ജമ്മു: ജമ്മു കാഷ്മീരിലെ ബന്ദിപ്പോറയില് ഭീകരര് സൈനികര്ക്ക് നേരെ നടത്തിയ ആക്രമണത്തില് രണ്ട് സൈനികര്ക്ക് പരിക്ക്. ഷാകുന്ദ് ഹജിൻ ഗ്രാമത്തിൽ ബുധനാഴ്ചയായിരുന്നു വെടിവെയ്പ്പ്. മേഖലയിൽ ഭീകരർക്കായി സുരക്ഷാസേന തെരച്ചിൽ നടത്തുകയാണ്.
Parties struggle with candidate lists for Assembly polls
Thiruvananthapuram: Even a fortnight after the dates of Kerala assembly elections were notified, neither traditional rivals, LDF and UDF, nor BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have finalised their list of candidates to the 140-member House.While the United Democratic Front (UDF), led by Congress, has always been sluggish in announcing its candidates due to inter-party and intra-party party squabbles over seat allocations, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) tends to act with dispatch.The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and other LDF constituents have had three rounds of talks so far, but have not been able to decide the candidates.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hoping this time to open its account in the Kerala assembly, last Sunday surprised many by releasing the first list of 22 candidates, but then got bogged down.
On Friday, the national leadership of the BJP was unhappy with the state leaders, who were in New Delhi to finalise the seat sharing within NDA, for going public with the list.State Congress president V.M. Sudheeran has sent a \\\'jumbo list\\\' of about 400 probables for 82 seats to its national leadership and now the election committee will do the pruning in the coming week.
This committee has Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former defence minister A.K. Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, state Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala and Sudheeran.\\\"Things would be settled in the coming week,\\\" said Sudheeran.In the LDF, issues have surfaced within the CPI-M, which is a bit surprising.The accepted norm is that the list of candidates is sent from the 14 district committee\\\'s of the CPI-M to the state committee and is given the nod quickly.
It has not happened this time with district committees struggling to finalise their own lists.Angry scenes were witnessed, for instance, on Friday at the Alappuzha district committee meeting with leaders unable to arrive at a consensus on some seats.The LDF, however, is meeting later on Saturday and is expected to finalise and distribute the seats among its constituents.\\\"This time four new \\\'parties\\\' have crossed over to the LDF. So distribution of seats is taking a bit longer, but everything will be resolved soon,\\\" said a top LDF leader who did not wish to be identified.In the BJP, issues have surfaced over seat sharing with its new ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), the party recently founded by Vellapally Natesan, a Hindu Ezhava leader and general secretary of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam.
Obamacare Birth Control Plan Back to Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge from faith-based groups that object to an Obama administration effort to ensure their employees and students can get cost-free birth control.The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday on the sixth anniversary of President Barack Obama\\\'s health care overhaul in a case at the intersection of the law, religion and birth control.The 2010 law is making its fourth Supreme Court appearance in five years.
The issue this time is the arrangement the administration devised to make sure that religiously oriented colleges, charities and advocacy groups do not have to pay for or arrange the provision of contraceptives to which they object, while ensuring that women covered under their health plans still can obtain birth control.
Eight justices are hearing the case, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month. The challengers could find it hard, without Scalia, to attract the five votes they need to prevail.Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law. The administration pointed to research showing that the high cost of some methods of contraception discourages women from using them. A very effective means of birth control, the intrauterine device, can cost up to $1,000.
Houses of worship and other religious institutions whose primary purpose is to spread the faith are exempt from the birth control requirement.Other faith-affiliated groups that oppose some or all contraception have to tell the government or their insurers that they object.The groups say doing so leaves them complicit because the government is using their insurers and health plans to provide the contraception.
In 2014, the justices divided 5-4, with Scalia in the majority, to allow some \\\"closely held\\\" businesses with religious objections to refuse to pay for contraceptives for women. That case involved the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores and other companies that said their rights were being violated under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.The nonprofit groups are invoking the same law in asking that the government find a way that does not involve them or their insurers if it wishes to provide birth control to women covered by their health plans.
Among the challengers are Bishop David Zubik, head of the Catholic Diocese in Pittsburgh; the Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns who run more than two dozen nursing homes for impoverished seniors; evangelical and Catholic colleges in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C., and the anti-abortion advocacy group Priests for Life.The groups argue that the administration already has carved out exemptions and encourages people who can\\\'t get contraceptives through their employers to use the health care exchanges that were created by the health care law and serve millions of people.
American ISIS Fighter I Made a Bad Decision
The American Islamic State group fighter who handed himself over to Kurdish forces in Iraq\\\'s north earlier this week said he made \\\"a bad decision\\\" joining ISIS, according to a heavily edited interview he gave to an Iraqi Kurdish television station that aired late Thursday night.Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 26, from Alexandria, Virginia detailed his weeks-long journey from the United States to London, Amsterdam, Turkey, through Syria and finally to the IS-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul, where he was moved into a house with dozens of other foreign fighters.Khweis said he met an Iraqi woman with ties to ISIS in Turkey who arranged his travel into Syria and then across to Mosul. There Khweis said he began more than a month of intensive Islamic studies and it was then he decided to try and flee.
\\\"I didn\\\'t agree with their ideology,\\\" he said, explaining why he decided to escape a few weeks after arriving. \\\"I made a bad decision to go with the girl and go to Mosul.\\\"Khweis said a friend helped him escape Mosul to nearby Tal Afar. From there he said he walked toward Kurdish troops. \\\"I wanted to go to the Kurdish side,\\\" he said, \\\"because I know they are good with the Americans.\\\"
The surrender took place on the front lines near the town of Sinjar, which was retaken by Iraqi forces from ISIS militants late last year. In the past year IS fighters have lost large amounts of territory in Syria and Iraq. Khweis is currently being held by Kurdish forces for interrogation.Though such defections are rare, Syrian Kurdish fighters battling ISIS have told The Associated Press that they are seeing an increase in the number of IS members surrendering following recent territorial losses. As the militants lose territory, U.S. officials predict there will be more desertions.
