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Live! Diplomat Devyani ineligible for owning Adarsh flat: Panel

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December 20, 2013


23:20  Mamata pulls up 'non-performing' ministers, bureaucrats:  
Delivering a stern message to her team to "perform or perish", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today pulled up some senior "non-performing" ministers and bureaucrats. 

All ministers and bureaucrats attended a closed-door meeting at the Town Hall where Banerjee took stock of the work done by each department, sources said. 

Unlike the last few meetings, the Chief Minister this time sent questionnaires to all ministers and bureaucrats for their replies. 

Sources said Banerjee pulled up ministers and bureaucrats of departments which were below par. 

Banerjee is known to haul up ministers and bureaucrats at the meetings if she was not satisfied with performance. "We had very good discussions. We tried to identify the problem areas," Banerjee later told reporters.
23:18  Magnitude 5.3 earthquake hits eastern Japan: USGS:  
A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan today -- causing buildings in Tokyo to shake -- but there was no risk of a tsunami, seismologists said. 

The 67-kilometre deep quake hit the southern part of Honshu's Ibaraki prefecture, north east of the capital Tokyo, at 01:10 am (1610 GMT Friday), the United States Geological Survey reported. 

Its epicentre was 35 kilometres from Tokyo and there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake, which struck just four kilometres from the city of Abiko, was also recorded by Japan's national weather agency.

Japan lies on the so-called "Ring of Fire", a series of seismic fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean which create frequent seismic and volcanic activity. 
21:54  Diplomat Devyani ineligible for owning Adarsh flat: Panel:  
Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat who is at the centre of a diplomatic row with the US, is one of the 25 allottees who have been found ineligible to own a flat in the controversial Adarsh Housing society by a judicial panel which probed the scam. 

According to Maharashtra government rules, an official applying for a flat under a government quota has to give a signed affidavit stating that they do not own any other flat. Devyani had an apartment in Oshiwara locality in the city which too she had got under the government quota. 

Her father Uttam Khobragade, a retired IAS officer, was alleged to have facilitated extra floor space index (FSI) to the upscale 31-storey Adarsh society in Colaba by transferring an adjoining Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking plot to the society. 

Uttam Khobragade has, however, denied any wrongdoing in the scam.
21:05  Petrol price hiked by 41 paise, diesel by 10 paise:  

Petrol price was today hiked by 41 paise a litre following the government decision to raise commission paid to petrol pump dealers and firming global oil rates.        

 

Simultaneously, diesel rates were increased by 10 paise per litre due to a hike in dealers commission. The two increases, which are excluding local sales tax or VAT, will be effective from midnight tonight.        

 

State-owned oil firms, which restrained themselves from revising petrol price for past seven weeks despite weakening of rupee against US dollar, used the government decision to raise dealer commission on the fuel by 21 paise to effect another 20 paise increase.        

 

Petrol in Delhi currently costs Rs 71.02 per litre and after the increase it will be price around Rs 71.50. The actual rates, which haven't been worked out yet, will vary from city to city. Diesel rates will go up marginally from Rs 53.67 a litre to about Rs 53.80 in Delhi.    

 

Petrol price, which are normally revised on 1st and 16th of every month based on the global trend in previous fortnight, were last revised on November 1 when rates were cut by Rs 1.15, excluding local levies.

21:03  Congress denies move to replace Uttarakhand CM:  

Amidst speculation about a change of guard in Uttarakhand, Congress today denied any such move is and maintained Vijay Bahuguna will remain the Chief Minister.      

 

"There is no such move. He remains Chief Minister and he will remain Chief Minister," party spokesperson Sandip Dikshit told reporters in New Delhi.   Bahuguna met Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning triggering speculation about his continuance in the top post.        

 

Bahuguna himself had sought to put a lid on speculation in the media about his being on the way out yesterday, saying "all is well" with him and that he heads a "stable government" in the state.        

 

Uttarakhand Congress vice president Suryakant Dhasmana also sought to scotch rumours about Bahuguna's removal, terming it is no more than "media speculation".

20:06  Digvijaya Singh: I'm used to being a punching bag:  

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh today refused to answer about allegations made against him in the wake of the party's defeat in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections and described himself as a "punching bag" and a scapegoat.        

