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IAC expected to expose Gadkari at 5 pm tomorrow

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October 16, 2012

23:49  IAC expected to expose Gadkari at 5 pm tomorrow :   India Against Corruption is expected to expose another big political figure tomorrow at a press conference to be held at 5 pm at the Constitution Club Lawn, Rafi Margin New Delhi.

RTI activist and India Against Corruption member Anjali Damania on Tuesday confirmed that Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari would be the next person to be 'exposed' before the public. Damania said India Against Corruption would be "exposing Gadkari's silence".

Read the full report here
23:27  Facebook fan page on Haryana IAS officer Khemka:   Hours after news broke that Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka has been transferred out of the land registration department after he started an inquiry into land deals by Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, he appears to have become a national hero of sorts.

A fan page has been launched on the social networking site Facebook -- Ashok Khemka, the great, which already has 360 likes.

"Sir we proud of u....every IAS officer should learn frm him!! Country need officer like u and politician like arvind kejriwal," said a post by one Prashant Pandey.
23:10  Rahul too purchased land in Haryana:   Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has purchased 6.5 acres of land in Haryana's Palwal district for Rs 26 lakh, according to a report on CNN-IBN.

Fresh details of more land purchases by his brother-in-law Robert Vadra in Haryana have also come to light.

Reports say that Vadra has purchased over 75 acres of land in Palwal area of Haryana's Faridabad district in 2008-2009.

Read the full story here

22:32  Nitish to lead Bihar delegation to Pakistan in Nov:  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will head a high-level delegation of ministers and officialsto Pakistan next month to tell the "turnaround" story of the state there.    

The delegation will be on a week-long visit to the neighbouring country from November 9-16 at the invitation of some provincial Chief Ministers there, officials in CM's office told PTI today.    

He is scheduled to visit Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and will return by road through the Wagah border, they said. They said the CM would tell the turnaround story of Bihar after coming to power in 2005 to Pakistani leaders and others.
22:03  Order passed by IAS officer Khemka illegal: Cong:   The order passed by IAS officer Ashok Khemka is illegal, the Congress said today.

Khemka exposed the DLF-Vadra deal. He cancelled the sale of over three acre land to realty major DLF after he was shunted out from his post.

Khemka was removed as inspector general of registration in the wake of his ordering a probe into all the land dealings of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law in four districts of Haryana.

A 1991-batch IAS officer, Khemka, who claims that it is his 43rd transfer in 20 years, significantly ordered the cancellation of mutation of 3.5 acre plot of land in Manesar-Shikohpur that Vadra had sold to DLF for Rs 58 crores. 
20:58  Will Jeet Thayil be the fifth Indian to claim Booker?:  Indian author Jeet Thayil's debut novel on the dark underside of Mumbai's opium dens is in race for this year's prestigious Man Booker prize. British authors Will Self and Hilary Mantel are said to be the favourites to win.     

The 50,000 pound prize is to be announced tonight and is it yet to be seen whether the bookmakers' predictions reign or Thyail's Narcopolis succeeds in emerging as the dark horse of the race.

Apart from Narcopolis, the other books in running are Self's Umbrella, Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies, Tan TwanEng's The Garden of Evening Mists, Deborah Levy's Swimming Home and Alison Moore's The Lighthouse.  

While Self has been shortlisted for the first time, Mantelis is a previous winner.  
20:19  I fear for my family: Haryana IAS officer Khemka :   Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka has been transferred out of the land registration department three days after he started an inquiry into land deals by Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.

Khemka, who has been transferred 43 times in the last 20 years, told CNN IBN, "I suspect I was transferred for probing Vadra-DLF deal. I was demoted by the government."

"I did my duty by exposing the deal. I chose to act although it involved a VIP," he added.

Khemka says that he now fears for his family. "But I will continue to fight against corruption. I am not an escapist. I will remain in public service till I retire."

More details are awaited.

20:03  Hajj to begin on October 24:  

The annual Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj that is performed by millions of Muslims every year will begin on October 24.

Pilgrims from all over the world have already started pouring into Saudi Arabia and officials said over 1.2 million had arrived by on Monday, with many more set to come in the next few days.

Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia announced today that the last month of the Islamic lunar calender will begin from Wednesday, with Eid Al Azha, the festival of sacrifice, to be celebrated on October 26, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The five-day rituals of Hajj begin on the eighth day of the month and culminate with the rite of sacrifice.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and every able bodied Muslim who can afford to travel to Mecca is expected to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime. 
20:00  Akhilesh Yadav gets NSG security cover:  
The Centre has extended a Z+ security cover of NSG commandos to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Yadav, according to sources, will have a round-the-clock mobile security of 10-12 'black cats' after the Union Home Ministry decided to extend the elite security cover to the CM based on the threat perception about him.

Yadav's father and Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav already enjoys the NSG 'black cats' security.

