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Priyanka tours Amethi, Rae Bareli to galvanise Cong

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November 08, 2012


22:43  US lawmaker, who advocated visa for Modi, loses in polls:  

PTI: The only US lawmaker to have publicly advocated revocation of visa ban on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi lost the Congressional election to a Democrat.         

 

Joe Walsh, a far-right Tea Party member, was defeated resoundingly by Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the Eighth Congressional District of Illinois by nearly 10 percentage points.         

 

His defeat was welcomed by several Indian American groups, including the Indian American Muslim Council. "In a nation that cherishes tolerance, Mr Walsh's defeat demonstrates the futility of divisive agendas and the promotion of human rights violators," said Shaheen Khateeb, president of IAMC.

22:07  Priyanka tours Amethi, Rae Bareli to galvanise Cong:  In an apparent bid to galvanise Congress after its dismal performance in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in twin constituencies of Amethi and Rae Bareli, Priyanka Gandhi today held meetings with party workers .

On the first day of her two-day visit, Priyanka, who is touring the twin Lok Sabha constituencies for the first time after the assembly elections, held block-wise meetings of party workers up to nyaya panchayat level at Bhuemau guest house and talked about strengthening the organisation and discussed development works, sources said.
22:04  TKA Nair to meet Jaya tomorrow?:  Advisor to the prime minister TKA Nair on Friday would be convening a high-level review meeting in the Tamil Nadu secretariat about the infrastructure development in the state.

First and foremost is the Chennai-Bangalore eight lane prestigious National highway Road, and second is the Manali -Ennore port trust road expansion.   The third is about the Chennai airport.

There are issues of the ADMK government's involvement in this sector, since the Congress' Union ministers do not want to meet Chief Minister Jayalalitha one to one.

In an attempt to get results before the 2013 Lok Sabha polls, the prime minister has deputed TKA Nair to meet the Tamil Nadu chief secretary.

Nair would most probably be meeting Jayalalitha with a message from the prime minister.
21:46  Full house at Union Cabinet hall:  The Union Cabinet hall  looked like a full house on Thursday. Out of 33 Union ministers only two did not turn up -- Veerappa Moily and Ajit Singh.   Senior officials felt that the railway canteen menu, that was ordered for 50 persons was all exhausted because of 99 per cent attendance.
21:43  Newcomers attend Cabinet meeting for the first time:  For the first time in the Union Cabinet, newcomers attended the Cabinet meeting that was held at the South Block.

Pallam Raju, Harish Rawat and Rekhman Khan were attentive and took notes. Old timers were enjoying this. At one point even the prime minister noticed the newcomers really concentrating on discussions.

The Cabinet deliberated for 22 minutes until the prime minister announced the meeting was over, and many of them, including the newcomers including went outside.   Six of them remained seated to attend the Cabinet committee on economic affairs.
21:39  Cong's 'secret enclave' at Surajkund tomorrow:  All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardhan Diwedi has written to Union Cabinet ministers and MOS independent charge-to attend the Surajkund conclave on Friday, and they should group at 24 Akbar Road at 8.15 am to travel in four deluxe buses.

In total, 30 Union ministers are to travel in these buses including home, defence and finance minsters. An insider pointed out that this not austerity, but secrecy, and also to avoid huge congestion in parking place in Surajkund.

The Surajkund secret AICC conclave lunch will be hosted by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
21:36  SC extends status quo on Akbarabadi site:  The Supreme Court today extended till December 5 its order for maintaining status quo at a park near Red Fort where an unauthorised mosque was allegedly built by a local MLA and his supporters over the purported ruins of a Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir also sought response from the Centre and the Delhi Government on the plea by local MLA Shoib Iqbal seeking restoration of his security.

The court also appointed senior advocate L N Rao as amicus curaie to assist in the matter.
20:57  Not in the race for PM's post: Advani announces:  IBNLive: Lal Krishna Advani, the man who propelled the Bharatiya Janata Party from an also ran to power in Delhi in just over a decade, on Thursday celebrated his 85th birthday and finally announced that he was not in the race to become the Prime Minister of India.

Forced to play second fiddle to BJP patriarch and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for a major part of his career, Advani never hid his political ambitions but failed to realise as first BJP allies and then the unforgiving electorates of India made sure that the one dream he cherished most would remain unfulfilled.

Read the full story here
20:24  China's Hu warns Taiwan against independence move :  AP reports" China's President Hu Jintao today warned Taiwan against any moves towards independence but called for the two sides to continue the exchanges that have helped ease their longtime rivalry.

"We resolutely oppose any separatist attempt for Taiwan independence," Hu said in an address to his ruling Communist Party's five-yearly congress.

"The Chinese people will never allow anyone or any force to separate Taiwan from the motherland by any means," Hu said in the speech, in which he also stated his country's intention to become a 'maritime power' and further build up its military.

