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BJP defends Modi over targeting Centre

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November 05, 2012

22:16  BJP defends Modi over targeting Centre:  Defending Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for criticising the Centre during his poll campaign, BJP today said had the UPA government not discriminated against Gujarat, the state would have progressed much more rapidly.

"It is important to highlight the Centre's discrimination towards the state. It is the duty of the Union government to treat every state equally. Had they done so, Gujarat would have progressed more," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman told reporters when asked why Modi was speaking on national issues during his campaign ahead of the assembly polls.
22:07  Rs 6,000-cr fine on Tata Steel for illegal mining?:  The Odisha government is believed to have slapped a fine of about Rs 6,000 crore on Tata Steel for its alleged involvement in 'illegal and excess mining' at its captive mines.

Deputy Director of Mines of Joda mining circle has slapped the fine on the steelmaker and on several other iron ore producers on charges of 'illegal and excess mining', the source added.

"Tata Steel has been fined about Rs 6,000 crore," he added.
21:52  PM offers central assistance to rain-hit AP:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Reddy in the wake of recent heavy rains causing widespread damage in several parts of the state.

Singh, during the telephonic talk, offered all possible central assistance to the state to meet the situation, PMO sources said. Earlier in the day, Reddy chaired a high-level review meeting with ministers and senior officials in Hyderabad. 

Rain-related incidents have so far claimed 24 lives and damaged crops in 5.25 lakh hectares and horticulture crops in over 24,000 acres.
21:48  B'desh varsity's admit cards carry photos of SRK!:  hotos of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif appeared on the admit cards issued by a Bangladeshi University, forcing authorities to take remedial steps to correct the mistake.

The officials at the the university at the northeastern port city of Chittagong blamed the incident on 'online technical glitches' and said they had issued the cards actually for two male admission seekers. 

Mohammad Sabbir Hossain, a candidate who was waiting for the admit card jokingly said, "I wonder if Shahrukh Khan is accused of fraudulence if I appear for the enrollment test carrying the card issued for him."
21:43  Car bomb kills 50 in Syria:  AFP reports: Syrian rebels launched a devastating car bomb attack today that killed 50 pro-regime fighters, a watchdog said, as air strikes pounded rebel positions and the opposition met for talks on an overhaul. 

The suicide car bomb attack on a military post in the central province of Hama struck early today, killing at least 50 government troops and loyalist militiamen, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
21:33  Ex-MLA murder: 2 arrested in Punjab:  Two persons, including a nephew of murdered former Punjab MLA Malkiat Singh Keetu, were arrested in connection with the killing of the ex-legislator, the police said today.

Ex-MLA's nephew Gurpreet Singh and one Ladi had been arrested in connection with the murder of Keetu, a SAD leader, SSP S S Grewal said. Both were arrested from a cloth shop at Badhnikalan in Punjab's Moga district, he said.

Grewal said police would soon arrest some more persons involved in the gunning down of Keetu on October 29.
21:30  Minor girl raped by 13 men in Haryana:  In another shocker from Haryana,a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped in Karnal district and 13 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.

On November 3, the girl was invited by a woman acquaintance at her residence in Bajida Jatan area of the district, police said.
21:15  Best Bakery case: 4 shifted to Vadodara jail:   Four convicts of the Best Bakery case have been shifted to the central jail in the city here, official sources said today.

Sanjay Thakkar, Bahadursingh Chauhan, Sanabhai Baria and Dinesh Rajbhar were shifted on Sunday from Kolhapur jail, they said. Their life sentences, awarded by a trial court in Mumbai, were upheld by the Bombay high court, based on the statements of four witnesses.
21:03  China beefs up security for key CPC meet:  China has created a security 'moat' around capital Beijing to prevent any untoward incidents and to thwart any attempts to hold demonstrations during the key Communist Party Congress to select the new leadership of the country.

Zhou Yongkang, secretary of the Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party inspected a security 'moat' project created in areas encircling Beijing for the smooth holding of the 18th Congress on November 8, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
20:48  Azad Maidan violence: court rejects bail to 2:  A local court today rejected the bail applications of two accused in custody for their alleged role in riots at Azad Maidan on August 11.

Magistrate P S Rathod declined to grant the relief to Salim Chaukia and Faisal Hussain who are accused of snatching a gun from police and torching a media van respectively when the mob, attending the rally in South Mumbai to condemn alleged attacks on Muslims in Assam and Myanmar, turned violent.
20:43  HC castigates Maha govt over taxi, auto fare hike:  The Bombay high court today ticked off Maharashtra Government for not complying with its order to form a multi-member panel to look into recent hike in fares of autorickshaw and taxi saying the state is being held hostage by pressure groups.

"We are thoroughly dissatisfied with the government," a division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and R G Ketkar observed while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by NGO 'Mumbai Grahak Panchayat' challenging the recent hike in fares based on the recommendations of one-man committee formed by the government.
20:13  Obama favoured in his ancestral Kenyan village:  AP reports: Here in President Barack Obama's ancestral village in Kenya, witch doctor John Dimotossed some shells, bones and other items to determine who will win tomorrow's election.

After throwing the objects like so many dice outside his hut in Kogelo village, Dimo, who says he is 105 years old, points to a white shell and declares: "Obama is very far ahead and is definitely going to win."
20:10  Wanted Maoist arrested; bombs recovered in WB:  A wanted Maoist was arrested and 69 bombs recovered from a jungle in separate operations in West Midnapore district, police said. 

Acting on information, Mangal Mura, an active member of Madan squad, was arrested from Belpahari area, Superintendent of Police Bharati Ghosh said. Mura was wanted in connection with 30 criminal cases including murder and extortion.

In another operation, 69 bombs were recovered from a jungle near Birdihiri village under Jhargram police station area, she said.
19:48  Khemka slams Har govt for setting up committee:   Locking horns with the Haryana government, senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka today said there was no need to set up a committee after he cancelled the sale of over three acres of land to realty major DLF following a deal with businessman Robert Vadra. Khemka, who kicked up a political storm three weeks ago alleging irregularities in Vadra-DLF land deals, also said there was no need of security that was provided to him and he wanted a fair and quick probe into threats received by him.

The 1991 batch IAS officer met Haryana Chief Secretary P K Chaudhery, who had called him for a meeting in the wake of threat calls, in his office here.
19:27  China lodges protest with Japan over Dalai visit:  China today lodged a protest with Japan for hosting the Dalai Lama for a 10-day trip as it accused the Tibetan spiritual leader of attempting to split the country "in the disguise of religion".

China strongly opposes all forms of support from any country or any individual for the Dalai Lama's separatist activities, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media.

"The Dalai Lama is merely a political exile who has long been engaged in activities to split China under the disguise of religion," Hong Lei said in response to a question regarding the Tibetan spiritual leader's trip to Japan, which started yesterday.
19:12  ED questions Jagan Reddy's aide:   Enforcement Directorate today questioned financial adviser of jailed YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy with regard to a money laundering case it is probing against the politician.

Jagan's financial adviser and chartered accountant V Vijay Sai Reddy was questioned  by ED sleuths about the financial approvals he made on behalf of the Kadapa MP and the business dealings he did during the regime of Jagan's father -- former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
18:57  Dalai Lama to visit Kerala this month:  Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama will visit Kerala on November 24 in connection with the 80th annual pilgrimage season of Sivagiri Mutt at Varkala near Kollam. 

Hundreds of spiritual leaders from different Mutts would participate, Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust general secretary Swami Rithabharananda told a press meet here today. Besides Dalai Lama, Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Dharma Sanghom Trust president Swami Prakashananda and Kerala Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan among other dignitaries would participate in the event, he added.
18:21  Hazare to announce coordination panel by Nov 10:   Anna Hazare is likely to announce a coordination panel by Saturday to take his apolitical anti-corruption movement forward. Hazare, who arrived in New Delhi this afternoon, said he will hold a series of discussions with his associates in the next two days and visit a couple of places which have been shortlisted to house the movement's office in Delhi.

The anti-graft crusader said he has decided to set up a coordination panel consisting of around a dozen associates.

"We will add more people to the panel after a screening," he said, adding by November 10, a coordination panel will be in place.

Asked about Gen(retd) V K Singh sharing stage with former Haryana Chief Minister and INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala, Hazare said he was not aware of it and that the former Army chief has assured him earlier that he will not join politics.
18:02  Load-shedding at The Telegraph:  Every news channel and newspaper worth its salt has been discussing, reporting, analysing and sometimes denouncing the allegations made against Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance by Arvind Kejriwal. Everyone that is, other than The Telegraph. Read
17:51  'Gadkari pointed out contrast between Vivekananda, Dawood':  BJP leader Balbir Punj denied Nitin Gadkari had likened the spiritual leader with Dawood. "He did not liken Vivekanand to Dawood, he only brought out the contrast," he said, adding the party president "was only stating a fact" that any kind of power, money or intellect, can be used to pursue good or evil things."
17:24  Unbiased reporting or conflict of interest?:  Arvind Kejriwal's press conference began and there were moans of "we already knew that' and "what's new' by various journalists across publications and news channels. What was interesting to watch was whether the media house which has a large investment from Reliance India Limited '" Network 18 '" and which owns one of India's most-watched English news channels (CNN-IBN) and English business news channel (CNBC TV18) and the news website, Firstpost would manage to report and analyse the allegations in a fair manner. Or would they have to troop out their defence through panelists who would denounce Kejriwal and his charges? More
17:15  Was Arafat poisoned? Remains to be exhumed:  A Western diplomat says the exhumation of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's remains will take place on November 26. He says a Swiss team has arrived in the West Bank ahead of the planned exhumation. The team will assess the grave site and plan how best to dig up the remains. The Swiss team will be joined by French investigators.

The two teams, who are set to conduct parallel probes into Arafat's death, will only be allowed one chance to draw samples. The diplomat spoke today on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The new probes into Arafat's 2004 death come after a Swiss lab recently discovered traces of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope, on clothes said to be his.
17:06  For love of long-form journalism,Anuradha Mahindra turns to IQ:  While on magazines, a new one hits India.

While Mahindra & Mahindra CMD Anand Mahindra is busy plotting the next step to expand the USD 15.4-billion farm equipment-to-aerospace group, his wife Anuradha Mahindra is quietly expanding her canvas in the publishing arena.

Already the publisher and editor of 'Verve' -- a magazine targeted at modern woman -- Anuradha Mahindra has added one more title with a new publication named IQ, The Indian Quarterly.

Away from holding up the mirror to the new age woman with 'Verve' by focusing on trends, styles and fashion, Anuradha Mahindra in her new venture is trying to turn the clock back with a wider audience in mind in today's age of social media.

"At a time when views and thoughts are being disseminated in 140 characters, and thoughts transmitted virtually without the presence of sound, IQ, The Indian Quarterly, is a magazine that endeavours to create generous space for new voices and a platform for both written and verbal conversation," Anuradha Mahindra said.
17:04  How this year's best magazine cover was shot: See
17:00  Romney Has a 'Shallow Understanding of Foreign Policy':  Madeleine Albright, 75, served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. In an interview with SPIEGEL, she explains why the US remains an "indispensable nation," says that President Barack Obama needs another term in office and accuses his challenger Mitt Romney of "demagogical campaigning." Read
16:52  Sagarika Ghose on Twitter: A few days ago rumours flew thick and fast that Gadkari was out and Advaniji was in as interim pres..will it happen?
16:50  'Irom Sharmila feels fasting is what she is meant to do in life':  Today, Irom Sharmila, the Manipur civil rights activist, marks 12 years of her fast in protest against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state. She remains in judicial custody where she continues to be force-fed through her nose. Deepti Priya Mehrotra, author of Burning Bright: Irom Sharmila and the Struggle for Peace in Manipur, recalls her association with the Iron Lady of Manipur. Read
16:44  The Supreme Court of press conferences:  It is death by press conferences. There is one almost daily. Beamed live on TV where accusations are hurled against politicians, whether from the ruling party or the opposition, industrialists and random media houses. In trying to get across to saturated TV viewers, new depths are plummeted every evening. The ugliness is unbearable and yet like coke addicts, we consume the 'stuff' day in and day out.
16:28  Cong: Rahul #2 in Cong, change people want to see:  Congress senior leader Renuka Chowdhury says there is no need to anoint Rahul Gandhi as he is No 2 in the party. "He is the change people want to see in the country," she said. 
16:27  Shobhaa De @DeShobhaa Gadkari has lost it! Not weight.Brain.Someone loan him a little IQ.Make it fast!

Scroll down for the context.
16:17  Mum Lit Fest: Ruchir Sharma wins First Book Award:   Banker and New York based- author Ruchir Sharma was awarded the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for his Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles at the Mumbai Litfest on Sunday, reports the Hindu.

Sharma, who was unable to attend, was presented the prestigious honour along with a cash prize of 1 lakh on day four of the festival by R. Gopalakrishnan, Director, Tata Sons. "It's a distinct privilege to be recognised at such an illustrious platform and I thank Tata Literature Live! and the kind jurors for bestowing me with this award,' said Mr. Sharma, in a message read out on his behalf.
16:11  Secrets behind Queen's James Bond outfit revealed :  Queen's turn as a Bond girl during the Olympic Games opening ceremony was one of the best received acting debuts of a generation. Read
16:04  BJP: Jethmalani's views on Gadkari not party's:  Senior BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the manner in which Mahesh Jethmalani chose to resign from the national executive committee of the BJP was an instance of public posturing, and not beneficial to its status as the largest political entity in the world. Speaking to the media Rudy said that the irony was that the letter had reached the media even before it reached the BJP, adding that Jethmalani's view was his own and he did not want to comment on it aside from reiterating that allegations of corruption against the BJP President were being probed.
15:53  As India prepares to host Pak, more at stake than cricket:  Now that the Indian Home Ministry has approved Pakistan's tour of this country for a short series of One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches in December and January, the arch rivals are all set to revive their bilateral cricket relations in an event that is likely to transcend sports. Read
15:51  China objects to Dalai Lamas Japan visit:  China strongly opposes all forms of support from any country or any individual for the Dalai Lama''s separatist activities, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said at a regular press briefing on Monday.  

