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Delhi gangrape: Prez not to celebrate New Year

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December 31, 2012


23:33  Five held for pasting pro-Khalistan posters:  Five persons were arrested here today for allegedly pasting Pro-Khalistan posters,containing objectionable materials, police said.

The posters were noticed in the towns of Bhikhi, Budhladaand nearby villages in the wee hours this morning after which the locals informed the police about the same, SSP Mansa Narinder Bhargav said.

After a thorough follow-up, the accused, identified as Sukhcharan Singh, Deepa, Joney, Manjit and Harpreet Singh were arrested. 

A case under relevant sections of Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act has been registered against them while the further probes are on, the SSP said.
22:38  Cops register FIR against rapper Honey Singh:   An FIR was today lodged against rapper Honey Singh for offensive lyrics in some of his songs. The FIR was lodged by Gomti Nagar police on the complaint of IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, police sources said here.

In his complaint, Thakur alleged that the songs were 'extremely vulgar, lewd and indecent and act as an offensive catalyst for crime against women'.

The FIR has been registered under sections 292, 293 and 294 of the IPC that are related to obscenity offences. 28-year-old Honey Singh raps mostly in a mix of English and Punjabi and has lent his voice in recent Bollywood films such as 'Khiladi 786', 'Cocktail' and 'Luv Shuv Te Chicken Khurana'.

Outrage against the rapper and his derogatory songs have been pouring on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter for the past few days.

Read it here
22:35  Cop arrested on charges of trying to rape girl:  A policeman was arrested today for allegedly trying to rape a girl in Mauranipur area here, police said. Om Tiwari, posted at Shivganj police outpost, entered the house of the girl when she was alone and allegedly tried to rape her, SSP K Angel Rasan said.

When the girl raised an alarm, Tiwari fled and hid himself in the outpost, he said. Angry locals demonstrated in front of the outpost demanding action against the policeman.

They dispersed only when the SSP said Tiwari had been arrested and departmental action initiated against him.
22:20  Driver of Ponty Chadha's firm escapes with Rs 10 lakh:  The driver of a firm associated with liquor baron late Ponty Chadha today escaped with an amount to the tune of Rs 10 lakh from Gurdaspur district, the police said. 

On the complaint of Jaspreet Singh Seth, Vice President of 'AB food grains', associated with Chadha, a case was registered against Amritsar resident Rajesh Kumar for escaping with the amount, SHO Sri Hargobindpur Gurbhinder Singh said. According to the complaint, the incident took place when Seth was on way to deposit Rs 10 lakh in a bank at Sri Hargobindpur town.

Seth got down from the car for some work leaving the bag containing the amount inside the vehicle, police said adding, making use of the situation Rajesh escaped with the bag. Later the car was found abandoned near Sekhri gas agency in the industrial town, the police said.

Teams have been constituted to arrest the absconding driver, SHO city police station Lakhwinder Singh said.
21:37  Delhi gang-rape: Prez not to celebrate New Year:  President Pranab Mukherjee, who is currently on his winter sojourn at Rashtrapati Nilayam at Bolarum here, has decided not to celebrate New Year's Day tomorrow in view of the death of the Delhi gangrape victim.

"In view of the recent tragic events leading to the loss of a young girl, the President of India has decided not to take part in any celebrations of the New Year. The President has also decided not to receive any greetings in person," an official communication said tonight.

The President is scheduled to fly back to New Delhi tomorrow at the end of his week-long sojourn.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu and Union Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi have also announced that they would not celebrate New Year's Day as a mark of respect to the New Delhi gangrape victim.
21:31  Prayer meet in Parl to mourn gangrape victim's death:  An all-religion prayer meeting was held in Parliament today to mourn the death of the Delhi gangrape victim.

A Sarva Dharm Prarthana Sabha was organised by the Lok Sabha Secretariat at Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament Library Building. Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar attended the prayer meeting to condole the death of the Delhi gangrape victim.

"The prayer meeting was organised to mourn the sad demise of the brave young girl who was victim to a most heinous crime in Delhi," the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a press statement.
21:20  Gangrape: Cops slap case against 2 English dailies :  The Delhi police today registered a case against two English dailies for publishing material which could lead to the identification of the 23-year-old gangrape victim who died two days ago.

The case was registered at Vasant Vihar police station under section 228-A (punishment for printing or publishing the name or any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom rape is committed) of Indian Penal Code.
21:19  'Cyber stalker' arrested for harassing girl:   In the first incident of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, police has arrested an alleged 'cyber stalker' who was harassing a girl by putting objectionable contents about her on the Internet.

"The police received a complaint from a girl in Srinagar that she was being harassed by some Cyber Stalker, who was disseminating obscene material and comments against her in cyberspace," a police spokesman said today.

He said during the investigations, it was found that the accused was operating a fake 'Facebook' account.
20:57  Delhi gangrape: Lesser crowd at CP, India Gate:  The usual buzz surrounding New Year was missing in Delhi today after the city witnessed the gruesome gangrape of a 23-year-old girl, who died two days ago, with lesser turnouts in hotspots like India Gate and Connaught Place.

Several clubs, including the Press Club of India and Delhi Gymkhana, and five-star hotels cancelled their New Year revelries following the death of the girl. 

Protests were held at Jantar Mantar where a makeshift memorial was also built. The mood at Connaught Place, the heart of New Delhi, was a modest affair unlike other years when there is a lot of pomp and celebrations.
20:17  Fog affects 60 flights at IGI airport:  Dense fog badly hit operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi today, disrupting schedule of around 60 flights. Fog started to descend over the airport last night but it became dense around 7 am, forcing the authorities to implement low visibility procedures. 

