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Former Supreme Court judge PC Ghose appointed India's first Lokpal            Goa CM Pramod Sawant to face floor test            Political activities gain momentum ahead of Lok Sabha polls            Kazakhstan President resigns after nearly 30 years in power            SAAF C'ship: India take on Bangladesh; Nepal face Sri Lanka in semis           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
15.03.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • France to freeze all assets of Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, chief Masood Azhar.
  • In New Zealand, 49 people killed after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the Christchurch city.
  • President Ramnath Kovind gives away National Grassroots Innovators Awards at Grambharti near Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister directs Mumbai Municipal Commissioner to initiate preliminary enquiry into yesterday's bridge collapse incident and fix responsibility by this evening.
  • In Abu Dhabi Special Olympics today India is competing in several games including Badminton, Powerlifting and Swimming.

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France has decided to freeze all assets of Pakistan based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, JeM chief Masood Azhar, in application of the country's Monetary and Financial Code.
The French government's Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, said, France has always been and always will be by India's side in the fight against terrorism. It said, France has decided to sanction Masood Azhar at the national level by freezing his assets in application of the Monetary and Financial Code.
A joint statement issued by the French interior ministry, finance ministry and foreign ministry said that France would raise the issue with its European partners with a view to including Masood Azhar on the European Union list of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts.
The decision comes after China blocked the UNSC bid to designate Azhar as global terrorist on Wednesday. France, was one of the main initiators of the proposal.
Jaish e Mohammad claimed responsibility of the deadly Pulwama attack on CRPF convoy on 14th of last month.

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In New Zealand, a gunman opened fire at two mosques killing 49 people and seriously injuring 20 others in Christchurch city. The mosques were packed with worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the toll and termed the shooting as one of country's darkest days. Condemning the attack, she said that there is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence. 
"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days. Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and an unrepresented act of violence. The persons who have perpetuated this violence against us have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme an unprecedented violence which is, it is clear this act was."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the gunman responsible for the New Zealand shootings was an Australia-born citizen. Speaking at a press conference, Morrison described the attacker as an 'extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist'.
New Zealand police say they have detained four people in connection with the deadly shootings and have neutralised a number of improvised explosive devices found.
The city has been placed in lockdown as police is hunting for an active shooter. The police said, the risk environment remains extremely high and they are responding with their full capability to manage the situation.
Indian High Commission in New Zealand expressed shock on the shooting in Christchurch.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh cricket team's tour of New Zealand has been called off in the wake of the attack. The players were reportedly approaching the Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park in the bus, when the shooting broke out. Bangladesh were scheduled to play New Zealand in the third and final Test of the series, beginning from Saturday. The International Cricket Council has shown its full support for the cancellation of the test match.
Political leaders across the world have expressed their disgust at the deadly New Zealand shooting.

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President Ramnath Kovind today awarded National Grassroots Innovators at Grambharti near Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Prakash Singh Raghuvanshi from Uttar Pradesh has been awarded life time achievement award for his innovations in new varieties of agriculture crops. The first prize in Veterinary, Herbal medication for coccidiosis was presented to Periyasami Ramasami of Salem, Tamil Nadu. The President also inaugurated the exhibition of Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the event has been organised in Gujarat because it is the land of innovators and entrepreneurs and also because country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of one of the greatest Gujarati, Mahatma Gandhi.
"NIF has created a huge date base of ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge practices from all over the country. It has recognised over 800 grassroots innovators through awards and it has had hundred of innovations validated throughout our institutions."
Our correspondent reports that Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship - FINE is an initiative to recognise, respect, showcase, and reward innovations and foster supportive ecosystem for innovators. This festival is being organised by National Innovation Foundation in association with the department of science and technology - Government of India. The aim of this festival of innovation and entrepreneurship is to provide platform for new innovators for building linkages with potential stakeholders.

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The Special Observers appointed by the Election Commission will leave for Jammu this afternoon for fresh assessment of the ground situation for holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
The team comprising Vinod Zutshi, Dr Noor Mohammad and AS Gill arrived in Srinagar yesterday and had meetings with Congress, PDP and few other political party delegations in Srinagar.
The team also had meetings with security and divisional administration officials and other stakeholders in Srinagar to have first hand account of all aspects of situation in Kashmir region. Talking to AIR News, Chief Election Officer J&K Shailendra Kumar said: 
"स्पेशल ऑब्जर्वर आए हैं दिल्ली से श्रीनगर। श्रीनगर में पोलिटिक्ल पार्टी से मुलाकात की और डीओएस से और एसएसपी से बातचीत की है। अब जम्मू में जा के जम्मू के पोलिटिक्ल पार्टी से मुलाकात करेंगे और डीओएस और एसएसपी से मुलाकात करेंगे। इलेक्ट्रो रॉल हमारे पास है। हमारे तरफ से तैयारी है।"
The team would hold similar exercise in Jammu besides meeting the Chief Secretary and State Police Chief.

