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As the world celebrated the coming of 2016 with fireworks, residents of a Dubai hotel escaped a real fire

As the world celebrated the coming of the new year on Thursday night, a hotel in Dubai, filled with New Year's eve revellers, caught fire just as the celebrations began to peak, reports The Telegraph The luxury hotel, a 63-storey- high skyscraper, Address Downtown Dubai, went up in flames just before a spectacular fireworks display was about to commence at the nearby Burj Khalifa. All the residents of the hotel were safely evacuated, however, with only light injuries reported. The fireworks display at Burj Khalifa went off as planned.

'Let Parliament function in the New Year': Narendra Modi to Congress party

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a shot at the Opposition Congress party on December 31, asking them to let Parliament function smoothly in the New Year. According to the Hindustan Times, the PM, during his speech at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in Noida, said: "Tomorrow is January 1. When you celebrate the New Year, you should take a vow to allow Parliament to run and do its work, and not pose hurdles to the country's development." The attack came after the near failure of Parliament's winter session during which key bills could not be discussed due to protests by the Congress.The Congress hit back on Twitter, sparking a social media war.

J&K Opposition parties to push for autonomy in state assembly budget session

Opposition parties in the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly plan to raise the contentious issue of the state's autonomy during the budget session that starts from January 18 this year. According to The Economic Times, Engineer Rashid, an MLA from the Awami Itehad Party,intends to raise a bill that seeks the restoration of Sadri-Riyasat and Prime Minister in the state,after a recent J&K high court judgment on the issue. In December, the J&K High Court had directed the state government to fly the state flag from all government buildings and vehicles. The BJP is against this move.

Delhi starts the New Year with its odd-even formula for clean air

Odd even

Delhi begins its clean air experiment on the first day of 2016 by kicking off its odd-even formula, report the Hindustan Times, The Telegraph and The Indian Express. For the next 15 days, cars with registration plates ending with odd numbers will ply only on odd dates, while those cars with registration plates ending with even numbers will ply only on even dates. This is Delhi's first major state intervention in the campaign for clean air, since the Supreme Court ruled 17 years ago that all public transport in the Capital should convert to CNG, says The Indian Express.

PM Modi to restrict his foreign travel in 2016

In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go abroad only if absolutely necessary, says the Hindustan Times. According to the national daily, the PM has asked the external affairs ministry to keep his foreign trips to the minimum this year so that he can focus on domestic issues. Since he came to power in May 2014, PM Modi has visited 33 countries in a bid to boost India's foreign relations and bring investment into the country. However, his many tours abroad allowed the opposition parties in Parliament to accuse him of ignoring the home front.

Cow dung cake, now available online

cow dung/File Photo/wire

File Photo

This is no bullshit. You can now buy cow dung on the world wide web. Online retailers including Amazon and eBay have started selling cow dung patties for customers.

Primarily made by rural women and used mostly as fuel for fires, the patties are made of dung combined with hay and dried in the sun.

The supposed objective is to connect with the urban population. The cakes come in packets that contain two to eight pieces weighing 200 grams each. Prices range from Rs.100 to Rs.400 per package.

Guinea is now Ebola free

Guinea, the West African nation where Ebola originated from, has just been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Ebola epidemic began in December 2013 in the southern town of Gueckedou and spread fast to Sierra Leona and Liberia. The government of Guinea apparently has plans to hold a concert in the city of Conakry on Wednesday to mark the occasion.

More than 2000 people reportedly died in Guinea from the disease and a staggering 9000 lost their lives in Sierra Leona and Liberia.

Over 50 people killed in two days by Boko Haram

Boko Haram/wire/file

File Photo

The Boko Haram jihadists launched a 48-hour long attack in northeast Nigeria and killed over 50 people.

Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, had pledged to end the group's insurgency by the end of this year but the group fought back and killed dozens of people on Christmas day.

"There have been more than a dozen suicide blasts in Maiduguri between last night and this morning," Babakura Kolo, a civilian vigilante assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram, told AFP on 28 December.