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Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Batch of Pilgrims Leaves Jammu for Amarnath Yatra

The first batch of 1,138 pilgrims left Jammu on Friday for Amarnath Yatra in 2016 that begins from Saturday July 02,2016

Beginning from Saturday, this year's 48-day Yatra would end on August 18 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan festivals.

State Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, junior minister Priya Sethi and Lok Sabha member Jugal Kishore flagged off the first batch of pilgrims from Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in winter capital Jammu at 5 am on Friday July 01,2016

There are 900 males, 225 females and 13 children in the first batch which left in 13 buses, 24 mini-buses and other modes of public and private conveyance in a convoy guarded by the security forces.

Providing security to Amarnath Yatra is a major security and intelligence challenge for state and central agencies because of the spurt in the violence by separatist militants.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would arrive in Jammu on Friday July 01,2016 on a 2-day visit to review the security situation in the state, especially the security arrangements for the Yatra.

A Little Butter A Day May Protect You Against Diabetes

Consuming butter in limited quantities may not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke and it might actually be slightly protective against diabetes, finds a new study.

The findings showed that patients suffering from heart problems or any related chronic diseases have no cause to worry as the increase in risk due to butter consumption was extremely small.

Butter has been found as a healthier choice in comparison to sugar and starch-enriched food like white bread or potatoes.

However, butter when spread on unhealthy foods like white bread may increase the risk of diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases.

"Our results suggest that butter should neither be demonised nor considered 'back' as a route to good health," said Dariush Mozaffarian, Associate Professor at Tufts University in the US

Neymar's Contract With Barcelona Extended Until 2021 Thursday June 30,2016

Neymar's contract with Barcelona has been extended until 2021. The player and his agents confirmed the five-year extension on Thursday June 30,2016

The 24-year-old Brazilian forward posted on his social media accounts that he was 'very happy to keep living this dream.'

The announcement ended speculation that Neymar was unhappy in Spain and was looking to move to another club. Paris Saint-Germain was among the clubs reportedly trying to sign the Brazilian forward.
Neymar's current contract was going to end in 2018.

Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu had said recently the player was close to signing his new contract.

Neymar has been playing for Barcelona since moving from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.

Vicente del Bosque Quits as Spain Coach - Spanish sports dailies AS and Marca reported Thursday June 30,2016

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has resigned his post after the national team crashed out of Euro 2016, Spanish sports dailies AS and Marca reported Thursday June 30,2016

Del Bosque informed Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Angel Maria Villar of his decision on Tuesday, a day after Spain were eliminated from the tournament following a 2-0 defeat to Italy, the reports said.

Villar asked Del Bosque not to make the decision public until the next RFEF assembly on July 15, or at least until he has announced a replacement for Del Bosque, the newspapers added.

Del Bosque, 65, guided Spain to wins at the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2012, but then oversaw their shock group-stage exit at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

His contract runs until the end of Euro 2016, and up until now the former Real Madrid coach had been coy on his future plans but said he would discuss the issue with Villar.

After the loss to Italy, he said: "There is no point going over and over this, I will speak with the president and decide the best thing for the national team."

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu Becomes First Indian to Play in Europa League

Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was named in Norwegian club Stabaek FC's squad for their Europa League qualifying match against Welsh Premier League side Connah's Quay Nomads FC, making him the first ever player from India to play in the competition.

The former East Bengal goalkeeper played a number of matches in the Norwegian cup competitions last season and also started a league game in May 2016

Before Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the likes of Mohammed Salim, Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul have all played for European sides, but never took part in any top-division game or in the continental competition.

Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu joined the Norway side in 2014 and has been their second choice goalkeeper for the last one and a half season.

Made in India Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas Inducted Into IAF in Bengaluru,Karnataka,India Friday July 01,2016

Almost three decades after the idea was first mooted, the first squadron of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas was inducted into the Indian Air Force in Bengaluru on Friday July 01,2016 and is set to replace the Indian Air Force's aging fleet of MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)handed over the first two Tejas aircraft after Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha took his maiden flight in May 2015 clearing it for induction.

The LCA Tejas is a single-engined, lightweight, agile, multi-role supersonic fighter and is equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system to ease handling by the pilot.

The replacement was a must since the aging MiGs have a history of accidents and was held responsible for the loss of several lives over the years.

The IAF plans to induct over 80 aircraft with better specifications known as Tejas 1A in the next three years.

Tejas has been co-developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency in cooperation with HAL.

Meanwhile, Swedish defence Major Saab is in talks with HAL for helping India make the next generation version of the LCA Tejas.

Tejas has also caught the attention of foreign buyers with Sri Lanka and Egypt showing interest in the indigenously built fighter jet.

Tejas Vs Other Light Combat Aircrafts


Up to 4.8 million South Sudanese face severe food shortages: UN

Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan face severe food shortages in coming months, the highest level since a conflict erupted more than two years ago, U.N. agencies said on Wednesday June 29,2016

Clashes have continued to flare in South Sudan even though warring factions signed a peace deal in August last year to end the conflict that erupted in December 2013. 

