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  • The “Aadi Mahotsav” is being organised by Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi from 16th November to 30th November, 2017 with full enthusiasm & energy. The ‘theme’ of “Aadi Mahotsav” is ‘A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce’. The genuine and authentic ‘Tribal Handicrafts’, ‘Mouth-watering’ and ‘Delectable Tribal Cuisine’ with Colorful and Vibrant Tribal Dance and Fine Music are being showcased in the “Mahotsav”. Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India inaugurated the fortnight-long festival on 16th November, 2017 at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi.

  • IFFI 2017 Stellar Line-up is Announced

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Students should continue to learn, earn and yearn to serve with clear vision, pure heart and strong shoulders. He was addressing the Eighth Convocation of Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (GITAM), in Hyderabad today. The Minister for Irrigation, Marketing & Legislative Affairs, Shri T. Harish Rao, the Chancellor of GITAM University, Prof. K. Ramakrishna Rao and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

  • The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) today celebrated Baal Utsav as part of Hausla-2017, a week long festival for children living in Child Care Institutions across the country being celebrated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi. About 1000 children from such institutions participated in today’s programme. The main objective of the programme was to promote child participation and showcase their talents in other creative activities.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, will visit three Northeastern States – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur - from November 19 to 22, 2017. This is his first visit to these states as the President of India.

  • I am happy to be here for the 94th Convocation of the University of Delhi, one of the most valued institutions of higher learning in our country. I offer my greetings to the Vice-Chancellor, faculty members and, most important, the graduating students and their family members. This is a big day and a memorable moment for all of you.

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, graced and addressed the 94th annual convocation of the University of Delhi today (November 18, 2017).

  • 237th Corps of Engineers Day was celebrated on 18 Nov 2017. In a solemn Ceremony organised at ‘Amar Jawan Jyoti’, Lt Gen Suresh Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief along with other serving and retired officers & men laid wreaths and paid homage to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their life for the country.

  • The wreaths were laid at the Teen Murti Memorial by the Cavalry Officers’ Association (COA) on 18 November 2017.

  • The 8th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is being co-hosted by the United States and India in Hyderabad, November 28-30, 2017, for which 1,500 individuals have been selected to participate. This is the first time the Summit is being held in South Asia. Since 2010, the GES has travelled to Washington D.C., Istanbul, Dubai, Marrakech, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Silicon Valley.

  • In the recent past a few reports have appeared in the media about starvation deaths owing to alleged denial of subsidized foodgrains under NFSA to eligible ration card holders for want of Aadhaar number or for non-authentication at PoS etc.

  • Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute celebrated its 32nd Annual Day on 18th November 2017 in The Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park at 1030 hrs. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Air Marshal HN Bhagwat AVSM VM, Air Officer-in-Charge Administration, Indian Air Force. Mrs Shubhada Bhagwat graciously gave away the trophies and prizes to the exceptional achievers.

  • In the run up to World Toilet Day tomorrow, behaviour change and toilet construction activities are being undertaken by the States and districts around the country. Leading this initiative, a senior central level team from the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation performed shramdaan by assisting villagers in building twin-pit toilets in Turkauliya village in East Champaran district of Bihar.

  • Following the upgrade of India's sovereign rating from Baa3 positive to Baa2 stable on 16th November 2017, Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the issuer ratings of National Highways Authority of India to Baa2 from Baa3 and revised outlook to stable from positive. The ratings of NTPC, NHPC and GAIL have also been upgraded.

  • As a part of Navy Week celebrations, Indian Navy is conducting a free health camp for the general public from 18 to 20 November 2017 at Aurangabad, Palwal District, Haryana. Through this outreach programme, the Indian Navy aims to bring about awareness in the general public about the role and task of the Navy and also encourage youngsters to consider Navy as a career.

  • The 12th Biennial International Conference & Exposition of Society of Petroleum Geophysicists (SPG) India was inaugurated by Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship at Jaipur today.

  • The second annual conclave of Foreign Defence Attaches, jointly organised by Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS) and defence portal, will be held at Manekshaw Centre in Delhi Cantonment between 930 hrs and 1430 hrs on November 20, 2017. Raksha Rajya Mantri Dr Subhash Bhamre is expected to address the inaugural function.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that we cannot create a developed India if there are glaring inequalities based on caste, creed, religion and sex. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Book “Social Exclusion and Justice in India”, authored by Shri P.S. Krishnan, here today. The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs is organizing Aadi Mahotsav at Dilli Haat, INA, New Delhi till 30 November, 2017. The theme of Aadi Mahotsav is ‘A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture, Cuisine and Commerce’. The genuine and authentic Tribal Handicrafts, Mouth-watering and Delectable Tribal Cuisine, Colorful and Vibrant Tribal Dance and Fine Music are being showcased in the Mahotsav.

  • An Interim Meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) was held here today in national capital to assess the Center’s activities since its inauguration in February 2017 and to review the Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan. The Committee had met earlier on February 13, 2017 after the inauguration of the Center.

  • Six terrorists and one IAF Garud soldier were killed in a fierce gunfight in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district Saturday afternoon.

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to move all juveniles, arrested for pelting stones and other unlawful act...

  • The Centre has raised import duty on crude palm oil to 30 per cent from 15 per cent and on refined oil to 40 per cent from 20 per cent in a bid to cur...

  • The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2017 will present 195 films from over 82 countries in its 48th edition scheduled in Goa during November 20-28. Of these, 10 would be world premieres, 10 Asian and International premiers and over 64 Indian premieres.

  • Haryana-born Manushi Chhillar today was crowned Miss World 2017 a grand event held in Sanya in China.The announcement was made on the pageant's official Twitter handle.

  • Gaza's border crossing into Egypt is running under the Palestinian Authority's control for the first time in a decade.

  • Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and GST group of ministers of IT network Chairman Sushil Kumar Modi said in Bengaluru on Saturday that revenue collections from Goods and Service Tax (GST) was on the increase every month and traders and manufactures who attempt to profit from the latest rate cut in 200 products would face stringent action.

  • In Himachal Pradesh, the intermittent snowfall continues on higher reaches of tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti on Saturday.

  • India's tennis star Yuki Bhambri clinched his first title of the 2017 season on the ATP Challenger Tour following a come-from-behind win over compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in the final of the KPIT-MSLTA Challenger in Pune, on Saturday.

  • The theme of the Summit will be 'Women First, Prosperity for All'. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump will head the United States delegation to the Summit.

    Addressing media persons, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that the focus of the summit will be on four areas including energy and infrastructure, digital economy, health and life science and media and entertainment.

    The Niti Aayog CEO added that Global Entrepreneurship Summit will help India to showcase our incredible potential to the world.

  • Earlier in VAT regime, more than 60 percent work wad done manually, but now in GST regime, everything is done digitally.

    He added the success of GST depends on success of GST Network.

  • The mishap occurred at Chalburga Pati near Ausa taluka in Latur. The state transport bus was heading towards Nilanga town and the truck was moving towards Latur when they collided.

  • Countdown for the curtains to go up on India's biggest film festival has been on for days. Preparations for lights and camera are in their final stages. Final clap and action are all that remain. The confluence of creativity seems ready to brim over with its unique expression of art and culture. Its grandeur and reach can be gauged from how entries from over 100 countries in the world have been received for the the India International Film Festival.

    IFFI's opening ceremony will see the gathering of world famous film stars, directors, producers and technical maestros. Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani will also be in attendance. The 48th IFFI has an impressive line up and will also a Lifetime Achievement Award being given to renowned Canadian film-maker Atom Egoyan. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with the Personality of the Year Award.

