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Karni Sena leader Sukhdev Singh Gogamedi shot dead in Jaipur || Cyclone Michaung makes landfall near Bapatla, Andhra coast || Chennai airport resumes operations || Khalistani terrorist Lakhbir Singh Rode dies of heart attack in Pakistan || Khalistani Lakhbir's associate Paramjit Singh Dhadi arrested at Amritsar airport || Two IAF pilots killed as trainer aircraft crashes in Telangana || 11 killed in Philippines blast during Mass || Woman found dead in Uttarkashi resort || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
19 die, over 50 injured in hotel-casino fire in Cambodia

There were hundreds of people in the Grand Diamond City hotel on the Thai border at the time of the fire. Several of them died or were injured jumping from the upper floors. The casino had many visitors from Thailand as gambling is banned there.

PHNOM PENH, Dec 29: Nineteen people died in a hotel fire in Cambodia in the wee hours of Thursday. The hotel-casino is situated in Poipet town bordering Thailand.

There were hundreds of people in the Grand Diamond City at the time of the fire. Several of them died or were injured jumping from the upper floors as the fire swept through the hotel-casino at 23:30 (16:30 GMT) on Wednesday. Among those in the building were many Thai nationals.

The dense smoke and the heat prevented rescue teams from reaching the upper floors. The police and military were also deployed for the rescue operation. It took six hours to bring the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire is not known yet. About 50 injured are hospitalised and 13 of them are on life support.

The hotel-casino being on the border, lot of people from Thailand, where gambling is banned, visit the hotel.

In August in a Thai night club fire 26 people were killed. A month later 32 people died in a blaze in a bar in Vietnam.


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Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The ISRO said on Thursday evening that after rolling out from Vikram lander to the Moon's surface in the previous night, Pragyan's rover mobility operation commenced during the day on Thursday. The exploration has started.

Chairman Somanath said everything is working very well.

The rover will mainly study the mineral composition of the moon, the ions and water ice***, its atmosphere and any seismic activities.

Chandrayaan-3 had successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday at 6:03 pm as per schedule, making India the first country ever to touch down on the polar surface.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

“All subjects directly connected to the people should be shifted to the State List. Particularly the subject of education. Only if this is done can cruel exams like NEET be abolished,” Stalin said. Education was moved from the State List to the Concurrent List with the 42nd Constitution Amendment made by the Central Government in 1976.

Decentralisation has been at the core of Tamil politics since the times of CN Annadurai. Stalin indicated there will be political changes in the offing.

TAILPIECE: While the Centre and the States are at loggerheads, it takes a different cognitive acumen to know that entrance tests are not the way for students' admission to courses.

A University of Florida Professor, Harrison Hove who was on the flight, posted on social media that the incident was "terrifying." He said, "I've flown a lot. This was scary ... The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops ... Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin."

As recently as Tuesday Craig Robertson had posted on Facebook: "Perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist." Biden was scheduled to make his first visit to Utah as President Wednesday afternoon.

  • Let's Go! The legal immigrants should be allowed the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles. Doing away with the country cap on Green Cards only can do this easily.
  • Bureaucratic delays in the US legal immigration system are also a drag on the country's economy while leaving so many families in limbo, the Congressmen argued.
  • In fact, the country cap was introduced to ensure diversity of immigrants as well as to prevent monopoly by any one country like China leading to distortions in the American culture and politics in course of time.
  • In any which case, it is high time the US straightened its convoluted immigration laws for their own convenience and to allow the immigrants their basic rights!

Maruti is recalling 87,599 S-Presso and Eeco vehicles to inspect and possibly replace parts in the steering system. All reputed companies around the world do recall their products when a defect comes to light.

Meanwhile, a question arises why just in about a year so many accidents have taken place involving Mercedes sent to India while the car has won safety awards abroad? In most cases, the vehicle collided with divider, while manoeuvring a turn. Was there a split second delay in the steering system coming to a grip when at high speed? Did anybody in India bother to study a pattern in several of these accidents that took place one after other?

Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died when his Mercedes-Benz-SUV hit a divider in Gujarat. Cricketer Rishabh Pant's Mercedes-Benz-SUV rammed a divider in Uttarakhand and smashed. It went up in flames but he escaped with injuries. Brother of PM Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi's Mercedes-Benz-SUV met with a similar accident in Mysuru. And many more.

  • Experts blame violation of the Visual Flying Rules (VFR) for most of the chopper crashes in the mountains as the leading cause. VFR means fly only visually - because of the lack of navigation aids in remote areas or unreliability of GPS-like aids in hilly terrains or a remote manipulation of instruments in cases of sabotage - as the topography plays havoc especially in the monsoon (mid-June to September).
  • Even when VFR is followed, most crashes occur due to CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) - that is, everything else is OK but the aircraft collides with hills or trees hidden by the clouds. This also occurs mostly in the monsoon.
  • On Tueday with Manang, the chopper was brand new, pilot was highly experienced. But it hit an 'invisible' tree and then crashed against a hillside. This CFIT occurred when the pilot tried to dodge patches of clouds even as he was following the VFR.
  • Simply put, everyone knows flying in the hills during the monsoon is risky, but the companies want to make more money in any which case. This type of tragedy is very frequently invited in the Indian hill State of Uttarakhand as well, where pilots are even made to fly without the mandatory rest.

