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Disturbing & regressive: Amnesty on Guru's hanging

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February 09, 2013

21:53  YouTube banned in Egypt over anti-Islam film:  
An Egyptian court today ordered blocking of video-sharing website YouTube for a month for hosting an anti-Islam film that triggered deadly outrage across the Muslim world last year.

After a complaint by an Egyptian who accused YouTube of being a "threat to social peace" by putting the US-made film 'Innocence of Muslims' online, the administrative court ruled the authorities must take measures to block access to the site
for a month. 

The verdict also applies to any website that aided in the sharing of the 13-minute film. 

The low-production movie deemed offencive to Islam sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the world in which more than 30 people were killed. Today's ruling is the first in cases related to the movie as several more await court verdicts.
20:59  Drought this year is worse than in 1972: Maharashtra CM:  
Stating that the drought in the state this year is more severe than that of 1972, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today asked Congress workers to reach out to the people and inform them about the government's efforts to bring relief.

"This year's drought is more severe than the one faced in 1972. It is serious because there is acute shortage of water," Chavan said at a state-level meeting of the party functionaries here.

Water from irrigation projects was being used for drinking purpose, he said.

Party workers should visit drought-affected regions and inform the people about the measures taken by the government, he said. "I appeal workers to wipe tears of drought-affected people... We will have to reach out to the people by showing them the work we have done as promised in the manifesto."

Dabhol power plant in the state was close to shut-down as gas supply from Andhra Pradesh had stopped; while, due to falling water-level in Jaikwadi dam, the Parli power plant has been badly affected, he said.
20:56  Survey: BJP may win power in Rajasthan:   According to a survey conducted in Rajasthan, the BJP may win between 110 and 115 seats in the assembly election, scheduled for later this year. The Congress party, which currently rules the state, may win between 65 and 70 seats. It's early days yet; the election is not likely till the winter. You can read the report here:
19:45  One dead, 650,000 without power in US blizzard:  
A massive blizzard that dumped as much as 3 feet of snow in some parts of northeastern US is heading out to sea, as workers across New York and New England struggle to get airports, trains and highways back online.

The snowstorm, a product of two converging weather systems, left at least one man dead and knocked out power for nearly 650,000 customers in the Northeast.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to continue swirling across New England into Saturday with gusts up to 40 mph in cities including Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston. Most of the heavy snow will taper off later in the afternoon, they said.

Three of New York's busiest airports resumed limited service Saturday morning, while travelers at Logan International Airport in Boston still faced flight cancellations.
19:43  China protests citizen's rape in India:  
China has lodged a strong protest with the Indian authorities after a Chinese woman was raped in Delhi recently.

Beijing has also asked Delhi to protect "the security, legal rights and privacy of the victim" and punish the accused.

An Indian man has been arrested and remanded in custody, police say. The foreign ministry said "local officials are handling the issue".

There has been outrage in India after the fatal gang rape of a young woman on a Delhi bus in December.

The 23-year-old Chinese woman was raped on 30 January, but she did not file a police complaint until earlier this week, reports said.

She had met the accused at a party in the city not long ago, they said.

The Chinese embassy in Delhi has warned its citizens, especially women, to be alert at all times and avoid going out alone in Delhi, China's official news agency Xinhua reported.
19:05  Mamata paints for bauls at 'Mati Utsav':  
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today took up the brush and canvas for bauls (folk singers) to help them by selling her paintings and announced a package of development programmes for them. 

"I will donate the sale proceeds of these paintings for helping poor baul singers who have been neglected over the years," the chief minister said inaugurating 'Mati Utsav' (Earth Festival) here in Burdwan district near Durgapur. 

The chief minister was accompanied in her efforts by painters Jogen Chowdhury and Suvaprasanna and in the presence of 86-year-old social activist Mahashweta Devi.

The chief minister announced that baul songs and the percussion instruments used by them like 'madal' and 'dhol' be used in government campaigns and advertisements for creating social awareness.

"This will help the baul singers in their economic distress to some extent and ensure effectiveness of government campaigns and advertisements," she said. 
18:26  Ramdev hails Afzal hanging, wants mercy pleas scrapped:  
Welcoming the execution of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev on Saturday urged the government to take swift decision on all mercy petitions involving terrorists and rapists.

