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Govt to move 'adult ads' to late-night slot

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May 16, 2012

Govt to move 'adult ads' to late-night slot:  
Government is considering moving certain advertisements, which contain content not fit for unrestricted viewing, to slots outside family viewing hours following recommendations by the Administrative Standard Council of India.

Sources said ASCI had in the past recommended in more than one case that advertisements who content is not found fit for general viewing could be shifted to the time slot of 11 pm to 6 am.

Official sources said in three cases where ASCI was hearing content-related advertisements of products Fast Track Deo, Wild Stone Deo and Tata Docomo, it had recommended a late night time slot.

While ASCI has not upheld the complaints in case of certain advertisements, it has recommended that these should be shown outside family viewing hours--that is from 11 pm to 6 am, a senior official said.

This particular recommendation of ASCI is under consideration of the government, the official added.
Samsung overtakes Nokia as top mobile handset maker:  
Korean electronics giant Samsung has dethroned Finnish major Nokia as the top mobile handset maker with sales of 86.6 million units in 2011, research firm Gartner has said.

Samsung, with a sales growth of 25.9 per cent, had a market share of 20.7 per cent in January-March 2012 quarter, while Nokia (with 83.2 million units sold) had a share of 19.8 per cent in the same period, Gartner said in a statement.

Nokia's mobile handset sales decreased 22.7 per cent from the first quarter of 2011.

Worldwide sales of mobile phones dipped two per cent to 419.1 million units in first quarter of 2012, the first time since second quarter of 2009 when the market exhibited a decline.
Narayana Murthy honoured by US university:  
Infosys chief mentor Narayana Murthy has been felicitated with the Global Leadership and Free Enterprise awards by the University of South Florida in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit.

The two awards were presented to Murthy by USF President Judy Genshaft at a ceremony in Tampa, Florida.

In his interaction with USF students, Murthy talked about his current duties as Infosys chairman emeritus, which keeps him busy though not involved in the day-to-day operations, and then engaged in a question and answer session.

Murthy recounted details about the impact of changes in the tech world that "transformed the entire scenario" for corporations and "opened up unlimited and enormous opportunities," most significantly the introduction of super computers and online transaction capabilities.
I never sought RSS support: Anna Hazare:  
Activist Anna Hazare has said that he had never sought RSS' support and Sangh supremo Mohan Bhagwat should not have declared support to his anti-corruption movement.

"I do not personally know RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, I have never met him," he said in reply to a reporter's question, adding Bhagwat should not have said that RSS supported his movement.

Hazare has been accused by some Congress leaders of acting at RSS' behest.

The anti-corruption crusader also said that an agitation would be launched against 14 Union ministers for alleged corruption. These ministers have been sent detailed memos on allegations against them, he said.
Kings XI to take action against guilty players:  Kings XI Punjab today said it will take strict action against any of its player found guilty of indulging in spot-fixing even as the BCCI has suspended five uncapped Indian players in the wake of a television sting operation which claimed to have exposed corruption in the IPL. 

"Kings XI Punjab believes in fair play and commitment towards the game. We have complete faith in the IPL governing body and BCCI and we abide by their decision," Kings XI management said in a statement. "Detailed interrogation will take place by the concerned authorities and if any player is found guilty, proper action as warranted will be taken against the individual," it added. 

The BCCI yesterday suspended Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T P Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali with immediate effect pending inquiry after a lengthy tele-conference of its top officials and members of the IPL's Governing Council.
Quota promise not 'lolly pop' to get votes in UP: Khurshid:  Asserting that decision to earmark 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities in government jobs was not a "lolly pop" to gain votes in Uttar Pradesh, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid today said the government was committed to all round development of backwards. 

"No, it was not a lolly pop to gain votes of minorities in Uttar Pradesh," Kurshid said in Rajya Sabha. Kurshid, who had kicked up a controversy during campaign for UP polls when he talked about raising this sub-quota for minorities within the OBC quota from 4.5 to 9 per cent and for which he was reprimanded by the Election Commission, said the decision was based on recommendations of various committees. 

Ranganath Misra Committee and Rajinder Sachar Committee had identified 8.44 per cent population among minorities as backward. "Half of this would have been 4.2 per cent but we decided to round off the figure and made it 4.5 per cent," he said giving rationale behind fixation of 4.5 per cent sub-quota in government jobs for minorities.
Obama raises USD 44M for campaign, Democrats in April:  US President Barack Obama raised a combined USD 43.6 million in April for his campaign and the Democratic Party as he faces a Republican effort that's rallying around Mitt Romney for the White House. 

Obama's monthly fundraising haul fell short of the USD 53 million he raised in March. His campaign said more than 400,000 people contributed to the campaign last month, including 169,000 new donors. "This election is going to be close, given the historic challenges this country faced when the president came into office," campaign manager Jim Messina told supporters in a YouTube video released today. 

Presidential campaigns and super PACs have until midnight Sunday to file their fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. The general election is in November. Obama's fundraising announcement came the same day the Republican group Crossroads GPS said it would spend USD 25 million on ads critical of the president. 

