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Modi should be BJP's PM candidate: Yeddyurappa

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May 25, 2012


23:06  Vidya Balan does the lavani:  
Vidya Balan performs the lavani, LIVE, as part of the promotional strategy for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Ferrari Ki Sawaari ... Click HERE to watch

22:13  Modi should be BJP's PM candidate: Yeddyurappa:  As Narendra Modi appeared to be gaining a strong grip in BJP, former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurrappa today said the Gujarat Chief Minister should be projected as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate.

Yeddyurappa, who has his own axe to grind with the party leadership, said the "entire country wants our Narendra Modiji" as future Prime Minister. "That is why I am of the opinion that Narendra Modi should be projected as the Prime Minister in making," he told reporters, adding he would be making such a "request". Yeddhyurappa, who had to quit as Karnataka Chief Minister in the wake of allegations of wrongoings, has been unhappy with BJP leader L K Advani as he feels he was supporting his rivals in the party. 

On his personal fate, the senior BJP leader from Karnataka said "I am not worried about any post for me. I am worried about my state's development".
22:09  Nine killed, 12 injured in Pak bus attack Karachi:  At least nine people were killed and 12 injured today when unknown assailants opened indiscriminate fire on a passenger bus going from Karachi to Swabi in Pakistan's restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Around 50 passengers were on board when four armed men boarded the bus travelling along the National Highway in Nawabshah area of Sindh and opened indiscriminate fire, DIG Sanaullah Abbasi told reporters. 

The Deputy Superintendent of Police Sardar Khan Chandio said the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army, a separatist outfit which claims to be fighting for the rights of Sindh province, has claimed the responsibility for the attack. All the gunmen fled after the attack that left seven people dead and three injured, police said. Abbasi described the gunmen as terrorists while some reports said the attack was an attempted robbery.
21:22  Modi slams PM at BJP rally:   Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at a rally in Mumbai attacked the UPA government. He said the government lacked leadership. 

Taking on the PM he asked, "What steps have you taken to curb malnutrition in the country." 
20:55  HRC seeks fair trial for Shakeel Afridi who helped CIA:  Pakistan's leading rights watchdog today expressed concern at the denial of due process to Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who was given a 33-year prison term for allegedly helping the CIA track Osama bin Laden before he was killed last year. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan demanded that Afridi "must get a fair trial" irrespective of the charges against him. 

"One is concerned about the security of the country, but that cannot be made the basis of denying rule of law to anyone," the organisation said in a statement. The HRCP expressed concern that Afridi's trial fell "well short of the due process standards on many counts, not least because the core principle of natural justice has been ignored and Afridi denied due legal assistance". 

It said the question of trying him for treason too was controversial. "His actions may well have been prompted by the declared policy of the state to fight all forms of terrorism in sincerity.
20:41  Manmohan to be invited to NAM Summit in Iran:  Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will undertake a two-day visit here from May 30 to hand over an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend Non-Aligned Movement Summit to be held in Tehran in August. 

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told mediapersons here that Salehi will come as a special envoy of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to hand over to Singh a personal invitation to attend the NAM Summit. The Summit is scheduled to be held in the Iranian capital from August 26 to 31.
20:21  

Swapan Dasgupta '@swapan55 BJP has problems but today's "skip meeting" controversy was purely a media creation

Dasgupta is a senior journalist

20:03  Mining scam: Need Yeddyurappa in custody, says CBI:   In a major set back to former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, the Central Bureau of Investigation has said that it needs him in custody for interrogation, reports Vicky Nanjappa

Filing strong objections to the anticipatory bail plea filed by Yeddyurappa, the CBI made it clear that if the case has to be solved then it would need all the accused in its custody for questioning. "It is necessary to take him into custody and interrogate him, the CBI said.

The bail plea was filed after the CBI took over the probe into the illegal mining scam following a Supreme Court directive to probe Yeddyurappa.

"We need to complete the probe in three months as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court and we need to put out a perfect case. We cannot afford to have any roadblocks,' CBI officials said.
19:47  'Indira Gandhi politicised promotions in army':   Army chief Gen V K Singh inaugurated a book Assault on Merit by Advocate R K Anand at Hotel Ashok in New Delhi on Friday evening. The book talks about how the defence services are suffering because of politicisation of transfers and how officers with merits are bypassed by bureaucracy.

Strategic analyst Maruf Raza says, "The book highlights the plight of many officers who have made it to the top in spite of their questionable credentials. Former prime minister Indira Gandhi politicised postings and promotions of armed officers.'  

Anand, the author, told rediff.com that he has fought scores of cases of armed officers. "I have fought many against them too," he said.  

Former Union minister and a friend of former PM Rajiv Gandhi Arun Singh in a letter to Inderjit Badhwar, the editor of the book, had lambasted babus for not doing justice to the armed forces. 

"Our politicians are not interested in helping clean the system," he had said in the letter read out by Badhwar at the book launch..

"Gen Singh is the most distinguished soldier of our time. But this book is not about him," said Anand. "I have enough material on Gen Singh's birth controversy." 

