1. The Second Phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 will be held on April 18, 2019, in 97 Lok Sabha Constituencies across 12 States and 1 Union Territory. The voting for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Phase II will be held for some parliamentary constituencies of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
2. The Election Commission of India has canceled polling Tamil Nadu’s Vellore constituency on the grounds of misuse of money. The South Indian state will go to polls for 38 out of the total 39 Lok Sabha seats on April 18, 2019, during the second phase of polls. Vellore polls have been rescinded following reports of the large-scale illegal flow of cash.
3. US President Donald Trump on April 16, 2019, vetoed a bill passed by the Congress to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia-led war in Yemen. The veto, which is the second one in Trump’s presidency, was expected. The Congress had voted for the first time to invoke the War Powers Resolution to try and stop US involvement in a foreign conflict.
4. Indonesia on April 17, 2019, kicked off one of the world’s biggest one-day elections to pick a new president and parliament after a six-month campaign. The polls have pitted incumbent President Joko Widodo, who is a clear favorite, against ex-general Prabowo Subianto in a race to lead the nation.
5. The Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris, France almost burned down in a devastating fire that began on April 15, 2019. The fire completely destroyed the spire of the iconic structure and two-thirds of its largely medieval roof. UNESCO experts have agreed to help in rebuilding the structure.
6. New Zealand police on April 17, 2019, ended the routine arming of frontline officers as the terrorism threat level was lowered a month after the Christchurch mosques massacre. The police and security agencies reduced the threat level from high to medium. The level is still higher than it was before the March 15 attacks when the threat was deemed to be “low”.
7. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on April 17, 2019, issued Rs 50 denomination banknotes signed by the Governor Shaktikanta Das. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to Rs 50 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series.
8. Google on April 16, 2019, blocked the access to highly popular Chinese video app ‘TikTok’ on its play store following the refusal of the Madras High Court to lift the ban imposed on the app on April 3, 2019. The app is now not available for download from the Google play store.
9. World’s largest airplane took off for the very first time on April 13, 2019. Stratolaunch built this aircraft in eight years. After its successful test flight, the company hopes to use the twin-fuselage, six-engine, catamaran-style aircraft to launch satellite-bearing rockets into space by 2022. This test flight was done at Mojave Desert, California.
10. In France, a raging fire tore through the 850-year-old Gothic building, Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris. Around 400 firefighters battled into the night to control the flames. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.
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