 

Addressing a press conference in Bhopal, the Congress general secretary said that he is used to these sort of allegations and added that he had never replied to them.        

 

"I think that I have become a punching bag at whom people may hurl all sorts of allegations, but I bounce back and return to where I was," Singh said.         Among other things, Digvijaya was called a "conspirator" by at least two Congress leaders namely, Satyavrat Chaturvedi and Kalpana Parulekar.

19:15  NYT slams India's 'misplaced outrage' over Devyani row:  

NYT editorial: India's overwrought reaction to the arrest of one of its diplomats in the United States is unworthy of a democratic government. Officials in New Delhi have inflamed anti-American outrage instead of calling for justice, especially for the domestic worker who is at the heart of the case.  

The charges brought against Devyani Khobragade, the deputy consul general in New York, by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, should concern anyone who values worker rights. Ms. Khobragade was arrested last week and accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her housekeeper and paying her far less than the minimum legal wage.

 

Prosecutors say the diplomat promised American authorities she would pay $4,500 a month but actually paid just $573 a month and made the housekeeper work far more than 40 hours a week. Instead of concerning themselves with that injustice, many in India seem incensed that Ms. Khobragade was arrested at all.

 

Read the full editorial here

18:44  Putin frees jailed oil ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky:  NYT reports: President Vladimir V. Putin issued a decree on Friday freeing Russia's most famous prisoner, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, the former chief executive of Yukos Oil whose arrest and imprisonment 10 years ago punctuated an authoritarian turn in Russia's modern history.

Read the full story here
18:10  TC MP Kunal Ghosh sent to police custody:  Suspended Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh, who was arrested on November 23 in Saradha Group chit fund scam, was today sent to police custody for four days in a fresh case of cheating by a local court.

Purba Kundu, ACJM of Chandangar Sub-Divisional Court, remanded Ghosh in four days police custody in a complaint of cheating registered by Shankar Manna on 27 April at Chandannagar police station.

Manna complained to the police that he had invested Rs 70,000 in two instalments to tours and travels wing of Saradha chit fund company but the company later closed down.

On the basis of this complaint, the police today sought to interrogate Ghosh who was CEO of Saradha media wing.
17:46  Lalu Yadav complains of uneasiness, admitted to AIIMS :  Days after being released from the Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi on bail, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad was on Friday admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi after he complained of uneasiness.

More details are awaited.
17:05  BJP MLA takes dig on Rahul's Section 377 views:   Former Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Madhya Pradesh, Kailash Vijayvargiya on Friday took a dig at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for his views on homosexuality after the Supreme Court verdict on the issue last week.

"Now, the party which Rahul Gandhi leads has to support homosexuality," Vijayvargiya, who won the recent assembly polls in the state from Mhow seat told reporters in response to a query on the issue
16:34  Jung appointed Delhi LG from outside panel of suggested names:  Former Vice-Chancellor of JamiaMilia University Najeeb Jung was appointed Delhi's LieutenantGovernor from outside a panel of five names which was earlierprepared by the Home Ministry.

In reply to an RTI query, filed by activist SubhashChandra Agarwal, the government revealed that initially a listof five names was prepared.

The names-- S Y Qureshi, former Chief election Commissioner; Salauddin Ahmed, former Chief Secretary ofRajasthan; Anwar Ahsan Ahmed, former Secretary (Border Management) in Ministry of Home Affairs; Shamim Banu, former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka and G S Kang, former Chief Secretary of Bihar-- were proposed in a Home Ministry note dated October 5 last year.
15:59  Devyani Khobragade's arrest in NYC has fallout in Maha capital:  Activists of the Republican Party of India today attacked a Domino's outlet, part of the American pizza delivery chain, in Mumbai to vent their ire over the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York No one was, however, injured in the attack, though the outlet is said to have been damaged.

The incident comes even as Indian and American officials have been burning the proverbial midnight oil to find a way out over the impasse that has cast a long shadow on the ties between the two nations.
15:42  Captain James arrives in Mumbai:  Indian sailor Sunil James, who was released from a Togo prison has reached Mumbai. 

Captain James: I've come here as a parent. Please respect that.

