A look at the headlines right now:

  1. Alok Verma refuses to take charge at Fire Services, resigns from service: Verma claimed that ‘natural justice was scuttled and the entire process was turned upside down’ to ensure his removal as CBI director. Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court refused to quash the bribery FIR against Rakesh Asthana.
  2. Industrial output growth in November was slowest in 17 months, shows data: The manufacturing sector, which constitutes 77.63% of the index, shrank 0.4%.
  3. Lok Sabha polls ‘extremely important’ for party and India, says Amit Shah: Shah lauded PM Narendra Modi for helping the economically backward by introducing the upper-caste quota bill.
  4. Congress may be given two seats in Uttar Pradesh, says Akhilesh Yadav: The Samajwadi Party chief said his party’s alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party would get the electoral math right and defeat the BJP. The two parties will hold a press conference on Saturday.
  5. Former IAS officer Shah Faesal rules out joining a political party for now: The former bureaucrat, who quit the civil services on Wednesday, said he would talk to people before deciding on joining a party or contesting elections.
  6. Tripura parties call for bandh to protest Citizenship Bill, another protestor strips in Assam: The Gauhati High Court on Friday granted bail to activist Akhil Gogoi and academic Hiren Gohain in a sedition case filed in connection with the protests.
  7. Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, three others convicted for journalist’s murder: Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati was shot dead in October 2002 on the religious leader’s orders.
  8. Mamata Banerjee says all PMs are accidental, wants a film called ‘The Disastrous Prime Minister’: She questioned the timing of the release of the film ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ ahead of national elections.
  9. Myanmar court rejects appeals of two Reuters journalists sentenced to seven years in prison: The reporters were convicted for breaking the Official Secrets Act.
  10. SC asks Meghalaya government to continue work to rescue miners, says ‘miracles do happen’: The state government told the court that although one crore litre water has been pumped out from the mine, leakage from a nearby river was hindering operations.