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April 16, 2012


18:31  

A newsflash on PTI says: A press release issued by the Western Command on the Himachal land issue is "derogatory"; inquiry ordered, says Army.

18:29  India's worst journalists:  

If you haven't read this, it's worth a look-see. On Mediacrooks.com

Crooks and Liars in the Indian media are the greatest danger to our democracy. Bias, outright lies, paid news, plagiarism and political leanings characterize much of our media. More

18:24  Charlie Chaplin's birthday today:  

A day without laughter is a day wasted.

- Charlie Chaplin.

 

It's Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin's (16 April 1889 - 25th Dec 1977) birthday today.

 

Pictured: Charlie Chaplin with Mahatma Gandhi

18:22  Verdict on Ode killings (Gujarat riots) on May 4:  

The verdict in the post-Godhra riot case at Ode village in Anand, where three persons including two women were killed a decade ago, is likely to be
pronounced on May 4. Additional Sessions Judge R M Sareen, who is presiding over the case, is likely to pronounce the judgement with
regard to 40 accused in the case. Special public prosecutor in the case, Bipin C Trivedi said that during the hearing on the case today, judge decided
for pronouncement of the judgement on May 4. This is the third case of the 2002 riots at Ode village, probed by the Supreme Court appointed Special
Investigation Team (SIT), where the court will pronounce verdict.

 

Also see: Ode verdict: The murder that was not taken seriously

18:20  Brace for massive powercuts this summer :  

With most parts of India reeling under a power crisis, the situation is all set to worsen after reports have emerged that 30 out of India's 95 thermal power plants have registered alarmingly low levels of coal.

As per the data available with the power ministry's advisory wing, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), of the 30 power stations that produce 26,320 mega-watt (mw) of power, 25 of them have coal stocks that can potentially last for only 4 days.

Of the 25 power stations, five are from National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) - in Delhi (Badarpur), Uttar Pradesh (Dadri and Unchahar), Andhra Pradesh (Simadhari), Bihar (Kahalgaon).

More

18:08  Flying Shuttle: Britain's toughest pub:  

A pub branded Britain's roughest boozer has been shut down by police who admit that even a gun-slinging cowboy like John Wayne would fail to control its drunken drug-taking punters. The Flying Shuttle in Bolton was so bad that it took 13 officers to close it in a raid, who said afterwards 'we still didn't feel safe in that pub.

 

Read more on the Daily Mail.  

17:38  Have not, will not monitor social media: TMC:  

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the arrest of a professor for allegedly posting an internet cartoon of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress today ruled out setting up a mechanism to monitor social media. "Let me categorically state that the Trinmool Congress never  had nor does it intend to have any cell to monitor social media," Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien said.

 

On reports that the party has established cells to monitor social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, the party's cyber team head said, "these rumours are being spread by those with other agendas.

 

The freedom of the press is non-negotiable". The party has come in for severe criticism from the opposition and a section of academia for attacking freedom of speech and expression by arresting professor of Jadavpore University Ambikesh Mohapatra on Friday.

 

The cartoons lampooned Mamata Banerjee after she forced out Dinesh Trivedi and put Mukul Roy in his place as Railway minister.

17:17  VKS: Land was given to army on lease:  

The General said that the Army had told the government that this (Annandale ground) was the only place which is open and suitable for strategic purposes.
"That land was given to the Army on lease and it was the only place where a helicopter can land in times of an emergency," Singh said.


After the Army statement, Himachal Chief Minister P K Dhumal threatened to file a defamatory suit against the Army if it did not tender an unconditional apology for allegedly maligning the image of the government and him in particular.

17:11  Army, Himachal CM relationship good: VK Singh:  

Striking a conciliatory note on the Annandale ground controversy, Army Chief Gen V K Singh today said he would speak to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal and resolve the issue.

 

"I will talk to the Chief Minister. Ours and the Chief Minister's relationship is very good," Singh said when asked to comment on the row between Himachal Pradesh government and military over ownership of Annandale ground. 

