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October 09, 2012

23:58  How an Al Qaeda leader was killed :  Danish man claims he provided intelligence that helped America kill one of its own, Anwar al-Awlaki, in a drone attack last year. Read Bruce Riedel here:
23:46  Madhulika Sikka Executive Editor, NPR:  Another Indian American makes it to the pinnacle. Madhulika Sikka, winner of the India Abroad Person of the Year 2009, has just been promoted as Executive Editor, NPR.this is what the New York Times says about her appointment: 'NPR on Tuesday promoted Madhulika Sikka, the executive producer of Morning Edition for the last six years, to a position overseeing all news coverage for the organization. Ms. Sikka will be executive editor of the newsroom, a position held until last year by Dick Meyer, who is now the head of BBC News America. Ms. Sikka, who joined NPR in 2006 from the ABC News program Nightline, revitalized Morning Edition, the widest-reaching news program on public radio. Shell start the transition to her new job this fall and formally take over in January.'
23:33  What Nassim Nicholas Taleb thinks about democracy:  In Foreign Policy magazine, the man who became a worldwide phenomenon for his "Black Swan" theory reveals what he thinks is the most stable country in human history. Alas! It is not India... Read it here:
23:27  Why you need to listen to your own heartbeat:  And obey your own instincts..If John Gurdon had listened to his teacher dismissing his desire to be a scientist -- "ridiculous" is what the master at Eton said about John's plans --and done something else in life, he wouldn't have won a Nobel Prize this year. Read that incredible story here:
23:17  Now, Switzerland has a prostitutes union:  After earning a fearsome reputation for its secretive banking system and a tennis powerhouse whose first name is Roger, Switzerland now has another interesting institution: A prostitutes union. Read the story here:
23:14  US attack on Iran will take only 2 hours!:  Former White House staffer David Rothkopf outlines the White House attack plan for Iran in a Foreign Policy article designed to show Barack Obama as a clear-thinking, foreign policy strategy-oriented commander-in-chief:
23:09  Obama, Romney tied in latest Reuters poll:  President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are tied at 45 percent each in the latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll. Romney had routed Obama in the first Presidential debate last week. The next Presidential debate is scheduled for October 16. America goes to the polls on November 6.
22:29  Gadkari to meet Darul Uloom leaders tomorrow :   Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari is expected to visit Deoband tomorrow to meet leaders in Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, reports our correspondent from New Delhi.

Nitin Gadkari, national vice-president Vinay Katiyar and UP party president Laxmikant Bajpai will address a rally of the party's Kisan Morcha in Deoband on Wednesday.

22:06  Cong demands probe into purchase of land by Bhushan:  The Congress in Himachal Pradesh today demanded an inquiry into alleged purchase of tea plantation land by a trust linked to activist Arvind Kejriwal's associate Prashant Bhushan in Palampur area of the state.   

"We want an independent inquiry into the land transferredto Prashant Bhushan in 2010 and want the government to explainthat how this land was transferred to him," senior party leader and former minister Harsh Mahajan said.   

Mahajan asked Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer, to clarify the motive behind buying the land in the state and asked thestate government under what circumstances it has allowed the land deal.
21:17  Cauvery row: DMK wants Central rule in Karnataka:  Lambasting the Karnataka governmentfor "stopping" release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, key UPA ally DMK today virtually demanded imposition of Central rule in the neighbouring state so as to "teach a lesson to stone-hearted" regimes on inter-state issues.   

"All I request the prime minister is, (he) should come to a conclusion on using Article 356 (relating to President's rule) against Karnataka to ensure that the people of both the states uphold integrity and sovereignty in a spirit of brotherhood," DMK president M Karunanidhi said in a statement.   

He, however, hastened to add that his plea was not motivated by any grudge against those in Karnataka but made"with tears to ensure that grain fields in the state do not turn into graveyards" besides "teaching a lesson to stone-hearted states like Karnataka".
20:24  No favour has been granted to DLF: Haryana govt:  The Harayana government today refuted all allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal.

"No favour has been granted to DLF. All permissions have been given as per the rules," said the Haryana government. "No land has been released in the last 10 years."

The Haryana government's clarification comes after Kejriwal on Tuesday demanded a probe by retired Supreme Court judges into the business relationship between Robert Vadra and DLF and a white paper by Haryana government on the benefits it allegedly gave to the realty major.
20:13  No unsecured loans given to Vadra: DLF:   India's largest real estate developer, DLF, has elaborated on how it offered no preferential treatment to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, through a maze of transactions. 

No unsecured loans have been given to Robert Vadra, said DLF sources.

Two cases cited by Kejirwal today are sub judice, they added. 
20:08  Jaya to introduce prohibition in TN in 2013?:   Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa is seriously toying with the idea of introducing prohibition in Tamil Nadu from April 2013, reports our correspondent from New Delhi.

