China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea


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BEIJING: China will build its first long-term underwater observation platform in resource-rich South China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with many south-east Asian countries including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The platform aims to observe underwater conditions in real time.

“Construction work on the long-term observation platform covering key areas in the South China and East China seas will be done with the help of Shanghai’s Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics,” Wang Pinxian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said.

Building the observation network showcases that China is actively joining in the international competition, Wang told scientific forum in Shanghai last Saturday, state-run Global Times reported.

Institute of Acoustics refused to reveal the exact location and further details of the researches on the platform due to its sensitive nature, it said.

China has maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

It claims almost all the waters, which carry a third of the world’s maritime traffic and has huge amounts of oil and natural gas BSE -0.15 %.

The waters are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China also contests Japan’s hold over the islands in the East China Sea.

Quoting a report from ‘sciencenet’, Global Times report said the observation platform will probe the undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics, and will also be used for other purposes.

At an offshore drilling project led by Chinese scientists, 33 scientists from 13 countries including the US, France, Italy and Japan left Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on February 7 for the South China Sea.

The scientists have completed the first drilling task of the expedition to the South China Sea.

The first hole, identified as U1499A, has reached 3,770 meters below sea level, for collection of sediment samples, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to Sun Zhen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, chief scientist of the research expedition team, a preliminary lithologic study was conducted on sediment believed to have been formed eight million years ago.

The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow.

A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions, as part of the International Ocean Discovery Programme.

Source

Jitu Rai wins bronze medal in ISSF World Cup


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Jitu Rai (sports rediscovered Image)

NEW DELHI: Ace pistol shooter Jitu Rai staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event for India’s fourth podium finish in the ongoing ISSF World Cup on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old shot a total of 216.7 in the eight-man final to finish third on the podium.

The Asian Games and World Championships silver-medallist was languishing at the seventh position after the end of the first competition series that included an 8.8.

But he clawed his way back with two 10.6 and a 10 in the second competition series. At the end of that series, Rai was placed sixth with a total of 98.7.

He managed to maintain the status quo even as the final entered the elimination stage at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range. He shot two 10s in the following shots to continue his gradual ascent.

The Army man roared back to contention with a couple of 10.6 and ensured a bronze with a 9.9, finishing ahead of China’s Zhanyi Xu (197.9).

With a lead of 0.1 point over Vietnam’s Xuang Vinh Hoang, Rai was in the hunt for a silver but an 8.6 meant he had to be content with the bronze.

The gold went to Japan’s Tomoyuki Matsuda with a world record total of 240.1 points, while Vietnam’s Xuan Vinh Hoang claimed silver with 236.6 points.

The other Indian shooters in the fray in the air pistol event — Omkar Singh and Amanpreet Singh — failed to cross the qualification stage.

Source: Times Of India

Kanpur building collapse toll rises to 7


news24in7

Army jawans carry out rescue and relief works after collapse of an under-construction building in Chakeri, Kanpur | PTI

Feb 2 (IANS) The death toll in a building collapse here in Uttar Pradesh rose to seven on Thursday, with three more labourers succumbing to their injuries, a police official said.

Eight persons trapped in the debris of the six-storey under-construction apartment building, owned by SP leader Mehtaab Aalam, were also rescued, the police official said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajesh Modak confirmed the number of deaths and informed that many of the injured were still in critical condition.

Most of the victims were labourers and their families from Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon when the sixth floor was being constructed.

All of a sudden, the building crumbled like a pack of cards and thereafter there was chaos and wails for help, an eyewitness told IANS.

All through the night, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, who were rushed in from Varanasi and Lucknow, continued their relief and rescue operations.

The Army was also helping, a district official informed. But since the building is located in a narrow lane, rescue work was hampered.

–IANS

Middle class can breathe bit easy as tax rate halved


news24in7(IANS) In a major relief to the tax-burdened middle-class people, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday proposed to halve the income tax to five per cent for those earning between Rs 250,000 and Rs 500,000 per annum.

Presenting the 2017-18 Budget in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said he proposes to halve the income tax for persons earning between Rs 2.5 lakh-Rs 5 lakh from the current 10 per cent.

