23:16 2002 Ghatkopar blast: Main conspirator held in Hyderabad:
The alleged main conspirator of the 2002 Ghatkopar blast, who was working as a software engineer, has been arrested from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, police said today.
The accused, Siddique Taj-ul Islam Kazi, who was working in a software company in Hyderabad on a fake name Siddiqui Taj Quazi, was nabbed on Wednesday from the city and brought to Mumbai yesterday before placing him under arrest, a crime branch official said.
"Kazi, a banned SIMI activist, is originally from Aurangabad. Soon after the blast, he went into hiding. He had been staying in Hyderabad for nearly 10 years," the official added.
22:44 Bomb in Palestinian camp in Damascus kills 4 Beirut:
A bomb blast in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus killed four people and seriously wounded a member of a faction that has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country's bitter civil war, activists said today. Syria's Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, lashed out at neighboring Turkey, which has sheltered anti-Assad fighters.
The ministry denounced Turkey's request for NATO Patriot surface-to-air missiles along its border with Syria as "a new provocative step." Turkey made the request earlier this week to bolster its defenses and prevent a spillover of the Syrian civil war onto its territory.
22:43 Can't keep on hold appointment of CBI director: PM:
In a letter to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the BJP's demand to keep in abeyance the appointment of the new Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ranjit Sinha.
The prime minister in his letter said, "The insinuation that the appointment was made to preempt the procedure recommended by the Select Committee is wholly unwarranted and devoid of any merit. I also refute the suggestion that the appointments to this post in the past by the UPA Government were motivated by collateral considerations.'
"The question of keeping the new appointment in abeyance does not arise," said Dr Singh.
22:26 Suspected French jihadist arrested in Mauritania:
A suspected French jihadist has been arrested on the border between Mauritania and an area of northern Mali occupied by Islamic extremists, a police source said today. The suspect, who is in his 40s and entered Mauritania via Morocco, was detained on Tuesday at Nema, a Mauritanian town near the Malian border, the source said on condition of anonymity.
"The simple fact that a light-skinned Frenchman wants to go to Azawad (northern Mali) at this time is sufficiently suspicious to security forces," he said. After the suspect's arrest, he was transferred to Nouakchott for interrogation on his "real intentions, the goal of his voyage and his alleged links with jihadists" of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the source added.
21:06 Asif Ibrahim frontrunner for IB director's post:
A correspondent in New Delhi: The buzz in the New Delhi corridors of power is that Asif Ibrahim is the forerunner for the post of Intelligence Bureau director.
Ibrahim is an IPS officer of 1977 batch of Madhya Pradesh cadre. The PMO on Friday made an assessment of officers and three other appointment orders are likely next week.
21:00 Thackeray memorial: Cong corporator faces music:
Maharashtra Congress today issued a show-cause notice to the party corporator in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Sunil More, for his statement that a memorial of Bal Thackeray, the late Shiv Sena supremo, should be constructed at Indu Mills premises.
More's statement yesterday ruffled some feathers, as Dalit organisations have been demanding that the land, in central Dadar, be given for memorial of Dr B R Ambedkar. The state government too has endorsed the demand. The premises belong to National Textile Corporation.
Shiv Sena, which has been demanding that Thackeray's memorial be built at Shivaji Park (where his last rites were conducted), today termed More's proposal as ridiculous.
20:54 Story of Pakistan's improbable pursuit of nuclear weapons:
In 1953, the American journalist Norman Cousins travelled to Karachi to interview Mohammed Ali Bogra, who had been appointed by Ghulam Mohammed, Pakistan's third governor-general, to succeed the country's recently sacked second prime minister. Pakistan was just six years old. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had been dead for five of these. But the "countless thousands of refugees" who had uprooted themselves from their ancestral homes in India for Jinnah's Promised Land confronted Cousins everywhere, "struggling just to stay alive".
Read more on The National
20:31 Jagan misguided court while seeking bail: CBI:
CBI, probing the corruption charges against jailed YSR Congress leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, today accused him of misguiding a special court in Hyderabad while seeking bail "by giving a different interpretation of the apex court's order".
Earlier on October 5, the special CBI court had dismissed his bail plea. Opposing the fresh bail applications of Jagan, CBI Deputy Legal Advisor Balla Ravindranath argued before the Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI Cases here that the petitioner (Jagan) was not entitled to get any relief at this stage in view of the Supreme Court order, which upheld the submissions of the central agency that the investigations were still on in connection with seven matters related to the case.
The apex court, while dismissing Jagan's bail petition had directed that the petitioner was open to renew his bail before the trial court "on completion of the investigation by the CBI on the seven matters," Ravindranath pointed out.
