Traffic cop puts an end to constant violations on Aundh’s DP road 

The stretch between Parihar Chowk and Ambedkar Chowk was facing constant no entry violations by the commuters. Pune Mirror, on January 3, reported about this issue prevailing in the Aundh area of the city. Not only was it affecting the motorists but also the pedestrians and residents of that area. But now the situation has been tackled. Around 50 vehicles were caught in a span of five days.

The reason behind the violations was the closure of a lane between the aforementioned chowks. The closure took place as Pune Municipal Corporation had initiated Smart City work on this route. Consequently, a diversion from ITI road was instructed to the commuters so that they could reach their destination. However, very few people followed this rule.

As per Pune Mirror, Navnath Ghogre, police inspector (traffic), Chaturshringi police station, said, “Regular action was always being taken against vehicle owners found violating norms and going into no-entry lanes. But, rather than stressing on penalties, we are laying stress on creating awareness and counselling rule-violators about the consequences of their actions.”

The Police also took note of the fact that some residents had to necessarily go in the wrong direction so as to reach their homes.

People who live in the nearby areas appreciated the efforts taken by the traffic police. Ashutosh Jadhav, a local resident, said, “It is good that the traffic police department has finally woken up to its responsibilities and acted — one hopes that this will help end the constant traffic snarls on this road. Also, members of the public should be more vigilant about following regulations, as they only risk the lives of innocent people when they don’t.”

Source: Pune Mirror

Trump says Fire and Fury is “full of lies”

Donald Trump, president, USA dismissed a newly released book containing damaging allegations on his campaign and administration. The Hindu reported that after he failed in blocking its release, he said that the book is “full of lies” and invented sources.

The book quotes Trump’s former top aide, Steve Bannon- the man who engineered the New York real estate mogul’s link to the nationalist far right. He further helped in establishing a pro-Trump media ecosystem. In the book, he is described in a meeting with the Russians. In this meeting, Trump’s son was present as “treasonous “. The book also expresses serious doubt about his fitness for office.

As per BBC, in reference to the meeting, Bannon allegedly said,”They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff survived various attempts of blockage by Trump’s lawyers. It has now gone on sale early.

Trump took to Twitter, “I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for the author of phony book! I never spoke to him about the book. Full of lies, misrepresentations, and sources that don’t exist.”

According to BBC, the book makes various claims such as Trump and his team were shocked by his election win. Melania, his wife, was in tears of sadness on election night. After his win, Trump “found the White House to be vexing and even a little scary.” Ivanka Trump, his daughter, mocked her father’s “comb-over” hairstyle and “often defined the mechanics behind it to her friends.”

Trump’s lawyers sent a legal notice regarding the same. It has been published by the Washington Post. It states that Wolff and the publisher of the book should “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book.”

Sources – The Hindu, BBC



Bhima Koregaon: the Politics behind the Outbreak

Image Courtesy: NDTV                                                                              People carried processions on 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon, and pelted stones at vehicles on one of Mumbai’s arterial highways.

Pune, January 04: Bhima Koregaon, a village 30 kilometres north-east of Pune, witnessed celebration of the 200th anniversary of the battle between British forces, including Mahar troops, and the Peshwa army. However, clashes broke out in villages around Bhima Koregaon. The violence occurred in the wake of the death of a 30-year-old Maratha youth and injuries caused to several people. The Dalit community began protesting in cities of Mumbai, Pune and nine other districts across Maharashtra. On January 3, they demanded a statewide bandh. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra ordered a judicial probe by “a sitting judge” into the matter.

He said, “Every year, about 15,000 people assemble at the memorial. But this year the crowd was 3.5 lakh strong. Six battalions of police force were deployed, four of them placed at strategic points. As a result, despite attempts to trigger violence and riots, it was immediately curbed and major incident averted.”

What initiated as a caste based violence, later progressed into political firestorm.

Rahul Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress alleged that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had envisioned the fact that Dalits “remain at the bottom” of the society.

He took to Twitter, “A central pillar of the RSS/BJP’s fascist vision for India is that Dalits should remain at the bottom of Indian society. Una, Rohith Vemula and now Bhima-Koregaon are potent symbols of the resistance.”

Denying these allegations, BJP sources said that the party was “concerned” about the Dalits. The reason being Dalit leaders such as Jignesh Mevani, who recently won the election in Gujarat, have marked their presence in Bhima Koregaon.

It is worth noting that the political aggression also echoed at the state and Centre level. Mohan Prakash, General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra, All India Congress Committee claimed, “Wherever the BJP is in power, its supporters and RSS execute such actions when events related to Dalit pride are organised”.

The Shiva Sena accused the current government of not having the knowledge about mischief mongers living in the state. “The state is bearing the brunt of the BJP having control of the Home department and politics in the police department.,” it alleged.

Meanwhile, Prakash Ambedkar, President of Bharatiya Republican Party Bahujan Mahasangh reportedly said that Hindutva outfits were behind the Bhima Koregaon attacks.

Police has booked two local Hindu right-wing leaders- Milind Ekbote of Hindu Ekta Aghadi and Sambhaji Bhide of Shiv Pratisthan for inciting violence. Complaints have also been filed against Jignesh Mevani, Dalit leader and Gujarat MLA and Umar Khalid, Jawaharlal Nehru University student for instigating the crowd. Both of them were invited at the celebration of Bhima Koregaon battle.

It will be interesting to see the amount of truth that these allegations hold. On one hand, it is possible that the right-wing groups were the reason behind this violence. On the other hand, it is strange to accept the fact that BJP would instigate such a division in the society. This contrasts its policy of ‘one India.” However, it will be beneficial for its rivals, as this will affect the Hindu vote bank of BJP immensely.

