Air India Pilot Grounded For Failing Medical Test; Licence May Get Suspended For 3 Years

New Delhi: The second time offender Air India pilot has been grounded minutes before he was to fly over 200 passengers from New Delhi to London as his mandatory pre-flight medical tests showed that he was too drunk to commandeer the aircraft. The 56-year-old Arvind Kathpalia was booked in August for a similar offence and now faces licence suspension for three years.

Airline officials familiar with the matter said the London-bound AI 111, scheduled to depart at 2:45 pm, was delayed after its captain, Kathpalia, who is also the director of Air India’s flight operations, was found with more alcohol in his bloodstream than the permissible limit.

As per the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the level of blood alcohol compatible (BAC) with safe flying is ‘zero’. Kathpalia was declared unfit to fly as he had 007% BAC. The airline got the test results at 1:30 pm, a little over an hour before departure, and had to scramble to get another pilot to fly the Boeing 787 that goes non-stop to London’s Heathrow International airport.


Naidu Meets Rahul’s Emissary; Anti-BJP Parties To Hold Conclave in New Delhi On November 22

New Delhi: Anti-BJP parties would meet in New Delhi on November 22 to create a common platform and chalk out their future course of action, TDP president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said Saturday. Addressing presspersons after a meeting with Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot who came to Amravati as an emissary of Rahul Gandhi at his riverfront residence in Amravati, the Telugu Desam President said the endeavour was to bring everybody on board to fight the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Naidu said he would meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on November 19 or 20. "This is broadly anti-BJP platform. This is in the interest of the nation. Save democracy, save the nation and save the institutions… that is the agenda. That is the national agenda, an utmost important agenda," Naidu said. The TDP chief had recently met former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, his Karnataka counterpart H D Kumaraswamy and DMK president M K Stalin as part of his efforts to forge a front against the BJP.


Sri Lankan President Dissolves Parliament; Fresh Elections To Be Held On January 5

New Delhi: President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved Parliament in a gamble that a new election will get backing for his preferred candidate as prime minister over an ousted premier who has refused to give up. Sri Lanka will hold snap election on January 5, President Maithripala Sirisena informed.

Sirisena signed a decree dismissing the island’s 225-member assembly just hours after his party admitted it did not have enough votes to get support for former president Mahinda Rajapakse against rival claimant Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The two have been battling for the prime minister’s post for two weeks as international concern grows over the mounting turmoil. The minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the official notification would take effect from midnight Friday. Before signing the order, Sirisena inducted more ministers into the cabinet headed by Rajapakse.


Jaitly Defends Demonatisation By Saying That It Formalised Indian Economy

New Delhi: Union finance minister Arun Jaitley rose to the defence of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on the second anniversary of the invalidation of high-value currency notes in the face of criticism unleashed by Opposition leaders. If former prime minister Mahmohan Singh said the scars on the economy were becoming more visible then Congress president Rahul Gandhi called it a “day of infamy.”

Jaitley, in a blog post, wrote that the ban on old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was needed to shake up the system and move India from cash to digital transactions. “An ill-informed criticism of demonetisation is that almost the entire cash money got deposited in the banks. Confiscation of currency was not an objective of demonetisation,” Jaitley said in the post that coincides with protests planned by the Congress to mark the anniversary.


Democrats Regains Control Of The House From Trump’s Republican Party In Midterm Elections

New Delhi: Powered by a suburban revolt that has threatened the President’s governing agenda, Democrats have regained control of the House from President Donald Trump’s Republican Party in the midterm elections.

But the GOP added to its Senate edge and prevailed in some key races for governor on Tuesday, beating back the potential of big Democratic gains across the board. The “blue wave” that some had feared from Election Day never fully materialised.

The mixed verdict in the first nationwide election of Trump’s presidency showed the limits of his hard-line immigration rhetoric in America’s evolving political landscape, where college-educated voters in the suburbs rejected his warnings of a migrant “invasion”. But blue-collar voters and rural America embraced his aggressive talk and stances.