Citizens' Issues
German Bakery blast: Baig's death sentence commuted to life term
Mumbai : The Bombay High Court on Thursday commuted, to a life term, the death sentence to Mirza Himayat Baig after his conviction for the February 13, 2010 Pune German Bakery blast which killed 17 people, including foreigners, his lawyer said.
 
"Baig has been totally absolved of all charges including conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and other serious charges pertaining to the German Bakery blast," said his lawyer Abdul Rehman.
 
"He has only been convicted under the Explosives Act and given a life sentence. This is the first step only - we plan to appeal this and we are confident he will come clear from this too," he added.
 
Around 7 p.m. on the day, a powerful blast ripped through the popular eatery near the Osho Ashram in the fashionable Koregaon Park area and much frequented by the young crowd.
 
Among the 17 killed were an Italian woman, an Iranian and two Sudanese students.
 
Another 60 patrons were injured in the blast, including 12 foreigners while the eatery subsequently reopened briefly and shut down.
 
A Pune sessions court had in April 18, 2013 awarded the death penalty to the sole accused, Indian Mujahiddeen operative Baig, against which he had appealed before the Bombay High Court.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Surat, Rajkot among cleanest railway stations: Survey
New Delhi : Surat and Rajkot in Gujarat are among the 10 cleanest railway stations in India, according to a survey report released here on Thursday by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
 
The survey was undertaken by the Railways in line with the announcement made in the budget 2016, an official said.
 
"The survey was conducted through interviews with respondents on the questions of cleanliness indicators in 407 railway stations across 16 zonal railways," an official statement said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex headed lower – Thursday closing report
Nifty continues to fail at 7,600 depsite positive news
 
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex continued to look weak and that Nifty would have to close above 7,550 to regain its uptrend. Nifty traded above 7,550 for much of the day, following a strong opening, but ended flat. The trends of the major indices in Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The US Federal Reserve kept its benchmark short-term interest rates unchanged amid potential risks to the US economy, signalling the central bank will slow the pace of future interest rate hikes this year. In a statement released on Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting, the Fed said US "economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace despite global economic and financial developments in recent months," but these developments continue to pose risks. In December, the Fed raised its target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.25%-0.5%, the first rate hike in nearly a decade, marking the end of an era of extraordinary easing monetary policy. But the turmoil in financial markets and a slowdown in global economy since the start of the year had raised increasing concerns about the strength of the US economy, forcing Fed policymakers to hold off on any further rate hikes since then. In its January policy statement, the Fed declined to make a judgement about the balance of risks to the US economy, an indication of the uncertainty about the impact of global economic and financial turbulence on the world's largest economy. The changes in the statement on risks signalled that Fed officials are inclined to wait for more time to assess the US economic outlook before raising interest rates again.
 
With over 20% growth in domestic aviation market in 2015, India is well on its way to becoming the third-largest aviation market by 2020, says a Ficci-KPMG report. According to the report released on Thursday at the India Aviation 2016 here, with 81 million trips, the domestic aviation market grew at over 20.3% during January-December 2015, the highest growth rate recorded in the world. The total passenger throughput grew by 17.1% in 2015-16, standing at 184 million till January 2016. Passenger throughput is expected to reach around 370 million by 2020, with domestic traffic constituting around 80% of the total throughput. The report suggests that aspects such as increasing disposable incomes, fall in prices of Aircraft Turbine Fuel (ATF), increase in tourism, visa reforms, have all placed India in a unique position. 
 
Japan reported a trade surplus of 242.8 billion yen ($2.2 billion), marking its biggest trade surplus since September 2011, the Japanese government announced Thursday. The surplus compares with a deficit of 426 billion yen ($3 billion) in February 2015 and a deficit of 648.7 billion yen ($5.75 billion) in January 2016, EFE news reported. Japan's exports in February fell 4% from a year earlier to 5.7 trillion yen ($50 billion) while imports dropped 14.2% to 5.46 trillion yen ($48 billion), according to data released by the finance ministry. The closures of most nuclear power plants following the Fukushima accident in 2011 have pushed Japan from surpluses into deficits since the imports of oil and gas to generate electricity in power plants has put a heavy burden on the Japanese trade balance. Japan's deficit with China, its biggest commercial partner, fell by 50.5%, to 382.4 billion yen ($3 billion).With the world's largest economy and its second biggest trading partner, the US, Japan posted a trade surplus of 604 billion yen ($5 billion), up 4.3% from year-on-year. 
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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