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'Iraq begins battle to retake Tal Afar, IS bastion near Mosul'

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | AFP | Baghdad

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al- Abadi announced early today the start of a battle to retake Tal Afar, a key Northern Iraqi bastion of the Islamic State (IS) group and one of their last remaining strongholds in the region. The announcement comes a month after the capture by Iraqi forces of second city Mosul further east in a major blow to the jihadists. In a televised speech, Abadi, dressed in military uniform and standing in front of an Iraqi flag and map...

Terrorism & graft-free India in 5 yrs Modi's target: Singh

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Jammu

Union minister Jitendra Singh today said terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was in its last phase as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set a target to wipe it out from the country in the next five years. He said that just as the period between 1942, when the Quit India movement was launched by Mahatma Gandhi, and 1947, when India got freedom, witnessed important developments, the five years of the Modi government would free India from terrorism, corruption and poverty. "The prime...

Mangled coaches pose tough challenge for track clearance

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Muzaffarnagar

Building on overnight search and rescue operation, the railways today deployed high-tech cranes and scores of workers to clear the tracks even as the sleepy town of Khatauli tried to come to terms with the train tragedy. Two heavy duty 140-tonne cranes were pressed into service at the crack of the dawn to clear derailed coaches, from which the survivors were rescued and bodies pulled out till late last night. Thirteen coaches of the high-speed Utkal Express yesterday jumped the rails, with...

Need law on beggary which emphasises rehabilitation: Maneka

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | New Delhi

Union minister Maneka Gandhi has said there was a need to enact a law on beggary with an emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration of the vulnerable section of the society rather than criminalising the act. She has urged Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot to bring in a comprehensive legislation to address the issue. In a letter to Gehlot, she said the Act should focus on rehabilitation and re-integration rather than criminalising the already vulnerable section of the population. "Since children cannot...

Derailment: Prabhu asks authoirities to fix responsibility

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | New Delhi

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today directed Chairman, Railway Board, to fix responsibility on "prima facie evidence by the end of day" into the derailment of the Utkal Express in Uttar Pradesh. The minister said he was monitoring the situation closely and that restoration of tracks was his top priority. Over 20 people died and 156 were injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh yesterday evening. "Restoration is top priority. Seven coaches tackled. Also ensuring best...

Stone pelting cases decline in J-K due to NIA: HM

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Lucknow

Incidents of stone-pelting have reduced in Jammu and Kashmir due to the role of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today. He said the incidents of naxalism, terrorism and extremism have also seen a downward trend in the last three years. "You have seen role of the NIA in Jammu and Kashmir, where incidents of stone pelting have come down. We have taken pledge for India's security and strict action is being taken for this. We will accept...

UP CM for meeting between NIA, state agencies every six months

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Lucknow

For effective coordination between the NIA and state agencies, there should be a meeting between them every six months to exchange information and fill gaps, if any, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said today. The chief minister was addressing a gathering after inauguration of the National Investigation Agency's office and residential campus here. "There should be a meeting of NIA with state agencies every six months for exchange of information and fill the gap, if any. There should be better coordination...

Spain mourns attack victims as probe zeroes in on imam

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | AFP | BARCELONA

Grief-stricken Barcelona paid homage today to victims of two terror assaults at a mass in the city's Sagrada Familia church, as investigators turned their focus to a missing Moroccan imam believed to have radicalised the young attackers. King Felipe, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Catalonia's president Carles Puigdemont led the ceremony mourning the 14 people killed by jihadists who used vehicles to mow down pedestrians in Barcelona's Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday and in the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils early...

Panneerselvam may head merged AIADMK, Upper House may be revived

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | Chennai

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam will head a merged AIADMK while Chief Minister K. Palaniswami will continue to head the government, said a leader from the Panneerselvam faction. The leader also said the government can look into the possibility of reviving the Legislative Council or Upper House of the assembly to accommodate members in the party without showing the door for those now holding posts. "As regards party affairs, Panneerselvam will be the number one and Palaniswami number...

Post note ban, separatists, Reds feel "fund-starved": Jaitley

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Mumbai

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said demonetisation left Maoists in many parts of India and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir "fund starved". He said it greatly reduced the number of protesters taking part in stone-pelting in the militancy-hit state. "Stone pelters used to gather in thousands on the streets of Kashmir before demonetisation was announced, but now not even 25 come together for such agitations," he said. "After demonetisation, separatists in Jammu and Kashmir and also Maoists in states like Chhattisgarh have...

Police on high alert after two blasts in Bengal hills

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | Darjeeling

Police in northern West Bengal hills has been put on "high alert" and counter-insurgency strategies enforced after two major blasts in 24 hours in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, an official said on Sunday. "All police stations have been put on high alert. The security protocol followed in insurgency-hit areas is being followed here," Kalimpong Superintendent of Police Ajit Singh Yadav told IANS. "New types of weapons have been issued to policemen," he said. Civic volunteer Rakesh Raut was killed and a...

Train derailment: Negligence appears to be the cause

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Muzaffarnagar/New Delhi

Negligence at the local level appeared to have caused the derailment of Utkal Express here, one of the deadliest train accidents in the recent times in which 22 people were killed and over 150 injured, 26 of them grievously, officials indicated today. A probe has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of last evening's derailment, with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today directing Railway Board Chairman to fix responsibility on "prima facie evidence by the end of day". The train, which was...

