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Justice Mansour sworn in as Egypt interim President

CAIRO: The supreme Justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court has been sworn in as the nation’s interim President, replacing the Mohamed Morsy who was ousted by the military.

Adly Mansour was sworn in on Thursday at the Constitutional Court in a ceremony broadcast live on state television.

According to military decree, Justice Mansour will serve as Egypt’s interim leader until a new President is elected. A date for that vote has yet to be set.

Justice Manosur’s assumption of office comes a day after the military deposed Morsy, who took office a year ago as Egypt’s first democratically elected President.

The military moved to oust Morsy after millions of Egyptians took to the streets this week to demand his resignation.

Morsy is under house arrest at an undisclosed location.

At the ceremony Justice Mansour praised the mass protests demanding the ouster of Morsy, saying they united Egyptians.

Born in 1945, Justice Mansour received a licence to practise law from the Cairo University in 1967 and joined the state council in 1970, rising in the ranks until he was appointed deputy president of the HCC in 1992.

He was appointed as its president in May 2013 and took up his post on July 1 following retirement of justice Maher El-Beheiry.

Justice Mansour was appointed in line with a new 2011 law, which stipulated that HCC heads should be appointed from within the court system. For 20 years, the HCC head was chosen from outside the constitutional court, Ahram online reported.

Cairo-born Justice Mansour helped draft the supervision law for the presidential elections that brought Morsi to power in 2012, which included setting a legal timeframe for electoral campaigning. — APBack









RBI not targeting any exchange rate: Subbarao

CHENNAI: As rupee fluctuated in the market, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said it is not targeting any specific exchange rate and will use all instruments to manage the volatility.

“We do not have an exchange rate target... We try to manage volatility in the currency movement...,” RBI Governor D. Subbarao told reporters here as the rupee traded at 60.28 to a dollar in the afternoon.

“... We employ instruments available to us in order to manage volatility,” Subbarao said.

The rupee had touched historic low of 60.76 level against the dollar on June 26 due to heavy capital outflows amid fears of early withdrawal of US monetary stimulus.

A high Current Account Deficit (CAD) is also putting pressure on the value of rupee. The CAD touched a record high of 4.8 per cent of the GDP in the 2012-13 financial year due to high imports, including that of gold.

Both the government and RBI have taken steps to contain gold imports.

Measures have also been taken to enhance FII inflows in addition to easing norms for domestic companies to raise funds from abroad. — PTIBack










Ishrat case: Guilty should be punished, says Shinde

NEW DELHI: A day after CBI told a court in Ahmedabad that it is probing the role of IB officers in Ishrat Jahan case, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday said those guilty of carrying out the alleged fake encounter should be punished.

"Facts are facts. Guilty should be punished," Shinde told when asked to comment on CBI's submission to the court.

Shinde's statement bears significance as Home Ministry officials have been maintaining that there was not enough evidence against Intelligence Bureau special director Rajendra Kumar and three others in the alleged fake encounter case.

CBI had on Wednesday held that 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan was killed in a "fake" encounter in 2004 and charged seven police officers in the case, saying it was a joint operation between the Gujarat police and the subsidiary Intelligence Bureau.

The Home Ministry has been maintaining that CBI does not have enough evidence to prosecute IB officer Kumar in the alleged fake encounter case and it was unlikely to give sanction to CBI to prosecute the senior IPS officer.

However, CBI has not sought the sanction from the Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers. — PTIBack










Food Security Bill is political gimmick in hurry: Rajnath

GUWAHATI: Critical of the hurried clearance of the Food Security ordinance, BJP president Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the UPA government was just doing a "political gimmick in a hurry" before the 2014 general elections.

Expressing surprise at why the government took the ordinance route instead of discussing the "serious Bill" in Parliament, Singh said, "The Lok Sabha election is near. The Congress-led UPA is taking populist measures. The Food Security Bill is one of them." 

"They are bringing it through an ordinance. It is just a political gimmick in hurry," he alleged.

He wondered what prevented the government from taking up the Bill "for the last nine years" and holding a debate in Parliament and said the BJP wants a debate on this.

"This Bill has some lacunae. We want to pass it with some modifications. We want a debate on this," he said.

The ordinance on food security gives the country's two-third population the right to get 5 KG of food grains every month at highly subsidised rates of Rs 1-3 per KG.

The Union Cabinet, which had last month deferred a decision on the issue following differences, approved promulgation of an ordinance to implement the Bill.

The programme, when implemented, will be the biggest in the world with an estimated spending of Rs 1,25,000 crore annually on supply of about 62 million tonnes of rice, wheat and coarse cereals to 67 per cent of the population.

Singh also defended the Gujarat government in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, which has been termed as fake by CBI, and sought to enquire the victim's link with terrorist groups. — PTIBack









Jet-Etihad deal: Ajit Singh meets Sonia Gandhi

NEW DELHI: Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Thursday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi amid a raging controversy over the Rs 2,058 crore deal between Jet Airways and Etihad.

However, the sources said the meeting was of political nature as Gandhi is UPA chairperson and Singh's RLD is part of the ruling coalition.

The issue of Jet-Etihad deal is understood to have come up during the meeting.
Objections were being raised by senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, CPI's Gurudas Dasgupta, Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress) and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy over the deal, each of whom had shot off separate letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) came out with a statement rebutting reports that there were differences within the government over the deal. The government also said the equity stake sale matter was still under examination. It asserted that there were no differences between ministries over the air services agreement between India and Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways had on April 24 announced its decision to purchase 24 per cent stake in Jet for Rs 2,058 crore.

On June 13, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) deferred a decision on the deal, saying it required more clarity on control and ownership structure of Jet Airways. Jet chairman Naresh Goyal owns a 51 per cent stake in the airline.

The Civil Aviation Minister had strongly defended the deal, saying those opposing it were "long on politics and short on facts ... It is such an important deal..., the first big deal in the Civil Aviation Ministry. In terms of FDI, it is bigger than any other deal this year. — PTIBack









Infiltration bid foiled along LoC in Poonch

JAMMU: Army troops have foiled an infiltration bid by a group of militants along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

A group of militants were seen infiltrating into the Indian territory in Durga Battalion area in Poonch sector last night, a senior police officer said today. The troops challenged them and opened fire, forcing them to retreat back to Pakistan, he said, adding that one of the infiltrating militants is believed to have been injured in the firing as blood stains were seen in the area.

Soon after the infiltration bid was foiled, Pakistan troops fired on the Indian side for sometime, he said, adding there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing.

This is the second infiltration bid by militants in July. On July 1, a Pakistani intruder was killed in an IED blast when he was heading towards an Indian forward post during an infiltration bid in Poonch district.

General Officer Commanding (GoC) 16 Corps, Lt Gen D S Hooda had told reporters yesterday that that there has been increase in the firing, infiltration attmepts and ceasefire violations along the LoC with Pakistan and the "situation on the borders is tense". — PTI




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