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India denies asking state banks to withdraw cash held abroad over Cairn dispute

India denies asking state banks to withdraw cash held abroad over Cairn dispute© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Cairn India employees work at a storage facility for crude oil at Mangala oil field at Barmer in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan August 29, 2009. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s government on Sunday denied asking its state-run banks to withdraw funds from their foreign currency accounts abroad on fears that Cairn Energy (OTC:) may attempt to seize the cash in a tax dispute, adding New Delhi was open to resolve the matter.

London-listed Cairn is involved in a long-drawn out tussle with the Indian government over tax claims and was awarded damages of more than $ 1.2 billion by an international tribunal late last year.

New Delhi has filed an appeal against the decision it calls “highly flawed”.

Citing government officials and a banker, Reuters and other media reported on May 6 that the finance ministry had asked state-run banks to withdraw the foreign funds on concern that courts abroad could order that assets in their jurisdiction – including bank accounts – be remitted to Cairn.

The ministry, which gave no comment at the time, called the reports “false” in a statement on Sunday, saying no such instructions had been issued.

“Government of India is vigorously defending its case in this legal dispute … Constructive discussions have been held and the Government remains open for an amicable solution to the dispute,” the statement said.

Separately this month, Cairn also sued India’s flagship carrier Air India to enforce the arbitration award, according to a U.S. District Court filing reviewed by Reuters.

The international tribunal had ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty and awarded Cairn damages of $ 1.2 billion plus interest and costs.

Indian authorities in 2014 had demanded 102 billion rupees ($ 1.4 billion) from Cairn for taxes it said were owed on capital gains related to the 2007 listing of the company’s local unit.

“The Government has raised several arguments that warrant setting aside of the award,” the finance ministry’s statement on Sunday said.

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Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

‘Congratulations for taking a stand’: Obama backs MLB decision to withdraw All-Star game from Georgia amid voting rights row

Ex-US president Barack Obama has added his considerable weight to Major League Baseball’s (MLB) decision to remove the annual All-Star game from the state of Georgia – hours after Donald Trump called for a boycott of the sport.

Obama waded in to the row over voting reform law in the state, which members of the Democrats argue is aimed at suppressing African-American voters, most of whom are supporters of his party.

Among other measures, the reforms would limit mail-in voting and even criminalize giving food and water to people waiting in line to vote.

Congratulations to MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens,” Obama, a frequent sparring partner of Trump’s, wrote on Twitter.

“There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.”

There has been little to no middle ground when it comes to Georgia’s new voting mandates, with Democrats blasting the measures as voter suppression tactics that particularly affect minorities, while Republicans have pushed back, arguing that the law was needed to ensure election integrity.

President Joe Biden already likened the law to “Jim Crow in steroids,” while former President Donald Trump blasted the MLB and other organizations for protesting Georgia, telling his supporters on Friday to “boycott baseball.”

Obama has predictably earned praise from liberals critical of the law, and also triggered critics accusing him of race-baiting on an issue that has nothing to do with race.

“Former President Barack Obama now thanking MLB baseball for bullying the country as part of their co-ordinated attempts to destroy election integrity,” The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway tweeted.

“Chief arsonist has entered the chat,” writer Stephen L. Miller added.

Obama’s backlash prompted Trump to leaf through his well-worn playbook one more time.

Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans,” he said in statement, mirroring comments he made about several other sports, news networks, late-night talk shows and even Meryl Streep during his one-term presidency. 

Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with free and fair elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta and all?

Coca-Cola and Delta are among two of the major brands who have also expressed concern with voter reform in Georgia, which was passed by Republicans after Joe Biden won the state in November’s presidential election and the Democrats won two run-off Senate elections in January.

Tucker Carlson, the conservative mouthpiece whom many see as Donald Trump’s political heir in the conservative movement, also lashed out at the league’s stance, saying that the MLB believes it has “veto power over the democratic process“.

He added that Biden was “willing to destroy even something as wholesome as the country’s traditional game purely to increase the power of his political party“.

The MLB Players’ Union, meanwhile, has resoundingly endorsed the move, with former New York Yankees great Derek Jeter throwing his influence behind it.

We should promote increasing voter turnout as opposed to any measures that adversely impact the ability to cast a ballot,” Jeter said.

We support the commissioner’s decision to stand up for the values of our game.”

While the cancelation of the All-Star game from Georgia won’t rob the state of any economic benefits – the game would likely have taken place with limited fans present – some concerns have been raised as to how fans who count themselves on the right of the political spectrum might react.

Tensions have been particularly high since the NFL and NBA both embraced the wave of ‘Black Lives Matter’ social protests that have emerged since the killing of George Floyd last summer.
Also on rt.com After Biden backs punishing Georgia over election law, MLB announces MOVING All-Star baseball game and draft from Atlanta

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WW1 brigadier single-handedly held up Germans for 2 hours so troops could withdraw

Brigadier General Gerald Hunt single-handedly held up the Germans for two hours so his troops could withdraw. He ignored repeated calls from his men and Battalion HQ to fall back – and kept the enemy at bay until he was shot in the head by a sniper.
Bgd Hunt’s soldiers demanded he receive the Victoria Cross – the highest award for bravery – as they “knew of no greater acts of heroism” than his.

Instead, the 40-year-old’s death near Manancourt, France, on March 23, 1918 earned him a Distinguished Service Order for “devotion to duty”.

The citation reveals Bgd Hunt’s remarkable gallantry took place during the opening skirmishes of the German Spring Offensive. Under rifle and machine gun fire, he held the line while directing his men and other units to buy them time.

It adds: “He showed an utter disregard for his own personal safety…he held up the enemy for two hours when his flanks were exposed, and then succeeded in withdrawing his men.”

The Old Harrovian’s troops from the 1st Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment begged him to retreat but he refused.

The Lieutenant Colonel who assumed command afterwards said: “He died a most magnificent death. I sincerely hope they will give him his Victoria Cross.

“I feel certain that no greater acts of heroism were ever performed.”

Boer War veteran Bgd Hunt already had a chest full of medals and they are expected to fetch upwards of £8,000 on Wednesday through Spink & Son in London.

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