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West Bengal: High tide lashes jetty in Hooghly, 3 killed
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakhs to each of the deceased's family. [...]
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MCD election 2017 results: Will renew Delhi politics with positivity, says Manoj Tiwari
Tiwari lashed out at opposition parties for discriminatory politics. [...]
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Lynching of a student sparks uproar in Pakistan against blasphemy laws
Mashal Khan was shot dead by a mob after a heated university discussion. But rarely has the country responded so forcefully for someone accused of blasphemyMashal Khan was never afraid to speak his mind. The 23-year-old journalism student was known for questioning his peers and speaking out against injustice and corruption.But on 13 April – a few days after a heated discussion at his university in Madan in north-western Pakistan – Khan was seized from his dorm room by a mob that stripped and beat him, then shot him dead. Continue reading... [...]
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Alcohol ruling drives Indian bar-goers round bends
Business owners walk a fine line in ingenious efforts to skirt supreme court ban on sale of alcohol within 500 metres of highwaysLocals say the maze appeared around December. Outside the Aishwarya Restrobar in north Paravoor – one of the few places you could get a drink in Kerala, a dry state – there had suddenly sprung up a series of winding grey walls, forcing patrons to walk extra metres to the bar.And that may have been the point. An Indian supreme court judgment delivered in December and enforced since 1 April has banned the sale of alcohol within 500 metres of India’s state and national highways. Related: Karnataka leads the way as India's good samaritan law takes aim at road deaths | Vidhi Doshi Continue reading... [...]
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Cambridge researches find waxworms that digest plastic. Could this be a new start?
Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry of University of Cambridge have found that waxworms can digest plastic at a high speed. Can pollution by plastic waste be controlled now? [...]
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Suspected Maoist rebels kill 24 soldiers in India
At least 24 paramilitary commandos have been killed and six injured in one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in a long conflictSuspected Maoist rebels have killed at least 24 paramilitary commandos and wounded six in a remote part of central India in one of the deadliest attacks of a long-running internal conflict.The soldiers were guarding road workers in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh state, a hotbed of insurgent violence, when they came under heavy fire. Continue reading... [...]
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Afghan defence officials quit over Taliban attack as Pentagon chief flies in
Army chief of staff and defence minister resign over deadly assault, as James Mattis prepares to meet US and Afghan troopsAfghanistan’s top two defence officials have resigned after a Taliban attack killed more than 140 soldiers at an army base, as the US defence secretary, James Mattis, touched down on an unannounced visit to meet American troops and Afghan officials.“Defence minister Abdullah Habibi and army chief of staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect,” the presidential palace in Kabul tweeted. Continue reading... [...]
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Rooting to go cashless, Yogi Adityanath invokes Krishna, Sudama story for inspiration
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referred to the Krishna-Sudama story while urging people to go cashless. [...]
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Radio Monsoon aims to ensure safety reigns among fishermen in south India | Nicola Slawson
With the rainy season approaching in Kerala state, a radio station is providing a low-tech forecast service to encourage 30,000 families to fish more safelyFor the fisherfolk of India’s southern state of Kerala, risking life and limb is part of everyday life.As fish stocks deplete in coastal waters because of overfishing and climate change, fishermen have no option but to venture ever further out to sea on small boats, flimsy canoes and catamarans. These modest craft are prone to accidents, especially during the monsoon season from June to August. The absence of navigational aids, radio communication or safety devices heightens the risks. Related: On the climate change frontline: the disappearing fishing villages of Bangladesh #GlobalWarning In June and from then on, it's do-or-die trips for us. The sea faces terrible storms Continue reading... [...]
