18:18 Another accused in Shehla Masood murder arrested:
Ifran, another accused in the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case, was today produced before the Special CBI court which remanded him to agency's custody up to March 16. Irfan was arrested by UP police in connection with the
Masood murder case, and during the investigation he allegedly revealed that it was the Bhopal-based interior designer Zahida Pervez who had hired him through Saqib Danger for eliminating Shehla.
18:15 Adieu, Rahul:
It could have been timed better, it could have come a little later, it could have been better celebrated but the retirement was always going to come some day.
Read this blog on Dravid
18:07 Has Rahul Gandhi learnt his lesson?:
On the Dawn, Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi said after this week's electoral rout of the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh that he has learnt a good lesson from the stinging defeat in India's most populous state. Has he learnt something, really?
17:59 Will Panna be deforested for love of diamonds?:
Behind the happy headlines on Thursday of the latest litter of cubs set to arrive in one of India's best-known tiger reserves, Panna, a battle between environment and commercial activity threatens the very existence of the park. There seems to be political pressure to shift the officer responsible fo taking the tiger count here from zero to 13 in less than three years. Another tigress, T1, is expecting.
Read the report on the Hindustan Times.
17:51 Warne on Dravid: Shane Warne
@warne888 I wish my friend Rahul Dravid and his family all the best in his retirement ! I have total respect for him.
17:49 11 companies call off IPOs in 2012: Report:
At least 11 firms have called-off their Initial Public Offer (IPO) plans since the beginning of 2012, even as the country's largest commodity exchange MCX
today made a stellar debut in the stock market after a highly-successful IPO last month, a report has said.
"MCX IPO may be the lone shining star in the IPO market. The year 2012 has already seen call-off of 11 IPOs. The probable amount that these IPOs were planning to raise was to an aggregate of Rs 4,771 crore," brokerage firm SMC Global Securities said in a report.
This is in addition to 29 companies having shelved their IPO plans last year. The total amount these companies were planning to raise was about Rs 32,400 crore. Since January, 2011, about IPOs have been called off till date.
17:45 In conversation with Sadananda Gowda:
DV Sadananda Gowda became the chief minister of Karnataka state, of which Bangalore is the capital, last summer amid a $3.5 billion scandal involving the illegal mining of iron ore. He recently visited Mumbai to meet investors and corporate executives. Excerpts
from an interview on the NYT.
17:28 In the end, Dravid got his timing right...:
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. Rahul Dravid, if such a thing is possible, is all three. It's safe to say William Shakespeare never wrote about cricket but Malvolio's immortal line from Twelfth Night better sums up an international career spanning 16 years, in which more than 24,000 runs were painstakingly amassed than all the statistics you can dig up.
More on Firstpost.com
17:12 Manohar Parrikar sworn in as Goa CM:
Right now: BJP's Manohar Parrikar has been sworn in as the chief minister of Goa.
The Technocrat-turned-politician, became Goa chief minister for the third time, and is known for his clean image, blunt talk and development initiatives.
Parrikar, 56, who had launched a campaign against the Congress-led government on the issue of illegal mining in the state, emerged as the rallying-point for anti-Congress sentiment.
In his own Panaji assembly constituency, he is considered as a tough man to beat with his development-oriented image, a sharp contrast to his rivals.
17:07 IPS officer's murder well-planned conspiracy: Digvijay:
The man who gurantees headlines -- AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh --today observed that the murder of IPS officer Narendra Kumar Singh, allegedly by a suspected member of the mining mafia, was a well-planned conspiracy.
"I have no doubt in my mind that the killing of the IPS officer is not a stray incident," he said. Seeking to downplay the Madhya Pradesh government's decision to order a judicial probe into the incident, Digvijay said "nothing much should be read into it".
The 30-year-old IPS officer was allegedly mowed down yesterday by a suspected mining mafia member at Banmore in Morena district when he tried stopping a tractor-trolley carrying stones.
"If Madhya Pradesh government is so serious about inquiring into illegal mining, (then) it should order a probe into all instances of illegal quarrying spanning last 18 years," Digvijay said, adding the eighteen years include ten years when he was chief minister and eight years of BJP rule since 2003.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan refused to offer any comment saying he did not consider Digvijay a "trustworthy" man.
