Latest News: Earthquake of 5.7 Magnitude Hits Papua New Guinea
Catch all the latest news and updates here.
Catch all the latest news and updates here.(Photo: The Quint)

Latest News: Earthquake of 5.7 Magnitude Hits Papua New Guinea

Catch all the latest news and updates here.

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Cuba Decides Against Same-Sex Marriage Law

Cuba has decided against same-sex marriage law in new constitution, AFP reported quoting officials.

(Source: AFP)

19 NGO Workers Killed in Uganda Bus Crash

At least 19 staff members of a non-governmental organisation died and six were injured when the bus they were travelling in lost control and hurtled off a cliff in eastern Uganda, police said.

"19 people have been confirmed dead and six others critically injured when the bus went off the cliff and crashed in the valley," regional police spokesman, Rogers Taitika told AFP on Tuesday, 18 December.

Hamid Ansari Reaches Delhi After Release From Pak Jail

Indian national Hamid Ansari reached Delhi on Wednesday, 19 December. He was lodged in a jail in Pakistan and was released on Tuesday.

"I feel really good coming back home. I am very emotional right now," Ansari said.

(Source: ANI)

Also Read : The Hamid Ansari Story: Cross-Border Love, Espionage & a Pak Jail

6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Easter Island

An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 hit Easter Island, a Chilean territory, at 7.07 am (IST) on Wednesday, 19 December. More details are awaited.

(Source: ANI)

Trump to Attend Davos World Economic Forum

US President Donald Trump would attend the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos in January, the White House has said. For the second consecutive year, Trump would attend the global meet.

Notably, Trump had declined India's invitation to attend the annual Republic Day Parade in New Delhi on 26 January.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read : Trump unlikely to honour India's invite for Republic Day celebrations

BTech Student Gang-Raped in Agra

A BTech student on her way to a coaching centre in Agra was forcibly carried away by two unidentified men to the banks of river Yamuna and gang-raped, police said on Wednesday, 19 December.

The first year student was on her scooty on Tuesday evening when the two men on a bike intercepted and grabbed her. They took her to a secluded spot on the poiya ghat and attacked her.

(Source: IANS)

Protests Erupt in PoK Over Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Project

Protests were held against Pakistan in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), on Wednesday, 19 December, demanding immediate termination of the hydropower plant project underway on the Neelum-Jhelum river.

The protesters also demanded that authorities refrain from sanctioning any further projects.

(Source: ANI)

CPI(M), Cong Move Adjournment Motions in Parliament

The CPI(M) and Congress on Wednesday, 19 December, moved adjournment motion notices in Lok Sabha over the Rafale Deal and demonetisation respectively.

(Source: ANI)

Also Read : Chaos over Rafale continues in Parliament, stalls proceedings

Cold Wave Conditions Predicted for Next 3 Days in Delhi

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cold wave warning and has forecast that night temperature in Delhi could further drop to around 4 degrees in the coming days.

The mercury dropped to 5.1 degrees Celsius in the early hours of Tuesday, 18 December, making it the coldest December day since 2015.

Facebook Kicks Myanmar Military-linked Pages Off Platform

Facebook has removed hundreds of pages and accounts in Myanmar with hidden links to the military, the platform said on Wednesday, 19 December, as the company scrambles to respond to criticism over failures to control hate speech and misinformation.

The social media giant – Myanmar's most popular and influential site – has been lambasted for years for its ineffective response to malicious posts, particularly against the country's Rohingya Muslims.

(Source: PTI)

Father of Civilian Who Died in Bulandshahr Violence to Meet UP CM Today

Father of Sumit, a civilian who died during the violence in Bulandshahr over alleged cow slaughter (who is also an accused in the case) reached Lucknow on Wednesday, 19 December. He will meet Uttar pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath later in the day.

(Source: ANI)

Rupee Strengthens 50 Paise to 69.94 Against US Dollar

Continuing its rising spree, the rupee appreciated another 50 paise to breach the 70 per dollar-mark in opening trade on Wednesday, 19 December, on persistent drop in crude prices amid fresh foreign fund inflows and sustained selling of the American currency by exporters and banks.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read : Sensex manages 6th straight rise as rupee goes up sharply

Another Accused in Rs 126 Cr Yamuna Expressway Land Scam Arrested

The Gautam Buddh Nagar Police on Tuesday, 18 December, arrested the another accused in the Rs 126 crore Yamuna Expressway land scam, a senior officer said.

Sanjeev Kumar Singh, a lawyer and a native of Bulandhahr, was held for his alleged involvement in the land fraud case linked to the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA).

