23:25 Guj Cong plans 'jal yatra' to corner Modi govt :
In a bid to put Chief Minister Narendra Modi's government on mat, Gujarat Congress is launching a statewide 'Jal Yatra' on the eve of upcoming budget session to highlight water scarcity in the state and will raise issues concerning common people in the assembly.
"As BJP government has never kept its past poll promises, we have decided to launch various agitational programmes on the issues of water scarcity, housing and employment which need urgent attention of the government," said Leader of the Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela at a press conference here today.
23:23 US commends Bulgaria attack probe:
The United States today commended Bulgaria for its investigation linking the Lebanese Hezbollah militia to last July's terrorist attack in a tourist resort that killed six including five Israeli tourists.
"Bulgaria's investigation exposes Hezbollah for what it is - a terrorist group that is willing to recklessly attack innocent men, women, and children, and that poses a real and growing threat not only to Europe, but to the rest of the world," the Assistant to the US President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, John Brennan, said following the Bulgarian investigations.
23:16 Iran's Ahmadinejad kissed and scolded in Egypt:
The trip was meant to underline a thaw in relations since Egyptians elected an Islamist head of state, President Mohamed Mursi, last June. But it also highlighted deep theological and geopolitical differences.
Mursi, a member of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, kissed Ahmadinejad after he landed at Cairo airport and gave him a red carpet reception with military honors. Ahmadinejad beamed as he shook hands with waiting dignitaries.
But the Shi'ite Iranian leader received a stiff rebuke when he met Egypt's leading Sunni Muslim scholar later at Cairo's historic al-Azhar mosque and university.
22:44 Marxist party calls for Sri Lankan mass grave probe:
The Marxist JVP has called for an investigation into a mass grave discovered in the central town of Matale in Sri Lanka, alleged to be of youth killed at the height of the country's civil war.
"We want an investigation into this mass grave. As we know more than 60,000 youth were killed in the 1987-1990 period," Anura Kumara Dissanayake, a senior JVP legislator said.
22:23 MP govt functioning in 'illegal way': Renuka Chaudhary:
Hitting out at ruling BJP government over Kanker rape case involving minor tribal girls, Congress MP Renuka Chaudhary has said the state government is covering up major issues and functioning in an "illegal" way.
"Rape incidents with minors have come to light in Chhattisgarh. State government is functioning in an illegal way and covering up real issues. (Gairkanuni tarike se yaha sarkar chal rhi hai aur asli muddo ko chhipa deti hai)," Rajya Sabha MP Renuka Chaudhary told reporters.
21:41 2G case: Chidambaram unlikely to be called by JPC:
Notwithstanding strong demand by Bharatiya Janata Party members for calling Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining 2G spectrum allocation scam is unlikely to call him or any other minister as witnesses.
The 30-member JPC, set up in March 2011, will have the last hearing of witnesses next week when Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ranjit Sinha and Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar are expected to appear.
JPC Chairman P C Chacko on Tuesday said that next week onwards, focus would shift to writing of the draft report, leaving no scope for calling any more witnesses.
20:00 RSS all set for Hindutva relaunch at Kumbh:
Priests backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh will hold a meeting at the Kumbh
mela being held in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow. The meeting was to have begun today,
but, in a last-minute change, was rescheduled, reports NDTV
A new deadline for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya is
expected to be announced. RSS affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which is organising the event, has begun distributing pamphlets on
the Ram temple and the focus of deliberations will reportedly be on how
to harness a soft Hindutva appeal in the run-up to the 2014 general
elections, the report says.Read the full story here
19:19 Wakf Act to be amended: Govt:
Extending lease period of Wakf property to 30 years is among the amendments likely to be introduced in the Wakf Act 1995 to prevent misuse of such institutions, the government said on Tuesday.
"As per the (proposed) amendments, the period of lease of the Wakf property would be increased to 30 years from merely three years at present with the condition that Wakf Boards exercise transparency in the whole process of leasing out its property," Union Minority Affairs Minister K Rahman Khan said.
18:58 NIA opposes Sadhvi Pragya Singh's bail:
National Investigation Agency, probing the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case, today told the Bombay high court that it was opposing the bail plea of prime accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who has sought the relief on medical ground.
