USA to bar Americans from travelling to N. Korea

The US has decided to bar its citizens from traveling to North Korea. Two agencies, Koryo Tours, and Young Pioneer Tours, which operate tours in the East Asian country, have conceded that the announcement would be made on July 27 and will come into effect 30 days later.

Although the USA has not confirmed after the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier, their ties have worsened. Warmbier traveled to North Korea through Young Pioneer Tours in January 2016.

He was arrested on charges of trying to steal a propaganda sign and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He was returned to the US in a state of coma and died a week later on June 19 aged 22.

In a statement by Koryo Tours, it said after the ban comes into effect, it will not be legal for anyone to travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a US passport.

The announcement date July 27 also coincides with North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’ to commemorate the 1953 Korean War armistice.

Sources-

  1. Washington Post-http://The US has decided to bar its citizens from travelling to North Korea. Two agencies, Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours, which operate tours in the East Asian country, have conceded that the announcement would be made on July 27 and will come into effect 30 days later. Although USA has not confirmed but after the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier, their ties have worsened. Warmbier travelled to North Korea through Young Pioneer Tours in January 2016. He was arrested on charges of trying to steal a propaganda sign and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He was returned to the US in a state of coma and died a week later on June 19 aged 22. In a statement by Koryo Tours, it said after the ban comes into effect, it will not be legal for anyone to travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a US passport. The announcement date July 27 also coincides with North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’ to commemorate the 1953 Korean War armistice.

2. BBC-http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40680500

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington commits suicide at 41

 

The lead singer of the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, Chester Bennington was found hanging in his apartment near Los Angeles. The L.A County Coroner said his body was found at 09:00 local time on Thursday. He was 41.

Formed in 1996, Linkin Park has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and also have two Grammys in their pocket. He had an amicable relation with Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who also committed suicide in May.

The band had a string of hits, namely, In the End, Crawling, Numb, New Divide among others. Bennington released seven albums with the band, the most recent one being ‘One More Light’ which came out in May and topped the Billboard album chart.

Band member Mike Shinoda spoke on behalf of the group and expressed his grief, adding that the band would issue a statement.

Bennington was also involved on a side project, Dead by Sunrise, and became the lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots.

Their album ‘Meteora’ was at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2003 and is considered one of the biggest indie rock album of all time.

Linkin Park was supposed to go on a tour starting with a concert on July 27 in Mansfield.

Sources-

  1. BBC- http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40676530

2. NEW YORK TIMES- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/arts/music/chester-bennington-linkin-park-dead.html

Mithali Raj becomes all-time leading run scorer in women’s ODI cricket

Indian skipper Mithali Raj created history as she became the leading run-getter in women’s one-day internationals. She achieved this feat during the ICC Women’s World Cup against Australia at Bristol.
She overtook England cricketer Charlotte Edwards’ record of 5992 runs by scoring her 34th run while batting against the Aussies. Edwards scored these runs in 191 matches, whereas it took the 34-year-old 184 matches to reach this achievement.
This was not the only record she broke. Apart from overtaking the Englishwoman, she also became the first woman to reach the 6000-run landmark.
With a 50-plus batting average, Mithali boasts the most number of ODI half-centuries, 49. Recently she created a streak of scoring seven consecutive half-centuries before that ended with getting out on 46 runs against West Indies at the ongoing World Cup.
She also grabbed headlines a few days ago during the tournament, when she was seen reading a book before getting down to bat. At a pre-World Cup press conference, she confidently retaliated to a sexist question from a reporter, drawing praise from all corners. According to Times of India, she was asked about her favourite male cricketer to which she had replied, “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer? Do you ask them who their favourite female cricketer is?”
Currently, Mithali has scored 6028 runs, including five centuries and 49 half-centuries.

Sources: NDTV

Image Source: AFP

Gopalkrishna Gandhi opposition’s choice for Vice-President

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been chosen as the Opposition’s candidate for Vice-President. The decision to pick the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was taken after 18 Opposition parties met on Tuesday.

According to Indian Express, only Gandhi’s name was discussed during the meeting at Parliament House.

After the meeting, Congress President Sonia Gandhi told reporters that Gandhi’s name for the nomination had been raised unanimously by all parties present in the meeting.

