Iran says it’s pulling from nuclear agreement, but remains part of bargain ‘politically’
Conclusion comes after Qassem Soleimani was murdered
New Delhi: Iran Sunday announced that it’s fully withdrawing in the 2015 nuclear deal, days after its top leader Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone attack ordered by President Donald Trump.
Some experts say that for all practical reasons the 2015 deal is dead, but others say that it isn’t and point out how Iran statement suggests it is still part of the deal.
‘This measure is within JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear deal) & all 5 measures are reversible upon EFFECTIVE implementation of reciprocal obligations. Iran cooperation w/IAEA will continue,’ tweeted Javad Zarif.
What did Iran say?
On Sunday, Iranian state television declared that the nation withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
According to a report in the Reuters, Iran has decided to breach all constraints imposed by the 2015 deal –‘whether the limit on its amount of uranium enrichment centrifuges to its enrichment capacity, the amount to which uranium could be enriched, the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium or Iran’s nuclear Research and Development activities’.
The US had declared its withdrawal from the deal. In May 2019, Iran responded by withdrawing from the agreement.
Iran nuclear deal not dead yet
Richard Johnson, a former US state department official and a analyst, tweeted:’Many people believed to enriching at near 20%, Iran would announce a move. It didn’t do that today. This is good news.’ The timeline that was breakout could have dramatically diminished.
Johnson went on to mention the above-mentioned tweet of Zarif and said that Iran is still a part of the deal’from a political perspective’.
‘Media is characterising this as the end of this JCPOA, but Zarif’s tweet makes clear that Iran wants to say they are IN the JCPOA from a political perspective,’ he tweeted. Another nuclear analyst Vipin Narang has a similar monitoring.
Govt plans to cut spending to curb shortage, may hurt growth: Report
NEW DELHI: India’s government is likely to cut spending for the current fiscal year by as much as $2 trillion ($27.82 billion) as it faces one of the largest tax shortfalls in recent years, three government sources said.
Asia’s third largest economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in over six years due to lack of personal investment, could be hurt further if the government cuts spending.
But with a revenue shortfall of about $2.5 trillion, the government has little choice to maintain its deficit within”acceptable limits”, the first official, who didn’t want to be named, told Reuters.
The government has spent roughly 65 percent of the whole expenditure target of $27.86 trillion till November but reduced the pace of spending in October and November, according to government data. A $ 2 trillion reduction will be about a 7% cut in total spending planned for the year.
In October and November, government spending increased by $1.6 trillion, nearly half the $3.1 trillion it invested in September. The fiscal year starts 1 April and ends 31 March.
Deficiency of demand and weak corporate earnings growth in the economy led to lagging tax collections this year. Analysts said growth will be hurt.
India’s economic growth slowed for six consecutive quarters to 4.5% in July-September, despite a 135-basis-point cut in interest rates by the central bank since February 2019.
Now, even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seems to have become more worried about inflation rising. It maintained its key lending rate on hold December, though it slashed its growth forecast to 5 percent, which would be the lowest in a decade for the current fiscal.
Even a surprise corporate tax rate cut this year, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman failed to spur investment.
The government is very likely to keep the fiscal deficit under 3.8percent of gross domestic product, sources said, while letting it slide from its earlier set goal of 3.3% for the year.
The government is likely to announce additional borrowing of 300 billion to $50,000 crore for the current year to coincide with the revised financial deficit, two resources in the government said.
Tokyo: Former Nissan and Renault boss Carlos Ghosn began his astonishing escape from Japan with a bullet train ride from Tokyo to Osaka, maybe accompanied by several folks, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Monday.
Japanese authorities said on Monday they might press Ghosn’s extradition from Lebanon to face charges of financial wrongdoing, even though the country does not normally extradite its nationals.
The international fugitive then went by car to a resort near Osaka’s Kansai International Airport, where he boarded a private jet at 11:10 p.m., according to the media accounts.
Ghosn was prohibited from leaving Japan while awaiting trial on charges of financial misconduct, which he has denied, but he fled at the end of last year to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system.
Prosecutors are currently working with police to piece together Ghosn’s route and find out who aided him, Kyodo said.
Such a request would have to be carefully analyzed based on the possibility of”guaranteeing reciprocity and the national law of the partner country”, Mori told reporters in Tokyo.
Mori didn’t say what would guarantee reciprocity – the concept that benefits or penalties extended by one nation to citizens of another should be reciprocated. She also did not say if there were any Lebanese nationals in Japan wanted in Lebanon.
Mori offered little insight to the events of Ghosn’s escape into his ancestral home, repeatedly stating she could not comment on specifics because of an ongoing investigation.
Japanese officials broke days of silence regarding the Ghosn case on Sunday, saying they’d tighten immigration measures and investigate his escape thoroughly. The authorities also have issued an international note for his arrest.