"A special VIP security team from the NSG has recently been deployed 24x7 with the Uttar Pradesh CM," a senior official said.
19:49  Corruption undermines human rights: SC:  
Corruption is not just an offence but also undermines others human rights leading to systematic economic crimes, the Supreme Court has held. 

The apex court said a public servant, who is found guilty of corruption, has to be treated as corrupt until he is exonerated by a superior court. 

"Corruption is not only a punishable offence but also undermines human rights, indirectly violating them, and systematic corruption, is a human rights' violation in itself, as it leads to systematic economic crimes," a bench of justices B S Chauhan and F M I Kalifulla said. 

The bench set aside the Bombay High Court's order of staying conviction of an IPS officer in a disproportionate case.

It dismissed the officer's contention that he would lose his job during the hearing of his appeal if the trial court order of sentencing him two-year jail term for amassing disproportionate assets of around 7.5 lakh. 
18:45  Take Rahul seriously on drug addiction, Badal told :  Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh today asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal to take the problem of drug addiction among the youth in the state seriously.

Reacting to Badal and Sukhbir's statements on the issue, Amarinder asked them "to act responsibly and don't make a joke of such a serious problem."  The PCC chief said it was the Punjab government which had given the figures in a court that 70 per cent of the youth in the state in a particular age group had been affected by the drugs.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had referred to this during a function at the Punjab University here, he said. By criticising Gandhi, Amarinder said the Akalis were contradicting their own stand in the court.

"Instead of taking the issue seriously, the father-son duo joined by others like Bikram Majithia (Revenue minister) are repeatedly skirting the issue and putting the blame on others," he said.
18:38  Sachin Pilot's uncle shot:  An uncle of Union Minister Sachin Pilot was shot at allegedly by two unidentified persons at his farm house in Nizampur village today, police said. Ashok Kasana, the 65-year-old maternal uncle of Pilot, was sleeping at the house when the assailants opened fired at him this morning at the village, around 50 km from here, Circle Officer (Hapur town) Pawan Yadav said. Kasana was admitted to a hospital in Ghaziabad, he said.
18:33  Committee to probe Vadra-DLF whistleblower's claims:   The Haryana govt constitutes an inquiry committee to look into the issues raised by IAS officer Ashok Khemka, says Chief Secretary P K Chaudhary. The three-member panel to be headed by an Additional Chief Secretary has been asked to complete the probe within one month.
18:27  Rape. The unanswered question is WHY!:  Why would a group of drunken men drag a lower-caste teenage girl, known to some of them, into a building and rape her repeatedly while taking video of the assault, as was reported to the police in Hisar? Read
18:20  Another Vikram Pandit story: How the shareholders of Citigroup voted down the $14.9 million pay package for CEO Vikram Pandit. Read the April 2012 story.  
18:15  Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin stolen from museum:  Paintings by artists including Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin and Freud have been stolen from a museum in Rotterdam. Police said the works were taken from the Kunsthal Museum on Monday or early on Tuesday morning. The BBC has the story. Read
18:12  Pak's highest civilian bravery award for Malala:  Sitara-e-Shujaat, one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards for bravery, will be given to 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by the Taliban last week for speaking out against the militants, Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said.

He also offered a bounty of Rs 10 crore for Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan, who had claimed responsibility for the recent attack on the teenage rights activist.

Malik made the announcements after visiting Khushal Public School run by Malala's father in Mingora, the main town of Swat Valley, located 160 km from Islamabad.
18:10  How Citi was ramping up its succession plan:  And another Vikram Pandit story. Just five months when he was chosen in late 2007 to succeed Charles Prince, who resigned as chief executive amid ballooning losses on bad mortgage securities, Pandit, at the behest of Citigroup's newly reconstituted board, is taking steps to ensure his successor is no accident. Read
18:05  Meet Michael Corbat, the former NFL prospect who just became the CEO.  Read more
18:03  Flashback: Vikram Pandit's father on his son becoming CEO : met Shankar B Pandit when his son became Citigroup CEO in 2007. Read
17:54  Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit steps down:   Just in: Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit steps down as CEO. The Board of Directors of Citigroup today announced that Pandit had stepped down as the Company's Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board, effective immediately.

The Board also announced it has unanimously elected Michael Corbat CEO and a director of the Board. Mr. Corbat previously served as Citigroup's CEO of Europe, Middle East and Africa.  Read more 
17:49  Land Acquisition Bill cleared:   Just in: The Group of Ministers has cleared the controversial Land Acquisition Bill today. The ministerial panel chaired by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar finalised the Bill in its third meeting today. The minutes of the meeting will be placed before the Parliament during the winter session.

