22:13 Jharkhand HC rejects Koda's bail petition:
Jharkhand High Court on Friday rejected the bail petition of MP and former Chief Minister Madhu Koda in a graft case in connection with rural electrification scheme to the tune of Rs 11.4 crore.
The single bench of Justice H C Mishra rejected his bail petition on the ground that there was direct involvement of Koda in the case.
21:56 Delhi has least cases of pendency: CM:
A large fraternity of lawyers and quick and accessible justice has ensured that the capital has the least cases of pendency, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said on Friday.
Addressing the Capital Foundation Silver Jubilee Awards ceremony, she said the addition of four new district courts hase contributed to expeditious and accessible justice for Delhiites.
21:06 Govt not running away from Kanda issue: Hooda:
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday termed as baseless Opposition INLD's charge that his government was running away from a discussion on the Geetika Sharma death case and instead asked the party to introspect.
20:30 Jundal's custody extended till September 3:
A special court in Mumbai on Friday extendedthe police custody of the LeT operative and key 26/11 handlerSayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal till September 3 inconnection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
20:13 2 more held for Azad Maidan violence in Mumbai:
Two more persons were held on Friday by Crime Branch of Mumbai police in connection with the August11 violence, taking the total number of arrests to 50.
Tabrez Mohammed Sayyed, 24 and Wasim Noor Khan 23, residents of Antop Hill and Govandi areas, respectively, werenabbed based on the video footages showing them indulging inthe mayhem at Azad Maidan on August 11, Joint Commissioner ofPolice (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.
19:26 Of the two dead, one is the gunman, reports Reuters. He was shot by the New York Police Department.
19:20 It may be recalled that just last month a 12 people were killed and 58 injured by a lone gunman wielding tear gas and firing randomly at cinema goers at the midnight premier of the Batman movie in Colorado. The NYPD says this is not a terror attack.
19:16 The police are saying the shooting is not linked to a terror attack, though these are early reports as yet. Remember, this morning rush hour in the US.
19:15 Gunman killed in shootout at Empire State Bldg:
Local news media are reporting that the gunshots were heard before 09:00 (13:00 GMT). The Associated Press news agency said the shooter was dead. It is not clear how many people were wounded or what their conditions were. The shooting occurred at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. Up to five people were shot in front of the Empire State Building in New York, city's fire department says; the police say eight people have been shot at.
19:11 2 dead in shootout outside Empire State Building:
There's been a shootout outside the Empire State Building in New York. NYC officials say several people have been shot, with at least two dead. The gunman has also been shot. Details awaited.
19:08 Six metro stations to remain close from 8 AM to 6 PM on Sunday:
Accusing Congress and BJP of being hand-in-glove on the coal block allocation issue, social activist Arvind Kejriwal had yesterday announced the gherao of the residences of the PM and Nitin Gadkari. The stations fall near and close to their residences.
"Congress and BJP have got together to loot Rs 1.86 lakh crore in coal scam. (There will be) gherao of Prime Minister's and Nitin Gadkari's residences. Let us assemble at Jantar Mantar on August 26 (at) 10 AM," activist Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted yesterday.
Here's why journalist Kanchan Gupta's Twitter account was blocked. Read
18:53 Delhi Metro shutdown on Sunday for Kejriwal rally :
If you stay in Delhi, heads up. Services to six metro stations will remain suspended from 8 am to 6 pm on Sunday in view of Arvind Kejriwal's rally.
The affected stations are Khan Market Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udyog Bhavan, Jor Bagh, Race Course and Gurgaon-Jahangirpuri.
This is an attempt to prevent Indian Against Corruption supporters from reaching PM Manmohan Singh's and BJP president Nitin Gadkari's homes.
18:25 Home minister RR Patil may be replaced in Sept:
Maharashtra Home minister RR Patil is likely to be replaced when the reshuffle happens next month, reports CNN IBN. Patil is perceived as not in control of his ministry. In fact, when the Pune blasts occured, NCP chief Sharad Pawar publicly ticked off Patil for his 'inept handling and the intelligence failure'. He could be replaced by deputy CM Ajit Pawar.
It may be recalled that Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik was shunted out yesterday after his 'inept' handling of the Azad Maidan rally on August 11.
