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Rio Olympics 2016: Russian track and field athletes banned from games as CAS rejects appeal

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on 21 July turned down Russia's plea to withdraw the ban on its track and field athletes for the Olympics.

Russian athletes will not be able to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Rio De Janerio. Sixty eight Russian track and field athletes appealed against a ban imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) following the allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.

The ruling could influence whether the entire Russian Olympic team is banned from the games.

Rahul Gandhi meets Dalit victims of cow vigilantes in Una, Gujarat

On 21 July, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited Una in Gujarat, where self-appointed gau-rakshaks indiscriminately assaulted Dalit youth for allegedly killing a cow.

All ears for the grievances of the victims, Rahul Gandhi arrived at the Mota Samadhiyala village, accompanied by Gurudash Kamat and Bharat Singh Solanki.

He spoke to the victims to take stock of the situation and provide them with the requisite relief. On 11 July, some persons claiming to be Gau rakshaks (cow protectors) thrashed seven Dalit youth in Una, alleging that the latter had killed a cow which they were skinning. The victims claimed they were skinning the cow which had died of natural causes.

Lucknow: BSP workers stage protest against Dayashankar Singh, demand his arrest

On 21 July, Bahujan Samaj Party took to the streets of Lucknow, protesting BJP leader Dayashankar Singh's derogatory remark against Mayawati. They burnt his effigy and demanded his arrest.

The protest is being held at the main Hazratganj crossing. BSP state president Ram Achal Rajbhar said the party supporters have been asked to gather in the state capital in larger numbers.

BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya sacked Dayashankar Singh from the party yesterday, hours after he announced that Singh had been relieved from all organisational responsibilities.

After an FIR was lodged against Dayashankar Singh for his inflammatory comment, a police team reached his residence at UP's Ballia district, only to find him missing.

Protests have also been launched by BSP workers at Delhi's Jantar Mantar.

Turkey: President Erdogan declares 3-month state of emergency after failed military coup

On 20 July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency in the country, following the failed coup last week. Erdogan has vowed to hunt down the group responsible for the coup attempt.

In a statement issued from the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan said that the state of emergency was needed "in order to remove swiftly all the elements of the terrorist organisation involved in the coup attempt."

Erdogan reportedly holds followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen responsible for the coup attempt.

Right wing activists assault another Kashmiri student at Barkatullah University

Right wing activists at Bhopal's Barkatullah University assaulted a Kashmiri research scholar on Wednesday in retaliation against the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the second such incident in three days.

A group of about 10 men shouting 'Bharat mata ki jai' and 'Jai Shri Ram' attacked Sajjad Ahmed, a PhD scholar, at a crowded place where he was photocopying an assignment. Eye witnesses said no one came to his rescue, according to the Hindustan Times.

Video shows Hyderabad boys setting puppies on fire

A video shot in Hyderabad that shows boys setting three puppies on fire has resulted in a case being filed by the police based on a complaint by animal rights activists.

The video shows the boys tying the puppies together, covering them with dry grass and twigs and then setting them on fire. The boy shooting the video is heard urging his friends to start the fire, according to NDTV.

Ghosts, not crop failure, responsible for farmer suicides in MP, says state govt

Ghosts and evil spirits were responsible for the deaths of two out of 418 farmers in Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's constituency, said MP's home minister Bhupinder Singh in the state assembly on Wednesday.

In a written response on the farmer suicides in the district, Singh said the government had conducted a survey to learn the reasons for the suicides, but poverty due to crop failure was not on his list of responses, according to the Hindustan Times.

Daily app downloads in India rose by 16% in first half of 2016: Reports

Daily app downloads in India increased by 16% in the first-half of 2016 (January-June), according to latest data released by 9Apps. Popular third-party app store and part of Alibaba Mobile Business Group reports that 9Apps has reached over 250 million monthly active users around the world.

"According to our statistics, tool, social, media and entertainment, apart from gaming, remain the most popular categories for app downloads. Tools make up about 23 percent of all app downloads; Social about nine percent; Entertainment at seven percent and music is over four percent of all non-gaming app downloads," said Country Manager 9Apps, Ebrahim Popat.

Consumption of gaming apps has increased more than that of non-gaming app. The proportion of games in total app downloads has increased to nearly 20% this year versus 17% in 2015.

UN's World Food Programme needs $610 million for southern Africa drought relief

The United Nations' food agency has said that it needs $730 million to counter the drought crisis in seven southern African nations over the next 12 months.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that it is facing a $610 million shortfall in relief for Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Madagascar, Swaziland and Zambia.

The El Nino pattern has triggered severe drought across the region.