Microsoft launches ‘most affordable’ Lumia smartphone at Rs 7,349

News4u-Business Desk- Bangalore: Microsoft Devices on Wednesday announced the launch of “most affordable” Lumia 530 dual SIM smartphone for Rs 7,349 in India.

Microsoft Devices said Lumia 530 will be available in stores at a best buy price of Rs 7,349 starting August 14.

The new Lumia 530 will provide a powerful entry to Windows Phone 8.1 with a Quad Core processor delivering faster and smoother user experience, among others, it said in a press release.

This device will expand the reach of Windows Phone as it allows more people to enjoy Lumia innovations and Microsoft services similar to those offered in high-end Lumia smartphones, the release added.

“The affordable smartphone segment is growing exponentially, driven primarily by youth who are constantly looking out for smartphones with power-packed features at affordable prices,” Viral Oza, Director-Marketing, Nokia India, a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobiles Oy, said. PTI


Lumia smartphone

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White House didn’t OK immigrant releases: Report

News4u-News Desk- Washington: An internal Homeland Security Department report says immigration officials decided on their own, strictly for budget reasons, to release more than 2,000 immigrants facing deportation in 2013.

Without consulting then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano or the White House, the agency ultimately freed 2,228 people. The lack of communication led the Obama administration to wrongly deny for weeks that so many people had been released. That’s according to a Homeland Security inspector general’s report yesterday.

The report also says Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials didn’t adequately plan for the increase in immigrant arrests at the Mexican border and didn’t track available funds or spending accurately.

The Associated Press reported in March 2013 that more than 2,000 immigrants were released. The White House and Homeland Security Department for weeks disputed AP’s reporting. PTI


White House

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AirAsia India lowers fares, offers 20% discount

News4u-Business Desk- Mumbai: AirAsia India, the latest entrant in domestic air space, has lowered its fares by 20 percent for a limited period on all its flights.

The discounted ticket scheme was launched yesterday for a six-day period (till August 17) and offers customers 20 percent discount on tickets across categories for flights from Bengaluru to Chennai, Kochi and Goa and vice versa, AirAsia India said in a release here.

AirAsia India currently operates flights from its current base Bengaluru to Chennai, Kochi and Goa. It also plans to launch flight services from Bengaluru to Jaipur and Chandigarh.

Customers can book their tickets under this discounted scheme till August 17 for a travel period up to December 14, it said.

AirAsia India, which is the domestic arm of Malaysian no-frills carrier AirAsia, had at the time of entering in the Indian aviation market said that its fares will be 35 percent cheaper compared to the segment players.

“With our existing everyday low fares, this new campaign is introduced in appreciation of the support and response extended by our passengers. Standing by our promise, this campaign will live up to our visions of making every Indian fly,” AirAsia India chief executive Mittu Chandilya said in the release.

The current offer is available for these proposed flights as well, the release said.

The travel period for the proposed Jaipur and Chandigarh flights will be between September 5 and October 25, the release said.

AirAsia India’s Jaipur and Chandigarh flight services are scheduled to start from September 5. PTI


AirAsia India

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Indirect tax collection target challenging but achievable: FM

News4u-Business Desk- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Rs 6.23 lakh crore indirect taxes collection target for the current fiscal is a challenging one but efforts are on to achieve the same by taking steps to boost growth.

“The revenue targets in the case of indirect taxes for the current financial year 2014-15 are challenging one but are very much achievable. The revenue targets for indirect taxes for the current financial year is fixed at Rs 6,23,244 crore, with an overall growth rate of more than 25 per cent,” he said in New Delhi.

In order to spur the growth, he said, the government has in the past few months concentrated on improving areas of manufacturing and infrastructure.

“Last few years have been somewhat difficult as far as the Indian economy is concerned. In last few years when you had modest growth rate, they were coupled with either a static or negative growth rate especially in manufacturing, as a result some of the indirect taxes took the hit,” he said while addressing Chief Commissioners and Directors General of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax .

However, the government has taken a series of measures in the past two months both inside and outside the budget process in this direction to boost the performance of these sectors.

Figures relating to manufacturing sector in the months of June and July this year are quite encouraging, he said, adding if this trend continues for a few more months only then it will constitute a pattern.

Highlighting that the government is in favour of trade facilitation, he said, efficient trade facilitation leads to substantial reduction in transactional cost for the businesses.

With respect to trade facilitation in taxation, he said a large number of irritants which had been created particularly in the tax administration, have been consciously addressed. He emphasised that trade facilitation will not only bring ease in doing business in the country but will also reduce the cost of doing business.

The Finance Minister asked the senior officers of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to work as a facilitator for tax payers and at the same time take action wherever they find cases of revenue leakages or tax evasion.

The cost of tax collection, both in case of direct and indirect taxes in our country, is not very high and further investment in strengthening the tax infrastructure in the country will bring better returns to the exchequer of the government, he said.

The minister also laid emphasis upon reducing tax litigation and tax settlement mechanism to unlock the money held up due to litigation.


