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Pak ambassador to China to be new envoy to UN

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October 03, 2012


22:53  Pak ambassador to China to be new envoy to UN:  Pakistan's Ambassador to China Masood Khan will replace Abdullah Hussain Haroon as the new Permanent Representative of the country to the United Nations. 

A career diplomat, Khan is expected to assume his new post later this month. Haroon, 61, had been Pakistan's envoy to the UN since September 2008 and lead his country to win a seat as non-permanent member of the Security Council for two years in elections held last year.
22:52  Italian protester scales St Peter's dome in Vatican:  An Italian businessman perched perilously at the top of the 130 metre-high dome of St Peter's Basilica today, after scaling it to protest austerity measures imposed on the recession-hit country. 

Marcello De Finizio, a businessman from Trieste in northern Italy, managed to slip past security guards at the Vatican last evening and hang up a banner saying: "Help! Enough Monti, Enough Europe... do you call this growth?" 

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti has imposed a series of sweeping austerity measures to tackle the country's vast debt, but critics have accused him of failing to boost growth and of stifling the population with high taxes.
22:37  Ram Guha salutes Eric Hobsbawm :  One fine historian pays homage to the great historian who passed into the ages on Monday: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/blog/eric-hobsbawm-marxist-history-ramachandra-guha/
22:20  Kasab lawyer's fees to be given to 26/11 cops' kin:  The money spent on the legal defence of terrorist Ajmal Kasab -- Rs 14.5 lakh -- should be paid to the families of the 18 policemen, who died during the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, said the Supreme Court today.

Read the full report here

21:44  Treating Brar attack as attempted murder: London police:  British police today confirmed that they are treating the attack on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar as an attempted murder and described the four attackers as of Asian appearance.   

The spokesperson of the London Metropolitan police saidthat all the four persons who were involved in the attack on Sunday had long beards.   

Police are also considering whether or not to issue photo sketches of the assailants who were described of being of Asian origin. The spokesperson said the police is treating the attack as an attempted murder.
21:43  UPA will last full term, bureaucrats told:  A correspondent from Delhi reports: According to the buzz in Raisina Hill, Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee had thundered from Jantar Mantar recently that Lok Sabha polls will be held in March 2013.   

Many senior officials heard her live telecast and wondered whether the United Progressive Alliance government will face hurdles in the Winter Session of Parliament. They wondered if the government will go for a full-fledged Union Budget in 2013 or go for a vote-on-account.    

But on Wednesday, it was very clearly explained to the bureaucracy that UPA will last its full term and vote-on-account will be held in 2014, not in 2013, as per political interpretation from the highest sources.  

Officers, busy with the preparations for the Budget, have heaved a sigh of relief.
21:42  Modi happy with poll dates, code of conduct :  A correspondent from Delhi reports: Soon after the Chief Election Commissioner announced the dates for the Gujarat polls, Chief Minister Narendra Modi seemed to be the happiest person.

His first reaction to the poll date and the Model Code of Conduct, which will be enforced for 83 days, was that it was a blessing in disguise.   

This is the first time that political candidates will have to follow the Model Code of Conduct for such a long time, but Modi has taken it in his stride and stated that it will help him have a leisurely poll campaign.   

"Take any state which had such a long MCC," was his cryptic comment 
21:41  Govt keen on speeding up reforms: Chidambaram:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram today informed India Inc that the government is keen on speeding up reforms and hoped that legislation for raising FDI in insurance sector will be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament. 

"The finance minister absolutely would like to see them (the key economic reform) happen and is looking for all us to work together," FICCI Senior Vice-President Naina Lal Kidwai told reporters after the meeting. 

Chidambaram, who had invited representatives of CII, FICCI and Assocham, held a two-hour meeting with them.
21:27  Treating Brar attack as attempted murder: London police:  British police today confirmed that they are treating the attack on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar as an attempted murder and described the four attackers as of Asian appearance.   

The spokesperson of the London Metropolitan police saidthat all the four persons who were involved in the attack on Sunday had long beards.   

Police are also considering whether or not to issue photo sketches of the assailants who were described of being of Asian origin. The spokesperson said the police is treating the attack as an attempted murder.
21:11  Guj: Anti-US rally turns violent, 10 vehicles torched :  A huge mob of more than 2,000 people torched ten vehicles, including two police vehicles today, after a protest against an anti-Islam film made in the United States, turned violent in the old city area in Ahmedabad, police officials said.

Ten policemen were also injured due to stone-pelting, while one police vehicle and a motorcycle were torched in the incident, as the mob went berserk, they said. Police fired more than 20 rounds of tear gas shells and resorted to a lathi charge to quell the mob.

The mob had gathered at 2 pm in Sardarbaug to protest against the film, reached the Juma Masjid, which is a few kilometres away from Sardarbaug and met Mufti Shabbir Alam Siddiqi who advised them against taking out the rally, Joint Commissioner of Police Ajay Tomar said.
20:43  Security compromised at Mumbai airport for 3 hrs :  For three hours at the Mumbai International Airport today, security was thoroughly compromised.

Sources say that a fight between customs officials and the Central Industrial Security Force, which handles security for the airport, left some entrance and exit gates unguarded

Customs officials intercepted two vans belonging to the CISF after a tip-off that drugs were being smuggled in the vehicles. However, the information was incorrect, reports NDTV.

In protest, CISF pulled their guards from an entrance and exit used mainly for cargo, as well as to access the airstrip.

Read full story here



20:19  Govt keen on speeding up reforms: Chidambaram:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram today informed India Inc that the government is keen on speeding up reforms and hoped that legislation for raising FDI in insurance sector will be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament. 

"The finance minister absolutely would like to see them (the key economic reform) happen and is looking for all us to work together," FICCI Senior Vice-President Naina Lal Kidwai told reporters after the meeting. 

Chidambaram, who had invited representatives of CII, FICCI and Assocham, held a two-hour meeting with them.
20:17  NDA-tilting: TMC rubbishes Cong's charge:  The Trinamool Congress has rubbished Congress's allegation that the party was tilting towards the NDA and today said the Congress was trying to manage BJP for 'floor arrangement' to pass some of the bills in the next session of Parliament. 

''It is absolutely bogus and baseless allegation that the TMC is tilting towards the BJP,'' said Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy. 

