22:06 Several arrested over Iran blogger death: judiciary:
Tehran's public prosecutor has announced the arrest of "several people" over the death in detention of blogger Sattar Beheshti, the ISNA news agency reported today. "Yesterday (Monday), several people were arrested," Abbas Jafarabadi said, without elaborating.
"When we learned about (Beheshti's) death, we began an inquiry... We hope to make the findings public within the next 10 days," he added. The judiciary's High Council of Human Rights said on Sunday that "all aspects of the case have been accurately investigated following a special order by judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani."
21:41 China transferring 'warships' near disputed islands:
In a move that could escalate its tensions with Japan over the disputed islands, China is transferring "a number of warships in active service" to the China Marine Surveillance to help bridge the gap between the patrol vessels of both the countries.
The move will reinforce Chinese maritime strength amid territorial rows surrounding the disputed Islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan, official media here reported. China has no Coast Guard. CMS is regarded as Chinese version of the Coast Guard.
20:43 Iran says it's tested new air defence system:
Iran said today it successfully tested a new air defense system modeled after the US Hawk system during a drill in the country's east. A senior Iranian official called the maneuvers a "slap" to America and Israel. State TV broadcast footage today said to be from the drill, which began Saturday and which has been billed as "massive."
The footage shows a Hawk missile being launched and hitting a mock aircraft. Earlier reports said the new surface-to-air system is named "Mersad," or Ambush. It is capable of locking a flying object at a distance of 80 kilometers (50 miles) and can hit from 45 kilometers (30 miles) away, state TV said.
20:41 Plane in South Africa catches fire, no injuries:
A chartered Boeing MD-82 airplane aborted its takeoff today in South Africa after its landing gear caught fire when a tire came off its mount, officials said.
No one was injured. The Global Aviation Operations Ltd. flight was attempting to leave O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg when one of its pilots saw the landing gear on fire, said Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, a spokeswoman for the Airports Company South Africa.
The pilot halted the takeoff and stopped the plane on one of the runways at South Africa's busiest airport, temporarily closing it. The flight's destination was the southern African nation of Malawi.
20:04 Gurumurthy to Gadkari: pick party post or business:
RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy hinted Tuesday that BJP chief Nitin Gadkari should choose between his party post and his love for social enterprise to avoid conflict and embarrassment to the party in future even as he said he stood by the "legal and moral' clean chit he gave to Gadkari last week in connection with his alleged improper business deals.
"I personally feel that no party president should be in business as that always invites problem and creates perception,' Gurumurthy said in a series of tweets.
19:16 Pak arrests nine Indian fishermen off Gujarat coast:
Nine Indian fishermen were arrested and five of their fishing trawlers seized by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) off Jakhau coast in Gujarat, a fishermen's body claimed today.
"The PMSA yesterday intercepted six boats, with 30 anglers on board, in the international waters off Jakhau coast. Later, it apprehended nine fishermen and five Indian fishing boats and took them to Karachi," National Fish Workers Forum national secretary Manish Lodhari said.
PMSA, however, let off one of the six boats carrying 21 Indian fishermen who reached the Okha coast this afternoon, said Lodhari, who is also the secretary of Porbandar Boat Association.
19:14 UN warns of deepening humanitarian crisis in Myanmar:
The UN refugee agency warned today of a "growing humanitarian emergency" in western Myanmar, calling on neighbouring countries to open their borders to people fleeing the sectarian bloodshed.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement that it was "gravely concerned over recent boat tragedies in the Bay of Bengal" that have left dozens of people missing after two vessels capsized. "UNHCR is calling on countries in the region to strengthen burden-sharing in the face of this growing humanitarian emergency," it said.
Violence pitting Buddhists against members of the Muslim Rohingya minority has left at least 180 people dead in Myanmar's Rakhine state since June and displaced more than 110,000 others, mostly Rohingya.
18:51 Can Hindu law cover Sikhs, Jains, asks SC:
If Sikhism, Jainism andBuddhism are separate and distinct religions, can followers of these faiths be bracketed as Hindus under the Constitution and be governed by Hindu personal law, the Supreme Court asked before issuing notice to the Centre and attorney general G E Vahanvati.
Sikh scholar Birendra Kaur in her petition questioned the constitutional and past legislative attempts to obliterate identities of separate faiths by recognizing them under the broad religious connotation of Hindus. She said this negated the constitutional guarantee to each individual to practise and propagate the religion of his/her choice.
18:48 8 killed, 8 injured in fire-cracker explosion:
Eight persons, including seven members of a family, were today killed and eight others injured in an explosion in two houses in Auraiya district where fire-crackers were stored for Diwali festival.
The explosion took place at the house of Mauji Lal and his brother Ram Narain in Tidua village in Yaqoobpur area under Bela police station area in the wee hours, police said here. The critically injured have been referred to a hospital in Kanpur.
18:45 Pak parl passes bill to ensure free education to all:
Pakistan's parliament today passed a bill to ensure free and compulsory education to all children aged between five and 16 years as enshrined in the Constitution.
