February 29, 2012
On Nov. 3 of 2010, Edn Pastora, the Nicaraguan official tasked with dredging the Rio San Juan, justified his country's incursion into neighboring Costa Rica's territory by claiming that, contrary to the customary borderline, he wasn't trespassing at all. For proof, he said, just look at Google Maps.
Read the story on the New York Times.
Just in: The Kollam court has rejected the plea filed Italy in the fishermen's murder case. Italian experts wanted to witness the forensic tests of the weapons used to kill the fishermen.
A meeting was held in the PMO on the government's priorities in the health sector, particularly over the next five years. The meeting decided that we must work towards increasing the total government health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by the end of the Twelfth Plan: currently it is around 1.4%.
The health ministry is also looking at a plan for cashless treatment, free medicines for all under NHRM. The cabinet clears the procurement of drugs in bulk.
The latest quarterly growth rate is just 30 basis points above the bottom touched during the worst months of the global economic crisis in early 2009.
Read the report on the WSJ.
Elevated to the position of vice-captain of the Indian cricket team for the upcoming Asia Cup in Dhaka, Virat Kohli is excited about his new role andconfident of carrying out the responsibility entrusted upon him, informed his coach Raj Kumar Sharma.
The 23-year-old Delhi lad, who scored an unbeaten 133 against Sri Lanka in a do-or-die match yesterday, has replaced Virender Sehwag as the deputy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the four-nation tournament, starting on March 11.
"I spoke to him over phone and informed him that he has been appointed as the vice-captain of the team. He was sleeping at that time, but on hearing his elevation in the team he was very excited," the coach, Raj Kumar Sharma said.
If you want to know the latest candid thoughts of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, where should you look? Here's a multiple choice question.
Though the police refused to confirm whether Akash Banerjee was really the nephew of the chief minister as claimed, eyewitnesses said that the man shouted at the police saying he is the chief minister's nephew when his car was stopped for violating traffic rules in the morning rush hour.
Police sources said that the man hurled abuses at the police sergeant who intercepted the car for violating traffic rules near the Vidyasagar setu. The traffic guard posted at the Vidyasagar setu said that the main accused slapped the traffic sergeant and jostled with constables who rushed in.
''The man was shouting and hurling abuses at the police,'' the sources said. He was arrested along with two of his friends travelling in the car on the charge of obstructing a government employee on duty and slapping a traffic sergeant.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor signs up for Delhi Daredevils for IPL 5
"Taylor will play for Delhi Daredevils this season. Solid batting line-up this year, isn't it," Delhi Daredevils said on Twitter.
Few athletes have fallen from such heights as India's gold medal winners in the 4400 meters relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. So unusual is it for Indian athletes to win in international sports outside of cricket'"and so awful was the government's preparation for the these games'"that the victory of the women's relay team in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was particularly sweet.
Read the report on the WSJ
Around 22 km from Lucknow, on the road to Varanasi, is a nondescript village called Beli that lies in Goasaiganj block. As per official records, it is a happy village, with many of the elders getting cataracts removed through surgeries funded by the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). The problem is most of the patients do not exist except on official records.
Read the report on Firstpost.com
In other news: Pakistan and the US, whose ties have been buffeted by several crises since last year, have agreed that their relations must be based on mutual respect and pursuing common interests, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said today.
Khar made the remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this morning, according to an official statement from the Premier's office.
She briefed Gilani on her recent visit to Britain, where she also met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the margins of an international conference.
Mining baron G Janardhan Reddy will be sent to Bangalore on March 2 after a transit warrant was issued in his name by the Nampally special CBI court. Following this, he will be sent to the Parapana Agrahara jail also known as the Bangalore central prison.
The CBI stated that he needed to be interrogated in connection with the Associated Mining company scam.
Reddy faces charges in this case along with 21 others. He is likely to remain in the Bangalore jail until the investigation is complete.
CBI sources said that even if he were to get bail in Andhra Pradesh he would continue to remain in Bangalore jail as he is being tried in a different case.
Just in: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's 'nephew' has been arrested for slapping a police constable. Three people were arrested for flouting traffic rules, one of whom said he was the CM's nephew.
Will Mamata now say "shob shajano" (it's all fabricated)?
Mothers who stay at home are as content and satisfied with their lives as those who choose to go out to work, a new government study has found. For decades, women have been told that being housewives will leave them downtrodden and unfulfilled.
In contrast, the report found that house husbands are generally much less happy. The results of David Cameron's campaign to measure well-being also revealed that the happiest people are traditional married families.
The Karnataka Legislative Assembly Committee probing the porngate episode involving three former BJP ministers today began its three-day sitting, amid continued boycott by Congress and JDS members, saying it would try to submit its report by the March 13 deadline set by the Speaker.
