23:39 Not much difference between Cong, BJP on graft: AAP:
The Aam Aadmi Party today said there was not much difference between Congress and BJP when it comes to corruption, and accused Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of double-speak on FDI issue.
"It is difficult to differentiate between Congress and BJP on the issue of corruption," AAP national spokesman and in-charge of Madhya Pradesh Sanjay Singh Azad said.
"I am saying this because Congress is looting at the Central level and BJP is doing so at the state level," he said, talking to reporters.
22:57 India, China will continue to rise: Obama:
As the US focusses on strengthening its engagement in the Asian region, President Barack Obama has said the American leadership has to recognise that India and China are going to continue to rise and political and economic growth in these nations will be good for America.
Obama, named by Time magazine as the 2012 'Person of the Year', told the publication that America has strengthened its presence and diplomatic engagement in Asia over the last four years.
"We are helping to shape and frame what the Asia Pacific region will look like. That's critically important because that's where the growth and population and increasing centre of gravity is going to be. There is a genuine desire for American leadership in that region," he said.
22:56 Nitish demands inclusion of Nalanda in UNESCO list :
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today made a strong demand to include Nalanda's historical sites in the UNESCO heritage list as had been done for Bodh Gaya.
He demanded that the Centre make an earnest effort for the inclusion of Nalanda sites in the UNESCO list.
"As we are making sincere efforts for Nalanda University, similar hard work is needed for winning UNESCO status for Nalanda historical sites," Kumar said.
21:50 Dhoni set to be highest tax payer again :
Team India Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has paid Rs 12 crore income tax so far this fiscal and the department is optimistic that he would accomplish a hat-trick as the highest individual income taxpayer in Jharkhand.
"M S Dhoni has paid Rs 12 crore so far. We expect he would become the highest income tax payer in the individual category from the state when the 2012-13 fiscal will end in March," a senior income tax official said.
21:27 Mumbai cops discuss steps to curb crimes against women:
As crime against women refuses to abate in the metropolis, the Mumbai police has initiated various measures, including instructions to senior cops to personally look into such cases, even as it plans to increase complaint boxes and number of female constables across police stations to help the victims.
The measures by the city police assume significance in the wake of the gang-rape in Delhi that has shaken the country and the Parliament.
In a meeting headed by Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, clear directives were issued that any crime against women should not be taken flippantly.
21:27 Minority affairs ministry fails to use Rs 559 crore!:
Expressing unhappiness over the non-expenditure of Rs 559 crore out of the total budgetary allocation of minority affairs ministry, a Parliamentary panel today said a mechanism should be devised in consultation with Planning Commission to make erring states accountable.
Dissatisfied with the ministry's Action Taken Reply on the matter, the Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment chaired by Congress MP Hemanand Biswal said the government should take up the matter at appropriate level so that the schemes of welfare for minorities do not suffer due to "inaction of some states"
21:26 Revisit definition of poverty: Parliament panel:
A Parliamentary panel today said different estimates of the country's poor population are confusing and the government should revisit the definition of BPL (below poverty line).
"The Committee also urge the government to revisit the definition of BPL with the concerned authorities as they find it confusing that India's poor population rises and falls with every statistical redefinition," Parliament's Committee on Estimates, headed by Francisco Sardinha, said in its 18th report tabled in the Lok Sabha today.
The different estimates on poverty figures can be gauged from the fact that the Tendulkar Committee report puts the poor population in the country at 81 million families, whereas the agriculture ministry is stated to have put the number at 65 million families, the committee said.
21:03 Court to hear Zee editor's plea tomorrow:
A Delhi court will hear on Thursday Zee news editor Sudhir Chaudhary's plea for monitoring the investigation into the case of alleged extortion bid lodged against the news channel by Congress MP Naveen Jindal's firm.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mukesh Kumar said he will hear the matter tomorrow as there was shortage of time for hearing it today.
19:21 Investigation into Benghazi attack complete:
An independent investigation into the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, is complete, and Congress will be briefed on its findings this week, the State Department said Monday.
The classified report by the Accountability Review Board will be sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, a day before the panel's two most senior members will testify in closed session before the House and Senate foreign affairs committees. The board was established to examine the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
19:16 Obama named 'Person of the Year' by Time; Malala runner up:
US President Barack Obama has been named Time Magazine's 2012 Person of the Year, with the US publication calling him the 'Architect of New America'. This is second time in four years that Obama has been named person of the year by the publication. He had received the title in 2008.
