NEWS IN BRIEF – JULY 16, 2012

1. US biz worried about India’s investment climate: Obama, Signals Time For Difficult Reforms: Washington: Industry captains have said it. Economists, including the government’s advisers, have said it and taken it back now and then. The government has accepted it in parts and resolved action. Now, in the first such observation from a foreign head of state, US President Barack Obama indicated it might be time for India to implement “difficult reforms that are necessary”, given the stagnation in investment and job creation. [TOI p1]

2. Courts push foreign workers out of India?, Govt’s Eco Policy

Clashes With Judicial Orders: New Delhi: Even as it is striving to attract

FDI, the government is being forced to rethink its policy of letting foreign

professionals such as lawyers, architects and auditors practice in India.

This is evident from two judicial directions this month pointing to a clash

between the open-door policy and the restrictions placed by the laws

governing professions. [TOI p10]

3. Terror charges against Pak unbelievable: New Delhi : Even as India

continued to insist that Pakistan bring the orchestrators of the Mumbai

terror attacks to justice, Pakistan envoy to envoy to India Salman Bashir

on Sunday said it was “unbelievable” and “incredible” to allege that state

institutions were involved in the incident.[HT p11]

4. 36 Indian pilgrims killed as bus plunges into canal in Nepal :

Kathmandu : Thirty-six Indian pilgrims were killed when their bus plunged

into the swollen Gandak canal near the Nepal-India border on Sunday.

The bus was carrying an unspecified number of passengers when the

accident occurred. While 39 bodies were recovered till the evening, 27

passengers, including 10 Indians, were rescued alive.[The Hindu p1]

5. Sangma hoping for a repeat of 1969 : Bhubaneswar : Claiming that his

prospects in the July 19 presidential election are “very good,” the former

Speaker, P.A. Sangma, said on Sunday that he was optimistic of a repeat

of 1969 situation when V.V. Giri had defeated the official candidate of the

Congress.[The Hindu p10]

6. Mamata gets Pranab’s letter seeking support : Kolkata :Trinamool

Congress chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

received on Sunday a letter from Pranab Mukherjee, nominee of the

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for President, seeking her support for

his candidature.[The Hindu p1]

7. J&K MLA seeks mercy for Afzal from Pranab: Srinagar: A Jammu &

Kashmir MLA on Sunday sought clemency for Parliament attack accused

Afzal Guru from UPA’s presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

Independent MLA, Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, from J&K’s Langate

constituency, submitted a petition to Mukherjee on his campaign trail in

Srinagar. [TOI p11]

8. JMM to vote for Pranab : Ranchi : The Congress on Sunday thanked

the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) for deciding to vote for UPA

Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee. “We are thankful to JMM chief

Shibu Soren for extending his support to the UPA candidate.[IE p7]

9. NCP meets today: Pawar sulking over being No.3 : New Delhi : At

least three UPA allies- the Trinamul Congress. NCP and the DMK- are

sulking for different reasons ahead for the presidential and vicepresidential

elections. This has made Congress managers more

dependent on the SP, BSP and the CPI(M).[AA p1]

10. Infrastructure investment target set to drop by 20 pc : New Delhi :

India’s ambitious target to invest $1 trillion to boost its infrastructure over

the next five years is expected to be cut by at least 20 per cent, a move

forced by slowing economic growth and a failure to meet investment

targets in the sector by a similar 20 per cent in the last five years.[IE p1]

11. Sena, JD-U may go with NDA on V-P : New Delhi : The BJP-led NDA

will meet at NDA working chairman L.K. Advani’s residence on Monday to

discuss the vice-presidential poll issue. Unlike the presidential polls, the

Opposition alliance seems to be united this time to contest the V-P

polls.[AA p2]

12. Surprised at NAC dropping 3 members : New Delhi : N C Saxena,

member of the National Advisory Council (NAC), has expressed “surprise”

over the council’s reconstitution that saw three members — M S

Swaminathan, Harsh Mander and Madhav Gadgil — being dropped. The

NAC is headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.[IE p5]

