1. Senior BJP leader N S Pharande passes away
Senior BJP leader and former MLC Narayan Sadashiv Pharande passed away in a private hospital in New Delhi on 16 January 2017, after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 78.
Pharande had served as the chairman of the Maharashtra Legislative Council from 1998 to 2004 and also as the BJP state president from 1991 to 1995. The leader, popularly known as Na Sa Pharande, was elected thrice as the Member of the Legislative Council.
He is survived by wife and two daughters.
2. Meghalaya's 133 millennium voters to be felicitated
The Election Commission would be felicitating 133 millennium voters of Meghalaya on National Voters Day, on 25 January 2017.
The announcement was made by the state's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) F R Kharkongor on 16 January 2018. The millennium voters include those who were born on 1 January in the year 2000, the first day of the 21st century and have attained the age of 18 on the first day of 2018. They will be felicitated to welcome them to the democratic process of the country.
The Election Commission had set 1 January 2000 as the cutoff date for this year’s electoral process. Notably, elections are due in the state in the first quarter of 2018, as the term of the current assembly ends on 6 March.
3. Myanmar, Bangladesh deal to felicitate return of Rohingyas ‘within two years’
Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the refugee community of Rohingyas, who were displaced last year due to military crackdown in Rakhine state of Myanmar, ‘within two years’.
The timeline is the first clear one set by the two nations for the return of the hundreds of thousands of refugees. The agreement, which was finalised in Myanmar's capital Yangon, states that the process would be completed preferably within two years from the commencement of repatriation.
4. Afghanistan: Rocket lands inside Indian embassy
In Afghanistan, a rocket landed in the Indian Embassy premises in Kabul, causing minor damage to a structure, but all the mission staff were reported to be safe.
The information was shared by External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar through a tweet in which he stated that a rocket had landed in the premises of the Indian Embassy in Kabul causing minor damage to a structure at rear side of the Embassy compound.
Fortunately, no incidents of fire or casualties were reported in the incident.
5. Israeli boy who survived 26/11 terror attacks returns to Mumbai
Moshe Holtzberg, the Israeli boy who survived the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as a toddler but lost his parents, returned to Mumbai recently.
This is his first visit to the city since the attacks by Pakistani terrorists over nine years ago that killed 166 people. Moshe was two years old when his parents were killed during the siege at the Nariman House where the Jewish couple ran a cultural and outreach centre for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Moshe's Indian nanny Sandra Samuels had saved the child during the attack.
Moshe has returned to the city as an 11 year-old, accompanied by his grandfather Shimon Rosenberg, who said that they will visit the Nariman House and pray there.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Moshe and his grandparents during his visit to Israel in July last year.
6. Muhajirs in US launch 'Free Karachi' campaign
In the United States, a group of Muhajirs have launched a 'Free Karachi' campaign to highlight the alleged state-sponsored atrocities against their community in the port city of Pakistan.
The protesters displaying banners took part in the Martin Luther parade in Washington to raise awareness on the alleged state-sponsored atrocities against Muhajirs and other ethnic communities and minorities in Karachi.
The protestors demand for an immediate end to the human rights violations of the people of Karachi, free from the control of Islamabad and the atrocities of the security forces.