Inaugurating the book Gen Singh said that he had no time to read the book since he was traveling. "A career in the army is most honourable,' he said.                         
19:10  India beat Korea 2-1 in Azlan Shah Hockey:   India beat South Korea 2-1 to register their first first victory in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Friday.

In the day's other matches, New Zealand hammered Argentina 5-2, while Malaysia held Britain 3-3.
18:37  CBI grills Jagan Reddy for 7 hrs, round 2 tomorrow:  

The CBI is done with questioning YSR Cong chief Jagan Reddy. He was questioned for seven hours, but it's not done yet. The questioning will continue tomorrow.  

 

The MP from Kadapa drove down to the Raj Bhavan road office of the investigative agency to be questioned in the Vanpic deal aspect of the disproportionate assets case against him.

 

The project deals with the allocation of 28,000 acres of land by the YSR government after acquiring the land from farmers at a cheap rate. The CBI's case is that Reddy made crores of rupees via Sakshi newspaper and TV owned by him. 

18:25  Indian Economy: A rocking horse galloping forward :  

Kobad Ghandy on the the current state of the Indian economy. The author is a Marxist/Maoist thinker. Read

18:18  SP, TMC, DMK call for bandhs:  

Meanwhile, the UPA's outside supporter Samajwadi Party today gave a call for a state-wide bandh in Uttar Pradesh on May 31 to press for roll back of petrol price hike. 

Two key UPA allies - Trinamool Congress and DMK - have already stepped up pressure on the Centre to roll back the steepest-ever petrol price hike of Rs 7.54 per litre. The TMC sponsored bandh is tomorrow, the DMK bandh on May 31.

 

Didi, the street-fighter, always takes quick decisions on bandhs and rasta rokos.

18:14  Oil minister: There's no good time for a price hike:  

Ray of hope on the fuel hike horizon is that Reddy concedes that chief ministers will be taken into account before the final decision is made.  

Reddy says that there is never a good time for a price hike, addressing the issue that the price hike was announced during the UPAII anniversary celebrations.

18:10  Need to sacrifice for long-term gains: Reddy:  

The petroleum minister says instant solutions cannot be found to tackle the fuel hike and some amount of sacrifice is necesssary for long-term goals.

18:07  Reddy: Govt can't run on popular sentiment:  

Reddy says the government cannot run the country based on popular sentiment only. It is therefore time for the states and the centre to jointly come out with a workabale formula.

18:02  Reddy says the decision to hike prices was taken by oil companies, not the government. The trend of (global) oil prices falling is not stable.
17:58  Oil minister: NO immediate cut in fuel prices:  Reddy says the oil sector faces a double whammy: Devaluation of the rupee and the rise in prices of crude oil.  He says the government is aware of the concerns of the people, but rules out immediate cut in fuel prices.
17:53  Jaipal Reddy: Will monitor situation for a few days:  

Jaipal Reddy says he cannot allow the image of oil companies to take a beating and promises that the government will watch the situation for a few days. (So does this mean no rollback soon?).

Addressing the bandh call by allies and the opposition, Reddy says, "All parties need to work together to tackle the the situation."

17:49  Oil minister: Fuel hike beyond anybody's control:  Petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy defends the fuel price hike. Addressing the media, he says it is a global problem beyond anybody's control.
17:32  Mamata's long march to protest fuel hike tomorrow:  

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will organise a protest march in Kolkata tomorrow while DMK gave a call for an agitation in Tamil Nadu
on May 30 as the two key UPA allies step up pressure on the Centre today to roll back the steepest-ever petrol price hike. 

 

The protest action by the Trinamool Congress supremo and the DMK are expected to lend weight to a united opposition onslaught against the hike with the BJP-led NDA and the Left already announcing an all india bandh on May 31. Anna Hazare also announced support for the Bharat Bandh, saying his supporters will participate in the stir.

 

Joining the growing political opposition to the Rs 7.54 per litre hike, the ruling BJD in Odisha gave a call for a state-wide bandh on May 31 to demand an immediate rollback. 

 

Banerjee would lead the procession from Jadavpur to Hazra crossing, covering a distance of 5 km in south Kolkata.

17:25  'I havent seen my baby for 9 months... it has destroyed me':  

Today is International Missing Children's Day. To mark the event, The Sun yesterday told how a child disappears every three minutes in Britain.

 

Read

17:15  Mohammed Hanif On Secrets And Lies In Pakistan:  

The Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif is living proof that you can sometimes tell the truth more easily with fiction than facts. Hanif is a journalist in one of the world's more dangerous places to be a journalist: Pakistan. He's also become one of the country's most prominent and provocative novelists. His book A Case of Exploding Mangoes told the tale of real-life Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq, who died in a plane crash in 1988. Few believed it was an accident, and Hanif's novel delved into the conspiracies (and conspiracy theories).

 

Read the interview here

 

Also see Archana Masih's interview with Mohd Hanif on rediff.com's

17:08  Rupee decline hurts even those who should benefit:  

As the rupee loses value against the U.S. dollar, executives at Indian companies that earn in dollars should be rejoicing, right? Wrong.

