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Protest-related violence kills 49 in Iraq

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April 23, 2013


23:27  Protest-related violence kills 49 in Iraq:  

Agencies: A wave of clashes and attacks involving Iraqi security forces, protesters and their supporters today killed 49 people and prompted two Sunni ministers to quit, sending tensions soaring.         The unrest, which also included the kidnapping of a soldier by armed protesters, was the worst to date linked to demonstrations in Sunni areas that erupted more than four months ago.        

 

The protesters have been demanding the resignation of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and railing against the alleged targeting of their community by the authorities.        

 

Today's violence broke out before dawn when security forces entered an open area where demonstrations have been held since January near Hawijah, west of Kirkuk province's eponymous capital, according to army officers, who gave an overall toll of 27 people killed and around 70 wounded.        

 

Two soldiers were killed and seven wounded in the operation, while the remainder of the casualties were a combination of protesters and militants, the officers said. Protesters, however, insisted the army had provoked the clashes.

22:56  All is well at the White House:  The Twitter feed of Associated Press was hacked, and the international news agency has stated readers to disregard any of its tweets on disturbance at the White House or injuries. AP will soon issue a formal announcement of the same.
22:11  Sebi crackdown on Saradha Realty, MD Sudipto Sen:  Security Exchanges Board of India has ordered Saradha Realty India and its MD Sudipto Sen to wind up all collective investment schemes and refund money within three months.
22:02  Three blasts rock Quetta in Pakistan:  

Three explosions rocked Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today, injuring at least six persons and causing panic among residents. Three bombs went off in an open field at Jinnah Town, Gawalmandi Chowk and an intersection at Gurdat Singh Road this evening.        

 

Six persons were injured at Gawalmandi Chowk, police officials told the media. Three of the injured were in a serious condition, officials said. The explosions were heard from several kilometres away and caused panic across Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province.        

 

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

22:01  Delhi child rape accused to confront each other:  

Investigators will make the two accused in the rape of a five-year-old girl confront each other after the test identification parade of one of them, police said today.        

 

Manoj, who was arrested on Saturday, was sent to judicial custody for test identification parade and police is planning to conduct it soon. After the TIP, sources said, they will seek custody of Manoj and confront him with Pradeep, who was arrested yesterday from Bihar.  

 

Sources said Manoj told interrogators that Pradeep came to his house in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar on April 15 evening and they had consumed alcohol.         Manoj claimed that Pradeep insisted on bringing a girl to the house. He went out and lured the five-year-old girl living in the same building with a chocolate, sources said.        

 

Manoj also told police that he did not sexually assault the girl and it was Pradeep who committed rape, they said. He had also claimed that they fled from the house after strangulating her fearing that she will tell her parents about the crime they committed. They also thought she was dead, they said.

21:37  The Woman Who Turned Heads:  Hina Rabbani Khar was the toast of the foreign capitals. But now, on the eve of Pakistan's historic elections, she is literally 'toast' politically -- Mariana Baabar writes on Outlook.
21:07  UK set to outlaw caste discrimination:  

Caste discrimination is to be outlawed in the UK, as the government today took a U-turn after its policy was rejected by the House of Lords for a second time, bringing much cheer to about 400,000 Dalits in the country.        

 

Amendments tabled by Business Secretary Vince Cable in the House of Commons today state that the Equality Act will "provide for caste to be an aspect of race".  

 

This means that the government has now conceded on the principle and has tabled an amendment which requires the Secretary of State to bring forward regulations to include Caste as an aspect of Race (under Section 9(5) of the Equality Act) within two months of enactment of the Enterprise Bill.        

 

In a major parliamentary stand-off, The House of Lords has voted twice for legal protection to be given to the estimated 400,000 Dalits -- so-called untouchables -- who live in the UK.        

 

Commons MPs had last month overturned the first Lords vote, sparking a tussle between the two Houses. But after the peers again backed the proposals by 181 to 168 votes yesterday, forcing the government to re-think.  

20:56  French parliament passes same-sex marriage law:  The French parliament has passed a law legalising same-sex marriage and adoption, Channel 4 News has tweeted.
20:39  Explosives-laden car found near Musharraf's house:  

Dawn News: An abandoned car filled with arms and explosives was found near the Chak Shehzad residence of former military ruler Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf on Tuesday. The Suzuki Mehran car was taken into custody by security personnel as probe into the incident went underway.

 

Police said 40 kilograms of explosives, along with two detonators and hand grenades, were found from the abandoned car. Former president Musharraf is facing life threats from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan who had set up a special death squad to target former Pakistani president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf upon his arrival.

