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August 07, 2013


23:35  The Durga Nagpal saga: an open letter to educated Indians:  Read Sakshi Nanda's open letter on CNN-IBN blogs
23:17  Live! Tarun Gogoi meets Bodo leaders:  

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi tonight held separate meetings with leaders of All Bodo Students Union and Bodo National Conference and discussed their issues and demands.        

 

To their request for arranging a meeting with the Centre, Gogoi assured them that he would make all efforts towards to that end, said official sources.         Gogoi told ABSU and BNC that he would be meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi on August 11 and would request him to meet them.        

 

ABSU was represented by its vice-president Jibon Basumatary and general secretary Romeo P Narzary while BNC delegation included its chief convener Kampha Borgiary, convenors Anjali Daimary and Biseswar Basumatary.

22:34  Live! Bodies of Bihar martyrs arrive in Patna; funeral tomorrow:  

M I Khan reports from Patna: The bodies of the four soldiers of Bihar regiment, who were killed after "heavily armed terrorists' ambushed an Indian army patrol along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, arrived in Patna on Wednesday night. Their funeral will take place at their respective villages on Thursday, a police official said.

 

A large number of security forces and jawans of Bihar regiment along with hundreds of people gathered at the Patna airport and paid salute to the martyrs.

 

Five soldiers were killed when the attackers, including men in Pakistani military uniform, barged into Indian territory and ambushed an army patrol at Chakan-da-Bagh sector of the Line of Control on Tuesday. The condition of another soldier, who was injured in the ambush, is slated to be critical.

 

The martyrs from Bihar have been identified as Sambhusaran Rai, who belonged to Ara in Bhojpur district, Vijay Kumar Rai from Bihta in Patna district, and Prem Nath and Raghunandan Prasad from Saran district.Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a state funeral for all the slain four soldiers of the 21 Bihar Regiment, along with a compensation of Rs10 lakhs for their families.

22:04  UPA to benefit if Bihar gets special state status: Nitish:  Narendra Modi won't be an issue in Bihar in the next Lok Sabha elections, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said while refusing to be drawn into a discussion on Gujarat versus Bihar models of development.   

Kumar, whose party walked out of the NDA in June breaking a 17-year-old alliance with BJP, also said the UPA stands to benefit if the Centre grants special state status to Bihar. He, however, evaded a direct question on whether his party will support a Congress-led government from outside in2014 saying it was "hypothetical".   

"We never discuss persons. But the one whom you are referring to will not be an issue in Bihar. In Bihar, the issues during the elections will be development... You will be relieved when the results are out," he said in reply to a question on Modi factor in the next Lok Sabha polls.
21:55  Actor Kamaal Rashid Khan booked for defamatory remarks:   Actor Kamaal Rashid Khan has been booked for allegedly making casteist and defamatory remarks against the lead actor of Hindi film 'Raanjhanaa' in his review of the movie posted on YouTube, police said today.

According to the police, a case under Section 66 A of the IT Act and others has been registered against Khan at the Seema Puri Police Station of North-East Delhi on Monday.
21:31  Akhilesh makes surprise visit to Sonia's constituency:   Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today made a surprise visit to CongressPresident Sonia Gandhi's Lok Sabha constituency of Rae Bareli where, among other things, he ordered action against two district officials for laxity in service.   

The CM reached Raain village in the Bachrawan development block and inspected ongoing development works in the area. And, what with the recent midday meal tragedy in Bihar's Chhapra district, Akhilesh also went down to a local school where he tasted the food being served to students as part ofthe scheme.   

The CM reached the village, which lies about 50km from the state capital, unannounced, taking local officials by surprise.
20:56  Bad weather restricts army chief from visiting Poonch:  Bad weather conditions restricted Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh from visiting the border areas of Poonch today to review security situation. Gen Singh, who arrived in Jammu this morning and took part in the wreath laying function at Technical Airport here, was scheduled to visit Poonch to review the security situation following the killing of five jawans along the LoC in a Pakistan Border Action Team attack yesterday.
20:22  EC asks states to monitor cases of convicted MPs, MLAs:   The Election Commission has asked all states and Union Territories to implement the Supreme Court judgment on conviction of sitting MLAs and MPs and devise a foolproof mechanism for tracking cases of their conviction at all levels.

