rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

Concerns mount over Bal Thackeray's health

Write a comment

November 14, 2012


23:48  Supporters gather outside Thackeray's residence:  
Television Channels are reporting that a large number of party members and crowds have gathered outside Matoshri.

CNN-IBN reports that traffic to the residence of Thackeray has been blocked and there is heavy presence of police personnel in the area.
23:44  Concerns mount over Bal Thackeray's health:  
The health condition of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray turned "very critical" tonight.

Thackeray, 86, is in a "very critical" condition, doctors treating the Sena leader told PTI.

As the news spread, several party workers assembled outside his residence, 'Matoshree', in suburban Bandra, where security has been stepped up.

Thackeray, who is ailing for sometime, continues to be under constant medical supervision.

A team of doctors stationed inside 'Matoshree' with nursing staff has been taking care of the Sena patriarch, who is having breathing problems.

Last month, he could not attend his party's annual Dussehra rally in Mumbai, but addressed it through a video recorded message.

Several leaders, including former President Pratibha Patil, have visited Thackeray's residence over the past few days to enquire about his health. 
22:58  Techie kills wife for refusing joint home loan:  
Irked over his wife's refusal to be a co-applicant for a home loan, a Delhi-based software engineer flew down to Bengaluru and stabbed her to death after an argument and tried to commit suicide by slashing his veins at Munnekola area, police said.

They said the couple, who got married in 2008, were on the verge of separation. The man had moved to Delhi and found a job there and planned to buy a flat in Whitefield here, for which he wanted his wife to be a co-applicant for a home loan.

On November 12, Siddarth Choudhary flew down from Delhi and tried to persuade wife Ruthi to be a co-applicant, but she refused. A heated argument ensued following which he stabbed her to death and cut his veins with a knife, police said.

The couple's three-year-old daughter and the woman's mother were at home during the time, police said.
21:56  External Affairs ministry website doesn't exist?:  
Tried visiting the External Affairs ministry website today?

weird error message posted on the websites home page read: It seems that the page you were trying to reach doesn't exist anymore, or maybe it has just moved.

Wonder what went wrong! 

20:55  Israel assassinates Hamas military chief:  Israel on Wednesday dealt a body blow to Hamas, which rules the Gaza strip, assassinated Ahmad Jabari, the military leader of Hamas.

Hamas warned that that the assassination may start a war.

In a targeted air-strike, Israel attacked a car in the Gaza Strip, killing Jabari, who was inside it.
20:08  Israel may topple Palestine prez Abbas: Report:  Israel will offer some sops to the President Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority to lure him to give up on his United Nations bid to receive a non-member state status, failing which the Jewish state will opt to topple him, a media report  has said.        

An Israeli foreign ministry position paper states that should the PA bid come out successful later in November, the only viable option would be "to overthrow Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas," Ynetnews reported.       

The paper, drafted ahead of the Palestinians' November 29 UN bid, said that "a soft response would be tantamount to an Israeli admission that it cannot handle the challenge".
20:05  2G spectrum auction gets Rs 9,407.64 crore:  The 2G spectrum auction has got Rs 9,407.64 crore, said Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday.

"I do not wish to comment on CAG, the facts of spectrum auction are before the nation," said Sibal.
20:01  Two Congress MLAs to join Mamata's Trinamool :  Two Congress MLAs are likely to soon join the Trinamool Congress and they may be inducted in Mamata Banerjee's ministry in a cabinet reshuffle scheduled for next week, setting the stage for fresh confrontation between the two former allies.        

"Two MLAs Humayan Kabir and Krishnendu Chowdhury are expected to join TMC on November 20," Trinamool Congress all-India general secretary Mukul Roy said.        

Reacting sharply to the development, WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya said, "This has made it clear that the sole agenda of Trinamool Congress is to break up the Congress in Bengal".
18:55  India sends 'Note Verbale' to UK on Lalit Modi:  

India has sent a 'Note Verbale' to the United Kingdom on the issue of sending back former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi from London as he is facing allegations of financial irregularities here.         