Around 16 flights were cancelled and 28 others delayed either due to operational reasons or poor weather, an airport official said, adding that some more flights were delayed during the day.
20:02  Death toll in Iraq attacks rises to 22:  The toll from a wave of attacks across Iraq today has risen to 22 dead and at least 83 wounded, security and medical officials said. A total of 15 shootings and bombings struck 13 cities and towns in the north, central and south of Iraq, the officials said. 

Previously, the toll was put at 12 dead and more than 40 wounded. In the deadliest attack, seven people -- three women, two children and two men -- were killed when three houses were blown up in the town of Mussayib, south of Baghdad, police and a medic said. Four others were wounded.
19:30  Andhra man shot dead in US by unidentified persons:  An Indian businessman running a liquor store in the US, was shot dead by unidentified persons inside his shop. Venkat Reddy-Goli, 47, from Andhra Pradesh, was found dead by the police inside the Central Liquors store in Colerain Township of Ohio having a population of some 60,000. 

The police said Goli, owner of the liquor store, suffered from fatal injuries. A spokesman of Colerain Township Police Department told PTI that no arrest has been made so far. 

Police said they have opened a homicide investigation.
18:48  Delhi records season's lowest, minimum drops to 5.5 deg C:  Delhi shivered at the season's lowest of 5.5 deg C today under a spell of intense chill and dense fog, which is likely to continue on New Year day. Denizens pulled out more woollen from their shelves as both maximum and minimum temperatures dipped to an all-time low this winter.

While the maximum temperature at 13.3 deg C was seven degree below normal, the minimum at 5.5 deg C is two degree below normal for this time of the season. Today's minimum, which is the highest in this season, is two degrees below yesterday's 7.7 deg C. MeT officials also said today's 13.3 deg C was the lowest maximum temperature recorded in this season.
18:47  Arnab Mash Up:  Some reason to smile even as the year ends on a tragic note. The venerable Arnab Goswami takes on Abhijeet Mukherjee, President Pranab Mukherjee's son on the dented and painted women comment. Superb!

 
18:39  My terrifying drunk 'drive':  Think you can drink and drive and the cops won't get you. Read this report on the Sun and you can think again. Drink responsibly and don't drive. 
18:24  Has Facebook ruined love?:  Are tweets, status updates and tagged photographs encouraging romance or ruining it? Read
18:15  Suspended IPS officer Bhatt gets Mother Teresa award:  Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was today conferred the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice for 2012. "We are today delivering the 5th Mother Teresa Award for social justice to Sanjiv Bhatt, who stood against communal forces to ensure the protection of the vulnerable and insecure minorities," Harmony Foundation president Dr Abraham Mathai said while delivering the award.
17:58  Khaps oppose death penalty for rape (no surprises here):  Khap Panchayats in Haryana have opposed the demand for death penalty for rapists, saying such laws can be misused.

Sube Singh, a Khap leader in Hisar district, said on Monday: "Amending the law and introducing death penalty for the rapists can also lead to negative consequences.

People think that rapists should be hanged but if such amendments are introduced in the act, then there are many fake cases of rape will come up and this law would be misused in those cases.

"But the incident that has happened in Delhi is very brutal, which led to the death of the girl, for such cases we have the provision of Section 302, under which all the accused rapists can be awarded death penalty," added Sube Singh.

Singh said they have seen the anti-dowry and the schedule casts and schedule tribes (SC/ST) laws being misused and any new law, which gives such harsh punishment, would also be vulnerable to misuse. He also mentioned that there are instances of consensual sex, which are later, framed as rape cases.
17:45  Three metro stations around Connaught closed from 7.30 pm:   Heads up if you're in Delhi and use the metro. In view of security restrictions in the area, entry into and exit from the Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road and Patel Chowk Metro stations will be closed from 7:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve today. Sale of tickets at the above three Metro stations will stop at 7.15 p.m. and shutters of all entry gates will be closed at 7:30 pm. 

However, interchange facility between Line-2 (HUDA City Centre - Jahangirpuri) and Line-3/4 (Dwarka Sec-21 - NOIDA City Centre/Vaishali) will remain operational at Rajiv Chowk Metro station till the end of revenue services, i.e, 11 p.m. Services at all other Metro corridors and stations will continue normally.
17:44  Par session decision after Verma Committee report: Chidambaram:  Amid demands by the opposition for convening of a special session of Parliament to pass stringent laws on crime against women, government today said the decision could be taken after Justice Verma Committee, set up for the purpose, submits its recommendations.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram said here that a special session will make sense after the government receives the report of the three-member committee, headed by Justice J S Verma, former Chief Justice of India.

"We have appointed the Justice Verma Committee to recommend to the government what changes should be made in the law. Therefore, a special session or a session of Parliament makes sense only when the report is received by the government... So let us first get the report and then we can examine when the session of Parliament should be," he said.
17:41  The list of MPs and MLAs who have declared rape cases and crimes against women in their names. Read
17:15  View: Is rape a new development Indicator?:   If rapes are rising dramatically in India over the last 20 years, is it logical to blame traditional Indian culture? Sankrant Sanu has the answer. Read
17:07  For a peoples police from a Delhi tailwind:  The recent gang rape incident in Delhi would appear to have stirred the conscience of the nation. There have been demonstrations in Delhi and in several other towns of the country. The Delhi Police could not have imagined that an isolated incident of rape would snowball to such an extent and lead to a demand for the ouster of the police commissioner. The political class was also caught by surprise. Actually, what is happening in Delhi represents the cumulative dissatisfaction of people against poor governance of the country reflected, in the present context, in crimes against women. Read more
17:02  Rs 15 lakh compensation for family of gang-rape victim:  The Delhi government today announced financial aid of Rs 15 lakh for the next of the kin of the 23-year-old gangrape victim and offered a job to a family member of the girl, who died two days ago. The decisions were taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
16:53  NO provision for mercy pleas in rape-murder: BJP :  A day after Delhi gangrape victim was cremated, BJP today demanded that there should be no provision for convicts, sentenced to death in rape-cum-murder cases, to file a mercy petition.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj raised the demand while attacking the UPA government for the "secrecy" in the cremation of the December 16 gangrape victim, who was raped in a moving bus.

