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Trump leads as Rivals gang up on Rubio, Cruz at Republican debate

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Ahead of Tuesday’s crucial primary in New Hampshire, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump returned to the debate stage to assert that he has “the best temperament” to be America’s next commander in chief.

Trump, whose absence from the last Republican debate apparently pushed him to the second place in last week’s Iowa caucuses, had a relatively good time Saturday night as his rivals ganged up on newly resurgent Senator Marco Rubio.

And when Texas senator Ted Cruz who has been crowing about the real estate mogul’s “Trumper Tantrums” since besting him in Iowa declined to repeat his attacks on the ABC News debate, Trump noted, “If you noticed, he didn’t answer your question.”

Rubio, on the other hand, was seriously rattled by the attack from his rivals, particularly New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who painted him as someone who delivers soaring speeches but has never made a consequential decision in his political life.

“Marco, the thing is this,” Christie said=, “when you’re president of the United States, when you’re a governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.” Christie said.

Christie also slammed Rubio’s poor attendance record in the Senate. “That’s not leadership, that’s truancy,” Christie said.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, was booed during an exchange with Jeb Bush about eminent domain that allows a government or private entity to appropriate land or property in return for payment of compensation, when he asked the former Florida governor to be quiet.

The billionaire then turned on the audience, suggesting it was made up of party figures and big donors and was therefore biased against him — and the booing escalated.

The tough talking Trump also got support on his stand on immigration from Cruz.

“We’re going to build a wall. We’re going to triple the border patrol,” he said. “We’re going to increase — and actually, since Donald enjoyed that, I will simply say, I’ve got somebody in mind to build it.”

Trump also vowed to bring back the outlawed controversial practice of waterboarding euphemistically called as enhanced interrogation. “I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” he declared.

Bush also added to the Rubio criticism, saying that Americans shouldn’t gamble on a candidate who doesn’t have executive experience.

“Marco Rubio is a gifted politician and he may have the skills to be president of the United States,” Bush said.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, meanwhile, laid into Ted Cruz for his campaign incorrectly telling Iowa caucus goers that Carson would be dropping out of the race after Iowa and asking them to instead support him.

Carson said Saturday that the actions of Cruz’s campaign were an example of “Washington ethics” as he tried to portray himself and not Cruz as a true outsider candidate. Cruz tried to defuse the clash by saying, “Ben, I am sorry.”

The latest CNN/WMUR tracking poll of likely Republican primary voters published Friday found Trump dominating the race.

There is a fierce battle for second unfolding between Rubio at 17 percent, and Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, who are tied for third place with 13 percent. The three, however, are within the poll’s margin of error of 5.8 percentage points.

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SC should stay operations of 3 farm laws, and hear constitutionality: Tewari

Earlier in the day, while hearing the petition, Chief Justice said, “We will stay implementation if the Centre doesn’t do it.”

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Manish-Tewari

New Delhi, Jan 11 : The Congress on Monday said that the Supreme Court should stay the operations of the three farm laws and hear the Constitutionality of these laws as it has an impact on 65 per cent of the country’s population.

Speaking to IANS over phone, Congress Lok Sabha member and former Union Minister Manish Tewari said, “The Supreme Court should stay the operation of these farm laws and hear the constitutionality of these laws on a daily basis.”

He said that the Supreme Court should do this because this impacts 65 per cent of the population of the country.

The Congress leader’s remarks came after the Supreme Court while hearing the petitions challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said ‘it will stay the implementation of the farm laws if the government did not do it’.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill also took to Twitter and wrote, “Supreme Court observations and hearing today has completely exposed BJP government “3M: Mismanaging, Mishandling and Maligning” blunders on farmers issue and has sent a strong signal to government that they do not have licence to bulldoze over farmers rights and consultative process preceding legislation.”

Speaking to IANS, Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said, “The country witnessed how the farm laws were brought in through an ordinance. How it was bulldozed in the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha members were barely given time and how farmers have were given empty promises and called vile names. As the protest continues, heartening that Supreme Court has taken note.”

Earlier in the day, while hearing the petition, Chief Justice said, “We will stay implementation if the Centre doesn’t do it.”

The Supreme Court said it wants to make it clear that it is not stifling protest and the protest could carry on. But the question is whether protest should be held at the same site or should be shifted to accommodate free movement of citizens, the top court said.

The apex court told the Centre that it is reiterating to form a committee to examine the farm laws. “Until then, the court can stay the implementation of the farm laws.

“We want the atmosphere to be conducive, let the laws be on hold and go to the committee,” said the CJI.

