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Order India to release marines: Italy to The Hague

Francesco Azzarello, lawyer for Italy, on Wednesday asked The Hague to order India to release an Italian marine detained in Delhi for nearly four years after being arrested in February 2012 off the coast of Kerala on suspicion of killing two Indian fishermen.

Salvatore Girone, has been living at the Italian embassy in Delhi for four years, reporting to the local police every week, according to the Hindustan Times.

Italy made this plea at The Hague just hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at a European Union-India summit in Brussels. On the agenda is the case of the Italian marines.

Bihar assembly unanimously passes bill to ban hooch

Bihar's bill to ban country-made liquor from 1 April was unanimously passed by the assembly on Wednesday. The Bihar Excise (Amendment) Bill 2016 features stricter punishment up to and including a death sentence for manufacturers and distributors of hooch, if consumers of the illegal liquor die.

All the MLAs in the house from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar made a personal resolution to avoid alcohol and to discourage others from drinking, says The Indian Express.

Nitish Kumar said: "Our experts decided to make the provisions stricter. But we have also taken a humanitarian view with the compensation provision for a victim of hooch tragedy".

Court challenge to Haryana's Jat reservations bill

A resident of Jind on Wednesday approached the Punjab and Haryana high court with a challenge to a new bill that provides reservations to five communities including Jats in Haryana.

The petitioner said that Hayana's Manohar Lal Khattar government's decision was "arbitrary and malafide". The high court will hear the petition later this week, according to the Hindustan Times.

The bill was passed after a violent stir by Jats in the state in February that caused great damage and saw 30 people dead and more than 320 people injured.

Jharkhand varsity may face legal row for referring to JNU prof as 'anti-national'

The Central University of Jharkhand's suspension of associate professor Shreya Bhattacharji has led to the threat of a legal case against it.

The CUJ had on Monday suspended Bhattacharji for inviting retired JNU professor MN Panini to a university event. The suspension notice referred to Panini as 'anti-national' and a mentor of the JNU students charged with sedition, including Kanhaiya Kumar.

Panini said: "I don't even know them (the JNU students)." He now plans to move court against the CUJ, according to The Telegraph. "This unwanted reference to me is totally unacceptable, and will affect my reputation and career," he said.

India's request for access to Masood Azhar 'frivolous': Pak source

A source in the Pakistan government has said that India's request for access to Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar is "frivolous."

NIA chief Sharad Kumar had on Tuesday said that the NIA would request access to Azhar, who they believe had planned the Pathankot attack, according to the Hindustan Times.

Pakistani officials said in response: "The trial against Jaish members will be conducted in a Pakistani court of law so where is the need for granting India access to Masood Azhar."

Govt panel advises ban on triple talaq and polygamy

A central government committee looking into the status of women in India has recommended a ban on the Muslim practices of oral, unilateral and triple talaq, and polygamy.

The committee's report, filed in October 2015, has not been made public as yet, says The Indian Express. However, the Supreme Court on Monday had given the Centre six weeks to produce this report in connection with a plea it is hearing by a woman divorced by triple talaq, which she says contradicts the Constitutional Right to Equality.

According to the report, the practice of talaq renders "wives extremely vulnerable and insecure regarding their marital status".

Kolkata: 10 feared dead as under-construction flyover collapses on Vivekananda Road

An under-construction flyover in Kolkata's Girish Park area collapsed on 31 March, killing at least 10 and injuring several. According to ANI reports, an eyewitness has claimed that there are atleast 150 people trapped in the debris. Local police have confirmed that 1 person has died in this tragedy. However, the police has confirmed the death of one person. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled rallies to reach the spot. The bridge that has collapsed is a part of the Vivekananda Road Flyover, near the Ganesh Talkies in North Kolkata. Rescue operations are underway.

New Delhi: Ban on diesel vehicle registration gets extension from SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear the plea of the diesel taxi owners move on seeking an extension of time to convert diesel cars into CNG mode. The SC will consider extending the deadline for the order on banning registration of diesel vehicles seeking help from the government. The ban was supposed to come into effect from 1 April. It is reported that the Supreme Court is mulling upon an Environment Compensation Charge instead of a ban.

Do you know how much Google's Sundar Pichai was paid in 2015? Hint: It's way too much!

Indian-origin Google CEO Sundar Pichai made a whopping $100.5 million in the year 2015. That's right. The figure was disclosed via a regulatory filing on 29 March.

The filing revealed that Pichai was paid a salary of $6,52,500, received restricted stock worth $99.8 million (to vest fully in 2017) and awarded other compensation for $22,935.

Last February, Google awarded Pichai $199 million in restricted stock, which was the biggest grant reported by a Google CEO, according to Bloomberg.

Sun's superflares can destroy the earth

The Sun is capable of producing monstrous eruptions or 'superflares' that can not only break down radio communication and power supplies, but also affect Earth's ability to support life, scientists say.

Evidence from geological archives has shown that the Sun might have produced a small superflare in 775 AD.

"The magnetic fields on the surface of stars with superflares are generally stronger than the magnetic fields on the surface of the Sun," said Christoffer Karoff, from Aarhus University. However, of all the stars with superflares that researchers analysed, about 10 per cent had a magnetic field with a strength similar to or weaker than that of the Sun's.

If an eruption of this size was to strike Earth today, it would have devastating consequences. Not just for all electronic equipment on Earth, but also for our atmosphere and thus our planet's ability to support life.