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Gaza damage to cost $1.2 bln: Hamas spokesman

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November 25, 2012


21:38  Tight security in Mum on 26/11 terror attack eve:   Security has been tightened all across the city on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack, police said today.

The lone caught 26/11 terrorist, Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, was executed at Yerawada prison in Pune on November 21.

The security has also been tightened after the Pakistan Taliban said they would attack Indian targets to avenge the 'killing' of Kasab, sources said. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan had said that the outfit would mount attacks 'in India and anywhere' to avenge the hanging of Kasab.
21:02  Gaza damage to cost $1.2 bln: Hamas spokesman:  AP reports: Israel's eight-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip has caused more than $1.2 billion in direct and indirect damages, a spokesman for the Hamas government said today.

"The total cost of damages caused by the Israeli aggression is $1.245 billion," Taher al-Nunu told reporters in Gaza City. He said direct damage caused by more than a week of Israeli aerial bombardment had cost $545 million while indirect damages added up to some $700 million.

20:49  Kamal Nath, a crucial player for FDI in retail voting:  Union Minister Kamal Nath has emerged as the crucial player for the success of FDI in retail voting issue in Parliament. Our correspondent from New Delhi takes a look at his Monday appointments.

 According to a source, eight senior personal assistants have been working overtime to assist the minister.

This is Nath's Monday schedule as claimed by his personal staff members: 

8.30 am: Nath to meet the Congress chief whip and three Union ministers.   10.30 am:  Nath has appointment with two senior leaders of the opposition.   11:00 am: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

 (If the houses are adjourned, prepare and exchange notes for the all-party meeting) 

Nath will preside over the all-party meeting. He will also brief Prime Minister manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi about the meeting.

Nath is then expected  to meet Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar to express the views of the UPAII on the FDI issue. He has fixed up three meetings in the late evening with supporting parties of the UPAII.

According to a source, he is also getting briefings from political leaders and also senior intelligence officials. The source said that his acquaintances with leaders of the opposition would also come in handy for his success in floor coordination.
20:37  Gadkari to be replaced in February?:  The buzz heard in the BJP headquartes that the RSS has set up a panel of three names-- Ram Naik, Shanta Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad in the event of party president Nitin Gadkari not getting second term

"One of these three would make it to the post," said a highly-placed source, and added,"This will happen in February when Gadkari completes his term.
20:34  BJP suspends Jethmalani for anti-party activities :  According to media reports, the BJP has initiated proceedings to expel senior party leader Ram Jethmalani from the party.

Jethmalani has in the last few days openly taken on the party, including on the appointment of the new CBI chief, as also demanding the resignation of Nitin Gadkari as the BJP president over allegations of corruption.

More details are awaited.
20:03  Gogoi failed to punish 'secret killers' : BJP:  BJP Assam unit President Sarbananda Sonowal today accused Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi of "failing" to take steps against the perpetrators of 'secret killings'. 

"The ruling Congress has criticised the erstwhile Asom Gano Parishad (AGP) government under Prafulla Kumar Mahanta down the years for being involved in such killings, there have been so many probes but till now the culprits have not been identified which is a failure of the government, which has been in power for last three terms", Sonowal told a felicitation programme at Chabbua in upper Assam.
19:57  Egypt's Brotherhood backs Mursi:  Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood today called for nationwide demonstrations in support of Islamist President Muhammed Mursi, who has assumed sweeping powers in confrontation with the judiciary, as the deeply-polarised country braced for more clashes.

The day started with clashes in the morning between liberals who oppose Mursi's decisions and have been camped out in the iconic Tahrir square since Friday and his supporters who tried to burn the sit-in tents down.
19:14  BJP behind Narendra Modi: Arun Jaitley:   Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley today said that since so many leaders have campaigned in Gujarat, it indicates that the entire BJP is behind Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.

"Many BJP leaders are going to address rallies. This is a indication that the entire party is standing behind Gujarat BJP and Narendrabhai. We are here to give our party a historic victory," Jaitley said.

BJP has organised 87 public rallies in the state today and tomorrow in which leaders will campaign for phase one of the poll.
19:00  Jethmalani challenges BJP to take action:  A belligerent BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, who attacked the party for its criticism on the appointment of the new CBI director, today challenged the party leadership to take action against him for his stand on the issue.