Crossroads is the non-profit arm of American Crossroads, a "super" political committee backed by former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove that has raised about USD 100 million this election to defeat Obama.
3 striking AI pilots resume duty; stir continues on day 9:  On day nine of the stir by over 200 Air India pilots, three pilots resumed duty today and the protesters said they were "open" to talks with the government to resolve the impasse. The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), which is spearheading the agitation, said in a statement it was "open to meeting with officials of the management and/or Ministry at any place at any time in order to resolve these issues and bring an end to the current impasse." 

An AI spokesperson said, "three sick pilots have resumed duty today". The IPG claimed that they were not its members. The agitation has led to curtailment of the airline's international operations. Even as it offered to get to the negotiating table, the IPG accused the airline management of providing "incorrect" inputs on their demands to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh.
New UK missions in Hyderabad, Chandigarh:  Seeking to give a fillip to trade and investment amidst recession, Britain today announced the opening of two more missions in India, making its presence in India the largest diplomatic network of any country. Foreign Secretary William Hague today told parliament that the two new Deputy High Commissions in Hyderabad and Chandigarh will take the number of UK posts in India to seven.

Besides the British high commission in New Delhi, there are UK missions in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. It also has two trade offices in Pune and Ahmedabad. Hague said: "Given the growing importance of our relations with India, I can announce today that we have secured the agreement of the Indian government to open two new Deputy High Commissions in the dynamic and important cities of Hyderabad and Chandigarh". 

He added: "This will bring the number of our diplomatic posts in India to seven. It will mean that Britain will have the most extensive diplomatic network in India of any Diplomatic Service in the world".
And tweets on the other big story: Jayalalithaa's ad splash :  

Derek O'Brien @quizderek @soniandtv Just curious...what would have the ad splash cost ? Ad industry estimate?    


Sonia singh @soniandtv @quizderek NDTV's Sanjay Pinto says sources have told him 25 crores. We've got the W Bengal anniversary coming,will you guys match it :-)

Twitter on the Jaya's complaint on Rekha's oath :  

Shiv Aroor @ShivAroor Anyone get the feeling that this Jaya-Rekha tamasha is *precisely* what the Congress may have wanted to do to the Bachchans?  


Shiv Aroor @ShivAroor Overheard: Now Rajya Sabha TV will receive a flurry of complaints from sleeping MPs that the camera cut to when PM was speaking.

Bail to Raja doesn't mean a clean chit to him: Joshi:  

The Public Accounts Committee Chairperson and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today said the bail granted to 2G spectrum scam accused A Raja is part of the law taking its course but it does not mean he has been given a clean chit in the Rs 1.76 Lakh crore scandal. 


Asked about the bail granted to Raja, Joshi said the court had gone through his case and decided to grant him bail."This is the process of law. But I do not think this means that he has been cleared of all the charges," Joshi said.


The former Telecom Minister attended the Lok Sabha today afternoon for a few minutes today.

Default in payment by Iranian buyers for rice export:  In the Rajya Sabha today, the Indian Embassy took up the default in payment by Iranian Buyers for export of rice. The overdue amount was reported to be about Rs 200 crores. The Embassy of India, Tehran has taken up the matter with the relevant government authorities in Iran for clearing the payments.
UGC nod for research on 24 great Indians :  

In Parliament today:


Minister of State for Human Resource Development, E Ahamed in the Lok Sabha today said that the University Grants Commission ) has informed that the names of 24 personalities have been permitted by UGC to conduct research, under the scheme of Epoch Making Social Thinkers of India.


These include Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Buddha, B.R. Ambedkar, Aurobindo Ghosh, Swami Vivekanand, Dr, Zakir Hussain, Shri Guru Nanak Dev, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Candra Bose, Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya, Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, Sardar Valabhbhai Patel, Shri Shankar Dev, Shri Sukafa, Shri Ramakrishna Paramhans, Shri Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Lala Lajpat Rai, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Pt. Iswara Chandra Vidyasagar, Shri Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

On quote... :  

Congress leader ND Tiwari on the Delhi HC ruling asking the police that force may be used to get the blood sample for the paternity test. "I cannot be forced to undergo a blood test."


Mani Shankar Aiyar on Jayalalithaa's ad blitzkrieg today: "The size of the ad is as big as her ego." 

Ansari asks RS TV CEO for explanation:  

The complaint also said that Hindi channels played the tapes in a loop and she was upset and angry at the obvious attempt to link her with Rekha. She says she was personally saddened by the incident and feels it's an act of mischief.

Rajya Sabha chairman Dr Hamid Ansari has asked the RS TV CEO for an explanation. The RS TV techinicians have also been pulled up.

Angry Jaya demands explanation :  

Filing the complaint against Rajya Sabha TV to Hamid Ansari, Jaya Bachchan said she was hurt at being shown on TV when Rekha was taking oath. Jaya had shifted her seat from 91 to 143, while Rekha got seat number 99. If she was still on 91, they would have been at arm's distance from each other.