Government offices and most businesses in Japan have been closed for the New Year holidays, which formally ended on Monday.
Lebanon has said it received an Interpol arrest warrant for Ghosn and that he entered the country lawfully. A senior Lebanese security official, meanwhile, has said Lebanon doesn’t extradite its citizens.
Fines can not be lowered by states under Motor Vehicles Act: Centre under limits that are prescribed
NEW DELHI: No state can lower traffic penalties under the level prescribed under the Motor Vehicles Act, the central government said on Monday.
In an advisory to countries, the road, highways and transport ministry said the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 is a parliamentary legislation and the state governments can’t pass any law or take executive action to lower penalty below the prescribed limit unless President’s assent has been obtained to related state law.
The transportation ministry had sought legal advice on this after one of the states had notified amounts for compounding of certain offences reduced to what has been prescribed in the new Act.
The new Act with stricter provisions has come into force in the country from September 1, 2019.
“Ministry of Law and Justice has tendered their information after seeking opinion of Attorney General of India.
The advisory to the principal secretaries of states also mentioned the legal opinion that in case of the failure of states to implement the Act, reference could be made to Article 256 of the Constitution that authorises the Union of India to issue directions to a state as may be necessary for the purpose.
Article 256 provides that the executive authority of each nation shall be so exercised as to guarantee compliance with regulations made by Parliament and any present laws which apply in that state, and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of such directions to a state as may seem to the Government of India to be necessary for this purpose.
The advisory also quoted Attorney General’s opinion that”the disobedience of these directions could well attract the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India, and you could therefore proceed on the basis that the central law could implicitly be obeyed by the state governments”.
The ministry said the aim of this Act and enhancement of penalties for traffic offenses was to ensure greater compliance and enhancing deterrence for violation of traffic rules which is intended to provide for improved road safety resulting in decrease in deaths and accidents on roads.
Earlier, the government had stated that for offences Gujarat, Karnataka, Manipur and Uttarakhand had reduced the penalties.
Penalty for driving without licence was increased to $5,000 from $500 before, while riding two-wheeler without helmets will not only attract fine of $1,000 but could lead to suspension of licences for another three months.
But those aren’t the moves she has made in Uttar Pradesh.
The UP Congress team attended a five-day workshop, from 16 to 20 December, under the tutelage of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, ThePrint has learnt. In the wake of the visit, at the peak of the party unit’s schedule now is setting up cow shelters to take on the Yogi Adityanath-led government on the problem of stray cattle, party sources told ThePrint.
The party intends to collect donations for the initiative and has hunted the approval of Priyanka. She has agreed to explore the issue, the sources said.
UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, however, told ThePrint that no decision has been taken yet.
This is not the first time that the cattle issue has been discussed by the featured Uttar Pradesh Congress unit. In the first meeting in October of Priyanka, the members had requested for the stand of the celebration clear on cows kanwariyas and Ram Mandir.
The solution is now being drawn up based on the Chhattisgarh model.
‘We were shown the daycare shelters built by the Chhattisgarh government ‘ one of the leaders present at the workshop advised ThePrint. ‘It was recommended we start in UP to tackle the stray cattle problem something similar. It will be on a scale that is much smaller because we’re not in power.’
The stray cattle problem has hit farmers hard causing a’cow crisis’ under the BJP government. Having the fear of vigilante groups and a cow slaughter ban in place, they can sell old cows nor transfer them. Moreover, based on the 2019 Livestock Consensus, the gain in the number of stray cattle has also taken a toll on the populace of native breeds of cattle, which showed a 6 per cent decrease since livestock owners shifted focus to buffaloes.
The Chhattisgarh playbook
The UP Congress unit hopes to draw from the plans of the party in Chhattisgarh that propelled it to electricity after 15 year in the wilderness, in 2018. Since taking power, CM Baghel was careful to attack the RSS rather than the BJP, while at exactly the same time playing his Roman roots and his committed pujas.
‘The idea is to work the way the Congress did in Chhattisgarh. They countered the BJP, the Naxalites and the RSS to bolster the presence of the party there,’ said the first boss.
A leader present at the meeting said they were advised to embrace Baghel’s strategy of opposing the RSS rather than the BJP. ‘It’s the RSS and individuals like Mohan Bhagwat who want to split the country,’ the second leader said. ‘The BJP has no ideology of its own. Their entire ideology comes in the RSS.’
Part of the strategy also includes taking on BJP and RSS icons such as M.S. Golwalkar and V.D. Savarkar.
‘Jinnah and Savarkar wanted two nations on lines, not the Congress,’ said the next leader. ‘We will also remind folks that a letter from Mahatma Gandhi was in charge of getting Savarkar.’
Those present in the meeting said the state unit created a strategy to counter the’misinformation’ peddled about the Congress from the BJP.
