Greece's last-minute overtures to international creditors for financial aid, were not enough to save the country from becoming the first developed economy to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF confirmed that Greece had not made its scheduled loan repayment of 1.6 billion euro to the fund. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that it will report this to the global lender's board that Greece is "in arrears," the official euphemism for default. The after effect will be that the Indian corporate may face higher borrowing cost in the overseas market in the short-run, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has said. "India's direct exposure to Greece through external trade is minuscule. A contagion effect may lead to a 'risk off' scenario, increased volatility and capital flight. The biggest single-day debt outflow from the Indian market was $2 billion on September 17, 2008, post Lehman's collapse," it said. Indian firms have raised foreign capital to the tune of $13.4 billion in 2014-15 and the cost of such borrowing may now go up. Ind-Ra expects increased global market volatility to weigh on the rupee in the near-term. Greece's bailout program has ended on yesterday, the country has failed to make a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) repayment to the International Monetary Fund. Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has called a referendum and has shut down the banks for a week and imposed a daily ATM withdrawal limit of 60 euros. Finance secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has said that the economic crisis in Greece may trigger capital outflows from India and the government is in consultation with the RBI to deal with the situation. By Premji
A palace in Dholpur now being run as a luxury hotel is legitimately owned by the family of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, her party said today, as the Congress said the property has been misappropriated for a firm she co-owns with tainted cricket mogul Lalit Modi. The Congress, which has been for weeks demanding Ms Raje's resignation over her proximity to Mr Modi, today cited a 1949 agreement which said the palace was acquired by the government but allowed Ms Raje's father-in-law, the Maharaja of Dholpur, the personal use of the mansion for his lifetime. It is not an asset of the Raje family, the party's Jairam Ramesh alleged. The Dholpur palace, located about 40 km from Agra, is worth about 300 crores, the BJP has said, which is why Mr Modi invested nearly 13 crores between 2007 and 2008 in what was then a loss-making firm owned by Ms Raje's son, Dushyant, a parliamentarian. The BJP says that the Congress is distorting history. It says that in the 1950s, the Dholkpur palace was given back by the government to the former Maharaja in exchange for another building taken from him. In 2007, the BJP says, the palace was legally transferred from Ms Raje's former husband, Hemant Singh, to her son. If the ownership of the palace was not clear, why, the BJP asks, did the Congress government in Rajasthan pay Ms Raje's son nearly two crores in 2010 to use a part of the property for the passage of a major new highway. "Was the Congress government so inefficient that it mistakenly paid Dushyant Singh?" asked the BJP's Nalin Kohli. But the Congress says that that the 2007 agreement between Ms Raje's husband and son transferred "moveable objects" within the palace - and not the actual building - to Dushyant Singh.
Is Chennai Metro intended for Middle Class and Upper Middle Class of Tamil Nadu? The charges says yes. The Southern state which commenced its services from Monday is charging whopping amount from its commuters. The Government of India have approved the Chennai Metro Rail project on 28-1-2009. SIGNING OF LOAN AGREEMENT WITH GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN: The estimated base cost of this project is about Rs.14000 Crores. Of this, the Central and State Governments together are expected to contribute about 41%. Being the state’s biggest infrastructure project, Chennai Metro is trying to recoup the money from the public. The Metro commute charges of Rs 40 for a 10-km distance tells us the same story. With the charges (or Penalties?), now Chennai Metro becomes the most expensive in among the cities that have the metro facility in India. Compare to bus charges, the charges for metro are very high. This forces the lower middle class and poor to opt for the existing bus services. But those who support the metro debates that given the comfort of the service, the fares are cheap. Also people reach in time reach the destinations in fresh mind is their version. Apart from that Projects like Chennai Metro are providing much needed public transportation, good paying jobs and gender equality. The first train was steered by A Preeti, a young woman holding an engineering diploma. "We are proud that nearly 25 to 30 of the working staff - the train operators, station controllers, maintainers of signaling telecom and track - are young engineering graduate women who have been recruited through competitive exam and they have been doing a wonderful job," Systems and Operations Director Narasim Prasad told media. One have to spend a minimum of Rs 10 to step in to the metro. Chennai Metro covers the 10km stretch between Alandur and Koyambedu in 19 minutes approximately. The distance encompasses seven stations.
