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While you were away: Top stories to keep you up to date

Iran stands by Qatar as it faces isolation by Arab nations, NDTV says raids are a witch-hunt, China defends flights by helicopters in Chamoli area: Today’s top stories in case you missed some.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2017 07:17 IST
HT Correspondent
ISRO’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III carrying communication satellite GSAT-19 takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 5.
ISRO’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk-III carrying communication satellite GSAT-19 takes off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota on June 5.(PTI Photo)

Gulf crisis: Seven countries cut off ties with Qatar over terrorism links, 7 lakh Indians could be hit

Seven countries, led by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, on Monday severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of backing terrorism and opening up a rift among some of the most powerful Arab states that could have repercussions for the Indian economy and expatriates. Bahrain was the first to snap ties, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the Maldives. As Saudi Arabia closed its borders and snapped land, air and sea links, residents rushed to supermarkets to stock up on food. Qatar is home to an estimated 700,000 Indians – whose remittances in 2015 were worth $3.98 billion. Sources said there was “no panic” in the expatriate community.

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Iran offers to export food to Qatar by sea as residents rush to stock supplies

An Iranian official said his country can export food to Qatar by sea, as Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations moved to isolate the gas-rich nation after severing diplomatic ties and accusing it of supporting terrorism. The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Reza Nourani, chairman of the union of exporters of agricultural products, as saying on Monday that food shipments sent from Iran can reach Qatar in 12 hours. Qatar shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia, and relies heavily on food imports, much of it from Gulf countries.

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CBI raids NDTV’s Prannoy Roy, wife over ‘bank fraud’, channel cries witch-hunt

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched on Monday the offices and homes of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy over allegations of defrauding a bank, a move the news broadcaster denounced as a “witch-hunt” to muzzle free speech. A case was registered by the banking fraud division of the CBI against NDTV’s Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika. The ED and Income Tax department have been investigating the news channel since 2014.

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China defends flights by choppers in Chamoli area, welcomes Modi’s remarks

China on Monday defended its military helicopters hovering over Chamoli district of Uttarkhand, saying it has a territorial dispute in the eastern section of the frontier with India even as welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that not a single bullet has been fired in four decades despite the border row. Responding to reports that the Chinese helicopters had violated Indian airspace, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “In principle China and India have territorial disputes in the eastern section of the China-India border.”

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India-US ties progressing, engaged with Trump govt on H-1B visa issue: Swaraj

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said India-US ties are progressing under the Trump administration as they were during the Obama presidency and the pace had not slowed down. Addressing a press conference on key initiatives of her ministry in three years of the Modi government, Swaraj also described the proposed changes in H1B visas as a “matter of concern”. Swaraj covered a range of subjects, including China, Pakistan and the situation in Qatar during the conference.

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WhatsApp chats land three law students of Sonepat univ in prison for rape

Detailed and explicit WhatsApp conversations between a rape victim and three law students of a private university in Haryana proved crucial evidence for their conviction by a trial court, show documents made available on Monday. It was a rare instance of electronic data used as evidence to nail the accused in India, which has seen a sharp rise in video clips of sexual assaults circulated through social media and messaging apps.

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ISRO launches India’s heaviest rocket GSLV Mk III, hopes it can carry humans into space

India successfully launched its heaviest-ever rocket GSLV-Mk III on Monday which it hopes will eventually be able to carry astronauts into space, a feat that only Russia, the United States and China have achieved, space agency ISRO said. The Indian Space Research Organization said the 43-metre (140-foot) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk III rocket lifted off at 5:28 pm from Sriharikota, an island off the coast of Andhra Pradesh, and placed a communication satellite into orbit. Scientists hugged each other and cheered as the 640-tonne rocket lifted off.

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Another BJP leader resigns in Meghalaya, says beef-eating part of state’s culture

The North Garo Hills district BJP president Bachu Marak resigned on Monday from the party. Bachu’s resignation comes four days after West Garo Hills district president Bernard Mark made an exit from the party on the issue of beef ban. “I cannot compromise on the sentiments of the Garos. As a Garo, it is my responsibility to protect the interest of my community. Beef-eating is part of our culture and tradition. Imposition of BJP’s non-secular ideology on us is not acceptable,” Bachu said after resigning from the party.

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Don’t fall into BJP’s diversionary tactics, Rahul Gandhi tells minority leaders

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked leaders belonging to minority communities on Monday to keep the focus on the party’s development agenda and not fall into the trap of the BJP-led government’s diversionary tactics that it uses to distract public attention from its failures. Interacting with 130 leaders of minority communities from across the country, Gandhi told them to take the Congress ideology to every household in the country. The Congress vice-president also discussed with them ways to strengthen the organisation and how to expand the party’s outreach at all levels.

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Pakistan-born Khuram Butt, Moroccan-Libyan Rachid Redouane identified as London attackers

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command on Monday evening released the names and photographs of two of the three men shot dead by police following the terrorist attack on London Bridge and Borough Market. It named the two as Khuram Shazad Butt, a 27-year-old born in Pakistan, and 30-year-old Rachid Redouane of Moroccan and Libyan descent. Both of them are from Barking, east London. Inquiries are ongoing to confirm the identity of the third attacker, the police said. All three were shot dead by armed officers within eight minutes of the first call on Saturday night.

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