19:58 Subsidised LPG for mid-day meal: HRD ministry to move FM:
In the wake of the Petroleum Ministry turning down its request of subsidised LPG cylinders for the mid-day meal scheme, the HRD Ministry has decided to move the finance ministry seeking allocation of enhanced resources for the school programme. "Of course we will be talking to the Finance Ministry... They will examine it and get back to us," HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju told reporters.
His remarks came after Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor informed the Rajya Sabha that the Petroleum Ministry has turned down the request of allowing supply of subsidised LPG cylinders for the mid-day meal programme.
"The request of HRD ministry has not been agreed to," Tharoor said in a written reply. Raju noted that if the Finance Ministry does not provide the additional support, his ministry will have to meet from within its own resources.
19:56 J&K Muharram protest: Man sets himself on fire :
A person set himself on fire on Friday to protest a ban on religious processions marking the Muslim month of Muharram in Srinagar. The person suffered minor injuries and was later arrested, reports Anil Raina
The Jammu and Kashmir government has placed harsh restrictions in the financial district of Srinagar to stop Shia mourners from taking out religious processions from Lal Chowk to mark Muharram.
19:14 Bharti Walmart suspends 5 including CFO in graft probe:
In other news, Bharti Walmart has suspended five people, including CFO Pankaj Madan, as part of an ongoing global investigation by the US retail giant against alleged corrupt practices, sources said. It is understood that more heads may roll as the investigation progresses in the coming days in the company, which has now decided to put a halt to opening new cash and carry wholesale stores in India pending the probe.
Confirming the suspension, a Bharti Walmart spokesperson said:" We are committed to conducting a complete and thorough investigation. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further until we have finished the investigation."
Meanwhile, here's the text of the letter written by BJP's Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to the PM on the appointment of the CBI director. Read
19:08 FB report: Drop charges against girls, act against cops:
The IG has recommended departmental action against the cops. The Shiv Sena had justified the arrests and refused to apologise for the attack on one of the relatives of the girl who had posted the status on Facebook. The Palghar resident's hospital was vandalised by a mob who were suspected to be Shiv Sena members.
19:05 FB probe report: Arrest of girls UNJUSTIFIED :
The IG Konkan has submitted the probe report on the arrest of two girls over the controversial Facebook post on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. The report was submitted to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today. The two girls from Palghar were arrested after one of them posted a new status on her Facebook account denouncing the Mumbai shutdown after Thackeray's death and the other 'liked' it.
The report has said that the charges against the students should be dropped and action taken against the police for arresting the girls. The report also states that the local police defied orders in arresting the girls.
19:02 Map row: India terms Chinese action as unacceptable:
India today termed as "unacceptable" China depicting Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory in maps of the country on their new e- passports, a step that led to retaliatory action by New Delhi. China sprung the surprise on India when it showed these territories as part of its own in the maps on their new e-passports. The Indian Embassy in Beijing responded by issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India including Arunachal and Aksai Chin as part of its territory. In India's first official reaction, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said,"We are not prepared to accept it." "We, therefore, ensure that our flags of disagreement are put out immediately when something happens. We can do it in an agreeable way or you can do it in a disagreeable way," he told NDTV.
China, on its part, sort of fudged the issue with its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson saying that the matter should be dealt with in a "level headed and rational manner" to avoid "unnecessary disruptions" to people to people exchanges. "Hope the countries regard it in a cool-headed manner. China would like to maintain communication with other counties to ensure convenience of travel for both Chinese and foreigners", she said in Beijing.
The thermal imaging video of today's advanced interceptor missile test by DRDO. Watch
18:48 The secret to Lokpal Bill consensus: Hard bargain :
Union minister V Narayanasamy today said that a "consensus" regarding powers of the CBI in the Lokpal Bill has been reached through "hard bargain" with Parliamentarians and civil society members.
Speaking at the valedictory session of second Interpol global programme on anti-corruption and asset recovery at CBI headquarters here, he said main provisions which have been added in the Lokpal bill are to strengthen the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission.
"The kind of dilution that was going to take place, I have to give credit to your director and officers who took keen interest in seeing that the powers vested with them, the duties vested, the investigative powers vested with them should not be diluted and they should remain with them. They should report to the court only," he said.
18:45 Swapan Dasgupta's
column on the Gaza conflict: The rocket attacks on Israel may change the worlds attitude. Read
18:37 Dissent in Didi-land, minister wants to quit Cabinet :
A key minister in Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government today expressed his desire to resign from the cabinet in protest against being shifted to a new portfolio in a ministerial reshuffle.
Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who had played a key role in Mamata's movement against Tata Motors' Nano car factory in Singur, was shunted to Statistics and Programme implementation from Agriculture in Wednesday's cabinet rehuffle.
"I have not accepted the new ministry which was given to me. I want to resign. I want to take retirement from politics," Bhattacharya, who skipped the state secretariat and stayed at his home at Singur in Hooghly district ever since the change in portfolio was announced, told a TV channel. Bhattacharya said he was unable to accept the ministry allotted to him in the reshuffle.
