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'Sachin, not Bachchan as Maharashtra ambassador'

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June 05, 2012

23:37  Ramdev's suggestions prgamatic: Pawar:  
Welcoming Baba Ramdev's campaign against black money, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday night said that the yoga guru's suggestions to tackle the menace were "pragmatic".

Pawar's remarks came after an hour-long meeting with Ramdev in New Delhi during which the two discussed ways to unearth black money and enact laws that make stashing of cash impossible.

"Ramdev made suggestions like enacting such tax laws that do not make a person necessary to hide his wealth. Such wealth can be used for various development purposes," Pawar told media persons after meeting the yoga guru.

22:23  Naxals gun down Salwa Judum leader:  
Naxals on Tuesday shot dead a 50-year-old Salwa Judum leader outside his house at Gangapur village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, a senior police officer said.

The incident took place when Chika Mazi was taking a walk outside his house located near a crowded market when some armed ultras fired at him, killing Mazi on the spot, Additional Superintendent of Police BPS Rajbhanu told PTI.

The murder triggered panic among people who ran helter skelter after the gunshots were fired. On receipt of information, police reached the spot and shifted Mazi's body to a hospital.

"Mazi had actively participated in Salwa Judum movement in Naxal stronghold of Bastar and had built a good rapport with the villagers," Rajbhanu said.
19:32  Flooded with requests of employees seeking transfers at the "station of their choice" Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked them to route their applications through proper channel.

"Employees seeking transfers at the station of their choice should avoid giving their applications directly to the chief minister. They should send these applications to their respective heads of the department so that their requests could be properly entertained," a spokesperson said. 
19:32  Team Anna on Monday sought to bury differences with Ramdev after cracks appeared in their combine by inviting the yoga guru for their July protest and offering to participate in his August agitation.

On his part, Ramdev also said "there are no differences" and participated in a TV show along with Anna Hazare, who defended Kejriwal's speech during which he attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other politicians.
19:06  Pak T20 team may head for India soon: Malik:  

Speaking to, Malik added that the chairman of the Pakistan cricket board Mohd Zaka Ashraf had been invited to India to attend the IPL final on May 27, during which he met ICC president Sharad Pawar and IPL chief Rahiv Shukla.

Malik said to begin with, the Pakistan version of the T20 team is coming to India under the leadership of former skipper Shoaib Malik.

When Rediff com asked the envoy if the Dr Manmohan Singh would visit Pakistan at the time of the bilateral cricket series, Malik responded that in this part of the world, cricket diplomacy was well-known.

18:52  Pak envoy: Trying to resume cricket ties with India:  

Just in: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik said today that he hoped bilateral cricket ties will resume between the two countries.'s Sheela Bhatt says that the two sides are checking the viability of such a proposal.

Malik said that during the Cricket World Cup last year, Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh had said he would ask the BCCI to see how the bilateral series can be restarted.

18:43  Team Anna on Monday sought to bury differences with Ramdev after cracks appeared in their combine by inviting the yoga guru for their July protest and offering to participate in his August agitation.

On his part, Ramdev also said "there are no differences" and participated in a TV show along with Anna Hazare, who defended Kejriwal's speech during which he attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other politicians.
18:40  Digvijay: NO question of pre-poll alliance in UP:  

Congress spokesperson Digvijay Singh says there is no question of a pre-poll alliance in Uttar Pradesh, but stated that the Samajwadi Party and the BSP are supporting UPA2.

Singh said that the Congress would contest all seats in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Today, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav filed her nomination papers as a Samajwadi Party candidate. The Congress decided not to field a candidate against Dimple.

18:32  Maha CMs Deshmukh, Shinde being probed in Adarsh scam:  

The CBI is thoroughly investigating allegations against Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, two former Maharashtra Chief Ministers, who are at present Union Ministers, in the Adarsh Housing scam. In an affidavit, the CBI, which is probing the Adarsh housing society scam, has informed the Bombay High Court that the investigation against the two leaders is based on the based on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

Social activist, Pravin Wategaonkar, had in April this year filed an affidavit before the High Court based on the CAG report alleging that Deshmukh, former Maharashtra Chief minister, owns two proxy flats in the scam tainted Adarsh society in south Mumbai.