All that you want to know about the Bill: Read
17:40  Airport development fee to be scrapped in Mumbai, Delhi:  Just in: The Civil Aviation minister Ajit Singh has asked the Airports Authority of India that the Airport Development fee be scrapped in Mumbai and Delhi from 2013. Passengers pay Rs 300 for domestic and 1000 for international travel. Airport fee has been already been scrapped in Chennai and Kolkata aiports.
17:28  TV reports suggest Cabinet reshuffle on Friday:   Now, Rahul Gandhi seeks a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow. Sonia is scheduled to meet the President any time now, while PM Manmohan Singh met him earlier in the day. The meeting lasted for an hour. TV reports suggest a Cabinet reshuffle on Friday.
17:26  Iran receives documents on Israeli car bomb case:  Iran today said it has officially received the documents, related to the Israeli diplomat attack case, from India two days ago.

"We just received those documents two days ago...only two days ago. When they (Delhi Police team) were in Tehran, they explained the documents and fact findings so far. We asked them to give the documents officially, through proper channel and we would consider it carefully and investigate those," Iran's Deputy Minister for Asia, Oceania and Commonwealth (Central Asia), Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, said.

Rubbishing the allegation that Iran was behind the attack, in which the wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured, he said, "Our enemies are not Israeli diplomats. We condemn the attack and we believe there is conspiracy against Iran, as same conspiracy had been repeated in Thailand."
17:05  Ex beau Shahid wishes Kareena on her wedding:  Actor Shahid Kapoor has wished newly wed couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor a happy life together. Saif and Kareena today had a registered marriage after a five-year courtship.

Prior to Saif, Kareena had dated Shahid before they separated during the shooting of Jab We Met. "I would like to congratulate the family first. Marriage is a big occasion for the family. I have known Babita and Randhirji for a while. A daughter's marriage is a big thing.

"The decision to get married is a big one. I wish Saif and Kareena a happy married life," Shahid told reporters here at an event. "I hope they stay happy together. I hope Kareena works after marriage also, she is one of the finest actresses," he said.

Pictured: Karisma, Kareena at the wedding today. This was tweeted by designer Manish Malhotra who is doing her outfit for the occasion
16:59  The Alto is no poor mans car:  Today, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd launched a new version of its popular Alto hatchback. One word that wasn't spoken at the launch: cheap. Read
16:49  Tendulkar to turn out for Mumbai Ranji team after 3 years:   Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan are all set to strengthen Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy opener against Railways at the Wankhede Stadium here in the first week of November.

"Sachin and Zaheer are likely to play in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy opener at the Wankhede Stadium. They have expressed their interest to play in the game," said MCA's joint secretary Nitin Dalal today. The opening game between Mumbai and Railways is scheduled from November 2 to 5.
16:46  Cabinet reshuffle? Sonia to meet President at 5 pm :  UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 5 pm today. This comes after the PM's meeting with the President. earlier in the day. 
16:38  CBI files charge sheet against Yeddyurappa:  CBI has filed a charge sheet against former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and his kin in a land allocation case. More in a bit.
16:26  Transferred whistleblower Ashok Khemka, who blew the lid of the Robert Vadra-DLF deals, used to write for the Indian Express. Here's a piece he had written in 2011 on the Air India strike. Read
16:19  Kanishka bomber appeals perjury conviction :  The lone person convicted in the bombing of the Air India flight Kanishka that killed 329 people in 1985 has filed an appeal in Canada's Supreme Court asking it to overturn his perjury conviction, believed to be the longest perjury sentence in Canadian history.

Inderjit Singh Reyat, who himself pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his role in the bombing, was convicted of perjury in September 2010 and later sentenced to nine years in prison, The Globe and Mail reported today. Reyat filed the appeal yesterday.

He was accused of lying 19 times during the 2003 trial of Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, who were acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy in the bombing of the flight on June 23, 1985.

The bombing off the coast of Ireland was the largest mass murder in Canadian history with 329 people, mostly Canadian citizens, killed. Another blast at an airport in Tokyo killed two baggage handlers.
15:55  Fire at Okhla power station in Delhi:  Just in: There's been a fire at the Okhla power station in Delhi. Twelve fire engines have been rushed to the site. Details awaited. 
15:51  Can the Indian army maintain its restraint with China?:  Growing intrusion by the Chinese army on the Indian side of LAC has set alarm bells ringing. Read more
15:36  Two dead, 7 injured in Hyderabad-Solapur train fire:  Just in: Two passengers were killed and another seven injured when the Hyderabad-Solapur Falaknuma train caught fire near Gulbarga in North Karnataka, 600 km from Bangalore, reports NDTV. It's not clear yet what caused the fire, which began at 1.30 pm after the train had made its scheduled stop at the Gulbarga railway station. Two coaches have been completely gutted. Early repors say seven people have been injured.
15:33  Mumbai Police files supplementary charge sheet in 26/11 case; names Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal as one of the main conspirators. 
15:32  Baumgartner skydive: one rather helpful leap for space tourism:  Felix Baumgartner's jump has kept the dream of space as a playground alive. Read
15:28  In pictures, Saif weds Kareena. See
15:12  SC lifts tiger tourism ban in core areas :  Just in: The Supreme Court has lifted the ban on tiger tourism in core areas of wildlife sanctuaries. The National Tiger Authority had asked the SC to lift the ban, which had been instituted by the environment ministry. Core areas are zones with a high density of tigers.
15:05  Wali Karzai: Drugs baron, CIA agent or Afghan defender?:   Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Afghan president's assassinated younger brother, was either a drugs baron, a CIA agent or a fierce defender of the Afghan people, depending on who you listen to.

