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New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades was accorded a ceremonial welcome on Friday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Anastasiades. He was then accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the forecourt.
Later during the day, Anastasiades will participate in delegation-level talks with Modi. The two sides are also expected to sign agreements.
Anastasiades, who arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday, will depart from New Delhi on Saturday.
This is his first visit to India.
Cyprus, the eighth largest foreign investor in India, has cumulative Foreign Direct Investment of above $8.5 billion in areas of financial leasing, stock exchange, auto manufacture, manufacturing industries, real estate, cargo handling, construction, shipping and logistics.
Beijing, April 28 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that China threatened North Korea with sanctions if it undertook another nuclear weapons test, the media reported.
Tillerson made his comments on Thursday ahead of a visit to the UN and amid rising tensions over the North Korean nuclear weapons programme, CNN reported.
“They confirmed to us that they had requested that the regime conduct no further nuclear test,” Tillerson said of the Chinese.
“In fact, we were told by the Chinese that they informed the (North Korean) regime that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking sanctions action on their own.”
Tillerson said he was hopeful about cooperation with the Chinese. He also said he believed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is rational.
“He may be ruthless…He may be a murderer. He may be someone who, in many respects, we would say by our standards is irrational. But he is not insane.”
North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test late last year, and observers have said a sixth test may come soon, reports CNN.
The Secretary of State said the US approach to North Korea under Trump is different from former President Barack Obama’s in terms of both “intensity” and “expectations”.
“We’re asking a lot of the Chinese,” Tillerson said. “I think in the past, the assumption has been the Chinese would only take limited action. We’re going to test that assumption.”
North Korean official Sok Chol Won told CNN on Wednesday that the country’s government would never stop nuclear and missile tests “as long as America continues its hostile acts of aggression”.
Washington, April 28 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s approval rating has showed no signs of improvement amid sharp partisan divides and a failure to capitalise on post-election strengths, a new poll has revealed.
The CNN/ORC poll on Thursday said 44 per cent of voters approve of Trump’s handling of the presidency will 54 per cent disapprove which is about the same as in each of the two previous CNN/ORC polls taken after his inauguration on January 20.
The 44 per cent marker puts Trump last among approval ratings for newly-elected presidents at the 100-day point since modern polling began, a trendline that runs back to Dwight Eisenhower.
Trump is last by a significant margin, trailing former President Bill Clinton’s previous low by 11 points.
The poll found declining ratings for Trump’s handling of two issues that have been top priorities since he took office — health care and immigration.
About six in 10 Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of each of those issues, and both have tilted more negative since early March.
His numbers have held steady, however, on his handling of foreign affairs, national security and the role of commander-in-chief, after taking several high-profile actions on those fronts during the last month.
Assessing his overall use of the military, most (52 per cent) sid he has used it responsibly since taking office.
However, majorities have still offered negative impressions of Trump’s presidency so far across a range of questions about his handling of the job, the poll showed.
Most said he has not paid enough attention to the nation’s most important problems (55 per cent) and that he was not working hard enough to be effective (51 per cent).
The voters said he has done a poor job of assembling a team of top advisers in the White House (56 per cent) and keeping his campaign promises (52 per cent).
The CNN/ORC poll was conducted by telephone April 22-25 among a random national sample of 1,009 adults.
Mumbai, April 28 (IANS) Negative global cues and heavy selling pressure in banking and FMCG goods pulled the Indian equity markets lower during the early morning trade session on Friday.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 32.65 points or 0.35 per cent to 9,309.50 points.
The barometer 30-scrip BSE Sensex, which opened at 30,064.60 points, traded at 29,954.74 points (at 9.20 a.m.) — down 75 points or 0.25 per cent from its previous close at 30,029.74 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 30,067.64 points and a low of 29,936.09 points during the intra-day trade.
However, the BSE market breadth was marginally tilted in favour of the bulls — with 737 advances and 478 declines.
On Thursday, the benchmark indices scaled fresh record highs, but selling pressure triggered by profit bookings dragged them to closing in the red.
The NSE Nifty inched down by 9.70 points or 0.10 per cent to close at 9,342.15 points, while the BSE Sensex closed at 30,029.74 points — down 103.61 points or 0.34 per cent.
Washington, April 28 (IANS) Fifty-three per cent Americans favour US military action to keep North Korea from continuing its nuclear weapons programme, a new poll has found.
According to the latest Fox News poll released on Thursday, 36 per cent said diplomacy alone can stop it.
North Korea is seen as the greatest immediate threat to the US, reports Fox News.
