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LIVE! EC to follow Supreme Court's judgement: CEC

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August 30, 2013

23:48  EC to follow Supreme Court's judgement: CEC:  Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath today said Election Commission would follow Supreme Court's judgement on disqualification of convicted MPs and MLAs in the coming Assembly elections in five states.

"As of today, Supreme Court's order is the law of land and we will implement its order," Sampath told reporters here when asked whether convicted lawmakers would be allowed to contest election in Chhattisgarh.

A full team of the Election Commission was on a two-day visit of Chhattisgarh from Thursday for an on-the-spot assessment of poll preparedness in the Maoist-hit state.

The Commission held meetings with representatives of various political parties and senior government officials, besides poll officials of the state.
21:29  Asaram misses flight after supporters clash with media:  
Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu failed to catch a flight today for New Delhi, after he was prevented from entering the airport due to a clash between his enraged supporters who smashed TV cameras and other equipment carried by reporters waiting for him, sources said. 

As news about the Gujarat High Court not entertaining his plea for an anticipatory bail spread, Asaram suddenly left his ashram for the airport, to catch his flight. 

However, due to a scuffle between Asaram's supporters and TV news cameramen waiting at the airport over recording his sound bytes, his supporters could not enter the lounge to catch the flight.

Later, his supporters fought with reporters again and even resorted to pelting stones at the media, while Asaram's whereabouts were not known, sources said. 
21:13  Manmohan-Sushma spat spills into social media:  
The war of words over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attack on the opposition spread to the social media with Sushma Swaraj saying he had lost grace while I & B Minister Manish Tewari hitting back claiming that it was the BJP leader who had lost space in her party. 

Earlier, Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, said on Twitter "the Rupee has lost its value. The Prime Minister has lost his grace." 

The I & B Minister was quick to post a lyrical retort in a post on Twitter. 

"Leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj, PM Never loses grace. Fact - BJP has lost its base, frustration is setting its political pace and a leader of opposition who has lost intra-party space," Tewari said.

Congress too jumped in the social network ring with General Secretary Ajay Maken saying the PM has shown the mirror to the opposition. 

"PM showing mirror to opposition; 1999-2004 when Congress was in opposition, the total disruption in Lok Sabha was 18.95 percent, now it is 36.7 percent," Maken tweeted. 
19:52  60 injured after 2 planes hit turbulence near Hong Kong:  Nearly 60 passengers and crew on two flights were injured today when their aircraft, including a Thai Airways A-380 super jumbo, encountered turbulence shortly before landing at Hong Kong airport.

More than 50 passengers and crew were injured when the A-380 flight to Hong Kong hit turbulence before landing. The airline's deputy managing director Chokchai Panyayong said the plane ran into turbulence shortly before descending to land.

The captain turned on the seat-belt sign but about 37 passengers and 15 crew members, who had not fastened their belts, were injured. The most severe injury was a broken collarbone. Officials said, 22 injured have been discharged.
19:42  HC exempts Mukesh Ambani from personal appearance in case:  The Delhi high court today exempted personal appearance of Mukesh Ambani, MD of Reliance Communication LTD, in an eight-year-old criminal case.    

The case relates to the company allegedly developing a software in its  mobile services for planning increased probability of a child of particular gender. The court's order came on Ambani's plea against June 7order of the chief metropolitan magistrate summoning him andhis erstwhile company Reliance Infocom Ltd as accused in the case despite the fact that his name is not in the chargesheet.
19:37  A word used by PM in Parliament today expunged :  A heated exchange in Parliament between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and  Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley resulted in some words used by both of them being expunged or removed from records.

"Have you heard of any country where MPs shout and walk to the well of the House and say 'Prime Minister c**r hai'," he asked.

The word used by the PM has been expunged from the records, reports our correspondent from New Delhi. The media has been asked not to print or telecast the word used by the PM.

This is the first time that a part of a prime minister's speech has been expunged.  
19:13  SP: Was Bhatkal arrested because he's terrorist or a Muslim? :  Samjawadi Party leader Kamaal Farooqi today kicked up a controversy over the arrest of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, asking whether it is based on the grounds of crime or religion.