She has discussed this issue with senior party leaders and also assessed the financial implications of this proposal.  She forecasts that the AIADMK will have to go it alone in Lok Sabha polls.
19:39  BJP demands fair probe into Vadra's business:  In the wake of fresh charges levelled by social activist Arvind Kejriwal against SoniaGandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, the BJP today demanded Congress and UPA ministers stop defending him and order a fair, free and comprehensive inquiry into his business dealings.    

The BJP alleged the Congress has not gone for any proper inquiry or ensured that the guilty are brought to book in several scams, including the Commonwealth Games and the coal mines allocation scandal and even tried to sheild the culprits.    

"Till today, no tangible steps have been taken by thegovernment to control corruption even though Congress president Sonia Gandhi had given a five-point sutra to herchief ministers at Burari", BJP spokesperson NirmalaSitharaman said.
19:09  Haryana govt to respond to Kejriwal's allegations at 8 pm :  The Harayana government will respond to Arvind Kejriwal's allegations at 8 pm today.

Kejriwal produced a new set of documents today that he says  reek of the illicit business transactions between Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and real estate giant DLF.

Like last week, when he first suggested a nexus between Vadra and DLF, the activist said today that the quid pro quo came via the Congress government in Haryana, which acted as "an agent of DLF."   
18:43  Situation getting murkier: BJP on Vadra-DLF:  This is what the BJP said on Arvind Kejriwal's press conference on the Robert Vadra-DLF-Haryana government nexus.

Party spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman slammed the government and the Congress Party for stonewalling efforts to probe Vadra's links to or with DLF and the Haryana Government.

Questioning Vadra's links with DLF, Sitaraman said the Congress and the Government has been known to stonewall on these investigations in the past as well, and demanded a free, fair and impartial probe in the matter. "The situation is getting murkier, we demand a comprehensive investigation,' said Sitaraman on Robert Vadra.
18:34  PC to head for Bangkok:  Finance ministers and top officials from India and 46 other countries are likely to gather here on October 14-15 to deliberate on ways for sharing Asia's dynamic growth with Europe and the rest of the world. The two-day 10th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), to be hosted by Thailand, is themed 'Strengthening Dynamic Partnership, Sharing Dynamic Growth'. Finance Minister P Chidambaram is likely to attend the meet.
18:30  The curious case of changes proposed in India's public health policy. Read
18:18  President Pranab ends use of His Excellency:  Mr Pranab Mukherjee gets our vote for a president with a difference. He has just given his nod to a new protocol practice. Read...
1. Use of the words 'His Excellency' will be discontinued while organizing functions within the country and during interaction between Indian dignitaries and the President.
2. In Hindi, Rashtrapati Mahodya should be used in place of Mahamahim during such occasions. 
3.  The word "Hon'ble' will be used before the title of 'President' or 'Governor'. The traditional Indian greeting of "Shri' or "Smt.' should precede the name. 

Read more
18:05  Kejriwal points out that ever since his first press conference on Friday, ministers have been rushing to defend Robert Vadra. "Why? Why hasn't Robert Vadra spoken up?" he asks.  
18:00  Kejriwal: Cong acting like Vadra's mouthpiece :   Alvi says there is no way to authenticate the documents with Kejriwal, but the party condemns the attempt to hold a trial by the media. 
Kejriwal had earlier said that the Congress was acting alike a mouthpiece for Robert Vadra. 
17:51  Cong responds: Kejriwal doing this for publicity:  Kejriwal is now taking questions from the press in a room packed to capacity at the Constitutional Club in the capital.

Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi is addressing a press conference at the party headquarters even though Kejriwal's presser is yet to end. He says Kejriwal is doing this for publicity.
17:45   Finance minister P Chidambaram yesterday ruled out a probe on the Vadra-DLF deals, which is what Kejriwal referred to when he said a white paper by the Haryana government on the DLF deal wouldn't amount to much. Read
17:42  Shanti Bhushan wants the nexus to be probed under the Anti-corruption Act.