 

"We have sent a Note Verbale late last night informing Britain that the passport of Lalit Modi has been revoked and he is required to be in India for questioning in the economic offence related issues," official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said.         

 

He said that it was after the MEA received a request from the Ministry of Finance to take up with Britain the matter of certain issues that are still pending as regards Lalit Modi's financial transactions.         

 

Modi, who is facing a probe over alleged financial irregularities in the conduct of T20 cricket tournament, is living in London even though India has revoked his passport.

18:32  I loved Nehru's Discovery of India: Suu Kyi:   Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia among a host of Parliamentarians and dignitaries listen in to Aung San Suu Kyi as she talks about the course of her life, Myanmar and its connect with India and Nehru. "We want to be not just good neighbours, but brothers. I have special ties with India, we trust the country and its leaders," she says.

Talking about Nehru she said she had many things in common with him including his love for poet WB Yeats, who she says Nehru quoted in his Discovery of India. 
18:22  Suu Kyi: Nehru was a father figure to my parents:  Aung San Suu Kyi speaking at the Nehru Memorial lecture now. She says Panditji was like a father figure to her parents, while Gandhi inspired Myanmar's democracy movement. "I have special ties with India," says Suu Kyi and recounts her parents' interactions with Nehru. "I remembered seeing Panditji when I was just 16 at a railway station," says Suu Kyi.

Sonia Gandhi listens with a smile on her lips.
18:10  Sonia to Suu Kyi: Worthy daughter of noble father :  Congress President Sonia Gandhi at function at Vigyan Bhavan held in honour of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi will deliver the Nehru Memorial Lecture on the occasion of his birth anniversary. "You are a worthy inheritor of a noble father's legacy," says Sonia. "You have been a keeper of Mahatma Gandhi's flame in your own country," adds Sonia.
17:54  The Awakening:  Why white nationalists are thrilled with Obama's victory. Read
17:50  Four-star egos :  The cult of the general from Douglas MacArthur to David Petraeus. Read
17:42  Rs 12cr business for Bokaro gold merchants on Dhanteras:  A huge rush was seen in markets, as residents in Bokaro thronged shops to buy gold, silver, diamond, utensils and other items on Dhanteras. Car and two-wheeler showrooms and electronic items shops also did brisk business.
And they say India is in recession! Read 
17:27  No surprises here: KFA reneges on pre-Diwali dues:  Kingfisher Airline employees, who have not received their May salary despite an assurance from the airline management, are likely to chalk out an action plan next week, if they do not receive their dues by November 17.

"Diwali has come and gone but we have still not received the salary for the month of May. The management, as usual, has once again backtracked on its commitment and there is no word from them on payment," sources in airline staff said.

"We will wait till Saturday for the payment of May salary. If the airline does not pay by November 17, we will chalk out our further action plan," they said. The grounded airline continues to maintain silence over the payment to its nearly 3,000 employees, despite an assurance from the management last month that the third tranche of the dues would be paid by Diwali, they said. A text message sent to airline spokesperson did not elicit any response.
17:14  Four unidentified bodies found in Mumbai outskirts:   Four dead bodies were found in a private farmhouse in Shiravne village in the Panvel taluka on Wednesday morning. According to the Taloja police, who is yet to register the case, the victims were known to be real estate dealers and had gathered at the farm house on Tuesday evening during the day of Diwali.

The identity of the victims is not yet known as the Panvel and Taloja police are still investigating the murder mystery. One of the victims has been found with bullet mark on his head, reports DNA.

