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Ever since Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was hospitalised, her followers have been monitoring the condition of her health obsessively. One particular picture, of a woman on a hospital bed, has gone viral after it was heavily shared on WhatsApp groups. The photo, which looks like it was clicked inside an ICU, shows a woman with an oxygen mask on, lying on a hospital bed. Now, it has been established that photo is a fake. In fact, it's a picture from 2009, from a hospital's website in Peru
With five member-countries pulling out of next month's SAARC summit in boycott of Pakistan, the Modi government achieved what it set out to do: humiliate and isolate its neighbour over the terrorist attack in Kashmir on 19 September, which has claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. While pulling out of the SAARC summit is a stinging response, experts have pointed out that this is just one step in Modi government's long-term strategy to reconfigure regional cooperation to the exclusion of Pakistan. This strategy is driven by Islamabad impeding progress on other fronts such as trade, energy, and road connectivity in the region for decades.
Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy's new novel will be published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in the UK in June 2017, her UK publisher Simon Prosser tweeted on Monday. More details of the book, titled The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, are awaited. Penguin Random House will publish the book in India.
Intensifying attacks, Pakistani troops again violated ceasefire on Tuesday by resorting to mortar shelling and firing on Army posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control in three areas of Noushera sector in Rajouri district. They fired mortar bombs, automatic weapons and small arms. There has been five ceasefire violations in over 24 hours along the LoC.
Assuring that India's GDP would remain strong at 7.6% in 2016 and 7.7% in 2017, the World Bank described South Asia as a global growth hotspot. The report said that economic growth in India remained robust, which is expected to support continued poverty reduction.
Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for his "discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy," a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components. The prize was awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
Off The Front Page
In a noble gesture the BSF on Monday handed back to Pakistan authorities a 12-year-old boy who had accidentally crossed over to the Indian side in search of drinking water. Officials said that the boy had 'inadvertently' crossed the International Border and had come over to the Indian side in search of drinking water from a tubewell, as he was thirsty. The BSF took care of the boy overnight and kept him at their camp before sending him back to his village Dhari in the Kasur district in Pakistan.
After extensive research on 'painless suicide methods' online, a 25-year-old man killed himself by inhaling carbon monoxide. The Delhi resident had created an airtight chamber there with the help of a large polythene bag inside his bathroom. He had ordered the gas online on the pretext of conducting scientific research.
In order to offer prompt help to ailing animals in the state, Maharashtra Animal Husbandry Minister Mahadev Jankar is considering starting an ambulance service to take them to hospitals. He added that while the state government would be taking help from local NGOs, a separate control room would be established in Mantralaya (the state secretariat) to monitor the services.
The Centre's move to mop up black money from the economy by giving taxpayers amnesty to declare undisclosed past income by paying tax on it at an effective, slightly high rate of 45% has yielded a surprisingly positive dividend, says an editorial in The Hindu. "The tax department is aware that Rs.65,250 crore is just the tip of the iceberg — it had sent seven lakh letters to suspected evaders based on information on about 90 lakh high-value transactions that took place without PAN card details. The tax department must crack down on such evaders and spruce up its data-mining methods to expand the country's shallow tax base," it says.
To find the way forward, India and Pakistan must first recognise the pull of history, writes Stephen P Cohen in The Indian Express. "India needs an international approach to Kashmir, albeit without international meddling. Pakistan must feel that the fate of Kashmiris is not yet determined, but must go to other issues. US policy has been recently neglectful, backing India vis a vis the silly doctrine of dehyphenation. The US needs an objective examination of Kashmir, and of Pakistan's role... Does this inaugurate a dynamic that can spin out of Indian and Pakistani control? But one factor that does not push the two nations into a state of open war — possibly nuclear — is that the economies are moving forward in India, and getting off to a good start in Pakistan," he says.
The 2014 online festive sale season was a watershed moment for the Indian e-tailing industry and was the first time Indian shoppers went online in such big numbers, writes Anil Kumar in Mint. "Today, as we stand on the cusp of the 2016 edition of this online sales bonanza, it is worth considering just how incredibly important this part of the year is for the e-tailing industry. Of course it is extremely important from the sales perspective, what with ~35% of all annual sales occurring in the October-December quarter, but the importance of this season extends beyond just sales growth. The festive season has a tremendous impact on multiple factors which determine the long-term viability of this industry: a) Increase in infrastructure maturity, b) New customer addition, and c) Opportunity to increase customer loyalty," he explains.
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