23:52 Two Tibetans self-immolate in China: Rights groups:
Two more Tibetans have died after setting themselves ablaze in China, Western rights groups said today, the latest in a string of self-immolations carried out in protest against Chinese rule.
The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and London-based Free Tibet said in separate releases that a man identified as Tsesung Kyab set himself on fire in front of a Buddhist monastery in the western Gansu province.
The man, believed to be in his late twenties, died on the final day of the Tibetan New Year, ICT said, adding that he was related to another Tibetan who died after setting himself on fire in December.
23:50 Jet flight makes emergency landing, passengers, crew safe:
A Jet Airways aircraft with 135 passengers on board made an emergency landing at the N S C Bose International airport here tonight after it developed a technical snag in the mid-air.
Airport sources said that around 10:12 pm the pilot of flight number 517, coming from Mumbai, sought the ATC's permission for emergency landing citing some technical problem in tyre.
23:33 NATO says no evidence for Afghan misconduct claim:
The US-led coalition in Afghanistan said Monday it has found no evidence to support allegations that American special forces were involved in the abuse of Afghan civilians in a restive eastern province that serves as a gateway to Kabul.
The statement came as the Afghan government moved ahead with an order to expel the special forces from Wardak province within two weeks, undeterred by fears the decision could leave the area and the neighboring capital more vulnerable to Al Qaida and other insurgents.
22:48 4 killed, 12 injured in Pakistan blast:
A bomb blast ripped through a gathering at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan's southern Sindh province today, killing four persons and injuring 12 others, police said. The explosion occurred at the Hajan Shah Mauri Dargah near Shikarpur when a large number of people were visiting the shrine.
The blast came just five days after an Islamic scholar was targeted in a bomb attack at Jacobabad in Sindh. Witnesses told the media they had seen a man going out of the shrine after leaving a bag.
21:48 President witnesses India's 101st space mission :
Hailing Indian Space Research Organisation for its track record in launches, President Pranab Mukerjee on Monday said the country was looking forward to the success of home-grown GSLV mission.
After witnessing the successful launch of PSLV C20 carrying Indo-French satellite SARAL and six foreign spacecraft from the spaceport here, located about 110 km from Chennai, he also congratulated the ISRO team for the feat and wished success for its future ventures including the Mars Mission scheduled later this year.
"The PSLV has become a household name in our country and this mission would only reaffirm this position through its efficacy, accuracy and reliability of this launch vehicle," he said, adding India's launch capabilities had been acknowledged the world over, with ISRO increasingly launching overseas satellites.
20:53 Members of a London-based Tamil organisation British Tails Forum, and Tails Against Genocide, a non-government organisation, will jointly a hold press conference at Press Club of India, New Delhi at 3 pm tomorrow on voting against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on next month.
20:44 Counter-terror body in its current form unacceptable: BJP:
Amidst a renewed debate on how to counter terror, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday made it clear that it is opposed to National Counter Terrorism Centre in its present form that gave it policing powers and said the fight against the menace must co-exist with federalism.
The party also alleged the Congress was playing politics and being "double-faced" on the issue due to which the fight was being weakened and said it was meaningless to debate the "imaginary federalism-versus-terrorism" issue. "To blame opposition parties and to suggest that some states are not serving the national purpose is absolutely erronous and absolutely unacceptable. States and many parties are opposing the NCTC in its present structure.
The NCTC's present proposal by the government is giving police powers to an intelligence agency. This is not done in a democratic institution," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters in New Delhi.
20:31 Hyderabad blasts: Andhra police may seek FBI help :
The Andhra Pradesh police may consider seeking the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation's help to analyse and harvest images of suspected bombers from a closed circuit television camera near the twin blast site here, sources said in Hyderabad on Monday.
The footage obtained from the camera near the twin bomb blast site have not yielded any credible clues so far, as images of three persons lurking near a bicycle, believed to be strapped with explosives, is not clear enough, sources said.
Sixteen people were killed and 117 injured in the twin bomb blast at Dilshuknagar in Hyderabad on Thursday.
20:21 Hyderabad blasts: Maha ATS to question 2 Pune blast accused:
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act Court in Mumbai allowed the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad to interrogate two accused in connection with the last week's Hyderabad blasts on Monday.