What do you think of the Robert Vadra controversy. Post your comments on Zara Bol right here.
17:39  Kejriwal wants the Haryana government to bring a white paper on the deals between DLF and the state in the last 10 years. But Kejriwal suggests the move may be futile since the "finance minister himself has defended Robert Vadra, so we can guess how transparent the white paper will be."
17:33  Shanti Bhushan speaking now.
The document released by the IAC on Vadra-DLF nexus has a section that says: DLF reply -- a bunch of lies. It lists three points with addendums and says DLF did give unsecured loans to Vadra, a fact the realty company has denied.
Kejriwal added that the forest land was given to DLF without mandatory clearances.
17:27   Kejriwal holding forth at the press conference. Says the Haryana govt gave land to DLF on the surmise that it was the only company which had experience in making a golf course, which in fact has little to do with setting up a SEZ. "In effect, the Haryana government acted as an agent of DLF," says Kejriwal.
Shanti Bhushan yet to speak.
17:27  Kejriwal says this is a fit case for an income tax scrutiny and for good measure also asks for a SIT probe. 
17:22  This is the document India Against Corruption sent out to the media ahead of the press conference. Read
17:18  Part of the 350 acres of land sold to DLF was protected forest land, says Kejriwal, reading out from the Haryana and Punjab High Court document, which mentions the Haryana government and DLF nexus. 
17:16  The two other companies which also bid were Unitech and Country Heights but though their bids were lower, they were never opened, Kejriwal says. 
17:15  Bidding manipulated to benefit DLF: Kejriwal:  Kejriwal says Vadra sold his 50 per cent stake in DLF's SEZ company after a year. The Haryana government manipulated the bidding process and sold the Rs 350 acre land to DLF for Rs 1700 crore. Bids given by Unitech and another company were not even opened, says Kejriwal.
17:12  Robert Vadra got 50 per cent stake in this SEZ company of DLF, says Kejriwal. He says the high court had pointed out the nexus. At least 300 acres of land for a hospital was given to DLF, points out Kejriwal. 
17:09  Malafide nexus between Haryana govt, DLF: Kerjiwal:  Kejriwal says says there is a malafide nexus between the Congress-led government in Haryana and realty major DLF. "What benefits has the Haryana government given to DLF?" asks Kejriwal.
He says the Haryana government gave hospital land to DLF for SEZ. Kejriwal is quoting from the court order.
17:06  Part II: Kejriwal's press meet on Vadra begins :  Kejriwal recaps his earlier press conference on Robert Vadra and the alleged quid pro quo with DLF. 
17:03  Arvind Kejriwal, IAC activist Manish Sisodia and eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan on the dais.  
17:02  Arvind Kejriwal's follow-up press conference on the alleged Robert Vadra-DLF nexus begins.
17:01  Who's afraid of the courier guy? Should you be?:  Enter an unlikely harbinger of doom -- the courier guy. He is a familiar sight. He rings the door bell. You peep through the spy-eye and see a youngish man, sorting through a sheaf of papers, a parcel in one hand, a sidebag on his shoulder. You open the door to sign for your package. And then BAM! Read
16:58  Why China and India aren't the best places to sell good ol' American products. Read
16:53  Lalu rages against Kejriwal's Vadra disclosures:  RJD leader Lalu Prasad today rallied behind Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son in-law Robert Vadra and charged Indian Against Corruption (IAY) activist Arvind Kejriwal with indulging in 'character assassination' of Priyanka Gandhi and her huband.

"Kerjiwal is indulging in character assassination of Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra by charging the latter with amassing huge wealth through alleged corrupt means," he told reporters in reply to a question.

"It has become a habit of the IAC activist to level sensational and baseless allegation against prominent people for mileage," Lalu said, adding that the former should know that the Vadras were rich people before becoming relatives of the Gandhi family.
16:46  Shankkar Aiyar @ShankkarAiyar On this day in 1967, socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara, age 39, is killed by the Bolivian army.
16:39  At 5pm IAC activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal will address the second press conference on Robert Vadra. Stay with us.
16:38  Govt to examine how to take forward Sachin's proposal: Sibal:  The government today said it would examine Rajya Sabha member Sachin Tendulkar's proposal to integrate sports with the education system. Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said Tendulkar spoke to him about the issue and he had asked him to make a presentation.

"This morning, I received a phone call from him (Tendulkar). Let me look at the presentation. The Ministry does not decide on the curriculum, it's either NCERT or CBSE. After we receive the presentation, we will send it to NCERT and CBSE and see how to take it forward," he said.
16:14   And all that you wanted to know about Robert Vadra and his maze of complex business holdings. Read

16:10  SC notice to Maya on disproportionate assets case:  The Supreme Court issues a notice to Mayawati and the CBI on a plea seeking clarification on the verdict quashing the disproportionate assets case against her.
16:08  When Priyanka married Robert...:  Promila Kalhan, author of a biography on Kamla Nehru (Pt Jawaharlal Nehru's wife) witnessed the wedding of Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra on February 18, 1997. From our archives. Read

And see pictures from that day... 
15:53  In praise of Mumbai's Regal cinema:  This building is a beacon in its own right, having towered over Mumbai's busy Colaba Causeway roundabout for almost 80 years. It is located directly opposite the Prince of Wales Museum and is a mere stone's throw from the subcontinent's most famous landing point, the Gateway of India monument. On the Guardian.
15:48  Nobel physics winners 'overwhelmed' by award :  This is what the BBC has on the just announced Nobel prize for Physics.
This year's Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to two researchers for their work with the fundamental units of light. This "quantum optics" allows exploration and manipulation of light and matter at the most basic level. Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US will share the prize, worth 8m Swedish krona (750,000; $1.2m).