"The bodies were discovered by the owner of the farmhouse called N. Patil who went there in the morning on Wednesday to clean the rooms. We have detained Patil and are investigating,' said a duty officer at Taloja police station.The bodies have been sent for post mortem at a civic hospital in Panvel taluka.
17:09  Drug abuse worst enemy of civilisation: Omar :  Terming drug-abuse as the "worst enemy of civilisation" and "more dangerous than militancy", Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today appealed all sections of society to work together to save children from illicit use of drugs. "It is being observed that notorious elements induce drug addiction in children and use them for vested interests," Abdullah said at a function organised by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to observe Children's day at Sumbal, 25 km from here, in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
16:51  A breastfeeding doll, anyone?:  The debate surrounding the "Breast Milk Baby", a doll that allows children to pretend to breastfeed, highlights how confused we are about breastfeeding. So confused in fact, that a child imitating the biological norm is seen by some as "gross". Read
16:49  Will the global economy tumble off Americas fiscal cliff? :  Forget all of the talk about the rise of China and the shift of economic power from West to East. The U.S. economy remains the largest and most important in the world, and what happens in America still determines what happens to the global economy. Read more more here
16:42  Indians to pay more for a cuppa:  As winter sets in over India, tea drinkers will have to dig a little deeper for their cuppa as bad weather has hit the country's tea output and driven up prices. Read
16:37  Don't worry if you find everything in omnishambles:  In the likely event that you missed this -- Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year is omnishambles. Oxford University Press has crowned the word its top term of 2012, defining it as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations". More
16:31  India Needs a Neocon Foreign Policy :  It's time New Delhi shed its historical reticence about promoting democracy in its neighborhood. Read Sadanand Dhume on the WSJ.
16:08  S Gurumurthy's letter to Nitin Gadkari:  Shri Nitin Gadkari
President
Bharatiya Janata Party
11 Ashok Road
New Delhi

 Dear Shri Nitinji

 Sub: Purti group investigation done by me

 
I wanted formally to record the oral views expressed by me at the Core Committee meeting of the BJP on November 6, 2012.

At the meeting of the core committee, on my investigation of the Purti documents, I had clearly said that you had not done any wrong doing morally or legally.

I REITERATE THAT ON MY INVESTIGATION I HAVE FOUND AND WRITTEN IN MY COLUMNS IN THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS THAT THERE IS NO WRONG DOING BY YOU MORALLY OR LEGALLY IN THE PURTI MATTER. 

I had professionally examined the Purti papers and expressed my professional views. But I saw sections of media giving political colour to my professional views

You may bring this to the attention of all core committee members who were present when I had briefed them. 

The party office to release this mail letter to the media if you think fit. 


With Warm Regards
S. Gurumurthy
16:03  VOTE: Sensual sirens in lingerie costing millions!:  Each year, the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show features a showstopping 'Fantasy Bra' crafted from real jewels and worth millions of dollars. Here's a look at the hottest pieces modelled by the likes of Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima and Miranda Kerr over the years -- vote for your favourite! Take a look on rediff.com
16:00  By the Numbers: Where Indian Women Work:  Last week, representatives of Indian companies spoke about the "missing' women of India's workforce. The panel focused on college-educated women who could be working but aren't. Read
15:54  PM's Japan visit cancelled:  Our sources in Delhi tell us that PM Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Japan has been cancelled, but he will be travelling to Cambodia as planned. The Japan Summit has been cancelled due to internal issues in Tokyo. The trip which was to begin tomorrow was set to see India sign deals for infrastructure projects worth $15 billion. 
15:50  Is finance too competitive?:  Many economists are advocating for regulation that would make banking "boring' and uncompetitive once again. After a crisis, it is not uncommon to hear calls to limit competition. Read Raghuraman Rajan's column here. Rajan is India's chief economic advisor.
15:24  Army foils infiltration bid; 2 militants, 3 jawans killed:  The Army today foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, killing two militants while three Army jawans were also killed.

"A major infiltration bid was foiled in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district after alert troops noticed movement of a group of about five militants near the LoC," Army spokesman Colonel A Vashisht said.

Two militants have been killed so far while search operations are going on for the other ultras, he said, adding, two AK assault rifles have been recovered from the scene of the encounter. The spokesman said three army jawans were also killed while battling the infiltrating militants.
15:22  PM to get $15 bn investment on Japan visit:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to sign deals for infrastructure projects worth $15 billion on a visit to Japan this week, a report said Wednesday. The trip, which starts Thursday, will see the PM hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda and lunch with Japanese business leaders, said officials at the foreign ministry and industry lobby Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). More
15:13  On the Huffington Post: Why it is important for America to officially recognise Diwal. Read
15:06  FDI in retail to be voted in winter session of Parl:  The CPI(M) gives notice for debate with voting on FDI in retail during the Winter session of Parliament. The Trinamool Congress is also likely to give a notice soon. The DMK says it will reveal its stance on FDI on retail when it is brought up in Parliament.

