23:57 Ensure Musharraf does not leave Pak: SC tells government:
The Pakistan Supreme Court today directed the government to ensure that former President Pervez Musharraf does not leave the country as it ordered him to appear before it tomorrow to face treason allegations.
A two-judge bench led by Justice Jawad S Khwaja issued the directives after hearing preliminary arguments on five petitions seeking Musharraf's trial for treason for subverting the constitution and declaring an emergency in 2007.
The bench said Musharraf or his lawyer should appear in court tomorrow to respond to the allegations.
23:35 Still room for nuclear talks with Iran: diplomat:
There is still room for talks with Tehran over its disputed nuclear programme but the run-up to Iranian presidential elections in June complicates the situation, a Western diplomat said today.
"There is enough substance for these negotiations to continue," said the diplomat after the latest round of talks between world powers and Iran failed to reach an accord despite early hopes of progress. "I would not expect a breakdown," the diplomat added.
The sticking point at the talks in the Kazakh capital Almaty were demands that Tehran curb its uranium enrichment activities to levels in keeping with civilian needs in return for the easing of Western sanctions which are biting ever deeper.
23:13 BJP will bring anti-conversion law if it comes to power: Naidu :
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President M Venkaiah Naidu today said his party would bring an anti-conversion law if it comes to power at the Centre. Addressing a gathering here, he said BJP is totally opposed to conversions and the country would only be safe when Hindus are in a majority.
Claiming that BJP is the only national party in the country to protect the welfare of all sections of people, he charged the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh had totally neglected the welfare of the poor and downtrodden.
23:12 France launches major offensive on Mali Islamists:
A French force of 1,000 soldiers has begun a sweep of a valley thought to be a logistics base for Al Qaeda-linked Islamists near the Malian city of Gao, an AFP journalist accompanying the mission said.
Operation Gustav, one of France's largest actions since its intervention in its former colony, will involve dozens of tanks, helicopters and aircraft, said General Bernard Barrera, commander of the French land forces in Mali.
22:38 Husband breaks down at Savita inquest:
The husband of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar, who died after being denied an abortion in Ireland, broke down in tears as he recounted the incidents leading up to his wife's death during an inquest which opened today.
Praveen Halappanavar explained how his wife asked twice for a termination as she lay in hospital in excruciating pain and broke down in the dock 45 minutes into his statement, which had to be halted by coroner Ciarn McLoughlin to give him time to recover.
22:14 In Jalna, a urninal named after Ajit Pawar:
Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, isn't being forgiven
for mocking the water and power problems defeating the state's farmers.
urinal in Jalna, a part of Marathwada mangled by drought, has been
named after the leader, retribution for his asking sarcastically "should
we urinate" when discussing the poverty of water, reports NDTV
Read the full story here
21:34 Rajat Gupta not liable to Goldman for Rajaratnam tips: US court:
A United States appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought against former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta by a shareholder of the firm who sought that the Indian-American repay profits made after hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam traded in shares based on insider tips passed by him.
The lawsuit brought by Goldman investor James Mercer was dismissed by the second circuit court of appeals, which said that Mercer had failed to prove that Gupta was a "beneficial owner" of Goldman Sachs shares.
"Plaintiff has failed to allege that Defendant Gupta had 'pecuniary interest' in Goldman Sachs shares that would make him a 'beneficial owner' of the shares," the three judge panel ruled.
21:33 Shocking! 10-year-old rape victim put behind bars:
The callous response of the police came to fore when a 10-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped, was put behind bars by women cops after she approached them to file a complaint along with her mother.
Two women constables have been suspended while two sub-inspectors including the station-in-charge have been sent to police lines following the incident, SSP Gulab Singh said.
The victim spent several hours behind the bars after her mother brought her to a women's police station to lodge a complaint against a local goon for allegedly raping her. She was rescued only after locals protested over the matter.
21:06 BJP suspends Yeddyurappa's son : Vicky Nanjappa
reports: The Bharatiya Janata Party has finally suspended B Y Raghavendra, son of B S Yeddyurappa from the party. The action comes in the wake of anti-parties activities, which have been alleged against him.
Raghavendra remained a BJP MP even after his father quit the party. He was always seen alongside his father at the functions of the Karnataka Janata Party.
