Fayaz was commissioned on 10th December 2016 from the National Defence Academy and was set to head for the Young Officers Course in September this year.

“He was part of the Hockey Team of NDA, excellent volleyball player. He was physically tough and the troops enjoyed being with him,” the Army said.

The police said that the officer was shot by terrorists five times in an orchard.

11:10  Hoover remained FBI director for 48 years!:  In the aftermath of the sacking of FBI director James Comey, an interesting factoid…

— On May 10, 1924, J Edgar Hoover was named FBI director. He would remain FBI director till his death in 1972, almost 48 years in office.

— On May 9, 2017, Donald Trump sacks James Comey as FBI dorector. He served 3 years of his 10 year term.


10:50  Holy relics of Gautam Buddha at the National Museum, Delhi. Today is Buddha jayanti. His tooth is believed to be in Kandy, Sri Lanka.


10:39  Bihar CM Nitish Kumar offers prayers on Buddha Jayanti, in Patna.


10:32  Ex-FBI Director Comey thought his firing was a ‘prank’:  The news that President Donald Trump had fired him came so unexpectedly, that FBI director James Comey laughed it away thinking someone was playing a prank on him.

Comey, was addressing a group of FBI employees in Los Angeles when a television in the background flashed the news that he has been fired, which he considered it as a prank, New York Times reported.

His staff reacted by asking Comey to step into a nearby office. Comey stopped addressing the group and proceeded to shake hands with the employees he had been speaking to, following which he stepped into a side office, where it was confirmed that he had been fired.

The news of Comey’s dismissal by President Trump stunned Washington, as he was the man who had been leading the investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

However, the White House announced that James Comey has been fired as director of the FBI over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The Richard Nixon Presidential Lobrary and Museum used Twitter to issue a rebuke to the idea that Comey’s firing was “Nixonian”. Despite Nixon’s firing of the Watergate special prosecutor in October 1973 and the resignations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in the “Saturday Night massacre”, he never fired the FBI director, the library said.

10:26  AAP Punjab convener and actor Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi to quit party, announcement likely this evening.

10:21  Jharkhand cabinet clears law to protect doctors:  The Jharkhand cabinet yesterday approved the draft of the Medical Protection Act to prevent doctors, healthcare staff and institutions from attacks by kin of patients, a long-standing demand of the medical fraternity that did not curry favour with the masses who thought the law would help healthcare professionals evade responsibility. The bill of the proposed Medical Protection Act will be tabled in the state Assembly during the winter session. Read more

10:07  Sensex zooms 160 points on normal monsoon forecast:  The benchmark BSE Sensex rallied about 160 points to trade above the key 30,000-mark in opening trade today, buoyed by forecast of a normal monsoon this year amid positive global cues.

Sentiments got a leg up after data showed that foreign funds, which were largely net sellers on the Indian bourses for some time, made fresh purchases in yesterday’s trade, brokers said.

The 30-share barometer was trading higher by 159.62 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 30,092.87 with all sectoral indices led by FMCG, metal, consumer durables, oil & gas and power leading the rally.

The gauge had gained 74.45 points in the previous two sessions. On similar lines, the NSE Nifty rose 42.70 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 9,359.55.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) yesterday said the monsoon this year could be ‘normal’ and bring 100 per cent rainfall instead of 96 per cent it predicted earlier, which is expected to give a booster dose to the rural economy.


10:01  LIVE! Kapil Mishra on hunger strike demanding travel expenses of AAP leaders:  Sacked AAP leader Kapil Mishra sits on ‘satyagraha’ till he gets the details of international travel expenses of some AAP leaders.

Mishra accused AAP leaders of misusing party funds on foreign trips. “if there is nothing to hide, them provide the details of foreign trips of five AAP leaders. Also inform the public about the source of money.

“This matter is serious and related to the country and the law. You will have to make the information public,” the Karawal Nagar MLA, who was suspended from the primary membership of the AAP, said.

“Until these details are made public and the truth comes out, I will do ‘Satyagraha’. I am on hunger strike from tomorrow..,” he had tweeted yesterday.

Mishra on Tuesday filed three complaints with the Central Bureau of Investigation against Delhi CM and former ‘guru’ Arvind Kejriwal, his relatives and some AAP leaders including health minister Satyendar Jain.

He sought details about the foreign trips of Sanjay Singh, Ashish Khetan, Raghav Chadha, Satyendar Jain and Durgesh Pathak.

