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Friday is Mubarak's deadline to quit Egypt

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January 31, 2011


18:55  Top news stories at this hour:  

We end our Live! bulletin today. Here are the big stories that made the news.

-- Friday is Mubarak's deadline to quit Egypt

-- Million-man march in Egypt tomorrow

-- 16 killed in shootout between Somali army, police

-- US defends shackles on Indian students

-- It's official: India vs Eng match in Bengaluru

-- FIR against vessel which rammed into navy ship

-- Orissa govt welcomes green nod for Posco

-- PC defends decision to appoint CVC

-- Justice Patil report indictsA Raja in 2G scam

-- Karmapa will be investigated for spy allegations

-- Sonawane killer Popat Shinde dies of burns

-- La Mart's case: Principal charged with abetment

-- Family of Egypt president flees country

18:52  

News alert: Former telecom minister A Raja is being grilled for the second time by the CBI in the 2G spectrum allocation scam right now.

18:42  Friday is Mubarak's deadline to quit Egypt:  

Egyptian protesters gave a call for a million people to pour onto the streets of Cairo tomorrow to put up a massive show of strength to force the beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak to leave the country by Friday.

Upping the ante to topple Mubarak, a coalition of opposition parties, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood also served an ultimatum telling the powerful army to choose between "Egypt or Mubarak", indicating that a decisive stage may be near as the death toll in the last six days of violence crossed 150.

Anti- Mubarak sentiments reached a feverish pitch, as thousands of protesters converged on Tahrir or Liberation Square -- the hub of the protests in the heart of Cairo to make the call for a "million man march" tomorrow.

18:02  16 killed in shootout between Somali army, police:  

In Somalia, fighting between government troops and police left 16 people dead in Somalia's capital, Mogadishutoday. It underlines the weak UN-backed government's inability to control its armed forces.

The fighting began when police executed a plainclothes soldier they suspected of being an Islamist insurgent. The soldier's colleagues arrived at the scene of the shooting in Benadir market and began attacking the police. An Associated Press reporter saw 16 bodies at Medina hospital in Mogadishu -- some of the victims were wearing uniforms. Three of the victims were women.

17:56  

Tweets from Egypt:

Danish shipping, oil giant Maersk says suspending activities in Egypt - Al Arabiya

Al Jazeera TV says military arrests 6 of its journalists in Cairo

17:48  Nobel vs Nobel: M Bhadrakumar's blog:  

Avid Rediff.com blogger and former diplomat M Bhadrakumar writes...

Alfred Nobel must be turning in his grave. He never intended things to go quite this way - that two of his 'laureates' would lock horns. And, that too, on the ancient Nile banks. Barack Obama is being challenged by Mohammed ElBaradei to prove himself to be a humanist.

The great irony is, it was from Cairo that Obama made his famous speech holding out the American olive branch to the Muslim world to kiss and make up.

Remember, he even rendered an ex-post facto apology for the CIA coup against Mossadeq in Iran in 1953 - something which no American president would do.

Read more

17:35  US: ankle monitors on students a norm:  

The American Embassy in New Delhi has justified the use of ankle monitors on the stranded Indian students in the US, amid outrage from the Indian foreign ministry.

The US said that the "use of ankle monitors is widespread across the United States and standard procedure for a variety of investigations, and does not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminal activity. It allows for freedom of movement and is a positive alternative to confinement during a pending investigation."

The monitors have been used on 95 per cent of the 1500 students at Tri-Valley University in California, reportedly from India, most of them from Andhra Pradesh, for visa fraud.

The college was shut down by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for operating as a cover for a large immigration racket.

17:30  No support for non-state actors taking up arms: PC:  

In the wake of alleged involvement of armed party cadres in violence in West Bengal, Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the government does not support any individual taking arms in his hands as enforcement of law and order is its own responsibility.

He was replying to a question on why the government was allegedly adopting a double standard -- on the one hand it "supported" the Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh where villagers were given arms to defend themselves from Maoists and on the other hand it opposed CPI(M) cadres taking arms in West Bengal.

