1) Judicial appointments bill passed in Rajya Sabha: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the landmark National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014, which was passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha on 13 August 2014, in a move that is being seen as a major victory for the Modi sarkar. The Bill was passed by a voice vote and will lead to the scrapping of the current collegium system of appointment of judges to Higher Judiciary in India. The Constitution Amendment Bill was cleared by the Rajya Sabha with 179 votes in favour and one abstention of noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani. The bill will make way for the setting up of a National Judicial Appointments Commission which will appoint and transfer judges to the Supreme Courts and the 24 High Courts.
2) Major Mukund Varadarajan Awarded Ashok Chakra, the Highest Gallantry Award: Major Mukund Varadarajan, who killed three terrorists in Kashmir before he was shot dead in April this year, has been awarded the Ashok Chakra, the nation's highest peace-time gallantry award. The 31-year-old Major's buddy Sepoy Vikram Singh and two naval officers who died on board the INS Sindhuratna while trying to save fellow sailors, are among 12 others who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra. This year's list of 55 gallantry awards also includes 39 Sena (Army) Medals, one Nao Sena (Navy) Medal and two Vayu Sena (Air Force) Medal.
3) WHO clears use of experimental drug ZMapp: The World Health Organization gave a green light to the use of experimental drugs to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with demand for—and questions about—untested treatments growing after two infected Americans received some.
4) RBI cuts number of free cross-bank ATM transactions to 3 per month in six metropolitan cities: Frequent withdrawal of money from ATMs will become expensive from November, with the RBI imposing a limit of 3 transactions per month from ATMs of other banks and 5 from the same bank in six metropolitan cities. A customer will be required to pay a fee of up to Rs 20 for using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) beyond the permitted numbers of transactions in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad. The new guidelines, which were issued in pursuance of a representation made to the central bank by Indian Banks' Association, will come into effect from November 1, 2014.
5) Life sentence to Sher Singh Rana for killing Phoolan Devi: A Delhi court on Thursday pronounced life sentence to lone convict Sher Singh Rana for the murder of bandit-turned-politician Phoolan Devi in 2001. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on Rana.
6) Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 2-0 to win German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in the German Super Cup on Wednesday to win the first domestic title of the season. Dortmund shut down former teammate Robert Lewandowski, while on the other side Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored in the 23rd minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed the victory in the 62nd.
7) French winger Franck Ribery retired from International Football: French winger Franck Ribery has announced his retirement from international football, he said in an interview with the German magazine Kicker. Bayern Munich's Ribery, 31, the winner of the 2013 UEFA European Player of the Year award, has won 80 caps for France since his international debut in 2006.
8) Former RBI governor Bimal Jalan to head expenditure panel: Bimal Jalan, former RBI Governor, will head Expenditure Management Commission which will suggest ways to reduce food, fertiliser and oil subsidies to contain the fiscal deficit. "Terms for reference would be shortly issued," Jalan told PTI. The EMC is being set up following the announcement made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2014-15.
9) Hindi name of water resources ministry changed: The name of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in Hindi has been changed to Jal Sansadhan, Nadi Vikas Aur Ganga Sanrakshan Mantralaya. Earlier it was known as Jal Sansadhan, Nadi Vikas Aur Ganga Jeernodhar Mantralaya, a press release said. A Gazette notification to this effect has been issued, it added.