18:19  'Sachin, not Bachchan as Maharashtra ambassador':  

Maharashtra Minister of State for Home Satej Patil's letter to Amitabh Bachchan asking him to be the state brand ambassador for traffic safety has drawn the ire of his fellow party legislator. 


The minister's invite to Bachchan comes in the backdrop of the recent accident on the Mumbai-Pune highwaythat killed 28 members of a wedding party. 


MLC and vice-president of the Mumbai Congress, Charan Singh Sapra, in a letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, said the state should have a younger brand ambassador, instead of Bachchan.


"I have sent a letter to Chavan. I also spoke to Patil and told him the plan to rope in Bachchan was not alright," Sapra said. "Why not have a younger face like Sachin Tendulkar," he said. "The minister informed me that he had only written to Bachchan and a final decision would be taken by Chavan," Sapra said. 


Sapra suggested that younger celebrities like Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgan and Shah Rukh Khan would strike a chord with youngsters. "Bachchan is the brand ambassador of Gujarat, whose Chief Minister Narendra Modi's role in the 2002 riots is well known," Sapra said.

18:07  Ajit Singh meets Sonia Gandhi:  

Civil Aviation Minister and RLD chief Ajit Singh today met Congress President Sonia Gandhi to discuss political issues, including the upcoming Presidential


Singh discussed various political issues, including the Presidential elections, sources said. The meeting also comes in the wake of bye-election to the Kannauj Parliamentary seat where UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav is in the fray as a Samajwadi Party candidate. 


Congress has decided not to field a candidate against Dimple. Congress and Singh's RLD had jointly contested the recent elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly.

17:56  barkha dutt @BDUTT Got a charming letter from #SecClinton @StateDept thanking us for the show we did with her in Kolkata. A very gracious & stylish gesture.
17:55  Allegations against Deshmukh, Shinde being probed in Adarsh:  

The CBI probing the Adarsh housing society scam has informed the Bombay High Court that it is thoroughly investigating the allegations made against Union
Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde by a social activist based on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.


This was stated by the CBI in an affidavit filed by it in the High Court on June 1.
Social activist Pravin Wategaonkar had in April this year filed an affidavit before the High Court based on the CAG report alleging that Deshmukh, former Maharashtra Chief minister, own two proxy flats in the scam tainted Adarsh
society in south Mumbai.

17:46  Modi accuses Indira Gandhi of communal politics:  

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has questioned late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's secular credentials.


Addressing an award function in Mumbai on Monday, Modi said Indira Gandhi had announced during a campaign in the North East that if Congress was elected, the administration would be run as per the Bible.


"However, no secularists took objection to this statement," he said. Modi said India's North East has a rich history of people who fought for the freedom from the British but claimed they were never honoured after the Independence. "Had their sacrifices been recorded and generations that followed read about them, what would have happened to a particular family for whom history has been changed," Modi alleged without naming the Nehru-Gandhi family.


Read more

17:43  Vote due on Dull and Boring link:  

Residents of the Perthshire village of Dull are due to hear this week whether efforts to forge ties with the US town of Boring have been successful. Officials in Oregon are set to vote on whether the two places should become "sister communities".


17:40  PIX: Golmaal Returns actress goes nude for French magazine!:  

Snack on these pictures.

17:18  OMG!!! Queen's English society set to close :  

For 40 years, it has battled to defend the English language against poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. But the Queen's English Society has finally conceded defeat to the Twitter and text-obsessed generation and is to fold.


Read more

17:12  John Abraham nude picture not obscene, rules court :  

Refusing to hold a nude picture of Bollywood actor John Abraham, published in a news daily as "obscene," a Delhi court has dismissed a plea to summon him
and the newspaper's editor to answer charges of spreading vulgarity in society.


Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rajneesh Kumar Gupta dismissed the plea saying that the actor's alleged photographs were not likely to "corrupt the mind" of the readers and its purpose was merely to give the latest news about Bollywood. 

