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LIVE! Pranab to lead Indian delegation at Mandela's funderal

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December 07, 2013


21:11  Tehelka case: Shoma Chaudhury deposes before Magistrare:  Former Tehelka Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury today recorded her statement before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Goa in connection with the case of alleged sexual assault of a journalist by the magazine's founder-editor Tarun Tejpal. 

Shoma's deposition before Chief Judicial Magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai lasted for more than five hours. 

She, however, refused to talk to media personnel waiting outside the court.
21:10  India, Pakistan can't afford another war: Imran Khan:  Pakistani politician Imran Khan today said that despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's recent statement on a possible fourth war with India over Kashmir, neither country could afford to do so as they both possess nuclear powers.        

He also noted that cooperation between the two countries on issues like energy and food security was important and both could possibly have a joint civil-nuclear cooperation if his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf comes to power.
21:08  Naveen opposes Communal Violence Bill :  Strongly opposing the Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013, in its present form, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the Centre not to move it hastily and hold wider consultations with the states.        

"I would, therefore, strongly urge upon you not to move the proposed Bill in the winter session of Parliament. At best, the issue should be opened for wide debate and consultation instead of pushing a hastily incubated Bill on such a matter of grave national importance," Patnaik said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
21:07  Memorial scam: Action will be taken against guilty, says CM:  Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said his government was not interfering with the ongoing inquiry into the alleged memorial scam during the regime of the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh.          

Action would be taken against all those found guilty, he said.      

"You all have seen what was done in the name of construction of memorials (during the BSP regime). Action will be taken against those found guilty. The government is not interfering with the inquiry," Yadav said.
21:05  Pranab to lead Indian delegation at Mandela's funderal :  President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to represent India in the funeral of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela on December 15.        

It is learnt that a proposal to this effect has gone to the President for his approval.        

The state funeral will be held in Mandela's childhood home, Qunu village in the Eastern Cape.
19:21  Why is the Telangana Bill a secret, asks BJP:  A correspondent from Delhi reports: The BJP has demanded that the draft Bill on Telangana, which has been sent to the Andhra Pradesh assembly, be circulated to all Members of Parliament. 

The saffron party has sought to know the reason behind the secrecy surrounding the Bill and why MPs were not allowed to study it.

On Monday, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj will raise the issue of Telangana in the Lok Sabha and blame the government for keeping the Opposition in the dark. 
19:10  Maha landmine blast: Two arrested for passing info to Maoists:  Two persons were arrested today in connection with the killing of eight security personnel in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Aurangabad district earlier this week.        

Mukesh Mahto and Mohammad Basarat Hussain have been arrested from Nabinagar police station area for allegedly passing information about police patrol to the Maoists which helped them carry out the strike, Superintendent of Police Upendra Kumar Sharma told reporters.        

While Mahto is a native of Raghunathganj village, Hussain is a resident of Mahsu village, both located in a radius of one km from the site of the blast, the SP said.
19:09  TMC govt trying to settle scores with Justice Ganguly: Adhir :  Union minister Adhir Chowdhury today criticised the Mamata Banerjee government for trying to 'settle old scores' with WBHRC chairman A K Ganguly over the law intern case, but said that the former Supreme Court judge should resign on moral grounds.        

Justice Ganguly had initiated several suo motu probes, including the arrest of Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra of Jadavpore University, for circulating a cartoon of the chief minister on the Internet, the arrest of a farmer who asked the chief minister a question at a rally and the Kamduni rape case and others.
19:08  Man fires bullets onboard Mumbai local train, injures one:  A man fired two rounds from his pistol on board a local train in Mumbai after scuffling over a seat. 

One Tabrez Jethwa, who boarded an Ambernath local at Dadar station for Mumbra on Friday, was hit by two bullets fired by an unidentified man after a heated argument over a place to sit in the train. 
19:06  UN launches effort to end political deadlock in Bangladesh:  The UN today launched a mission in Bangladesh to end political turmoil triggered by a stand-off between the country's two main parties over the general elections scheduled for January 5.       

UN Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco arrived in Dhaka with UN chief Ban Ki Moon's message for an urgent dialogue between the Awami League and the main opposition BNP to reach an acceptable formula to hold an "inclusive, non-violent and credible election".
19:05  Tejas Light Combat Aircraft missile hits target :  Tejas, India's first indigenously designed, developed and productionised fourth generation plus Light Combat Aircraft achieved yet another milestone when at 11 am, its infrared air to air missile hit its designated target with precision. 