Congress and BJP slammed Farooqui for his comment calling it "ridiculous' and 'regrettable'. "If he is a terrorist then he should not be spared but if he has been arrested just because he is a Muslim, then caution should be exercised as we don't want to send a wrong message to an entire community that we are trying to malign the community's image without a thorough investigation," he said on the arrest of 30-year-old Bhatkal who is wanted in several blast cases.
18:58  LIVE! Jodhpur police likely to arrest Asaram tomorrow :  Just in: The Jodhpur police says they have received a fax from Asaram Bapu saying he can't join the probe. A police team will leave for Bhopal at 9 am tomorrow when he is likely to be arrested. The police says he has been given enough time to surrender, there is no other option but to question him in custody.   
18:19  Dec 16 gangrape probe not impartial: Accused to court:  Update on the Delhi gang rape: Two of the accused in December 16 gang-rape case today alleged that the investigation as well as conduct of the authorities has not been impartial due to "political pressure".  

The counsel for accused Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur,in his final arguments before Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna alleged the probe in the case was "manipulated" and evidence was "planted" against his clients.   

However, the proceedings were disrupted after the defence counsel, AP Singh, collapsed amidst arguments due to ill-health.
18:03  Mumbai gang rape: DNA samples match, one accused a minor :  Just in: DNA of all the Mumbai gang-rape accused match, but one of th accused is a minor according to his birth certificate. He has been sent to a remand home for now.

The veracity of the birth certificate has still to be proved, but if he is in fact a minor, he will face a maximum of three years in a remand home. The other four accused face a maximum of 20 years in jail.
17:56  LIVE! Asaram barred from flying to Delhi, returns to Bhopal ashram :   Just in: Asaram Bapu leaves his ashram in Bhopal and heads to the airport, presumably for Jodhpur, where he will have to surrender before the police. His deadline to surrender expires today. 

Times Now reports that Asaram and his son had tried to board a flight to Delhi, but they were not allowed. He is now returning to the ashram.

Earlier, Asaram had withdrawn his transit bail application after the court refused to accept his plea.

17:48  MHA: Yasin Bhatkal's interrogation will reveal foreign hands' involvement :   MoS Home RPN Singh on Yasin Bhatkal: Bhatkal's interrogation will reveal if foreign hands are involved in terror talks and of other terror networks in India. We will pass on the information to Pakistan. We expect to get a lot of information from him.
17:45  LIVE! GDP falls to 4.4%, India's economic crisis worsens :   OK, here it is. GDP falls further to 4.4 per cent vs the earlier 4.8 in the last quarter. The sense of crisis building around the rupee's precipitous fall is likely to deepen after the release of this data, which show India's economy slowing to dangerously low levels.

Details awaited.
17:39  LIVE! GDP falls to 4.4%, India's economic crisis worsens :  OK, here it is. GDP falls further to 4.4 per cent vs the earlier 4.8. The sense of crisis building around the rupee's precipitous fall is likely to deepen after the release of this data, which show India's economy slowing to dangerously low levels. Details awaited.
17:08  Defence lawyer: Man arrested NOT Yasin Bhatkal:   In court, Yasin Bhatkal's lawyer says the man in custody is not the IM founder. The NIA has got a 12-day custody of Bhatkal. Defence lawyer says the man arrested is Mohammed Ahmed.
16:43  Self-styled guru Asaram Guru withdraws anticipatory bail application filed in a Gujarat court. Asaram has been booked for sexually assaulting a minor. It's wait and watch now. 
16:36  Irish poet Seamus Heaney passes away :  In a saner world, Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet, has died aged 74. While he had been in poor health for some time, he was well enough to give a reading only two days ago at the opening of a conference in Dublin.

Reports of his death surfaced in Dublin media this morning and his family is expected to issue a statement on his death later today.

