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Mayawati is most preferred UP CM, but BJP may get more seats: Survey

An opinion poll on 12 October claimed that though Uttar Pradesh seems to be heading for a hung assembly in the 2017 Assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati is the most favoured Chief Minister.

According to the India Today-Axis opinion poll, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to win 170-183 seats in the 403-member Assembly. The BSP is believed to be the runner-up and expected to win 115-124 seats with the incumbent Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party bagging 94-103 seats. The poll also suggested that Congress might win only 8-12 seats, much less than the 28 it bagged in the 2012 elections.

Mayawati emerged the winner with 31% of the survey respondents saying they wanted her to be the next CM of UP. The survey said that 27% of respondents wanted to retain Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also seemed to be a fairly popular choice for UP's CM post, with 18% picking him, while a BJP leader Yogi Adityanath followed close with 14% votes.

India has 'Right To Self-Defence' but we advise caution: US

Supporting India's "right to self-defence" in the aftermath of the Uri attack which it dubbed a "clear case of cross-border terrorism", the US today dismissed the recent attempt by Pakistan to link peace in war-torn Afghanistan with resolution of the Kashmir issue.

The White House backed India's right to defend itself as with any other country, in view of the recent surgical strike but advised caution given the heavy militarisation between the two neighbours.

It also said that that the US is making every effort to ensure that India becomes a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year.

Making a rare appearance before a Washington audience, Peter Lavoy, the White House's point person for South Asia, said that India-US ties are the "most dynamic relationship" for the US as he listed the Obama administration's achievements in strengthening the relationship between the two largest democracies of the world.

US: Donald Trump given date of court hearing over lawsuit alleging rape of 13-year-old

On 12 October, a federal judge in New York ordered a status conference hearing into a civil lawsuit submitted by a woman who alleged that Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump raped her in 1994 when she was 13-years-old.

The hearing will take place on 16 December in a New York court as ordered by Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams.

Two woman, referred to as "Tiffany Doe" and "Jane Doe", have alleged that they were raped by Trump and financier Jeffrey Epstein. The hearing has been ordered in the Jane Doe's case. Judge Abrams has ordered counsel for Epstein also to appear in court, the Guardian reported.

Without giving any details about the legal complaint filed by the victim, the court has ordered both the sides to be prepared to explain the nature of the allegations and also the principal defenses.

On his part, Trump has rubbished all the allegation against him and slammed the lawsuit.

Gujarat: ATS nabs 2 suspected spies working for Pakistan's ISI in Kutch

The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on 13 October nabbed two persons allegedly working as spies for Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.

Both of them were held tonight from Kutch district, which shares border with the neighbouring country.

"ATS was keeping a close watch on the movement of two residents of Khavda village of Kutch for last one year on the suspicion that they are working as spies of Pakistan's ISI. Both of them were held by ATS today," a police official said on the condition of anonymity.

"We have learnt that ATS has recovered one Pakistani SIM card along with a mobile phone during the search of their house," he added.

The arrest comes amid rising tension between India and Pakistan.

J&K: Peoples Conference activist, Ghulam Nabi Khwaja shot dead in Kupwara

Jammu and Kashmir's Peoples' Conference worker and a close aide of party chairman Sajjad Lone, Ghulam Nabi Khwaja, succumbed to his injuries after he was shot by unidentified gunmen at Handwara in Kupwara District ofJammu and Kashmir on 12 October.

As per local reports, unidentified miscreants barged into his home in Kupwara and fired at him from a very close range.

He was rushed to a local hospital, from where he was referred to the Baramulla District Hospital. However, the doctors declared him brought dead.

As per reports, the victim, a class fourth employee in education department, received four bullets injuries.

Khoja was a worker of Peoples Conference which is led by separatist-turned-mainstream leader and Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Social Welfare Sajad Gani Lone.

UN's latest ambassador is... Wonder Woman!

The UN has taken many interesting feminist stances through history. But appointing comic book superhero Wonder Woman as its honorary ambassador isn't one we'd imagined.

According to The Guardian, Wonder Woman will stand for the empowerment of women and girls. She will be officially appointed at the UN headquarters in New York in an official ceremony that will take place on her 75th anniversary - 21 October.

This is to launch an international project that seeks to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls'." All right then!

Delhi gains voters but loses young votes

It is easy to celebrate trends that show a monumental increase in votes. But it also easy to miss certain important demographic that's increasingly choosing to abstain.

Delhi has seen an increase of 2 lack voters in total, however, there's a huge drop in the enrolment of young, first timers.

"The total number of voters in Delhi in October 2015 was 1,32,06,740 and the number has gone up to 1,33,95,455 in October this year - an increase of almost two lakh new voters. However, the number of first-time voters, in the age group of 18 to 19 years, has actually gone down by nearly 24,000 in the last one year," reads The Hindu's report.

97th in 118 in global hunger index. That's where India stands

India ranks behind Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and China when it comes to hunger. According to the Global Hunger Index (GHI), which is ascertained by The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian ranks a sorry 97 among 118 developing nations.

"Basing its readings on the most recent data, the 2016 GHI for India was derived from the fact that an estimated 15% population is undernourished -lacking in adequate food intake, both in quantity and quality," reads The Times of India's report.

This despite the fact that India runs two massive child nutrition programmes, namely the mid-day meal and ICDS.