17:04 Bachchan on Dravid:
Rahul Dravid retires from test Cricket .. a true gentleman, selfless, affable and most reliable .. he deserved greater glorification
Behind the scenes as the preparations for the Union Budget begin.
Senior IAS officers, Secretaries to the Government of India go berserk. Apart from the secrecy to be maintained, two joint secretaries are locked inside the printing press just a week before the budget is to be printed, reports our Delhi correspondent.
R Gopalan, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs and Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Advisor -- top confidants of Pranab Mukherjee and privy to secrets have severe fever, cold and cough.
16:45 Rediff.com's Toral Varia reports that John Abraham's medical examination is over -- a routine procedure after any person is taken into custody.
16:44 Indecision on RS chairman, deputy:
The UPA 2 nominee for deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha is likely to be defeated as the strength of the Upper House is with the Opposition, reports our Delhi correspondent.
The UPA 2 may have to reach out to the Opposition for a consensus candidate for the President of India, as well when the elections come up in May. The election for vice president of India is scheduled for August 2012.
The BJP is not fielding a candidate for the post of Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha, but is keen to give to the state parties like TDP, ADMK and BJP.
Biju Janata Dal candidate Pyarimohan Mohapatra is likely to emerge as a common candidate. The BJP has informally indicated that Prof Ramgopal Yadav, the brother of Mulayam Singh Yadav, will be Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
16:37 Will JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav be next President? :
Our Delhi correspondent reports:
Speculation in Delhi political circles is that Janata Dal (United) JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav may emerge as the Presidential candidate, who both the BJP and the CPM will agree upon.
Yadav was a 7-time MP, has two terms as Union Minister with rich experience
in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh politics.
Yadav is also likely to be meet the approval of the Team Anna brigade after he condemned the brutal killing of IPS officer Narendra Kumar Singh, and held leaders of both the BJP and the Congress equally responsible for illegal mining in Madhya Pradesh.
16:18 Coke, Pepsi make changes to avoid cancer warning:
Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks
containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label.
The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes.
The changes have already been made for drinks sold in California. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo account for almost 90 per cent of the soda market, according to industry tracker Beverage Digest. A representative for Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. was not immediately available for comment.
16:06 Why a mid-term poll looks more likely now:
"There is no question of a mid-term poll. The Union government will last its full term."
That was Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, looking to compensate with manufactured, wide-eyed indignation for what she manifestly lacked in conviction, in response to a question on whether the Congress' drubbing in the Assembly election had rendered a mid-term election inevitable.
Read the report on Firstpost.com
16:03 To one of the world's great players: Harsha Bhogle
@bhogleharsha Rahul called a couple of days to say he was retiring. told him his timing was perfect but that there was a lump in my throat.
16:01 Will tax exemption limit be raised to Rs 3 lakh?:
A few minutes more for the court decision on actor John Abraham's bail plea.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Budget, a Parliamentary panel that scrutinised the Direct Taxes Code Bill has suggested that income tax exemption limit be
raised to Rs 3 lakh per annum, and the investment limit for tax savings schemes be hiked to Rs 3.20 lakh.
In its report, which was submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today, the Standing Committee on Finance suggested that the wealth tax limit be pegged at Rs 5 crore, while the Securities Transaction Tax be abolished. As regards the corporate tax, the Committee, which is eaded by senior BJP leader and former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, recommended that the rate be retained at 30 per cent.
The report will pave the way for debate and passage of the DTC Bill, which seeks to replace the Income Tax Act, 1961, by Parliament.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released the Consultation paper on 'Auction of Spectrum'. Read
15:49 Powerful 7.1 magnitude quake hits Vanuatu:
A 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit in the South Pacific near Vanuatu and New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands on Friday, the US Geological Survey said.
The quake struck at a depth of 36 kilometres at 1239 IST, 60 kilometres northeast of Isangel in Vanuatu and 324 kilometres northeast of Tadine in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia, according to USGS. There was no threat of a widespread tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
15:41 On the run for 4 months, Kishenji aide Mahato surrenders:
Just in: Maoist leader and close associate of late Kishenji, Suchitra Mahato, surrenders. The security personnel was on the lookout for Mahato, Maoist leader and widow of slain Maoist Sasadhar Mahato, who is suspected to have been with Kishenji when he died.
