23:57 No warning before shooting: Indian boat survivors:
The Indian fishermen aboard a ship targeted by the US Navy off Dubai coast today claimed that they received no warning before being fired upon and the American action was unprovoked.
"According to the survivors, there were no warnings given to them," Indian Ambassador to the UAE M K Lokesh told PTI. "There are many versions of the incident. We have to wait for the details to emerge," the ambassador said.
An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded yesterday when a security team onboard a US Navy ship fired at their small boat off the Dubai coast. The survivors account differs from that provided by the US Navy, which said it resorted to lethal force only after issuing a series of warnings.
23:19 Imran welcomes resumption of Indo-Pak cricket ties:
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan today welcomed the decision to revive the bilateral cricket ties with India, saying the on-field contest between the two nations was good for the sport.
"I welcome India's decision to revive cricket with Pakistan. Anything which can bring both the countries to negotiations and normalcy is very good and we must appreciate that," Khan told reporters. "The prospect of India and Pakistan playing against each other is a good news for international cricket," he added.
India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series in 2007 as the cricketing ties between them froze following 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.
22:24 PM is an honest person, says Mamata:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as an honest person and said he understood economics.
"Prime minister is an honest person. He understands economics," the Trinamool Congress chief told reporters while announcing her party's support for UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee.
When pointed out that the state was yet to get any financial package from the Centre, Banerjee replied, "Let's see what happens."
21:39 India, Pak officials to discuss CBMs on Thursday:
Senior officials of India and Pakistan will meet in Islamabad on July 19 to discuss measures aimed at facilitating travel and trade across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting of the India-Pakistan Working Group on Cross-LoC confidence building measures is being held in pursuance of a decision made during talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries in Delhi on July 4-5. The Indian side at the talks will be led by Y K Sinha, joint secretary in the External Affairs Ministry, while the Pakistani delegation will be headed by Zehra Akbari, director general (South Asia) in the foreign ministry.
"The Working Group will discuss confidence building measures to facilitate travel and trade across the Line of Control," said a brief statement from the foreign office.
21:09 Sonia calls Mamata, thanks her for backing Pranab:
Congress President Sonia Gandhi called up Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and thanked her for supporting Pranab Mukherjee for President.
Ending weeks of suspense for the Congress and her own party, Banerjee announced this evening that her party will reluctantly vote for Pranab. She said the decision was one that "hurt" and prompted by the calculation that she does not want her party's 50,000 votes to be wasted via an abstention.
20:46 Reddy promises clearances of 4 RIL proposals :
The representatives of the Reliance Industries Limited and BP PMS Prasad and Sashi Mukundan met Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Jaipal Reddy on July 13 and represented for speedy clearances in four of the blocks being operated by their Companies.
It was agreed at the meeting to recommend to the competent authority on two issues namely the Declaration of Commerciality of certain wells.
Company representatives were told that the ministry would consider extension of appraisal period to facilitate the declaration of commerciality at an early date.
It was also agreed that quicker approvals for two blocks in the Cauvery Basin as per the extant government policy would be given.
20:28 WB Governor convinced Mamata to back Pranab :
The buzz in New Delhi after Mamata Banerjee announced her support for Pranab Mukherjee for President:
Banerjee called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, but he was napping. He returned her call after waking up and she then agreed to support Pranab.
Sonia Gandhi sent a long SMS to thank Banerjee
AICC leaders urgently called up West Bengal Congress Chief Pradip Bhattacharya to restrain him from speaking against Banerjee. Till Pranab's swearing in on July 25, Congress spokespersons are advised not to speak about Banerjee or West Bengal government. This special request came from the close confidant of Pranab's Janardan Dwivedi. This message was sent to 25 AICC spokespersons.
For the past eight months Banerjee and Pranab have not spoken to each other. But on Tuesday afternoon Pranab's son and daughter paid a courtesy call to Banerjee to thank her for Trinamool Congress's support to their father.
Banerjee wanted that Pranab's first state visit should be to West Bengal and he should spend more time with her in the Writers Building. Pranab is likely to address the West Bengal assembly in the third week of August.
West Bengal Governor MK Narayanan convinced Banerjee to back Pranab. Full marks to MKN for his behind-the-scene role, say insiders.
19:53 Pranab thanks Mamata for Prez support:
Shortly after Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee announced today that her party would vote for Pranab Mukherjee, the UPA candidate called her up to thank her for the decision.
"Yes, he rang me up and I requested him to visit West Bengal first after winning the election," Banerjee told PTI in Kolkata.
Banerjee earlier announced the party's decision saying it had no other option and that it was not to support any individual.
Mukherjee told a Bengali TV channel, "I welcome Mamata Banerjee's decision to support my candidature."
19:08 Veteran socialist leader Mrinal Gore no more:
Veteran socialist leader and former MP Mrinal Gore passed away today after a brief illness, family sources said.
Gore, who was 84, had gone to Vasai in neighbouring Thane district at her daughter's house and died in a hospital there, sources said.
Gore was elected to Parliament on a Janata Party ticket in 1977.
She had earned the sobriquet 'Paniwali Bai' for her efforts in bringing drinking water supply to Goregaon, a Mumbai suburb.
