20:54 Delhi rape: Accused raped his wife before marriage:
As the nation continues to be furious over the brutal rape of the five-year-old girl in the national capital, a sensational revelation regarding the rape accused Manoj Kumar has come to the fore.
The rape accused Manoj, who is in police custody, had also raped his wife before marriage. The village panchayat had then ordered Manoj to marry the girl.
A joint team of Delhi and Bihar Police succeeded in nabbing the rape accused, Manoj Kumar, 22, from his in-laws house in Chitkouna village in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district on Saturday. He was flown to Delhi in a chartered plane and is being interrogated by police.
The villagers are demanding no mercy to be shown against the accused and want him to be hanged.
It is also being reported that the villagers are contemplating to boycott Manoj and his family.
25-year-old Kumar is a native of Bharthua panchayat under Auraiya police station area of Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, about 50 km from Patna.
19:46 2G JPC report throws up multiple contradictions:
The Joint Parliamentary Committee report on the 2G scam has relied on the selective quotation of evidence, often citing the same person's testimony or decision to both justify the UPA governments policies and damn those pursued by the former BJP-led NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The report quotes former Cabinet Secretary, K M Chandrashekhar as having testified that since there was no policy relating to charging a higher entry fee for spectrum, no case can be made out for 'abandonment of revenue'.
However, it ignores the fact that Chandrashekhar, who had appeared before the JPC in October 2012, had disclosed that he, on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's request, had painstakingly calculated an entry fee of Rs 35,000 crore in a note of November 2007 -- two months before the 2G scam. Chandrashekhar had also said he never heard back from the PM.
19:16 Mukesh and Anil Ambani 20th richest in world:
India's leading industrialist brothers, Mukesh and Anil Ambani, have been together listed as 20th richest in the world in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013.
The brothers, who have separate industrial empire in India, have been clubbed together under the category of Petrochemicals and they are jointly assessed worth 17 billion pounds as against 19 billion pounds last year.
The Hinduja brothers, Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, Chairman and Co-Chairman respectively of the Hinduja Group, are 47th richest in the world with a fortune worth 11 billion pounds in 2013 as against 9 billion pounds last year.
The Walton family of the US, who own Supermarkets (Walmart), are the richest in the world with a 90 billion pounds fortune in 2013 as against 51 billion pounds last year.
18:51 Anti-rape protests near India Gate:
Women and student activists today converged near India Gate, which had witnessed largescale anti-rape protests in December last, demanding justice for the five-year-old rape victim in the national capital.
Student protesters from JNU tried to march towards India Gate but were prevented from moving closer. They staged protest near Patiala House court complex. Some students were stopped near Taj Mansingh hotel.
Women activists also reached near India Gate in a march from Central Secretariat breaking barricades erected on way. However, they were stopped near India Gate where they staged the protest.
The protesters shouted slogans against Delhi Police and government and demanded stringent punishment for the culprit and policemen who refused to help the victim and her family.
India Gate and Rajpath had witnessed violent protests in December last when thousands of activists had converged there against the brutal rape and assault on a young Delhi girl, who died later, in a moving bus in south Delhi.
18:44 Human computer Shakuntala Devi no more:
Mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi, nicknamed as 'human computer' for her ability to make complex mental calculations, died at a hospital here today following respiratory problems.
She was 80.
"She passed away at Benagluru Hospital," Shakuntala Devi Educational Foundation Public Trust Trustee D C Shivadev told PTI. Doctors declared her dead at 8.15 AM, he said.
Devi was hospitalised a couple of weeks ago for critical respiratory problems, Shivadev said. "She developed heart and kidney problems later," he added.
She found a slot in the Guiness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like 'Fun with Numbers', 'Astrology for You', 'Puzzles to Puzzle You', and 'Mathablit'. She had the ability to tell the day of the week of any given date in the last century in a jiffy.
18:41 Police action appalling in child rape case: Amnesty:
Amnesty International India has called for an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the alleged misconduct of police officials in a case of abduction and rape of a 5-year old girl in New Delhi.
"This case shows the appalling extent of indifference in the police to violence against women and girls, and the inadequacy of internal processes to ensure professional conduct," said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive of Amnesty International India.
On April 15 2012, the 5-year old girl went missing from her home in New Delhi. Two days later, she was found by neighbours in a locked room in the same building with severe internal injuries and bruises.
The girl's uncle told Amnesty International that the police had delayed formally registering a complaint when the family reported that she had gone missing. After the girl was found, the police refused to register a case of rape.
The girl's uncle said that after the media began to report on the case, police offered the family a bribe of Rs 2000 to stay silent, and told them to be thankful that the girl was still alive.
