July 04, 2012
The monsoon session of Parliament is expected to start in the first week of August.
While no formal decision has been taken, the session could start on August 7, the day the Vice-President election is scheduled.
Parliament sources said the possibility of the session beginning on the day of the Vice-President election cannot be ruled out like it had happened in 2007 when the election was held on August 10.
Arrested YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy's mother Vijayamma led a party delegation to meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday, and accused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of resorting to "witch-hunting' and "greater and heinous conspiracy.'
In a letter submitted to the Prime Minster, Vijayamma alleged harassment of Jaganmohan by the CBI. The letter also accused CBI Joint Director Lakshminarayana of "having an ulterior motive behind the YSR chief's arrest.' "The functioning of the CBI and its Joint Director Mr. Lakshminarayana is giving room for doubt over the very intention of the premier investigating agency in handling the case,' the letter stated.
Yasser Arafat's body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said today, after a Swiss lab said it found elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in belongings the Palestinian leader is
said to have used in his final days. Arafat's widow, Suha, called for an autopsy in the wake of the lab's findings, first reported by the Arab satellite TV station Al-Jazeera.
In an interview with the station, she did not explain why she waited nearly eight years to have the belongings, including a toothbrush and a fur hat, tested. At the time of his death, she refused to agree to an autopsy. The Palestinian leader died at a military hospital outside Paris in November 2004 of what French doctors called a massive brain hemorrhage, weeks after he fell violently ill at his
West Bank compound.
Read more on cnn.com
Cadbury India, a part of Kraft Foods, today announced the launch of its popular chocolate brand Toblerone in the country, as it looks to enhance its
chocolate portfolio. The chocolate brand, which is sold in over 122 countries,
would be available in the country through modern retail outlets in five pack sizes. The company would retail Toblerone at various price points ranging between Rs 65 for a pack of 50 gm to Rs 430 for 400 gm pack.
Good news, but Toblerone was available at most retail outlets anyway.
On the New York Times blogs on India.
In northern India, where the mercury crossed 40 degrees Celsius '" 104 degrees Fahrenheit -- every day for the last month, Gurgaon, an outsourcing megacity that is home to more than 1.5 million people, is facing an acute power crisis. On Tuesday some irate residents took to the streets in protest, after power was out for 12 hours or more in some areas, crippling businesses, silencing fans and air conditioners and leaving many areas that rely on electric pumps without water.
Amit Panhale @amitpanhale 4m Heavy traffic on Western Express highway. Have moved half km in 30 mins.
sajid moinuddin @absolutpop 5m A truck has overturned n has spilled tar on the highway. Pls avoid western express highway. No go!!!
Tejas Lagad @ltejas 6m Don't take Western Express Highway back home towards Andheri and beyond. Stay overnight at office and try again tomorrow. #Mumbai
sajid moinuddin @absolutpop 7m The western express highway is completely screwed!! Crawling. From bandra to andheri taken 2 hours. Pls avoid!!
An oil tanker has overturned on the Western Express Highway near the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli-Link-Road intersection in Mumbai causing a massive traffic jam which stretches right up to Bandra. So if you're heading north, avoid the WEH, say folks on Twitter stuck in the jam.
If women want to succeed, how badly do they want it and how fiercely are they willing to fight for that success?
Interesting read on the WSJ.
Prosperous India is growing by leaps and bounds despite the worldwide economic slowdown. The uber rich are getting richer at the top of the pyramid, many are clones of Richie Rich and the slowdown has not altered their lifestyle or spending patterns and habits one bit.
Read more on the Daily Mail
The villagers of Sarkeguda in Chhattisgarh have been claiming that there were no Naxals among the 19 killed. They also complained that no government official visited their homes nor was an autopsy conducted, which is contrary to the claim of Prashanth Agarwal, superintendent of police in Bijapur who says a post-mortem was conducted. The villagers who cremated the bodies however claimed that there was no sign of a post-mortem and have sought a probe into the matter.
Also read Vicky Nanjappa's report on rediff.com: Did Naxals use human shields?
Akhilesh Yadav is making headlines across the country, and for all the wrong reasons. A Rs 20 lakh reason, to be specific. A vehicle would provide mobility to MLAs and help them work more effectively,' said the next-gen CM of his bold proposal to allow MLAs to buy a car with funds allotted to development. Surely it's best to visit one's constituents in air-conditioned comfort -- paid for by their hard-earned taxes, no less. He has since, withdrawn the proposal.