15:38 Twtiter on John:
Paul Dueman @pauldueman Dear John Abraham while driving please use BTex Malam - no rash while driving, guaranteed.
15:36 Anti-mining cop's murder not preplanned: MP police:
In other news, a day after a young IPS officer was mowed down by a suspected member of the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, a senior police officer today said the murder does not appear "preplanned" at this stage.
"Till now, we do not have any evidence to indicate that the killing of Narendra Kumar Singh was a planned act," Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Chambal Range, D P Gupta said. No mobile phone has been recovered from Manoj Gurjar, the driver of the tractor-trolley under which the 30-year-old IPS officer was crushed to death at Banmore in Morena district yesterday, he said.
Still, police are trying to trace the mobile phone, if any, on which Gurjar might have received instructions to kill the officer, Gupta said.
The 2009-batch officer was posted at Banmore as Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP) a month ago and had taken on the mining mafia by seizing number of trucks and tractors engaged in illegal quarrying.
15:32 What happened in 2006?:
The incident dates back to April 8, 2006, when Abraham allegedly rammed his Yamaha Hayabusa bike into a bicycle, injuring two youngsters - Shyam Kasbe (22) and Tanmay Majhi (19) - on Carter Road in suburban Bandra.
According to police, the actor was returning from Maureen Wadia's Gladrags show while both the youngsters were returning after closing their shop.
The police later booked him under IPC Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others). According to John's application, even the victims "had not made out a case of either criminal negligence or rashness" against him.
15:26 John looked tense through court hearing :
Toral Varia reporting from the sessions court says that the actor dressed in a blue-chequered shirt and jeans looks visibly tense and apprehensive all through the hearing.
His case was listed at number 34 and he came well ahead and for a long time was waiting outside the court room.
He was seen talking to his lawyer, but there was no smile on his face. He did, however, sign a couple of autographs for constables and court clerks.
15:21 John's lawyers move HC for bail:
John Abraham has sought four days to surrender, and as of now, remains in police custody, while his lawyers move the high court for bail. If the bail is rejected, the actor could spend 15 days in jail for rash driving
15:15 Court asks John to surrender, bail plea at 4 pm:
The Mumbai sessions court has upheld the 15-day jail term for actor John Abraham in the 2006 rash driving case and has asked the actor to surrender. The actor had sought time from the sessions court to surrender, but the plea has been rejected. His lawyer will be moving the Bombay High court against this order of the sessions court shortly, reports Toral Varia
15:04 Decision on UP CM tomorrow: Mulayam:
Mulayam Singh Yadav says the Chief Minister will be decided tomorrow. However, son Akhilesh, on Tuesday, announced that none other than Netaji (father, Mulayam) would be CM.
14:52 Sena's Prabhu elected Mumbai mayor:
Shiv Sena Corporator Sunil Prabhu was today elected mayor of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, India's richest civic body. At the elections held at the civic headquarters here, Prabhu polled 125 votes, defeating Sunil More of Congress, who secured 65 votes in the 227-member body.
BJP's Mohan Mithbavkar was elected Deputy Mayor, defeating NCP corporator Khan Haroon Yusuf. Prabhu, 42, is among the youngest Mayors of Mumbai.
Following is the party position in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) after the February 16 polls: Total seats 227 -- BJP 31, Congress 52, NCP 13, Shiv Sena 75, MNS 28 and others 28.
14:44 Another cop attacked by liquor barons in MP:
Another IPS officer was attacked allegedly by liquor barons, including supporters of former BJP MLA Narendra Singh, in Bhind district when he tried to check illegal sale of liquor on a day when another promising officer was crushed to death allegedly by the mining mafia.
The alleged incident occured yesterday when some liquor shops located on Etawah and Lahar Road were selling liquor illegally despite the administration declaring a 'dry day' (prohibiting sale of liquor) on the occasion of Holi, police said.
When this was brought to the notice of IPS officer Jaidevan, posted as Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Bhind, he immediately rushed to the spot along with the police force and questioned them, they said.