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The Election Commission has announced by-elections for Dhrangadhra, Manavadar and Jamnagar Rural Assembly constituencies in Gujarat. The notification will be issued on the 28th of this month and polling will be held on 23rd April, along with voting for state's 26 parliamentary seats. Counting will take place on 23rd May, along with general election results.
The by-polls have been necessitated due to the resignation of Congress' sitting MLAs - Parshottam Saparia from Dhrangadhra, Jawahar Chavda from Manavadar and Vallabh Dharaviya from Jamnagar Rural. They have quit the party and joined the ruling BJP.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, Ajoy Mehta to initiate preliminary enquiry and fix responsibility by this evening into yesterday's bridge collapse near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. He has also ordered a high level enquiry into the collapse of a portion of the foot over bridge killing six people and injuring many others. The state government has also announced compensation of 5 lakh rupees to the families of each of the deceased. 
"स्ट्रैक्चरल ऑडिट करने के बावजूद अगर इस प्रकार से ब्रिज कोलैप्स होता है तो सारी चीजों पर सवालिया निशान खड़ा होता है और इसके लिए उसकी एक उच्चस्तरीय जांच तो होएगी। लेकिन साथ ही मैंने म्युनिशिपल कमिश्नर को यह भी कहा है कि इसकी प्राथमिक जांच करके शाम तक इसकी प्राइमरी रिस्पॉन्शिबिलिटी जो है, उसको फिक्स करे, क्योंकि इस प्रकार की घटनाओं में किसी को बक्श ने का कोई कारण नहीं है और निश्चित रूप से अगर ऑडिट हुआ है और इसके बावजूद ये पुलिया गिर रहा है तो इस ऑडिट के ऊपर भी एक सवालिया निशान खड़ा होता है और इसके लिए उसके ऊपर भी निश्चित रूप से जांच की जाएगी।"
Mr. Fadnavis today visited the St.George and GT hospitals to meet the injured people undergoing treatment. He also visited the spot where the mishap took place.
Meanwhile, the police have registered an FIR against officials of Central Railway and the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in connection with the incident.
The Bombay High Court will hear the matter on the mishap next Friday.

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Today is World Consumer Rights Day. The day is observed to raise global awareness about consumer rights and needs. The day was inspired by former US President John F Kennedy, when he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights in the US Congress on 15th March 1962. It was first celebrated in 1983. Here is a report:
"The theme for World Consumer Rights Day this year is ‘Trusted Smart Products’. It highlights what consumers need from a connected world and how important it is for them to know about the digital products and services. Consumer rights means that every buyer or consumer across the world has the right to have information on the quality, quantity, purity, price and standard of various products, goods and services. People must be aware of Basic Consumer Rights like Right to Safety, Right to Information, Right to Redress, Right to Consumer Education, Right to Basic Needs, Right to Choose and Right to be Heard. In India, for complaint and redressal, National Consumer Helpline has been established which is 1800-11-4000 or 14404. With Anupam Mishra, Shiela, AIR News, Delhi.

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Senior Assam Minister and Convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance, NEDA, Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that decision on Citizenship Amendment bill will be taken on consultation and consensus. Talking to newspersons in Guwahati along with Asom Gana Parishad leaders, he said that both the parties have not changed their positions on the bill. Mr. Sarma however said that both the parties will sit together in a bid to make consensus over the issue. Mr. Sarma said that BJP National President Amit Shah will hold a meeting with Asom Gana Parishad tomorrow and also with the members of the North East Democratic Alliance on Sunday in New Delhi.

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Former Congress leader from Haryana Arvind Sharma has joined the BJP. He joined the party in presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar in New Delhi.

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A Congress delegation, led by R P N Singh met the Election Commission in New Delhi today and complained about the hoardings of the Prime Minister at petrol pumps and airports. The party demanded that such hoardings be removed at the earliest as model code of conduct is already in place. Talking to media, after meeting the Commission, Mr Singh said, the Commission has assured that it has sought the report by tonight about any such hoardings. The party had earlier submitted a representation to the EC regarding the hoardings. 

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The Supreme Court today sought the Election Commission's response on opposition leaders' plea on counting of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips of 50 per cent of EVMs in each constituency before the declaration of results in the upcoming General Elections.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi also asked the commission to depute a senior officer to assist the court and posted the matter for next hearing on March 25.

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The Supreme Court today stayed the Meghalaya High Court judgment convicting The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri in a contempt case.
The top court stayed the operation of the judgment by which the high court had also imposed a fine of 2 lakh rupees each on the editor and the publisher.
The case relates to an article published by the paper on the perks and facilities for retired judges and their families.

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The Supreme Court has set aside the life ban on cricketer S Sreesanth, imposed by the BCCI. A bench comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and K M Joseph said the disciplinary committee of the BCCI may reconsider within three months the quantum of punishment to be given to Sreesanth. Disciplinary committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI imposed the ban on Sreesanth for his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.

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Benchmark domestic stocks today continued winning rally extending gains for fifth straight session in afternoon trade.
Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange surged 327 points to trade at 38,082. Nifty at National Stock Exchange was also up 97 points at 11,441. 

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In the Abu Dhabi Special Olympics today India will be competing in Badminton, Powerlifting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Football, Basketball,  Handball and Roller Skating. Team India is the second largest contingent after the host UAE with 387 players, along with coaches and other staff.

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