Stan Lee accused of sexual harassment; denies claims

Creator of Marvel comics, Stan Lee, has been accused of sexually harassing and groping nurses who worked for him. Lee, however, has outrightly denied such claims.

According to a Daily Mail report, the 95-years-old groped the women and asked them to perform oral sex. A representative from the nursing company stated that many nurses have complained about Lee. The company ceased working for him at the end of 2016.

As a result of these accusations, there is now an ongoing legal dispute between the care company and him.

Hinting that this was an attempt at blackmail, the Spider-Man creator issued a statement through his lawyer, Tom Lallas, that said, “Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character”.

Backing the statement, a representative for the new nursing company caring for Lee declared that he has been polite, kind and respectful.

Best known for creating the Marvel comic book series, his creative insights have been immortalized through the film series his books have turned into. His wife of 69 years passed away in 2017 at the age of 93.

Sources: Daily Mail , The Independent

Jignesh Mevani refuses to call off rally despite Delhi Police order

Image Courtesy: PTI
Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani is an accused in the recent violence occurred in Bhima-Koregaon, Pune.

New Delhi, January 09: Newly elected Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader, Jignesh Mevani called out the ‘Yuva Hunkaar Rally’ along with Assam peasant leader Akhil Gogoi to address Dalit activists on January 09, 2017, even when the Delhi Police denied permission citing an National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that had disallowed protests at Jantar Mantar.

Around 1500 police and paramilitary personnel, armed with tear gas and 10 water cannons, have been deployed at the venue. In spite of that, a large number of students from universities in New Delhi, women’s groups, teachers’ associations and activists associated with Mevani from across the country are expected to attend the rally.

On Monday, a tweet by the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police said, “No permission granted so far by Delhi Police to hold proposed protest at Parliament Street in view of NGT orders.” However, the organisers have claimed that their protest is on Parliament Street and not Jantar Mantar.

The purpose behind the rally is to demand the release of Chandrashekhar Azad, the Dalit leader arrested last June over caste clashes in Saharanpur.

The 37-year-old Mevani is accused in the case of violence in the recent clashes at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune, that eventually spread across Maharashtra.


Sources: The Indian Express, India Today

Triple Talaq: Congress doing injustice to Muslim women by opposing bill, says BJP’s Ananth Kumar

Ananth Kumar, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, accused the Congress of doing injustice to the Muslim women by creating hurdles in the passage of the Triple Talaq Bill. The bill stands to be one of the most awaited and controversial decisions ever taken by the Supreme Court, wherein the latter declared the pronouncement of talaq by a person to his wife, through any medium, null and illegal.

Passed in the Lok Sabha after rejecting a resolution moved by Revolutionary Socialist Party member NK Premachandran, the bill confers a jail term of upto three years to any person practicing instant triple talaq. Due to Congress’s constant insistence that its resolution to refer the bill to a standing committee be voted on, the bill’s passage in the current winter session of the upper house became difficult.

In reaction to this demand, Ananth Kumar said, “Every day they bring a new excuse and their demand to refer the bill to the Select Committee is just a trick to misguide all.”

As the winter session of the Rajya Sabha ends on Friday, January 5, the bill is now pushed to the budget session, which begins in less than a month.

Pakistan releases new Kulbhushan Jadhav video, India says another coerced statement

After Pakistan released yet another video of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav on Thursday, January 4, 2018, India slammed it for putting out coerced statements as part of its exercise in state propaganda.

In the video, the 47-year-old was shown saying he had not been harmed in custody and that the Pakistan government was taking good care of him, not even touching him once. The issue is a bone of contention between Pakistan and India for more than a year now. It sparked off when Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan on March 3, 2016, and sentenced to death in a Field General Court Martial after three-and-a-half months of trial, on charges of espionage and working for Research and Analysis Wing. Post that, India repeatedly requested consular access, which was consistently denied by Pakistan.