    Special screenings will be held for Goan films including Mahaparayan & Tiffin Box. The non-feature section has 16 films this time around. The first feature film to be screened as part of the Indian panorama is Pihu.

    IFFI is India's biggest and Asia's oldest film festival. The first festival had been organised by the films division in 1952.

  • In a telephonic conversation over the hotline, Indian Army's Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen AK Bhatt told his Pakistani counterpart that Indian troops will continue to take all retaliatory measures and "retain" the "right" to punitively respond to any provocative acts of transgression from the Pakistani side.

    Lt Gen Bhatt told the Pakistani DGMO that there appeared to be a "disconnect between the intent at the Pak General Headquarters which reiterates its desire for peace and the actions of Pak troops along the Line of Control, who resort to heavy firing without provocation."

    The unscheduled talks took place following a request from the Pakistani DGMO.

  • Security forces cordoned off and launched a search operation in Chandergeer village in Hajin area of the district after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area.

    The search operation resulted in an encounter when the militants hiding there fired on the search party of the security forces, who retaliated.

    One of the terrorists, Owaid, who was killed is the son of Zakir Rehman Maki and nephew of Zakir Rehman Lakhvi, who is mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks.

    LeT Commanders Zargam and Mehmood were also eliminated in the operation. All the terrorists neutralized today were Pakistanis.

  • Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena in China. Chhillar made it to the top five spots in the pageant along with England, France, Kenya and Mexico.

    Born to doctor parents, Chhillar, who hails from Haryana, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

    In the question and answer round that followed her entry in the top five spots, the 21-year-old Chhillar was asked which profession deserved the highest salary and why? She replied: "I think a mother is of highest respect. I don't think its just about cash but love and respect she gives to someone. She is the biggest inspiration in my life. Mother should get highest respect."

  • He said that the consumers can refer to the GST rate finder to know the new rates.

    Speaking exclusively to DD News, Dr Adhia said that Moody's upgrading the India's sovereign rating will boost the investment and growth in the country.

    “India becomes the fastest growing economy in the last 3 years and this will continue. If there is tax evasion, there is a provision of putting an end to it. GST promotes direct and indirect tax,” he told DD News.

  • When the bad light forced early stumps on the third day, Sri Lanka were 165 for four, trailing by seven runs, with skipper Dinesh Chandimal (13) and Niroshan Dickwella (14) at the crease.

    Sri Lanka had taken a firm grip over the proceedings but paceman Umesh Yadav removed both Thirimanne and Mathews in the post-tea session to take off a bit of pressure from the hosts.

    Thirimanne and Mathews added 99 runs for the third wicket to negate the twin blows from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who removed both the Sri Lankan openers -- Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) and Dimuth Karunaratne (8).

    While the chips are already down for the hosts, they further received a setback when paceman Mohammed Shami walked off the field due to a right hamstring issue towards the end of the day.

    India resumed at a precarious 74 for five and managed to add 98 more runs to their overnight total, which was their second lowest score against Sri Lanka at home.

    It is only the second time the Islanders have dismissed India in their own den below 200, after the hosts were dismissed for 167 in Chennai in December 2005.

    On the other side, everything seem to fall in place for the tourists as they bowled India out to be in an advantageous position, resisted the Indian attack nicely and successfully called two DRS reviews.

    Having taken a review to overturn umpire Joel Wilson's decision which resulted in Ravindra Jadeja's dismissal, Sri Lanka took another review successfully to save Karunaratne even though the opener did not last long.

    The left-handed opener was given out trapped in front by Mohammed Shami but they reviewed the decision successfully.

    However, Bhuvneshwar bounced back to send back Karunaratne and Samarawickrama in successive overs to brighten India's hopes.

    It was not the case to be as vice captain Thrimanne and former captain Mathews, who is promoted to four in his comeback match, put on a composed approach in their left-right combination.

    Barring the blip when Thirimanne was dropped by Shikhar Dhawan in the slip cordon, the Lankans did not take a step wrong as it turned out to be another frustrating day for the home team.

    Interestingly, both Thirimanne and Mathews both faced 94 balls each in their innings and struck eight boundaries each.

    Earlier, coming out to bat at an overnight score of 47, Cheteshwar Pujara (52 off 117) completed his half-century in the morning but could not make it big after being cleaned up by Lahiru Gamage (2/59) with a superb in-cutter. Wriddhiman Saha (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) produced a brisk 48-run seventh wicket partnership but off-spinner Dilruwan Perera (2/19) struck twice in space of three ball to remove both.

    Perera broke the partnership as the tourists successfully used a review to overturn the decision of Joel Wilson who stood in for indisposed Richard Kettleborough.

    Jadeja was trapped in line but was given not out by the umpire as it seemed that the ball might have nicked the bat first but the review made it clear that there was pad first and the left-hander had to walk back to the pavillion.

    Two balls later, Wriddhiman Saha got out with a faint edge which was taken by Mathews at the first slip as India reviewed unsuccessfully. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13) and Mohammed Shami (22) made some quick runs. Shami was later involved in a 26-run last wicket partnership with Umesh Yadav (6 not out) to prop up India's total.

  • Earlier on Friday, the party had released the names of 70 candidates.

    Meanwhile, Congress is still in the process of finalising the names. The second meeting of its election committee met in Delhi, but the names have not been released.

  • The day temperature in Jammu yesterday dipped six degrees below normal.

    Around two feet of snow had accumulated on the ground between Peer Ki Gali and Pushana.

    No vehicle was allowed either from Poonch or Shopian this morning as the Mughal Road was temporarily closed for traffic due to heavy snowfall.

  • Raising 'anti-Pakistan' slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town against illegal taxation.

    All educational, legal, trade and business activities have remained suspended in 10 districts of the GB region including Gilgit, Skardu and Hunza, with many local and foreign tourists facing hardships due to the shutdown.

  • He said that 'Padmavati' is being screened for media and getting reviewed on national channels without CBFC having seen or certified the film.

    Bollywood actor Rahul Roy, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, expressed confidence that there will be peace and calm in the coming days over movie 'Padmavati' controversy.

  • The 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs was held in Beijing. Both sides reviewed the situation in all sectors of India-China border and agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is an important prerequisite for sustained growth of bilateral relations.

    The two sides also exchanged views on further confidence building measures and strengthening of military-to-military contacts.

    The mechanism was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.

  • Researchers from the University of Minnesota in the US suggest that as the mean global temperature increases, respiration will also increase significantly. Such increases may lower the future ability of global vegetation to offset carbon dioxide emissions caused by burning of fossil fuels. "Plants both capture carbon dioxide and then release it by respiration.

    Changes to either of these processes in response to climate change have profound implications for how much ecosystems soak up carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels," said Chris Huntingford, lead author of the study. "In fact, this study provides the most up-to-date accounting of respiratory carbon releases from plants in terrestrial systems," said Peter Reich, from the University of Minnesota.

    The new findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, are based on the comprehensive GlobResp database, which is comprised of more than 10,000 measurements of carbon dioxide plant respiration from plant species around the globe. Merging this data with existing computer models of global land carbon cycling shows plant respiration has been a potentially underestimated source of carbon dioxide release.

  • Additional Special Judge Suvarna Kevale held Jitendra Babulal Shinde, Santosh Gorakh Bhawal and Nitin Gopinath Bhailume guilty of rape, murder and criminal conspiracy. The quantum of punishment is likely to be pronounced on November 22. The incident had triggered widespread protests from the different groups with marches being held across the state.

    The victim, who belonged to the Maratha community, was found murdered after being raped on July 13 at Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district. The accused had inflicted injuries all over her body and broken her limbs before throttling her, police said.