Coming closely behind Obama is young Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, who is recuperating in a British hospital after being shot by the Taliban in October in Pakistan for speaking out about girls' right to education.
19:03 IAF airlifts stranded passengers from Leh:
Indian Air Force (IAF) today airlifted about 200 passengers from Leh in frontier region of Ladakh to Srinagar, an official spokesman said. "As many as 183 passengers were airlifted from Leh to Srinagar in IL-76 Air Force plane," the spokesman said.
The closure of 434-km Srinagar-Leh National highway, the only road linking frontier region of Ladakh with Jammu and Kashmir, for winter had prompted the government to seek the services of the IAF to airlift stranded passengers. The spokesman said the aircraft developed some technical fault due to which the flight got delayed from Chandigarh.
18:36 Guj polls: Bookies feel Modi won't even score 100:
Who should you believe? National pollsters or Gujarat's bookies? The pollsters, through exit polls, have predicted 120-140 seats for BJP in the 182-seat state assembly. The latter are offering odds that suggest the party will find it tough to cross 100 seats. Read
18:31 Want to join the prostests in Delhi? Here's a list :
In New Delhi, students and activists are galvanizing support to pressure law enforcement and the justice system to change the way crimes against women are prosecuted in order to make the capital city safer. Here are some of the scheduled events, although not all the protests have been confirmed. Read
18:19 Time Inc gets first female editor-in-chief in its 90-yr history:
In other news: Time Inc., the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and other magazines, named Martha Nelson as the first female editor-in-chief in its 90-year history. Nelson will take the new job in January, the New York-based company said yesterday in a statement. The 60-year-old has spent two decades at Time Inc., working most recently as editorial director for the 17 brands in the Style and Entertainment Group. Read more
18:17 Delhi rape: CM, top cop, women's group meet :
A high-level meet between Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, police commissioner Neeraj Kumar and women's groups has begun in the capital to discuss the way ahead in the aftermath of the gang-rape of the 23-year-old girl who is battling for life at Safdarjung Hospital.
18:15 Amid China tensions, Southeast Asia looks to India:
Southeast Asian leaders are expected to lay out a vision for closer cooperation with India on security and the economy at a high-level gathering in New Delhi at a time of tension with China in the potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea. Read
18:07 HC to deliver judgement on Italian Marines case tomorrow:
The Kerala High Court will pass orders tomorrow on the plea of two Italian marines, facing criminal trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen, to permit them visit their country to celebrate Christmas. After hearing arguments from state government, which strongly opposed the plea for the second day, and the petitioners counsel, Justice P Bhavadasan posted the case to tomorrow for orders.
17:48 Ravi Dass camp: Where the four rape accused live:
Just a stone's throw away from India's swankiest neighbourhoods in RK Puram lies Ravi Dass camp, one of the many clusters that forms part of Delhi's seamy underbelly - and also home to all four people arrested in connection with Sunday's gang-rape of a paramedic. Read more
17:41 Watched What Man Santa? It's from Bandra:
Like the Tamil film song "Why This Kolaveri Di' that went viral last year, the Bollywood musician Daniel B. George's quirky Christmas tune "What Man Santa' has been spreading across the Internet faster than a snowball melting in the Mumbai summer. Within three days of being posted on YouTube, the song had been viewed more than 200,000 times, earning the producers lots of laughs and inquiries from radio and television stations that want to air the tune in the run up to Christmas. Watch and read.
17:22 MS Dhoni loses five brand endorsements as his :
MS Dhoni may or may not retain his captaincy, but his popularity seems to be on the wane at least in the corporate world, with five companies ending endorsement deals with the Indian cricket captain. Read
17:06 Tug-of-war over SC/ST bill sad day for democracy: Govt:
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday termed as extremely unfortunate the snatching of the quota for promotions bill inside the Lok Sabha by a Samajwadi Party MP, saying it is a sad day for parliamentary democracy and the incident should be condemned in the strongest possible words.
"Today is a very unfortunate day for parliamentary democracy. And the incident, which has taken place, is deplorable in the strongest possible words. Parliamentary democracy means that you in a discussion or debate oppose something you do not want, vote against it," Nath told mediapersons outside the Parliament today.
