Top news of the day: Rajkot fire death toll rises to 33, Gujarat HC takes suo motu cognisance; Army Chief Gen Pande’s tenure extended by a month, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

Published - May 26, 2024 07:25 pm IST

Earth movers dismantle debris from the fire incident at TRP game zone at Rajkot, Gujarat on May 26, 2024.

Earth movers dismantle debris from the fire incident at TRP game zone at Rajkot, Gujarat on May 26, 2024. | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

Rajkot Game Zone inferno tragedy death toll goes up to 33; Gujarat HC takes suo motu cognisance

The death toll in Rajkot’s fire tragedy in the TRP game zone has climbed to 33 while more than 15 persons are still missing in what the Gujarat High Court has called a “man made disaster” in a suo motu cognisance. It must be noted that the State government or the local administration had not given any figures about the casualties or number of missing people since last night. However, local media and sources have confirmed that at least 33 people have died and more than 15 are still missing. Meanwhile, the Police have lodged a FIR against six persons and two have been arrested. The Gujarat High Court will hear the matter on May 27.

Government extends tenure of Army Chief Gen Pande by one month till June 30

In an unusual move, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet on May 26 granted one month extension in tenure to Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Manoj Pande beyond his retirement date, upto June 30, 2024. He was due to retire on May 31 on turning 62 years of age. There is only such instance in the past, when in 1975 then Army Chief Gen G.G. Bewoor was given a one year extension by Indira Gandhi-led Government so that the next in line as per seniority Lt Gen Prem Bhagat retired from service. Gen Bewoor served as Chief from January 16, 1973 to May 31, 1975 and was succeeded by Gen T. N. Raina.

Seven newborns die in fire at east Delhi children’s hospital, police says owner arrested

A massive fire broke out at a children’s hospital in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar, leaving seven newborns dead, officials said on May 26. The Delhi police said that they have arrested Naveen Kichi, the owner of the hospital. The officials of the Delhi Fire Services said the blaze broke out at the children’s hospital in Shahdara on Saturday night. Twelve newborns were rescued from the medical facility but seven of them died, DFS chief Atul Garg said. Five babies are undergoing treatment at another hospital, he said.

Uniform Civil Code, ‘One Nation, One Election’ to be implemented in next term, says Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said a Uniform Civil Code for the entire country will be implemented within the next five years after extensive consultations with all stakeholders if the BJP returns to power. In a wide-ranging interview with PTI, Mr. Shah said the Modi government in its next term will also implement ‘One Nation, One Election’ as the time has come for the elections to be held simultaneously in the country. Mr. Shah has asserted that the BJP will get a bigger win in Opposition-ruled States due to a “positive mandate” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, as he slammed the opposition’s criticism of the Election Commission as a ploy to cover up for its impending loss.

Cyclone Remal | Bangladesh launches massive evacuation as cyclone approaches from Bay of Bengal

Bangladesh on May 26 launched an intensified evacuation campaign in vulnerable areas as it prepares for severe cyclonic storm ‘Remal’ forecast to make landfall by evening or midnight with a potential high tidal surge and heavy rainfall in the country’s coastal districts of Satkhira and Cox’s Bazar. According to the latest cyclone warning bulletin, ‘Remal’ is likely to move in a northerly direction and may cross Sagar island of West Bengal-Khepupara coast near Mongla by evening or midnight, the BSS news agency reported.

Opposition alliance will change Constitution, give reservation to Muslims: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday branded the opposition INDIA bloc as communal and casteist, and claimed they have decided to change the Constitution to give reservation to Muslims. While the SP-Congress is dedicated to vote bank, Mr. Modi is dedicated to rights of backwards and the poor, he said addressing a poll meeting in Mirzapur in support of NDA alliance partner Apna Dal’s candidate from Mirzapur Lok Sabha seat Anupriya Patel and Robertsganj Lok Sabha seat Rinki Kol.

PM Modi ‘openly announced’ he would topple Himachal government: Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi “openly announced” during his rallies that he would topple the Himachal Pradesh government through “corruption and use of money”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed on May 26. He was referring to Mr. Modi’s speech on May 24 in Mandi during which he claimed that the State’s Congress government would not last. Mr. Gandhi also accused Mr. Modi of increasing unemployment by helping “people like Adani”, finishing small and medium businesses, through demonetisation and implementation of the GST.

Sirens sound in Tel Aviv for the first time in months as Hamas says it fired rockets from Gaza

Rocket sirens sounded across central Israel, including in Tel Aviv, for the first time in months on May 26, as Hamas claimed to have fired a barrage of rockets from Gaza. The militants have continued to fire projectiles at communities around Gaza more than seven months into the war but have not fired longer-range rockets in months. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the latest barrage. Earlier on May 26, aid trucks entered Gaza from southern Israel through a new agreement to bypass the Rafah crossing with Egypt after Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of it earlier this month. But was unclear if humanitarian groups would be able to access the aid because of ongoing fighting in the area.

U.N. migration agency estimates more than 670 killed in Papua New Guinea landslide

The International Organization for Migration on May 26 increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea to more than 670 as emergency responders and traumatized relatives gave up hope that any survivors will now be found. Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the U.N. migration agency’s mission in the South Pacific island nation, said the revised death toll was based on calculations by Yambali village and Enga provincial officials that more than 150 homes had been buried by Friday’s landslide. The previous estimate had been 60 homes.

At least 5 dead in Texas after severe weather sweeps across Texas and Oklahoma, authorities say

Powerful storms across Texas and Oklahoma obliterated homes and struck a highway travel centre where drivers had rushed to take shelter, leaving thousands of people without power and a wide trail of damage on May 26. A Sheriff said at least five people were dead in one rural community in Texas and many more were injured. The destructive storms began on May 25 night and included a tornado that overturned heavy recreational vehicles and shut down an interstate near Dallas. Officials said multiple people were transported to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter in the Texas county of Denton but did not immediately know the full extent of injuries.

India in trade deficit with nine of top 10 trading partners in 2023-24

India has recorded a trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, with nine of its top 10 trading partners, including China, Russia, Singapore, and Korea, in 2023-24, according to official data. The data also showed that the deficit with China, Russia, Korea, and Hong Kong increased in the last fiscal compared to 2022-23, while the trade gap with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Indonesia, and Iraq narrowed. The trade deficit with China rose to $85 billion, Russia to $57.2 billion, Korea to $14.71 billion and Hong Kong to $12.2 billion in 2023-24 against $83.2 billion, $43 billion, $14.57 billion and $8.38 billion, respectively, in 2022-23.

IPL 2024 Final: KKR vs SRH: Sunrisers Hyderabad win toss; opt to bat against Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat first in the Indian Premier League 2024 final against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on May 26. Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the qualifier 1 and entered the finals. Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Rajasthan Royals in the qualifier 2 to make a match against the top two teams.

Will take a lot of positives and confidence from Malaysia Masters: Sindhu

Top Indian shuttler PV Sindhu says she will take home a lot of positives and confidence despite losing the Malaysia Masters summit clash to China’s world No. 7 Wang Zhi Yi in Kuala Lumpur on May 26. Sindhu, who would aim for her third Olympic medal in Paris, looked on course for the title at 11-3 in the decider before a shocking meltdown saw her lose 21-16 5-21 16-21 in a 79-minute women’s singles final.

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