Chidambaram said when the first time he was asked about the Salwa Judum after he took over as Home Minister, he made it clear in the Rajya Sabha that the Central government did not encourage or support any non-state actor or non-state player taking part in enforcing law and order.

17:08  Egyptians stock up on food, water as protests rage:  

Egyptians stock up on food, water as protestsrage.

After 24 years in Canada, Rafik and Leila Baladi moved back to Cairo two weeks ago to settle down.

Now, like many other residents of the Egyptian capital, they're stocking up on bottled water and essential foodstuffs as chaos engulfs this sprawling city of some 18 million.

"We just don't know what is going to happen," said Leila, who along with her husband was pushing a shopping cart loaded with frozen chicken breasts, fava beans, milk and other items at a grocery store in central Cairo. "People are terrified to death."

Everyday life in Cairo has been turned upside down by the largest anti-government protests in decades in Egypt, which began last Tuesday.

17:04  

Love how much Chetan Bhagat loves himself.

His tweet: "Five Point Someone", the super play finally in Mumbai (Feb25/26/27 NCPA).Only 3 shows. Book here

17:02  Karunanidhi-Sonia meeting this evening:  

R Rajagopalan tweets: Karunanidhi was to have met Sonia at one pm, but at the last minute phone call suggested that the time was shifted to evening. DMK is irked.

It may be remembered that Tamil Nadu CMM Karunanidhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today and is understood to have raised the issue of Indian fishermen being killed by the Sri Lankan Navy. He also discussed the upcoming Assembly polls in the state and the seat-sharing mechanism between the DMK and Congress.

16:51  It's official: India vs Eng match in Bengaluru:  

It's confirmed: Bengaluru will hold the first match in the Cricket World Cup. The ICC had moved the India vs England game from Eden Gardens in Kolkata to Bengaluru as the construction work in the stadium was not yet complete.

The match will be held atBengaluru's Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 27, after the International Cricket Council officially agreed with the recommendation made on Sunday by the Board of Control for Cricket in India over moving the venue.

16:45  28% rise in Brit men going in for moob jobs:  

The second most common cosmetic procedure among British men is the removal of 'man boobs,' it has emerged.

More than 700 have already signed up to have the surgery. While men's nose jobs were the most popular, 993 have gone under the knife for 'moob' or breast reduction surgery, a 28 per cent rise.

16:43  Bomb hoax at Bengaluru railway station:  

Two telephone calls received within a 10 minute span at the Bangalore city railway station today, stating a bomb was planted at the Divisional Railway Manager's office turned out to be hoax.

"Two calls were received, one at 11.30 am and another at 11.40 am by a person who spoke in Telugu about a bomb being planted in the DRM's office," police said.

A thorough search was conducted at the DRM's office and surrounding areas with the help of sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal squad, but nothing was found.

16:41  FIR against vessel which rammed into navy ship:  

An FIR has been registered against the captain and crew members of the foreign merchant vessel, which collided with an Indian Naval warship.

The captain of the Cyprus-flagged merchant vessel Nordlake and its crew members were booked under IPC sections 280 (rash navigation of vessel), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage) at Yellow Gate police station, in Mumbai.

The Indian warship Vindhyagiri with 400 people on board, including family members of Navy personnel, and the foreign merchant vessel collided on the navigational channel off the Mumbai harbour yesterday, resulting in fire.

As you read this, the vessel is believed to be sinking.

16:32  Orissa govt welcomes green nod for Posco:  

The Orissa government today welcomed the conditional approval of the Rs 51,000-crore Posco project by the Environment Ministry. The Orissa government said work would resume soon at the proposed site near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

Regarding opposition to the mega project by locals, the minister said that the issue would be tackled in a peaceful manner.

Though the MoU for the plant was signed between Posco-India and the Orissa government way back in June, 2005, the project failed to take off due to protest from locals and environmental issues.

16:25  Somalian pirates move towards India:  

Threat from the high seas.

