• The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, received His Excellency Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the President of the Republic of Maldives, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (December 17, 2018). He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, cleared the proposal of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas to release deposit free LPG connections to poor families, who have not been considered earlier for release of LPG connections under Pradhan MantriUjjwalaYojana (PMUY) on account of their names not been covered either in Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) list or the seven identified categories i.e. SC/STs households, beneficiaries of Pradhan MantriAwasYojana(PMAY) (Gramin), Antyodaya Anna Yojana(AAY), Forest dwellers, Most Backward Classes (MBC), Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands / river islands, whose names did not appear in the SECC Iist.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs) in every block with more than 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons.

  •           The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has given its approval for signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the field of Human Resource Development.

  •           The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved establishment of two new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Madurai, Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 1,264 crore and Bibinagar, Telangana at a cost of Rs 1,028 crore.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, approved the project for construction of a 5.634 km long new 4 - lane bridge across river Ganga, just 38 meters on upstream side of the existing MG Setu, along with approaches from km 0/0 to km 14/500 on NH-19 at Patna in the State of Bihar with a capital cost of Rs. 2926.

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of Joint Issue of Postage Stamps by India and South Africa on the theme “125th Year of Mahatma Gandhi’s Pietermaritzburg Station Incident & Birth Centenary of Nelson Mandela”.


    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australiafor Cooperation in the Disability Sector.The MoU was signed at Sydney, Australia on 22nd November 2018.


     Director General Indian Coast Guard (DG ICG) Shri G Rajendra Singh is hosting a seven-member delegation of the Indonesia Coast Guard (BAKAMLA) led by Chief of BAKAMLA Vice Admiral ATaufiqoerrochman in India from December 16 to 19 2018.

  • The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India must use its moral and cultural strength to influence public opinion for establishing a truly peaceful, just and more equitable world order.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Zambia historically share warm and friendly relations based on common values such as commitment to democracy, liberty, equality and rule of law. He was interacting with the Parliamentary Delegation from Zambia led by Dr. Patrick Matibini, Speaker, National Assembly of Zambia who called on him, here today.

  • On 17 December 2018, Experimental Test Pilots and Test Engineer from IAF’s premier testing establishment ASTE, flew India’s first military flight using blended bio-jet fuel on the An-32 transport aircraft.

  • Selected Teachers of Art & Music from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan & Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti are going to share a common platform at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi tomorrow. An evening of Music and Arts organized under the aegis of Human Resource Ministry will be inaugurated by the HRD Minister Sh. Prakash Javadekar.

  • Suresh Prabhu addressing DIPP – CII National Forum in New Delhi


                In order to incentivise and encourage Indian companies to compete globally by improving theirexports, the Commerce Ministry is working on various fronts like creation of new policies, improving Ease of Doing Business, scrapping irrelevant regulations and formulating the concept of growth of GDP in every district of the country.

  • Some of the major initiatives taken by Indian Railways towards improvement in standards and cleanliness of toilets in trains and at Railway stations are as follows:

    To avoid dropping of night soils on platform lines and on track, pace of installation of Bio-toilets in Coaches has been intensified under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

  • Booking of Railway reserved tickets through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) mobile app can be made using various payment modes enabled by Government or private banks through Multiple Payment Providers.

  • Modernisation of Stations for upgradation of amenities at Railway station is a continuous and on-going process which does not require any campaigning.

    Special attention is given towards cleanliness and every endeavour is made to keep the stations & coaches including toilets in properly maintained and clean condition.

  • Policing of Railways being a State subject, prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law & order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP)/District Police.

  • As on 01.04.2018, 30,212 Route Kilometers (RKM) of Indian Railways are electrified and electrification work is in progress on 33,658 Route Kilometers which includes 13,675 Route Kilometers sanctioned in September, 2018.

  • Ministry of Railways has issued a new Catering Policy 2017 on 27/02/2017. Under this policy, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC), a Public Sector Unit under Ministry of Railways, has been mandated to provide catering services on trains, setting up/modernisations/refurbishment of base kitchens, setting up of food plazas, food courts and fast food units.

  • The government Monday extended Ujjwala Yojana of providing free cooking gas (LPG) connections to all poor households. 

    The scheme, launched in 2016, originally targeted giving LPG connections to women members of below the poverty line (BPL) households. 

    Union minister  Dharmendra Pradhan said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved expanding the scope of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to cover poor families not having LPG connections and not covered under the existing beneficiary categories.

    The CCEA also gave its in-principle approval for setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools in every block with more than 50 per cent Scheduled Tribes population and at least 20,000 tribal persons. 

    Besides, the Cabinet also approved establishment of one new AIIMS each in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

    The Cabinet also approved construction of new 4-lane bridge across river Ganga at Patna in Bihar.

  • Union Ministers, CMs of BJP ruled states and senior party leaders panned out across the country, explaining how the Rafale deal was done ina fair and transparent manner and how all procedures were adhered to while finalising the deal.

    CMs and deputy CMs of BJP ruled states also held pc and accussed the congress of spreading falsehood.

    Many demanded an apology from Cong prez RG.Party functionaries and senior leaders of the BJP also addressed press conefrences.

    BJP also accused the Congress of not concluding any defence deal during their tenure without the involvement of middlemen.

  • Wickremsinghe, who was reappointed prime minister on Sunday said this while addressing a victory rally of his United National Party (UNP) in Colombo Monday evening. He said a massive alliance will be formed to establish democracy and they will safeguard the country with that.

    Wickremesinghe said that his government will be asking all the political parties as to when they want the general election to be held.

    The prime minister conceded that his government does have shortcomings, but vowed to address them and invited the people to speak about their deficiencies.

    He requested the public to give them a two-thirds majority at the next general election to abolish the executive presidency once and for all. The PM said that he bows his head and salutes everyone who fought for democracy.