18:47 Hamid Ansari calls Mamata seeking support:
Moments after Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee announced her party's support to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari -- UPA's vice presidential nominee, who is seeking a second term -- called the West Bengal chief minister seeking support.
In a press conference held in Kolkata, Mamata had said that the party will decide on its vice presidential choice later.
18:14 Dhoni: All set for Lanka, know conditions well :
Team India skipper MS Dhoni says the boys are all set for the Sri Lanka tour. The first ODI will be played on Saturday. Dhoni says that as professionals the team is supposed to be ready. We want to begin the season well. We know the conditions well and want to start well.We are looking to do well," he said.
The Indian squad will leave for Colombo tomorrow. The tour comprises five ODIs and a one-off Twenty20 match. The first ODI will be played in the southern port town of Hambantota on July 21. The Indian team will be without the services of batting icon Sachin Tendulkar, who opted out of the tour for personal reasons.
17:58 Gaddafi's body used by rebels as ventriloquist's doll:
A gruesome new video which appears to show Muammar Gaddafi's dead body being abused by rebels has surfaced online.In the shocking clip, which was posted to YouTube on Monday, high-spirited demonstrators apparently use the Libyan dictator's corpse as a ventriloquist's doll.Read
more on the Daily Mail
17:54 China's asphalt powerplay in Pakistan:
China is shelling out massive amounts of money and manpower to improve Pakistan's Karakoram Highway, the highest motorway in the world. The supposed gift to its neighbor is a perfect example of China's economic strategy of taking on short-term expenses for the sake of long-term benefits.
Read the full story here.
17:44 #43. Tibetan monk sets himself on fire :
In other news, a teenage Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire in southwest China today, the exiled Tibetan government said, the latest in a series of self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
The 18-year old monk, identified as Lobsang Lozin, set himself alight in Bharkham county in Sichuan province as he marched towards a government office, the India-based Central Tibetan Administration said in a statement.
The monk died on the spot, the statement said. Local government and police in Bharkham, known as Maerkang in Chinese, could not immediately confirm the suicide. At least 42 people have set themselves on fire in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China in recent months, in protest at repressive government policies, according to activists.
17:29 How Congress used Mayawati to checkmate Mamata:
Mamata Banerjee changed her stand on the presidential election because the Congress and Pranab Mukheree, at different levels, worked hard to make her understand that the 'Vote for Pranab' is a win-win situation, reports Sheela Bhatt.
17:27 Pranab was 'never hurt' about Mamata's earlier stance:
This is what Pranab Mukherjee had said in a statement in June when Mamata had decided not to support his candidature. "No, I am not hurt. I don't have any bitterness, because every political party has its own approach to a particular problem. She is, frankly speaking, entitled to hold on to her views'.
17:11 Mamata: I hope Pranab Mukherjee becomes the President, he remains hale and hearty and does good for this nation and its people.
Meanwhile, PA Sangma is getting ready to eat humble pie.
Pranab Mukherjee reacting to Mamata Banerjee's announcement says he welcomes her decision.
17:02 Mamata: Prez polls dividing UPA, NDA, Left:
Mamata categorically states that the party is not supporting Pranab as an individual, but that it was a political decision.
The normally staid run-up to the Presidential polls has been nothing short of a cliff-hanger.
Mamata admits that she "hasn't spoken to Pranab-da in the last eight months." She also said that while the party's decision has been conveyed to the PM, the PM had asked her to support Pranab Mukherjee's candidature.
She says the Prez polls have ended up dividing the UPA, NDA and the Left
16:52 Mamata: Did not want to waste votes:
The TMC boss had said yesterday that the final decision on her party's stand on Presidential election would be taken three days before the polling date on July 19 -- yesterday. Mamata had asked all her party MPs, MLAs to be present in Kolkata for the Presidential election on July 19.
Mamata says supporting Pranab Mukherjee is a painful decision, but says the TMC has no option, since coalition politics has forced her hand.
She says she wanted APJ Kalam to contest, but he did not get the support of all the parties. The PM has also been informed of the decision to support Pranab, says Mamata.
Ms Banerjee has single-handedly ensured that the Prez polls have been getting all the TRPs.
16:44 Mamata backs Pranab for President :
Just in: In a complete U-turn (and that's putting it mildly) Mamata Banerjee now says she will support Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the post of President of India. She says she has no option but to support him as she did not want to waste votes.
16:26 Guwahati assault: NCW submits report, praises media:
The National Commission for Women (NCW) team which visited Guwahati to probe the molestation of a 17-year-old girl has submitted its report today. Expressing deep concern over the "shameful' act of molestation of a teenager in Guwahati openly, NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma has said the report had been submitted ti the ministry. She also thanked the media for highlighting the case.
16:15 Jaya wants 'detailed probe' in fisherman's death:
In other news... Tamil Nadu chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with the US and UAE the shooting and death of a Tamil Nadu fisherman by personnel onboard a US ship in Dubai seas and seek a detailed probe.
In a letter to Singh, she said Indian embassy officials may be asked to render all necessary medical and other assistance to the three injured. Reminding Singh of Centre's efforts to get compensation to the families of two fishermen killed by Italian cargo vessel Enrica Lexie off Kollam in Kerala in February this year, she said efforts should be made to ensure compensation was paid to the families of the deceased and injured fishermen.
