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Shiv Sena stops Pak singer Ghulam Ali from entering Mumbai again

Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, who was scheduled to attend the launch function of the music of a film in Mumbai on Friday, has been stopped by the Shiv Sena from entering Mumbai once again, reports The Indian Express. The launch function now stands cancelled, says filmmaker Suhaib Ilyasi who had invited the singer to launch the music from his film Ghar Wapsi. The Shiv Sena had earlier forced the singer to cancel his concerts in Mumbai and Pune. Ilyasi said a member of his organising committee had gone to the venue of the music launch to deposit the money but was told that "your booking has been cancelled".

Sky of scares: Three flights grounded on Wed after bomb threats

Three flights were grounded on Wednesday in Delhi and Bengaluru after airport authorities received bomb threats, reports the Hindustan Times. Two Delhi-Kathmandu flights operated by Air India and Jet Airways were evacuated after bomb threats were received by the police over the phone, and in Bengaluru, a Goa-bound flight operated by Air Asia was also evacuated. The Delhi police reported receiving two calls from one Hafiz Azad from Istanbul who said two bombs in laptops had been planted on the flights to Kathmandu.

Pak court dismisses petition to collect voice sample of 26/11 attackers

The Islamabad High Court on Monday dismissed the government's petition to collect voice samples of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects in the Mumbai terror attacks of 26/11 2008, reports The Hindu. The voice samples are required to compare with the communication intercepts provided by Indian intelligence agencies in the case, which then could be presented as evidence against the attackers. The petition was dismissed on the grounds that the prosecution had not been present at the court for the court to hear it. Two earlier petitions on the issue had been dismissed by the court on the grounds that "no such law exists that allows obtaining of voice sample of an accused."

SCST teachers at Hyderabad University will go on hunger strike from today

Teachers of Hyderabad Central University from the community of scheduled castes and tribes will go on a hunger strike from today to add force to the students' demand for the resignations of vice chancellor Appa Rao Podile and acting vice chancellor Vipin Srivastava over the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula on 17 January, reports The Indian Express. Students on Wednesday burned an effigy of the vice chancellor and demonstrated outside the home of the acting vice chancellor. When Srivastava went to the protest site to try and initiate a dialogue with the students, he was forced to return.

Pachauri sexual harassment case: Cancel his anticipatory bail submits woman complainant

Two days after news broke that senior officials at TERI pressurised a male researcher to approach the woman who had filed a sexual harassment case against the institute's director RK Pachauri and convince her to settle out of court, the woman complainant moved the Delhi High Court, seeking to have Pachauri's anticipatory bail cancelled, reports The Economic Times. The woman said the news reports indicated "extremely important ground" for the cancellation of the bail. Her application was filed for urgent hearing, and the court will hear it on Thursday.

Three BJP men involved in Dadri lynching: Mulayam Singh Yadav

Samajwadi chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday said three men involved in the lynching of a man in Dadri on suspicion of storing beef belonged to the BJP, reports The Indian Express. Mulayam said he would reveal the names if asked to do so by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "BJP had promised to remove discrimination. What discrimination have they removed? A father was killed while his son was posted on border. I had earlier spoken of three names who were involved in the killing. Those are associated with BJP. If PM calls, I will give all names," Mulayam said.

Kamduni gang-rape: 6 accused held guilty, quantum of punishment to be decided tomorrow

Six of the nine accused in the Kamduni gang rape and murder of a 21-year old girl have been convicted by a sessions court in Kolkata. The quantum of punishment will be decided tomorrow. On June 7, 2013, the second-year BA student was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by at least nine men while returning home from college.

Just before the verdict, scores of protesters hit the streets in Kolkata demanding death penalty for the convicts. Out of the nine accused, one died in custody. The accused were charged with Indian Penal Code Section 302 (murder), Section 376 D (gang-rape), Section 120B (conspiracy) and destroying evidence.

