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Gujarat Congress leader joins BJP; gets ticket

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November 28, 2012


23:36  Gujarat Congress leader joins BJP; gets ticket:  Former Gujarat Congress vice-president Girish Parmar today resigned from his party and joined BJP, which immediately rewarded him by giving ticket from Danilimbda Assembly constituency.

Parmar resigned from the post after his name did not figure in Congress' first list of candidates for the next month's Assembly polls. The Congress has fielded Shailesh Parmar from the Danilimbda seat which falls under Ahmedabad district.

Parmar, a vocal supporter of Dalit rights, said, "to empower Dalit community, it is necessary to capture power. I have joined BJP as Congress is not interested in real empowerment of the community." 

Parmar this morning also resigned from the primary membership of Congress and joined the ruling party in the evening. His name figures in the BJP's third list of candidates declared tonight.
22:53  CM has become intolerant to criticism: Biman Bose:  Left front Chairman Biman Bose today said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has become intolerant to criticism.

"She has become intolerant to any criticism. She is not listening to anyone's words. This does not augur well for a democracy," Bose said at a CPI-M youth wing meeting at Kamarhati, in the outskirts of Kolkata. "Her senior party leaders are also saying this now. But we had been stating the same thing for quite some time," Bose said referring to the recent comments by disgruntled minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya.
22:16  Obama greets Sikhs on Guru Nanak Jayanti :  US President Barack Obama today greeted the Sikh community on the birth anniversary of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev, as he remembered the innocent lives lost in a Wisconsin Gurdwara shooting early this year.        

"I send my best wishes to all those here in America and around the world who are observing the anniversary of birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh guru," Obama said.        

"As always, this is a time to celebrate the principles of equality, respect, service and interfaith cooperation that are the core of the Sikh faith, and to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Sikh Americans make to our country everyday," he said in his message on the occasion.
21:14  No Muslim candidate in BJP list for Gujarat polls:   There is not a single Muslim name in the three list of candidates released by the BJP for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections. 

The party will declare the candidates for the five remaining seats on Thursday.

The five seats are -- Gandhinagar-North, Gandhinagar-South, Prantij, Dahod and Dahegaum.

Click here for the first listsecond list and third list!
21:13  China to grow at 7.5% despite global downturn :  China today said it is confident of achieving a GDP growth target of 7.5 per cent despite the global economic downturn and steady fall in exports.        

Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said the country is poised for an annual gross domestic product growth rate of 7.5 per cent, consistent with the predictions made at the beginning of 2012.        

Chen said China's economy has advanced this year despite global economic downturns.
21:11  OECD's growth forecast completely wrong: Montek:  Describing OECD's 4.4 per cent economic growth forecast for India in the current fiscal as "completely wrong", Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said the think-tank does not know what it is doing.        

"I was thinking of telling OECD that I just don't think that they know what they are doing," he said.

Admitting that 2012-13 was not going to be a good year, Ahluwalia said, "The OECD estimate is completely wrong."
21:09  BJP fields Amit Shah for Gujarat polls:  The BJP has fielded former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, who is facing charges in the Sohrabuddin encounter case, from Naranpura constituency for the state assembly polls.
21:08  2 Indians involved in Kabul Bank fraud case: Report :  Fraudulent lending and embezzlement by officials, including at least two Indian citizens, led to the failure of Afghanistan's Kabul Bank, resulting in the misuse of about US$ 935 million Afghan public money, according to an independent report released today.        

The 87-page Report of the Public Inquiry into the Kabul Bank Crisis, prepared by the Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, was released in Kabul.        

As per the report, the bank's controlling shareholders, key supervisors and managers led a sophisticated operation of fraudulent lending and embezzlement, mainly through a loan-book scheme.
21:07  British media regulation must change: PM:  The current British media regulation regime was "unacceptable" and "needs to change", Prime Minister David Cameron said today, as he received a major judicial report into press standards following the phone-hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch's tabloid.    

"The status quo, I would argue, does not just need updating -- the status quo is unacceptable and needs to change," Cameron said while receiving the Leveson report into media standards on the eve of its official publication.     

"This government set up Leveson because of unacceptable practices in parts of the media and a failed regulatory system," he said.
20:26  Indefinite curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar:  Authorities today imposed an indefinite curfew in areas under nine police stations in Srinagar following sectarian clashes in the old city.        

"The district magistrate of Srinagar has imposed curfew in nine police station areas of the city," a police spokesman said.        

Curfew has been imposed in Nowhatta, M R Gunj, Safakadal, Khanyar, Rainwari, Nigeen, Lal Bazaar, Zadibal and Parimpora police station areas, he said.
20:24  FP's praise for Nitish a publicity stunt: Lalu :  RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today termed as a 'publicity stunt' the listing of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by a US magazine among top 100 global thinkers.       

