Morning digest: Voting begins in Telangana and Rajasthan, CBI confronts Christian Michel with documents, and more

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The stage is set for the conduct of Assembly elections in two key States, Telangana and Rajasthan, on Friday. Polling will be held for 119 constituencies in Telangana, while in Rajasthan the contest is for 199 seats.

In Telangana, the ruling Telangana Rashtriya Samiti is fighting against the Congress-led Praja Kutami (People’s Front). The Rajasthan election will decide the fate of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje facing a tough challenge from the resurgent Congress, which she had decimated in 2013.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday confronted Christian Michel, an alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal case, with a series of documents obtained from Italy and those gathered as part of the probe since 2013.

Deputy Chief Minister and co-ordinator of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) O. Panneerselvam, in an interview to The Hindu, stressed many times over that the AIADMK would not, and should not, be allowed to be dominated by “any single family.” He also indicated that an alliance with like-minded parties was possible for the Lok Sabha polls.

India, with 18% of the world’s population, has a disproportionately high 26% of the global premature deaths and disease burden due to air pollution. Moreover, one in eight deaths in India was attributable to air pollution in India in 2017, making it a leading risk factor for death.

ndia has signed an agreement with Iran to pay for crude oil it imports from the Persian Gulf nation in rupees, sources in know of the development said. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed following the U.S. letting India and seven other nations to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions were reimposed on the Islamic state on November 5.

A High Level Committee, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Thursday approved the additional assistance of ₹3048.39 crore to Kerala, ₹131.16 crore to Nagaland and ₹539.52 crore to Andhra Pradesh, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

The Kerala government had sought ₹4,700 crore as compensation from the Central government for the damage caused by the floods, which was termed as the worst in a century.

1.49 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily; every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter; and since its inception, over 40 billion photographs have been posted on Instagram. We live in a world where we aren’t only consumers of information but creators as well. What is social media doing to our society?

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the Agriculture Export Policy, aimed at increasing India’s exports to $60 billion by 2022 from the current $37 billion, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu announced.

In addition to air and water pollution, India can now add one more category to its pollution worries: beach pollution. And here, tourism and fishing are the biggest culprits.

Permission to the Bengaluru-based Art of Living Foundation to conduct a two-day meditation programme on the premises of Sri Brihadeeswara Temple, a UNESCO world heritage site, has triggered a controversy.

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