Read more on Firstpost.com
British police fear a second wave of riots across England and are concerned they may not have the resources to cope, according to a new analysis of the 2011 unrest. Many police officers from all ranks expect a repeat of the riots that spread across London and other towns in England last summer, and feel they may not be equipped to cope, the analysis by the London School of Economics and The Guardian says.
One of the key findings is that police forces acrossEngland did not know how to respond to social media networks, particularly encrypted Blackberry Messaging, which enabled rioters and looters to organise and at times outmanoeuvre police.
Update on the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes split.
Cruise apparently begged Katie Holmes to fly to Iceland to celebrate his 50th birthday, on Tuesday, but she rejected his last-ditch attempt to save their marriage, it has been revealed. A source told Us magazine, that the snub '" shortly before their split became public '" sparked a blazing row over the phone. Reports reveal that Tom accused Katie, 33, of being heartless but she insisted the relationship was over. "He begged her to go to Iceland for one last try at reconciliation. She refused and a huge fight ensued,' the mirror quoted a source as telling the magazine.
The sister of Sarabjit Singh, the Indian death-row convict languishing in a Pakistani jail, today knocked the doors of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi seeking her intervention for his release.
Dalbir Kaur, who is fighting for the release of Singh who is languishing in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail for over 20 years, met Gandhi at her residence and raised the issue.
Maintaining that she cannot express the pain the family has suffered, Kaur said that Gandhi listened to her patiently and assured all help. 49-year-old Sarabjit was convicted and sentenced to death for alleged involvement in a string of bomb attacks that killed 14 people in Punjab in Pakistan in 1990.
Scientists in Switzerland have announced that they have indeed found the God Particle, crucial to understanding how the universe is built. But did people know there's an Indian angle to all off this?
No, not that Indians, like all of us, live in the universe. The long-sought particle, known as Higgs boson, is partly named for an Indian scientist. The scientist in question, Satyendra Nath Bose, worked with Albert Einstein in the 1920s and made discoveries that led to a kind of particle being named for him.
Read more on the WSJ
Opposition parties today welcomed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's move to take back his decision of allowing MLAs to purchase four-wheelers worth up to Rs 20 lakh out of their local area development fund.
"It is good that the government has rectified the mistake. Good that they have agreed to the suggestions given in the House that it would have pointed a finger at the working of the legislators," Leader of Opposition Swami Prasad Maurya said.
Maurya claimed the government had to bow before the opposition on the issue, very much like it had to do earlier also on some of its "whimsical decisions". The BSP leader questioned as to why decisions, that had to be reverted within 24 hours, were taken in such a haste.
Despite an uneasy relationship between Congress and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, Presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee has reached out to the mother of the rebel leader seeking her party's support in the election but no commitment has been given.
Mukherjee, the ruling UPA's nominee, spoke to Vijayamma, mother of Jagan as well as honorary president of the fledgling YSR Congress, a few days back requesting that her party support him in the July 19 Presidential election. "He (Pranab Mukherjee) spoke to me when I was in Vishakapatnam on a tour. He sought our party's support for his Presidential bid. We did not give any commitment to him," Vijayamma said.
Yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna, who has been at a private hospital here for nearly a fortnight now, is in stable condition. The 69-year-old actor, who was not keeping well for quite sometime, was admitted to Lilavati hospital in suburban Bandra on June 23 following exhaustion and weakness, his estranged
wife Dimple Kapadia had said.
"He is still in hospital. He is fine and stable. He is in a special room on 11th floor of the hospital," hospital sources said. The day Khanna was admitted, Dimple had said that the veteran actor would be discharged in a day or two but now its been 12 days that he is recuperating at the hospital. On being asked the reason, the source said, "No idea."
Earlier in April, Khanna was admitted to the hospital for three-four days after he complained of uneasiness and exhaustion. Recently, Khanna appeared in his first television ad for Havell's fan, which was directed by R Balki.
Also read on rediff.com: The reasons that led Rajesh Khanna to his downfall
Home Minister P Chidambaram today said CRPF's role in the encounter was "transparent" and "upfront" but he was "deeply sorry" if any innocent person has been killed. He also said that it is up to the state government to take a call on whether or not it has to initiate any inquiry into the June 27 operation "conducted under state police" direction.