"If there is any action taken against me, I will welcome it but I don't think anyone has the guts to take any action against me," he told reporters.
18:24  Centre fails to get firm assurance from DMK on FDI:  Ahead of a crucial all party meeting tomorrow in Delhi, the Centre today failed to get a firm assurance from its key ally DMK on FDI in multi-brand retail.

This emerged clear after a 90-minute meeting Congress emissary Ghulam Nabi Azad had with DMK chief M Karunanidhi in a bid to take the southern ally on board to counter opposition demand for a discussion on the issue in Parliament under rules that entail voting.

Observing that his visit was to obtain the views of the DMK chief on discussion about voting "if any and whenever it takes place in Parliament," Azad said, "I must be candid enough to say that he (Karunanidhi) has lot of reservations about FDI in retail sector."
17:33  PAC suggested way to calculate losses: RP Singh :  Keeping the controversy alive, former CAG official R P Singh today said that the Public Accounts Committee did suggest one of the methodologies to the CAG to calculate the losses due to 2G spectrum allocation which were pegged at Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the final report.

Dismissing reports that he had gone back on his statement, Singh said after he had given his draft report on the 2G scam in 2010, the PAC, under Murli Manohar Joshi, had shown interest in the loss figures and had suggested one of the methodologies that led to calculation of loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

He said evidence to this effect was also in a note prepared by R B Sinha, director general (report central) in the CAG.
17:09  CBI issue: Shatrughan endorses Jethmalani's view:   After supporting Ram Jethmalani and Yashwant Sinha's demand of resignation by Nitin Gadkari as the Bharatiya Janata Party chief, party leader Shatrughan Sinha on Sunday sided with Jethmalani again on appointment of Ranjit Sinha as new Central Bureau of Investigation director, saying there was no ground to initiate disciplinary action against the lawyer-turned politician.

"Ranjit Sinha's appointment as the new CBI director has been done in a fair and transparent manner...any controversy over the issue is baseless," Shatrughan Sinha, BJP Lok Sabha member of Parliament from Patna Sahib, told PTI.
16:57  UPA 'backed out' on its promise on FDI in retail: Left :   The Left parties today accused the UPA government of 'flagrantly backing out' from its assurance that a decision on FDI in retail would be taken only after arriving at a consensus with political parties.

They termed as 'unilateral and dictatorial' the government's move of opening the multi-brand retail sector for foreign investment. In a joint Convention of CPI and CPI (M) units of Punjab and Haryana here, the speakers decried the Congress leadership for 'flagrantly backing out from its own assurance'.
16:43  Alok Joshi to be new RAW chief:    Senior Indian Police Service officer Alok Joshi will be the new chief of the Research and Analysis Wing and Syed Asif Ibrahim will be the next Director of Intelligence Bureau, the first Muslim to head it with four officers senior to him having been shifted out.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cleared the name of Joshi, a 1976 batch officer from Haryana cadre, to succeed Sajeev Tripathi as chief of Research and Analysis Wing, an organisation entrusted with the task of gathering external intelligence.

Joshi has served in Intelligence Bureau and Haryana police with key operations in Nepal and Pakistan to his credit.
15:43  Slight intensity quake jolts western Tripura:  A slight intensity earthquake shook parts of western Tripura today. The quake, which struck at 11:32 am, was measured 4.2 on the Richter Scale, the India Meteorological Department said.

The epicentre of the quake was located at 23.7 degrees north on the latitude and 91.5 degrees east on the longitude.
15:13  IAF to replace Avro aircraft soon:  The Indian Air Force will soon be phasing out the old Avro aircraft and have sought a request for proposal, a senior IAF official said today.

The Avro aircraft will be replaced with modern ones. A request for proposal as been sought by the authorities, Air Marshal Jagdish Chandra, Air Officer in-Commanding in-Chief of IAF Maintenance Command, told reporters on the sidelines of an air show at Sonegaon Airbase today.

Similarly, the Sukhoi-30 aircraft, which is overhauled by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited exclusively, will be joined by the IAF's Base Repair Depot, Nashik in the work, the air marshal said.
15:03  1993 Mumbai riots: 20 years on:  Siddharth Bhatia writes for the Asian Age: In less than two weeks or so from now, Mumbai will be observing a grisly anniversary, the 20th anniversary of the worst riots to hit the city in living memory.

For several weeks Bombay, as it was then known, had burnt as rampaging mobs went on a wild killing spree. Entire neighbourhoods were gutted and whole families were wiped out. Less remembered is the fact that tens of thousands of residents left the city for ever.

