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1400 Hrs

10th December, 2017


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, his government awarded more Padma awards to common people in its three-years in power; Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi says, NDA government has taken a U-turn on development issues.
  • Campaigning reaches its peak for the second phase of assembly elections in Gujarat; BJP President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani and NCP leader Praful Patel addressing rallies.
  • Haryana Police registers FIR against Gurugram's Fortis hospital in a case of death of a 7-year old dengue patient.
  • In Nepal, Left alliance heading for absolute majority in Parliament elections.
  • United Nations tells North Korea to keep communication channels open to avoid risk of war.
  • World Human Rights Day being observed today.
  • And in Cricket; Indian batting collapses in first ODI against Sri Lanka; Seven wickets lost for just 29 runs.


Campaigning for the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections has reached its peak, with just three days left for it to end. Star campaigners of all major political parties are leaving no stone unturned to win the voters. Addressing a rally in Palanpur, Prime Minister Narendra Modi refuted Congress charges that BJP is a party for the rich and not for the poor. He asked people to look at the list of people who were awarded Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padmashree in the last three years. Mr Modi said, NDA government has awarded more common people in its 3 years in power than UPA did in ten years. He expressed confidence that BJP will emerge victorious in the polls. The Prime Minister stated that the entire nation is seeing the wonders of Banaskantha in agriculture, particularly in potato cultivation. He expressed confidence that with the coming of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Banaskantha will become a transport hub. He said, it will provide opportunities to the youth of this region.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to address rallies in Sandand, Kalol and Vadodara later today.

BJP President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani are also addressing gatherings in several places today.

Addressing a rally at Dakor, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said, the NDA government has taken a U-turn on development issues. He also criticised the Prime Minister for his foreign tours. In a tweet, Mr Gandhi said GST and demonetisation have made traders in Gujarat incur heavy losses.

NCP leader Praful Patel is also campaigning for his party in Modasa, Kathlal, Nadiad and Gandhinagar.

Our correspondent reports that of the total 182 constituencies, 93 seats spread over North and Central Gujarat will go to polls in the second phase on Thursday.

"A total of 851 candidates are in the fray in the second phase. Prominent candidates include Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who is contesting from Mehsana, Congress leader Alpesh Thakore from Raghanpur, and BJP Minister Shankar Bhai Chaudhary from Vav. Polling for the first phase was held in 89 constituencies of Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat yesterday. Over 68 per cent voter turn out was recorded. The counting will be held on the 18th of this month. With Yogesh Pandya, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


The Centre has refuted the allegations by an NGO that there was a delay on its part in releasing funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme for drought-hit farmers. The issue was raised before the court by the NGO Swaraj Abhiyan which claimed that there was a high percentage of delay over payment under MGNREGA made from the time when fund transfer order was made till the time the payment was actually given to the beneficiaries. After the government disputed these facts, the court asked Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, to file an affidavit within four weeks in this regard. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on the 18th of next month.


The Civil Aviation Ministry and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sought details from Vistara Airlines over actor Zaira Wasim's alleged molestation attempt incident. The case had surfaced after the Dangal actor took to Instagram and described how a man tried to molest her during the Delhi-Mumbai Vistara flight. Vistara said, they support Zaira Wasim and have zero tolerance for such behaviour.


The Haryana Police today registered an FIR against Fortis hospital, Gurugram in a case of death of a 7-year old dengue patient. The FIR was registered at Sushant Lok Police Station under section 304(2) of the Indian Penal Code. State Health Minister Anil Vij said, as per the probe, grave negligence on the part of the hospital led to Adhya's death. The death of the 7-year old had sparked controversy after the hospital charged about 16 lakh rupees from her family. The police complaint was registered after the Health department removed Fortis from the list of its empaneled hospitals.


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today said, farmers should be given more focus in the country. He said this after conferring the Yerarignar award to renowned agriculture scientist Dr MS Swaminathan at a function in Chennai. The Vice President said, agriculture is the basic culture of India adding that the electronic National Agriculture Market system, e-NAM, which is being experimented in 40 mandals, should be expanded nationwide to avoid middlemen exploiting farmers. He insisted that agriculture should be made a viable and an appealing profession for the next generation. Mr Naidu also asked the media to give more importance to agriculture rather than getting drawn towards sensationalism. He also asked research institutions to transfer new technologies to farmers.


In Nepal, the left alliance is heading for an absolute majority in Parliament elections and is leading in most of the provincial assemblies. Of the 165 constituencies of the House of Representatives, results of 95 seats have been declared, so far. The Left alliance has won 75 seats and is leading in 40. Ruling Nepali Congress has got just 11 seats and is leading in 11 places. Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal has got 4 and Rashtriya Janta Party Nepal has won 3 seats. Our correspondent has filed this report:

 "CPN (UML)and CPN (Maoist Center) alliance is also leading in provincial assemblies. Except province no. 2 alliance is much ahead in remaining 6 provinces. So far results of 174 seats of state assemblies out of 330 have been declared. Left alliance has won 133, Nepali Congress got 25 others have won 16 seats. Though results of 110 seats of House of Representative and 220 seats of provincial assemblies under proportionate representation is yet to come but keeping in view the results of direct election, left alliance is expected to get absolute majority in 275 member parliament and most of the state assemblies. Raj Kumar AIR News Kathmandu."