"The Dalai Lama is merely a political exile who has long been engaged in activities to split China under the disguise of religion," Hong Lei said in response to a question regarding the Dalai Lama''s 10-day trip to Japan, which started on Sunday.
15:49  India, Japan draw closer on China unease:  A meeting between the leaders of Japan and India in mid-November is set to build on security and economic cooperation to help counter China's increasing sway in the Asian region. Read
15:27  KFA licence may be scrapped if revival plan deadline is not met:  India will not renew Kingfisher Airlines' licence to fly if the ailing carrier fails to provide a turnaround plan by end-December, a top government official told reporters on Monday.

The airline has not come up with any revival plan as of now, the official, who declined to be named, said, adding that the airlines' licence is due to expire on Dec. 31.Kingfisher, once India's second-largest airline, has not flown since the start of October after an employee protest turned violent. India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended its licence last month, after Kingfisher failed to address its concerns over safety.
15:13  The man hundreds of Indian children call 'Papa':  Amid all the scam stories, a heartwarming one... American Paul Wilkes has transformed poorly funded orphanages into Homes of Hope. Read
15:10  BJP: How did Jethmalani's letter reach media first?:  The BJP's first response to Mahesh Jethmalani's resignation letter from the party's executive committee to Nitin Gadkari. BJP's Rajiv Pratap Rudy says the party is yet to receive the resignation letter. "But we're surprised the letter reached the media first," he says. 
15:02  Thackeray's 'blood boils' over Shinde's Pak remarks:  Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray seems to be out of the woods. Today, he asked "staunch Hindus and patriotic public" not to allow the ensuing Indo-Pak cricket matches in India, unless Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde withdraws his statement on "forgetting the past" to play cricket with Pakistan.

"Shinde saheb, if you have an iota of shame left, then withdraw this shameless remark of yours," Thackeray said, in a statement in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana'.

"I am bed ridden but even in this condition, my blood boils (over Shinde's statement) and hence I am making this appeal to my Hindu brethren to disrupt these matches," Thackeray said. "You say let bygones be bygones. What to forget and how to forget," Thackeray said, referring to the Parliament attack and 26/11 Mumbai terror strike.

The 86-year-old leader, who has dubbed Pakistan's India tour, which begins next month, as "a national shame", said Maharashtra government has dismissed the mercy petition of Ajmal Kasab and the central government should also follow
14:52   Peta urges Naomi Campbell to cancel elephant polo match:  British supermodel Naomi Campbell's planned elephant polo match for boyfriend Vladimir Doronin's 50th birthday bash in Jodhpur has been criticised by animal activists group PETA.

The 42-year-old is reportedly planning the match during the four-day long birthday celebrations. "PETA India urges Naomi Campbell to respect elephants and Indian wildlife and immediately withdraw her plans to organise this cruel sport. It's sad to appallingly predictable for her to exploit India's national and natural treasure," said Benazir Suraiya of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The couple, who have been dating since 2008, arrived in Jodhpur yesterday and will be having a pre birthday bash at the Mehrangarh Fort on November 6.
14:48  Clarke's captaincy forged in South Africa:  As the pundits assemble their predictions for the series between Australia and South Africa, a glance at the last meeting leaves as many questions as answers. A 1-1 stalemate across two hectic Tests in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the series was over all too quickly. Read
14:44  Here's a great find -- Crocodile in water tiger on land, a non-profit equal opportunity collection of below-the-belt cheap shots in comic form. Hee's what they say: Initially, the city of Kolkata gets to hog all our lovin', but we promise to get our hairy hands on the rest of urban India's shiny, freshly-waxed limbs real soon." A first look.
14:33  The Argumentative Indian:  The precarious ambition of Kapil Sibal. A must-read from Caravan magazine. 
14:30  Hot yoga, cool pants:  When literature professor Edward Said first posed the Traveling Theory, he argued that when ideas move from one culture to another, they lose their historical context and therefore their power. He later revised it, saying that the transposed idea could change, adapt, and thereby become equally strong in its new environment but in a different way. This seems to be what has happened as the concept of yoga has moved from the East to the West. Read
14:14  In fact, Mahesh's father Ram Jethmalani had earlier demanded Gadkari's resignation over the Purti scam.

Read on The controversy around Messrs Gadkari and Vadra
14:10  I will not be in NEC under Gadkari: Jethmalani:   Jethmalani says it is "morally and intellectually inappropriate to be in the NEC till Nitin Gadkari is the party president. I will not be in NEC under Gadkari."