A representative of a regional television channel which telecast footage of the three ministers Lakshman Savadi, C C Patil and Krishna Palemar watching the porno clippings on mobile phones was summoned before the committee today.
The Karnataka government is mulling barring private TV channels from covering the proceedings of the legislative assembly after the scandal.
Two accused, including a city-based architect who allegedly orderd hit on RTI activist Shehla Masood, will be today produced in a designated CBI court of Indore.
The CBI yesterday arrested interior designer Zahida Parvez from Bhopal, while the identity of the contract killer allegedly hired by her to execute the crime has not been disclosed.
The duo would be produced in the special CBI court of Judge Shubra Singh, sources said, adding both the accused were taken to Indore by CBI officials this morning.
According to sources, Zahida has confessed before CBI sleuths that it was she who had ordered Masood's murder because she was suspicious of the activist's relations with her husband.
Angelina Jolie, whose bare right leg during the Oscar ceremony made headlines all over the viral, is now ruling the web with hilarious spoof images of her leg appearing everywhere.
The 36-year-old attended the red carpet event wearing a daring thigh-high slit gown, with her right leg on full display for the benefit of the photographers. Not satisfied, the actress walked onstage to present the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, where she stopped at the microphone for several seconds with her hand on her hip and the leg on display.
Just 24 hours after the ceremony Jolie's 'legbombing' was a viral term with that very skinny leg appearing next to Darth Vadar, on the Statue of Liberty, on Hitler, on Pope, on Bruce Lee, a turkey, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and also on the famous moon landing shot.
Pictured: The Abbey Road spoof. Look at it carefully.
A number of agreements are likely to be inked during the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to Egypt beginning Friday, the first high-level Indian visit to the North African country after the popular uprising.
During the three-day visit, which is aimed at enhancing economic and trade ties besides engaging with the new leadership, Krishna will co-chair the 6th Meeting of the Joint Commission with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Kamel Amr on Sunday.
Pakistan's Interior Ministry has given its approval for the process of obtaining a Red Corner Notice from Interpol for the arrest of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said.
The Interior Ministry's approval has been sent to the Federal Investigation Agency, which is working on the matter, Malik told reporters during an interaction last night.
He said he was hopeful the FIA would implement the ministry's directive in the next few days by writing a letter to Interpol.
Just in: Pakistan's Cabinet unanimously approves phasing out of negative list regime for trade with India by December.
The Pakistan Government's effort to normalise trade relations with India is being opposed by two ministries, including the key Textiles Ministry that wants trade liberalisation to be put off for five years.
The Commerce Ministry recently announced that it intends to switch over to a small negative list for trade with India by the end of February and to phase out this regime by the end of the year.
However, the Ministry of Industries and the Textiles Ministry, which have a crucial say in framing strategies to protect domestic manufacturers, have opposed the move.
The Ministry of Industries wants the negative list to be increased from 636 items to 1,297 items, while the more important Textiles Ministry says that there should be "no liberalisation for five years with India', the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.
FIFA, the international federation for world soccer, is poised to make a decision in a few days that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of young Muslim women -- whether or not to overturn the current ban on the hijab, or headscarf.
Read the report on Foreign Policy
Update: India squad for Asia Cup: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain),Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda.
Contrary to reports, Dhoni has not been rested.
Madam Chief Minister,
We, the members of Maitree, a women's rights network inWest Bengal, are writing to protest against the manner in which the complaint of rape of a woman in a car inKolkata on Feb 5, 2012 been dealt with by the government, especially the police.
This hill, which looms over the center of Kabul, was once home to many Hindus and Sikhs. There was a Sikh gurudwara on it as well as a Hindu temple the Asha Mayi Mandir.
Just in: The BCCI meet for the selection of the Asia Cup team ends. Sachin Tendulkar has been included in the Indian squad.
Virender Sehwag has been left out.
A new live polar bear webcam which allows viewers to watch a small cub grow, also aims to promote efforts to protect polar bears and their arctic habitat.
Cute stuff. Watch
Abhijit Majumder: Morarji Desai's birthday today. Boys' loo door of our school had a graffito in his memory: 'Morarji's bar'
China is mulling an anti-domestic violence law and it is even on the legislative agenda of the National People's Congress in 2012. A statement to this effect was issued by an official from the Commission for Legislative Affairs of the NPC on Monday.
About 24.7 per cent of Chinese women have experienced domestic abuse, according to statistics from the All China Women's Federation. 86 percent of respondents in a survey conducted by the ACWF rights department believe that domestic violence is against the law and a separate anti-violence law is needed for it.
A US military plea deal with a Pakistani Guantanamo detainee will cap at 25 years the term to be served by the 31-year-old, a court documents show.
