News

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    In the Fourth phase of General Elections 2019, Chatra, Lohardaga and Palmau Parliamentary Constituencies (PC) in Jharkhand would be going to polls on 29th April. Chatra(PC No. 4)is a Generalseat, Lohardaga (PC No. 12) is ST and Palamau (PC No. 13) is an SC seat.

  • 1.    Crude Oil

    Crude oil production[1] during March, 2019 was 2854.32TMT which is12.99 % lower than target and6.16% lower when compared with March, 2018.Cumulative crude oil production during April-March, 2018-19 was 34203.

  • The Repayment of following security is due as per details given below: 

    Table: Details of GoI Security maturing on June 12, 2019

    Sl. No.

    Name of Security

    Scheduled Date of Repayment

    Effective date of Repayment

    No Interest Accrual from scheduled date of Repayment

    (1)

    (2)

    (3)

    (4)

    (5)

    1.

  • A new Coast Guard vessel is commissioned by Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala Sri Tom Jose at Vizhinjam harbour, today, under the aegis of Regional Commander Western Region, Inspector General Vijay D. Chafekar.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to promote integrated farming practices to improve the productivity of livestock and double farmers’ income.

    Delivering the 8th Convocation address of Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, in Tirupati today, Shri Naidu said that Animal husbandry was vital for ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable agriculture system.

  • The selections for National Film Awards are made by an independent and impartial jury consisting of eminent film makers and film personalities and declared in the month of April every year.

    However, this year elections to the 17th Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assemblies of four states are underway and the Awards also include one for the most film friendly state.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon to people to take a pledge to preserve and promote their mother tongue. Stressing that there was a need to strengthen the campaign for preserving mother tongue, he urged upon State governments to make mother tongue mandatory up to primary school level.

  • Shri Rajendra Kumar Nayak took over as the 52nd Controller General of Defence Accounts on April 22, 2019. He is from the Indian Defence Accounts Service of 1983 batch.

    During the career span of more than 35 years, Shri Nayak has held important assignments in the Defence Accounts Department and on deputation in the Government of India.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon universities and institutions to constantly reform the system and ensure that higher education institutions deliver high-quality education.

  •  “The Government of India has put in place a robust plan to ensure that there is adequate supply of crude oil to Indian oil refineries from May 2019 onwards. There will be additional supplies from other major oil producing countries from different parts of the world.

  • The Delhi Unit of the Directorate General of Income-tax(Investigation) initiated search and seizure action on a Group in NCR, Bhopal, Indore and Goa based upon credible information of large scale collection, possession and movement of unaccounted assets, a few weeks back.

  • In a major success, the IEPF Authority has been able to enforce The Peerless General Finance and Investment Company Limited to transfer deposits worth about Rs 1514 Cr to IEPF. This depositor’s money was pending with the company for the last 15 years.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asked the youngsters and students to use science and technology and their intellect to bring in a positive change in the lives of people.

    Addressing the 1st Convocation of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Sri City (IIIT Sri City), in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh today, Shri Naidu called upon the youth to make impactful contributions to the society by providing solutions to pressing problems of the nation such as poverty, illiteracy, climate change, hidden hunger, urban-rural divide, and others.

  • IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti entered Qingdao, China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of 70TH Anniversary Celebrations of PLA (Navy) on 21 Apr 19. Entry of IN Ships was marked by firing of 21 gun salute to the Peoples Republic of China.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that a world-class higher education system was the need of the hour. Addressing students and faculty members of REVA University after inaugurating the State-of-the-art Architecture Block in the campus at Bengaluru today, he said that India’s quest for development would remain unfulfilled if we fail to create opportunities for quality higher education till the last mile.

  • To alleviate the challenges and sufferings of some of the critically injured Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, HE Shri Vinay Kumar, Ambassador of India presented 100 motorized wheelchairs to the ANA today.

  • The Government of India has announced the Sale (Issue/Re-issue) of (i) ‘7.32 per cent Government Stock, 2024’ for a notified amount of Rs. 5,000 crore (nominal) through price based auction, (ii) ‘7.26 per cent Government Stock, 2029’ for a notified amount of  Rs.

  • The Repayment of following Security is due as per details given below: 

     

    Table: Details of GoI Security maturing on June 03, 2019

    Sl. No.

    Name of Security

    Scheduled Date of Repayment

    Effective date of Repayment

    No Interest Accrual from scheduled date of Repayment

    (1)

    (2)

    (3)

    (4)

    (5)

    1.

  • PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES (PCs) VOTING ON PHASE-3 (23.04.2019)

     

     

    State/UT

     

    Number of Parliamentary Constituencies in Phase 3

     

    Total Number of voters

     

     

    Number of Male Voters

     

    Number of Female Voters

     

     Number of  Voters of Third Gender

     

    Number of

    Contesting

    Candidates

     

    Number of Polling Booths

    Assam

    4

    7477062

    3815335

    3661570

    157

    54

    9577

    Bihar

    5

    8909263

    4655306

    4244284

    225

    82

    9076

    Chhattisgarh

    7

    12713816

    6416252

    629699

    572

    123

    15408

    Goa

    2

    1135811

    555768

    580043

    0

    12

    1652

    Gujarat

    26

    45125680

    23428119

    21696571

    990

    371

    51709

    Jammu & Kashmir*

    1*

    527154

    269603

    257540

    11

    18

    714

    Karnataka

    14

    23968905

    12103742

    11863204

    1959

    237

    27776

    Kerala

    20

    26151534

    12684839

    13466521

    174

    227

    24970

    Maharashtra

    14

    25789738

    13319010

    12470076

    652

    249

    28691

    Odisha

    6

    9256922

    4799030

    4456729

    1163

    61

    10464

    Tripura#

    1

    1257944

    637649

    620291

    4

    10

    1645

    Uttar Pradesh

    10

    17810946

    9620644

    8189378

    924

    120

    20120

    West Bengal

    5

    8023846

    4106010

    3917624

    212

    61

    8528

    Dadra & Nagar Haveli

    1

    240858

    127628

    113230

    0

    11

    288

    Daman & Diu

    1

    119677

    59977

    59700

    0

    4

    152

    Total

    116

    188509156

    96598912

    86226460

    7043

    1640

    210770

    No of States/UTs in Phase 3

    16

     

    * Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC) in Jammu & Kashmir is going to polls in Phase III, Phase IV & Phase V of General Elections 2019, the only such PC in the country.

  • Goa will go to polls for General elections-2019 in thirdphase tomorrow i.e. on 23rd April. Polling will be held in two Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) - North Goa and South Goa. 

    As per the data available, Goa has 1135811 voters, which includes 555768 Male voters and 580043 Female voters.

  • A mosquito-borne disease, Malaraia is caused by the female anopheles and is life-threatening.

    When we are surrounded by mosquitoes that are capable of infecting us with this disease and worse forms of sickness, it only makes sense to take precautions.

    Here's what you should keep in mind:

    1) Clean Surroundings: Keeping your home and the area around it hygenic is the first step towards preventing mosquito breeding. Excess/ stagnant water must be avoided at all costs inside or immediately outside the house/office/schools/hosptials.

    2) Keep Doors and Windows Shut: Close the windows and doors of your house/office, especially during evening. Mosquitoes tend to enter buidling at that time and hide in the dark corners.

    3) Wear Full Clothes: Keep yourself covered to avoid mosquito bites.

    4) Use Mosquito Repellants: Creams, lotions and sprays are effective tools against mosquitoes. But avoid their overuse.

    5) Natural Remedies: If you're allergic to certain chemicals, use natural ways to prevent mosquito bites. Garlic and rosemary have mosquito larvicial properties. 

    6) Aromatic Plants: Rosemary, lemongrass, mint marigold, etc. are a good way to keep mosquitoes away through a strong aroma.

  • According to the Abu Dhabi-based national airline of the UAE, the flight EY484 landed in Brisbane on the day. 

    The milestone flight is part of Etihad's pledge to reduce single-use plastic usage by 80 per cent not just in-flight, but across the entire organisation by the end of 2022, the airline said in a statement.

    Etihad identified that over 95 single-use plastic products are used across its aircraft cabins. Once removed from the Earth Day flight, Etihad prevented over 50 kilograms of plastics from being landfilled.

    Guests on board enjoyed replacement products including sustainable amenity kits, award-winning eco-thread blankets made out of recycled plastic bottles, tablet toothpaste and edible coffee cups while children were treated to eco-plush toys.

    As a result of planning the Earth Day flight, Etihad additionally committed to remove up to 20 per cent of the single-use plastic items on board by June 1, the statement said.

    By the end of this year, Etihad will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service, the airline announced.

  • The Madras HC has lifted its earlier ban on the Chinese short-video app with the condition that the content hosted using it should be free from obscene videos of children and women. It also warned the company that if any controversial video violating its conditions is found posted using the app, it would be considered as contempt of court.

    The Madras HC had on April 3 directed the Centre to ban the Chinese app voicing concern over "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such apps. After the Supreme Court refused to stay the Madras HC order, tech giants Google and Apple had removed TikTok from their app stores in India to prohibit further downloads of the app.