Here's why... On the WSJ

17:03  After 33 Years, NYPD arrests suspect in murder case:  

A New Jersey man was arrested in the killing of Etan Patz, Police Commissioner Raymond W Kelly announced on Thursday, an extraordinary moment in a case that has gripped New York City's psyche ever since the 6-year-old boy vanished in SoHo on his way to school in 1979.

 

The gripping story on the NYT

16:56  Modi and Sanjay Joshi were never meant to be friends:  Narendra Modi and Sanjay Joshi's enmity has acquired legendary proportions in Gujarat for more than a decade. Joshi is much younger than Modi, but both men have been unforgiving to each other. The inside story by Vikram Vakil on rediff.com. Read
16:51  

Shane Warne on Twitter: Look who I bumped into at the cricket !!! The man is super cool & was the best.

 

(The man in the pic is the great Sir Vivian Richards)

16:46  

Just so you know: Manish Malhotra '@ManishMalhotra1 Since morning here working on the decor for @kjohar25 birthday bash.

 

16:43  Truth behind TOI's 'exclusive' pics of Jagan Reddy's home :  

Egg on the face for the Times of India for it's 'exclusive' pictures of Jagan Reddy's palatial home. The pictures were in fact liberally copy-pasted from another website and the the pictures of Jagan's 'home' were in fact, from restaurants, Italian real estate websites...

 

See 

16:37  Tighten your belt: Economists cut growth forecast:  

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch became the latest global banks to downgrade India's economic growth outlook today, in a sign that the sharp slowdown affecting Asia's third-largest economy is worsening, reports the Financial Times.

Goldman cut India's growth estimates to 6.6 per cent from 7.2 per cent for the fiscal year ending in March 2013, while BofA revised its forecast to 6.5 per cent from 6.8 per cent for the same period.

16:32  Avoid contradictory voices, Jaitley tells partymen :  

Calling for expansion of the NDA, Jaitley in his speech said the BJP must "avoid" any kind of contradictory voices emerging from "within".

 

In the resolution, moved by party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gopinath Munde, the party said, "people look up to the BJP. It is our duty to rise to the occasion, measure up to the expectations and assure the people of the country that the BJP indeed is the instrument which will redeem India."

 

Seeking to attract regional parties towards it to strengthen the NDA, the party went on the offensive against the Centre accusing it of encroaching upon the federal principles to curb the powers of the state governments. "It is legitimate to draw an inference that respect for federal principles is not a part of the DNA of the Congress", the resolution asserted.

16:28  National mood is against the Congress: Jaitley:  

Claiming that the national mood was against the Congress and it must be exploited, BJP leader Arun Jaitley today sought to drive a wedge in the ruling UPA asking its allies to "not only proclaim but strike as well".

 


"The allies of the UPA are a discontented lot. However, they are willing to proclaim but unwilling to strike. They should not only proclaim but strike too", party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain briefing reporters on the deliberations
quoted Jaitley as stating on the political resolution at the National Executive here. He claimed parties like SP and BSP are "pushed to submissiveness due to pressures on them by the CBI". 

 

Alleging the political management of the UPA is disastrous for the nation, he said, "there is a crisis of leadership. The head of the government is not the natural leader of either the party or the nation. The lack of leadership is responsible for the directionless and the absence of decision making".

16:08  Beware of baggage nightmare at Heathrow during Games:  

A trial has been carried out at Heathrow airport to ensure it can cope with the "significant challenge" posed by the number of visitors during the Olympic Games, reports the Times, London.

 

On July 26, the day before the Games begin, 16,000 more bags than usual are expected to arrive, and on August 13, the day after the closing ceremony, handlers are preparing to see off an extra 53,000 pieces of luggage, an increase of 35 per cent, on the busiest day in the airport's history.

 

About 80 per cent of all visitors to the Games will pass through Heathrow, and hundreds of extra border staff will be brought in to ease the queues at passport control. BAA, Heathrow's operator, published figures this month showing that some passengers had to queue for up to three hours to reach passport control in April.

15:57  Why Sushma Swaraj won't be attending the rally:  

Sushma Swaraj '@SushmaSwaraj BJP I must reach Delhi tonight because I have to leave early morning for an important party function in U.P tomorrow..

 

Follow all that's happening at the BJP meet here.

15:56  Bail to Essar, Loop promoters:  Just in: The Delhi court grants bail to promoters of Essar group and Loop Telecom in a case arising out of 2G spectrum scam. Essar group promoters Ravi and Anshuman Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan had moved their bail pleas after they appeared before Special CBI Judge OP Saini on March 31, 2012. The CBI has charged them with cheating and criminal conspiracy.
15:50  Omar to BJP: Kashmiris are fine, save yourselves:  

J-K CM Omar Abdullah's response to the BJP's announcement that says June 6 will be celebrated as Save Kashmir Day in protest of the Interlocutors Report  

 

Omar Abdullah '@abdullah_omar Oh great, now the #BJP is going to spend a fortnight in July trying to save us Kashmiris. Time better spent saving themselves, we're fine :)

15:41  Rescuing the rupee: What can be done:  

Rajeev Srinivasan suggests some ways that a layman, not an economist or politician, might accept. Read the column on rediff.com.

