23:30 I-T dept summons Gadkari over tax evasion:
The income tax department has issued summons for appearance to BJP president Nitin Gadkari in connection with its investigation against him and some associated companies for alleged tax evasion.
Top sources in the department said Gadkari has been asked for his personal appearance so that he can be confronted with the documents and probe conducted by the I-T in this regard in the last few months.
"He had sought an adjournment for two weeks citing that he is not present in Nagpur. He has been given the extension and the new date for appearance is January 21," they said.
23:11 Firing reported along LoC in Poonch sector again:
Firing was reported at Krishna Ghati area in Poonch sector near the Line of Control in Kashmir on Saturday night.
The firing started after the Indian Army detected movement along the LoC, said media reports.
The latest report about firing comes in the wake of escalated tensions at the LoC after Pakistan Army troopers violated ceasefire and killed two Indian soldiers.
23:07 Mecca Masjid blast: NIA conducts searches in MP:
A National Investigation Agency team today conducted extensive searches at the house of Tej Ram Pawar, who was arrested in connection with 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, at Depalpur in Indore district, sources said.
The NIA team, led by a deputy SP from Hyderabad, conducted the searches in the presence of Tej Ram amid tight security, an NIA source said.
23:06 President's Rule looms large over Jharkhand:
President's Rule looms large over Jharkhand as no party has staked claim to form the government so far, after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha withdrew support to the BJP-led government, reducing it to a minority.
"The governor separately met the leaders of JMM, Congress and RJD today but did not get any firm assurance from them about the formation of government in the near future. A second status report is likely to be sent soon to the Centre,"sources said.
22:36 CRPF jawan killed by Naxals cremated with state honours :
The mortal remains of Champalal Malwiya, a Central Reserve Police Force jawan who was killed in a Naxal attack at Latehar in Jharkhand, were cremated with state honours at his native village Ghatlanear today.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan attended the funeral.
21:15 Now, Cyrus Mistry lauds the 'spirit of Gujarat':
New Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry today lauded the Gujarat government and Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying they have created an enabling business environment and a culture of implementation.
"At the outset, I would like to applaud the spirit of entrepreneurship of the people of Gujarat and the spirit of the entire Gujarati diaspora. It is important to recognise the infrastructure and enabling environment put in place by the Gujarat government," Mistry said.
21:12 Man stoned to death by Naxals in Chattisgarh:
A 45-year-old man was killed by suspected Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, police said today.
"The crushed body of one Markam Boda was found abandoned alongside a road at village Pairampalli under Usur police station in the Naxal-affected district this morning," Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal said.
21:12 Jharkhand needs fresh elections: BJP :
BJP's state president Dineshanand Goswami today said following the dissolution of the Jharkhand assembly, fresh elections are the best and only option to prevent formation of a government based on horse-trading.
Reacting to the JMM, Congress and RJD, which had met Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed today in Raj Bhawan to stake claim for the formation of an alternative government in the state, Goswami said no political party or alliance has the majority to form an alternative government in the prevailing political scenario.
20:37 Mamata Banerjee meets author Mahasweta Devi :
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today visited the residence of writer-activist Mahasweta Devi, who has been critical of her government on different counts.
The octogenarian Magsaysay award winning writer, who is not keeping good health, told reporters that Banerjee came to wish her on her birthday, which falls on January 14, and also wished her speedy recovery.
Mahasweta Devi, who was a strong supporter of the Singur and Nandigram movements spearheaded by the Trinamool Congress chief, has recently deplored the attack on CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah, allegedly by Trinamool Congress workers, at Bhangor in South 24 Parganas district.
She had also earlier come down on the state government order specifying which newspapers should be subscribed by state libraries.
20:35 Propagate Swami Vivekananda's teachings: Pranab:
Swami Vivekananda's teachings, including people's social responsibility towards all to educate the poor, need to be spread across the globe, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.
Inaugurating a function in connection with the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President recalled Vivekananda's teachings and said they need to be spread across India and the world with a full realisation of the powerful impact they have on the people of India.
20:34 Bengaluru: Men in skirts pledge to support women!:
Dressed in colourful skirts, a group of 25 men from different walks of life gathered at the famous Cubbon Park in Bengaluru, pledging support to women and their rights.
The men, including company professionals and entrepreneurs, took a pledge to be sensitive to gender issues.
The brainchild of two youngsters, Samarpita Samaddar, a communications professional, and Aditya Mallya, an entrepreneur, this initiative was made through Facebook.
