Saturday, February 04, 2023


BMC: For 1st time, civic body's budget shoots over Rs 50K cr - higher than many states

For the first time in its 134-year-old history, the country's richest civic body, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s budget for 2023-2024 has crossed a staggering Rs 50,000-crore mark -- higher than many of the smaller states in the country. The budget estimates, presented on Saturday by BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal came ahead of the civic elections which are likely to be announced soon, and promised sustainable local economic development for the country's commercial capital.

Despite shadow of polls, FM steers clear of populism, focuses on growth (Opinion)

Overall, the Union Budget 2023-24 was focused on capex and investment, a right step in the nation's journey towards 'Amrit Kaal'. Despite being an election budget, it was mainly focused on long term growth of the country, while also managing to appease the populous expectations; without compromising on the fiscal deficit.

UN envoy to Libya stresses need to hold elections

The UN envoy to Libya stressed the need to hold national elections in the north African country. Abdoulaye Bathily, the special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya, made his remarks during a meeting with the National Consensus Bloc in the High Council of State, where he heard their assessment and ideas to overcome the political impasse through an initiative they presented.

YouTube Music contract employees on strike over unfair labour practices

Dozens of third-party employees at YouTube Music, hired by Alphabet sub-contractor tech company Cognizant, have gone on strike over alleged unfair labour practices. According to a report in The Verge, 40 striking workers alleged that both companies' management have "leveraged unfair labour practices to get in the way of their union drive".

Turkey's inflation eases for third month to 57.68%

Turkey's annual inflation eased for the third month in a row, recording a 57.68-per cent growth in January, official data showed. Meanwhile, consumer prices registered a month-on-month growth of 6.65 per cent in January, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

CBI questions Jagan's OSD in Vivekananda murder case

EC's song 'Main Bharat Hoon' to nudge voters for upcoming polls

Ben Stokes is final bit of jigsaw for Englands ODI World Cup plans: Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes current Test skipper Ben Stokes is the "final piece of the jigsaw" in the side's plans for the Men's ODI World Cup, to be held later in the year in India. Stokes had announced his retirement from ODI cricket last year, citing an unsustainable schedule. But with England recently losing the ODI series to South Africa 2-1 and previously being defeated by India and Australia in the format last year, talks of a comeback by Stokes for the ODI World Cup have gathered steam.

Myntra launches dedicated on-app store 'Runway Icons' for premium ethnic wear

Myntra, one of the leading fashion, beauty and lifestyle destinations of the country, has announced the launch of "Runway Icons", a dedicated store on the app, to enable easy discovery of selected premium ethnic wear for its consumers. With an increased focus on elevating the overall experience and relevance for premium ethnic wear seekers, the store will present shoppers with a selection of customised trends and the latest fashion in the space, said the company.

Roman Polanski's 'The Palace' under consideration for Cannes, Venice film fests

Filmmaker Roman Polanski, who fell from grace in France since the premiere of his last film 'An Officer and a Spy' in competition at Venice in 2019, is back with 'The Palace' that could make a surprise splash on the festival circuit. Polanski, who fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, was leading a pleasant life in France for decades until he came back into the global spotlight with the Lido premiere of 'An Officer and a Spy' and scooped the Grand Jury Prize.

FAA paper leak case: CBI raids 37 locations in Jammu

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) on Friday conducted raids at 37 locations in J&K's Jammu region in connection with the probe of Financial Accounts Assistants (FAA) paper leak. The exam was conducted on March 6, 2022 in which irregularities were found. A CBI source said that the raids were being conducted at the premises belonging to touts, J&K forest guards, CRPF constables and Air Force officials who have been accused of leaking the paper.

Pakistan's hybrid regime sinks towards authoritarianism

The state of democracy in Pakistan has deteriorated to a level where it sits just above countries described as authoritarian. This was claimed in the Economist Intelligence Units (EIU) Democracy Index 2022 released on Thursday. According to the Index, Pakistan had a cumulative score of 4.13 for 2022. As result, it fell three places in the 167 country-ranking to occupy 107th place.

Amazon posts $149.2 bn in net sales, faces short-term uncertainty

Amazon on Friday reported that its net sales increased 9 per cent to $149.2 billion in the fourth quarter that ended December 31, compared with $137.4 billion in fourth quarter 2021. The Jeff Bezos-founded e-commerce giant said that excluding the $5 billion unfavourable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 12 per cent compared with fourth quarter 2021.

