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New Year fireworks Sydney unchanged

Sydney’s New Year fireworks display will go-ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled because of the bushfire crisis

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian acknowledged the “suffering in the community at the moment”. “Sydney is one of the first cities in the world that welcomes in the new year, and if it’s safe to do so, we should continue to do it as we’ve done every other year,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Several Australian cities cancel fireworks on New Year’s Eve as fire danger worsens

New Year’s Eve fireworks in Australia’s capital city, Canberra have been cancelled as the wildfire danger worsens in the oppressive summer heat, and pressure is building up for Sydney’s iconic celebrations to be similarly scrapped but still celebration is as per schedule.

Meanwhile, Soaring temperatures and strong winds have sparked new fires in the Australian state of Victoria, where tens of thousands of people were urged to flee.

The worsening weather started blazes and fanned existing ones across the nation’s south-east today. Crews across four states were bracing for a day of extreme fire danger.

More than 80 bush blazes continue to rage across Australia.

Extreme fire warnings have been issued for the states of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania

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Dense fog in North India

Delhi Latest temperature(minimum) figures: Lodhi Road at 2.2 degrees and Aya Nagar at 2.5 degrees. #Delhi. Coldest weather in 50 years.

Minimum temperatures (in degree Celcius) recorded at various stations of Delhi, today, the 30th Dec, 2019

Lodi Road; 2.2

Palam; 2.9

Safdarjung; 2.6

Ayanagar; 2.5

Delhiites woke up to dense fog in the national capital this morning. Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 3.4-degree celsius four notches below normal.  

In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season. The fringes of the Dal Lake have frozen.  Met Department has predicted rains and snowfall in Kashmir on new year eve.  

Himachal Pradesh too is likely to witness snowfall on new year eve.

In Ladakh, the severe cold weather conditions continue to unabated from the past week. Normal life remained affected with people preferring to stay indoors to avoid the cold weather.

The minimum temperatures have further fallen to minus 19 degrees to minus 29 in various parts of the region.

. Due to extreme cold weather, Ladakh is in a frozen state now.

The water bodies Rivers, Canals and Lakes are frozen with a thick layer of sheets. People have to heat the tapes of water supply to get water supplies.

In Madhya Pradesh, the entire state is in the grip of bitter cold due to the icy wind coming from the north. The mercury has dropped to zero in Kanha National Park in Mandla district.

The temperature in the capital Bhopal remained below 6 degrees for the second consecutive day. Normal life is being badly affected due to cold.
 People prefer to stay near the bonfire and heater in the houses.

According to the Meteorological Department, the situation will be remaining same in the coming 48 hours. Intense cold wave will occur in many districts including Sagar, Rewa, Shahdol, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Bhopal.

In Rajasthan, normal life remained badly affected due to severe cold and dance fog in most of the parts of the state. The plummeting temperature has set new records in many places.  

AIR correspondent reports that dance fog has affected road, rail and air traffic in the state. The severe cold has set new records in the state. Capital Jaipur has broken the record for the last 55 years. Here, the minimum temperature was recorded 1 degree Celsius this morning.

Mercury has been recorded below the freezing point in many places including Sikar, Fatehpur, Jobner, Mound Abu, and Chandan.

Temperature is being recorded below two-degree Celsius in many cities including Churu, Bikaner and Alwar.

Traffic is running slow on many highways due to dense fog, while trains are running late.

More than half a dozen regular flights at Jaipur Airport have also been affected.

The Met Department has issued an Orange Alert for today.

The department has expressed the possibility of severe cold and dense fog in many districts. 

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Batticaloa be an international airport

Sri Lankan govt says Batticaloa airport to be developed as an international airport

Sri Lankan government has said that it will develop Batticaloa airport in eastern province as an international airport with Indian assistance. Minister of Tourism and aviation Prasanna Ranatunga said, the Indian government has extended its fullest cooperation to develop the domestic airport and it has been discussed with the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu recently.

