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Gujarat, the gateway to India: fact or farce?

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April 13, 2013

20:59  Mamata discharged from clinic:  
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, undergoing medical treatment for the last three days, was today discharged from the Belle Vue Clinic after agreeing to advice by doctors to take rest. 

"The chief minister was insisting on returning home since morning and her doctors decided to discharge her with a request to her to take rest," clinic's CEO P K Tondon told PTI.

Quoting the chief minister he said she shouldered much responsibility and she be allowed to return home. 

The medical team advised her to rest for at least two weeks. 

A medical bulletin issued earlier in the day said that the chief minister was clinically better and her vital parameters had stabilised, but pain still persisted. A ten-member team headed by Subroto Maitra attended on the chief minister since her admission on April 10 after arriving from Delhi.
19:26  Gujarat, the gateway to India: fact or farce?:  
Going by the Gujarat government's figures, memorandums of understanding for Foreign Direct Investments worth $876 billion were signed during its five biannual Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summits from 2003 to 2011 and a whopping 84 per cent of the projects have already been implemented or are under implementation.

This would mean Gujarat has overtaken all of China, whose FDI inflows during this period were to the tune of $600 billion.

And, interestingly, after the 2013 Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit, the government chose not to give out any MoU numbers when Chief Minister Narendra Modi declared that, "Gujarat is now the gateway to India".

Behind the envelope calculations show that if the State had implemented even 60 per cent of the investments promised, it would have left the dragon behind.

Click HERE to read more
19:24  Why Congress rule always leaves inflation as legacy:  
If the Congress-led UPA government ever manages to get inflation down, it will be either because of sheer luck (global factors), or because it has managed to damage domestic growth so badly that inflation has nowhere to go but down.

This is the scenario that seems to be shaping up today -- though it is too early to predict what will happen in the remaining 12 months in which this lameduck government stays in power.

Click HERE to read more
19:14  British police on alert for Thatcher mass 'party':  
Hundreds of Scotland Yard officers are on stand-by in London today as protesters plan to converge on Trafalgar Square for what has been described as a mass "party" to mark Margaret Thatcher's death. 

The former Conservative Prime Minister died of a stroke here on Monday aged 87. 

In the backdrop of preparations for her ceremonial funeral at St Paul's Cathedral next Wednesday, former miners who say the 'Iron Lady' decimated their communities will join socialists, students and anti-capitalist protesters at a demonstration against her legacy in Trafalgar Square on Saturday evening.

Scotland Yard has launched a major operation to counter threats of disorder and all further leave for officers has been cancelled and operations are being run from a special command and control operations room in Lambeth, south London.

The city's mayor, Boris Johnson, issued a warning to the protesters to keep things peaceful. 

"We live in a democracy where people are entitled to protest... What they can't do is use the death of an elderly person to begin riot or affray or that sort of thing. The police are obviously going to be making sure that if people do break the law they will be properly dealt with," he told LBC Radio.
18:30  How does North Korea make its money?:  
There's a reason that the historical nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom" for the old unified Korea is now applied to the closed North Korea -- officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The country is notoriously difficult to get information on and its sanctions-hit economy is said to operate on a number of different levels, including a black market, with the government not even releasing official trade statistics.

CNN examines the North Korean economy and how Pyongyang generates its income.

Click HERE to read further
18:27  Japanese goof up announces NKorea missile launch instead of quake:  
A Japanese official mistakenly announced the launch of a North Korean missile instead of sending an alert about a strong earthquake.

An official at the western Osaka aviation bureau emailed 87 airport offices to say a North Korean missile had been launched, Japan's transport ministry said.

The official was trying to send a message to check on possible airport damage immediately after the 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the southwestern city of Kobe, injuring dozens of people and destroying several homes.

But instead the official dispatched a pre-prepared alert ready to go in the event of a North Korean missile launch.

The incorrect message was retracted six minutes later but at least one domestic flight was delayed due to the mistake.
17:14  8 killed in market blast in Pakistan's northwest :  At least eight persons were killed and 10 others wounded today when a powerful blast ripped through a minibus on the outskirts of Peshawar city of northwest Pakistan, police said. 