"Such things are nothing but publicity material, far from the truth," he told reporters in his reaction to the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine naming Kumar among its top 100 global thinkers.        

Aung San Suu Kyi, pro-democracy leader of Myanmar, tops the list and the country's president Thein Sein, author Salman Rushdie and Malala Yousufzai, the rights activist of Pakistan who was attacked by the Taliban, are others mentioned in it.
20:22  TCS bags multi-million pound contract from UK:  Tata Consultancy Services today said it has won a multi-million pound, multi-year contract from the Home Office of the UK government.        

Under the contract, TCS will manage the technology needs and support services of the newly formed Disclosure and Barring Service at the Home Office, a key department of the UK government, TCS said in a statement.        

TCS will implement a programme to transform DBS, including the introduction of electronic applications and improved online services to enhance user experience.
20:21  AQ Khan's party registered to contest Pak election:  Disgraced nuclear scientist A Q Khan's Tehrik-e-Tahaffuz Pakistan is among 19 new parties registered by the election Commission to contest the general election scheduled for early next year.        

Khan, 76, was placed under house arrest in 2004 after he confessed on state-run television to running a clandestine nuclear proliferation ring that provided technology and know-how to countries like Libya and North Korea.       

However, he is regarded as a hero in Pakistan for his role in the programme to develop nuclear weapons.
20:20  Egypt: Pastor sentenced to death over anti-Islam film:  Seven Coptic Christians and a controversial pastor based in the US were today sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court for their role in producing an anti-Islam film that triggered violent protests across the Muslim world.    

The Cairo Criminal Court handed down the death penalty to the seven Egyptian Christians, including the film's maker.        

The American pastor, Terry Jones, who heads a small congregation in Florida, was also sentenced to death.     

They were sentenced for their role in producing the blasphemous movie, which led to widespread violence across the world.
19:06  Jindal extortion case: Two-day police custody for Zee editors:   The senior Zee Group editors arrested in the alleged extortion case filed by Jindal Group have been sent to a two-day police custody by a Delhi court.
Zee News has demanded the immediate release of its two senior journalists -- Sudhir Chaudhury and Sameer Ahluwalia -- arrested in an extortion case filed by Congress MP Naveen Jindal, alleging that the police action was "illegal" and "designed for something else".

Denying allegations of attempt to extort Rs 100 crore from Jindal Power and Steel Ltd for not airing news reports linking the company to the coal block allocation scam, Zee News CEO Alok Agrawal accused the UPA-II of "intimidating" the media because of its "mistakes".
19:01  Kerala police arrest another rapist father:  In yet another shocker, police in Kerala have arrested a man on charges of sexually abusing his two minor daughters for the past two years. The plight of the two girls -- aged 13 and 15 -- came to light following a complaint by the man's wife, police said.

The man, a hotel employee, arrested near Kadurthuruthi in Kottayam district yesterday, has been charged under sections 376 (rape) and 377 (unnatural offences) of the IPC. The mother, who had just returned from work, was informed by the crying girls about the assault after which she informed the police.
18:58  Raut, Joshi eyeing No. 2 post in Sena: Nitesh Rane:  With no sign yet of ardent Shiv Sainiks willing to budge from the spot where Bal Thackeray was cremated, the son of a senior Maharashtra minister today sought to attribute personal motive of top Sena leaders for the clamour over the late patriarch's memorial.

"Looks like Sanjay Raut and Manohar Joshi are eyeing the executive president post, once Uddhav Thackeray takes over as Sena Pramukh! No wonder the sudden love for Saheb's memorial!," Nitesh, son of Industry Minister Narayan Rane tweeted.

Amid the controversy over Thackeray's memorial, many Shiv Sainiks continue to guard the place at Shivaji Park where their leader was cremated.
18:54  London Mayor backs India's FDI decision on retail, insurance:  Visiting London Mayor Boris Johnson today backed the Indian government's decision to open up the insurance and mutil-brand retail sectors to FDI, saying it might augur well for the poor even as he suggested that India can experiment with more "openness".

"If a multiple-brand retailer can help people access food cheaply and securely with less anxiety about the price then again you are helping to increase, not diminish the wealth of some of the poorest people in the country," Johnson, who is leading a business delegation to India, said in his address at the Indian School of Business, here.
18:53  Sahara India acquires majority stake in New York's Plaza Hotel:  Sahara India is understood to have acquired 75 per cent stake in the Plaza Hotel in New York. Media reports said Subrata Roy-promoted Sahara paid USD 575 million for the 75 per cent take and the remaining 25 per cent is held by Kingdom Holding Co, a firm controlled by Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which manages the property, confirmed the change in the ownership but did not elaborate on the financial details of the transaction.
18:51  Top oncologist undergoes sentence in medical negligence case:  Top cancer surgeon and Padma Bhushan awardee Praful Desai has underwent simple imprisonment till the rising of the court and paid a compensation of Rs 50,000, in perhaps the oldest running case of medical negligence in the country. Desai, 80, served his sentence on November 20 after Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D D Deshmukh, recorded his willingness to undergo the punishment as his appeals in higher courts had been dismissed.