    Wickremsinghe said that if anyone thought even for a moment that they have no power, at least now they must understand their power.

    Thousands of people attended the rally which was planned before President Maithripala Sirisena decided to reinstate Mr. Wickremsinghe, ending a weeks long crisis.

    However, tensions still remain between the two individuals with President saying that he is personally against the appointment of Wickremsinghe but appointed him for parliamentary traditions and democracy.

  • Monday morning saw Ashok gehlot  sworn in as Rajasthan CM while Sachin Pilot became his deputy.

    For Gehlot it is the third time as CM. The oath taking of other ministers will be held at a later date.

    Present at the ceremony were former CM Vasundhara Raje, veteran Congress leader and former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress President rahul Gandhi among other top leaders.

    By afternoon another Congress leader took oath as CM of madhya Pradesh.Kamal Nath who led the congress to power in the state after 15  years.

     While it is still not clear who the other faces in the council of ministers are, Monday's swearing in was attended by leaders from across the political spectrum.

    72 year old Kamal Nath has served as a union minister in the UPA regime even as he took oath, however, protests were seen erupting in various places including in Dehradun and Delhi over his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti- Sikh riots.In the evening, it was the turn of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel was sworn in as the Cm of the state after the Cong's resounding victory in the assembly polls.

    The Congress victory in 3 states in the assembly polls may be a big boost for a party that was fast declining but its attempt to project its 3 wins as a united opposition front did not come to fruition as neither of its 2 major allies in MP.

    The SP and BSP were present at the function.

    Alternatively, the presence of AAP leaders who shared the stage at these ceremonies has raised many eyebrows and questions of whats brewing in these two camps.

  • A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel convicted Kumar for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony. The high court said Kumar's life imprisonment will be for the remainder of his life and asked him to surrender by December 31. It also asked him not to leave Delhi before that.

    The conviction of five others former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal, former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar were also upheld by the high court. The high court was hearing the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, challenging a trial court's judgement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Kumar was acquitted.

    The high court had on March 29 last year issued show cause notices to 11 accused, including Khokhar and Yadav, in five 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases which were earlier closed. The riots broke out after the assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.

  • Met officials have warned of heavy rain in Coastal Andhra Pradesh. East and West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry are likely to experience very heavy rainfall. Alert has been issued in parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Yanam district of Puducherry and South coastal districts of Odisha. 

    The district administration of Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari, East Godavari, Prakasam, Nellore, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam have been put on high in view of the impending cyclone. Local administration declared a holiday for schools. No-3 warning flags have been hoisted at the ports in all Coastal districts and sirens arranged in vulnerable areas to the people. 

    Teams from the National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force have been deployed mainly in the central Coastal Andhra Pradesh districts to meet any eventuality. The potential impact of the cyclone was already felt yesterday. 

    Temperatures at some places on the coastal area dipped and cold weather conditions prevailed. Some parts experienced light drizzle due to the influence of the cyclone storm. Cyclone shelters have been opened in some coastal districts and transportation facility has been arranged to evacuate people. 

    Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu directed the official machinery to be on high and take measures for the safety of people in the vulnerable areas.  Meanwhile, farmers are facing hardships as the crops especially paddy is either ready for harvesting or on the fields just after cutting. 

    Cancellation of Trains Due to “Cyclone Phethai”

        In view of heavy rain due to “Cyclone Phethai" the following passenger trains are cancelled on 17th December, 2018 as detailed below:- 

    1. Train No. 67300 Vijayawada-Rajahmundry MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Vijayawada at 04:30 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    2. Train No. 67295 Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Rajahmundry at 11:15 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    3. Train No. 67244 Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Port MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Visakhapatnam at 17:00 on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    4. Train No. 67242 Kakinada Port-Vijayawada MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Kakinada Port at 04:15 hr on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    5. Train No. 67221 Vijayawada-Tenali MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Vijayawada at 09:45 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    6. Train No. 67222 Tenali-Guntur MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Tenali at 11:00 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    7. Train No. 67225 Guntur-Tenali MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Guntur at 17:00 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    8. Train No. 67226 Tenali-Vijayawada MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Tenali at 18:00 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    9. Train No. 67227 Vijayawada-Tenali MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Vijayawada at 19:25 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    10. Train No. 67228 Tenali-Guntur MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Tenali at 20:20 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    11. Train No. 67296 Visakhapatnam-Rajahmundry MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Visakhapatnam at 18:20 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    12. Train No. 67241 Vijayawada-Kakinada Port MEMU passenger scheduled to depart Vijayawada at 19:40 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    13. Train No. 77242 Rajahmundry-Bhimavaram DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Rajahmundry at 04:25 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    14. Train No. 77237 Bhimavaram-Rajahmundry DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Bhimavaram at 07:30 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    15. Train No. 77238 Rajahmundry-Bhimavaram DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Rajahmundry at 11:45 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    16. Train No. 77231 Bhimavaram-Nidadavolu DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Bhimavaram at 16:05 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    17. Train No. 77240 Nidadavolu-Bhimavaram DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Nidadavolu at 18:25 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    18. Train No. 77206 Bhimavaram-Vijayawada DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Bhimavaram at 21:10 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    19. Train No. 77294 Rajahmundry-Narasapur DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Rajahmundry at 08:00 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    20. Train No. 77295 Narasapur-Guntur DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Narasapur at 12:40 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    21. Train No. 77230 Guntur-Vijayawada DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Guntur at 20:10 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled.

    22. Train No. 77269 Vijayawada-Machilipatnam DEMU passenger scheduled to depart Vijayawada at 21:20 hrs on 17th December, 2018 is cancelled

  • The two leaders are expected to discuss entire gamut of bilateral relations. After the talks, agreements are expected to be inked between the two countries. Maldivian President's visit comes nearly a month after PM Modi attended Solih's swearing-in ceremony in Male.