"The culprits be hanged and the government should not accept any mercy petitions in such cases. If this can be done then this will be the only respect to that victim," she said while referring to five cases of rape-cum-murders in which the UPA government, she said, had granted pardon to convicts.
16:47  Parliament and patriarchy:   Taking its cue from an earlier generation of lawmakers who gave women the vote, abolished untouchability and reformed personal laws, Parliament must pass the Women's Reservation Bill. Read Ramachandra Guha's column on the Hindu on reserved seats in Parliament and a uniform civil code. Read
16:31  PC reacts to dhoti-clad PM remark: I'm not foolish:  Finance minister P Chidambaram reacts to DMK chief M Karunanidhi's statement of the need for a dhoti-clad prime minister. Chidambaram said, "I know my limitation and I stay within those limitations. That's my serious answer [to what Karunanidhi said] and on a lighter note, I know some of you think I am foolish, but I am not so foolish."

Lavishing praise on Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, DMK chief M Karunanidhi at a function in Chennai a few days ago, said he was among the few who had a place in his heart as the senior Congress leader was virtually projected by some speakers at a function as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate.

The DMK patriarch himself made a reference in his speech to the loud applauses and cheers from the audience whenever speakers expressed their wish to see a ''dhoti-clad'' Tamilian occupying the Prime Minister''s post, an apparent reference to Chidambaram.

Calling Chidambaram one of the few who had a "place in my heart," Karunanidhi traced his political career starting as a Minister of State in the early 1980s till his present position. "What next? You (the audience) have expressed your aspirations through your applause and cheers.

Some speakers spoke about a dhoti-clad Tamilian becoming Prime Minister. So, that also answers the question regarding a saree-wearing Tamil becoming Prime Minister," he said in an apparent reference to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa
who has also set her eyes on a bigger role at the national level.

Chidambaram sat in the front row among the audience and did not speak at the function where Karunanidhi released the book titled "Chidambaram: Oru Paarvai", a compilation of speeches by various personalities about the Congress leader.
16:19  High heels really make women look attractive: study:  Another one of those studies where people have spent time and money finding out what is common knowledge. The study in London says that high heels make women look attractive despite causing blisters, bunions and occasional stumble, a new study has found. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth filmed a group of women as they walked on a treadmill, both in flats and high heels.

The women, in their 20s, each owned between four and 25 pairs of heels, which they wore at least once a week. A separate group of men and women were then shown 30-second clips of the film. Every one in the group rated the participants as more attractive when they wore the heels.

Duh.
16:10  The taboo of menstruation:   Khushi knew it was cancer. Ankita thought she was injured. None of the girls knew why they were suddenly bleeding, why their stomachs were 'paining' as Indian English has it. They cried and were terrified and then they asked their mothers. And their mothers said, you are normal. You are menstruating. You are a woman now. Read: The taboo of menstruation.

Also read: The man who wore a sanitary napkin.
15:59  Former army chief VK Singh says he supports the ongoing anti-rape protests in Delhi and that the protests are justified. "I will hold a joint rally with Anna Hazare in Patna on January 30," he says. Singh and yoga guru Baba Ramdev had been booked by the Delhi Police for 'inciting a mob and provoking the crowd' at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 24. 
15:56  Close call for President yesterday:  A paraglider came uncomfortably close to President Pranab Mukherjee's aircraft minutes after its take-off from Hyderabad on Friday, bringing to the fore the Indian Air Force's  IAF) concern about dangers posed by unregulated flying in the country. Read more
15:52  Ramanujan's death-bed proved right 100 years on:  Researchers have finally solved the cryptic deathbed puzzle renowned Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan claimed came to him in dreams.

While on his death-bed in 1920, Ramanujan wrote a letter to his mentor, English mathematician GH Hardy, outlining several new mathematical functions never before heard of, along with a hunch about how they worked,Decades years later, researchers say they've proved he was right - and that the formula could explain the behaviour of black holes. Read more
15:45  There's NO turning back now:  The government and political class would like to have speedy closure by ensuring the "maximum punishment' for the men who grievously assaulted the woman inside a bus as it sped along one of Delhi's busiest roads. Punished they must be. But even if the six are hanged, and even if our legislators, in a fit of conveniently misplaced concern, prescribe the death penalty for rape, the pathology we are dealing with will not be so easily remedied.
That's the editorial on the Hindu. Read
15:42  Minor molested in Delhi bus had been raped by brother:  Fresh facts have emerged in the case of a minor girl molested in a bus in New Delhi with police arresting her teenaged brother for allegedly raping her six months ago and molesting her thereafter.

