News Flash – 8 January 2018

National News



At Saket ATM, two loot Rs 16,000 at gunpoint



NEW DELHI: Armed robbers attacked a 45-year-old man in an ATM kiosk in Saket and fled away with his wallet and cash. The man had come to withdraw cash for his employer on Wednesday night. DCP (south) Romil Baaniya confirmed that a case under sections of robbery and common intentions have been registered against the accused. The victim, Amarchand, works as a driver for a businessman in Navjivan Vihar in Malviya Nagar. On Wednesday, he had driven his employer to a five-star hotel in Saket for a wedding. “My owner asked me to get Rs 10,000 withdrawn from his ATM card. I took the card and went to a kiosk in M block market in Saket. Around 10.15pm, just as I had withdrawn the cash, two men came inside and put a gun on my head,” Amarchand said. Both men had their faces covered.


The accused withdrew Rs 1000 from the card, took the Rs 10,000 from Amarchand and took the Rs 5000 in his wallet. The whole incident was captured in the ATM kiosks’ CCTV camera. The accused threatened to shoot Amarchand if he came out of the kiosk before they left. The victim said there were no street lights in the area and the ATM’s security guard came after five minutes the men left. The victim also alleged that he could not connect to the police helpline number initially and had to use the guard’s mobile number. Police officers said that they have taken the CCTV footage from the kiosk to ascertain the identity of the men. Footage is also being analysed from around the area to get more information about the motorcycle used by the accused. Cops are also questioning the security guard why he was absent during the robbery.



Bangalore fire: Five die as fire breaks out at restaurant

Kailash Bar and Restaurant.



BENGALURU: Five employees of a bar-cum- restaurant were charred to death when a major fire broke out at Kumbaara Sangha building in Kalasipalya here in the wee hours on Monday, police said here. The employees were in deep sleep when the incident occurred. The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the building, said police. The deceased have been identified as Swami (23), Prasad (20) and Mahesh (35), all natives of Tumkur; Manjunath (45) a native of Hassan and Keerthi (24) a native of Mandya. Smoke billowing out of the restaurant was noticed by locals at around 2.30am, following which fire services were rushed to the spot. The blaze was put out, but the cause of the fire is still not known. Police are investigating.



Mumbai ranks 2nd in short circuit fires, with 418 deaths in 10 years: NCRB



MUMBAI: The city ranked second in fires caused due to short circuit, with 418 deaths over 10 years, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. Delhi recorded the shortest circuit-related fatalities (424), while Ahmedabad came third with 260 casualties in 2006-15. Short circuit is a leading cause of fires. Maharashtra, with 1,406 deaths, came third after Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat in that period. Fire experts said there was an urgent need for a thorough electrical audit by a competent engineer, checking the current capacity, insulation, etc. “The number of casualties will not dip if superficial measures are taken. Changes have to be made in the law,” said former fire chief P D Kargupikar. He added that there was no proper scientific investigation conducted in the aftermath of a blaze. “Most evidence is destroyed while extinguishing the fire,” he said. “Spraying water further washes away the residue. In such circumstances, how does one prove if a short circuit sparked the blaze? Samples are sent to the state forensic science lab but no positive results are obtained,” said Kargupikar.


Fire department officials said despite repeated warnings, individuals and establishments do not invest in good quality electrical equipment. “Lack of maintenance of equipment could lead to fire-related accidents. Overload of electricity is another cause. A key reason is littering of ducts and dumping scrap in buildings, which provides easy ignition to fire. Many buildings don’t even have a proper refuge area or an escape route,” said an official. Giving an example of how taking short-cuts could lead to loss of lives, Kargupikar said many people get rid off earth-leakage circuit-breakers (ELCB) as they may cause tripping too often. An ELCB is a safety device used in electrical installations to prevent electric shocks. It detects the smallest of stray voltages on the metal enclosures of electrical equipment and interrupts the circuit if dangerous voltage is detected. “Electrical wires have to be selected as per load. It is necessary to ensure they are ISI-certified and not sub-standard. Similarly, with a circuit-breaker, cost should not be a factor during installation,” added Kargupikar. Chief fire officer P S Rahangdale said most fires in the city are due to electrical reasons. “Poor maintenance of electrical wiring makes it vulnerable. Electrical wiring gets oxidised due to exposure to weather. Most fatalities are due to inhalation of gas or smoke emitted after burning of wires and due to fear,” he added.



Cyber security big concern as tech firms fail to firewall



HYDERABAD: While majority of the companies across the country see cyber-attacks and privacy as top growing risks for their businesses, breaches are fast increasing. According to a latest survey, 43% of the respondents (from across the country) have experienced ransomware attacks in the past year and at least two mid-sized companies back home were among the ones hit by ransomware attacks in 2017, confirmed the Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC), while private security companies peg the number at 20 at least. Private cyber security companies hint at a 100% increase in attacks over the previous year. The latest attack was on an automobile company on Saturday, reported E2 labs, a private cyber security firm. Companies in the city have been on the hit-list of ransomware attacks for the past two years and this had even prompted the state government to chart a ‘Ransomware remediation plan’. As a result, awareness on the need for discussing cyber agility in the boardroom has increased. “While earlier people were not sure about investing in cyber security, the situation is changing now” pointed out Bharani Kumar Aroll, general secretary, SCSC. According to KMPG India‘s Cybercrime survey report 2017, 81% of organisations (of 300 respondent companies, security professionals and top law enforcement officers from across the country) have a cyber-security budget of less than 10% of their total planned budget, despite of rating it among the top five business risks. Moreover, only 30% of the organisations have clearly defined requirements with reference to cyber security expectations.