 

The All Pakistan Muslim League chief is under detention on judicial remand at his Chak-Shehzad residence, which was declared as a sub-jail after a court had earlier cancelled protective bail granted to him on April 18 over the judges detention case.

20:17  Govt's approach towards China very weak: BJP:  

 Terming the government's approach towards China as "very weak", BJP today asked the Centre to spell out steps being taken to tackle the danger arising out of the Chinese troops' incursion in Ladakh.    

 

It said the government should tell the nation the truth about the issue and take the opposition also into confidence. "China's interference in India is very serious. The nation should be told the truth. BJP is deeply concerned about the reported interference by China on the borders with India at quite deep level. It is a very serious matter," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.    

 

He said the country and the opposition must be taken into confidence. "If there is some danger, the government must brief all parties as to the steps being taken so that it does not become cancerous," he said.    

 

BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said the government's approach towards China is "very weak" and called for a review in the foreign policy regarding China after consensus in the country.

19:50  Boston bombing suspect shootout pictures:  
An eyewitness account of the shootout:

On Thursday night [Friday morning] at 12:45am EST.  I was in my living room working on my computer when I heard multiple "pops' coming from outside.  At that point, I had no idea that I was about to become an eye witness to the biggest news story in the country.

Read more
19:38  Army chief reviews security situation in J-K:  Army chief General Bikram Singh today reviewed counter-infiltration and security measures in Jammu and Kashmir and visited forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC). 

The Army chief, who is on a two-day visit to the state, chaired a meeting at the 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota, where he was briefed by field commanders about security and counter-infiltration measures in J-K, a defence spokesman said.
19:31  Palestinian ends hunger strike in Israeli jail:  A Palestinian prisoner who refused food for eight months ended his hunger strike today after a deal was reached with Israeli authorities for his early release, his lawyer and the military said. 

Samer Issawi began refusing food in August in protest over his re-arrest last July. His strike became a rallying cry for Palestinians who saw the 33-year-old from Jerusalem as a symbol of their struggle against Israel, and Palestinian rallies over Issawi's case turned violent on occasion.
19:06  BJP hits out at Sonia for defending PM on coal blocks issue:   Accusing Congress chief Sonia Gandhi of "arrogance" after she dismissed its demand for the Prime Minister's resignation on coal blocks issue, BJP today demanded that original CBI affidavit on status report and emails sent to the agency by PMO be made public. 

While Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said he was not surprised at Gandhi's response to their demand, BJP deputy leader in the Upper House Ravi Shankar Prasad did not wish to comment on her "arrogant style".

The BJP response came within hours of the Congress President dismissing the opposition demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the coal block issue with a terse "Let them ask" remark.
18:34  Bengal Minister of State for Sports Madan Mitra is a troubled man. A few weeks back, his paramour, Piyali Mukherjee, was found dead under mysterious circumstances. Mukherjee, say reports, earned crores as a legal counsellor for Saradha group. 
18:30  BJP demands CBI investigation into chit funds:  The BJP today demanded a CBI probe into the functioning of chitfund companies including the Saradha Group in West Bengal, alleging that the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress aided them. 

"We demand a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam. The scam has taken place with the help of the CPI(M) and TMC in West Bengal. When CPI(M) was in power they had helped these firms to flourish and when the Trinamool is in power they also did the same," BJP state president Rahul Sinha told reporters.
18:18  'TMC leaders with links to Saradha group must go':  The grapevine has it that a few TMC members of Parliament as well as Cabinet ministers want Rajya Sabha MPs Kunal Ghosh, Srinjoy Bose and Minister of State for Sports Madan Mitra out of the party for their alleged links with Saradha group.
17:51  So, who is Sudipta Sen?:  West Bengal chit fund company Saradha Group's promoter, Sudipta Sen's rise was meteoric -- from a real estate agent to a media baron. He started off with real estate ventures and the the chit fund business made its debut in 2006. Around the same time, Sen tried to register one of his several companies, Saradha Tours & Travels, as a non-banking financial company but failed. Saradha has numerous companies -- some registered with the registrar of companies are just shell companies. But it became a household name in Bengal, when it surfaced in the media space in 2009 through Channel 10, a Bengali news channel. In 2010, he launched an English daily, Bengal Post, and a Bengali daily, Sakalbela. The expansion was rapid and till he suddenly closed down all the media arms.