    India is a leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of the leading institutions in the island nation. Capacity building and skills development is one of the key components of India’s assistance to Maldives. Both countries signed a trade agreement in 1981, which provides for export of essential commodities. Growing from modest beginnings, India-Maldives bilateral trade now stands at 700 crore rupees.

  • The proud Nation celebrated Vijay Diwas on Sunday. The day marks the glorious victory over Pakistan in 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, in alliance with Bangladesh Mukti Bahini. The end of the war also resulted in the unilateral and unconditional surrender of the Pakistan Army and subsequent secession of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

    On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops, surrendered to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini after their defeat in the war.

    The anniversary of Vijay Divas is being observed across India by paying tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the nation. In the national capital New Delhi, Defence Minister and heads of all three wings of the Indian armed forces paid homage at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.

    President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes on the occasion of Vijay Diwas. The President in a tweet said  .. we remember with gratitude our Armed Forces who defended our nation and upheld universal values of human liberty in 1971. In particular, we pay tribute to those who lost their lives in that valiant effort.

    Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said, the overall internal security scenario in the country has vastly improved during the last four years. He said, there has been a significant improvement in the law and order situation, particularly in the North Eastern region. He was addressing a Vijay Diwas function in New Delhi. He stressed the need for igniting patriotism among the youth and said, they should know about the sacrifices and valour of the jawans of the armed forces. Stating that the Society has to stand up with the Veterans today, the Home Minister said, an action plan needs to be framed to preserve individual honour and nation's integrity among the citizens.

    Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman remembered the valour and sacrifice of the brave soldiers of the 1971 war. In a tweet, she said that the might, bravery, and resolve of the Indian Armed Forces compelled the Pakistani forces to put their weapons down in just 14 days, turning it into one of the biggest surrenders in modern history.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore also saluted to the unparalleled valor of India's armed forces. The I&B minister in a tweet said..  In 1971, on this day, our armed forces defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh was born. The legendary courage and sacrifice of our armed forces will continue to inspire India for generations to come."




  • Naval aircraft have flown 11 sorties along the East coast over last two days to broadcast warnings to the fishermen at sea of the impending cyclone and advise them to return to nearest the harbour for shelter. Additionally, naval ships at sea have also been warning the fishermen to return to harbour.

    Indian Naval ships are standing by to render Humanitarian Assistance and Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid. Additional medical teams, divers, inflatable rubber boats and relief material that include food, tentage, clothes, medicines, blankets etc, in sufficient quantities have been kept standby. Diving teams with inflatable Gemini boats and associated diving equipment have been kept standby for immediate deployment for relief and rescue operations. 

    ENC is monitoring the developments closely and is in constant communication with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMA) to augment the rescue and relief operations. Aircraft are standing by at the Naval Air Stations INS Dega and INS Rajali to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded as required.

    Fishermen from Odissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu coasts have been advised not to venture into sea view deteriorating weather condition in the area with winds gusting over 100 kmph, very high swell conditions and widespread rainfall.

  • Virat Kohli has become the second fastest batsmen to scored 25 Test hundreds as he reached the milestone in 127 innings on Day 3 of the Perth Test between India and Australia at the brand new Optus Stadium. Don Bradman took just a mere 68 innings to score 25 Test hundreds but Kohli has left Sachin Tendulkar behind who took 130 innings to score as many hundreds in Tests.

    This is Virat Kohli's seventh Test hundred vs Australia while his 6th Down Under. In Oceania, Kohli has now scored 7th hundred while this is Indian captain's 14th hundred in away Tests. This is also Virat Kohli's 18th Test century as the captain of the team, which goes on to show exactly how much he has led his team from the front and has taken captaincy as a means to improve himself.

    On Sunday took India out of deep waters after he walked in to bat with Indian scoreboard reading 8 for 2. On a tough wicket that had quite a bit of bounce, Kohli reached his hundred in 214 deliveries. With his sixth Test century in Australia, Kohli also equalled Sachin Tendulkar's record of most Test centuries by an Indian Down Under. Ahead of this tour, Kohli had scored five hundreds -- one in Adelaide in 2012 and four centuries if the 2014-15 tour which includes the twin hundreds at Adelaide. Tendulkar and Kohli are the only two batsmen to slam six hundreds in Australia in the last 70 years. Kohli also takes the second place in the list of most runs by a Test captain in away Tests in a calendar year.


  • Earlier Prime Minister Modi  inspected the Modern Rail Coach Factory. He took a round of the factory and interacted with the workers there.

    PM Modi was apprised by the officials of  the works being carried out at the Factory.

    He also inspected Humsafar Rake at the Factory and collected information about the operation of the moder coach being produced for several high speed trains.

    Officials presented Prime Minister  a replica of the Rail coach factory.

    PM Modi also launched several development projects worth over one thousand crore rupees at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.

    Addressing a gathering, the Prime Minister Modi said that Modern Rail Coach Factory was approved in 2007 and the aim was to make 1,000 new coaches.

    He said, only three per cent of the machines were working in 2014 but after coming to power NDA government changed this.

    He said, Raebareli coach factory will soon be a global hub.

    The Prime Minister  said that the factory will produce coach of high-speed trains, metro trains and aluminium coaches.

    He said, the expansion of coach factory would generate employment opportunities for people.

    Prime Minister said, earlier governments neglected the development of Rae Bareli but the Central government is committed to it.

    He said, development in Raebareli is also fast-growing.

    On Rafale deal, PM Modi accused Congress of spreading lies for personal gains and compromising national security.

    The Prime Minister said that  country will neither forget nor forgive the previous government’s attitude towards the defence forces.

    He said that  government is trying its best that those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the country should not face any difficulty.   



  • Ranil Wickremsinghe was sworn in as Prime minister on Sunday morning by President Maithripala Sirisena thus bringing an end to weeks long political crisis in the country.

