Economy
Coal block auction likely to fetch Rs.3,35,370 crore for states
The auction of 67 coal blocks is expected to fetch a revenue of nearly Rs.3,35,370 crore for seven states where the mines are located, besides additional benefit of Rs.69,310.97 crore to consumers "in terms of reduction of electricity tariffs", parliament was informed on Thursday.
 
"Out of 204 coal blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court, the government has so far allocated 67 coal mines through auction and allotment in 2015 in accordance with the provisions of Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, and the Rules made thereunder," Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
 
According to a statement from the central government, Jharkhand owns the highest number of coal blocks at 20, followed by Chhattisgarh at 14 and West Bengal at 11.
 
The other states who will benefit from the auctions are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana.
 
"One coal block, namely Ardhagram (in West Bengal), where the successful bidder was declared, has been handed over to designated custodian in view of a court case," said the central government statement.

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Top IS commander killed in Iraq
A top military aide to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the al-Hadath TV channel reported on Thursday.
 
A crack team of former Baathist soldiers shot dead Wisan Kanan, one of the militant group's top commanders in Mosul, the channel said.
 
"A special force of the Free Officers Movement gunned down Wisan Kanan," Mohammad Bahaj, a member of the Free Officers Movement, told al-Hadath.
 
The Free Officers Movement has claimed the killing of several IS leaders in recent months, including Abu Shahab al Suri, the group's commander in the western area of Mosul.
 
It was established in June last year by 490 former officers from the Baathist regime of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
 
Kanan, a former Al Qaeda leader, was one of the most prominent IS commanders in extremist-held Mosul, Bahaj was quoted as saying.
 
He had joined hardline rebel group al-Nusra Front in Syria and was earlier arrested by the US forces in Iraq in 2010, according to Bahaj.

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Deutsche Bank to pay $2.5 bn fine for interest rate-rigging
Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay a $2.5-billion fine to settle US and British accusations that more than 20 employees engaged in a "widespread effort" to rig benchmark interest rates for profit between 2005 and 2009, officials said on Thursday.
 
New York State's Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which was among the global regulators involved in the settlement, said in a press release that under the terms of the deal, the bank must terminate or ban from the New York banking system those remaining employees involved in the misconduct.
 
A number of other former Deutsche Bank employees implicated in the violations have already left the financial institution, Efe news agency reported citing NYDFS.
 
"Deutsche Bank employees engaged in a widespread effort to manipulate benchmark interest rates for financial gain," Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York state's superintendent of financial services, said.
 
"We must remember that markets do not just manipulate themselves: It takes deliberate wrongdoing by individuals."
 
The benchmark interest rates that were manipulated by traders in London, New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo included the London InterBank Offered Rate (Libor), the primary benchmark for short term interest rates globally; the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor); and Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (Tibor).
 
Those three benchmark rates are collectively known as Ibor.
 
"Certain Deutsche Bank traders frequently requested that certain submitters submit rate contributions that would benefit the traders' trading positions, rather than the rates that complied with the Ibor definitions," the NYDFS release said.

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