 

The 121-bigha ground, surrounded by thick forests just 4.5 km from Shimla's Ridge, has been under the Army's control since World War II and has now become a bone of contention between the state government and the Army amid an intensified campaign launched by Himachal Pradesh Cricket association headed by Anurag Thakur, MP, who is the CM's son, to restore it to the state authorities.

 


The row had escalated after the Army, in a statement, said national security cannot be ignored for "game and gimmicks". The Army Chief said after the news was published he had asked the Western Command about whose fault it was.

17:04  HImachal CM takes up Annandale ground with PM:  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal takes up Annandale ground issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, even as Army chief VK Singh says relations between Army and the Himachal government is fine.
17:02  Himachal CM: Will sue Army if it doesn't apologise:  

The battle between the army and Himachal Pradesh government over the control of Annandale Ground in Shimla has flared up with the western command citing national security reasons for not letting the area to be used for "games and gimmicks" and accusing the administration of working at the behest of land mafia to build a cricket stadium ignoring forest cover near the ground.Piqued by the army's barb, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal threatened to take the Army to court for defamation.

 

Read more on the India Today website.

16:57  On rediff.com, read: The tragedy of being Irom Sharmila.
16:55  Remote Indian state struggles for identity:  

 Promoted in official tourist brochures as the "jewel of India,' the tiny state of Manipur seems closer to an ignored family heirloom than a proudly coveted gem. "Backwards,' "marginalised,' "isolated,' "insurgency-wracked:' the adjectives that most frequently precede any mention of Manipur '" for all its stunning natural beauty '" are overwhelmingly negative.

 

That's an AFP report on the Dawn. Read

16:51  Hitler's pilot helped Ghana's women to fly:  Unlikely friendship with Hanna Reisch led to pioneering academy that helps young women reach for the sky, says the Guardian. Read
16:49  Britain must hone its lap-dancing skills:  

Britain is hosting the Olympics, foreign guests are coming and look at the state of this place. Read

16:37  Google co-founder warns of greatest ever threat to web freedom:  Threats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style 'walled gardens. Read the exclusive report on the Guardian.
16:35  Korea's projectile dysfunction:  Whatever the opposite of the Midas touch is, North Korea's leaders seem to have it. Located in a region where all of its neighbors have experienced remarkable economic growth, the North Korean economy has stagnated for more than two decades. Read the Foreign Policy report.
16:33  India not on list of top 6 tax evaders:  The six countries where everyone runs the other way when the tax man comes knocking. Read the report on Foreign Policy.
16:25  China's ruling party claims widespread support in Bo's sacking:  

China's ruling Communist Party has claimed "widespread support" for its move to sack hardline leader Bo Xilai from the powerful Politburo to investigate serious violations of indiscipline and detention of his wife for the murder of a British businessman. 

"Chinese central authorities' decision to investigate Bo Xilai's serious discipline violations has won wide support for safeguarding the rule of law as well as the purity of the party," the state-run Xinhua news agency said in a commentary today. 

The whole of Chinese official media has been carrying a blitzkrieg of sorts against Bo ever since he was sacked from all posts and his wife Gu Kalai detained along with their orderly for the murder of their family friend and British businessman Neil Heywood.

The case against Gu was further tightened with revelations by the British media that she obtained potassium cyanide from a local party leader. Xia Deliang, a former Communist party district leader in Chongqing, claimed he supplied cyanide to Bo's wife, according to a report in the Sunday Times. 

Much of the allegations against Bo and his family camefrom his former aid and police chief of Chongqing municipality Wang Lijun who escaped to US Consulate in Chengdu in February this year fearing reprisals from Bo.

16:14  Is Narendra Modi Indias Hafiz Saeed?:  

An opinion piece that is sure to get BJP's goat.

Narendra Modi is Gujarat's longest serving and most successful chief minister. He is renowned for having turned the Indian state around with visionary economic policies.

Alternatively, he is also referred to as the 'butcher of Gujarat'. Under his watch, following the alleged fire bombing of the train carrying Hindu pilgrims, in 2002, at Godhra, he implicitly oversaw the alleged massacre of over 2,000 Muslims, while the state machinery looked on in deliberate inaction. 

Read

16:09  Jaya's meet with Badal, Patnaik, Modi ends :  

Details of the Patnaik, Modi, Badal and Jaya meet.

