The Morning Wrap: Britain Can't Deport Vijay Mallya; NASA's Kepler Discovers 1,284 Planets

11/05/2016 9:56 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Universal History Archive via Getty Images
This image, PIA06908, and PIA06910 represent views of Kepler's supernova remnant taken in X-rays, visible light, and infrared radiation (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

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Reacting to a comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about her Italian roots, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said that she had always been 'shamed' by RSS, BJP and other parties for her origins. She also emphasised that the 'blood of her loved ones' was in India, and that she would also 'breathe her last' in India.

Oscar-winning music composer AR Rahman wants to give more outlets to his creativity. Including being the music director for the films Pelé: Birth of a Legend and Sachin: A Billion Dreams, he is planning to make 12 films and is hoping to produce full-fledged stage musicals.

A leader of the right-wing student organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleged that women students in Jadavpur University (JU) 'could not' be molested because they have no 'shame'. The student organisation, affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had taken out a a protest march to the Jadavpur police station.

Actress Zareen Khan has been roped in for director Sai Kabir's upcoming film Divine Lovers along with actor Irrfan Khan. Earlier, Queen star Kangana Ranaut had been slated to play the role of a the middle-class muslim girl in the Indo-French drama, but she refused the offer when she found out that the film didn't revolve around her character.

Main News

The British government said it couldn't deport loans defaulter Vijay Mallya and asked India to consider requesting extradition. They also acknowledged "the seriousness of allegations" against Mallya and said that they were "keen to assist" the Indian government.

Delhi University Registrar Tarun Das on Tuesday said that the university's records showed that the bachelor’s degree awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was authentic. Das also dismissed the objections raised about the 'discrepancies' in the name mentioned on the marksheets and called them 'minor variations'.

Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahman Nizami was hanged in Bangladesh for crimes during the war of independence from Pakistan in 1971. The 73-year-old, who had been convicted of genocide, rape and torture, was executed early on Wednesday, Bangladesh Law Minister Anisul Haq confirmed.

Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) records have revealed that the key middleman in VVIP chopper scam - Christian Michel - visited India almost 180 times between 2005 and 2013. During these visits, mostly to Delhi, Michel gave his 'point of contact' in FRRO office as one 'Abhinav Tyagi' other than his associate JB Subramaniam, director in a shell firm.

Off The Front Page

Nasa announced that its planet-finding spacecraft Kepler space telescope has discovered 1,284 new planets, nine of which could theoretically be habitable. All of them orbit stars in a patch of sky on the Cygnus-Lyra border, where Kepler, launched in 2009, spent four years staring at 1,50,000 stars looking for the characteristic dimming when planets crossed their faces. Now, the number of known planets outside our solar system sits at 3,264.

A suicide note by a Mumbai builder that read like an essay on ego and self-control has left the police in a lurch as they're unable to find the motive behind his extreme action. The builder, Raj Kandhari wrote a three-page suicide note where he did not name any names and didn't blame any persons. "If one wants to progress, he has stop thinking about negative people and if this does not stop, it will lead to destruction," he wrote.

A sweets shop owner from Delhi has sent a legal notice to Shah Rukh Khan and the entire Fan team for using their name in one of the scenes in the film. The film shows the Khan’s character Gaurav, taking a box of sweets from ‘Ghantewala sweet shop’ to meet his favourite actor Aryan. In a later scene, the box of sweets falls on the ground in the commotion outside the actor’s residence.


Statistics show a steady rise in the turnout figures over the last three decades in several parts of India. The gap between women and men voters has also steadily reduced and in some States female voters outnumbered males, writes Mukulika Banerjee in The Hindu. "A polling station in India is the only public space of its kind where there is genuine social diversity, where women are unafraid, where VIPs cannot be ushered to the front of the queue and where people are forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder regardless of caste, class, skin colour or the richness of their attire — and women have to queue behind their domestic servants and men wearing gold watches stand behind one without shoes on his feet... Each of these actions reaffirms the identity of ordinary people as equal citizens of India, each of whom counts and is worthy of respect — and this alone for many was a good reason to vote," she says.

Asking about Sonia Gandhi's origins and the love for India is exactly the wrong question to ask. Instead, her role in the Agusta-Westland chopper deal scam should be investigated; probe should be ordered into whether her Italian connections helped grease the wheels during the helicopter deal, writes Sandip Roy for HuffPost India. "For an Indian to abhor the fact that an Italian by birth could come this close to becoming prime minister of India is perfectly understandable. Not just Sushma Swaraj or the RSS, but old warhorse Congressmen like Sharad Pawar and PA Sangma could not stomach the idea. But the incessant Italian-baiting is equally abhorrent. Sonia’s opponents should face up to the fact that in our saas-bahu culture, Sonia has played her cards as perfectly as the pleats on her sari," he says.

Using consumption expenditure to draw a poverty line leads to a flawed understanding of poverty, writes TN Srinivasan in The Indian Express. "Poverty lines were meant to serve essentially two purposes: One, identifying those who are deemed poor according to some social norms, and given the norms, estimating their proportion in the population. In other words, calculating the so-called head count ratio (HCR) and indicators of the depth of poverty; two, given the social objective of eradication of poverty as soon as feasible, devising policies towards poverty eradication, and monitoring their performance in achieving the social objective. The concepts of well-being and happiness had no role in setting the norms," he says.

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