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- The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked the Railways to put a hold on its ambitious fast-track plan to set up an independent regulator for freight and passenger tariffs. The PMO has asked the Ministry to follow the legislative route to create the regulator rather than push it through an executive order.
- Reoti Saran Sharma, the renowned Hindi and Urdu writer, playwright and television personality has passed away in Delhi, at the age of 92. He was a Pioneer in radio plays in All India Radio and was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007 for his contribution to theatre.
- The 12th edition of Asia’s oldest and world’s 3rd toughest mountain biking (MTB) race kicked off from the historic Ridge Maidan of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. The race will conclude next month in Dharamshala.
- Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Barbora Strycova defeated the Chinese combination of Chen Liang and Zhaoxuan Yang in the final to clinch the Pan Pacific title at Tokyo yesterday.
- P.S. Madhu broke his own National record and won the men’s 100m backstroke gold on the opening day of the Glenmark National aquatics championship held at Ranchi.
- Riya Bhatia has qualified to the semifinals of the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament.
- U.S. President Barack Obama officially opened the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture at Washington, D.C. Exhibits include a Tuskegee Airmen training plane and the casket of Emmitt Till, a murdered African-American boy whose death helped rally the civil rights movement.
- US President Barack Obama also vetoed a bill that would have allowed the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. Earlier, the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was passed by both the chambers of the Republican controlled Congress. He noted that the JASTA would have jeopardized the long standing international principles regarding sovereignty and would have had an adverse impact over US interests and nationals overseas.
- Scientists, using data from the NASA-funded DXL (Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy) rocket, have confirmed that some of the X-ray emissions in our universe originate from a huge bubble of hot ionised gas enveloping our solar system. The finding strengthens our understanding of the solar neighbourhood’s early history.
- The British government has recognised six sites for their significance in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. The former homes of the writer Oscar Wilde and the composer Benjamin Britten are among these. Historic England, a body that designates places worthy of legal protection, announced the decision, the latest in an effort to showcase “queer history”.
- China plans to deploy its indigenously built drones for surveying and mapping in the disputed South China Sea and along the contentious islands with Japan. The drones are capable of covering waters 80 nautical miles from the coastline.
- Foreign ministers of the G4 group of countries have resolved, on the sidelines of the General Assembly session this year, that India, Germany, Japan and Brazil will continue to push for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council. India was represented by Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. The Group of 4 (G4) wants permanent membership of the Security Council for themselves, and wide and far-reaching reform of the UN.
- The Pakistan government has decided to write to Interpol for the extradition of Baloch leader Brahamdagh Bugti, who has sought political asylum in India. Mr. Bugti is the President and founder of Baloch Republican Party. He is the grandson of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, a Baloch nationalist leader killed by the Pakistan army in 2006. Mr. Bugti, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking asylum in India, and his application is currently being examined by India’s Home Ministry.
- The UN Security Council approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty that would ban tests of nuclear weapons. With 14 votes in favour and one abstention (Egypt), the resolution welcomed progress made towards universalization of the Treaty, noting that 183 States have signed the Treaty and 166 States have deposited their instruments of ratification. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes. Adopted by the UN General Assembly under resolution 50 (1996), the Treaty will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification by all.