18:18 Axe ad with headless breasts panned:
A television commercial for Axe has been branded 'sexist' because the female character in the ad is depicted as a headless pair of breasts on legs.Designed to promote a men's hair product, the concept of the ad, set in an office, is based on the idea that men notice breasts first on a women, while women notice a man's hair before anything else. Read more
18:12 Digest this: Rs 5.1 crore has been lost with three days of Parliament adjournments.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) released a Performance Audit on the Activities of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on August 23, 2012. The main findings and recommendations are highlighted in this Summary. Read
18:03 Kim Jong Un is no reformer:
North Korea's new leader studied in Switzerland and has a young, attractive wife. That doesn't mean he's into the whole hope and change thing. Read
17:48 Singur law valid, victory of Ma-mati-manush: Mamata:
West Bengal Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee today claimed the Singur land acquisition law framed by her government was 'valid'. "Singur law is valid and we are happy at the Supreme Court order," Banerjee told reporters at the airport after returning from Delhi.
"This is a victory of the farmers and the victory of Ma-Mati-Manush (mother-earth-humanity)," she said after the Supreme Court sought the Tata Motors' response on a special leave petition filed by her government challenging its quashing by the Calcutta High Court.
She said the land at Singur was now with the state government "which will determine its distribution as per its policy."
A colleague (who is the lead guitarist in his band) insists we post this link. Move over Kolaveri Di. Listen
in to It's my Life by Venu Mallesh
17:28 'ONLY' 152 farmer suicides this year: Sharad Pawar:
Suicide by farmers due to agrarian reasons have dropped significantly to 152 in the current year, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today. A total of 14,027 farmers in the country had ended their life in 2011, he said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha. The worst affected states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have seen a fall in farmer suicides this year, he said.
Japanese novelist has odds of 10/1, ahead of Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom and Mo Yan of China on 12/1. Read
17:03 Chance pe dance: Modi protest curbs on social media:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today joined a protest against the Centre's move to block certain 'hate' pages and Twitter accounts by turning on his display picture to 'black', while terming the action as a "crackdown on freedom of speech".
"As a common man, I join the protest against crackdown on freedom of speech! Changed my DP. 'Sabko Samnati De Bhagwan' (May God give wisdom to all)," he posted on #GOIBlocks.
Twitter account holders in the country have started a movement against the Centre's reported move to block 300 web pages, including some Twitter handles, in the wake of Assam violence.
17:00 India's foreign direct investment slumps 78%:
Foreign direct investment into India slumped 78% in June, reflecting the weakening confidence of overseas investors. FDI during the month fell to $1.24 billion from $5.65 billion a year earlier, government data showed Friday. Read more
16:58 Questions of freedom and peoples emancipation:
Kobad Ghandy from Tihar Jail now writes on the concept of freedom vis--vis present-day society as also in relation to a future just order, bringing out some causes for the failure of the erstwhile socialist states. Read
16:35 India's Internet turns local clashes Into ethnic faceoff :
One of the more tragic possibilities enabled by the information age is that incidents of discord or violence in one part of the world often have ripple effects at great removes of space, and sometimes time, and that local causes and histories are disastrously subsumed into global categories and structures. Something of this sort has been observed in India over the last six weeks. Read
16:32 Auction of 54 coal blocks impossible this year: Jaiswal:
The government today said that the auction of 54 coal blocks would not be possible this year because of the long process involved in it. "It (the allocation of coal mines through competitive bidding route) would not be possible this year," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said here.
"Our government believes in transparency. All the coal blocks (to be allocated through auction route) were identified," the minister added. He also said that once Crisil submits its report--on the methodology to determine the reserve price for auction of 54 mines the ministry has identified for allocation--the bidding process would begin.
16:26 The 'mom with 50 babies':
A mother who can't have more children has spent thousands turning her house into a nursery for 50 fake babies.Maternal Alice Winstone even feeds, changes, and washes her 50 realistic dollies - which has forced her husband to move out. Read
16:15 Republic of fear:
First came the terrible and unfortunate violence in Assam between indigenous Bodo Tribals and illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants which left 75 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless. Then came the reports of violence from Mumbai, Lucknow, Allahabad and other places where unruly mob ostensibly fighting for the condition of Muslims in Assam and Myanmar, fought pitched battles with police, burnt vehicles and damaged public property with scant regard for law and order.Read
16:04 The Chidambaram solution:
P Chidambaram, as Finance Minister once again, seems a man in a hurry. Many are concerned that India's growth is slowing, and that this (and other) evidence is hurting the government's image among so-called "investors'. "So called' because they clearly are not investing enough, and blame that on the failure of the government to generate the necessary confidence (read, "guarantee profits')Read
the opinion piece on the Hindu.
