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Daeth toll in Pakistan blasts rises to 126

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January 11, 2013

23:07  Daeth toll in Pakistan blasts rises to 126:  

The death toll in a string of devastating terrorist attacks in two restive Pakistani provinces rose to 126 today as residents of Quetta city observed a strike to protest the killings.        


A total of 92 people were killed in explosions that targeted a snooker club in a Shia-dominated neighbourhood of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, last night.        


Dozens of people were killed instantly and at least eight injured persons died later.        


Twelve people were killed in another blast that targeted a security forces vehicle at a busy roundabout in Quetta yesterday afternoon. Twenty-two more people died in an explosion at a religious seminary in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province last evening.        


Nearly 300 people were injured in all the attacks and officials said special arrangements were being made to airlift critically injured persons from Quetta to Karachi so that they could be provided better treatment.

21:47  HC to monitor CBI investigations in Ishrat case:  Granting additional time to CBI for investigating the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case of 2004, the Gujarat High Court today said it would now monitor the probe. 

The court has asked the agency to submit a progress report by March 15. A division bench of justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari observed that progress in investigation of the Ishrat case was only 'to the extent of 30-40 per cent'.

"Looking at the case diaries submitted along with the report, it seems that investigation has not reached the crucial stage... We would require to monitor the investigation," the bench said.
21:44  Women seen as mothers in 'Bharat': RSS leader:   Observing that women are seen as mothers in 'Bharat', RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi today lamented that women are most 'unsafe nowdays'.

"Our country always considers women as mothers. Respect towards women is embedded in our sanskriti. So if they become unsafe nowadays that is a matter of shame for us," Joshi said at a meet to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

The RSS worships 'Devi Shakti' as women are the embodiments of power, Joshi said and referred to the growing 'moral pollution' in society.
21:20  Pak: Militants fire rockets at NATO trucks terminal:   Two persons were injured when militants fired several rockets at a terminal for NATO container trucks on the outskirts of Quetta city in southwest Pakistan today.

The terroristsattacked the terminal in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta this evening, police officials were quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.

Two persons were injured in the attack, the officials said. Eight containers and three oil tankers were destroyed in the incident and a nearby patrol pump caught fire, the officials said.
20:59  Channel asked not to telecast crime episode on Delhi gang-rape:  Keeping in mind the sensitivities involved, the I&B Ministry today asked a private channel not to telecast an episode in its crime-based show which featured an enactment based on the Delhi gang-rape.

Sources told PTI that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry took note of the promos of popular 'Crime Patrol' on Sony which included an enactment of the incident.

The Ministry is learnt to have advised the functionaries of the channel to pull off the promo and also not air the programme. The channel also promptly accepted the ministry's advice, sources in the Ministry said.

When asked about the matter, I&B minister Manish Tewari said that he had also come to know about the matter from some reports on television.
20:26  Lawyer of Samjhauta blast accused alleges torture:  The lawyer of Samjhauta Blast accused Rajendra Choudhary has sent a legal notice to the director, National Investigation Agency alleging torture of his client in the custody.

"My client was visibly shaken, there were dark circles under his eyes. It was visible that he was not allowed to sleep for days together. My client was not allowed to speak though from his body language it was clear that he was harassed both mentally and physically and there was threat to his life," Choudhary's lawyer Narendra Kalra alleged.

Kalra demanded from the NIA Chief to constitute a Medical Board for giving 'true and exact report' of mental and physical health of Choudhary for ensuring his safety in custody.
20:08  It's up to India, Pak to resolve LoC tension: China:   The Chinese government said on Friday it was of the view that tensions along the Line of Control were for India and Pakistan to resolve through dialogue, a day after Pakistan called for a United Nations probe into the recent incidents.

The Chinese foreign ministry told The Hindu that the dispute was for both countries to resolve, appearing to suggest that it did not back "all-weather" ally Pakistan's proposal for a UN probe, which India rejected on Thursday.

Read the full report here
19:38  Stalked for months, woman ends life in Nashik:  Fed up of being stalked for the last two months by two unidentified people, a 43-year-old woman committed suicide at her residence in Nashik, putting an end to the torment, police said on Nashik.

