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Politics after Amarnath attack, fate of Indian students in US: Top stories now

A look at today’s top stories to bring you up to date.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2017 07:22 IST
HT Correspondent
People in Mumbai protest against the Amarnath Yatra attack.
People in Mumbai protest against the Amarnath Yatra attack. (PTI File)

Amarnath Yatra attack: Politics after protests as Kashmir hunts for killers

A political blame game broke out on Wednesday over this week’s militant attack on Amarnath pilgrims, even as government forces launched a hunt for Pakistani national Abu Ismail, the alleged mastermind of the assault. Using the hashtag #AmarnathTerrorAttack, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi unleashed a series of strongly worded tweets that accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of pursuing policies that had “created space for terrorists in Kashmir”. “Modi’s personal gain = India’s strategic loss + sacrifice of innocent Indian blood,” one of his tweets said. In response, BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi asked the Congress vice president to read the history of his family, saying they were responsible for the problems in Kashmir.

Read the story here.

US move to tighten rules for foreign students could hit Indians

Indians and other foreigners enrolled in US colleges and universities could be required to apply for permission to stay every year if the Donald Trump administration approves a move currently being considered by the department of homeland security. The proposal, first reported by The Washington Post, is linked to the administration’s overall plan to tighten national security. But it is still at a very preliminary stage and could take up to 18 months to be rolled out, if approved for implementation. An estimated 166,000 Indians were enrolled in US colleges in 2016.

Read the story here.

Army gets powers to buy ammunition and spares on emergency

The Centre is understood to have bestowed sweeping financial powers on the army to meet critical deficiencies in ammunition, spares and different types of armament following a security review conducted after last year’s Uri terror strike. Sources said that the financial powers conferred by the government would facilitate the emergency procurement of ammunition and spares worth an estimated ₹40,000 crore over the next few years, subject to availability of budgetary support. Buying ammunition and spares for in-service equipment is less complicated than making a purchase from scratch, army officers said.

Read the story here.

Man behind Ayub Pandith’s lynching among 3 militants killed in Budgam: Police

A man responsible for the lynching of a police officer at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar last month was reportedly among three militants killed by security forces in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday. A police officer said the encounter occurred after security personnel launched a cordon-and-search operation in Redbug area on Tuesday evening, after receiving specific intelligence inputs on the presence of militants in the area. A police statement said Sajad Ahmed Gilkar played a key role in the lynching of DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandith in Nowhatta on June 23, besides a number of other terror-related incidents. He had recently joined the ranks of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Read the story here.

Congress pitches in to broker peace amid RJD, JD(U) spat over Tejashwi resignation

Congress president Sonia Gandhi spoke to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday and thanked him for backing Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the unanimous choice of 18 opposition parties for the August 5 vice-presidential polls. The Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi, too called Kumar on Tuesday, sources said. Speculation swirled after the phone call that the Congress was trying to broker peace between Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and partner Rashtriya Janata Dal, which is facing corruption allegations. The three parties are part of Bihar’s ruling alliance that defeated the BJP in the 2015 polls.

Read the story here.

China begins deploying personnel at military base in Djibouti

China began deploying troops to its first overseas naval base, at Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, a major leap forward in the expansion of its foreign military presence. The military released information about ongoing live fire drills by Chinese warships in the Mediterranean Sea. The movement of Chinese ships carrying troops to Djibouti fuelled worries in India about the strategically located base becoming another of China’s “string of pearls” in the Indian Ocean region, including assets Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Read the story here.

Panama Papers leaks: Shahbaz could be brother Nawaz Sharif’s successor

Pakistani political circles are abuzz with speculation that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shahbaz Sharif could replace the premier if he is disqualified from office after the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) recommendation for filing a fresh anti-graft case over the Panama Papers leaks. According to sources, Shahbaz, who escaped indictment in the JIT’s report, is now being reinforced as an “all-important player” of the Sharif family if Nawaz and his three children receive an adverse court decision in the case.

Read the story here.

Trump Jr defends self for meeting Kremlin-linked lawyer

Donald Trump Jr, the US president’s eldest son, tried to extricate himself from a growing controversy about a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, saying on Tuesday that in hindsight, he would have done things a “little differently”. “In retrospect,” he said on Fox news, “I probably would have done things a little differently.” However, he defended his decision to meet Natalia Veselnitskaya — who offered incriminating information against Hillary Clinton — despite having known that she represented the Russian government, a claim since been denied by Moscow. “For me, this was opposition research,” Trump Jr said.

Read the story here.

Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer beats Milos Raonic, Novak Djokovic retires hurt

Roger Federer turned his 100th Wimbledon match into an exhibition as he outclassed Milos Raonic 6-4 6-2 7-6(4) on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals for a record 12th time. The Swiss, who turns 36 next month, played his best tennis of the tournament to dismantle the big-serving Canadian who knocked him out at the semi-final stage last year. Three-times Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic retired injured during his quarter-final against Czech Tomas Berdych on Wednesday. Andy Murray’s Wimbledon title defence ended in a 3-6 6-4 6-7(4) 6-1 6-1 quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey on Wednesday as the hip injury that has dogged the world number one throughout the tournament finally got the better of him.

Read the reports here and here.