The party has also suspended Shivakumar, son of C M Udasi who is also a Yeddyurappa loyalist. The suspension of both leaders comes four weeks before the Karnataka assembly elections to be held next month.
20:09 Ajit Pawar must not be pardoned: Gopinath Munde:
Maharashtra's BJP senior leader Gopinath Munde said here today that Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar should resign for his insensitive remarks on drought and load-shedding.
He should not be pardoned, Munde said, during a demonstration in front of the divisional commissioner's office in Auraganabad, demanding relief to farmers whose fruit orchards had gone dry. He said that though the state government had declared that it would compensate farmers for their loss, they had not received anything so far.
20:06 CBI chargesheets Jagan, Sabita Reddy for graft:
YSR Cong chief Jaganmohan Reddy and AP Home Minister Sabita Reddy have been chargesheeted by the CBI for alleged favours to a private company.
Jagan allegedly facilitated favours to a cement company in exchange for Rs 95 cr investment in his firms when his father was CM, the chargesheet points out.
19:05 PM condoles Thatcher's death:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today expressed "deepest sadness" over the demise of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, describing her as a "transformative figure" under whom the UK registered important progress in national and international arenas.
"People of India join me in sending our sincerest condolences to the Thatcher family, the government and people of the United Kingdom," he said in his condolence message. Singh said Thatcher was "a transformative figure under whom the United Kingdom registered important progress" in the national and international arenas.
18:25 Thatcher on Reagan's death: I have lost a great friend:
Though her doctors advised against public speaking, a frail Thatcher attended Reagan's 2004 funeral, saying in a prerecorded video that Reagan was "a great president, a great American, and a great man. And I have lost a dear friend," she said.
18:20 Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that. British media reported Monday that a stroke caused her death.She made few public appearances in her final months, missing a reception marking her 85th birthday hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron in October 2010. She also skipped the July 2011 unveiling of a statue honoring her old friend Ronald Reagan in London. In December 2012, she was hospitalized after a procedure to remove a growth in her bladder. -- CNN
18:18 Boris Johnson @MayorofLondon: Very sad to hear of death of Baroness Thatcher. Her memory will live long after the world has forgotten the grey suits of today's politics.
18:15 Marines case: India to honour assurance given to Italy:
In other news: Notwithstanding NIA slapping murder charge against two Italian marines, India will honour the assurance given to Italy that the duo will not face death penalty for allegedly killing two fishermen off Kerala coast.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will not press for death sentence against the marines -- Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone -- as per the assurance given by India to Italy even if they are convicted of murder. "We will honour whatever assurance given to Italy," Union Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters here today.
18:14 State funeral for Thatcher, won't lie in state :
Baroness Thatcher will have a full ceremonial funeral, according to the BBC. Downing Street is saying that it will be like the Queen Mother's funeral. Lady Thatcher will not lie in state.
18:10 "She has the eyes of Caligula but the mouth of Marilyn Monroe." -- French President Francois Mitterrand
18:09 Margaret Thatcher in her own words... (and what words they are):
"I love argument. I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me - that's not their job." 1980
"I am not a consensus politician. I'm a conviction politician." 1979
"I don't mind how much my ministers talk, as long as they do what I say."1980
"To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say. You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning." 10 October 1980, Conservative party conference
The document recording former deputy PM and defence minister Jagjivan Ram's visit to 10 Downing. Read
The document that records former US President Ronald Reagan's late night call to Margaret Thatcher. Fascinating read
Margaret Thatcher unedited: Slimeballs always hate a strong woman
17:49 David Cameron: We've lost a great leader, a great PM:
UK PM David Cameron tweets his first statement on Baroness Thatcher's death: UK Prime Minister: @Number10gov: "It was with great sadness that l learned of Lady Thatcher's death. We've lost a great leader, a great Prime Minister and a great Briton"
17:45 Even her friend former US prez Reagan was daunted by her:
During her time as prime minister, she emphasized the rights of the individual versus that of the state, moral absolutism and nationalism. In her first term, Thatcher reduced or eliminated many government subsidies to business, a move that lead to a sharp rise in unemployment. By 1986, unemployment had reached 3 million. Enjoyed a close friendship and working relationship with President Ronald Reagan, with whom she shared similar conservative views. -- CNN
How former US president Ronald Reagen called Thatcher asking her to end the Falklands war.
