21:27 Iran warns US it will act firmly if airspace violated:
Iran warned today it will react strongly against any US intrusion into its airspace after two of its warplanes fired at an American drone 10 days ago, the ISNA news agency reported.
"Yes, we opened fire, and it was with warning shots. If they do it again they can expect an even stronger response," the agency quoted General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh, head of the elite Revolutionary Guards air and space forces, as saying. Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Thursday the Iranian Su-25 Frogfoot fighters fired at the robotic Predator drone on November 1 but did not hit it. "They intercepted the aircraft and fired multiple rounds," he said.
20:39 Doctors monitoring Bal Thackeray's health:
A team of doctors is closely monitoring the health of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray who is not keeping well for last few days, sources said today.
A team of doctors supported by a small unit of medical staff has been posted at his residence 'Matoshree' to monitor the condition of the Sena patriarch, a source close to Thackerays told PTI.
20:38 Congress, BJP greet Chinese Communist Party Congress:
Leaders of India's ruling Congress Party and main opposition BJP today greeted the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China which is currently meeting here to select new leaders to rule the country for the next 10 years.
In message, Karan Singh, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Congress, said as world's two most populous countries and neighbours, the good-neighbourly and friendly relations between India and China can make great contribution to world peace and stability.
19:46 Pak Christians protest over registration of 'false' cases:
Members of the minority Christian community and civil society organisations organised a rally in Pakistan's Punjab province today to protest against the registration of "false" cases against their leader.
The rally in Multan city was lead by Father Shahzad Tanvir, Father Naeem Javed and former provincial lawmaker Naveed Aamir Geva, who is the secretary general of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. The protestors carried banners and placards and shouted slogans against the police.
19:22 Russia helping on Arafat exhumation: Abbas:
The Palestinians are coordinating with Russia, as well as Swiss and French experts, on the exhumation of late president Yasser Arafat, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said today.
Arafat died in a French military hospital near Paris on November 11, 2004 and French experts were unable to say what had killed him, with many Palestinians convinced he was poisoned by Israel.
19:02 IAEA says Iran clean-up of Parchin site 'ongoing':
Possible clean-up activities at an Iranian military base where the UN atomic agency wants to probe evidence of suspected nuclear weapons research are "ongoing," the watchdog's head said today.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano nevertheless expressed guarded optimism on a visit to Baghdad about talks with Iran next month, ahead of the expected release on Friday of the IAEA's latest report on the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear activities.
Western powers believe the nuclear programme is at least in part aimed at developing atomic weapons, but Tehran insists it is for peaceful purposes.
18:32 Maha to be free of load-shedding by Dec 31: Chavan:
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today assured that the state would be free of power load-shedding by December 31. "Difficulties are faced from certain fronts. There is scarcity of coal.
The coal rates have gone up three times in the international market. Coal which we receive is wet as flood waters entered in it," Chavan said while talking reporters at his residence Varsha in south Mumbai. "The state will be freed of load-shedding by December 31, 2012," he assured.
17:32 31 killed in Pak violence:
At least 31 people, including members of the minority Shia community, have been killed in various incidents of target killings in Pakistan's commercial city of Karachi and Balochistan's capital Quetta.
Eight people died today in Karachi while 23 others lost their lives yesterday, including three from the Shia Hazara community who were shot dead in Quetta, local media reported. A father and son were gunned down by unidentified men in Orangi Town area of Karachi, while the body of another person was found beneath the Banaras Bridge in the city, police said.
One more person was gunned down in Metroville area while another body with bullet marks was found from Sarrafa Bazaar at Mithadar in Karachi, Geo News reported.
17:05 Suu Kyi accused of 'allying' with Myanmar's military regime:
Accusing Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi of being an "ally" of the military regime, an opposition party in Myanmar has asked the world investors not to engage in any investment with the present dispensation until a "genuine democratic government" is elected.
"Aung San Suu Kyi has made a U-Turn and now she is an ally, collaborator and mouthpiece of the military regime. She has become a coalition partner of the military Junta. It is not correct to call her as a democracy opposition leader or icon or activist," Bo Aung Din, Chairman of the Parliamentary Democracy Party (PDP-Burma), said in a statement.