Other Rajya Sabha MPs also joined her in the complaint.


Also see the gossipy Telegraph story on the same issue.

How the Jaya-Rekha silsila began in the RS:  

This is what the Hindustan Times carried on April 27, after Rekha's name was nominated to the Upper House.


A sequel to the 1981 hit Silsila, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan and Rekha, is in the making. The setting this time: Rajya Sabha. Soon after news of President Pratibha Patil  approving the nomination of actor Rekha to the Upper House, cyberspace was flooded with jokes on the 'love  triangle' being carried forward to Parliament. More

Rekha spent 19:23 minutes in RS yesterday:  

Yesterday, Rekha or Rekha-ji as Mulayam Singh wants people to address her, took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha. Clad in golden brown saree, the 57-year-old actress arrived in the Upper House at 10.57 hours and was immediately surrounded by members who greeted her profusely.


Journalist and nominated member H K Dua offered her his seat no. 97 and was seen explaining the procedure before Chairman Hamid Ansari took his seat.


She was greeted with thumping of desk when her name was called for taking oath. "I Rekha Ganeshan" she said, swearing in the name of God in her brief oath in English.


Ansari remarked "welcome" as she walked up to him after taking oath and greeted him with folded hands. After signing the member register, she greeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley and other leaders before walking to her alloted seat no. 99.


Nineteen minutes and 23 seconds into the proceedings, Rekha stood up, shook hands with Aga and Dua before making a quiet exit from the House.

Jaya complains: Why show me when Rekha's taking oath:  Headlines Today reports that SP MP Jaya Bachchan has filed a complaint with chairperson Hamid Ansari against Rajya Sabha TV for showing her when Rekha was being sworn-in as an MP. Jaya's complain says, "Why show me when Rekha is taking oath?"
Chinese troops violated border 500 times in two years:  

The Chinese army has transgressed the Sino-India border more than 500 times in the last two years, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran said there were 228 cases of transgression of the Indo-China border by the People's Liberation Army in 2010, 213 cases in 2011, and 64 cases till April 2012.


More on

Greece re-elections: There is no guarantee that the new vote will produce a viable government -- the main opponent of the EU-IMF deal is tipped to win -- which means even more uncertainty over Greece's future in the single currency club.

That was enough to send global financial markets into a tailspin as investors looked for a safe haven for their money, dumping stocks and the euro.

Markets were down again today, finding no comfort in a "we want Greece to stay in the euro" pledge by German Chancellor Angela Merkel made alongside new French President Francois Hollande.

Greece to hold fresh elections on June 17:  

This is what the bbc report says:

Greece will hold fresh elections on 17 June and a judge has been appointed to head an interim government. Council of State president Panagiotis Pikramenos will head the caretaker government until the election. The election date was announced after party leaders met Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Wednesday. Final talks to form a coalition failed on Tuesday, raising new concerns over Greece's eurozone future. No party won a majority in the 6 May election.

Just in: Greece to hold fresh elections on June 17.

More talks with India on Iran oil import, says US:  

The US has said that it will have more consultations with India on New Delhi reducing dependence on Iranian crude. 


"There is more progress to be made and that's what Carlos is talking about and we will have more on his consultations after they are complete," US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday. She was talking to journalists who asked her questions about the progress in the discussions US emissary on energy Carlos Pascual had with Indian officials in Delhi yesterday on the subject.

An online guide to Indias political cartoons:  

Nice read on the government's decision to ban political cartoons in school textbooks.

If India's parliamentarians, who were recently incensed by a 63-year-old cartoon, decide it is time to eradicate any political cartoons that might offend, where should they start? India Ink has put together a short compilation of potential targets, compiled for cartoon lovers and outraged politicians both.



Man who discovered KG-D6 gas fields for RIL quits :  Ravi Narayan Bastia, the man who discovered the gigantic Krishna Godavari basin D6 field for Reliance Industries, has quit the company. Bastia, who was in 2007 conferred the Padma Shri for finding the energy-hungry nation's second biggest gas find to date, resigned from RIL last week, industry sources said.
Is Tusshar Kapoor's beach body hot?:  

Tusshar Kapoor still trending on Twitter. No, it's not the end of the world, as somebody wondered, here's why

A cheaper BMW may be bad news for Indias carmakers:  

The Indian auto manufacturing has been one of the few bright spots on the factory landscape in the past few years, with sales of cars and utility vehicles almost doubling from six years ago, and Chennai and other cities booming from the business.

Read the WSJ

On the Wall Street Journal: Waking Up to 'The Jayalalithaa Times'. Read
Govt spent Rs 30-cr on Indira, Rajiv ads:  

In the background of TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa's advertisement blitzkrieg today, here's an interesting blog on


If I asked you the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, chances are you wouldn't know, even if you read The Hindu. But you should. After all, our government has spent around Rs. 30 crores (could be more) on advertisements on the birth and death anniversaries of Rajiv and Indira Gandhi in the years 2009 to 2011.


