Rahul Gandhi lashes out at ‘Suit-Boot Sarkar’ in Lok Sabha

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Rahul GandhiNew Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday launched a frontal attack on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in Lok Sabha by describing it as a ‘Suit-Boot Sarkar’ and accusing it of being ‘pro-corporate and anti-farmer’.

Addressing the Lok Sabha on the first day of the reconvened Budget session, the Congress vice president said on his return from a two-month sabbatical that the government was “ignoring” the farming community and favouring the industrialists and rich people, which was a “blunder” as the farmers will ‘harm” BJP in future.

Today, The government tabled the controversial land ordinance in the Lok Sabha amid loud protests from the Opposition.

In his speech, Gandhi said “The acche din government has failed the country” on the issue of farmers, he said while participating in a short duration discussion on ‘The agrarian situation in the country’.“Yours is a government of big people, of the rich. Yours is a Suit-Boot Sarkar,” said Congress Vice President in Lok Sabha.

Gandhi said: “The ‘Acche Din’ government, they call themselves, has failed the country.”
Attacking the government, Rahul Gandhi said, “On one hand you are weakening the farmer. Then, when he is weak you will strike him down with the axe of your Land Ordinance.”

“The farmers are India’s backbone. The farmers gave us Green Revolution, because he was provided with the idea of MSP,”said Gandhi. “Everything has been built on the foundations laid down by India’s farmers,”he added.

Congress Vice President said, “You are making a big mistake by hurting the farmers and the poor. They are the most powerful, and not the big businessmen in their fancy cars.”
“The PM understands political calculations. 67% of the population depends on Agriculture…Why is he angering this vast chunk?”, Gandhi asked.

Four UNICEF staff members killed in terrorist attack in Somalia

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somaliaNairobi, Kenya: Four UNICEF staff members have reportedly been killed in an attack on a vehicle in which they were riding in Garowe, Somalia. Four other UNICEF colleagues are reportedly in a serious condition and the casualty figure is likely to rise.

The IED (improvised explosive device) attack occurred when the staff were travelling from their guest house to the office, normally a three minute drive.

UNICEF said in a statement that injured are being airlifted and families of the staff are being contacted.

The UNICEF personnel were an integral part of UNICEF’s work in Somalia, dedicated to improving the lives of others.

PEB scam: STF to quiz former bureaucrat now a member of Central Administrative Tribunal

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pebBhopal: Latest reports relating to the massive Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam indicate that a team of Special Task Force of State Police would be going to Hyderabad to question Ranjana Chowdhary, retired IAS officer borne on the Madhya Pradesh cadre. She earlier headed the PEB and is now Member (A) at the Hyderabad bench of Central Administrative Tribunal.

Former examination controller of Madhya Pradesh professional Examination Board (PEB) Pankaj Trivedi, who is a principal accused in the massive PEB scam, had given a statement to the STF more than a year ago alleging that from the money collected from students to guarantee their selection, he had given Rs. 42 lakh to a senior IAS officer earlier heading the Board.

After taking cognizance of a series of frauds linked with PEB involved in milk federation, police and contractual teacher recruitments and the conduct of PMT examination, the STF had registered nine separate FIRS against several senior PEB officers and former Madhya Pradesh Higher Education minister Laxmikant Sharma and all of them are now in jail.

Pankaj Trivedi’s statement forms part of the 700 page challan put up in a court here on January 22, 2014. Trivedi had told the STF that he had received Rs. 75 lakh from Nitin Mahindra, who was the PEB computer section in-charge. From this amount, he had given Rs. 42 lakh to Ms. Ranjana Chowdhary, who was chairperson of PEB for more than two years between February 2010 and June 2012. About the remaining amount he told STF that it was handed over to his wife.

When the deputy superintendent of Police (STF) D.S. Baghel was contacted (January 2014), he had said: “it beats imagination why the accused would give such a huge amount to a senior IAS officer a month after she had left the Board.“ At the same time, he also said that Ms. Chowdhary will be interrogated regarding the examinations conducted during her tenure as PEB chairperson. Ms. Chowdhary did not come online when attempts were made to contact her over phone at that stage.

Ms. Choudhary’s backgrounder on the CAT website proclaims that as chairperson of state PEB, she introduced fair, transparent and non-exploitative system of conduct of examinations and initiative had been taken by the Board to cover recruitment to Cass-III and IV posts which comprise more than 70 per cent of the total manpower. In 2012, thirty-one recruitment examinations were conducted in which 35 lakh candidates appeared for about one lakh vacancies and this was an all time high. She has further empasised that all these examinations were conducted smoothly and no untoward incident was reported.

The main opposition Congress has made the PEB scam a major issue against the State BJP Government.

Australia Today: 5 arrested in Joint Counter Terrorism raids in Melbourne

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Sevdet Besim charged for an alleged terrorist plot
Sevdet Besim charged for an alleged terrorist plot

Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police jointly undertook a major Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team operation during the early hours of April 18.

Operation Rising has resulted in the execution of seven search warrants in the South Eastern Metropolitan area, in the suburbs of Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Hallam and Eumemmerring.

Five men have been arrested during the operation.

An 18-year-old Hallam man has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts done in preparation for, or planning, terrorist acts under section 101.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.

The 18-year-old fronted Melbourne Magistrates’ Court  this past Saturday where he was remanded in custody to reappear on Friday.

An 18-year-old Narre Warren man has been released and is expected to be charged on summons with prohibited weapons offences. The two other Narre Warren men, aged 18 and 19, have been released pending further enquiries.

An 18-year-old Hampton Park man currently remains in custody.

Operation Rising has resulted in the execution of seven search warrants in the South Eastern Metropolitan area, in the suburbs of Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Hallam and Eumemmerring early morning last Saturday.

Victoria has well tested, cooperative, counter terrorism and emergency management plans in place and constantly monitor and assess our preparedness to respond to a range of emergencies.

The Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team maintains strong links with the intelligence and other agencies that give the best possible understanding of emergency issues.


 Australian Government enforces ban on supertrawlers​

Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, described the Labor/Green opposition to commercial fishing in the Small Pelagic Fishery as a thinly veiled attack on the entire Australian fishing industry.

“The latest science clearly shows the Small Pelagic Fishery can be fished sustainably, but Labor and the Greens appear hell-bent on destroying the fishing industry in Australia and will say absolutely anything in the process,” Senator Colbeck said.

“During the previous debate Labor and the Greens defined supertrawlers as vessels more than 130 metres in length.”

“The Coalition has accepted their definition of a supertrawler and we have enforced a permanent ban on vessels more than 130 metres from fishing in Australian waters. This regulation takes effect this week.”


Additional mosquito measures brought to Brisbane

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said following the introduction of increased biosecurity measures at Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne international airports in February this year and in response to exotic mosquito detections at those airports, the two detections of exotic mosquitoes at Brisbane international airport recently mean we will now apply the measures that have been successfully applied at the other airports. . Australia’s enviable biosecurity status is of critical importance to our human, animal and plant health and increasing measures where risks increase is the foundation of our successful risk-based biosecurity system.

Department of Defence to sell land in the Adelaide Hills

The Department of Defence will sell the former married quarter precinct known as Inverbrackie’, next to Woodside Barracks in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester, said Defence had assessed the future use of Inverbrackie and determined that it was no longer required for Defence purposes. Defence intends to sell the property on the open market, with advertising to occur once pre sale due diligence activities are complete.