17:39 The Queen says...:
Statement from Queen Elizabeth II on Margaret Thatcher's death: The Queen is sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher and Her Majesty will be sending a private message of sympathy to the family, Buckingham Palace said today.
The full text of Margaret Thatcher's speech at the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial lecture in 1995.
17:34 Thatcher's family to make a statement shortly:
BBC: Baroness Thatcher's spokesperson, Lord Bell said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.
"Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990.She was the first woman to hold the post. Her family is expected to make a further statement later.
Baroness Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.
Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party's leadership in 1975. She won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987.
Pic: Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher/Reuters
Jeffrey Archer: Margaret Thatcher is so ill she doesn't recognise me
17:25 Former UK PM Margaret Thatcher passes away:
Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies in London. Thatcher, the longest-serving (1979-1990) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post, suffered a stroke. A Soviet journalist called her the "Iron Lady", a nickname which became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented Conservative policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.
17:22 'Sanjay Dutt's mother's death marked him forever':
'A lovely boy with a heart of gold', 'A man who regrets his days as a drug addict', 'A boy gone astray' -- Sanjay Dutt's friends swear by him. Malavika Sangghvi decodes the man who's in trouble, yet again. Read
17:18 Karat rubbishes Modi's women power speech: Isn't Jaffri a woman?:
With Narendra Modi emphasizing that the Gujarat model of development was a success because of empowerment of women, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat on Monday alleged that the women of this country have seen the hatred-filled politics, which the former represents, and they can never ever give any credibility to just high-sounding statements.
Karat said the statements made by Modi at FICCI Ladies Forum about empowering women have no credibility at all, and added that it cannot be taken seriously for his entire political framework is a framework, which disempowers women.
"I mean, is Zakia Jaffri not a woman and is she not fighting justice precisely because Narendra Modi is denying her justice. Is Kausar Bi not a woman, who was brutally murdered and whose killers were defended till the end by Narendra Modi and his government? Was Ishrat Jahan not a girl who deserved justice, but who was brutally killed in an encounter? And it was Narendra Modi and his government who defended those who were responsible," said Karat.
17:14 Gujarat pizza joint has its moment of fame:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in his speech today spoke of a little-known pizza outlet: Jasuben's Old Pizzas. He claimed the popularity of Jasuben, a roadside pizza joint in Gujarat's city of Ahmedabad, rivaled that of global fast-food chains like Pizza Hut. Read
17:08 Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina rejects anti-blasphemy laws:
The Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has rejected a demand by the country's Islamists to enact a new anti-blasphemy law to punish those who defame Islam and Prophet Mohammad.Her comments came after hundreds of thousands of Islamists held a rally in the capital Dhaka over the weekend asking for tough punishment to those who insult Islam. More
17:00 Nitish: Where will honey come from if there is no beehive? :
Apparently referring to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi's remark that India was a beehive, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today questioned where honey would come from if there was no beehive.
"Madhumakkhi ka chhatta nahin rahega to shahad kahan se ayega (where will honey come from if there is no beehive)?" Kumar told reporters in reply to a question.
The chief minister initially sought to ignore a question on Gandhi's 'beehive' remark, but came back to it after replying to a few questions. The chief minister also said "shahad bahut gunkari cheej hota hai aur Bihar mein shahad ka utpadan sabse jyada hota hai (honey has several positive ingredients and Bihar is the biggest producer of honey)."
16:45 Olympian Mo Farahs wife escapes death :
Mo Farah's wife Tania cheated death in a road accident after a drunk driver ploughed into her car on Sunday. The Olympic legend's missus was driving in the US when her motor was rammed from behind by a black BMW and the boozer at the wheel ran off, the Sun reported. The terrified mum of three was left shaken but unhurt. Meanwhile, Farah, who won two gold medals at London Olympics 2012, took to twitter to rage as cops launched a hunt for the car occupants, who ran away. "Wish I was there to chase them..!!!' he wrote.
