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Sonia meets Delhi rape victim in hospital

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December 18, 2012


23:59  Sonia meets Delhi rape victim in hospital:  Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday met the 23-year-old girl at Safdarjung hospital who was gangraped in South Delhi on Sunday night.

Sonia asked the government to take the strictest possible measures to ensure that there is no recurrence of incidents like the barbaric gangrape in the capital that has shaken the country.
23:31  Western sanctions won't stop Iran: Ahmadinejad :  AP reports: Iran's president said today that Western sanctions could at the most cause a 'quick tap on the brakes' in Tehran's nuclear programme but will not slow it down substantially, state TV reported.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is quoted as saying that the "West is not happy with Iran's progress" in technological fields including uranium enrichment a possible pathway to nuclear arms.

"You think that by resorting to oil and currency issues, you are able to press the Iranian nation and stop it from its path? You are wrong. Maybe this works like a quick tap on the brakes in driving, but the Iranian nation will find its way quickly and will continue," said Ahmadinejad.
23:23  Mirwaiz welcomes resumption of Indo-Pak talks:  Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today welcomed the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan but said Kashmiris should be included in parleys as the Kashmir issue cannot be settled without their participation.

Addressing a news conference with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Farooq appreciated the restoration of the dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"Kashimiris should be given representation in bilateral parleys as the Kashmir problem cannot be resolved until Kashmiris are included in the process," he said.
23:12  WHO, UNICEF to continue anti-polio drive in Pakistan:  The World Health Organisation and UNICEF today said they would continue their anti-polio drive in Pakistan despite the killing of six vaccinators by gunmen but urged the government to do its 'utmost to protect health workers'.

"We remain committed to supporting the government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan in their efforts to rid the country of polio and other diseases," said a joint statement issued this evening by WHO and UNICEF in the wake of the killing of the six vaccinators in Karachi and Peshawar.
23:11  Bihar: Minor girl killed after suspected gangrape :   A minor girl was allegedly gangraped and murdered in Bihar's Saharsa district. The eight-year-old, bearing several injury marks on her body, was found floating dead in a canal today in Belbara village under Simri Bhakhtiarpur police station area, about 20 kms from the district headquarters.

Based on the marks, the police suspect that the girl was killed after being gangraped. She was last seen playing outside her home yesterday. The body has been sent for autopsy.
22:33  Delhi gangrape: Sonia asks for strictest action:  ongress President Sonia Gandhi today asked the government to take the strictest possible measures to ensure that there is no recurrence of incidents like the barbaric gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in the capital that has shaken the country. 

Gandhi has talked to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and National Commission for Women Chairperson Mamta Sharma and told them to ensure that all possible measures should be taken so that such incidents do not occur again.
21:46  DU students protest outside Dikshit's residence :  Scores of Delhi University students today staged a protest outside Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence in Delhi, demanding better security for women in the city and stringent punishment to those involved in the rape and brutal assault of a 23-year-old girl, who is battling for her life.        

The students shouted slogans against Dikshit, accusing her of not doing anything about the safety of women and shifting the blame on the police for crimes against women.       

"Doesn't she have any responsibility towards the women as chief minister of the city? Cannot she take up the issue vociferously with the Union government," said a protester outside Dikshit'sresidence.
21:43  Players should be given space and freedom: Akram:  Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board and the national team management to not treat the players like schoolboys during the tour of India.     

Responding to remarks made by the Pakistan team manager Naved Cheema -- that players would not be allowed free movement or permission to attend private parties or functions in India -- Akram said today that if they were made to feel like they were in a jail in Indi,a it would affect their performances.     

"I don't agree with this approach. I think the players should be given space and freedom. If they are relaxed and open-minded, they will perform better as well," Akram said.
21:30  'New land law if Bengal govt loses Singur case':  The West Bengal government will bring in a new legislation to return land to unwilling farmers in Singur if the Supreme Court verdict on the Singur LandAct went against it, Labour Minister Purnendu Basu said today.        

The Singur Land Act allows the West Bengal government to reclaim 400 acre earlier given to Tata Motors.        

"If we lose in the Supreme Court, the state government will bring a new law, and after getting the President's assent, we will return the land to unwilling farmers," Basu told a meeting of the Krishi Jami Rakshya committee, which took part in the Singur movement.
21:28  Over 500 members of doomsday cult held in China:  Over 500 people, believed to be members of the Almighty God cult, a Christian group, were held in China for spreading doomsday rumours, warning people that the world will come to an end on December 21.       

Reports in the official media said over 500 people were held indifferent parts of the country.        

Police in east China's Jiangsu Province detained eight more members of a cult for spreading rumours of an impending apocalypse, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
21:00  Manmohan model unleashed growth story: Chidambaram:  The Manmohan model has unleashed India's growth story and shown the world that the country can achieve over 9 per cent growth rate, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said.    

Dismissing allegations that the Manmohan-Chidambaram model was responsible for the economic slowdown, the minister said, "Please do not equate me with the prime minister. The prime minister is a distinguished economist. I am not. The PM has vast experience, I do not have that".
20:58  Jammu-Srinagar NH blocked due to landslide:  The 300-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, linking Kashmir Valley to the rest of the country, was today blocked due to a major landslide in Ramban district.       

Over 200 vehicles were stranded on both sides of the route due to a major landslide, triggered by rains in Seri belt of Ramban on Tuesday evening, a police officer said.
20:57  Rajya Sabha to adjourn, Lok Sabha to continue :  Rajya Sabha will adjourn sine die on Wednesday, while Lok Sabha will continue till Thursday, the last day of the winter session of Parliament.        