India mulls towards abolishing Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises gay liaisons and the legalisation of same-sex marriages may be considered, Union law minister DV Sadananda Gowda said. “The mood appears to be in favour of it. But it can be done only after widespread consultations and taking all views into account,” Gowda said. Gowda was speaking in the context of the US Supreme Court's historic verdict in the last week that has legalised the same-sex unions and the positive reception it got on the social media in India. While referring to a private member’s bill on the rights of transgender people, Gowda said, “That bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and everyone supported it. If that bill is passed by the Lok Sabha and becomes an act, Section 377 will become irrelevant.” Tiruchi Siva of the DMK, who has moved the bill, said, “The bill does not talk about Section 377 or anything other than the rights of Transgenders. I am always optimistic that rights of others will also get due importance." The minister's interpretation of the legislation on transgenders, appears to be somewhat off the mark. Tiruchi Siva told that he had limited his Bill to just the educational, economic, employment and health rights of transgenders." Siva's Bill was taken forward by three Lok Sabha members with varied political leanings, Shobha Karandlaje of BJP, NK Premachandran of Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Baijayant Panda of Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Karandlaje and Premachandran said the issue of Section 377 and gay rights are not on their radar. By Premji
The Information Commission of Himachal Pradesh has directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) to disclose the information on the Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s land deal in Shimla, which is sought under the Right to Information Act. After hearing the appeal of RTI activist Devashish Bhatacharya, the Information Commission directed the Public Information Officer to provide the information in 10 days’ time. “He (Devashish) wanted details of the properties that have been bought by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the past few years. They had given an RTI application, which had been allowed by the ADM, Shimla, but had been set aside by the DC Shimla and said that the information cannot be provided,” said K.D. Batish, Information Commissioner, Himachal Pradesh. “Against that, Devashish had approached the Commission. After listening to both the parties, we decided that this information is in the public interest and the information regarding the properties should be provided within 10 days,” he added. “The decision has been given by the learned State Commission. So, we will see whether we have to prefer an appeal or writ petition against the said order or not. So, I will be able to tell you any further information after I have the discussion with my client,” Priyanka Gandhi’s advocate Gautam Sood said. A notice in this regard has been issued to the DC of Shimla and the ADM asking why they should not be penalized as they tried to obstruct the information. The next date for hearing has been set as July 23. Priyanka Vadra, 43, has previously wrote to the state government through her lawyers, that the information should be kept confidential due to security reasons.
Facing intense pressure, Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao on Sunday requested the state government to appoint an independent agency to investigate charges of corruption in the Lokayukta’s functioning. On Friday, Justice Rao had said that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) will probe charges that his home and office were used to threaten officials and collect bribes to hush up corruption cases. The decision to hand over the probe to CCB, which is part of the Bangalore City Police, had come in for severe criticism from a former Lokayukta and retired judges. Since the allegations have been made against Justice Rao’s family members, he should not decide the probe agency, they said. Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi too had expressed displeasure over handing over the probe to CCB, which comes under the supervisory gaze of the Lokayukta. Meanwhile, Joint Commissioner Chandrashekar, who was entrusted with the probe, requested the Lokayukta to reconsider the directive citing conflict of interest as a case against his father-in-law Ramanjaneyulu is pending before the Lokayukta court. The decision to request the government to order a probe by another independent agency was taken in view of the letter from Chandrashekar and to maintain the independence, integrity, and purity of the institution, the Lokayukta registrar said on Sunday. No Powers to Refer Case to CBI, Says Siddaramaiah However, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said the government has no powers to refer the corruption case to CBI as the Lokayukta is an autonomous institution. He was speaking to media persons after offering puja to river Cauvery at Kabini on Sunday. When contacted, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said, “We will look into the request made by Lokayukta and take a decision in a day or two.” According to reports, Krishnamurthy, an executive engineer of a zilla panchayat in Bengaluru Urban, was called to the Lokayukta’s house, where Krishna Rao, who claimed to be the Lokayukta’s secretary, and Justice Rao’s son Ashwin Rao allegedly demanded `1 crore to hush up corruption cases.