China regularly issues such warnings on Taiwan but relations between the two sides have warmed considerably under Hu. Semi-official talks between China and Taiwan resumed in 2008 after being suspended for more than a decade.
20:02  Spanish woman identifies man who raped her:  A Spanish woman who was raped and robbed at her rented flat here early this week, today identified her tormentor during a parade conducted inside the Arthur Road Jail, police said.

The victim, a musician, identified accused Mohammed Badsha Mohammed Ismail Ansari, 30 as the one who robbed and sexually assaulted her after breaking into the flat in suburban Bandra in early hours of Monday, they said.
19:51  CAG to get limited access to army canteens accounts:  After a long stand-off over the issue, the armed forces have agreed to provide 'limited access' to CAG to look into the accounts of the Unit Run Canteens (URCs) having an annual turnover of over Rs 8,500 crore.

The three Services had been 'denying access' to the CAG to the accounts of their over 3,600 URCs selling consumer goods to defence personnel at concessional rates claiming they were being run on non-public funds.

The three Services have agreed to 'limited access' to CAG to examine the accounts of URCs which are run using money from the Consolidated Fund of India, the defence ministry sources said .
19:29  Who will Kejriwal expose tomorrrow?:  Arvind Kejriwal-led India Against Corruption is expected to expose another corruption case tomorrow.

A press conference will be held at 1.30 pm at the Press Club of India, Raisaina Road, New Delhi. 
18:53  Anti-Modi cop Bhatt charged in custodial death case:  Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been charged for his alleged role in the death of a VHP worker when he was SP in the area. The case concerns the death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani who allegedly succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him while in custody. The VHP worker was arrested for his role in the riots.

The police had allegedly thrashed him while he was in custody at the police station on the night of October 30, 1990. Bhatt, who has alleged complicity of chief minister Narendra Modi in 2002 post-Godhra riots, was assistant superintendent of police at the time in Jamnagar.

Bhatt had moved the sessions court opposing framing of charges against him in connection with the case. 
18:34  Ram Jethmalani: Lord Ram was a bad husband:  Just in: Rajya Sabha BJP MP Ram Jethmalani has done it again -- embarrassed his  party. CNN IBN reports that at a book launch today on a man-woman relationship, he drew a parallel with another relationship saying Lord Ram was a bad husband. Let's see how the BJP will duck this.

Jethmalani on Wednesday rejected the party's clean chit to Nitin Gadkari over the alleged dodgy business practices of a group of companies linked to him, reinforcing doubts that the party chief, already diminished, may not be able to limp into a second term after his current tenure ends in December. 
18:29  Sonia's first-ever statement on fashion: NO BLING:  Sonia Gandhi dislikes bling. Above all, keep it simple, she says. Just like Indira. That was Sonia Gandhi's style tip to a crowd of fashion students gathered in Rae Bareli, her home constituency.

"In the recent years, I have noticed a trend in Indian fashion to overdo, to over-embellish clothes. Sometimes a single garment will have zardozi, beads, sequin, patchwork as well as crystals,' complained Mrs. Gandhi, speaking at a function organized by the National Institute of Fashion Technology on Wednesday. More

18:26  Team not scared of Thackeray's threats: Pak cricket board:  Announcing that the Pakistan Cricket Board is not scared of threats from the Shiv Sena, PCB chief Zaka Ashraf has advised party chief Bal Thackeray to renounce extremism and move forward with positive thinking. Ashraf said that the Indian government had given clearance to the Pakistan cricket team and that both the countries will have to look for each other's benefits, reports The Express Tribune.
18:15  Mathematical proof reveals magic of Ramanujan's genius :  Proofs are the currency of mathematics, but Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the all-time great mathematicians, often managed to skip them. Now a proof has been found for a connection that he seemed to mysteriously intuit between two types of mathematical function. Read
18:06  How India's wealthiest are connected socially:  India's biggest entrepreneurs are connected to each other in several ways'"in some cases it is through marriages and in others, through business. Lakshmi Mittal, for starters, is connected through both. See the flowchart.
18:03  Deleted Weibo highlights bored Jiang Zemin :  The following post by Shenzhen Hot Topics, a user with more than 123,000 followers, was deleted from Sina Weibo sometime before 2:44 pm today, November 8, 2012 (within 25 minutes of being posted). The post includes a group of photos it attributes to Reuters showing former Chinese President Jiang Zemin making various faces during the 18th National Congress today. See
17:55  And yes, it's a hoax. Even George W Bush wouldn't make that mistake. Read this.
17:53  Did George W Bush vote for Obama?:  So, did former US president George W Bush accidentally voted for Barack Obama? We don't know if it's a spoof, but it's certainly a good read. Have a look. 
17:28  India Inc. doesnt care about women:  On the final day of the World Economic Forum on India, at a session entitled Changing Mindsets: India's Missing Women, there weren't many minds present.Organizers had set aside the main hall of the forum for the event, with capacity to seat nearly a thousand people. In the event, barely a tenth of that number showed up.