The test, demonstrating required parameters, was conducted off the coast of Goa in Arabian Sea, and has taken the aircraft closer to its induction in the Indian Air Force. 

Tejas, a one of its kind combat aircraft, has been developed by the DRDO with the Aeronautical Development Agency, Bengaluru, as the lead laboratory and HAL as the production partner.
19:03  Ensure smooth bifurcation: Centre to Andhra leaders :  Amid protests in Seemandhra against the division of Andhra Pradesh, the Centre today appealed to political parties in the state not to make "dangerous"statements and cooperate with it to ensure smooth bifurcation.        

"The bill can only go so far. But unless the political process unites people rather than dividing people, the process of bifurcation will be very, very painful," Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said.        

A key author of the Telangana draft bill, Ramesh said that the bill makes provision for ensuring that bifurcation is smooth and equitable.
19:02  Sanjay Dutt's wife has tumor in liver: Doctor:  As a massive controversy broke out over granting parole to actor Sanjay Dutt on the ground of his wife Manyata's ill health, a doctor who examined her has said she has been diagnosed with a tumor in the liver and a suspected heart ailment.        

"Manyata has a tumor in the liver. She had chest pain and has lost ten kilos in 15-20 days. We have advised her to undergo certain tests for heart ailment. Once the tests are done, then we can decide whether surgery is required or not," said Dr Ajay Chaughule.
19:01  Uddhav Thackeray calls on Narendra Modi:  Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray today paid a courtesy visit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at the latter's official residence in Gandhinagar.        

"Uddhav Thackeray met the Gujarat chief minister at his residence. Their meeting lasted for over 75 minutes, during which they had discussions on several subjects," official sources said.
17:52  Dr Singh holds public 'darbaar' at residence:   After a long time, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today held a public darbaar at his residence, meeting people from various sections of the society and listening to their grievances and complaints.        

Singh met 31 groups representing minorities, NGOs,artists, sportspersons and others for about an hour, PMO sources said.
17:45  Sharif can't move 'fast' on improving ties with India: Imran :  Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan today said even though Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will try to improve ties with India, he will not be able to move "fast" on the issue due to pressure from fanatical elements.        

In an interactive session, he said the future of India and Pakistan should be like that of the European Union, with people being allowed to move freely. He expressed hope that when his party comes to power, people would be allowed to drive down from Delhi to Lahore without any barriers.        

"You will find that even though our current prime minister will try, he will not be able to go fast towards building relations with India because of the pressure from this small fanatical group," he said.
17:43  Jordan elected to the United Nations Security Council :  Jordan has been elected as anon-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, filling a seat that Saudi Arabia had declined to accept after an earlier election to protest the world body's failure to end the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.        

Jordan, endorsed by the African and Asian regional group, was elected to serve on the Council for two years beginning January 2014. It received 178 'yes' votes in the election in the 193-member General Assembly.
17:19  Tamil Nadu, Andhra to face ANOTHER cyclonic storm!:  A cyclonic storm named 'Madi' will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, bringing rain or thundershowers over some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours, the Indian Meteorological Department said today.        

"The depression over southwest Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm MADI early this morning and will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and move nearly northwards very slowly in the next 48 hours," an IMD bulletin said.
17:18  Thai police step up security after warning of fresh protests:  Thailand authorities today began stepping up security around key state buildings after anti-government protesters vowed to make a final push to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday.        

Officials said hundreds of policemen will be deployed to protect key state buildings on December 9, which protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban has declared as the 'D-Day' to seize power from the prime minister.        

Prime Minister Yingluck today said she sees no quick end to the political impasse and is willing to negotiate with protesters to end the crisis. 

"Our door is still open," she said in an interview with foreign journalists.
17:16  WTO clears historic deal:  Overcoming a string of failures over the years, the WTO today reached a landmark agreement that can help boost global trade by US$ 1 trillion, while taking on board concerns of countries like India to protect its food security scheme to provide subsidised grains to the poor.        

In the first-ever agreement reached after the launch of the Doha Round of trade talks, ministers from 159 countries approved the Bali package early today morning.
17:15  Andhra bifurcation process can still be stalled: Minister :  Reiterating that the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh was a "grave mistake", Union Textiles Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao today said the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 was unlikely to be approved by Parliament.        

"Forget about approval, the Bill may not even go to Parliament," he told a press conference.       

"The Centre cannot go ahead with the division of a state by overlooking the opinion of the people," he said.
17:14  China hopes to maintain peace along borders with India:  China has said it hopes to continue to strengthen cooperation and coordination with India in international affairs and work together to maintain peace in border areas.        

