India Swears In New President In Boost For Modi Coalition

Ram Nath Kovind was sworn in as the 14th President of India in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 25, in a ceremony that tightens the government’s hold on positions of power.

The 71-year-old low-caste politician backed by the ruling Hindu nationalist-led coalition easily won the presidential election last Thursday.

He is from the Dalit community – the lowest of India’s centuries old caste hierarchy – and beat the Congress party’s Meira Kumar, also a Dalit, by an overwhelming majority.

Kovind taking oath of office to become India’s president

India’s constitution provides a largely ceremonial role for the president, with the prime minister and his cabinet holding executive power. But the president has a key role during political crises, such as when a general election is inconclusive, by deciding which party is in the best position to form a government.

Kovind’s victory caps a series of top appointments by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), strengthening the grip of the Hindu right on public offices, such as governors, state chief ministers and the heads of universities.

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China Urges India To Stop Provocations

China urged India on Monday to immediately withdraw all troops that have illegally entered China, stating that the nation would defend its territorial sovereignty at all costs.

Indian troops crossed the China-India boundary into Chinese territory in mid-June to obstruct road construction in China’s Donglang region.

“The determination and will of China to defend its sovereignty is unwavering and indomitable. It will spare no effort to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests. Chinese border troops have taken emergency response measures in the area and will step up deployment and training in response to the situation,” said Wu Qian, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense at a press conference in Beijing.

Wu urged India to immediately withdraw its troops, describing the request as a prerequisite to resolving the situation.

“We strongly urge India to take solid measures to correct its mistakes, desist from provocation, and go toward the same direction with China so as to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas,” said Wu.

The spokesman warned India to abandon any impractical illusions.

The history of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the past 90 years has demonstrated its increasing capacities and unshakable determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

It’s easier to shake a mountain than the PLA, Wu added.

Devotees Celebrate Chariot Festival In India

Devotees Celebrate Chariot Festival In IndiaTens of thousands of devotees congregated in India’s eastern temple town of Puri on Sunday for the annual ‘Rath Yatra’ chariot festival.

The festival commemorates the journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and his sister Lady Subhadra travelling in specially made chariots from the Jagannath temple to the Gundicha temple three kilometres away.

The festival sees a procession of three giant chariots pulled by a rope through major city roads.

Devotees offered prayers, danced and played instruments and cracked coconuts as part of the celebration. Rainy weather brought some welcome relief to the heat.

The festival ends on July 3.

Man Arrested For Allegedly Attacking Daughter With Acid

Former DPO,10-year jail term,Police in India’s northern Mathura city said on Friday that they arrested a man the previous day for allegedly attacking his daughter with acid.

The victim, Khushboo, said her father had poured acid on her on April 30 after she and her mother reported him to police for allegedly working in the sex trade industry.

Deputy Superintendent of Mathura Police Awaneesh Kumar said the father said he was upset over the daughter’s marriage and wanted her to leave her husband.

Women are the victims of 80 percent of the roughly 1,500 acid attacks reported globally each year, the London-based charity Acid Survivors Trust International says, with more than 1,000 cases estimated to occur in India alone.

Despite a law making acid violence an offence with a minimum penalty of 10 years in jail, and a Supreme Court ruling on the regulation and sale of dangerous chemicals, acids are still bought and sold without the required licenses.

Reuters

 

14 Dead, Dozens Injured In India Road Accident

Fourteen people were killed and over two dozen injured on Friday after a mini-truck carrying wedding guests overturned in India’s northern Etah city.

The mishap took place early in the morning in Jalesar area of Etah when the driver of the speeding mini-truck lost control of the vehicle, causing it to fall into a canal.

The wounded were rushed to a nearby health centre for preliminary treatment and rescue personnel toiled to retrieve the bodies from the water.

Road safety has emerged as a serious concern in India as thousands die every year in accidents.

India has the world’s deadliest roads, the result of a flood of untrained drivers, inadequate law enforcement, badly maintained highways and cars that fail modern crash tests.

Senate Challenges FG On Funding Of Industrial Centres

Senate Challenges FG On Funding Of Industrial CentresThe Federal Government has been asked to pay more attention to building Nigeria’s industrial capacity, by giving priority to the development and funding of Industrial Development Centers (IDCs) across the country.

The Senate Committee on Industries made the call during a visit to the Industrial Development Centre in Owerri, the Imo State capital, as part of its oversight function.

