March 26, 2012
A correspoent in New Delhi
A high-level review meeting at the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters in New Delhi has decided to question YSR chief Jagan Mohan Reddy one more time.
Joint director, CBI Hyderabad met the CBI director and later Uninon Minister P Chidambaram. Jagan may be to be arrested after the Parliament session.
Rashtrapati Bhavan today made a feeble attempt to defend the whopping expenditure of Rs 205 crore on President Pratibha Patil's numerous foreign visits saying that the comparison with her predecessor was "not relevant".
Patil, who completes her five year tenure in July next has visited 22 countries for a period of 79 days, by far the highest by any President. These travels have cost Air India Rs 169 crore and Ministry of External Affairs Rs 36 crore.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said in a statement that the profile of the country has changed and there has been increased engagement with the rest of the world.
"The number of visits of other heads of state to India including multiple visits have also increased. It is only natural that reciprocal visits are required to be made," the spokesperson said. She said there were several instances where the visit of the President was the first ever by any Indian President to make new era of bilateral relations.
Details of what retired Lieutenant General Tejinder Singh said today.
The man whose name is doing the rounds as the man responsible for offering a bribe to Army Chief General VK Singh denied the charge today. Lt Gen Tejinder Singh said General Singh had not even taken his name and it was only media speculation that he was involved in the latest controversy and that he was not working for any private or defence company.
"Having retired two years ago, in the wake of these allegations, some allegations have been made against me, which I must humbly say that I totally deny," he said.
He said he was considering taking legal action against "people concerned". The army chief has not named me, so I should not be talking about it. Allegations against me are baseless. I don't want to get into any controversy by speaking out anything on the issue. I don't want to tarnish the image of the army," Tejinder Singh, who retired as a lieutenant general said.
Paedophiles, violent thugs and drug dealers were among more than 4,000 offenders who applied to become teachers last year in the UK, despite having almost 10,000 criminal convictions between them, figures showed today.
Read the Independent report.
Meanwhile, abducted Orissa MLA Hikaka writes to CM Naveen Patnaik to stop combing operations and agree to the Maoists demands. The Maoists have released Claudio Colangelo, one of the two Italian hostages on Sunday.
The CM appealed to the rebels to immediately free the other two hostages. "They should inform us about (abducted MLA) Hikaka's whereabouts so that talks can begin for his release, unharmed," he said shortly after Colangelo was set free," he said.
Lalit Kumar Modi @LalitKModi I have seen the judgment. All I want to say at the moment is that we are appealing the Judgment.
Chris Cairns has won a libel case against Modi for UK Pound 90,000. Modi had alleged that Cairns was involved in match-fixing and had tweeted to that effect.
See our 15:25 pm post.
Former Punjab MPA, Bilal Khar has denied the accusation of throwing acid at his former wife Fakhra Yunus 12 years ago. Talking to Geo News Bilal Khar said that Fakhra spend four months with him after the acid attack.
During this time Bilal Khar claimed that Fakhra refused to tell him who had attacked her. "She committed suicide because promises committed to her by certain people were not fulfilled," Khar said.
Khar further regards his marriage with Fakhra as his biggest mistake and said that due to the issue his wife and three daughters were facing problems in the society. Her body was brought back to Pakistan on Sunday and she was laid to rest in a graveyard in Karachi.
The special CBI court in Indore today extended the judicial custody of three accused in RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case, including interior designer Zahida Pervez, till April 3.
The court extended the judicial custody of Pervez, Saba Farooqui, and Shaikb "Danger" for another nine days. The court also extended the police custody of Tabish Khan, an alleged shooter, till March 30. The fifth accused, alleged contract killer Irfan, is also in judicial custody till April 3.
Barely a month after Pakistan bagged its first Oscar for a documentary on victims of acid attacks, the country's most famous face of one such assault ended her 13-year ordeal by jumping out of her sixth-floor apartment in Italy.
Fakhra Yunus was 22 when her husband Bilal Khar, a member of the politically strong Khar family of Punjab, marred her life by allegedly throwing acid on her face, just three years after their marriage. Bilal Khar, a former provincial legislator, is a cousin of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
Read the story in the Indian Express.