However, members belonging to liquor mafia attacked them with lathis and by pelting stones forcing police to retreat from the spot, police said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.
14:41 Team Anna demands law to protect whistelblowers:
Team Anna today demanded enactment of a stringent law to protect whistleblowers and asked government to ensure adequate security for those fighting against corruption after a 30-year-old IPS officer was brutally killed allegedly by mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh.
"Strong whistleblower protection law is needed, not the one presented by the UPA government. The government's law seeks to protect the corrupt and victimise the whistleblowers.. No more of routine condolence statements from some ministers needed," Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.
"Can't the government ensure that no more such people would be killed now," he said.
14:28 So, who is Joy Mukherjee?:
This is what Wikipedia has on Joy Mukherjee who passed away at 1 pm at Mumbai's Lilavati hospital.
Joy Mukherjee (born 24 February 1939, died 09 March 2012) is the son of Sashadhar Mukherjee and Sati Devi.
His father was a successful producer and a co-founder of Filmalaya Studios.
His paternal uncle is director Subodh Mukherjee, whilst his maternal uncles were Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar.
His brothers are Deb Mukherjee and Shomu Mukherjee.
Shomu is married to actress Tanuja & their daughters are actresses Kajol and Tanisha.
His niece is Rani Mukerji and nephew is director Ayan Mukerji.
Joy Mukherjee's aunt Monmaya Devi was daughter of GC Banerjee and Smt Annapurna Devi - then owner of Happy Valley Tea Estate in Darjeeling whose family still run the estate to produce one of the best tea in the world.
14:20 Actor Joy Mukherjee (73) passes away at Lilavati:
Just in: Actor Joy Mukherjee dies at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital. Mukherjee had been critical for the last few day.
The yesteryear star was admitted to the hospital Monday. Mukherjee stepped into showbiz with 1960 hit film Love In Simla.
His popularity soared with projects like Shagird, Love In Tokyo, Ziddi, "hir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon and Ek Musafir Ek Hasina.
Mukherjee comes from a film family -- his father Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was married to legendary actor Ashok Kumar's sister Sati Devi, was the co-founder of Filmalaya Studios. He is the paternal uncle of actors Kajol and Tanisha Mukherjee. Joy and Neelam Mukherjee have three children - two sons and a daughter.
14:16 John's statement in 2010 after 15-day jail term verdict:
In October 2010, John Abraham in a statement after the verdict of 15 days prison was awarded to him by a local court said, "I am a law abiding citizen. I will be appealing this verdict and will go to every length to have this verdict appealed. I am advised that I have a good chance of succeeding the appeal.''
He added, "It is entirely because I am a public figure and in all modesty I do have a large youth interaction who look to me for guidance, leadership and inspiration and I don't want them to feel or take away that when wronged we do not fight for what is right.
"I also want to categorically state that I have the highest regards for the judicial system of our great country and this is more of a personal clarification. I felt compelled to make due to public life I also lead than I commenting in anyway on any judicial view."
14:08 Court asks: Why should John be granted bail:
Rediff.com's Toral Varia reports:
The Sessions court has directed the police to detain John Abraham, but at the same time has told John's lawyer advocate Harshad Ponda to present before the court the provisions under which John should be given interim relief to appeal before the High Court.
The hearing will be held at 2.45 pm. Ponda had requested the court the court to give his client time before the surrender/arrest.
14:05 India's MOST DANGEROUS crossroads:
At first glance, the Kayampur bend, the curve of road on the outskirts of the city of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, looks ordinary and peaceful. But in 2011, this turn recorded the highest number of traffic deaths for any single spot in the 12 Indian states where 90% of India's road fatalities occur, according to a Times of India report.
Moreon the WSJ
14:03 To win in Uttar Pradesh, a party needs a reliable core vote :
On the Telegraph, India, read Mukul Kesavan's piece on the UP polls.
To say that the election results for five state assemblies came in on Tuesday is true but misleading. One of those five states is more like a country a large, backward country than a state. According to the 2011 census, Uttar Pradesh is home to roughly 200 million people which makes it, demographically, a political unit slightly larger than Brazil.