These included not just the poor, who lost everything, but also professionals who could not come to terms with the mayhem. For them, the riots demolished the city's ethos and values and turned it into a cauldron of hate and fear.

Read the full article here
14:44  Irish daily editor resigns over topless Kate pics:  The editor of an Irish daily that carried topless pictures of a sunbathing Kate Middleton has resigned in the wake of the controversy that had outraged the British royal family. 

Michael O'Kane, the editor of the Irish Daily Star had been suspended from his position in September while the tabloid carried an internal probe into the tabloid's decision to reprint the pictures.

The pictures of Kate and Prince William on a private holiday in France were first printed by the French magazine Closer and were later reproduced by several European publications, including the Irish Daily Star.
14:32  Kejriwal needs to prove his mettle: Digvijaya:  IBNLive reports: According to Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party will have to first win the Assembly elections for it to be taken seriously by the grand old party of India. Digvijaya, when asked whether the AAP would have any effect on the Congress, lampooned the anti-corruption activist and said, "Let Mr Arvind Kejriwal get elected as an MLA or an MP or as a municipal corporator first.

"The mammoth reformatory effort undertaken by Kejriwal took concrete shape on Saturday after the mega meet consisting of over 300 activists finally chose a name for his new political party. Aam Aadmi Party will have no high command and will be of and for the common man, Kejriwal said later.

Read the story here
13:54  J&K government imposes ban on Muharram:  The government of Jammu and Kashmir have imposed a ban Muharram processions on Sunday and restrictions in parts of Srinagar and tightened security arrangements in other Shia-dominated areas of the valley.

Section 144 that prohibits assembly of more than four persons is in force in Srinagar, and those defying the orders would be dealt with strictly, said an official.

The ban on Muharram processions has been in place since the eruption of turmoil in Kashmir in 1989.
13:49  Clash between Cong, TDP workers; 15 injured:  Tension prevailed in Gollapalem village in Garividi mandal of Vizianagaram district following a clash between Telugu Desam and Congress workers in which 15 members from both sides were injured this morning.

A small altercation at a tea shop allegedly set off the clash in the village, police said. Eight TDP men and seven Congress workers sustained injuries in the incident, police said adding that they were admitted to district government hospital in Vizianagaram where four of them were stated to be serious.

Security has been posted in the village to maintain law and order and the situation is under control, police claimed.
13:27  I K Gujral stable but critical:  The condition of former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, who is admitted to the Medicity Medanta Hospital here with a lung infection, is 'stable but critical'.

Gujral, 92, who was admitted to the hospital on November 19, is still on the ventilator. He was on dialysis for over a year now and had suffered a serious chest infection some days ago.
12:38  New seating for TMC MPs in LS likely from tomorrow:  MPs of Trinamool Congress, once a UPA ally, are expected to be seated in the Opposition benches in the Lok Sabha from tomorrow.

In fact, a lot of changes in the seating arrangements are on the cards with the inclusion of 17 MPs into the government a month back and removal of a few ministers. TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay told PTI that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has assured him that the new seating arrangements would be in place by tomorrow.

The 19-member group, which was part of the Congress-led UPA till just two months back, has already told the Lok Sabha Secretariat that its seating arrangement needed to be changed as it was no longer in the ruling alliance.
12:19  Murder accused shot in court room:  A murder accused was shot at Bilaspur district court in Chhattisgarh, police said today. Kamal Dhuri, an accused in Dhuripara double murder case, was seriously injured in the attack yesterday while one of the assailants was arrested soon afterwards, the police said.

The assailants were identified as - Rajasingh Thakur, who was arrested, and Shekharsingh, who absconded. 

Bilaspur SP Ratanlal Dangi told Bhasha-PTI that the incident took place in the court of additional district judge Mansoor Ahmed during the recess period.
12:13  I wasn't put up by Congress: R P Singh:   Former CAG official R P Singh, who has stirred a controversy, has rejected the allegations that the Congress has put him up to defend the government on the audit report on 2G spectrum allocation which had estimated the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

"I don't think it has any substance," he told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate when asked about the charge that he has been put up by the Congress.

Singh said he has no connection with the UPA government nor he was having any interaction with it. "Whatever I have said is not politically motivated and (my conscience) is very clear on that account," he added.

Singh said he would have earned the 'wrath' of his then boss Vinod Rai if he had not signed the final audit report on 2G spectrum which pegged presumptive loss of the airwaves auction at Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
11:20  All party meet on Parl stalemate over FDI tomorrow:  Faced with a deadlock in Parliament over FDI in retail, Government has convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi tomorrow as the Left and the Right have remained adamant on discussion under a rule that entails voting. 

