23:31 Mamata, Mithun charter flight to greet Pranab:
Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee met President-elect Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday night and congratulated him on being elected to the top post.
Banerjee, who will be attending Wednesday's function for the swearing-in of Mukherjee as the next President, drove to his Talkatora Road residence straight from the Delhi airport soon after her arrival from Kolkata.
Mamata reached Delhi by a chartered flight and she was accompanied to Mukherjee's house by actor Mithun Chakraborty.
Sources close to the West Bengal Chief Minister said Mukherjee thanked her during their interaction.
23:06 K'taka dumps plan to spend crores on rain prayers:
Facing flak over the move to invoke divine blessings for rains to help the state reeling under drought, Karnataka Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivas Poojari on Tuesday said that the expenditure for special pujas planned in over 34,000 temples would be met by collecting funds from devotees.
The special pujas to be undertaken at a cost of Rs 18.5 crore would be organized by funds collected by devotees. "The government is not giving any money to spend on special pujas," he told the legislative council.
Responding to the Leader of the Opposition S R Patil who raised the issue, Poojari said his direction to the temples to perform the pujas would bring more income to the temples.
He said several religious heads have appreciated his efforts but thinkers condemned him adding "it (the pujas) is a contribution from my ministry to address the issue of drought."
He asked the Congress members to support the move as had been done by their party leader R V Deshpande who he said had complimented him over the issue.
22:24 'Seven children among 77 dead in Syria':
Shelling in the southern Syrian town of Herak killed six children today, a human rights group said, taking the nationwide toll to 77 as helicopters strafed the country's second city Aleppo.
"At least seven civilians, including six children, were killed by regime forces shelling of the besieged town of Herak," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. A video distributed by the Britain-based watchdog showed the bodies of dead children, including a young girl in a pink and white dress, lying on a blood-smeared floor, the faces of some of them covered in blood.
"Herak has been under shelling for 10 days," an unidentified man says in the amateur video.
22:17 Assam violence claims 32 lives:
Ethnic violence today escalated in more areas of western Assam with 11 fresh casualties in clashes and police firing, forcing the Centre to rush 1,500 more paramilitary personnel to control the unrest that has claimed 32 lives so far.
A concerned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and asked him to do "everything possible" to control the violence while promising Centre's full cooperation.
"Four persons were killed in police firing this morning when they were indulging in violence in Rampur and Chaparkata areas of Kokrajhar," IGP, (BTAD), S N Singh told PTI. Seven more bodies were recovered in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts.
22:02 Colorado gun sales soar after mass shooting: Report :
Gun sales in Colorado have soared in the aftermath of the shooting tragedy in Aurora that claimed 12 lives and left 58 wounded, the Denver Post reported today.
Background checks carried out on customers as they buy guns were up 41 per cent in the wake of Friday's shooting at a packed cinema in the Colorado town, the newspaper reported. There was also a spike in people seeking training for a concealed carry permit, the report said.
Carrying a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner is legal with a permit in 49 of the 50 US states. Illinois is the only state without such a provision. "It's been insane," Jake Meyers, an employee at Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo in the town of Parker, told the newspaper, saying there were 15 to 20 people waiting outside the store when he arrived for work just hours after the shooting.
21:06 Raja constantly misled PM on 2G issue: CBI:
The CBI today told a Parliamentary panel that A Raja constantly misled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the 2G license case and also said it has so far found no criminality on part of Home Minister P Chidambaram on the issue.
Appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the 2G case, top CBI officials led by probe agency chief A P Singh today briefed the panel on the progress in the investigation.
The CBI is learnt to have told the panel that as per its investigations so far Raja, the then Telecom Minister, constantly misled the Prime Minister on the issue of allocation of 2G spectrum to telecom operators.
20:52 145 Maoist militia members surrender in AP:
Disillusioned with Maoist ideologies, 145 militia members today surrendered before police in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, police said.