This is the first direct fallout of the scam taint against Nitin Gadkari. The BJP is yet to comment on the issue. Jethmalani is believed to have been very unhappy over the inaction of the BJP against Gadkari.

The letter Jethmalani wrote to the BJP president was released to the media before it reached Gadkari. 
14:03  Mahesh Jethmalani quits BJP NEC over Gadkari scam:  Just in: Times Now reports that top lawyer and senior BJP leader Mahesh Jethmalani resigns from the the party's national executive committee. The decision is believed to be a result of a fallout over the scam allegations against party president Nitin Gadkari. Jethmalani is believed to have told Gadkari that he would quit if unless Gadkari stepped won as president.  
13:59  Ohio builds Modi bridge:   If America's presidential candidates are taking their last stand in the toss-up state of Ohio before Tuesday's uncertain election, so is Ohio in its efforts to build on its impressive rescue from the brink after the financial meltdown of 2008.Defying the political correctness in Washington, the Columbus region, made up of 11 resurgent counties in the Ohio capital's extended neighbourhood, is looking to Narendra Modi's Gujarat as a gateway to building bridges with India's emerging economy.
Read more
13:58  Tweet-happy Digvijaya takes on Modi :  Congress leader Digvijay Singh today took a dig at the BJP over its chief Nitin Gadkari's remark that the intelligence quotient level of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim could have been almost the same.

"In a function in Bhopal Gadkari said 'IQ of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was same'. Any comment from (Narender) Modi and his fans?" Singh said on Twitter.

Addressing an award ceremony in Bhopal, Gadkari had said yesterday, "As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been almost the same. But Vivekanand used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world". Singh, who has been targeting the BJP chief over his business links, asked "why do people question my credibility. Whatever I have said has come correct".

In his tweets, he had said "Gadkari involved in setting up bogus companies - Correct: Gadkari a businessman - Correct" To buttress the point that he has always been proved correct on the issues he had raised, Singh posted a number of tweets today. "Sangh involved in terror -Correct; Anna agitation supported by RSS -Correct; Team Anna politically ambitious - Correct Ramdev a thug - Correct; Balkrishna passport and degrees forged -Correct; Thackeray family from Bihar-Correct "Kejriwal politically ambitious and wants to assume power without fighting elections - Correct; Kejriwal getting foreign funding to foment civil disobedience - Correct," he said in the tweets. Singh added "would my detractors on social media please reconsider their opinion ?
13:49  Obama: Romney bestseller of untruthful facts:  US President Barck Obama has implicated Republican rival Mitt Romney as "a very talented salesman,' as he addressed a packed crowd of 4,000 energized supporters in the Mentor High School in Ohio.  

"Refusing to answer the details of your policies until after the election, that's not change. That's the oldest trick in the book,' the New York Daily News quoted Obama, as saying, as he ridiculed Romney's attempt to seize the battle cry of "change' that the president used to great effect four years ago.
13:45  Tight, foolproo security for Pakistan cricket team, promises govt:  The Centre today assured foolproof security to the Pakistan team during its upcoming India tour to play limited over cricket series beginning December 25.

"We will provide foolproof security to the Pakistan cricket team," Union Minister of State for Home R P N Singh told reporters here. His comments came in the wake of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray opposition to the Indo-Pak cricket series, saying his party won't allow Pakistan cricket team to play in India.

"The matches will happen as per schedule. Those opposing it should take the game as game only," Singh said. Home Ministry sources said the Central government will ensure three-tier security to the Pakistan cricket team during the matches and their practice in stadiums.

The series would comprise three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals between December 2012 and January 2013. The ODI matches will be played in Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi and the Twenty20 games in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.
13:25  Sonia speaks out for investment:  The narrative that's taken hold in India is that Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the country's most powerful politician,  has agreed to a recent wave of economic reforms but doesn't whole-heartedly support them. Read
13:22  Obama racks up three-point lead over Romney in final poll :  After finding a dead-even race between the presidential candidates in its previous poll, a new Pew Research Poll found that President Barack Obama has gained a slight edge over Republican rival Mitt Romney nationally. In the Pew Research Center's election weekend survey, Obama was holding a 48 percent to 45 percent lead over Romney among likely voters. In the final survey Obama has ended with a three-point lead over his GOP rival. Nearly 50 percent respondents prefer to vote for Obama as compared to 47 percent who prefer Romney.
13:16  After Sandy, another coastal storm heads to US :   Just as the US east coast is limping back to recovery from the destruction caused by Sandy, another strong coastal storm threatens to hit the region this week and could result in high winds, flooding and power outages, further exacerbating the damage caused by the megastorm.