17:04  Oversensitive Indians: From Jaya Bachchan to Shekhar Gupta:  Attention famous people: When you look like an idiot, suing people who point it out only compounds the problem. Read the blog on the Global Post.
16:36  Butcher of Montreal to appear before German court:  Cannibal killer suspect Luka Magnotta was held in a dramatic swoop by armed cops yesterday -- as he sat in an internet cafe Googling online news reports about himself. Read
16:24  BSP yet to decide on fielding candidate against Dimple:  

The BSP today said it is yet to decide on fielding candidate against SP nominee Dimple Yadav in Kannauj. "We have not yet decided whether to field candidateagainst Dimple or not," BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya said today. 


When asked if there is any chance of BSP giving walkover to SP by not fielding candidate, he said it would be decided by his party's central leadership. 35-year-old Dimple, wife of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, today filed her nomination for the Lok Sabha by-election from Kannauj.


Reflecting on the growing bonhomie between the two parties ahead of the presidential poll, Congress has decided not to field any candidate against Dimple, who had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Congress' Raj Babbar in the by-election for Firozabad parliamentary seat in 2009.

16:14  Violation of civilian supremacy over military must be fought: VKS:  

Five days after retiring as Chief of the Army Staff, Gen V K Singh today affirmed his belief in in civilian supremacy over the military "rooted in justice and
fairness", and said any violation of this "must be resisted". 


Civilian supremacy must always be rooted in the fundamental principles of justice, merit and fairness, he said, adding that any violation of this must be resisted "if we are to protect the institutional integrity of our armed forces". Reminded that the ethos of the armed forces was to obey orders of superiors, the former Chief said that the ethos was to obey "correct" orders.


"If the order is wrong, stand up and say that the order is wrong". In his first interview since retiring on May 31, Gen Singh acknowledged that his last months in office were controversial and "eventful". But all the controversies were "manufactured" and there were "all sorts of allegations, from implied coups to communal nonsense."


Also read: The Chinese tunnel that's a threat to India

16:05  Ruchika's kin to move HC aganist CBI closure report:  

The family of Ruchika Girhotra, who committed suicide after being molested by former Haryana Director General of Police SPS Rathore, has said it will move the High Court against the Central Bureau of Investigation's closure reports dropping torture charges against the cop. Anand Prakash, who is the father of Ruchika's friend said her father had given up the fight after pressure from the accused.


The reports filed by the investigating agency say there's no evidence to prove that Ruchika' brother Ashu Girhotra was tortured while in police custody or that the signatures of her father, S C Girhotra, had been forged on the victim's post-mortem report.


The closure reports, filed by the agency in 2010 in these two cases, were accepted by the CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana, on Saturday. Appearing before the Panchkula court, S C Girhotra and his son Ashu raised no objection to the CBI move.



15:56  Enough strength to rule West Bengal alone: Trinamool Congress:  

Buoyed with its success in the municipal election in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress today said the poll results have demonstrated that the party has enough strength to rule the state alone. 


"It has been proved by the results of these elections that the Trinamool Congress has enough strength to rule Bengal alone," the party all-India general secretary Mukul Roy told a press conference after winning four of the six municipal bodies which went to polls on June 3. Though allies in the central and state governments, Trinamool and Congress contested the civic elections separately. 


"It has been established that in Bengal, Trinamool can fight and win elections alone. We fought against CPI  (M),Congress, BJP and the Maoists," Roy, who is also the Railway Minister, said. "The results have shown that not only CPI(M), but there are some other parties which are going to be insignificant in Bengal politics," Roy said.

15:49  Krishna leaves for China to attend SCO summit :  External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna left for China on a three-day visit beginning today to attend the 12th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Beijing. Krishna would be representing the Prime Minster, Dr. Manmohan Singh, at the annual Heads of State summit of the SCO. India has an observer status in SCO since 2005.

He is also expected to meet Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang during his Beijing visit.

15:43  2008 Malegaon blast accused gets bail:  

A special NIA Court today granted bail to Lokesh Sharma, arrested in 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, as the investigating agency failed to file chargesheet
within the stipulated 90-day period. Designated Judge of the Special NIA Court Y D Shinde directed the accused to execute a PR bond of Rs 25,000, while
granting him bail. 


