Daily Bulletin: Modi leaves for SCO summit; Cyclone Vayu to hit Gujarat; India to face New Zealand in World Cup; day's top stories
Cyclone Vayu to hit Gujarat Thursday afternoon and three lakh people evacuated to safety, Modi takes on a seven-hour journey for Kyrgyzstan to avoid flying over Pakistan, Congress leadership crisis continues as no clarity on Rahul Gandhi's resignation
Narendra Modi has left for the SCO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, but he won't fly over Pakistan
Medicare services have been disrupted in West Bengal for two days, with protesting doctors unlikely to relent
Cyclone Vayu is expected to hit Gujarat on Thursday afternoon, and three lakh people have been evacuated as a precaution
Cyclone Vayu to hit Gujarat Thursday afternoon; three lakh people evacuated
Cyclone Vayu appears to have changed course overnight. It moved north-northwestwards in the last six hours, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). It is currently 130 kilometres southwest of Veraval in Gujarat and 180 kilometres south of Porbandar. It is likely to move north-northwestwards for some time and then northwestwards, skirting the coast of Saurashtra with wind speeds of 135 kmph to 145 kmph from Thursday afternoon.
However, Cyclone Vayu is expected to hit the Gujarat coast anywhere between Veraval in the south and Dwarka in the west on Thursday afternoon. As a precautionary measure, the state government evacuated around three lakh people from the low-lying areas of Saurashtra and Kutch regions, officials said Wednesday.
The Gujarat government said Cyclone Vayu is likely to affect Kutch, Morbi, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi-Dwarka, Porbandar, Rajkot, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Gir-Somnath districts. A general alert has been sounded in these districts as wind speeds are likely to touch 170 kilometres per hour, a home ministry official said.
Modi leaves for SCO summit in Bishkek, won't fly over Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek on Thursday morning, where he will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit on 13 June nd 14 June (today and tomorrow). He will also hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Modi will not fly over Pakistan on his way to Bishkek on Thursday to attend the SCO summit, the external affairs ministry had said on Wednesday, adding that Modi's aircraft will fly over Oman, Iran and several Central Asian countries to reach the Kyrgyz capital.
If Modi had flown over Pakistan, it would have taken three and a half hours to reach Bishkek. It will now take around seven hours for the journey, officials said.
Even as India decided not to use the Pakistani airspace for the VVIP aircraft, Pakistan, on Wednesday, had said it would "specially" open its airspace for the prime minister's flight to Bishkek for the SCO summit.
On Monday, a Pakistani official told PTI that Islamabad has accorded an "in principle" approval to India's request. India's decision on the prime minister's travel route to Bishkek appears surprising as it had only requested Pakistan to let Modi's aircraft fly over its airspace when he travels to Bishkek.
'Rahul Gandhi was, is and will remain Congress president,' party strives to quash rumours around his resignation
Rahul Gandhi was, is and will remain the Congress president, chief spokesperson of the party Randeep Surjewala said on Wednesday, ending the speculation triggered by Rahul's insistence to quit the post for the time being.
Surjewala's assertion came after an informal meeting presided by former Union minister AK Antony, in which senior Congress leaders discussed the party's strategy and preparations for the Assembly elections in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra later this year.
Rahul had offered to quit as the party chief during a 25 May meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which was called to analyse the party's poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls, in which it managed to win just 52 seats. The CWC had unanimously rejected his offer to quit, but Rahul has apparently been firm on his stand.
India successfully tests scramjet demonstrator aircraft
India successfully launched the indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) in its maiden test from a base off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight. It can cruise at a speed of mach 6 and move up to an altitude of 32.5 kilometres in 20 seconds.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the HSTDV from Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal at 11.27 am, DRDO sources said. A defence ministry statement said the DRDO had launched the technology demonstrator vehicle to prove a number of critical technologies for futuristic missions.
"The missile was successfully launched. Various radars, telemetry stations and electro-optical tracking sensors tracked the vehicle through its course. Data has been collected and will be analysed to validate the critical technologies," it added.