Also see the Tribune, Pakistan story
The inside story of the Parliament proceedings today from our man in Delhi. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javdekar was about to fall in the Rajya Sabha when he was on his way to his seat after the House resumed at 2 pm. In his hurry, Javdekar almost tripped over his own legs as Arun Jaitley was about to begin speaking.
The BJP Parliamentary Party is all set to select a deputy leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha to give a trusted aide to Arun Jaitley. There are three or four contenders for the post: First is Ravi Shankar Prasad, another is Parshottam Rupal from Gujarat. The third is the BJP's Prakash Javdekar. It is now for LK Advani and Jaitley to identify them as the term of S S Ahluwalia ends on March 31.
Buzz in the AICC is that in July there will be shall be a change of guard in Andhra Pradesh. The new CM will be from Telangana.
Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines owed over Rs 5,600 crore to public sector banks as on February this year, the government has said. The consortium of 13 PSU banks, including State Bank of India, have an exposure of Rs 5,608.07 crore to Kingfisher Airlines as on February 2012, Minister of State forFinance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply in Lok Sabha last Friday.
Replying to a query on whether SBI has any proposal to extend a financial lifeline to Kingfisher, Meena said," State Bank of India, leader of the consortium of lenders, has informed that no such lifeline has been extended to Kingfisher Airlines Ltd by them during the current financial year." SBI alone has an exposure of Rs 1,408.45 crore to KFA.
Soccer player David Beckham is reportedly selling off his 500,000 pound car collection as the family now spends more time in Los Angeles. The 36-year-old, who has four kids with wife Victoria, is clearing out the garage at Beckingham Palace - the UK house he and Victoria bought in 1999, as now they live in America full time.
Beckham's collections includes two Bentleys, a BMW 645, a Range Rover Sport and his Lamborghini Gallardo worth 170,000 are all expected to go, along with three Harley-Davidson motorbikes.
Update on the Kudankulam fast:
Continuing his fast against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, convener of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) S P Udayakumar today said the protesters were "ready" for talks.
"We are ready for talks. If we are considered people of this country and if our ahimsa protest is respected, government should talk to us. They should treat us like Indian people," Udayakumar, on an indefinite fast since March 12 along with his supporters. He said it was regrettable that the government was suddenly "belittling" the protesters by accusing them of having links with Maoists and foreign countries.
The anti-nuclear activists of PMANE have been on an indefinite fast after Tamil Nadu government gave its go-ahead to the Indo-Russian nuclear project on March 19, after which work at the plant is on in full swing.
Kejriwal says Team Anna is not against politicians, just corruption. He says it is wrong to suggest that the Team does not have faith in Parliament.
This time, Kejrwial has probably bitten off more than he can chew, with all MPs across party lines unifying against Team Anna. Kejriwal looks like he's got a tummy ache, while speaking to Rajdeep Sardesai.
Team Anna key aide Arvind Kejriwal tells CNN IBN that he did no wrong. He said he has great respect for Parliament and is worried about it. He says there are good MPs but their voices are feeble, pointing out to why MPs don't protest when papers are torn in Parliament. He says he is ready to face any charges.
This is what happened in Parliament today on Arvind Kejriwal's rapists remarks.
Read the report on rediff.com
JDU's Sharad Yadav set to move privilege motion against Team Anna in Parliament for their 'MPs are rapists, murderers, thieves' remark.
The duck-and-ducklings-crossing-the-road video that will make you go awww.
And the other U-turn of the day: Anshuman Mishra, who has levelled certain allegations against BJP leaders after the party backed out of supporting him for Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand, today retracted his comments and apologised to them.
The NRI businessman apologised to L K Advani, M M Joshi, Nitin Gadkari, Yashwant Sinha and Arun Jaitley hours after Jaitley served a legal notice on him. In a statement, Mishra offered "complete and unequivocal public retraction" of his comments made against leaders like Joshi, Sinha, Jaitley and some others.
