20:12 War Horse, Descendants in Oscar Best Picture race:
Best Original Screenplay: The Artist, Bridesmaids, Margin Call, Midnight in Paris, A Separation
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants, Hugo, The Ides of March, Moneyball, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Best Supporting Actress: Berenice Bejo, Jessica Chastian, Melissa McCarthy, Janet McTeer, Octavia Spencer
Best Supporting Actor: Kenneth Branagh, Johan Hill, Nick Nolte, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow
19:09 Last year's Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence will announce the nominations in Los Angeles.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy awards will be announced shortly.
Join the discussion here! #Oscar-nominations-LIVE
18:06 Home secy "happy" ATS has cracked 13/7 blasts case:
The Union home ministry today acknowledged there was a lack of coordination between the Delhi police and the Maharashtra ATS in the probe into last year's serial blasts in Mumbai but downplayed the rift between them.
Union Home Secretary RK Singh at the same time said he was "very happy" that the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad had cracked the 13/7 blast case.
He also said there is a need for a standard operating procedure for inter-state anti-terror operations.
A day after ATS announced a breakthrough, Singh said it had worked out the case on the basis of evidence which will be put through legal procedure.
17:51 Penny Jordan was M&B's most prolific author:
Penny Jordan, who died aged 65, worked as a secretary in a bank before she fired off a manuscript to Mills & Boon and became one of the world's biggest-selling romance authors, selling more than 90 million copies of nearly 190 titles. says The Telegraph
Though Penny Jordan became Mills & Boon's most prolific author, she led a modest life at her cottage in rural Cheshire: "It's not very glamorous. People certainly wouldn't think so if they saw me sitting in my woolly socks at the kitchen table. Many times I sit at the typewriter and think: 'Why am I doing this?''
17:37 Kerala weekly faces govt ire over investigative report:
An article by Viju V Nair in Madhyamam Weekly
has raised the hackles of the Kerala government and its political allies, writes the weekly's associate editor Yaseen Ashraf. Strange, he says, because the report was about the excesses of the police intelligence, something which can be '" and should be '" investigated and corrected. The investigative report claimed that 268 email accounts were ordered by the Kerala state intelligence to be tapped, out of which a huge majority belong to Muslims. None of these persons has any previous criminal history. So it is not clear why they are put under the cyber scanner.
'The issue of email snooping by the Kerala Special Branch CID has been distorted out of its true meaning by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his government. The government is now playing the good old trick of "confuse and deceive'. This may be necessary to insulate the present regime against the well-founded charge of snooping and communal targeting, but it accentuates the feeling of insecurity among the people,' he says. Read the full piece here
17:33 PIL against EC order to cover elephants dismissed:
The Allahabad high court today dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the order of the Election Commission to cover the statues of elephants installed at various places in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.
In its order, a division bench comprising Justice Amar Saran and Justice Ramesh Sinha, said the petitioner was "misguided in filing this frivolous petition on a misunderstanding of the correct legal position".
The elephant is the poll symbol of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party which opposed the petition
17:30 Sadhvi Pragya's mother blames Congress for plight:
Mother of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, prime accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case, today said that her daughter had been "falsely implicated" and was "innocent".
"My daughter cannot even kill a worm and this is not what is taught to her. She cannot not commit any such act," Sarla Devi, who came to meet her daughter at the women's jail in Byculla in Mumbai, told reporters.
"The Congress government has put her in jail. Why was my daughter subjected to such hardships?," she asked.
17:20 China, yes. India and Russia? Naaaah:
Unless America gets its economic engine restarted and roaring, the world will have a whole new economic and political leader in the coming decades, says Gallup's chairman Jim Clifton
. Those who have been saying for 10 years that India is the one to watch, not China, are at least temporarily wrong. India might do well, but the country is getting routed by the Middle Kingdom.
