Last Updated : Jun 26 2019 3:50PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on PM Modi            PM Modi to leave for Japan to attend 14th G20 Summit today            Additional NRC Draft Exclusion list published in Assam            Asia-Pacific Group unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of UNSC            ICC Cricket World Cup: New Zealand takes on Pakistan today           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
26.05.2019

THE HEADLINES:

  • YSR Congress Party Chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy calls on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi; seeks special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

  • In Odisha, BJD Legislature Party to meet today to elect Naveen Patnaik as its leader.

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj seeks report on denial of visa extension to Padma Shri awardee Friederike Irina.

  • CBI issues lookout notice against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with Saradha chit fund scam.

  • Voting to elect new European Parliament underway in 21 countries.

  • South Korean director Bong Joon Ho's Parasite wins Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival.

  • In Tennis, the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season, begins this afternoon.

  • And, ISSF Shooting World Cup to start in Germany.

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YSR Congress Party President YS Jaganmohan Reddy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. Both leaders held discussions on issues regarding the assurances made during the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and sought support to the financially-stricken state. He urged Mr Modi for the release of pending funds and sought the Special Category Status. Mr Reddy asked Mr Modi to allocate additional funds for big projects such as Kadapa Steel Plant, Polavaram, Durgarajapatnam Port.

Mr Reddy submitted a memorandum of understanding to the Central government, seeking assistance for the development of the state.

During his party's legislature meeting yesterday, Mr Reddy had stressed on the need for the Special Category Status for the state.

The YSR Congress Chief also congratulated Mr Modi on winning a second term in office. He invited Mr Modi to attend his swearing-in ceremony as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister in Vijayawada on Thursday.

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Mr Modi was yesterday invited by President Ram Nath Kovind to form a new government at the Centre. Exercising powers under Article 75 (1) of the Constitution, the President appointed Mr Modi as the Prime Minister and requested him to advise about the names of others to be appointed as members of the Council of Ministers. A press communique said, Mr Kovind also requested Mr Modi to indicate the date and time of the swearing-in-ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The move comes after Mr Modi staked the claim to form a new government at the Centre yesterday.

A letter stating that Mr Modi has been elected the leader of the BJP Parliamentary party along with letters of support from NDA constituent parties were handed over to the President.

Talking to reporters at Rashtrapati Bhawan after meeting Mr Kovind, Mr Modi said, the President has invited him to form the next government. The Prime Minister assured the people of the country that the new government will leave no stone unturned in fulfilling their dream and aspirations. He said, the new mantra - Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas shows the right way of development of all areas of the country.

Earlier, Mr Modi was unanimously elected leader of the BJP-led NDA at a meeting attended by its newly elected MPs and senior leaders in the Central Hall of Parliament. Mr Modi was also elected the leader of BJP parliamentary party. Addressing the leaders at the meeting, Mr Modi said, people have accepted NDA because of its work. He said, the nation rewards hard work and honesty and it is the strength of this country. The Prime Minister said, a massive mandate increases responsibility and NDA is beginning a new journey. He said, Energy and synergy are the two main features of the NDA and the parties must walk shoulder-to-shoulder.

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The Prime Minister called on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at his official residence in New Delhi this morning. Mr Naidu greeted him on being elected as the leader of the NDA and the next Prime Minister. Mr Naidu and Mr Modi discussed many issues, including accelerating development and strengthening Parliamentary institutions, over breakfast.

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Mr Modi will visit Gujarat today. State BJP President Jitu Vaghani said, the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah will visit the party office at Khanpur in Ahmedabad where they will be felicitated following the party's massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls and a clean sweep in Gujarat. More from our correspondent:

"Prime Minister Modi and BJP President Amit Shah will also be felicitated by the Gujarat unit of the party following the massive victory in the polls. State BJP President Jitu Vaghani said that both the leaders will visit the party office at Khanpur in Ahmedabad where they will be felicitated. Both the leaders will address party workers and public on this occasion. According to sources, state BJP leaders, supporters and heads of various religious and social organizations will receive the two leaders at the Ahmedabad airport. Prime Minister will garland Sardar Patel's statue near the Ahmedabad airport. Later in the evening, Mr. Modi will visit Gandhinagar to seek blessings of his mother Hiraba. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News,Ahmedabad.

Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will travel to his constituency Varanasi to thank the people for re-electing him.

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In Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Legislature Party will meet in Bhubaneswar this afternoon to elect Naveen Patnaik its leader. Mr Patnaik is now meeting all the twelve elected party MPs at his residence. Mr Patnaik is all set to take oath as the Chief Minister for a record fifth term in a row. The swearing-in ceremony is likely to take place on Wednesday. More from our correspondent:

"Among other things, Mr. Patnaik during the discussion with elected MPs advised to raise constructive issues relating to benefit of the State. Party sources said in view of the Cyclone Fani that caused death and heavy destruction in the state, the swearing-in ceremony will be simple and take place at Pradarsani Maidan open ground in Bhubaneswar. BJD won a decisive victory in the Assembly polls bagging 1 hundred 12 of 1 hundred 46 seats. Similarly, out of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, the BJD had fielded seven women candidates and five of them have emerged victorious in the polls. SN Pattnaik, AIR News, Sambalpur."

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A delegation of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), led by its President Prem Singh Golay, called on the Governor Ganga Prasad yesterday and staked claim to form the government in the state. Speaking to media in Gangtok after meeting the Governor, Mr Golay was, however, tight lipped about whom to elect the Leader of the Legislative Party.Our correspondent reports that the Governor may take the opinion of Constitutional or legal experts before inviting Mr Golay to form the next government. Mr Golay was convicted in a corruption case. SKM sources said, party MLAs have authorised Mr Golay to decide the name of the new Chief Minister.

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In Karnataka, the lone independent Member of Parliament elected from Mandya, Sumalatha Ambareesh has said that she will take a decision whether to join BJP or not on Wednesday after seeking the opinion of her electorate. May 29th is the birth anniversary of her husband, actor turned politician Ambareesh. Sumalatha met former Chief Minister and BJP leader S M Krishna in Bengaluru today and thanked him for the support extended to her during the election campaign. BJP state President B S Yeddyurappa and other leaders from the party were also present.

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Disgruntled Aam Aadmi Party  MLA Alka Lamba has announced that she will quit the party next year. In a tweet, she said, her journey started with AAP in 2013 will end in 2020. Lamba has been at odds with the party for some time now. Yesterday, the MLA had sought accountability from AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on the defeat of the party in Lok Sabha polls following which she was reportedly removed from the official WhatsApp group of the party lawmakers. 

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External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has sought a report from her officials over the denial of visa extension to Padma Shri awardee Ms Friederike Irina Bruning of Germany. Her visa is due to expire on 25th of next month. Ms Bruning, also known as Sudevi Dasi, takes care of around two thousand cows and calves in Mathura and had been doing it for the last 25 years. Most of the cows were rescued after being abandoned by their owners. The 61-year old has threatened to return the prestigious civilian award after her application was rejected.

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The Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, has issued a Look Out Notice against former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar to prevent him from leaving the country. Sources said, all airports and immigration authorities have been ed by the CBI this week to prevent him from leaving the country and intimate the agency on any possible move.

The agency wants custodial interrogation of Kumar, a 1989-batch IPS officer, in connection with 2500 crore rupees Saradha ponzi scam as he was heading the Special Investigation Team of West Bengal Police to probe the case before CBI took over.

The CBI had told the Supreme Court that custodial interrogation of Kumar was necessary as he was not cooperating with the probe.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the CBI, had said Kumar was the in-charge of investigation by the SIT and had allowed the release of mobile phones and laptops, containing crucial records of alleged involvement of political functionaries in the scam.

The apex court had last month asked CBI to furnish evidence for seeking custodial interrogation of Kumar in the Saradha case, saying it has to be satisfied that the agency's request was bona fide and not for political purposes.

The apex court on May 17th had withdrawn protection given to Kumar from any arrest and had asked the CBI to proceed as per law.

Kumar had again approached the Supreme Court on May 20 seeking extension of protection claiming that the courts in West Bengal were not functioning due to lawyers' strike.

