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Suicide bomber kills five at Nigerian mosque

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July 13, 2012

22:26  Suicide bomber kills five at Nigerian mosque:  

A suicide bomber killed five people at the central mosque in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Friday, the military said, the latest attack in a region plagued by Islamist Boko Haram insurgents.

Five people have been killed and six others injured in the Maiduguri central mosque suicide bomb attack, military spokesman Sagir Musa told reporters.

21:50  BJP MP asks PM to keep Chidambaram out of EGOM:  Claiming that the appointment of Home Minister P Chidambaram as head of the Empowered Group of Ministers on Telecom would amount to "conflict of interest", a BJP MP has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reconsider his decision.

In a letter to Singh, Rajendra Agarwal claimed that as an advocate Chidambaram had been associated with certain telecom companies in the past and his appointment would amount to "conflict of interest" as he cannot have impartial opinion. 

"In the interest of clean and transparent administration in the country, it is necessary to keep Chidambaram out of EGoM," he said.
20:34  Guj IPS officer to assist CBI in Ishrat Jahan case:  Gujarat High Court today directed the state government that services of IPS officer Satish Verma be made available to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2003 Ishrat Jahan encounter case. 

"Government will spare the services of Satish Verma, as required by the CBI for 4 months or till the investigation is over, whichever is earlier," the division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Abhilasha Kumari said in its order. 

"If the investigation is not over by that time and CBI still needs further assistance and help of Satish Verma, the agency will have to move this court with the reasons thereof," added the bench.
20:16  4.5 lakh user accounts were hacked, Yahoo confirms!:  
Yahoo! has said that around 4.5 lakh user accounts and password details were hacked on Wednesday.

"We confirm that an older file from Yahoo! Contributor Network (previously Associated Content) containing approximately 450,000 Yahoo! and other company users names and passwords was compromised on July 11," Yahoo! said in a statement.

The company, which has 29.8 crore users worldwide, noted that less than 5 per cent of the Yahoo! accounts information leaked had valid passwords. 

However, it could not be ascertained whether accounts from India were affected.

"We are taking immediate action by fixing the vulnerability that led to the disclosure of this data, changing the passwords of the affected Yahoo! users and notifying the companies whose users accounts may have been compromised," the company added.
20:00  Russian ship with attack helicopters heads back for Syria:  
A Russian ship that tried to supply attack helicopters to the Syrian regime amid the bloodshed was reported to have left its port on Friday with the same controversial cargo aboard.

But there was no immediate indication of whether the Alaed cargo vessel would end up trying to deliver the equipment to Syria directly or drop it off at an intermediate location.

"The Mi-25 helicopters subject for return to Syria after their repair are currently aboard the Alaed, which is sailing from the port in Murmansk to another port in Russia," the Rosoboronexport state arms exporter said in a statement. 

A source in the Murmansk port told the Interfax news agency the ship had left yesterday for the port of Baltiysk in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave east of Poland. 

The website showed the ship's radar signal coming in off the Norwegian coast on its last reporting date on Thursday. 

The ship's signal was switched off today and one report citing its owner Femco said the Alaed might in fact be planning to dock in Saint Petersburg toward the end of next week.

The announcement follows Russian official statements that they would to try again to deliver the weapons to President Bashar al-Assad's government, despite calls for Moscow to join an arms embargo against its last Middle East ally.
19:30  Iran 2 years away from nuclear bomb: MI6 chief:  
Iran is just two years away from acquiring atomic weapons, even as British spies foiled Tehran's plan to go nuclear as early as 2008, British intelligence chief has said.

John Sawers, the MI6 chief said that it was now likely they would achieve their goal by 2014, making a military strike from the US and Israel increasingly likely, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Sawers gave a secret briefing to the Cabinet in March about Iran's growing military threat but this is the first time his views on the issue have been made public. 

He made the remarks at a meeting of around 100 senior civil servants in London last week in only his second public speech since he was appointed to the post in 2009.

Speaking at the Civil Service Live event in Olympia he said that Iran was now "two years away" from becoming a "nuclear weapons state".
19:29  CBI tells Parl panel how unhappy it is with Lokpal draft:  
The Lokpal Bill in its present form "seriously compromises" CBI's autonomy of investigation and does not address its concerns, the agency told a Parliamentary panel on Friday.

The CBI also contended that multiplicty of authorities it has to report to has "greatly hampered" its functional and administrative autonomy and "thereby the effectiveness of CBI".

Appearing before the Rajya Sabha Select Committee examining the Lokpal Bill, CBI Director A P Singh said the measure in the present form does not deal at all with the issue of agency's dependence on government over financial and administrative matters.