    On October 7, Ahmednagar police had filed the chargesheet running into over 350 pages before the court in which the trio was charged under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

  • The festival, to be held in Goa from November 20 to 28, will also screen three films produced by the 57-year-old filmmaker. "Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan will be bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award at #IFFI2017. @IFFIGoa will also honour his work with a special film section that will screen 3 films produced by him," Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani tweeted on Friday. Egoyan is best known for his films "Exotica", "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Chloe".

  • The Belgian, who was soundly beaten in his previous round-robin match by group winner Grigor Dimitrov, had a shaky start, losing the first three games, but conceded only two games after that in the entire match as he romped to victory in 71 minutes. "It was a pity to play against Dominic, he is such a good friend and a nice guy. It's never easy to play against a friend," said Goffin, who beat world number one Rafael Nadal over three punishing sets in his opening match.

    "After the first match against Rafael I wasted so much energy, I was not ready for Grigor, but I had a good rest yesterday and was ready for today and I hope I can do the same for the semi-finals," he added. The seventh seed admitted Federer, gunning for his seventh end-of-year title, would be a tough opponent on the indoor hard court at London's O2 Arena but said he had "nothing to lose". Goffin, 26, looked out of sorts at the start of the match, being broken to love in his first service game, but reeled off 15 points in a row to change the complexion of the match completely. Two breaks of serve were enough to seal the set 6-4.

    Thiem held up Goffin's charge, receiving medical treatment for an apparent cut on his left knee between sets, but the Belgian was quickly into his stride again, reeling off six games in a row to win the set 6-1 and seal an emphatic win. Austria's fourth-seeded Thiem struggled badly on serve throughout, managing to land just 39 percent of first serves in the second set as his opponent and regular practice partner took full advantage.

    The pair were playing off for the last semi-final spot after Federer, Dimitrov and Jack Sock sealed their places earlier in the week. In the evening match in the Pete Sampras group, Dimitrov coasted to a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Pablo Carreno Busta. The Spaniard replaced world number one Nadal after his compatriot pulled out injured following his defeat by Goffin, who is the first Belgian to qualify for the season-ending event. Federer topped the Boris Becker group with American Sock in second place. Sock will play Bulgaria's Dimitrov in Saturday's other semi-final.

  • Sushil battled for just 2 minutes and 33 seconds in total on the mat as he fought only two of his initial round bouts before three of his opponents - in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final - gave him a walk over. Meanwhile, India's lone woman Olympic medal winner Sakshi Malik and popular 'Dangal girl' Geeta Phogat also bagged a gold medal each in their respective weight categories of women's wrestling on the second day of the marquee domestic event.

    Sakshi finished on the top of the podium after posting a dominating 10-0 victory over Pooja Tomar of Haryana in the final of women's 62kg, while Geeta clinched the yellow metal with a win against Ravita in the final of 59kg category. Even Geeta's husband Pawan Kumar managed to finish on top in 86kg. All eyes were on Sushil today and India's greatest individual Olympian hardly had to break sweat as India international Parveen Rana decided to concede his bout against the 34-year-old in the gold-medal round, claiming injury.

    Rana was carrying a niggle which could have been aggravated had he fought the bout. "I pulled up a muscle of my thigh before the Nationals and I wanted to give a medical. But Railways needed two wrestlers so I came. After the first bout, I got a problem and by final I could not wrestle," said Rana. It was Sachin Dahiya who gave him a walkover in the semifinals, enabling Sushil's smooth passage to the gold-medal round, while Praveen, too, handed his fancied opponent a walkover in the quarterfinals.

    Both Dahiya and Praveen gave him a walkover to "show respect", according to the coaches and the officials of Wrestling Federation of India. Earlier, Sushil showed that class is permanent as he took less than two minutes to get past his opponents in the initial rounds. Sushil overpowered Mizoram's Lalmalsawma by technical fall in 48 seconds in the first round and then pinned down Mukul Mishra in just a minute and 45 seconds in his next bout.

    Geeta had registered a come-from-behind win to make it to the finals with a 8-4 result over Sarita Mor 8-4 in her semifinal bout. Sakshi, in her opening bout, pinned down her rival in just 39 seconds and eventually sailed into the final.

    Results: Men's Freestyle: 57kg: Utkrash Kale (Gold); Ravi Kumar (Silver); Amit (Bronze) & Mayank (Bronze). 65kg: Sonu (Gold), Praveen (Silver), Surjeet (Bronze) & Karan (Bronze). 74kg: Sushil Kumar (Gold), Praveen Rana (Silver), Praveen (Bronze) & Balraj (Bronze). 86kg: Pawan Kumar (Gold), Deepak (Silver), Surajvir (Bronze) & Deepak Punia (Bronze). Women's wrestling: 48kg: Ritu (Gold), Nirmal Devi (Silver), Preeti (Bronze) & Sheetal Tomar (Bronze). 53kg: Seema (Gold), Pinki (Silver), Priyanka (Bronze) & Diksha Tomar (Bronze). 55kg: Vinesh (Gold) Manisha (Silver), Swaranjeet Kaur (Bronze) & Reena (Bronze). 57kg: Pooja Dhanda (Gold), Sangeeta (Silver), Rani Rana (Bronze) & Indu Tomar (Bronze). 59kg: Geeta Phogat (Gold), Ravita (Silver), Sakshi (Bronze), & Sarita (Bronze). 62kg: Sakshi Malik (Gold), Pooja Tomar (Silver), Pooja (Bronze) & Manju (Bronze). 65kg: Ritu Malik (Gold), Gargi Yadav (Silver), Shilpi Sheron (Bronze) & Ishika Tomar (Bronze). 68kg: Divya Kakran (Gold), Monia (Silver), Kusum (Bronze) & Pinki (Bronze). 72kg: Kiran (Gold), Manu Tomar (Silver), Naina (Bronze) & Kamini (Bronze). 76kg: Pooja (Gold), Kavita (Silver), Jyoti (Bronze) & Rani (Bronze).

  • Following inputs, a search operation was launched in the office block and a room used by jailed and deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala at "Veda Nilayam," the Poes Garden residence. "We have not searched the entire Poes Garden premises. Our team went at 9 pm and only Poongundran's room, records room and other room used by Sasikala were searched," the top Income Tax official said.

    Poongundran had served as an aide to the former chief minister. The seizure included a laptop and the search would be concluded soon, he added. Friday's search comes days after multi-city searches in 187 locations linked to ten income tax assesse groups which include those linked to Sasikala, her kin and some associates.

  • The lightning recapture of the small Euphrates valley town of Rawa in an offensive launched at dawn came as the jihadists were also under attack for the second day in the last town they still hold in Syria, Albu Kamal just over the frontier. The Islamic State group (IS) has lost 95 per cent of the cross-border "caliphate" it declared in Iraq and Syria in 2014, the US-led coalition fighting it said on Wednesday. Its losses include all of its major bastions, virtually confining it to pockets of countryside.

    Government troops and paramilitary units "liberated the whole of Rawa and raised the Iraqi flag on all of its official buildings," General Abdelamir Yarallah of Iraq's Joint Operations Command (JOC) said in a statement. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi hailed the town's "liberation in record time" and said troops would now "conduct search operations in the desert to secure the border with Syria." "Militarily, IS has been defeated but we are going to hunt down its remnants to eradicate its presence," said JOC spokesman General Yahya Rassoul. Iraqi IS specialist Hisham al-Hashemi said that after their loss of Rawa, the jihadists no longer exercised any real military or administrative power.