But the deal has only been implemented slowly, leaving the country's economic crisis to deepen. Rains at this time of year add to the challenge of supplying those in need by making many roads impassable. Most roads in the area are just dirt tracks. 

“The deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, when families have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August. The level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented,” the U.N. agencies said in a joint statement. 

The U.N. World Food Programme, one of three agencies behind the statement, said it expected to assist 3.3 million people this year with emergency food assistance, life-saving nutrition support and other aid. 

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said Serge Tissot, representing the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation. 

The conflict in South Sudan, which pitted President Salva Kiir against his former deputy Riek Machar, killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 2 million from their homes, with many fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Michael Gove joins Conservative leadership race Thursday June 30,2016


Justice Secretary Michael Gove, one of the main campaigners to take Britain out of the EU, said on Thursday June 30,2016 he would run to become Prime Minister, shaking up the contest and hurting the chances of his Brexit ally, ex-London mayor Boris Johnson.

Last week’s EU referendum vote, when 52 % of Britons voted to leave the bloc, triggered a political crisis in Britain with Prime Minister David Cameron stepping down. His replacement will face tough talks with Europe to mend a broken relationship.

On Thursday June 30,2016, Theresa May, the Interior Minister who campaigned to remain in the EU, also announced her candidacy to lead the party.

Mosquito Repelling Television

Leave EU call in Europe gets stronger after Brexit

Factions in several countries on the mainland are buoyed by Britain's exit from the European Union.

USA Tops in Nuclear Theft

A recent report on nuclear and other radioactive materials that are lost, stolen or are out of regulatory control shows there were over 500 such incidents reported between 2013 and 2015, and the most were reported by the US.

1/3rd of what we eat today is foreign

Some of the most popular foods, now part of the staple diet in India, did not originate here.

Here's a look at foods that came from foreign lands and what we gave the world

Spike in Tiger Deaths

As 2016 reaches its halfway mark, report say that at least 74 tigers have died in India.

Worryingly, there is also a spike in poaching-related fatalities.

Here's a state-wise breakup of tiger deaths and the causes for the fatalities

Food Riots in Oil-Rich Venezuela

The oil-rich South American nation of 30 million faces a deep social, political & economic crisis. President Nicolas Maduro declared a state of emergency for 60 days in May 2016

The only thing that can help a rise in global oil prices

7th Pay Commission Recommendations Wednesday June 29,2016 - Rs 85,000 cr bonanza for central govt staff & pensioners

The recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission have been accepted by and large by the government and will be implemented with effect from January 1, 2016

From Trade To Migration: How Brexit May Hit EU Economy

The European Union's chief concerns over Britain's vote to leave the group are political but losing its second-largest economy will have a huge economic impact as well.

Below are some of the main economic risks and benefits for the EU's remaining 27 members.

Other members will have to fill in at least some of the shortfall from a lack of its contributions.
Britain's total contribution to the EU budget for 2016 has been set at 19.4 billion euros ($21.4 billion), including its rebate and customs duties. It receives about 7 billion euros, mainly agricultural and regional subsidies, leaving a gap to fill of just over 5 % of the total EU budget.
Germany, the EU's largest member, would inevitably have to provide the most extra cash. Germany's Ifo institute estimates that would be 2.5 billion euros.
UniCredit says there would be manageable negatives for the euro zone, with a trade impact, a financial flight to safety and uncertainty possibly leading to tighter financial conditions and postponed investment. It would revise down its 2017 forecast for GDP to 0.5-1.0% from the current 1.6%.
The rest of the European Union has a trade surplus of around 100 billion euros in goods with Britain, while Britain exports some 20 billion euros more in services than it imports, the same gap as for financial services.
Many economists forecast Brexit would at least temporarily reduce UK growth, uncertainty hitting domestic demand and weakening the pound, with a resultant impact on EU goods exports to Britain, which make up some 2.6% of rest-EU GDP in 2014.
A UK "demand shock", linked also to a possible reintroduction of import tariffs, of 10% could lead to a reduction of rest-EU GDP by 0.26%.
Brexit campaigners say the EU would want to agree a free trade deal with Britain even if the country left the bloc.
However, Oliver Schulz, an economist at Citi, reasons that could play more into the hands of the EU given there tends to be more focus in trade deals on goods than on services, and financial services in particular.
Switzerland, where financial services are a larger share of GDP than in Britain, has no general access to EU financial service markets and runs a financial services trade deficit with the bloc.
The EU's main service export to Britain, tourism, is unlikely to be affected.
The United Kingdom is consistently the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the European Union, according to UNCTAD data, with an average of some $56 billion per year in the 2010-2014 period. EU partners supply just under half of this.
There is a risk some FDI would be diverted to other EU countries if Britain lost access to the EU single market.
One of the main arguments for Brexit campaigners is to limit migration of workers from other EU countries, even though both Norway and Switzerland have had to accept free movement of people in return for access to EU internal markets.
If Britain did cap immigration, it could have a negative impact on eastern European countries, from which some 1.2 million workers were in Britain in late 2015.
The impact could be most acute in the countries with the most citizens in Britain - Poland (853,000 in 2014), Romania (175,000) and Lithuania (155,000)
By contrast, other affluent western European countries, such as Germany, could as a result see higher inflows of EU migrants. This might be beneficial economically, if politically difficult.