16:34 Narendra Modi tweets: Shall speak at Network18 #thinkindia Dialogue on 'Why India Needs Less Government & More Governance'.
Tune in to CNN IBN if you want to hear Modi speak
16:25 BJP names Shettar for K'taka CM, Cong keeps mum:
With BJP needling it on the issue of naming Chief Ministerial candidate, Congress today said it was its strategy not to declare its choice for the post in the run-up to the May five in Karnataka Assembly polls in which it hopes to come back to power.
"We haven't declared our chief ministerial candidate. This is our poll strategy.... We have a combined leadership and everybody participates in the election process," KPCC President said.
The BJP which has announced incumbent Jagadish Shettar as its choice for the CM's post has been taunting the Congress for not coming out with a name.
16:12 Israel stops for two minutes to remember Holocaust:
Israel came to a standstill for two mournful minutes today as sirens pierced the air in an annual ritual to remember the 6 million Jews systematically murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust in World War II. Israelis stopped what they were doing and stood in silence as sirens wailed nationwide today at 10 am.
People stood with heads bowed in reflection. Traffic froze as drivers stopped their cars and stepped outside in respect for the solemn day. Commemorations are held around the country. The main wreath laying ceremony is held at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked worldwide on January 27, the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Israel's annual Holocaust memorial day coincides with the Hebrew date of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.
Israel dedicated its annual memorial day this year to mark 70 years to the Warsaw ghetto uprising, a symbol of Jewish resistance against the Nazis in World War II that resonates deeply in Israel to this day.
16:06 Why Modi is NO feminist:
If women watching Narendra Modi's speech to female business executives Monday were expecting him to blow up gender stereotypes that are pervasive in India, they were likely left a little exasperated. Here's why.
15:53 Modi steps nearer to Delhi:
Reading the tea leaves on India's prime ministerial candidates? Here are a few more clues pointing to a Narendra Modi -- Rahul Gandhi showdown. Read
15:49 Juhu rave party case: SA cricketer Parnell surrenders in court:
South African cricket player Wayne Parnell who was a wanted accused in the Juhu 'rave party' case, today surrendered before a local court. Parnell was later granted bail for Rs 10,000. He had earlier been shown as a wanted accused in the charge sheet of the case.
Last month, the Special NDPS court had given a copy of the charge sheet filed in the case to the accused, including IPL cricketer Rahul Sharma and actor couple Apoorva Agnihotri and Shilpa Agnihotri.
The Mumbai Police had on March 6 filed the charge sheet in the case after which the court had summoned all the accused. Sharma and the actor couple, along with others, had been rounded up after a raid on a suburban hotel.
Police had conducted a raid in May last year on a party at a hotel in suburban Juhu, where drugs were allegedly being consumed, and rounded up around 86 persons.
They filed a 1,200-page chargesheet against 86 people while 35 accused, mostly foreigners, were shown as wanted, a police official had earlier said. The wanted accused include foreigners who left the country after the medical examination.
15:46 Why dictators dont like jokes:
Pro-democracy activists around the world are discovering that humor is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against authoritarianism. Read
15:44 How worried should we be about Kim Jong Un's youth?:
We may not know much about the man currently plowing full speed ahead toward international nuclear crisis, but one thing we do know for sure is that he is young -- 29 or 30. And this, most news outlets seem to agree, is an important factor in understanding how we wound up where we are today -- and where we may be headed. Read
15:32 Pakistan Court summons Musharraf in treason case:
More details coming in:
The Supreme Court today ordered former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to appear before it tomorrow to face treason allegations even as it directed the government to ensure that the ex-President does not leave Pakistan.
A two-judge bench led by Justice Jawad S Khwaja issued the directives after hearing preliminary arguments on five petitions seeking Musharraf's trial for treason for subverting the constitution and declaring an emergency in 2007.
The bench said Musharraf or his lawyer should appear in court tomorrow to respond to the allegations. It ordered the Interior Secretary to take steps to prevent Musharraf from travelling abroad and to put his name on the 'Exit Control List'.
15:24 Inquest begins into death of woman refused abortion:
The full inquest into the death of a woman who was refused an abortion in an Irish hospital will begin on Monday. Savita Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway in October. At least 16 witnesses from the hospital, as well as expert witnesses, will give evidence before the coroner, Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, in the city's court. More
14 bad habits that can cost you your job.