"I request you to kindly take up this matter with the Governments of the United States and Dubai, to cause a detailed inquiry into the incident. I also request you to ensure that due compensation is paid to the families of the deceased and injured fishermen," she said.
"As the dead and injured fishermen are innocent fishermen who were conducting fishing in the sea only for their livelihood, please ensure that justice is rendered," she said. The Chief Minister also announced a relief of Rs five lakh to the kin of the deceased Sekar and Rs 50,000 each to the three injured.
16:10 Please God, please make it stop:
In the wake of the Guwahati groping horror, the first-person account of a journalist being groped and stripped naked at Tahrir Square during the people's revolution in Egypt last year. The story has been told before, but could with a repeat. Read
15:57 Hijab ban splits Karnataka college :
Over 100 students of Sri Ramakunjeshwara First Grade College in coastal Karnataka have boycotted classes for the past one week. The reason - the students are protesting a blanket ban imposed by the college management on hijab worn by Muslim girls. Read more
15:54 Laila Khan's father wants CBI probe, moves HC :
Alleging that Maharashtra Police did not promptly probe the Laila Khan case after the Bollywood starlet's sudden disappearance with her family, her father Nadir Shah Patel today moved the Bombay High Court seeking transfer of the case from crime branch to CBI.
The city's crime branch had last Tuesday claimed to have cracked the mystery behind the family's disappearance last year with the recovery of six skeletons believed to be those of Laila, her mother Shelina, three siblings and a relative at the family farmhouse in Igatpuri.
The family was allegedly done to death by Laila's step father and third husband of her mother Pervez Tak, a small-time contractor from Jammu and Kashmir. The murder came to light following Tak's arrest by J-K Police and his sustained questioning.
In his petition, Patel has alleged the crime branch and local police in Maharashtra had not properly investigated the case for a year despite a missing persons complaint by him. According to Patel, he had approached Oshiwara police last year to file a missing complaint but till the arrest of Tak no probe was initiated by the police.
15:49 Porn and prejudice: Classics get raunchy:
Raunchy novel trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey has perked up the sex lives of around 20million people worldwide.And author EL James' work has been such a literary sensation that publisher Total E-Bound have decided to give the classics a racy 50 Shades-style makeover. Read
15:40 Why Rajasthan farmers are full of beans:
A hard little bean has helped score "a rare victory for the littlest of the little guys in global trade," Gardiner Harris wrote in The New York Times from Lordi, India.
An increase in guar prices "is helping to transform this part of the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India, one of the world's poorest places,' he wrote. "Tractor sales are soaring, land prices are increasing and weddings have grown even more colorful."Read
15:34 No house for singletons in Bangalore:
A story that finds resonance across India.
Ever since she returned to Bangalore five weeks ago, Kavita Nehemiah, 26, has been on a frantic apartment hunt. Her days and weekends are consumed by it. She has enlisted the help of a horde of realtors, counting 22 of them on her cell phone contacts list. She has seen so many places that she has lost count.Read
15:30 Moral policing, Indias ugly new reality TV:
This time it's the molestation of a girl by a mob in Guwahati. But it could have been Mangalore, whhttp://commentary.rediff.com/commentry/add?cat=newsere girls in a pub were assaulted in 2009, or Bengaluru, wherewomen were attacked on the streets for wearing "Western clothes,' or Kolkata, or Delhi, or Mumbai or Gurgaon, all of which have seen similar incidents.
It could have been anywhere in India. Such events, and the cycle of virtual outrage and amnesia that follow, are a familiar part of India's recent history.On the NYT blogs.
15:26 Did Digvijaya offer to quit as UP in-charge?:
The other story from Delhi is that AICC media cell chief Janardhan Dwivedi is upset with TV channels for reporting that Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh as has been asked to step down as the person in-charge of Uttar Pradesh. This story was apparently fed by a Union Minister, who is in possession of a document by Digvijaya offering to step down.
15:20 Aamir, SRK, Salman to contest LS polls? :
The buzz from New Delhi is that Bollywood's big three -- Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan may contest the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
This comes after Aamir met the prime minister yesterday, though the official word on that meeting is the issue of human scavenging, which the actor wants to put an end to.
The buzz is that the three Khans will contest as Independents with the support of the Congress.
And as for the Lok Sabha constituencies -- Aamir will contest from Gujarat, while the other two may go with Bihar or Maharashtra.
Remember, all the three mega stars at different points have stated they were performers and were not interested in politics.
14:52 Khurshid, Anna held secret meet on June 23 :
CNN IBN reports that a meeting between Union law and justice minister Salman Khurshid and anti-graft activist Anna Hazare had taken place in Nashik on June 23. A Shiv Sena MP had orchestrated the meeting. In fact, at the press conference today, Anna did not deny the meeting. Like we said, the meeting was secret and the agenda has not yet been revealed.
14:46 Autopsy on slain Indian fisherman soon :
The autopsy on the Indian fisherman killed by the US Navy will be conducted soon. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has sought a report on the incident from Indian Ambassador to Dubai M K Lokesh apart from asking the government there to investigate the case, official sources said in New Delhi.