Sadhvi who was diagnosed with cancer last year had sought bail on medical ground to undergo treatment.
The high court had earlier asked NIA and Sadhvi to consider working out a solution amicably.
While NIA had offered to get Sadhvi admitted to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, she refused to undergo the treatment in police custody, saying she wanted to be released on bail first.
18:08 Gang rape: Kurien won't quit, alleges conspiracy:
Unfazed by the victim of the Suryanelli gangrape case sticking to her allegations against him, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien today rejected the demand for his resignation.
"No.. What is the use? The allegations raised are already a settled matter by the Supreme Court which had given a final seal on the issue," Kurien said.
He was responding to a question on whether he plans to quit the Deputy Chairperson's post following the recent developments in the case.
"If the allegations were new and if it is at inquiry stage, then the question of resignation is relevant. But, here the charges are 17 years old and inquired three times by police, that too both under the governments of Congress-led UDF and CPI-M-led LDF," Kurien said.
17:56 Delhi gang rape: Victim's friend identifies bus:
The companion of a medical student who died after being gang-raped identified on Tuesday the bus on which the attack took place as he testified in the trial of five adults accused of her murder.
The 28-year-old, confined to a wheelchair as a result of injuries sustained in the attack, confirmed that a white bus was the vehicle on which the deadly assault took place on December 16, his father said. Read
17:41 J-K girl band: Don't know if music is anti Islam:
Members of the girl band also told CNN IBN that everything was going fine till the fatwa was issued after which they were forced to disband. "We don't know if music is anti Islam, but we respect the grand mufti's decision," a member of the Pragaash said.
17:39 Girl band: Sad we can't pursue music in Kashmir:
Band members of the all-girl music band Pragaash from Jammu and Kashmir told CNN IBN that they don't need government security and while it was good to know that action was taken against those who threatened, they had decided to disband. They said they were sad they couldn't t pursue music in the state. They also said they did not quit because of the threats they received on Facebook.
The J&K police filed an FIR against online abusers of the all-girl music band Pragaash, said sources. The police action came after an SMS threat was circulated against the all-girl band. The rock band was forced to disband after a fatwa was issued against them on Monday from the J&K Grand Mufti.
An angry chief minister Omar Abdullah told CNN-IBN that the fatwa is against spirit of Kashmiriyat and promised full security to the girls if they wish to continue singing.
17:06 Intellectuals, Cong protest delay on Park Street rape case:
Intellectuals joined by Congress leaders today protested the 'failure' of the Mamata Banerjee government to resolve the Park Street rape case which took place exactly a year ago, with a procession stopped by the police.
The protestors held placards reading 'Justice delayed is justice denied', 'Government answer why charge sheet has not been filed', 'Delhi rape case trial has begun, why not Park street rape case even after one year?' The procession which was headed for the Park Street Police Station was stopped by the police at the Chowringee crossing drawing criticism from the protestors.
16:42 NO jail for Kejriwal, next hearing on February 23 :
Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will not be arrested, rules a Delhi court. The next hearing is on February 23. In August last year, Kejriwal and his associates led a demonstration towards Dr Manmohan Singh's home demanding his resignation over an alleged coal scam in violation of Section 144 of the IPC.
16:39 Haryana teen raped, pushed from roof, paralysed waist down:
Till a few months ago, the girl lying now in a hospital in Haryana's Panipat district walked to school everyday. Now, she is paralyzed below the waist.Her family says that it was only two weeks ago that she was able to explain what happened. In September, they allege, she was called to her neighbour's house. She alleges that he raped her and then threw her from the roof. More
16:32 Mumbai cheapest city, Tokyo most expensive :
Mumbai and Karachi were the joint cheapest locations in the annual EIU cost of living index, followed by New Delhi, Kathmandu and Algiers. Tokyo, by the way, is the most expensive city in the world. Read
16:19 2G scam: JPC report after Budget session :
CBI officers are set to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee looking into the 2G scam on February 12. The JPC is in the process of completing the gathering of evidence, JPC chairman PC Chacko told our sources in Delhi.