17:13 War with Iran a bad idea, cautions author:
John R Bradley, author of After The Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts
, writes That the dark prospect of war now looms in the Middle East as the West's confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programme inches towards the point of no return. But, he cautions, this is no time for sabre-rattling. War with Iran could tip us into the bloodiest conflict since 1945. Read here
17:04 Andrew Buncombe tweets: So Jaipur police able to provide security for Oprah, but not for the beamed-in image of @SalmanRushdie.
17:03 Chetan Bhagat tweets: In a fight between extreme fundamentalists and extreme liberals, the sufferer is the beautiful jaipur litfest, the gainer an appeasing govt.
17:00 In Jharkhand, Maoists free 3 abducted persons:
In Jharkhand, Maoists today claimed to have set free Garhwa zilla parishad chairperson Sushma Mehta and two others, but kept her security guard in their custody.
"We have released the chairperson, her driver Ahmed and CPI (ML-Liberation) leader Akhtar Ansari at a spot. They will be reaching their residences by this evening," CPI (Maoist) leader Sudhir said over phone in Latehar.
He said Mehta's security guard Sunesh Ram was still in their custody and would be freed only after their conditions were met.
16:56 DNA profiling to help soldiers' being identified:
India's armed forces are likely to begin DNA profiling of soldiers this year -- a move that will help recognise bodies mutilated beyond recognition.
Officials said the profiling centre and data bank, being set up at the department of forensic medicine in the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, will be made functional from next month.
"The DNA data will help to identify the dead bodies and will also ensure that all bodies get respectful disposal. This facility is ready to be functional from February," Lt Gen H L Kakaria, director general, Armed Forces Medical Services, said.
16:32 Pillow talk as important as sex in relationships:
Men, please note -- pillow talk after a passionate night does matter to ladies. In fact, it's as important for a healthy relationship as sex, says a study.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have carried out the study and found that women whose partners nod off to sleep after being intimate are actually left feeling insecure and wanting attention.
The study has found that cuddling and talking after sex is a crucial way for a couple to express their commitment to each other, the Daily Mail
16:31 Women can endure pain better than men: Study:
A recent study says scientists have come down on the side of women in one regard -- after concluding that they endure more pain than their male counterparts. For more on the study, read here
Ashish Magotra, formerly of rediff.com
, writes on FirstPost
about how a group of seniors are ruining Indian cricket.
16:24 Antwerp tragedy: Indian diamontaire stabbed while at home:
An Indian diamond trader has been stabbed to death in his apartment in the Belgian city of Antwerp, where hundreds of diamond traders from Gujarat and other places are closely involved in the multi-billion pounds diamond industry.
The public prosecutors' office is investigating the matter, reports from Antwerp said. The trader has not been named so far.
The trader, aged 54, lived in Van Eycklei in the vicinity of Antwerp City Park. Theft was reported to be the motive for the attack on the trader. His son was injured during the incident, the reports said.
16:19 Jonathan Shainin tweets from Jaipur LitFest: Rushdie videolink replaced by panel discussion: Tarun Tejpal, Shoma Chaudhury, Javed Akhtar, Ashok Vajpeyi. About to start.
16:14 Sidin Vadukut tweets: Can any of these aggressive Jaipur protestors bat? And do they have Australian visa?
16:13 Diggi Palace owner explains why Rushdie video chat was off:
Ram Pratap Singh Diggi, owner of Diggi Palace, venue of the Jaipur LitFest today said that he decided to call off the video uplink with author Salman Rushdie because of security concerns. "A large number of people were unhappy with the uplink, they were marching on the Diggi Palace, violence has been threatened, and the uplink was called off for the sake of the security of the property, the attendees, and our children."
15:38 Study warns men against excessive narcissism:
The Daily Mail reports that as part of a study, psychologists asked 106 men and women to take personality questionnaires and took two saliva samples from them to measure levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone.
Men who showed 'unhealthy' levels of narcissism in the questionnaires also had high levels of cortisol, even in a relaxed situation. In women, this was not the case.
In other words, while a 'healthy' degree of narcissism is good for you, they say, too much can cause tension and in extreme cases lead to depression and personality disorders.