15:43 Sarabjit's sis wants envoy to visit him in jail, meets Prez, HM :
The sister of Sarabjit Singh, the death row prisoner languishing in a Pakistani jail, today met President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking his intervention for his release and demanded that the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad visit him in the prison to check on his health.
Dalbir Kaur met Mukherjee and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and pressed for an immediate visit by the Indian High Commissioner to Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore where Sarabjit is lodged.
Kaur's meetings came against the backdrop of a letter written by Sarabjit to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in which he claimed that there was a threat to his life in jail and that he was being served "wrong contents in the food (which is) deteriorating his health day by day".
"I have requested the President and Home Minister to ask the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to visit Sarabjit in jail," she said.
15:33 Six persons have been killed when their car collided with a train at an unmanned railway crossing near Salemur town of Deoria district in Uttar Pradesh. The incident happened at 1 pm.
15:29 Salman promises cleaner Bigg Boss this season:
After several seasons highlighting fights and scandals involving celebrities in reality show Bigg Boss, the new version will be 'cleaner and friendlier', host Salman Khan has promised.
The controversial reality show Bigg Boss is all set to come back with new twists and turns for its sixth season this year, and will not only house celebrities, but will be open for the common man also, an official release issued here today said.
Porn star Sunny Leone was one of the housemates last season.
15:09 Stop threatening govt, resign: Digvijaya to BJP:
Criticising the BJP for disrupting Parliament on the issue of coal blocks allocation, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today said if the BJP Lok Sabha members want to resign en masse, they were free to do so.
"There was no need for the BJP members to threaten that they will resign, instead they should quit without any ado," Singh said.
Bye-elections would be held in all the constituencies represented by the members in case they resign, he said while claiming that even in the worst situation, the "Congress will win at least 20-30 seats presently held by the BJP."
14:55 Restrained chronicler of tumultuous times:
The Indian photographer Homai Vyarawalla, who died in January at 98, spoke many times, with undiminished regret, of two opportunities missed. Read the NYT piece.
: The rediff.com interview wit Homai Vyarawalla: 'Gandhi should never have agreed to Partition'
More on the Prince Harry story... What were Harry's police minders doing? They saw the prince being snapped but were too busy having fun. Read more
14:43 Hotelier waived Prince Harrys 30,000 bill in Las Vegas:
Prince Harry's scandalous weekend in Las Vegas cost 30,000 pounds but his hotel bill was waived as he breezed out of the opulent Encore Wynn resort, it has been revealed.
According to sources, billionaire Steve Wynn, who owns the hotel and five casinos, ordered that the royal party would not have to pay for anything. Harry and his two travelling friends were shown to their palatial eight-room suite when they arrived last Friday afternoon.
The biggest and most luxurious of the hotel's 16 duplexes, it has three master bedrooms, one for Harry and one each for his friends.
The Case of Overzealous Indian ISPs. Also on the WSJ. Read
14:31 Sonakshi Sinha in defense of no kissing:
Sonakshi Sinha made her Bollywood debut next to Salman Khan in Dabangg
, a movie that went on to become the box-office hit of 2010. Since then, her career has taken off. She speaks to film critic Anupama Chopra about her no-kissing rule, her ideal man, and her upcoming film, Joker, on the Wall Street Journal. Read
Minorities vs. Minorities: The new right-wing game plan for 2014. Read
14:17 Govt: We always knew PC was innocent in 2G case:
With the Supreme Court dismissing a plea against Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the 2G case, his Cabinet colleagues today said the UPA government stood vindicated on the issue and it was time the opposition stopped targeting him.
"We all respect the judgements of the Supreme Court. It may so happen that at times the apex court rejects our plea or at times accepts it. The decision should be welcomed by all. We are of course satisfied with the verdict. The court has granted relief to a learned colleague of ours," Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.
