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5,000 Taliban left the battlefield since 2010: NATO

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July 16, 2012


23:52  5,000 Taliban left the battlefield since 2010: NATO:  Nearly 5,000 former Afghan insurgents have given up their weapons and more are joining a reintegration programme, but it has not dented the overall Taliban force, a NATO general has said on Monday.

Read the full story here
 


23:42  Morsi brings home journalist freed by Sudan:  AFP reports: An Egyptian journalist detained in Khartoum for nearly two weeks arrived in Cairo today with President Mohamed Morsi who secured her release during talks with Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir.

Read the full story here
23:25  IMF cuts India growth forecast to 6.1 pct for 2012:  Business Standard reports: The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut its forecast for global economic growth and warned that the outlook could dim further if policymakers in Europe do not act with enough force and speed to quell their region's debt crisis.

Read the full story here
22:55  CM's office names Guwahati victim, then retracts:  NDTV reports: First the Class XI student in Guwahati suffered at the hands of her molesters and now it is the repeated insensitivity of government officials.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's office released a press release with her name and photograph on Monday evening. Realising the extent of their mistake, they then asked the media to ignore it.

Read the full story here
22:03  Assam cops to contact us: Odisha DGP on molestation:   Hours after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi claimed that the key accused in theGuwahati molestation case was in Bhubaneswar, Odisha Police today said its Assam counterpart is yet to contact it on the matter.   

"The Assam police has not sent any requisition. They have neither contacted me nor the Commissioner of Police of the twin city of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack in connection with themolestation case," DGP Prakash Mishra told PTI.   

"Tracking of key accused Amarjyoti Kalita's mobile phonehas pointed to his presence in Bhubaneswar. The Assam Police is in touch with its Odisha counterparts and we hope to trace him soon," Gogoi told reporters in Guwahati.
21:18  NCW member who named Guwahati victim sacked:  National Commission for Women representative Alka Lamba, who had been sent to Guwahati to look into the molestation case, has been removed from the fact-finding team after she revealed the name of the victim.

Defending naming the victim Lamba said that the molestation case probe was not complete.

Lamba had travelled to Guwahati as part of a fact-finding committee and had named the victim during a press conference over the weekend.
20:45  Guwahati molestation: TV reporter to be grilled :  Gaurav Jyoti Neog, a reporter from the news channel that filmed and broadcast a young girl being molested by a mob in Guwahati, will be interrogated by the Assam police, reports NDTV.

Senior officers have told the home ministry that Neog appears to be a good friend of the main accused in the case, a man named Amar Jyoti Kalita, who remains untraceable despite being clearly visible in the footage, according to the report.

Eight people have been arrested so far, including two today, for their role in the molestation that has outraged the country.  Neog was at the pub in Guwahati where the crime took place. He resigned from the TV channel News Live over the weekend to ensure a free and fair trial, according to his news editor.
19:50  Khap decisions should benefit society: Akhilesh:  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said that Khap Panchayats should take such stands that have positive impact and benefit the entire society.
 
"Khaps should take decisions that do good to the society and have positive impact on it. I think all the decisions taken by the Khap Panchayat should be in favour of the people, for the welfare of society so that people can learn something from that", Yadav told reporters.
 
"If anything is in the larger interest of people and society, there is nothing wrong", he told reporters in Dholpur of Rajasthan after attending the golden jubilee function of Rastriya Military School of which he is an alumnus.
18:55  Don't believe TC would abstain in Prez poll: Cong:  The Congress today said it did not believe that the Trinamool Congress would abstain in the Presidential election and was still hopeful of getting the ally's support for UPA's presidential and vice-presidential nominees .
 
"Ultimately the decision will be hers, but as a political observer for Congress in West Bengal, I sincerely believe that Mamata will not ask her party MPs and MLAs on July 18 to abstain from the presidential election the next day and instead (decide to) support Pranab Mukherjee," AICC General Secretary and observer in-charge of West Bengal Shakeel Ahmed, said.
 
"We are still very much hopeful that as an important ally of UPA, Mamata Banerjee will take her party's stand on supporting both our presidential and vice-presidential nominees," Ahmed said on phone from Delhi.
18:18  Brothers in arms: Raj drives Uddhav home!:  Uddhav Thackeray has been discharged from Lilavati Hospital and guess who drove him home? Estranged cousin, Raj Thackeray. In fact, Raj was by Uddhav's side when he was hospitalised this morning.

The Shiv Sena executive president was admitted to Lilavati hospital after he complained of chest pain, although it is being dubbed a routine check up.

