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0815 HRS



  • Campaigning for the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections at its peak; Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to address a number of rallies today.
  • Three terrorists killed in an encounter in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China to discuss regional and global issues at a meeting in New Delhi today.
  • Arab League launches international media campaign against US decision on Jerusalem.
  • Intense cold wave conditions continue in North India; Heavy rain and snowfall predicted in parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
  • In Sports, India bag 6 medals, including 1 Gold, on Day 3 of Asian Airgun Championship at Japan.
  • Australia beat Argentina to win Hockey World League Final Gold at Bhubaneswar; India gets Bronze.


Campaigning for the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections is at its peak, as tomorrow is the last day for electioneering. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold three public meetings at Patan, Nadiad and Ahmedabad, while BJP President Amit Shah will address rallies in Sui Gam, Koshindra, Borsad and Dabhoi. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel will also canvass for votes.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will hold rallies in Tharad, Viramgam, Savli and Gandhinagar.
Our correspondent reports that of the total 182 seats, 93 in North and Central Gujarat will go to polls in this phase on Thursday.

"Campaigning for the second phase has been high voltage so far. BJP has accused Congress of trying to polarise voters ahead of the polls, claiming that it has been largely successful in eradicating Congress from the country. Congress, on the other hand, says BJP has failed to fulfill its poll promises and is now taking a U-turn on development. Both parties have expressed confidence of winning the high stakes elections. Over 2 crore 22 lakh people will decide the fate of 851 candidates in this phase. Counting will be held on the 18th of December. With Yogesh Pandya, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


In Jammu and Kashmir, three terrorists have been killed in an encounter with security forces in Baramulla district. Talking to AIR, Director General of Police, SP Vaid said, the encounter broke out at Hinshu in Bomai area of the district late last night during a search operation.

"हंदवाड़ा एनकाउंटर में update है कि तीनों टेररिस्ट neutralise कर दिए गए हैं और apparently तीनों विदेशी दिखते हैं। और किस तंजीम से है लश्कर--तैय्यबा के हैं या जैश--मोहम्मद के वो अभी verification चल रही है। सारी रात एनकाउंटर चला।"


The Russia, India and China (RIC) foreign ministerial meeting will be held in New Delhi today. The meeting is expected to review global and regional issues of mutual interest as well as discuss trilateral exchanges and activities. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi have arrived in the national capital for the meeting.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also have separate bilateral meetings with the two visiting dignitaries.

Both leaders will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.


The ASEAN India Connectivity Summit begins in New Delhi today. The theme of the two-day summit is 'Powering Digital and Physical Linkages for Asia in the 21st Century'. Our correspondent has the details:

"The summit 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. The summit will bring together, policymakers, senior officials from the Government, investors, industry leaders, representatives of trade associations and entrepreneurs on the same platform. WITH SHASHANK, SWATI RAKHEJA, FOR AIR NEWS, DELHI."


The Mumbai Police has arrested the man suspected of allegedly molesting actor Zaira Wasim onboard the Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Deputy Commissioner of Police Anil Kumbhare said, the accused will be produced before a court today. The Vistara Airlines has apologized for the incident and submitted an initial report to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.


Intense cold wave conditions continue in Northern India, with heavy rain and snowfall predicted in parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Talking to AIR, Head of Services of the MeT department, Dr M Mohapatra said, rain or snowfall is expected at most places in the two states due to a western disturbance.

"During next 48 hours , we are expecting rainfall or snowfall at most places with isolated heavy rainfall and snowfall for Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. We are also expecting rainfall at many places over adjoining plain areas like Punjab, North Haryana, Chandigarh, and adjoining areas of West Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand."
The Srinagar-Leh highway, connecting the frontier Ladakh region with the rest of Jammu and Kashmir, has been closed ahead of the expected snowfall.
In Himachal Pradesh, the minimum temperature in Keylong was recorded at minus 2 degrees Celsius, while in Kalpa it reached freezing point.
Cold weather conditions also prevailed in Delhi and parts of Punjab and Haryana.


Several other places around the world are also experiencing first major snowfall of the season creating travel woes for millions. Britain witnessed the heaviest snowfall in four years leading to widespread disruption as roads became hazardous and flights grounded following runway closures. Police forces in worst-hit Wales and central England urged motorists not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

In Germany, over 300 flights were cancelled and hundreds more delayed as snow and ice blocked runways at country's largest airport in Frankfurt. Duesseldorf airport was also forced to close for four hours.

In the United States, a major winter storm blanketed various parts, including Florida and Texas.


The Arab League has announced the launch of an international media campaign to explain the gravity of US decision to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Arab League made the announcement in a statement after an emergency meeting of Foreign Ministers from 22 countries in Cairo yesterday. The statement also called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Here is more from our West Asia correspondent:

"As violent confrontations between Israeli military and Palestinians continue in wake of Trump's Jerusalem announcement, Arab League has urged the United States to abandon this move. In its extraordinary session, the Council of the Arab League has said that this decision by President Donald Trump was a dangerous violation of international law. The Arab allies said that any declaration on Jerusalem before reaching a final settlement would harm the peace negotiations and make them more complicated, stressing that this is a provocation to the feelings of Muslims around the world and a bias in the US position. Condemning the US decision on Jerusalem, head of the Arab League said that it was dangerous and unacceptable. KANCHAN PRASAD, AIR NEWS, DUBAI."