"The CRPF DG has said he has nothing to hide, nothing to fear..I do not think any central force has been so transparent... I am not going into the political controversies. I am the Home Minister and the CRPF is under me. We have been absolutely candid, frank and upfront," Chidambaram said on the sidelines of a Cabinet briefing in Delhi.
The incident has led to an uproar and raised questions over the genuineness of the encounter. Union Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo yesterday called the offensive "completely unacceptable" and targeted the state's BJP government. "The encounter for some reason is being called a fake encounter. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh spoke to me. As far as any enquiry is concerned, it's a call he has to take," Chidambaram said.
He said, "If any innocent person has been killed. I am deeply sorry...if any girl, or boy or man or woman not involved with the Maoists at all has been killed, I can only be deeply sorry...I share Deo's sense of sadness and anguish at the loss of lives." He also quoted the CRPF DG as saying that if in the dark in the jungle, if CRPF is facing casualty, the Standard Operating Procedure requires it to open fire.
Following the charge sheet filed against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scam, the Opposition BJP today said there is also a need for probing the role of other "senior Congress leaders". "Although the CBI was late in filing the charge sheet (against Chavan), but now the investigation should also be done in the role played by others (bureaucrats and ministers) in clearing the Adarsh society files," Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse said.
Without naming former Chief Ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh, who are also under the scanner n the case, Khadse said there are "other senior leaders" also who gave the nod for the Adarsh society project and their signatures are there on the files.
According to a report by The Independent, the CIA raid that killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden on in Abbottabad has exposed a sad truth to the so-called War on Terror: the cataclysmic failure of Pakistan to play the part of a frontline state. Pakistan has failed in even coming to acknowledge, at least on face value, that the worlds most wanted man and his family had for years been living in a well-guarded compound right under their noses.
According to the paper, Pakistans credibility in the backdrop of the Bin Laden raid showed that it was not an equal partner in the War on Terror, but a blemish on it.
Dismissing Pakistan's claim that no state actors were involved in the 26/11 attacks, the Home Minister said no sovereign state could allow terror activities from its soil. "I can't allow any non-state actor carry out any terror activity in a neighbouring country," Chidambaram said.
Asked whether New Delhi would hand over Islamabad any dossier on Jundal during today's Foreign Secretary-leveltalks, he said no dossier would be given at this stage but Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai was free to share whatever he has been briefed about. "The Foreign Secretary has been briefed. If he feels, he can share it with them," he said.
India today said it has become increasingly clear that 'state actors' were involved in executing the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and that without state support the terror control room could not have been established in Pakistan. Home Minister P Chidambaram said India knew who had trained Ajmal Amir Kasab and nine other terrorists who carried out the terror strikes in Mumbai, who briefed them and how the control room, from where directions were given, had functioned.
"It is no longer possible to deny that though the incident happened in Mumbai, there was a control room in Pakistan before and during the incident. Without state support, the control room could not have been established," he said. Chidambaram said after Kasab's interrogation, evidence clearly pointed to the involvement of state actors and it was corroborated by the statement given by Syed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, who was arrested on June 21 after his arrival from Saudi Arabia.
Former chief minister of Maharashtra says an "attempt is being made by my political rivals to implicate me." Chavan was chargesheeted by the CBI in the Adarsh housing scam a few hours ago. Chavan says he will come out clean and has full faith in the judiciary.
Chavan was among 13 people charge sheeted by CBI today in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing scam. The 10,000-page CBI charge sheet was filed before the Registrar of a sessions court, nearly 18 months after the agency registered a case.
The 'bomb' found outside Infiniti mall, Andheri, in suburban Mumbai is apparently used to create smoke during film shoots.
Nikhil Udupa @greyoceanblues I am in Infinity mall. No evacuation. People are chilling being their usual overindulgent self. Dont believe the news.
Mohit Dantre @MoooPoint I live bang opposite Infinity Mall!! There is nothing to panic, police hasn't confirmed that its a bomb! Stop spreadin rumors.
A man in an Afghan army uniform shot and wounded a number of coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan, the US-led NATO coalition said today. In a statement to The Associated Press, it said that the service members were being treated at a medical facility.