Michelle wanted to divorce Barack Obama in 2000: Book:  

Bestseller material? Michelle Obama contemplated divorcing Barack Obama in 2000 after he ignored her advice not to run for a House seat in Chicago, making him so depressed that friends feared he might commit suicide, says a new book. 


According to the book, Michelle prepared divorce papers in 2000 following Barack's disastrous attempt to win a House seat in Chicago -- in fact, as she was upset that he ignored her advice not to take on the four-term incumbent Bobby Rush. 

Their marriage -- in its eighth year at the time -- was "on the rocks" with Barack so depressed some of his friends feared he was suicidal, author Edward Klein has claimed in his book, titled 'The Amateur'.

ND Tiwari paternity: Police to force blood test:  

Just in: The Delhi High Court has refused ND Tiwari's plea to stay proceedings in the paternity case. The court says the police will help Tiwari bring the blood sample.


The Delhi High Court on Monday had given Tiwari two days to either "gracefully appear" for a DNA test, or be forced to take the test by the Delhi Police. Tiwari, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, has already been directed by the high court and the Supreme Court to furnish a blood sample for the DNA test.

Selvi Jaya goes on ad blitzkrieg:  

As Jayalalithaa completes her first year in office, which was marked by an unprecedented media blitzkrieg across the country, what remains in one's mind are her glorious announcements of mega schemes for the socio-economic development of the state.


What now that the Sensex has crashed? :  It's time to rush for storm shelters; equity can be toxic for now. Read
And another one on Montek Singh Ahluwalia: The full Monty: Is Montek the right man in the wrong job? Read
The riddler on the roof: The mystique of Montek:  While on the finance bill, the must-read  profile on economist Montek Singh Ahluwalia, on Tehelka.
Pranab warns of the big A: India faces austerity :  

Winding up a debate on Finance Bill, 2012 in the Rajya Sabha, Pranab Mukherjee today said India's growth was still intact despite moderation in the GDP which dropped to disappointing level of 6.9 per cent in 2011-12, down from 8.4 per cent in the previous two years.


"The international situation is difficult. Country after country is witnessing economic crisis... I shall have to keep in mind its a difficult world...I cannot live in a world which is not real", he said. The House later returned the bill marking completion of the three-stage budgetary exercise for 2012-13 by Parliament. Referring to crisis in eurozone and its impact on India, Mukherjee said, the government would resort to some "unpopular" steps to deal with the fiscal problems.


Pranab Mukherjee said the government would be resorting to a fresh spell of austerity measures to deal with the problems, but made it clear that he
was not pressing "panic button".

The Beatles head the other way across Abbey Road:  It's the Abbey Road picture like you've never seen it before -- with The Beatles walking the opposite way over the crossing. The rare shot is being auctioned for at least 10,000. See
'Politicians should keep away from running sports bodies':  

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi Maken said, "The BCCI should go into the root cause of the problem. They have to handle the investigation because BCCI is recognised by the ICC to run cricket in India. It is their mandate and their duty. They are foremost responsible."


"They should not submit their accounts to us but they should open their accounts to RTIs. This will bring much-needed credibility to BCCI," Maken said.


"If you look at the English Premier League and other leagues worldover, they always have distance from their parent sports federations. The NSF never organises the EPL," he added. He also said that politicians should keep away from running sports bodies.

Maken: IPL, BCCI should be at a distance from each other:  Maken says IPL and BCCI should be at a distance from each other. Yesterday, the Sports minister said the onus lies with the BCCI as far as the IPL spot-fixing is concerned and has asked the board to take prompt action in the interest of the millions of cricket fans in the country.
Maken on IPL sting: BCCI should come under RTI:  

Sports minister Ajay Maken speaking on the IPL sting says BCCI should come under RTI as it needs more transparency. He said the BCCI should probe the root of the problem and suspending the five players is not enough.


Read: Transcripts of the IPL sting

Beckham, Princess Anne to receive Olympic flame:  Posh and Becks will receive the Olympic flame and bring it back to the UK this week when David Beckham joins the Princess Royal at the official handover ceremony in Athens tomorrow. Read
Suffering Bee Gee cant talk:  Robin Gibb has not spoken for a week as he continues to fight colon cancer. The Bee Gees singer, 62, is communicating by blinking due to a tracheotomy tube in his neck. Read
Cannes Film Festival to open amid 'sexism' row:  

In other news: The Cannes Film Festival opens later with US director Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom. His movie, which stars Bill Murray, is one of the 22 movies selected to compete for the festival's biggest prize, the Palme d'Or. However, the celebrations have been marred by criticism that no female directors will be in competition.


We want FDI, but coalition compulsions exist: Pranab:  

Addressing the Parliament, Mukherjee said that the government will take austerity measures to ensure fiscal consolidation. "But I am not pressing the panic button," he said. He emphasised the need to take serious steps to cap the subsidy bill at 2% of the GDP. The government cannot pass the entire burden of high oil prices to consumers, he said and added, "We want FDI, but decisions are time consuming because of coalition compulsions."


