09:14 6 killed as car rams into crowd in China, driver shot dead:
A man rammed his car into a crowd in China’s central Hubei province, killing six persons and injuring seven others before being shot dead by the police on Friday.
The incident took place around am (local time) in Zaoyang city, state-run CGTN reported.
The driver has been shot dead by the police, it said.
A total of seven persons, including the perpetrator, have been killed in the incident, it said.
The seven injured have been hospitalised, the report said.
Incidents of random attacks on civilians by disgruntled persons have become common in China in recent years.
Last September, three people were killed and 43 others injured when a man drove his SUV into a crowd and later went on a stabbing spree in China’s Hunan province.
Some persons carrying knives targeted primary schools and mall to vent out their anger.
09:04 Encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian, third in last 24 hours in Valley:
An encounter broke out between terrorists and security forces in South Kashmirs Shopian district on early Friday morning. Police said this is the third encounter which has taken place in the Valley in the last 24 hours.
A tweet from Kashmir police range this morning read: Exchange of fire at #ImamSahib #Shopian. Area under Cordon. Details will follow. @JmuKmrPolice.
On Thursday, two separate encounters broke out between terrorists and security forces in Baramulla and Bandipora district of north Kashmir. Two civilians were held hostage by terrorists in the Bandipora encounter of which one of was rescued.
Efforts are on to rescue the other civilian, reportedly a minor, who is held hostage by militants, police said.
Meanwhile, in the Baramulla encounter at Kalantara in Kreeri area, two terrorists were killed. A cordon and search operation was launched at Kalantara area on Wednesday evening and suspected terrorists fired at the search party during the operation. On Thursday morning contact was established with the terrorists leading to an encounter.
08:31 Smriti Irani says writing on the wall for Rahul Gandhi:
It will be round two of the electoral battle between the Rahul Gandhi and Smriti Irani in Uttar Pradeshs Amethi as BJP announced on Thursday evening that it has fielded the union minister to take on the Congress chief from the Gandhi bastion again.
Irani had unsuccessfully contested against Gandhi in the 2014 Lok Sabha election and had lost by around 1 lakh votes, but was seen to have put up a spirited fight. The Congress has earlier announced the candidature of Gandhi from Amethi.
Irani said the writing is on the wall for Rahul Gandhi.
Dubbing the fight as one between a Kaamdar and Naamdar, she claimed that while Rahul Gandhi never found the time to address the key issues of the people of Amethi, she had given most of her time to the people there in the last five years. She said she will go to the constituency soon to begin her campaign.
08:05 Britain’s May gets two-week Brexit reprieve from impatient EU:
European Union leaders have given British Prime Minister Theresa May two weeks reprieve, until April 12, before Britain could lurch out of the EU if she fails to persuade lawmakers to back the withdrawal treaty she concluded with Brussels.
But after seven hours of summit brainstorming on Thursday, her 27 peers kept a host of options open, ramping up pressure on parliament to support May, giving Britain an outside chance of staying in for much longer but also preparing to deflect blame for the chaos of any no-deal Brexit.
May had wanted to be able to delay Britains departure until June 30 to tie up legislative loose ends and tried to reassure the EU that she could overturn two heavy defeats to clinch last-gasp parliamentary ratification of her deal next week, so allowing a status-quo transition period to come into effect.
EU leaders had planned to endorse a shorter extension, to May 22, the eve of EU parliamentary elections, and leave any discussion of how to deal with May losing until next week. But diplomats said the prime minister singularly failed to reassure them she could win. Some sensed she did not believe it herself.