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Tsunami alert for ALL countries withdrawn

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April 11, 2012


19:09  So all's well that ends well as tsunami alert is lifted :  

A tsunami watch declared after two major earthquakes off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province has now been cancelled, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PWTC) says.

 

The bbc reports that two hours after the quakes - one with a magnitude of 8.6, the other measuring 8.3 - the centre says "the threat has diminished or is over for most areas".

 

The alerts caused panic as people fled buildings and made for high ground. There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties. India and Sri Lanka have also lifted their own tsunami warnings.

19:02  Rare Protests break out in Bo Xilai's city before his sacking:  

China's Chongqing city witnessed major demonstrations hours before its top administrator and Communist Party leader Bo Xilai was removed. Crises compounded last night as the purged leader's wife was detained on charges of murder following a mysterious death of 41-year-old British businessman.

 


Reports from Chongqing said the thousands of Chinese took to the streets and clashed with the police, but officials discounted that the riots had been triggered  by the purge of Bo, considered to be a popular and powerful figure in the
Chongqing city. Bo Xilai, the charismatic former party leader of the city
was suspended from his post on the politburo, the 25-member body that runs the world's most populous nation.

 

Also read on the bbc: Netizens debate Bo Xilai despite censorship

18:59  

Two must-reads on the WSJ: India grapples with soaring energy costs.

Reliance's future rests on New Delhi

18:53  Tsunami alert for ALL countries withdrawn:  Just in: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancels tsunami alert for all countries. Sleep easy.
18:52  CBI sources say Nupur Talwar is absconding. Aarushi Talwar's mother, an accused in her murder, is not at any of the two homes in Noida or Delhi.
18:50  No effect of tremor felt at Kaiga:  This should make pro-Kudankulam activists happy. No effect of the tremor was felt at Kaiga in Karnataka where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited operates four units. "At Kaiga, all the four units are operating and continue to operate safely", Site Director J P Gupta said.
18:30  Aarushi murder: Mom Nupur Talwar to be arrested now:  Breaking news: Murdered schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar's mother, Nupur to be arrested any time now. A CBI team has reached her residence following the non-bailable arrest warrant against her today for skipping the court hearing on the case. However, TV reports say she is not at home. Here's where her new lawyer, former solicitor general Harish Salve comes in.
18:23  India lifts tsunami warning, Indonesia still alert:  

Indonesia's disaster agency, which first reported the quake as 8.9 on the Richter scale (now brought down to 8.6) says metre-high waves have been detected off southern Sumatra and near Aceh.

We told you earlier, that eyewitnesses reported seeing 3.9-m high waves near Andaman and Nicobar islands.

India, Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore and Australia have called off the tsunami warning, but it stands for Indonesia till 6.30pm as a result of the 8.2 aftershocks.

18:15  2004 tsunami: IAF base rises from tsunami wreckage:  Flashback to the 2004 tsunami. Rediff.com's Archana L Masih reports on a day in the life of the Car Nic Air Bas, six months after the tsunami. Read
18:12  On Twitter:  Aditya @TakinGuard  Today mumbai Indians match they lived up to there slogan "duniya hila denge hum" #Earthquake 
18:09  Indian lifts tsunami alert, Thailand, Oz, Malaysia follow:  India withdraws tsunami warning after the first quake, despite the aftershocks, as does Thailand, Myanmar, Australia and Malaysia.
18:05  Sumatra quake: Disaster response teams on stand-by in India:  

Six teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been kept ready at Chennai and an equal number have been moved to the Hindon airport to deal with any eventuality in the wake of Wednesday's massive temblors off the western coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia.

 

A home ministry spokesperson said the Andaman administration has moved people from Nicobar side to safer areas as a precautionary measure. The ministry has asked the chief secretaries of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and all eastern coastal states to issue an alert, the spokesperson said in a statement.

18:02  Tsunami tourists swarm Chennai's Marina beach :  

Even as panic gripped Chennai following the massive earthquake in Indonesia today, police had a tough time trying to dissuade people hoping to see a tsunami
at the famous Marina beach. Marina beach was hit by a 2004 killer tsunami.


"We want to see a live tsunami," said an elderly woman who was among a large number of people assembled at the beach, noting the earlier warning that the tsunami was to hit Chennai around 1700 hours.


"There is no specific threat. It was a watch and alert. There is no likelihood of any tsunami in the Indian Ocean region," National Disaster Management Authority Vice President Sashidhar Reddy told PTI in Delhi.


Many of the government offices, educational institutions and private companies were closed as the city experienced a second aftershock at around 4.45 pm.
Traffic on the roads was chocked as the flow of vehicles witnessed an immediate spurt after the news of tremors spread. Several of the cell phone services were disrupted following the tremor.

17:53  On Twitter:  Jack Baker who is Phuket, Thailand (tremor hit, tsunami alert) tweets: Just had cartons of water handed out by the government. Seem to be very organised and prepared.
17:47  NO tsunami threat in Mumbai, assures CM:  

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said there was no tsunami threat in Mumbai after an earthquake of 8.9 magnitude had hit the western coast of northern Sumatra in Indonesia today. 