Also read: Euro hits four-month low on heightened Greek fears

Pranab: Dip in GDP a matter of concern:  

On retrospective amendments to tax laws, Pranab Mukherjee says Parliament is omnipotent; there is no confrontation with judiciary on it.

The finance minister says GDP growth on right track, but the dip in GDP is a matter of concern. "Have taken steps to boost growth," he says.

Mukherjee says India's rice production has been recognised worldwide, but  storage facilities need to improved so that grains don't rot.  

India is not a tax haven: Pranab :  

Pranab Mukherjee attributes the market slide to the Euro crisis and other international difficulties. He expressed concern over the slowdown in economic growth and said the government was taking steps to address it.

The government is going to take some austerity measures to convey that it
is responding to situation; but I am not pressing panic button.


Backlash in Europe threatens to derail austerity measures

Pranab: India's growth story intact, don't panic:  

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee speaks on the economy in the Rajya Sabha. He says the oil price rise is not a worry and admitted that the demand for oil is subdued, but the price of oil is rising.

He says there is no need to panic on the state of economy as India's growth story is intact.

Markets plunged today across Asia due to global crisis, with the Sensex falling below 16,000.

Let law take its own course in spot-fixing scam: Govt:  

The government today said "law will take its own course" in the alleged spot-fixing scandal in the IPL if there was any violation. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal gave this assurance in the Lok Sabha as the issue was raised by Shailendra Kumar (SP) with support from cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad (BJP). 


"We are equally concerned as you are. It is for the BCCI to investigate. If there is any violation of law, law will take its own course," Bansal said. Kumar said what was happening in IPL was a big scam but lamented that only five cricketers have been suspended by the cricket administration. 


Also read: Don't question integrity of my players: KXIP skipper Hussey

Facebook to boost IPO by 25% to raise $15bn:  

General Motors has announced that it's to pull $10million worth of advertising from Facebook, saying that ads on the site have little impact. A spokesperson for the the company which, according to the New York Times is the third largest advertiser in the US (after Proctor and Gamble and AT&T), said that paid advertising on Facebook has little impact on consumers.  There are 900 million registered users of Facebook around the world. More on that story


Also see: Facebook 'to boost size of IPO by 25pc to raise $15bn'

Annandale issue would be resolved amicably: Army Chief:  

Army chief Gen V K Singh has said that efforts would be made to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the contentions Annandale ground issue. 

Gen Singh, who was here on a farewell visit to ARTRAC, made the comment after meeting Chief Minister P K Dhumal at his resident. "Efforts would be made to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution to the issue and I am sure we will find a mutually agreeable solution," he said.

IE journos sue Vinod Mehta, Open, for Mother of all Mistakes:  

Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief of the Indian Express group, has sent a legal notice to Vinod Mehta, editorial chairman of the Outlook group of publications, and Open magazine's editor and correspondent, seeking Rs 100 crore as damages, for an interview Mehta granted Open's correspondent Hartosh Singh Bal which, Gupta's lawyers said, contained 'defamatory and defamatory imputations'.


More on

Vinod Mehta's interview to Open magazine: The Mother of All Mistakes

26/11 mastermind sues journos for US envoy report:  

LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed has served legal notices on two Pakistani journalists for allegedly concocting a report about his secret meeting with US
Ambassador Cameron Munter, seeking Rs 100 million as damages. The notices were served on columnist Nazir Naji and reporter Amir Mir by Saeed's lawyer A K Dogar. 


The notices contended that Naji's column in the Urdu daily Jang on May 9 and Mir's report in the Asia Times Online website on May 12 were aimed at tarnishing Saeed's image. Dogar said Saeed did not want to meet an envoy of the country that he claims is the "murderer of millions of Muslims and an enemy of Pakistan."


Also read: Munter has never met Hafiz Saeed: US embassy

Yeddy, family file for anticipatory bail after FIR :  Ex-Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa has filed for anticpatory bail along with his two sons and son-in-law. The CBI had filed an FIR against Yeddy and his family yesterday in the illegal mining scam.
Omar Abdullah's cavalcade stops at red signal:  

The Twitter-friendly Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has set yet another example of following rules by stopping his cavalcade at a traffic light and waiting for it to turn green. 


Local newspapers carried photographs showing the chief minister's cavalcade stopping at a junction on Maulana Azad Road here. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Traffic department recently installed traffic lights at certain busy intersections in the city but many people have failed to pay any heed to the new signals.

Social Network screenwriter to pen Steve Jobs movie:  

Steve Jobs' life will be brought to the big screen by Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin in a movie based on Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography of the enigmatic Apple co-founder. Sony Pictures Entertainment today unveiled plans to put Sorkin, who wrote Facebook film The Social Network, behind the screenplay of what will be a major release for the studio.


All the details here

Sukma Collector Menon meets Jaya:  

Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon, who was recently set free by Maoists after 12 days of captivity in Chhattisgarh, today met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and thanked her for urging the Centre to take steps for his release. Menon, an IAS officer from Tamil Nadu, met the Chief Minister at the Secretariat and expressed his gratitude, an official release said.


Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take immediate steps to secure the early release of Menon, who was kidnapped on April 21 in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.


Also read: Jaya, Modi and the PMs job after the next elections

Raja makes quiet entry into Parliament :  

A Raja, the prime accused in 2G spectrum scam, today came to Parliament a day after being released from Tihar jail where he was lodged after his arrestin the case on February 1 last year.


Dressed in white shirt and black trousers, 49-year-old Raja got down from his car and entered Parliament. He thenwent went straight to the Lok Sabha.The former Telecom Minister appeared cheerful but did not speak to reporters who jostled to get a quote from him.


The DMK member from Nilgiris constituency in Tamil Nadu attended the Lok Sabha briefly during Zero Hour in the afternoon and exchanged pleasantries with some members.He was seated for a couple of minutes in the last row before making a quiet exit with some DMK members. He left Parliament premises shortly thereafter.

LS members get preferential treatment at Par functions: RS:  

Peeved Rajya Sabha members today alleged that their counterparts in Lok Sabha get preferential treatment at Parliamentary functions. 


Raising the issue, V Maitreyan (AIADMK) said during the photo session organised on the occasion of completion of 60 years of Parliament, 60 seats in the front row were reserved for leaders of major political parties. 


The criteria for the leaders for Lok Sabha  and Rajya Sabha, he said, were different. Parties with four or more members in Lok Sabha got the front seat while for the Upper House, it was set at 8 members and more. He said he did not understand the proportion of 4 out of 545 members of Lok Sabha versus 8 out of 245 of Rajya Sabha. "It is injustice done to Rajya Sabha," he said. 


Also read: Pranab not informed about MPs' photo-op

Rupee hits all-time low, Sensex tanks below 16,000:  Bad news if you are going abroad now. The Rupee has hit an all-time low of 54.36, surpassing the previousrecord low on December. The BSE benchmark Sensex dips below 16,000 level for first time after January; down 340 points at 15,988.23.
Fresh out of Tihar, A Raja attends Parliament:  

Update on the plea against Sachin for RS: The Delhi High Court has also issued a notice to the Centre asking it to reply by July 5. The PIL says only those from the arts, science, literature and social services can be nominated to the Rajya Sabha.


Meanwhile, A Raja, freshly out of Tihar jail last night, attended Parliament today. Also read on A Raja walks out of jail, DMK workers celebrate

AI begins intl operations but pilots want govt to initiate talks:  

Good news finally. Air India today began international operations to the US and Europe as part of its contingency plan even as striking pilots asked the government to initiate preliminary talks. 


As the stir by the pilots entered the ninth day, the Airlines curtailed and clubbed many of its flights to the US and Europe to stabilise international operations. 


"We have put in force our contingency plan and started operating our international flights, which were affected for the past eight days causing great inconvenience to our customers. Slowly, we hope that our operations would normalise," said an Air India official.


The national carrier, operated Delhi-Paris-New York (JFK) and Delhi-Frankfurt-Chicago flight early this morning while it would be operating Delhi-Shanghai and Delhi-London as per schedule. 


"We have merged Mumbai-London and Mumbai-Shanghai flights with the Delhi-London and Delhi-Shanghai flights. We are operating these flights with Boeing 777 ER aircraft so we won't have problem accommodating the passengers," the official said, adding this will bring relief to many of our passengers who were anxious about their flights status.

The court of Cannes :  

And so on to Cannes. It is the most glamorous, prestigious film festival in the world. But who controls Cannes? How do you get past the bouncers?


Get the dope here

Not-so-slim Ash forces India to rethink attitudes to women:  

Aishwarya Rai is due to appear at the Cannes festival as a debate about her weight rages in her home country. That's the report on the Guardian.


Also read: Aishwarya Rai's drastic weight gain sparks debate

That probably explains why Sachin Tendulkar did not take oath in the RS today.
Plea against Sachin in RS: No ball, says court:  

Just in: Delhi High Court refuses to restrain cricketer Sachin Tendulkar from taking oath as Rajya Sabha member.


Yesterday, a Supreme Court vacation bench of Justices Deepak Verma and SJ Mukhopadhaya refused to entertain a petition challenging cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's nomination to the Rajya Sabha.


The bench felt that a remedy, if any, could lie in the High Court, as it allowed the petitioner to withdraw the case and approach the Delhi High Court.


Tendulkar's nomination to Rajya Sabha has been mired in controversy even before the cricket legend set foot inside the Parliament in that capacity.


The plea questioned the validity of Sachin's nomination on the ground that he failed to meet the conditions laid down in the Constitution required for a person to be nominated as an MP.

How FB became the world's biggest social network (animation):  Facebook is hitting the stock exchange with its IPO later this week - and the latest estimates increase its potential valuation, making it the biggest floatation ever. But how did the social network get so big - and can it possibly get any bigger? Must watch
Mexico's most celebrated novelist dies at 83:  

Carlos Fuentes, one of Latin America's best-known authors and a sharp critic of governments in Mexico and the United States, died on Tuesday after a literary career spanning more than five decades. He was 83.  


