• News Services Division of All India Radio (NSD-AIR) has made elaborate arrangements for providing authentic and latest results of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in four states. For the first time, AIR, the biggest radio network of the country, will continuously broadcast special programme on election results for 40 hours.

  • The Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV) was raised on 14 Jan 2016 at Delhi cantonment. It provides ‘Single Window Redress and Welfare’ mechanism for all Army Veterans and Next of Kin (NoK) by constantly interacting with various stakeholders including state governments, MoD (DESW), DGR, CGDA, banks, skill building agencies and placement partners across the country.

  • The National Cadet Corps (NCC) Girls’ Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Tenchenkhang in Sikkim was ‘Flagged Off’ by Addl Director General (B) Maj Gen Sanjay Gupta, here today.

    The team is led by Lt Col Madhab Boro and constitute three officers (including Medical Officer), 17 PI staff and 20 NCC Girl Cadets from various All India NCC directorates.

  • Himachal Pradesh will go to Polls in Phase-7 of General Elections on Sunday, 19th May. Polls will be held in all 4 Parliamentary Constituencies (PC) of Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur, and Shimla on 19th May.  45 candidates,including 1 female candidate, are in fray for the 4Lok Sabha seats.

  •  The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in his message on the eve of Buddha Purnima has said:-

     “On the auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, I offer warm greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens as well as followers of Lord Buddha across the world.

  • It is informed that the 18 member Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition team to Mt Makalu (8485m) had successfully scaled the peak on 16 May 2019. While descending from the summit point to Camp IV (first camp during the descent), one of the team member Naik Narayan Singh died.

  •             The Indian Navy achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its Anti Air Warfare Capability with the maiden cooperative engagement firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM).

  • The Reuters news agency has, earlier today, published a story titled “Modi proclaims a cleaner India, but the reality may be more murky”. In this story, it has raised questions around the progress made under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen), specifically the findings of the recent National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of ‘Buddha Purnima’. In a message, he said that Lord Buddha was one of the most illustrious spiritual leaders to have walked this earth.

  • 8 Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) of Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra, Ara, Buxar, Sasaram, Karakat and Jahanabad in Bihar will go to Polls in Phase-7 of General Elections on 19th May.

    157 candidates, including 20 female candidates are in fray for these 8 Lok Sabha seats.



  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) today conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India.

  • In the State of Punjab, 13 Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) namely Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Khadoor Sahib, Jalandhar (SC), Hoshiarpur (SC), Anandpur Sahib, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib (SC), Faridkot (SC), Firozpur, Bathinda, Sangrur and Patiala will go to poll in a single phase i.e. the 7th Phase of General Elections, 2019.

  • The third meeting of the Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission was held in New Delhi today. It was chaired by Shri N.K. Singh, Chairman, XVFC and attended by Members of the Advisory Council, Members of the Commission Dr. Anoop Singh, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog (Special Invitee), Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Finance Secretary (Special Invitee), Shri Girish Chandra Murmu, Expenditure Secretary (Special Invitee) and senior officials of the Commission.

  • The Indian Delegation led by I&B Secretary Shri Amit Khare today met Film Commissioners of participating countries at Cannes Film Festival. During the meeting, India was positioned as an attractive filming destination by highlighting the steps taken to easy the process of obtaining permissions for filming in India through the Film Facilitation Office which facilitates Single Window Clearance for film-makers.

  • The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 16, 2019 was 35.99 BCM, which is 22% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 24 for the week ending on May 09, 2019.

  • In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in super-session of the notification of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) No.35/2019-CUSTOMS (N.T.

  • The parliamentary constituency of UT of Chandigarh will go to poll in the 7th Phase of General Election, 2019. The polling will take place on Sunday, 19th May, 2019 from 7 AM till 6 PM. Chandigarh parliamentary constituency is a general category constituency.

  • In the Seventh phase of General Elections 2019, Rajmahal, Dumka and Godda Parliamentary Constituencies (PC) in Jharkhand would be going to polls on 19th May. Rajmahal (PC No. 1)and Dumka (PC No. 2) are ST seats, whereas Godda (PC No. 3) is a General seat.

  • The joint meetings of three conventions on chemicals and waste that is the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal  (COP 14) was held along with the ninth meeting of the COP to Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the ninth meeting of the COP to Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

  • Polling began at 7 am, officials said. As many as 22,482 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the constituency which covers areas including the state capital and has 30 polling stations.

    Parrikar, who passed away on March 17 battling pancreatic ailment, had represented the constituency for nearly two-and-a-half decades since 1994. Six candidates, including two Independents, are in the fray for the bye-election.

    The BJP, which has dominated the constituency, has nominated Siddharth Kunkolienkar as its candidate. The saffron party is fighting to retain its hold over the constituency considered as its fiefdom. Kunkolienkar had won twice from this assembly seat when Parrikar was elevated to Central cabinet as the Defence Minister between 2014 and 2017.

    The Congress has fielded its former Minister Atanasio Monserratte, who had lost against Kunkolienkar in the 2017 state Assembly election by over 1,500 votes. Monserratte had contested as an Independent.

    Former RSS Goa Chief Subhash Velingkar is contesting his first election on Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) ticket. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Valmiki Naik, who had lost the last assembly election from Panaji in February 2017.

    Two Independent candidates Dilip Ghadi and Vijai More are also in the fray. No queues were seen outside the polling stations when the voting began. Kunkolienkar and Velingkar were amongst the early voters who exercised their franchise at their respective booths. The counting of votes is scheduled on May 23. 

  • Justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar in their interim order also issued notices to the Chief Manager of the Power Grid Corporation, Collectors of Karur, Tiruchi and Dindigul and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks.

    The judges said when the power was transmitted through over-head wires, there would be loss of Rs 42000 crore per year.The loss could be averted by laying underground cables which would make the farm lands safe also.

    The PIL litigant R Palanisamy sought to quash the prior approval given by the Central Electricity Authority for Pugalur HVDC Station-Thirvalam at Paramathy. The Judge said the petitioner had studied and done thorough research into the problem caused by overhead electric cables of high voltage.

    It was a model PIL case for others to follow, they said. The petitioner said the high tension power lines in the overhead caused many problems including transmission of high voltage.

    But if the cables were laid under ground, the lines would be out of sight, require only narrow land, emit only electric field, and can be engineered to emit no magnetic fields, have better power loss characteristics.

    The underground cables were cost effective solution, reliable, less susceptible to weather related issues, the PIL said, adding they could be monitored better.

    The judges said it was also clear from the world cancer report that transmission of high voltage power through overhead high tension lines caused a lot of problem including risk of cancer. The Judges asked if that was the case, why in India environmental clearance was not insisted for overhead high tension cables.

    When the state government submitted that two of the four projects had been completed, the judge said if 50 per cent of the cost had been spent then the government need not refrain themselves from proceeding with the said project.

    But for the remaining projects they could consider laying underground high tension wires. When the health of citizens are affected it is the duty of the central and state governments to take serious note of the same, and find alternative methods so that the health of the citizens were protected, the judges said.

    It is not proper for the state and central government to proceed with construction of new high tension power lines without sufficient safe guards. It is also admitted that environmental clearance is not required for proceeding with the projects of the state, the judges said.

  • Turkey's push to buy the S-400s has further strained already tense relations with the United States which has repeatedly warned Ankara of the risks including sanctions as a result of the purchase.

    "There is absolutely no question of (Turkey) taking a step back from the S-400s purchase. That is a done deal," Erdogan said in Istanbul. "There will be joint production of the S-500 after the S-400," Erdogan told an audience of young people asking questions.

    Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the US have frayed over multiple issues including American support for a Syrian Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Ankara and the US failure to extradite a Muslim preacher blamed for the 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.

    Washington says the deal with Moscow is a threat to Western defence and in April suspended deliveries of the F-35 stealth fighter jet to Turkey in a bid to halt the purchase.

    Turkish pilots are in the US receiving training on the F-35s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Turkey is expected to buy 100 of the jets in total.

    Erdogan said Turkey conducted technical studies amid US concerns over the compatibility of the S-400s and the F-35s but found there were no issues.

    He also insisted "sooner or later" Turkey would receive the F-35 jets. Despite the threat of sanctions, Erdogan repeated that the S-400s were expected to be delivered in July, "but this could be brought forward", he added.

  • Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the Gulf, the Saudi official news agency said on Saturday. The Saudi Press Agency said King Salman had invited Gulf leaders and Arab states to two emergency summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss recent "aggressions and their consequences" in the region.

    Tensions have soared in the Gulf with the US deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers to the region over alleged threats from Iran. Four ships including two Saudi oil tankers were damaged in mysterious sabotage attacks Sunday off Fujairah, an emirate located at the crucial entrance to the Gulf.

    That incident was followed by drone strikes Tuesday by Yemen's Huthi rebels on a major Saudi oil pipeline, which provided an alternative export route if the Strait of Hormuz closed.

    Iran has repeatedly threatened to prevent shipping in Hormuz in case of a military confrontation with the United States, which has imposed sanctions on Tehran in recent months Despite international scepticism, the US government has been pointing to increasing threats from Iran, a long-time enemy and also a rival of US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. 

  • Saturday, after the neighbours scrapped reciprocal tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Canada had been "very clear" that as long as the tariffs were in place "it would be very hard for us to move forward with ratification," said Chrystia Freeland.

    On Friday, US President Donald Trump announced the lifting of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico. Ottawa and Mexico City also announced the elimination of reciprocal duties.

    The steep US tariffs imposed last year 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum became a major stumbling block to ratifying a new North American trade pact negotiated last year by the three countries.

    With the removal of the obstacle, "our government now intends to move forward with the ratification," of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Freeland said, describing the process as progressing "full steam ahead."

    However, she did not specify when the deal would be presented to Parliament, which remains in session only until June. Freeland acknowledged that despite the lifting of the aluminum and steel tariffs, it would be "naive" to think US protectionism is no longer a threat.

    "Eternal vigilance is required," she said. Meanwhile, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Saturday the US move to withdraw tariffs was a "triumph" for Mexico. "It was a triumph for the Mexican government negotiators, a triumph of diplomacy.

    We even gave a bit of little help to the government of Canada. Not to brag," Lopez Obrador told reporters in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. He stressed that his administration is working toward "free trade, not a trade war." 

  • The fairytale farewell for club icons Robben and Ribery saw Bayern end an unusually tight title race two points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund, who beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 Nine points behind Dortmund in December, Bayern lost just one game between January and May as they bounced back to be crowned German champions for the 29th time in their history.

    Robben and Ribery, who will both leave the club at the end of the season, came off the bench against Frankfurt to score Bayern's fourth and fifth goals and end Dortmund's hopes of pulling off a final day miracle.

    Their departure marks the end of a glistening decade of success for Bayern, who are now set for a major squad overhaul ahead of next season, having already signed World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez.

    Kingsley Coman gave Bayern a dream start, slotting home a Thomas Mueller through ball after just four minutes.

    There was brief hope for Dortmund as both they and Frankfurt scored either side of half-time.

    After Gladbach dominated the first half, Jadon Sancho smashed in the opener for Dortmund, and Reus doubled the lead after the break.

    In Munich, Sebastien Haller bundled in a shock equaliser at a corner just after the break, but Bayern responded furiously, and David Alaba restored the lead in a matter of minutes.

    Dortmund's hopes lay in tatters when Renato Sanches blasted the ball in from close range to score his first Bundesliga goal and put Bayern 3-1 up.

    Ribery and Robben each came off the bench to standing ovations in the second half, and Ribery danced through the Frankfurt ranks to seal the title on 72 minutes, before Robben completed a fairytale afternoon with an 85th minute tap-in.

    The defeats for Gladbach and Frankfurt saw Bayer Leverkusen sneak into the fourth Champions League spot behind RB Leipzig, as they won 5-1 away to Hertha Berlin.

  • Political parties have geared up for the  post poll scenario. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and discussed the emerging political situation. They also discussed their strategy post 23rd May.

    TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu also met Loktantrik Janata Dal Chief  Sharad Yadav in New Delhi.

    Naidu also met NCP Chief Sharad Pawar.

    The TDP Chief met Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav as well.

  • Buddha Purnima celebrated with religious fervor and great enthusiasm. The day falls in the Hindu month of Vaisakha on the day of full moon. The day marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. 

    President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu And Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion. 

    The President in his message offered warm greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens as well as followers of Lord Buddha across the world. He said .. "Lord Buddha's message of peace, non-violence and compassion hold even greater significance today. May his teachings guide us towards universal fraternity."

    The Vice President in his message said, Lord Buddha's eternal message of non-violence and compassion continues to inspire humanity across the globe to strive towards a more fulfilling life and a world where all people live together and shaping it together into a peaceful, inclusive, sustainable globe. He further tweete. On this happy occasion, let us commit ourselves to the path of Dharma, Karuna and Maitri shown by Lord Buddha.

    In Uttar Pradesh, devotees offered prayers at Sarnath temple near Varanasi on  the occasion of Budh Purnima.

    Devotees also offer prayers and take holy dip at Ganga river at Prayagraj on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

    Buddha Purnima is being celebrated with traditional fervour in Siliguri, in West Bengal as well.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered  prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath. The Prime minister who is on a two-day visit to Uttarakhad reached Kedarnath on Saturday morning. 

    This is PM Modi's fourth visit to Kedarnath since he became Prime Minister. The portals of Kedarnath shrine were thrown open for pilgrims on May 9 after six months of winter break. 

    Over 2000 pilgrims from different parts of the country attended the opening ceremony of the famous Kedarnath shrine located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand. 

    PM Modi will offer prayers at Badrinath Shrine on Sunday. This will be prime minister's first visit to Badrinath Shrine since he became the Prime Minister five years ago.

    The Prime Minister reviewed the reconstruction project at Kedarpuri. PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the Kedarpuri reconstruction project two years ago.

  • All arrangements have been put in place for the seventh and last phase of Lok Sabha elections.  59 constituencies, spread over 7 states and one union territory, will go to the polls on Sunday.

    Voting in this phase will take place for 13 seats each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight seats each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four constituencies of Himachal Pradesh; three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Chandigarh.

    Prominent candidates in this phase include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and union ministers - Manoj Sinha, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.  The fate of Kirron Kher, Sunny Deol and Ravi Kishan of the BJP, Sukhbir Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Meira Kumar and Shatrughan Sinha of the Congress and Shibu Soren of the JMM will also be decided in this phase. 

    Polling, which begins at 7 AM, will end at 6 PM. Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha and four state assemblies of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will be taken up on Thursday.

    Voting in West Bengal has been marred by violence in the recent phases of Lok Sabha polls. Election commission has made elaborate arrangements for free and fair polls.

  • The official song is titled "Stand By".  The song is " a collaboration between vocalist Loryn and drum and bass band Rudimental, and will be played in ground and city events across the tournament as the official song to this summer's showpiece event."


  • The new construction has been carried out with the Government of India’s grant assistance of 30.20 million Nepalese Rupees.