(Source: PTI)

Disciplinary Action Against Teachers Who Defied HC Order: JNU Admin

The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration on Tuesday, 18 December, said "disciplinary proceedings" are in the pipeline against teachers who participated in a hunger strike last month and defied High Court orders.

The JNU Teachers' Association (JNUTA), however, said their protests are within the constitutional and legal framework.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read : Replacement row: JNUTA begins three-day hunger strike

Trump Panel Recommends Guns in Schools to Keep Students Safe

A safety panel set up by US President Donald Trump in the wake of numerous school shootings recommended on Tuesday, 18 December, that schools consider arming staff, using veterans as guards and reversing Obama-era guidelines.

The Federal Commission on School Safety panel, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, was set up after the February massacre in Parkland, Florida, when a former student shotdead 17 people, sparking mass gun control protests.

(Source: PTI)

Also Read : US allocates over $70m to counter school shootings

Amid Chinese Inroads, Pompeo Meets Nepal Foreign Minister

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a rare meeting with Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali as part of the Trump administration's effort to thwart increasing Chinese influence in the Himalayan nation.

Pompeo described his meeting on Tuesday, 18 December, with Gyawali as historic and said this demonstrates America's commitment to its strong partnership with Nepal.

(Source: PTI)

NIA Searches Residences of 2 SPDI Workers

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday, 19 December, conducted searches at the residences of 2 SDPI workers, Ashik and Anwar, in Coimbatore in connection with an alleged conspiracy of killing right-wing leaders in TamilNadu.

Five persons have been arrested in the case by NIA till now.

Delhi Court Seeks CBI Reply on SP Tyagi's Plea to Go Abroad

Delhi's Patiala House Court, while hearing the VVIP chopper scam case, sought a reply from the CBI on Wednesday, 19 December, on a plea filed by former Air Force Chief SP Tyagi.

Tyagi was seeking permission to go abroad. The CBI is to file a reply on 22 December.

(Source: ANI)

Also Read : Chopper Scam World Exclusive: ‘I Never Bribed SP Tyagi’ - Haschke

CBI Opposes Christian Michel's Bail Plea

The CBI on Wednesday, 19 December, opposed the bail plea of alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam, Christian Michel, in Delhi's Patiala House Court.

Aljo K Jospeh (counsel for Michel) said that his client had become weak since he was also in custody in Dubai for 5 months on the CBI's request. “We are ready for any condition of bail. You have already granted bail to other accused,” he said.

(Source: ANI)

Lok Janshakti Party Should Also Leave NDA: Upendra Kushwaha

RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha on Wednesday, 19 December, said that “the arrogance of BJP and Nitish Kumar was one of the reasons why we left NDA.”

He said that others will also face the same arrogance and advised the Lok Janshakti Party to also leave the NDA as soon as possible. “Otherwise, they’ve (BJP) made their mind to destroy the smaller parties,” Kushwaha added.

(Source: ANI)

Also Read : Kushwaha Exit: Why PM Modi Must Stop Allies from Deserting Him

Sure That Shiv Sena Will be With NDA in 2019: Amit Shah

BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday, 19 December, said that the results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were “definitely not favourable for BJP”, but added that it was “not right to link them with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”

Shah said that the Opposition 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) doesn't exist and is a 'bhranti' (illusion). “I am sure the Shiv Sena will be with us in 2019 Lok Sabha elections; talks are on (with them),” he added.

(Source: PTI)

ED Summons P Chidambaram in INX Media Case

Former finance minister P Chidambaram has been summoned by ED to appear before it on Wednesday, 19 December, in the INX Media Case, ANI reported.

Expelled PDP Leader Joins NC

A day after he was expelled from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Minister Basharat Bukhari on Wednesday, 19 December, joined the National Conference (NC).

Bukhari was expelled for his anti-party activities.

(Source: IANS)

Delhi HC Adjourns Yashpal Singh's Bail Petiotion in 1984 Riots Case to 29 Jan

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, adjourned for 29 January the petition seeking bail and suspension of death sentence of Yashpal Singh in 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

(Source: ANI)

Smriti Irani's Defamation Case Against Sanjay Nirupam to Continue: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, allowed the petition of Smriti Irani seeking a quashing of summons filed against her by Congress' Sanjay Nirupam.

The court also dismissed the petition filed by Nirupam in the defamation case filed against him by Irani.

(Source: ANI)

Madras HC Restrains Political Parties From Erecting Digital Banners in Tamil Nadu

The Madras High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, restrained all political parties from erecting digital banners on roadsides in Tamil Nadu till further orders, ANI reported.

