21:00 Dikshit backs demand for lowering juvenile age limit:
Amid a demand for lowering the juvenile age limit in the wake of the Delhi gangrape case, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today gave her support, saying the nature of the crime should not be overlooked while deciding on the age issue.
"If you match the nature of the crime with the age of the person with being juvenile and non-juvenile, then I think that evaluation could perhaps help in (deciding the issue)," Dikshit said.
20:45 Iran announces nuclear talks, open to 'authentic' US meet:
Iran announced today fresh talks with world powers on its nuclear drive and said it was open to a US offer for two-way discussions if Washington's intention was "authentic". Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the six world powers planned to resume talks in Kazakhstan on February 25 and he insisted Iran had never pulled back from the negotiations.
"I have good news, I've heard yesterday that 5+1 or EU3+3 will be meeting in Kazakhstan 25th of February," Salehi said during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.
19:42 Deadly suicide bomb attacks rock Iraq's Kirkuk:
A suicide car bomber along with other suicide bombers carried out coordinated attacks at a provincial police headquarters in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk on Sunday, a provincial police source said.
The attacks started in the morning when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into the entrance of the police compound in central Kirkuk, some 250 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.Afterwards, two suicide bombers wearing explosive vests and carrying AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades tried to penetrate the security walls, but the guards opened fire and blew them up, the source said.
The suicide bombers threw several grenades and exchanged heavy fire with the security forces before they were killed, the source added.
19:09 N Korea military meeting hints at nuclear test:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has chaired a high-level meeting that discussed a looming "great turn" in military capability, state media said today, fuelling expectations of an imminent nuclear test.
Kim made a "historic" speech at the ruling party's Central Military Commission meeting, attended by the heads of the army, the National Defence Commission and the strategic rocket force, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The meeting discussed "bringing about a great turn in bolstering military capability", said KCNA, which gave no date or details of Kim's speech.
18:55 Assad: Israel seeks to destabilise Syria with strike:
Syrian President Bashar Assad accused Israel on Sunday of trying to destabilise his country by attacking a military research base outside Damascus last week, and said Syria was able to confront "current threats... and aggression" against it.
Syria's state news agency SANA said Assad made the remarks in a meeting with Saeed Jalili, Iran's national security council secretary, at meeting in the Syrian capital. It was Assad's first reported response to Wednesday's attack.
18:48 Iran minister says Kazakhstan to host nuclear talks:
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said today that fresh talks with world powers on Iran's nuclear drive would be held in Kazakhstan on February 25. "I have good news, I've heard yesterday that 5+1 or EU3+3 will be meeting in Kazakhstan 25th of February," Salehi said during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.
Iran and six world powers -- the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- held three rounds of talks last year aimed at resolving the standoff over Iran's nuclear activities.
18:13 British PM to host Afghan-Pakistan co-operation talks:
British Prime Minister David Cameron will hold key talks with leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan to discuss the peace process and prevent a Taliban resurgence when foreign troops withdraw from the war-torn country in 2014.
The two-day trilateral summit, the third since last summer, is aimed at improving co-operation between both countries to promote regional stability. For the first time Afghan and Pakistani Army and intelligence chiefs will also take part in the discussions.
17:43 Prince Harry's Vegas 'lover' planning 'tell all' book:
The party girl who claimed she was Prince Harry's Vegas lover is writing a 'tell all' book about her escapades with the British Royal and other celebrities like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicholson and Mick Jagger. Beautician Carrie Reichert, 40, has written over 500 pages about her nights out and even vacations with a raft of American superstars.
Reichert lists bad boy golfer Tiger Woods, British actor Jude Law, one-time pop party animal Robbie Williams, basketball legends Charles Barkely and Michael Jordan among those she has partied with, the Daily Mail reported.
17:23 Kuwait jails tweeter 5 years for emir insult:
Kuwait's lower court today sentenced an opposition youth activist to five years in jail "with immediate effect" for insulting the emir on Twitter, a rights group said. "The court passed the maximum jail term against Mohammad Eid al-Ajmi for insulting the emir on Twitter," the director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Mohammad al-Humaidi, told AFP.
The ruling is not final as it will be appealed, but Ajmi will begin serving the sentence immediately, Humaidi said. Ajmi is the third opposition youth activist to be convicted for insulting the emir on Twitter. Last month the same court sentenced two tweeters to two years each in jail each on the same charge.
16:43 President signs ordinance on sexual assault :
President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday singned the ordinance on sexual assault. Mukherjee has given his assent to the ordinance to amend criminal law to check crime against women
15:02 Land acquisition for Posco plant begins in Odisha:
Land acquisition for the Rs 52,000 crore Posco steel plant today started in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district after a gap of more than one year amid allegation by anti-project activists that protesters were lathicharged and detained by police.
"We have begun acquisition of land at Gobindpur village this morning. Betel-vines and land of those who had already given their consent are being acquired," Additional District Magistrate Surjit Das said.