New Delhi, Chennai, Kochi on first list of 20 Smart Cities

Union Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the first list of 20 cities to be developed as smart cities. In the coming years, the Modi government will announce 40 more cities under its plan to develop 100 Smart Cities in the country.

The cities on the list include, Bhubaneswar, Pune, Jaipur, Surat, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Vishakapatnam, Sholapur, Davangere, Indore, New Delhi, Coimbatore, Kakinada, Belagavi, Udaipur, Guwahati, Chennai, Ludhiana, Bhopal

17 Indian Reserve Battalions approved by Cabinet

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved 17 Indian Reserve Battalions (IRB) by Jammu and Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism affected states. Five battalions in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, four in Chhattisgarh, three in Jharkhand and Odisha and two in Maharashtra. Major objective of these battalions would be the recruitment of local youths. The scheme of IRB was introduced in 1971, and till now 153 battalions have been sanctioned across states.

New Yorker's Snowpocalypse is desirable getaway"

A New Yorker took advantage of the heavy snow brought on by Winter Storm Jonas by building an igloo and listing it for $200 a night on Airbnb. The hurricane-force blizzard dubbed "Snowzilla" may have brought New York and much of the East Coast to a standstill, but Patrick Horton and his friends used the time to have a little fun.

They decided to use the mounds of snow to fashion their very own igloo and furnished it with blankets, pillows and a candle. They then created a listing on Airbnb showcasing what the "boutique winter igloo for 2" in Brooklyn had to offer.

"Dripping with ingenuity and alt-lifestyle aura lays this Snowpocalypse's most desirable getaway," the post said. "Built completely by hand, all-natural. Come experience this chic dome-style bungalow with Bae."

Niagara Falls may 'shut off' to fix bridges

New York State parks system is proposing to temporarily "shut off" Niagara Falls within three years to allow for the replacement of two 115-year-old stone arch bridges. The plans would see the American Falls "dewatered" by diverting the upper Niagara River to the Horseshoe Falls in Canada while the work was carried out.

The two bridges, built between 1900 and 1901, provide pedestrians with access to Goat Island, but are deteriorating and temporary truss bridges were installed in 2004 over safety concerns. If the plan is approved, it would be the second time the US side of the falls has been shut down.

Scientists blame humans for extreme weather conditions

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) scientists claimed on Wednesday that high global temperature in 2015 was the result of human activities that led to El Nino, drought, rising sea level and greenhouse gas emission. Significantly, 2015 was the hottest year recorded since the 19th century. The most alarming aspect is that 15 out of the 16 hottest years in history belongs to the current century. There is an urgent need for different forms of energy that cause less damage to the environment. The only good news- effect of El Nino is going to subside.

Cure for Type 1 diabetes?

A cure for type 1 diabetes could be a step closer after scientists managed to halt the condition in mice for six months thanks to the use of insulin-producing cells that had been generated from human stem cells. Experts from US hospitals and institutions including Harvard University managed to transplant cells into mice, which immediately began producing insulin.

The team was also able to show they could prevent the cells being rendered useless by the body's own immune system, which was effectively "switched off" thanks to scientific work. It means a cure for type 1 diabetes - which affects 400,000 people in the UK - could be much closer. Scientists are now working to replicate the results in humans with the condition, a report in the Independent said.

Unicef warns of severe child malnourishment in North Korea

About 25,000 children in North Korea require immediate treatment for malnutrition after a drought cut food production by a fifth and the government reduced rations, Unicef has warned. The UN's children's fund is asking for 12.6 million pound (18 million dollars) in donations for its North Korea work as part of a global 1.9 billion pounds humanitarian appeal for children.

It said the money needed for its work had doubled in three years, driven by global conflicts and extreme weather that were forcing growing numbers of children from their homes and exposing millions more to food shortages, violence, disease and abuse. For the first time, it said a quarter of the worldwide appeal would go towards educating children in emergencies, focusing on 5 million children affected by the Syrian civil war, which is now in its fifth year.

In North Korea, Unicef said severe drought during 2015 in four agricultural provinces led to a 20% reduction in crop production compared with 2014.