13:54 Cong stakes claim to form govt in Uttarakhand:
Meanwhile, the Congress has formally staked claim to form a new government in Uttarakhand. Governor Margaret Alva says the Congress has the required number and she will invite it for government formation when it elects its leader.
13:48 Bail plea hearing at 2:45 pm:
The sessions court also ordered John Abraham to be taken into custody till the bail plea is filed. If the plea is rejected, he faces a 15-day jail term. The bail plea hearing is at 2.45 pm.
13:42 John Abraham gets 15-day jail for rash driving :
A Sessions Court had adjourned till March 9 the judgement on John Abraham's plea challenging the 15-day simple imprisonment awarded to him by a lower court in a 2006 case of rash and negligent driving.
On October 14, 2010, the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court at Bandra convicted the 39-year-old for the incident in which two persons were injured, and sentenced him to a 15-day simple imprisonment.
He was granted bail the same day. A fortnight later, the model-actor filed an appeal in the Sessions Court against the conviction. His appeal stated that "judge has misconstrued and has, without applying the principles relating to the acts of rashness and criminal negligence, convicted the applicant (Abraham)".
13:38 John Abraham gets 15-day jail for rash driving :
Just in: Bollywood actor John Abraham gets a 15-day jail term for rash driving in a 2006 incident. The actor's motorbike had skid and crashed into two youngsters.
13:34 Twitter on Dravid:
Mahesh Bhupathi @Maheshbhupathi Congratulations Rahul Dravid. Champion on and off the field, showed us all that sky is the limit with hard work, patience and discipline..
Emanin @emanin RT @TusharG: Walls don't retire, they become monuments.
13:28 NATO troops in Afghanistan trained to respect Quran :
The US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan are reportedly being trained on how to respect the Muslim holy book, Quran.
"It's probably a little too simplistic to suggest that it's a simple matter of do's and don'ts," The Los Angeles Times quoted Lt. Col. George Robinson, a senior officer in the Marine Corps' language and culture training programs, as saying.
"It's more a matter of why is the Quran an important," he added. The training aims to prevent any desecration of the Muslim holy book by foreign troops in Afghanistan.
Under the training, soldiers are advised not to throw the Quran, and to be cautious when dealing with Arabic texts, assuming "material is sacred if there is any doubt over its religious significance."
13:21 Akhilesh promises jail for violent party workers:
Akhilesh Yadav -- the man who is being credited with the return of the Samajwadi Party in UP -- addresses the media over reports that SP workers beat up media, women and children in Ballia.
Says that whoever is responsible for the violence will end up in jail. Talking tough, Akhilesh promises firm action against the culprits.
Akhilesh Yadav emphasised that law and order was his party's one big agenda. He promised UP freedom from "Goonda Raj" and said, "We will deal with an iron hand with SP workers who indulge in goondaism and violence."
On Holi, a BSP village pradhan, Munna Lal, a Dalit, was brutally murdered in Mansukhpura Agra; six assailants stormed into his house, ransacked it, and then repeatedly stabbed Munna Lal with a spear till he died. They were all allegedly Samajwadi Party workers. No arrests have been made yet.
13:12 Dravid: My new routine will be buying the groceries:
No dream is ever chased alone. As I look back, as one does at such a time, I have many people to thank for supporting me, teaching me and believing in me.My junior coaches in Bangalore and at various junior national camps inculcated in me a powerful love of the game which has always stayed with me.
13:08 Holi celebrations spill over to Sensex:
A day after India celebrated Holi, the festival of colors, stock investors also seem to be in a colorful mood. By midday Friday, the benchmark 30-share Sensitive Index was up nearly 300 points, or 1.73%, at 17,441.61.
Read the report on the Wall Street Journal.
13:01 Navjot Singh Sidhu @Sidhuisms Some succeed because they are destined to, but Rahul Dravid succeeded because he was DETERMINED to.
13:01 Dravid: I gave my best shot :
I would like to announce my retirement from international and domestic first-class cricket. It has been 16 years since I first played a Test match for India, and I feel it's time for me to move on. Once I was like every other boy in India, with a dream of playing for my country. Yet I could never have imagined a journey so long and so fulfilling. I have had a wonderful time, but now it is time for a new generation of young players to make their own history and take the Indian cricket team even further.