News comes in that Somalian pirates have now started moving towards India.The government has said it will investigate if they have any links with Pakistan-based terror groups. The pirates, now operating eastwards from their country, posed a threat to all the merchant vessels passing through the high seas between India and the Maldives.

Earlier in the day, 15 Somali pirates, who were apprehended by the Indian Navy following a gunbattle off the coast of Lakshadweep Islands, will be interrogated in Mumbai.

16:05  12 convicted in Kandhamal riot case:  

Two separate fast track courts have sentenced 12 people to rigorous imprisonment and penalty after convicting them in cases of house burning during the Kandhamal riots in Orissain 2008.

While disposing a case relating to house burning of minorities at Lengisuga village under Baliguda police station area during the riot, four years RI and Rs 3,000 penalty was pronounced to 10 persons of the same village and acquitted four others due to lack of proper evidence.

16:01  Just in: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has not denied rumors about his son Gamal, who he had been preparing to succeed him for years, and who is now said to have left the country, or about his wife Suzanne, the daughter of an Egyptian and a British woman, who had reportedly flown to London.
15:48  Killer run of Delhi's Blueline buses ends today:  

Delhi has reason to rejoice.The 'killer' Blueline buses, which earned notoriety for over-speeding, will go off the roads from tomorrow in tune with a deadline set by the city government, which today said the ambitious cluster bus service will be launched next week.

Today is the last day for 840 Blueline buses, which were given permission to run after December 14 when the government extended its deadline for shunting out of the buses as part of efforts to streamline the public transport system in the city.

15:46  PC defends decision to appoint CVC:  

News on the man, who simply refuses to quit.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said today that the Selection Committee meeting to chose Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas in September last year, did discuss the issue of the Palmolein case. However, he parried a question over whether Thomas, a chargesheeted person, should have been appointed.

He said he was happy to agree with the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj that the Committee discussed the issue of a pending case against Thomas before he was named the CVC.

"She (Swaraj) made her points, the other members (PM and HM) of the Committee made their points. It was brought to the notice of the Committee during the discussion that although the case was registered, no sanction of prosecution was granted by the NDA government from December 1999 to May, 2004 and by the UPA government subsequently," Chidambaram said.

15:37  Choppers hover over protestors in Cairo:  

In Egypt, reports cnn.com, helicopters hovered over Cairo's Tahrir Square this morning as anti-government demonstrations continued for the seventh day and showed no signs of waning.

Cnn.com reports that at least 1,000 people were gathered in the area, a focal point of the protests that started Tuesday. Some of them said they had spent the night, and the smell of smoke from campfires lingered in the air. One group held signs as they chanted, "The Egyptian people want the government to fall."

15:30  Great pyramid of Giza may hold secret rooms:  

News from Egypt, but not about the protests.

AFrench architect claims that the Great Pyramid of Giza may house two secret rooms at its heart. The architect is known for his theories on how the 4,500-year-old structure was built.

Jean-Pierre Houdin, who has been asking for a probe into how the great structure was built, said 3-D simulation and data from American egyptologist Bob Brier pointed to two secret chambers in the heart of the structure.

The rooms would have held furniture meant to be taken into the afterlife by the Pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops in Greek, he said. "I am convinced there are antechambers in this pyramid. What I want is to find them."

Meanwhile, the pyramids of Giza have been cordoned off entirely following the unrests that hit Egypt since last week. Looters run amok on the streets also destroyed two mummies in the National Museum of Egypt over the weekend.

15:04  Karmapa will be investigated for spy allegations:  

Home Minister P Chidambaram said today that no conclusions had been drawn on whether the 17th Karmappa Ugyen Trinley Dorje was a Chinese spy. Foreign currency worth over Rs 7.5 crore was seized from the offices of a trust backed by him. Chidambaram saidinvestigations were on way.

14:56  Million-man march in Egypt tomorrow:  

Details of the tweet from Al Jazeera we told you about.

