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Expelled By Herd, Jharkhand Elephant Kills 16 Villagers In 2 Months


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The elephant has managed to outwit officials with his sheer speed and unpredictability (Representational)

New Delhi: A rogue elephant has killed at least 16 villagers in the past two months in Jharkhand after likely being expelled from his herd “for bad behaviour”, a wildlife official said on Thursday.

The mature male, believed to be 15 or 16 years old, has been on the rampage in the state’s tribal Santhal Pargana region ever since he was separated from the herd of 22 elephants.

“It’s likely he was in heat and was expelled because of his bad behaviour or sexual rivalry with other males,” Satish Chandra Rai, regional divisional forest officer, told AFP.

“We are studying his behaviour and a team of 20 officials is constantly trying to track him because our first priority is to protect the animal.”

The elephant, which is now on its way back seeking to reunite with the herd, has managed to outwit officials with his sheer speed and unpredictability.

On Tuesday, the tusker lifted an elderly couple with his trunk and killed them when they had ventured out before dawn.

Mr Rai said the elephant was only killing people who accidently got in its way, got too close, or who tried to provoke it and take pictures.

“He has not been breaking into houses or deliberately attacking people,” Mr Rai said.

“We want to see if he is accepted back in the herd. If he is not it will be proved he is a bad boy.”

India has an estimated 30,000 wild Asian elephants — nearly 60 per cent of the total wild population.

In recent years there have been rising incidents of elephants killed by locals — and vice-versa — as humans encroach further into forest areas.



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Vladimir Putin “Supporter” Of Increased EU-Russia Dialogue: Kremlin


President Vladimir Putin is a “supporter” of talks between European Union and Russia, Kremlin said.

Moscow: President Vladimir Putin is a “supporter” of a proposal from Germany and France for the EU to restart summits with Russia, the Kremlin said Thursday.

“We assess the initiative positively,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Putin is a supporter of creating mechanisms for dialogue and contacts between Brussels and Moscow.”

Peskov was responding to a question about a proposal by Berlin and Paris for the 27-member bloc to contemplate a potential summit with the Kremlin chief.

Many EU member states are resistant to the idea and Ukraine’s foreign minister blasted the proposal earlier Thursday ahead of a debate on the issue by the European Union’s leaders.

Ties between the bloc and Russia have deteriorated since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.

The last summit between EU chiefs in Brussels and Putin took place in early 2014.

Brussels has imposed waves of sanctions on Moscow, which has responded with its own counter-measures.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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On Plea Challenging new IT rules, Madras High Court Says No Action Now


The petition challenged the new IT rules, contending they will be used to take coercive action.

Chennai: No action will be taken for now regarding portions of the new IT rules, the Madras High Court said today  in response to a petition challenging it by the Digital News Publishers Association. The court, however, said the petitioner can approach it in case the government takes action against them under the new rules.

The petition had challenged the new rules, contending that they would be used to take coercive action against media houses.

No action has been initiated against petitioners as of now under rules 12, 14 and 16 of the new IT Act, the court said, refusing to pass any interim order.

The new rules mandate compliance with “code of ethics and procedure and safeguards in relation to digital media”.

Rules 13 – 15  gives the government powers to decide on complaints by any consumer and take action against such publishers which they are concerned should lie with judiciary and not the executive as there could be misuse.

Rule 16 also confers emergency powers to even pass interim orders blocking any content published by a publisher without providing an opportunity for hearing.

“No omnibus order is made at this stage,” said Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, and asked the Union Government to file a response within two weeks.

In the petition, the Digital News Publishers Association had expressed concern that the new rules could suppress freedom of expression, independence of news and violate equality guaranteed by the Article 14 of the Constitution.

The intention of the IT Act 2000 was to provide legal recognition to electronic communication and documents, the petition said. The amendments made to the law cannot enlarge its scope under any circumstance.

Media outlets have also expressed concern about the government’s move to categorise print media that made the same content available on a digital platform under the new rules.

This, they said, doesn’t recognise the series of legislations, codes, rules, bodies and regulations put in place to regulate the content published by legacy media houses.