 

Also see: The saga of the rupee and why it is falling

15:35  Smash-and-grab crony league:  The IPL is bad for capitalism, democracy and cricket, says columnist, author, historian (not necessarily in that order) Ramchandra Guha. Read
15:32  'AI domestic services not hit by pilots strike':  

The ongoing strike by a section of Air India pilots has not affected the national carrier's operations in the domestic sector, a senior airlines official said today.


"A total number of 108 flights a day are being operated from various stations in the southern region as per schedule," Sunil Kishen, Executive Director (South), Air India, said. 

 

He said the carrier was maintaining its summer schedule of operations to the Gulf and South East Asia but admitted there was a "small dip" in the passenger count on all sectors following apprehensions arising due to the strike.


"None of our pilots in this sector has gone on strike and it is the regular workforce which is operating the flights. And even in the sectors where a section of pilots has gone on strike, a contingency plan has been put in and passengers are being flown to the destinations," he said.

15:25  BJP: Too many loopholes in interlocutors report :  

Prasanna D Zore reporting from the BJP National Executive meet says June 6 will be celebrated as Save Kashmir Day in protest of the Interlocutors Report. The BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad says there are many loopholes in the report.

 

BJP workers have appealed to people not to use petrol, diesel vehicles when protesting the fuel hike on May 31.

15:13  Shoot-at sight order for poachers excessive?:  The Maharashtra government's recently launched war on tiger poachers, which involves allowing forest guards to shoot poachers on sight raised few eyebrows in India, as officials stressed the necessity of the extreme measure. Read
15:12  

The PMO says petroleum minister Jaipal Reddy's meeting with the PM was not about rising fuel prices.

15:09  ATS files chargesheet in 13/7 Mumbai blasts case:  

Almost a year after three bomb blasts shook the city killing 27 people and injuring many others, the ATS today filed a 4000-page charge sheet in a special MCOCA court against four accused in the case. 

 

The four accused, Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik, are facing trial under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), IPC and other laws. A copy of the confession given by Nadeem before a Magistrate has also been filed in the court. 

 

Five others accused belonging to Indian  Mujahideen, including Waqas, Tabrez and Yasin Bhatkal, who are suspected to have played a key role in engineering the blasts, are absconding.

15:01  Advani, Sushma to skip BJP rally:  

Despite a new found bonhomie between Narendra Modi and Nitin Gadkari, differences in BJP seem to be far from over at its National Executive meeting here today with leaders L K Advani and Sushama Swaraj set to stay away
from a rally scheduled for this evening. 

 

"Advani's schedule was fixed earlier so he won't be there and Swaraj has to attend a programme in Ghaziabad tomorrow morning," party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said downplaying their absence at the rally which has been organised to project BJP as a vibrant party leading the NDA, which is ready to take on the UPA. 

 

Modi and Gadkari are set to be the star speakers at the rally with a senior leader remarking that their bonhomie has upset other senior leaders, including Advani and Swaraj.

14:54  Shashi Tharoor is Indias social media king: Survey :  Indian Twitter users just got judged in a popularity contest, says the NYT. Read
14:51  Six Indian IPL players to watch out for:  Four young batsmen and two medium-pacers should be on the selectors' radar, says Harsha Bhogle. Read
14:50  French prez Hollande to marry girlfriend in 'near future':  

French President Francois Hollande and girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler are set to marry 'in the near future', it has been revealed. Presidential aides have been urging France's first ever unmarried 'first couple' to wed quickly to avoid protocol problems on state visits to strict religious countries.

 

Advisors have warned the couple that their status may be viewed as 'living in sin' by hard-line states like Saudi Arabia or The Vatican. And it seems that the pair have now decided to bow to pressure and tie the knot.

14:44  How PepsiCo CEO Nooyi gave up cricket for baseball!:  

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi was raised on cricket and played the game during her college days in India and after moving to the US threw herself into a
somewhat similar bat-and-ball sport baseball to keep alive her interest.


This is among several interesting facts mentioned in "Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen", the latest book of David Novak, chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, a Fortune 500 company that runs a few of the worlds most popular fast food brands KFC and Pizza Hut.

14:35  Mr and Mrs Kundra with baby Kundra:  

Actress Shilpa Shetty, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy on May 21, has been discharged from the Hinduja Healthcare hospital in Khar, a western Mumbai suburb. The actress and her husband Raj Kundra were spotted leaving the hospital with their bundle of joy.

Pictures of the gorgeous Shilpa here

14:28  Anna supports Bharat Bandh against petrol price hike:  

And of course, Anna Hazare has joined the call to arms against the petrol price hike. 

 

"My activists will support the 'Bharat Bandh' called by the BJP and Left parties on May 30 to protest petrol price hike," Hazare said while addressing a public meeting in Nashik last night. 

 

"If the government does not pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, I will begin my fast unto death at New Delhi," he said. When reporters quizzed him about his health and would be take up fasting during ill-health also, Hazare said, "I am totally fit."

14:24  Agni-V to be best missile of 21st century: DRDO chief:  

In other news, DRDO Director General Vijay Kumar Saraswat today said Agni-V missile which took 30 years to be developed, was the best such thing in the 21st century. Agni-V is an intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India.