Though there is still uncertainty over its exact course and timing, the new coastal storm could bring windy conditions with high winds in the range of 50 miles per hour.
13:13  England Test: Zaheer, Yuvraj in, Raina dropped :  The team against the upcoming Test against England is in.
In the team are: Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, R Ashwijn, Zaheer Khan, R Ashwin, P Ojha, A Rahane, C Pujara.

Those dropped include Suresh Raina
13:02  Why Girish Karnad isnt wrong about V.S. Naipaul:  Once the word got around that Girish Karnad had evisceratedVidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, the Trinidad-born British writer who had been given the lifetime achievement award at the Tata Literature Live! Festival in Mumbai, the battle-lines were drawn clearly.

Karnad had to be wrong because Naipaul was great and his critics were insignificant (he is a lion and people like me are "rats', as someone on Twitter described me, when I defended Karnad, although Naipaul would have shown off his wider vocabulary, and called his critics "pygmies' or something suitably outrageous). More
12:53  Zaheer undergoes fitness test ahead of England Test:   India's veteran pacer Zaheer Khan underwent a fitness test at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai before the selection committee's meeting to pick the first Test against England, starting next week.

Zaheer underwent the test during the lunch break of the Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai and Railways. National Cricket Academy physio Ashish Kaushik and Mumbai Cricket Association physio Niranjan Pandit watched over Zaheer's fitness test.

The veteran pacer bowled for nearly 30 minutes on the practice pitch adjoining the match pitch after he did some stretching exercises on the sidelines.

He looked in no discomfort or any pain during the fitness test, which was conducted as the selection meeting began at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.Zaheer walked off the field with cramps on day three of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh but he was ruled fit for the first Test against England, to be played in Ahmedabad from November 15-19.
12:49  German woman claims she was raped, robbed in Mumbai:   A German national was today allegedly raped and robbed by unidentified persons at her residence in suburban Bandra, in Mumbai. police said.  "A German woman approached us claiming that she has been raped. Accordingly, we registered her complaint and are investigating the matter," said a police official. She also claimed to have been robbed.
12:46  Miffed Nitish wants special status for Bihar :  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said the Centre was discriminating against his state by denying the special status for which he had made repeated pleas and promised to fight till it was granted. Flanked by JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav, Kumar told the 'Adhikar' rally, at the culmination of months-long "Adhikar Yatras", at the historic Gandhi Maidan in Patna that the UPA government had never considered the issue 'sincerely'. Read more
12:36  'Vivekanada-Dawood comment is nankruptcy of Gadkari's mind':  The Congress said also said, "I think so this is the bankruptcy of Gadkari''s mind. What is the justification of comparison of Saint Swami Vivekananda to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim? If somebody will ask tomorrow from Gadkari or will compare Gadkari's mind of excellence with Kasab what reply will the BJP give," said the Congress.

Gadkari, who was speaking at an award ceremony in Bhopal earlier, compared Swami Vivekanand''s intelligence quotient level to Dawood Ibrahim, but added that while the spiritual leader had used it for nation building the underworld don used it for excelling in crime world.
12:32  'Gadkari has to apologise, is his IQ same as Kasab's':  Information & Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari says Nitin Gadkari has to apologise for his comments comparing Swami Vivekananda's IQ with that of Dawood Ibrahim. Says Tewari, "What if we compare Gadkari's IQ with Kasab's?"
Ajmal Kasab is the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist, one of the 10 men responsible for the November 26, 2008 carnage in Mumbai that saw 166 dead. 

Gadkari has of course said that he was misquoted. 
11:59  Preeti Jain rape case: Bhandarkar innocent, says SC:  Just in: The Supreme Court quashes the rape charges against Madhur Bhandarkar. The filmmaker had approached the court saying the probe in the Preeti Jain rape case had not been conducted properly.

In July 2004, starlet Preeti Jain had lodged a complaint alleging that Bhandarkar had raped her several times between 1999 and 2004 under the pretext of marrying her and casting her as actress in his movies.

A Mumbai metropolitan court had, in September last year, found substance in Jain's complaint, and issued process against Bhandarkar, directing him to face the trial.

However, the magistrate's court had, in November last year granted anticipatory bail to the Bollywood filmmaker in the case.

And this time, it's truly the end of the trial because Jain has now told the court that she is no longer interested in pursuing the nine-year-long case. 
11:50  Did not say Vivekananda, Dawood IQ same: Gadkari:  As expected BJP president Nitin Gadkari does a quick backtrack on his statement comparing the IQ levels of Swami Vivekananda and gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Gadkari says he was misquoted.

Gadkari said the intelligence quotient level of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was almost the same, but the spiritual leader had used it for nation building while the underworld don for pursuing crime.

"In psychology, we measure IQ level of people... But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence," Gadkari said at an award ceremony here.

"As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been almost the same. But Vivekanand used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world," he added.

