LIVE: Delhi's air quality turns 'severe' on Diwali with AQI at 414

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday interacted with soldiers in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer on the occasion of Diwali. For the last seven years, PM Modi has celebrated the festival with security personnel. “I would like to extend my Diwali greetings. I have brought the greetings of every Indian to you today. You may be on snow-capped mountains or in deserts, but my Diwali is complete only when I celebrate with you. My happiness doubles when I look at the joy on your faces,” he told soldiers.

PM Modi also said that India is becoming a strong voice against expansionism. “Today the whole world is troubled by expansionist forces. Expansionism is, in a way, a mental disorder and reflects 18th-century thinking. India is also becoming a strong voice against this thinking.”

Reiterating that the nation will not compromise with its interests, Modi said, “World now understands that this nation won’t compromise with its interests, not at any cost. This repute and stature of India is all due to your strength and valour. India is clearly presenting its opinions on international fora today because you’ve secured the nation.”

“As long as you are there, this country’s Diwali celebrations will continue to be, in full swing and luminescence,” he told the soldiers.

Meanwhile, on the market front, leading stock exchanges BSE and NSE will conduct one-hour special muhurat trading session on the occasion of Diwali. The session trading would be held between 1815 hrs and 1915 hours, the stock exchanges said in separate circulars. All trades executed in the Diwali Muhurat trading session would result in settlement obligations. The session also marks the beginning of a new Samvat -- the Hindu calendar year that starts on Diwali -- and it is believed that muhurat trading brings prosperity and wealth throughout the year.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will perform 'Diwali Pujan' at Akshardham Temple today along with his cabinet colleagues, amid a ban on firecrackers by his government in view of the rising air pollution and Covid-19 cases in the city.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


Over 200 kg firecrackers seized, 3 arrested in Kolkata

Three persons have been arrested and over 200 kg of firecrackers seized from their possession in different areas of Kolkata, police said on Saturday.

Maharashtra: A level-I fire breaks out at a restaurant in Byculla area of Mumbai

Delhi Police book 55 for selling firecrackers

Despite all the preventive measures taken by Delhi Police against the sale and purchase of firecrackers in the national capital, at least 12 cases were registered and 10 people were arrested for selling firecrackers on Diwali.

Delhi: CM Kejriwal along with his wife Sunita Kejriwal takes part in Diwali celebrations at Akshardham temple

Kolkata: Several houses gutted after fire broke out in the slum area of Nivedita pally, New Town

External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar represented India at the 15th East Asia Summit today

Delhi: Parliament building, North Block, and South Block illuminated on the occasion of Diwali

Army holds pre-recruitment training camp in J-K's Poonch

The Army on Saturday started a pre-recruitment training camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district with an aim to provide employment opportunities and prepare the local youth to join the armed forces, a defence spokesperson said.

Cold to tighten grip in Himachal with rain, snow forecast

Cold will tighten its grip in Himachal Pradesh with the meteorological bureau on Saturday predicting rain and snow in many parts of the state in the next 24 hours.
"There are chances of rainfall and snowfall at many places in the state from November 15 to 16," an official at the meteorological office here told IANS.
He said the western disturbances -- storm systems originating from Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- are likely to be active by Saturday night.
"High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Shimla districts may experience light to moderate snow till November 17," a Met official said.

Indo-Pak talks must to end 'bloodshed': Hurriyat

The moderate Hurriyat Conference on Saturday said India and Pakistan should hold talks to resolve the Kashmir issue and to stop the "senseless bloodshed" of people along the Line of Control (LoC).
In a statement, the Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led amalgam expressed grief and dismay at the escalation along the LoC in which several lives were lost on Friday.
"Hurriyat once again urges the government of India and Pakistan to give up belligerence and come to the table to resolve the J-K dispute for times to come and end the senseless bloodshed of humans on all sides," it said.

SpiceJet handles 10,000 cargo flights since lockdown in Mar

Budget carrier SpiceJet has handled around 10,000 cargo flights since the lockdown in March, besides becoming the top cargo handler in October from the country's busiest Indira Gandhi International Airport, according to the airline.
During the coronavirus-induced lockdown that was imposed on March 25, the government permitted operations of only cargo and special flights while suspending all scheduled domestic and international air services.
Besides, the government also allowed airlines to carry cargo within passenger cabin and on seats, apart from the aircraft belly.
Though scheduled domestic air services resumed operations in a phased manner from May 25, the regular international flights remain suspended.
"SpiceJet has operated 9,950 flights (till Nov 12) since the lockdown began on March 25, carrying 77,000 tonnes of cargo during the period," a SpiceJet spokesperson told PTI.

