LIVE: Telecom department assigns frequencies to successful bidders

With West Bengal witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases, like other states, the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has called an all-party meeting today to reiterate instructions on campaigning amid the pandemic and encourage more virtual rallies for the remaining phases of the Assembly elections.

The meeting has been called at the behest of the Election Commission (EC).

The meetings are being called against the backdrop of the growing laxity in following Covid-19 protocols during campaigning in West Bengal. Last week, the poll panel had warned all political parties that it will not hesitate to ban rallies and meetings if precautions are not adhered to.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


Four Sikhs killed in FedEx facility mass shooting in US

At least eight people, including four Sikhs, were killed and five others were left injured in a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in the US state of Indiana, according to community leaders.
The gunman, identified as 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole of Indiana, died by suicide after the shooting on early Friday morning, taking the toll to nine.
About 90 per cent of the workers at this delivery service facility are said to be Indian-Americans, mostly from the local Sikh community.
"This is very heart breaking. The Sikh community is devastated by this tragic incident," community leader Gurinder Singh Khalsa told PTI over the phone after meeting family members of the employees of the FedEx facility.
Maninder Singh Walia, community activist, said the four Sikhs who have died are Amarjt Kaur Sekhon (female), 48, Jaswinder Kaur (female), Amarjit Kaur Johal (female) and Jaswinder Singh (male). The age of the last three deceased was not immediately available.
Harpreet Singh Gill (male), 45, has received an injury near his and is hospitalised. The Indianapolis Police is yet to release the names of those killed in the mass shooting.
US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris expressed condolences over the tragic killings.
“Vice President Harris and I have been briefed by our homeland security team on the mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, where a lone gunman murdered eight people and wounded several more in the dark of night,” Biden said in a statement.

Raul Castro confirms he's resigning, ending long era in Cuba

Raul Castro said Friday he is resigning as head of Cuba's Communist Party, ending an era of formal leadership by he and his brother Fidel Castro that began with the 1959 revolution.
The 89-year-old Castro made the announcement Friday in a speech at the opening of the Eighth congress of the ruling party, the only one allowed on the island.
He said he was retiring with the sense of having "fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland." Castro didn't say who he would endorse as his successor as first secretary of the Communist Party.
But he previously indicated that he favors yielding control to 60-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, who succeeded him as president in 2018 and is the standard bearer of a younger generation of loyalists who have been pushing an economic opening without touching Cuba's one-party system.
His retirement means that for the first time in more than six decades Cubans won't have a Castro formally guilding their affairs, and it comes at a difficult time, with many on the island anxious about what lies ahead.
The coronavirus pandemic, painful financial reforms and restrictions imposed by the Trump administration have battered the economy, which shrank 11% last year as a result of a collapse in tourism and remittances.

Latest News: Honda Cars recalls 77,954 units of some models to replace faulty fuel pumps

Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) on Friday announced the recall of 77,954 units of select models in India to replace faulty fuel pumps in an exercise it started last year.
The fuel pumps installed in these vehicles may contain defective impellers that could over time result in engine stopping or not starting, HCIL said in a statement.
The recall impacts models, Amaze, 4th generation City, WR-V, Jazz, Civic, BR-V, and CRV, which have been manufactured between January 2019 and September 2020. Read here

Latest News: Government of Ghana to acquire 100 per cent stake in AirtelTigo

The Government of Ghana, Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular SA on Friday announced execution of the definitive agreement for transfer of 'AirtelTigo' to Government of Ghana, on a going concern basis.
In effect, the Ghanaian government will take over the ownership of AirtelTigo joint venture. The announcement marks execution of the definitive pact for transfer of Airtel-Millicom mobile operations to Government of Ghana, Airtel said in a filing.
In the proposed agreement, Government of Ghana will acquire 100 per cent stake in AirtelTigo along with all customers, assets and liabilities. (PTI)

Latest News: S&P 500, Dow hit record highs on bank earnings boost

The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Friday after Morgan Stanley wrapped up quarterly earnings reports from the big US banks with a profit surge, while optimism about a solid economic rebound put the main indexes on course for weekly gains.
Nine of the 11 S&P indexes were trading higher, with only the communication services and information technology indexes edging lower after outperforming in the previous session.
Wall Street's three main indexes have bounced this month as upbeat economic data, a solid start to the first-quarter corporate earnings season and the Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates low despite higher inflation boosted demand, particularly for richly valued technology stocks. Read here

West Bengal elections: EC curtails timing of the campaign up to 7 pm

LIVE: ICSE exams for Classes 10 and 12 deferred, new dates in June

LIVE: ICSE exams for Classes 10 and 12 deferred, new dates to be announced in June

Latest LIVE: UK's Home Minister approved extradition of Nirav Modi, says CBI official

Latest LIVE: UK's Home Minister approved extradition of Nirav Modi, says CBI official. He was held guilty by UK court in Feb 2021 and file was sent to UK HS for the approval.