Nirmala Bhaskar Shinde, a widow, who was staying with her 17-year-old nephew Roshan Pawar after her husband's death two years ago, took the extreme step on Thursday at her house in Bhimashankar Co-op Society in Bashik, they said.

The incident came to limelight when Roshan returned home and saw her hanging in a room.
18:54  Pak may accord MFN status to India later this month: Rao:   Pakistan in "every likelihood" may announce grant of 'Most Favoured Nation' (MFN) status to India before the Annual Partnership Summit later this month. Pakistan's Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Secretary Munir Qureshi are scheduled to visit India to participate in the three-day Summit in Agra, beginning January 27.

Ministers and officials from several countries are also expected to attend the annual summit. Commerce Secretary S R Rao said there is "every likelihood" that Pakistan will make an announcement "by that time".

Rao's comments were in response to a question put by reporters that by when the neighbouring country is expected to accord the much-awaited MFN status to India.
18:39  Gujarat is global gateway to India: Modi:  Terming Gujarat as the "global gateway to India" Chief Minister Narendra Modi today asked captains of industry to utilise the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as a platform to send a "positive" message to the world to stay away from "exploitative" economic models.

"Once upon a time, Gujarat was the gateway to the globe from India. Now it is becoming the global gateway to India. We will make such a Gujarat that whole world will make it their home," Modi said addressing the inaugural session of VGS 2013.

"I reiterate that this event is not just about investments, its not just about projects which give financial returns. Its about bringing positivity in the economic environment. Its about inducting togetherness in our socio-economic activities.

Its about bringing global and local inclusiveness in our economic process," he said. Addressing a galaxy of global, national and local industrial leaders, he also promised to take the state's success story a step further.
18:25  Sonia Gandhi likely to visit Maha Kumbh mela:  Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to visit the Maha Kumbh Mela which gets underway on January 27 in Allahabad. However, she will avoid the main bathing dates. 
18:20  Fresh firing by Pakistan at eight posts along LoC:  CNN IBN: The firing is reported to have taken place on eight Indian posts at Krishna Ghati, Sona Gali sectors. 
18:12  LoC remains tense: Fresh firing by Pakistan :  Just in: Reports of fresh firing by Pakistan at the Line of Control. This comes even as India and Pakistan today continued to trade accusations over ceasefire violations with Pakistani government summoning the Indian envoy to serve a demarche on yesterday's incident, which Indian authorities said was a "controlled response" to "unprovoked" firing by the other side.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani summoned High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to lodge "a strong protest on the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army" and sought "thorough investigation" by the Indian government.

Officials of the Pakistan Foreign Office told PTI that Jilani handed over a strongly-worded demarche to Sabharwal.
18:08  Five-day police custody for hate-speech MLA Owaisi:   MIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi has been given five-day police custody.  Tension prevailed in areas surrounding the historic Charminar today after suspected MIM supporters pelted stones at police protesting the arrest of Owaisi for his alleged hate speech, injuring five policemen and some mediapersons. Scores of protesters pelted stones at cops after the Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid near Charminar, prompting police to lob teargas shells to disperse the mob, police said.
18:06  Income tax notice for Nitin Gadkari's Purti Group?:  Our Delhi sources tell us that the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued an income-tax notice to the Purti Group promoted by BJP president Nitin Gadkari. BJP leaders allege that the UPA is playing politics to create discomfort for Gadkari just before his second term as party president is being finalised. BJP sources say that the government has slept for over three months and has woken up suddenly.
17:56  Rahul Pandita tweets: One thing went unnoticed in Latehar: how did the 4 villagers die after the encounter? A police source says they were used to pick up bodies
17:50  4 weeks on, UP CM meets gang-rape victim's family :  Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today met the family members of the 23-year-old woman who was gang-raped on a moving bus on the night of December 16, and promised them all possible help from the state government.Yadav met the family at their native Medawar Kala village and spent about 30-minutes with them.

He spoke to the male members of the family outside the house and later went inside to meet the victim's mother to express his condolences.