The BJP however, has refused to give up on the issue which could affect its core vote bank of small traders, the party said today and would oppose the government decision in Parliament and try to build a joint strategy with NDA partners and other political parties.

Party chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that the BJP would discuss its strategy with other NDA partners and also get in touch with political parties which have reservations on the issue. The NDA allies are likely to hold a meeting on November 21, a day before the winter session begins.
14:51  Why generals cheat:  The job of a general requires extreme self-confidence. And it helps to be a bit of a rogue.And that's probably why general's cheat, says Slate.com. Read
14:29  Gurumurthy on Gadkari: I only tell the truth :   RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy tweets on truth, Nitin Gadkari and the Bofore scam.

"I don't want to waste my time over piffles. I want to target the really corrupt. The media has no guts to take on the real corrupt.What Ramnath Goenka taught us was to stand up to unpopularity. We stood against the most popular PM Rajiv with 400+ MPs.

If I had seen anyone's papers like I saw in NG's [Nitin Gadkari's]case I would have done the same thing. I will tell the truth even if I am the lone voice."
14:16  RSS ideologue Gurumurthy now turns his attention to BCCL:  S Gurumurthy @sgurumurthyI think I better write on the holding company [with money counting machine and a computer only] and 63 subsidiaries of Bennet Coleman co

This is the story RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy is referring to. Read

RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, on whose analysis of the Putri Group account the BJP had backed its president Nitin Gadkari, today made a flip flop when he declined to have given him a clean chit and later retracted his remarks.

"I have not given clean chit to NG (Nitin Gadkari). I cannot give clean chit to any one who I don't know fully I don't know NG at all," Gurumurthy reportedly posted on the micro-blogging site around noon.

As his remarks created a flutter in the cyber world and the media, he deleted his posts a couple of hours later.

"I think I am being misinterpreted. I have clearly said that the media allegations on Gadkari is false. If this is clean chit I have given it," he posted.

In another tweet, he said, "Let me clarify that I have given clear chit to Gadkari on Purti affairs. That is all."

His last tweet on this issue was at 2.40 pm. It said, "I have deleted only the tweets they are misinterpreting. not all."
14:06  Remember the cute little girl who wept that she was tired of 'Bronco Bama' and Mitt Romney? Well, Abigail is now happy Obama won the presidency. Watch the new video here.
14:00  Has Nehru been judged unkindly, or is dynasty to blame?:  Jawaharlal Nehru is accused by his detractors today of being overtly socialist, creating the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and dooming the Indian economy to a struggling pace. Apart from being India's first Prime Minister, he has finally been relegated to being the sole Indian leader who was fond of children. But have we judged the leader too unkindly? Read more here

It is Nehru's 123rd birth anniversary today.
13:58  Pinki: I am being treated like a circus animal:   Athlete Pinki Pramanik said on Tuesday that it is offensive when the police or an additional public prosecutor comments on her gender in public.

"It is not for the police or an additional public prosecutor to make repeated remarks on my gender,' Pinki told The Hindu, a day after an additional public prosecutor claimed that she was a male, as stated in a medical report.

Charges of rape were brought against her in the charge sheet submitted before a court in Barasat in the State's North 24 Parganas district. Read
13:48  Man held for taking photographs of Chidambaram:  A 34-year-old man has been taken into custody for questioning after he was seen taking pictures of Finance Minister P Chidambaram at the airport in Chennai, airport sources said today. They said Amir was seen taking pictures of the Minister, who left for New Delhi yesterday, using his camera.

Amir had confirmed first-class tickets to Delhi and from there to Dubai. Initial probe revealed that Amir was one among the two persons, detained last month by CISF personnel for reportedly giving contradicting replies at the airport.

