Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani. REUTERS/Shailesh AndradeRussia’s Sistema JSFC has become the latest foreign operator to exit the troubled Indian telecom market, by selling its 10 percent stake in Reliance Communications in multiple tranches over the past few months. The Russian conglomerate has reportedly lost $ 4 billion on its investments.Sistema JSFC is believed to have decided against the idea of buying RCom’s remaining telecom assets, comprising subsea cables, enterprise business and data centres, following the divergence of opinion with the Anil Ambani-led telco.Sistema JSFC decided to exit RCom after the struggling telco recently got entrapped in insolvency proceedings. It decided against making ambitious investments in India’s brutally competitive and fast consolidating telecom market, having already burnt its fingers.In October 2017, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) was sold to Reliance Communications in return for a 10 percent stake. RCom has also since closed down its wireless business amid plunging revenue and mounting losses due to intense competition, and operates only an enterprise business, besides running data centres and sub-sea cables.At the time of the merger of RCom-SSTL, RCom shares were hovering at Rs 80 apiece in early November 2015 but collapsed to around Rs 17 when the deal was finally completed in late October 2017.On Wednesday, it gained over 4.8 percent over the previous close to end at Rs 15.30 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange. In past months, Sistema has gradually reduced its stake in RCom. It lowered its stake to 7.09 percent by letting minority shareholders swap their shares with those of RCom in March.In April and May, it sold off a further 2.1 percent and 0.55 percent respectively in the open market, lowering its equity holding in RCom to 4.43 percent. The development was seen on the expected lines as the telecom sector in the country is witnessing a huge consolidation and stiff competition.The entry of Reliance Jio by offering attractive discounts on calls and data has violently disrupted the entire telecom markets. The competition is expected to become stiffer in the upcoming days.
Gunfight IllustrationFive people, including two Rohingya men, were killed in what the law enforcement called separate incidents of ‘gunfights’ in Cox’s Bazar, Pabna and Jashore early Tuesday, reports UNB.In Cox’s Bazar, two Rohingya men were killed in an alleged gunfight with police on Marine Drive Road in Teknaf’s Shamlarpur area around 2:00am.The deceased were Azim Uddin, 22, son of Abdur Rahim, resident of number 23 Rohingya camp in Shamlarpur; and Abdus Salam, 52, son of Rahim Ali, resident of number 15 Rohingya camp in Jamtoli area of Ukhiya.A police team raided the area acting on a tip-off, said Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of Teknaf police station. As soon as the team reached the spot, the criminals opened fire, triggering a gunfight, the OC claimed.The two men were killed on the spot. Police recovered two firearms and five bullets from the spot, the OC said, adding that four policemen were also injured.In the Sadar upazila, Sayedul Mostafa Bulu, 44, son of Jahir Hazi, resident of Pahartoli area, was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Katapahar in the early morning.Police claimed that the man was a drug trader.Police recovered 400 yaba pills, a light gun and two cartridges from the spot, said Faird Uddin Khandaker, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station.Mostofa was accused in several cases, he said.In Pabna, Md Hafizur Rahman Titas, 38, a resident of Basher Bada village, was killed in a ‘gunfight’ with police in Sara Jhaudia area of Ishwardi upazila around 2:30am.Police claimed that Titas was a robber.Police arrested Titas from Piyarpur intersection and later, conducted a drive in the area around 2:30am to catch other members of the gang.The robbers opened fire as soon as police reached the place, triggering a gunfight.Titas received a gunshot wound to the chest when he tried to flee. He was taken to Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex where the physicians pronounced him dead.In Jashore, a man was killed in a gunfight with police on Jashore-Magura road in Nongarpur area around 3:00am, said Samir Kumar Sarker, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station.Police claimed the deceased was robber.The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately.Police recovered a one-shooter gun, three bullets and several sharp weapons from the spot.
