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PM in Mathura, Israeli Hostages to be Released, Team India Out for Revenge

From Israeli families expecting a reunion with their loved ones taken hostage by Hamas to an Indian Armed Forces contingent in Australia to participate in a joint military exercise, here’s a roundup of the major developments today

It’s Thursday (23 November) and there are some big developments set to occur today. No story has consumed more oxygen this year than the battle between Israel and Hamas. Today, many families in Israel expect their wait to come to an end and to be reunited with their loved ones taken hostage.

Meanwhile, a contingent from the Indian Air Force is headed down under to participate in a joint military exercise. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to attend the Braj Raj Utsav in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura. The Indian cricket team will be out to avenge their World Cup final defeat against Australia in today’s T20.

It’s the day many in Israel and Gaza have been waiting for. For Israeli families, the day is full of hope — that they will see their loved ones returned to them safe and sound. For the people of Gaza, the ceasefire has finally come and is set to last four precious days. The deal, brokered by Qatar, the US and Egypt, was made public as fighting intensified in central neighbourhoods of Gaza City. Egypt’s state-run Qahera TV channel said the truce would take effect Thursday morning local time.

PM Modi in Mathura

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today will participate in ‘Mirabai Janmotsav’ being organised to celebrate the 525th birth anniversary of Mira — the mystic poet and devotee of Lord Krishna. A statement said Modi will also release a commemorative stamp and coin in honour of Mirabai and attend a cultural programme organised on the occasion. The event will also mark the initiation of year-long programmes in her memory. Mirabai is known for her devotion to Lord Krishna and composed many hymns and verses which are popular even today.

Indian Armed Forces down under

The Indian Armed Forces will participate in the second annual AUSTRAHIND-23 joint military exercise in Perth. The first edition occurred in 2022 in Rajasthan’s Mahajan, Rajasthan. The AUSTRAHIND is slated to be held alternately in India and Australia. The Indian Army contingent comprises 60 personnel from a Gorkha Rifles battalion, while the Australian Army contingent comprises 60 personnel from the 13th Brigade.

One officer from Indian Navy and 20 personnel from Indian Air Force will also participate from the Indian side. The Australian contingent will include 20 personnel each from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force.

Team India out for revenge

Fresh off their heart-breaking defeat in the 2023 Cricket World Cup, Team India will look to bounce back. Led by Suryakumar Yadav — who did not have a great final himself — India’s young guns will be up against a strong Australian team brimming with confidence. The five-match series will kick off at Visakhapatnam as the man known as ‘SKY’ looks to redeem himself and erase any mental scars. How will India fare without its big guns Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul?

Will Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, Tilak Verma, Jitesh Sharma survive their trial by fire?

For sports fans, it will make fascinating viewing.

On this day…

Sathya Sai Baba is born. On 23 November, 1926, Sathya Sai Baba was born in Andhra Pradesh’s Puttaparthi. The child, named Satyanarayana Raju, came into an ordinary family in the dry district. As a child, Satyanarayana Raju was described as “unusually intelligent” and charitable.

His talents were in drama, music, dance and writing, and he was an avid composer of poems and plays. He was also known as a singer, having released several CDs of bhajans. Then, at age 14, on 20 October, 1940, Raju announced that he was the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi.

At the time of his death at age 85 in 2011, Sai Baba counted celebrities, politicians, businessmen, actors, sportsmen and industrialists among his followers.

World gets first smartphone

On 23 November 1992, the IBM Simon, the first-ever smartphone, was introduced at the COMDEX in Las Vegas. The phone was designed by IBM and manufactured by Japanese powerhouse Mitsubishi.

The phone was chunky and heavy – 38mm thick and weighing in at nearly half a kilo! Looking back, its specs seem laughable – a 16-bit processor with 1MB RAM and 1MB of storage. But now we know that the world had witnessed the beginning of a new era – and had little idea of it.

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