Firoze Sayyed and Irfan Landge, the two accused, are among the eight persons arrested by ATS in connection with blasts on Pune's Jangli Maharaj road last year.
20:11 No idea what kind of Budget will be presented: Rahul:
Onkar Singh reports: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi claims he has no idea as to what kind of Union Budget would be presented by Finance Minister Chidambaram on February 28.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account Rahul says, "It is still not clear what kind of budget P Chidambaram would present on February 28 -- whether it would be a populist budget or a responsible one,' he said.
19:27 UK's top cardinal quits, won't take part in Pope's election:
Britain's senior-most Roman Catholic cleric resigned today after being accused of "inappropriate acts" towards fellow priests and said he would not take part in the election of the next Pope this week.
Cardinal Keith O'Brien said he had announced in November that he was planning to resign ahead of his 75th birthday in March in view of his "indifferent health".
"The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today, 25 February 2013," the 74-year-old cardinal said and informed that he will not attend the papal conclave in Rome this week to elect Pope Benedict's replacement, leaving Britain unrepresented in the election.
O'Brien, who had also skipped Sunday mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, had been due to fly out to the Vatican tomorrow for the long conclave to choose the new Pope.
Pope Benedict, who steps down on Thursday, has accepted the resignation as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, O'Brien, the leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, said in a statement.
He said the pontiff would appoint an apostolic administrator to govern the archdiocese in his place until his successor is appointed.
19:11 Suicide attempt thwarted at Kolkata Metro:
A teenaged girl, who tried to kill herself today by jumping in front of an approaching Metro train at Jatin Das Park station in Kolkata, was saved by an alert motorman, officials said.
The motorman of the Kavi Subhash station-bound train applied emergency break as soon as he sighted the young girl on the tracks. The prompt on-duty station staff took her to the Chittaranjan Hospital where doctors declared her to be out of danger.
Normal Metro services, which came to a halt, resumed a few minutes after the suicide attempt at around 9:23 am, officials said. This was the 256th attempt at suicide in the popular underground train service since 1988, out of which 128 lives were saved, they said.
18:45 Chopper deal: CBI names 11 people, 4 companies:
Just in: Eleven people and four companies have been named in the CBI's preliminary report on the AgustaWestland chopper deal. The report has already named former Air chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Julie Tyagi and Dosca Tyagi.
18:43 Vivek Oberoi has a once-in-a-lifetime experience:
The day before the last major 'snan' of the Kumbha Mela, the largest gathering of humanity, the Ganga Action Parivar hosted an evening of music and poetry. The guests were Vivek Oberoi with his family, Maharasthra Home Minster Kripa Shankar Singh, and former CM of Goa Digambar Kamat. Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Founder of Ganga Action Parivar and President of Parmarth Niketan said on the occasion, "It is not merely one evening of dedication to humanity, but every moment of every day should be in the service of God and humanity."
18:34 KFA officially grounded: Traffic rights withdrawn:
The government has withdrawn international bilateral traffic rights, domestic slots of Kingfisher Airlines with immediate effect. Under the rights, Kingfisher Airlines were allowed to fly the sky of eight countries namely Bangladesh (14 services per week), Hong Kong (14 services per week), Nepal (7 services per week), Singapore (7 services per week), SriLanka (14 services per week + 21 services per week from unlimited 18 destinations), Thailand (21 services per week), UAE Dubai (21 services per week) and UK (7 services per week each from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore).
These traffic rights were allocated to Kingfisher Airlines between the year 2008 and 2011. These international traffic rights have been withdrawn from Kingfisher Airlines on account of non-utilisation by the airlines.The Civil Aviation Minister has decided to make these International traffic rights available to other carriers for use.
This would give additional availability of approximately 25,000 seats per week for use by other Indian carriers to these 8 countries, some of which are much in demand by these carriers.
In other news: Radiation panic grips Mumbai. Here's why.
18:06 ISRO successfully launches 'Saral' satellite :
Isro's historic PSLV C-20 launched from Sriharikota. The ISRO-built Saral, which is a Indo-French venture. The Isro-built Saral is a 410-kilo satellite and is aimed to help with oceanographic studies. This is the 23rd mission of ISRO.
17:55 Michelle Obama wears Indian-American designer gown:
US First Lady Michelle Obama chose to don a creation by eminent Indian-American designer Naeem Khan in her surprise Oscar appearance Sunday night.
