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LIVE! Vegas shooter tried to buy tracer rounds before massacre

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October 06, 2017

23:39  Vegas shooter tried to buy tracer rounds before massacre:  
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock tried to buy tracer ammunition at a gun show in the Phoenix area in recent weeks, a law enforcement official said. 

Paddock bought other ammunition at the show, but he couldn't obtain the tracer ammunition -- bullets with a pyrotechnic charge that, when the round is fired, leaves an illuminated trace of its path -- because the vendor didn't have any to sell, the official said.

Paddock did not use tracer bullets when he fired into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Sunday night from his suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, hundreds of yards away, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others.

The official explained that if Paddock had tracer ammunition, he could have had a more precise idea of where his shots were going in the darkness, and could have been more accurate.
23:03  Trump rolls back access to free birth control:  
Donald Trump's government has issued a ruling that allows employers to opt out of providing free birth control to millions of Americans.

The rule allows employers and insurers to decline to provide birth control if doing so violates their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".

Fifty-five million women benefited from the Obama-era rule, which made companies provide free birth control.

As a candidate, Trump had pledged to eliminate that requirement.

The mandate had been a key feature of so-called Obamacare - President Obama's efforts to overhaul the US healthcare system.
It included a provision that permitted religious institutions to forego birth control coverage for their employees.

But the Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday it was important to expand which organisations can opt out and deny free contraceptive coverage.

"We should have space for organisations to live out their religious ideas and not face discrimination because of their religious ideas," said one HHS official, who did not wish to be named.
22:32  GST recommendations will immensely help small and medium business: PM:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reacted to the changes in the GST scheme. 

Here's what he said:

>> Good and Simple Tax becomes even simpler. Todays recommendations will immensely help small and medium business

>> I congratulate FM @arunjaitley & his team for engaging with various stakeholders for extensive feedback which led to today's recommendations

>> Composition scheme has been made more attractive & other facilitation measures will make the GST even more people-friendly & effective
22:15  Evidence of Honeypreet's hand in violence, claims Haryana police:  
Haryana Police has found evidence of Honeypreet Insan's hand in incidents of violence in Panchkula following Dera Sacha Sauda chief's conviction in a rape case on August 25, Panchkula Police Commissioner A S Chawla claimed today.

Chawla also said that 36-year-old Honeypreet, who claims to be the adopted daughter of jailed sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was misleading and not cooperating with the police during her interrogation.

Honeypreet, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, was arrested by the Haryana Police on October 3 in connection with the deadly violence that had claimed 35 lives.

Asking if Honeypreet's hand in incidents of violence has come to light, Chawla today told reporters, "according to the evidence we have gathered so far, definitely she has hand in this".

The police will put the evidence and other other facts before the court, he said without elaborating.
21:54  JUST IN: India lose 0-3 against USA in their opening Group A match in New Delhi in the U-17 World Cup.
21:27  Spain apologises to injured Catalans:  
A Spanish government official today offered the first apology to Catalans injured by police during their outlawed independence vote as the sides showed tentative signs of seeking an exit from the crisis.

In Spain's deepest political crisis in decades, Catalan leaders had threatened to declare independence unilaterally and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy vowed to stop them, rejecting calls for mediation.

The worsening standoff raised fears of further unrest in the northeastern region.

But today saw the first signs the sides may be willing to step back from the brink in a political conflict that threatens to destabilise Europe.

After days of ill-tempered rhetoric, the central government said it regretted last Sunday's injuries and suggested Catalonia should hold a regional election to settle the crisis.

Spain's central government apologised on behalf of police to people hurt in last Sunday's referendum disturbances.

"I can do nothing but regret it, apologise on behalf of the officers who intervened," said the government's representative in Catalonia, Enric Millo.

"I am very sad, very sorry, we deeply regret that we have arrived at this situation, it has been very hard, everything that we have experienced and seen these past few days," he said.
21:18  No new developments at Dokalam face-off site: MEA:  
The external affairs ministry said today there are no new developments at the India-China military face-off site in Doklam and its vicinity since the
August 28 disengagement.