Narendra Modi and Japan's new PM Shinzo Abe: New order in confluence of Two Seas. Read
16:54 Ireland church: Legalising abortion licence to kill:
The Irish Roman Catholic Church has strongly condemned legislation to liberalize abortion, saying that the move is 'licence the direct and intentional killing of the innocent baby'. Ireland on Tuesday moved to legalise abortions when the mother's life is at risk, including when she is suicidal following a public outcry over the death of pregnant Indian woman Savita Halappanavar, who died after her repeated requests for an abortion were refused while she was suffering a miscarriage. The Catholic hierarchy has demanded that the country's MPs are given a free vote after the Irish government announced that votes would be whipped next year in a bid to get the controversial legislation through parliament, the Telegraph reports.
16:37 Railways tops in corruption complaints: CVC:
Railways topped the list of government organisations in 2011 against whom a maximum number of complaints of corruption--nearly 9,000--were received by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). As many as 8,805 complaints of alleged corruption were received against Railways employees followed by 8,430 against bank employees and 5,026 against Income Tax officials, the CVC said in its annual report.
16:31 No proposal for setting up air wing for Army: Antony:
Defence Minister A K Antony today denied that there was any proposal to set up a special air wing under the army's control, saying the Army Aviation Corps is already in place for the purpose.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, he said, "No such proposal is under consideration. The Army Aviation Corps was created with the approval of the government on December 17, 1992."
The Defence Ministry was asked whether army has any plans to form a special wing for air force under its control. On whether government proposes to induct attack helicopters in the army, Antony said, "Induction of state-of- art equipment and requisite manpower in the armed forces is a continuous process keeping in view the prevailing threat perception."
He also informed the House that the permanent cadre for officers of Army Aviation Corps has been in existence since 1998.
16:23 Top 10 challenges for India in 2013:
LSE academics and Indian journalists, parliamentarians, policy analysts, and economists were asked what challenges India should prepare to tackle in the new year. Here's what they said. Read
16:12 Two Army personnel injured in firing by LeT militants in J-K:
Two Army personnel were injured as the encounter between holed up militants and security forces broke out again today in a village of north Kashmir's Baramulla district where five hardcore militants of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed, officials said.
Two Army personnel were injured in the fresh firing by militants in Sadapora village of Sopore, 55 kms from Srinagar, as security forces moved in to clear the debris of a house where the militants had taken shelter during the day-long encounter yesterday, the officials said.
They said security forces returned the fire and an exchange of firing was continuing when last reports were received. Five hardcore LeT militants were killed by the security forces in the village yesterday and two more are believed to be hiding there. "Efforts are on to neutralise the holed up militants," the officials said.
15:47 SP MP snatches SC/ST Bill, Sonia grabs it back :
More details on that SC/ST bill being snatched in Parliament.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was forced to adjourn the house today after Samajwadi Party MP Yashwir Singh snatched the SC/ST Promotions Quota Bill from V Narayanaswamy who was reading it aloud in the House today. The Bill had been tabled in the LS this morning.
Sonia Gandhi then tried to stop Singh and grabbed the bill back, but the SP MP snatched it back and tore it up. As a consequence, Sonia hurt her right hand.
15:40 Jaya recommends 'people's justice' for rape accused :
PM Dr Manmohan Singh has directed the Home Minister to ensure the culprits are brought to book and incidents are not repeated. "It's a heinous crime, it's very upsetting," said the PM in a statement on the Delhi rape.
Meanwhile, SP MP Jaya Bachchan recommends that the accused be lynched. She tells CNN IBN that the six rape accused should be let out on the streets and people should then take the law in their own hands and bring the men to justice. "Because the men broke the law," says the MP who broke down in Parliament yesterday while asking the government for an action plan to prevent such crimes from recurring.
15:30 Parl: SP MP snatches SC/ST Bill from Cong minister :
Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after an SP MP Yashvir Singh snatched the SC/ST Quota Bill was snatched from the hands of V Narayanaswamy. The Speaker had asked him to read out the bill. Apparently, Sonia then tried to grab the bill back from the SP MP, which led to a scuffle as other Congress MPs also rushed in to the well of the house.
