23:31 'Rahul assured help on JK panchayat empowerment' :
A body of sarpanchs in Jammu and Kashmir, which recently met AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, today said he has promised that "no power can stop panchayat empowerment in the state."
"Rahul ji told us no power on the earth can stop the implementation of the 73rd Amendment Act to empower panchayat raj system in Jammu and Kashmir. He is now our last hope," Shafiq Mir, convener of All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Coordination Committee, told reporters.
Mir also advised the Congress to withdraw support from the state government if coalition ally National Conference opposes the empowerment of panchayat.
23:29 Thousands rally against anti-Islam film in Pakistan:
Thousands of people marched through the streets of Karachi today to protest against an anti-Islam film that angered Muslims across the globe.
Workers of some religious parties marched through the M A Jinnah road with banners and placards denouncing the US and the film.
They also chanted slogans including 'Hang the American film maker' and 'We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the honour of Prophet Mohammed'. The rally ended peacefully without any incident of violence.
21:54 Pope's butler on trial for leaking info:
Pope Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele, who is accused of leaking secret Vatican memos about the politics going on in the holy city, went on trial today.
Gabriele may get up to four years in jail if charges of aggravated theft against him are upheld by the court.
21:52 Gujarat: Ganesh procession turns violent, 12 hurt:
At least twelve people were today injured in stone-pelting after an angry mob damaged vehicles and shops at Dahemi village during the visarjan
of Lord Ganesh..
Two shops, a Maruti van, a Piaggio car, four motorcycles and two cycles were torched in the flare-up, according to a police officer.
"People were sprinkling plastic bags filled with gulal (colour). However, when the Ganesh idol immersion procession reached a place of worship, some of the gulal fell on its wall, angering the people," he said.
21:49 Nitish slams violence by protesters during yatra :
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today condemned the violence by protesters during his ongoing Adhikar Yatra
and slammed their conduct as unbecoming of the democratic and political culture of Bihar.
"The protesters pelted stones on my motorcade and made a bid on my life apparently to stop me in my endeavour to seek the betterment of Bihar and its people by getting special status," he told public meetings in Supaul and Araria district.
Kumar said he has 'full respect' for the democratic rights of the people but the violent protest was uncalled for and unexpected from the people of Bihar.
21:49 Six Maoists arrested in Odisha:
Security personnel have arrested six ultras belonging to different Maoist outfits in Odisha's Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts, police said today.
While the police in Nabarangpur district arrested Prafulla Kumar Chetti (32) of Hatbharandi, K Suresh Patnaik (26) and Manoj Dakua (26), both belong to Raighar area last night, Ganjam police nabbed Sanjiv Nayak, Debendra Nayak and his younger brother Madan of Balinala village under Badagada police station limits.
The police also seized explosive materials from the three arrested Maoists in Nabarangpur.
21:48 Iran hits back: Israel has passed nuclear red line:
After Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah warned that Iran will soon cross the 'red line' and acquire nuclear weapons, the Islamic nation hit back today, saying its arch foe had crossed the line a long time ago.
"If having the atomic bomb is passing the red line, the Zionist regime, that possesses dozens of nuclear warheads and weapons of mass destruction, has passed the red line years ago, and it has to be stopped," said a senior official of the Iran government, according to media reports.
21:06 Little headway in Delhi heist probe:
Investigators today made little headway in the probe into the heist of Rs 5.25 crore from a cash van in south Delhi, recovering two empty cash trunks from a village in the capital.
Police recovered the empty trunks from Khirki village at around 7.30 am after security guards in the area reported the matter to them.
A senior police official said they were probing whether the criminals had any local links, as the cash van was abandoned in Hauz Rani in south Delhi, and the cash trunks were left in a nearby village.
21:04 Nepal probes air tragedy that killed trekkers:
The Black Box of an ill-fated Nepalese plane that crashed, killing all 19 people on board, was recovered today. Officials cited a bird hit and an error by a "panic-stricken" pilot as possible causes of the tragedy.
Police handed over the Black Box data recorder of the Dornier aircraft that crashed near the Kathmandu airport to the committee investigating the accident.