18:20 No mobile phone services in Pakistan this weekend:
Alarmed by the recent terror attacks on Shia processions by Taliban, Pakistan today shut down the mobile phone network in Karachi, Quetta and some other cities as a part of security measures for this weekend, which is the climax of the holy month of Muharram.
Mobile phone services and even wireless phone networks of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority were suspended since 1 pm today in Karachi, Quetta and some other parts of the country including two sectors in capital, Islamabad.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik also announced more curbs for Saturday and Sunday, the 9th and 10th of Muharram, saying that they had also received requests from the Punjab province to suspend mobile phone services in 14 major cities and towns including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan.
18:18 Ponty-Hardeep murders: Aide arrested for trespass:
Sacked Uttarakhand Minorities Commission chairman Sukhdev Singh Namdhari has been arrested on the charges of trespassing in the double murder case of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh by Delhi Police on Friday. Namdhari, who was a close aide of Ponty Chadha, was present at the Chhatarpur farmhiouse in Delhi on November 17 when the two brothers allegedly opened fire at each other.
Namdhari is being seen as a key witness in the case. A Delhi police team had picked up Namdhari from his farmhouse at Bazpur in Udhamsinghnagar district in Uttarakhand and brought him to the national capital. The police also questioned him at his farmhouse before taking him into custody. .-- CNN IBN
18:15 Al Arabiya reports that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Alexandria headquarters has been torched by protesters.
This is the report of the Select Committee which tabled the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha today. Read
18:09 Gujarat Vidhan Sabha Elections 2012: The BJP has declared its first list of candidates. Eighty-four names have been declared. Narendra Modi will contest from Maninagar, a seat he has held since 2002. Ten women candidates, 6 candidates from SC and 14 candidates from ST communities in list, reports NDTV.
17:58 Farhan Akhtar tweets: India knows how to perform a proper Islamic burial. We're multicultural and respect all last rites. Will the Pak Taliban calm down please?
The Pakistani Taliban yesterday pledged to attack Indian targets "anywhere" to avenge the execution of Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the terrorist squad responsible for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, and demanded that Kasab's body be returned to Pakistan for an "Islamic burial".
17:57 Here's how Life of Pi star sat for his exams:
Mid Day cartoonist Satish Acharya's
witty take on the problem that Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma faced. from St. Stephens College. The college had refused to allow him to sit for his exams saying he did not have the requisite attendance and had not submitted his assignments.
However, Sharma was finally permitted to sit for his
examinations scheduled today, after the rising star submitted written assignments yesterday to
make up for his lack of attendance.
17:47 What the political tug-of-war over FDI in retail hides:
The political slugfest between the UPA government and the Opposition over the proposal to permit FDI in retail is merely the shadow play that deflects attention from a more fundamental battle. In and of itself, the FDI in retail proposal, for all the thunderous sloganeering and political brinkmanship it has given rise to, isn't a game-changer one way or another. Read
17:40 SC asks govt. to refund Rs 400 crore to telecom firms:
The Supreme Court on Friday provided major relief to telecom companies by ordering the government to refund over Rs 400 crore that it had taken as penalty from the former for not meeting roll out obligations.
Among the firms affected were Unitech, Aircel and Videocon.The DoT had imposed penalty on the operators, which were alloted spectrum in 2008, for delay in setting up infrastructure to commence services within stipulated time.
The penalty was challenged by the operators - Unitech Wireless ( Uninor), Videocon Telecom, Aircel, Dishnet Wireless and Sistema Shyam Teleservices before TDSAT.
17:27 View: In a way, India has given moksham to Kasab:
If Ajmal Kasab had spent his youth in solitary confinement, away from people and society, that would have been the biggest punishment India could have meted out to the terrorist, feels rediff.com's Shobha Warrier. Read
17:00 Is flossing your teeth a waste of time?: :
Visits to the dentist are never pleasant. Not only do we have our pearly whites scraped, prodded and drilled, we then have to endure a telling-off for not having flossed. Dentists insist it will keep our teeth sparkling and free from decay, as well as keeping our gums healthy. Regular flossing has even been said to protect us from heart disease. But is it all bunkum? Read
16:55 EC cautions Vaghela over hate speeches:
The Election Commission has cautioned Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela over his hate speeches in Surat during Gujarat poll campaign.
Vaghela had on October 31 made speeches at the BRC gate ground in Surat where he made references to the Godhra incident and recollected the post-Godhra killings in a bid to woo the Muslim vote bank.
The former Gujarat chief minister is reported to have reminded the voters about the post-Godhra violence and charged the Modi-led Gujarat government of having orchestrated them in his speeches.