Share People get what is going on! https://t.co/Pdg7VqQv6M— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017And Trump’s Twitter fingers were tested again Monday morning after Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of the four killed in Niger, spoke out.The president “said that ‘he knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways,’” Johnson recounted on ABC’s Good Morning America. “It made me cry, because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and couldn’t remember my husband’s name.”Trump then said he had her husband’s name on a report in front of him, Johnson said, describing Trump as “stumbling on my husband’s name. That’s what hurt me most. He’s out there fighting for our country, why can’t you remember his name? … He was an awesome soldier.”She described herself as “very, very upset and hurt. It made me cry even worse.”Trump wasted no time defending his handling of the call and his use of Sgt. Johnson’s name, tweeting shortly after the interview:I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017Johnson’s funeral was Saturday. The interview and Trump’s response threaten to extend the controversy — which has been uncomfortable to see laid bare — for another week.Trump can’t seem to let it go, even as the controversy descended into one about race — again during this presidency — by the end of last week.Here was the way Midwin Charles, writing for Essence magazine, framed it Friday, for example:“At a time when Black women bury their sons and daughters as a result of gun violence, police brutality and service to this country, the lack of respect from this president is unbearable. Worse, he sets a dangerous precedent on how Black women should be perceived and treated in America.”Trump has the opportunity to refocus this week, as Panetta suggests is necessary, on other subjects important to him and the country — like the budget and a tax overhaul with a trip to Capitol Hill the president has set for Tuesday.There’s also the opioid epidemic; he’s said he’ll formally designate it a national emergency this week, although much remains unclear about the details of what that will mean.Trump heads to Capitol Hill to lobby Republicans, but can he move the ball on policy?NPR’s Susan Davis, congressional correspondent, writes:President Trump heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday to meet with Senate Republicans at their private weekly lunch. It is the first time Trump will attend the weekly lunch as president. Republicans are expected to plan out their fall agenda, with only seven legislative weeks remaining and a to-list that is growing.Republicans are sensitive to the fact that they haven’t delivered much in the way of legislative victories in the first year of full GOP control of Washington. While the president has foisted on to lawmakers a number of unanticipated items, like immigration legislation affecting so-called DREAMers and tougher sanctions on Iran, there is nothing more important to the GOP agenda than passing tax legislation before the end of the year.Republicans largely believe that enacting sweeping tax cuts for American businesses and families will inoculate the party from a feared backlash in the 2018 midterm elections over the party’s failures to make good on its promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.The president’s efforts to address the opioid crisis have come up short so far. Is anything substantively different with his declaration of a “national emergency”?NPR’s Tamara Keith, White House correspondent, who has covered the opioid crisis extensively, notes:President Trump says this week he will declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. If he actually does it, Trump will be following through on a pledge he made more than two months ago.On Aug. 10, the president said, “This is a national emergency, and we are drawing documents now.” But there has been little sign since that the administration really was drawing up the documents.According to the latest numbers, nearly 150 Americans are dying each day from drug overdoses, the majority of those from heroin, fentanyl and other opioids.“My guess is, we’re going to see deaths go up than go down. I think we’re on the wrong side of curve here,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently said. He’s chairman of President Trump’s opioid commission, which is set to release a final set of recommendations Nov. 1.But, it is such a significant crisis that on July 31 the commission issued an interim report with a recommendation it described as urgent: that the president declare a national emergency, to free up resources and bring increased attention to something that every three weeks is killing as many people as died on Sept. 11.“Your declaration would empower your cabinet to take bold steps and would force Congress to focus on funding and empowering the Executive Branch even further to deal with this loss of life,” the commission report noted. “You, Mr. President, are the only person who can bring this type of intensity to the emergency and we believe you have the will to do so and to do so immediately.”Tackling the opioid crisis was a key Trump campaign promise. The question this week is whether he will follow through with action.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesPresident Trump has an opportunity to refocus on the military with a Medal of Honor ceremony and to congressional priorities as he heads to Capitol Hill Tuesday.Updated Monday, Oct. 23 at 9:08 a.m. ETWhen backed into a corner, President Trump digs in and fights back.It’s what he’s done as president, it’s what he did as a candidate and it’s what he did as a businessman.Just go listen to NPR’s Embedded podcast and a recent episode about Trump’s fight with Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., over things as petty as a flagpole at his golf course, putting hedges in front of houses he thought were ugly and the name of a road. He wanted his name on it.He had been greeted as something of a conquering hero in that town. But the relationship soured after lawsuits and threats. So much so that the Republican town that voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 went for Hillary Clinton in 2016.“I think the president has a bad habit when he’s asked a question that he is uncomfortable with or can’t quite come up with the right answer — he usually tries to reach out for scapegoats,” Leon Panetta, former defense secretary under President Obama and chief of staff to Bill Clinton, told NPR’s All Things Considered, “and the first scapegoat this president seems to always turn to is President Obama.“And when he talked about him not making calls that was a terrible mistake. And what bothers me is that it detracts from the main focus here, and the main focus has to be on the brave and courageous individuals that are willing to go out there and fight and die for America, and their families. There is some comfort here for all of this dispute, that maybe America again will take the time to remember that there are young men and women in uniform that are fighting and dying for this country. That’s something sometimes we tend to forget.”Part of the problem for Americans is the disconnect Panetta highlights between the military and the rest of society. In 1945, just before the end of World War II, there were 12 million active servicemembers. Now, there are just over a million or so.“They’re the best 1 percent this country produces,” White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday in his defense of President Trump in the White House briefing room.It’s actually less than 1 percent. That number in 1945 represented roughly 9 percent of the country’s total population. Now, the number of active-duty servicemembers is only about 0.4 percent of the population.“Most of you, as Americans, don’t know them,” Kelly continued. “Many of you don’t know anyone that knows any one of them.”Americans are far less engaged in the debate over worldwide American missions than they likely would be if they had a daughter or son or neighbor in the fight. That has to have an effect on American society and policymaking.Trump will look to highlight that sacrifice at a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House Monday. He will honor retired Army Captain Gary M. Rose, who was a medic during Vietnam and saved a helicopter full of soldiers after it was shot down.But there are questions as to whether Trump can move on and keep his focus on where staff like Kelly would like it to be.Trump, for example, has shown no signs of wanting to move on from the fight with a Democratic congresswoman. Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida revealed details of a conversation Trump had with a widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger.I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017