The EC also sought a monthly report about cases of conviction of sitting members of Parliament or state legislature, preferably by the 15th of every month.

In a communication to chief secretaries of all states/UTs, the poll body has cited the Supreme Court judgment whereby the protection against immediate disqualification from membership enjoyed by sitting members on conviction and sentence to imprisonment/fine will no longer be available.
20:09  3 killed in blast in southwest Pakistan:  A woman and two children were killed and 15 others injured when a bomb went off in a crowded market in Balochistan province of southwest Pakistan today, police said. 

The bomb was detonated by remote control outside a commercial building in Mastung town. The market was crowded with people shopping ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival. 

A 35-year-old woman, an eight-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were among the dead, police said. Several women and children were wounded.
19:53  BJP leaders raise with PM Antony's 'goof-up' on LoC killings:  BJP leaders led by L K Advani today raised with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh their objections to Defence Minister A K Antony's statement on the killing of Indian soldiers along the LOC, terming it as a "goof-up", and pressed for a clarification on the serious matter. 

BJP leaders were called by the Prime Minister to discuss the Bangladesh Land Border Agreement, on which the government is seeking the support of the main opposition party.
19:32  In rebuke, Obama cancels Moscow summit with Putin:  In a rare diplomatic rebuke, President Barack Obama on Wednesday canceled his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The decision reflected both U.S. anger over Russia's harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow's stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights.
19:20  Indian-origin ex-Microsoft manager charged with rape in US:  An Indian-origin former programming manager at Microsoft's corporate headquarters here has been charged with raping a female janitor at his office. 

Vineet Kumar Srivastava, 36, allegedly called the woman into his Redmond, Washington, office late at night on the sprawling grounds of the software company on July 22. He then shoved off her blouse, according to court documents.
19:04  LoC ambush: new aggressive stance by BJP due to 'Modi effect'?:  It was no coincidence that, as senior BJP leaders quizzed the government in Parliament, Modi tweeted outside: 

"From China's intrusions to Pakistan's ambushes - UPA government has been absolutely lax in securing Indian borders. When will the Centre wake up?"
18:56  AAP candidate Koli succumbs to injuries, Kejriwal lashes out:  Santosh Koli, a close aide of Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party candidate for Delhi polls who was critically injured in an accident, died today in a Gurgaon hospital after battling for life for 37 days. 

"Santosh passes away. May her soul rest in peace," tweeted AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal, who had alleged foul play after the 28-year-old member of his core committee was critically
18:30  Live! Pak summons India deputy envoy over protests outside high commission:  Pakistan summons the Indian deputy high commissioner over protests outside the country's high commission in New Delhi. Pakistan said they were concerned about the safety of their staff.

About 170 members of the Youth Congress were detained on Wednesday while marching towards the Pakistan High Commission to protest the killings of five Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Around 200 members of the Youth Congress gathered near the Pakistan High Commission in Chanakyapuri in central Delhi around 1 pm. They climbed police barricades and raised anti-Pakistan slogans.

18:22  Mani Shankar Aiyar compares BJP to Hitler, Mussolini:  Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Wednesday compared the BJP behaviour in Parliament to Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, saying that the opposition party is mimicking fascism by continually disrupting Parliamentary Sessions.

"There is no difference between Adolf Hitler and the BJP. Yes, there is one big difference that Adolf Hitler first came to power and then closed Parliament while the BJP is closing Parliament in the hope that they will come to power.