Fuentes wrote more than 20 novels and several collections of short stories. His most famous novels include The Death of Artemio Cruz, The Old Gringo and The Crystal Frontier. The Old Gringo was the first US bestseller by a Mexican author and was made into a 1989 movie starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.


Read the obit on the Guardian

On 4th anniv of Aarushi murder: No bail for Nupur :  Allahabad High Court defers the hearing on Nupur Talwar's bail plea till May 22. Poignant day for the Talwars today -- four years ago, their daughter Aarushi was killed -- a mystery that is yet to be solved.
'Rare a man can be tough and also have his own line of undies' :  

It was supposed to be a thank you for winning the Major League Soccer Championship. But David Beckham's trip to the White House turned into an unexpected comedy roast - at the hands of Barack Obama. The U.S. President mocked Mr Beckham for being over the hill and said that at the age 37 'half his teammates could be his kids.


Read more on the Daily Mail  

The ball's in Pakistan's court:  

"There are several significant [al Qaeda] leaders still on the run. (Ayman al) Zawahiri who inherited the leadership from (Osama) bin Laden is somewhere, we believe, in Pakistan. So we are intent upon going after those who are trying to keep al Qaeda operational and inspirational." Thus spake the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to an Indian channel in Kolkata just before departing for New Delhi.


Read the report on the Express Tribune, Pakistan.

Obama's 2011 assets valued between $2.6m and $8.3m:  

Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic is set to go on trial on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide. He is the last of the main protagonists in the Balkan wars of the 1990s to face an international trial in The Hague.

Read the full report here.

Pakistan 'likely to attend' Nato talks on Afghanistan:  

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari is set to be at this weekend's Nato summit on Afghanistan. The Pakistani embassy in Washington told the BBC he was "likely to attend" the meeting in Chicago. Nato said Pakistan had an important role to play in its neighbour's future.

More on the bbc.

Rajya Sabha adjourned briefly after BSP members create ruckus over problems facing weavers in Uttar Pradesh. Sachin is still MIA.

Talwars fresh plea against CBI: Documents missing:  

Talwars file fresh petition in the court against the CBI saying it hasn't given all the documents despite the court order.

Between on March 14 and April 30, Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur were shown several documents The couple had demanded to see several more documents, including certain forensic reports, Internet bills and session logs, call details of five cell phones, statements of several witnesses, narco-analysis reports of domestic helps Krishna Thadarai and Raj Kumar and 23 photographs of the crime scene.

Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa's ads in all the major broadsheets in the country today, illustrating the achievements of her government. Pick up The  Economic Times, The Times of India, Hindustan Times or the Indian Express
Comic stripped:  Pratap Bhanu Mehta on the government's decision to an political cartoons in school textbooks. On the Indian Express
Talwars allowed partial access to case papers:  Rajesh Talwar and his wife Nupur were shown several documents on March 14 and April 30. The couple had demanded to see several more documents, including certain forensic reports, Internet bills and session logs, call details of five cell phones, statements of several witnesses, narco-analysis reports of domestic helps Krishna Thadarai and Raj Kumar and 23 photographs of the crime scene.
This day 4 years ago, Aarushi Talwar was killed :  

On this day four years ago, 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar, daughter of a dentist couple, was found murdered with her throat slit while family  servant Hemraj was also found dead on the terrace of their Noida residence. The case has seen many twists and turns in these four years but without much headway. Read

Today, the Allahabad High Court will hear the bail petition of her mother Nupur Talwar.

'Good that the jerk died' -- When Web links go bad:  

The Indian Express published a story, filed from Lucknow, about the son of a local BJP bigwig who died after a security guard at a hospital shot him. The gunfight began after another guard told him and his flunkies to move his car from an illegal parking spot. The situation escalated, the goons beat the first guard, somebody drew his gun and that was that. The Express told a straight story, but when the Web link (or "URL') circulated on Twitter, someone made a change that made it look like the Express was expressing an opinion.


Read the blog on Retuers

In the RS today, this is what's scheduled.  

Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2012

Finance Bill, 2012

Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010

North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) and Other   

Related Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 

Discussion on the working of Civil Aviation Ministry

Rajya Sabha session begins, Sachin is missing:  

Rajya Sabha session begins with MPs observing a moment's silence. Sachin Tendulkar, who was supposed to take oath today, seems to be missing. Regular Question Hour begins.   

Peace restored in Junglemahal: Mamata:  

While we wait for the RS proceedings to begin, read this.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who will complete a year in office on May 20, has claimed that her government has been able to restore peace in Junglemahal with not a single death reported so far this year. 


Citing statistics, the chief minister said that in 2010-11 when the Left Front government was still in power in the state, 139 civilians and 35 security personnel were killed in Junglemahal which comprises West Midnapur, Purulia and Bankura districts. 


"We have been able to restore peace in Junglemahal. There were only 12 civilian and two security personnel casualties after we came to power, with no death reported since January this year till date," the Trinamool Congress supremo said.