The Committee, led by Senator Sam Egwu, decried the state of the centres across the country, stressing the need to prioritise the IDCs and ensure they become functional, in order to contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

A member of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, observed that one of the major causes of Nigeria’s recession was the failure to develop its industrial capacities.

He added that countries like China and India were able to thrive due to the priority given to industrialisation.

“IDCs were meant to give a foundation of producing middle-level staff for industrialising the nation. And since they were not working very well, and have remained moribund in most of the centres, 23 of them in the country, our level of industrialisation is where it is, which is part of why the recession has come to this nation.

“Countries like India and China that were basically at the same level with Nigeria, are highly industrialised now because they paid attention to their development of industrial capacity, that is what is lacking here,” he said.

The Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dikko Radda, said to achieve full diversification of the economy, government should give more priority to industrialisation.

“I believe we are going to get it right this time because the lawmakers are here and they are the people that appropriate funds for the development of these centres.

“I believe they are really worried about it, and I believe that they are going to do something about it. The government will put more priority on the IDCs,” he said.

Nigeria Commits To Eliminating Tuberculosis By 2035

Nigeria Commits To Eliminating Tuberculosis By 2035The Federal Government has renewed its commitment to eliminating tuberculosis by year 2035, as part of efforts to ensure a healthy society.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Friday at an event in Abuja to mark the World Tuberculosis Day.

Professor Adewole, who commemorated the day with the commissioning of a laboratory, stated government’s resolve to join the League of Nations without tuberculosis.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, also highlighted the successes recorded by government, in spite of the challenges of tuberculosis in Nigeria.

Health experts at the event, Ineke Huitema and Dr. Han Kang, stressed the need for a collective fight against the disease.

They also advised the public to visit the nearest health facility to get tested and treated for free.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis worldwide in 2015.

A further breakdown reveals that of the estimated figure, 5.9 million (56%) are men, 3.5 million (34%) are women while 1.0 million (10%) are children. People living with HIV account for 1.2 million (11%) of all new tuberculosis cases.

In order of global ranking, countries with the highest burden of the disease are India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Experts say that with an estimated 1.4 million tuberculosis deaths in 2015, and an additional 0.4 million deaths resulting from the disease among people living with HIV, the disease appears to be advancing into an epidemic.

Senator Abe Eulogises Late Rivers CP, Francis Odesanya

Magnus Abe, Rivers, Police, Senator Magnus Abe has reacted to the demise of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Francis Odesanya, who died in India after a brief illness.

In a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by his spokesman, Mr Parry Benson, the lawmaker said he was shocked when he heard about the death of the fine and gallant police officer.

He described the late commissioner as a true professional who carried out his duties with sense of responsibility, commitment and diligence.

Rivers, Police, Francis Odesanya, Magnus Abe
Late Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Francis Odesanya

Senator Abe, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), regretted that “Mr Odesanya could die at this critical period of our national life when his professional service, competence and capabilities are needed in containing threats to national security and ensuring crime free society”.

He added that the deceased was a patriot who was principled, dogged and brave in fighting crime, stressing that the people of Rivers State would miss his efforts dearly.

The former Secretary to the Rivers State Government condoled with the family of the late police officer for the loss of their bread winner, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

He prayed that God would give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Death
Mr Odesanya’s death was announced by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, in a statement signed by the spokesman for the Police, CSP Jimoh Moshood.

He passed on at Sterling Hospital Ahmedabad-Gujarat in India, aged 56 after a brief illness.

The late Commissioner of Police was enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police and rose through the ranks.

Train Crash Leaves 36 Dead In India

india-train-derailAt least 36 people have been killed and many others injured after a train derailed in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, officials say.

According to them, nine coaches and the engine left the tracks near Kuneru station in Vizianagaram district.

While many are still trapped in the wreckage and rescuers warn that the death toll could rise, the injured have been taken to the hospital.

Though it has been confirmed that the incident occurred in an area known as a Maoist hotbed, officials are yet to ascertain the actual cause of the crash.

Police Hunting For Istanbul Attack Suspect

turkey-policePolice in Istanbul are hunting for a gunman who opened fire at a well-known nightclub, killing at least 39 people.

The attack happened at Reina nightclub early on Sunday, as people gathered to mark the new year.

According to the BBC, officials say some 15 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The attacker left his gun before “taking advantage of the chaos” and fleeing the scene, Turkey’s PM said.

Binali Yildirim also confirmed the gunman was not dressed as Santa Claus, contradicting earlier reports.