An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday when a security team on board a US Navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai.
The fishing boat had four Indians and two Emirate nationals on board when the incident took place in Jabel Ali, a frequent docking point for American naval vessels about 30 miles southwest of Dubai, according to an UAE official.
14:43 Turmeric helps in joint pain: Report:
The foreign journalist discovers turmeric and waxes eloquent on how a "bright-yellow spice best known as an ingredient in curry, is gaining scientific interest as a natural alternative to arthritis medications."Read
the report on the Wall Street Journal.
14:35 In fact, TMC boss Mamata Banerjee had said yesterday that the final decision on her party's stand on Presidential election would be taken three days before the polling date on July 19 -- yesterday. But there has been no statement from the party as yet. Mamata had asked all her party MPs, MLAs to be present in Kolkata for the Presidential election on July 19.
14:33 Trinamool will abstain from Prez, Vice-Prez polls :
Just in: The Trinamool Congress has decided to abstain in voting from the Presidential and vice-presidential polls. The TMC, which is UPA's most problematic has not supported Pranab Mukherjee's candidature for the presidential polls.
14:28 Right contest, wrong reason:
The editorial on the Hindu on the Presidential elections.
After having denied him the chance to be President in 2012, the United Progressive Alliance did the next best thing in offering Hamid Ansari another term as Vice-President. With the support of the Left parties, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, the UPA holds enough votes in both Houses of Parliament to ensure a smooth sailing for the soft-spoken and erudite scholar-diplomat in the election for Vice-President.Read
14:24 Trinamool forgot me for 8 years: Krishna Bose:
Update on the prez/vice-prez elections...
Krishna Bose, the former Trinamool MP whose name Mamata Banerjee had proposed for Vice-President, today said her party had forgotten her for eight years, echoing a charge the state Congress had posted on Facebook earlier in the day.
"There is no denying that Trinamool had forgotten me for all these eight years, because Trinamool did not think about me as the party's nominee for the Rajya Sabha polls in 2005, 2006, 2011 and even in 2012. They chose others instead of me," Bose said over the phone.
"But I must thank Mamata for remembering me this time by proposing my candidature for one of the top posts in the country,' she added.Read
more on the Telegraph.
14:19 Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord dies:
Jon Lord, former band member of British hard-rock band Deep Purple and the co-writer of legendary songs like 'Smoke On The Water', has died. He was 71.
The keyboard player died at the London Clinic on Monday after suffering a fatal pulmonary embolism. The musician was "surrounded by his loving family" at the time of his death, his official website said.
Lord had announced last year that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer and would be taking a break from performing "while getting the treatment and cure." "I shall of course be continuing to write music -- in my world it just has to be part of the therapy -- and I fully expect to be back in good shape next year," he wrote in August 2011.
14:17 A fire breaks out at a 42-storey building in the Turkish city of Istanbul - people are feared to be trapped inside. Details awaited.
14:12 MEA response to the US navy firing :
In response to a question on the incident involving a US Naval Vessel the Official Spokesperson said:"The U.S. Government has officially confirmed that a U.S. Navy vessel fired shots at a fishing vessel near the port of Jebel Ali, Dubai at about 3.00 pm UAE local time on 16 July 2012.
According to UAE officials, one Indian fisherman was killed in the firing incident and three other Indians were injured. We are deeply saddened by the loss of life of the Indian fisherman and the injuries sustained by the others. Our thoughts are with their families.
Our Embassy in Washington D.C. has been in touch with the United States Government since midnight IST yesterday. Our Embassy in Abu Dhabi is working with local authorities to carry out full investigation into the circumstances leading to this unfortunate and tragic incident. The Acting Consul General is in Jebel Ali to provide all necessary assistance.
The U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell telephoned Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai this morning to convey her regret for the loss of life and assured that the U.S. Government would conduct full investigation. We will stay in regular touch with U.S and UAE authorities to ascertain full facts and take appropriate further action in the matter'.
13:51 The where and when of watching the Olympics:
Indian sports enthusiasts should tune in to ESPN in order to catch their favourite atheletes live in action during the London OlympEics. vents like shooting, boxing, archery, tennis and wrestling where Indians have a chance of winning a medal would be aired live. Even, the country's second most popular and widely followed sport hockey will be given importance.
The Olympics begin on July 27 and end on August 12.
Meanwhile, STAR Sports will focus its coverage more on top international athletes and their respective events. The live broadcast of Olympics will be on 3 networks in India - ESPN, STAR Sports and ESPN HD.
Daily live coverage on ESPN will begin at 12:30 pm IST and continue uninterrupted until 4:30 am IST the following morning. STAR Sports will feature LIVE daily coverage from 1.30 pm local time through until the following morning.
13:42 Envoy: Indians injured in US navy firing safe:
The Indian envoy to the UAE says the three Indian fishermen injured in the attack by the US Navy are out danger, while the body of the fishermen who has been killed will be sent back to India.
An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday when a security team onboard a US Navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai. The fishing boat had four Indians and two Emirate nationals on board when the incident took place in Jabel Ali, a frequent docking point for American naval vessels about 30 miles southwest of Dubai, according to an UAE official.