"It is the Congress which is trying to manage the BJP so they can make floor management for some of the bills in the coming Parliament session,'' said Roy.
19:54  DGCA gives report on Kingfisher to Aviation ministry:  Aviation regulator DGCA today submitted an interim report on the serious crisis facing Kingfisher Airlines to the Civil Aviation Ministry, touching upon issues ranging from operational safety to the financial crunch. 

The DGCA is understood to have referred to the six-day strike by engineers and pilots over non-payment of salaries, followed by the partial lockout declared by the management till Thursday, and said that safety of operations has been seriously jeopardised.
19:21  Justice Shah Commission gives clean chit to Modi:  The Justice M B Shah Commission has given a clean chit to the Narendra Modi-led government in nine land allotment-related cases, according to a Gujarat government spokesperson.
19:20  GSPC to buy UK's BG Group stake for $470 million!:  The Gujarat government-owned GSPC is going to buy UK's BG Group stake in Gujarat Gas Co for $470 million.
19:19  Modi welcomes Gujarat poll schedule:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today welcomed the announcement of state assembly poll dates by the Election Commission. 

"Elections are the biggest festival of democracy. We will take part with true festive spirit. I welcome the announcement of the poll dates," Modi wrote on Twitter.
19:18  Egyptians made first prosthetic body parts:  Egyptians were the first to make prosthetic body parts between 950 to 710 BC from wood and leather, a new study suggests.

According to research from the University of Manchester,the ancient Egyptians had prosthetic toes -- and they still hold up today.

Two ancient replica toes -- one found on the foot of a mummy -- suggested that the Egyptians had made prosthetic body parts.
19:17  FDI in single-brand retail fails to gain momentum: Report:  Foreign investment in single-brand retail has failed to gain momentum despite a hike in FDI limit to 100 per cent from 51 per cent earlier, property consultant Knight Frank said in a report. 

The share of foreign investment in single-brand retail out of the total FDI inflow into the country has declined from 0.03 per cent in December 2011 to 0.02 per cent in June 2012, the consultant said.
19:16  Cabinet may take up Companies Bill :  The Cabinet is likely to discuss the revised draft of the Companies Bill on Thursday. 

The new Bill, which proposes many new norms including companies' spending on Corporate Social Responsibility activities, has been in the works for some time. 

Sources said the Companies Bill 2011 is expected to be taken up by the Cabinet.
19:15  Hike FDI in telecom to 100 pc: Parekh panel:   Hike FDI in telecom sector to 100 per cent, the Deepak Parekh Committee on Infrastructure Funding has stated.
Increase power tariff, rail fares and natural gas price, the Parekh panel has said. 
18:17  Andy Murray's first interview since winning US Open:  "Because winning a Slam was so important to me I felt sometimes that I was focusing on the next Slam rather than on every tournament and every match. Now I feel I can hopefully concentrate better throughout the year and not take my eye off the ball at any tournaments -- and take more responsibility for all my performances." 

That's Andy Murray, the world's new Slam winner. In his first interview since winning the US Open, the Scot tells the Independent's Paul Newman how playing clever tennis rather than his best tennis was the key to ending his wait for a Slam, here.
17:45   Truth must be the first imperative -- no matter what the herd says, writes Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta here, on a spy case that never was but which still cost heavily in human terms
17:42  Rahul's J&K visit seems like a state visit, doesn't it?:  Rahul Gandhi, who will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow, will be accompanied by a posse of top businessmen including Ratan Tata, Kumarmangalam Birla, Rajiv Bajaj and Deepak Parekh, reports ndtv.com here.
17:38  Aus shuts 3 vocational institutes, Indian students hit:  Australia has decided to close down three vocational colleges for non-compliance of training standards, a move that will impact more than 500 Indian students enrolled in these institutes. 

However, Australian high commissioner to India Peter Varghese today assured that Indian students affected by college closures will be protected. 

He was commenting on the move by Australia's vocational education regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority , to shut down two non-compliant vocational education and training colleges in Victoria and one in New South Wales.
17:29  Kayani flies to Russia for high-level talks:   Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today embarked on a three-day visit to Russia, shortly before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov flew into Islamabad for talks with the country's top leadership. 

Kayani is visiting Russia at the invitation of Nikolai Makarov, the Chief of General Staff of Russian armed forces. 

Pakistani officials are projecting these contacts as part of efforts to reset the relationship between Islamabad and Moscow ahead of the pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan. 

Besides meeting his Russian counterpart, Kayani will hold several meetings with the political leadership in Moscow.
17:22  Gujarat poll schedule may affect 26 MPs:  The winter session of Parliament will be partially hit by the Gujarat poll schedule announced today, as campaigning will be at its peak then. Tentatively it is expected that that the winter session will commence on November 19, Monday, and end before Christmas, that is by December 24. 

If this schedule is finalised, the 26 MPs from Gujarat will be busy campaigning in their state and may not continue to participate in Parliament debates.
17:10  Coach of moving Rajdhani uncoupled:  A coach of the moving Ahemdabad-Delhi Rajdhani uncoupled near Falna area in Rajasthan's Pali district. The coach which was disconnected late last night, was however, soon reattached with the train, sources in the North-Western Railway said today. "A technical team will investigate the matter," they said.
17:08  The lost Steve Jobs IDCA speech from 1983:  In 1983, Steve Jobs gave a speech to a relatively small audience at a somewhat obscure event called the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA). The theme of that year's conference was 'The Future Isn't What It Used To Be', which looking back seems all too fitting. Circumstances being what they are, very little is available on the Internet regarding this Steve Jobs speech, writes Marcel Brown. 

To cut a long story short, one of his 'oldest clients, John Celuch, who attended the speech 30 years ago, gave Brown a cassette containing a recording the entire speech plus the Q&A at the end. After hearing Jobs's speech, Brown is amazed 'to hear Steve Jobs talk about some things that were not fully realised until only a handful of years ago. This talks shows us just how incredibly ahead of his time he was'. 

A lot of the things Jobs has said may seem commonplace to us now, but think back to 1983. Among the things Jobs said, Brown writes, are: 

  • He mentions an experiment done by MIT that sounds very much like a Google Street View application. 
  • He says Apple's strategy is to "put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you that you can learn how to use in 20 minutes'.  
  • He states that in a few years people will be spending more time interacting with personal computers than with cars. 
  • He confidently talks about the personal computer being a new medium of communication. Again, this is before networking was commonplace or there was any inkling of the Internet going mainstream. Yet he specifically talks about early e-mail systems and how it is re-shaping communication. He matter-of-factly states that when we have portable computers with radio links, people could be walking around anywhere and pick up their e-mail. Again, this is 1983, at least 20 years before the era of mobile computing. 