"The status quo prevails in this area. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect," the ministry said in a brief statement.

The ministry was reacting to recent press reports on Doklam.

The reports said that China has maintained a sizeable presence of its troops near the site of the Doklam standoff with India and even started widening an existing road which is at a distance of around 12 km from the area of conflict.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. 

Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.

Bhutan and India were in touch with each other during the course of the face-off that ended on August 28. 
21:03  2 boys die of suffocation after getting stuck in car for 9 hrs:  
In a tragic incident, two boys, aged four and five respectively, died of suffocation after being stuck in a car for close to nine hours in outer Delhi's
Ranhola, the police said today.

The incident was reported on October 3.

The two cousins were playing inside a car owned by the father of one of the boys, said a senior police officer, adding that the car was parked near the owner's house.

The owner of the car, a taxi driver, had returned from a trip and parked the vehicle near his house.

At that time, he had forgotten to lock the car. Around 1 pm, he locked the vehicle through central locking, without realising that the children were in it, the officer said.

After a few hours, when the family members realised that the boys were missing, they started looking for them in the locality and subsequently, rushed to the police station in a neighbour's car to file a complaint at around 7 pm.

Around 10 pm, the car owner decided to go looking for his son and nephew. As he unlocked the door of the vehicle, he found the boys in an unconscious state, the officer said.

The children were rushed to a hospital where they were declared "brought dead" by the doctors. The post-mortem report said they died due to suffocation and dehydration, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Pankaj Singh.
20:36  UPDATE: Jaitley announces changes to GST, to help small companies:  
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference on GST relief measures. The council had day-long discussion on various  various aspects of the GST implementation. The focus is on relief for small and medium traders and exporters. 

>> Pattern of collection of GST is not clear after two months because it was a period of transition

>> E-wallet for each exporter to be made & notional amount as advance refund will be given; will be initiated on April 1 2018

>> There has been blockage in credit of exporters which affects their cash liquidity

>> The limit for turnover in compensation scheme raised from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore

>> Refund cheques for July exports, will be processed by Oct 10 & refund cheques for Aug exports, will be processed by Oct 18 

>> 90% of the assesses who have turnover less than Rs 1.5 Cr turnover to file quarterly returns

>> E-way bill discussed, K'taka already having good experience with it, after 1 Jan it'll go to other states; will try to implement by Apr 1


>> Man made yarn was taxed 18%, it has been put in 12% slab, will have effect on textiles

>> Members wanted to revisit tax structure of restaurants with more than Rs 1 Cr turnover, will be reviewed

>> GST on unbranded ayurvedic medicines to reduced from 12% to 5%
19:56   SMEs with annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 cr can file quarterly returns:  
In a relief to small and medium enterprises, the GST Council today raised the turnover threshold to Rs 1 crore for businesses to avail of the composition scheme that allows them to pay 1-5 per cent tax without going through tedious formalities.

With small businesses and traders complaining about the compliance burden the new Goods and Services Tax regime has put on them, the panel decided to give option to taxpayers to avail of the so-called Composition Scheme if their turnover is less than Rs 1 crore as against the previous limit of Rs 75 lakh.

The GST Council has also constituted a panel to consider rationalising GST rate for restaurants.

19:51  Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup match at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. Photograph: ANI/Twitter
19:13  PM to be in Gujarat from tomorrow for 2-day visit:  
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in his home state Gujarat from tomorrow on a two-day visit during which he will lay foundation stones and inaugurate a number of projects.

He will also visit Vadnagar, his birth place, for the first time since becoming the prime minister in 2014.

The trip will begin with a visit to Dwarkadheesh Temple tomorrow morning.

At Dwarka, he will lay the foundation stones of a bridge between Okha and Beyt Dwarka and other road development projects, a PMO statement said.

He will also address a public meeting there.

