09:07 am Mumbai: (IANS) At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra. In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai. According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday. Early today, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons. In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations. As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city. Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure. Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.
01:07 pm Jammu: (IANS) Thirty three people were killed and 22 injured on Monday in a road accident in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district, an official said. The accident took place at 8.40 a.m. when a mini bus travelling from Keshwan area to Kishtwar town went out of the driver's control and plunged into a gorge near Sirgwari village, said Angrez Singh Rana, Kishtwar District Magistrate . The injured were being airlifted to government medical college hospital in Jammu city for specialized treatment, Rana said. Locals also joined the relief and rescue operations. Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed grief and shock over the accident. "I am deeply pained to learn about this accident. I urge upon the state administration for immediate medical aid to the injured," Azad said. Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma also described the accident as "unfortunate". Overloading, over-speeding and dilapidated road conditions have caused tragic accidents in the hills of Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri and Poonch districts in the past as well. On June 27, 11 students of a private computer training institute were killed in a tragic accident in Pir Ki Gali area of the Mughal Road that connects the Rajouri-Poonch districts in the Jammu division. Following this accident, authorities in Poonch district have banned all excursions by educational institutions unless specifically allowed by the district administration.
01:07 pm Lucknow: (IANS) Bahujan Samaj Party President Mayawati on Monday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government's decision to include 17 Other Backward Castes (OBC) in the Scheduled Caste (SC) list as "unconstitutional and politically motivated". Mayawati said the move will not bring any benefits for OBC groups and Yogi Adityanath had deceived them. "No government can include or remove any caste from the Scheduled Caste list. Article 341 prevents a government from doing so. Only the President and Parliament have the powers to do so," she stated. The BSP President further explained: "Part 1 of Article 341 clearly states that the President can specify any group to the SC list through a public notification on the Governor's advice. Part 2 says that if a notification is released under part 1 of Article 341, it can only be changed by Parliament. Part 2 also states that Parliament can specify, include or exclude any group from the SC list." She pointed out that the notification cannot be undone by any other notification. "These castes will no longer get the benefits of quota under the OBC category. They will be treated as general castes. It is clear that Yogi government has issued this order to deceive these castes," she stated. Mayawati also alleged that the order had been issued keeping in view the upcoming bypolls in the state and appealed to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to immediately withdraw it. She urged the Centre to initiate the constitutional procedure to include these groups in the SC list and demanded an increase in the quota limit for them. "I appeal to the Centre to include these castes in the category and increase SC quota proportionately as per constitutional procedure," she said. In a decision taken on Friday, the Yogi Adityanath government had moved 17 OBCs in the SC list, thus fulfilling a long pending demand of these castes. The OBCs added to the SC list are -- Nishad, Bind, Mallah, Kewat, Kashyap, Bhar, Dhivar, Batham, Machua, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Kahar, Potter, Dhimar, Manjhi, Tuhaha and Gaur. The Chief Minister also directed all district officers to issue caste certificate to the families of those belonging to these castes.