Dubbed "the most important Irish poet since Yeats', Heaney won numerous honours in a distinguished 45-year career, including the Nobel prize for literature in 1995.  -- The Times, London. 
16:25  Crude bomb explodes in Kolkata, no casualties :  A crude bomb has exploded in the busy Chandni Chowk area in central Kolkata. The police suspect the bomb was kept in a cigarette shop. However, no injuries have been reported. The area has been vacated. 
16:16  LIVE! 12-day police custody for Yasin Bhatkal and aide Haddi :  Just in: Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar, alias Haddi, have been sent to 12-day police custody. 
16:11  LIVE! Asaram applies for anticipatory bail, deadline for surrender ends today:  Asaram Bapu applies for transit anticipatory bail in the Gujarat High Court. If bail is granted he cannot be arrested till he appears before the Jodhpur police. The deadline for appearing before the police expires today.

Asaram Bapu, who was summoned by Jodhpur Police to appear before it in a sexual assault case, did not surrender on Friday, with his son claiming that he was taken ill even as the Rajasthan Police decided to send a team to Madhya Pradesh to interrogate him.

Asaram's son Narayan Sai claimed that his father had booked his tickets for a flight to New Delhi on Friday morning but his health suddenly deteriorated because of which the air tickets had to be cancelled.

15:55  LIVE! Yasin Bhatkal at Delhi court, NIA may seek 14-day custody:   Arrested Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal has been brought to the Patiala House Court where the NIA will seek his custody. The NIA is likely to seek a 14-day custody. Bhatkal's associate Asadullah Akhtar, who was also arrested with him, has also been produced before the court.  
15:22  Yasin Bhatkal reaches Delhi airport, court to hear NIA's custody plea :   Yasin Bhatkal accompanied by the NIA team reaches Delhi airport. A Delhi court will hear the NIA's plea for his custody.

The special plane with Bhatkal and his associate Osadulla Akhtar alias Haddi and National Investigation Agency officials on board took off from the Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport at 12:38 pm.

Earlier, the duo with their faces covered was brought to the airport from the Bihar military police camp under tight security arrangements.

A small group of people raised slogans at the airport demanding capital punishment to Bhatkal and his associate. The NIA had obtained a three-day transit remand of Bhatkal and his associate from a Motihari court.

15:02  BJP asks for early polls, govt unable to handle economy crisis :   BJP senior leader LK Advani says the party has given a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee asking for early polls. "I have suggested that the general elections be held early," he said.

Advani said the state of the economy is so that the government is unable to handle the situation and should therefore step down. He said early polls could be a way out to handle the crisis.
14:33  LIVE! Yasin Bhatkal admits role in Hyderabad, Varanasi blasts :  Just in: Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal admits responsibility in Hyderabad and Benaras blasts. A laptop and a mobile has been recovered from him, says CNN IBN. 
14:28   Also read:When Sonia Gandhi lost her cool in Parliament
14:21  The Murthys and the Maoists:  While we chew on the PM's anger, probably a first in Parliament, here's other news.

Between the relentless demands of corporate leaders and the capacity of the underclass to match the state's violence, India needs a vision for itself that is morally defensible. Read
14:19  Lok Sabha adjourned till 3 pm after uproar over Telangana.
14:16  Manmohan loses cool: Nowhere in the world does Opposition call the PM a thief:   The Opposition has long since staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha.

The PM earlier also said that he was glad that the principal opposition recognises the need for consensus in the House, but their conduct in the House is otherwise.

"In which democracy is the Prime is not allowed to introduce his Council of Ministers? The conduct of the Parliament is a factor in investor confidence. Essential legislations should be passed," says the PM.
13:59  LIVE! Manmohan loses cool: Nowhere in the world does Opposition call the PM a thief :   While the Rajya Sabha has been adjourned, the PM also said that the principal opposition party is still not reconciled to the fact that they are out of power. He said the government has the ambition to put the economy back on track and put the growth rate at 5.5 per cent for the current fiscal.

Almost all through the speech the backbenchers in the Opposition repeatedly interrupted the PM's speech and it took Leader of the Opposition in the RS intervene.