The chief minister also presented a cheque of Rs 20 lakhs to the parents of the victim, who died on December 29 at a Singapore hospital.
17:36  Actor Klaus Kinski repeatedly raped daugher during her childhood :  Pola Kinski says the Klaus Kinski, who died in 1991, subjected her to 14 years of sexual abuse and violence from the age of five or six. Read
17:22  The Indian Defence Ministry's reply to Praveen Swami's article -- "Runway grandmother sparked savage skirmish on LoC' on the Line of Control clashes, and his response. Read 
17:15  Rajev Paul gets evicted from Bigg Boss:  Television actor Rajev Paul, who was facing elimination with the least number of votes, second to his ex-wife and co-contestant Delnaaz Irani, today got evicted from the 'Bigg Boss' house.

Rajev walked out of the sixth edition of the hit reality show as part of the normal evictions that happen every Friday. The finale for the title with a prize money of Rs 50 lakh will be held tomorrow.

Those left inside the house now include Niketan Madhok, Urvashi Dholakia, Imam Siddique and Sana Khan. Rajev's personal life was under scanner throughout his stint in the house after he was put up on the show with his former wife Delnaaz, who he separated from after 14 years together.

The 43-year-old actor has been linked romantically with co-inmate Sana, after he confessed that he is attracted to her. He made news for his frequent fights with other contestants especially Imam.
17:12  Decomposed body of woman found in Mumbai apartment:  The body of a 29-year-old woman has been found in a decomposed condition in her apartment in Malad in suburban Mumbai. The victim is believed to be an artiste and was found by her sister.
16:39  Ratan Tata praises Modi:  Ratan Tata is never miserly when it comes to praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. "Today when investors look for locations to make investments, they would be looking for locations which are investor-friendly. Gujarat stands out distinctly in the country and the credit for it goes to Modi," he said amidst a thunderous applaud from the jam-packed audience at the state government's showpiece Vibrant Gujarat summit here. The Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, who has just stepped down as Chairman of the group, said that those who had not invested in Gujarat were stupid.
16:24  'India will take up ceasefire violation issue with Pakistan':  Amid escalating tensions between the two Asian neighbours in the wake of the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office  V. Narayanasamy on Friday said that India would take up the matter with Pakistan if it violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement.
"As far as the Government of India is concerned, whatever agreement we have signed and understanding that was there on the ceasefire between India and Pakistan, it has to be honoured. If Pakistan violates, yes, we will take it up with them," said Narayanasamy.
16:10  The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Delhi government and the police on a plea invoking a in-camera trial of the gang-rape case.  
15:51  Polls: Tripura: Feb 14; Meghalaya, Nagaland: Feb 28 :  The Election Commission has announced the dates for the three state elections. Here's what it looks like.
Tripura voting on February 14, counting on February 28
Nagaland and Meghalaya voting on February  23, counting on February 28
The model code of conduct comes into place in all the three states today.

15:38  Vinay Sharma, a Quiet and Simple boy:   "He was always a quiet and simple boy," she said. "He worked hard in school and always got top marks," she said. "He especially liked studying English. We hoped for a good job in the future."

That's Champa Devi, the mother of the sixth gang-rape accused Vinay Sharma talking about her son. Read
15:21  India wants brigadier-level flag meet with Pakistan:  India wants a brigadier-level flag meet with Pakistan. Pakistan's reply is awaited. Ceasefire violations are usually followed by flag meetings between sector commanders. 
15:20  China's army of little emperor's maladjusted?:  Scientists have produced the first convincing evidence to suggest that the one-child generation of China has indeed become a rather maladjusted lot. Read
14:39  Latehar encounter: Naxal leader arrested, jailed :  Just in: The first arrest has been made in the Latehar encounter in which 10 CRPF jawans were killed on Monday. The general secretary of the Koel Sankh Zonal panel was sent to judicial custody.