The Upper House is being adjourned a day ahead in view of the two-day India-Asean commemorative summit being held in Delhi from December 20, Parliament sources said.
20:56  Insurance bill not to be taken up in winter session:  Insurance amendment bill, which seeks to raise the FDI cap in private sector insurance companies to 49 per cent from 26 per cent, is expected to be deferred to the next session.       

"Insurance Bill will not come up in this session," a top government functionary said.        

The winter session of Parliament will end on December 20.
20:53  Delhi govt defends cash subsidy scheme:  Delhi government today rejected criticism of its newly launched food programme Annashree Yojna, saying an amount of Rs 600 is being given as assistance to the poor families who have been left out of the PDS system, due to a cap on the number of beneficiaries fixed by the Centre.        

It said the Centre had put the upper limit of the BPL households in Delhi at 4.09 lakh and the new scheme was launched to provide some sort of support to those people who were not getting subsidised food due to the cap.        

As per official figures, Delhi has a total of 7.5 lakh BPL families, out of which only 4.09 lakh are eligible for the public distribution system.
20:35  Zuma re-elected president of South Africa's ruling party:  South Africa's ruling African National Congress today re-elected President Jacob Zuma as the party chief with a thumping majority, effectively paving the way for him to retain the presidency until 2017 if the ANC wins the general elections in 2013.        

Zuma, 70, received the support of over 75 per cent of the total voting delegates at the ANC National Conference held in Bloemfontein.        

However, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was ousted and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, one of the architects of the new South African Constitution, which saw Nelson Mandela become the country's first democratically-elected President in 1994.
20:30  Delhi rape: NHRC finds fault with policing:  Finding fault with policing in Delhi, the National Human Rights Commission has said the horrific rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus raises the issue of declining public confidence in law and order machinery in the city.   

Taking suo motu cognisance of Sunday's incident, the NHRC issued notices to the Union home secretary and the Delhi police commissioner and asked them to submit their reports within two weeks.   

"The incident has raised the issue of declining public confidence in the law and order machinery in the city, especially, in its capacity to ensure safety of women as a number of such incidents have been reported in the national capital in the recent past," an NHRC statement said.
18:39  Just in: The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to the Delhi police chief Neeraj Kumar and the Home Secretary RK Singh on the Delhi gang-rape.
18:31  Victim put on ventilator again:  Earlier today, S.N. Makwana, the press information officer at Safdarjung hospital said that the patient was still critical, and has been put on ventilator support. "But since today (Tuesday) morning she has started to speak to the doctor," Makwana said.

A senior doctor at the hospital, who is attending to the victim, added that no further surgeries were being planned as of now. "We can say it is a grievous injury and her intestines are severely damaged," another doctor said on condition of anonymity.
18:28  Condition of Delhi gang-rape victim deteriorates:  Just in: Doctors at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital treating the gang-rape victim say her condition has deteriorated and she has been put on ventilator again. The 23-year-old Delhi girl who was gang-raped and thrown off a bus was in a "very critical condition", when she was admitted on Sunday. The girl had was put on a ventilator with grave injuries in the stomach and intestines. She bore signs of having been beaten with a blunt object, he added. 
18:14  The President of India, The Chief Justice of India: Stop rape now. Sign the petition.
18:09  This is what Section 376 of the IPC (rape) says. Read
18:05  Also on the Delhi rape, read the blog on Tehelka. 
18:02  Our sources tell us that the government is toying with the idea of adjourning the Rajya Sabha tomorrow. Right now, there is an internal discussion between the ruling and opposition parties.
18:00  Have a look at this: In numbers -- the total crimes against women. Read 
17:59  Delhi police on gangrape: Will seek capital punishment:  Delhi Police will write to Union Home Ministry seeking appropriate changes in law to invoke death penalty for rapists.

"We will surely send a proposal to the government (seeking death penalty for rapists)," City Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told reporters when asked whether the force would demand death penalty for those involved in the gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus.

He said the city police will seek stringent punishment for the rapists in court as well as fast-track trial for this case on a day-to-day basis so that the accused are punished as soon as possible.

Kumar, who had a meeting with Home Secretary R K Singh this morning, said he has requested the Home Ministry to speed up its decision on a proposal to buy 370 more PCR vehicles for Delhi Police as well as replacing condemned vehicles with new ones.
17:44  Six dead as slab collapses in Pune building :   Just in: Six people have been feared killed, many trapped, as a slab collapses in an under-construction building in Pune. Many people have also been injured. The under-construction building is located about 30 km from the main city of Pune, on way to Ralegan Siddhi.
17:29  Anything goes in Bangalore's Wild West Real Estate Market. Read
17:26  Queen Elizabeth arrives to attend cabinet meeting:  Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives at 10 Downing Street today where she will sit in on a cabinet meeting -- the first in her 60-year reign and the first monarch since Queen Victoria to do so. The picture was posted by UK PM David Cameron's office.
17:07  Wtih face covered rapist driver gets police custody:  Delhi gang-rape update: The bus driver, who along with six others, allegedly gang-raped a 23-year-old girl on Sunday night, was today remanded to five days in police custody by a Delhi court.

Ram Singh, who was the first person to be arrested last night, was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Namrita Aggarwal who allowed the plea of Delhi Police for his custodial interrogation for facilitating the arrest of three other accused who are absconding. The accused refused to undergo Test Identification Parade (TIP), the criminal procedure in which the alleged offender is brought before witnesses and victims for identification. Out of the six accused, four have already been arrested.