The Sita Airways' plane had just taken off from Kathmandu and was headed to Lukla, the gateway to Mount Everest, when it crashed into the banks of Manahara river on Friday morning.
21:02 Sehwag skips net session again:
The Indian team's way of handling senior opener Virender Sehwag and the player's own attitude in this ongoing World Twenty20 is certain to raise questions about whether all is well in the Indian camp.
On the eve of the high-voltage match against arch rivals Pakistan, Sehwag was again seen skipping the entire net session, although he did participate in a football game.
While skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli also did not bat during the hour-and-half net session, Sehwag was seen relaxing and enjoying a chit-chat with other team members, when serious questions are being raised about his form and commitment in the shortest format.
19:30 Third Front will emerge before or after LS polls: Naidu:
Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu today suggested that a Third Front could emerge in due course of time.
"Politics in India is peculiar and there are certain compulsions. There is the UPA and there is the NDA. There are non-NDA and non-UPA forces as well. While the UPA is mired in scandals and inefficiency, NDA is not picking up. This benefit should accrue to non-UPA and non-NDA parties," he said.
19:29 Undeclared emergency in Bihar during Nitish rule: RJD:
Opposition RJD has accused Bihar's Nitish Kumar-led government of imposing an 'undeclared emergency' in Bihar to suppress spontaneous protests by the people during his ongoing Adhikar Yatra.
"An undeclared emergency-like situation prevails in Bihar at the moment, particularly in those districts being visited by the chief minister, to address public meeting to mobilise support to the special status demand for Bihar," RJD leaders Abdul Bari Siddique, state unit president Ramchandra Purve and Ramkripal Yadav told reporters.
Opposition leaders in various districts have been taken into preventive custody while shops and market places were closed, they said, adding that the situation reminded one of the days of Emergency.
19:27 BSF promises steps to stop frontier casualties:
India today said that measures were being worked out with Bangladesh to bring down to 'zero-level' casualties on the porous border between the two countries, as Dhaka pledged not to allow Indian insurgents to operate from its soil.
After a four-day conference, U K Bansal, director-general of Border Security Force, told reporters "casualties on the frontier will be brought down to zero-level".
He said steps had already been taken to cut down casualties on the border. The crucial biennial conference of the frontier forces of the two countries came in the backdrop of Dhaka acceding to India's long-standing demand to hand over imprisoned ULFA leader Anup Chetia.
17:44 FIR lodged against Thackeray for remarks against Biharis:
An FIR has been lodged against MNS chief Raj Thackeray allegedly for promoting enmity, causing mischief and making statements prejudicial to national interest by making remarks branding Bihar natives as infiltrators in Mumbai, the Delhi police has told a local court.
Thackeray, who had allegedly threatened to throw Bihar natives out of the state, has been booked under Section 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of place of birth etc), 153 B (making imputations prejudicial to the national interest) and 505 (making statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Delhi police submitted the copy of the FIR to the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Neeraj Gaur, who on September 27 had directed it to lodge an FIR against Thackeray.
17:42 Shah Commission to visit Odisha from October 3:
Ahead of the week-long Odisha visit of the Justice M B Shah Commission to probe the mining scam in different parts of the country, the state government today said it was ready with documents for verification by the six-member team.
"The Odisha government has no hesitation to produce records, as sought by the commission. Different departments have been asked to keep their files and records ready for the purpose," said Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.
17:14 Why DMK is upset with Ajay Maken :
Minister of State for Finance S S Palanimanickam has sought DMK chief Karunanidhi's permission to move a privilege motion against Sports Minster Ajay Maken in the Lok Sabha.
Ajay Maken wrote to an MLA in Tamil Nadu and sanctioned Rs 6 crore to build a stadium in Palanimanikam's parliament constituency. However, the MoS is upset as Maken disbursed the money without his knowledge.
A new headache is brewing for the DMK and Congress, said a senior DMK leader.
17:08 No IAS officers from Kerala as secretary to govt in 2013 :
In the coming year, not a single IAS officer from Keral will be appointed as secretary to the government. But two of the serving secretaries have sought a revision of the cadres, reports our correspondent in New Delhi.
The big question is why is the PMO sidelining Kerala-based IAS officers.
