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Prez nominee talks, Mumbai blasts verdict, farmers’ strike: Top stories today

Top stories to keep you informed.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2017 11:00 IST
HT Correspondent
Two senior ministers of the Narendra Modi government will meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday.
Two senior ministers of the Narendra Modi government will meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday.(File)

Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu to meet Sonia Gandhi today, next President could have BJP affiliation

Two senior ministers of the Narendra Modi government will meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday to gauge if there could be a candidate for the July presidential election on whom the two sides could reach a consensus. Home minister Rajnath Singh and urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu are unlikely to reveal to Gandhi the ruling side’s choice for the top post but will ask her if she has anyone in her mind whom the treasury bench could also consider. Chances of the government picking any leader not having “BJP affiliation” are very bleak.

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Farmers bodies call for all-India strike today. AAP lends support

A collective of farmer organisations have called for a strike across India today. The farmers are demanding waiver of all farming loans, electricity bills and profitable minimum selling price (MSP) of all crops at 1.5 times the cost of production as per Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. The peasant bodies are expected to hold highway blockades on the day. The Aam Aadmi Party has backed the strike and lashed out at the Modi government for not fulfilling its promises to farmers.

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Prices of petrol, diesel to be revised daily from today

From Friday onwards, the retail prices of petrol and diesel will be revised daily. The prices of petrol and diesel have been slashed by Rs 1.12 and Rs 1.24 respectively. Earlier this month, the oil marketing companies decided to make the daily revision. It is intended to make the retail prices more reflective of the current market conditions and minimise the volatility in the retail price of both the petroleum products. It also intended to enhance transparency in the system, besides enabling smoother flow of products from refinery to retail outlets.

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Darjeeling unrest: GJM supporters set ablaze health centre, power utility office

The unrest that spread in Darjeeling continued throughout Thursday night with suspected Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) supporters setting fire to government establishments such as hydel projects and health centres. Well after midnight, miscreants set fire to a primary health centre run by the state government-owned Ramam hydel project at Lodhama, 70 km fr om Darjeeling. An electricity supply office at the same spot was set ablaze. Both the establishments were completely gutted. The panchayat building at Mirikwas also set ablaze.

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1993 Mumbai blasts: Verdict against Abu Salem, 6 other accused today

A designated court of the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act will pronounce its verdict against seven people accused of perpetrating the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts on Friday. A series of 12 blasts rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring 713 others. The accused are Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Shaikh, Mohammad Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya and Abdul Qayyum.

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Four years on, three CMs later, nothing much has changed after Uttarakhand floods

It was four years ago on this day — June 16 — that a devastating deluge wreaked an unprecedented havoc in Uttarakhand. Flashfloods, induced by cloud bursts and rain, ravaged the Kedarnath valley before coursing down towards Haridwar. The floods had affected more than one lakh people living in around 4,200 villages. Dozens of villages were washed away, 5,000 people died and hundreds rendered homeless. The then Congress government made a slew of promises. Four years on, the plans remain on paper.

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Four killed as Islamic State suicide bombers strike crowded Kabul mosque

Suicide bombers struck a crowded Shiite mosque in Kabul late Thursday, killing four people in the latest in a series of militant attacks to rattle the Afghan capital during the holy month of Ramadan. The assault claimed by Islamic State jihadists left eight others wounded when the bombers blew themselves up in the kitchen of Al Zahra mosque after police prevented them from entering the prayer hall packed with worshippers. The carnage comes at a time Kabul is already on edge following a wave of deadly bombings.

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Putin talks about grandkids, offers ‘asylum’ to FBI ex-chief Comey in TV chat

Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a little of the secrecy around his grandchildren and mockingly offered former FBI chief James Comey asylum during his annual televised chat with the Russian people. But the Kremlin strongman appeared rattled on Thursday when facing tougher questioning from journalists at the end of the four-hour phone-in event, angrily accusing a BBC reporter of supporting jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

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London fire highlights rich-poor divide, Grenfell Tower talks of neglect

Within a short walk from the social housing block in west London where 17 people - and perhaps many more - died in a devastating fire are some of Britain’s wealthiest streets, lined with elegant, multi-million-pound townhouses. The borough of Kensington and Chelsea is famous as the home of pop stars and other celebrities, jet-setters and bankers. But it also has pockets of deprivation like the housing estate where the doomed 24-storey Grenfell Tower stands. On the streets around the charred carcass of the tower on Thursday there was palpable anger as people accused the local authority of neglecting the safety and wellbeing of the poor in favour of policies favouring the interests of the rich.

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