While the PM has not given specific assurances to the India Inc and investors on how he will tackle the economy and the falling rupee, the fact that the PM can actually fight his own battles and attack the opposition must come as a welcome change.
13:50  LIVE! Manmohan loses cool: Nowhere in the world does Opposition shout 'PM chor hai':   With knitted brows, the PM says, "Despite what certain MPs say I still command a certain amount of respect in the Cabinet."

His entire address in the Rajya Sabha now, is extempore.

"Nowhere in the world does the Oppostion walk out shouting, 'PM chor hai," he says.
13:44  PM loses cool in Parliament :  The PM says the Opposition has collective responsibility to build investor confidence. He says the Opposition has not allowed the Parliament to function session after session.

He says the Indian economy is not back to the situation in 1991. Our fundamentals are much stronger, he says addressing questions raised by CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury earlier.  
13:39  LIVE! PM: Have you heard of a situation where the PM is not allowed to speak!:  An angry PM speaks in the Rajya Sabha on the criticism over his state of the economy address in Parliament an hour ago. This is the first time the PM is visibly angry in Parliament.

He said the opposition is wrong about investors losing confidence. "If you are worried about investor confidence, your conduct in Parliament is important," he said

Opposition MPs in both houses raised a ruckus when Dr Singh began speaking in Parliament. "Have you heard of a situation where the PM is not allowed to speak in Parliament," he thunders.

He said the Opposition has to realise its role in Parliament.

To the continuing disruptions in Parliament over the missing Coal-gate files, the PM says, "I am no the custodian of files in the coal ministry."

13:34   Prakash Karat calls on Jayalalithaa:   CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat today called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa at the state secretariat. A secretariat communication described it as a courtesy call. AIADMK had supported Left parties' candidate D Raja in the Rajya Sabha polls held in June. Karat is scheduled to participate in a party meeting in the city outskirts later this evening.
13:30  Supreme Court has issued notice to BCCI's  N Srinivasan and India Cements on a plea against Bombay HC verdict refusing to appoint a fresh committee to probe IPL spot fixing scam.
13:21  Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm after uproar over various issues, including Telangana.
13:20  Scores of completed matches on Day 4 of the US Open. See
13:05  The man who nabbed conspirators who killed Mahatma's Gandhi:  In other reads: "His name was Bhalchandra Ambadas Haldipur. He was my grandfather and we fondly called him 'Daddy'."

A granddaughter remembers the man who nabbed two conspirators of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. Read 
12:58  Jungle justice for Mumbai gang-rapists. Remember this? Youth knifes Aarushi Talwar's father Rajesh outside court. Read
12:55  LIVE! Mumbai gang-rape accused attacked with axe outside court :   Just in: Mumbai gang-rape accused attacked with axe outside court. Details awaited.

Two days ago, the five accused arrested in connection with the gang rape of the 23-year-old photojournalist were taken to Shakti Mills compound in Mumbai to reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the crime.All the five accused were brought to the crime scene at around 1 pm.

Police sought details from them about what had transpired there.The victim, an intern with an English magazine, was allegedly raped by the five accused when she had gone to the desolate Shakti Mills premises on August 22 with a male colleague on an assignment.

Her colleague is a prime witness in the case.Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Himanshu Roy, who is supervising the investigation, was also present at the mill when the accused were brought there.

The reconstruction of events that led to the crime is also being video-recorded, police sources said.
12:47  LIVE! BJP on PM's speech: Who has patience for Q2? We may be dead! :  BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, a former finance minister criticises the PM's speech. Invoking RBI's governor Subbarao's statement, he said he agreed that the UPA government is to be blamed for the economic downturn and the falling rupee. 

Sinha says, "The PM's speech has no content. He has just used words without meaning. There is nothing new in his speech. It will disappoint people who have been hoping for some good news."

On being asked to comment on the PM's statement that the second half of the fiscal year will show growth, Sinha smiled and said, "We will be patient for manna to fall from heaven. What else can we do? Every time the PM says wait for the next quarter, but nothing happens. 