The evidence will be verified with telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar on February 12, said Chacko and the report will be drafted thereafter and submit its report before end of the Budget session of Parliament.
Attorney General Ghoolam Vahanavati deposed before JPC today and said the controversial press note issued by telecom department was amended after it was shown to him.
16:04 Hostels for girls if they take care of their security: Minister:
In a controversial statement that is likely to raise hackles of women groups, a minister in Madhya Pradesh has said girls seeking hostel facility should get a written undertaking from their parents that they will take care of their security. "Girls might face problems if they stay alone.
In view of this, girl students and their parents have to give in writing that they will take care of their security and then only the government will decide to build hostels for them as well," Madhya Pradesh Tribal and Scheduled Caste Welfare Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah said.
15:37 Zeenat Aman to marry 36-year-old businessman from Mumbai?:
Yesteryear Bollywood superstar Zeenat Aman is planning to tie the knot with a 36-year-old business man from Mumbai. The 60-year-old actress, whos mother to two sons in
their 20s, is all set to inspire many Indian ladies to take bold
decisions when it comes to being happy.
The Hare Rama Hare Krishna star, who married late
actor Mazhar Khan in 1985, recently revealed that she is much happier
now and is feeling younger again thanks to her new beau.
15:17 Bail or jail for Arvind Kejriwal? Order at 4.30 pm:
Arvind Kejriwal tweets: Judge will pronounce his order at 4.30 pm.
Here's the backgrounder: Arvind Kejriwal and other members of his political party have said they would rather go to jail than ask for bail in a case that accuses them of defying police orders to protest at the Prime Minister's house in Delhi in August.
"We confess to violating Section 144," said Kejriwal in court. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code bans groups larger than five from gathering as a precaution for maintaining law and order. More
14:30 Obama stands firm on gun control despite long odds:
President Barack Obama declared on a campaign-style trip to promote gun control that a consensus is emerging for universal background checks for buyers, though he conceded a tough road lay ahead to pass an assault weapons ban over formidable opposition in Congress.
The president unveiled his gun-control plans last month after the shootings at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. But many of the proposals face tough opposition from some in Congress and from the National Rifle Association.
"We should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines," Obama said in a brief speech yesterday, standing firm on his full package on gun-control measures despite long odds. Such a ban "deserves a vote in Congress because weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers."
14:05 Delhi rape: Friend arrives in wheelchair to testify:
The companion of the 23-year-old medical student who died after being gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi was to begin giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of five adults accused of her murder, his father said.The 28-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, arrived at the sessions court in New Delhi in a wheelchair, according to an AFP correspondent, and was expected to be the first prosecution witness to testify. More
13:54 Man arrested for posting cartoons of PM, Sibal, Mulayam on FB:
A man in Agra has been arrested for "communal and inflammatory" posts on social networking site Facebook targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal and Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, police said Tuesday.
Sanjay Chowdhary, a resident of the Dayalbagh suburb of Agra, was arrested late Monday and his laptop, sim card and data card impounded. Read more
13:50 Auditors estimate higher losses at Kingfisher; flag-off issues:
Auditors of debt-ridden Kingfisher Airlines today said that the carrier's third-quarter net loss would have been much higher at Rs 1,090 crore, had it followed "generally accepted accounting standards" in realisation of aircraft-related costs, taxation and loans.
For the third quarter ended December 31, 2012, Kingfisher today reported a net loss of Rs 755.17 crore -- a sharp increase of 70 per cent from Rs 444.26 crore in the year-ago quarter.
The grounded airline did not report any revenue for the quarter, as against Rs 1,367.71 crore in the third quarter of previous fiscal. Kingfisher Airlines, part of liquor baron Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, had last posted a quarterly profit in October- December period of 2006 (Rs 9.6 crore), while it has never posted a profit on full-year basis.
13:46 How to get noticed at office meetings (and not sound stupid):
Career tip from the WSJ: Office meetings are typically meant to provide an opportunity for employees to voice their ideas but not everyone feels comfortable participating.Meetings can be especially scary for younger employees, who aren't sure of themselves and worry that they might sound stupid. Read
13:40 J-K Highway closed for third day, 400 vehicles stranded:
Vehicular movement remained suspended on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for the third consecutive day today due to heavy snowfall and landslides, leaving over 400 vehicles and hundreds of passengers stranded.
