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GST Council arrives at decision on state compensation, base year to be fixed at 2015-16

On 18 October, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council reached a consensus on state compensation during the three-day meeting, where it was decided upon that 2015-16 would be deemed to be the base year.

The decision on the GST rates, which will have four slabs, will however be taken today.

The Finance Ministry has set the November 22 deadline for building consensus on all the issues in the Council for rollout of the new indirect tax regime from April 1, 2017.

'I can't call a donkey a horse', suspended yet defiant Chattisgarh MLA lashes out at Rahul Gandhi

On 18 October, in reaction to his suspension from the party, rebel Congress MLA from Chattisgarh R K Rai made derogatory remarks against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, saying "I can't call a donkey a horse".

The Chattisgarh Congress suspended MLA R K Rai for his "anti-party" actvities.

The decision to suspend Rai, considered a supporter of Chhattisgarh Janata Congress Party chief Ajit Jogi, was taken by Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) at a meeting of its Coordination Committee in Raipur.

Brussels : Knife-wielding man takes 15 hostages in supermarket, apprehended by police

At about 7 pm local time on 18 October, an armed attacker took atleast 15 people hostage in a supermarket located in the Forest suburb of Brussels in Belgium. The situation has been brought under control since, and the attacker has been apprehended by the police.

In what appears to be a case of a robbery gone wrong, the suspect, armed with a knife, forced shoppers in the Carrefour chain store to lie down on the floor, eyewitnesses said.

The area was cordoned off, and a special team along with a helicopter was deployed to disarm the attacker and bring the situation under control.

BJP giving lollipop in the name of Ram Temple: Congress

The Congress party on Tuesday mocked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for making the Ram Temple at Ayodhya an issue for elections, adding that they have actual taken no steps to build it.

Congress general secretary Rajeev Shukla told ANI that BJP MP Vinay Katiyar had finally understood that BJP had given a lollipop in the name of Ram Mandir for the past 25-30 years.

"Public and Congress have been saying that it has been 25-30 years that BJP gives lollipop in the name of Ram Temple and gets votes to power, then they do nothing about it. At last Vinay Katiyar understood it," he said.

Amid bird flu scare, Delhi National Zoological Park shuts down

Avia influenza cases in Delhi have promoted the Delhi zoo authorities to shut down its premises. 8 water birds and a couple of ducks and pelicks have been affected in the last week, according to zoo sources.

Google's Pixel smartphone reviews are in and their mostly positive

The much hyped phone from Google, the Pixel and Pixel XL seem to be living up to expectations. Reviews for the smartphone started pouring in late last night with reviewers calling it the first true Android phone to stand up to Apple iPhone.

The Verge went ahead and called it "An Android phone for everyone".

Branded internet addresses like .google now available

New rules have given brands prominent internet addresses. Many have requested and many have received approval. Some of them include .kindle, .apple, .canon and .samsung.

Led by blog.google (that consolidates Google's 19 previously separate Google blogs), these companies are hoping to cash in on these domain names.

The barriers of entry are huge. A $185,000 application fee and annual $30,000 operation fee will keep the small players away.

Julian Assange's internet disconnected by the government of Ecuador

Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the leak of her emails. That's what is preventing Julian Assange from connecting to the internet. It's been temporarily disabled because the leak of the emails could affect the US presidential election.

The Ecuadorian government said that it "respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states" and that it "exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom."