Daily wrap: Director Mahendran no more; ban on Rafale book revoked

He was actively involved in stage plays during his college days. Wiki

Ace Tamil film director Mahendran, who helmed iconic Rajini movies, dies

Veteran Tamil film director Mahendran, 79, died on April 2. Born on July 25, 1939, at Ilayangudi in Sivagangai district, as Alexander, he was actively involved in stage plays during his college days. Of the 38 films he worked for, he directed only 12 of those, out of which five films, namely ‘Mullum Malarum’, ‘Uthirippookkal’ (1979), ‘Poottaadha Poottukkal’ (1980), ‘Nandu’ (1981) and his last directorial venture ‘Sasanam’ (2006) were based on the works of prominent litterateurs in Tamil.

Ban on Rafale book revoked; release event takes place

The release of a book on Rafale deal, which was apparently stopped by police and the Election Commission, happened later in the evening on April 2 in Chennai. Employees of Bharathi Puthagalayam, the publisher of the Tamil book, said at 1pm a team of police personnel and an official who identified himself as S Ganesh of Flying Squad – 1, Thousand Lights, raided their premises and seized more than 140 copies of the book. After seizing the copies, the Election Commission official gave a handwritten letter to Nagarajan, publisher of Bharathi Puthakalayam, that said since the book release flouted election rules, it was being banned. The book was to have been released by N Ram, publisher of The Hindu Group, who has written several articles on the Rafale deal in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper.

SC declines urgent hearing on Hardik Patel’s plea

The Supreme Court on April 2 refused to accord urgent hearing to Congress leader Hardik Patel’s plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting stay on his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case. Patel, 25, had started preparations to contest from Jamnagar on a Congress ticket after joining the party on March 12 and the last date for filing of nominations is April 4.

India’s daring space accomplishment may have backfired

India’s “feat” in test-destroying its own satellite in orbit last week, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, triggered the risk of 400-odd debris hitting the International Space Station (ISS). The US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which monitors these events closely, said 24 pieces of the debris went above the apogee of the space station endangering it and the lives of the astronauts in it.

WhatsApp unveils ‘tipline’ to tackle fake news

WhatsApp on April 2 unveiled its ‘Checkpoint Tipline’, where people can check the authenticity of information received as the messaging giant looks to crack down on fake news ahead of the general election in the country. People in India can submit misinformation or rumours they receive to the Checkpoint Tipline on WhatsApp (+91-9643-000-888). Once a WhatsApp user shares a suspicious message with the tipline, PROTO’s verification centre will seek to respond and inform the user if the claim made in message shared is verified or not.

China to destroy 3 lakh ‘incorrect’ maps that don’t have Arunachal

Customs officials in China have ordered the destruction of three lakh more maps for not mentioning Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan as part of its territory and decided to file a lawsuit against four persons for trying to export them to the Netherlands. Last month, officials in China have destroyed 30,000 world maps printed in the country for incorrectly showing the borders with India and depicting Taiwan as a separate country. The maps were printed by a company in Dongguan in Chinas Guangdong province. In total the company had printed 306,057 problematic maps, which will all be destroyed.

EC awaiting BJP’s reply to Oppn’s plea against release of biopic on PM

Before taking a call on whether to allow the release of a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Election Commission is awaiting the BJP’s reply to an opposition parties’ plea to prevent its screening amid the ongoing poll process. The producers of the film, which is slated for release on April 5, have already replied to the EC notice on the opposition’s complaint against the film. In their complaint, the opposition parties has alleged that the film violates the model code and would act like an advertisement for the BJP.