The sentence was handed down in July last year by the trial court and confirmed by the Bombay High Court on October 15 this year.
18:44  Again! Boy arrested for 'abusing' Raj Thackeray:   A 19-year-old Palghar resident, Sunil Vishwakarma, was arrested on Wednesday for writing a post abusing MNS chief Raj Thackeray on his Facebook page.

A mob of MNS workers gathered outside Vishwakarma's home and took him to the Palghar police station.

He has not been charged yet as police are seeking legal advice after their hasty decisions against two girls on November 17 for protesting shutdown in Mumbai for Bal Thackeray's funeral. -- Indian Express

18:02  TV reports say that two people have been injured in a grenade blast in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir. 
18:00  Olympics Assoc begins process to derecognise India:  The Indian Olympics Association has been given time till November 30 to explain position or face suspension. On November 23, the IOC wrote to the IOA informing it that a proposal to suspend the IOA will be presented to the IOC Executive Board at its next meeting on 4 and 5 December 2012, unless the current situation is rectified. Read more
17:53  Dilip Kumar tweets: I was kept indoors for a whole week due to a touch of fever. A strong Pathan cannot be kept indoors for long.
17:48  Singapore's first strike in 26 years peters out:  Singapore's first strike in 26 years petered out Wednesday with most of the Chinese bus drivers who had stopped working to demand higher pay reporting for duty.

State-linked transport operator SMRT said only six drivers failed to turn up during the morning shift, compared to a total of 171 on Monday, and the company was investigating why they were absent.

The Chinese drivers, who are not unionized and issued no strike declaration, told reporters on Monday they were protesting discrimination in pay because their Malaysian counterparts were getting higher wages for the same work.
17:44  Pirelli Calendar 2013: Not a nipple in sight :  Down boys. The world's most beautiful women, including Karlie Kloss, Petra Nemcova and a heavily pregnant Adriana Lima, cover up for photojournalist Steve McCurry's Pirelli Calendar. Read
17:34  BJP to raise army shortages issue in Parliament:  As Army chief Gen Bikram Singh prepares to brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the shortages faced by his force, BJP has decided to raise the issue in Parliament and demand answers from the government.

"We have come to know that Army chief Gen Bikram Singh is going to brief the prime minister on the shortage of arms and ammunition being faced by the army. I have given notice for moving a Calling Attention Motion to discuss the issue in the Rajya Sabha," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
17:27  They didn't just pluck your eyes out, Capt Saurabh Kalia,
They gouged out ours too...


Venky Vembu on Firstpost.com, in memory of Kargil's fallen hero. Read

Thirteen years on and still no justice for Kargil hero Lt Saurabh Kalia who was captured by Pakistan during the war in 1999. His mutilated body bearing torture marks was later sent to his family after 15 days. His father Dr NK Kalia, who approached the Supreme court, is now demanding that the court direct the Centre to move the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan.
17:21  UPA has the numbers to sail through on FDI issue: Lalu:   With DMK announcing support on FDI issue it is clear that UPA has sufficient numbers to 'sail through' voting on the issue in Parliament, RJD chief Lalu Prasad today said.

There was no reason for NDA to continue to stall Parliament as UPA coordination committee has approved discussion on FDI and also voting, he told newsmen here. "The decision on whether the discussion will held under rule 184 (entailing voting) or rule 193 (without voting) is the prerogative of the Speaker," he said.
17:18  French court delays ruling on Strauss-Kahn sex charges:  A French court has delayed a decision on whether to drop pimping charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn until December 19, prosecutors said today.