15:28 Are we creating a country on dole?:
On the one hand, we have created a generation of rural workers that's living a charade of employment called NREGA. On the other hand, we are going ahead and telling them that if digging some holes and covering them up is too much work, they needn't bother. They'll get subsidized rice and wheat without having to trouble themselves too much. In other words, we are going to put Bharat on dole, writes Sridharan Ramakrishnan here
15:25 Indians among 161 foreign Muslim preachers deported:
Sri Lanka has reportedly ordered 161 foreign Muslim preachers to leave the country for flouting visa regulations, reports BBC News.
A senior immigration official was quoted as saying that the clerics had no right to preach in mosques because they had arrived on tourist visas. He also said that some local Muslims had complained that the visitors were not teaching a moderate form of Islam.
The preachers -- from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Maldives and Arab nations -- must now leave by January 31.
15:17 Irfan Habib tweets: Death threat 2 Dalrymple now. All those issuing threats r just trivializing Islam n the state undermining democracy by listening 2 them
15:15 'Jaipur festival organisers were being cowardly':
'If it is not the role of literary festivals to stand up for writers, and
to defend their right to speak, especially in these circumstances, it
is difficult to know what is. The Festivals decision not just to
distance itself from Kunzru and Kumar but to threaten others who might
be thinking of following suit was nothing less than cowardly,' writes Kenan Malik here
15:09 How does India rank on the Global Prejudice Index?:
Richard Florida, with the help of his Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Charlotta Mellander, calculated a Global Prejudice Index, based on the answers respondents provided to four Gallup World Poll questions: Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place to live for:
- Religious minorities
- Ethnic and racial minorities
- Gays and lesbians
- Immigrants from foreign countries
How prejudiced is India according to this calculation? Click here
to find out!
15:00 1855 Assam rebels from 9 groups surrender:
Altogether 1855 militants belonging to nine groups today bid a farewell to arms before Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and received roses for weapons turned in.
Welcoming the cadres for returning to the path of peace, Chidambaram said, "I want to assure all of you that the governments of India and Assam will treat you as equal citizens of India with honour and dignity."
The function was attended by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Army GoCs of 3 and 4 Corps, and Director General of Police Jayant Narayan Chowdhury.
Led by chairmen and 'commanders', the militants surrendered 201 assorted arms and ammunition. The underground groups were Adivashi Peoples Army, All Adivashi National Liberation Army, Santhal Tiger Force, Birsa Commando Force, Adivashi Cobra Military of Assam, Kuki Liberation Army/Kuki Liberation Organisation, Hmar People's Convention, United Kukigam Defence Army and Kuki Revolutionary Army.
14:57 1.5 cr tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir last year:
Banking on low militancy related incidents and a favourable law and order situation, a record 1.5 crore tourists and pilgrims visited Jammu and Kashmir last year. Nearly 1.5 crore tourists and pilgrims visited the state during 2011 due to improvement in the security situation and law and order, tourism ministry officials have said.
14:49 Serving IPS officer lets fly over Rushdie shame:
'Did I join the Indian Police Service or the Indian Ayatollah Service? I must have missed the fine print somewhere. I certainly did not sign up to be a mere storm trooper for the rich and the powerful and stay silent when the basic principles of the rule of law and equality before law are flouted with such impunity,' writes Abhineet Kumar, a serving IPS officer serving in Uttarakhand, in DNA
newspaper. Read the full article here
14:43 Playwright and screen writer Anuvab Pal tweets: Quote from a leading Goldman Sachs banker in NYC who attended Jaipur, "The Indian literary scene seems to be full of my former employees".
14:39 What the One small step for man quote from the moon:
In his own words, Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, was plowing through some old Apollo spacecraft materials looking for references to the
earth stations that were receiving the satellite transmissions from the
crew on the moon. In so doing, he says, he came across this long version of the
lead-up to Armstrong's famous quote as he stepped onto the lunar
surface. Watch the grainy video here
14:28 SC flays govt for not releasing Pak prisoners in time:
The Supreme Court today pulled up the Union government for prolonged incarceration of several Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails despite their having completed their sentences.