19:07 Revolt is the most remarkable thing in Indian tennis: Somdev:
Tennis ace Somdev Devvarman today asserted that their collective refusal to play in Davis Cup does not portray India and its tennis players in a bad light and the "revolt is one of the most remarkable things" that has happened in Indian sport.
Somdev also said the young players have been "super unselfish" by joining his initiative as they had risked several benefits.
AITA selected a third-string team to play against South Korea as 11 players including Somdev, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, dug in their heels and said they will not represent the country unless AITA improves playing conditions.
18:37 Assam: Train derails; 20-25 injured:
Around 20-25 people received injuries when two bogies of the Barak Valley passenger train derailed at Dima Hasao Hills district of Assam.
Railway officials said the incident took place at around 1 pm near the remote Harangajao railway station when the train was on its way from Lumding to Silchar.
18:36 Prez Rule in Jharkhand last option: Lalu :
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today urged Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed to place the assembly in suspended animation and explore the possibility of formation of a popular government, keeping the imposition of President's Rule as the last option.
"Whether it be the JMM or Congress, whichever party or alliance comes forward to form the next government in Jharkhand should be given a chance to do so," said Prasad, who was set to be elected unopposed as the party president for the eighth successive term after he filed his nomination papers.
The RJD supremo, whose party has five MLAs in the 82-member House in Jharkhand, said that President's Rule should be imposed in the state only when there was no chance of formation of an alternative government.
17:06 Pakistan intruder held in J-K:
A Pakistani intruder was arrested by the security forces along the Indo-Pak border in Gharkhal area of Jammu district.
The forces deployed on the border observed some suspicious movement of the unidentified intruder near Ranjeet Gate in Akhnoor belt of Jammu district last night and arrested him, a defence spokesman said here today.
17:05 IB director's writing history:
Director Intelligence Bureau Asif Ibrahim has been a columnist with the Economic Political Weekly, but not many know that he was very fond of writing right from his JNU days.
At that time his main critic was Harish Khare, who went on to become resident editor of The Hindu, and media advisor to the prime minister.
16:37 Congress leaders get nicknames:
Many Congress leaders have begun addressing their leaders with their initials and not their names. This is not new in the AICC-but this trend is catching up with junior leaders too.
CP (Congress President) refers to Sonia Gandhi, AP for Ahmed Patel. MO is Motital Vohra When Cong leaders say JD it is not Janata Dal but Janardhan Diwedi.
Similarly, MSA is Mani Shankar Aiyer. However, some letters are given special treatment. '10 J' refers to 10 Janpath and therefore given more importance.
16:11 Railways has derailed since I left office: Lalu:
Criticising the rise in train fares, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad today said that the railways have "derailed" since he left the office of railway minister. "The railway has derailed from the track.... The people in power are trying to destroy the lifeline of the country," Prasad told reporters.
Claiming that revenue generation from the passenger fare hike would be paltry, he said, it had not gone down well with passengers. Instead of raising the passenger fare, the government should have revisited the freight rate and put in place additional infrastructure for improving freight service, the former railway minister said. Prasad said that he was the first railway minister to pay special attention to freight service to generate additional revenue.
16:06 Meira Kumar to launch new apps for MPs:
Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar will launch an ambitious plan for members of Parliament on January 26.
MPs will now be able to read-interact-print the verbatim reporting's of the Lok Sabha proceedings on their iPad's.
The latest apps and improvisations were suggested by S S Ahluwalia former Rajya Sabha member and now digitalisation advisor to the speaker of Lok Sabha. MPs will soon be able to read regional newspapers on their iPads and as many as 150 dailies in 18 languages will be made available to them.
Weekly magazines and links to television news channels will also be added later.
15:55 Important announcement on Telangana on Jan 21:
The All India Congress Committee is expected to make an important announcement on the Telangana issue on January 21.
The AICC is likely to propose a Telangana Regional Development Council. The draft will be discussed during the AICC session in Jaipur with the Andhra- Rayalaseema and Telangana regional leaders.
AICC has entrusted Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to sort out the issues with other regional leaders.
15:38 Pak's 26/11 trial adjourned again on defence plea:
The trial of seven suspects charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks was adjourned for a week today at the request of defence lawyers even though three prosecution witnesses had come to be cross-examined regarding their testimony.
Khwaja Haris Ahmed, the counsel for Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, submitted an application that requested Judge Chaudhry Habib-ur-Rehman to put off the hearing till next week as his father's death anniversary was being observed today.
Ahmed's father Khwaja Sultan had served as Lakhvi's counsel before his death. The judge accepted Ahmed's request and put off the case till January 18.