The gun battle took place near the Bhelwahi hill-top, about 100 km from Jharkhand's capital, Ranchi. Police sources say the Maoists were able to inflict so much damage because of their fortified location - they were strategically positioned on the top of the hill. About 16 injured police personnel are being treated at the Apollo hospital on the outskirts of Ranchi.
14:34  Pak serves demarche to Indian High Commissioner :   Pakistan's Foreign Office today called in Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to lodge a protest over the death of a Pakistani soldier in an incident of firing along the Line of Control, which has witnessed a string of clashes since the weekend.

Officials in the Foreign Office said Sabharwal was served a demarche (a formal diplomatic representation of the official position held by Pakistan) by Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani over yesterday's incident in Battal sector of the LoC, which the Pakistan Army said had resulted in the death of a soldier.

There have been three violations of the nine-year-old ceasefire along the LoC in the past five days.

The Indian Army said two of its soldiers were killed in a cross-border raid by Pakistani troops on Tuesday while another Pakistani soldier died on Sunday.

The clashes were among the most serious violations of the truce that was put in place in late 2003. Pakistan's Foreign Office had earlier called in Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay on January 7 to protest the incident that occurred a day earlier.

The External Affairs Ministry had summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir earlier this week to protest the killing of the two Indian soldiers.
14:27  Happy to see a lullaby get recognised at Oscars: Jayashri:  Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri, who is the only Indian this year to be nominated for an Oscar for 'Life of Pi', says she is thrilled to see her simple lullaby get recognised at the Academy Awards. Jayashri is nominated in the Original Song category for 'Pi's Lullaby' with composer Michael Danna.

"I got to know about the nomination after some of my friends messaged me. I was not expecting it at all but I am thrilled that the film has bagged 11 nominations," Jayashri said from Chennai.

"It is a happy moment for Indian music. It is a very simple lullaby and comes from a mother's heart. Language does not matter as its feeling is universal," said Jayashri, who has also penned the lyrics of the Tamil song.
14:23  Pakistan suspends 'Paigam-e-Aman' cross-LoC bus service between PoK and Jammu and Kashmir.
14:07  Pakistan cancels leave of ALL army personnel:   With tensions rising between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC), Pakistan has decided to suspend the bus service between Poonch and Rawalakot, without giving an official reason.Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff, General Asfaq Pervez Kayani has also reportedly ordered the cancellation of leaves of all army personnel.The decision to suspend the bus service comes in the wake of increasing hostility between the troops of two nations along the Line of Control.
14:02  SC issues notice to CBI, BSNL on petition against Maran:  In a big trouble for former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, the Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation and state-owned telecommunication company BSNL over petition against Maran in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, reports 

The petition filed in the Supreme Court alleges that Maran, as telecom minister in year 2007, had diverted 323 ISDN lines of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to his brother Kalanidhi's Sun TV Network.The PIL seeks an investigation against Maran alleging that the scam caused loss of nearly Rs 440 crore to the exchequer. Maran has also been under scrutiny over the Aircel-Marxis deal. The deal involves Maran and a Malaysian business tycoon.
13:55  Just in: The Pakistan foreign office is likely to address the media at 5 pm today over the LoC firings.  
13:54  Owaisi aides-police clash in Hyderabad:  In Hyderabad, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi's supporters have clashed with the police. The Andhra Pradesh police on Tuesday arrested the hate speech accused and registered four cases against him, on charges of promoting enmity between different groups and waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the government of India.
13:50  India on alert, warns Antony:  Earlier today, defence minister AK Antony speaking to the media on the ceasefire violations said, "I don't want to jump to conclusions. But, this kind of occasional ceasefire violation and firing is a cause of serious concern to us, because even though the violence level inside Kashmir has come down, the attempt to infiltrate is increasing, and also ceasefire violations are increasing. This is a matter of concern to us."

"And, the tragic provocative action a few days back, that was a turning point at the moment. I can tell you one thing only, we are closely monitoring the whole developments. We are closely monitoring our entire border. Our people are on alert," he added.
13:43  Pakistan summons Indian envoy over LoC firings :  Just in: Pakistan has summoned Indian envoy Sharad Sabharwal over the firings at the Line of Control. 
13:39  Militants shoot dead sarpanch in Sopore, J-K:  A sarpanch was shot dead by alleged militants in Bomia, Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir today. The body of the sarpanch has been handed over to his family. 
13:34  WB governor, Mamata face off, governor wins:  The Mamata Banerjee government yesterday tried to figure out how to deal with an unfamiliar voice: a governor who dared to say he talks like a governor.