"There is total inaction and laxity on the part of the government. We are more concerned about the liberty of the persons who continue to be in jails despite serving their sentences," said a bench of justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale while ruing that some prisoners had been kept in detention even without having any case registered against them.
14:22 Singer Whitney Houston is broke:
Singer Whitney Houston is reportedly broke after blowing up her USD 100 million record deal.
The six-time Grammy winner, who went through rehab to overcome her drug addiction, is being supported by her label after she spent all her fortune including the deal money, Radar Online claimed.
"Whitney's fortune is gone. Music industry heavy hitters are supporting her and her label is fronting her cash against her next album, but no one knows when that will be released," a source told the portal.
Mahesh Nair writes how to decipher the famous Indian head nod, and lists out a few that we bet you didn't even existed. Here
If, like us, you are also wondering how to invest safely and still make some money, here's an interesting read
from Joshua Brown on how to go about it.
14:10 20 hurt in Sri Lanka's prison clash:
At least 20 people were injured today in a clash between guards and inmates in a Sri Lankan prison, officials said.
"There were 19 inmates and a jailor among those admitted to hospital", a spokesman for the Colombo National Hospital said.
Inmates of the Magazine prison at Borella clashed with staff. As the the clash developed into a riot the guards opened fire. The rioting inmates had set fire to a building. They were protesting against poor conditions in the prison.
14:08 BJP minority cell, Milli Council file case over Rushdie:
The Bharatiya Janata Party's minority cell is among the five complainants who have filed a case in a Jaipur lower court in Jaipur demanding action against the four authors who read out excerpts from Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses
at the Jaipur LitFest -- Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi -- and the and festival organisers Sanjoy Roy, Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple.
In all, the police said five complaints have been filed by different persons and organisations in the matter. Apart from the BJP's minority cell, the All India Milli Council has also moved the court against the book-reading.
13:57 Madhya Pradesh to set up museum on Dhyanchand:
A museum will be set up in Madhya Pradesh in memory of hockey legend Major Dhyanchand, who also deserves to get the first Bharat Ratna award in the sports category, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said.
After felicitating the Asian hockey champions, former Olympians and the national junior and sub-junior women's hockey teams for their sparkling performances last night, Chouhan announced that a museum in memory of Dhyanchand will be set up in the state.
Chouhan said it was Dhyanchand who had won three gold medals in Olympics for India and therefore he deserves the Bharat Ratna first more than any other player.
13:55 4 Indian workers die inhaling carbon monoxide in Bahrain:
Four Indians working as labourers in Bahrain have died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the country's Hamad town. The police said the men never woke up after lighting a wood fire in an empty paint drum before going to bed in the room they shared on Sunday. A fifth worker, Sunil Sashidaran, survived.
All the five were from Kerala, the Gulf Daily News reported. The bodies were discovered yesterday morning by their colleagues who went to check on them after they failed to show up for work.
Journalist Debabrata Mohanty tweets that top Maoist Girish Mahato arrested by Orissa police.
13:49 Ex-Cong, ex-RLD leaders made national vp, gen secy:
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today appointed Chodhury Yashpal Singh and Anuradha Chowdhury as the party's national vice president and national general secretary respectively.
"The party supremo has made this appointment which will strengthen the party," party national spokesman Ramgopal Yadav said in a release.
Both Yashpal and Anuradha joined the SP recently. While Yashpal was in the Congress, Anuradha was in the Rastriya Lok Dal and was considered close to its chief Ajit Singh.
13:45 US defends Jay Leno in Golden Temple comment row:
Amid controversy over popular TV host Jay Leno's remarks on the Golden Temple, the United States has defended his right to free speech and terming his comments as "satirical" even while applauding the contributions of Sikh-Americans.