Will there be a political fallout? Watch this space.
18:07  Sangma flays Obama's remarks:  Opposition-backed Presidential candidate P A Sangma today said US President Barack Obama's remarks with regard to the investment climate in India were shameful for the country.

"Barack Obama is directing the government of India what it should do, this is shameful for the country," he told a press conference. Opposition parties have also lashed out at Obama for his remarks that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors.

Sangma was in the city to garner support for his Presidential bid and was optimistic about getting tribal votes. "The tribals of the country are grateful to the BJP for supporting me. Independent MLAs met me here and I am hopeful of their support,' he said.
18:02  Indo-US ties need more momentum: Obama:  US President Barack Obama says Indo-US ties need more momentum in some areas. Obama says he is still "proud of the progress" made in strengthening them. Was the warmth in the relations "fading", the US leader was asked during an interview to PTI.

"Yes, it's true that in some areas we would have liked to see more momentum. Still, I'm proud of the progress we've made, and I think that the relationship between the United States and India is stronger, broader and deeper that it has ever been," he said.

Indicating a possible end to the longstanding denial of sophisticated dual use technology to India, Obama said the US Defence Department was working to sort it out.
17:54  Cheap at any price:  Couple of reads from the Foreignpolicy.com. At a billion dollars a year, it's a bargain for China to prop up its rogue state -- North Korea -- next door. Read

While on North Korea read Blaine Harden's book, Escape from Camp 14 and you'll never a corn cob without thinking of the country. 
17:47  Guwahati molestation: SC moved for compensation to victim:  Update on the Guwahati molestation case. An 82-year-old man has moved the Supreme Court apprising it of the incident of molestation of a teenaged girl in Guwahati by a mob of 16 persons and seeking compensation for her.

In his petition, Satya Pal Anand, a resident of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, has sought the apex court's directions for awarding Rs 27 lakh as compensation to the victim. He has also sought dismissal of the Assam government for allegedly "failing to function in accordance with the Constitution of India".
17:44  Intervention and interpretation of RTI:  See-sawing to news of another kind.

The difference that the Act has made is undeniable and yet there is a distinct disenchantment. Read the report on the Business Standard. 
17:41  Surgeons offer buy one get one free on boob job:  Bizarre, but true.
Competition in cosmetic surgery has forced doctors to adopt the promotional catchphrase that's famously helped to shift everything from bags of crisps to double-glazing. Now the famous marketing mantra 'buy one, get one free' or 'BOGOF' is being used by surgeons to persuade self-conscious types to splash out on a breast operation or a nose job.

Women and daughters are among the target group, with many taking up offers such as get four implants for the price of three and getting up to 400 pounds off on the deal.

Transform, a clinic chain that provides cosmetic surgery, said that there has been a 26 per cent increase in cosmetic procedures over the course of the last 12 months.
17:36  Pranab's victory foregone conclusion, Cong tells TMC:  Update on the Presidential polls.
The victory of UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is a foregone conclusion and the Trinamool Congress, an ally of the central coalition, should realise this and vote for him, Congress said today.

"Trinamool Congress should know in clear terms that Mukherjee's win in the presidential election is a foregone conclusion as he has mustered support of most parties despite Trinamool Congress opposing his candidature," WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharjee told a party rally here. "It is high time that Trinamool Congress votes for him to save its identity as a political party, otherwise people will not forgive it," he said.
17:24  Policy making our 'sovereign' right: Anand Sharma:  Asserting that policy decision is "sovereign' right of the country, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Monday said the Barack Obama administration should itself lead the fight against protectionism and trade barriers.

In his reaction to the US President's remarks that India must carry out difficult economic reforms, Sharma said, "he (Obama) has every right to convey what his perceptions are but the policy making is a sovereign decision and India's FDI policy regime is investor-friendly'.

Obama in an interview to PTI noted that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail and endorsed another wave of economic reforms.

"It is still too hard to invest in India. In too many sectors, such as retail, India limits or prohibits the foreign investment...which is necessary for India to continue to grow,' Obama had said.
17:13  AMAZING rendition! Painting or photograph?:  Away from news of death and tragedy, to our story on painter Alyssa Monks, who is known across the world for her mermirisingly realistic oil paintings. See
17:09  barkha dutt @BDUTT Schizophrenia will kill the India-Pakistan relationship before anything else. Too much I love him, I hate him, I love him, I hate him!
17:06  Six die to save one:  In a failed bid to save a youth from drowning, six youngsters out for a picnic lost their lives in Mahadevpani lake in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, police said today.

The incident took place yesterday when the picnickers from Bhopal ventured into the water body to save Deepak Yadav (18) from drowning, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Sunil Jain said.