13. 3 top Army officers move HC against summons : New Delhi : Three

top serving Army officers, including Vice Chief of Army Staff S K Singh,

have moved the Delhi High Court, challenging the summons issued on a

criminal defamation complaint by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh, who had

been indicted for bribery and spreading misinformation in an Army press

release this March.[IE p5]

14. “Important Bills likely to be passed after Presidential polls” :

Chandigarh : The Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and

Planning, Ashwani Kumar, said on Sunday that in UPA government would

be able to secure the passage of some important legislative Bills related to

various “critical issues” including the banking and insurance sectors,

Foreign Direct Investment, Lokpal and prevention of torture.[The Hindu

p5]

15. BJP Hopeful Veep Poll Won’t Divide NDA, Trinamool option reduced

as Gopal Gandhi refuses to contest: NEW DELHI : Fragmented on the

presidential poll, the BJP led NDA is trying to pick up the pieces and

project a united picture in the vice-presidential poll. NDA constituent

JD(U), which is backing Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for President, on

Sunday said the vice-presidential election cannot be equated with it.[ET

p2]

16. Jaswant or Sharad for VP race? NDA to decide today : New Delhi:

Even while toying with the idea of making senior leader Jaswant Singh

contest for the post of Vice-President, BJP is not likely to take any

decision until it has full knowledge of the likely stand of regional satraps

Mamata Banerjee, J Jayalalitha and Naveen Patnaik.[TOI p14]

17. Mamata Unique Ally, I Admire her: Khurshid, ‘Managing an alliance is

a 24X7 job & you cannot say we have done our one hour of the

alliance job. We cannot buy a problem fixer for the day’ : NEW DELHI

: Congress leaders are hoping to win over the Trinamool Congress’

support for their presidential and vice presidential candidates while

signalling that the Mamata Banerjeeled party may find it difficult to stay in

the coalition if it abstains in these elections. [ET p2]

18. Bigger role for Rahul soon, hints Digvijaya : New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi

seems to have finally agreed to play a larger role in Congress affairs in

what can resolve the uncertainty over the party’s leadership in the run-up

to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. [TOI p1]

19. Sept ideal for Rahul to step up role, says Diggy :New Delhi: While

Rahul Gandhi seems to have agreed to expand his role in the Congress

and potentially lead it into the 2014 elections, September is being seen as

the date of power shift. [TOI p10]

20. Fund abuse: Clean chit to Bedi, Crime Branch Says No Evidence,

May File A Closure Report Soon: New Delhi: Eight months after Delhi

Police registered a case against Team Anna member and former IPS

officer Kiran Bedi for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for her

NGOs, the crime branch has not found “any evidence” of misappropriation

by Bedi. Sources in crime branch said “they might soon file a closure

report in the case”. [TOI p3]

21. Drop Tamil Eelam agenda: PC to Karuna : Chennai: Union home

minister P Chidambaram on Sunday reportedly conveyed to DMK chief M

Karunanidhi the central government’s displeasure over a move by the ally

to pass a resolution to demand Tamil Eelam at a meeting of the Tamil

Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) in Chennai on August 12. [TOI

p14]

22. Vaghela says he nearly quit Cong, sparks a row : New Delhi : A

senior Congress leader on Sunday objected to remarks by former Union

minister Shankarsing Vaghela that he had nearly quit the party and was

set to rejoin the BJP, saying such utterances ahead of Assembly polls in

Gujarat would demoralise party men.[AA p2]

23. BJP eyeing new UP caste formula : New Delhi : The BJP is eyeing a

new caste combination in Uttar Pradesh after failing to get a political

mileage from the baniya-thakur-brahmin combination. Successive defeats

in UP polls seems to have compelled the party to take a recourse to social

engineering and put in place the “right caste combination” at every level of

party organisation.[AA p3]

24. Sharad fumes as Cong leaves him Pawar-less : New Delhi : The strain

between NCP and Congress over relegation of Sharad Pawar to the third

place in the Cabinet’s pecking order is likely to worsen with the UPA’s

Maharashtra ally not ready to accept such “pettiness”.[Pioneer Daily p1]

