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Home Ministry cancels Teesta Setalvad's NGO's registration, says cannot accept foreign funding

Indian civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO, Sabrang Trust's registration was cancelled by the government on 16 June over allegations of illegal foreign donations.

The Home Ministry cancelled the licence stating that it could now no longer receive funds from abroad.

Times of India quoted a Home Ministry official saying, "Sabrang Trust spent foreign funds to buy sanitary napkins and wet wipes for Teesta Setalvad and earbuds for her husband, Javed Anand."

This come months after the Ministry had suspended the NGO's license and also allotted time to the organisation to explain their foreign funding.

The 53-year-old Setalvad has also been accused of embezzling over Rs 1.5 crore that was collected to convert Gulberg Society, where 69 people were killed during the post-Godhra riots in 2002, into a museum in memory of the riot victims.

Work to increase revenue, accountability, probity, information, digitisation: PM Modi tells Rajasva Gyan Sangam

On 16 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day 'Rajasva Gyan Sangam' - an annual conference of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

During the conference, PM Modi encouraged revenue officers to achieve high standards to bring about a taxpayer-friendly service - to keep up with fast-paced changes in the world economy.

While addressing the conference, PM Modi directed the tax officers to move towards digitisation to make tax administration more efficient.

"Remove fear of harassment from the mind of assesses," PTI quoted PM Modi as saying.

In his address to the attendees, the PM stressed on the five pillars of administration - namely, revenue, accountability, probity, information and digitisation - abbreviated as RAPID.

After online leak, Udta Punjab DVDs now available in Mumbai!

Just a day ahead of the highly controversial Udta Punjab's release, the DVDs of the film have reportedly been leaked in Mumbai.

A large part of the controversial film was leaked online on 15 June, giving its co-producers the feeling that the movie was being sabotaged by the CBFC.

The Abhishek Chaubey-directorial, which has been in the news for the makers' run-in with the CBFC, was available on torrent websites for illegal download.

However, soon the download links were "removed due to a copyright complaint".

International Domestic Workers Day Celebrated in Kolkata

On 16 June, approximately 2,000 women held a rally in Kolkata, West Bengal, to mark International Domestic Workers' Day. Women groups comprising trade unions, civil society organisations etc, put forth their 12-point agenda today.

Their agenda includes government recognition and identity cards as labourers, minimum wages, a State Welfare Board for domestic workers, and inclusion in all government schemes, including pension. The Governor has agreed to meet them on 18 July.

Kerala's Nirbhaya: Police detains key suspect

Almost 50 days ago, a 30-year-old Dalit student, who was studying law, was brutally raped at her home at Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Today, on 16 June, the police has detained a key suspect.

The detained suspect is believed to be migrant worker, who hails from Assam. Initially, the police had identified three suspects - two neighbours and one relative.

According to Manorama Online, the suspect was nabbed from the Thrissur-Ernakulam border and has allegedly confessed to the crime.

The police, reportedly, are questioning the suspect at a secret location

As per an NDTV report, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the suspect in custody had been under police scanner since the last few days.

The rape, which took place on 28 April, was a terrifying reminder of the Nirbhaya gang-rape in Delhi, and had triggered protests across the country, with several political parties demanding a CBI probe.

Media reports had suggested that the victim's body was found with wounds and bite marks. Her intestines were reportedly pulled out. Her body was recovered by her mother at 8 pm on the same day.

According to the post-mortem report, there had been at least 38 injuries on her body and strangulation along with internal injuries were the cause of death.

Kamal Nath's resignation proves his complicity in 1984 riots, says BJP's Sambit Patra

With Congress leader Kamal Nath resigning as the party in charge of Punjab affairs, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said the move simply proved his complicity in the 1984 riots, adding that the grand old party had "teased" the people of Punjab by appointing him, despite knowing his involvement in the riots.

"Two things have come to the fore: first, it is the acceptance of guilt, which proves there was Kamal Nath's complicity in the 1984 riots; and, by appointing him as Punjab in-charge, the Congress was teasing the people of the state, which was appalling," said BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, on 16 June.

"Secondly it shows the dearth of leadership in the Congress, because knowing the fact that his name has cropped up in the riots case, he was made the in-charge. This happened probably because there was no other leader left in the Congress. That's why the Congress took such an appalling step and today the Congress stands exposed," said Patra, while reacting to Kamal Nath's resignation.

Kamal Nath, whose appointment had drawn sharp criticism from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), stepped down as the general secretary in-charge of the Punjab Affairs following a controversy over his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Kamal Nath had on Wednesday requested her to relieve him from his duties so that the attention of the party is not diverted from real issues such as the 'rampant drug trade' in Punjab.

AAP suspends Alka Lamba as spokesperson for violating party line; Lamba says 'ready to repent'

Aam Aadmi Party on 16 June suspended its leader Alka Lamba as the official spokesperson after she told reporters that Transport Minister Gopal Rai was relieved of the portfolio to carve way for a fair investigation into the Premium Bus Service scheme. According to unconfirmed reports, she has been suspended for 2 months.

The party had said that Rai resigned from his post following heath issues, while Lama has stated that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked Rai to step down so that fair probe could take place in the scam.

In response to her suspension, the party leader said that she is ready to repent, if She has made a mistake unknowingly.

At least one witness in BK Prasad probe into missing Ishrat papers was coached

BK Prasad, head of the committee looking into the documents missing in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, had apparently told at least one witness about the questions he would ask and the answers he would require.

This coaching of a witness may explain why the committee's report, filed on Wednesday, was inconclusive, says The Indian Express.

The BK Prasad panel had been announced in Parliament on 10 May by Union home minister Rajnath Singh to find documents missing from Ishrat Jahan's file.

Chinese spy ship shadows Indian vessels during joint Indo-US-Japan wargames

Two Indian warships and a US aircraft carrier were shadowed by a Chinese spy ship in the West Pacific as India, Japan and the US conducted their joint naval exercises.

US, Japanese and Indian officials said this had been expected.

A Japanese news report said that a patrol aircraft had spotted the Chinese intelligence vessel in Japanese territorial waters early on Wednesday morning, according to The Telegraph.

"The ship appeared to be tracking two Indian naval ships that were sailing in the waters during joint naval drills," said defence minister Gen. Nakatani.

With 282 MPs and 1,126 MLAs, BJP confident of placing its own President of India next year

With an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, the BJP has realised after state-wise calculations that the NDA has an edge of 22,078 votes, said a senior BJP leader.

This gives the NDA a two per cent advantage in the presidential polls which have 10,98,882 electoral college votes. The presidential polls will take place after the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, says The Economic Times.

As of now, the BJP has 282 members in Parliament and 1,126 MLAs across the country. The party is confident that the number of its MLAs will rise after the UP assembly polls.

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.