NIA had taken Lokesh's custody early this year from Panchkula court, where he was in judicial custody in connection with Samjhauta train bombing case. He was later produced him before a special MCOCA court in Mumbai on February 27 and remanded in NIA custody. The agency had sought Lokesh's custody to question him in connection with the September 29, 2008 Malegaon blast in which six people were killed. 


Sharma, a close associate of Sunil Joshi (the suspected 'mastermind' behind the blasts who was later murdered), had allegedly also planted a bomb on Samjhauta Express.

15:41  Vice Admiral DK Joshi will be new Naval chief :  Just in: Vice Admiral D K Joshi to be the new Navy chief.  The government today cleared the appointment of Joshi, who is Western Naval Command chief, as the new Navy chief after Admiral Nirmal Verma retires on August 31. Vice-Admiral Joshi, a specialist in anti-submarine warfare, had assumed command of the Western Naval Command in May last year.
15:38  BBC criticised for howlers, tedious Jubilee coverage :  

The BBC has been roundly criticised for a series of howlers and tepid coverage of a pageant on River Thames on Sunday, with a leading television personality
asking: "Has the BBC ever presented a more mind-numbingly tedious programme in its history?"   As celebrities and readers heaped criticism on the BBC, the public service broadcaster said it was "very proud of the quality and breadth" of its seven-hour coverage. It said nearly 12 million people watched its coverage of the pageant.


But viewers and commentators listed several inaccuracies in its coverage, including referring to Queen Elizabeth as 'Her Royal Highness the Queen', instead of Her Majesty; the bow of the royal barge mistaken for the stern; upriver being confused with downriver. The headlines today attacking the coverage said it all: 'The BBC pageant backlash: Viewers attack inane stunts
and blundering presenters' (Daily Mail); 'The BBC's reputation is sunk in The Thames' (The Telegraph), 'BBC blasted for Thames Pageant coverage' (The Times). 


Writer and television personality Stephen Fry wrote: "Has the BBC ever presented a more mind-numbingly tedious programme in its history? 'HRH the queen' said the first ignorant presenter. HRH?" 

15:23  Creams offering lighter skin may bring risks:  

For years, Allison Ross rubbed in skin-lightening creams with names like Hyprogel and Fair & White. She said she wanted to even out and brighten the tone of her face, neck and hands. Mrs. Ross, 45, who lives in Brooklyn, also said that she used the lightening creams "to be more accepted in society.'


15:16  Watch the skies for rare astronomical event :  The where and when to see the transit of Venus, how to watch it safely, what to expect and the scientific insights for astronomers. Read
15:14  BJP: Sonia CWC attack on opposition unfortunate:  

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a press conference right now attacks the Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh for their anti-BJP rhetoric at the CWC meet yesterday.

He says the Congress is in denial and that the PM and Sonia don't know reality. He says the way Sonia criticised the opposition is sad since they are both trying to run away from reality. He said there is no conspiracy by the opposition.


This is what Sonia Gandhi said yesterday.

15:08  Why Pakistanis say their prayers before boaring a flight:  Few board a plane these days with complete confidence in the systems intended to keep them safe. Read
14:59  Love commandos protect young Indian couples:  

In India, "love" is still considered by many to be a dirty word with most marriages arranged by parents along religious or caste lines. But a group of "love commandos" are increasingly stepping in to protect Cupid and his targets.


14:56  FB voters numbers surpass India's :  

Facebook's decision to offer its 900 million users a chance to vote on the social network's proposed changes to privacy policy will be higher than the electorate in India, the world's largest democracy. 


Facebook's move to allow users cast vote to reflect their opinion on the site's old and newly proposed privacy policies would turn the website into the largest electorate in the world.  


By way of contrast, India, which is known as the democracy with the highest population, has nearly 700 million registered voters. Members have until midnight on Thursday to vote for or against the planned changes, Sky News reports.

14:46  Pak insists on US apology for NATO strike:  

Pakistan has refused to budge from its position seeking a US apology for a NATO air strike that killed 24 of its soldiers last year, saying this is necessary
for ending a six-month blockade of vital supply routes for foreign troops in Afghanistan. 


"(The apology is) something which should have been forthcoming the day this incident happened, and what a partnership not only demands, but requires," Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said. She contended that higher principles should take precedence over politically-popular considerations.