Egyptian protesters today called for a "million man march" tomorrow as an indefinite strike gripped the country paralysing all essential services. The so-called 'Shabab April 6' movement said it plans to have more than a million people on the streets of Cairo tomorrow, as anti-Hosni Mubarak sentiments reached a fever pitch in the embattled nation.

As thousands of protesters converged on Tahrir Square -- the hub of the protests in the heart of Cairo -- their leaders served an ultimatum telling the army to choose between "Egypt or Mubarak", indicating that a decisive stage was nearing.

On his part, 82-year-old defiant Mubarak told his new Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq to bring in immediate reform to stem the tide.

14:51  380 Indians evacuated from Egypt reach Mumbai:  

While we soak in that piece of wonderful news of scamster Raja being named in the Justice Patil report, news comes in that the special Air India plane carrying around 380 passengers from strife-torn Egypt lands at Mumbai airport.

14:42  

On Egypt...

Omar Waraich tweets:Egyptian film legend Omar Sharif joins calls for Mubarak to step down, says 30 years in power is enough.

14:39  La Mart's case: Principal charged with abetment:  

A Kolkata sessions court today has ruled that Section 305 of the IPC (abetment to suicide) should be slapped on La' Martiniere School Principal, Sunirmal Chakraborty. The principal and three teachers are accused of driving Rouvanjit Rawal to suicide.

Section 305 of the Indian Penal Code talks about abetment to suicide and says that if any person under 18 years of age commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such an act, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life.

13-year-old Rouvanjit Rawla hanged himself in February 2010 -- a couple of days after he was caned by his Principal in school for pulling pranks in the classroom.

Although Chakraborty admitted to the caning and an tendered apology, the school maintained that the two incidents were unrelated.

14:29  Justice Patil report nails A Raja in 2G scam:  

The one-man committee headed by Justice Shivraj Patil has named the tainted, former telecom minister A Raja in his report on the 2G spectrum allotment scam.

Justice Patil in his report sent to telecom minister Kapil Sibal says Raja has failed to follow procedures. Raja's advancement of date for submission of application forms has also been questioned. Seven more DoT officials have also been named.

Justice Patil was appointed by the Telecom department to probe the 2G Spectrum scam. The alleged Rs 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam has rocked the nation and forced A Raja to resign. Patil's job was to look at procedures and lapses in procedures.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report of the 2G spectrum allotment has alleged that irregularities and doling out precious spectrum in 2008 at 2002 prices has caused the exchequer an estimated loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

14:16  Family of Egypt president flees country:  

News comes in that the family of embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has fled the country even as he attempted to open talks with rival political parties after 30 years of mostly unchallenged rule.

Cnn.com reports that Mubarak said opposition parties used religion to "spread fear" through rampant hooliganism, though he acknowledged what he called "peaceful demonstrations" as well as grievances about the economy.

Thousands of protesters have hit the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and beyond calling for the president's ouster as well as substantial reforms.

Protesters have called for a million people to take to the streets of Cairo tomorrow, al-Jazeera reports.

14:00  Just in: The family of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has fled the country.
13:56  Indian Navy warship sinking off Mumbai:  

News Alert: TV reports suggest that INS Vindhyagiri is sinking after it began tilting to the port side. The fire on board continues to rage.

The coast guard initiates oil spill control operations.

13:49  Will 300 tonnes of unused Pak onions rot away?:  

Onions imported from Pakistan at the height of the supply crisis are attracting fewer customers in India due to their "different" taste, resulting in large stocks of the vegetable lying unsold in the market.

"There is little response for Pakistani onions, which have been put up for open auction, from local customers," sources in Nafed said. "Only some hoteliers have evinced interest in these big-size onions weighing 200-250 grams each," they added.

Out of the 800 tonnes of Pakistani onions that have reached Delhi so far and have been put up for open auction in the last 10 days, 300 tonnes lies unsold.

13:43  Just in: Composer John Barry, famous for his work on Born Free, Midnight Cowboy and the James Bond films, dies at 77.
13:38  Sonawane killer Popat Shinde dies of burns:  

Popat Shinde, the accused behind the brutal murder of Malegaon additional collector Yashwant Sonawane is dead after he succumbed to his burn injuries.