"Though the government has taken the decision very late, but I welcome his hanging and demand that the government must take a final call regarding all the mercy petitions of the terrorists and rapists. Even I think that except any extra-ordinary case, the government should scrap the provision of mercy petitions," he said.

Ramdev, however, said that a decision to hang Afzal Guru should have been taken much earlier, and added that this move would have taught a tough lesson to the anti-national forces.
18:12  Demand for ban on films should be challenged: Kamal Haasan:  
Actor-director Kamal Haasan has said that demanding ban on films is becoming a trend, which should be challenged, and he is sure people will do it. 

The film maker whose magnum opus Vishwaroopam was finally released in Tamil Nadu this week after he made truce with some Muslim outfits which had opposed it, said films like Kadal and Aadhi Bhagavan are facing "problems" in his state.

"It is becoming a trend. It should be challenged. If not by the Government, the people will do it", he told reporters in Bengaluru.

In this context, he noted that while it's understandable that the film fraternity and media stood by him vis-a-vis Vishwaroopam, it had "suddenly become a common cause" with the commonman also asking whether he "deserved all this"
(opposition to the movie). 
18:06  Disturbing & regressive: Amnesty on Guru's hanging:  Amnesty International has strongly condemned the 'top-secret' hanging of Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail on Saturday morning.

A press release by the human rights organisation stated, "Today's execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru indicates a disturbing and regressive trend towards executions shrouded in secrecy and the resumption of death penalty use in India".

"We condemn the execution in the strongest possible terms. This very regrettably puts India in opposition to the global trends towards moving away from the death penalty," said Shashikumar Velath, programmes director at Amnesty International India.
18:03  New York snowed under:  Sreenath Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Columbia University, has just tweeted this image of the New York skyline, a photograph taken from his 28th storeyed apartment;
17:53  Mumbai on high alert after Afzal Guru's hanging :  An alert has been sounded and extensive security measures taken across Mumbai by the city police in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in the national capital, police said today.        

All the police stations in the city were asked to remain alert and patrolling has been intensified.        

"Deputy police commissioners have been instructed to remain present in their areas," they said.
17:51  PUCL condemns Afzal Guru's hangin:  People's Union of Civil Liberties today condemned the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and alleged that there were 'political considerations' behind the step.        

"The tearing hurry with which Afzal Guru was hanged, accompanied by the flouting of all established norms by not giving his family their legal right to meet him before taking him to the gallows, indicates that there were political considerations behind taking this step," an official statement said.
17:35  Got a briefing by home ministry on Friday: Omar:  A correspondent reports from Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has revealed that he was given a briefing about Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging by the home ministry on Friday evening, but was urged to keep all the information under wraps till the execution took place.
17:33  Arunachal, Assam worried about China's dams:  Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have drawn the attention of the Centre for steps to neutralise the impact of the three dams proposed to be built by China on river Tsangpho, known as Siang in Arunachal and Brahmaputra in Assam.        

"We have no objection to China building dams but the life of the people which sustain on the flow of Brahmaputra since ages should not be affected by the dams," Arunachal Pradesh Water Resources Development minister Newlai Tingkhatra, flanked by his Assam counterpart Rajib Lochan Pegu, told reporters on Saturday.  
16:59  'Though belated Justice has been done':  Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee, when Parliament was attacked by terrorists on December 13, 2001, on the Afzal Guru execution:
16:25  Iftikaar Geelani detained, released later:  Iftikaar Geelani, the son-in-law of Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was detained along with his wife in Delhi on Saturday morning.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani was also put under house arrest in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

While Iftikaar was released after his detention triggered a furor, his wife is still being held, according to some media reports.
16:22  London: Sikh Woman charged in Brar attack case :  A 38-year-old Sikh woman has been charged in connection with the attack on 1984 Operation Blue Star hero K S Brar in London last September, taking to four the number of people accused in the case.        

"Harjit Kaur appeared in custody at the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday, charged with wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm on Lieutenant-General K S Brar," a Metropolitan police spokesperson said.
16:21  Hanging Guru a good decision: Ajmer Dargah head:  The religious head of Ajmer Dargah has welcomed the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, terming it as a "very good decision".        

