Top news of the day: 68 bodies recovered from Nepal plane crash site; Supreme Court to hear plea on Joshimath sinking on January 16, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

January 15, 2023 07:24 pm | Updated 07:24 pm IST

Rescue teams work to retrieve bodies from the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal.

Rescue teams work to retrieve bodies from the wreckage at the crash site of an aircraft carrying 72 people in Pokhara in western Nepal. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Nepal plane crash | 68 bodies recovered from crash site, say officials

At least 68 people were killed after a Nepal passenger plane with 72 people onboard crashed into a river gorge on January 15 while landing at the Pokhara airport. “So far, dead bodies of 68 people have been recovered from the crash site,” an official at the Search and Rescue, Coordination Committee of the CAAN said. However, the dead bodies are yet to be identified, he added. Efforts are on to recover four more bodies, he said. Five Indians were on board the aircraft, aviation officials in Kathmandu confirmed. Meanwhile, 68 dead bodies were recovered from the air crash site while four yet to be found, aviation officials told The Hindu

Supreme Court to hear plea on Joshimath sinking on January 16

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on January 16 a plea seeking the court’s intervention to declare the crisis in Uttarakhand’s Joshimath as a national disaster. According to the cause list of January 16 uploaded on the apex court website, a bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala would hear the petition filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati.

Two more hotels lean towards each other in Joshimath, cracks widen at many places

Two more hotels were dangerously leaning towards each other while wider cracks have appeared near Auli ropeway and in other areas of land subsidence-hit Joshimath on January 15. Also, the flow of water increased from a suspected underground channel burst in JP Colony in the Marwari area of the town after a temporary decline a couple of days back. Muddy water has been percolating down from it constantly since January 2 but experts are not sure about its origins.

Election Commission to demonstrate remote voting machine to parties on January 16

The Election Commission will showcase the remote electronic voting machine (RVM) prototype for migrant voters to representatives of political parties on January 16. The poll panel has invited eight recognised national parties and 57 recognised State parties for a demonstration on Monday morning. While inviting parties for the demonstration of the prototype, the poll panel had also issued a concept note on the technology. Parties were also asked to give in writing their views by end of January on issues such as changes required on the law to allow use of RVM.

BJP governments never imposed any ban on media organisations: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh on January 15 said those alleging violation of press freedom forget that the governments of the saffron party had “never imposed any ban” on any media organisation, “nor curtailed” anyone’s right to free speech. Whereas, the Congress government had even amended the Constitution to curb free speech, he said while referring to the amendment of Article 19 in 1951.

Gujarat poll result sends message that Narendra Modi will be re-elected PM in 2024: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on January 15 said the result of the recently-concluded Gujarat Assembly elections is important not just for the State but for the entire country as it has sent a message that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be re-elected as the Prime Minister in 2024. In a veiled reference to the opposition Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, Mr. Shah said the people of Gujarat, by helping the BJP retain power with a record number of seats in the State, responded to those who tried to defame the State and Mr. Modi.

Mayawati says BSP to go alone in assembly, LS polls; calls for return to ballot paper

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said, “I would like to make it clear that in the assembly elections of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and in the Lok Sabha elections, which will be held next year, the BSP will not forge a coalition with any party and will contest the polls on its own strength.” She also said it became necessary for her to make the announcement as the Congress and some other parties, as part of a “conspiracy”, are allegedly trying to create an impression that they will be forging an alliance with the BSP.

Assembly polls must take place in Jammu and Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

Assembly elections must take place in Jammu and Kashmir as Lieutenant Governor’s administration cannot resolve the issues of the people, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on January 15. Speaking to reporters in Baramulla district in north Kashmir, Mr. Abdullah also said the elections lead to the formation of people’s government. “Elections must take place. Elections lead to the formation of people’s government and resolve their issues. A lieutenant governor cannot do that,” he said.

WHO says its chief spoke with Chinese officials, welcomes COVID-19 data

The World Health Organization’s head has spoken with Chinese authorities and the agency welcomed new information about the situation in the country, WHO said on Saturday after Beijing released new data showing a big jump in COVID-19-related deaths. Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke with Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health Commission, about the wave of infections which erupted after the country abruptly dismantled its anti-virus regime last month. “WHO appreciates this meeting, as well as the public release of information on the overall situation,” the agency said in a statement.

Peru declares state of emergency in Lima over protests that killed 42 people

Peru’s government late on January 14 declared a state of emergency in the capital Lima and three other regions due to protests against President Dina Boluarte that have claimed at least 42 lives in recent weeks. The measure, in force for 30 days, authorises the army to intervene to maintain order and suspends several constitutional rights such as freedom of movement and assembly, according to a decree published in the official gazette. In addition to the capital, the state of emergency covers the regions of Cusco and Puno and the port of Callao, adjacent to Lima.

South Korean President travels to UAE, seeks arms sales

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol received an honor guard welcome on January 15 on a trip to the United Arab Emirates as he hopes to expand its military sales here. Yoon’s visit comes as South Korea conducts business deals worth billions of dollars and stations special forces troops to defend the UAE, an arrangement that drew criticism under his liberal predecessor. Now, however, it appears the conservative leader wants to double down on those military links even as tensions with neighboring Iran have already seen Tehran seize a South Korean oil tanker in 2021.

NCLT division bench to hear Reliance Capital case on January 16

The division bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on January 16 is set to decide Reliance Capital’s proposed reauction challenged by Ahmedabad-based Torrent Investments, which was the highest bidder in the first round of bidding conducted on December 21st. In the last hearing on January 12, the bench provided the Committee of Creditors (CoC), which has voted in favour of conducting the second round of bidding, time to file its response with regard to the legal points raised by the Torrent Group in its petition.

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