The First Lady made an unannounced appearance to name the Best Picture winner - 'Argo' - live from the Diplomatic Room of the White House. "The Academy Awards approached the First Lady about being a part of the ceremony.
As a movie lover, she was honored to present the award and celebrate the artists who inspire us all - especially our young people - with their passion, skill and imagination," said Kristina Schake, Communications Director to the First Lady. In her appearance, the First Lady was wearing the same strapless silver design by Khan which she wore to the Governor's Dinner.
17:50 Bomb? Loud noise in defusion box, say cops :
Police believe the bag contained explosives, but are yet to confirm the same. For now, it's circuits inside the laptop bag. Police say there was a loud noise in the defusion bag, but the forensics lab will take a few days to give its verdict -- whether or not there were explosives and the kind of explosives in the bag.
17:38 Bomb defused at Delhi Cantt, unclaimed bag sent to lab :
The unclaimed bag that was found outside the Army Base Hospital in the Delhi Cantonment area today, is believed to have held an explosive device. The Delhi Police and bomb disposal squad reached the spot after getting the alert and claim that the bag contained a device with circuits. The entire area has been cordoned off and security has been beefed up in the city. A team of NSG has also been called in for investigation. Army bomb experts put the bag in a container used to defuse bombs and sent it to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory for further tests. The bag has been put in a defusion container and has been sent to the forensic lab. -- CNN IBN
17:30 AugustaWestland will be political ploy if Berlusconi wins polls:
Two Italian marines held in an Indian prison have been allowed to return to their country to vote in general elections. Every vote counts. It's going to be a photo finish between the ridiculous and the rational. Italians living abroad cast their votes by postal ballots. It must be India's problem with speed post.This Italian election is important for India as we watch in AWE - AgustaWestland Expiry. Read more
17:28 Delhi not only rape capital, cases of child abuse very high :
In what raises concerns over the vulnerability of children in India, the country's nodal agency for child rights protection has revealed that cases of child abuse have gone up by an unbelievable 117 per cent in the last four years in Delhi and UP. Read more
17:12 Horse meat found in Ikea's Swedish meatballs:
The Czech veterinary authority says it has detected horse meat in meat balls labeled as beef and pork imported to the country by Sweden's furniture retailer giant Ikea.
The State Veterinary Administration says the one-kilogram packs of the frozen meat balls were made in Sweden to be sold in Ikea's furniture stores that also offer typical Swedish food.
A total of 760 kilograms (1,675 pounds) of the meat balls were stopped from reaching the shelves in the Czech Republic. The authority today said horse meat was also found in beef burgers imported from Poland. Last week, the Czechs detected horse meat for the first time in lasagna Bolognese made by frozen food processor Tavola SA Comigel and sold at Tesco.
17:02 B'deshi girl (14) charged with adultery, lashed to death:
Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70. Read
the horror story.
16:45 Gun-toting Congress MP from Gujarat resigns :
Gun-toting MP from Porbandar, Vitthal Radadiya resigns from the Gujarat Congress. Radadia had reportedly lost his cool when a toll plaza attendant dared to ask for his original identity card instead of the photocopy which his driver had furnished to claim his free ride on the highway in October last year. He will join the BJP as a minister.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi blamed the employee of the toll plaza and said that the Congress will not "tolerate" the rude behaviour of the toll plaza employees towards an elected representative of the people.
At the time of the incident, Radadiya's men reportedly created a ruckus around the entry and exit gates of the toll plaza leading to huge traffic snarls.
16:39 Life of Pi shines at the Oscars:
While no Indian film was up for nomination in the 85th annual Academy Awards, held Sunday night in Los Angeles, Taiwan-born Ang Lee's win in the Best Director category for "Life of Pi'' ensured a national connection to this year's Oscars. Read
16:36 SC orders Sahara to pay investors' money now:
Just in: The Supreme Court refuses time to Sahara to deposit investors' money with SEBI. Sahara Group, locked in a legal battle with the country's capital markets regulator over the repayment of $3 billion to thousands of individual investors, said last week that it has returned all the funds and has "nothing to pay.'
