Hurricane Maria intesifies into category 5 storm

Hurricane Maria has now been classified as rare category 5 hurricane in Caribbean. It is now moving towards US. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after devastating Dominica. According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) the center of the storm is ‘potentially catastrophic’ and is located 72km east- southeast of Dominica.

Maria will be the most powerful Hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 85 years. The last time a category 4 swept this territory was in 1932. Only last week it avoided contact with Hurricane Irma that reached a category 5 status. It was considered as the most powerful Atlantic storm ever witnessed. The governor of Puerto Rico has warned and said, “It is time to seek refuge with a family member, friend or head to a shelter”.

The Hurricane is also expected to hit the island of St. Croix, which also escaped from Irima on September 6. According to predictions Maria will be the worst storm to hit St. Croix since 1989.

Hurricane Maria is the 13 th named Atlantic storm of the year, seventh hurricane of this season and fourth major hurricane to be classified as category 3 or higher. This is after Hurricane Harvey, Irma and Jose.

News Source: Indian Express, Reuters 

Image Source: Newsheads

PMC set to rehabilitate 1,000 hawkers in city areas

Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) will now rehabilitate hawkers and vendors at 330 places around the city. This decision has been taken in the meeting of hawker co-ordination committee.

According to the city mayor, Mukta Tilak the corporation has fixed different charges for different parts of the city. It ranges from Rs.25 to Rs.200 per day. However, rates of places like Nagar Road and Dhankwadi have not been fixed.

On September 9 the Supreme Court had issued an order regarding the rehabilitation of hawkers.  It had stated that the process of registration must be completed by the municipal corporation. The next year the civic body registered around 22,000 licenses for hawkers. However, at the same the PMC had announced no hawker zones in 45 areas. They included JM Road and FC Road.

Even though the anti-encroachment department had proposed fine to stop unauthorized stalls or hawkers, they still continued to grow are an unmonitored space. With rehabilitation, the civic body hopes to curb these unauthorised lot.  Madhav Jagtap, head of PMC’s anti-encroachment department said that spots for rehabilitation were decided upon after surveying the open areas.

However, Janeev Hawkers Union believes that the step of rehabilitation has been delayed. The corporation has taken a lot of time to relocate areas for rehabilitation.

News Source: Pune Mirror

Image Source: Dhananjay Helwade

Sri Lanka Cricket bans Chimara Silva on charges of match fixing

Sri Lanka cricket (SLC) has banned former batsman Chamara Silva from any cricket related activities for a period of two years. These activities range from playing, coaching to administrating. He was accused of violating the spirit of the game during a domestic match, which was probed for match fixing.

A probe had been initiated by the Sri Lanka Cricket as to whether match fixing was done during a match between neighboring clubs Pandadura Cricket Club vs Kalutara Physical Culture Club. The announcement came after an enquiry into the events of the third day of the match, when 24 wickets fell in one day and in 12 overs.

Along with Silva who was captain of Panadura, Manoj Deshapriya who led Kalutara Club has been banned too. The remaining players and their coaches have been banned for a period of two years and have to pay a fine of Rs. 50,000 each.

The complaint was registered by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the enquiry took seven months to finish. The SLC has already announced the selection of a new panel with Graeme Labrooy as the head.

News Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express

Image Source: India Today

Iceland Prime Minister Benediktsson resigns

Iceland’s President accepted the resignation of its Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson. Now the new elections are scheduled to take place on November 4. The Prime minister lost his nine month coalition after one party withdrew over an attempt to help a convicted pedophile.

A small party named Bright Future left the coalition, causing the government to loose the numbers. This was after the emergence of a letter urging a pardon for Hjalti Sigurjon Hauksson. He was convicted of raping his daughter almost every day in 2004. Under the laws of this volcanic island, a person convicted of a serious crime can apply to restore his honour and get employment.

Benediktsson said that some of the Iceland laws were completely out of sync with modern values. He recently took office in January after uniting his Independence Party, Reform Party and centrists. The former Prime Minister had resigned due to protests over his offshore holdings that were revealed in the Panama Paper leak. Even Benediktsson was named in the Panama Paper as having a stake in a Seychelles based company.

Iceland is a small volcanic island in the Arctic circle which faced a financial crisis in the year 2008. But now is flourishing due to a surge in tourism.

News Source: TOI, Fox News 

Image Source: Reuters

Maryam Sharif speaks in support of father Nawaz

Outsted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Sharif described the Supreme Courts rejection of her fathers review petition as severe injustice. The Supreme Court had dismissed the review petitions filled by Nawaz Sharif, his children- Hussain, Hasan and Maryam and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against the Panama Papers judgment.

With this rejection Sharifs disqualification as a member of Parliament remains. Also now all his legal options are over, ending any chances of him to stage a political comeback. His family and Dar will now face a corruption charge filled by the National Accountability Bureau in court. According to Maryam, her father was disqualified because he did not take any income from his son.

At present Maryam is handling the Lahore election campaign, while her mother Kulsoom Nawaz is undergoing treatment for throat cancer in London. There will be a by election on the seat which was left vacant after the disqualification of Mr. Sharif on September 17. A total of 44 candidates will be contesting in this election.

Maryam Nawz said to the supporters, “Do you accept this unjust verdict? If you are vote against the verdict then vote for lion”.

News Source: The Hindu, Business Standard

Image Source: Indian Express

Home Ministry cancels funding of top educational institutes

The Union Home Ministry has cancelled the foreign funding of several premier educational institutions of the country. These include Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU), Delhi University(DU), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Their registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA) has been cancelled. As according to the government they have failed to file their annual returns for the past five years. No organization is permitted to receive foreign funding unless it is registered under the FCRA Act. However, despite many notices they did not file their returns.

Other than the above mentioned institutions there are other organisations as well whose FCRA registration were cancelled. Such as the Supreme Court Bar Association, School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Karnataka and Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre.

IIT-D Director V Ramgopal said that he is not aware of this development but the institute has nothing to hide. While Promila Kumar, acting principal of Gargi college said that they have filed the returns and doesn’t know why this has happened.

News Source: Indian Express, Firstpost

Image Source: The Wire

Pakistani court gives verdict for Benazir Bhutto murder case

Pakistani Anti Terrorism court pronounced its verdict in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case on Thursday. It declared former military ruler, Parvez Musharraf as a fugitive and ordered the confiscation of all his properties. The judgment was announced by Judge Asghar Khan.

Five others Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suspects were acquitted. This was due to lack of evidence found against them. They were Rafaqat Hussain, Husnain Gul, Sher Zaman, Aitzaz Shah and Abdul Rashid.  Two senior police officers, Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad were arrested and sentenced to 17 years in prison, in addition to a fine of Rs.5 lakhs each. Both of them were out on bail.

Benazir Bhutto was a two- time prime minister of Pakistan. She was killed in gun and bomb attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. The incident took place while she came out from a park where she addressed her election rally. A case was registered immediately after the assassination and since then eight different judges have heard it.

Bhutto’s daughter Aseefa Bhuto Zardari tweeted, “There will be no justice till Pervez Musharraf answers for his crimes.

Sourced from Indian Express and Times of India