In a detailed presentation before the Committee, CBI said one of the focal points of the Lokpal agitation was to give greater autonomy to the investigation agency. 
18:49  It's official: Mamata will NOT attend Sonia's dinner:  Just in: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee will not attend the UPA dinner on July 18, say party sources.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will throw a dinner party on July 18, ahead of the presidential elections. But the Trinamool Congress hasn't received an invitation yet. The dinner party has been thrown in support of UPA's presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee. MPs of the UPA and the allies will be invited. Again, the CPM and the Forward Bloc hasn't received any invitation yet.

Read more
18:45  Lest we forget :  In few minutes from now, three bomb blasts killed 26 people and injured 130 n Mumbai. A year on, the blasts are forgotten and the life in the metropolis has moved on at the fast pace as it usually does.

A year on, correspondents walk down the memory lane with survivors and re-live the fateful evening that was smeared with blood, agony and fear.


Pay homage to those who passed on. Light a candle and say a quiet prayer. Right here
18:32  Kiran Bedi on the Guwahati molestation

@thekiranbedi Pubs attract hooliganism and violence just as holy places attract peace and devotion! Its in the nature of environment!

@thekiranbedi Repositioning of police patrols near pubs in evening time is preventive policing. Also preventive arrests of men creating breach of peace
18:29  Sachin: I wanted to play quality time with my family:  Sneak peek at Sachin Tendulkar's exclusive interview to CNN IBN.
Tendulkar tells sports editor Gaurav Kalra that he has no thoughts of retirement from cricket. In fact, he is spending time with family in Europe at the moment.  

CNN-IBN: I want to ask you, you decided not to play in the one-day series in Sri lanka. What are the reasons for that, Sachin?
SACHIN: I just wanted to spend time with my family. Its as simple as that. So I spoke to [the] BCCI and requested them to leave me out. To prepare myself for Sri Lanka, I shouldn't be here; I should be back home, preparing myself. So to be able to spend enough time with my children is also important for me because once we go back, then their schools start and it is not the same quality time which any family man expects. That is something which will keep me going for the next 10 months.

Full interview on shortly.
18:10  Milind Deora @milinddeora Just spoke to the Assam CM. He's following up the issue regularly with the DGP & is equally concerned. Four have been arrested so far
18:08  Molestation victim: I want life term for the men:   The teen who was molested outside a pub in Guwahati on Monday tells Headlines Today: "I demand a life term for all those who molested me. I seek support from civil society. "I need support from the CM for justice. No other girl should ever go through what I did."
18:03  Operation Blue Star Memorial: Centre keeping watch, says PC:  Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the Centre was keeping a close watch on the situation in Punjab in the wake a move to set up a memorial in Golden Temple for those killed during 'Operation Blue Star'.

The Centre is also keeping a tab on the incidents that took place across Punjab against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, the assassin of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, the Home Minister said.

Sharing the concern of Congress leaders at a special meeting at the Punjab Pradesh Congress office here, he said he was seized of the move to set up of the memorial inside the Durbar Sahib Complex and had raised the issue with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
18:00  Rupee 55.16 to a dollar, 85.31 to a Pound:  The US dollar ended sharply cheaper against the rupee at 55.15/16 per dollar and the Pound sterling also finished lower at 85.29/31 per pound today.
17:27  Kalmadi won't be part of Olympics delegation: Maken :  Ajay Maken @ajaymaken Olympics is abt ethics & morality. Person charged with corruption will not be part of Indian team. Wld also convinice those who have invited.

Here's the context: A livid Ajay Maken, sports minister, slammed Suresh Kalmadi saying he hasn't been cleared of graft charges and it's sad to see him asking permission to go to the Olympics. He said he would ensure Kalmadi is not part of the Indian delegation.

A Delhi court granted permission to Suresh Kalmadi to attend the London Olympics from July 26  to August 13. Yesterday, the sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman, an accused in a games-related graft case, sought  permission to attend the Olympics.
17:18  When Dara Singh floored Madras with his Deathlock:  Chief Sitting Bull, Russian Rocket, Superman '" wrestlers with exotic nick names sparred in Chennai in the 1960s. Crowds thronged to watch '" what the advertisements promised -- 'full blooded, action packed fights.'But they came in even larger numbers to watch their undoubted favourite -- 'Killer' Dara Singh. They wanted to watch his signature move '" the 'Indian Deathlock' '" that immobilised the opponent. And Dara Singh did not disappoint them.

17:13  Trai ends cap of 200 personal text messages:  Just in: A Delhi High Court sets aside the cap of 200 text messages per day for personal communication, but upholds curb for unsolicited commercial text messages.

