SPOT News:    Dalai Lama discharged from hospital, to rest in Delhi for a few days; WikiLeaks founder Assange arrested from Ecuador embassy in London as Ecuador withdraws asylum


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been awarded The Order of Saint Andrew The Apostle, Russia's highest civilian honour, for promoting Indo-Russian partnership. Thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin, Modi said, “President Putin remains a source of great strength for the India-Russia friendships.” In the past five years, Modi has also got awards from the UN, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Afghanistan and the UAE. The award is presented at the St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he was granted asylum. He faces extradition to America where he was charged with "one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the US". Assange sought refuge here in 2012 while facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden, which he denied. He was on bail and sought asylum in Ecuador embassy. After seven years, now Ecuador said it had run out of patience with Assange's behaviour and withdrew his asylum. Thereupon, the London police arrested him.

Discount to consumers for bill purchase
NEW DELHI: The Union Government plans to offer cash incentives or discounts to consumers who insist on bills for purchases of goods and services from dealers, as part of attempts to expand the Goods and Services Tax (GST) base and increase compliance.

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BANGALORE: Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid will not be able to vote in the Lok Sabha elections on April 18 despite being the brand ambassador for Karnataka Election Commission. His name was deleted from the electoral rolls earlier but was not re-included.
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has issued notice to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to reply by April 22 on the remark of 'chowkidar chor hai' he made in Amethi recently vis-a-vis the SC order on documents in Rafale case. The SC order was about supporting documents but not a judgement on Rafale case. The BJP had filed a contempt of court case against Rahul. Next hearing is on April 23.
NEW DELHI: The SC has asked the EC to watch the Modi biopic in full and re-examine its ban on the biopic's release. EC had ruled that it could be released when the elections are over. The SC will hear the case on April 22. The film producers had moved the court.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi filed her nomination papers from Rae Bareli on Thursday after a roadshow and a puja at the local party office. Her son and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Robert Vadra, son-in-law, and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accompanied her. Rahul filed his nomination papers from Amethi constituency on Wednesday. He held a roadshow accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi, who in last January joined the party as general secretary, her husband Robert Vadra, and their two children, Miraya (16) and Raihan (18).
Foreign News
Warner Brothers has threatened action against US President Donald Trump for using a score, 'Why Do We Fall,' from 'The Dark Knight Rises' on his Twitter account for a 2020 campaign. It has since been removed.

National News
Even as a pre-poll 'mahagathbandhan' or grand alliance of non-BJP parties has failed to come off, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu has said there will be a repeat of 1996 at Centre after the current elections. Regional parties will form a Government.

Sports News
Hardik Pandya deposed before the ombudsman who will submit the report before the national selectors begin selection for the World Cup.

Business & Economy
       The GMR Airports is selling its stakes to reduce debts. It is getting funds infusion of Rs 8,000 cr through an investment by a consortium of Tatas, GIC and SSG cap.


The trailer of the ninth and last Star Wars franchise, The Rise of Skywalker, directed by JJ Abrams, has been released. Leia returns in this film despite Carrie Fisher's death. Abrams says he put together old footages for a new story, to revive a sinking Star Wars!.

      RiRi is coming. Will rock the fans in Mumbai on October 19. But if a wedding materialises with her new boyfriend Hassan Jameel, what are the chances of her tour.
      The black hole image was captured by Event Horizon Telescope. It proves Einstein. Black holes raise fundamental issues of time, space and life. SEE Video: Hawking's black hole hairs & information paradox
      Nobel Memorial Prize winner and economist Amartya Sen has been awarded the Oxford University's prestigious Bodley medal. Past winners of the honour include physicist Stephen Hawking.
      India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, recording a 4.8% increase from last year, says IEA.
      NEW DELHI: Air pollution caused by burning of stubble in northern India causes an estimated economic loss of $30 b annually. Researchers from the US-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) found that the air pollution caused acute respiratory infection (ARI).

Universal health is not just an official coverage for health for all. Has anyone really benefited? This last Sunday marked the 71st anniversary of the WHO. The theme was "Universal health: Everyone, Everywhere.”

“Today, half the world’s population cannot access essential health services. Millions of women give birth without help from a skilled attendant; millions of children miss out on vaccinations against killer diseases, and millions suffer and die because they can’t get treatment for HIV, TB, and malaria. In 2019, this is simply unacceptable,” the WHO said.

      Unclean health centres are breeding grounds for diseases, eventually even superbugs, not healing centres, according to a WHO study. One quarter of the world’s health centres lack clean water, it found.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said more than 1 million deaths a year were associated with unclean births.

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ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been given the UAE award of Zayed Medal for strengthening the relations between the two countries, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, announced on Thursday. "We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal," The Crown Prince said in a tweet. Modi has accepted the award with "utmost humility". "I accept this honour with utmost humility," he tweeted.

   RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav's elder son, Tej Pratap, who resigned from a party post last week, has launched a new party, Lalu-Rabri Morcha. He had opposed his powerful younger brother Tejashwi naming his estranged father-in-law as candidate from Saran.

   NEW DELHI: Shatrughan Sinha, actor-turned-politician, has finally left the BJP and had a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, but there was no promise of a ticket to contest from Patna Sahib, his constituency for 10 years. "I have said...situation kuchh bhi ho, location wahi rahega (whatever the situation, the location will be the same)," he said.

He was all praise for Nehru-Gandhi family. He talked of an autocratic and one-upmanship style of functioning in the BJP. He had attended an Opposition rally in Kolkata last January.

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