14:40  Vatican critical of US nun's book on sexual ethics:  

The Vatican has sharply criticised a book written by a US nun and theologian on sexual ethics. The Holy See's orthodoxy office said the 2005 book, Just Love, by Sister Margaret Farley posed "grave harm" to the faithful. It said her ideas on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions and remarriage were in "direct contradiction" with Catholic teaching.



14:32  'Chhote man se koi bada nahi hota' posters target Modi:  The hoardings supporting party leader Sanjay Joshi have that have come up at various places in the city, targeting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the state elections scheduled in December this year say: "Chhote man se koi bada nahi hota, tute man se koi bada nahi hota (nobody becomes big with a narrow mind)". It went on to say "kaho dil se... Sanjay Joshi phir se (Say with all your heart, Sanjay Joshi once again)". The hoardings apparently targeted the Gujarat Chief Minister though his name has not been written any where on them.
14:24  Human embryonic cells help this man see better:  Stem cell scientists take hope from first human trials but see long road ahead Much hangs on outcome of first human trials amid funding difficulties, political opposition and public suspicion. Read
14:19  Singapore restricts window washing after maids fall to death:  After a grim streak of foreign maids falling to their deaths, Singapore has insisted on new restrictions on window washing, hoping to stop the tragic trend. Read
14:12  High road to a mess:  India's ambitious highway building plans are in trouble. Read the report on the WSJ.
13:54  Posters of Modi's foe mysteriously appear in Delhi:  

Posters have suddenly appeared outside the BJP's office in Delhi and Ahmedabad in support of RSS Pracharak Sanjay Joshi against whom Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has openly expressed displeasure. The posters quote a poem by senior BJP leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and interestingly, have the BJP symbol. But it isn't clear yet as to who put up the posters. When contacted, Sanjay Joshi said. "I have not asked anyone to put these posters. I do not know who is behind all this."

If you recollect, it was only after Joshi resigned that Modi attended the conclave in Mumbai. Read more

13:48  Bengal civic polls: TMC bags 3 out of 6 seats:  

In the first major test of popularity, Trinamool Congress today won the elections to three civic bodies and was leading in another while Congress and Left Front major CPI(M) bagged one each in West Bengal. The polls to six civic bodies were the first major local elections after the 2011 Assembly polls when Mamata Banerjee's party had stormed to power ending the Left Front's 34-year rule.


Trinamool won in Left citadel Dhupguri, Panskura andNalhati and was leading in the industrial township in Durgapur, officials said. But Trinamool suffered a setback in the municipality of Haldia, a key industrial town, where the Left Front captured 15 out of 26 wards. The remaining 11 seats went to Banerjee's
party, they said.

13:42  In Berlin, artists poke fun at Gurgaon:  

A show by Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, the art duo known for satirical and pop-inspired works about Indian identity and its projection worldwide, has just come to the end of its run in Germany.

Moreon the WSJ

13:33  Hina Rabbani Khar's shotgun divorce:  Pakistan's top diplomat is charged with resurrecting a relationship with the United States that seems only to get worse with time. Read
13:21  Finally! Monsoon hits Kerala coast :  

India's annual monsoon rains have arrived at the southern Kerala coast on Tuesday, a top weather official said, brightening the prospects of higher farm output as farmers can plant summer-sown crops such as rice, soybean and cotton on time.


"It's been raining in Kerala for the past few days, but the parameters suggest that the monsoon has arrived today," B.P. Yadav, a director at the state-run India Meteorological Department told Reuters.


The annual rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth as about 55 percent of the south Asian nation's arable land is rain-fed, and farm sector accounts for about 15 percent of a nearly $2-trillion economy, Asia's third-biggest.


India is the world's second-biggest producer of rice, wheat, sugar and cotton and also one of the largest consumers, with a population of about 1.2 billion.