"Their intent is clear, which is that they do not believe in democracy or its institutions. They want to carry on as they like. I hope, though it is getting harder to believe, that some discipline is instilled in Parliament,' Aiyar said.
18:10  Horrific gang rape in Delhi inspires new play starring victims who are fighting back. Read more.
17:55  Why I suspended Durga Shakti Nagpal: Akhilesh Yadav:  Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, explains why the decision to suspend IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal is right. Read
17:53  Indias Vanishing Elephant Mahouts:  An elephant idling along with its mahout is arguably as evocative of India as the Taj Mahal, but pachyderm experts warn that the skill of keeping an elephant properly in captivity is dying out. Read
17:40  AP leaders demand Hyderabad be made second capital of India:   Amid the uncertainty over fate of Hyderabad after proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Dr Ambedkar's proposition that the city could become the second capital of India is being raised afresh by some non-Telagana leaders.

Incidentally, the Telugu Desam Party was the first to raise the demand three years ago that Hyderabad be made the second capital of India, if at all the state was to be bifurcated.
17:34  The woman who nearly died making your iPad:  The next time you use your iPad, remember this. Tian Yu worked more than 12 hours a day, six days a week, making iPads. She had to skip meals to do overtime. Then she threw herself from a fourth-floor window. Read
17:27  Live! Yashwant Sinha: 'Govt with Pakistan or India' said in heat of the moment:   BJP senior leader tells CNN IBN that his statement in Parliament yesterday, "Is the government with Pakistan or India" was made in the heat of the moment.
However, the government has to hold Pakistan responsible for the repeated incursions.

Sihna today moved a breach of privilege notice against Defence Minister AK Antony, accusing him of misleading Parliament on the killing of five Indian jawans along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
17:12  Akhilesh Yadav's surprise trip to Sonia Gandhi's constituency sends firm message:  As far as visits go, this one is encoded with huge political significance. This morning, Akhilesh Yadav made a surprise appearance in Rae Bareli, the constituency of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Read
17:08  CPI condemns killing of Indian soldiers:  The CPI today condemned the killing of five soldiers by Pakistan Army, terming it as a "blatant violation" of the ceasefire agreement.

"This is the blatant violation of the ceasefire agreement. It has happened at a time when India and Pakistan governments were preparing to take steps for resumption of comprehensive dialogue between them," the CPI National Executive said in a statement.

The incident, it said, was "a repetition" of the beheading of an Indian soldier in January when "jingoists on both sides of the border sabotaged the attempts for resumption of dialogue".
16:54   DRDO developing chilli-spray for women's self-defence:  In view of increasing instances of physical attacks on women, the DRDO has developed a chilli-spray for protection using the world's hottest chilli grown in Assam, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"Yes, Defence Research laboratory in Tezpur has developed a chilli-spray called Capsispray. It is a non-lethal spray for personal protection and self-defence," Defence Minister A K Antony said in reply to a written query.

"It contains Oleoresin Capsicum extracted from world's hottest chilli Bhut Jolokia, largely cultivated in Assam and other parts of northeast," he said.

The Minister was asked if the spray was developed in view of growing instances of attacks on women.
16:31  The Foreign Policy holds forth on RBI governor designate Raghuram Rajan. Read

Also read: 12 interesting facts about Raghuram Rajan
16:20  Lokayukta on Modi govt: Can't work with 'my way or highway' mindset:  The full text of the letter written by the Gujarat Lokayukta to the governor giving reasons why he is putting in his papers. Read
16:18  The original press release on LoC killings sent by the defence wing of the PIB, which states that the Pakistan army was responsible for incursion and the deaths of the five Indian jawans.