 

It is part of the Agni series of missiles, one of the missile systems under the original IntegratedGuided Missile Development Programme. At a felicitation function at ITM university here, Saraswat said the making of the missile had become possible because of the support and cooperation of people like former Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi and former scientific advisor A P J Abdul Kalam.

14:18  Charges framed against the Talwars:  Meanwhile, Aarushi Talwar's parents have been formally charged with her murder and the murder of the servant, Hemraj.
14:06  Jaitley: UPA allies should act, not just preach:  

Leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley speaking now. Addressing the UPA allies, he says they should not just preach, but act as well, probably referring to the Trinamool Congress.  

Just as Jaitley is done speaking, Gopinath Munde and Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP's Muslim face) get into a spat at the press conference over who should answer the questions. Munde snaps at Hussain when he answers a question posed by a journalist. The party's infighting out in the open?

13:56  Uma Bharti, the prodigal who returned to the fold, says the party will launch an agitation to clean-up the Ganga led by her. 
13:54  BJP will take to the streets to protest fuel hike: Swaraj :  

The BJP moving the resolution says that the UPA-II failed to tackle terrorism and Naxalism. Sushma Swaraj says the petrol price hike will be opposed in Parliament. If the Parliament is not in session, the party will take to the streets.

 

That's Prasanna D Zore reporting from the BJP's National Executive meet at Mumbai.

13:47  BJP's 2011 copy-paste: UPA most corrupt since 1947 :  

Rediff.com's Prasanna D Zore reporting from the BJP's National Executive meet at Mumbai: Gopinath Munde says UPA-II under PM Manmohan Singh is the most corrupt government since Independence. The BJP also demands a rollback on petrol price hike and a reduction in state taxes.  

 

On June 4, almost a year ago, the BJP national executive had called the UPA regime "the most corrupt government since independence" and accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of "maintaining a conspiracy of silence" on the numerous scams that have taken place under his watch. 

13:38  Kerala bans manufacture, sale of gutka, pan masala:  Just in: The Kerala Government has banned the manufacture and sale of gutka and pan masala in the state. Details awaited. Meanwhile, we doff our hats to CM Oommen Chandy.
13:26  ATS files chargesheet in 13/7 Mumbai triple blasts:  

The anti-terrorism squad has filed a chargesheet in 13/7 Mumbai triple blasts that claimed 27 lives.  

 

Also read: Breakthrough, two arrested from Bihar

13:21  AI pilots to be reinstated?:  Just in: There may be the possibility of a truce between Air India pilots and the management. The AI management is likely to reinstate pilots on a case-to-case basis.
13:15  BJP: Advani not angry, has prior commitments:  BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman explains that LK Advani's absence for the rally this evening during the party's executive meet is not because he is upset with the party functionaries. She says Advani had decided not to attend the rally many days ahead of the meeting due to prior commitments.
13:11  Pakistan: Visa deal with India postponed:  Pakistan Foreign Minister Rehman Malik says the visa deal with India has been postponed to a later date.  The broad agenda for the talks in Islamabad is the relaxation of the visa regime between the two countries -- multiple visas for traders, and on-arrival visa for the aged and children at the Wagah border checkpost -- progress on probe in the Mumbai terror attack that left 166 people dead, and confidence building measures, reported Geo News.
13:04  

Shiv Aroor @ShivAroor Sushma hates Jaitley hates Gadkari hates Modi hates Advani hates Yeddyurappa hates Ananthkumar hates Rudy hates Sushma hates Jaitley hates..

12:59  How to smuggle Tibetan soil to India (20 tonnes of it!):  

Last October, an artist laid out 20 tons of soil smuggled from China's Tibetan regions in a basketball court in Dharamsala, the Himalyan hill town where the Dalai Lama and many other Tibetan exiles are based.

 

Read the blog on the Wall Street Journal.

12:50  Delhi CM: Wait for Monday's budget for rollback:  

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today indicated that her government may provide some relief to Delhiites from the hike in petrol prices.

 

"Wait till Monday for my budget," Dikshit, who also handles Finance portfolio, told reporters when asked whether her government was planning to provide some relief to people from petrol price hike. Dikshit had last night indicated that Delhi government may consider cutting taxes on petrol to provide some relief from the hike in fuel price. 

 

"We will see what we can do," she had told reporters in Jammu yesterday when asked whether her government will reduce VAT on petrol. In the steepest-ever increase, petrol price have been increased by Rs 7.50 a litre.

 

The Chief Minister, however, justified the steep hike saying oil companies were incurring huge losses and the hike was necessary.

12:45  DMK bandh on May 30, BJP on May 31:  

The DMK will hold a state-wide protest on May 30 against the petrol price hike, says M Karunanidhi. The BJP has already announced a nationwide bandh on May 31.

 

Also read on the Wall Street Journal: India needs more bold steps on fuel prices

12:39  Male pill: gene discovery may lead to contraceptive:  

It may be possible to develop a new male contraceptive pill after researchers in Edinburgh identified a gene critical for the production of healthy sperm.