“This will reduce the tax liability of all persons with incomes below Rs 500,000 either to zero (with rebate) or 50 per cent of their existing liability,” Jaitley said.

The existing benefit of rebate available to the same group of beneficiaries is being reduced to Rs 2,500 that is available only to assessees up to an annual income of Rs 350,000.

According to him, the combined effect is that there will be nil tax liability for people with incomes of up to Rs 300,000 per annum.

The tax liability will only be Rs 2,500 for people with incomes between Rs 300,000 and Rs 350,000.

If the limit of Rs 150,000 under Section 80C for investment is used fully, the tax would be zero for people with incomes of Rs 450,000.

While the tax liability of people with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 is being reduced to half, all other categories of taxpayers in the subsequent slabs will also get a uniform benefit of Rs 12,500 per person.

“The total amount of tax foregone on account of this measure is Rs 15,500 crore,” Jaitley said.

In an effort to somewhat make good the loss of revenue, Jaitley proposes to levy a surcharge of 10 per cent of tax payable on individuals whose annual taxable income is between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore.

The surcharge will generate additional revenue of Rs 2,500 crore.

The existing surcharge of 15 per cent of the tax on people earning more than Rs 1 crore will continue.

For those with incomes of up to Rs 500,000 — other than business income — Jaitley said a single-page income tax return form will be introduced.

“It is a populist budget for the middle class. The budget proposes to give relief to the middle class while taxing the super-rich,” Neha Malhotra, Executive Director, Nangia & Co., an international tax advisory and accounting firm, told IANS.

“It was a legitimate expectation post-demonetisation that the personal income tax rate will be reduced to soften the tax hit on the pockets of the individuals,” she added.

According to Malhotra, immovable property owners have been relieved by lowering the holding period for availing lower rate of long-term capital gains tax from three years to two years.

“Also, the base year for computing capital indexation benefit has been changed from existing April 1, 1981, to April 1, 2001. This move will give significant relief to the taxpayers earning profits from sale of house property and will encourage investments in the real estate sector,” she said.

Another woe of the taxpayers is that provisions applicable on dishonoured cheque under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act are ineffective.

New effective way to tackle the issue of bounced cheque is a welcome move which shall relieve those facing hardship on these fronts, she added.

–IANS

A two year old boy saves his twin from being crushed under dresser


A 2-year-old boy is being called a hero after saving his twin brother, who got pinned under a dresser that fell on top of him.

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The scary incident occurred when the two boys were playing in their bedroom. One of the boys tried to scale the chest of drawers. He climbed into an open drawer and began to try and climb up, but the chest of drawers could not bear the little boy’s weight so it fell backwards onto him, pinning him underneath.

Seeing his brother harmed and trapped, the twin brother sprung into action. In the full video, the boy is pinned for a minute and a half before his brother figures out how to free him. Eventually, the little boy tries to lift the chest of drawers by himself, and succeeds in freeing his brother!

The moment was caught on a surveillance camera and a short clip of the boy freeing his brother can be seen below.

The little boy was very lucky he was not seriously hurt and that he had his brother there to help him.

Watch Full Video

(Click Here)

Tracking ‘Make in India’: 8 things to note


News 24 in 7India’s new government launched ‘Make in India’ as an initiative to encourage companies to manufacture products locally. It is a program designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build the best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure. The government is positive on the developing contours of the Make in India program as most government ministries have aligned their goals and targets to further this mission. Here are the focus points for Make in India, according to report by Barclay’s, a British bank.

Here are pointers to note:

1. Foreign direct investment: The main goal for Make in India is foreign direct investment. It aims to boost local manufacturing, technology transfer and skill development across sectors. So far, the new government has eased requirements in the construction sector, permitted 100% FDI in railways, allowed 49% on approval and above 49% on case-by-case in the defence.

2. Ease of doing business: For the economic world, the government is making efforts to reduce complexities in terms of deregulation and de-license. The BJP government aims to achieve greater transparency, rule-based processes, timely dispute resolution, single-window and simple processes for the Make in India campaign. The management has eased regulatory environment vis ebusiness, industrial licensing and compliance requirements made less stringent and self-compliance driven in heavy industries and approvals are now process driven by the environment ministry. In the commerce sector, the ministry has reduced paper work for imports and exports.