There are few employees who have actually met him and even fewer who can claim to know him. Sen has religiously maintained a low profile, gave instructions that none of the media vehicles should carry his picture, and kept a hands-off editorial policy.

Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh, who was the group's media chief executive, was the face of Sen's media business. 
17:45  Shocking! Maharashtra loses Aadhaar data of 3 lakh people:  The Maharashtra government has lost data of about three lakh people collected under the controversial Aadhaar scheme, mostly from Mumbai who enrolled into the number scheme. Read
17:30  TMC MP with links to Saradha Group may be axed:   Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been facing heat over the issue with opposition blaming it for the proliferation of chit fund companies after the Trinamool Congress came to power, had ordered the arrest of the Chairman and the Managing Director of Saradha Group, Sudipta Sen.

According to media reports, Sudipta Sen, his wife Piyali, their children, and director Debjani Mukherjee and their driver Rajiv have been traced to Kashmir. A team of West Bengal police is leaving for Kashmir via Delhi. Apart from Sen and Mukherjee, another associate of the company has also been arrested.

The board of directors of the group consists of 15 members and the name of three of them Manoj Nagel, Sudipta Sen and Debjani Mukhopadhyay feature in all the companies belonging to the group.
17:09  Chit fund scam: CMD, director arrested in Kashmir:  Saradha Group CMD Sudipta Sen and director Debjani Mukherjee have been arrested in Sonmarg in Kashmir.
17:05  India's rape epidemic: No end in sight:  As the country struggles with another gruesome rape -- this time, of a 5-year-old girl -- Dilip D'Souza asks what it will take to stem the violence. Read
17:02  Starving dog eat's dead owner's head:  A German Shepherd cross ate his owner''s head after it got trapped in her Spanish flat when she died. Police claim that the German Shepherd cross became so hungry that he consumed most of Amparo C.R.'s body so he wouldn't starve to death.


Officers were called to the flat in Valencia last week after neighbors complained about a foul smell, and were left horrified to find the half-eaten corpse of the 72-year-old lady, the New York Daily News reported. The dog, barking nearby, had remains of his dead owner's blood in his fur.
16:55  Army chief reviews security situation in J-K:  Army chief General Bikram Singh today reviewed counter-infiltration and security measures in Jammu and Kashmir and visited forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC).


The Army chief, who is on a two-day visit to the state, chaired a meeting at the 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota, where he was briefed by field commanders about security and counter-infiltration measures in J-K, a defence spokesman said.


Gen Singh later flew to the Rajouri sector where he visited forward areas along the LoC. During his stay, Gen Singh will be meeting Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and will call on J-K Governor N N Vohra at Raj Bhawan.
16:37  Stolen, sold into slavery: Misery of Delhi's trafficked children:  In other news: There could be hundreds of Gudiyas out there. Five thousand children go missing every year in the Capital. Half of them are trafficked to become labourers, domestic helps or prostitutes. Hundreds remain untraced. Read more.
16:31  Newbie MPs love Jairam Ramesh :  Amongst the MPs the most popular minister is believed to be Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. (Let's not get into the most-hated ministers, for now). Jairam does not mind patting first timers MPs, across party lines, and this gesture is known to enthuse them. It is well known that if these MPs ask for funds for rural roads in their constituencies, it is then and there granted -- emailed instructions sent to to Joint Secretaries of the Ramesh's ministry.
16:11  All the gossip from Parliament's Central Hall :  Sonia Gandhi was seen walking up and down Central Hall at least three times between 11 am and 1 pm. She attended Lok Sabha, then she walked over to the Prime Minister's chamber for the Congress Core Committee meeting. Consequently, Congress MPs had a tough time repeatedly standing up and sitting down whenever she crossed their path.

And then, there was BJP senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad talking to Praful Patel in the Central Hall for more than 30 minutes. Many BSP MPs wanted to meet Patel, but stayed away. Suddenly, Congress spokesperson Rajiv Sukhla broke in and dragged Ravi Shanker Prasad away from Praful Patel.

MPs pointed out that that Patel was a "natural ally" as Rajiv Shukla is Ravi Shankar Prasad's brother-in-law. 
15:48  Buzz about why Central Hall was full up with MPs:  Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee today met Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel in Parliament and spent over 10 minutes talking in hushed tones.

Banerjee later said the conversation wasn't on political lines, but insiders say there will be resignations from three or four TMC MPs on the chit fund scam. There have already been two attempted suicides by agents of the Saradha group.