15:22 Not just change in law, change in mindset is necessary:
Delhi gang-rape: While better law enforcement is part of the solution, women's rights advocates say that alone is not enough. "We can't only have action, we need to address the root cause of this problem,' says Anne F. Stenhammer, who heads the South Asian chapter of the United Nations women's agency, UN Women. "I think a total change in mindset is necessary.' Read more
15:17 War against Naxalites goes digital in Jharkhand:
Jharkhand police have acquired advanced 3D mapping software which helps them able to track and chase Maoists sitting right in their offices. The Red rebels often flee deep into the forests and use the green cover to hide and also as a shield to launch counter-offensive against the security forces. Read
15:15 Objects in the Mirror:
India's economic growth rate, like the world's, has slowed down. We're still at an enviable 5% but the issues we had ignored to spotlight the glamor of 9% growth and revel in an India-China comparison are catching up to us. Read more
15:02 US to reimburse USD 688 million to Pak for fighting terror:
The US has decided to reimburse USD 688 million to Pakistan for the cost of supporting some 140,000 coaltion troops on Af-Pak border in what appears to be a fall back to its decades-old policy of "appeasement" to seek an honourable exit from war-torn Afghanistan.
The Pentagon notified the Congress about its decision to reimburse USD 688 million to Pakistan, under Coalition Support Fund (CSF). Deputy Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, notified the Congress of the decision of the US Department of Defence in a letter dated December 6, 2012, a Pentagon official said.
15:00 Delhi gang-rape: Protests held across capital:
Demonstrations were held at various places in the capital, including near CM's residence and police headquarters, to protest against the gangrape of a para medical student and the government's failure to curb the rising number of such crimes against women.
Demanding stern action against the six accused, scores of protesters associated with All India Students' Association (AISA), All India Democratic Womens' Association (AIDWA) and other organisations staged protest in front of the residence of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and police headquarters.
BJP's Delhi unit also staged protests at Jantar Mantar. Protesters criticised the government for its failure to ensure a safe environment for women in the national capital.
"If we are not safe in our national capital, then where can we? Government is just playing the game of passing the buck and shying away from its responsibility. Delhi CM is saying law and order is under Home Ministry and they are saying its the responsibility of the state. How long such things will go on?" one of the protesters asked.
14:42 Lokpal Bill to be delayed further:
The much-hyped Lokpal Bill will be delayed further with the government today saying it will bring the measure in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget Session with required amendments in the light of the report of the Select Committee. Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said in the Upper House that the Bill will be brought in the next session after the Opposition protested over the non-tabling of the report of the Select Committee.
14:37 Maa, main jeena chahti hoon: Delhi gang-rape victim:
Even as the Delhi gang-rape victim's condition deteriorated, she has shown immense determination to fight the battle for life. According to television reports, in a written communication to her mother, the girl has said: "Maa, main jeena chahti hoon (Mother, I want to live)". Several politicians have been visiting the girl at Safdarjung Hospital where she was admitted after the brutal assault in a moving bus on Sunday night. On Tuesday night, Congress president Sonia Gandhi also visited the hospital to meet the rape victim. Her condition, which had improved on Tuesday morning after she was operated upon on Sunday night, deteriorated later in the evening.
14:30 Fail to understand how crime went undetected: HC:
This is what the Delhi High Court said today on the gang-rape.
Taking suo motu cognisance of the gang-rape of the 23-year-old girl in a moving bus, the Delhi High Court today pulled up the city police asking how the offence remained undetected.
"This incident is of great concern for all the citizens of the capital city as it relates to the safety particularly of women and girl children in Delhi," a bench headed by Chief Justice D Murugesan said and asked city Police Commissioner to file a detailed status report within two days.
The court was anguished over the non-implementation of the Supreme Court order on complete ban of vehicles with tinted glasses and asked the counsel for the Delhi Police to explain as to how it has not been implemented so far.
"There are two important questions. The first is the investigation in the case and the second is the preventive measures. We want to know what preventive measures have been taken by the police to prevent such incidents," the bench said. "The court on its own motion has listed the matter," the bench said.
Asking the police to file a status report, the bench said that the probe must be "of high standard" and the final chargesheet "has to be" filed only after its perusal by this court.
The court also expressed surprise as to how the bus, having tinted glasses, kept plying on Delhi roads for 40 minutes during which the sexual assault of the girl remained undetected. "We are at loss to understand as to how the bus could
evade surveillance for 40 minutes...," the bench said.
14:13 The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 3 pm.
14:09 Home minister reads out safety measures in LS:
Right now, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is reading out his statement regarding women's safety in the Lok Sabha. This is the statement the minister read out in the Rajya Sabha before it adjourned for lunch.
Some of the measures are: "It has been decided that there shall be immediate crackdown on buses having tinted glass and heavy curtains. They shall be impounded immediately, if they do not remove them. All buses will be asked to keep their lights on while plying at night in Delhi.