16:49 Mamata showed political immaturity in Parl: Left:
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee showed "political immaturity" in moving a no-trust motion against the UPA-II government with just 19 MPs in her fold, Left Front chairman Biman Bose today said.
"Though she was aware that her no-trust motion will find no taker among other political parties, she went ahead in moving the motion in the Lok Sabha yesterday, which fell through for want of the required numbers," Bose said at a news conference here.
He said since Banerjee had already made public her party's intention to move the no-confidence motion, she had to maintain that stance knowing fully well that it would not get admitted.
"This shows her lack of political maturity. Our party does not function in that manner. We test the waters before hand," he said. Bose said Banerjee had sought CPI(M)'s support for the motion, but the party did not agree because together with the Trinamool, the requisite number would have still been elusive.
16:46 Fall in dropout rate in Naxal-hit areas: Tharoor:
The government today said dropout rate in states affected by Naxal violence has been showing a decreasing trend in many areas since the inception of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
"However, in a few areas, the progress is not satisfactory," Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
In reply to another question, he said enrollment of girls had shown a considerable increase. As per School Education Statistics (SES) in 2005-06 the enrolment of girls was 6.16 crore in primary schools, 2.33 crore in upper primary schools and 1.61 crore in secondary and senior secondary schools. The figure increased to 6.48 crore, 2.92 crore and 2.29 crore respectively in 2010-11, he said.
16:32 Problems with policing sexism on Twitter:
In mid-April this year, Indian writer and activist Meena Kandasamy attended a beef-eating festival. Then she tweeted about it. In two hours, she got over 800 abusive tweets. Kandasamy, who lives in the southern Indian city of Chennai, was threatened with rape, acid attacks, and being burnt alive. She was called a whore, slut, and terrorist. Read more
16:25 Young, Jobless and Indian:
The global crisis, caused largely by the developed world's financial excesses, and the ensuing balance sheet repairing have battered the world economy in a way not seen since the Great Depression. And globalisation has meant that countries and economies not party to the excesses have also been impacted. Read
16:23 Noisy eating tops the list of office gripes:
Noisy eating by colleagues tops the list of office irritants, according to a new UK survey. Researchers found that as many as 74 per cent people find they are too busy to leave the office for the traditional hour lunch break. It seems to be having a huge negative impact on the working environment - with food causing the majority of office frustrations, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
The habit tops messiness, lateness and people moaning about feeling ill, researchers said. The study found 57 per cent of 2,500 Brits, said noisy eaters were the most annoying of their colleagues. A further 26 per cent said they couldn't stand smelly food while they were trying to work.
16:06 500 Dalit homes burnt and a news blip:
A love marriage. A suicide. And three ravaged villages. Imran Khan reports on a deadly reprisal against Dalits in Tamil Nadu that should have made it to national news. Read
15:49 No, Kasab was not served biryani in jail:
The only thing special for Ajmal Kasab in Mumbai's Arthur Road jail was his security. The fortified complex where he was held was secluded from barracks crowded by lesser criminals. There were no biryani feasts in the jail for the short and stocky Pakistani. He added no extra girth to the 60 kg he weighed on arrival post the 26/11 mayhem. Read more
15:45 The BJP's letter to the PM:
Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Leaders of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, said in a joint written letter to the Prime Minister that the decision appointing Sinha as the next CBI Chief should be kept on hold till the collegium system becomes a law as recommended by Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Lokpal.
The Select Committee report was tabled in Rajya Sabha today. "This is a matter on record that hours before this recommendation (of the Select Committee) was tabled on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, the Government has chosen to appoint a CBI Director for a period of two years... We must record our strong disappointment and disapproval of this act of the government," the letter said.
15:21 Batch 2: Thackeray's ashes immersed in Godavari:
The ashes of late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray were immersed in river Godavari in Nashik in North Maharashtra today.
The ashes were immersed in the 'asthi kunda', a small holy pond on the bank of Godavari, this afternoon at the hands of Shiv Sena district chief Vijay Karanjkar and other local party leaders.
Earlier in the day, the urn containing the ashes of Thackeray, who passed away in Mumbai on Saturday last, were taken for immersion in a procession.
The procession started from Shiv Sena office at Shalimar Chowk and passed through several areas to reach at the bank of Godavari at around 11.45 am. A small pooja was performed before the ashes were immersed in the river considered the Ganga of the South.
The ashes were brought to Nashik from Mumbai on Tuesday and kept in the Sena office to enable people to pay their respect to the departed leader.
Another urn of ashes were immersed in the Arabian Sea earlier.
