Daily Bulletin: PM to unveil Statue of Unity; RSS to discuss Ram Mandir issue; Trump visits Pittsburgh amid protests; today's top stories

Modi to unveil Statue of Unity today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the world's tallest statue the 'Statue of Unity' at Kevadiya in Gujarat on Wednesday. The 182-metre statue of Vallabhbhai Patel will be dedicated to the nation on his birth anniversary in Narmada district of Gujarat.

At the launch ceremony, the prime minister will pour soil and Narmada water into a kalash to mark the dedication of the statue, a statement from his office said.  The prime minister will press a lever to commence a 'virtual abhishek' of the statue, it said.

He will then arrive at the Wall of Unity to inaugurate it. At the feet of the statue, Modi will perform a special prayer to mark the occasion. The prime minister will then visit the museum and exhibition, and the viewers' gallery.

This gallery, at 153 metres height, can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one time. It offers a spectacular view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges.

The dedication ceremony shall also be punctuated by a flypast of IAF aircraft and performances by cultural troupes.

 Daily Bulletin: PM to unveil Statue of Unity; RSS to discuss Ram Mandir issue; Trump visits Pittsburgh amid protests; todays top stories

File image of the Statue of Unity. Twitter/@DG_Doordarshan

RSS to hold 3-day meeting to press for Ram Temple construction

With the Supreme Court on Monday adjourning the hearing on the Ayodhya Ram temple construction till January 2019, the issue is most likely to dominate the midterm review meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), to be held at Uttan in Bhayander between 31 October and 2 November.

Led by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, the meeting will be attended by the organisation’s top authorities. They will review the progress of the initiatives taken by the organisation.

The RSS will also brainstorm on various other issues, including the performance of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre as well as the 2019 polls, sources said.

EPCA suggests ban on use of private vehicles in Delhi

As part of a graded action plan against rising air pollution in Delhi, Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on Tuesday said private cars will be stopped from plying in the capital if air pollution continues to worsen.

"Let us hope the air pollution situation in Delhi doesn't deteriorate but if it turns out to be an emergency, we will have to stop the use of private transport," said Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). "There is a committee which will advise me on this."

The EPCA, appointed by the Supreme Court, has already proposed halting construction, the use of diesel-run power generators, brick kilns and the burning of garbage between 1 and 10 November when pollution levels are expected to rise. The order also includes the halting of civil construction to remain closed in Delhi and other NCR districts, closure of all stone crushers, hot mix plants generating dust pollution in Delhi and NCR districts.

Data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed the air quality index, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter, hit 469 in parts of Delhi on Tuesday, up from 299.4 a week ago.

Crop stubble burning, a major source of pollution, vehicular exhaust and a drop-off in wind speeds have aggravated the smog that is likely to worsen around 7 November, when fireworks will set off to celebrate Diwali.

Trump visits Pittsburgh synagogue after shooting 

Donald Trump on Tuesday visited the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 people were gunned down at the weekend in an anti-Semitic attack, as more than 1,000 protesters gathered nearby to make it clear that the US president was unwelcome. Trump — accompanied by his wife Melania, as well as his daughter Ivanka and her Jewish husband Jared Kushner — was to light a candle for each of the 11 victims, killed during Shabbat services.

Carrying signs that read "President Hate, Leave Our State!" and "Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now," the protesters gathered near the Tree of Life synagogue where the carnage unfolded Saturday.

The controversial visit came after mourners crowded into nearby synagogues and joined street processions at the first funerals for some of the victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in modern US history.

The service for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, both in their 50s, was the first in honour of those killed in what was an apparent hate crime. Services for 66-year-old doctor Jerry Rabinowitz and 71-year-old Daniel Stein followed in Pittsburgh, where scores of residents protested Trump's visit.

The president's trip to Pennsylvania came amid a mounting row over whether his fierce rhetoric at campaign rallies and on Twitter has helped stoke extremism ahead of next week's midterm elections. "It's just enraging that this type of hate crime could occur here and that the leadership of our country does not denounce anti-Semitism and does not denounce white nationalism and does not denounce neo-Nazism. And that is the problem," mourner Joanna Izenson told AFP.

Suspect Robert Bowers is facing more than two dozen charges related to the bloodshed at the Tree of Life, which is located in the city's traditionally Jewish Squirrel Hill neighbourhood. The 46-six-year-old reportedly told police after his capture, "I just want to kill Jews," having claimed on social media that Jews were helping transport caravans of refugees from Central America into the United States, calling the migrants "invaders".

Apple launches the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and two new iPad Pro models

Apple's October event ended with most of the major rumours being proven right. The event saw the launch of two new iPad Pro variants, a return of the Mac Mini and a much-needed updated version of the MacBook Air. The Apple iPad Pro starts at a price of Rs 71,900 in India for the Wi-Fi-only model and goes up to Rs 85,900 for the cellular and Wi-Fi model. Similarly, the new Mac Mini comes in at Rs 75,900 for the base variant and the MacBook Air starts at a whopping Rs 1,14,900.

All three products will be available for sale starting 7 November.

The 31 October will, therefore, be all about digging into the new hardware features and comparisons made to existing models.

Save farmers, pay off their loans, urges Amitabh Bachchan

Moved by the plight of a farmer who made it to the 'hot seat' of game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has urged the public to step forward and help pay off their loans.

A farmer named Anantkumar Khanke made it to the show and spoke about his struggle to survive. This led Amitabh Bachchan to urge people to come forth and help the farmers in whatever way possible.

Khanke said his annual income is around Rs 60,000 if they face a good rainy season. When there is a shortage of water, he pays Rs 100 per gallon for farming.

Ease of doing business report to be released today

The World Bank's ease of doing business report will be released on Wednesday. India jumped 30 places to rank 100th among 190 nations in last year's World Bank's 'ease of doing business' index. According to sources, improvement is expected in parameters, including construction permits, starting a business, and trading across borders.

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Updated Date: Oct 31, 2018 07:52:32 IST