Earlier, Amir along with Mansoor, hailing from Kerala, were detained after they wanted to get off the Dreamliner aircraft ahead of its flight to Delhi. The duo reportedly gave contradictory replies when CISF sought an explanation for cancelling their journey at the last minute.
13:43  Spend squeeze puts defence buys in limbo:  As India's defence establishment braces for another tight spending season, its armed forces have been asked by minister A.K. Antony to buy only what is necessary. That's also on the Telegraph. Read
13:26  First Vatican envoy visit to Darjeeing:  The Pope's emissary to India, Salvatore Pennacchio, will attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the Darjeeling diocese that kicks off tomorrow. This is the first time a Vatican envoy would visit Darjeeling. Read more on the Telegraph.
13:22  Yet again, BJP supports graft-tainted Gadkari:  BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad holds a press conference where the sole motive seems to be to take on the Congress even as the party grapples against the graft charges against Nitin Gadkari.

Prasad says the party wants the graft charges against Robert Vadra probed as well as the PM's role in the 2G scam. Defending Gadkari, he says the BJP president worked for the betterment of farmers.  He says Gurumurthy had examined the investment pattern in Purti and found nothing wrong.
13:12  In pictures: Diwali around the world :  CNN.com asked iReporters from around the world to submit their best images of Diwali celebrations and the stunning result is featured in this slideshow. See
13:06  The big snub: Hasina scraps plan to visit Pakistan:  In an apparent snub to Pakistan, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has scrapped her planned visit to Islamabad 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. 
12:58  The Times, the Jains, and BCCL:  If BCCL's shares are publicly listed it will make the company's operations far more transparent than they are now, says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Fascinating read. 
12:48  Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi meets PM Singh:  Just in: Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is meeting PM Dr Manmohan Singh right now.

Also read: Suu Kyi and Rahul Gandhi's common link at Congress headquarters
12:45  This is what the Shiv Sena leader said during his televised speech on Dussehra this year.

"I am tired now. Earlier I used to give speeches for 60 minutes, would attend several programmes on a single day, and tours wouldn't tire me. If it had been possible I would have come. However, I need the 'shakti' and would ask God to give me that. But I will surely come next time. I have been the Sena Pramukh for 45 years, all because of you. If I have forced Uddhav or Aaditya on you then make your own choices. The way you aided me, aid Uddhav and Aaditya from now on. Show the same trust and support for them too and let Shiv Sena become the strongest party," he said.
12:42  Bal Thackeray not eating, on oxygen:  Update on the health of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, who is ailing for sometime. A report on Zee News says that Thackeray is on continuous oxygen and not eating anything.

"Bal Thackeray is not on ventilator, but is on continuous oxygen,' his close source said. He said the 86-year old Sena patriarch, who has been suffering from breathing problems, continues to be under medical supervision. "His health is not so good. He is not eating anything,' he said.

A number of leaders including former president Pratibha Patil have visited Thackeray's residence 'Matoshree' over the past few days to enquire about his health. 
12:34  Kulgam encounter: Slain ultra turns out to be LeT commander:  The militant killed in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam district on Tuesday has turned out to be a top commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), police said today.

The ultra was killed in a gunfight at Kujjan village in Kulgam district, 75 km from here. The slain militant was initially identified as Showkat Ahmad Tak, a resident of Panzgam in Tral area of Pulwama district, they said.

When Tak's family members were called to a police station for taking the body, they informed cops that the deceased was not their kin.

During further investigations, it turned out that the slain militant was Shabir Ahmad Mir, a resident of Yaripora in Kulgam district, they said. Mir was a top Lashkar commander and an 'A' category ultra who was carrying a cash reward on his head
12:33  Pak SC withdraws contempt notice against PM Ashraf:  Pakistan's Supreme Court today withdrew a contempt notice issued to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf earlier this year after he failed to approach Swiss authorities to revive graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. A five-judge bench headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali retracted the contempt notice after Law Minister Farooq Naek presented a receipt that showed the Swiss authorities had received the government's recent letter for the revival of the graft cases on November 9.
12:31  Meanwhile, a tweet from Chelsea Clinton yesterday: Happy Diwali to our friends and everyone across the world celebrating today!