"The police must be held accountable for their shocking levels of apathy. They urgently need to review police processes to ensure that all cases of rape and sexual violence -- not just those highlighted by the media -- are fully and promptly investigated. Those who fail to do their job must be held accountable. Mere changes in the law are not enough. Robust implementation is essential," said Ananthapadmanabhan.
17:44 393 rapes in Delhi in past three months:
In Delhi, a woman is raped every six hours while the national figure is one rape every 36 minutes.
Delhi Police data states that from January to March 31, 2013, 393 rapes have been reported; the corresponding figure for 2012 is 152more than a 100 per cent rise.
17:23 North Korea moves two more missile launchers:
North Korea has moved two more missile launchers to its east coast, where preparations are apparently under way for a missile test as tensions simmer on the peninsula, a report said Sunday.
Expectations had been high that Pyongyang would carry out a test to coincide with celebrations marking the birth of North Korea's late founding leader Kim Il-Sung on April 15 but it did not materialise.
The North Korean military last week moved two launchers believed to be for Scud missiles to the northeast province of South Hamgyong, Yonhap news agency said, citing a senior Seoul official.
16:00 Why PM Singh loves direct cash transfer scheme:
Centre's ambitious direct cash transfer scheme will help in better targeting of subsidies and reducing delay in delivery of benefits besides curbing wastages and leakages, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in New Delhi on Sunday.
Addressing the 8th Civil Services day, Singh said his government has made sustained efforts to curb corruption and enhance transparency and accountability in public works.
He also said the government needs to make full use of new and modern technology not only in delivery of public services but in governance in general.
"A good example of such use is the Aadhar programme for providing all the residents of our country a unique identity, and also the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme based on Aadhar numbers that our government launched a few months back.... It will lead to better targeting of subsidies and reducing delays in the delivery of benefits such as scholarships and pensions to the intended beneficiaries. It will also help in curbing wastages and leakages, and result in greater financial inclusion," Singh said.
15:58 Major human rights problems in Sri Lanka: US:
The US has said that Sri Lanka's rights record in 2012 was tainted by "major human rights problems" including "involuntary disappearances" and "unlawful killings" by security forces and pro-government military groups.
"The major human rights problems were attacks on and harassment of civil society activists, persons viewed as LTTE sympathisers, and journalists by persons allegedly tied to the government, creating an environment of fear and self censorship, involuntary disappearances as well as lack of accountability," the US State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 said.
It added that other serious problems included unlawful killings both by security forces and government-allied para military groups.
"The government prosecuted a very small number of officials implicated in human rights abuses but is yet to hold anyone accountable," it added.
14:56 Airtel's free mobile SMS app crosses 5 mn users:
Bharti SoftBank's free mobile messaging app 'hike', which was launched globally in December last year, has crossed 5 million subscribers.
"The free mobile messaging app 'hike' from Bharti SoftBank (BSB), has crossed the 5 million active subscribers mark in just four months after its launch. This makes 'hike' one of the fastest growing free mobile apps globally," the company said in a statement.
Bharti SoftBank (BSB) is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and mobile communication and broadband services firm Softbank.
The app, which allows users to send free SMS, even to contacts who do not have 'hike' on their handsets, provides its subscribers access anywhere across Airtel's global network. Users can also share location, photos and videos with other users.
In India, 'hike' has seen a phenomenal uptake and adoption for its unique 'hike' to SMS feature that allows users to send free messages to even those friends/contacts who do not have the app on their mobile phone, it added.
14:14 Advani's stars are on the decline:
The man who built the Bharatiya Janata Party is now being pushed into a corner.
As the clamour against L K Advani grows in his party, this may well be the beginning of the end of his political career.
14:09 Coal scam -- Tampering with the evidence?:
There have always been serious doubts about how much freedom the CBI will have in its investigation into the coal allotment scam, given that it entails probing the role of senior ministers, including the the Prime Minister, was holding the coal portfolio during the time the controversial allotments were made.
And so when news came it that the Law Minister may have tampered with the CBI's coal scam status report, meant only for the eyes of the Supreme Court, it confirmed widespread fears.
The government was quick to deny the charge of tampering, saying that these meetings were only to discuss a technicality.
But this week, an NDTV investigation reveals that the scope of interference went beyond just the law ministers, involving top law officers and even officials from the PMO.
Is this why the CBI's probe into the coal scam so far is only limited to action against lower level government officials, instead of going up the ladder of accountability?
14:02 Tendulkar is India' Bradman: Matthew Hayden:
Sachin Tendulkar has always been showered with the biggest of compliments but former Australia opener Matthew Hayden took it to a new level as he placed the senior batsman above the game itself while calling him India's Don Bradman and a "movement in himself".