Some panelists didn't let the poor turnout go unremarked. "GDP is everyone's god right now,' said Mallika Sarabhai, director of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts. "The fact that there are so few leaders here from corporate India, tells you how little they care." Read more


17:23  So, do you know how to file a First Information Report or what the road rules in India? Here's what you should know. Read
17:18  Congress compares Modi to monkey, PM to lion:   Abusive words are back to crowd speeches of political leaders as elections approach. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Arjun Modhwadia on today compared Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi with a monkey, reports the Daily Bhaskar.   

Reacting to Modi's recent comments at a rally in Junagad, Modhwadiya said monkeys climb on trees and challenge lions to climb as well. Even though lions cannot climb trees, monkeys can never become lions, and will always rule. The state Congress chief alluded to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a lion.

The Cong leader also said that a Nobel Prize for telling lies should be constituted and given to Modi. Gujarat assembly elections begin on December 13.
17:10  Graeme Smith to go beyond Border:  When Graeme Smith leads out South Africa for the first Test of the series against Australia on Friday, he will be doing so for the 94th time, the most number of any Tests captain. Read more
17:08  Randela banknotes released in South Africa today:  New banknotes, featuring the face of former President Nelson Mandela on the front and images of The Big Five on the back will be released into circulation on Tuesday 5 November, the Reserve Bank announced last week. Read
17:05  What's going to happen at Cong's Surajkund mela tomorrow:  Amid concerns within the party over "limitations" in a coalition government, top Congress leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi will discuss threadbare future strategies during a day-long session tomorrow.

A review of the functioning of the government is expected to be made at the dialogue session at nearby Surajkund in Haryana, the first exercise of its kind in the UPA-II at a time when the party and the government are facing tough challenges and are grappling with a series of scams.

This is clear from the fact that it will be the maiden occasion when the party will take stock of the extent of implementation of the promises made in its manifesto for 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Ahead of the meeting, party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi spoke of limitations in a coalition in implementing any single party's full agenda.

"There are some limitations in a coalition government. But being the largest party in the alliance and leading the government, Congress considers it a responsibility to evaluate as to what extent the promises made by the party in its manifesto have been fulfilled," Dwivedi said.

Rahul Gandhi, who is set to assume a "larger role" in the organisation sooner than later and the top central ministers and Congress Working Committee members will be participating in the deliberations on the political and the economic situation.

Sonia Gandhi's opening remarks at the meeting will set the tone for the discussion on current political situation in the meeting after which the Prime Minister will brief the leaders on the economic challenges and the measures initiated by the government. The issue of alliances could figure at the "dialogue meeting" at Surajkund being held for the first time since the exit of Trinamool Congress from UPA-II and growing speculation of early Lok Sabha elections. Ahead of the meeting, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that the achievements of the government in the last three years and nine months are "quite impressive".
16:22  Obama says Malia, Sasha will be allowed to date in White House:   President Barack Obama said his daughters will be allowed to date during his second term, but any prospective teenage boyfriends will have to deal with the Secret Service. Read
16:17  Ratan Tata steps down as chairman of Tata Power:  Tata Power Company Ltd has informed BSE that effective November 08, 2012, Ratan Tata has stepped down as Chairman of Tata Power and Cyrus P. Mistry has been appointed Chairman. Tata will however continue on the Board of Tata Power till his retirement in December 2012. More
16:09  Dengs China:  After months of political turmoil, China's leadership is gathering this week for its once-in-a-decade conclave to transfer power to the next generation. In charting a course for China's future, the new leaders would do well to master the lessons from Deng Xiaoping, the bold reformer who set China on its path to success after the tumult of the Mao years. Read
15:58  Azhar life ban case: What happend in court today:  A bench of justices Ashutosh Mohanta and Krishna Mohan Reddy gave relief to former Indian skipper-turned-politician Azharuddin, allowing his appeal challenging the order of a local court, which had upheld the decision of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The bench lifted the ban agreeing with Azharuddin's counsel K Ramakant Reddy's argument that there was no evidence against the former cricketer that he succumbed to any pressure while playing cricket. The court also observed that BCCI had proceeded against 49-year-old Azharuddin unilaterally and said the order of the trial court is unsustainable.
15:51  Anti-Modi IPS officer gets promoted as DIG, Gujarat:  Just in: The Delhi High Court has cleared the way for Gujarat cadre IPS officer Kuldeep Sharma's promotion as director general of police. The Gujarat government had opposed the move, but the high court has rejected the government's plea. 
15:43  Azhar: Don't want to blame anyone or take action:  The high court heard the pleas of the former skipper in the 2000 match fixing case and delivered the verdict calling the ban illegal and unsustainable.

