323

Ireland Prefers To Change Obsolescent Abortion Laws

NEW DELHI: Ireland has voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to overturn the abortion ban by 66 per cent to 33 per cent.

Currently, abortion is only allowed, when a woman's life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. A vote in favour of repeal paves the way for the Irish Parliament to legislate for change.

One of the key cases influencing the debate on abortion in Ireland was that of Indian dentist SavitaHalappanavar. She died of sepsis in an hospital after being denied abortion during a protracted miscarriage in 2012.

The Irish Parliament voted to legalise abortion in cases of medical emergencies as well as the risk of suicide in July, 2013.

301

Security Agencies Complain, WhatsApp And Facebook Not Cooperating

NEW DELHI: Security strategies of India have raise concern that internet giants such as WhatsApp and Facebook don’t cooperate in terror investigations cases. Ameeting on Friday took place on this issue where intelligence and law enforcement agencies raising these matters.

According to sources, counter-terror strategy was the focus of deliberations on the second and final day of the annual national security strategies conference of all states, Union territories and central police organisations, organised by the Intelligence Bureau at its headquarters here. Rather than going into specifics of each counter-terror module, the discussion centred around defining strategies to combat terror and make successful investigations and prosecutions in terror cases.

288

Survey Suggests NDA As Largest Combine In 2019 General Elections

New Delhi: A survey conducted by ABP-CSDS predicts that the BJP and allies could bag 274 seats while the Congress-led UPA may secure 164 seats. The others are expected to win 105 seats. The survey, however, comes with a disclaimer that "if the polls were held today" which means that it takes into consideration the performance of the BJP-led government in the last four years. The 'Modi wave' continues to remain a powerful force and the NDA will form government again 2019, but the win may not be as thumping as it was in the 2014 General Elections.

There are 543 seats in the LokSabha and majority mark needed to form the government is 272 seats. In 2014 General Elections, BJP alone had won 282 seats and was able to form an absolute majority government. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had in 2014 won with an overwhelming majority, taking 336 seats. If the findings of the ABP-CSDS translates into reality, then the picture could be slightly different in 2019. BJP may not able to form the government on its own and would have to rely on allies to hold on to power.

275

Entire Opposition Shows Up At Kumarswamy’s Swearing-In

New Delhi: Newly anointed Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday that Congress-JD(S) alliance had brought together opposition leaders. In an unprecedented show of strength against the BJP-led Centre in the run-up to the 2019 LokSabha elections, the opposition unity was visible in Karnataka.

"Leaders who came from all over country wanted to give a message to the nation that we are one and in 2019 there will be a major change in political situation, they were not here to protect this government, this government will be protected by local Congress leaders and our leaders," Kumaraswamy said at a press briefing.

The BJP, on its part, slammed the Congress-JD(S) combine + as an "opportunistic alliance" and described the presence of a host of opposition leaders at Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony as a "celebration of corruption".

260

On PMO’s Intervention, Fuel Prices To Be Slashed Upto Rs 4

New Delhi: The government is likely to cut fuel prices by Rs 2 to Rs 4 in the next few days and the decision will be taken after discussions involving the Prime Minister’s Office, the finance and oil ministries and state-owned oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil and BPCL.

Officials in the finance ministry said on condition of anonymity that part of the cut would come from a reduction in state or central government duties on fuel and part from dealers taking a cut in their commissions and being reimbursed by the oil marketing firms. Taxes account for between 37% and 47% of the retail price of fuel and dealer commissions between 3.8% and 4.8%.