The tragic story of the girl unfolded on Sunday, after the 16-year-old girl recorded her statement with police. Her brother Nazakkat Ali (19) was arrested following her complaint. Read more
15:37  Misogyny in India: We are all guilty:  Misogyny has long permeated our textbooks, our pedagogy and our parenting. In fact, it runs so deep that it reflects itself even in our linguistics. The Hindi phrase most commonly used to describe sexual violence or rape against women is "izzat lootna," which means "to steal the honor of."

 Another Hindi word used for rape, "balatkar" (or "bad act"), is considered so erudite and technical that it's barely ever used. (Its English equivalent would be "coitus" instead of "sex.")

Read actress Leeza Mangaldas's column on CNN.com.
15:34  Hillary Clinton in hospital with blood clot after fall:  In other news: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been admitted to hospital in New York with a blood clot, officials say. Clinton suffered a concussion earlier this month after fainting and falling down.At the time, she was reported to have had a stomach virus and to have passed out after becoming dehydrated. Read more
15:31  India's April-November fiscal deficit at $76.2 billion:  India's fiscal deficit during the April-November period was 4.13 trillion rupees, or 80.4 percent of the budgeted full fiscal year 2012/13 target, government data showed on Monday. During the same period in the previous fiscal year, the deficit was 85.6 percent of the budget target. Read more
15:29  Cash transfer scheme from January 1:   Just in: Direct cash transfer scheme to be rolled out in only 20 districts from tomorrow, says the finance minister. Food, fertiliser, diesel and kerosene subsidies will not be transferred in cash to beneficiaries, says finance minister, P Chidambaram.

The Delhi government will launch the direct cash transfer scheme on the first day of the New Year with transfers for scholarships for students from disadvantaged groups and maternal health schemes.  Taking the Aadhaar number scheme to its logical conclusion, those individuals with the UID number will get direct cash as scholarship money and health schemes. Read more
15:22  Direct cash transfer will be rolled out in 11 more districts from February 1 and in 12 additional districts from March 1, says PC. 
15:12  What Is the world's most dangerous animal?:  In May, 1997, a 3-year-old boy was admitted to an ICU in Hong Kong after suffering from influenza for a week. Two days later, the boy died of pneumonia. His case would have been merely a curiosity if it weren't for 17 more patients who came down with the illness months later. In all, six people died from a strain of influenza that had never been seen in humans before, dubbed H5N1.
So, what did they die of? Click here to find out.
15:09  Women's helpline to be fully operational by 6 pm:  The Delhi government says that the women's helpline is operational from MTNL numbers. The helpline will be operational by 6 pm today. A helpline for women set up with great fanfare by beleaguered Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit through advertisement in newspapers this morning itself appeared to be "helpless" as it was not working. Calls to the number were greeted by a long beep sound. Dikshit had last week announced launch of the round- the-clock helpline for offering help to women in distress amid nationwide uproar over the December 16 brutal gangrape of the 23-year-old here.
14:28  17 elephant deaths in Odisha's Ganjam district this year:  Meanwhile, Odisha's Ganjam district seems to have become a graveyard for elephants. Altogether 17 elephants were killed in the district, the latest being at Sabalaya under Khallikote forest range where six were killed when they were hit by a train yesterday. Of the elephants killed, nine were females, three males and five calves.
14:26  Chargesheet ready in gang-rape, cops want hanging:  Just in: The draft chargesheet in the Delhi gang-rape case is ready. The police have asked for the rapists to be hanged. The police say they will cite 30 witnesses for the case and will ensure a fast trail. The draft is also being vetted by legal experts.  
14:14  BJP wants chemical castration for rapists :  And there you have it -- the BJP has suggested maximum punishment to the accused in rape cases-- either death penalty or chemical castration. "There should be maximum punishment to the rapists, death penalty or emasculation (chemical castration of the rapist)," senior BJP leader Venkiah Naidu told reporters in Delhi. His suggestions come close on the heels of Congress proposing castration for rapists. In a draft bill for a tougher law to check crimes against women which could also include chemical castration in rare cases, the Congress has proposed imprisonment up to 30 years for rape convicts.
14:12  What is chemical castration?:  The overwhelming demand that the six gang-rape and murder accused be either given the death penalty or chemically castrated has drawn varied responses from the government and activists. But what is chemical castration? Read Vicky Nanjappa's report on rediff.com. 
14:07  Kotla to have special stand for Pakistani fans:  In other news: For the first time in its history, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) will have a special stand for the Pakistan fans during India's one-dayer against Pakistan which will be played at the Feroz Shah Kotla on January  6. Read
14:02  Take back the night:  Every one of us shares in the crime as long as we continue to turn a blind eye or (worse) take it in our stride. Remember that rape is not really about sex '" it's more about the power that certain men (or animals?) want to wield over women. It's their way of "teaching us a lesson'.

Leading political voices, on the other hand, try to explain away the gruesomeness by laying the blame on victims themselves -- they wore jeans, they wore skirts, they went out late at night (9.30 pm -- late?), they work outside the home, they went out (horror of horrors!) in the company of a male friend. Read the blog
13:57  Subway 'murderer' couldn't stop laughing at trial :  The 31-year-old woman accused of shoving an immigrant from India to his death in front of a subway train because she believed he was Muslim laughed and smiled during a court hearing where she was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Read
13:52  Let's begin the change from our tainted MPs:  Indian authorities may have promised harsher punishments for rapists. But they could start by looking at politicians themselves.According to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a nonprofit organization, authorities have charged at least six members of India's state legislatures with rape and 36 other local politicians for crimes against women including sexual abuse and assault.

