News Feed 09-Aug ‘2016

Dipa Karmakar is First Indian Gymnast to enter Vault Finals

  • Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar rewrote history after she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympic Games after finishing 8th in the qualifying round.
  • The girl from Tripura is the nation’s first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. She managed to perform her much-appreciated ‘Produnova’ vault cleanly to achieve 14.850 points after two attempts.
  • She had ended sixth after the third of five sub-divisions. Karmakar dropped to 8th eventually when Canadian Shallon Olsen’s terrific effort of 14.950 rejigged the overall standings.
  • Dipa secured 7.000 on difficulty and 8.1 on execution in her first attempt. Her score for difficulty was a tad lower at 6.000 in the second attempt. She landed low on her Produnova vault in the first attempt, while her second vault was a ‘Tsuk double full twist’ with step to the side.
  • Three time world all round champ Simone Biles topped the charts with a astounding score of 16.050. The American scored a brilliant 9.700 on execution in both her attempts.
  • North Korea’s Jong Un Hong was a far-off second after securing 15.683 followed by Switzerland’s Giulia Steingruber (15.266).
  • Dipa, the first Indian woman gymnast to clinch a Commonwealth Games medal, stood a low 47th in the all—round standings with a collective score of 51.665. The eight gymnasts with the highest individual scores in each apparatus move on to fight for an individual event title in that apparatus.

Rajya sabha clears bill to decriminalize suicide bids 

  • Rajya Sabha has passed the Mental Health Care Bill which also provides for medical care for those making suicide attempts, presuming them to be suffering from “severe stress”. The bill says such persons shall not be liable to punishment under IPC.
  • From now on, an attempt to commit suicide is a criminal offence and the person can be booked under Section-309 of IPC, which provides for up to one year’s simple imprisonment or fine or both. Previously in December in 2014, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju had told Lok Sabha in a written reply that the ministry was in the process of effacing Section 309 as recommended by the Law Commission along with amendment of certain other sections of CrPC and IPC in consultation with all stake-holders.
  • The bill also mentioned that government shall offer “care, treatment and rehabilitation” of anyone who attempted to commit suicide to reduce the risk of recurrence. In the original bill that was first introduced by UPA-II, the government had proposed presuming people trying to commit suicide to be suffering from “mental illness”, which has now been changed.
  • Siding the decision, health minister J P Nadda said it was recommended by the standing committee when the bill was referred to it. Responding to objections from AIADMK member Navanetha Krishnan that the bill does not specify what “severe stress” is, Nadda said this will be described in the rules, which will be framed after the bill is passed in LS as well.
  • The bill aims to provide improved healthcare for people suffering from mental illnesses besides safeguarding and promotion of their rights in getting healthcare. It also specifies that no photograph or any information relating to such persons undergoing treatment shall be released to the media without his/ her consent. It says electro-convulsive therapy shall be allowed only with the use of muscle relaxants and anaesthesia. The therapy is prohibited for minors.

Walmart buys Amazon rival Jet for $3.3 bn

  • Superstore giant Walmart has decided a $3.3bn (£2.5bn) takeover of Jet.com, one of Amazon’s biggest online challengers.
  • The acquirement of the loss-making company, which launched its low-price website just a year ago, was seen as a bold attempt to tackle the widening gap between Amazon and Walmart’s own e-commerce business.
  • Although its $482bn in sales last year make Walmart – which also owns Asda – the world’s biggest retailer, the majority of this was in traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing and its online revenues were just $13.7bn, compared to $99bn for Amazon’s retail business.
  • Walmart’s market capitalization, in the meantime, was surpassed by Amazon last year and is now less than two-thirds of its younger rival.
  • Jet was founded just two years ago and did not launch a website until July last year, has been seen as one of the few internet retailers capable of challenging Amazon’s supremacy of internet shopping.
  • Jet is headed by Marc Lore, an internet commerce entrepreneur who sold his last company Quidsi, which owned Diapers.com and Soap.com, to Amazon for $545m in 2010.
  • Owning an estimated 25pc of Jet, he stands to make around $750m from the sale. Walmart will pay $3bn in cash and then $300m in shares over time, with the deal ranking as the biggest acquisition of a US e-commerce company. Among the other investors include Google’s venture capital arm and Alibaba.
  • Lore will maintain to run Jet.com, which will maintain its position as an independent website, but also take over Walmart’s online operations. The supermarket’s website is set to initiate Jet’s technology, while being under Walmart’s umbrella will allow the startup to lose money for longer.

Former Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul found dead

  • Congress rebel Kalikho Pul, who worked briefly as Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, allegedly committed suicide in Itanagar.
  • According to police reports, Pul allegedly hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his bedroom. He was found dead at the chief minister’s official residence, which he was yet to vacate. He is survived by three wives and four children.
  • The situation behind the death were still not clear. Mr. Pul, who took over the reigns of the state on February 19 this year, served as Chief Minister for a brief time with the Supreme Court in July reinstating Nabam Tuki, who then made way for Pema Khandu as the tenth Chief Minister of the State.
  • Pul had led a faction of rebel MLAs from Congress against the then Chief Minister Nabam Tuki early this year.
  • After President’s Rule was revoked in Arunachal Pradesh on February 19, the dissident Congress leader was sworn in as Chief Minister.
  • The State’s Congress leaders moved the top court against the manner in which the President’s rule was withdrawn without the apex court’s knowledge and the formation of the Pul government in the next three hours on February 19.
  • But the apex court on refused to interfere in the formation of the new government under dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul, saying the highest judiciary has anyway the power and strength to put the clock back in the sensitive border State.
  • On July 13, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court collectively quashed Arunachal Pradesh Governor J.P. Rajkhowa’s verdict to advance the Assembly session from January 14, 2016 to December 16, 2015, a move which triggered political unrest in the sensitive border State and culminated in the declaration of President’s rule on January 26.

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