    The two story building is comprising of 12 class rooms, library, meeting hall, separate toilets for boys and girls and furniture.  

    Former Urban Development Minister of Nepal and Member of Parliament Dr. Narayan Khadka, inaugurated new building at Chaudandigadhi Municipality in Udayapur District on Saturday. Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India Dr. Ajay Kumar also graced the occasion.

    Shree Narad Adarsha Education Campus was established in 1971 as a Secondary School and subsequently upgraded as a Campus in 2003. It is affiliated with Tribhuvan University (TU) and offers 4 years Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme.

    The newly built infrastructure will not only boost learning environment of students but also enhance access to education to rural students of Udayapur and adjoining districts, including Bhojpur, Khotang, Sunsari and Saptari.

    Education creates building blocks for the process of nation-building and it is the first step towards development of any country. As part of Development Partnership Programme, Government of India is providing assistance to institutions at all levels from primary schools to universities in Nepal.

  • So now that the results are just round the corner, everyone’s interest in elections has peaked. What could have been a better time and opportunity than this to give you a glimpse of how elections took place and how they were covered by Doordarshan in 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s!

    To give you access to these old treasure, lately Prasar Bharati has been digitising and uploading these old content on its Doordarshan Archives YouTube page.

    Here’s a quick list of the few old gems from the treasure trove that awaits you on the YouTube page of Doordarshan Archives.

    Jawahar Lal Nehru's Broadcast to the Nation ahead of 1951 General Elections 

    This is Audio of Pandit Nehru's Broadcast to the Nation ahead of 1951 General Elections, wherein he talks about the importance of elections, voting and also elaborates upon the huge arrangements made for the first general elections of the country.

    Jawaharlal Nehru's last TV Interview - May 1964

    This is Jawaharlal Nehru's last significant interview to renowned American Interviewer Arnold Michaelis before his death. Pandit Nehru talks about Partition, Muslims in India, Plebiscite in Kashmir, Jinnah, Muslim league, Pakistan, China and other issues.

    Jawaharlal Nehru's interview with Arnold Michaelis – 1958

    This is Jawaharlal Nehru's first interview with renowned American Interviewer Arnold Michaelis in 1958. Pandit Nehru talks about religion, meaning and purpose of life, his retirement plans and other issues.

    1977 Elections - Indira Gandhi on Emergency

    Addressing a rally in Madurai for 1977 general elections, Indira Gandhi explains why she imposed Emergency. And also talks about Democracy, Dictatorship and Fascism.

    Doordarshan during Emergency - Sanjay Gandhi in Rajasthan

    Video footage of Sanjay Gandhi addressing emergency era Congress rally in Bikaner, Rajasthan in 1976.

    Doordarshan during Emergency - Sanjay Gandhi in UP

    Video footage of Sanjay Gandhi addressing Emergency era Congress rally in Lucknow and Bareilly in 1976.

    1977 General Elections - Morarji Desai talks about the atrocities during Emergency

    Audio of then PM Morarji Desai addressing a rally in Nowgaon for 1977 General Elections, wherein he talks about the excesses during emergency.

    1984 General Election Broadcast by PV Narsimha Rao

    In the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination, in this video footage, PV Narsimha Rao delivers Congress’s election broadcast to the nation.

    1977 General Elections - Janata Party victory rally in Delhi 

    1977 General Elections victory rally of Janata Party at Ramleela Maidan in New Delhi.  This video footage also includes speeches of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra & Syed Imam Bukhari.

    1984 General Election Broadcast by Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    In this video footage, Atal Bihari Vajpayee delivers BJP’s election broadcast to the nation for 1984 general elections.

    1989 general elections - Discussion on Doordarshan

    Prannoy Roy moderates a discussion on Doordarshan on then just held Lok Sabha elections with journalist Vir Sanghvi, Congress leader Anand Sharma and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

    1988 Allahabad Lok Sabha Bypoll Result discussion on Doordarshan

    Prannoy Roy, Vinod Dua, Chandan Mitra and Shekhar Gupta discuss the 1988 Allahabad Lok Sabha bypoll result on Doordarshan.

    1995 Assembly elections - Discussion on Doordarshan

    Nalini Singh moderates a discussion on Doordarshan with leaders from all political parties ahead of 1995 Assembly elections.

    1984 General Election Broadcast by Chaudhary Charan Singh 

    In this video footage, Chaudhary Charan Singh delivers Lok Dal’s election broadcast to the nation for 1984 general elections.

  • Here’s a glimpse of our extensive coverage of the elections so far and preparations for counting day on May 23rd

    Leveraging the wide network


    Coverage in regional languages made available on digital platforms

    Election breaking on Digital Radio Service of AIR apart from FM, DTH and Internet streaming


    Excited that we will have for the first time Live Breaking Coverage of the election results on the 23rd by @airnewsalerts on Digital Radio Service of @AkashvaniAIR apart from FM, DTH and Internet streaming


    Our massive and regular coverage of elections since the dates were announced has not only kept the people updated and aware, but has also helped in the growth of our network’s digital footprint, especially in North-east. Here are few examples:




  • The newborn was lying under a layer of dirt near a farm in the Chumpuang district of Nakhon Ratchasima province but was found the same day May 15 by a curious canine named Ping Pong.

    The dog dug around the area and began barking, alerting his owner a cattle herder, who went to the site. "I don't think it was long after his mother buried him before the dog found him," case officer Panuvat Udkam told.

    He added that the boy was healthy, was recovering in hospital, and was so young he had not been named yet. The teenage mother was charged with attempted murder and abandonment of children.

    Officer Panuvat said the suspect was 15 years old and had tried to dispose of the child because she was afraid her parents would get angry. "So after she delivered the baby by herself she buried it," he said.

    Local media coverage hailed the achievement and social media users praised Ping Pong's good deed. A dog is the "best friend" of human beings, a Facebook user commented on the page of media outlet Khaosod English. 

  • The potential impact of the trade dispute is likely to be a key issue next week when Home Depot, Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Target are due to report results.

    Although it reported better-than-expected earnings, Macy’s shares slipped this week after it said the latest tariffs on Chinese imports by Washington are hitting its furniture business and warned that additional tariffs would affect clothing and other areas.

    Late last week, after Washington imposed a tariff rate increase to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China, which would subject about $300 billion worth of Chinese imports to tariffs.

    The proposed list of products subject to possible U.S. tariffs would cover nearly every consumer product such as clothing, shoes and lawnmowers.

    The S&P 1500 Retailing index had been outperforming the benchmark S&P 500 this year as the market bounced back from a December selloff and optimism grew that the United States and China may soon come to a trade agreement.

    But the index has fallen more than the broader market in recent weeks as optimism on the trade front has eroded. Since April 30, the retailing index is down about 3.4%, compared with about a 2.5% decline in the S&P 500.

    “There’s already been an impact. The question is how much more of an impact is it going to be. Combined with slugglish sales, it’s not a good combination for sentiment in anything retail right now,” said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

    Retailers have been struggling from the tightening grip of, and, more recently, investors have worried that wage pressures could become a bigger risk for the group. U.S. government data this week seemed to add to the concerns. U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell in April as households cut back on purchases of motor vehicles and other goods.

    The results from retailers in the coming days round out an earnings season that has been mostly better than expected. First-quarter S&P 500 earnings now are expected to have risen 1.4% from a year ago versus a 2.0% decline estimated at the start of April, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

    That has eased worries that the S&P 500 would have a “profit recession” of at least two straight quarters of declining earnings this year, but the latest developments on the trade front only further cloud the earnings outlook for retailers and other companies.