    Welcoming Wednesday's Madras HC decision, TikTok said in a statement, "We are glad about this decision and we believe it is also greatly welcomed by our thriving community in India, who use TikTok as a platform to showcase their creativity." It added that the company's efforts to fight against misuse of the platform has been recognised.

    "The work is never done on our end. We are committed to continuously enhancing our safety features as a testament to our ongoing commitment to our users in India," it said.

    E-mails sent to Apple and Google enquiring the duration it would take for the app to be restored on the app stores did not elicit any response.

    TikTok's parent company Bytedance has stated that it remains "very optimistic" about the Indian market and plans to invest USD 1 billion in the country over the next three years. Bytedance, which also offers platforms like Helo and Vigo Video in India, also plans to increase the number of employees in India to 1,000 persons by the end of this year and about 25 per cent of these roles will be in content moderation.

     TikTok previously said around six million videos have been taken off its platform for violating the company's community guidelines. India is a critical market for social media platforms given the large population of 1.3 billion people.

    With increasing availability of affordable smartphones and cheap data plans, the country is also the largest mobile data consumer market globally -- an opportunity that global tech companies are vying to tap into.

  • The 30-share index was trading 42.83 points or 0.11 per cent higher at 39,097.51, and the NSE Nifty rose 22.95 points or 0.20 per cent to 11,749.10.

    In the previous session, the BSE bourse soared 489.80 points, or 1.27 per cent, to close at 39,054.68, and the broader Nifty climbed 150.20 points, or 1.30 per cent, to 11,726.15. Top gainers in the Sensex pack were Yes Bank, PowerGrid, L&T, HCL Tech, HDFC duo, NTPC, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, ITC, HUL and Bajaj Finance, rising up to 2.78 per cent.

    On the other hand, Maruti, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints, Infosys, Hero MotoCorp, TCS, Vedanta, Kotak Bank and RIL were among the top losers, shedding up to 0.83 per cent.

    According to traders, investors are cautious ahead of April futures and options (F&O) expiry. Sahaj Agrawal, DVP Derivatives, Kotak Securities said, "Nifty tested all time high levels recently after which some correction was seen.

    Broader sentiment has turned neutral indicating possibility of some consolidation/correction in the near term."

    Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth Rs 974.88 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 657.06 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed. The rupee, however, depreciated 17 paise to 70.04 against the US dollar in early trade.

    Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, were trading 0.03 per cent higher at USD 74.59 per barrel. Elsewhere in Asia, benchmark equity indices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a mixed note in early trade.

    On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average ended in the red on Wednesday. 

  • The five-time world champion, who heads the embryonic 2019 title race by six points after three races, has struggled to master the Baku circuit in the past and won last year only after Mercedes' team-mate Valtteri Bottas had a puncture when leading with three laps remaining.

    That disappointment was a body blow for Bottas who did not fully recover and failed to claim a win as Hamilton romped to his fifth drivers' crown.

    This time, Hamilton expects him, and Ferrari, to respond. "I was fortunate to get the win here last year," admitted Hamilton, who has developed a habit of turning unpromising races into valuable podium finishes or wins. "I wasn't quick enough really, right through the weekend so it will be interesting this time.

    "I'm expecting Valtteri to be quick and I expect the Ferraris to be particularly quick. It will be interesting. I'm going with a mind-set that I've got to improve on my previous performances." Victory last year was Hamilton's first at the tricky track made up of the season's longest -- and very fast -- straight and tight corners, some with little run-off and walls.

    A reinvigorated Bottas, winner of the season-opener in Melbourne, but beaten twice since then by Hamilton, has often relished such conditions. "I'm disappointed that I didn't win from pole in China and I know that was all about the start," he said. "It's all about details and learning from them. "That's life. It's how it goes sometimes. I know I can turn this around so that's my goal now. I would prefer to be leading." 

    After three outings, Mercedes have proved they are in form with three straight one-two finishes, the first team to do so since 1992 when Williams, now struggling, were the dominant force. Hamilton, however, has warned his team needs to be wary of Ferrari, wounded by their disappointing start after shining in pre-season testing.

    Already adrift by 57 points in the constructors' contest, they will be extra-keen to bounce back and end Mercedes' run. New boy Charles Leclerc, in particular, could be a major threat to Hamilton and Bottas as he is a slick street track specialist, won the Baku F2 race from pole in 2017, following his father's death, and is keen to prove Ferrari wrong to use team orders in favour of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel. "I love racing at Baku and scored my first F1 points there last year," said the 21-year-old Monegasque. "I always go well there."

    Hamilton, who spoke in support of an under-fire Vettel earlier this season, was this week hailed by former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger as the only man "on the same level" as his ex-McLaren team-mate Ayrton Senna. Berger's praise made clear that he saw nobody on the grid to equal Hamilton, an assessment sure to add vigour to Vettel's need for success.

    Ferrari fans may hope to see the raw power of their car's engines give them a speed advantage on the long Baku straights, but team chief Mattia Binotto was reluctant to encourage the tifosi's dream.

    "Let's wait -- Mercedes were very strong in China and Baku is a very difficult circuit," he said, hinting at the track's reputation for creating chaos and the unexpected. 

  • The manifesto was released in the presence of senior party leaders and all the seven candidates who are contesting on the party's ticket from Delhi.

    Senior party leader said that other than a central manifesto, each candidate would also come up with a constituency-wise manifesto which would list out local issues and how the party plans to counter them.

    The constituency-wise manifesto would be released in the first week of May.

    Delhi goes to poll on May 12 and the results would be announced on May 23.

  • Earlier, country’s police chief and defence secretary were asked to resign following the President's statement that he will make immediate changes in the high security positions as there was negligence in carrying out responsibilities.
     
    Meanwhile, security situation is slowly returning to normalcy as no major incident was reported on Wednesday. Security forces have taken control of all sensitive and important places with more than six thousand army jawans deployed across the country. The investigation into the attacks is continuing and several people were arrested from different areas in overnight operations.

    More than 60 people were arrested with 32 under CID interrogation. State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena told a media briefing on Wednesday that nine suicide bombers were involved at eight locations in the attacks and identity of eight of them have been established.

    Ruwan Wijewardena has expressed worry that most of the attackers were from well to do families and one of them even received his college education in Britain. Several suspects had travelled abroad in the past and their links with foreign terrorist organisations including ISIS is under probe.

  • Customers are allowed to embrace the adorable teacup pigs while enjoying coffee and dessert.

    The cute piggies are aged about two to four months, and weigh less than five kilograms.

    Visitors said the little animals are therapeutic and help relieve stress. "Their noses feel cool, but the bodies are so warm. How cute! I love little animals. I think the little pigs can heal my heart," said a customer.

    "I never expected such closeness between pigs and human beings. I am a busy staff member at work, but now with the little pigs here with me, I feel the wariness is all gone," said another customer.

    There are almost 1,000 pet cafes in Japan with the animals ranging from cats, dogs, bears and even hedgehogs.

    The market value of pet cafes in the country has reached about 13 billion U.S. dollars.

     

  • The leaders reiterated their request for counting at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips. This plea was turned down by the apex court earlier this month. 

    The court had then directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment in the ongoing general elections.

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday sought the review of the order saying that the increase from one to five is not a reasonable number.

  • Lieutenant General Shamseddine Kabbashi, spokesman of the ruling military council, told this to reporters after a meeting between the Council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change. The spokesman did not elaborate on the demands.

    The alliance has been demanding that the Council hand over power to a civilian administration.

  • Scientists led by Ali Erturk at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich have developed a technique that uses a solvent to make organs such as a human brain and kidneys transparent.

    The organ is then scanned by lasers in a microscope that allows researchers to capture the entire structure, including the blood vessels and every single cell in its specific location. Using this blueprint, researchers print out the scaffold of the organ and then load the 3D printer with stem cells which act as "ink" and are injected into the correct position making the organ functional.

    While 3D printing is already used widely to produce spare parts for industry, Erturk said the development marks a step forward for 3D printing in the medical field. Until now 3D-printed organs lacked detailed cellular structures because they were based on images from computer tomography or MRI machines, he said.

    "We can see where every single cell is located in transparent human organs. And then we can actually replicate exactly the same, using 3D bioprinting technology to make a real functional organ," he said. "Therefore I believe we are much closer to a real human organ for the first time now."

    Erturk's team plan to start by creating a bioprinted pancreas over the next 2-3 years and also hope to develop a kidney within the next 5-6 years.

    The researchers will first test to see whether animals can survive with the bioprinted organs and could start clinical trials within 5-10 years, he said.

  • The United Nations agency, issuing its first such guidelines, said under-5s should also be physically active and get adequate sleep to help develop good lifelong habits and prevent obesity and other diseases in later life.

    Sedentary screen time would include watching television or videos and playing computer games.

    Children between 1 and 4 years old should spend at least three hours in a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, WHO said, adding that infants under one should interact in floor-based play and avoid all screens.

    Being inactive is a "leading risk factor" for mortality and fuels the global rise in overweight and obesity, the WHO said.

    In a report two years ago, the WHO said the number of obese children and adolescents worldwide had jumped tenfold to 120 million in the past 40 years and that the rise was accelerating in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia.