In November, TRAI raised the cap from 100 text messages to 200 a day after it received representations from consumers and service providers to relax the limit. Trai had introduced the 100-SMSes a day cap to stop unsolicited and pesky text messages from telemarketers selling everything from real estate to weight loss solutions. The cap also put an end to subscribers using multiple SIM cards to send text messages without registering as telemarketers.
17:04  Maken: Sad to see Kalmadi wanting to go to Olympics:   Just in: A livid Ajay Maken, sports minister, slams Suresh Kalmadi saying he hasn't been cleared of graft charges and it's sad to see him asking permission to go to the Olympics. He said he would ensure Kalmadi is not part of the Indian delegation.

A Delhi court granted permission to Suresh Kalmadi to attend the London Olympics from July 26  to August 13. Yesterday, the sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman, an accused in a games-related graft case, sought  permission to attend the Olympics.
17:00  Indian pacer Irfan Pathan will replace Vinay Kumar in Sri Lanka ODIs. Kumar has been injured, say early reports. 
16:47  The words English owes to India:  In 1872 two men began work on a lexicon of words of Asian origin used by the British in India. Since its publication the 1,000-page dictionary has never been out of print and a new edition is due out next year. What accounts for its enduring appeal? Hobson-Jobson is the dictionary's short and mysterious title.

16:40  Men like older women: Sharon Stone:  Good news for women of a certain age.

Basic Instinct star Sharon Stone says her wrinkles attract men because most males like an older woman. The 54-year-old actress, who is currently dating 27-year-old Argentinean model Martin Mica, does not think her sexuality has diminished with age and said that men like older women as they are more likely to be forgiving and embracing, reported OK! magazine.

"Sex and sexuality is not about whether your elbows or knees are wrinkled. A man turns to you and says, 'I love the way you laugh.' That's what's turning him.

"They love a line around the eye or your mouth because it tells them you've laughed and you're going to laugh and be forgiving and embracing. Men want to know that you're going to be forgiving and embracing," Stone said.
16:36  What it means to be a prominent Muslim in the UK:  To be a prominent Muslim means suffering a daily diet of bigotry and even outright hatred. This week, Mehdi Hasan -- who, other than my colleague Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, is Britain's only prominent Muslim journalist '" wrote of how, every day, he is attacked as a "jihadist" and a "terrorist".

He has been described as a "dangerous Muslim shithead", a "moderate cockroach", and worse. The message from his critics is clear: Muslims have no legitimate place in public life.

16:32  Guwahati molestation: What has happened to our society?:   More outrage on the Guwahati molestation. A shocking video of a young girl being molested on a busy street in the northeastern Indian state of Assam has put the spotlight once again on the vulnerability of Indian women and alleged inaction by police. Read
16:18  Let the moaning end and the Games begin:  Britain's attitude to the 2012 Olympics has so far been ambivalent at best. Anyone would have thought we were not going to enjoy them. Au contraire.
Read the story on the Independent 
16:13  It's Friday the 13th today:  If you have an irrational fear for the date, you may have paraskavedekatriaphobia (also known as friggatriskaidekaphobia). Those are the scientific terms for fear of Friday the 13th. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.

Read more interesting facts on the date.
16:08  Olympics: Aircraft flouting airspace restriction can be shot down:  Update on the London Olympics. Aircraft that fail to comply with procedures within a restricted airspace zone around the Olympic site in London could be subject to 'lethal force' from the military, it was revealed today. Read
16:05  Teej festival in Delhi this weekend:  If you're in Delhi this weekend, go to the Teej festival. Handicrafts, Indian apparels, home furnishings, as well as jewelry and henna stalls, will be out in force.Open form 12 noon to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday at The Balcony, First Floor, Select CITYWALK, Saket.
16:01  'Mentally disturbed' Pak soldier sent home :   The Pakistani soldier, who had crossed over to this side of the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, was today handed over to Pakistan by the Indian Army.

The custody of 19-year-old Arif Ali was transferred to the Pakistan Army at a flag meeting along the LoC in Chakan-Da-Bagh Crossing Point in Poonch district at 1010 hours.

During questioning, the soldier claimed that he was mentally disturbed when he crossed over to the Indian side. Ali, who is part of Pakistani Army's 25 Frontier Force and is posted at Saifullah along the LoC in PoK, was arrested in Kerni forward area in Poonch district by Indian troops yesterday.
15:55  Police solve mystery of missing Laila Khan:  In death, starlet Laila Khan attains international fame. Read the report on the Huffington Post. 
15:48  Basic errors kill 1,000 patients in UK hospitals :  Basic errors by doctors in British hospitals are killing up to 1,000 patients a month, a new study has found.  

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that almost 12,000 patients are dying needlessly in National Health Service hospitals every year because of basic errors by medical staff.  