He had also submitted to the ACB documents to back his allegations that Kejriwal had delayed a probe into a Rs 400-crore water tanker scam.


09:49  India won’t sit idly if its soldiers are attacked: US lawmaker:  Asking Pakistan to clamp down on extremist groups inside its territory, a top US lawmaker has cautioned Islamabad that India would not sit idly if its soldiers or citizens were being attacked.

Joe Crowley, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told PTI that the situation on the Indo-Pak border has been volatile for the past few months due to activities by Pakistan-backed militant groups, and called on the Trump administration to put more pressure on the country.

“(They) are backed by Pakistan. They (Trump administration) need to be more towards putting the pressure on Pakistan to go after LeT and other militant groups within Pakistan that are causing tensions on the India-Pakistan border,” he said in response to a question.

“I think the emphasis here is that they (Pakistan) need to do more to clamp down on those violent and extremist groups within Pakistan themselves, because India will not sit by idly while it’s soldiers or it’s citizens are being attacked,” said Crowley, a former co-Chair of the House India Caucus.

The Congressman said these issues should be handled in a bilateral manner by the two countries.


09:33  UPDATE: Apple rises past $800 billion in market valuation:  

Apple shares rose on May 9, pushing its market value above $800 billion, a first for a US company, The Wall Street Journal reported.

That level, evidence of how much the stock has risen this year, is a milestone sure to stoke speculation about whether it will be the first public company to be worth $1 trillion, the WSJ reported.

09:29  Pakistan summons Iranian envoy over army officer’s provocative remarks:  

Pakistan summoned Iranian ambassador to express its concern over Iran army chief’s remarks that Tehran will hit “safe havens” of terrorists in Pakistan until Islamabad takes steps to stop terrorists from carrying out cross-border attacks. 

Iran’s state news agency IRNA on Monday quoted their Major General Mohammed Baqeri saying that “unless Pakistan control(s) the borders, arrest(s) the terrorist and shut(s) down their bases…we will hit their safe havens and cells wherever they are”.

Major General Baqeri’s remarks came after Iranian border troops were killed in a clash with terrorists.

Ten Iranian border guards were killed by terrorists last month. Iran said Jaish-al-Adl, a terror group, had shot the guards with long-range guns, fired from inside Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan was called for “conveying Pakistan’s concerns”.

“It was conveyed to the Iranian Ambassador that such remarks were against the spirit of brotherly relations existing between the two countries,” it said.

“The Iranian side was urged to avoid issuance of such statements that could vitiate the environment of fraternal relations,” it said.


09:11  Happy to hear his execution was stayed: Kulbhushan Jadhav’s friend:  

In a major reprieve to Kulbhushan Jadhav, the International Court of Justice in Hague on Tuesday asked the government of Pakistan to put his execution on hold who was facing death sentence on charges of spying.

Reacting to the news, T Pawar, friend of Kulbhushan Jadhav, was happy and admired the effort of government.

Happy to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav ‘s execution stayed in Pakistan , and glad that Indian government is trying its best to get him back,said Pawar.

Defence expert General GD Bakshi said that he is happy to hear that the ICJ has stayed Jadhavs death sentence. Bakshi said that Pakistan military court had no jurisdiction on Jadhav.

Another defence expert Praful Bakshi parised te governments effort and hoped that India would get success in the case in future.

India, in its appeal, contended that it was not informed of Jadhav’s detention until long after his arrest and that Pakistan failed to inform the accused of his rights. 


08:52  [email protected]: PM to address nation from Guwahati:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from Guwahati on May 26, when the NDA government completes three years in office and its state government in Assam completes a year.

For the first anniversary of his government, Modi had visited Nagla Chandrabhan village in Mathura, the birth place of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. For the second anniversary, Modi addressed a mammoth rally in Saharanpur. This will be the third time the prime minister will attend a programme outside the national capital on his governments anniversary.

On the third anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Assam. He will address the nation from Guwahati. He has often described the eight states of northeast as Ashtalakshmi, said Hrishikesh Goswami, media advisor to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Modi will inaugurate the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, besides laying the foundation stone of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Changsari in the vicinity of Guwahati, Goswami said. 

08:33  JUST IN: US President Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tomorrow: White House


08:17  Bullet-ridden body of army officer found in Kashmir:  

Almost 10 days after two jawans of the Indian army soldiers were mutilated by Pakistan in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, a bullet-ridden body of an army lieutenant has been found in Shopian district’s Herman area in South Kashmir, reports said on Wednesday.