At the Central Hall in Parliament, which was full house with MPs today, there seemed to be some hectic political parleys. An MP said the high numbers may seem to be a signal of early polls in November or that it may be the last Parliament session of UPA. 
15:34  Raja tries to meet Jaitley but beats a hasty retreat :  Former Union Minister A Raja in Parliament today walked up to the chambers of the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley. But then he suddenly spotted the huge media presence and made a quick retreat.

We also have it on good faith that he had a long phone conversation with Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley later.

In the BJP, the contact person for A Raja, is none else than the party's senior leader Yashwant Sinha who issued a statement that the Prime Minister should quit on the basis of the 2G report. 
15:12  VVIP chopper deal: CBI freezes ex-air chief's accounts:  The CBI has frozen accounts of all the accused, including air force chief SP Tyagi, in the VVIP chopper deal. The CBI, which has charged former air force chief SP Tyagi with corruption and conspiracy in the VVIP chopper deal, has said in its First Information Report (FIR) that he and his three cousins were bribed 4,26,000 euros or Rs. 2.98 crore to swing the contract for AugustaWestland. The FIR mentions as evidence a letter written by the retired air chief marshal in 2005, in which he allegedly approved scaling down the flying height of the helicopters from 18,000 feet to 15,000 feet.
15:05  India: China incursion can be resolved peacefully:  MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin addressing the media on reports of China violating Indian airspace. He says similar incidents have happened in the past and have been resolved peacefully. "It is a localised event and there are different perceptions on the LAC. The flag meeting is underway between military commanders on both sides."

Days after reports surfaced that the Chinese troops had intruded 10 kilometres deep inside Indian territory in Ladakh and set up a tented post there, the Indian Army has moved in more troops in the region. 

A leading English daily on Tuesday reported that an infantry regiment of the Army specialising in mountain warfare has been sent to Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh. 

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is also reported to have erected a tent post near the one set up by the Chinese troops, who are reported to have intruded inside the Indian territory on April 15. 

While the government has sought not to play up the issue in public, insiders say the leadership is worried as situation is tense. This is not the first time that Chinese troops have come deep inside the Indian territory. Such intrusions have taken place in the past too, across the Line of Actual Control. 

A second flag meeting between the two Armies on the latest incident will be held today. Army Chief General Bikram Singh is set to begin his two-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir today.



14:58  Inside Delhi's mobile porn boom: How the adult film market is thriving thanks to easy-to-download phone videos. Read
14:56  Anguished India asks: Why has nothing changed?:  Four months after a vicious gang rape left a 23-year-old physiotherapy student dead and triggered a national outcry over the treatment of women, more protests ignited in New Delhi after another brutal rape -- this time the victim was a five-year-old girl. Read
14:38  5-year-old MP rape victim's health deteriorates:  The condition of the five-year old rape victim from Ghansaur town in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh, who is battling for life, has deteriorated, hospital authorities said today.


"The condition of the minor girl is deteriorating," spokesman of the private hospital in Ramdaspeth area, where she has been admitted, said. Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta visited the hospital last evening to enquire about the victim's health. He assured the victim's family that the culprit would soon be caught by the state police.


According to Madhya Pradesh police, the girl was allegedly raped by 35-year-old Firoz Khan on April 17 in Ghansaur town, after which he dumped her at a farm.
14:35  Orphanage rape case: Karanjule moves HC against death sentence:  A month after a local court awarded death penalty to Ramchandra Karanjule for the murder of an inmate and gang rape of five mentally-challenged girls in an orphanage, he has approached the Bombay High Court challenging the order.


The sessions court had on March 21 convicted Ramchandra and five others for gang raping five girls, including three minors, at an orphanage run by a private trust Kalyani Mahila Bal Seva Sanstha at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai.


Ramchandra, the director of the orphanage and the prime accused, was awarded the death penalty after it came to light during the trial that one of the victims, suffering from tuberculosis, had died after she was gang raped.
14:32  AndrewBuncombe: Have just been made to leave Delhi gang-rape trial after prosecution objected to presence of foreign media.
14:26  BJP will lose K'taka, can hear it in Delhi: Rahul:  BJP has only "looted" Karnataka during its five-year rule, they are "past masters" in this, says Rahul Gandhi at an election rally. "BJP will lose in Karnataka, we can hear it in Delhi," says Rahul referring to the May 5 Assembly polls.
14:09  I will miss Justice Verma's advice, guidance: PM:  Jagdish Sharan Verma, a former chief justice who recently became a champion for women's rights, died in New Delhi on Monday. He was 80. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday night described former Chief Justice of India J S Verma, who died in New Delhi, as a "man of vast understanding" whose "generous advice and guidance" he will miss very much.