    Wickremesinghe after swearing in, expressed his gratitude to all citizens who demanded democracy in unison during Sri Lanka’s political crisis. He said that unfortunately the country’s journey forward and the development launched by his government came to a halt. He vowed that the first thing they will look to achieve is to restore of normalcy in the country and  kick start the development activities.

    President Sirisena said he has given Premiership to Ranil Wickremesinghe while honouring Parliamentary traditions and democracy. His office said in a statement that his previous statement on not appointing Ranil even if 225 MPs support him, was his personal political opinion. The statement also claimed Wickremsinghe side assured they would not bring impeachment motion against President and pledged to cooperate with him. 

    Wickremsinghe was removed as Prime Minister on October 26 and replaced by Mahinda Rajapaksa who resigned yesterday after failing to garner majority in Parliament. 

    This is the fifth time Wickremsinghe has been sworn in as Prime minister which is a record in Sri Lanka. The cabinet of ministers will be sworn in next week and a vote of account will be presented to meet expenditure for first two months of New Year.

    The culmination of weeks long crisis has come as a major political victory for Wickremsinghe who emerged winner among the three key players. Rajapaksa had to resign as prime minister on Saturday while President Sirisena is under criticism for this actions.

  • In the summit clash Sindhu defeated Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-19, 21-17 in 1 hour and 2 minutes.

    It is indeed a great victory for PV Sindhu after all the silvers in the recent past. Jinx has finally been broken after being the second best in Olympics, World Championships, CWG and Asian Games.

  • Prime Minister Narendara Modi inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of various develppment projects in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The seven projects worth 355.90 crores related to Uttar Pradesh State Bridge Corporation, six projects worth 21.41 crores for construction of Ghats under Namami Gange program; two more projects related to Namami Gange program; 111 projects related to Public Works Department; 16 proejects related to Railways and 157 other projects for development in the Uttar Pradesh.

    Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister highlighted the key initiatives taken by the governnment for clean Gange. Prime MInister said that, 50 ghats out of 150 ghats so far have been renovated under Namami Gange program. Prime MInsiter also said that govt has sanctioned more than Rs 24,000 crore for Ganga cleaning under Namami Gange programme.

    Prime Minister also said that state govt and centrral govt are working together to make the Kumbh a successful event.

    Prime MInsiter also said that, whichever country he visited during last one and half year, he invited people to visit Prayagraj for Kumbh, so that world can see the real beauty of India. 

    Attacking Congress, Prime Minster said that one can expect no good from Congress. Prime Minister said that Congress has always regarded itself above law and above any democratic institution.

    On the occasion, Prime MIniter also released coffee table book ' Making of Kumbh'

    Earlier, Prime Minister Modi performed Ganga pooja at Sangam Ghat. Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and State Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also accompanied him.

    Prime Minister Modi also visited Akshayvat, in Prayagraj.

    Prime Minister Modi also visited the Swachh Kumbh exhibition in Prayagraj.

  • Indian pacers took four wickets in the final session but Australia managed to take a lead of 175 runs in Perth. Riding on a gritty 35-run partnership between Usman Khawaja and Travis Head, Australia were 132 for four at stumps on Day 3.

    Skipper Tim Paine and Khawaja  were unbeaten at the cease when umpires decided to call it a day.

    Earlier, Nathan Lyon took five for 67 as India were bowled out for 283 in the first innings on Day 3 of the Perth Test.

    After a terrific century from skipper Virat Kohli in the morning session, the lower middle order disappointed once again and crumbled in the post-lunch session, ending 43 runs behind Australia's first innings total.

    Virat Kohli produced a masterclass but Australia bounced back with two quick wickets towards the end of the session. The Indian skipper got to his 25th Test century with a lovely punch down the ground just after the second new ball was taken.

  • The two sides reviewed the broad gamut of the multi-faceted India-France bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

    Both Ministers discussed strategic partnership between the two nations, through maritime cooperation in Indo Pacific, and cooperation in civil nuclear, defence, space, trade and economic sectors.

  • The CBI had earlier informed the court that they needed to confront Michel with some documents and witnesses, and take him to Mumbai too. Michel is one of the three middlemen being probed in the VVIP chopper case by the ED and the CBI.

    He was brought to India on the night of December 4, following his extradition by the UAE in connection with the case.

  • French FM also holds talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.  JY Le Drian said French companies are investing and innovating in India under Make in India programme.


  • The security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Sirnoo village in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Saturday morning after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in the area, an Army official said. The search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists opened fire on the security personnel.

    Three terrorists and a soldier were killed in the gunfight, he said. The identity and group affiliation of the slain ultras was not known yet. Massive clashes broke out between youths and the security forces in the area following the encounter. 

  • The tragic incident occurred on Friday evening when a minitruck skidded off the road and plunged 500 meters at Ghyanphedi area of Dupcheshwor Rural Municipality-1 in Nuwakot district. According to police 19 people died on the spot while one person lost his life during treatment.

    Seventeen persons have also been injured in the accident and they have been brought to Kathmandu for treatment. More than 40 people were on board in the ill fated truck.  

  • Both teams failed to score in the regulation time and the match went to penalty shoot-outs in which Belgium proved superior.

    This is Belgium's first ever World Cup title.

  • He said the economy is now fairly large to display a certain degree of resilience. Speaking at the inauguration of the FICCI Annual General Meeting in New Delhi on Friday, Jaitley, said the government will stick to the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target in the current financial year. He said there is a need to focus on several unreformed sectors in the economy. He also cited the need to improve credit flow and tackle liquidity.

    The Minister said the government intends to overtake the UK in terms of GDP and come close to Japan in terms of GDP not per capita income in course of the next few years.

    On RBI, Jaitley said government respects its autonomy and indepence. He said that pointing out credit and liquidity issues is not infringing on autonomy.