"This is a very good decision but it should have been taken earlier. It was necessary to send a message across to the world that India is tough against terrorism," said Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, Diwan of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti's shrine.        

"The government should take such bold and legal steps well in time to give a message that the country has zero tolerance for terrorism," he said.   
15:17  K'taka releases Cauvery water to TN amid protests:  Complying with the Supreme Court directive, Karnataka today commenced release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, even as the BJP government's action came in for sharp criticism from opposition parties and triggered protests. 

"As per the Supreme Court order, we have decided to release water", Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar said, defending the decision. 

In an attempt to douse protests by farmers outfits, he said, "We will file a review petition before the Supreme Court on Monday" against its order directing Karnataka to release 2.44 tmc ft of water to Tamil Nadu to save its standing samba crop. 

Irrigation authorities said about 1,250 cusecs of water was being released from this morning from the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir.
15:15  Congress mulling LS elections in 2013, says Naidu:  The Congress leadership is mulling holding Lok Sabha elections in this year itself after the end of the monsoon session of Parliament, BJP leader M Venkiah Naidu said today. 

"We have reports that the Congress leadership is thinking of early elections to the Lok Sabha and they may be held in 2013 after the end of the monsoon session (of Parliament). That's the reliable information we have got," Naidu told reporters in Chennai.
14:58  RSS welcomes execution of Afzal Guru :  RSS today welcomed the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru though it came after some delay and insisted that all Indians should rise above their differences to oppose terrorism unitedly.       

"We welcome the implementation, albeit after a delay, of the Supreme Court order to hang Afzal Guru, the principal conspirator of the Parliament House attack of 2001. The central government should have taken this decision earlier," RSS All-India propaganda chief Manmohan Vaidya said.
14:56  Kashmir: 2 hurt in protests against Guru's hanging:  At least two people were injured today in action by security forces in north Kashmir's Baramulla district when local residents came out to protest the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.        

While Bilal Ahmad Gojri injured his thigh after being hit by a teargas shell during protests at Azadgunj in Baramulla town, Firdous Ahmad was hit by a bullet in the arm at Doabgahin Sopore area -- the hometown of Guru -- of the district, official sources said.        

The injured were shifted to a city hospital where their condition is stated to be stable, they said.
14:09  Kashmir: Violence in Sopore:  Violence was reported from Sopore in southern Kashmir on Saturday afternoon, in the wake of the hanging of Afzal Guru.

Curfew was imposed across the valley which remained tense.
14:07  Protesters beaten up by Bajrang Dal at Jantar Mantar:  A correspondent from Delhi reports: A group of protesters are being beaten by the goons of the Bajrang Dal at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. 

Police officers standing nearby are watching the incident and not taking any action to stop it.
13:31  'Family, lawyers not informed about Guru's hanging':  The legal team representing Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on Saturday claimed that they had not been informed about his hanging.

They claimed that Guru's family members had not been informed about the execution either, adding that his family members were not being allowed to meet each other.
13:24  Moderate Hurriyat announces 4-day mourning:  Moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq today announced four-day mourning for the death of Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged this morning following his conviction in the Parliament attack case. 

"We call on people to observe four-day mourning on the hanging of Guru. A complete shutdown will be observed over the mourning period," Shahidul Islam, spokesman of the amalgam, said.

The Hurriyat also demands the immediate return of the mortal remains of Guru so that he can be given a burial according to his family's wishes and as per Islamic rituals, the spokesman said.
13:18  Law of the land has taken its course: CPM:  Law of the land has taken its course in the 2001 Parliament attack case, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said today, reacting to the execution of Mohammed Afzal Guru. 

"I think, the law of the land with all its provisions has finally been completed as far as the Afzal Guru case and the attack on the Indian Parliament is concerned," CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

He also said there are two more cases in which law has to take its course -- the assassination cases of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. 

"...Justice should be delivered in these cases. They should also reach their due course," Yechury said. 
12:57  Execution has sent out strong message: Congress:  The Congress party today said the message of "zero tolerance" against terrorism has been sent through the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, on the heels of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab's hanging. 

Party spokesman Rashid Alvi said, "After Independence, two major acts of terror have taken place in the country -- the attack on Parliament and the Mumbai terror strikes, and those who were responsible for both have been hanged." 

