NEW DELHI: Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed met defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought India’s intervention to defuse the crisis in his country in the wake of the government imposing a state of emergency after refusing to implement a supreme court order to free political prisoners.The meeting took place on Sunday on the sidelines of an event organised by a media organisation in Chennai. The exiled opposition leader also posted a photo of the two on his Twitter handle and said they discussed the ongoing situation in the Maldives. There was no word from the Narendra Modi government on this meeting.India had earlier put its special forces on standby for any eventuality in Maldives including evacuation of its own citizens if violence breaks out.Speaking at the conference, Nasheed said although the Maldivian chief justice is being pressured to resign while under police custody, he remains vigilant and therefore President Abdulla Yameen would not call off the state of emergency for the time being. He said if the crisis in the Maldives is not dealt with promptly, it could get too late to reform the country.The former president said he had called for only the aid of the Indian military and not for the military to come to the Maldives and start a war. Stating that the person sent by India should be able to influence President Yameen to change his actions, Nasheed said India’s help to the Maldives is not about “changing the government” but about ensuring that an independent and just election takes place.Nasheed had earlier made a public request for India to send a military-backed envoy to solve the political turmoil in the island nation.The Maldives plunged into a major political crisis soon after its supreme court ordered the release of nine political prisoners, including Nasheed, saying their trials were politically motivated and flawed.

February 19, 2018 17:32 UTC

Embroiled in a major fraud, state-owned PNB today assured all its customers that "enough arrangements" for their banking transactions without any inconvenience, and it has sufficient assets to meet any liability. Replying to clarifications sought by stock exchanges, the Punjab National Bank (PNB) said: "Bank has enough assets to meet any liability which is decided as per law." "However, the bank has Core Banking Solution through which any customer of bank can transact at any branch of his convenience. Regarding exchanges' query on a petition in the Supreme Court demanding Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the fraud, PNB said it is not aware of any such petition. In a letter Modi wrote on February 15/16 to the PNB management, a copy of which PTI has seen, he pegged the amount his companies owes to the bank under Rs 5,000 crore.

February 19, 2018 17:29 UTC

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February 19, 2018 17:12 UTC

Rashid Khan starred as Afghanistan wrapped up a dominant 4-1 series win over Zimbabwe on Monday, cruising to a 146-run victory in the fifth and final one-day international at Sharjah. (Full scorecard)After winning the toss and batting first, the Afghanistan cricket team posted 241-9 from their 50 overs, before bowling out Zimbabwe for just 95. The Zimbabwe cricket team leave the United Arab Emirates with only one win from seven matches, having lost the preceding T20 series 2-0. Scores in brief:Afghanistan 241-9 in 50 overs (Javed Ahmadi 76, Rahmat Shah 59, Rashid Khan 43) v Zimbabwe 95 in 32.1 overs (Rashid Khan 3-13)Result: Afghanistan win by 146 runs. Series: Afghanistan win series 4-1.

February 19, 2018 17:03 UTC

However, with the installation of solar dome, I can feel the difference — the amount of light has increased and the electricity bill has dropped. Gon Chaudhuri has trained a local electrician from Azadpur, who maintains these solar domes. “These solar domes have a life of at least 10 years. The dust of Delhi settles on the dome and solar panels which creates problem. But unlike rooftop solar panels, which help to run not just lights but even fans and televisions, solar domes are just for producing light,” said Gulab, the electrician.

February 19, 2018 17:03 UTC

Pakistan's former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is relishing the prospect of playing a role in improving the country's cricket structure. After the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that chairman Najam Sethi had appointed Akhtar his advisor on cricket affairs and brand ambassador, the pacer said he would do his best. "I am really happy to be given this position because I have always wanted to do something for Pakistan cricket. Akhtar, who has been a staunch critic of the cricket structure, said it was good if former players were involved in helping the board improve the system. Sethi said that since all franchises of the PSL had appointed their own brand ambassadors there was no need for the board to have PSL brand ambassadors.

February 19, 2018 17:02 UTC

more-inA brazen attempt by a gang to rob a jewellery store in Rajajinagar was aborted after the security guard opened fire at them on Monday evening. Incidentally, the same jewellery store, a franchise of Chemmanur Jewellers, was robbed by two armed men in September 2012. A security guard was injured and the store had claimed loss of jewellery worth crores. While the case remained unsolved, the robbery had triggered a series of reforms, which led to a metal gate as an additional layer of security and an armed security guard. “Nanjappa, our security guard, was sitting outside the store.

February 19, 2018 17:02 UTC

more-inLeader of Opposition and senior Tamil politician R. Sampanthan on Monday said he was “alarmed” at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent pre-poll campaign in which he told the Sinhalese electorate that “a Tamil Eelam would bloom following the local authority elections”. Mr. Sampanthan made the intervention during a parliamentary debate on the current political crisis in Sri Lanka, provoked by the outcome of the recent polls. Mr. Rajapaksa’s party won in a majority of councils, while ruling coalition partners — who contested separately — came second and third. However, pointing to the vote share of Mr. Rajapaksa, Mr. Sampanthan said he failed to exceed 50% not just in the local elections, but also in the 2015 presidential and parliamentary polls, which the Maithripala Sirisena-Ranil Wickremesinghe combine won. Reaction to resultsIn the first instance of a national leader responding publicly to Mr. Rajapaksa’s big win, Mr. Sampanthan said there was nothing for the Rajapaksa camp to get excited about.

