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Jayalalithaa & Hillary Clinton: On grief, glass ceilings and fighting back

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Grief is the emotion that defines the last five weeks for some of us. Watching the US Presidential election results threw thousands into a depression— across the board because of what it said about how Americans really felt about issues that were thought to be history, but for many of us, because Hillary Clinton came so very close to shattering the last glass ceiling in her country’s political system. This week, many of us felt an unanticipated sense of loss when J Jayalalithaa’s death was officially announced. Whether we agreed with her politically (I mostly did not) and whether we had ever voted for her (I had only done so this year), a great sadness was pervasive. Nothing changes that reality. Supporters grieve Jayalalithaa’s demise. (AFP)“Margaret, are you grievingOver Goldengrove unleaving?” Gerard Manley Hopkins asks a young child in a poem I read in Class 10 and have carried in my heart ever since. Why did we react to these two events with such sadness? Why did I?I belong to a generation that could have never predicted the possibility that an African-American could become the American President. It happened. Twice. When Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination in July, we gave ourselves permission to hope that girls in the US too would be able to aspire to this office. Clinton’s feminism falls short by the yardsticks now held up, especially by younger women, but now the once-impossible was close enough to touch. Never mind that the road to Election Day was paved with the most misogynistic baiting— not just by the other candidate but by the media as well. Clinton held her own, with tenacity, grace and focus, and still she lost. That you could give your whole adult life to public service, that you could work so hard, that you could bear with so much, that you could come so very close and still not be considered good enough for a job that went to someone with a negligible fraction of what you brought to the table— that said that women were simply not entitled to ambition or reward. We were disappointed that Clinton did not win, but what we mourned most of all was that betrayal. It was not that merit, focus and effort were not enough. The message was clear— women were not enough. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not anything enough to make it to the top. Embed from Getty ImagesJayalalithaa’s story is almost the opposite. In a society where all indicators suggest that women cannot succeed, her sustained ascendancy requires us to recast our assumptions. Someone commented that gender was irrelevant to her story. Gender was completely relevant to her story—her objectification in cinema, her vilification in politics—but her success lay in making them seem irrelevant. Notwithstanding her welfare measures, Jayalalithaa’s politics were gender-blind. Jayalalithaa also belied any essentialist argument for women in power— that they will bring nurture and gender sensitivity to their work. Like any other politician, she has left behind a conventional, mixed track record on the “women’s empowerment” score. Many of us are sad to think of the journey that brought her to this pre-eminence— the price she paid at every turn breaks our heart because we know that is the price every woman politician pays in every patriarchal society. Jayalalithaa was an easy target because she came from cinema to politics— even criticism about her policies was tinged with disapproval of her relationships and her appearance. Even when we disagreed with her on most counts, her presence affirmed that women could force the world to take them seriously. When the mutterers and mockers got done, they would find she was still one of the most powerful people in the country.(PTI)“Now no matter, child, the name:Sorrow’s springs are the same… It is Margaret you mourn for.” Hopkins holds a mirror up to our grief, saying that we mourn for who we once were and can never be again, and we mourn also for what we could never become. In Clinton’s loss and Jayalalithaa’s death, we have seen mirrored our own journeys— coming up against speed-bumps, obstacles, landmines and glass ceilings everywhere. Our grief tells us how every barb they faced mirrored one in our own experience.Hillary Clinton giving her concession speech the day after the election. (Reuters)Clinton and Jayalalithaa had much in common— sharp minds, great work ethic, tremendous ambitious, tenacity, resilience, tumultuous personal lives that kept getting dragged into public discourse and both faced unbelievable sexism and body-shaming. We hurt at their loss because it brings back the wounds of every loss and every jibe we ever faced. The accidental-done-on-purpose forgetting to include us in discussions. The so-called compliment that draws attention to our bodies and away from our professional presence. The friendly advice out of fake concern about our health that undermines our confidence. The unspoken quid pro quos—to forget the things people say and do (the everyday sexism) or to overlook the thing they fail to do (like giving you credit)—in order to keep an oppressive peace. The clinging on to the high ground because it’s the right thing to do, though your fingers hurt and your eyes smart. The hurtful jokes that never sound funny. The dismissal of our ideas that precedes their being co-opted as someone else’s original thought. The creation of standards for our success that do not apply to anyone else— must be personable, must be brilliant, must work hard, must not be ambitious, must not want credit, must not upset the apple-cart, must know her place. Clinton’s election loss and Jayalalithaa’s final departure allow us to cry and rant for all the times in our lives that we have kept quiet.It is Margaret we mourn for.The child in the Hopkins poem has no way to change or reverse either autumn or growing older. But, in our hands, lies the ability to make women’s political activism and participation a less hazardous choice. Since it is also the season of year-gone-by reviews and resolutions, here are some thoughts for things we can work on in 2017 so that we do not feel this grief again.In 2017, we expect five Indian states to elect new legislators— Goa, Punjab, Manipur, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. This means we need to get started right away on asking the right questions, lobbying for some bare minimum commitments, holding parties accountable to them and monitoring the election closely. This is civil society’s work— and we are all part of civil society to the extent we choose to be pro-active citizens.Political parties go through the ritual of preparing manifestos. A couple of decades ago, because you could not circulate them very widely and because a healthy scepticism then animated our democracy, we saw these as rituals and manifestos as largely interchangeable. We ignored manifestos routinely. Now we analyse them when they are published but forget to hold winning coalitions responsible for keeping their word. Anyway, since we do seem to think manifestos matter, ensuring gender inclusivity in the issues addressed and gender sensitivity in the language and approach would be a place to begin. Who drafts manifestos and who finalises them? These are the people we need to sensitise.The second challenge in an election season is ensuring that there is gender parity in the allocation of election tickets. How many women are being nominated and who are the women being nominated? Apart from petitions and demands, one useful intervention in each state would be to create directories of women that belie the usual excuse: “Where can we find competent women?” Forget pointing out that competence is not a requirement for male nominees; it would be more constructive to simply provide lists of Panchayat and Zilla Parishad women as well as women social workers from villages and district towns. Is this something we can do in each state?Black money is not the only campaign finance issue that needs to be addressed. Access to campaign support is gendered and parties tend to neglect women candidates in their apportionment. For structural reasons, it is much harder for women to raise funds to campaign. Recognising this, a non-profit in the US, EMILY’s List, identifies women candidates who espouse a set of core political values and helps them raise funds. (‘EMILY’ stands for ‘Early Money is Like Yeast.’) India does not have a comparable culture of political giving so an Indian EMILY’s List is two steps away— creating a culture of individual support to political parties and creating a demand for good women candidates such that people will pay to support them. A more immediate goal would be to engender the campaign finance reform conversation, itself only a faint thread in political discourse.Embed from Getty ImagesRelated to money is the on-ground political support for female candidates. Often in my constituency, a major party does nominate a woman. But unless we really research the candidates, we continue to know little about the person. Too many of us in the voter queues read the Election Commission poster and make a random choice on the spur of the moment. Nomination is the beginning of the journey; female candidates also need a share of political workers who can canvass votes, public and media relations support to raise their profile and ground-level support by more prominent party leaders. This is also a good way to judge a party’s commitment to gender equality.Even easier, because outrage is how we talk politics now, is to call out misogynistic speech and signal that it is now unacceptable to us. The election campaigns to come will be bitterly fought and because women leaders will figure prominently, the vitriol will probably be patronising and sexist. The simplest—laziest—thing we can do is to monitor hate speech and communicate our disapproval in a variety of ways— social media posts and reactions to petitions. Can we commit to cleaner, more inclusive and less ad hominem campaigns?In May last year, before the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Prajnya put together a Gender Equality Election Checklist which may be applied to any election context.Elections place a spotlight on women’s political exclusion, but really, the time to change that is in the years between elections. Off-season, it becomes clearer where the choke points are, and what can be done to remove them. Off-season, it should be easier to approach one’s representatives and local activists and initiate first conversations about local gender concerns. The years between elections are particularly suited to three sets of important interventions.In the years since gender quotas were introduced into local government, a great deal has been invested in training women Panchayat leaders. However, once trained and armed with experience, these women find they have nowhere to go. Doors open to a minuscule percentage of them at the next level. For the women who cross this threshold, the policy issues are relatively different. The election off-season is a great time for creating training processes and access to policy education for women who have been in Panchayats and are either seeking office at other levels or have been elected at other levels.Embed from Getty ImagesIt is also a good time for civil society to build two kinds of relationships. The first is a consultative equation with legislators that can inform Parliamentary debate on specific issues. Ideally, both sides should seek this out, but typically, civil society does so halfheartedly and the platforms acquire a ceremonial rather than substantive cast. The rare MP or MLA that really wants to sit down and learn and talk through issues is the one that must be feted in the ways that matter— not bouquets and panegyric but through letting people know that these are serious people. Let us reward people for their advocacy of gender issues and their willingness to be identified with inclusive ideals.The second is to create, host and facilitate cross-party alliances on key gender issues. Some things are truly above politics— equality should be one of them. Inner-party politics in India, especially at the state level, divests members of autonomy when it comes to any policy or issue engagement. Party members seek permission for the smallest thing and a siege mentality coats every casual conversation on a social issue with the tinge of possible betrayal. This paranoia may serve parties in some obscure way but it serves us not at all. Can we start to tinker with this thinking in small ways and to build the alliances that will foster true, substantive debate?Where will the women emerge from in nomination season if we have not made them visible in the off-season? I address both civil society and media here. The rosters and directories I spoke of earlier cannot be assembled overnight. The networking opportunities take time to create. Civil society and media are uniquely positioned to sift through false claims and to create openings for sustained, deep social engagement for women who seek a political career. Making women in public life visible is also a way of protecting them from violence and of supporting Women Human Rights Defenders. Moreover, despite how we think of politicians, many women political activists lack simple media and communication skills. How to organise and deliver a speech, how to canvass, the art of writing a pamphlet or a press release, how to use the internet— these are skills anyone can learn and these are skills we can teach each other as a form of support. This is the time to invest in building that kind of capacity.The death of Jayalalithaa this week and Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss a few weeks ago should move us towards action. The sense of purpose we universally admire in them must now inform our choices in 2017. The glass ceiling does not need to shatter; it can systematically be lifted off by our collective resolve and effort. I will make that effort; will you?Swarna Rajagopalan is a political scientist by training and the founder of Prajnya, whose work is largely focused on gender equality.

Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes ban: Modi govt’s demonetisation move will put poor into trouble

They are supposed to be very alike, The Don and NaMo. They both bucked the media and the elite and won big; or so pundits like Shekhar Gupta and Chetan Bhagat and Ram Madhav are telling us on Twitter.

Yet, on the same day, while one was promising that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” the other was running the risk of turning parts of his population into the “forgotten people”.

It was amazing to watch BJP spokespersons and besotted TV anchors dismiss the hardships faced by ordinary people at the abrupt and swift withdrawal of big notes from circulation by blithely referring them to credit cards, debit cards, and cheques. As if that is how most Indians live and conduct their financial transactions. As if ours is a cashless society, the whole country has long been demonetised and bank accounts are common to every household.

PM Modi has also conceded that we would face some inconvenience in the beginning and he was sure that we would put up with it for the greater good. PTI

PM Modi has also conceded that we would face some inconvenience in the beginning and he was sure that we would put up with it for the greater good. PTI

On television, smartly-dressed yuppies were full-throatedly welcoming “the historic move” outside ATMs or driving into petrol pumps with their sedans or SUVs. In short, these people are those who are well on the way to arriving. Ordinary people are either clueless or in a tizzy.

Maybe, it’s because I live in Kolkata, in one of the poorer parts of the country, that I can see firsthand the trials being faced by maidservants, drivers, small shopkeepers, construction workers, electricians, plumbers and other independent service providers. Their only option is to request people like me to relieve them of their “riches” to meet their basic needs.

Maybe, that is why the chief minister of West Bengal was one of the first to point out the trouble this would put the poor into. “I want to know from PM,” she tweeted soon after Narendra Modi finished his speech to the nation on Tuesday evening,“How my poorest brothers, sisters, who’ve received their week’s hard earned wage in one 500 re note will buy, ata, chal, tomo?”

Mamata Banerjee, whose political instincts have seldom let her down, has kept up the refrain with tweet after tweet demanding this “heartless and ill-conceived blow on common people and middle class” be stopped immediately. “Please save people from this disaster. Roads are closed, markets shut, patients not being admitted to private hospitals, millions affected.”

One Bengali tweet doing the rounds that Didi cannot lay claim to says, “Why are our businessmen brothers so happy? Since last night? Because they have no black money? And why are we middle-class so apprehensive? Because we have stashes of black money?”

The ruling party is already dismissing all such reservations as politically motivated and mean-spirited. “Politicians are having doubts but ordinary people are having no doubts,” was how Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu responded to reservations brought to his notice by the press.

But even economists are not unanimous whether such moves to “check corruption, black money and fake currency rackets that slow our progress” really work. It’s been tried before and not been that successful but maybe it’ll be better this time round. At least let us hope so.

The prime minister has also conceded that we would face some inconvenience in the beginning and he was sure that we would put up with it for the greater good. Maybe

Maybe the country will grin and bear it but it would do him no harm if his party appeared to be more sympathetic to the common man’s woes instead of the usual chest-thumping that seems to be their reflex response to any act of the government.

Especially since such moves have a tendency of turning on their heads and biting their initiators in the back.

It was only the other day that outsourcing was seen as the answer to all ills that plagued the American economy. American companies would be able to make goods cheaper, hence make greater profits and thereby contribute to the strengthening of the country’s economy. Ditto: free trade. Moves that were mostly put into place when Hillary Clinton was the First Lady of America.

Today, it is the army of aggrieved people “left behind” by these very acts of globalisation that marched to the voting booths and put a man with no experience in governance into power. In their light, those acts of greater good only helped the rich to get richer and left them with nothing.

It took several decades for people in America to come to this realisation and rise in revolt. It may happen quicker in a country like India. Narendra Modi should beware that his moves for the greater good may end up alienating the greater numbers.

US Consulate’s election bash ticks the right boxes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US Consulate in Mumbai held a special live streaming of the election results at Worli’s Hard Rock Cafe on Wednesday morning. There were people dressed up as Uncle Sam, the Statue of Liberty and Rosie The Riveter—an American icon representing women who worked in shipyards and factories during World War II—at the event.As the US election results filtered in, there was as much anticipation and enthusiasm as in the US. People participated in a mock voting process, clicked pictures at selfie corners, got their sketches done, and posed with life-size cut-outs of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though Clinton lost the election, she won by a considerable margin when the results of the mock voting were announced. Although she emerged as the clear favourite at the event, Trump managed to emerge victorious in the US. “I expected Hillary to win. Although Trump had the lead, it was neck and neck throughout,” said Saloni Vyas, a law student who attended the event. “For us, it was a learning experience. I have a module on international relations in college, and the election helped shape my political views,” said Bhushan Thakore, a student of civics and politics at the University of Mumbai.The guest list also featured staff from the consulate, and members from other consulates. “This is a great opportunity for us to meet people from other consulates,” said Juergen Isenberg, Airline Liaison Officer at the German Consulate.When the dust settles on the election, the important question to ask is how much of a bearing will it have on US-India relations. “No matter who occupies the Oval office, US-India relations will forge ahead in terms of trade and security. We share values and interests. I am convinced that there will be continued interest,” said Thomas Vajda, US Consul General in Mumbai.