Governor MK Narayanan not only publicly declared that he stood by his comments on the recent events in Bengal but also asserted that "I am the governor and I talk like a governor."

The no-nonsense statement came a few hours after the Trinamul government appeared to be hurtling down the path followed by its predecessor and fired a warning shot across the bows of Raj Bhavan.

From his seat of power in Writers' Buildings, senior minister Subrata Mukherjee said the governor should not speak "like a partyman' and the government was showing Narayanan a "yellow card'. The minister warned of "tougher' words in the future, adding "we will keep a sharp watch on him'. More
13:28  Girls should not dance at weddings, use mobiles: Panchayat:  Another instance of alarming idiocy.

A panchayat in Udaipur, Rajasthan, has asked families of the minority community against allowing girls to carry cellphones and prohibit them from dancing at wedding processions in public view.

Anjuman Muslim Panchayat in Salumbur town, 70 kms from Udaipur, issued the diktat at a meeting held a few days ago after some inter-caste and love marriage cases in the community.

"We have asked the community families to not allow their girls to carry mobile phones outside homes. They can use it in front of their parents but not in schools or colleges so that they do not get involved with boys," Habiburrehman, secretary of the community panchayat, said today.

"We are also against objectifying women so decided to ban their dance in wedding procession which is taken out in open on roads. However, there is no restriction inside their house and they can dance or sing in the function in the house," he said.

Justifying the decisions, he claimed the restrictions were necessary to maintain a secure environment in the community. "It is for the safety and security of girls. There have been cases where girls and boys in our community did intercaste marriage. It is a serious trend and our community wants to ensure that no such happening reoccurs so the community panchayat took the decision," he said. 
13:21  Advani forges truce between Jethmalani, Gadkari:  Just in: BJP senior leader LK Advani mediates between Ram Jethmalani and Nitin Gadkari and brings about a truce. BJP's Rajya Sabha member Ram Jethmalani,  had demanded the resignation of Nitin Gadkari in November over "dubious" funding of his company, and had said he would carry on his fight against the BJP president but would not quit the party.
13:09  'Silver Linings Playbook' for Best Picture? It could happen:  While on the Oscars: "It's difficult to see a scenario where 'Lincoln' doesn't romp," wrote Tim Grierson and Will Leitch over at Deadspin following the Oscar nominations on Thursday morning. Which would be true, except for the "difficult" part. Because any Oscar discussion that doesn't allow for the possibility of "Silver Linings Playbook" winning Best Picture seems incomplete at best. More
13:03  Is Life of Pi set for a statuette?:  Steven Spielberg-directed political biopic Lincoln is leading the Oscar race this year with 12 nominations, while Ang Lee-helmed Indian drama Life of Pi bagged 11 nods on Thursday, including in the best picture and director categories. Read more.
12:50  CRPF jawan killed in naxal ambush cremated in MP home town:  The mortal remains of Yashvir Singh Jadaun, a Central Reserve Police Force  jawan who was killed in the naxal attack at Latehar in Jharkhand on January 7, were cremated at his native town Bhattpura in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh last evening.

The body of 38-year-old Yashvir was brought here last evening and the cremation was done with full state honours.

The Madhya Pradesh BJP unit president Narendra Singh Tomar was present at the funeral. In all, nine CRPF personnel, one personnel from the state's special anti-Naxal force Jharkhand Jaguars and four civilians were killed in the encounter with the rebels that occurred on January 7.

The MP government has promised a job for his widow, a memorial, a cash compensation.
12:36  Deadline for suggestions to gang-rape panel now Jan 18:  Another update on the Delhi gang rape: The Justice Usha Mehra Panel, which has been constituted to review responses to the December 16 gang-rape case, will receive public opinions and suggestions till January 18.

