2 killed in violence in Saharanpur, curfew clamped

News4u-News Desk-Two persons were on Saturday killed and at least 12 others injured as violent clashes broke out between two communities over a land dispute in this western Uttar Pradesh district with mobs indulging in brick batting and arson, prompting authorities to clamp curfew.

“Harish Kochar, a traders’ leader, and an unidentified person have been killed in the clashes. A policeman has sustained bullet injury in the clashes and has been referred to PGI in a serious condition,” Commissioner, Saharanpur, Tanveer Zafar Ali said.

Police used force and fired rubber bullets to control the situation as mobs went on a a rampage setting ablaze a number of shops. He said that prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been invoked in the district and curfew has been clamped in six areas.

Tension prevailed in the district and a large contingent of security personnel including those of police, Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed in the area and paramilitary forces have also been called.

“As per the information received so far there was a dispute over land between two communities which escalated this morning,” Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel told the news agency.

The trouble started when members of one community started construction work at the site in Kutubsher area in the wee hours this morning, which was objected to by the other group.

Both the sides indulged in heavy brick batting, arson and opened fire and there were reports of several shops being gutted in the clash, police said.

Even as curfew has been clamped, sporadic incidents of clashes were reported. The ADG said senior officers were camping in the area.

Saharanpur is nearly 170 km from national capital Delhi and 560 km from state capital Lucknow.


2 killed in violence in Saharanpur, curfew clamped

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Isha Koppikar blessed with baby girl!

News4u-Entertainment Desk- New Delhi: Bollywood beauty Isha Koppikar and her hotelier hubby Timmy Narang have been blessed with a baby girl. According to reports, Isha gave birth to a healthy baby at a private hospital in Mumbai.

The actress kept herself away from the limelight during her pregnancy. It was only after the delivery that proud father Timmy shared the special news with the media persons.

The actress, who has worked in several hit films Ek Vivaah, Darna Mana Hai and 36 China Town, married the hotelier in 2009. She was introduced to Timmy by mutual friend and actress Preity Zinta.

We wish the couple heartiest congratulations for becoming proud parents for the very first time.Zee Media


Isha Koppikar

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PM launches portal for citizens to contribute in governance

News4u-News Desk-Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a website MyGov that aims to help citizens contribute in governance by giving their opinions and views on important issues like clean Ganga or skill development.

The inauguration of the people-centric platform also marks the completion of 60 days of the new government. The Prime Minister said in the past 60 days, the experience of his government was that there were many people who wanted to contribute towards nation-building and devote their time and energy, an official statement said.

Modi said MyGov (mygov.nic.in) is a technology-driven medium that will provide citizens an opportunity to contribute towards good governance, the statement added. “The platform would bridge gap gulf between people and government.

Democracy cannot succeed without people’s participation in government and this participation should not be limited only during elections,” the Prime Minister said.

Besides Modi, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, DEITY Secretary R S Sharma were also present at the launch of the portal.

National Informatics Centre (NIC) of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) will implement and manage the platform.

There are multiple theme-based discussions on MyGov where a wide range of people can share their thoughts and ideas with the government, Sharma told reporters after the launch.

“It is also an initiative to build a digital knowledge library. We will guide the people on the topics of national importance on which the government would like to know their views and ideas,” he added.

The platform presents an opportunity for the citizens to both ‘Discuss’ and ‘Do’, Sharma said, adding, any idea shared by a contributor will also be discussed on the discussion forums, allowing constructive feedback and interaction. At present, there are six groups on the platform — Clean Ganga, Girl Child Education, Clean India, Skilled India, Digital India and Job Creation.

“Citizens can also volunteer for various tasks and submit their entries. These tasks would be reviewed by other members and experts. Once approved, these tasks can be shared by those who complete the task and by other members on MyGov,” Sharma said.

Each group consists of online and on-ground tasks that can be taken up by the contributors. The objective of each group is to bring about a qualitative change in that sphere through people’s participation, he said.

“We will review the working on MyGov in three months and over time the number of groups, tasks and discussions will increase. The platform will also be used as a comprehensive knowledge repository,” Sharma added. The portal can even be extended to act like public audit platform for government projects like citizens giving feedback on status of completed infrastructure projects or availability of various social sector programmes, he said.


PM launches portal for citizens- Mygov

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Nation pays homage to martyrs of Kargil War

News4u-News Desk-The 15th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas is being celebrated on Saturday. It was on this day in 1999, the Indian soldiers successfully took back the territory that was occupied by the Pakistani intruders in Jammu and Kashmir after a 73-day conflict.