PM Modi speaks to Donald Trump, extends best wishes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spoke to US President-elect Donald Trump to convey his best wishes following his electoral victory and hoped the two nations would continue to build on the “bedrock of strong Indo-US ties”.”PM conveyed his best wishes & the two leaders looked forward to working closely to take the #IndiaUS strategic partnership to a new height. “Continuing to build on the bedrock of strong Indo-US relations. PM spoke just now to @realDonaldTrump to congratulate him on his election,” Vikas Swarup, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman, said on twitter. Earlier in the day, Modi had taken to the microblogging website to congratulate Trump on being elected as US President, saying he looked forward to working with him closely to take Indo-US ties to a new height.”Congratulations @realDonaldTrump on being elected as the 45th US President,” Modi said in a tweet. He said the country looks forward to working closely with Trump to strengthen bilateral ties. “We look forward to working with you closely to take India-US bilateral ties to a new height,” the Prime Minister said.”We appreciate the friendship you have articulated towards India during your campaign, @realDonaldTrump,” he said. Trump today beat seasoned politician Hillary Clinton in the knife-edge polls, defying the odds to become the 45th US President.

‘It’s a rejection of politics as usual’: Shashi Tharoor surprised by Donald Trump’s victory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Dubbing the election of Donald Trump as the 45th United States President as ‘surprising’, the Congress on Wednesday said it reflected the rejection of politics by the people of America. ‘It’s an amazing result. No one would have expected this a year ago. Even after he became the Republican nominee, the expectation was that Hillary would win. I have stuck my neck out and said in a number of public forums that I was expecting her to win. So, this is quite a surprise,’ Congress leader Shashi Tharoor told ANI. ‘The hostility that they (people) feel has expressed itself on a strong vote for Trump. In many ways, it may be the last stand of white America because demographics will make America progressively less and less white in the years to come. Finally, it is also a rejection of politics as usual. Increasingly, around the world voters are saying we don’t like the way our lives are. Whether from the left or the right, there is a rejection,’ he added. Tharoor said the win is a surprise because Trump is so untypical of even the party which nominated him. ‘The Republican mainstream establishment does not look like Trump, doesn’t behave like Trump, doesn’t speak like Trump. But he has somehow struck a chord with the electorate. Partly, I am afraid it is negativism. He has given expression to fear, to hatred, to racism, to bigotry against foreigners and immigrants and refugees, to xenophobia,’ he added. Tharoor asserted that there is a lot of unpleasant stuff that has come out in the air because of Trump’s campaign and the language of his supporters which now cannot be put back in pandora’s box.’It is out there and we have to live with it. It will certainly affect the perception of America around the world. If we look at the exit polls, Hillary has swept the minority by large margins. Trump has a won a majority of white voters including surprisingly white women. One of the striking things about this is of course he has dominated the non-college educated white blue collared working class vote, which is the section of society that has felt most affected by the recent developments,’ he added.Asserting that there is a sense of uncertainty around the world, the Congress leader said how it all will end up will depend on how things stabilise and what kind of administration Trump brings in.’Will he bring in those kinds of Republicans who work for George Bush who know how to deal with the world or is he going to bring in a cast of characters who are hostile to the world, hostile to globalization’that may create a different world altogether,’ he added.After the media exploded with Trump’s victory, the new U.S. President took to the stage and pledged to begin the ‘urgent task of rebuilding our nation’ while also bringing Americans together.Speaking at his victory party in a New York hotel ballroom, Trump said Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called him to concede the race. I just received a call from Secretary Clinton,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘She congratulated us on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign,’ Trump said. Trump, who has in the past threatened to punish his critics, said he was seeking to appeal even to those who hadn’t supported him. Trump’s surprising performance at the polls ended Hillary Clinton’s quest to make history as the first female president of the United States. The 70-year-old celebrity businessman who had never before run for office, is poised to become the oldest president ever elected to a first term.

US election 2016: Why Donald Trump’s ‘American Manus’ politics will worry Indo-Americans

What does Donald Trump has common with Maharashtra MNS chief Raj Thackeray or PM Narendra Modi? Not much, except that Trump is the proponent of the American version of certain ideals and vision both Thackeray and Modi have stood for long — ‘Marathi manus’ politics and the idea of ‘Make in India’.

Donald Trump. ReutersDonald Trump. Reuters

Donald Trump. Reuters

In the US, Trump is Thackeray’s counterpart of ‘American Manus’ politics and is the Modi of ‘Make in America’ campaign. Trump despises anything other than American and has so far played inflammatory politics projecting his ‘American Manus’ stand, calling out to make ‘America great again’ and save jobs and private investments for locals, no matter what happens to the immigrant worker.

Trump wants, at least he says so, to put an end to the cross-border outflow of jobs and wouldn’t hesitate to accuse even IBM of shutting jobs in the US and shifting some to India.

Trump is a great admirer of ‘Make in America campaign’ much like Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme. He wants people to make things in America, using Americans workers and for American people.

In this backdrop, for Indo-Americans in US and other non-American workers, Donald Trump should symbolise everything that they should fear about — further restrictions on work permits and policies such as massive tax deductions favouring the local businesses that would logically put Indians there at a disadvantage.

“We don’t really know what is going on in his mind,” said Anshul Prakash, associate partner at Khaitan & Co, who is an expert in labour law. “Anyway, it can’t be good for Indians given his stated policies.
Even there, he has conflicting views and the core idea seems to be protecting the local Americans,” Prakash said.

Hence, the choice shouldn’t be difficult for Indo-Americans between Hillary Clinton and Trump. While Clinton is considered to have better chances to emerge victoriously, any upset by Trump would mean an uncertain, worrying future for not just Americans, the Indian professionals in that country too.

Trump’s victory would mean nothing short of a disaster for Indian professionals in the US, especially with regard to his planned policies on H1-B Visa restrictions. Even companies, including Indian firms, need to fear Trump if he comes to power for he has openly declared that the Trump administration will make it difficult for them to move out of America.

“If a company wants to leave Minnesota, fire their workers and move to another country and then ship their products back into the United States, we will make them pay a 35 percent tax,” Trump said in his recent speech at Minnesota state.

Trump seems to have no mercy for those who compete for American jobs and companies which take jobs out of US. He even calls them thieves. As Firstpost noted in a recent article, just the other day, Trump blamed India and China for the ‘greatest job theft’ in US.

“America has lost 70,000 factories since China entered the World Trade Organisation, another Bill and Hillary backed disaster. We are living through the greatest jobs theft in the history of the world,” Trump said in Tampa, Florida on Monday.

“Goodrich Lighting Systems laid off 255 workers and moved their jobs to India. Baxter Health Care Corporation laid off 199 workers and moved their jobs to Singapore. Essilor Laboratories laid off 181 workers and moved their jobs, surprise, to Mexico. It’s getting worse and worse and worse,” Trump said.

