1) India celebrated 117th birth anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose: Indians across the country, with the Bengali community leading, on Thursday celebrated the 117th birth anniversary of the country's nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose, who is more fondly and better known as 'Netaji' or 'Respected Leader'. Netaji's birthday anniversary is celebrated every year with great honour by government and non-government organisations. The day is also known as 'Desh Prem Diwas' and is observed as a holiday in West Bengal, beginning with flag hoisting ceremony in several localities, to pay tribute to the national leader.
2) Li to face Cibulkova in Australian open women singles final: China’s Li Na will play Slovak Dominika Cibulkova in Saturday’s Women’s final at the Australian Open after both mowed down opponents in just over an hour. Li, who will bid for a second Grand Slam title to back up her 2011 Roland Garros trophy, on Thursday entered her third title match at Melbourne Park, fighting off a charge from Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-4 in 64 minutes to win their semi-final. It took Cibulkova six minutes longer to fulfill her part of the Sino-Slovak bargain with the diminutive Eastern European crushing fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-2.
3) Saina Nehwal slips to 9th in BWF rankings: India`s Olympic bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal dropped a place to be at ninth position, while P V Sindhu retained her 11th spot in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings issued Thursday.
4) Study says Violence, disease caused end of Indus Valley Civilization: Inter-personal violence, infectious diseases and climate change had played a major role in the demise of the Indus or Harappan civilization around 4,000 years ago, according to a new study. Climate, economic, and social changes all played a role in the process of urbanization and collapse, but little was known about how these changes affected the human population, Dr Gwen Robbins Schug, an associate professor of anthropology at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, explained in a statement.
5) 'Security picket' on board trains now: Railways have decided to earmark berth no 71 in coach S-1 in all the trains having security escort, which will act as a sort of security picket. The idea of having a dedicated berth for the security personnel is to help passengers to locate them easily in case of some emergency, a railway official said.
6) LCA Tejas to be star attraction of DRDO's R-Day Parade contingent: Tejas, the Indian Light Combat Aircraft, is going to be the star attraction amongst the products displayed as part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) contingent at the Republic Day parade. DRDO’s products for the parade include Arjun Mk-II (a new version of Indian battle tank), a tableau displaying ‘Astra’ and ‘Helina’ missiles and another tableau displaying a wide range of unmanned systems.
7) Huffington Post plans India edition: US-based leading online newspaper Huffington Post is planning to launch an India edition by May this year and negotiations are currently under way to finalise a local partner for this venture.
8) Kerala wins UN award for sustainable tourism: Kerala Tourism has been conferred the United Nations Award for creating innovative initiatives for sustainable tourism, the first time India has ever won the recognition.
The state got the honour for its sustainable development initiative in the world renowned backwater resort of Kumarakom, a Kerala tourism release said on Thursday. Kerala Tourism bagged the honour on 22 Jan 2014 at the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism presented at Madrid in Spain.
9) Alok Sinha is new AAI Chairman: In a late evening development on Thursday, the Chairman, Airports Authority of India, V P Agarwal was removed. He is being replaced by the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Alok Sinha, who has been given additional charge of the new post. Sinha handles airport related matters in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
10) Sania-Tecau sail into semis of Australian Open: India's Sania Mirza and her Romanian partner Horia Tecau stormed into the semifinals of the mixed doubles event at the Australian Open with straight sets victory over Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Julia Georges on Thursday.
11) Real Madrid retain title of world's richest soccer club: Spain's Real Madrid retained the title of the world's richest soccer club in the past year thanks to sponsorship and TV deals robust enough to endure a season without a major trophy, a study showed on Thursday.
12) Wawrinka reached Australian Open finals: Stanislas Wawrinka reached his first Grand Slam final with a 6—3, 7—6 (1), 6—7 (3), 7—6 (4) win over Tomas Berdych in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.
13) Kailash Meghwal elected as Rajasthan Assembly Speaker: BJP MLA Kailash Meghwal was on Wednesday elected unopposed as Speaker of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. Meghwal's motion was proposed by Nand Lal Meena, BJP tribal minister and seconded by Narayan Singh of Congress. The motion was passed by a voice vote in the House amid thumping of tables by all members.