 

Talking to reporters, Chavan said an alert has been received from Hyderabad-based centre for National tsunami warning as a precaution. "The alert will continue till further instructions are received. But there is no threat in Mumbai," he added.

 

Earlier, the Met department here said an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Arabian Sea. "The shock registered at 18.6 degree latitude and 71.3 degree longitude in the Arabian Sea," Met department director Rajeev Nair said.

 

The epicentre was 155 km from Mumbai, he said. Also, there were reports of tremors being felt in some parts of North Mumbai but the Met department said these could not be verified so far.

17:45  Myanmar issues a six meter tsunami warning after the 8.1 aftershocks in Sumatra
17:38  Good to see that despite the quake, aftershocks, tsunami alerts and doomsday warnings, baby Afreen hasn't been forgotten and she's still trending on Twitter.
17:37  Here's the advisory on the quake for British nationals in Thailand. See
17:36  

Here's something you need to know from the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services: Based on historical earthquake and tsunami data, a tsunami threat DOES NOT exist for India. INCOIS will monitor sea level gauges near to epicenter and report if any tsunami activity is observed.

So, as tweets have been saying, stay calm.

17:34  No tsunami, but panic hits India's coastline :  

Even as the home secretary says there is no cause for panic along the Indian coast, reports trickling in, say panic-stricken people in the coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam rushed out of their homes as soon as they felt the tremors. In Vijayawada too residents came out of their homes and ran for safety. 

17:31  Aftershocks in India, 3.9-metre waves at Andaman:  Aftershocks have been felt in Chennai and Kolkata, six districts in Orissa on high alert as well as Andaman and Nicobar. 3.9-metre-high waves seen at Andaman and Nicobar. The government says there is no cause for panic and that it is fully prepared. The PM has issued instructions to take all precautions, says home secretary RK Singh.
17:27  On Twitter:  

Binty Mehta My brother is in Karnik, Air Force station near Port Blair..all evacuated frm there except 4 ppl

 

Binty Mehta Just spoke to my brother..total 10 ppl left at IAF base in Karnik..One plane is there on standby #tsunami

 

Binty Mehta He says he will be the last one to leave the base, if need be #tsunami  

 

Sandy Skelton CNN says #tsunami wave just over 3 metres hits buoy just off the coast of Banda Aceh - they predict it to be larger once it hits land 30min

17:17  No tsunami yet, but quake hits Sensex:  The BSE Sensex fell 44 points to 17,199.40 as investors remained
cautious ahead of industrial growth data, weak global markets and a massive earthquake in Sumatra that triggered tsunami fears in the Asian region, including India. India issued a tsunami warning for Nicobar islands and alerted the coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh following the quake during the last hour of trading, and the stock market was unable to sustain the gains it had begun to make just before that.
17:14  Fresh tsunami warning after aftershocks:  

So, right now, there seems to be a fresh tsunami warning after the 8.2-magnitude aftershock rattled the same area off the coast of Indonesia. Other places reporting it as 8.1.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the aftershock struck at 2043 AEST 615 kilometres from Banda Aceh. This follows expert advice that the first tremor had been horizontal, rather than vertical, and that a tsunami was unlikely.

Southeast Asian nations had earlier issued tsunami alerts and urged people to move to safety away from coastlines after a massive 8.6 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Sumatra on Wednesday.

17:06  Tsunami? Sea near quake epicentre receding by 10m:  

In case you missed the point, the tsunami warning in Indonesia has been extended by two hours after the country was hit by another 8.1 magnitude earthquake, off the coast of Sumatra. The tremors from the second quake have been felt in India as well, as Twitter will bear witness.

 

The sea at Simeulue Island near the epicentre of the Aceh quake was seen receding by about 10 metres, says Reuters.

17:02  IAF planes leave for Port Blair, Chennai:  NDTV'S Nitin Gokhale tweets: 2 C-130-Js heavy lift IAF aircraft leaving for Port Blair with NDRF teams, 10 tonnes of relief material. IL-76 leaving Chandigarh for Chennai.
16:59  30-cm high wave near Andamans:  The chief secretary of the Andaman and Nicobar administration, Shakti Sinha, said waves 30 cm high have been witnessed in the Campbell Bay which is closer to Indonesia. He said people there have been asked to come out of
their houses as the tsunami alert is still on. Meanwhile, the control room of the Disaster Management in Port Blair said another tremor has been felt in Sumatra at 4.25 IST.
16:57  Tsunami warning extended for 2 hours in Indonesia:  

Tsunami warning extended for two more hours in Indonesia.

 

In India, home secretary RK Singh says there is no cause for panic and that the government is prepared.

16:56  On Twitter:  

Cathy Mims @Camims95  Please pray for my @WorldVision child Yudis after #earthquake off#Indonesian coast  

 

Plan Emergencies @PlanEmergencies  Aftershocks continue following the 8.7 magnitude #Earthquake in Indonesia. #Tsunami warnings remain in place throughout Southeast Asia

 

We've chosen to leave out the one on Ambani's son

16:50  Strike-slip quake does NOT cause tsunami: NDMA:  

Here's what NDMA Vice President Sashidhar Reddy said once again:

"There is no specific threat. It was a watch and alert. There is no likelihood of any tsunami in the Indian Ocean region," he said of the earthquake that struck the Sumatra islands. He said it was not the kind of tremor that usually triggers tsunami tidal waves.