Trump is a bigger fan of the ‘son of the soil’ politics Thackeray practices here and is even more passionate about his ‘Make in America’ plan much like Modi admirers his ‘Make in India’ movement.

If Trump becomes the next president of world’s largest economy, eight times bigger than that of India, it will be no good news for the Indo-Americans. Hence a choice shouldn’t be difficult for them today.

DNA Morning Must Reads: India’s Diwali gift to Pakistan; Hillary Clinton’s mail scandal; Coldplay in India; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. How India’s carefully planned operation on Diwali caught Pakistan nappingAfter September 29, when the Indian Army took the Pakistan army by surprise through the surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), they went into the assault mode again on Saturday. Read more here2. Bhopal jail break: 8 SIMI activists escape using bedsheets to scale walls, one guard killedEight activists of the banned SIMI escaped early Monday morning from the Bhopal Central Jail by killing a security guard and scaling the prison wall with the help of bed sheets. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said that five jail officials had been suspended. Read more here3. FBI obtains warrant to search newly found emails in Hillary Clinton probeThe Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to review the emails to see if they contain classified information and were handled properly, the focus of the earlier Hillary Clinton inquiry. Read more here4. Debt-laden Fadnavis govt grants Coldplay 75% rebate on concert venueBritish band Coldplay is getting it all for a song in Mumbai. The MMRDA ground, where the band is going to perform, is its ‘Paradise’. Read more here5. Mexico GP: Lewis Hamilton win keeps title hopes alive for BritLewis Hamilton won the Mexican Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday to cut Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg’s lead to 19 points and prevent the German taking his first title with two races to spare. Read more here6. Tata’s dreams are India’s tooThe group, which was built on strong foundations of old economy, saw a slew of uncharitable efforts to axe some of its old businesses, and refocus on the new-economy businesses. Read more here

dna Morning Must Reads: Third US Presidential debate, latest on Bhubaneswar fire & more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Third US Presidential Debate: Donald Trump refuses to say he will accept election resultsIn the third and final presidential debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Donald Trump refused to say on Wednesday that he would accept the outcome of the November 8 US presidential election, leaving open the possibility he would challenge the ultimate outcome. Read in detailBhubaneswar fire: Sum hospital chairman Manoj Nayak surrenders before policeTwo days after the massive blaze at Sum hospital in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar killed 21 people, the hospital’s chairman Manoj Nayak on Thursday morning surrendered before the police, ANI reported. Read reportGST: One tax, many voices; council divided over rate structure, dual controlUnable to cobble together an agreement on two crucial issues of the proposed goods and services tax (GST), rate structure and jurisdiction over tax assessment in different revenue brackets, the three-day GST Council meeting on Wednesday ended inconclusively – a day earlier than scheduled. Read moreJNU missing student: Protest intensifies, VC & other senior officials locked in buildingHours after the brawl between Najeeb Ahmed and ABVP students late on Friday last week, an emergency meeting held by the warden at 12:30 AM pronounced Ahmed guilty and expelled him from the hostel “with immediate effect.” This was revealed in notings of the meeting accessed by DNA that was held between the warden and students immediately after the brawl. Read more Maharashtra, Gujarat leads in murders of RTI activistsDespite directions from the government to protect RTI activists, there is no let up in the attacks on the information seekers across the country. Close on the heels of murder of an RTI activist Bhupendra Vera in Maharashtra on October 15, fresh statistics show that some 311 cases of attacks and harassment cases against RTI activists were reported between October 12, 2005 and October 17, 2016. This also includes murder of 56 information seekers also during the period. Read full report

Syria talks in Lausanne end without breakthrough | Reuters

By Lesley Wroughton and Alexander Winning
| LAUSANNE, Switzerland

LAUSANNE, Switzerland Syria talks convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Saturday evening failed to agree on a common strategy with Russia to end the conflict in Syria, now in its sixth year.Kerry was seeking a new path to peace after failing to secure a ceasefire in direct talks with Moscow, one of Syria’s key backers, amid mounting international outrage over the Russian and Syrian bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo.Kerry hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and seven foreign ministers from the region – from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt – weeks after the collapse of a painstakingly crafted U.S.-Russian ceasefire plan that many saw as the last hope for peace this year.Kerry told reporters there was consensus on a number of options that could lead to a ceasefire, but conceded that there had been some tense moments during Saturday’s talks.”I would characterize this as an example of what we wanted, which was a brainstorming and a very candid first-time discussion,” he said. “A number of ideas came from the number of different ministers as we hoped that might be able to shape some different approaches.”But the meeting failed to come up with a joint statement or a shared vision on how to move forward.Lavrov, who had said he had “no special expectations” for Saturday’s meeting, said ministers had discussed several “interesting ideas”, without elaborating. MEETING IN LONDON

Europe was not represented at the meeting, held in a luxury hotel on Lake Geneva. But France’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that Kerry and foreign ministers of like-minded nations planned to meet in London on Sunday to discuss Syria.Kerry said parties to the Lausanne talks would contact each other on Monday to follow up.Since the breakdown of U.S.-Russia cooperation, long the backbone of efforts to end the war in Syria, U.S. officials have worked on a number of ideas.Although no breakthrough had been expected on Saturday, a senior U.S. official said before the meeting that the regional format to the talks could be the basis of a new process.

However, a former Western envoy in Syria told Reuters: “I don’t understand (why) the Americans are asking the Russians to talk again. They have made zero concessions. Do the Americans believe Moscow was shaken by the break-off last week and will change behaviour now?”Separately, a Western diplomat in Lausanne said the meeting appeared ill-prepared and vague in its goals, and the list of invitees had been clarified only at the last moment. Earlier, Kerry met separately with his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and with Lavrov to discuss the logistics of the meeting.It was the first meeting between Kerry and Lavrov since the collapse of a second attempted ceasefire in September. The impending end of the Obama administration is likely to mean a hiatus in U.S. diplomacy while his successor, whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, takes up the reins.

At the same time, pressure is rising for a halt to a ferocious, three-week-old Syrian government offensive to capture the eastern zone of the city of Aleppo, where the United Nations says 275,000 civilians still live and 8,000 rebels are holding out against Syrian, Russian and Iranian-backed forces. Western powers have accused Russia and Syria of committing atrocities by bombing hospitals, killing civilians and preventing medical evacuations, as well as targeting an aid convoy with the loss of around 20 lives. Syria and Russia counter that they are only targeting militants in Aleppo and accuse the United States of breaking the ceasefire by bombing scores of Syrian troops fighting Islamic State insurgents, over which the United States has expressed regret.A senior rebel commander said on Friday that Syrian government forces would never be able to capture Aleppo’s eastern sector, but a military source said the operation was going as planned.The United Nations has said food, fuel and medicine are running out in eastern Aleppo and there will be no rations to distribute from the start of next month. (Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Tom Miles, Marina Depetris, John Irish and David Alexander; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Mark Heinrich)

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Trump says ‘shackles’ are off, assails U.S. House speaker, McCain | Reuters

By John Whitesides and Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON Presidential candidate Donald Trump angrily lashed out at U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and other “disloyal” Republicans on Tuesday and vowed to campaign in whatever style he wants now that the party establishment has largely abandoned him.Trump condemned the Republicans who have backed away from his White House run in a barrage of stinging Twitter posts, deepening a dramatic rift in the party over his struggling campaign.”It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said on Twitter, adding he would engage Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on his own terms.Describing “disloyal” Republicans as more difficult than Clinton he said, “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”A string of Republicans have distanced themselves from Trump since a 2005 video surfaced on Friday showing him bragging crudely to a reporter about groping women and making unwanted sexual advances.Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, told party lawmakers on Monday he was breaking with Trump and would not campaign for him, all but conceding Clinton would win the Nov. 8 election. The move angered some Trump supporters, although Ryan said he would not withdraw his endorsement of the New York businessman.Trump slammed Ryan as a “very weak and ineffective leader” and complained in another tweet that it was hard to do well with “zero support” from Ryan and others. He also took aim at U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, who said on Saturday that he could not vote for Trump.”The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks,” Trump said. There was no immediate reaction from McCain, who secured his primary election win in August. Trump, whose campaign has been marked for months by controversies over both his policies and his brash style, has slipped further behind Clinton in opinion polls.A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken after a Sunday’s debate and released on Tuesday showed Clinton with a 9-point lead on Trump, winning 46 percent of likely voters compared to Trump’s 37 percent.