China regulator says financial innovation must not create oligopolies

China should ensure financial innovation maintains fair competition and does not create oligopolies or construct barriers to entry, a Chinese regulatory official said Saturday.
Xiao Yuanqi, chief risk officer at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBRIC) told the Caixin Summit in Beijing that innovation should not undermine healthy competition or let innovation pioneers become hindrances to further innovation.
Xiao defended the role of financial regulation in maintaining a fair market competition environment, reducing "too big to fail" moral hazards and maintaining financial stability.
"History tells us that before each major financial crisis ... markets were irrationally exuberant. Regulation is meant to return this exuberance to rationality, and resolutely does not support continuing to push exuberance toward crazy so-called innovation," he said.

Boris Johnson wishes on Diwali

Extending wishes on the occasion of Diwali, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday expressed his "respect" for the way British Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have "gone out of their way" to help others during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a video message that he posted on his Twitter handle, Johnson could be seen lighting the lamp. The British Prime Minister said he is confident that "we will triumph over COVID-19".
"Happy Diwali and BandiChhorDivas! I know that this year celebrations will be different, but I am filled with respect for the way British Hindus, Sikhs and Jains have gone out of their way to help others throughout this pandemic," he wrote.
In his message, Johnson talked about how Diwali this year under the shadow of coronavirus would be different and urged people to follow social distancing in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

UK to ban sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce next week a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, five years earlier than previously planned, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.
Britain had originally planned to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040, as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in February Johnson brought this forward to 2035.
Citing unidentified industry and government figures, the FT said Johnson now intended to move the date forward again to 2030 in a speech on environmental policy he is expected to give next week.
The BBC reported a similar plan earlier on Saturday, without giving any sources.

Delhi's air quality turns 'severe' on Diwali

Delhi's air quality turned "severe" on Diwali with stubble burning accounting for 32 per cent of the city's PM2.5 pollution and calm winds worsening the situation as they allowed accumulation of pollutants, weather officials said.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said, "Even a small increase in local additional emissions is likely to have significant deterioration impact on Sunday and Monday."
It said peak levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 1 am and 6 am in case of additional internal emissions.
Earlier, it had said that the PM2.5 concentration in Delhi on Diwali is likely to be the "lowest" in the last four years if no firecrackers are burnt.
The city recorded an overall AQI of 414 on Saturday, which falls in the "severe" category.
The 24-hour average AQI was 339 on Friday and 314 on Thursday.

Manohar Lal Khattar rushed to hospital after respiratory problem, discharged later

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar who was rushed to hospital after respiratory issue during his visit to Himachal Pradesh on Saturday has been discharged after a couple of hours.
"The doctors here took care for me very well," said the Chief Minister while leaving from a hospital. Manohar Lal Khattar has been taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) today for examination after he complained of having some respiratory distress.
"Last night, Chief Minister was not able to sleep despite taking precautionary measures. He made a visit here for a routine checkup, we performed several medical tests on him including 'echo' and X-Ray, the reports are fine and has been discharged," said, Dr Rajanish Pathania, Principal of IGMC.

Bengal FM writes to Sitharaman seeks GST Council meeting

West Bengal Finance minister Amit Mitra has written to Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman urging her to convene a meeting of the GST Council for discussions on Centre's borrowings to meet the collection shortfall.
In the letter written on November 13, Mitra said that many states had argued at the GST Council meetings held in August and October that the Central government borrow from RBI's special window to meet the gap between protected revenue at 14 per cent growth rate and GST collections.
Towards this, Mitra said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also written to Sitharaman in this regard on October 10.
He said it had been unanimously agreed at the meetings to extend the cess collection period beyond 2022 to meet debt servicing by the borrower.

This year lights, statues of deities were made in India due to COVID-19: Aidtyanath

Promoting locally made products, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said that due to coronavirus this year lights and statues of GauriGanesh didn't come from China, and everything was made in the country by potters and at gaushalas (cow sheds).
Addressing a gathering at Vantangia village Tinkonia Number-3, Adityanath said, "I appeal to all to light a diyaa (earthen lamp) in the name of martyrs."
"We all have to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream come true. Due to corona, 'deep' (earthen lamps), light jhaalar, statues of GauriGanesh didn't come from China and everything here was made by potters and at the gaushalas.
"Artists of Aurangabad-Ekla village of Gorakhpur showcased terracotta products in an exhibition in Lucknow, where they said that they earned Rs 8 lakh in three days. A 'deep' stand was sold for Rs 22,000. There is demand but efforts were not made (earlier). We need to be 'vocal with local'," he said.

Will try to get more flood relief funds, says Karnataka CM

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Saturday said his government would try to get additional funds from the Centre for the flood-hit districts of the state.
The statement comes a day after the central government approved Rs 577.74 crore as financial assistance to the state, from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
"We will take efforts to bring more funds," the Chief Minister told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Yediyurappa was replying to a query whether the amount was inadequate.