Two members of India's national Parliament also have been charged for sexual abuse and assault, the association says. Read more
13:47  The Delhi bus rape and the web of Dont:  Any woman who has spent any time in India -- particularly as a teenager -- is familiar with the web of don't. 'Don't take a taxi by yourself. Don't walk there. Don't roll down the window. Don't be too friendly.  Read
13:44  Decision to remove VK Singh's security made in Oct:  The decision to remove Gen VK Singh's security cover was taken in October, in less than six months of his retirement on 31 May 2012. The removal of the cover became effective from 30 November, exactly six months after his retirement. Read

By the way, VKS will hold a press conference today at  the New Delhi Press Club at 3.30 pm "on an important national issue'.Given that the general has successfully been a thorn in the side of the government since his retirement and even before that, stay with us when it happens.
13:39  Minor raped while being dropped to school:  And of course, the rapes do not stop.

A 13-year-old school girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour at Kattaya village in Karnataka's Hassan district, police said today. Rangaraju, who took the eighth standard student on his motorcycle following her mother's request to drop her at school, allegedly raped the girl and threatened her not to disclose the incident, police said.

The incident happened on December 18 evening when the girl needed to go to school to go on a study tour, sources said. Police said a case was registered last night and efforts are on to nab Rangaraju,who is absconding.
13:31  Minors could face death penalty if law is amended:  Jolted by the extreme cruelty unleashed on Nirbhaya by the only juvenile among the six accused in the Delhi gang-rape case, the government may be looking at enhanced punishment for minors -- even a waiver of the delinquent's age by six months to a year -- keeping in view the severity of the crime. Read
13:29  I am a man, I am culpable:  "I learnt at the barricades today that the personal is the political. So I am culpable. Culpable of the gang rape and murder of a co-citizen.I am culpable because I am a man. Because I have encouraged lewd jokes, sexist jibes and dirty talk about women."
The full account on the Telegraph.
13:24  UN nudges India to act:  UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has expressed "deep sorrow' at the death of the Delhi gang rape victim and urged India to undertake "reforms to deter' crimes against women and "strengthen critical services for rape victims'.

"UN Women and other parts of the United Nations stand ready to support such reform efforts with technical expertise and other support,' a spokesperson for Ban said this morning at the UN headquarters in New York. Read
13:17  In what could come as a relief to Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya, the DGCA is considering renewing its licence if it's revival plan is okayed. The DGCA says it wants an assurance and commitment from the UB Group on funding.

The DGCA has asked KFA to talk to stakeholders as well. Kingfisher Airlines had last week submitted revival plan to DGCA in a bid to revive the licence. However, the DGCA officials have sought additional details from the airlines on how it would fund its revival plan.

However, there was no word from the UB Group as to how it would commit the funding and from where it will raise the funds. Banks have been unwilling to fund the cash-strapped airline. Kingfisher Airlines has a debt of nearly Rs 8,000 crore and accumulated losses and liabilities of a similar amount. According to reports, United Breweries will be investing Rs 652 crore in the airline.
13:11  Army cancels all new year parties :  Against the backdrop of the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim, the Army has issued advisories to all its formations across the country against holding new year parties. Advisory has been issued to all formations that they should not organise new year parties, Army officials said here.

Army chief Gen Bikram Singh and his wife Bubbles Singh will visit patients in Army Research and Referral Hospital here and Base Hospital on the first day of the new year and distribute sweets. Congress president Sonia Gandhi too has announced that the party will not be celebrating the new year following the incident.

Amid outpouring of anger and grief in the country, the body of the 23-year-old victim was flown here from Singapore early yesterday morning and cremated within hours.
13:08  What you can do to make women safer:   More on the debate to make India safer for women. Let's face it: There isn't a solution. Or, at any rate, there isn't any one solution. Certainly not one that can make a difference to how women in India live within the next week, month or year.
Read what the WSJ says.

Why there is little hope for women in this country. Read
13:04  Declare 2013 as 'year of women's safety': CPI(M) MP to PM:   The CPI(M) like every other party has demanded an agenda for change. The party's senior leader and Rajya Sabha member T N Seema today urged the Union government to declare 2013 as "Year of Women's Safety" as a homage to the Delhi gangrape victim, who braved the brutal assault and fought for life till her last breath.

In a statement here, Seema urged every citizen of the country, especially women, to skip New Year celebrations to express solidarity with the family of the victim and to support the cause of the innumerable rape victims in the country.

Be that as it may, there were other concrete suggestions from her including changing existing laws for rape and molestation and making punitive action stringent.
13:04  Woman's helpline still not working in Delhi:  The Delhi government announced on December 24 that a helpline for women would be started in the capital from Monday. But after midday Monday the number -- 181 -- still is not working. Read
12:48  'What is most remarkable about the protests is the distance they mark between Delhi and the rest of India. Delhi is emphatically not the republic, whatever politicians and their antagonists on the streets of Delhi might think. 

'A few kilometres outside of Delhi, khap panchayats are inflicting humiliation and violence on women. 

'In the forests of Chhattisgarh and in Jangal Mahal in West Bengal, bloodshed is an everyday occurrence. 

'In Manipur, the situation is so gruesome that the highest court in the country had to ask if that state was in the throes of a civil war; in the same state a woman has been on a fast for over a decade against the activities of the armed forces there. 

'Has anyone in Delhi marched on any of these issues from India Gate to Raisina Hill?'