Many Republicans are worried his chaotic campaign could hurt their chances of holding majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in next month’s election, and will inflict long-term damage on the party.PARTY REVOLT
In an extraordinary party revolt, nearly half of all 331 incumbent Republican senators, House members and governors have condemned Trump’s lewd remarks on the video, and roughly one in 10 have called for him to drop out of the race, a Reuters review of official statements and local news coverage indicates.Unlike Ryan, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told RNC members on Monday that the committee, the party’s leadership and fundraising arm, still backed Trump, two RNC members told Reuters.

Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, reinforced his support in television interviews on Monday.New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former rival for the White House who has became a close ally of Trump, also reaffirmed his backing although he called Trump’s comments in the 2005 video “completely indefensible.” Trump, 70, who has portrayed himself as tough on national security, released a hard-hitting television advertisement on Tuesday featuring footage of Clinton, a 68-year-old former secretary of state, stumbling last month after leaving a service commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks. Her campaign said she had been diagnosed a few days earlier with pneumonia.”Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fortitude, strength or stamina to lead in our world,” the ad’s narrator says. “She failed as secretary of state. Don’t let her fail us again.

Both Trump and Clinton headed to the key battleground state of Florida on Tuesday.Ahead of her Florida rally with former Vice President Al Gore, Clinton told a Miami radio station that Trump had “insulted everyone.””People need to understand what’s at stake in this election,” she told WMBM.The White House said on Tuesday that Trump’s remarks about groping women in the video amounted to sexual assault. President Barack Obama had found the comments repugnant, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One.The Reuters/Ipsos State of the Nation project released on Monday estimated that Clinton had at least a 95 percent chance of winning the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become president. The polling did not capture reaction to Trump’s performance in Sunday’s debate or Friday’s news reports on the video.Clinton, the first woman to be picked as a presidential nominee by a major U.S. party, tried to focus on issues that could win over undecided women voters on Tuesday, proposing to expand the child tax credit so more low-income families can benefit and to increase by $1,000 a year the tax credit available to families for each child up to age 4. (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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A new worry for Clinton – Trump’s struggles may depress Democratic voter turnout | Reuters

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON Hillary Clinton’s campaign is confronting an emerging risk to her presidential ambitions – if Donald Trump continues to trail her in opinion polls many Democrats may simply stay at home on Election Day.Without enough popular support, Clinton would enter the White House lacking the political capital she would need to drive through her agenda. In the worst-case scenario it could cost her the presidency if Republicans turn out in big numbers on Nov. 8. Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has spent much of her campaign sounding the alarm over the prospect of a President Trump. She has struggled to lay out a compelling vision for her presidency and has failed to excite key constituencies, including millennials, minority voters and liberal Democrats.Opinion polls show that many voters are backing Clinton primarily to stop Trump, the Republican nominee, from getting into the White House. If they believe he has no hope of winning, then what would their motivation be to turn up at the polls? In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll about half of all Clinton supporters said they were backing her to keep Trump from winning. By contrast, just 36.5 percent said it was because of Clinton’s policies and just 12.6 percent said it was because they like her personally. “Turnout is correlated with levels of competition,” said Michael McDonald, an elections expert at the University of Florida. “The higher the competition, the higher the turnout.”The young Americans, blacks, Latinos, and low-income voters who make up much of the Democratic base often need to feel motivated by a particular candidate or issue to turn out, McDonald said, as was the case with President Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008. Clinton’s campaign has long worried about voter complacency and has at every turn pushed the notion that the race is close and that Trump is unfit to be president. With her lead growing, that task grows more difficult.A Reuters/Ipsos 50-state survey (carried out before Friday’s release of a video tape in which Trump makes vulgar remarks about women) gave the Democratic nominee a 95 percent chance of winning the election. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll on Monday showed Clinton with an 11-point lead nationally over Trump.

Low Democratic voter turnout could leave Trump an opening in swing states. And should Clinton win the election, a slim margin of victory could compound the challenge she will face in trying to govern a deeply divided nation. Clinton’s campaign, however, will be able rely on an extensive and well-funded voter mobilization effort, one that is expected to give her an edge over Trump’s smaller organisation. MOVING PAST TRUMP
The Clinton campaign insisted on Monday the race will remain tight. It sent out a new fundraising pitch to supporters, contending that Trump is “an authoritarian threat” for saying at Sunday’s presidential debate that she would be in jail if he was president.

Clinton must also contend with anger among liberal Democrats over leaked excerpts of paid speeches she made to banks and big business. The excerpts appeared to confirm their fears about her support for global trade and tendency to cozy up to Wall Street.Some liberals have also been waiting for Clinton to make a more positive case for her own presidency.“This election cannot be just a referendum on Donald Trump,” said Arun Chaudhury, creative director of Revolution Messaging, a left-leaning consulting firm that oversaw the online media operation of former Clinton rival, Senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s central message, he said, has been that “everyone has to step up and stop Donald Trump from being president, not step up and make Hillary Clinton president.” “The best campaign messages are comparative in nature,” said Ben Turchin, a Democratic pollster who worked for Sanders’ campaign. “She can win by a bigger margin by giving a little more of an affirmative case for her presidency.”

While Clinton frequently goes on the attack against Trump, calling him racist, sexist and dangerous, her campaign insists it has been trying to get a positive, policy-oriented message out.“It is hard in this campaign when you’re running against him and he generates so much controversy and therefore headlines,” Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director, told Reuters. “It’s hard to break through on any one day, and that’s why we just have to keep at it.”The two candidates’ central campaign slogans reflect their differing appeals to the electorate. Where Trump’s is the change-oriented “Make America Great Again,” Clinton’s is a more stolid “Stronger Together,” which speaks to rallying existing Democratic voters around her candidacy – and is a harder sell. Clinton’s campaign seems to have recognised the need for some adjustments to its message. Since the presidential race intensified last month, Clinton has returned to the style of campaigning that helped her win early states in the Democratic nominating contests, holding smallish events focused on issues of most concern to core Democratic constituencies such as women and young voters. Turchin, the former Sanders pollster, said Clinton’s efforts at fashioning a positive message were improving, although she is still having difficulty attracting the support of 18-to-34 year-old voters, among others. “You’ve got to make the hard case over and over again,” he said. “She’s got to convince people she shares their values.” (Reporting by James Oliphant, Amanda Becker, Chris Kahn, and Emily Stephenson. Written by James Oliphant, editing by Paul Thomasch and Ross Colvin)

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Paris climate accord to go into force – but faces test of enforcement | Reuters

Paris climate accord to go into force – but faces test of enforcement | Reuters

Updated: Oct 3, 2016 22:45 IST


By Alister Doyle

OSLO A global agreement on climate change is set to win enough ratifications by signatory nations this week to go into force in November, heralding a harder phase of turning promises into cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.The 2015 Paris Agreement, outlining a shift from fossil fuels this century, says efforts to oversee compliance will be “non-adversarial and non-punitive”, raising questions about how to ensure governments pull their weight.The European Parliament is set to give the green light on Tuesday for European Union states to join up this week, tipping the accord past a threshold of nations accounting for 55 percent of world emissions to enter into force.So far, the 2015 Agreement has backing from 62 countries responsible for 52 percent of emissions, after India approved it on Sunday. Once it reaches 55 percent, it will enter into force in 30 days.”The key question will be implementing the agreement. There’s no legal enforcement of pledges,” said Robert Watson, a British-American scientist and former head of the U.N.’s panel of climate experts.

