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Demonetisation: Banks to exchange old notes only for their own customers and senior citizens today

Banks have been directed to serve only their respective customers on 19 November as the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will not be exchanged for customers of other banks for one day. Senior citizens have been exempted from this directive.

"All these days our own customers have suffered because we have not been able to do their work. So, we have seen lot of pending work at branches especially for our existing customers. We, from IBA, have taken a view that tomorrow, that is, on Saturday we shall be exclusively doing work for our own customers. And tomorrow we will not be doing exchange of notes (for outside customers)," Indian Banks' Association's chairman Rajeev Rishi told reporters in Delhi on 18 November.

He, however, said senior citizens are exempted and they can go to any bank branch to exchange notes tomorrow.

Assam: 3 soldiers killed in encounter between army, suspected ULFA terrorists in Tinsukia

On 19 November, three army men were killed and four others were injured when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast planted by suspected ULFA terrorists on Saturday morning at Digboi in Assam's Tinsukia district.

The injured soldiers was shifted to a military hospital, said army sources.

"Three soldiers were killed and another was injured in the explosion," a Defence spokesperson said, according to PTI.

After the incident that took place at 7 a.m., the army launched a combing operation to nab the terrorists, said sources, adding that the search operation is still on.

Earlier, Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay told ANI that the army cordoned off the jungle in Pengri and launched an encounter.

Kashmir unrest: Government primary school building torched by unidentified miscreants

A Government Primary School building was torched by unidentified miscreants on 18 November night in Rigipora area of Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, an unnamed official confirmed.

According to reports, the roof top of the building was heavily damaged in the inferno.

Meanwhile, the policemen and fire tenders reached the spot and prevented the fire from spreading.

Since 10 September, more than 30 schools have been burnt by unknown persons in Kashmir which has courted condemnation from various quarters. High Court too stepped in by taking a suo moto cognizance of the matter.

On 31 October, the high court had directed the state government to take all preventive measures to save school buildings from burning by "mysterious enemies of education".

NIA files FIR against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, raids 10 offices of his NGO

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 18 November filed an FIR against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for indulging in unlawful activities including provocative speeches that promote enmity and hatred between different religious groups.

"NIA registered a case against Zakir Naik and others yesterday under sections 10,13,18 of UAPA and section 153A of IPC," an NIA spokesperson was quoted by The Hindu.

According to reports, NIA has alleged in the FIR that Naik was inciting Muslim youth in India to commit terrorist acts and unlawful activities.

According to reports, Police teams along with NIA has also conducted around ten raids at Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) offices.

Earlier on 15 November, the Ministry of Home Affairs declared IRF an unlawful association under the anti-terror law for five years for its alleged terror activities. The decision was taken after a Union Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

President-elect Donald Trump finally settles Trump University lawsuits for $25 million

President-elect Donald Trump has agreed to pay $25 million to former students of his for-profit Trump University to settle the outstanding lawsuits against him. It also includes the case in which Trump was set to testify in a trial which was due to begin in San Diego on 28 November.

The US president-elect was being sued by former students who paid $35,000 (£28,000) for real estate "secrets" from his "hand-picked" instructors, reports BBC.

According to Yahoo News, Trump, as part of the agreement will pay $1 million in penalties to the state of New York for violating state education laws by labeling his nonaccredited school a "university" without registering as an educational institution with New York state officials, according to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who announced the settlement Friday afternoon. The deal includes no admission of wrongdoing.

48 countries vow to go full renewable by 2050

48 countries have vowed to go 100% renewable by 2050. The countries, all members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, made the pledge at the ongoing COP22 climate change forum currently underway at Marrakech, Morocco.

The pledge is to go 100% renewable at the earliest and between 2030 to 2050 at the latest. Set up in 2009, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is made up of nations that have been seriously affected by climate change. Among its members are countries like Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Marshall Islands & Maldives.

NASA finally publishes EM Drive paper...and it works

Rumours have swirled for months about the EM Drive, the revolutionary propulsion system that NASA has created and is testing. However, most of it was speculation and outlandish claims minus the proof.

All of that has changed today after NASA finally published a peer-reviewed paper in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)'s Journal of Propulsion and Power about it. And the best part is that it actually works.

The system produces 1.2 millinewtons per kilowatt of thrust in a vacuum by bouncing microwaves around inside a cone-shaped metal cavity. The amazing thing about this is that it defies the laws of physics as it produces thrust without pushing anything the other way. What this means is that we have a propulsion system that defies Newton's third law of gravity.

Arctic 36 degrees warmer than usual

While the world is still fixated n the idea of a President Trump, and we, at home in India, are still trying to make sense of demonetisation, something horrific is transpiring in the Arctic.

The Arctic, which is currently experiencing polar night, a period where the region sees very little sun, is currently at a sweltering 36 degrees Fahrenheit above the usual temperature for the region at this time of the year.

This is the second year in a row where Arctic temperatures remained freakishly high during polar night. As a result, the regions ice cover is also far lower than usual, even more so than the record low it experienced in 2012.