The appeals court in the northern town of Douai had been expected to rule today on a request from Strauss-Kahn's lawyers to stop a judicial inquiry into claims that he and associates arranged sex parties with prostitutes. The case is the last in a series of sex-related probes that the former International Monetary Fund chief and one-time presidential front-runner has faced in France.
17:15  The red sea in Australia:  Several of Sydney's famous beaches, including Bondi, are closed to swimmers on Wednesday as red algae covers waters. Experts say the noctiluca algae can cause a rash on sensitive skin and depletes oxygen levels in the water, which can kill fish. It is thought to have been caused by a sudden rise in water temperature and humidity. Read
17:13  Milking: an udderly bizarre student trend:  First came planking, swiftly followed by Batmanning and owling. Now students are 'milking' -- pouring milk over themselves in public places. Read
17:07  'Modi has reasonable apprehension against Lokayukta':  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has "reasonable apprehension" on the appointment of Justice (retd) R A Mehta as Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal as the former judge had made public statements against the state government prior to his appointment, an NGO has told the Supreme Court. Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), through senior advocate Soli J Sorabjee, cited alleged instances to suggest that Justice Mehta would not be able to excercise his functions "objectively" and with "impartiality".
16:49  UN votes to ban genital mutilation:  In a historic vote Tuesday, the U.N. General Assembly's human-rights committee unanimously voted for a global ban on female genital mutilation (FGM). The resolution calls on the U.N.'s 193 member states to protect women and girls "from this form of violence," arguing that FGM is a serious threat to their psychological, sexual, and reproductive health. Read
16:44  100 Notable Books of 2012:  The year's notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Read
16:42  Rashmi Bansal, Ajit Balakrishnan discuss the Information Age:  Watch bestselling writer Rashmi Bansal discuss the Information Age and its many challenges with Rediff.com CEO Ajit Balakrishnan, author of the acclaimed new book, The Wave Rider. Don't miss this event, which will be live streamed at 3 pm IST on Thursday, November 29. More
16:37  Pak court stays Bhagat Singh renaming:  A Pakistani court today extended by three weeks a stay on a move to rename a traffic roundabout in Lahore after legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore High Court extended the stay after the Punjab government and the Lahore city district government failed to submit their responses to a petition challenging the renaming of Fawara Chowk at Shadman after Bhagat Singh.

The Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, a movement launched by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, had filed the petition against a move by authorities to rename the roundabout.
16:30  New York Times wants ace political predictor Nate Silver on staff:  New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has said that the newspaper wanted to keep famed political statistician Nate Silver, polling expert who accurately predicted the Election Day results, on staff.

"We would love to have Nate continue to be part of the New York Times family and to expand on what he does,' Abramson said at Business Insider''s Ignite summit. "We know he began in sports anyway, so it is not an exclusively political product. I am excited to talk to Nate when he finishes his book tour about ways to expand that kind of reporting,' Politico quoted Abramson, as saying.
16:25  Why did Cong waste 4 costly days of Parl, asks BJP:  Taking a dig at the UPA government's announcement that it was not averse to discussion on FDI under any rule, BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu today asked the Congress to explain why it wasted four precious days of Parliament on the issue.

"Why did the government, particularly the Congress party, waste four precious days of Parliament?" Naidu asked.

"Indifference, incompetence, incoherence and indecision of the Congress-led UPA government is costing the country dearly," he told reporters here. Alleging that the Congress had failed to take its allies into confidence, Naidu said the party did not follow the "coalition dharma".
16:10  India to showcase Aakash-2 tablet at UN:  India will showcase the Aakash-2 tablet at the United Nations, amid clarification by the maker of the low-cost tablet over sourcing some parts from China. The tablet will be unveiled today in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of India's current Presidency of the Security Council. CEO of Datawind, maker of the tablet, Suneet Singh Tuli would give a presentation about the device.

The unveiling of the tablet at the UN comes even as Datawind said assembling and programming of the low-cost tablet has been done in India and only some main parts have been sourced from China.
15:42  Barack Obama depicted as Jesus Christ :  A painting featuring President Barack Obama in a Christ-like pose is getting poor reviews from some religious authorities, Fox News Radio reports.The painting by New York-based artist by Michael D'Antuono is titled The Truth and features Obama with a crown of thorns on his head, in a position that is reminiscent of the crucifixion. Read
15:37  China keen to fund Maha hospital if named after Dr Kotnis:  China has evinced interest in providing funds for modernisation of the government hospital in Vengurla in Sindhudurg district provided it is named after Dr Dwarkanath Shantaram Kotnis, one of five Indian physicians dispatched to China for medical assistance during the second Sino-Japanese war in 1938.

Besides being known for his dedication and perseverance, Dr Kotnis is regarded as an example for Sino-Indian friendship and collaboration. He continues to be revered by the Chinese people.
15:33  Gujarat Congress VP defects to BJP :  Just in: Former minister and vice president of the Gujarat Congress Girish Parmar is set to join the BJP. He is likely to be fielded from the Danilimda reserved seat.   Over 1,200 nominations have been found valid on scrutiny for the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat to be held in 87 constituencies on December 13, a senior Election Commission official has said.
15:21  How India failed to capitalise on Life of Pi:  Through his critically-acclaimed film Life of Pi, Taiwan-born director Ang Lee has appeared to have succeeded in doing what the Indian government has failed to achieve over more than a decade of tourism campaigns and promotion drives in China: rekindling Chinese interest in travelling to India and in Indian culture. Read

