Sat, 13 October 2018
PM Imran Khan vows to make Pakistan 'cleaner than Europe'

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20:57   PM Imran Khan vows to make Pakistan 'cleaner than Europe'
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday vowed to make Pakistan "cleaner than Europe" as he formally launched a campaign aimed at improving sanitary conditions in the country.
Khan planted a sapling and participated in the 'Clean and Green Pakistan' drive at the Model College for Girls in Islamabad, according to Radio Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister urged the students and youth to lead the campaign as it is connected with the future of the country.
Khan vowed to make the country "cleaner than Europe" in five years.
"For this to happen, we will also have to bring a change in our mindset," he said.
He pointed out that "plantation is imperative to protect the environment and check global warming".
He said Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to global warming. He mentioned that Lahore is among the cities where the pollution level is very high.
Khan claimed his party's government had planted a billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He said his government has now set a target of planting 10 billion trees across the country which he said will change the weather pattern.
Khan said under the cleanliness drive, sewage and sanitation systems will be improved not only in cities but also in slums and villages. He said as part of integrated solution, dumping sites would be identified from village to tehsil level for disposal of solid waste.
Khan said the country requires efforts from students to make Pakistan clean and green.
20:24   BJP mulling options as Akbar returns tomorrow
Amid an increasing clamour for Union minister M J Akbar's resignation, the BJP is likely to take a clear stand on the allegations of sexual harassment against him once he explains his position upon his scheduled return to India on Sunday.
The junior foreign minister, who has been on an official trip abroad, has so far not responded to the charges.

While the BJP has maintained a studied silence on the matter so far, party sources have said the charges against him are serious, and his continuance as a minister is no longer guaranteed. A final call will be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they said.
There is also a view within the party that there is no legal case against him, and allegations pertain to a time long before he became a minster.

Multiple women in the last few days have offered their accounts of alleged sexual harassment by Akbar as the #MeToo movement swept social media, bringing to fore sordid tales of sexual harassment by influential men in different walks of lives.

While the BJP has kept mum, some woman ministers have lent their support to the #MeToo movement without taking a stand on the charges against Akbar.

Party leaders have said it is for Akbar to respond to the charges first.

-- PTI
19:48   Farhad Samji to direct 'Housefull 4' after Sajid Khan's exit
The producers of Housefull 4 on Saturday announced that Farhad Samji will be taking over the directing duties of the film after the exit of Sajid Khan.
Sajid announced his departure on Friday after three women actors and a journalist accused him of sexual harassment.

The film is being produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under his banner of Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment.

In a statement, a spokesperson of the production house said, "Director of 'Housefull 3', Farhad Samji, will now direct Housefull 4."

Farhad Samji had co-directed the franchise's previous entry "Housefull 3" along with his brother Sajid Samji.

The film's lead star Akshay Kumar announced on Friday that the shooting has been put on hold for now.

"I've just landed back in the country last night and reading all the news has been very disturbing. I've requested the producers of Housefull 4 to cancel the shoot until further investigation," he wrote on Twitter. 

"This is something that requires stringent action. I will not work with any proven offenders and all those who have been subjugated to harassment should be heard and given the justice they deserve," the 51-year-old actor added.

Soon after, Sajid said he was taking the "moral responsibility" to step down till he can allay the allegations.

"In the wake of the allegations against me and the pressure being put on my family, my producer and the stars of my film 'Housefull 4', I must take the moral responsibility of stepping down from my directorial post, till the time I can allay the allegations and prove the truth.. Request my friends in the media to kindly not pass judgement till the truth is out," he said.

-- PTI
19:08   Another Ganga activist on fast rushed to AIIMS
Two days after Ganga activist GD Agarwal died at AIIMS, another person fasting for conservation of the river was rushed to the premier institute early Saturday.
Thirty-six year old Sant Gopaldas has been fasting for the cause for 110 days. He stopped drinking water three days ago.

He was brought to AIIMS, Rishikesh, at 3.45 am and admitted to its emergency ward, acting medical superintendent of the institute Brijendra Singh told reporters.

