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While you were away: Here are the top stories to bring you up to date

The attacker who killed three people near parliament in London before being shot dead was named on Thursday as British-born Khalid Masood.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2017 07:07 IST
HT Correspondent
London attacker
Police officers arrive carrying bunches of flowers to lay in honour of the victims of the March 22 terror attack at the end of Westminster Bridge by the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 23, 2017 after the bridge reopened. Britain's parliament reopened on Thursday with a minute's silence in a gesture of defiance a day after an attacker sowed terror in the heart of Westminster, killing three people before being shot dead. (AFP Photo)

Here are the top stories to bring you up to date this morning.

London attacker identified as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, no prior intel on activities

The attacker who killed three people near parliament in London before being shot dead was named on Thursday as British-born Khalid Masood, who was once investigated by MI5 intelligence officers over concerns about violent extremism. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement issued by its Amaq news agency, but did not name Masood and gave no details.

It was not clear whether the attacker was directly connected to the jihadist group. Masood, 52, was most recently living in the West Midlands region of central England and known by a “number of aliases”. Read the full story here.

‘Hit him 25 times with sandal’: Sena MP says he assaulted 60-year-old AI staffer

High drama was witnessed on a Pune-Delhi Air India flight soon after it landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Thursday morning as Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP Ravindra Gaikwad allegedly hit a 60-year-old airline staffer with slippers.

The MP was angry allegedly because Air India changed his seat from the business to economy class. Read the full story here.

Air India tells staff to file police complaints against unruly passengers, mulls no-fly list

Air India chief Ashwini Lohani on Thursday asked the staff not to wait for an approval to file a police complaint in case of misbehaviour or assault by a passenger. The move came on a day when Shiv Sena’s member of Parliament Ravindra Gaikwad allegedly hit a 60-year-old airline duty manager with slippers and even tried to push him off the plane.

“While we have filed two FIRs it is necessary that in all such cases of a passenger misbehaving i.e assaulting air India staff, the airport manager would invariably lodge an FIR with the local police without waiting for any approvals,” Lohani said in a statement released to the staff. Read the full story here.

Sushma Swaraj comes to aid of ‘kidnapped’ Indian in Serbia, finds it was staged

Hailed for coming to the aid of Indians in distress abroad, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday discovered that a “kidnapped” man in Serbia who she tried to help had staged his own abduction. Hours after she responded to a call for rescuing an Indian allegedly abducted and tortured in Serbia, the Union minister said on Thursday the kidnapping was “stage-managed” and the video was “fake”.

Swaraj intervened after she was approached by a netizen who tweeted: “@SushmaSwaraj please help my brother his life in big trouble somebody kidnap in Serbia country and ask him send the money unless we kill him.” Read the full story here.

Row erupts in MP after Godse, Ravana called ‘great men’, Gonds ‘cow killers’

The opposition and the ruling BJP locked horns in the Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly on Thursday after a book allegedly described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse and demon king Ravana as “great persons” while another described Gond tribals as “cow killers” and “beef eaters”.

During zero hour on Thursday, leader of opposition Ajay Singh pointed out to speaker Dr Sitasharan Sharma that a book by Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism had highlighted Godse and Ravana as great persons. Read the full story here.

UK-Indian humiliated by gym staff teaches himself law, beats firm in court

An Indian-origin autistic man in Britain who was called “stupid” went as far as studying law and poring over legal minutiae for two years to take on a multi-million dollar company in court - and emerge triumphant - according to a media report on Thursday.

It all started when Ketan Aggarwal, a resident of Southall, London, was called “stupid” twice by the gym instructor in front of the class. Read the full story here.

Navjot Sidhu can continue with TV shows: Punjab AG in report to CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab advocate general Atul Nanda has not found any conflict of interest between Navjot Singh Sidhu’s office as state cabinet minister and his working for television shows. Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has confirmed that he has received the report of the advocate general on the issue, according to Raveen Thukral, the media adviser to the chief minister.

In the circumstances, the chief minister said, there was no hindrance in Sidhu’s continuing with the TV shows. Sidhu is a celebrity guest at the comedy series ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’. Read the full story here.

Delhi toddlers suffer serious burns after family car catches fire

Two toddlers suffered more than 50% burns when a freak fire engulfed the family car in which the two cousins were playing without adult supervision in outer Delhi’s Sultanpuri on Thursday morning. The children were inside the second-hand Swift by themselves when the incident occurred. Read the full story here.

Pakistan is not richest country, but is happiest in region: Envoy Abdul Basit

Minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar on Thursday represented the government at the Pakistan Day celebration in New Delhi that was attended by several political leaders and members of the Hurriyat Conference. High commissioner Abdul Basit received guests during the event and, in his address, mentioned the World Happiness Report 2017 that ranked Pakistan and China ahead of India, which came in at a lowly 122 among the 155 countries on the list.

“We may not be the richest country in the world but according to a recent report we are the happiest one in the region. And that itself is a testimony to the resilience of our people,” Basit said. “We have no doubt, we are confident that Pakistan is now surging ahead and it is destined to become a regional economic hub…,” he added. Read the full story here.

CIA hacking tools can permanently infect Apple’s Mac computers: WikiLeaks report

The Central Intelligence Agency is able to permanently infect an Apple Mac computer so that even reinstalling the operating system will not erase the bug, according to documents published Thursday by WikiLeaks.

In its second release allegedly from the CIA’s arsenal of hacking tools, WikiLeaks also said that it appears the US spy agency has been able since 2008 to insert it bugs onto new and unused iPhones by intervening in Apple’s supply and distribution network. Read the full story here.

German state bans mosque group after imam calls for killings

German state officials say they’ve banned an Islamic cultural association that ran a mosque in the central German town of Kassel due to extremist comments. Hesse state interior minister Peter Beuth said on Thursday that the Almadinah Islamic Culture Association was banned because the group’s leading imam had, among other things, repeatedly called for the killing of infidels in his sermons.

Investigations by the authorities also confirmed that several members of the mosque had already left Germany for Syria to join extremist Islamic fighters there. Read the full story here.

12 things to do on a 12-hour flight with no laptop: Jordan airline’s tips on US ban

Say hello to the person next to you. Reclaim territory on the armrest. Think of the reasons why you don’t have a laptop or tablet with you. This is some of the light-hearted advice dispensed by Royal Jordanian on social media Thursday, a day before the carrier is to enforce a new US ban on most on-board electronics on US-bound flights from 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries. Read the full story here.