The Justice Mehra Commission has been set up under Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 to enquire into various aspects of the shocking incident of rape and brutal assault of a 23 year-old student in Delhi and to identify the lapses, if any, on the part of the police or any other authority or person that contributed to the occurrence.

The Commission, therefore, invites suggestions, information and any other related material, in this regard from the members of public including professionals like lawyers, journalists, doctors, serving and retired police or defence personnel, NGOs and other social activists by Fax or E-mail or in writing.

A Home Ministry statement said any information, suggestions and responses could be sent to the Justice (retd) Usha Mehra Commission of Inquiry through email at or through Fax at 011-23093750 till January 18. Earlier, the last date for receiving such suggestions was January 10.
12:30  SC: NO safety, dignity for women in Delhi:  The Supreme Court in a statement today has said that, "There is no safety in Delhi.  We are more concerned about providing a safe environment for women to live with dignity." Details awaited. 
12:24  The Election Commission will announce the poll dates for three states -- Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya -- at 3.30 pm today. 
12:21  Towards a progressive interpretation of Islam:  The Delhi court judge who rejected bail to a maulvi in a forcible marriage case was right in saying that there is no blanket sanction for polygamy in the Koran. Read
12:11  Antony: Sporadic firing along LoC cause of serious concern:  Addressing a press conference in Delhi today, Defence Minister AK Antony today said that ceasefire violations remain a cause of serious concern, but there were  enough troops in Jammu and Kashmir. The border was being closely monitored, he said. 
12:05  Anil Ambani compares Modi with Gandhi, Sardar Patel:  Just in: Anil Ambani, chairperson, ADAG, calls Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi, lord among lords, a leader of men and compares him with Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and his own father, Dhirubhai Ambani. Ambani was speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Ahmedabad. 

His brother, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, said "We have a leader with a grand vision in Narendrabhai. We began from Gujarat and we come back here again and again to invest. I announce a Rs 500-crore university that will be set up in collaboration with the Gujarat government. "

More in a bit.
11:59  The rapist in the mirror:  Praveen Swami's piece on the Hindu: If we are to combat sexual violence in our cities, it is time to begin discussing the dysfunctions of young urban men. Read
11:41  Delhi rape: The role of timepass:   India's youthful population is often portrayed as a "demographic dividend.' Young people will become the workers of tomorrow and drive India's economic rise, so the story goes. But the dark side of this tale is the presence of large numbers of uneducated or poorly educated young men who are, in many cases, unemployed or underemployed, unmarried and frustrated. The skewed sex ratio makes this problem worse. There are lots of idle young men. 
Read Rupa Subramanya's piece on Delhi rape and the role of timepass.
11:37  Life term for rapist, not death penalty:  Will this be the way the Delhi gang rape judgment will go? A man who repeatedly stabbed a 17-year-old in her private parts, fatally damaging her intestines, when she resisted his attempt to rape her has escaped the hangman's noose. Read
11:32  Pakistan made 117 violations last year :  The Indian Army counted 117 violations last year '" an average of one every three days. This was almost twice the 61 in 2011 (one every six days) and 57 in 2010.If the frequency of violations has not gathered the sound and fury of the intensive fire exchanges along the LoC till November 2003, that is largely because of two reasons.

First, Pakistan has reduced '" though not in as great a measure as it claims '" its deployment on the LoC to reinforce troops on its border with Afghanistan.

Second, the firing is targeted by both Indian and Pakistani troops at posts or patrols within a narrow band of 5 to 6km between India's "Anti Infiltration Obstacle System' (fence) and Pakistani positions. The fence is inside Indian territory but its distance from the LoC varies from 500m to 2km or more, leaving several villages outside it.

Read more
11:24  Nov industrial output contracts 0.1 per cent:  Meanwhile, India's industrial production fell 0.1 per cent in November from a year earlier, government data showed on Friday.Analysts polled by Reuters had expected output to grow 0.7 per cent annually.