China's position was articulated by State Councilor Yang Jiechi during talks with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on the sidelines of a meeting of senior BRICS representatives on national security in Cape Town on Friday.
17:13  14 'missing persons' produced in Pakistan SC :  After repeated warnings from the Supreme Court, Pakistani authorities today produced in court 14 men who had been detained without charge by security agencies.        

The men were produced before Justice Amir Hani Muslim, a member of the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry that is hearing the case of the "missing persons".        

The "missing persons", their faces covered, were brought to the apex court in two vehicles. Attorney General Munir Malik was also present in court at the time.
17:07  Muzaffarnagar riots: SIT files charge-sheets against 3 accused :  The Special Investigation Team has filed two charge-sheets against the three accused in the recent riots in the district, an official said.       

The charge-sheet was filed on Friday in the court of CJM KP Singh.        

The three accused -- Ikbal Singh, Rupender and Mohkam Singh -- have been charge-sheeted in two separate cases, SIT Inspector Ram Ratan Singh said.
17:06  NGO asks Delhi police commissioner to file FIR against Ganguly :  A Kolkata-based NGO has written to Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi, requesting him to register an FIR against former Supreme Court judge Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly in the case of alleged sexual harassment of a law intern.        
"We call upon you to register an FIR in the matter. We are concerned that this being a high-profile case, witnesses or the victim can be influenced or coerced and evidence can be tampered with," read the letter by the 'Bharat Bachao Sangathan'.
17:05  HC relief to Lata Mangeshkar in studio land issue:  The Bombay high court has dismissed a public interest litigation challenging a 1982 decision of the Maharashtra government allowing change of user on a plot of land in Kolhapur, belonging to singer Lata Mangeshkar.       

The division bench of Justices S J Vajifdar and Gautam Patel ruled that the petitioner did not make out any case as to why the decision of the state should be set aside.        

Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Mahamandal, an organisation of Marathi film fraternity, had filed the PIL, contending that government's decision was meant only to favour Mangeshkar.
17:00  Indian-origin rapist's case sets precedent in UK :  An Indian-origin serial rapist, sentenced to life imprisonment by a British court, has set a legal precedent in the United Kingdom regarding the retrial of cases where the accused had previously been acquitted.        

Harbinder Khatkar was found guilty of 18 offences, including five rapes, by the Derby Crown Court on Friday. The judge ordered that he should serve at least 14 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.       

The 37-year-old had been cleared of four offences last year but was tried again after being arrested for new attacks.
16:59  China issues serious alert for worsening smog :  China today issued a serious alert for worsening smog in central and eastern regions, a day after the country's financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of smog, delaying flights and forcing people to stay inside.        

The China Meteorological Centre upgraded the alert from yellow to orange alert, the second-highest warning in China's weather system, in central and eastern regions.        

The lingering smog is expected to end in two days, the NMC said.
16:57  Congress rakes up its own defeat to boost morale!:  With most opinion and exit polls predicting a rout for it in four states, the Congress has sought to shift the discourse from assembly polls to Lok Sabha elections, citing past trends to buttress the point that provincial polls do not have a bearing on general elections.        

"The BJP should be cautious in celebrations, even if opinion and exit polls are true. We won all these four states in 1998, 1999. LS results were an eye opener for us," AICC general secretary in-charge for Delhi Shakeel Ahmed said on Twitter.        

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA had come to power in 1999 even after the Congress won assembly polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh prior to it.
16:55  Ravi Shankar gets posthumous Grammy nod for his album :  Legendary music maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar has received a posthumous nomination at 56th Grammy Awards with his album The Living Room Sessions Part 2 in the World Music section.        

The sitar master, who died last December at the age of 92, won the World Music album award last year for the first part of the album The Living Room Sessions Part 1, besides being given the lifetime achievement honour, which was received by his daughters Anushka Shankar and Norah Jones.
16:51  India in touch with Togo officials for early release of sailor :  Indian officials from Accra today met the jailed Indian sailor, whose family eagerly awaits his return for performing the last rites of his 11-month son, who died earlier this week.

The officials have also been  in touch with Togo authorities to secure his early release on "compassionate ground".        