"All buses must be parked with their owners and not their drivers. They will be impounded immediately on violation. The photo identity card of drivers should be displayed on the bus with the helpline number in bold. Delhi Police have been asked to provide more number of vehicles for patrolling," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told the Rajya Sabha.
14:05 NRA pledges contributions to stop shooting incidents:
Update on the shootout at the Connecticut school where 20 children and six adults were shot down.
Breaking its long silence in the aftermath of deadly shooting at a Connecticut school that killed 20 children, the powerful pro-gun lobby has said is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to prevent such unfortunate happenings.
"The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again," the National Rifle Association (NRA) said in a statement as a shocked nation wrestled with the issue of reinstating assault weapons ban in the US. Made up of four million members, NRA said it is shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown. "Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting," it said. "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again," it said.
Hardly the response the family of the victims are looking for.
13:59 14 day jail for driver's brother, 4-day police custody for others:
The Saket court has sent accused Mukesh Singh to judicial custody for 14 days. He goes to Tihar jail. He will also have to undergo an identification parade. While Vinay and Pawan get four days police custody. Ram Singh, the driver was sent to five days police custody yesterday.
The victim, meanwhile, is still in hospital battling for her life.
13:42 Rape accused confess: Committed terrible crime:
Three of the four arrested accused, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay, in the Delhi gang rape case were produced at the Saket court. Mukesh, who is the driver Ram Singh's brother, agrees to undergo identification test by victim's male friend, but the other two have refused. Accused Pawan says he committed a "heinous act."
13:39 Corrupt nexus of bus owners and police led to rape:
Contract carriage buses, commonly known as chartered buses, openly violate permit rules on city roads. Their 'illegal' movement across the Capital is aided by a deadly nexus between bus owners, police officers, traffic and transport officials. These chartered buses halt at regular bus stops, pick passengers, charge Rs 20- Rs 30 and drop them at their destinations like any other DTC or cluster bus right under the nose of traffic officials, local police and enforcement officials of the transport department. Read more
13:35 A lighter moment: Ramesh Srivats tweets: Home Minister: We will ban tinted glasses... | Karunanidhi: WHAT? | Home Minister: ... in buses | Karunanidhi: Phew!
13:29 Rape accused: I have committed a horrible crime :
CNN IBN reports that the gym assistant Vinay Sharma and the fruitseller Pawan Gupta, both rape accused, have confessed the to the crime in Saket court. Pawan Gupta says he has committed a horrible crime, while Vinay Gupta says he beat up the girl's friend.
13:25 Delhi rape: 1 more accused detained, 1 absconding:
Right now, the Women and Child Development ministry has asked the PM for a relief fund for the rape victim. And of the two absconding accused, one person has been detained. The fifth accused has been detained in Aurangabad, Bihar. The driver of the bus, Ram Singh was remanded to five days in police custody yesterday. The other three men arrested in the case - the driver's brother Mukesh, a gym assistant Vinay Sharma and a fruitseller Pawan Gupta - are expected to be produced in court today. One person is still missing.
13:20 Girl, 5, raped by family friend in Karnataka:
Even as there is national outrage over the gang-rape in Delhi, a five-year-old girl has been raped in Bidar district of Karnataka by a family friend. The police have arrested the accused.
13:15 Speaker gives Rs 2 lakh to gang-rape victim:
Just in: Speaker Meira Kumar gives Rs 2 lakh to the rape victim. Meanwhile, the Delhi police have used water jets to disperse JNU students trying to break the barricade in front of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit's home and enter the premises.
13:08 The untold story of the Indian-American lobby :
In other news: One of the best kept secrets of how the controversial nuclear deal between India and the United States of America was passed in the US Congress is the role played by Indian doctors and accountants in America. When Ronen Sen, then India's ambassador in Washington, met nearly half of the US senators in their home states to persuade them to swing their support for the nuclear deal, he relied considerably on these sections of the Indian-American community. Read
the report on the Telegraph.
12:44 How the driver of the bus decided to cover his tracks:
It seems that even as the gang was brutalizing the woman by turns, Ram Singh, the driver of the bus, had made a plan to cover their tracks. Sources say Ram Singh decided to strip the victims completely before throwing them out of the bus to leave no trace of incriminating semen or blood. He also kept their mobiles and switched them off. Three mobiles -- one belonging to the woman and two to her friend -- have now been recovered along with some of their clothes. Read more
12:40 Docs fear rape victim may develop septecimia, gangrene:
The 23-year-old medical student who was brutally gangraped by five men has been taken in for one more operation after her health deteriorated last evening.