From Dwarka, the PM will go to Chotila in Surendranagar district where he will lay the foundation stones for a greenfield airport at Rajkot, six-laning of Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway and four-laning of Rajkot-Morbi State Highway.
Modi will then proceed to Gandhinagar where he will dedicate the newly-constructed building of IIT Gandhinagar, and launch the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan.

On Sunday morning, he will visit Vadnagar.

The PM will also distribute e-tablets to health workers to mark the launch of ImTeCHO.

The same afternoon, the prime minister will reach Bharuch and lay the foundation stone for Bhadbhut Barrage, to be built over the Narmada River, the statement said.

He will flag off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat), and Jaynagar (Bihar).

He will unveil plaques to mark the laying of foundation stone, and inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertilizer Corporation.

He will also address a public meeting there before returning to Delhi. 
18:49  PAN Card not required for jewellery purchase of over Rs 50,000:  The government has just announced that those who wish to purchase jewellery above Rs 50,000 do not require to show their PAN card. 

Additionally, the government has rolled back the GST notification on gems and jewellery. 

Earlier, the GST rate on gold jewellery was fixed at 3 per cent. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will brief the media at 7pm and is expected to announce a cut in GST rates. The tax cut is being seen as part of a broader strategy to help the economy claw out of a three-year growth slump.
18:41  States cant decide what tourists want to eat, drink: NITI CEO:  
With the widening alcohol prohibition threatening to impact the countrys tourism industry, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Friday said it is not the states business to decide what a tourist should eat and drink.

Indian states cant get into what a tourist wants to eat and drink. Just not possible...what he wants to eat and drink is his individual business and not the states business, he said. 

He was asked whether states banning beef and alcohol have failed to realise what did Dubai do so brilliantly, as the country needs tourists who should be extended every facility they need.

I have been a long term believer on couple of things. Tourism is essentially civilisational in character, you cant have garbage and filth and say that we have great heritage sites. So, India must focus on cleanliness. It is number one. Number 2, its about seamless experience, he said.

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Daman have announced plans to bar liquor sales, adding to the list that includes Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland and Manipur which are already dry.
18:22  JUST IN: Next EC hearing on two-leaves symbol case on October 13
18:13  Blue Whale: Class 9 student saved by teacher in Rajasthan:  
A class 9 student of Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu district who had reached advanced stages of the 'Blue Whale Challenge' was prevented from taking the fatal plunge, thanks to a prompt intervention by his teacher.

The boy claimed three of his classmates were also playing the controversial game, Jhunjhunu district collector, Dinesh Kumar Yadav said today.

"The boy is terrified and is now being counselled," he said.

The incident came into light after the victim, a student of state-run Jatia Government Senior Secondary School, was overheard by his teacher that he had cleared "three stages of the game".

Yadav said the student had installed the game on his mobile phone which has now been taken into the custody.
18:04  UPDATE: Ex-Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane joins NDA:   Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane, who recently quit Congress and formed his own party, decides to join the BJP-led NDA. 

Rane, who formed the new party called 'Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh, had indicated his organisation may align with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Rane served as the chief minister in 1999 when he was in the Shiv Sena. 

He had also said he or his new party will never oppose any development work, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious bullet train project.
17:30  Pirate attack thwarted by Indian Navy in Gulf of Aden:  
The Indian Navy on Friday thwarted a piracy attempt on an Indian bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden.

Stealth frigate INS Trishul thwarted a piracy attempt on Indian registered merchant vessel Jag Amar at around 12:30 pm on Friday, Navy spokesperson Capt. D.K Sharma said.

MV Jag Amar is a 85,000-tonne bulk carrier.

Boarding of Jag Amar by Navy special forces, MARCOS, is in progress, Capt. Sharma added.

One Ak magazine, 27 rounds, ladders and grapnels were recovered along with the suspected skiff used by pirates.

There are 12 suspected pirates and a search is underway to locate them.
17:03  Heavy rains, overcast skies in Mumbai:  Mumbai is suddenly lashed with heavy rains. The BMC says there's nothing to worry about, high tide post midnight. 

