Drought-like conditions likely in some areas: Agri Minister

News4u-News Desk-The worst impact of below-normal rains is likely to be in west India with drought-like conditions in some areas, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday, even as monsoon is likely to hit north India by the end of the week, a private forecasting agency said.

“A slow monsoon progress delayed the arrival of southwest monsoon in Delhi and north India, making the month of June, one of the driest in a decade in the country. But July has some good news in store as monsoon is expected to reach Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh by the end of this week,” forecasting agency said.

Monsoon was to hit the national capital by June 29, but has been delayed by a week. However, Delhi and parts of northern India might see rain spells and cloudy skies because of the trough extending along the foothills of Himalayas.

“Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar may continue to get rain during 24 hours. Rain in Delhi and Punjab could pick up from 5th July, which is when we are expecting monsoon to make an entry,” the agency said.

The Indian Meteorological Department also said that heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at isolated places over subHimalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and places over gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam and Meghalaya.

IMD added that conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir,Punjab and Haryana during next 34days.

However, it cautioned that parts of north India may experience heat wave. “Heat wave conditions would prevail at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh, but by Tuesday, such conditions could be seen in Rajasthan, giving some relief to other states,” the Met department said.


Rains in delhi

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France Foreign min calls on PM, invites to visit France

News4u-News Desk-Foreign minister of France Laurent Fabius, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday, and invited him to visit France.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to further strengthen and expand the bilateral relationship.

Welcoming the minister, Modi remarked that on Monday he had an opportunity to witness the launch of the French satellite, SPOT-7, which was placed in orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle from Sriharikota.

Recalling the strategic and friendly ties between the two countries, the Prime Minister sought French cooperation in the field of urban planning and heritage conservation.

Observing that France had provided technical support for the Ahmedabad Heritage Project, the Prime Minister said India planned to build heritage cities and 100 new smart cities. France has the expertise to help us in this regard, he added.

The Prime Minister also sought French cooperation in the fields of tourism, skill development and low-cost defence manufacturing.

The French Foreign minister said France was keen to expand the cooperation and the relationship, following the assumption of office by the new Government in India.

He discussed the student exchange programme, and further deepening of the technological cooperation between the two countries. The issue of terrorism also figured in the talks.

The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Ajit Doval, the National Security Adviser, Sujatha Singh, Foreign Secretary; Arun Singh, Ambassador of India to France; Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India, and other officials.


Foreign minister of France Laurent Fabius with PM Modi

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US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on July 9-10

News4u-News Desk-The next round of annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue would be held in Beijing on July 9 and 10.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew would travel to China next week for this omprehensive dialogue between the two countries.

They would be joined for the Dialogue by their respective Chinese co-chairs, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang, along with members of the US delegation and their Chinese counterparts.

“The Dialogue will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term economic and strategic interest,” an official statement said.


US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

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SC grants regular bail to Tarun Tejpal

News4u-News Desk-The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal in a sexual assault case.

The apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice S.A. Bobde, granting bail to Tejpal, gave liberty to the Goa government to approach the court in case of any attempt by Tejpal to infringe the witnesses.

Tejpal was arrested in Goa after a woman colleague accused him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel in November 2013.

The court has directed Tejpal to surrender his passport to the trial court if he has not done this.

The Supreme Court earlier extended his interim bail in the case till 1st July.


Tarun Tejpal

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NZ beats West Indies by 53 runs to clinch series

News4u-Sports Desk- Pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult bowled New Zealand to a 2-1 series victory with a tense 53-run win over West Indies late on the fifth and final day of the rain-hit third test in Bridgetown.

West Indies, set a target of 308 at Kensington Oval when New Zealand declared overnight on 331-7, was bowled out for 254 with 13.4 overs remaining on Monday.

Southee took 3-28 and Boult 3-48. Off-spinner Mark Craig was also impressive with 3-84. Neil Wagner contributed 1-50.

All-rounder Jason Holder top-scored for the West Indies with 52. Darren Bravo (40), Shane Shillingford (30 not out), captain Denesh Ramdin (29) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (25) also got starts without carrying on.

“We’re really thrilled with how we’ve managed to come out of this series with a win,” said New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum.

“This series is groundbreaking for this group. We’re very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve and I can think of worse places than Barbados to be able to celebrate it.”

McCullum’s declaration set the hosts an enticing target of 308 in a possible 98 overs and his new ball pair of Boult and Southee gave him the best possible start.

Boult struck in his second over when Kraigg Brathwaite (6) played no stroke to a big inswinger and lost his off stump after the ball kissed his pad to make it 7-1.

It was soon 23-2 when Boult got Kirk Edwards out to a low first slip catch by Ross Taylor.

Southee claimed the prize wicket of Chris Gayle soon afterward as the powerful left-hander was bowled off pad and bat as he aimed an expansive drive to leave the hosts in serious trouble at 31-3.

But veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul and fellow left-hander Darren Bravo added 50 either side of lunch to revive home hopes.

Craig finally ended the resistance of Chanderpaul when the veteran was stumped for the first time in his 156-test career. The left-hander hit two fours off 70 deliveries before falling at 81-4.

