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12:41  Retired Judge Aruna Jagadeesan appointed by the Tamil Nadu government to probe the police firing during the anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi that claimed 11 lives.

12:39  Amul’s take on the fuel price hike.

12:29  Vedanta shares drop 6% after protests in Tamil Nadu:  Shares of Vedanta fell 6 per cent today on reports that nine people were killed in police firing after protests against the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant turned violent in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin.

After opening the day on a weak note, the stock further lost 5.80 per cent to Rs 253.85 on BSE. On NSE, shares of the company dropped 6 per cent to Rs 253.75.

Eleven people were killed in police firing after protests against the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns turned violent in Tuticorin, with the police action drawing opposition criticism.

The protests have been going on in Tuticorin for over three months now, but violence erupted yesterday with agitators fighting pitched battles with police, prompting an open fire. — PTI

11:58  Sterlite violence: Kamal Haasan asked to leave hospital:  DMK calls for an all-party protest on May 25 over the deaths of 11 people killed in police firing during protests against Sterlite industries yesterday in Tamil Nadu. At the General Hospital in Thoothukudi, relatives of patients injured in the violence at the Sterlite protests ask Kamal Haasan to leave. They say his visit is causing disruptions.

11:47  Sterlite violence: HM seeks report on deaths, court stays construction:  Update on the Sterlite agitation: The Home Ministry has sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government over the Thoothukudi incident where 11 people were killed yesterday in police firing during protests against Sterlite industries.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed construction of a new copper smelter by Sterlite industries in Thoothukudi.

The victims were killed in police firing after protests for the closure of Vedanta group’s Sterlite Copper plant over pollution concerns turned violent in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin, with the police action drawing opposition criticism.Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami confirmed reports about the death of nine people in ‘police action’, while reports claimed many, including policemen, were injured in clashes. Governor Banwarilal Purohit condoled the deaths.

Anbumani Ramadoss of the Pattali Makkal Katchi  said what happened in Tuticorin is a cold-blooded murder by the police. “They should be booked for murder & SP, Collector, DGP & Chief Secretary should be suspended. Taking moral responsibility, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami should resign,” he said.

Dr A Edwin Joe, Director of Medical Education, Tamil Nadu, said at least 42 people have hospitalised  till now, with a few transferred to Tirunelveli medical college to reduce congestion. Ten bodies are in the mortuary in the hospital, while 17 surgeries have been done.

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan has arrived at the General Hospital in Kozhikode.

Chief Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, the DMK has compared the deaths to the Jallianwallah Bagh Massacre.

Police said nearly 5000 protesters gathered near a local church and insisted on taking a out a rally to the district collectorate after they were denied permission to march to the copper smelter plant.

Initial pushing and shoving soon led to violent clashes, after agitated locals began hurling stones at police and overturned a vehicle.

Security personnel used batons and burst teargas shells to break up the protest. Many were injured in stone-pelting by the agitators, who also set some vehicles on fire.

Windscreens of some government cars were smashed and bank premises were attacked by the rampaging mobs. As the violence spiralled, police opened fire, killing nine people.

11:21  UP govt introduces NCERT textbooks in madrasas :  The Uttar Pradesh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday approved the introduction of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks in the Madrasa Board.

NCERT books in Urdu, Hindi and English languages will be introduced to give students a better training and enhanced skill set in madrasas.

According to some sources, madrasas have been asked to follow the NCERT curriculum and introduce subjects like Science, Mathematics and Social Science.

Earlier also Adityanath stressed the importance of introducing modern education in madrasas. — ANI

11:16  Govt job, Rs 20 lakh for kin of nurse who died treating Nipah Virus patients:   The Kerala cabinet is set to offer a government job to the husband of the nurse who died treating Nipah Virus patients.

Lini Puthussery’s two sons will get a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each. The Kerala government has also announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs to the kin of the other victims.

Nipah has so far claimed 10 people.

Lini, a nursing assistant with the Perambra Taluk Hospital in Kozhikode, Lini was exposed to the virus while treating affected patients. Her husband works in Bahrain.

Lini left a brief note in Malayalam for her husband Sajeesh minutes before she died on Monday. Read it here

11:13  UP school warden turns ghost to molest girls?:  A bizarre story if there is one. Students of Kasturba Gandhi school on Tuesday accused their warden of dressing up as a ghost and molesting them at night.

The girls also alleged that the warden walks around the premises mysteriously and touches them inappropriately. They have written a complaint to the District Magistrate against the warden.

However, the accused warden Poonam Bharti has denied the charges and demanded an investigation in the matter.

“I’ve demanded investigation in this matter and have also told the authorities to check the CCTV footage. The truth will automatically be out,” Bharti said. — ANI

Image: The students of the Kasturba Gandhi school.

