Cheat Sheet

  • In High-Stakes Bypolls, Key Test For Opposition Unity In UP: 10 Facts
    By-elections to four Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly constituencies across 10 states are being held today. The Lok Sabha seats that will vote include Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and the lone seat in Nagaland. While the BJP held three of these seats, its former ally Naga People's Front (NPF) had won the Nagaland seat in 2014. Bypoll to Kairana seat which fell vacant after the sitting lawmaker Hukum Singh's death will see a direct contest between the BJP and the united opposition - Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) - ahead of the 2019 general elections. It's especially crucial for the BJP as it comes against the backdrop of the party's losses in two Lok Sabha seats earlier this year - Gorakhpur and Phulpur that were considered the BJP strongholds - after archrivals SP and BSP joined hands in a tactical electoral understanding.
  • PM Opens 2 Huge Freeways, Indirectly Plugs UP Bypoll Today: 10 Facts
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated two key expressways today, one to cut down on travel time from Meerut to Delhi, the other to help reduce pollution in the national capital. But his address at Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, next door to Kairana where assembly elections will be held today, touched upon what are seen as the key election issues. The Rs 7,500-crore, 14-lane Delhi-Meerut Expressway will cut down the travel time between the two cities to 40 minutes from the current two-and-half-hours. The Rs.11,000-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway, India's first smart and green highway, will help around 50,000 vehicles travelling up to Jammu and Kashmir, to skirt Delhi.
  • Nipah Virus That Killed 12 In Kerala May Not Be Linked To Bats: 10 Points
    Fruit bats may not be the cause of the brain-damaging NIPAH (NiV) virus that killed 12 people and infected 20 in southern Kerala, a medical test report has said. The blood and serum samples of 21 bats tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal returned negative results for the virus, officials said. Health officials linked the initial deaths to a well colonised by bats at a house in Kerala's Kozihikode where the four members of a family died of the rare Nipah virus.
  • Centre Plans 'Big Brother' Tool To Track Social Media, Email: 10 Facts
    Every Facebook, Twitter and email user in India could soon have a new follower: the government. In a massive step with deep ramifications, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has invited bids for what could possibly be one of the world's largest social media monitoring systems - a tool that will track tweets, posts and content shared from anywhere in India. Once live, the system could rival the capabilities of surveillance programmes like China's censorship platform or the American National Security Agency's infamous snooping tool called PRISM.
  • HD Kumaraswamy Wins Trust Vote After BJP Walks Out Of Karnataka Assembly
    The Janata Dal Secular (JDS)-Congress combine won a trust vote in the Karnataka assembly moments after the opposition BJP staged a dramatic walkout, throwing a dare at chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. "You have numbers...Let's see how long you last," taunted BS Yeddyurappa, leading the walkout; last Saturday, he had left just before his own floor test, accepting that he failed to make the numbers. The JDS-Congress had the support of 117 MLAs.
  • BJP MLAs Walk Out Of Karnataka Assembly Ahead of Trust Vote: 10 Points
    The BJP walked out of the Karnataka assembly just before the trust vote, throwing a dare at chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. "Let's see how long you last," said BS Yeddyurappa, as he staged a dramatic walkout from the House. The 58-year-old Janata Dal Secular leader, who was sworn in on Wednesday, has the support of 117 MLAs from the JD(S)-Congress-BSP coalition in the House and is likely to win the trust vote easily. Just before the floor test, Congress' Ramesh Kumar was unanimously elected as the speaker after the BJP withdrew its candidate's nomination.
  • Power Cut For Vedanta-Owned Sterlite In Tuticorin: 10 Latest Facts
    Power supply to the Sterlite copper smelter plant in Tuticorin has been cut after Tamil Nadu's pollution regulator found that the plant was "carrying out activities to resume production", violating orders in April to halt production. The action comes at a time the government is struggling to cap national outrage over the police killing 12 people protesting against, what they say, is pollution generated by the plant. The plant controlled by the London-headquartered Vedanta Resources has run into trouble with pollution regulators in the past but had survived. Local residents are demanding this time that the plant should be shut once and for all on grounds that it was a health hazard and polluted ground water.
