Here are the top ten stories you need to read to get you up to date this morning:
After airlines deny ticket, Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad forced to travel by train
From business class air travel to a long, overnight train journey! Shiv Sena parliamentarian Ravindra Gaikwad was forced to take a New Delhi-Mumbai train on Friday after all major airlines in the country put him on their no-fly list for assaulting a senior Air India official.
Gaikwad abused and assaulted a 60-year-old duty manager of the national carrier with his slippers, venting his anger after being denied business class on a Pune-New Delhi Air India flight on Thursday. Read the full story here.
Govt questions NYT’s wisdom after editorial slams Modi’s pick of CM Adityanath
The external affairs ministry on Friday took exception to an editorial in The New York Times, which criticised the BJP’s decision to appoint Yogi Adityanath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
Referring to the article, titled ‘Modi’s Perilous Embrace of Hindu Extremists’, external affairs ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said: “All editorials or opinions are subjective. This case is particularly so. The wisdom in doubting the verdicts of genuine democratic exercises – at home or abroad – is questionable.” Read the full story here.
FIR filed against filmmaker Shirish Kunder for tweets about UP CM Adityanath
A police complaint was lodged against filmmaker Shirish Kunder with Hazratganj police station here on Thursday, for allegedly derogatory remarks against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The FIR was based on a complainant who said that Kunder had first tweeted “Hoping a goon will stop rioting once he’s allowed to rule is like expecting a rapist to stop raping once he’s allowed to rape”.
He also posted a second tweet, “Going by the logic of making a goon as CM so that he behaves, Dawood can be CBI director. And Mallya - RBI Governor.” Read the full story here.
Big setback for Trump as Republican pull out healthcare legislation
President Donald Trump suffered a stunning political setback on Friday in a Congress controlled by his own party when Republican leaders pulled legislation to overhaul the US healthcare system, a major 2016 election campaign promise of the president and his allies.
House of Representatives leaders yanked the bill after a rebellion by Republican moderates and the party’s most conservative lawmakers left them short of votes, ensuring that Trump’s first major legislative initiative since taking office on January 20 ended in failure. Democrats were unified against it. Read the full story here.
Meat, chicken, eggs to go off plates as sellers in Uttar Pradesh begin strike
Not just buffalo meat, Uttar Pradesh is fast heading towards a non-vegetarian crisis as entire chicken, goat meat and egg markets have begun shutting down. While more than 80% markets of non-vegetarian items already downed shutters on Friday, various traders’ associations have declared strike from Saturday.
In these circumstances, vegetable prices, which were on the decline for last one week, are likely to register a steep hike. Read the full story here.
Sonia Gandhi is back, hale and hearty: Congress
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who had been abroad for medical check-up, returned home late on Thursday night accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi at a time when there is growing clamour for structural changes in the party. The 70-year-old leader is doing fine, according to party sources.
She had left the country earlier this month for an undisclosed destination, which the Congress said was for a “routine medical check-up”. Read the full story here.
Lalu Prasad injured in stage collapse in Patna
RJD chief Lalu Prasad suffered minor injuries in his back after he fell down following a stage collapse during a religious event at Digha in western Patna on Friday evening. Prasad had gone there to attend a yajna around 7pm. As he started to move towards his seat on the stage, it collapsed as a large number of devotees had climbed on to the temporary structure. Lalu lost balance and fell on the ground.
Though Prasad went home immediately after the incident, he later complained of pain in the back and ribs. He was then rushed to the IGIMS where doctors carried out tests and also conducted an X-ray. Read the full story here.
‘I told them to kill me’: Indian soldier who was held captive in Pak after straying across LoC
An Indian soldier, who was returned by Pakistan after holding him captive for four months said he often prayed for death while being tortured in their custody. “I was assaulted. I told them: Kill me. I realised that this was the end of the road for me,” Chandu Babulal Chavan, who was handed over to India on January 21, said on Friday in conversation with a Marathi channel. Read the full story here.
After Rohtang, India plans 4 more tunnels for easier access to Chinese frontiers
Even as work on the strategic Rohtang tunnel progresses slowly, the defence ministry has decided to construct four more tunnels in order to effect all-weather connectivity with treacherous roads linking the Chinese frontiers in Leh and Ladakh. The four proposed tunnels will cut through lofty mountain passes in the Himalayan and Zanskar mountain ranges to facilitate year-round movement of vehicles – both civilian and army – to border areas.
Once built, they will cut through the avalanche-prone Shinkula pass – which connects Lahaul valley in Himachal to Zanskar in Jammu and Kashmir. Read the full story here.
Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide attack at Dhaka airport
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility late on Friday for a suspected suicide bomb attack outside the Bangladeshi capital’s main international airport, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist communications.
A bomber was killed in the blast, police said, the third in a series of suspected attacks and the second claimed by the Islamic State group since last week. Read the full story here.
US imposes sanctions on entities in China, North Korea and other countries
The Trump administration announced sanctions on Friday on 30 foreign companies and people from 10 countries, including China, and accused the entities of engaging in proliferation activity. “These determinations underscore that the United States continues to regularly impose sanctions under existing authorities, as warranted, against entities and individuals that engage in proliferation activity with Iran, North Korea, and Syria,” the State Department statement said in a statement. Read the full story here.