Newly-appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis plans to develop his office on the lines of the PMO to ensure faster and efficient working of his administration.I am in the process of developing the office of Chief Minister on the lines of the Prime Ministers Office where a set of select bureaucrats assist the ministers in case they are not able to carry out certain tasks, Fadnavis told reporters here today, a day after being sworn-in as the states first BJP Chief Minister.The strengthening of Chief Ministers Office (CMO) will remove the bottlenecks and pendency of work would be reduced when bureaucrats enter the scene to help ministers, he said. On the demand for abolition of local body tax (LBT), Fadnavis said he was contemplating introduction of turnover tax on VAT.Notably, the BJP had promised to do away with LBT during its poll campaign.On the issue of toll tax, the Chief Minister said he had thought of some alternatives. Since toll tax needs to be collected from the users, there should be transparency (in the system), he said.On having a separate official machinery to look after issues of Vidarbha, Fadnavis, the MLA from Nagpur South West seat, felt that the previous system, when former Chief Secretary Arun Bongirwar was appointed and used to sit in Nagpur to look after the issues related to region, did not work.We want to further streamline the system and fix our priorities and decide accordingly, he said.Fadnavis will be proceeding to his home town Nagpur tomorrow where he will be accorded a grand welcome post his swearing-in as the CM.He will hold a series of meetings with officials and elected representatives in Nagpur on Monday.
Mumbai, Nov 1: Newly-appointed Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis plans to develop his office on the lines of the PMO to ensure faster and efficient working of his administration. I am in the process of developing the office of Chief
Their World Cup build-up halted by West Indies team's sudden mid-series pullout, India would resume the preparations for the mega-event when they square off against under-cooked sub-continental rivals Sri Lanka in a hastily-arranged ODI series starting here tomorrow.
A series against the depleted Lankans on surfaces totally different from those on offer in Australia and New Zealand may not be the ideal launchpad but it would certainly give the reigning world champions an opportunity to test their bench strength under stand-in skipper Virat Kohli.
Regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been rested for the first three ODIs of the five-match series.
Having come here on SOS after the West Indies cricketers' abrupt pull-out midway into the series last month over a pay dispute with WICB, the Sri Lankans are without their injured premier pace duo of Lasith Malinga and Suranga Lakmal, while spin aces Ajantha Mendis and Rangana Herath too will be missed.
That India A side, under Manoj Tiwary, plundered 382 runs in 50 overs with centuries from Rohit Sharma (142) and Manish Pandey (135 not out) in their 88-run win against the Lankans in the only practice match at CCI on October 30, is a pointer to the quality of the visiting team's attack.
At a time when Kohli is looking to rediscover himself and Ajinkya Rahane competing for the opening slot against Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, the series would give plenty of opportunities to the Indian batsmen to get back among runs.
After a forgettable England tour, Kohli has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons as he had to shuffle his position to No 4 to get back to form. It worked as he scored a 62 against the West Indies in Delhi and followed that up with a 127 at his familiar No 3 spot.
For somebody who's seen as a future captaincy material, Kohli would be under pressure to lead the side for the first three ODIs. He will also look to keep the critics at bay.
ReportSportPTICuttack (Odisha)Ajantha MendisAjinkya RahaneAustraliaCCIDelhiLasith MalingaMahendra Singh DhoniManoj TiwaryNew ZealandODI seriespractice matchRangana HerathShikhar DhawanSri LankaVirat KohliWest IndiesICC World Cup 2015Saturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:50pmSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:50pm dnai.in/cqN4128
Mobile phone apps with artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming popular for trading in financial markets and are cutting into the competitive wealth management industry, according to a Singapore-based technology company.This technology is being used by hedge fund managers launching funds running on Algorithmic Cloning Technology, said Nakul Gupta, Chief Technology Officer at the Singapore-based Clone Algo group.The technology is also available as mobile apps and helps users trade markets around the clock, across the worlds main exchanges and Forex over the counter venues such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Paris and London.The mobile apps are gaining ground, cutting into the competitive wealth management industry, Gupta said.The global exchanges will have to seriously consider this second generation technology as internet-based trading is fast eliminating brokers and third-party involvements, he said.The game-changers have arrived with this second generation technology that would be disruptive to conventional wealth management industry, Gupta said.Investors can protect themselves against risk of loss through insurance coverage on trading algorithms. The artificial intelligence eliminates the need for human thinking and decisions.The technology reacts to global price movements and economic sentiments in fractions of seconds and matches a deal for the benefits of its host, Gupta said.Investors would be comfortable with artificial intelligence which brings certainty to the technology and can be insured against risk of loss, he said.Clone Algo group launched its mobile apps in April 2013. The companys wide range of artificial intelligence- based products are leading the financial industry with apps for trading on mobile phones, Gupta said.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A mortar fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel, the Israeli military said on Saturday, the second such incident since a seven-week war in the Palestinian enclave ended in August.
