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

From UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath waiving loans for farmers to Russian investigators narrowing in on the identity of St Petersburg attack suspect, here’s a list of 10 stories you need to know about.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2017 07:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Dalai Lama,Yogi Adityanath,China India
A makeshift memorial for victims of a blast in St. Petersburg metro at Tekhnologicheskiy institut metro station in St. Petersburg.(Reuters Photo)

Here are the top stories of the day: 

1) Ignoring China’s protest, Dalai Lama begins Arunachal tour with change of itinerary

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, began a week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh, India’s easternmost state that is at the heart of a decades-old dispute with China. Neither China’s warnings about the visit nor heavy rain could deter the 14th Dalai Lama from travelling to the frontier state on Tuesday, albeit with a last-minute change of plan, as a guest of the BJP-ruled state government.

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2) Yogi Adityanath govt waives Rs 36,359-crore loan for UP farmers

The BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh decided on Tuesday to waive crop loans of up to Rs 1 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state, a relief the party promised before the February-March assembly elections. About 21 million farmers will benefit from this decision of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet during its first sitting. About 92.5% of the state’s farmers fall in the small and marginal categories.

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3) Suspected gas attack in Syrian rebel town kills over 100 including many children

A suspected Syrian government chemical attack killed scores of people, including children, in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday. The Syrian military denied responsibility saying it would never use chemical weapons. The head of the health authority in rebel-held Idlib said more than 50 people had been killed and 300 wounded. The Union of Medical Care Organizations, a coalition of international aid agencies that funds hospitals in Syria, said at least 100 people had died. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack killed at least 58 people and was believed to have been carried out by Syrian government jets. It caused many people to choke, and some to foam at the mouth.

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4) Hope India returns Tawang, says Chinese media as Dalai Lama visits Arunachal

China upped the ante as Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama began a visit to Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, with an expert telling the state media that Beijing hopes Tawang in the northeastern Indian state will be returned to it. The unnamed expert from the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who was quoted by the nationalistic Global Times, also trotted out Beijing’s standard line that the Dalai Lama’s visit to the state claimed by China would hurt bilateral ties.

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5) RBI clears proposal to introduce Rs 200 notes

The board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cleared a proposal to introduce banknotes of Rs200 denomination, two people aware of the development said. The decision was taken at the RBI board meeting in March, sources said. They didn’t want to be identified as they aren’t authorised to speak to the media. The process of printing the new Rs 200 notes is likely to begin after June, once the government officially approves this new denomination.

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6) US diplomat Nikki Haley eyes role in India-Pakistan parleys; New Delhi dismissive

US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley appeared to be signalling a shift in American position when she said the Donald Trump administration would like to “find its place” in efforts to de-escalate India-Pakistan tensions but the suggestion was rejected by New Delhi, which insisted on the bilateral resolution of issues. No one in the Trump administration has backed her publicly or privately. The White House referred questions about her remarks to the state department, which had not responded to multiple requests for a response.

Read the full story here.

7) Women lead protests against shifting of highway liquor shops to residential areas

Anti-alcohol groups spearheaded by women have found a new resolve to press for the removal of bottle shops in residential areas, after the Supreme Court banned liquor sale within 500 meters of national and state highways. Protesters have poured on to streets to stop the highway booze dens from relocating to residential neighbourhoods, a ploy to beat the distance ceiling set by the top court.

Read the full story here.

8) Cop who probed Sohrabuddin fake encounter becomes Gujarat’s first woman DGP

Geetha Johri, a police officer who courted controversy for her role in investigating the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, was on Tuesday appointed Gujarat’s director general of police (DGP), the first woman to head the force. She was charge-sheeted by the CBI but a court later discharged her as the agency failed to the get mandatory prosecution sanction from the state government. While the state government termed it as an example of woman empowerment, the appointment received flak from a section of activists.

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9) St Petersburg metro bomb suspect a Muslim born in central Asia: Russian investigators

A Russian suicide bomber originally from mainly Muslim Kyrgyzstan detonated the explosives in a St Petersburg train carriage that killed 14 people and wounded 50, authorities said on Tuesday. The suspect had radical Islamist links, Russian media cited law enforcement officials as saying, raising the possibility Monday’s attack could have been inspired by Islamic State, which has not struck a major city in Russia before. So far, no-one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

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10) David Warner leads as Sunrisers Hyderabad gear up to kickstart IPL 2017

David Warner is back to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL title defence and coach Tom Moody is confident the Aussie opener won’t be affected by the Test series low against India. Warner amassed 848 runs in last year’s IPL, which was overshadowed because Virat Kohli made 973 runs. In terms of impact, Warner was probably better.

Read the full story here.

You may also want to read:

11) #StopHindiChauvinism: Uniformity is not a prerequisite for unity

On Friday, the working president of the DMK, MK Stalin, noticed that the milestones on the Chittoor-Vellore Highway and National Highway 77 in Tamil Nadu were marked in Hindi and Tamil, and the English names had suddenly vanished. He accused the BJP of disrespecting the Tamils and of trying to bring in a “Hindi hegemony through the backdoor” into Tamil Nadu. While it began with Tamil Nadu, many people, not just from the south of India, seemed to agree with this accusation of Hindi chauvinism. Languages with a rich tradition of poetry and literature such as Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magadhi, and Awadhi have all been subsumed under the umbrella of Hindi. Twitter users across the country have been vocal in pointing this out, using the hashtag #StopHindiChauvinism.

Read the full article here.

First Published: Apr 05, 2017 07:40 IST