September 23, 2012
Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit today slammed activist Arvind Kejriwal and his team for asking city residents not to pay electricity bills and accused them of spreading anarchy in the national capital.
If people don't pay their electricity bills as asked by Kejriwal, then people would have to face consequences, she said.
"Was he holding a demonstration or trying to spread anarchy and lawlessness in the city," Dikshit said when asked about the protest by Kejriwal and his team over the hike in electricity tariff at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Kejriwal today led a protest here against Delhi government on the power tariff hike and asked people not to pay electricity bills.
He announced a new 'Civil Disobedience Movement' asking people not to pay bills if the Sheila Dikshit government does not order CAG audit of private discoms.
Three children drowned and five persons went missing after a boat manned by National Disaster Response Force personnel on a rescue mission to help flood-stranded people capsized at Makum in upper Assam's Tinsukia district, official sources said.
There were around 15 people in the boat, including Army and NDRF personnel when it capsized at around 4 PM in Barekuri area of Makum in the flood waters, the sources said.
Three children drowned, while five persons were missing, they said, adding, the rest were able to swim to safety. An operation has been launched to search for the five missing persons.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has assured Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki that the Centre would soon send a team to take stock of the damage caused by floods in the state.
Gandhi, during a meeting with the chief minister on Saturday, said the Centre was aware of the worsening flood situation in Arunachal and assured all possible help to repair damage caused by sudden floods, official sources said.
Tuki along with state's AICC incharge Dhaniram Shandil called on Gandhi with a plea for immediate assessment of devastation caused by the flood and central aid to overcome the crisis.
Eleven people, including a former member of Sindh provincial assembly, were shot dead in different parts of Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi in what police suspected were target killings.
60-year-old Malik Ata, a builder and former lawmaker, was gunned down by two motorcycle-borne men outside his house in Mehmoodabad area of Karachi on Saturday, police were quoted by local media as saying.
Ata was overseeing some construction work outside his house when the assailants sprayed him with bullets, pumping three into his chest and one in his head. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lashing out at the BJP, Minister in the PMO V Narayanasamy today said BJP had no right to criticise the hike in fuel price as during the BJP-led NDA rule prices of diesel and petrol were hiked as many as 27 times.
"BJP's criticism of the hike in diesel price is untenable and unacceptable," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Slamming the opposition parties for holding a nation-wide bandh on September 20 to protest the increase in price of diesel, he said the Centre had granted a subsidy of Rs 1.40 lakh crore for petrol, diesel and LPG during 2011-2012. Already the oil companies were in the red with losses to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore, he claimed.
He said the Congress-ruled states had increased the cap on the number of LPG cylinders from six to nine. "Why has the BJP ruled sates failed to replicate the step?," he asked.
Quelling speculation of a third front, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal today said only NDA will form next government at the Centre and no conclusion should be drawn from the meeting between him and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Sukhbir said, "There was no question of third front in the present political scenario as only NDA would form the next government at the Centre after Lok Sabha elections whenever they are held."
Yadav (Mulayam) has old relations with us and Om ParkashChautala family, and we keep on meeting on various social occasions exchanging our notes, "nothing political should be read between Yadav meeting me," said the deputy chief minister of Punjab.
Slamming Trinamool Congress, Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said steps like allowing FDI in retail sector, hiking diesel prices and limiting cap on domestic LPG could have been taken earlier if there was no pressure from parties like the one headed by Mamata Banerjee.
Ruling out any threat to the UPA government following withdrawal of support by TMC, the senior Congress leader said, "Our government has support of over 300 MPs in the Lok Sabha, including members from parties giving inside and outside support."
For a simple majority, government needs the support of atleast 273 MPs in a House of 545. Azad was talking to reporters in Jammu on the sidelines of a function to pay tributes to former King of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaj Hari Singh on its 117th birth anniversary at Dogra Chowk area of the city.
Stoutly defending the decisions, he said every country needed to take strong steps for the betterment of its economy. "This strong step will be better for the country," he said.
Delay in the delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov to Indian Navy by Russia will be discussed at a meeting of defence ministers of the two countries to be held here in the first week of October.