"The highway was closed for traffic for the third day due to heavy snowfall and landslides at various places en route", police officials said. Over 400 vehicles, including 60 Light Motor Vehicles and mostly trucks, were stranded at various places on the highway at Banihal, Ramban, Patnitop, Kud and Udhampur areas due to closure of the highway, they said. Over 400 passengers are also stranded on the highway, they said.
13:30 Jailed Indian fishermen return home :
Twenty-nine Indian fishermen returned home this morning aboard an Emirates flight after a harrowing experience in an Iranian jail. Working on Qatar fishing boats, they had strayed in Iranian waters and consequently jailed since October 10 last year. -- Rediff.com's Ganesh Nadar
13:26 Cong tells BJP: Fantasy land is an addictive place:
Taking a dig at BJP President Rajnath Singh over his appeal to colleagues not to air opinions regarding the party's prime ministerial nominee, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today said such home remedies cannot treat "chronic delusionites".
Tewari made this comment in a early morning post on the social networking site Twitter. "Even Rajnath Singhji's home remedies can't treat the chronic delusionites his esteemed colleagues suffer from. Fantansyland is addictive place," Tewari said.
In a bid to put down partymen airing views on its prime ministerial candidate, the BJP President had yesterday issued a virtual gag order on the issue which was breached by two leaders from Bihar pitching for Narendra Modi.
13:17 Rape laws: Govt vs Verma Committee:
India recently passed an ordinance to strengthen its sexual-assault laws, but ignored some key suggestions made by a committee created to boost these laws. To know what they are, read this.
12:54 Sebi clears Diageo's open offer for United Spirits:
Moving closer to complete its Rs 11,167 crore takeover of majority stake in United Spirits, global liquor giant Diageo Plc has got market regulator Sebi's clearance for an open offer to acquire 26 per cent stake from public shareholders of the UB group firm.
As part of the deal for purchase of 53.4 per cent stake in Vijay Mallya-led UB group's United Spirits Ltd, Diageo has made a Rs 5,441 crore open offer for purchase of 26 per cent stake in the company from non-promoter shareholders.
The open offer, which was made about three months ago soon after the deal announcement on November 9, has been now cleared by Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) after numerous clarifications sought by the regulator and the subsequent representations made to it in this regard.
12:48 Ambassador Mulay is India's new consul general in US:
We are the first to tell you that Ambassador Mulay is now India's new consul general in New York. Dyaneshwar Mulay, who served as India's high commissioner to the Maldives during the coup which deposed President Mohammed Nasheed last year, is India's new consul general in New York.
Ambassador Mulay, who was born in a village (Latur) in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, is a rare diplomat with his origins in rural India.
A published author, Mulay succeeds Ambassador Prabhu Dayal who had an unusual four-and-a-half year term as consul general in New York.
12:44 Sujata Singh likely to become new foreign secretary:
Sujata Singh, India's ambassador to Germany, is Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai's likely successor when he retires in July.
She will be the third lady ForSec, after Chokila Iyer and Nirupama Rao.
Married to the gentle Ambassador Sanjay Singh, currently Secretary, East, at the ministry of external affairs, Singh is the daughter of TV Rajeshwar, the former Intelligence Bureau director and ex-governor of Uttar Pradesh.
A Tamil Nadu native, Singh will be the fourth consecutive South Indian ForSec -- after Shiv Shankar Menon, the current National Security Advisor, Nirupama Rao, currently India's Ambassador to the United States, and Ranjan Mathai, who are all Malayalis.
12:42 Market regulator Sebi clears Diageo's open offer for United Spirits; paves way for Rs 11,167 cr takeover deal.
12:38 Market regulator Sebi clears Diageo's open offer for United Spirits; paves way for Rs 11,167 cr takeover deal.
12:32 Malala Yousafzai's message to the world...:
The message that is being televised across news channels: Malala Yousafzai says "I want every girl to be educated."