In exchange, Majid Khan Shoukat said he would testify against his fellow prisoners accused of terrorist attacks. Khan has agreed to plead guilty today at a military tribunal to charges that he participated in terrorist plots along with accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines cannot be closed down just because it is making losses and banks are not helping it out with funds, Civil AviationMinister Ajit Singh said today.
"As long as passenger safety is not jeopardised, as long as they keep their schedule, why should we close down any industry," Singh said today. He was responding to a question from reporters whether the government would take stringent action against the airlines if it flouts rules. His comments came even as the Vijay Mallya-owned carrier was asked by its bankers to infuse fresh equity on its own before they lent it additional funds.
Bank chiefs have been quoted as saying that Kingfisher would need to arrange fresh equity of Rs 1,000-2,000 crore before seeking additional funds from the consortium of banks, led by the State Bank of India.
To another question, the Minister said closing down of any airline would impact passengers. He said Kingfisher has submitted a new schedule of its flights to the DGCA which would closely monitor it.
Former 'Friends' star Jennifer Aniston reportedly sent Angelina Jolie flowers to congratulate her on her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey.
The pair have been pitted against each other since Brad Pitt, 48, left Aniston in 2005 and started a relationship with Jolie, 36, who he met on the set of their film Mr and Mrs Smith.
"Brad Pitt sent Jen a copy of Ange's new film In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jen sent Ange flowers and a note telling her how beautifully directed it was. It's a sign that things are thawing between them. Jen's so happy she thinks all her past heartbreak might have been worth it for her to have what she does now," a source said. Aniston is currently dating actor Justin Theroux.
The major paradox about rare diseases is that collectively rare diseases are not rare. In fact, 3.5 million people in the UK will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives -- 1 in 17 of us.
Doomsday news before you bite into your lunch... Read
Two hidden copies of the Bible have been found at the house where terror chief Osama Bin Laden died. The books had been concealed at the building in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Bin Laden was shot by US Navy Seals last May.
Read the story on the Sun.
Maldives Interim President Waheed responds to Richard Branson's (founder of the Virgin group) open letter to him.
On Oscar night, the internet went weak at the knees for the actor's jutting leg.
A top US Congressman has asked President Barack Obama to "personally intercede" to ensure that Pakistan government does not punish a doctor who helped CIA in tracking down al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's remarks came in the wake of Pakistani media reports that the government has sealed all of Dr Shakil Afridi's bank accounts and property, including his house. Since May of last year, Afridi has been incarcerated by Pakistan and awaits possible trial for treason and execution.
Actor Saif Ali Khan, who was involved in a much-publicised brawl with businessman Iqbal Meer Sharma recently, says he wants to avoid going to court to sort the issue. "There has been too much noise about it, so we will sort it out between ourselves like men.'
-- Hindustan Times, Feb. 29, 2012.
India Real Time, amazingly, was given exclusive access to Mr. Saif's proposals. As far as we know, Mr. Sharma has yet to respond.
Read the irrepressible Paul Beckett on the WSJ.
Pakistani Majid Khan Shoukat has agreed to plea bargain that would cap his sentencing to 25 years in exchange testifying against fellow prisoners.
Read the report on Newsweek.
Thirty-five kilometres from Vadnagar, birthplace of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Dipda Darwaza village misses its Muslims "sometimes'. The community that moved away down to the last member after the 2002 riots was a loyal voter of the dominant Patels. The main accused in the riots, the Patels longer have it that easy.
Read it on the Indian Express.
World, meet Larry.
While most of us have (unfortunately) become well-acquainted with Twitter's "Fail Whale," it's likely we aren't on a first-name basis with the site's official mascot, Larry the bird. The little guy may have been named after former NBA player, Larry Bird, who played for Twitter co-founder Biz Stone's home-state team, the Boston Celtics.
More on the Huff Post.
Blaming NGOs reveals the diminishing space for dissent in our democracy.
Read the report on the Indian Express.
India has proposed early presidential elections in Maldives to end the political impasse in the country following the ouster of the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed. During his talks with leaders of political parties last night, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai proposed a paper which hinted at presidential election before the end of this year, local media quoted participants at the meeting as saying.
Mathai arrived here yesterday on an unannounced visit to hold meetings with various stakeholders. This is his second visit here following the political unrest that sieged the country early this month following Nasheed's ouster.
Film actor Fardeen Khan's application has been acquitted under section 64A of the NDPS Act, reports rediff.com's Toral Varia.
The acquittal is based on the proviso that he has already undergone a detoxification process which entitles him to immunity.
In October Fardeen Khan had pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempting to buy cocaine in a 10-year-old case in which a special court framed charges against him and two others.
The special NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) court framed charges against Khan, son of yesteryear actor-filmmaker Feroz Khan under section 21 (A) of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act, which carries a maximum punishment of 6 months and fine upto Rs 10,000 or both.