The Maoists from thirty villages on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh surrendered at Bhadrachalam, district Superintendent of Police P Hari Kumar told PTI over phone.
20:24 Olympics: Extra staff to deal with Heathrow strike:
Britain has put extra staff on standby mode to prevent any chaos as a prominent labour union with considerable presence of immigration officials at airports has scheduled a strike tomorrow.
The military police, officials and retired immigration staff have been put on standby with the Public and Commercial Services union scheduling a 24-hour walkout tomorrow due to a row over jobs and pay. Members of the union include immigration officials posted at Heathrow and other airports.
18:45 Rail mantri wants protection for trains in Assam:
Even as Assam CM Tarun Gogoi said the situation in the state was still tense, Railway Minister Mukul Roy today sought deployment of adequate forces in the affected areas to ensure safety of passengers and trains.
Roy drew the attention of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Tarun Gogoi to the tense situation and requested assistance for safe and smooth movement of trains in the state.
"The Railway Minister spoke to Chidambaram and Gogoi and apprised them of the difficulties being faced by the Railways in ensuring safe and smooth movement of trains to and from Assam," said a close aide of Roy.
18:36 Sonia meets PM to resolve growing rift with NCP:
News coming in now -- UPA chief Sonia Gandhi meets the PM over the rift between the Congress and the NCP. Sharad Pawar's deputy, Praful Patel, had reiterated that there was no coordination within the Congress-led coalition at the centre. "The NCP has a vision but it finds no direction in the UPA and nothing is happening," said Patel. The NCP has also said it will boycott all government events till a resolution is found.
18:20 Anna: 1-day fast tomorrow, indefinite from Sunday:
Anna Hazare who is going on fast tomorrow, says he will give the government time till July 29 and depending on the response, will go on an indefinite fast. This means that it will be a one-day fast tomorrow, a break of four days and if the government does not toe its line (Lokpal Bill is brought into effect), an indefinite fast.
18:13 Dear Ms Subhasini Ali:
Former president APJ Kalam sends his condolences to the Subhasini Ali, the daughter of freedom fighter Capt Lakshmi Sahgal, who passed away yesterday at 97. See
Capt Sahgal was the Left candidate against Kalam during the presidential elections.
17:46 Assam: 25 killed, 50,000 homeless :
The Assam government has asked for additional companies of paramilitary forces from the Centre to contain the ethnic flare up that has so far claimed 25 lives besides rendering over 50,000 people from both Bodo and religious minority communities homeless. 500 villages have been affected.
Indefinite curfew continues in Kokrajhar while night curfew will continue in Dhubri and Chirang districts in the ethnic violence in Bodoland Territorial Areas District districts which has claimed 21 districts, the police said.
More than 50,000 people have taken shelter in 75 relief camps set up by the district authorities, most of them in worst-affected Kokrajhar district.
17:35 BJP: Assam govt has failed, PM should reply:
Addressing a press meet a while ago, BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, says the Assam government has failed to protect its people. She said the state government had failed to tackle communal issues, increasing the lawlessness in the state.
The BJP also demanded a statement from the PM on what is being done to contain the unrest in Assam. The PM is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam.
Security forces today shot dead four miscreants in Assam, taking the death toll in communal violence raging in two districts to 25. An indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders remain in force in Kokrajhar.
17:27 'Tell us in 24 hours why you haven't curbed Salwa Judum':
The Chhattisgarh government was today granted a day's time by the Supreme Court to respond to allegations of failing to comply with its directions to stop support to vigilante groups like Salwa Judum and arming tribals in the name of SPOs in the fight against Maoists.
Without issuing notice, a bench comprising justices S S Nijjar and H L Gokhale asked the state government to file an affidavit by tomorrow in response to a petition seeking contempt action against it for not complying with the apex court's July 5, 2011 judgement.