Shinde, who suffered 80 per cent burns was moved tothe JJ Hospital, Mumbai fromthe Nashik Civil Hospital, but died this afternoon. Shinde was also burnt when Sonawane held on to him after he was set on fire.

According to the police, Sonawane (42) was returning from Chandrar village after reviewing the situation there in the wake of a demonstration by onion farmers when he found some people adulterating kerosene in a tanker parked behind Sagar Dhaba at Panewadi.

Sonawane stopped and questioned them and also called up the police. This prompted Shinde and three others to pour kerosene on the official and set him afire. Sonawane died on the spot. Shinde has two earlier cases in connection with fuel adulteration registered against him.

13:27  Fire on board Indian warship worsens:  

The fire on the Navy warship after a collision with another vessel off the Mumbai harbour rages on. The Navy is unable to either control it find the cause of the fire.

The two ships collided in the navigational channel off the Mumbai harbour on Sunday at around 4.45 pm when the navy warship INS Vindhyagiri was entering the Mumbai harbour. The othervessel has been identified as MV Nordlake, a container ship.

Flooding has been reported inside the warship because of the endless spray of water jets.

12:56  Tunisia's domino effect: Jordan next?:  

As revolution spreads like wildfire across Egypt, the DailyBeast reports that the US-backed government in Jordan could be next. Here's what the report says.

The aftershocks of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia have spread across the Middle East:

A broad-based protest has risen against the Egyptian government; Yemen teeters on the brink of chaos.

But for some, it's the protests further north in Jordan that have proved the most surprising this past week, as thousands of Jordanians'"mainly young and middle-age men with T-shirts and posters emblazoned with messages of protest and images of Che Guevara'"took to the streets to demand political reform, fairer prices and wages, and the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai.

The demonstrations were peaceful, but surely unsettling nonetheless.

Read more

12:50  Karuna meets PM on fishermen, poll alliance:  

It seems foreign secretary Nirupama Rao's air dash to Sri Lanka to find a solution to the killing of Indian fishermen in Lankan waters, isn't good enough for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi

The CM met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today and is understood to have raised the issue of Indian fishermen being killed by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Karunanidhi, who arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit, met Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence and is believed to have asked the Prime Minister to tell Colombo not to resort to firing at fishermen who cross the International Maritime Border. Karunanidhi also discussed the ensuing Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu and the seat-sharing mechanism between the DMK and Congress.

He is also scheduled to meet Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

12:42  SC on Jat blockade: Find losses to railways:  

The Supreme Court today blasted the Haryana government regarding the Jat blockades in Mirchpur. The SC has told the government that blockades of national highways will not be tolerated.

The SC sent notices to the Centre and teh chief secretary, Haryana and has asked the Centre to file a reply in consultation with the railways on the quatum of losses suffered.

The protesters had blocked the Delhi-Ferozepur railway line near Jind railway station for over 10 days and had extended their campaign to highways and other important road links. The blockade has caused the railways losses of several lakhs of rupees in just one one week.

12:28  Lovers will text 'I love you' than write a letter:  

In a break from news, here's something to chew on.

Research has shown that people are likelier to say 'I love you' on text or Facebook than writing a love letter. Only nine per cent of those surveyed had ever sent a letterand most of those were over 50, while more than two-thirds prefer to say 'I love you' by text.

Twenty-four per cent would rather send an email to express their feelings, while 14 per cent said they would post a message on their lover's Facebook wall. Of the 3,000 adults questioned, more than a fifth said they had enjoyed steamy Skype sessions and 21 per cent had had phone sex.

12:20  CVC does a Mubarak, still refuses to quit:  

Embattled Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas today side-stepped questions on his continuance in office in the wake of a corruption case against him, saying he was still the CVC.

