December 06, 2011
The top 10 most popular hashtags of 2011 have been revealed, illustrating how Twitter spans diverse topics from politics to celebrity gossip. Hashtags are used to group together tweets relating to the same subject. Top of the list was #egypt, followed by #tigerblood.
More on bbc.co.uk
Raj Rajaratnam leaves behind the ruins of a Wall Street career that made him a billionaire hedge fund manager to begin an 11-year prison sentence, the price for running a far-flung insider-trading conspiracy that turned tips from company executives and technology consultants into cash.
The Taliban has issued a statement saying it was not responsible for the twin attacks apparently targeting Shia Muslims that killed at least 58 people in Afghanistan.
A suspected suicide bomb struck a shrine packed with worshippers in the capital, Kabul, killing at least 54. Another blast hit the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif at about the same time, killing four people. The attacks appear to be of a sectarian nature unprecedented in recent Afghan history, reports bbc.co.uk.
A report on CNN IBN, which has a copy of the final draft of the Standing Committee on Lokpal says that the contentious Group C and D government workers will now fall under the purview of the state Lokayuktas. Group A and B will remain under the Lokpal.
The Lokpal report will be tabled on December 9.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid has warned social activist Anna Hazare to be wary about his team, which he feels is "working in their own personal interests". "The people who have gathered around Anna Hazare are working in their own personal interests", Khurshid told media in Shahjahanpur District.
Supporting foreign direct investment in retail, he said it would improve the economy and encourage foreign investment. He also expressed his concern over the state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh, and hoped the situation would improve once the Congress comes to power.
Update from the Bonn conference: Pakistan has an important role to play in the Afghan peace process, including in any negotiations with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday. Speaking in Berlin a day after Pakistan boycotted a conference devoted to helping Afghanistan, Karzai said the two countries needed to work closely together.
Disgraced hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam has arrived at a federal prison to begin serving the longest-ever sentence for insider trading. Rajaratnam, who was sentenced to 11 years in jail, reported to a facility in Massachusetts. More on the bbc.co.uk. Read
Nearly 260 schools have been destroyed in Naxal violence in Maoist-affected states in the last five years, a Home Ministry report has said.
In another report on violence faced by educational institutions globally, UNESCO has cited various examples of Naxal violence including destruction of 11 schools in Jharkhand and nine schools in Bihar between January and July 2009.
The Home Ministry, in its report, said the highest number of schools hit by Naxal violence was in Chhattisgarh, followed by Jharkhand. While the figure in Chhattisgarh was 131, it was 63 in Jharkhand. 46 schools were destroyed by the Maoists in Bihar between 2006 and November this year.
Pakistan appears to be shaping for a paradigm shift in its foreign policy, with a flurry of directives making their way from Islamabad to its missions in world capitals. The move comes in the wake of the Nato airstrikes on Pakistan forward posts along the Afghan border on November 26.
Envoys posted in Europe, Afghanistan, India and the US, among others, have been asked to furnish their recommendations for forming a strategy in view of the situation arising out of the Nato attacks, a foreign office official told The Express Tribune on Monday. More
This is what Pakistan's Tribune says on the Bonn conference on Afghanistan.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US emerged as the biggest losers in the Bonn conference on Monday. The conference announced many claims but most of the participants were convinced that they cannot achieve anything without Pakistan
The illegal manufacture and sale of toxic alcohol in Gujarat will now be punishable by death.
The governor of the state, Kamala Beniwal, has given her assent to the new law after keeping it on hold for more than two years.
Gujarat has witnessed many incidents of people dying after consuming poison alcohol. The government says the law will deter those involved in the illegal trade.
This is the tweet from Shashi Tharoor supporting Sibal's censorship: Have to say I support Kapil Sibal on the examples he gave me: deeply offensive material about religions&communities that could incite riots.
But then, he changed his mind to this...
As a frequent victim of "disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content" on social media, I wish2stress I'm not in favour of censoring it.
And more ire on Twitter...
Pritish Nandy: There are adequate regulations in Facebook. All you have to do is write in pointing out a violation. Where does the Govt come in?
Kanchan Gupta: @PritishNandy: What I read, watch, listen to, believe in are my choice. Even if they are tasteless or vile. Who is the State to interfere?'
And on Firstpost.com: Kapil Sibal may be an idiot or not but more importantly, he represents the feudal mentality of the broader political class, which is in turn enabled by the multinational companies all in the guise of protecting our cultural sensibilities.
Shashi Tharoor tweets: I understand Facebook is indeed taking down some pages that Kapil Sibal showed them. Pretty vile stuff. Sadly public didn't object2them 1st.