The activist is currently being treated at the endocrinology ward of AIIMS, Rishikesh, he said. 

Sant Gopaldas is in a bad shape as he has been fasting for a long time. He also suffers from dehydration, Meenakshi Dhar, who heads the team of doctors attending to him at the institute, said.
His sugar level has come down to 65. Though he has refused to eat anything or undergo medical treatment, he is being given intravenous fluids.
The administration has given permission to AIIMS authorities to take any measures they deem fit to save Gopaldas' life including force-feeding. 
Sant Gopaldas began his fast against mining in the Ganga river bed first in Badrinath and had been fasting at Triveni and Bag ghats of the Ganga in Rishikesh since June 24, his follower Arvind Hatwal said at AIIMS.

-- PTI
18:44   Local body polls: Omar criticises Centre's handling of Kashmir
National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Saturday criticised the Centre's handling of Kashmir, seeking reasons for the all-time low voter turnout in the ongoing urban local body polls.
"From the highest turnouts since 1987 in 2014 to the lowest turnouts ever recorded in 2018 why is the Modi government able to get away with its disastrous handing of Kashmir almost unquestioned?" Omar asked on his Twitter handle.

Most of the assembly segments in Srinagar witnessed a voter turnout in excess of 25 per cent with the Sonawar assembly seat recording nearly 45 per cent poll percentage.

However, the voter turnout in Srinagar in the first three phases of the ongoing civic polls has failed to touch the double-digit figure. 

The first phase recorded the highest (6.2 per cent) turnout so far, while the second and third phases have recorded 2.3 and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

-- PTI
18:34   Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudis behind journalist' disappearance
US President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia could be behind the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned Washington would inflict "severe punishment" if that is the case.
"We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment," Trump told CBS's "60 Minutes" program, according to an extract of an interview that was released on Saturday.

"As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes," Trump said in the interview, which was conducted on Thursday.
The network said it will air the interview in full on Sunday evening.
17:59   Wife, son of judge shot at by his guard on busy street in Gurugram
The wife and son a judge were shot at by his guard in a busy market in Gurugram today, the police said.

Both have been taken to hospital where sources say, the son is critical.

The incident took place near Arcadia Market in Sector 49, Gurugram.

The gunman, Mahipal, has been posted with the judge for the past one-and-a-half years.

After shooting at them, Mahipal reached the Sadar police station where he fired again, before escaping from the spot. The Station House Officer tried to capture him but in vain.  He was caught a little while later.
17:32   Mulayam Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna sides with Shivpal
As the feud in Yadav family rages on, Aparna Yadav, the daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav announced her support for Mulayam Singhs brother and former SP leader Shivpal Yadav.

Aparna, who is married to Prateek, the younger son of Mulayam Singh Yadav, declared her support for Chacha Ji (Shivpal Yadav) and his party Samajwadi Secular Morcha on Saturday. She added that she would work towards strengthening the Samajwadi Secular Morcha.

Aparna, who shared the stage with Shivpal Yadav, the convenor of Samajwadi Secular Morcha, at a function organised in Lucknow on Saturday said, I have always respected Chacha Ji and Neta Ji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and we will work towards making Secular Morcha stronger. 

Aparna also said that Shivpal Yadav would decide a suitable time for her to join and contest for Secular Morcha.
17:18   Women should be taken seriously and believed: Vicky Kaushal on #MeToo movement
Vicky Kaushal believes #MeToo movement is bringing an important and much needed cultural shift.
The "Manmarziyaan" actor says it is necessary to believe women and pay attention to their stories. 
"It is an important cultural shift. It is a beautiful shift happening. It is so amazing to see so many women coming out with their stories of what happened with them. It doesn't matter whether it is one day or one year or ten years or 100 years. It is a still very difficult for women to come out with a story like this and place it front of the entire world in it's most naked form.

"The least we can do is we can hear them and give them a platform and dignity to say what happened with them and assure them that it will be taken seriously. It is high time something like this happened," Vicky said at India Film Project Saturday.