17:03 PM's security beefed after man disrupts his speech :
Following the incident at Vigyan Bhavan last week where a lawyer took off his shirt and shouted slogans disrupting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech, the Special Protection Group have taken elaborate precautions to ensure that a similar incident was not repeated during the function to commemorate the 150th birthday of Motilal Nehru at the same venue.
The SPG made sure that two security men in plain clothes sat in every row during the function, according to our correspondent in New Delhi.
The total capacity of Vigvan Bhavn is 850, but after last Saturday's incident only 750 guests were allowed. 100 security personnel occupied the remaining seats.
16:11 Tamil Nadu speaker quits:
Tamil Nadu assembly speaker D Jayakumar resigned today.
Jayakumar has stepped down without citing any reasons.
More details are awaited.
15:54 Kaziranga: 1 more rhino killed, 6 death in 4 days :
One more rhinoceros was found dead today in the flood waters at Kaziranga National Park, which has seen a sudden rise in poaching activities in past few days.
While a total of six rhinos have died in past four days in poaching and flood-related incidents, the toll ever since the third wave of floods began on September 21 has gone up to 10.
Body of the mature female rhino with its horn intact was found floating in the flood waters at Gorakati under Bagori Range of the park today, Deka said, adding that the animal drowned in flood waters and was not a victim of poaching.
The horn from the body of the rhino was handed over to the forest department, he said. The carcass of the pachyderm was recovered during routine patrolling in the park, which has most of its 430 sq km area under flood waters.
Between September 26 and 28, five rhinos were killed by poachers.
15:05 No action against Bihar MLA's gun-totting husband:
Forty two people have been arrested in Bihar's Khagaria district after
protestors on Thursday pelted stones at the convoy of Chief Minister
Nitish Kumar and attacked the collectorate, demanding special status for
Police say, a probe has been initiated against
all those who indulged in the arson and violence on that day. The chief
minister was in Khagaria as part of his 'Adhikar Yatra' when protestors
welcomed him with violent protests.
However, no action has been
taken against the husband of a JD-U MLA, who flaunted a gun to threaten
protesters who were shouting anti-Nitish slogans there.
The MLA's husband Ranvir Yadav also happens to be a former legislator
who faces a number of criminal cases. On Thursday he snatched a carbine
from his wife's bodyguard and threatened the protesters.
13:19 Reforms are not one-off process, says PM:
Unfazed by the uproar over FDI in retail and other tough decisions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today indicated that the government may continue with the reforms process and expressed willingness to discuss issues with allies.
"We will do what is good for the country... reforms are not one-off process," he said.
The PM was responding to questions on demands for rollback of decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail, diesel price hike and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders by the opposition.
When asked to respond to reservations expressed by allies that the recent decisions could hurt their electoral prospects, Dr Singh said the issue could be discussed. "We are far away from elections."
He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
12:36 Justice Altamas Kabir sworn in as new Chief Justice of India:
Justice Altamas Kabir, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, has been sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India.
Justice Kabir, 64, who succeeds Justice Sarosh Homi Kapadia, will serve a tenure of nine months till July next year.
Justice Kabir has delivered several landmark judgments including those on human rights and election laws.
11:54 Teen gangraped in Haryana, third case in 3 weeks:
In the third incident of its kind in three weeks, a teenaged girl
was gangraped by four men in Gohana town in Haryana's Sonipat district
The victim, a Std XI student, had gone to a grocery shop in the
afternoon. The shop owner Kali asked her to go to a godown nearby to pick up the items she needed and then followed her,
She was raped by Kali and three others identified as Harish, Deepak and Shanty, who were already there.
The police, which registered a case of rape, later claimed two of the accused had been arrested.
On September 21, a married woman in Jind district had alleged that she
was gangraped by three men in her house at gunpoint in the presence of
her family and children. Two accused were later arrested by the police.
first gangrape case happened on September 9 and came to light only on
September 18 after the Dalit father of the teenaged rape victim
11:35 Former NSA Brajesh Mishra's last rites on Monday:
The last rites of Brajesh Mishra, the country's first national security adviser who died here following a heart ailment, will be held on Monday. His mortal remains will be consigned to flames at the Lodhi Road Crematorium at 11 am on Monday, a close relative of Mishra said.