    “It’s the biggest macro wild card for the market,” said Anthony Saglimbene, global market strategist at Ameriprise Financial in Troy, Michigan. So far, there has only been limited impact in the retail space from tariffs, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts.

    “We see food and discount retailers as largely insulated from the recent tariff increase to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese imports,” they wrote in a note on Thursday. In the event of additional tariffs, retailers may need to modestly raise prices - roughly 1% to 3% - to fully offset the gross profit impact from tariffs, they added.

    At the very least, the tariffs add to complications for retailers. “At the heart of it, it’s a rising input cost,” said Simeon Siegel, an analyst at Nomura Instinet in New York.

    “Personally, I don’t think anyone has the ability to raise prices anymore. If the tariffs are maintained, depending on the degree of the cost inflation and their ability to push back, this can be anywhere from margin eroding to business destroying.”

  • Patrick Harker, president of the Philadelphia Fed, and Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida spent the morning in Camden, which squats in the shadows of Philadelphia’s downtown skyscrapers but has the lowest median household income among U.S. cities.

    The dichotomy of Philadelphia’s gleaming office buildings and destitute people on the streets of nearby Camden underlines the limits of Fed policy, even as most policymakers see the central bank’s dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment as having been met.

    In July, the U.S. economy will celebrate 10 years of expansion, the longest on record. Yet at events in Camden and Philadelphia, the policymakers heard that while some progress is being made linking employers and workers, many Americans continue to struggle.

    “What drives the racial wealth gap is income and the fact that for the last 50 years we’ve had crisis-level unemployment in certain demographics,” said Omar Woodard, executive director at GreenLight Philadelphia, a group focused on alleviating poverty, speaking on one of the Fed’s panels.

    Camden’s population is 45 percent African-American, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Unemployment numbers draw out the divide across the country. Black U.S. unemployment stands at 6.7%, far higher than the more than 49-year low overall for Americans of 3.6%.

    Friday’s events were the latest in a series of “Fed Listens” events that Clarida held around the country while the Fed considers whether to change its approach, for instance by keeping interest rates lower for longer to boost inflation expectations - something that might help drive growth.

    It is unclear how directly the policy review will answer criticisms that the Fed has raised interest rates too much. President Donald Trump has repeatedly lambasted the Fed for raising rates, saying that it is holding back growth. The Fed, after hiking rates four times in 2018, has put any further rate increases on hold so far this year.

    The Fed took extraordinary steps, including buying bonds, to support the economy in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, but it has been criticized both for doing too much and too little.

    “I think we just have to be honest, when people ask us what’s limiting economic growth, it’s not monetary policy,” but other issues, including employers unable to find qualified employees, Harker told reporters.

    The Fed is not planning to release the results of its current policy review until next year, but policymakers are clearly focused on whether they can effectively deal with the next recession with little room to lower rates from the current 2.25-2.50% level before they hit zero.

    Tame inflation below the Fed’s annual target rate of 2% further complicates matters, making it, in theory, less likely that households and businesses will support the economy by spending during recessions because of diminished worries that their cash will lose value.

    “Obviously if inflation is running below our 2% target, unemployment is low and wages are growing - seems to be a good thing,” Harker told reporters. But he quickly warned of the dangers of falling inflation. “That starts a spiral that’s hard to turn around,” Harker said.

    In recent speeches, Clarida has argued that inflation is less responsive to lower unemployment than in the past, a view that may lead the Fed to stimulate the economy more aggressively and lower rates faster in response to downturns.

    Pinning inflation expectations at that 2% level is as important as ever, he has argued, because it may be even harder than in the past to tamp down out-of-control expectations of price hikes without damage to the economy. Camden’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in March but it has ticked up from lows last year.

    Central bank officials toured facilities of a nuclear fuel and waste management company in Camden that is doing on-the-job training for new employees and visited the Leadership, Education, and Partnership Academy University School, which is teaching robotics, engineering and computer coding, and enrolling high-school students in college courses before they graduate.

    Students talked about wanting to see poverty alleviated in their community and showed the central bankers flying drones, video game machines and other projects. Harker, an engineer, told a teacher to pitch a student’s water-purification project on “Shark Tank.”

    In a speech later, Harker said the Fed wants to make sure “we’ve got the right goals in place; that we’re still measuring the right things, and that the tools we use are still the best ones for the job.”

  • In a widely expected move, Mnuchin rejected a demand for the documents from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, saying the panel lacks “a legitimate legislative purpose” for obtaining the tax records that Democrats view as critical to their efforts to investigate Trump and his presidency.

    “We are unable to provide the requested information in response to the committee’s subpoena,” Mnuchin said in a letter to Neal, released ahead of a 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) deadline for delivering the documents.

    Neal later issued a statement, saying he was “consulting with counsel on how best to enforce the subpoenas moving forward.”

    Hours earlier, the Democratic chairman had said he was inclined to turn to federal court to obtain Trump’s tax returns, if the administration missed the deadline. “We will likely proceed to court as quickly as next week,” Neal had told reporters.

    Asked whether he would also pursue contempt charges against administration officials, Neal told reporters: “I don’t see that right now as an option. I think that the better option for us is to proceed with a court case.”

    Trump’s refusal to cooperate in numerous congressional probes of him, his family and his presidency is forcing Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, to look to the courts to enforce their oversight powers under the U.S. Constitution.

    The likely decision to avoid contempt proceedings disappointed some Democrats on Neal’s tax panel.

    “This is a way for some congressmen to go south on the issue: leave it to the courts. It really absents us from our responsibilities,” said Representative Bill Pascrell, who helped lead the push to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

  • Three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora area of Pulwama district on Saturday. The gunfight broke out after security forces launched cordon and search operation in Panzgam village and the terrorists hiding there opened fire on the forces.  The identity and group affiliation of the slain terrorists is being ascertained. Arms and ammunition were also retrieved from the encounter site.

    In another encounter, one terrorist was killed in a brief exchange of fire at Hatlangoo area of North Kashmir's Sopore on saturday afternoon. Arms and ammunition was also recovered from his possession. However the identity of the terrorist is yet to be ascertained.

    Earlier, Army's 22 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group have launched a cordon and search operation at Hathlangoo village following specific information about the presence of terrorists inside a residential house.

    Meanwhile, authorities suspended internet services in Sopore town as a precautionary measure in the wake of this search operation.

  • Voting is underway in Australia's first general election since political infighting ousted the nation's fourth leader in a decade. Australia has mandatory voting and a record 16.4 million enrolled voters. Around 7,000 polling stations have been set up across the nation.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made economic management the centerpiece of the campaign for his conservative Liberal-National coalition, which has held power since 2013. He faces Labor leader Bill Shorten.

    If Morrison does survive the vote, he'll be revered as a one-man election-winning machine, who fought and won largely on his own. If he loses, Australia will have its fourth prime minister in just four years.

    Voting closes at 6 pm local time in each Australian state and territory - the first results will be expected soon afterwards. Australian elections always take place on Saturdays.

    The nation holds elections every three years, but no prime minister has succeeded in serving a full term since 2007.

  • With water storage in dams dropping to a "critical" level, the Centre has issued a "drought advisory" to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, asking them to use water judiciously.

    The advisory was issued to Tamil Nadu on Friday and similar cautionary letters were sent to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana late last week, said S K Haldar, a member of the Central Water Commission (CWC).

    The drought advisory is issued to states when the water level in reservoirs is 20 per cent less than the average of live water storage figures of the past 10 years. Water falls under the state list and the advisory recommends states to use it for drinking purpose only till the dams are replenished.