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

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TRAI suggests restriction on political parties, corporates in media

News4u-News Desk- In an attempt to ensure plurality of news and views, broadcast regulator TRAI on Tuesday suggested restriction on political bodies and corporates entering the television and newspaper business.

It also recommended a single independent media regulatory authority comprising predominantly of eminent non-media persons for TV and print media to check and impose penalties for “paid news”, “private treaties” and issues related to “editorial independence”.

“The entities (political bodies, religious bodies, urban, local, panchayati raj, and other publicly funded bodies, and Central and State Government ministries, departments, companies, undertakings, joint ventures, and government-funded entities and affiliates) to be barred from entry into broadcasting and TV channel distribution sectors,” TRAI said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said that an exit route option should be provided in case permission to any such organisations have already been granted.

Commenting on corporates entering media, it said: “On grounds of the inherent conflict of interest, the Authority recommends that ownership restrictions on corporates entering the media should be seriously considered by the Government and the regulator.”

GOVT SHOULD NOT REGULATE THE MEDIA

With respect to the “media regulator”, TRAI said: “Government should not regulate the media; There should be a single regulatory authority for TV and print mediums; the regulatory body should consist of eminent persons from different walks of life, including the media. It should be manned predominantly by eminent non-media persons.”

Besides, it said, strengthen arm’s length relationship between Prasar Bharati and government and take measures to ensure functional independence and autonomy.

In its recommendations on issues relating to media ownership, TRAI said the news and current affairs genre is of utmost importance and direct relevance to the plurality and diversity of viewpoints and, hence, they should be considered as the relevant genre in the product market for formulating cross-media ownership rules.

RESTRICTION ON CORPORATES ENTERING MEDIA

For restriction on corporates entering media, it said: “This may entail restricting the amount of equity holding/ loans by a corporate in a media company, viz., to comply with provisions relating to control.”

TRAI said that pending enactment of any new legislation on broadcasting, disqualifications for entities, including political bodies and religious bodies which it has recommended to be barred from entering media, should be implemented through executive decision.

The existing entities in the media sector which are in breach of the rules, should be given a maximum period of one year to comply with the rules, it added.

PAID NEWS

On “paid news”, TRAI said that both media organisation and persons like an MP or MLA paying for favourable news should be held liable and not only the politician.

It also recommended that in case “advertorials”, a clear disclaimer should be mandated, to be printed in bold letters, stating that the succeeding content has been paid for.

The regulator has suggested that media organisation should submit reports to licence issuing authority and the proposed regulator which should disclose information related to shareholding pattern, foreign investments, board of directors, loans etc in public domain.

TRAI said media organisation must also disclose to licensor and regulator their top ten advertisers, subscription and advertisement revenue and advertising rates.

There would still exist the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the legislative and legal framework in order to establish a robust institutional mechanism for the long term, it said.


TRAI

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Thambidurai elected unopposed as LS Dy Speaker

News4u-News Desk- AIADMK leader M Thambidurai elected unopposed as Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha after all major parties, including Congress, extended support to his candidature.

Thambidurai on Tuesday filed his nomination for the post and the first nomination paper was proposed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Later, Congress also lent its support and its leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge proposed a set of nomination papers in his support and Jyotiraditya Scindia supported it.

Official sources said at least eight more set of nominations papers are being filed in his support by NDA allies like TDP, Shiv Sena, LJP as well as non-NDA parties like BJD, TRS, YSR Congress, TMC and SP.

Earlier Tuesday, AIADMK MPs, including Thambidurai, met Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu in the latter’s chamber and he emerged as the ruling party’s choice for the post.

AIADMK with 37 MPs is the third largest party in Lok Sabha after BJP and Congress, which have 279 and 44 members respectively.


Thambidurai

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Four judges assume charge in SC

News4u-News Desk- Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre, R Banumathi, Prafulla Chandra Pant and Uday Umesh Lalit on Wednesday assumed charge as Supreme Court judges, taking the apex court’s strength to 30, including Chief Justice R M Lodha.

Justices Pant, 62, Sapre, 59, and Bhanumati, 58, were the Chief Justices of the Meghalaya High Court, Gauhati High Court and Jharkhand High Court.

58-year-old Justice Lalit, who was a senior advocate and in the panel recommended by the Supreme Court collegium, has been elevated as an apex court judge from the bar.

The sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court is 31, including the CJI.

The four judges were elevated to apex court and were administered the oath of office by CJI Lodha.

Justice Pant was appointed as the first Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court in September, 2013.

He was born in Pithoragarh district of then undivided Uttar Pradesh and joined the UP Judicial Service in 1976 and held different posts.

He became additional judge of the Uttarakhand High Court in June 2004 and a permanent Judge in February 2008.

Justice Sapre, who was born in Jabalpur, was sworn in as the chief justice of Gauhati High Court in October last year.

He obtained his LLB degree from the university teaching department, Jabalpur and enrolled as an advocate in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh in 1978.

He has practised in civil, constitutional, taxation, company law and labour laws and was a standing counsel for the income tax department in MP High Court.