    "What has been liberated are the populated areas with demarcated boundaries," Hashemi said. "But the seasonal river valleys, the oases, the empty expanses of desert which make up around four per cent of Iraqi territory are still in the hands of IS." Rawa was bypassed in an offensive by the Iraqi army that resulted in the recapture of the strategically important border town of Al-Qaim earlier this month. The stretch of Euphrates valley abutting the border with Syria has long been a bastion of Sunni Arab insurgency, first against US-led troops after the invasion of 2003 and then against the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. The porous frontier became a magnet for foreign fighters entering Iraq from Syria, which Baghdad accused of turning a blind eye, and a key smuggling route for arms and illicit goods.

    US-led troops carried out repeated operations with code names like Matador and Steel Curtain in 2005 to flush out Al- Qaeda jihadists. The region swiftly fell to IS when its fighters swept through the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in 2014 before proclaiming its "caliphate". The jihadists once controlled a territory the size of Britain but they have successively lost all their key strongholds, including Raqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. "The days of the fake caliphate are now numbered," the US envoy to the coalition Brett McGurk tweeted on Friday.

    Over the border in Syria, IS still holds around 25 per cent of the countryside of Deir Ezzor province but is under attack not only by government forces but also by US-backed Kurdish-led fighters. In the border town of Albu Kamal, the Syrian army was battling IS fighters who mounted a surprise counterattack last week, pushing out government forces who had retaken it last month. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said the new army offensive had successfully penetrated the town, with troops backed by Russian air strikes advancing from the west, east and south. With the jihadists' dreams of statehood lying in tatters following the battlefield defeats, Western attention is increasingly pivoting to trying to block foreign fighters from returning home to carry out attacks.

  • Thames Valley Police superintendent Rebecca Mears confirming the death toll in Friday's incident. Police officers at the crash site in the village of Waddesdon near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire are yet to identify the deceased. "We are aware of a number of casualties following an incident this afternoon in Waddesdon, Aylesbury. Fire and ambulance services are also in attendance and preservation of life is first priority," a spokesperson said.

    Both aircraft came from Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield, near High Wycombe, which offers flight training. A spokesperson for the airstrip said, "Wycombe Air Park can confirm that at 12 pm (local time) today we were informed of an incident north-west of Aylesbury involving two aircraft from Wycombe Air Park".

    The site of the crash is close to the Royal Air Force (RAF) base of Halton, which has since confirmed that no military aircraft had been involved in the collision. The local Bucks Fire and Rescue teams remain in attendance, having sent seven vehicles including urban search and rescue. Police and the UK's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said they have launched a joint investigation to establish the cause of the collision. "There have been a number of casualties at the scene, but at this stage this is all we are able to confirm," South Central Ambulance Service said.

    Mitch Missen, an off-duty firefighter, witnessed the crash from his garden. "I looked up and saw as both collided in mid-air, followed by a large bang and falling debris," said Missen. "I rushed in to get my car keys and en route called the emergency services, who I continued to give updates as to its whereabouts," he said.

  • AKSAR 2
    Aksar 2 is a sequel to the 2006 film Aksar. The movie is all about the plans of a husband to break his marriage, so that he can live a happy life with another woman. The consequences and backfires faced by him form the plot of Aksar 2.

    An Insignificant Man is a non-fiction political thriller following Arvind Kejriwal & the Aam Aadmi Party, during the 2013 Delhi election campaign. The film goes behind closed doors of the new party, as it tries to shake up Indian politics, while struggling to keep it's own idealism alive.

    Dil jo na keh saka is a romantic drama that follows the story of two childhood friends who end up going separate ways to follow their dreams. Eventually, they return to their hometown where they chance across each other, and soon discover that there is more to their relationship than just friendship.

    Muzaffarnagar is a story of Range shooter Dev Malik who reaches his home town, Muzaffarnagar, to spend some time with his family. Once there, he locks horns with Jodha Singh, a land mafia who creates trouble for the entire village. Dev falls for Sara, an IPS aspirant from a liberal Muslim family. Problems arise when a communal riot threatens to destroy Dev and Sara's life. Meanwhile, Jodha Singh is doing everything in his power to destroy Dev.

    Panchlait tells the story of a small village Mahato in North India that still has no electricity and its people live in darkness, engrossed in its own little sorrows and joys.

    Ram ki jung is a story of Ram (Ram Charan), who lives in Australia, no longer believes in the concept of everlasting love as he has suffered a breakup with Rooba (Shazahn Padamsee). However, Ram's life takes another turn when Jaanu (Genelia D'Souza), who he is currently dating, leaves him for the ideology he harbors.

    Tumhari Sulun is a story of an enthusiastic and happy-go-lucky housewife Sulochana, who is fondly called Sulu, lands herself the exciting job of a radio jockey at one of the city's leading radio stations, which drastically changes her routine life.

    Justice league is fueled by restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of meta-humans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes - Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash - it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

    Last week release Qarib Qarib Single has collected more than Rs 4.80 cr while the other release Shaadi me Zaroor Aana has crossed more than 4.22 crore.

  • Let us know how rating agency Moody's works and how the change of rating affects the country's economy.

    Credit rating is primarily concerned with assessment of the ability of a country, institution or individual to borrow or repay its debt. US Agency Moody's has improved India's credit rating after 13 years. The agency has increased the rating of India from Baa3 to Baa2 on Friday.

    What is Moody's?

    -- The ratings system agency was started by John Moody in 1909

    -- Its purpose is to give investors a grade

    -- Currently, Moody's has become a key part of the Global Capital Markets, which gives credit ratings, research tools and analysis

    -- This agency decides the rating of any country with more than 100 economic experts

    -- It takes into account the ability of a country to repay loans

    -- Besides, the rating agency also takes into account the economic reforms and its future effects
    -- Following experts' analysis, changes are made, from time to time, in the economic outlook of a country

    -- A sovereign ratings upgrade indicates that Moody's maintains that economic reforms made by the government is a right step.

    -- And, in such a case, it becomes easier for a country to get a loan

    -- Besides, foreign companies increase their investment in that country

    -- There are nine symbols used by the agency for grading. They include Aaa, Aa, A, Baa, Ba, B, Caa, Ca and C. There are also sub-category of 1,2,3 from Aa to Caa

    -- Moody's Corporation is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service, which is involved in credit rating and research

    -- In 2016, the revenue of the corporation was $ 3.6 billion

    The agency works in 41 countries around the world, employing 11 thousand 700 people.

  • The International Film Festival of India begins with Vinod Kapri's award winning film Pihu. The film is unique because its protagonist is a two-year-old child and is the only character in the film. The film is a social thriller, and has won awards at several film festivals.

    Vinod Kapri is extremely excited that his film will open the prestigious event. Besides Pihu the film festival will have much that is new and directors and filmmakers have been inviting people to come and revel in the experience of great cinema.

    All in all, the 48th International film festival of India has a lot to offer, with films from across the world. Canada is the focus country this year.

  • The Defence Minister hit back at the Congress saying the UPA govt sat over the proposed procurement for 10 years and potentially compromised national security interests.

    The Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman rubbished the Congress allegations about the Rafale purchase contract and insisted that it is an Inter governmental deal between India and France where due diligence and proper procedure was followed before it was signed in September last year.

    Presenting the detailed timeline of the case she pinned the blame of the delay in the deal on the then UPA government. She said that the previous dispensation spent 10 years in the procurement procedure of 126 fighter jets and did not sign the deal even after the lowest bidder was selected. This according to the Raksha Mantri severely affected the crucial preparedness of the Air Force.

    She stressed that the Modi government realised the dire situation and ordered 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly away condition as it was an emergency and the Air Force urgently required the fighter jets. She has assured that the entire procedure was smooth, quick and transparent.

