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Social Media platforms to prevent violation of Code of Ethics during polls            Army Jawan martyred as Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC            China has responsibility to not shield Pakistan: US            Holi being celebrated across the country            India wins 368 medals at Special Olympics World Summer Games           

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Morning News

0815 HRS
15.03.2019
THE HEADLINES:
  • Six people killed, 31 injured after a foot-over bridge collapses near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai; high level inquiry ordered.
  • Election Commission announces by-elections to three Assembly constituencies in Gujarat.
  • Enforcement Directorate moves Delhi court seeking lobbyist Deepak Talwar's arrest  in a case of purchase of 43 aircraft by Indian Airlines in 2005.
  • British lawmakers vote in support of delaying Brexit.
  • Dipa Karmakar qualifies for vault finals in Artistic Gymnastics World Cup at Azerbaijan. 
  • And, in Badminton, nine Indians enter Swiss Open quarterfinals at Basel.

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At least six people were killed and 31 injured after a portion of a foot-over bridge near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai collapsed last evening. The incident occurred around 7:30 PM. A team of the National Disaster Response Force was pressed into service to carry out rescue operations. The injured have been admitted to nearby hospitals.
Our correspondent reports that the Maharashtra government has ordered a high-level probe into the accident.

"Mumbai Police said that a case has been registered against officials of Central Railway and the BMC. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis  said that officials found responsible for the incident will be booked.

Additional Municipal Commissioner of the BMC, Vijay Singhal, said the remaining portion of the damaged bridge is being dismantled manually. SWEETY JAIN, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives due to the accident. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, his thoughts are with the bereaved families. He wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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The Election Commission has announced by-elections for Dhrangadhra, Manavadar and Jamnagar Rural Assembly constituencies in Gujarat. The notification will be issued on 28th of this month. More from our correspondent:-

"Manavadar seat in Junagarh district fell vacant last week when the Congress' four-time sitting legislator Jawahar Chavda quit the party and the assembly to join the ruling BJP. Jamnagar (Rural) seat fell vacant on Monday when Congress MLA Vallabh Dharaviya submitted his resignation to Speaker Rajendra Trivedi. Dhrangadhra's MLA Parshottam Saparia also resigned from the seat and party to follow suit. By-elections will be held on April 23 along with voting for state's 26 parliamentary seats. The results would be declared on 23 May, along with general election results. Anupam Mishra, AIR News, Delhi."

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In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has released its first list of 126 candidates for the 11th of next month's Assembly elections. Name of Chief Minister and TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh figured in the list announced by Mr Naidu himself at a press conference in Amravati last night. Mr Naidu will be contesting the election for the seventh time from Kuppam in his native Chittoor district. He said, the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled simultaneously, would be announced today.

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The CPI has decided to contest 55 seats in 26 states in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad, party General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said, selection of candidates is over in 19 constituencies, while electoral agreements have not been reached in the remaining constituencies. He said, CPI is holding negotiations with regional parties in some states.

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All Union Ministers from Bihar will contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The decision was taken in a meeting of a three-member election committee of the BJP which was chaired by state party in charge Bhupendra Yadav. The meeting was held in Patna yesterday. Mr Yadav said, the list of the candidates will be released soon.

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National Informatics Centre is developing a software to deploy police personnel at polling stations in a systematic and confidential manner during the upcoming general elections. Haryana Chief Electoral Officer, Rajeev Ranjan informed that the software will have complete data of police personnel. He said, the move would bring more transparency in deputing police personnel.

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Gujarat today. He will inaugurate the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Gandhinagar. More from our correspondent:-

"Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship - FINE is an initiative to recognize, respect, showcase, reward innovations and foster supportive ecosystem for innovators. This  festival is being organised by National Innovation Foundation in association with the department of science and technology - Government of India. The aim of this festival is to provide platform for new innovators for building linkages with potential stakeholders. Thus the support of stakeholders can improve their future prospects to develop their ideas into implementable projects for the benefit of society at large. President will also confer the 10th National Grassroots Innovation Awards to encourage the village and grass root innovators. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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British lawmakers have voted to seek a delay to the 29th of this month's deadline for the UK to exit the European Union (EU). The motion was passed in the House of Commons last night by 412 votes to 202. The MPs, however, rejected an amendment to the motion that sought to hold another referendum during the delayed period.
The delay in the Brexit process would now require the unanimous approval of all 27 remaining EU member states, which in effects gives the 28-member bloc the power to dictate the terms of an extension. EU Council Chief Donald Tusk said, the bloc could approve a long postponement if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it.
Last night's vote follows a rejection by Parliament on Wednesday to rule out leaving the EU without any deal. Ms May will make a third attempt to get her withdrawal deal pass through next week, after it was rejected by huge margins on two previous votes.
The UK had voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June, 2016.