    Excessive weight can lead to diseases including diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer, WHO said.

    Early childhood is a period of rapid physical and cognitive development during which habits are formed and family lifestyle routines are adaptable, it said in the guidelines, drawn from evidence in hundreds of studies, many from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States.

    Chronic insufficient sleep in children has been associated with increased excessive fat accumulation as measured by body mass index (BMI), WHO said.

    Shorter sleep duration has been associated with more TV viewing and time spent playing computer games, it added.

  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted marketing of the prescription-only device, called the Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System, last week.

    It is one of the first non-drug treatment of its kind to be sanctioned by the FDA and is suited for patients aged between seven to 12 years of age, who are not under prescription ADHD medication.

    ADHD is a common neurobehavioural disorder that begins in childhood. The symptoms include difficulty in staying focused, paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviours.

    The diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive evaluation by a health care professional.

    For a person to receive a diagnosis of ADHD, the symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity must be chronic or long-lasting, impair the person's functioning and cause the person to fall behind normal development for his or her age.

    The Monarch eTNS System is intended to be used in the home under the supervision of a caregiver. The cell-phone sized device generates a low-level electrical pulse and connects via a wire to a small patch that adheres to a patient's forehead, just above the eyebrows, and should feel like a tingling sensation on the skin.

    The system delivers the low-level electrical stimulation to the branches of the trigeminal nerve, which sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved in ADHD.

    While the exact mechanism of eTNS is not yet known, neuroimaging studies have shown that eTNS increases activity in the brain regions that are known to be important in regulating attention, emotion and behaviour. "This new device offers a safe, non-drug option for treatment of ADHD in paediatric patients through the use of mild nerve stimulation, a first of its kind," said Carlos Pena, director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement.

    The therapy should be administered only under the supervision of a caregiver, during periods of sleep.

    Clinical trials suggest that a response to the treatment using the eTNS requires up to four weeks to become apparent. The FDA recommends that the patients should consult with their health care professional after four weeks of use to evaluate treatment results.

    The Monarch eTNS system's efficacy in treating ADHD was demonstrated in a clinical trial wherein they compared eTNS as a sole treatment as opposed to a placebo device. A total of 62 children with moderate to severe ADHD participated in the trial and used either the eTNS therapy or a placebo device at home for four weeks.

    ADHD rating scales (RS) were used to access the severity and frequency of ADHD indicators. A higher score is a sign of worsening symptoms.

    The researchers concluded that at the end of the four weeks, the ADHD-RS scores decreased in the active group and there was a significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms.

    The few side effects observed with the use of the eTNS therapy were drowsiness, an increase in appetite, trouble sleeping, teeth clenching, head aches and fatigue. No adverse effects were reported with the use of the device, FDA said in a statement.

    The FDA warns that people who use implantable pacemakers, neurostimulators or body worn devices such as an insulin pump should not use this product. 

  • The efforts of South East Asia Regulatory Network (SEARN), WHO, to increase access of quality medical products is crucial to achieving universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals for ensuring healthy lives for all, said Regional Director of WHO, South East Asia Region, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, addressing the annual meeting of SEARN representatives from countries of the region.

    The WHO is committed to supporting the SEARN to enhance country cooperation, and in doing so, work towards sharing regulatory resources, she said.

    The meeting, which will develop a five-year strategic plan of action for the network, will also review progress made on quality assurance and standards of medical products, regulatory practices, vigilance of medical products, an Information Sharing Platform (ISP) and medical devices and diagnostics.

    "As the ISP matures, I trust you will share alerts and confidential information to ensure quality medical products reach all people everywhere in our very large and diverse region," Dr Singh said.

    During the meet, the SEARN representatives will also discuss efforts to build on the decisions taken at its second annual meeting in Colombo last year and the network's contribution to achieving the Delhi Declaration on Improving Access to Essential Medical Products, which was agreed by Ministers of Health from all the member states.

    The declaration at the South-East Asia Regional Committee in September last year included a call for allocation of sufficient financial resources for essential medical products by countries, as part of overall health financing strategies to reduce out-of-pocket payments by families, and agreements to strengthen national policies, pricing, procurement, regulation and to improve access to medicines and vaccines among others. 

  • A bench of justices N Kirubakaran and S S Sundar, which heard the matter as per the orders of the Supreme Court, warned if any controversial video violating its condition was found uploaded using the app, it would be considered a contempt of court.

    The high court on April 3 directed the Centre to ban the app "TikTok", used to create and share short videos, as it voiced concern over "pornographic and inappropriate content" being made available through such platforms.

    It had passed an interim order on a public interest litigation which sought a ban on the app on the ground that it allegedly carried contents that "degraded culture and encouraged pornography".

    Hearing a plea by the Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, challenging the ban, the Supreme Court refused to stay the high court order but asked it to raise its grievances before the high court. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna on Monday directed the high court to decide the plea for vacating its ban order. It also said if the Madurai bench does not decide the plea for interim relief on Wednesday, its ban order will stand vacated.

    When the matter came up before the high court, the bench passed the order lifting its ban after hearing submissions by central government advocate, counsel for TikTok and amicus curiae Arvind Datar. The counsel for the Centre submitted that a committee had been formed to recommend ways to regulate apps like TikTok. Once the panel submits it's recommendation, a bill will be passed in Parliament. The company's counsel said they were only an intermediary under the Information Technology Act. The platform users generate content and upload.

    TikTok has no role in selection and creation of content. However, there was a mechanism by which in-built security had been provided on the Tiktok platform for automatic deletion of obscene videos within 15 minutes of an upload. He also said that after the high court imposed the ban, six million controversial videos have been removed from TikTok.

    The counsel said the ban would affect the company's 250 employees and 5,000 others indirectly employed. Claiming that there were no complaints against TikTok from anywhere in the country, he said the company was appointing a nodal officer to deal with any issues.

    Datar told the court that online speech was protected under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution (freedom of speech and expression). Banning the app was not the solution and rights of legitimate users must be protected. On April 3, the high court said people were making cruel humour against innocent third parties.

    A majority of teenagers were playing pranks, gaffing around with duet videos sharing split screen to strangers. Even TV channels were telecasting such TikTok videos which should be prohibited. 

    The court said it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such applications. Petitioner Muthukumar has alleged that TikTok encouraged paedophiles and the contents were very disturbing.

    Stating that Indonesia and Bangladesh have already banned the app, the PIL said children who used the mobile application were vulnerable and may get exposed to sexual predators. 

  • Star campaigners of various political parties are making whirlwind tours at different places garnering support for their candidates.

    Senior BJP Leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address public rallies at Darbhanga in Bihar and Banda in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. The Prime Minister will also hold a road show in Varanasi. PM Modi is currently a sitting MP from Varanasi and will file his nomination from the seat on Friday. Roadshow will begin from Banaras Hindu University's iconic Lanka Gate where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will first pay floral tributes on the statue of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

    After starting from Lanka Gate 7 km long roadshow will pass through key locations of the city including Ravidas Gate,  Assi Chauraha, Shivalaya, Madanpura, Godolia, Kashi Vishwanath and will culminate at Dashashwamedh Ghat. Turncoat Shalini Yadav from Samajwadi party is alliance candidate here who is fighting against Narendra Modi on this seat while congress is yet to announce it’s candidate. Varanasi goes to polls in the seventh and final phase of elections on May 19. BJP President Amit Shah will also be in Uttar Pradesh, addressing rallies at Ghazipur and Unnao.

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi will hold public meetings at Jalore, Ajmer and Kota in Rajasthan. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be campaigning in Jalaun in UP.

    BSP Chief Mayawati is scheduled to address public rallies in Shahjahanpur and Kannauj in the state.

    In the fourth phase, voting will take place for 17 Parliamentary seats in Maharashtra; 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan; eight in West Bengal; six each in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh; five in Bihar; three in Jharkhand. Voting will also be held in all the polling stations falling in Kulgam district under the Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

    In Madhya Pradesh, Chhindwara is one of the important Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh. There are 14 candidates in this election from Chhindwada. The Congress fielded Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath against the BJP’s tribal leader Nathan Shah and BSP’s Gyaneshwar Gajbhiye while the chief minister will also contest the assembly by poll from Chhindwara assembly constituency. The party’s sitting MP, Kamal Nath, has won from the Chhindwara constituency 9 times since the 1980 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress will be hoping to retain the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency once again while the BJP will try to break the Congress tradition of winning the seat.

    In Maharashtra, in order to attract and encourage Mumbaikars to come and vote in large numbers, the state election commission has made elaborate plans. The state election commission has informed that each assembly constituency in suburban Mumbai will have a 'Sakhi matdan kendra'. These polling booths will be managed entirely by women. Rangoli and other art forms would be used to make these booths more attractive while cold drinks would be offered to all the voters at these booths. As a "goodwill gesture", the commission has decided to give a pack of sanitary napkins to all the women voters at these booths. Mumbai District Collector in association with state election commission had also organised a flash mob at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on Wednesday to urge commuters to vote and fulfill their social responsibility. More flash mobs are planned at Churchgate, Mumbai Central and Gateway of India in the coming days. Mumbai will vote in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha polls on Monday.
     
