Saturday, Aug 19 2017 | Time 22:21 Hrs(IST)
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  • Darjeeling blast: Bimal Gurung writes Rajnath Singh for NIA probe with supreme court monitoring
  • Trump, first lady will not attend Kennedy Center Honors -White House
  • 23 killed, 400 injured in Kalinga Utkal Express accident
  • Richarlison, Capoue lead Watford to win at Bournemouth
  • Mane strikes as Liverpool scrape 1-0 win over Palace
  • SER to run special train to and from Bangaluru cant
  • Mehbooba announces release of Rs 10 cr for LAHDC Kargil
  • Mehbooba hopes PM’s Kashmir remark would encourage pleasant change
  • Girish Chodankar supports observations made by church-run magazine
  • Shah speaks of 'time limit' for MP’s bigwigs
  • ----
  • Prez condoles deaths in train derailment in UP
  • Congress lacks capability to provide alternative: JD (U)
  • Kashmir situation deteriorated in 3 yrs of BJP rule: J&K Congress
  • Mehbooba visits Kargil to rousing reception
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Rouhani leads Iran presidential race, expected to win-source

Rouhani leads Iran presidential race, expected to win-source

May 20 (Reuters) President Hassan Rouhani has an unassailable lead in Iran's presidential election, an Iranian official source told Reuters today, citing an early unofficial tally, and is on course to defeat his hardline rival Ebrahim Raisi. "It's over, Rouhani is the winner," the source said on condition of anonymity. Rouhani had won 21.6 million votes, compared to 14 million for Raisi, with 37 million votes counted, the source added. There were about four million more votes still to be tallied, the source said. More than 40 million ballots were cast, the interior ministry said, indicating a turnout of about 70 per cent in yesterday's vote, roughly similar to the showing in 2013 elections when Rouhani swept into office in a landslide victory State television said the official early results would be announced soon. The Instagram account of Rouhani ally, former president Mohammad Khatami, showed a picture of Rouhani making a victory sign and ran the slogan "Hope prevailed over isolation". Rouhani's chief of staff Hamid Aboutalebi tweeted that Rouhani had won 60 per cent of the vote. He cited no evidence. The big turnout appeared to have favoured Rouhani, whose backers' main worry has been apathy among reformist-leaning voters disappointed with the slow pace of change. Rouhani, 68, who took office promising to open Iran to the world and give its citizens more freedom at home, faced an unexpectedly strong challenge from Raisi, a protege of supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The election is important "for Iran's future role in the region and the world", Rouhani, who struck a deal with world powers two years ago to curb Iran's nuclear programme in return for the lifting of most economic sanctions, said after voting. Raisi, 56, has accused Rouhani of mismanaging the economy and has travelled to poor areas, speaking at rallies pledging more welfare benefits and jobs. He is believed to have the backing of the powerful Revolutionary Guards security force, as well as the tacit support of Khamenei, whose powers outrank those of the elected president but who normally steers clear of day-to-day politics. "I respect the outcome of the vote of the people and the result will be respected by me and all the people," Raisi said after voting, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. However, Raisi later appeared at the Ministry of Interior in Tehran yesterday and complained of a shortage of ballot sheets at many polling stations, according to Fars. More ballot sheets were subsequently sent out, the agency reported. In the last election, Rouhani won more than three times as many votes as his closest challenger. But this time the outcome might be much closer, as other conservative rivals have backed out and thrown their support behind Raisi. The Guards and other hardliners hope that a win for Raisi will give them an opportunity to safeguard economic and political power they see as jeopardised by the lifting of sanctions and opening of the country to foreign investment. During weeks of campaigning, the two main candidates exchanged accusations of corruption and brutality in unprecedentedly hostile television debates. Both deny the other's accusations. Rouhani has urged the Guards not to meddle in the vote, a warning that reflects the political tension. Suspicions that the Guards and the Basij militia under their control falsified voting results in favour of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led to eight months of nationwide protests in 2009, which were violently suppressed. For ordinary Iranians, the election presents a stark choice between competing visions of the country. Rouhani, known for decades as a mild-mannered establishment insider rather than a gung-ho reformer, has taken on the mantle of the reform camp in recent weeks, with fiery campaign speeches that attacked the human rights records of his opponents. "I voted for Rouhani to prevent Raisi's victory. I don't want a hardliner to be my president," said Ziba Ghomeyshi in Tehran. "I waited in the line for five hours to cast my vote." Many pro-reform voters are still lukewarm Rouhani supporters, disappointed with his failure to make broader changes during his first term. But they are anxious to keep out Raisi, who they see as representing the security state at its most fearsome: in the 1980s he was one of four judges who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death. "I am on my way to vote for Rouhani. I like his detente policy with the world. I know he is not a reformist, but who cares? What matters is that he is not Raisi," employee Yousef Ghaemi, 43, said by phone in the western city of Kermanshah. For conservatives, the election represents a chance to restore the values of the 1979 revolution, which requires elected officials to be subordinate to the Shi'ite Muslim clergy and supreme leader. "I cast my vote already - I voted for Raisi because he is a follower of Imam Khamenei. He will not confront the leader if elected. He will protect our Islamic identity," said Mehran Fardoust, 36, a shopkeeper near the Imam Reza Shrine in the holy city of Mashhad, Raisi's home town. Despite the removal of nuclear-related sanctions in 2016, lingering unilateral US sanctions that target Iran's record on human rights and terrorism have kept foreign companies wary of investing, limiting the economic benefits so far. Raisi has focused his campaign on the economy, visiting rural areas and villages and promising housing, jobs and more welfare benefits, a message which could have resonated with millions of poor voters angry at the Tehran elite. If no candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, the top two, presumably Rouhani and Raisi, will face each other a second time in a run-off in a week. REUTERS SDR 0849

