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J-K: LeT terrorist killed in Bandipora encounter

A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist was killed in an encounter with the police and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district on Thursday.

The encounter took place in Hajin area of Bandipora district.

This came days after three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district.

In a similar incident earlier on January 6, Al-Badr terrorist Muzaffar Ahmed was killed in an encounter with Army and the Police in Machu area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kerala: BJP worker hacked to death in Kannur

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker was hacked to death in Kannur district of Kerala last night.

52-year old Mullapram Ezhuthan Santhosh was murdered when he was alone in his house.

The BJP alleged that CPM is behind the murder and calls for hartal in Kannur.

The police have taken some persons into custody and questioning them.

The police said it is a political murder.

Obama defends decision to cut short Chelsea manning's sentence

Outgoing US President Barack Obama has defended his decision to commute the 35-year sentence of Chelsea Manning, a transgender solider convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, arguing that she has served a tough jail term.

"Let's be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. So the notion that the average person who was thinking about disclosing vital, classified information would think that it goes unpunished I don't think would get that impression from the sentence that Chelsea Manning has served," Obama told reporters at a news conference on 18 January.

In a suprise move, Obama had cut short Manning's sentence on Tuesday, a decision slammed by President-elect Donald Trump's Republican.

The 29-year-old American military analyst, born Bradley Manning, will now be freed on 17 May instead of her scheduled 2045 release.

Jaipur Literature Festival to begin today

Jaipur Literature Festival will begin from 19 January in the pink city of Rajasthan.

Celebrated writers, thinkers, journalists, historians, poets, novelists and musicians are participating in the five-day event.

A large number of literature lovers are likely to attend the festival.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje along with poet Gulzar will inaugurate the festival this morning.

A special session on 'Freedom to Dream' will also be held where writers will discuss their dreams and dreams of India.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama thanks PM Modi for strengthening Indo-US ties

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked him for his support and contribution to the Indo-U.S. ties.

The Prime Minister received the call yesterday evening during which the two leaders reviewed with satisfaction the significant all round progress and cooperation in ties between India and the U.S. in the past few years.

"Prime Minister thanked President Obama for his strong support and contribution to strengthening the strategic partnership between India and the US. He conveyed his best wishes to President Obama in his future endeavours," said an official statement.

Obama was one of the first leaders to congratulate Prime Minister Modi after his electoral victory in May 2014 and immediately invited him to visit the White House.

In last press conference, Obama offers caution on friendlier ties with Russia

Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama in his final White House presser offered a cautious note on developing friendlier ties to Moscow, saying a constructive US-Russia relationship is "in America's interest and the world's interest."

President-elect Donald Trump has proposed friendlier ties to Moscow, which he said would lead to greater partnership on a series of sticky global issues from Syria to Ukraine, reports the CNN.

The ties between the incoming and outgoing administrations have strained over Trump's relationship with Russia, which the U.S. accuses of meddling in the presidential election.

Obama yesterday said that fostering warmer ties during his presidency was stymied by Russian President Vladimir Putin's combative stance when he returned to power in 2012.

Putin's "adversarial spirit" had "made the relationship more difficult," he said.