And the changed press release that says the killings were by persons dressed in Pakistani army uniforms. Read
16:07  Slain jawans wife refuses to accept govt compensation :  Pushpa Devi, wife of Vijay Kumar Rai, one of the five soldiers killed after "heavily armed terrorists" ambushed an Indian army patrol in Jammu and Kashmir, has refused to accept a compensation of Rs 10 lakh announced by the Bihar government.  Full story on Rediff.com shortly.
15:50  Army: Five soldiers killed by same LeT men who beheaded jawan in Jan:  Army sources said that the LeT unit that had carried out the January 8 ambush on a patrol party, beheading the Indian soldier in the Mendhar sector, was also involved in the five personnel's brutal killing in Poonch. Read
15:24  LoC killings: Martyr Vijay Kumar's family returns compensation cheque.
15:21  Defence minister must clarify statement: Sushma:   The Lok Sabha has moved on to the LoC killings. Sushma Swaraj says she wants to talk about another type of security -- the killings at the LoC. She said whether the men who killed the jawans were Pakistani terrorists or from the Pakistani army, the responsibility was still Pakistan's. "The defence must clarify his statement. Why was the army PRO's statement changed?" she asked. 

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the day. Day 3 washed out as well.   
15:10  The discussion and the voting on the Food Bill is expected to take place next week. In effect, the government has withdrawn the food ordinance and replaced it with the Food Bill.
15:09  Read: Is the Food Security Bill a game-changer?
15:06  Food Security Bill tabled in Lok Sabha:  The UPA government has introduced the Food Security Bill in Parliament this afternoon, to replace its ordinance issued last month.

The ruling Congress has issued a whip for all its MPs to be present when the Bill is introduced. The Bill, seen as the UPA's gamechanger ahead of next year's general elections, will be discussed next week.The Food Security Bill gives 67% Indians, or about 800 million people, the legal right to cheap food. More
15:01  The government will withdraw the Food Bill Ordinance and convert it into a bill, says TV reports. Food Security Bill will be put to vote in the Lok Sabha today.
14:59  Former Pakistan I&B minister Sherry Rehman on India's decision to  continue talks with Pakistan. Good. this is imp. Talk, don't escalate. 
14:39  Heavy exchange of gunfire in Uri in Kashmir, several army posts attacked:  Hours after five Indian soldiers were killed in Poonch, 200 km south of Srinagar, Army sources said heavy ceasefire violation took place in northern Kashmir yesterday. Read
14:35  SC agrees to hear BCCI plea on probe panel:  The Supreme Court agrees to hear BCCI's plea against Bombay HC verdict which had declared as illegal its probe panel set up to look into spot fixing controversy.
14:33  'India is dominated by the West':  'India may be independent politically and it may even become an economic power like Japan, but it remains and will still remain part of the global capitalist economy and system, dominated and controlled by the West,' says J B P More. The historian in an interview with Shobha Warrier. Read
14:21  Monty Panesar fined for urinating on bouncers:  In other news: Monty Panesar, the England cricketer, has apologised after urinating on bouncers who had ejected him from a nightclub. Read
14:11  In Delhi: Youth Congress protest outside the Pakistan High Commission over the LoC killings.

Parliament adjourned till 3 pm. Lok Sabha over Telangana and Rajya Sabha over AK Antony's LoC statement.

That's four adjournments in each house today.


14:01  Khurshid: Indo-Pak talks will go on, it's a continuous process:  External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid says Indo-Pak talks are a continuous process and will go on. "Defence minister AK Antony made the statement on the basis of a briefing by the army," he says.

Dr Singh's meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will take place as scheduled on the sidelines of a United Nations meet in New York in September.
13:53  Found! Scapegoat for Antony's LoC statement :   Our sources in Delhi tell us that Defence minister AK Antony has told the Prime Minister why there were different statements on the LoC killings.

Antony said that he went by the statement prepared by the Joint Secretary of the Defence Ministry, which was corrected by the Defence Secretary. Antony did not verify the statement from the Army, hence there was a discrepancy in his statement to Parliament.

Most of the top bureaucrats have washed their hands off the statement, but a scapegoat has been found. A Joint Secretary who drafted the statement from the Military Intelligence report has been identified. In all probability, the Joint Secretary will be transferred once the Monsoon session of Parliament is adjourned sine die.