Protests Held in Bengaluru Over Passing of Transgender Bill

Transgenders held a protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday, 19 December, over the passing of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill in Lok Sabha.

Protestors said that the community wasn't consulted before passing the Bill. “It doesn't consider reservations in jobs and education, most of us are forced to beg and the bill criminalises begging," protesters said.

(Source: ANI)

Kerala HC Rejects Actor Dileep's Plea in Molestation Case

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, rejected actor Dileep's plea seeking a CBI enquiry in the molestation case against him filed by a Malayalam actress.

(Source: ANI)

Also Read : Will not return till cleared, Dileep tells AMMA after actresses complain

US to Review Travel Ban, Ensure Aid Reaches North Korea: Special Envoy

The United States has decided to review the travel ban and will meet humanitarian groups to ensure that aid reaches North Korea, a US special envoy said on Wednesday, 19 December.

(Source: Reuters)

US Senate Approves Overhaul of Criminal Justice System

The US Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping overhaul of the country's criminal justice system that would decrease America's prison population by lowering some mandatory federal sentences and giving inmates added opportunities to earn reductions in jail time.

Senators on Tuesday, 18 December, voted 87-12 for the overhaul in the system that had been viewed by many conservatives and liberals view as "costly and unfair". The First Step Act drew resounding support from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as well as President Donald Trump.

(Source: IANS)

Will End PM Modi's Slumber: Rahul Gandhi

After the BJP governments in Assam and Gujarat announced waiver of farm loans and rural electricity bills, respectively, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, 19 December, said it was now time for "sleeping" Prime Minister Narendra Modi to wake up.

Gandhi claimed both states made the move under pressure from the Congress, which immediately after forming governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh waived farm loans delivering on its pre-poll promise.

Bombay HC Adjourns Maratha Reservation Matter Till 23 Jan

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, adjourned the Maratha reservation matter till 23 January 2019. Maharashtra goverment’s lawyer stated before the court that no appointments will be made till that date.

(Source: ANI)

Delhi HC Extends YS Chowshary's Interim Protection till 16 Jan

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, extended the interim protection granted to former Union Minister and TDP leader YS Chowdary in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) proceedings matter till 16 January, the date of the next hearing.

Meanwhile, Chowdary's counsel told the court that the case was one of political vendetta.

(Source: ANI)

Two Teachers Injured in West Bengal School Shooting

At least two teachers were injured after firing inside a private school in West Bengal's Cooch Behar on Wednesday, 19 December. The state police have launched an investigation into the matter.

(Source: ANI)

Calcutta HC Resumes Hearing BJP's Rath Yatra Petition

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday, 19 December, resumed hearing BJP’s Rath Yatra petition. Supreme Court lawyer Anand Grover placed arguments in court on behalf of police, CNNNews18 reported.

Also Read : Calcutta HC asks BJP to provide tentative 'Rath Yatra' dates

Rahul to Hold Meet on Bihar Lok Sabha Alliances on Thursday

Congress President Rahul Gandhi will on Thursday, 20 December, hold a meeting on Bihar Lok Sabha alliances. Tejashwi Yadav and Jitan Ram Manjhi will also be present for the meet. Bihar seat sharing is likely to be discussed, sources told CNNNews18.

Solskjaer Appointed Interim Manager Of Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter Handle @ManUtd)

Manchester United has appointed its former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the ‘caretaker manager’ for the rest of the season.

The Norwegiam will be joined by Mike Phelan as first-team coach, together with Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, the club said on its official Twitter handle.

The announcement comes a day after the club sacked Jose Mourinho from his position as the manager with immediate effect following their Sunday’s defeat against Liverpool.

Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rebuts Rahul Gandhi on Farm Loan Waiver

NITI Aayog vice chairperson Rajiv Kumar has reacted sharply on Rahul Gandhi's tweet suggesting that the Prime Minister is asleep on the issue of farm loan waivers.

"I don't think any other govt has ever worked for farmers as much as the present government is doing. No one else accepted recommendations of Swaminathan Commission report, this government did, it raised credit for farmers to Rs 10.50 lakh crore. Rahul Gandhi's governments should do their work, others will do theirs," Kumar said.

Agusta Westland Accused Christian Michel Sent to Custody Till 28 Dec

A Delhi Court has sent Christian Michel to judicial custody till 28 December. Earlier, the court reserved for December 22 its order on bail plea of Christian Michel, alleged middleman charge-sheeted and arrested in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper case.

He was in CBI custody for 15 days.

Michel was arrested in the UAE and extradited to India on December 4. The next day, he was produced in the court, which allowed his five-day custodial interrogation by the CBI which was later extended by five more days.