The Delhi Police told the magistrate that the other three arrested culprits, Ram Singh's brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, an assistant gym instructor and Pawan Gupta, a fruit seller, will be produced in court tomorrow.

While seeking the remand of the driver, the police said his custodial interrogation was needed to recover the clothes of accused, mobile phones and ATM cards of the victim and her male friend.

Further, "we need his remand as three more accused are to be arrested who hail from Rajasthan, UP and Bihar and we have to take Ram Singh to these places," police said.

The girl, a paramedical student, was raped and brutally assaulted before being thrown out of the moving vehicle with her male friend.

The court was jampacked as Singh, with his face covered, was brought by the police for the hearing. Both the victim and her male friend, who had boarded the chartered bus with tinted glass windows from Munirka in south Delhi around 9.45 pm to Palam on Sunday night, were assaulted with an iron rod by the men after the two resisted before they were dumped on the road side near Mahipalpur flyover, police said.
16:50  Adam Lanza's family had kept a watchful eye on him:   The Connecticut shooter had a form of autism, family friends say, and had been medicated from a young age. His mother once instructed a baby sitter not to let the boy out of his sight. Read
16:48  How Wal-Mart used payoffs to get Its way in :  In other news: MexicoWal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found. Read
16:32  India lost USD 123 billion in black money in a decade:  India lost a whopping USD 123 billion in black money during 2001-2010, making it the eight largest victim of illicit financial outflow, a US-based research and advocacy organisation said in a report.

However, India's black money loss of USD 123 billion in 10 years is far less than that of China, which according to the report suffered a loss of USD 2.74 trillion during the same period (2001 to 2010), followed by Mexico (USD 476 billion), Malaysia (USD 285 billion), Saudi Arabia (USD 201 billion), Russia (USD 152 billion), the Philippines (USD 138 billion) and Nigeria (USD 129 billion).

India is the eight largest victim of black money loses, said the report 'Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2001-2010,' released by Global Financial Integrity. India is the only South Asian country to figure in the top 20 list of such nations.
16:27  Delhi gang-rape: Driver gets 5-day police custody:  Delhi gang-rape: Ram Singh, the driver of bus in which the girl was gang-raped, was produced in court. The driver who has refused to undergo an identification test has been remanded to five-day police custody by the court.
16:19  Excellently argued: The Delhi Rape Case, Examined. Read
16:15  Delhi rape: Govt unveils six-point action plan :   Here's what Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said in Parliament today on the gang-rape in Delhi.

-- Case will be fast tracked.

-- A special task force headed by the Home Secretary will be constituted to look into suggestions made by members in this regard.

-- All roads will be covered by PCR vans at night and specific routes used by women working in BPOs and call centres will be identified for increased patrolling by police.

-- Delhi Police has issued orders to BPOs and other organisations to ensure that their women staff working in evening shifts are dropped at their doorstep.

-- Three helpline services for women would be launched.

-- A Criminal Law Amendment Bill for dealing with sexual offences has already been introduced in Lok Sabha which seeks to enhance punishment for such crimes.

Also read: Rapes happen in India, because we are a callous nation

15:59  Four militants killed in encounter in Sopore :  Just in: Four militants have been killed in an ongoing gun battle in Sopore, Jammu and Kashmir. The encounter is a joint exercise by the Army and the police. 
15:57  Slain principal's husband left with future that makes no sense:  Update on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootout.  Husband of principal slain in the attack says his world makes no sense any more.Read
15:47  Mallya offers 3 kg gold to Lord Venkateswara:  News that KFA employees will find difficult to digest.

The promoter of crisis-ridden Kingfisher Airlines and UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya made an offering of gold bricks, weighing about three kg, at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara on his 58th birthday today.

Mallya donated the gold after offering worship and requested temple authorities to use it for gilding the doors at the sanctum sanctorum, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Deputy Executive Officer (temple) Chinnamgari Ramana told PTI. The United Breweries chief, who arrived with his family last night, celebrated his birthday at a simple function held at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams guesthouse, Venkata Vijayam, donated by him 15 years ago, temple sources said.
15:42  Four female polio vaccination workers shot dead in Pak:  Four female Pakistani polio vaccination workers have been shot dead in the country's largest city Karachi, police say.The attacks happened during a three-day Unicef nationwide drive against polio, which is endemic in Pakistan. Read more
15:35  British cop arrested for calling 3 Asian women Pakis:  In other news: A British policeman of Mauritian descent has been arrested for racially aggravated public order by calling three Asian-origin women "Pakis" on a boozy night out. Detective Constable Darren Sonnar allegedly lost his rag when the women wouldn't let him jump a cashpoint queue. Sonnar, 33, had been out celebrating his birthday with pals. A complaint was made and officers in Brighton arrested him. He has now been suspended from a specialist unit at Belgravia police station in central London, The Sun tabloid reported today.
15:14  No lapses by Delhi police: Comissioner :   Delhi CP insists there are no lapses by the police. "The victim and her friend boarded the deluxe bus without realising it was not on duty. Deluxe buses cannot be stopped for checking," he says.

In the Rajya Sabha MPs urge home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to act immediately and stringently in the case. Shinde says if there are any lapses in the probe the government would try and rectify it. To which Jaya Bachchan urges Shinde to amend the remark. "Please say we will rectify it and not we will try and rectify it," she says. 