Kasab was hanged in Pune's Yerawada jail on November 21 last year. "We have sent the message to the world that we cannot tolerate terrorism at any cost. If anybody tries to commit (any act of terror), he will be punished. People of our country and government have zero tolerance against terrorism," Rashid said.
12:54  S A R Geelani arrested in Delhi :  Vicky Nanjappa reports: The Delhi police on Saturday picked up Professor S A R Geelani in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru at Tihar Jail. 

When contacted, Geelani, speaking from the police vehicle, said, "The police do not want me to be out at this moment".
12:49  Geelani, Mirwaiz under house arrest in Delhi:  Hurriyat leaders Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani have been placed under house arrest in Delhi.

The house arrests took place in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in Tihar Jail on Saturday morning.

The Hurriyat Conference, led by Geelani and Mirwaiz, has strongly condemned the hanging of Guru.

A curfew has been imposed across Kashmir.
12:23  'Not sure if Sonia, Rahul knew about Guru's hanging':   Minister of State for Home RPN Singh has reiterated that the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was not a political move.

In an interview to TV channel CNN-IBN, Singh said that the government had "responded decisively to terror".

When queried if Congress president Sonia Gandhi or vice president Rahul Gandhi were informed about Guru's execution, Singh said he was not sure.

On why the body of Guru was not allowed to be taken outside Tihar Jail, Singh said, "There were certain issues with that".
12:04  Cricket World Cup unveiled:   Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with the cricket World Cup. Australia and New Zealand will host the 2015 World Cup, which India will defend. Gillard tweeted a picture this morning:
11:53  13 questions for December 13:  A link from asking 13 questions about the attack on Parliament:
11:43  Afzal Guru buried in Tihar jail:  Afzal Guru, who was hanged on Saturday morning, has been buried inside the Tihar jail complex, prison officials said.
11:42  Omar informed on Friday evening:  Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde informed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah at 8 pm on Friday that Afzal Guru would be hanged in Tihar jail on Saturday morning since the President had rejected his mercy petition. Meanwhile,  Rahul Pandita, the author of a well-received recent book on Kashmiri Pandits, says the police were on the streets of Srinagar as early as 2 am on Saturday.
11:37  Please don't play politics with Guru's execution: Digvijaya:  Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday slammed the BJP for "politicising" the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

"I urge the opposition to not politicise each and every issue," said Singh.

He was responding to the saffron party's contention that the Congress seemed to have politically timed the execution.
11:20  Guns, ghazals and gallows:   A week or so before his execution, The Week magazine published a cover story on Afzal Guru which you can read here:
11:05  Army not called in, please stay calm: J&K CM:  Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday declared that the state government has taken every possible precaution in all districts of the state to deal with the fallout of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

Abdullah confirmed that he had been informed on Friday evening about Guru's execution.

"The hanging took place after every kind of legal formality was completed," said Abdullah.

He added that the army had not yet been called in to manage the tense situation in the valley.

Abdullah also urged people of the valley not to listen to rumours and people with vested interests. He also urged them to not allow the situation to go out of control.
10:29  Tihar jail official says Afzal Guru met his death calmly:  Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged this morning, walked to the gallows in a peaceful and composed frame of mind. 

"He was very peaceful and calm during the final moments. He looked very composed," a top Tihar jail official said.
10:28  'Afzal was calm during his final moments':  Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged on Saturday morning, walked to the gallows in a peaceful and composed frame of mind. 

"He was very peaceful and calm during the final moments. He looked very composed," a top Tihar Jail official said.
10:15  IB issues security alert across India:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: The Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence have advised all police stations across the country to remain on high alert. A general advisory warning of trouble in the wake of the Afzal Guru's hanging has been issued.

The advisory warns of possible infiltrations in the border areas especially in Kashmir valley.

The Military Intelligence report states that there are chances of problems erupting in Kashmir.