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'Getting rid of the beard is a challenge': the secret world of Asian drag queens
How do you tell the story of the ‘gaysian’ drag scene? With killer heels, pineapple hats and lots of duct tape. We go backstage at Miss Meena and the Masala QueensAn actor waits for his scene, loitering at the edge of the rehearsal studio, mug of tea in hand, dressed unremarkably in khaki T-shirt and grey shorts. But when he walks out into the room, something doesn’t compute. On his feet are a pair of fabulous red high heels, made of satin and mesh, with a killer gradient.This is a rehearsal for Miss Meena and the Masala Queens, the story of a drag queen who runs a once-successful Birmingham drag club, but the glitter is fading on her career. It’s told from a British Asian perspective and, as writer Harvey Virdi explains, sets out to challenge a few delusions: “You talk to people of a certain generation and they say, ‘There are no gay Punjabi boys, there are no gay Sikh boys.’” Miss Meena, we learn, has been ostracised by her family for 20 years. Continue reading... [...]
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Afghanistan reels from Taliban's deadliest attack on army since 2001
Afghans call for government officials to resign after militants storm base at Mazar-i-Sharif and kill at least 140 soldiersAfghans are still reeling from the Taliban’s deadliest attack on the security forces since 2001, with the country’s leadership accused of fumbling the response to the atrocity.As many as a dozen militants stormed the largest army base in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 140 soldiers, many of them unarmed. Related: Taliban kill more than 140 Afghan soldiers at army base Related: Devastation and a war that rages on: visiting the valley hit by the Moab attack Continue reading... [...]
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France begins voting in first round of presidential election, seen crucial to Europe's future
The outcome will be anxiously monitored around the world as a sign of whether the populist tide that saw Britain vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump's election in the US is still rising, or starting to ebb. [...]
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North Korea says it is ready to sink US aircraft carrier to demonstrate military might
North Korea has warned the United States of a nuclear attack in response to any aggression. [...]
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Tamil Nadu: Jilted lover crushes girl to death using stone, surrenders after murder
The man was unhappy with the girl making new friends on Facebook and avoiding him for the past few months. [...]
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Campaigners refuse to throw in the towel over India's 'tax on blood'
Petition urging MPs to scrap levy on sanitary towels spirals into viral Twitter campaign as Bollywood stars throw their weight behind calls for change In India, it is a subject usually spoken about in whispers or behind closed doors. But after a social media campaign by a local politician, Bollywood stars, comedians and writers have joined thousands of people in tweeting videos of themselves urging finance minister Arun Jaitley to scrap sales taxes on sanitary towels. Related: Banished for menstruating: the Indian women isolated while they bleed | Gagandeep Kaur Continue reading... [...]
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When San Francisco came to a standstill because of power outage
Triggered by a fire at a utility sub station, San Francisco experienced a massive outage knocking out traffic signals, paralyzing businesses and halting the city's famed cable cars. [...]
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'I'm transgender': India grapples with prejudices left over from British rule
Progress will involve not just drawing on country’s pre-colonial past but challenging it too, say backers of anti-discrimination billIt was a prized job in urban India: manning a phone at a corporate call centre. Getting hired took three interviews, and then there was 10 days’ training.At each stage, Tona Chettri Chauhan would discreetly approach the interviewers or the trainers with a message. “I’m transgender,” she would say. “If that’s a problem, I can leave right now.” Related: Hijra: India's third gender claims its place in law Related: India's third gender - in pictures Continue reading... [...]
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Isis leader behind Turkey nightclub attack is killed by US forces in secretive raid
Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on 6 April, says US central commandThe United States has announced that a secret military ground operation killed an Islamic State operative seen as a close associate of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and linked to an attack on a Turkish nightclub that left 39 people dead. Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, was killed during the ground assault near Mayadin, Syria, on 6 April, said Colonel John Thomas, a spokesman for the US military’s central command. Related: Turkey nightclub shooting: Istanbul mourns as police hunt gunman Continue reading... [...]