It did not say how many were wounded or provide any other details about the attack which occurred yesterday in eastern Wardak province's Sayed Abad district. The coalition maintains a large base there, but NATO did not say where in the district the attack took place. The statement did not say what happened to the man who fired on the service members, but said an investigation into the incident was underway. It was the latest likely case of an insider attack on coalition troops.
The suspicious object was found across the road from Infiniti mall in a dustbin. The mall has been evacuated. The ATS is to reach the spot shortly.
The Mumbai police say there is nothing to worry about, but has summoned the Anti-terrorism Squad. The Infiniti mall area in Andheri where the object was found has been evacuated.
Remember, this month, last year on the 13th serial blasts in Mumbai killed 27 people and injured 130 others.
While on bombs, terror suspect Fasih Mohd has been detained in Saudi Arabia, steps will be taken to bring him to India, says Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Entirely unrelated to the bomb scare, but we thought you should know.
The police have evacuated the area after the suspicious object which has wires around it were found. The police and bomb squad yet to confirm whether the object is a bomb. Still no clarity whether the object was found in the mall or outside it. The mall, however, has been evacuated, as a precaution.
Reports also say that the 'object' was found in a dustbin near the Amboli police station.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was among 13 people charge sheeted by CBI today in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing scam. The 10,000-page CBI charge sheet was filed before the Registrar of a sessions court, nearly 18 months after the agency registered a case.
The Adarsh scam had fuelled a political storm in Maharashtra leading to the resignation of Chavan as the Chief Minister. Earlier in the day, the CBI informed the Bombay HighCourt, hearing a batch of public interest litigations seeking the court's supervision of the probe, that it would be filing a charge sheet later in the day.
The CBI has registered a case on January 29 last year against Chavan and others which included bureaucrats and retired army personnel. The agency had in March arrested nine out of the 14 accused after receiving a rap on its knuckles from the High Court for not initiating action against the accused persons.
The nine arrested accused are - R C Thakur, secretary of Adarsh, retired brigadier M M Wanchoo, former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, both promoters of the society, former deputy secretary of urban development department P V Deshmukh, IAS officers Ramanand Tiwari and Jairaj Phatak, retired major generals A R Kumar and T K Kaul and former city lectorPradeep Vyas.
The historic announcement came in a progress report from the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. Professor John Womersley. chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London: "They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson. Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It's a momentous day for science." Scientists say it is a 5 sigma result which means they are 99.999% sure they have found a new particle. Finding the Higgs plugs a gaping hole in the Standard Model, the theory that describes all the particles, forces and interactions that make up the universe.
That's the report on the Telegraph. Read more
And if you're as confused as the rest of the world, read this: What is the Higgs boson?
The BJP is set to hold a meeting at Sushma Swaraj's house to decided whether they should take UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee to court over the 'forged' signature on his resignation letter to the Indian Statistical Institute.
Janata Party chief Subramaniam Swamy will be the key negotiator. Yesterday, the nominations of both PA Sangma and Pranab Mukherjee. The NDA has said that Pranab's nomination should be disqualified as he held the post of the chairman of the ISI, and thereby an office of profit.
The UP state government intended to give the ownership of the vehicle to every legislator at a deprecated price after five years.
The announcement came just before the assembly was adjourned sine die after passing of the annual budget. It evoked cheers from the treasury benches, but what left the ruling party completely nonplussed was the stiff opposition by the Bhartiya Janata Party as well as the Bahujan Samaj Party.
"This is gross misuse of the constituency development fund and let me declare on the floor of the august House that BJP members will shun purchase of vehicles from the fund," declared BJP leader Hukum Singh.
A day after UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav announced in the state assembly that all MLAs and MLCs would be entitled to purchase a luxury vehicle up to a price of Rs. 20 lakhs out of their respective constituency fund, he has today withdrawn the largesse.
This decision possibly comes after nationwide uproar over the issue.
The other important news today is that the CBI's chargesheet in the multi-crore rupees Adarsh housing scam is expected to be filed today. While the CBI officially remained tight-lipped about the delay, sources in the agency said some sanctions against officials involved in the case were yet to come from the Department of Personnel.
The Bombay High Court, meanwhile, asks the Ministry of Defence to respond within two weeks to the Maharashtra government's stand that CBI cannot probe Adarsh scam.