Meanwhile, the US embassy in New Delhi issued a very brief statement maintaining that firing took place after "the vessel disregarded non-lethal warnings and rapidly approached the US ship."
13:22 Sunita Williams reaches ISS:
Record-setting Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams along with two other cosmonauts today successfully docked their Soyuz spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS) for a four-month long stay during which they will conduct over 30 scientific missions.
The 46-year-old NASA astronaut Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer Akihiko Hoshide arrived at the ISS after two days in orbit. "Everything is perfect," Malenchenko radioed Russia's Mission Control Center in Korolev after docking with the space station.
The space mission will include two space walks.
13:08 Guwahati assault: Editor quits, thanks cameraman:
News Live editor Atanu Bhuyan has quit, as he promised, at 1 pm. Addressing a press conference, Bhuyan said the channel had done nothing wrong. Bhuyan quit for airing the telecast of the molestation of a teen outside a pub in Guwahati.
A total of 11 people have been arrested in the case. He said the accused were arrested only after the they channel reported the case and thanked the cameraman.
The state government has told the home ministry that police was suspecting that TV journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog might have orchestrated the molestation of the girl by instigating the mob as the prime accused Amar Jyoti Kalita, who is absconding, was reported to be his friend.
13:01 Pak: 26/11 panel's report illegal :
In a setback to the prosecution of seven suspects charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, a Pakistani court today ruled that all findings of a judicial commission that visited India were illegal and could not be made part of the evidence against the accused.
Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman, the judge of the Rawalpindi- based anti-terrorism court no. 1, said in an order that all the proceedings and the report of the Pakistani judicial commission that visited Mumbai in March were "illegal."
"The judge ruled that the commission's report is illegal and could not be made part of the records for the case," said Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the seven accused.
"The court has the right to examine whether the working and report of a commission was duly executed and in this case it ruled that the report was not duly executed. The report will not be read in evidence," Ahmed told PTI.
The lawyers defending the accused had opposed the report of the Pakistani commission, saying it had "no legal value" as the panel was not allowed to cross-examine witnesses during the visit to Mumbai.
The eight-member commission, which included prosecutors and defence lawyers, visited Mumbai and interviewed a judge, a senior police officer and two doctors who conducted the autopsies of the terrorists involved in the attacks and their victims.
12:53 Update on the Digvijaya Singh story. The Congress general secretary has been relieved as in-charge of UP till the Presidential polls are over. The polls are on Thursday, while counting is on Sunday.
12:50 Army paper reveals terrorist safe havens in Afghanistan:
Ironical story on Pakistan's International News on how the Pakistan military has charged the US-led ISAF and Afghan security forces for providing sanctuaries to anti-Pakistan Taliban and terrorists across the border in Afghanistan. Read
The editorial on the Washington Post today on how deeper relations between the US and Pakistan are not possible in the foreseeable future. Read
12:46 Headlines Today reports that Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh has been relieved of the charge of UP, but he denies it.
12:40 Cong MPs have a date with Sonia today:
Our Delhi sources tell us that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will meet Tamil Nadu Congress MPs of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha at 5 pm today ahead of the Presidential election on Thursday. The next meeting is at 5.30 pm with MPs from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. Sonia is also hosting a lunch for Congress MPs in Delhi on Wednesday.
12:33 'Assam CM must apologise for revealing victim's identity':
Communist Party of India Marxist's senior leader Brinda Karat has blasted Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gagoi after the CM's office revealed the identity of the young girl who was molested on the streets of Guwahati last week. Read
the report on Rediff.com
by Onkar Singh
12:22 Anna fast on July 25, Ramdev fast on August 9:
This is what happened at the joint presser with Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev a while ago.
Hazare and Ramdev said they will support each other in the fight against corruption.
Team Anna is launching an indefinite protest from July 25 in Jantar Mantar while Ramdev's protest starts from August 9 in Ramlila Maidan.
"Ramdev is fighting to bring back blackmoney. We are demanding a strong Lokpal to fight corruption. But the government has no intention to do so. They do not have the will power. "Why efforts are not being taken to bring blackmoney stashed abroad? There may be people in government who have hidden blackmoney. This may be the reason. What is preventing them from taking action?" Hazare said.
12:10 Just in: A Pakistan anti-terror court conducting the trial of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks says the commission's report is illegal. Details awaited.
11:58 Pinki Pramanik was framed: Ex-partner:
Just in: Former athlete Pinki Pramanik's ex-partner submitted tapes to the police yesterday of what she claimed were conversations between her and broker Avtar Singh to "prove" her allegation that she had brought rape charges against the Asian Games gold medallist at his instigation, reports the Times of India.
The woman alleged Singh wanted to exploit the rift in her relationship with Pinki and used her as a cog in a "blackmail plot" as a land dispute with the former athlete turned bitter.
She said she had recorded the conversations to protect herself as she didn't trust Singh and was well aware of his flip-flops.
"Singh would often drop in at our house in Teghoria. He knew there was a problem between me and Pinki and took this opportunity to turn me against her. In May, he instructed me to take a nude video of Pinki and circulate it," the woman told TOI after submitting the tapes at Baguiati police station.
"Singh told me only the video can prove to the world Pinki is a male. He said he would hand over the video to the sports ministry, the railways and other concerned people," she added.