14:52 Pak parliament passes controversial bill on snooping:
A controversial bill that will give Pakistan's intelligence agencies sweeping powers to conduct surveillance and collect electronic data has been passed by both houses of parliament, paving the way for it to be signed into law by the President.
The Fair Trial Bill 2012, which has been criticised by rights groups for posing a threat to privacy and civil liberties, was passed by the Senate or upper house of parliament on Friday. It was passed by the National Assembly or lower house of parliament on December 20.
14:51 Pak forensic experts exhume anti-graft investigator's body:
The body of a Pakistani anti-graft investigator who died in mysterious circumstances last month while probing corruption charges against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other politicians has been exhumed and reburied after forensic experts examined it.
The body of National Accountability Bureau officer Kamran Faisal was reburied after forensic experts examined it at the graveyard in Khanewal district of Punjab province yesterday. The experts also took some samples that they said would be used to determine whether Faisal had committed suicide or was murdered.
14:03 Wal-Mart continues lobbying in US for India entry:
Amid a probe being initiated into Wal-Mart's US lobbying with regard to its India entry, the global retail giant has continued to lobby with the American lawmakers on this issue, as also others, and spent a total amount of USD 6.13 million on the same during 2012.
As per the latest Congressional records of lobbying disclosure reports, the US-based Wal-Mart Stores spent a total amount of USD 1.48 million (about Rs eight crore) on lobbying for various issues, including on "discussions related to FDI in India", during the last quarter ended December 31, 2012. This has taken the total lobbying bill of the company for entire 2012 to USD 6.13 million (about Rs 33 crore), the lobbying disclosure records available with the US Senate show.
13:19 Dalai Lama's visit to Kumbh cancelled due to security reasons:
The proposed visit of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to the Maha Kumbh congregation here has been cancelled due to security reasons, a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader said today.
"The Dalai Lama's three-day tour, which was to begin today, has been cancelled as the necessary security clearance could not be obtained from the Uttar Pradesh government," VHP Kashi Prant President Manoj Srivastava said.
13:18 30 dead in attack on north Iraq police HQ: general:
A car bomb detonated by a suicide attacker followed by gunmen storming a police headquarters in the north Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed 30 people and wounded 70 others today, a police general said. Militants had apparently sought to take control of the compound, but were unsuccessful, Brigadier General Natah Mohammed Sabr, the head of the city's emergency services department, told AFP.
The attackers struck at morning rush hour in the city centre, Sabr said, with the militants armed with guns, grenades and suicide vests looking to force their way into the police headquarters in the chaotic aftermath of the car bombing.
12:46 No longer the literary equivalent of Woodstock:
The sixth edition of the Jaipur Literature Fest has come and gone. What began in 2007 as an insane twinkle in the eye of its organisers has expanded to become one of the world's most exciting literary events.
Around a lakh of people waded through Diggi Palace this year, sipping on the renowned Diggipuri ki chai andmunching pyaz ki kachoris. And, if they were cooped up in the delegates and media tent, bacchanalian amounts of free wine. Over the five days under the literary hippodrome, Homi K Bhabha delivered his cultural sermons, Javed Akhtar opened his scholastic bag of knowledge on ghazals, Howard Jacobson and Zoe Heller squabbled over the idea of a multimedia novel with a history toggle, Sharmila Tagore dipped her perfectly manicured toes in the literary ocean, while artist Anish Kapoor and other marquee names went unexplained by their absence. While the highbrows exchanged notes, writers, publishers and agents found cosy meeting corners on the sidelines.
Whether it was the Dalai Lama or Ruchir Sharma, the halls were packed and there was surprisingly similar exaltation. And the twitteratis almost lost their thumbnails while chirping their comments on everything from Dalai Lama's session to an author sneezing into his khadi kerchief.
With his name being "dragged" into the Suryanelli gangrape case, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien has said that he suspected his political foes, including some in the Congress were involved in the 'conspiracy' to malign him.
Kurien's name figured again in connection with the case after the victim wrote to her advocate in Delhi on January 29 to explore the possibility of filing a review petition, seeking a fresh probe against Kurien.
While maintaining that he is totally innocent, Kurien told Malayalam TV channels last evening there was a 'conspiracy' behind the renewed attempt to drag his name after he had been cleared by courts and the investigations found the charge against him baseless.
12:42 Questions for Hafiz Saeed:
A question for the internationally recognised terrorist, ideologue and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz Saeed, resident of Lahore, who has just offered sanctuary in Pakistan to our superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Pakistan was carved out in 1947 to ensure security for this subcontinent's Muslims in a separate homeland. Why, six decades later, has Pakistan become the most insecure place for Muslims in the world? Why are more Muslims being killed each day, on an average, in Pakistan than in the rest of the Muslim world put together?
11:40 Netanyahu asked to form next Israeli government:
Israel's president asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today to form the next government, and Netanyahu pledged that his new administration will be committed to advancing peace talks with the Palestinians.