What is beyond dispute is that he was a deeply controversial figure and a warlord who commanded tremendous power over Kandahar, one of the most restive provinces of the war-torn country and the spiritual home of the Taliban.

14:55  Green salwar-kurta for Kareena, grey kurta-white pyjama for Saif:  More on the Kareena-Saif wedding. The couple were married this morning.

Kareena wore a green salwar-kurta with a heavy embellished red dupatta wrapped around her. She teamed it up with minimal jewelry, red bangles and left her hair open.

Saif, simply dressed in a grey kurta and white pajamas, came out with his new wife to greet fans from his balcony.

There is a buzz that a reception will be held tomorrow at a city hotel. This will be followed by another reception in Delhi on October 18 and a ceremony at Saif's ancestral Pataudi Palace in Haryana.

Although Saif and Kareena had maintained silence on their much awaited wedding, it was Saif's mother Sharmila who came out with the October wedding date.

Earlier during an event, when asked if she would convert to Islam, Kareena had said, "It is a very personal question and I cannot answer it." After the death of his father, Saif was anointed the new Nawab of Pataudi.
14:52  Cabinet reshuffle? PM meets President:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today met President Pranab Mukherjee, triggering fresh speculation of a cabinet reshuffle. The meeting lasted one hour, official sources said. There was no official word from Rashtrapati Bhawan as to what was discussed during the meeting. There has been speculation about reshuffle in the Cabinet and filling up of berths in the ministries left vacant by the resignation of Trinamool Congress and DMK representatives.
14:30  Finally, Saif, Kareena married:   Bollywood star couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor today tied the knot here in a quiet affair after a five-year courtship.

Saif, 42, son of late Nawab of Pataudi and former Indian cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and actress Sharmila Tagore, sealed his relationship with Kareena, 32, at his residence in suburban Bandra through a registered marriage.

"It was a registered marriage with three witnesses -- Kareena's father Randhir Kapoor, her mother Babita and Saif's mother Sharmila," marriage Registrar Surekha Ramesh said. The couple who started dating in 2007, married in the presence of close friends and family this afternoon.

Also read: The Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor love story

14:25  BJP: IAS transfer shows Cong's Emergency mindset:  Criticising transfer of Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka probing the alleged undervaluation of properties dealt with by Robert Vadra, the BJP today said the Congress is suffering from an Emergency mindset and demanded that an impartial inquiry be held into the matter.

"Congress is in complete shambles and in doldrums. It is trying to save Robert Vadra. We want an honest and impartial probe into the charges. An honest officer with integrity who has decided to take suo moto action has been transferred. That too at 10 pm," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

He maintained that instead of acting further on the actions taken by Khemka, the Hooda government has taken action against him. Khemka had only spent two months in his last posting.

"This transfer shows the Emergency mindset of the Congress," Javadekar said. The Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in Haryana transferred Ashok Khemka, director general, consolidations of holdings and land records in the wake of his decision to probe alleged undervaluation of properties dealt with by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
14:14  OMG! Right wing group thwarts opening by Akshay:   A right wing Hindu outfit has opposed inviting Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar for inaugurating the forthcoming IFFI, scheduled in Goa from November 20, claiming his recent film Oh My God allegedly hurt religious sentiments. OMG is a satire on organised religion, starring Akshay and Paresh Rawal in lead roles. Read

On Twitter: @sgurumurthy: has any seen the film 'oh my god' can anyone send me a mail to my eid in the NIE a note on how it trivializes Hinduism and the dialogues
14:02  Every hour of TV can shorten your life by 22 minutes: Study:  Couch potatoes, watch out! Every hour that you spend in front of the 'idiot box' could be taking 22 minutes off your life, a new study has warned. Australian researchers have found that watching television could be shortening your life by 4.8 years. Researchers have found that for every hour of television viewed by a person over the age of 25, their life expectancy is reduced by 22 minutes. The study was based on an average six hours viewing per day, compared to a person who watches no television.
13:58  The Man Booker 2012 shortlist: the authors on their novels:  The Man Booker prize will be awarded today. Ahead of the judges' decision, the six hopeful authors introduce their shortlisted novels. Read (Our votes and best wishes go to Jeet Thayil, a former staffer)
13:56  Why the EU deserved the Nobel:  The real question isn't whether the Europe Union deserved its Nobel. The real question is: What is the EU going to do with it? Read
13:46  Gag order for Cong men after Beni Prasad's gaffe:  Buzz in Delhi goes like this...