  • This has come as a whiff of fresh air in tense South Kashmir.

    Days after he was spotted posing with an assault rifle in a photograph by his heartbroken family, young Football player Majid Khan has surrendered in Kashmir. A tearful video appeal by Majid's mother Ashiya Begum had gone viral on social media and thousands had urged the 20-year-old to quit militancy and return home. After surrendering to the security forces, he is currently being questioned in police custody.

    Earlier this week, Majeed had announced his decision to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba on the social site Facebook. In this same Facebook post, he also had a photo, in which he was holding a one-47 rifle.

    Majid is a famous footballer and has also worked with a non-governmental organization in the valley. Police officials had assured on Thursday that if Majid and other terrorists from the valley shun the path of violence and return to the mainstream, every effort will be made to rehabilitate them. Parents of the young man have no words to express their joy and relief at the same time.

    Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed happiness at the decision. She tweeted to say that finally a mothers love has prevailed. She also assured that state government is committed to a rehabilitation policy of all such youth.

    On the other hand, the Pakistani army has once again violated the ceasefire in Poonch sector for the third consecutive day. The Pak army began firing on the Line of Control with mortar and small arms without any provocation in the morning. There is no news of anyone casualties in firing and the the Indian army is giving a befitting response to Pakistani firing.

    Meanwhile, the district administration has ordered the schools located in the affected areas as a precautionary measure.

    Earlier, on Wednesday, Pakistan had also violated the ceasefire in the Shahpur sector of Poonch district adjacent to the LoC.

  • The tribunal also directed the Delhi government and the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to submit their action plans on steps taken to curb pollution within two weeks.

    For the third consecutive day, the level of pollution in Delhi-NCR has improved and people are breathing easy. The National Green Tribunal raps on the knuckles has forced the agencies to take concrete steps to bring down the levels of pollution in the NCR. The graded action plan is showing results and the situation is expected to further improve in the coming days.

    Pollution in Delhi reduces:
    ---- The data of central pollution control board shows, PM 10 level at 287.6 in the air at 3 pm on Friday. At the same time the PM10 level was recorded 323.2 a day before.
    ---- The PM2.5 levels on Friday at 3 pm was 154.4. At the same time on Thursday, the level of PM 2.5 was 202.3.

    The NGT is continuing its efforts to tackle pollution in Delhi-NCR. On Friday, the NGT withdrew the restrictions imposed on construction work and entry of trucks in Delhi. However, the agencies involved have been given clear instructions to keep a close watch on all the activities while restrictions continue on industrial activity, burning of waste and crop residue. In addition, the authorities have given strict instructions to the governments of neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to present their plans to tackle pollution in the next two weeks.

    The NGT has warned that 5 lakhs will be deducted from the salary of the senior affiliate officer in case of any omission. The NGT has also directed the Delhi Government that arrangements or orders must be released to facilitate immediate and automatic closure of schools when the level of pollution reaches the 'severe' category.

    Meanwhile, the Central government decision to buy crop residue at 550 rupees per quintal has come into praise from all quarters.

    The Haryana government, will also give subsidy to the farmers to buy the machine to extract the stubble from the fields.

    It is not possible to win the ongoing war against pollution in a day or two. Looking at the experience of the past, there needs to be an all out effort from all sections of the society to overcome this problem and innovative steps need to be brought at multiple levels to tackle this menace.

  • With the success of Chandrayan -1, India is now gearing up for Chandrayan -2 which will be launched in March next year. With this India has skyrocketed its ambition to explore the moon surface further. And now a joint collaboration with Japan can fulfill this aim Japan has already successfully launched its own moon mission a decade before India did, but now Japan is looking forward to jointly collaborate with India for another Lunar mission.

    Not only Japan but many Asia Pacific countries are looking at India as an emerging market for satellite making and launches. Making in India platform has open the doors for many Asia Pacific countries to look at India. India successfully launched a South Asia satellite with the SAARC countries, a similar project with the Asia Pacific countries could be a reality in future.

    Kiran Kumar was speaking on the sidelines of the 24th Session of Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) at Bangalore. Heads of space agencies of 10 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, government bodies and industries related to space were at the conference.

    In 2009, JAXA's lunar orbiter spacecraft Selene had impacted the lunar surface after successfully orbiting the moon for a year and eight months. Japan had also launched Hiten Spacecraft in 1990, the country's first lunar probe. India had launched its first lunar probe in 2008 through Chandrayaan-1, and is now gearing up for its next lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in March next year.

    The space agency heads of all the participating countries asserted that working together through collaborations is advantageous for the countries as the resources are shared.

    The 24th session of the space forum held here between November 14 to 17 was attended by over 600 delegates from 35 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Heads of space agencies from India, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Israel, Thailand, France and Russia had participated in the forum.

  • As the economic parameters show marked improvement in India, efforts of the Narendra Modi government have come in for appreciation at the international level. The efforts of the Modi government in the last 3 years through economic reforms have been vindicated. The credit rating agency Moody's, has improved the ranking of India, and it will act as a catalyst in improving economic scenario.

    Moody's not only endorsed reforms including the GST of the Modi government, but also hoped that the economic reforms will continue to gather pace.

    Better investment climate:
    This will have a positive impact on the investment environment in the country. A better rating denotes an improved environment in the country to invest. BAA2 refers to moderate credit risk and will be taken as medium grades. This creates better investment opportunities in the economy. For every foreign or domestic company, it is difficult to assess correctly the fundamentals of the economy . In such a situation, they depend on the credit agency ratings which come after a careful consideration of every aspect of the economy . Then on the basis of this rating, companies make their investment plans. India's image in the investment world will have a marked improvement and as a result foreign direct investment will increase.

    Trust in Economy to rise:
    Investors on the global level trust Moody's ratings. Better ratings mean better prospects of increased inflow of FDI . As a result of Moody's ratings even domestic investors can increase their investment in the economy

    Secondary Market outlook will improve:
    The impact was almost immediate as the stock markets gave it a big thumps up. The markets recorded big upsurge on Friday and Sensex and Nifty registered a northward shift. Sensex opened with a massive jump of 400 points, the biggest opening in 4 years. The share markets is buoyed by the ratings and the markets may maintain the momentum in days to come.

    Boost to Infra development:
    The ratings upgrade has come as a big booster dose for the infrastructure sector in the country. Experts believe that this will help in enhancing the network of infrastructure projects in India.

    Pacy economic development:
    It is now firmly believed that the economic reforms will definitely gain strength and speed as a result of the upgrade. Foreign direct investment will increase as a result and securing loans from foreign institutions will also get easier. Ratings increase help in giving a powerful fillip to the overall economy.

    Reforms push signal:
    The government has kicked in crucial reforms including the GST and demonetisation. The rating upgrade will further propel the government to continue the journey with more confidence and purpose.

    The crux of the matter is that the jump in ratings gives an unequivocal message to the investors around the globe that Indian economy is resilient and gaining strength with every move of the government. The rating upgrade will not only increase confidence in Indian economy's basic strength among the investors, but act as a booster for the Centre to initiate more reforms.

  • Backing the reforms initiated by the government of India in the last three years, Moody's said that its decision is underpinned by an expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential. The economic policies of the Narendra Modi govt have achieved what could not be accomplished in 13 years.

    International credit rating agency Moody's Investors Services has put its stamp of approval on the Govt of India's economic reforms. It has upgraded India's ranking after 13 years.

    Giving credit to the Narendra Modi-government for its wide-ranging program of economic and institutional reforms, it upgraded India's sovereign ratings from Baa3 to Baa2. It changed the outlook for India's rating to stable from positive. In 2004, during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Moody's had upgraded India's sovereign ratings to Baa3.