Some 38 per cent feel that way, while 25 per cent think the Islamic State is the biggest threat and 18 per cent said Russia.
Five per cent thought China poses the biggest risk and just 4 per cent said Iran.
Meanwhile, voters gave President Donald Trump mixed marks for his handling of North Korea: 45 per cent approved while 47 per cent disapproved, the poll showed.
His ratings were a bit better on handling China (49-40 per cent) and Syria (48-45 per cent), and a bit worse on Iran (43-44 per cent). Trump’s worst marks are on Russia (40-52 per cent).
Forty-three per cent of voters approved of the President’s handling of foreign policy in general (49 per cent disapprove).
Overall, 45 per cent approved of the job Trump’s doing as president, while 48 per cent disapproved, according to the poll.
The Fox News poll was based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,009 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide.
It was conducted from April 23 to 25.
Washington, April 28 (IANS) The state of Arkansas has temporarily put an execution on hold as the US Supreme Court was hearing the convict’s last minute appeals, the media reported.
Kenneth Williams, 38, was scheduled to be executed on Thursday night at the Cummins Unit, a state prison southwest of Pine Bluff, the same facility where two convicts were killed by the lethal injection on Monday night and another criminal on April 21.
If Williams’ final court appeals fail, he would be the fourth Arkansas prisoner to be executed in seven days – a compressed timeline precipitated by a scarcity of fresh lethal-injection drugs as states struggle with suppliers that don’t want their products used in executions, reports CNN.
Williams was initially sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 killing of Dominique Hurd, a University of Arkansas cheerleader.
But a month after his sentence, he escaped from the Cummins prison in October 1999.
Authorities said Williams the went to former deputy prison warden Cecil Boren’s home nearby, confiscated his guns and shot him before taking off with his vehicle.
Police said he drove to Missouri, where he wrecked with another vehicle as a police officer chased him, CNN reported.
The wreck killed the other driver, Michael Greenwood.
Williams was convicted of Boren’s death and sentenced to execution in 2000.
Beijing, April 28 (IANS) China is willing to work with the US to constructively manage risks and properly handle disagreements in order to propel mutual trust and seek more progress in promoting new ties, according to a defence official.
Speaking at a regular press briefing on Thursday, Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun expressed hopes that the US military could make joint efforts with China to “meet each other halfway and inject positive and constructive elements to Sino-US ties, and contribute to world and regional peace and stability.”
Quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping who visited the US earlier this month, Yang said military relations make up an important part of bilateral ties between Beijing and Washington, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chinese military will resolutely implement the important consensus reached between Chinese and US heads of state, Yang said.
It will work to maintain exchanges between the two militaries at all levels, bring into full play their dialogue and consultation mechanisms, carry out the annual exchange programmes the two sides have agreed upon, and implement and improve the mutual reporting mechanism on major military operations and the code of safe conduct on naval and air military encounters, Yang added.
Washington, April 28 (IANS) Former US First Lady Michelle Obama has shut down calls to run for president and said she would never run for political office, the media reported.
On Thursday, in her first speech since leaving the White House, she told an audience at the America Institute of Architecture convention in Orlando that being in the White House was tough on her family, CNN reported.
Obama said she will continue to work for young girls and women around the world who face challenges with education, medical care, economic inequality and violence.
“It’s good to get out of the house,” she said about being at the event. “(It’s been) so far so good — it hasn’t been that long since we left … it’s good to not have the weight of the world upon your shoulders.”
Obama gave the audience in the conference hall an inside look what is has been like for the former first family since leaving the White House, reports CNN.
“Friends are surprised I answer the door now,” she said, adding that her daughters Sasha and Malia can actually open their windows, something they could never do at the White House.
Obama said their dogs, Bo and Sunny, never heard a doorbell before because the White House does not have a doorbell.
She told the audience the final day was bittersweet because it was the place she had lived the longest in her entire life — and her daughters grew up in the White House.
Malia and Sasha went out the back door with tears in their eyes while President Donald Trump and Melania Trump came through the front when they moved in.
“I didn’t want to have tears in my eyes for the new President,” she said.
For the most part, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have steered clear of the public spotlight since leaving the White House in January, CNN reported.
The two were last spotted earlier this month on a yacht off the island of Mo’orea in the South Pacific.
The Obamas are also busy working on their memoirs.
The couple plans to live in Washington until their younger daughter, Sasha, graduates high school in 2019.