"I am still the CVC. The matter is in court. So no comments," Thomas told reporters here. The Supreme Court is hearing a PIL by NGO, Centre for Public Interest, represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan, questioning the legality of the CVC's appointment by a three-member selection committee under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The apex court has fixed February three as the next day of hearing in the matter. Leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has said she had expressed her dissent over the selection of Thomas, a 1973 batch IAS officer, on the ground that he was an accused in the Palmolien scam in Kerala

12:13  Karmapa not a spy, says angry China:  

China today denied that Karmapa, the head of the Tibetan Karma Kagyu sect, was its spy, and claimed that allegations against the country in this regard showed India's "mistrustful attitude" towards Beijing.

"The speculation by India's media, regarding the matter of the Karmapa as a Chinese agent or spy, shows that India is keeping its mistrustful attitude toward China," said Xu Zhitao, an official at the United Front Work Department of the ruling Communist Party Central Committee.

In the first reaction to reports of raids on the offices of a trust backed by Karmapa, the official said, "the 17th Karmapa Living Buddha is the first reincarnated Living Buddha confirmed and approved by the Central Government of the People's Republic of China after the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951."

11:55  Eight fire tenders rushed to douse ship fire:  

Many people are feared stuck on the ship, INS Vindhyagiri, which caught fire this morning near the naval dockyard in Mumbai.

The ship collided with another vessel, MV Nordlake, on Sunday.

However, reports said a fire broke out in the engine room of INS Vindhyagiri as a result of the collision.

Firefighting operations continued for several hours thereafter, even after she was moved to the dockyard. There were reports that the Naval dockyard could not control the fire and had sought help from the Mumbai Fire Brigade, which sent eight fire tenders and four jumbo tankers to douse the fire.

11:51  WikiLeaks: Security lapse 'led to US cables leak':  

WikiLeaks may have dropped out from the big news stores for a while, but a story about the alleged source of the leaks, US army private, Bradley Manning, has firmly put it back there.

The telegraph.co.uk reports Bradley, who is accused of downloading the material in Iraq had "unrestricted access' to millions of classified documents "with virtually no supervision or safeguards'.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has repeatedly refused to confirm that Mr Manning was the source of the information.

11:43  From M Bhadrakumar's blog...:  

Former diplomat M Bhadrakumar blogs:

It has been apleasure to watch the India-Pakistan Track II over the years, especially the junkets on Pakistan's treacherously hospitable soil. A number of them brought their spouses along, and they wore a carnival atmosphere - much mirth and back-slapping, lots and lots of shopping in the bazaar, heavy boozing and eating plateful of heavily spiced, rich food. If my memory doesn't fail me, on one or two occasions,mushairaswere arranged to entertain the Indian visitors.

Read more

11:38  Pak suicide bomber kills top cop, 3 others:  

Details of the Pak suicide bomb blast we told you about a while ago.

A suicide bomber struck a police vehicle in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing four persons, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, and injuring 15 others. The bomber struck DSP Abdur Rashid Khan's vehicle at an intersection on the Ring Road here this morning. The police officer, his bodyguard and his driver were killed instantly. Another person in a car parked near the site of the blast was also killed.

11:21  Patil: 2G report names errant officials:  Submitting his report to telecom minister Kapil Sibal, former Supreme Court Justice Shivraj Patil,the one-man committee to investigate the allegations of corruption in the 2G Spectrum allocation, said, he had stuck to his mandate and terms of reference of looking at procedures and lapses in procedures. His report names officials who contributed to lapses.
11:16  Moments after 2G report, CPI-M wants JPC:  

Moments after Justice Shivraj Patil tabled the 2G report before Telecom minister, the Opposition began its demand for a joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the scam.

Remember, thewinter session of Parliament concluded without a day's work because of this demand, which theCongress refused to give in to.

Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat has said his party too wanted the smooth functioning of Parliament, but it would not give up the demand.

"We do not want to stall parliamentary proceedings but there can be no compromise on the demand for the JPC probe. If the UPA government does not allow a probe, people''s suspicion on the government''s involvement in the scam will go up," he told a rally here.

11:12  Heads up for Raja: Sibal gets 2G report:  

The one-man committee headed by Justice Shivraj Patil has submitted the report on 2G spectrum allotment scam to Telecom minister Kapil Sibal.