Telangana waives 50% property tax to ease financial struggles

The Telangana government on Saturday announced a 50 per cent domestic property tax waiver in Hyderabad city and 140 more places across the state as Diwali gift, amid financial difficulties being faced by people in times such as the coronavirus pandemic.

"As a Diwali gift, we have decided to give some relief to people on property tax," said K. Taraka Rama Rao, Municipal Administration Minister.

As part of the tax waiver plan, all the domestic households who have to pay property tax up to Rs 15,000 in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits will benefit a 50 per cent reduction.

As many as 13.7 lakh families will benefit in Hyderabad, burdening the state government by Rs 196.4 crore.

Akhilesh hints at electoral tie-up with estranged uncle for UP Assembly polls

Hinting at a possible electoral tie-up with his estranged uncle's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said Shivpal Yadav will be given a cabinet berth if his party forms the government in the state.

However, he made it clear that the Samajwadi Party (SP) will not enter into any electoral alliance with the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

"Adjustment will be done with smaller parties, but there will be no alliance with larger parties," Akhilesh Yadav told reporters here.

To a question whether the SP will form an electoral alliance with his uncle Shivpal Yadav's Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party, he said, "We will adjust that party too. Jaswantnagar is his (Shivpal Yadav's) seat and the Samajwadi Party vacated the seat for him. In the coming times, we will make their leader a cabinet minister, and what other adjustment is needed?

Pondy CM pays tribute to Nehru on birth anniversary

Senior Congress leader and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy led the Union Territoryto pay floral tribute to former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's statue on his 131st birth anniversary here on Saturday.
Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) V Vaithilingam, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president A V Subramanian, Ministers and legislators were among those who paid homage to the statue.
Earlier, the anniversary of the Prime Minister Nehru was celebrated at the PCC office.

Modi visited the Museum Centre at Longewala post, Jaisalmer

TikTok granted 15-day extension to reach deal with US buyers

The US government has Chinese short-video making app TikTok a 15-day extension to reach a deal with American buyers, according to a federal court filing.
This means that the deadline for ByteDance, TikTok's Chinese parent company, to reach a deal with Oracle and Walmart has been extended from November 12 to November 27, Xinhua news agency quoted the US District Court for the District of Columbia as saying in the filing on Friday.
Treasury Department cpokesperson Monica Crowley said in a statement that this extension will give the parties and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) additional time to resolve this case in a manner that complies with President Donald Trump's order.

Virat Kohli leads Diwali wishes and urges fans for cracker free festival

India skipper Virat Kohli on Friday extended wishes on the occasion of Diwali and urged countrymen to celebrate the festival of light without crackers.
Kohli is currently in Sydney with the Indian team to play limited-overs series against Australia. Earlier this week, the BCCI announced that Kohli will be missing three Test matches in the upcoming series against Australia.
Kohli has been granted paternity leave and as a result, he will be featuring in just the opening Test of the four-match series.
"A very happy Diwali from me to you and your families. May god bless you with peace, prosperity and happiness this Diwali. Please remember do not burst crackers to protect the environment and have fun at home with your loved ones with a simple diya and sweets on this auspicious occasion," Kohli said in a video posted on his official Twitter handle.

No force in world can stop Indian soldiers from protecting border: Modi (2nd Ld)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday gave a stern message to the neighbouring countries, saying "no force in the world can stop our brave soldiers from protecting the country's border". "They give a fierce reply if anybody tries to judge their capabilities," said Modi.
While noting some historical facts, the Prime Minister said, "The history of the world tells us that only those nations have remained safe, only those nations have moved forward, which had the ability to fight the invaders".
The Prime Minister, however, did not take the name of any country, but his indication was almost clear towards China, whose People Liberation Army (PLA) recently indulged in a deadly clash with the Indian soldiers in the Ladakh region.
"No force in the world can stop our brave soldiers from protecting the country's border," the Prime Minister said while addressing the Armed Forces on the Rajasthan border on the occasion of Diwali.

Nehru laid foundation of India with values of egalitarianism: Rahul

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a towering visionary leader, who laid the foundation of India with values of egalitarianism and modern outlook.
He said this while paying tributes to Nehru on his 131st birth anniversary.
"Today, India celebrates the birth anniversary of its first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru ji: a towering visionary who laid the foundation of our country with values of brotherhood, egalitarianism and modern outlook. Our endeavour must be to conserve these values," he tweeted.