25. Gujarat BJP won’t take action against Keshubhai Patel : Ahmedabad

:In a magnanimous gesture, the Gujarat BJP has decided to snub the

tantrums raised by former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel through his

recent utterances against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.[Pioneer Daily

p6]

26. Tytler can’t go to Olympics, Akalis tell Maken : New Delhi: The Delhi

unit of Shiromani Akali Dal has lashed out at sports minister Ajay Maken

for his silence on former Congress MP Jagdish Tytler going to the

Olympics as an official representative while he was opposing Suresh

Kalmadi’s visit on the ground of “ethics and morality”. [TOI p8]

27. DMK, AIADMK square off over Chennai land : Delhi/Chennai: The

Centre has locked horns with an insistent Tamil Nadu government seeking

to reclaim 63 acres of prime Chennai land, in another attempt by AIADMK

chief Jayalalithaa to embarrass DMK. [TOI p11]

28. BJP demands removal of CWC member : Shimla : The Himachal

Bhartiya Janata Party has demanded an immediate removal of Col (retd.)

D.R. Shandil, a Congress Working Committee member and a former

Congress Member of Parliament from the hill State.[The Hindu p5]

29. BJP to farmers: Elect us, get interest-free loans : Bhopal: “Farmers

across the country will get agricultural loans at 0% interest if the BJP is

voted to power at the Centre in the 2014 general elections. It’s a promise,”

said party president Nitin Gadkari at a massive farmers’ rally in Bhopal on

Sunday. [TOI p9]

30. Kalmadi should not attend Olympics, reiterates Maken : New Delhi :

Continuing his tirade against Suresh Kalmadi, Sports Minister Ajay Maken

on Sunday said that the ‘tainted’ sports administrator should not attend the

London Olympics and termed as “absurd” the demand for his

resignation.[The Hindu p1]

31. 52 more local body representatives resign in Gadchiroli : Fifty-two

more local body representatives have resigned protesting ‘police atrocities

and lack of development of the region,’ in the Korchi tehsil of Gadchiroli

district of Maharashtra. The total number of resignations now stands at

218 in Korchi.[The Hindu p10]

32. Unbelievable to blame us for 26/11: Pak, Bashir Says Terror Pak’s

‘No. 1 Enemy’: New Delhi: Pakistani high commissioner Salman Bashir

on Sunday described as “incredible” and “unbelievable” allegations that

any Pakistani state agency was involved in the Mumbai attacks. [TOI p9]

33. Plan to privatise Jal Board opposed : New Delhi : Claiming the support

of various residents’ welfare associations from across the Capital, senior

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vijay Goel on Sunday said the Delhi

Government’s plan to privatise the Delhi Jal Board would become a

nightmare for the common man, citing the example of power distribution

companies.[The Hindu p4]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

34. CBI denies dragging feet in Bhopal case: New Delhi: The CBI on

Sunday denied allegations of delay on its part in bringing justice to Bhopal

gas tragedy victims. It was claimed that after the group of ministers (GoM)

headed by P Chidambaram had decided in June 2010 that the CBI should

get the Madhya Pradesh high court to expedite the decision on liability of

Union Carbide Corporation’s new parent company (Dow Chemicals), the

agency dragged its feet. In 2005, the HC had granted a stay on the

summons against both Dow Chemicals and UCC in the case. [TOI p15]

EDITORIAL / OPINION

35. Khurshid has said what Congressman know : Balbir Punj :Dear Mr

Khurshid: Since you spoke to the Indian Express, the Congress rank and

file has been saying: “Thank you, Sir, for telling the world that the prince

has no clothes”. Of course, nobody has put it in so many words but, as in

the Orwellian crowd, they have all competed with one another in praising

you. So, one can afford to ignore your subsequent ‘clarification’ and seek

the true import of what you said.[Pioneer Daily p8]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

36. Obama: No solution from outside on J&K, Says Stable Pak Will Be

Good For South Asia: Washington: Ruling out any solution from

“outside” to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, US President Barack

Obama on Sunday underlined that disputes between India and Pakistan

can only be resolved by the two countries themselves. [TOI p14]