Says he will conduct the the last rites of his son whose body is lying in a hospital morgue since the toddler's death from septicaemia on December 2 in a few days.

James' wife had campaigned for his release and had even met the PM.

We are relieved, not happy, says James' family
15:10  Modi addresses rally in Varanasai:   The BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is addressing a rally in Varanasi. Making a pitch for the 2014 elections, Modi says people are eager to uproot the government in Delhi. 

Uttar Pradesh can become the destiny maker of India, says Modi

"I have not come to make promises but with intention to bring change."  
15:07  Fishermen delegation from Gujarat meets PM:  A delegation of fishermen from Saurashtra led by Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia, Union Ministers and MPs from the state met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Cabinet colleagues seeking effective steps to redress problems of jailed fishermen in India and Pakistan. 

The ten-member delegation of fishermen along with leaders of Congress, representatives of Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy and National Fishworkers Forum met Singh and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar yesterday and Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid today.
14:45  Diplomat arrest: We will find a solution to the issue, says Khurshid:  Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid says it is important to preserve the relationship between India and US.

He, however, refuses to comment on the US's refusal to withdraw charges against Khobragade. 

As we deal with each other we have to keep entire gamut of our bilateral relationship in mind, says Khurshid.
14:09  Mercury crater named after John Lennon, 9 others:  The International Astronomical Union has approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to assign Jon Lennon's name to an impact craters on Mercury.

Along with Lennon, nine others eminent personalities in their fields have been given this honour.

The craters have been named after: Barney, for Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972), an American-French playwright, poet, and novelist; Berlioz, for Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), a French Romantic composer known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts; Calder, for Alexander Calder (1898-1976), an American sculptor best known as the originator a type of kinetic sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended components that move in response to motor power or air currents; Capote, for Truman Capote (1924-1984), an American author whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction include the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's; Caruso, for Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), an Italian tenor who sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas; Ensor, for James Sidney Ensor (1860-1949), a Belgian painter and printmaker, considered an important influence on expressionism and surrealism; Giambologna, for Jean Boulogne Giambologna (1529-1608), a Dutch sculptor known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style; Lennon, for John Lennon (1940-1980), an English songwriter, musician, and singer who rose to worldwide fame as a founding member of the Beatles; Remarque, for Erich Maria Remarque (1898-1970), a German author best known for his novel All Quiet on the Western Front; Vieira da Silva, for Maria Elena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992), a Portuguese-born French painter of intricate, semi-abstract compositions.
14:05  Big bash, big cash in Australia:  Talent scouts from the lucrative Indian Premier League will reportedly be watching every game of this season''s Big Bash League in Australia in order to target potential players for the major auction, which would be held next February. 

he timing of the BBL, which starts on Friday and has its semi-finals just days before the mooted February 12-13 dates of the auction, is perfect for Australia's Twenty20 stars. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson are set to be the most sought-after Australians by IPL franchises, if they are released by their current teams, and certain reports suggested that James Faulkner will also attract attention from the IPL franchises.
13:49  IFS Young Turks behind India's tough response to US:  Now it can be told.

India's rare muscular reply to the US in l'affaire Devyani Khobragade owes, at least in part, to the intervention of young IFS officers who brainstormed with Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh for three hours, to share their hurt over the treatment of one of their colleagues. 

Charu Sudan Kasturi has the details in this report in The Telegraph, Kolkata.
13:48  Gay right judgement: Govt moves SC for review:   Centre files review petition in Supreme Court against its verdict making gay sex criminal offence under sec 377 of IPC. 

The SC had overruled a high court order that decriminalised gay sex. SC ruled gay sex as unnatural under Section 377.

The Centre wants an open court hearing on the matter.

Kapil Sibal tweets: The Govt has filed the review petition on #377 in the Supreme Court today. Let's hope the right to personal choices is preserved.
13:34  Gay right judgement: Govt moves SC for review:   Centre files review petition in Supreme Court against its verdict making gay sex criminal offence under sec 377 of IPC. 

The SC had overruled a high court order that decriminalised gay sex. SC ruled gay sex as unnatural under Section 377.

The Centre wants an open court hearing on the matter.