11:52 MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweets: Ambassador called Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai early this morning to convey regret for the loss of life in tragic incident.
11:44 US 'offers condolences' for fishmerman's death:
The US embassy releases a statement on the killing of the Indian fishermen by the US Navy. The Embassy of the United States of America would like to convey its condolences to the families of the crew of a small motor vessel, which came under fire from the USNS Rappahannock on July 16, after the vessel disregarded non-lethal warnings and rapidly approached the U.S.ship. We wish to inform you that the incident is under investigation.
11:39 Teachers: Students served us water laced with urine:
Teachers of a state-run high school at Tharkheda in Madhya Pradesh's Shivpuri district have alleged that three students served them urine-laced water.
Shakir Ali, the principal, alleged in a complaint to the police that two Class IX students and a Class VII mixed urine in their drinking water on Saturday. One of the students, Ali claimed, admitted to the act when teachers who drank the water complained of foul smell.Read
the report on the TOI.
Nothing wrong with drinking urine, says Swami Agnivesh
11:33 Go to bed early: Cops safety guide from Gurgaon to Guwahati:
The Park Street rape case happened after 2 am in Kolkata. The solution was obvious to the powers that be -- no drinks after 11:30 and turn off the music by midnight.
After the Gurgaon rape case, the city bosses said women should not work after 8 pm.
And malls should turn off the electricity if a pub stays open after hours.So it's not surprise that in the wake of the Guwahati molestation, we have reports that police want bars to shut by 10.More
11:27 Russian spacecraft docks with ISS, Sunita Williams on board:
In other news, record-setting Indian-American cosmonaut Sunita Williams along with two other astronauts today docked their Russian spacecraft at the International Space Station for a four-month stay.
The NASA astronaut Williams (46), Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer Akihiko Hoshide arrived at the ISS after two days in orbit.
The trio docked its Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft to the Rassvet module at around 10:21 IST, NASA said in a statement. The crew took off to the ISS successfully from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 15 for a four-month long mission to the space station This is the second space mission for Sunita Williams. She also holds the record of the longest spaceflight -- 195 days -- for woman space travellers.
11:25 Anna-Ramdev anti-graft fast from August 9:
Social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev are holding a joint press conference to announce a resumption of their anti-graft movement from August 9.
11:21 Prime accused is TV journalist's friend:
The Assam police will soon question a journalist and a camera person of the Guwahati-based news channel that had video-graphed the molestation of the girl, reports Hindustan Times.
This was conveyed to the Centre by Assam government which also promised a complete overhaul of Guwahati city police, receiving flak for alleged delay in taking prompt action to stop crime and in arresting culprits.
Sources said the state government has told the home ministry that police was suspecting that TV journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog might have orchestrated the molestation of the girl by instigating the mob as the prime accused Amar Jyoti Kalita, who is absconding, was reported to be his friend.
Police are likely to ask Neog and the camera person about their presence at the spot and what they did to stop the attack on the girl.
11:16 Krishna asks for immediate probe in US navy killing :
Update on the firing on the killing of an Indian fishermen by the US navy. External Affairs minister SM Krishna has asked for details of the incident and has directed Indian officials in UAE to look in the matter with utmost urgency.
Meanwhile, US has released a statement on the tragic incident saying that it had issued several warnings to the boat carrying the Indians before firing at them.
As per the statement their warning were not heeded. An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday when a security team on board a US Navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai, a United Arab Emirates official said.
11:01 In fact, Atanu Bhuyan tweeted that he would "resign from News Live at 1 pm".
10:59 News Live, the Guwahati-based TV channel which had aired visuals of the minor being molested. The editor-in-chief of the channel Atanu Bhuyan is expected to quit this afternoon.
The reporter was accused by Team Anna member and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) general secretary Akhil Gogoi of instigating the mob to molest the girl and thereafter resigned from his primary membership of the Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA).
The reporter has also tendered his resignation to the news channel he worked for following the accusation and said that he was ready to face any investigation.
Five more people have been arrested in connection with the molestation of a teenager outside a pub in Guwahati.
This takes the total number of arrests so far to 11. However, the main suspect, Amar Jyoti Kalita, spotted in a red jersey in the video of the incident, is still absconding.Police sources had said that Amar Jyoti Kalita might have fld to Odisha, and a search was on in Odisha.
The latest arrest came hours after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's 48-hour deadline to nab the culprits ended.
10:40 Yahoo snaps up Google big fish:
Yahoo Inc picked Google Inc's Marissa Mayer to become its new CEO, turning to an engineer with established Silicon Valley credentials to turn around the struggling former Internet powerhouse.
Mayer, 37, edged out front-runner and acting Chief Executive Ross Levinsohn to become Yahoo's third CEO in a year. She hopes to stem losses to Google and Facebook Inc - which her high-profile predecessors failed to do.
Her hiring signaled the Internet company is likely to renew its focus on Web technology and products rather than beefing up online content.
Mayer, Google's 20th employee and first female engineer, has led a number of its businesses, and was credited for envisioning the clean, simple Google search interface still in use today, a major selling point for Web surfers.Click here to read further...
10:37 If it doesn't rain soon, Maharashtra may declare a drought:
The Maharashtra government seems ready to declare drought following scarce rainfall across the state so far.