"It is the kind of strike and slip earthquake which does not trigger tsunami. There was no vertical displacement of water under the sea," he said. "Tsunami possibility is virtually ruled out," he said, adding that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration and the Army stationed there had informed the NDMA that so far no waves have been noticed in the island.

The initial projections issued by the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) showed the tidal waves triggered by the quake hitting parts of Nicobar, Komatra and Katchal minutes after it struck the region at 14:08 IST.
The ITEWC also issued an alert for coastal Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman islands forecasting the arrival time of the first wave.

16:46  British PM David Cameron in quake-hit Indonesia:  

Guess who is in Indonesia right now even as aftershocks rocked the country? British PM David Cameron.

Cameron pledged Britain's support after the quake struck 270 miles from Aceh's provincial capital as he visited the country.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Indonesian President in Jakarta, the Prime Minister said Britain "stood ready" to help in any way necessary.

16:40  Moving on from quake news, ailing Pakistani scientist Mohd Khalil Chisti has been released on bail from Ajmer jail.
16:36  6983 earthquakes in the past 30 days:  

Bloomberg UTV @BloombergUTV Wipro says staff temporarily evacuated from Chennai facility. Have resumed ops; continue to monitor situation.  

 

And information that will give you a better perspective: There have been 6983 earthquakes in the past 30 days. More on the USGS website.

16:28  Even as the government has announced that tsunami is unlikely, the state government evacuates people from South Andaman as a precautionary measure.
16:26  The schoolgirl whose geography lesson saved her family:  

You may not remember this story from the December 2004 tsunami, so here it is and certainly worth another read.

 

On December 26, British schoolgirl Tilly Smith, 10, sensed something was wrong while on the beach with her family. Her mind kept going back to the geography lesson Mr. Kearney gave just two weeks before she flew out to a Thai resort with her family. "The water was swelling and kept coming in," recalled Penny Smith, Tilly's mother. "There was froth on it like you get on the top of a beer. The sea was like a millpond before [the swelling began]."

More

16:22  Mahesh Bhatt on Twitter: Pooja is in Phuket scouting locations for Jism 2. She just called saying that the Tsunami is about to hit Phuket. The Ocean is receding
16:09  This quake and that quake:  Here's a comparison of this earthquake (moved down the Richter scale from the earlier 8.9 to 8.7 and now 8.6) with the 9.1 quake in December 2004.
16:04  This is what the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre says on its website. Read
16:03  

Kolkata metro resumes after temporary shutdown.

The Home Secretary reiterates that there is no cause for alarm.

16:01  So what is the Pacific Ring of Fire?:  

In the wake of devastating - and unconnected - earthquakes and tsunamis in Indonesia and Samoa, the BBC News website looks at the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire" - the zone of major seismic activity which has one of the world's most active fault lines.

Read

15:57  Tsunami may NOT hit India, but alert still on:  Still unconfirmed, but the tsunami will most likely not hit India because, the Sumatra earthquake moved horizontally, not vertically. However, the Chennai port has been shut and fishermen have been asked to move to higher places. No waves noticed so far in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which means that the tsunami is virtually ruled out, says NDMA vice president Sasidhra Reddy.
15:50  Tsunami less likely due to 'horizontal' quake: USGS:  

Aftershocks of 6.5 have felt in in the Aceh province of Indonesia.

 

Major traffic jams across Indonesia as people move to higher, safer places. Phuket airport has been temporarily closed.

 

On Twitter: #Tsunami "less likely" because #earthquake off #Indonesia moved horizontally, not vertically, USGS spokesman tells BBC.

15:41  Waves may hit Tamil Nadu coast by 4.30 pm: NDMA:  

The National Disaster Management Agency says waves could hit TN coast by 4.30 pm.

 

Cracks have developed in Kolkata high rises.

 

Six teams of NDRF moving to Chennai.

15:36  On Twitter:  Mujtaba Ibrahim @jmujtaba  mobile networks are not working in #Chennai .. Stay safe#earthquake
15:35  An doomsday news flash on CNN IBN says a tsunami will hit Andaman and Nicobar islands in 30 minutes.
15:32  Tremors across India, but no damage anywhere:  

Reports of tremors were felt in Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram and several other cities across South India following the 8.7 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia.


Areas near Marina Beach Road in Chennai have been alerted in the wake of several coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands being put on alert, police said.

 

In Kerala, people in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi experienced slight tremors. Bangalore also experienced mild tremors, police said. People rushed out of houses and high rise office buildings in panic in these cities.

15:27  3.5 quake, 155 km from Mumbai in Arabian Sea:  A PTI report just in, says that an earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was recorded in the Arabia Sea, according to the Met office. "The shock registered at 18.6 degree latitude and 71.3 degree longitude in the Arabian Sea," Met department director Rajeev Nair said. The epicentre was 155 km from Mumbai, he said. Meanwhile, there were reports of tremors being felt in
some parts of north Mumbai but the Met department said these could not be verified so far.
15:22  This is the 8th strongest quake in 100 years :  

So far: No reports of damage anywhere in Indonesia, 28 countries on tsunami alert (see our earlier posts); coastal regions of Andamans; Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been placed on high alert; the quake measures 8.7 on the Richter scale, down from the earlier 8.9. In real terms, that means a very severe earthquake. This is the 8th largest or shall we say strongest earthquake in 100 years.

