January 06, 2013
Al Jazeera: Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who says he is quitting his homeland to avoid higher taxes for the rich, has received a Russian passport and met with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has said.
Depardieu met Putin, who earlier granted him citizenship, at the Russian leader's residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Saturday, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the AFP news agency.
But Putin did not personally deliver the document to the actor during what was "a short meeting", Peskov said. Depardieu "was handed his passport", Peskov said without providing detail.
Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin greets French actor Gerard Depardieu during their meeting in Sochi on Saturday Photograph: Reuters
Three persons belonging to a family were booked today for allegedly trying to rape a woman and beating her in Bakshiwala village in Punjab's Patiala district. Case was lodged against Jung Singh, his son Kulwant Singh and brother Dharam Singh for trying to sexually assault the woman when she was working in a farm yesterday, police said.
While Kulwant has been arrested, efforts are on to nab the other absconding accused, they added. In her complain, the woman had alleged that the three men tried to rape her before she raised an alarm, and threatened not to disclose about the incident to anyone, police said.
The victim, who is currently admitted to a hospital, also sustained injuries after being allegedly beaten by the accused.
Veteran opener Virender Sehwag was dropped from the Indian squad for the first three One-Day Internationals against England, starting in Rajkot on January 11.
Cheteshwar Pujara has been included in the 15-member squad, while the out of form Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir have been retained. Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were also retained following their impressive performances in the limited overs series against Pakistan.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will captain the squad. Teams: MS Dhoni (captain), G Gambhir, A Rahane, C Pujara, V Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed.
Amid stiff opposition to the release of his movie "Vishwaroopam" on DTH format, actor Kamal Haasan today complained to police he has been receiving threats that the movie would be pirated and power supply to the cinemas screening it will be suspended.
"I have been receiving threats that the film will be pirated and electricity supply to the theatres which have decided to telecast it will be suspended. Since these are against the law, I preferred to lodge a complaint with ADGP (Law and Order) (T K Rajendran)", Haasan told reporters in Chennai.
The 58-year-old actor, also the movie's director, sought Tamil Nadu government's help and met State Home Secretary R Rajagopal, sources said. The Rs 90 crore movie landed in controversy after the actor decided to release it on Direct-To-Home platform on January 10, a day ahead of its release in cinemas.
Though several theatre associations, including Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association and Madurai-Ramanathapuram United Film Distributors, threatened not to screen the movie, Haasan said the film will be released across 390 theatres.
He described the move as an "evolutionary growth" and insisted it was the "way to go forward".
Hitting back at Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for his latest diatribe against Bihari migrants in connection with the Delhi gang-rape, Congress today said even MNS workers were known to be involved in rape.
"Instead of blaming a particular state, Thackeray should have control over his partymen, so that it helps government in curbing crime in Maharashtra," Maharashtra PCC spokesperson Sachin Sawant said in a press release. Sawant said Raj's statement reflected a "shallow mentality".
"Last month an MNS worker was arrested in suburban Vikhroli for raping a minor. In 2009, four MNS workers were arrested for a gang-rape of 13-year-old girl in Andheri," Sawant alleged.
AFP: Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in a rare speech today called for a national dialogue to end the 21-month conflict, but stressed he would not talk to those who have taken up arms against his regime.
Describing the Western-backed opposition as "slaves" of foreign powers and admitting that Syria was in the throes of a "real war", the president urged opponents at home to join his regime in ending the bloody conflict.
He spelled out a transition plan, insisting however, that any decision must be purely Syrian and ratified by referendum, including a "National Charter" that would be agreed on in a national dialogue conference.
Assad said his government would soon give details of his plan, which calls on foreign countries to stop funding the armed opposition, followed by an end to military operations by the regular army and a mechanism to monitor both. "Regional and international countries must stop funding the armed men to allow those displaced to return to their homes... right after that our military operations will cease," he said.
After that the government would step up contacts to convene a national dialogue conference with regime opponents "from inside and outside" the country, who do not take orders from abroad.
A two-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an 18-year-old youth at Minapara village in North Dinajpur district, police said today.
An FIR lodged by the victim's father said that the baby was raped when her mother went to wash clothes in a pond leaving her sleeping on the side of the pond on Saturday.
The accused was arrested and the baby was admitted to Raiganj District Hospital, police said. A local court today sent the accused to 14 days judicial custody, sources said.
At least 16 militants were killed and seven others injured in a coordinated attack by US drones which fired a volley of missiles at three Taliban hideouts in the restive South Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan today.
Four CIA-operated spy planes carried out the attack in Babargarh area of South Waziristan, security officials said. The drones fired 10 missiles at three militant compounds, which were destroyed. Some reports said the compounds were being used as hideouts by the Punjabi Taliban.
Sixteen militants were killed and seven more injured, TV news channels reported. Local residents rushed to the site and removed the rubble to search for survivors.
Strongly recommending capital punishment for rapists, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has suggested various measures to the Chief Justice (retd) J S Varma Committee for stringent legal provisions to curb the growing crimes of rape and violence.
The suggestions were forwarded by Chouhan yesterday to the Varma committee which was constituted by the Centre in the wake of the recent New Delhi gangrape case, official sources said today.
Besides recommending capital punishment for rapists, Chouhan also recommended that it should also be given in cases where the rape victim commits suicide or contracts HIV/STD diseases within a year of rape.
The Chief Minister also suggested to enhance the period of punishment from present seven to fourteen years under section 376 (1) and (2) of the IPC. Referring to the cases where mutual trust is betrayed between individuals specially in relationships like teacher and students, Chouhan suggested that Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 2012 must take care of this situation. Drivers and conductors of transport vehicles should also be held responsible for the crime committed in their vehicles.