16:13 PM Singh upset with his Union ministers:
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is upset with his Union Ministers for getting into unnecessary media controversies.
A senior official of the PMO on Sunday called up two Union ministers V Narayanasamy and Jayanti Natarajan to convey the prime minister's displeasure.
The prime minister's office is upset with V Narayanasamy for his remarks on CAG and later denying it. Though Narayanasamy is Minister of State in the PMO, this is not the first time he has denied what he earlier said.
On Saturday, the PMO was upset with Jayanti Natarajan for negative reports about the constitution of the National Investment Board -- especially about the timing and leakage of a letter much before it reached the PMO. In Surajkund Jayanti Natarajan spoke at length about the NIB and she picked issues with senior ministers during the Samvad Baithak. Some of her observations again got into print.
15:48 President launches low cost Aakash-2 tablet:
The advanced version of low cost tablet Aakash was launched here today by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Coming at a price tag of Rs 1,130 for students, the new version 'Aakash 2', which will be made available to students of engineering colleges and universities to begin with, is now powered by a processor running at 1 GHz, has a 512 MB, a 7 inch capacitative touch screen and a battery working for three hours of normal operations.
It has been developed under the aegis of IIT Bombay with the active support of C-DAC. Datawind is rolling out the device.
15:24 Govt to begin 2G telecom spectrum auction tomorrow:
The government will begin tomorrow the auction for telecom spectrum through which it is hoping to meet Rs 40,000 crore revenue target. The auction for the airwaves or frequencies freed from the cancellation of 122 telecom licenses, belonging to mainly eight companies, by the Supreme Court in February, will start at 0900 hours on Monday.
"We have taken quick decision, firm decisions in the telecom sector. The result of which is that we are in process of auction. 12th of November that auction will start," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said at an event on Saturday.
14:56 Narayanasamy denies reports of multi-member CAG:
Minister of state in Prime Minister's office V Narayanasamy has denied saying that the government is considering making CAG a multi-member body.
Speaking to Times Now, Narayanasamy claimed that he was misquoted in an interview with news agency PTI on the issue.
Earlier, PTI quoted Narayanasamy saying that government is "actively" considering a proposal to make the official auditor a multi-member body.
14:45 Sarabjit to submit fresh mercy petition:
Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who is on a death row for alleged involvement in a string of bombings in Pakistani cities in 1990, has signed a fresh mercy petition to be sent to President Asif Ali Zardari.
Sarabjit's lawyer Awais Sheikh met him at Kot Lakhpat jail yesterday and got him to sign the fresh mercy petition. In the letter addressed to the President, Sarabjit again sought mercy while referring to a recent meeting between former Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Zardari.
14:43 Fault under Japan nuclear plant 'may be active':
Japan's only working nuclear power plant sits on what may be a seismic fault in the earth's crust, a geologist has warned, saying it is "very silly" to allow it to continue operating. Mitsuhisa Watanabe says the earth's plates could move underneath the Oi nuclear plant in western Japan, causing a catastrophe to rival last year's atomic disaster at Fukushima -- although some of his colleagues on a nuclear advisory panel disagree. "It is an active fault.
The plates shifted some 120,000 to 130,000 years ago for sure," Watanabe, of Tokyo's Toyo University, told AFP.
14:21 Gen Bikram Singh to brief PM Singh on Army shortages:
Facing shortage of critical weapon systems and ammunition, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the "hollowness" faced by the 1.3 million-strong force in its defence preparedness.
Gen Bikram Singh will make a presentation before the prime minister about the "hollowness" faced by the force and the steps needed to do away with them in the next few weeks, government sources said.
The Army is in the process of identifying more areas where it is facing shortfalls and they will be added in the presentation before the PM, they said.
14:20 Mayawati reaches 7 RCR to meet PM:
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati arrived on Sunday afternoon at Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's official 7 Race Course residence here to meet him.
The meeting assumes importance as it is being seen as one to form strategy to unitedly face any opposition onslaught on issues like FDI in retail and price hike ahead of Parliament's Winter Session.
13:50 Anna Hazare inaugurates new office:
A day after Anna Hazare announced a new team that he said will carry forward his anti-corruption movement, the Gandhian activist took a dig at the politicians, saying the country lacks leadership.