The new offer will enable H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US to apply for a Canadian work permit, while also offering study and work permit opportunities for their family members accompanying them.

The selected applicants will be granted an unrestricted work permit for a maximum period of three years. The IRCC will entertain 10,000 applications. The window is open for one year.

  • Curfew was clamped on areas in Paris on Thursday lasting till Monday. The police apprehend an escalation of volence in the coming days. There will be "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the State", they said.
  • Under present law, the police have brute powers to deal with traffic violators. Young Nahel was shot point-blank by a cop for purported traffic violation and an anticipated crime.

Way back when on June 20 EST after searches were launched, India Travel Times had, on an analysis of the data available, indicated the probability of Titan undergoing a sudden and massive implosion (inward collapse) at great depths. (SEE: Titanic expedition goes missing: A ray of hope from sounds of bang) Now videos taken by a Canadian robot that reached the floor on Thursday evening, June 22, has confirmed it. The fragments are lying scattered. Horizon Arctic's ROV robot found the debris 1600 ft from Titanic bow.

The submersible imploded at 500 metres above sea bed, if we go by our calculations. The water pressure it had to withstand at that point was 2,345 kg per sq inch. The hull was not built to take that, as per the court cases fought by concerned people at the time of building the sub and going by the details revealed in the cancellation of booking by at least one ocean expert.

Sources said some people shifted places on the decks of the boat crammed with over 500 migrants and that tilted the vessel, while others said engine failure. It sank about 75 km from Pylos peninsular jetty on the Greek coast in the Ionian Sea bay in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the intervening night of Tuesday-Wednesday.

ChatGPT has 'duped' a New York lawyer of a federal court. A first-time user, Schwartz asked the bot to do the laborious research work on his behalf and bring out cases similar to the suit he was filing against Avianca airline. About six non-existing cases the chatbot "hallucinated" and Schwartz promptly submitted them. The judge could not find these "legal gibberish" in records and the lawyer stands thoroughly discredited and humiliated. What was all the excitement about ChatGPT? When we approach ChatGPT does it introduce itself as what it is and what it is not?

After reaching New York, the Cessna made a hairpin turn and flew back over Washington DC for inexplicable reasons. But why was the pilot unresponsive to air traffic controllers FAA for two hours in the air and the fighters' flares later? It is said the plane, flying at 34,000 feet, likely lost cabin pressure, the pilot slumping due to hypoxia that sets in in about 20 to 30 seconds! Did the auto pilot take over till fuel lasted? Why did it make a 360 deg turn? The moot point is, how secure is the White House!

ANALYSIS: The underlying crime that defendant ex-President Donald Trump, is said to have concealed by falsification of business records - which only will make the whole thing a felony and stand up in the court - is not specified in the indictment which is sketchy: may be because prosecutors can withhold details at this stage. Yet, the hush-money payment being federal election law violations, it cannot come under the jurisdiction and scope of State prosecutors. Deprived of substantial documentary evidence, how will the veteran District Attorney Alwin Bragg navigate through this complexity and prove the intent is to be seen. He will have an option to invoke State tax laws, where violation is serious crime. But that is another case. The trial will drag on for years, anyway!

What next: His fingerprints and mugshot will be taken like any defendant in criminal cases. Arrest is unlikely (Florida Governor can block any warrant, complicating matters). Trump's attorney Tacopina said Trump will turn himself in.

Can Trump contest presidential election? Yes. There is no existing US law to bar him. He can even serve as President from prison.

The loophole: The Grand Jury has no documentary evidence as the NDA was not signed either by Trump or Cohen (Trump's attorney who turned hostile) on his behalf. It is depending on the testimony of Cohen and Daniels.

Where do Republicans stand: At any rate, the 'stormy petrel' has cooked Donald Trump's presidential goose, although he thinks otherwise. The Republicans are a divided lot.

  • The shooter, a former student of the school., entered through a side door, after breaking the glass door. She was shot dead by the police, but only after six lives were lost.
  • Every time a shooting takes place in the US, every time the White House makes a statement: “Enough is enough.” It's funny, painful and cruel!. Mostly the mass shootings take place in the schools.

In a related development, the USCIS issued a clarification that those who have lost jobs in the ongoing layoffs in the tech sector can apply for a change of non-immigrant status or for a "compelling circumstances" employment authorization document and stay back. This followed an appeal to Biden by thousands of Indians who have been affected by the layoffs.

Darkness has descended on most of the US from the Great Lakes to Mexican border and from the Appalachian mountains in the east to the Rockies mountains in the west without power, and large swathes have gone under the snow. Several thousands of flights have been cancelled due to the howling blizzards and zero-visibility in the past few days and medical services are unable to operate sans accessibility. A fast-moving Guv Kathy Hochul has already declared emergency in New York and closed vulnerable airports. Christmas is washed out.

The story is no different in Canada, coming nearer to the pole where the cold vortex cycle has been blasted off (Arctic blast) by the hot winds from an Atlantic, warmed up due to climate change.

The life-threatening situation will continue for several days more. Too taxing for the hypothalamus!

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