Now, if your appetite is suitably whetted, you can read Brown's piece here, at the bottom of which the link to the Steve Jobs audio from 1983, enjoy!
16:51  Getting Indias ID Project Back on Track:  'During its two years of operation, the program to create the world's largest biometric database has encountered some glitches. In a country where an estimated 70% of the population is dependent on agriculture and manual labor, the quality of fingerprints is not always high. It can take up to four attempts to generate a suitable specimen, the UIDAI says.' Joanna Sugden writes on the issues plaguing the Aadhar project, in the Wall Street Journal blog, IndiaRealTimehere.
16:43  Kingfisher Airlines crisis continues as talks fail:  
The deadlock between the Kingfisher Airlines management and its pilots and engineers continues as talks failed between them. A representative of the striking Kingfisher engineers and pilots said the strike will continue as the management has failed to give any commitment on payment of salaries.

This came even as Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Agarwal met the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and promised to restart operations by Friday. But for that to happen, employees who've gone without salaries for over seven months will need to be paid.

Kingfisher had on Tuesday said it was confident that the Income Tax department will defreeze its accounts, releasing Rs 60 crore to tide over the current crisis. But this will cover just part of the dues. Agarwal said, "We will take a call on resumption of services on the October 4."

Meanwhile, the DGCA insists safety is paramount. Kingfisher will not be allowed to start operations until all safety norms are met and its engineers certify aircraft are fit for operations. The airline will have to submit a new schedule and provide a sustainable operations plan.

16:43  Were Indian Muslims deprived a 'killer app'?:  It's a truism that a large number of Muslims are economically backward, but is it because the majority of Indian Muslims deprived of a "killer app' that Hindus and nonconforming Muslims had access to, preventing their development of modern enterprises, asks Rupa Subramanya in this engaging article on the Wall Street Journal blog, IndiaRealTime.
16:27  2 phase Gujarat poll on Dec 13-17, HP on Nov 4:  
Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will go to polls in November and December respectively.

Schedule for Gujarat (two phases)
Issue of 1st phase of notification: November 17, 2012
2nd phase: November 23, 2012
Last day for nomination (phase 1): November 24, 2012
Last day for nomination (phase 2): November 30, 2012
Scrutiny of nominations (Phase 1): November 26, 2012
Scrutiny of nominations (Phase 2): December 1, 2012
Last day for withdrawal (Phase 1): November 28, 2012
Last day for withdrawal (Phase 2): November 30, 2012
Date of polls (Phase 1): December 13, 2012
Date of polls (Phase 2): December 17, 2012
Counting of votes: December 20, 2012

Schedule for Himachal Pradesh (one phase)
Issue of notification: October 10, 2012
Last day for nomination: October 17, 2012
Scrutiny of nominations: October 18, 2012
Last day for withdrawal: October 20, 2012
Date of polls: November 4, 2012
Counting of votes: December 20, 2012

The dates were announced by the Election Commission on Wednesday.

The terms of Gujarat and Himachal assemblies come to an end on January 17, 2013 and January 10, 2013 respectively

While Gujarat has 182 Assembly constituencies, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 26 for STs, Himachal Pradesh has 68 Assembly seats, with 17 reserved for SCs and 3 for STs. 

While Gujarat has 3.78 crore voters, Himachal has 45 lakh people eligible to vote in the assembly elections
16:14  So where do Indias billionaires get their wealth?:   Out of India's 46 billionaires in 2012, 20 had drawn their primary source of wealth (at least originally) from sectors that can be classifed as "rent-thick' (real estate, construction, infrastructure or ports sectors, media, cement, and mining).
The remaining 26 billionaires had drawn their primary source of wealth from "other' sectors (IT/software, pharmaceuticals and biotech,  finance, liquor and automotives, etc). Overall, 43% of the total number of billionaires, accounting for 60% of billionaire wealth in India, had their primary sources of wealth from rent-thick sectors, report Aditi Gandhi and Michael Walton, for the Economic and Political Weeklyhere
16:09  India's auto-makers struggle through September:  
Indias leading seven carmakers continued to struggle in September even as the festive season which is traditionally a time to make big purchases began, with sales rising 0.6 per cent, according to preliminary data from the companies, reports FT.com here, but it needs registration to access.
15:56  Like uncle, unlike nephew:  Ajit, clearly, has been given a long rope. Nevertheless, he should avoid walking under the trees in his uncles orchards, at least for now, says Hindustan Times's political editor Sujata Anandan, who was on the Rediff Chat last Friday, in this brilliant analysis of where Ajit Pawar went wrong in his coup attempt against his own uncle. Read it here.
15:13  40 killed, 90 wounded in Aleppo blasts:  
At least 40 people were killed and 90 wounded, most of them soldiers, when three car bombs struck the heart of Syria's second largest city Aleppo today, a monitoring group said.

"A medical source said that at least 40 people were killed and 90 injured," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "Most of them were regime troops." 
15:12  Consumer confidence slips in urban India: BluFin:  
Concerns over rise in prices of essential commodities and worries about employment prospects have dragged down the confidence of urban consumers in India this month, says a study by financial services provider BluFin.

BluFin's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) slipped by 2.9 points from August to 36.7 in September. This was the biggest month-on-month decline to date.

The index is a key 'aggregate' indicator that assesses the pulse of urban Indian consumers with regard to the economy, spending behaviour and employment. It reflects pessimism at below 50 score and optimism above that.

The study is based on the interviews of 4,000 urban consumers in 18 Indian cities, including metros and smaller cities.

"The overall CCI has declined indicating that consumers remain gloomy about the economy and its prospects, inflation sentiment has become more pessimistic indicating that consumers are worried about prices of basic necessities and, finally, the one relatively bright aspect of the survey over the last one year, overall employment sentiment, has become more pessimistic, and that is a worrying sign," BluFin CEO Rashid Bilimoria said.
14:54  IRDA for hike in insurance FDI ceiling to 49%:  
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Wednesday said it favoured increase in foreign direct investment in the sector to 49 per cent, saying it requires big investments for growth.

"Absolutely (in favour of hike in FDI limit). I do think unless we go for 49 per cent, we will not have the kind of capital required to underpin the growth of insurance industry," IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan said on the sidelines of a CII
event here.