Inaugurating his new office at Sarvodaya Enclave in Delhi today, Mr Hazare said, "Gandhiji said to change the country we must first change our villages. That will lead to development. If people could be changed with money then Tata Birlas would have done it."
13:12 Yeddyurappa agrees to talk to Jaitley after Diwali:
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who made a last-ditch attempt to convince disgruntled former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa from quitting the party, seems to have made a breakthrough.
The former chief minister is now expected to talk to Jaitley after Diwali. Yeddyurappa has, however, put forth six crucial issues, which will have to be answered by next week.
The second round of talks is expected to take place on November 16 in Bengaluru.
12:33 Not all Indian money in Swiss banks is black:
Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal has alleged that Rs6,000 crore black money was parked by Indians in Swiss banks. However, his figures do not tally with that of BJP leader LK Advani who during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, had alleged that a staggering Rs35 lakh crore were stashed away by Indians in foreign banks.
The reason why figures quoted by Kejriwal, Advani and other leaders for black money of Indian origin parked in Swiss banks vary is that the leaders' allegations are not based on reliable information.
12:22 Actively considering to make CAG multi-member body: Govt:
Battered by various CAG reports on alleged scams, government says it is "actively" considering a proposal to make the official auditor a multi-member body.
Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy says Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has become "more impatient" and he wants that all constitutional bodies to work within their parameters. "It (making CAG a multi-member body) is under active consideration. The government is actively considering it," he told PTI in an interview.
11:58 Strong quake strikes Myanmar; at least 5 killed:
A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar today, with local media reporting that five people were killed. Scattered damage and injuries also were reported in areas close to the quake's epicentre.
According to news reports, the most significant damage appeared to be the collapsing of bridge under construction across the Irrawaddy River in the town of Shwebo, the location of the quake's epicentre. The website of Weekly Eleven magazine said five people were killed when the bridge, which was 80 per cent built, collapsed.
11:49 Strong earthquake felt in Bangkok after quake in Myanmar:
Several areas in the Thai capital, Bangkok, felt tremors after a 6.6-magnitude strong earthquake struck neighbouring Myanmar today.
"Everybody in my building ran down in their night clothes as they felt the building swaying," Indian national Shilpa Kotecha who lives in the condominium in the city said.
The quake's epicentre was located 56 kilometres northeast of Shwebo, Myanmar.
Several Twitter users in Bangkok posted messages that they felt their buildings swaying at the time of quake.
11:09 BBC Director-General resigns over sex abuse row:
The BBC's Director-General George Entwistle resigned after the broadcaster's flagship news programme wrongly implicated a British politician in child sex abuse.
"I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down," Entwistle said in a televised statement outside the BBC's London headquarters late yesterday.
11:06 24 killed in Karachi voilence:
At least 24 people have been killed in various incidents of target killings in Pakistan's biggest city in the last 24 hours. Fresh violence erupted in Karachi yesterday when armed gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on people sitting at a tea stall close to a well known Madrasa run by the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat.
DIG East zone, Shahid Hayat said that at least six people including students of the Madrasa had been killed in the incident while three others were injured. "Condition of two of the injured is critical," he said.
In another incident of target killing near the Saifee college in North Nazimabad, armed men on motorcycles killed three persons travelling in a car one of them is said to be the editor of a weekly magazine.
00:33 Blaze in Vadodara firecracker market; 1 killed:
At least one person was charred to death and another injured today in a fire that broke out in Vadodara's biggest firecracker market, officials said.
The blaze swept through Kalabhavan Grounds, the venue of the city's biggest firecracker market, gutting over 50 shops and several vehicles parked there, they said.
Chief Fire Officer of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation H J Tapariya said one unidentified dead body has been found from the debris at the spot.
"The body of the deceased, who is yet to be identified, was recovered from the debris at the site and sent for post-mortem," he said.
00:30 Bal Thackeray stable: Raj Thackeray:
Amid rumours of the deteriorating health of Bal Thackeray, his nephew and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said that the condition of the Shiv Sena supremo was "stable".
"He just had some soup. Doctors are monitoring his health," Raj told media personnel outside Matoshree, the residence of Bal Thackeray in suburban Mumbai.
"I appeal to people to not believe in any rumours that are being spread about Bal Thackeray's health," Raj said.