Revised data for October showed production at factories, mines and utilities grew 8.3 per cent compared with 8.2 per cent earlier.Manufacturing, which constitutes about 76 per cent of industrial production, rose 0.3 per cent from a year earlier, the central statistics office said. Read
11:17  Jawan killings: Anna wants to battle Pakistanis:  'Gandhian' social activist Anna Hazare has said India should retaliate in kind and if need be wage a full-fledged war against Pakistan. He made the remark in the backdrop of a two-day training camp organised by Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan in Ralegan Siddhi on Thursday.

Two Indian soldiers, Lance Naiks Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj, were reportedly killed by Pakistan troops in a cross-border raid on January 8.Former Army Chief V K Singh, who also attended the camp, declined to comment on the issue.

"The way in which these jawans have been killed is unacceptable. It's high time that we teach Pakistan a good lesson. We should give them a tit-for-tat answer. Let's have a decisive war and solve the problem for once and all. I am 75 now but if there need be I would go to the borders and fight against Pakistan,' said Anna.
11:14  Just in: Industrial output contracts by 0.1 per cent in November, 2012.
11:12  Read: Amnesty International's recommendations to the Justice Verma committee which is seeking the amendment of existing rape laws and amendments to the criminal justice system.
11:00  US may allow H1B spouses to work during green card wait:  In a rare move that flies in the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric in some corners of the US, the Department of Homeland Security has announced that it was proposing to provide employment authorisation to H-4 visa holders, who are spouse-dependents of principal H-1B "non-immigrant" visa holders. Read more
10:56  Killed jawan's father wants 'befitting reply' to enemy:   The distraught father of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, who was one of the soldiers killed in an attack by Pakistan Army across the LoC, wants that the neighbouring nation be given a "befitting reply" for the dastardly act.

"The government should respond to the dastardly act by the enemy (Pakistan Army) in a befitting manner. That will be the real tribute to my martyred son," Lance Naik Sudharkar Singh's father Sachchidanand Singh said after the cremation of his son yesterday.

"Hamari iccha hai ki dushman ka datkar muqabla karke usko usi ki bhasha mein jawab dena chahiye," (we want that the enemy should be dealt with in a befitting manner)," Singh said from Dadia village in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh.

"Sudhakar was our strength and was supposed to come to the village on February 15-16, but now everything is lost," Singh said.

The 30-year-old deceased soldier, the youngest of the four siblings, had joined Army on April 7, 2002. He is survived by wife and four-month-old son Bhaskar.

When asked whether he was satisfied with Government of India's response on the issue, Singh said the government has its own responsibilities but this situation "demands an equally befitting action."

The martyred soldier's cousin Prem Singh said Sudhakar's father-in-law was also a retired Army man and despite losing his son-in-law, he wants his grandson to join the Army.
10:54  All US presidents, family to get lifetime protection:  US President Barack Obama signed into law a legislation that extends life time protection to all former American presidents, and their family members including children till the age of 16.

The 'Former Presidents Protection Act of 2012,' restores lifetime Secret Service protection of former presidents who did not serve as President prior to January 1, 1997, and their spouses.

It provides for protection of all children of former Presidents until they become 16 years of age; the White House said. The bill reverses a previous law that limited Secret Service protection for former presidents and their families to 10 years if they served after 1997.
10:51  The Supreme Court quashes the appointment of Justice (retd) Chandrashekar Aiah as Lokayukta of Karnataka.
10:49  HC notice to MP minister, Gwalior Mayor over praise of dacoits:  The Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued notices to the state Medical Education Minister Anoop Mishra, Gwalior Mayor Sameeksha Gupta and others in connection with a programme eulogising dacoits recently. The Gwalior Municipal Corporation had organised the Gwalior Carnival from December 15-31 last year during which a programme was organised on the theme of 'Dacoits of Chambal'. During the programme, the speakers reportedly spoke in praise of the dacoits and information about them was also displayed on posters and banners. Bhadouria had earlier filed a PIL in the High Court demanding that the programme will have an adverse affect on the new generation as it was organised to speak in praise the dacoits, following which the court directed the GMC to ensure that it was not done.
10:36  Don't show programme on gang rape: Govt to Sony TV:  The information and broadcasting ministry has urged TV channel Sony to not telecast a programme on the Delhi gangrape incident.

