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NEWS AT NINE

2100 HRS

19.10.2017

NEWS AT NINE

THE HEADLINES,

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrates Diwali with Indian Army and BSF jawans at Gurez Valley in Jammu and Kashmir; Says, government is committed to the betterment of Armed Forces.
  • Prime Minister also interacts with over 25,000 BJP workers in Gujarat and Varanasi via audio bridge on the occasion.
  • The festival of lights being celebrated across the country with pomp and show; Kali puja also being observed in several states.
  • India strongly condemns Taliban attack on Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province that killed 43 soldiers.
  • A Pakistani court indicts ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in a corruption case.
  • Heavy rain lashes several parts of Odisha due to depression in Bay of Bengal.
  • And in Asia Cup Hockey, India beat Malaysia 6-2 in their second Super-4 stage match at Dhaka.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today celebrated Diwali with the jawans of Indian Army and Border Security Force in the Gurez Valley near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It was the fourth successive Diwali that the Prime Minister has celebrated with the jawans on the border. Mr Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings. Addressing the jawans, Mr Modi said, the Centre is committed to the welfare and the betterment of the Armed Forces, in every way possible. In this regard, he mentioned the implementation of One Rank, One Pension, which had been pending for decades.

Mr Modi also said, like everyone else he too wishes to spend Diwali with his family and therefore he has come among the jawans of the Armed Forces whom he considers to be his family.

The Prime Minister also spoke of the new resolve that each Indian citizen must make for 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.

"After September 2014 devastating floods in Kashmir, Narendra Modi visited highest and coldest battlefield Siachen Glacier and celebrated Diwali with troops. Later he spent a working Diwali in capital city Srinagar. In 2015, Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with jawans in Amritsar at Dogra war memorial. Last year, Modi celebrated Diwali with ITBP jawans in Himachal Pradesh. Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has thanked Modi for spending Diwali in Gurez and urged him to gift all weather tunnel under Razdan Pass and mobile connectivity to the people and troops in Gurez Valley on the festive occasion."

Mr Modi made a video call to the crew of Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Tarini, which is currently on a mission to circumnavigate the globe. Mr Modi conveyed Diwali greetings to the crew on behalf of the nation. He also wished them success in their mission.

The Prime Minister also interacted with over 25,000 BJP workers of Gujarat and his parliamentary constituency Varanasi from his residence through audio bridge. To more than 2,000 workers and their families in Varanasi, Mr Modi said, the journey of development in the entire parliamentary constituency is progressing fast and thousands of party workers have significant contribution in the success. He said, the poor, villagers, farmers, women and the youth of Varanasi have received new opportunities for progress through various schemes of the government.

Mr Modi communicated with four different groups of more than 23 thousand BJP workers in Gujarat. He said, the people of Gujarat are connected to BJP with emotional unity because they are progressive and development oriented. The Prime Minister said, in the last 22 years BJP governments brought all round development in Gujarat and the identity of the state is known for its development.

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The festival of lights is being celebrated across the country with pomp and show. In the national capital, the air quality this evening is better than last year's Diwali. According to Central Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index value was 319 which falls in very poor category. Last Diwali, it was 431 which was severe. Last week, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of firecrackers during the festival to see effects of its suspension in the light of the severe pollution and smog-like conditions.

Now we bring you a report from Chandigarh correspondent on the celebrations in Punjab and Haryana.

In Uttar Pradesh, markets are also flooded with decorative items, Diyas, and flowers on the auspicious day. Our correspondent reports:

"More light and less noise is reflecting the eco friendly mood of the people in the state this Diwali. Houses and temples are seen adorned with decorative lights and garlands. In villages, people are using earthen lamps and candles to lit their houses and crossroads. More than 25 Lakhs pilgrims have taken dip in holy mandakini river in Chitrakoot till now. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited village of tribal and dalit community in Gorakhpur and distributed sweets and clothes to them. He later took part in a special pooja and Deepdan in Gorakhnath temple. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Air News, Lucknow."

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Modi have greeted the people on Diwali.

Kali puja is also being celebrated today in several states including West Bengal, Odisha, Tripura, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Reports of Diwali celebrations are also pouring in from across the world. US President Donald Trump also celebrated Diwali in the White House along with senior Indian-American members of his administration.

In Australia, iconic Sydney Harbour and Opera House lit up in golden lights during the celebrations in Down Under.
Diwali was also celebrated in Spain with massive response seen to the first public Diwali Mela in Madrid.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has greeted the Hindu community on the occasion.

Here is a report from our Dubai correspondent on the Diwali celebrations there:

"Indian expatriate community is reportedly the largest ethnic community in UAE and the cultural influence of the growing Indian community can be easily seen during Diwali time . The streets of Dubai is wearing a festive look with the sky rises decorated in dazzling colourful lights and lanterns. Indian expats dressed in traditional clothing have adorned their homes with the traditional toran , rangoli and diyas. Most Indian households do the Ganesh and Lakshmi Puja and a token display of firework in permitted areas only . The mega malls and the popular market Meena Bazaar are decorated with lights giving a life time of  shopping experience to the people , theme activities and endless fun for the entire family. KANCHAN PRASAD, AIR NEWS, DUBAI."