"I think that Leno would be appreciative if we make the point that his comments are constitutionally protected in the United States under free speech, and frankly, they appeared to be satirical in nature," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters. "But from a US official government perspective, we have absolute respect for all the people of India, including Sikhs here, there," she said.
13:41 Justin Bieber's girlfriend to produce and act in film:
Singer-actress Selena Gomez is planning to turn a movie producer with a novel-adapted film called Sky Is Everywhere
, in which she will also star.
The 19-year-old and her production company July Moon has optioned the teen book written by Jandy Nelson. Aside from developing it, Gomez will play the lead protagonist named Lennie Walker, reported Aceshowbiz.
The film follows the story of a 17-year-old, who is a bookworm and band geek who lives in the shadow of her extrovert sister Bailey. When Bailey suddenly dies, Lennie is left to take centrestage and balance not only one, but two boys.
13:27 Empowered panel on Mullaiperiyar in crucial meet:
Our correspondent reports from New Delhi that the meeting of the empowered committee on Mullaiperiyar dam, slated for today, has begun, and the committee will discuss the recent findings of its members who visited the dam site recently. The meeting is likely to continue on Wednesday also.
The committee is expected to finalise its report to be submitted to the Supreme Court some time in February. Former Supreme Court chief justice AS Anand is chairing the meeting, and Justice AR Lakshman is representing Tamil Nadu and Justice KT Thomas, Kerala.
13:08 Toll doubles in spurious drug deaths case in Pakistan:
Spurious drugs provided to cardiac patients by a state-run hospital in Pakistan's Punjab have claimed 67 lives -- more than double the figure initially given by provincial authorities.
Punjab Health Secretary Jehanzeb Khan confirmed the total number of deaths while responding to a journalist's query yesterday.
Earlier, the Punjab government had confirmed the deaths of only 28 cardiac patients registered with Lahore's Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
13:05 SP changes candidates in Chhara, Chhaprauli seats:
The Samajwadi Party today changed its candidates from the assembly constituencies of Chhara in Aligarh and Chhaprauli in Bagpat district for the coming assembly polls. While Khwaja Haleem has been given a ticket in place of Rakesh Singh from Chhara, Manoj Chowdhury is the new party candidate from Chhaprauli in place of Haji Tarabuddin Chaudhury. No reasons have been cited by the party for changing the candidates.
12:58 How Sam Palmisano turned around IBM:
When Sam Palmisano took over in early 2002, IBM had four main businesses each organized on a global basis: hardware, software, services (such as back-office outsourcing), and personal computers (PCs). Its profits were $3.07 a share and its return on equity was 16%. When he retired as CEO of IBM on Dec. 31, profits in 2010 were $13.06 per share and return on equity was 70%. Read more about the remarkable turnaround man here
12:49 69-year-old Aretha Franklin calls of nuptials:
Singer Aretha Franklin has called off her summer wedding to longtime partner William Wilkerson.
The 69-year-old hitmaker cancelled the planned nuptials, saying things had started moving a "little too fast" in their relationship.
Franklin, who is notoriously secretive about her private life, had announced her engagement to Wilkerson in January and they were planning to marry in Florida, in June or July, the Daily Mail reported.
12:45 When Tariq Ali visited Pyongyang 42 years ago:
Who the hell was Kim Il-sung? Where did he come from? Had he ever operated as a guerrilla leader?Or, what happened when Tariq Ali visited Pyongyang 42 years ago. Read the full piece from the London Review of Books here
12:30 DB Realty MD moves court against charge-framing:
The Delhi high court today issued notice to the CBI and sought its response on the plea of DB Realty MD Vinod Goenka challenging the order on framing of charges against him by the trial court in the 2G scam case.
"Issue notice to CBI for March 13," Justice M L Mehta said while admitting Goenka's petition. The latter was arrested on April 20, 2011, for his alleged role in the scam and was granted bail on November 23, 2011, by the Supreme Court.
So far, ten accused in the 2G case have moved the high court challenging the trial court order of October 22 last year on framing of charges on all 17 accused.