The ministry asked Sony to not telecast the programme -- which included a reconstruction of the heinous crime -- stating that the TV channel needed to be "aware of ground realities".
08:47  US rules out possibility of sending troops to Syria:  Ruling out any immediate possibility of sending troops to war-torn Syria, the US has said it will do so only when requested to join the international community in case of a peaceful transition in the country.

"We are not working on options that involve boots on the ground. I think you always have to keep the possibility that if there is a peaceful transition and international organisations get involved, that they might ask for assistance in that situation. But in a hostile situation, we are not planning for that," Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said.
08:46  Clinton, Karzai discuss post-pullout Afghanistan:  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met visiting Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to hold discussions over a host of issues including the progress on bilateral security agreements and presence of US forces in the country after 2014. 

During a one-on-one meeting at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, the two leaders also discussed upon economic sustainability of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US-led international troops.

"This is a great opportunity for us to attempt in a very humble way to repay some of the hospitality I have enjoyed over the years," Clinton was seen saying during a brief photo-opportunity.
03:38  The rhetoric of India-Pakistan tensions:  

There is no question that strong language is being used. The Indian external-affairs minister has called the attack on the Indian soldiers "ghastly", while the defence minister is using terms like "inhuman".


Fortunately, the tough response has remained at that: words. The conversation has filtered through many diplomatic levels and some military ranks. India summoned Pakistan's top diplomat in New Delhi for an explanation into the death of two Indian soldiers. The Indians have lodged a protest over the Pakistani army's alleged actions and want Pakistan to issue an appropriate response to Indian concerns.  


Read more of Divya Gopalan's blog on Al Jazeera

03:36  Three Kurdish activists found dead in Paris:  

Three Kurdish women activists have been killed overnight inside the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris, including a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

Their bodies were found at around on Thursday morning. All three were shot in the head.

Read more on Al Jazeera

02:11  Obama nominates Jack Lew as new US Treasury Secy:  

US President Barack Obama, in an effort to rejuvenate the battered US economy, today nominated his Chief-of-Staff and budget specialist Jack Lew as the next Treasury Secretary.        


"I cannot think of a better person to continue Tim's work at Treasury than Jack Lew," Obama said, in a White House event announcing his nominations for the top cabinet jobs in his second term beginning January 20.        


"Jack knows that every number on a page, every dollar we budget, every decision we make, has to be an expression of who we wish to be as a nation," Obama said.        


 "So, I hope the Senate will confirm him as quickly as possible," Obama said.        


The 57-year-old, if confirmed by the Senate, will replace Timothy Geithner, who has announced his decision to quit the Obama Cabinet by January end.

01:05  Ailing Chavez misses Venezuela inauguration rally:  

AFP: With cancer-stricken President Hugo Chavez hospitalised in Cuba, thousands of flag-waving Venezuelans in red shirts filled the streets of Caracas today to inaugurate his new term without him.         


Bands played anthems from street-side stages as people poured out of buses to make their way on foot toward the Miraflores presidential palace for a symbolic swearing-in of the people in place of Chavez, who is too sick to take the oath of office.

00:18  Shooting at Taft High School in California:  

BBC: A gunman has shot two people at a high school in California, police have said. One victim suffered a "major injury", the other a "minor injury" in the shooting at Taft High School in Bakersfield, about 80 miles (120km) north of Los Angeles, they added.


US media are reporting that the gunman has been taken into custody.

00:14  Top headlines at this hour:  

Pak violates ceasefire in Poonch sector, AGAIN

Gang-rape: Plea for FIR against transport min, officials

Five fast track courts for rape cases in J-K

Norway case: HC gives custody of children to mother

SC raises questions on politicos with criminal background

Cold wave claims 23 more lives in the north

No decision of Afzal Guru's mercy; busy with rape case: Shinde

Court summons Owaisi on Feb 4 in another hate speech case

Anti-women politicians should go home: Ramesh

Hope ceasefire violations won't derail peace process: Pak

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