That could lead to advanced modes of communication and computation.Prof Haroche was reached by phone from the press conference. He had been told he had won just 20 minutes before telling reporters: "I was lucky - I was in the street and passing near a bench, so I was able to sit down immediately. "I was walking with my wife going back home and when I saw the... Swedish code, I realised it was real and it's, you know, really overwhelming.

"The Nobel prizes have been given out annually since 1901, covering the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.

The first-ever Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Wilhelm Roentgen of Germany for his discovery of X-rays, and with this year's winners the total number of recipients has reached 194.
15:39  Amjad Ali, Shivkumar Sharma among 11 given Akademi fellowship:  Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and Santoor exponent Shivkumar Sharma were among the recipients of Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship and awards given to 47 eminent persons by President Pranab Mukherjee here today.

A total of 11 eminent persons in the field of music, dance and theatre were nominated for the Akademi fellowship for 2011, which included along with Khan and Sharma, flute legend Hariprasad Chaurasia, who could not make it to the function due to his prior engagements.
15:37  Nobel prize for Peace on Friday:  Yesterday, British researcher John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan won the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology. The prize committee at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute said Monday that the two researchers won the award "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent."

The committee said the discovery have "revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop." The medicine award was the first Nobel Prize to be announced this year.

The chemistry award will be announced on Wednesday, literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday
15:35  Notify fresh guidelines on tiger reserves in a week: SC:  The Supreme court today allowed the Centre to notify within a week its fresh guidelines on tiger conservation and indicated that it may modify its July 24 order staying all tourism activities in the reserved areas across the country.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, however, made it clear that the states, if aggrieved by the guidelines, are free to challenge it before the court.

"We cannot either validate the guidelines or declare any of the guidelines ultra-vires of the Constitution," the bench observed, while posting the matter for further hearing on October 16.
15:34  Bernanke, Subbarao to meet in Mumbai:  Also read: Ben Bernanke will meet with Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao in Mumbai on Wednesday, marking the first time a serving Fed chairman has visited the Indian central bank. Economists say the two should have lots to talk about. Read
15:28  France, USA share Nobel prize for physics :   Just in: France's Serge Haroche and David Wineland of the US win Nobel physics prize for their work in quantum optics. Details in a bit.
15:20  Restorers tackle obscene 17th-century graffiti on fresco:  Workmen covering up Renaissance frescoes at Valencia Cathedral in 1674 scratched male genitalia into angel's wing. Read
15:11  UN says world hungry not 1 billion after all:   The United Nations now says its 2009 headline-grabbing announcement that 1 billion people in the world were hungry was off-target and that the number is actually more like 870 million.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation blamed flawed methodology and poor data for the bum projection, and said it now uses a much more accurate set of parameters and statistics to calculate its annual estimate of the world's hungry.

FAO issued its 2012 state of food insecurity report today and its core point was to set the record straight about the number of the world's undernourished people, applying the more accurate data retroactively back to 1990.
15:05  Miraculous escape for 25 as portion of bus hangs in air:  Around 25 passengers had a miraculous escape when a bus overshot a parapet wall on a ghat road and its front portion hung precariously in air over a 300-feet deep gorge.

The driver of the state-owned transport corporation bus lost control and hit the parapet wall after the central axle rod of the vehicle snapped on Manjoor road near Parali in Tamil Nadu's hilly Nilgiris District, police said.

However, the bus, proceeding to Manjoor from Coimbatore, came to a halt after the broken axle hit the wall leading to the front portion of the bus hanging in air. The passengers and driver moved cautiously towards the rear side and got down safely.  Had the bus not come to a halt, it could have plunged into
the 300 feet deep gorge, resulting in casualties, they added. 
14:57  Cadbury India to be now known as Mondelez:  The next time you want a chocolate ask for Mondelez not Cadbury.

On October 3, 14 employees of Mondelez International from five continents joined their chairman & CEO Irene Rosenfeld to be part of the opening bell ceremony at the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York to mark the second day of trading under the company's new ticker symbol MDLZ. One of those 14 was Nikhila Rangaswamy, VP for people & talent at the Indian operation, which till recently was known as Cadbury India and which is now migrating to the new identity.

14:55   It's John Lennon's birthday today. The pop star would have turned 72 today.

Justin Bieber tweets: Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.-- John Lennon 
14:51  Pak girl who dared Taliban injured in militant attack:  A 14-year-old Pakistani girl, who emerged as an unlikely champion of peace in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, was seriously injured when a suspected militant attacked her car in the country's restive northwest today.