10:56  ‘In India, journalists face slut-shaming and rape threats’:  “For the past few years, like several female journalists critical of the Hindu nationalist politics and government, I have been targeted by an apparently coordinated social media campaign that slut-shames, deploys manipulated images with sexually explicit language, and threatens rape. Mr. Modi and several of his ministers embolden the virtual mob by following them on social media.Yet nothing had prepared me for what was thrown at me in the past month. On April 22, I was alarmed to find a quotation supporting child rapists falsely attributed to me and going viral on Twitter. A parody account of Republic TV, India’s leading right-wing television network, had posted the quotation.”

Read journalist Rana Ayyub’s column here

10:47  Every day a battlefield for civilians at LoC, toll 6:   Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in the RS Pura sector in Jammu and Kashmir today damaging houses and cars. No casualties have been reported. However, 2 civilians were killed and 3 injured in heavy shelling and firing by Pakistani Rangers on civilians areas along the IB in Kathua-Jammu sectors.

Earlier today, one civilian was injured in a ceasefire violation by  Pakistan in the Arnia Sector. Earlier on May 18, Pakistan violated ceasefire along the Line of Control in RS Pura and Arnia sectors, killing a total of five people including one Border Security Force jawan and four civilians.

Following the heavy shelling, the district administration had sent a bulletproof vehicle to border village Bobiya and evacuated the people to safe place.

Pakistan has been violating the ceasefire agreement and resorting to heavy shelling in Hiranagar, Samba, Ramgarh, Arnia and Suchetgarh sectors in the state over the last few weeks.  — ANI

10:14  President Kovind, the grandpa:  A warm, personal, tweet from the President. @rashtrapatibhvn tweeted this picture yesterday writing, “Took my grandchildren to a bookshop in Shimla; bought them books for their summer holiday reading. Happy to experience the spreading digital payments culture in our country #PresidentKovind.”

10:07  Akhilesh will ride his cycle in MP: SP to contest all 230 seats :  Undeterred by the failure in its electoral ventures in Gujarat and Karnataka, the Samajwadi Party is all geared up to contest all 230 seats in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls scheduled later this year.

“Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav was on a three-day visit from May 18 to MP during which he made it clear that the party will be contesting polls on all 230 seats. This time ‘cycle’ (SP symbol) will run in MP also,” SP chief spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury told PTI.

Akhilesh toured extensively in the areas bordering UP from Bundelkhand to Vindhya region.

He addressed the public in Sidhi and Satna districts of Vindhya region, besides Khajuraho in Chhattarpur district of Bundelkhand.

“The SP will help people of MP get rid of 15 years misrule of BJP. We will try to save people of MP from BJP’s conspiracy and fight for them,” Akhilesh said in one of his meetings in MP.  — PTI

09:55  Lalu admitted to hospital in Mumbai : Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is in Mumbai today. He was admitted to to the Asian Heart Hospital for treatment of heart and kidney related ailments.

The RJD chief was accompanied by son Tej Pratap, daughter Misa Bharti, and daughter-in-law Aishwarya.

Lalu has been convicted in three fodder scam cases by a special CBI court in Ranchi since December last year and was undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute Medical Sciences earlier. He was admitted to RIMS on March 16 after he complained of discomfort at Birsa Munda Jail, and was later moved to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

The suggestion came after the medical board at the RIMS reviewed the condition of Lalu Prasad and found that his sugar level was high and increasing. They also said that he had developed some renal problems.He also reportedly suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. — ANI

09:45  2 lakh Rohingyas at risk when the rains arrive in B’desh :  About 150,000-200,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar are at risk from flooding and landslides during the monsoon season, the UN has said. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said yesterday that more than 7,000 Rohingya refugees were affected by storms or landslides earlier this month, at the start of the monsoon season.

“The monsoons typically deposit 2.5 meters of rain on Cox’s Bazar, resulting in significant flooding. As a result, 150,000-200,000 refugees and 883 community facilities are at risk from flooding and landslides during the monsoon season, including 25,000 refugees at critical risk,” he said. Dujarric said UN Agencies have ramped up preparedness activities to mitigate the effects of the rains on refugees.

While Bangladesh has been dealing with monsoons annually and has developed some experience in these matters, the situation present in the refugee camps is unique in scope and volume, and the international humanitarian community is working to support and protect the refugee communities most at risk, he said.

“The lack of sufficient safe space for at-risk refugees and of safe shelters, limits the UN’s risk mitigation possibilities,” Dujarric said. — PTI

Image: Rohingya siblings flee violence as they hold one another as they cross the Naf River along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Palong Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh in November 2017. This is a Pulitzer Prize winning picture by Reuter’s Adnan Abidi.

09:39  Pak ceasefire violations continue, 1 dead :  One dead, two injured after heavy shelling from Pakistan in Kathua’s Hiranagar sector.