The opposition asks for a specific time frame for the accused to be brought to justice. With that the discussion on the Delhi gangrape has ended and the House moves on to other business listed on the agenda.

14:56  Bus curtains drawn, rear door sealed: Delhi top cop :  The Delhi police commissioner says the curtains in the bus were drawn and hid the crime that was taking place on board. "We have conducted forensic tests on the bus. We want the most severe punishment for the accused in the case. The most severe punishment for rape is a life sentence, but we will ask for the death sentence." 
14:50  Del top cop wants gangrape case to be fast tracked:  Delhi poliice commissioner Neeraj Kumar gives a recap of the case, facts which are public knowledge now. Four persons have been arrested in connection with the gang-rape of the 23-year-old student, two yet to be arrested. The top cop says the six were out on a joy ride in the luxury bus. The victim was pushed out of the moving bus. The rear door of the bus was shut.

One of the four arrested accused, one is a driver, another his brother, a third is a fruit seller, while the fourth is an assistant gym instructor. The two others are absconding, but have been identified. "We want a day-to-day trial in a fast track court," says Neeraj Kumar. "The victim is still critical and on a ventilator, but is improving," he says.  
14:44  LS Speaker to meet Delhi gang-rape victim today:  Delhi poliice commissioner Neeraj Kumar addressing the media on the Sunday's gang-rape case in Delhi.

News flash: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will meet the rape victim in hospital at 3 pm today.
14:35  Are Delhi buses unsafe for women?:  If you're a woman, you're not safe on public buses in Delhi. If you get raped, it's probably your fault. Read more
14:29  Contempt case against Mamata dismissed:  The Calcutta high court has dismissed the criminal contempt case against the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, for making derogatory statements against judges at a seminar in the state Assembly complex on August 14.
14:14  Tata Sons appoints Cyrus P Mistry Chairman from Dec 28:  Tata Sons, the promoter of major operating companies of the salt-to-software conglomerate, today announced appointment of Cyrus P Mistry as its Chairman with effect from December 28 following retirement of Ratan N Tata.

"The Board of Directors of Tata Sons today announced the appointment of Cyrus P Mistry as the Chairman of the Board after Ratan N Tata retires on December 28, 2012," Tata Sons said in a statement. The Board has decided to confer on Tata the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus, it added.
14:09  Newtown shootings: Obama seeks 'complex' gun reform:  Update on the other story that is still making headlines: The Sandy Hook shootout. US President Barack Obama has met senior officials to discuss how to respond to Friday's school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults died. The White House said curbing gun violence was a "complex" problem that required a comprehensive solution. Read
14:05  Delhi gang-rape: Who said what in Parliament :  So far, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati called for strict action to prevent incidents of rapes so that no one dares to commit such a heinous crime. "We need to improve our laws and make them stricter, so that it serves as a deterrent. Not enough to just arrest them, but action should be so strict that no one should dare to act in such a manner," she said.

Congress (TMC) MP Derek O' Brien said ''rape is not a women's issue, it is much beyond. It is about men who stop behaving like human beings and started behaving like animals. This is even worse than animals," he added.

Smriti Irani of the BJP lashed out at the Congress-led UPA Government and pointed fingers at the Delhi Police for not taking apt action in cases linked to the feminine gender.

"Even when a girl is molested in Delhi, the police says ''it''s just a molestation, not a rape''. You (Speaker) are saying ''time up''; time should be up for these criminals, not MPs discussing these issues. In 36 hours, a 23 year old and a six year old have been raped," said Irani. 

"I want to ask the government why we are unable to secure women in our capital? I request the Home Minister not to restrict himself to a statement or sound bite," she added.

14:01  Outrage over the Delhi rape on Twitter:

In a country where most women get raped by their husbands & never report, we blame Delhi for the rapes? Cities dont rape. People do.

Delhi has the most unique bus system in the world. Blueline buses kill those who are on it. Whiteline buses rape those who are on it.
13:58  In the Rajya Sabha, the discussion on the Delhi gangrape continues. Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has meanwhile, summoned the Delhi poliice commissioner Neeraj Kumar and directed him to arrest all the accused persons within the shortest possible time. BJP's Ram Jethmalani had asked for the removal of Neeraj Kumar as commissioner in the Rajya Sabha today.

BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad asks for a 30-minute lunch break which the deputy chairman agrees to. House will now meet at 2.30 pm.  
13:49  Student streaks in Kochi demanding NHRC chief's resignation:  A city law college student streaked along the busy M G Road in the heart of Bangalore, demanding the resignation of National Human Rights Commission chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan.

The youth ran a short distance with his face covered with a towel, police said. Another person who helped him flee on his motorbike yesterday before police arrived was taken into custody, they said, adding a search was on for the student.  Streaking is considered an offence and an FIR had been filed in the Ernakulam central police station.
13:48  Ex Cab Secs letter gave PM option to hike 2G price, stop scam:  The former Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar caused a flutter in October when he told a Parliament panel probing the 2G scam that he had warned the Prime Minister of a Rs. 35,000 crore revenue loss if spectrum prices were not revised to take account of post-2001 market developments. Read more
13:46  Rahul goes to Amethi, takes Omar along:  In other news: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi arrived in Amethi this morning on a day's visit to his parliamentary constituency along with chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah.

Arriving at the Fursatganj airport, Rahul had a brief interaction with local residents. He also asked his party workers for a cup of tea in view of the cold winds but as they rushed to offer him one, he moved ahead saying he would have it later as he was running short of time.

