Karnataka govt allows partial Ganeshotsav celebrations

News Network
September 5, 2021

Bengaluru, Sept 5: In a high-level meeting with the technical experts, the state government Sunday decided to relax the prevailing guidelines to allow partial Ganeshotsav celebrations and setting up of pandals.

The decision to approve partial celebrations comes in the wake of fears looming over the possible third wave of Covid hitting the state.

Permission to erect pandals has come as a major relief to idol-makers, who had gone bankrupt last year due to the ban on Ganeshotsav during Covid lockdown in the country.

Pandals install big Ganesha idols which brings good income for them.

According to the guidelines, not more than one Ganesha pandal can be set up in each ward. They also disallow immersion of the idols post 9 pm.

Ganeshotsav festivities have been permitted for a maximum of five days, and cultural programmes have been completely banned.

Ganeshotsav celebrations are banned in border taluks where positivity rate is found over two per cent

Apartment associations have been permitted to celebrate on their premises, but a maximum of 20 people present at a time.

Karnataka Saturday had reported 983 new infections and recorded 21 deaths, taking the total caseload to 29,54,047 and the toll to 37,401.

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News Network
January 30,2023

Mangaluru, Jan 30: A 19-year-old college student attempted to end his life after an unknown fraudster, to whom he was introduced on a social media platform, threatened to make his personal videos viral and demanded money from him.

In his complaint to the police, the second-year BCom student, who hails from Dharmasthala, has alleged that he came into contact with an unknown person on Instagram about 15 days ago.

Both started chatting and even made video calls. Later, the person threatened to share his personal videos on public domain and demanded Rs 11,000.

The complainant requested time until January 23 to pay the money. When he could not afford to, he feared that the accused would share his personal videos online. He attempted to end his life by consuming rat poison on January 24.

He was shifted to a hospital in Ujire and later to Wenlock district hospital, where he is undergoing treatment. Dharmasthala police on Saturday have registered a case under various sections of the IT Act and IPC.

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News Network
February 3,2023

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Mumbai, Feb 3: The brutal stock rout in Gautam Adani’s companies continued Friday, an indication that the billionaire needs to do more to restore confidence in his conglomerate’s financial health after accusations of fraud by Hindenburg Research.

The group’s 10 stocks all fell in early Mumbai trading, with $120 billion, or more than half of their combined value, erased since the US-based short seller last week claimed that offshore shell entities were used to inflate Adani group’s revenues and manipulate stock prices. Flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd. sank as much as 25%, taking its decline to 66% in seven trading sessions.

The continued slump reflects worries about Adani’s access to funding after the tycoon scrapped a key stock offering this week, and as long-held concerns about the group’s debt load were propelled onto the global stage by Hindenburg. The embattled tycoon is in talks with creditors to prepay some loans backed by pledged shares, as some banks stopped accepting the securities of the group that spans from ports to energy as collateral in client trades.

“Clearing of pledges may not help. Now the only point is investors are not just interested in clearing pledges, they want concrete plans and actions,” said Sameer Kalra, founder of Target Investing in Mumbai. “The use of every rupee on balance sheet is critical now. There are a lot of stakeholders.”

The crisis of confidence in Adani has become a national issue with opposition lawmakers disrupting parliament on Thursday to demand answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, given how closely his interests are intertwined with the nation’s growth plans. Government officials have sought to downplay the impact.

Hindenburg Research last week accused the Adani group of “brazen” market manipulation and accounting fraud, claiming that a web of Adani-family controlled offshore shell entities in tax havens were used to facilitate corruption, money laundering and taxpayer theft.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

The conglomerate has repeatedly denied the allegations, called the report “bogus,” and threatened legal action. Adani gave a video speech on Thursday stating that the group’s balance sheet is healthy.

In a reprieve for Adani, who has seen his personal fortune drop by $58 billion since the allegations, the group’s bonds rallied Friday after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. told some clients that the debt can offer value due to the strength of certain assets. All 15 dollar debt securities advanced, partly helped by news that Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. has made a coupon payment on schedule.