16:24 Move over Dawood, Pak ISI banks on B-Company now :
About two kilometres from Dawood Ibrahim's new house in Karachi is the Phase VI residential area of the Defense Housing Authority. The area houses the makeshift overseas base of the Indian Mujahideen, the new company - read terror outfit - carved out by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) for covert operations in India. The Indian Mujahideen is Pakistan's new B-team, a place it has earned with its repeated and ruthless terror strikes in India, and has replaced the dreaded D-company in Pakistan's scheme of things. Read more
16:17 Here's why Sunny Deol hasn't won an Oscar: He doesn't need it :
At a time when Hindi films like 'Lagaan' and 'Barfi!' have vied for Hollywood's top honour, the Academy awards, Bollywood actor Sunny Deol says he does not believe in them.
"As Indians, our aim should be to entertain audience here," Deol says. "I don't think we Indians need to go to the Oscars. What is the need for Indians to go to Oscars... aren't we happy over here. I don't understand Oscars," Sunny told reporters during the press conference of his film 'I Love New Year'. "I think we have to entertain our audience here first. We have over 130 crore people to entertain here," said the actor, who has won the national award twice for his performances in films like 'Ghayal' (1991) and 'Damini' (1994). "I was surprised when I won national awards," he said.
15:23 Chidambaram may use Morton's fork to make India pay:
The countdown to Budget 2013 has begun, and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram must try to keep India's fiscal deficit from gaining weight. One idea we're hearing a lot lately is turning to India's super-rich citizens to boost tax revenue and improve the tax-to-GDP ratio. Read
15:17 Mamata has positive mind on NCTC, beams Shinde:
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had earlier objected on certain issues, has a 'positive mind' towards the National Counter Terrorism Centre. "I had talked to her earlier also on the NCTC issue. She has a positive mind (Unka toh maan hai)," Shinde told reporters when asked if he discussed the issue with the chief minister at a meeting at Fraserganj in South 24-Parganas district today. Shinde reiterated that the Centre was keen to introduce the NCTC to firmly deal with terrorism.
15:15 Al Qaeda. What's in a name?:
In the summer of 1988, in the University Town neighborhood of Peshawar, Pakistan, Osama bin Laden founded Al Qaeda, which means "the Base,' in Arabic. As a calling card for terror or revolution, the name lacked pizzazz. Bases are safe places, not threatening ones. We can infer from the historical record that bin Laden's comrades either couldn't come up with a better idea or didn't want to annoy him by questioning his brainstorm. Read more
15:14 National Interest: One dynasty dimming:
You can frame this question in one of many ways. What has changed fundamentally in politics over the past decade, or what hasn't? Or, what is it that has changed radically and dramatically, and yet looks like the continuation of an old, familiar pattern? The short answer to this muddled question: dynastic politics. Read
15:09 Killing of Panchayat representative an act of frustration: Min:
Jammu and Kashmir government today condemned the killing of yet another Panchayat representative in the Valley terming it as an "act of frustration".
"If they shoot at an unarmed person, it reflects their weakness and their frustration," Minister for Roads and Buildings, Abdul Majid Wani, said today.
He said that there are elements which do not want development in the state and are resorting to such activities.
"Whenever there is an effort for development and progress, for which these Sarpanchs have come forward...to start the democratic set-up from the point where from it has to be started, there are some elements which don't want progress and development in the state...," Wani added.
The railway budget is to be presented tomorrow. Do stay with us for live updates, but meanwhile, read
the 2012 rail budget.
15:04 Delhi: personal animosity behind woman's murder, say police:
Personal animosity was the reason behind the murder of a 25-year-old woman who was shot dead near the Sarai Kale Khan bus terminal, police said Monday. Pooja, a resident of Bhajanpura in east Delhi, was standing near the Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminal in south Delhi when she was shot Sunday night. She was taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where she died of bullet injuries. Read
14:55 Four dead in Thai Buddhist festival blast: police:
Four people were killed and more than 20 injured when a homemade bomb was detonated during a fight at a Buddhist festival in northeast Thailand early today, police said. The explosion killed two policemen and two revellers at a concert to celebrate Makha Bhucha Day at a pagoda in Maha Sarakham province.
14:53 Suryanelli rape case: Hearing of bail pleas adjourned to Mar 4:
The Kerala High Court today adjourned to March four the hearing of the bail pleas of 17 accused in the Suriyanelli rape case allegedly involving Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien.