14:57 India's boat people:
On April 4, Rahul Gandhi made his debut address to the CII in New Delhi. Speaking to business leaders last week, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi talked of how India was brimming with energy and how we were sitting on a tide of transformation. But there were many who didn't have a boat, and Gandhi suggested that India Inc should help provide them this boat. Read
14:52 Pak SC summons ex-prez Musharraf in treason case:
Pakistan's top court on Monday ordered former military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to appear before the judges to answer allegations that he committed treason while in power, an offense that carries the death sentence.
Also see our 14:02 post for a related story
14:43 Pablo Neruda: Chile exhumes poet's body in murder probe:
Forensic experts in Chile will shortly exhume the remains of the poet, Pablo Neruda, who died in 1973.
The Chilean authorities want to establish whether he died of cancer or was poisoned on the orders of Chile's military ruler, Gen Augusto Pinochet.Pablo Neruda, a Nobel Prize winner, was a member of the Communist Party and a staunch supporter of ousted Chilean president Salvador Allende.
He died aged 69 just 12 days after Gen Pinochet's coup against Allende. Read
14:41 North Korea nuclear test NOT imminent, says S Korea:
South Korean officials have said there are no indications that the North is about to carry out a nuclear test.A defence ministry spokesman said while activity had been detected at the Punggye-ri underground test site, it appeared to be routine. North Korea, meanwhile, has said it will pull workers out of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, its last major symbol of cooperation with South. More
14:38 More than a leader, India needs vision:
The pursuit of a GDP number does not inspire citizens because it does not tell them how their lives will improve but the idea of building a good society would. Also on the Hindu.
14:35 India needs a federal foreign policy:
Since most states share an international boundary, they need to be involved and consulted on external affairs that affect them. Read
the opinion piece on the Hindu.
14:27 Pawar apologises for remarks after uproar in Maha legislature:
Under fire from the Opposition for his insensitive remarks on drought and load-shedding, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today tendered apology in both Houses of the state legislature which witnessed uproarious scenes and repeated adjournments.
Pawar's coarse humour at a public meeting on Saturday had the Opposition up in arms against him in the Legislative Assembly and Council, forcing the Deputy Chief Minister to issue a personal clarification apologising for his remarks.
"My comments on Saturday were not directed towards drought-affected people and I had no intention to hurt anybody's sentiments. I hope my comments will not affect drought relief measures which will continue vigorously," he said in the Assembly, where the Opposition twice forced adjournment of the proceedings.
Ajit, nephew of Union Agriculture Minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, admitted he should have chosen his words carefully.
14:21 Won't contest in 2014, but will remain in politics: Pawar:
Sharad Pawar tweets: Some news channels reports about me quitting active politics is absolutely baseless and not true. It is true that I will not be contesting 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But I will be continue to work for our party.
14:17 Taliban vows to wage jihad to implement Shariah in Pakistan:
With a little more than a month to go for Pakistan's general election, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud has described democracy as a system of "kafirs" (non-believers) and vowed to wage jihad to implement Islamic law in the country.
In a video message issued today, Mehsud said the Taliban want the enforcement of Shariah or Islamic law in Pakistan. Geo News channel quoted Mehsud as saying that he does not favour democracy.
The Taliban chief claimed that "kafirs" want to divide Muslims in the name of democracy. The Taliban want an Islamic nation and "Allah's system" in Pakistan, he said.
14:10 India Gate not right place to build war memorial: Dikshit:
Notwithstanding a recommendation by a Group of Ministers to set up a National War Memorial at India Gate, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has strongly opposed the proposal, saying its construction will take away the sheen of the "peoples' place" in the city.
Comparing the India Gate complex with Chowpatty in Mumbai and Marina beach in Chennai, Dikshit said setting up of the war memorial will severely affect the ambiance of the area and restrict movement of people.
"It is a peoples' place. It is just like Marina beach and Chaupati. My point is that you can make a memorial anywhere else. Why spoil this beautiful place? Why become a hindrance to the peoples enjoyment?" Dikshit said when asked about the issue.