Jewellery worth Rs 50,000 looted from Chetla house



KOLKATA: Thieves struck at a Chetla house on Saturday night when its owner was asleep and his relatives were out on an invitation. They decamped with jewellery worth Rs 50,000 and cash of Rs 27,000. The house owner, a senior citizen, came to know about the theft on Sunday morning. Aditya Mohan Bhattacharya (70) has been living at his Mahesh Dutta Lane residence for decades. While he lives in one portion of the one-storied house, the other part is occupied by his niece Bula Adak and her husband Pradeep. On Saturday evening, Bula went out to attend an invitation. “I went out around 9pm and returned after 40 minutes. I did not notice anything unusual. Uncle reported the theft in the morning,” said Bula. When Bhattacharya woke up in the morning, he started looking for his mobile phone in another room. Soon, he noticed that the room was ransacked. When Bhattacharya looked around, he found the door of a cupboard broken. He looked inside and didn’t find the locker. He later noticed it lying at one corner of the room. “There were some jewellery and cash in the locker which Bula had asked me to keep. All of them were missing. My mobile was missing too,” he said. Cops have questioned the maid. Since the house is being renovated, cops are also not ruling out the involvement of masons.



International News



Flooding at JFK airport adds to misery after flight delays


NEW YORK: Flooding from a water main break forced the temporary suspension of some flights at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport on Sunday, adding to the misery of travelers after a winter storm canceled or delayed hundreds of flights in recent days. Water poured from the ceiling onto a check-in counter and covered large areas of the floor of Terminal 4, video on CNN showed. The disruption occurred while the US Northeast continued to endure bone-chilling weather with the New York temperature at 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius). International flights to Terminal 4 were temporarily suspended and passengers who had already arrived there were diverted to other terminals, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport. The Port Authority said the water pipe break appears to be weather related. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said. “What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travelers expect and deserve better,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement. The authority said a water pipe that feeds the terminal’s sprinkler system broke, which caused flooding and a led to a temporary power cut in some areas as a safety measure. The airport on Twitter advised travelers to check with their airlines before arriving.


There were about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water inside the west end of Terminal 4, Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said in an email. The flooding hit just as the airport was crawling back to normal after a winter storm labeled a “bomb cyclone” forced the airport to close on Thursday. When operations resumed on Friday, the backlog led to hundreds more delays or cancellations, crowding the terminals with stranded passengers. More than 500 flights into or out of JFK were canceled and nearly 1,400 delayed from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking website Flight Aware. The extreme cold and recovery from Thursday’s snow storm created a “cascading series of issues for the airlines and terminal operators,” the Port Authority said. Equipment froze and baggage handling was delayed, which was compounded by staff shortages and heavier than normal passenger loads, the Port Authority said. The backlog left passengers stuck on planes for long stretches while waiting for other aircraft to get in and out of gates.



One dead, one hurt in blast outside Stockholm metro station

Police officers cordon off the area outside Varby Gard metro station, where one person in an explosion, in Stockholm.



STOCKHOLM: One person died and another was slightly hurt today in a blast outside a metro station in a Stockholm suburb, police said. A man in his 60s died after succumbing to injuries sustained when “according to witnesses he picked up an object off the ground which promptly exploded,” police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson told AFP. He died in hospital, police said on their website. A woman aged 45 was also hurt, suffering facial injuries, police said. The blast occurred mid-morning at the Varby Gard station in Huddinge, a southern suburb of the Swedish capital. Police cordoned off the station and the square where the blast happened as the bomb squad moved in to investigate. The Expressen and Aftonbladet newspapers said the device was a hand grenade. “It is too early to say. Technicians are still working on it. Nothing indicates that the (injured) couple were targeted,” said Olsson, adding there was nothing to suggest an act of terrorism.



Three killed, 36 injured in bus accident in China



BEIJING: At least three persons were killed and 36 injured when bus overturned on a highway in central China’s Hubei Province. The accident took place at around 6:50 p.m. on Saturday in Suizhou City of Hubei, the city government said. The bus was travelling from Shanghai to Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The bus was carrying 46 people. Three persons were killed and 36 injured when the bus overturned on the highway. Four persons were seriously injured, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today. Fatal road accidents are a serious problem in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted. The country’s frequently overcrowded long-distance buses are prone to accidents, with individual incidents regularly causing many deaths.



Drivers rescued after being trapped overnight by snowstorm in Spain


MADRID: After hours of being trapped in heavy snow and freezing conditions, the last of travellers stranded overnight in their vehicles on a motorway near Spain‘s capital Madrid were rescued on Sunday afternoon, emergency services said. Up to 70 km (44 miles) of motorway between Madrid and nearby Segovia in the centre of the country were blocked by snow during Saturday night, trapping drivers returning from the holiday season. Between 3,500 and 4,000 drivers were forced to spend the night on the motorway, according to Spanish Newspaper El Pais. Photos posted on Twitter by Spain’s emergency services showed workers battling snow drifts to free drivers. Parts of the highway are remaining impassable to traffic, with further snow expected. Drivers trapped on the motorway took to social media to complain about slow pace of rescue, some saying that were stranded for hours without food or fuel to heat their vehicles. “I’m with my family, there are two children: one 2 years old, the other 6 years old. The adults haven’t eaten since midday yesterday. The children had the little food we brought with us, but since then they haven’t eaten anything else,” Sara Ramos told Spanish television.

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