The National Assembly or lower house of parliament unanimously passed the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2012.
The private member's bill, piloted by Pakistan People's Party lawmaker Yasmeen Rehman, was earlier passed by the Senate or upper house of parliament.
18:19 The Petraeus Illusion:
Americans love a good rise-and-fall story, and resurrections, too. Our history is made up of such redemptive stuff; it is part of our folklore, our very national essence. Just as Douglas MacArthur became our Second World War savior-soldier in the Pacific campaign, so, too, a few years later in Korea, when he overstretched his authority, was he fired from his commands and sent home.
MacArthur's legacy was tarnished, but not overly so, for in those patriotic days of the Cold War and of Fortress America, he was allowed to keep his earlier laurels and bask in that glory. Americans do not like getting rid of heroes whom they have helped to concoct.
17:36 Hasina scraps plan to visit Pakistan: official:
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina overnight scrapped her planned visit to Pakistan to attend an international summit later this month, without citing any specific reason.
Hasina was expected to attend the summit of the Development-8, a grouping of eight nations with Muslim majority population, on November 22, but now Foreign Minister Dipu Moni is likely to represent the premier.
"We have just been informed (by the PMO) that she (Hasina) is not going... she could not make it this time," a senior foreign ministry official familiar with the situation told PTI preferring anonymity.
16:43 Israel launches air raids on Gaza, militants fire rocket:
Israel launched three air strikes on the Gaza Strip early today, and militants fired a rocket into southern Israel, hours after Gaza groups said they were ready for a ceasefire with the Jewish state.
The air raids hit an uninhabited area to the west of Gaza City, without causing any casualties, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said. In a statement, the Israeli army said the strikes targeted a weapons facility and two rocket launch sites.
The raids came after renewed rocket fire yesterday, with militants firing at least 15 missiles into Israel, the army said, adding another four were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
16:02 Death toll from Myanmar quake hits 26: Red Cross:
A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Myanmar at the weekend has left 26 people dead, 12 others missing and about 230 injured, according to a new toll given by the Red Cross today. "In total, 26 people have died so far," Myanmar Red Cross Society deputy general secretary Aung Kyaw Htut told AFP
"We have provided tarpaulin sheets to some of the victims and they are staying in temporary shelters." Previously the toll had stood at 13 dead, according to aid agencies. The Red Cross said 251 houses were destroyed in Sunday's quake, which sent terrified people running from their homes in the country's second-biggest city of Mandalay and surrounding villages.
15:44 Near-miss involving Indigo plane, chopper at UP airport:
In a narrow escape, an Indigo plane from Mumbai with over 180 people on board aborted landing at the airport here after its pilot detected a chopper of Uttar Pradesh government in close range, prompting authorities to order an inquiry.
The incident was reported last evening as the plane and the chopper were about to land at Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport, a senior airport official said here today. "Both the chopper and the flight were landing when the pilot of the airline decided to abort after he reported that the helicopter was is sight," director airport and ATC S C Hota told PTI, adding that pilot "felt that the helicopter was close".
15:13 Dronestagram - Website exposing US's secret drone war:
The military is normally only too pleased to herald its successes, and to praise the courage of the men and women who put their lives on the line for their country. Perhaps it is the link (or lack of it) between these two that encourages them to talk-up certain missions, and come over all sheepish when it comes to drones.
Piloted by remote control from thousands of miles away, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been the one unqualified military triumph of the war in Afghanistan. That is, if "success" comes in an equation where lots of people get killed, at next to no risk, at an affordable price.
14:50 Suu Kyi arrives in India on a week's visit:
Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived here today on a visit to India after a gap of nearly four decades as part of New Delhi's ongoing engagement with democratic and multi-party polity in that country.
Suu Kyi, who is visiting India at the invitation of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will deliver the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture here tomorrow. The pro-democracy leader was received at the airport here by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.
14:20 Senior Taliban leader is gunned down in Quetta:
Senior Afghan Taliban leaders are worried. For the first time, one of their own was gunned down Sunday afternoon on the outskirts of their longtime sanctuary and capital in exile, the Pakistani city of Quetta. And no one is sure who ordered the hit. All anyone can say is there's no shortage of suspects.
An eyewitness tells The Daily Beast that Mullah Sayyid Ahmad Shahid Khel was shopping at a bazaar in the dusty town of Kuchlak, a few miles outside Quetta on the Afghan border, when four men rode in on two motorcycles. They opened fire on the Afghan insurgent chief with handguns at close range, shooting him in the leg, stomach, and chest. Although he managed to draw his own weapon, he was cut down before he could return fire, and the gunmen sped away.
14:06 Sunita Williams greets Indians from space on Diwali:
Indians around the world got a special Diwali message from outer space as Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams sent out warm wishes on the occasion from the International Space Station.