"This sector requires lot of money, so unless we enable inflow... Look at it, in banks it (FDI) is 74 per cent. In Asset Management Companies, 100 per cent. I do not see why, in insurance companies, it should be 26 per cent. We should increase that," he said. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector is capped at 26 per cent.

With the government taking policy reform initiatives last week, especially allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation sectors, there is expectation that the limit for the insurance industry may be raised as well.

However, the recent decision led to political uncertainty with Trinamool Congress, a key ally of the UPA, quitting the government.
14:54  IRDA for hike in insurance FDI ceiling to 49%:  
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Wednesday said it favoured increase in foreign direct investment in the sector to 49 per cent, saying it requires big investments for growth.

"Absolutely (in favour of hike in FDI limit). I do think unless we go for 49 per cent, we will not have the kind of capital required to underpin the growth of insurance industry," IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan said on the sidelines of a CII
event here.

"This sector requires lot of money, so unless we enable inflow... Look at it, in banks it (FDI) is 74 per cent. In Asset Management Companies, 100 per cent. I do not see why, in insurance companies, it should be 26 per cent. We should increase that," he said. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector is capped at 26 per cent.

With the government taking policy reform initiatives last week, especially allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation sectors, there is expectation that the limit for the insurance industry may be raised as well.

However, the recent decision led to political uncertainty with Trinamool Congress, a key ally of the UPA, quitting the government.
14:54  IRDA for hike in insurance FDI ceiling to 49%:  
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Wednesday said it favoured increase in foreign direct investment in the sector to 49 per cent, saying it requires big investments for growth.

"Absolutely (in favour of hike in FDI limit). I do think unless we go for 49 per cent, we will not have the kind of capital required to underpin the growth of insurance industry," IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan said on the sidelines of a CII
event here.

"This sector requires lot of money, so unless we enable inflow... Look at it, in banks it (FDI) is 74 per cent. In Asset Management Companies, 100 per cent. I do not see why, in insurance companies, it should be 26 per cent. We should increase that," he said. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector is capped at 26 per cent.

With the government taking policy reform initiatives last week, especially allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation sectors, there is expectation that the limit for the insurance industry may be raised as well.

However, the recent decision led to political uncertainty with Trinamool Congress, a key ally of the UPA, quitting the government.
14:53  SA lose No.1 T20 spot to Sri Lanka:  India might have failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20, but four wins out of five matches have pushed the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side up by one place to the second spot in the latest T20 International team rankings, released today. 

India now trail Sri Lanka (129) by nine points and are followed by Pakistan (118) and England (118). South Africa has lost its number-one position in the championship table after failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
14:51  Shakira expecting baby boy:  Colombian singer Shakira is expecting a baby boy. 

The 'Hips Don't Lie' hitmaker, who announced her pregnancy two weeks ago, has now announced the sex of her first child with her footballer boyfriend Gerard Pique, reported Daily Star

"It's gonna be a boy. This guy (Pique) is the best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life. And now we are having a baby!," she said.
14:49  @ANI_news has tweeted this: Cabinet meeting at 4:30PM tomorrow, cabinet likely to take decision on insurance bill and pension reforms
14:30  IRDA for hike in insurance FDI ceiling to 49%:  
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority on Wednesday said it favoured increase in foreign direct investment in the sector to 49 per cent, saying it requires big investments for growth.

"Absolutely (in favour of hike in FDI limit). I do think unless we go for 49 per cent, we will not have the kind of capital required to underpin the growth of insurance industry," IRDA Chairman J Hari Narayan said on the sidelines of a CII
event here.

"This sector requires lot of money, so unless we enable inflow... Look at it, in banks it (FDI) is 74 per cent. In Asset Management Companies, 100 per cent. I do not see why, in insurance companies, it should be 26 per cent. We should increase that," he said. 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the insurance sector is capped at 26 per cent.

With the government taking policy reform initiatives last week, especially allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation sectors, there is expectation that the limit for the insurance industry may be raised as well.

However, the recent decision led to political uncertainty with Trinamool Congress, a key ally of the UPA, quitting the government.
14:27  Case against Jaiswal for 'old wives' remark:  
Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has landed himself in trouble after saying old wives lose charm. A case has now been filed against him in a Kanpur court. The case will be heard on October 8.

Meanwhile, women MPs have also said that they will write to Congress President Sonia Gandhi demanding for action. "There is not a single person who respects him. Even a person from the Congress doesn't respect him. Congress should take action," Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur said.

In yet another foot in the mouth comment from Sriprakash Jaiswal, the coal minister's comment that 'like old victory, old wives give no cause for celebration', angered not just the Opposition, but also the NCW and the Congress. Even as Jaiswal apologised under pressure, he maintained that he hadn't spoken anything wrong.
14:17  Indian investors quietly turn their eyes on Australia:  India's wealthy, from old money to nouveaux riches IT entrepreneurs, are quietly snapping up hotels and mines Down Under just as Australia embarks on an immigration campaign to attract long-term investment, reports Cecile Lefort for Reuters here.
14:11  Maruti hikes car prices by up to Rs 5,250:  
The country's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India on Wednesday hiked prices of its all models by up to Rs 5,250 with immediate effect to offset adverse impact of foreign exchange fluctuation and rising input costs.

"The average hike in the price across models is around 1 per cent and the range will be between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,250," a company spokesperson said. 

The price increase will take place with immediate effect, he added.

The company sells a range of models starting with the small car M800 to the luxury sedan Kizashi, which are priced between Rs 2.04 lakh and Rs 17.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Last month, Maruti Suzuki India Chief Operating Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek had said the company would hike prices of its vehicles due to various factors.
13:40  EC to announce Gujarat, HP poll dates at 4pm:  Just In: Election Commission will on Wednesday announce dates for Gujarat and Himachal assembly elections at 4pm
13:14  Union ministers up in arms against National Investment Board:  
Union secretaries are speculating that the Cabinet note on National Investment Board is likely to be circulated on Wednesday evening to central ministers. Several ministries are eager to understand the content and give their protest note to this new proposal, which takes away the powers of these ministers. Also, the government will face legal hurdles in the ongoing cases if the NIB is set up.

13:13  Union ministers up in arms against Enforcer Board:  
Buzz in the power corridors of Delhi suggest that three senior Union ministers are going to express their reservations in the Cabinet meeting on Thursday about the proposed Enforcer Board to clear big projects, which will be discussed at the meeting.

