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LIVE! Trump’s climate claims on China, India false: Expert

14:18  CBSE Class X results declared, pass percentage falls:  The pass percentage of the Central Board of Secondary Education Class X exam has fallen to 90.95 per cent from 96.21 per cent last year, registering a dip of over 5 per cent, officials said today.

The CBSE today declared results of Class X for five regions, including the national capital.

The other four regions are Allahabad, Chennai, Dehradun and Trivandrum.

The results for other regions will be announced soon, a senior official said.

Anxious students and parents had to wait for the results as the board’s website crashed half an hour before the result was scheduled to be declared due to heavy traffic.

A total of 16,67,573 candidates had appeared for the exam this year.

On May 28, the board had declared the results for class XII which had seen a dip of over one per cent in the pass percentage.  — PTI


14:00  Trump’s climate claims on China, India false: Expert:   United States President Donald Trump wrongly claimed that the Paris Agreement would leave India and China unchecked on building coal-fired power plants, an American web-based fact checking media outlet has said.

Lori Robertson, managing editor of which is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Centre, said there was nothing in the Paris agreement that stipulates which countries can and cannot build coal plants.

“Trump wrongly claimed that the Paris Agreement would allow China to ‘build hundreds of additional coal plants’ and allow India to ‘double its coal production by 2020’ but the United States ‘can’t build the plants’,’ said Robertson.

Announcing his decision to withdraw from the Paris deal, Trump had alleged that India and China have been left unaccountable in the agreement.

“While the United States is held to a higher standard than developing countries, the two he mentioned — China and India — have agreed to climate measures that would preclude a major expansion of coal. And perhaps most important, new coal plants in the US aren’t economically feasible right now, due to lower costs of other forms of energy,” Robertson said.

He said under the Paris deal, developed countries agreed to set economy-wide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while developing countries ‘should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts’ with the aim of achieving economy-wide absolute reductions eventually. — PTI


13:05  Even if about Roy’s remarks was fake, I don’t regret my tweet on her: Rawal:  Actor-politician Paresh Rawal says he has no regrets about his tweet on Arundhati Roy as the author has been badmouthing the Army, which well never hit back at her.

The Bharatiya Janata Party MP had received a lot of flak on social media for saying the army should ‘tie’ Roy to an army jeep instead of a ‘stone pelter’, a reference to an incident in Kashmir where a protester was used as a shield by security personnel against stone pelting.

Many termed the tweet as ‘offensive’ and one that ‘incited violence’. The 67-year-old actor’s tweet came after the Pakistani media reported remarks by Roy criticising the Indian Army’s action in Kashmir.

The report later turned out to be untrue.

But Rawal said he isn’t sorry even if the report on Roy is ‘fake news’. He went on to say that even if she was ‘tied’ to an Army jeep, no stone-pelter would attack her as she supported their ideology.

“I expected this kind of reaction from liberal minded people. I just want to know when Arundhati Roy was talking about army people, why no one said anything?

“If she is right, then even I am right. If she regrets making the comments, then I also regret. Agreed that this is fake news, but what about the comments that she made on 2002 Godhra riots? If you have freedom of expression then even I have it,” Rawal said.

He said one can openly criticise politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi but why target the Army.

“If you have the guts then talk about Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal Chief Minister). Four people will come and beat you up. You talk about those people (army) who don’t hit back at you for your remarks.

“These people (referring to Roy) go and talk at international seminars and forums where they get funding, get awards… you get respect so you talk nonsense,” he said.

The national award-winning actor said he fails to understand why Roy is playing the ‘woman card’ following his comments of tying her to the jeep.

“When we talk about it (referring to his tweet of tying her to the jeep), then you say ‘I am woman’. Are you not a woman when you make such comments… . I am not at all apologetic about it (comment) as it pertains to my country, my Army,” he adds.

The actor rather insisted his remark on Roy was a message of peace.

“Even if hypothetically Arundhati was tied, no one would have pelted stones as she is their well wisher, she endorses the ideology. I have rather passed on a message of peace (maine toh shanti ka kabutar choda hai). Who will beat her up? So there is no violence,” he adds.

Roy, an award-winning writer, has been a trenchant critic of the BJP and the Army’s action in insurgency-hit areas.

Rawal alleged that critics like Roy chose to remain silent when at least 2,500 soldiers suffered severe injuries in stone pelting incidents.

“Why don’t you talk about human rights then. Don’t they (soldiers) have a family? The death of a soldier is tangible. you can see that but your views and expression are intangible. All you say is Hindus have committed atrocities all over the country including in Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland and have occupied everything.”

“My son, who is studying in America, is asking me ‘is it all occupied?’ Imagine what implication it has for young minds. They doubt you. It demoralises the Army… I am happy a debate has started and I would have regretted if violence would have started. My aim was not that. It wouldn’t have happened also,” he added.

After the controversy over his tweet, Rawal had said there was pressure on him to delete it or his twitter account will be blocked.

