Modi plans job quotas for less well-off Indians as election nears

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s cabinet on Monday backed proposals to reserve 10 percent of government jobs for Indians outside the higher income brackets, a plan the main opposition party suggested was an attempt by the government to lure back voters as an election nears.

The initiative is expected to mainly benefit the upper echelons of India’s centuries-old Hindu caste system, which has traditionally been a core voter base for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Modi must call a national election by May and was dealt a setback in December when the BJP lost power to the opposition Congress party in three states, its biggest defeat since he took office in 2014.

Two BJP sources said the quota plan would benefit people from other religions not covered by existing affirmative action – the reason why lower caste Hindus and India’s indigenous tribes were excluded from it.

According to the government bill, the recipients must also be classed as “economically weak”, which the sources said was defined as anyone with annual income below 800,000 rupees ($11,500上海品茶工作室) and owning fewer than five acres of land.

In 2017, the average income in India was $1,939.60, according to the World Bank.

The states the BJP lost included Rajasthan, one of four – the o,上海品茶会所Caitlin,thers being Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana – in which upper caste land-owning farming communities have held large protests in recent years demanding quotas for government jobs.

More broadly, Modi has be,上海品茶QQGabriella,en criticized for failing to deliver jobs for young people and better conditions for f,上海品茶微信Easton,armers.

“The … Modi government has suddenly woken up to the woes of (the) economically poor, facing imminent defeat in the 2019 elections,” Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said of the quota plan.

“Creating reservations in jobs may just prove to be one more ‘Jumla’ (gimmick) for the purpose of election promises.”

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, junior health minister and a BJP member, welcomed the proposal, calling it “historic.”

Hindus, who account for about four-fifths of India’s 1.3 billion people, were traditionally grouped into thousands of castes, whose membership is determined by birth.

The lower castes have faced various forms of discrimination including segregation and social boycotts.

There have been attempts to reduce caste-related inequality, and the country has had many lower caste leaders, including current president Ram Nath Kovind.

But introducing quotas for lower castes has always been a contentious issue and have led to violent protests, though India’s income levels and expenditure patterns remain largely linked to caste.

The government is expected to submit the quota bill to the lower house of parliament on Tuesday. Modi’s BJP has a majority there, but not in the upper house.

North Korea’s Kim visiting China for fourth summit: media

SEOUL ( ) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on his way to China for his fourth summit with China’s Xi Jinping, South Korean media said on Monday.

South Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper, citing an unidentified source with close knowledge of North Korea-China affairs, reported that Kim was traveling to Beijing late on Monday to meet with Xi.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unspecified source familiar with North Korea issues, said a North Korean train possibly carrying a “high-level” official had crossed the border into China.

The source told Yonhap it had not been confirmed whether a senior official was on board, but that dozens of security vehicles and officials had blocked the roads around a station in the Chinese border city of Dandong as the train passed.

Last year Kim traveled to China three times to meet with Xi, before and after Kim held other summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim is expected to meet again with both the U.S. and South Korean presidents in the near future, and another visit to China has been seen as a possible move before those summits.

Earlier o,上海妹子品茶微信Gabrielle,n Monday the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported that U.S. State Department officials recently met multiple times with North K,上海外卖品茶群Kailani,orean counterparts in Hanoi and discussed planning a second summit between Trump and Kim, fuelling speculation that Vietnam could host the event.

The U.S. State Department and White House declined to comment on the Munhwa Ilbo report and the State Department referred queries about Kim’s reported China visit to the Chinese government.

In an interview with CNBC, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised China’s support for resolving the North Korean crisis and said he did not think the U.S. trade dispute with Beijing would affect this.

“The Chinese have been very clear to us that these are separate issues,” Pompeo said.

“Their behavior has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that. China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea’s nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so.”

At a landmark June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump pledged to work toward denuclearizat上海品茶微信ion, but the pact was light on details and talks since have made little headway.

China is North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite anger over its neighbor’s nuclear and missile programs. Ties have warmed in the last year as Pyongyang’s relations with both Seoul and Washington have also improved.

China also played a role in Trump’s meeting with Kim, lending the North Korean leader an airliner for his trip to Singapore.

Diplomatic sources say Xi will probably go to N,上海喝茶资源群Lance,orth Korea at some point soon, which would make him the first Chinese leader to do so since 2005.

In early December, Xi told North Korea’s foreign minister during a visit in Beijing that he “hoped North Korea and the United States meet each other halfway and address each other’s reasonable concerns, allowing positive progress on the peninsula’s nuclear talks.”

Most House members sign letter backing Israel at U.N.

WASHINGTON ( ) – More than 90 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives has signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to use U.S. veto power to block any United Nations resolutions seen as biased against Israel, one of the letter’s lead sponsors said on Friday.

U.S. Representative Nita Lowey said 394 members of the 435-member House signed the letter that was sent to Obama on Thursday.

It was written as the Palestinian Authority renewed its drive to persuade the U.N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council five years ago.

With U.S. efforts to broker a two-sta,上海品茶会所Kailani,te solution in tatters since 2014, France has been lobbying countries to commit to a conference that would get Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations to end their conflict.

