December 26: Top news at noon

The latest headlines

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

NH National Bureau

Ex-IAF chief SP Tyagi gets bail in VVIP chopper scam case

A Special CBI court has granted bail to former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshall SP Tyagi today, in relation to the alleged AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam. The Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested former SP Tyagi, his cousin Sanjiv alias Julie Tyagi and lawyer Gautam Khaitan in the alleged ₹3,600 crore Agusta Westland VVIP Chopper deal, on December 9. It was the first time that a former service chief has been arrested on corruption charges. The court has yet to decided on the bail pleas of the other arrested accused, who remain in judicial custody till the next hearing on January 4.

British pop superstar George Michael dies, aged 53

The BBC has reported that pop superstar George Michael, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in North London on 25 June 1963 has died, aged 53, at his home in the Thames Valley. The news service said that the singer’s family had announced his death through a brief statment—"It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period," it said.

Tributes to George Michael started pouring in from across the world and continue to trend on Twitter. Andrew Ridgeley, the singer’s former bandmate in Wham! expressed his grief in a couple of tweets.

Rupee reverses early gains; Stock markets in red

Paring its early gains on Monday morning, the rupee slipped by 2 paise to trade at 67.84 against the US currency by late morning. The rupee opened flat at 67.82 per dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market. The domestic unit hovered between 67.85 and 67.79 per dollar during morning deals before trading at 66.84 per dollar at 10.30 am. Meanwhile, the stock markets were trading in the red with the benchmark BSE Sensex shedding over 200 points to 25,833.01 points at 1100 am. The NSE Nifty too declined by 67 points to 7,918.75 due to fall in metal, pharma and banking stocks. Of the 50 Nifty stock, 45 were in the red led by Hindalco which declined by over 4% in early trade.

Cold wave intensifies in Kashmir and Ladakh

The night temperature across Kashmir division dipped by several degrees as the cold wave tightened its grip in the region where the prevailing dry weather is expected to lead to further drop in the mercury. Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' considered the harshest period of winter, which began on December 21 and ends on January 31 next year. The night temperature across Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region dropped further below the freezing point last night. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius.

The image appearing along with this article has been corrected to reflect the correct year of George Michael’s birth.

With PTI Inputs.

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Published: 26 Dec 2016, 12:19 PM