Floating upside down in the space station as she appeared on the screen before the Indian tricolour for a local TV show, Williams said, "I just want to wish everybody in India and people of Indian origin around the world a happy Diwali". "It is a wonderful festival and I am happy we are part of it up here at the International Space Station," she said.
14:05 Rocket attack on Kabul kills one, wounds three:
Rockets struck near Kabul's presidential palace and international airport today on the 11th anniversary of the Taliban withdrawal from the Afghan capital, killing one and wounding three, police said.
The hardline Islamists, ousted by US-led forces following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, claimed responsibility for the attack. "Mujahideen (holy warriors) targeted the presidential palace and Kabul airport with rockets this morning," the Taliban said on their website.
Police said four rockets were fired from a vineyard northeast of Kabul, with two landing "near" Kabul international airport without causing any casualties.
14:04 Dalai Lama wants thorough probe into Tibet deaths:
Lashing back at criticism from Beijing, the Dalai Lama today said China needs to thoroughly investigate the causes of self-immolations by Tibetans and blamed "narrow-minded Communist officials" for seeing Buddhist culture as a threat.
The Dalai Lama also called on foreign media and members of Japan's parliament to visit Tibet though such trips are severely restricted to see that what is happening there does not go ignored. "I always ask the Chinese government, please, now, thoroughly investigate," the Tibetan Buddhist leader said. "What is the cause of these sad things?"
04:07 India's plan to cut red tape caught in red tape:
India's boldest attempt in two decades to sweep away the remnants of the 'License Raj' permit system that has crippled infrastructure development has fallen victim to the very scourge it was designed to defeat.
04:00 President Obama's Cabinet: Who's in, who's out?:
Now that President Obama has secured a second term, the official Washington speculation machine -- and, no, that doesn't actually exist (or does it?) -- has turned to the heavy turnover expected in his Cabinet.
01:51 Omnishambles: Oxford's word of the year:
Britain's media are in a meltdown and its government is gaffe-prone, so Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an apt Word of the Year: "omnishambles."
Oxford University Press has crowned the word, defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations", its top term of 2012.
Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year.
The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners. This year's American champion is "gif," short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet.
Coined by writers of the satirical television show "The Thick of It," omnishambles has been applied to everything from government PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations for the London Olympics.
Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent said the word was chosen for its popularity as well as its "linguistic productivity."
01:19 Dr Khalil Chishti returns to India: Report:
Professor Dr Khalil Chishti, who was allowed to visit Pakistan after spending 20 years in Indian jails, has returned to India, BBC reports.
Dr Chishti, 80, arrived in Ajmer city accompanied by his wife Mehrunissa and son Tariq.
The Supreme Court had permitted Dr Chishti to return to Pakistan on 'compassionate grounds', but on the condition that he would return to Indian custody on November 1, so it can hear his appeal against conviction in a murder case on November 20.
01:15 McAfee, the anti-virus guy, is wanted for murder :
Anti-virus pioneer John McAfee is on the run from murder charges.
According to Marco Vidal, head of the national police force's Gang Suppression Unit, McAfee is a prime suspect in the murder of American expatriate Gregory Faull, who was gunned down Saturday night at his home in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye.
Details remain sketchy so far, but residents say that Faull was a well-liked builder who hailed originally from California. Read more on this HERE
01:12 'Good friends sometimes have to be tough':
Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's icon of democracy, says that she looks forward to rebuilding democratic ties between her country and India.
She arrives in India today on her first visit after almost five decades to the country where she spent her formative years.
01:07 CIA denies it detained militants in Benghazi:
The Central Intelligence Agency is denying an assertion made by David Petraeus' biographer and former lover that the agency held militants in Libya before the September 11 attack that killed the US ambassador.
During a talk last month at the University of Denver, Paula Broadwell said the CIA had detained people at a secret facility in Benghazi and the attack on the US Consulate was an effort to free those prisoners.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order in January 2009 stripping the CIA of its authority to take prisoners. The move means the CIA can no longer operate secret jails as it did under the administration of President George W Bush.
CIA spokesman Preston Golson said "any suggestion that the agency is still in the detention business is uninformed and baseless."
01:06 NY Times in spotlight as ex-BBC chief takes reins:
Former BBC chief Mark Thompson has assumed his new role at The York Times Co amid questions about whether the crisis engulfing the British broadcaster would spill over to the US news organisation.
Thompson, named in August as the US media firm's president and chief executive, remains part of the news even though he has denied any role in shelving an investigative report into sex abuse by the late BBC star Jimmy Savile.
The Times has reaffirmed support for Thompson and he has said the scandals at the BBC would not affect his new job.
But as Thompson was readying his entry in New York, his successor as BBC director-general, George Entwistle, resigned Saturday after the broadcaster's flagship news programme wrongly implicated a British politician in a separate child sex abuse scandal.
"Like many people, I'm very saddened by recent events at the BBC but I believe the BBC is the world's greatest broadcaster and I've got no doubt that it will once again regain the public's trust both in the UK and around the world," Thompson told ITV, another British broadcaster, as he entered The Times headquarters.