Sensex, Nifty End With Healthy Gains

The 30-share BSE Sensex on Wednesday, finished at 36,484.33, up 137.25 points while the broader 50-share NSE Nifty also gained more than half a per cent to close trading at 10,967.30. Auto, FMCG and PSU bank stocks rallied the most.

BJP Headed for Clean Sweep in Haryana Municipal Elections

The final round of counting is in progress, with the BJP heading for clean sweep in the Mayoral polls of five Municipal Corporations in Haryana.

Elections results to the five municipal corporations and committees of Hisar, Rohtak, Yamunanagar, Panipat and Karnal will be announced shortly.

Also Read : Haryana Municipal Election Results: BJP Headed for Clean Sweep

ISRO Launches Communication Satellite GSAT-7A

India launched its latest communication satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-F11 on Wednesday, 19 December.

The 2,250 kg GSAT-7A is the 35th Indian communication satellite built by ISRO. It is configured on ISRO's standard I-2000 Kg (I-2K) Bus, ISRO told PTI.

Pak Court to Deliver Judgment in Two Corruption Cases Against Nawaz Sharif on 24 Dec

An anti-corruption court in Pakistan on Wednesday said it will deliver judgment on December 24 in two remaining corruption cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, news agency PTI reported.

The verdict will be announced on December 24, which is the revised deadline set by the Supreme Court to wrap up the remaining two corruption cases against the three-time former prime minister.

If found guilty, Sharif can be sentenced up to 14 years in jail.

Tamil Nadu Deputy CM's Brother Expelled From AIADMK

Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O Panneerselvam's brother O Raja has been removed from primary membership of AIADMK, news agency ANI reported.

An official statement put out by the party says that he has been removed "for having acted against the party’s principles and ideologies, and for bringing disrepute to the party."

He has also been stripped of all the posts and powers that he held in the party.

Fire Breaks Out in Mumbai's Matunga

A fire has broken out in a slum in Mumbai's Matunga, reported news agency ANI. Fire-fighting operations are underway as six fire tenders present at the spot. No injuries have been reported yet.

Mallya Intends to Appeal Against UK Court's Extradition Verdict

Vijay Mallya intends to file an application to appeal against a British court's verdict in favour of his extradition to India, news agency PTI reported quoting his lawyers.

"Mallya has now been able to consider the court's decision and intends to file an application for permission to appeal at the appropriate time," said Anand Doobay, Partner at UK-based Boutique Law LLP, who has been Mallya's solicitor through the extradition trial process.

President’s Rule To Be Imposed In Jammu & Kashmir From Midnight

President Ram Nath Kovind has signed proclamation to impose President's rule in Jammu & Kashmir, according to an official statement released on Wednesday.

President’s rule will come into effect from midnight today.

The proposal was sent by Ministry of Home Affairs. Earlier, Governor Satya Pal Malik had sent a report recommending President’s Rule.

Rajasthan Govt Announces Farm Loan Waiver

The newly elected Rajasthan government has announced farm loan waiver for loans upto Rs 2 Lakh, reported news agency ANI.

The state government will bear a burden of Rs 18,000 crore. Earlier, the Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments also had announced similar waivers hours after they took charge.

Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP May Join Hands With RJD, Cong Tomorrow

In a press conference to be held in Delhi tomorrow, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha may join the 'mahagathbandhan', reports news agency ANI.

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi and AICC in-charge for Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil are also expected to be present at the press conference.

Opposition PM Candidate Issue To Be Discussed After LS polls: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the issue of opposition prime ministerial candidate could be discussed after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, reported news agency PTI

Her comments came in the backdrop of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M K Stalin's proposal to announce Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the opposition's prime ministerial candidate.

"It could be discussed only after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, once the opposition alliance emerged winners. All (opposition) parties will meet and decide on the issue. We will accept that," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

Asked whether she was one of the contenders for the job, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, "This is not the time to discuss this issue. And I am not alone. We are working together. We are solidly together," she said.

Fire Breaks Out at Mumbai's Trident Hotel

Fire breaks out in Trident Hotel at Nariman Point. More details awaited.

Fire Breaks Out in Mumbai's Mazgaon

Fire broke out in a hotel in Mumbai’s Mazgaon on Wednesday. Five fire tenders are present at the spot.

(Source: ANI)

Earthquake of 5.7 Magnitude Hits Papua New Guinea

An earthquake of magnitude 5.7 hit New Britain region, Papua New Guinea at 09:37 (Coordinated Universal Time) on 19 December.

(Source: ANI)

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