According to police, the deceased entered the lake one after another when they noticed Yadav drowning. Jain said the bodies of seven victims Anil Yadav (20), Ramkumar Sahu (22), Mona Yadav (17), Mahendra Yadav (18), Mohamaed Zeeshan, Mohammad Asif and Deepak were fished out last night by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation divers. Raisen Collector M L Meena said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.

Watch: Family washed away at picnic in Madhya Pradesh.
16:52  Gulberg case: Jaffri's lawyer can inspect SIT report:  The Supreme Court had expressly ordered the SIT to submit all the related documents collected by it during its investigation into the charges levelled by Zakia Jaffri in her petition.

The SIT report had sought a closure in the probe as it found no evidence against Narendra Modi. Jaffri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jaffri who was among 69 persons killed in the Gulberg society carnage, has accused Modi and 57 others for alleged criminal conspiracy in the 2002 riots.
16:47  Gulberg case: Jaffri's lawyer can inspect report:  Just in: A magistrate's court rejects the petition filed by activist Teesta Setalvad  to inspect the SIT report on the Gulberg massacre during the Godhra riots.

The court has however allowed Zakia Jaffri's lawyer to inspect the SIT report for five days. The SIT has been told to file an affidavit which states whether it has not shared any document with Zakia Jaffri or the court.

A magistrate's court in June refused to allow Setalvad to inspect the original closure report of Special Investigation Team on behalf of petitioner Zakia Jafri on the ground that she was not a lawyer on record.
16:38  The Cocktail you can't swallow:  If you watched Cocktail over the weekend and thought it was a waste of money, don't blame us. We warned you. Read the review by Raja Sen and see if you agree. By the way, the spare wheel in the film, Diana Penty must be thanking her stars for the 'e' in her surname. 
16:33  India won't meet $1 trn infra investment target: Montek:   The Planning Commission today said India will not be able to achieve USD 1 trillion target for investment in the infrastructure sector during the 12th Plan(2012-17) in view of lower economic growth prospects.

"The earlier figure was based on the 9 per cent growth target and if the growth target is less, it (investment target) does not have to be same number," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said when asked about trimming of the infrastructure investment target.

"Obviously, if the five year perspective is lower than 9 per cent then investment requirement would also be lower. I don't think that USD 1 trillion should be seen as sacrosanct figure. I don't regard the USD 1 trillion figure as some kind of figure written in stone," he said.
16:32  Aamir Khan column: Rewire, dont just retire:  As a society we have created infrastructure and support systems to help us look after our children. No such system exists for the elderly.
Read it on the Hindu. 
16:24  Silence eva jayate:  This morning Aamir Khan met the PM in a bid to end manual scavenging. The PM asked him to meet Mukul Wasnik who is the minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.
The issue was last week's episode of Satyamev Jayate on untouchability in India. The episode was extremely well-received in urban India since few realise how prevalent the problem still is.

Now, the other story. S Anand writing for the Outlook says Aamir Khan not only deviously censored any discussion of Ambedkar and Reservation, but seemed content to use the 1920s language of high-caste reformers. Read
16:10  India-Pak ODIs in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi:  BCCI senior functionary Rajiv Shukla confirms that bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan have resumed. Pakistan will tour India for three ODIs and one T20 international. The three ODIs will be held in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi, says Shukla.  
16:05  Minor increase in molestation cases in Maharashtra: govt:  Against the backdrop of molestation of a girl in Guwahati which has created outrage across the country, Home Minister R R Patil today stated in the state Legislative Council that Maharashtra had seen an uptick in molestation and eve-teasing cases in the last one year.

"There is a minor increase in molestation and eve-teasing cases in the state," Patil stated in a written reply tabled in the House. He said helplines had been set up to curb crimes against women. "The toll-free helpline number for Mumbai and suburbs is 103 and for rest of Maharashtra it is 1091," the statement said.
15:57  Pranab, the man who would be President:  Had Sonia Gandhi been as strong as she was in 2004 or 2009, Pranab Mukherjee might not have emerged as the party's presidential candidate.

That's the op-ed piece on the Hindu. Read 
15:53  Let us kill great whites, says Western Australia :  Western Australia called on the federal government yesterday to lift a ban on the fishing of great white sharks following an unprecedented fifth death in its waters within less than a year. Read
15:51  10 best men's weekend bags:  Drool factor guaranteed. On the Guardian. Read
15:47  Graphic Art brings India to Glasgow:  Is cartooning art? That question and the status of comic illustration in the realm of fine art and gallery exhibitions is put partly to rest by Sarnath Banerjee's latest show at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, an organization open to cutting-edge works from contemporary visual, performance, film and music artists.