As the two-day foreign secretary level talks between Indian and Pakistan begin in New Delhi, Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will raise the role of Pakistani state agencies in helping terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba carry out the November 2008 attack on Mumbai. Mathai will also focus on several other issues, including nuclear confidence building measures and India's demand to free Sarabjit Singh during his interaction with Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani.
The dossier on Abu Jundal will not, however, be handed over to Pakistan as India fears they may clean-up the evidence. India has decided to hand over the proof once the probe is over and will renew its demand for Jundal's voice samples.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has vowed to fight alongside the Haqqani Network if the Pakistan Army launches an offensive against it in North Waziristan Agency.
Rediff.com's Tahir Ali has received an exclusive video interview of TTP's spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan, who vows to continue jihad against 'secular forces'.
While on Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had discussed with her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar the "language" of her statement apologising for the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a cross-border NATO air raid while she was working on its draft during the last several weeks.
Ending a bitter seven-month row between the two nations, Clinton issued a statement yesterday in which she reiterated America's "deepest regrets" and said: "sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," in the attack that brought relations between US and Pakistan to all time low. Following the apology, Pakistan agreed to re-open the NATO supply routes into Afghanistan that it had closed in retaliation of the attacks.
Pakistan will reopen crucial supply routes to Nato-led forces in Afghanistan after the US apologised for killing 24 of its soldiers in November, Washington and Islamabad have said. The decision will save the US hundreds of millions of dollars in as it prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan.
More on the BBC.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday rejected YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy's plea for bail in connection with disproportionate assets case.
The high court said that it agreed with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI and a CBI court''s contention that Reddy was not eligible for bail in connection with the case. The bail plea was rejected even as Jagan Reddy's mother Y.S. Vijayamma reached Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Union Ministers to highlight the alleged partisan manner in which the CBI was probing the illegal assets case against her son.
As Mumbai braves heavy rains, in Gurgaon, sultry heat during a nightlong power outage, erupted in anger on Tuesday, with residents vandalizing power substations, beating up officials, holding some of them hostage and blocking roads in several parts of the city.
More on the TOI.
Expressing shock over pictures of a monkey lying on a bed in a Jammu hospital, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said he will seek an explanation from the
concerned minister before making any comment on the issue. "I am shocked by the images of the monkey in a Jammu hospital. Before I say anything, I owe it to my Minister to first ask him to explain," Omar wrote on micro-blogging site
Images of a monkey lying on a bed inside the emergency ward of Government Medical College Hospital at Jammu went viral on social networking sites after a private TV news channel reported the incident. The incident comes at a time when Medical Education Minister R S Chib is already facing a lot of criticism over the high infant mortality rate at G B Pant Hospital in the Valley.
Omar said he would save his thoughts about the incident till the cabinet meeting, scheduled today, is over. "As much as I'd like to comment here, I'll save my
thoughts for the cabinet meeting and then say what I have to," he added.
Watch the video
Amid new disclosures on 26/11 plotter Abu Jindal's links with Pakistani terrorists and state actors, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan began two-day talks that will focus on peace and security and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian delegation is being led by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai and comprises, among others, YK Sinha, joint secretary in charge of Pakistan in the external affairs ministry, and Syed Akbaruddin, the ministry's spokesperson.
The agenda of the foreign secretary talks had been fixed well in advance but terrorism is set to become the main focus in the wake of the disclosures made by Abu Jundal, an Indian 26/11 plotter with suspected links to Pakistani militants and Pakistani state actors. India, however, will not give the dossier on Jundal as of now.
Our sources in Delhi tell us that the Cabinet Secretariat has removed the list of Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) and GOM from the website. It is now more than a fortnight that there is no update on the new list of the EGOM.
Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the cabinet a fortnight ago and the PMO has not yet taken a decision whether to continue the EGOM arrangements with the backdrop of Sharad Pawar not agreeing to head the EGOM on 2G.
A Delhi court yesterday charged the former Union Minister C K Jaffer Sharief with causing loss to the public exchequer in a 1995 corruption case involving a foreign jaunt undertaken by him.
Special CBI Judge N K Kaushik fixed August 21 to commence the trial against the senior congress leader who has been charged with various offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Sharief has pleaded innocence and has claimed trial in the case along with four others.
Just in: The Supreme Court has stayed proceedings against former Railway
Minister C K Jaffer Sharief in a 1995 graft case.