Chennai, April 28 (IANS) Early morning shows of S.S Rajamouli’s magnum opus “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” were cancelled on Friday due to financial issues in Tamil Nadu, industry sources said.
“Tamil Nadu distributor K Productions owes Rs 15 crore to Arka Mediworks, the makers of ‘Baahubali 2’. Arka is yet to issue KDM for the release of Telugu and Tamil versions of the film in the state,” a source told IANS.
A theatre owner, on the condition of anonymity, said the issue is likely to be settled by the afternoon.
“Talks are being currently held to settle the deficit. Shows are likely to open from noon,” the theatre owner said.
The Hindi version, however, has released in Tamil Nadu.
“The Hindi version didn’t have any issues because it’s being released nationwide by Anil Thadani,” the source added.
Meanwhile, “Baahubali 2” has released in other parts of the country and has been received well.
The film stars Rana Daggubati, Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Tamannaah Bhatia, Sathyaraj and Ramya Krishnan.
Washington, April 28 (IANS) A passenger who was violently dragged off a United Airlines flight earlier this month, has reached a settlement with the airline for an undisclosed amount, his lawyers has announced.
The incident occurred on April 9 when Kentucky resident David Dao, 69, was forcibly removed from the flight at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after refusing to give up his seat to the airline’s staff.
United Airlines has offered a series of intensifying apologies since Dao suffered a concussion and a broken nose, and lost two teeth, The New York Times reported.
On Thursday, both sides welcomed what they hoped would be the end of the ordeal.
“Munoz said he was going to do the right thing, and he has,” Thomas A. Demetrio, one of Dao’s lawyers, said of Oscar Munoz, United Airlines’ CEO.
“In addition, United has taken full responsibility for what happened on flight 3411, without attempting to blame others, including the City of Chicago. For this acceptance of corporate accountability, United is to be applauded.”
Charles Hobart, a United Airlines spokesman, confirmed the settlement, reports The New York Times.
“We are pleased to report that United and Dao have reached an amicable resolution of the unfortunate incident that occurred aboard flight 3411,” he said in an email.
“We look forward to implementing the improvements we have announced, which will put our customers at the centre of everything we do.”
Earlier on Thursday, the airline announced several steps to prevent such episodes from recurring and said that passengers who had arrived on an aircraft should not have to give up their seats.
The airline also said it would create a new check-in process that would allow passengers to volunteer to give up their seats for compensation, and increased the limit of that compensation to $10,000 from $1,350.
United Airlines had previously announced that it would no longer ask law enforcement officers to remove passengers from its planes over booking issues, and that crew members would not replace boarded passengers.
“I hope other airlines will follow United’s lead,” Demetrio told The New York Times.
Lucknow, April 28 (IANS) People in Uttar Pradesh and in neighbouring Uttarakhand are facing a shortage of cash in banks and ATMs, six months after the old currency notes of Rs 1,000 and 500 were demonetised in the country.
According to officials, they are managing with only 70 per cent of currency supply.
Barring some big cities, cash scarcity in the state has hit a worrying proportion, a senior bank official admitted to the IANS.
The situation is bad in smaller towns and villages where the cash shortage is akin to November when all ATMs went dry for several weeks after the demonetisation.
Banks in Kanpur alone need currency flow of about Rs 400 crore every day but they have been receiving only Rs 250-300 crore for the last one week. The currency supply against Rs 15 crore needed in rural banks has also dropped to Rs 10 crore.
The Kanpur branch of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) provides cash to the banks and the 250 currency chests across Uttar Pradesh.
Officials say this was a temporary phase and would be over within the next few days.
London, April 28 (IANS) Just weeks after they released their collaboration track, “Still got time”, rapper PartyNextDoor has unfollowed former One Direction star Zayn Malik on social media.
PartyNextDoor, whose real name is Jahron Anthony Brathwaite, unfollowed Zayn from the likes of Twitter and Instagram, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Besides that, PartyNextDoor has gone through his page feeds and deleted any mention of Zayn, including all promotional posts to do with their joint-release.
On his official YouTube and Spotify accounts, there are no longer videos of his remixes of the track.
Zayn, on the other hand, has remained a follower of PartyNextDoor on social media.
It’s unclear why PartyNextDoor has taken this step.
Paris, April 28 (IANS) A protest by French youth against the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen turned violent on Thursday, according to local reports.
Hundreds of school students took to the streets of the French capital saying, “Neither Le Pen nor Macron”, whose projects they said did not meet their expectations, Xinhua news agency cited news channel BFMTV.