The hope is governments will feel a “moral obligation” and “peer pressure” to act, he told Reuters. Under the Paris Agreement, almost 200 states have set their own national targets for emissions, with five-yearly national reviews and promises to set ever tougher goals.David Waskow, of the World Resources Institute think-tank, said the rapid ratification was a sign of willingness to tackle emissions, blamed for heatwaves, floods, downpours and a rise in ocean levels.

“This lightning-quick process has shown … the depth and breadth of political support,” he said. The Paris Agreement aims to limit a rise in world temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above those in pre-industrial times. The United Nations says current pledges are too weak to reach that goal.

The agreement is likely to enter into force before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8. Republican nominee Donald Trump opposes the deal, while Democrat Hillary Clinton is a strong supporter.It would also enter into force before an annual meeting of environment ministers in Marrakesh, Morocco, next month, which is expected to work on the nuts and bolts of the deal.”Marrakesh will be more of a ‘roll up your sleeves’ working (meeting) than a big set of ground-breaking decisions,” said Jake Schmidt, of the U.S. National Resources Defense Council. (Reporting by Alister Doyle; editing by Andrew Roche)

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Clinton campaign hits Trump for seeing Brexit as boon to his business | Reuters

WASHINGTON Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign accused Donald Trump on Sunday of caring more about how Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union would benefit his financial bottom line than how it would impact the U.S. economy.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook acknowledged parallels between the populist anger and anti-establishment fervor that fueled the Brexit vote and Trump’s rise to the nomination, but said the Republican candidate’s reaction showed he was not fit to occupy the White House.

“Hillary Clinton looks at this through the lens of how it’s going to affect middle-class families, Donald Trump through the lens of how it will help his bottom line,” Mook said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In a national television ad released on Sunday, the Clinton campaign featured the wealthy real estate developer’s comments on Friday that the fall of the British currency after the Brexit vote could mean more business for his golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, where he was speaking.

“Every president is tested by world events, but Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them,” said the 30-second ad.

Paul Manafort, campaign chairman for Trump, rejected the Clinton charge and said Trump was more in sync with the global economic frustration exemplified by the Brexit vote. In contrast, the Clinton ad showed her campaign’s “tone deafness” by focusing on things the American people did not care about, he said.

“The American people care about what is going to happen to their lives, about change. And the issues of Brexit, this kind of phony ad, doesn’t address those things,” Manafort said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


Global stock markets nosedived on Friday and economic experts warned of a potential global recession after the shocking British vote to pull out of the European Union. As the terms of the exit became mired in turmoil over the weekend, markets prepared for the possibility of more pain on Monday.

The unexpected outcome quickly reverberated through the Nov. 8 race for the White House on Friday. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, called Brexit a model for his insurgent campaign, while Clinton, his likely Democratic rival, said the uncertainty underscores the need for “calm, steady, experienced leadership.”

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Brexit vote highlighted global anxieties about economic stagnation and immigration.

“The genius of what’s happened with the candidacy of Donald Trump is he’s given voice to that, just as was given in the UK,” Corker, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick for Trump, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

He said he thought Trump’s appearance at his golf course in Scotland after the Brexit vote “was one of his best events” and his comments about the British currency and what it would mean for his businesses were just “an anecdotal statement” about its effects.

“He was giving an example, which is obvious, that when the currency fluctuates, as it does, more Americans are going to be able to travel to the U.K. more cheaply,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said the Brexit vote showed people were tired of being dictated to by “unelected bureaucrats in Brussels,” and said there were parallels in the United States.

“You see the same thing here. We have had a regulatory rampage over the last six years. A lot of the people the president has put on these boards and commissions in his government are pursuing policies that we haven’t passed in Congress,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who built his White House campaign against Clinton around populist proposals to eradicate income inequality, remove big money from politics and rein in Wall Street, said the Brexit vote encapsulated many of those concerns.

“What ordinary people are saying is ‘hey, give us an economy that works for all of us, not just the people on top,’ and I think that is to a significant degree what this Brexit vote was about,” Sanders said on CNN.

(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan and Julia Harte; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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Combative Trump says he raised $5.6 million for vets, bashes media | Reuters

NEW YORK Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday detailed $5.6 million in contributions he raised for military veterans, and sharply criticized the news media for questioning him for months about what happened to the money.

At a combative news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the billionaire accused the media of failing to give him credit for raising the funds at an event in January in Iowa.

“The press should be ashamed of themselves,” he told reporters gathered before him. “You make me look very bad. I’ve never received such bad publicity for doing a good job.”

He called an ABC News reporter at the event, Tom Llamas, “a sleaze” and described Jim Acosta of CNN as “a real beauty.”

Trump’s tirade flew in the face of the hopes of some Republican leaders who want him to tone down his rhetoric and become more magnanimous now that he has sealed the Republican presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election.

Trump, whose bellicose language has been a trademark of an insurgent candidacy that has upended the Republican Party, has shown no signs of doing so.

While Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with the media, the donations to veterans touched a raw nerve with him. Reporters have been persistently questioning whether he in fact raised all the money he said he had in January and why it had taken so long to hand donations over to veterans groups.

The Washington Post said Trump only handed over a personal donation of $1 million last week — four months after announcing it — once the newspaper started asking questions about the money.

Trump said the coverage of his veterans group donations had been close to libelous. Asked whether he would keep his adversarial stance with reporters if elected president, Trump said: “Yeah, it’s going to be like this.”

A reporter told Trump he seemed resistant to the kind of scrutiny that comes with the office of U.S. president.

But Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the news media should stop fretting about how Trump treats them.

“My advice to the press: Stop interviewing yourselves about Trump’s attack on the press. Don’t worry about it. Just do your jobs and be fair,” he said.


The campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton sought to take advantage of Trump’s discomfort by holding a conference call with reporters to accuse him of hypocrisy over veterans’ issues.

John Douglass, a retired Air Force general and Clinton backer, raised Trump’s disparagement a year ago of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a war veteran. Trump had said McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, was not a hero because he got captured.

“For him to disparage that service is despicable and disgraceful,” Douglass said.

Clinton leads Trump by 11 percentage points in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. According to the May 27-31 survey of likely voters, 46 percent support the former U.S. secretary of state while 35 percent back Trump.

California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday endorsed Clinton for the Democratic nomination, saying it was the only way to “stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump.”

The New York real estate mogul in Tuesday also bristled at the possibility that Republicans opposed to him might run a third-party candidate as an alternative to Trump or the expected Democratic nominee Clinton.

He said a leader of that effort, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, “looks like such a fool.”