A division bench said the appeal and records about the case had not been received from the Supreme court and it cannot proceed without perusing them, even though the accused wanted their pleas to be taken up today.
According to the accused, the apex court had not gone into the merits of the case and judgement was on technical grounds.
The accused, who had been convicted and sentenced by the sessions court, are among the 35 acquitted by a division bench of the High Court in 2005. However, the Supreme Court had however recently set aside the acquittals and asked them to surrender before the special court hearing the case.
Love dogs? Have a look at these extraordinary portraits. See
14:48 'Govt making efforts to create amiable environment in Delhi' :
Asserting that there is a need to rectify all the mistakes, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Monday said the government is making all efforts to ensure that nobody in the national capital feels unsafe.
"The government can help, can alert the people and will take action wherever required. The police also now have to be more alert. Around 20 to 22 lakh people move in metro (Delhi Metro), about 50 lakh people travel daily in buses. So, it comes to a total of around 70-72 lakhs. To monitor it and to change the culture will take time," Dikshit told media here.
"But we are making all efforts to ensure that an environment is created in Delhi where nobody feels unsafe," she added, when asked to comment on last evening''s incident where a young woman was shot dead in full public view in Sarai Kale Khan area of South Delhi.
Italian investigators last week had alleged that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed S P Tyagi when he was chief of the Indian Air Force to swing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal in favour of the company. Read
14:18 CBI chopper report names ex-Air chief Tyagi:
Just in: CNN IBN reports former Air chief SP Tyagi, his cousin Julie Tyagi and Dosca Tyagi have been named in the CBI preliminary report on the AgustaWestland chopper deal The CBI says the probe will reveal more names.
14:13 Modi bats for Dalits to solemnise Hindu weddings:
That Dalits are not even allowed entry into temples in some pockets of Gujarat has not stopped the Narendra Modigovernment from coming up with the revolutionary idea of training 'safai kamdars' or manual scavengers in karma-kand (Hindu religious rituals). Read
14:09 Why the AgustaWestland deal can't be cancelled:
India is preparing to cancel a deal for 12 Italian helicopters following allegations raised in Rome about nearly 350 crores paid as kickbacks to Indian officials including a former Air Force chief of the Indian Air Force. NDTV has accessed the reply sent by the helicopter manufacturer, AgustaWestland (AW), to India, which elucidates its objections to the deal being revoked. Read
13:58 Herculaneum the other town buried by Vesuvius:
A bronze tap from a garden fountain, a street sign settling a boundary dispute, a clothes chest, a loaf of bread: some of the objects to survive the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79 heading to the British Museum were so recently excavated that dark volcanic clay still clings to them. Read
13:50 On Kissing, Bollywood, and Rebellion:
Gardiner Harris's recent piece in the New York Times made me do a double take, not just because of the attachment of the word "bombshell' before Katrina Kaif, which to me is somewhat like using "razor-sharp' as the defining adjective for President George W. Bush, but because of the cultural "Rubicon-crossing' significance attributed to a scene in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Read
13:29 The rationalist who the church hates :
Criticism always goes punished. Sanal Edamaruku is a world-renowned author and rationalist currently facing a maximum sentence of three years in prison plus fines for criticizing the Catholic Church. Read
13:27 Anti-Mamata film banned in Bengal:
The film that courted controversy for portrayal of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's swearing-in, was banned by the state on Monday. According to media reports, the Kolkata Censor Board had denied approval to 'Kangal Malsat', a film by Suman Mukhopadhyay.
Reports state that, Censor Board's letter claim that the film depicted Tata's leaving Singur in a way that puts the anti-Singur movement in a negative light. The board also raised objections to the portrayal of Mamata Banerjee's oath taking ceremony.
Censor board officials, however, claimed that they have serious objections to the language used in the film which the director allegedly had refused to remove. -- Daily Bhaskar
13:11 Pope: Stepping down as 'God told me to go':
In an emotional goodbye to 100,000 supporters, Pope Benedict XVI said that he steeping down as God had told him to devote himself to prayer.
During Sunday prayer in St Peter''s Square, where tens of thousands of supporters turned out for Benedict XVI''s ahead of his formal resignation, the Pope also assured people that he would not 'abandon' the Church.
According to Sky News, he thanked the crowd with a final unscripted call, telling them: "We will always be close."