In a report that appeared in DNA daily on Tuesday, a top government source has been quoted as saying that there is no doubt that there will be drought this year.
He said that the state government was keen to declare a drought as soon as possible, but was waiting for a declaration from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) before making an official statement.
"The IMD said it expects heavy rain over the next 10 days which might make up for the deficiency. We have to wait till then," the source said.
10:33 Industries of 21st century won't go to China, India: Obama:
US President Barack Obama will not concede industries of the 21st century to China, India or Europe, a top presidential aide has said as he defended the administration's loan guarantee programme.
"This President will not concede the industries of the 21st century to China, India, Europe and elsewhere," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, told media persons travelling with Obama to Ohio.
Opponents had been attacking Obama, highlighting reports of top donors landing plum administration posts and securing government aid. They cite at the top of that list the Department of Energy loan guarantees that went to alternative energy companies.
Carney said the investments made in the Recovery Act have already helped renewable energy production double in the United States.
"They have helped created tens of thousands of jobs in the United States. They have helped build a foundation for competition in vital industries in the 21st century, for competition that will allow for the creation of American jobs in the United States," he said.
"The alternative is to cede those industries to other countries, because the 21st century will be very much focused on the development of clean energy technologies and the utilization of the clean energy technologies," he argued.
10:31 Shooting ace Bindra, archers, lifters enter Olympic Village:
Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was the first Indian shooter to enter the London Olympic Games Village along with the 10-member archery squad and a four-member weight lifting squad.
The archers and the lifters enterered the Games Village first while Bindra joined them a little later, on Monday evening.
"They have settled down and are looking forward to carry out their workouts at the training venues," Brigadier P K Muralidharan Raja, Deputy Chef de Mission of the Indian Contingent, said.
The sprawling Games Village consists of 2,818 townhouses and apartments which can accommodate 15,000 residents.
The Indian Contingent of 81 athletes and 51 officials have been provided accommodation in the Seaside Building S1, named as Titan.
10:02 Rupee up 43 paise against Dollar; trading at 54.88:
The rupee gained 43 paise to trade at 54.88 against the US dollar in early trade on Tuesday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange as the American currency weakened against euro and other currencies overseas.
Dollar selling by exporters and banks, amid a higher opening in the domestic equity market also supported the rupee, dealers said.
Euro rose against the US dollar overseas after the International Monetary Fund said it was releasing 1.48 billion euros ($1.82 billion) in new funds to troubled Portugal.
The rupee on Monday lost 16 paise to close at 55.31 against the American currency tracking a weak stock market amid fresh demand of the American currency from importers.
10:00 Sensex opens on bright note; up 130 points:
Snapping its four-session losing streak, the BSE benchmark Sensex recovered by over 130 points in early trade on Tuesday on fresh buying by funds and retail investors amid a firming trend at Asian markets.
The 30-share barometer, which has lost 515 points in the last four straight sessions, rose by 130.62 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 17,233.93.
All sectoral indices, led by consumer durables and capital goods, were trading in the positive zone with gains up to 0.77 per cent.
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty was up 37.70 points, or 0.73 per cent, at 5,234.95.
Brokers said fresh round of buying by funds and retail following a firming trend on Asian bourses on hopes of a new round of quantitative easing in the US as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is to appear before Congress later on Tuesday, influenced the trading sentiments here.
09:54 Finding captain fanstastic:
Humans as a species have a habit of measuring everything. Right from human emotions to happiness and influence, we have devised ways to measure anything. Sorry this isnt about Klout or klouchebag but about ranking cricket captains across decades or eras and coming with a top 10 list. Can we do that?
Looks like we can but if you start now you will be the second person to do it. Satyam Mukherjee of Northwestern University has used Google Pagerank algorithm to rank cricket captains from 1877 to 2010. And what did the algorithm spit out?Click here to read
09:53 Behind the monsoon tragedy in Assam:
India's annual monsoon has claimed 109 lives since rains started in June and left at least 400,000 people homeless in Assam, in a tragedy experts say was made worse by corruption and poor management of the Brahmaputra River.
09:43 In New Delhi, ONE tap serves 100,000 people:
It is a ticking timebomb hidden on the chaotic streets of New Delhi. Despite Indias booming economy, millions of people are still battling for access to clean water.
The situation is so desperate that many people in this teeming neighbourhood are falling sick. Others have set up illegal taps in a bid to cash in.
09:04 9-year-old killed in celebratory firing in UP:
A nine-year-old boy was killed in a celebratory firing in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, allegedly by the supporter of a newly elected civic body chairman.
The police say the shooter has been arrested and a double barrel gun has been recovered from him.
Six policemen have also been suspended.
This came even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had warned people against celebratory firing.
09:01 Elated Pakistan welcomes India's cricket invite:
The Pakistan Cricket Board has swiftly welcomed the first proposed cricket series with India in five years, saying millions of fans would be delighted.
"The decision is great and we welcome it. It seems that millions of cricket fans have their wishes fulfilled," PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf told reporters in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore.
"We have received a letter with the BCCI invitation for the series in which they have confirmed the series, and the venues and other things will be decided later," said Ashraf.