“Eighteen parties have decided to field Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their vice presidential candidate. We have spoken to Gopalkrishna Gandhi. He has agreed to be the opposition’s candidate for vice president”, Indian Express quoted the Congress President as saying.

Nitish Kumar caused a bit of worry in the opposition camp by not attending the meeting, although he sent Sharad Yadav, JDU’s other top leader to compensate for his absence. There has already been some tension in the Opposition camp over Nitish Kumar’s support for BJP Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. But Nitish Kumar’s earlier approval of Gandhi, though, is a major positive.

The meeting was attended by Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, TMC’s Derek O’ Brien, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, NC’s Omar Abdullah, SP’s Naresh Agarwal and BSP’s Satish Chandra Mishra. If required, polling for the vice president’s post will be held on August 5 and counting will also take place in the same evening.

The NDA government is yet to announce their candidate for the vice president.

Sources: Indian Express, NDTV 

Apex court agrees to drop charges of contempt of court against Anurag Thakur

The Supreme Court asked Anurag Thakur, former president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to issue an ‘unequivocal’ and ‘categorical’ apology in a contempt of court case issued against him.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud, was clear on its stance that it was not going to accept the earlier affidavit of apology and instead pressed him to file a new one-page short affidavit furnishing unconditional apology by July 12.

“We are not happy with the affidavit of apology; it has to be categorical,” Justice Deepak Misra told Hindustan Times. The bench agreed to accept his apology and the end the proceedings of the case.

Appearing for Thakur, senior advocate P.S Patwalia told the bench though his client was ready to tender an apology, he certainly has a case on merit through which his innocence can be proved.

Thakur has been asked to appear before the court in person and the SC has set the date for July 14. The SC started the contempt case against him on January 2 this year after Thakur got into trouble for filing a false affidavit in the court stating he had not sought any letter from the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the issue of autonomy.

Anurag Thakur was removed as the President of BCCI along with secretary Ajay Shirke for not following the SC’s mandate to implement the Lodha committee reforms.

Sources: The Hindu

Image source: AFP

BMW 5 series launched in India, priced between 49.9l and 61.3l

The new BMW 5 series unveiled its seventh generation in India on Thursday. Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched the car at an event in Mumbai.

The luxury sedan, competing with the likes of Audi A6, Mercedes Benz E Class, Jaguar XF and the new entrants Lexus ES and Volvo S90, comes in one petrol and three diesel variants.

The 5 series was unveiled globally in October last year. It is available in three engine configurations – 520i with a 2.0 litre petrol engine priced at 49.9l, 520d with a 2.0 litre diesel engine prices at 49.9l and a 530d with a 3.0 litre diesel engine, with a common eight-speed automatic gearbox in all of them. 530d comes in two variants, viz., Luxuryline and M sport prices at 53.6l and 61.3l respectively

Hindustan Times quoted Sachin Tendulkar as saying, “Features like gesture control and touchscreen key are mesmerising and even my kids were amused by the sheer technology this new car offers”.

President and CEO of BMW Group India Vikram Pawah told Hindustan Times, since the German automaker entered India in 2007, the 5 series had sold more than 19,000 units and contributes 30% to BMW’s sales in India.

Sources:

Hindustan Times, Financial Express

Image Source:

Autocar India

Theresa May offers to allow EU citizens to stay in UK post Brexit

UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered European Union citizens to stay in UK after Brexit. At an EU leader’s summit dinner in Brussels, May made an offer over the future rights of EU citizens living in Britain.

She proposed that people residing in Britain for five years or more would be granted UK’s ‘settled status’, giving them a chance to get the same rights to education, pensions, healthcare and welfare as British citizens.

EU citizens living in UK for less than five years would be granted the ‘settled status’ after they complete the five-year mark.

“The UK’s position represents a fair and serious offer, and one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives and contributing so much to our society”, The Guardian quoted May as saying.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described May’s move as a “good start” but other problems regarding Britain’s exit needed to be addressed.

Theresa May’s proposals came under attack from other European Union leaders warning it could worsen their situation. Donald Tusk, the EU council’s president told Independent, “The UK’s offer is below our expectations and risks worsening the situation of our citizens”.

 

Sources: The Guardian, Independent.uk.net

Image source: Reuters