In Nepal, the counting of votes for Parliament and Provincial assemblies is in its final stage. The Left alliance has won the maximum seats, so far, and is heading for an absolute majority in Parliament and most of the Provincial assemblies. Of the 165 constituencies of the House of Representatives, results of 137 seats have been declared so far. The Left alliance has bagged 100 seats and is leading in 17. Ruling Nepali Congress has got just 18 seats. Our correspondent has the details:

"CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist Center) alliance is heading for a massive victory. Results of 262 out of 330 seats in seven provincial assemblies has been declared so far. Left alliance has got 191, Nepali Congress 35 and others won 36 seats. Now all eyes are on the results of 110 seats of House of Representatives and 220 seats of provincial assemblies under proportionate representation. However keeping in view the results of direct election, Left alliance is expected to get majority in Parliament and most of the Provincial Assemblies. Raj Kumar, AIR News, Kathmandu."


A group of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel conducted a cleanliness campaign at the Chowpatty beach in Mumbai yesterday as part of the Swachhata Pakhwada. More on this from our correspondent:

"Around 250 personnel from CISF cleaned around 1.5 km stretch of the Chowpatty beach in south Mumbai yesterday. Under the guidance of Inspector General for the western sector Satish Khandare, the exercise was undertaken for two hours from 9 am to 11 am. During this drive, CISF officers and men carried out the exercise in collaboration with general public to enthuse them regarding virtues of Centre's 'Swacch Bharat Mission'. A 'Swachhta Pakhwada' is being observed in all CISF field units and other formations under the western sector from December 1st to December 15th. Shailesh Patil, AIR NEWS, Mumbai."


"Indian shooters bagged 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze medals on Day 3 of the 10th Asian Airgun Championship at Wako, Japan yesterday. Jitu Rai won an individual Bronze in the Men's 10 metre Air Pistol event, which also helped India bag the Team Gold. Heena Sidhu claimed an individual bronze in the Women's section of the event. Her effort also helped the team clinch a Silver. Another Bronze came through Anmol Jain in the junior Men's 10 metre Air Pistol event, with India winning the Silver in the Team category. India's medal count now stands at 4 Gold, 6 Silver and 7 Bronze.

Onto Cricket, Sri Lanka defeated India by seven wickets in the first ODI at Dharamsala yesterday to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.

And in Hockey, world champions Australia defeated Rio Olympics Gold medalists Argentina, 2-1 to win the Gold medal at the World League Final at Bhubaneswar last night.

Earlier in the day, India reclaimed the bronze medal after beating Germany, 2-1.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore has announced that his Ministry will provide complete funding to Hockey India for Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup next year. Savvy hasan khan, AIR News."


The News Services Division of All India Radio, in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme 'PUBLIC SPEAK', will bring you a discussion tonight on 'Merger of PF Accounts with Universal Account Numbers'. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM. Listeners can ask questions to the experts in our Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1XXX-XX-5767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011-2331-4444 and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews alerts by #tag Askair.




  • "Pak trying to fix Gujarat polls : Modi" is The Asian Age headline. PM accuses Congress of being in cahoots with Pakistan but Congress says PM relying on rumours, says the report. The paper also reports of Rahul Gandhi formally taking over as Congress President on December 16th."Modiji is fixated on himself : Rahul" headline The Pioneer quoting the Congress Vice President as saying no matter what he says about me, I won't utter a single bad word about PM.
  • "Outrage in Hisar as 5 year old Dalit raped, brutalised with stick, killed" is a DNA headline, a chilling reminder of the Nirbhaya gangrape and murder in Delhi, 5 years ago. Haryana has recorded the highest rate of gangrapes for 3 years in a row, says the report.
  • Nitish Kumar, the Bihar CM, has pitched for a nation-wide ban on alcohol and has hit out at the Congress and left parties for not supporting the ban, reports The Tribune.
  • "Veejika Dera" - well that's no ordinary dera, but a group of self-motivated volunteers at Delhi's gurudwara Sis Ganj and 6 other places in Delhi. They take care of medical needs of the homeless with a team of 300 volunteers, that's a front page story in The Tribune.

The other stories covered by newspapers are:

- A speeding train running over 5 elephants in Guwahati.

- West Bengal to get its first Naval museum.

- India's first sculpture park with works of 15 artists having been inaugurated in Jaipur.

- Delhi to have its first pollen count station.

-Gujarat to preserve the world famous Patola textile.

-AYUSH to involve self help groups for herbal produce from forests.

-World Book fair from 6 to 14th January to be green.

-153 engineering colleges having been shut down with 51 per cent B. Tech seats vacant.


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