When the world heard about what happened to Malala, we came together in solidarity and support. This was not a random act. This was a targeted attack on a girl who was speaking in her own voice and on behalf of so many for a basic human right -- the right to go to school, to learn, to visualize and pursue the future she saw for herself. More
12:23 Delhi rape: What might happen to the juvenile:
Since the Dec. 16 gang rape on a moving bus in Delhi, there has been much debate about what happens to a 17-year-old male if he is found by a juvenile court to have participated in the crime. Read more
11:59 Kashmir girl band: J&K cops register case against online abusers:
The Jammu and Kashmir police has registered a case and identified several Facebook users who had posted abusive and threatening messages on the page of the only all-girls rock band of the Valley.
"A case under Section 66 A of the IT Act and Section 506 RPC (Criminal Intimidation) has been registered in police station Rajbagh with regard to the hate messages posted on the Facebook page of the Pragaash band," a police spokesman said today. He said the investigations are in full swing but refused to give any details. However, an official associated with the investigation said police have been able to identify at least six persons who had posted hate messages with the help of experts from the cyber crime cell.
"So far half a dozen Facebook users who had posted hate messages have been identified while efforts are on to identify the others," the official said on the condition of anonymity. He said the Facebook page of the band had received a large number of posts -- mostly critical -- and it would take some time to sift through all of them.
11:55 Will NOT apply for bail, says Kejriwal:
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who will appear before a
court for breaching prohibitory orders while protesting outside the
residences of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President
Sonia Gandhi in August last year, on Tuesday said he will not seek bail
and would prefer going to jail.
"We will not apply for bail, we respect the court order. On August
26, many of us had gone to gherao the house of Mrs. Gandhi (Sonia
Gandhi), the Prime Minister and Mr. Nitin Gadkari. And it was a peaceful
protest. There was no violence. We were moving peacefully when suddenly
the police started to baton charge us. They used tear gas, water
cannons etc. They imposed Section 144," Kejriwal told media outside the
Patiala House Court in Delhi.
11:50 No means NO: Without consent, sex is rape:
On consent for sex, the woman's word will be the last one.
Once the prosecution is able to prove that there was sexual intercourse in a wide-range of cases, the new sexual assault law requires the court to presume that the victim did not consent as claimed by the accused.
The law defines consent as an "unequivocal voluntary agreement" when the person by words, gestures or non-verbal communication communicates willingness. That the victim did not physically resist rape shall not be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity. Read more
11:41 Agni-VI all set to take shape:
Agni-VI with multiple nuclear warheads, which can reach targets 6,000 km away, is all set to be developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).Only in April last, it carried out the maiden launch of Agni-V, which has a range of more than 5,000 km. Read more
11:37 Did Iran really send a monkey to space? No, says US:
The United States has raised doubt over Iran's claim that it successfully returned a monkey from space, saying it is questionable that the animal survived, or if the flight happened at all.
State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said a lot of questions remained 'about whether the monkey that they reportedly sent up into space and reportedly came down was actually the same monkey, whether he survived.'
According to the Telegraph,
Iran has blamed the confusion on the state-run media for initially using a photo of a backup monkey.
11:28 Govt halves food rations for Olympic athletes:
Indias preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics are running on empty. The price monster has forced athletes training at the countrys premier sports facility on a crash diet and it is bound to affect their performance. With daily food money of Rs. 400 per athlete, authorities at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala are struggling to provide the countrys top sportspersons a diet that would enable them to take on the worlds best.
Juice intake has been halved, meat a source of protein, an essential for any athlete has made a hasty exit from the breakfast menu, quantity of milk and dry fruits, too, has been reduced. Read
the exclusive report on the Hindustan Times.
11:19 After keeping India in dark on dam, China promises no harm:
While on China, also read: China has assured India that the new hydropower dams it is planning to build on the Brahmaputra will not come in the way of flood control and environmental efforts for protecting the people and land across the border in the Indian northeast. More
11:17 China communicating with India on cross-border river issue:
A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Monday that China is maintaining "communication and cooperation" with India on the issue of a cross-border river and ensure that no negative impact is caused on the river's lower reaches.''