    Besides the 71 Lok Sabha seats, forty two of the total 147 Assembly seats in Odisha will also go to polls in this phase.
    Meanwhile, re-polling is being held on Wednesday in nine booths located in eight Assembly constituencies in Odisha. The constituencies are: Sorada, Bonai, Sundargarh, Daspalla, Attabira, Bargarh, Padampur and Brajarajnagar. Voting was affected in these booths due to various reasons, including procedural errors and damaging of an EVM by a candidate.

    Re-polling is also taking place at one polling station in 37-Tyui Assembly Constituency in Wokha district of Nagaland. Re-polling is also being held at a polling booth in Agra Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. It was ordered by the Election Commission after the presiding officer wrongly did some votes after the polling by pressing a button of the control panel of the EVM.

  • An option to report Twitter messages as being misleading about voting was being added to the one-to-many messaging service's app in India and Europe, with a promise it would be expanded globally through the year.

    "Any attempts to undermine the process of registering to vote or engaging in the electoral process is contrary to our company's core values," the Twitter safety team said in an online post. "We are further expanding our enforcement capabilities in this area by creating a dedicated reporting feature within the product to allow users to more easily report this content to us."

    Twitter teams entrusted to review reported content have been trained as part of an enhanced appeals process in the event tweet removal decisions are challenged, according to the San Francisco-based company. "You may not use Twitter's services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections," the safety team said.

    Examples of misleading information fired off in tweets included falsely asserting people could vote by email, phone, text messages or even using Twitter messages.

    Tweets have also been used to trick people into going to the polls on the wrong days or times, missing opportunities to cast ballots.

    Twitter and other online social media services have been under pressure to prevent their platforms from being used to spread falsehoods aimed at influencing voting, as appeared to be the case in the US presidential election in 2016.
     

  • AB de Villiers' unbeaten 82 off 44 balls took RCB to a healthy 202 for 4 and things could have gone awry with young Nicholas Pooran (46 off 28 balls) hitting five sixes at the rear before Saini sealed it in the 19th over.

    Kings XI Punjab finished at 185 for 7 as RCB are now on eight points with three games left.

    Needing 30 off the last two, Saini (2/33), who is one of India's fastest bowlers produced a hostile over in which he removed the dangerous David Miller and Pooran but more importantly gave away only three runs.

    Saini bowled fast and into the body of the batsmen, who couldn't really get going and his aggression became the defining factor in the end.

    Defending 27 runs off the final over, Umesh Yadav (3/33) was better than the other night against CSK as he got a couple of wickets. With four wins in the last five games, RCB will hope to win the remaining three and expect a few favourable result to make it to the play-offs as rank outsiders.

    Kings XI Punjab started the chase in earnest as KL Rahul (42 off 27 balls) and Chris Gayle (23 off 10 balls) added 42 in less than four overs to set the ball rolling.

    Mayank Agarwal (35 off 21 balls) continued the flurry of fours during his 59-run stand with Rahul. Rahul and Mayank were out in quick succession before Pooran and David Miller (24) took charge with some lusty hitting added 68 off 8 overs as it boiled down to 30 off the final two overs. However both Saini and Umesh did well to get another two points for the RCB.

    Earlier, AB de Villiers' scintillating half century and a 121-run stand with Marcus Stoinis propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore to 202 for four after being put into bat. Sent into bat, De Villiers scored a brilliant unbeaten 82 off 44 balls with three fours and seven sixes, while Stoinis hammered 46 off 34 balls with two fours and three sixes.

    In the last two overs, both Stonis and De Villiers hamered 45 runs off Mohammad Shami and Hardus Viljoen. After reaching his 50 off 35 balls, De Villiers, smashed Shami for three sixes, plundering 18 runs in the penultimate over. In the last over, both Stoinis and De Villiers hammered 27 runs off Viljoen, which helped the hosts to race past 200 runs mark.

    Put into bat, opener Parthiv (43 off 24 balls) and Virat Kohli gave a rollicking start getting 35 runs on board in 18 balls but RCB captain was dismissed by Shami after he was caught by Mandeep Singh at extra cover. Parthiv then got into the act for RCB, hitting out of the park Shami for three boundaries and a six in sixth over, who conceded 18 runs in his third over.

    The left-hander also was severe on Ankit Rajpoot, hitting him for four boundaries and a six. The wicket-keeper batsman did not last long as he was caught by Ravinchandran Ashwin off Murugan Ashwin, after he had smashed seven 4s and two sixes.

    Looking good at 71 for 2 in 38 balls, RCB lost two quick wickets of Moeen Ali (4) and Akashdeep Nath (3), leaving RCB at the crossroads way 81 for 4. De Villiers brought up the fifty runs partnership for fifth wicket with Stionis with a mighty six over deep mid-wicket off Murugan.

  • Chitra defended the title she had won in the 2017 edition to give India its third gold medal while Ajay Kumar Saroj (men's 1500m) and the women's 4x400m relay team clinched a silver each at the Khalifa Stadium.

    Sprinter Dutee Chand added a bronze in women's 200m to take India's medal tally to 3 Gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze. But there was a late drama as India was initially declared to have won a silver in men's 4x400m relay with a time of 3:03.28, behind Japan (3:02.94) but the jury later disqualified the team for impeding an athlete after protest by China.

    The disqualification was done under rule 163.2. India filed an appeal against the jury's decision to disqualify its team from the 4x400m relay race but it was rejected. China, who initially finished third, was given the silver while Qatar was upgraded to bronze from fourth position.

    The jolt reduced India's total medal by one from 18 to 17 but did not, however, result to any changes in India's standing in the medal tally. India had won 29 medals (12 Gold, 5 silver, 12 bronze) in the last edition in Bhubaneswar in 2017, topping the medal tally for the first time.

    This time, Bahrain topped the medal tally with 11 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze, followed by China (10 gold, 13 silver, 7 bronze), Japan (5 gold, 4 silver, 9 bronze) and India. This was the second time since 1983 that China has been pushed to the second spot. India did that in 2017 while Bahrain did the same this time. India's tally of 17 medals can be considered creditable as the team was a depleted one without some of the medal contenders, including star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, due to injuries.

    The championships as usual did not see some of the best athletes in the world who preferred to focus on the World Championships to be held at the same venue in September-October.

    For India, the spotlight of the final day fell on Chitra as she beat two Bahraini runners to clinch the gold in the women's 1500m race.

    She overtook Bahraini runner Tigest Gashaw just a few metres before the finishing line to win the race in 4 minute 14.56 seconds. This was India's third gold of the championships after Gomathi Marimuthu (women's 800m) and Tejinder Pal Singh Toor (men's shot put) won a yellow metal each on the second day on Monday.

    Gashaw clocked 4:14.81 for the silver while another Bahraini Mutile Winfred Yavi took the bronze in 4:16.18. "Got a little nervous towards the end being next to Bahraini runner (Gashaw Tigest). She beat me to third place in Asian Games. I had to really push hard in the end," said the 23-year-old Chitra who had won a bronze in the Jakarta Asian Games.

    Chitra had won gold in the 2017 edition in Bhubaneswar in 4:17.92. While Chitra defended her title, her male counterpart Saroj (1500m) and the women's 4x400m relay team failed to do the same.

    Saroj, who had won gold in 2017, clocked a season best time of 3 minute 43.18 seconds to clinch a silver behind Bahrain's Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich who clocked 3:42.85.

    The women's 4x400m relay quartet of Prachi, Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and VK Vismaya finished second with a time of 3:32.21, behind the Bahraini quartet who clocked 3:32.10. Dutee, who had finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m final on Tuesday after smashing national record twice, clocked 23.24 seconds to win the bronze in the women's 200m. After falling behind in the first 100m, she covered a lot of ground in the final 100m stretch and got past three competitors at the finish line.

    Salwa Naser of Bahrain expectedly took the gold in 22.74 while Olga Safronova of Kazakhstan was second in 22.87. The 23-year-old Dutee, who had won a 200m silver in the Jakarta Asian Games, still missed the World Championships qualifying mark of 23.02.

    She has a personal best of 23.00. "I am really very happy. I missed a medal in 100m & relay. I put too much effort in 100m, was not sure of medal in 200m. Just did my best & I am happy," Dutee said.

    In the women's discus throw, Navjeet Kaur (57.47m) and Kamalpreet Kaur (55.59m) came up with disappointing shows to finish fourth and fifth respectively. 

  • Security forces are following a zero tolerance policy against terrorism, and are working relentlessly to eradicate terrorists from Kashmir valley.

    While addressing a joint press conference, the army along with the Jammu and Kashmir police said that 272 terrorists were killed in the valley last year, and, 70 so far this year.

    Out of the 70, 46 terrorists belonged to Jaise-E-Mohammad. Many terrorist base camps have also been eliminated and the JeM leadership has been wiped out from the valley.

    The army said that operations against terrorists will continue in full earnest to contain the menace of terrorism. 41 terrorists have been killed since the Pulwama attack.

    The forces maintain that the security environment in the state is stable and there has been a reduction in incidents of stone pelting and local recruitment of terrorists.

