Sunday, 21 July 2019

PRIEST HIT IN US ... Days after Trump's "go back" tweet, Indian priest at receiving end, "attacked" in a street in New York

NEW YORK: A Hindu priest was attacked by a middle-aged US national while he was taking a walk along the street, in his religious garb, near a temple in Floral Park here, the US media reported. With probably no basis, though, the attack was immediately “linked” to a “go back” call made by President Donald Trump to those who came to settle down in the US and do not feel comfortable here.
Victim of the attack, Swami Harish Chander Puri said that around 11am Thursday, he was waylaid near the Shiv Shakti Peeth in Glen Oaks. He was walking down the street, when the attacker drew up close from behind and started hitting him, repeatedly. Puri, beaten up badly, was rushed to the hospital. The priest has bruises and abrasions all over his body, a private TV channel reported.
Police arrested the assailant, 52-year-old Sergio Gouveia. He’s charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. The cops are yet to ascertain whether this was simply a personal attack or one prompted by hate crime. The attacker allegedly screamed, “this is my neighbourhood.”
There are those who linked the incident to a tweet by US President Donald Trump a few days ago, while targeting four democratic congresswomen including Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born US citizen, saying they could rather “go back” to where they came from. “Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful. If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!” Trump tweeted. ==Agencies, IHN-NN

IMRAN IN US ... PM Imran Khan meeting Trump on Monday with 2 Generals in tow

WASHINGTON: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in the United States on Saturday, accompanied by foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, two army heads, and commerce adviser Abdul Razzak. He will have a meeting with President Donald Trump at Oval Office in White House on Monday, when a presidential lunch will be hosted for the visiting Asian leader.

In what is believed to be a sign of weak positioning by Pakistan’s elected leader, Imran Khan took along with him two top military generals for participation in discussions with American top brass. They are Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the director general of Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) Faiz Hameed. This is the first time military generals are accompanying a visiting PM.

US acting chief of protocol Mary Kate-Fisher and Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi were among a large number of Pakistani Americans present at the airport to receive the PM.

The visit is more significant this time, as the Trump administration had cancelled military aid to Pakistan on the ground it did not do enough to control acts of terrorists based in its soil. Weeks ago, Trump had gone on record to say Pakistan has given us nothing other than “lies and deceit.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to hold talks with Khan on Tuesday. Khan would also use the visit to hold discussions with IMF acting chief David Lipton and World Bank president David Malpass.

In a visible sign of austerity, well-appreciated back home, the Pakistan Prime Minister avoided luxury hotels and opted to stay at the residence of the Pakistani Ambassador to the US, Assad Majeed Khan. A top Pakistani leader is visiting the US on official purpose after a gap of four years. Nawaz Sharif was in the US in October 2015.

Discussions between US president and Khan would centre around issues like progress in the anti-terrorism efforts of Pakistan, the Afghan peace process and restoration of military aid to Paksitan.The US officials had stated a few days ago that arrests of those like UN-designated global terrorists LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and JuD leader Masood Azhar in Pakistan were just “window-dressing” and lacked sincerity of purpose.

Meanwhile, in another jolt to Khan, some 10 US Congressmen have advised Donald Trump to raise the issue of human rights violations by Pakistani security forces in Sindh province. They referred to reports about large-scale "disappearance" of activists in Sindh; a euphemism for liquidation by security forces.

Cricketer-turned PM, Imran Khan, a popular figure among the Pakistani and Indian diaspora, would address Pakistani Americans in Washington DC on Sunday and would speak at the US Institute of Peace think tank on Tuesday, before his departure from the US. –Agencies, IHN-NN


Saturday, 20 July 2019

RED QUESTION ... Will Raja be the Raja in CPI after S Sudhakar Reddy's exit?


NEW DELHI: For the first time, a Dalit might head the Communist Party of India (CPI) at the national level. Its secretary for many years, D Raja from Tamil Nadu, is likely to take over as General Secretary, the top post in the party, from S Sudhakar Reddy who is now midway through his third consecutive term. The national secretariat and national executive of the CPI have cleared Raja’s name for the top post, despite some resistance, and a formal decision is expected soon.

General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy from the Telugu region based in Hyderabad has made it clear that he does not want to continue in the post due to health reasons. He could have carried on for two more years in this term but wants to exit right now. He made his request in May after the poor performance of the CPI in the LS polls. He said he wanted to take the responsibility for this.

