Home » Catch Wire » Your news wire on 9 July: Chinese markets come crashing down, BRICS bank meeting, Modi meets Chinese Premier, Indian women's cricket team stuns New Zealand and more

Indian archers forfeit bronze medal match, AAI orders probe into incident

Archery_ Jamie Squire/Getty Images for BEGOC

Photo: Jamie Squire/BEGOC/Getty Images

The Indian men's compound archery team forfeited its bronze medal match against Italy at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea, after failing to turn up at the start of the match on Tuesday. In a report published in Hindustan Times, an Archery Association of India source accused the team of going out for sightseeing before the start of the match. However, team coach Jiwanjot Singh rubbished the accusation, claiming that the reason behind the team forfeiting the match was a broken bow. AAI secretary general Anil Kamineni too towed a similar line, but has ordered a probe into the incident.

CBI reveals modus operandi of Dayanidhi Maran's 'illegal telephone exchange'


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The CBI has said that former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran has destroyed evidence related to the 'illegal telephone exchange' being operated from his residence. In a report in The Times of India, the agency says that BSNL officials in Chennai installed a Primary Rate Interface (PRI) at his Boat House residence which enables traditional phone lines to carry voice, data and video traffic. Also, a PRI line can receive and send 30 calls simultaneously. The CBI has alleged that the infrastructure, including the machines, at Maran's residence was installed by Sun TV employees. This was later destroyed or hidden away later. The agency says that the use of BSNL lines for Sun TV from 2004 to 2007 caused a loss of Rs 1.8 crore to the government.

Source: The Times of India

AAP headed for trouble once again, rumblings in Punjab unit


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Barely had the dust settled down over the expulsion of some of the core leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi, the Punjab unit too is showing signs of tension. According to a report in The Times of India, some of the state leaders have questioned the recent organisational restructuring and also launched veiled attacks at convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur. The convenor, however, stood by the party's decision to go in for recent restructuring and said: "The central leadership is seized of the matter and they will intervene if they think fit," he said. The organisational restructuring in AAP's Punjab unit had happened on 4 July.

Source: The Times of India

Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy against amendments in land bill

Ooman Chandy

Photo: Getty Images

The Congress-led UDF government said on Wednesday that it was not in favour of bringing amendments in the legislation that was brought out by the previous UPA government. Chief Minister Oomen Chandy said that their land bill had protected the interests of the farmers and "the government is of the view that there is no need for any amendments." The land bill proposed by the BJP government has raised the heckles of not just the opposition, but has also been severely criticised by farmers' organisations as well as its own allies.

Worried Maharashtra looks at cloud seeding as rain gives a scare

The Maharashtra government has shortlisted a private agency to create artificial rain in case there is poor monsoon. Farmers will have to resort to re-sowing in large parts of western Maharashtra if there is no adequate rainfall. The government had floated a global tender for cloud seeding and has selected one of the three companies. The previous experimenting at artificial rainfall had taken place 13 years back, which had failed. However, this time the government is pinning its hopes on better technology so that it gets that one important rainfall.

After the Greek tragedy, it is Chinese markets that send a shiver

Chinese markets_Getty

Photo: Getty Images

As the Greek financial crisis continues to play on, putting pressure, mostly on Europe, a bigger threat looms on the horizon with the Chinese market falling by a hefty 30 per cent in just three weeks. This massive and quick decline has caused a $3.5 trillion loss to investors, which is more than 20 times the Greek debt. Also, this loss is much more than the entire $2 trillion Indian economy. The sectors that will bear the brunt of this fall are the metals, commodities and industrial sectors.

Indo-China bilateral at BRICS: Modi discusses Pakistan with Xi Jinping


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It was Pakistan that dominated the Indo-China talks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern at China backing Pakistan, over the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. In his talks with Chinese President XI Jinping, Modi also took up the issue of the $46 billion economic corridor that China is building through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. The two leaders, who are meeting for the fourth time, also discussed the border situation in detail. Later, Modi tweeted, "Great meeting President Xi Jinping again. Our talks were comprehensive & a lot of topics came up for discussion (sic)."

Vyapam scam: Cover-up allegations in medical student Namrata Damor's death

Namrata Damor

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Three years after the death of Namrata Damor - a student of MGM Medical College, Indore, it is still not clear whether whether she was murdered or had committed suicide. She had been charged with using unfair means to clear her entrance exam. While the doctors who had conducted autopsy on her body said that she had died of strangulation, the police had investigated it as a suicide case. Incidently, it was her family that Aaj Tak journalist Akshay Singh was interviewing when he died unexpectedly last week. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met with the family of the deceased journalist.

More trouble for AAP as MLA Manoj Kumar arrested over alleged land fraud


AAP MLA from Kondli, Manoj Kumar

AAP MLA Manoj Kumar has been arrested in connection with an alleged case of cheating and land fraud. He has been accused of selling off someone else's property by showing it in his name on forged documents. The Kondli MLA is the third AAP leader in trouble in recent times. Just last month, law minister from the previous government, Somnath Bharti was in the dock after his wife levelled allegations of domestic violence and assault against him. And before that, it was Jitendra Tomar who had to be dropped from the cabinet after he was allegedly found to have submitted forged educational certificates. Also, the Delhi Police plans to file charge-sheets against 21 AAP legislators in connection with criminal cases.