    The CWC monitors water storage available in 91 major reservoirs across the country. According to the figures released on Thursday, the total water storage available was 35.99 billion cubic metres (BCM), which is 22 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs.

    The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 161.993 BCM. The figure was at 24 per cent for the week ending on May 9. The situation seems to be grim in western and southern parts of the country.

    The western region includes Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs, 10 in Gujarat and 17 in Maharashtra having a total live storage capacity of 31.26 BCM under the CWC monitoring.

    The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.10 BCM until May 16, which is 13 per cent of total live storage capacity. The storage in 27 reservoirs of these two states during the corresponding period of last year was 18 per cent and average storage of last 10 years was 22 per cent.

    The situation in Marathwada is particulary critical where the water level in 45 major dams has hit an alarmingly low level. On Tuesday, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said rainfall in Vidarbha, Marathwada, west Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat will be "poorer than normal".

    The southern region includes states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs, two of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana together, Andhra Pradesh (1), Telangana (2), Karnataka (14), Kerala (6) and Tamil Nadu (6), under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM.

    "The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.86 BCM, which is 13 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 13 per cent and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 16 per cent," the CWC said.

    Situation seems to be better in the northern region which includes states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having a total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM.

    The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.54 BCM which is 47 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The eastern region includes states of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura.

    There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 5.04 BCM which is 27 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. 

  • Australia's Trent Mitton, Flynn Ogilvie, Blake Govers and Tim Brand scored in their victory while Nilakanta Sharma and Rupinderpal Singh registered their names on the scoresheet for India.

    India needed to score heavily in the last quarter, if they were to make a comeback into the match. The visitors tried to create chances but the Australian defence made sure that, they did not give them space in the circle.

    The defensive lapses, the lack of cohesion between the midfielders and men up front will be a cause for concern when the Indians touch down in Bhubaneswar in an attempt to make the final of the FIH Series Finals.

    The 8th minute saw Mandeep Singh win a penalty corner for India, but the resulting execution was wasted as Nilakanta Sharma could not trap the ball properly.

    This meant Australia broke on the counter but only for Rupinderpal Singh to return back and clear the ball away. Australia won their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, but the shot was blocked by India, and cleared away.

    However, the next minute saw India play out a loose ball from the back which was lost by Gurinder Singh, and it was Australia’s Mitton who took advantage as he found himself in space on the left flank and fired the ball past Pathak to make it 2-0.

  • At the India Pavilion, deliberations are taking place on Indian films and film industry. 

    The Indian delegation is in talks with delegations from other countries.

    On the table are proposals to forge a close bond between Indian and world cinema and expand co-operation in films beyond national borders by exploring co-production opportunities.

    The Indian delegation held talks with film-makers from Israel.

    In discussions with Film Commissioners of countries participating in the festival, the Indian Delegation has been highlighting the possibility of India emerging as a major post production hub and a hub for shooting world class international movies by forging bilateral co-production agreements leading to new markets and wider audiences.

    In an apparent endorsement of the growing influence of Indian films, Israel has proposed India as the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020.

    Indian actors are frequenting the India Pavilion. National award winner Kangana Ranaut visited the India Pavilion and discussed a range of issues...with Indian representatives.

    Lyricist and CBFC Chairperson Prasoon Joshi too was among the visitors at the India Pavilion.

    The head of the Indian delegation Amit Khare endorsed Kangana's views.

    Internationally acclaimed actor Tannistha Chatterjee appreciated The India Pavilion.

    While no Indian film may have made it to the Competition Category, 2 films made in Jharkhand are showing their impact at Cannes.

    In a proud moment for India,  2 regional films 'Lohardaga' & 'Phulmania' were screened in the festival.

    At Cannes, India is also promoting the golden jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of India to be held later this year in Goa.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a two-day visit to Uttarakhand beginning on Saturday to pay obeisance at the Himalayan shrines of Kedarnath and Badrinath.

    PM Modi will visit Kedarnath on Saturday and offer prayers at Badrinath the following day. This is the fourth visit of Prime Minister Modi to the Himalayan shrines where he will also review the development and reconstruction work.

    According to the committee related to the management of the temple, this visit will be even more special because PM Modi will be reviewing all the works throughout the day.

    The portals of Kedarnath shrine were thrown open for pilgrims on May 9 after six months of winter break. Over 2000 pilgrims from different parts of the country attended the opening ceremony of the famous Kedarnath shrine located in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.

    Many local people get employment during the yatra and this time also they are very much excited and hopeful that this season too it will be beneficial for them.

    The Char Dham Yatra to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri is considered the backbone of Uttarakhand economy.

  • High Peace Council Secretary and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani's Special Envoy Umer Daudzai met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi on Friday and briefed her on the outcome of the recently held Loya Jirga.

    Both sides also discussed India's role in Regional Peace Consensus with regard to Afghanistan, progress in peace talks and bilateral relations.

    Daudzai also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhale.

  • The 30-share BSE benchmark closed 537.29 points, or 1.44 per cent, higher at 37,930.77. It hit an intra-day high of 38,001.13 and a low of 37,415.36

    Similarly, the broader Nifty rose 150.05 points, or 1.33 per cent, to settle at 11,407.15. During the day, it hit a high of 11,426.15 and a low of 11,259.85

    In the Sensex pack, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Auto ended up to 6.09 per cent higher after posting strong quarterly numbers

    Hero MotoCorp, Maruti, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HUL, M&M, HDFC Bank, ITC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India, SBI, IndusInd Bank and Asian Paints were also among the top gainers, rising up to 4.26 per cent

    On the other hand, Yes Bank, Vedanta, Infosys, HCL Tech, Sun Pharma, TCS and NTPC ended up to 2.36 per cent lower

    Investors lapped up banking and auto stocks, boosting key indices, ahead of the exit poll results scheduled for Sunday.

    Broader indices followed the benchmarks, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices settling in the green

    While Japanese stocks ended higher, bourses in China and Korea ended in the red amid the US-China trade conflict. European equities too opened significantly lower

    The Indian rupee depreciated by 16 paise to 70.20 against the US dollar intra-day

    Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.26 per cent higher at USD 72.81 per barrel.

  • At a time when the who's who of world cinema are converging at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, India too is making its presence felt at the prestigious festival.

    Deliberations are taking place on Indian films and film industry at the India Pavilion.

    The Indian delegation is in talks with delegations from other countries.

    On the table are proposals to forge a close bond between Indian cinema with world cinema and expand co-operation in films beyond national borders by exploring co-production opportunities.

    Led by Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Amit Khare, the Indian delegation held talks with film-makers from Israel.

    In discussions with Film Commissioners of participating countries, the Indian Delegation has been highlighting the possibility of India emerging as a major post production hub and a hub for shooting world class international movies by forging bilateral co-production agreements leading to new markets and wider audiences.

    Israel has proposed India as the focus country in Jerusalem Film Festival, 2020. Indian actors are frequenting the India Pavilion. National award winner Kangana Ranaut visited the India Pavilion and discussed a range of issues with Indian representatives. Lyricist and CBFC Chairperson Prasoon Joshi was among the visitors at the India Pavilion.

    The head of the Indian delegation Amit Khare endorsed Kangana's views.

    Internationally acclaimed actor Tannistha Chatterjee also appreciated The India Pavilion.


  • The total prize pot of 10 million dollars will see the runners-up take home 2 million dollars and the losing semi-finalists 8 lakh dollars each at the end of the 46-day tournament being played across 11 venues in UK from May 30.