After attending the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security, Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi went to the Tamil Nadu Bhawan to hold separate meetings with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is also expected to reach the Tamil Nadu Bhawan. 

"I am here to pay courtesy call on madam J Jayalalithaa. Madam is an old family friend of my father, so I came here to pay a courtesy call," Patnaik told reporters. 

Patnaik was the first to reach the Tamil Nadu Bhawan and Modi joined him later. Modi went inside the hall where the Odisha Chief Minister was meeting his Tamil Nadu counterpart.

Modi and Patnaik exchanged greetings after which Patnaik left. The meeting assumes significance as non-Congress governments in states were opposing the creation of a counter-terrorism centre and proposed amendments to the BSF Act, maintaining that the two infringe upon the states' rights in a federal set up.

16:03  Is strip queen Poonam Pandey a threat to Sunny Leone?:  

Porn star Sunny Leone might be ruffling a few feathers with her act in upcoming film Jism 2, but it seems stripping queen Poonam Pandey is all set to give her a competition. Sunny might be the lead lady in an erotic thriller, but Poonam would be working in the boldest film ever.

Read the report on the TOI

15:53  Trickle of returning NRIs to become a flood:  

On the New York Times' India blogs:

"Samir N. Kapadia seemed to be on the rise in Washington, moving from an internship on Capitol Hill to jobs at a major foundation and a consulting firm. Yet his days, he felt, had become routine,' Kirk Semple writes in The New York Times. So Indian-born Mr. Kapadia made an increasingly common decision -- he moved to Mumbai.

Read

15:47  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik have finished meeting Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa on the NCTC issue.
15:31  Omar Abdullah @abdullah_omar  Those who have opposed phased withdrawal of AFSPA are opposing similar powers being given to BSF. "Do as we say, don't do as we do" clearly.
15:19  Mah House proceedings stalled on CAG:  

The Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today stalled House proceedings protesting the delay on part of the government in tabling the
CAG report and revocation of suspension of 14 of its MLAs. 

As Opposition members trooped into the well and squatted shouting slogans against the government for non fulfillment of its promise of tabling the CAG report today and revoking the suspension of the MLAs.

The House was adjourned till the end of the Question Hour. 

15:12  Young stars steal the show as Matilda sets Olivier records:  

They have Pop-Tarts in their dressing room instead of champagne and never attend celebrity parties because they are past their bedtime. But the four young stars who share the title role in Matilda the Musical were the toast of the West End last night, after being named joint best actresses at the Olivier Awards.

See/read

15:06  Kabul gunbattle sends message to the West:  

Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen barraged the diplomatic quarter and the Parliament in the Afghan capital for hours on Sunday and struck three eastern provinces as well, in a complex attack clearly designed to undermine confidence in NATO and Afghan military gains.

 

On the New York Times.

15:02  'Zardari dumped Siachen visit due to bad weather':  Radio Pakistan @RadioPakistan  President Zardari cancelled his visit to Siachen due to bad weather: Presidential Spokesman
14:50  Pakistan slowly returning to crickets fold:  

Pakistan is edging back into the cricketing fold, with confirmation over the weekend that the Bangladesh team has agreed to visit the country for a One-Day International and a Twenty 20 at the end of this month.

 

Read the report on the Wall Street Journal.

14:45  A journey that began in Delhi reaches its conclusion:  

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' is the central figure in the country's political process. In a wide-ranging interview to Prashant Jha at his residence on Friday afternoon, he talked about the peace process, the constitution and relations with India. Read the opinion piece on the Hindu. .

 

 

14:41  Disaster reignites debate over battle at Earths ceiling:  

In the snowy wastes of Siachen, where Pakistani and Indian soldiers face off in a high-altitude battle zone ringed by Himalayan peaks, the fight is against the mountain, not the man.

The NYT on the Siachen conflict. Read

14:37  Big ideas, small towns:  Innovative, cost-effective and inclusive start-ups are addressing India's diverse challenges. Saritha Rai's story on the Indian Express. Read
14:34  Briton killed after threat to expose Chinese leader's wife:  

The British businessman whose murder has sparked political upheaval in China was poisoned after he threatened to expose a plan by a Chinese leader's wife to move money abroad, two sources with knowledge of the police investigation said.