“Let me tell you these people are losers,” said Trump, adding that a third-party candidacy would guarantee Clinton wins the White House and deny Republicans the chance to put conservatives on the Supreme Court.

“What you’re going to do is lose the election for the Republicans and therefore you lose the Supreme Court,” he said.

Trump read out a list of veterans’ organizations that had received money from the January event, which he attended instead of participating in a Fox News-sponsored candidates’ debate. He said the money was benefiting 41 groups and that the total of cash raised could climb as more comes in.

He turned the microphone over briefly to Al Baldasaro, a Trump supporter and a veteran from New Hampshire who also skewered the news media, saying reporters should “get your head out of your butt, focus on the real issues.”

(Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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dna Morning Must Reads: Uttarakhand floor test; Saina Nehwal on Rio 2016; Salman Khan on godfathers; and more

1. Uttarakhand floor test: Harish Rawat may have the last laugh; SC to declare result todayIt looks like Advantage Congress in Uttarakhand. After the Supreme Court (SC)-monitored crucial floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly, the exultation expressed by Congress members and despair on BJP faces said it all. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Delhi University authenticates PM Modi’s degree, leaves AAP confused, angryUniversity’s registrar Tarun Das said that they checked the records and the degree is authenticated. Read more here3. IAS topper from Delhi wants to bring gender equality to Haryana”I have been preparing for a long time. When I was in the eleventh standard, I decided I wanted to crack the civics,” says the 22-year-old. She speaks of her dedication, and of the focus she cultivated over the years. Read more here4. US Elections 2016: Hillary Clinton loses to Bernie Sanders in coal state of West VirginiaAs Clinton closes in on the nomination, Sanders is still attracting thousands to rallies and his campaign has grown harder. Read more here5. Old world charm fades as Darjeeling tea heads to e-auctionDarjeeling tea, whose first pluck often fetches over Rs 1 lakh/kg, is joining its lesser value brethren into the staid world of e-auctions that offer better price discovery, but no personal touch of bidding while savouring a hot cuppa. Read more here6. Rio 2016: Saina Nehwal confident of India’s chancesSaina Nehwal says India sending largest ever badminton contingent to Rio shows fast increase in graph of sport in country. Read more here7. Humara kaun sa godfather tha, yaar? asks Salman KhanWith Salman Khan, it’s direct dil se. There’s no façade or mask to peel away. That’s probably why his honesty sometimes puts him in controversial spots. Read more here

dna Morning Must Reads: West Bengal elections phase 6; TATA group doubles published patents; IPL 2016; and more

1. West Bengal Elections 2016 Phase 6: Tight security to ensure peaceful last phase of polling, 25 constituencies in fray25 seats are in fray. Thousands of security personnel have been stationed in East Midnapore and CoochBehar districts which are polling today. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Collegium recommends four names for Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court Collegium has recommended elevation of three High Court Chief Justices and a senior lawyer to the apex court, the first since a new law on appointment of judges to higher judiciary was struck down by the top court. Read more here3. Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump a ‘loose cannon,’ risky choice for presidentUS Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton took quick aim at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying the United States should not take a risk on an unreliable candidate. Read more here4. Tata Group’s published patents double to 7,000 in two yearsTata group on Wednesday said it has doubled its published patents in two years to about 7,000 at the end of 2015. Read more here5. Google hints at cyborg eye implant in the pipelineGoogle has filed a patent for a vision-correcting electronic device that would see the human eye’s natural lens replaced with an electronic lens implant. Read more here6. IPL 2016: Can Dhoni’s Pune Supergiants upset Delhi DaredevilsEver since Rahul Dravid has taken over the role of a mentor in the Delhi Daredevils, the fortunes have reversed for a team which was getting used of lying low on tables for last couple of years. Read more here

Bangladesh Hindu tailor hacked to death in attack claimed by Islamic State | Reuters

DHAKA Three assailants sped up to a Bangladeshi tailor’s shop by motorcycle on Saturday, dragged out the Hindu owner and hacked him to death, police said, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Police official Abdul Jalil, quoting witnesses, said the attackers fled the scene after killing 50-year-old Nikhil Chandra Joardar outside his shop in the town of Tangail, 80 km (50 miles) northwest of the capital Dhaka.

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the killing, saying the tailor had blasphemed Prophet Mohammad, the U.S.-based monitoring service SITE said.

The attack came days after a Bangladeshi gay rights campaigner and his friend were killed in a similar manner in a Dhaka apartment.

Islamist militants have targeted atheist bloggers, academics, religious minorities and foreign aid workers in a series of killings that dates back to February 2015 and has claimed at least 20 lives.

International human rights groups say a climate of intolerance in Bangladeshi politics has both motivated and provided cover for perpetrators of crimes of religious hatred.

Police said they were investigating whether Joardar’s killing was connected to a complaint made against him for making a derogatory comment about Prophet Mohammad.

He was in jail for a few weeks in 2012 but released after the complaint against him was withdrawn, said Jalil.

The Islamic State and a group affiliated to al Qaeda have issued similar claims of responsibility in the past, but the authenticity of Saturday’s statement could not be immediately verified.

Three people, including a local Islamist party leader, have been picked up for questioning, police said on Sunday.

The Bangladeshi government has denied that Islamic State or al Qaeda have a presence in the country of 160 million people. Police say home-grown militants groups are behind the attacks.

Western security experts doubt that there are any direct operational links between Islamic State, based in the Middle East, and militants operating on the ground in Bangladesh.

But they do say that claims and statements of support for militant attacks through their propaganda channels allows them to create the impression of being in league together.

Human rights activists have urged mainstream politicians in Bangladesh to abandon sectarian hostilities that date back to the 1971 war of independence, and to engage in a constructive dialogue that would deprive Islamist extremists of cover for their attacks.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

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dna Morning Must Reads: From roll back on tighter rules for EPF withdrawal to big wins for Trump and Clinton in NY primaries

1. After protests, full provident fund withdrawal permitted under certain conditionsThe Modi government has done it again. After notifying tighter rules for employee provident fund (EPF) withdrawal, it backed off and cancelled it on Tuesday following a fierce backlash from trade unions and violent protests in Bengaluru. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Senior US lawmakers want PM Modi to address US CongressPrime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the US on June 7 and 8, a bipartisan group of four top American lawmakers said on Tuesday and asked the Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan to invite him for a joint meeting of the Congress. Read more here3. In a U-turn Modi government promises to make all efforts to bring back Kohinoor diamondIn a surprise about-turn late on Tuesday, the NDA government at the Centre issued a statement saying that it “would make all possible efforts to bring back the Kohinoor diamond”. Read more here4. Priyanka Chopra may be Incredible India’s sole brand ambassadorPriyanka Chopra is on a roll – it’s been just a week since she got the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian award, and now, from what sources say, she’s all set to become the sole brand ambassador for ‘Incredible India’. Read more here5. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton win big in New York, move closer to US Presidential nominationRepublican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton easily won New York state’s presidential nominating contest on Tuesday. Read more here6. Not keen to repeat mistakes of last season: Sarfaraz KhanSarfaraz on song is a delight to watch. His unorthodox style of batting mixed with authentic strokes can even put to shade the destructive batsmen higher up the order. And, RCB have quite a handful up in their ranks. Read more here

Sanders wins Wyoming, prepares to take on Clinton in New York | Reuters

WASHINGTON – Bernie Sanders won the U.S. presidential Democratic nominating contest in Wyoming on Saturday, besting rival Hillary Clinton and adding to a string of recent victories as the two candidates gear up for a crucial matchup in New York.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, has won seven out of the last eight state-level Democratic nominating contests, trying to chip away at Clinton’s big lead in the number of delegates needed to secure the party’s nomination.

