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Don't use tricks to win Prez poll: Cong to BJP

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July 04, 2012

23:54  Doctor couple held in female foeticide case:  A doctor couple, who was on the run for last two weeks, in a female foeticide case was arrested today in Western Maharashtra, police said. 

Dr Ajit Upase and his wife Dr Piryadarshini, who owned Upase Hospital, were nabbed by Crime Branch sleuths after a two-week long search. The couple was untraceable after their hospital's staff was caught burying an 18-week-old female foetus at a burial ground.
23:54  Nigerian arrested at airport with currency printing machine:  A Nigerian national was today arrested from the Indira Gandhi International airport with a machine used to print fake currency in his baggage. 

The Nigerian, identified by security agencies as Nathaneddy Brown, was arrested after the airline in which he had booked a ticket to Guwahati, gave a written complaint to the Central Industrial Security Force.
21:48  Don't use tricks to win Prez poll: Cong to BJP:  
Congress on Wednesday asked BJP not to undermine the dignity of the presidential poll by indulging in "tricks" and dismissed the charge that Pranab Mukherjee's resignation letter to Indian Statistical Institute was fabricated as frivolous.

Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who is the authorised representative of Mukherjee, said the objections raised by the camp of PA Sangma were "frivolous, scandalous and legally untenable".

"When you realise that winning the election is absolutely impossible, then you deploy such tricks. The Opposition nominee (PA Sangma) and the parties supporting his candidature should seriously ponder.

"This is not an election for student bodies in schools and colleges but presidential poll and should be fought with the dignity attached with it," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters in New Delhi.
20:13  Parl's monsoon session likely from Aug 1st week:  

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.

19:08  'Ch'garh govt misleading Centre on anti-Maoist ops':  Joining his party Congress in attacking the Chhattisgarh government for its role in the alleged fake anti-Naxal operation in the state, Tribal Affairs Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo charged the state administration with misleading the Centre.
"What I gather is that the state government is misleading the Centre over this episode. We are still trying to get to the truth," Deo told PTI in New Dehi.
He also said the PCC in Chhattisgarh has submitted its report stating that six innocent tribals were killed during the anti-Naxal operation by CRPF troops in the state last week.
"State Congress had constituted a committee to look into the matter and they too have confirmed that six innocent tribals were killed during the incident," Deo said.
A controversy has erupted over the killing of 19 persons in anti-Maoist operations by security forces in Chhattisgarh amid questions whether or not the victims were all Naxals.
18:45  Jagan's mom meets PM, says CBI is witch-hunting :  

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.

18:26  Arafat's body to be exhumed to find out if he was poisoned:  

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

18:23  Cadbury launches Toblerone in India:  

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.

18:14  Whats behind Gurgaons power problems?:  

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.



18:07  Road rage on Twitter:  

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!!

18:04  Huge traffic jam on WE Highway as tanker overturns :  

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.

17:44  Why women are less competitive than men:  

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.

17:33  Fat cats get fatter in India:  

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

17:28  Naxal killings: Cong report differs from MHA :  

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 Did Naxals use human shields? 

17:24  7 tribals, minors killed in Chh'garh: Cong report :  The Congress submits its report on the Chhattisgarh Naxal killings. The report says seven tribals including minors were killed in the encounter on Friday. The Congress in Chhattisgarh set up a team on Saturday to probe the killing of 19 suspected Maoists in joint operations by the CRPF and state police in Bijapur and Sukma districts in the past two days. This report, however differs from the MHA report on the encounter. Security forces maintained that among the 19 were hardcore Naxals including those who masterminded the Dantewada jail break in 2007.
17:15  The Chief Election Commission will Ahmedabad on July 9 to review the prepardness of the Presidential polls and thereafter to Shimla.
17:09  Govt keen to bring FDI in retail before Parl begins:  News coming says that the government in Congress-ruled states may go ahead with foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. The government is keen on bringing FDI before the monsoon session of Parliament begins. The government is likely to speak to Mamata Banerjee on the issue. The West Bengal CM is against FDI in retail.
17:06  Akhilesh Yadav: The myth of the good political prince:  

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

17:01  UK cops fear another wave of riots :  

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.