Israeli President Shimon Peres formally requested Netanyahu to build a governing coalition, after conducting consultations with all 12 parties that won seats in last week's election. A majority of newly elected lawmakers recommended Netanyahu as prime minister-designate.
Netanyahu now has six weeks to form a coalition government, with an extension of 14 days if needed. If he succeeds, he will begin his third term as Israeli premier.
11:36 Trains to be provided with latest fire-fighting equipment:
In an effort to check the number of fire accidents on trains, Railways will soon equip pantry and power cars with latest fire suppression system including sprinklers.
"Even though Railways uses fire retardant materials for furnishings in coaches, fire accidents on trains continue to be reported. Therefore, we have decided to further upgrade our preparedness for fire prevention and suppression," a senior Railway Ministry official said.
As per the plan, the Rail Budget 2013-14 will have proposals for installing sprinklers in pantry and power cars in as many express and mail trains.
11:34 CWG: Court to frame charges against Kalmadi on Mon:
A Delhi court is likely to frame charges against sacked CWG Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi and others tomorrow for allegedly cheating, conspiring and causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer in a Games-related corruption case.
Special CBI Judge Ravinder Kaur had on January 10 posted for tomorrow the framing of charges in the case also involving former OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot as an accused. The court had on December 21, 2012 passed the order on framing of charges under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act against Kalmadi and nine other accused in the case.
Besides cheating and conspiracy, the accused will also be charged with the offences of forgery under the IPC and criminal misconduct by public servants under the PC Act.
11:33 Moily asks PM to appoint expert panel to examine fuel pricing:
Fearing oil refineries will be hit hard by the Finance Ministry's move to change the way petrol and diesel are priced, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to constitute an expert committee to decide on the issue.
The Finance Ministry has informed the Petroleum Ministry that auto fuel needs to be priced at export parity rather than import parity as the 2.5 per cent customs duty was adding to the under-recoveries of the state-run oil marketing companies without contributing any revenue to the exchequer. "Immediately switching over to export parity, whether it is possible or feasible is a question which has to be examined," he said.
11:30 Three injured as plane veers off Rome runway:
A Romanian plane carrying 50 passengers veered off the runway while landing at Rome's Fiumicino airport, injuring three people who were rushed to hospital, authorities said.
The ATR 72 turboprop plane of the Romanian airline Carpatair arriving from Pisa finished up at an angle on grass with its landing gear damaged, emergency services and airport officials said. One of the three people hospitalised, a Romanian flight crew member, was said to have suffered spinal injuries but his condition was not life-threatening.
11:29 US Senator calls for stronger ties with India:
Observing that US-India relations will be among the world's most important in coming decades, a top American senator has said its vital for Washington to remain committed in strategic partnership with New Delhi.
"As (the US) President (Barack) Obama begins his second term, it is vital that the United States remain committed to deepening our strategic partnership with India. In the coming decades, United States-India relations will be among the world's most important," US Senator from South Dakota Tim Johnson said.
11:28 White House releases Obama skeet shooting photo:
The White House has released a photo of President Barack Obama skeet shooting in an apparent bid to allay concerns by gun owners that he opposes firearms following a school massacre in December.
The photo was made public as Obama prepares to hit the road Monday to push his plan to curb gun violence as he presses Congress to enact sweeping gun restrictions.
The effort to ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines has become a centerpiece of the president's second term agenda after a disturbed man gunned down 20 children and six adults on December 14 in the once quiet town of Newtown, Connecticut. But his measures -- both proposed legislation and executive orders -- face stiff opposition from the firearms lobby, as well as from politicians, critics and gun enthusiasts who contend they will infringe upon the constitutional right to bear arms.
11:10 Blast on railway track in Assam:
A blast was reported in Kokrajhar district of Assam early on Sunday morning. However, no casulaties have been reported.
More details are awaited.
00:04 Leave TV and Internet, join 'akharas': MP CM Chouhan:
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has come out with a bizarre statement, saying youths should stay away from Internet and television.
Addressing a gathering in his home state, Chouhan advised youths to stay away from Internet and television as it many times it shuts down the brain.
"The people who are used to computer just cannot see the outer world," the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said.
"Leave television, Internet and join 'akharas' as it keeps the body fit," Chouhan further told the gathering.
It was not just the chief minister but his Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta also came up with a bizarre statement. Gupta said according to a study, in 84 percent of the rape cases relatives and acquaintances are involved, so it is not possible to take precautionary measures to prevent such crimes.
00:02 Powerful 6.9 quake shakes northern Japan:
A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck northern Japan on Saturday, causing strong tremors across Hokkaido island but generating no tsunami or immediate reports of damage, authorities said.
The quake, which was preceded by an early warning broadcast on television and radio, hit near the town of Obihiro at a depth of 103 kilometres at 23:17 pm (1947 IST), according to US Geological Survey data.
Japan's meteorological agency said there was no threat of a tsunami from the quake, and public broadcaster NHK cited police in Hokkaido as saying there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
Blackouts were reported in some areas and a number of highways were closed, Kyodo News reported, citing officials.