SOUTH ASIAN PULSE HEADLINES AUGUST 31ST 2016
Midweek Headlines – Aug 31, 2016
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who is in China on a six-day tour has given Canadian farmers a reason to smile as China has given extension for canola exports. The deadline to ban Canadian canola was September 1. Canadian exports to China are $19.5 billion out of which canola makes up $2 billion.
- Canadian economy shrank to 1.6% in the second quarter of this year in wake of low oil prices and wildfires in northern Alberta, Statistics Canada informed today.
- In a two minute, 32-second video clip, a Canadian couple – Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman kidnapped by Taliban in 2012 are seen pleading for life They are urging Afghan government to stop executions of Taliban prisoners, otherwise they along with others will be killed by Taliban. In May this year six Taliban militants were executed.
- Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is going to Mexico today before delivering his immigration speech tonight in Arizona. Trump has been speaking against Mexican workers in USA and talked of building a wall between Mexico and USA. Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s President invited both – Trump and Hillary to Mexico and Trump accepted the invite.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Islamabad, has said Pakistan is moving at a greater pace against terrorism but still needs to do more against extremist organizations operating from Pakistan such as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and the Haqqani network that launch attacks on India and Afghanistan. But he agreed that in this war Pakistan also has suffered. Replying to Kerry, Pakistan said the military operations in 2014 in North Waziristan and later Zarb-e-Azb were targeted towards Haqqani network. Pakistan also questioned why Pakistan is being singled out in India-Afghanistan-USA deals. Kerry said a meeting is being in USA next month on the region’s issue, will also include Pakistan. Kerry also appreciated work done by Nawaz Sharif.
- Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said loadshedding will be history in 2018. He was heading a cabinet committee on energy. He said once the ongoing projects are completed, the national grid would be able to cater for the power demand of the country. The meeting was also attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
- In Pakistan, Supreme Court has returned PTI’s ‘frivolous’ petition seeking disqualification of PM Sharif saying the court could not find enough proof to hold a hearing. PTI had alleged that Sharif and his family are involved in corruption in wake of the Panama Papers leaks. The court also returned the complaint of Jamaat-e-Islami lawyer Chaudhry Akhtar Ali.
- India’s gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk to 7.1% for the first quarter of this fiscal year from 7.5% in the same period of 2015-16, due mainly to lower activity in farm, mining and construction sectors.
- The Haryana government has decided to increase the salary and allowances of MLAs by 50%. Now an MLA will get IRs1.5 lakh per month along with allowances. Opposition has asked when in Delhi MLA salaries were increased, the BJP government objected to it so why is BJP government of Haryana doing so? Haryana government has informed as things are getting expensive, the decision is correct.
- AAP seems to be shying away from sharing details on its funds. Though the party claims it does not accept donations of more than IRs20,000 in cash, but some party insiders have revealed most of the donations in Punjab are being accepted in cash. The party has also failed take into account the complete fund receipt books it had distributed among volunteers during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. When asked party spokesperson Himmat Singh Shergill said funding information will be provided by August 28 but till now it has not been shared. He now says that Kapil Bhardwaj takes care of the party’s finances and so will give details about them. Bhardwaj on the other hand has said funds are collected through mobile phone app, Aapdan and therefore all receipt books were invalid. But opposition says on AAP website when the ‘donations’ button is clicked, it says coming soon, why fund details are not mentioned there. Experts are saying why are these details being asked from AAP alone and not from BJP, Congress and SAD? Hitting back, Harcharan Singh Bains has said at the moment AAP is being questioned so why are Akali Dal, Congress or BJP being questioned for transparency?
- AAP leader Sanjay Singh met Sucha Singh Chhotepur and has announced party bashing will be stopped adding no senior leader is allowed to talk to media regarding his case until internal inquiry is completed. Thus MP Bhagwant Mann and Sukhpal Khaira have also changed their tone. Chhotepur has been told that he can be brought back in party fold but he must stop speaking against AAP but Chhotepur loyalists are saying party leadership should out this in writing. According to them the party is trying to calm down Chhotepur for now but will not be taken back in the party.
- The government has approved appointment of TV anchor and actress Satinder Satti on Punjab Arts Council’s panel that has made artists unhappy. Experts have said the council was once headed by personalities such as Dr MS Randhawa, Dr Sardar Anjum, KS Virk and Dr Kartar Singh Duggal. According to the norm, the council’s general body accepts names approved by the government for the three posts of chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary-general. Commenting on the decision Baldev Singh Sadaknama, said: “Satti is an expert in her own field. But the council office-bearers should be known for their contribution to literature, literary criticism and other art forms.”
- England beat Pakistan yesterday by 169 runs and won the third one-day international at Trent Bridge and leading series 3-0 in the five-match series. England not only won the match but made a new ODI record total of 444 for three.