He also offered his "sincerest apologies" to Advani and Gadkari. Mishra, who had filed his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand with backing by a section of BJP before the party made a U-turn, said he accepted "the fact that he had no significant association/relationship with BJP."
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, who stirred up a hornet's nest by saying that many government departments are blood suckers like mosquitoes, today clarified that he had not said that in connection with the Finance Ministry.
Blaming the media for putting his statement on the excise duty hike on jewellery in wrong context, Jaiswal said his statement on blood sucking was "in connection with many government departments and not the Finance Ministry."
"Some channels have shown that I have made some comments on the Finance Ministry. It is unfortunate that channels don't show (the correct picture)," he told reporters at the Parliament House complex today.
Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder, has strenuously denied allegations in London's High Court that he was involved in match-fixing during the now defunct Indian Cricket League. His statement came at the start of his libel case against Lalit Modi, the former Indian Premier League commissioner, over a 2010 tweet that referred to Cairns' alleged involvement in corruption.
Cairns issued the writ in London's High Court in January 2010, shortly after Modi's claims were made public. On January 5, 2010, Modi tweeted that Cairns had been removed from the forthcoming IPL auction list because of his involvement with match-fixing. Cairns denied this but Modi responded by saying: "Let him sue us, then we will produce what we have in court."
Cairns was captain of Chandigarh Lions in the Twenty20 league but had his contract terminated in October 2008, during the third edition of the tournament. The official reason given was that Cairns had failed to disclose an ankle injury in breach of his contract. Read more ESPN Cricinfo.
Also read: Chris Cairns reacts angrily to Lalit Modi's silence in libel case
Just in: Chris Cairns wins libel case against Lalit Modi. Cairns wins damages of UK Pound 90,000. Modi had alleged that Cairns was involved in match-fixing and had tweeted to that effect.
Rediff.com's Toral Varia reports that Khalil Khilji, an Ahmedabad blast accused was killed in an encounter by the ATS in Aurangabad today. Two others, also accused in the Ahmedabad blasts, have been arrested. The trio belong to the Abu Faisal group and are from Madhya Pradesh. They are also accused in the murder of Pramod Tiwari in Khandwa, MP and an ATS constable.
Army Chief Gen VK Singh in an interview to ETV on the bribe allegations says he could not take action against the person who offered the bribe as it was an indirect offer.
He says he was shocked at the brazenness of the act and said he will not allow anything that disturbs the system. "I haven't allowed any middleman during my tenure. I immediately informed the defence minister about the bribe, who was shocked to hear about it."
India today assured South Korea that it is keen to move forward the delayed Rs 52,000 crore POSCO project in Odisha with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking top Korean CEOs to "have faith" in the country.
Stressing that "India is a stable and profitable long term investment opportunity", he said: "We will take proactive steps to address investor grievances and improve the business climate in the country...I urge Korean industry to
have faith in India."
Before his departure for South Korea, the Prime Minister's Office had reviewed progress of the POSCO project with the Odisha government. Citing examples of LG, Samsung and Hyundai that recognised strengths and competitive advantages of the Indian economy, Singh said Korean companies were among the early investors to look at India as an investment destination.
"Investment from Korea is a priority for India...Many States of our Union have been actively encouraging foreign investment and we will support these efforts," Singh said.
Quite naturally there was an uproar in Parliament over Team Anna's allegations. RJD's Sharad Yadav says, "We are not rapists and how can you call us murderers!"
BJP's Sushma Swaraj says Anna deviated from the main issue.
In their provocative speeches Team Anna members named nearly 25 politicians alleging that there were complaints of corruption against them and strong anti-corruption laws or protection could not be expected from such polity.
Hazare also appeared to be sensitive to the charge that the group had "insulted" Parliament taking the opportunity to emphasis that it was the political representatives with dubious antecedents who had defamed the House.
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, who is already battling three privilege notices for calling MPs "murderers, rapists" appeared defiant listing out 14 "corrupt" cabinet ministers.
He argued that allegations against these ministers had been raised in newspapers and TV expose and he had no direct evidence of the wrong-doing but the allegations should be investigated nonetheless.