China has always taken a responsible attitude towards cross-border river development. China and India are maintaining communication and cooperation on the cross-border river issue," spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing.
''Hua's comments came in response to India's concerns about China's plans to build three hydropower stations on the middle reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, known as the Brahmaputra in India.-- Xinhua.
11:06 General winter cancels Rahul's Amethi tour :
Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi's Amethi tour has been cancelled due to bad weather. Heavy rains and hailstorm have lashed several parts of the National
Capital Region since Monday night due to western disturbances,
dampening the spirits of office-goers on Tuesday morning.
The palpable nip in the air coupled with a modest spell of rain left the streets drenched.
rains and icy winds from the north after a fresh spell of snowfall is
likely to bring down the temperatures further in Delhi.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway has also been closed for the second day today due to heavy snowfall.
10:56 'Lt Gen Shahid Aziz's memoir more of an apology':
Pakistan Army's Lieutenant General (Retired) Shahid Aziz's memoir is creating waves in India due to its revelations about the Kargil War, but not everyone is impressed by what the former ISI spy has to say.
In his review of the book, Zahid Hussain states that the book is more of an apology and that too a hypocritical one.
10:46 Girl band gets threats: JK police file FIR:
The Jammu and Kashmir police have filed a charge-sheet against the online abusers of the first all-girl band in the valley.
The FIR was filed after the band received severe flak from members of social networking sites and threats via SMS.
10:15 Rains and hailstorm lash Delh:
Heavy rains and hailstorm have lashed several parts of the National Capital Region since Monday night due to western disturbances, dampening the spirits of office-goers on Tuesday morning.
The palpable nip in the air coupled with a modest spell of rain left the streets drenched.
The rains and icy winds from the north after a fresh spell of snowfall is likely to bring down the temperatures further in Delhi.
10:13 Arvind Kejriwal to appear in court today:
Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal will appear in a Delhi court today.
He is facing charges of breaching the prohibitory orders imposed near the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in August last year while protesting the coalgate scam.
Kejriwal's aides and fellow members of his Aam Aadmi Party Manish Sisodia and Prashant Bhushan will also appear in court with him.
They are all facing charges of rioting, unlawful assembly and obstructing public servants.
"I will not apply for bail. I will respect the court's order," Kejriwal had said earlier.
10:12 Suryanelli rape case: It is a conspiracy, says Kurien:
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who has been named in the Suryanelli gang rape case, has claimed that he is innocent.
The victim has named him as one of the 42 men who had raped her.
The Congress MP claimed that this was part of a political conspiracy against him.
09:41 Trial in Delhi gang rape case starts: The trial in the Delhi gang rape case started in a fast-track court in the city today.
The five accused in the gang rape case are being tried together while the sixth accused -- a juvenile -- will be tried separately.
The Delhi police have filed a supplementary charge-sheet in court.
08:47 Will ensure protection for all girl band: Omar:
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday assured the first all-girl band from Kashmir that the state government would provide adequate security to them to protect them from the many fundamentalist elements which had slammed their performance.
However, Abdullah added that it was up to the band's members to decide whether they wanted to continue performing.
The all girls band had received wide-spread condemnation from various Islamic leaders in the Valley and conservative sections of the society after they performed at a music festival in Srinagar recently.
08:38 Delhi gang rape trial starts today:
The trial in the Delhi gang rape case will start in a fast-track court in the city today.
The five accused in the gang rape case will be tried together while the sixth accused -- a juvenile -- will be tried separately.
The six men had brutally gang-raped a 23-year-old student in a moving bus in Delhi on December 19. The grievously injured victim later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital in Singapore.
08:34 It is time to do something: Obama on gun violence:
Hitting the road once again in his trademark style, US President Barack Obama has said it is "time to do something" to prevent the kind of deadly shooting incidents that has been happening in the country.
"We don't have to agree on everything to agree it's time to do something. That's my main message here today. And each of us has a role to play," Obama said in his address to a public meeting in Minneapolis on Monday.
Obama has always hit the road and addressed people to garner support for his view point whenever he has been opposed by the Congress or when he hits a road block at the Hill.