Islamic State’s Friday attacks on three continents have shattered the assumption that the Islamic State can be confined to territories it controls in the Middle East, said Bruce Hoffman, Director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University. Although Western governments can work to monitor those who might be plotting attacks, this will not solve their root cause. Now the challenge is to reorient a strategy centered on combat to one that challenges extremist groups on religious, ideological, social, and political fronts simultaneously, said the analysts and government officials. A primary aim, they say, should be to win the information war and undermine the appeal of radical Islamist ideologies. "Chasing individuals is probably a fool's errand given the geographically disparate nature of the threat," Hoffman said. "There comes a point where you have to tackle the organization behind it."Even the monitoring has its own limitations. The authorities in Tunisia said the gunman there was a young Tunisian with no prior police record. The authorities in France said that the attacker arrested there had connections to radical Islamists, but that surveillance of him stopped in 2008. The Kuwaiti authorities did not identify the attacker in their country. To fight the Islamic State, the United States has formed an international coalition that is bombing its fighters and their bases in Iraq and Syria, a process that President Barack Obama has said seeks to degrade and destroy the group. But while the group has lost many fighters and some territory, Friday's attacks demonstrated the continued power of the jihadi movement to inspire attacks abroad by local actors. It is an extraordinary coincidence that "all three attacks happened at the same day and time," said Brian Fishman, a counterterrorism research fellow at New America, a research organization in Washington. He said the attacks suggested that the focus on taking territory from the Islamic State could make the United States miss other ways the group poses dangers. "We can't get attached to a single metric for understanding this organization," he said.
A senior BJP MLA and former Minister in Maharashtra Shri Raj Purohit has been “caught on tape” criticising the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ruing the lack of internal democracy within the party and revealing the influence of money power in securing positions. “There is nothing called collective leadership. It is dhokha [cheating]. One who says that he will rule with collective leadership is a fraud,” Mr. Purohit says in the video.For alienating the Bania community, considered to be “BJP’s hardcore supporters”, with his claims on unearthing black money. “Half the nation’s economy runs on black money. I interact with the top businessmen. They say don’t interfere in every aspect. Let things proceed as they are,” Mr. Purohit said in the video. He alleges the struggle within the party and the role of money power in securing power positions. He names BJP vice-president and MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a major builder, as the person commanding supreme influence within the party and even blames the RSS because of his money power. "This is called money power. All know that Lodha is the biggest builder (here). In elections, he spends huge amounts for the party. Even the CM is helpless. Diktats come from above and he has to do what the top rung says," Purohit seen saying in the video. He is also heard in the video, calling chief minister Devendra Fadnavis as helpless in the face of "pressure from above" and from influential individuals like builder and Malabar Hill MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha. Purohit rejected all the allegations and said, "I called up the CM and told him to submit the video for forensic analysis. I respect the party chief (Shah) and the PM. As for criticizing the RSS, not even in my dreams can I think of doing so. I am not a big leader. I am not a national level leader. I am not a minister. I am an ordinary MLA. I don't know how anyone will benefit by maligning my image through a so-called sting operation. I think it was done to thwart my chances of becoming a minister in the state." By Premji
A suicide bomber has reportedly blown himself up at a Kuwaiti Shia Muslim mosque in Kuwait city during the Friday prayers, wounding at least eight people, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida said. "Eight casualties have been taken to the Emiri hospital, two in critical condition," al-Jarida said on its Twitter feed. Arab television stations al-Arabiya and Al Jazeera has earlier reported that an explosion has hit the mosque and caused several casualties. Islamic State has claimed responsibility in the deadly Mosque attack in Kuwait. At least 13 people have been killed in an attack at a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers. Video footage from the scene has showed several bodies on the floor of the Imam Sadiq mosque amid debris and clouds of heavy smoke. The exact number of casualties is expected to rise, several casualties are in critical condition. Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited the Imam Sadiq mosque, which is located just a few buidling away from the country's interior ministry. By Premji