    In 2005, Moody's changed the outlook for India's rating from stable to positive. Baa3 was lowest investment grade rating, which was just one notch above the junk grade. In a statement, Moody's welcomed the economic and institutional reforms rolled out by India.

    'The decision to upgrade the ratings is underpinned by Moody's expectation that continued progress on economic and institutional reforms will, over time, enhance India's high growth potential and its large and stable financing base for government debt, and will likely contribute to a gradual decline in the general government debt burden over the medium term.'

    Welcoming Moody's decision, the Prime Minister's Office tweeted, "Moody's believes that the @narendramodi Government's reforms will improve business climate, enhance productivity, stimulate foreign and domestic investment, and ultimately foster strong and sustainable growth."

    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed it as a recognition of the reform process underway in India. What's noteworthy is that Moody's welcomed reforms like demonetisation and GST, which have been repeatedly criticised by the Opposition.

    The reforms that formed the basis of Moody's rating upgrade were GST, improvements to the monetary policy framework, measures to address the overhang of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the banking system, demonetisation, Aadhaar system of biometric accounts and targeted delivery of benefits through DBT.

    Moody's said that reforms implemented to date will advance the government's objective of improving the business climate, enhancing productivity, stimulating foreign and domestic investment, and ultimately fostering strong and sustainable growth.

    On GST, Moody's said that it promotes productivity by removing barriers to inter-state trade.

    While expecting India's real GDP growth to be 6.7% in the current fiscal year, Moody's maintained that impact of most of the reform measures undertaken is yet to be seen.

    It stated, 'Most of these measures will take time for their impact to be seen, and some, such as the GST and demonetisation, have undermined growth over the near term.'

    The upgrade was followed by congratulatory messages to the govt on Twitter. BJP President Amit Shah tweeted, "Modi government's good governance and reforms receive yet another vindication. Moody's upgrades India's sovereign ratings for the 1st time since 2004."

    Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said the rating upgrade was long overdue and hoped that other rating agencies would follow suit.

    Sovereign credit rating is the measure of risk associated while investing in a particular country. A higher rating is not only a reflection of economic and political stability in a country but is also helpful in garnering more foreign direct investment (FDI) and funds from the international bond markets.

    Moody's accords ratings from among a range of over 20 options. The upgrade comes on the back of India's unprecedented rise of 30 positions in one year in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings.

    The Modi govt has taken a spate of economic reforms. This is showing impact on the ground and winning international recognition.

  • The 30-share Sensex soared to the day's high of 33,520.82, but profit-taking activity towards the end in heavyweights made the index settle at 33,342.80, up 235.98 points, or 0.71 per cent. The gauge had rallied 346 points in the previous session.

    The 50-share Nifty after racing past the key 10,300-mark during the day gave up some ground to close up 68.85 points, or 0.67 per cent, at 10,283.60.

    For the week, the Sensex climbed 28.24 points, or 0.08 per cent, while the Nifty shed 38.15 points, or 0.36 per cent.

    Sentiment got a big lift after the US-based Moody's today upgraded India's sovereign credit rating by a notch to 'Baa2' with a stable outlook citing improved growth prospects driven by economic and institutional reforms, traders said. The rating upgrade came after a gap of 13 years - Moody's had last upgraded India's rating to 'Baa3' in 2004.

  • The social networking site was the first such platform which gave users, especially celebrities and companies, the option to verify their accounts. Eventually, governments and world leaders have become quite proactive on Twitter. Often they use the platform to reach out to their followers and also at times to make official announcements.

    At a time when Twitter is facing the problem of fake news, verified accounts are quite helpful. Twitter’s reason to pause the process of verification itself seems quite absurd since, in its additional information section, it asks the prospective users for a reason to verify them.

    By its very nature, verified accounts on Twitter get the blue tick, only after Twitter has verified the said accounts on multiple parameters. One of the parameters for evaluation is to “understand their impact in their field”. The second coordinate is to understand the prospective verified user’s “newsworthiness” or whether he or she is relevant or not.

    Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also weighed in on the matter - "We should've communicated faster on this, our agents have been following our verification policy correctly, but we realized some time ago the system is broken and needs to be reconsidered. And we failed by not doing anything about it. Working now to fix faster."

    Twitter had introduced this idea of the blue tick in 2009, which was eventually followed by other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The blue tick over the years has been a mark of authenticity for many people and is often an easier way to increase ones following.

  • November 20, 2017 will be observed as Welfare of Minorities Day and Items of the 15 Point Programme are emphasized on this day. In riot prone towns, special fraternal processions are taken out.

    November 24, 2017 will be observed as Women’s Day. On this day, the importance of Women in Indian Society and their role in development of nation-building are highlighted.

    The observation of the ‘Quami Ekta Week’ will help to highlight the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand actual and potential threats to the eclectic and secular fabric of our country, and nurture a spirit of communal harmony in its widest sense. This occasion also provides an opportunity to reaffirm age old traditions and faith in the values of tolerance, co-existence and brotherhood in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society.

    The National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH), an autonomous organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, organises Communal Harmony Campaign coinciding with the Qaumi Ekta Week and observes the Communal Harmony Flag Day on 25th November. The Foundation promotes Communal Harmony and strengthens National Integration. It also provides financial assistance for relief and rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal, caste, ethnic or terrorist violence.

  • As directed, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had also called a meeting with the implementing agencies to review the actions being taken for better air quality in Delhi and NCR. “It was evident that because of sustained actions by various agencies, the air quality has improved significantly”, the Minister said.

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that air quality has further improved and the Particulate Matter (PM) levels at 1800 hrs today were 243.9 (PM10) micrograms/cubic meter and 153.6 (PM2.5) micrograms/cubic meter. The Minister added that all actions including dust mitigation measures by the construction agencies are being insisted upon.

    Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that the Chairman CPCB, Secretary, DST and Chief Secretary of Delhi Government had a meeting to discuss the issues of landfill sites and both short and long-term measures required for effective control of air pollution from the landfill sites.

  • Three militants travelling in a car opened fire on a police team at the Zakura crossing on Srinagar-Ganderbal road, killing sub-inspector Imran Tak and injuring to a special police officer (SPO), a police official said.

    The official said the police team managed to intercept the car and apprehended one militant, but two others fled from the scene.

    A hunt has been launched to track down the two militants, he added.

  • Speaking on the occasion, the President said that it gave him great pleasure to present the PBG a Silver Trumpet with his Trumpet Banner. As the President’s personal troops, the President’s Bodyguards have lived up to the highest standards of professional excellence and distinguished service to our country. The men of the PBG comprise the only regiment in the Indian Army fully trained as horsemen, paratroopers, tank-men, and in ceremonial duties. This gives them a special position in our Armed Forces.

    The President said that it is a matter of pride that warriors of the President’s Bodyguard have served with distinction during our country’s major wars, as well as with the Indian Peace-Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and on the icy heights of the Siachen Glacier. They have also been deployed overseas as part of United Nations Peace-Keeping Missions.

    The President’s Bodyguard is the oldest regiment in the Indian Army, having been raised as the Governor-General’s Bodyguard (later the Viceroy’s Bodyguard) in 1773. As the President of India’s own Guard, it has the unique distinction of being the only military unit of the Indian Army that is privileged to carry the President’s Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner. This distinction was conferred on the President’s Bodyguard in 1923 by the then Viceroy, Lord Reading, on the occasion of the Bodyguard completing 150 years of service. Each succeeding Viceroy, thereafter, presented the Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner to the Bodyguard.