Filmmaker Vikramaditya Motwane, who was also present at the event for a session titled 'Role of Criticism in Insta Generation', chose to stay mum on the #MeToo movement.

He refused to comment on his former Phantom Films partner Vikas Bahl sending notice to him.

-- PTI
16:45   BCCI asks Rahul Johri to provide explanation within week over #MeToo allegations
The Committee of Administrators of the BCCI has asked Rahul Johri to submit his explanation within a week over the sexual harassment allegations made against him.

Earlier, Johri, CEO of the BCCI, was named by a Twitter user, posting on behalf of another woman. 

In her post, the user shared two screenshots containing a detailed account of the woman who has accused Johri of taking advantage of her on the pretext of offering a job opportunity.

Rahul Johri is responsible for BCCI operations, stakeholder management, building strategies and for further promoting cricket in India. Before his stint with BCCI, Johri served as Executive Vice President and General Manager South Asia for Discovery Networks Asia Pacific.
16:33   Relief work going on at top speed, to announce package for flood-hit people: Patnaik
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said the standing crops, roads and trees suffered the maximum damage in cyclone Titli and the resultant flood in the state.
After conducting an aerial survey of Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts, the chief minister also said he would announce a package for the flood-hit people.

"The maximum damage has been done to the agricultural crop, the roads and the trees. The relief work is going on at top speed as well as the restoration work," Patnaik told reporters after conducting the aerial survey.

"I shall convene a meeting on the flood situation Saturday evening and announce a package for the affected people," he added.

According to the chief minister's instruction, a three-member ministerial committee also visited the cyclone and flood-hit districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal.

"Once we have done a detailed research into it (the damage), we will decide how much to ask for," Patnaik said, replying to a question on whether the state will seek any financial assistance from the Centre.

Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal and Kendrapara districts were hit by the flood, officials said, adding that Ganjam was categorised as the "worst affected".

-- PTI
16:05   'I really don't care' jacket was for the media: Melania Trump
Melania Trump said the "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" jacket she wore in June on a plane to a Texas detention center housing immigrant children separated from their parents was a message for the media. 

The US First Lady made the comment during an interview wthat aired on Friday night.

Melania Trump said it "obvious" the jacket's message was not for the children she visited. She visited a detention center along the US-Mexico border during heighted tensions of Trump's policy of separating migrant families. 

"I wore the jacket to go on the plane and off the plane," the first lady said. "After the visit, I put it back on because I see how [the] media got obsessed about it."  

She said she the jacket "for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me. I want to show them that I don't care. You could criticise whatever you want to say, but it will not stop me to do what I feel is right."

In portions of the interview that were released earlier, Melania Trump called herself the "most bullied person" in the world.  
15:40   Trump's UK visit cost police nearly $24 million
US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK in July cost police around 18 million ($23.8 million), police estimate.

The amount is more than 10 times the cost for Barack Obama's last journey to Britain as president in 2016.

After being delayed several times, Trump's controversial four-day visit encountered large protests in London and throughout the country.

Organisers estimated that 250,000 people took part in the main rally, which required police to close off Trafalgar Square in the center of the capital after it reached capacity.

Nearly 10,000 police officers from across the country were deployed to cover the events, performing more than 26,000 shifts, Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said.

By comparison, Barack Obama's 2016 visit cost police just 1.7 million ($2.2m), according to the Metropolitan Police.

Trump met with Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and had tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during the trip.

But his visit was overshadowed by one of the largest protests in Britain since a million people demonstrated against the UK's role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
15:16   Naidu seeks Rs 1,200 cr from Centre as interim relief for cyclone affected districts
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who is camping in the cyclone-affected area, has sought Rs 1,200 crore interim relief for two most affected districts, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Naidu said that cyclone Titli hit the two districts in the early hours of October 11 with wind speeds of up to 165 km an hour and brought heavy rainfall ranging from 10 cm to 43 cm in the two districts. 

