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LIVE! In the fight for cycle, Ram Gopal Yadav from Akhilesh's camp to approach EC

09:10  In the fight for cycle, Ram Gopal Yadav to approach EC today:  

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will send his mentor and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Gopal Yadav to the Election Commission to stake claim over Samajwadi Party election symbol “cycle”.

SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, flanked with his brother Shivpal Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh and actress-turned politician Jaya Prada, met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi yesterday in the national capital to stake claim on the symbol.

“I am still the president of Samajwadi Party and the decision of the rival camp to appoint CM Akhilesh Yadav as the party chief is against party’s constitution,” Mulayam told the full Election Commission.

Claiming to have the backing of the SP Parliamentary Board, he said the party symbol ‘cycle’ belongs to him as he is the party president, sources said.

Interestingly, Mulayam was deposed from the post of party president by the group headed by his son Akhilesh Yadav.

According to constitutional experts, in all likelihood, the poll panel could freeze the party symbol and allot new symbols to both the factions to contest the assembly elections scheduled this year.

This might come as a blow to both sides as the symbol “cycle” is a well established brand.


08:53  Obama to deliver farewell address on January 10 in Chicago:  

US President Barack Obama will deliver a farewell address on January 10 to reflect on his time in office and say thank you to his supporters, he said in an email statement.

Obama, noting that the first president of the United States, George Washington, had penned a farewell address in 1796, said he would deliver his speech in his hometown of Chicago.

“I’m thinking about (the remarks) as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here,” he said.

08:20  Only those abroad from Nov 10-Dec 30 can now exchange scrapped notes:  

Those who missed depositing scrapped notes+ with banks before December 30 are finding out that the Reserve Bank of India too has firmly shut its doors to everybody except those who were abroad from November 10 to December 30, 2016.

Several citizens who were turned away at RBI offices in different cities on Monday recalled that in his November 8 speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that there may be some who were unable to deposit their old 500 or 1,000 rupee notes by December 30, 2016. “They can go to specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India up to March 31, 2017 and deposit the notes after submitting a declaration form,” the prime minister had said on television.

However, when depositors turned up at the RBI’s offices in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and other parts of the country to exchange some notes that were left behind, they were told there was no grace period. “This policy is in the government’s ordinance and notification. The grace period is only for those who were abroad during November and December and did not have an opportunity to deposit,” said an RBI official.


07:51  Encounter breaks out in Baramullah district, 1 terrorist killed:  

One terrorist was killed in an encounter between security forces and terrorists in the early hours of Tuesday in the Haritar Tarzoo area in Baramullah district in Jammu and Kashmir. According to reports from news agency ANI, two terrorists were believed to be hiding.

The operation is still underway and efforts are on to neutralise the other terrorist.

This comes less than a week after a similar encounter happened in Shahgund Hajin in Bandipora district in the state.


00:11  Pope tells bishops to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse:  

Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for “a sin that shames us”.

In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday, Francis said: “I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.”

Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken some steps to root out sexual abuse in the Church and to put in place practices to protect children. But victims’ groups say he has not done enough, particularly to hold to account bishops who tolerated sexual abuse or covered it up.


00:09  Israeli police question Netanyahu over alleged gifts: Reports:  

Police investigators began questioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem on Monday on suspicion of receiving gifts from businessmen in breach of his role as a public servant, Israeli media said.

The move was authorised by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who decided after a preliminary inquiry that there was enough evidence to open a criminal investigation, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Israeli media said the questioning by senior police investigators began on Monday evening, was expected last several hours and would almost certainly be followed by more interrogation.

Netanyahu told his ruling Likud faction in parliament that those hoping for his downfall would have to “wait with the celebrations, don’t rush. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once again: there will be nothing because there is nothing.”

Source: Rediff