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India today strongly condemned the terror attack on the Afghan National Army base in Kandahar province that claimed the lives of at least 43 soldiers. The External Affairs Ministry said, New Delhi is gravely concerned about the recent escalation of terrorist violence against Afghanistan, despite hopes recently kindled by new strategies as well as efforts for bringing peace in the country. The Ministry said, the terror attacks demonstrate that safe havens and support systems continue to be available to the terrorists. It said, states hosting the terrorists and their sanctuaries must eliminate them immediately and without distinction.

Taliban had launched a major attack on the army base in Maiwand district of Kandahar province last night. The attack began with two suicide car bombings, setting of several hours of fighting. The Defence Ministry said, of the 60 soldiers manning the base, 43 were killed, nine injured, and six were missing. At least nine terrorists were also reportedly killed.

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A Pakistani anti-graft court today indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law for allegations linked to ownership of posh London flats. Maryam and Safdar were present in court, but Sharif sent a representative while he tends to his ailing wife in Britain. The three have pleaded not guilty.

Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court in July for not declaring a source of income that he disputes receiving.

Meanwhile, a special team of Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog has reached UK to probe the offshore assets of Nawaz Sharif and his children. The team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had prepared four corruption and money laundering cases against Sharif's family and one case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for having assets beyond known sources of income.

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The Lahore High Court today extended the house arrest of Mumbai terror attacks mastermind and banned Jamaat-ud-Dawah Chief Hafiz Saeed for another 30 days. A court official said, the Punjab Judicial Review Board granted the extension after listening to the arguments of the government's law officer. The detention will be applicable from the 24th of this month. The board, however, refused to extend the detention of Saeed's four accomplices.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Kedarnath in Rudrapryag district of Uttrakhand tomorrow. Mr Modi will lay the foundation stone of different reconstruction works at Kedarnath. He is visiting Kedarnath a day before the closure of the portals of the shrine for winter season.

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Odisha Governor SC Jamir was today admitted to a hospital in Bhuwanshwar after he complained of chest pain. Doctors said, Mr Jamir is stable, but under observation.

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The well-marked low pressure area in west-central Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression. Under its impact, heavy rain and thundershowers are lashing several parts of Odisha. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"The Bhubaneswar Met office today said depression is likely to intensify into a deep depression and cross the Odisha coast between Puri and Chandbali by midnight tonight or early tomorrow morning. As the depression is moving north-­northwest wards and close to Odisha coast,  the weathermen say intensity of rains are likely to increase in costal, interior and southern Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal during next 12 hrs. It also predicts a possibility of heavy rainfall at some places in the southern districts of the Odisha. The Met bulletin said Saturday onwards, rains will reduce significantly across Odisha and West Bengal due to the northwards movement of the system towards Assam and Meghalaya. SN Pattnaik, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."

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The domestic stock markets held a special one-hour muhurat trading session from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm today, to mark the start of Hindu Samvat year 2074. During the session, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange declined 194 points to close at 32,390.

The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange dropped 64  points to 10,147.

<><><> 

In Asia Cup Men's Hockey, India defeated Malaysia, 6-2 in their second Super-4 stage match against Malaysia at Dhaka this evening. A report:

"It was a power-packed performance from India as they completely outclassed Malaysia and bettered their chances of making it to the Final. India dominated majority of the game, and didn't allow the Malaysians to settle at any stage. Akashdeep, Harmanpreet Singh, SK Uthappa, Gurjant Singh and SV Sunil sounded the board before the end of the third quarter as India were cruising 5-0. Malaysia got their act together in the final quarter with goals from Ramadan Rosli and Razie Rahim, but it was a little too late. India now lead the table with 4 points. They had drawn against South Korea, 1-1 in the opener yesterday. India will next play arch rivals Pakistan on Saturday in their final Super-4 game. The top-two teams at the end of the stage will make it to the title clash which will be played on Sunday. SAVVY HASAN KHAN FOR AIR NEWS"

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In Badminton, Rio Olympics and World Championship Silver medalist PV Sindhu has made a shocking first round exit from the Denmark Open Superseries Premier tournament at Odense. The world number two lost to an unseeded Chinese Chen Yufei in straight games, 17-21, 21-23. It was Chen's first victory over Sindhu who had earlier defeated the Chinese twice.

World number 12 Saina Nehwal, however, entered the pre-quarterfinals with a brilliant, 22-20, 21-18 win over Carolina Marin of Spain.

Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy also made it to the last-16. They will play for quarterfinal berths later tonight.

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India today lost their number one status in ICC ODI rankings to South Africa.  By virtue of South Africa's 104-run win over Bangladesh in the second ODI in Paarl yesterday, the Proteas jumped to the top spot, leapfrogging India.

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