The cyclone has devastated these districts and left huge damage to properties, infrastructure, agriculture and horticulture crops, and houses resulting in distress and misery to the people. The cost of the damaged properties, infrastructure and other related sectors has been tentatively worked out to be around Rs 2,800 crores. The State Government has already started rescue and relief operations on a war footing. In view of the severe damage, I request the Government of India to liberally and expeditiously sanction the relief, Naidu wrote in the letter.

The state government has sought an interim relief of Rs 1,200 crores to be released immediately.
14:48   Ahead of Chhattisgarh polls, Congress MLA Ram Dayal Uike joins BJP
In a blow to the Congress, Ram Dayal Uike Saturday joined the BJP in the presence of its chief Amit Shah in Chhattisgarh. Shah is on a two-day visit to the state ahead of the Chhattisgarh assembly elections on November 12. Uike, who was a member of the BJP before joining the Congress, described the induction as ghar vapsi.

An Adivasi leader, Uike was elected MLA of Pali Tanakhar in 2013 after winning with a margin of over 28,000 votes. He was appointed Congress Working President in January this year. He had left the BJP in 2000 and was inducted into the Congress by Ajit Jogi.

In Chhattisgarh, Shah plans to meet Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati in Bilaspur, where she is campaigning for the BSP-Chhattisgarh Janata Congress alliance.

Known for passing controversial remarks, Uike had addressed a gathering in April, where he reportedly said Congress would throw BJP out of power from Chhattisgarh and would resort to sticks and bullets if needed.
14:24   18 more Zika virus cases detected in Rajasthan's Jaipur; total 50
Eighteen more people in Rajasthan's Jaipur district have tested positive for Zika virus, taking the total number of such cases to 50, a Union Health Ministry official said.

At least 10 of the new cases were reported from Jaipur's Shashtri Nagar locality.

The figures were issued after a review meeting chaired by Rajasthan Health department's Additional Chief Secretary, Medical and Health, Veenu Gupta on Friday.

The first case had surfaced on September 22.

Fogging and other anti-larvae activities are being carried out in the Shastri Nagar area to prevent the spread of the virus.

Earlier, a department official had said that 30 of the total cases were doing fine after treatment.

At the review meeting, measures taken to contain the situation were discussed.
14:01   Shuttler Kashyap loses passport in Amsterdam, seeks external affairs minister's help
Indian men's singles shuttler Parupalli Kashyap has sought External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's help after he lost his passport in Amsterdam while travelling to Odense for the Denmark Open.
The 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist lost his passport in Amsterdam last night and is now stranded there. He is supposed to leave for Odense Sunday for the Denmark Open.
He sought Swaraj's intervention and also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

"Good Morning Ma'am, I've lost my passport at Amsterdam last night . I have to travel to Denmark Open, French Open and Saarloux Open,Germany . My ticket for Denmark is on Sunday, 14th October .I request help in this matter . @SushmaSwaraj @Ra_THORe @himantabiswa @narendramodi," tweeted Kashyap.
13:32   Woman among 4 injured in Guwahati Pan Bazar explosion
At least four people were injured in an explosion in the Sukleswar ghat area in Guwahati Saturday, police said.
The explosion took place at a construction material dump in the Pan Bazar area when the four passersby, including a woman, were injured around 11.45 am, the sources said.
"We don't suspect it to be a bomb explosion as there were no splinters found and the injuries were due to stones hitting them," said DCP Ranjan Bhuyan who is at the site.
"We don't suspect it to be a sabotage or terrorist activity from the nature of the blast. It happened in a dump of sand kept for roadside drain construction. It may have had an unexploded shell which went off today," the DCP said.
An expert bomb squad would be arriving soon, he added.

The four injured suffered minor wounds and they were being provided medical care at the MMC Civil Hospital nearby, the police official said.

-- PTI
13:24   Rahul Gandhi to interact with HAL employees today
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to interact with nearly 100 working and retired employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on Saturday.