On reuters

14:23  Extraordinary promo: Watch
14:20  Norway mass murderer pleads NOT guilty :  After listening to a list of all his 77 victims, Anders Breivik acknowledges killings but pleads not guilty. Says he did it in "self- defence".
14:15  North Korea will push for new rocket launch:  

In other news, North Korea says it will push for the launch of a new and bigger rocket as part of a five-year space programme despite last week's failed launch, a pro-North Korean newspaper said. 

 

The North last week carried out a rocket test that ended in failure, disintegrating in mid-air soon after blast-off and plunging into the sea in a major embarrassment for the reclusive state. The launch drew international condemnation despite Pyongyang insisting it was intended to put a satellite into orbit for peaceful purposes.

14:10  Solution for SRK's US detentions: Diplomatic passport:  

"Why don't you give Shah Rukh Khan a diplomatic passport?' an American diplomat who met an Indian official socially during the weekend asked as their conversation inevitably veered towards the actor's inconvenience at White Plains airport in New York on Thursday. "That will solve the problem for us the next time he travels to the United States.' The Indian official was a little offended because he thought the American was being his usual smart Alec, but the latter insisted he was serious. "After all, you have given Ratan Tata a diplomatic passport. He always travels with the red passport,' the American continued.

 

Read KP Nayar's column on the Telegraph, Calcutta.

14:04  Jen may go to ex-husband Brad Pitt's wedding:  

Jennifer Aniston was last night said to be delighted at ex-hubby Brad Pitt's engagement to Angelina Jolie. Hollywood sources said the former Friends star "couldn't be happier' -- and may even attend the couple's wedding. Read

 

Read this to get a grip on unreal world of celebrities: Brad Pitt says his marriage to Jennifer Aniston was boring and unsatisfying.

13:57  B'desh railway minister resigns over midnight cash scandal:  

And Bangladesh doesn't even have a Mamata Banerjee.

The country's embattled Railway Minister Suranjit Sengupta today resigned from his post four months after assuming office following the last week's midnight cash scandal. 

"I am resigning for the sake of impartial investigations," he said at a press conference, referring to the controversy surrounding the recovery of huge stashes of cash from the car of his assistant personal secretary. 

Sengupta, a veteran parliamentarian and senior leader of the ruling Awami League, said he was resigning to set an example in the "country's 40 years of history" accepting "the blames of all failures in my shoulder".

13:54  The great chief ministers' shindig at Delhi on May 4:  

Post-lunch gossip from our Delhi correspondent.

 

Buzz is that 10 chief ministers have planned a strategy meet on May 4 in New Delhi, a day before the NCTC meet. Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal are expected to be present. The meeting is likely to take place at the Punjab Bhavan in Delhi.

 

-- Chief of Army Staff Gen V K Singh is unveiling the statue of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar in Balia on April 22.

 

-- The buzz in Chennai is over the absence of Jayalalithaa aide Sasikala in New Delhi. Sasikala, the foster sister of Jayalalitha, has not accompanied her to Delhi in the special aircraft  this morning. Instead, she went to Triplicane Lord Parthasarathy Temple which is described as Chhota Tirupathi where she did 42 parikramas. Also read: Jaya revokes estranged aide Sasikala's expulsion

13:40  Trial of Norway mass murderer begins:  

On the other side of the world, Anders Breivik made a Nazi salute as he arrived in an Oslo court to stand trial for the killing of 77 people today. The trial opened this morning at the Norwegian capital's main district courtroom amid huge security and worldwide media attention.

More here

13:34  Maha CM to govt: Give me control of Force One:  

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan today sought powers of requisitioning aircraft in case of emergency situations for its anti-terror "Force One" created in the aftermath of 26/11 attacks. Speaking at the Chief Ministers Conference here, Chavan stressed for laying great emphasis on intelligence gathering mechanism and also batted for creation of a National Counter
Terrorism Centre. 

He said for smooth movement within the state of the "Force One", an anti-terror force created in the aftermath of terror strike of  2008, the Centre may consider delegating powers of requisition of aircraft in emergency situations.