11:44  Is China more legitimate than the West?:  China and the United States are about to choose new leaders via very different methods. But is a candidate voted for by millions a more legitimate choice than one anointed by a select few, asks Martin Jacques. This week will witness an extraordinary juxtaposition of events. On Tuesday the next American president will be elected. Two days later, the 18th congress of the Chinese Communist Party will select the new Chinese president and prime minister. The contrast could hardly be greater. Read
11:40  Kejriwal's allegations against RIL:   According to Arvind Kejriwal, the KG basin was awarded to Reliance in 2000 by the NDA government when the company agreed to supply gas to the NTPC for the next 17 years at $2.34 per unit. But, said Kejriwal, the company revised the rate to $4.25 per unit in 2007 which then finance minister Pranab Mukherjee agreed to as the head of an empowered group of ministers, benefiting Reliance to the tune of Rs.10,000 crore.

"The entire contract was meant to benefit Reliance because ... the cost would be determined by the company, and if the cost increases, so will the profit," he said, adding this was unheard of in business.

Kejriwal alleged that in 2006 then petroleum minister Mani Shankar Iyer was removed and Murli Deora brought in to increase Reliance Industries' capital expenditure from $2.39 billion to $8.8 billion, and to hike gas price from $2.34 per unit to $4.25 per unit.

Later, the company wanted the rate further hiked to $14.2. Jaipal Reddy, who reportedly did not agree to the proposal, was shunted out in Sunday's cabinet rejig, said the activist-politician.
11:31  Moily on oil stain: Audit obligatory for Reliance:   First comeback from oil minister Veerappa Moily on the allegations that UPA government had favoured Reliance Industries Ltd by giving contract on gas exploration in KG Basin and concessions at a huge cost to the exchequer. Moily today said that audit is a contractual obligation and Reliance Industries will abide by it.
11:25  Zaheer available for England Test despite cramps :  Pacer Zaheer Khan, who was under some injury doubt, is available for selection for the first Test match against England in Ahmedabad to be played next week.

"He is available for selection. He had some cramps yesterday but should be alright for the first Test against England," a source close to the Mumbai team told

Zaheer Khan did not take the field for Mumbai at the start of the fourth and final day of their Ranji Trophy match against Railways, on Monday. His absence further fuelled speculation as to whether the veteran pacer's leg injury is more serious than "cramps".

But the source clarified that the veteran pacer was rested keeping the all-important Test match in mind. "The selectors have already been informed of his fitness status and his availability for the first Test."

On Sunday, Zaheer walked off the field after bowling 20.5 overs with some discomfort in his groin area.Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar said after the third day's play that the injury was not serious.
11:20  Irom Sharmila completes 12 years of fast :  Irom Sharmila, Manipur's 'Iron Lady', today completed 12 years of indefinite fast demanding repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Sharmila, who is force-fed through the nose to keep her alive began her fast till death after ten persons, including a boy who received the national bravery award, were shot dead in an alleged encounter with Assam Rifles personnel at Malom near Imphal airport on November 2, 2000.

A newspaper columnist and social worker then, Sharmila, went on fast on November 5 that year demanding repeal of AFSPA. She was arrested a day later and charged with attempt to commit suicide.

Also see: The tragedy of being Irom Sharmila
11:12  Pakistans hot nuclear greenhouse:  The world's fastest growing arsenal is being produced not just because of the fear of India but a strategic paranoia exacerbated by existential anxieties. Read Praveen Swami's piece for the Hindu 
11:10  Wen Jiabao calls for probe into 'family's 'hidden fortune':  Premier requests top-level inquiry into claims of US$2.7b assets and is reported to be pushing for long-overdue 'sunshine law' to be put into effect. Read
11:06  The princeling from the grass roots:   When Xi Jinping arrived in Liangjiahe, a small village of a few dozen households hidden among the Loess mountains of central China, he was "anxious and confused,' he recalled in an essay he wrote in 1998. But when he left the "Yellow earth' of Shaanxi province seven years later, he reflected, "my life goals were firm and I was filled with confidence.'  Read
11:02  30,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers need to be relocated: Bloomberg:  Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that 30,000 to 40,000 New Yorkers may need to be relocated as the region is still recovering from the devastation by super storm Sandy.  

He, however, said that number would probably drop to 20,000 within a couple of weeks as power is restored in more places.  

According to CBS News, with overnight temperatures sinking into the 30s and hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses still without electricity six days after Sandy howled through, people piled on layers of clothes, and New York City officials handed out blankets and urged victims to go to overnight shelters or daytime warming centers.
10:58  In Rakhine, mistrust deepens divide:  The capital of Rakhine state in western Myanmar is a picture of outward calm. At lunchtime on Saturday, the main street is crowded with bicycle-riders, motorcyclists, a few cars, lots of pedestrians and people eating at roadside cafes.