He said that the Government of India would like to extend its air services to Batticaloa airport as well. Currently, airline services to India are available to Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo and Jaffna international Airport in Tamil-majority north.

Jaffna airport got operationalized in August after the landing of the inaugural flight from Chennai. Eastern province also has a majority of Tamil population along with other communities.

Batticaloa Airport was established in 1958  but due to the war situation, the Sri Lanka Air Force took over the airport in 1983 and operated as a base for the Sri Lanka Air Force.

The current services from Chennai to Jaffna is proposed to be extended to Batticalao when the airport is operationalized.

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India improves SDG Index

India improves Sustainable Development Goals Index score by three positions

@NITIAayogIndia has improved its composite score from 57 in 2018 to 60 in Sustainable Development Goals Index 2019-20. This has been achieved due to better works in water and sanitation, power and industry. While Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have topped the list of states on the SDGs Index-2019-20.

This was revealed the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index which was released by Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog Dr Rajiv Kumar in New Delhi.

Addressing media, Dr Kumar said, the good thing is that this year no State has scored below 50 out of 100 score. He said, nutrition and gender equality continue to be problem areas for the country which require a more focused approach. Dr Kumar also said, the Index will generate completion among the States to further improve on SDGs like poverty, education and health.

NITI Aayog also launched the Dashboard 2019-20. The SDG India Index and Dashboard tracks the progress of States and ranks all States and Union Territories on 100 indicators drawn from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators.

It indicates where the country and its States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation. It also charts the distance to be travelled to reach the SDG targets.

The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. 

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Aaditya, Ajit: Oath in Maharashtra

Aaditya Thackeray joined politics in 2009 and since then has been actively working in the organisation, building a cadre of new young leaders by being in the background.

NCP leader Ajit Pawar was sworn in as deputy chief minister of Maharashtra on Monday during expansion of the Uddhav Thackeray-led council of ministers.

Pawar was sworn in to the post for the second time in just over a month.

Earlier, Pawar took oath as deputy CM on November 23 after he rebelled against the NCP and joined hands with the BJP. However, he resigned on November 26, leading to collapse of the three-day Devendra Fadnavis government.

Besides Pawar, former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan also took oath as Cabinet minister in the Thackeray-led government on Monday.

This is first cabinet expansion of the Udhdhav Thackeray led Mahavikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra took place in Mumbai today. NCP’s Ajit Pawar was sworn in as Deputy Chief Minister.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath to the ministers.

Former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan from Congress, Dilip Walse Patil, Dhananjay Munde, Anil Deshmukh, Hasan Mushrif, Dr. Rajendra Shingne from NCP, Vijay Vadettivar, Varsha Gaikwad from Congress were administered Oath of office and secrecy.

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Leo Varadkar visit to Varad India

Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar Sunday visited his ancestral village in Malvan, Sindhudurg. LeoVaradkar visits his ancestral village in coastal Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Some of his relatives who are based in Mumbai say that it was his first visit to Varad village in Malvan tehsil after he became Prime Minister in June 2017.

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Udayan Mane win TATA Steel Tour Championship

Udayan Mane’s ‘steely resolve’ helps him triumph in ‘Steel City’ and bag the TATA Steel Tour Championship; Mane’s 26-under total sets a new PGTI record

SSP Chawrasia finishes runner-up

Rashid Khan bags a record third TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit title with highest ever earnings in a season; Kshitij Naveed Kaul is PGTI Emerging Player of the Year

Jamshedpur, December 29, 2019: The 2019 TATA Steel PGTI season had a fitting finale as the battle for the season-ending TATA Steel Tour Championship went down to the wire at the Golmuri Golf Course with multiple contenders in the fray in the dying stages of the tournament.

But it was the Pune-based Udayan Mane’s ‘steely resolve’ that helped him triumph in ‘Steel City’ at the Rs. 1.5 crore event by a slim one-shot margin. Mane’s (67-66-64-65) determined final round effort of seven-under-65 saw him establish a new PGTI record for the lowest tournament total as he closed the week with a jaw-dropping 26-under-262.