People have a right to move a court, but when it gives a decision, it should be respected by all, he told reporters outside Parliament House. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, "I have told you before that Chidambaram was innocent. Because we knew what was the reality and today it was proved that Chidambaram was innocent and he had no hand in it.
"That time (Janata Party chief Subramanian) Swamy had stated that these people from the government are illiterate who are saying this. I do not know who are illiterate because now the Supreme Court has proved it."
14:05 Nobody deserves to die like this...:
That was no way to die. Not with maggots swarming inside you. Not with that stench standing guard at the door. Open magazine chronicles the tragedy of Fiza Mohammed. Read
14:04 Milind Deora's Twitter account 'being verified, not blocked':
Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora, whose Twitter account has been suspended and which incident has led to a lot of comment on the microblogging site, smsed rediff.com
to say that his account was only 'being verified, and it was not blocked'.
Earlier in the day, efforts to access the page showed the result: 'Account suspended. The profile you are trying to view has been suspended. To return to your home timeline, click here'. At the time of posting this, the situation had not changed.
And, this is what the Wall Street Journal
's blog, India RealTime, has to say on the issue
13:49 Norway mass murderer 'sane', gets 21 years in jail:
A Norwegian court has ruled that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane, sentencing him to 21 years in prison.Breivik admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year. He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, seeking to justify his attacks by saying they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway. More
on the bbc.
13:41 Gangster-turned-neta Arun Gawli convicted for murder:
In other news, the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court today convicted gangster turned politician Arun Gawli in the murder case of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar. The court also convicted 11 others accused, while the sentence will be pronounced on August 27.
One of the accused, Bala Surve, died during trial, while three accused were acquitted for lack of evidence. Jamsandekar was shot dead in March 2008 at his Asalpha residence in suburban Ghatkopar. Gawli was arrested on May 21, 2008 and has been in custody since then.
On October 7, 2010, the court had framed charges against Gawli and other accused under MCOCA, sections 302 (Murder), 34 (common intention) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, while Gawli and others had pleaded innocence.
If coal blocks had been allotted by administrative order or law, it would have amounted riding roughshod on states, says Chidambaram. In 2005, government after government in states had opposed auctioning of coal blocks.
13:33 PC: Coal has not been mined, where is the loss?:
Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal says of the 57 coal blocks, except one, not a single block has been mined. Chidambaram therefore asks, "If coal remains in Mother Earth where is the question of loss? Only if coal is mined, will there be loss."
13:24 PC: Oppn has one goal -- tarnish PM's reputation:
Chidambaram says the Oppostion's actions have a single purpose -- to tarnish the reputation of the PM. "Opposition-ruled states forced us to go in for allocation because they opposed auction of coal blocks. In fact, NDA and UPA followed the same procedure for allocation. UPA later took states on board to enable a legislation.
Law minister Salman Khurshid who is also at the presser says that legislation always better than administrative order.
13:13 Jaiswal: Plot to stop Parliament from functioning:
Chidambaram says its a sad reflection on democracy that we cannot make a clarification in the House, we have to find a different platform.
Sriprakash Jaiswal speaking now. He says its a plot to stop Parliament from functioning.
13:11 PC on CAG report: Presumptive loss so very flawed:
Chidambaram says PM Manmohan Singh has been willing to address the house and make a statement in Parliament but the opposition is unwilling to listen. PC says the government did not bring about the change in the allocation policy.
"If we don't bring about a change, we get blamed; if we bring about a change, we get blamed. Is this how the opposition should conducts its affairs?"
He says the that presumptive loss is flawed. If coal is not mined, where is the loss?" asks Chidambaram.
13:06 PC, Jaiswal: All facts of CAG report placed in Parl:
Finance minister P Chidambaram and Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal addressing the media on CAG's coal allocation report. Chidambaram says the government is disappointed the opposition is unwilling to allow Parliament to function or discuss the matter in the floor of the house despite Jaiswal discussing the matter threadbare.
13:03 Michelle reaches out to Sikhs;meets Gurdwara victims' families:
Nearly 20 days after the Oak Creek Gurdwara shooting, US First Lady Michelle Obama today reached out to the community as she met the families of the victims. The shooting left six worshippers dead. "It's my honour to be here with you," the First Lady told the victims' families when she met them in private, away from the media glare, at Oak Creek High School.