The 85-year-old leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics has said he is stepping down because he no longer has the strength of mind and body to carry on.
13:09 Norah Jones gives maiden Oscar performance:
Singer Norah Jones, the multiple Grammy winning daughter of late sitar legend Ravi Shankar, gave her maiden performance at the 85th Academy Awards. The 33-year-old performed the jazzy, blues-oriented Oscar nominated song 'Everybody Needs a Best Friend' from "Ted", which has been co-written by Seth MacFarlane, who was also the host for the evening. Film and music were closely linked at this year's ceremony.
12:49 Mark Twain shirtless!:
Mark Twain, possibly apocryphally, once said: "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
America's favorite writer is of course much better known for dressing up in white suits. But Open Culture recently turned our attention to a photograph of Sam Clemens taken in 1883.
Shirtless Mark Twain has even had a Twitter account since September.Turns out, Twain is by no means the only author who's posed topless. From William Faulkner to Ernest Hemingway, here are other writers who've gone shirtless. Read
12:41 A 2,600-year-old icon of freedom comes to the United States:
The Cyrus Cylinder is a small unprepossessing barrel-shaped clay cylinder inscribed in enigmatic-looking cuneiform, and yet is one of the most iconic objects in the unparalleled world collection housed at the British Museum.It is an object with many meanings and provides a link to a past that we all share and to a key moment in history that has shaped the world around us. More
Red Carpet photos from the Oscars. Watch
Oscar's best moments.
12:31 'Oldest marathon man' Fauja Singh runs last 10km race:
A man believed to be the world's oldest marathon runner has run his last long distance competitive race in Hong Kong.Fauja Singh, from Ilford, east London, who is 101 years old, finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.
"I will remember this day. I will miss it," Mr Singh said minutes after crossing the finish line.In 2000, he ran his first London marathon and went on to compete in a further eight marathons. Read
12:29 New Delhis dilemma over a federal foreign policy :
In India's federal system, as stipulated in the Constitution, there is a clear demarcation of powers between the Centre and the states, and the subject of foreign policy vests exclusively with the Centre. Therefore, the conduct of Indian international relations is the sole responsibility of the government at the federal level. Read
12:22 Found under sea: a land mass that sank 750 mn years ago:
Scientists have discovered a hidden microcontinent, a chunk of ancient land that hugged India 750 million years ago but now remains submerged in the Indian Ocean beneath Mauritius. A new study suggests that the microcontinent was sandwiched between southern India and Madagascar for several hundred million years before tectonic and volcanic activities broke it apart, and an ocean emerged to submerge it. Read
11:56 CBI finally gets documents, may begin probe into chopper deal:
The Central Bureau of Investigation team that had been camping in Milan for the past few days has finally obtained some documents on the Italian probe into the alleged payment of kickbacks by AgustaWestland in India to bag the Rs.3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal. Read
11:51 Centre expected trouble after two executions, says Shinde:
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said here on Sunday that the Centre was "expecting something after two executions [Ajmal Kasab's in November 2012 and Afzal Guru's earlier this month]' and it was sending out alerts. "The culprits will be apprehended soon', he asserted.Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was hanged in connection with the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks and Guru for the attack on Parliament in 2001. Read
11:42 Yes, two Pakistans coexist side by side:
To witness two realities in one country, one needs go no further than a suburban coffee shop in Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan. Among the fashionably dressed men and women sitting there, the news that some radical Muslim has shot a young girl named Malala Yousafzai for the sin of attending school sounds incomprehensible, as if from another world. The dissonance between the two Pakistans is even more dramatic as the world reports more on Malala than media do in the stable, educated part of Pakistan. Read more
11:40 The scariest thing I did in India:
An auto-rickshaw is basically a lawn-mower engine encased in a cut-rate gazebo. It's a three-wheeler intended for short journeys, which is why my three friends and I had some trouble driving one from the top to the bottom of India, a country famous for its road fatalities. Great read!