An Islamist attacker has pinned a decapitated head covered with Arabic writing into the gates of a gas factory in eastern France before being arrested, police said. French media said, after two assailants rammed a car into the premises. France has opened a terrorism investigation after the attack. "It is indeed a terrorist attack," said French President Francois Hollande in a statement. Local newspaper Le Dauphine said the head is covered in Arabic writing. An attacker carrying an Islamist flag killed one person and injured several others at a gas factory in eastern France, according to a legal source. The suspected attacker has entered the factory and set off several small explosive devices, the source said. A man suspected to be the person who had carried out the attack has been arrested, according to sources close to the enquiry. "According to the initial findings of the enquiry, one or several individuals on board a vehicle, drove into the factory. An explosion, then took place," said one of the sources. "The decapitated body of a person was found nearby the factory, but we do not yet know whether the body was transported to the place or not," added the source, "a flag with arabic writing on it was found at the scene." Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he would go "immediately" to the scene. The attack, occurred at round 10:00 am local time (0800 GMT), according to local media. This came after nearly six months after the Islamist attacks in and around Paris that killed 17 people in January that started with a shooting at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. By Premji
While the Indian National Congress and other political opponents are demanding Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's resignation in Lalit Modi row, the saffron batch came forward and turns down the rumors of her resignation. Not only that the party even blamed Congress for spreading falsifying statements. However, it seems that the High command is worried about the growing political cost of the controversies surrounding her and other leaders. BJP’s backing came after the media buzz that Raje had accepted her signature in Lalit Modi's case. In a statement the CM's media advisor debunked TV reports as baseless and factually incorrect, emphasizing that "rumors" should be ignored. The statement confirms that Raje is not in a rush to resign to her post as she is enjoying the support of her party MLAs. Adding to that, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stated that "nobody is tainted", when he was surrounded by the media crew after stepping out of the airport finishing his tour from the US.Party sources indicated that the final call on the matter was yet to be taken. Though the BJP cadre has started the bandwagon of supporting Raje’s, many of the BJP leaders are skeptical of her innocence in LaMo’s case. The contrast in their versions tells us the same. Till now no two statements of the saffron leaders coincide in the case. One leader states the signature was not hers and another says the signature was Raje's, but the controversial parts of the state may have been inserted later without her consent. Sources said that the law will take its own course once it has sought and received an explanation from Raje. "None has been sought so far". The people who know the information says that the CM is consulting her legal team over the allegations leveled in the 10-page document, which claims to contain her signed affidavit in support of former IPL chairman's Lalit Modi, and her advisors, will issue a reply soon.
Umm Umar's marriage to an ISIS fighter in Syria, "Life without a mahram [close male relative] here can get quite difficult," she told. He had been "so so sweet and caring", but had been killed just a couple of months earlier. She was now the wife of a Shaheed [martyr] and was being honoured. "U dnt hav 2 pay 4 ANYTHING if u r wife of a Shaheed," she told. On the other side, whoever has crossed the border to join ISIS regrets for the loss of their life for taking it for real the utopian Islamic state where there is little poverty and inequality, governed with perfect fairness under clear-cut, divine laws that work to the advantage of all. Many girls who have crossed over had told to Nabeelah Jaffer a freelance writer and a contributing editor at Aeon magazine. “The sickest thing I’ve ever done in my life is cross that Turkish border,” said Umm Umar on Twitter. “I’ll never forget that night.” The names in the article are not real, they are changed for the safety of the individuals. Small girls of even less than the age of 16 are being lured to the terrorist organization for the pleasure of fighters. Non-Muslim girls are being put for sale in the slave market. Young girls are paraded nude , so that the customers can see and feel the girls and then purchase them for work and pleasure. By Premji