A mortar fired from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel, the Israeli military said on Saturday, the second such incident since a seven-week war in the Palestinian enclave ended in August.
Hours after the projectile struck harmlessly, there was no Israeli counter-strike, an apparent sign Israel was looking to avoid any escalation. An Aug. 26 Gaza truce has largely held.
The rocket fire came amid rising tension between Israel and the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a future state, along with Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
Overnight a rocket or mortar launched from Gaza struck southern Israel. No damage or injuries reported, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said on Twitter.
There was no claim of responsibility from any armed faction in Gaza, dominated by the Islamist Hamas group. A military spokeswoman said forces were still searching for debris.
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have erupted frequently in the streets of East Jerusalem and around al-Aqsa mosque in the past few weeks.
The Palestinians say Israel is looking to change the delicate status-quo at the compound where al-Aqsa stands, known as Noble Sanctuary to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews. It is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred in Judaism.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel had no intentions of altering the status-quo by which Jews are allowed to access the compound but not to pray there. The Palestinians are further angered by Israel's moves to expand settlement building in East Jerusalem.
On Thursday Israel shut the holy complex down for almost an entire day as a security precaution, the first full closure in over a decade. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said through his spokesman that the shut-down, along with other escalations by Israel, were tantamount to a declaration of war.
ReportWorldReutersJERUSALEMBenjamin NetanyahuEast JerusalemGazaHamasIslamistIsraeliJerusalemJewsMahmoud AbbasMilitaryMosquemuslimsSecurity forcesstrikeWest BankSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:38pmSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:38pm Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (above) has said Israel had no intentions of altering the status-quo by which Jews are allowed to access the compound but not to pray there. dnai.in/cqMY64
Chief Minister Omar Abdullahs decision to quit family political bastion Ganderbal has come as a bolt from the blue -- both for his die-hard supporters as well as his detractors.The regional National Conference (NC) Friday announced that Omar would not seek re-election from Ganderbal constituency but contest the Sonawar and Beerwah seats, one in Srinagar district and the other in the Badgam district of the Valley.But Omar can only prove the political wisdom of his decision to quit Ganderbal by winning both or at least one of the two seats he has chosen away from the traditional family constituency.There is no denying the fact that the NC has been severely jolted by the Abdullah family scion leaving his lair.Omar took to Twitter over his decision: Having decided two years ago that I wouldnt seek re-election from Ganderbal I have continued to work for the constituency and will always do so.Commenting on his decision to fight from two seats, Omar said: So when PM candidates do it we take it as a sign of weakness too or are we conspicuously silent at that time?Since 1975 when his grandfather and NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah returned to mainstream politics, the Sheikh stood from Ganderbal to enter the state assembly. He again fought from Ganderbal in 1977 and won.This family tradition was followed by Omars father Farooq Abdullah who fought from Ganderbal in 1983, 1987 and 1996, winning thrice in a row.Omar was fielded by the NC in 2002, but lost to PDPs Qazi Muhammad Afzal, a defeat Omar avenged in 2008 by defeating the Qazi from Ganderbal to become the chief minister of the state.The NC rank and file in Ganderbal are unhappy that Omar decided to leave the constituency to Sheikh Ashfaq Jabbar who had fought against him on a Congress ticket in the 2008 assembly election.It is not done. How can you leave Ganderbal after 39 years without even fighting?, wondered a senior NC leader from there who did not want to be named.Another NC leader, who is a member of the partys parliamentary board, told IANS: Omar Sahib was adamant on not contesting from Ganderbal. He said he would rather not contest the assembly polls at all if the party forced him to stand from Ganderbal.It needs to be analysed whether Omars decision to quit Ganderbal has been prompted by reports that the dice was heavily loaded against him there or he decided to do so for other reasons....he once said only voters enlisted in a constituency should seek election from there. Omar is not a voter in Beerwah while he is a voter in Sonawar, said a senior Peoples Democratic