The latest video was released days after India had held Pakistan accountable for mistreating Jadhav’s family when they visited him, interacting only through a glass screen in between.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “This does not come as a surprise. Pakistan is simply continuing its practice of putting out coerced statements on video. It is time for them to realize that such propagandistic exercises simply carry no credibility.”


Sources – NDTV, India Today


Seized methaqualone traced to unit in Osmanabad, land owned by Pune man

A consignment of methaqualone (Mandrax) worth Rs 23 crore, which was seized in Hyderabad last week, has been traced to a production unit in Maharashtra’s Osmanabad district. The land on which the unit stands is owned by a Pune-based resident.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials had arrested three people who were transporting the 46kg consignment in a car at Kamkole village in Sangareddy district in Hyderabad on January 11. The contraband, banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, was hidden in a false casing in the car.

Preliminary inquiries had revealed that the consignment was loaded into the car by a man at Umarga in Osmanabad district, who instructed the occupants to deliver it to agents in Chennai.

On January 13, DRI officials located the production unit on NH-9, which connects Pune to Hyderabad. “Officials of the Bengaluru unit of the DRI followed the trail and identified the 4,000 sqft production unit in the Umarga industrial zone where the banned substance was manufactured illegally using different chemicals,” said Sanjay Kale, joint commissioner (drugs), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Aurangabad.

Maharashtra’s FDA joined hands with the DRI who conducted a raid on the unit. During the raid, 500 grams of methaqualone worth Rs 50 lakh was seized from the unit.

“The banned drug was being manufactured as powder, transported to Hyderabad and from there to other places. The factory was being run as an electronic warehouse and was operational for the last six months,” Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials said.

The officials later arrested three men from Mumbai who were operating the factory. “Methaqualone is a prohibited psychotropic substance. Its production and distribution is illegal in India. It is not a drug, hence it does not come under the FDA’s purview,” Kale said.

“Several teams are currently conducting searches in Hyderabad, Osmanabad, Kochi, Chennai and Bengaluru,” a DRI official said.

Source: TOI

Auto makers seek ban on 15-year-old vehicles to cut pollution

Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), the Auto industry lobby of India, urged the government to put a ban on vehicles over 15 years old in the country to reduce pollution.

“Auto industry is doing a lot of work to reduce pollution. We are working to move to BS-VI emission norms. In order to reduce pollution, we request the government to ban vehicles which are 15 years old”, Siam president Vinod K. Dasari said. Speaking at the 57th SIAM Annual Convention, he urged the concerned authorities to help in the formation of a National Automotive Board, which will work as an advisory body to help government form policies.

According to Dasari, due to frequent changes in policies for the auto industry, the sector has been going through one of the most disruptive times. Every developed country has a strong automotive industry, hence India must work to strengthen its own since it accounts for almost 50 per cent of the country’s manufacturing GDP. With the proposed ban, the aim is to increase the “Make In India” program and uplift the sector by ensuring ease of business.

Dasari also appealed to the government to work towards making India a leader in electric vehicles by focusing not just on domestic markets, but also by tapping global ones.

Sources: NDTV, The LiveMint

India and Myanmar sign 11 agreements

As a step to further strengthen their relationship, India and Myanmar signed eleven agreements on September 6, 2017. This was done during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar, where he held wide-ranging talks with the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

Maritime Security cooperation was one issue covered, while another agreement was concerned with sharing white shipping information to improve data sharing on non-classified merchant navy or cargo ships. An MoU was signed between the Election Commission of India and the Union Election of Myanmar and another was signed to organise cultural exchange programme for the period 2017-2020.

Cooperation between Myanmar Press Council and Press Council of India, cooperation in Medical Products Regulation, in the upgradation of the women’s police training centre at Yamethin in Myanmar, and an extension of agreement on the establishment of India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT skill were other arenas covered by separate agreements.

Modi arrived in Myanmar as part of his two-nation trip, during which he travelled to the Chinese city Xiamen for the annual BRICS summit.

The signing of these agreements is a step to enhance the relationship with one of India’s most strategic neighbors, which also shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of north-eastern states including Nagaland and Manipur.


Sources: India Today, Economic Times