Continue reading Bhima Koregaon: the Politics behind the Outbreak

From Apple and Windows PCs to Android devices, Intel bug affects them all

A major design flaw has been discovered in the Intel processors. It is found that the bug is affecting devices as old as 20 years. Initially, reports only talked of the damage it wascreating towards Mac OS and Windows computers. However, it is now being noticed that Android smartphones are being affected too. While Google has patched the bug on several platforms, Microsoft and Intel have confirmed the bug to be 2018’s first major widespread flaw.

As per Engadget, “We are in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and have also released security updates to protect Windows customers against vulnerabilities affecting supported hardware chips from Intel, ARM, and AMD,” said Microsoft.

The Gadgetsnow reported that Google’s Project Zero has confirmed that the bug is running on both Android and ChromeOS platforms. An update will be rolling out on January 23 for the Chrome users so as to help them mitigate the attack. For now, users can enable the ‘site isolation’ feature as a temporary method for protection.

The chipmaker has acknowledged the existence of the vulnerability; the vulnerability being towards gathering sensitive data from the computers. However, Intel also stated that the bug cannot corrupt, delete or modify data.

“Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time,” said the company’s newsroom website.

Also, the company has sent out updates about its firmware and hardware to its partners to decrease the level of impact. Intel is yet to give out details pertaining to when and how will it be rolling a fix to this flaw.

Sources:  Gadgetsnow , Endgadget


Rajdhani Express coach derails at New Delhi Railway station

The guard coach (located at the end of the train) of Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express got derailed at the New Delhi Railway station early on Thursday. According to the Hindustan Times, a Northern Railway spokesperson said that no major injuries were caused due to the accident.

As per The Indian Express, Neeraj Sharma, spokesperson, Northern Railways, told news agency IANS, “ The Last coach of Jammu Rajdhani Express which was entering at platform no. 15 of New Delhi railway station derailed around 6.20 a.m.

However, this is not the first rail accident in this month. The Indian Express reported, on September 7, seven coaches of Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express jumped the tracks near the Obra Dam station in eastern Uttar Pradesh ‘s Sonbhadra district at around 6:25 am. As per the officials, since the train was running at a speed of 40 km per hour, no casualties were reported.

Hours after this incident, the engine and power car of the Ranchi- Delhi Rajdhani Express, had derailed at the Shivaji Bridge, New Delhi. According to the Times of India, one person had been injured but it did not cause any casualty as the train was running at a slow pace.

According to the Hindustan Times, two wagons of a goods train derailed in Khandala, Maharashtra on September 7.


The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Times of India

Malaysia school fire kills at least 23 students, 2 teachers

At least 23 students and two teachers were killed after a blaze broke out at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah school in Kuala Lumpur on September 14.

As per Aljazeera, a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, reported, fire at Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah – a “tahfiz” boarding school where students learn to memorise the Quran – was reported at 5:40am (21:40 GMT September 13)

Khirudin Drahman, director, Kuala Lumpur’s fire and rescue department, told AFP news agency, “It really does not make sense for so many to die in the fire. I think it is one of the country’s worst fire disasters in the past 20 years. We are now investigating the cause of the fire.”

According to the Hindu, after receiving a distress call at 5:41 a.m., firefighters rushed to the scene. It took an hour for them to put out the blaze, which started on the top floor of the three-storey building, said Amar Singh, police chief, Kuala Lumpur.

Abu Obaidat Mohamad Saithalimat, senior official, fire department, said that the fire broke out near the only door to the boys’ dormitory, trapping the victims because the windows were barred. According to him, an electric short-circuit was believed to be the cause, though Amar Singh said the investigation is still on.

Aljazeera reported, Loga Bala Mohan, deputy minister, government’s federal territories, said: “We sympathise with the families. It is one of the worst fires involving so many lives. We urgently want the authorities to quickly probe the cause of the deadly fire so that we will be able to prevent future disasters.”

There were 519 tahfiz schools registered across the country as of April, but many more are said to be unregistered.

Sources: Al Jazeera, The Hindu, Hindustan Times

Expedia boss Dara Khosrowshahi chosen as new Uber CEO

The Uber Technologies Inc board of directors met on August 27, 2017 to vote for its new CEO. It has chosen Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of travel company Expedia, to lead the ride-services company out of a year long crisis.

As per TechCrunch, the position for The Uber CEO had been vacant after the co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned in June. His departure came after Eric Holder, former U S Attorney General conducted an investigation into the culture of the company. Allegations of sexism and racism prompted this investigation.

Consequently, the Uber board has been involved with its own conflicts. Benchmark Capital, early investor and a board seat holder, sued Kalanick on the grounds of not disclosing information about the problems of the company.

Earlier on August 27, 2017, Jeff Immelt, chairman, General Electric Co, said he was no longer in the running for the job. He took to twitter and said, ” I have decided not to pursue a leadership position at Uber. I have immense respect for the company & founders- Travis, Garrett and Ryan.

According to the Guardian, the probable candidates narrowed to three people- Jeff Immelt, Meg Whitman and Khosrowshahi.

Meg Whitman, chief executive, Hewlett Packard Enterprise tweeted on August 28,2017, ” We have a lot of work still to do at HPE and I am not going anywhere. Uber’s CEO will not be Meg Whitman.”

Khosrowshahi, a 48-year-old Iranian American has led Expedia for 12 years. TechCrunch reported that under his term, Expedia’s stock market is up 32% so far this year, that is, it has tripled in the last five years.