Party leader.People in Ganderbal, however, look at it differently.He promised he would construct a home here and live among us after he came to seek votes during the 2008 elections. He won and never thought of that promise.For getting an ordinary attestation from our MLA we had to move from pillar to post because of the CMs engagements and the security around him. Yes, he did developmental works here, but trying to justify his decision by thinking we have been ungrateful is stretching things too far, said Abdul Hamid Sheikh 64, a voter in Ganderbal whose family has been die hard supporters of the Abdullahs.Others say even if Omar did not trust the voters of Ganderbal he should have stuck on.Muzaffar Ahmad, 42, another voter in Ganderbal, said: He could have fought from some other place also...but abdicating Ganderbal is like the lion cub running away from his den.You have to go down as a man even if you think the dice is loaded against you. It was a bad decision politically that makes Ganderbal anybodys game now, he added.(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at email@example.com)
Authorities here Saturday launched a probe after a 65-year-old Italian origin woman accused a sadhu of harassing her and making lewd gestures.In her complaint, Braj Basi Devi Dasi said the sadhu (holy man) - Nitai Das - also threatened to attack her with acid.Mathura senior superintendent of police Manzil Saine told IANS that police is probing the complaint by Braj Basi Devi Dasi, who has been living in Vrindavan for the past 40 years.The woman originally hails from Italy but is now an Indian citizen.
New Delhi, Nov 1: Minister of state for external affairs V K Singh on Friday said that the Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh, which is close to the China border may soon have a new airport. This, while another airport at
The Odisha government Saturday imposed a seven-month fishing ban along its coast to protect endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles which come to the state beaches for mass nesting every winter, an official said.The ban is imposed along 120 km of the states 480 km coastline to protect the turtles who are set to congregate in shallow waters, senior forest officer Kedar Kumar Swain told IANS.No fishing activities would be allowed within20 km of the coast near the nesting sites. The ban will be in effect till May 31, he said.Over half a million Olive Ridley turtles arrive and congregate in the shallow coastal water of the Bay of Bengal in November and climb ashore for nesting between December and March. Most hatchlings emerge by May.The state has three nesting sites - Gahirmatha beach in Kendrapada district, Devi river mouth in Puri district and Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district.The Gahirmatha turtle sanctuary is one of the worlds largest turtle nesting sites.However, there was no mass nesting last year in Gahirmatha and Devi river mouth probably due to the damage caused by cyclone Phailin that ripped through the coast in October and caused extensive destruction.There was sporadic nesting at these two sites as only a small number of turtles had turned up, he said.In Rushikulya, however, around 30,000 turtles had nested on the beach, he said.Olive Ridley turtles are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Trapping, killing or selling them could attract a maximum seven-year prison sentence.The turtle mortality rate has come down over the past few years due to various conservation measures, the official said.Swain said patrolling by nearly two hundred officials including coast guard, forest, marine police and fishery department has been intensified along the coast as also offshore.
Pakistans Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Altaf Hussain, has said that the Islamic State (IS) is the new threat to Pakistan, media reported.Addressing a press conference in Karachi via telephone from London Friday, the MQM chief said that Taliban militants were joining IS ranks, The News International reported.He said that IS flags were visible from the south of Punjab all the way to the federal capital of Islamabad, adding that the IS, which was formed by its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by merging different militant groups, is far more dangerous than the Taliban and Al Qaeda.Altaf Hussain told journalists that the US asked Pakistan to create the Taliban following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He added that Pakistan, the US and Saudi Arabia along with many other countries supported the Taliban Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet Union.Hussain also said that he had voiced concerns about rising Talibanisation. He highlighted the fact that while Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri were speaking about empowering the middle class and lower middle class voters, it was MQM that had actually empowered the middle class by sending representatives from this class to the assemblies, the report said.
