Latest news LIVE updates: WHO airlifting medical supplies to Lebanon

Lebanon explosion: The blasts took place on Tuesday evening (around 6.10 pm local time), shaking buildings all over the city and causing severe damage and casualties
Latest news today live updates: At least 100 people were killed and around 4,000 wounded in two huge explosions that rocked Lebanese capital Beirut. The blasts took place on Tuesday evening (around 6.10 pm local time), shaking buildings all over the city and causing severe damage and casualties. The number of casualties is expected to rise. The causes of the blasts remain unknown, but Lebanese Interior Minister Mohammad Fahmi has said that the explosive chemicals stored at Port of Beirut may have caused the explosions.

Around 300,000 people became homeless as a result of the recent powerful explosion in the port of Beirut in Lebanon, the city's Governor Marwan Abboud, said on Wednesday. 

 
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and some other parts of Maharashtra for today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday performed the bhoomi pujan' of a Supreme Court-mandated Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day


2:11 AM IST Even as torrential rains lashed the city, the malls in Mumbai witnessed 15-20 per cent footfall on Wednesday, on opening after a gap of over four months.   The malls were mostly visited by individuals who were middle age and young, however, there were no children and senior citizens among the visitors.   Most of the outlets that were open were apparels, electronics, footwear and cosmetics, among others.   The city has 12 big malls mostly located in the Mumbai suburbs, excluding Navi Mumbai and Thane.

2:11 AM IST Gold advanced to a fresh record beyond $2,000 an ounce in the international market, as investors assessed increased geopolitical risks and the prospect for further stimulus to combat fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.   Bullion is up almost 35 per cent this year, with its haven status enhanced by sliding US real yields.   In New Delhi, the metal jumped Rs 1,365 to Rs 56,181 per 10 gram, HDFC Securities said.   Silver also depicted a strong trend as it zoomed Rs 5,972 to Rs 72,726 per kg from Rs 66,754 per kg in the previous trade.

2:10 AM IST Output from the UK’s dominant services industry rose at the fastest pace since 2015 in July as more of the nation’s economy opened up after the coronavirus lockdown.   IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.5 last month, up from 47.1 in June. While that is marginally below the 56.6 flash estimate, it is well above the 50 level that indicates expansion for the first time in five months.   New orders climbed as firms reopened and business expectations improved for a fourth straight month, Markit said. Employment, however, slumped amid concerns that longer-term demand won’t fully recover to its pre-Covid levels, and new export sales declined.

12:28 AM IST A small group of protesters representing Pakistani groups staged a protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.   Around 150 people gathered opposite the High Commission building with a banner reading Implement UN Resolution but remained barricaded away from the main India House complex at Aldwych in central London.   Police are aware of a planned protest outside the Indian High Commission in Aldwych on Wednesday August 5. A proportionate policing plan is in place throughout the duration of the demonstration, a Metropolitan Police statement said.

11:44 PM IST Section 144 imposed in areas that fall under limits of Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations with effect from 10.00 pm today until further order, in the interest of maintenance of public order and peace: Sonitpur District Magistrate #Assam pic.twitter.com/n9oUMvhTKe — ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2020

11:05 PM IST Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday after Disney delivered a surprise quarterly profit, with sentiment aided by signs that a coronavirus fiscal relief package was imminent.   Walt Disney Co's shares jumped 9.5 per cent, among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 and Dow, as revenue declines for its parks and media networks were not as bad as feared.   Payments processor Square Inc surged 8.7 per cent after reporting a 64 per cent rise in second-quarter revenue, as consumers increased online buying and used its peer-to-peer Cash App platform during the pandemic.

LIVE UPDATES

Malls in Mumbai resume operations after four months; rains hinder footfall

Even as torrential rains lashed the city, the malls in Mumbai witnessed 15-20 per cent footfall on Wednesday, on opening after a gap of over four months.
 
The malls were mostly visited by individuals who were middle age and young, however, there were no children and senior citizens among the visitors.
 
Most of the outlets that were open were apparels, electronics, footwear and cosmetics, among others.
 
The city has 12 big malls mostly located in the Mumbai suburbs, excluding Navi Mumbai and Thane.

Gold breaches $2,000-barrier over prospect for further Covid-19 stimulus

Gold advanced to a fresh record beyond $2,000 an ounce in the international market, as investors assessed increased geopolitical risks and the prospect for further stimulus to combat fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Bullion is up almost 35 per cent this year, with its haven status enhanced by sliding US real yields.
 
In New Delhi, the metal jumped Rs 1,365 to Rs 56,181 per 10 gram, HDFC Securities said.
 
Silver also depicted a strong trend as it zoomed Rs 5,972 to Rs 72,726 per kg from Rs 66,754 per kg in the previous trade.

As UK eases lockdown, services activity expands at fastest pace in 5 years

Output from the UK’s dominant services industry rose at the fastest pace since 2015 in July as more of the nation’s economy opened up after the coronavirus lockdown.
 
IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.5 last month, up from 47.1 in June. While that is marginally below the 56.6 flash estimate, it is well above the 50 level that indicates expansion for the first time in five months.
 
New orders climbed as firms reopened and business expectations improved for a fourth straight month, Markit said. Employment, however, slumped amid concerns that longer-term demand won’t fully recover to its pre-Covid levels, and new export sales declined.

Pakistani groups in UK stage protest outside Indian High Commission

A small group of protesters representing Pakistani groups staged a protest outside the Indian High Commission in London on Wednesday to mark the first anniversary of India's decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Around 150 people gathered opposite the High Commission building with a banner reading Implement UN Resolution but remained barricaded away from the main India House complex at Aldwych in central London.
 
Police are aware of a planned protest outside the Indian High Commission in Aldwych on Wednesday August 5. A proportionate policing plan is in place throughout the duration of the demonstration, a Metropolitan Police statement said.

Section 144 imposed in areas that fall under limits of Thelamara and Dhekiajuli police stations

Wall Street gains on Disney's surprise profit, fiscal aid hopes

Wall Street's main indexes rose on Wednesday after Disney delivered a surprise quarterly profit, with sentiment aided by signs that a coronavirus fiscal relief package was imminent.
 
Walt Disney Co's shares jumped 9.5 per cent, among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500 and Dow, as revenue declines for its parks and media networks were not as bad as feared.
 
Payments processor Square Inc surged 8.7 per cent after reporting a 64 per cent rise in second-quarter revenue, as consumers increased online buying and used its peer-to-peer Cash App platform during the pandemic.

Bihar flood situation worsens, 66 lakh affected; CM Nitish Kumar makes aerial survey

The flood situation in Bihar deteriorated on Wednesday as waters from overflowing rivers originating in Nepal inundated fresh areas and the number of affected people rose to 66.60 lakh across 16 districts, a government bulletin said.
 
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made an aerial survey of the affected areas of north Bihar and visited a village in Darbhanga district, which has been hit by the calamity. According to the disaster management departments bulletin, the death toll in flood related incidents remained at 19 as no fresh casualty was reported.
 
The size of the flood-affected populace, however, grew by nearly three lakh since Tuesday and the number of panchayats hit by the calamity was 1,165, a rise of 13.

Beirut explosions update: WHO airlifting medical supplies to Lebanon

The World Health Organization says it is airlifting medical supplies to Lebanon to cover up to 1,000 trauma interventions and up to 1,000 surgical interventions following the explosion in Beirut, according to a PTI report.
 
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said supplies airlifted from a humanitarian hub in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates would be used to treat burns and wounds caused by broken glass and other debris from the explosion. The airlift follows a request from the Lebanese health minister, and the supplies were expected to arrive in Lebanon later Wednesday.
 
Jasarevic said in an email that the WHO will stand ready to also provide other urgent support.

Seven dead, 60 infected by new infectious disease in China: Report

A new infectious disease caused by a tick-borne virus has killed seven people and infected 60 others in China, official media reported on Wednesday, warning about the possibility of its human-to-human transmission.
 
More than 37 people in East China's Jiangsu Province contracted with the SFTS Virus in the first half of the year. Later, 23 people were found to have been infected in East China's Anhui province, state-run Global Times quoted media reports.

89 killed in lightning strikes in Madhya Pradesh in 6 months of 2020: IMD

The IMD has alerted that due to the environmental changes, the threat of lightning during the current monsoon season has increased in Madhya Pradesh, where 89 people lost their lives due to lightning strikes in the first six months of this year.
 
This figure of lightning strike victims in the state till June this year is more than what it was during the entire year in 2019, an official said.
 
"In the current monsoon season, the threat of lightning strikes has increased as compared to last year due to the environmental changes," India Meteorological Department (IMD) senior scientist, Vedprakash Singh Chandel, told PTI on Wednesday. READ MORE...

Up to 75 crore beneficiaries got free grains under PMGKAY scheme in April-June period: Govt

Union Food Ministry on Wednesday said free foodgrains under PMGKAY were distributed via ration shops to up to 75 crore beneficiaries during April-June period, according to a PTI report.
 
In March, the government had announced distribution of 5 kg of foodgrains for free under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) to ration card holders for three months as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Besides foodgrains, 1 kg pulses per beneficiary family were also to be distributed. This was over and above the subsidised grains given under the National Food Security Act. The PMGKAY scheme has now been extended till November.

UN chief offers condolences to victims of Beirut port explosion

Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, has offered his condolences to the victims of Tuesday's massive twin blasts in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, including several UN employees who suffered injuries.
 
"My deepest condolences to families of victims of the horrific explosions in Beirut, and to the people & Government of Lebanon. I wish all injured, including United Nations personnel, a speedy recovery. The @UN remains committed to supporting Lebanon at this difficult time," Guterres wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday.
 
As many as 48 UN employees suffered injuries as a result of the blasts, which originated in the port of the Lebanese capital, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told the Al Jazeera broadcaster.

Lebanese confront devastation after massive Beirut explosion

Residents of Beirut confronted a scene of utter devastation Wednesday, a day after a massive explosion at the port rippled across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people, wounding thousands and leaving entire city blocks blanketed with glass and rubble. Smoke still rose from the port, where a towering building of silos was half destroyed, spilling out grain. Hangars around it were completely toppled.
 
The blast knocked out a crater some 200 meters (yards) across that filled with seawater it was as if the sea had taken a bite out of the port, swallowing buildings with it. Much of downtown was littered with damaged vehicles and debris that had rained down from the shattered facades of buildings, news agency PTI reported.

NDRF evacuated over 14,000 people across India during the current monsoon season

Beirut explosions update: French President to visit Lebanon tomorrow

French President Emmanuel Macron will leave for Lebanon on Thursday in order to affirm Paris' solidarity with the Middle East country following the powerful explosion in the port of Beirut, the Lebanese Council of Ministers confirmed on Wednesday, according to an ANI report.
 
"(President) Macron will travel to Lebanon on Thursday and meet with the country's political officials," the Elysee Palace said earlier in the day, as quoted by the BMF TV broadcaster.
 
The explosion has left over 4,000 people injured and more than 100 killed. A large number of countries, including Lebanon's Middle East neighbours, have already offered their assistance to Beirut and extended their condolences over the tragic incident.
 
According to Beirut's governor, half of the city's buildings have been damaged, and hospitals are overcrowded over a large number of the blast's victims.

25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers return to Jammu and Kashmir

A total of 25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers, out of the 40,000, who had left Jammu and Kashmir after the coronavirus outbreak, have returned to the Union Territory for work, a top official said on Wednesday.
 
A total of 3.2 lakh people, including the migrant workers, arrived in Jammu and Kashmir from outside since the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25, and all of them were subjected to COVID-19 tests.
 
"A total of 25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers, who had gone to their respective states after the coronavirus outbreak, have returned to Jammu and Kashmir," Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Pandurang Kondbarao Pole told PTI.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray reviewed situation after heavy rainfall in Mumbai

Around 300,000 people displaced after deadly blast in Lebanon's Beirut: Governor Marwan Abboud

Around 300,000 people became homeless as a result of the recent powerful explosion in the port of Beirut in Lebanon, the city's Governor Marwan Abboud, said on Wednesday. The explosion rocked the city late on Tuesday. According to the Lebanese authorities, it was caused by improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, according to an ANI report.
 
"About 300,000 people have been displaced in the Lebanese capital after the port explosion. The cost of the destruction exceeds $3 billion," Abboud said, as quoted by the Al Mayadeen broadcaster.
 
Earlier in the day, the official estimated the amount of damage from the explosion at around $3-5 billion.

63 villagers evacuated from flood water Sonyachi Wadi village in Raigad

As many as 63 villagers, who were stranded in Sonyachi Wadi village in Raigad due to flood in the area, were rescued on Wednesday, Raigad Police said.
 
According to the police, at least 75 people were stuck in the floodwaters. Police and Disaster Management personnel are carrying out the rescue operation to evacuate the rest of the people.
 
"At a distance of a few km from Goregaon in Mangaon taluka, Sonyachi Wadi was surrounded by the floodwaters of the river, leaving 70 to 75 people stranded in the villages. Raigad Police and Disaster Management Department Raigad have evacuated 63 villagers by boat, rescue operation is underway," Raigad Police tweeted.

Heavy waterlogging and traffic congestion reported in Girgaon following heavy rainfall in Mumbai

Latest News LIVE: Fireworks, ammonium nitrate likely fuelled Beirut explosion

Fireworks and ammonium nitrate appear to have been the fuel that ignited a massive explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital of Beirut, experts and videos of the blast suggest. The scale of the damage from the epicentre of the explosion at the port of Beirut to the windows blown out kilometres (miles) away resembles other blasts involving the chemical compound commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer, according to a PTI report.
 
But the compound itself typically doesn't detonate on its own and requires another ignition source. That likely came from a fire that engulfed what initially appeared to be fireworks that were stored at the port.
 
Online videos of the disaster's initial moments show sparks and lights inside the smoke rising from the blaze, just prior to the massive blast.
 
That likely indicates that fireworks were involved, said Boaz Hayoun, owner of the Tamar Group, an Israeli firm that works closely with the Israeli government on safety and certification issues involving explosives.

As many as 100 killed, nearly 4,000 injured in two explosions in Beirut: Lebanese Red Cross

As many as 100 people were killed and nearly 4,000 injured in two huge explosions that rocked downtown Beirut, the Lebanese Red Cross said on Wednesday.
 
The blasts took place on Tuesday evening (around 6.10 p.m. local time), shaking buildings all over the city while also causing severe damage and casualties, Xinhua reported. President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures. He said that was "unacceptable".
 
Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and media said it was caused by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.
 
"It's like a war zone. I'm speechless," Beirut's Mayor Jamal Itani told the media while inspecting the damage on Wednesday that he estimated would lead to losses in the billions of dollars.

Latest News LIVE: Sensex, Nifty pare early gains to end flat; HDFC Bank, RIL tumble

Domestic equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty surrendered early gains to end flat on Wednesday as profit-booking emerged in market majors Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank, according to a PTI report.
 
After rallying 452 points during the day, the BSE Sensex slipped in the red to end 24.58 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 37,663.33. The NSE Nifty inched up 6.40 points or 0.06 per cent to close at 11,101.65.
 
HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries were among the top laggards, tumbling over 1 per cent, as investors booked profits after their recent bull run. PowerGrid, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Nestle India and HCL Tech too ended with losses. On the other hand, Tata Steel rallied over 6 per cent, followed by Titan, Maruti, Bharti Airtel and M&M.

High risk of flash floods over some parts of Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and coastal Karnataka sub-division: IMD

Bombay HC adjourns hearing on PILs seeking CBI probe in Sushant Singh Rajput death case

The Bombay High Court has deferred till Friday the hearing on two Public Interest Litigations seeking a CBI probe into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice A S Gadkari adjourned the hearing on Wednesday after the Maharashtra government submitted that it had not been served copies of the two PILs.
 
The bench was hearing two pleas, one filed by Nagpur resident Sameet Thakkar, and another by Priyanka Tibrewal, a lawyer practising in the Calcutta High Court.
 
Rajput, 34, was found hanging at his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14.

Latest News LIVE update: Heavy rain lashes parts of Mumbai; visuals from near Churchgate

Latest News LIVE: Maruti Suzuki launches new S-Cross Petrol

Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday launched the all new S-Cross Petrol with a starting price of Rs 8.39 lakh. As per the company, the SUV has been engineered with a '1.5 Litre K series BS6' petrol engine.
 
"The new refined engine delivers a peak power of '77KW@6000 rpm' with a top-end torque of '138Nm@4400rpm' that de livers an energetic driving experience." "The engine offers superior NVH characteristics powered by a pendulum mount engine, offering unmatched best in-class fuel efficiency (18.55km/l) and an improved cooling performance."
 
According to the company, the new S-Cross Petrol is available with 5-speed m anual and 4-speed automatic transmission. "Automatic variants are equipped with hill hold assist feature, as standard. These help enhance the driving experience through optimal acceleration and performance," the statement said.
 

Russia's Emergencies Ministry sends doctors, rescuers to Beirut after deadly explosion

The Russian Ministry of Emergencies told Sputnik it would send on Wednesday five aircraft with a mobile hospital, doctors, rescue workers and public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor staffers to Lebanon, recently hit by a powerful explosion that resulted in over 70 deaths and over 4,000 injuries.
 
