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Monsoon delayed by 7 days: Met

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on 15 May that the monsoon for this year has been delayed by seven days. In a release on 15 May, the IMD said: "Forecast suggests that monsoon onset over Kerala this year is likely to be slightly delayed. The Southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on June 7 with a model error of plus or minus four days".

On 14 May, the IMD said the south-west monsoon will hit the Odisha coast by 8 June, while Rajasthan is likely to welcome the monsoon by 20 June. IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said the delay in the monsoon onset was not an "unusual" phenomenon.

Polls in Tamil Nadu's Aravakurichi deferred to 23 May

The Election Commission of India has decided to defer the polls in the Tamil Nadu's Aravakurichi Assembly constituency, in Karur district, following widespread seizure of cash and complaints of voters being bribed.

Voting in Aravakurichi has now been moved to 23 May. The assembly constituency was set to vote for the Assembly elections with the rest of Tamil Nadu - Kerala and Puducherry - on 16 May.

Telangana: 15 killed as truck rams into auto-rickshaw

In a tragic accident, 15 people were killed and three injured after a tipper truck rammed into an auto-rickshaw in Adilabad district of Telangana late on 15 May. The accident occurred at Bagam village in Bhainsa Mandal in which 13 people were killed on the spot and two passed away on the way to the hospital. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed his sympathies and condolences over the death of human lives in the road accident and he instructed the officials to make arrangements for better treatment to the injured.

MCD polls: Voting in thirteen wards of Delhi underway

Voting for civil by-polls in thirteen wards across three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD) areas kicked off on 15 May. While nine wards have remained unrepresented since December 2013, the rest are lying vacant since February 2015. Nine of these 13 former councilors are now AAP legislators and the other four became legislators on BJP tickets in 2013, but lost in 2015. Seven wards in South Delhi Municipal Corporation, four in North Delhi Municipal Corporation and two in East Delhi Municipal Corporation will go to polls on 15 May. The polls would witness a three way contest between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The results of the by-polls would be declared on 17 May.

VHP leader Pravin Togadia's cousin hacked to death in Gujarat

Bharat Togadia, the cousin brother of VHP leader Praveen Togadia and three others were stabbed to death on 14 May by unidentified men, in Surat's Varachha area. According to reports, four people were attacked, of which three succumbed to their injuries and the condition of the fourth person is said to be critical.

WFI seeks Sports Ministry's intervention in Narsingh-Sushil row

The Wrestling Federation of India on 14 May sought intervention of the Sports Ministry in sorting out the row over India's representation in the 74-kg men's wrestling at the Rio Olympics. The WFI has found itself in an unwanted territory after picking Narsingh over Sushil, who clinched bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and silver winner at London Games four year later, in the list of probables sent to the Indian Olympic Association. With the issue now threatening to snowball into a massive furore, the WFI is likely to meet next week to break the deadlock.

TERI Sexual harassment case: RK Pachauri summoned by Delhi court

Former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), RK Pachauri, has been summoned as accused by a Delhi court in a sexual harassment case. The court took cognisance of a chargesheet filed against him for allegedly sexually harassing and outraging the modesty of an ex-colleague. The court said there were sufficient materials to proceed against Pachauri under section 354 A, 354 B, 354 D, 509 and 341 and so it dropped section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. The court fixed July 11 as the date to supply copy of chargesheet to the accused.

US claims Islamic State has declared a state of emergency in Raqqa

The Islamic State believes that it may soon come under siege in its self declared capital in Raqqa, Syria and the US military officials are closely monitoring the developments.

"We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, whatever that means. We know this enemy feels threatened, as they should," US-led anti-Islamic State coalition spokesperson Col Steve Warren said. While the US has not officially said that it believes IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi still remains in or around Raqqa, several officials say that has continued to be a working assumption, however, they are monitoring any potential intelligence that he could be in other locations as well.

Small blue galaxy may spill Big Bang clues

A faint blue galaxy about 30 million light-years from Earth and located in the constellation Leo Minor could shed new light on conditions at the birth of the universe. Astronomers at Indiana University recently found that a galaxy nicknamed Leoncino or " little lion" contains the lowest level of heavy chemical elements or "metals" ever observed in a gravitationally bound system of stars. Co-author John J. Salzer said that finding the most metal-poor galaxy ever is exciting since it could help contribute to a quantitative test of the Big Bang. There are relatively few ways to explore conditions at the birth of the universe, but low-metal galaxies are among the most promising. The study appears in Astrophysical Journal.

Zika virus hits placenta, fetus hard

A new study of pregnant mice has found that Zika virus damages their placentas and kills fetal mice. Investigators from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis developed two mouse models of Zika infection in pregnancy that may aid in better understanding how the virus affects pregnant women.

One system used female mice genetically engineered to lack the ability to mount a specific immune response, which made them susceptible to Zika virus infection.When these pregnant mice were exposed to Zika, the virus killed most fetuses within a week. The fetal mice that survived showed significant abnormalities, such as severely stunted growth. The researchers saw levels of viral genetic material in the mouse placentas that were 1,000 times greater than in the blood of pregnant mice, suggesting that Zika virus replicated preferentially within the placenta. In the second model system, genetically normal pregnant mice were first given an antibody that blocked their immune response to Zika virus and then were infected with Zika virus one or two days later. This model did not lead to death of fetal mice, but their growth was impaired.

Buddhist monk killed in Bangladesh's Bandarban district

An elderly Buddhist monk was killed by unidentified miscreants in Bangladesh Naikkhangchhari upazila of Bandarban district on 14 May.

B Yu Gaindya, 70, was found near Baishari area at Upaorshakh Para village in the upazila, Kazi Ahsan, officer-in-charge (OC) of Naikkhangchhari Police Station, reports the Daily Star.

According to reports, unknown assailants slit Yu Gaindya's throat. This was confirmed by village head Acrothoyai Chand.

Chand said that he saw Gaindya's body when he went to serve breakfast at his bihar where he used to stay alone. Meanwhile, the police have said that the motive behind the killing cannot be ascertained instantly.