The researchers of the study found that something went wrong with the care of 13 per cent of the patients who died in hospitals, and error only caused death in 5.2 per cent of these, equivalent to 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England.  

"We found medical staff were not doing the basics well enough -- monitoring blood pressure and kidney function, for example. They were also not assessing patients holistically early enough in their admission so they didn't miss any underlying condition. And they were not checking side-effects... before prescribing drugs,' The Independent quoted Helen Hogan, who led the survey, as saying.
15:41  Pritish Nandy @PritishNandy How come the Courts gave Kalmadi permission to go watch the Olympics? Normally we demand our criminals back, not export them.

A Delhi court today granted permission to Suresh Kalmadi to attend the London Olympics from July 26  to August 13.

15:35  MHA on molestation: Gogoi govt has to take action:  Just in: The Home ministry says the Assam government should take action in the molestation case and that the onus to bring the culprits to justice lies with the Gogoi government.
A total of four persons have been arrested in connection with the incident in front of a bar on the Guwahati-Shillong Road on Monday night, which led to a public outcry after a video of the shocking incident was uploaded on Youtube.
Scroll down for updates on the incident.
15:17  Nano's potential is enormous in developing world: Tata:  Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata, on the Nano.

Tata today admitted that the Nano 'wasted an early opportunity', but he has not given up hope on the small car, saying it has enormous potential "throughout the developing world". "The fundamental economies of the Nano...will continue to establish itself in the Indian market with a wider sales and service network," he said in the Tata Motors' Annual Report for 2011-12.

After the global acclaim, when it was unveiled in 2008, Nano was plagued with start-up roadblocks in the state of West Bengal, Tata said. Bullish on the prospects of the success of Nano, not only in India but also in other similar global markets, he said: "The potential market for such an affordable car is enormous throughout the developing world."
15:11  Shadow lines:  The Indian Express edit on the draft Assisted Reproductive Technology.

The death of 17-year-old Sushma Pandey, an underage egg donor in Mumbai, has drawn attention to assisted reproduction, which has grown to the proportions of an industry but is not regulated by a legislative framework or competent institutions. Read
15:07  Inside the London Olympics village. See the pictures on the Guardian
14:55  'Why do you want to chronicle traumatised lives?':  Another story from our series on the anniversary of 13/7: The family of Tushar Kolbe is unable to come to terms with his death. Prasanna Zore reports. Read

Spend a moment thinking about the victims, light a candle in their memory. Right here.
14:45  Olympic village opens, tight quarters for athletes:   The Olympic village has opened for athletes. And if Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps decide to stay there, forgive them if they feel a little cramped. Each sparsely decorated room has two single beds next to bedside tables and small lamps, reports the Houston Chronicle. But the beds are only 5, feet, 8 inches long, meaning many athletes might need extensions to get a good night's sleep.

Bolt is 6-5 and Phelps is 6-4. With two weeks until the Olympics open July 27, London Mayor Boris Johnson made a final inspection tour of the area Thursday.

About 17,000 athletes and officials are expected to live at the village, which is inside the Olympic Park and close to main stadium and swimming venue. "We are close to the finishing line in our preparations," Johnson said. Besides apartments, the village also has restaurants, leisure areas and gyms. After the Olympics, the apartments will be transformed into 2,818 new homes.

No complaints yet of dirty bathrooms and cultural equations like our Commonwealth Games. .
14:34  Goa in the rains? 70% tourists robbed :  Headed to Goa in the rains?

Almost 70 per cent of police cases in Goa related to tourists pertain to theft, robbery and dacoity, according to state police records. The state Home department, in figures tabled before the Legislative Assembly, has mentioned that since 2009 till date, a total of 452 crimes were committed in Goa against tourists.

"Of which 312 cases were related to theft, burglaries and dacoities," the report said. Incidentally, British travel advisory updated two months ago identified the Goan beach villages of Calangute and Candolim as hubs of theft and bag-snatching gangs.
14:22  The rape joke that wasn't funny:  Rape jokes aren't always terrible. But when comedian Daniel Tosh laughed about a female audience member being gang-raped, he used humor to humiliate the woman and assert his power. Read the report on the Daily Beast. 
14:18  Khap panchayats do not have credibility: Girija Vyas:  With a khap panchayat in Uttar Pradesh issuing a Taliban style diktat on women, former National Commission for Women chairperson, Girija Vyas, on Friday said such panchayats do not have any legal recognition, and added that there is no compulsion to go ahead with their orders as they have no credibility.

Vyas said girls of the country are today pretty aware, and added that there is no need for such a command to be imposed on them.

"First of all it is the panchayat. The government has not made the panchayat, it is made in the local arena. There is a law in our country under which we have the full right to move ahead. The girls are pretty aware these days; there is no need of such a decree," said Vyas.