In August, a GoM headed by Defence Minister A K Antony had recommended the establishment of the National War Memorial at the India Gate complex.
14:02 Pakistan SC bans Musharraf from leaving country:
The Supreme Court of Pakistan directs authorities not to allow former president Pervez Musharraf to leave the country. Musharraf was given approval Sunday to run for parliament next month, a victory for him in what has otherwise been a bumpy return to the country after more than four years in self-imposed exile. Musharraf, who seized power in a military coup in 1999 but was forced to step down nearly a decade later, was greeted last month by only a couple thousand people at the airport in the southern city of Karachi when his plane landed from Dubai. The lackluster welcome was a sign, many analysts say, of how little support Musharraf has in his homeland.
13:50 2002 hit-and-run case: Salman's appeal adjourned to Apr 29:
A court today adjourned till April 29 the appeal filed by Bollywood actor Salman Khan against a magistrate's order invoking the charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
The matter was adjourned as the Sessions Judge was on leave. The 47-year-old actor has contended that the magistrate had erred in invoking the charge of 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder' (Section 304 part II of IPC) in the hit-and-run case.
The offence under this section attracts a 10-year jail and has been tried by a sessions court. Earlier, Khan was tried by a magistrate for lesser charge of causing death by negligence (Section 304A of IPC), that provides for a maximum punishment of two years in jail.
13:45 Manmohan to pay bilateral visit to Germany on Wednesday:
The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will be paying a bilateral visit to Berlin beginning on April 10 to participate in the second round of inter-governmental consultations with Germany.
Dr Singh will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including ministers and senior officials. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences S Jaipal Reddy, Union Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Anand Sharma and Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Dr MM Pallam Raju are likely to be part of the delegation.
Dr. Singh will arrive in Berlin on the evening of April 10 and will be hosted for dinner by the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.
13:43 Sri Sri offers to mediate in North Korea:
In other news, Sri Sri Ravishankar offers to mediate in North Korea. In a statement today, Sri Sri declared he was available to the United Nations and governments to forestall an unnecessary conflict and make way for a renewed understanding in the committee of nations. He urged all countries to exercise utmost restraint and responsibility and avoid man-made calamities at all costs. Senior Indian diplomat Gautam Bambawale was in Pyongyang last week at the head of an Indian delegation visiting North Korea.
13:21 Modi goes coy: Ladies, tell me my weaknesses :
Modi's emotional spiel: How the expensive saris, churidars, etc we wear are thanks to the labours of a poor farmer working in inhuman conditions in the fields, barely eating his lunch, unable to pay for the marriage of his daughter etc... just so that we can be better dressed. We need to empower people like this, says Modi. The session finally draws to a close.
Time for mementos, reports by FICCI of activities they have done.
Naina Lal Kidwai is telling wearing a Patola sari from Gujarat.
12:54 Trying to repair the damage done by Cong in Gujarat:
Back to Modi. The Gujarat CM talks about his home state, "I have tried to repair the damage done by the Congress, but still have long way to go. Nobody talks about the women in Gujarat, which is why I'm doing so now," he says.
12:50 Modi's speech ends, but he's taking questions now. "I have weaknesses like all men, but I work on my strong points. I am not aware of a lot of my weaknesses, you must bring it to my notice," says Modi, playing to the gallery.
Modi draws on history, a repetitive "us zamane mein"and a compartive with the 21st century to show how women are not yet decision makers. "Women are far more hard-working than men. Women have potential, all they need is the right environment to thrive," he says.
12:37 Jassuben's pizza more famous in Guj than Pizza Hut:
The leit motif in Modi's speech continues to be role of women in society. He says Amul, a world-renowned brand, is headed by a women. Then comes the must-do example of Lijjat papad, a women's enterprise. "In Gujarat, Jassuben's pizza is better known than Pizza Hut. And no, Jassuben has nothing to do with any Kalavati. The media must be trying to draw inferences even as I speak," says women. The hard-nosed business women at the FICCI meet applaud furiously. "But," says Modi, "despite all this, women are still not decision makers in society. And we need to change that,"
12:18 Even now, Modi says, women are denied property. "The route -- father, husband, son -- for owning property has yet not changed. Men shouldn't marry working women just for financial gain," says Modi. Quite expectedly, the women cheer.
