DD/AIR News

  • Fanned by winds surpassing 50 miles an hour, the blazes have forced more than 20,000 people to evacuate in the country's heaviest populated state since they began Sunday night. Several fires broke out virtually simultaneously and then spread rapidly overnight, sending residents fleeing as embers rained down and flames raged around them. Fire service said about 73,000 acres have been ravaged by the major infernos

  • Inaugurating India Water Week in New Delhi on Tuesday, he said the issue of water is becoming more critical in view of climate change and related environmental concerns. The President also urged for a localised water management approach which should empower village and neighbourhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources. The President said providing safe drinking water to a population spread across six hundred thousand villages and urban areas is not just a project proposal, it is a sacred commitment.

  • There is maximum hike of 10 rupees in the fare. This is the second hike in the fares after May this year. Although there was no fare hike in the past 8 years. The fares were revised following recommendations of Fare Fixation Committee The new fare structure will be: up to 2 km Rs.10, 2 to 5 km Rs. 15, 5 to 12 km Rs. 20, 12 to 21 km Rs. 30, 21 to 32 km Rs. 40 and for journeys beyond 32 km Rs. 50. Smart card users, will continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride. They will get an additional discount of 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours, that is from beginning of services till 8 AM, between 12 pm and 5 pm and from 9 pm to end of services.

  • After Gujarat, Maharashtra became the second state to slash VAT on prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 2 and Re 1 respectively, effective from midnight. Gujarat was the first state to cut VAT on fuel after the central government urged states to do so amid furore on hike in fuel prices. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced a 4 percent reduction in Value Added Tax on petrol and diesel. Earlier, in its effort to bring down spiralling prices , the centre had cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Paradhan had consequently appealed to the state governments to cut VAT on the fuel products by 5 percent adding that states are the biggest beneficiaries of the revenues generated from petrol and diesel.

  • The World Federation for Mental Health launched World Mental Health Day in the year 1992. The day is celebrated by organizing events and program to put the spotlight on mental health. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2017 is ‘mental health in the workplace’. People spend a huge part of the life in their office and the experiences at the workplace affect your physical as well as mental health. If the working environment is negative, it can result in not just stress and mental problems but will also affect the productivity of the employee. Workplace stress is a serious issue but unfortunately, only a few companies have sufficient resources to manage the stress. The common causes of stress at workplace include excessive work, lack of work-life balance, low income, lack of growth opportunities, long nights and unclear expectations.

  • Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani promises to unleash the Modi development model for the progress of the Lok Sabha constituency. These include full fledged FM channel for the residents in their own dialect Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani spoke exclusively to DD News today. Speaking on the occasion, she said the development works are taking place in Amethi at a time BJP government is in power. BJP president Amit Shah and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also in Amethi today along with Union Minister Smriti Irani Union Minister and Senior BJP Leader Smriti Irani has lashed out at Congress leadership for no developments done in their own constituency in the past 60 years. In an exclusive interview to DD News ,Union Minister Smriti Irani who is on a two day tour of Amethi said that due to its VIP constituency status everyone presumed that the area would have witnessed huge surge in development over the decades, which was not the case. She said that the area lacked basic amenities and struggled to maintain pace with the rest of India in terms of basic needs.

  • The rally was given a reception on the district border in the morning. The rally is being taken out in the state to highlight political violence allegedly perpetrated by the ruling Left parties. On Monday, leaders helming the rally said the current Left govt in god's own country would be the last such govt in the state. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Union Minister of State for External Affairs Gen (Retd) VK Singh will lead the Yatra today, as it moves to its next destination Trichur.

  • This is the second hike in the fares after May this year. Although there was no fare hike in the past eight years, the fares were revised following recommendations of Fare Fixation Committee. The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms -- Rs. 10, 2-5 kms -- Rs. 15, 5-12 kms -- Rs. 20, 12-21 kms -- Rs. 30, 21-32 kms -- Rs. 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms -- Rs. 50. From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs. 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs. 15 to Rs. 20. For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs. 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs. 60.

  • Khalid was gunned down in an encounter with security forces in a joint operation in Baramulla. Another encounter took place in Shopian district in the evening, where security forces gunned down three terrorists. The three terrorists, all locals, were named Zahid Mir, Irfan Abdullah and Asif.

  • BJP Chief Amit Shah, Union Minister for Textile and Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will be in the politically important constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani is already in Amethi for a two day visit. While first day saw a slew of projects being inaugurated, the second has more in store for people of Amethi. BJP unit in Amethi was further strengthened on Monday as prominent local leader Jang Bahadur Singh joined the party.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there is scope for further reforms in the country's energy sector. Chief executives of firms ranging from BP PLC of the UK to Russia's Rosneft, Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell flew in specially for a three-hour meeting. The CEOs displayed their faith in India and its policy reforms. In the three-hour long meeting, the honchos appreciated the reforms initiated in the last 40 months which has created an environment for companies like BP to revive USD 6 billion in investment plan in gas production.. After the meeting, Prime Minister tweeted, India wants to move to a cleaner and more efficient energy regieme and wants to transfer the profits to the poor sections of society. Talking to DD News, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that India is world 3 largest importer of petroleum and it has evolved as a major attraction for investment in hydrocarbon sector.