Justice Patil was appointed by the Telecom department to probe the 2G Spectrum scam. The alleged Rs 1.76 lakh crore 2G spectrum scam has rocked the nation and forced A Raja to resign. Patil's job was to look at procedures and lapses in procedures.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report of the 2G spectrum allotment has alleged that irregularities and doling out precious spectrum in 2008 at 2002 prices has caused the exchequer an estimated loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

10:57  Just in: A senior police official has been killed in suicide attack in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.
10:55  Egypt: Mumbai-bound rescue plane leaves:  

A special Air India flight sent to evaucate Indians stranded in Egypt as the country erupts in its worst crisis in 30 years, is set to land in Mumbai at 3 pm. On Sunday, the government brought back 300 Indians by another special Air India flight from Cairo.

With more than 3,600 people of Indian origin living in Egypt, the foreign ministry hoped for a peaceful resolution to the protests. The special flight was arranged by the government at the request of Indian nationals who wanted to return home.

10:48  Egypt: ElBaradei tells Mubarak to step down:  

In Egypt, a weekend of turmoil and the promise of a new government.

Calling for a general strike, tens of thousands of protesters today stepped up their campaign for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, even as the focus shifted on the influential army for a smooth transition of power.

Pro-democracy activist and Nobel Laureate Mohammad ElBaradei, who defied house arrest to join the protesters at the Tahrir Square last night, asked the embattled president to "step down today itself."

"It is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today," ElBaradei said in an interview aired on CNN. "He needs to leave today... to be followed by a smooth transition (to) a national unity government to be followed by all the measures set in place for a free and fair election."

10:41  Top news stories this morning:  

Good morning. No Monday morning blues we hope (much news ahead to drive them away, we promise). Here's what's making the headlines this morning.

Govt airlifts 300 Indians as Egypt crisis worsens(The Times of India)

The government on Sunday brought back 300 Indian nationals by a special Air India flight from Cairo as more than 150 Egyptians died in street protests and widespread looting erupted in the capital city

No cops in sight, Indians in Cairo fight looters with bats (The Times of India)

Standing in the darkness in the chaos of Saturday night Cairo, members of the Indian community had nothing but their children's cricket bats to fend off looters

Students joined sham US university to dodge rules(The Times of India)

Hundreds of Indian students who have gotten scammed by a dodgy California-based university had it coming. Tri-Valley University (TVU) had a reputation as a "Diploma Mill" that offered a spurious route to employment and immigration in the US.

CBI raids Adarsh h.ousing society office in Mumbai (HT)
The CBI on Monday conducted raids at Adarsh society office in Mumbai in connection with the Kargil for profit scam.

Diplomats will be recalled for misconduct, says Govt (HT)
Indian diplomats posted abroad will be immediately recalled if they are charged with domestic violence or any kind of sexual or other misconduct, irrespective of how serious it is

BCCI recommends Bangalore as proposed venue for India-England match (DNA)

The BCCI had time up to Monday evening to name the new venue after the ICC declared that Kolkata's Eden Gardens would not be ready for the game.

Radio-tagging of Indian students in US 'inhuman': SM Krishna (DNA)
Indian students are not criminals. The radio collars should immediately be removed,' the external affairs minister said


Messing in our waters will not be tolerated, warns Navy chief(HT)
The sinking of a pirate 'mother vessel' off the Lakshadweep Islands will send a "strong message" to sea brigands that India will not tolerate their nefarious designs near its waters, the Navy chief said

AIIMS doctor sexually abused 8-yr -old patient? (The Times of India)

An eight-year-old patient was allegedly sexually abused by a doctor of the AIIMS neurosurgery department within the hospital premises on January 23

Kulkarni was in Dewas on day Joshi was killed: report (The Indian Express)
Abhinav Bharat's Kulkarni was associated with 'core group' that executed the IED blast in Ajmer

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Spotted: Tamil actor Suriya in Malaysia
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