Chelsea is former US president Bill Clinton's daughter. Readthis piece on the Daily Mail for an insight into the notorious private woman. 
12:27  Hazare supports farmers' protests in Maharashtra:  Anna Hazare inches his way back in the news. Extending his support to the "justful" cause of sugarcane growers in Maharashtra, social activist Anna Hazare today condemned the firing incident in Sangli district and accused the state government of turning this year's Diwali "black" for protesting farmers.

The Gandhian flayed NCP President Sharad Pawar's remarks against Shetty and held him responsible for the present agrarian crisis. A farmer was killed in police firing in Sangli on Monday after a group of peasants tried to lock a police team inside a hotel at Nandre village after learning that Shetty was detained in Pune district.
12:25  PM to Pranab at 6.30 pm today:  Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is meeting the President  Pranab Mukhejee at 6.30 pm today to brief him about the political situation during the upcoming winter session of Parliament. This come in the backdrop of the DMK creating problems for the UPA2. Dr Singh will also brief the President about his five-day visit to Japan commencing from Thursday.
12:20  China party congress wraps up ahead of leadership unveiling:  China's Communist Party has concluded a week-long congress, a day before unveiling its new leadership line-up.More than 2,200 delegates met to select a new Central Committee in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.That committee will meet on Thursday to endorse China's top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee. The new line-up will be keenly analysed for signs of China's future economic and political direction. Read
11:56  Omar's uncle: Did NOT say India is J-K's enemy:  A political storm has hit the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir after National Conference leader and chief minister Omar Abdullah's uncle Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said India not Pakistan is their enemy and the Indian army is the biggest hurdle to peace in the restive state.

"Pakistan has always said sign a no-war pact with us. Why is not our country accepting it? If India will delay it further, I shall have no hesitation in saying that our country is our enemy. Pakistan is not our enemy,' Kamal said while addressing NC workers at Kishtwar.

Embarrassed, Omar later broke his silence and hit out at his uncle without naming him. "I don't need anyone to make things difficult for me when I have relatives to do it for me'. They say never work with animals & children. I think it's safe to add relatives to that list as well,' he tweeted.

Of course, Kamal has now said that he was misquoted.
11:54  China, India ravenous for energy :  Last summer, nearly half of India's sweltering population suddenly found the electricity shut off. Air-conditioners whirred to a stop. Refrigerators ceased cooling. The culprits were outmoded power generation stations and a creaky electricity transmission grid. Read
11:48  India-England Test series spiced up by several subplots :  By the end of this series we may not know how good the victor is, but we will have a clearer idea of how poor the vanquished has really become.  Such have been the trials of India and England since they became the world's top-ranked Test sides, a little like the pop star suffering from second-album blues .Read more
11:45  Now, RSS ideologue wavers on clean chit to Gadkari:  The roiling in the saffron camp over Nitin Gadkari's business dealings continued on Tuesday with RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy, who did an analysis of the Purti Group on the basis of which the BJP decided to back its president, denying that he had given Gadkari a clean chit and later retracting his remarks. Read more
11:39  ACs, refrigerators to get more expensive:  The cost of air-conditioners and refrigerators could go up considerably starting next summer if the US and other rich countries force a decision at the UN climate talks in November at Doha, to order a global ban on existing refrigerant gases and replace them with costly though relatively more climate-friendly alternatives.
Read more
11:38  During his interaction with Kumar, Zardari also lauded the "rich cultural and civilisational heritage of Bihar" and said greater interaction between the people and greater cooperation and exchanges with the Bihar government in diverse areas would prove mutually beneficial. Zardari appreciated the "Bihar model of development" due to its emphasis on social sector development, particularly in education, healthcare and community development.

He also referred to the Benazir Income Support Programme, Pakistan's flagship poverty alleviation scheme named after his late wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto. He said Pakistan would be happy to share its experience in eradicating poverty and unemployment with Indian authorities.
11:30  Zardari hosts special dinner for Nitish Kumar on Diwali:  Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari met the visiting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in the national capital Islamabad and hosted a special dinner for him.   Kumar accompanied by Indian delegates met Zardari at a special dinner, which was hosted by Zardari at the President's Residence in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The dinner was organised on the occasion of Diwali.  Rounds of discussions were held between the delegates to improve the bilateral ties between the two nations.  