Towards the end of his career Azharuddin was accused of match-fixing; South African captain Hansie Cronje, in his confession for match-fixing, had indicated that Azharuddin was the one to introduce him to the bookies.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation and published a report. Azhar admitted to fixing three ODI matches, and this led the BCCI to ban him from the game for life in 2000.

The BCCI lifted the ban on Azharuddin in 2006 and even honoured him along with other Indian Test captains in a ceremony in Mumbai during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy.

The ICC, however, claimed that it alone had the right to revoke the ban despite playing no role in handing out the original ban.
15:42  Azhar on lifting of life ban: Happy, but won't play:  Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin reacting to the AP High Court judgment lifting the life ban against him says, "I am a happy man today. Thank God for the judgment. I don't blame anyone and neither do I want to take action against anyone. I am happy with the verdict and I always had full faith in the Indian judiciary. I won't take legal action against anyone, but I won't play anymore either.  I was destined to play 99 test matches. I want to share my experience with young players."
15:14  BJP may send questionnaire to PM on 2G scam:  BJP members of the JPC on the 2G spectrum allocation issue today said they may send a questionnaire to the PM on the issue. The BJP today ended their boycott of the panel by attending its meeting in which they again raked up their demand for calling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram as witnesses.

As soon as today's proceedings began, BJP members led by Yashwant Sinha demanded that the PM and Chidambaram be called against the backdrop of the deposition by former Cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar.

Chandrasekhar had told the Joint Parliamentary Committee that he had written to the Prime Minister suggesting an increase in the license fee for 2G spectrum so that the government could earn an additional Rs 35,000 Crore.
15:02  Sonia, Rahul BOOED in Amethi, Rae Bareli :  Congress president Sonia Gandhi party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, faced the ire of people at their constituencies in Rae Bareli and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh today. The Gandhis were visiting their boroughs months after conceding their stronghold to the Samajwadi Party in the UP Assembly elections earlier this year.

The Gandhis were there to take stock of development work in these towns.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was accompanying Rahul to Fursatganj in family where they met families who alleged that they were harassed by the police and fake cases were registered against them. More
14:49  Lokpal Bill to be introduced in Rajya Sabha on 29th:   Highly-placed sources tells us that the Lokpal Bill will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on November 29. The confidence with which the Congress is approaching the Parliament's upcoming Winter session indicates that it will use the Lokpal Bill as a political weapon to ensure the BJP will attend the Parliament.The Lokpal draft bill is expected to be approved tomorrow in the Joint Select Committee of Parliament headed by Satyavrat Chaturvedi.
14:37  Find out who raped my daughter: French official:   French Consulate official Pascal Mazurier, who had been accused by his wife of raping their four-year-old daughter says he has been framed. Mazurier has filed a police complaint seeking a probe into the case and says he's worried about the safety of his daughter and two minor sons.

He says there is no DNA evidence to connect him to his daughter's rape. He said the DNA report clearly excluded his participation in the alleged rape. Since the report 'indirectly indicates' that his daughter was sexually abused, I am 'extremely worried' for her, for her health and safety and well as for my two minor sons," Pascal said.
14:26  Revenge of the nerd:  A nice read o the US elections: There are two big winners in the US and the happiest one is possibly not the guy with graying hair who gets to keep running the country.

Instead, Nate Silver, the nation's 34-year old Delphic oracle can look on his mighty empire of polling data, and smile: he nailed it. Again. Read
14:24  BCCI: Will look into lifting Azhar ban after reading judgment:  BCCI reacts to the Andhra Pradesh High Court's judgment lifting the life ban on former India skipper Mohd Azharuddin. The BCCI says they will look into the matter only after reading the judgment. 
14:11  Congress gears up for critical meet on polls:  Janardhan Dwivedi announces that agenda for the key Congress meet at Surajkund in New Delhi tomorrow. The Congress is gearing up for a crucial samvad baithak (dialogue session) of its top-rung leaders at Surajkund -- the first-of-its-kind session -- that is being seen as an attempt by the leadership to put the party on track for the next Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for 2014. Read more
13:56  Kejriwal's charges should be probed : Singh:  Former Army Chief V K Singh today said there was a need for thorough probe into the allegations made by IAC activist Arvind Kejriwal with regard to corruption.

"Kejriwal is levelling allegations of corruption because there are evidences to support them," Singh said, but refused to be part of IAC.

"Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan had not joined any party. He had moved ahead alone to fight corruption and people rallied behind him which resulted in a people's movement in 1974," he said in reply to a question whether he was interested in joining any political party.