Although the defence ministry called the HSTDV test firing successful, military sources said all the objectives of the maiden test of the platform were not met, adding that the scientists involved in the project were looking into the outcome of the test results.
Medicare services disrupted in West Bengal for two days; protesting doctors unlikely to relent
Medicare services across West Bengal remained disrupted for the second day on Wednesday as junior doctors in government and private hospitals continued their strike demanding fool-proof security, following an assault on them by a mob after the death of a patient in Kolkata.
The assault took place at a state-run medical college and hospital on Monday night, leaving an intern seriously injured. The strike, which was initiated there, spread to medical institutes in several other districts. Emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of most of the state-run medical college hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in West Bengal remained closed.
The state government has asked the junior doctors to withdraw the strike and resume their duties, but the agitators were in no mood to relent and have demanded the intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health and family welfare portfolio.
After failing to get services in the hospital, relatives of patients, many from far-flung areas, also got agitated. They put up a road blockade near the state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata for sometime, demanding immediate restoration of normalcy at hospitals. The situation took a violent turn in Burdwan Medical College and Hospital in East Burdwan district, where the doctors on strike closed the gates of the facility. A mob threw brickbats on the protesting doctors while they were demonstrating near the closed gate, injuring two persons.
President Rule in Jammu and Kashmir to be extended for 6 more months
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the extension of President's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for six more months, beginning July 3, Union minister Prakash Javedkar said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet made the decision based on the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, as stated in the report of Governor Satya Pal Malik. The decision was made under Article 356(4) of the Constitution of India.
This is likely to be the last extension of the Central rule in the state as the Election Commission had issued a statement recently stating that elections in Jammu and Kashmir will be announced after the annual Amarnath Yatra beginning on 1 July.
Initially, Governor's Rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on 20 June, 2018 and the Assembly was kept in suspended animation after the state plunged into a political crisis. This was after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to minority, after BJP members in the state withdrew their support.
Shikhar Dhawan-less India to take on Kiwis in cricket World Cup 2019 encounter
Virat Kohli-led India will face New Zealand in Match 18 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. India will enter the contest without Shikhar Dhawan, who, on his way to a brilliant ton against Australia, fractured his thumb. KL Rahul is expected to replace him at the top, adding more spice to the No 4 debate with Dinesh Karthik and Vijay Shankar being two candidates for that role. The match will begin at 3 pm (IST).
Two operational creditors take Jet Airways to NCLT, hearing today
In a major setback to the lenders' revival plan of the grounded Jet Airways, two operational creditors — Shaman Wheels and Gaggar Enterprises — had, on Monday, moved the NCLT, seeking bankruptcy proceedings against the airline. The tribunal issued notices to Jet Airways and the banks that own the airline now and posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday, when it will decide on admitting or rejecting the bankruptcy pleas.
The development comes at a time when banks are looking to resolve the once premier airline's debt issues outside the insolvency process. Jet Airways owes more than Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India, which now runs the airline, while it has a much larger debt pile by way of accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore and vendor dues of over Rs 10,000 crore and salary dues of over Rs 3,000 crore.
Huawei indefinitely postpones laptop launch amidst US sanctions
Beleagured Huawei, a victim of US sanctions that prevent American companies from dealing with the Chinese firm, has had to scrap immediate plans for laptop launches. The US blacklist means that companies like Microsoft and Intel, software and hardware vendors whose products are critical to the functioning of any modern laptop, are not permitted to deal with Huawei.
Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed the same in an interview with CNBC. The fate of Huawei’s popular MateBook line of notebook PCs is now in question.
Francis Ford Coppola to receive honorary award at Lumiere Festival
American filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola will be honoured with the Lumiere Award at the Lumiere Festival, scheduled for October. Coppola's most famous work, The Godfather Trilogy, will be screened through the night at the festival as part of the tribute to the 80-year-old filmmaker, reported Variety.
The film festival, to be held from 12 to 20 October, celebrates heritage movies and filmmakers every year in Lyon Metropolis, France.
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