5 Stories You Need to Know Besides SC Verdict on Ayodhya Dispute

Kartarpur Corridor Open for Sikh Pilgrims

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor, flagging off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

The corridor links Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in this Punjab district.

“I thank Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan miaji. He understood India’s feelings on the Kartarpur corridor issue, gave respect and, keeping in view those feelings, worked accordingly,” he told a gathering at the BSF camp in Shikhaar Masiahan, about eight kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak Gurudwara.

"I also want to thank the workers of Pakistan who worked at a fast pace to help in building the corridor on their side," the prime minister added.

In his message on the occasion of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor's opening, the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “We believe that the road to prosperity of region and bright future of our coming generation lies in peace.”

"Today we are not only opening the border, but also our hearts for the Sikh community," he said.

(Source: PTI)

Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ Intensifies, NDRF Teams Positioned

Heavy rain accompanied by high-velocity winds, triggered by the very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul', lashed several parts of coastal Odisha on Saturday, uprooting trees and snapping road links.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's apex body equipped to handle any emergency, reviewed the preparedness to deal with the cyclone over the Bay of Bengal which is likely to affect coastal districts of West Bengal as well.

Fishing operations have been suspended and people in low lying areas are being evacuated to shelter homes. As many as 16 teams of the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force have been positioned in West Bengal and additional teams are being deployed at the request of the states.

(Source: PTI)

Tejaswini Sawant Qualifies for Tokyo Olympics in Shooting

The seasoned Tejaswini Sawant secured India’s 12th Olympic quota in shooting by qualifying for the final of the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions event at the 14th Asian Championships on Saturday. The 39-year-old Sawant earned the Tokyo quota by finishing fifth in the qualifications with a score of 1171.

Out of the eight finalists, six have already booked their Tokyo berths, paving the way for Sawant to earn an Olympic quota. Provided she is picked in the final shooting squad for next year’s Tokyo Games, it will be her maiden Olympic appearance.

Sawant, who also competes in the 50m rifle prone, has won many medals, including gold at the World Championship, World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

(Source: PTI)

Govt Releases Data on Farmer Suicides: 11,379 Deaths in 2016

The National Crime Records Bureau data released on farmer suicides for 2016 shows that 11,379 people working in the agricultural sector committed suicide that year. This is a dip from 12,602 in 2015, and 12,360 in 2014.

Out of this figure from 2016, 6,270 were farmers and the rest were agricultural labourers.

Although the number of suicides in Maharashtra saw a 20 percent dip, it continued to be the state with the highest number of suicides with 2,550 farmer deaths in 2016.

Three Chinese Banks Sue Anil Ambani

Three Chinese banks are suing business tycoon Anil Ambani in a London court for failing to pay back US$680 million in defaulted loans.

According to a report in South China Morning Post, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China had agreed to loan US$925.2 million to Anil Ambani’s firm Reliance Communications in 2012 on condition that he provided a personal guarantee, ICBC’s lawyer Bankim Thanki told the court.

Some repayments were made by the wireless carrier, but in February 2017 it defaulted on its payment obligations.

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