Singh said Justice Verma was "held in great respect as a public figure not only for his vast understanding and knowledge of law and the many path-breaking judgements he delivered as a judge but also for his deep sensitivity to the concerns of the common man and his fierce commitment to the public good". More
13:54  WB chit fund agents livid over Mamata's insensitivity:  Saradha agents and investors are livid over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's comment, "whatever lost is lost." Congress workers today blocked the roads during office hours, disrupting traffic. 


A Saradha agent told rediff.com that if West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stays as insensitive to the Saradha issue as she is being now, she will lose the entire rural vote base. And in the next election, the TMC will be wiped out.

As the bottom-of-the-pyramid population continues to fret about having lost one's life savings in the West Bengal "chit funds', it is interesting to find politicians promising new stringent laws against such funds. More
13:42  News is bad for you :  News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether. Read
13:23  Is Organic Better? Ask a Fruit Fly. Read
13:18  'Nitish Kumar is Bihar's main trigger of change':  Gujarat doesn't need an icon because its system is so powerful and functional that it will continue to grow without any icon, explains Dr Shaibal Gupta, a leading social scientist and economist and member-secretary of the Asian Development Research Institute in Patna, Bihar.

"But in a place like Bihar it is different, because Nitish Kumar will mean one thing, somebody else will mean a completely different thing," says Gupta, who is also a member of the Bihar government's finance commission and a well-known commentator on Bihar.' Rediff.com's Archana Masih speaks to Gupta in Patna. Read
13:14  CPI: PM guilty of dereliction of duty, must quit:   CPI says the PM is guilty of dereliction of duty and he must resign over the 2G issue. The BJP says much of the same thing.  In the Lok Sabha today, soon after Speaker Meira Kumar made a reference to Panchayati Raj Day, opposition members rushed to the Well raising slogans and waving placards on various issues. BJP members rushed to the Well demanding resignation of the Prime Minister over the issue of coal block allocations. Shouting slogans, they also demanded dismissal of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar who is alleged to have vetted the CBI report to the Supreme Court.
13:03  French Embassy in Tripoli Hit by Car Bomb:  France's embassy in Libya was hit by what appeared to be a car bomb on Tuesday, injuring two guards in the first such attack in the capital Tripoli since the end of the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Details here
12:55  Afghan Taliban say foreign captives are well:  A group of foreigners abducted by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan are well and have been moved to a "safe area" inside the country, a spokesman for the militants said today.

The Taliban leadership will decide what to do with the group, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP. Eight Turks, a Russian, a Kyrgyz man and an Afghan were seized after their helicopter made a forced landing on Sunday.

"They have been moved to a safe area, they have no health problem and they are fine. They are inside Afghanistan," Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

The Mi-8 helicopter carrying Turkish road engineers landed in Azra district of Logar province south of Kabul, a hotbed of Taliban activity. The Taliban yesterday claimed that nine of the group were Americans and two were Afghan interpreters, but appeared today to back away from that assertion.
12:44  Sonia rubbishes BJP demand: PM WON'T resign:  The Congress Core Group meet ends. Sonia Gandhi says there is no question of the PM resigning over the 2G issue. 
12:43  Higgs boson: Call to rename particle to acknowledge other scientists. Read
12:35  IPL-onomics: Where Indian players call the shots:  Here's the most telling stat about star player salaries in the IPL: Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni earn Rs 1 crore (about $180,000) every year as part of BCCI's Grade A list of centrally contracted players. That is said to be a fair estimate of the amount they also make from a single 20-over, 3.5 hour IPL game. Read here for the full story.
12:31  Azamgarh: From terror hub to potters paradise:  If anyone has heard of Azamgarh at all, it's usually in connection to a terrorist attack. Over the years, this sleepy, provincial district in Uttar Pradesh state has built the unfortunate reputation of being a breeding ground for terrorists. Read
12:29  In rape victims area, a dream of progress:  The area of New Delhi where a 5-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped boasts modest signs of gentrification. Some houses have stone cladding, while most residences enjoy mostly uninterrupted power. But other details in Gandhi Nagar, on the eastern edges of the capital, show how close it is to India's vast rural poverty. There are stray dogs everywhere, open sewers and a network of garbage-strewn lanes. Read
12:26  India has lost' superbug war:  India has lost the war against the toughest forms of antibiotic resistance, largely because of poor sanitation, unregulated use of antibiotics and an absence of drug resistance monitoring, according to the man who discovered a type of drug resistance in bacteria in New Delhi. Read
12:20  Coalgate: BJP demands PM's resignation:  Intesifying its attack on the government over the coal block allocation scam, BJP today demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sacking of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar.