3. Quality and technology: As a part of the Make in India mission, the government plans to create eco-system for indigenous technology development. In order to achieve this, the health industry has introduced schemes with outlay of Rs 9 billion for capital goods sector for product and technology development. In the defence sector, the government intends higher domestic procurement.

4. Labour reforms: Easier scale for hiring or laying off and lower compliance burden are the goals Make in India is trying to accomplish. Despite India’s overlapping outdated labour laws, the government has performed an early stab at labour reforms with amendments to laws pertaining to apprenticeship, industrial closures, and labour compliance.

5. Infrastructure: The road ministry has generated higher funding and targets allocated to roads, railway, and ports. Apart from the 100 smart city project, industrial corridors are under construction. The government strives to build transport, power infrastructure, industrial corridors and export oriented infrastructure.

6. Tax reforms: As a part of the Make in India mission, the new government aims to reduce tax litigations and unclog the complexity in the tax code and create a national market. The Finance Ministry is in full swing by reducing custom duty on a number of inputs to domestic industry like steel grade limestone, dolomite in financial 2015-16 union budget.

7. SME support: One of the Make in India program’s objective is to make small and medium enterprises export-oriented by providing technology, credit and value chain support. Tax pass through for venture capital funds, proposes inclusion of lending to SMEs as priority sector lending, subsidy for installation of machinery, and 15 new technology centres are some measures the government has taken to make progress in this initiative.

8. Skill development: Skill development is one of the key objectives to achieve the Make in India mission. Skilled manpower for manufacturing and technology intensive industries are some of the goals the government wishes to attain. So far, the government has launched ‘Skill India’ program that envisages expansion of skill councils in partnership with India Inc and opened new higher education institutions.

This work is produced by Simplus Information Services Pvt Ltd.

Source: Yahoo

IAS officer death case: If truth has to come out, CBI probe crucial, says BJP


New Delhi, Mar. 19 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said that a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is crucial in the death case of IAS officer D.K Ravi as the latter was fighting against vested interests.

“There are many questions that are arising in this matter as to wy such an officer took such an extreme step. IAS officer DK Ravi was fighting against vested interests and CBI inquiry important to bring out truth,” said party spokesperson Nalin Kohli.

Earlier on Wednesday, lawyers staged a protest demanding that the Karnataka Government to handover the probe into the officer’s death case to the CBI.

The Karnataka Government has, however, so far rejected the demand and asserted that the CID of the state police is capable of handling the investigation in the case.

The 2009 batch IAS officer, who was deputed as the Joint Commissioner of the state’s Commercial Taxes Department, was found mysteriously hanging by a fan in the bedroom of his private apartment in South Bengaluru’s Tavarekere earlier on Monday. (ANI)

Woman accused of cutting baby from pregnant woman’s womb


LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A 34-year-old woman was accused of stabbing a pregnant woman in the stomach and removing her baby, while the expectant mother visited her home to buy baby clothes advertised on Craigslist, Colorado authorities said.

Officers called to the residence Wednesday afternoon found the 26-year-old victim, who was seven months pregnant, stabbed and beaten, Longmont police Cmdr. Jeff Satur told the Daily Times-Call newspaper (http://bit.ly/1BzW1ZZ ).

She underwent surgery and is expected to recover, but the baby did not survive.

Satur said the suspect arrived at the hospital with the baby and told staff she had suffered a miscarriage.

The pregnant woman was at the home to buy baby clothes that were advertised on Craigslist.

“This is a tragic case for a mother right now,” Satur said. “She came by this house. She was attacked, and her baby was removed from her.”

Investigators have not released the names of the suspect and the pregnant woman but said they did not know each other.

The suspect was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse-knowingly and recklessly resulting in death.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office will consider what formal charges to file.
“The issues involving an unborn child are complicated under Colorado law,” he said. “In most circumstances, if a child was not actually born alive, then homicide charges are not possible.”
Police were getting a search warrant for the suspect’s home.