Internal instructions circulated at 24 Akbar Road, the headquarters of the AICC, is that party spokespersons have been told not to participate in panel discussions on TV. The AICC also felt that unnecessary comments like the one by union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma has created further confusion and embarrassment. Verma famously said yesterday while defending Salman Khurshid on his alleged Rs 71 lakh scam, that the amount was too small for Khurshid.
13:34  Cuban missile crisis: how the US played Russian roulette :  President Kennedy is often lauded for managing the Cuban missile crisis. The reality is he took stunning risks to impose American hegemony. Read
13:28  Pak troops kill two civilians in Kashmir's Uri sector:  Two civilians were killed in unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops in Uri sector of North Kashmir's Baramullah district today. "Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing and two civilians were killed on the spot," a spokesperson for the defence forces told "The firing is still going on," he said.
13:25  Seven Chinese warships sighted off a Japanese island:  Seven Chinese warships, including two destroyers, were sighted today in waters off a Japanese island, Defence Ministry said here, as tension mounted between the two Asian giants over territorial disputes.

The naval ships passed the contiguous zone, a band of water just outside Japan's territorial waters which are governed by international maritime law. The sighting comes at a time when Japan and China are already at loggerheads over a disputed archipelago in East China sea.

The seven ships were spotted sailing at around 3:30 am IST about 49 kilometers south-southeast of Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, the ministry was quoted as saying by Japanese news agency Kyodo.
13:11  Flyer misses meeting, airlines told to pay Rs 14.5k:  The South Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum recently ordered Go Air to pay Rs 14,500 to a Prabhadevi resident, who missed a crucialmeeting in Chandigarh after his flight landed in Delhi due to poor visibility. Read
12:59  Six BIG myths of the raid on Osama bin Laden:  The idea that U.S. President Barack Obama bucked the counsel of his key advisors in deciding to order the Navy SEAL assault on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, apparently arose from reports of the spirited discussions that the president entertained in the weeks before the raid.

This and other myths busted. Read it here.
12:51  A good read: Lacking teachers and textbooks, India's schools turn to Khan Academy to survive. Read
12:46  Vadra-DLF whistleblower: Transfer is dehumanising:  Khemka also added that the decision to transfer him was "demoralising and dehumanising".

"If these problems are brought in sunshine, probably my decisions would appear to be normal and correct. But what happens is, inside, you are guided and directed that behave differently. "If you do take an action which you call strong but I would call as correct, and then action is taken against you, it's very demoralising, dehumanising and you feel ashamed of yourself that look, there must be something wrong with you that these things are happening.

"You get words like 'you don't get along well with others, 'there are shades of grey in life' etc. These kinds of euphemism are created to deviate you from the correct path," he said pleading for security as he feels there may be a "threat" from "vested elements" whom he has been exposing from time to time. 
12:44  Vadra-DLF whistleblower: Why was I transferred? :  Speaking to Times Now, the 1991-batch IAS officer Ashok Khemka who was allegedly transferred for probing the Robert Vadra-DLF deal said, "On October 8, I initiated a probe into the alleged reports of undervaluation based on media reports and allegations of wrongdoing by my office.

"I was served a transfer order on October 11 at 10pm at my residence," Khemka said seeking an explanation for his transfer.

He refused to make any direct comments on the reason behind his transfer. "It is for the state government to answer this question," Khemka said.

"I have suffered 40 transfers in 20 years. I would want to know why I am transferred, so that I can take corrective action and become a better civil servant," he said.

Reacting to Ashok Khemka's outburst, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda denied that his transfer was a punishment. The chief minister went on to threaten action against Khemka if his statements were found to be untrue.

'The chief secretary has been told to probe his allegations. The state government has not given any undue favours to anyone. We will take action against Khemka if it is found that he has misrepresented facts,' Hooda said.

Khemka was transferred from his post of director general, consolidations of holdings and land records, afer a tenure of less than two months, and posted as managing director of Haryana Seeds Development Corporation, which was last under an officer 12 years his junior.

Khemka wrote a letter to the state chief secreatary on October 12, objecting to his transfer.  More
12:37  Why inflation is higher than you think:  Monday's release of September's wholesale price index, the main measure of Indian inflation, showed a slight up-tick in prices.  You might say, considering the rise in diesel prices that the government pushed through, that it is entirely to be expected and no big deal.
You would be wrong. Read
12:33  Fertility aid for Parsis:  The Planning Commission has cleared a scheme to sponsor fertility treatment for Parsis to arrest their dwindling numbers '" the first such allocation for any community in the country.The panel has set aside Rs 2 crore as budgetary allocation for the first year of the 12th Plan period.According to the scheme, the government will bear the cost of the treatment for childless married couples. But both have to be Parsis. Read
12:32  Will Vadragate turn out to be Sonia's Bofors? Read
12:30  Scientists discover first-ever planet with four suns:  A team of amateur astronomers has discovered a new planet, six times the size of Earth and surrounded by four suns in a first-of-its-kind phenomenon. The planet located around 5,000 light years from Earth orbits one pair of stars and is in turn circled by a second pair.