16:49  Four killed in German hostage crisis:  Four people, probably including a gunman, were killed during a hostage taking incident at a house in southern Germany on Wednesday, a police spokesman said. Earlier, police said the gunman had taken up to four people hostage following an attempted eviction of an apartment in the southern town of Karlsruhe. "Special forces broke into the apartment after smelling smoke and found four dead bodies. Probably one of them is the gunman," the spokesman told Reuters.
16:45  Tom begged Katie to join him for 50th bday bash:  

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.

16:25  Sarabjit's sister meets Sonia, but no promises yet :  

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.

16:07  Indian scientist forgotten in Higgs boson drama:  

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

16:01  Oppn welcomes Akhilesh's reversal on vehicles for MLAs:  

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.

15:53  Pranab calls Jagan's mother for support in Prez polls:  

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.

15:44  Rajesh Khanna still in hospital but stable:  

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 The reasons that led Rajesh Khanna to his downfall

15:36  PC 'deeply sorry' for innocents killed in Chhattisgarh:  

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.

15:26  Farm suicides rise in Maharashtra, state still leads the list:  P Sainath's column on the Hindu. Read
15:19  Probe role of other senior Cong leaders in Adarsh: BJP:  

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.

15:08  Pakistan no partner in War on Terror, but blemish on it: Report:  A report on the Independent says that despite becoming the recipient of billions of dollars in military and financial aid since 9/11, Pakistan has failed miserably in taking measures to combat terrorism and halt insurgent activities on its soil.



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.

15:03  Can't allow non-state actors to carry out terror activities: PC:  

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.

15:00  Can't be denied that 26/11 control room was in Pak: PC:  

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. 

14:52  Absolutely wonderful: The Particle Physics song.
14:41  Chavan: Political rivals implicating me in Adarsh:  

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.

14:32  Twitter on the Mumbai bomb scare:  

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.

14:29  Sachin won't play SL series, Sehwag, Zaheer in:  Just in: Sachin Tendulkar will not play in the upcoming Sri Lanka series. India, however will field a full-strength team for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka, which will be selected on Wednesday. Virender Sehwag will be back after missing the Asia Cup due to fitness while Sachin  Tendulkar is out. Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan is also part of the team. Five ODIs and a T20 will be played in July 21 to August 7 series.
14:22  NATO: man in Afghan uniform shoots, wounds troops:  

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.

14:11  X-ray shows Mumbai 'bomb' not an explosive device:  Vishwas Nagre Patil, ACP Mumbai police, says the bomb squad has defused whatever it was, but X-ray shows it is not an explosive device. Patil reiterates that there is no real danger to citizens and preliminary investigations are being carried out by the bomb disposal squad.

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.

14:01  Mumbai bomb scare: Cops summon ATS :  

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.

13:51  Suspicious object found in dustbin:  

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.

13:46  Bomb scare in Andheri mall in Mumbai :  Just in: There's been a bomb scare at the Infiniti mall in Andheri, in suburban Mumbai. A suspicious object was found near the mall. Police and a bomb disposal squad have cordoned off the area.
13:34  Maha ex-CM Ashok Chavan chargesheeted in Adarsh:  

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.

13:32  Scientists 99.999% sure God Particle found:  

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

13:20  Maha ex-CM Ashok Chavan chargesheeted in Adarsh:  Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan among those chargesheeted in the Adarsh scam. The chargesheet has been filed 17 months after the CBI filed an FIR. All 14 accused have been chargesheeted.
13:14  LHC scientists reporting in the UK and Geneva claim the discovery of a new particle consistent with the long-sought Higgs boson.
12:56  CBI files chargesheet in the Adarsh housing scam:  CBI files chargesheet in the Adarsh housing scam. The Ministry of Defence objects to the Maharashtra government's stand that Adarsh land belongs to them.
12:55  Pranab to meet Congmen in Bhopal on July 11:  On to earthly matters -- UPA presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee would pay a one-day visit to the state capital on July 11 to meet Congress MLAs as part of his campaign for the July 19 Presidential election. Madhya Pradesh Congress media department chairman Manak Agarwal said. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and Union Ministers Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia are likely to accompany Mukherjee.
12:50  Only God and the scientists/physicists at Cern seem to know what's happening on the God Particle. Does it exist or not?