Various functions are being organised across the country to pay tribute to the martyrs of Kargil War.

In New Delhi, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley along with the three service chiefs paid homage to the martyrs at India Gate.

Speaking on the occasion, the defence minister said that the Government will soon finalize venue for construction of National War Memorial.


Nation pays homage to martyrs of Kargil War (

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Al Qaeda releases video of US suicide bomber in Syria

News4u-News Desk- Beirut: Syria’s al Qaeda affiliate has released a video of a US suicide bomber who blew himself up at an army post in the northwest of the country.

Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, alias Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, was believed to be the first American national to carry out such an attack in Syria’s more than three-year-old war.

“I want to rest in the afterlife, not in this world… My heart is not at peace here. Hopefully it will be in heaven,” Abu Hurayra says in broken Arabic in the 17-minute video posted on YouTube on Friday by Al-Nusra Front.

The footage, released via Al-Nusra’s official channel Al-Manara Al-Baydaa, also shows Abu Hurayra saying: “I came to Syria without money to buy a rifle or a pouch.

“God gave me a rifle and a pouch and everything, and… (then) he gave me even more.”

The American jihadist carried out a May 25 truck bomb attack on an army base in Jabal al-Arbaeen area of northwest Syria’s Idlib province.

Six days, the State Department confirmed that the US citizen, who newspapers said was from Florida and travelled to Syria in 2013, had carried out a suicide attack.

Estimates of the number of foreign fighters who have flooded into Syria in the past three years range from between 9,000 to 11,000.

The video gives few details about Abu Hurayra’s precise background, but shows him alongside three other suicide bombers, seated near an Al-Nusra black flag, each speaking of their mission.

At the time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four suicide attacks on army positions in Idlib on May 25 left dozens of casualties.

The video says Abu Hurayra attacked an army command building, while a jihadist from the Maldives was also among the four bombers. AFP


Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, alias Abu Hurayra al-Amriki

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AG says Cong not eligible for LoP post in LS

News4u-News Desk- In a setback to Congress which has been fighting for the Leader of Opposition post, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi has opined that it is not eligible and there is no precedent since the days of the first Lok Sabha to grant the post to a party which does not have the minimum required MPs.

Rohatgi has conveyed this to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who had sought his opinion in view of the dilemma she is facing over the issue, sources said on Friday.

The top law officer of the country has said Congress is not eligible as it does not have the required 10 percent (55 seats) in the 543-member Lok Sabha, the sources said. Congress has only 44 seats.

To back his opinion, the AG has said there is no precedence where a party was given the LoP position — the status of a Cabinet Minister — without meeting the criteria of 10 percent seats since the days of first Lok Sabha when G V Mavlankar was the Speaker, they said.

Even during the time of Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, Congress with over 400 seats had refused to grant LoP status to TDP for the same reason, the AG has told the Speaker.

The AG is also learnt to have rejected the contention that LoP status could be given to the leader of Congress-led UPA coalition as there is no such precedence. UPA has 60 members in the House.

Lok Sabha Secretariat officials refused to make any comment, saying a decision in the matter was yet to be taken.

Mahajan, who has been facing the tough situation on taking a call on the tricky issue, has said that she would consult legal and constitutional experts besides experienced persons in firming up a decision.

Reacting to the development, Congress, which has recently upped the ante over the issue, hoped that the Speaker will not be misguided by the opinion of the AG.

“Attorney General represents the government’s opinion. He articulates the government’s viewpoint. Government has nothing to do with it (LoP issue). It is the domain of the Speaker. We will react after the ruling of the Speaker,” Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed.

BJP said Congress may have to be content without the LoP post in the Lok Sabha as it will be difficult for the Speaker to give it to the party after she sought an opinion from the AG on the issue.

Expressing happiness over Mukherjee’s interest in history, the Prime Minister said the country had got new direction and inspiration from the guidance under his Presidency.

Dwelling on the importance of history in society, the Prime Minister said “only those can create history who know it, understand it and try to live it.”

Referring to the book - “The Winged Wonders of Rashtrapati Bhawan” the Prime Minister spoke of the important place birds have enjoyed in India’s history, culture and mythology.

Illustrating this with several examples, he said the Garuda Purana spoke of human values that could be gained by taking inspiration from birds.

“The (epic figure) Jataayu in the Ramayana inspires us to fight against terrorism,” he said.

In the epic Ramayana, Jataayu was the king of vultures who fought Ravana when he was abducting Sita. He said birds give inspiration to live in harmony with the nature.

“Borders, wind and water are irrelevant for birds,” the Prime Minister said, adding humans should learn from birds who make their nests from the waste.