Read
15:45  Has the science in Ice Age 4 gone adrift?:  It wasn't caused by a sabre-toothed squirrel's misadventure with an acorn and the timescale is wrong, but otherwise the kids' film broadly gets the science right.

Read
15:19  Gustav Klimt 'lost' fresco found in Austrian garage:  In other news, an early work by the symbolist artist Gustav Klimt that was thought lost forever has reportedly been found in a garage in northern Austria. The timing of the discovery could not be more appropriate as Austria is celebrating its most famous painter's 150th birthday, which fell on Saturday.
Klimt is best known for his gilded painting, the Kiss.

Read more
15:13  MEA: Security concerns over India-Pak cricket ODIs:   In the wake of the announcement that cricketing ties between India and Pakistan would resume in December, with three ODIs, the first in five years, the Ministry of External Affairs admits that security concerns remained a problem. The MEA says that in principle the bi-lateral cricketing ties have been resumed.
15:04  Bond of brothers: Uddhav hospitalised, Raj by his side:   We told you earlier that Uddhav Thackeray has been admitted to Lilavati Hospital in suburban Mumbai for what is believed to be a routine check up. News coming in now says that Raj Thackeray his political opponent was at his bedside.
 
The Shiv Sena executive president was admitted to Lilavati hospital after he complained of chest pain. Although it is being dubbed a routine check up, the situation will be clear only after the doctors release a medical bulletin party sources said.

An avid photographer, Uddhav was not feeling well since his recent foreign trip, they said.
15:01  Muslims don't always live in ghettos:  
A team of French and Indian scholars go past the stereotype of the ghettoised Muslim and visit 10 Indian cities to document the various patterns in which Muslims gather together in a particular locality. Read
14:41  Dawood uses ship business to smuggle drugs, arms:  Dawood Ibrahim and his aides have a major stake in the multimillion-dollar ship-breaking industry in India, according to an intelligence report by the ministry of defence.

The report says certain Pakistani nationals involved with the D-Company based in London and the UAE have a major stake in the country's ship-breaking industry, investing crores of rupees in the environmentally hazardous industry based in Alang, Gujarat. Intelligence sources said the Pakistani nationals fix deals by paying in hard cash with the collusion of corrupt local officials.

Read the report on the TOI.
14:32  Defamation case: HC asks Army officers to appear in court:  Just in: A Delhi High Court refuses to stay the trial court summons to three Army officers in a criminal defamation case filed by Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh.

The Patiala House Court has issued summons to Vice chief of Army staff Lt Gen SK Singh, Additional Director General of public information Major General SL Narshiman and Director General of public information staff officer Lt Col Hitten Sawhney.

All the Army officials have been asked to appear in the court on July 20. The officers wanted the court to issue an interim stay on the summons. The plea stated that as serving officers they could not be summoned without prior sanction.
14:25  Gogoi: Journalist's role in molestation incident unethical:  Update on the Guwahati molestation case.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said the role of the local news channel journalist, who has also been accused by RTI activist Akhil Gogoi of instigating the assault on a girl outside a city pub, was "unethical".

"This was a case of unethical journalism. It is all right to film the incident as a part of his professional duty but as a part of his social responsibility the journalist should have informed the police", Gogoi said outside the assembly on the first day of the five-day monsoon session.

"The media blames the government and particularly the police on all accounts but journalists, too, have a responsible role to play in society and in this particular case they have failed miserably", the Chief Minister added.

The journalist has since resigned, pending enquiry in the case. See our 11:10 am post.
14:19  Pak board pushed for resumption of ties:  The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had put forward three proposals to their Indian counterparts.The Pakistan Cricket Board has proposed that India can tour Pakistan, play them at a neutral venue or allow PCB to host their home series in India.PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf on Thursday said that they have put forward the proposal to hire two stadiums in India to host their home series against India.

Resumption of Indo-Pak bilateral cricket ties, which was severed after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, received a shot in the arm after the foreign secretaries of both the countries expressed their willingness to have more sporting contacts between the two nations.

Cricketing ties were hit after the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.

Now wait for a scathing attack from Bal Thackeray whose sentiments on cricketing ties with Pakistan are well documented.
14:09  India-Pak cricket matches to resume in Dec: BCCI:  Just in: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Pakistan will tour India for three ODIs in December. In effect, India-Pakistan cricket matches will resume. Details awaited. 
14:06  Olympics security shambles is 'normal':  More Olympics news... and perhaps of more concern than the absence of bikini bottoms...