Here's the live telecast from Cern, Geneva


And if you're as confused as the rest of the world, read this: What is the Higgs boson?

12:37  God Particle announcement in a moment:  Scientists hunting the elusive subatomic "Higgs" particle begin addressing the media on the God Particle. Physicists who have been smashing particles together at near light-speed at the CERN laboratory near Geneva have already seen tantalising glimpses of the "Higgs boson", the missing piece of the fundamental theory of physics known as the Standard Model.
12:34  BJP may sue Pranab over 'forged' ISI signature :  

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.

12:30  Cars for MLAs: Dear Akhilesh, you embarrass us:  Read: God! What's wrong with Akhilesh Yadav? Even the MLAs are embarrassed. On
12:27  CBI to file Adarsh chargesheet today:  Just in: And here it is... The CBI will file the chargesheet in the Adarsh scam today, its counsel tells Bombay High Court. The Ministry of Defence objects to the Maharashtra government's stand that Adarsh land belongs to them.
12:21  SUV for MLAs from development fund withdrawn:  

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.

12:20  Akhilesh U-turn: Withdraws Rs 20-lakh car bounty:  

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.

12:17  MoD to respond why CBI can't probe Adarsh scam:  

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.

12:12  India fears Jundal case will go Kasab way:  

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.

12:04  Secular Muslims are enemies, says Pak Taliban:  

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.'s Tahir Ali has received an exclusive video interview of TTP's spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan, who vows to continue jihad against 'secular forces'.


12:00  Clinton discusses language of apology with Khar :  

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.

11:55  India doesn't want Pak to clean up proof on Jundal:  The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a First Information Report against Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal and his associate Fayaz Kagazi for further investigation in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The NIA has also filed for Judal's custody, which ends tomorrow. India to tell Pakistan that it will hand over Jundal's dossier only after it finishes gathering evidence. CNN IBN says that India does not want Pakistan to clean-up proof on Jundal.  
11:46  Pakistan allows Nato convoys to Afghanistan to resume:  

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.

11:44  AP HC rejects Jagan Reddy''s bail plea in disproportionate assets:  

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.

11:42  Gurgaon riots after all-night power outage:  

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.

11:36  Omar shocked over pictures of monkey in Jammu hospital bed:  

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

11:26  Higgs boson video leaks to Cern website:  Laboratory accidentally posts video heralding discovery of a new particle on its website ahead of scheduled announcement today. Read
11:20  India will NOT share Jundal dossier with Pakistan:  

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.

11:15  US FDA approves first over-the-counter home use HIV test kit:  The US drug control authority today approved the first over-the-counter, self-administered HIV test kit that will enable Americans to detect on their own and
in the privacy of their homes whether they are infected with the virus that causes AIDS. The 'OraQuick In-Home HIV Test' is designed to allow individuals to collect an oral fluid sample by swabbing the upper and lower gums inside of their mouths. The sample is then placed into a developer vial and test results are obtained within 20 to 40 minutes.

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.

11:05  SC stays proceedings against former rail minister Sharief:  

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.

10:38  DMK stir: Kanimozhi, Stalin, Maran court arrest :  The DMK today took its protests against the ruling AIADMK government to the streets of the city.

DMK chief Karunanidhi's daughter Kanizmozhi, his son and party treasurer MK Stalin and his grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran along with 50,000 cadres courted arrest as the party took party in a jail bharo agitation to protest against what it calls the AIADMK's "repressive regime" and "political vendetta."   

