Xi Jinping has accepted Narendra Modi’s invitation to visit India this year, says foreign secretary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek. This came over a fortnight after Modi’s re-election. “PM welcomed him [Xi] to India for next informal summit, President Xi Jinping confirmed his readiness to visit India this year,” ANI quoted Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale as saying.

Uttar Pradesh: Four railway police personnel booked for assault on journalist in Shamli

Four Government Railway Police personnel in Uttar Pradesh have been booked for allegedly beating up a journalist who was covering the derailment of a goods train near Shamli city, an unidentified official told PTI on Thursday.

BJP has still not reached its peak in terms of electoral performance, says Amit Shah

The Bharatiya Janata Party has “still not peaked” in terms of its electoral performance despite winning more 303 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, party President Amit Shah was quoted saying on Thursday.

How hot it is today: Vidarbha region sizzles at 44 degrees Celsius, Delhi is 40 degrees

Parts of the country are still in the midst of a severe heatwave, with extremely high temperatures likely to continue in West Madhya Pradesh till Saturday and in Chhattisgarh till Friday, the India Meteorological Department warned on Thursday.

Benjamin Netanyahu thanks Narendra Modi after India votes to keep Palestinian NGO out of UN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday thanked Narendra Modi for supporting his government’s decision to oppose a Palestinian group’s request for consultative status in United Nations institutions.

India is planning to launch its own space station, says ISRO chief K Sivan

India is planning to launch its own space station, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairperson K Sivan said. “We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme after the launch of [the] human space mission,” he said. “In this context, India is planning to have its own space station.”

Surat fire: Gujarat High Court orders state government to submit detailed report

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to submit a detailed report on last month’s fire at a coaching centre in the city of Surat that claimed the lives of 22 students. The court was hearing a petition filed by Jaysukh Gajera, whose 17-year-old daughter died in the fire.

#MeToo: Mumbai Police close sexual harassment case filed against Nana Patekar by Tanushree Dutta

The Mumbai Police on Thursday told a court in Andheri that they have not found any evidence against actor Nana Patekar, who was accused of sexual harassment by actor Tanushree Dutta last year.

West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee gives 4-hour ultimatum to protesting doctors, threatens action

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday issued a four-hour ultimatum to the doctors protesting against assault on their colleagues. The chief minister directed the doctors to get back to work, threatening to take action if her order was not followed.

No survivors found at AN-32 plane crash site, says Air Force

The Indian Air Force on Thursday said an eight-member team of rescuers did not find survivors at the site in Arunachal Pradesh where its AN-32 transporter aircraft, carrying 13 people, crashed on June 3. An Air Force team found wreckage of the missing aircraft on Tuesday at a height of 12,000 feet in the Payum region of Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district.

Australia: Adani Group receives final approval from Queensland government to begin coal mine project

The Adani Group on Thursday received final approval from the Queensland state authorities in Australia to begin work on its controversial coal mine project. The Queensland government approved the groundwater plan for Gautam Adani’s Carmichael mine, clearing the company’s last major environmental hurdle.

Lok Sabha elections: ‘Attempts were made to mislead voters,’ says Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli

United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of misleading voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi also alleged that “many types of doubts” had cropped up against the country’s electoral process. “All types of tactics were adopted to woo voters,” she said. “Everyone in this country knows whether whatever happened in the elections was moral or immoral.”

Four injured after mob attacks protesting doctors outside Burdwan hospital

Three junior doctors and a fourth-year student of Burdwan Medical College and Hospital were injured on Wednesday after a mob of patients’ relatives hurled bricks at them. The incident took place during a protest of junior doctors at the hospital’s emergency gate as part of a statewide cease on work at outpatient departments to condemn the assault on two doctors.

Uttar Pradesh: Lawyers halt work a day after first woman state bar council head shot dead in Agra

Lawyers in courts across western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday halted work to protest against the killing of the state bar council chairperson. Judicial work was affected in Baghpat, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Saharanpur and Shamli districts. Darvesh Singh Yadav, the first woman chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council, was shot dead on the civil court premises in Agra on Wednesday.