The Intelligence Bureau has advised all police chiefs to ensure that security is beefed up. 
10:14  Tihar informed family via SpeedPost!:  Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's family was informed about his hanging by the Tihar authorities through Speed Post and the Jammu and Kashmir government was taken into confidence before his execution, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said today. "The DG (Director General of Jammu and Kashmir police) has been told to check with the family whether they got it (the Speed Post!) or not," Singh told reporters, according to PTI.
10:07  Afzal Guru will be buried in Tihar:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: Afzal Guru's body will be buried on the Tihar jail premises itself, according to Delhi police sources. Although there is a provision in the jail manual to permit family members to take his body and perform the funeral, permission would not be granted in this case. The family members will be asked if they would want to participate in the burial ceremony which will be performed in Tihar itself. A letter informing the family about his hanging will be issued in a while from now. The jail authorities will need at least a couple of hours to prepare for the burial. A doctor has already certified the death, sources say. 
09:53  Afzal Guru burial according to jail manual: home secretary:   President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the mercy petition of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 3, Union Home Secretary R K Singh said today. 

"The President rejected Afzal Guru's mercy petition on February 3 and after that we followed the jail manual and his hanging took place today," he told reporters in New Delhi. 

Asked about Afzal's burial, the Home Secretary said, "We will follow the jail manual and act according to the law."

Singh said with the hanging of Afzal Guru, the proceedings of the 2001 Parliament attack case have come to their logical conclusion. "Law and justice took its own course," he said.
09:45  IB issues security alert across India:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: The Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence have advised all police stations across the country to remain on high alert. A general advisory warning of trouble in the wake of the Afzal Guru's hanging has been issued.

The advisory warns of possible infiltrations in the border areas especially in Kashmir valley.

The Military Intelligence report states that there are chances of problems erupting in Kashmir.

The Intelligence Bureau has advised all police chiefs to ensure that security is beefed up. 
09:42  We congratulate the people of India: Shiv Sena:  Shiv Sena, which has been demanding Afzal Guru's hanging for a long time, on Saturday welcomed his execution.

The Sena said it would like to "congratulate the people of India and especially the opposition, which had stood united in its demand on this issue"
09:27  Narendra Modi: Better late than never:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's reaction to Afzal Guru's hanging on Twitter: Better late than never.
09:26  IB, Military Intel advise police to go on full alert:  Vicky Nanjappa reports that the Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence have advised all police stations across the country to remain on high alert. 

A general advisory warning of trouble in the wake of the Afzal Guru hanging has been issued. The advisory states warns of possible infiltration in the border areas, especially in the Kashmir valley.

The MI report states that there are chances of problems erupting in Kashmir and the situation could worsen in case the militants join.

The Intelligence Bureau has advised all police chiefs to step up law and order and ensure that security is high. Terrorist groups and pro-Afzal Guru supporters may try and disrupt law and order, the IB alert states.
09:25  Was Afzal Guru's family informed?:   A major controversy seems to be brewing about whether Afzal Guru's family was informed about the hanging.

Some senior lawyers slammed the Union government's reported decision to not inform Guru's family to keep the execution plans under wraps.

Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee, on the other hand, has said that it is not mandatory to inform a death row convict's family about his execution.
09:22  Much awaited: BJP on Afzal Guru's hanging:  The Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the hanging of Afzal Guru, stating that it was a "much awaited" move.

09:21  Security alert declared in Maharashtra:  A security alert has been declared in Maharashtra in the wake of Afzal Guru's hanging. Security has been beefed up at all sensitive locations across Mumbai.
09:20  Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar that the authorities have ordered the cable operators in Kashmir to suspend their operation immediately following the hanging of Afzal Guru.
09:20  Tight security vigil enforced across Delhi:  A tight security vigil was put in place across Delhi today to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.        

All the police stations in the city were put on high alert, police sources said.        Additional deployment of forces has been made in minority dominated areas across the city, they said.        

Patrolling is being intensified in crowded market areas, railway stations and bus terminals as part of efforts to tighten security.        
09:17   Professor S A R Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, told's Vicky Nanjappa that he is shocked and devastated with the manner in which Afzal Guru has been hanged. "It is nothing but sheer mobocracy and the procedure has not been followed," Professor Geelani said. "It is completely illegal -- under the protocol they were bound to inform the family. Afzal Guru's wife, who had filed a mercy petition, is still not aware of what has happened. Don't you think she should have been told about this? A mercy petition is subject to judicial review and nothing of this sort has happened in this case. What was the need to hurry it up like this? All through Afzal Guru was denied a fair trial and this has been proven in his last moments too."
09:16  The Afzal Guru mercy petition:   In 2007, the Amiya and B G Rao Foundation had published The Afzal Petition: A Quest for Justice. A British Web site had posted it, here:
09:16  Afzal Guru's hanging will derail Kashmir peace: SAR Geelani:  Professor S A R Geelani, who was acquitted in the Parliament attack case, spoke to's Vicky Nanjappa about Afzal Guru's hanging, here's an excerpt from what he said:

"Afzal Guru's hanging is surely going to derail peace in Kashmir. There are bound to be issues over there. Look at the judgment in this case. He could not afford a good lawyer and the court had appointed a junior lawyer despite protests. The verdict against him was only based on circumstantial evidence. It needed a review. The people of Kashmir know that an unjust trial has been carried out against him and hence there could be a major problem."

Catch the full report on soon.
09:12  Delhi comes under tight security cordon:  A tight security cordon has been put in place across Delhi today to ensure that no untoward incident take place in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. 

All the police stations in the city were put on high alert, police sources said. 

Additional deployment of forces has been made in minority-dominated areas across the city, they said. Patrolling is being intensified in crowded market areas, railway stations and bus terminals as part of efforts to tighten security. 
09:06  Ruling National Conference had sought clemency for Guru:  Mukhtar Ahmed points out from Srinagar that the ruling National Conference and other major political parties in Kashmir had earlier sought Presidential clemency for Afzal Guru, citing the sensitive situation in the Kashmir valley. 
08:58  Lawyer condemns govt for not informing Guru's wife:  Speaking to NDTV's Barkha Dutt on Saturday morning, senior Supreme Court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal condemned the manner in which the execution was conducted. 'Are we such a bloodthirsty nation?' she asked, condemning the way the government had not informed Afzal Guru's wife in advance about her husband's execution. 
08:50  Afzal Guru hanging, 29 years after Maqbool Butt's execution:   Afzal Guru's execution comes almost 29 years to the day after the Indira Gandhi government hanged Maqbool Bhat, the founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in Tihar jail on February 11, 1984. Separatists in the Kashmir valley had already called for a bandh on Monday, February 11, to mark Butt's death.
08:50  Tight security in Kashmir valley:   Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar:A valley-wide curfew was imposed early on Saturday morning. Police and paramilitary troops were deployed across Kashmir to maintain law and order following the hanging of Parliament attack convict, Afzal Guru in Tihar jail in New Delhi. Early on Saturday morning, police vehicles fitted with loudspeakers have been making rounds in various parts of Srinagar and other major towns announcing the imposition of curfew and asking residents to stay indoors. Security personnel in full riot gear have started patrolling Srinagar, barricading roads to restrict pedestrian and vehicular movement.Sources said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will arrive in Srinagar to oversee the law and order situation.
08:38  Hanged at 8 am:   The execution occurred at 8 am. He is likely to be buried in Tihar jail. Members of Afzal Guru's family were reportedly present when he was hanged.
08:22  President rejected mercy petition a few days ago:  
Afzal Guru's mercy petition was rejected a few days ago,
Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Venu Rajamony told PTI. The home ministry had recommended Afzal Guru's execution last month.
08:19  Afzal Guru hanged:  Afzal Guru, the fruit-seller from Sopore in the Kashmir valley, has been hanged in Tihar jail. 
08:02  Afzal Guru to be hanged:  Afzal Guru, who was sentenced to death in the December 13, 2001, attack on Parliament case, will be hanged in Tihar Jail today. The President rejected his mercy petition this week. Curfew has been imposed in all towns in the Kashmir valley, to prevent protests against the  execution. Guru is a resident of Sopore in Kashmir.
03:43  White House defends decision not to arm Syrian rebels:  The White House today said it had been motivated by considerations of shielding Syrian civilians, Israelis and its own security, when President Barack Obama nixed an administration plan to arm Syrian rebels. 

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said during a congressional hearing yesterday that he backed plans to arm and train vetted rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces, in an initiative also supported by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and ex-CIA chief David Petraeus. 