The demonstrations and courting of arrest were held at 22 locations across the city.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Karunanidhi said, "The 'fill the jails' protest will be held in a great manner ... we are confident about it. The government is also confident about that."  

Fifteen DMK leaders have been raided and arrested since the AIADMK came to power.  
10:09  MM Mani reaches police station for questioning:  Former Communist Party of India-Marxist Idukki district secretary M M Mani has reached the police station for questioning in connection with his controversial speech at Manakkad on May 25 that the party had a hit list in the 1980s and that three of them on the list had been eliminated.

The police had set a 10 am deadline for Mani and if he failed to abide by it he would face arrest. Mani had skipped questioning on Tuesday.  
09:31  Mumbai: Trains on western, central line running late:   Trains on the suburban central and western line in Mumbai are running late by 15 minutes because of heavy showers. Flights out of Mumbai airport too are delayed. Three flights have been diverted so far.

Heavy rains in the city throughout the night has lead to water logging at several places.  

A four-storey building has partially caved in the suburb of Malad. However, there have been on reports of injuries.  More showers are expected in the next 24 hours, said the Met department. 
08:55  NATO supply truckers demand security before resumption:   NATO truckers welcomed Pakistan's decision to reopen supply lines into Afghanistan but said they feared Taliban attacks, demanding security guarantees before the resumption.

Mir Mohammad Yousuf Shahwani, head of the largest oil tanker owners association in Pakistan, told AFP that supply trucks and tankers could be en route in "days" but insisted they needed protection first.

"It is a sudden decision but even then we can start supplies in days. The thing is, who will protect us," Shahwani said. "We need security, we need protection. Taliban have killed dozens of our drivers and torched hundreds of vehicles," he added.

Pakistan will reopen crucial supply routes to Nato-led forces in Afghanistan after the US apologised for killing 24 of its soldiers in November.
02:57  Actor Andy Griffith dies at 86:  CBS reports: Actor Andy Griffith, whose portrayal of a rural sheriff in a popular 1960s TV show earned him the title of 'America's Favorite Sheriff', died on Tuesday morning. He was 86.

Read the full story here
02:16  Iran reports long-range missile launch in exercise:  AP reports:  Iran said Tuesday it test-fired several ballistic missiles, including a long-range variety meant to dissuade an Israeli or US attack, alongside a push by Washington to beef up its military might in the region. 

The powerful Revolutionary Guard's acting commander told state TV that the tests, aimed at mock enemy bases in a war games exercise, were a response to refusal by Israel and the U.S. to rule out military strikes to stop Iran's nuclear program.
01:23  Iraq bombs, market attacks leave 40 dead:  
AP reports: Market bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed at least 40 people on Tuesday, and one senior intelligence figure said he could not rule out that guards may have taken bribes to allow terrorists to penetrate security during a Shiite pilgrimage.

The latest attacks added to fears that Iraq is descending further into violence after the last American troops withdrew late last year.

More than 275 people have died in attacks over the past month, the bloodiest period since immediately after the US withdrawal.
00:54  Syria has 27 Torture Centers: Report:  ABC news: The Syrian government has subjected tens of thousands of detained protestors, including women and children, to electroshock, sexual assault, mock executions and other forms of torture in 27 different torture centers across Syria, according to a human rights group.

In a report published Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said the torture was widespread and systematic, with consistent methods used by four different security and intelligence agencies.

Click here to read the full story
00:48  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  
'Narasimha Rao fiddled when Ayodhya burned'

Pix: Flood victims in for tough days ahead in Assam

Hope Pranab's nomination gets rejected: Sangma

BJP slams Pranab for 'illegal activity'

Aiyyo! Kerala TOPS list on obscene Internet posts

US accepts terms of engagement with Islamabad
00:22  AI pilots end 58-day-old strike:   The 58-day protracted strike by Air India pilots was called off on Tuesday night after the Delhi high court asked them to join duty within 48 hours and the management to sympathetically consider their grievances.

The decision to end the strike was announced by the Indian Pilots' Guild after a meeting of its managing committee in Mumbai.

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