  • Rajapaksa was appointed Prime minister by President Maithirpala Sirisena on 26th October suddenly replacing Ranil Wickremsinghe. However, he failed to garner majority in Parliament and President attempt to dissolve parliament was nullified by Supreme court in a decision on Thursday. Rajapaks also suffered setback at the hands of a lower court which restrained him from functioning on a quo warranto petition filed by Wickremsinghe and his MPs.

    Supreme Court had refused to vacate on Friday an interim order of lower court restraining Rajapaksa and his cabinet from functioning and fixed hearings in January after vacation.  Wickremsinghe will be sworn in again to the post of Prime minister on Sunday along with his cabinet. President Sirisena has claimed in the past that he would never reappoint Wickremsinghe but the political realities forced him to do so. 

  • Newly elected Congress legislature party is scheduled to meet today. Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s decision regarding his choice for chief minister would be announced at the meeting.

    Earlier, AICC observer Mallikarjun Khadge had a meeting with Congress legislators on 12th December in Raipur and submitted his report to the party  President.

    Later, the Congress chief summoned senior state leaders Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singhdeo,Tamradwaj Sahu and Charandas Mahant to New Delhi to have a discussion with them.

    AICC General Secretary and party in charge for Chhattisgarh P L Punia was also present during the meeting.

  • The MNF returned to power in Mizoram by bagging 26 seats of the 40-member state legislature after a decade.

    The 40-member assembly will now have 26 MLAs from MNF, eight from Zoram People's Movement and five from Congress. It will also have its first BJP MLA, Buddha Dhan Chakma who contested from Tuichawng.

  • President Ramnath Kovind laid the foundation stone of new ultra modern Railway Station at Kevadia during his visit to the Statue of Unity at Kevadia in Narmada district. The new ultra modern Railway Station will connect the Statue of Unity project to the rest of India with broadgauge railway line. The railway station, to be built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, will provide direct rail connectivity to the tourists visiting the Statue of Unity. President hailed the contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in uniting the country.

    Earlier, the president also participated in a prayer meeting and paid tribute to the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 68th  death anniversary.

    The President also visited various places like 'Valley of Flowers', 'Wall of Unity', 'Museum and Exhibition Halls' and others at the venue of Statue of Unity.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Sardar Patel on his death anniversary on Saturday. The Prime Minister in a tweet said…His thoughts, rich work and strong effort towards India's unity inspire generations of Indians.

    I&B Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore also paid tributes to Sardar Patel. The I&B Minister in a tweet said ... Humble tributes to the architect of a united, free India, the Iron Man, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He further tweeted .. We'll forever be indebted to his priceless contributions that laid a strong foundation for India to grow into a prosperous country.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will present the awards and launch the portal, the Aayog said in a release Friday. NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and CEO Amitabh Kant will also be present on the occasion.

    The awards were instituted to recognise and celebrate stories of exemplary women from across India. "This year's theme is 'Women and Entrepreneurship' and 15 winners have been chosen through an extensive six-month long process to identify fascinating and inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs," the release added.

    The event will include panel discussions. The panellists include entrepreneurs, investors and experts such as Debjani Ghosh, Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Geeta Chandran, Radhika Ghai and Sania Mirza, it said.

  • The violence broke out near the town of Moyale, on the border with Kenya, in a region claimed by both the Oromo, the largest ethnic group in the country, and the Somali ethnic group. On top of the fatalities, 61 people were injured in the fighting, Fana reported, citing the Oromia regional state communication office.

    Many more were displaced by the fighting in the region which has regularly been the scene of inter-communal violence. Last year, fighting between members of the two ethnic groups left more than a million people displaced.

    While Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has received international praise for his reformist agenda since coming to power in April, a wave of inter-communal violence in several parts of the country -- mostly over land issues -- has marred the first few months of his rule.

    Three Ethiopian students were also killed and 34 others injured after a fight on a campus escalated into deadly ethnic clashes in the west of the Horn of Africa country, the government said on Wednesday.

  • The Wholesale Price Index based inflation was 5.28 per cent in October and 4.02 per cent in November last year.

    Food articles witnessed softening of prices with deflation at 3.31 per cent in November, against 1.49 per cent in October, government data released on Friday showed.

  • Noted English author Amitav Ghosh has been honoured with this year's Jnanpith Award, an award for outstanding contribution to literature.

    In a statement, Bharatiya Jnanpith announced that Amitav Ghosh is a path- breaking novelist and in his novels, Ghosh treads through historical settings to the modern era and weaves a space where the past connects with the present in relevant ways.

    The decision was taken in a meeting of Jnanpith Selection Board chaired by eminent novelist, scholar and Jnanpith laureate Pratibha Ray.

    Ghosh, one of the most prominent contemporary Indian writers, is known for a series of novels such as "Shadow Lines", "The Glass Palace", "The Hungry Tide", and Ibis Trilogy -- "Sea of Poppies", "River of Smoke", and "Flood of Fire" -- chronicling the Opium trade between India and China run by the East India Company.

    He has become the first English author to be honoured with the award. He's reacted to it on twitter saying he's 'honoured and humbled'.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the BJP booth level workers from Attingal, Mavelikkara, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha in Kerala through video conference. 

    Slamming the state government, Prime Minister said that BJP has given a model of governance for inclusive and all round development to bring a positive change in people's lives while Congress and Communist party have only given models of efficient corruption and inefficient governance.

    Prime Minister also slammed the state govt for political killing in Kerala. He also praised the party karyakartas who withstood the political violence, and have given sacrifices in the state.

    Prime Minister also said that India is the fastest growing economies in the world. He also said that India is a founding member of the International Solar Alliance that seeks to save the planet by adopting sustainable energy.

  • The announcement was made by party observer for the state K.C. Venugopal. He said the decision was taken by party President Rahul Gandhi.

    Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee President Kamal Nath has been named as the new Chief minister of the newly-elected Congress government in the state. Congress tweeted saying that "Our best wishes to Kamal Nath for being elected CM of Madhya Pradesh. An era of change is upon MP with him at the helm. "

    Kamal Nath's name was finalised after a string of meetings. His name was announced after a meeting of its MLAs at the party headquarters in Bhopal. Kamal Nath will take oath as Chief Minister on Monday.

    Briefing the media, he said that the promises made by the Congress in its manifesto will be fulfilled by the new Government.

  • The deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal moved rapidly north-northwestwards during past 6 hours and is very likely to intensify further into a Cyclonic Storm during the next 12 hours.

    Expecting heavy rainfall and high winds, all are advised to stay off from the coastal areas. Those, who are out in deep sea areas are advised to return to the coast.

  • According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting held in Kathmandu on Monday.

    In Nepal using and carrying Indian currency of more than Rs 100 denomination is illegal.

    After demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes  by the Indian Government, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) had issued a circular in November 2016 and declared  using, carrying or keeping Indian currency above Rs 100 denomination illegal in Nepal.

  • When the Lok Sabha reassembled at noon, there were heated arguments between the Treasury and Opposition benches over the Rafale deal. Citing the Supreme Court order, ruling BJP members accused the Congress of misleading the country on the deal. 

    Home Minister Rajnath Singh alleged that Congress President not only misled the country over the issue but tried to tarnish the country’s image at the international level. Singh said the apex court has clearly stated that the deal is a financial advantage to the country and there is no fault in the procurement process. 

    He said Rahul Gandhi should tender an apology in the House as he tried to dent the government’s image.   

    As noisy scenes continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House for the day.

    Earlier, as the House met for the day, the Congress and BJP members were on their feet raising slogans against each other. Citing the Supreme Court's Judgement,  Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar alleged that Congress President Rahul Gandhi has made baseless allegations about the deal.

    AIADMK members were in the well against the construction of dam across Cauvery River while TDP members raised slogans seeking financial benefits to Andhra Pradesh under the State Reorganization Act of 2014. 

    Amid noisy scenes, the Speaker had adjourned the House till noon.

    In the Rajya Sabha, ruling BJP MPs demanded that Gandhi should apologize for levelling charges of corruption against the government in the Rafale deal. 

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked the Chair to suspend the Question Hour and allow a discussion on the matter. On the other hand, Congress members continued their protest against the deal and demanded a JPC probe into it. AIADMK and DMK members were also in the well seeking protection for Cauvery delta farmers. Amid continued sloganeering between the Treasury and Opposition benches, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for the day. 

    Earlier, the House was adjourned following protests till 11:30 AM minutes after meeting for the day at 11 AM. Both the Houses of Parliament will now meet on Monday after the weekend holidays.

  • "The board deliberated on the governance framework of the Reserve Bank and it was decided that the matter required further examination," the RBI said in a statement.

    RBI's governance is a major bone of contention between the government and the bank, which led Urjit Patel to quit as RBI Governor on Monday. The government wants RBI to be driven by the board instead of the Governor, as is currently the case.

    Under the current structure, the board has 18 directors including four Deputy Governors, four Directors from the RBI's local boards, two government nominees and others appointed by the government. Many of these appointments to the board are political.

    With non-technical people (non-economists) as Directors in the board of the central bank, the final word on any economic policy by the RBI is that of the Governor. However, the Central government wants the RBI Governor to be accountable to the board.

    The board also reviewed other contentious issues like liquidity in the economy and credit in the market which soured the relationship between the government and the central bank over the past several months, with the government wanting the RBI to intervene.

    "The board reviewed, inter alia, the current economic situation, global and domestic challenges, matters relating to liquidity and credit delivery to the economy and issues related to currency management and financial literacy," the statement said.

    It was the first board meeting under the chairmanship of Shaktikanta Das, who was earlier Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry and one who steered the monetary situation in the country post-demonetisation.

    The draft report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India (2017-18) was also discussed at the meet, the RBI said.

  • A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi dismissed a bunch of petitions saying that there is no question on the need for fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, nor the suitability of Rafale fighter jets.

    The bench said that, the Apex court cannot sit as an appellate authority on each and every defence Procurement. The bench also said that it doesn't find any material to show that there has been commercial favouritism.

    Welcoming the Supreme Court's decision on the Rafale deal, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Congress President tried to mislead public for political benefit, and maligned India's image globally. Demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi, the Home Minister said that the allegations were just a tool to gain political mileage.

    Union Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad also welcomed the Supreme Court's decision, saying the Rafale fighter jets are in the interest of the country. He expressed hope that, with this decision, all the issues created by the opposition on the Rafale deal will now end.

    BJP President Amit Shah has welcomed the judgement of the Supreme Court. He said that the truth has won. He said that the people were being misled by unfortunately the country's oldest party and its a slap on politics of lies. He said that Rahul Gandhi should reveal what was the source of information on basis of which he made such big allegations.

    Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore has hailed the Supreme Court's decision on the Rafale deal. In a tweet, the minister said that --- in a unanimous judgment the Supreme Court has dismissed any probe into the Rafale Deal and that has vindicated the Government's stand.

    Meanwhile, the Supreme Court's decision on the Rafale deal dominated proceedings in Parliament, as well. As soon as the Apex Court delivered the crucial judgment, the BJP members in Lok Sabha started demanding an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Various issues, including Rafale deal, clouded the proceedings in the Lower House, forcing adjournments. The Lok Sabha was then adjourned for the day, till Monday.In the Upper House of Parliament, too, the BJP members sought an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi. BJP's Arun Jaitley demanded that a discussion on the matter should immediately be taken up in Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes, and was forced to be adjourned repeatedly, and finally for the day, till Monday.