This petition was rejected following which Kumar had approached a Kolkata court with an anticipatory bail.

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The CBI has arrested six people, including managing director of a Delhi-based education consultancy firm, for allegedly manipulating an online entrance examination of BITS, Pilani. It is alleged that Bhaskar Choudhary MD of Pathway Education Service in connivance with others was demanding 10 lakh rupees from parents of a candidate for helping in the entrance examination through unfair means. The exam was held between 17th to 22nd of this month. CBI spokesperson said that searches were conducted at Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Mumbai which led to recovery of several incriminating documents, including digital evidences and cash of over 33 lakh rupees.

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In Uttar Pradesh, BJP leader Surendra Singh from Amethi was murdered by unknown assailants last night. The reason behind his murder is not known yet. Police are investigating the incident. A case has been registered on the complaint of his family members. State DGP OP Singh has asked the police to take swift action.

Seven persons have been taken into custody in connection with the murder. Surendra singh, a native of Barauliya village of Amethi, was considered close to newly elected BJP MP Smriti Irani.

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Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were stopped from leaving the country yesterday. Immigration authorities stopped them at Mumbai Airport just minutes before their aircraft was about to take off for London via Dubai. An airport official said, the couple was on board Emirates Airways flight EK 507 and the aircraft was called back to the parking bay at the time of taxiing. According to a home ministry official, there is a look out circular against Goyal to prevent foreign travel.

Earlier, a Jet Airways staff union had filed a police complaint seeking restrictions on Goyal and the senior management from leaving India. The debt ridden Jet Airways stopped all operations last month due to financial distress. Naresh and Anita Goyal had also resigned from the board of Jet Airways in March this year. The cash-strapped Jet Airways is being probed by multiple agencies for alleged irregularities.

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International News:

Citizens across 21 European nations are voting today for new representatives at the European Parliament in the last leg of four day poll. Seven nations of the 28-member bloc have already voted. The European parliamentary election is the second largest democratic exercise in the world. Current European lawmakers' terms end on 1st July and the new parliament will take their seats in Strasbourg the following day.

After the polls, European leaders will begin the task of selecting candidates for the top jobs in the EU's headquarters in Brussels.

The first official projection is due tonight. This will include official results from nine member states; provisional numbers from 13 countries, national estimates from five nations and pre-election voting intentions in the UK. This will be followed by further s.

The result comes after Theresa May announced that she will resign as UK Prime Minister on the 7th of next month over the Brexit stalemate.

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In Britain, former cabinet members Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsom are the latest Conservative MPs to announce that they will run for the party leadership. They become the sixth and seventh candidates to enter the race after Theresa May said she would resign as party leader over the Brexit deal. Speaking to the Mail newspaper today, Mr Raab said the UK needed to leave the European Union on 31st October at the latest. Ms Leadsom said she also supported a no-deal Brexit if necessary.

Five other candidates have so far confirmed their intention to stand. They are Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey.

Ms May will continue as the Prime Minister while the leadership contest takes place. Party bosses expect a new leader to be chosen by the end of July.

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US President Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about recent North Korean missile tests. In a tweet issued shortly after his arrival in Japan today, Mr Trump called the missiles small weapons. He expressed confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite Pyongyang's recent weapons tests and deadlocked nuclear talks.

Yesterday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton had said, the tests violated UN resolutions on North Korea. North Korea is one of the top issues on the agenda as Mr Trump meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. North Korea fired two short-range missiles on the 9th of this month.

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The United Nations has said, that those captured by Taliban in Afghanistan have been subjected to abuse, ill-treatment and actions that may amount to torture. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said, it interviewed 13 detainees from a group of 53 recently rescued from the Taliban. They were mainly members of the Afghan forces but also civilians and government officials captured by the Taliban. The group was freed on the 25th of last month when Afghan troops raided a Taliban-run detention facility in the Khas Uruzgan district in southern Uruzgan province.

The UNAMA statement released today said most of the captives were held since 2018, with three since 2016. It said they were kept in poor conditions and subjected to forced labor. The statement cites the detainees as saying that the Taliban killed some of their captives.