It is still unclear whether the government will go back on its "terrorists in Pak army uniform" statement or stick to it.
13:34  Antony briefs PM:  The defence minister is briefing the PM on the LoC incursion. Parliament will reconvene at 2 pm.

The Ministry of External Affairs has issued a statement: Weekly media briefing rescheduled to a later date. Inconvenience caused is regretted.

Probably does not want to make another faux pas over the LoC killings.
12:59  The bodies of the slain jawans will be flown from Delhi to Patna and Pune in an Air Force aircraft. While four bodies will be flown to Patna and one will be taken to Pune.
12:51  Both houses of Parliament adjourned till 2 pm. 
12:44  Antony reacts: Nation one, Parliament one; we won't compromise :  Defence minister AK Antony's second statement in the Rajya Sabha today. After refusing to react to the BJP's demands that Antony clarify his statement on the LoC killings yesterday, the defence minister now says, "As a defence minister, I have to be careful about what I say.  I have to investigate all the facts in detail. The Army chief is in Jammu. He will brief me and I will pass on the details to you. We have made the statement on the basis of whatever information was available to us, we will share more information as and when we get it and I will brief the Parliament on it.

"The nation is one, Parliament is one. There will be no comporomise," said Antony.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu asks how can the government make two statements on one day, referring to yesterday's statements by the army and MoD.

Ravi Shankar Prasad chimes in, "Does this mean that what the defence minister said yesterday was incorrect? Why does he wait for more information from the Army chief?" 

12:34  India, Pakistan speak on hotline after LoC killings:  Indian and Pakistani commanders spoke by hotline today, a day after Delhi accused Islamabad of involvement in an ambush that killed five Indian troops, a Pakistani military official said.

Pakistan denied any part in the incident, but India lodged an official protest with Islamabad for what was the deadliest loss of life for the Indian army since a 2003 truce agreement.

Read
12:27  Free for all in Parliament:   In both Houses, Left parties tried to raise the issue of violence against women and alleged violation of human rights in West Bengal, which was stoutly opposed by their rivals from TMC.

In the Upper House, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said, "The Defence Minister has let down the country. He must apologise to the country and Parliament. He has taken the line of Pakistan."

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) tried to raise the issue of law and order in West Bengal but was stoutly opposed by Derek O'Brien (TMC).

All the while, two TDP members stood in the Well raising banners demanding justice for Seemandhra area. The Chairman asked the members to resume their places so that Question Hour could be taken up. But with members unrelenting, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

Read Nitin Gokhale's column on the beheading of a jawan at the LoC in January. 
12:26  Big fire closes Nairobi airport; flights rerouted:   In other news: A massive fire engulfed the arrivals hall at Kenya's main international airport early today, forcing East Africa's largest airport to close and the rerouting of all inbound flights.


Black smoke that shot skyward was visible across much of Nairobi as emergency teams battled the blaze. Stranded passengers stood on sidewalks outside the airport with their luggage in hand.
12:14  Live! Ruckus in Rajya Sabha: BJP MPs raise LoC slogans in well of house:   Ruckus in Rajya Sabha. BJP MPs rush to the well of the house shouting slogans on the LoC incident. The house has been adjourned for 15 minutes. Second adjournment already.
11:45  Cong against tit-for-tat action:  The Congress has refused to take a hawkish stand on Pakistan despite strong criticism, particularly from BJP, even as the top leadership condemned the LoC ambush and asked the government to take "appropriate" steps. Read
11:41  Army chief Bikram Singh pays tribute to slain jawans in Jammu:  Meanwhile, Army chief Bikram Singh is in Jammu. TV visuals show him paying tribute before the tricolour-draped coffins of the five jawans, killed by "men dressed in Pakistani army uniform".  