Wyoming’s 14 Democratic delegates – fewer than any other state – are awarded proportionally based on support from individuals participating in the nominating contest.

Early estimates showed that while Sanders won the contest, both he and Clinton would likely receive seven delegates each in the close race, maintaining Clinton’s lead overall.

Going into Wyoming, Clinton had more than half of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination. Sanders trailed her by 250 pledged delegates, those awarded based on the results of the state nominating contests.

Clinton’s lead widens when superdelegates, Democratic leaders who can decide whom to support at the party’s July convention, are included in the tallies.

Clinton and Sanders both spent Saturday campaigning in New York, which holds its contest on April 19 and where a total of 291 delegates are up for grabs, more than 10 percent of the tally needed to win the party’s nomination.

Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, went onstage where he was speaking at a community college in Queens, a borough of New York City, to alert him to Saturday’s victory.

“News bulletin – we just won Wyoming!” Sanders said to cheers.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Sanders said he believed he had enough momentum to secure the nomination.

“We are closing very fast,” Sanders said.

Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, campaigned in the nearby borough of Brooklyn, where her campaign is based.

Clinton represented New York as a U.S. senator and considers the state her home turf. Recent polls have shown Clinton more than 10 points ahead in the state.

Tension between the two candidates flared earlier this week in a party race that has typically focused on policies and not personal attacks. The candidates dialed back their criticism of one another on Friday.

In Wyoming’s Republican contest last month, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas beat New York billionaire Donald Trump, the party’s front-runner. Cruz is trying to block Trump from receiving enough delegates to win the nomination outright, which would lead to a contested convention in July.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that a third of Trump’s Republican supporters could consider abandoning the party’s candidate if Trump is denied the nomination at a contested convention.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Leslie Adler, Matthew Lewis and Bill Rigby)

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Race to White House: Trump, Clinton consolidate lead as rivals Cruz, Sander pose tough challenge

Baton Rouge: Republican Ted Cruz posted two crucial wins over front-runner Donald Trump who also triumphed in two states in Sunday’s multi-state vote while in the Democratic camp Bernie Sanders clawed his way back into the presidential contest with two victories over Hillary Clinton.

Clinton was jolted by Sanders in Kansas and Nebraska but the former secretary of state bounced back to easily win Louisiana, seen as the weekend’s big prize.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in file photos. AFPDonald Trump and Hillary Clinton in file photos. AFP

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in file photos. AFP

In the Republican camp, Texas Senator Cruz scored decisive wins in the Kansas and Maine caucuses, demonstrating his enduring appeal among conservatives as he tried to reel Trump’s significant lead in the Republican presidential race.

Trump, 69, contained Cruz’s advances by winning in Louisiana and Kentucky.

But the Texas senator’s wins were sure to energise the anti-Trump forces who are desperately trying to stop Trump’s march to the nomination, and they left little doubt that Cruz, who has now captured six states, is their best hope.

However, with Sunday’s result Trump and Clinton consolidated their lead in the race to the White House even as their rivals gave them a tough time by winning some key states in the multi-state ‘Super Saturday’ primaries.

Trump registered an impressive win in Louisiana, the home State of Indian-American Bobby Jindal, and had a narrow win in Kentucky over Cruz.

68-year-old Clinton, who seems set to be the first woman presidential nominee of a major political party, had a landslide win in Louisiana. But she lost to Senator Sanders in Kansas and Nebraska.

Senator Marco Rubio performed very poorly in all the four Republican primary states following which Trump asked him to drop out of the race.

“I have been in competition all of my life. There is nothing as exciting as this,” Trump said and asked Rubio to drop out of the race following his poor performance.

“I would love to take on Ted (Cruz) one-o-one. I will win Ted one-o-one,” Trump told reporters at a news conference in Palm Beach in Florida.

“Marco has to get out of the race,” he said.

Trump also warned that the party establishment planning to have a third party run would be handing over the White House to the Democratic Party in a platter.

However, Cruz asserted that he is the only one who can defeat Trump and urged other candidates to drop out of the race.

“The scream you hear, the howl that comes from Washington D C, is utter terror at what we the people are doing together.

We saw on Tuesday, the Super Tuesday results that were extraordinary. And today on Super Saturday, we seem to be seeing a continuation of that very same pattern,” Cruz told supporters at a rally in Idaho.

“What we’re seeing is conservatives coming together,” said Cruz who so far has won seven states to Trump’s twelve.


dna Morning Must Reads: From Sachin Tendulkar celebrating India’s win to shocking mass murder in Maharashtra

1. Let’s go all the way!!!: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar celebrates India’s win over PakistanWith India clinching a five-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in a low-scoring Asia Cup thriller, Indian fans on Saturday took to the streets to express their joy and exhilaration. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Maharashtra: Man kills 14 members of his family, takes his own life in ThaneThe incident took place in Warekar family at Kasarvadavali in Thane district of Maharashtra. Read more here3. Time has come to audit government’s performance, says Chief Justice TS ThakurChief Justice of India T S Thakur was on Saturday critical of the government for the delay in law enforcement and appointment of high court judges, saying the time has come to audit its performance by some process. Read more here4. Hillary Clinton wins big in South Carolina primary on way to ‘Super Tuesday’US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton crushed rival Bernie Sanders at the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Read more here5. I never imagined a career past 40: Meryl StreepActress Meryl Streep, appointed 2016 International Jury President at the recently-concluded Berlin International Film Festival, was the cynosure of all eyes in the German capital. Read more here

dna afternoon must reads: From PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to India v/s Australia 3rd T20 match preview

1. Opportunities in Start Up India are endless, says PM Modi on ‘Mann Ki Baat’Sharing his thoughts with the nation through the 16th edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme on Sunday, PM Modi said that our ‘Start Up India’ dispelled the notion that they are only about IT. Opportunities are endless. Read more here<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton hold narrow leads: Final Iowa pollRepublican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have narrow leads over their respective opponents in Iowa, the crucial state which formally kicks off the American presidential elections with the beginning of the primaries. Read more here3. India v/s Australia 3rd T20: Shane Watson to lead Aussies as India look for clean sweepThe hosts are 0-2 down in the 3-match series. India would certainly aim for a clean sweep against the hosts and end the tour of Australia on a high. Read more here4. Smart Cities: PM Modi’s initiative will need over $150 billion in investments, says DeloitteThe Modi government’s vision of creating 100 smart cities will require an investment of over $150 billion over the next few years with the private sector being a significant contributor, says a report. Read more here5. Diversity wins at SAG Awards as Idris Elba, Queen Latifah, OITNB take top honoursActors of colour were the big early winners at Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild awards, as Idris Elba, Queen Latifah and the cast of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black were honoured amid a furor over onscreen diversity that has cast a shadow over Hollywood. Read more here

There is intolerance of criticism, says Vice President Hamid Ansari

“Much too often there is a lack of scientific temper in our daily life. In our family life, we don’t approve of questioning. Most parents don’t like children asking questions. In schools, from nursery to high school, teachers frown upon children raising questions. In colleges and universities, asking questions is often considered ‘cheeky’ and an attempt by students to cast doubt a teacher’s knowledge of the teacher,” Ansari said He said this frame of mind is reflected in our attitude to matters of social custom, inherited tradition and faith.

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