14:49 Nikam opposes death penalty for rapists:
Amidst raging debate in the country over tough anti-rape laws, including capital punishment for the culprits, a top lawyer has said death penalty is not the ultimate solution to curb such cases and suggested longer jail term.
Even though there had been a nationwide outcry over the last month's gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi and subsequent vociferous demand for sending the accused to the gallows, death penalty is not the proper punishment in such cases, said Ujjwal Nikam, who has been Special Public Prosecutor in several high-profile cases, including 26/11.
14:19 3 killed in explosion at TN fireworks unit :
In the second fireworks unit mishap this month in Tamil Nadu, three men were killed in a blast in their factory at a remote village in Virudhunagar district, police said today.
The workers were mixing chemicals for making some fancy firework when the blast occurred due to friction at the unit in Sindapalli village near Sattur, about 80 km from here, last evening, they said.
The intensity of the blast was so powerful that the bodies of the workers were blown to pieces and flung several feet away. The shed where they were working was razed to the ground, District Collector T N Hariharan said.
13:36 LoC killings: Govt should harden its stand, says V K Singh:
Condemning the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani forces along the Line of Control, former Army Chief General V K Singh today said here that the government should harden its stand on the issue, as it was a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.
"The government should harden its stand on the hostility shown by Pakistani forces which claimed lives of two jawans. The killing was against humanity and indeed a violation of our Geneva convention (which lays down how captured soldiers should be treated)," Gen Singh who arrived from Delhi on his way to Multai in Madhya Pradesh, told reporters here today.
13:06 ANP leader, 13 others injured in blast in Pak:
Awami National Party leader Bashir Khan Umarzai and 13 others were injured today when his entourage was targeted with a roadside bomb in Pakistan's restive northwest, police said.
Umarzai was travelling to a court complex when his motorcade was targeted with the bomb in Khan Gari area of Charsadda district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Umarzai, his son Shakeel Bashir Umarzai and a dozen others were injured in the attack, police officials said. The injured were taken to Lady Reading Hospital, where doctors said they were all out of danger.
12:23 Myanmar helicopter crashes in northern battle zone:
Kachin ethnic rebels battling the army in northern Myanmar say they have shot down a government helicopter, but the army says it crashed due to engine failure. An emailed announcement from the Kachin guerrillas says they shot down the helicopter late yesterday as heavy fighting raged.
A senior government official citing military sources said today an Mi-35 helicopter crashed in Kachin-controlled territory due to engine failure. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to divulge military information.
11:48 Sri Lankan parliament votes to impeach chief justice:
Sri Lanka faced a possible constitutional crisis on Friday after its parliament voted to impeach the chief justice, disregarding rulings from the Supreme Court that the process was illegal and threatened judicial independence.
The move has caused an outcry among opposition lawmakers, religious leaders and lawyers, prompted the United States and United Nations to voice concern for the integrity of justice in the South Asian state, and may alarm foreign investors.
Dominated by a coalition headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa's party, parliament voted to impeach Shirani Bandaranayake, Sri Lanka's first female chief justice, with 155 of the legislature's 225 members in favour.
11:17 PM gets briefing on latest situation along LoC:
National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday over the latest situation on the Line of Control as Pakistani troops again targeted Indian posts in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to exchange of fire.
"NSA briefed the prime minister as he is doing regularly since the situation began,' an official said.
11:14 Jindal aims at ending income tax in Louisiana :
Indian-American Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal today proposed to end individual and corporate income tax, which he argued would be able to attract more investment and people to his State.
"My goal is to eliminate all personal income tax and all corporate income tax in a revenue neutral way, and keep the sales tax as low and flat as possible," Jindal announced, which drew sharp reaction from some of the State lawmakers.
"This will keep more money in the pockets of Louisianians and send a message to businesses across the globe that Louisiana is open for business," he said in an email to his people in the State.
10:12 Duchess of Cambridge delights in first official portrait:
Much larger than life and with glossy locks tumbling like a shampoo commercial, the first official portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.
The duchess had slipped in with her husband before the gallery opened '" mindful of the media scrum at the actual unveiling, which included television crews from Germany and Russia. "It's just amazing, I thought it was brilliant," she said.
There is no tiara, gilt, red plush or ermine in the painting, just a sober background, a plain, dark blue-green blouse modestly fastened up to the neck and a glint of one expensive earring.
09:50 100 million head to Ganges for Kumbh Mela festival:
A procession of around 100 million devotees, from naked sprinting gurus to worshippers completing simple rituals, will stream into the river Ganges next week for the world's biggest festival.