‘We will counter their facts with the fact,’ said the first boss. ‘They say Nehru accounts for the situation in Kashmir, but Nehru accounts for bringing Kashmir into India’s ambit. If Nehru had not withheld the army till Maharaja Hari Singh signed the accession accord, Kashmir might not have become a part of India.’
Autism in a Child Often Leaves Families Struggling, Facing Stigma
Families of children with autism face high physical, mental and psychological burdens, are sometimes ridiculed and even accused of child abuse, says a new study.
For the study, published in the International Journal of Autism & Related Disabilities, researchers surveyed 25 caregivers of 16 children ages 2 to 20 with autism spectrum disorder to rate their care affected their family dynamics, physical and mental health, and social function.
The researchers asked about the health professionals’ worries, daily activities, family relationships and insurance.
“While the understanding of how autism spectrum disorders affect individuals has grown, the consciousness of the burden on families who care for these individuals is less established,” said study’s researcher Xue Ming in the Rutgers University, US.
The study found that emotional burnout was more likely in families with a child with low-functioning autism spectrum disorder and simultaneous conditions.
Social isolation was greater in households who reported significant psychological burnout. Families with more than one caregiver experienced social isolation and emotional burnout, the research added.
According to the researchers, households with a higher socioeconomic status tended to spend more money on medical treatments outside of their medical insurance policy.
Families with an aggressive and irritable child tended to experience burnout and social isolation.
Medical and behavioural disorders were common in these kids, they added.
Nine of the 16 families in the study reported being ridiculed or accused of child abuse, which they stated restricted them from attending social events, visiting public places such as churches, supermarkets and restaurants, and using mass transportation.
“This suggests that communities will need to improve their inclusiveness for families with children with autism spectrum disorder,” Ming said.
“The study shows there is a need to raise public awareness of the burdens faced by these families and also to alert medical providers to provide them with more support,” Ming added.
Apple Sues Security Vendor For Alleged Copyright Violations
San Francisco: Taking its legal struggle with iOS virtualisation seller Corellium to a new level, Apple is suing the firm for allegedly trafficking under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US.
The new lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida comes after the iPhone maker initially sued Corellium for copyright infringement in August, alleging that the company’s virtualisation of iOS was violating Apple’s ownership of this code, The Verge reported Friday.
Expanding the case, Apple’s revised complaint alleges that”Corellium’s company relies entirely on commercialising the illegal replication of their copyrighted operating system and applications that run on Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices”.
“Corellium simply copies everything: the code, the graphic user interface, the icons – it all, in exacting detail.providing its users with the tools to do the same,” it added.
According to the complaint by Apple, the merchandise Corellium offers is a”virtual” version of Apple mobile hardware products, available to anyone with a web browser.
“Especially, Corellium serves up what it touts as a great digital facsimile of a broad range of Apple’s market-leading apparatus frees with fastidious attention to detail not just the way the operating system and software appear visually to bona fide purchasers, but also the underlying computer code.”
In a statement following the filing, Corellium said it is”deeply disappointed by Apple’s persistent demonisation of jailbreaking.”
Jailbreaking an iPhone lets people customise their iOS devices and run apps that are unsupported.
“Apple is using this case as a trial balloon at a new angle to crack down on jailbreaking,” said Corellium CEO Amanda Gorton.
According to the study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, the researchers expect that the holes at these galaxies that are smaller average about 4,00,000 times as heavy.
For the findings, Reines and her colleagues used the US National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to make the discovery. They used the VLA to discover the massive black hole in a dwarf starburst galaxy in 2011. That discovery was a surprise to astronomers and spurred a radio look for more.
The scientists began by selecting a sample of galaxies in the Atlas, a catalog of galaxies made with visible-light telescopes.
They picked galaxies totalling less than three billion times the mass of the Sun, roughly equal to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a companion of the Milky Way.
From this sample, they chose candidates that also appeared in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty centimetres (FIRST) survey, made between 1993 and 2011.
Then they used the VLA to create new and more sensitiveimages of the galaxies that were selected of 111.
“The new VLA observations revealed that 13 of these galaxies have strong evidence for a massive black hole that is actively consuming surrounding material. We were quite surprised to find that, in approximately half of those 13 galaxies, the black hole isn’t in the centre of the galaxy, unlike the situation in larger galaxies,” Reines said.
The scientists said this indicates that the galaxies and others earlier in their history have united.
This is consistent with computer simulations predicting that approximately half of the massive holes in dwarf galaxies will be found wandering in the outskirts of the galaxies.
“This work has taught us that we must broaden our hunts for massive black holes in dwarf galaxies beyond their centres to get a more complete understanding of the population and learn what mechanisms helped form the first massive black holes in the early Universe,” Reines said.
Level of air pollution may be weakening the bones of Indians, as well as increasing risk such as lung cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, warns a study.