Bulgaria to hold early elections on April 2

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has signed a decree for the country to hold parliamentary elections on April 2, the fifth in two years. In a statement on Thursday, the President's press office said under the same decree, Radev also dissolved Parliament with effect from Friday.

Pro-Pakistan Democratic Party representative ousted from US Congress panel

The US House of Representatives has ousted Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Party legislator who is a strident critic of India and a supporter of Pakistan, from the influential Foreign Affairs Committee. The House voted on Thursday mainly for her bigoted comments against Jews to remove her from the committee that she had used before to campaign against India.

Chandrababu urges PM Modi to order probe into phone tapping

Delighted to see 36 teachers from Punjab going to Singapore for training; I appeal to LG Sahab to allow Delhi's teachers also to go to Finland for training: Arvind Kejriwal

Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal once again implored the Delhi LG to allow teachers of Delhi Government Schools to go abroad for training. The CM, in his earnest appeal, cited the example of Punjab's educators going to Singapore for training, on the lines of Delhi, and sought to understand why Delhi's teachers aren't being allowed to go for training. He said, "I am delighted to see 36 teachers from Punjab going to Singapore for training. I appeal to LG Sahab to allow Delhi's teachers also to go to Finland for training.

FTCCI hails Union Budget as growth-oriented

Federation of Telangana Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTCCI) has hailed the Union Budget 2023-24 as a growth-oriented budget and termed it "very good if not excellent." The industry and trade body welcomed increase in capital expenditure on infrastructure and providing more money in the hands of people with income tax rebate.

TN edu deptt to provide best teachers, performing officials annual foreign jaunts

The Tamil Nadu education department is planning to take the best performing teachers and officials on annual foreign trips. This is following the state school education minister, Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi taking 68 Class 11 government school students to Dubai and Sharjah for a four-day trip. The students had performed well in a state-level online quiz competition conducted by the government.

Nikki Haley to announce US presidential bid on Feb 15

Indian-American Republican leader Nikki Haley plans to announce the launch of her 2024 presidential campaign by February 15, according to a report. Haley, 51, who served as South Carolina governor for six years, will formally declare her candidacy for the White House at an event in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 15, with an invitation soon going out to her supporters.

Steve Smith, Aaron Finch named in BBL 12 Team of the Tournament

Former Australia captain Steve Smith and T20 skipper Aaron Finch have earned selection in the Big Bash League (BBL 12) Team of the Tournament, which was announced on Wednesday by the league. The Team of the Tournament is selected at the conclusion of the regular season by the head coaches of each of the eight clubs.

BMC sacks 55 staffers for corruption, suspends 134 for graft, crimes

In a major clean-up drive ahead of the upcoming civic elections, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sacked 55 employees and suspended another 134 for corruption, an official said on Tuesday. The 55 staffers at various levels have been found guilty after court proceedings in corruption and have accordingly been dismissed from service.

New Zealand's new Cabinet focuses on 'core bread and butter issues'

New Zealand's new Cabinet will be focused on "core bread and butter issues" like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said on Tuesday while announcing his new Cabinet lineup.

Pak court to indict Imran Khan in Toshakhana reference case

A Pakistan court on Tuesday said that PTI chief and former Prime Minister Imran Kahn will be indicted in connection with the Toshakhana refrence case. Additional Sessions Judge Zafar Iqbal said that Khan will be indicted on February 7. Khan, who is recovering after sustaining a gunshot wound following an assassination bid during a rally on November 3, had sought exemption from today's hearing.

After World Cup debacle, Graham Reid resigns as chief coach of Indian men's hockey team

A day after the conclusion of India's disastrous campaign in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 in which the team finished a disappointing joint-9th, Graham Reid has tendered his resignation as chief coach of India men's hockey team. The former Australia coach and player submitted his resignation to Hockey India President Dr Dilip Tirkey in Bhubaneswar, Hockey India informed in a release on Monday.

Varanasi ropeway project to take off in March

The much-awaited ropeway project in Varanasi is finally set to take off. This is India's first 'urban ropeway' project which is likely to start operations by May 2025. The work on this project will start by May 2023. The ropeway will reduce the travel time between the Cantonment railway station and Godowalia Chowk, one of the most congested stretches, to barely 17 minutes.

