News Flash – 13 October 2017

National News



Man held for hacking into IMEI numbers of phones



MUMBAI: Your mobile phone’s IMEI number could be hacked into for less than Rs 500 if it fall into the wrong hands. The Government Railway Police (GRP) crime branch on Monday booked an accused under the newly amended Indian Telegraph Act for changing IMEI numbers of stolen phones. This is perhaps the first case in Maharashtra since the Act was amended on August 25. The accused is suspected of changing the IMEI numbers of more than 180 phones in the past six months. An IMEI number is a code which identifies phone sets. Niket Kaushik, commissioner of police (GRP), said, “While scanning mobile phones, we found the international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) number of a seized phone active in another. We called for the records and found this IMEI was being used by another person. We have booked the accused under the amended law and this is our first case.”


Santosh Dhanvate, in-charge of railway police’s crime branch, said a team comprising sub-inspector Chandrakant Rasam, Ganesh Kshirsagar, Mahesh Surve and Sanjay Madhav nabbed three persons —Rizwan Ansari (25), Mehfooz Ansari (25) and Khaleel Farooqui (24)—on September 12 and recovered 17 stolen phones from them. “During questioning, Rizwan admitted to changing IMEI numbers of two phones. The accused are facing three separate cases of mobile theft,” said Dhanvate. When the police got call data records of two phones with their IMEI numbers, they launched a hunt for persons using SIM cards with the same numbers. “We found one was being accessed by a user from Navi Mumbai—one Pandhari Netke, a shoeshiner who sits outside Nerul station.” When cops subjected Rizwan to sustained interrogation, he admitted to changing the IMEI number of the stolen phone and setting a new one (for Netke) “. In the fresh case, cops are looking for two of Rizwan’s aides, identified as Amir Badshah and Faqir Hussain. Cops are waiting for IMEI details of 15 other recovered phones.



Ahead of Diwali, Delhi’s air already turns ‘poor’: Government

Delhi’s Air Quality Index score was 268 today, which falls in the ‘poor’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.



NEW DELHI: The “unabated” burning of crop residue in the neighbouring states and fireworks during Diwali may severely affect Delhi’s air quality, which has already entered the ‘poor’ zone, the Delhi government said today. The government said this an official statement following a review meeting on the status of air quality in view of the ongoing festival season, burning of agricultural residue and adverse meteorological conditions which are helping trap the pollutants. “Diwali is just a week away and agricultural residue burning in neighbouring states is continuing unabated. This may impact Delhi’s air quality and cumulative effect of use of fire crackers and emission from other anthropogenic sources may lead to a more deteriorated condition,” it said. Delhi’s Air Quality Index score was 268 today, which falls in the ‘poor’ category, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. At the meeting, chaired by city Environment Minister Imran Hussain and attended by senior officers of the department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), officials expressed concern about fall in status of air quality since the first week of this month. “Hussain directed strict enforcement of directions of the Supreme Court regarding ban on sale of crackers. He asked the Environment Department to constitute special teams to check the sale of crackers in various markets in Delhi. Any violation will be reported by these teams to Delhi Police,” the statement added.



46.8mm rain pounds Bengaluru east, south, more on cards today

29th Main in BTM Layout was closed after it was waterlogged.



BENGALURU: Thursday marked another day of evening showers in Bengaluru, with 46.8mm of rain being recorded up to 8.30pm, adding to the already high number of rainy days this season. The night sky continued to be overcast, and the weatherman predicted more rain, measurement of which will be available only on Friday morning. Thursday’s rain was nearly 28% of the average monthly rainfall (168mm) expected for the month of October, and is the fourth highest for a 24hour period since 2007. More than 65mm of rain on October 5 tops the table, followed by 63mm (October 9, 2014) and 50.7mm (October 21, 2007). The highest ever rainfall for a day in October was recorded on October 1, 1997, when the city received 179mm. Citizens in the southeast and some parts of Central Bengaluru were the worst affected, with water entering a few homes in HSR Layout, and inundation reported in Koramangala, BTM Layout, JC Road, Rajajinagar, Mahalakshmi Layout, Chamarajpet and Avenue Road. “A tree branch fell on the road near Makkala Koota in Chamarajpet, and waterlogging was reported near Sony World junction in Koramangala, Avenue Road, JC Road and surrounding areas. We are yet to receive complaints from other areas,” a duty officer at the BBMP control room said. As has been the trend throughout the season, the early hours of Thursday and even a few hours post noon remained bright, and the downpour began only after 5.30pm. Areas around the Central Business District (CBD) and east Bengaluru had not received more than a drizzle up to 8.30pm. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Friday will also receive more rain.