As a result, a total of four stars light up its skies. So far scientists have identified six circumbinary planets - orbiting two stars instead of one - but none of these have further suns orbiting them, making the quadruple star system named KIC 4862625 one-of-its-kind.

The planet was discovered by two US volunteers using the Planet Hunters project led by a team from Yale University, the Daily Mail reported.
12:18  Five symbols for Kejriwals new party:  When anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal and candidates from his newly-created political party contest their first elections, they will need to choose a symbol that represents them. Read
12:17  Russel Crowe's wife to US$ 25 million payout:  Hollywood star Russell Crowe's estranged wife Danielle Spencer is reportedly set for a payout of at least USD 25 million. The Gladiator star, who raises two sons together eight-year-old Charles and six-year-old Tennyson with Spencer, who split after nine years of marriage this weekend. The couple's property interests alone are worth USD 50 million, including a USD 14 million penthouse in Sydney and farmland in New South Wales.
12:14  Roger Moore nearly died filming The Spy Who Loved Me:  Former James Bond star Roger Moore says he almost died when a stunt went wrong while he was shooing for 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me.

The 85-year-old says he was filming a fight scene with co-star Curt Jurgens when he made a choreography change and was thrown across the room by a special effects blast, reported the New York Post.

Moore was taken to hospital with several open-wounds and it took him days to recover.

"There's a sequence in 'The Spy Who Loved Me where' I nearly came a cropper (died). The audience knows that the villain, Karl Stromberg, played by Curt Jurgens, is going to shoot a missile under a table at Bond. They (the producers) had me standing behind a chair which had a steel back to it that so that, when the explosion took place, I would be wound-free.

"I, like a stupid idiot, suggested there would be more suspense if Bond was sitting. Nobody mentioned that the seat of the chair was not reinforced. The special effects man was a little over-anxious and let off the explosion just before I got up from it (the chair). I was blown out of the chair and had smouldering holes in my back," he said. The spy film series is celebrating 50 golden years on silver screen.
12:08  Indias missing children, by the numbers:  In India, a child goes missing every eight minutes, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau. Almost 40% of those children haven't been found. Read more
12:02  When Air India was efficient, profitable and growing fast:  Having convinced the government, in 1932, that he should run an air mail service for it, 28-year-old J. R. D. Tata did not need much longer to demonstrate that he was doing a stand-up job. Tata Air Mail's scrupulous adherence to schedules was legendary. Read
11:54  At the altar of Raabart:  It's a painful experience to watch Congress spokespersons defend the people they choose to defend. It's painful not because they bend over backwards to make their beliefs -- leaps of faith, really -- sound like arguments, but because they make such a bad case as an army of defendants. Read
11:49  Danish agent, Croatian blonde and the plot to get al-Awlaki:  The story would not be out of place on the TV thriller "Homeland": the Danish petty criminal turned double agent who receives $250,000 in cash for helping the CIA try to ensnare one of al Qaeda's most wanted -- by finding him a wife.The wanted man was American-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who had become one of the most effective propagandists for the group. The bride-to-be was a pretty blonde from Croatia. Read
11:38  Needed: Better government, cleaner Opposition:  In anticipation of Arvind Kejriwal's promised revelations tomorrow on BJP president Nitin Gadkari, here is Swapan Dasgupta's blog. Read
11:30  UK doctors hopeful for Malala Yousafzai:  Doctors at the UK hospital where 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai is being treated after a Taliban gun attack say they are hopeful she can recover.The Pakistani girl, who arrived in Birmingham on Monday, had a bullet removed from her skull last week.The Taliban said they targeted her for "promoting secularism". Read
11:24  And quite obviously, Ms Banerjee is trending on Twitter.

OK, now I understand why Mamata Banerjee jailed that poor farmer who asked her a question. He was trying to interact freely with her.

Next Batman movie will have Batman racing against time to shut off the supply of poisonous ideas from Mamata Banerjee's brain to her mouth.

Isn't it time Mamata Banerjee started *interacting freely* with what passes for her brain?

@Joydas Khap Panchayat members from all over India right now must be wiping tears of Joy after finding their long lost sister Mamata Banerjee.

11:18  Mamata rages against holding hands, news pollution :  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took a dig at the modern permissive society, but stopped short of linking it to rise in crimes against women in the state."Earlier, if men and women held hands, parents would reprimand them. Now everything is done openly. It's like an open market with open options," said Mamata.

She accused the media of "news pollution" against her government and trying to project Bengal as a land of rapists. Read
11:08  IIM-A cracks box office code to predict film future:  As the term 'Rs 100 crore club' replaces the good old 'silver jubilee' to describe a super hit, Bollywood has got a new formula to forecast collections during the all-important opening weekend.Students of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) say they have cracked the blockbuster code to help Bollywood predict a film's future at the box office '" at least during the first three days. Read
11:07  Mumbai chemists call off three-day strike:   Chemists, who had threatened to down shutters for three days, have called off their strike. Members of the Maharashtra State Drug and Chemists Association (MSDCA) met FDA minister Satej Patil and state FDA commissioner Mahesh Zagade at Kolhapur on Monday, and after negotiations the strike was called off.The government gave a go- ahead for forming the state- level drug consultative committee, comprising FDA officials, chemist associations and select licensee shop owners. More
10:59  The Narendra Modi you didn't know :  What is Narendra Modi the man like? Here are a few facets of him that I can share as a Gujarati, as someone who know him and as someone who has observed him over many years. That's Aakar Patel's column for the Hindustan Times. Read
10:52  Haryana govt whistleblower shunted for probing Vadra's land deal:  India Against Corruption activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday tweeted that Haryana government has transferred a senior officer Ashok Khemka because he was probing Robert Vadra's land deals in the state. Kejriwal criticised the Haryana govt's action and asked them what their transfer policy was. He also asked whether an officer could merely be transferred because he was investigating Vadra. Read
10:48  Cong firmly behind Khurshid despite growing attacks on him:  The Congress threw its weight behind Salman Khurshid even as political newbie Arvind Kejriwal upped the ante against him over allegations of misappropriation of funds.Senior ministers such as Ambika Soni and Ghulam Nabi Azad ruled out any isolation of the law minister. Read
10:36  Tendulkar to be made member of Order of Australia:  Sachin Tendulkar is set to another feather to his already crowded cap as Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced that the iconic Indian cricketer will be conferred the membership of the Order of Australia, an honour "rarely" awarded to non-Australians.

The 39-year-old Tendulkar, who is currently in South Africa playing in the Champions League Twenty20, will become only the second Indian after former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee to get the honour. Sorabjee was made an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia (AM) "for service to Australia-India bilateral legal relations" in 2006.
09:39  Sensex up over 65 points in early trade:  The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose over 65 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retailers amid a firm trend in Asian regions.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 38.37 points in the previous session, rose further by 65.66 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 18,779.21, led by oil and gas, realty and power sectors stocks. 

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 17.50 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 5,704.75.
09:38  Michelle Obama casts her vote for US Prez poll:  United States First Lady Michelle Obama has already cast her vote for the November 6 presidential election, using the "early voting" provisions of the country's electoral process.             

"What a great Monday, this morning I voted for@BarackObama," Michelle tweeted on Monday night.
09:36  Romney ahead of Obama in key states:  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is surging ahead of incumbent US President Barack Obama in dozen odd key battleground states, latest poll results show.               

The USA Today/Gallup polls released on Monday said that Romney now leads Obama by four points "still hovering around the error of margin" in the dozen odd states; the results of which is said to determine the winner of the November 6 presidential elections.

These states are Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio,Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Pennsylvania,Wisconsin and New Hampshire.
09:16  Khurshid row: Cong dares Kejriwal to move court:  Reacting strongly to Arvind Kejriwal's allegations against Salman Khurshid, the Congress has now dared the activist to take legal action against the Union law minister.

The Congress has stated that if the activist indeed had evidence of irregularities committed by a Trust run by Khurshid and his wife Louise, then he should move the court.
09:13  BJP: This proves Vadra's clout:  Reacting to the transfer of the officer who cancelled the mutation of the land deal between Robert Vadra and DLF, the BJP has said this proved the "clout enjoyed by Vadra".

08:18  Rs 58 crore Vadra-DLF land deal CANCELLED:  The land deal worth Rs 58 crore between realty giant DLF and businessman Robert Vadra was cancelled by a government official, who was later shunted out, according to media reports.

Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, had bought the land in Haryana for Rs 5 crore and sold it for Rs 58 crore. 

Activist Arvind Kjriwal had alleged financial irregularities in the land deal.
04:15  Paul becomes major hurricane in Pacific off Mexico:  Hurricane Paul has rapidly strengthened into a major Category 3 storm in the Pacific off Mexico, prompting a hurricane warning for a swath of Baja California's western coastline, forecasters said. The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said Paul's maximum sustained winds had ratcheted up to 195 kph as of 5 pm EDT yesterday. Paul was centered about 670 kilometers southwest of the tip of the Baja peninsula and moving north-northeast at 20 kph.

Forecasters said Paul was expected to approach the western coast of the southern Baja peninsula by late today and be near or over the central Baja peninsula tomorrow. The hurricane was expected to begin weakening today, the hurricane center said.
03:23  Sept. 11 suspects appear at Guantanamo court:  Five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks returned before a military tribunal Monday, forgoing the protests that turned their last appearance into an unruly 13-hour spectacle.