Indian-American named chair of Washington state Democrats

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad as its new chair, making her the youngest and first Indian-American woman to serve as a state party chair anywhere in the country. Conrad, 38, a political consultant and former leader of the King County Democrats, takes over from Tina Podlodowski, who had served as party chair since 2017.

Cambodia's ruling party fully supports Hun Sen as PM candidate for general election

The ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) concluded its extraordinary congress on Sunday, voicing its full support for the candidacy of incumbent Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen to run for a new five-year term in the July general election.

Turnout of Tunisia's 2nd round of legislative polls at 11.3%

The preliminary turnout of Tunisia's second round of legislative elections was 11.3 per cent, the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) said. "The turnout in the second round of legislative elections in Tunisia has reached 11.3 per cent, as 887,638 out of 7,853,447 registered voters cast their ballots," ISIE President Farouk Bouasker announced at a press conference here on Sunday night.

Samsung-incubated startup TagHive dreams big in S.Korea, India

Among the many startups founded and operating in South Korea, TagHive, an education technology company launched in 2017, is distinguished for its founder and CEO Pankaj Agarwal. Agarwal was born in a small town in northern India and studied at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. He started TagHive through Samsung Electronics Co's venture incubator programme, Creative Lab (C-Lab).

Ibrahim Solih wins presidential primary election of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party

Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih won the presidential primary election of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). This is the first time in the country's history that a sitting president contested in a primary for re-election, and Solih's challenger was Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.

Pakistan faces monumental crisis as economy tumbles

Amid a rapidly tumbling economy, the writing on the wall for Pakistan's future is clear - that the country faces another monumental crisis in its history. Following the State Bank's removal of a cap on Pakistan's foreign currency exchange rate, the steep drop in the value of the rupee is bound to add to an already high rate of inflation. The change came shortly after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) raised its interest rate to 17 per cent as it sought to battle inflation hovering around 30 percent.

GPSSB blames contractor for paper leak

Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board (GPSSB) has blamed the contractor for the Sunday paper leak in the recruitment examination for the post of junior clerk. The contractor was given the contract to get question papers printed. The GPSSB has said that an interstate gang is involved in the paper leak racket.

Ministry should've suspended WFI a long time back: Sports activist Rahul Mehra

The ongoing feud between the grapplers and the Wrestling Federation of India and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, against whom female wrestlers have levelled charges of sexual harassment, is a major topic of discussion nowadays.Speaking to on the issue in a telephonic interaction, sports activist and advocate Rahul Mehra gave his take on the entire episode and how it is impacting the athletes.

Manika Batra's battles expose TTFI, but it remains a family enterprise

Star Indian table tennis player Manika Batra, who had a difficult last year, both on court and off-court, is slowing but steadily finding her mojo once again, which is a good sign for Indian sports. Putting her 2022 Commonwealth Games 'horror show' behind, Manika has performed well in the last few tournaments and looks all set for a superb season ahead.

With Usha-led panel in place, IOA averts crisis but sports frat keeps fingers crossed

In December 2012, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from all Olympic-related activities for misgovernance, internal squabbling and electing people facing criminal charges and court cases over corruption charges as administrators.

Starting with pay parity, Binny-led BCCI sets gold standards for other sports bodies

Under BCCI President Roger Binny's leadership, Indian cricket has seen big developments since the newly-elected office-bearers took over in October 2022. Pay parity for international cricketers was initiated, which means the match fees for women's players are now at par with their male counterparts across formats.

These industries still hold promise for startups in India in 2023

As the Indian startups ecosystem goes through a churning as VCs squeeze funds, certain industries such as quick service restaurants (QSR), direct-to-consumer (D2C) and electric vehicle market and infrastructure still hold promise this year, especially for early-stage platforms.

As boom bubble bursts in India's Silicon Valley, techies hope it too shall pass

Not too long ago, skilled software professionals experienced a greater boom and demand. Startups offered attractive joining bonus and even facilitated moonlighting, which triggered a debate. But the scenario has now changed for the worst. The layoffs, salary cuts has hit the professionals in the industry hard.

Retired general Pavel wins Czech presidential election

The second round of the Czech presidential election concluded on Saturday, with retired general Petr Pavel winning over former Prime Minister Andrej Babis, according to official results. With 99.99 per cent of precincts counted, Pavel won with 58.32 per cent of the vote to Babis' 41.67 per cent. Turnover for the election surpassed 70 per cent.

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