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'Vijay Mallya can't avoid the law': Herts villagers on 'fugitive' billionaire neighbour
Residents of sleepy English village of Tewin give verdict on Kingfisher Airlines tycoon, wanted in India to face allegations of fraudVijay Mallya, the multimillionaire co-owner of the Force India Formula One team and self-proclaimed “King of the Good Times”, does not appear to be preparing for his possible extradition to India to face a fraud trial on allegations over £1bn of unpaid debts.Landscape gardeners were this week laying a truckload of fresh turf in the grounds of his £11.5m mansion in the sleepy Hertfordshire village of Tewin, nearly Welwyn, 20 miles north of London. After the installation of three fountains in one of two garden pools and a four-car garage to house a fraction of his collection of 260 classic cars, the lawn should be the last step in the two-year makeover of his Ladywalk estate on Queen Hoo Lane.Usual Indian media hype. Extradition hearing in Court started today as expected.Indeed. There is no place for corruption in India. Those who looted the poor & middle classes will have to return what they have looted. https://t.co/sG6W9UECcp Continue reading... [...]
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Cow is the new tiger for Narendra Modi government, Hansraj Ahir explains how
The Union Home Ministry is planning to launch Project Cow and set up cow sanctuaries in each state. MoS (Home) Hansraj Ahir has said that the matter has been discussed with Environment Ministry. [...]
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Woman commits suicide at Delhi Metro station
A 22-year-old woman today allegedly committed suicide after jumping in front of a moving train at Ghitorni Metro station here. [...]
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Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif narrowly survives corruption court case
Three out of five judges back Sharif but court calls for investigation into offshore money following Panama Papers leak The Pakistani prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has narrowly survived an attempt in the supreme court to unseat him on allegations of corruption levelled by the opposition.The case against Sharif emerged last year after the Panama Papers leak linked his children to offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands in relation to the purchase of upmarket property in London. Related: On the frontline with Karachi’s ambulance drivers Related: In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced | William Dalrymple Continue reading... [...]
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Vinay Katiyar, accused in Babri case, on Lalu's Modi's-conspiracy-against-Advani remark: Some truth in it
BJP's Rajya Sabha member Vinay Katiyar said that there could be 'some truth' in Lalu Prasad's statement that PM Narendra Modi was conspiring against LK Advani to remove him from the race for President's chair. [...]
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BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy slams Centre's red beacon light ban, calls move a 'joke'
The decision to remove red beacon lights is a joke. If it is serious, the government must remove all A to Z category security, the BJD chief whip in Lok Sabha tweeted. [...]
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Andhra Pradesh: Woman burnt alive after SUV catches fire on highway, husband escapes unhurt
The incident occurred in the wee hours today when the vehicle caught fire due to over heating while traveling on the highway. [...]
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Aid agencies accuse Nepal government of hampering their work
NGOs say their projects face lengthy delays and they have to pay the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to get them approvedInternational aid agencies in Nepal are paying the government hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, and having to hand out stipends to bureaucrats, to get their projects approved and monitored. They accuse the government of hampering their work, citing year-long delays before aid projects are approved.The country’s public officials can earn $2,500 (£1,996) a year just for attending meetings to approve aid projects, said aid groups, in a country where the prime minister’s salary is $750 a month. Related: Rebuilding in Nepal's Langtang valley – in pictures Continue reading... [...]
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Australia's 457 visa decision likely to hit free-trade talks with India, officials hint
Malcolm Turnbull’s shock announcement leaves migration agents in Delhi struggling to update their customersThe Australian government’s decision to scrap a working visa used primarily by Indians is likely to set back efforts to secure a free-trade agreement between the two countries, foreign ministry officials in Delhi have hinted.Malcolm Turnbull on Monday announced the controversial 457 visa program for temporary workers would be abolished in favour of a new category that would “put jobs first” and “Australians first”. Related: Australian government to replace 457 temporary work visa Related: Australia's move to restrict migrant intake reflects broader global trend Continue reading... [...]
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Indian ruling party officials to be tried over 1992 Babri mosque demolition
Court rules 13 senior BJP figures, including water minister and a state governor, must face criminal conspiracy chargesSenior members of India’s ruling party, including a government minister, will be tried for their alleged involvement in the demolition of a 16th-century mosque 25 years ago, a flashpoint in modern Indian history that triggered religious riots in which nearly 2,000 people died.The supreme court announced that 13 members of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), among them the serving governor of Rajasthan, would face criminal conspiracy charges over the 1992 demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh. Continue reading... [...]
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