Malala Yousufzai, the first recipient of Pakistan's National Peace Award for Youth, was hit by at least two bullets when the gunman fired at her car in Swat, located 160 km from Islamabad. Two other children were injured in the attack that occurred outside Yousufzai's school.
14:40  The Robert Vadra mystery: How did he acquire Priyanka?:  Each time Robert Vadra steps into the spotlight, the average mango folks can't help but wonder, 'Really? She married him?'  Of all the men at all the Delhi A-list parties, Priyanka Gandhi picked this guy? Read the column on
14:28  Molestation slur on Visva Bharati professor :   A PhD student of Agricultural Extension, Economics and Statistics department of Visva-Bharati in Santiniketan has leveled charges of molestation against a professor of the department.

The accused Siddhartha Deb Mukhopadhyay is the university's Dean of Students' Welfare. Viswa Bharti authorities have initiated an inquiry against Mukhopadhyay.

Mukhopadhyay has been asked not to interact with students on a one-on-one basis. The Visva-Bharati authorities have also removed the teacher from his position of the Dean till the inquiry is over. The allegation is being probed by the university's standing committee on sexual harassment. More
14:24  Gadget that can track the movement of the hand in 3D :  Change channels with a flick of the wrist: The sensor that could kill off the living room remote (and let you answer your phone while it's still in your bag)

Read more
14:15  Just in: A PhD student has accused a Vishwa Bharti university professor of molesting her. Details awaited.
14:14  The man who will fall to earth very fast:  Later today, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner is hoping to become the first human being to break the sound barrier without any mechanical help. Read
14:09  Rural India marches on Delhi over landless poor:  Adivasis, or tribals, among victims of economic boom seeking not just 'right to land' or compensation but say in India's future. Read
14:01  Iran can produce material for nuke weapon within 2-4 months:  Iran is capable of producing enough weapons-grade uranium to arm a nuclear bomb within two to four months, a respected U.S. think tank has warned.   The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) however did not make a judgment on whether Iran plans to turn its enrichment capabilities toward weapons making.  

But, in its report, the think tank drew a clear distinction between Tehran''s ability to make the fissile core of warhead by producing 25 kilograms (about 55 pounds) of weapons-grade uranium from its lower enriched stockpiles and the warhead itself.
13:47  SC to K'taka: Release Cauvery water to TN till Oct :  Just in: The Supreme Court has ordered Karnataka to release 9000 cusec of water daily to Tamil Nadu till October 20. Karnataka had stopped the release of the Cauvery waters despite a SC order. Tamil Nadu to file a plea in the SC against Karnataka on the Cauvery row. 
13:44  Old-fashioned patriot:  National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon salutes the first National Security Advisor and principal secretary to the former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- Brajesh Mishra. Mishra passed away on September 28. Read 
13:39  Cong politicising Haryana rapes, lashes out BJP:  In the world beyond Maya, the BJP today dubbed Congress President Sonia Gandhi's visit to meet the family of a Dalit teenaged girl, who immolated herself after being allegedly gang-raped in Jind in Haryana, to be a political stunt. The party said that Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda should have been shown the exit door following the rise in atrocities against women in the state.

"Sonia Gandhi is sitting at a position where she doesn''t have to say anything, she has to perform, she has to do and she has to deliver.  And the least she could have done is to pull up the chief minister, gave him a dressing down...or shown him the door," said Punj.

13:23  Maya: Decision on supporting UPA tomorrow :  Mayawati drones on that her decision on whether the BSP will continue to support the UPA will be announced tomorrow. She says she is against dynastic politics but quickly adds that while she is not in favour of her relatives contesting the 2014 polls, they can do so under extraordinary circumstances. 
13:10  Mayawati: Early Lok Sabha polls very likely :   And finally, Maya on FDI on retail: "If FDI on retail helps farmers, we will reconsider our stand."

She adds that given the present situation, snap polls are possible.
13:00  And Maya goes on... "Congress and BJP secretly worked with the SP to to defeat the BSP. 
12:57  Maya: New CM inaugurating public works done by me :   Maya thunders on... "Under the SP regime no work can take place without bribes and they have the cheek to call me corrupt. In fact, the new CM is busy inaugurating public work done by me." 
12:47  'Mulayam would still be a farmhand without Ambedkar':  Reading from her notes, Maya points out that there have been 12 instances of communal riots in the six months of SP rule. Women are not safe in UP anymore, she says and quoting figures adds that only 20 per cent FIRs are registered in cases.

She says says all that the state's new CM (Akhilesh Yadav) has been doing is making announcements. "He should be called Ghoshna CM," she thunders.
12:42  Mayawati: Uttar Pradesh has become Crime Pradesh:  Maya says law and order has been deteriorating in UP and soon the people will regret voting for the Samajwadi Party. "Uttar Pradesh has become Crime Pradesh," she says.

Playing the caste card, she says the SP has also been changing names of towns and cities named after Ambedkar and unlike the party the BSP does not discriminate between Yadavs and Muslims. "The SP's attitude on job quota was not favourable it has not acted on its manifesto."

