• A vehicle loaded with explosives exploded at KM5, the junction in a prosperous area in downtown Mogadishu with many hotels, shopping malls and government agencies, and caused severe casualties, of which most were civilians and some were government staff members, diplomatic personnel and journalists. This blast is considered the deadliest single attack in recent years in the country. Though so far no organization or individual has claimed responsibility for this blast, the Somali government has blamed it on Al-Shabaab, a terrorist group that has staged similar attacks in the past. "This was a tragic incident, and it's a sign that Al-Shabaab continues to target innocent civilians. The Somali public need to know now, more than ever, of the group's evil plans. Today it has once again attacked civilians in a populated area," said Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. Doctors struggled to assist horrifically wounded victims, many burnt beyond recognition. Officials feared the toll would continue to climb from Saturday's truck bomb that targeted a busy street near key ministries. Ambulance sirens still echoed across the city as bewildered families wandered in the rubble of buildings, looking for missing relatives. "In our 10 year experience as the first responder in #Mogadishu, we haven't seen anything like this," the Aamin Ambulance service tweeted. President Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. "I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate," he said. Overnight, rescue workers with flashlights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia's foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel. Somalia's government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked al- Shabab extremist group for the attack it called a "national disaster." However, al-Shabab, which often targets high- profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to comment. "They don't care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children," Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. "They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians." Somalia's information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. "It's a sad day. This how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them," he said, speaking to the state-run radio station. The United States joined the condemnation, saying "such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism." The US military has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabab, which is also fighting the Somali military and over 20,000 African Union forces in the country. This blast occurred two days after the head of the US Africa Command was in Mogadishu to meet with Somalia's president, and two days after the country's defense minister and army chief resigned for undisclosed reasons.
  • Although the Talwars were supposed to be released on Friday, Dasna jail authorities did not receive the court order, leading to the delay. Earlier, jail authorities had said that the couple had promised to visit the jail every 15 days to attend to inmates facing dental problems after their release.
  • It is the World’s only Autumn Cherry Blossom Festival, which will be held from 8th 11th November this year. Last year, Meghalaya made history by hosting India’s First Cherry Blossom Festival, organized by Government of Meghalaya in association with IBSD, a National Institute of Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India. The festival attracted a huge number of tourists from all over the world and was a curtain raiser for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development as declared for the Year 2017, by the United Nations. In this edition, there will be several community events which include guided night walks under illuminated cherry blossoms, live musical events, a beauty pageant and stalls showcasing the cuisine, wine, arts and craft of the region. Along-side, there will be a rock concert, traditional folk music, unplugged western music and dance performances from all over North East India, choir performances, photography competitions, bicycle rallies, storytelling sessions of local and world folktales, a women’s exhibition football match and a local golf cup.