Supreme Court transfers Vyapam investigations to CBI, issues notice to governor

Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has transferred investigations into the Vyapam scam to the CBI. It also issued a notice to the MP governor over the quashing of an FIR registered against him in the scam. Till now, the investigations were being done by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Madhya Pradesh police. Just yesterday, the Madhya Pradesh High Court had rejected a plea by MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to ask the CBI to look into the scam, saying the matter is coming up before the apex court. The Vyapam scam, a recruitment scam, has become murkier with the reported deaths of around 46 people who have been associated with it.

Russian cosmonaut completes 804 days on ISS, enters Guinness Book of World Records

European Space Agency_S.Corvaja/ESA via Getty Images

Astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA), Andre Kuipers (R), , Gennady Padalka (C) and Michael Fincke (L) at a press conference in Kazahkstan in 2004. Photo: S.Corvaja/ESA/Getty Images

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has broken the record for most days spent on the International Space Station (ISS), breaking compatriot Sergei Krikalev's record of 803 days. Padalka completed the feat last week, getting his name entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. He is scheduled to return to Earth in September 2015, by which time he would have spent 877 days in space. Krikalev had spent 803 days in space in six missions from 1998 to 2005. The 57 year-old Padalka is currently the commander of his crew on the ISS.

Facebook gives women their due, places them in front in various icons


Photo: Facebook

Facebook took an important step forward in bringing the genders on a par. It has put the woman ahead of the men in the 'group' icon. Similarly, its new 'friends' icon too shows the woman in front of the man, reversing their positions and rectifying a stereotype. There are other subtle changes in the icon. The 'helmet-head' look of the woman's haircut also undergoes a change and so does the look of the man's hair.

Andhra Pradesh wants aircraft carrier INS Viraat, convert it into floating museum

Navy_Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Photo: Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has expressed interest in converting INS Viraat into a "floating museum" once it is decommissioned next year. One of the oldest serving aircraft carriers in the world, it is likely to be kept at the Kakinada Port, 170 km from the Submarine Museum of Vishakhapatnam. Both the India Navy and the Ministry of Defence are keen that the warship be preserved. The Defence Ministry is writing to all the coastal states, giving them an option to preserve the aircraft carrier as a museum.

Indian students find a hot new destination for further studies - Lithuania

The number of Indian students studying in Lithuania has jumped from 37 in 2011 to 357 in 2014. The only country sending more students to Lithuania is Belarus, with 1,617 students. A major attraction for the Indians are the inexpensive tuition fee and living costs, particularly in comparison with their favourite destination - the UK. Also, four Lithuanian universities figure are in the top 100 European and Central Asian rankings.

India slips to 156 spot in FIFA, falls behind Guam, Aruba and Curacao

Indian football team

The Indian Football team

The Indian men's football team slid to the 156 spot in the FIFA World Rankings, after losing to Oman and Guam in the second round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Just last month, the team was placed at 141 but after successive defeats slipped to the 156 position. On the other hand, Afghanistan has climbed 17 places to be at 134, becoming the highest-ranked nation in South Asia. More bad news is likely as India has tough games lined up against Turkmenistan and Oman, which may push down the country's rankings further. Teams that have piped India include Aruba at 135, Barbados at 141 and Curacao at 149.

40 NGOs write to BRICS to not copy failed Western economic models for the new bank

Arun Jaitley_BRICS_Finance Minister

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Moscow to attend a meeting of the Board of Governors of the BRICS New Development Bank on 7 July, 2015. Photo: Host Photo Agency/Ria Novosti/Getty Images

Even as the five BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet in Ufa, Russia, to launch the New Development Bank (NDB), over 40 civil society organisations and social movements have sent an open letter to their governments to break away from the failed development models of the West. They have strongly urged the leaders of the five nations to usher in something new. The letter lays out four principles for a new development model - Promote development for all; Be transparent and democratic; Set strong standards and make sure they are followed and Promote sustainable development. The letter says that the existing development model is one that favors export-oriented, commodity-driven strategies and policies which are socially harmful, environmentally unsustainable and have led to greater inequalities between and within countries.

Indian women stun New Zealand in 5th ODI, win series 3-2

Indian women's cricket team defeated New Zealand by nine wickets in the fifth ODI to clinch the five-match series 3-2 on 8 July. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also announced a cash award of Rs 21 lakh for the women's team who fought back from being 2-1 down to win the series. The Indian team bowled the Kiwis out for a paltry 118 runs in 41 runs. Apart from Suzie Bates (42 runs), majority of the New Zealand batsmen failed to reach double digits. The below-par total was hardly a problem for India which achieved the target in 27.2 overs. DT Thirush Kamini, who scored 62 runs off 78 balls with 13 boundaries, was the top-scorer for India.

Are poor sanitation and open defecation the reasons behind adverse pregnancy outcomes?

Sanitation_Ramesh Sharma/India Today Group/Getty Images

Photo: Ramesh Sharma/India Today Group/Getty Images

A new study by the Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, has revealed that it is poor sanitation practices like open defecation that leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes in India. The institute recorded the sanitation habits of 670 women during the first three months of their pregnancy, and followed them through for the next six months to find a correlation between sanitation practices and pregnancy outcomes. It found that almost two-thirds of the women practiced open defecation, and almost one-fourth gave birth prematurely or had underweight babies. Compared to women who used latrine, it has been found that open defecators faced a much greater risk of giving pre-term births.

Snow leopard moves to Kumaon, caught on camera for the first time

Snow Leopard

Photo: Getty Images

Listed as one of the most endangered species in the world, a snow leopard has been caught on camera for the first time in Kumaon. This part of Uttarakhand has always been known for its population of tigers and leopards even though the snow leopard has been documented in other parts of the state. In India, it is also found in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Forest officials hope to strengthen conservation measures for the species in Kumaon.