Mishra, who would have turned 84 today, was declared brought dead at the Fortis Hospital in Vasant Kunj at around 9.50 pm last night. He was suffering from coronary artery problem for some time.
A career diplomat, Mishra was principal secretary to PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee before he was appointed NSA. He had earlier retired as secretary in the external affairs ministry after having served as India's permanent representative to the United Nations.
He had played a crucial role in assisting Vajpayee during the Kargil conflict in 1999.
11:03 Maharashtra CM accepts Ajit Pawar's resignation :
Ajit Pawar's resignation as the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra has been accepted by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today. The CM has forwarded the resignation to Governor K Sankaranarayanan.
The decision comes a day after NCP chief and Ajit's uncle Sharad Pawar asked the CM to accept the resignation and asked 19 other ministers who offered to quit in solidarity to return to work.
Ajit Pawar quit after his name cropped up in the Maharashtra irrigation scam.
10:32 Yeddyurappa hints at forming own party by Dec:
Former Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa clearly showed his displeasure towards the Bharatiya Janata Party by skipping the national executive meet in Surajkund, which concluded yesterday.
Yeddyurappa again revived his threat to break away from the BJP and
form his own party. "The decision will be taken in December; I want to
take the opinion of party workers and well-wishers first."
announcement of the timing of a possible break from the BJP is
significant since Karnataka assembly elections are scheduled in early
2013.Read the full story here
10:18 India's heaviest satellite GSAT-10 successfully launched:
India's advanced communication satellite GSAT-10 was
successfully launched today on board Ariane-5 rocket from Europe's
spaceport in French Guiana.
GSAT-10, with a design life of 15
years, is expected to be operational by November and will augment
telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services.
At 3,400 kg during lift-off, GSAT-10 is the heaviest satellite built by
the Bangalore-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation.
It was ISRO's 101st space mission.
10:09 Nitish cracks the whip, SIT to probe protests against him:
A special investigation team has been appointed to probe a series of protests against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Shiv Kumar Jha, an SP-rank officer, will head the SIT constituted to probe into the incidents at Khagaria on Thursday during the CM's Adhikar Yatra.
Meanwhile, 35 persons have been arrested in connection with the attack on CM's convoy and vandalism in the town, according to Khagaria SP Mithoo Prasad.
The attack was part of a conspiracy hatched by youth wings of some opposition parties, said the SP. He, however, refused to name the organisations whose workers were allegedly involved in the attack, reports the Times of India
The SP said an FIR had been lodged against 75 named accused and 600 unknown persons for brick-batting, arson, setting ablaze vehicles and damaging government property.
09:30 Anna slams Kejriwal, says politics spilt movement :
In a veiled attack on his former close aide Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare said "politics has split" the anti-corruption movement and the pro-party group has gone against his will.
The Gandhian activist also decried efforts to link him with some parties and "communal" outfits, in an apparent reference to allegations that he is closing ranks with RSS through yoga guru Baba Ramdev to run the anti-corruption movement after the split with the Kejriwal-led group.
"Those who favour party have been saying that if Anna says, then they will not form a party. But despite that, they have decided to go ahead with the plan against my decision. Sometimes, it is also said they were forming the party because Anna has decided so. This is not right," he said.
08:48 Hollywood Reporter hails Life of Pi:
After Ang Lee's film based on Yann Martel's Booker Prize winner was screened at the New York Film Festival, Hollywood Reporter called it a 'glorious and accomplished rendering' of Life of Pi: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/life-pi-review-ang-lee-374992
08:40 How to Behave: Lessons for Chinese leaders:
Rediff Senior Contributor Claude Arpi sent us this one:
Ten New Warnings to Officialdom Widely Circulated on the Internet
Qiushi Theory, which is the CCPs official publication to interpret the CCPs major policies and theories, published an article discussing how the Internet era has placed new pressure on Party officials. Many Party officials have thus become alert and are fearful of the Internet. To illustrate its point, the article quoted some new information that has been circulating widely on the Internet: Ten New Warnings to Officialdom.