13:26  Shock as Pippa Middleton's pal points gun at cop:  

This story has been doing the rounds in every British paper. Prince William's sexy sister-in-law was last night facing a grilling by outraged cops over the antics in Paris -- as it reels from a series of gun massacres across France. Three male chums were with her in an Audi convertible. The driver took out the weapon and brandished it in broad daylight.

More on the Sun

13:23  State's powers being usurped by Centre: Jaya:  

A while ago, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at the CMs meet in Delhi warned against against an "emerging pattern" wherein the state's powers are "abrogated" by the Centre through passage of bills and accused it of showing "scant respect" for state governments. 

In an all-round attack on the Congress-led UPA, Jayalalithaa accused the central government of "encroaching on state powers" through the National Counter-Terrorism Centre which was in "contravention" to constitutional provisions that accord priority status to police in the State list.

Addressing the Chief Ministers' Conference on Internal Security, she claimed that the Centre unilaterally decided on the Indo-US joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal without taking the state government into confidence. "Lack of consultation with the states and failure to take the states into confidence is a cogent commentary on the system of governance in the Centre."

13:07  Haqqani behind brazen Kabul attacks: Afghan interior minister:  

The Pakistan-based Haqqani network is suspected to have carried out the brazen suicide attacks on western embassies and Parliament in Kabul, the Afghan Interior Minister has said. Bismillah Mohammadi said that one of the militants arrested during the latest attacks on the Afghan capital and three other cities had told the authorities that al-Qaeda linked Haqqani network was behind the assaults. 

The involvement of the Haqqani network, Mohammadi said, was corroborated by another militant caught in Nangarhar Province.

13:01  For US, Japan unlikely to be standard for India on Iran curbs:  

Japan is unlikely to be the "benchmark" for India when the Obama Administration initiates the process of deciding the fate of Iranian sanctions on dozen countries, which according to a US legislation need to "significantly" reduce their dependence on oil from Iran.

 

"It's Apple and Oranges," a source familiar with the thinking of the Obama Administration on the issue said whenasked if India should reduce its oil dependence on Iran by at least 15 per cent, as was done by Japan. Japan was one of the 11 countries, that included mostlythose from Europe, which were exempted by the US from its Iranian sanctions legislations as it determined that these countries have "significantly" reduced their dependence on Iranian oil.

12:59  Paribartan supporters turn against Mamata :  

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's rallying cry for change during last year's landmark assembly polls, seems to represent the disillusionment among her supporters more than the way the state is being governed. Several of her newfound supporters, including former Left icons who helped her acquire a certain legitimacy against the ideology-driven Communist parties, have turned critical of her government. The tide seems be turning faster since the arrest of a Jadavpur University professor last week for circulating a cartoon featuring Mamata. 

 

More on the Economic Times

12:56  Modi, Jaya lash out: NCTC creating distrust :  At the CMs meet in Delhi, Narendra Modi follows Jayalalithaa in lashing out at the government. He says the NCTC is creating distrust between Centre and states. The NCTC meet, as we told you earlier, is scheduled for May 5.
12:53  Lalu criticises arrest of professor over Mamata cartoon:  

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today termed the arrest of a Jadavpore University professor for posting a cartoon on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as an assault on the freedom of expression. 

"People make my cartoons to which I have never objected. It is an assault on the freedom of expression," the former Bihar chief minister told reporters here.  "I strongly condemn it. Something very bad has taken place in West Bengal," he said.

12:46  100th anniversary of the Titanic: See the haunting pictures :  

Newly-released photos show the haunting images of Titanic victim's clothing lining the bottom of the ocean floor 100 years after the New York-bound ship sank in the North Atlantic. 

A 2004 photograph, released to the public for the first time this week in an uncropped version to coincide with the disaster's centenary, shows a coat and boots in the mud at the legendary shipwreck site.

 

That's another story from the Daily Mail.

12:41  Princess Diana's niece gets man to drink out of her bra:  

They are not the sort of poses her aunt Princess Diana would have dared to strike for the cameras. However, like the rest of today's social networking generation, Celia McCorquodale is clearly not noted for her discretion. Celia, 21, has posted a wide range of pictures on her Facebook site.