12:15 Modi says female infanticide, foeticide is skewing numbers in society. "We make the mistake of underestimating our women -- our mothers and sisters. We need to recognise that women are two steps ahead of men," says Modi.
Moving on from infanticide and foeticide, Modi says that the first word when you talk of entrepreneurship, is empowerment.
12:10 Ironic that mother is supreme in Indian culture:
"The difference in attitudes towards the male child and the girl child is shocking. It is ironic that the mother's place is supreme in Indian culture and values, yet abortions of the female foetus is rampant. Modi cites examples where daughters have shamed sons by looking after elderly parents -- the same parents who did not want them to be born," says Modi. The all-women audience listen in with silence and occasional applause.
12:05 Modi slams foeticide, infanticide:
Modi salutes motherhood, but says it's a reality, however tragic, that the girl child continues to be killed. "We haven't realised what women can achieve. We have reached modern India, but our thoughts remain firmly in the 18th century. At least in the 18th century, girls could be born. It's another story that they were killed later. Now, the girl child is killed in the womb (his voice trembles with emotion) and both men and women are equally responsible."
12:00 Modi begins FICCI with salute to women, motherhood :
Narendra Modi begins his speech at FICCI. Modi apologises to the audience; the meet was rescheduled to the 10th, at his behest. The audience is forgiving, if the giggles are anything to go by. He says he has been able to connect with women largely due to Facebook and Twitter.
11:55 Why Pakistan hasn't liberalised India trade:
As we wait for Narendra Modi to speak at FICCI, read
this: Pakistan's failure to push ahead with an agreement to liberalize trade with India comes amid heightened border tensions between the neighbors and concerns about the deal from Pakistan's agricultural sector.
11:52 Naina Lal Kidwai, country head, HSBC India, addressing the FICCI Ladies Organisation meet. She says Gujarat has a platform where farmers, at the grassroots level, can interact with scientists.
11:44 Modi set to speak at FICCI meet :
At the FICCI meet, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has arrived. After singing the national anthem with the women present at the meet, Modi set to begin his speech shortly. There will be inevitable comparisons with Rahul Gandhi, who gave his maiden speech at the CII meet three days ago.
11:39 India leads the world in dengue burden: Nature:
Dengue, the world's most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease, is taking a far bigger human toll than was believed to be the case. As many as 390 million people across the globe could be falling victim to the virus each year, according to a multinational study published by Nature on Sunday. Read
11:36 Second round of Indo-German intergovernmental consultations:
On April 10, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh travels to Berlin, with a five-member Ministerial delegation, for the second round of Intergovernmental consultations with Germany. The consultations, on April 11, will focus on cooperation in the fields of infrastructure, renewable energies, vocational training, higher education and language. Read
11:18 Sari rules at FICCI, Modi yet to make his appearance: Sheela Bhatt reporting from the FICCI meet
says there remains no doubt that the most sexy, and most preferred attire remains the sari. Seconding it, Sonia Paul, a Delhi-based designer says, "It's elegant and classy too."
11:11 Reaping the whirlwind:
In other news, In the forthcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, the Congress will be the default beneficiary of the BJP's diminished position but the JD(S), which was the real opposition in the State, could make gains too. Read
the report on the Hindu.
11:07 Fake encounters: SC relief for Amit Shah:
Delivering its verdict, the Supreme Court on Monday relieved former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah in connection with killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati in alleged fake encounters.
The Supreme Court in its verdict said that the killing of Tulsiram Prajapati was a part of a single conspiracy, and the also accepted Shah's contention that there be a single trial. Shah, who is also believed to be a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, has accused the central probe agency of acting with a "malafide design" to seek his police custody again by filing a separate chargesheet in the Prajapati case.
Shah had earlier told the Supreme Court that both killings were "inter-connected" and an "integral part of the conspiracy hatched as a part of the same transaction."
The CBI, however, took a contrary stand in its charge sheet in the Prajapati case, filed in November. The probe agency claims that both case conspiracies were different. -- Zee News
11:02 Modi charms at FICCI: Women want to make eye contact:
Sheela Bhatt reporting from the FICCI meet:
Usha Gupta, 66, (pictured in beige sari) who is at the FICCI meet tells rediff.com, "I want to make eye contact with Narendra Modi." Gupta is a housewife living in Friends Colony, a posh locality in New Delhi.