February 19, 2018 17:01 UTC

This golden brown crispy rice paper roll stuffed with meat or vegetables has been one of the favourite Vietnamese food for people who grew up in this coastal town. Tracing this culinary link between Puducherry and Vietnam, as part of Pondicherry Heritage Festival, Le Dupleix and The Promenade are hosting the ‘Vietnamese Food Festival.’Secrets revealedOne of the few descendants of the families from Vietnam who settled down in this coastal town 50 years ago, volunteered to share the culinary secrets. It was during this time, we thought of bringing the popular Vietnamese food back to Puducherry. Earlier, Vietnamese food was available everywhere in Puducherry. There is a dessert and do not miss Che Thai (Vietnamese sweet beverage) and coffee made from a special Vietnamese coffee filter .

February 19, 2018 16:52 UTC

more-inBritish Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday described the behaviour of some Oxfam staff in Haiti as “horrific” after the charity released an internal report revealing that a former top official admitted to paying for sex and three staff threatened a witness. Country director quitCountry director Roland Van Hauwermeiren admitted to paying for sex and was offered a “phased and dignified exit” of resignation if he cooperated with the inquiry. The report also said three Oxfam employees were involved in “physically threatening and intimidating” a witness who spoke to the investigators. Four staff were fired for gross misconduct and three others, including Mr. Van Hauwermeiren, were allowed to quit. Details of the Haiti scandal surfaced earlier this month.

February 19, 2018 16:52 UTC

more-inTracing the origins of various Indian dance forms, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit said they benefited both the dancer and the audience and took them closer to God. “We have had thinkers, philosophers and spiritual leaders in Indian society, who served as beacons to the whole world.”Mr. Purohit pointed out that every part of the world had its special characteristics and greatness. Similarly, spirituality is a special virtue for India. Spirituality is based on moving society towards a goal that goes beyond the self. No wonder the Indian civilisation has flourished for thousands and thousands of years, he said.

February 19, 2018 16:52 UTC

"The erroneously cited liability resulted in a media frenzy which led to immediate search and seizure of operations, and which in turn resulted in Firestar International and Firestar Diamond International effectively ceasing to be going-concerns. "This thereby jeopardised our ability to discharge the dues of the group to the banks," Modi, who left the country along with his family in the first week of January, wrote in the letter. Even after your complaint was filed, in good faith I wrote to you saying please sell/allow me to sell Firestar Group, or their valuable assets, and recover the dues not just from Firestar Group, but also from the three firms. "Owning up everything, he said the bank has wrongly named his brother, who is not at all concerned with the operations of the three firms or other companies. "My wife is not connected with any business operations at all and she has been wrongly named.

February 19, 2018 16:52 UTC

(Source: AP)Match history of Chelsea vs BarcelonaBarcelona travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday. At the same time, they haven’t met each other since 2012, which was the season Chelsea went on to win the Champions League. Chelsea have won four and lost just one of the six matches they have played against Barcelona in the Champions League. It is to be noted, though, that Barcelona have scored only once in their last three Champions League games and that came off an own goal against Sporting Lisbon. Head to Head:05 Apr 2000 Chelsea v Barcelona W 3-118 Apr 2000 Barcelona v Chelsea L 5-123 Feb 2005 Barcelona v Chelsea L 2-108 Mar 2005 Chelsea v Barcelona W 4-222 Feb 2006 Chelsea v Barcelona L 1-207 Mar 2006 Barcelona v Chelsea D 1-118 Oct 2006 Chelsea v Barcelona W 1-031 Oct 2006 Barcelona v Chelsea D 2-228 Apr 2009 Barcelona v Chelsea D 0-006 May 2009 Chelsea v Barcelona D 1-118 Apr 2012 Chelsea v Barcelona W 1-024 Apr 2012 Barcelona v Chelsea D 2-2For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

February 19, 2018 16:47 UTC

A letter purportedly written by jeweller Nirav Modi, circulating on WhatsApp, claims that the Rs 11,000 crore liability cited by PNB in a loan fraud case is far higher than what is owed. In the letter, Modi has appealed to the bank to support his efforts to repay debt. In a subsequent note to the exchanges, PNB had said the transactions could be over Rs 11,000 crore. “The media suggests that the liability of the Nirav Modi Group is over Rs 11,000 crores. As you are aware, this is entirely incorrect and the liability of the Nirav Modi Group is substantially less.

February 19, 2018 16:44 UTC

more-inHong Kong-based Crown Worldwide Group, which is into records management, relocation and world mobility services for executives working in multinational companies, plans to invest $60 million (₹384 crore) in India to expand operations and establish new businesses, a top official said. “We started operations in India in 1998 and [are] now growing at a rate of 15% year-on-year,” Srinivas Krishnan, MD, South Asia, Crown Worldwide Group, said. We unveiled it two days back and 25% of the space has been occupied,” said Mr. Krishnan. Recently, we have introduced our fine art logistics service for movement and safe keep of precious paintings,” said Ken Madrid, CEO, Asia Pacific, Crown Worldwide Group. The firm, which stores wines for the long term for its clients, is planning to start this service in India, Mr. Krishnan added.

February 19, 2018 16:43 UTC