Olympics boss Jeremy Hunt sparked fresh fury yesterday by branding the G4S security shambles "completely normal'. The Culture Secretary said some contractors would always fall short on a project the size of the Olympics.And he insisted that the international firm's dismal failure to provide enough security guards in time was merely "a hitch, which we have sorted out". Read
13:55  Olympic beach volleyball women may have to cover up :  Fans of women's beach volleyball were distraught last night after it was revealed competitors may have to hide their curves at the Olympics.Bad weather could deny male spectators the sight of tanned and toned athletes cavorting in bikinis.

Read
13:40  Aamir meets PM to end manual scavenging :  Aamir Khan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today to highlight the concerns of manual scavengers engaged in cleaning excreta. Actor turned reformer Aamir apprised Prime Minister of the sorry state in which the scavengers are forced to live in the country. 

In a recent episode of his TV show Satyamev Jayate, the 47-year-old actor had focused on the life of over three lakh manual scavengers who do the work of cleaning excreta even today and are considered as untouchables by many in the society.

Aamir says the government has assured action and asked him to meet Mukul Wasnik the minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. 
13:33  VP poll: CPI(M), FB to support Ansari, RSP to abstain:  CPI(M) and Forward Bloc today declared their support for incumbent Hamid Ansari in the Vice Presidential poll but another Left party RSP will abstain. The CPI will take a decision on the issue on Wednesday at a meeting of its Central Secretariat, D Raja, CPI National Secretary, said.

In a statement, the CPI(M) Polit Bureau said the party has decided to support the candidature of Ansari for the post. Forward Bloc also extended its support to the UPA candidate for the August seven election. "He was our candidate last time also. He never landed in a controversy in the past five years," Forward Bloc National Secretary G Deverajan said.
13:29  Bobby Jindal's stock on the rise :  Remember Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal? He got his first big chance in the national spotlight and bombed. His response to President Obama's first State of the Union address was uniformly panned. "Not ready for prime time' was a common critique.All that is set to change. Read
13:10  Pawar: Weak monsoon, but haven't reached drought:   India is facing challenges in sustaining grains output due to poor monsoon rains, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Monday.

The crucial monsoon rains have been below average since the start of the season in June though they were one percent above average in the past week due to an improvement in central India.

Read the report on Reuters.
13:01  Obama concerned over India's 'deteriorating investment climate':  Noting that India prohibited foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail, U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday cited concerns of the American business community over the deteriorating investment climate in India to endorse another wave of economic reforms. 'Many in the American business community, one of the great champions of the U.S.-India partnership, have expressed concerns that the investment climate in India is deteriorating,' he said.

Read more on the Daily Mail.  
12:59  Katie Holmes refuses to buy Suri a puppy:  Life after Tom Cruise. Suri and her her mother Katie Holmes spent a day shopping and somebody was left crying. Read and see the absolutely adorable pictures of Suri. 
12:54  AP minister wants lazy bureaucrats to be shot dead:  Foot-in-the-mouth disease afflicts Andhra Pradesh minister for minor irrigation.

T.G. Venkatesh has called upon people to gun down the bureaucrats who have no commitment to their work. The minister made the comment while participating in an official function at Kurnool on Friday.


Read more
12:51  Alexander the not so Great: History through Persian eyes:   Interesting read...

Alexander the Great is portrayed as a legendary conqueror and military leader in Greek-influenced Western history books but his legacy looks very different from a Persian perspective.

Any visitor of the spectacular ruins of Persepolis - the site of the ceremonial capital of the ancient Persian Achaemenid empire, will be told three facts: it was built by Darius the Great, embellished by his son Xerxes, and destroyed by that man, Alexander.

Read mor e on the bbc.
12:48  Inflation declines to 7.25% in June; food prices harden:  Inflation declined to 7.25 per cent in June as prices of manufactured items eased a little, although vegetables, wheat and pulses became costlier. Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index was 7.55 per cent in May.

In June last year, it was 9.51 per cent. Overall food inflation rose to 10.81 per cent in June, from 10.74 per cent in May. In June last year, inflation rate in this category was 7.6 per cent. Food articles have 14.3 per cent share in the WPI basket. In the manufactured items category, prices of cotton textile, rubber and plastic products, iron and machinery eased a little year-on-year basis.
12:32  Ranchi doctor offers to treat acid attack victim for free :  After nine years of government apathy, 26-year-old acid attack victim Sonali Mukherjee finally has a reason to cheer. A Ranchi-based Good Samaritan plastic surgeon has offered to treat Sonali, who was left blind and partially deaf by the ghastly attack that also disfigured her face at age 17, for free.