Jet Airways shares fall sharply a day after BSE, NSE decide to pull airline out of daily trading

Shares of debt-ridden airline Jet Airways tanked on Thursday morning after the BSE and the National Stock Exchange decided to pull the carrier out of daily trading and shift it to the trade-for-trade segment from June 28. The airline’s shares fell over 22% to Rs 85.75 on the BSE in early morning trade.

Kerala: Church demands withdrawal of award to cartoon depicting rape-accused bishop as a rooster

The Catholic Church in Kerala has condemned a cartoon of rape-accused bishop Franco Mulakkal that depicted him as a rooster, claiming that it is vulgar and humiliates Christian symbols. The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi had conferred the best cartoon award on the drawing the previous day.

Amnesty International denied permission to release report on Kashmir

Amnesty International India was denied permission to hold a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday to release a report on the controversial Public Safety Act in Jammu and Kashmir. The district administration cited “prevailing law and order situation” to deny permission. The decision was conveyed verbally by some officials at the Srinagar deputy commissioner’s office, Nazia Erum, who manages media and advocacy for Amnesty International India, said.

Rahul Gandhi ‘was, is and will remain’ Congress president, says spokesperson Randeep Surjewala

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Wednesday that Rahul Gandhi “was, is and will remain Congress president”. Surjewala made the remarks after senior Congress leaders met informally in New Delhi to discuss the party’s strategy for the Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra Assembly elections.

Cyclone Vayu will skirt Gujarat, affect only coastal regions, says weather department

Cyclone Vayu will not hit Gujarat and will only affect the coastal regions of the state, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday morning. The severe cyclonic storm was earlier predicted to make landfall in Gujarat on Thursday afternoon. “It will pass nearby from Veraval, Porbandar, Dwarka,” Manorama Mohanty, a scientist at IMD, Ahmedabad, told ANI. “Its effect will be seen on the coastal regions as there will be heavy wind speed and heavy rain as well.”

Missing IAF aircraft: Rescuers fail to reach crash site due to difficult terrain, bad weather

A 15-member team of rescuers airlifted close to the site of the crash of an AN-32 transport aircraft failed to reach the area due to difficult terrain and inclement weather. Earlier on Wednesday, reports had said that some rescuers had managed to reach the site. Nine of the 15 climbers in the team are from the Air Force mountaineering team, four are from the Army and two are civilians.

West Bengal governor calls all-party meeting to discuss post-poll violence

West Bengal Governor KN Tripathi will chair an all-party meeting on Thursday at 4 pm to discuss the ongoing post-poll violence in the state. Tripathi sent invitation letters to four parties – the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The meeting will be “useful in creating a harmonious situation whereby peace and harmony prevails in the state for the benefit of the citizens”, the Raj Bhavan said in a statement.

US secretary of state says India should remove trade barriers

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that India should further open up its economy and “diversify” its energy portfolio. He made the remark during the India Ideas Summit of US-India Business Council in Washington DC. Pompeo said that countries which have allowed US firms to carry out “fair and reciprocal trade” have seen “real opportunity”.

Union Cabinet approves bill for reservation in teachers’ posts to fill up 7,000 vacancies

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved The Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Bill, 2019. The bill seeks to fill up more than 7,000 vacancies with direct recruitment of teachers under a quota system. The bill will replace the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers’ Cadre) Ordinance, 2019. It will be introduced in the upcoming session of Parliament, which begins on June 17.

Delhi: Dust storm brings relief from heat, 27 flights diverted from IGI Airport

A severe dust storm hit Delhi on Wednesday evening following which flight operations were temporarily stopped. Temperature came down following the dust storm in the national Capital. Total 27 flights were diverted from Delhi airport till 7.50 pm due to severe dust storm.

Five CRPF personnel killed in Anantnag encounter, suspected militant gunned down

Five Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed and four security officials were injured after a patrol team was attacked by suspected militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. A militant was killed in the encounter and an AK series assault rifle was recovered from him, the news agency reported quoting officials. The incident took place at KP Road near General Bus Stand.