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In China, at least 10 people died and 19 others were injured in a gas leak in a cargo ship. Officials today said the accident in eastern Weihai city happened yesterday, when the ship was being repaired. A preliminary investigation showed that carbon dioxide leaked from the fire preventing system at Longyan Port due to improper operation of crew members. Officials said those responsible for the accident are under police custody.

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In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his new cabinet and the nation's new ambassadors to the United States and the United Nations. Morrison today announced a new-look cabinet, including a record seven women and the first indigenous minister in Australian history, promising that it would focus on service delivery for Australians.

Ken Wyatt, a Member of Parliament from Western Australia, will serve as the Minister for Indigenous Affairs after having served in minor portfolios.

Linda Reynolds has been appointed the Minister for Defence while Marise Payne will remain the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has also been named the Minister for Women.

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In US, at least 10 people injured after two gunmen fired into a crowd outside a bar in New Jersey's capital city yesterday. Authorities said that five men and five women were taken to a hospital with gunshot injuries. Two of the male victims were critical while the others were in stable condition. The motive for the shooting remains unknown. Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said a vehicle pulled up to the corner outside Ramoneros Liquor and Bar in Trenton and fired more than 30 shots before fleeing. Police were examining surveillance footage to locate the vehicle.

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Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a five-year term as South Africa’s President yesterday. Head of the African National Congress Ramaphosa was officially elected as President by Parliament during its first sitting following the sixth general elections. Former president Jacob Zuma, resigned in February last year amid allegations of corruption. Ramaphosa is expected to announce his new Cabinet today.

The South Africa Constitution requires voters to choose a party, which then selects members to go to the National Assembly, where they choose the President.

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In Nigeria, at least 25 soldiers and a number of civilians were killed in an ambush by the Boko Haram militants in northeastern part of the country yesterday. Militants opened fire as the soldiers were escorting a groups of evacuees from a village in Borno state, where Boko Haram and other militants have been fighting for a decade. Nigeria's government said the Boko Haram insurgency and the rival Islamic State West Africa Province group are on their last legs but sustained efforts to eradicate the militants have failed and the military continues to suffer heavy losses.

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South Korean director Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" has bagged the Palme d'Or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in France. Bong Joon Ho received the festival's coveted top prize from French cinema icon Catherine Deneuve at the closing ceremony yesterday. Belgium's Dardenne brothers won the best director award for their story of a radicalised Muslim youth "Young Ahmed". British actress Emily Beecham won the best actress award for psychological chiller "Little Joe". Antonio Banderas named the best actor for his role of a filmmaker in Pedro Almodovar's self-reflexive "Pain and Glory".  The Jury Prize was shared by two films -- French-Malian Ladj Ly's "Les Miserables" and the Brazilian entry "Bacurau".

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The US Geological Survey says a large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.0 has struck in north-central Peru.

The quake, at a moderate depth of 114 kilometers struck at 2:41 am, 80 kilometers southeast of the village of Lagunas and 158 kilometers east-northeast of the larger town of Yurimaguas. Earthquakes that are closer to the surface generally cause more destruction.

The Peruvian government's emergency department tweeted that it registered a magnitude of 7.2, and that the quake was felt in the city of Callao, and the capital, Lima.

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Back home:

In West Bengal, a mild tremor was felt in many parts of the southern districts of the state this morning. The magnitude was 4.8 on the Richter scale. There was, however, no report of any casualty and damage to property so far.  Details are awaited. 

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In Telangana, several places are reeling under a severe heat wave, with the mercury crossing 45 degrees at several places. Our correspondent has more:

"MeT officials have warned that the similar heat wave conditions will continue to prevail at many places across the state for three more days. During the past 24 hours, Nerella of Jagityal District has recorded maximum temperature  of 47.3 degrees Celsius. Several places especially in North and East Telangana regions have recorded maximum temperature above 45 degrees Celsius. The opening of schools after summer vaccation has been rescheduled to 12th June.  Lakhsmi, AIR NEWS, Hyderabad."

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In Tripura, at least 739 people were rendered homeless across the state and forced to take shelter in relief camps due to heavy rain and thunderstorms since Friday. However, there is no report of any casualty. The State Disaster Management Authority said, North Tripura, Unakoti and Dhalai districts have been affected. Over 1,000 houses were damaged due to heavy rain. 40 rescue boats were pressed into service by the state revenue department to evacuate people from the affected areas.