"I will tell you about my next step later," the former Army Chief said, adding he would, however, support any campaign against corruption.
13:53  Pak PM to visit US in Dec, Obama to return visit next year:  Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf is likely to have his first interaction with officials of the US administration when he visits New York in December to join events marking Pakistan's entry as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Pakistan will join the Security Council as a non-permanent member on January 1 and the premier is likely to travel to New York to participate in events marking the occasion. US President Barack Obama, who has been re-elected for a second term, was expected to visit Pakistan in the middle of next year but did not give any details.
13:40  HC lifts 'illegal' life ban on Azhar after 12 yrs :  More on the Azhar life ban. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ruled that the ban has been lifted until an appeal on the order by the BCCI.  
13:37  Sorry, that Monet you wanted to buy was sold for Rs 234 cr:  One of Claude Monet's famous water lily paintings has sold for $43.7m (approximately Rs 234 crore) at a New York auction. A painting by Wassily Kandinsky also sold for $23m at the Christie's auction of impressionist and modern art, setting a record for the artist. Works by Picasso and Miro also went under the hammer in the first of two weeks of major auctions in New York. More
13:34  'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker sentenced in probation case:  In other news: Mark Basseley Youssef, whose anti-Islam film sparked rioting across the globe, gets a one-year sentence for violating terms of his probation. Read
13:20  AP HC: Life ban on Azhar unsustainable, illegal:  The high court was listening to the former skipper in the match fixing case. Towards the end of his career Azharuddin was accused of match-fixing; South African captain Hansie Cronje, in his confession for match-fixing, had indicated that Azharuddin was the one to introduce him to the bookies.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, conducted an investigation and published a report. Azhar admitted to fixing three ODI matches, and this led the BCCI to ban him from the game for life in 2000.

The BCCI lifted the ban on Azharuddin in 2006 and even honoured him along with other Indian Test captains in a ceremony in Mumbai during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy.

The ICC, however, claimed that it alone had the right to revoke the ban despite playing no role in handing out the original ban.
13:17  AP HC: Life ban on Azhar unsustainable, illegal:  The Andhra Pradesh High Court has said that the life ban on Indian cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin is unsustainable and illegal. A Congress MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Azharuddin is serving a life ban from the BCCI for his involvement in the match-fixing scandal that rocked Indian cricket in 200.
13:15  AICC media meet at 2 pm:  Janardhan Dwivedi, General Secretary of All India Congress Committee, will meet the media at 2 pm today. No leads on what the announcement is as yet, but media soothsayers say it could be Rahul Gandhi's coronation as #2 in the party. 
13:02  Raj, MNS pray for ailing Bal Thackeray:  The deteriorating health of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray has prompted the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) cadres to seek divine intervention.

Since most of the party workers and leaders owed their allegiance to their parent organisation Shiv Sena before they crossed over to MNS, floated by senior Thackeray's nephew, the failing health of the patriarch has made them worried.

"Around fifty MNS party men paid obeisance at prominent pilgrimage centres like Pandharpur, Tuljapur and Akkalkot for the good health of Balasaheb," an MNS MLA said.

The latest development came when Bal Thackeray, who failed to attend the conventional Dussehra rally of the party last month owing to his ill health, appealed to party workers to "look after Uddhav and Aditya (Bal Thackeray's grandson) as he was not keeping well. Much water has flown down the bridge since MNS chief Raj Thackeray floated his own party.
12:58  Antony signals spending cuts:  Defence minister A.K. Antony today signalled possible cuts in military expenses and asked the armed forces and their supporting agencies to "be more focused in spending', a ministry official said.

The signal contrasts sharply with a proposal that was being considered by the defence establishment in July to ask the finance ministry for an additional allocation of about Rs 45,000 crore. The total allocation for defence in the current year is Rs 1,93,408 crore.

The proposal to seek additional funds arose after former army chief Gen. (retired) V.K. Singh wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh citing "critical hollowness' in the military arsenal. Read more
12:56  Careful what you tweet!:  The online world is an extension of our real world. In the old days, if we had an opinion about something, we would probably discuss it with friends in a caf or over the phone, but now such conversations are happening in public on social sites like Twitter and Facebook are are talking to people who we haven't met and our comments are getting retweeted and shared like never before. Read
12:47  A rush of opinion pieces a day after Barack Obama's victory at the polls.