15:04 Life as an atheist in Saudi Arabia:
Atheism in Saudi Arabia is considered an extremely sensitive taboo and a serious crime, so atheists can be hard to come by in the theocratic Middle Eastern kingdom. But, according toan interview that one professed Saudi atheist gave to William Bauer, a reporter with an outlet called Your Middle East, they do exist. But they live in secret. Read
14:54 Why are only a few terrorists executed in India?:
India has faced terrorism for more than the last five decades, practically since the country was created. The northeast states, central and east India, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have been particularly affected, but almost no state has been free from terror incidents in that time.
At least 90,000 people have lost their lives in India in terrorism-related incidents.Still, the number of convictions for terrorism is low, and executions of people found guilty of terrorism even rare. Read
14:37 Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till Monday precisely six minutes after it reconvened at 2.30 pm.
14:35 In pics: Road built around house couple refuses to leave:
An elderly couple in Wenling, Zhejiang province, are the latest people in China to refuse to sign an agreement to allow their home to be demolished, resulting in the authorities building a planned road around the building.Dingzihu is the Chinese term for households that refuse to move out during demolition and literally means 'nail house' -- ie they stick out. See
14:26 BJP writes to PM: Keep CBI boss appointment on hold:
BJP leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley write tthe PM over the CBI chief's appointment. Earlier today, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar withdrew his petition in the
Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) challenging the
appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the new CBI chief. Kumar was third in
the seniority list. Now, Jaitley and Sushma want the appointment to be kept on hold.
14:16 In praise of ... black:
This Friday gives us the chance to look on the bright side of a colour whose absence is a special form of presence. Read
14:12 CAG row: Sonia says BJP exposed, govt demands answers:
The comments by a former official of CAG over the report on 2G spectrum allocation today kicked up a row with Congress President Sonia Gandhi suggesting that BJP had been exposed while the government demanded answers from Parliament's PAC chief M M Joshi over his alleged role.
Joshi, a senior BJP leader, rejected allegations by R P Singh, former Director General, Posts and Telecommunications in CAG, that he had tried to influence the outcome of the 2G report and questioned why the official had not spoken about it in Public Accounts Committee (PAC) when he appeared before it.
"Yes, certainly I think so," said Gandhi when reporters here asked whether BJP had been "exposed" by Singh's comments. Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Joshi as also CAG should clear the air on the issue.
14:04 Snap of iceberg that sunk Titanic up for sale:
A photograph of an iceberg, claimed to be the one that sunk the Titanic, is set to go under the hammer and is estimated to fetch upto USD 10,000. The black and white picture of the iceberg was taken two days before the sinking of the Titanic by the Captain of the S S Etonian on April 12, 1912, two day before the Titanic went down. The photograph is just one of over 400 Titanic memorabilia items included in American auction house RR Auction's sale next month, the Daily Mail reported.
13:57 Girl killed by neighbour on being stopped urinating publicly:
A teenage girl was shot dead and her mother injured when they objected to their neighbour urinating in front of their house at Hazrat Nizamuddin in south-east Delhi.
The incident occurred late last night when the 17-year-old girl's mother, Sadmani, noticed their neighbour urinating in front of their house and raised an objection, leading to an argument between the two, police said. Hearing the commotion, the girl, Binno, a Class XI student came out.
Later, in a fit of rage the neighbour, Javed, allegedly opened fire at them. Sadmani (41) received one bullet injury while her daughter received two in her abdomen, police said.
The two were taken to hospital where Binno was declared brought dead, they said. After firing, Javed fled the scene.
13:48 India successfully test fires supersonic interceptor missile:
India today successfully test-fired an indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying a hostile ballistic missile, from a test range off the Odisha coast.
"At around 12.52 hours, the interceptor hit the target missile successfully at an altitude of about 15 kilometres," DRDO spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said.
India is working towards development of a multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. The test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode, said a defence source.
13:47 Allegations by former auditor to malign CAG, PAC: Joshi:
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi today dismissed allegations by former auditor R P Singh that he tried to influence the outcome of the 2G report as an attempt to malign the institutions of CAG and PAC.
"R P Singh's allegations on the 2G report are an attempt to malign Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and PAC by vested interests including the government," Joshi said.
Giving a twist to the allocation controversy, Singh, a former CAG official, had questioned CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. "After completing the audit of Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect ... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said yesterday.
Joshi said Singh had never raised the issue when he had appeared before PAC to explain the loss to the exchequer caused by the 2G spectrum allocation. "I wonder why he is speaking today," he said.
"Singh had made a similar statement after his retirement. But when we questioned him he denied giving any interview. He was questioned on the issue by the Joint Parliamentary Committee as well but he failed to prove anything," Joshi said.
13:33 Bal Thackeray's ashes immersed in the Arabian Sea:
The ashes of late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray were today immersed in the Arabian Sea by his son and party executive president Uddhav Thackeray. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena president and Bal Thackeray's nephew Raj Thackeray was also present at the Gateway of India, where the family had gathered to immerse the ashes. The 86-year-old Sena patriarch died on November 18 at his residence Matoshree after a prolonged illness.
