Tokyo Olympics torch unveiled
Tokyo Olympics organisers have unveiled their torch for next year’s games, playing off the image of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.
The cherry blossom is Japan’s most-loved flower. Organisers have said the torch image was picked because the torch relay will begin a year from now in March when Japan’s cherry blossom trees are in full bloom across the country.
The flame will emerge from a five-petal configuration at the top of the torch. Organisers said the “torch and its emblem will feature strongly in the buildup to the games across the whole of Japan.”
The Tokyo Olympics open on July 24, 2020.
Kazakhstan renames capital ‘Nursultan’ after ex-President
Kazakhstan’s parliament has voted to rename the country’s capital in honour of longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev, a day after he resigned as president, state media reported.
“Astana is now officially renamed Nursultan,” the state-owned Kazinform news agency said after a parliamentary vote.
Kazakhstan’s new interim President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed renaming the capital after he was sworn in following Mr. Nazarbayev’s shock resignation yesterday.
In his first official act, Mr. Tokayev proposed that Astana — the gleaming new capital Nazarbayev erected in the country’s vast steppes — be renamed “Nursultan”, or “Sultan of Light”.
Astana replaced Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty as the capital in 1997 and was transformed from a minor provincial town into a futuristic city.
Its name meant “capital” in Kazakh and there had long been speculation it could at some point be renamed after the leader who shaped it.
It was not the first name change for the city, now home to more than 800,000 people.
Astana was previously known as Akmola, Tselinograd and Akmolinsk.
Priyanka visits Lal Bahadur Shastri’s ancestral home
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday visited the ancestral home of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Ramnagar in Varanasi.
Ms. Priyanka, who reached Varanasi on March 20 morning by road, garlanded the statute of Shastri at his ancestral home.
She was accorded a warm welcome by party leaders and workers on reaching Varanasi.
CSK to battle RCB in IPL Chennai opener
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) that staged a spectacular title winning return to the VIVO Indian Premier League 2018, after serving a two year suspension, will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the league’s season 12 opener in Chennai on Saturday, March 23.
Crowned champion for the third time following a convincing win against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium, CSK was forced to move its home matches to Pune last year owing to the tense situation in the State caused by the Cauvery water dispute.
CSK marked its return with a five-wicket win against Kolklata Knight Riders in the only home match it played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium. CSK has so far played 48 home matches.
The opening match will straightaway bring into picture the captaincy mettle of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli.
Candidates file nominations in A.P.
The filing of nominations, which began on Monday, continued with great enthusiasm by political parties on Tuesday in Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi notified the single-phase general elections for 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Assembly constituencies on Monday following the issue of President’s notification under Section 14 (2) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Scrutiny of the nominations will be done on March 26 and the last date for their withdrawal is March 28. Polling will be held on April 11 and counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.
Girls splash colours as part of the Holi celebrations in Agartala.
Doctors have advised to use natural colours extracted from flowers, veggies.
In the wake of mass shooting in New Zealand and ahead of Holi, the Delhi police has heightened security in the city, including increased patrols. The CRPF will not celebrate Holi this year as a mark of respect to its 40 jawans killed last month in a terror attack, the force’s chief said on Tuesday.
Islamic burials for Christchurch mosque attack victims
Hundreds of mourners gathered in a Christchurch cemetery on Wednesday for the first funerals of those killed in the twin mosque massacre.Grieving families of those killed are anxious to bury their loved ones according to Islamic custom. Mourners at the funeral service are advised not to wail too loudly or let their tears touch the body as it could interfere with the deceased’s journey to the afterlife. The dead are not placed in a coffin but instead lowered into a dug hole and placed at an angle facing the holy city of Mecca — as is customary for Muslims’ daily prayers.
Election season in Thailand
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha greets people at Lumphini Park in Bangkok, ahead of the March 24 general election. Thais will head to polls on March 24 for the country’s much-anticipated elections after nearly half a decade under junta rule. More than 2.2 million Thais turned out for early voting on March 17, almost 90% of those registered, for Thailand’s hotly anticipated national election, as the junta’s main opposition predicted a cliffhanger to the first poll in eight years.
(With inputs from Agencies)