The army chief was supposed to visit the spot where the incursion happened in Poonch, but bad weather has stymied plans.
11:35  Defence minister AK Antony who is in Parliament remains steadfastly mute, as the war of words rages on around him.  
11:31  Rajya Sabha resumes after first adjourment. Lok Sabha will resume at noon.
11:21  Parliament adjourned after uproar over Antony's clean chit to Pak:  After observing a moment's silence over the deaths of the five Indian jawans killed at the LoC yesterday, BJP senior leader Venkaiah Naidu demands answers from the government -- why was defence minister AK Antony's statement different from that of the Army PRO. He said the government's stand on the attack was unsatisfactory and that these were not isolated incidents. "Why has the defence minister given a clean chit to Pakistan? He must apologise," said Naidu. 

In the Lok Sabha, leader of the opposition in the house, wants the prime minister to comment on Antony's statement yesterday.

Consequently, both houses of Parliament have been adjourned.  
11:02  BJP gives notice for suspension of Question Hour :  Day 3 of the monsoon session of Parliament has begun. The BJP gives notice for the suspension of the Question Hour in Parliament on Defence minister AK Antony's statement.
11:00  Live! Guj Lokayukta refuses to take charge: I'm hurt by Modi govt's legal battle:   Justice (Rtd) R A Mehta, who had been appointed as Gujarat Lokayukta, refuses to take charge of the post saying the government took a long time to notify him.

He said that the state government has always questioned his credibility and integrity. Justice Mehta has written a letter to the state governor and the government stating that he cannot take up the position considering the mindset and attitude displayed by the state government is counter-significant.

"Persistently and tenaciously approaching the Supreme Court with special leave petition, review petition, and curative petition at huge public expense. It may be compared to the budget for the Lokayukta office or even the high court (which deals with lacs of cases every year). It would be an eye-opener," Justice Mehta stated in the letter.
10:56  Defence minister's statement on Pakistan attack laughable: BJP:  The BJP today derided Defence Minister AK Antony for the statement he made in Parliament yesterday on the killing of the five Indian soldiers near the Line of Control at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have sent notice on breach of privilege to the Speaker," said the BJP's Yashwant Sinha, who described the Defence Minister's statement as "most laughable."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, "There is no question of Defence Minister misleading the House. Those were facts that were available at the time he made that statement."

During a political uproar over the ambush of the Indian soldiers 200 kms south of Srinagar, the Defence Minister said in Parliament that "the ambush was carried out by approximately 20 heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army Uniforms." The statement absolved the Pakistani army from the attack. More
10:53  17-year-old girl shot inside her home in Delhi, attackers flee on motorcycle:  In Delhi, a 17-year-old girl was shot in her neck by two unidentified men inside her house in Dakshinpuri in the southeast part of the city on Tuesday evening.The girl has been admitted to the Max Hospital in Saket. Her condition is said to be critical due to blood loss. Read
10:48  Did Rahul really say, 'poverty is a state of mind?':  A remark by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, alleged to have been made while addressing a function at Allahabad, about poverty being "just a state of mind" has gone viral kicking up a row.

Rahul's observation that "Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty" was enough to bring down the wrath of the cyber world on him. More
10:38  Russia's take on homosexuality: Obama speaks up:  US President Barack Obama has addressed the recent decision of the Russian government to criminalise homosexuality in India and how such a decision may affect the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Moscow.

Read what he has to say here
10:32  Good or bad news for Modi? Gujarat Lokayukta resigns:  Justice R A Mehta's resignation may turn out to be an embarrassment for the Gujarat government, reports CNN IBN.

Justice Mehta reportedly refused to take up the post as the state government took such a long time to notify his appointment.

The Gujarat government, led by Narendra Modi, had filed a plea against Justice Mehta's appointment in the high court and then the Supreme Court. But both courts had upheld his appointment.
10:28  Obama praises Hillary Clinton:  US President Barack Obama has praised Hillary Clinton, describing her as a great Secretary of State, days after he had invited his former top diplomat for a lunch at the White House.        