13:11 India use 2 offies in a Test after quarter of century:
The two-pronged off-spin attack that India are using in the second cricket Test against England here is a ploy that the hosts last used quarter of a century ago. Contrary to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's words at the pre-game media conference yesterday that India were to field two medium pacers and spinners -- offie Ravichandran Ashwin and left-armer Pragyan Ojha -- the home team drafted in senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to complement them today morning.
Our sports correspondent Harish Kotian makes an interesting observation: The two son of sardars (Monty Panesar and Harbhajan Singh) first played against each other in Nagpur in March 2006 and then in Mohali and Mumbai in the same series.
13:02 The promise of drama in the Lok Sabha on Monday: The Samajwadi Party will oppose the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, says party MP Naresh Aggarwal.
13:01 Anish Kapoor goes Gangnam Style for Ai Weiwei:
Why is Anish Kapoor dancing with wrist flourishes towards the camera, wearing handcuffs and black tape over his mouth?It's to make a statement in support of Chinese dissidents like fellow artist Ai Weiwei. All to the viral K-pop tune "Gangnam Style.' Read here
to find out more.
If Anish Kapoor sounds familiar, here's why. Read
12:58 The Best Pizza in India?:
Neapolitan pizza in Mumbai? It's hard enough to get real Neapolitan pizza outside Naples; outside Italy, it's almost impossible. Or is it? Read on
12:52 The Scientific Blind Spot:
The point, according to Samuel Arbesman, an applied mathematician and
the author of the delightfully nerdy "The Half-Life of Facts," is that
knowledgethe collection of "accepted facts"is far less fixed than we
12:44 On the impending execution of Afzal Guru:
"Someday, we will count how many minutes it took for television in India to start baying for Afzal Guru's blood (once again) after Ajmal Kasab was buried in Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. A man called Mohammad Afzal Guru, son of Habibullah Guru, currently resident in Ward Number 6 of Jail Number 1 in Tihar Central Prison in Delhi will hang to satisfy the bloodlust of the Indian Republic, unless the President of India decides otherwise. This text is an attempt to make us think about this decision and its ramifications carefully." Read more
12:41 Omar's uncle says Afzal Guru convicted for being Muslim:
India Today reports that Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah's uncle Mustafa Kamal has said that Afzal Guru has been convicted for being a Muslim. Guru is the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist convicted of the December 2001 attack on the Parliament.
Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, the younger brother of Union minister Farooq Abdullah had sparked off a massive outrage on November 12, when he said Kashmiris were closer to Pakistan. Calling India the enemy, Kamal alleged, "Time and again India has backtracked from its no war pact with Pakistan."
This is what Omar Abdullah had tweeted then.
"They say never work with animals & children. I think it's safe to add relatives to that list as well."
Omar Abdullah: Funny thing is I don't need anyone to make things difficult for me when I have relatives to do it for me.
12:28 Former CAG auditor disowns 2G report:
Meanwhile, RP Singh, former auditor of CAG has alleged that the CAG's report on the 2G spectrum auctions has reported incorrectly the actual loss to the exchequer as Rs 1.76 lakh crore. He has said that the "adjustments" were made at the behest of BJP member Murli Manohar Joshi. UPA President Sonia Gandhi has responded by saying that the CAG report looks manipulated, while the Opposition is denying the allegations. -- Business Standard.
MM Joshi says it's an attempt to discredit the government.
12:26 Parl: RS braves on amid chaos, Lokpal Bill tabled :
So the Lok Sabha has been adjourned till Monday. It was first adjourned at 11:30 am and reconvened at 12 pm Within minutes it was adjourned for the day even as Francesco Sardinha who was in the chair, tried to get some order in the proceedings. The chants this time sounded lime FDI vapas lo.The Rajya Sabha will reconvene at 2.30 pm. The upper house was also adjourned this morning. The moment Chairman Hamid Ansari called the House to order, BSP supremo Mayawati was on her feet demanding a bill to provide for reservation to SCs and STs in promotions in government jobs. Her party colleagues led by Brajesh Pathak rushed to the Well shouting "aarakshan vidhayak pehle lao, pehle lao" (bring reservation bill first).
12:13 RS adjourned over the SC/ST quota bill till 2.30 pm:
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2.30 pm. Dr EMS Natchiappan who was in the chair, tried to brave on, but his pleas for silence go unheard. The RS was adjourned over the SC/ST quota bill. The Select committee report on Lokpal Bill has however been tabled in the RS.
12:06 The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till Monday. Rajya Sabha with Dr EMS Natchiappan in the chair is likely to go the same way.