Pic: Satish Acharya's cartoon on Life of Pi. St Stephen's college allowed Life of Pi actor Suraj Sharma to write his exams after he had submitted his pending assignments 
15:14  N Korea missile test likely In next 3 weeks?:  A newly released satellite photo of North Korea indicates the country may be preparing for a long-range missile test in the next several weeks. Read
15:10  A Gandhian and a champion of Khadi:  The Khadi and Village Industries Commission, a statutory body formed by the government of India, has long been active in promoting khadi in India and overseas. Devendrakumar R. Desai, the 78-year-old chairman of the commission, spoke on khadi's future in a fast-changing retail market. Read
15:06  'Chinese audience should boo performers like Elton John' :  Taking exception to British rock star Elton John's move of dedicating his recent performance here to dissident Ai Weiwei, an official daily today said Chinese audience should "boo" western performers whenever they evoke issues sensitive to China.

Elton John and his band held a concert in Beijing on Sunday, during which time he suddenly announced that the show was dedicated to Ai Weiwei, the Global Times said in its editorial today. Besides being a noted dissident campaigning for human rights in China, Ai Weiwei is an artist, sculpture, architect involved in designing the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing for 2008 Olympics. He faced several cases instituted by security officials against him.
14:18  Farooq meets Karuna, thanks him for backing UPA on FDI issue:  Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today met DMK chief M Karunanidhi and thanked him for his support to the UPA coalition in Parliament. "I thank him for the support that he has given to UPA and in most of the things that are coming up in Parliament. We are very grateful to him", Abdullah said.

Asked whether the UPA government was on a strong wicket on the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail sector, he said "we are on a very strong wicket and on most of the other things coming up in Parliament, we are on a strong wicket".
14:13  Presiding officers should take any decision they want in the interest of running the Parliament, says Kamal Nath. This means the Speaker in the Lok Sabha and the chairperson in the Rajya Sabha.  
14:11  Truce? Govt agrees to voting on FDI next week:  So, the UPA government has been maintaining that it is not averse to a vote in Parliament on the FDI issue and would leave the decision to the Lok Sabha Speaker, it is reported to have agreed to a debate on the matter under Rule 184.
Under Rule 184, voting is held after a debate on an issue.
14:08  Possible truce? Debate on FDI in voting next week:  UPA-Opposition reaches a likely truce after Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath's meeting with Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley on the FDI in multi-brand retail. First, there will be a debate over FDI on retail under rules that allow voting next week.

Kamal Nath says all parties want Parliament to function, most parties want a debate and discussion, not voting. Kamal Nath will meet the Speaker again.
There will be a debate over FDI on voting on Tuesday and Wednesday. The UPA says its sure of numbers in case there is voting.
13:55  People have joined Palghar bandh willingly: Sena:  It's a total shutdown in Palghar today where the Shiv Sena has called for a bandh to protest against the suspension of two police officers who arrested two girls for their Facebook posts related to party founder Bal Thackeray's funeral. Around 500 security personnel are on duty in Palghar taluka of Thane district. "We are observing the bandh to protest against the suspension of the policemen in the case," said Sudhir Tamore, Shiv Sena's head in Palghar. Shiv Sena leader Prabhakar Raul added that, "People have joined the bandh willingly. The entire taluka is shut."

Pic: Shops and business establishments shut in the Sena-enforced bandh at Palghar. Pic: Jatin B Patil
13:39  Measuring the Indian penis:  Lunch time read:

A well-known British scientist, Richard Lynn, recently published a study that lists and compares the average erect penis lengths of men in 113 countries. His findings, which appeared in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, range from the large sizes of the Congolese (which at an average 7.1 inches rank No 1) to the lengths of South and North Koreans, which average a little more than half that figure (at 3.8 inches, the smallest).

Indians (yes, we were getting there) were part of the study too, but, with an average of just 4 inches, rank just above Koreans and Cambodians (3.9 inches), sharing the 110th spot with Thais (also 4 inches).
That's the story on Open.
13:29  Dhoni wins round 1: BCCI sidelines Eden pitch curator :  The pitch curator at Kolkata's Eden Gardens has been changed after he refused to prepare a rank turner for the third Test against England, as requested by Indian captain MS Dhoni.

Prabir Mukherjee, a veteran pitch curator who has prepared pitches for 14 Tests in the past, has been replaced by Ashish Bhowmick of the Tripura Cricket Association, who is also a member of the BCCI's Pitches Committee. Read the full report on NDTV.
13:20  This is what PTI has on the fire in Parliament house. The fire broke out in the Parliament Annexe this afternoon but no one was injured. The fire was reported from room number 78 around 12:30 pm. Six fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. The reason of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
13:16  Militant kills CRPF jawan in Srinagar:   CRPF jawan was today killed when suspected militants opened fire on a camp in Bemina locality of central Srinagar. Constable Praveen Singh Rajput was hit by a bullet in the chest after unidentified gunmen opened fire on being challenged by the jawan near the 73rd battalion camp here.