The going is not good for the Communists across the nation. CPI’s trade union wing, the AITUC, held supreme in the railways, ports, postal sectors for decades, but is battered of late. This is affecting the funds flow to the party. There are also suggestions that the two communist parties merge into one – long after their split in 1962, a time when one side led by EMS Namboodiripad was patronized by the Chinese Communist Party and the other side led by then party general secretary SA Dange by the Soviet Communists. Now, neither Russia nor China shows much interest in tie-up with communist parties outside of their countries.  

D Raja is the senior-most leader and has a national profile too. He hails from Chennai and is an advocate by profession. However, he too does not have much to crow about. He has failed to improve the prospects of the party in the state, and so did Reddy whose leadership did not help revive the fortunes of the reds in both the Telugu states. The 77-year-old Reddy is a former MP, and so is Raja, 69, who was helped into Rajya Sabha by J Jayalalithaa twice. His last term ends in two months’ time.

Reddy held the post of general secretary for three terms after the exit of AB Bardhan in 2012. Raja is national secretary of the CPI since 1994. The elitists in the CPI, prominently those from Kerala, are not enthused about handing over the leadership to Raja. Raja is a Dalit, and the only Dalit who rose in the ranks of the two Communist parties to top level ever. He did so by his grit and determination. 

The Kerala comrades, fattened by forays in power for decades, are reportedly trying to put a spoke into Raja's wheel. Some of them are pressing Sudhakar Reddy to continue and proposed even P Narayana for the post if Reddy was keen on quitting. A cool-framed leader, Narayana specializes in issuing press statements and media appearances, as does Sitaram Yechury.  

Meanwhile, reports emerged that the CPI might lose its national party status. It lost much clout in Tamil Nadu, Manipur and West Bengal, besides Bihar where it once was a force to reckon with. In the present Lok Sabha polls, the party drew a blank everywhere, including Kerala, except for two seats it won in Tamil Nadu. The CPIM too won two seats in Tamil Nadu, besides one seat -- Alappuzha – in Kerala. West Bengal was a washout for both the communist parties in the present LS polls. So was Tripura.

In Kerala, the CPI won 19 seats in the 2016 Assembly polls. In Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, it won one seat each in the 2016 polls, a status note prepared by the Election Commission noted. In Manipur, it got no seat in the 2017 Assembly polls. MLA seats and votes thereof in the polling in these states, besides Kerala, had helped the party hold itself aloft as a national party. As per EC rule, “A political party can only be considered as a ‘national party’ as long as its vote share is no less than six per cent in the Assembly polls in four states.” –IHN-NN


UNCHANGED AT RELIANCE ... Salary of Mukesh Ambani at Rs 15crore per annum


MUMBAI: Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, who is world’s 13th richest individual who heads the Reliance Industries, has kept his annual salary from the company at Rs 15crore without a raise for the 11th consecutive year this last fiscal. He had fixed this amount as his annual salary without change since the 2008-09 fiscal. As a result, he waived Rs 24crore every year which was his due.

Nikhil Meswani
 A report noted on Saturday that, meanwhile, the remunerations of all whole-time directors of the company, including cousins Nikhil Meswani and Hital Meswani, saw a handsome increase in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019. "Compensation of Shri Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, has been set at Rs15 crore, reflecting his desire to continue to set a personal example for moderation in managerial compensation levels," RIL said in its latest annual report.

Mukesh Ambani’s remuneration for 2018-19 included Rs 4.45crore as salary and allowances. This was marginally lower than Rs 4.49crore he got in the previous 2017-18 fiscal. Commission has been unchanged at Rs 9.53crore while perquisites have risen to Rs 31 lakh from Rs27 lakh. Retirement benefits were Rs 71 lakh.

The sixty-two year-old Ambani voluntarily capped his compensation at Rs15crore in October 2009 amid a debate over right-sizing of CEO salaries. The salary cap continued even as all other executive directors saw their remunerations go up. Ambani's cousins Nikhil R Meswani and Hital R Meswani saw their compensation rise to Rs20.57crore each. They earned Rs19.99crore each in 2017-18 and Rs16.58crore in 2016-17. In 2015-16, Nikhil had got Rs 14.42crore while Hital took home Rs14.41crore. In 2014-15, they had got Rs12.03crore each.

Also, one of his key executives, executive direvtor Panda Madhusudana Siva Prasad saw his remuneration go up to Rs 10.01crore from Rs 8.99crore the previous fiscal. He too has seen his remuneration rise steadily -- from Rs 6.03crore in 2o140-15 to Rs 7.23crore in the next fiscal; and, Rs 7.87crore 2016-17. Prasad hails from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and is with the Reliance since the early 1980s under founder Dirubhai Ambani. 