The court also tagged a similar petition filed by well-known Carnatic vocalist T M Krishna.



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India vs New Zealand, WTC Final: Ravi Shastri Congratulates New Zealand On WTC Title Win | Cricket News


New Zealand captain Kane Williamson holds up the Test Mace after winning the WTC final.© AFP





Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday congratulated New Zealand after they beat the Virat Kohli-led side in the final of the World Test Championship to win the title. New Zealand beat India by eight wickets in the marquee clash in Southampton, with the match going into the Reserve Day after rain wiped out two days of play.  The former India all-rounder said New Zealand were the “better team in the conditions” and deserving winners. “Better team won in the conditions. Deserved winners after the longest wait for a World Title,” Ravi Shastri tweeted.

“Classic example of Big things don’t come easy. Well played, New Zealand. Respect,” he added.

New Zealand’s pace attack was too good for India to handle as they were bundled out for 170 in their second innings, setting New Zealand a target of 139 to win on Wednesday.

Despite Ravichandran Ashwin picking up two quick wickets to remove the New Zealand openers, captain Kane Williamson along with veteran batsman Ross Taylor saw the Kiwis coast to victory.

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Williamson, who fell for 49 in New Zealand’s first innings, brought up his half-century in the second innings to cap off a brilliant display with the bat.

Kyle Jamieson, who picked up a five-wicket haul in India’s first innings and got the key scalps of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in the second, was named player-of-the-match.

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Veteran Filmmaker And Photographer Sivan Dies At 89


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An old photo of Sivan. (Image courtesy: sangeethsivan )

Highlights

  • Sivan directed ‘Abhayam’ in 1991
  • It bagged the National Film Award for the Best Children’s film
  • Sivan was the still photographer of 1965 Malayalam movie Chemmeen

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran still photographer and filmmaker Sivan died on Thursday, family sources said, reported news agency PTI. He was 89. Noted filmmakers Sangeeth Sivan, Santhosh Sivan and Sanjeev Sivan are his sons. “It’s with great sadness that I share with you all the tragic news that my father, Mr Sivan, breathed his last today,” Sangeeth Sivan, his son and noted film director, posted on Facebook. Sivan was the first press photographer in Kerala. He was also the still photographer of the classic Malayalam movie Chemmeen which was released in 1965. Sivan directed Abhayam in 1991, which bagged the National Film Award for the Best Children’s film. Abhayam, Yagam, Mohangal, Kilivaathil, Keshu, Oru Yathra are among his notable works.

“He was our inspiration and role model. What he accomplished was achieved through hard work, dedication, discipline and foresight. Am sure he would continue to guide us on our onward journey. Forever indebted and will always be in our hearts. Love you Dad for everything and I’m sure you will be watching over us from your place among the clouds and stars. Om Shanthi,” Sangeeth Sivan posted on Facebook.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, Assembly Speaker MB Rajesh and other politicians condoled the death of Sivan. “Sivan was well-known in the movie industry especially for his cinematography skills. His ‘Sivan studio’ at Thiruvananthapuram was a popular gathering spot for many prominent cultural icons,” Vijayan said in his condolence message.

Speaker Rajesh condoled Sivan’s death and said he was quite active in the cultural sphere of the state capital. “As the first press photographer in Thiruvananthapuram, he captured many historic moments,” Rajesh said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Reliance To Build 4 Giga Factories, Invest Rs 75,000 Crore In Clean Energy: Mukesh Ambani


Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity, Mukesh Ambani said.

Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Thursday announced a Rs 75,000 crore investment in setting up four “Giga” factories to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells over the next three years.

Addressing the company’s annual shareholder meeting, he said Reliance will set up 100 GW of solar power generating capacity.

“We plan to build four Giga Factories to manufacture and integrate all critical components of new energy ecosystem – solar photovoltaic module factory, energy storage battery factory, electrolyser factory, fuel cell factory,” Ambani said.

These four factories will involve an investment of Rs 60,000 crore.