    There are prizes for each league match won, in what promises to be a competitive tournament with the world's best teams playing each other in a round-robin format.

    The 2019 edition though only sees a 6.25% increase in prize money from the 2015 World Cup that had prize money of 3.75 million dollars.

  • Australia's Trent Mitton, Flynn Ogilvie, Blake Govers and Tim Brand scored in their victory while Nilakanta Sharma and Rupinderpal Singh registered their names on the scoresheet for India.

    India needed to score heavily in the last quarter if they were to make a comeback into the match.

    The visitors tried to create chances but the Australian defence made sure that they did not give them space in the circle.

    The defensive lapses, the lack of cohesion between the midfielders and men up front will be a cause for concern when the Indians touch down in Bhubaneswar in an attempt to make the final of the FIH Series Finals.

  • This was stated by High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu after meeting the top Buddhist clergy in Kandy on Friday.

    Addressing the media after his meeting, the High Commissioner said India stands firmly and strongly with Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the attacks on April 21st in which many innocent lives were lost including 11 Indian nationals.

    He said India will fight this jihadist ideology and jihadist terror together, shoulder to shoulder and assured India’s support for Sri Lanka.

    Earlier, he met and discussed the prevailing security situation with the Mahanayake theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters.

    Both the Mahanayake Theros deeply appreciated India’s unconditional and strong support for Sri Lanka including in the security sphere.

    The high commissioner conveyed greetings on the auspicious occasion of Vesak to the Theros and recalled the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka for the International Vesak Day celebration in 2017.

  • The Centre has extended the deadlines for filing of Goods and Services Tax returns for taxpayers registered in 14 cyclone-hit districts in Odisha.

    The date for filing GST returns for April 2019 has been extended from May 20th to June 20th.

    Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Debasish Panda reviewed the banking service situation in the cyclone-affected districts on Thursday. He said that barring Puri district, 99 percent of banks have become functional again in Odisha.

    Meanwhile, after the largescale destruction caused by cyclone Fani, life is slowly returning to normal in the state. Massive efforts by the centre are yielding results. NDRF is providing continuous support in the rebuilding initiatives. Assistance by the Centre, in form of manpower, finances and logistics, has ensured that the normal life is back on track. A number of NGOs are also pitching in to provide relief to the cyclone affected masses by providing essential commodities and ration- free of cost.

    Electricity supply to parts of Puri, including the Jagannath temple, has been restored around 12 days after Cyclone Fani hit the state's coast. While, electricity supply across the entire town is expected to be restored in a phased manner within five more days.


  • The Supreme Court has vacated interim protection given to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar from arrest by CBI over his alleged role in destroying evidence in Saradha chit fund case.

    The Apex Court has, however, granted a seven- day protection to Rajeev Kumar from arrest and allowed him time to seek legal remedies.

    The court has accepted the CBI's plea to interrogate Rajeev Kumar in connection with the case, after seven days.

  • Attacks on leaders from other parties in West Bengal continue as BJP candidate from Dum Dum, Samik Bhattacharya attacked in Nagerbazar area on Thursday night. His vehicle was complete vandalised.

    Samik Bhattacharya has claimed that the attack was carried out by Trinamool Congress.

  • Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted an international racket involving smugglers from Pakistan, China, Myanmar and India to import high-end drones, remotely-piloted aircraft, into the country through the north-eastern border. 

    The shipment of drones and other related items, worth 1 crore rupees, was intercepted and seized by the DRI in March. However, the Ahmedabad-based mastermind, whose identity was not revealed, was arrested on Thursday. 

    A release by the DRI in Ahmedabad said the drones were smuggled into India from China through Myanmar. It was also revealed that some Pakistan-based smugglers and their firms were also involved in the entire racket. 

  • Enforcement Directorate is questioning former ICICI Bank CEO and MD Chanda Kochhar along with her husband Deepak Kochhar for the fifth consecutive day on Friday in New Delhi. 

    They are being questioned in connection with the ICICI-Videocon loan case. Last week,  the ED  had summoned Kochhar to record her statement after she failed to appear on 5th of this month.

    The ED has registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act early this year against Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak, Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Group and others to probe alleged irregularities and corrupt practices in sanctioning of 1,875-crore rupees loans by ICICI Bank to the corporate group. The ED action was based on a CBI FIR.

  • He has asked the Committee to submit its report within ten days. In a tweet, Shah said the remarks of these leaders are their personal opinion and the party has nothing to do with them. 

    He said although they have withdrawn their statements and apologized these comments are against the party's ideology and dignity and the matter has been taken seriously.

    Pragya Singh Thakur, who is the  BJP candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, had termed Nathuram Godse as a patriot. 

    In a tweet, Union Minister Anant Hegde was seen supporting Pragya Thakur while BJP MP Nalin Kateel compared Godse with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

  • The delayed mission is designed to carry into low-Earth orbit an initial batch of 60 satellites for Musk’s new Starlink global internet service, a venture intended to generate cash for the rest of the billionaire entrepreneur’s space exploration ambitions.

    The Falcon 9 rocket and its satellite cargo were originally set to blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Wednesday night, but the flight was postponed by Space X, citing excessive winds over the launch site.

    The launch was rescheduled for Thursday night, and SpaceX said in a midday Twitter message that the “Starlink and Falcon 9 are looking good” and that “winds are better for tonight’s launch.” Hours later, however, the company tweeted that the mission was being delayed.

    “Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again,” the company said. “Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximize mission success. Next launch opportunity in about a week.”

    No further elaboration was provided to reporters at the Cape.

  • The movie, starring Taron Egerton, tracks the singer’s first steps in the music business, from his tentative tryouts on the piano as a child to his explosion onto the U.S. scene and its drug and alcohol-fueled party world.

    Although not competing for awards, it was still one of the most anticipated screenings of the film festival on the French Riviera. Actresses including Julianne Moore and Priyanka Chopra lined up on the Croisette’s famous steps to see the movie, an all-singing, all-dancing depiction of John’s most famous hits.

    Accompanied by his husband David Furnish, John posed for photographers alongside the cast in heart-shaped, jewel-encrusted sunglasses.

    Directed by Dextera Fletcher, who also worked with Egerton on “Eddie The Eagle”, the biopic has echoes of traditional Hollywood musicals, with dance scenes set in a fairground or down the local pub during flashbacks to John’s teenage years.

    Born Reginald Dwight in Middlesex, England, Elton John - whose stage name is half stolen from a friend, and half from John Lennon of the Beatles - went on to become one of the world’s best-selling artists.

    The film delves into the “Crocodile Rock” singer’s uneasy relationship with an unfeeling father and a harsh mother, as well as a toxic early relationship which contributes to the singer’s descent into addiction.

    But it also celebrates some of John’s enduring friendships, including with Bernie Taupin, who penned the lyrics to his greatest hits, including “Your Song”, which helped propel the singer into superstardom.

    Taupin was also present at the screening, where crowds - including actors Eva Longoria and Shailene Woodley - erupted into applause as it drew to a close, while an emotional Egerton was in tears.

  • Some 600,000 fans worldwide had signed a petition by Thursday criticizing Season 8 of the HBO series and calling for a remake.

    “This series deserves a final season that makes sense,” said Dylan D, from Texas, who launched the “Remake Game of Thrones Season 8” petition ahead of Sunday’s series finale.

    The story of warring families in the fictional kingdom of Westeros has drawn to a close with ever more bloody battles and favourite characters being killed off.

    “Season 8 was very disjointed and rushed. Characters were hastily written off and plots became twisted. It was not a good close to a great series!!!,” wrote Marilyn Marnell, one of those signing the petition.