Advocate Atul Jha said Chhattisgarh government will spell out the steps taken by it in compliance with the judgement. The contempt petition was filed by sociologist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramachandra Guha, former bureaucrat E A S Sarma and others on whose PIL the court last year criticised the central and state governments for supporting and funding creation of Special Police Officers (SPOs) under various titles like 'Koya Commandos' and Salwa Judum, an armed civilian vigilante group.
17:15 BJP submits memorandum to PC on Amarnath pilgrim deaths:
A BJP delegation today met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and submitted a memorandum over increasing devotees -- death en-route to the Amarnath shrine.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, led the delegation to the Union Home Minister. BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier criticized the Jammu and Kashmir government over the deaths of pilgrims and said this has happened due to lack of proper facilities during the pilgrimage.
"The road condition was pathetic. There were very inadequate base camp facilities, hardly any medical facilities extended to the pilgrims. .... the substance of the whole thing is you have reduced the time, pilgrims are in a great rush to come and take the darshan, which used to happen in 90 days," said Sitharaman.
17:01 Muhammad Ali's family to be consulted over Olympics:
London 2012 organisers will consult with Muhammad Ali's family before finalising what role the former world and Olympic boxing champion will play in Friday's opening ceremony. Ali has Parkinson's and his health remains a concern. Read
16:55 Here's what we did, govt tells Anna a day before fast :
Ahead of the indefinite fast by Anna Hazare and his team, (Anna will fast as well), the government today highlighted the slew of measures taken by it over the last one year to tackle corruption which include ending the discretionary powers of ministers and time-bound decisions on prosecution requests.
The measures also include bringing about transparency in delivery of services besides the passage of Lokpal Bill and Protection of Whistle-blowers' Bill by the Lok Sabha.
16:44 Record foodgrain output impossible this year: Govt:
Gear up for rising food prices. The Agriculture Secretary says it is not possible to achieve last year's record food grain output this year due to deficient rainfall. The deficient rainfall in most part of the country could lead to the increased risks of lower kharif output and rise in prices of agriculture products, particularly in oilseeds and pulses, according to leading brokerage house Edelweiss Securities.
According to this Economic Times report, the monsoon, so far, has been much below par even as it has picked up marginally in July. Sowing in all key kharif crops is below normal, which could result in weak output, going forward, said Edelweiss in its report on the progress in monsoon and its impact on the economy.
16:38 Raj wants transperancy in toll, not ban :
Here's what Raj Thackeray said on the MNS agitation at toll nakas at Thane and Vashi today. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief asked the state government to bring transparency in toll collection at various nakas, and appealed to the people not to pay toll henceforth.
"Till the state government does not bring in transparency in the toll collection, nobody should pay at the toll plazas," Raj told reporters at his 'Krushna Kunj' residence in central Mumbai. However, the MNS chief asserted that he is not against toll.
"I am not against toll or payment of taxes, but people should get the services for which they pay," he said. Urging the government not to exert pressure on the people to pay toll, he said if the people stationed at the toll plazas force the commuters, his party workers would act accordingly.
16:21 India's elite marine commandos get a sexy makeover :
The Indian Navy's elite marine commandos, Marcos, have undergone a makeover. Members of a Marco stick - eight member quick reaction teams of the force - were seen in the new gear while on ship-protection duty aboard the guided stealth frigate INS Sahyadri during its commissioning last week in Mumbai.
Navy sources said the new look of the marine commandos was part of a project finalised some years ago, to upgrade the combat clothing of the special forces in order to bring them on a par with international standards.Read more
16:14 @thekiranbedi With Anna and team. Feels good. Arvind, Manish and Gopal are in great spirits to start the Fast from tom. Jai Hind!
16:11 Why is Anna going on an indefinite fast?:
Earlier, Hazare had announced that he will not sit on fast owing to health problems while his three Team Anna members will go on hunger strike to demand setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe corruption allegations levelled by them against Ministers, a fast track court to try cases against MPs and for bringing a strong Lokpal Bill.
The reversal of his decision seems to be part of a Team Anna strategy to step up pressure on the government and drum up support for the protest at Jantar Mantar, the dharna hot spot in the national capital.
