News Flash – 11 December 2019

National News



Net Banking & Card Frauds up 50%, Delhi is ATM Con Capital


New Delhi: Instances of unlawful transactions involving internet banking, ATMs and credit and debit cards shot up over 50% to cross 52,000 in 2018-19, with Delhi being the ATM fraud capital, accounting for nearly 27% of the reported cases of “siphoning off of cash”. In response to questions, the government told Parliament the amount involved in such incidents, however, came down. The number of ATM frauds in public sector banks was, however, more revealing. While State Bank of India, with over 58,000 ATMs across India at the end of March 2019, accounted for over 25% of the over 2 lakh cash dispensers, one in five frauds were reported at its ATMs. But second-placed IDBI Bank, which had 3,700 ATMs according to information on its website, saw close to 1,800 frauds being reported. So its share of ATM population was estimated at 1.8% but when it came to frauds being reported, it accounted for 15% of the pie between April 2017 and March 2019.



Bank of Baroda’s share in the ATM population was 3%, but at 14.5%, its share of reported frauds was just a little lower than that of IDBI Bank. While the data did not reveal the reasons for the frauds, bankers have said India is now seeing increasing number of attempts as it tries to scale up its infrastructure to shield itself. “We are seeing a massive influx of fraudsters from foreign countries as the infrastructure in Europe has been upgraded, making life difficult for them,” said a banker. A banker said cameras are increasingly being deployed above the ATM keypad and other techniques, often using malware, are being used by skimmers and fraudsters to siphon off funds using net banking. RBI has issued detailed norms to improve infrastructure through introduction of anti-skimming, white-listing solutions and software upgrades apart from asking them to issue only chip-and PIN based cards. But banks are slow in responding to the challenges.



400m, 13 Days Separate 2 Dengue Deaths in Shyampukur; Locals Cry Civic Apathy

No anti-dengue step was taken in the area, locals claimed.



Kolkata: Dengue claimed two lives in Shyampukur in less than two weeks, spreading panic among residents. Debanshy Mandal, a Class-IX student died of dengue shock syndrome on November 25 after a brief fight for survival at R G Kar Hospital. Thirteen days later, on December 8, Rohit Singh, a 27-year-old CA final-year student died of the disease at a Baranagar nursing home. While Mandal was a resident of Shyampukur Street, Singh’s house is on Raja Nabakrishna Street, barely 400m away. Mourning the end of the young life, Singh’s friends and family said he was supposed to tie the knot on March 4. “We have completed shopping, including that of jewellery. It is like a bolt from the blue that has left us devastated,” said Lalita Chowdhury, Singh’s sister-in-law. With the back-to-back deaths, panic-stricken residents of the area vented their anger at the civic body for its failure to take adequate steps. Rohit Shaw, Singh’s friend, complained no watch was kept on this dengue-prone locality. “We hardly see KMC men checking for probable mosquito breeding sites here. But stagnant water in pockets of our area are spreading the disease,” Shaw said. Raju Naskar, another neighbour, alleged that the garbage piling up beside the roads added to the mosquito menace.



A senior KMC health department official conceded that the Shyampukur area was recorded as one of the most hazardous areas, so far as dengue was concerned. “We need to keep an eye on the area as a large number of people from Shyampukur-Bagbazar regularly test positive for dengue,” he said. A visit to Raja Nabakrishna Street by a TOI team revealed a scene of utter neglect. Garbage pile from the nearby Sovabazar market got bigger every day and spilled onto doorsteps. Locals expressed their grievances to TOI about the local civic office’s apathy. “The civic body did not take any action even after Singh’s death. The local councillor has not even visited his home,” said Santosh Seal, a local. Times View: Two deaths happening in quick succession in the same zone should be a matter of grave concern. We should not wait for the dip in temperature to deliver us from dengue-spreading mosquitoes.



Man held for trying to Steal from ATM



Chennai: A man who attempted to break into an ATM on Mount-Poonamallee Road has been arrested. Police said Yokel Raja, 27, of Ambattur was caught for drunk driving and was asked him to bring documents. Since he did not have money to reach home Yokel decided to break open an ATM. Police arrested him after checking CCTV camera footage.



International News



Sydney Air Pollution so Bad it’s Setting off Fire Alarms


Sydney: Bushfire smoke smothered Sydney on Tuesday, setting off fire alarms, suspending ferry services and triggering health warnings over choking air pollution. The Sydney Opera House and harbour bridge were barely discernible through the thick haze enveloping the city, with smoke stinging the eyes and making it difficult to breathe. The Air Quality Index compiled by the state environment department reached as high as 2,552 in some eastern suburbs — soaring past the “hazardous” threshold of 200. The pollution has been so bad it has set off smoke alarms in office buildings across the central business district (CBD), while ash has been washing up on the city’s usually pristine beaches. Flight arrivals at Sydney Airport were delayed by up to 30 minutes due to poor visibility. The number of people seeking treatment at hospitals increased by about 25%, the Australian Broadcasting Corp cited Richard Broome, New South Wales state’s director of environmental health, as saying. “It is some of the worst air quality we’ve seen,” he said. Authorities warned people with respiratory conditions, or heart and lung problems, to stay indoors. Office workers were seen wearing face masks, an unusual sight in a city more used to clear blue skies and clean air. Temperatures are forecast to soar to 42°C in the city’s west. Rural Fire Service commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons is leading efforts to tackle more than 80 blazes across New South Wales.



Chile Air Force Plane Crashes with 38 Onboard



Santiago: Chile’s air force said on Tuesday one of its cargo planes had crashed with 38 people on board after going missing for more than 12 hours, and said that a rescue team was searching for possible survivors. The Hercules C130 aircraft took off at 4.55pm (01.25 IST) on Monday from the city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia and was heading to a base in Antarctica, but operators lost contact with the plane shortly after 6:00pm (02.30am IST). The air force said it had yet to locate the military plane or determine whether there were any survivors, but said it had concluded the plane must have crashed given the number of hours it had been missing. The plane had been carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, including three civilians, the air force said, adding that its rescue team was scouring the area “where it lost communication with the plane”. The region where the plane disappeared is a vast, largely untouched ocean wilderness.

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