The BJP Parliamentary Party which met here under the chairmanship of L K Advani passed a resolution in this regard and charged the government with suppressing the truth from coming out in the coal scam.


The opposition party had stalled Parliament yesterday over the issue and demanded that the Law Minister make a statement on his alleged role in vetting the CBI affidavit for the Supreme Court on the coal scam investigation.


"The BJP Parliamentary Party today has resolved that in the light of the series of scams and the present way in which the government has sought to suppress the truth from coming out, Dr Manmohan Singh must resign and the Law Minister Ashwani Kumar must be sacked," BJP Deputy Leader in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters after the meeting. He said the party has formally demanded that the PM must resign and the Law Minister be sacked.
12:12  5-yr-old rape victim has breakfast, recovering: Doc:  The five-year-old girl, who was raped allegedly by two youth eight days ago, is active and recovering as "expected", doctors said today. "She has had a good breakfast. Her fever has come down. And she is afebrile (not feverish) now. Her colostomy is functioning normally," Dr D K Sharma, Medical Superintendent of AIIMS, said in a medical bulletin.


"The five-year-old female child is recovering as expected. She is active and taking adequate liquids and semi-solid food," he said. The child was raped at a residential building in east Delhi's Gandhi Nagar on April 15 and was recovered 40 hours later only. She was shifted to AIIMS on April 19 evening from Swami Dayanand Hospital. Doctors said it will take another two weeks for her discharge from hospital.
12:08  Lok Sabha has now been adjourned till Thursday, Rajya Sabha till 2 pm.

12:06  All action at Well of the House today:  Here's what happened in Parliament today.

Keeping up the heat on the government, BJP today demanded resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the coalgate issue as other parties raised various matters leading to adjournment of Parliament till noon.


The BJP, Trinamool Congress, SP, Left parties trooped into the Well of both the Houses raising issues like coal block allocation, alleged neglect of West Bengal in grant of central funds and reported Chinese incursions in Ladakh.


In the Lok Sabha, soon after Speaker Meira Kumar made a reference to Panchayati Raj Day, opposition members rushed to the Well raising slogans and waving placards on various issues.


BJP members rushed to the Well demanding resignation of the Prime Minister over the issue of coal block allocations. A group of Congress members were seen waving placards and demanding a separate Telangana state. A TDP member waved a banner in the Well demanding immediate introduction of the Bill in Parliament to create Telangana state. SP members were also in the Well raising the issue of security of India's borders with neighbouring countries.


Trinamool Congress members showed banners claiming neglect of West Bengal in disbursal of central funds. Members of Left parties were also in the Well protesting the 'state-sponsored' violence in West Bengal.


The Speaker tried to continue with the Question Hour but soon adjourned the House till noon as members were unrelenting in their demands. In the Rajya Sabha, almost the entire Opposition was up on their feet immediately after Chairman Hamid Ansari made a reference to Panchayati Raj Day.


While BJP demanded the Prime Minister's resignation over the allegations of CBI report on coalgate scam being vetted by Law Minister, TMC held banners that read "No Funds for West Bengal." BJP members, who shouted slogans, also demanded dismissal of Law Minister Ashwani Kumar who is alleged to have vetted the CBI report to the Supreme Court.


Ansari asked members not to display banners and called for the first listed question of the day. Soon, slogan shouting BJP members trooped into the Well forcing Ansari to adjourn the House till noon.
11:46  A question of proportion:  If a citizen applies to the government for security cover, is the latter bound to oblige him even if he is the country's most wealthy individual? The short answer is yes, provided the government finds the threat credible.