Police officials said a bomb planted inside the minibus exploded as the vehicle was passing through a market in the suburb of Mattani today afternoon
17:13  Election is not a beauty contest: Ramesh on Modi vs Rahul:  Dismissing the talk about the next general elections becoming a contest between personalities, possibly involving Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Congress scion Rahul Gandhi, Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said elections were not "a beauty contest".     

"Elections in India are not fought between personalities. It is not a beauty contest between political parties," Ramesh said when asked about the possibility that Modi would be projected as the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP.
17:12  Kunda case: CBI arrests son of slain village chief:  CBI today arrested the son of slain village head Nanhe Yadav in connection with the murder of DSP Zia-ul Haq, said sources.

Haq, circle officer in Kunda from where dreaded don-turned-minister Raja Bhaiya is a five-time MLA, was allegedly killed by a mob in Balipur village when he had rushed there after Yadav was shot dead over a land dispute.

The slain officer's wife has alleged that Raja Bhaiya, who resigned from the state Cabinet after an FIR was filed against him, was behind the attack
16:55  Goa Congress plays safe on Playboy issue:  Opposition Congress appeared to be in wait-and-watch mode over the controversy surrounding the proposal to open a Playboy club in Goa, an issue which has seen voices of protests emanating from within the ruling BJP.        

Talking to reporters today, Goa Congress spokesman Sudip Tamankar said a stand on Playboy club would be taken only after the BJP government clarifies its position on the objection taken by their own legislator for the facility.       
16:53  BJP is our ally, can't put pressure: JD-U:  On the issue of BJP leader Narendra Modi, JD-U leader K C Tyagi said, "Show me a resolution made by BJP that Narendra Modi is being projected as the PM".

Scotching reports about the JD-U putting pressure on the BJP to declare its PM candidate, Tyagi said, "BJP is our ally and as an ally, you are expected not to put pressure on BJP".

16:45  BJP NOT following coalition dharma: JD-U:  The Janata Dal - United on Saturday made it clear that it would not accept Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP-led NDA's prime ministerial candidate.

At the end of day one of its National Executive, JD-U sources said the party would not change its stance on Modi as it wanted a "secular candidate" for the PM's post.

JD-U leader K C Tyagi said that the BJP and JD-U had been allies for a long time but the saffron party did not follow coalition dharma in Karnataka and Jharkhand.

He added that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was not in the race for the PM's post.
16:31  Nobody from Indian High Commission injured in B'desh blasts:  The ministry of external affairs on Saturday said that nobody has been injured in the explosion that took place in Bangladesh near a car which was being used by the Indian envoy.   

"As per our information, yesterday, while the high commissioner was attending a function in Khulna, there were crude bomb explosions approximately 20 meters away from where his car was parked. As per our information, nobody involved with the High Commission was neither injured nor was the car damaged in any form. I may also clarify that this was not the high commission's vehicle. This was a local car hired by the high vommission," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
16:29  'China bird flu strain adapting to mammals, humans':  A genetic analysis of the avian flu virus responsible for at least nine human deaths in China portrays a virus evolving to adapt to human cells, raising concerns about its potential to spark a new global flu pandemic, a study has said. 

The group of researchers examined the genetic sequences of H7N9 isolates from four of the pathogen's human victims as well as samples derived from birds and the environs of a Shanghai market.          
16:28  CBI always works independently: Congress:  Senior Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Saturday denied allegations from opposition parties that the Central Bureau of Investigation always worked under pressure from the central government. 

Commenting on the allegations -- that the government had put pressure on the CBI before finalising the report on the coal-gate scam -- he said, "Now the Supreme Court has taken up the matter, so now we can only wait for the SC verdict. The BJP has a tendency of providing false information."    
16:27  Chinese city close to N Korea border holds air raid:  A northeastern Chinese city near the border with North Korea has staged an air raid drill in the wake of rising tensions over Pyongyang's latest threats.       