The two leaders then drove to Kasbapur village in Jais where Rahul is scheduled to attend a meeting of self help women group. Later he is likely to visit various parts of the constituency and take stock of the ongoing development works and also meet party workers to take their feedback.

According to party sources, Gandhi has brought Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to show him the ongoing works of the self help groups in his constituency. This is Rahul Gandhi's second visit to his constituency this month.
13:40   BJP's Smriti Irani says that even when a girl is molested in Delhi, the police says it's just molestation, not a rape. She asks for CCTVs to be intensified in buses.  
13:24  In the Lok Sabha earlier :   In the Lok Sabha, members led by Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP) raised the matter and demanded suspension of question hour. But, members took their seats after Speaker Meira Kumar assured them that they would be allowed to raise it during zero hour. "This is a serious issue. This is a heinous act. I will allow you to raise the matter during zero hour," Kumar said. 
13:13  Jaya breaks down in Parl: Sexual assault is murder:   Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan is back with the rest of what she has to say which is that she is "terribly disturbed, anguised and worried."

A visibly moved Jaya Bachchan, almost breaking down says, "The mental torture for the victim is terrible," she cries. "It's a shame. Where is the protection of women? We should think about it very seriously. I personally feel very ashamed [her voice breaks] that I'm sitting in this house and doing nothing about it. I'm ashamed at the answers placed in the house on the issue.
"Sexual assault should be treated on par with murder (section 302). This is a good time for us to make it an example and show the country that we mean business," she says. Probably the most emotional speaker in Parliament today. 

The consensus so far among all MPs across party lines is for death penalty to rapists. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also calls for the death penalty.
13:06  RS chair extends time for discussion on Delhi rape:  Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde gauging the mood of the house says he will answer the questions on what action will be taken on the Delhi rape case, but is willing to hear what other colleagues have to say on the matter.  The chair allows the discussion to continue. Najma Heptullah also calls for the death penalty for rapists.
12:57  Derek O'Brien: I fear for my daughter :  TMC's Derek O'Brien speaks of his fear as the father of a 17-year-old girl and the lack of safety in Delhi. He says rape is always considered to be a woman's issue, but it is about men. About men behaving like animals. When other MPs point it the behaviour is worse than what animals are capable of, a chastised O'Brien agrees and says strong action has to be taken which will act as a deterrent.

Congress MP Renuka Chaudhary says the government will not allow this incident to become another statistic.
12:47  Delhi rape: Enraged Jaya threatens protest outside Parl:  SP leader Jaya Bachchan speaking in the Rajya Sabha on the dichotomy of a woman being raped in a country where she is also worshiped. "The way we are discussing this topic (Delhi gang-rape) should have been done earlier," says Jaya Bachchan.
She then attempts to read out statistics on rape from the NCW, but the chair asks her to stop as other MPs have to speak as well. An enraged Jaya admonishes the chair saying every time women's issues are raised in Parliament, it is not allowed. "There is no time. We can discuss this later." says the chair. "For a subject like this there is always time. I will protest outside Parliament,"  says Jaya, but gives in.

BSP leader Mayawati says the Delhi rape issue was serious and strict punishment should be mandatory.

On Twitter...
Swati Garg: Delhi is indeed a rape capital. we are not safe in our cars forget public transport. We are vulnerable and at lack of protection.

Mangalam Maloo: Bombay or Delhi or anywhere. Rape is Rape. Stop fighting over what's the Rape Capital. Nuts.

Priyanka Gupta: Finally our MPs speaking in unison against the incident of sexual torture and rape in Delhi. Need action not speeches
12:26  Speaker calls for stronger punishment against rapists:  Senior journalist and author, Tavleen Singh tweets: Sickening that 'experts' blame the spread of pornography for the horrific rape in Delhi. Do they not know of the Dalit girls raped in villages for centuries?

National Commission for Women chairperson Mamta Sharma yesterday blamed the Delhi Police for failing to make roads of the national capital safe for girls after a 23-year-old student of medicine in Delhi University was allegedly raped in a moving bus.