  • Mohammad Mohamood Ali, also sworn in as a Minister along with him at a simple ceremonial programme held on the lawns of Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad. KCR took the oath of office and secrecy at 1.25 minutes in the name of the God in Telugu while Mr Ali took oath in Urdu in the name of Allah. 
    This is the second time that KCR became the chief minister of the youngest state of the country. KCR family members besides former ministers of his cabinet, who is who of the state including sitting high court judges, attended the ceremony.
    It may be recalled that the TRS won over two-thirds of the 119 seat state Assembly when the youngest state of the country gone for an early-poll. According to KCR, a full-fledged cabinet will be formed in a few days to come.


  • For the Prime Minister, December 11 was a busy working day like any other. 

    Reaching Parliament at 10.30 am, in his customary interaction with media, as in any Parliament session, PM Modi called for healthy debate and discussion on all subjects of concern to the people. 

    He attended the Lok Sabha, which was adjourned for the day after obituary references to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and former Union Minister Ananth Kumar. 

    In the afternoon, the Prime Minister reviewed development work in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He will be launching development projects in Rae Bareli and Prayagraj on the 16 December. Thereafter, he attended to other important official meetings.

    Late in the evening, PM Narendra Modi gave finishing touches to his speech at the Partners' Forum for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. 12 December, too, began quite early, with this event getting underway at 9 AM at Vigyan Bhavan.

    From Vigyan Bhawan, the PM drove straight to Parliament. After the customary meeting with senior party members on Parliament matters, PM Modi reviewed the progress of development works in Kalyan and Pune in Maharashtra.

    He will be visiting these areas on the 18 December to launch these projects. He also finalized the plan for a video call with booth level workers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on the 14 and 15 December.

  • Kovind, who is in Myanmar to continue India's high level bilateral engagements under the rubric of the 'Act East' and the 'Neighbourhood First' policies, said that India is at the cusp of a transformative change. "I bring you good wishes of 1.3 billion citizens of friends and families in India," he said while speaking at the Indian community reception in Yangon.

    Myanmar has embarked on an exciting but challenging journey, he said. "I am here to reassure Myanmar that India is always ready to help it fulfil its aspirations for a brighter future. "India and Myanmar must pair hard infrastructure being created with soft infrastructure of legal arrangements, like a motor vehicle agreement, for people to travel legally and easily. This will help realise the full potential of our projects," Kovind said.

    He said that today, India is full of opportunities for business, social enterprise and cultural links. "I invite each one of you to join us in this journey, and to make this partnership more meaningful," the president said.

    "Our Northeast and Myanmar's North West share strong commonalities of culture, language and traditions. These regions are central to our bilateral vision for growth, prosperity and security. "This is my first visit to Myanmar. It is both a pilgrimage and a homecoming. This country has a proud, millennia-old tradition of Buddhist thought and philosophy. It is home to one of the leading schools of Buddhism," Kovind said.

    Myanmar, like India, is an enormously diverse country, with different ethnicities and faiths co-existing. The two countries shared civilisational ethos shows that all faiths share fundamental truths, which guide all, he said. "Myanmar is undergoing multiple and simultaneous transitions towards democracy, peace and economic development. Success here, under the courageous leadership of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is important for this country, South Asia and the ASEAN family. "As a sister democracy and a civilisational friend, India is fully conscious of the challenges Myanmar faces. We are ready to offer Myanmar any assistance in addressing the challenges of national reconciliation, reconstruction and economic development," Kovind said.

    The central tenets of India's foreign policy are guided by recognition that the road to development runs through the region. The "Act East" and "Neighbourhood First" policies are key aspects of India's foreign policy and Myanmar is a focus country in both, the president said.

    "We share our expertise with neighbours and others by building infrastructure, creating capacity, and setting up institutions. We do so in the conviction that a peaceful, prosperous and stable neighbourhood is in everyone's interest," he added. 

  • This is for the second time the apex court has extended the deadline. Earlier, the deadline was shifted from November 25 to December 15.

    Earlier, the apex court had fixed December 15 as the last date to submit claims and objections for the 40 lakh applicants who were left out of the final NRC draft.

    Till now, only around 14.8 lakh claims have been filed, indicating the difficulty being faced by the excluded in getting their names in the NRC list.

    The date for commencement of verification has also been postponed to February 15 from February 1.

  • World number six Sindhu, who lost last year’s final to Yamaguchi in Dubai, saved two game points in the opening game and took the match in 55 minutes, reports Efe.

    “It’s important to start well in the group stage. I was nervous towards the end of the first game but once I won that game I played better,” the 23-year-old Indian Olympic silver medallist said after the match, according to an official BWF report.

    Sindhu trailed in both games but absorbed the pressure and fought back each time with a mix of aggression and patience.

    Yamaguchi said she may have been too defensive against her opponent and would be hoping to repeat last year’s performance, when she went on to win the tournament despite a first-round loss to Sindhu.

    The top two players from the two groups will qualify for the semi-finals, after which a knockout draw will be held.

    Sindhu and Yamaguchi have been clubbed together with world number one Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and the United States’ Beiwen Zhang in Group A.

  • The Indian Navy on Wednesday nducted the 'Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle' into service at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai.

    Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba inducted the vehicle into the Navy. 

    The Navy successfully concluded maiden trials of the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle on October 15. 

    The DSRV has the capability to rescue personnel from a distressed submarine up to a depth of 650 metre and it is the latest in terms of technology and capabilities.

    The vehicle can rescue as many as 14 people in one dive. Speaking on the occasion, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said its a landmark event and congratulates all for the successful sea trials of DSRV.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind and first lady arrived at the Yangon International Airport on Wednesday on their second leg of two cities visit to Myanmar. Chief Minister of Yangon along with other dignitaries welcomed the Indian President.

    Earlier, President Ram Nath Kovind, dedicated the Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research and Education to the people of Myanmar.  It was established as per an MOU between both the countries for research and capacity building of Myanmar students and scientists. The programme is run by IARI.

    The President also dedicated the Rice Bio-Park to the people of Myanmar. He said India is happy to share its experience of using rice biomass to enhance livelihoods of farmers of Myanmar and wished the project all success. A mobile app has also been launched for welfare of farmers.