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah and other leaders of the Pakistan People's Party were among the dignitaries from Pakistan.
11:21  Suu Kyi to meet PM today:  Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday on a six-day visit during which she will meet India's leaders as well as friends from her school and college days in Delhi.An icon of the pro-democracy movement in her country, Nobel laureate Suu Kyi flashed a traditional "namaste" after stepping out of the aircraft that brought her from Yangon.This will be Suu Kyi's first visit to India in nearly 40 years, according to newsmagazine Irrawaddy.

On Tuesday, Suu Kyi spent the day mostly resting and enjoying the colourful festival of Diwali. She will be meeting PM Manmohan Singh today. Read more
11:19  This Google doodle was designed by an Indian student:  Search engine giant Google made November 14 more special for children by displaying a doodle made by a teenager from India. On the occasion of Children's Day, today, the Google homepage has a doodle titled 'A Prism of Multiplicity'. The award winning doodle is designed by Arun Kumar Yadav, a class 9 student of Kendriya Vidyalaya from Chandigarh. Read more rediff.com
11:05  Pak wants friendly and good neighbourly ties with India: Prez:  Pakistan wishes to have "friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations" with India as there are tremendous opportunities for the two countries to enhance cooperation for their mutual benefit, President Asif Ali Zardari has said. Zardari made the remarks at a special Diwali dinner he hosted at the presidency for visiting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his delegation last night.

"We want the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes for lasting peace in the region," Zardari said. Expressing satisfaction at the ongoing dialogue with India, Zardari said there was a "general consensus" among the mainstream political parties of Pakistan to have good neighbourly relations with India.
11:01  Pak wants friendly and good neighbourly ties with India: Prez:  Pakistan wishes to have "friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations" with India as there are tremendous opportunities for the two countries to enhance cooperation for their mutual benefit, President Asif Ali Zardari has said. Zardari made the remarks at a special Diwali dinner he hosted at the presidency for visiting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his delegation last night.

"We want the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes for lasting peace in the region," Zardari said. Expressing satisfaction at the ongoing dialogue with India, Zardari said there was a "general consensus" among the mainstream political parties of Pakistan to have good neighbourly relations with India.
11:00  From Tamil Nadu, another viral hit is born:  Nenjukulle, a Tamil song composed by the Oscar-winning musician A.R. Rahman, seems poised to be this season's breakout social media hit, days after it was first broadcast on Nov. 3 during Unplugged, a program on MTV India.

Sung by 24-year-old Shakthisree Gopalan, the mellifluous song features in the Tamil film "Kadal,' which is directed and produced by Mani Ratnam and is slated for a December release. Read
10:53  Archduke Joseph diamond fetches record $21.5 million at auction:   A huge, internally flawless diamond from India's fabled Golconda mines was sold at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday night for a record 20.355 million Swiss francs ($21.48 million), Christie's said. Read
10:51  Chinas next leaders Xi and Li named to Central Committee :  China's Communist Party re-elected the nation's future leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang onto its Central Committee on Wednesday, as it moved to conclude a pivotal transfer of power in the world's second-largest economy and rising superpower. Xi, now vice president, is expected to be named party leader on Thursday, replacing President Hu Jintao in what would be only the second orderly transfer of power in 63 years of communist rule. Xi would take over from Hu as head of state next spring. Read
10:42  Editor of tabloid that alleged Hina-Bilawal affair arrested:  The editor of 'Weekly Blitz', the Bangladeshi tabloid that reported the alleged affair between Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has been arrested, said Pakistani media.
Read
10:38  Christian reflections on the Festival of Light:  A piece on Diwali on the Huffington Post.

On an otherwise dark window in the top floor of an apartment in West Philadelphia, you will see the light of a row of candles along the window ledge, a muted tribute to the light of the lamps gracing millions of homes in India. There the new moon night of Diwali is bathed with a warm glow, and fireworks fill the night sky with thunderclap and joyful flame. Read more
10:33  Medical experts doubt Pinki Pramanik can rape:  Medical experts yesterday questioned the police move to slap rape charges on Pinki Pramanik after the former Asian Games gold medallist was declared a male on the basis of a DNA test report.

