AIADMK expels over 150 office-bearers

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK Friday expelled over 150 dissidents from the party in the wake of its loss in the December 21 RK Nagar Assembly bypoll, for bringing ‘disrepute’ to the organisation. Former Minister G Senthamizhan and senior leader Parithi Ilamvazhuthi were among the 150-odd office-bearers of the party’s South Chennai (South) and Cuddalore West units who were booted out by AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami. In a joint statement, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said the action was being taken against the partymen for “acting in contravention to the party’s policies and ideals,” and for “bringing disrepute” to it.

 Gorakhpur, Phulpur LS  by-polls March 11: EC

New Delhi: Crucial by-polls to Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats, vacated by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya, will be held March 11, the Election Commission announced Friday. The bypoll to the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, which fell vacant following the demise of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin, will also be held the same date, the poll panel said in a statement. There has been speculation that BSP chief Mayawati, who had last year resigned from the Rajya Sabha, may contest the Phulpur bypoll. But so far, there has been no official word from the party. The bypolls in UP will be a test for Adityanath as the results will be seen as a reflection on his government’s popularity.

Adjourned for recess, House to meet March 5

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha Friday adjourned for nearly a month-long recess amid unrelenting protests by legislators from Andhra Pradesh demanding more central assistance for the state. Members Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress went on with their protests during Zero Hour. The proceedings were first adjourned soon after meeting for the day for Question Hour. After papers listed for the day were laid, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House, which would now meet again March 5. It also marks the end of the first half of the Budget session in the Lok Sabha.

LeT man convicted for terror funding

Bengaluru: A terrorist of the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) has been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a local court here in a terror financing and money laundering case, officials said Friday. Bilal Ahmed Quta alias Imran Jalal, who operated from Karnataka, has also been fined Rs50,000 by the court, they said. A special PMLA court of Judge Shivshankar Amarannavar pronounced the verdict Thursday. The case dates back to January, 2007 when the man was arrested with an AK series assault rifle, 200 bullets, five hand grenades and a satellite phone by the Karnataka Police while he was deboarding a bus in Bengaluru.

 NEET May 6; form submission begins

New Delhi: The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses will be held May 6, the Central Board of Secondary Education has announced. The online submission of application forms also began Thursday. Online registration will be open till 11.50 pm March 9. The last date for successful payment of fee online is till 11.50 PM March 10, according to the admission notice. Aadhaar number is mandatory for all except from those from Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya and the applicants must give their consent to the CBSE to validate the same. In case of any mismatch in the Aadhaar number, name, date of birth and gender, the candidates will not be able to fill up the form.

NASA craft captures farthest images

Washington: NASA’s New Horizons probe has captured the farthest images from Earth by a spacecraft, surpassing Voyager 1’s record of clicking a picture when it was 6.06 billion kilometres away from Earth. The routine calibration frame of the “Wishing Well” galactic open star cluster, made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) December 5 last, was taken when New Horizons was 6.12 billion kilometres from Earth, NASA said. New Horizons was even farther from home than NASA’s Voyager 1 when it captured the famous “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth, according to the US space agency.

US Senate votes to re-open government

Washington: The US Senate Friday approved a two-year budget deal that would re-open the federal government, sending the plan to the House of Representatives where it faces a tougher vote. The Senate voted 71-28, CNN has reported. Early Friday, the US federal government shuttered for the second time in less than a month as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul prevented the deal from passing Thursday night ahead of a shutdown deadline. Paul took to the Senate floor many times Thursday, refusing to agree to move up the time for a vote in the chamber on the bill, which requires unanimous consent. The deal had been expected to sail through the Senate, and the House had planned to vote on it later Thursday, until Paul took his stand.

Nooyi first independent female director of ICC

Dubai: Pepsico chairman Indra Nooyi was Friday named the first independent female director of the International Cricket Council ICC. Nooyi will join the world cricket body’s Board in June 2018 to align with the term of the ICC independent chairman, following the unanimous confirmation of her appointment Friday. The Independent Director will be appointed for a two-year term although she may be reappointed for two further terms with a maximum six-year consecutive period of service. The introduction of an Independent Director, who must be female, was approved by the ICC Full Council in June 2017 as part of wide ranging constitutional change aimed at improving the global governance of the sport.


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