15:15  

Tremors were officially felt in Great Nicobar, Little Andaman, Port Blair, North Andaman, Chennai, Kakinada, Trivandrum, Mangalore, Mumbai and the Gulf of Kutch. That's from the Pacific Tsunami warning centre.

15:11  Nations on tsunami alert in the Indian Ocean.:  

A Tsunami watch is in effect for Indoneisa, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, UK, Malaysia, Mauritius,  Reunion,  Seychelles, Pakistan, Somalia, Oman, Madagascar, Iran, UAE, Yemen, Comores,  Bangladesh, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Crozet Islands, South Africa, Singapore.

That's from the Pacific Tsunami warning centre.

15:07  Reuters reports that people in the region were making their way to higher ground. The BBC's Karishma Vaswani in the Indonesian capital Jakarta says there were reports of the ground shaking for up to five minutes. Indonesia straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of major seismic activity.
15:05  Here's what people have been saying across India. On Zarabol
15:03  8.7 quake has potential to trigger tsunami:  

The tsunami centre's warning in Indonesia said quakes of such a magnitude "have the potential to generate a widespread destructive tsunami that can affect coastlines across the entire Indian Ocean basin". The tremor was felt as far away as Singapore, Thailand and India. Reuters reports that people in the region were making their way to higher ground, reports the bbc.

 

Sri Lanka has also issued a tsunami warning along with Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

14:59  6-metre high waves likely: CNN:  

Metro services in Kolkata have been suspended. Tremors were felt in two phases in Kolkata, lasting a few seconds each

 

CNN says 6-metre high waves are likely.

 

The National Disaster Management Agency says the quake is enough to trigger a tsunami.

14:56  Indonesia quake is 8.7 on the Richter scale, not 8.9:  

As we pointed out earlier, the quake measures 8.7, according to the USGS. The 8.9 measure was according to Indonesia's geophysical agency.

 

On Twitter: Rajiv Menon from Bangalore says that ITPL, Electronic City all evacuated

 

NDTV's nitin gokhale says Standard drills activated in entire Andaman Nicobar island chain. At Port Blair, people ran out of their houses, say eyewitnesses.

14:53  

To the east of India, tremors were also felt in Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

14:49  Coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are also put on alert following the Sumatra quake.
14:48  In India, a tsunami warning has been issued in the Andaman and Nicobar islands only, as of now. TV reports say tremors were felt for at least 12 seconds in the islands.
14:46  The USGS says it's an 8.7 quake off the coast of northern Sumatra. Here's what the USGS site says. Read the details of the earthquake
14:42  Tsunami warning for Australia, Myanmar, Maldives as well.
14:40  Tsunami watch across 28 countries including India:  Tremors were felt in two phases in Kolkata, lasting a few seconds each. Tremors were also felt in Chennai, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Patna. As we said earlier, there's a tsunami watch across 28 countries including India, Pakistan, UK 
14:37  On Twitter:  

soultravelers3 @soultravelers3 Close YIKES! Just had a small #earthquake in #Penang...swaying in our high rise here at the beach! Was there a big one near by?    

 

Mangesh Ashrit @mangeshashrit  Reply   Retweet   Favorite   Open Yes I also felt tremors of #earthquake here in Bangalore. Was for very short time. about 30 seconds I guess. Phew, glad things are fine.

14:32  A tsunami warning has been issued in 28 countries.
14:31  8.9 quake in Indonesia, mild tremors across India:  The BBC says that the quake triggered a tsunami warning across the Indian Ocean region. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said it was not yet known whether a tsunami had been generated, but said authorities should "take appropriate action". The region is regularly hit by earthquakes. The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 killed 170,000 people in Aceh.
14:26  8.9 quake in Indonesia, tremors in Chennai, Kolkata:  Just in: Indonesia's geophysical agency says there has been an earthquake of 8.9 on the Richter scale off Aceh, tsunami warning has been issued. Mild tremors felt in Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
14:22  The @WisdenAlmanack says five Cricketers of the Year: Tim Bresnan, Glen Chapple, Alastair Cook, Alan Richardson, Kumar Sangakkara
14:17  Freida Pinto wows in stunning car dress at Hollywood party:  She always looks stunning during red carpet events, but it's nice to see Freida Pinto having some fun with her wardrobe as well.  The stunning 27-year-old actress wore a fun ensemble to Nylon magazine's 13th anniversary party in West Hollywood tonight.  Pinto, the star of 2008's Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire, is featured on Nylon's April cover. Read
14:12  Mother finds baby ALIVE in morgue :  

While one baby dies in Bangalore, another baby pronounced dead, lives.

A baby has been found alive in a morgue 12 hours after reported dead by hospital doctors in Argentina. Analia Bouter went to visit her prematurely born baby in the Perrando hospital when she and her husband opened the infant's coffin and found her alive. 'Suddenly I [heard] a moan and saw her stretching,' the mother said.