Informing about his meeting at the state-owned aerospace and defence manufacturer, Rahul tweeted on Saturday that the interaction will be held from 3 pm onwards outside the HAL headquarters in Bengaluru.

"HAL is India's strategic asset. The future of India's aerospace industry has been destroyed by snatching #Rafale from HAL & gifting it to Anil Ambani. Come defend the dignity of India's defenders. I am in Bengaluru to stand with HAL's employees. Join me outside HAL HQ, at 3 pm," the tweet read.

The meeting comes at a time when the Congress is mounting attack on the government over the India-France Rafale deal and the selection of Reliance Defence Limited, instead of HAL, as an offset partner for France's Dassault Aviation.

Gandhi, time and again, has accused the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of ousting HAL as Rafale's offset partner and choosing Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Limited to save the company's debt-ridden chairperson and his business.

In his recent campaign in poll-bound Rajasthan, the Congress president also alleged that Prime Minister Modi has "become the chowkidaar of his friends including Ambani, and not the nation's."

-- ANI
13:03   Will visit Sabarimala temple soon, says Trupti Desai
Amidst strong sentiments against the Supreme Courts verdict allowing women in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, gender equality activist Trupti Desai said on Saturday that she was still determined to visit it.

We will announce a date very soon to visit the Sabarimala Temple as the apex court has upheld the fundamental rights of women... There should be no attempt to stop us because we now have equal rights, Desai said while speaking to a Malayalam TV channel in Mumbai. 

She has played a major role in opening up to women shrines like Mumbais Haji Ali dargah that were hitherto closed to them.

Reacting sharply to the remarks of the activist who is also the founder of the Pune-based Bhumata Brigade, Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party President PSSreedharan Pillai said that Desai should not challenge the emotions and feelings of the devotees of the temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.

In the best interest of all, she should not venture out to challenge the feelings of thousands of devotees who have taken the apex court ruling as a shock..., Pillai, who is leading a march in protest against the September 28 ruling to the state capital from Alappuzha, told the media on Saturday.
JUST IN: Four injured in an explosion near Shukleshwar Ghat in Guwahati.
12:21   BJP, Sena may join hands for Lok Sabha poll, but not for state: Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has predicted that the BJP and the Shiv Sena may come together for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, but not for the assembly polls in Maharashtra.

Pawar also ruled out the possibility of the two elections being held simultaneously, saying the "situation has changed".

The Centre has been toying with the idea of holding simultaneous elections for quite sometime now.

"The BJP and the Shiv Sena may join hands for the Lok Sabha elections, but may not come together for the state assembly polls," Pawar said.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena, have been in a strained relationship despite sharing power at the Centre and the state.

The Shiv Sena has already announced that it would go solo for the polls. The BJP, on the other hand, is eyeing to forge an alliance with the Sena for the upcoming elections.
12:07   Women journalists "not so innocent": BJP leader on #MeToo accusations
While junior Foreign Minister MJ Akbar faces calls for resignation over allegations of sexual harassment during his time as a journalist, a BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh has come out with an appalling statement. 

Lata Kelkar, the chief of the party's women's wing in Madhya Pradesh, has said that she does not consider women journalists so "innocent" that they could be misused by anyone, ANI has reported.

However, Kelkar also said that she welcomed the #MeToo movement - which has seen women come forward with allegations against powerful and influential Indian men of sexual assault or harassment in recent weeks - as it gave strength to women, it reported.

MJ Akbar, a former editor who headed prominent newspapers like The Telegraph and the Asian Age, has been accused of sexually predatory behaviour towards women colleagues, especially newcomers.

The #MeToo movement in India was sparked by allegations of former actor Tanushree Dutta, who accused veteran Nana Patekar of harassing her on the sets of a film 10 years ago.

It set off a roaring debate on social media, and a thread on Twitter became a forum for #MeToo stories from various fields, sparing no one - film personalities, writers, journalists and entertainers.
11:46   CM Yogi Adityanath to give Z-plus security to Shivpal Yadav
After allotment of BSP chief Mayawatis vacated bungalow, chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is likely to give his recommendation for a Z plus security to Samajwadi Secular Morcha founder Shivpal Yadav.