\\\"I wasn\\\'t thinking straight,\\\" Khweis said. \\\"My message to the American people is that the life in Mosul is really, really bad,\\\" he said, adding that he doesn\\\'t believe the Islamic State group accurately represents Islam.Special: Barbara Walters Refuses to Return to the View, Due to This Secret
The United Nations estimated that around 30,000 so-called foreign fighters from 100 countries are actively working with the Islamic State group, al-Qaida or other extremist groups. An earlier estimate by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, a think tank at King\\\'s College London, said ISIS fighters include 3,300 Western Europeans and 100 or so Americans.
Strikes Bring Shortages In Hundreds Of French Petrol Stations
Hundreds of petrol stations faced shortages in France on Saturday as protests over a labor law reform led to a fall in refinery output and blockades that hampered fuel supply and prompted consumer panic.France has been hit by a wave of strikes over the past week after President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government opted to force the unpopular labor market reforms through the lower house of parliament without a vote.Total had to shut production units at three refineries, in Donges, Feyzin and Normandy, while deliveries from its Grandpuits refineries were blocked by protesters, prompting output to run at reduced flow, French oil industry group UFIP said. The fifth one in La Mede was operating normally.
In addition, three of Total’s nine oil depots were blocked by protesters.
The news of fuel shortages and blockades sent drivers rushing to petrol stations, mainly in northwestern France where the refineries are located, to fill their tanks as a precaution.UFIP said 317 out of Total’s 2,200 petrol stations in France had run out of all or some fuels on Saturday. Total runs nearly one petrol station out of five in the country.Shell and Eni petrol stations were not facing any disruption, UFIP said.Data for supermarkets, which sold more than 60 percent of the fuel in France last year, was not immediately available.
Several departments in the northwest imposed restrictions on limiting the volume of fuel per vehicle or banning jerry cans.“There is no need to panic,” UFIP spokeswoman said. “We have the products, refineries are working even if the flow has sometimes been reduced. The problem is to move around, there will be no shortage in the immediate future.”A prolonged strike at refineries in France in 2010 led to a glut of crude in Europe because it could not be delivered to refineries, and a spike in refined products prices due to low output from refineries.A CGT union official said on Friday the goal of the strike was not to create shortages but to obtain the withdrawal of the labor bill.
Judge Temporarily Halts Tribune Bid for California Papers
A federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order blocking Tribune Publishing Co.\\\'s purchase of Southern California newspapers the Orange County Register and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside.The move late Friday from U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. comes a day after the U.S. Department of Justice requested the restraining order in its antitrust lawsuit against the purchase by the owner of the Los Angeles Times, the dominant newspaper in the region.
In his ruling, Birotte said the government has shown \\\"a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim,\\\" the Los Angeles Times reported. He wrote that many online websites don\\\'t produce original content, but \\\"primarily post links to stories on the websites of other content generators - including local newspapers like the Register or the Press-Enterprise.\\\"Tribune said in court filings opposing the order earlier Friday that the temporary restraining order may well kill the $56 million deal entirely. That would make second bidder Digital First Media the likely new owner.
\\\"The government\\\'s request, if granted by this court, effectively removes Tribune altogether from the proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court,\\\" Tribune said according to the papers filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. \\\"A temporary restraint on Tribune will ensure that it will not acquire the properties.\\\"A hearing in bankruptcy court is scheduled for Monday, and the longer-term implications of the restraining order were not immediately clear.
Tribune announced Thursday it had prevailed in the bankruptcy auction, but the Justice Department the same day moved to prevent the sale, saying it would give Tribune a monopoly over newspaper sales in the region.The Tribune already operates the Times and San Diego Union-Tribune, which it purchased last year.
If the sale to Tribune goes forward, it would give the company control of the four largest daily newspapers in Southern California, with as many as 1,000 journalists covering an area that stretches from Los Angeles to the Mexican border. It\\\'s a region of 18 million people.In its Friday objections, Tribune criticized the Justice Department\\\'s \\\"eleventh hour\\\" interest in the deal, given that the media conglomerate was open about its interest as bankruptcy proceedings unfolded.
The company also complained that the government was relying on \\\"severely outdated\\\" notions of the media market and had cited 50- and 60-year-old legal cases from an era before digital publication in its bid to block the sale.The Justice Department fired back in court papers late Friday, saying that 200,000 residents of Orange and Riverside counties buy daily newspapers despite the advent of digital publications and the additional cash the higher bid would provide for creditors does not justify the loss of media competition.
The bankruptcy must close by March 31, when temporary private financing keeping the two newspapers afloat will dry up.Freedom Communications now operates both publications.The judge operates independently but has the discretion to consider the Justice Department\\\'s concerns, said Tom Campbell, a Chapman University law professor and former director of the Federal Trade Commission\\\'s Bureau of Competition.
That could make the runner-up bidder, Digital First Media, the winner, Campbell said.The judge \\\"could say, \\\'I don\\\'t know if it\\\'s a big antitrust problem or not, but I have two bidders who don\\\'t have an antitrust problem and one who does,\\\'\\\" Campbell said. \\\"The likeliest outcome is he would award it to the second bidder. That\\\'s what I would predict.\\\"
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.