The Kumbh Mela starting Monday and stretching over 55 days, attracts ash-covered holy men who run into the frigid waters, a smattering of international celebrities, as well as millions upon millions of ordinary Indians.
Its name translates as the "Pitcher Festival" and every three years it provides a unique spectacle of colour, noise and Hindu religious devotion, particularly on what are deemed to be the most auspicious bathing days.
09:24 Bus torched, plastic bullets fired in fresh N. Ireland riots:
Police in Northern Ireland fired plastic bullets and water cannon as pro-British loyalists furious over restrictions on flying the British flag torched a bus and hurled petrol bombs at officers.
Violence also flared in towns outside the capital Belfast as loyalists -- the Protestant community's working-class hardcore -- blocked roads around the province to express their anger. Northern Ireland has been swept with a wave of sometimes violent protests since December 3, when Belfast City Council voted to restrict the number of days the British flag is flown at City Hall to 18 per year.
Most of yesterday's province-wide protests were peaceful, with demonstrators taking the flag onto the streets, but serious disorder broke out in the towns of Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus, just north of Belfast.
03:32 Trail of Bullet Casings From Africa to Iran:
The first clues appeared in Kenya, Uganda and what is now South Sudan. A British arms researcher surveying ammunition used by government forces and civilian militias in 2006 found Kalashnikov rifle cartridges he had not seen before.
The ammunition bore no factory code, suggesting that its manufacturer hoped to avoid detection. Within two years other researchers were finding identical cartridges circulating through the ethnic violence in Darfur. Similar ammunition then turned up in 2009 in a stadium in Conakry, Guinea, where soldiers had fired on antigovernment protesters, killing more than 150.
Read more on The New York Times
03:29 UK police report 50 years of Savile sex abuse:
British police say that Jimmy Savile, the late BBC star presenter, was a "predatory sex offender" whose victims were as young as eight years old, according to a newly released extensive report.
Savile preyed on children and adults in hospitals and even a hospice, according to the report, released by the police and child protection services on Friday. The television presenter was accused of having committed more than 200 sex crimes over more than half a century, from 1955 to 2009.
Police and child protection authorities found Savile used his celebrity status to "hide in plain sight", but that he could have been prosecuted. Police says the scale of Savile's sex abuse was "unprecedented in UK".
Read more on Al Jazeera
03:27 Syrian rebels capture key Idlib airbase:
Syrian opposition fighters have overrun Taftanaz airbase, the largest in northern Syria, after several days of fierce combat, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said.
Anti-government activists said fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) and other groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad seized control of buildings, ammunition and military equipment in the sprawling Taftanaz airbase in northern Idlib province on Friday.
Read more on Al Jazeera
02:16 Pak havens need more than military solution: Obama:
Addressing the issue of extremist safe haven in Pakistan requires more than a military solution, US President Barack Obama said today, noting that Islamabad has a crucial role to play in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.
"With respect to Pakistan and safe havens there, Afghanistan and the United States and Pakistan all have an interest in reducing the threat of extremism in some of these border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that's going to require more than simply military actions," Obama told reporters at a joint press conference with the visiting Afghan President, Hamid Karzai.
That's really going to require political and diplomatic work between Afghanistan and Pakistan; he said in response to a question from a visiting Afghan journalist when he asked the question of continued safe havens inside Afghanistan. The United States, obviously, will have an interest in facilitating and participating in cooperation between the two sovereign countries, he noted.
"But as President Karzai, I think, has indicated, it's very hard to imagine a stability and peace in the region if Pakistan and Afghanistan don't come to some basic agreement and understanding about the threat of extremism to both countries and both governments and both capitals.
"I think you're starting to see a greater awareness of that on the part of the Pakistani government," Obama said.
01:19 France confirms Mali intervention:
President Francois Hollande says French troops are taking part in operations against Islamists in northern Mali. French troops "have brought support this afternoon to Malian units to fight against terrorist elements", he said. Armed groups, some linked to Al Qaeda, took control of northern Mali in April.
Mr Hollande said the intervention complied with international law, and had been agreed with Malian President Dioncounda Traore. A state of emergency has been declared across the country.
Read more on BBC
00:18 Possibility of US troops in Afghanistan post-2014:
US President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai have discussed the possibility of keeping a US military force in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
In a joint statement after White House talks, the two leaders also said the US would give custody of Afghan prisoners to the Afghan government. They also backed holding talks in Doha between the Afghan government and the Taliban. They said "most" US combat operations would end by mid-2013.
Read more on BBC