"They will write books and do movies on him in the coming years because he has taken Indian cricket to a new level, and played a big part in winning many series at home and abroad. He is India's most prolific player; the country's Don Bradman," said Hayden.
Tendulkar is approaching his 40th birthday and to commemorate the occasion, Outlook magazine has come out with a special issue on the Mumbaikar in which celebrities from all walks of life have heaped praise on the veteran.
"I would place Sachin at the top of any list of the greatest cricketers ever. It's not about his cricket. Sachin is not just cricket anymore; he is an embodiment of abstract superlatives. Sachin is hope personified, of people overcoming adversity and rising out of the ashes. He's more than cricket. Sachin is a movement in himself, a phenomenon. It has been scrutinised, reflected upon, analysed for years. There have been tough times and good times, but the truth is he's one of the greatest players ever," Hayden added.
14:00 Clashes ahead of Bahrain Formula One race:
Bahraini protesters blocked roads and clashed with police at dawn today, only hours ahead of the Gulf state's Formula One Grand Prix, but the authorities said the race would go ahead without incident.
Masked youths demonstrating against the staging of the race set alight tyres on roads in villages populated by Shiite Muslims just outside Manama, according to witnesses.
But access was still open to the Sakhir circuit, south of the Bahraini capital.
Overnight, police fired tear gas in order to disperse demonstrators protesting in several Shiite-populated villages, chanting against the "race of blood," witnesses reported.
Shiite-led protests have intensified against Bahrain's Sunni rulers in the lead-up to this weekend's Grand Prix, a flagship event that has been dogged by controversy.
Bahrain's public security chief, Major General Tariq Hassan, spoke of stepped up measures to ensure a smooth race.
"Police are out in force to beef up security measures at the Bahrain International Circuit", he said in a statement.
12:44 Vast improvements needed for women's safety: PM:
Citing the horrific Delhi gangrape incident and gruesome assault on five-year-old girl here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said there was a need to make "vast improvements" to ensure women's safety in the country.
He asked people to work collectively to uproot such depravity from the society.
"It is widely accepted that, as a country, we have vast improvements to make in these (safety, security and status of women) areas. These issues came into sharper focus after the horrific gangrape incident in Delhi last December.
"The gruesome assault on a little child a few days back reminds us of the need to work collectively to root out this sort of depravity from our society," Singh said.
The two brutal incidents -- gangrape of a girl in a moving bus on December 16 last year and rape of a five-year-old girl earlier this week -- had resulted in agitations by various sections, demanding better law and order to ensure women's security and stringent punishment to the culprits.
12:27 People look at Modi as a strong leader: Uma Bharti:
Amid growing clamour to declare Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP, party vice president Uma Bharti today said that people look at him as a strong leader, as they want someone who can tackle issues like terrorism, naxalism.
"Though I am not eligible to say whether Modi should be declared as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate or not, I understand the psyche of the people, who have a feeling of insecurity because of growing terrorism, naxalism, corruption and incidents like beheading of Indian soldiers on the LoC. Therefore, they have started looking at Modi as a strong leader," Bharti said.
"People want a strong leader, who can tackle terrorism, naxalism, corruption and law and order... They want a leader whom they can consider as their hero. They are no more interested in goody-goody kind of persons and leaders who only sweet talk," she added.
12:25 World Bank vows to end extreme poverty by 2030:
Setting an ambitious agenda, the World Bank has fixed an 'expiration date' for extreme poverty by approving a plan to end the global menace within a generation by 2030.
"We are no longer dreaming of a world free of poverty. We have set an expiration date for extreme poverty. With commitment, cooperation, and the vision of leaders from around the world, we have great faith that we can make it happen," the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim told a news conference in Washington.
Endorsing the World Bank's goal in a communique, its 25-membered Development Committee said that reducing the percentage of people living on less than USD 1.25 a day to three per cent by 2030 will require strong growth across the developing world and translation of growth into poverty reduction to an extent not seen before in many low income countries.
Notably, India accounts for one-third of the global poor.
12:24 6.1 earthquake hits off Japan's coast:
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the south coast of Japan's main Honshu island today, the United States Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.
The quake hit at 12:22 pm (0852 IST), 644 kilometres south of Tokyo, at a depth of 424 kilometres, the USGS said.
Japan's Meteorological Agency said there was no risk of a tsunami.
Tokyo and its suburban Kanto region were rocked by minor tremors but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, the agency said.
"We have received no reports of damage to properties nor reports of injuries so far," a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said.
The area is prone to earthquakes.