Photograph: ANI/Twitter
16:51  Sasikala's parole's dos and don'ts:  
VK Sasikala, the former Jayalalithaa aide who was elected the AIADMK's legislative party leader before being jailed in a disproportionate assets case in February, is out on parole to meet her ailing husband in Chennai.

When she reaches the Tamil Nadu capital later today, she won't be able to meet her supporters, or give interviews to journalists.

The Tamil Nadu government, led by two of Sasikala's friends-turned-foes - Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam - has drawn up a list of rules for her to follow during her stay in Chennai. 

The rules are:
1) She is restricted to vist the hospital where her husband is admitted and stay only at the residence she mentioned in her application

2) She is not allowed to entertain any visitors at her home or the hospital

3) Sasikala is not allowed to take part in any political or public activities

4) She can not interact with the media -- print or electronic
16:15  In a first, SC Collegium to upload its decisions on website:  The Supreme Court Collegium has decided to upload on the apex court's website decisions taken by it including elevation, transfer and confirmation of judges in order to ensure transparency in its proceedings. The decision was taken on October 3.

"The decisions henceforth taken by the Collegium indicating reasons shall be put on the website of Supreme Court, when recommendation(s) is/are sent to Government, with regard to cases relating to initial elevation to High Court Bench, confirmation as permanent Judge(s) of High Court, elevation to the post of Chief Justice of High Court, transfer of High Court Chief Justices/Judges and elevation to Supreme Court, because on each occasion the material which is considered by the Collegium is different.

"The Resolution is passed to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system," the resolution said. -- PTI
16:13  Gradual recovery for Indian economy: Nomura :  The Indian economy is expected to see a gradual cyclical recovery with GVA growth averaging 6.7 per cent this fiscal, slightly higher than 6.6 per cent in 2016-17, says a Nomura report.

According to the Japanese financial services major, there could be some downside to the RBI's near-term projections.

"In our baseline, we expect some of the growth drag caused by demonetisation and GST to reverse and growth to recover from July-September quarter of 2017," Nomura said in a research note.

It however noted that though its lead indicators are signalling a pick-up in non-agriculture GDP growth, reduced sowing of crops and shortages of working capital since GST implementation suggest a more gradual uptick.

Moreover, investment also continues to hobble due to low capacity utilisation and bank balance sheet stress.  -- PTI
15:51  J-K: Terrorists open fire in Pulwama, one civilian injured:  One civilian was injured after terrorists opened fire in the Tral area of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. The incident comes just days after terrorists attacked the Border Security Force (BSF) Camp near Srinagar airport, which claimed life of a BSF trooper. Three terrorists were gunned down in the encounter. -- ANI
15:40  Sasikala told to surrender on Oct 12, 6 pm:   VK Sasikala told to surrender by 6 pm on October 12.

The jailed AIADMK leader was today granted parole for five days by prison authorities in Karnataka to meet her husband, who underwent a liver and kidney transplant at a Chennai hospital.

Sasikala had sought parole for 15 days, but she has been granted for five days, jail authorities said. After her first application was rejected on "technical grounds" on October three for not producing certain requisite documents, Sasikala had filed a fresh plea for parole. She is expected to leave for Chennai in the afternoon.     

Rajya Sabha member from Tamil Nadu Navneet Krishnan has  given an undertaking for Sasikala's parole, her lawyer  Krisnappana told reporters outside the jail premises. "Rs 1,000 surety also has been deposited," he added.   Around 100 supporters of Sasikala gathered outside the jail premises. Krisnappana said Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran had arrived at the jail and was completing the parole formalities.

Tamil Nadu Police had earlier issued an NOC to the Karnataka government for granting parole to Sasikala, he said. Sasikala's husband, M Natarajan (74) underwent the liver and kidney transplant on October 3 with the organs harvested from a brain-dead youth, according to Gleneagles Global Health City hospital in Chennai. Sasikala has been in Parapana Agrahara central jail here since February this year after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case.

