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Bombay High Court clears Udta Punjab with 1 cut and 3 disclaimers

In what can be termed as a landmark judgement, the Bombay High Court on 13 June, announced its verdict on the ongoing controversy over upcoming Bollywood movie -- Udta Punjab, directing the Censor Board to hand over the certificate to the filmmakers within 48 hours.

As opposed to the 89 cuts suggested by the CBFC, the Bombay High Court has ordered only one cut - a scene where Shahid Kapoor's character is seen urinating in front of the crowd. The court stated that the scene was unnecessary.

The court also asserted that extreme reaction could kill creativity.

The HC observed that CBFC was not empowered by law to censor films as the word censor is not included in the Cinematograph Act.

Additionally, the Court affirmed that they did not find anything in the film that showed Punjab in a bad light or affects the sovereignty or integrity of India as claimed by CBFC.

Orlando shooting: Gunman's link to Islamic State inconclusive, say US officials

Fifty people were killed and 52 injured when a gunman opened fire on Florida's Orlando's Pulse nightclub on 12 June - the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the US.

The gunman, identified by US officials as Omar Mateen a US citizen of Afghan descent - is suspected to have pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State. The 29-year-old Mateen, a New York-born Florida resident and US citizen, was the son of immigrants from Afghanistan. According to US authorities, he has been questioned twice by FBI agents in recent years. AFP reported that Mateen had "had anti-gay views and had regularly assaulted a former wife".

According to reports, Mateen called 911 during the attack, and pledged his loyalty to the Islamic State. He was gunned down by the police after he had opened fire on the 350 odd patrons who were at the nightclub, attending a Latin music event in celebration of gay pride week.

US President Barack Obama has condemned the attack as an act of terror and hate. "We stand with the people of Orlando.Though early to say but we know enough to say that this was act of terror and hate," he said.

The Islamic State's news agency Amaq carried a report claiming responsibility for Sunday's attack. "The armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter," the Amaq statement read.

However, an FBI official said that the shooter's link to the the terror outfit needed further investigation.

Sartaj Aziz claims Pakistan' deserves NSG membership more than India does

Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Advisor, Sartaj Aziz, has said that Pakistan's credentials for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) are stronger than that of India's.

In an interview with Dawn on 12 June, Aziz said that Pakistan has diplomatically engaged several nations on the issue of criteria-based approach for non-NPT countries. "If the group forms such a uniform criteria, then Pakistan has stronger credentials for NSG membership than India," Aziz said.

Pakistan, according to Aziz, has gradually garnered support from other nations for the criteria based approach.

"Our strategy was to apply after India did, after which we would have immediately followed. We have had our application in an advance state of readiness for the past three months for this this purpose," Aziz said.

"If you compare it with India, when our neigbouring country conducted a nuclear test in 1974, it misused the nuclear supplies given to it for peaceful purposes, which led to the formation of NSG. After that nuclear fissile material was stolen from India, but such an instance has never occurred in Pakistan," Aziz added talking about Pakistan's credentials and its chances of getting an entry into the group.

The NSG is likely to hold its next meeting in June. Some countries including the United States and Switzerland have already expressed their willingness to grant entry to India.

Kairana 'exodus': Law minister wants President's Rule in UP

Law minister Sadananda Gowda said on Sunday that the 'exodus' of 250 Hindu families from the Muslim-majority town of Kairana in Uttar Pradesh due to threats from Muslim gangs with political patronage was serious enough to call for President's Rule in Uttar Pradesh.

BJP MP Hukum Singh had alleged that 346 Hindu families had been 'forced' to leave Kairana due to the gangs.

Gowda said the home ministry would ask for a report from the governor and then the President would decide, according to ABPLive.

Kairana: Fact-finding teams find little sign of Hindu 'exodus'

The Shamli district administration of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday began looking into allegations of a Hindu 'exodus' from Kairana town via four separate teams.

According to deputy SP Bhushan Verma, the first day's investigations found that "four persons named in the list died around 20 years back, 13 people were found staying at home, and 68 had left Kairana several years ago for a better life. The process of verifying other names is still on."

BJP MP Hukum Singh had issued a list of 346 Hindu families who apparently fled Kairana after "threats and extortion by criminal elements belonging to a particular community", according to The Indian Express.

Polarisation + development likely to be BJP strategy for UP

Given the content of BJP president Amit Shah's inaugural speech at the party's national executive meet on Sunday, the BJP's strategy for the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will possibly combine the polarisation of communities in the state with a blare of the Modi government's achievements at the Centre.

Describing 2017, when five states including UP, Uttarakhand and Gujarat will go to the polls, as "a year of challenges" for the party, Shah referred to the "exodus" of Hindus from Kairana and said that UP's Samajwadi Party government had failed to protect the rights of the majority community, according to The Economic Times.

'Don't underestimate the Opposition': Modi to party colleagues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday cautioned his party colleagues to stay wary of the Opposition and adapt themselves to changing circumstances.