  • The three lead characters - Padmavati (Deepika Padukone), Maharawal Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor) and Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) - come alive after their first looks were released recently. The romance-war drama looks every bit a spectacle that transports the audience to the 14th century, where the Rajputs ruled. The long-shot war sequences, which Bhansali appears to have mastered in the last year's "Bajirao Mastani", honour the grandeur and colour of the royal landscape. Deepika comes across as headstrong and righteous as Rani Padmavati in her majestic traditional 'poshak' (outfit), never seen without her 'nath', while Shahid does justice to the gutsy and never-say-die attitude that Rajputs swear by. Ranveer, as the antagonist Khilji, appears darkly eccentric, self-obsessed and strangely vulnerable. The background score deftly switches the glorious mood of the film to a sombre one, leading the viewers to imagine the dark end of the saga. The trailer of the film, which was embroiled in a controversy after a Rajput faction accused the director of misrepresenting facts, carefully sticks to paying homage to Padmavati through its lyrics - "Rani sa Rajputi shaan hai, Rani sa mhaari aan baan hai" (The Queen is the pride of the Rajputs, she is our honour and dignity.) Also starring Aditi Rao Hydari and Jim Sarbh, the film is set to release on December 1.

  • After facing flak for enabling advertisers to reach "Jew haters" and the presence of Russia-linked ads on its platform during the 2016 American presidential election, Facebook is planning to make scrutiny of some advertisements more stringent before they are published on its platforms. The social network is going to require ads that are targetted to people based on "politics, religion, ethnicity or social issues" to be manually reviewed before they go live, Axios.com reported late on Saturday. "With this update, we`ll be requiring more ads to go through human review," according to an e-mail Facebook sent to advertisers and obtained by Axios. "New campaigns with ad sets contain targetting options that we feel warrant additional review (such as those associated with topics such as politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues), we will route them for manual review prior to being approved," it read. Facebook ads are generally bought and uploaded to the site through an automated system. The new policy that Facebook is planning to implement sets a higher standard for the ads targetted at people affiliated to particular political, religious or ethnic groups. Facebook warned that the new policy could slow down the launch of new ad campaigns.

  • The Met department has forecast heavy rain in isolated places of Gangetic West Bengal owing to the formation of a cyclonic circulation in North Bay of Bengal and its neighbourhood, which has intensified into a low pressure. Owing to the low pressure, there is possibility of few spells of moderate rain in Kolkata for the next 48 hours. Heavy rain is likely in some pockets of Gangetic West Bengal today. The sky will remain cloudy and day temperature is likely to hover around 30 degrees Celsius according to the Met office. The Salt Lake stadium will hold the first two matches of Group F of the FIFA U-17 World Cup before a sold-out crowd this evening. While England will take on their Latin American rivals Chile, Iraq will play against Mexico in the other match.Meanwhile, heavy rain accompanied by gusty wind battered the southern districts of West Bengal since early today, as the Met department forecast more downpour and high wind till tomorrow. Incessant rain and squally wind affected normal life in the metropolis on the first working day of the week. Water logging and uprooted trees blocked some thoroughfares of the city, delaying the morning rush hour traffic.

  • Addressing a function on raising awareness about child abuse today, Mehbooba Mufti said the issues of the children of the State are bigger than their counterparts elsewhere. She said children here unfortunately have become victims of violence and uncertainty, thus robbing them of their innocent childhood. The function was organised by J&K State Commission for Women in collaboration with Kailash Satyarthi Foundation. Mehbooba Mufti appealed parents and teachers equally to treat children with care, share their time with them and listen to their issues. She appreciated the organizers for holding the function which she said would raise the level of awareness among people regarding child abuse, which often gets unnoticed. She asked for raising voice against the crimes of child abuse by bringing them to fore. Lauding the role and contribution of Kailash Sathyarthi, the Chief Minister hoped that his experiences would be beneficial to the children and Government of the State. She hoped that the Nobel Laureate would help the children of the State in carrying on with their education without any disruption or difficulty. Mehbooba Mufti hoped that more such initiatives are taken for raising awareness level among children. She asked the Women’s Commission chairperson to convene such awareness camps across the State as well. In his passionate speech, Noble Laureate and child rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi appealed for protecting the rights of the children, in particular their childhood and their education. He said an injury to a kid sends pain through the entire humanity. He said the innocence of the children gives us lot many lessons about the simplicity of life and appealed all sections of people to protect their innocence. Earlier in her welcome address, Chairperson, State Commission for Women, Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor gave an overview of the status of children in the State. She said despite a very favourable drop our rate among students technology interventions in children’s lives have posed new challenges. For this, she said, the child protection mechanism needs to be strengthened.