The National Disaster Response Force and Tripura State Rifles have also joined the rescue operations. The Met department has predicted more rain and thundershowers with gusty winds in the state today.

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In Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Pinaki Mishra has announced to donate his salary as Member of Parliament for the next five years to help the victims of Cyclone Fani in Puri district. Mr Mishra made the announcement after being elected to the Lok Sabha for another term from Puri. In a Tweet, Mr Mishra said he decided to donate his entire salary and daily allowance to the Chief Minister Relief Fund to help the affected people of the district.

Meanwhile, normal life across Odisha, particularly in western districts, has been severely affected following an intense heat wave condition, prevailing for more than two weeks. Temperatures in most of the western Odisha towns crossed 45 degrees Celsius. While Titilagarh and Bolangir experienced above 46 degree celcius, in Sambalpur and Jharsuguda it was more than 45 degrees. 13 places of the State recorded temperature over 40 degree Celsius today.

Our correspondent reports that during this summer, more than three dozen persons lost their lives reportedly due to sunstroke in different places of the state. The Bhubaneswar Met office has forecast above normal temperatures in interior and western Odisha, while hot and humid weather is likely to prevail in coastal parts of the State for next few days. Drinking water crisis has compounded the miseries of people in these areas.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, traffic on the strategic 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway resumed yesterday evening after being closed for over 13 hours following a massive landslide in Ramban district. The landslide occurred near Battery Cheshma around 4.30 AM yesterday after incessant rains over the past two days. Police said, the road was cleared and stranded vehicles were allowed to move after hectic efforts by the road clearance agencies.

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The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has issued notice to the government of Gujarat over the death of students in a fire at a coaching centre in Surat. Taking suo moto cognizance of media reports, the Commission issued notice to Chief Secretary of the state and has sought detailed reports in the matter. It has also sought a status of the criminal cases registered against the building owner and others found guilty along with action taken against the public servants concerned.

NHRC said, according to media reports, there was no safe passage for the victims, which could have been used as a fire exit in case of emergency. 

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West Bengal is celebrating the 120th birth anniversary of noted poet Kazi Nazrul Islam today. A large number of people are visiting his birth place at Churulia in West Bardhaman District to pay their tributes to him. A week-long Nazrul Mela has been organised jointly by Nazrul Academy and Kazi Nazrul Islam University in the District. Vice-Chancellor of the University, Dr. Sadhan Chakraborty inaugurated the Mela this morning.

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Sports:

In Tennis, the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the season and the only major played on clay, begins in Paris this afternoon. Star players taking part in the tournament include top seeds Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka, defending champions Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep, Roger Federer, Karolina Pliskova, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Serena Williams and her sister Venus. World number three Federer, who is making a return to Roland Garros for the first time in four years, is among those who will play their first round matches today. He will take on Italy's Lorenzo Sonego. Prajnesh Gunneswaran will be playing in his first Grand Slam and is the only Indian in the Singles. Gunneswaran, who qualified by the merit of his world rank of 86, will face Marco Dellien of Bolivia today. Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams will also be seen in action. Indians figuring in the Doubles are, Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, but they will be playing with separate partners.

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The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup will start today at Munich in Germany. Indian shooters Apurvi Chandela, Anjum Moudgil and Elavenil Valarivan will be vying for top honours at the event. The opening day of the competition will see women's 10 metres Air Rifle final. A total of 919 athletes from 98 countries will be competing for the 17 Tokyo Olympics quota places available, besides a coveted ISSF World Cup medal. India has fielded a 35-member squad, 23 of them competing for medals in the 10 events lined up over the next five days.

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In Archery, the Indian Men's Compound team of Rajat Chauhan, Abhishek Verma and Aman Saini earned India a solitary bronze medal in the World Cup Stage III at Antalya in Turkey yesterday. The trio put up a solid performance to edge out higher seeded Russian team of Anton Bulaev, Alexander Dambaev and Pavel Krylov 235-230 in the bronze medal play-off.

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