Kapil Sibal tweets: The Govt has filed the review petition on #377 in the Supreme Court today. Let's hope the right to personal choices is preserved.
13:08  Surat businessman kidnapped and taken to Bihar, lists names:  A Baroda-based businessman was kidnapped a few months ago and taken to Bihar. He was released after a huge ransom was paid, but nothing came of it as he did not want to go to the police.

Possibly emboldened by his silence, the kidnappers struck again, kidnapping Samir Hingora, son of Surat-based businessman Hanif, from Daman and taking him to Bihar. Samir was released after Rs 25 crore -- yes, you read that right -- was paid as ransom. 

But Hanif did not keep quiet. He met Chief Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him of the crime, and also his suspicion that a top Janata Dal-United politician in Bihar was involved. 

Acting quickly, the Gujarat and Bihar arrested one Ranjit Kumar, son of a Jharkhand policeman, for his involvement in the crime.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that his police was probing the charges, and "if there are names, they must be given. The matter will be investigated thoroughly." 

Hanif Hingora has promptly send Kumar a letter revealing the names. The Indian Express quotes Hanif as saying, "We have got clues pointing to the involvement of a big political leader of Bihar's ruling party. We cannot disclose his name at present, but we have told the police."

Given the frost ties between the two chief ministers, this sure promises to be one cracker of a case. Meanwhile, read the full details here.
13:02  Toll plaza ransacked by tribal villagers in Thane:  A modern toll plaza inaugurated last year at Talasari near here was ransacked by an irate mob, which also looted cash, rural police said today. 

The mob, consisting of local tribal villagers, attacked the plaza located on the busy Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway last night, they said. 

Inspector Sunil Gaonkar of Talasari Police Station said the locals had been demanding jobs at the toll collection centre since long.
12:51  How India didn't act in the matter of Sangeeta Richard:  If America "evacuated' the husband of the nanny from right under the nose of the Indian establishment, an unsuspecting New Delhi appeared to have unwittingly facilitated it by leaving the gates wide open for as long as three months, reports Imran Ahmed Siddiqui in the The Telegraph, Kolkata.

'Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat who was arrested in New York, had sent a complaint against housekeeper Sangeeta Richard and her husband Philip to Delhi police on July 3 this year. Two days earlier, the same mail had been sent to the external affairs ministry, too,' he points out.

'But, for some reason, Delhi police registered the first information report only in October. The long delay suggests Indian officials reposed unquestioning faith in the Americans or did not take the complaint seriously -- suspicions that are strengthened by the fact that Philip was not arrested even two months after the FIR had been registered,' reports Siddiqui, here.
12:48  1942: A love story :  A British photographer working for the Times of India in Bombay in independence India falls in love with a woman, and naturally shoots very personal portraits of her. When Second World War breaks out, however, he leaves India for safety, to England, where he marries someone else. 
The object of his love too leaves India, but for New Zealand.

Years later, the photographer's grandson comes across a stash of the sepia-tinted photographs after the grandfather dies, discovers the first love, comes down to India, traces the lover to New Zealand where she lives in a home for the elderly, and sends her a photograph from the past. Her reaction: 'Is he here?'

Read this totally poignant love story with a colonial twist here.
12:36  Washington Post reports that 'nobody knew this was going to happen':  The statement by US Attorney Preet Bharara appeared to have taken much of the Obama administration, including his own Justice Department bosses, by surprise, reports Washington Post.

"We didn't know it was coming,' said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, report Karen DeYoung and Sari Horwitz in the newspaper.

The WaPo report also says that relevant officials in the administration have known for months that an investigation was underway, but "nobody knew this was going to happen,' it quoted another US official as saying.

This official tells WaPo: "If they wanted to throw the book at her,' the United States could have protested to the Indian Embassy in Washington and "made her leave the country. That's the way these things are done,' particularly in cases in which no physical abuse is alleged. 

Read the full report here.
12:29   'Nowhere is inequality '" what President Obama this month called "the defining challenge of our time" '" more in your face than in India. Brand-filled shopping malls spread. So do shanties. A rich man builds a 27-story house for his family in a nation of 1.2 billion people where more than a quarter of them '" or roughly the U.S. population '" lives on less than two bucks a day. Outdoor defecation is still widespread. Yet when Gulati, a social activist engaged in teaching poor Delhi kids through a nongovernmental organization called Manzil, tries to interest his peers in the subject of inequality, he tends to find the conversation goes nowhere, drowned by talk of some juicy real-estate deal for farmland south of Delhi, the latest Bollywood hot item numbers, or the Silicon-Valley success story of yet another Indian immigrant,' writes Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Read the incisive article here.
12:22  Two interesting communications on the Devyani Khobragade issue. 

