Thursday Evening News Brief, December 14

Thursday evening brief Dec 14 2017
Good evening!
Here’s everything that transpired during the course of the day…
Voting has ended in the second and final phase of the Gujarat assembly elections with voter turnout climbing to 68.70% till 5pm. A total of 851 candidates were in the fray for the second phase. The first phase of voting for the 182-member House, held on December 9, covered 89 seats. The election is being seen as a “prestige battle” for the prime minister and a litmus test for the leadership of Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi.
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The Supreme Court asked Centre to ensure the 12 special courts to deal with cases involving politicians are functional by March 1, 2018. Two special courts would handle cases against 228 MPs and the other 10 would be set up in 10 states &mdash; Andhra, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, UP and Bengal&mdash;where the number of<a href=”http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/special-courts-to-try-tainted-mps-mlas-should-become-operational-by-march-1-sc/articleshow/62067613.cms”> MLAs booked for criminal acts</a> is more than 65.
International Hockey Federation chief Narinder Batra was today elected unopposed as the president of the Indian Olympic Association. The 59-year-old Batra, thus, became one of the few sports administrators to head a national Olympic committee while heading an important international sports federation. Batra’s election to the top post was a mere formality after Asian Tennis Federation President Anil Khanna withdrew from the race last week.
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Britain Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was defeated when MPs forced through changes to its Brexit blueprint. Up until the last minute of an often bitter debate in parliament, May’s team tried to convince MPs in her party to give up their demands and side with a government fearful that the move will weaken its hand in tough Brexit negotiations.
As many as 40 elephants have died in Assam in the last 100 days, revealed the data collected by conservationists. All of them have been killed due to unnatural causes, with the primary reasons being mowing down by moving train, electrocution, poisoning and accidentally falling in ditches especially in tea garden areas.
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