Yesterday, an eight-month old baby died after he was hit by a bullet in Akhnoor. The baby died instantly.

ANI reported that the baby was struck by the bullet during cross-LoC firing by Pakistani troopers in the Keri Battal area of Akhnoor.

While Indian forces have been retaliating with heavy counter fire, civilians have been moved to safer locations.

Pakistani forces have been firing without provocation in several sectors in J&K despite the Indian government declaring a unilateral ceasefire in view of the holy month of Ramzan.

Both sides have suffered loses with BSF losing two jawans in firing from across LoC last week.

Reinforced bunkers have been built in several locations to ensure civilians had proper cover from fire and mortar shelling, but there appears to be no end to the shelling from Pakistani forces.

09:25  Novelist Philip Roth dead :  Novelist Philip Roth, a dominant force in American literature throughout the latter half of the 20th century, has died, US media said late Tuesday. He was 85 years old. The New Yorker magazine first reported the death of Roth, who won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his acclaimed novel “American Pastoral.” The New York Times confirmed the death of the late writer who lived in New York and Connecticut, citing a close friend.

08:55  BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya’s 21-year-old son dies of heart attack:

Former union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Bandaru Dattatreya’s 21-year-old son died of a massive heart attack last night.
Bandaru Vaishnav was a third year medical student.
According to NDTV, Vaishnav was reportedly having dinner with his family at their Ramnagar residence in Hyderabad, when he suddenly collapsed.
Dattatreya took him to a hospital in Musheerabad where he breathed his last at 1.30 am.

08:44  US committed to achieving denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula: Pompeo:

The United States is committed to achieving denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and creating conditions such that the North Korean regime no longer threatens the world, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.
Pompeo made the comments after attending a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and the visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“We are committed to achieving denuclearisation and creating conditions such that the North Korean regime no longer threatens the world,” Pompeo told reporters
The State Department and the White House, he said, were continuing to prepare for the meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, so that in the event that the summit takes place on scheduled date, the administration is fully prepared.
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12. However, North Korea has threatened to cancel the meeting over a joint US-South Korea military exercise. The US has said it is going ahead with the preparation.
Pompeo said the mission statement had not changed at all.
“Will do what it takes to make sure that this is a successful meeting, whether that’s meeting with the North Koreans in some third country or whatever it may take. We are prepared,” Pompeo said in response to a question.
“The President will ask us to ensure that we’ve done all we can to make sure that we have the real opportunity to have this historic successful outcome,” he said.
Exuding confidence that the meeting would indeed take place, Pompeo, who is the only US leader to have met Kim twice in the last one month, said the US was continuing to do its work and lay the foundation for a successful meeting.
“With respect to Chairman Kim, I haven’t spoken publicly about the conversations we’ve had; they were between he and I,” Pompeo said.
“But I do have a real sense that he would find American investment, American technology, American know-how of real value to his people, and it’s something that he and I had a chance to speak about generally,” he said. — PTI

08:32  Kumaraswamy to take oath today as Oppn set to show strength:

A Janat Dal-Secular-Congress coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy will be sworn-in today in Karnataka at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and chief ministers, a development that could plant a seed for a broad-based anti-Bharatiya Janata Party platform before the Lok Sabha polls next year.
Karnataka Congress president G Parameshwara will be sworn in as the deputy CM, AICC general secretary in-charge of the state K C Venugopal said.
Congress’s Ramesh Kumar, a former minister, will be the next speaker, while the deputy speaker’s post will go to the JD-S, Venugopal said.
The Congress would have 22 ministers and the JD-S 12, he said, adding they would be sworn in after the floor test slated for Thursday.
Kumaraswamy will be the second chief minister to take oath in Karnataka within a week, after BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa stepped down without facing the floor test on May 19 in the face of imminent defeat.
Government officials and sources in the JD-S said Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his mother and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan are among those likely to be present for the ceremony. — PTI

00:41  Fate of Trump-Kim meet hangs in balance:  The fate of the much-awaited June 12 Singapore summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un loomed large as the United States President met his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in at the White House on Tuesday.

As he welcomed Moon in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that it will be great if his meeting with Kim takes place as scheduled, but if did not, that took was fine.

“We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said in response to a question.

Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12.

However, North Korea has threatened to cancel the meeting over a joint US-South Korea military exercise. The US has said it was going ahead with the preparation.

“If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later…You never know about deals…I’ve made a lot of deals. You never really know,” Trump said.

At one point he said that it may not work out for June 12.

“You will know soon,” Trump told reporters about the summit.

He declined to say whether he had spoken to Kim.

“They’re hardworking, great people,” he said of North Koreans.

“He will be extremely happy. He will be very happy” he said of Kim and if the deal works out.  — PTI

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