    HBO did not return a request for comment on the petition.

    The show was created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who have taken the story beyond George R.R. Martin’s source material book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire.”

    Despite the criticism, the eighth and final season of the Emmy-winning series has broken records for HBO, which says it has so far averaged 43 million viewers per episode in the United States alone - a 10 million increase over Season 7 in 2017.

    Among television critics, reviews have gone from 92 percent positive for the Season 8 opener on April 14 to 47 percent favourable for the penultimate episode, “The Bells,” which aired on May 12, according to review aggregator

    “The Bells” saw character Daenerys Targaryen descending into madness and destroying the Westerosi capital of Kings Landing with her dragon. Some fans thought that was too sharp a departure for Daenerys, who had previously said she wanted to create a better world.

    “This is definitely not how it was supposed to go. Daenerys Targaryen has gone rogue,” wrote’s AJ Willingham.

    Meanwhile, British website is launching a “Game of Thrones” counselling service offering expert advice on how fans can deal with the loss of the show, which first aired in 2011.

  • A day after the southern state passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law, Maryland’s Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot said he would advise his state’s $52 billion pension fund to divest from Alabama, and urged other states to follow suit.

    Colorado’s Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold called for a boycott of Alabama and urged the Election Center, an organization that trains election officials from across the country, to move out of the state.

    The hashtag #BoycottAlabama gained momentum online, with activists calling for boycotts of products ranging from Mercedes-Benz cars to broiler chickens that are produced in Alabama.

    “The radical anti-abortion bill signed into law yesterday by the Governor of Alabama is a malicious assault on the rights and protections of women,” Franchot wrote on Facebook. “I can work to ensure that Maryland’s taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize extremism.”

    Griswold said Colorado state employees regularly travel to Auburn, Alabama to attend the Certified Election Registration Administrator (CERA) training and certification.

    “I will not authorize the spending of state resources on travel to Alabama for this training or any other purpose,” Griswold said. “This is one action that I can take in response to this egregious law against women.

    Alabama is the latest state to all but ban abortion with laws that are unenforceable under federal law, but meant to push the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 ruling declaring the procedure a constitutional right.

    Moves to boycott Alabama came after Hollywood stars like Alyssa Milano called on the media industry to pull out of neighboring Georgia, a hub for film and television production, after it passed a strict abortion law last week.

    Economic boycotts in recent years have pressured states to roll back legislation. North Carolina repealed a 2017 law barring transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice after the National Collegiate Athletic Association, as part of a wider boycott, said the state could not host championship games unless it scrapped the legislation.

    But there were signs of opposition against the boycott movement, even among Democrats.

    In Georgia, ex-gubernatorial candidate and Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams urged Hollywood producers to think twice before bailing out of her state.

    In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, she suggested media companies put money into local groups fighting abortion legislation, rather than turn their backs on Georgia.

  • Fans packed into the Al Janoub stadium, a 40,000 seat venue designed by late architect ZahaHadid and made to resemble the sail of a dhow, or traditional wooden sailboat, to cheer on Qatari teams playing in the final of the Emir Cup, a local tournament for the country's club sides.

    The inauguration comes as soccer's world governing body FIFA floats a plan to expand the next World Cup to 48 teams from 32, which could require a last-minute co-host despite a protracted dispute between Qatar and some of its neighbours, bans on alcohol and a lack of facilities restricting likely candidates.

    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have imposed a political and trade boycott on Qatar since mid-2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies. That rift has strained efforts by FIFA President Gianni Infantino to push for a suitable Word Cup co-host even as qualifying matches begin early next month.

    FIFA will host its annual congress in Paris on June 5, where it is expected to make a final call on the expansion, though any decision must be signed off by Qatar, the first Arab country to win hosting rights for the tournament in 2010.

    The finals will start in November 2022, having been moved from the usual June-July slot to avoid the searing summer heat.

    Al Janoub, a fully air-conditioned stadium which kept the temperature 10 degrees lower than the 29 Celsius outside during Thursday's inauguration match, was previously called Al Wakrah after the city hosting it just south of Doha.

    However, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani tweeted before the match that it was being renamed. It is one of seven venues built from scratch for the 2022 World Cup, with an eighth stadium renovated and opened in 2017.

    Qatar has pushed ahead with an ambitious scale-up of its infrastructure ahead of 2022 that includes $6-8 billion on stadiums and sporting facilities, part of efforts to use the tournament to diversify its energy economy and project itself on to the world stage through sport.


  • They were in Stockholm for the annual meeting of the International Capital Markets Association, an industry body. Speakers on the first day warned about an unsustainable build up of debt and that liquidity would dry up in certain asset classes in stress scenarios, although they did not expect that to happen any time soon.

    Ultra-low interest rates have prompted companies and governments to load up on debt faster than ever before, often selling bonds with less protection for investors. That has led to concerns that a turn in market sentiment could result in a credit crunch.

    “Of course there are bubbles building up,” Hans Stoter, global head of core investments at AXA Investment Managers told the conference. “There is much more debt in the world than there was before ... and most of that growth is coming out of debt financing with interest rates so low.”

    Leverage in the system has increased some 50%-60% since the financial crisis a decade ago, with debt now worth some 230% of economic output globally according to IMF estimates, said Frank Czichowski, treasurer at KfW.

    “There is no banking system in the world that can cope with the flood coming out of this,” he said. Affordability is not an issue while rates remain low but a rise in borrowing costs could create major problems, Axa’s Stoter said: “The question is, with the debt level where it is, can central banks ever afford to let interest rates go back up because it will lead to a major bankruptcy wave.”

    A key risk for markets is low liquidity, the ease with which assets can be bought or sold.

    Alexi Chan, global co-head of capital markets at HSBC, said a reduction of up to 50% in banks’ holdings of bonds, the result of regulation and increased costs, meant banks are no longer major providers of market liquidity.

    “The question is, when a serious stress point comes, how this constrained liquidity we are now seeing will impact that,” he said. “It is a big question for the system. And I think we are not really tested on that.”

    Other speakers said investors had to be made aware liquidity in some asset classes would disappear in any credit crunch.

    Sebastian Domanico, head of debt capital markets at Credit Agricole CIB, said investors and issuers “need to realise that if something happened to the specific corporate sector or the high yield market ... they will be stuck.

    “And I’m not sure the end-investors in the fund completely realise that,” he said, describing it as a systemic risk. Roman Schmidt, divisional board member capital markets at Commerzbank, said a proliferation in electronic trading platforms would exacerbate the problem.

  • Beijing has yet to say whether or how it will retaliate to the latest escalation in trade tensions, which saw Washington put telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that will make it extremely difficult for the telecom giant to do business with U.S. companies.

    The world’s two largest economies are locked in an increasingly acrimonious trade dispute that has seen them level escalating tariffs on each other’s imports in the midst of negotiations, adding to fears about risks to global growth and knocking financial markets.

    The United States is not sincere about wanting to resume trade talks with China and has damaged the atmosphere for negotiations with its recent moves, a state media social media account said.

    Without sincerity there was no point in coming for talks and nothing to talk about, Taoran Notes, a WeChat account run by a daily, said in a post late on Thursday that was re-posted by the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper.

  • Paris on Wednesday marked the 130th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower’s public opening in 1929 with a laser light show retracing the monument's history that will be visible each hour from 10pm to midnight local time through Friday.

    A 12-minute laser light show recounting the history of the tower will play across the Iron Lady's facade through Friday to mark 130 years since the tower opened to the public after being built for the 1889 World’s Fair.

