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Kerala: Pinarayi Vijayan to be the next Chief Minister

The CPI(M) leadership on 20 May picked Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister of Kerala.

The decision to pick Vijayan as the CM - sidelining veteran leadern VS Achuthanandan - was taken during the committee meeting which began in the morning on 20 May. According to the reports, Achuthanandan will be given a new post with a cabinet rank.

Former CM Oommen Chandy submitted his resignation on 20 May following the defeat of UDF.

The LDF won 91 seats in the 140-member House as the scam-ridden United Democratic Front (UDF) was reduced to 47 seats with many incumbent ministers failing to win from their constituencies.

Massive search mounted for missing EgyptAir Flight 804

A massive search was underway on Friday for the wreckage of an EgyptAir plane en route from Paris to Cairo that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea with 66 people on board, with authorities saying the incident was likely a terror attack.

EgyptAir initially said that Egyptian Foreign Ministry has "confirmed finding the wreckage" but later withdrew the claim.

EgyptAir's vice chairman Ahmed Adel told CNN that when the rescue team closed in on the debris found in the Mediterranean Sea, they realised it did not come from the missing airliner.

"We stand corrected on finding the wreckage because what we identified is not a part of our plane. So the search and rescue is still going on," Adel said.

He added that maintenance checks on the plane had been done on time and "no snags were reported".

AIADMK MLAs to elect Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister today

Newly-elected AIADMK MLAs will meet to re-elect party chief J Jayalalithaa as chief minister in Chennai on 20 May. With the assembly poll victory, Jayalalithaa is the state's first Chief Minister to be voted back to power in 32 years.

Of the 232 assembly constituencies that went to polls, the AIADMK bagged 134 seats while the DMK and Congress could gather 89 and 8 seats respectively.

Jayalalithaa won her seat from Dr RK Nagar constituency in Chennai while DMK Patriarch M Karunanidhi won for a record 13th time from his home turf of Tiruvarur, Hindustan Times reported.

J&K govt asks separatists how best to re-settle Pandits

The Jammu and Kashmir government asked separatists on Thursday how the displaced Kashmiri Pandits could best be settled in the Valley.

The government made this move due to the opposition of the separatists to its plans to establish townships for the Pandits. The separatists say that exclusive townships for Pandits and Sainiks (retired servicemen) would be on the "pattern of Israeli settlements in Palestine", according to the Hindustan Times.

Education minister Naeem Akhtar said the land that will be made available for the Pandits will not be exclusively for them.

Wrestling row: Haryana CID see threat to Narsingh from Sushil Kumar's supporters

The Haryana Police CID said on Thursday that supporters of wrestler Sushil Kumar could attack Narsingh Pancham Yadav at the Sonepat centre of the Sports Authority of India.

The two wrestlers are at odd because Yadav had been selected by the Wrestlers Federation of India for the Rio Olympics after winning a bronze at the 2015 World Championships at Las Vegas, while two-time Olympics medallist Kumar wants trials to be held for the 74 kg weight category.

CID officers visited the centre on Wednesday and Thursday, to check security arrangements and keep SAI officials apprised of the situation, according to the Hindustan Times.

Heat wave: Rajasthan town hits 51 degrees, IMD issues red alert

Phalodi town in Rajasthan registered a maximum temperature of 51 degrees Celsius on Thursday, while in Churu, the temperature hit 50.2°C.

Towns all over Rajasthan broke records. Jodhpur at 48.8°C beat its record of 47.4°C on 29 May, 1994; Bikaner at 49.5 degrees broke its 102-year-old record of 49.4 degrees on 28 May, 1914; and Jaisalmer hit 49 degrees, beating an 80-year-old record. Jaipur was best off at 46.5 degrees.

The IMD has raised a red alert over the current heatwave, according to the Hindustan Times.

Govt push for yoga in CBSE schools, college-level physiotherapy courses

In a circular to school principals, the CBSE has said yoga can be included in schools' curriculum as a subject to be tested for marks.

It has also told schools to ensure that the government's controversial Common Yoga Protocol is practiced regularly by children of classes VI and above.

The Common Yoga Protocol says that yoga sessions must begin with a chant of Om and some shlokas. Muslim organisations had protested against this on Wednesday, but Ayush ministry officials had said it was not mandatory, according to The Telegraph.

Swamy asks for retrial of Hashimpura massacre case, wants to probe Chidambaram's role

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy asked the Delhi high court on Thursday for a retrial of the 1987 Hashimpura massacre in which 42 people died. Swamy alleged that presence of then home minister P Chidambaram at Hashimpura immediately after incident had not been examined.

Swamy told the high court that there were "gaps in the probe including destruction of evidence". He added that he would show that international laws would apply to the case, according to the Hindustan Times.

Zika virus hits placenta, foetus hard

A new study of pregnant mice has found that Zika virus damages their placentas and kills fetal mice. Investigators from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis developed two mouse models of Zika infection in pregnancy that may aid in better understanding how the virus affects pregnant women.

One system used female mice genetically engineered to lack the ability to mount a specific immune response, which made them susceptible to Zika virus infection.When these pregnant mice were exposed to Zika, the virus killed most fetuses within a week. The fetal mice that survived showed significant abnormalities, such as severely stunted growth. The researchers saw levels of viral genetic material in the mouse placentas that were 1,000 times greater than in the blood of pregnant mice, suggesting that Zika virus replicated preferentially within the placenta. In the second model system, genetically normal pregnant mice were first given an antibody that blocked their immune response to Zika virus and then were infected with Zika virus one or two days later. This model did not lead to death of fetal mice, but their growth was impaired.

Buddhist monk killed in Bangladesh's Bandarban district

An elderly Buddhist monk was killed by unidentified miscreants in Bangladesh Naikkhangchhari upazila of Bandarban district on 14 May.

B Yu Gaindya, 70, was found near Baishari area at Upaorshakh Para village in the upazila, Kazi Ahsan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Naikkhangchhari Police Station, reports the Daily Star.

According to reports, unknown assailants slit Yu Gaindya's throat. This was confirmed by village head Acrothoyai Chand.

Chand said that he saw Gaindya's body when he went to serve breakfast at his bihar where he used to stay alone. Meanwhile, the police have said that the motive behind the killing cannot be ascertained instantly.