Top news of the day: Russia accuses Ukraine of drone attack aimed at Putin; P.T. Usha meets protesting wrestlers, assures them support, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

May 03, 2023 07:43 pm | Updated 07:43 pm IST

Indian Olympic Association President P.T. Usha meets with wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others amid their ongoing protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on May 03, 2023.

Indian Olympic Association President P.T. Usha meets with wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others amid their ongoing protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on May 03, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Russia accuses Ukraine of drone attack aimed at President Putin; Kyiv denies claim

Russia said on May 3 it had shot down two drones aimed at Vladimir Putin’s residence in the Kremlin in what it called a “terrorist” assassination attempt against the Russian President. “Two unmanned vehicles were aimed at the Kremlin... the devices were put out of action,” the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that this had happened during the night between May 2 and May 3. The remnants of the downed drones fell inside the Kremlin but did not injure anyone, the statement added. Ukraine, however, said it had “nothing to do” with the attack. “Ukraine has nothing to do with drone attacks on the Kremlin,” Presidential spokesman Mikhaylo Podolyak said. “Ukraine does not attack the Kremlin because, firstly, that does not solve any military aims,” he added.

P.T. Usha meets protesting wrestlers, assures support

Facing criticism from all quarters for being insensitive towards the protesting wrestlers, IOA president P.T. Usha on May 3 met them at the protest site and assured them of her support, saying she was an athlete first and then an administrator. Earlier, Usha had come down heavily on the wrestlers for resuming their protest instead of approaching the IOA regarding their issues.

Same-sex marriage | Centre to set up panel headed by Cabinet Secretary to look into LGBTQIA+ community issues

The Union Government told the Supreme Court on May 3 that it will constitute a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to address genuine, human concerns faced by the LGBTQIA+ community members in their daily lives. “The government is positive,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a Constitution Bench hearing the same-sex marriage case. “My friends [petitioners] can give me the suggestions for the problems they are facing. The committee will go into them and try as far as possible and legally permissible to see they are addressed,” Mr. Mehta said.

India slips in World Press Freedom Index, ranks 161 out of 180 countries

India’s ranking in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index has slipped to 161 out of 180 countries, according to the latest report released by global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF). In comparison, Pakistan has fared better when it comes to media freedom as it was placed at 150, an improvement from last year’s 157th rank. In 2022, India was ranked at 150.

BJP to make Karnataka a superpower by promoting modern infrastructure, manufacturing sector, says PM Modi

Continuing to stress on the need to vote for a stable government, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the people of coastal Karnataka that the BJP wants to make Karnataka a superpower by creating modern infrastructure and by giving a facelift to the manufacturing sector. “It is our roadmap,” he told a mammoth gathering at Mulky, near Mangaluru, in Dakshina Kannada district, on May 3. Mr. Modi said that India is the 5th largest economy in the world now. The Union Government, led by the BJP, wants to push it further to the 3rd position. The ‘vikas’ (development) of Karnataka matters most for India to emerge as the 3rd largest economy.

2002 Naroda Gam riots case | Court criticises Supreme Court-appointed SIT; says evidence of prosecution full of contradictions

A special court in Ahmedabad which acquitted all the 67 accused in the Naroda Gam post-Godhra riots case has criticised the probe conducted into it by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Supreme Court and said the evidence of the prosecution’s witnesses was full of contradictions and could not be relied upon. The court of special judge S. K. Baxi on April 20 acquitted all the 67 accused, including former State Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Minister Maya Kodnani, ex-Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Jaydeep Patel and former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi. A copy of the court order was made available on Tuesday.

Pawar is NCP chief till he thinks over his decision; no deliberations on successor yet: Praful Patel

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel on May 3 said Sharad Pawar remains the party chief till he reconsiders his decision to step down from the post, and there would be no discussions to pick his successor till then. Mr. Patel, who is the NCP’s national vice president, also said he himself was not in the running for the top post. The committee, which Mr. Pawar himself set up on May 2 to decide on his successor, did not meet on May 3, he said. “If the situation arises, the committee will decide on Mr. Pawar’s successor and the decision will be unanimous. He sought time to think over his decision after the party asked him to reconsider it, and till the final decision is arrived at, there is no question of deliberating on his successor,” Mr. Patel said.

Operation Kaveri | India brings home fresh batch of 231 people

India on May 3 brought back home a total of 231 people under its mission to evacuate stranded Indians from strife-torn Sudan. The Indians arrived in Mumbai in a commercial flight. “Another #OperationKaveri flight brings citizens back home. Flight carrying 231 passengers lands in Mumbai,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted. Indians were brought back home from the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah where India set up a transit camp for the evacuees.

India will get its own index to quantify heat impact next year: IMD chief

India will launch its own composite index next year to quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heat wave alerts for specific locations, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said. The IMD began issuing an experimental heat index for different parts of the country last week, taking into account air temperature and relative humidity to determine how hot it really feels.

Teenage shooter kills 8 children, guard at school in Serbia

A teenager opened fire at his school in Serbia’s capital on May 3, killing eight children and a school guard before being arrested in the school yard, police said. Six more children and a teacher were hospitalised. A father of a student at the school in central Belgrade said the shooter entered his daughter’s classroom, firing at her teacher and then her classmates as they ducked under their desks. Most students were able to flee through a back door, according to a local official.

Floods amid heavy rainfall kill more than 100 people in Rwanda

Torrential rains caused flooding in western and northern Rwanda, killing 109 people, a public broadcaster said on May 3. The death toll “continues to rise,” the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency said. “This could be the highest disaster-induced death toll to be recorded in the country in the shortest period, according to available records from recent years,” the government-backed New Times newspaper reported. Francois Habitegeko, Governor of Rwanda’s Western province, told reporters that a search for more victims was underway following heavy rain on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Iran’s President holds rare meeting with Assad in Syria

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on May 3 met Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus in a bid to boost cooperation between the two allies, state media reported. Tehran has been a main backer of Mr. Assad’s government since an uprising turned into a full-blown war in March 2011 and has played an instrumental role in turning the tide in his favour. Iran has sent scores of military advisers and thousands of Iran-backed fighters from around the Middle East to fight on Mr. Assad’s side. With the help of Russia and Iran, Syrian Government forces have controlled large parts of the country in recent years.

Go First doing everything possible in current situation with utmost care for employees: CEO tells staff

Go First chief Kaushik Khona has told employees that the airline has been crippled by recurring Pratt & Whitney engine troubles and assured that the carrier is doing everything possible to navigate the situation with utmost care and concern for all staff. The no-frills carrier has filed an application for voluntary insolvency proceedings and has also cancelled all its flights for three days starting May 3. In a message to employees late on May 2, Mr. Khona said that a terrible crisis has been created by Pratt & Whitney’s failure to supply engines.

LSG’s K.L. Rahul, Unadkat out of IPL 2023 due to injury

Lucknow Super Giants skipper K.L. Rahul and pace bowler Jaydev Unadkat have been ruled out of the IPL 2023 due to injuries. Rahul in all likelihood will take no further part in the ongoing IPL after sustaining a serious thigh injury during team’s last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Veteran pacer Jaydev Unadkat’s shoulder condition is serious and he too is ruled out of the IPL.

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