One, her sister Sharmista has posted on Facebook about how well Devyani treated Sangeeta Richard, but since her FB account is private, you can read it on India Todayhere.

Another link is from India TV, which has reproduced Sangeeta's letter (in Hindi), which you can read here.
12:17  Maharashtra Cabinet rejects Adarsh commission report :  Maharashtra Cabinet on Friday rejected the Adarsh Commission report. 

This after the tabling of the Adarsh Commission report was not listed in the agenda for the day. 

The government was expected to table the Adarsh Commission report in the House today.
12:11   Mohandas Menon tweets: Today in 1942: Japanese air forces bombed Calcutta for the first time during World War II. Their target being the Howrah Bridge!

Those who want to know about this historical event, you can read it here and here.
12:00  Mumbai's BEST buses become mobile hoardings for NaMo:  Sheela Bhatt sent us this photograph of Mumbai's ubiquitous BEST buses sporting advertisements for the BJP mascot Narendra Modi's Maha Garjana rally on Sunday in the city. 

The Maharashtra capital is no stranger to political rallies, but this is the first time one has seen the city's popular red buses serving as a mobile hoarding for a political meeting. 

Despite the city's nightmarish traffic conditions, BEST buses remain popular among a cross-section of citizens, and are said to transport a few lakh passengers every day, apart from criss-crossing the metropolis.

The state government, run by the Congress-NCP, may not approve of such use of state-run BEST buses, but the Bombay municipal corporation, under whose jurisdiction BEST falls, is controlled by the Shiv Sena-BJP combine.
11:51  Khobragade's sister releases maid's letter to family:  Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade's sister has released a letter to the media which her maid Sangeeta Richard had written to her family. 

In the letter Richard says that the diplomat's family is very nice to her and is happy with Devyani's family. 

She mentions in the letter that Devyani treats her like a family member and not a domestic help.

Read the letter
11:41  Four killed in shooting at Manila airport:  A mayor from the southern Philippines, his wife and two others have been fatally shot in a daring attack at a Manila airport terminal that also wounded four other people.

Manila airport General Manager Jose Angel Honrado says men on a motorcycle fired at Labangan Mayor Ukol Talumpa and his wife as they stepped out of Terminal 3.

The has gunmen escaped.
11:14  Shilpa Kannan tweets that the latest cover of India Today is brilliant, and we agree. To see it, no, to appreciate it, click here!
11:02  Did ex-CM Rane fake papers to push for Goa's statehood?:  A retired senior bureaucrat has alleged former Goa chief minister Pratapsingh Rane used "fake documents" to push for statehood to the then Union territory way back in 1987, a charged rubbished by the latter. 

The then chief minister (Rane) accessed certain documents using his men in the statistics department and furnished them to demand statehood for Goa, former chief secretary J C Almeida alleged in an interview to a television channel. 

Almeida did not clarify nature of the documents, but claimed they contained fake statistics related to finances. 

Rane, however, quickly rubbished the allegation and questioned its timing. "Why is Almeida speaking up after so many years?" the veteran Congress leader sought to know. 

Almeida, the first Goan chief secretary, yesterday said Rane had provided "fake and unrealistic documents" to the then Rajiv Gandhi government. 

The retired IAS officer's comments came at a time when Goa celebrated its Liberation Day yesterday. He claimed there was undue hurry by the then government to attain statehood.
09:53  Freed sailor Captain James arrives in New Delhi:  Indian sailor Sunil James, who was released from a Togo prison has reached Indian.

He will reach Mumbai shortly to conduct the last rites of his son whose body is lying in a hospital morgue since the toddler's death from septicaemia on December 2. 

Captain James was under arrest in the west African country since July on the charge of aiding pirates who had attacked and looted his Marshall Islands-flagged MT Ocean Centurion on July 16. 
09:12  Over 80 hurt in London theatre ceiling collapse:  More than 80 people have been injured in a ceiling collapse at a theatre during a performance in the heart of London. 

