IS seeking to unite Afghan, Pakistani Tabliban
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group is preparing to attack India to provoke a “final battle” with the United States, USA Today reported on Tuesday. The newspaper, which claimed to have accessed an internal recruitment document belonging to the group, said that the outfit was seeking to unite the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban into a single force. The report claimed that the document urged the al-Qaeda to join the Islamic State and called for its leader to be “recognised as the sole ruler of the world’s one billion Muslims”. It added that the document had been verified by several serving and retired US Intelligence officials.

Yakub Memon executed after court rejects last-minute plea
Yakub Memon, convicted for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed 257 people, was executed at a jail in Nagpur early on Thursday morning. Memon was hanged at 7 am, a little over three hours after a last-minute plea by his lawyers to stay the hanging was rejected by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court at an unprecedented pre-dawn hearing. Earlier on Wednesday, the same bench of the apex court had upheld the death penalty awarded to Memon. Memon is only person convicted in the case to have been executed. Ten other people who were awarded the death penalty were later granted mercy.

Kalam's funeral to be held today
Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam's will be buried today in his hometown of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. The funeral, which will be held at 11 am, will be attended by leaders from around the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi being expected to be present. Kalam, who was 83-years-old, died of a heart attack in Shillong on Monday. The Central government has declared a seven-day national mourning period.

Supreme Court upholds life for Rajiv's killers
The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld its decision to commute the death sentences of three of the people convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to life imprisonment. Dismissing a curative plea filed by the Centre seeking a re-examination of its verdict, a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu said that there had been no error in judgement while commuting the death sentences. The bench justified its decision, saying that there had been an 11-year-long delay by successive governments in deciding the mercy petitions of the three convicts. Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber in the Tamil Nadu town of Sriperumbudur in May 1991.

Heavy rains kill 26 people in three states
At least 26 people were killed across Gujarat, Odisha and Rajasthan on Wednesday as heavy rains and flooding affected three states. Twenty-two of those killed died in Gujarat, where the Banaskantha district emerged as the worst-affected area. Four people were killed in Rajasthan, where heavy rains triggered landslides that blocked the road to Mount Abu in the Sirohi district. In Odisha, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik asked officials to order the evacuation of people from heavily-affected areas.