13:06  Finally! Monsoon hits Kerala coast :  The Met Department announces that the South-West monsoon has arrived in Kerala. The Indian Meteorological Department had announced yesterday that the monsoon would hit the Kerala coast in the next 48 hours. IMD in a statement issued yesterday said that weather conditions are "becoming favourable" for the arrival of monsoon rains over southern Kerala coast. Generally, Monsoon arrives on Kerala's shore on June 1.   
12:57  Engineer from Kerala among 153 killed in Nigerian plane crash:  

A 26-year-old computer engineer from Kerala was among 153 passengers and crew killed in the Nigerian plane crash on Sunday. Rijo K Eldhose, employed with Hewlett and Packard, was on his way to Lagos from Abuja in the Nigerian capital to attend a conference when the plane crashed. 


The only son of Kochukudi Eldhose, a former Army official, and Elizabeth of Avolichalil at Kavalangad panchayat, Rijo had been working in Nigeria for the past four years and was expected in Kerala in July for a vacation, family sources said.


His relatives were also planning to get him married. Rijo used to visit his  hometown every year on a month-long vacation. The family was informed about the tragedy by the parents of Rijo's colleague. A passenger plane crashed into a residential area in Lagos on Sunday, killing all 153 people on board including an Indian co-pilot, and over 40 others on the ground.

12:48  Facebook's a company. Get over It!:  

Among the historic aspects of Facebook's mid-May initial public offering (IPO) is the schadenfreude that followed. Yes, there are good criticisms to be made of the IPO, not to mention of Facebook's privacy protections and user experience. But read between the lines of the anti-Facebook rants and it becomes clear that many are slamming the company for acting in its true nature: as a profit-seeking business.


That's the report on Foreign Policy.

12:39  PM lacks vision, gumption to run India: Modi:  

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh lacks both vision and gumption to run the country.


"He (Dr. Singh) lacks the vision and gumption to run the country. Before he was the country''s finance minister, for the discovery, mining and processing of uranium there used to be a set budget for its extraction.


"But since he became the finance minister not even a rupee has been spent from that budget. And later, after becoming Prime Minister he tried to approach America for all these things," Modi said.

12:36  Al Qaeda no 2 killed in Pakistan?:  

Al-Qaeda's second in command Abu Yahya al-Libi was the main target of the US drone strike that killed 15 militants in Pakistan's lawless Northwest yesterday and US officials said they were "optimistic" the Libyan had
not survived. "People are looking very closely to see whether he is still alive," the officials were quoted by New York Times as saying. 


The Times said a senior Pakistani security source in Peshawar had said, "It looks like he has been killed." US officials said that Libi, on whose head Washington had put a bounty of USD 1 billion, had been the target of the missile attack in North Waziristan, the third drone strike in as many days and the deadliest this year. "If his killing is confirmed, it could be a major blow to the core of al-Qaeda- removing the organisation's number two leader twice in less than a year," they said.

12:12  Calling a north-eastern person chinki can land you in jail :  The next time you decide to call a person from the North-East a Chinki, you could end up cooling your heels behind bars for the next five years. Read more
12:08  With CM beside her 'bhabhi' Dimple hits Kannauj:  

Dressed in a simple green sari, her husband by her side, Dimple Yadav addressed a huge rally in Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday morning. Like any politician about to contest an election, she reminded the gathering of their special connection.


"I want to thank all of you...for many of you, I am 'Bhabhi' (sister-in-law)", she said. Dimple Yadav will contest the Lok Sabha election form Kannauj, a constituency represented thrice by her husband Akhilesh till he won an outsized victory in the recent state elections and took over as chief minister of the state.   Yadav, who at 39 is UP's youngest chief minister, had to vacate his Lok Sabha seat to become a member of the state assembly.

12:01  Amitav Ghosh on blogging :  

Blogging began to interest me only after it had ceased to be the hottest new thing. Until then its possibilities were obscured by the urgency that was demanded of it.


11:58  NATO bypasses Pak with new Afghan transport deal :  

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has reportedly signed a deal with three key Central Asian countries to evacuate military equipment and vehicles from Afghanistan.  


The agreement with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will allow NATO to bypass Pakistan, which has blocked the military alliance from using its territory in a disagreement over drone strikes.   NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the Central Asian deals on Monday, the BBC reports.