Read

12:37  French Prez Hollande in surprise visit to Afghanistan :  

French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Afghanistan on a previously unannounced visit. Mr Hollande, who took office earlier this month, flew into Kabul and is expected to spend only a few hours in Afghanistan, visiting French soldiers.

Read the report on the BBC.

12:31  Why I'm leaving Facebook...:  

I established a Facebook account in 2008. My motivation was ignoble: I wanted to distribute my journalism more widely. I have acquired since then just over four thousand "friends" in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the Middle East, and of course, closer to home

 

The full story on the New Yorker

12:27  Bill Clinton was eyeing us, say porn stars:  

Porn starlets Brooklyn Lee and Tasha Reign have revealed that former President Bill Clinton took the initiative to meet them at a fundraiser in Monaco.

 

Lee, an award-winning porn star, said she noticed Clinton eyeing their table at Wednesday's Nights in Monaco fund-raiser, which was benefitting the William J Clinton Foundation and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.  

 

Lee and fellow skin flick siren Reign said they were at the event as guests of Marc Bell, the CEO of the company that owns Penthouse magazine. The women said that they wanted to meet Clinton, but were turned away.

12:24  Why we have never seen the Queen of England's knees:  

Or why does the Queen never sneeze in public? The Daily Mail has a light-heated look at the little secrets.

Read more

12:17  Sensex down 75 pts on fresh selling:  The BSE benchmark Sensex was down 75 points in the late morning trade today due to fresh selling amid persistent foreign capital outflow and weak Asian cues. The stock markets were trading lower than yesterday's close in the early trade amid reports that the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) that would decide raising diesel, kerosene and cooking gas rates is unlikely to meet today. Weakness in Asian stocks also weighed on sentiment.
12:13  Yeddy's bail plea hearing postponed to June 9:  

The Special CBI court has adjourned to June 9, the plea filed by former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa seeking anticipatory bail. 

Yeddyurappa who is being investigated by the CBI in connection with the mining scam had sought anticipatory bail fearing arrest. He left early this morning for Mumbai for the second day of the BJP's national executive meet.

12:07  

And the birthday wish from Karan Johar's best friend:

@iamsrkkhan1 RT @SRKFC1: Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to the Director and one of the Best Friend of @iamsrk KARAN JOHAR - @kjohar25 :)

12:00  Karan Johar turns 40 today:  

And the birthday wishes are pouring in on Twitter.  

 

maheep kapoor '@maheepkapoor HhhaaapPpyy 40th to the coolest guy I know @kjohar25 .. I love him xoxo

 

Genelia D'souza '@geneliadHappy birthday @kjohar25 lots n lots of love n love 2day n always

 

Ehsaan Noorani '@EhsaanSELHappy Birthday bro see this evening @kjohar25

 

taran adarsh '@taran_adarshMany happy returns of the day to @kjohar25 Have a super day and a fab year. Wish you love, luck, peace, happiness and good health always.

 

Kumar Taurani '@kumartauraniMany many happy returns of the day @kjohar25 GOD BLESS YOU....

 

Manish Malhotra '@ManishMalhotra1@kjohar25 happy b'day my dearest friend :-)

 

Bipasha Basu '@bipsluvurselfHappy Happy Birthday @kjohar25 .Love ur spirit!Looking fwd to d most amazing n anticipated party in a long time.I love bdays!Big Hug!

11:55  Aishwarya lives up to 'world's most beautiful woman' title:  

This is what the Daily Mail has to say about Aishwarya Rai's presence at Cannes.

She may have been criticised in her native India for not losing her baby weight fast enough, but Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looked nothing short of dazzling at the AmfAR Cinema Against Aids gala in Cannes last night. Baby weight or not, the Bollywood actress, 38, lived up to her title of 'the worlds most beautiful woman' in a gold embroidered sari and co-ordinating tailored jacket with Mandarin collar.

 

Read more 

11:46  Early reports say LK Advani is likely to skip the BJP rally in the evening today. He is allegedly upset by BS Yeddyurappa and the state of affairs of the BJP.
11:44  Yeddy leaves for Mumbai to attend BJP meet:  

Shedding his defiant posture after persuasion by party leaders, former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa today left here for Mumbai to attend the concluding session of the BJP National Executive meeting.

 

"I am leaving for Mumbai to greet Nitin Gadkari on his re-election as the party President for the second successive term", Yeddyurappa, who had earlier decided to skip the meet apparently upset over being sidelined said. 

 

Yeddyurappa was persuaded by his party top leaders including Gadkari and Arun Jaitely to participate in the executive which the state party strongman had said should discuss Karnataka party affairs also among other issues.

11:37  First Look: Aishwarya at Cannes :  

After months of speculation about what she would wear and if she'll manage to shed all the post-partum weight, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has finally made it to Cannes. She wore an Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla chikan sari for the do and teamed it with smokey eyes and a soft updo.

See

11:32  Modi, Gadkari to come face to face after Joshi's wings clipped:  

After the resignation of Sanjay Joshi, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will come face to face today at the party's national executive meet.

Joshi's head was the price for Modi's presence at the party's national executive meeting. Modi proved his dominance over the BJP and its top leadership, including Gadkari, on Thursday by turning up for the national executive meet in Mumbai only after the exit of Joshi.