Rajput, a resident of Madhya Pradesh, was on sentry duty when he observed suspicious movement outside the camp at around 2:30 am, a CRPF spokesman said, adding the jawan challenged the persons who fired 5-6 rounds towards the camp prompting retaliation.

Rajput was hit in the chest and he succumbed to injuries on way to hospital, he said. The suspected militants fled the spot taking advantage of darkness, he said, adding a manhunt has been launched to nab them.
13:09  Pak answers India's missile dare: Launches Hatf:   AFP reports: Pakistan on Wednesday test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of 1,300 kilometres (800 miles), the military said. The military described the Hatf V Ghauri missile as a liquid fuel missile, which can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

It was Pakistan's eighth missile test so far this year and comes two months after its last test of a Hatf-VII with a range of 700 kilometres. Five of those tests were conducted within a few weeks after India in April successfully test fired the Agni V, which can deliver a one-tonne nuclear warhead anywhere in China, marking a major advance in its military capabilities.

India on November 23 successfully test-fired an indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile , capable of destroying a hostile ballistic missile, from a test range off the Odisha coast.
13:02  Can AAP really succeed, wonders Justice Hegde:  Former Karnataka Lokayukta and Team Anna member Justice N Santosh Hegde has raised doubts about the success of the party launched by Arvind Kejriwal.

"My only apprehension is how far will a political party survive because of the very many demands of the political system, these days. It requires a huge amount of money to elect nearly 546 Members of Parliament from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It is not going to be an easy job," he said.

"It is a good thing in principle, but in reality, can it succeed?" Hegde, a member of Team Anna of which Kejriwal was also a part two months ago, asked. He was asked how he expects Arvind Kejriwal's newly-launched 'Aam Aadmi Party' to perform.
12:56  Fire in Parliament House :  Just in: Reports coming in of a fire at Parliament House. Two fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. Parliament is not in session today due to Guru Nanak Jayanti. Details awaited.
12:35  36 Hours in Kolkata, India:  A must-read piece on the City of Joy on the New York Times. As the Bengalis say, fatafati. Have a look
12:27  How did jailed Mumbai attacks mastermind become a father?:  Four years down the road since the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the Indian authorities have posed a tricky question to their Pakistani counterpart: How did commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the former operational chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT) and the alleged architect of the 26/11 massacre, was able to father a child while in high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi since his arrest in December 2008? Read
12:20  All in the name of the one true faith :   We need to celebrate those that buck the stereotype, such as Malala, Toorpekai, and Ziauddin Yousufzai in Pakistan. But, by the same token, we also need to condemn blind adherence to tradition in the urban, civilised areas of the West as in the case of Savita Halappanavar's death, says T V R Shenoy. Read
12:18  Eight innovative philanthropists around the world:  The global face of philanthropy is changing. Donors no longer just open their wallets. They're actively involved in causes, use savvy business practices, and leverage what they give to achieve more good. Meet eight innovators. Read
12:16  Crib deaths return to haunt Didi, but she blames the parents :  The procession of crib deaths continues to haunt the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, as 24 infants died at a state-run hospital in Malda district in the past five days. Read more.
12:12  Guj polls: Only 16 women in fray on BJP, Cong tickets:  Only 16 women candiates have been fielded by the ruling BJP and opposition Congress for phase one of the Gujarat Assembly polls though both the parties back the Women's Reservation Bill that provides 33 per cent reservation.

While the BJP has fielded 11 women candidates, the Congress has named just five candidates for the 87 assembly seats that will go to polls on December 13 across Saurashtra, South Gujarat and four seats in western Ahmedabad district. The Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP), a new entrant into the political battlefield this year, headed by former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, has fielded only one woman candidate.
12:06  Leisure and longing in Mumbai:  Other reads: The story of Aram Nagar, whose houses went from being British barracks to bungalows of leisure. The story of how it became a hub for those wanting to make it in the movies and those at the helm of a new kind of Hindi cinema. And the story of how it may all disappear. Read
12:05   The Crime Branch has now asked Zee TV owner Subhash Goyal to join the probe.

Also read:  Jindal's Zee TV sting is a great favour to Indian media
11:34  Zee: Jindal's mom told us to play down Coalgate:  Naveen Jindal has maintained a studied silence since the arrests last evening, saying the case was sub judice. In October, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd had released tapes -- purportedly recorded in a sting operation -- alleging that Zee TV tried to blackmail the company and extort Rs 100 crore for not airing stories against it on coal block allocation. Read more

Zee TV's Alok Agarwal  now says that Naveen Jindal's mother pleaded with the channel to play down Coalgate. "The talks lasted around 5-6 hours but only a portion of the video has been released by Jindal. Delhi police is under political pressure to act against us," says Agarwal.