  • Minister's Assurance As Fuel Rates Go Up 11th Time In 11 Days: 10 Facts
    The government is looking at both short-term and long-term solutions to the rocketing fuel prices, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday as state-run oil companies increased rates for the 11th straight day. Prices of diesel and petrol in India have surged to a record high, stoking acerbic criticism from the opposition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration for causing hardship to people.
  • Nipah Virus Claims 4th Member Of Family Treated By Nurse Lini: 10 Points
    A fourth member of the same family in Kerala has died of the rare Nipah virus, officials said on Thursday. The family's home in a village in Kozhikode is believed to be the epicenter of the disease that has caused 12 deaths. Officials found "many dead bats" in a well in that home. The family was treated by Nurse Lini Puthussery, who died on Monday after leaving a note that has moved many on social media. The Union health ministry has said the virus has been contained to a "highly localised infection".
  • On Tuticorin Firing, Chief Minister Palaniswami Defends Police: 10 Facts
    Under attack over police firing on protesters in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami appeared to defend the police and blamed the violence on "political parties and anti-social elements". They "misled" the protesters against Sterlite, and the police defended themselves after they came under attack, he said. Union minister Rajnath Singh has asked for a report on the violence of Tuesday, when police opened fire on protesters. The violence cost 10 lives, two more people died since. The authorities have suspended cellphone internet in Tuticorin and the adjoining districts of Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli as part of its efforts to restore calm.
  • Kumaraswamy Takes Oath Amid Opposition Show Of Unity In Karnataka
    Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday took oath against the backdrop of Karnataka's imposing Vidhan Soudha in the presence of more than a dozen non-BJP leaders from across the country. Mr Kumaraswamy, who had patched up with the Congress at the last minute last week to block the BJP, had been keen to turn the event into a springboard for opposition unity that his party, Janata Dal Secular hopes, would hold till next year's Lok Sabha elections. Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul Gandhi, who were seen to have bent backwards to give Mr Kumaraswamy the lead role in the government, were there. So were chief ministers Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal and Chandrababu Naidu along with Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati.
  • Tuticorin Top Cop, Official Shifted After Fresh Violence, 12th Death During Anti-Sterlite Protests: 10 Updates
    The police chief and the District Collector of Tuticorin were transferred on Wednesday evening after fresh violence broke out over anti-Sterlite protests in which two people were killed in police firing. The police said they opened fire as the protesters started throwing stones, injuring a senior officer. Elsewhere, two police jeeps were set on fire and actor-politician Kamal Haasan was heckled when he went to a hospital to visit those who were injured in Tuesday's police violence. Ten people died on Tuesday after police opened fire on protesters who were demanding a permanent closure of the copper smelting plant of Sterlite.
  • On 10th Straight Hike, Petrol Prices Touch Rs 85 In Mumbai
    As the relentless upward march of fuel prices continued for the 10th straight day today, sources said the government has taken a decision to cut oil prices. But there is no clarity yet on how it would be achieved. Sources indicated that the finance ministry and the petroleum ministry differ on whether oil companies should reduce prices and take a hit, or excise be lowered, which will slash revenue. Junior finance minister Shiv Pratap Shukla said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking the matter seriously. Today, petrol prices almost touched Rs. 85 in Mumbai, in Chennai it crossed Rs 80 and in Delhi, Rs 77.
  • Cyclone Mekunu And Its Impact On India: 10 Facts
    After Cyclone Sagar died down, another cyclonic storm 'Mekunu' has built in southwest Arabian sea. Mekunu is a Maldivian name since it is located to the west Lakshadweep Islands and northwest of Maldives. Landfall of Cyclone Mekunu is expected somewhere between Salalah and the border of Oman and Yemen between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. No adverse weather changes expected in India, says MeT department.
  • United Colours Of Opposition As Kumaraswamy Takes Charge: 10 Points
    HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as Chief Minister and his deputy G Parameshwara took oath today evening at a mega-gathering that served as a giant display of opposition unity ahead of 2019 general elections.The 58-year-old Janata Dal Secular leader shifted the venue of the swearing-in ceremony from a stadium to the steps of the Karnataka's iconic Vidhan Souda complex for the event that JDS leaders suggest, could become a platform for various opposition parties to unite. At least four chief ministers and many regional satraps will be there but two notable absentees, Telangana's K Chandrasekhar Rao and Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, does point to the challenges that remain for any united front.

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