04:15 Afghan, Pakistan leaders set timetable to end war:
The Afghan and Pakistani leaders on Monday agreed to seek a six-month timeline to reach a peace settlement with the Taliban, the first concrete target set for the long-sputtering reconciliation process.
The announcement, made after talks hosted in Britain by Prime Minister David Cameron, is the latest effort in an international push to end the Afghan war.
The talks between Mr. Cameron, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, follow December meetings in France between the Taliban and top Afghan politicians. Those were the first talks conducted by sanctioned representatives of both sides.
04:12 Small plane crashes in southeast Brazil killing 5 :
Police said a twin-engine plane crashed into a soybean plantation in southeastern Brazil killing all five people aboard. Officer Alexandre Alves de Oliveira of the Candido Mota police department says the six-seat Beechcraft King Air C-90 executive jet was flying to the city of Sao Paulo when it crashed yesterday night.
02:25 UN considers lifting Somalia arms embargo:
The UN chief is asking the Security Council to consider lifting the 20-year-old international arms embargo on Somalia, so that country's fragile army can import weapons to more effectively fight off al-Qaeda-linked militants, al-Shabab.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in a report to the UN Security Council that enhanced measures are "urgently needed to develop the Somali National Security Force." "There remain elements, both inside and outside the country, that are opposed to" Somalia's new, more stable government.
"These spoilers will seize any opportunity to reverse the gains made so painstakingly in the peace process. We must continue to stay alert and deny then the space they seek," Ban wrote.
02:24 Panetta, general to testify on Libya attack:
The Senate Armed Services Committee says Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will testify on Thursday about the deadly assault on the US Consulate in Libya last September.
The September 11 attack in Benghazi killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Republicans have pressed for Obama administration officials to testify on the raid. Hillary Rodham Clinton, then secretary of state, defended the administration in her appearance last month.
01:38 Obama takes gun push on the road:
President Obama is taking his plan to overhaul the nation's gun laws on the road today to Minneapolis, Minn., a Democratic-leaning state that exemplifies the complexities of reducing gun violence.
The president is expected to highlight the strides the city, once nicknamed "Murder-apolis," has made to stem gun violence, including a push for stricter background checks for gun owners and efforts to prevent people with mental health issues from acquiring a gun.
The city "has taken important steps to reduce gun violence and foster a conversation in the community about what further action is needed," according to the White House.
01:31 22 Asian workers killed in road accident in UAE:
In the worst accident in the history of the UAE, at least 22 people were killed on-the-spot and 24 others injured today when a bus carrying Asian labourers collided with a truck carrying construction materials during busy hours.
"Twenty-two people were dead at the scene and the bodies were taken to Al-Ain Hospital. There were 24 others injured, and their injuries ranged from minor and moderate to serious," Brig Gen Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, Director of Abu Dhabi Traffic Police said. Till late in the evening, Indian embassy sources could not confirm or deny whether any Indian was among those dead or injured.
01:13 Syrian opposition chief renews dialogue offer:
The leader of Syria's main opposition group called Monday on President Bashar Assad to respond to his overture for a dialogue to save the country from complete destruction.
Mouaz al-Khatib, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, said he is extending his hand "to facilitate the peaceful departure" of the regime and called on Assad to begin releasing tens of thousands of political prisoners as a precondition.
00:34 Castro: Venezuela's Chavez health improving:
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is getting "much better" as he recovers from cancer surgery almost two months ago in Havana, Communist Party newspaper Granma reported on Monday.
Castro, 86, spoke to reporters as he voted on Sunday in Cuba's parliamentary elections in one of his increasingly rare public appearances.He said he gets daily reports on the condition of Chavez, who is Cuba's top socialist ally and benefactor.
00:20 Malala speaks out after surgery:
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, spoke publicly for the first time today since she was attacked last October, saying in a video statement that she was recovering and thanked everyone for her "second life".
"It does not feel like I had a very big operation," she said in a short video statement, recorded yesterday just after her latest five-hour surgery to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
In another message recorded before her surgery and released today, the 15-year-old said, "Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone and...I am getting better day by day. It's just because of the prayers of people."