Convened by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath, the meeting comes at a time when the first two days of the winter session last week saw Parliament being paralysed on the issue.

The stalemate has continued since the start of the session on November 22 with the government showing no signs of yielding to the opposition demand.
11:03  Ponty murder: Gun found at Namdhari's farmhouse:  NDTV reports: A day after the Delhi Police claimed that liquor baron Ponty Chadha's aide Sukhdev Singh Namdhari admitted to shooting at Mr Chadha's brother Hardeep, they have today recovered a gun that was used in the shootout from Mr Namdhari's farmhouse in Bazpur, Uttarakhand.

A shootout at a South Delhi farmhouse on November 17 had left both the Chadha brothers dead. Mr Namdhari, who was recently sacked as the Uttarakhand minorities commission chairman, had fired three rounds at Hardeep, the police claims.
11:01  Life sentence means jail term for entire life: SC:   Clearing a misconception on life term imprisonment, the Supreme Court in a significant ruling, has held that life imprisonment implies a jail term for convict's entire life.

The apex court also said that its Constitution bench's landmark judgement of 1980 on criterion for imposing death penalty needs a 'fresh look' as there has been 'no uniformity' in following its principles on what constitutes 'the rarest of rare" case's.

"It appears to us there is a misconception that a prisoner serving a life sentence has an indefeasible right to be released on completion of either fourteen years or twenty years imprisonment. The prisoner has no such right. "

A convict undergoing life imprisonment is expected to remain in custody till the end of his life, subject to any remission granted by the appropriate government," said a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Madan B Lokur.
10:46  Factory fire kills over 100 in Bangladesh:  Over 100 people were killed overnight after a fire engulfed a multi-storey garment factory on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, officials said today.

The fire broke out in the ground-floor warehouse of Tazreen Fashion factory,30 km north of Dhaka, last evening, trapping hundreds of workers on the upper floors.
10:42  Day before hanging, a tip to US :  The Telegraph says: The prime minister and the UPA's chairperson may have been unaware of Ajmal Kasab's imminent hanging to death last Wednesday, if the Union home minister is to be believed. But Sushil Kumar Shinde's self-touted 'police background' did not come in the way of the 'world's policeman' being told ahead of the death sentence on the Pakistani terrorist being carried out.

Read the article here


00:10  'Gangnam Style' most watched YouTube video EVER:  
South Korean pop sensation Psy's "Gangnam Style" has become YouTube's most-watched video of all time, registering more than 803 million views to overtake "Baby" by Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber. 

The 34-year-old rapper has rocketed to fame since his "Gangnam Style" video -- in which he performs his now famous horse-riding dance -- became a worldwide hit following its release in July.

Earlier this month the song ousted Jennifer Lopez's dance hit "On the Floor" from second place on YouTube, and on Saturday it overtook Bieber's hit. In the evening, it had racked up 803,761,928 views against 803,658,345 for "Baby".

Psy's song, which is a tribute to an upmarket neighbourhood in Seoul, has topped charts from Britain to Australia and has been name-checked by global notables, including US President Barack Obama and UN chief Ban Ki-moon. 

00:10  Hamas No 2 rejects Gaza arms halt:  
Gaza's ruling Hamas will not stop arming itself, the No 2 in the Palestinian group has said, signaling tough challenges ahead for indirect negotiations between Israel and the Islamist militants on a new border deal for Gaza.

The talks are being brokered by Egypt, which also helped forge a cease-fire deal that ended eight days of Israel-Gaza fighting earlier this week.

The truce went into effect late Wednesday and has largely held. Residents in Gaza said Israel has begun easing some border restrictions, allowing fishermen to head further out to sea and permitting farmers inspect land in a former no-go zone.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas' top leader in exile Khaled Mashaal, said talks on a further easing of restrictions are to be held in Cairo on Monday. Hamas and Israel do not meet directly and the indirect talks are held through Egyptian intermediaries.
00:09  Top headlines this hour:  Kejriwal sets off with Swaraj in heart, Aam Aadmi in mind

Modi set to sweep Gujarat; No Congress revival: Poll

I was made to sign on 2G audit report: R P Singh

Asif Ibrahim to be new Intelligence Bureau chief

Former PM I K Gujral on ventilator 

Ponty case: Namdhari shot Hardeep, say police

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