 

Read more on the Daily Mail.

14:09  India-Pak prisoners must be freed, says Chishti's brother:  

Jamil Chishti, the brother of Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishty who has spent many years at Ajmer Central Jail in connection with a murder case, on Wednesday said India-Pakistan prisoners must be freed.

 

"My brother (Dr Khalil) fought long battle for freedom in which civil society helped. Similarly India-Pak prisoners must be freed," he said.

 

"It will make the relations strong between both the nations. It would send the message of peace to both the nations. I want same treatment with many other people.  I pray for other Indians also those are in the Pakistan jail," he added. Jamil also said that his brother''s health was in a frail state.

14:06  Murder case against baby Afreen's father:  

A case of murder will be filed against the father of three-month-old baby Afreen for allegedly abusing and battering his daughter to death, police said.


"A murder case under Section 302 of Criminal Procedure Code will be filed against Afreen's father Umar Farooq after recording a statement from his wife Reshma," they said. The child died at Vani Vilas hospital today at 11:10 am
after a cardiac arrest.

Police said Farooq, who is in judicial custody, had confessed to having tried to kill his daughter as he did not want a girl. He was arrested on April 8 on a complaint by Afreen's mother Reshma. Afreen was admitted to the paediatric  intensive care in the hospital on April 7. She had cigarette burns on her head
and a dislocated neck. 

13:49  Did aliens visit Orissa weeks ahead of India's Independence:  

No, this is not a belated April Fool joke. It's a regular news report from PTI, but something that will leave you riveted.  

 

Just a couple of months ahead of India's Independence in 1947, an UFO was reported to have landed in Odisha's Nayagrah district. Rejected as fanciful stories by many, traces of the incident buried under the pages of the country's tumultuous history during the period, have been preserved in the form oftraditional palm-leaf engravings by a local artist.   

 

Depicting the long-forgotten stories of 'yantra-purusha' (alien robot-like creatures), pieces of those rare engravings have now been published in 'The Obliterary Journal' in between its collection of comics, street art and illustration. 

 

Award-winning 'pattachitra' artist Pachanana Moharana, who runs a workshop in Puri, had made sketches of the alien visitors and their spacecraft which was claimed to have landed in a hilly area of Nayagarh on May, 31, 1947. 

 

Interestingly, only a month later this incident, a mysterious crash was famously reported near Roswell, New Mexico. In the most well-publicised and most controversial of all "UFO sightings" anywhere in the world, the US Air Force had once claimed to have captured a flying saucer from the spot but contradicted it later on. 

 

Moharana's art works are said to be based on the first-hand accounts of two young people who were invited into the spacecraft and given a sort of tour.

13:43  

On rediff.com: At 20,00-ft-high battlefield, cold is the main killer

13:41  Pakistan steps up efforts to find avalanche survivors:  

News of that almost forgotten tragedy in Siachen:

Pakistani rescue teams today stepped up their search for 138 people, a majority of them soldiers, buried under dozens of feet of snow by an avalanche in Siachen sector. Search and rescue teams using bulldozers and heavy machinery have cleared a 450-metre access track to five "priority points" where the people could be buried, a military statement said. 

 

The Met Office has forcast snowfall over Siachen and surrounding areas till tomorrow and officials have said they expect the weather to clear by the afternoon of Thursday. Flights to Skardu, the town closest to Gyari, have been unable to take off due to bad weather. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had to call off his plan to visit Gyari yesterday due to bad weather, officials said.

13:38  This is Lance Armstrong's message to Yuvraj Singh. Watch
13:37  Lance Armstrong inspired me: Yuvraj:  Yuvraj Singh is talking about his life after cancer at a press conference in Gurgaon. Thanks his mother, Lance Armstrong, his friends for beign there. Says he hopes to get back on the field in a few months.  Follow the live updates on Zarabol.
13:30  India, Pak to finalise agreement on multiple-entry visa :  

India and Pakistan have reportedly planned to finalise an agreement under which traders of both nations would be issued multiple-entry visas.  

According to Pakistan's High commissioner in New Delhi, Shahid Malik, President Asif Ali Zardari had reached an understanding with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on his recent visit to India, and both have decided to finalise an agreement on the visa issuance issue very soon.  

Malik's remarks came while addressing a delegation of Pakistani traders at a function held in their honour, The Dawn reports.

13:25  Is fairer skin really better?:  On the Wall Street Journal: If you could choose your identity, would you? And what would you pick? What if that identity includes the complexion of your skin? Read
13:23  Indian embassy bomb threat caller spoke in Hinglish:  

The bomb threat to the Indian Embassy here was made by a caller from the western US city of Utah by a man speaking in "Hinglish", indicating that he was
apparently of South Asian origin, sources said today. 

The bomb threat prompted the evacaution of the the Embassy premises, chancery and Ambassador Nirupama Rao's residence. Giving more details about the threat, police and US Secret Service said a suspicious object was found inside the premises of the chancery. 

The suspicious object, found yesterday morning, was later declared to be harmless, sources told PTI on condition of anonymity.