12:52 Citibank CEO gets Rs 75 crore cash bonus for 2011:
Citigroup's India-born CEO Vikram Pandit has received nearly USD 15 million (about Rs 75 crore) as his compensation for 2011, as he got his first cash bonus
in about four years at the global banking giant.
As per a regulatory filing by Citi, Pandit's pay package for 2011 included a salary of USD 1.67 million, a cash incentive of USD 5.33 million and stock options valued at USD 7.98 million, totalling to USD 14.98 million. This is the first time Pandit has got a bonus at Citi and had also got only a token salary of one dollar for 2010. Soon after taking charge in December 2007, Pandit had also decided to forego his cash bonus at the bank.
12:50 Lanka throws open area where Prabhakaran made his last stand:
So, Rahul Dravid retires from cricket -- one of the finest in the game -- and he will certainly be missed.
Moving on, three years after its army dealt a death blow to Tamil Tigers on the white sands of Nanthikandal lagoon killing the outfits top leaders including Velupillai
Prabhakaran, Sri Lanka has opened the area to public. The lagoon in the Mullaithivu district was the scene of the final battle on May 18, 2009 where the body of the reclusive LTTE leader body was found signalling the end to his
three decades old separatist campaign.
The Lankan troops went for the final kill after tens of thousands of Tamil civilians trapped in the then LTTE held area crossed the lagoon to the military side to escape the fury of guns.
But right groups dispute the government figures claiming that thousands of civilians including LTTE civil leaders were killed in cold blood.
12:45 Rahul Dravid, The Wall trends on Twitter:
Piers Morgan @piersmorgan Farewell Rahul Dravid - greatest No3 since Bradman. #TheWall
Anupam Kher @AnupamPkher Cricket once was a Gentlemen's game & Rahul Dravid Personified tat.Thanks Rahul for enriching our lives.You'll Never retire in our hearts.:)
Shane Warne ' @warne888 Is it true that my friend Rahul Dravid is retiring from international cricket ? Anyone in India update me please ? Thankyou...
'Bumble' Lloyd ' @BumbleCricket Rahul Dravid to retire ...A real jewel for the game of cricket and one of its greatest Ambassadors
Rahul Dravid: I leave with sadness, but also with pride. Time for the younger generation to takeover.
I have to thank the teams I have played with.
12:34 Rahul Dravid announces retirement from cricket :
BCCI chief N Srinivasan and Anil Kumble are at the podium with Dravid.
Rahul Dravid, the second-highest run-getter in Test cricket, takes the mic and announces his retirement from cricket.
12:30 The press conference in Bangalore, where Rahul Dravid will announce his retirement from the game is about to begin.
12:25 Sonia to UP Cong chief: Pull up your socks, move on:
UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi offers to resign after the party's debacle in the state. She met Sonia Gandhi this morning and gave in her resignation. Joshi said Sonia kept her resignation letter and will take a decision later. Sonia is believed to have told her to pull up her socks and move ahead.
Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi could not attend a function to release a commemmorative stamp in the memory of late party veteran Shyamacharan Shukla in New Delhi as she is indisposed. Highly placed sources said Gandhi developed "mild fever" in the morning and, hence, her scheduled visit to Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence at 7, Race Course Road to participate in the function did not take place.
Party sources said that there was nothing serious as her health is otherwise fine.
Gandhi had returned from abroad on March 5 after a "routine check up" for her undisclosed ailment. She had gone out of the country for the check up on Februrary 27 following a surgery over six months back.
12:19 Murdered IPS officer cremated in hometown Aligarh:
IPS officer Narendra Kumar Singh had been cremated at his hometown of Aligarh. Kumar was crushed to death under the wheels of a tractor-trolley laden with stones on Thursday by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, when he tried to stop it at Banmore town in Morena district.
12:13 MP has become the new UP of crime: Top cop:
The image of Madhya Pradesh has taken a beating due to the recent spurt in incidents of crime, be it the murder of RTI activist Shehla Masood or the killing of young IPS Officer, Narendra Kumar allegedly by the growing mining mafia in the state. "This is a new trend in Madhya Pradesh and a very dangerous one. Such incidents were unheard of in the state and it is a matter of grave concern," former Director General of Police (DGP) S C Tripathi said.