Interestingly, the three ministers will meet over dinner on Wednesday -- to strategise their stand -- to give a political interpretation to their opposition to the new ministerial body.
13:13  Sonia paid for her treatment, not the government:  
The Central Information Commission in its order on May 3, 2012 had made it clear that the Government of India made no expenditure on Congress President Sonia Gandhi's treatment abroad.

Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra while replying to a Right to Information (RTI) query by one Naveen Kumar of Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) said that Sonia Gandhi paid for her own expenditure and the Government of India did not spend on her treatment.

"From the submissions made by the Respondents, it was quite clear that neither any reimbursement for any such expenditure had been claimed by the individual concerned from these public authorities nor any expenditure made in this regard. In other words, till now, the government has incurred no expenditure in this regard," Mishra said in his reply.

Kumar's RTI plea requesting details of the expenditure on Sonia Gandhi's treatment in the USA during August-September 2011 was forwarded to the Prime Minister's office, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Parliament Affairs, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, National Advisory Council and the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The CIC replied after hearing Kumar and the government representatives.

"In any case, the expenditure made by any individual on her treatment, in India or abroad, is a private information and cannot be the subject matter of an RTI application," Mishra said.
13:09  Coal-gate: PMO declines info citing CBI probe:  
The Prime Minister's Office has declined to part with information related to coal blocks allocation citing ongoing CBI probe in the matter. 

"Keeping in view the ongoing CBI investigation in the matter, disclosure of information may be withheld for the present, in terms of Section 8 (1)(h) of the RTI Act," the PMO said in reply to an RTI query.

The Section bars disclosure of information which would impede the process of investigation or prosecution of offenders.

Exercising his Right to Information, advocate Vivek Garg has sought information on minutes of all meetings between Union Coal Minister and Prime Minister, copies of decisions, approvals, orders and letters or correspondences between the Coal Ministry and PMO related to coal blocks allocation.

Garg has also filed an RTI application seeking details on the coal blocks allocation to Ministry of Coal information on which was denied by it saying the information sought was not available in the "compiled form".

The Coal Ministry said information regarding details of coal blocks allocated and various acts and guidelines are already available in public domain. 

"Further, most of the files or records relating to allocation of coal or lignite blocks are in the custody of the CBI, New Delhi. The information sought is not available in the compiled form and it would divert the resources of the public authority very disproportionately to provide the information," the Ministry said in its reply. 

The CBI is probing alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks.
12:49  Survey confirms what we know: Job satisfaction = more salary:  It's official! Happiness at work depends on your earning a better salary than your colleagues, according to a new study. 

Researchers found that it is not just your own salary that affects your happiness, but also that of your colleagues! 

For you to be happy at your workplace, your earning should not be inferior to those of your peers, that is, of the colleagues you compare yourself to, the study found. 

The research by Professor Eduardo Perez Asenjo of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Informacion Cientifica, showed that relative earnings affect our happiness and our job performance.
12:42  10 fresh dengue cases reported from Delhi:  Dengue cases in the national capital inched towards the century mark today with the reporting of 10 fresh cases. 

With this, the total number of dengue cases have risen to 98 from yesterday's 88. 

Out of the 98 cases, three originated from outside the capital. A nine-year-old girl had died in the capital last Friday due to dengue. 

Of the total number of cases, South Zone reported 16 while 13 each cases were registered in Civil Lines, Karol Bagh and Central Zones.
12:40  Reliance MediaWorks gets a piece of James Cameron pie:  China's film production company Galloping Horse confirmed that it had acquiring Digital Domain Productions, Inc, and certain of its operating subsidiaries, for a price of $30.2 million, together with Reliance Media Works three days after Digital Domain announced the deal, reports caijing.com. 

The web site reports that Galloping Horse America's joint venture, submitted the winning bid in partnership with Reliance MediaWorks (USA), Inc, to acquire the visual effects, Mothership Media and certain other businesses and assets of Digital Domain Productions and subsidiaries at a September 21, 2012 auction in New York. 

This was announced by Digital Domain on September 23, a day before the deal was approved by a federal bankruptcy judge. Digital Domain, the James Cameron-founded digital production company, filed for bankruptcy on September 11, less than a year after it went public. 

Founded in 1993 by director Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross, Digital Domain has provided the innovative visuals for over 90 movies, including Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Transformers trilogy and Tron: Legacy.
12:33  Nobody did more for Gujarat than Cong: Sonia:  
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday formally kick-started her party's poll campaign in Gujarat by lambasting the Opposition in a public meeting in Rajkot.

Addressing the crowd, Sonia said: "Congress party has always accepted the Mahatma's ideals & followed them. We have miles to go ahead, but have come miles since 1947. Many people make many claims but no one has done as much for Gujarat as the Congress party has."

"It is the habit of some people to take credit for the work done by other people, let them do it. You are deliberately not being told that the UPA government released 50% more funds than the NDA government from Gujarat," she said.

"It is unfortunate that the waters of the Narmada from the Sardar Sarovar dam has not reached Saurashtra. We demand that the state government look into the farmers problems, especially cases of suicide and send a report to the Centre so that they can be compensated."

"I am saddened that in the last five years none of the benefits of schemes have reached regions like Saurashtra. The state government should send recommendations to the Centre quickly so that farmers here can get relief packages"

The Congress president also talked about FDI in retail. 

"FDI will allow farmers to get the right price for their produce. Why are CMs attempting to deceive people on it I wonder. I wish to ask is it not the right of farmers to get the right price for their produce?"
12:31  Cauvery issue: RAF out in Mandya, schools shut:  
Authorities on Wednesday deployed Rapid Action Force at the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir in Karnataka's Mandya district in the wake of a threat by a farmers' body to lay siege to the dam to stop flow of water to Tamil Nadu.

Prohibitory orders have been promulgated in the one-km radius of the KRS reservoir from where besides Kabini dam 9000 cusecs of water is being released since Sunday complying with the Supreme Court order.

Thousands of farmers and activists of various organisations have poured into Mandya, the epic centre of the agitation against release of water to Tamil Nadu, to intensify the protest.

Mandya Deputy Commissioner B N Krishnaiah ordered closure of schools and colleges across the district today as a precautionary measure, official sources said. 

Superintendent of Police Koushalendra Kumar, who is camping at KRS dam, said security has been further beefed up. 

Road traffic between Mysore-Bangalore remained disrupted for the fifth consecutive day due to rasta roko by farmers.

The Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release water as per the September 19 directive of the Cauvery River Authority headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

12:13  Tata gifts 15,000 new books to US school children:  
The Tata group of companies has gifted some 15,000 new books to students from low-income families in Washington DC as part of its continued partnership with First Book, an award-winning non-profit organisation which provides new books to such children.

"Promoting children's literacy has long been an area of focus for Tata in North America. We are glad to encourage reading throughout Washington, DC," said Kapil Sharma, senior General Manager North America, Tata Sons. 

"As the children begin another school year, we hope our contributions continue to build self-confidence, and help them find lasting joy in reading and learning," Sharma said after an event in this regard held at Savoy Elementary School in Washington DC.

Since partnering with First Book in December 2007 Tata has distributed more than 150,000 books valued at well over $1.2 million to children across the United States. 

12:04  ADB cuts India's growth forecast to 5.6 pc:  
Just In: The Asian Development Bank has cut India's growth forecast to 5.6 per cent for this fiscal, from 7 per cent projected earlier.

According to the ADB, falling global demand and a delayed monsoon curtailing agricultural growth have exacerbated India's recent economic slowdown, and have led to reduced growth forecasts for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

"India can start reversing this trend by improving its investment climate and expediting reforms," said ADB Chief Economist Changyong Rhee. 

"Tight monetary policy to counter persistently high inflation and a high deficit leave little room for policy to stimulate growth. However, restoring investor confidence can help jumpstart critical infrastructure projects that could get the economy moving."

The report raises projected inflation to 8.2% in FY2012 (from 7.0%) on the back of higher domestic food and fuel prices. Inflation is then expected to trend downwards to 7.0% in FY2013.
11:51  Lankan militarymen will train in India not China:  
Notwithstanding stiff opposition from political parties in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka on Wednesday asserted that it was "very firm" on continuing the training programme of its defence personnel in India and ruled out sending them to countries like China.

Sri Lanka's powerful Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, also the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said his country looks at India in a "much bigger way" than China.

During an interaction with visiting Indian journalists, Rajapaksa admitted that the recent attacks against Sri Lankan citizens in Tamil Nadu has "hurt" their feelings, but said no one in his country had any "hard feelings" for India or its people.

"No. We have never (thought about it) because in our long history since the days when we moved from British shoulders 
all training (to army personnel) were done in India or in Pakistan," he said.

The minister was responding to a question whether Sri Lanka was reconsidering the training programme for its military personnel in India and possibly get them trained in countries like China in the wake of protests in Tamil Nadu. 

Dwelling on the issue, he said it has been the practice for any new batch to be sent to India for training and that Sri Lanka has no plans to change the tradition. 

"There can be various opinions, but we can't (shift the programme). We are very firm on that and we have confidence (that it will continue). We have not even thought about," he said when pressed further on whether Sri Lanka would stop sending its personnel to India.

11:46  Supreme Court to decide on tiger-tourism ban:  
The Supreme Court is likely to decide on Wednesday the Centre's request to allow tourism in at least 20 per cent of what is known as core areas of tiger sanctuaries. 

In July, the top court had banned tourism in core areas of all 41 tiger reserves in the country based on an existing policy of the Centre. The ban was imposed after states failed to comply with the Centre's notification that tourism in these core areas be phased out.
  
Under pressure from various state governments, the Centre had approached the apex court for lifting the ban partially. 

In the last court hearing two weeks ago, the Centre had filed an affidavit asking for the ban to be lifted on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves. In the affidavit, the Centre had outlined the revised guidelines to protect the tiger population.

The guidelines presented to the court talked about the phasing out of permanent tourist facilities located inside the core areas of the reserve in a specified time frame.
11:43  Building collapse in Chennai, many feared trapped:  
One person has died and many are feared trapped in a building which collapsed in Triplicane locality of Chennai on Wednesday morning. 

Rescue teams have been pressed into service, police and fire officials said.

Efforts are on to rescue those trapped under debris. Locals have also joined the rescue operations.

The government authorities are yet to confirm the exact death toll. Reports say there could be more people trapped under the debris. More details of the incident are awaited
11:40  Sonia in Rajkot to start Cong's Gujarat campaign:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has reached Rajkot in Gujarat to kick off her party's campaign for the assembly elections.

She visited the Ramakrishna Mission in Rajkot where she met the priests there. She paid her respects and was also presented a magazine by the Ashram. 

She will address a rally at Rajkot and sources say Sonia is likely to announce drought relief packages for Gujarat's farmers.

Her visit comes a day after Chief Minister Narendra Modi targeted her for the second time, by claiming that the government had wasted over Rs 1,800 crore of public money on her foreign tours and treatment abroad.
11:17  Kingfisher Airlines nose-dives on Dalal Street:  
Falling for third day in a row on Wednesday, shares of Kingfisher Airlines plunged about 5 per cent after the company declared a partial lock-out, suspending flight operations till Thursday.

Soon after the opening trade, the scrip tanked 4.89 per cent to touch the lower circuit limit of Rs 14.60 on the BSE. 

At the NSE too, the stock fell by 4.89 per cent to Rs 14.60.

The airline had declared a partial lockout on Monday night, grounding all its flights, after its engineers and pilots struck work on Friday to protest non-payment of salaries since March.

Meanwhile, Kingfisher had on Tuesday said it would resume operations in a few days and the backlog of March salary would be given to its employees soon. 

Kingfisher has been saddled with a huge loss of Rs 8,000 crore and a debt burden of another over Rs 7,000 crore which it has not serviced since January.

In the broader market, the BSE benchmark Sensex was trading at 18,876.28, up 52.37 points at 1055 hrs.
11:01  Injured Sehwag may miss Champions League T20:  
Virender Sehwag is in doubt for the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 after he has been advised two weeks of rest because of ligament injury he sustained during India's last Super Eights game in the ICC World Twenty20 against South Africa in Colombo.

Sehwag strained a ligament in his left ankle during South Africa's innings last night and according to the Indian team's media manager Dr R N Baba, the right-hander has been advised rest for 14 days.

Sehwag, who had a poor World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, scoring only 54 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 112, suffered the injury while celebrating Jacques Kallis' dismissal off Irfan Pathan in the fourth over. 

He limped off the field to be replaced by Manoj Tiwary, and did not return to the field again. The injury comes as a big blow for Delhi Daredevils of whom Sehwag remains a key player despite relinquishing captaincy duties for CLT20 to be held in South Africa from October 9.