British Pound Slumps to More Than 30 Year Low Against US Dollar Monday June 27,2016

The pound tumbled on Monday June 27,2016 to the lowest level in almost 31 years on economic and political uncertainty after Britain voted last week to leave the European Union.

At about 0955 GMT, sterling slumped to USD 1.3222 -- the lowest level since September 1985 -- having rebounded slightly after a similar trough was struck on Friday June 24,2016

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan Apologises to Russian President Valdimir Putin Over Downed Jet Monday June 27,2016

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has apologised to Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over Ankara's downing of a Russian military jet last year that shattered ties, the Kremlin said on Monday June 27,2016

"The head of the Turkish state in his message expressed his sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the dead Russian pilot and said sorry," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told

He added that Erdogan said he wanted to do "everything possible for the restoration of the traditionally friendly relations between Turkey and Russia."

Great Immigrants: The Pride of America" Award for 2016 - Four Indian-Americans Honoured With Great Immigrants Award

Indian-origin Google CEO Sunder Pichai and three other Indian-Americans are among the 42 US nationals honoured with prestigious "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America" Award for 2016

The other 3 Indian-Americans are  -
  • Hari Sreenivasan, anchor and senior correspondent, Public Broadcasting Service News Hour

  • Vikram Malhotra Chairman of the Americas, McKinsey & Company and 

  • Bharati Mukherjee National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author. 

The annual award of the Carnegie Corporation would be presented to them at an event in New York on June 30, a statement said on Tuesday June 28,2016

For 2016, the Corporation named 42 honorees, who represent some 30 different countries of origin, a wide range of personal immigration stories, and inspiring professional accomplishments

2 Transgender Women Running for US Congres in Utah and Colorado,Could Make History

Two transgender women have been selected by primary voters in Utah and Colorado to run for the US Congress in November 2016

Democrats Misty Snow and Misty Plowright would make history if elected.

Misty Snow(30) a Utah grocery store clerk, is running for the Senate while Plowright, 33, a Colorado army veteran and former Microsoft employee, is running for the House of Representatives.

Misty Snow is the first transgender candidate of a major party to run for the Senate, and if elected would also be the youngest senator of the chamber.

"While I'm not running on the basis of being a trans woman, my experiences as a trans woman have given me the empathy to understand the struggles of groups that feel that the American Dream is out of reach," she said in a statement.

"I'm running to give a voice to the voiceless." The two candidates, who won primaries on Tuesday, will be fighting fierce election battles as their Republican opponents, both incumbents, are ahead in polls.

Misty Plowright is not the first transgender candidate to run for the House.

The late Karen Kerin, of Vermont, ran for the House as a Republican in 2000 but lost overwhelmingly to Bernie Sanders. Sanders now represents the state in the US Senate and ran a campaign backed by strong grassroots support to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Singapore Bank Suspends Loans for London Properties After Brexit

A top Singapore bank said on Thursday it has suspended loans to anyone wanting to buy property in London, citing uncertainty from Britain's vote to quit the EU but dealing a blow to investors looking to make the most of the weak pound.

United Overseas Bank (UOB), one of the city-state's three homegrown lenders, said it was monitoring the market closely to determine when the loans would resume.

"We will temporarily stop receiving foreign property loan applications for London properties," it said in a statement. "As the aftermath of the UK referendum is still unfolding and given the uncertainties, we need to ensure our customers are cautious with their London property investments," it added.

Singapore's biggest bank Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) said it would continue to provide financing for property purchases in London but gave customers the option of borrowing in Singapore dollars or pounds.

"For customers interested in buying properties in London, we would advise them to assess the situation carefully before committing to their purchases as there could be potential foreign exchange and sovereign risks," DBS said in a statement.

Intex Technologies

Intex Technologies, which started its journey with Ethernet cards, is today synonymous with building some of the most advanced yet affordable devices.

It has products from 16 categories including mobile phones, IT accessories, and consumer durables and established itself as one of the leading players in the Indian market with a turnover of Rs 6,400 crores in financial year 2015-16.

Intex started domestic manufacturing in India way back in 2004 and currently has five facilities in the country - 1 in Jammu, 1 in Baddi, and 3 in Noida.

The Intex manufacturing unit in Noida. Annual capacity of the unit is 20 million smartphones

Assembly and testing of phone components

 Employees manually installing IMEI tags on every unit

After thorough quality checks, the IMEI number is re-scanned before being packaged for retailers

 Warehouse at one of the manufacturing units of Intex

Intex is expanding its manufacturing presence in the country with its upcoming facility in Kasna, Greater Noida that will spread over 20 acres.

 It will have an annual capacity of 35 million.

The facility will not only manufacture smartphones but also consumer durables like washing machines and LED TVs.

Intex aims to achieve a production rate of 1 smartphone unit per 15 seconds.

Intex Technologies is the