"I'm sorry it's under these circumstances, but I am anxious to meet with the families and lend whatever support I can," she said. She spent about 30 minutes with the Sikh families. In addition, the family of police officer Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot more than eight times by white supremacist Wade Michael Page on August 5, met her in a separate room.
12:59 Lance Armstrong ends fight against doping charges:
US cycling star Lance Armstrong has announced he will no longer fight drug charges from the US anti-doping agency, ahead of a Friday deadline.In a statement, the 40-year-old maintains he is innocent, but says he is weary of the "nonsense" accusations.
The US anti-doping agency (USADA) now says it will ban Armstrong from cycling for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.Armstrong retired from professional sport in 2011.Read
12:55 Of coal and power play:
The Congress is on the back-foot and cynical. The BJP is on the front-foot and cynical. Where does that leave the rest of India? Read
12:52 Will file a review petition in SC: Subramanian Swamy:
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today said he will seek a review of the Supreme Court judgement dismissing his petition in the 2G spectrum case against Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
"I will seek a review of the judgement. I did not talk about conspiracy. I spoke about loss to the nation," Swamy said outside the Supreme Court shortly after his petition was rejected.
"It is a bad judgement. The Supreme Court never allowed me to complete my submissions," he told reporters. He said the court has given its verdict on issues which he never raised and not touched on the important aspect of huge loss to the nation. Government quickly came out in strong defence of Chidambaram.
"Chidambaram has nothing to do with 2G case. Swamy is always involved in filing these kind of petitions. So, there is no ground for his petition. We will face him legally and politically if he tries to malign the Congress party," Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said. Even if Subramanian Swamy files a review peition in the apex court, it will be dismissed as he has no case, the minister said.
12:46 Lok Sabha adjourns for the day, Rajya Sabha till 2.30 pm after uproar over coal block allocation issue.That's the fourth day in a row.
12:14 13 killed, 6 hurt as train hits vehicle in Odisha:
Thirteen people were killed and six others critically injured when a train rammed into a vehicle at an unmanned railway crossing in Odishas Sambalpur district on Friday.
The mishap took place at Khairpali between Sambalpur City and Maneswar railway stations when the vehicle was hit by Rourkela-Bhubaneswar Inter-City Express while it was trying to cross the track at an unmanned level crossing, an East Coast Railway official said.
While 12 people died on the spot, another succumbed to injury at hospital, Sambalpur Sub-Collector Rainu Singh said, adding that six injured persons were admitted to the district headquarter hospital in Sambalpur.
The vehicle was carrying women agricultural labourers from Analapalli to Sindurpanka. The deceased were 12 women labourers and driver of the vehicle.
The impact of the collision was severe and the vehicle was dragged quite a distance on the track leaving most of the bodies dismembered, eyewitnesses said.
12:12 Sexual assaults galore at China water festival:
Several women were stripped and sexually assaulted during festivities to mark a local water festival in China's island province of Hainan, coinciding with the Chinese Valentine Day.
The festival, held on Thursday at the Qixian Square, Baoting Li and Miao autonomous county, attended by several tourists turned into a nightmare for women as some men went baresark and tore down the clothes of the ladies and sexually assaulted them, official media in Beijing reported on Friday.
Several newspapers carried pictures of women in distress being rescued by their friends. Reports said police personnel who rushed to the scene detained several men.
Li Min, a tourist from Wanning in Hainan who has participated in the festival for the past five years, said four or five women were assaulted after an opening ceremony, and the attackers were taken away by police.
"There were more than 1,000 people on the square playing with water at that time, and most of them were very young," he told state-run China Daily.
"I saw a man take off a young woman's clothes, while similar attempts were made on four or five other women who were playing with water in different areas of the square at the same time," he said.
"Later, police came to restore order, took the men out of the square," Li said.
11:47 14-year-old gang-raped in moving car in Nashik:
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by three persons in a moving car in Nashik, police said on Friday.
The Class IX student was forcibly taken into a car by the three men in Chetna Nagar area on Wednesday evening, who gang-raped her in the moving vehicle and later dropped her at the spot from where she was picked, police said.
They threatened her against telling about the incident to anybody.
However, the girl mustered courage and informed her younger sister about the incident yesterday, who informed their parents.
The victim's parents then approached police and after her medical test, a complaint was filed against the unidentified youths late Thursday night, police said.