12:05 Kumar was one of the contenders for this coveted job before a government panel kept him out of the shortlist of three IPS officers for the top CBI job on the basis of a complaint from an accused in a case of disproportionate assets being probed by the agency. Sinha is a 1974 batch officer of Bihar cadre, whereas Kumar, who is two batches junior to him, belongs to the Union Territory cadre. Sinha's name for the post of CBI chief was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. -- NDTV.
12:04 Delhi top cop withdraws plea on CBI boss appointment:
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar has withdrawn his petition in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) from the Tribunal challenging the appointment of Ranjit Sinha as the new CBI chief. Kumar was third in the seniority list.
11:46 IKEA may not be able to sell half its products in India:
In a move that may upset IKEA's investment plans in the country, the government has struck down half of the products that the Swedish furniture major proposed to sell in the country while clearing its Rs 10,500-crore investment proposal.
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board, the nodal agency that clears foreign investments into the country, has said no to 15 out of 29 product categories that IKEA proposed to sell through its stores. Read
11:38 Jet-lagged Clinton took nap during Obama's Myanmar speech:
As Barack Obama made history by becoming the first American president to ever visit Myanmar, the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, briefly fell asleep during his speech, shows a new video.
Despite sitting next to former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, Clinton, 65, could not be roused by Obama''s stirring rhetoric in support of the fledgling moves towards democracy in Myanmar.
According to the Daily Mail, throughout the speech, CNN cameras panned over the exhausted Clinton as she sat in the crowd of 1,500 attendees at the University of Yangon.
Clinton appeared to lose enthusiasm for the speech as it went along and by the end was struggling to keep her eyes open.
Clearly suffering from jet-lag, Clinton is one of the most traveled Secretaries of State in United States history and is expected to step down in the New Year from her position as America''s top diplomat.
11:35 Suu Kyi disappointed over govts calling Burma, Myanmar:
Pro-democracy crusader Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed disappointment that governments were calling her country Myanmar, a name chosen by its military rulers, rather than Burma.
"I shall always refer to this country as Burma, until the Burmese people decide what they want it to be called,'the opposition leader said after meeting the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, in the capital Naypyidaw.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and New Zealand governments recently officially recognised the name Myanmar as the country continues democratic reforms after decades of military rule.
11:28 Two deaths and a common chorus:
People welcomed and were also forced to revel in Kasab's hanging just as they mourned Thackeray and were forced to grieve too. Read the opinion piece on the Hindu by Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the former Governor of West Bengal and the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. Read
11:20 David vs Goliath: Hamas has survived two wars with Israel:
While on Gaza, read this report from the Washington Post.
A week of bombardment by Israel has pulverized government buildings and militant weapons stores, and left 161 Palestinians dead. But the Gaza Strip's Hamas leadership has emerged stronger than ever, Palestinians in Gaza said Thursday. Here you go.
11:15 India eyes Israel's Iron Dome to counter Pak, puppets:
In other news: As Fajr V rockets rained down on Israel from battleground Gaza for a week, many Indian defense planners were keeping a close watch on the performance of Israel's Iron Dome, which is probably the only deterrent to these homegrown short-range missiles. It was not just out of curiosity regarding one of the most effective systems against rockets, but also because of the possibility of India acquiring an indigenous version of Iron Dome. Read
the report on the TOI.
11:12 Day 2 of Parl: Baith jaiiye, slogans, adjournment :
Both Houses of Parliament have been adjourned till noon. In one year, Parliament runs for 80 days during sessions.
During the Monsoon session, after repeated adjournments, former Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had said, "Each day,
business in both Houses is conducted for around six hours. If we take
into account the total annual expenditure on Parliament, then each
minute of running the House costs Rs.
11:02 Day 2 of Parliament begins. PM Manmohan Singh introducing the names of the new ministers. Dr Shashi Tharoor, MoS HRD has the widest grin.
10:52 Day 2 of Parliament today:
Parliament set to begin in less than 15 minutes. The first day yesterday was a washout with both houses adjourned by 2 pm over the SC/ST reservation bill and FDI on retail. Proceedings saw the usual chorus of slogans, and "baith jaiye" from the Speaker.
In the Lok Sabha
this is what will be taken up.
1. Prevention of Money-Laundering (Amendment) Bill, 2011
2. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2011
3. Private Members' Bills Rajya Sabha
1. The North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Amendment Bill, 2012
2. Private Members' Bills
10:45 'Challenge of society is crushing machines that produce Kasab':
More on the execution of Ajmal Kasab on Wednesday. Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has said "crushing machines' that produced men like Ajmal Kasab remained a challenge before the society."
Kasab showed no signs of remorse even during the trial. He was a monster who deserved the death sentence. I feel there is no need for jubilation, chest-thumping or rejoicing. What remains a challenge before society is crushing machines that produce men like Kasab,' Chavan said. Read
10:40 Off death row, after loss of 16 years:
If appetite for capital punishment has been whetted in the country, Padshah Begum's experience today should serve as a timely note of caution.