“We will invest an additional Rs 15,000 crore in the value chain, partnerships and future technologies, including upstream and downstream industries. Thus, our overall investment in the new energy business will be Rs 75,000 crore in 3 years,” he said.

Last year, he had announced a 15-year commitment to become net carbon zero by 2035.

“The age of fossil fuels, which powered economic growth globally for nearly three centuries, cannot continue much longer,” he said.

“In 2016, we launched Jio with the aim of bridging the Digital Divide in India. Now, in 2021, we are launching our new energy business with the aim of bridging the green energy divide in India and globally.



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Sanitisation, Head Shave For BJP Recruits Rushing Back To Trinamool


BJP workers switching back to the Trinamool were sprayed with sanitiser in Bengal’s Birbhum.

Kolkata: From having to shave their heads to being doused in sanitiser, it’s a literal walk of shame for BJP workers in West Bengal who are trying to switch back to their old party Trinamool Congress following the state election results in May.

While the ride back was smoother for the likes of Mukul Roy, a top Trinamool lieutenant who switched to the BJP before the 2019 general elections, it’s an entirely different experience for many of the party’s foot soldiers.

Those being accepted back in have been seen undergoing egregious tests of loyalty and prostrating to please the powers that be.

Recently, six BJP workers shaved off their hair when they swapped party flags in Hooghly.

The move drew condemnation from BJP Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, who managed to secure a seat back in the upper house of parliament after an unsuccessful run in the state elections.

The public humiliation was reminiscent of 1960’s China, he said.

Today, in the Birhum district, 150 BJP workers were thoroughly sprayed with sanitiser before being handed the Trinamool flag.

The local party leader who organised the switchover event said he “wanted to sanitise the BJP bug out of these people”.

After boldly declaring that it would win more than 200 of West Bengal’s 294 constituencies, the BJP was constricted to less than 80 seats in the March-April elections by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.

Since then, several Trinamool defectors have expressed their interest in returning to Mamata Banerjee’s team, besides Mukul Roy.

Though the Trinamool has been slow and selective in letting the turncoats back in, at Mr Roy’s homecoming ceremony, Mamata Banerjee, somewhat cryptically said, “More will come.”

The Trinamool, sources have said, is eager to “strike while the iron is hot” and break a chunk off the BJP, preferably a bigger one than the section that left the Trinamool before the election.





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Google And Jio Unveil Budget Phone “Built For India”


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The phone will deliver translation features, a voice assistant and a great camera.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries Ltd. unveiled the much-awaited JioPhone Next co-developed with Alphabet Inc.’s Google, a handset designed to target India’s hundreds of millions of first-time smartphone users.

“An ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential,” Mr Ambani told shareholders at Reliance’s annual general meeting on Thursday, outlining the capabilities of the device that will run a re-engineered version of the Android operating system. Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai joined remotely to say that the JioPhone was “built for India” and would deliver translation features, a voice assistant and a great camera.

Neither company leader disclosed a price for the handset, which will debut in the market on September 10, ahead of the country’s peak shopping and gifting season. Both indicated plans to achieve a breakthrough price.

Jio is India’s leading telecom operator with over 423 million users of voice and data services. The new 4G-capable device will try to entice users of basic phones, those “trapped in the 2G era,” in Mr Ambani’s words, to make the transition to more advanced hardware. For Google, it marks another effort toward making Android friendlier to more frugal devices and thus accessible to a wider audience of potential users of its services.

Google Cloud technologies will form the basis for Jio’s upcoming 5G wireless solutions as well as serving the internal needs of online services such as Reliance Retail and JioMart, Mr Ambani said.

Engineers from the two companies worked for more than nine months to co-develop the JioNext hardware specifications in sync with a modified version of Android that would maintain a high-end experience without recourse to expensive components. The launch comes nearly a year after Google agreed to buy a $4.5 billion stake in Jio Platforms Ltd., the digital arm of Reliance Industries.