-- A pivotal moment  (The Indian Express)

-- More work to do (The Hindu)

-- Obama€™s eastern pivot, made in Asia  (The Hindu)

-- The American €˜fiscal cliff€™ and India (The Hindu)

-- Analysis: Obama's second term to sustain Asia pivot (Hindustan Times)
12:38  B'lore: Major fire at paint factory, NO casualties :  A major fire is blazing in Bangalore at a large paint factory on the Hosur Main Road. There was nobody inside the factory when the fire began, say safety officials.NDTV reports that 24 fire engines are trying to put out the flames which are massive because of the chemicals and paints stored in the warehouse. Local officials say that traffic on the Hosur road, always a challenge, is likely to be affected by the fire. The cause of the fire has yet to be verified.
12:31  Antony dithers yet again on chucking AFSPA for J-K:   Defence Minister A K Antony today said today that infiltration from across the Line of Control has increased and no hasty decision can be taken on the AFSPA issue in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also said there was need to be watchful though violence levels had come down in the state. "I agree with Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) that violence level has come down but infiltration is not coming down and it has increased slightly and we have to be watchful round-the-clock. We cannot take a hasty decision. I cannot say in detail but discussions are going on," he said.

The Minister was asked about the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister's demand for revoking the operation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state in view of the improved security situation there. Abdullah had said on Monday he was in favour of a phased withdrawal of the Act which gives sweeping powers to the armed forces. 
12:25  Obama responds to 10-year-old's heartfelt letter about her dads:  A small indicator of why Barack Obama was elected US president for the second term. Truly lovely. Read
12:14  It is our duty to protect Pak cricket team: Shinde:  Against the backdrop of Shiv Sena's threat to disrupt the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series, Government today said it would provide the best possible security to players and spectators of the neighbouring country.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that sports and politics should not be mixed as the cricket series will pave the way for improving bilateral ties between India and Pakistan.

"When cricketers from other countries come to India, not only Pakistan, it is our duty to protect them. We will discuss and provide best possible security. We are going to be very alert," he said when asked about Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's threat.
12:10  Cabinet clears one-time spectrum fee on telecom operators:  The Cabinet today approved levy of one-time spectrum charge on all existing telecom operators. The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accepted recommendation of an the Empowered Group of Ministers that all existing mobile phone companies must pay one-time spectrum charge, sources said.

The EGoM had proposed that GSM-based telecom companies pay for all their 2G spectrum holding beyond 4.4 MHz, while CDMA players were to pay the levy beyond 2.5 MHz holding prospectively for the remaining period of their licences.

This charge, EGoM had proposed, was to be linked to the price at which spectrum is sold in the upcoming auctions scheduled to begin on November 12. Sources said that while the Cabinet approved the levy of spectrum discovered price for the GSM operators, for CDMA players Department of Telecom will come out with a benchmark later.
12:07  Naxals strike: Salwa Judum founder attacked, safe:   Just in: Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma has been attacked, but is safe.
Four security personnel have been hurt in the attack which happened in Dantewada. Read about the Salwa Judum
11:53  Advani owns up on 85th b'day: Don't want to be PM :  BJP senior leader LK Advani reiterates what he's said many times earlier, that he has no ambition for the PM's post. Advani, who celebrates his 85th birthday today said the the BJP had given him much more than becoming a prime minister.
11:46  Jennifer Aniston is not pregnant:  Just in case you were losing sleep over this:

Hollywood star Jennifer Aniston has denied the pregnancy rumours with fiance Justin Theroux after she was spotted holding her baby bump in an event. There were reports that the 43-year-old actress, who is engaged to Justin Theroux, is expecting a baby girl which is due in May next year, reported the New York Post.
11:42  Cabinet clears one-time spectrum fee for all telecoms:   Just in: The Cabinet has cleared the one-time spectrum fee for all telecoms.  A group of ministers in charge of recommending the cost of spectrum to the cabinet had taken a call to charge telecoms a one-time entry fee against their existing mobile network 2G licenses. The pharma policy has also been deferred by the Cabinet.
11:36  Gadkari meets Advani on his birthday and more :   Nitin Gadkari today met L K Advani, who is apparently unhappy over the BJP President's continuance in his post, to wish him on his birthday. Gadkari met Advani at his residence.

The meeting between the two lasted for 15 minutes. Delhi BJP leader Vijay Jolly, who was present on the occasion, said, "The atmosphere was very cordial when Gadkari met Advani. Gadkari touched Advani's feet and sought his blessings".

The meeting comes against the backdrop of divisions persisting within BJP over the continuance of Gadkari as its president even as its Core Group on Tuesday yet again stood behind him insisting that there was "no legal or moral wrongdoing" by him in the running of his company.
11:28  CBI DIG who probed 2G scam passes on:  The 44-year-old Palsania, who was termed as one of the bright officers of the agency, passed away at a private hospital in South Delhi due to a terminal illness -- a blood disorder.

Hailing from Rajasthan, Palsania was a 1996 batch IPS officer of Odhisa cadre and was working with the CBI since 2006.