12:28 Read: Is Beijing's foreign policy hurting China?:
The Chinese Communist Partys placement of regime security over national
security interests is typical of autocracies. Its also very dangerous, says Minxin Pei in the thediplomat.com. Read the full piece here
12:26 Read: Why the world has become more peaceful:
In his new book psychologist Steven Pinker argues that despite the horrors of the 20th century, global violence is actually on the decline over the long term. The empirical trend Pinker describes is real, but his explanation for it overlooks the crucial relationship between individuals and states, says Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University. Read the full article here
12:20 2011 was disappointing for human rights, says HRW:
India's human rights record in 2011 got a thumbs-down from a global rights group which has criticised the government for its inaction in repealing the controversial armed forces act and for remaining silent on the "gravest abuses" in countries like Syria.
In its World Report 2012, Human Rights Watch assessed progress on human rights during the past year in more than 90 countries. In India's case, HRW said it has been a "disappointing year for human rights".
"Custodial killings, police abuses including torture, and failure to implement policies to protect vulnerable communities marred India's record in 2011 as in the past," HRW said in its report.
12:12 The potential hotspots of conflict in geo-energy era:
Michael Klare, author and professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, writes in Al-Jazeera
about hotspots of potential conflict in the geo-energy era where tensions are rising at potential flashpoints, as new bottlenecks for the flow of energy are identified.
'The Strait of Hormuz is, however, only one of several hotspots where energy, politics and geography are likely to mix in dangerous ways in 2012 and beyond. Keep your eyes as well on the East and South China Seas, the Caspian Sea basin, and an energy-rich Arctic that is losing its sea ice. In all of these places, countries are disputing control over the production and transportation of energy, and arguing about national boundaries and/or rights of passage,' he writes.
Read the full article here
12:01 US asks Iran to cooperate, Teheran issues Strait threat:
The US has asked Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency when their inspectors visit the country, even as Teheran threatened to close down the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for oil sanctions.
"We call on Iran to cooperate fully with the IAEA on this trip," State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said. "The IAEA is going in a constructive spirit, and it's asking Iran to display the same attitude. There is a lot of work to do," she told reporters.
Yesterday, two Iranian lawmakers stepped up threats their country would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, in retaliation for oil sanctions on Tehran.
12:00 Rajasthan govt permits Rushdie's video-conference:
Our correspondent reports from New Delhi that the Rajasthan government has allowed writer Salman Rushdie to address the Jaipur Literary Festival via video conference today.
This sets to rest doubts that the state government, in a draconian move, may not allow Rushdie to even address the literary meet from overseas. Rushdie was billed to attend the Jaipur LitFest but called off the visit following protests by Muslim organisations over his book Satanic Verses.
11:42 Largest share buyback in India to begin on Feb 1:
The country's most-valued firm, Reliance Industries, today said its Rs 10,440 crore share buyback offer will start from February 1 and close on January 19, 2013.
In a public announcement, Reliance Industries said the buybac,k which is possibly the largest such programme in the history of the Indian capital market, would start on February 1 and close on January 19 next year (12 months from the date, the board of directors of the company approved the buy-back).
11:39 What are the new terror threats in 2012?:
Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political violence and Terrorism Research at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, writes: 'Due to international neglect and tolerance of threat groups on the web, propaganda is now the primary activity of insurgent, terrorist and extremist groups. Almost all threat groups worldwide have established a presence on the web, and over 90 percent of them use US servers. They are expanding their web presence at a rate where governments find it hard to keep up, both to counter disinformation and to monitor operational activity. Although dissent must be permitted, maintaining websites and blogs aimed at radicalising youth under the pretext of freedom of expression should not be tolerated. Cyberspace has emerged as the principal propaganda platform for threat groups to recruit, raise funds and to coordinate operations.'
To read his article, New Terror Threats in 2012, published in The National Interest
, click here
11:26 6.2 quake hits Chile coast 2 years after deadly one:
An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude struck just off the shore of south-central Chile, virtually the same area devastated by a massive quake two years ago, various media have reported. So far there has been no report of any casualties, and authorities have dismissed fears of a tsunami, a claim that even Chile's navy has backed.
