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Uttarakhand crisis: SC extends President rule, cancels floor test, next hearing on 3 May

 In a major setback to the Harish Rawat government, the Supreme Court has extended the President rule imposed on Uttarakhand as it continued the stay on Uttarakhand High Court's order. The  floor test which was slated to take place on 29 April has also been cancelled. The next hearing will take place on 3 May.

The top court has been hearing the Centre's plea against the High Court ruling which set aside President Rule in the state.

AgustaWestland case: Swamy names Sonia Gandhi, Congress forces RS adjournments

Rajya Sabha on 26 April was adjourned twice following the commotion created by Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party over the AgustaWestland chopper scam as Subramaniam Swamy sought to drag Congress President Sonia Gandhi's name. 

However, Gandhi's name was later expunged by Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien.

Swamy had raised the issue through a zero hour notice, his first intervention since he took oath in the House on Tuesday and referred to the allegations made by Christian Michel, the middleman in the scandal, through a letter in the High Court of Italy.

India's jurisdiction over Italian marine case 'suspended': Italy

After the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Massimiliano Latorre, one of two Italian marines held for killing two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012, must return to India by 30 September, Italy said India's jurisdiction over the marines is "suspended".

"Italy considers India's jurisdiction over the case to be suspended and therefore legally overridden," the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Italy had taken the case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea last June, which ruled in August that India had no jurisdiction in the case and referred it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, according to ABPLive.

Congress, BJP tie in Gandhinagar local body polls, leadership to be decided by lottery

The Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation elections left both the BJP and the Congress with 16 seats each out of the total of 32 after counting on Tuesday.

The only way to break this tie and decide which party will lead the GMC is via a lottery system in which the mayor and other office bearers will be selected by pulling chits out of a box, said Ravi Shankar, collector of Gandhinagar.

"In the last lap of counting for eighth and final ward, BJP won on three seats while Congress won one seat, creating a tie," said Shankar according to ABPLive.

Govt will set up new natural history museum in Delhi

After a fire completely destroyed the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi on Tuesday, the government announced that it will build a replacement on 6.5 acres of land near Pragati Maidan, Delhi.

The new natural history museum will cost Rs 225 crore to construct.

The fire in the early hours of Tuesday turned hundreds of exhibits to ashes, including a 160-year-old fossil of a dinosaur bone, according to NDTV.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has ordered a fire safety audit of 34 museums across the country.

JKLF founder Amanullah Khan passes away

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) founder Amanullah Khan passed away at a Rawalpindi hospital on Tuesday morning of a chronic lung disease. He was 82. His funeral will be held on Wednesday.

"He was seriously ill for the past three weeks. My wife Asma Khan and our children were with him. He died early today in Rawalpindi," said Sajid Gani Lone, president of Kashmir's People's Conference party and Khan's son-in-law.

Khan was co-founder of the Kashmir Independent Committee in 1963, was elected secretary general of the JK Plebiscite Front (PF) in 1965, and co-founded the JK National Liberation Front with Maqbool Bhat, according to the Hindustan Times.

Drought urges govt to experiment with GM crops

The ongoing drought in the country has urged the Modi government to experiment with genetically-modified (GM) crops.

Because water-intensive sugarcane is being blamed for the drought in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the government will permit trials of drought-tolerant GM sugarcane by the Coimbatore-based Sugarcane Breeding Institute and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, according to a letter from Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar to former agriculture minister and leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar.

GM crops are those that have been genetically altered for a specific result such as pest-resistance and drought-resistance, says the Hindustan Times.

Govt plans 'India, Land of Yoga' campaign with Julia Roberts

The tourism ministry is planning a global campaign to project India as the land of yoga, with Hollywood actor Julia Roberts as the campaign's face.

Roberts has been associated with yoga since she shot for the film Eat Pray Love at an ashram near Gurugram in 2009.

"The plan has to be approved by tourism minister Mahesh Sharma and the Prime Minister's Office before we approach the actress, but having an international face recognised for practicing yoga is crucial for the success of the campaign," said a tourism ministry official, according to The Telegraph.

'Unknown sources' constitute 54% of 5 national parties' income

India's election watchdog Association of Democratic Rights has found that 54 per cent of the total income of national level political parties in 2014-15 was from unknown sources.

The ADR analysed the income and expenditure of the BJP, CPM, CPI, BSP and the NCP, based on their income tax returns submitted to the Election Commission of India. It found that among the five parties, the NCP was the only one to make the details of all voluntary donations public, according to The Telegraph, while the sources of about 50 per cent of the voluntary contributions to the BJP are unknown.