CBI Director A P Singh, who is at present in Rome for Interpol Conference, expressed shock over the sad demise of Palsania. "We are all crushed and shocked. He was one of the best officers of the CBI," Singh told .
11:25  CBI IPS officer who probed 2G scam passes on:   CBI officer Suresh Kumar Palsania (44) who investigated the 2G spectrum scam passed on last night in a private hospital in South Delhi. Palsania was a 1996 batch IPS officer from Odhisa and is a recipient of the President's medal during Republic Day.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee that's studying the allocation and pricing of the 2G spectrum between 1998 and 2009 is meeting today. And ending its boycott, the BJP will attend today's meeting -- two of the party's leaders Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh will be present in the meeting.
11:15  China's congress: Front-runners for power:  More on China: The country's ruling Communist Party is about to hold a once-in-a-decade congress where a next generation of leaders will be unveiled.

The most important jobs are on the politburo standing committee, since these are the people who decide all important issues about the country's future.

There are nine members of the outgoing committee. But it is possible the new line-up will be reduced to seven. Here's a profile of the frontrunners.
11:07  Meet Xi Jinping -- China's new boss :  He has never faced election. We don't know what he thinks about the global economy or global warming. And many Chinese would better recognise his folk-singer wife.Yet Xi Jinping, 59, is about to become China's most powerful man, anointed leader of the ruling Communist Party at a once-a-decade congress. More
11:00  This is what lies ahead for China...

A Special Communist Party meeting every 10 years

This time, leaders over age of 68 will be retired

New group of seven or nine top leaders unveiled

Names already decided in secret, none elected

Factions more important than policies, exact selection process unclear
10:51  Rs 754 crore! That's what KFA's loss is now :  Kingfisher Airlines' July-Sept quarter net loss widens to Rs 754 cr from Rs 468.66 cr in the year-ago period.  The airline which has curtailed operations since a year had to completely shut operation last month due to staff protest on delayed salaries. The airline said it is preparing a comprehensive plan to resume operations. Revenues of the airline also declined 87%, YoY to Rs 200 crore as it is not operating any flights of late. Read more here.
10:44  Party will collapse if corruption not curtailed: Hu Jintao:  The Chinese Communist Party Congress that will undertake the once in a decade leadership change opened here today with the outgoing President Hu Jintao issuing a stark warning against corruption in the party ranks which he said could prove fatal and may lead to its collapse.

In his work report outlining the decade long achievement of the party under his leadership, Hu said the Party must make unremitting efforts to combat corruption, promote integrity and stay vigilant against degeneration. Read

China is set for a generational change in politics today with Xi Jinping to be next PM.
10:32  Will Hillary Clinton be the next US President?:  Less than 24 hours after historic re-election of Barack Obama as the US President, speculation has begun here as to who would be the Democratic party nominee for the 2016 presidential elections.

The name of the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has begun topping such a list along with Joe Biden, the Vice President. Notably Clinton has so far refuted all such reports of her presidential election.

"But Democrats'"and even some Republicans -- keep calling on Clinton to run, and after four successful years as the face of American diplomacy her fan base is deeper than ever.

"If Clinton were to throw her hat in the ring, she'd be considered the front-runner, just as she was when she launched her 2008 bid," the National Journal reported putting Clinton on top of such a list followed by Biden. Biden during the just concluded election campaign had thrown a hint about it.
10:25  Gadkari wishes Advani on birthday:  BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Thursday met party patriarch L K Advani to wish him on his birthday.

Advani had earlier supported Gadkari, who is facing multiple corruption charges, but also cautioned that no party was "immune from corruption'.
10:13  1 killed in suicide bomb attack in Karachi:   One person was killed and at least 14 injured in a blast in Karachi on Thursday morning.

According to media reports, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden truck  into the Rangers Headquarter in Karachi.

One man has been arrested in connection with the blast, said reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
09:37  Corrupt system fleeces child-health programme:  Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty is the proud owner of multiple cars, houses, mansions and a business empire worth Rs 6,000 crore.

His company Great Value Foods has been supplying ready-to-eat food for the impoverished and malnourished women and children of Uttar Pradesh.

Great Value Foods -- under a government worth hundreds of crores -- supplies food to the eight million women and 30 million children dependent on the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

To nobody's surprise, there are severe irregularities in this arrangement. Everyone other than the dirt-poor and the underfed populace of India seem to be making a profit from it.

Read the full story here
09:29  Meet China's next prime minister:  Li Keqiang, currently the vice prime minister of China, is all set to replace Wen Jiabao as the country's premier at the end of the week-long session of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.

Li has always toed a cautious line between demands for democratic reforms and the more conservative outlook of the CPC.

He hails from the notoriously poor region of Anhui province and received his education from Peking University. He is considered to be a protege of President Hu Jintao.

Read the full story here
09:23  Top challenges of Obama's second term:  He may be back in the hot seat, but the going will not be easy for United States President Barack Obama in the next four years, as he has a number of thorny issues to resolve.

Obama has talked tough on a number of issues -- fiscal deficit, foreign policy, immigration, climate change -- and it is time for him to deliver.

