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7.5 quake strikes Afghanistan, Pakistan and North India
- A powerful earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale shook north India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Massive tremors lasting almost a minute were reported in Delhi, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
- The quake’s epicentre was located near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres from Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kms, according to the US Geological Survey.
- Tremors were also felt in major cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Kohat and Malakand.
- People rushed out of offices and homes as buildings shook in national capital Delhi. The Delhi Metro has halted services for a while as a precautionary measure.
- Hundreds of people in the towns and cities where tremors were felt are still outside, fearing aftershocks.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- He said he has asked for urgent assessment of the damage caused by the quake.
Over 500 Warriors inducted in Indian Air Force
- More than 500 Air Warriors were recently inducted in the Indian Air Force after going through a “rigorous and intensive training curriculum.”
- At a Combined Passing-out Parade at Air Force Station, Tambaram on October 23, 2015, 548 Air Warriors were inducted into IAF, a Defence release today said.
- Air Vice Marshal AK Gupta, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Eng B), who reviewed the parade, said that with the induction of the state-of-the-art aircraft, equipment and weapon system, IAF was witnessing major changes in operational philosophy, it said.
Airtel to spend extra $200-400 million capex in India this FY, on 3G, 4G sites
- Bharti Airtel will spend an additional $200-400 million in capex for India on 3G and 4G sites in this fiscal year to March 31, 2016.
- The country’s No. 1 telco has estimated its capex for India and South Asia to be at $2.3 billion, most of which would have been on India.
- Speaking at the company’s investor call post second quarter earnings announcement, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India & South Asia said that the company could have “pushed 4G by 12-13 months”, indicating that its hand was forced by the impending launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm’s own 4G services.
- The company expects data growth to remain strong and forecasts that of the 20 million handsets to be shipped this quarter, 10 million will be 4G enabled.
WTO sees up to $3.6 trillion boost to trade from deal to cut red tape
- The benefits of a treaty that will cut red tape at borders and standardise customs procedures are much larger than previously thought and could add $3.6 trillion to annual global exports, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a report on Monday.
- The WTO’s trade facilitation agreement (TFA), struck at a ministerial conference in Bali in December 2013, will do more to boost trade than if all the world’s import tariffs were removed, cutting costs 9.6 to 23.1 percent, the WTO calculated.
- “You could say that it’s global trade’s equivalent of the shift from dial-up internet to broadband,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo.
- The TFA had previously been expected to add $400 billion to $1 trillion to trade, according to various economic studies.