11:38 A study of Narendra Modi's BJP:
How are political parties organised in multilevel political systems? What are the links between the national party (or the central leadership) and its regional branches (or state units)? How much autonomy do the branches have? Read
11:36 Why Hyderabad is cursed:
Srinivas Mahesh, 28, was snacking outside his hostel near the Konark Theater in Dilsukhnagar, his usual hangout in Hyderabad, when he heard a loud explosion Thursday evening. Not long after, he saw smoke filling up the air. Once he realized it was a bomb blast, instead of rushing back to his hostel he resolved to helping the injured."I saw disfigured bodies for the first time in my life,' he said. Read
11:26 PM has no authority, Cabinet doesn't want him: BJP:
Launching a full frontal attack on the ruling Congress Party over Minister of State for Human Resource and Development (HRD) Shashi Tharoor's remark that the party president or vice-president can be the Prime Minister in 2014, the BJP on Monday said the UPA Government will not get a third term for the nation is angry on the twin issues of inflation and corruption.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said ''it is very ironical that when there is a sitting Prime Minister, his Cabinet colleagues vouch for somebody else to be the leader in 2014''.
"So, this speaks for the authority of the Prime Minister and that's why the government's plans are deterring. But let me also tell that the country is so angry on the twin issues of inflation and corruption that it is not going to give the third chance to the UPA," said Javadekar. "So, this is their last year in power and it will be a BJP-led government (in 2014). So, there is no reason for us to comment on a selection of PM," he added.
11:20 Woman resists molestation, shot dead in Delhi:
A couple of months after a 23-year-old paramedic student was brutally gangraped on a moving bus, a woman was shot dead near the busy Ring Road in the national capital by two men on a motorcycle on Sunday.Police said the men got angry after the 22-year-old woman, who was waiting at the Sarai Kale Khan bus stop with her husband, objected to their "misbehaviour".The women, who sustained bullet injuries in the head and abdomen, was rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre where doctors declared her dead. More
11:06 Oscar winner Argo based on article in Wired magazine:
With Argo sweeping three awards, here's an interesting tidbit of information on the film. The film, is based on the May 2007 Wired magazine article entitled "The Great Escape" by Joshuah Bearman; and chapter nine of the book entitled "The Master of Disguise" by Antonio Mende. Read
09:57 Delhi gang rape case: Singapore docs to depose today:
Three doctors from Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where the 23-year-old medical student gangraped in a Delhi bus in December died of her injuries, will depose in the case, beginning on Monday afternoon.
The doctors, including Dr Paul Chui, a senior forensic pathologist who prepared the autopsy report, will depose before the special fast-track court hearing the case through video conferencing. Dr Chui's testimony will be recorded today.
On Tuesday, another pathologist Dr Tan Peng Hui, who prepared the orthodental report on bite marks on the body of the student, will testify, as will the hospital's medical director, Dr Angela Thomas.
All the three doctors will also be cross examined by defence lawyers once they have recorded their statements in court.
09:56 Sensex gains over 65 points in early trade:
The BSE benchmark Sensex gained over 65 points in early trade on Monday on buying by funds and retailers amid a firm Asian trend.
The 30-share barometer rose by 65.88 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 19,382.89. The index had lost 325.74 points in the previous two sessions.
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty edged up by 7 points, or 0.12 per cent, to 5,850.30.
Brokers said selective buying by funds and retailers at lover levels in IT, power, teck, realty, consumer durable and metal sectors mainly led the market in a better form.
They said a firming trend in Asian region further influenced the sentiment.
Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.14 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei higher by 1.75 per cent in early trade today.
09:24 Lakhs throng Kumbh on Maghi Poornima:
The penultimate bathing day of the 55-day Maha Kumbh -- Maghi Poornima -- began early Monday at the Sangam here, with lakhs taking an early holy dip in the Ganga.
The day is special as the "Kalpawasi" pilgrims end their month-long penance and sabbatical from worldly life on Maghi Poornima.
More than 1.5 crore devotees are likely to take a holy dip at the Sangam - the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mystical Saraswati Monday.
The Kumbh mela administration has deployed extra police forces to man major intersections and roads in the sprawling 52 sq km mela premises. Photography has been banned at all bathing ghats, on the basis of a high court directive.
08:07 President Pranab to witness PSLV launch today:
In an important landmark for the Indian space programme, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV will on Monday place the second Indo-French satellite 'SARAL' and six other co-passengers or small satellites from Canada, Austria, Denmark and the UK in orbit.
The PSLV-C20 is slated for blast-off at 5.56 pm local time from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at India's space port Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to witness the event. Mukherjee will be the second President after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to witness a PSLV launch; Dr Kalam was present in Sriharikota during the PSLV launch on May 5, 2005.