 

Stay with us for all that's happening on Day 2 of the meet.

 

Tell us: Can BJP win the 2014 election?

11:26  More cracks as another Team Anna member slams Kejriwal :  

Yesterday, further cracks appeared in Team Anna with one of its prominent members, who designed the social media campaign for the protests, shooting off a letter to Arvind Kejriwal questioning the way in which the anti-corruption movement has been led.

 

The letter by Shivendra Singh Chauhan came after a meeting at lawyer Prashant Bhushan's residence last week over the issue of managing India Against Corruption's Facebook page.

 

Full report here

11:21  CBI questions Jagan and the latest from Hyderabad:  

The Rapid Action Force and a host of police personnel have been deployed across Hyderabad to maintain law and order in view of YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy's questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday. Jagan reached the CBI's office around 10.30 am on Friday. Scores of Jagan's supporters have reached Hyderabad to show their solidarity. The situation right now is peaceful. No agitations or dharnas have been organised by the Y S R Congress.  

 

Read Vicky Nanjappa's report on rediff.com

11:16  On Day 2 of Indo-Pak talks in Islamabad...:  

Pakistan and India have finalised a new visa regime that seeks to do away with the decades-old strict travel restrictions on cross-border movement of their citizens. Understanding on the new agreement was reached here on the first day of talks between the neighbouring countries' interior secretaries, said a Pakistani official.

 

Read

11:13  Oil minister Jaipal Reddy who was asked to cut short his visit to Turkmenistan is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi today.
11:10  India Inc to Youngistan: Youre spoilt, semi-literate :  

That's the message penned by Mohit Chandra, a partner at the consulting firm KPMG. And he wouldn't hire you if he had a choice.

Great read on Firstpost.com

11:04  Is capitalism doomed?:  

The massive volatility and sharp equity-price correction now hitting global financial markets signal that most advanced economies are on the brink of a double-dip recession. A financial and economic crisis caused by too much private-sector debt and leverage led to a massive re-leveraging of the public sector in order to prevent Great Depression 2.0. But the subsequent recovery has been anemic and sub-par in most advanced economies given painful deleveraging.

 

Read the full report here

10:58  US cuts aid by $33 mn for 'Osama' doc's 33 years jail:  

In a fresh blow to the battered relations between America and Pakistan, US Congressmen on the powerful Senate appropriations committee have voted to deduct 1 million dollars from the 800 million dollars annual budget for each of the 33 years that Dr Shakeel Afridi has been sentenced to, for working with the CIA.

Dr Afridi had set up a fake vaccination campaign in Abbottabad in an attempt to obtain blood samples from Osama Bin Laden''s family, as the CIA tried to confirm the Al-Qaeda chief''s presence in a nearby villa.

10:53  Mother, wife will campaign if I'm arrested: Jagan Reddy:  

Kadapa MP and YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy is likely to be arrested by the CBI today when he appears before it for questioning.

 

On Thursday, fearing arrest, Jagan filed an anticipatory bail petition in the CBI court which was rejected. Speaking from Guntur, he said the Congress was scared of him as he would sweep the bypolls.

 

"Why such haste by the CBI? I was asked to appear by the CBI court on May 28, but now the CBI wants me to appear before it on Friday. There is a conspiracy by the state government to delay or postpone the bypolls which will be done in case there is a law and order situation if I am arrested. They want to blame me and postpone the polls,'' he said, adding that if he was arrested, his mother and wife would campaign for his party.

10:45  Ratan Tata India's most powerful CEO, Mistry debuts at no 15:  

Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata heads the ET-Corporate Dossier ranking of India Inc's Most Powerful CEOs for the fourth year running.Set to retire by the end of the year, Tata will leave a vacancy at the top, just as former Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy dropped off the list of Most Powerful CEOs only when he ceased to be a chief executive.

More on the Economic Times

10:41  Rupee down 27 paise against dollar in morning trade:  

The rupee depreciated by 27 paise to Rs 55.92 against the dollar in early trade today on stronger dollar against euro and Asian currencies.    

Forex dealers said besides dollar's gains in the overseasmarkets on persistent eurozone worries, a weak opening in thestock market also put pressure on the local unit.    

However, the Reserve Bank's indication that it may sell dollars directly to oil companies capped the losses.

10:19  Congress trying to create law and order problem: Jagan:  YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy has alleged that leaders of the ruling Congress party wanted to get him arrested to create a "law and order problem' in Andhra Pradesh

Jagan has been called for questioning today by the CBI in connection with a case of amassing disproportionate assets while his father YSR Reddy was the chief minister.     

Earlier, the former Congress leader had alleged that the CBI was "plotting' to arrest him. His plea for a bail was rejected by the court on Thursday.
10:18  CBI likely to file charge-sheet in Shehla Masood case:  The CBI is today likely to file a charge-sheet in RTI activist Shehla Masood's murder case in a special court in Indore. 

The prime accused in the case Zahida Pervez, Saba Farooqui, Shaqib Ali Irfan and Tabish are likely to be produced before a special CBI judge. 