    Rising 324 meters (1,063 feet) above Paris, the famed "Iron Lady" was designed by Parisian engineer Gustave Eiffel and built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition.

    The construction of the most famous of Parisian monuments took two years, two months and five days, which was considered a feat of technical prowess at the time, mobilising between 300 and 450 workers.

    Seven million tourists visit the Eiffel Tower each year, with a total of 300 million visitors from across the world since 1889.

  • As per the complaint filed at Panaji police station, the incident took place at Mala locality in the Panaji Assembly constituency when Kunkolienkar was returned after visiting a temple. "Two youths who were wearing helmets and standing on the roadside suddenly attacked the car in which I was travelling.

    They threw bottles on the car before fleeing on a motorcycle," Kunkolienkar claimed. A senior police officer said the complaint was registered against unknown persons and search is on to track them on the basis of the description provided by Kunkolienkar.

    Bypoll to the Panaji Assembly seat, which fell vacant following the demise of siting MLA and then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on March 17, will be held on May 19.

  • Second-seeded Spaniard Nadal defeated Jeremy Chardy of France in straight sets 6-0,6-1. Swiss Federer defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4 6-3 to reach in the third round.

    Federer plays Borna Coric next, while Nadal faces Nikoloz Basilashvili later tonight. Sixth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori secured a place in last sixteen defeating Tailer Fritz of United States 6-2, 6-4. Spain's Fernando Verdasco defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 4-6, 5-6.

    In Women's section, Britain's Johanna Konta has entered in the 3rd round. She defeated world's eight number sloen Stefence of US 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. In the next round, Konta will take on venus Williams of US. World number Naomi Osaka also entered in the 3rd round defeating Dominika Cibulková 6-3, 6-3.

    She will face Romania's Mihaela Buzarnescu. In another match, world's fourth number Kiki Burtence of Denmark defeated Amanda Anisimova of US 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Wimbledon champion of 2017 Garbine Muguruza entered in the 3rd round defeating Danielle Rose Collins6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

  • Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad, Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq and Head Coach Micky Arthur have decided to include fast bowler Mohammad Amir and hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali in World Cup squad of Pakistan cricket team.

    Struggling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and newly-selected opener Abid Ali will make way for both players.

    Asif Ali impressed the team management with 51 off 36 and 52 off 43 in the second and third One Day International against England respectively.

    This performance cemented his place in the World Cup squad. Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir is recovering from suspected chickenpox and is undergoing treatment in London.

  • The over 2-month-long election marathon has now reached its last leg. Friday saw campaigning for the 7th phase of polling coming to an end. Although canvassing for votes for the 9 remaining to be polled Lok sabha seats in West Bengal had been curtailed prematurely on Thursday, Sunday will see all 59 seats in the 7th phase go to the hustings. The last day of campaigning saw all political stakeholders making their final push for votes through rallies, roadshows and several other means.

    The last day of campaigning saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi wooing voters in Madhya Pradesh's Khargaon. Congress President Rahul Gandhi holding a rally in Himanchal Pradesh's Solan for the Shimla lok sabha seat and among the regional powers, even the Mahagathbandhan's Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav addressed a joint political meet in Uttar Pradesh's Mirzapur.

    Punjab is having a single shot election for all its 13 seats in the final phase with 278 candidates in fray. It's a 3-way fight between the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine, the Congress ruling in the state and the Aam Admi Party.

    The 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh that are going to the hustings in the last phase include the PM's constituency Varanasi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's traditional stronghold Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur as well as Mirzapur. A total of 167 candidates are fancying their chances here.

    In Bihar, 157 candidates are vying for voters' blessings on 8 Lok Sabha seats..Keen fights have been seen for seats such as Nalanda, Patna Sahib, Patliputra and Arra. It's the NDA vs the Mahagathbandhan in the state.

    8 seats are also going to polls in Madhya Pradesh with 82 candidates in the last phase. It's mostly a straight fight between the BJP and the Congress in MP. Key seats include Devas, Ujjain, Indore & Ratlam.

    The last phase also includes all 4 seats in Himachal Pradesh with 45 candidates fighting it out. 3 remaining seats in Jharkhand are also polling the same day with 42 candidates.

    Sunday will also see polling in the union territory of Chandigarh where the BJP's Kiron Kher is facing off with Congress's Pawan Kumar Bansal..34 more candidates are also vying for the voters' blessings in the city beautiful.



    -- The field of VVIP candidates in the final phase of elections is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

    -- Union Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hardeep Singh Puri, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, R K Singh, Manoj Sinha & Anupirya Patel are also in the fray

    -- Top names from the BJP include Actors Ravi Kishen and Sunny Deol and U.P BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey

    -- The Congress has Manish Tewari, Meira Kumar, Pawan Kumar Bansal & Shatrughna Sinha as some of well known contenders

    -- The Akali Dal also has Sukhbir Singh Badal

    -- AAP has Bhagwant Mann

    -- and Trinamool's Saugata Roy battling it out

    The 7th phase also saw frenzied campaigning by all political stakeholders like the previous phases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP Chief Amit Shah and several other union ministers as well as top leaders were among the pinch hitters for the BJP. The Congress relied on the dynastic draw of party President Rahul Gandhi and his General Secretary sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The Akhilesh-Maya led Mahagathbandhan reached out to voters in Uttar Pradesh through multiple rallies. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also did her own brand of combative campaigning as did the Left. Leaders of JD(U) and RJD also vied for voters' blessings in Bihar..AAP Arvind Kejriwal was also seen stepping out of the national capital to canvas for his party's candidates in Punjab.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narednra Modi and Congress Presdient Rahul Gandhi hold press conferences and thanked the voters for their support.

  • The proposed fix, which addresses a problem with a flight handling system thought to be a factor in both crashes, must now win approval from US and international regulators before the planes can return to service.

    "With safety as our clear priority, we have completed all of the engineering test flights for the software update and are preparing for the final certification flight," said Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement.

    "The accidents have only intensified our commitment to our values, including safety, quality and integrity, because we know lives depend on what we do." Boeing's announcement sent shares up 2.6 per cent to USD 354.44 in afternoon trading.

    The halt to the 737 MAX has dented Boeing's revenues and clouded the company's earnings outlook. Boeing said it has flown 737 MAX with updated software for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System for more than 360 hours on 207 flights.

    Boeing is providing additional information to the Federal Aviation Administration in anticipation of a certification test flight, a key step in winning regulatory approval, the company said.

    In both the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, the MCAS pointed the plane sharply downward based on a faulty sensor reading, hindering pilot control after takeoff, according to preliminary crash investigations.

    The FAA has called a May 23 meeting of international civil aviation regulators in Texas to discuss the FAA's process for clearing the 737 MAX to resume service.

    Acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told a congressional panel on Wednesday that he hopes the gathering builds support for international bodies to approve the 737 MAX soon after the United States gives it the green light. 

  • Three British people and a South African were killed Thursday in a plane crash close to Dubai airport, the United Arab Emirates' state news agency reported. The UK-registered Diamond Aircraft went down five kilometers south of the international hub, WAM said, citing civil aviation authorities.

    "The four-seat plane crashed while on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport, with all crew members, three British, and one South African, killed," the news agency said. An earlier report by the emirate's government media office said the pilot and co-pilot of a small plane had been killed.

    The aircraft, owned by US tech giant Honeywell, crashed due to a technical malfunction, it said. It added that all operations at the airport were running smoothly after "a slight delay and diversion of some flights as a precautionary measure". Dubai's international airport is one of the world's busiest aviation hubs.