11:50  What's in store? Govt unveils new trade policy :  Just in: Government unveils new trade policy with seven-point agenda to boost exports. Interest subvention scheme extended by one year, to cover labour-intensive sectors. Details awaited.
11:47  Zuckerberg faces insider-trading lawsuit :  

Facebook investors have filed a class action lawsuit against the social network's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, alleging that he had inside information that the company's stock was overvalued that led to his dumping of shares ahead of their post-IPO collapse.  


The suit alleged that Zuckerberg hid from most investors the fact that the Facebook business model was not built to sustain enough advertising revenue to support an IPO price of 38 dollars a share.

11:39  China's tunnel near J-K that has serious implications :  

China is opening its narrow border with Afghanistan with roads and probably a tunnel under the Pamir ranges skirting Jammu and Kashmir with strategic implications for India, former army chief Gen. V.K. Singh has told The Telegraph. "It is an outflanking move,' the general who retired last Thursday said. "India risks losing the influence it has in Afghanistan because of a China-Pakistan link that is getting stronger and is seen in evidence here,' he said.


More on the Telegraph.

11:35  40 of the most powerful photographs ever taken:  

A moving collection of iconic photographs from the last 100 years that demonstrate the heartbreak of loss, the tremendous power of loyalty, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Must see.

11:21  PC meets Bhopal gas victims on Environment Day:  

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, chairperson of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Bhopal, Salman Khurshid and V Narayanasamy will meet the Bhopal gas victims and activists today, after the Supreme Court asked it to take a decision on the disposal of toxic waste after the tragedy in 1984 which left thousands dead. 


The visit, which coincides with World Environment Day today, is aimed to take stock of the chemicals still lying in the Union Carbide Factory in the city.


On May 11, the Supreme Court had asked the GoM on Bhopal to decide expeditiously on the disposal of 350 tonnes of toxic waste of the Bhopal Gas tragedy. In its reply, the Centre informed the court that the GoM is yet to take a final decision on this issue. More on

11:13  US drone attack 'targeted' al-Qaeda deputy:  A US drone strike on Monday in Pakistan targeted al-Qaeda's second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi, US officials say. They say it is still unclear whether he was among those killed in the strike on a suspected militant compound in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border. More
11:12  Energy to dominate Russia President Putin's China visit:  

In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin is beginning a three-day visit to China, with energy and foreign policy expected to dominate the agenda. Mr Putin said ahead of the trip that he wanted to further boost booming bilateral trade, which reached $84bn (55bn) last year.


10:56  Pak test fires N-capable missile that can hit India:  

Just in: Pakistan has tested nuclear capable Hatf VII cruise missile with a range of 700 km. On May 31, Pakistan had successfully test-fired another nuclear-capable Hatf cruise missile with a range of more than 350 km, the latest in a series of tests of missiles that can hit targets within India.

10:50  US Defence secretary Panetta arrives in India today:  

The situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and strengthening of military cooperation between India and the US are expected to come up in the discussions American Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who arrives in Delhi today for a two-day visit, will have with Indian leaders.

During the delegation-level discussions between Defence Minister AK Antony and Panetta on June 6, China is also expected to figure in talks between the two sides, officials said in Delhi yesterday.


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10:36  Dimple Yadav set to address her first rally at Kannauj:  

Massive rally happening at Kannauj. On the stage are UP CM Akhilesh Yadav and his wife Dimple, who was the unanimous choice of the Samajwadi Party's parliamentary board which announced her name after an overwhelming number of party workers demanded that the she be chosen to contest from Kannauj.

Dress in a grey sari, Dimple looks composed as she faces her first rally. The by-elections necessiated after Akhilesh Yadav resigned from the Lok Sabha after he was sworn in as a member of the UP Legislative Council after becoming the chief minister.

The fact that the Congress has not fielded any candidate against Dimple, shows the increasing ties with the Samajwadi Party.

10:11  Jagan assets case: CBI summons Andhra I-T minister:   The Central Bureau of Investigation has issued summons to Andhra Pradesh I-T Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah in connection with the Jaganmohan Reddy assets case.

A CBI team went to Ponnala's house in Warangal on Monday night to serve the summons.  Ponnala has been asked to appear before the makeshift CBI office at Dilkusha Guest House on June 7.