These things normally take place in Banda-Kanpur region of Uttar Pradesh, but this a new thing for the state, he said. "It (Shehla's killing) was a well calculated murder in hich first the target was eliminated and later to destroy the vidence, the shooter was gunned down," he said adding though it is a matter of probe that whether he was killed because of gang rivalry, accident or something else.
12:12 Jolie to play fairy-sorceress in Sleeping Beauty:
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie is set to play one of the most iconic villains as she steps into the shoes of fairy-sorceress in Disney's re-imagining of the
Maleficent, a modern interpretation of the classic fairy-tale, will begin shooting in June this year in London. Elle Fanning is in talks to play Aurora in the live-action movie. Robert Stromberg will direct the film from a script by Linda Woolverton and is already in the UK prepping the film.
12:10 Angelina strikes her Oscars pose, but leg's covered:
Her right leg became one of the highlights of this year's Oscar ceremony, but Angelina Jolie seems to be keeping her excellent extremity under wraps. The stunning star stepped out to the 3rd annual Women in the World Summit tonight in New York City wearing a pair of trousers.
12:07 Now, another diva at the house of wax: Madhuri Dixit:
Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit was thrilled to be the latest in a line of Indian actors to be immoralised into a wax work at London's Madame Tussauds. The 44-year-old who unveiled the statue at the museum on Wednesday joins other B-town A-listers who already have statues at the museum including Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
11:56 Heroin horror stalks India's most remote villages:
Punjab is the birthplace of Bhangra music, home of the colorful turban and the exquisite golden temple. It is a state in India where the population has prospered for many years. It has one of the lowest poverty rates in the country thanks to fertile farmland, abundant water supply and decent infrastructure. But the Punjab finds itself with a serious problem among its population -- drug addiction.
Read the report on the bbc.
11:54 On Twitter: Kiran Bedi
@thekiranbedi Corrupt politician-politicized bureaucracy,weak police leadership creates life threatening crime situations for brave young IPS entrants
11:48 Fifth Mission Impossible in the making?:
Tom Cruise may soon return for another adventure as agent Ethan Hunt.
The makers of superhit Mission Impossible franchise have hinted at the possibility of a fifth movie in the series at the shareholder meeting of the Paramount Pictures parent.
11:45 PPP did not weaken Cong in Punjab, Badal tells Sonia:
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has disagreed with Sonia Gandhi''s remark that the Punjab People's Party had weakened the position of the Congress in the recent assembly elections in the state.
Badal said the -- misdeeds of the Congress Party like inflation, corruption, unemployment and the lack of security in the country, were responsible for the reverses suffered by it .
He said the Congress had not made a single contribution to the country. On Wednesday, Gandhi sought to blame her party's unexpected defeat in Punjab on the newly formed Punjab People''s Party floated by Manpreet Singh Badal, former Punjab finance minister and Parkash Singh Badal''s nephew.
11:34 IPS officer's father suspects conspiracy behind son's murder:
The father of the young IPS officer mowed down by a suspected member of the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh today alleged there was a well-planned
conspiracy against his son who did not receive cooperation of local police and authorities.
As the incident yesterday triggered an outrage, state Congress leader Manak Aggarwal demanded a judicial probe into the killing of 30-year-old Narendra Kumar Singh, a 2009-batch IPS officer.
Kumar's wife Madhurani Tewatia is an IAS officer posted in Gwalior and is currently on maternity leave. Amid scenes of uncontrolled grief, Kumar's wife and family members at his native village, 50 km from Mathura, were in a state of deep shock as the Holi celebrations turned tragic.
11:26 L&T appoints Venkataraman as CEO & MD; Naik to remain Chairman:
In a long-awaited top management succession planning exercise, corporate giant Larsen and Toubro today appointed K Venkataraman as its CEO and Managing Director, while its current chief A M Naik would remain
Executive Chairman for the next five years.
Naik currently holds the position of Chairman and MD at the group, a major player in engineering, manufacturing,
construction and a host of other businesses including technology and financial services.
The L&T's board of directors has decided to bifurcate the roles of Chairman and Managing Director in a major top management rejig, which would become effective from April 1.