"The PM said growth in the first quarter is expected to be relatively flat; what does he mean? Brace yourself, we are in for very difficult times. Who has seen the second quarter? We may be dead by then. If it doesn't materialeise, will the FM or PM come and explain why there will be no change? I want to say the PM's speech was most disappointing and frustrating."
12:35  BJP stages walkout over PM's statement:  BJP not happy with PM's statement. Walks out of Lok Sabha. 
12:34  Outgoing RBI governor blames UPA govt :   Be that as it may, this is what outgoing RBI chief said of the falling rupee and the economic stagnation: UPA's fiscal stance to blame, says Subbarao. Read
12:29  Growth expected to pick up with good monsoon: PM:  In the short speech in the Lok Sabha, the PM said that the fundamentals of the economy determine the value of the rupee and due to slowing growth the government's measures had little effect.

He says the effect of a good monsoon is expected to kick in and growth pick up in the next fiscal, unless unforeseen circumstances impeded.

He reiterated for economic reforms to take place, there has be political consensus across parties. "I request all parties to join the government in returning the economy to health,"he said. He warned there may be short-term shocks to the economy and "we should be prepared to face and overcome them."

The rupee would therefore pick up once the condition of the economy improved, he said.
12:20  The PM says the fundamentals of the Indian economy continue to be strong, but admits that growth has slowed down. He said the government needs political consensus for reform.

The PM will also address the Rajya Sabha on the state of the economy.
12:19  LIVE! PM's address to LS: Govt will NOT reverse open economic reforms :  Weak demand from overseas market hitting exports, says the PM. MPs pouring over copies of the PM's speech.

He says growth has slowed down in the past few months, but the government will do its best to contain fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent this year.

No change in government police because of turbulence, there will no reversal of economic reforms, he says.
12:12  LIVE! PM's address to LS: Will NOT impose capital controls :  Like finance minister P Chidambaram earlier, the PM also asks that the consumption and our appetite for gold be reduced. "We need to economise our use of petroleum products. Growth will pick-up in the second half of the fiscal year barring unforseen events," he said.

He also said that the government will not impose capital controls. 
12:08  Unexpected, external factors responsible for slide in rupee: PM :   The PM says, "Certain unexpected external factors responsible for the falling rupee. The rupee slide remains a matter of concern and global factors are responsible."

"The rupee is hardest hit because of the current account deficit," he said.  
12:04  PM's address on state of economy in LS: Concerns justified:  PM to begin statement on the state of the economy and rupee slide in Lok Sabha amid uproar from the Opposition. Speaker Meira Kumar beseeches the House with "baith jaiyye". The PM says the concerns on the falling rupee and economic downslide are justified.
12:00  LIVE! PM to address Lok Sabha on state of the economy :  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to defend the government in Parliament today and outline plans to revive the sagging economy. He had promised to make a statement in both Houses after an aggressive Opposition on Thursday repeatedly pressed him for answers on the rupee's slide to record lows.

This is what he said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

"It cannot be denied that the country is faced with a difficult economic situation. And there are several causes.

"I do not deny that there are some domestic factors but there are also international factors arising out of the changes in the US monetary stance.

"There are also problems created by the new tensions that are on the horizon in Syria and they have inevitable consequences for oil prices. So we have to reckon with all those uncertainties.

"I will be very happy to make a statement tomorrow. I need some time to reflect on what I have to say, but I would be quite happy to make the statement tomorrow." 
11:57  Suspended Andhra MPs back in Parliament, disrupt proceedins:  This is what happened in the Lok Sabha today. As soon as the House met, Congress and TDP members from Seemandhra region trooped into the Well raising placards which read - "Save Andhra Pradesh". "We want united Andhra Pradesh", TDP members shouted as Speaker Meira Kumar was about to take up Question Hour.

These are the same MPs who were suspended for disrupting the proceedings of the House last week. Their suspension ended today.
Congress members from the Seemandhra also raised the same demand.