Her relatives Ilavarasi and V N Sudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms.
15:18  Could be any reason for chopper crash: VK Singh :  Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Friday expressed grief over the loss of lives in an IAF Mi-17 V5 helicopter crash incident, which left seven people killed.

Singh said, "There could be any reason behind the crash, either technical or climate reasons. We can't say anything until the investigation is completed."

The former Chief of Army Staff also added that it would not be right to make any predictions over the accident.

The incident took place at around 6 am today near Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang Sector, bordering China, when the helicopter was on an air maintenance mission.Mi-17 V5 chopper is a Russian helicopter which is considered to be one of the world's most advanced military transport helicopters. 
15:06  SC Collegium decides to upload on apex court's website decisions taken by it including elevation, transfer and confirmation of judges to ensure transparency.
14:55   The lines in the peace symbol, made for the 1958 British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, represent the letters 'N' and 'D'.
14:49  And the winner is: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:  The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

The organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.

The average age of the winners so far is 61, with the youngest by some margin being Malala Yousafzai who was just 14 when she won in 2014. Of the 104 individuals who have won a prize, just 16 have been women.
14:38  Anti-nuke body wins Nobel Peace prize:   The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has been awarded the 2107 Nobel Peace prize. The chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, said the award had been made in recognition of the group's work "to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons'.
14:23  Monsoon over, this what water levels look like :  The water level in 91 major reservoirs across the country has risen to 67 per cent of their total storage capacity from 66 per cent last week, the government said today.

As of September 28, the water storage in the reservoirs was 103.429 billion cubic metres (BCM). It has now increased to 105.851 BCM.

The latest water levels in the reservoirs are 90 per cent of the storage reported during the corresponding period last year, the Union Water Resources Ministry said in a statement.

These are 89 per cent of the decadal average for the corresponding period, the statement said.

The reservoirs in states such as Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana reported lesser storage level than last year.

Maharashtra recorded the storage equalling that last year. Major dams in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu reported better storage level vis-a-vis the corresponding period last year. -- PTI
14:15  States can't get into what tourists eat, drink: NITI CEO:   With the widening alcohol prohibition threatening to impact the country's tourism industry, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today said it is not the states' business to decide what a tourist should eat and drink.

"Indian states can't get into what a tourist want to eat and drink. Just not possible...what he wants to eat and drink is his individual business and not the states' business," he said at India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in New Delhi;.

He was asked whether states banning beef and alcohol have failed to realise what did Dubai do so brilliantly, as the country needs tourists who should be extended every facility they need.

"I have been a long term believer on couple of things. Tourism is essentially civilisational in character, you can't have garbage and filth and say that we have great heritage sites. So, India must focus on cleanliness. It is number one. Number-2 its about seamless experience," he said.

At least four states -- Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Daman -- have announced plans to bar liquor sales, adding to the list that includes Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland and Manipur which are already dry.

The proponents of prohibition maintain India has highest whiskey sales in the world leading to a plethora of social ills and needs to be checked. Also, they say, drunk driving is a leading cause of road accidents and binge drinking is a big problem in the country.  -- PTI
13:54  Vast money-laundering after note ban: Govt:  Intensifying its crackdown on black money, the government today said it has collated information about 5,800 shell companies whose near zero- balance accounts saw nearly Rs 4,574 crore of deposits post note ban and Rs 4,552 crore withdrawal thereafter.

"Vital information has been received from 13 banks regarding the bank account operations and post-demonetisation transactions of some of the 2,09,032 suspicious companies that had been struck off the Register of Companies earlier this year," the government said in a statement today.

Last month, the government imposed restrictions on operations of bank accounts of over 2 lakh 'struck-off' companies.

Terming it as a "major breakthrough" in fight against black money and shell companies, it said the first installment of data pertains to about 5,800 companies -- out of more than 2 lakh that were struck off -- involving 13,140 accounts.

"Few of the companies have been found to have more than 100 accounts to their names. The highest grosser among these is a company having 2,134 accounts, followed by others having accounts in the range of 900, 300 etc," it said.