Dengue: TN announces 15-day clean-up exercise to remove mosquito breeding sources



CHENNAI: With the rise in number of dengue cases, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to have a 15-day massive clean-up exercise to remove the mosquito breeding sources, especially water-stagnated areas, dumping and construction sites in the urban pockets. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and attended by senior ministers and bureaucrats on Wednesday. “Special teams will be set up at block level to monitor the clean-up work. They will daily submit reports to district collectors, who will again lead the district level committees. More conservancy labourers and MGNREGS workers will be deployed in all places,” said an official statement. It has also been decided to speed up the clean-up in educational institutions, government and private complexes, construction sites and slums. If mosquito larval sources are identified, action will be taken against the owners of the premises under the Public Health Act, 1939. Additional doctors and paramedics will be deployed in all hospitals requiring workforce to combat the vector-borne disease. “The state government has already deputed IAS officers in each district to coordinate the work and bring to the notice of the government. The senior bureaucrats have been directed to take up the work immediately,” the release said. The chief minister took stock of the awareness campaigns and the infrastructure in government hospitals.



Security Guard dies in accident



AHMEDABAD: A 21-year-old security guard died while another got injured in an accident caused by a speeding GSRTC bus late on Wednesday night. The bus driver fled from the spot leaving the vehicle behind. According to Navrangpura police, Balvantsinh Rajput, 36, a resident of Navrangpura, has filed a complaint for the accident. The victims were identified as Devnath Premchand, 21, a security guard with Ganga Security Service, and native of Banda in UP, along with his friend Mahesh Bhandari, also a native of UP. The accident took place when the duo was passing on a bike near Vallabh Sadan crossroads.



International News



Earthquake hits North Korea near nuclear test site



SEOUL: A shallow 2.9-magnitude earthquake struck near North Korea‘s nuclear test site before dawn on Friday, weeks after Pyongyang‘s biggest detonation, but South Korean experts said the tremor did not appear to be man-made. The tremor hit at 01:41 am (1641 GMT Thursday) with a depth of around five kilometres, the US Geological Survey said, with the epicentre located north of the Punggye-Ri testing site. “This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean nuclear tests. The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event,” the US agency said. But the Korea Meteorological Administration in the South said on its website that “analysis shows it was a natural quake”. “It is believed to have caused no damage,” it added. It came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude earthquake struck near the same area, with seismic experts and a UN nuclear test ban watchdog calling that tremor on September 23 a likely aftershock of the North’s sixth and largest nuclear test.


The test on September 3 triggered a much stronger 6.3-magnitude quake that was felt across the border in China and sparked global condemnation, leading the United Nations Security Council to unanimously adopt tough new sanctions against Pyongyang. The strength of Friday’s quake was much lower than the tremors registered during any of North Korea’s previous nuclear tests, including its first detonation in 2006, which triggered a 4.1-magnitude quake. Tensions have soared in recent weeks following Pyongyang’s nuclear test as US President Trump engages in an escalating war of words with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un. Trump used his maiden speech to the UN in September to threaten to “destroy” the nuclear-armed nation if Kim did not back down, referring to him as “Rocket Man”. Kim responded with a rare personal rebuke, calling Trump “mentally deranged” and threatening the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history”.



Thousands evacuated in Vietnam as floods, landslides kill 46

People watch as hydroelectric power plant opens the flood gates after a heavy rainfall caused by a tropical depression in Hoa Binh province.



HANOI: Heavy rain in northern and central Vietnam triggered floods and landslides that killed 46 people and 33 people were missing in the worst such disaster in years, the search and rescue committee said on Thursday. Vietnam often suffers destructive storms and floods due to its long coastline. More than 200 people were killed in storms last year. “In the past 10 years, we haven’t suffered from such severe and intense floods,” state-run Vietnam Television quoted agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong as saying. A typhoon tore a destructive path across central Vietnam just last month, flooding and damaging homes and knocking out power lines. The latest floods hit Vietnam on Monday. “Our entire village has had sleepless nights…it’s impossible to fight against this water, it’s the strongest in years,” a resident in northwestern Hoa Binh province was quoted by VTV as saying. Vietnam’s Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control said authorities were discharging water from dams to control water levels. Some 317 homes had collapsed, while more than 34,000 other houses were submerged or had been damaged. Earlier reports said more than 8,000 hectares (19,800 acres) of rice had been damaged and around 40,000 animals were killed or washed away.


Hoa Binh province in the northwest declared a state of emergency and opened eight gates to discharge water at Hoa Binh dam, Vietnam’s largest hydroelectric dam, the first time it has done so in years, VTV reported. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited northern Ninh Binh province where water levels in the Hoang Long river are their highest since 1985. Rising sea levels are also threatening Vietnam’s more than 3,260 km (2,000 mile) coastline, resulting in increased flooding of low lying coastal regions, erosion and salt water intrusion. Floods have also affected seven of 77 provinces in Thailand, Vietnam’s neighbours to the west, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said on Thursday. More than 480,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) of agricultural land have been hit, the department said. Thailand is the world’s second-biggest exporter of rice. “It is still too soon to tell whether there will be damage to rice crops because most of the rice has already been harvested,” Charoen Laothamatas, president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, told Reuters. In 2011, Thailand was hit by its worst flooding in half a century. The floods killed hundreds and crippled industry, including the country’s key automotive sector.

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