Top News
23 killed, 400 injured in Kalinga Utkal Express accident

23 killed, 400 injured in Kalinga Utkal Express accident

Muzaffarnagar, Aug 19 (UNI) Atleast 23 passengers were killed and over 400 passengers injured, 81 of them critically, when 14 coaches of Haridwar bound Kalinga-Utkal Express derailed near Khatauli station of Uttar Pradesh today UP principal secretary home Arvind Kumar said 20 passengers have been killed and 81 were critically injured in the incident.

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19 Aug 2017 | 9:55 PM
Amit Shah welcomes Nitish’s entry in NDA

Amit Shah welcomes Nitish’s entry in NDA

New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) BJP president Amit Shah today welcomed the JD(U) for formally joining the NDA, saying this will usher in a new era of development and progress in Bihar.

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19 Aug 2017 | 5:59 PM
‘Grand alliance is our amanat, will continue to create strong Opposition’ : Sharad

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Patna, Aug 19 (UNI) Senior JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, who has raised a banner of revolt against JD (U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his decision to form NDA government in Bihar, today expressed his sorrow over the break-up of grand alliance and said he would continue to make concerted efforts for creating a strong opposition in the country facing serious crisis.

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19 Aug 2017 | 5:41 PM
Missing posters resurface in UP; this time its PM

Missing posters resurface in UP; this time its PM

Varanasi, Aug 19 (UNI) Politics of 'missing posters' is gaining ground in Uttar Pradesh as after Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi's pictures, now posters of missing Prime Minister Narendra Modi surfaced in his constituency.

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19 Aug 2017 | 2:09 PM
Gen Rawat to visit Ladakh tomorrow, to take stock of security situation

Gen Rawat to visit Ladakh tomorrow, to take stock of security situation

New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) Amid continuing stand-off at Doklam near Sikkim, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat will visit Ladakh to take stock of the security situation.

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19 Aug 2017 | 7:04 PM
UP CM's statement insult to memory of children who died in Gorakhpur tragedy: Cong

UP CM's statement insult to memory of children who died in Gorakhpur tragedy: Cong

New Delhi, Aug 19 (UNI) Condemning the statement by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that party vice-president Rahul Gandhi would not be allowed to turn the city of Gorakhpur into a 'picnic spot', the Congress today said the comments by the CM were an insult to the memory of the children who died in a hospital due to lack of oxygen.

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19 Aug 2017 | 6:27 PM
Key objective of NPA resolution not liquidation of assets but to save businesses: Jaitely

Key objective of NPA resolution not liquidation of assets but to save businesses: Jaitely

Mumbai, Aug 19 (UNI) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the ultimate objective of non-performing assets (NPA) resolution is not liquidation of assets but to save these businesses, with or without help of new partners or new entrepreneurs, and to ensure that these valuable assets are preserved.

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19 Aug 2017 | 6:19 PM
Mehbooba hopes PM’s Kashmir remark would encourage pleasant change

Mehbooba hopes PM’s Kashmir remark would encourage pleasant change

19 Aug 2017 | 10:07 PM

Kargil, Aug 19 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed hope that the remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi about Kashmir during his Independence Day speech would bring about a welcome change in the State as it did during the previous tenure of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Richarlison, Capoue lead Watford to win at Bournemouth

19 Aug 2017 | 9:34 PM

* Watford beat Bournemouth 2-0 away * Richarlison broke the deadlock after 73 minutes * Etienne Capoue made sure of the win four minutes from time * Heurelho Gomes saved from Ryan Fraser and Benik Afobe * Andre Gray blasted a good Watford chance over the bar * Bournemouth home to Man City next, Watford host Brighton BOURNEMOUTH 0 WATFORD 2 Undated, Aug 19 (Reuters) Brazilian Richarlison and substitute Etienne Capoue scored in the final 17 minutes as Watford ended a run of four Premier League draws against Bournemouth with a 2-0 victory at the Vitality stadium on Saturday.

ebtor has to service his debt or make way for somebody else: FM Jaitley

ebtor has to service his debt or make way for somebody else: FM Jaitley

19 Aug 2017 | 8:20 PM

Mumbai, Aug 19 (UNI) Stating that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) has reversed the relationship between debtor and creditor, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the old regime by which the creditor would get tired chasing the debtor and end up getting nothing, is now over.

Professional dancer Lourd Vijay to start pan-India drive on kidney disease & organ donation

Professional dancer Lourd Vijay to start pan-India drive on kidney disease & organ donation

19 Aug 2017 | 11:18 AM

Mumbai, Aug 18 (UNI) Lourd Vijay, a professional dancer and Guinness World Record holder, who underwent a kidney transplant operation last year, is all set to drive his social responsibility initiative called 'Spreading Hope', a not for profit foundation, on a mission to raise nation-wide awareness on kidney disease and the importance of organ donation.

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