"She needed more ventilatory support, her pulse rate is high at 130 (normal is between 70 and 80), her platelets have dropped to 48,000 (normal is between 1.4- 4 lakh) and her blood pressure has also dropped considerably, which indicates developing of the infection," said Dr BD Athani, Medical Superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital.
"We are performing life-saving measures right now, and reconstruction surgeries will be performed after she has survived the life-threat," he added.The girl who was on a ventilator in the ICU of the Safdarjung hospital's ICU was also getting a regular infusion of morphine to control the pain, but doctors treating her claim that the pain is so excruciating that despite the morphine dose she was conscious. -- Firstpost.com
Doctors also fear the girl may develop septicemia, gangrene and lung infection.
12:33 Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm following an uproar over the SC/ST quota in promotions, incidents of rape and other issues.
12:32 Delhi HC dismisses PIL against Sachin's nomination to RS:
In other news, the Delhi High Court today dismissed a PIL challenging cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha. The court had on November 21 reserved its order on the PIL filed by Ram Gopal Singh Sisodia, a former Delhi MLA, challenging Tendulkar's nomination alleging that he does not possess any of the qualifications prescribed under Article 80 of the Constitution for being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
"A bare reading of the article makes it clear that the person to be nominated should have special knowledge or practical experience in matters like literature, science, arts and social service, but the expertise so required for nomination is not confined to the specific illustrations given in the article," he had said in his petition.
12:28 Home minister reads out six-point plan to curb rape:
Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's statement in the Rajya Sabha.
-- Immediate crackdown on all commercial vehicles, buses with tinted glasses.
-- All commercial vehicles have to keep lights on all through the night.
-- Buses have to be parked with owner not with the driver of the bus
-- Verification of drivers, staff, autos will be conducted. Bus contractors who have unverified staff will have vehicles impounded.
-- Driver's name, photo, shall be displayed prominently.
-- More GPS enabled PCR vans to be deployed.
BJP's Venkaiah Naidu asks why the government is silent on demand that rapists be given the death penalty. Shinde replies there is a provision in the IPC to give life imprisonment to rapists, which has been done earlier. Shinde remains silent on the death penalty, which was first demanded by the BJP's Sushma Swaraj.
12:16 Bomb blast in Manipur, civilian injured, CRPF vehicle damaged:
There has been a bomb blast in Manipur. A civilian was injured when two powerful bombs, suspected to have been planted by militants at a roadside, exploded in Imphal east district of Manipur today, minutes after a CRPF convoy passed through. Sources said the bombs, made of improvised explosive device (IED), went off at 10.20 am at Porompat water tank area, about 100 metres from Porompat Police Station, while several water tankers were coming to collect water from the tank. The bombs were planted on both sides of the road.
12:03 HC accepts constitution of five special courts for rape cases:
Pulling up the Delhi police, the High Court also asks the Police Commissioner to give details in two days about cops patrolling the area where the girl was raped for 40 minutes in a moving bus and asks what preventive action has been taken. It also accepts the constitution of five special courts for rape cases.
11:52 Delhi rape suspects showed NO remorse: Police :
The six men, who allegedly gang-raped a young girl in a moving bus here on Sunday, were apparently so confident they will not be caught that the assailants carried on with their routine chores the next day while one brought back the vehicle to his house. But luck ran out for the men within 24 hours as police, who were aided by the description provided by the victims about the vehicle, zeroed in on them and even arresting one from Rajasthan where he was in hiding. More
11:50 HC: Provide rape victim, friend best medical help:
The Delhi High Court taking cognisance of the 23-year-old girl's gang-rape in a bus, asks the Police Commissioner to file a status report in two days. The HC also asks the Delhi Government to provide the best medical facilities to the victim and her male friend.
11:42 Our society seeks to protect 'honour', not individual women:
Perhaps the real tragedy we must contemplate, as we consider the story of the young woman who now lies in a Delhi hospital bed battling for her life after being brutally beaten and gang-raped Sunday night, is this: in six months or less, she will have been forgotten. There will, by then, have been the next victim, and the one after '" and absolutely nothing will have changed. Read the editorial
on the Hindu.