Global tech leaders like Google and Facebook Inc. have jumped on the Reliance bandwagon as they look for ways to grab a slice of the Indian market where an estimated 300 million first-time smartphone users are expected to start accessing the internet by 2025, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

Asia’s richest man, pursuing his own large-scale project of turning an oil-and-petrochemicals giant into a homegrown tech leader, presented the new device even as the plans to sell hundreds of millions of the Google-powered smartphone faced supply chain headwinds.

Standing in the way of the Google-Jio alliance will be China’s fast-rising coterie of leading smartphone makers. Xiaomi Corp., Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus have already established their brands, credentials and some manufacturing facilities in India, with their domestic approach of high specs at low prices resonating well with the Indian consumer.



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72-Year-Old UK Man Tested Covid Positive For 10 Straight Months


Daev Smith had a history of lung disease and had recently recovered from leukaemia. (Representational)

London: A 72-year-old British man tested positive for coronavirus for 10 months in what is thought to be the longest recorded case of continuous infection, researchers said on Thursday.

Dave Smith, a retired driving instructor from Bristol in western England, said he tested positive 43 times, was hospitalised seven times and had made plans for his funeral.

“I’d resigned myself, I’d called the family in, made my peace with everybody, said goodbye,”, he told BBC television.

His wife, Linda, who quarantined with him at home, said: “There was a lot of times when we didn’t think he was going to pull through. It’s been a hell of a year”.

Ed Moran, a consultant in infectious diseases at the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust, said Smith “had active virus in his body” throughout.

“We were able to prove that by sending a sample of his virus to university partners who managed to grow it, proving that it was not just left-over products that were triggering a PCR test but actually active, viable virus.”

Smith recovered after treatment with a cocktail of synthetic antibodies developed by the US biotech firm Regeneron.

This was allowed on compassionate grounds in his case but the treatment regime is not clinically approved for use in Britain.

Results of a clinical trial published this month showed the treatment reduced deaths among severe Covid patients who are unable to mount a strong immune response.

“It’s like you’ve been given your life back”, Smith told the BBC.

He and his wife cracked open a bottle of champagne when he finally tested negative, 45 days after receiving the Regeneron drug and some 305 days after his first infection.

Smith’s treatment was not part of an official medical trial but his case is now being studied by virologist Andrew Davidson at the University of Bristol.

A paper on his case will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in July, saying that his is thought to be “the longest infection recorded in the literature”.

“Where does the virus hide away in the body? How can it stay just persistently infecting people? We don’t know that,” Davidson said.

Smith had a history of lung disease and had recently recovered from leukaemia when he caught the virus in March 2020.

He told The Guardian daily that since his recovery, he still gets breathless but has travelled in Britain and is teaching his granddaughter to drive.

“I’ve been down to the bottom and everything’s brilliant now,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Shikhar Dhawan Aces “Make People Think It’s A Photo” Challenge. Watch | Cricket News


Shikhar Dhawan posted a video of himself on Instagram.© Instagram





Shikhar Dhawan, on Thursday, posted a video of himself on Instagram after completing the “Make People Think It’s A Photo” challenge. In the short clip, the stand-in India skipper for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka could be seen hanging from a pull-up bar with his mouth wide open to make his followers believe that it is a photo instead of a video clip. “Challenge accepted,” Dhawan captioned the post. His India and Delhi Capitals (DC) teammate Shreyas Iyer was among the first few to react. Iyer dropped two laughing emojis in the comments section.

Many social media influencers have taken up the “Make People Think It’s A Photo” challenge (aka #NotAPhoto). To participate, social media users have to post a video of them freezing in place to make it look like a photo. Later, when the music drops, they move from their spot to reveal that it was a reel and not a photo.


On Wednesday, the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand beat India by eight wickets to become the first winners of the WTC.

Dhawan will return to action next month to lead India against Sri Lanka for a six-match (three ODIs and three T20Is) tour. At present, Dhawan, along with other players, who are part of India’s 20-member squad for the Sri Lanka tour, are serving a two-week quarantine in Mumbai.

On Tuesday, after spending one week in isolation, the players were allowed to hit the team’s gym and train in a group.

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