RIL annual report noted: "Performance criteria for two Executive Directors, entitled for Performance Linked Incentive (PLI), are determined by the Human Resources, Nomination and Remuneration Committee." RIL's non-executive directors, including Nita Ambani, also got Rs 1.65crore each  as commission,  besides sitting fees. The commission was Rs 1.5crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1.3crore the previous year.

The report also said former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya got only Rs 75lakh as commission as she was appointed to the board of RIL only with effect from October 17, 2018. –Agencies, IHN-NN


DEMISE ... Former Delhi CM and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit is no more

NEW DELHI: Former Delhi chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit at age 81 Saturday, due to heart-related ailment at a private hospital. She was chief minister for 1998 to 2013, and later became the Governor of Kerala for a short duration. She was expected to lead the campaign for the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi.Her husband, Vindod Dikshit, had pre-deceased her. The couple sired two children --former MP and Congress leader Sandip Dikshit and Lathika Saeed. 

The body will be kept for public darshan and homage at the Congress office on Sunday morning and will be cremated in the afternoon, the family said.

Born in Kapurthala in Punjab, she had her education and political grooming in capital Delhi. A Nehru family loyalist, she became a Lok Sabha member from Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh in 1984 and held charge of PMO when Rajiv Gandhi was PM. She was hugely popular as CM until the CommonWealth Games scam erupted and it tarnished her image as well as cast a shadow over Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, among others. The AAP came from behind and Arvind Kejriwal defeated her in the New Delhi assembly constituency. 

Sheila Dikshit was happy to be governor initially, but she soon felt bored as she was cut off from the theatre of politics in Delhi. She breathed politics and was hugely popular among the political class in the national capital. She was later asked to take charge of election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, where too she could not make a mark.  IHN-NN


Friday, 19 July 2019

TOP BIZ LIST ... Mukesh Ambani, India's richest, is world's 13th top rich person in Bloomberg's List of Rich; Jeff Bezos at top

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani, who is named India's richest business tzar, is world's 13th wealthiest individual. He is recorded to have a net worth of $51.8billion, says the latest Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world's wealthiest 500 individuals. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is the world's richest person with a total net worth of $125billion.
The high and mighty in the list include 18 Indians. On top is Mukesh Ambani and the next is Azim Premji ranked 48 in the global list with a net worth of  $20.5billion. New Delhi based Tamil entrepreneur Shiv Nadar is ranked 92, with a net worth of $14.5billion and Uday Kotak at rank 96 has a net worth of  $13.8billion.
The other richest people in the top 10 list includes Chairman and Chief Executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy Bernard Arnault with a net worth of $108 billion, Microsoft founder Bill Gates $107 billion, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett $83.9 billion, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg $79.5 billion, Inditex fashion group founder Amancio Ortega $67.2 billion, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison $61.8 billion, Google co-founder Larry Page $56.6 billion, CEO of Telmex, América Móvil, and Grupo Carso Carlos Slim $56.4 billion, and heiress of Liliane Bettencourt Francoise Bettencourt Meyers $56.3 billion.

1. Jeff Bezos $125B; 2. Bernard Arnault $108B; 3. Bill Gates $107B; 4. Warren Buffett $83.9B; 5. Mark Zuckerberg $79.5B.
6. Amancio Ortega $67.2B; 7. Larry Ellison  $61.8B; 8. Larry Page $56.6B; 9. Carlos Slim $56.4B; 10. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers $56.3B; 11. Sergey Brin $55.0B; 12. Rob Walton $52.0B;
13. Mukesh Ambani $51.8B; 14. Jim Walton $51.6B; 15. Alice Walton $51.0B; 16. Steve Ballmer $50.9B; 17. Charles Koch $45.0B; 18. David Koch 45.0B; 19. Jacqueline Mars $41.5B; 20. John Mars $41.5B; 21. Jack Ma $41.3B; 22. MacKenzie Bezos $40.3B; 23. Francois Pinault $38.3B; 24. Pony Ma $37.1B; 25. Sheldon Adelson $36.0B;
26. Phil Knight $34.2B; 27. Tadashi Yanai $32.4B; 28. Michael Dell $32.1B; 29. Li Ka-Shing $30.6B; 30. Hui Ka Yan $30.2B; 31. Alain Wertheimer $27.8B; 32. Gerard Wertheimer $27.8B; 33. Lee Shau Kee $26.3B; 34. Giovanni Ferrero $25.8B; 35. Len Blavatnik $25.4B.
36. Leonid Mikhelson $23.6B; 37. Jorge Paulo Lemann $23.5B38. Dieter Schwarz $23.5B; 39. Elon R Musk $23.5B; 40. Yang Huiyan $22.8B; 41. Laurene Powell Jobs $22.7B; 42. Vladimir Potanin $22.2B; 43. Leonardo del Vecchio $21.7B; 44. Pallonji Mistry $21.6B; 45. Carl Icahn $21.5B; 46. Vladimir Lisin $21.1B; 47. Leonard Lauder $20.7B 48. Azim Premji $20.5B; 49. Jim Simons $20.5B; 50. Alexey Mordashov $19.4B.
51. Joseph Safra $19.2B; 52. Susanne Klatten $19.2B; 53. He Xiangjian $19.2B; 54. Robert Kuok $18.5B; 55. Lukas Walton $18.3B; 56. Stefan Persson $18.2B; 57. Jim Ratcliffe $18.1B; 58. Henry Cheng $17.9B; 59. Vagit Alekperov $17.7B; 60. Masayoshi Son $17.6B

