08:37 Toll in grenade attack at Jammu bus stand climbs to 2: One more person has died in the hospital after succumbing to his injuries, increasing the death toll to 2 in the grenade attack at the Jammu bus stand on Thursday.
On Thursday, a grenade explosion rocked the crowded general bus stand in the heart of Jammu city killing a teenager and injuring 32 others.
The third grenade attack by terrorists on the Jammu bus stand since May last came just three weeks after the Pulwama terror strike on February 14 that killed 40 CRPF jawans bringing India and Pakistan on brink of war.
The grenade attack was carried out inside the general bus stand area around 11.50 am resulting in the death of 17-year-old Mohammad Sharik, police said.
08:22 Air India to operate 12 international, 40 domestic flights with all-women crew:
On International Womens Day, national carrier Air India will be flying 12 international flights and over 40 domestic flights with an all-women crew.
Air India is set to fly 12 all-women crew flights on its medium and long-haul international routes and over 40 return domestic and short-haul flights all over India to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8 this year, it said in a statement.
The international sectors that will have the all-women crew on its flights on March 8 are Delhi-Sydney, Mumbai-London, Delhi-Rome, Delhi-London, Mumbai-Delhi-Shanghai, Delhi-Paris, Mumbai-Newark, Mumbai-New York, Delhi-New York, Delhi-Washington, Delhi-Chicago and Delhi-San Francisco.
“Women pilots and cabin crew will be operating Airbus family aircraft as well as dreamliners to over 40 domestic destinations and back to commemorate the occasion,” the airline added.
07:55 Pak turns down visa request of UN team to interview Hafiz Saeed:
Pakistan turned down the visa request of a UN team which wanted to interview Mumbai attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed on his application for removing his name from the UNSC sanctions list, according to UN sources.
Saeed was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008 after the Mumbai terror attack in which 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed 166 people. He was released from house arrest in Pakistan in November 2017.
A representative from the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN informed the UN Ombudsperson in October last year that no visa would be issued for their travel to Pakistan, UN sources said.
The UN Ombudsperson reviews requests from UN designated individuals and entities to be removed from the UN Sanctions Committee listing.
Sources said the Pakistani representative had sought that the visit be postponed till the beginning of 2019 but the Ombudsperson had made it clear that such an extension for the travel could not be given due relevant UNSC provisions.
The UN has rejected an appeal of Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind, to remove his name from its list of banned terrorists, they said.
Notably, the decision comes at a time when UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee has received a new request to designate Jaish-e Mohammad chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based JeM has claimed responsibility for the strike.
00:20 BJP, supporters way ahead in political ad spend on FB: The Bharatiya Janata Party and its supporters accounted for a lion’s share of total political advertising worth over Rs 4 crore on Facebook, according to data compiled by the social media giant.
The advertisements run for the ruling dispensation range from promotion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government policies to those of its leaders, including BJP president Amit Shah — all of which were not necessarily paid by the party but by its supporters.
From February till March 2, 2019, the social media giant showed 16,556 ads related to politics and issues of national importance with ad spends crossing more than Rs 4.13 crore, according to Facebook’s Ad Archive Report.
The specific date on which Facebook started collecting data was not disclosed. However, on February 7, it said the enforcement of the new features and the political advertisements policy, that includes having disclaimers, would start from February 21.
Facebook is providing weekly aggregated insights for advertisements related to politics. Beginning March 4, the report is being refreshed weekly, with data from Sunday to Saturday of each week, a company spokesperson said.
The top spender in the tally was page ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ that ran 1,168 ads and spent Rs 1.01 crore, followed by ‘Nation with NaMo’ that spent Rs 52.24 lakh and ‘MyGov India’ that had an ad spent of Rs 25.27 lakh.
The page ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ had an ad spend of Rs 6.6 lakh, while Shah’s page had a spending of Rs 2.12 lakh.
Compared to this, the Congress and its supporters spend much lesser amounts with the highest being about Rs 48,000. Pages like ‘Im with Congress’, ‘Congress Party admirers forum’ and ‘Vote for Congress’ had spends of Rs 684, Rs 535 and Rs 490, respectively, during the February to March 2 period.
Telugu Desam Party spend Rs 35,867 during the said period.
In February, Facebook had said political advertisements on its platform would carry a ‘disclaimer’ offering details about those responsible for running the ad as the social media giant looks to bring transparency into political ads ahead of elections in India.
The Indian government had warned social media platforms of strong action if any attempt was made to influence the country’s electoral process through undesirable means.
Over the past few months, social media players like Facebook, Twitter, and Google have promised to infuse more transparency into political advertisements on their platforms, and have since announced a slew of measures as part of election integrity efforts.
Facebook, which has over 200 million users in India, has stated that it is committed to creating a new standard of transparency and authenticity for political advertising on its platform and Instagram. — PTI