He further suggested that like the perpetrator, victim should also be given an opportunity to be heard during trial on the ground of concept of equality before the final judgement is pronounced.
Mumbai police today claimed to have cracked the triple murder case at a suburban bar with the arrest of a former employee. The motive behind the murder of the three persons, all employees of Natraj Bar in suburban Vidyavihar, is personal enmity, police said.
The accused, Pravin alias Sonu, was arrested early this morning, police said, adding they are also probing if more persons were involved in the crime. The deceased identified as Basant Madoria (30), Raja Dakolia (33) and Bhaskar Dalvi (54) were stabbed around 10-15 times and their bodies were found lying in a pool of blood by a sweeper on the premises of the bar last morning.
While Madoria and Dakolia were working as waiters at Natraj Bar, Dalvi as the watchman. According to police, Pravin used to work at the same bar. "During initial questioning, the accused said that the deceased used to constantly pick fights with him and verbally abuse him. Infuriated by this, Pravin came to the bar on the night of January 4 and consumed liquor there. Before leaving, he fought with the deceased and stabbed them to death," police said. While Madoria and Dakolia were working in the bar since five years Dalvi was employed there for the past 12 years.
Police zeroed in on Pravin after recording the statements of over 20 employees of the bar including female singers and waiters. Police said Madoria and Dakolia used to work late hours in the bar and often sleep in the garage for few hours to take the first train to go to their destinations.
The bar was closed at around 2:30 am yesterday by its staff after carrying out regular cleaning work of the premises and furniture.
Three policemen, including an officer, were injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxals in Gariyaband district of Chhattisgarh today, police said. "Deputy Superintendent of Police R K Minj, constables Thaneshwar Verma and Gaurav Shrivastava were injured in the landmine blast triggered by the ultras near Dagnai Nala under Mainpur police station limit in the wee hours today," SP Ramgopal Garg told PTI.
The injured persons were first admitted to a district hospital and subsequently air-lifted to Raipur for treatment, he said.
"On getting the information that the Maoist insurgents have blocked the road near Dagnai Nala, located over 100 km from here, by felling trees a police party was sent to clear the route," SP said.
When the troopers were removing the trees from the road, Naxals triggered the blast and fled into jungle, he said, adding the search was on to trace them.
Two persons were killed in the major fire in storage tank number four of Indian Oil Corporation terminal in Hazira in Surat which was contained after a 21-hour operation by the fire brigade team, officials said today.
"Bodies of two people have been recovered from near the tank number 4, which caught fire yesterday," Surat District Collector Jayprakash Shivhare told PTI adding, they are yet to be identified.
"We were able to contain the fire after a massive operation going on for the last 21 hours," he said. The operation is still on to get total control over the situation, he added.
Four people have been found dead following a shooting incident that triggered a stand-off with police in Aurora, in the US state of Colorado. Police say they went to a townhouse after shots were heard there overnight. Officers later entered the home.
Following a gunfight they found the suspect dead, along with three people apparently killed earlier, police say. Aurora, near Denver, was the scene of a mass shooting at a cinema in July, in which a gunman killed 12 people.
Maharashtra and National Capital Region have cornered over 50 per cent of the foreign direct investment inflows into the country since April 2000, according to the industry ministry data.
Maharashtra attracted maximum foreign inflows at $61.13 billion, about 33 per cent of total FDI inflows during April 2000 -- October 2012. Delhi's National Capital Region including parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana received $35.4 billion foreign direct investment during the period. NCR accounted for 19 per cent of the country's total FDI.
During the period, India received USD 185.7 billion foreign inflows, according to the data. According to experts, the main reason for the maximum inflows into Maharashtra and NCR is substantial improvement in the infrastructure and pro-active approach of the respective governments.
"Infrastructure in these areas have improved considerably and that is making them attractive destination for foreign investment," an official said. Karnataka attracted the third highest FDI inflows worth $10.25 billion during the period, followed by Tamil Nadu ($9.6 billion), Gujarat ($8.53 billion), Andhra Pradesh ($7.41 billion) and West Bengal ($2.04 billion).
Sectors, which attracted maximum FDI include services, telecommunication, metallurgical industries, power, computer hardware and software, and construction activities. The highest FDI of $70.9 billion came from Mauritius followed by Singapore ($18.4 billion), UK ($17 billion), Japan ($13.83 billion) and the US ($10.8 billion) during April 2000 -- October 2012.
Two men have been sent to jail for repeatedly gang-raping a minor with the court asking the Delhi police chief to ensure that the perpetrators of sexual crimes against children be booked in future under a newly-enacted stringent law on such offences.
The court asked the Delhi police commissioner to book such offenders under the newly enacted special law, namely the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which came into force from November 14, 2012 and aims to protect minor (below the age of 18 years) from offences of sexual assault, harassment and pornography.
The court, in its order, emphasised the need to conduct the probe in such cases by the police in accordance with the provisions of the special act and observed that the same is not being followed in the cases of sexual offence against children.
Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire by firing mortar shells towards Indian army posts in Uri sector near the Line of Control.
"They (Pakistan army) started firing mortar shells towards our posts at Churunda village in Uri sector around 3.15 am," an army spokesman said. He said some of the shells landed close to civilian nhabitation but there was no damage done.
The spokesman said the army retaliated the Pakistani shelling briefly after which there has been quiet from both sides.