Sources said the CBI would interrogate Ponnala in connection with a controversial GO on supply of water from river Krishna to Penna Cements group.

A close aide of YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Lakshmaiah was the irrigation minister during his regime.
09:35  Kannauj: No Cong candidate against Dimple Yadav :  In a move that clearly reflects the growing proximity between the Congress and the ruling Samajwadi Party, Digvijaya Singh, AICC general secretary in-charge of UP, today said that he won't set up a candidate against Dimple Yadav in the Lok Sabha by-polls.

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple will file her nomination for the Kannauj Lok Sabha by-polls today.

The parliamentary constituency fell vacant after Akhilesh Yadav resigned from the Lok Sabha after he was sworn in as a member of the UP Legislative Council after becoming the chief minister.

Dimple was the unanimous choice of the Samajwadi Party's parliamentary board that had announced her name after an overwhelming number of party workers demanded that the she be chosen to contest from Kannauj.
08:48  2 Indians among 193 killed in Nigeria crash:  Two Indians were among the 193 people killed in a crash in Nigeria's Lagos on Sunday -- one was a co-pilot and another a Kerala-based engineer.  

One hundred and fifty three were killed on board and another 40 on the ground when the passenger plane crashed into a residential area.  

The pilot of the ill-fated plane had sent out emergency signals while nearing the runway indicating a technical problem but the Boeing MD-83 plane, belonging to Dana Air, an Indian-owned company, went down near the airport shortly afterward.  
02:22  Nigerian plane lost both engines before crash:  
The pilot of the flight that crashed in Lagos, killing all 153 people on board including an Indian co-pilot and over 40 others on the ground, reported to the control tower that both of its engines had failed before it went down, the civil aviation chief said. 

Director of Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority Harold Demureen said that there was confusion at the airport before it was learnt that the aircraft has crashed. 

But Dana Airline, the owners of the aircraft with registration number 5N-RAM, said despite being 22-years-old the plane was still serviceable and operational. 

The companies Director of Flight Operations, Captain Oscar Wilson, said that the aircraft was in good condition. 

Meanwhile, rescue workers at the scene of the crash at Iju Ishaga area of Lagos have recovered about 137 bodies from the rubble including a woman clutching a baby.
01:13  Suicide attack on Shiite HQ in Baghdad; 25 dead:  
A suicide attacker blew up a bomb-packed car at a Shiite foundation's headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least 25 people and sparking fears of sectarian strife at a time of political crisis.

Shortly after what was Baghdad's deadliest blast in over four months, an explosion struck near a Sunni religious foundation's headquarters in the capital, causing no casualties.

The attacks came amid a dispute between the two Muslim endowments which manage Iraq's religious landmarks over a shrine north of Baghdad.

The violence also comes during a protracted political standoff that has raised sectarian tensions in a country racked by brutal communal bloodshed from 2006 to 2008.
01:11  Nadal enters French Open quarter-finals:  
Second seed Rafael Nadal won 17 games in succession as he coasted into the French Open quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 demolition of Argentina's Juan Monaco.

The defending champion, bidding to become the first man to capture seven Roland Garros singles titles, will tackle fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro for a place in the semi-finals.

Nadal, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday while title rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were struggling into the last eight, took his career record in Paris to 49-1.
01:10  Kuwaiti jailed for 10 years for Twitter posts:  
A defense lawyer in Kuwait says a court has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for Twitter posts deemed insulting to Islam and to the rulers of Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

The case appears to reflect a growing conservative influence in Kuwait.

The lawyer, Khaled al-Shatti, is quoted in Gulf media reports as saying his client, Hamad al-Naqi, has a chance to appeal the sentence.

Al-Naqi claims his Twitter account was hacked.

Prosecutors say Al-Naqi's account contained posts insulting to the Prophet Muhammad and the Gulf states of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
01:07  Top headlines this hour:  Sonia's weight increases, Pranab's chances diminish

Heat wave sweeps north, east India; 16 dead in WB

Nigeria air tragedy death toll reaches 193

Petrol price: FM favours 25% cut in states taxes

Re loses steam after hitting 1-week high; ends 11 paise lower

Bhupathi-Mirza in semis of French Open

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