In the Lok Sabha, Speaker Meira Kumar calls the incident 'shocking' and calls for stronger laws against rapists. 
12:21  Delhi gang-rape victim conscious, writing messages for docs:  The 23-year-old para-medical student who was gang-raped and hit with an iron rod for nearly 45 minutes on a Delhi bus is still in critical condition, say her doctors. She is conscious now and is communicating with the staff at her hospital by scribbling. Doctors say that the next 48 hours are critical for her; they described the injuries to her intestines and private parts as "extremely serious." Read more
12:18  Sushma Swaraj wants capital punishment for rapists:  The Delhi gang-rape issue is being discussed in Parliament. BJP's Sushma Swaraj wants capital punishment for rapists. "Girl will live a dead person's life even if she survives. It's absolutely shocking you can't be safe in Delhi at 9.30 pm," says Swaraj. 
12:12  N Korea pays homage to Kim dynasty, past, present (and future?):  Tens of thousands of North Koreans gathered in Pyongyang to mark a year since the death of Kim Jong-il, with the embalmed body of the former leader going on public display for the first time. But the solemn occasion was eclipsed by rumours of the imminent arrival of a new member of the Kim dynasty. Read
12:09  To a better life for Delhi's street dogs. Read
12:07  Highlights of RBI's Mid-Quarter Monetary Policy Review:
* RBI keeps interest rate (repo rate) and cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged. * RBI says global economy has shown some signs of stabilisation although situation remains fragile.
* At home, there are some incipient signs of pick-up though growth remains significantly below its recent trend.
* Recent policy steps by the Govt and more reforms should help boost business sentiment, improve investment climate.
* Inflationary pressure moderating but high food and commodity prices continue to remain a risk.
* RBI says it is closely monitoring the evolving growth-inflation dynamics.
* RBI to update formal assessment of its growth and inflation projections for 2012-13 in January.
* With inflation pressures ebbing, monetary policy has to shift focus and respond to threats to growth from now on, says RBI.
11:48  JNU students stop traffic in South Delhi to protest the gang-rape in a silver line bus. 
11:47  The death of a small boy:  The Betul tragedy shows that the state does not consider emotional or intellectual maturity important in a person who teaches children. Read
11:45  Army kills one LeT militant in Sopore:  In an encounter with the Army, a militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba was killed in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday. The encounter took place in the Saidpora locality of Sopore district where army and police personnel carried out a joint operation.   Acting on a tip off, the security forces surrounded the militant hideout and soon a gunbattle ensued in which one of the militants is reportedly dead.
11:43  Rehman Malik, the fall guy:  It is not that much had been set store by the visit of the Pakistan interior minister, Rehman Malik, to India. But Mr Malik seems to have taken upon himself a role larger than the one he was expected to play while formalizing the visa agreement with India. Read
11:35  Thackeray's will ups fight between daughters-in-law:  Bal Thackeray's family is allegedly fighting again -- not over his political legacy this time but over his property. Rather than a direct battle between his son Uddhav and estranged nephew Raj, it's more a fight between his three daughters-in-law. The key bone of contention is the four-storey family mansion, Matoshree, where the late Shiv Sena chief's will was read out by his lawyers on Sunday evening. Read
11:31  18 lakh sapling soldiers to tackle Maoists:  How Bokaro's green war against Maoist-land mafia nexus is working. Anaconda-II is striking in West Singhbhum's forests to drive Maoists out. In Bokaro, a forest in its infancy is gently yet firmly trying to yield the same fruits.Bokaro district forest officials and village panchayat samitis have fielded 18 lakh fruit-bearing saplings as ammo against the unholy nexus of Maoists and land mafia. Read the report on the Telegraph.
11:21   BJP raises Delhi gang-rape case in Parliament:  Slamming the Delhi government as well as the Centre for failing to bring down the crime graph in the national capital, the BJP raised the issue of the gang-rape of a girl in Parliament and moved for the suspension of Question Hour in both the Houses.

"This is a serious issue...it is happening frequently. We will raise the issue with full force in Parliament," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said outside Parliament a while ago.

Party chief spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said the decision was taken at the Parliamentary Board meeting held this morning. "Several of our members have moved notice to suspend Question Hour (in both Houses)...they were deeply agitated," he told reporters.

He said women MPs from NDA constituents will stage a dharna inside Parliament House complex tomorrow morning to flag the issue of "Delhi becoming a centre of atrocities on women...there is no palpable action by the police."
11:19  The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for 15 minutes after uproar over the Delhi gang-rape.
11:11  RBI keeps bank rate UNCHANGED at 9 pc:   Just in: RBI keeps bank rate unchanged at 9 per cent. The repo rate (8 per cent) and the Cash Reserve Ratio (4.25 per cent) remain unchanged. There has been some tightening on the liquidity front due to advance tax outgo. Following this, the banks' borrowing from the RBI has gone up to Rs 1,46,300 crore on Monday, from Rs 64,445 crore on Friday. Experts had said the tight liquidity condition will continue for a while till the government starts spending, and this makes a case for lowering of CRR. 
11:06  In Gujarat, searching for developments with dignity:  The credibility that Narendra Modi has acquired among many Hindu voters over the years is for what his government oversaw in 2002; not for engineering a spectacular model of economic development. Read


On rediff.com: Modi set for LANDSLIDE victory, predict exit-polls. Read
11:02  America's gun madness:  The sticky issue of America's gun law that will allow other Adam Lanza's to kill again. The opinion piece on the Hindu: We will never know what demons haunted Adam Lanza's mind when he walked into his old school in Newtown and killed 20 children and six adults -- among them his mother. But we do know that he killed with the guns he cradled in his hands. Read
11:00  Mah govt permits online ticket booking for India-England match:  The Maharashtra government has allowed online ticket booking for the India-England T-20 match at Wankhede stadium on December 22. The tickets can be booked online and would be made available to the people at the stadium. The decision has been taken in view of maintaining law and order and streamlining the ticket sales, government officials said.
10:58  This is what lies ahead in Parliament today:   Seven bills listed for passing in the Lok Sabha

1. Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011
2. Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011
3. Companies Bill, 2011
4. Constitution (118th Amendment) Bill, 2012 (Insertion of new article 371j)
5. Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2012
6. Governors (Emoluments, Allowances and Privileges) Amendment Bill, 2012 7. Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2012

RAJYA SABHA
1. Calling attention to situation arising out of suspension of Indian Olympic Association by International Olympic Committee
2. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2012
3. National Highways Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012
4. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012
5. Appropriation (No. 4) Bill, 2012

And of course, adjournments, uproars and ruckus...
10:53  Mum: Much-awaited emergency medical service plan in April:  The first phase of Maharashtra Government's much awaited emergency medical service (EMS) plan is expected to roll out in April, with active participation of Indian American doctors, who are working with authorities to develop US-style EMS and trauma care model for Mumbai.