“Thank God that these birds have never studied in architechture colleges otherwise they would also have been making similar types of concrete nests”, Modi quipped.

“The birds teach us to make best out of the waste. No bird uproots a plant for his nest. They make it from the waste material available,” he said.

On the book Indradhanush which is on the cultural events organized in Rashtrapati Bhawan, the Prime Minister said the art and culture of India has the potential to attract the world.

Marvelling at the richness of Indian culture, he remarked there were separate ‘raaga’ for different times of the day.

“While western music shakes your body, Indian music touches the soul of a human being,” Modi said and advised art should not be dependent (rajya-aashrit) on the state but promoted (rajya-puruskrit) by the state.

Referring to the need to preserve environment, he said “we have taken our natural resources from the next generation on loan and it is our duty to return them in good condition.

During the function, the President also received first copies of the books-’Thoughts and Reflections’ which is a compilation of quotes of the President, ‘Winged Wonders of Rashtrapati Bhavan’ on the birds of the President’s Estate and ‘Indradhanush’.

The book ‘Thoughts and Reflections’ was released by Vice President Md Hamid Ansari and the other two books by Modi.

‘Thoughts and Reflections’ attempts to capture the essence of the President’s thinking and present a spectrum of his ideas and views on India, its culture and values, democracy and its institutions, inclusive development, youth, education, research and innovation.

‘Winged Wonders of Rashtrapati Bhavan’ captures photos 111 species of birds that inhabit or visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan Estate.

The book adds to the existing literature on the subject, particularly with regard to the President’s Estate.

For each of the species recorded, the book provides the location, date and time of the sighting.

It also carries forward an earlier study done in 2002-03 on 91 species of birds in Rashtrapati Bhavan by the Bombay Natural History Society.

The entire exercise of surveying, spotting and photographing the birds started under the directions of the President who is himself a nature and bird lover.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has excellent open spaces, forest cover and thousands of fruit-bearing plants and trees that act as a magnet for birds.

‘Indradhanush’ is a compendium of music, dance and cinematic events organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan since August 2012 which embodies the concept of cultural heritage presented before the President of India.

The book is first in the series of a multi-volume documentation project on various aspects of Rashtrapati Bhavan in collaboration with IGNCA.


Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi (

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J&K: 1 killed, 4 injured in grenade attack in Baramulla

News4u-News Desk- A policeman was killed and four others injured in a grenade attack by militants in Sopore town of Baramulla district in Kashmir early Saturday, police said.

“Around 0230AM, militants hurled a grenade and fired at a police party near main Chowk at Sopore when miscreants were pelting stones at police,” police spokesman said.

He said five policemen sustained injuries in the militant attack.

“One constable M Syed succumbed to injuries. Two injured cops were referred to Srinagar for treatment while the other two cops were being treated in Sopore hospital,” the spokesman added. No militant outfit has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

This was second attack on security forces by militants over the past 24 hours in Kashmir. The ultras had shot dead a cop in Anantnag district of south Kashmir last evening.


J&K: 1 killed, 4 injured in grenade attack in Baramulla 

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Apple admits iPhones let others access your personal data

News4u-Business Desk- SAN FRANCISCO: Personal data including text messages, contact lists and photos can be extracted from iPhones through previously unpublicized techniques by Apple employees, the company acknowledged this week.

The same techniques to circumvent backup encryption could be used by law enforcement or others with access to the “trusted” computers to which the devices have been connected, according to the security expert who prompted Apple’s admission.

In a conference presentation this week, researcher Jonathan Zdziarski showed how the services take a surprising amount of data for what Apple now says are diagnostic services meant to help engineers.

Users are not notified that the services are running and cannot disable them, Zdziarski said. There is no way for iPhone users to know what computers have previously been granted trusted status via the backup process or block future connections.

“There’s no way to ‘unpair’ except to wipe your phone,” he said in a video demonstration he posted recently showing what he could extract from an unlocked phone through a trusted computer.

As word spread about Zdziarski’s initial presentation at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference, some cited it as evidence of Apple collaboration with the National Security Agency.

Apple denied creating any “back doors” for intelligence agencies.

“We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues,” Apple said. “A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data.”

But Apple also posted its first descriptions of the tools on its own website, and Zdziarski and others who spoke with the company said they expected it to make at least some changes to the programs in the future.

Zdziarski said he did not believe that the services were aimed at spies. But he said that they extracted much more information than was needed, with too little disclosure.

Security industry analyst Rich Mogull said Zdziarski’s work was overhyped but technically accurate.