Read more about the top challenges before President Obama
09:20  China's Communist Party to elect new leaders:  The Communist Party of China has started its week-long Congress in Beijing to elect a new generation of leaders to head the country.

The event will also mark the end of the political leadership of President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

The CPC Congress is held every 10 years to elect a new batch of leaders. In spite of rampant speculations, names of likely candidates are kept secret. The exact selection procedure or the criterion on which the new leaders are chosen are also kept under wraps.

Read the full story here 
03:16  Obama, buoyed by election win, faces new battles:  

US President Barack Obama had little time to savour victory on Wednesday after voters gave him a second term in the White House where he faces urgent economic challenges, a looming fiscal showdown and a still-divided Congress able to block his every move.

 

Read more on Reuters

02:34  7.4 earthquake kills 'around 10' in Guatemala:  

AFP: A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Guatemala today, killing "around 10" people, causing panicked evacuations as far as Mexico City and a tsunami alert in El Salvador, firefighters said.           

 

The victims died in the Guatemalan town of San Pedro Sacatepequez, some 250 kilometres west of the capital Guatemala City. "Reports from colleagues in the area indicate that there are around 10 dead," firefighters' spokesman Sergio Vazquez said in a telephone interview.           

 

Communication was difficult in the area because phone lines fell and several places were without power, Vazquez said. The Guatemalan national disaster response agency (Conred) had confirmed only one death.        

 

In El Salvador, the president ordered people in a coastal area to evacuate their homes over fears of a potential tsunami.  

 

Image: People stand outside the building of the supreme court after an evacuation due to an earthquake, in Guatemala City 

Photograph: Reuters

02:29  Wasting no time, Obama calls leaders of US Congress:  

AFP: Fresh from his re-election triumph, President Barack Obama today called leaders in Congress to prepare the ground for a political showdown over a cresting financial crisis that could spark recession.         

 

Obama's calls represented the president's first post-election intervention in a building political imbroglio known as the "fiscal cliff," a year end perfect storm of a budget crunch and expiring tax cuts.         

 

The president spoke to Speaker John Boehner, after his Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's election, and also telephoned the minority Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell.         

 

The White House said Obama also spoke to Democratic allies Harry Reid, who leads the Senate Democratic majority, and Nancy Pelosi, head of minority Democrats in the House, the White House said.

01:47  Victorious Obama wolf in sheep's clothing: Assange:  

AFP: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today described re-elected US President Barack Obama as a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and said he expected his government to continue attacking the anti-secrecy website.          

 

Speaking to AFP by telephone from Ecuador's London embassy, where he sought asylum in June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, Assange said Obama's victory was no cause for celebration.

 

"Obama seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem," the 41-year-old Australian said, after the president defeated Republican Mitt Romney yesterday night to sweep back into the White House. It's better to have a sheep in wolf's clothing than a wolf in sheep's clothing, he added.  

01:28  Strong 7.5 earthquake hits Guatemala:  

AP: A strong earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Guatemala today, rocking the capital and shaking buildings as far away as Mexico City and El Salvador.         

 

Guatemala's emergency management agency said on its Twitter account that it had received preliminary reports of one death from the quake.         

 

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was a possibility of a local tsunami, within 100 or 200 miles of the epicentre, but they were not issuing an immediate warning for the broader region.         

 

The magnitude-7.5 quake, about 20 miles deep, was centered about 30 miles off the coastal town of Champerico. Nicaragua's disaster management agency said it had issued a local tsunami alert, but there were no immediate reports of a tsunami on the country's Pacific coast.         

 

People fled buildings in Guatemala City, in Mexico City and in the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, across the border from Guatemala.  

00:56  Obama's victory photo most retweeted, shared ever:  

AFP: A moving photo posted by President Barack Obama on his Twitter and Facebook pages just as TV networks announced his victory has made social media history as the most retweeted and shared ever.         


The shot of a happy-looking Obama holding his wife in a loving embrace -- captioned with the words "four more years" -- had been retweeted over 650,200 times today and "liked" by 3.2 million people on Facebook.          Obama -- who swept to re-election despite slow economic recovery and high unemployment -- sealed his tech-savvy reputation yesterday by announcing his win on social networks with the photo, hours before his victory speech.         

 

"This Barack Obama photo is the most-liked Facebook photo of all time," the social network announced.

00:41  

Complaint against Gadkari over Vivekanand remarks

Obama's 'Happy Warrior' Biden too gets second term

US Congress polls: Bad day for Indian Americans in the fray

Obama on daughters' dating: Guys will need 'guts'

'India NOT a priority for US right now'

Akhilesh slams Maya for 'wrong' decisions during her rule

NY, NJ brace for another significant storm

HC orders issue of notice to Veerappan's widow

Anna to embark on nationwide movement from Nov 30

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