Chinese media reported that authorities in Huichen, a city of 250,000 people in Jilin province, sounded alarms in residential areas on Thursday morning.       

It said participants were shown to underground shelters and the all-clear was sounded 30 minutes later, the Huffington Post reports.
16:25  Five Lankan Tamil refugees arrested :  Five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were arrested in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu while awaiting a ferry, reportedly for illegally travelling to the neighbouring country, officials said today.        

A Lankan Tamil refugee lodged at the Mandapam camp had assured the other four refugees from Bhavanisagar camp near Coimbatore that they would be sent to Sri Lanka, officials added.
15:11  Sreesanth seeks solace in Shirdi!:  A day after the ghost of 2008 Slapgate tumbled out, controversial fast bowler S Sreesanth today sought divine blessings by visiting the Sai Baba shrine in Shirdi, Maharashtra.     

Sreesanth on Friday revealed that all the Slapgate claims were far from the truth as he was never slapped by his then India teammate Harbhajan Singh. Instead, Sreesanth said that he was elbowed by the senior off-spinner.

15:09  EC seized Rs 1.6 crore in Bangalore:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: The Special Election Squad in Karnataka has seized cash worth Rs 1.6 crore which was allegedly being used to bribe voters in Bangalore. 

The money was seized a while ago by the Election Commission, after it received a tip-off, at Nelamangala area in the city. 

The Election Commission has not yet ascertained who the money belongs to. 

This is the fifth such seizure in the state after the election notification was issued. 

Rs 12 lakh was seized in a similar manner from Bidadi near Bangalore on Friday.

The EC has also seized liquor, insurance policies and watches, which were allegedly being used to bribe the voters before the assembly polls.
15:06  Be ready for early polls: Sharad Pawar:  NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday told his party members to "be ready for early polls".

Pawar said the Congress-led UPA, of which the NCP is an ally, was "vulnerable after the pull-out of the DMK".

He also urged Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to call a meeting of the alliance's leaders to decide the prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.

He added that Gandhi should take the final decision about the PM candidate.
13:36  Egypt's minister denies army killed protestors:  Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has denied reports that the armed forces were involved in killing and torturing protesters during the country's 2011 revolution.       

A document leaked to the Guardian newspaper, which was reportedly presented to President Mohammed Morsi late last year, clearly implicates the armed forces in abuses during the 18-day revolution.       

Over 800 people were killed in violence during and after Egypt's 2011 uprising, but the deaths were widely blamed on the police rather than the army.
13:35  Germany to provide $1.3 bn for renewable energy in India :  Germany will support the building up of renewable energy in India by providing soft loans of up to 1 billion euros (US$1.3 billion) for a six-year period starting next year.        

Germany's offer, as part of its development cooperation with India, was made in a "joint declaration of intent" signed by Union Minister for Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and parliamentary state secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Gudrun Kopp during the second inter-governmental consultations that concluded in Berlin.
13:34  IOC again invites IOA, sports ministry for meeting:  The International Olympic Committee has again invited representatives of the suspended IOA and the sports ministry for a meeting in Lausanne on May 7 in yet another attempt to find a way for India's return to the Olympic movement, even as the stand-off between the government and sport body persisted.     

After the joint meeting, which was earlier scheduled to be held in Lausanne on April 15 and 16, was postponed for the second time in two months last week due to the stand-off between the IOA and the government, Indian Olympic Association acting chief V K Malhotra had sought directions from its world parent body on how to resolve the matter.
13:32  UPA rougue govt, need SIT probe in coal scam: BJP:  BJP leader Arun Jaitley today demanded a SIT probe into the coal-gate scam.  

Jaitley claimed that the UPA is a "rogue government" which will not allow the CBI to operate independently.

His demand came in the wake of a report in The Indian Express, which claimed that the probe report submitted by the CBI to the Supreme Court about the scam was "toned down" on the suggestions of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and officials of the Prime Minister's Office.

Read the report here
13:29  Gilani's brother, two sons get PPP tickets :  Two sons and a brother of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani have got tickets for Pakistan Peoples Party.       