"As part of the humanitarian operation, five aircraft of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies will be sent to Lebanon's Beirut to provide assistance and eliminate the consequences of yesterday's massive explosion," the Ministry said. The planes will deliver to Beirut a mobile hospital, doctors, rescue workers and Rospotrebnadzor staffers with a special laboratory for detecting COVID-19.
 
"All the experts will have special suits and protective gear, taking into consideration the COVID-19 situation," the Ministry added.

Latest News LIVE: Russia to send five planeloads of aid to Lebanese capital's Beirut

Russia's emergency officials say the country will send five planeloads of aid to Beirut after an explosion in the Lebanese capital's port killed at least 100 people and injured thousands on Tuesday.
 
Russia's Ministry for Emergency Situations will send rescuers, medical workers, a makeshift hospital and a lab for coronavirus testing to Lebanon. France, Jordan and other countries also say aid is on the way, news agency AP reported.
 
International aid in the form of emergency workers and medical personnel is heading to Lebanon a day after a massive explosion devastated Beirut's port, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands. France says it is sending two planes with dozens of emergency workers, a mobile medical unit and 15 tons of aid. French President Emmanuel Macron's office says the aid should allow for the treatment of some 500 victims.

Uber to hire 140 more engineers in India for expanding tech, product teams

Uber said on Wednesday it is recruiting 140 more engineers for its tech teams in Bengaluru and Hyderabad to build cutting-edge products in areas such as rider and driver growth, delivery, marketplace, customer service, digital payments, risk and compliance, safety, and finance technology.
 
These expansion plans are in line with its vision to make mobility and delivery more accessible, and to become the backbone of transportation in thousands of cities across the globe, it said in a statement.
 
Uber recently hired Jayaram Valliyur as senior director to lead its global finance technology team, spread across multiple geographies.

Five staffers of Dutch Embassy injured in Beirut explosion, says Foreign Minister

Five staffers of the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon were injured in the dramatic explosion in the port of Beirut, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said.
 
The massive explosion that hit the Lebanese capital on Tuesday has resulted in at least 78 fatalities and over 4,000 injuries, causing damage to half of the city buildings, according to the governor. Lebanese Red Cross Secretary-General George Kettaneh said earlier in the day that the number of victims could reach 100.
 
According to Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the blast was caused by improper storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

Latest News LIVE: Indian cricket fraternity mourns deadly Beirut explosion

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and his teammates extended their thoughts and prayers to the people of Lebanon after a powerful explosion in the port of Beirut claimed 78 lives and injured more than 4,000 people.
 
"The death toll from the blast increased to 78, more than 4,000 were injured," Al Jazeera television channel reported citing the Lebanese Health Ministry. Taking to Twitter Kohli wrote, "Heartbreaking and shocking. My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lebanon."
 
India's opening batsman Mayank Agarwal also expressed his condolences to the people affected by the explosion.

Lebanese PM appeals for help after Beirut blast

Prime Minister Hassan Diab, in a short televised speech, has appealed to all countries and friends of Lebanon to extend help to the small nation, saying: We are witnessing a real catastrophe.
 
He reiterated his pledge that those responsible for the massive explosion at Beirut's port will pay the price, without commenting on the cause.

Lebanon blast: Qatar, Iraq to send field hospitals to help people injured in Beirut blast

Two field hospitals, each designed for 500 beds, will be sent to Lebanon by Qatar, reports news agency ANI.
 
Another hospital will be sent by the Iraqi authorities. Baghdad also pledged to send fuel to Lebanon.
 
The authorities of Kuwait also promised to send medical aid to Lebanon

German Foreign Office says country will offer assistance to Lebanon following Beirut blast

The German Foreign Office said Germany would offer assistance to Lebanon following the explosion in Beirut.
 
"We are shocked by the images from Beirut. Members of our Embassy's staff are among the injured. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. Germany stands by Lebanon in these difficult moments. We are working to offer immediate support," the German Foreign Office said on Twitter.
 

Lebanon's security service began ammonium nitrate investigation five months ago: Reports

The Lebanese National Security Service launched an investigation five months ago in connection with the discovery of a large amount of ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut, Lebanese television channel OTV reported, citing its own security sources.
 
