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Cory Booker takes a selfie with supporters during a hometown kickoff of his presidential campaign tour at Military Park in downtown Newark, N.J., April 13, 2019. VOA

Booker told supporters that Saturday’s rally was the launch of a two-week tour of the United States as he tries to make himself more visible in a pack of more than a dozen competitors. The mostly Democratic campaigners are all vying to replace incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

From New Jersey, Booker plans to make stops in states that hold caucuses and primaries early in the presidential race, including Iowa, Georgia and Nevada. VOA

“The president wants a race to the gutter and to fight us in the gutter,” Booker said to the crowd at Newark’s Military Park, a revitalized green space. But “to win, we have to fight from higher ground in order to bring this country to higher ground.”

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From New Jersey, Booker plans to make stops in states that hold caucuses and primaries early in the presidential race, including Iowa, Georgia and Nevada.

Newark is where Booker made his political reputation, serving as a member of the municipal council and then the mayor from 2006 to 2013. (VOA)


People stroll early morning at the Mumbai promenade.

Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".

With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.

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Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere.

Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.

The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Pind Daan at Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.

The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.

It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.

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