Rudrangshu Mukherjee raises some pertinent, and we daresay disturbing, questions about the Delhi protests, in The Telegraph, Calcutta. Read him here.
12:45  The protests radiating across urban India are the early signs of an impending political earthquake. Either the country's politicians will wake up to the reality that they must represent aspiring physiotherapists as much as fatalistic farmers, or they will find themselves buried in the rubble, writes Sadanand Dhume in the Wall Street Journalhere.
12:43  Why India is so DAMN violent:  
'Changing centuries of patriarchy and misogyny won't happen overnight, nor will a creaky criminal justice system magically repair itself. Let's not forget that misogyny and sexual violence were prevalent in many Western countries, too, and it took decades of work by lawmakers, feminist thinkers and social activists to change attitudes. There were no quick fixes anywhere else, and there's no quick fix in India,' writes Rupa Subramanya in the Wall Street Journal's blog IndiaRealTime. 

Read her wonderfully argued piece here.
12:37  Indian Navy cancels official New Year programmes:  Across the nation, official events are being cancelled as a mark of respect for and to mourn the 23-year-old Delhi girl who was brutalised in a bus on the night of December 16.

The latest to cancel the official new year programme is the Indian Navy. Journalist and rediff.com contributor Nitin Gokhale tweets that the Navy has sent an official communication to this effect.
12:31  When an activist was terrorised into silence in Delhi...:  Activist Debayani Bose was in Delhi late February last year, and she boarded a bus at Munirka (the same bus-stop from where the gangrape victim took a Blueline bus on the night of December 16), and her horrific experience snuffed out the activist in her, she writes in The Telegraph, Calcutta. 

'I boarded a public bus around 9pm from Munirka bus stand, the same bus stand from where the 23-year-old gang-rape victim had started her fateful journey. I was returning from a dinner party,' she writes.

'Suddenly, a group of sturdy-looking drunken men boarded the bus, carrying liquor bottles in hand. Neither the conductor nor the driver stopped them. They were shouting at the top of their voices, being abusive. They said they were on a "fun-ride'. 

'They did not even bother to get their bus tickets and the conductor didn't ask them to. I don't know about the others, but the reason I kept mum became clear to me after a few moments' introspection  -- I was afraid, very afraid, to raise my voice against the bunch of hooligans who made me feel threatened and insecure, and terrorised me by their very presence in the bus. 

'The activist in me that has always taken a stand against wrongdoing had suddenly died a horrible death.' 

Read her full account here.   While on the subject, don't miss out on these articles from rediff.com too:

For the Lionheart who wanted to live
What kind of a nation fails to protect its women?
View: Is rape a new development indicator?

12:28  Tony Greig was a fearless, combative cricketer: Boycott:    I don't say nice things about people just because they have passed away, says Geoff Boycott, and goes on to sing paeans to the gentle giant of cricket, Tony Greig who fought cancer till the very end.

Here is an excerpt on Greig's involvement with Kerry Packer, because of which, Boycott suggests, he was not given his due: 'Tony was also looking for a job after cricket. All those people who slapped you on the back when you were playing were not there to give you a job when you finished. And Packer gave Tony a job commentating that lasted for 33 years and one he performed very well.He was a valued friend and family man and he was a gentle giant.'

Read the full tribute, here.
12:13  What will Gen VK Singh (retd) say in his press conference today?:  For all those who have had it till here with the explosive press conferences by  Arvind Kejriwal, here's a change of cast. 

The former chief of Army staff, General VK Singh, will hold a press conference today at  the New Delhi Press Club at 3.30 pm "on an important national issue'. 

Given that the general has successfully been a thorn in the side of the government since his retirement and even before that, it is sure bound to make for dazzling headlines.

We are waiting with breath duly bated'!
12:04  Who am I? Justice Katju clarifies...:  'I have been described variously as a megalomaniac, a crank, a maverick, a publicity seeker, a wild man, a loose cannon, and even a dog (by a Chief Minister), who 'comments on everything under the Sun', writes Justice Markandeya Katju in his blog. But, 'What am I really ? What do I stand for ?'

'Since the new year is approaching,' he says, 'I think a clarification of my views is in order.I submit that my views are consistent, coherent, and directed to one single aim : To help my country become prosperous with its people having decent lives.'

Read him here.
11:59  Anti-rape stir continues; BJP to hold prayer meet:  
Following the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim, the movement demanding justice for 23-year-old medical student and better security for women continued across the country even on Monday.
 
Activists and various student groups have vowed to keep the movement alive. 

A protest march will be held on Monday in Connaught Place in Central Delhi.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party has organised a condolence meeting at Jantar Mantar on Monday to pay tribute to the 23-year-old gang rape victim, who succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Saturday.
 
Top BJP leaders, including LK Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, will offer tribute to the 23-year-old girl who died after battling for life for 13 days after being brutally gang-raped by six men in a moving bus.
 
Following a day of protests on Sunday across India over the brutal rape and killing, several cities held silent candle light vigils to remember the young woman.

11:48  Delhi gang-rape: Sonia not to celebrate New Year:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will not be celebrating the New Year in view of the gang-rape incident in the national capital. 

"Sonia Gandhi has appealed to partymen and well-wishers against coming to her to extend New Year greetings in the wake of gang-rape incident," party General Secretary Janardhan Dwivedi said in New Delhi on Monday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Gandhi were present at the airport when the mortal remains of the 23-year-old gang-rape victim were flown in on Sunday morning from Singapore where she was shifted from Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital for treatment. 

11:27  Women's helpline number 181 goes active today:  
In a bid to check the increasing rate of crime against the feminine gender in the national capital, the Delhi government will on Monday launch a round-the-clock helpline '181' for offering immediate help to women in distress.

The helpline, which will operate from the Chief Minister''s office in Delhi Secretariat, will be connected with all the 185 police stations across the city.