The PPP announced the names of its candidates from south Punjab for 33 seats of the National Assembly and 72 of the Punjab legislature.

The list of candidates released by the Zardari House indicates that the PPP has recognised services of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani since his sons and brother got the tickets. 
11:39  NDA's PM candidate should be from BJP: JD-U:  JD-U leader Shivanand Tiwari on Saturday dismissed speculation about the ongoing National Executive meet of the party, saying, "It is a routine meeting and has nothing to do with the 2014 Lok Sabha polls."

On reports of differences with the BJP, he said, "We share a long and old association with the BJP, hence they know our principles and our motive and there is nothing wrong in that."

On the NDA's prime ministerial candidate, Tiwari said, "Nitish Kumar has made it very clear and we stand by it that the prime ministerial candidate should be mentioned as early as possible. He has also said the candidate should be from the BJP as it is a big party."  
11:36  India's successful fight against polio:  India's fight against polio is a rare story of success in the country's otherwise abysmal public health scenario.

The sustained campaign by the Indian government against the disease has inspired many.

Read the story here
11:34  The mystery of Sunil Narine:  How does bowler Sunil Narine beat technology and get the better of batsmen? 

Read more to find out

11:31  Lankan Tamil newspaper office torched:  A Tamil language daily newspaper's office was attacked by armed men in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna.       

Police said the Jaffna office of the Uthayan newspaper had come under attack around 5 am (local time) today when two unidentified armed men stormed the office and chased away the security staff.        

They then set fire to newspapers and news print reams
10:12  Medha Patkar calls off fast against slum demolition:  Activist Medha Patkar has called off her nine-day fast against the demolition of slums at Mumbai's Golibar area.

She called off the fast after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan assured her that the probe into the demolition of the slum will be completed in eight days.
10:10  JD-U National Executive meet starts today:  

The two-day National Executive of the JD-U, a crucial ally in the BJP-led NDA coalition, starts today.

Though party leaders remained tight-lipped about the issues which are likely to be discussed at the meet, there are clear indications that the party will vehemently oppose the projection of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi within NDA for the top job.

Earlier, JD-U President Sharad Yadav had evaded a direct reply on whether the party will oppose the projection of Modi by the BJP. 

"We had never compromised on the issue of secularism nor will we do so now," he said.

10:06  Beijing reports first case of bird flu:  The deadly new bird flu, which has caused 11 deaths in China so far, spread to Beijing as the capital reported its first case today, increasing the total number of cases in the country to 44. 

A seven-year-old child in Beijing was suspected to have been infected with the H7N9 strain of bird flu, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted local health officials as saying.
10:00  Rahul Gandhi is no beekeeper!:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's speech at the CII, in which he compared India to a beehive, proved once again that the man who may become India's prime minister didn't really have an action plan.

Read the analysis here
09:56  Hyd: Pub-going students branded 'drunk', half-naked':  Students of Nalsar Law University in Hyderabad are planning to file a defamation suit against some regional channels and their reporters, after news stories featuring them branded them as 'drunk' and 'half-naked'.

The students alleged that a camera person had taken videos of them while they were leaving a local club and the video later went viral on regional channels.

Read the full story here
02:51  Musharraf admits secret deal on drones:  Ex-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged his government secretly signed off on US drone strikes, the first time a top past or present Pakistani official has admitted publicly to such a deal.Pakistani leaders long have openly challenged the drone program and insisted they had no part in it. 

Musharraf's admission, though, suggests he and others did play some role, even if they didn't oversee the program or approve every attack.

In an interview this week in Islamabad, Musharraf insisted Pakistan's government signed off on strikes "only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage."

Read the full story here
00:57  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  
SC drops militant Bhullar's plea for lifer; he will hang

'Modi is considered either a mass murderer or a messiah'

Lest We Forget: Jallianwala Bagh, 94 years later

Indian envoy's car comes under attack in Bangladesh

Prez Mukherjee disposed of 16 pleas in 9 months

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