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While you were away: Top stories to bring you up to date

Pakistan releases ‘confessional video’ of Kulbhushan Jadhav, two soldiers killed in Jammu and Kashmir, Meira Kumar is the opposition’s candidate for President, Chandrababu Naidu tells people not to use roads if they don’t like his policies, and Virat Kohli deletes last year’s tweet congratulating Anil Kumble. Here are the top stories to bring you up to date.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2017 08:00 IST
HT Correspondent
Pakistan says former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav has appealed to Pakistan’s army chief to spare his life.
Pakistan says former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav has appealed to Pakistan’s army chief to spare his life.(PTI)

Pakistan says Jadhav has appealed against death sentence, releases ‘confessional video’, India calls it ‘manufactured fact’

Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has appealed to Pakistan’s army chief to spare his life, the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said on Thursday, more than two months after the former naval officer was sentenced to death on charges of espionage. Jadhav, 46, filed a mercy petition before army chief General Qamar Bajwa seeking forgiveness for his actions. The ISPR claimed Jadhav has allegedly admitted to his involvement in espionage, terrorist and subversive activities in Pakistan. The Indian government said the development brought out “once again the lack of transparency and farcical nature of proceedings against Mr Jadhav on concocted charges”.

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Poonch: Two army jawans killed in attack on patrolling party by Pakistan’s border action team

The Pakistani army’s Border Action Team (BAT) ambushed an Indian patrol and killed two soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday amid heavy artillery and machine gun fire on the frontier. The Indian army shot dead two BAT gunmen in retaliatory action in the Chakan-da-Bagh area of KG sector along the Line of Control, the de facto border between the two nations. The slain soldiers, naik Sandip Jadhav and sepoy Savan Mane, both from Maharashtra, were among the 10-member border patrol.

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Meira Kumar is Opposition’s pick to fight Kovind in presidential election

Opposition parties named former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate for the next President of India on Wednesday, setting the stage for a contest between two Dalit leaders on July 17. Kumar, the daughter of former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram, is pitted against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who is the favourite to succeed President Pranab Mukherjee. Still, Kumar’s candidature is being seen as a well-considered move that can bring pressure on leaders who broke ranks with the opposition over these polls, especially Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for backing a BJP candidate and not a Dalit woman from his state.

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‘US approves sale of 22 Guardian drones to India’

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India, governmental sources said on Thursday, a deal being termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2-3 billion, has been approved by the State Department, the sources said. The decision has been communicated to the Indian government and the manufacturer by the State Department on Wednesday, according to the informed governmental sources.

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Tension grips Uttar Pradesh village after alleged cow slaughter

Tension gripped a village in this district after some persons allegedly slaughtered a cow, prompting the authorities to rush force to ease the situation, the police said on Thursday. An FIR against was registered against four persons under various provisions of the IPC. “The incident (at Mau-Shahjahanpur village) pertains to June 20, when a cow did not return home after grazing. The next day a frantic search was made. During the search, four persons were seen hiding the head and hide of the cow in the sand near river Ram Ganga,” police said.

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‘If you don’t like my government, don’t take pension, use roads’: Andhra CM to voters

It’s my way or the highway for people in Andhra Pradesh if they don’t like chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s rule. He asked people on Thursday not to travel on the roads built by his administration or forgo pensions given by his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government. “You want to enjoy pensions given by me and travel on the roads built by my government. But you don’t want to vote for me. How is it justified?” he asked at a party function in Kurnool district’s Nandyal. “If you don’t like my government, don’t take the pensions and don’t use the roads,” he said.

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Donald Trump denies recording conversations with former FBI director Comey

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he did not record his conversations with former FBI director James Comey and that he doesn’t know if they exist, reversing a narrative he himself started when he threatened the latter with “tapes”. “With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea,” President Trump said in a Tweet, adding,, in another post, “…whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”

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Canadian sniper shatters world record, kills IS militant from 3,540 metres

A Canadian sniper has shattered the world record for a confirmed kill shot, firing from a staggering distance of 3,540 metres. The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed on Thursday that a member of its Joint Task Force 2 — the country’s elite special forces — made the record-breaking shot, killing an Islamic State militant in Iraq within the last month. “For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place,” the military said in a statement. The kill was independently verified by video camera and other data.

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Virat Kohli deletes year-old tweet welcoming Anil Kumble as India coach

India captain Virat Kohli has deleted his year-old tweet welcoming Anil Kumble’s appointment as the national cricket team coach, further exposing the bitterness that had crept in. Kohli deleted the post on the microblogging site close on the heels of the spin legend’s decision to resign from his post due to “untenable” differences with the captain. Soon after Kumble’s appointment last year Kohli tweeted: “Heartiest welcome to @anilkumble1074 Sir. Look forward to your tenure with us. Great things in store for Indian Cricket with you ??”

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Virat Kohli hints Anil Kumble broke dressing room ‘code’

India captain Virat Kohli didn’t say in as many words but politely hinted that coach Anil Kumble’s decision to make public the differences between them broke an unwritten code that everyone must respect the sanctity of not revealing dressing room matters. “I attended eleven press conferences in Champions Trophy and created a culture in the team wherein the sanctity of the dressing room was maintained,” he told a media conference in Trinidad on Thursday when asked if the situation could have been handled better. “I tried to maintain that and the belief that whatever happens there (in the dressing room) stays there.”

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