The congressional letter backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but insisted that negotiations between the two sides are the only path to peace, not United Nations action or an international conference.

“The only way you can get there is if the two parties can be brought together and really go over all the issues,” Lowey said in a telephone interview.

Lowey is the top Democrat on the ,专门哟啪的微信群Barrett,House subcommittee that oversees U.S. diplomacy and上海品茶微信 foreign aid. Republican Representative Kay Granger, who chairs the subcommittee, also sponsored the letter.

Lowey said she,上海外卖品茶群Lark, had not yet had a response to the letter, but she hoped administration officials were carefully reading it.

Support for Israel is one of the few issues that has the support of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress.

Train users in Derbyshire urged to ‘check before you travel’ on East Midlands Trains services

Railway passengers have been urged not to use some East Midlands T,上海品茶工作室Larson,rains services this weekend amid weather-related faults and a series of strike actions.

High temperatures have caused faults on the line connecting Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras, leading to a reduced service on the line.

Repairs to the overhead equipment means some services will not run, and railway users have been urged to check all railway timetables before attempting to travel.

It is understood there will be no service between Nottingham and London St Pancras on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28.

There will also be a reduced timetable on local East Midlands Trains services due to a series of RMT industrial strike actions, which will affect services in the East Midlands connecting Chesterfield and Matlock to Sheffield and Derby.

Replacement bus services will be organised for some services, and the train operator has urged residents to check its website HERE to find out 爱上海whether their route will be affected.Jake Kelly, managing director for East Midlands Trains said: “We’re sorry to everybody who has experienced disrupted journeys over the past two days.

“We are working very closely wit,上海品茶微信Macey,h Network Rail while they work to repair the overhead line equipment and fully reopen the railway, which will in turn allow us to reintroduce our full train service to and from London St Pancras.

“Whilst this work takes place, we do have a significantly reduced timetable in place on our London route over the weekend and our advice for customers is to avoid travelling on this route wherever possible and make alternative arrangements.

“Due to the RMT industrial action, there will also be some changes to services on our local routes on Saturday, with revised timetables and replacement coach operations in place on some lines. Full customer information and advice is available at eastmidlandtrains.co.uk.”

Passengers who have already bought tickets for services this weekend will be able to access refunds, and tickets will also be accepted on alternative lines.

Explosive EastEnders affair and Coronation Street health scare – Soaps 20 years ago

EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale had some huge stories lined up in 1999.

Many of,上海品茶会所Jacqueline, the scenes playing out 20 years ago this month, in July, set the premise for what was to come in each soap for the rest of the year.

From hospital dashes, stunts, and unexpected affairs, viewers were kept on the edge of their seats all summer.

But what went down in Walford, Weatherfield and the Dales, and how did it affect the soaps going forward? Here’s a look back at some of爱上海 the big moments in July 1999…


Over in Walford, one of the soap’s biggest affairs ever was fully underway featuring villain Dan Sullivan and his stepdaughter Bianca Jackson.

Dan was engaged to Bianca’s mother Carol the whole time, while she was with on/off lover Ricky Butcher.

The fling would be exposed in the most dramatic fashion later on in the year, but in July 1999 it was Dan doing the chasing and Bianca left super guilty – it didn’t stop the affair going on for months though.

Also in Walford, Steve Owen and Matthew Rose had just been charged with the murder of Saskia Duncan leaving residents stunned.

Elsewhere, and a family feud erupted between Barry and Roy Evans after Barry learned of his dad’s betrayal of his mother.

With Barry’s partner Natalie tasked with trying to get them talking again, things didn’t go quite to plan.

July also saw the return of Peggy Mitchell’s daughter Sam Mitchell, the sister of Phil and Grant.

Her siblings were sure there was something she was hiding and were determined to know why she was really in Albert Square.

Over in Weatherfield, and July 1999 brought the reveal of Mike Baldwin’s affair with future wife Linda.

Alma and Mike had ended their marriage, but she didn’t find out about his mystery woman until later on.

This wasn’t the only marriage breakdown though, as Leanne and Nick Tilsley, who are together on the soap in present day, broke up and he fled the Street.

Leanne demanded money from his mum Gail Platt claiming it was what she was owed, leading to a tense feud between her and the family.

Elsewhere, and Jack Duckworth sparked concern after learning from a doctor that he needed a triple heart by-pass.

Just days later and the character suffered an attack, found by his horrified close friend Tyrone Dobbs.

He tried to keep the news from wife Vera but she soon found out, and begged him to go private for the operation fearing she was going to lose him, but he refused as he wanted Vera to have his savings if he passed away.


Emmerdale saw the continuous cover-up of a murder in July 1999, as Graham continued to lie about killing Rachel, staging it as an accident.

He also continued to meddle in Kathy and Biff’s relationship ahead of their wedding, with her realising she had feelings for him.

There was horror in the Dales too, as Emily got into a car accident with her strict father who disapproved of her romance with Butch Dingle.

After surviving the accident, Emily refused to stop seeing Butch and told her father he had to accept the relationship.

Tragically Butch would be killed off in a bus crash some time later, with him passing away in hospital moments after the pair got married.

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