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

Here are the top stories this morning.

india Updated: May 08, 2017 07:00 IST
HT Correspondent
AAP leader and former Delhi water and tourism minister Kapil Mishra at a press conference says chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took Rs 2 crore “illegal cash” from city health minister Satyendra Jain.
AAP leader and former Delhi water and tourism minister Kapil Mishra at a press conference says chief minister Arvind Kejriwal took Rs 2 crore “illegal cash” from city health minister Satyendra Jain. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times)

France’s new president, Pakistan-Afghanistan clashes, Merkel’s strong showing in polls, Sunil Narine as a batsman: Top stories to bring you up to date:

‘Kejriwal took Rs 2 crore’: Oppn clamour for resignation grows as Kapil Mishra accuses Delhi CM of corruption

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who rose from being an anti-corruption crusader to Delhi chief minister, became the target of a graft charge on Sunday as his former water minister, Kapil Mishra, accused him of accepting Rs 2 crore from a cabinet colleague.

The accusation is the latest in a string of troubles that has engulfed the ruling AAP. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia dismissed the charges against Kejriwal. Mishra, who was sacked on Saturday night apparently for mismanagement in water supply, said he saw Kejriwal take Rs 2 crore from health minister Satyendra Jain and demanded to know what the money was for. Read the story here.

Emmanuel Macron becomes France’s youngest president, Le Pen concedes defeat

Pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron won France’s landmark presidential election heading off a fierce challenge from the far-right. Far-right National Front must be relaunched, Marine Le Pen said after conceding defeat to centrist Macron. Le Pen said she had called Macron to wish him “success” and announced that she would lead the FN into June’s legislative elections. Macron said his victory in Sunday’s election represented “hope” and a “new chapter” for France.

Macron will now face huge challenges as he attempts to enact his domestic agenda of cutting state spending, easing labour laws, boosting education in deprived areas and extending new protections to the self-employed. Read the story here.

France’s new president Emmanuel Macron: A 39-year-old political prodigy

Emmanuel Macron, the 39-year-old son of two doctors from the northeastern city of Amiens breaks the mould of a traditional French leader, apart from his elite education in some of the country’s best universities. The philosophy, literature and classical music lover launched his independent movement En Marche (“On The Move”) only 12 months ago, which he said was “neither of the left nor the right”.

As a student, Macron worked as an assistant to a famous French philosopher and followed a well-worn path through France’s elite public universities including the ENA, which has groomed many leaders. After first working as a civil servant in the finance ministry, he then went into investment banking, where he earned millions at Rothschild putting together mergers and acquisitions. Read the story here.

Applause in US for the way French media handled the Macron leaks

Hours after the dump of hacked emails from the campaign of French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron, a writer with American news site The Daily Beast tweeted admiringly: “Most French media ignoring the hack. See? It can be done. It’s called news judgment.” In a similar situation in 2016, American media raced each other to report the daily dump from WikiLeaks of emails and documents obtained allegedly by Russian hackers from the Democratic party’s computer systems.

“This is a plea,” wrote Zeynep Tufekci in BuzzFeed, to French media outlets. “Do not get played the way the US press got played, gullibly falling into the trap set for it. And don’t ignore what happens online. These hacks are merely the stage for the misinformation machine.” Read the story here.

Indian-American doctor found dead under mysterious circumstances in Michigan

A 32-year-old Indian-American doctor was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a car in the US state of Michigan. Ramesh Kumar, who worked in the Urology Department of the Henry Ford Hospital, was found dead on the passenger seat of a car in a rest area, some 90 miles out of Detroit, on late Thursday evening. The family members of Kumar say they do not suspect anyone and have ruled out the possibility of it being an incident of hate crime. Read the story here.

Demonetisation: Cash withdrawals in March nearly the same as last year

Cash transactions are back in vogue despite the government’s push for a less-cash economy post-demonetisation, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data on ATM cash withdrawals indicate. Withdrawals from ATMs in March this year stood at 2,259 billion — 0.6% more than what people withdrew in the same month last year.

This rate of growth is much lower than that in the corresponding period in the previous year— an increase of 11.4% for March 2016 as compared to March 2015. But this could be attributed to many ATMs being reported either dysfunctional or short of cash even four months after demonetisation. Read the story here.

Mulayam Singh Yadav says making Akhilesh CM was a ‘mistake’, blames Congress for SP woes

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Sunday that it was a ‘mistake’ to make his son Akhilesh Yadav chief minister of Uttar Pradesh while he blamed the alliance with the Congress for the ‘poor’ state of the party and said efforts should be made to strengthen it. “Things would have been different if I had been the chief minister,” he said. “Alliance with Congress is responsible for the present poor state of the party. I had advised Akhilesh not to go ahead with it but he did so”, Yadav told reporters. Read the story here.

Pak man accuses Indian Commission of detaining wife, officials say woman sought help

A Pakistani man accused the Indian High Commission in Islamabad of detaining his newly-wed Indian wife after they went there to apply for his visa, media reports said on Sunday. However, the Pakistan foreign office refuted the claims and said the woman approached them asking to be repatriated to India as she learnt that her husband was already married and had four children. Read the story here.

Pakistan claims 50 Afghan soldiers killed in border clashes

Pakistan’s military on Sunday said it had killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers in a clash on a major border crossing two days earlier, a claim quickly rejected by Kabul. The skirmish took place Friday at the Chaman border that divides Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province and Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar, as Pakistani officials were carrying out a census count.

Afghanistan had blamed Pakistani census enumerators accompanied by soldiers for straying across the border, a charge denied by Islamabad. On Sunday, Pakistani forces elevated their rhetoric by saying Afghan forces had suffered dramatic losses. Read the story here.

Angela Merkel’s party scores strong win in Germany’s state poll test

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives secured a strong win Sunday in state polls in northern Germany, early results showed, giving a boost to her bid to retain power in September’s national elections. Voters in the small, northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on the Baltic Sea handed her CDU party 33.3 percent, while the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) clinched 26.5 percent, latest results showed. Read the story here.

Family of Trump’s son-in-law solicits Chinese investment

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, often called the most powerful man in this White House, has sought to disengage himself from his businesses over conflict of interest issues, but his family seems to have missed the memo. Nicole Kushner Meyer, his sister, pitched a ballroom full of wealthy Chinese in Beijing on Saturday a US housing development project saying, according to US media reports, the project “means a lot to me and my entire family”. And in case anyone missed the family connection, she mentioned her brother’s “service as chief executive of Kushner Companies, the family business from which he resigned in January, saying he had left to serve in the Trump administration”. Read the story here.

Sunil Narine of KKR blazes into record books with joint-fastest fifty in IPL

Sunil Narine’s contributions for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League have been valuable. However, in the 2017 edition, he has been the X-factor for the two-time champions with the bat. His promotion to the top has yielded rich dividends with the team getting off to a flier. In the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Narine opened with Chris Lynn and the pair went on to smash records as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets to move to the second spot in the points table. Narine reached his fifty in 15 balls. Read the story here.

Hashim Amla ton in vain as Gujarat Lions beat Kings XI Punjab by 6 wickets

Hashim Amla scored a ton as Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) posted a fighting total against Gujarat Lions (GL), but the visitors chased it down thanks to a quick-fire innings by Dwayne Smith in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Mohali on Sunday. Read the story here.