"The first phase of the plan which will cover Mumbai, is expected to be launched in April," co-founder of American Association Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Navin Shah said. Shah, who recently met Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, health secretary Desiraju and Maharashtra chief secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia, said mortality rates in accident injuries would come down by around 30 per cent once the EMS and trauma care plan is operationalised.

The plan is aimed at offering assistance to accident victims and other critical patients in the "golden hour", the time during which prompt intervention can save a patient's life. The plan would enable medical professionals to provide aid to the injured within the golden hour.

The EMS has been functional in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Uttarakand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

"We have amalgamated services and expertise of 24 Mumbai hospitals, including Hinduja, Bombay Hospital, Lilavati, Nanavati, Hiranandani, Wockhardt and Bhatia hospitals, besides government run J J, KEM and Sion hospitals," Shah said.
10:48  Jacintha Saldanha laid to rest :  Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who committed suicide in London on December 7 after falling victim to a hoax call by two Australian radio presenters, was laid to rest at Our Lady of Health Church cemetery in Udupi on Monday. Read
10:44  Fast track court to be set up to try bus gang-rape case: Sheila:  The Delhi Government will set up a fast track court for disposal of the Vasant Vihar bus gang-rape case as it wants to send out a strong message that violence against women will not be tolerated, said Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday. Read
10:39  Rapists will be brought to book -- message has to go out :  The fact that such a frightening incident of gang-rape has taken place in the Capital and that too in a public transport system at reasonable hours of the day in a heavily populated area leaves a very chilling impact on people. The gang-rape has shocked society and posed several questions reflecting their insecurities and sensitivities. Read the column by senior advocate Pinky Anand for the Hindu.
10:33  No question of calling off Indo-Pak series: BCCI:  
The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Tuesday shot down BJP's demand of cancelling the Indo-Pak limited-overs cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik "insulting" India, insisting that the matches would be
held as scheduled. 

"There is no question of calling off the tour. All the arrangements have been made and the tour was planned much earlier. Politics should not be mixed with sports and the tour will go on," senior BCCI official and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told PTI.

On Tuesday in the Parliament, the BJP had accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of remaining silent by not responding appropriately to Malik, who triggered controversy by equating 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition and describing LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agency.

New Delhi has rubbished Malik's assertions. 
10:33  Delhi gangrape victim still very critical :  The 23-year-old gangrape victim is battling for life in New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital. She has severe genital, abdominal and head injuries. Doctors treating her claimed the woman, who is on ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital, is "very critical'.

Late Monday, police arrested the main accused in the rape case even as doctors claiming they had never seen a victim of sexual assault subjected to "such brutality'."We performed several life-saving procedures on her within an hour of her being brought to the hospital around 3am. Her injuries were severe and she has lost a lot of blood,' said a senior doctor at the hospital.The victim had reportedly lost nearly a litre of blood and had severe internal injuries. More
09:55  Sensex opens on a positive note:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday rose over 74 points in early trade on fresh buying by participants ahead of the RBI's mid-quarter monetary policy review, amid a firm trend in the Asian region.

The 30-share barometer, which had lost 72.83 points on Monday, recovered by 74.18 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 19,318.60, with all sectoral indices rising up to 0.67 per cent.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty gained 21.20 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 5879.10.

Brokers said fresh buying by funds ahead of the RBI's mid-quarter monetary policy to be announced later on Tuesday, influenced the trading sentiments.

Besides, a firming trend in the Asian region also had a positive impact, they said.
09:53  RBI may cut CRR in monetary review today:  
Moderating inflation has raised hopes of rate cut by the Reserve Bank in mid-quarter review of monetary policy on Tuesday, but experts believe that it is more likely to cut the Cash Reserve Ratio for banks.

There has been some tightening on the liquidity front due to advance tax outgo. Following this, the banks' borrowing from the RBI has gone up to Rs 1,46,300 crore on Monday, from Rs 64,445 crore on Friday.

Experts say the tight liquidity condition will continue for a while till the government starts spending, and this makes a case for lowering of CRR.

Indian Overseas Bank Chairman and Managing Director M Narendra said, "...As on date since liquidity still has been slightly tight, I think there will be some more support to liquidity (through CRR cut).

"We will not be surprised if there will also be a symbolic repo rate cut now and a major cut in January also."
09:03  Sena removes Bal Thackeray's memorial structure:  
The Shiv Sena has finally removed the temporary memorial structure at Shivaji Park, where party founder Bal Thackeray was cremated. Work began after midnight on Monday and was completed just early on Tuesday morning.

This comes after three weeks of stalemate between the Maharashtra government and the party, who has now agreed to shift the memorial to another location. The Shiv Sena is in talks with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for that.

The Shiv Sena agreed to remove the temporary memorial structure while responding to a notice from the BMC in this regard. 

This comes after an article in the party mouthpiece 'Saamnaa' on Thursday had claimed that the structure would be moved to the outskirts of the Shivaji Park.
08:37  Fire at Begumpet airport razes aircraft, helicopter:  
A major fire broke out in one of the hangars at Begumpet airport in Hyderabad late Monday night in which an aeroplane and a helicopter are suspected to be gutted, fire department officials said.

However, no one was injured in the fire that started at around 11.35 pm.

According to sources, the fire started allegedly after three explosions, resulting into huge flames.

At least six fire engines were pressed into service to douse the flames, they said, adding the hangar (flight repair shed) collapsed in the incident.