The attack unfolded some 75 minutes into the new year as around 700 people gathered in the waterside Reina club, one of Istanbul’s most upmarket venues.

The attacker shot dead a policeman and a security guard at the entrance before heading into the club, which is popular with celebrities and foreigners.

Eyewitnesses described seeing dozens of bodies lying on the floor. Some revellers reportedly threw themselves into the Bosphorus to escape the carnage.

A professional footballer, Sefa Boydas, told AFP news agency that people appeared to be crushed as they ran away. “They say 35 to 40 died but it’s probably more because when I was walking, people were walking on top of people.”

According to CNN, an eyewitness, Yunis Turk, explained after police secured the Reina nightclub: “We were having fun, at first we thought it was a fight then there was a lot of gunfire.

“After the gunfire everyone started to run toward the terrace. We ran as well. There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas.

turkey-gun-attack
Flowers have been laid outside the nightclub

Some people jumped into the Bosporus, he said, a testament to the panic that engulfed the nightspot – it is freezing in Istanbul but people were willing to leap into the frigid water to escape the panic.

“For ten minutes there was gunfire and then for another five minutes they were throwing bombs, fired a bit more, then left,” Turk recalled.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus, also told CNN that the attacker was a lone assailant and that the authorities “are trying hard” to identify and apprehend the person in order to investigate any ties to terror groups.

In his new year message, Pope Francis condemned the shooting, describing it as unfortunate.

“Unfortunately, violence has once again struck on this night of hope and dreams.

“With sadness, I express my solidarity with the Turkish people.

“I pray for the numerous victims and injured and for all countries at war,” the Pope said.

Residents have continued to lay flowers outside the nightclub.

Buhari Welcomes $5 Billion Investment By Indian Business Delegation

Muhammadu-Buhari-President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday welcomed the proposed investment of 5 billion US dollars in the Nigerian economy by the business delegation of India.

The President also said Nigeria will continue to expand its relationship with India in the areas of health, education, agriculture, technology and trade.

Receiving the Indian Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, who led the business delegation, at the State House, President Buhari said Nigeria had over the years benefited from the cooperation of the Asian country in trade and investment, agriculture, technology and the fight against terrorism.

President Buhari also noted that India has already invested 10 billion US dollars in the economy.

President Buhari said Nigeria would emulate the Asian country’s agricultural model and capacity to feed its 1 billion population, and also export to other countries, describing the country as “sustainable and prosperous’’.

The President noted that Nigeria would continue to support the reform of the United Nations Security Council, pointing out that it was unfair on the rest of the world for five countries to exercise the power of ‘‘yes or no’’ in the UN.

In his remarks, the Indian Vice President said his country, which is the leading buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, will increase its purchase of the commodity in addition to natural gas.

According to him, the relationship between Nigeria and India is near perfect as both countries ‘‘have nothing to quarrel about’’.

India To Invest Five Billion Dollars In Nigeria

President Buhari receives Indian Vice President Hon. Mohammad Hamid Ansari at the State House
President Buhari receives Indian Vice President Hon. Mohammad Hamid Ansari at the State House

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said Nigeria will continue to expand its relationship with India in the areas of health, education, agriculture, technology and trade.

Receiving the Indian Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, at the State House, President Buhari said Nigeria had over the years benefited from the cooperation of the Asian country in trade and investment, agriculture, technology and the fight against terrorism.

The President welcomed the proposed investment of 5 billion US dollars in the Nigerian economy by the business delegation that accompanied the Vice President, while noting that India had already invested 10 billion US dollars in the economy.

Indian-VP-Minister-Buhari-Osinbajo-CTV
President Buhari with Indian Vice President Hon. Mohammad Hamid Ansari flanked by Indian Minister of State for Finance Mr Gangaram Meghwal and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.

President Buhari said Nigeria would emulate the Asian country’s agricultural model and capacity to feed its one billion population, and also export to other countries, describing the country as “sustainable and prosperous”.

The President noted that Nigeria would continue to support the reform of the United Nations Security Council, pointing out that it was unfair on the rest of the world for five countries to exercise the power of ‘‘yes or no’’ in the UN.

Indian-VP-Buhari-Osinbajo-CTV

In his remarks, the Indian Vice President said that his country, which is the leading buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, will increase its purchase of the commodity in addition to natural gas.

According to him, the relationship between Nigeria and India is near perfect as both countries “have nothing to quarrel about”.