The UPA's flawed Food Security Bill is now under attack from its most ardent supporters '" for varied reasons. One campaign is led by Right To Food (RTF), an umbrella grouping of non-governmental organisations that include people like Aruna Roy, who is on Sonia Gandhi's National Advisory Council (NAC), and Jean Dreze, an economist and former member of NAC.
Read the report on Firstpost.com
The share sale could raise as much as 121 billion rupees at ONGCs closing price of 283.40 rupees a share earlier. The shares closed 0.8 percent higher in a firm Mumbai market ahead of the announcement.
India is looking at holding spectrum auctions for the fourth generation (4G) mobile services by the end of this year, besides finalising plans to sell off radio waves for the 2G services, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has said.
"By the end of the year, we are actually going to auction 4G (spectrum). That is what our intent is. We have enough spectrum now to share with everybody," he said at the India Day function organised by his ministry at the Mobile World
Sibal said the government will have enough radio waves for all operators after it is released from the defence services as well as the cancellation of 122 2G new licences by the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
A woman who had a face transplant after she was badly disfigured and blinded by a rampaging chimpanzee said that she would like to be able to see her own reflection.
Charla Nash, a 58-year-old single mother from Stamford, Connecticut, almost died after the mauling three years ago. Her friend's pet, a 14-year-old male ape, tore off her hands, nose, lips and eyelids and left her blind.
Read the amazing story on the Daily Mail.
Sitting in a hospital bed in Lebanon, a wounded Zakaria Moutlak, 26, talks about how he and two friends joined the rebels in Homs, what they endured, and what it cost them.
Back to world news...
Malaysia has cancelled a concert by US singer Erykah Badu after a publicity photo showed her with the Arabic word for "Allah" tattooed on her upper body. Officials say the photo of Ms Badu in The Star newspaper was "an insult to Islam". The paper has apologised, says the BBC.
Details of the foiled terror attack in New Delhi.
In a major operation, the Delhi Police has arrested two suspected LeT terrorists who were allegedly planning to carry out terror strikes in the capital targeting vital installations and VVIPs. Delhi Police sources said the operation was launched to nab the two Lashkar-e-Toiba men after receiving inputs from
Central intelligence agencies that the duo have entered the capital to carry out strikes. Effective coordination with Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand Police helped nab the two terrorists, the sources said.
Details awaited on that terror scare.
Meanwhile, on to world news today...
Partial remains of some victims of the 11 September attacks ended up in landfill, a Pentagon report has found. Read the story on the bbc.co.uk.
On the Telegraph, Kolkata: Shajano Banerjee aka CM and her conspiracy theories Brutalised before spectator police.
A deaf and dumb patient has allegedly been raped at the Bankura Medical Hospital near Kolkata. The patient is believed to have been raped by the house staff. The bed sheets and the patient's clothes have been sent for a forensic examination.
Awaiting Mamata Banerjee's comment on the incident. Is this also shajano?
If attendance at government offices is the yardstick, the general strike flopped. If attendance at homes is the barometer, the general strike triumphed. Matters of livelihood and choice should not be reduced to such a shallow contest but the general strike has done that '" and set the stage for more disquiet.
Tomorrow evening, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will lead a procession in Jadavpur to protest a Trinamul attack today on a CPM office that served as his election office. A STAR Ananda reporter who covered the attack was mercilessly beaten by Trinamul supporters for doing his job.
Read the report on the Telegraph, India.
Budget 2012: Cash-strapped govt to cut defence spending? (The Times of India)
Sources say the reluctant move is due to acute fiscal distress thanks to huge shortfall in tax collection, disinvestment and miscalculation of subsidies. Read
Relief to NRI couple as uncle is to get custody of children (The Hindu)
The district court is to hold hearings on March 23, when it is expected to overturn its own ruling sending the children into care until they become majors.
2002 Gujarat riots: Court to hear Jafri's fresh petition (Hindustan Times)
An Ahmedabad court is likely to hear a fresh petition filed by Zakia jafri, wife of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri today in the Gulbarg Society case. Read
Karkare was under pressure to nail RSS: Bhagwat (Hindustan Times)
Five days before he was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare had told RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat that he was under tremendous pressure to nail Sangh activists in unsolved blast cases. Read
Interior designer, shooter held for Shehla murder (Indian Express)
While these are the first arrests in the case, three others were also detained today. Read
Letters Rogatory sent in Maran-Aircel Maxis case (The Hindu)
Admitting that sniffing out the trail was a "painstakingly slow'' process, the sources said investigators were treading cautiously as the probe involved getting assistance from appropriate authorities in foreign countries. Read
Kudankulam: case filed against four NGOs (The Hindu)
Senior Home Ministry officials said the bank accounts of the NGOs had been frozen. Read