"Mulayam and family would have been farm hands had it not been for Ambedkar," she adds for good measure.
12:37  Mayawati added that the bill for quota-based promotions has not been passed because of anti-Dalit sentiment. Remember, this is Mayawati's first public rally after her defeat in the UP polls. 
12:35  She says the Samajwadi Party does not respect great leaders like BR Amdekar and has damaged his statues.
12:29  Addressing a mammoth rally at the Lucknow, Mayawati says it was the BSP that had put UP on the path to development. She is likely to state her stand on the UPA's new reform policies as well. 
12:27  Mayawati: BSP won't forgive anti-Dalit Cong, SP:   Mayawati takes the stage and slams the Congress government for not declaring her mentor Kanshiram's death anniversary as a public holiday. She says the BSP must never pardon anti-Dalit parties like the Samajwadi Party in the state and the Congress in the Centre. 
12:17  Mayawati's mega rally in Lucknow begins :   Mayawati takes the stage at the BSP rally in Lucknow. The party's executive meet will be held tomorrow, but the former UP CM is likely to speak on FDI on retail today. It may be recalled that the Congress and BSP held backroom talks last week. The decision on the BSP's stand on the UPA is expected tomorrow.  
12:01  Asha Bhosle's daughter, Varsha, cremated at 4 am :  The last rites of legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle's daughter Varsha, who committed suicide, were performed in the early hours today at Marine Lines.

The 56-year-old singer and columnist, who was reportedly suffering from depression, ended her life yesterday by shooting herself in the temple at her residence in Prabhu Kunj' apartments on posh Peddar Road in South Mumbai.

According to sources close to the family, the funeral took place between 3-4 am at Chandanwadi crematorium in Marine Lines. Asha, who was away in Singapore, to attend the closing ceremony of the Marathi International Film and Theatre Awards (MIFTA), rushed back to India and reached here around 11 pm last night.
11:59  If theres NaMo why not RaGa and MamBa?:  As election season in India's Gujarat state heats up, Chief Minister Narendra Modi is gearing up to launch a cable TV channel dubbed "NaMo' to promote his achievements and air his speeches. Read more
11:54  Worms in KFC chicken, outlets in Kerala shut:  Food safety officials shut the KFC outlet at MG Road Thiruvananthapuram on Monday evening after a customer found worms in the fried chicken served at the outlet.

When A Shiju, a resident of Palode and his family came to the KFC outlet he was in for a 'wiggly' shocker. "We had ordered fried chicken. As my wife opened the cover to give chicken piece to our 18-month-old baby, we were shocked to see worms creeping inside. When we examined the chicken closely, we found more worms,' he told DC.

When Shiju told KFC staff about worms, the latter immediately promised to give fresh chicken. "I rejected the offer and told them that I will complain to food safety officials. The staff requested us not to complain. But I called up the officials on toll free number. In the meanwhile, two staff members tried to snatch our plate but I resisted the attempt,' Shiju said.

Read more on the Deccan Chronicle.
11:49  Govt, CAG not adversaries: Chidambaram:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said he intends to work with CAG to erase the impression of adversaries in an attempt to restore trust and confidence in all institutions.

Addressing a CAG conference in New Delhi, Chidambaram said the official auditor and the government have been cast as adversaries to each other in the aftermath of recent audit findings.

"Unfortunately, however, some dissonance has crept into the public discourse and for reasons which are inexplicable, the CAG and the government have been cast as adversarial to each other. Perhaps this in the nature in the functions of the government and CAG," Chidambaram said.

"It is my intention and desire as Minister of Finance to work with CAG to erase the impression of adversaries and restore trust and confidence in all institutions of government," he added.
11:41  Chinese sex fair shows prudishness, liberation sit side-by-side:  Also on the Guardian: Decades after Mao Zedong, couples are happy to browse sex toys together -- but not all attitudes have changed. Read
11:40  On the Guardian: From New Delhi to Westminster, how governments are cavalier about the poor. Read
11:35  Cong accuses BJP of fooling people with cheap politics:  In other news, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi has said that the main opposition party, the BJP, has been playing double-standards and is befooling people with their cheap politics.

"We have been repeatedly saying this that the BJP has double standards. Today, we want to lead the country to progress, we want to take decision for the betterment of the people of this country, but BJP is trying to obstruct every move of the government," said Alvi. 

"The work which they used to do during their tenure used to be right but the when we do the same then we are wrong," he added. Backing the allowance of foreign direct investment in multiple sectors in India, Alvi said that the UPA Government is committed to economic reforms.
11:28  Dear Varsha, I'm So Damned Sad:  It's something no parent should go through -- burying their child. But that's what Asha Bhosle has to face in the aftermath of her daughter Varsha's suicide yesterday.