The 44-metre tall rocket, headed towards its 23rd consecutive launch, will sequentially drop off the satellites in space in less than half an hour after the launch. Later this year, a similar rocket will ferry India's maiden mission to Mars, Mangalyaan.
08:04 Kerala HC to start hearing Suryanelli case today:
Following an order from the Supreme Court on the Suryanelli gangrape case, a fresh hearing of the case begins in the Kerala High Court on Monday. However, of the 36 accused, the bail plea of only 14 will come up for hearing.
Although the list does not include Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien as he is not an accused in the case.
The reconsideration in the high court can have a politically significant impact on Kurien because of his alleged involvement.
The re-trial will start only at a later stage. The court will decide on the date of further hearing on Monday. The only convict - SS Dharmarajan - who was absconding was arrested in Karnataka earlier this month.
In a new twist to Suryanelli gangrape case, the survivor on Friday lodged a police complaint insisting that Kurien be made an accused. The complaint lodged at Chingavanam police station also sought that Dharmarajan, an absconding convict who had jumped bail in the case and was arrested recently from Karnataka, and two other persons - Unnikrishnan and Jamal, be also arraigned as accused.
08:03 South Korea's first female president takes over:
Park Geun-hye became South Korea's first female president Monday, returning to the presidential mansion where she grew up with her dictator father.
Park's last stint in the Blue House was bookended by tragedy: At 22, she cut short her studies in Paris to return to Seoul and act as President Park Chung-hees first lady after an assassin targeting her father instead killed her mother; she left five years later after her father was shot and killed by his spy chief during a drinking party.
As president, Park will face stark divisions both in South Korean society and with rival North Korea, which detonated an underground nuclear device about two weeks ago. South Koreans worry about a growing gap between rich and poor, and there's pressure for her to live up to her campaign suggestion that she can return the country to the strong economic growth her strong-man father oversaw.
North Korea's atomic test will also present a challenge to her vow to soften Seoul's current hard-line approach to its northern rival.
Pyongyang, Washington, Beijing and Tokyo are all watching to see if Park pursues an ambitious engagement policy meant to ease five years of animosity on the divided peninsula or if she sticks with the tough stance of her fellow conservative predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.
07:59 BlackBerry 10 to hit Indian stores on Monday:
Smartphone maker BlackBerry will unveil its new line of BlackBerry 10-powered devices in the country on Monday.
The launch in India follows the global launch of the new operating system and two devices -- Z10 and Q10 -- powered by the new platform on January 30.
The phones will be introduced at an event in Mumbai, the Canada-based company said in an invitation sent to media.
However, the pricing details of the phone were not available.
The struggling smartphone maker has also re-christened itself as 'BlackBerry' from Research in Motion earlier as it looks to turn around its fortunes with the new launch.
The company, which pioneered email on the go, is now undertaking a "journey of transformation of business and brand".
The two devices -- Z10 and Q10 -- will compete with Apple's iPhone and those based on Google's Android operating system, which have gained popularity across the world.
07:59 Castro re-elected president in Cuba:
Raul Castro has been re-elected as Cuba's president, officially to his last five-year term, with a new regime number two -- Council of State Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, official media said.
"The National Assembly of People's Power today (Sunday) approved, in this capital, Army General Raul Castro Ruz as president of the Council of State, and elected Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, as its first vice president," according to the AIN news agency report.
Diaz-Canel, who turns 53 in April, is an electrical engineer by training, a former education minister and the president's de facto political heir seeking to project into the future the Americas' only one-party Communist regime.
07:58 Hyd blasts reaction to Kasab, Afzal execution: Shinde:
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said the twin blasts in Hyderabad could be a "reaction" to the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab.
Shinde said the government was apprehending some sort of reaction from terror groups following execution of the lone surviving Pakistani gunman in the 2008 Mumbai attack and Afzal and it had been issuing alerts in this regard.
"We were expecting that after the two executions, some reaction had to come," Shinde said, referring to the execution of Kasab and Afzal.
"We had been giving alerts throughout the country," he told reporters. Kasab was hanged in a Pune jail in November last year while Afzal was hanged in Tihar jail early this month.
Shinde said the culprits involved in the Hyderabad blast last Thursday which killed 16 persons and left over 100 injured would be booked soon.