Why then has the decision to accord Mukesh Ambani 'Z' category security -- which is second only to the 'Z-plus' protection accorded to such VVIPs as the Prime Minister, the President, the Congress chief and her children and a few hand-picked Chief Ministers -- generated such a controversy? Read
11:44  Out of step on soldier welfare:  The Defence Ministry's stubborn refusal to implement orders of the Armed Forces Tribunal is creating disaffection among serving and retired personnel. Read
11:34  French embassy in Libya attacked, car bomb likely :  The French embassy in Libya has been attacked, two guards have been wounded. French embassy official says attack appears to have been car bomb. 
11:30  Out of step on soldier welfare:  The Defence Ministry's stubborn refusal to implement orders of the Armed Forces Tribunal is creating disaffection among serving and retired personnel. Read
11:28  To my guru, with love: A ode to violinist-composer Lalgudi G Jayaraman, who  passed away on Monday.  Read
11:26  I am still involved with the game as I was at 16:  Sachin Tendulkar prepares for an interview just as he prepares to bat. He has his focus and his priorities. The phone is put on silent mode, the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the door is in place. His time management is impeccable, so is his clarity of thought.Ahead of his 40th birthday, as he enters the twilight of his career, the Master spoke exhaustively to The Hindu. Read
11:23  Samajwadi Party is politically vulnerable in UP:  Despite the bravado in his interview to this newspaper on Monday, and his insistence that no government would be possible in New Delhi in 2014 without the Samajwadi Party's (SP) participation, chief ministerAkhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh is a worried man. There are two reasons why. Read
11:20  Will 'back off China' banners really work?:   Indian and Chinese troops in a frontier sector in eastern Ladakh have been holding up banners for the past week, each asking the other to pull back from Daulat Beg Oldi, sources in the army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police have confirmed. Defence minister A.K. Antony today said the Centre was taking "every step to protect its interests in Ladakh' after the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) set up a tented camp 2km from an Indian post on April 15. Read the full story here.

The second flag meeting between India and China is expected today. India had asked for a flag meeting earlier, but was turned down.
11:07  Parliament adjourned within minutes :  The BJP will press for PM Manmohan Singh's resignation for allegedly trying to cover up scams. The BJP will also demand Law Minister Ashwani Kumar's dismissal, sources say. Both Houses have been adjourned over chaos over demands that the PM submit his resignation. Parliament to resume at noon.
10:59  2G scam: BJP, Left, DMK submit privilege notices :   Members of Parliament representing the BJP, the Left and the DMK have submitted privilege notices against Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) Chairman P C Chacko for the manner in which the JPC draft report on the 2G spectrum scam was leaked to the media even before it reached most of the 30 panel members.

According to media reports, BJP and Left members on the JPC have also decided to oppose the draft report at the next meeting of the committee on April 25.They have urged other members to also oppose the report. If that happens, it will be the first time that members of a JPC will oppose a report.
10:54  Mukesh Ambani to pay Rs 15 lakh a month for security cover:   Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani will have to pay for his 'Z' category security, with Union home ministry sources disclosing that the CRPF has been asked to deploy its men for his proximate protection "on a payment basis". Sources indicated that the monthly bill for Ambani's 'Z' category security detail may work out to around Rs 15 lakh. Read more
09:42  Chinese incursion: India moves in regiment to Leh:  
Days after reports surfaced that the Chinese troops had intruded 10 kilometres deep inside Indian territory in Ladakh and set up a tented post there, the Indian Army has moved in more troops in the region. 

A leading English daily on Tuesday reported that an infantry regiment of the Army specialising in mountain warfare has been sent to Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh. 

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is also reported to have erected a tent post near the one set up by the Chinese troops, who are reported to have intruded inside the Indian territory on April 15. 

While the government has sought not to play up the issue in public, insiders say the leadership is worried as situation is tense. 

This is not the first time that Chinese troops have come deep inside the Indian territory. Such intrusions have taken place in the past too, across the Line of Actual Control. 

A second flag meeting between the two Armies on the latest incident will be held today. 

Also today, Army Chief General Bikram Singh is beginning his two-day visit of Jammu and Kashmir. 
08:54  Tata Steel to hit overseas bond street today:  
Steel major Tata Steel is hitting the markets today for a possible Singapore dollar-denominated bond sale.

"A Singapore dollar denominated Reg S (senior unsecured bonds) transactions may be launched, subject to market conditions, following the investor roadshow," a merchant banking source said.

The source added that the roadshow would begin today in Singapore.

However, the size of the issue or the coupon range was not immediately known.

The merchant banker said the money will be raised by Tata Steel's wholly-owned subsidiary ABJA Investment Co.

Media reports recently stated the Tata Group company was mulling to raise $1 billion from overseas markets. Tata Steel was looking to deploy a part of the proceeds in its upcoming project in Odisha and may also pare some high-cost debt, the reports had said.

