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News18 Afternoon Digest: False Claims About ex-Pak Diplomat's Balakot Airstrike Admission, Body Parts Found After Indonesia Plane Crash and Other Top Stories

A satellite image of where the Balakot airstrike took place.

A satellite image of where the Balakot airstrike took place.

Here are All the Top Stories We are Covering this Afternoon: False Claims About Pakistan Diplomat Admitting 300 Deaths from Balakot Airstrike; Mohammad Siraj Subjected to Crowd Trouble Again; Parents of Babies Who Died in Bhandara Fire Blame Hospital; Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone to Collaborate; Massive Blackout Across Pakistan; India to Kick Off Covid-19 Vaccination Drive on January 16; Rioter Pictured in Deer Suit Surrenders, Tells FBI He Came at 'President's Request’

Fact-check: False Claims About ex-Pak Diplomat Admitting 300 Killed in Balakot Airstrike

Several reports have claimed that a former diplomat from Pakistan admitted that as many as 300 terrorists had died in the Balakot airstrike conducted by India on February 26, 2019. However, the information has turned out to be false as the video clip cited by media houses was doctored. News agency ANI had reported that Agha Hilaly made the statement during a TV new debate on a Pakistani Urdu channel. READ MORE

Indonesia Plane Crash: Body Parts Found Off Jakarta Coast 12 Hours After Sriwijaya Air Plane Goes Down With 62 Onboard

Indonesian rescuers pulled out body parts, pieces of clothing and scraps of metal from the Java Sea early Sunday morning, a day after a Boeing 737-500 with 62 people onboard crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, officials said. Officials were hopeful they were honing in on the wreckage of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 after sonar equipment detected a signal from the aircraft. READ MORE

Mohammad Siraj Subjected to Crowd Trouble Again At the SCG on Day 4; Six Spectators Asked to Leave

A day after India officially lodged a complaint of racial abuse against Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah with the ICC, spectators were asked to leave the ground with the Hyderabadhttp://cms.ibnlive.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=nw-breaking-news pacer was once again subjected to crowd trouble on day four of the 3rd Test during the second session. Subsequently, the play was stopped briefly. READ MORE

'No One Present, Ignored Safety Norms': Parents of Babies Who Died in Bhandara Fire Blame Hospital

Many parents whose newborn babies were among those dead in the Bhandara hospital fire have blamed the staff there for dereliction of duty. Ten babies died after the fire broke out on Saturday at the Special Newborn Care Unit of the four-storeyed district hospital in Maharashtra's Bhandara district town, about 900 km from the state capital Mumbai. READ MORE

Internet 'Collapse', Massive Blackout Across Pakistan After National Grid Breakdown, Govt Urges Calm

Pakistan was hit by a massive power blackout early Sunday, officials said, with much of the country, including all major cities, plunged into darkness. The electricity distribution system in the nation of more than 210 million people is a complex -- and delicate -- web, and a problem in one section of the grid can lead to cascading breakdowns countrywide. READ MORE

Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone to Collaborate in Siddharth Anand's Action Thriller: Report

Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan have interacted many times on social media, sparking off reactions from fans who want them to finally collaborate on a film. Recently, on Deepika's birthday, the actor' had hinted at a 'big celebration' in a few days. The internet considered it as the announcement of their collaboration, while others reasoned that the celebration in question was Hrithik's birthday on Monday. READ MORE

India to Kick Off Covid Vaccination Drive on January 16, PM Modi Reviews Preparedness

India will start its Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority given to about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers, a government statement said on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparedness for Covid-19 vaccination programme on Saturday, it said. India hopes to inoculate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people free of charge in the first six to eight months of this year. READ MORE

Rioter Pictured in Deer Suit Surrenders, Tells FBI He Came to Capitol Hill at 'President's Request’

Federal agents arrested two more Capitol Hill rioters whose images had gone viral, of one carrying off the House speaker's lectern and another who wore horns and a fur pelt, while a top Democratic lawmaker called on mobile carriers to preserve social media content related to the carnage. Dozens of people have been charged following the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, with the FBI asking the public to help identify participants, given the proliferation of images of the riots on the internet. Five people have died, including a police officer. READ MORE


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