It was Udayan’s eighth professional title and his second win on the PGTI this season. The impressive winning cheque worth Rs. 22,50,000 catapulted Mane from ninth to third place in the Final PGTI Order of Merit for 2019.

Kolkata-based Indian star SSP Chawrasia (63-67-65-68), who was leading by two shots till the 14th hole, carded a 68 on day four and thus had to settle for second place with another outstanding total score of 25-under-263.

Aman Raj (71) of Patna, the third-round leader, ended the week in tied third place at 23-under-265 along with Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar (67).

Udayan Mane, lying overnight fourth and three off the lead, made early gains on Sunday when he sank birdie-eagle on the third and fourth to raise his title hopes. The 6-foot-4-inch tall burly golfer drove the green on the par-4 fourth before knocking in a 24 feet putt.

Udayan made further inroads with birdies on the seventh and 11th thanks to his accurate iron-play. He had a quiet period over the next five holes before making the all-important birdie conversion from 10 feet on the 17th that helped him draw level for the lead with SSP Chawrasia. Mane, playing in the penultimate group, finally surged ahead with a chip-putt birdie on the 18th for an error-free 65 to set the mark at 26-under.

Four-time European Tour winner Chawrasia, playing in the leader group, needed a 12-feet birdie conversion on the last hole to take the match into a playoff. But SSP missed and Udayan clinched the trophy with a record total that eclipsed the previous best PGTI tournament total of 24-under fired by Anirban Lahiri (Aamby Valley, 2010), Shubhankar Sharma (Eagleton, 2016) and Rashid Khan (Chittagong, 2019).

An ecstatic Udayan, said, “I’m pretty pleased with the entire season having registered two wins. I started the year well but then had a rocky road from March to September. But that lean phase helped me learn a lot about myself and my golf swing and that in turn led to my better performances late in the year at Kensville (PGTI) and in Mauritius (Asian Tour).

“The biggest takeaway from this victory is that I won a tournament which had an elite field and at a time when so many players were playing their best golf. That is a big morale-booster.

“According to me, it was a good thing that I was not playing in the leader group. I was quite happy about that because I have come from behind to win on the last day on a few occasions in the past.

“After scoring well over the first 11 holes, I had a cold patch as I was not hitting it close enough. But I knew making birdie on the 17th was important because that would help me join SSP in the lead.  I managed to do that and did well to carry the momentum onto the 18th.

“It’s special to end up with a record 26-under total. Interestingly, I also have the amateur record of 21-under in my name here at Golmuri. I thank my sponsor AVT for all their support which has been a major contributing factor to my good performances.”

SSP Chawrasia, playing in Jamshedpur after 12 years, made steady progress through the day as he kept landing it within four feet to collect birdies on the first, fourth, ninth and 12th. The two-time Indian Open champion drained a 12-footer for birdie on the 13th to take a two-shot lead. However, SSP stumbled with a bogey when he missed an up and down from the bunker on the 15th.

Chawrasia, a three-time winner in Jamshedpur in the past, missed his 12-feet birdie putt on the 18th that could’ve taken him into a playoff with Mane.

Chiragh Kumar’s flawless 67 helped him gain two spots and finish tied third, two strokes behind Chawrasia. Aman Raj also took a share of third after an eventful 71 that saw him make an eagle, five birdies, a bogey, a double-bogey and a triple-bogey.

Sri Lankan N Thangaraja (71) took fifth place at 22-under-266.

Faridabad’s Abhinav Lohan shot the day’s best round of 64 to end up in tied 13th at 15-under-273.

Indian star Gaganjeet Bhullar was placed tied 31st at 11-under-277. The two other Indian legends in the field, Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa, finished tied 39th with matching totals of 10-under-278.

Jamshedpur’s Karan Taunk took tied 71st place at eight-over-296.

Rashid Khan emerges Order of Merit champion and Kshitij Naveed Kaul is Emerging Player of the Year

Rashid Khan of Delhi bagged a record third TATA Steel PGTI Order of Merit title after finishing tied 18th at 14-under-274 at the Tour Championship this week. Rashid, who had earlier won the title in 2013 and 2016, closed the 2019 season with earnings of Rs. 66,27,650, the highest ever for a PGTI season, to finish number one in the money list by a fair distance. He won two titles during the season and had 10 top-10s and thus became the first man to be crowned PGTI No. 1 for the third time. Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa finished second on the PGTI Rankings with season’s earnings of Rs. 50,27,778. Chikka too secured tied 18th place in Jamshedpur this week.

Nineteen-year-old Kshitij Naveed Kaul of Delhi won the PGTI Emerging Player of the Year title with season’s earnings of Rs. 29,65,420, the highest among the rookies. Kshitij, who claimed tied ninth place at 19-under-269 at the season finale, ended a creditable sixth on the PGTI Order of Merit courtesy a win and eight top-10s in the year. Chandigarh’s Aadil Bedi, who also took a share of ninth place in Jamshedpur, finished second in the Emerging Player list with season’s earnings of Rs. 21,84,500. He was 10th in the PGTI’s money list.

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Ladakhi New Year celebrated

Ladakhi New Year celebrated with traditional fervour, enthusiasm

People in Ladakh region are celebrating Ladakhi New Year, Losar with festive fervor, today. Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur participated in the celebrations, organized by the Ladakh Buddhist Association and Leh Hill Council, in Leh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Mathur said Ladakh is made Union Territory with an objective of protecting the culture, tradition, ecology and economy of the region.  He said, as UT Ladakh will be the Crown of the country.

This is first Losar Ladakh Region celebrating as Union Territory. Our correspondent reports that Daring the minus 20 degrees temperature in Leh, People have gathered at Chokang Vihara for Losar celebrations in traditional attrire.

Celebrations began with a puja for world peace and brotherhood. LG RK Mathur paid homage to Buddha Dharma.

He also hoisted the Traditional Flag, Tarchen to mark the begining of new year. Artists from various parts of Ladakh region performed Cultural programmes and traditional events relating to Losar.

As Union Territory, this year Losar is special even after realising the dream of 70  years and several sacrifices. People and administration took pledge for the over all development of Ladakh region on the Losar

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Iraqi Salih refuses to name PM

Iraqi president Salih refuses to name PM rejected by protesters

Iraqi President Barham Salih refused on Thursday to designate the nominee of an Iran-backed parliamentary bloc for prime minister. Salih said he would rather resign than appoint someone to the position who would be rejected by protesters, Reuters reports.

The president said that, because the constitution does not give him the right to reject nominees for the premiership, he was ready to submit his resignation to parliament.

Mass protests have gripped Iraq since October 1 and protesters, most of them young, are demanding an overhaul of a political system they see as corrupt and keeping most Iraqis in poverty.

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Shooting at Texas Church

Church shooting in Texas today a heroic man stopping the active shooter. The man a volunteer church security guard, take out the shoots to kill active shooter in church hall.

Today Gunman wearing trench open fired into a Texas Church killing two innocent people. At least two people were shot and killed today at the Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, while the service was live streamed on YouTube. Witnesses say armed security guards were present.

Thankfully another good guy with gun shot dead gunman shooting people indiscriminately to end mass killing. Jack Wilson, the man fired 1 shot from 50+ feet at a moving target which made contact at the head during the shooting at the church in White Settlement, Texas. Jack Wilson is the reason important. Jack Wilson is a goddamn hero.

At least two people were killed and a third was in critical condition after a shooting at a church in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Texas, local media reported on Sunday.

One person died at the scene of the shooting and one en route to the hospital, the Dallas Morning News said, citing a spokesperson for local emergency services.

Authorities were rushing to the scene at White Settlement, a suburb northwest of Fort Worth, where the West Freeway Church of Christ is located, local media said. The Fort Worth Fire Department issued an “active threat” assignment at around 1730 GMT and was assisting operations at the scene, according to reports.