Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ford eyes electric car deal with China partner; India court rules out triple talaq; Pollution and Mumbai's blue dogs

1 Ford eyes electric car deal with China partner (BBC) Ford has said it is in discussions with a Chinese company to create a new line of electric vehicles for the world's biggest market. Ford said it was exploring a joint venture with electric car maker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. The firm is a major manufacturer of small, zero-emissions electric cars.

The move comes as carmakers in China face new rules designed to boost electric car sales, part of the government's effort to fight pollution. China already has more electric cars on the road than any other country and Ford said it expects sales of all-electric cars in China to reach four million by 2025.

Officials are also working on new rules that would require 8% of car sales to be electric next year and 12% by 2020. A Ford spokesman said the company hoped to reach an agreement with Zotye by the end of the year.

2 India court rules triple talaq unlawful (San Francisco Chronicle) India's Supreme Court has struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional.
The bench, comprising five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice known as triple talaq.

Indian law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that since the court deemed the practice unconstitutional there is no need for any further legislative action by the government. The decision was widely lauded by women's rights activists as a step toward granting Muslim women greater equality and justice.

More than 20 Muslim countries, including neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the practice. But in India, triple talaq has continued with the protection of laws that allow Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities to follow religious law in matters like marriage, divorce, inheritance and adoption.

While most Hindu personal laws have been overhauled and codified over the years, Muslim laws have been left to religious authorities and left largely untouched. Most of the 170 million Muslims in India are Sunnis governed by Muslim Personal Law for family matters and disputes.

India's Muslim Law Board had told the court that while they considered the practice wrong, they opposed any court intervention and asked that the matter be left to the community to tackle. But several progressive Muslim activists decried the law board's position.

3 Pollution and Mumbai’s blue dogs (The Guardian) Authorities in Mumbai have shut down a manufacturing company after it was accused of dumping untreated industrial waste and dyes into a local river that resulted in 11 dogs turning blue.

The group of strangely coloured canines was first spotted on 11 August, according to the Hindustan Times, prompting locals to complain to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board about dyes being dumped in the Kasadi river, where the animals often swim. Footage shows the animals roaming the streets with bright blue fur.

“It was shocking to see how the dog’s white fur had turned completely blue,” said Arati Chauhan, head of the Navi Mumbai Animal Protection Cell, said. “We have spotted almost five such dogs here and have asked the pollution control board to act against such industries.” The board investigated, shutting down the company on Wednesday after confirming that canines were turning blue due to air and water pollution linked to the plant.

According to data obtained by NGO Watchdog Foundation through right to information, there are 977 chemical, pharmaceutical, engineering and food processing factories in the Taloja industrial area, located outside Mumbai.

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