The Daredevils are scheduled to open their campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders on October 13 in Centurion.
10:58  All schools must provide drinking water: SC to Centre:  Just In: Supreme Court has directed the Centre and states to provide basic infrastructure, including drinking water and washroom facilities in all schools within six months. 
10:36  US preparing for possible attack in Libya: report:  
The US defence and intelligence agencies are preparing the groundwork for operations to kill or capture militants responsible for the attack on its mission in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi resulting in death of four Americans including its Ambassador.

Such an attack is subject to approval by President Barack Obama and would be taken only in consultation with the Libyan Government, multiple media reports said today, adding that the potential attacks might include drone attacks or the one like that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. 

"The top-secret Joint Special Operations Command is compiling so-called target packages of detailed information about the suspects," the officials said.

"Working with the Pentagon and the CIA, the command is preparing the dossiers as the first step in anticipation of possible orders from President Obama to take action against those determined to have played a role in the attack on its diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed Ambassador J Christopher Stevens and three colleagues three weeks ago," The New York Times reported.

However, a spokesmen for the Defense Department and CIA declined to comment on the matter.

A senior American official told the CNN that US would likely seek cooperation from Libya before launching any military strike.
10:13  Why Sonia, Mamata, BJP must be forced to heed Kelkars warning:  
Right from that attention-riveting first sentence, the Kelkar committee report on fiscal consolidation, which was put out in the public domain late on Friday (and can be read here), hammers away at just one grim theme: that unless the subsidy on fuel, food and fertilizer  is cut back to sustainable levels, India will face a crisis worse than the one in 1991.

And if that happens, the 'poor and the unemployed',  in whose names politicians down the line from Sonia Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee to Mulayam Singh Yadav to assorted BJP leaders have been piling on the mountain of subsidies or resisting even the feeblest efforts to reduce it, will suffer the most.

Click HERE to read further...
10:09  Sonia to kick-off Cong poll blitz in Gujarat today:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will address her first rally on Wednesday in Rajkot, Saurashtra, where the BJP is pitted against a resurgent Congress and Keshubhai Patel's political outfit. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in the city, where Gandhi will kick off her party's poll campaign

This, according to the state leaders, is the first time since 2002 when Gandhi will address a rally in Gujarat ahead of the announcement of poll schedule.

The farmers' rally at Rajkot would also be Gandhi's first public meeting after the Congress-led UPA government decided to allow FDI in retail, hiked diesel prices and put a cap on subsidised LPG cylinders.

According to Gujarat unit chief of Congress Arjun Modhvadiya, Gandhi would also visit Ramkrishna Ashram and Bal Bhavan before addressing the gathering.

Congress managers have carefully chosen Rajkot -- the fourth largest city in Gujarat as the venue because it is part of Saurashtra, which is considered a BJP stronghold. The Congress, however, won four of the seven Lok Sabha seats from the region in 2009 polls. It also accounts for 48 assembly seats.
09:47  Sensex up 51 points in early trade on funds buying:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex gained over 51 points in early trade on Wednesday on sustained buying by funds and retailers on expectations of more policy reforms by the government amid a firming trend in Asian region. 

The 30-share barometer added 51.16 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 18,875.07 with stocks of healthcare, PSU, IT and power sectors leading the rise. 

The index has gained nearly 245 points in the previous two trading sessions. The markets were closed on Tuesday on account of 'Gandhi Jayanti'. 

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 17.70 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 5,736.50. Trading sentiment remained bullish on continued buying by funds and retail investors, anticipating announcement of more economic reforms by the government, market experts said. 

A firming trend in Asia also triggered buying activity, they said.
09:42  Hong Kong ship collision toll rises to 38:  
The death toll in Monday night's collision between a ferry and a chartered boat packed with revellers in Hong Kong has risen to 38. The boat sank after the collision off Lamma Island, three kilometers southwest of Hong Kong Island. The boat was transporting the passengers to Victoria Harbour to watch a fireworks display celebrating China's National Day and Mid-Autumn festival. Wang Tao takes a look.

At a press conference, Hong Kong SAR's Chief Executive, Leung Chun-Ying, declared October 4th to the 7th as days of mourning, and has called for the HK SAR flag to be flown at half mast. The HK SAR Chief Executive says the incident will be investigated thoroughly and further support will be provided to the families of the victims.

Leung Chun-Ying, Chief Executive, Hong Kong SAR said, "I have ordered the social welfare department, home affairs department and hospital authorities to start work immediately. They will offer every family and individual the help they need and directly contact families of the victims. The Marine Department has been investigating the cause of the incident. And the police have also been looking into possible criminal damage."

Those injured have been receiving treatment at local hospitals and counselling is being provided to those involved in the accident. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, Leung Chun-ying, earlier visited survivors of the collision.
09:40  The Congress is still searching for answers:  
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are desperately trying to give a new look to the ministry and the party set-up.

But there will hardly be any action for the next 15 days, considered inauspicious in the Hindu calendar. This gap will, however, provide Singh and Gandhi with the time to find a path that would usher aggressive but not abrasive changes.

Click here to read more
09:22  Show salary plan or do NOT fly, Kingfisher told:  
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has given an ultimatum to the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines that it must give a timeline for paying employees, apart from a "satisfactory and realistic" operational preparedness plan, before it can get permission to fly again. The airline, which declared a partial lockout on Tuesday, has said it will start flying again from October 5.

The ultimatum came after the airline's CEO Sanjay Aggarwal and Executive Vice President Hitesh Patel had an hour's meeting with DGCA chief Arun Mishra in Delhi. 

They told the regulator paying regular salaries to the 4,000 employees would depend on the government unfreezing the airline's bank accounts. The accounts were frozen by the tax authorities.

KFA executives told the DGCA that about Rs 60 crore was stuck with the government, which had frozen 40 of its bank accounts for non-payment of dues and talks were on with the Central Board of Excise and Customs and the Central Board of Direct Taxes for relief.

Read more on Business Standard
09:10  Ahmadinejad: Iran won't retreat on nuclear issue:  
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the Islamic republic will not retreat on its nuclear issue.

Ahmadinejad says if Iran receives enriched uranium with a purity of 20 per cent, the country will not produce it on its own, as it is costly. 

He says Iran has asked other countries to provide it with 20 per cent enriched uranium as the fuel for medicine production, and is ready to exchange 3.5 per cent enriched uranium for it.

However, the President says so far nobody has taken up the request. 