    A good example of this positive change is the peaceful conduct of Lok Sabha polls so far. Security forces presented some recently nabbed LeT terrorists before the media who had crossed over with the intention of spreading mayhem.

    They had received training in Pakistan. Meanwhile, sources revealed that at least 10 terrorists, who had crossed over to Pakistan and set up businesses across the border with active aid of the ISI were involved in funnelling weapons, narcotics, fake currency to terrorists and funds to separatists in Jammu and Kashmir through the recently suspended cross-LoC trade.

    Sources said that they belong to Jammu and Kashmir are either based in Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Pakistan or Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

    Last week, India indefinitely suspended trade across the Line of Control at two points in Jammu and Kashmir. Some reports were found which stated that arms, drugs, and counterfiet currency were being smuggled across the border via these trading points.

  • Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi are campaigning hard in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. While Rahul promised a better deal for farmers and job-seeking youth, if voted to power; Priyanka appealed to people to put an end to divisive politics of the BJP. Meanwhile, BJP MP from Delhi Udit Raj quit the party and joined the congress on Wednesday.

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi lead the Congress Party's campaign in UP addressing rallies in Lakhimpur Kheri and Kanpur.

    In Lakhim pur Kheri Gandhi was addressing an election rally to boost the prospects of Zafar Ali Naqvi for the Lok Sabha seat and its nominee for the Nighasan assembly bypoll Atal Shukla. He raised the isssue of dues of sugarcane farmers at the rally. In Kanpur he promised government employment for the youth.

    Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi addressed a rally at Fatehpur in UP which is going to polls in the fifth phase . Where she urged voters to help end the politics of divisiveness and negativity and usher in politics that redresses their grievances.

    Amidst speculation that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Varanasi she criticised PM Modi for neglecting his constituency.

    Priyanka also held a road show in Mahoba...to canvass for Pritam Singh Lodhi Kisan, the Congress candidate from Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat.

    A day after being denied a ticket by the BJP, its MP from North West Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Udit Raj switched loyalties.

    He met Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday morning before formally joining the Congress.

    Udit Raj jumped ship, after BJP chose Punjabi sufi singer Hans Raj Hans over him as its candidate from North West Delhi.

    Bollywood star turned Congress candidate from north Mumbai, Urmila Matondkar kicked off her campaign in style. She is facing off against sitting BJP MP Gopal Shetty. Mumbai votes on the 29th of April.

  • On Wednesday, BJP Chief Amit Shah addressed two rallies, appealing for votes for NDA candidates in Bihar.

    In Munger, he campaigned for JDU candidate Lallan Singh. Slamming the Congress for adopting a soft stance against terrorism, he spoke of how the NDA govt in Bihar had ride the state of hooliganism, corruption, and jungleraj that existed under the RJD govt. He credited NDA with bringing the state back on the path of development .

    Shah said that Prime Minister Modi had promised Bihar assistance worth Rs. 1.25 lakh crore and work worth Rs. one lakh 10 thousand crore has already begun.

    In Begusarai, he campaigned for Union Minister Giriraj Singh. Amit Shah hit out at the National Conference and the Congress who are hand in glove in their demand for a separate Prime Minister for Jammu and Kashmir.

    Shah asserted but nothing can separate Kashmir from India. He said that it was the responsibility of the people of Begusarai to ensure that the 'Tukde Tukde' gang does not come to power.

    UP CM ADDRESSES RALLY IN CHANDAULI 

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed number of rallies in the state. Recounting the many successes of his govt at a rally in Chandauli he said the wish in every citizen's heart was ' Phir ek bar Modi sarkar'.

    SMRITI IRANI IN CAPAIGNS IN AMETHI

    Union Minister Smriti Irani is busy campaigning in her constituency Amethi. On Wednesday she addressed a rally in which she lambasted Rahul Gandhi for doing nothing for his constituency.

    PRAGYA THAKUR HOLDS ROADSHOW IN BHOPAL

    In Bhopal meanwhile, BJP's Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur held a roadshow after she filed her nomination papers. And in some relief for Pragya Singh Thakur the NIA court quashed an application to stop her from fighting the elections .

    For BJP, Friday will be very significant, as Pm Modi is scheduled to file his nomination from his constituency Varanasi. The filing will be preceded by a mega road show.

  • The first rally of the day was in Lohardaga. Attacking the congress and the opposition parties, Prime Minister said that the opposition is certain of its defeat after the third phase of polls and so are shifting the blame on EVMs.

    Targeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi indirectly, Prime Minister said some of those who dream of becoming prime minister are not even able to win the assembly seats of their constituency.

    Prime Minister 's next rally was at Bolpur in West Bengal. Taking on the Mamta govt, he said the reports from the polling so far suggests that reign of Mamta Bannerjee is coming to an end.

    Massive crowds welcomed the prime minister as he drove to the rally ground in Ranaghat, people queued up along the roads and many perched precariously on trees and rooftops to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister.

    PM lashed out at the West Bengal Govt at Ranaghat. He said if Didi has the support of goons, we have the power of democracy backing us. Prime Minister appealed to people to vote for a strong govt at the centre.

  • President Bhandari will also hold delegation level bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping followed by signing of agreements in various areas.

    She will meet senior Chinese leaders and address a joint meeting of business community from Nepal and China.

    On her way to Beijing, Nepali President will also visit Xi’an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province.

    While returning home, she will visit Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

    In both places, she will meet with the provincial leaders.

    President Bhandari is accompanied by a high level delegation including Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Chief Minister of Province No. 3, Dor Mani Paudel and Members of Parliament.

    She will return Kathmandu on 2nd of next month. This is the first visit of Nepali head of the state to the northern neighbor since she was re-elected as president of Nepal for a second term in March 2018.

  • The officer said the couple apparently did not have a happy marriage and had frequent fights.

    Rohit Shekhar was allegedly smothered to death on April 16.

    Apoorva was being questioned from Sunday last in connection with the killing. Discrepancies were found in her statements which led police to suspect her involvement.

    Rohit's mother Ujjwala on Sunday had alleged that her daughter-in-law Apoorva and her family were money-minded and wanted to acquire the family property. She had earlier said the couple had started having fights right from the first day of marriage.

    Further details are awaited. 

  • KKR have suffered five defeats on the trot, exposing their over-reliance on Andre Russell, and Karthik has copped criticism for not promoting the big-hitting West Indian up the order.

    Chosen ahead of the young Rishabh Pant in the World Cup squad in a debatable decision, the Tamil Nadu veteran, who was KKR's leading run-getter last season, is struggling for runs with an average of 16.71 from nine outings.

    Facing a must-win situation ahead of the remaining four matches, head coach Jacques Kallis has backed the under-fire skipper to script a 2014-like turnaround when they won their second title with nine wins in a row.

    The frustration in the team management was palpable when Karthik, along with other under-performing India players, including Kuldeep Yadav, were given a couple of days break following their nine-wicket rout of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match.

    "I think the guys are frustrated, and we felt they needed a break. DK went home for a day as well. It's about getting the guys refreshed and just trying to be mentally up for the game again," Kallis has said.

    The biggest letdown for the team has been its bowling unit, especially the spinners who have lacked sting at the Eden Gardens, something that was its main strength during the title-winning campaigns in 2012 and 2014.

    The famed trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyus Chawla have accounted for just 16 wickets from 10 matches, summing up their misery. That Kuldeep has got four wickets and was left out in Hyderabad was more worrying as they seek to revive their fortunes against a team they had beaten convincingly in the first leg.

    The seam attack too has been ordinary and they may be forced to rejig their bowling attack once again.

    Clinging to one spot below KKR at seventh in the eight-team standings, Rajasthan Royals' fate too hangs by the thread. They showed urgency with Steve Smith replacing Ajinkya Rahane as the captain ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians.

    The move has clicked and RR were able to bring their campaign back on track beating Mumbai. Rahane, too, roared back to form with an elegant century, albeit in a losing cause, against Delhi Capitals in their last match.

    Teams (from): Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Matt Kelly, KC Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.

    Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Shubham Ranjane, Ashton Turner, Steve Smith, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi, Prashant Chopra, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Aryaman Birla, Riyan Parag, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Liam Livingstone, Varun Aaron, Jos Buttler, Shahshank Singh, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi.

  • After hitting an intra-day high of 38,701.52, the 30-share index was trading 75.37 points or 0.20 per cent higher at 38,640.25.

    The NSE Nifty too rose 21.15 points or 0.18 per cent to 11,597.10.

    In the previous session, the BSE bourse settled 80.30 points, or 0.21 per cent, lower at 38,564.88 and the broader NSE Nifty too slipped 18.50 points, or 0.16 per cent, to close at 11,575.95.

    Top gainers in the Sensex pack were ONGC, IndusInd Bank, HDFC twins, Reliance, PowerGrid, Asian Paints, L&T, Bajaj Finance, HCL Tech and Yes Bank, rising up to 2.90 per cent. On the other hand, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Vedanta, Maruti, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma, Kotak Bank, SBI, Bajaj Auto and ITC were among the top losers, shedding up to 1.86 per cent.

    According to traders, market sentiment turned positive as investor took positive cues from US equities and easing crude oil prices. Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, were trading 0.50 per cent lower at USD 74.14 per barrel. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq ended at record highs on Tuesday amid a slew of better-than-expected earnings reports.