Dilip D'Souza pays tribute to Varsha, both extremely popular columnists with Read 
11:23  Is it time to retire Indias quota system?:  The United States and India are both robust and diverse democracies that have sought through preferences to overcome centuries of discrimination against some of its most vulnerable citizens. But the means used by the two countries are starkly different. Read more
11:17  Doshiyoon ko sakt saza milnee chaiyehein: Sonia:  "Doshiyoon ko sakt saza milnee chaiyehein (the guilty must be severely punished)," Sonia told reporters in a brief interaction at village Sachha Khera, where she met the rape victim's family and assured them of all possible help.

After reaching the village in her cavalcade crossing narrow lanes, Sonia when asked to comment on the growing number of such cases in Haryana in the recent past, said such acts were condemnable.

She was accompanied by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and other union ministers.
11:12  Maya's first grand BSP rally today after poll rout :   Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati will begin her party's 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign today with a grand rally in Lucknow. The rally coincides with the sixth death anniversary of party founder Kanshiram. But clarity on the big question of supporting the UPA following the Trinamool Congress's exit is expected only when the BSP's national executive discusses it on Wednesday.

This is Maya's first rally since her rout in the UP state elections.

Read more

11:02  Part II IAC's of Vadra-DLF deal this evening :  This evening, India Against Corruption activists will address the media and reveal more details of the Robert Vadra-DLF deal.

Also read Smita Gupta on the Hindu on why the BJP is wary of criticising Vadra
10:51  Another Haryana minor raped, commits suicide:  Meanwhile, a 15-year-old Dalit girl was driven to suicide after she was gangraped in Sacchakhera village, 7km from Narwana in Haryana's Jind district, on Saturday.The police have arrested two accomplices of the two rapists, while the victim's father also alleges the role of her uncle, a state police constable whose wife is among those nabbed. All the accused, too, are Dalit in this case.

Read more
10:50  The Haryana Government has drawn flak from all quarters, particularly the opposition, for its alleged failure to prevent incidents of crime against women.

The 16-year-old girl had sprinkled kerosene and immolated herself after allegedly being gang-raped by two youths in Narwana sub-division of the district.

The victim had breathed her last at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences at Rohtak, where she was rushed to from Narwana Civil hospital with 90 per cent burn injuries. Police has arrested the victim's neighbour Pradeep, the main accused who had dragged the victim to his house, and his accomplice Naveen, who was also charged with raping the girl.

Two more people, including Pradeep's sister-in-law, have also been arrested in the case. The Jind incident came close on the heels of a series of horrific crimes against women in Haryana during the past one month, and third in Jind alone.
10:43  Sonia to rape victims families: Khap can't decide :   Congress President Sonia Gandhi visits the family in Jind where a teenaged Dalit girl was gang-raped on Saturday and thereafter immolated herself. After meeting the family of the rape victim, Sonia Gandhi said she strongly condemned this horrifying act.

"I strongly condemn this horrifying act and the guilty should get strictest punishment.""I know these cruel incidents are on the rise," said Sonia Gandhi while talking to reporters in Jind.She also said: "The law is in the hands of judiciary."
10:21  Anti-KNPP stir: 37 protesters to be produced before court:  

A Ganesh Nadar reports from Kudankulam: 37 of the 56 anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Plant protestors will be produced before a court today.


Meanwhile, anti-KNPP protests leader S P Udaykumar's wife Meera Udaykumar will not come to the Valliyoor criminal court today, her lawyer Chemmani Rajaratnam told


Meanwhile, the police will have to explain to judge today why the non-bailable warrant against S P Udaykumar have not been executed yet.

09:56  Sensex rebounds; up 150 points in early trade:  

The BSE benchmark Sensex recovered by over 150 points in early trade today, led by gains in power, capital goods and banking stocks, on fresh buying by funds and retailers after two sessions of losses on profit-booking.     


The 30-share barometer, which has lost nearly 350 points in the past two sessions, rose by 150.80 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 18,859.78. All the sectoral indices, led by banking and capital goods, were trading in positive territory with gains of up to 1.34 per cent.     


Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 48.80 points, or 0.86 per cent, to 5,724.80. Brokers said fresh round of buying by major players largely in heavy-weight stocks with the corporate earnings season approaching, helped trading sentiments to improve.    


Meanwhile, in Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.16 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.49 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.19 per cent lower in yesterday's trade.    

09:39  Egypt's President Mursi pardons 'revolutionaries':  

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has pardoned all those arrested during last year's popular uprising that ousted the country's former leader Hosni Mubarak.


A post on the president's official Facebook page announced an amnesty for deeds "committed with the aim of supporting the revolution". The decree could lead to the release of several thousand people.