West Bengal election: Amit Shah holds a roadshow in Barrackpore

Latest News: Mamata failed to protect country's Constitution, says Nadda

Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her "gherao central forces" remark, BJP president JP Nadda on Friday wondered how she has been running the administration for so many years and alleged that she failed to protect the Constitution of the country.
Speaking at an election rally here in the Purba Bardhaman district, he claimed that Banerjee's government has done nothing to provide adequate security to women as the state has the "maximum" number of cases relating to rape, acid attack and domestic violence.
"She has been saying three words 'Maa, Mati and Manush' (mother, land and people) since the time the TMC came to power. What happened to Maa? West Bengal has the maximum number of cases relating to rape, acid attack and domestic violence. Her government does not send crime records to the Centre, and it is clear why it does so," he said. (PTI)

Latest News: Ashok Leyland supplies bullet proof vehicle to Indian Air Force

Hinduja Group's commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd on Friday said it has delivered the first light bullet proof vehicle to Indian Air Force (IAF).
According to Ashok Leyland, the light bullet proof vehicle is an adopted version of Lockheed Martin's Common Vehicle Next Gen (CVNG).
Ashok Leyland said the vehicle was developed under the transfer of technology agreement between the two companies.
"Our mobility solutions range from 4x4 to 12x12 for Defence personnel and logistics, and they have proved to be reliable partners, across our armed forces," Nitin Seth, COO, Ashok Leyland said. Read here

All-party meeting called by CEO of West Bengal underway at Kolkata Circuit House

Latest News: Exports rise to $13.7 billion during Apr 1-14: Govt

The country's exports have increased to $13.72 billion during April 1-14 this year on account of healthy growth rate in sectors such as engineering and gems and jewellery, according to the provisional data of the Commerce Ministry.
Exports during April 1-14 last year were aggregated at $3.59 billion.
In April 2020, the outbound shipments had contracted by a record 60 per cent due to Covid-19 related lockdown. Read here

West Bengal elections: 45 constituencies to go to polls in fifth phase

Over one crore voters in West Bengal will decide the political fate of 342 candidates on Saturday, when 45 assembly constituencies go to polls in the fifth phase, amid a raging second wave of Covid-19.
Security measures have been heightened for phase five in view of the violence in the previous phase, which witnessed the death of five people in Cooch Behar, including four in CISF firing.
The Election Commission has decided to deploy at least 853 companies of central forces to ensure free and fair voting, an official of the poll panel said.
It will also put in place measures to ensure strict adherence of Covid-19 protocols during the voting process, he said. Read here

LIVE: BJP targeted my leg to stop me from campaigning, says Mamata

BJP targeted my leg to stop me from campaigning, but I proved them wrong with blessings of people, says West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Latest News: Will urge EC to stop BJP from bringing outsiders, says Mamata

West Bengal election: BJP National President JP Nadda holds a roadshow in Bardhaman

West Bengal election: Amit Shah holds a roadshow in Krishnanagar

Latest News: Iran starts enriching uranium at 60%, its highest level ever

Iran began enriching uranium up to 60 per cent purity Friday, its highest level ever, after an attack targeted its Natanz nuclear site, the country's parliament speaker said.
The comment by Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, quoted by state television, did not elaborate on the amount Iran planned to enrich.
However, it is likely to raise tensions even as Iran negotiates with world powers in Vienna over a way to allow the US back into the agreement and lift the crushing economic sanctions it faces. (PTI)

Latest News: EU-UK talks over Brexit fail to reach breakthrough

Top European Union and British officials failed to get a breakthrough at talks on Northern Ireland trade rules and said Friday that contact would continue over the coming weeks.
The dinner meeting late Thursday between European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and U.K. Brexit minister David Frost took place a month after the EU started legal action against its former member country, arguing that the UK had not respected the conditions of the Brexit agreement and violated international law.
A British statement said that a number of difficult issues remained and it was important to continue to discuss them.
Frost said that there should be intensified contacts at all levels in the coming weeks. (AP)

Latest News: Serum CEO urges Joe Biden to lift embargo on raw material exports

Latest News: Monsoon to be 'normal' in 2021; East and Northeast may get less rain, says IMD

India will probably experience normal monsoon rainfall this year as La Nina or El Nino weather conditions, which impact rain patterns, are likely to be absent, according to according to state-run forecaster India Meteorological Department.
The 2021 southwest monsoon starting June is expected to be normal at 98 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), said IMD’s forecast that has a model error of plus and minus 5 percent.
The LPA of monsoon is 88 centimeters.
Rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is considered a normal rainfall. Read here

LIVE: BJP delegation arrives for an all-party meeting called by CEO of West Bengal

Tourist leader: Amit Shah's veiled dig at Rahul Gandhi while campaigning

Maruti Suzuki hikes prices of select models by up to Rs 22,500 with immediate effect

Latest News: Maruti Suzuki hikes prices of select models by up to Rs 22,500 with immediate effect, according to the company's regulatory filing

West Bengal election 2021: Polling parties collect EVMs from a distribution centre in Siliguri

Polling parties collect EVMs from a distribution centre in Siliguri, ahead of the fifth phase of West Bengal Assembly elections tomorrow.

Ajay Seth takes over as new Economic Affairs Secretary

Ajay Seth takes over as new Economic Affairs Secretary

Operating Pune plant in compliance with state govt guidelines: Tata Motors

Operating Pune plant in compliance with state govt guidelines: Tata Motors

Ranjit Sinha, ex-CBI director and DG ITBP, passes away

Ranjit Sinha, 1974 batch retired IPS officer, who held various senior posts including that of CBI director and DG ITBP, passed away today around 4:30 am in Delhi.

Trinamool proposes to club last 3 phases of West Bengal election 2021

A day before the all-party meeting convened by state Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab on maintaining the Covid protocols during the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress on Thursday proposed to club the last three phases of polls scheduled on April 22, 26 and 29.
The ruling Trinamool Congress proposed to conduct the last three phases in one or two phases, considering the upward trend of Covid cases in the state for the last one month.

Former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha is dead

Former CBI Director Ranjit Sinha is dead.

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