The data on pre-demonetisation accounts and transactions conducted during the cash ban period is "startling", the government stated. After separating the loan accounts, these companies had a meagre balance of Rs 22.05 crore on November 8, 2016.

"However, from November 9, 2016 (after the announcement of demonetisation), till the date of their being struck off, these companies have altogether deposited a huge amount of Rs 4,573.87 crore in their accounts and withdrawn an equally large amount of Rs 4,552 crore," the statement said.
 -- PTI
13:06  Aadhaar mandatory for post office deposits, PPF :  The government has made biometric identification Aadhaar mandatory for all post office deposits, PPF, the National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra. Existing depositors have been given time till December 31, 2017 to provide the 12-digit unique identification number.

The Ministry of Finance has issued four separate Gazette notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for opening all post office deposit accounts, Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra deposits.

"Provided that where Aadhaar number has not been assigned, the depositor shall submit proof of application of enrolment for Aadhaar," the notification dated September 29 said.

Existing depositors who have not provided Aadhaar number at the time of application for such deposit "shall submit his Aadhaar number to the post office savings bank or deposit office concerned, on or before December 31, 2017," it added.

The government has insisted on quoting Aadhaar for bank deposits, obtaining mobile phone and several other utilities to weed out benami deals and black money.

Last month, it extended the deadline for obtaining Aadhaar for availing government schemes and subsidies by three months to December 31. Earlier, those who did not have Aadhaar were asked to procure it by September 30.

-- PTI
12:59  Sasikala gets 5-day parole :  Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala has been granted five days' parole to be with her ailing husband M Natarajan, who had been suffering from both kidney and liver failure. He had been on the organ transplant waiting list since April and had multiple organ transplants after a donor became available.

Sasikala had applied for a 15-day parole, but was granted a five-day parole. She will now head to Chennai to visit her husband who is in hospital.

This morning, her nephew, ousted AIADMK leader, TTV Dinakaran, reached Bengaluru jail to escort her to Chennai.

Sasikala's lawyer said that the jail authorities had received an e-mail from the Chennai police commissioner agreeing for parole with certain conditions, but now the jail authorities were discussing with higher officials about conditions imposed by the Chennai police.  "If Sasikala is able to affix her signature accepting all the conditions, then she will out within half an hour," her lawyer said today. 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will today hear Dinakaran's plea to extend the deadline for settling the dispute over the party's 'two leaves' electoral symbol.

Dinakaran approached the top court on Friday, a day after the Madras High Court turned down his plea to extend its October 31 deadline to February 28 next year.
12:43  And how the foreign minister did it...:   EAM Sushma Swaraj calls on Donald Tusk, President of European Council & Jean-Claude Juncker, President of European Commission.
12:15  The Modi way:  PM Narendra Modi welcomes Donald Tusk, President of European Council & Jean-Claude Juncker, President, European Commission at Hyderabad House.
11:59  SC begins hearing plea to reopen Gandhi's murder:  Just in: Responding to a plea on the reopening of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination probe, the Supreme Court today asked senior advocate Amarendra Sharan to assist the court as an amicus curiae in the case.

The court asked several questions on the plea to reopen a probe into Mahatma Gandhis assassination.

Dr Pankaj Phadnis - founder of a modern-day 'Abhinav Bharat' - has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, questioning the belief that three bullets were fired at the Mahatma. He said four shots were fired and it is the fourth bullet that took his life. An earlier petition of Phadnis seeking reopening of the case was dismissed by a high court earlier.
11:30  Notice sent to 45 Dera Management Committee members:  The Panchkula Police on Friday sent a notice to 45 members of the Dera Management Committee in connection with the August 25 violence that broke out in Panchkula when Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was declared guilty of rape by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court.

The police have also recovered a hard disk which allegedly contains details of Dera's revenue.

Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday blamed the Punjab Police for delay in the arrest of Honeypreet Insan. "There is surely something suspicious about it [Daal me kuch kaala hai]," Khattar told media.

Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested by the Haryana Police on Tuesday, on the highway near Chandigarh, along with another woman.

At least 36 people were killed and hundreds were injured in the violence following conviction of Ram Rahim in 2002 rape case. -- ANI
11:22  PM Modi to visit Himachal Pradesh tomorrow:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday will visit Bilaspur city in Himachal Pradesh to lay the foundation stone for All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Approximately Rs. 1350 crore will be allocated towards building the 750-bed hospital, which will also function as a medical college for imparting medical education at the under-graduate and post-graduate level, besides nursing.

Later in the day Prime Minister Modi will also lay the foundation stone for the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), in Una.

The Prime Minister is also scheduled to inaugurate a Steel Processing Unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). He will end his day by addressing a public meeting. -- ANI
11:09  Mohan Bhagwat escapes unhurt after cars in cavalcade collide:  RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today escaped unhurt after his car collided with another vehicle in his cavalcade on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura.

The accident happened after the tyre of an escort vehicle in Bhagwat's motorcade burst, Sangh Prachar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said.

"Sarsanghchalak Mohanji is safe and has resumed his journey to Vrindavan. It was a minor accident," Vaidya told PTI. All people travelling in the cavalcade are safe, he said and added that Bhagwat will attend events in Vrindavan as scheduled.  -- PTI
10:57  6 dead in chopper crash in Arunachal:  Update on the IAF chopper crashes in Arunachal Pradesh. Six personnel on board the IAF chopper have died, reports India Today. One person has been critically injured. Two bodies have so far been recovered. The chopper, which was on an air maintenance mission, crashed at around 6:30 am. The IAF has ordered a Court of Inquiry into the incident.
10:45  5 dead in IAF chopper crash in Arunachal:  Indian Air force Mi-17 V5 chopper crashes in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh during a training sortie this morning. Five personnel have dead, one critically injured, says the IAF.  Details awaited.

File pic.
10:36  Las Vegas massacre a senseless tragedy, says Obama:  Former United States President Barack Obama? dubbed Las Vegas musical concert massacre as 'senseless tragedy.'

The former US President, in a tweet said, "Michelle & I are praying for the victims in Las Vegas. Our thoughts are with their families & everyone enduring another senseless tragedy.

"President Trump also expressed his condolences to the victims of the families and labelled, the deadliest massshooting in US history as, 'an act of evil.'

Trump said that he would be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to offer his condolences to the families of those killed and commiserate with the injured admitted to hospital.

The tragic incident took place at a country music festival opposite the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort on the Las Vegas Strip at the Jason Aldean concert. -- ANI
10:25  Sasikala to be out on parole today to visit ailing husband:   Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala has been granted parole and is likely to visit Chennai today to meet her husband who underwent surgery on Thursday, according to The Times of India.

Sasikala had applied for a 15-day parole to be with her ailing husband M Natarajan, who had been suffering from both kidney and liver failure. He had been on the organ transplant waiting list since April and had multiple organ transplants after a donor became available.

The former AIADMK general secretary had applied for parole on Monday and said she wished to be with her husband following his surgery. Prison authorities had said their legal team would "consider" her application, Parappana Agrahara Prison Superintendent PS Ramesh was quoted as saying by PTI.

Sasikala's (60) husband M Natarajan (74) had been admitted to the intensive care unit of Chennai's Gleneagles Global Hospital.

Sasikala has been in jail Bengaluru since February after the Supreme Court upheld her conviction by a special court in a disproportionate assets case.

Along with Sasikala, her relatives Ilavarasi and VN Sudhakaran are also serving four-year jail terms.Meanwhile, Sasikala's nephew and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran had confirmed on Monday that the jailed party leader had applied for a 15-day parole to meet her ailing husband.
09:56  Banwarilal Purohit takes oath as the Governor of Tamil Nadu.
09:24  Current UN structures were designed for bygone era: India:  
Continuing to push for reform and expansion of the United Nations Security Council, India has said that the current structures of the United Nations were designed for a bygone era by a handful of nation states.
Yedla Umasankar, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, told a UN General Assembly committee that effective multilateralism and international rule of law require that the global governance structures should reflect contemporary realities.
"For retaining legitimacy and effectiveness, fundamental reform of these structures, especially the Security Council is needed," he said yesterday while participating in a debate on "rule of law at the national and international levels".

