Top news: Jharkhand to vote in five phases from November 30, results on December 23
The biggest stories of the day.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced on Friday that the Jharkhand Assembly elections will be held in five phases from November 30, and the results announced on December 23. The term of the 81-member Assembly ends on January 5 next year.
Delhi recorded the highest pollution levels this season on Friday as a thick layer of smoke and dust cloaked the city. The index read 468 at 10 am, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, hours after breaching the “severe plus” mark late on Thursday night. It was the first time since January that air quality dipped to emergency levels in the national capital.
Former Union minister Praful Patel and former Lok Sabha MP Santosh Bharatiya were among at least 41 individuals who were targets of a WhatsApp hacking earlier this year, according to a report. Seventeen individuals including human rights activists, scholars and journalists have so far confirmed to Scroll.in that they were targeted by spyware on the messaging platform WhatsApp.
Jharkhand Assembly polls to be held in five phases from November 30, results on December 23
Assembly polls in Jharkhand will be held in five phases starting November 30 and results will be announced on December 23, the Election Commission said on Friday. The Model Code of Conduct came into force with the announcement.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut claims Maharashtra will have a CM from his party
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut claimed on Friday that Maharashtra will have a chief minister from his party, PTI reported. The Shiv Sena and its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party are locked in a power tussle on government formation in Maharashtra following the Assembly elections held earlier this month.
INX Media case: P Chidambaram is fine, says AIIMS doctors’ board; Delhi HC dismisses bail plea
The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed Congress leader P Chidambaram’s interim bail plea in the INX Media case after medical experts said he did not need to be hospitalised, PTI reported. The court had on Thursday directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to set up a board of doctors to examine whether the former Union finance minister needed to be admitted to hospital.
‘Totally against this decision’: Protests in Kargil against formation of Ladakh Union Territory
Residents of Kargil district observed a “Black Day” on Thursday to protest against the formation of the Ladakh Union Territory on its first day of existence, PTI reported. Kargil is one of the two districts of the Union Territory, the other being Leh.
WhatsApp spyware row: ‘Gross violation of human rights,’ says Priyanka Gandhi as she hits out at BJP
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday asked the government to respond to reports that several Indian lawyers, activists and scholars were targets of a WhatsApp spyware attack in May. “If the BJP or the government has engaged Israeli agencies to snoop into the phones of journalists, lawyers, activists and politicians, it is a gross violation of human rights and a scandal with grave ramifications on national security,” Gandhi tweeted.
Eggs in midday meal may turn children into cannibals, claims Madhya Pradesh BJP leader
Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Gopal Bhargava claimed the introduction of eggs in the state government’s midday meal plan could turn children into cannibals, Hindustan Times reported on Friday. He made the comment after the state government announced its plan to include eggs in the midday meal scheme to tackle malnutrition.
Germany’s expertise will be useful for building ‘New India’, says PM after meeting Chancellor Merkel
India and Germany on Friday signed five joint declarations of intent and 17 Memoranda of Understanding after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, PTI reported. Merkel is on a two-day visit to India.
Public health emergency declared in Delhi as air quality worsens, schools to be shut till Tuesday
A panel set up by the Supreme Court on Friday declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-National Capital Region on Friday and banned construction activity till November 5. All schools in Delhi will be shut till Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced.
Kerala solar scam: Main accused Saritha Nair, two others sentenced to three years in jail
A court in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district on Thursday sentenced three accused in Kerala’s solar scam – Saritha Nair, Biju Radhakrishnan, C Ravi – to three years in jail. The verdict came nearly ten years after they were booked in the case.
Delhi: Bag at airport suspected of containing RDX, CISF officials wait for forensic results
An unattended bag found at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in the early hours of Friday was suspected of containing RDX explosives, an unidentified Central Industrial Security Force official said.
‘Illegal and void’: Pakistan criticises splitting of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories
Pakistan on Thursday rejected the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, calling the move “illegal and void”. The country’s foreign ministry alleged that the objective of these “unilateral changes” was to alter the region’s demographic structure.
2012 Delhi gangrape convicts have time till November 5 to file mercy petition, say Tihar officials
Tihar jail officials informed the four convicts on death row in the December 2012 gangrape case that they had exhausted all their options for legal recourse, and were only left with the choice to file a mercy petition before the president of India against their sentence.
Kartarpur Corridor: Imran Khan declares two-day fee waiver for Sikh pilgrims from India
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said Indian Sikh pilgrims using the Kartarpur Corridor to visit the gurdwara there would not be charged fees on the day of the project’s inauguration and Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. The Indian pilgrims will also not need a passport to travel to the shrine.
‘Delhi has turned into a gas chamber,’ says Kejriwal as air quality plummets to emergency levels
A blanket of toxic air continued to blanket New Delhi and the National Capital Region on Friday morning as the air quality index continued to remain in the severe category. The index read 468 at 10 am, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, hours after breaching the “severe plus” mark late on Thursday night. It was the first time since January that air quality dipped to emergency levels in the national capital.
India’s export subsidies are illegal, rules WTO dispute panel, upholds US case
A World Trade Organisation committee on Thursday ruled that Indian export subsidies were illegal and asked it to remove them, upholding a complaint lodged by the United States.
Longest nails to longest hair on teenager: India holds 80 Guinness World Records
The longest fingernails on a single hand, the longest hair on a teenager and the largest collection of paper cups are among 80 achievements by Indians to make it to the latest edition of the Guinness World Records. The book Guinness World Records 2020, released by publisher Penguin Random House on Thursday, listed thousands of new titles and holders, which will “educate and entertain curious readers of all ages”.
WhatsApp spyware attack: Ex-minister Praful Patel, 40 others were targeted, says report
Former Union minister Praful Patel and former Lok Sabha MP Santosh Bharatiya were among at least 41 individuals who were targets of a WhatsApp hacking earlier this year, an unidentified official from the messaging platform said.
Rising intolerance, violence are antitheses of India’s democratic foundations, says Sonia Gandhi
Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday criticised the rise in intolerance in India, and described it as the “antithesis of liberal, secular and democratic foundations” of the country. On the same day, the Congress leader had accused the Centre of initiating what she called the “final assault” to dilute the Right to Information Act.
WhatsApp spyware attack: Prashant Bhushan to file plea in Supreme Court seeking inquiry
Activist and lawyer Prashant Bhushan has planned to file a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court to seek an inquiry into the WhatsApp hacking of at least two dozen individuals, including lawyers, human rights activists, and journalists.
Output of eight core industries contracts 5.2% in September, worst decline in 14 years
The output of eight core sectors of the Indian industry – coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity – declined by 5.2% in September, data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed on Thursday. These eight core sectors had expanded by 4.3% in the corresponding month last year.
17 confirmed cases of activists, lawyers, scholars targeted in India in WhatsApp spyware attack
Seventeen individuals including human rights activists, scholars and journalists have so far confirmed to Scroll.in that they were targeted by a spyware on the messaging platform WhatsApp. Some of them suggested that Indian government agencies may have been involved in the surveillance, as they were told by a Canada-based cyber security group that is assisting WhatsApp in investigating the spyware attack.
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