NDTV says Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh allegedly offered the Rs 14-crore bribe to Army Chief VK Singh.
It is a great pleasure for me to meet with you this morning. I would like to thank the leading Korean chambers of commerce and industry for organizing this interaction during my official visit to this beautiful country.
We in India admire the Korean people for the great economic and social progress they have registered. Despite the downturn in the global economy, Korea has sustained one of the highest growth rates among the OECD countries. These achievements are due to the determination, solid hard work and spirit of enterprise of the Korean people.
For years businesses across the world have attempted to dissect Steve Jobs' career to figure out what made him so incredibly brilliant and successful. Not only did he change the way we use technology, but he changed movies, music, retail shopping and more. His entrepreneur skills were some of the best the world has seen, which is why Fortune magazine declared Steve Jobs 'The Greatest Entrepreneur of Our Time' in their ranking of the top 12 entrepreneurs of recent memory.
2. Bill Gates Microsoft
3. Fred Smith FedEx
4. Jeff Bezos Amazon
5. Larry Page & Sergey Brin Google
6. Howard Schultz Starbucks
7. Mark Zuckerberg Facebook
8. John Mackey Whole Foods
9. Herb Kelleher Southwest Airlines
10. Narayana Murthy Infosys
An Islamic marriage guide that advises Muslim men on how to beat and control their wives has sparked outrage. The 160-page A Gift For Muslim Couple tells husbands they may beat wives "by hand or stick" or "pull her by the ears". Women are told they must not leave the house without permission.
Read it on the Sun.
If Israel's 1981 bombing of Iraqi nuclear facilities teaches us anything, it's that the quickest way to help the Iranians make up their minds is to attack them.
Two brothers put on last lifeboat by father who died in disaster (and were only reunited with their mother after she saw newspaper appeal)
Read more on the Daily Mail
It seems life is indeed tough if you are young Suri Cruise. For the five-year-old was spotted being carried into her parents' New York home by her mother Katie Holmes tonight.
Read this only for the pictures.
Police recordings of the Toulouse gunman while he was under siege suggest he was a psychopath who took 'infinite pleasure' in killing his victims.
Read the Daily Mail report.
Talks between the Odisha government and rebel mediators to facilitate the release of tribal BJD MLA and an Italian are likely to resume soon.
While Maoists set free 61-year-old Italian Claudio Colangelo, his compatriot Puri-based Italian tour operator Paolo Bosusco, 54 was still being held captive by the ultras who said his release would depend on Odisha government's
seriousness towards their demands.
Colangelo's release came after talks between the Left-wing extremists and government mediators were suspended when the ruling BJD MLA from Laxmipur, Jhina Hikaka was abducted by over 50 Maoists in Koraput district.
'Coalgate' trends no more, but the alleged 'scam' over the Indian government's allocation of coal mining blocks to companies stems from a 110-page draft report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, reported by the Times of India.
Here are five things you need to know. On the Wall Street Journal.
Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm after Opposition uproar over the Army chief's
reported statement that he was offered bribe.
Former Army Chief VP Malik says VK Singh did the right thing by informing the defence ministry and said greater transparency was needed in the procurement process.
Another former Army chief General Shankar Roychoudary is not aware of a bribe being offered.
This is the moment honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani is alleged to have handed a bag of cash to his taxi driver in return for orchestrating the killing of his wife Anni. The previously unseen CCTV footage shows millionaire Dewani meeting Zola Tongo (in white) -- who has been jailed for 18 years for organising the murder - in the Cape Town hotel where the honeymoon couple were staying. It was recorded three days after Dewani's bride was shot dead in South Africa.
Read the Daily Mail story.
The sensational claim by the Army chief, Gen VK Singh, that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe by a retired Army officer-turned-lobbyist in order to clinch a deal for the purchase of trucks by the Army is fairly explicit -- except for one missing detail. Who was the shadowy man who offered Gen Singh the bribe? Even though the Army chief very deliberately dropped the bombshell that will reverberate in the political space, he was careful not to invoke his name.
Read the Firstpost.com report.