Simultaneously, AIADMK members entered the Well shouting slogans accusing the government of not taking adequate steps to save Tamil Nadu fishermen from alleged attacks by Sri Lankan Navy.

As uproar continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon
11:52  Do not be friends with India, Hizbul chief warns Nawaz Sharif :  The head of all Pakistan-based Kashmiri militant groups has said that no government would be able to survive in Islamabad if it abandons the "Kashmir cause", and warned the new regime not to make the "mistake" of pursuing friendship with New Delhi at the cost of Kashmir. Read
11:46  Let the music play :  There is nothing right about the opposition by Kashmiri separatist politicians and sections of its civil society to a western classical music concert that is to be held in Srinagar next month.

The concert, by the Bavarian State Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, has been organised by the German Embassy in New Delhi.

Those who want the concert cancelled argue that the high-profile event is in fact a proxy project aimed at showing Kashmir to the world as "normal and peaceful' even though that description is neither true nor accurate.  Read
11:45  The perverse rage against the poor :  With the economic boom petering out, those who benefited from it are angry with the government for the Food Security Bill because it is paying attention to the needs of the underprivileged for a change. Read
11:42  Pak Army violates ceasefire again, 30 violations this month!:  After a two-day lull, Pakistan Army again violated the ceasefire by targeting forward posts along the LoC in Jammu district, drawing retaliation from Indian forces.

"The Pakistan Army opened indiscriminate and unprovoked firing on forward posts along the LoC in Pallanwala sub-sector in Jammu district around 23:30 hours last night", a senior Army officer said today.

The Pakistan Army fired from small and automatic weapons on the forward posts along LoC.
11:35  For Yasin Bhatkal, a restless night in prison, say officials:  Yasin Bhatkal was restless and hardly slept during his first night in jail after being arrested in Bihar, said officials. Early this morning, he was interrogated by members of the National Investigating Agency; he will be flown in a special plane to Delhi later today. Read
11:31  Why Chidambaram should take credit for Bhatkal's arrest :  Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram is under tremendous pressure as the economy is in crisis mode, but he can take heart from the good results Indian intelligence agencies have got in the last one year.

The overhaul of the intelligence network after the Mumbai 26\11 attack began when Chidambaram took over as home minister in 2008. Read more.
11:27  The battle for water :  Brahma Chellaney's column on how water will be the new oil. Read
11:25  NIA chief reaches Patna to question Yasin Bhatkal:  NIA chief has reached the Bihar military camp in Patna where Yasin Bhatkal is being held. The NIA will also question Bhatkal. Yesterday, the Bihar police has also questioned Bhatkal.

Also read: Why Pakistan may have jettisoned Yasin Bhatkal
11:16  Live! Special plane to take Yasin Bhatkal to Delhi at noon:  A special plane carrying Yasin Bhatkal, the alleged operations head of the Indian Mujahideen, will land in Delhi around noon on Friday. Read
11:12  How the global community was won over to turn in fugitives:  India's recent success in international counter-terrorism efforts seem to be a major diplomatic victory as well as a result of the covert relations that have been carefully nurtured for several years.

Thanks to authorities in Saudi Arabia and UAE, India has got hold of big terror operatives, such as Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal, Abdul Sathar and Fasih Mahmood. Read
11:09  LS adjourned till noon:   The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 12 pm after united Andhra members enter the Well of the House over the Telangana issue and the attacks on Tamil fishermen.. 
10:58  Ex-RBI governor: Hope Chidambaram will one day say, I am often frustrated by RBI:  On a day when the Reserve Bank of India engineered a 223-paise pullback of the rupee to 66.60, outgoing governor D Subbarao squarely blamed the government for the domestic currency's travails which he attributed to domestic structural factors. He also said the loose fiscal policy adopted by the government between 2009-2012 had constrained the RBI's monetary policy. More
10:42  Afghanistan governor killed in suicide attack:  The governor of Afghanistan's Kunduz province, his bodyguards and several others were killed in a suicide attack in the region, according to a media report.