    Elsewhere in Asia, benchmark equity indices in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were trading in the red in early trade. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold equity worth Rs 237.47 crore on Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased shares to the tune of Rs 198.35 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

     

  • A study, published in the journal Sleep Health, found that reducing your sleep routine during the work-week greatly interferes with job performance.

    The researchers from University of South Florida in the US found workers are more likely to have poor judgement and fall off-task the next day.

    Researchers surveyed 130 healthy employees who work in Information Technology and have at least one school-aged child.

    Participants reported that when they slept 16 minutes less than usual and had worse quality sleep, they experienced more cognitive issues the next day. That raised their stress levels, especially regarding issues related to work-life balance, resulting in them going to bed earlier and waking up earlier due to fatigue.

    "These cyclical associations reflect that employees' sleep is vulnerable to daily cognitive stress and also a contributor to cognitively stressful experiences," said Soomi Lee, assistant professor at University of South Florida. "Findings from this study provide empirical evidence for why workplaces need to make more efforts to promote their employees' sleep.

    Good sleepers may be better performers at work due to greater ability to stay focused an on-task with fewer errors and interpersonal conflicts," said Lee.

    Researchers also compared work-days to weekends.

    They conclude the consequences of less sleep is not as apparent when one has the next day off from work. 

  • PM Modi spoke on several non-political issues, his personal life and even his love for mangoes!

    The PM spoke on if he ever thought that one day he will become the Prime Minister of India.

    He also spoke on why he doesn't have his family living with him at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi.

    PM Narendra Modi, during his interaction with Akshay Kumar, even revealed instances about his friendship with members of the opposition parties, especially Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mamata Banerjee.

    On being asked why he only sleeps for about 3.5 hours in a day, PM said he doesn't feel the need for more and shared that even former US President Barack Obama coaxes him to get more sleep.

    The PM went on to say that he avoids using humour in today's times as he fears that his words will be twisted and misinterpreted for TRP.

    About his fashion style, the PM said being careful about his appearance could possibly be a psychological reaction to an inferiority complex which he had felt while growing up in poor conditions.

     

    WATCH THE FULL INTERACTION:

     

  • The North Korean leader is believed to be seeking support after failing to reach an agreement with US President Trump on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme at Hanoi earlier this year.

    Russia says that situation in the Korean peninsula had stabilised somewhat in recent months and Russia intends to help in any way possible to cement that positive trend.

    Russia has previously been involved in talks to end North Korea's nuclear programme.

  • The meeting will take place in Paris on May 15, and will be co-chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.

    Ardern said the March 15 terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed, saw social media used "in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate".

    The mosque attacks were live-streamed on the Internet and showed distressing footage of the gunman him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children. Nearly six weeks after the massacre, social media sites are still struggling to stamp out copies of the gunman's video.

    "We're calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris," Arden said.

    The meeting will be held alongside the "Tech for Humanity" meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, and France's separate "Tech for Good" summit also scheduled for May 15.

    "We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared," Ardern said. "It's critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism."

    New Zealand has banned both the livestreamed footage of the attack and the manifesto written and released by Brenton Tarrant, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 of attempted murder following the mosque attacks.

  • The epicenter of the shallow quake was about 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Along, and 180 kilometres southwest of the state capital Itanagar.

    It struck at 1.45 am (2015 GMT Tuesday).

    No report of any casualty has been seen yet.

  • Top leaders of various political parties are addressing rallies across the country on Wednesday.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address public meetings at Gumla in Jharkhand and at Bolpur and Ranaghat in West Bengal. 

    BJP president Amit Shah will address rallies at Munger, Begusarai and Samastipur in Bihar.

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address public meetings at Lakhimpur Kheri, Unnao and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi will address rallies at Fatehpur, Mahoba and Hamirpur in the state.

    BSP Chief Mayawati will address rallies at Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. 

  • India has been nominated as the “Guest of Honour” country at the Book Fair.

    The Fair will be held in the UAE capital from 24-30 April.

    Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, stated that India's selection as the guest of honour reflects the strong relations between the leadership and the people of the UAE and India, as well as their vision of cultural cooperation. He added that 30 publishing houses from India will take part in the fair, along with leading Indian writers and authors, to highlight the shared cultural diversity between India and the UAE.

    A three-member team from the Publications Division is also participating in the Book Fair. Books on the life and struggle of Mahatma Gandhi will be on display as a special focus as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations. 

    A special presentation shall be made by the Publications Division on the 100 volume series of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi in a bid to reach out to the international audience.

    The annual fair is a major event in the publishing sector in the Middle East and North Africa and is a platform for local and international talent to present their work and communicate with the sector’s leaders and influencers. 

    The fair’s 29th edition will involve over 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries, who will showcase 5,00,000 books.
     

  • "Heavy rains have since claimed 33 lives so far," Nomusa Dube-Ncube, a KwaZulu-Natal provincial minister said in a statement.

    Among those killed were a six-month-old baby and a child aged around 10. She added that 10 children are missing in Durban and 42 people have been injured.

    At least 145 people have been displaced, the government said.

    Heavy rains have lashed South Africa in recent days, with the southern and eastern parts of the country badly hit since the start of Easter weekend. "Last night the weather conditions worsened significantly," Dube-Ncube said.

    Government said dozens of incidents of collapsed walls and flooded homes were reported throughout the night, as roads were also flooded.

    Those killed were either crushed to death by mudslides or drowned in flood waters, Rescue Care spokesman Garrith Jamieson said.

    Search and rescue operations have combed the debris for those who might be trapped underneath. In addition to collapsed buildings and flooded roads, sewer lines were blocked and electricity pylons had toppled over.

    South African military personnel have been dispatched to help rescue and evacuation efforts. Government, political and religious groups were Tuesday handing out food parcels to the affected people. The South African Weather Services warned that more heavy rain and gale force winds were expected until Wednesday, which could threaten low-lying bridges and roads. 

  • World number one Bajrang Punia logged 10 points in a row in the gold medal bout to reclaim his Asian Championship crown.

    He defeated Kazakhstan's Sayatbek Okassov 12-7 in a nail-biting 65 kg men's freestyle final. 

    It is Bajrang's second gold at this championship, having won one in 2017. 

    Another Indian Parveen Rana, lost to Bahman Mohammad Teymouri of Iran in the final 0-3 in 79 kg category securing a silver medal.

    In 97 kg category, Satywart Kadian, picked a  bronze medal defeating Haobin Gao of China by 8-2.        

  • At least 18 people were arrested overnight for suspicion in involvement in Sunday attacks which has killed 321 people so far. 

    President Sirisena said he will make immediate changes in the high security positions as there was negligence in carrying out responsibilities. He said although there was an intelligence report about these attacks, he was not informed about them.

    Addressing the nation Tuesday night, President Sirisena disclosed that since 2017, there were intelligence information about emergence of terrorist groups and the fact that some of them receiving training in foreign countries.

    Earlier, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said some people are on the run and security forces are trying to prevent further attacks. He said that it will take a bit of time for normalcy to return to the country.

    Wickremsinghe accepted that India has shared specific intelligence about the attacks and there is strong cooperation between the two countries on terrorism.

    The Prime minister said that there are foreign links behind the attacks and investigations are on to probe ISIS links. His comments came as ISIS took responsibility for the attacks saying it is in response to shootings at Christchurch mosque in New Zealand.

    Earlier, a government minister stated that Sunday’s attacks were carried out in response to Christchurch incident. The minister said Sri Lanka's National Thowheed Jamaat group, which was believed to have carried out the attacks, had close links with a group called JMI. 

  • The top court said it will hear on April 30 the criminal contempt petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi against Gandhi along with the pending review petition against the December 14, 2018 verdict in the Rafale fighter jet deal. It rejected Gandhi's plea to close the criminal contempt petition filed by Lekhi.

    On hearing senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, on behalf of Gandhi, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: "We deem it fit to issue notice to the respondent (Rahul) Gandhi."

    While the BJP was once again in attack mode after the notice, the Congress said Rahul Gandhi didn't intend to commit contempt of court.

    Rahul Gandhi had expressed "regret" on Monday over his remarks in connection with the Rafale judgment and said in his affidavit that his statement was "purely political". 

    The apex court on April 15 had given a categorical clarification that in its Rafale verdict there was no occasion for it to make a mention of the contemptuous "chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain" observation. Meenakshi Lekhi had filed a contempt petition after Rahul Gandhi's comment. 
     

  • As Sri Lanka and the world continues to mourn the mindless massacre of over 320 people on Easter in Sri Lanka, the Islamic States claimed responsibility for the horrifying terror attack in Sri Lanka. In a statement issued through its propaganda 'Amaq' news agency, the ISIS claimed that "the executors of the attack that targeted citizens of coalition states and Christians in Sri Lanka two days ago were with the group,".

    Meanwhile, citing the findings from the initial probe, Sri Lanka's state minister of defence, Ruwan Wijewardene in an address to the Parliament, said that the suicide bombings were in retaliation of the deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

    A surveillance footage of the suspected bomber has also surfaced, carrying a heavy backpack and walking on the street before heading into the St. Sebastian's Church. International police organization, INTERPOL has deployed a team to Sri Lanka to assist investigations. Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested so far.

    Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena showed foreign diplomats pictures of suspected bombers and gave a briefing to diplomats based in Colombo. Silence was also observed to mourn the dead.

    Sri Lanka has declared a full day of national mourning across the country. National flags were lowered to half mast and three minute of silence was observed to pay homage to those who died. A state of emergency is also in effect in the country. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena visited Negombo where over 100 people were killed in the blast at St Sebastian's Church

    Meanwhile, it has emerged that India had specifically warned about the attacks in an intelligence advisory early this month but Sri Lankan government failed to take adequate steps. 10 Indians among 38 foreigners were killed in the attack.
     

  • On Tuesday, as polling was held for the 3rd phase there was no let up in campaigning by political parties. Congress Chief Rahul  Gandhi campaigned in Madhya Pradesh's Shahdol and Jabalpur alongwith Dungarpur in Rajasthan.

    In Dngarpur, he said that when billionnaires avail loans they go off scot free without repayment while farmers are sent to jail for the same offence.

    He said that farmers would not have to face such a situation if the Congress came to power in 2019

    In Jabalpur, again Rahul promised jobs for the youth if the Congress was voted to power ...
     
    Meanwhile, party General secretary Priyanka Gandhi visited Rae Bareilli district hospital where she took stock of the medical facilities and the enquired abbout the hcondition of party workers injured in a car accident on Sunday.

    She then went onto the home of local MLA Devi Dayal Shastri who passed away last week and offered her condolences.

    Thereafter in Amethi she addressed party workers and directed them on campaign strategies and discussed other issues.

    Amid speculation that she might contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she would abide by the party decision in this regard.

    NOMINATION PROCESS CONTINUES

    And in the midst of all the campaigning the nomination filing process continues. Former Chief Minister Shiela Dixit filed her nominations from North-east delhi with much fanfare while Ajay maken filed his from the New Delhi LS seat.

    Arvinder Singh Lovely filed his papers as the candidate from East Delhi while boxing superstar Vijender Singh filed his from the South Delhi seat.

    And in Sonepat Bhupender Singh Hooda filed his nominations while in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Congress candidate Dhaniram Shandil filed his papers.

  • Tuesday proved to be an unusually busy day for Prime Minister Narendra Modi after casting his vote as the Pradhan Sevak of the country in Ahmedabad, he held several rallies and road shows reaching out to voters for the remaining phases.

    His first rally was in Kendrapara in Odisha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the Congress and opposition parties are spending sleepless nights as the Lahar or wave for the BJP has become a 'lalkar' or challenge for them after the first two phases of elections.

    Emphasising that not a single charge of corruption has surfaced against the BJP-led government in the past five years, PM Modi said those who have been levelling false allegations have found themselves in the dock.

    PM's next stop in the state was Balasore. He slammed the Congress for failing to demonstrate India's defence capability in space, claiming that the previous governments were only concerned about the interest of a 'namdar' family, not the country's security.

    Next in Asansol in West Bengal, Prime Minister Modi mocked Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee for dreaming of becoming the PM and said she would have bought the post with the money looted from chit fund scams had it been up for auction.

    Late in the evening, Prime Minister held a roadshow in Ranchi. The enthusiasm of the crowds was visible as they lined the roads. Prime Minister reciprocated the warmth in equal measures.
     

  • Age was no barrier as their enthusiasm and sense of responsibility led senior citizens to polling booths. Many of them have been voting for decades and never lagged behind when it came to playing their part in strengthening democracy.

    It was a milestone event for millennial as they thronged polling stations to translate into votes the excitement for exercising their franchise for the first time. First time voters flashed their ID cards with a sense of pride as they cast their vote.
     

    Election commission made special arrangements to ensure that differently abled persons don't face any difficulty while casting their vote. This helped Divyang voters turning up in large numbers and exercise their franchise.

    In Goa, Divyang voters were also given badges reading "most valued voter". Voters lauded the efforts of the election commission.

    Women Voters across the states were seen queuing up since the very morning waiting for their turn to cast vote... They gave their male counterparts a run for their money when it comes to playing an active part in the democratic process voting for a better future, an empowered tomorrow... The percentage of women voters was more than the men voters in the previous rounds of polling.

    What else could be more important on a wedding day for a bride, other than marriage itself. Well it is exercising one's franchise. A bride in Rajkot in Gujarat, turned up at a polling station and cast her vote before heading for the mandap. In Pune also, a bride visited a polling station and exercised her franchise.

    Transgender voters also came out and exercised their franchise.

    Over 18 crore 85 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the third phase of Lok Sabha Polls. With people from all walks of life queuing up to cast their votes, they once again reiterated their strong faith in democracy and commitment to strengthen it further.

  • Before going to cast his vote, Prime Minister Modi sought his mother Hiraben's blessings at her residence. Prime Minister's mother put a tilak on his forehead and gifted him a red duppata as a blessing even as they shared sweets and some quality time together.

    Prime Minister then headed out to vote at a polling booth in Nishan Higher Secondary School in Ranip in Ahmedabad in an open jeep.

    Ahead of PM's arrival, BJP President Amit Shah and his family had reached the polling station to receive the Prime Minister.

    Prime Minister shared some fun-filled interacted with Amit Shah's grand daughter and flashed the victory sign.

    After casting his vote, Prime Minister said, he was fortunate to be part of the democratic exercise.

    BJP President Amit Shah also cast his vote in Naranpura area of Ahmedabad as did veteran BJP leader LK Advani and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

    Another BJP heavyweight who voted in phase three was Dharmendra Pradhan who queued up at a polling booth in Talcher in Odisha.

    Prakash Javadekar cast his vote in Pune, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in Rampur and Goa CM Pramod Swant in Panaji.

    Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his wife cast their votes in Rajkot.

    Alongwith his family members, Chhattisgarh Chief Minsiter Bhupesh Baghel voted in Patan assembly segment of Durg Lok Sabha seat.

    Odisha Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik exercised his franchise in Bhubaneswar in Odisha and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Kannur, in Kerala.

    IN UP, SP President Akhilesh Yadav voted with his family in Saifai and his estranged uncle and Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav exercised his franchise in Firozabad, from where he is also in the fray.

    In Bihar, Sharad Yadav and Pappu Yadav who are challenging each other on Madhepura Lok Sabha seat cast their ballots.
     
    NCP leader Supriya Sule cast her vote in Baramati from where she has been fielded again by the NCP.

    Karnataka's former CM and BJP Karnataka President BS Yeddyurappa voted in Shimoga. from where his son is in the fray even as Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge voted in Gulbarga from where he has been fielded again by the Congress.

    In West Bengal, Congress leader Abhijit Mukherjee cast his ballot in Jangipur from where he is in the fray once again.

    Those from the film fraternity were part of the dance of democracy too Malyalam film actor Mohanlal cast his vote in Thiruvananthpuram and Mammootty in Kochi in Kerala.

    The festival of democracy thus saw vibrant participation across people from all walks of life.

  • Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe on Tuesday said some people are on the run and security forces are trying to prevent further attacks.

    He said that it will take a bit of time for normalcy to return to the country. Wickremsinghe accepted that India has shared specific intelligence about the attacks and there is strong cooperation between the two countries on terrorism.

    The Prime minister said that there are foreign links behind the attacks and investigations are on to probe ISIS links.

    His comments came as ISIS on Tuesday took responsibility for the attacks saying it is in response to shootings at Christchurch mosque in New Zealand.

    Earlier, a government minister stated that Sunday’s attacks were carried out in response to Christchurch incident. 

    The minister said Sri Lanka's National Thowheed Jamaat group, which was believed to have carried out the attacks, had close links with a group called JMI. 

    Earlier, Prime Minister stated in parliament that Muslim people are against the extremists involved and they will not allow another 30 year old war. 

    Wickremsinghe said Sri Lanka has entered into an era of global terror networks with Easter bombings and is different from other conflicts the country had. 

    He said the country has been offered assistance by many countries and international organizations including the UN to combat terrorism. 

    Former President and leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa slammed the government for not taking action despite warnings.

    He said when the 30-year war came to an end on May 2009, no one expected terrorism to resurface.

    Meanwhile, the death toll in Sunday’s attacks on churches and hotels reached 321 including 34 foreign nationals, including 10 Indians. 

    Government schools will remain closed for the week while universities are closed till further notice.

  • BJP President Amit Shah fought his first Lok Sabha election from BJP stronghold Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi contested from Wayanad in Kerala, his second seat besides Amethi and Mulayam Singh Yadav was in the fray from his family stronghold of Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh.

    Three states Gujarat, Kerala and Goa saw polling for all Lok Sabha seats and on some seats in 12 more states and Union Territories.

    Voter enthusiasm for the festival of democracy was palpable in all the 4 corners of the country. Voters irrespective of age, gender and class came out of their homes in large numbers to exercise their franchise.

    Long queues of voters were seen outside polling booths...since the morning. Voting started on 117 parliamentary seats on Tuesday morning...and ended at most places at 6 PM barring sensitive areas.

