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News18 Afternoon Digest: PM Modi to Lay Foundation Stone for Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Other Top Stories

Priests prepare the site for the groundbreaking ceremony of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, on August 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Priests prepare the site for the groundbreaking ceremony of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, on August 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

These are the top stories we are covering this afternoon: PM Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone for Ram Temple in Ayodhya; ammonium nitrate explosion claims more than 70 lives in Beirut; India’s Covid-19 tally jumps 1 lakh in two days; Sushant Singh Rajput’s family informally approached police against Rhea Chakraborty in February; and the best deals on Amazon Prime Day Sale.

PM Modi to Lay Foundation Stone for Ram Temple in Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya today. The Prime Minister's Office shared a picture of Modi, dressed in traditional dhoti-kurta, boarding an Air Force plane. The PM will lay a 40-kg silver brick to symbolise the start of the temple’s construction which has been at the core of the BJP's poll promises since the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992. READ MORE

78 Killed in Beirut as Powerful Ammonium Nitrate Blast Tears Through Buildings as Far as 10 km

A massive explosion rocked Beirut, flattening much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the Lebanese capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. At least 78 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble. It was not clear what caused the blast, which struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, but Lebanon's interior minister said it appeared that a large cache of ammonium nitrate in the port had detonated. READ MORE

India’s Covid-19 Tally Up by 1 Lakh in Two Days, But Fatality Rate Continues to Drop

India's Covid-19 infection tally raced past 19 lakh on Wednesday, two days after it crossed the 18-lakh mark, with 52,509 people testing positive for the novel coronavirus in a day. The recovery rate has risen to 67.19%, while the fatality rate has further dropped to 2.09%. READ MORE

Sushant Singh Rajput's Brother-in-law Made Informal Request to Pressure Rhea Chakraborty: Mumbai Police Official

A senior Mumbai police official has claimed that the IPS brother-in-law of Sushant Singh Rajput had asked him to call the actor's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty to police station and pressure her. The cop told a news channel that OP Singh, a senior IPS officer of Haryana cadre, had made the request in February this year as Rajput's family felt Chakraborty was "controlling" the actor and wanted her out of his life. READ MORE

Amazon Prime Day Sale Begins August 6: Best Deals on Smartphones, Smart TVs, Laptops and More

The Amazon Prime Day sale is back. Usually held in July every year, the two-day sale was delayed by a month because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be held on August 6 and 7 with a variety of discounts and deals on smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, gaming consoles and a bunch of other consumer electronics. Amazon has partnered with HDFC Bank to offer a 10% instant discount if you happen to use the bank’s credit card or debit card. Additionally, there will be no-cost EMI options as well as 5% reward point and 5% instant discount for Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card owners. READ MORE