Morning News Bulletin: Track latest stories

By: | Published: September 30, 2017 7:54 AM

Here are the latest story updates


Mumbai stampede: Rains, loud thud and thousands on 6 to 8 feet wide overbridge, says witnesses tell story of stampede

Various versions of what led to the tragic stampede on a narrow foot overbridge at the busy Elphinstone Road railway station today are emerging, with some eyewitnesses claiming a “short circuit and explosion” set off the melee while others are blaming rumours for the disaster. While Riyaz Mohammad, who lost his two friends in the tragedy, claimed he saw a short circuit and heard an explosion at the southern end of the foot overbridge, another eye witness, Akhilesh Nirmal, said lightning caused by thunders triggered rumours of a short circuit. “Around 10:25 am, I saw a short circuit and heard an explosion at the south-end of the foot overbridge (FOB) staircase. I saw a woman falling off and lying dead on the ground, which caused panic among people who started pushing each other,” Mohammed said.

Elphinstone Road Railway Station stampede: 22 dead, over 30 hurt on foot overbridge in Mumbai

A massive crowd of morning commuters stampeded on the stairwell of a narrow footbridge linking two railways stations in Mumbai, leaving at least 22 people dead and more than 30 injured as onlookers watched victims stumbling, falling and piling up along the railings, officials said. The tragedy took place around 10.40 am when the overbridge, linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban stations, became overcrowded with people taking shelter from a heavy downpour. The bridge is used by lakhs of people to commute to the commercial area with high-end corporate and media offices, a police official said.

Why is Narendra Modi winning elections? Has a lot to do with incomes of the poor; read all about it

In a highly personalised attack on finance minister Arun Jaitley, ex-finance minister Yashwant Sinha made the following claims about the Indian economy (under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi). First, that the economy was on a downward spiral; second, that ‘demonetisation has proved to be an unmitigated disaster’; third, that GST was badly conceived and implemented; fourth, extra jobs have been lost under Modi-Jaitley; fifth, there was no hope for recovery, especially with Jaitley as FM. He ends this vitriolic piece with a flourish “the PM claims that he has seen poverty from close quarters.

Bullet train scripts new paradigm for country; why India must not delay transformation of nation’s lifeline

It is natural that a highly expensive project such as the 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail (HSR) with a price tag of Rs 1,10,000 crore would elicit doubts about its viability. But lampooning it on inadequate information and scrutiny, terming it as “a bullet to the head of our future generations” is avoidable. In his Indian Express column on September 23, Anil Dharker concluded that government embarked on this ‘white elephant’ “on blind faith,” without even technical evaluation of Japan’s Shinkansen system and commitment of technology transfer to India. First, there is gross misunderstanding for Dharker to believe that the cost of operating all trains to carry over 8 billion passengers and more than 1 billion tonne of cargo annually is almost equal to the cost estimated for the construction of India’s first bullet train.

Case for RBI rate cut: All you need to know in a glance

The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee is scheduled on October 3 and 4, 2017. The panel will have to look at ways to spur lending and consumption, and revive the economy. The gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the three months to June this year fell to 5.7%, the lowest since the Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014. Manufacturing was at a five-year low, mining collapsed and construction stagnated. The slowdown corroborates the corporate results for the first quarter of this fiscal, which had shown net profits declining for many listed firms.

Here is how Big Tobacco is reading the future of smoking

Every disruption causes traditional businesses to either perish or refigure themselves to survive. Standard city taxis are in a “perform or perish” battle with the likes of Uber, Didi Chuxing, Ola, Lyft in different jurisdictions. Similarly, automobile giants stare at a future where they must compete with the likes of Tesla, Apple and Google, as the shift away from fossil fuel vehicles towards electric and self-driving cars gathers momentum. Some, reading the tea leaves, have already started investing in such technologies so they don’t end the way dinosaurs did. But Philip Morris International, the global tobacco giant, backing the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World sounds like counter-intuitive—how is its securing its future with a death wish? As per a Bloomberg report, the company has committed to spend $1 billion in promoting anti-smoking advocacy.

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