The study analysed the association between air pollution and bone health in over 3,700 individuals from 28 villages outside the town of Hyberabad.
The results, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, showed that exposure to air pollution, especially to particles, was associated with reduced levels of bone mass.
Regarding the possible mechanisms underlying this association, he said “inhalation of polluting particles could lead to bone mass loss during the oxidative stress and inflammation brought on by air pollution”.
For the analysis, the authors used a locally-developed model to estimate external vulnerability at residence to air pollution by fine particulate matter (suspended particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometre or less) and black carbon.
A questionnaire also filled on the kind of fuel used for cooking. The authors connected bone health evaluated using a unique sort of radiography that measures bone density, known as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and measured bone mass at the lumbar spine and the hip and this information.
Annual average exposure to ambient PM2.5 was 32.8 micrograms per cubic metre air — way above the maximum levels recommended by the World Health Organisation (10 micrograms per cubic metre air).
The researchers found an association between exposure to poor bone health and air pollution. No correlation was found with use of biomass fuel for cooking.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which quality and the density of the bone is reduced. It is responsible for a considerable burden of disease and its prevalence is expected to increase because of ageing of the populace.
After attacks, JNU becomes rallying cry for student protests that are pan-India day
New Delhi: The attack on students and teachers in the Jawarharlal Nehru University by unidentified goons triggered protests across India on Monday as the clamour grew for the resignation of the vice chancellor who is being blamed for inaction during the violence which left 34 people injured.
As dreadful first-person accounts emerged of the attack on Sunday evening, including on JNU students union president Aishe Ghosh, Delhi Police said no arrests have been made and that they have transferred the case to the Crime Branch, who claimed to have found”vital clues”
The violence was condemned by politicians of all parties. The opposition and JNU students blamed the ABVP, the students’ wing of the BJP for its violence, and accused the Delhi Police of inaction. The BJP said campuses shouldn’t become political battleground.
On Sunday, a mob of masked young people stormed the JNU campus in south Delhi and systematically targeted students in three hostels, unleashing mayhem with sticks, stones and iron rods, hitting offenders and breaking windows, furniture and personal possessions. They attacked a women’s hostel.
“I was specifically targeted on Sunday during a peace march on campus. Around 20-25 masked persons disrupted the march and assaulted me with iron rods,” union president Ghosh, her head swathed in bandages, told PTI after being released from hospital earlier Monday. At least 15 stitches were received by her on the head, and her arm was in a cast after the assault.
The ABVP has been responsible, and subsequently, has blamed Ghosh’s Left-supported union of stage managing the violence. In addition, it claimed that many of its activists were hurt, but has not presented the media with any.
“For the last four-five days, some RSS affiliated professors were encouraging violence to violate our movement,” Ghosh alleged in a press conference later.
Also Union Home Minister Amit Shah talked to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the HRD ministry to take stock of this situation that was volatile.
“The horrifying and unprecedented violence unleashed on India’s young by goons with busy abetment of the ruling Modi government is deplorable and unacceptable,” alleged Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Union minister Smriti Irani said \Rcampuses should not be made a”political battlefield” and expected students would not become political pawns.
With no face to the terror, of which did endless rounds of news stations and media videos of Sunday night, the tide of anger showed no signs of ebbing.
The assault against students of JNU and protests against the citizenship amendment act — that has seen a strike against the increase in fees — segued into one with students joining parties across the political spectrum to call for accountability.
The 34 people, including faculty members and students , who were admitted to the AIIMS trauma facility were discharged on Monday morning, officials said.
Huge protests took place Monday in universities from Pondicherry to Aligarh and Chandigarh to Kolkata. Protests were also held in the National Law University at Bangalore and IIT-Bombay as well as at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
In Mumbai, the protest continued.
Pupils of Calcutta University hold placards and raise slogans during a demonstration against the attacks on JNU students and CAA, in Kolkata, on Monday.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said JNU students were subjected to a”cowardly and intended assault”.
Bollywood spoke. “Horrifying”,”heartbreaking” and “barbaric” is how many in the film business, such as actors-filmmakers Anil Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Rajkummar Rao, Anurag Kashyap and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, described the assault.
The JNU campus was a battle zone with the shattered windowpanes and the shards of glass mute testimonies of this violence the night before.
As students began cleaning the debris, hundreds of security personnel swarmed the campus – and outside it too — keeping a watchful eye on the restless crowds that sang songs of revolution and raised slogans. Pupils packed their bags and left for their homes.
A Kashmiri student, requesting anonymity, said that he was chased by the mob and’d leap from the first floor with his buddies.
“We were three-four buddies within a room. Suddenly, a number of our friends came running and said,’The ABVP is coming with lathis and sticks’. We latched the space but within a couple of seconds, they began banging on it. They broke glass windows on top of the door. Scared, we opened the balcony door and jumped from the first floor.