  • In Sri Lanka, the weeks long political stalemate is nearing its conclusion amidst indication that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government may resign to make way for reinstatement of United National Front led by Ranil Wickremsinghe.

    A meeting was held by President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday night with Wickremsinghe, which was termed positive by a UNF leader. The leader said that they are hopeful of Wickremsinghe's appointment as Prime minister and their plan is to present a vote of account next week once their government is in place. However, President still has reservations over Wickremsinghe's appointment and he will have to look for working arrangements, in case he is left with no alternative.

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed Das, as a person with "right credentials" for the RBI top job. 

    Speaking on appointment of Shaktikanta Das as the new RBI Governor, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said that Shaktikanta Das's experience will add immense value to RBI as far as its independence and autonomy is concerned.

  • Chivai Kasuwa never thought she'd become a model and take part in a beauty contest.

    But the third-year university student is on a mission - to educate people around the world about albinism. "I feel like people don't understand what albinism actually is, and they don't know how to treat it, so a lot of ignorance comes through it, a person would come to be and just start touching me, like pulling my skin and pinching me. Guys would come to me and ask me if I'm with you am I going to get cured or what are you, like so many weird questions, the experiences can be violent... but it's mostly ignorance," she shared.

    Albinism - a rare, genetically inherited condition in which people are born with no pigment in their skin, hair and eyes - is more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world.

    With 1 in 1400 people affected in Tanzania, and 1 in 1000 in Zimbabwe, according to the United Nations. Across Africa, albinos are often shunned, ostracized, beaten and even killed.

    In some countries, their body parts are used for magic potions.

    But at this recent contest in Nairobi, organizers from the Albinism Societies of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania said they're trying to change perceptions.Chair of Albinism Society of Kenya, Isaac Mwaura said, "This region has lost over 200 people with Albinism as a result of the killings. So I really thought that maybe people need to understand who we are to see the true colors of ourselves and also ensure that persons with albinism have an equal opportunity especially in a self definition activity in regards to the arts for example in terms of beauty."

    30 participants - including Kasuwa - competed, taking center stage in an array of costumes.

    She didn't get the top crown, but hopes to become an ambassador for people living with albinism

    Helping to spread the pageant's message of 'accept me, include me, I can'.

  • Some 190 countries are meeting in Katowice, Poland to agree a "rule book" on implementing the Paris climate deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in what has been billed as the most important U.N. conference since that pact was agreed in 2015.

    Expectations for the talks are low: political unity built in Paris has been shattered by populist governments that have placed national agendas before collective action.

    "We urge all parties to engage constructively in the coming days in order to overcome remaining differences and to deliver the Paris Agreement work programme," EU climate chief Miguel Arias Canete said as he took his turn in the national statements section following the official opening of the high-level segment.

    French and German environment ministers talked of the need to reconcile climate policies that will reduce emissions with the needs of citizens.

    "I am convinced that climate action can only be successful if we take the concerns of people working and living in the coal region seriously. Policymakers must offer them alternatives specially in structurally weak regions," said German minister Svenja Schulze.

    "We have to be clear, the yellow vests movement in France expresses anger, the anger goes far beyond the question of climate," France's Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson said, referencing the anti-government protesters whose action was sparked by fuel tax hikes.

  • The motive was not immediately clear but, with France still on high alert after a wave of attacks commissioned or inspired by Islamic State militants since early 2015, the counter-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.

    Some two hours after the attack, elite police cornered the suspect and shots were fired, a source close to the operation said. French media reported the assailant was holed up in a store on the Rue Epinal.

    Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the gunman was known to security services, and the local prefecture said he was on an intelligence services watchlist.

    Castaner said France was raising the security threat level and would bolster the protection of Christmas markets elsewhere and strengthen border controls.

    People in the city's Neudorf area and Etoile park were told to stay where they were as officers hunted the shooter on the ground and from the air.

    A Reuters reporter was among 30 to 40 people being held in the basement of a supermarket for their own safety, waiting for police to clear the area. Lights were switched off and bottles of water handed out.

    The European Parliament, which is sitting in Strasbourg this week, was put into lockdown.


  • Veteran dragflick expert Gonzalo Peilat (17th, 48th minutes) converted a couple of penalty corners for Argentina.

    England, who were impressive with their free flowing attacks and well organised defence, scored field goals through Barry Middleton (27th), Will Calnan (44th) and Harry Martin (49th).

    It was an end to end affair with plenty of scoring chances for both teams although England enjoyed a slightly upper hand for the most part. 

    Although England dominated the opening quarter, Peilat gave Argentina the lead with a powerful dragflick. England goalkeeper George Pinner had dived the correct way but was beaten by the sheer power in Peilat's shot.

    England almost struck back in the next minute but an excellent save by goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi at his near post maintained Argentina's lead.

    There were chances at both ends and Vivaldi was soon forced to make another good save to keep Argentina ahead.

    But the relentless England pressure finally bore fruit when Middleton scored a field goal with an excellent finish after a well worked build-up.

    Calnan, who had to sit out for a while after picking up a yellow card, made amends soon after coming back in when he beat Vivaldi at his near post with a powerful finish. 

    England had a narrow escape a couple of minutes into the final quarter when the umpire initially awarded a penalty stroke to Argentina which was changed to a penalty corner for the South Americans after a review.

    But if the English players had heaved a sigh of relief, it turned out to be temporary as Peilat scored with another powerful dragflick.

    England struck back at the other end in the very next minute when Martin scored to make the issue safe for the European powerhouse.

    Argentina seemed to disintegrate under pressure in the closing minutes with two of their players sent off for yellow card offences as England clinched a well deserved victory.

    India will face the Netherlands on Thursday, while Germany will meet Belgium. 

    The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, with the final is slated for Sunday.