But White House spokesman Jay Carney argued today that the problem in Syria was not a lack of weapons, hinting that rebels were getting sufficient supplies from other regional powers and Assad was getting help from outsiders like Iran.
03:43  Protests turn to street clashes across Egypt:  Egyptian security forces backed by water cannons fired tear gas at rock-throwing protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday while demonstrators clashed with riot police in cities across the country in marches against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The protests are part of a wave of opposition-led demonstrations over the past two weeks that have frequently devolved into street clashes. The violence has left more than 70 people dead and hundreds wounded, and plunged the country into a fresh cycle of bloodshed and political turmoil.
02:53  Nigeria polio vaccinators shot dead in Kano:  Nine female polio vaccinators have been killed in two shootings at health centres in northern Nigeria, police have told the BBC.

In the first attack in Kano the polio vaccinators were shot dead by gunmen who drove up on a motor tricycle.Thirty minutes later gunmen targeted a clinic outside Kano city as the vaccinators prepared to start work.

Some Nigerian Muslim leaders have previously opposed polio vaccinations, claiming they could cause infertility.
02:06  US condemns recent violence in Egypt:  The US today strongly condemned the ongoing violence in Egypt, saying that it is extremely disturbed by the incidents in particular those against women. "We strongly condemn the recent violence and the attacks that have taken place in Egypt; that we are extremely disturbed by these incidents, including sexual assaults against women," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters. 

"We're also concerned that the violence is preventing women and others from coming out and expressing their views peacefully. And we have been urging the government of Egypt to thoroughly, credibly and independently investigate all claims of violence, all claims of wrongdoing, whether they're by security officials or by demonstrators," she said.
01:19  Kejriwal lambasts Goa's Lokayukta Act :  Aam Admi Party founder Arvind Kejriwal today lambasted the recently amended Goa Lokayukta Act alleging that chief minister Manohar Parrikar was "trying to protect corrupt people." "Parrikar is said to be an honest person. Then why is he trying to protect corrupt people," he observed while talking to reporters here today. 

"Manohar Parrikar is said to be an honest person. Why is he doing this? Why is he trying to protect corrupt people? What are the pressures on him? Is he giving a message that development is linked to corruption," Kejriwal asked. The anti-graft crusader appealed people of Goa to reject the act, which he alleged was amended to help the corrupt people go scot-free.
00:35  Blizzard begins to wallop northeastern US:  A blizzard blew into the northeastern United States on Friday, cutting short the workweek for millions who feared being stranded as state officials ordered roads closed ahead of what forecasters said could be record-setting snowfall.

Authorities scrambled to prepare for the storm, which had already resulted in a massive traffic pile-up in southern Maine and prompted organizers of the nation's sledding championship in Maine to postpone a race scheduled for Saturday, fearing too much snow for the competition.

From New York to Maine, the storm began gently, dropping a light dusting of snow, but officials urged residents to stay home, rather than risk getting stuck in deep drifts when the storm kicks up later Friday afternoon.
00:21  Hacked photos of Bush family goes online:  A hacker broke into the Bush family email accounts and accessed all their private family photographs along with their private emails. The Secret service has confirmed that it is investigating reports that a hacker broke into the email accounts of Bush family members and accessed private photos and messages between the former first family. 

Personal photos of Presidents George W Bush and George H W Bush were posted online after a hacker who calls himself 'Guccifer' breached the accounts of multiple Bush family members.
00:21  Tharoor takes dig at politicos for resisting bill on education:  Minister of state for HRD Shashi Tharoor today took a dig at politicians resisting passage of bills relating to education in Parliament, saying some are in that business and so tend to resist reforms "that might threaten their privileges." "Some of the bills have been held up by their resistance. And lets be very blunt. Many of our politicians are in the education business and tend to resist reform measures that might threaten their privileges," he said. 

Tharoor said he was referring to bills already vetted and just need to be introduced (in Parliament) and voted. But there was not enough time due to frequent disruptions, he said.
00:20  Another quake strikes off Solomon Islands:  Another earthquake, this one reading7.0 on the Richter scale, hit off the Solomon Islands, thelatest massive aftershock following a 8.0-magnitude quakewhich sparked a tsunami three days ago, US seismologists said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 2:26A.M. (1526 GMT) near the Santa Cruz Islands, which are part ofthe Solomons, at a depth of 26km.

As with an earlier major aftershock initially measured at 7.1 but later revised down to 6.8-magnitude, the quake was notexpected to generate a widespread tsunami, the Pacific TsunamiWarning Centre said.
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