 

See the pictures on the Daily Mail.

12:35  If I arrested everyone who made fun of me or a cartoon of me, I (would) run out of prison space in a flash: Omar Abdullah
12:33  Christiane Amanpour: There's still so much prejudice out there:  The CNN news anchor on bringing serious coverage to US audiences, the primaries, and being a woman in a man's world. All the details on the Guardian.
12:26  Queen Jaya to meet Modi, Patnaik, Badal in Delhi :  

Our Delhi correspondent tells us that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has assumed centrestage on the national scene by attacking the Centre's policies on internal security.

Jayalalithaa will remain in the spotlight today with many chief ministers paying a courtesy call on  her at Tamil Nadu house in the Capital.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will drive down to the TN state guesthouse at 3:30 pm to discuss NCTC and internal security issues.  Then at 4 pm, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal (CM Parkash Singh Badal's son) will also be heading to Chanakyapuri where the Tamil Nadu House is, to talk on the same issue.

Jayalalithaa will also declare open an investment initiative with Punjab in July. Chief Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik will also be meeting Jayalalithaa at 3 pm . Following all the meetings, Jaya will leave for Chennai on a special flight at 4:45 pm. 

12:14  Osmania univ beef fest turns into bloody battlefield:  

A student of the Osmania University was stabbed for supporting a beef festival organised by several student groups opposing "food fascism" in hostels, police said on Monday. The beef festival saw clashes, where five students were injured, and vehicles were burnt.

The situation in the university was tense as violence continued in the campus past midnight with a group of students attacking the 'C' hostel and stabbing a student for supporting the beef festival. Police said the injured student was admitted to Gandhi Hospital.

Protestors set a bus of the state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) on fire.

More on NDTV.com

12:06  Jaya: Centre turning states into municipalities:  Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa complains of the reduction in police modernisation budget. She says states are being into glorified municipal corporations by the Centre.
12:04  Omar: All for decreasing footsteps security forces in J-K:  

Back at the CMs meet, Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stresses on "progressively" decreasing the footprints of security forces in J-K and how reconciliation and dialogue will always remain the best medium for seeking a solution to all contentious issues.

He also sought a telephone connection between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir for strengthening the trade between the two sides. 

In his speech, Omar said after three continuous summers of discontent, the state saw a peaceful 2011, which to a great extent, erased the painful memories of two decades of turbulence and unfolded the promise of a new beginning. 

11:58  Secular Congress scripts Catholic plot to nail Jagan:  

Caste and religion have become the flavour of the season for the 'secular' Congress after self-proclaimed Brahmin, Rahul Gandhi, pulled the genie out of the bottle.

Regardless of the controversy that the Congress general secretary's 'caste credential' generated, party leaders in Andhra Pradesh have proposed to rake up renegade Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's Roman Catholic background to woo back the Reddy community into its fold.

 

Read more on the Daily Mail.

11:57  Indias Iranian conundrum will require creative diplomacy:  

Some calm after that storm of angry tweets.

 

The world has entered a new round of antagonism in the confrontation over Irans alleged atomic weapons program. Ronen Bergmans article in the New York Times is the latest to suggest that Israel is on the verge of an attack on Irans nuclear facilities. Read more

11:53  Sharad Rao trends on Twitter:  

Jens Iyer @JestChill  Between Quadros and Sharad Rao, the unions have held the city to ransom repeatedly, and no action taken against them. No IT raid? Strange.

 


enaar @aarkaygee  There is a D gang and there is a S (Sharad Rao) gang. Both of them deserve to be hanged till they.....

 

 

lindsay pereira @lindsaypereira  Dear Sharad Rao, have you ever considered getting a real job and making an honest living? No? Ah, okay then. #autostrike

 


soumik sen @bangdu  Sharad Rao is on his way to becoming Mumbai's Mamata Bannerjee. #WaitandWatch

11:51  Govt urges carpools as Mumbai autos go off the road:  

Mumbai began Monday with the auto strike. While auto drivers affiliated to the Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union plan to hold the city to ransom on Monday, members of rival unions will ply for hire to blunt the effect of MAU's strike.To make life easier for people, while BEST has decided to deploy more than 100 additional buses, the government has urged taxis to ply short distances and pick passengers from railway stations, and citizens to carpool. 