The United Nations has told North Korea that there is an urgent need to keep communication channels open to avoid the risk of war. The UN said this in a statement after the visit of its under-secretary-general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman's to Pyongyang. This was the first highest-level trip by a UN official to the isolated nation in six years. The statement said, during the visit, Mr Feltman had a series of meetings with North Korean Foreign Minister Yong Ho and his deputy PAK Myong Guk. They exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and agreed that the current situation was the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world. The UN envoy emphasised the need for the implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions. He said, there can only be a diplomatic solution to the situation, achieved through a process of sincere dialogue. North Korea said, it has agreed to regular communication with the UN. Mr Feltman's visit came after the US and South Korea launched their biggest-ever annual joint air exercises.


The Arab foreign ministers have urged the United States to abandon its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying the move will increase violence throughout the region. The Council of the Arab League held an extraordinary session on Jerusalem last night. The session which was called on the behest of Jordan was attended by all its 22 members in Cairo.     In a statement after the meeting, the council said, the announcement by President Donald Trump was a 'dangerous violation of international law', had no legal impact and was void.

Condemning the US decision on Jerusalem, head of the Arab League said that it was ‘dangerous and unacceptable’ and described it as a 'flagrant attack on a political solution' to the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.


In China, eight people have been killed in a fire at a township in Haifeng County of Guangdong province. The fire broke out in a community in Gongping Township and was later doused. State-run Xinhua news agency said, one person died on the spot and others later succumbed to their injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


World Human Rights Day is being observed today. On this day in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. It is a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being. Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. The theme this year is, 'Let's stand up for equality, justice and human dignity'.

This year, the Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In his message, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged people and leaders everywhere to stand up for all human rights and for the values that underpin hopes for a fairer, safer and better world.

"Today we see the disturbing hostility towards Human Rights in all regions. Lets stand against those negative forces. Universal Declaration is the most translated document in the world. Let us together make sure, the words are translated into action.Let us stand up and speak out for Human Rights. It protect us all."


The two-day Aadivasi Mahotsav is starting today in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur. The festival aimed at displaying the rich and diverse tribal traditions of the central state will be inaugurated by Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh in the evening. More on this from our correspondent:

"The Aadivasi Mahotsav is being organized in memory of 1857 revolutionary from Chhattisgarh, Shaheed Veernarayan Singh on his martyrdom day.  During the event, tribal cultural, literature & food festivals, tribal olympiad and hackathon will be held.  Different folk dances of North-eastern India will  be presented by cultural troupes from respective states. In addition, discussions on issues related to tribals are also being held as part of the Mahotsav. Tushar Karmarkar, AIR News, Raipur.


After Gurugram and Faridabad, Bahadurgarh has become the third city of Haryana which would get the metro rail service. The test run of the metro from Mundka of Delhi upto Bahadurgarh was conducted yesterday. BJP MLA from Bahadurgarh Naresh Kaushik said, the trial run of the metro will soon be conducted. He said, the state government had taken up the project on a priority basis and provided adequate funds for its completion.


The 139th birth anniversary of Chakravarthi C. Rajagopalachari, Mahatma Gandhi's confidante and the last Governor General of India, is being observed throughout the nation today. Special reading sessions of Rajaji’s retelling of Indian Classics Ramayana and Mahabharatha, in English, are being held in various parts of Tamil Nadu.


The ASEAN India Connectivity Summit (AICS) will begin in New Delhi tomorrow. The  theme of the two-day Summit is Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century. The AICS aims at accelerating existing connectivity prospects, identifying issues of concern, evolving suitable policy recommendations and developing strategies to enhance economic, industrial and trade relations between ASEAN and India. Its focus areas are Infrastructure, Roadways, Shipping, Digital, Finance, Energy and Aviation. In addition, the AICS will be bringing together, policymakers, senior officials from the Government, investors, industry leaders, representatives of trade associations and entrepreneurs on the same platform.


In Cricket, the Indian batting collapsed in the first one day international of the 3-match series against Sri Lanka at Dharamsala today. Sri Lanka had won the toss and put India into bat before its bowlers, led by paceman Suranga Lakmal, wreaked havoc. They sent 7 Indian batsmen back to the pavilion at the score of just 29. Lakmal bagged 4 of those wickets. When reports last came in, India were  85  for 8 in 31 overs, with MS Dhoni on 38 and Jasprit Bumrah  at the crease.
India is without its regular skipper Virat Kohli in the series. Rohit Sharma is leading the side. India had won the Test series against the Lankans, 1-0. The ODI series will be followed by 3 Twenty-20 matches.


In the Hockey World League Final at Bhubaneswar, India will take on Germany for the Bronze medal today. The match will begin at 5:15 PM. In the semi-finals, India had lost to Rio Olympics Gold medalist Argentina, 0-1. India has won just once in this tournament, so far, against Belgium, lost on three occasions and drew against world champions Australia in their first group match.The title clash of the tournament will also be played today, with Australia locking horns with Argentina at 7:30 PM.


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