Meanwhile, banks have been tightening scruty on Adani companies’ securities. Units of Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. earlier this week stopped accepting some securities issued by Adani’s companies as collateral for margin loans to wealthy clients.

Separately, Lord Jo Johnson, the former Conservative minister and brother of former UK prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of Elara Capital, a London-based firm embroiled in the controversy at the Adani empire, the Financial Times reported. The firm was one of the 10 bookrunners on the record share sale that Adani Enterprises abruptly abandoned earlier this week.

Adani’s proposed loan prepayment would see lenders release some of the stock in the group’s companies that was pledged as collateral, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter. The Indian group hasn’t faced margin calls on these pledges and is seeking the prepayment proactively, the person added.

“Markets are looking for clarity on allegations and are likely not calmed via clearing of pledges,” said Nitin Chanduka, a strategist with Bloomberg Intelligence.

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News Network
January 30,2023

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Dubai/Washington, Jan 30: Israel appears to have been behind an overnight drone attack on a military factory in Iran, a US official said on Sunday.

Iran claimed to have intercepted drones that struck a military industry target near the central city of Isfahan, and said there were no casualties or serious damage.

The extent of damage could not be independently ascertained. Iranian state media released footage showing a flash in the sky and emergency vehicles at the scene.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military declined to comment. Arch-foe Israel has long said it is willing to strike Iranian targets if diplomacy fails to curb Tehran’s nuclear or missile programs, but it has a policy of withholding comment on specific incidents.

Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said no US military forces were involved in strikes in Iran, but declined to comment further.

That US officials were pointing to an Israeli role in the attack was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing several unidentified sources. One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters it did appear that Israel was involved. Several other US officials declined to comment, beyond saying that Washington played no role.

Tehran did not formally ascribe blame for what Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian called a “cowardly” attack aimed at creating “insecurity” in Iran. But state TV broadcast comments by a lawmaker, Hossein Mirzaie, saying there was “strong speculation” Israel was behind it.

The attack came amid tension between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear activity and its supply of arms — including long-range “suicide drones” — for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as months of anti-government demonstrations at home.

The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed. Iran’s Defense Ministry said the explosion caused only minor damage and no casualties.

“Such actions will not impact our experts’ determination to progress in our peaceful nuclear work,” Amirabdollahian told reporters in televised remarks.

An Israeli strike on Iran would be the first under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he returned to office last month at the helm of the most right-wing government in Israeli history.

In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in Ukrainian cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky linked the incident directly to the war there.

“Explosive night in Iran,” Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Did warn you.”

Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia but says they were sent before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Moscow denies its forces use Iranian drones in Ukraine, although many have been shot down and recovered there.

“Minor damage”

“Around 23:30 (2000 GMT) on Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack was carried out using micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) on one of the ministry’s workshop sites,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement carried by state TV.

It said one drone was shot down “and the other two were caught in defense traps and blew up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no casualties.”

A military official in the region said given the location of the strike in central Iran and the size of the drones, it was likely that the attack was staged from within Iran’s borders.

Separately, IRNA reported early on Sunday a massive fire at a motor oil factory in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. It later said oil leakage caused that blaze, citing a local official.

Iran has accused Israel in the past of planning attacks using agents inside Iranian territory. In July, Tehran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a “sensitive” defense industry center in Isfahan.

Several Iranian nuclear sites are located in Isfahan province, including Natanz, centerpiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging in 2021. There have been a number of explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial sites in recent years.

Talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since September. Under the pact, abandoned by Washington in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, Tehran agreed to limit nuclear work in return for easing of sanctions.

Iran’s clerical rulers have also faced internal turmoil in recent months, with a crackdown on widespread anti-establishment demonstrations spurred by the death in custody of a woman held for allegedly violating its strict Islamic dress code.

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