Saturday morning news brief, Oct 21 2017

Saturday morning brief Oct 21 2017
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
India topped the global list for pollution-related deaths in 2015, with 2.5 million mortalities. It also topped the list of deaths linked to polluted air (1.81 million) and water (0.64 million), according to a study by international journal Lancet. India thus accounted for 28% of estimated nine million pollution-linked deaths worldwide in 2015, followed by China with 1.8 million. Read
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A woman wanted for radicalization of Indian youth for IS recruitment has been arrested in the Philippines. Karen Aisha Hamidon, widow of a Philippines-based terrorist leader was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation of the Philippines. In 2016, Indian agencies found that she used Facebook, Telegram channels and WhatsApp groups to recruit cadres for Islamic State from India and other countries.
The government will set up 7.5 lakh public-internet hotspots by the end of next year. The rollout is mainly focussed at providing high-speed internet in semi-urban and rural areas. Private operators like Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and state-owned BSNL, apart from internet service providers (ISPs) will be roped in for the project, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.
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Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj has met Pakistan envoy Sohail Mahmood, in the first high-level contact between the countries in months. Swaraj discussed the current state of affairs in bilateral relations with Mahmood, who took over as Pakistan’s envoy to India last month. She also touched upon India’s concerns over cross-border terrorism and asked Islamabad to quickly bring to book the accused in Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks.
The NIA wants controversial ‘preacher’ Zakir Naik tried under terror laws. The agency has sent a detailed investigation report about his alleged “terror” activities to the home minsitry. Once MHA gives prosecution sanction, NIA will file its charge-sheet against Naik, which will be used to send a formal extradition request to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, where he is said to be living and travelling frequently.
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