11:43 SC issues notice to Tata Motors on WB govt plea:
The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Tata motors following the West Bengal government's special leave petition, challenging the Calcutta high court's June 21 order on the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011.
The high court had declared the Act, under which the West Bengal government had vested land leased to Tata Motors, 'unconstitutional'.
A division bench comprising Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghosh and Mrinal Kanti Chaudhury had observed that presidential assent was not sought for the Act.
It set aside the order of Justice I P Mukerji who had upheld the Act, passed on September 28 last year.
Tata Motors had challenged the order of the single bench.
11:37 Microsoft unveils new 'square' logo:
US-based software giant Microsoft has launched a new corporate logo for the first time in 25 years as the firm gears up for a series of big product launches.
The new logo, which has been formed 'to express the company's diverse portfolio of products', features a square which contains four separate colored squares.
The old logo had a similar look, but the squares appeared deformed as if part of a flag waving in the wind.
Microsoft brand strategy manager Jeff Hansen said that the wave of new releases is not only a re-imagining of most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so the logo should evolve to visually accentuate this new beginning.
"The symbol is important in a world of digital motion." News.com.au quoted Hanse as saying
11:33 Coal-gate now has BJP in a Catch-22 situation:
The BJP's demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation following the CAG's Rs 1.86 lakh crore coal scam expose is as much about politics playing out inside the party as it is about the misdemeanours of the UPA.
The party has left no route for itself to retreat and to that extent Advani, who wants an early election, possibly before Narendra Modi can hit the national stage next year after the Gujarat elections, seems to be the only one who is setting the political agenda with others forced to react.Read more about it here in this DNA column
11:28 Assam MLA arrest: Supporters call for indefinite bandh:
A day after an MLA of Bodoland Peoples Front, an ally of the ruling Congress, was arrested early on Thursday, BPF has called for an indefinite bandh in Kokrajhar district of Assam.
Pradeep Brahma, alias Gara, was held after seven cases were registered against him in Fakiragram and Dotama police stations in Kokrajhar district, Inspector General of Police LR Bishnoi told a news agency. Brahma has been charged with inciting communal violence.
The MLA was charged under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons, 149 (unlawful assembly), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance), 427 (causing damage), 379 (theft) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC
10:57 SC rejects Swamy's 2G plea against Chidambaram:
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's petition for probe against P Chidambaram in the 2G spectrum case.
A bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan ruled that there was no material on record to prove that Chidambaram abused his official position.
The Apex court had scrapped the allocation of 2G spectrum under former telecom minister A Raja in February.
Swamy had moved the court challenging the trial court order which had held that the then Home Minister P Chidambaram did not indulge in any criminal conspiracy in the 2G scam and refused to make him an accused in the case.
On Thursday, Swamy requested the Supreme Court to suo motu initiate contempt proceedings against Chidambaram and his son for obstructing the administration of justice by filing a defamation suit against him through a firm in Singapore to harass and dissuade him from relentlessly pursuing the 2G scam cases.
10:43 Inflation to stay around 7 pc: RBI annual report:
The Reserve Bank of India's annual report says that tightening and growth deceleration led to inflation slowing down and that FY12 growth will be at previous year levels. It further adds that inflation should remain around 7 per cent, while it warns that upside risks to the economy remain.
The report also emphasises that risk to the economy is emanating from deficient monsoon and also that risk of twin deficits are increasing concern for macro economic stability.
However, the central bank adds that limited fiscal and monetary space will provide direct stimulus and that consolidation is required to sustain growth and reduce inflation.
10:39 BJP rallies Oppn before Speaker's all-party meet:
NDTV reports: The Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to unite the opposition ahead of an all-party meet called by the Speaker to end the deadlock in Parliament over the government auditor's report on coal allocation.
The main Opposition party, which leads the National Democratic Alliance, wants to meet all opposition leaders ahead of the Monday meeting, sources said, adding that NDA convenor Sharad Yadav has extended invites to Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bhaujan Samaj Party's Mayawati, Telugu Desam Party's Chandrababu Naidu and also some Left leaders.
An all-party meeting called by the Rajya Sabha Chairman to end the impasses failed to find a solution yesterday. The Chairman had called the meeting after a cacophonous BJP paralysed Parliament for the third day in a row, demanding the Prime Minister's resignation over what is being called "Coal-gate."