Read more

Her story on the Daily Mail: Acid attack victim pleads for death  
12:23  Uddhav Thackeray hospitalised for routine check up:   PTI confirms that Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray was today admitted to Lilavati hospital in suburban Bandra, Mumbai, for a routine check up.   Uddhav was not feeling well since his recent foreign trip, they said. Asked if Uddhav complained of chest pain, the party sources said the picture will be clear only after the medical bulletin.
12:08   Jaswant Singh (74) says it is a matter of great respect that NDA has chosen me as their unanimous candidate for the Vice Presidential poll.
11:59  Jaswant: Honoured to be named vice-presidential candidate:   Advani says that the BJP had wanted JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav to contest the Vice Presidential poll, but he was not keen as he did not want to retire from active politics. The Shiv Sena today announced that it would support the NDA nominee for the post of Vice President of India.

Jaswant Singh tells CNN IBN that he is "honoured at being named as the vice-presidential candidate."
11:52  Advani: UPA did not consult us on Hamid Ansari :  NDA VP candidate Jaswant Singh is a former external affairs minister. The announcement on the name of Singh, 74, was made after the NDA held a meeting to the effect this morning when all the partners of the alliance, led by the BJP met.

Senior BJP leader LK Advani says the party is not in favour of Hamid Ansari as the vice-presidential candidate as the UPA did not consult them before nominating him.

Senior BJP leaders were of the opinion that the UPA nominee should not be allowed to win uncontested and all Opposition parties should put up a candidate against the ruling Congress-led front.
11:46  Jaswant Singh is NDA's vice-presidential candidate:  The NDA has just announced that Jaswant Singh will be the party's vice-presidential candidate. This means he will challenge UPA nominee Hamid Ansari for the post. If Ansari wins the election, it will be his second term.

11:44  Uddhav admitted to Lilavati, may undergo angiography:  Mid Day reports that Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has been admitted at Mumbai's Lilavati hospital and may undergo angiography. 
11:41  JD(U) still undecided on VP candidate:  With JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav appearing to be undecided, BJP veteran Jaswant Singh has emerged as the frontrunner as the NDA candidate for Vice President's election next month.Sources in the BJP said here today that Yadav appears to be not too keen as the numbers are stacked heavily in favour of UPA nominee Hamid Ansari. Some BJP leaders had reportedly met Yadav and urged him to become a Vice Presidential candidate to put up a serious fight.

Stay with us for the updates.
11:34  NDA meet still on :  The NDA meet to decide the vice-presidential candidate is still on. Jaswant Singh and Najma Heptullah are believed to be the frontrunners.

The BJP is facing problems within, as its Janata Dal (United) ally had earlier agreed to support Hamid Ansari for the presidential election. Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar of the JD-U is known to be agreeable on his name. However, senior JD-U leaders indicated a final decision on their stand would be taken in the NDA meeting.
11:32  Is the Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala safe? :  The temple authorities are concerned that the centuries- old temple atop the Tirumala hills in Andhra Pradesh might be facing a threat from soil erosion. The fears stem from the collapse of the 500-year-old royal entrance of the Srikalahasti temple, 35km from Tirupati.

Read more
11:30  Billionaire footballer's mom works as a cleaner :  In other news: He earns 120,000 a week, likes to drink vintage champagne straight from the bottle and once famously put hundreds of pounds on to a church collection plate. But Mario Balotelli's generosity doesn't appear to extend to his  mother, who works as a cleaner in an office only a few miles from her son's 3million mansion. Read more on the Daily Mail
11:23  Only divine intervention can help the BJP:  While on the UPA, read senior journalist Praful Bidwai's column for rediff.com. The BJP's top leadership has again succumbed to what has become a compulsive habit. It has abjectly capitulated to blackmail by one of its satraps -- in this instance, scam-tainted former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa -- and changed the state's leadership for the third time in just 11 months, and with less than nine months to go for the assembly elections.

Read
11:21  NDA set to name Jaswant for Vice President poll:  The UPA is set to announce the name of its vice-presidential candidate today.

Jaswant Singh's name is expected to be announced today when all the partners of the alliance, led by the BJP, are expected to meet. Senior BJP leaders are of the opinion that the UPA nominee should not be allowed to win uncontested and all Opposition parties should put up a candidate against the ruling Congress-led front.
11:10  Journalist who filmed Guwahati molestation resigns:  A week after a teenager was molested and assaulted by a mob outside a pub in Guwahati, only six suspects have been rounded up and arrested. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's deadline to the police to arrest all the accused, identified in the video, ends today.

The role of the journalist, Gaurav Jyoti Neog, who captured the incident on camera is also under scrutiny. Activists allege that he instigated the mob. He has since resigned from the Guwahati-based news channel, pending probe.

Neog said the charges against him were 'malicious and wild'. "There are allegations levelled against me that I orchestrated the molestation on the girl on GS Road on the night on July 9. I strongly deny and refute the allegations as malicious and wild," he said in a signed statement.