There was another defiant stand between Bravo and Ramdin and a short rain delay also threatened to stall New Zealand. But after putting on 41, both batsmen fell in quick succession.

Ramdin edged Southee to first slip where Ross Taylor clung onto his second fine catch.

Southee also claimed Bravo as he sliced an expansive drive straight to gully. Bravo hit six fours off 98 balls.

Craig soon claimed Kemar Roach, on his 26th birthday, to a bat-pad catch to Tom Latham at short leg at 144-7.

But Holder and Shillingford put on a defiant 77 for the eighth wicket to raise flickering hopes of a miraculous win.

Holder, on debut, hit three fours and a six off 79 balls for his maiden test 50 before falling to Craig. Holder was bowled through his legs by one that kept low.

Wagner brought New Zealand closer when he claimed Sulieman Benn to a catch at extra cover by Southee at 232-9.

Just after the start of the final hour, Boult provided the decisive blow when an inswinging yorker trapped Jerome Taylor plumb in front to give New Zealand the test and series.


NZ beats West Indies by 53 runs to clinch series

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LPG price hiked by Rs 16.50 per cylinder

News4u-News Desk-Price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) was on Tuesday hiked by Rs 16.50 per cylinder and that of jet fuel by over half-a-percent after international oil prices surged due to the ongoing Iraq crisis.

The increase in rates of non-subsidised LPG and ATF accompanies the Rs 1.69 a litre hike in petrol and 50 paisa a litre in diesel announced on Monday.

The price of non-subsidised LPG, which customers buy after using up their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders, was raised by Rs 16.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder, the first hike in six months.

Each non-subsidised 14.2-kg cooking gas cylinder will now cost Rs 922.50 in Delhi, up from Rs 906, according to Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the nation’s largest oil firm.

Non-subsidised LPG rates were last month cut by Rs 23.50 per cylinder. A subsidised LPG cylinder in Delhi costs Rs 414.

Tuesday’s hike breaks the declining trend that started in February with a Rs 107 cut in rates to Rs 1,134 per cylinder.

It was followed by a Rs 53.5 per cylinder reduction in March to Rs 1,080.50, by Rs 100 to Rs 980.50 in April, by Rs 52 in May and by Rs 23.50 cut last month.

IOC said losses on LPG have risen to Rs 449 per subsidised cylinder from Rs 432.71 in the previous month. The loss was Rs 762.50 in January.

Separately, the price of jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF), at Delhi was increased by Rs 413.78 per kilolitre (kl), or 0.6 percent, to Rs 70,161.76 per kl.

The increase follows three straight monthly reduction, the last one of Rs 1,285.89 per kl, or 1.81 percent, which came into effect on 1st June.

In Mumbai, jet fuel costs Rs 72,411.21 per kl as against Rs 71,940.36 per kl previously, IOC said. The rates vary because of differences in local sales tax or VAT.

Jet fuel constitutes over 40 percent of an airline’s operating costs and the price hike will increase the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers.

No immediate comments were available from airlines on the impact of the price increase on passenger fares.

The three fuel retailers — IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp — revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on the first of every month, based on the average international prices in the preceding month.


LPG price hiked

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Maruti June sales up 33 pc at 1,12,773 units

News4u-Business Desk- Country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Tuesday reported a 33.5 percent increase in its total sales for June at 1,12,773 units as against 84,455 units in the same month last year.

The company said its domestic sales rose by 31.1 percent during the month to 1,00,964 units as against 77,002 units in June 2013.

Sales of mini segment cars, including M800, Alto, A-Star and WagonR, rose by 52.1 per cent to 47,618 units as compared to 31,314 units in the year-ago month, MSI said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company said sales of the compact segment comprising Swift, Estilo, Ritz rose by 6.2 percent to 22,293 units in June this year as against 20,996 units in the same month a year ago.

MSI said sales of its popular compact sedan Dzire rose by 27.4 percent during the month under review at 15,990 units as against 12548 units in June 2013.

The sales of company’s mid-sized sedan SX4 rose by 2.5 percent to 322 units in June as against 314 units in the same month last year. There was no sale of premium sedan Kizashi during the month.

Sales of utility vehicles, including Gypsy, Grand Vitara and Ertiga, rose marginally at 5,003 units in June this year from 4,997 units in the corresponding month last year.

Sales of vans - Omni and Eeco - increased by 42.5 per cent to 9,738 units in June this year as compared to 6,833 units in the same period of the previous year.

Exports during the month rose by 58.4 per cent to 11,809 units as compared to 7,453 units in June last year, MSI said.


Maruti Suzuki

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Adarsh: CBI files 2nd supplementary chargesheet

News4u-News Desk-The Central Bureau of Investigation has completed its probe in the multi-crore Adarsh Society scam with the agency filing a second supplementary charge sheet in a special CBI court last month.

The agency is also preparing a Self Content Note (SCN) of the flat owners who were found ineligible to buy a flat in the society which will soon be handed over to the Maharashtra government.

“The charge sheet is filed against five accused, including one member and four financiers,” a CBI official said on Tuesday.

One of the society members died, hence he was not named in the charge sheet, said the official.