India's cricket chiefs said they had invited Pakistan for a tour later this year, which would be the first in five years if approved by their governments.
The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) proposed the series, likely to be three one-day internationals, in December-January.
04:24 Russia blocks UN Council statement on Syria:
Russia today blocked a proposed UN Security Council statement on mass killings in the Syrian village of Treimsa, diplomats said amid worsening deadlock over international action on the conflict. Russian envoys opposed the statement saying it was not clear what had happened, council diplomats told AFP on condition of anonymity.
A draft statement had been proposed saying that the attack on the village on Thursday was a Syrian government "violation" of its commitments to UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan not to use heavy weapons. But Russia put a hold on its release. Dozens of people were killed in Treimsa by President Bashar al-Assad's troops and pro-government militias, according to Syrian activists.
The government has denied involvement. Russia has called for Major General Robert Mood, the head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to brief the council on the killings. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said UNSMIS was still trying to check the facts of what happened in Treimsa, but added that it was "quite apparent that something terrible happened there and that heavy weaponry was used."
03:38 Yahoo! names Google's Mayer as new CEO:
Yahoo! named 37-year-old Marissa Mayer, a key Google team member, as its chief executive, making her among the most prominent women in technology and corporate America.
The appointment effective Tuesday "signals a renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue for one of the world's largest consumer Internet brands," Yahoo! said in a statement here yesterday.
The move comes as a surprise after many reports said interim CEO Ross Levinsohn had a lock on the top job at the struggling Internet pioneer. "I am honored and delighted to lead Yahoo!, one of the Internet's premier destinations for more than 700 million users," Mayer said in a statement.
"I look forward to working with the company's dedicated employees to bring innovative products, content, and personalized experiences to users and advertisers all around the world."
03:29 Deep Purple's Jon Lord dies at 71:
Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with heavy rock band Deep Purple, has died aged 71.
Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group's songs including Smoke On The Water. He also played with bands including Whitesnake.
He had been receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer since last August.He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family, a statement said. "Jon passes from Darkness to Light," it added.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.
03:27 US approves 'Truvada', pill to help prevent HIV:
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a milestone in the 30-year battle against the virus that causes AIDS.
The agency approved Gilead Sciences' pill Truvada as a preventive measure for people who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, such as those who have sex with HIV-infected partners.
Gilead Sciences Inc. has marketed Truvada since 2004 as a treatment for people who are infected with the virus.
01:52 Indian fisherman killed in US Navy ship firing:
An Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded today when a security team onboard a US Navy ship fired at their small boat off Dubai, a United Arab Emirates official said.
"The services concerned are now investigating this incident," UAE's official news agency WAM quoted Foreign Ministry official Tareq Amed al-Hidan as saying. ABC News quoting an unnamed UAE official said the fishing boat had four Indians and two Emirate nationals on board when the incident took place in Jabel Ali, a frequent docking point for American naval vessels about 30 miles southwest of Dubai.
In Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Karaiyur Fishermen Association President Malairajan said the dead fisherman has been identified as Sekar of Periyapattinam in Ramanathapuram district. The injured are Muniraj, Panpuvan and Murugan who also hail from Ramanathapuram, he said, adding Munira had been admitted to hospital with bullet injuries.
01:35 Polio drive postponed in Pak after Taliban threat :
Pakistani authorities today postponed a polio immunisation campaign in parts of the restive tribal belt due to a ban imposed by the Taliban, leaving over 3,50,000 children vulnerable to the crippling disease.
The government's efforts to eradicate polio suffered a setback last month when powerful Taliban factions in North and South Waziristan banned vaccination campaigns till the US halts drone strikes in the tribal belt. A new nationwide immunisation campaign began today. Officials said the campaign had been postponed in North and South Waziristan and the Bara area of Khyber Agency, which has witnessed fighting between militants and security forces in recent weeks.
A meeting of tribal elders of North Waziristan to discuss the anti-polio campaign was postponed due to a curfew imposed in the region today.
00:48 Killer says Anuj Bidve had the 'biggest head':
A Briton standing trial for the killing of Indian student Anuj Bidve told a clinical psychologist that he selected the victim from the group of Indian students "only because he had the biggest head".
Kiaran Stapleton, 21, has admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, but denies murder. Bidve's parents are attending the trial at the Manchester Crown Court. Dr Adrian West, who interviewed Stapleton, told the court today that he asked him why he had selected Bidve from the group of students on Boxing Day. West said: "He replied, 'only because he had the biggest head'".
He quoted Stapleton as saying: "I blew a hole in his head. There is nothing I can say, nothing whatsoever. They should have got a taxi. Things would have been different if they had got a taxi". When asked about his own situation, Stapleton said: "My life has just turned upside down within the click of a finger."
00:12 Author Stephen Covey dies after bicycle accident:
Stephen R. Covey, author of 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' as well as three other books that have all sold more than a million copies, has died. He was 79.
In a statement sent to employees of a Utah consulting firm Covey co-founded, his family said the writer and motivational speaker died at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, early Monday due to complications from a bicycle accident in April.
"In his final hours, he was surrounded by his loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted," the family said.Covey was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious in the bicycle accident on a steep road in the foothills of Provo, Utah, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City.