Neog said he had carried out his professional duties as a responsible journalist by asking for a camera unit from his office and filmed the "nightmarish incident to fulfill the social responsibility of identifying the molesters and get them punished."


11:02  Zakia Jafri case today:   A local court in Gujarat is expected to pass an order on a plea from Zakia Jafri, a whose husband was killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, for the production of documents related to the investigation of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. The SIT will reveal the alleged role of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in the riots.
10:57  Monsoon deficient in July, may catch up in August:  Back to India for a bit...
The MeT department says monsoon may be deficient this month across the nation, but expects recovery in August in the rice-growing regions. But as with everything to do with the weather, that's a may be. For now, the MeT says rain will deficient in Gujarat's oil-seeds growing areas. 
10:53  North Korea military head 'relieved of post':  In international news, North Korean military chief Ri Yong-ho has been removed from all official posts, reports the bbc.co.uk. As well as being head of the army, he was vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission and held top posts in the ruling Workers' Party. Read more
10:47  Manmohan Singh: Saviour or Sonia's poodle?:  Once credited with rescuing India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is now  criticised as a weak underachiever. Read the report on the Independent. 
10:42  Amarmani Tripathi and his wife Madhumani and two others were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Dehradun court in 2007 for hatching a conspiracy and killing poetess Shukla in Lucknow in 2003. After the investigation, it was found that the poetess was pregnant when she was murdered.
10:36  HC upholds life term for Amarmani in murder case:  Just in: The High Court has upheld the life sentence of Amarmani Tripathi, a former Samajwadi Party MLA. The Uttarakhand High Court pronounce the decision on the bail application OF Tripathi, who is undergoing life term in jail in murder case of poetess Madhumita Shukla. Tripathi has in past made several attempts to get bail to be able to contest state assembly and Lok Sabha elections.and killing poetess Shukla in Lucknow in 2003.

After the investigation, it was found that the poetess was pregnant when she was murdered. 
10:33  Bigger role for Rahul Gandhi soon, hints Digvijaya:  Rahul Gandhi seems to have finally agreed to play a larger role in Congressaffairs in what can resolve the uncertainty over the party's leadership in the lead-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

This was indicated by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh who said he was positive that Rahul would soon graduate in organizational affairs. "Hopefully, Rahul will take a more proactive role by September," he told the Times of India, adding that he was talking about Rahul moving away from his current charge of youth outfits to the mainstream Congress.

Read more
10:21  Stay away from Olympics please, Maken tells Kalmadi:  
Sports Minister Ajay Maken has said that sacked CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi must desist from showing up at the London Olympics for 'national image and pride'.

Interacting with media persons in New Delhi, Maken said Kalmadi is not a part of country's official delegation, and must abstain from showing up in the mega event in national interest.

Reacting to Kalmadi's call seeking Maken's resignation, the Sports Minister said Kalmadi, chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation and suspended by the Congress party on charges of graft 'has no moral or local standii to question the kind of things he has raised. It is absurd for him to raise such things'.

Earlier, Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh granted Kalmadi, the permission to attend the London Olympics.

Kalmadi, who has been invited by the International Association of Athletics Federation to attend the event, had sought the court''s permission in this regard on Thursday.
10:18  Rupee up 37 paise against dollar; trading at 54.78:  
The rupee rose by 37 paise to trade at fresh one-week high of 54.78 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on increased dollar selling by banks and exporters.

Forex dealers said besides dollar selling by exporters, a higher opening in local stock market and easing of concerns over slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy after Chinese data released on Friday, supported the rupee. 

The rupee had ended 79 paise higher to close at 55.15 against the US currency in the previous session on Friday. 
10:14  Sensex makes early gains ahead of inflation data:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex recovered by nearly 69 points in early trade on Monday after three sessions of weakness on emergence of buying by funds and retailers ahead of inflation data.

The 30-share barometer, which lost nearly 405 points in the last three sessions, rose by 68.60 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 17,282.30 with realty, banking and capital goods stocks leading the recovery.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty was up 19.60 points, or 0.37 per cent, at 5,246.85.

Brokers said fresh buying by funds and retail investors ahead of inflation data to be released later on Monday amid hopes of encouraging first quarter earnings by leading companies influenced the trading sentiment.

Besides, a higher opening on Asian bourses also had a positive impact, they added.
09:56  Tomatoes, shoes, Monica slur greet Hillary in Egypt :  
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's motorcade came under attack on Sunday as she left the newly reopened US Consulate in Alexandria.

Egyptian protesters threw tomatoes and shoes at the motorcade and shouted, 'Monica, Monica, Monica'.

