The Morning Wrap: Alphabet Is World's Most Valuable Co; Heartbroken Dad Covers Mumbai's Potholes

02/02/2016 9:25 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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An employee walks in a hallway at Google Canada's engineering headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The 185,000-square-foot facility currently houses over 350 employees from Google's Canadian development team. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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At the VHP’s workshop in Ayodhya, artisans and sandstone columns await an uncertain moment. It has taken over half a century for Indian courts to rule on the fate of the disputed site where the Babri Masjid once stood. Now the work on the Ram temple, which started in 1990, has outpaced the litigation by several decades.

At least 13 students from a Pune college drowned off the popular Murud-Janjira beach in adjoining Raigad district. According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, 13 bodies had been recovered while a few students were still untraced. The students were part of a group of around 126 who had come from Inamdar College for a picnic.

The Supreme Court conceded its “mistake” and recalled a notice to the Arunachal Pradesh Governor seeking his report to the President recommending central rule. This happened after it considered an earlier verdict and the legal position that the Governor enjoys “complete immunity” in court proceedings.

The Kapu community called off its agitation over the demand for reservation under the Backward Class category following assurances from Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. The situation in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh is now believed to be under control.

Main News

A video which documents Delhi Police personnel brutally beating up protesters outside the RSS office has gone viral with allegations that the police had tied up with RSS activists taking social media by storm. The one-minute video begins with showing police trailing slogan-chanting students protesting Rohith Vemula’s death.

Google’s new parent company Alphabet now comes before Apple on the list of the world’s most valuable companies. Alphabet Inc. earned $4.9 billion on revenue of $21.3 billion in the fourth quarter.

The Peoples Democratic Party dismissed speculation that it might announce something on government formation in Jammu and Kashmir after its first formal legislative party meeting. Governor Vohra has called PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and state BJP chief Sat Pal Sharma for separate meetings on Tuesday.

The World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global emergency. It estimated that there could be up to 4 million cases of Zika in the Americas in the next year. The last such public health emergency was declared for the devastating 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The LGBT community has pinned its hope on SC hearing on Section 377 today seeking reconsideration of its 2013 verdict criminalising gay sex. Activists have campaigned for Section 377 to be repealed on the grounds that it violates human rights.

Off The Front Page

Sixty-four beagles, who had for been confined to drab kennels in a drug-testing laboratory since birth, got a fresh lease of life after the State government rejected a request to use them for some experiments. CUPA, which facilitated the release, will hold an adoption drive in Bangalore for these dogs on Saturday.

An alert motorman in Mumbai halted a train in time and saved a teenaged schoolgirl, who was reported missing. When the girl continued to walk on the tracks despite a hooter warning, he applied the brakes and brought the train to a halt a few meters from her.

A 16-year-old Class 12 student from UP could be India's youngest jihadi. When a Mumbai court last week sent the terror accused to a juvenile remand home, it underlined a disturbing trend for security agencies: that of outfits such as the Islamic State targeting the young.

A heartbroken father is covering potholes in Mumbai after his 16-year-old son was killed in a bike accident caused by an uncovered pothole. Over the last month, Dadarao Bilhore, a 46-year-old vegetable seller, has plugged a dozen potholes.

Here’s how netizens helped a family in Delhi trace an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. A relative browsing through his Facebook page noticed her photograph in a business group. Someone had shared a Delhi Police tweet on a missing woman.


Today, as the Supreme Court hears the curative petition on Section 377, it has an opportunity to remember its promise to be the last resort of the oppressed, to let dignity be the domain of all, writes Gautam Bhan in The Hindu. “To make queer lives ordinary will take a number of different fights. The law is one such fight, and it is a critical one,” he says.

With Mehbooba Mufti holding her cards on government formation in J&K close to the chest, and the BJP reluctant to buckle under PDP pressure, a mid-term poll appears to be the only viable option to end uncertainty, writes Hari Om in The Pioneer. “The reasons are not far to seek. The PDP, which has 27 MLAs (all Muslims) in the 87-member Legislative Assembly, cannot tie up with the Congress.”

Indian’s “culture of impunity” is holding it back from “strong sustainable growth”, which surely is emerging, aspiring India’s greatest desire, writes Samar Halarnkar in Hindustan Times. “The impunity India offers the strong is at work, in situations more mundane and less urgent than gang rapes in Bastar and the death of pavement dwellers in Mumbai. Those so protected get true freedom — from the law.”

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