The combined budget for United States civilian and military intelligence operations has shrunk by more than 15% since 2010, official figures show.
The total US intelligence budget was $67.9 billion in the fiscal year to September 30, according to official figures. That was up only marginally from $67.6 billion the previous year, but followed a steady decline since a peak in 2010.
A variety of factors comes into play, official sources say.
The decline reflected the end of military operations in Iraq in 2011 and the drawdown in Afghanistan, said Bruce Riedel, a former senior intelligence official and security adviser to President Barack Obama.
Those operations were extremely expensive, not just for the military but also all the civilian agencies. Now that military operations have resumed in Iraq and spread to Syria the costs for intelligence will go back up again, he said.
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has warned that the United States is being exposed to increased risk.
For the past year or so, the IC has been working through what I've referred to as the 'Perfect Storm' of factors that cut into our capabilities, Clapper said in a speech in July.
Apart from budget cuts, he cited a loss of intelligence sources because of unauthorized disclosures, a reference to revelations by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, and policy decisions that excluded some areas of surveillance.
We as a nation, in my considered professional opinion, are accepting more risk than we were three years ago, or even one year ago, Clapper said.
Steven Aftergood, an intelligence expert with the Federation of American Scientists, also linked the cutbacks partly with the end of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beyond that, I think hardware programs such as spy satellites are being extended beyond their original operating lifetime. New initiatives are being deferred, hiring has slowed, and so forth. To manage these kind of reductions well is a challenging task. Some loss of capability is to be expected, Aftergood said.
The overall 2013-2014 budget included $50.5 billion for National Intelligence Program activities, which include such agencies as the CIA, and another $17.4 for military intelligence activities, officials said.
Figures laying the long-term trend were compiled by the Federation of American Scientists and validated by an intelligence official.
ReportWorldReutersWASHINGTONAfghanistanBarack ObamaEdward SnowdenIntelligenceIraqMilitary OperationsSyriaUnited States (US)Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)spyingsurveillanceSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:11pm AFPdnai.in/cqMT55
Czech tennis ace Tomas Berdych beat South African's Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals of the Paris Masters to secure his place at the season-ending World Tour Finals for the fifth straight year on Friday.
The Czech number one, who won the Bercy tournament on his debut in 2005, his only Masters win to date, came through a tight contest 6-7, (4/7), 6-4, 6-4 in just under three hours.
Berdych would now play Canadian Milos Raonic, who beat world number two Roger Federer 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, for a place in Sunday's final, Sport24 reported.
It was the 12th victory for Berdych over Anderson in 12 meetings. He said that they have had some very close matches and some five-setters but he thinks that the statistics do not tell the real story.
Berdych said that it's always tough against Anderson and on Friday they played nearly three hours but he thinks that it was a great match. He said that he is so happy and feels lucky to have made it through.
The Czech, who had a 15 and 4 record in Slams this season, said that now it's another semifinal and it's been a great tournament for him so far.
Berdych, who also reached the semi-finals of the Miami Masters where he withdrew with a stomach bug before facing Rafael Nadal, is chasing an 11th ATP title and third this year after victories at Rotterdam and Stockholm, the report added.