"By the end of my first term, we had become genuinely close, and I could not have more respect for her. She was a great Secretary of State," Obama told NBC channel.  
10:20  Flashback: How India, Pak reacted to LoC violence:  India and Pakistan formally agreed to a ceasefire in 2003 but skirmishes across the border continue. 

The situation has escalated recently, with the killing of Indian soldiers at the LoC.

Army chief General Bikram Singh is currently on a visit to the site of the violent attack.

In January, two Indian soldiers were killed brutally near the LoC, and one of them was beheaded. 

How did the Indian and Pakistan governments act in the aftermath of the killing of Indian soldiers in January?

10:08  Advani, Sushma to meet Dr Singh:  BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj are scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday over the killing of five soldiers of the Indian Army at Pooch Sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP has slammed the central government over its alleged inaction against Pakistan Army's activities at the Line of Control, while the Congress has accused the opposition of politicising the issue.
10:02  Relief for Modi? Gujarat Lokayukta resigns:  Gujarat Lokayukta Justice R A Mehta has resigned from his post, citing health reasons.

Justice Mehta tendered his resignation from the position by sending a mail to Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal.

It may be recalled that the state government, led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had objected strongly to Justice Mehta's appointment.

The state government's plea against the appointment had gone all the way to the Supreme Court, which had upheld it.

Read more about Justice Mehta here
03:26  Live! What Al Qaeda wants to do:  

The revelation that al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has been communicating directly with the group's Yemeni franchise about future operations is causing plenty of consternation among western counter-terrorism officials.

 

It suggests a heightened level of co-ordination between al Qaeda 'central' and its branches, and an initiative by Zawahiri to leverage instability in places far away from his hideout '" thought to be somewhere along the Pakistan-Afghan border.

 

There are still few confirmed specifics about the nature of the plot that Zawahiri was supposedly discussing with Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

 

But he has clearly identified that group as an effective affiliate, possibly the one best placed to attack U.S. interests directly. U.S. officials were concerned that a plot was timed to go into operation to coincide with the end of Ramadan, which has often been a period of increased terrorist activity. The Muslim holy month ends on Wednesday.

 

Read the full analysis on CNN

03:24  First criminal charges filed in Benghazi attack probe:  

Federal authorities investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi have filed charges against Ahmed Abu Khattalah, leader of a Libyan militia that officials believe was involved in the assault, people briefed on the investigation said.

 

The charges under seal are the first criminal counts to emerge from the probe. The investigation of the attack last September 11 that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others continues, these people said, as investigators try to build their case against Khattalah and others who authorities believe were involved. Attorney General Eric Holder had earlier this year promised congressional lawmakers the Justice Department would soon make public what actions it would take.

 

Read more on CNN

03:22  George W Bush 'in high spirits' after heart surgery to clear blocked artery:  

Former US president George W Bush underwent successful surgery at a Dallas hospital on Tuesday to place a stent in a blocked heart artery, a spokesman said. Bush, 67, was "in high spirits, eager to return home tomorrow and resume his normal schedule on Thursday", spokesman Freddy Ford said in a statement.

 

Doctors discovered the blockage on Monday during Bush's annual physical exam at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, the statement said. Doctors recommended a stent to open the blockage and he underwent surgery on Tuesday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the statement said.

 

Read the full report on The Guardian

03:16  At least 27 killed in Baghdad car bombings:  

Al Jazeera: Multiple car bombs targeting markets and shopping streets in Baghdad have killed at least 27 people, an interior ministry source said. Another 78 people were wounded in the six bombings on Tuesday.

 

Four separate car bombs went off in eastern and southern districts of the capital in quick succession. Two more car bombs exploded in markets of Husseiniya and Shaab neighourhoods in the north of the city. Most of the attacks were in Shia neighbourhoods.

03:14  US senators call for Egypt dialogue:  

Two US senators have met Egypt's army chief and urged the country's divided political factions to renounce violence and agree to a national dialogue. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, both Republican senators, travelled to Cairo at the request of US President Barack Obama.