The CBI had arrested Zahida, Shaquib and Saba after scrutinising call details generated from the tower located in the Koh-e-Fiza area where Shehla was shot dead in front of her house on August 16 last year. 

Later, the CBI arrested Iran and Tabish from Kanpur.
09:30  India, Pakistan talks continue in Islamabad :  The home and interior secretaries of India and Pakistan will hold the second round of talks today in Islamabad. 

The Indian delegation led by Home Secretary R K Singh and the Pakistani team led by Interior Secretary Khwaja Siddique Akbar have been trying to hammer out an agreement about a more relaxed visa regime.

On Thursday, the Indian team had made it clear to the Pakistani authorities that they were not happy with the pace of the 26/11 investigation.
09:03  Musharraf murdered my mother, says Bilawal Bhutto:  
The then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was responsible for the murder of his mother and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, her son and Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said.

"He (Musharraf) murdered my mother (Benazir Bhutto). I hold him responsible for the murder of my mother," Bilawal Bhutto told the CNN in an interview.

When asked why he was saying so, he said, "Because he (Musharraf) was aware of the threats. He himself had threatened her in the past'. 
09:01  Egypt awaits result of Presidential poll:  The two-day polling process in Egypt has come to an end.  

The votes are being counted now but many political experts have warned of the possibility of a run-off that will lead to a second round of elections between the front runners. 

This is the first time citizens of Egypt have cast their votes to elect a new President after they successfully toppled Hosni Mubarak's autocratic regime.
04:14  Egypt wraps up polling for new president:  
Egypt has wrapped up two days of polling in a landmark presidential election that pitted stability against the ideals of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's rule but the hard-fought contest threatened to go to a runoff.

The count began immediately after polling stations closed at 9.00 pm (0030 IST), with for the first time an unknown outcome that may well force a second round between the two frontrunners next month.

"Before the revolution, I never voted, because it was not useful. Since then, I have voted in every election because it's my right and my duty," said Ahmed Badreddine, 37, at a polling station in Cairo's Giza neighbourhood. 
04:13  Now Facebook releases 'camera':  
Facebook has released a "camera" application that lets people take Instagram-style pictures that can be shared with iPhones.

The stand-alone application synchs to the leading social network, letting friends consult one another's photos. The new mobile app launched on Thursday "makes using Facebook photos faster and easier," according to product manager Dirk Stoop.

"You'll see a feed of great photos from the people you care about," Stoop said in a Facebook post. "You can swipe to see more of any album or tap to enlarge an individual photo." 

The mini-programme also let people share many pictures simultaneously instead of having to post them one at a time to the social network, according to Stoop. 

Facebook Camera was due to be available at Apple's online App Store late Thursday.
04:12  Indian-American orphan won't be deported:  
The 2001 American law that provides for automatic citizenship to foreign adopted children does not apply to an Indian-American orphan who now faces the prospect of being deported to India, a State Department official has said.

"Prior to 2001, US immigration law did not provide for automatic acquisition of US citizenship for an adopted child. The adopting parents had to affirmatively apply or the child had to apply after 18. That has now changed," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

She was commenting on the case related to Kairi Abha Shepherd who faces deportation after a US court refused to intervene in a federal government's deportation move on the ground that she is a criminal alien. Three decades ago 30-year-old Shepherd was adopted by an American woman in Kolkata.

"As of February 27, 2001, the Child Citizenship Act provides that a foreign-born child of a US citizen, including an adopted child, acquires US citizenship automatically if before reaching the age of 18 they are admitted as a lawful permanent resident of the United States and they are residing with and in the physical custody of that adopting parent," she said.

"So this case unfortunately arose before that stipulation, but it wouldn't be the case were the child to have been adopted since February 27, 2001," Nuland told reporters.
04:09  Jailing Dr Afridi earns Pak $33 million US aid cut:  
Outraged over the prosecution of a Pakistani doctor for helping the CIA find Osama bin Laden, a US Senate panel has voted unanimously to cut aid to Pakistan by $33 million,or $1 million for each of the physician's 33-year prison sentence.

The unanimous vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee on the amendment moved by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is reflective of the changing mode in the US and growing frustration among US lawmakers on Pakistan.

The committee approved Graham's amendment on a 30-0 vote. 

A Pakistani court had on Wednesday sentenced or Dr Shakil Afridi to 33 years of rigorous imprisonment after finding him guilty of "spying on al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden without bringing it to the notice of the government of Pakistan".
04:08  Jordan PM wins trust vote:  
Jordan's MPs have given their vote of confidence to Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, who faces a tough challenge to offset a huge deficit and hold elections to meet reform demands.

The vote was 75-31, with four abstentions and 10 MPs absent from the 120-seat lower house of parliament.

Tarawneh, who was appointed in April to push through a package of reforms and laws needed to hold general polls this year, has acknowledged that the country's economy was "much worse than I expected."
04:05  Top headlines this hour:  Modi set to enter New Delhi in 2013 

Why BJP is the loser in the Modi-Gadkari war 

Upset Advani may skip Mumbai rally, return to Delhi

Yeddyurappa to attend BJP national executive on Friday 

AP excise minister's arrest leaves colleagues in jitters

2002 fake encounter: 13 cops get clean chit 

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