Chile had been devastated by an earthquake of more than 8 magnitude in 2010, and fears of another disaster are not unfounded.
11:17 Just In: The Reserve Bank of India has cut cash reserve ratio by 0.50 percentage point to 5.5 per cent. The central bank has also kept short-term lending rate (repo) unchanged at 8.5 per cent, in its review of the credit policy. Details soon.
10:58 Chinese cops fire on Tibetans, many feared killed:
An uprising in Tibet has led to the death of at least six Tibetans in firing by Chinese police, Tibet Express
newspaper, based in Dharmshala, India, has reported.
The newspaper, quoting reliable sources from Tibet, said Chinese police shot into a crowd of Tibetan protesters in Kham Drang-go in Eastern Tibet this morning, leaving behind at least six dead and scores wounded. Various media have reported different toll figures, ranging from one to three.
The Tibet Express reported that trouble started this morning when the Chinese police started randomly arresting Tibetans from the streets of Drang-go town. fearing that cases of self-immolation may happen based on a rumour that a wall poster in the town said four people would commit self-immolation on March 23.
As the police arrested more than 200 Tibetans, farmers from nearby villages like Geypen Lugoma and Drang-go Norpa gathered in Drang-go township and led a protest demonstration demanding freedom for Tibet and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Some even raised the snow lion Tibetan national flag which is banned in Tibet. Following this the police opened fire, leading to the death of at least six people, the newspaper said.
10:48 Britney's ex-husband has heart attack doing fitness show:
Britney Spears's ex-husband Kevin Federline has been rushed to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack. Federline, 33, complained of chest pains while filming a weight loss show in Australia, The Sun
online reported. Having piled on the weight in recent years Federline agreed to do the show to kick-start his fitness programme.
10:45 Eminent Malayalam writer Sukumar Azhikode passes away:
Eminent Malayalam writer Sukumar Azhikode, who dominated Kerala's cultural scene as a literary critic, orator, academic and journalist for over five decades, died at a private hospital in Thrissur today. A bachelor, Azhikode (86), had been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last few weeks at the Aamala Cancer Centre in the town. His condition turned critical three days ago and the end came in the small hours, hospital sources said.
10:44 Sensex up by 83 points in morning trade:
The BSE benchmark index Sensex rose by 83 points in early trade today on selective buying by funds as well as retail investors ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy review later in the day.
The 30-share benchmark index, which gained over 13 points in yesterday, rose further by 83.09 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 16,834.82 points.
In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index moved up by 14.65 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 5,060.90 points.
10:43 Morning trade sees rupee touch 10-week high against dollar:
The rupee touched a 10-week high of 49.95 against the dollar on the Interbank Foreign Exchange market in early trade today on continued foreign fund inflows. Dealers said consistent dollar inflows and euro's gains against the US currency overseas mainly supported the rupee.
10:42 A quick glance at the morning's headlines:
Good morning and welcome to Tuesday's edition of News As it Happens. First, let's look at some interesting reports in today's newspapers.
The Times of India profiles Morgan Stanley MD Aisha de Sequeira, the 41-year-old mother of three who cuts the biggest deals in India.
The Indian Express
reports how gold has emerged as hot loan currency. Read on
reports how Union defence secretary Shashikant Sharma's wife Sandhya has dislodged Manisha Dubey as commentator for the Republic Day Parade. Here
reports that a panel set up by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee-led group of ministers has recommended that the government should consider selling a part of its stake in Air India. Here
reports on how intelligence agencies have doubted the Maharashtra ATS's claim on Monday that the 13/7 blasts in Mumbai have been cracked with the arrest of two IM operatives. Here
And finally, Mumbai Mirror
reports that Mumbai is under surveillance with 14 CCTV cameras being set up to watch every square km of the city. Here
And to quickly scan through yesterday's news, click here