So far 11 Indian companies through 13 issuances have raised a whopping USD 7.5 billion from the overseas markets this year, as rupee funds remain too costly at around 12-14 per cent.
08:51  Insurance Bill to be moved in Rajya Sabha today:  
Finance Minister P Chidambaram is likely to move the long-pending insurance Bill in Rajya Sabha today which seeks to raise foreign direct investment cap to 49 per cent in the sector from the existing 26 per cent. 

The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 is listed in the today's business schedule of the Upper House for consideration and passage. 

The comprehensive Bill seeks to further amend the Insurance Act, 1938, the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act, 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999.

Earlier this month, the Finance Minister had expressed the hope that it will be passed soon, saying that there is difference of opinion only with regard to one clause in the Bill, for which he is in touch with the main opposition party BJP to sort that out. 

Once the Insurance Bill is passed, Chidambaram had said the Pension Bill will follow.

Pension Bill is only a reflection of what is contained in the Insurance Amendment Bill, he had said.
08:50  Chinese incursion: Army chief heads to Kashmir:  
In the backdrop of the Chinese incursion in Ladakh sector of Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General Bikram Singh will arrive on a two-day visit of the state, starting from today. 

The Army chief will will undertake a two-day visit to Jammu region to discuss the security situation, Defence sources said. 

General Singh will chair a meeting at 16-Corps headquarter at Nagrota and then fly to forward areas of Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors, where he will be briefed by the field commanders about the security situation and counter infiltration measures.

He will also meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during the day and will have dinner meeting with Governor N N Vohra at Raj Bhawan today. 

On Wednesday, the Army Chief will fly to Doda region and will be briefed by the commanders of counter-insurgency Delta force.

A Platoon-strength contingent of China's People's Liberation Army came 10 km inside the Indian territory in Burthe in DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15 and established a tented post there, according to highly placed sources, who said that a Chinese Army Platoon usually consists of around 50 men. 
03:09  Boston bomber Dzhokar charged with using WMDs:  

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev has been charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property in the US and could face the death penalty if convicted, the Attorney General's office said today.         

 

The charges came as the White House said today that Tsarnaev is not an 'enemy combatant' and as a US citizen cannot be tried under military laws. "He is not an enemy combatant. We will prosecute him under the existing law. When it comes to US citizens it is against the law to try them under military conditions," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.

01:59  Why Spain's population is shrinking strikingly:  

Spain's population fell last year for the first time in decades, as immigrants left the country amid a major economic crisis, officials say. The National Statistic Institute (NSI) says the number of residents dropped by almost 206,000 to 47.1m - the decline entirely accounted for by foreigners.

 

Immigrants from Ecuador and Colombia showed the biggest fall. The figures do not take into account many Spaniards who have left in search of work but are still on the census.

 

Read the full story on BBC

01:04  Canada 'thwarts major terror plot':  

Canada's authorities are expected to announce they have foiled a plot to carry out a major terrorist attack, media reports say. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says the alleged plotters were arrested on Monday morning after being under surveillance for more than a year. It reports that the arrests took place in Ontario and Quebec.

 

Police are due to give more details shortly. The plot was not linked to the Boston Marathon bombings, reports say. The investigation involved a cross-border co-operation involving America's FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, according to the CBC.

 

Read the full report on BBC

00:06  Boston blasts: 'Did one brother brainwash another?':  

The first image the nation saw of the two brothers may serve as more than a pivotal clue to investigators in the Boston Marathon bombings. It is, perhaps, a snapshot of their relationship: One leads, the other follows.

 

That's how some friends remember the Tsarnaev brothers: At 26, Tamerlan was seven years older than his brother Dzhokhar, who followed his big brother around like a puppy.

 

And with their father in Russia, the older brother may have become a father figure to the 19-year-old these past few months. At 6-feet-3, Tamerlan was, by many accounts, an intimidating presence with increasingly strong convictions about society and religion in recent years.

 

Read the full report on CNN

00:05  Top headlines at this hour:  

Anti-rape commission chief Justice Verma no more

Veteran violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman dead

Ambani security: Govt says it will bear expenses

2G scam: Raja points fingers at Dr Singh, Chidambaram

Raja writes to Chacko: YOU leaked 2G draft report

Raja's buzzwords to JPC: Spectrum, TRAI, DOT, PM

BJP may shift Sidhu from Amritsar to Delhi

'Sonia holds consultations on action plan against rape'

Our record unblemished so far: IAF chief on chopper deal

'Advani received funds from BSY during CM crisis'

Delhi child rape: 2nd accused held, confesses to his crime

Court issues NBW against Dutt, gets bail in another case

Ready to quit, but will that stop rape: Delhi Police chief

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