Morning digest: Massive fire at Notre-Dame cathedral, Congress says time running out on AAP alliance, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day.

Notre-Dame cathedral, iconic Paris landmark, engulfed in fire

A massive fire consumed Notre-Dame Cathedral on Monday, gutting the roof of the Paris landmark and stunning France and the world, but firefighters managed to save the shell of the stone structure and its two main bell towers from collapse.

Flames that began in the early evening burst rapidly through the roof of the eight centuries-old cathedral and engulfed the spire, which toppled, quickly followed by the entire roof.

Open to tie-up with AAP in Delhi but time is running out: Rahul

After over a month of going back and forth over an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday accused AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal of doing a “U-turn” on the alliance.

“An alliance between the Congress and the AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP. The Congress is willing to give up four seats to the AAP to ensure this,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

EC curbs campaigning by Yogi, Mayawati, Maneka and Azam

The Election Commission on Monday imposed restrictions on the campaigning of four senior politicians for violating the model code of conduct in Uttar Pradesh.

The EC put a 72-hour prohibition on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a 48-hour ban on Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati, beginning at 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Plea in SC seeks entry of women into mosques

A couple has moved the Supreme Court against the prohibition of entry of Muslim women into mosques, terming the bar as illegal, unconstitutional and a violation of their dignity.

“There should not be any gender discrimination. Allow Muslim women to pray in all mosques, cutting across denominations. There is no such gender discrimination to offer worship in Mecca, the holy city. The faithful, both men and women, together circle the Kaaba,” the Pune-based couple, Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad and Zuber Ahmad, submitted in their petition.

Coming, more GSLV satellite launch vehicles

The Union Cabinet on Monday approved five more GSLV satellite launch vehicles for the period 2021-24 under the next phase 4 of the ongoing GSLV continuation programme.

One of them could be used for the second Mars mission which is being considered.

Opinion | An India without the Left?

One out of every two Indians goes to bed hungry at night. That’s almost 700 million Indians. The number comes from McKinsey. But you don’t need a consultant to tell you about the distress in India. It is evident on our streets and in our fields. Agrarian distress (amplified by the suicide of farmers) and urban distress (illustrated by the growth of slums) have become normal.

Indian bourses shine in derivatives

Indian exchanges do not offer trading in exotic derivative instruments like their counterparts in the developed markets in the U.S. and Europe, but that has not stopped the bourses from becoming one of the largest derivative trading centres globally.

According to the latest report by the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) and the International Options Market Association (IOMA), the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the BSE accounted for 96% of the currency derivatives trading in the Asia-Pacific region in 2018.

Pete Buttigieg, gay Mayor from ‘rust belt’ in America launches presidential bid

Pete Buttigieg, the gay, liberal Mayor of a small American city in the conservative bastion of Indiana, officially launched his presidential bid on Sunday, joining a crowded field of Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in 2020.

The 37-year-old Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan war veteran is the two-term Mayor of his hometown of South Bend — a left-leaning bubble in America’s so-called “rust belt” region, where the decline of industries such as steel and automobile manufacturing has hurt local economies.

Boeing should fix, rebrand its 737 MAX plane, says Trump

President Donald Trump on Monday urged Boeing Co to fix and “rebrand” its 737 MAX jetliner following two fatal crashes, as regulators worldwide continue to work with the planemaker to review its grounded best-selling aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been meeting major airlines and convened a joint review with aviation regulators from other countries, while federal prosecutors, the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general’s office and a blue-ribbon panel are reviewing the plane’s certification.

Indian squad for World Cup announced; Pant, Rayudu out

Tamil Nadu’s Vijay Shankar will bat at No. 4 in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be played in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.

The selectors found the basket virtually empty for the crucial slot after openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, and No. 3 in Virat Kohli, and in the discouraging circumstances, the selectors chose Vijay Shankar, who has not batted at No. 4 at all.

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