But the apparent cooperation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has said he masterminded the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, and four codefendants did little to speed up proceedings that have stuck in a legal and political morass for years. And Mohammed, dressed a white turban and traditional black vest, made clear he still feels a deep disdain for the proceedings, saying "I don't think there is any justice in this court.'
02:07  Cameron urges Israel to give Iran sanctions time:  British Prime Minister David Cameron today urged Israel not to launch a military attack on Iran over its contested nuclear programme and said sanctions should be given time to work. 

Cameron said in a speech to the United Jewish Israel Appeal in London that a military strike against sites in Iran would only serve to rally the Iranian people around the regime at a time when the sanctions were starting to bite. But he warned the Iranians that if they failed to halt uranium enrichment, then "nothing is off the table". 

His intervention came as European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg agreed a host of tough new financial and trade sanctions against Iran aimed at forcing a breakthrough in stalled talks on the nuclear programme. Cameron refuted claims that the sanctions strategy was "fatally flawed", saying they had helped to slow the nuclear programme and reduced Iranian oil exports by 45 per cent.
01:32  China leads rise in Asia military spending: study:  Military spending by Asia's major powers, including India, increased dramatically over the past decade with China leading the way, as its defence budget quadrupled since 2000, according to a study released today. 

Defence spending in China and four other Asian countries doubled over 10 years and will surpass Europe's military expenditures this year, said the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank. Asia's arms race still leaves it trailing US defence spending, but it will ensure the United States likely will stick to its plan to shift the country's strategic focus towards the Asia-Pacific region, it said. 

Defence spending in China, India, South Korea and Taiwan reached a total of USD 224 billion in 2011, which "equates to almost twice the amount spent by these five countries in 2000," said the CSIS study.
01:23  Obama, Romney prepare for New York debate:  Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are hunkered down with advisers ahead of Tuesday's debate, with the US president under pressure to bounce back after a languid first performance.

Mr Obama is at a debate camp in Virginia, while Mr Romney is preparing in his home state of Massachusetts.The town-hall style forum in New York state will take questions from voters.A new national opinion poll shows the rivals in a statistical dead heat, 21 days before the election.

Click here to read full report
01:08  Malala Yousafzai in UK for medical treatment:  Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in Swat, has arrived in the UK for medical treatment.

A renowned campaigner for girls' education, she was attacked on her way home from school last Tuesday and a bullet was removed from her skull.The Taliban said they targeted her for "promoting secularism".

She is in a serious condition and is being seen by doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.Malala was flown from Pakistan on board an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates and accompanied by a full medical team.
00:35  Delhi autorickshaws on strike today:  Commuters may face difficulty today in Delhi as a number of auto-rickshaw and taxi operators' unions will go on a strike demanding a hike in fares. The unions have not heeded to an assurance by the Delhi government on Monday that a decision on the issue will be taken within 15 days.

The auto-rickshaw unions have also been protesting the government's directive to install Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in their vehicles due to "high cost" of the equipment.In view of the strike, the Delhi government asked the Delhi Transport Corporation to deploy as many buses as possible on the road on Tuesday.
00:24  Delhi autorickshaws on strike today:  Commuters may face difficulty today in Delhi as a number of auto-rickshaw and taxi operators' unions will go on a strike demanding a hike in fares. The unions have not heeded to an assurance by the Delhi government on Monday that a decision on the issue will be taken within 15 days.

The auto-rickshaw unions have also been protesting the government's directive to install Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in their vehicles due to "high cost" of the equipment.In view of the strike, the Delhi government asked the Delhi Transport Corporation to deploy as many buses as possible on the road on Tuesday.
00:23  Granite scam: 'Don't know why grandson is hiding' :  M Karunanidhi, the 88-year-old chief of the DMK, has said he does not know why his grand-son Durai Dayanidhi is hiding. A court in Madurai in Tamil Nadu today issued a non-bailable warrant for Mr Durai Dayanithi who has been underground for two months. 

A company owned by him has been accused of illegal mining and theft."The government and judiciary should proceed legally. I'm not worried," Mr Karunanidhi said. He added, "the AIADMK government is indiscriminately filing cases against DMK cadre and already I had asked for a CBI probe into the whole issue of granite mining from the earlier AIADMK regime onwards". 
00:21  White House mulls how to strike over Libya attack:  Administration officials say the White House has put special operations strike forces on standby and moved drones into the skies above Africa, ready to hit militant targets from Libya to Mali, if US investigators can find the Al Qaeda-linked group responsible for the death of the US ambassador in Libya. 

But the officials say the administration also is weighing whether the short-term payoff of being able to claim retribution against al-Qaeda is worth the risk that such strikes would be ineffective and rile governments in the region.
00:19  Top headlines in the past 24 hours:  Law student gang-raped inside Bangalore University campus

Obama to be more aggressive in 2nd debate: Team

Khurshid and Mulayam will save each other: Kejriwal

'Rs 71 lakh very small amount for minister like Khurshid'

Malala Yousufzai flown to UK for specialised treatment

Three-day chemists' strike in Maharashtra called off

Kejriwal ends stir, to start campaign against Khurshid

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