The 20 per cent enriched uranium issue has been the most essential topic during the past several rounds of nuclear talks. The West has demanded Iran give up producing 20 per cent enriched uranium, but Iran insists it has the right to do so, adding its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
08:46  Market price of LPG cylinders now at Rs 883:  
In the first price revision after the government capped the number of subsidised cylinders for consumers, domestic liquefied petroleum gas has become nearly 17 per cent dearer, thanks to firm international prices. From October 1, the consumer price of every non-subsidised domestic LPG cylinder has risen to Rs 883 from Rs 756 last month.

The non-subsidised cylinders are now priced around 120 per cent higher than subsidised cylinders, which cost Rs 399 in Delhi. The new price, worked out on an average international price of the previous month, would be applicable till October 31, said an official at an oil marketing company. The average monthly price of Arab Gulf LPG has increased from $767.12 per tonne in August to $933.08 in September. 

The over 21 per cent jump has also negated the impact of the weakening rupee in the final landed price at Indian ports.

Read more about this HERE
08:35  Moderate earthquake hits north-east states:  
A earthquake of moderate intensity measuring 5.1 on the Richter Scale shook Assam and other parts of the north-eastern region in the small hours on Wednesday, officials said.

The epicentre of the tremor, which occurred at 12.30 am, was at Rangapara in central Assam's Sonitpur district.

The quake was also felt in neighbouring Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

No casualty, injury or loss of property was reported so far, they said. 
08:34  Indians account for one-third of immigrant-led US startups:  
Business units set up by Indian-Americans continue to be a critical component of the US economy even as immigrant-founded startups are facing a decline in the country, a latest report has said. 

The Indian-origin people, known for their entrepreneurial skills, stand ahead of others by owning 33.2 per cent of the engineering and technology companies founded by immigrants during the period of 2006-12.

"Of the total of immigrant-founded companies between 2006 and 2012, 33.2 per cent had Indian founders, up about seven per cent from 2005," said the "America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now" report.

Indians have founded more such companies than immigrants born in the next top seven countries combined, says the 32-page report released by Kauffman Foundation, showing that the proportion of immigrant-founded companies nationwide has slipped from 25.3 per cent to 24.3 per cent since 2005.
08:34  US adds Taiwan to visa waiver programme:  
The US government has added Taiwan to its visa waiver programme as part of a strategy to expand tourism to the United States, the White House said.

The move will allow Taiwanese visitors to enter the United States for 90 days without visas, a privilege already extended to people of 36 nations. 

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had linked up to designate "Taiwan as the newest member of the visa waiver program," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The move was a logical development in the "close security, economic and people-to-people relationship between
the US and Taiwan," he said.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and the two have been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.

But Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island and has threatened to invade should it declare formal independence.

In one remark that may anger China, Carney briefly mistakenly referred to Taiwan as "the latest country to join this programme" although earlier in his briefing here referred to the island as a "member."
08:33  Mike Tyson barred from entering New Zealand:  
The New Zealand government has blocked former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson from entering the country.

Tyson had originally been granted a visa, despite opposition from Prime Minister John Key, to visit in November for a charity event. But associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said the visa has now been cancelled after the show sponsor, the Life Education Trust, made clear it "no longer wants to have any involvement" with Tyson's visit.

"Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand for the Day of the Champions event," the minister said.

Wilkinson said the original decision to grant Tyson a visa was "a finely balanced call" and the letter of support from the Trust was a significant factor in approving the application.

Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison in 1992 for raping an 18-year-old woman and under New Zealand law anyone sentenced to more than five years in jail is denied a visa, although this can be waived in certain circumstances. 
08:33  Google backs off patent complaint against Apple:  
Google-owned Motorola Mobility has withdrawn a patent complaint filed with a US commission but remained quiet as to the reason for the legal ceasefire. 

Motorola Mobility had earlier reserved the right to renew its case and said that no agreements had been worked out between the companies, according to paperwork filed Monday with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC had indicated it planned to investigate the Motorola claim that Apple had infringed on more than a half-dozen patents involving technology for e-mail alerts, voice controls, video and other features.

The smartphone and tablet computing era is rife with patent battles, many pitting Apple against competitors who are building devices powered by Google-backed Android software.

In a massive US court victory, a California jury declared on August 24 that South Korean electronics giant Samsung should pay Apple USD 1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features in Android gadgets.

The verdict is being appealed. 
00:45  Mild 5.1 quake in Assam:  An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale hit Assam today. Reports suggest that the tremors lasted for 30 seconds.

Mild tremors were felt in Guwahati. The epicenter of the quake is 24 km from Tezpur.

More details are awaited. 
00:14  We failed to click as a team: Dhoni after T20 WC ouster :  Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni today conceded that his side did not click as a team in all departments of the game and that led to the their early ouster from the World Twenty20 in Colombo today.

India beat South Africa by one run in their last Super Eights match here but that was not enough for them to make it to the semifinals. They needed to beat South Africa by 31 runs for a berth in the knock-out stage which they could not do.

Dhoni, however, said that he was satisfied with the overall performance of his side. "We failed to click as a team. Our batting and bowling and also fielding were patchy, brilliant at different times. But all the three departments of the game did not click together at a particular match. But overall I'm quite happy with how the team performed," Dhoni said after India's victory over South Africa.
00:12  Samsung sues Apple over iPhone 5:  Samsung has added Apple's latest handset to a United States patent lawsuit claiming the iPhone 5 infringes eight of its technologies, reports the BBC.

The disputed innovations include a way to synchronise photos, music and video files across several devices, and a method to capture and send video over the internet.

Samsung had already filed claims against earlier iPhones and iPads.

Read full report here
00:08  Motive was not robbery but assassination: Lt Brar:  Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, who led Operation Blue Star against Sikh militants holed up inside the Golden Temple in 1984, was stabbed and injured in London.

Speaking to NDTV, Lt General KS Brar describes the attack and life after Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Read the full story here

00:04  News as it happens:  Top headlines in the last 24 hours:

PHOTOS: Heartbreak for India despite victory over SA

Big win for Pakistan but Australia make semis

Politician Kerjiwal warns 'corrupt leaders to count days'

Anna influence on Kejriwal's party: Jan Lokpal and 'topis'

Tell us the amount spent on Sonia's travel abroad: BJP

Modi trained by RSS in 'Nazi tradition': Digvijaya

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Spotted: Shah Rukh Khan at Mumbai airport
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