The 60-year-old lady in Srinagar received word this afternoon that Delhi High Court has taken her son off death row because "serious lapses" marked the police investigation into a blast in the capital in 1996. She is no stranger to such news: two years ago, her eldest son was also acquitted in the same case. Her relief then did not last long as her third son was sentenced to death a few days later. Read
10:05 MNS and RPI's memorial battle:
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, led by Raj Thackeray, has reportedly sought a memorial for Raj's uncle and late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackarey at Indu Mills in central Mumbai.
The demand by the MNS is unlikely to excite Sena's new-found ally Republican Party of India or its chief Ramdas Athawale, who had sought a memorial for B R Ambedkar at the same venue.
10:02 Kasab and Thackeray: The common chorus:
While some were forced to 'grieve' for late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, some were forced to 'celebrate' the hanging of terrorist Ajmal Kasab.
Former governor of West Bengal Gopal Krishna Gandhi writes about the common link between the two deaths that shook India up.
09:59 Manipur highway blockade lifted: The Kuki State Demand Committee has agreed to lift the highway blockade in Manipur after holding talks with Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam.
Gaikhangam assured the committee that the state government will try to initiate political dialogue with Kuki rebel outfits.
09:57 Cameron warms up to Narendra Modi:
While the United Kingdom's decision to suspend aid to India has attracted enough media attention, the decision of the David Cameron-led administration to warm up to controversial Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has not been talked about much.
08:31 CAG official questions 2G spectrum loss report:
Giving another twist to the 2G spectrum allocation controversy, a former comptroller and auditor general official has questioned the CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
"After completing the audit of ministry of telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect. My report did not contain any loss figure," said former director general of CAG R P Singh.
03:48 Khamenei lets Ahmadinejad off the hook:
Spurred by Iran's supreme leader, Iran's parliament has backed off plans to bring president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the body for questioning about the faltering economy.
"Up to this point, the plan to question the president has been positive because of the sense of responsibility of parliament and the readiness of government officials," said Grand Ayatolla Ali Khamenei, according to the Mehr news agency. "But if this issue goes any further, it will be what the enemies want, and so I ask the honorable representatives not to continue with it."
02:45 Egypt's Morsi grants himself sweeping new powers:
Mr Morsi has decreed that all decisions he has made since coming into office, and all decisions he will make until a new constitution is passed, will not be subject to appeal or review by any court.
He has also ordered that no court can dissolve the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly which is now drafting a new constitution.
And he gave the body - which was due to issue a draft constitution in December - two extra months to come up with a charter, that will then be put to a referendum.
02:07 Ahmadinejad: Israel desire to attack Iran 'childish':
Israel has a "childish" desire to attack Iran and Tehran is capable of defending itself, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday.
"They wish to hurt the Iranian nation. They are waiting for the chance. They know that Iran does not attack anybody and they know that Iran knows how to defend itself," he told a news conference in the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
01:47 Winners and losers from Gaza fighting:
After eight days of the fiercest fighting in years, a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers could usher in a new era of relations between the bitter foes.
The renewed quiet on both home fronts raises questions about what those involved gained, and lost, from the fighting and its aftermath.
Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel secured an agreement to stop the persistent rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel without launching a ground invasion into Gaza or losing the support of its international allies.
01:12 Rebel leader in Uganda for Congo crisis talks:
he political leader of a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo flew to Uganda Thursday for talks with that country's president, two days after his group took over a key city in the eastern part of the DRC.
M23 leader Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero was summoned to Kampala by President Yoweri Museveni, who is hosting a conference of regional leaders Saturday aimed at ending the crisis in the DRC, according to an M23 source close to Lugerero.
00:42 Iran says Gaza truce shows Israel 'weakening':
Israel's acceptance of a truce in Gaza shows the Jewish state is "increasingly weakening," a senior aide to Iran's supreme leader said today, reaffirming support for the anti-Israel resistance.
"Accepting defeat (only) after eight days shows the Zionist regime is increasingly weakening," Saeed Jalili, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and a close aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a statement published by state broadcaster IRIB. He also congratulated the Palestinians on the truce, saying: "It shows the resistance is getting stronger on a daily basis."
00:12 EU leaders gird for budget brawl:
European Union leaders brandished demands and threats as they arrived at their summit here Thursday to get a deal on the bloc's budget, with the U.K. leading a large, diverse pack of malcontents who talked down hopes of agreement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron set the tone Thursday morning by telling reporters he was "not happy at all" with the proposals on the table and vowed to fight to get the best deal for his country. Shortly after, his Dutch counterpart and close ally,Mark Rutte, said he carried a metaphorical "loaded gun in my pocket" in case his wishes weren't met.