"There is no credibility to these panchayats. There is no compulsion to go ahead with what they say. One must refuse to follow their orders and oppose it. The panchayats have no recognition for there is a law in our country," she added.

14:12  Woman whose each breast weighs more than a 4-yr-old:  News from the tabloids: Annie Hawkins-Turner is used to people being unable to look her in the eye -- as she boasts the world's largest natural breasts. Her gigantic size 102ZZZ assets weigh nearly 85lbs, each heavier than the average four-year-old child.

13:58  Scam-tainted Kalmadi can go to Olympics :   A Delhi court grants permission to Suresh Kalmadi to attend the London Olympics from July 26  to August 13.

Yesterday, the sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman, an accused in a games-related graft case, today sought a Delhi court's permission to attend the 2012 Olympics in London.In his plea to Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh,

Kalmadi said he is a member of International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council and sought permission to go to the United Kingdom for the games from July 26 to August 13.

The Lok Sabha MP and 10 others have been charge-sheeted by the CBI under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly "illegally" awarding contract to install Timing, Scoring and Results (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.
13:48  Rangita PritishNandy @RangitaNandyDear Faceless Girl in #Guwahati, nobody will ever understand what you/you're went/going through. Strength, prayers and hopefully, justice.
13:48  MEA to induct 500 officers to meet acute shortage:  With India's international engagements expanding at a rapid pace, the Ministry of External Affairs is facing an "acute shortage" of personnel and is planning to induct 500 officers in the next few years to meet its requirements.

"We have been hearing repeatedly about how small the ministry is and how we are unable to cope with challenges of our time due to shortage of resources. I would like to say that we have not let the acute shortage of resources, which is a reality, stop entirely the efforts to be proactive," Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said today.
13:41  Twitter IPO? Not so fast:  Rumours on the Twitter IPO quashed.
Eager investors and IPO cynics alike can cool their jets:Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says the company is in no rush to go public."We are going to remain private as long as we want,' Costolo told the Los Angeles Times this week in a wide-ranging interview about the state of the Twitter union. Read
13:34  Is India a nation of onlookers?:  It is difficult to count the number of things that are unspeakably wrong and shameful about the molestation -- in full public glare -- of a minor girl outside a bar in Guwahati on Monday night. Read

Just four people of the mob of around 30 have been arrested. NCW chief Mamata Sharma says the police are guilty of dereliction of duty.
13:24  'Khamenei has blood on his hands':  A former general of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards has accused the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of having blood on his hands over the brutal crackdown on the opposition.  

According to a report, the unnamed official, in a letter to prominent opposition activist Mohammad Nourizad, also described government claims that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful as a 'sheer lie'.  

The former officer gave a rare glimpse of political dissent within the ranks of the elite force in charge of the nuclear programme and Khamenei''s personal security, The Guardian reports.
13:07  Olympic first: Women in every competition:  For the first time in Olympic history, every country will have a woman competing on its team, including longtime holdout Saudi Arabia, the International Olympic Committee announced Thursday. Brunei and Qatar will also send female athletes to the London Games for the first time. Read
13:04  Outrage on the Guwahati molestation:  Abhijit Majumder @abhijitmajumderAnd lastly, a slow clap for the #Guwahati mob. Most silently watched the molestation. A few proactive ones joined in the atrocity

Milind Deora @milinddeoraNow that the Assam molesters have been identified, local police should leave no stone unturned in nabbing them. Inexcusable & disgusting!

barkha dutt @BDUTTIf man who filmed #Guwahati mob tried to get girl's face & uploaded video without protecting her identity, I stand corrected. Thats awful
13:00  Teen guards plugged into iPods guard Games:  Update on the London Olympics.

Bungling Olympic security firm trains 3,300 teenagers to guard the Games in 284m debacle...

Read more on the Daily Mail. 
12:59  The Assam DGP will hold a meet with bar owners today to discuss the security of their clients. This comes in the aftermath of a teenaged girl being molested by a mob of at least 20 people outside a pub in Guwahati.     
12:54  This day, last year: Remembering the triple blasts:  For many July 13 is just another date on the calendar. For some others it is etched as a day when they lost someone close.On this day last year blasts went off in three of Mumbai's most crowded localities, killing 26 people and injuring 130.

A year on, the blasts are forgotten and the life in the metropolis has moved on at the fast pace as it usually does.

A year on, correspondents walk down the memory lane with survivors and re-live the fateful evening that was smeared with blood, agony and fear.


Light a candle, pay homage
12:50  Michelle Obama receives death threat from cop:  US First Lady Michelle Obama has reportedly received a death threat from a police officer who worked as a motorcycle escort for White House officials and visiting dignitaries.

Washington D C police are investigating a Metro Police officer for making alleged comments. "We received an allegation that inappropriate comments were made. We are currently investigating the nature of those comments," according to a statement from the D C Metro Police department.

The officer works as a motorcycle escort with the agency, but has since been moved to administrative duty, according to the Washington Post.
12:43  Sarabjit asks for freedom on Pak Independence day :  Indian death row prisoner in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh has filed a fresh appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari seeking mercy on the occasion of that country's Independence day on August 14, his lawyer Awais Sheikh has said. Sheikh, who met Sarabjit in Lahore jail yesterday, in an email to the prisoner's daughter Swapandeep, said that her father had signed the letter addressed to Zardari for his mercy on the 65th Independence day of Pakistan.

Sheikh quoted Sarabjit as saying that he was very disappointed and saddened when the recent news about his release turned out to be wrong. Sheikh's email to Swapandeep was forwarded to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Markandey Katju, who had strongly taken up the case of the release of veteran Pakistan scientist Khalil Chishty from a prison in Rajasthan recently.

Justice Katju wrote back to Sheikh last night, saying the conviction of Sarabjit was "flawed" and demanded his immediate release. "I have carefully studied Sarabjit's case and am convinced that he was not guilty of the charge against him in the Lahore bomb blast case. "...
12:28  TV channel: We shot molestation to arrest men:  Barkha Dutt @BDUTTFilming #guwahati mob assault created evidence for justice; but releasing the girls personal details & identity online is unforgivable.

News Live, the Guwahati-based TV channel that filmed the molestation says they were informed about the brawl, which is how they got there. The reporter tried to stop the molestation, but was beaten up. The managing director, Syed Zarir Hussain says bystanders were insensitive and were shooting the molestation on their mobiles. Hussain says had they not shot the incident, justice would not have been served and the molesters would have got away. 
12:11  Modi does a Mamata: Pushes out British Gas from Gujarat:  Is the much-talked about business-friendliness of the Gujarat  government just a result of deftly designed public relations exercise? More reasons are emerging to believe so, latest being the much delayed stake sale of Gujarat Gas.

Read the report on
12:03  UP village rises to nail 'molester' sub-inspector:  Another story that showcases just how safe India is for women, but this one has a happy ending. 

Rukmani Devi (name changed) of Bhim Nagar in Mall, 40 km from Lucknow, would have fallen prey to the shameless wantonness of sub-inspector Kamta Prasad Awasthi, who tried to molest her on Wednesday night on the Mall police station campus had it not been the continued support of her fellow residents.

11:55  PC bows to pressure, moves NCTC out of IB:  Union home minister P Chidambaram has agreed to take the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre out of the Intelligence Bureau, bowing to pressure from Mamata Banerjee and other chief ministers, sources said today. Further, the Intelligence Bureau will have to give up one of its arms, the Multi-Agency Centre which coordinates intelligence from various agencies, to the National Counter Terrorism Centre.


Also read: What's the fuss on NCTC
11:49  Panchayat in UP bans love marriage:  A village panchayat in Bagpat district of Uttar Pradesh has banned love marriage, barred women below 40 years of age from going out for shopping and girls from using mobile phones on the streets.

The panchayat at Asara village in Ramala area has issued the diktats restraining women below 40 from going to markets and using mobile in the village or outside, official sources said.

The panchayat also ruled that when women leave their homes, their heads must be covered. Read
11:47  Offer help or allow me to die:  A day of horror stories, it seems.
Nine years after an acid attack left Sonali Mukherjee blind in both eyes, partially deaf and melted away the skin on the skull, neck, chest and back, the 27-year-old is running penniless from pillar to post in Delhi for help from the government or permission for euthanasia. Read
11:42  Son: Iranian dad arrested for my Facebook posts:  How many young people have gotten in trouble for something they've posted on Facebook? Maybe a party picture or an offensive comment compromised their chances at a job.But a 25-year-old Iranian says his Facebook activity has led to his father's detention in a notorious prison in Tehran. And now he's struggling to find a way to free him.

Read the report on
11:36  Why does the media come to remind us of our sorrow?:   Another story on from our series on the 13/7 blasts:

The Sonis lost their 21-year-old son in the Zaveri Bazaar bomb blast on July 13 last year.'s Norma Godinho met the distraught family that is slowly getting their lives back on track. Read

You can also vent on Zara Bol. Say what you have to, it will be heard.
11:32  Body of proof:  Pinki Pramanik's ordeal must force us to rethink the notion that gender is rigidly bipolar. Read the opinion piece.

If you haven't the faintest on the Pinki Pramanik story, read this
11:29  50km from Delhi, women live in Talibani era:  In a country where women have served on the country's highest Constitutional posts, the fairer sex is being made to live theTaliban way in Aasra village of Baghpat district of UP, barely 50 km from the national capital.