The officials, including one from the Mission in Accra, met Captain Sunil James in the prison, sources said, adding they were making all efforts to secure his release and will continue to pursue the matter with Togo authorities.
15:16  Rape convict Bitti Mohanty taken to Jaipur:  In a controversial move, despite the Kerala high court staying till December 10 the transfer of Bitti Mohanty, a rape convict who was arrested from Kannur after jumping parole in Rajasthan, the Kerala police has sent him to Jaipur.        

The Kerala Armed Police has taken Bitti to Jaipur by the Kurla Express at around 8.45 pm on Friday, to be produced before the Jaipur Metropolitan court on December 9, Bitti's counsel Nicholas Joseph told PTI from Kannur.        

This was illegal and they would be moving a contempt plea before the Kerala high court on Monday, he said.
15:15  BJP to raise Justice Ganguly issue in Parliament :  The BJP will raise in Parliament the issue of Justice A K Ganguly, who has been found guilty of sexual harassment by a Supreme Court panel, continuing as the chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.        

"Someone who has violated human rights cannot continue as chairman of the Human Rights Commission.We will raise this matter in Parliament," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter.
14:53  Girl injured in acid attack in Ludhiana:  A girl was injured after a young boy threw a acid on her face at a beauty parlour in Ludhiana today where she had gone for her bridal makeup shortly before her marriage. 

The 22-year-old victim, a resident of Barnala, was rushed to the DMC Hospital, police said. 

The boy managed to escape on a vehicle parked outside the beauty parlour in Sarabha Nagar locality, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, N S Dhillon said.
14:52  Foreign secretary to hold talks with top US officials:  Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh arrives in Washington over the weekend to hold a wide range of bilateral, regional and global consultations with top American officials to send a strong signal that the India-US relationship is too important to be distracted by domestic political developments.        

Her four-day Washington visit is part of the effort of the two countries to implement the decisions made by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during their September meeting at the White House.
14:29  'Opportunities provided by Indo-US nuke deal yet to be tapped' :  The technological opportunities provided by the India-US civil nuclear deal are yet to be tapped, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today said.        

"The Civil Nuclear Deal opened the way for extraordinary technological cooperation. I am not sure we could quickly make advantage of the opportunities of the technological cooperation it presented," she said.        

Rice, who had played a crucial role in the negotiations during the deal, was speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in Delhi during a seminar on USA and India: Building Stronger Ties.
14:28  Seemandhra: Partial response to bandh call in Vizag,Vijayawada:  The two-day bandh call given by pro-united Andhra Pradesh groups in Seemandhra evoked a partial response on the second day in Visakhapatnam city as well as Vijayawada city and Krishna district.     

Banks, hotels are open in Visakhapatnam city but private schools have declared a two-day holiday.     

Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation's buses plied in the city, but some services were suspended in Anakapalli, Narsipatnam and other rural areas.
14:26  Odisha orders property attachment of Saradha, Seashore Groups :  The Odisha government has issued an interim order for attachment of properties of Kolkata-based ponzy scheme firm Saradha Group and the state-based Seashore Group of companies which allegedly duped investors of crores of rupees.        

"The state government has issued an interim order for property attachment of both Saradha and Seashore Groups on the basis of proposal of the Economic Offence Wing of the Crime Branch of Odisha Police," Odisha minister Prasanna Acharya informed the assembly.
12:58  Shoma Chaudhury reaches Goa court:  Former Tehelka managing editor Shoma Chaudhury has reached a judicial magistrate's court in Goa today to record her statement in connection with the Tarun Tejpal rape case.   

The victim, an ex-employee of Tehelka news magazine, had accused Chaudhury of attempting to cover up the complaint of sexual assault against Tejpal, which had been addressed to her.     

Chaudhury has denied the charge.          
12:29  Tarun Tejpal's custody extended for 4 days:  A Goa court on Saturday extended the police custody of Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal by four days.

Tejpal had been arrested on November 30 and remanded to police custody for six days. He is facing charges of rape after allegedly sexually assaulting a colleague at an event in Goa.
12:09  Sanjay Dutt gets parole over wife's 'illness':  Members of the Republican Party of India on Saturday staged a protest outside Pune's Yerwada jail where actor Sanjay Dutt is currently lodged.

Dutt has recently been granted parole for 30 days over his wife Manyata's 'illness'.

RPI activists protested the court's decision to grant bail to Dutt twice in two months.

Dutt had been convicted for illegal possession of arms in the Mumbai blasts case and he is serving the remaining 42 months of his five-year sentence.
12:01  British Marine gets lifer for killing injured Taliban prisoner:  Alexander Blackman, a Royal Marine Sergeant of the British army, was sentenced to life for murdering a wounded Taliban prisoner in cold blood in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Blackman shot the prisoner while quoting lines from Shakespeare's Hamlet. The murder was captured on camera by another Marine.