    On January 27, 1950, the regiment was renamed the President’s Bodyguard. Every President has continued the practice of honouring the regiment. Rather than a coat of arms, as was the practice in the colonial era, the monogram of the President appears on the Banner. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, presented his Silver Trumpet and Trumpet Banner to the President’s Bodyguard on May 14, 1957.

  • After Suranga Lakmal's (3/5) exploits on the first day of the rain-affected series opener, it was Shanaka's turn to steal the limelight today as he removed Ajinkya Rahane (4) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4) to return with impressive figures of 2 for 23. Pujara was the lone Indian batsmen to produce some fight against the Sri Lankan bowling attack on a green top in overcast conditions.

    Pujara displayed impeccable defensive technique again and struck only the errant deliveries to score during his unbeaten 47-run knock. Shanaka took both the wickets in the morning but Pujara anchored India's first innings on testing overcast conditions at the Eden Gardens.

    Coming on to bat at the score of eight, Pujara faced 102 deliveries and struck nine fours in his knock, three runs away from what could be a memorable half-century as the India No 3 built his innings with supreme resolve. He patiently waited for loose balls as the visitors got maximum purchase from the Eden's green top, brilliantly aided by the overcast conditions.

    Shanaka struck in his third over when he tempted Rahane for a drive and got a thin edge to the wicketkeeper. Next he evicted Ashwin after setting him up brilliantly as Pujara struggled to get a partnership going.

    Overnight 17/3 after Lakmal's sensational bowling display, Indians were tested in the off-stump corridor by the Lankan pacer's probing length and bounce. Indians preferred to take Lakmal with extreme caution as the Lankan new-ball bowler finally ended his overnight spell from the High Court end for 11-9-5-3.

    On 24, Pujara was hit on his bottom hand -- bowling hand -- thumb by a rising short pitched delivery from Lahiru Gamage as he flung his gloves in pain in the 25th over. In the next over, Pujara lost Ashwin as Shanaka set him up with a bouncer and followed it with a good length delivery that was cut straight to point by the Indian off-spinner. But Pujara remained unperturbed and looked for loose deliveries and scored mainly through boundaries before the first session was halted by rain.

    Lunch was taken 10 minutes ahead of schedule while it started pouring in the middle. The heavens continued to pour, which meant no play was possible after lunch forcing the umpires to call off day's proceedings prematurely again. After just 11.5 overs were bowled yesterday, the Sri Lankan bowlers managed to get through 21 overs today.

  • Pinterest launched Sections with a select group of beta users for testing in September. That led the platform to expand the feature. User tests led the company to create a “select all” option for merging boards together and also adding a search to the new tool.

    With Pinterest Sections, users can create multiple subcategories within a board. For example, that food board can now be divided into ideas for dinners, desserts, breakfasts, drinks or whatever organization scheme follows your cravings. Holiday boards can be divided into decor, food, and gifts while Sections can separate the socks from the hats in fashion boards.

    Pinterest first shared that Sections would be coming to the platform in a blog post after the social media and online mood board reached 200 million users, moving the tool into testing shortly after that announcement.

    Pinterest boards are limited but with a 500-board cap, most Pinterest users have plenty of space for saving those ideas. While Sections could help that Pinterest user with 499 boards, for the less active users, Sections create a hierarchical structure for making it easier to find a specific Pin. The idea of simplifying the process of finding a previously saved Pin has been a focus for the past several Pinterest updates, including faster access to the search tool. The platform also added another frequently requested feature over the summer with the ability to zoom inside Pins.

    Users will start seeing the option, though the global rollout will take a few days. Users can find the feature once updating to version 6.38 on iOS or 6.43 on Android platforms.

  • The Facebook-owned app is reportedly testing a new feature that'll let users follow hashtags in addition to accounts. Twitter user Pippa Akram first spotted the unannounced Instagram feature and posted it on Twitter. The benefits of this new feature are fairly straightforward. If you want a page full of cute puppies, but can’t be bothered to search for all the cute puppies on Instagram, you can just follow the hashtag #cutepuppies in order to more easily get your daily doggy fix. This can also make it easier to find posts relating to niche topics, because rather than trying to find someone who posts about that topic, you can simply follow the topic itself.

    Beyond those benefits, it might also serve as a way to correct a problem that some users have reported regarding changes made to Instagram’s algorithms. When the site began, many people enjoyed it for the content curation it provided, but recent changes have made it so that, Instagram seems to prioritize posts which it believes will generate high levels of engagement.

    Prioritizing high engagement likely makes sense when looking at things from the perspective of ad revenue, but it ignores the fact that most people on the platform already know what they like. They don’t want an algorithm that makes it more difficult to find content that they’re interested in. The ability to follow hashtags probably won’t fix the problem, but it may offer a partial solution, which is better than nothing.

  • The social network unveiled the ‘crisis donate button’, which enables people to easily give money to organizations assisting victims.

    Facebook will send money donated through the button to GlobalGiving, a non-profit that works with many NGOs who may be on the ground in disaster situations. Through its partnerships, GlobalGiving learns where the money is needed most during disaster situations, and disseminates its funds where they deem it will be most impactful.

    Facebook’s social good product manager Asha Sharma, said in a statement “Following a disaster, people in the affected area often have tremendous needs to help them recover and rebuild", Others who aren’t affected want to help communities in any way they can.

    Facebook rolled out the ability to donate to non-profits in 2013. They debuted the “safety check” feature shortly thereafter in 2014, and made the ability to check in on safety updates a permanent feature this past August.
    Now, Facebook’s users can check on friends and loved ones, and contribute to relief efforts all in the same place. And Facebook will waive all transaction fees on donations made through the button.

    The Hub and similar tools offered by other social media companies will likely play a huge role in disaster relief and response in the future. Twitter has long served as a critical source of breaking news and companies like Airbnb have begun offering increased assistance to refugees and other victims of disasters. Facebook’s Crisis Response hub is set to make its debut in the next few weeks on the desktop homepage, as well as in the menu on its mobile app on both iOS and Android.

  • During the 5-day visit, both ships will represent India in the International Fleet Review (IFR) being organised at Pattaya Bay to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

    This year, India also celebrates the 25th anniversary of its partnership with ASEAN and 70 years of diplomatic relations with Thailand.

    The Indian delegation is being led by Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, AVSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command. The Admiral will call on the Chief of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), other high ranking government officials in Thailand and engage delegation leaders from several other countries during his stay in Thailand.

    The Royal Thai Navy is hosting the IFR, where-in over 40 warships from ASEAN and several partner nations are expected to participate. In addition to various operational and technological demonstrations/exhibitions, numerous cultural events are also scheduled in conjunction with the Fleet Review. These include an air race, a traditional Swan Boats King’s Cup and an International Navies City Parade at Pattaya Beach.

    India shares special bonds of friendship with Thailand. This relationship is also reflected in the cooperation between the Indian Navy and its Thai counterpart. Both navies have regularly conducted Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) in the Andaman Sea twice a year since 2005 and so far 23 CORPATs have been conducted.

    India has also been at the forefront of all initiatives by the ASEAN comity, ever since its formation. India’s ‘Look East’ and ‘Act East’ policies have been a perfect conjugate to ASEAN’S endeavours. Ships of the Indian Navy are deployed every year to ASEAN countries and symbolise India’s commitment to her partners. Bilateral exercises with these countries enhance interoperability and forge shared perceptions.

  • He briefed the Prime Minister on recent developments in the bilateral relationship as follow-up to the Prime Minister’s visit to France in June 2017.

    The Prime Minister appreciated the contribution of Mr. Le Drian to the growing India-France engagement, in his current role as well as in his earlier role as Defence Minister of France.