ReportSportANIJohannesburgATPKevin AndersonMiami MastersMilos RaonicRafael NadalRoger FedererStockholmTennisTomas BerdychVictorySaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:14pmSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:14pm dnai.in/cqMR37
The Kerala government today dismissed as false allegations of corruption levelled by bar owners against the State Finance Minister K M Mani over reopening closed bars and ruled out any probe into the matter.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the charges were totally baseless after the working President of Kerala Bar Owners Association and a bar owner Biju Ramesh alleged in a section of the media that Mani had taken Rs one crore and demanded Rs five crore to reopen 418 closed bars.I am very sure that the allegation is totally baseless and so there is no need for any probe. I am fully confident about this, Chandy said.Chandy termed the charges against Mani as unfortunate and said people would not believe this kind of charge against the minister, whose political life is an open book and not behind an iron curtain.He denied the charge of Ramesh that he had raised the issue of some of his cabinet colleagues demanding bribe during a meeting with him and asserted that no such meeting had taken place and that he had also not met the person concerned.Mani, speaking to reporters at Pala, his constituency in Kottayam district, also rubbished the charges as baseless and alleged they had been levelled with ulterior motives.The Minister said he suspected a conspiracy to malign him and challenged those who had levelled the charges to prove it.The turn of event has political overtones as Government Chief Whip and KC-M nominee P C George had alleged that Chandy was behind the allegations.Referring to Georges remark, Mani said I do not believe the Chief Minister is behind the allegations.Seizing on the matter, CPI-M politburo member M A Baby termed the charges as very serious and demanded a judicial probe into the matter. Chandy also took serious exception to Congress MLA T N Prathapans remark that Mani should explain the charges.In my view, what Prathpan did was a serious mistake. If he had anything to say, he should have brought it to my attention, he said.Asked about the statement of the government chief whip, the Chief Minister pointed out that George had earlier reversed many of his statements.The bar licence issue is now before Kerala High Court.Owners of bars on small and medium hotels had got some relief yesterday, a day after a single judge upheld government governments decision to close them down, with the HC permitting 250 bars to function for a month.A division bench ordered status quo as on October 29 with regard to the 250 bars while admitting appeals by bar owners challenging the single judges order.Disposing of a batch of 81 petitions challenging the government decision to close down 312 bars attached to hotels below five-star ranking, Justice Surendra Mohan had upheld the government excise policy for 2014-15, paving the way for closure of 700 bars in the state.The judge had however allowed 33 bars in four-star and eight in heritage category hotels to function after the state government had banned bars in all hotels below five-star ranking. Besides, 21 bars in five-star hotels were allowed to operate by the court.The bar owners had contended before the single judge that the decision to close all bars was taken in haste and would be counter productive as it would lose substantial revenue from Abkari (excise) business, besides impacting tourism.The governments stand was that it was its avowed policy to reduce liquor consumption in the state stage by stage and to achieve the goal of total prohibition in a 10 year span.Out of 700 odd bars, government had earlier declined to renew licences of 418 sub-standard bars and later decided to close down 312 bars in hotels below five-star ranking.
Hrithik Roshan and his estranged wife Sussanne Khan were granted divorce by the Bandra court Saturday, the Bollywood stars lawyer said.Lawyer Deepesh Mehta told IANS: They are legally divorced now. Today at around 10:30 a.m., all things were done. They have got divorced in a very unique and elegant way where there is no alimony and not a single document drawn up between them. Its all on the basis of trust, respect and faith.Mehta said this is an example they have set on how a couple should part ways in an elegant and classy way.It was earlier reported that a Rs.100 crore alimony was involved in their divorce but Sussanne had officially denied it.The couple is blessed with two children Hrehaan and Hridhaan.The kids custody will be joint. They have joint custody. Whenever and whoever wants to be with the kids, can be with them, Mehta said.Hrithik announced Sussannes decision to end their 17-year-old relationship via an official statement Dec 13, 2013. Both dated for four years before finally tying the knot Dec 20, 2000.
Somali pirates have reportedly released seven Indian sailors who were held hostage for nearly four years.
According to News 24, Somali officials and a maritime monitoring group said on Friday that the sailors were freed in exchange for an undisclosed ransom
The sailors, who were taken captive after the pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged ship MT Asphalt Venture in September 2010, were freed on Thursday.
The pirates had earlier released eight of their colleagues along with the ship in April 2011 for a ransom.
Kenyan-based Ecoterra International, which monitors maritime activity on the Indian Ocean, issued a statement confirming the sailors' release, saying that the remaining seven hostages were finally freed by their captors against a ransom and arrived in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, from where they will be flown directly to India.
ReportWorldANIJohannesburgcaptiveHostagesIndian OceanSomaliapiratessailorsIndiaAfricaSaturday, 1 November 2014 - 2:30pm Image for representational purposes only. dnai.in/cqMP73
(Reuters) - Australia are facing the prospect of being asked to follow-on against Pakistan after the tourists lost four wickets on the third morning of the second and final test to slump to 120 for five at lunch in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.