Earlier, ministers had to take a clearance from the External Affairs Ministry to ensure services from the diplomatic corp abroad. The guidelines also prevented ministers and secretaries of the same department going abroad at the same time if the Parliament was in session.
Ministers were also asked to limit the size of their delegation and expenditure on entertainment, hotel accommodation, gifts to be given to their hosts and class of air travel.
Three hundred and thirty seven. That's the number of foreign visits made by Union Ministers in 2011. And that, is when government is on an austerity drive.
In this report, filed by our Delhi correspondent, there were 240 foreign trips by ministers in 2009, when the OK was granted by the Ministry of External Affairs. In 2010 there were 406 foreign visits.
Ever since the government introduced austerity measures with a curb on foreign travel, the nod for foreign trips was granted by the PM. However, Dr Singh approved 96.89 per cent of the visits in 2010 and 96.01 per cent in 2011.
He cleared as many as 406 of the 419 requests, including 97 for personal visits, during 2010 and 337 of the 351 received until November this year.
The government may take say that there were fewer requests for foreign trips, but the PMO has failed to shoot down frivolous trips.
A self-styled Muslim cleric accused of sending hate mail to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan today lost a bid to have his case dropped on free speech grounds.
Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, also known as Sheikh Haron, is facing 13 offensive and harassing conduct charges relating to letters he sent to the widows and other bereaved relatives of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
So, the decision on the Peddar Road Flyover is still pending. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said, "No decision has been taken on scrapping the Peddar Road flyover. A public hearing is on."
Addressing a MNS delegation, who demanded that the Peddar Road flyover should be on track, Chavan said he was not aware of the latest status of the project.
MNS's Bala Nandgaonkar said, "Jayant Patil, Mumbai city's Guardian Minister says the project has been scrapped and Chavan says he is not aware. We have warned that if the Peddar Road flyover does not happen, the party will not allow any flyover in Mumbai."
The flyover project ran into controversy a few years ago, when Peddar Road's most famous residents-- Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosale opposed it saying their privacy would be lost.
India has 1.2 billion people and is fast catching up with China as the world's most populous nation. In an attempt to slow down the baby boom the state of Rajasthan, home to 68 million people, is offering prizes in exchange for sterilisation. Read the report on Al Jazeera.
Parliamentary Committee chairman Abhishek Manu Singhvi today rejected criticism of delay in tabling the report on Lokpal Bill in Parliament and said only
a procedural extension of a few days was being sought.
Singhvi, who met Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari apparently on the issue of seeking one more extension to table the report in Parliament, said the "procedural extension" sought for translation of the report and its binding should not be termed as a delay.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir is set to become Pakistan's High Commissioner in India as part of the biggest reshuffle of envoys approved by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Bashir, 59, who is due to retire next year, will replace High Commissioner Shahid Malik, whose current contract is valid till the second quarter of next year.
This is what we told you in January this year: Salman Bashir likely to be Pakistan's next envoy to India. Read
Dev Anand's death dominated yesterday's news and while we clued you in on who said what, here's another: Anupama Chopra on the evergreen hero on the New York Times. Read
Anna Hazare may come face-to-face with his detractors at Jantar Mantar on December 11 when he sits on a fast for a strong Lokpal bill, with his former
blogger and others planning to organise a three-day protest raising questions against his methods.
His former blogger Raju Parulekar today said youth from various parts of the country will hold a three-day protest at Jantar Mantar from December 10 against Hazare and his supporters. Hazare will sit on a fast at Jantar Mantar on December 11 to protest against alleged dilution of provisions of Lokpal
On the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar today, an interesting read on the blog Churumuri by Pritam Sengupta.
For all the lip service it pays 'dalits and the downtrodden', for all tokenism of a Dalit as speaker of Lok Sabha, and for all the buzz about a possible Dalit replacement for Manmohan Singh as prime minister, the Congress-led UPA government has issued a measly six pages of ads in 12 newspapers to mark the birth anniversary of the father of the Indian Constitution -- and the icon of Dalits Dr BR Ambedkar.
From the Dawn: The principal character in the memogate scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, has said that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence is under nobody's control and always keeps its hand in politics. Read
And while on ISI, here's the connection with how Pakistani hottie Veena Malik
Union communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal's demand from social network sites, like Facebook and Google, to prescreen user content from India and remove disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content before it goes online has received bitter criticism on the social networking site Twitter.
Kapil Sibal cited an example of a religious place that turned out to be a pornographic site, and told them such content played with religious sentiments, says this report on the Hindustan Times.
A number of retweets and comments on Twitter came pouring in on the demand made by him saying "Kapil Sibal is an Idiot".