 

Union leader Sharad Rao is trending. Tweet samplings coming up.

11:46  Inflation falls marginally to 6.89 per cent in March from 6.95 per cent in February.
11:43  Civil-military tensions affecting security: Modi:  

This is what Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said today at the chief ministers' meeting being held in New Delhi.

Modi said tensions between the civil and military wings are bound to adversely impact the internal security of the country. "It is unfortunate that the present Union Government has failed to instill faith and confidence about our defence preparedness in the common man," he said. 

Taking at a dig at the recent Army chief vs Ministry of defence issues, Modi added that internal security of the country cannot be viewed in isolation as it is intertwined with the external security scenario and the armed forces play an important role in anti-infiltration and anti-insurgency which directly impinges on the internal security of the nation. 

"In this context, any lacunae in our defence capabilities on account of resource constraints, demoralisation of the rank and file and tensions between the civil and military wings is bound to have an adverse impact on the Internal Security of the Nation," he said. 

11:35  Himalayan glaciers actually getting bigger!:  This is on the Daily Mail: Photos taken by a French satellite show glaciers in a mountain range west of the Himalayas have grown during the last decade. The growing glaciers were found in the Karakoram range, which spans the borders between Pakistan, India and China and is home to the world's second highest peak, K2. Read
11:31  India to join search for aliens:  

Is there life out there? This is what India wants to find out by joining a global search for alien life forms.

As part of a new project called 'Detection of Life Forms in Other Planets', India will soon build a near human robotic system - a robonaut -- with capability "for analysis and assessment of air, water and soil and detection of possible life forms".

 

More on the Times of India.

11:28  Full text of the PM's speech at the CMs meet :  

I welcome you to this very important conference on Internal Security. This forum has proved its utility over several years as a platform to exchange ideas and to build consensus on the possible ways and means to strengthen our internal security apparatus.

 

The complete speech here.

11:23  Monday morning hope of Hikaka's release:  

Even as the PM says that there is a continued threat from left-wing extremism, which needs constant vigil, the captors of BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka today offered some hope for the legislator's release by dropping the name of Naxal activist Chhenda Bhushnam alias Ghasi, from the list of undertrials they want free in exchange for the law-maker.

 

Read more on the Telegraph.

11:20  Cannibals killed women, cooked their flesh in pies:  

Away from the mundane, here's something that should make you sit up and may be retch.

Three Brazilian cannibals have been arrested for cooking their victims and turning them into pastries, the police has revealed. Karate expert Jorge Beltrao Negromonte, his wife Isabel Pires, 51, and his mistress Bruna da Silva, 25, lured the women to their house with the promise to work as a nanny.

According to the police, the trio then killed their victims and used the flesh to make stuffed pastries known as empanadas that they sold to neighbours in Pernambuco in the northeastern part of the country.

Da Silveira was said by police to have had a 50-page book with details and drawings of cannibalism. Police have found two bodies in the garden of a house belonging to the group. They believe the bodies found could be those of Alexandra Falcao, 20, and Gisele da Silva, 30, who were reported missing in the area recently.

11:14  Kabul gunbattle ends: 17 Taliban dead, 30 people injured:  

In international news: Fighting in the Afghan capital has finally ended, 18 hours after the Taliban launched their assault, officials have said. A spokesman for Kabul's police chief said the last gunman, who was fighting near the parliament in the west of the city, was killed early today.

Earlier, security forces flushed out insurgents in the central diplomatic area, home to several embassies. Officials said at least 17 gunmen and one police officer have died. More than 30 people were injured, many of them civilians.

 

Read more on the bbc.

11:09  

A separate session on Maoist violence will be held later in the day in Delhi in the backdrop of the CMs meet and will be attended by Chief Ministers of nine Maoist violence affected states.

Central government will also hold a special meeting of Chief Ministers to exclusively discuss the National Counter Terrorism Centre issue on 5 May.