Maharashtra celebrates Diwali in toned-down manner amid COVID-19

Diwali, the festival of lights, is being celebrated across Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra on Saturday with fervour, but in a subdued manner under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Laxmi Pujan, the main day of Diwali, and Naraka Chaturdashi, are being celebrated on the same day on Saturday.
In Maharashtra, families celebrate this day by getting up early in the morning and having an 'abhyanga snan' (ritual bath) as per the custom. People light earthen lamps, adorn the balconies with 'akash kandil' (sky lantern) and colourful rangoli patterns are drawn at the entrance of houses.
Early morning 'Diwali Pahat' cultural programmes in major cities across Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nashik, have become an integral part of the festival. However, these programmes were missing this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, some organisations conducted online programmes, like musical events and interviews.

T'gana govt permits sale, use of green crackers

The Telangana government has permitted the sale and use of green crackers following Supreme Court orders modifyinga High Court directive to the state to ban use of fireworks citing COVID-19 pandemic.
The specified time period for bursting of crackers is between 8 PM and 10 PM on Deepavali day (Saturday).
A fresh Government Order (GO) was issued on November 13, supersedinga previous directive on November12, which imposed an immediate ban on sale and use of firecrackers following HC directions.

Sonia greets nation on Diwali, prays for end to pandemic gloom

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday greeted the people on the occasion of Diwali, and expressed hope that the festival of lights would end the gloom and distress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the statement issued here, Sonia Gandhi said the 'million lamps illuminating India and our hearts on this festival of lights would end the gloom of pandemic, darkness of economic recession and distress being caused to fellow citizens'.
She appealed to the people to adhere to all the pandemic related guidelines and precautions as they celebrate.

Joe Biden faces tough choice of whether to back coronavirus lockdowns

Joe Biden faces a decision unlike any other incoming president: whether to back a short-term national lockdown to finally arrest a raging pandemic.
For now, it's a question the president-elect would prefer to avoid. In the week since he defeated President Donald Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear a mask and view the coronavirus as a threat that has no regard for political ideology. Read on...

DRDO successfully test-fires Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), carried out a successful test of Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile system on Friday.
The missile hit its target directly during the test.
The missile launch took place from ITR Chandipur at 3.50 PM off the Odisha coast. The missile is propelled by a single-stage solid-propellant rocket motor and uses all indigenous subsystems. The missile is canisterised for transportation and launch using a mobile launcher capable of carrying 6 canisterised missiles, the defence ministry said in a release. Read on...

PM Modi tells soldiers, "You may be at the snow-capped mountains or in deserts, my Diwali is complete only when I come amid you".

PM Modi said, "You may be at the snow-capped mountains or in deserts, my Diwali is complete only when I come amid you. My happiness doubles when I look at the joy on your faces."

As long as you are there, this country's Diwali celebrations will continue to be, in full swing and luminescence: PM Narendra Modi to soldiers

130 Crore Indians are standing with you. Every Indian is proud of the strength and valour of our soldiers. They are proud of your invincibility. No power in the world can stop our brave soldiers from guarding the borders of our country: PM Modi

No force in world can prevent our soldiers from protecting our borders: PM Modi

India has shown it has strength and political will to give befitting reply those challenging it: PM Modi

PM Modi pays tributes to valour of Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri in 1971 war against Pakistan

PM Modi pays tributes to valour of Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri in 1971 war against Pak, says he became "rashtra deep"

A foreign politician can't give such opinions on Indian political leaders, says Shiv Sena on Barack Obama's remark

A foreign politician can't give such opinions on Indian political leaders; subsequent domestic political discourse on it is distasteful. We won't say 'Trump is mad'. How much does Obama know about this nation?: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena, on remarks on Rahul Gandhi in Barak Obama's memoir

Nehru will always be remembered for his contribution to building a modern India, says Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu pays tributes to country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary, says he will always be remembered for his contribution to building a modern India.

US official says 20 million Americans can be vaccinated in December

The United States hopes to immunize 20 million residents in December and at least 25 million each month in 2021, Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui said in a news conference at the White House.
"We plan to have enough vaccine doses available for use in the US population to immunize about 20 million individuals in the month of December and another 25 to 30 million per month on an ongoing basis," Slaoui said on Friday. "As of the month February or March, if we have more vaccine approved...we may be able to immunize a larger number of Americans on an ongoing basis per month." Read on...

Coronavirus does not respect dates on the calendar. Urgent action needed toda, says Biden

Alarmed by the surge in reported coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities, says Joe Biden

US elections: Trump campaign drops lawsuit challenging Arizona results

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign has dropped its lawsuit challenging the results of the votes in the state of Arizona in the November 3 presidential election.
According to a report by Sputnik, in a court filing on Friday (local time) Trump's lawyers said, "Since the close of yesterday's hearing, the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors." Read on...

PM Modi pays tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru on his 131st birth anniversary

Wishing everyone a Happy Diwali!, tweets PM Modi

Air Quality Index (AQI) stands at 424 (severe) in Anand Vihar, at 328 (very poor) in IGI Airport area

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