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8 killed, 30 injured as goods train rams Kanchanjunga Express in New Jalpaiguri || Heat wave aborts Indigo takeoff in Delhi || Nikhil Gupta, accused of Pannun murder conspiracy, produced in NY court || Biden to sign Resolve Tibet Act: US team in Dharamshala || Nikki Haley bereaved || Realtor shot dead in Delhi || Indian-American Democrat running for County Commissioner arrested in Texas || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
'And for me, it's time', Jacinda quits; next general election on October 14

In a shock announcement, the much-acclaimed Prime Minister of New Zealand said February 7 will be her last day in office. She no longer has "enough in the tank" to lead, she choked up. Next general election will be on October 14. She will not contest.

WELLINGTON (New Zealand), Jan 19: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigned on Thursday. In a shock announcement, she said February 7 will be her last day in office but will continue as lawmaker until the next general election on October 14. She said she no longer has "enough in the tank" to lead the country.

She said she will not be contesting again for the office nor as a lawmaker. Known for her sharp intellect and remarkable empathy, Ms Ardern, 42, has been the Prime Minister for nearly six years.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has also ruled out contesting in the election or for the leadership of their Labour Party. Therefore, the Labour MPs will vote for a new interim Prime Minister as early as this Sunday. If nobody gets two-thirds majority, the next round will be by party members as it happened in the UK recently.

"I'm announcing that I will not be seeking re-election. And then my term as Prime Minister will conclude no later than the 7th of February. I am leaving because with such a privileged role, comes responsibility, the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not", Ms Ardern told a news conference.

"I know what the job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It's that simple. After going on six years of some big challenges, I am human. Politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can, and then it's time. And for me, it's time.

"But unfortunately I haven't (the energy to continue), and I would be doing a disservice to New Zealand to continue," she told reporters.

Ms Ardern was elected Prime Minister in 2017 at the age of 37. The two major happenings during her term were Christchurch mosque shootings where 51 people died and the White Island volcanic eruption. She quickly introduced gun law reforms. Wore a hijab.

She had won acclaim for her handling of the covid pandemic. And the Labour Party won a landslide victory in the general election in 2020. Ardern was re-elected for a second term. A general election is held every three years.

But later she came under severe criticism for enforcing strict covid restrictions. She was also under fire for rising cost of living. The party began losing popular support. So also Ms Ardern, of late.

"I hope I leave New Zealanders with a belief that you can be kind, but strong, empathetic but decisive, optimistic but focused. And that you can be your own kind of leader - one who knows when it's time to go," she said.

"She has given her all to this incredibly demanding job," Opposition National Party leader Chris Luxon tweeted.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ms Ardern had made an "immeasurable" difference to the world.

Ms Ardern has a child from her partner Clarke Gayford, a television host, whom she will be marrying soon. The girl child was born during her prime ministership.


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“Two activists from the environmental movement ‘Riposte Alimentaire’ sprayed pumpkin soup on the armoured glass protecting the Mona Lisa, this Sunday, January 28, 2024, around 10 am (4aET),” a statement from the museum said.

It is not understood how undesirable elements are allowed to get so close to her and play havoc with the artwork. Several times over this has happened in the past, deranged minds masquerading as tourists and cultists venting their frustration.

A Spicejet passenger had a harrowing experience inside a tiny claustrophobic lavatory aboard a Mumbai-Bengaluru flight when he found to his bewilderment that the door was not opening.

Two days earlier, in a similar incident in the area, a domestic help was bitten by a pet dog in the lift when she was going for work.

Tailpiece: Sometimes appearing to outnumnber men and women on the streets, the stray dogs are turning more and more daring with sections of anti-social elements out there to feed and protect them in order to find a window for their unfulfilled love! There is an all-pervading feeling of lack of authority.

Ankit Tiwari had told the employee that “instructions had been received from the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct an enquiry” and reopen the “already disposed of” case and asked him to appear before the ED office at Madurai on October 30, DVAC said. The doctor was allegedly threatened with arrest and told to pay a bribe of Rs 3 cr to avoid the ED probe, which was later negotiated down to Rs 50 lakh.

Tailpiece: We are made to believe RBI, CBI, ED, Judiciary as sacrosanct and all others like railways, transport, revenue, education, PWD departments are composed of us the mortals, absolutely corrupt! As if in the sacrosanct places the angels descend from the heavens to work in the night and fly away before day-break! Let's be true to ourselves, we are all cut from the same cloth.

Apart from cash, Gill had also taken three planes as bribe and two of them were leased out to Redbird Aviation Academy. With the result, flying schools compromised on safety requirements and trainers met with accidents several times.

Five people were arrested from a banquet hall in Sector 51 Noida on Thursday where they were called to hold a rave party in a trap laid by the animal rights group, PFA. They named Yadav but he was not present.

Betting through Dubai-based Mahadev Book in India is conducted through a countrywide network. Probes reveal that the online gambling is worth several millions and top politicians, officials and celebs have been beneficiaries.

TAILPIECE: Polling dates for some States are round the corner. Top politicians have begun their acrimonious debate who looted more, even as Mahadev is washing their dirty laundry in the open ghat. Come what may, one needs to seize power to amass "thy wretched pelf!" One simple question is, why else one should spend lakhs or crores to get elected! A question every Indian should ask to oneself at least once a day!

His inaction amounts to defeating the rights of the people of the State to welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills, the Kerala Government's petition submitted, while the State of Tamil Nadu remarked that its "Governor is acting as a political rival."

Tailpiece: Coming up back to back, the petitions in their totality seem to question the provision of Raj Bhavan, and not motives of a Governor as a person.

Hundreds of cars piled up behind the wreckage of crashes occurring one after other in backing up - continuous crashes to the rhythm of metallic clanks and bangs back to back. According to reports, some ops required 'Jaws of Life' to pull apart the mangled cars to save lives inside.

The pilots struggled with Emerson to thwart a shut-off as he reached for the T-handles (see pix). Later he admitted to police he had taken psychedelic mushrooms and had a "nervous breakdown."

Doctors reasoned how the incidence of heart attacks is spiking over time and advise the simple way to play safely is to take a break and rehydrate yourself.

But how come ten people, including children, die of cardiac arrest at Garba in 24 hours, and that at different places of Gujarat? Garba had been going on for six days, and every year it is celebrated.

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

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.

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