Pinki's medical report, they pointed out, says that the athlete suffers from Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD). A DSD patient, say experts, cannot be termed a male - despite an XY chromosome combination, as Pinki's DNA report has confirmed-because such patients are incapable of performing a sexual act. Read more
10:18  At Diwali dinner for Nitish, Zardari praises Bihar:  Pakistan wishes to have "friendly, cooperative and good neighbourly relations" with India as there are tremendous opportunities for the two countries to enhance cooperation for their mutual benefit, President Asif Ali Zardari said yesterday.

Zardari made the remarks at a special Diwali dinner he hosted at the presidency for visiting Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his delegation. "We want the peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes for lasting peace in the region," he said.

Expressing satisfaction at the ongoing dialogue with India, Zardari said there was a "general consensus" among the mainstream political parties of Pakistan to have good neighbourly relations with India.
09:43  Mamata performs 'Kali Puja', cooks 'bhog':   West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday performed 'Kali Puja' at her residence using funds from her year-long savings.

For last 34 years the puja is being performed at her house in Kalighat area of the city with traditional colours and religious fervour. Sources close to the chief minister said she saves money throughout the year for funding this puja.

Having fasted the whole day, Banerjee cooked the 'bhog' (offering to Goddess) and was seen doing all the arrangements herself including looking after the guests.

Scores of people, including state Assembly speaker Biman Banerjee, Kolkata police commissioner R K Pachnanda, musician Dwijen Mukhopadhyay, politicians, bureaucrats among others were seen at her house attending the rituals
09:38  2G spectrum auction resumes on demand in Bihar:  The second day of auction for 2G spectrum started at 9:00 pm today, on the back of demand for spectrum in the Bihar telelcom circle.

A department of telecommunications official replied in the affirmative when asked if the auction resumed on time this morning. "Yes. Eighth round is in progress," the official said.

The government is auctioning eight blocks of spectrum having 1.25 megahertz airwaves frequencies in each circle. As per the data made public, the last round of Day 1 (on November 12) saw bids for spectrum only in Bihar circle. Or else it would have ended on Monday itself.
09:27  Suu Kyi visits Shantivan, pays homage to Nehru:   Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday, visited Shantivan, Jawaharlal Nehru's memorial this morning on the occasion of the birth anniversary of India's first PM.

She is then expected to visit Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi and follow up with a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today. She will also deliver the Nehru memorial lecture.
09:05  Editor of paper reporting Hina-Bilawal affair held :   The editor of 'Weekly Blitz', the Bangladeshi tabloid that reported the alleged affair between Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has been arrested, according to reports in  Pakistani media.

The News, Pakistani daily, quoted government sources to say Weekly Blitz editor Salahuddin Shoaib Chaudhry was arrested two days before Hina's visit to Dhaka on November 10.

A day before his reported arrest, Chaudhry had once again published reports of the alleged secret romance, saying the foreign minister was avoiding the media since the scandal was reported, according to The Times of India.

Read the full story here
08:38  China's congress begins closing session:   China's ruling Communist Party today began a key meeting to elect a new central committee which would choose a new generation of Chinese leadership for the next decade.

A total of 2,307 delegates and specially invited delegates are attending the 18th National Congress of the CPC being held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

During the session, a new central commission for discipline inspection of the party, which will go into indiscipline and corruption cases, will be elected.
08:34  Top headlines in the last 24 hours :  Top US commander in Afghanistan under investigation

Suu Kyi arrives in India on a week's visit

Likely SEVEN: Could this be the new CPC leadership?

Bal Thackeray on oxygen, not eating anything

8 killed, 8 injured in firecracker explosion

Terror strike warning puts Delhi on high alert

Zardari to host special Diwali dinner for Bihar CM

Yesterday's live commentary link

Stars spotted!  What's this?

Spotted: Vidya Balan in Panchgani
Reader Kaushal Pandya sends us a photograph

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos