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At 2.35 p.m., the Rajabhai Tower clock overlooking Oval Maidan here appeared to have stopped. As did many hearts. With the gentle afternoon breeze, William and Kate, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, stepped into the ground while scores of onlookers lining the entrance and a group of people playing cricket stopped in their tracks.
The royal couple charmed their way through, while their security guards scurried to keep pace. Prince William opted for the casual white shirt, chinos and suede shoes look, while the Duchess of Cambridge looked captivating in a printed dress designed by Anita Dongre.
The royal couple could not afford the luxury of recovering from jet lag. They arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon, and their first stop in was a meeting with representatives of three Mumbai-based children’s charities at the Oval Maidan. If the couple were indeed travel-weary, you couldn’t tell. The spontaneity and enthusiasm with which they mingled with the children of the three charities came through clearly. Even from the media’s distant viewing stop, the couple could be seen folding their hands in a graceful namaste , while the Duchess made herself comfortable among the children, on the floor.
110 die as fireworks dump explodes at Puttingal Devi Temple in Kerala
Very early on Sunday morning, 10,000 people were present at the Puttingal Devi temple, about 70 km from the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, to watch a fireworks display at a major annual festival that coincides with the start of the Hindu new year.
The display began at midnight and continued for four hours. Then suddenly, a cracker fell onto a shed where the fireworks were stored, sparking a string of powerful explosions that blew the roof of the administrative block of the temple and caused another building to collapse.
Nearly 400 people are injured. “There were body parts on the floor and on the roof there was an arm,” Anita Prakash, a resident said. “In the past, there’s been fireworks but not on this scale.”
Nitish Kumar elected JD(U) chief, Janata merger likely soon
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday was elected president of the Janata Dal (United), bringing to an end Sharad Yadav’s decade-old tenure as party chief after he did not seek a fourth term.
“Humbled by party’s trust in me. Will try my best to carry Sharad Yadav’s legacy forward and I accept the new role as president of JD(U),” Mr. Kumar tweeted after his election. The National Council of the party will ratify Mr. Kumar’s election to the top post in Patna on April 23.
Praising Mr. Yadav’s contribution to building the JD(U), Mr. Kumar said he would continue to be a margdarshak (mentor) to the party.
Boxing: Vintage Pacquiao wins farewell fight against Bradley
Manny Pacquiao scored an emphatic victory over American Tim Bradley here Saturday, sealing his 21-year professional career with a vintage performance in his farewell to boxing.
Pacquiao, fighting for the first time since his defeat to Floyd Mayweather last May in the “Fight of the Century”, knocked down Bradley twice on his way to a comfortable unanimous decision.
The judges’ scorecards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena told the story of Pacquiao’s dominance in the non-title welterweight duel, with the 37-year-old eight-division world champion winning by identical margins of 116-110 on all three cards.
Pacquiao had insisted Saturday’s bout — the 66th of his career — will be his final fight before he concentrates on his political career in the Philippines, where he is seeking election to the Senate next month.
Ruthless Joshua claims IBF world heavyweight crown
LONDON: Britain’s Anthony Joshua lived up to his billing as the new superstar of heavyweight boxing when he stopped Charles Martin in the second round with a demonstration of brutal power to claim the American’s world IBF title on Saturday.
Joshua became the first boxer in history to hold the Olympic super-heavyweight crown and a version of the world heavyweight title simultaneously with his stunning triumph at the O2 Arena, a few miles from where he won gold at the London 2012 Games.
The 26-year-old handed champion Martin his first career loss to grab the title with his 16th knockout win in his 16th professional fight, putting him down twice in the second round with magnificent right hands in front of 15,000 fans.
US open to greater role for India in Afghanistan
The U.S. is now more open to a larger role for India in Afghanistan, partly due to its frustration over Pakistan’s failure or unwillingness to deliver on the promises it has been making with regard to the peace process.
U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter’s visit to India emphasises the partnership between the countries, but a less-discussed visit last week to New Delhi, of U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson, indicates fresh U.S. thinking on India’s role in Afghanistan, according to diplomatic sources.
However, the caveat is that India can never replace Pakistan in U.S.’s Afghanistan calculus, and the signalling may well be more to Pakistan than to India
Centre recommends Rs. 1,304 cr. as drought relief to Uttar Pradesh
A high-level committee headed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has recommended Rs. 1,304 crore as a drought relief to Uttar Pradesh under the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF), after a meeting of the committee set up to review drought situation was held here on late Saturday.
Sources in the PMO said the State would disburse the relief amount directly into the bank accounts of farmers within a week.
It was decided that the U.P. government will forward a memorandum for Rabi 2016 soon and the Ministry will examine the possibility, if an exemption can be given under SDRF on 25 per cent limit and continuation of distribution of food component beyond 90 days.
Gandhi’s tryst with Bihar enters 100th year
Two years after his return from South Africa, an England-trained barrister on April 10, 1917, alighted from a third-class compartment at Patna railway station to set foot in Bihar for the first time that will change the course of history of the entire country.
The barrister was 48-year-old Mohandas K. Gandhi and the turn of events over the next few years including the Champaran farmers’ movement led by him would earn him the exalted moniker of ‘Mahatma’
Starting this month, the Nitish Kumar government has planned year-long celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of his first visit to Bihar and the Satyagraha movement led by Gandhi eventually united the whole nation in its fight for freedom.
The Tourism Department is also exploring ways to promote Gandhi circuit in conjunction with the Satyagraha centenary.