15:44 Anna Hazare: I WILL also fast tomorrow :
Anti-graft leader Anna Hazare has just announced that he will also fast along with his team members tomorrow. Stepping up pressure ahead of the indefinite fast from Wednesday, Anna Hazare today issued a new threat of a 'jail bharo' agitation if the government does not concede to their demands in three-four days.
Hazare's video message came a day ahead of his Team's fast from Wednesday in Jantar Mantar demanding setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe corruption allegations levelled by them against Union ministers, a fast track court to try cases against MPs and bringing a strong Lokpal Bill.
Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai will sit on indefinite strike while Hazare will be not take part in the fast due to health reasons but be on dharna.
15:38 60,000 who watched opening ceremony sworn to secrecy:
It has become one of Britain's most closely guarded secrets.But now it is in the hands of 62,000 people lucky enough last night to watch a dress rehearsal of Danny Boyle's extravagant 27million Opening Ceremony that will spark London 2012 to life.Read more
15:35 Olympics were just the same 2,000 years ago :
There will be tears, tantrums and more than likely a tragedy or two. As we shall see from this week, the Olympic Games can be a nasty and brutal business.For on this platform, to which the eyes of the entire world will turn from Friday, athletic careers are made and broken. Read more
on the Daily Mail.
15:20 Fire in Civil Aviation Ministry; records safe:
A fire broke out today in the first floor of the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan here, which houses office of the Civil Aviation Ministry, but no one was injured and no files or records were damaged.
The fire broke out around 5 am in one of the unoccupied rooms in the B-Wing of the first floor, possibly due to a short-circuit, Ministry officials said. Immediately, fire brigade was informed which rushed to the spot and doused the blaze. "There were no injury or casualty and also all files and records are safe," the Ministry said in a statement. An enquiry has been ordered to look into the causes of the fire and also to suggest preventive measures, the official said.
Last month, five people have died, and 14 were injured, in the blaze that engulfed the Maharashtra secretariat, Mantralaya, in Mumbai. The fire destroyed 2,000 computers with 4.8 cr pages of government files missing.
15:13 No complaints against Maha CM, all MLAs happy: MPCC:
MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre refutes news reports that 60 MLAs from Maharashtra were rebelling against chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. He says he has received no complaint.
The MLAs had allegedly written to Sonia Gandhi and Thakre, saying Chavan was indecisive, unapproachable and accused him of not taking interest in party matters.
Thakre says no MLA has said they are unhappy.
14:55 Gopal Gandhi looks back at the first President's swearing-in:
A bumpy RAF plane from Calcutta brought to Delhi the first Indian to take the oaths of office in India's Government House, as Rashtrapati Bhavan was then called.
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Governor of West Bengal, had been pressed by Prime Minister Nehru and Deputy Prime Minister Patel to accept the appointment of Governor General of India, succeeding Lord Mountbatten. On April 11, 1948, Nehru wrote to Rajaji: "I do hope you will not disappoint us. We want you here to help us in many ways''Read
the full story on the Hindu.
14:46 Indian-origin doctor defies death :
An Indian-origin doctor, who came to the UK in 1966 and went on to excel in medical practice to win royal honours, has hit the headlines by defying death by being cured of cancer even though he was given few months to live.
Rami Seth, who studied Medicine in New Delhi, also held his own 'wake' to party and bid goodbye to his family and friends, only to survive after an Indian-origin doctor- colleague advised him to take an old cancer drug that only works in around one in five patients.
Doctors in Nottingham told Seth, 70, that he had few weeks to live when he was diagnosed with four tumours in his liver in 2005. He held the 'goodbye' party for friends and family the same year in Cytyside Cafe at Nottingham City Hospital.
But he started taking the old cancer drug called beta interferon after a chance conversation with colleague professor Poulam Patel. The drug shrank his tumour to the point where surgeons could remove it.