India along with Brazil, Germany and Japan have been pushing for the expansion of the UN Security Council.
Observing that laws do not remain static, Umasankar said they continue to evolve according to changing circumstances, often brought forth by changes in society and prevailing technologies.
"Changes also leave many old laws and regulations redundant. The Indian constitution, adopted seven decades ago, has seen over 100 amendments," he said.
Umasankar said the current United Nations structures were designed for a bygone era by a mere handful of nation states.
India rued that there were areas where the UN had not been able to develop international rule of law to its serious collective disadvantage.
The rise in terrorism is one such alarming concern that impacts all and requires effective international collaboration. However, law making on this issue continues to falter in view of narrow geopolitical interests, Umasankar
Ironically, often states hide behind legal concepts, designed for different contexts, to stop progress on this vital issue, including here at the UN in the context of a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, he said.
The issue continues to remain unaddressed satisfactorily even at the Security Council Sanctions Committee, he added.
Participating in the debate, Mahmoud Saikal, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, said rule of law was fundamentally imperative for a secure international landscape. -- PTI
08:52  Pakistan continues ceasefire violations, opens fire along LoC in Poonch:  
Pakistan heavily shelled areas along the Line of Control in Digwar sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch for the fifth consecutive day on Friday.

The Indian Army is retaliating effectively and the firing is still on, a defence spokesman said.

On Tuesday, an army jawan was killed when Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch.

On October 2, two minors were killed and 12 civilians injured in cross-border shelling by Pakistan along the LoC in Poonch district. 
08:39  GST Council meets today, breather likely for SMEs:  
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to chair the 22nd GST council meeting in Delhi today at 10.30 am.

According to reports, the finance minister is likely to announce a special package for micro, small and medium enterprises that will, among other things, address the concerns of exporters.

The package will also ease the onerous tax compliance requirements faced by these entities.

The package comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while defending his governments track record in managing the economy, said both demonetisation and the implementation of GST were structural reforms but that if any sector needs temporary assistance on account of these, the government would provide it. He specifically referred to exporters and small and medium enterprises.

Modi on Thursday held an hour-long meeting with Jaitley and BJP President Amit Shah, where he took a call on the economic slowdown and the business communitys outcry over GST harassment.

At a meeting last week with Jaitley who heads the council, industry bodies and exporters had asked for quicker refund of duties, deferment of filing of GST returns for six months.
00:59  8 infants die in Assam hospital in 24 hours:   At least eight infants have died at the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital (FAAMC) in Assam's Barpeta district since Wednesday.

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said about five crib deaths at FAAMC since on Wednesday, while its principal said three more infants died on Thursday evening.

"The (five) infants died due to serious neo-natal medical complications and not due to human negligence. Doctors tried their best to save the newborns and adequate medicines were available in the hospital," the minister said.

Three more infants, aged between one day and two months, died due to birth asphyxia, FAAMC Principal Dilip Dutta said.

Birth asphyxia is a condition when a baby's brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen before, during or right after birth.

The infants had low birth weight or were admitted to the hospital in a very critical condition at a very late stage, Dutta said.

Among the deceased infants, eight were male and one female. "I have talked to the doctors concerned and they have categorically said that the infants could not be saved in spite of their best possible care," the minister said.

These mortalities are related to purely critical nature of the case like age of the mother or weight of the baby, Sarma said.

The minister ordered an inquiry into the crib deaths by the Director of Medical education who visited the hospital along with consultants from UNICEF to audit the deaths.

An expert team of doctors has been called from Guwahati Medical College and Hospital to support the doctors at FAAMC, Dutta said.  -- PTI

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