The charge sheet, filed last month, names former MLA Mukundrao Mankar, Landscape Realtors Private Limited (LRPL), Sanjay Kondwar and Gopal Kondwar (both directors of LRPL) and UK-based NRI Sharad Madan.

The flat of Lieutenant Colonel-rank personnel was allegedly financed by Madan but since he is no more, the agency has named only Madan in the charge sheet.

LRPL was a shell company floated with a sole aim of allegedly financing ‘benami’ flat in Adarsh, the official said.

“LRPL gave a loan of Rs 62 lakhs to Mankar,” he alleged.

According to the charge sheet, LRPL received money from other five to six shell companies.

Interestingly, the address of one of the shell companies which allegedly financed LRPL is that of an educational institution chaired by a state Cabinet minister.

The CBI said that they have not found any link of the involvement of the minister.

Meanwhile, the agency is preparing a SCN of the 27 flat owners who were found ineligible to buy a flat in the society. The SCN will be handed over to state Chief Secretary.

“The list of 27 members include flats of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and former Union Power Minister Suresh Prabhu,” said the CBI official.

Once the SCN on CBI findings is submitted, the state government can decide on the future course of action, he said.

“The state can decide on whether or not to cancel their membership,” said a CBI official.

The official also said that “loan availed by relatives of former state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan from a Pune-based builder were returned within few years after purchase of flat.”

The 13 accused named in the first charge sheet of CBI, which includes Ashok Chavan, have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct under the Indian Penal Code, besides the Prevention of Corruption Act.

However, the CBI later moved the Bombay High Court saying that Chavan’s name be dropped as Maharashtra Governor has not given sanction for his prosecution.


Adarsh Scam

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Prasar Bharati favours more financial, administrative autonomy

News4u-News Desk- Prasar Bharati favours more financial and administrative autonomy for the pubic broadcaster which is “neither anti-, nor pro-government”.

“Yes, of course,” Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said when asked whether he wanted more freedom to work.

“Government knows about it. Government is very aware. Whatever I have said it is there in public discourse. I will not like to rake it up here. That is not the place. My stand or our stand on autonomy, professional autonomy, the autonomy to operate, has been made clear,” he said.

Sircar, who gave his views on ‘the future of journalism and the role of international broadcasters’ during a session of media summit in Bonn on Monday, held “typical bureaucratic mentality” responsible for people’s perception of Prasar Bharati being a government controlled body.

“That (perception) is because all the members of Prasar Bharati, they are all government servants.

So they carry their mentality with them. I was also a government servant I told them that I took an oath to remain at arm’s length (with the government) and if I have paid price for it why don’t you guys come forward,” he said without giving further details.

Prasar Bharati is a statutory autonomous body constituted under an Act of the Parliament.

“There is a spirit in Prasar Bharati. It is not anti- government or anything. It’s not like that. It is not pro- government or anti-government. It is a question of taking up the facts as they come,” he said.

“As I said a rape has to be reported. But we report not the rape and sensational part, we report the retribution part, the punishment part. That is the important part,” he said.

Sircar said it is for the nation to make up its mind for bringing in changes to ‘doordarshan’video service run by Prasar Bharati.

“We raised the issue (in the conference) of India’s public broadcaster not being international class. Our problem and our identity and our task was completely different.

It was holding India together.

A very typical country with 24 languages and 600 dialects. “Our task was to hold the India together through ‘Vividh Bharati’ (a radio service) through a common discourse, through a common shred experience. We have done that. It is now time for India to move outwards,” he said. During the conference, the CEO lauded the role of social media in bringing about the changes in people’s thinking.

“Social media played a major role in that (crowd sourcing in general elections) aspect. That crowd source views or open views what was later turned out to be one of those instruments that brought majority of people (out to cast their votes in recently concluded general elections),” Sircar added.

Scores of participants including journalistsfrom many countries are participating in Deutshe Welle Global Media Forum here.

Prasar Bharati to expand wings in Europe

In a move to expand its footprint, public broadcaster ‘Prasar Bharati’ is contemplating entering into the European market to present the Indian voices to international audiences.

“Our international forays have been made by private journalism to a small extent. It is time for the public broadcaster to start thinking of collaboration with best in the market and come out to present the voice of India or the voices of India. In fact that is the reason why I am here,” Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar said.

He was here to participate in three-day conference- Deutshe Welle Global Media Forum, which began Monday.

“Idea is that we are thinking in terms of going in for European penetration. Let’s see what happens,” he said, explaining Prasar Bharati’s expansion.


Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar

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Red wine can fight cavities too

News4u-Features Desk- For red wine lovers, there is another bubbly news. According to new research, red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities - and your visit to the dentist’s chair too!

This discovery could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side-effects.
To prove their point, researchers grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm.

They dipped the biofilms for a couple of minutes in different liquids — red wine, red wine without the alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12 percent ethanol — for comparison.

“Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria,” said lead author M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas, an authority on wine chemistry from Spain.

Cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss affect an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the global population.

The problems start when certain bacteria in the mouth get together and form biofilms, which are communities of bacteria that are difficult to kill.

Previous research has suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow bacterial growth, said the study that appeared in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.IANS


Red wine

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