Seth said: "Professor Patel told me of this very old anti-cancer drug which only works in around one in five patients. I thought I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try." He was earlier diagnosed with cancer in his left kidney when he was 61 years old in June 2004.
14:41 The NCP says it will skip the President's dinner for ministers today...
14:29 Pratibha Patil taking 150 presidential gifts to Amravati:
Outgoing President Pratibha Patil is taking a piece of her tenure to share it with her old constituency. She plans to open a museum in Amravati, a town in Maharashtra's northeast, to display 150 gifts she had received from heads of state and others.
The museum will be maintained by the Patil family-run Vidya Bharati Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, which runs a chain of schools in Amravati, Jalgaon and Mumbai. The Amravati collector will head the museum's supervisory committee.More
on the Telegraph
14:22 Kalmadi's Olympics trip order reserved till tomorrow:
Just in: The Delhi High Court has reserved the order for tomorrow on a plea seeking to restrain sacked CWG Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi from attending the London Olympic Games.
Last Wednesday, the Delhi High Court had sought the reply of Suresh Kalmadi to a plea for stopping him from going to London for the 2012 Olympics and had asked him not to advance his slated July 26 departure for it.
14:18 'NCP absence at cabinet meet on Thu will indicate exit':
The Maharashtra NCP says that if the party breaks away from the UPA at the Centre, the state leadership will also follow suit. Yesterday, Sonia Gandhi had asked senior NCP leader Praful Patel to 'do something' to end the stand-off.
The NCP Working Committee met in New Delhi yesterday to discuss its options in the wake of party chief Sharad Pawar's communication to the Congress leadership last week expressing a desire to quit the government along with another Praful Patel on issues like better functioning of the coalition.
At the end of the hour-long deliberations, Patel said the discussions in the party would continue on issues like continuing in the government and a final decision would be taken "no later than" Wednesday.
However, the party has moved the day to Thursday and says it's absence at the cabinet meet will indicate its exit from the government.
13:52 PM to Assam CM: Do everything to control unrest :
PM Manmohan Singh has directed Assam CM Tarun Gogoi to do everything possible to control situation in Kokrajhar and Chirang.
Fresh violence today rocked the trouble-torn Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts in Assam where the Rajdhani Express was attacked by some persons even as the entire train services to and from the Northeast was hit.
Unidentified persons pelted stones and attacked the coaches of the Guwahati-bound Rajdhani Express at Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district damaging four coaches, though there was no casualty or injuries.
Indefinite curfew continues in Kokrajhar while night curfew will continue in Dhubri and Chirang districts in the ethnic violence in BTAD districts which has claimed 21 districts, the police said.
More than 50,000 people have taken shelter in 75 relief camps set up by the district authorities, most of them in worst-affected Kokrajhar district.
13:46 Don't pay toll on Mum-Pune Expressway today: MNS :
Just in: MNS workers have shut down toll plazas on the the Mumbai-Pune Expressway urging citizens not to pay toll. MNS party workers have been forcing vehicles to ply without paying the toll (Rs 165 for cars), today. The MNS has also begun agitations at the Thane and Vashi toll plazas.
The party has been agitating against toll taxes for a while, saying on the basis of a survey it had conducted, the cost of the project has been recovered a long time ago and there is no need for citizens to pay toll any more.
This is one agitation that should get complete support from citizens.
13:29 Pranab's son wants to contest from his seat:
Family rules in Indian politics. Congress MLA Abhijit Mukherjee, son of President-elect Pranab Mukherjee, today expressed his desire to contest from the Jangipur Lok Sabha constituency in Murshidabad district which was represented by his
"The date for bye-election from Jangipur has not been announced, but If he (Abhijit) contests from there, it will be an added advantage for us because Pranab Mukherjee has done a lot of development work for the constituency. We will win this seat if Abhijit contests," Congress MP and Murshidabad district Congress president Adhir Chowdhury said. Abhijit Mukherjee is now an MLA from Nalhati.