Further details are awaited.
10:40  US lawmakers seek Congressional approval on Syria:  American lawmakers have pushed for their say on any decision on Syria, as the Obama administration prepares itself for a possible military strike against Damascus in response to alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. 

"The views of Congress are important to the President's decision-making process, and we will continue to engage with members as the President reaches a decision on the appropriate US response to the Syrian government's violation of international norms against the use of chemical weapons," the White House said in a statement after a conference call with lawmakers.
10:00  GSLV launch on December 10: ISRO:  The  Indian Space Research Organisation will attempt the launch of its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle on December 10.

The GSLV launch on August 19 was called off by the ISRO at the eleventh hour due to a fuel leak in its second stage -- in a setback to the mission to test its homegrown cryogenic engine -- after its failure three years ago.

"Based on availability of hardware and components, the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-D5) assembly and checkout is expected to be completed by the first week of December and the launch could take place the same month," ISRO said in a statement.

Read the report here
09:57  What RBI governor has to say about Chidambaram:  
Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao has made no secret of his differences with Finance Minister P Chidambaram by openly stating that the central government should avoid meddling in the affairs of the reserve bank. 

The Economic Times quotes the RBI governor as saying, "I do hope Finance Minister Chidambaram will one day say, 'I am often frustrated by the Reserve Bank, so frustrated that I want to go for a walk, even if I have to walk alone. But thank God, the Reserve Bank exists".

Read the report here
09:54  Sex abuse case: Asaram refuses to appear for questioning:   He is facing charges of sexually abusing a minor, but apparently 'godman' Asaram Bapu has more important things to do than address the issue.

Asaram, who was given time till Friday to answer the summons issued by Jodhpur police and appear for questioning, expressed his inability to do so today morning.

His aides told the police that Asaram could not answer the summons because of the death of a family member.

Police have warned that Asaram may be arrested by Saturday if he fails to turn up for questioning.
09:54  New Saudi law targets domestic violence:  Saudi Arabia has adopted a new law that criminalises domestic violence.

Specifically, the law aims at prosecuting those who commit acts of violence against women, children and domestic workers.

Feminist activists have hailed the new law.

09:51  Cash transfers to the poor: Does it work?:  Is giving cash directly to the poor a good idea? India may soon find the answer by itself when its cash transfer scheme takes off.

A similar programme in Kenya is attracting a lot of attention.

Read the story here
09:47  Fearing IM strike, IB issues nation-wide high alert:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: In the wake of the arrests of top terrorists -- Abdul Karim Tunda and Yasin Bhatkal -- the Intelligence Bureau has instructed all states to remain on high alert. 

"We have issued this alert as we expect a retaliatory strike. Intelligence inputs suggest that the Indian Mujahideen will try to hit back after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal. There are quite a few IM operatives out there who are capable of carrying out a strike," an IB official told

All state police forces have been instructed to stay alert, check the movements of IM cadres and monitor sleeper cells which could be activated after Yasin's arrest.

Meanwhile, the IB is keeping a close watch on telephone calls and email communications that transpired between suspicious elements in India, Pakistan and the Gulf.
09:42  NO military action against Syria: UK Parliament:  In a major setback to the US, the British Parliament has voted against military action in Syria, defeating a motion for the same by 13 votes.

The House of Commons shocked Prime Minister David Cameron by voting in favour of a "strong humanitarian response" against the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons to quell the civil rebellion.
09:40  Obama to be guided by national interest on Syria: White House:  Noting that it will continue to consult with the UK, even after its Parliament voted against military strike in Syria, the White House has said the decision of US President Barack Obama in this regard would be guided by national interest.        

"We have seen the result of the Parliament vote in the UK tonight. The US will continue to consult with the UK government, one of our closest allies and friends," Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council, said in the first reaction from the White House after the British Parliament voted against any military strike in Syria.
09:33  India's first military satellite launched successfully :  India's first exclusive defence satellite GSAT-7 was successfully launched by European space consortium Ariane space's Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana today, giving a major push to the country's maritime security.        