Apollo Theatre, one of the popular venues in the city's West End theatre district, was packed with audience for yesterday's evening show of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', when eyewitnesses reported hearing a "crackling" sound. 

Ambulance service said there were 81 "walking wounded" and that all those who had been trapped inside were freed.
09:05  Is Jayalalithaa now a PM aspirant?:  With barely five months to go for the general elections in 2014, the Congress is not alone at the drawing board. It seems Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa wants to shift base from Chennai's Fort St. George to the Red Fort in Delhi. 

Her party, the AIADMK's General Council today asked its cadre to win all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, so that the party could fast-track its way to Delhi. 

Read more
08:57  UN base with Indian soldiers attacked in South Sudan:  Over 40 Indian peacekeepers were present at a United Nations base that was attacked by unknown assailants today in South Sudan's troubled Jonglei State, the world body said. 

The United States has deployed 45 troops to protect US personnel and assets in South Sudan, amid intensifying fighting between rebels and government forces, the White House said.
08:37  Riot case: Singapore starts deporting Indian nationals:  Singapore today started deporting 52 Indian nationals for their role in the December 8 riot, the city state's worst street violence in 40 years. 

Sixteen of the men were interviewed by the state-appointed Committee of Enquiry (COI) into the riot in the Little India area, a report The Straits Times said. 

The riot was sparked by a fatal accident involving an Indian national.
03:35  Husain Haqqani on America's diplomat shame:  
The arrest and mistreatment of an Indian consul in New York is particularly galling considering how frequently Americas own emissaries benefit from diplomatic immunity.

Americans are often the most significant beneficiaries of courtesies, over and above the immunities guaranteed by the letter of law that governments extend to each other.

Click on NEXT to read further...
03:11  Diplomatic abuse of servants: Not just for Indians:  
The US State Department assisted in the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, claiming for itself a 'victory' in the war on human trafficking. 

Not paying a fair wage is wrong. 

What is also wrong is for the State Department to be following a double-standard in what it expects from foreign diplomats, and what it expects from its own.

Click HERE to read
02:50  Complaint against Devyani won't be dropped: US State Dept:  
The US State Department has said it is not pressuring US law enforcement to drop a complaint against Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade that has increased tensions between the two countries.

"Not true," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in response to a question about whether there was pressure being applied to US law enforcement.

India has urged the United States to withdraw a visa fraud case against one of its diplomats in New York, suggesting that Secretary of State John Kerry's expression of regret over her treatment in custody was not enough.
02:38  Balcony collapses at London's Apollo theatre:  
The ceiling of a top London theatre has collapsed onto the audience below during a performance, causing an unknown number of casualties.

"We were called to the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue to reports of a ceiling collapse during a performance," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.

"We are aware of a number of casualties, we don't know how many."

Images posted on Twitter showed people fleeing the theatre with blood on their faces and covered in dust

Witnesses on local television and on social media said the incident happened during a performance of the hit West End show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

There were unconfirmed reports that part of the balcony had collapsed on members of the audience below.

More details are awaited
02:33  British author Paul Torday dies at 67:  
British novelist Paul Torday, who had a surprise best-seller with his debut novel "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," has died at age 67, his publisher said today.  

Torday died at home in Northumberland a day earlier, surrounded by his family, said publisher Weidenfeld and Nicolson. It did not provide a cause of death. 

Torday launched his writing career in his late fifties, publishing "Salmon Fishing on the Yemen" in 2007, the story of a rich sheik who dreams of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to his desert country. 

The novel was adapted into a 2011 film starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, with Blunt as the sheik's representative and McGregor as a cynical fisheries expert who begrudgingly accepts the challenge. 
02:28  Top headlines at this hour:  No cavity search was done on Devyani: US Marshals

India retaliates, stops special treatment to US diplomats at airports

India fight back to take Day Two honours 

8 lakh 'theplas', 2 crore emails for Modi's Mumbai rally 

HC restrains UP govt from doling out ministerships

CCI slaps Rs 1 cr fine on Etihad in Jet Airways deal

Infosys executive council member Subrahmanyam Goparaju resigns 



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