Read the full story here
11:56  Obama, Bush, Clinton will attend Mandela's memorial service:  Former US President George W Bush and his wife Laura will accompany US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to South Africa to pay their last respects to anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela, who passed away on Thursday. 

The two Presidents and their wives will travel together on the Air Force One to Johannesburg to attend a memorial service for Mandela which will be held on Tuesday. 

A funeral service for Mandela will be held in his hometown on December 15. 

Former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are also planning to travel to South Africa to attend the memorial service.
11:47  North Korea releases detained US war veteran :  North Korea today released a US veteran of the Korean War who had been detained in the country since October for what the Communist regime described as "hostile acts" against it.        

North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA said that Merrill Newman was expelled on "humanitarian grounds" after confessing to "crimes" in the 1950-53 war and "apologising".        

Newman, an 85-year-old from California, is currently in Beijing and would fly to San Francisco soon.
11:46  WTO adopts Bali package after minor hiccups :  After a minor flutter created by Cuba and three Latin American countries, the WTO today adopted the historic Bali package which addresses several concerns of developing countries including India with regard to food security and trade facilitation.       

The Bali package was approved by the WTO after the issues raised by Cuba and other nations namely Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela -- with regard to trade facilitation agreement -- were resolved and included in the package.
11:45  Obama calls up Mandela's widow :  US President Barack Obama has called up Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel to express condolences of the First family and the American people, the White House said.        

"The President thanked Mrs Machel for the profound influence that Nelson Mandela has had on him, and underscored the power of President Mandela's example for the people of South Africa and the entire world," the White House said in a statement.
11:42  Two detained in Goa for Dabholkar murder :  The Pune Crime Branch has taken into custody two people from Goa for questioning in connection with the murder of noted rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.        

The duo, hiding in Old Goa,was detained on December 3, Goa Deputy Inspector General of Police O P Mishra said today.        

The operation to track down the suspects, said to be sharp shooters hailing from Mumbai whose names were not revealed, was jointly conducted by Pune and Goa police, he said.
11:40  NSA defends snooping programme :  America's secretive National Security Agency has defended its surveillance of cell phones globally, arguing that this is legally authorised under a sweeping US presidential order and such programmes have been used in some of the most dangerous parts of the world.        

"This collection does not violate FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act)," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in a statement.        

It comes days after a Washington Post report said that the NSA is collecting nearly five billion records on the whereabouts of cell phones around the world which includes both US and non-US citizens.
02:46  Mandela was part of era of historic changes: White House:  President Barack Obama is highly influenced by Nelson Mandela, even though he met him in person only once, the White House today said adding that the anti-apartheid icon was part of an era of historic changes across the world.

"I think that Nelson Mandela had a profound impact on millions and millions of people around the world, and beginning with the citizens of South Africa, millions and millions of people who've never met him."

"And the president, as senator, had the good fortune to meet him, but I don't think that's the reason why he had an influence on Barack Obama. That influence extends, well back in time," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"I know those of us who were in college in the '80s remember the debates and protests that were happening on college campuses over divestment in South Africa because of apartheid. I think that's what the president was referencing in his own experience," he said and referred to his own experience and a college student.
00:51  Former bailout boss Neel Kashkari weighs run for California governor:  Businessinsider reports: Neel Kashkari, who oversaw the government's bank bailout at the height of the financial crisis, will attempt to succeed Jerry Brown as Governor of California in 2014, Bloomberg's James Nash & Michael B. Marois report, citing a Kashkari rep

Read the full story here
00:26  Chopper scam:Italian court allows India to question Hashcke:  An Italian court today allowed Indian authorities to question alleged middleman Guido Hashcke in the chopper scam case, which is being heard in that country. Haschke is giving his statement to the court in Milan on his role in the chopper scam and a team of Indian officials present there was given an opportunity to question him, sources said.

According to reports from Italy, Haschke has claimed that 6 million euros were paid to air force officials and 8.4 million euros to the bureaucracy. He claimed that politicians were also paid.
00:20  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  I've not met a more charismatic man than Mandela'
Efforts on for release of Indian ship captain jailed in Togo
Delhi Police asks law intern to record statement
We expect infiltration across LoC but are prepared: Army
Four let off in gang rape case; 'victim', witnesses untraceable
Nelson Mandela will always remain relevant

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