Kafila.org has started a campaign asking people to write 'Kapil Sibal' is an idiot' on their Facebook status message, to use the hashtag #IdiotKapilSibal on Twitter and write a blog post with titles censorship, Internet censorship in India, Kapil Sibal and #IdiotKapilSibal.@over_rated retweeted, "The next task Kapil Sibal is going to undertake is to enumerate the grammatical errors in a Chetan Bhagat 'novel.
Dare to think beyond Arindam Chaudhuri: Kapil Sibal," tweeted @fakingnews. @Joydas Joy wrote, "Kapil Sibal Asks Google, Facebook to Scan User Content" - "Google, Facebook asks Kapil Sibal to Scan Brains."
If you've just joined us, an update on one of the most important stories this morning.
India has asked operators of social media networks, including Facebook, Google and Yahoo to screen user content from the country and prevent any "disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory" content from getting published.
Read the reuters report.
"Well I think my speech today (Monday) was mainly focused on the terrorist activities which emanates from across the borders and then again terrorist finding safe havens in across the borders.
"I think these are the twin problems which Afghanistan is facing and which many nations are facing. So it is necessary to address this scourge of terror from this angle," said Krishna.
Monday saw the capture of a cross-border trespasser -- a monkey, found wandering in Cholistan, all the way from India. As soon as the monkey entered the Cholistan area of Bahawalpur district, locals tried to capture it but failed as the monkey dodged past them. Read the report on the Tribune.
Briefing mediapersons, Westerwelle said participant nations had had come up with constructive strategies for the betterment of Afghanistan, and in this context, his country was satisfied with the outcome.
Tariq Aziz, who served as Iraq's top diplomat under Saddam Hussein, will be executed next year, after US forces have pulled out of the country, an adviser to Iraq's prime minister told CNN.
"It will definitely take place, and it will take place after the Americans leave Iraq," said the adviser, Saad Yousif al-Muttalibi, about Aziz, who served as foreign minister.
Aziz was the face of the Saddam Hussein government. Read more
On the Dawn: The United States must "fully review" its ties with Pakistan and consider cuts or new restrictions to military and economic aid, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have urged.
A joint statement from the veteran American politicians conveyed the depth of feeling felt by many of their contemporaries in Washington about the need to re-evaluate a decade-long strategic relationship that has foundered this year.
The Kiran Kumar Reddy government has defeated a no-confidence motion moved against it by the Telugu Desam Party by a margin of 38 votes after a marathon 16-hour debate in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
While 122 MLAs voted in favour of the no-confidence motion last night, 160 voted against it and one legislator was neutral. As many as 16 Congress MLAs also voted in favour of the motion.
These MLAs have been sailing with YSR Congress of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for sometime now. One Congress MLA walked out of the House minutes before voting began. One MLA each of TRS and MIM did not attend the House as they are outside the country.
Aiming to strengthen military ties with New Delhi, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith is all set to visit India today to discuss defence and security
During the visit, Smith is expected to conduct the Defence Ministers' Dialogue with Indian counterpart A K Antony in New Delhi. The Defence Ministers' Dialogue will involve discussions on shared strategic and security interests, including maritime security, cooperation in the Indian Ocean, and regional security.
On Open Magazine: Read: Jigna Vora vs Mumbai Police.
The police claim they have a case against this journalist in the JDey murder case. If so, they must prove it, not vilify and harass her
Good morning. First up, the Australian Government has expanded sanctions against Iran in response to its continued non-compliance with UN Security Council resolution on its nuclear programme.
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement yesterday that the measures will target people and companies involved in Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programmes and will restrict Australia's business with Iran's petroleum and financial sectors.
Economic slowdown: NRI executives line up for desi jobs (The Times of India)
Many senior Indian professionals working across the US, UK and other parts of Europe are looking at the Indian job market as they prepare for a homecoming. Read
Govt faceoff brewing with Facebook, social media companies (The Times of India)
Over the last 3 months, the government has been in talks with internet and social media firms to put in place a mechanism to screen user content. Read
FDI on hold, Pranab tells Opposition (The Hindu)
"Decision on allowing FDI in retail is being put on hold and a final decision will be taken only after consulting all opposition parties". Read
Assange allowed to take case to Supreme Court (The Hindu)
A British court has given the WikiLeaks founder permission to continue his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations. The decision means Assange does not face immediate deportation to Sweden. Read
4 Indian Mujahideen modules out there: Delhi Police (The Hindustan Times)
Sleeper cells in Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi armed with plans to wreak havoc. Read
Veena Malik sues mag for Rs 10cr over morphed picture (The Times of India)
Pakistani actress Veena Malik-popular in India for her participation in Bigg Boss last year-has sent a notice suing a men's magazine for Rs 10 crore for publishing photos that were allegedly doctored to make her appear nude. Read