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Alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla, who is wanted in India to face charges of match-fixing dating back to 2000, has filed an application in the UK High Court seeking leave to appeal against his extradition order by Westminster Magistrates' Court in London. UK home secretary Sajid Javid had signed off on the District Judge's order in favour of the extradition last month, giving Chawla 14 days to seek an appeal against the decision. His application for leave to appeal will be assessed by a High Court judge and set for a hearing if it is accepted.
Chawla is a key accused in cricket match-fixing scandal involving former South African captain Hansie Cronje in 2000.

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In New Zealand, armed police swarmed central Christchurch today amid a shooting incident at a mosque. According to local media reports, there are multiple casualties at the Al Noor mosque and that another had been evacuated. Police said, the shooter is still active. All schools in Christchurch have been placed on lockdown and people have been advised to stay indoors.
The visiting Bangladesh cricket team escaped unscathed in the attack. Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said, most of the players were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened.

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a fresh summon to Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for questioning in Delhi on Monday next week in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case. Mirwaiz had been summoned by the NIA on the 11th of this month, but he did not appear fearing for his security.

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved a Delhi court seeking orders to arrest lobbyist Deepak Talwar in a fresh case related to the purchase of 43 aircraft by erstwhile Indian Airlines from France's Airbus Industrie in 2005. The agency moved the plea before special judge Santosh Snehi Mann yesterday. Special public prosecutors told the court that Talwar's custody was required to unearth the entire criminal conspiracy related to the money laundering in relation to the purchase.
The court will hear the matter today.
Talwar is currently in judicial custody in a separate case related to negotiations to favour foreign private airlines causing the loss to national carrier Air India.
The ED is also probing various other cases related to money laundering against Talwar who was deported from UAE in January this year.

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The Centre has told the Supreme Court that its decision to issue electoral bonds aims at ensuring enhanced accountability and pushing electoral reforms to defeat the menace of black money. In an affidavit, filed in a writ petition of CPI(M) and its general secretary Sitaram Yechury, the Centre said, the electoral bonds were introduced in January last year to promote transparency in funding and donation received by political parties. It said, these can be encashed by an eligible political party only through their authorised bank accounts.

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The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear today the petitions filed by RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav seeking bail in three cases related to the multi-crore fodder scam. A bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, will hear Yadav's petition challenging the January 10th verdict of the Jharkhand High Court which rejected bail to him in these cases.
Yadav is lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. In the High Court, the RJD Chief had cited old age and poor health for grant of bail.

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The Supreme Court has appointed senior advocate PS Narasimha as a mediator for resolving various disputes related to cricket administration in BCCI. He is assisting the apex court as amicus curiae in the BCCI matter. Narsimha told the court yesterday that former apex court judge Justice (retired) DK Jain has assumed charge as the ombudsman of BCCI. 

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And now, news from the world of Sports:
   
"India's Dipa Karmakar has made it to the Vault Finals after finishing third in the qualifying round of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup at Baku in Azerbaijan. 25-year-old, who had finished fourth in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, performed a higher difficulty Handfront 540 vault yesterday for the first time in the competition. The Finals will be held tomorrow. Dipa will take part in the balanced beam event today.
On to Badminton, nine Indian shuttlers, including Subhankar Dey, B Sai Praneeth and Riya Mookerjee, have stormed into the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open at Basel. In the Men's Singles pre-quarterfinals, while Subhankar stunned Indonesia's fifth seed Jonatan Christie, Praneeth defeated compatriot Sameer Verma.
In Women's Singles, Riya made it to the last eight after her opponent Canada's Michelle Li retired hurt. Three pairs in Doubles categories also progressed.
Meanwhile, another Indian shuttler
Lakshya Sen has entered the quarterfinals of China Masters at Lingshui.
And, Special Olympics World Games 2019 began in Abu Dhabi last evening with a glittering opening ceremony. ANKUSH VATS, SPORTS DESK."

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES
  •  China misusing its veto power at the UNSC and the Supreme Court's observation in the Rafale-deal case are the stories that top the headline space this morning.
  • "UNSC may be forced to take 'other action', China warned" reads The Asian Age headline with a superion, 'Anger as Masood 'global terrorist' listing blocked 4th time'.
  • "Rafale plea: SC to first settle row over documents" reports the Hindustan Times while The Hindu writes, "RTI trumps Official Secrets Act, Says SC".
  • The Indian Express carries a grim picture of the bridge-collapse in Mumbai with a headline "One more Mumbai civic tragedy: 6 killed in bridge collapse at CST"
  • Writing on India's fresh proposal on the Kartarpur corridor The Hindustan Times reports, "India seeks access for 5,000 pilgrims a day to Kartarpur".
  • ''New Nexus! Pak picks J&K for big drug push'' reports the Mail Today about the suden spike in smuggling of heroin into India through J&K.
  • And finally, Are you a Smartphone Zombie who walks the streets inattentively? Well, a Times of India headline reads, "Zombie lights' to keep mobile-obsessed walkers safe" which reports of Tel Aviv's new initiative of installing special LED side-walk lights to the distracted pedestrians. 

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