13:25 'Funds given for 2014 National Games unused so far':
In other news, a whopping Rs 82 crore sanctioned by the central government for setting up infrastructure for the 2014 National Games in Goa has been left unspent as the project is in a limbo, state Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar today said.
Tawadkar told the Assembly that an assistance of Rs 82 crore had been sanctioned by the Planning Commission for setting up infrastructure for the National Games.
12:57 Maha Cong MLAs rebel: CM Chavan unapproachable:
As per reports, over 60 MLAs mostly from the Vidarbha region, have written a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi and state unit chief Manikrao Thakre complaining about the style of functioning of the Chief Minister. The MLAs have criticised the CM as being indecisive and accused him of not taking into party's concerns.
This comes in the backdrop of the state Congress trying to normalise its relationship with its ally, the NCP.
12:52 Maha Cong MLAs complain: CM Chavan unapproachable:
More turmoil in Maharashtra, as Congress MLAs complain against CM Prithviraj Chavan saying he is unapproachable. In a letter to the MPCC chief, the MLAs say the CM is sitting on too many projects.
12:41 Akhilesh contradicts dad: Not against retail FDI :
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav addressing a FICCI meet in New Delhi today, contradicted his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and said the Samsajwadi Party would support foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail provided it benefits farmers and manufacturing sector in India.
"It is wrong to say that we are against FDI in retail. If FDI in retail comes, our only contention is that farmers should not be harmed," Akhilesh said in New Delhi.
Also on the dais was his wife and MLA Dimple Yadav, who smile on cue, but said nothing.
It may be recollected that the SP had recently written to Prime minister Manmohan Singh saying the government should reconsider its proposal of opening up the multi-brand retail sector to FDI.
12:25 'Rajesh Khanna did not care for anyone':
Everyone loved Rajesh Khanna the superstar, but very few actually knew him. Journalist Ali Peter John, a close friend of Rajesh Khanna, followed his career closely and kept in touch till the very end. He shares some interesting facts about the icon with Rediff.com's Patcy N. Read
In fact, Time magazine ran a small item under Milestones in its latest issue...
Dead: Two veteran Bollywood stars, action hero Dara Singh, 83, and romantic lead, Rajesh Khanna, 69, who between them starred i more than 300 films.
12:12 Police looked on for four hours as Maruti plant burned:
Update on the Manesar horror. A HT report today on how a mob of 600 men created havoc inside Maruti's Manesar plants for more than 40 minutes on Wednesday while a contingent of 50 armed policemen -- headed by an assistant commissioner-- looked on.
The police finally intervened, but only after HR executive Awanish Kumar Dev was thrashed and burned to death.Read
12:03 PMO sounds drought alert across India:
The Prime Minister's Office has sounded an alert over a deficient monsoon, directing ministries to help states facing drought-like situations by operationalizing contingency plans to distribute seeds, augment fodder and power and deal with drinking water shortages, reports the TOI. Rainfall is nearly below 40 percent in major agricultural states, the worst affected being Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
This is when millions of tons of foodgrain reserves -- a surplus so large that much of it lies rotting, will also help insulate India from the troubles facing other countries that have more fully embraced free trade.
11:58 SC: Why should tiger tourism be allowed in core areas?:
The Supreme Court hauled up Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra for not notifying the core areas and asked why tourism should be allowed in these areas when tigers are nearing extinction.
On April 4, the apex court had asked Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra to notify the zones buffer within three months.
Under the Act, buffer zones are the areas peripheral to the critical tiger habitats or core areas providing supplementary habitats for dispersing tigers and offering scope for co-existence of human activity.
11:47 SC ends tourism in core areas of tiger reserves:
The Supreme Court has ruled that there will be no tourism in core areas of tiger reserves. Conservationist Ajay Dubey in his PIL had demanded the removal commercial tourism activities out of core or critical tiger habitats in the tiger reserves.