The YouTube video of the 'reverse' sting aired by Jindal. Watch
11:24  Zee: Journalists' arrest illegal, Jindal bribed us:  Zee News CEO Alok Agarwal addresses a press conference over the arrest of two senior journalists of Zee News last evening in connection with a sting operation that was carried out by steel tycoon and Congress MP Naveen Jindal who accused the channel of extortion.

Sudhir Chaudhary, the head of Zee News, and Samir Ahluwalia, the head of Zee Business, were arrested on Tuesday evening by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police following the registration of an extortion case about 45 days ago on a complaint by Jindal's company.

The MP has alleged that the channel had tried to extort Rs. 100 crore in exchange for not airing unfavourable stories linking him and his group to the recent coal scam. The journalists will be produced in a court in Saket today. Read more

Agarwal said that the journalists were arrested to deflect action against coal block allocation scam and that it was in fact Jindal who offered money to the editors to buy their silence. "The arrest of our journalists are illegal and Naveen Jindal tried to bribe Zee executives," insists Agarwal.
11:13  Eight houses of Dalits ransacked, set afire:  Eight houses of a Dalit colony at Pacharapalayam in Kurinjipadi block in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, were ransacked and set on fire by a mob on Tuesday. While three houses were completely burnt, five others were partially scorched. Read the report here.
11:11  Fire contained in office building in Mumbai:   A fire broke out in a building in Nariman Point area in south Mumbai this morning, fire brigade officials said. The fire incident took place in a office on the fifth floor of the Mittal Tower building, they said. Four fire engines and two tankers were rushed to the spot and fire was brought under control. No one was injured in the incident, they said, adding that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.
11:07  Dangerously Direct Transfers:  A little over 220 million Indians have got Aadhaar cards.  Aadhaar has biometry and Aadhaar has cards.  The way I understand it, Aadhaar cards are for residents of India, while subsequent National Popular Register (NPR) cards will be for Indians.  Direct cash transfers are now being touted as a game-changer and will be introduced from 1st January. Read
10:54  'Why I want to ask disturbing questions and say the unsaid':  "What happened in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district is not merely anti-Dalit caste hatred, but also the most vicious form of sexual oppression of women. Almost every single home was burnt and looted. I still withhold my tears because of the fear that weeping will rob me of my rightful anger, that emotional catharsis will lead to complacence," says poet Meena Kandasamy in this column exclusive to Rediff.com. Must read.
10:52  Killing fields of Manipur:  How it deals with dissenters and even rebels is a crucial test for a democracy. It cannot do what a totalitarian State does '"use guns to silence all dissent. Disturbing questions have long been raised about alleged abuses of State powers in Manipur. Read the Telegraph editorial
10:49  Mumbai dares to act on errant cops, Kolkata sits tight:  Mumbai has done in a little over a week what Calcutta has been refusing to do for months.Two police officers have been suspended and a magistrate has been transferred without explanation in Maharashtra, days after invoking a draconian provision in the information technology act to harass two young women. Read
10:46  Farewell, farewell but no welcome:  Stories abound about ministers in Delhi refusing to move out of their spacious bungalows long after losing their jobs. Now there is a variation on that theme '" an ambassador who is staying put despite retiring from the diplomatic service.The reluctance of Chitra Narayanan, India's ambassador in Switzerland since August 2008, to move from her post has caused an embarrassing logjam. Read
10:37  'What's wrong with bringing PM under Lokpal?':  There is nothing wrong in bringing the Prime Minister under the jurisdiction of Lokpal as like others he is also a public servant, former Supreme Court Judge and erstwhile Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde said today.

"What is wrong in the Lokpal having jurisdiction over the Prime Minister? Is the Prime Minister not a public servant? Aren't there cases of corruption against PMs in other countries? In Japan, you find every other year a Prime Minister is prosecuted. (Former US President Richard) Nixon was prosecuted... What is so great about the PM?," he asked.

Noting that the position of the Lokpal was akin to "giving a dog a bad name and kicking it", he said there have been allegations of corruption against Indian PMs in the past and added that only the President and Governors are excluded from being prosecuted and not the PM.
10:08  Woman IAF officer commits suicide:  
A woman officer in the Indian Air Force allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her official quarters in Jodhpur on Wednesday morning.

29-year-old squadron leader Anandita Das, hailing from Kolkata, was posted at the Jodhpur Air Force Station and living in the officers' quarters with her husband, who is also an IAF officer.

"She was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the wee hours today. The body has been shifted to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital for postmortem," police said.

