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Health Ministry for ban on sale of loose cigarettes

The Health Ministry has accepted recommendations of an expert panel that includes ban on sale of loose cigarettes and making cognizable offences related with tobacco


The Union Health Ministry has accepted the recommendation of an expert panel to ban the sale of loose cigarettes.


Health Minister JP Nadda, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said, “The Ministry has accepted the recommendations and a draft note for Cabinet has been circulated for consultation."


The expert panel, set up by the Health Ministry has recommended prohibition on sale of loose or single stick of cigarette, increasing the minimum legal age for sale of tobacco products, increasing the fine or penalty amounts for violation of certain provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA), as well as making such offences cognizable.


These recommendations will now be put before the Cabinet and will also require a Parliament nod before they are implemented.


Protests over Ferguson ruling spread across US

Protests spread across the US following no indictment of police officer who shot a black teen in Ferguson town. In New York City's Times Square, several hundred people rallied carrying banners protesting 'police tyranny'


Protests spread across the US over the explosive grand jury decision in Missouri against indicting a white cop who shot dead an unarmed black teen.


Angry people took to the streets from Seattle out west to Chicago in the middle and New York late Monday, the nation's largest city, as the hotspot town of Ferguson, Missouri - where the decision was rendered - roiled with rioting.


Not long after President Barack Obama appealed for calm over the hotly awaited ruling in Missouri in the case of slain teen Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson, several hundred people gathered in front of the White House.


They chanted slogans such as "Hands up, don't shoot" and waved banners saying "stop racist police terror" and "Justice for Mike Brown."


That demonstration was peaceful, unlike violence that broke out in Ferguson itself in which a police car was torched, stores were looted and police fired tear gas to disperse angry black demonstrators.


The rally outside the White House dispersed after midnight but demonstrators headed elsewhere, possibly toward the US Capitol, the seat of Congress, AFP correspondents observed.


In New York City's Times Square, several hundred people rallied carrying banners protesting 'police tyranny'. Others had slogans saying 'racism kills' and 'no justice, no peace'.


Some people likened police to the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan.


The police presence in New York City was heavy. A helicopter flew overhead. Another rally was held in the city's Union Square.


New York City police chief Bill Bratton made an appearance at the Big Apple's signature crossroads Times Square, where someone splashed him in the face with a red liquid.


Other protests were held in major cities such as Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. In Oakland, California, which has a large black community, protesters blocked a highway.


But in these cities there were no immediate reports of violence.


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