02:06 pm Seoul: (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Sunday became the first sitting American leader to step foot into North Korea after he briefly entered the country before holding a bilateral meeting with Pyongyang's Kim Jong-un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), that divides the two Koreas. Trump, who is on a two-day visit to South Korea, first walked toward the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), which divides the truce village of Panmunjom, also called the Joint Security Area. Then Kim showed up and approached Trump, reports Yonhap News Agency. They shook hands and crossed the line together into the northern side. They posed for photos before walking across it into South Korea. Trump told the media that it was a "great honour to cross that line (DMZ)". This was the first time for leaders of the two nations to hold a meeting at Panmunjom since the Korean War ended with the Armistice Agreement in 1953. Kim, meanwhile, deemed the meeting "as a "historic moment", adding that the crossing reflected his decision to open a new future in Pyongyang-Washington relations. They were later joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The three leaders walked into the Freedom House, a building on the southern side. Kim and Trump were seated together for joint press availability and apparently held closed-door bilateral talks. Following the bilateral talks, Trump told the media that he agreed with Kim to restart talks after nuclear negotiations stalled earlier this year after the two leaders met for a second time in Hanoi, Vietnam. Kim and Trump first came face-to-face during their historic summit last June in Singapore. "We just had a very, very good meeting with Chairman Kim," Trump said after parting with the North Korean leader at the DMZ. Trump added that the teams would begin working and meeting over the next two to three weeks. The American side will be represented by US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun. Trump has also invited Kim to Washington, but it was not immediately clear if the latter has accepted the invitation. If Kim accepts the invitation, it would be the first time a North Korean leader will visit the US. The Trump-Kim meeting was confirmed earlier in the day by South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Presidential Palace here during a joint press conference with his American counterpart, Yonhap reported. Trump arrived at the Presidential Palace after attending a "business leaders' event" on Sunday morning with the heads of some South Korean conglomerates. During his previous visit to South Korea in November 2017, Trump pushed for a DMZ trip with Moon by chopper. But it was cancelled due to bad weather. The US President will return to Washington from Seoul later in the day.
04:06 pm Osaka: (IANS) The members of the G20 bloc on Saturday concluded their two-day Summit here by declaring support for the principles of free trade and economic growth amid global trade-related tensions. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a press conference after the end of the two-day summit that the G20 leaders agreed on the need to boost economic growth and expressed concerns about globalization and the world trade system, reports Efe news. Abe said the 20-member group reaffirmed its support for "the fundamental principles backing a free trade system" and placed special emphasis on achieving open, free and non-discriminatory markets and a level-playing field. Japanese Prime Minister said even though it was difficult to find one solution to so many global challenges at once, the group had managed to show a common will in many areas. The leaders also recognized the clear "downside risks" to the global economy according to Abe, who said the member-countries had agreed to spearhead economic growth and stressed the need to reform the World Trade Organization. The final statement signed by the leaders flags the intensification of geopolitical and trade tensions, but does not include any mention of growing protectionism, in the context of the growing trade tensions between the US, China and other countries. The joint declaration said global growth was stabilizing and was expected to register a small rise later this year and in 2020, adding that the bloc was committed to confronting the risks associated with the tensions and launch more actions if needed. Established in 1999, the G20 is a central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic issues. It comprises 19 countries plus the European Union (EU). The member nations are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the US.
05:06 pm ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways has announced its suspending operations through Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. In a statement, the national airline of the UAE said, "Following the decision yesterday of the US Federal Aviation Administration to restrict US airline operations in Iranian-controlled airspace, Etihad Airways consulted closely with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and other UAE airlines to evaluate the US action." "Etihad Airways has subsequently suspended operations through Iranian airspace over the Straits of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, and will use alternative flight paths on a number of routes to and from Abu Dhabi until further notice," it added. The airline said that these changes will cause delays on some departures from Abu Dhabi, "due to increased congestion in available airspace, and will increase journey times on some routes." The safety of our passengers and staff is the highest priority for Etihad Airways assured, adding that it is "continually engaging with regulatory authorities and conducting our own risk assessments to ensure that our standards are not compromised." Updates on affected flights will be provided on the Etihad Airways website, the statement concluded.
05:06 pm BISHKEK: In a stern message directed at Pakistan at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that countries sponsoring, aiding and supporting terrorism must be held accountable. India stands for a terrorism-free society, he said. Underscoring the aim of the SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, PM Modi called for a global conference to combat it, reports NDTV. Countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against terrorism to fight it, PM Modi said in the presence of his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, NDTV reported. "During my visit to Sri Lanka last Sunday, I visited the St Anthony's church, where I witnessed the ugly face of terrorism which claims the lives of innocents anywhere," he said. PM Modi arrived in the Kyrgyz capital on Thursday for the two-day SCO summit. The SCO is a China-led 8-member economic and security bloc to which India and Pakistan were admitted in 2017, reports NDTV.