11:27   Navy plans dedicated cadre of cyber sea warriors:  The Times of India story today...

After robust sea, air and underwater combat arms, the Navy now wants a dedicated force for the virtual front as well. The force has begun the process to recruit information technology (IT) engineers and graduates as short-service commissioned officers.

The Navy's drive to induct IT officers, as part of its main executive branch, comes in the backdrop of cyber warfare emerging as a potentially crippling form of waging covert wars as well as Chinese and Pakistani online espionage agents continuing with their incessant attempts to hack into Indian computer networks.

11:23  Tom Cruise to see daughter Suri very soon:  Your daily dose of the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes split.

Tom Cruise's lawyer has said that the actor, who is "still saddened and shocked' by the split, is planning to see his daughter Suri "very soon.'  The 'Mission Impossible' star is struggling to get to grips with being dumped by Katie Holmes after five years of marriage.  

The father and daughter have been apart for almost a month but have been speaking regularly on the phone.   "Tom will be seeing Suri very soon, I don't know exactly when that will be, and I couldn't tell you, but I do know it will be very soon,' the Daily Mail quoted Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, as telling Radar Online.  

"Tom loves his Suri very, very much, as he does his other two children. Tom is a family man, and dedicated to his children. They are the center of his world,' he added.
11:15  2 killed, 8 injured in blast in southwest Pakistan:  In Pakistan, a powerful bomb went off in a busy market on the outskirts of Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today, killing two persons and injuring eight more, officials said.

The bomb went off at Kuchlak Bazar this morning near the venue of a rally organised by a political party. An eight-year-old girl was among the dead, officials and witnesses told the media. Witnesses said the blast was followed by firing. It could not immediately be ascertained who was responsible for the firing.
11:13  Lest we forget...:  This day, a year ago, a series of three coordinated explosions at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar killed 27 innocent people. pays homage to those who passed on by remembering them. Read

If you want to pay tribute, light a virtual candle with us. Here you go.
11:06  India test fires nuclear-capable Agni missile:  India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile, with a strike range of 700 km, as part of the Army's user trial from a test range at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.

The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 1010 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, defence sources said. Read
11:03  Remember the Gateway of India incident?:   Mumbai, generally considered a safe city for women, was shamed with this incident.

On New Year's eve, 2007, almost 1,500 men, many of them boisterous, had gathered at the Gateway of India to watch the fireworks. Also present there was one young woman with a male friend.

Just a few minutes before midnight struck on December 31, the crowd worked itself up into a frenzy.

The story was broken by city newspaper, Mid Day. Read

10:52  One more arrested Guwahati molestation case:  One more youth has been arrested on the charge of stripping and molesting a girl in a busy area here while 12 others involved in the incident have been identified.

A total of four persons have been arrested in connection with the incident in front of a bar on the Guwahati-Shillong Road on Monday night, which led to a public outcry after a video of the shocking incident was uploaded on Youtube. "One more person has been arrested and 12 others have been identified," Assam Director General of Police Jayanta Narayan Chowdhury said.

"Thanks to the prompt media coverage we have got the video clip of the brawl and have identified 12 of them. We will take strong action against the guilty,' the DGP said. Narrating the sequence of events, Chowdhury said, four girls and two boys, apparently known to each other, entered the bar on Monday night, where they subsequently had a brawl and were forced outside by the establishment's security.

"When the six came out on the streets, local people taking advantage of the situation pushed and pulled one of the girls and attempted to strip and molest her," the DGP said.

"The police were alerted and they reached the scene immediately after the incident and rescued the girl," he said. Asked about the safety of women in Guwahati, the DGP said, "This incident does not prove that there are predators lurking in the city". "This is just an isolated incident when local people took advantage of the situation and indulged in the crime," the DGP said.
10:46  India test fires nuclear missile Agni :  India test-fires nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile from a test range off Odisha coast, says defence sources.
10:43  Inmates raped at will by outsiders in Hooghly rehab home:  On the back of the horrific incident of a mob molesting a girl in Guwahati an update on the mysterious death and burial of a 32-year-old woman in a Hooghly rehabilitation home. The report on the horror house where inmates were regularly raped and tortured by outsiders says that it was virtually a free for all -- anyone could walk in after sunset and do whatever he pleased with the women, who are either mentally challenged or speech and hearing impaired, sources said.

More on the Times of India.
10:21  Home ministry calls Naxal-hit states, CRPF for a meet:  In the wake of the controversy over the 'Naxal' encounter in Chhattisgarh, the home ministry has called a meeting of top officials of the nine states affected by left-wing extremism and the CRPF.   

