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AIADMK merger held up, nine more children die in Gorakhpur, Trump fires Steve Bannon: Top stories

india Updated: Aug 19, 2017 07:50 IST
AIADMK merger,Vishal Sikka resigns,Infosys

US President Donald Trump talks to former chief strategist Steve Bannon during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington.(REUTERS File)

From Vishal Sikka resigning as Infosys MD and CEO to CBSE issuing internet usage guidelines to students from taking the Blue Whale Challenge, here are the top stories of the day.

AIADMK merger hits Sasikala roadblock, stalls formal announcement by EPS-OPS factions

Tamil Nadu’s ruling and rebel AIADMK factions reached an understanding on Friday but the formal announcement of a merger was scuttled by last-mile hiccups. Chief minister Edappadi Palanisami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, were to announce the unification at J Jayalalithaa’s memorial on Marina beach. But sources said the event was delayed as the rebels want the ruling faction to formally sack VK Sasikala, the jailed AIADMK general secretary. The AIADMK split after Sasikala took over the reins of the party in February, removed Panneerselvam from the chief minister’s post, handpicked Palanisami as his replacement, and appointed nephew TTV Dinakaran as her deputy before going to jail for corruption. Read the story here.

Vishal Sikka’s surprise resignation leaves a gaping hole and a power flux at Infosys

As Infosys Ltd searches for a successor to Vishal Sikka, who quit on Friday as its first non-founder chief executive, the company confronts the risk of more top-level departures, executives and analysts said. It is one of the three issues that Infosys needs to address even as its board scours the resumes of internal and external candidates who could potentially replace Sikka, according to two executives and two analysts. “Now I worry for the California-based executives he (Sikka) brought on board — this will be a power shift back to Bangalore, and most of the guys Vishal brought on board will either jump ship or be pushed out very quickly,” said Phil Fersht, chief executive officer (CEO) of US-based HfS Research, an outsourcing-research firm. Read the story here.

Nine more children die in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, toll at 105

Deaths of nine more children were reported from the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in the last 24 hours between Thursday and Friday, taking the toll to 105 since the August 10 tragedy. The deaths were confirmed by Dr PK Singh, the BRD Medical College, who briefed the media in his office. Among these nine deaths, five were reported from the neonatal ward, two from encephilitis ward and two from the general paediatric ward. Read the story here.

US president Trump fires Steve Bannon as White House chief strategist

President Donald Trump on Friday fired Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist in the latest high-level White House shake-up, removing a powerful and controversial figure known for far-right political views. Bannon was a force behind some of Trump’s most contentious policies, including a travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority nations, and has fought with more moderate factions inside a White House riven with rivalries and back-stabbing. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Friday. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.” Read the story here.

Jhumpa Lahiri, Kal Penn among mass resignations from Trump’s arts council over Charlottesville remarks

Two Indian Americans – actor Kal Penn and author Jhumpa Lahiri – are among 16 members of the US president’s committee on arts and humanities committee who resigned on Friday, protesting Donald Trump’s remarks regarding the Charlottesville clashes last week. “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions,” they wrote in a joint letter of resignation signed by all but one of the 17 committee members. “Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.” Read the story here.

Deathnotes: Letters to Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College show how time was running out for children

Tragedy unfolded in chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur constituency after more than 30 children died within 48 hours last week allegedly owing to a disruption in the oxygen supply to the encephalitis ward at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College. The oxygen supplier to the medical college wrote 30 letters since February, reminding the hospital authorities and the Uttar Pradesh government about steadily mounting dues, which led to the supply falling short. Most of these letters elicited no response, and the firm – Pushpa Sales Private Limited – finally snapped supply that allegedly resulted in the death of at 23 children in 24 hours. So far 105 children have died. Read the story here.

Blue Whale effect? CBSE issues guidelines to schools for safe internet usage

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued a circular to all schools asking them to install effective firewalls, filtering and monitoring software mechanisms in all the computers and regularly review filtering and blocking policies and procedures. The decision was taken days after the government issued direction to internet majors to remove links of the deadly Blue Whale Challenge — an online game in which the final task requires the player to kill self. The circular ‘Guidelines for Safe and Effective Use of Internet and Digital Technologies in Schools and School Buses’ has been issued to all the 18,000 affiliated schools across the country. Read the story here.

Delhi: Nigerian man jumps to death to evade arrest in Rs 20-crore drug bust

A Nigerian man fell from the fourth floor of a south Delhi building on Friday afternoon and died, apparently trying to evade arrest after a police team raided the house for narcotics. Police said 25 kilos of Ketamine, a drug believed to induce a trance effect, were found during a search. The seized contraband could fetch Rs 20 crore in the clandestine international drug market. Police said inquest proceedings were initiated for 40-year-old Cyprian Ama Ogbonnaya, a native of Nigeria. Read the story here.

EC wants social media policy to check code of conduct violations

The Election Commission is drafting a social media policy that will allow it to monitor content that transgresses the code of conduct and also checks the misuse of the medium for surrogate publicity. “It has come to the EC’s notice that some public relations firms are actively being deployed to shape public opinion online. With increasing use of mobile-internet technology, the influence of social media has also risen and it is high time that social media’s content is monitored,” election commissioner OP Rawat said on Thursday. Read the story here.

Rupert Murdoch’s son donates $1 million to anti-hate crime group in Trump rebuke

James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox whose father Rupert has been a Donald Trump ally, criticized the US president’s response to recent violence in Virginia and pledged to donate $1 million to countering hate. The unusual political intervention from an executive who has cultivated a more low-key persona than his father, was notable, coming from the top echelons of a media empire that includes Fox News. Trump is said to assiduously watch the news network, whose viewers include many of his staunchest supporters. The US president has come under blistering attack across the political spectrum for saying anti-racism protestors deserved equal blame for violence at a neo-Nazi and white supremacist rally that left one woman dead last Saturday. Read the story here.

No cover for Trump: Time, Economist, New Yorker open fire over white supremacy defence

If he looked at newsstands this week, US president Donald Trump would certainly not be happy. The covers of leading magazines such as the New Yorker, Economist and Time sharply criticised the president over his defence of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in the murder of Heather Heyer. The Economist’s cover shows Donald Trump holding up a Ku Klux Klan hood as a megaphone. The accompanying editorial is equally scathing, calling Trump a “politically inept, morally barren and temperamentally unfit for office.” The cover of the New Yorker also makes a strong connection between Trump and white supremacy. Read the story here.

Alastair Cook 243 puts England on top vs West Indies in Pink Ball Test

James Anderson struck an early blow after Alastair Cook scored a superb 243 as England dominated the second day of the first Test against West Indies at Edgbaston on Friday. Cook’s 10-hour knock led the hosts to a first-innings total of 514 for eight declared and Anderson had Kraigg Brathwaite caught by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow for nought before West Indies limped to 13 for one in reply at tea. Resuming on 348 for three in the first day-night test in England, Cook and Dawid Malan smoothly extended their fourth-wicket partnership to 162. Read the story here.

First Published: Aug 19, 2017 07:49 IST