61. Gennady Timchenko $17.4B; 62. Takemitsu Takizaki $17.4B; 63. Alisher Usmanov $17.3B; 64. Donald Bren $17.2B; 65. Lui Che Woo $17.2B; 66. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken $17.1B; 67. Wang Jianlin $17.1B; 68. Gina Rinehart $17.0B; 69. Heinz Hermann Thiele $16.9B; 70. Ray Dalio $16.9B; 71. Abby Johnson $16.9B; 72. Lee Kun Hee $16.9B; 73. Ernesto Bertarelli $16.7B; 74. Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi $16.6B; 75. Ron Perelman $16.5B.
76. Thomas Peterffy $16.2B; 77. Aliko Dangote $16.2B’78. Stefan Quandt $16.0B; 79. Budi Hartono $15.9B; 80. Iris Fontbona $15.9B; 81. Steve Schwarzman $15.8B; 82. Zhang Zhidong $15.6B; 83. Elaine Marshall $15.4B; 84. Roman Abramovich $15.3B; 85. William Ding $15.3B; 86. John Menard Jr $15.2B; 87. Alwaleed Al Saud $15.1B; 88. Michael Hartono $15.1B; 89. Hasso Plattner $15.0B; 90. Carl Cook $14.6B; 91. Klaus-Michael Kuehne $14.5B; 92. Shiv Nadar $14.5B; 93. Viktor Vekselberg $14.1B; 94. Mikhail Fridman $14.0B; 95. Donald Newhouse $13.9B; 96. Uday Kotak $13.8B; 97. Eric Schmidt $13.7B; 98. Alejandro Santo Domingo $13.7B; 99. Li Shu Fu $13.7B;
100. Jim Goodnight $13.7B.
1.   13. Mukesh Ambani $51.8B; 48. Azim Premji $20.5B; 92. Shiv Nadar $14.5B; 96. Uday Kotak $13.8B; 112. Lakshmi Mittal $12.6B; 151. Gautam Adani $9.96B; 193. Radhakishan Damani $8.20B; 03. Dilip Shanghvi $7.76B; 206. Cyrus Poonawalla $7.69B; 225. Savitri Jindal $7.22B; 30. Benu Gopal Bangur $7.16B; 231. Kumar Birla $7.16B; 275. Nusli Wadia $6.32B; 331. Sunil Mittal $5.51B; 365. Rahul Bajaj $5.19B; 380. Anil Agarwal $5.09B; 435. K P Singh $4.65B; 458. Micky Jagtiani $4.47B. ==Agencies, IHN-NN

PONZY SCAM ... Mansoor Khan returns to India from Dubai, arrested by ED in Delhi


NEW DELHI: Ponzy scam accused Mansoor Khan, who ran what turned out to be a chit fund racket styled as I Monetary Advisory (IMA) and scooted from the scene in Bengaluru with millions, has been arrested. The arrest was made here on Friday by the Enforcement Directorate after his return from abroad.

Special Investigation Team (SIT) head Ravinkande Gowda tweeted earlier that an SIT team located Mansoor Khan in Dubai, and he was being brought to Delhi.

Mansoor Khan had posted a video some days ago expressing his willingness to return to India and face law. He has been saying that some politicians and anti-social elements extorted a lot of money from him and he was willing to name them. Some Congress politicians based in Bengaluru are believed to be among those who took protection money from Khan. IHN-NN


PRIEST HIT IN US ... Days after Trump's "go back" tweet, Indian priest at receiving end, "attacked" in a street in New York

NEWS PRIEST US NEW YORK: A Hindu priest was attacked by a middle-aged US national while he was taking a walk along the street, in h...