Indian Navy would soon be the user of the multi-band home-built communication spacecraft, expected to be operational by September end.
09:32  Falling rupee poses challenges, opportunities: IMF:  The unprecedented slide of the Rupee poses both challenges and opportunities for India, the International Monetary Fund has said. 

"The current situation presents a challenge, obviously, to the government of India, but also an opportunity for the government to continue in its policy efforts on a variety of fronts," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice has said. 

"I wouldn't want to speculate on any support or programme needs," he said when asked on the speculation about India coming to the IMF, possibly selling its gold reserves to the IMF to prop up its currency.
09:28  Kashmir: Militants killed in encounter with security forces:  Five Hizbul Mujahideen militants were today killed in an encounter with security forces in Ganderbal district in Kashmir. 

"Five militants belonging to the Qadri Asadullah group of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a counter-insurgency operation in Preng area of Ganderbal in the wee hours of today," a defence spokesman said.
04:18  US prepared to act in Syria without coalition:  The Obama administration laid the groundwork for unilateral military action in Syria, a shift officials said reflected the U.K.'s abrupt decision not to participate and concerns that President Bashar al-Assad was using the delayed Western response to disperse his military assets around the country.

The push for a quick international strike to punish Syria appeared in disarray on Thursday, after British lawmakers defeated a government motion in support of military action rejected. The vote in the House of Commons was 285-272.
03:46  India's first exclusive satellite for Navy successfully launched:  India's first exclusive satellite for Navy, GSAT-7, was successfully launched by European space consortium Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
03:39  raq officials: 2 vehicle bomb blasts kill 23:  Iraqi officials say bomb blasts at a market north of Baghdad and another on the outskirts of the capital have killed 23 people. Police say the bigger explosion happened when a bomb hidden in a pickup truck hauling vegetables tore through a market in Samarrah, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

Police say that blast killed 18 and wounded 32. Police say another car bomb went off in Abu Ghraib, on the western outskirts of Baghdad. They say it killed five and wounded eight.
03:37  Syria, Iran threaten retaliation; Russia sends warships:  Despite the tough words, however, analysts say Syria's allies options against the United States are limited.

"The Russians can help Syria politically and diplomatically in the United Nations, and provide supplies, but they're not nearly as capable as they were at the end of the Cold War," said Chris Harmer, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who worked on military plans for the Persian Gulf as a commander in the Navy.
01:58  5 UN powers end Syria meeting with no progress:  A meeting of the UN Security Council's permanent members ended quickly today with no sign of progress on an agreement over Syria's crisis. 

The meeting today afternoon started breaking up after less than an hour, with the ambassadors of China, France, Britain, Russia and the United States steadily walking out. 

It was the second time in two days that the five Security Council powers came out of a meeting on Syria with no progress.
01:04  Third friend of Boston bombing suspect indicted:  A US grand jury today indicted a college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for lying to police during the investigation. Robel Phillipos, 19, was charged with two counts of making false statements to police during a probe into the April 15 attack that left three dead and scores injured.

The Cambridge student faces up to 16 years in jail if he is found guilty. The indictment comes two weeks after two other friends of Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to charges of impeding the investigation.
00:16  50 VHP activists held for trying to perform banned parikrama:  Faizabad district officials today arrested about 50 VHP activists in the Gosaiganj and Akbarpur police station areas of the neighbouring Ambedkarnagar district as they tried to perform the 84-Kosi parikrama. 

The arrests today came on the fifth day since the banned yatra was scheduled have kicked off.
00:15  Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood ramps up calls for protests:  The Muslim Brotherhood ramped up its calls Thursday for nationwide protests against Egypt's military-backed government, while an Islamist ally of the ousted president spoke of an attempt to broker a deal before the "ship of the nation sinks.

"The Brotherhood's call for mass protests and sit-ins Friday will test how much the fierce security crackdown has crippled the group and if they can still mobilize their base in the face of widespread public anger against them.
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