"The blaze was brought under control, though, the shed got damaged in the fire and one plane and a helicopter were suspected destroyed," a fire officer said.

"Exact cause of the fire was under investigation," assistant district fire officer Bhagwan Reddy said.

The airport is mostly used for landing of VIP planes. 
03:06  Afghan landmine blast kills 10 young girls:  Guardian reports: A forgotten Soviet-era landmine has killed 10 Afghan schoolgirls and seriously injured another in a grim reminder of the ongoing impact of decades of war on the country.

The girls, all under 12, spent their mornings collecting wood to help their families through the bitter winter, and went to school in eastern Nangarhar province in the afternoon.

They were unwittingly gathered round a long-buried landmine, splitting logs with a small hatchet, when the blows detonated the old explosives, said provincial police chief General Abdullah Stanekzai.

"The bomb was from Russian times, and the girls were collecting wood and trying to break the wood, but underneath it was the bomb," Stanekzai said.

Read the full story here
02:16  Delhi gangrape: 3 accused held:  TOI reports: In a new low for a city already notorious as India's rape capital, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was left battling for her life after being brutally beaten up and raped by at least five drunken men in a private bus which was audaciously driven around south Delhi localities on Sunday night even as the crime was being committed inside.

Late on Monday, police arrested one of alleged rapists, Ram Singh, a resident of R K Puram Sector 3. Singh was the driver of the bus but on Sunday had let his brother, Mukesh, drive, police said.

Singh has reportedly given cops the names of the six other men in the bus on Sunday night. Mukesh and another accused, identified as Kalu, too were nabbed late at night. All three lived in Ravidas Camp slums at sector 3, R K Puram.

Read the full story here
02:13  US woman named world's oldest person dies at 115:  A relative says a 115-year-old US woman has died less than two weeks after inheriting the title of the world's oldest person.

Dina Manfredini's granddaughter, Lori Logli, says Manfredini died today morning. Logli wouldn't talk about the cause of death. Guinness World Records confirmed that Manfredini inherited the title of world's oldest living person less than two weeks ago.

Bessie Cooper of the US previously held the title at age 116. Guinness spokesman Robert Young says a Japanese man is believed to now hold the title. Jiroemon Kimura was born on April 19, 1897, which makes him just 15 days younger than Manfredini.

Young says Kimura, of Kyotango in Kyoto, also is believed to be the second-oldest man in documented history.
01:43  Panel submits report to Clinton on Benghazi attack:  The panel set up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to look into the circumstances that led to the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, has submitted its report, a state department official said today.

The Accountability Review Board led by Tom Pickering, the former US Ambassador, and Adm (rtd) Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted their report to Clinton today, her spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters at her daily news conference.

"The ARB has completed its work. Its report has gone to the Secretary this morning; she now has it," she said. Pickering and Mullen are expected to brief two key Congressional committees -- 'the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee' -- on Wednesday, in a closed door meeting.
01:36  Battle against malaria slowing down: WHO:  AFP reports: The fight against malaria has slowed in the past two years, threatening to reverse progress in combating one of the world's biggest killers, the World Health Organisation warned today.

Funding for efforts to prevent the deadly mosquito-borne disease increased sharply between 2004 and 2009, part of an ongoing drive that has saved more than a million lives in the past decade, but has since levelled off, the UN's health body said.

"Millions of people living in highly endemic areas continue to lack access to effective malaria prevention, diagnostic testing and treatment," it said in a statement.

In its annual World Malaria Report, the WHO pointed out that last year, only $2.3 billion (1.75 billion euros) went towards fighting malaria globally -- less than half the estimated $5.1 billion needed.
00:56  US places ex-Lebanese minister on terror list:  AFP reports: The United States today named Lebanese ex-information minister Michel Samaha to its global terror list for allegedly aiding Damascus launch assassinations in Lebanon.

Samaha, 64, was arrested in August by Lebanese authorities and accused of plotting to assassinate Lebanese leaders and of transporting explosives into Lebanon for such attacks, the US Treasury said in a statement.

"The US will continue to expose any attempts by the Assad regime to meddle in the affairs of its neighbours and further destabilise the region," said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen.
00:55  Teachers were heroes in the face of death:  CNN reports: Facing down a gunman, placing yourself in the path of flying bullets, forfeiting your life to protect innocents.

It's a job description fitting for a soldier or police officer, but for a school teacher -- an elementary school teacher at that?What the teachers and principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School did for the kids in their care could win a soldier in a war zone a Purple Heart.

Read the full story here
00:22  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  
Cong is the biggest loser in Gujarat in these elections

'It's not difficult for Modi to convince Muslims'

PIX: 70 pc turnout in 2nd phase of polling in Gujarat

Cong cries foul over Modi's election day 'V' sign

Sena divided over shifting Thackeray's makeshift memorial
00:03  Withdraw criminal cases against Jagan: AP govt:  Overruling the Director General of Police's (DGP) recommendations, the Andhra Pradesh government today issued orders withdrawing criminal cases against Kadapa MP and YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and 30 others at the Pulivendula police station.

"After careful examination of the matter, the government decided to direct the collector and district magistrate, to instruct the assistant public prosecutor to initiate immediate action in accordance with law for withdrawal of prosecution under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and guidelines issued in government order No 54 of Law (LA&J - Home Courts -B) Department, dated March 30, 2000, against the accused," Law Secretary R Damodar said in the orders.

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