Tendulkar becomes an MP today:  

Sachin Tendulkar is all set to make his Rajya Sabha debut as he is expected to take the oath on Wednesday.

Sachin, whose tenure as a Rajya Sabha member began on April 27 along with veteran actor Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga, is busy playing for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

Rekha took oath in the Upper House of the Parliament yesterday. Watch the live proceedings on shortly.

Sachin's nomination to the Rajya Sabha invited mixed reactions. While his fans supported his candidature, many questioned if he could take out time from his busy schedule and do justice to the job.

Jaya's audacious performance on Rekha's stage:  

First the trivia: No, no one noticed the two greeting each other in the Rajya Sabha. Yes, Jaya was busy poring over parliamentary papers -- a detail diligently recorded by alert Rajya Sabha TV camerapersons -- when Rekha walked up to the mike. Yes, Jaya did look up and thump the desk when Rekha took the oath. Now the substance: Jaya put up one of her most spirited -- some would say audacious -- performances in the Upper House today.

All the gossip from the Rajya Sabha yesterday, on the Telegraph,Calcutta. 


Sachin Tendulkar will be sworn-in to the Rajya Sabha today.

Bail hearing in Aarushi, JDey murders today:  Two bail pleas coming up for hearing today. One is Nupur Talwar's plea in the Aarushi-Hemraj case and the other is journalist Jigna Vora's bail in the J Dey murder case.
A day after FIR, CBI raids Yeddy, sons, son-in-law:  In other news, a day after filing an FIR against former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in connection with illegal mining, CBI officials today conducted simultaneous raids at the senior BJP leader's residences here and in some other places in the state. A joint team of CBI officials from Hyderabad and Bangalore also raided residences of Yeddyurappa's sons B Y Raghavendra, MP, and B Y Vijayendra as also his son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar here and their home district Shimoga, police sources said.
Will Chishty do the bhangra in Pakistan?:  This is what Dr Chishty had said after he was released on bail: "I will be very happy when I come to Pakistan. Everyone should prepare to do the bhangra," the 82-year-old microbiologist told Geo News channel on the phone after the SC allowed him to visit Pakistan for a temporary stay, subject to certain conditions. Asked how he was feeling, he replied: "My health is fine. I am a heart patient and this excitement is (not good for me) but I will not let it affect my heart."
Indian judges uneducated: Pak doc Chishty:  

Dr Khalil Chishty, who returned home to Pakistan late last night after spending about 20 years in Ajmer, which included a jail term, was embroiled in a fresh controversy.

Few hours after the Supreme Court ordered his release from jail and allowed him to go back to Pakistan last Thursday, a Hindi news channel showed him ridiculing the Indian judiciary during a conversation. 

Based on the telecast, Ajmer lawyer Devendra Singh Chauhan filed a petition on Monday in a fast track court accusing Chishty of scandalizing Indian judiciary. The court will hear the petition on May 28 to decide if the case is admissible. 

The telecast showed Chishty saying the Indian judiciary was replete with ill-informed (ganwar) and uneducated people, which delayed disposal of cases. The Pakistani virologist was critical of the lower judiciary, which he alleged, could not decide his case in 20 years. Read more on the TOI

US slaps sanctions against Chhota Shakeel, Tiger Memon:  

The United States has slapped sanctions on Chhota Shakeel and Ibrahim Tiger Memon, two top aides of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai bombings that left over 250 dead, in a move "to target the nexus of crime and terrorism in South Asia".


The treasury department on Tuesday designated the two as narcotics traffickers citing their ties to D Company,  which it called "one of the world's most notorious criminal organizations" that is run by kingpin Dawood Ibrahim, who is believed to be currently residing in Pakistan.


As a result of the US sanction, Shakeel and Memon will have any assets under US jurisdiction frozen. In addition, US citizens are prohibited from entering into transactions with the pair.

UP to probe construction of Maya's Noida park:  The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a probe into the construction of a Bahuja Samaj Party memorial in Noida.

Dalit Prerna Sithan is constructed on a green belt in Noida. Irregularities in the construction of the park, which was built at a whopping Rs 685 crore, are to probed.

The 33-acre park was inaugurated in October 2011.

UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday created a commotion in the political circles by claiming that the erstwhile Mayawati government was involved in a scam worth Rs.40,000 crore in construction of parks and memorials in Lucknow and Noida.  

Illegal mining: CBI raids Yeddyurappa's house:  The Central Bureau of Investigation is conducting raids at the Bengaluru residence of former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa as part of its ongoing probe into alleged illegal mining. Searches area also on at the residences of his two sons and son-in-law.

The raids come a day after the CBI filed an FIR against Yeddyurappa, two sons and his son-in-law and formed a special nine-member team for the probe.

Last week, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe against the BJP leader for "serious illegalities" in mining activities.

Top headlines in the last 24 hours

US sanctions Dawood Ibrahim's two top aides

Khalil Chishti arrives in Pakistan

Jayawardene, Umesh steer Delhi into play-offs

Raja walks out of jail, DMK workers celebrate

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