The delivery schedule of the already much-delayed warship slipped further after it encountered engine malfunctions during sea trials in Russia and is now expected to be delivered in the second half of next year.
During the meeting of the India Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation next month, the issue will come up for discussion, Navy officials said in New Delhi.
PTI: Even as the BJP has strongly opposed the Centre's decision to hike diesel prices and allow FDI in retail, senior party leader and former Union Minister Arun Shourie justified the move saying it was the need of the hour.
"Increasing diesel prices was the need of the hour," Shourie, who had come to Bhopal to participate in a seminar, told the media.
A lot of hue and cry is being raised unnecessarily on the issue of FDI in retail as this will neither lead to profit nor losses, the BJP leader said. "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has for the first time shown his strength," he added.
Amy Winehouse's ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil has finally confessed that he got the tragic star into hard drugs.
The 30-year-old was in jail when the 27-year-old pop diva died a year ago after excessive alcohol intake and Fielder-Civil said that he was relieved that an overdose of drugs did not kill her, reported Sun online.
"I thought my world had ended. We were two peas in a pod. I don't know whether it absolves my guilt or responsibility. But it meant I didn't kill my ex-wife. I was the one who brought drugs into the relationship. When the toxicology results came back I was relieved there were no drugs in her system," Blake said.
He also said that Winehouse's downward spiral was her own fault. "It seems disrespectful to Amy to assume she was so impressionable she would take them without making the decision to do so herself. She was actually very strong and independent," he added.
Unable to attend her funeral, he held a ceremony for her in his cell. Following his 14-month stretch for burglary and having a firearm he ended up in hospital from drugs and booze.
PTI: Cong files complaint against Parrikar for geologist's suicide Goa Congress today filed a police complaint against state Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for allegedly abetting suicide of a suspended mines and geology department official.
Congress leader Sudip Tamankar lodged a complaint at Ponda police station alleging that the harassment meted out to assistant geologist Dattatray Bhave, along with other five officials who were suspended for their alleged involvement in illegal mining activity, prompted Bhave to commit suicide.
The complaint said Parrikar should be interrogated and booked for his alleged role in the suicide.
Bhave had committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Ponda town on September 21. His family had alleged that Bhave was humiliated, mentally tortured and harassed by the department after the suspension, which forced him to take the extreme step.
A senior police official said they will be studying the charges levelled in the complaint before proceeding with further action.
Meanwhile, BJP's Goa spokesman Dr Wilfred Mesquita said that the Congress was "trying to draw mileage from the suicide incident."
The officer should have faced the inquiry, instead of killing himself, Mesquita said. Parrikar had asked local deputy collector to initiate an inquiry in the suicide.
A man claims to have captured footage of a UFO hovering across the city skyline here.
The three-minute clip was recorded as the UFO (unidentified flying object), hovered over Carlton Gardens last night.
Tod, who did not want his surname published, said he captured the footage on his phone after he first saw the object about 9.30 pm (local time).
Other witnesses have reported seeing it early in the evening. Tod said the object left the Carlton Gardens area about 11 pm (local time), flying past the Immigration Museum.
"It was moving like no other flying object that I'm aware exists, and it was displaying amazing patterns of lights that looked something like a light show display in the sky," he said.
Nicolas Cage's former security guard is suing him for $115,000 as he claims the actor wrongfully terminated his services last year.
Richard Brun said in his lawsuit that the "National Treasure" star wrongfully terminated his contract and did not pay the amount of salary promised to him, reported TMZ Online.
According to the new lawsuit, which was filed in Orange County, Brun was hired back in September last year but was fired "without any valid reason" two weeks later.
Brun said he was not paid what was promised in his security contract. It was not stated what his duties were.
Brun said he suffered around $115,000 as a result and is suing Cage at least that amount. The actor has not given a comment on the lawsuit.
Sachin Tendulkar was in for a pleasant surprise as West Indies legend Brian Lara paid a visit to the former's residence in Mumbai, in what seemed to be an impromptu meeting between two of modern day's greatest batsmen.
Tendulkar uploaded a picture of the two legends on social networking sites -- Twitter and Facebook -- today morning. "Guess who dropped in at home...? An amazing player and a wonderful friend :-)," Tendukar wrote on his twitter handle, referring to Lara, who has been the Indian's long-time contemporaries in international cricket.
Lara had recently backed Tendulkar and said that he had a "year or two" cricket left in him, amid calls that the Indian must retire after his failure in the recent Test series against New Zealand.
Unidentified Maoists beheaded a villager in Karhara in Bihar's naxal-infested Jamui district, police said today.
The Maoists caught Manoj Yadav last night and beheaded him with a sharp object for non-payment of extortion, the sources said.
The ultras left a leaflet on the spot to specify reasons for killing the villager, they said. Jhajha police station's Station House Officer Rajiv Singh rushed to the village and sent the body for post-mortem.
Pakistani police have registered a case against over 6,000 unidentified people on charges of terrorism, ransacking and attempted murder during a protest against an anti-Islam film in Lahore, officials said today.
"We have arrested 36 people so far and we will use footage from TV news channels and CCTV cameras to identify the other culprits," Lahore Police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI.
The 36 people arrested on charges of inciting violence during Friday's protest against the anti-Islam film, were remanded to judicial custody for a fortnight yesterday by an anti-terrorism court.
One person died and seven others suffered minor injuries when a portion of a private building near the ESI hospital at Sellur area in Madurai collapsed early this morning, police said.
Fire service personnel said one person who was rescued died later and that operations are on to extricate two others still trapped under the debris. Officials suspect non-maintenance of the building over a long period could have led to the collapse and said a notice has been issued to demolish it.
An enquiry would be held to ascertain the reasons behind the collapse, they said.
Actor Ranbir Kapoor and 'Barfi!' director Anurag Basu are happy that the film is India's official entry for the Oscars 2013, but said they have a long way to go to actually gain a nomination.
The film beat 19 other films to be named India's entry in the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category at the Oscars in February next year.
"We all are very happy... It is a team effort but we should not be that excited as the film has just got an entry from India, we are yet to be selected for the main entry," said Ranbir, who has played the role of a deaf and mute boy in the film.
After all the congratulatory messages poured in, director Anurag tweeted, "Thank you much!!! Lekin abhi delhi door hai (We have a long way to go)!! Pray for us!!"
Only three films -- Mehboob Khan's 'Mother India', Mira Nair's 'Salam Bombay!' and Aamir Khan's 'Lagaan' - from India have managed to get to the final round of Oscar nominations so far.
Allying fears that opening up of the retail sector for FDI will hurt small kirana shops, Plan Panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said modern retail is an expanding segment and it would more than double in a very short time.
"I don't think FDI in retail is threat to small retailers. Modern retail is the expanding segment. Those who say that the small sector would be hurt, I think they are wrong by the way," Ahluwalia said in a CNN-IBN TV programme Devil's Advocate.
Asked that the much-hyped reform was once opposed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as then Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha in 2002, Ahluwalia said, "I don't recall what was said by every person on every day. Things move forward, perceptions change, circumstances change. I don't think that there is any lack of clarity on FDI in retail. BJP was at that time pro-reform."
AFP: Apple is seeking more than $700 million in additional damages and interest while arch-rival Samsung wants a new trial in the wake of a verdict that saw the US technology giant awarded $1 billion.
In a massive US court victory, a California jury declared on August 24 that the South Korean electronics giant should pay Apple $1.049 billion in damages for illegally copying iPhone and iPad features for its flagship Galaxy S smartphones.
But in a court document filed late Friday, Apple said it "is requesting an amendment to the existing verdict and a total judgment" of more than $707 million, noting that the amount it received did not adequately cover Samsung's infringements on its patents.
PTI: Two pilgrims were killed and over half a dozen injured in a stampede at the Radha Rani temple in Barsana on Sunday morning.
The district administration, however, denied that a stampede had taken place and said two women had died of heart attack and suffocation.
"It is not an incident of stampede. In fact both the ladies died of heart attack as they reached the temple after climbing over 100 stairs," A K Rai, the SP rural, said.
"While one lady died on the spot, the other breathed her last in the hospital," he said.
Eye-witnesses claim that a stampede took place during prayers on the occasion of Radha Ashtami when the crowd was passing through the exit gate. The injured were rushed to private doctors.