The buffer zones constitute the fringe areas of tiger reserves up to a distance of 10 kms. It has been alleged that in violation of the conservation norms, authorities in various states had permitted large-scale construction of hotels, resorts and tourism projects, thereby gravely disturbing wildlife activities.
11:43 Exclusive: Pranab like you didn't know him before:
At 11 am tomorrow, Pranab Mukherjee takes oath as India's 13th president. Pradyut Guha, Mukherjee's personal assistant since the last eight years and one of his most loyal disciples of more than 30 years, tells Sheela Bhatt all you wanted to know about the man from Mirati. Read
11:34 UPA suffering from policy paralysis, diagnoses Jaya:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today charged the UPA government with suffering from "policy paralysis" and said it was "struggling so much with internal squabblings" that it could not even look into "livelihood issues" such as the Cauvery river water problem.
The AIADMK chief said her repeated pleas to the Centre and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding that the 2007 final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal be notified in the Central gazette had not been heeded to.
"I had written to the honourable Prime Minister on May 19 seeking to convene meeting of the Cauvery River Authority. The Centre has not taken any action. It looks like the Centre has no time to focus on people's issues as it is struggling with internal squabbles created by its (Congress) alliance parties," she said in a statement here.
11:24 Asiad hero-turned-daily wager wants to return to sports :
The Times of India story that is doing the rounds today -- how an Asiad silver medalist became a brick kiln worker.
Irony doesn't get any more cruel than this. Santhi Soundarajan won a silver medal in the 800m at the Doha Asian Games in 2006, then lost it after she failed a gender test.
Today, she works as a daily-wager in a brick kiln, slogging eight hours under a scorching sun to earn Rs 200 every day -- the wage paid to women labourers.
Santhi now says she wants to return to sports, but the Athletics Federation of India says it cannot giver her a job. The IOA has said it look into her case. Read
11:13 'Maruti not shifting from Haryana':
Another update on the Manesar story. Despite the latest violence which left one senior official dead and nearly 100 injured, public sector automobile giant Maruti has no plans to shift its base from Haryana, company chairman RC Bhargava on Monday assured Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
The assurance was given by Maruti chairman at a meeting with Hooda in New Delhi. Read
11:11 Olympics: Cramped up, archers yearn for CWG Village:
Update on the upcoming London Olympics... the dismal athletes accommodation at the Olympic Village.
India wanted to arrive as an economic and sporting powerhouse by hosting the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi in 2010.Whether the country achieved that is debatable. But what the CWG has done is raise accommodation standards so high that just meeting International Olympic Committeerelated storiesIndian national flag hoisted at Olympic Village (IOC) specifications at the London Olympic Games Village doesn't satisfy anymore. Maybe that is why the Indian archery team thinks its lodgings in London could have been better.Read
11:05 Production at Manesar to begin after SIT probe:
The Haryana government sprang into damage control mode to salvage the state's reputation as an industry-friendly destination amid mounting criticism of its handling of last week's violence at Maruti Suzuki, one of its most famous corporate residents that is staring at the prospect of hefty losses in production and profits.Read
more on the Economic Times.
11:00 What lies ahead for Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow:
At 11 am on July 25 President-elect Pranab Mukherjee will be ready and waiting at his Talkatora road residence having donned the new bandgala, which is being specially stitched for him.
A car from Rashtrapati Bhawan will arrive to take Pranabda on what will be a new journey for him. He would have travelled on that route hundreds of times in his long and distinguished political career, but this trip would be different as he would not be returning to his Talkatora Road residence where he has lived for decades.Read
10:52 Uncomprising Maruti may sack workers :
Taking a zero-tolerance policy against those involved in Wednesday's violence that killed the general manager (HR), Maruti Suzuki India may sack some of its workers as it is no mood to work out a compromise, according to reports.
According to reports, there is no scope to retain workers who were involved in the assault and violence at the Manesar plant last week. The company has decided to have a zero-tolerance policy against those involved in Wednesday's rampage and arson.Read
10:22 All set for Team Anna's Jantar Mantra fast:
Zee News reports: Social activist Anna Hazare would be arriving in Delhi on Tuesday to offer support to Team Anna members who are scheduled to go on indefinite fast against corruption from tomorrow at Jantar Mantar.