According to sources, an alleged security threat to Yadav could be the reason for the increased security. A recent Intelligence Bureau report mentioned about the security issues of the Morcha founder, which was also cited to allot Mayawati's vacated bungalow to the Jaswantnagar MLA.

Presently, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati have the Z plus security cover. The move to extend the security to Akhilesh's uncle has drawn opposition's ire as many have already questioned CM Yogi's decision to allocate the sprawling bungalow to him.

The bungalow situated at 6 Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg was earlier allotted to Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati and was vacated after the orders of the Supreme Court. However, there were also rumours that the BJP is pleasing Shivpal Yadav as they want to widen the rift between the Yadav family ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The Deputy Chief Minister of the state, Keshav Prasad Maurya has also said some time back that Shivpal Yadav should merge his party with the BJP.
11:14   Alok Nath sends defamation notice to Vinta Nanda post rape accusations
As MeToo stories have been bringing several Bollywood personalities under the scanner, television and film actor Alok Nath who was accused of rape after writer Vinta Nanda shared her harrowing story on Twitter, several women who have worked with the 'sanskari baap' have alleged about his behaviour in public. 

While the actor also gave a statement where he neither denied or would agree with the accusations, according to the latest developments, his lawyer has now reportedly filed a defamation notice to Vinta (who worked with Alok on the '90s hit TV series Tara). A defamation notice has been sent to Vinta and a criminal complaint has also been filed in Andheri court against her. 

Earlier, speaking to ANI, Alok Nath's lawyer said, "It's easy to make these allegations. That too of an incident, which is alleged to have taken place 19 years back. Now, this by itself shows that the entire allegations are false on the face of it. A person will never wait on a period of 19 years to make the allegations. I believe that this all has been done only to defame his reputation and nothing beyond that."
10:54   Hizb terrorist killed in encounter in Pulwama
A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was on Saturday killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Babgund area of the south Kashmir district during the night after inputs of the presence of terrorists in the area, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorist fired upon the forces who then retaliated.

In the ensuing gunfight, the terrorist was killed in the morning, the official said.

He said the gunned-down terrorist has been identified as Sabir Ahmad Dar who belonged to HM outfit.

Some arms and ammunition have been recovered from the encounter site, the official said, adding the operation has been called off.  -- PTI
09:41   Terrorists shoot policeman dead in Baramulla
Terrorists shot dead a policeman in his house in Sopore township of Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district, police said on Saturday.

Unidentifiable terrorists barged inside the house of Javid Ahmad Lone at Warpora in the outskirts of the town in north Kashmir district late on Friday night and fired upon him, a police official said.

He said Lone suffered critical injuries and later died.

He was working as a follower in the police department, the official said, adding a case was registered.  -- PTI
09:39   Turkish investigators have 'shocking evidence of Khashoggi's killing'
Turkish investigators have claimed that they have 'shocking and disgusting' audio and video evidence which shows that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

CNN quoted a source saying that the evidence showed that there was an assault and struggle inside the building, adding that there was proof that the Saudi journalist was killed.

The source added that a Western intelligence service found the source of the evidence, which was considered in a briefing by the Turkish authorities as 'shocking and disgusting'.

Turkish investigators had previously claimed that Saudi Arabia has carried out the abduction and possible killing of Khashoggi, a charge which Riyadh vehemently denied.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 where he went to the consul to collect some documents to permit him to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.

He was captured in the camera while entering the building but never came out of it. Rebuffing its involvement in the disappearance, the Saudi officials had asserted that Khashoggi left within a few minutes of his arrival.

However, Cengiz, who was waiting outside, had said that she did not see the journalist coming out from the building.

Most United States intelligence officials believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had carried out an operation to silence Khashoggi, who wrote a series of columns criticising the kingdom country's regime in The Washington Post.

Earlier this week, the United States had expressed concerns about Khashoggi's disappearance and urged the Saudi government to conduct an investigation into the case.