13:11  Baby Afreen's last rites is at 2 pm today. Her weeping mother says her husband should be severely punished. Scroll down for all that happened this morning.
13:03  Ex-solicitor general Harish Salve to defend Talwars:  Just in: Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve to defend Nupur Talwar. Salve, son of NKP Salve, a former Congress leader and former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, began his legal career in 1980 under Soli Sorabjee, who was then Solicitor General and went on to become Advocate General of India. Salve himself was Solicitor General for three years, starting 1999.
12:58  Yuvraj leaves for 1st presser post return :  

Yuvraj Singh leaves his Gurgaon home in a white Audi to address his first press conference since his return home after his three-month treatment for cancer.

You can follow press conference live on rediff.com. Go here

12:55  Starving in India: Surviving on toxic roots:  

Also on the WSJ:

One afternoon last November, 10 people in this eastern Indian village sat in a circle on a dirt road and told us about their fight against hunger. We wanted to know: What would drive a person to eat a poisoned root? Read (This is the third in a six-part series)

12:50  India's waste water could harm growth:  

Top stories on the India blogs of the Wall Street Journal.

Indian policymakers warned that the country's water problems could hamper economic growth unless consumption is regulated. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said that managing the country's water resources "in a rational and sustainable manner" is one of the 'critical challenges' of India's next five-year plan, the country's blueprint for economic growth. He was speaking in New Delhi at the opening session of India Water Week, a conference on water issues.

 

Read

12:45  Reliance Ent to give USD 200m to Spielberg's Dreamworks:  

Reliance Entertainment, a unit of the Anil Ambani-led ADA Group, is expected to give USD 200 million to Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios, a deal which will extend a new financial lease of life to the struggling California-based film company. 

Reliance Entertainment has "agreed in principle" to continue financing the film studio Spielberg founded. Under the arrangement, DreamWorks would make fewer movies in a year, down to about three from the six it had originally intended, reported the New York Times.

12:40  Media gagged from covering all Parl panel meetings :  A circular by the Lok Sabha's press and public relations chief points out that the parliamentary committee meetings 'are not open to the media', reports our correspondent. Read 
12:37  Include China to solve Kashmir issue: Fai :  

Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was sentenced to two years in prison for accepting money from Pakistan's ISI to fund his illegal lobbying efforts on Kashmir, has asked the US, India, Pakistan, China to come together to solve the long pending Kashmir issue.  

 

He also urged the United States to appoint someone like Bishop Desmond Tutu to be special envoy on Kashmir.  

 

Fai was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 19, 2011 for conspiracy to defraud Washington by concealing the transfer of at least 3.5 million dollars from the Pakistani spy agency to lobby and influence the US government on the Kashmir conflict in violation of Foreign Agents Registration Act.

12:33  Twitter on Afreen:  

Sangita(Jain)Vasuraj @sangitavasuraj  Baby Afreen, may you be born again. As a girl. Maybe you will come into a better world.

 


4m Amer @iamamer  Baby Afreen gave Hi-5 to Baby Falak in heaven; laughing at the stupid world where people luv to hate

 

4m Nandita Iyer @saffrontrail  My heart goes out to the mother. RT @ikaveri: Baby Afreen is no more. Her mother must be devastataed. I hope her father rots in jail.

12:31  Warrant against Nupur Talwar for skipping court :  In a setback for Nupur Talwar, the mother of the murdered schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar, the Ghaziabad court today issued a non-bailable warrant as she failed to appear in court. The next hearing on the case is on April 18.
12:27  Lanka leader of Opposition to meet LK Advani:  Sri Lanka leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wikramasinghe, is scheduled to meet BJP leader LK Advani to discuss the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. The meeting comes days before the Sushma Swaraj-led MPs visit to Lanka. Swaraj is also likely to be present at the meeting. The BJP feels the rehabilitation of Tamils should be speeded up.
12:21  MPs get tutorials for iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet:  

Also from our Delhi correspondent: Members of Parliament are being allowed to familiarise themselves with the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tablet eReader. 

Over 250 MPs so far attended the special class held inside Parliament house. Software engineers from the National Informatics Centre as well as Samsung had developed a DIY computer package for MPs, but apparently a tutorial was needed. This is an intitiative to save paper by the Parliament and also to dispense with the distribution of  printed versions by special motor riders. 

 

Buzz in the corridors of the Union Law Ministry is that the President of India's office is forwarding a petition for the disqualification of a Tamil Nadu MP to the Union Law Ministry as he contested from a different party symbol, but has not adhered to the whips of the party from which he was elected.

12:09  RS deputy chairman likely from SP or ADMK:  

More on Afreen as news comes in... Meanwhile, a flood of reports from our Delhi correspondent

 

When the Rajya Sabha reconvenes on April 24, the chairman is likely to announce elections for the post of Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha. A first round of discussion has taken place between the ruling party and the Opposition.
It must be remembered that UPA2 doesn't have the numbers in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP wants the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha to come from either the ADMK or the SP. Because if a BJP candidate is announced, the Left will go with the Congress.

12:01  

And there you go. Baby Afreen is trending on Twitter.

