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Wild boar meat ‘may have poisoned’ New Zealand family

Health officials say the wild boar, which the NZ family had hunted themselves, is one possible cause.

No discussions held with LDF over joining left front: JDU

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Janata Dal United , part of the Opposition Congress-led UDF in Kerala, has not held any discussions with the ruling CPI(M) headed LDF over joining the left front, a top leader said today. JDU National General secretary Varghese George said “we have never discussed the matter.” Since CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan had made an appeal to JDU to return to the LDF, some JDU leaders had expressed the ‘concerns’ of the party, he said. Earlier also there had been a proposal from LDF that socialist parties should come together, he said. Balakrishnan had recently stated that smaller parties, including JDU, should return to LDF. JDU state general secretary Sheikh P Harris said the party had suffered only losses after becoming a part of the UDF in 2009. George said in the last assembly polls, though the JDU had contested seven assembly seats, it had lost all of them. In addition to this,it had lost the Palakkad Lok Sabha seat in 2014 from where party chief Veerendra Kumar had contested. “Hence, there is some discontent in the party over the electoral performance,” he said. The party had asked UDF several times to discuss the matter. “Discussions were avoided. Though two committees were set up to go into the assembly and Lok Sabha defeats, the reports have not been disclosed so far,” the JDU leader told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

UDF, NDA to observe hartal in Wayanad district tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Wayanad district committees of UDF and NDA have announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal here tomorrow to protest the alleged laxity of the state government in providing funds for a railway line project. Though the Kerala government had agreed to pay Rs eight crore for the railway line between Nilambur in Malappuram district and Nanjangud in Karnataka, it was yet to provide anything, C P Varghese, Chairman of the UDF district committee alleged. The state government had agreed to pay Rs Two crore as advance to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Principal which has been entrusted with the task. DMRC Principal Advisor, E Sreedharan had started the job and also opened an office in Kozhikode for the purpose. But, now he is planning to pull out of the project as funds have not been provided by the government as assured, Varghese claimed. Sreedharan had informed the state government that he could not go ahead with the project without the amount paid, but the government is yet to respond, he alleged. Meanwhile, District BJP President, Saji Shankar confirmed that NDA has called for hartal for the same purpose. Milk supply, newspaper and other essential services have been exempted from the hartal.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former IG’s plea to foot Rs 33 lakh legal bills turned down

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Kerala IGP K Lakshamana’s plea to the state government to foot his legal bills of Rs 33 lakh in the Naxal Varghese murder case, was today turned down. The decision in this regard was taken at the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here today. Lakshamana had appealed to the previous Congress-led UDF government in 2015 to compensate him for Rs 33 lakh spent by him to fight the case in which he is an accused. The bills were examined by the Home Department, which had recommended sanctioning of Rs eight lakh. After the new government came to power, the matter was brought up before the cabinet once again, following which it was decided not to accept his plea. Lakshamana had been convicted by a CBI court in the fake encounter case of the Naxal leader, who was killed in 1970.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Let nuns hear women’s confessions

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala Catholic Reformation Movement (KCRM), a Kerala-based layman’s outfit, staged a protest on Sunday demanding that nuns perform the sacrament of confession for women and minors instead of priests.KCRM, which promotes reforms in the church, held a sit-in dharna attended by a number of people, including women and senior citizens in front of the Major Archbishop’s House at Marine Drive in Kochi, pressing for their demand.The protest comes in the wake of a growing number of incidents of sexual abused of minors by priests. Indulekha Joseph, a member of the outfit, claimed that the Bible “does not say anywhere that the sacrament of confession be done by priests only”.“There are many incidents I personally know of where the priest has asked for more details in cases of sexual ‘sins’. Church authorities have told me that many women confess in a bid to ‘entice’ the priest. If such issues exist, then how can women differentiate between good priests and the rest,” she was reported as saying by an English daily.“Nuns should be allowed to conduct Sacraments such as the Eucharist and the confession. Jesus had given the right to forgive sins to his disciples, just because all his disciples ended up being men because of the societal norms back then, doesn’t mean that traditions cannot be amended with time,” said added.The participants at the dharna held banners with slogans ‘Let nuns perform the sacrament of confession of women’, ‘Women are afraid of confession booths of priests’ and so on.However, the Kerala Catholic Bishop Council, dismissing the protest by the group, said that there was no need for a discussion on the issue right now. “The agitation is just to get media attention and is happening without understanding the core principles of the Holy Bible,” said Fr Varghese Vallikatt.He added that the Sacrament belongs to the Church, and the Church will decide who should perform it, further asking if it was the first time a sexual abuse case was being reported from among priests, reported another English daily. Fr Vallikatt directed the protesters to take church matters more seriously and to study the Bible. “We are not rejecting the issue raised by them with contempt. But there is no seriousness in their demand,” he added.According to reports, when KCRM approached church authorities with the request, they were sent away without even a promise of a discussion.The stir comes in the wake of the recent incident of the rape of a minor girl allegedly by a Catholic priest in Kottiyoor in Kannur district.

Real estate businessman arrested for cheating actor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>: A real estate businessman from Idukki district has been arrested for allegedly cheating Malayalam film actor Kunchacko Boban in a land deal. Police said 55-year-old Varghese C J had taken Rs 25 lakh from Boban, promising that he would be made a partner in buying a piece of land in nearby Puthencruz area. The deal did not take place due to some reasons and the money was not returned to Boban. Varghese, however,offered to sell his land to Boban in Kanchiyar in Idukki district, for which a contract was signed. In the meantime, Varghese took a bank loan against the same property without the actor’s knowledge, police said. Realising that he had been cheated by Varghese, Boban filed a complaint with police. After all necessary evidence was gathered, Varghese was arrested from Idukki district yesterday, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Physically challenged man develops innovative car driving sys

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tale of wheelchair-bound Biju Varghese who built a car engineering system to help those like him drive is about a man’s grit and determination to face life’s challenges head on. The 44-year-old award winning entrepreneur’s ‘Spince Engineering’ stall is one of the nearly 200 exhibitors at the ‘Vyapar 2017’ meet, a trade event being organised by the Kerala government to showcase its robust Small and Medium Enterprises sector. The system developed by Biju allows people in wheelchairs to drive using a hand-operated brake, clutch and accelerator lever, which can be fitted on to the gear of any car. The system developed in 2003 and approved by Automotive Research Association of India can be fitted in 15 minutes with no alterations to the car and can be removed just as easily, the ‘Vyapar 2017’ organisers said here. While the unit can cost between Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 depending on a person’s disability, Biju fits it free of cost to those who cannot afford it. The differently-abled man works out of a workshop near his house in Mukkoottuthara in Kottayam district. He has employed two workers. “I feel proud that I have given a new lease of life to over 2,000 disabled people and, in turn, to their families,” said Biju who suffered a spinal injury in a road accident when he was 25. The gritty innovator decided that he was not going to let the injury leave him bedridden, and through a trial and error method, the self-taught mechanic developed the unit. “My car can go upto 170 km per hour when I drive on the highway to Pune,” he pointed out proudly. However, tragedy struck Biju’s life when his wife developed a brain tumour and underwent a surgery last year. But the couple, who have a son, are determined not to be cowed down. “I drive to Vellore Christian Medical Centre every Thursday for my wife’s treatment,” he said. The entrepreneur’s dream is for his work to be picked up by an automotive engineering company, so that it can be widely recognised and distributed. “I have done so much almost single-handedly. Now, I want many disabled people, all over the world, to benefit from this,” Biju added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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