On the sidelines of the demonstration, the hooded young people threw projectiles at riot police who replied by using tear gas to disperse the crowd, according to the report.
Anti-fascist and anti-capitalist rallies were also reported in Nantes, Toulouse and Rennes.
At the end of the first round of French elections last Sunday, centrist Macron and anti-immigrant Le Pen reached the run-off, knocking out traditional right and left parties.
Despite loosing momentum, Macron is predicted to defeat Le Pen with 59 per cent against 41 per cent votes on May 7, Opinionway daily survey showed on Thursday.
London, April 28 (IANS) “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke says even she doesnt know what will happen in the final season of the show.
“No one knows anything. No one is told anything. It’s all crazy,” dailynews.com quoted Clarke as saying.
She added: “It’s a secret from the cast. We generally can’t be trusted. They pretty much have told us so.”
The repeats from season one to six is currently aired in India. The seventh season of the popular fantasy drama series “Game of Thrones” will premiere on July 16. It will be back in India on Star World. The final season will most likely air in 2018.
Clarke is also filming “Untitled Han Solo Project” here.
When the film is completed, the 30-year-old Clarke will return to filming “Game of Thrones”.
“I actually need a holiday,” she said.
Paris, April 28 (IANS) More than 300 students were taken ill on Thursday due to suspected food poisoning in Rouen city in France, regional authorities said.
Children, aged between 3 and 12, reported symptoms of vomiting and nausea after eating school lunches prepared at the same central canteen, Xinhua news agency reported.
“The children were treated by a group of one hundred healthcare workers including, doctors, nurses and rescue teams in 41 schools and 6 nurseries,” Jean-Marc Magda, Director of Normandy and Seine prefect’s office, was quoted as saying by local media.
Twenty five kids were sent to emergency services while the others were undergoing treatment at their schools after noting that many were stricken.
“The children are cared for, then comes the time of the investigation. At this stage, one can imagine everything: insufficient cooking, bad handling, rules of hygiene not respected,” Magda said.
New York, April 28 (IANS) Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway has paid an emotional tribute to late filmmaker Jonathan Demme by calling him her “favourite rebel angel”.
Demme, who directed films like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia”, died here from esophageal cancer at the age of 73 on Wednesday.
Hathaway, who starred in Demme’s 2008 film “Rachel Getting Married”, took to Instagram to pay a tribute to Demme, reports belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
Alongside a photo of outer-space, Hathaway wrote: “Dearest JD (Jonathan Demme), in this moment when words fail me, I am so grateful to the light which lets me see you everywhere, in everything.”
“Thank you for cracking open the heart which is now breaking (it’s always worth it). My favourite rebel angel… I love you forever. See you later.”
Washington, April 28 (IANS) The Pentagon’s Inspector General had already opened an investigation into whether former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn received foreign payments without Pentagon’s approval, according to a newly released document.
“This office has initiated an investigation to determine whether Lieutenant General (LTG) Flynn, US Army (Retired) failed to obtain required approval prior to receiving any emolument from a foreign government,” according to a letter by the Inspector General’s office of the Pentagon to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The letter was released on Thursday by Democrats in the House committee, Xinhua news agency reported.
Also on Thursday, Elijah Cummings, ranking member and a Democrat in the House committee released documents which showed that Flynn was warned on October 8, 2014 by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) that he was prohibited by the Constitution from receiving payments from foreign sources without advance permission.
“Accordingly, if you are ever in a position where you would receive an emolument from a foreign government or from an entity that might be controlled by a foreign government, be sure to obtain advance approval from the Army prior to acceptance,” Flynn was then told in a DIA letter.
In 2015, Flynn reportedly received about $34,000 US dollars for a speech at an event in Moscow, Russia and he was also under media scrutiny for his past lobbying on behalf of Turkey.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Flynn’s attorney said Flynn briefed the DIA “extensively” on his 2015 overseas trip to Moscow and he answered questions that were posed by DIA on the trip.
However, another DIA letter released by Cummings appeared to counter Flynn’s team’s defence.
“DIA did not locate any records referring to LTG Flynn’s receipt of money from a foreign source… DIA did not locate any records of LTG Flynn seeking permission or approval for the receipt of money from a foreign source,” said the DIA letter.
Flynn was forced to step down in February after it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his telephone conversation with the Russian Ambassador to the United States, in which he made comments about US sanctions on Russia.
Los Angeles, April 28 (IANS) Reality TV star Kim Kardashian got emotional while talking about last years Paris robbery on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
The 36-year-old was the victim of a heist in the French capital in October last year.