 

At a press conference on Tuesday night, the two asked Egypt's interim government to set forth a "clear timetable" for holding new elections and finalising a new constitution.

 

Read the full report on Al Jazeera

02:33  Four minor blasts in Karachi:  

Four bomb blasts rocked Karachi on Tuesday night but no loss of life was reported due to the low intensity of the explosions.

The remote-controlled blasts took place in desolate areas and outside closed shops in the Defence Rahat, Seaview and Kamal areas and near Moti Mahal in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area outside wine shops all closed due to Ramzan.        

 

Karachi police chief Ghulam Qadir said that the purpose of the blasts appeared to be either to cause panic and fear in the city because of the heavy rush of shoppers in the markets ahead of Eid festival or the work of extortionists.         Besides terrorism and sectarian violence, Karachi has also been badly hit by criminals who target businessmen and traders for extortion money.

01:22  Live! Why Benghazi matters :  

Nearly a year later, Benghazi remains a flashpoint in Washington for two very different reasons: indefensible pre-attack policy decisions and irresistible post-attack politics.

 

The Obama White House, from the president on down, complains of "phony" Republican-led congressional investigations. Yet the administration's own reluctant, and at times inaccurate, responses to congressional inquiries have contributed to the GOP charge that the administration, at a minimum, has been less than transparent.

 

Read more on CNN

00:08  Pentagon proposes USD 2.7 bn in Iraq arms sales:  The Pentagon has notified the US Congress of USD 2.7 billion in possible new sales to Iraq of air defense and communications systems. The latest contracts would raise to nearly USD 5 billion the value of a series of US arms sales to Iraq that have been sent to Congress over the past two weeks. 

Congress has 30 days to act to block the sales, but otherwise they would have its tacit approval. The biggest of the contracts notified yesterday was worth an estimated USD 2.4 billion.
00:08  Yemen tribesmen down chopper, kill 8 troops: tribal head:  Yemeni tribesmen shot down an army helicopter killing eight soldiers, today, during a clash over repairs to a main oil pipeline blown up by saboteurs, a tribal chief said. 

The armed tribesmen clashed with troops in Wadi Abida, in the lawless eastern province of Marib, as gunmen prevented maintenance teams from fixing the export pipeline blown up last week, the chief told AFP.
00:06  Nitish announces Rs 10 lakh compensation for slain soldiers:  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the family of each of the four soldiers, who were killed in an ambush by Pakistani forces along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Kumar also announced a state funeral for the martyrs, sources in the Chief Minister's Office said. The deceased jawans, belonging to 21 Bihar Regiment, were deployed on the Sarla forward post along the LoC in Chakan-Da-Bagh sector of Poonch.
00:03  Iran's leader reaches out to U.S., vows to resolve nuclear row:  Iran's incoming President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday offered an olive branch to the United States in talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program, raising hopes of progress after years of stalemate.

Rouhani, seen in the West as a relatively moderate leader, told his first news conference since taking the oath on Sunday that he was "seriously determined" to resolve the dispute and was ready to enter "serious and substantive" negotiations.
00:02  Japan marks Hiroshima bombing anniversary:  Japan observed a minute of silence Tuesday to mark the 68th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

Survivors and relatives of victims were among 50,000 people gathered at a peace park in Hiroshima for a somber ceremony.
00:00  Top headlines of the day:  
5 Indian soldiers killed in Pak ambush at LoC

'The enemy understands the language of power'

'India is dominated by the West'

Ishrat case: Decks cleared for ADGP Pandey's arrest

Soldiers' killing at LoC angers Parliament

Our men did not kill Indian soldiers: Pakistan

Pak deputy envoy summoned over LoC killings

Anti-Telangana protests continue in AP for the seventh day

Rahul wants a no-nonsense Congress at any cost

Last journey of martyred jawans begins from Poonch

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