She was a ground duty officer.
09:19  Facebook arrests: Shiv Sena bandh in Palghar today:  
The Shiv Sena has called for a shutdown in Palghar, Maharashtra on Wednesday to protest against the suspension of two police officers who arrested two girls for their Facebook posts related to party founder Bal Thackeray's funeral.

Around 500 security personnel are on duty in Palghar taluka of Thane district.

"We are observing the bandh to protest against the suspension of the policemen in the case," said Sudhir Tamore, Shiv Sena's head in Palghar.

09:11  Arrest of editors coal scam cover up: Zee Group:  
Media group Zee TV has condemned the arrest of its editors Sudhir Chaudhry and Sameer Ahluwalia saying the arrests have been made to sensationalise the issue and are a cover up for the coal scam. 

In a statement, the Zee Group said, "The channel strongly condemns the arbitrary and illegal action of Delhi police in arresting its two editors and for initiating a malicious, illegal and motivated prosecution. The arrests have been made to sensationalize the issue and lend a cover to the coalgate scam and in particular to favour Naveen Jindal and his company. This is a crude and direct attack on the freedom of the Press. The channel vehemently denies all allegations levelled against it."
02:30  Insurgent attacks kill 30, wound dozens in Iraq:  AP reports: Insurgents launched attacks against security forces and civilians in central and northern Iraq today, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens, officials said.

Shiite mosques in Baghdad were main targets, along with a city claimed by squabbling ethnic groups in a disputed northern region. The conflicts threaten the stability of Iraq following the final pullout of US military forces nearly a year ago. Car bombs exploded near three mosques shortly after nightfall in the capital, killing 21.

Police and hospital officials said the first exploded near a Shiite mosque following evening prayers in the Hurriyah neighbourhood, killing nine worshippers and wounding 20 others.

Minutes later, another car bomb went off near Gaereat mosque, killing five people.
01:58  Mursi stands by decree assuming far-reaching powers:  Renewed nationwide protests erupted in Egypt today as the country's President Muhammed Mursi stuck to his controversial decree granting him sweeping powers with protesters alleging that the radical leader was fast turning into a dictator.

Tens of thousands of people staged a protest in the Egyptian capital against Mursi.

"The people want the regime to fall," the crowds chanted. Protesters and riot police clashed near Tahrir Square, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago.
01:12  US teenager shot dead after loud music row:  AP reports: A Florida teenager is dead after being gunned down by a man who moments earlier had asked the victim and his friends to turn down the music coming from a car stereo, justice officials said today.

Jordan Davis, 17, was hit at least twice by bullets fired by Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old businessman who is in custody over the incident which took place Friday in Jacksonville, said Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Rob Schoonover.

The shooting occurred after Dunn, who is white, approached Davis, who was black, to complain about loud music coming from the sport utility vehicle in which the youngsters were seated.
00:56  Egypt protester dies from tear gas:  An Egyptian protester died of asphyxiation today after inhaling tear gas during clashes near Cairo's Tahrir Square, medics and his political party said.

Fathy Gharib, 56, a member of the Socialist Popular Alliance, died in Cairo's Al-Helal hospital, bringing to three the death toll from a week of clashes.

He had inhaled the tear gas when anti-riot police attempted to break up a protest camp he and others had set up against a decree by President Mohamed Mursi granting himself sweeping powers.
00:14  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  
Why Parliament passed the IT Act without debate

'Corruption is a bigger threat than terrorism

India's desi fighter jet Tejas limps out of the ICU

VIDEO ga ga: Congress, BJP go after each other in Gujarat

It is just a drill: Bangladesh fire victims were told

Photos: Sharmila smiles her way into Andhra's hearts
00:12  Guj: 1,218 nominations found valid for 87 seats in 1st phase:  A total of 1218 nominations were found valid on scrutiny for the first phase of assembly elections in Gujarat to be held in 87 constituencies on December 13, a senior Election Commission official said today.

 "After completion of scrutiny of nomination forms which ended yesterday, 1218 applications are found valid for the first phase. However, the number is expected to come down on the last day of withdrawal of nomination forms tomorrow (Nov 28)," Additional Chief Electoral Officer Ashok Manek told PTI .
00:08  Thackeray was a 'rare' leader, says Advani:  Leaders cutting across political parties paid rich tributes to Bal Thackeray this evening, with BJP veteran L K Advani describing the late Shiv Sena chief as "a rare, unique and original" leader.

"I have seen a lot of leaders. I am in politics since the first general elections in 1952. But I have not seen anyone like Balasaheb. He was a rare, unique and original leader," Advani said.

The former deputy prime minister was speaking at an all-party condolence meeting at the Shanmukhananda Hall in Mumbai. Prominent figures from politics, industry and some old associates of Thackeray spoke about the late leader.

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