When asked what upsets him as a politician, he said it ‘is unaccountability and lack of humanity while dealing with a situation’. — PTI


12:14  Despite large Muslim population, IS failed to gain a foothold in India: Rajnath:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh addresses a press conference on three years of the Modi government and internal security in the country:

– The security situation in Jammu and Kashmir has improved; 368 terrorists have been neutralised between 2014-2017.

– There has been a 65 per cent increase in elimination of LWE (Left Wing Extremists) cadre and 185 per cent increase in their surrender

– Despite having a large Muslim population, ISIS (Islamic State) has been unable to establish a hold in India.

– We have been successful in nabbing more than 90 ISIS sympathisers. — ANI


11:50  Ariana Grande visits fans in UK hospital ahead of benefit gig:  Singer Ariana Grande is back in the United Kingdom and eager to play the benefit gig there after the deadly attack at her May 22 concert in the British city of Manchester claimed the lives of 22 people, including children.

On Friday night, the 23-year-old singer visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where many of her young fans are being treated, reported Entertainment Weekly.

Adam Harrison and Lauren Thorpe, who were injured in the blast, shared photos of their 8-year-old daughter Lily embracing Grande.

“All we can do is thank Ariana,” Thorpe told People magazine.

“What Ariana Grande did tonight was so selfless and amazing… Lily looked on cloud nine,” added Harrison.

Grande has tapped all-star roster of friends and musicians including Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Pharrell, Usher, Miley Cyrus and Niall Horan for her concert benefiting the victims of the terror attack.

The concert will take place June 4 at Manchester’s Old Trafford stadium.  — PTI


11:31  Meghalaya CM writes to Tripura counterpart over cattle trade:  

xMeghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has written to his Tripura counterpart Manik Sarkar urging to unite against the Centre’s new law on cattle trade and slaughter.

Sangma, in his letter, said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, is an infringement of a state’s rights to regulate items on List-II of the State List which include cattle market.

“The Centre should have treaded carefully after due consultations with state governments before proposing changes in the regulation of livestock markets.” 

Sangma also termed the move as “a complete infringement of the states’ domain which needed to be collectively and strongly resisted”.

He also termed the move as “a complete infringement of the states’ domain which needed to be collectively and strongly resisted”.

“The state governments must assert collectively to dissuade the Union Government from such actions which directly dilute the federal structure of our great nation. This notification will set a very wrong precedence in negating the spirit of the federal structure,” the Congress leader added in the letter.

10:46  As US withdraws from the Paris pact, its time the world recognised the real climate leaders:  Who is a climate leader? The Paris Agreement on climate change happened, in part, because of the bold political will of several world leaders, and in part for the United States, taking a legal form which would not require Congressional approval. Now that President Donald Trump has finally taken a decision for the US to exit the Agreement, it is time for the world to recognise the real climate leaders. India is one of them. But it needs to speak up.


10:13  EVM hacking challenge begins, 2 parties to have a go:  

Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party and the Left will try to prove that electronic voting machines can be rigged at the Election Commission’s hackathon, which is now underway. 

The Election Commission has announced that a total of 14 EVMs will be made available to representatives of Sharad Pawar’s party and the Left, who hope to prove that the Election Commission is wrong and that the equipment used by it can be gamed, as alleged by a series of political parties.

Hackers will get four hours – from 10 am to 2 pm – and access to four machines each. The other EVMs will be kept as back up.

Earlier on Friday evening, the Uttarakhand high court rejected a plea which called for a stay on the EVM challenge claiming the Election Commission does not have the authority to conduct the event. The high court also barred political parties and others from criticising the use of EVMs in the five state assembly elections “till pending election petitions are decided”, a decision that has cast a shadow on the Aam Aadmi Party’s planned parallel hackathon.


10:00  Maharashtra farmers withdraw strike after meeting CM:  

The farmers from Maharashtra have withdrawn their strike today after holding a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who promised to take a series of measures to meet their demands.

A delegation of farmers from Puntambe village had come to Mumbai to meet Fadnavis last night after he invited them for discussion.

Fadnavis announced the decision through his Twitter account after a four-hour long discussion.

Minister of State for Cooperation and Marketing Sadabhau Khot also confirmed about the development.

The farmers were planning a ‘strike’ from June 1 to press for their demands like loan waiver and free electricity.

“The strike is withdrawn and there should not be any violent protests against state anymore,” Fadnavis said.

“The marginal farmers’ outstanding loan will be waived. Necessary steps will be taken by October 31. The act of offering lower than minimum support price to farmers produce, it will be considered as criminal act and charges will be framed, are the demands state government has agreed to,” Sandeep Gidde, who leads the delegation of Puntambe farmers said. 


09:40  Paris didn’t hold India, China accountable on CO2 emissions, so withdrew: WH :  

The Paris climate pact did not hold countries like India and China accountable on greenhouse emissions, the White House has said as it defended US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark accord.

“As you know, China did not have to take any steps of compliance until 2030. India had no obligations until $2.5 trillion of aid was provided,” Scott Pruitt, administrator of

Environmental Protection Agency told reporters at a White House news conference.

The White House reaction comes a day after Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and said the US would renegotiate.

“And Russia, when they set their targets, they set 1990 as their baseline, which allowed them to continue emitting more CO2,” Pruitt said.

“It (Paris accord) did not hold nations like China and India accountable,” he said.

Pruitt said Trump made a very courageous decision by pulling out of the Paris Agreement.


09:04  Modi’s US visit still on despite Trump rant against India on climate change:  

US President Donald Trump unloaded on India among other countries during an epic rant on Thursday while announcing American withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord.

The shrill speech, replete with claims of American victimhood at the hands of the rest of the world, casts a chill on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to the White House later this month, which officials say remains on schedule.

Phone and cables lines between Washington and New Delhi were buzzing on Thursday and Friday as Indian officials and diplomats took stock of Trump’s direct, no-holds-barred attack in which he accused New Delhi of trying to extract “billions and billions and billions” of dollars in foreign aid from the developed world to sign up for the climate accord.

Although dates for the PM’s trip have not been formally or officially announced, the White House has penciled in June 26-27 for the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and Modi.

The meeting, which Indian officials said on background is still on despite the climate change fireworks, will now take place under a cloud of misgivings, including the Trump administration’s crackdown of guest worker visas that is adversely affecting Indian businesses, its squeeze on US manufacturing abroad that is forcing a scaling down of US investment in India, and now its withdrawal from the Paris Treaty after previous US administrations dragged New Delhi kicking and screaming into it.

08:38  Drama at IGI Airport T3 as MP insists on taking knife on flight:  

BJP MP from Barabanki Priyanka Singh Rawat on Friday insisted on taking an unfolded knife with her on a flight, leading to a long argument between her and officials at Indira Gandhi International Airports Terminal 3 in the capital. She eventually agreed to put the knife in the hold area of the Air India aircraft, where arms and ammunition are stored in the custody of Air India crew members.

O P Singh, DG, CISF, which looks after security at airports, confirmed the incident. Our security personnel detected an unfolded knife in her hand baggage and firmly informed her about the rules. But she refused to remove it and we had to call the Air India duty manager to convince her.

Rawat denied that such an incident had taken place and maintained that she had followed all rules. It was not a knife, they detected a keyring in my hand baggage, she said.

Sources said that Rawat was taking Air India flight-411 to Lucknow. The flight was scheduled for 7.10 am. Around 6.15 am, at security checking, security personnel detected an unfolded knife when her hand baggage was put inside the X-ray machine. The personnel informed her that carrying the item is prohibited, citing civil aviation ministry rules, sources said.

08:28  JUST IN: National Investigation Agency raids 14 locations in Kashmir, 8 in Delhi in connection with the terror funding case. Raids underway


07:56  EVM challenge to be held today after HC rejects stay plea:  

The Election Commission’s much-talked about EVM challenge will be held in the national capital on Saturday morning. The Uttarakhand high court in a significant development on Friday barred all political parties, individuals, media and even social media networks, like Facebook and Twitter, from criticising the use of EVMs in the recently conducted assembly polls.

A two-judge bench of Justices Sharad Kumar Sharma and Rajiv Sharma said that “all recognised national and state parties, other political parties, NGOs, individuals, in larger public interest, are restrained from criticising the use of EVMs in the recently concluded elections” and cannot approach print, electronic media, radio, Facebook or Twitter with criticism of any kind.

Meanwhile, the EC said its EVM challenge will start at 10 am on Saturday as scheduled. So far, NCP and CPI-M have nominated three representatives each for the challenge. The poll panel will provide 14 randomly selected EVMs which were used during the general and state elections in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to prove that EVMs cannot be tampered with, as alleged by various opposition parties.


00:23  Kamal Haasan threatens to quit films, says GST rate will ruin cinema:  

South mega star Kamal Haasan on Friday said that he will be “forced to quit cinema” if the GST rate for the entertainment industry is not slashed by at least half.

GST or Goods and Services Tax is set to be launched next month and aims at replacing a tangled web of central and state levies with a single tax. 

For the film industry, the entertainment and services taxes will be replaced by a single 28 per cent slab which, says Kamal Haasan, is steep.

“We welcome GST and one India one tax. But this rate will ruin regional cinema,” said the 62-year-old actor-filmmaker, urging Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to cut the GST rate to 12-15 per cent.

“If I can’t afford the tax I’ll have to quit. I will not work for the government… what is this? Is this the East India Company?” Haasan questioned. 

GST, India’s biggest tax overhaul, is set to debut on July 1. A small list of goods will be exempt from taxes while the rest will be taxed at the approved rates of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent.

Source: Rediff