  • Sharif had to step down as Prime Minister and President of the ruling PML-N party after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal. An official of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told the news agency that it is sending its combined investigation team (CIT) to London in a few days to record the statements of some "important witnesses" regarding the properties of Sharif and his children - Maryam, Hassan and Hussain. "Since we have not received a reply from the British authorities regarding our queries about the Sharif family's Avenfield Properties, it has been decided to send the CIT there to peruse the matter in person," he said. The NAB has also written to the interior ministry to get Hassan and Hussain's red warrants issued through Interpol. The accountability court in Islamabad yesterday declared the sons of Sharif proclaimed offenders for repeatedly failing to appear before it. It also issued their perpetual warrants and separated their trial from Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and her husband Captain (retired) Mohmmad Safdar. The court has set October 13 for indictment of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar. Deputy Prosecutor General of the NAB Chaudhry Khaliquz Zaman said since Sharif's sons had been declared proclaimed offenders, there properties and bank accounts in Pakistan will be attached (frozen). "Once the red warrants of Hassan and Hussain are issued, the NAB will take up the matter with the UK authorities for their extradition," he said.

  • The outbreak and Ebola in 2016 across West Africa, including the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone triggered scientists to take action against the deadly virus, which included setting up of trial vaccines to stop the disease. Now it seems that those vaccines are managing to show some promising data as a group of researchers have found an Ebola vaccine is safe for children as well as adults and produces an immune response. Talking about the vaccine, Professor Sanjeev Krishna, of St George's University of London's Institute for Infection and Immunity, said, "An unprecedented Ebola outbreak showed how it is possible for academics, non-governmental organisations, industry and funders to work effectively together very quickly in times of medical crisis. The results of the trial show how a vaccine could best be used to tackle this terrible disease effectively." In December 2016, an experimental Ebola vaccine tested on humans in the waning days of the West African epidemic had shown 100 percent protection against the lethal disease, while in March 2017, an early human trial revealed that a two-part Ebola vaccine regimen has been found to offer protection against the deadly disease for about a year. Similarly, in June this year, a clinical trial helped Canadian researchers develop a vaccine for disease caused by the Ebola virus. The first known human cases of Ebola occurred in 1976 during two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which sickened more than 600 people, according to the World Health Organization. This vaccine can be really useful for a country like India, who did not see an outbreak of Ebola. Though an Indian national returning from Liberia did test positive for the deadly virus and was quarantined at a special facility at Delhi airport. The vaccine contains a non-infectious portion of a gene from the Zaire Ebola virus. In addition, lower vaccine doses should be considered when boosting individuals with pre-existing antibodies to Ebolavirus glycoprotein, a finding that has emerged after the vaccine was tested in a country that has experienced Ebola virus outbreaks in the past.

  • "At around 0200 GMT, a group of armed men, probably Mai-Mai, attacked the MONUSCO (UN mission in the DRC) position" near central Lubero, General Bernard Commins, Deputy Chief of the UN troops in the restive country, announced. Two of the attackers were killed and two were wounded, while two Indian peacekeepers suffered minor injuries in the attack. The injured cadre was given immediate first aid by the Indian doctor at the MONUSCO camp and later shifted to Indian Hospital in Goma. The Mai-Mai became prominent as armed community militias during the Second Congo War (1998-2003), when they effectively allied with the government to battle invading troops notably from Rwanda as well as foreign rebels. Some Mai-Mai forces never gave up the weapons they got from the regime. Since the beginning of 2017, Mai-Mai militias have regularly attacked Congolese Army positions in North Kivu and in neighbouring South Kivu. The Lubero region lies about 300 km North of Goma, the main town of North Kivu province, where dozens of illegal armed groups control several villages. They have been at odds with the government for exploiting mineral resources and prey on local residents

  • Influential in the field of behavioral economics, his research showed how traits such as lack of self-control and fear of losing what you already have prompt decisions that may not have the best outcome in the longer term. “I think the most important impact (of my research) is the recognition that economic agents are human and economic models have to incorporate that,” Thaler, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, said in call broadcast at the Nobel news conference. Awarding the 9 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said: “Richard Thaler’s contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making.” “His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioral economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy.” Thaler brought to prominence the idea of “nudge” economics, where individuals are subtly guided toward beneficial behaviors without heavy- handed compulsion, the theme of a 2008 book he co-wrote which caught the eye of policymakers around the world. In researching how self-control - or the lack of it - Thaler touched on an age-old problem: why New Year’s resolutions to change aspects of your life are notoriously hard to keep. The issue has relevance for economics as individuals’ tendency to fall prey to temptation often negatively affects plans to, for instance, save for retirement. Together with Professor Cass Sunstein, he argued that society - while maintaining freedom of choice - should actively try to guide individuals in the right direction. Their book, titled ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness’ became popular with some western politicians seeking ways to encourage their citizens to save and live healthily, without incurring voters’ wrath for raising taxes or banning behavior outright.

  • She added that ‘Vikas’ is not something to be ridiculed instead it should be welcomed. Smriti Irani opined that for decades, the Congress party and particularly the Nehru Gandhi family has been anti-Gujarat. During their years in power, the UPA Government obstructed raising of height of the Narmada Dam, thus denying its benefits to lakhs of farmers across Gujarat.

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