09:55 SC ruling on 2G plea against Chidambaram today:
The Supreme Court will on Friday deliver the verdict on Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's petition challenging trial court's order rejecting his plea to order a probe against finance minister P Chidambaram in the 2G scam.
A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi would also pass order on NGO Centre for Public Interest and Litigation's plea to order further investigation in the case. CPIL, on whose petition SC had ordered CBI probe into the 2G scam, too wants CBI to investigate Chidambaram's role in the case.
According to Swamy, Chidambaram must be held responsible for the telecom scam as it took place while he was the finance minister.
He contended the Union minister was aware of Raja's actions and that Chidambaram should have intervened, in the country's interest, at the time of framing of policy to allocate spectrum.
09:55 Rohinton Mistry wins 2012 American Nobel:
Critically acclaimed Indian-Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
The $50,000 Neustadt Prize, awarded every two years, is the only international literary award for which poets, playwrights and novelists are given equal consideration.
Robert Con Davis-Undiano, executive director of international magazine World Literature Today, said: "The world will quickly discover the excellence of Rohinton Mistrys luminous fiction that the Neustadt jury acknowledged with this choice. Giving the award to Mistry is inspired."
Mistry is the author of three novels: Such a Long Journey (1991), which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book), A Fine Balance (1996) and Family Matters (2002).
His latest book, The Scream, was illustrated by Tony Urquhart (2008).
The Neustadt Prize is widely considered to be the most prestigious international prize after the Nobel Prize in Literature and, in fact, is often referred to as the 'American Nobel' because of its record of 28 laureates, candidates or jurors who in the past 41 years have been awarded Nobel Prizes following their involvement with the Neustadt Prize.
09:05 The terrifying nuclear build-up in South Asia:
US President Barack Obama is right to worry that Pakistan's warheads and fissile material could end up in the wrong hands. He should also fret about their future in the 'right' hands. Fourteen years after India and Pakistan became declared nuclear powers, the world has become rather blase about the risks of a subcontinental nuclear confrontation.
08:40 Enough is enough, won't fight dope slur: Armstrong:
Cyclist Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven straight times, has given up the fight against charges levied against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which contended that he doped and was one of the ringleaders of systematic doping on his tour-winning teams.
In a statement, 40-year-old Armstrong said: "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough'. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today -- finished with this nonsense."
Armstrong reiterated that he had never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and that his decision was not an admission of guilt, but a choice to devote his time to his family and his Livestrong foundation for cancer survivors.
Armstrong overcame advanced cancer just a few years before his string of Tour de France victories.
I know who won those seven Tours. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially (USADA CEO) Travis Tygart. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title; serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities."
Armstrong's decision means that he will almost certainly be stripped of his seven Tour titles, the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 on.
It also means he will be barred for life from competing, coaching or having any official role with any Olympic sport or other sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Code.
03:41 Israel warns world of Iran's propaganda 'trap':
PTI: Fearing an attempt by Iran to influence the opinion of world leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, scheduled to attend a NAM summit meeting in Tehran next week, Israel has warned them not to fall in the Islamic Republic's propaganda "trap".
"We expect all those who decide to go there to be aware of such manipulation and to take care not to fall into the trap," Israel's foreign ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, said.
Israel, which has been threatening with military attack to foil Tehran's nuclear ambitions, earlier this month also blocked the entry of ministers from some NAM countries from attending a meeting of one of its committees in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
03:05 Ready to work with new UN envoy: Syria:
AFP: Syria said today that it is ready to work with new UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and hopes he can pave the way for "national dialogue," even as fighting raged in both the capital Damascus and second city Aleppo.
State media hailed the recapture by the army of three Christian neighbourhoods in the heart of Aleppo, but clashes between troops and rebel fighters raged in other parts of the city and in the southern belt of Damascus.
Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad accused neighbouring Turkey of providing the rebels with arms and rear bases, as Turkish and US officials held talks on hastening President Bashar al-Assad's fall.
00:58 John Lennon's killer denied parole for 7th time:
Authorities in New York have for the seventh time denied parole to the man who shot dead musician John Lennon in 1980.
Mark Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in 1981 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Chapman, now 57, shot Lennon four times outside a Manhattan apartment block. He can reapply for parole in two years.
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