11:37 Good riddance, says Delhi rape accused's family:
The atmosphere at the Ravidas Camp in RK Puram Sector 3 was sombre on Tuesday as three of the four men arrested for raping a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus were picked up from the slum on Monday evening. Blaming Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh for maligning the name of the colony, their estranged sister-in-law said that they were the black sheep of the family. Read more
11:33 Women continue protests in Delhi :
In Delhi, BJP women leaders (men seem to be MIA since rape is a 'women's issue') are protesting outside Jantar Mantar, women's groups are protesting outside the Delhi police headquarters.
11:31 Jaya takes a stand -- MP on feet for hours for a cause:
Jaya Bachchan was on her feet for 158 minutes or 2 hours and 38 minutes '" give or take a few ticks of the clock -- in the Rajya Sabha today to draw attention to women's issues on a day the grisly assault on a student in the capital made many recoil in revulsion. Jaya, who broke down at one point, hit the nail on its head when she said that India's public representatives always found time for pressure-group politics but little else.All the while, she stood -- unflinching and uncompromising till the home minister changed his choice of words that was less assertive than "I will'. Read more
11:29 What kids are learning from us: You can get away with anything :
Four school campuses in and around Calcutta erupted when teenaged students held teachers hostage '" through the night in one instance '" demanding that they be declared passed in the selection tests.The manner of the protest, the age of the protesters, their grown-up abettors and, most of all, the target of their hostilities should have made it one of the most shameful days in Bengal. Read more
11:27 The Lok Sabha, meanwhile, has been adjourned till noon following uproar over quota in promotions and other issues.
11:22 'Tinted glasses, curtains to be removed from buses':
Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde meets Delhi police top brass. This seems to be the outcome of the meeting: Tinted glasses and curtains to be removed from buses, the driver's name, bus number and licence number to displayed prominently in the bus. Addressing the media after meeting the police chief and top brass, Shinde says he will make a statement in Parliament at noon.
11:08 Single woman and living in Delhi:
I am a single woman in Delhi and I am scared and I am afraid. I am very, very scared -- for my life, for my dignity, for my reputation but above all for my safety. Read more
11:03 Catholic Ireland to legalize abortion:
Protests over the horrible death of a Karnataka-born dentist from pregnancy-related complications has forced deeply-Catholic Irelandto tweak its no-abortion policy to allow for termination of pregnancy in cases where the mother's life was in danger. Read more
10:58 Maha govt mulls financial aid for rape, acid attack victims:
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has taken serious cognisance of the rising cases of rape and acid attacks in state and is planning to bear the for medical and legal aid, counselling and rehabilitation expenses of the victims.
Under the Peedit Mahila Navjeevan Yojana, the government plans to provide financial assistance of Rs two lakh to the victims to fight their case to seek justice and also rehabilitation.
The women and child welfare department has prepared the proposal for approval by the Cabinet. As soon as the case of attack is reported, Rs 20,000 financial aid would be provided. For legal and medical aid, Rs 50,000 would be given.
Later, for the victim's rehabilitation Rs 1.30 lakh would be provided, department officials saud, "The entire amount will be deposited in the victim's bank account in a phased manner," sources added.
10:55 Delhi CM calls all women's group meet at 6 pm:
Delhi CM Sheila Dixit has called for a meeting of all women's groups at 6 pm. Yesterday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the leader of the Lok Sabha Meira Kumar met the victim at different times. Sonia has also asked home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for prompt action in the case.
Meanwhile, doctors treating the victim at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital say her vital organs have been permanently damaged after she was beaten with a rod several times and brutalised during the gang-rape on Sunday night.
10:45 BJP wants decision to hang rapists in 30 days :
Ram Singh, 33, the prime accused in Sunday's gang rape, is a volatile man, known among friends as "Mental," a police source said on Tuesday. During investigation, he is learnt to have told police how he lost control and ended up brutalizing the woman and assaulting her friend."When she resisted and bit his hand, he says, he got very angry. Alcohol and the victims' defiance, made him go berserk. He picked up a rod and hit the two everywhere. His accomplices followed suit," a source said. Read more
Meanwhile, BJP's Sushma Swaraj has said that the decision to hang the guilty must come in 30 days. In the Lok Sabha, the Leader of the Opposition had demanded death penalty for rapists. Sushma said, "The 23-year-old girl was with a male friend and it was not too late either. It was 9.30 pm. And if a woman is not safe even then, then it is a shame. If this girl survives, she will be a living dead. These people should be given capital punishment."
10:19 Sensex gains 122 points in early trade:
The BSE benchmark Sensex extended gain for the second straight day by adding nearly 122 points in early trade on sustained buying on optimism of RBI easing monetary policy next month amid a firming global trend.
