Daily Bulletin: Rahul Gandhi to address 15 rallies in UP after SP-BSP alliance; Al-Badr commander killed in Kulgam encounter; day's top stories

Congress ready with 'Plan UP'; Rahul to address 15 rallies: Sources

After being sidelined by allies it hoped to make in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is all set to work with full force in the state for the upcoming general elections. After the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party announced their alliance in Uttar Pradesh, sources said the grand old party has already started working on a strategy for the state, which includes 15 rallies by the Gandhi scion.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is currently in the UAE. After the announcement of the SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh, he said his party will work with full force in the state.

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Twitter @INCIndia

File image of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Twitter @INCIndia

Senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said on Sunday that they will disclose their strategy in Lucknow on Sunday, but sources revealed that the party has already started its groundwork, and that the party is planning for Rahul's 15 rallies in February in Uttar Pradesh.

The sources added that the party will kick start its campaign with a rally from Hapur district of Western Uttar Pradesh, followed by rallies in Moradabad, Saharanpur and Bareilly.

Rajasthan BJP MLAs to elect their leader today

The BJP MLAs of Rajasthan will elect their leader on Sunday. Union minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP general secretary Arun Singh will act as observers at the election of the BJP's legislature party leader, who will be the Leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha.

"Union minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP general secretary Arun Singh will be present as observers in the BJP legislature party meeting in Rajasthan tomorrow," tweeted Anil Baluni, BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member, on Saturday.

In the recently concluded Assembly elections in Rajasthan, the Congress had bagged 99 seats of the total of 199 and wrested power from the BJP in the state.

Al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul-Islam killed in Kulgam encounter

Two militants, including the commander of the Al-Badr terror outfit, Zeenat-ul-Islam, were killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, the police said.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Katpora area in South Kashmir's Kulgam district on Saturday evening after receiving specific information about the presence of militants, a police official said. As the forces were conducting the searches, the militants fired at them, after which the forces retaliated, triggering an encounter in which two militants were killed.

Arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter, the official said, adding that no collateral damage has been reported.

Zeenat, considered as an expert in making improvised explosive devices (IED), was earlier associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, the official said.

India calls on Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill to replace KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya for Australia tour

India on Sunday called all-rounder Vijay Shankar and batsman Shubman Gill for their Australia and New Zealand tours after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were suspended for the comments they made about women on Koffee with Karan.

Rahul and Pandya were axed ahead of India's opening one-day international against Australia in Sydney on Saturday, which the tourists lost, pending an investigation into the comments they made on filmmaker Karan Johar's TV show.

"Vijay Shankar will join the team before the start of the 2nd ODI in Adelaide," the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said, referring to Tuesday's match. "He will be a part of the squad for the ODI series in Australia and the tour to New Zealand. Shubman Gill has been picked for the ODI and Twenty20 series in New Zealand."

US govt partial shutdown sends economy into uncharted waters

The US government shutdown on Saturday became the longest in history and is taking a growing bite out of the world's largest economy with each passing day, economists say. While most of the 21 "lapses" in government spending since 1976 left barely a scratch on economic growth, the length of this shutdown makes it harder to say just how bad the impact could get.

"It's not a hard stretch to say that initially it's smaller and then it expands, the pain starts to widen," Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at S&P Global Ratings, said. "Think of it as a butterfly effect."

With about a quarter of the federal workforce affected, the shutdown is currently squeezing an estimated $1.2 billion a week out of the economy, Bovino said, but that figure could grow if it drags on.

At the current rate, within two weeks it will have cost America more than the $5.7 billion US president Donald Trump has been demanding for a wall on the border with Mexico, the dispute with Congress that led to the failure to pass funding for government operations.

Missy Elliott becomes first female hip-hop artist inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

Missy Elliott has become the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She's also the third rapper to be inducted, reports Rolling Stone. The other five songwriters who have also been inducted this year are Yusuf Islam, or Cat Stevens, John Prine, Tom T Hall, Dallas Austin and Jack Tempchin.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer, music publisher/songwriter Abe Olman and publisher/executive Howie Richmond.

Elon Musk's SpaceX cuts workforce by 10%, cites 'strategic realignment'

Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX will reduce its workforce by about 10 percent. The company has more than 6,000 employees. SpaceX will "part ways" with some of its manpower because it is "a strategic realignment" for the company's success.

"To continue delivering for our customers and to succeed in developing interplanetary spacecraft and a global space-based Internet, SpaceX must become a leaner company," said SpaceX.

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Updated Date: Jan 13, 2019 08:12:02 IST

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