President Donald Trump is set to call Saudi's King Salman soon to discuss the matter.  -- ANI

IMAGE: Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters
08:30   Voting in 3rd phase of J&K civic polls begins
Polling began in 96 wards spread across four districts of Jammu and Kashmir as a part of the third phase of the urban local bodies elections on Saturday.

Polling began at 6 am and is slated to end at 4 pm.

Four municipal committees in Samba district namely, Samba, Vijaypur, Ramgarh and Bari-Brahmana have gone to polls in the Jammu division.

Security has been beefed up across the state so that the polls can be conducted in a peaceful manner.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and election staff have been deployed to their respective polling stations after a complete review by the Samba District Election Officer.

A total of 372 candidates are in the fray in the third phase of the urban local bodies elections.

The overall voter turnout in the first phase of local body elections was 56.7 per cent, while in the second phase, overall turnout was 30 per cent.  -- ANI
08:19   Bank cashier shot dead, Rs 2 lakh looted in Delhi
A cashier was shot dead and three persons were injured after some unidentified people entered a bank in southwest Delhi's Dwarka on Friday and fled with over Rs 2 lakh, police said.

Police were informed about firing at a Corporation Bank branch in Khaira village at 3.45 pm, they said.

Six masked people entered the bank for committing loot and fired on the cashier Santosh Kumar, 25.

He and the other injured were rushed to a nearby hospital where Kumar was declared brought dead, they said.

The accused fled on motorcycles and also snatched the pistol of the security guard, a senior police official said.

Police are scanning the CCTV footage of the bank to identify the accused and teams have been formed to trace them, he said.  -- PTI
00:24   'US reviewing India's decision to import Iran oil, buy S-400 from Russia'
The United States is reviewing 'very carefully' India's decision to continue buying Iranian oil and purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system, a top official has said, terming it 'not helpful', days after President Donald Trump observed that New Delhi would soon find out if it faced punitive measures.

The US is trying to cut off all oil imports from Iran to zero by November 4 following Trump's decision in May to pull out of the 2015 multilateral deal that eased global sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's suspected nuclear programmes and malign activities.

Responding to questions on reports that India will continue to purchase oil from Iran after November 4, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said this was 'not helpful'.

India's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in November.

"Overall with regard to those sanctions that will take effect on November 4th - and you're referring to the oil sanctions for Iran and countries that choose to continue purchasing oil from Iran - we have conversations with many partners and allies around the world about those sanctions," Nauert said on Thursday.

"We make our policies very clear to those countries. We continue to have conversations with the government of Iraq about that particular issue and the implications for the reimposition of sanctions that were previously lifted or even waived under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," she said.

The Trump administration has given the same message to all countries around the world, and the president has said that the US is committed to re-enforcing all of its sanctions.

"We believe that countries coming together and recognising the malign influence that Iran has had around the world is important. We know that Iran and the government of Iran has taken the benefits that it received under the JCPOA and they've poured that money not into their own population, not into the good of the people, not into its medical hospitals and things of that nature, but rather they've used it for its own nefarious programmes," Nauert said.

Noting that she has seen reports of India continuing to buy oil from Iran after November 4, she said this was a topic of conversation with the Indian government when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in India last month for the first 2+2 Dialogue.

"The President had addressed it -- I believe it was just earlier today -- which he was asked about that question about whether or not India would buy oil from Iran after sanctions are reimposed. And the President said -- and I'm not going to get ahead of the President, certainly -- but he said we'll take care of that," she said.

On the implication of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA on India after it inked the $5 billion deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 Triumf air defence system, Nauert said, "He (the president) was asked also about CAATSA sanctions and possible imposition of CAATSA sanctions. And he said, you know, India is going to find out.

"And India will find out. We'll see. So I'm not going to get ahead of him, but certainly when we hear about things such as purchasing oil or the S-400 systems, it's not helpful. The United States government just reviews that very carefully," Nauert said.   -- PTI