The 30-share barometer rose by 121.82 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 19,486.57 with all sectoral indices led by auto and metal stocks leading the rise.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty traded above crucial 5,900 level higher by gaining 34.15 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 5,930.95.
Brokers said the sentiment remained firm on sustained buying by funds and retail investors on optimism of RBI easing monetary policy next month.
They said a firming trend in the Asian region, tracking overnight Wall Street's gains where optimism was growing that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff was in sight also influenced the sentiment.
09:35 Lok Sabha vote on Quota in Promotions Bill today:
The Constitution Amendment Bill providing for quota in promotions in government jobs is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha today.
The government managed to pass the quota in promotions bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Despite strong opposition from the Samajwadi Party, the bill finally got the backing of 206 members while 10 voted against the legislation in Rajya Sabha which has a strength of 245.
The quota in promotions bill has put the Congress-led UPA government in a tight spot with its outside supporters -- SP and BSP -- taking diametrically opposite positions on the bill. While BSP chief Mayawati had made a strong case for it, the Samajwadi Party was isolated in its opposition.
The Samajwadi Party is opposed to the bill mainly because it would upset the party's core vote bank that comprises backward castes and Muslims. The Samajwadi Party has nine Rajya Sabha MPs, all of whom voted against the bill.
08:46 Facebook CEO Zuckerberg donating $500M in stock:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he is donating nearly $500 million in stock to a Silicon Valley charity to focus on health and education issues.
The gift of 18 million Facebook shares is valued at $498.8 million based on their closing stock price on Tuesday, when Zuckerberg, 28, made the donation. The beneficiary is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit that works with donors to allocate their gifts.
This is Zuckerberg's largest donation to date. He pledged USD 100 million in Facebook stock to Newark, New Jersey, public schools in 2010, before his company went public earlier this year. Later in 2010, he joined Giving Pledge, an effort led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett to get the richest Americans to donate most of their wealth.
02:30 Twitter tops 200 million active users: AFP
reports: Twitter said today the number of active users of the service has topped 200 million, in a sign of the sizzling growth of the messaging platform.
News of the milestone came in a tweet, of course, from the official Twitter account:"There are now more than 200M monthly active @twitter users. You are the pulse of the planet. We're grateful for your ongoing support!"
The number was the first official estimate from Twitter since it claimed 140 million active users. Twitter offered no details on the latest update, but in the past has said the majority of active users were in the United States.
01:11 NBC's Engel, TV crew escape abduction in Syria: AP
reports: NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said today he and members of his network crew escaped unharmed after five days of captivity in Syria, where more than a dozen pro-regime gunmen dragged them from their car, killed one of their rebel escorts and subjected them to mock executions.
Appearing on NBC's 'Today' show, an unshaven Engel said he and his team escaped during a firefight yesterday night between their captors and rebels at a checkpoint.
They crossed into Turkey today. NBC did not say how many people were kidnapped with Engel, although two other men, producer Ghazi Balkiz and photographer John Kooistra, appeared with him on the 'Today' show.
It was not immediately clear whether everyone was accounted for. Engel said he believes the kidnappers were a Shiite militia group loyal to the Syrian government, which has lost control over swaths of the country's north and is increasingly on the defensive in a civil war that has killed 40,000 people since March 2011.
00:54 125 rapes during DR Congo army retreat: UN: AFP
reports: More than 125 women were raped as Democratic Republic of Congo troops pulled back from a rebel offensive last month, according to a United nations investigation revealed today.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said nine government soldiers have been arrested so far for rapes and lootings in North Kivu province and UN officials raised concerns with the DR Congo government today.
Two UN human rights teams have been investigating attacks in the town of Minova and surrounding villages between November 20 and 30 as the army retreated from advancing M23 rebels.
00:21 Sonia visits hospital to inquire about rape victim:
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday night visited Safdarjung Hospital to inquire about the condition of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim and asked the government to take the strictest possible measures to ensure that there is no recurrence of such a barbaric incident that has shaken the country.
Gandhi was at the hospital for about 15-20 minutes during which she inquired about the condition of the girl from the doctors and met her parents, according to Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi.
The doctors told Gandhi that the girl was in a critical state, he said. According to doctors, the condition of the para-medical student, who was gangraped and brutally assaulted by a group of men in a moving bus on Sunday, had deteriorated in the evening after which she was put on 'full-time ventilator support'.