The Army officer has been identified as Umar Fayaz, who belonged to Kulgam.

On May 1, the bodies of two Indian soldiers, who were martyred following a ceasefire violation by Pak in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, were mutilated by Pakistan. 

Pakistani troops had violated ceasefire along the Line of Control in Poonch sector, attacking a patrol team near the border.


08:07   Trump fires FBI director:  President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey who was leading the investigation into whether his election campaign had ties to Russia’s alleged interference in the US polls.

Trump told Comey that he was no longer effectively able to lead the bureau and it was necessary to restore ‘public trust and confidence in it.

‘You are hereby terminated and removed from the office, effective immediately,’ Trump said in the letter.

The shock move comes days after Comey testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and a possible collusion between the country and Trump’s campaign.


07:47  Justin Bieber lands in Mumbai for maiden concert:  International pop sensation Justin Bieber arrived in Mumbai today for his maiden concert in India. 

The 23-year-old arrived at the Kalina airport at around 1.30 AM in a chartered flight along with his crew.  

The singer, who was sporting a pink hoodie, rushed out of the airport, where a group of fans had gathered to welcome him, to a waiting car which took him to his hotel in Lower Parel. He was accompanied by Bollywood star Salman Khan’s personal bodyguard Shera. 

His backstage crew, along with his security team, is already stationed in the hotel. After rocking the stage in Dubai on May 6, the Love Yourself singer is set to perform in Mumbai today.  

A rage among the youth, especially teenagers, Bieber is touring to promote his critically-acclaimed album Purpose. Titled the “Purpose World Tour”, around 45,000 ‘Beliebers’ are expected to be in attendance for the Grammy-winning singer’s first-ever show in India at Navi Mumbai’s D Y Patil Stadium.  

Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale said 500 security personnel along with 25 officers have been deployed to ensure proper security at the stadium, with drone cameras keeping a constant watch. 

Apart from local police and the singer’s own security detail, Salman Khan’s bodyguard Shera has also been roped in to ensure Bieber’s safety. 

Harry Potter actress Elarica Johnson will host the highly-anticipated event. The opening acts for Bieber’s gig include artistes such as DJ Sartek, DJ Zaeden and Norwegian DJ Alan Walker. The performances will begin at 4 PM with DJ Sartek opening the concert.  

Bieber is getting a royal treatment during his India stay. He will be treated to cuisines representing 29 states, people close to the organisers of the tour said. After the show, Bieber is expected to attend a private yacht party with live karaoke singing.  

The Cold Water singer is expected to spend the next two days visiting New Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.  

Bieber will be showered with custom-made presents which include an exclusive autographed sarod from Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, a Swarovski crystal-studded jacket by Rohit Bal and an Anamika Khanna-designed floor length chanderi silk jacket for his mother Pattie Mallett.  

Bieber embarked on the tour on March 9 last year in Seattle and will close it on September 24 this year in Tokyo.


01:36  Emergency declared at US Hanford nuclear site after tunnel collapse:  

The United States Department of Energy has declared an emergency at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste storage site, after a cave-in of a tunnel used to store radioactive materials and equipment.

About 3,000 workers have taken cover at the 200 East Area of the sprawling complex, local media reported. By 10:30 am local time, the take cover orders have been expanded to the entire site, which is about half the size of Rhode Island.

A portion of a tunnel near the plutonium-uranium extraction plant (PUREX) collapsed early Tuesday morning local time, most likely from vibrations produced by nearby road work, KING-TV reported.

Initial reports spoke of a 4-foot (1.2 meter) hole, which was later expanded to 20 feet (6 meters) across, at the junction of two tunnels used in the 1960s to store highly radioactive materials and equipment, such as trains used to transport nuclear fuel rods.


00:40  Informed Jadhav’s mother about ICJ order: EAM Sushma Swaraj:  

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that she has conveyed the International Court of Justice’s stay order on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s hanging to his mother.

“I have spoken to the mother of #KulbhushanJadhav and told her about the order of President, ICJ under Art 74 Paragraph 4 of Rules of Court,” Sushma tweeted. 

“Mr.Harish Salve, Senior Advocate is representing India before International Court of Justice in the #KulbhushanJadhav case,” she said in another tweet. 

The International Court of Justice has stayed the hanging of Jadhav, who was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “spying”.

Source: Rediff