Arvind Kejriwal will be leading the agitation this time as Anna Hazare would not fast due to ill health. Other key members who will fast are Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai.
However, Anna will share the stage with the others who are fasting. As per reports, Baba Ramdev has also been invited.
Importantly, new President Pranab Mukherjee will be sworn-in tomorrow morning. Kejriwal has claimed that he will furnish proof of corruption against Mukherjee.
09:28 Shoot-at-sight orders issued in Kokrajhar:
Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued in Kokrajhar district of Assam following fresh incidents of arson and violence.
On Monday, the army conducted flag march and an indefinite curfew was also imposed even as the toll in the ethnic violence in interior areas of the district rose to 21.
Read more on Zee News
08:56 70 pc jump in profits for Chinese web giant Baidu:
BBC reports: China's largest internet search engine Baidu, has reported a 70 per cent jump in profits in the second quarter, amid continued growth in its advertising revenue.
The firm reported a net profit of 2.8bn yuan (about Rs 2,441 crore) in the three months to the end of June.
Its advertising revenue rose almost 60 per cent during the period to 5.5bn yuan.
Baidu has almost an 80 per cent share of Chinas online search market, making it an attractive option for advertisers.
08:30 'Syria to be held accountable for chemical weapons':
US President Barack Obama has warned Syria's Assad regime that it would be held "accountable" if it uses its stockpile of chemical weapons.
"Given the regime's stockpiles of chemical weapons, we will continue to make it clear to Assad and those around him that the world is watching, and that they will be held accountable by the international community and the United States, should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons," Obama said.
Addressing the 113th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nevada, Obama said that his administration is working for a transition so the Syrian people can have a better future, free of the Assad regime.
"We will continue to work with our friends and our allies and the Syrian opposition on behalf of the day when the Syrian people have a government that respects their basic rights to live in peace and freedom and dignity," he said.
03:26 Dark Knight assassin dazed in 1st hearing:
A former doctoral student accused of a deadly shooting rampage at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in Colorado on Tuesday appeared in court for the first time, but he didn't seem to be there at all.
Unshaven and appearing dazed, James Holmes sat virtually motionless, his brown hair dyed a shocking shade of orange. It was the world's first glimpse of the 24-year-old since Friday's shooting left 12 dead and 58 injured in one of the worst mass shootings in US history. Holmes didn't say a word.
Prosecutors said later they didn't know if Holmes was on medication. Authorities have said he is being held in isolation. His demeanor appeared to anger the relatives of some of the victims who attended the hearing and stared at him the entire time.
03:26 Peru cabinet resigns ahead of expected shake-up:
Peru's government ministers have offered their resignations to President Ollanta Humala, the health minister said -- a move that was expected as the leftist leader marks one year in office.
"All of the ministers have offered their resignations to President Humala," the health minister, Alberto Tejada, said after a cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Oscar Valdes. The move gives Humala room to reshuffle his cabinet.
Tejada would not say who might replace Valdes, saying only: "The president will decide who will continue to serve in the cabinet."
The new cabinet was expected to be sworn in at 2300 GMT on Monday, Tejada said.
03:26 35 killed in central Nigerian floods:
At least 35 people have been killed and 200 homes destroyed in a flood triggered by heavy rains in Nigeria's north central city of Jos, authorities said.
The flooding occurred in Gangarre and Rikkos areas of the city when Lamingo river that runs through the area overflowed following overnight rainfall.
Red Cross said they have recovered 35 bodies.
The National Emergency Management Agency said it was still searching for more bodies as many people have been declared missing.
"Two camps have been opened to provide temporary shelter for the affected persons in Gangare Primary School and Islamiyya Secondary school," NEMA Director of Relief and Rehabilitation, Edward Maigida said.