Innocent villagers were reportedly killed by CRPF personnel, who had claimed that they were targeting Naxals, in the operation.   

The meeting will discuss how to deal with the issue of Naxals using innocent villagers as human shields. 
10:17  UP: Boy falls in open drain, dies:  A boy died when he fell in an open drain outside his school in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.   

The boy's father has filed an FIR against the school.
09:35  Girl molested, beaten up by mob in Guwahati:  In a shocking incident, a teenaged girl was molested and beaten up by an unruly mob outside a pub in Guwahati.     

The girl reportedly got into an argument with one of the molestors, who had made an obscene comment earlier in the pub. While she was returning home, the girl was accosted by a mob of over 20 men, who assaulted her.    

The police have already identified seven men from the video of the incident, which has gone viral online. Four of them have been arrested.
09:27  Condoleezza Rice to be Romney's running mate?:  In a move that could catch his rival Barack Obama by surprise, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney may elect former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate.   

In spite of the campaigning for the top post being in full swing, Romney is yet to reveal his final choice for the vice presidential candidate.

A report claims that recent trends in Romney's campaign indicates that Rice, currently a faculty member at Stanford University, may be his choice for the VP's post.

Read the report here
09:16  Brett Lee retires from international cricket:  After a 13-year-long career, Australian bowler Brett Lee on Friday announced on Twitter his plans to retire from international cricket. 

"It's official; I have retired from international cricket. Thanks for all your love and support. It's been an amazing 13 years," Lee said via Twitter. 

Lee, 35, earlier told a TV channel, "I woke up this morning and knew I had to call it quits today. Friday the 13th, 13 years (since his Test debut), I thought it was pretty appropriate'. 

He said he was looking forward to "fishing' and "chilling out" at home.
09:11  200 feared killed in Syrian massacre:  The bloodbath in Syria continues. Reports have emerged about government troops killing nearly 200 people in a village near the rebel stronghold of Hama.

The massacre occurred in the village of Tremseh. Government troops, armed with tanks and helicopters, reportedly surrounded the village early on Friday morning and opened fire.

Rebel leaders fear that the toll may go up. According to them, every family in the village had lost someone to the massacre.

Read the full report
09:06  Cop in trouble after he talks of shooting Michelle:  A police officer in Washington, DC is currently under investigation after he allegedly made threats against First Lady Michelle Obama. 

The US Secret Service confirmed that it was probing the threats made by the officer who was reportedly heard talking about his intentions to shoot Michelle Obama.
09:02  Top US, Russia generals to discuss Syria:  Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey is scheduled to discuss contentious topics like the missile defence shield and the United Nations resolution on Syria with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Makarov. 

The meeting is significant as Russia has threatened to veto the UN Security Council's resolution on Syria, which is backed strongly by the US.
08:57  Nasheed's supporters clash with police in Maldives:  Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed's supporters clashed with the security forces in Male during a rally to protest his ouster. 

Protesters threw pavement cement blocks, glass marble pebbles and chilly dissolved water over the security forces on Thursday night. 

After a confrontation for over two hours, the protest was dismantled and roads were evacuated at around 1 am local time, Maldives police said.
08:57  Flight returns to JFK after terror scare on board:  A Delta Airlines flight headed to Madrid was forced to return to JFK Airport in New York after 'suspicious wires' were found on board. 

One of the several Federal Air Marshals on board noticed the wire in a bathroom, according to reports. 

All the passengers were evacuated safely. Some reports claimed that authorities had detained some suspects.
03:17  Nine climbers killed in French Alps avalanche:  

Nine climbers have been killed in an avalanche near the French Alpine ski resort of Chamonix.

Three of those killed were from the UK, three from Germany, two from Spain and one from Switzerland. Twelve other climbers were reported injured.

Local authorities deployed rescue teams in helicopters and said it was the deadliest avalanche in recent memory.

Police said four others believed to have been missing -- two Britons and two Spaniards --  had now been accounted for.

Read the full story on BBC

01:17  US tightens sanctions over Tehran:  

BBC reports: The United States says it has further tightened sanctions on Iran imposed in connection with its nuclear programme.

The US Treasury said it had blacklisted several companies and individuals that it believed were contributing to efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.

It also said it had identified several companies and banks acting as front organisations helping Iran to evade existing sanctions.

00:12  Top headlines at this hour:  

Pranab writes to Trinamool MPs seeking support

Will the US ever declare Haqqanis a terrorist group?

Trinamool keen on Gopal Gandhi for Vice President

Is Antony the new number two in UPA government?

13/7: 'Why do you want to chronicle traumatised lives?'

Lalu questions Nitish Kumar's secular credentials

Welcome to run for president's post: Karzai to Mullah Omar

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