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India News

Kerry calls for 'constructive chapter' in climate change

New Delhi : US Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday said his country was looking forward to a "new and constructive" chapter with India in the area of climate change.

"Climate change is here with us now, extreme weather and scarce resources endanger human health and prosperity," Kerry said during a media interaction here with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already stated the urgency of this issue.

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Sushma underlines 'good relations' with Israel

New Delhi : External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Thursday underlined India's "good relations" with Israel even as she said that New Delhi "supports" the cause of Palestine.

Addressing a press conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the minister said: "We fully support the cause of Palestine but we have good relations with Israel."

Her comments came as Israel continued a major military offensive against the Hamas in Gaza that has claimed over 1,300 lives. Palestinians say that most victims have been civilians.

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Petrol, bulk diesel, non-subsidised LPG rates cut

New Delhi : The petrol price was Thursday lowered by Rs.1.09 per litre, the second reduction in three-and-a-half months, while diesel rates were hiked by 50 paise a litre.

The revisions will be effective midnight Thursday, Indian Oil Corp said.

"During the past fortnight, petrol prices have shown a downward trend while the INR-USD exchange rate has slightly depreciated," IOC said in a release.

Allowing for local taxes, petrol per litre will cost Rs.72.51 in Delhi, Rs.80.30 in Kolkata, Rs.80.60 in Mumbai and Rs.75.78 in Chennai.

Deputy NSA Nehchal Sandhu quits

New Delhi : Deputy National Security Advisor Nehchal Sandhu, a former Intelligence Bureau director, resigned Thursday due to "personal reasons", the government said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted the resignation with "regret and expressed appreciation for Sandhu's outstanding service to the country in a career spanning over 40 years", an official statement said.

A career police officer, Sandhu was also the Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat.

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Meghalaya mapping areas to tap wind energy

Shillong : Power-starved Meghalaya is preparing "wind energy density maps" to identify regions in the mountainous state where wind energy could be tapped to meet the power requirement, an official said Thursday.

"The MeECL (Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited) is mapping certain areas of the state where wind mills could be set up to harness the energy," John Kharshiing, co-chairman of the Meghalaya State Planning Board, told journalists.

The corporation has so far identified some wind potential areas in West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills for setting up wind mills.

Tamil Nadu to buy 1,300 new buses

Chennai : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa Thursday said that the government would buy 1,300 buses at an outlay of around Rs.270 crore.

Reading out a statement in the assembly, she said: "The government has decided to modernise the bus fleet of State Transport Corporations (STC) by having new buses in the place of old ones."

She said 1,200 buses would be bought this fiscal (2014-15) at an outlay of Rs.253.80 crore.

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Protest over pressure on India to strengthen IPR

New Delhi : Hundreds of activists Thursday staged a protest here over pressure by Western nations on India to strengthen intellectual property rights, which has the potential to limit the production of life-saving generic medication.

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CBI registers 23rd case in coal block allocation

New Delhi : The CBI Thursday registered its 23rd case -- against a Madhya Pradesh-based private company -- in the ongoing probe into coal block allocations.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted searches in various places in Indore and Satna in Madhya Pradesh.

The agency booked Revati Cement Pvt. Ltd., its director Chinmay Palekar, and its promoters Umesh Sara and Kailash Sara in the first information report on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct.

The 36th screening committee members have also been booked in the FIR.

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NHRC notice to UP over teenaged girl's rape

New Delhi : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Thursday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the alleged rape of a teenaged girl in Mathura district.

Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report that said the Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped by six youths in Pingri village July 19, the commission issued notice to the district magistrate and police superintendent of Mathura, calling for a report within two weeks.

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US gives Infrastructure Initiative draft MoU

New Delhi : India and the US Thursday identified areas where the two countries can start immediate collaboration, which include investment, cluster-related initiatives, Investment Summit and identification of projects.

During a meeting between Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and visiting US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the two sides agreed to initiate identification of real projects where partners from both the countries will collaborate.

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