Work continues at the site of the port, which the Indian company ESSAR is constructing as part of the India-funded Kaladan multi-nodal transport project. There are even tourists. Read
10:46  Lawyer: PILs against Maya were politically motivated:   Mayawati's lawyer Satish Mishra speaking to TV channels says: "We stand vindicated. All the seven PILs against her were politically motivated and had been filed to malign Mayawati." He said the court has said that the PILs were devoid of merit.   
10:41  The case against Mayawati goes back to her third tenure as UP chief minister in 2002. She was accused of launching a beautification project near the Taj without environmental clearances and unauthorised release of funds. CBI found prima facie a case against Mayawati and charged her under the Prevention of Corruption act. After her landslide win in UP elections in 2007 the Governor denied prosecution sanction to the CBI. But several PILs challenged the Governor's decision and today the High Court will decide whether or not Mayawati will face trial in the Taj Corridor case.
10:39  Taj Corridor: HC dimisses petitions against Maya :  In what comes as a huge relief for former UP chief minister Mayawati, the Allahabad High Court today dismisses all the PILs against her in the Taj Corridor case. The CBI had dropped the case against Mayawati after the UP Governor denied prosecution sanction against Mayawati in 2007. The verdict comes after six petitions were filed against her in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. The petitioners had demanded Mayawati's prosecution in the Taj Corridor case and they argued that Governor's sanction is not required to proceed against public servants in corruption cases.
10:31  Campaigning in US presidential elections to end tonight:   With the US presidential elections just a day away, campaigning will end tonight, bringing down the curtain on several months of high voltage exchange of words between US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Continuing with their hectic election campaigning as in the past few days, both the candidates are scheduled to address a series of meetings crisscrossing the battleground States, beginning early in the morning till late in the night. Obama, 51, and the First Lady Michelle, are scheduled to return to their hometown of Chicago, which is also their campaign headquarters, post mid-night, after holding meetings in Wisconsin and Ohio. Obama would end his election campaign in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michelle Obama will deliver remarks in North Carolina and Florida before introducing the President at his final campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa.
10:16  Nilam aftermath: 22 dead, 40,000 evacuated :   At least 22 people died and around 40,000 were rendered homeless as incessant heavy rain lashed the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh under the influence of the passing cyclonic storm Nilam.

The weather department has predicted heavy showers in the next 48 hours.

Continuing rains along the coastline have inundated around 130 villages in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur and the east and west Godavari districts. Crops spread over 2.5 lakh hectares of farmland are under water. Schools remain shut.

More deaths are feared as several areas remain submerged. 
09:52  Gadkari's gaffe: Vivekananda, Dawood IQ same :   BJP president Nitin Gadkari said the intelligence quotient level of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was almost the same, but the spiritual leader had used it for nation building while the underworld don for pursuing crime.

"In psychology, we measure IQ level of people...But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence," Gadkari said at an award ceremony in Bhopal on Sunday.

As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been almost the same. But Vivekanand used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world," he added.

The BJP president said this while making his point that discrimination between men and women on the basis of caste, religion, language and gender is unfair and people should be judged only on the basis of their qualities.
09:08  Thackeray says won't allow Indo-Pak matches:  Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has said that he will not allow Indo-Pak matches.

He slammed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks that said 'let bygones be bygones'.

The Shiv Sena has asked Shinde to withdraw his statement with regards to Indo-Pak cricket.

The Pakistan cricket team will arrive in India on December 22. The BCCI has invited Pakistan to play three one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches in December-January, the first bilateral contests between the arch-rivals in five years.    
08:40  Will Maya face trial in Taj corridor case?:  The Allahabad high court today will deliver its judgement on a Public Interest Litigation that has challenged the refusal of the Uttar Pradesh governor to prosecute Mayawati and her close aide Naseemuddin Siddiqu in the Taj corridor case.

With that decision by the UP governor, the Central Bureau of Investigation's  investigation in the Rs. 17 crore scam came to a halt in June 2007.

The lawyers fighting this case have argued that several Supreme Court judgments in the past clearly state that the CBI does not need a sanction from a competent authority to prosecute any public servant.  
08:28  News as it happens:  Top headlines in the last 24 hours:

BJP lying to farmers on FDI in retail, says Rahul Gandhi

FDI in retail will benefit common man, says PM

Rahul draws flak from BJP over Kargil remark

'Back stabber' Amar won't be taken back into party: SP

BJP workers in Bihar want Modi as next PM

Uddhav Thackeray undergoes angioplasty procedure

Record turnout in Himachal Pradesh polls

Adhikar rally: Nitish demands special status for Bihar

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