11:23 Selling kidneys to beat starvation in Bengal:
In these arid, impoverished parts, Bindol has another name -kidney village. The wasted, skeletal men and women you would see slumped under the shade of trees are awaiting death with feeble breaths. This is the kidney sale capital of the state, perhaps of the country.
Every second home here has someone who has sold his kidney to escapestarvation. Many die within years. Now, the dying men have started forcing their wives to give up a kidney.
Read the TOI for the story.
11:16 Dravid's farewell to cricket at 12 pm:
Rahul Dravid to hold a press conference at 12 pm today to announce his retirement. Sachin Tendulkar today paid rich tributes to Dravid, saying there can be "no other" cricketer like him.
Read the report on rediff.com.
11:07 Book on our website, says KF after IATA throws it out:
Crisis-hit Kingfisher Airlines today said it has made alternative arrangements for customers to book their travel on the carrier, in the wake of global airlines' body IATA suspending it from its platforms for non-clearance of dues.
"The airline has made alternate arrangements to ensure that the customers can continue to book their travel on Kingfisher, via select leading travel agents and their network of partners," a Kingfisher spokesperson said in a statement.
Besides, passengers can continue to book and purchase tickets via Kingfisher website and through its ticketing offices across the country and at international locations, as also at its call centres.
"This situation has arisen as a consequence of out bank accounts having been frozen by the tax authorities. We are making all possible efforts to remedy this temporary situation," the spokesperson said.
Vijay Mallya-led UB group's aviation entity further said that all its flights will continue to operate normally as per the schedule published on its website.
Kingfisher Airlines had suffered yet another blow on March 7, with IATA suspended it for not clearing its dues.
Just wondering, who are the fools still booking KF?
10:57 Up ahead today...:
TMC parliamentary meet on Budget.
Rahul Dravid likely to resign today.
Uttarakhand: Congress may stake claim to form government and will meet the governor.
Prakash Singh Badal will be sworn in as CM for record 5th time in Punjab
10:43 Manohar Parrikar to be sworn in as Goa CM for 3rd time:
Good morning. Two days on, BJP's Manohar Parrikar will be sworn
in as Chief Minister of Goa today. Six other legislators would be sworn in as ministers. Senior BJP leaders including L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj
will attend the oath taking ceremony that is being held at the Sports Authority of Goa ground. Party sources said that seven people including the Chief
Minister would be taking oath during the first round this evening. The cabinet expansion would be held later after presentation of the state budget.
The first lot of ministers includes two legislators from minority community--Francis D'Souza and Matanhy Saldanha-- who were in the Parrikar cabinet when his government was toppled in 2005.
10:38 Headlines this morning:
Killed IPS officer's family demands justice (The Times of India)
Narendra Kumar's father has alleged that his son's murder was a well-planned conspiracy and Madhya Pradesh authorities did not cooperate with family. Read
IPS officer killed in MP, father says it's a conspiracy (Hindustan Times)
The father of Narendra Kumar, the young IPS officer, who was mowed down by an alleged member of the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh, has alleged that there was a well-planned conspiracy against his son. Read
There was no need to issue notice to Yeddyurappa: Hegde (The Hindu)
Hegde, whose report had led to the resignation of Mr Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister on July 31 last year, said he is entitled to his right to term the judgement as "right or wrong" without attributing any motives to the court. Read
UPCC chief to meet Sonia amid dismal poll result, infighting (Hindustan Times)
Uttar Pradesh Congress Comittee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi will meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday after a dismal poll performance and a rising infighting within the party. Read
Cong reacts to Trivedi: Govt stable, will last term (Indian Express)
Speaking at 'Idea Exchange' programme, minister had said country might be headed for mid-term poll. Read
Race for power: BSP says it's in touch with both Cong, BJP in Uttarakhand (Indian Express)
Both parties are wooing BSP, 3 Independent MLAs to muster majority in 70-member Assembly. Read
Sonia wakes up to old curse (Telegraph)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today suggested wrong choice of candidates damaged the partys prospects in the Assembly elections, the unusual public declaration leaving in shock those involved in election management. Read
We have to look at the way our rules work: Store (The Hindu)
Norway's Foreign Minister wants satisfactory end to the case of children's custody. Read