He was appointed as additional judge of the High Court of MP in 1999 and as permanent judge in 2001.

He was transferred to Rajasthan High Court and has also functioned as a judge of Chhattisgarh High Court.

Justice Banumathi had joined Tamil Nadu Higher Judicial Service in 1988 as a direct recruit district judge and would have a seven-year tenure in the apex court.

She has served at various posts in the subordinate judiciary before being made a judge of the Madras HC in April 2003.

With her appointment, now there are two woman judges in the apex court.

She is the second woman sessions judge to rise to the country’s highest court.

Earlier, Justice Fathima Beevi, who started as a sessions judge in Kerala, had been promoted to the apex court in 1989.

Justice Lalit was designated as senior advocate by the Supreme Court on April 29, 2004.

His strength as an advocate were his thoroughness with the case, patience in explaining legal questions and the sober demeanour in presenting the case before the bench.

Politicians to cine-stars facing prosecution had engaged him in different courts.

He was appointed as special public prosecutor in the 2G spectrum case by the apex court.


The supreme Court Of India

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Palestinians say UN probe will prove Israel war crimes

News4u-News Desk- Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Tuesday a probe by the UN Human Rights Council will prove Israel committed war crimes and violated humanitarian law during its Gaza offensive.

Speaking after Israel complained that the inquiry was biased, Maliki said the Palestinians were confident in the commission, set up last month after the top UN human rights body adopted a Palestinian-drafted resolution over US opposition.

“We have full confidence that this commission is going to do everything to demonstrate that Israel has committed war crimes, crimes against humanity in its attack on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” Maliki told journalists in the Venezuelan capital as he arrived for an official visit.

“We are going to cooperate with this commission when it arrives in Palestine,” he added.

“We know Israel won’t allow it to enter the West Bank and we will seek alternatives so that the commission can carry out its mission.”

Earlier, Israel attacked the man named to lead the inquiry, Canadian lawyer William Schabas, as anti-Israeli.

“This commission’s anti-Israeli conclusions have already been written, all it needs is a signature,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 to halt cross-border rocket fire.

On the Israeli side, 67 people have been killed, mostly soldiers.

Maliki also saw off a shipment of humanitarian aid from Venezuela, which has backed the Palestinian cause since the late socialist president Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999.

The shipment was flown to Egypt on a Venezuelan air force plane to be taken overland to Gaza.


Palestinians say UN probe will prove Israel war crimes

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US sending 130 military personnel to Iraq

News4u-News Desk- US President Barack Obama has authorised sending an additional 130 military personnel to northern Iraq to access the scope of the humanitarian mission for the thousands of Yezidi minority trapped on Mt Sinjar by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The temporary authorization from Obama comes at the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

These military personnel, comprising of Marines and special operations forces, are being sent to northern Iraq to assess the scope of the humanitarian mission and develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current airdrop effort in support of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, according to a defense official.

“These forces will not be engaged in a combat role,” the defense official said on condition on anonymity.

“They will work closely with representatives from the US Department of State and USAID to coordinate plans with international partners and non-government organizations committed to helping the Yazidi people,” the official said.

At the request of the Government of Iraq, the US government continues to explore ways to support Iraqis affected by the ongoing fighting in Sinjar and to prevent potential acts of genocide by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he said.

Meanwhile, President Obama continued with his outreach with global leaders seeking their support on Iraq.

Tuesday, he called the Turkish and Canadian prime ministers.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Osama al-Nujaifi, the Speaker of the previous session of Iraq’s Council of Representatives, to discuss the next steps in Iraqi government formation following the nomination of Haider Al-Abadi as Prime Minister-designate, the White House said.

Biden restated the United States’ readiness to fully support a new and inclusive government in its fight against the ISIL pursuant to the Strategic Framework Agreement, the statement said.

According to the White House, Biden also called Iraqi Council of Representatives Speaker Salim al-Jabouri to discuss the selection of Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi and the ongoing government formation process.

“Vice Speaker Jabouri expressed his intent to move quickly with Dr Abadi to form an inclusive cabinet capable of confronting Iraq’s challenges, particularly the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” the White House said.


US sending 130 military personnel to Iraq

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22 injured in blast in southwestern Pakistan

News4u-News Desk- At least 22 people were injured today in a bomb blast at a commercial hub in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province.

Suspected militants threw explosives at a shop selling Pakistani flags for Independence day at Prince Road area of the city, Superintendent of Police Imran Qureshi said.

“The bomb exploded with a loud bang, wounding 22 people,” Qureshi said, adding that the explosion also damaged the shop and nearby parked vehicles.

The injured were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

The militants fled on their motorcycle after the attack. Baloch separatists have in the past carried out attacks on government buildings and installations.

They have also warned people against celebrating Independence day.

Last year on August 10, insurgents had set afire the Quaid-e-Azam residency in Ziarat which is approximately 128 km from here.

The insurgents had attacked the historical monument with hand grenades, destroying the building where the founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah spent his last days.


22 injured in blast in southwestern Pakistan

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