11:06  How Mamata Banerjee turned into Attila the Hen :  

Before we go back to the CMs meet, read Vir Sanghvi's blog on the Mamata Banerjee cartoon fiasco.

 

Shortly after I moved to Calcutta in the 1980s, a very senior person at the newspaper organisation where I worked told me a few things about Bengalis. "You are from Bombay,' he said. "You have never worked in Calcutta before so you will not know what we Bengalis are like. The bad thing about us is that we are all conspirators. But the good thing, at least from your point of view, is that Bengalis are inept conspirators. So, you have nothing to worry about in the long run.'

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11:04  20 feared trapped under collapsed building in Jalandhar:  

While the PM addresses the CMs, several people were feared trapped under debris after a blanket factory building collapsed in Focal Point area near Jalandhar around midnight on Sunday, police said.

Nearly 40 people have been rescued from the collapse site, Deputy Commissioner (Jalandhar) Priyank Bharti said, quoting personnel from the fire brigade and army, who have been actively engaged in rescue operations through the night.

 

Read the report on rediff.com

10:59  

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav listens intently, TN CM Jayalalithaa looks grim.

10:57  Three non-Congress CMs to meet Jaya on NCTC:  

Even as the PM confirmed the NCTC meet on May 5, three non-Congress Chief Ministers, who are opposed to setting up of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, are likely to meet Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa separately in New Delhi today to evolve a strategy against the proposed anti-terror body.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab's Parkash Singh Badal and Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik are expected to meet Jayalalithaa at the Tamil Nadu Bhawan here.

All the four Chief Ministers have publicly expressed their opposition to the NCTC which led the Centre to put the move on hold and convene a separate meeting of Chief Ministers on May 5. They had called the move to set up NCTC was against the federal structure. During their meeting with Jayalalithaa, Modi and other leaders would discuss a strategy to be adopted at the May 5
meeting.

10:54  The Prime Minsiter says like other internal security matters, India needs joint and coordinated efforts to deal with the challenge of terrorism.
10:53  Terrorists more lethal than ever: PM at CMs meet:  

The Prime Minister says the centre's efforts towards improving capacity building in the police forces needs to be underlines since it's the first line of defence in combating the threats faced by India's internal security.

The PM reiterated that it was important to improve the quality of personnel and asked the chief ministers present to come up with viable suggestions.

Earlier, the PM said terrorist groups are nimble, more lethal than ever and increasingly networked across frontiers.

10:48  Security in J&K has improved: PM at CMs meet:  The PM says that in Jammu and Kashmir, there has been perceptible
improvement in security environment. Threat from terror, left-wing extremism remains and needs constant vigil. We have to deal with them firmly: Internal security situation by and large satisfactory since February 2011:
10:44  NCTC on May 5, confirms PM:  

The PM who still addressing the meet says, "We need coordinated efforts and giant steps have to be made to deal with the challenge of terrorism, whatever be its origin -- external or internal and whatever the motivation. It's a struggle in which we cannot relax', he said.

The PM confirms that the big-ticket NCTC will be discussed on May 5.

10:42  PM: Terror groups more lethal:  The PM says the internal security situation by and large remains satisfactory
since February 2011, but terror groups are by and large more lethal.
10:41  Up ahead at the CMs meet:  The conference which will be held all through the day will debate and decide on India's security situation with reference to its troubled neighbourhood. Up for discussion therefore will be crossborder terrorism, support to insurgents, arms smuggling, circulation of fake Indian currency notes, inflow of refugees and immigration.
10:38  CMs meet: Loc, Pak border still vulnerable: PC:  Chidambaram says international border in the west and LoC continue to be
vulnerable to infiltration from across the border.
10:37  A range of issues on internal security are expected to be discussed at the CMs meet. On the anvil are amendments to the Border Security Forces Act, The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Naxalism in the north east.
10:34  PM: Internal security still a challenge:  

Good morning. In New Delhi, PM Manmohan Singh is addressing the chief ministers' meet on internal security. Dr Singh says there has been an improvement in the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Just before the PM spoke, the home minister P Chidambaram says violence declined in 2011 be it in J-K, north east or left-wing extremism-affected states, while Assam has emerged as new theatre of Maoist groups.

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