"I have no doubt Modi has to be our leader. He has delivered and will deliver," Gupta gushes. Jokingly she adds that in more than 40 years of marriage she and her husband have agreed on just one issue when they were in Ahmedbad for the first time. "We were so impressed to see the system working in Gujarat that we thought we should make Ahmedbad our home."
10:48 Congress dismisses allegations against Rajiv:
Congress on Monday dismissed the report by The Hindu
-- which quoted leaked US cables to claim that late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi may have worked as a middleman for a Swedish defence firm in in the 1970s.
Congress sources told journalists: "We do not find such cables credible".
10:45 Villagers in TN take part in AMMA!: A Ganesh Nadar reports:
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is often referred to as 'Amma'.
So promotion of Amma is a full time occupation for her partymen and bureaucrats in the state. Their latest effort deserves mention.
Earlier, when district officials visited a village and interacted with the public, the exercise was called a 'janata darbar'.
Today, it is called AMMA.
AMMA stands for Assured Maximum Service to Marginal People in All Villages.
So earlier, the villagers used to attend 'janata darbar', now they attend AMMA!!!
10:40 FICCI gears up to host Modi: Sheela Bhatt reports from the venue:
Ladies of the FICCI Ladies Organisation have arrived.
Since summer has set in, some women are in their best Mangalgiri and Chanderi, others are in silk and cotton saris.
Is Narendra Modi already a rock star? Such opulent display of 'sari power' at a this five-star hotel in Delhi!
Modi is going to arrive an hour later but three-fourth of the hall is already full, and thirty cameramen are already in position.
10:31 Narendra Modi to address FICCI today:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is all set to address the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry at 11 am.
Moid will speak on the topic Unleash the entrepreneur within; exploring new avenues in the national capital. He will address the ladies' wing of the industry body.
According to media reports, the venue of the FICCI meet had to be shifted to a larger venue due to the demand by the participants.
09:30 Why no worry over the CAD?:
The government doesn't seem to be too rattled by the current account deficit reaching a record 6.7 per cent.
The economist prime minister and his officials have not yet outlined a policy to deal with the CAD crisis.
09:27 North Korea likely to carry out another nuclear test:
Noth Korea, one of the most secretive nations in the world, may be gearing up to conduct its fourth nuclear test.
South Korea has warned its northern counterpart of dire consequences if it goes ahead with the tests, but Pyongyang has refused to heed its warnings.
The US administration has stated that it "will not be surprised" if North Korea conducts underground nuclear missile tests.
09:22 Citizens need a vision, not numbers:
Talking about GDP numbers or rate of growth is not enough to inspire citizens. We need a vision for a better society, not merely numbers.
09:16 Pawar rules out formation of Third Front:
Union Minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar today ruled out the formation of a Third Front for the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.
"There is no possibility of a Third Front as talked about by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh," Pawar, who is the Union minister for Agriculture, told reporters.
09:15 China reports 3 more cases of bird flu:
China continues to grapple with rising numbers of bird flu cases.
Three more people were confirmed to have been infected with the deadly H7N9 strain, taking the total to 21, while official media blamed the virus on intense farming and density of population.
Shanghai, China's biggest metropolis with 23 million people, is bearing the brunt of the new avian influenza. Ten cases of bird flu have been reported from the city, where four people have died.
08:32 Is Rahul Gandhi sounding like Kejriwal?:
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is increasingly sounding like his party's nemesis and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal.
He talks about compassion, development and equality, without actually providing a road-map on how to achieve these goals.
Rahul also seems unwilling to let the Congress take responsibility for the many failures of the UPA government.
08:28 Rajiv worked as middleman in aircraft deal: Report:
According to a report in The Hindu
, late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi may have worked as a middleman for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which had tried to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s.
Saab-Scania eventually could not seal the deal, which went to British SEPECAT Jaguar.
Rajiv was considered to be a valuable negotiator because of his family connections, states the paper, citing the Kissinger Cables, the latest bunch of classified cables of the US administration released by WikiLeaks.