Projectiles rained as the staff walked to their vans after the ceremony and riot police had to hold back the crowd. 

A tomato hit an Egyptian official in the face.

Clinton's van was around the corner from the protesters, and a senior State Department official said her car was not hit.

The chants of "Monica" refer to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Earlier, Clinton said she was in the city to answer critics who believe Washington has taken sides in Egyptian politics.

There were already vocal protesters at the start of her visit to the consulate, forcing the ceremony to be moved inside.

"I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot," Clinton said at the ceremony to reopen the consulate, which was closed in 1993 because of budget constraints.
09:49  Modi rules Gujarat like Hitler: Keshubhai Patel:  
In a sign of ecalating war of words within the Bharatiya Janata Party's Gujarat unit, former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel has hit out at his successor Narendra Modi and compared him to Adolf Hitler.

Addressing farmers in Kutch, Patel said Modi ruled like a dictator and said Gujarat was in a state of mini-emergency.

Last month, Keshubhai Patel had threatened to quit the party, and proposed a Third Front for the upcoming Gujarat elections.

He is upset with the party for sidelining him.
09:47  Aamir to meet PM on manual scavengers' plight:  
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi Monday to highlight the problems of manual scavengers engaged in cleaning human waste, an aide said Sunday.

Among other things, he will bring to the prime minister`s notice the problems of manual scavengers in different parts of the country.

Aamir had highlighted the issue in a recent episode of his popular television programme 'Satyamev Jayate'.

An estimated 300,000 manual workers are engaged in this degrading profession and continue to be regarded as social outcasts.

Earlier, Aamir had made a presentation before a parliamentary committee on issues concerning the medical and pharmaceutical sector after a show on the subject triggered a nationwide debate.
09:18  Karti Chidambaram part of sinister arms lobby: Swamy:  
Janata Party President and petitioner in the infamous telecom scam, Subramanian Swamy has alleged that Karti Chidambaram, the son of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and two army officers were part of a sinister arms lobby. 

Meanwhile, Swamy also alleged that Congress Party supremo Sonia Gandhi was associated with Maoists.

Watch the video here
09:15  Vice Prez poll: NDA may field Jaswant against Ansari:  
The National Democratic Alliance leaders will meet on Monday to finalise their candidate for the Vice President poll. 

On Saturday, the alliance declared that it would go in for a contest after the UPA decided to back Hamid Ansari for a second term.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said it cannot let him have a walkover. 

No name has been finalised as yet but the party may field former External Affairs minister Jaswant Singh. 

Jaswant Singh has emerged as the front runner after senior BJP leader LK Advani backed him. The BJP core group that had met on Saturday had also discussed the name of JDU Chief Sharad Yadav.

But sources say the JDU may break ranks with the NDA like it did on the Presidential nominee issue. Sources say it is looking at Hamid Ansari's candidature favourably and may vote for him.
09:03  Syrian conflict now a civil war: Red Cross:  
The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Sunday it now considers the conflict in Syria to be a full-blown civil war, meaning international humanitarian law applies throughout the country. 

Also known as the rules of war, international humanitarian law grants parties to a conflict the right to use appropriate force to achieve their aims, and the Geneva-based group's assessment is an important reference for those parties to determine how much and what type of force they can use. 

The assessment also can form the basis for war crimes prosecutions, especially if civilians are attacked or detained enemies are abused or killed. "We are now talking about a non-international armed conflict in the country," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan said. 
08:22  Obama misinformed about Indian economy: Govt:  
Responding to US President Barack Obama raising concerns over "deteriorating" investment climate in India, government on Sunday said certain "international lobbies" were spreading such stories and he was not properly informed about the country's strong economic fundamentals.

"Certain international lobbies like Vodafone are spreading this kind of a story and Obama was not properly informed about the things that are happening, particularly when India's economic fundamentals are strong," corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily told reporters in Bangalore when asked about Obama's remarks in an interview to PTI.

Opposition parties lashed out at Obama for his remarks that India prohibits foreign investment in too many sectors, with BJP saying the country cannot open its markets just because he wants it.

"If Obama wants FDI in retail and India does not want, then it won't come just because he is demanding it," was the terse reaction of BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said in Delhi.

Moily said the perception of deteriorating investment climate in India was not based on economic parameters, but on certain impression of few individuals, entrepreneurs and investors.
08:20  Top headlines this hour:  Arunachal: Journalist shot at, CM promises action

Govt to make statement on airport metro suspension 

Rs 1 cr to village for speaking against female foeticide 

Guwahati: CM's deadline ends, only 7 arrested 

NDA likely to announce Jaswant Singh as vice presidential candidate... 


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