The 10 warnings are: 1) do not talk nonsense during an interview; 2) do not smoke famous brand name cigarettes while attending a meeting; 3) do not wear expensive watches while conducting business activities; 4) do not drive a famous car when performing public service activities; 5) do not hold an umbrella during grassroots inspections; 6) do not copy famous articles when submitting something for publication; 7) do not use twitter when you are dating someone; 8) do not keep a diary about your former married life; 9) do not smile when a natural disaster occurs; 10) do not be the spokesman during emergent events.
Sources: Qiushi Theory, September 25, 2012
08:34 Shabana likes Priyanka single:
We know Salman Khan listened to Priyanka Chopra's single thrice back to back, but here is high praise from the difficult-to-please Shabana Azmi who tweeted this morning: "@AzmiShabana: Priyanka chopra's single is vibrant and should soon be on everyones lips. Congratulations dear one"
08:28 Why Sonia, Mamata, BJP must heed Kelkar Report:
Venkatesh Vembu has a must-read on the Kelkar Report on FirstPost.com: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/why-sonia-mamata-bjp-must-be-forced-to-heed-kelkars-warning-473130.html
08:25 The Kelkar Report, which has rattled the government:
The Vijay Kelkar Committee Report on the Roadmap For Fiscal Consolidation is essential reading for every Indian concerned about this country's economic future: http://finmin.nic.in/reports/Kelkar_Committee_Report.pdf
02:08 Pakistan floods kill 371, affect 4.47 million: AFP
reports: Monsoon floods in Pakistan have killed 371 people and affected nearly 4.5 million, the government's disaster relief agency said today.
Pakistan has suffered devastating floods in the past two years, including the worst in its history in 2010, when catastrophic inundations across the country killed almost 1,800 people and affected 21 million.
As in 2010 and 2011, most of those hit by the latest floods are in Sindh province, where the National Disaster Management Authority said 2.8 million were affected, with nearly 890,000 in Punjab and 700,000 in Baluchistan.
Nearly 290,000 people around the country have been forced to seek shelter in relief camps, NDMA said in figures published on its website.
01:17 The Man Who Could Have Been King:
Bo Xilai's career in China's Communist party ended on Friday when he was booted out and charged with numerous offences that could even cost him his life. Last year Bo was seen as a shoo-in for one of the nine places on the party Politburo's Standing Committee, the cabal that rules China. Then murder intervened, his political rivals sensed an opportunity to scuttle his ascent... Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes Bo's eclipse in this feature: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-28/bo-xilai-end-of-a-princeling
01:09 Mark Taylor out of Cricket Australia:
That great Aussie, Mark Taylor has failed to make it to the board of Cricket Australia. The representative of New South Wales, the interestingly named Harry Harinathan, made it ahead of Taylor, one of the finest captains of his time. Read the story here: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/former-skipper-mark-taylor-snubbed-for-cricket-australia-board-position/story-e6frey50-1226482797058
Taylor is not the only remarkable cricketer snubbed by a cricket board. OnThursday, Mohinder Amarnath was dropped as an Indian selector after just one year in the job. Amarnath's candor bothered the BCCI's powers-that-be...
01:03 Aussies offered sex at T20!:
Fox Sports Australia alleges a Sri Lankan man entered the rooms of some of the Aussie cricketers, in the country to play the worldT20 championships and offered them sex: http://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/icc-world-twenty20/young-sri-lankan-breaks-into-aussie-hotel-at-world-twenty20-and-offers-sex-to-players/story-e6frf3m3-1226483705228
01:01 3 more IAS, six RAS officers reshuffled in Raj:
Continuing administrative reshuffle, the Rajasthan government today transferred three more IAS and six state administrative service officers.
IAS officer Bhawani Singh Detha, who was earlier transferred as district collector Chittorgadh, was today posted as Director, Department of Mines, Udaipur while Ravi Kumar Surpur has been made Director, Primary Education Department, officials said.
00:57 Blsckouts and the Aftermath:
Two months after half the country was plunged into darkness, post-mortems continue of what went wrong. This one is interesting and reveals Mumbai's strategy to avoid such power outages: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/blackouts-illuminate-indias-power-problems
00:47 Are we getting smarter?:
James R Flynn insists we are. An excerpt from his new book: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-we-know-humans-getting-smarter-flynn-excerpt