The court said it apprehends there may be violence at the protest site, intended or unintended.

“We don’t want blood on our hands,” said Chief Justice S.A. Bobde.

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5-day BSF-BGB meet to fortify security for people living along India-B’desh borders

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Guwahati : The five-day Director General (DG) level Border Coordination Conference (BCC) between India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), which begun here on Tuesday, would deliberate upon the steps being taken to reinforce the security grid in a cohesive manner for the betterment of people living along the borders of both the countries, an official release said.

According to a BSF press statement, the 51st DG level talks (DGLT) between the BSF and the BGB would discuss various aspects and issues related to border management.

This is the first time that the bi-annual DGLT is being held outside the national capital.

A senior BSF official said that in the all important Border Coordination Conference, BSF chief Rakesh Asthana, a senior IPS officer, is leading the 12-member Indian delegation while the 11-member BGB team is headed by Major General Shafeenul Islam.

The Inspector Generals of BSF’s six of the nine frontiers would participate in the BCC.

“The DGLT would conclude with the signing of a joint record of discussions by the DGs of BSF and BGB,” the statement said.

The meeting between the BSF and the BGB, according to an official, would also review the ongoing strategies and further improve them for better coordination between both the border guarding forces deployed along the 4,096 km frontiers, including 1,116 km of riverine boundary, between the two neighbours.

Five Indian states – West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km) – share 4,096 km borders with Bangladesh.

BSF sources said that the Joint India-Bangladesh guidelines for border authorities, 1975 envisaged that there should be frequent contacts between the border authorities of the two countries to discuss the matters of immediate administrative concern.

An Indian delegation under the leadership of former BSF DG Ashwani Kumar and a Bangladesh delegation headed by former DG BDR (now BGB) Major General Quazi Golam met in Kolkata on December 2, 1975 for the first time to discuss mutual border problems.

Since 1975, the meetings between the DGs of BSF and BGB were held annually, alternatively in India and Bangladesh till 1993.

“During the discussions held in Dhaka from October 7-9, 1993 between the Home Secretaries of India and Bangladesh, it was agreed that the DG level meetings will be a bi-annual event. In the agreed summary of discussions during the said meeting, it was emphasised that problems in the areas of mutual interests and concerns could be progressively resolved through close contacts and continuing meaningful dialogue at various levels,” sources said.

Accordingly, the DGs of BSF and BGB have been holding BCC twice a year alternatively at Delhi and Dhaka and the joint record of discussions of these meetings are forwarded to the Home Ministries of the two countries after each such meeting.

The last BSF-BGB meeting was held from September 16-19 this year in Dhaka.

–IANS

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Mayawati to support Dec 8 Bharat Bandh

The joint statement has been signed by top Opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar.

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Mayawati

New Delhi, Dec 7 : Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday announced her party’s support to the December 8 Bharat Bandh called by the farmer unions.

“BSP supports the farmers’ Bharat Bandh against the three farm laws and also appeals to the Union government to listen to the farmers’ demand,” Mayawati tweeted.

The Bandh has found support from parties such as Congress, Samajwadi Party, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Communist Party of India, CPI-M, among others.

A joint statement was issued by the Opposition leaders on Sunday.

“We the undersigned leaders of political parties extend our solidarity with the ongoing massive struggle by the Indian farmers organised by various Kisan organisations from across the country and extend our support to their call for a Bharat Bandh on December 8 demanding the withdrawal of these retrograde Agri-laws and the Electricity Amendment Bill.”

The statement said “these new Agri laws passed in the Parliament in a brazen anti-democratic manner preventing a structured discussion and voting, threaten India’s food security, destroy Indian agriculture and our farmers, lay the basis for the abolishment of the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and mortgage Indian agriculture and our markets to the caprices of multi-national agri-business corporates and domestic corporates”.

The Central government must adhere to the democratic processes and norms and meet the legitimate demands of farmers, the statement said.

The joint statement has been signed by top Opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Sharad Pawar.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh are protesting along the borders of national capital Delhi against the recently bought three agricultural laws by the Central government.

Even as the fifth round of talks could not bring any breakthrough, both the sides — farmers’ representatives and the government, agreed to continue the dialogue on December 9.

The fifth round of parleys between the government and farmer leaders remained inconclusive on Saturday with both sides adamant on their stand over the three contentious farm laws.

The next meet is scheduled on December 9 with farmers giving a ‘Bharat Bandh’ call on December 8, and asserting that the protest will continue if the government does not repeal the three laws which they said are “anti-farmer”.

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