Agni-IV likely to be test-fired from Odisha coast today

A user trial of nuclear capable two-stage surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-IV is likely to be test-fired from the Abdul Kalam Island, off Damra village on the Odisha coast today.
Quoting Defence sources AIR correspondent reports that the trial will be carried out if the weather is favourable for the test. The Agni-IV test is aimed at revalidating new technologies incorporated in Agni-IV system and checking the readiness of armed forces to launch the missile on its own.
Agni-IV is a two-stage, surface-to-surface missile that is 20 metres long and weighs 17 tonnes. It can carry a one-tonne nuclear warhead over a distance of 4,000 kilometre. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) designed and developed AGNI-IV, is the sixth test of the missile and second user associate launch from the Wheeler Island. On December 26, India had successfully launched its longest range Agni-V missile which drew attention of many nations including China.

Putin said:He would not stoop to irresponsible diplomacy

US, thirty-five Russian diplomats expelled from the United States by President Barack Obama have left the country, Russian news agencies report. An embassy official said the plane had taken off with all the affected personnel and their families aboard.
Mr Obama ordered the expulsion in response to alleged hacking of the US Democratic Party and Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Mr Obama’s order had given the affected diplomats just 72 hours to leave the country.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed his disappointment over US President Barack Obama’s decision to introduce restrictions against Russian diplomats, as a reply to alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election.
It is sad that the Obama administration, which started its life with restoring cooperation, ends it in anti-Russian agony. RIP.” Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his Twitter page on Friday.The head of the Upper House Committee for International Relations, Senator Konstantin Kosachev, has also described the latest US move as “agony.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin had been expected to respond in kind, with the expulsion of US diplomats from its territory. However, he later said he would not stoop to irresponsible diplomacy, but rather attempt to repair relations once Donald Trump takes office. President-elect Trump has promised a revelation about the allegations.
The special Russian government plane sent to Washington to carry the Russian diplomats who were expelled from the United States in a new round of Russia sanctions returned to Moscow two hours into Monday. While still in the air, the diplomats were informed by the flight commander that their children were invited to come to the Kremlin New Year’s Party, the Russian presidential press service said Monday. On Thursday, White House declared 35 Russian diplomats persona non grata and ordered the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds in the US, which serve as leisure facilities. The sanctions were imposed by US President Barack Obama’s administration as a response to alleged Russian hacking of US individuals and entities ahead of the US presidential elections.

Turkey Hunt underway for gunman killed 39

Turkey, the manhunt continues for a gunman who killed 39 people including 2 Indians in an Istanbul nightclub as country marked the start of the new year. The unknown assailant opened fire at Reina nightclub early yesterday, before managing to flee amid the chaos.
The motive for the attack is not clear, but suspicion has fallen on the Islamic State terror group, already linked to at least two terror attacks in Turkey last year. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, such groups tried to create chaos. They are trying to demoralise people and destabilise country, he added. Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim also confirmed the gunman was not dressed as Santa Claus, contradicting earlier reports.
Earlier, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu confirmed a manhunt for the terrorist is under way. Police have launched operations and the attacker will be captured soon. More than half of those killed in the attack were foreign, according to the state run Anadolu Agency. Among them were citizens from Israel, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The club, which sits on the banks of the Bosphorus, is one of Istanbul’s most upmarket venues often frequented by singers and sports stars. At least 69 people are being treated in hospital, with three in serious condition.

Petrol price hiked by 1.29 per litre & diesel by 97 paise

Petrol price has gone up by one rupee 29 paise and diesel by 97 paise per litre excluding state levies as the new rates will came into effect from midnight tonight. With this Petrol will now cost 70 rupees 60 paise a litre in Delhi, 73 rupees 13 paise in Kolkata, 76 rupees 91 paise in Mumbai and 70 rupees 7 paise in Chennai.
For diesel, the consumer will have to pay 57 rupees 82 paise per litre in Delhi, 60 rupees 6 paise in Kolkata, 63 rupees 61 paise in Mumbai and 59 rupees 47 paise in Chennai. In a statement, Indian Oil Corporation said, the upward revision of the price was necessitated due to increase in international prices of Petrol and Diesel and rupee- dollar exchange rate.

PM Modi to address rally in Lucknow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Lucknow today. Union ministers and MPs representing Uttar Pradesh at Centre have already reached Lucknow to take part in the rally.
BJP President Amit Shah, senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and Uma Bharti are among those attending the rally. People from every nook and corner of the state including Awadh, Kanpur and Brij regions have already started arriving in Lucknow despite the winter chill. Party spokesman Chandra Mohan said today’s rally will set the tone for change in Uttar Pradesh.
The rally is seen as a culmination of the four Parivartan yatras carried out by the BJP in the state recently. It will be the first rally by Mr Modi after the expiry of 50-day grace period of demonetisation on December 30. The Prime Minister in a televised address to the nation on New Year’s Eve announced several measures for the rural and urban poor, small businesses, farmers and senior citizens.

Mulayam Singh Yadav postponed January 5 emergency convention to bank on Election commission decsion

Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav has postponed the January 5 emergency convention called by him yesterday. No fresh date has been announced for the convention.
Giving this information through a tweet message, senior party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav also called also upon the candidates given ticket and all the workers of Samajwadi Party to go into their respective areas and work hard to win the election.
Sources said that Mulayam Singh is leaving for Delhi today to meet the Election Commission in order to claim that he is the President of Samajwadi Party.
AIR correspondent reports that as per sources close to CM, Akhilesh has called a meeting of all party MLAs, MLCs and leaders at his residence.
It will be the first meeting of Akhilesh Yadav with his follower leaders after he was appointed national president of the party yesterday. More events may unfold today as thousands of Akhilesh followers have already accumulated in front of party HQ and CM official residence.

9 killed as apartment block collapses in Kazakhstan

Nine bodies have been pulled from under the rubble and one man rescued amid a search and rescue operation after an apartment block collapsed in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda region, RIA Novosti reports. “There are bodies of three men, three women, three children, two of them born in 2016 and one in 2010,” Kazakh Interior Ministry spokesman Ruslan Imankulov told RIA. The block of flats collapsed on Sunday night. Some 280 people are taking part in the rescue operation.