    Voting continued beyond the scheduled time to allow voters queued up in polling booths to cast their votes. The117 Lok Sabha seats where polling concluded on Tuesday were spread across 13 states and 2 Union Territories.

    There were 18 crore and 85 lakh registered voters in this phase who sealed the fate of 1640 candidates in EVM machines. The Election Commission had made arrangements for free and fair polls.

    Central and state police forces were deployed, besides lakh of poll officials. In Gujarat, polling concluded for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat peacefully in the third phase.

    In Kerala too, polling was peaceful on all the 20 Lok Sabha seats and voters voted in large numbers. 14 seats each of Maharashtra and Karnataka also witnessed polling in the third phase.

    Long queues of voters were seen in the two states. 10 seats of Uttar Pradesh saw peaceful polling at 20,116 polling booths in 12,128 polling stations in the third phase.

    People braved the scorching summer heat in the state to cast their votes. Polling was smooth, barring few instances of complaints of EVM malfunctioning in Rampur and Badaun.

    Polling took place for a few seats in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Odisha. Complaints emerged of malfunctioning of EVMs from some places in Assam which led to the EVMs being replaced.

    Polling concluded on 6 Lok Sabha seats and 42 assembly seats in Odisha in the third phase. Voting took place for the 3rd phase of polling in Bihar on 5 Lok Sabha seats.

    In Goa, people voted for both the Lok Sabha seats in the state besides three assembly seats where bypolls were held. In J&K, Polling took place for the first phase of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat amid extensive security arrangements for free and fair polling.

    In the north east, polling concluded on the Tripura East parliamentary seat. Besides, voting took place on 1 Lok Sabha seat each in Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

    High-profile candidates in the fray in the third phase were BJP President Amit Shah, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, SP patriach Mulayam Singh, Union Ministers Santosh Gangwar, Anant Kumar Hegde, and Ramesh Chandappa.NCP candidate Supriya Sule, Congress candidate Mallikarjun Kharge, SP candidate Azam Khan, BJP candidates Jaya Pradesh and Varun Gandhi, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party candidate Shivpal Singh Yadav.

    Voting has concluded on 302 Lok Sabha seats by the end of polling in the third phase on Tuesday. Anantnag will be voting in 2 more phases.

    With curtains coming down on the 3rd phase, all eyes will be on whether there is similar voter enthusiasm in the subsequent phases of polling as well.

     

    VOTER TURN OUT ACROSS STATES

     
    Gujarat                     62.46%
    Kerala                       70.44%
    Karnataka                 66.5%
    Maharashtra             57.59%
    Uttar Pradesh           60.76%  
    Chhattisgarh             68.25%
    Odisha                      58.18%
    West Bengal              79.36%
    Bihar                          59.97%
    Assam                       80.74 %
    Goa                            71.68%
    Jammu & Kashmir     12.86%
    Tripura                 78.67%
    Dadra & Nagar Haveli 71.43%
    Daman & Diu               65.34%

  • The Indian version of "Luther", which is yet to be titled, will be developed by Aditya Birla Group's Applause Entertainment. This will be the second Asian version of "Luther" after the award-winning South Korean remake, "Less Than Evil", a press release issued by the makers said.

    "We have produced and premiered an Indian version of 'Criminal Justice', which has been well received by the audience. We at Applause are always on the lookout for premium dramas we can produce for Indian viewers, and are proud to once again partner with BBC Studios on 'Luther'.

    "The original 'Luther' has a tremendous international following, and we believe that an Indian version will work well in our region," Sameer Nair, CEO of Applause Entertainment, said in a statement.

    Prior to "Luther", BBC Studios and Applause Entertainment have worked together on iconic BBC formats "The Office" and "Criminal Justice", of which the latter successfully premiered recently on Hotstar.

    Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM of South and South East Asia, BBC Studios, is pleased to work with Applause Entertainment to deliver this high-end drama to viewers in India.

    "Applause is known for its focus on creating premium drama, and we believe that they will be able to do the format justice. We look forward to its success," she said.

  • The tool, called FitRec, was trained on a dataset of more than 250,000 workout records for more than 1,000 runners, according to scientists from the University of California San Diego in the US.

    This allowed computer scientists to build a model that analysed past performance to predict speed and heart rate given specific future workout times and routes. FitRec also is capable of identifying important features that affect workout performance, such as whether a route has hills and the user's level of fitness.

    The tool can recommend alternate routes for runners who want to achieve a specific target heart rate. It also is capable of making short-term predictions, such as telling runners when to slow down to avoid exceeding their desired maximum heart rate.

    The team was able to develop the tool partially because they were among the first to collect and model a massive fitness dataset for academic research. However, developing FitRec was no easy feat as the fitness dataset has a huge number of workout records, but only a small number of data points per individual.

    "Personalisation is crucial in models of fitness data because individuals vary widely in many areas, including heart rate and ability to adapt to different exercises," said Julian McAuley, a professor at UC San Diego.

    "The main challenge in building this type of model is that the dynamics of heart rates as people exercise are incredibly complex, requiring sophisticated techniques to model," researchers said.

    To build an effective model, computer scientists needed a tool that uses all of the data to learn but at the same time can learn personalised dynamics from a small number of data points per user.

    Enter a deep learning architecture called long short-term memory networks (or LSTM), which the researchers adapted to capture the individual dynamic behaviours of each user in the dataset.

    Researchers fed the networks a subset of a public dataset from endomondo.com, an app and website that function as a workout diary. After cleaning up the data, researchers wound up with more than 100,000 workout records to train the networks.

    They validated FitRec's predictions by comparing them with existing workout records that were not part of the training dataset. In the future, FitRec could be trained to include other data, such as the way users' fitness levels evolve over time, to make its predictions.

    The tool could also be applied to more complex recommendation routes, for example safety-aware routes. However, in order for the tool to be used in commercial fitness apps, researchers would need to have access to more detailed fitness tracking data and deal with various data quality issues.

  • "The way my father (film star Dharmendra) was attached with Atalji, today I have come to join Modiji. Whatever I can do for this family (BJP), I will do it... I won't talk, I will show you through my work," Deol said while addressing the media at the Bharatiya Janata Party office here. The party is likely to field Deol, who has acted in films such as "Ghayal" and "Damini", from either Gurdaspur or Chandigarh in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, according to sources.

    Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab was represented by the late Vinod Khanna from BJP. Sitharaman said,"The moment we got to know that he is coming to the party, I can only relate to the film Border he had made, post which the impact on the Indian audience of such a theme was really proven... The feeling of nationalism and patriotism, when so beautifully evoked through a film, can really touch the core of Indian citizen."

    Deol understands the pulse of people and was inspired by the work done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is serving the cause of the people, and keeping India's glory high, she said. He is an artiste of such eminence who make films beyond commercial considerations on the themes that are important for the country, Sitharaman said. Hema Malini, the BJP candidate from Mathura, is Deol's stepmother. 

  • Researchers Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP) and the Federal University of Para (UFPA) in Brazil identified possible therapeutic effects of curcumin, the yellow powder derived from the roots of the turmeric plant.

    "We undertook a vast review of the scientific literature on all nutrients and bioactive compounds with the potential to prevent or treat stomach cancer and found that curcumin is one of them," Danielle Queiroz Calcagno, a professor at UFPA.

    According to Calcagno, compounds such as cholecalciferol (a form of vitamin D), resveratrol (a polyphenol) and quercetin can prevent or combat stomach cancer because they are natural regulators of histone activity. Histones are proteins in cell nuclei that organise the DNA double helix into structural units called nucleosomes, according to a study published in the journal Epigenomics.

    Each nucleosome is made of DNA coiled like a spool around eight histone proteins (a histone octamer) to compact the DNA so that it fits in the cell, where it is packaged into chromatin.

    Posttranslational chemical modification of the amino acid chain in these proteins, such as acetylation (introduction of an acetyl group) or methylation (addition of a methyl group), can affect chromatin compaction and hence gene expression.

    "If the histones are acetylated, for example, the chromatin will be less condensed, and a gene in a region of the DNA segment inside it will be available to be expressed. In contrast, if the histones aren't acetylated, the chromatin will be more condensed, and the gene won't be expressed," Calgano said.

    Researchers studied histone acetylation patterns in stomach cell samples from healthy individuals and patients diagnosed with stomach cancer. They found that the cells from stomach cancer patients displayed alterations in the pattern of expression of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs).

    These alterations are epigenetic and affect the structure and integrity of the genome in many tumors, including stomach cancer. Recent research has also shown that nutrients and bioactive compounds can regulate the activity of HATs and HDACs, the scientists at UNIFESP and UFPA set out to identify any that might influence histone acetylation and hence help prevent stomach cancer or even treat the disease.

    In addition to curcumin, other compounds found to play a key role in modulating histone activity were cholecalciferol, resveratrol (present mainly in grape seeds and red wine), quercetin (abundant in apples, broccoli and onions), garcinol (isolated from the bark of the kokum tree, Garcinia indica), and sodium butyrate (produced by gut bacteria via fermentation of dietary fiber).

    "These compounds can favor the activation or repression of genes involved in the development of stomach cancer by promoting or inhibiting histone acetylation," Calcagno said.