    The Prime Minister said that the significance of India-France Strategic Partnership is not limited to the bilateral context, but acts as a force for peace and stability in the regional and global context as well.

    The Prime Minister also said that he looks forward to receiving President Macron in India at his earliest convenience.

  • He said that he was excited to see the current Indian govt pick up sanitation as a priority. “For India to achieve its full potential and achieve rapid economic progress, it needs to make more progress in health and nutrition spheres,” Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates said.

    He stressed on higher investment in health and education and assured continued support to India on major health issues.

    “Higher Indian economic growth rate can be achieved only through higher investment in health and education. We will continue to work on major health issues in India,” Gates told DD News.

    Gates also termed today's kids as 'lucky' that they have internet connectivity and called on them to take advantage of it.

  • Five people who left Congress to join BJP have been given tickets in this list. Patidar strongman Bavku Udhad has been shifted to Amreli whereas 49 sitting MLAs are repeated.

    Today's list has names of 16 new candidates. Four women candidates, 16 new candidates, five ex-Congress MLAs who joined BJP recently have been accommodated in this list.

  • The findings are based on a study that followed more than 11,500 adults since 1976.

    Men and women who drank 28 or more drinks were more likely to develop physical signs of ageing as compared to others. Similarly, smoking one pack of 20 cigarettes daily was associated with a 41 per cent heightened risk among women and a 12 per cent heightened risk among men.

    In the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, participants were quizzed about their lifestyle and general health and asked to state how much they drank and smoked. The Danish people were checked for four signs of ageing that have previously been linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular ill health and/or death. The four signs were: earlobe creases, a grayish opaque coloured ring, yellow-orange plaques on the eyelids (saintliest), and male pattern baldness (receding hairline or a bald patch on the top of the head).

    Arcs cornea was the most common sign of ageing among both sexes, with a prevalence of 60 per cent among men over 70 and among women over 80. The least common sign was xanthelasmata, with a prevalence of five per cent among men and women over 50.

    A receding hairline was common among men, with 80 per cent of those over the age of 40 affected.

  • The US, its allies and human rights groups have termed Russia's 10th veto a serious blow to the efforts of the Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM), whose operations ceased when its current mandate expired at midnight last night.

    The US draft resolution, which was supported by 11 of the 15 Security Council members, was vetoed by Russia as China and Egypt abstained while Bolivia joined Russia. "Russia has killed the Joint Investigative Mechanism, which has overwhelming support of this Council," the US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said at the UN headquarters in New York.

    "By eliminating our ability to identify the attackers, Russia has undermined our ability to deter future attacks. Assad and ISIS will no longer be on notice for the use of chemical weapons by Russia's actions today. The message to anyone listening is clear: in effect, Russia accepts the use of chemical weapons in Syria," Haley said. She further said that regardless of what its Russian protectors do here in the Security Council, the Assad regime should be on clear notice: "the United States does not accept Syria's use of chemical weapons."

    Haley said that as the US did in April, it will do it again if it must. "We will defend the international standard against chemical weapons use. It would be wise for the Assad regime to heed this warning," she added. Slamming Russia, she said, "What a shame it is that Russia has revealed itself to be a government whose allegiance is to the Syrian regime, not the truth or the protection of innocent civilians." Russia may have succeeded in silencing one independent voice in Syria today, but there are others who will carry on this work, Haley added. Francois Delattre of France expressed alarm at the wielding of the veto by the Russian Federation. The Mechanism had worked with professionalism and tenacity, seeking the truth in Syria, providing clear, well- documented truth proving the culpability of the Assad regime in certain attacks and that of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh) in other attacks, he said.

    British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft also said that the JIM is a panel created by the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to monitor whether Syria is upholding a treaty that bans their use. Both the Syrian government and militants of the Islamic State are being blamed for using chemical weapons in the war that grew out of protests in 2011. "It is Russia that has failed. They have failed in their duties as a permanent member of this Security Council, they have failed as a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, they have failed as a supposed supporter of peace in Syria," he said.

    In a statement, Human Rights Watch said Russia has entered the realm of double digits with its tenth veto on Syria since 2011, sending another shameful message that they will protect the Syrian government at the cost of the Syrian people. "UN member states should insist on continued investigations into chemical attacks so perpetrators can be held to account," said Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch. The Russian Ambassador Vassily A Nebenzia said his country had been unable to support the draft resolution drawn up by the US, but it is not true that his delegation had not engaged in communications in that regard.

    Over the course of several weeks, it had explained that it could not take the proposal seriously, because it was erroneous from the outset and geared towards entrenching the Mechanism's flaws. The statement by the US delegate had not focused on the Mechanism, but instead on the Russian Federation, he alleged.

    Russia has been highly critical of the JIM's findings that the Syrian government used chlorine gas in at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015. It also used sarin in an aerial attack on Khan Sheikhoun last April 4 that killed about 100 people and affected about 200 others who survived the nerve agent.

  • Victoria, Australia's second most populous state, is in the final stage of a parliamentary debate that could legalise doctor-assisted suicide 20 years after the country repealed the world's first mercy killing law.

    Debate in the Victorian Legislative Council began on Wednesday morning and continued for more than 24 hours before an ambulance was called for government lawmaker Daniel Mulino.

    Government lawmaker Jaclyn Symes later told the chamber that Mulino had sent a message that he was "all good." The medical emergency was not explained. But the sitting was adjourned until Tuesday and weary lawmakers were sent home.

    The lawmakers had covered only eight of 141 clauses that will be debated before the parliament was adjourned. Half the 40 lawmakers in the upper chamber had indicated support for reform. Mulino is an opponent of euthanasia. The bill was passed last month by the parliament's lower chamber, the Legislative Assembly, 47 votes to 37. The parliament of Australian's most populous state, New South Wales, on Thursday rejected a doctor-assisted suicide bill by a single vote, 20 to 19.

    Trevor Khan, the opposition lawmaker who introduced the bill to the New South Wales upper chamber, the Legislative Council, said he would "never give up the fight" to legalise mercy killings.

    Australia's sparsely populated Northern Territory in 1995 became the first jurisdiction in the world to legalise doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. But the Australian Parliament overturned that law in 1997 after four people had been helped to die. The Australian Parliament does not have the same power to repeal the laws of states such as Victoria. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who became a euthanasia advocate after his father died of cancer last year, has described the draft state laws as the most conservative in the world.

    Laws to legalise mercy killings have been narrowly rejected by three of Australia's six states. A euthanasia bill was defeated by a single vote in the South Australian House of Assembly a year ago and similar legislation was rejected by two votes in Tasmania's House of Assembly in 2013.

    Under the Victorian draft law passed by the lower chamber, only people registered on the electoral roll as living in that state would be eligible to access medical help to die. Candidates must be assessed by two doctors as having a terminal illness with less than a year to live and be in intolerable pain.

  • Addressing a press conference at the Adampur Air Force station in Jalandhar, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa stressed that it was a "government-to-government contract" and said that the IAF was getting 36 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft at a greatly "negotiated price".

    He added that two aircraft had been purchased in a fly-away condition as an emergency measure.

    The IAF chief's statement comes days after Congress party said that a "huge scam" was brewing in the Centre over the deal.

  • While welcoming Bill Gates, the Union Home Minister appreciated the various welfare works being undertaken by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in India.

    Rajnath Singh requested Gates to initiate health awareness programmes in India and suggested that the Foundation should concentrate on developing villages and make them "Model Villages" so that the local people get inspired.

    Bill Gates also explained about the various technologies being adopted by them in the field of agriculture and sanitation.

    In an exclusive interview with DD News, Bill gates assured that the Foundation will offer constructive support to India.