According to a BJP office-bearer, Modi said at the meet: "You should change yourself with time and keep moving forward. Keep thinking of innovative ideas to solve problems. We should take the youth along. We need to meet people's expectations... Don't underestimate the Opposition."

The BJP recently increased its Rajya Sabha membership by four seats, but the Congress showed itself resilient, says The Economic Times.

In India, ISIS attracts more educated, middle-class youth than poor and marginalised

Terror group Islamic State appears to have more of a hold over middle-class educated youth in India than on the poorer, more marginalised sections of society, reveals an analysis of the 152 Indians arrested, detained and counselled for links with the ISIS since 2014.

About 70 per cent of the ISIS sympathisers in India are from the middle and upper middle classes, 50 per cent have graduate degrees, 23 per cent have post-graduate degrees or are in the process of completing them, and only 25 per cent have religious degrees, according to the Hindustan Times.

Bollywood film based on book by Sanjaya Baru may embarrass Congress

A teaser of a film based on The Accidental Prime Minister, the controversial book by Sanjaya Baru who had served as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's media advisor from 2004-08, shows that it could cause the Congress party some discomfort when it releases at the end of 2017.

Although the film is yet uncast in its key roles, with a young actor from Punjab only shortlisted for the role of Manmohan Singh, no one so far selected to play Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, and the producers hoping that Manoj Bajpayee will play Sanjaya Baru, plans are being made to release it in more than a dozen languages, says The Economic Times.

4 policemen injured in J&K terrorist attack

Four policemen were injured in a terrorist attack in Kulgam, Jammu and Kashmir, on Sunday, when the terrorists fired at a patrol near Qazigund.

Attacks on the police appear to be on the rise in the state. Earlier this month, a sub-inspector and a constable were killed when terrorists attacked a police party in Anantnag, a day after two BSF jawans were killed in a terrorist attack in Bijbehara, according to ANI.

UEFA Euro 2016: Croatia, Poland, and Germany win opening games

Croatia, Poland, and Germany began their UEFA Euro 2016 campaigns on winning notes on Sunday, 12 June, after victories over Turkey, Northern Ireland, and Ukraine, respectively.

In the early kick-off, a stunning Luka Modric volley from outside the box sealed the deal for Croatia, as they managed to post a 1-0 win over a wasteful Turkish side.

Poland won by a similar scoreline against Northern Ireland, after Ardadiusz Milik scored in the 51st minute following incessant pressure over the minnows.

In the most talked about game of the night, world champions Germany began their quest for a fourth European title with a 2-0 win over Ukraine. Shkodran Mustafi and Bastian Schweinsteiger scored for the Germans.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

On 13 June, Microsoft corporation announced that is all set to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. However, the company asserted that LinkedIn will maintain its distinct brand, culture, and independence.

The CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner will reportedly report to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

"The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world's professionals," Nadella said. "Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet."

Jeff Weiner said, "Just as we have changed the way the world connects to opportunity, this relationship with Microsoft, and the combination of their cloud and LinkedIn's network, now gives us a chance to also change the way the world works."

Ancient DNA tells of two origins for dogs

Genetic analyses of a 4,800-year-old Irish dog and 59 other ancient dogs suggest that canines and humans became pals in both Europe and East Asia long before the advent of farming, says a report in sciencenews.org.

Later, dogs from East Asia accompanied their human companions to Europe, where their genetic legacy trumped that of dogs already living there.

Therefore, dogs were domesticated at least twice. That muddled genetic legacy may help explain why previous studies have indicated that dogs were domesticated from wolves only once, although evidence hasn't been clear about whether this took place in East Asia, Central Asia or Europe.

The idea that dogs came from East Asia or Central Asia is mostly based on analysis of DNA from modern dogs, while claims for European origins have been staked on studies of prehistoric pups' genetics.

A 4,800-year-old dog found in a tomb in Newgrange, Ireland, is the first ancient dog to have its entire genetic instruction book, or genome, deciphered. Researchers don't know much about what the midsize dog looked like; it doesn't bear any genetic markers of particular modern dog breeds, Frantz says. "He wasn't black. He wasn't spotted. He wasn't white." Instead, the Newgrange dog was probably a mongrel with fur similar to a wolf's.

Westerners lack education on nuclear disaster risks

Western societies would not respond well to a Fukushima-style nuclear disaster due to a lack of public information, a leading disaster expert has warned. Christopher Abbott told the Guardian he firmly believed that the public ought to be better educated over the hazards and risks they may face. Illustrating his point, he referred to the Fukushima disaster of 2011 in which 160,000 people were evacuated from the vicinity of the plant as experts attempted to tackle the emergency. The evacuation worked, said Abbott, because "the Japanese educate the public". "I just don't see that it would have worked as successfully in western society," he added. "[It's] a very personal opinion but one that is backed up by Japanese colleagues." Abbott, chairman of the Emergency Planning Society CBRN professional working group, made the remarks while giving evidence to a science and technology select committee hearing at the House of Commons on chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents. "We need to better educate the public, because a well-educated public will respond better," he said.