She feels that the incident was simply part of her destiny, reports dailymail.co.uk.
“I know it sounds crazy, but I know that was meant to happen to me. I don’t want to start crying, but I know it was meant to happen. I feel like I’m such a different person,” Kim said.
Kim broke down in tears as she recalled the dramatic incident. She also said that it has taught her some important life lessons.
“I don’t want to cry anymore. I really feel like things happen in your life to teach you things,” she said.
Tehran, April 28 (IANS) Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticised the Pakistani government for its “failure” to protect its borders against militant groups who recently killed Iranian border guards in a cross-border attack, Tasnim news agency reported.
Xinhua news agency quoted Spokesman Bahram Qasemi ass saying that Pakistan should be held accountable for the presence and operation of militant groups in its territory.
The Islamic republic will spare no efforts to follow up on the issue through all diplomatic and political channels, Qasemi was quoted as saying.
On Wednesday, 10 Iranian security personnel were killed in the clashes with the armed groups in the southeastern border region of Iran.
Four guards were injured in the clashes, which took place at the Mirjaveh border point in Sistan and Baluchestan province.
The border guards were patrolling when they were targeted, Tehran Times daily reported.
“Our border guards had been targeted from inside Pakistan’s soil,” Iranian police speaker Saeed Montazerolmahdi was quoted as saying by the daily.
“Our investigations show that long-range arms had been used to launch the attack,” he said.
Over the past decades, Iran’s eastern and southeastern border had been the scene of clashes between Iranian security forces and armed drug smugglers on the one hand and security forces with the ethnic Sunni rebels on the other.
Jaish al-Adl, or “Army of Justice” has claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran’s border guards.
The Sunni rebel group claimed to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslims in the Iran’s provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan.
On Thursday, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli also said Tehran will pursue the commitments of neighbouring Pakistan to the security and border agreements between the two countries through diplomatic channels.
Bengaluru, April 28 (IANS) India’s biotechnology major Biocon Ltd has posted Rs 127 crore consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter (January-March) of fiscal 2016-17 as against Rs 333 crore in the same period year ago, registering a whopping decline of 62 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
In a regulatory filing on the BSE on Thursday night, the city-based pharmaceutical company said consolidated revenue for the quarter (Q4) under review was muted at Rs 974 crore as against Rs 973 crore in like period year ago.
Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), however, grew 5 per cent YoY to Rs 231 crore from Rs 221 crore in like quarter year ago.
Sequentially or quarter-on-quarter (QoQ), net profit in Q4 (Rs 127 crore) was 26 per cent lower YoY from Rs 171 crore in the third quarter (October-December).
Revenue too in Q4 (Rs 974 crore) was 11 per cent lower QoQ from Rs 1,092 crore in the third quarter (Q3) and Ebitda (Rs 231 crore) was 29 per cent lower YoY from Rs 324 crore in Q3.
For the fiscal under review (FY 2017), consolidated net profit grew 11 per cent YoY to Rs 612 crore from Rs 550 crore in fiscal 2015-16 (FY 2016).
Consolidated revenue for FY 2017 grew 18 per cent YoY to Rs 4,079 crore from Rs 3,460 crore in FY 2016, while Ebitda grew 34 per cent YoY to Rs 1,137 crore from Rs 847 crore in FY 2016.
“We have closed FY 2017 with 18 per cent revenue growth, led by a sturdy performance of our Biologics and Small Molecules businesses,” said Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw in a statement later.
Net profit before exceptional item for Q4 at Rs 135 crore was 75 per cent up YoY and for FY 2017 at Rs 620 crore 54 per cent up YoY.
“FY 2017 was a landmark year wherein we established our credibility as a global biosimilars player with the launch of our insulin Glargine pen in Japan and submission of five regulatory filings of biosimilars in the developed markets of the US and the EU,” recalled Shaw in the statement.
The company’s subsidiary in Malaysia became operational with the Malaysian government’s exclusive contract for its insulins, which expanded its footprint in emerging markets. The multiple clinical and regulatory milestones crossed in our biosimilars business augur well for the future.
The company’s Board of Directors recommended bonus shares in the ratio of 2:1 shares of Rs 5 face value, i.e. one bonus share for every two equity shares.
The blue scrip share, however, ended at Rs 1,119.60 per share on the BSE on Thursday as against Wednesday’s closing rate of Rs 1,127.50 and opening price of Rs 1,133 after quoting at a high of Rs 1,155.80 and a low of Rs 1,111.20 during the intra-trading session.