Read more on BBC

09:38  North Korea warns US on missiles after South deal:  

North Korea says it has missiles that can hit the US mainland, in a statement two days after South Korea unveiled a missile deal with the US.


The statement said US bases in "Japan, Guam and the US mainland" were within its "scope of strike".


Read more on BBC

09:15  Man detained after hoax call grounded plane in China:  

China Police has detained a man on charges of bomb hoax which triggered panic among the passengers and crew members, forcing an emergency landing in troubled northwest China's Xinjiang province.         


About 196 passengers and crew travelling on the China Southern Airlines flight CZ680 from Istanbul to Beijing via Xinjiang provincial capital Urumqi had a harrowing time as the plane made a forced landing at the Zhongchuan Airport in Lanzhou, in China's Gansu province, hours after it took off from Urumqi.         


The identity of the man was not yet revealed but he confessed his surname, Wang, the name synonymous with Han Chinese, state-run Xinhua news agency said. Most of the suspects in previous such attempts were from Uygur community.

04:40  Sonia in Haryana today; to meet rape victim's kin:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will on Tuesday visit the family of a Dalit girl, who burned herself to death after being gang raped in Haryana's Jind District.

Gandhi's proposed visit to Jind is also being seen as a damage control exercise, as the Congress government in Haryana, which is led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda is under sharp criticism for the rise in crimes against women in the state.

There also has been criticism of the Haryana government's handling of law and order and ability to secure women's safety in the state.

According to reports, as many as 12 cases of rape and gang rape since September have shocked Haryana.
04:05  Assange's bail guarantors ordered to pay out:  
Nine people who put up bail for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including two members of the British aristocracy and a Nobel Prize winner, were ordered to pay $150,000 on Monday after Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy.

The guarantors -- who include Nobel prize-winning biologist John Sulston -- are liable for part of the bail fee they pledged, Westminster Magistrate's Court ruled.

They were given until November 6 to pay up.

Assange, whose whistle-blowing website angered the United States by releasing thousands of US diplomatic cables, was arrested in December 2010 on an extradition warrant from Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women.

He denies wrongdoing and says he fears that if he is extradited to Sweden he could be transferred to the United States where he could face criminal charges punishable by death.
04:02  Romney casts Obama's foreign policy as weak:  
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered a sweeping critique on Monday of President Barack Obama's handling of threats in the Middle East, saying Obama's lack of leadership had made the volatile region more dangerous.

In what his campaign called a major foreign policy address, Romney called for a more assertive use of American influence in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Romney, speaking before the white-uniformed cadets at Virginia Military Institute, questioned Obama's handling of the episode in Libya last month in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed after the US consulate in Benghazi came under militant attack.

The former Massachusetts governor also accused Obama of failing to use US diplomacy to shape events in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Russia and elsewhere.

"The president is fond of saying that, 'The tide of war is receding,'" Romney said. "And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today... it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office."
02:33  Cyberattacks against US rising unchecked: study:  
The number of cyber attacks targeting US organisations has doubled over the past three years, leading to hefty losses, a study released has showed.

The study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Hewlett Packard said most of the attacks involve malicious code, denial of service, stolen or hijacked devices, or "malevolent insiders."

"The occurrence of cyber attacks has more than doubled over a three year period, while the financial impact has increased by nearly 40 percent," the report said.

The 2012 study showed organisations experiencing an average of 102 successful attacks per week, compared to 72 attacks per week in 2011 and 50 attacks per week in 2010.

Among the organisations surveyed which were hit by successful cyber attacks, the average losses was $8.9 million, up six per cent from 2011 and 38 per cent increase over 2010.
01:28  Is it time to retire India's quota system?:  
The United States and India are both robust and diverse democracies that have sought through preferences to overcome centuries of discrimination against some of its most vulnerable citizens.

But the means used by the two countries are starkly different.

Click HERE to read further
01:24  Air India Delhi-Mumbai flight grounded in MP:  
Air India's Delhi-Mumbai flight was grounded late Monday night at the Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal following low pressure in the aircraft's wheels, airport sources said.

The flight (634) goes to Mumbai via Bhopal and Indore, the sources told PTI.

The decision to ground the flight carrying 98 passengers was taken when low pressure was detected in its wheels during technical inspection, they said, adding that the tyre was found deflated.

A spare wheel would arrive on Tuesday after which this flight will leave for Mumbai in the morning, the sources said.
01:23  Ex-Gujarat guv Naval Kishore Sharma dead:  
Veteran Congress leader and former governor of Gujarat Naval Kishore Sharma passed away in Jaipur on Monday night after prolonged illness. He was 87.

Sharma, who was born in Dausa district of Rajasthan, served as the governor of Gujarat from 2004 to 2009. 

He was admitted to a private hospital a few days ago following respiratory problems.

Sharma is survived by two sons. One of them, Brijkishore Sharma, is education minister in the Rajasthan government. 
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