First ODI: Dhawan, Kohli star as India rout Sri Lanka by 9 wickets

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | Dambulla (Sri Lanka)

Power-packed innings from Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli guided India to a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their first One Day International (ODI) at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday. Dhawan slammed 132 runs in 90 balls while Kohli smashed 82 runs off 70 deliveries. Both players forged a 197-run partnership for the second wicket, the highest in Sri Lanka against Sri Lanka. It all went good for India in this match. After a little bit...

Utkal derailment: Action taken against Secy-rank official, 7 others

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | New Delhi

Cracking the whip over Utkal derailment, the Railways tonight sent on leave its three top officials, including a secretary-level Railway Board official, suspended four officers and transfered one. Member (Engineering) in the Railway Board, Northern Railway General Manager and Divisional Regional Manager (Delhi) have been sent on leave in the wake of the derailment in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, the Railways said. The Railways also suspended four of its officials -- Senior Divisional Engineer, Assistant Engineer, a Senior Section Engineer (Permanent...

Nitish-led JD(U) back in NDA fold

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | Faizan Ahmad | PATNA

The Janata Dal (United) on Saturday decided to formally join the NDA and hinted at taking disciplinary action against rebel leader Sharad Yadav, while the party faction led by Sharad said it will approach the Election Commission to stake claim over the party symbol “arrow”. Though the JD(U) National Executive meeting...

Merger talks on, we will give you good news soon, say EPS and OPS

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | Kumar Chellappan | CHENNAI

Hectic parleys are on between the Amma and the Puratchi Thalaivi Amma factions of the AIADMK to find an amicable agreement for merger after a last-minute hiccup on Friday. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami told the media that discussions are progressing and a good announcement will be made soon. For the first...

Nadal confirmed for Brisbane International

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | AFP | BRISBANE

New world number one Rafael Nadal will return to play in the Brisbane International ahead of the Australian Open early next year, organisers said today. The 15-time Grand Slam champion will take the top rankings spot when the official ATP rankings are released on Monday. It will be the first time the...

Lana Del Rey announces world tour

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | Los Angeles

Singer Lana Del Rey has announced a world tour in support of her latest album "Lust For Life". "Lust For Life" released in July. After hitting the jackpot with the album, Del Rey showed her appreciation by announcing a world tour via Instagram on Friday, reports dailymail.co.uk. The 32-year-old...

Global cues, Infy turmoil to dictate market trend: Experts

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | New Delhi,

Global cues and developments at the crisis-hit Infosys will dictate market sentiment in a holiday-shortened week ahead, say experts. Markets will be closed on Friday for 'Ganesh Chaturthi'. Vishal Sikka's surprise resignation as Infosys CEO on Friday threw markets off-track as the Sensex careened off 271 points. Infosys was the biggest loser in...

Eye test may detect Alzheimer's years before symptoms appear

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | Los Angeles

Scientists have developed a non-invasive eye test that may detect the key signs of Alzheimer's years before patients start experiencing its symptoms. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the US found that Alzheimer's disease affects the retina similar to the way it affects the brain. Using a high-definition eye scan developed especially...

First ODI: India win toss, opt to field

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | ArrayDambulla (Sri Lanka)

India won the toss at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium here on Sunday and opted to field against Sri Lanka in the first of five-match One-Day International (ODI) series. For India, left-arm spinner Axar Patel has been included in the playing XI. Sri Lanka will see batsman Chamara Kapugedra and...

Yo Yo Honey Singh's songs not launching in September

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | Mumbai

Known for his rap numbers like "Blue Eyes" and "Party all night", Yo Yo Honey Singh said it was just a rumour that his new songs were launching in September. Honey Singh, who was last seen on the silver screen in "Zorawar", for which he sang the number "Raat Jashan...

Murthy's shadow to loom large over search for Infy CEO

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | PTI | New Delhi

Infosys' search for a new CEO may not be an easy one as the pressure of being under the constant scrutiny of the firm's high-profile founders could see many candidates shying away, said industry leaders and experts. Vishal Sikka, Infosys' first non-founder CEO, quit on Friday citing slander by founders. The...

Now an artificial heart made of spider silk

Sunday, 20 August 2017 | IANS | London

Researchers have developed cardiac muscle tissue made of spider silk, to investigate whether artificial silk protein could be suitable for engineering cardiac tissue. Ischaemic diseases such as cardiac infarction leads to irreversible loss of cardiac muscle cells, which is the main cause of reduced cardiac functionality that affects the working...

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Prez’s arts council quits over Trump’s Virginia remarks

20 Aug 2017 | AFP | Washington

The entire President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, that includes Indian-Americans Jhumpa Lahiri and Kal Penn, has resigned over President Donald Trump’s controversial remarks after the racist violence in Virginia. In a letter signed by 16 of 17 committee members, including author Lahiri and actor Penn, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change has also been cited as a reason for their resignation...

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2,467 kWp solar capacity installed in C'garh last year: Centre

20 Aug 2017 | Staff Reporter | Raipur

Solar power plants having total capacity of 2,467 kWp have been installed at various places including industries in Chhattisgarh in 2016-17, the Central Government has informed. Notably, Chhattisgarh Government has decided to identify more potentially rich areas for installation of renewable energy projects and carry out advance planning for evacuation and transmission of power in an effective and coordinated manner...

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