According to the channel, the investigation established that the substances in the hangar were extremely dangerous.
 
In this regard, an order was sent to appoint a responsible person from the state and the port authority to take measures to prevent any emergencies, including an explosion.

Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property, says PM Modi

Covid podcast: India tops 1.9 million cases; J&K opens religious sites from Aug 16

For a week now that India has been recording over 50,000 coronavirus cases everyday, taking its tally of total cases to top 1.9 million mark. Click here to listen to the podcast

Lebanese survey devastation after massive Beirut explosion

Residents of Beirut awoke to a scene of utter devastation on Wednesday, a day after a massive explosion at the port sent shock waves across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people and wounding thousands.
 
Smoke was still rising from the port, where a towering grain silos had been shattered.
 
Major downtown streets were littered with debris and damaged vehicles, and building facades were blown out. At hospitals across the city people had been waiting all night for news of loved ones who had gone missing or were wounded. Others posted requests for help online.
 
An official with the Lebanese Red Cross said at least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 were wounded. The official, George Kettaneh, said the toll could rise further.

Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides has offered to send medical aid to neighbouring Lebanon

Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides has offered to send medical aid to neighbouring Lebanon. He said the Cypriot embassy in Beirut, which was closed at the time of the blast, was extensively damaged.

Lebanon blast: Death toll at least 100 in Beirut, according to Red Cross

A Red Cross official is quoted by the Daily Star stating that the death toll rose overnight to at least 100, and that more than 4,000 people are wounded.
 
Beirut governor Marwan Abboud later told a local radio station that more than 100 people remain missing, including several firefighters, the newspaper reports.

Lebanon blast: Medical goods, which were being held near to the site of the blast. destroyed in the explosion, reports the Guardian

Hospitals in Lebanon were already struggling with supplies due to the economic crisis. It is now being reported that medical goods, which were being held near to the site of the blast, were destroyed in the explosion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ayodhya for Ram temple groundbreaking ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Ayodhya for Ram temple groundbreaking ceremony. Catch LIVE updates and LIVE streaming

No indication of attack in Beirut: US defence officials contradict Trump

Officials of the US Defence Department have contradicted President Donald Trump, saying that there is no clear indication that the massive explosion in Beirut was an "attack".
 
The three officials of the US Defence Department said that they do not know what Trump was actually talking about, CNN reported. Read on...

PM leaves for Ayodhya to lay foundation stone of Ram temple

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday morning left for Ayodhya where he will lay the foundation stone of Ram temple.
 
The Prime Minister's Office shared a picture of Modi boarding an Air Force plane. He was dressed in traditional dhoti-kurta.
 
"PM Narendra Modi leaves for Ayodhya," the PMO tweeted.

Abrogation of Article 370: Tracking change Jammu and Kashmir one year later

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections promised a "grand" Ram in Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir limited autonomy in the Indian union.
 
Home Minister Amit Shah spoke in Rajya Sabha on August 5 last year, explaining his government’s rational for doing away with Article 370. "Article 370 was the root of terror in Jammu and Kashmir. It is time for it to go... if it doesn't go today, we can't remove terrorism from Jammu and Kashmir," Shah said in the upper house.
 
Wednesday marks the first anniversary of that change in Jammu and Kashmir’s status and the beginning of a Ram temple’s construction. Here is a timeline of what has happened in Kashmir in a year. Read on...

US looking to ramp up arms sales to India: Report

The US is looking to ramp up arms sales to India, including those of armed drones that can carry over 1,000 pounds of bombs and missiles, said a media report, noting the "new push" comes following the violent clashes in June between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh.
 
Twenty Indian army personnel were killed during the clashes with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese side also suffered casualties in the clashes but it is yet to give out details.
 
The number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35, according to a US intelligence report.

US to take action against Tiktok, other Chinese apps soon: White House

The United States will take action in coming days on the popular short-video app TikTok and other Chinese apps, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a briefing on Tuesday, but gave no other details.
 
"He and Secretary (of State) Pompeo have said the U.S. will take action in coming days on Chinese apps including TikTok due to the national security risk," she said. Read on...

Shocked and saddened: PM Modi on explosion in Beirut

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed shock at the loss of lives in a massive explosion that rocked Beirut and said India's thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured.
 
More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured in the explosion in the Lebanese capital on Tuesday that flattened much of the city's port.
 
"Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured," the Prime Minister's Office said in a tweet quoting Modi.

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