PM Dr Manmohan Singh will meet his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani on the sidelines of the Korean security summit. The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, which starts in Seoul today, is the largest summit in the nuclear security sector to discuss international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups.
Srikanth Kondapalli, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, explains what to expect from two-day long deliberations at Seoul
Read the report on rediff.com.
Meanwhile, Home Minister P Chidambaram has said there was "some ulterior motive" behind continuance of the protest against the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam despite assurance from the government that it is safe.
Addressing Congress Workers here yesterday, he expressed serious concern over the power crisis in Tamil Nadu and asked the state government to take steps to find an early solution to the problem.
On the stir against the Kudankulam plant, he said there was "some ulterior motive" behind continuance of the protest.
Chidambaram said he had asked the previous government also "to take serious steps to resolve power problem". Maintaining that India wanted to maintain cordial relations with all its neighbouring countries, Chidambaram said the
country supported a resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes "after a serious thinking".
In less than 10 minutes after Parliament resumed, the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm. The Army Chief's allegation that he was offered a Rs 14 crore bribe for a go-ahead to purchase 600 sub-standard vehicles, rocked both Houses.
Defence AK Antony says that the Army Chief VK Singh's allegations are very serious and will be looked into.
In Parliament today, the the BJP said that, "Gen VK Singh's bribe case is a serious matter. The army chief has named the person who offered him bribes. The govt should take action immediately."
In an interview to The Hindu, General VK Singh, who recently lost his date of birth battle, claimed that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore by an equipment lobbyist for clearing the purchase of 600 substandard vehicles. The army chief also added that the defence minister AK Antony was apprised of the matter.
The names of the men, women and children allegedly murdered by a US soldier in Afghanistan's Panjwai District in Kandahar Province on March 11 have been released. The US military has now added one more name to that list, but no one has revealed that victim's name so far. When someone is killed, its natural to want to know who they were and how they died.
More on cnn.com
The brother of the man who killed seven people in south-west France in recent weeks has been charged over the murders, judicial sources say.
Read the bbc report.
In other news, the US military has decided that none of its soldiers involved in a NATO airstrike in November last year that had killed 24 Pakistani soldiers will face disciplinary charges, an incident that had plunged the bilateral ties to a new low.
A second inquiry to determine whether any American military personnel should be held accountable for the incident concluded that the Americans fired in self-defence and should not be punished, 'The New York Times' reported quoting three senior military officials.
Charu Khandal, who led the team that recently won the national award for special effects in Shahrukh Khan's Ra.One, is battling for life, after an auto
rickshaw in which she was travelling, was hit by a speeding car in suburban Oshiwara here, leaving her seriously injured, police said today.
The mishap took place in the early hours of Sunday around 1 am, when the 28-year-old victim was returning home in the auto with her sister Ritu and friend Vikrant Goyal.
The young animator has suffered multiple fractures in her leg and spine besides grave injuries on her head after the black Honda City rammed into the auto rickshaw, which turned turtle near Sriji restaurant. Ritu and Goyal also received severe injuries in the accident, police said.
I was offered a bribe of Rs. 14 crore, says Army Chief (The Hindu)
The country will soon see the sutradhar of the date of birth drama'.Read
Army chief bribery allegations a serious matter: BJP (Hindustan Times)
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday gave notice for suspension of Question Hour in Parliament, wanted to discuss army chief General VK Singh's claims of being offered Rs 14 crore bribe. Read
Maoists let off 1 Italian, say target werent foreigners, silent on MLA (Indian Express)
Ultras Hold on to the other abducted Italian; officials feel MLA kidnapping unplanned. Read
Anna Hazare storms Delhi, warns of August stir (The Times of India)
Pushing aside the December debacle activist Anna Hazare returned in full force to Jantar Mantar on Sunday, setting an August deadline for the government to file cases against its 14 "corrupt'' Cabinet ministers. Read
Pressure grows on Punjab CM to seek clemency for Rajoana (Hindustan Times)
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, who was present at the SAD core committee meet which asked the state govt to take all possible steps to secure clemency for Rajoana, said he would make a special statement on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha today. Read