 

sonia singh @soniandtv  Reply  Retweet  Favorite Open
The story that will keep me awake tonight:3 month old baby Afreen struggling for life, bitten,burnt with cigarettes by her dad.Pray for her

 


Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha @Mrityunjoykjha  Reply  Retweet  Favorite Open
Baby Afreen departs for the "better world" in Bengaluru hospital #RIP

 


Shankkar Aiyar @ShankkarAiyar  Reply  Retweet  Favorite Open
Book a ticket for the culprit also!@Mrityunjoykjha: Baby Afreen departs for the "better world" in Bengaluru hospital #RIP

 


IBNLive Realtime @IBNLiveRealtime  Reply  Retweet  Favorite Open
Nina Nayak, Child Rights Protection Commission: Trying to create quick responsive unit, so women like baby Afreen's mother can be helped.

 


Sumeet Mehta @mehtasumeet  Reply  Retweet  Favorite Open
I feel numbed and pained by our collective apathy and inaction. RIP Afreen "@ndtv: Baby Afreen passes away in hospital after cardiac arrest"

11:54  Multiple convulsions led to bleeding in brain, cardiac arrest:  

The doctors at the hospital where Afreen was admitted says she had a cardiac arrest at 10:40 am. Ten minutes earlier, at 10.30 am, she had another round of convulsions -- the fourth in 24 hours -- which may have caused bleeding in her brain. The doctors tried to resuscitate her, but she was finally declared dead at 11:10 am.

11:50  And of course, in death, Afreen is likely to trend on Twitter. And her father has got his wish.
11:46  Afreen would have been brain damaged had she lived: Docs:  

Yesterday, Afreen was still on ventilator and she had blood transfusion. Doctors at Vani Vilas Hospital, where she was admitted on Sunday in the intensive care unit, had said that it would least take three weeks for her to recover.

Had she lived, she would have been deformed and her brain cells would have been damaged, say doctors, as a result of the dislocation on her neck and the convulsions.

The baby had a severe head injury, a dislocated neck, cigarette burn marks and deep bite marks on the thigh and buttocks. Umar Farook, father of Afreen, has confessed to police that he tried to kill the child because he wanted a boy and not a girl. He has been arrested. The 25-year-old also confessed to having attempted to murder her on earlier occasions, police said.

11:42  Afreen's condition had deteriorated this morning: Docs:  

An early morning report said that her condition had deteriorated today when she slipped into a semi-comatose state. "She had two more convulsions yesterday evening," Resident Medical Superintendent (RMS) Somegowda of the hospital in Bangalore where she is being treated, said.

He said the baby has hurried respiration of 30-40 per minute against the normal 20-25 per minute and also Pathycardia (increased heart rate). "She is in a semi-comatose state and this is not a good sign". The RMS said the hospital would seek an expert opinion from a doctor at NIMHANS.

But of course, that was not to be.

11:39  Battered baby Afreen dies of cardiac arrest:  Just in: News coming in right now says that the three-month-old baby, Afreen, who was battered by her father for being born a girl, has passed away after a massive cardiac arrest.
11:38  Facebook graveyard: Was Instagram acquired to shut It down? :  

When Mark Zuckerberg's social network acquired the photo app Instagram this week, there was instant speculation about whether the popular photo-sharing service, for which Facebook laid out a cool $1 billion, will survive. Those fears aren't unfounded: in 2010, Zuckerberg told a crowd of aspiring startup owners, "We have not once bought a company for the company. We buy companies to get excellent people.' 

Read more

11:36  Facebook makes big bet by acquiring Instagram:  By buying up tiny Instagram for a whopping $1 billion, Facebook acquires a dominant player in mobile apps, and neutralizes a potential rival. Read
11:34  Rick Santorum drops out of US Presidential race:  

The former senator, who has fallen further behind Romney, suspends his campaign, citing the hospitalization of his 3-year-old daughter. Howard Kurtz on the factors in Santorum's decision.

Read the report on the Daily Beast.

11:32  Maoist abductors welcome steps by government:  

Maoists holding Italian Paolo Bosusco hostage today welcomed 'certain' steps taken by the Odisha government to meet their demands while the fate of
BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka held by another Naxal group was still unknown as the deadline set by both sides ended yesterday. 

In a fresh audio message to a section of the media, top leader of the Odisha State Organising Committee of CPI (Maoist) Sabyasachi Panda said contents of the joint statement signed by Odisha government representatives and Naxal-named mediators for Bosusco's release were now known to them. 

The message came a day after the deadline fixed by both the Maoist groups behind abduction of the Italian and the Laxmipur legislator expired yesterday.

11:25  Fueling of rocket underway: N Korea:  

As the US continues to warn North Korea to stop N-test or lose food, the country has started fueling a long-range rocket it plans to launch in the coming days, a senior national space official said today.

Fueling of the rocket, which North Korea says will put a satellite in orbit, is under way and will be completed at the "appropriate time," said Paek Chang Ho, head of the North Korean General Satellite Control and Command Center.

More on cnn.com

11:19  China calls for support amid Bo Xilai shockwave:  

China today called for support for its probe into Bo Xilai, a day after news of his dismissal and the questioning of his wife over the death of a UK businessman sent shockwaves around the country. A widely-published piece in party newspaper People's Daily praised the "correct decision", saying it showed respect for the rule of law.