The number '181' can be dialled from landline and mobile phones.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had earlier last week announced the setting up of the helpline service amid nationwide uproar over brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus.
 
Dikshit, who has condemned all incidents of violence and sexual assault against women and emphasized on a dire need to ensure their safety and security, said the Help line number 181, which is for women's cooperation, will begin on Monday.

Telecom Ministry had released the three-digit number following the chief minister's request. This is the first three-digit number to have been allotted by the Ministry in two years.
11:26  Shutdown in Srinagar over Pulwama firing:  
Separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir on Monday called for a shutdown in the state to protest against police firing on civilians in Pulwama district.
 
All shops, business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices would remain closed and the public transport would also remain off from the roads.
 
The leader of hardliner faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has given the call for complete shutdown in Srinagar as a mark of the protest against the firing.
 
A local, Fahad told the reporters that the firing by the Army on the civilians sparked protests in the Pulwama district.
 
Geelani (Leader of Hurriyat, Syed Ali Shah Geelani) had called for a shutdown against the encounter which took place two or three days back in Pulwama and 15 civilians were injured. All the shops would remain closed as the valley is observing shutdown, he said.
11:07  BJP prayer meet for gang-rape vic at Jantar Mantar:  
The Bharatiya Janata Party has organised a condolence meeting at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Monday to pay tribute to the 23-year-old gang rape victim, who succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Saturday.

Top BJP leaders, including Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj, will offer tribute to the 23-year-old brave heart who died after battling for life for 13 days after being brutally gang-raped by six men in a moving bus.

Taking on the Congress-led UPA Government over its handling of the entire situation, Delhi BJP President Vijender Gupta condemned the Centre's move of imposing pressure on the family to conduct the last rites of the girl before dawn.

"The dead body reached the girl's residence at around 4: 30 (a.m.). Even I reached there at the same time. The police and the administration took a hasty action. It was still night and in the night only the police officials wanted the family to lit the funeral pure. Her father was not even wearing a 'dhoti' nor had he taken a bath according to the traditions at the time of the funeral," said Gupta.

"When I objected to all these, then they (police and the administration) waited for the sunrise. The government wants to get over the present situation by dismissing this entire case," he added.
10:48  All Delhi Metro stations re-opened after 2 weeks :  
All Metro stations in central Delhi were opened for the commuters on Monday morning.

Ten Metro stations have been out of bounds for several days in the last two weeks because of the protests against the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in the national capital.

Five out of the 10 Metro stations in central Delhi that were closed down for an indefinite period in the wake of the massive protests were opened for the commuters on Sunday afternoon.

The Delhi Police had earlier issued advisory to all 10 Metro stations to remain closed till further notice.

The decision to close down the Metro stations was taken by Delhi Police, which is making all efforts to prevent the protesters from reaching the India Gate.
10:40  Mumbai: CR train services hit, hundreds stranded:  
Hundreds of commuters were affected on Monday as Central Railway officials began remodelling Thane station and overhauling its various mechanisms to make the nodal station fit for the next couple of decades. 

Lack of information given out to the public meant that thousands found out about train service disruption only after reaching the station.

The mega block began at 9pm on Saturday and was slated to end early on Monday. 

However, the work is still on. 

One train was cancelled on Sunday, and many were diverted to different platforms between Mulund and Kalyan. Long-distance trains leaving Kurla Terminus were also affected.

Explaining the work, CR general manager Subodh Jain said: "The old diamond crossings (track alignments which allow a train to move from one track to another) with wooden sleepers in Thane will be replaced with new ones. The Route Relay Interlocking (a mechanism that gives trains its direction) will also be replaced entirely."
10:37  Dense fog disrupts 40 flights in New Delhi:  
Dense fog enveloped the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Monday morning, disrupting the schedule of around 40 flights. 

Overnight around 16 flights were delayed. Around five flights were cancelled either due to operational reasons or due to poor weather, an airport official said. 

Fog started to descend on the airport from last night but it started to become dense around 7 am, forcing authorities to implement low visibility procedures. 

Dense fog returned to the capital on Saturday after a four-day lull, affecting over 130 flights.
10:35  German magazine mistakenly publishes Bush Sr's obituary:  
Der Spiegel, a respected German magazine, mistakenly published an obituary for former US President George H W Bush.

Der Spiegel published the obituary hours after a family spokesman said the 88-year-old was recovering from illness.

Bush was hospitalised in Houston November 23 for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough and moved to intensive care on December 23 after he developed a fever.

According to the Huff Post, the unfinished obituary appeared on Der Spiegel's website for only a few minutes Sunday before it was spotted by Internet users and removed.

In it, the magazine's New York correspondent described Bush as a colourless politician whose image only improved when it was compared to the later presidency of his son, George W Bush, the report said.

According to the report, the magazine apologized on Twitter, calling the publication of the obituary a technical mistake.
10:14  Cold wave claims 92 lives in Uttar Pradesh :  
People across India are facing the wrath of dipping mercury, as the cold wave further intensified in several parts of the country. The death toll has reached to 92 due to cold in north India.
 
Foggy weather disrupted rail, road and air traffic at several places. The fog also affected the schedule of about 50 flights at Delhi airport on Sunday.
 
In Uttar Pradesh, cold wave has claimed three more lives during the past 24 hours. The toll in the state during this season has gone upto 92.
 
An unabated cold wave swept through Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, leaving residents distressed and forcing them to stay within the confines of their houses.
 