“They are collecting more than they should be, and the only way to get it is to compromise security,” said Mogull, chief executive officer of Securosis.

Mogull also agreed with Zdziarski that since the tools exist, law enforcement will use them in cases where the desktop computers of targeted individuals can be confiscated, hacked or reached via their employers.

“They’ll take advantage of every legal tool that they have and maybe more,” Mogull said of government investigators.

Asked if Apple had used the tools to fulfill law enforcement requests, Apple did not immediately respond.

For all the attention to the previously unknown tools and other occasional bugs, Apple’s phones are widely considered more secure than those using Google’s rival Android operating system, in part because Google does not have the power to send software fixes directly to those devices.Reuters


iPhone

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Black boxes from Taiwan air crash investigated

News4u-News Desk-Investigators on Friday were examining wreckage and flight data recorders for clues into a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people. Stormy weather and low visibility are thought to have been factors in Wednesday’s crash of the twin propeller ATR-72 operated by TransAsia Airways.

The investigation is expected to focus on a four-minute gap between the pilot’s request for a second approach and the plane’s crashing into village homes at 7:10 p.m., during which visibility dropped by half.

Local media reported today that the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder had been sent to the main island of Taiwan for analysis.

One of the devices was damaged in the crash and ensuing fire, and it wasn’t immediately clear when results of the investigation would be made public. Dozens of investigators searched for other clues at the crash site on the island of Penghu in the Taiwan Strait west of the capital Taipei.

They took photos and measurements as cranes and backhoes sifted through the wreckage scattered over damaged houses at the far end of the airport on the resort island.

Ten people survived the crash. Also today, the airline’s chairman Vincent Lin visited grieving relatives gathered at a local funeral home and said the company would do all it could to aid them in their suffering.

“This is an unpredictable tragedy. The priority for us is to assist victims’ relatives,” Lin told reporters as Buddhist monks conducted rituals for the dead.

Among the mourners, Shu Chi-tse, father of victim Shu Chong-tai, said he’d spoken to his son just before the flight left the southern city of Kaohsiung on Taiwan’s main island. “He is a good boy. He cares for me and his mom.He loves his grandma a lot,” Shu said. The flight departed despite heavy weather following the passing of a typhoon that had forced the cancellation of about 200 flights earlier in the day.

However, aviation authorities said conditions were safe for flying and two other planes had landed at Penghu that day prior to the crash.

The TransAsia crash was Taiwan’s first deadly civil aviation accident since 2002, when a China Airlines plane went down shortly after takeoff, killing 225.


Taiwan air crash

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Report finds gaps in US nuclear disaster plans

News4u-News Desk-US nuclear plants must better prepare for the risk of natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, said a report on Thursday on lessons learned from Japan’s Fukushima crisis in 2011.

Current approaches to regulating nuclear safety “are clearly inadequate for preventing core-melt accidents and mitigating their consequences,” the report said.

As of now, US safety regulations are based on making sure nuclear plants can withstand equipment failures, loss of power and other malfunctions related to the design of the plant, otherwise known as design-basis events.

But history has shown that the biggest nuclear accidents in recent history — including at Fukushima Daiichi, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl — “were all initiated by beyond-design-basis events,” said the report.

Things like natural disasters, human errors and power outages “have the potential to affect large geographical regions and multiple nuclear plants,” said John Garrick, a nuclear engineer and co-author of the report.

“These include earthquakes, tsunamis and other geographically extensive floods and such things as geomagnetic disturbances,” Garrick told reporters.

Titled “Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving the Safety of US Plants,” the report was commissioned by Congress from the National Academy of Sciences, a non-governmental group of experts that provides scientific and policy advice.

The March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami knocked out power to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, causing severe core damage in three reactors, releases of radioactive material, widespread evacuations and the eventual shutdown of all nuclear power plants in Japan.

The report did not find fault with Japan’s actions before or after the incident.

Rather, it called for nuclear plants and US nuclear regulators to actively seek out the latest scientific data on risks and revise their plans accordingly.

The United States operates 100 nuclear power reactors, whose safety procedures are overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Nuclear plants should be ready to respond to a wide-spanning natural disaster that could damage infrastructure and disperse radioactive material beyond their 10-mile emergency planning zone, the report said.

It cited a number of off-site events that could interfere with electrical power to nuclear operations, from terrorism to human error to geomagnetic disturbances caused by solar storms that interrupt the electrical grid.

“There is some new evidence now that some of these events are not as rare as perhaps we thought,” said Garrick.


Report finds gaps in US nuclear disaster plans

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