Read the report on the bbc.

11:16  'Pak anti-terror laws can't bring terrorists to justice':  

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has admitted that the current anti-terror laws are not sufficient to control the activities of banned organizations and has urged the government to adopt an amendment to remove loopholes for closing the door on terrorist' bailouts.  

While addressing a joint parliamentary, Malik said parliament needed to pass an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code as currently no law existed to bring terrorists to justice.  

He said the criminals were easily bailed out after being apprehended by the law enforcement agencies, adding that in an instance, a man was bailed out 34 times.

11:13  Gilanis son wanted in drug quota scandal flees Pakistan:  

Neighbourhood news: Son of Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Ali Musa, has reportedly left for South Africa before his name could be placed on the Exit Control List for his alleged role in a Rs 7 billion drug quota scandal.  

The Pakistan Supreme Court yesterday issued a notice to Ali Musa in a case relating to alleged irregularities in the import of a large amount of the chemical Ephedrine.  

The Anti-Narcotics Force had requested the interior ministry to add his name on the ECL. But Ali Musa who was recently elected to the National Assembly, left for South Africa and is expected to travel to the UK too, The Express Tribune reports.

11:10  Aarushi murder: Nupur Talwar skips court :  

Back to the Aarushi Talwar murder trial. Nupur Talwar's counsel says she should be exempt from appearing in court since her plea is pending in the Supreme Court.  

Nupur Talwar, has moved the Supreme Court with a plea to review its decision of declining to quash the case against the dentist couple. She wanted the court to hear the review petition in the open court.

The Supreme Court will now hear the review petition in the open court. Normally, review petitions are decided by the judges in their chambers, and not in the open court.

11:04  Look who's back: US troops return to Pak for avalanche aid:  In other news: American troops have returned to Pakistan in what is believed to be the first requested-presence mission since the U.S. military was ordered to leave last year amid a meltdown in the countries' relations. Read
10:59  Aarushi Talwar murder trial begins, dad present, mom absent:  Aarushi's mother Nupur Talwar, also an accused in the double murders is not present in court. The CBI counsel has asked the court to issue a warrant against her.
10:56  The trial in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case begins. Prime suspect Rajesh Talwar, Aarushi's father is present at the trial.
10:55  Naxals to release Italian hostage today:  

And the good.

Naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda has released a fresh audio tape hinting that they are ready to free the Italain hostage in their custody, according to Times Now.

The Maoists have announced that they will release Paolo Bosusco through a democratic process.In his message, Panda has said that they have received a copy of joint statement by the Odisha government and the mediators.

On Tuesday, Panda's wife Sushashree Panda was acquitted by a local court and freed from jail.The Maoists had sought her release along with others as a pre-condition to release the Italian taken hostage in their custody. 

10:50  Battered baby Afreen semi-comatose:  

Good morning. First the bad news:

The condition of three-month-old baby Afreen, allegedly battered by her father for being born agirl, deteriorated slightly today with the child slipping intoa semi-comatose state, hospital sources said.

"She had two more convulsions last evening," Resident Medical Superintendent (RMS) Somegowda said. He said the baby has hurried respiration of 30-40 per minute against the normal 20-25 per minute and also Pathycardia (increased heart rate). "She is in a semi-comatosestate and this is not a good sign". The RMS said the hospital would seek an expert opinion from a doctor at NIMHANS.

10:44  Headlines this morning:  

Maoists release new tape, say will free Italian through democratic process (The Times of India)

Naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda has released a fresh audio tape hinting that they are ready to free the Italain hostage in their custody. Read

 

Vectra chief made Rs. 250 crore from Tatra truck deal: CBI (Hindustan Times)
The CBI has estimated that the purchase of 5,000 Tatra all-terrain trucks for the army since 1997 in violation of defence purchase norms enabled London-based Vectra chief Ravinder Rishi to pocket Rs. 250 crore. Read

 

 

CBI likely to take decision over army chief's complaint (Hindustan Times)
The CBI is likely to take a decision on further action over the army chief's complaint on the alleged bribe offer made by retired lieutenant general Tejinder Singh. Read

 

 

HC bans army movement reports (Hindustan Times)

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has imposed a ban on further news reports on the troop movement towards Delhi that had hit the headlines recently. Read

 

 


SIT finds no proof against Modi, says court (The Hindu)
Zakia Jafri said she was pained to learn that the SIT had given Mr. Modi and others a "clean chit." She vowed to continue the legal battle. Read

 

 

Delhi BJP worker stabbed to death allegedly by party councillor (The Times of India)
According to TV reports, BJP worker Jai Prakash was upset and angry with Madhav Prasad over his getting the party ticket again for the MCD polls. Read

 

 

Hina Rabbani Khar not to quit, clarifies Pak (The Hindu)

Speculation about Ms. Khars removal from the key post began gaining currency since Sunday when Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani remarked that a new team would carry forward bilateral talks with India. Read

 

 

Probe ordered into extension of Mukesh Ambani's home (The Times of India)

The Maharashtra govt has ordered a probe into an alleged unauthorized construction carried out on a footpath as part of the extension. Read

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