The minimum temperature recorded in the night was zero degrees Celsius in Kullu district of the state. A common sight was of people sitting around bonfires, wearing woollens to warm themselves.
10:08  Sensex opens on positive note on last trading day of 2012:  
Stock markets opened on a slightly better note on the last trading day of 2012 with the BSE benchmark Sensex gaining over 27 points in early trade. 

The 30-share index rose by 27.07 points, or 0.14 per cent, to trade higher at 19,471.91 points with stocks of oil and gas, auto and power sectors rising.

The Sensex had gained over 121 points in the previous session on Friday.

During 2012, the 30-stock index shot up by nearly 26 per cent.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 4.40 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 5,912.75. 

Brokers said selective buying in index-related stocks by participants mainly helped Sensex to trade in the positive territory. 

They said, however, activity was restricted as today being the last trading session of the calender year 2012 and absence of any encouraging cues from the global markets.
08:33  Indo-Pak cricketers' New Year bash cancelled:  
With the Indian cricket board allowing its players a day off on the New Year's eve, the proposed joint New Year celebration by the India and Pakistan cricket teams ahead of their game at the Eden Gardens here has been cancelled, a cricket official said on Sunday.

"Though we had planned the joint celebrations, the same has been cancelled as team India players will be enjoying a much-deserved day off with their families in their respective homes on the New Year's eve," said Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) treasurer Biswarup Dey.

Both the squads were slated to arrive in the city on Monday for the second One-Day International to be played Jan 3, but now the hosts would arrive in batches Tuesday.
08:31  Indian owner of US supermart found dead in store:  
An Indian man, from Andhra Pradesh, who runs a super market in the US, was found dead at his store under suspicious circumstances, according to reports.

According to R Shyam Sunder Reddy, an advocate in Karimnagar, his brother-in-law Goli Venkat Reddy, 48, runs a super market at Cincinnati in Ohio. He left his hometown for the US about 12 years ago.

The victim is married to Kavitha, a software engineer, and has a son named Praneeth.

Shyam Sunder Reddy said Kavitha found her husband lying aside in the store, bleeding from his nose, at 11 pm (local time) last night (10.30 am IST, Sunday) and immediately informed the police.

Police reached the spot and declared Reddy dead. It has registered a case of suspicious death and sent the body for autopsy.
08:29  Few Delhi Metro stations to shut early on NY eve:  
Metro stations around CP to close early on New Year eve

Three Metro stations in and around Connaught Place will be closed three-and-a-half hours before the usual time today in view of security restrictions due to New Year celebrations.

Rajiv Chowk, Barakhamba Road and Patel Chowk Metro stations will be closed from 7:30 PM on New Year's Eve. 

However, inter-change will be allowed at Rajiv Chowk station.

Sale of tickets at the three Metro stations will stop at 7.15 PM and shutters of all entry gates will be closed at 7:30 PM.

"However, interchange facility between Line-2 (HUDA City Centre Jahangirpuri) and Line-3/4 (Dwarka Sec-21 NOIDA City Centre/Vaishali) will remain operational at Rajiv Chowk Metro station till the end of revenue services, i.e, 11 PM," a Delhi Metro spokesman said. 

Services at all other Metro corridors and stations will continue normally.
08:23  No decision on next defence secretary: Obama:  
US President Barack Obama has said that he has taken no decision on nominating his next defence secretary, but went on to praise former Senator Chuck Hagel, who is believed to be the top contender for the post. 

"I haven't made a decision about who to nominate. And my number one criteria will be who's going to do the best job in helping to secure America," Obama said in response to a question.

The US President however praised Hagel. 

"I've served with Chuck Hagel. I know him. He is a patriot. He is somebody who has done extraordinary work both in the United States Senate. Somebody who served this country with valour in Vietnam. This is somebody who's currently serving on my intelligence advisory board and doing an outstanding job," he said.

"So I haven't made a decision on this," Obama said. 

When asked about Hagel's comment on gays in the past, Obama said the former Senator has already apologised. 

"With respect to the particular comment that you quoted, he apologised for it. And I think it's a testimony to what has been a positive change over the last decade in terms of people's attitudes about gays and lesbians serving our country," he said.
08:17  Hillary Clinton in hospital with blood clot:  
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital on Monday after doctors discovered a blood clot related to a concussion she suffered early this month.

"In the course of a follow-up exam today, Secretary Clinton's doctors discovered a blood clot had formed, stemming from the concussion she sustained several weeks ago," her spokesperson and the Deputy US Assistant Secretary of State, Philippe Reines, said in a statement.

"She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at New York-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours," Reines said. 

"Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any further action is required," he added. 

Clinton (65), who suffered a stomach infection early this month, and was working from home for most part of the December, was expected to return to work next week.
08:15  Battling cancer, Chavez suffers more complications:  
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has suffered a new setback after cancer surgery in Cuba, raising new fears about his political future, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.

"We have been informed of new complications that arose as a consequence of the respiratory infection we already knew about," Maduro said on state TV and radio yesterday from Havana. Cuba is Chavez's closest regional ally.

"President Chavez's condition is still delicate," Maduro added, warning that the complications "are being treated in a process that is not without its risks." 

Chavez, the face of the Latin American left for more than a decade and a firebrand critic of US "imperialism," has been in power since 1999 in Venezuela, an OPEC member that sits on top of the world's largest proven oil reserves.
08:13  Top headlines at this hour:  Delhi gangrape: New Year plans dropped, toned down

Rape victim's mother collapses, doctors say now stable

Grief-stricken parents of rape accused lock themselves up

BJP questions 'hurried' cremation of gangrape victim 

Kohli doubtful starter for Kolkata ODI

Lampard double inspires Chelsea to 2-1 win at Everton 

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