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Can't treat name-calling as reasoned debate: Obama

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January 21, 2013

23:00  Can't treat name-calling as reasoned debate: Obama:  Obama speech: "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this countrys course. With passion & dedication, let us answer the call of history & carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. That all of us are created equal is still the star that guides us still"
22:42  Obama Speech: We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully. The most evident of truths -- that all of us are created equal is still the star that guides us still. It is now our generations task to carry on what those pioneers began." 

"Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers & daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants. Our journey is not complete until all our children...know that they are cared for & cherished & always safe from harm"
Obama speech: "Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully"
22:36  Obama Speech: "We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity"

"We will respond to the threat of climate change."

"None can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought & more powerful storms."

"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long...But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it."

"We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs & new industries -- we must claim its promise"

"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war"

"Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill & courage."
22:34  Obama speech: "We believe that Americas prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody."

"We must harness new ideas & technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools. [We must] empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more & reach higher. While the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort & determination of every single American."

"We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few."
22:31  We are made for this moment; we'll seize it: Obama:  
Obama says: "Our celebration of initiative...our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character. We have always understood that when times change, so must we. Americans can no more meet the demands of todays world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. 

"This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. We are made for this moment & we will seize it so long as we seize it together. For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well & a growing many barely make it."
22:29  Obama says, "Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable & protect its people from lifes worst hazards. Our celebration of initiative, our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character."
22:25  Obama opens: "Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colour of our skin or the tenants of our faith or the origins of our names."
22:24  Obama swears to "preserve, protect and defend" the constitution of the United States.

He is flanked by his two daughters, wearing bright pink and purple coats.
22:23  Obama begins second term as US President:  US President Barack Obama is inaugurated in a ceremony attended by nearly a million people who gathered on the National Mall in Washington DC

Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Oath of Office to President Obama.
22:21  Michelle Obama on Twitter: Honoured and blessed to be joining so many of my fellow Americans gathered to watch the Inauguration. 
22:11  Top IM operative held in Bihar:  A top Indian Mujahideen operative and an alleged close associate of the outfit'sfounder Yasin Bhatkal, was tonight arrested by the NationalInvestigation Agency  from Darbhanga in Bihar.

The operative, identified as Mohammed Danish Ansari, sonof Mohammed Zafeer Ansari and a resident of Chakjora village(under Laheriasarai police station area) in Darbhanga, wasarrested by the sleuths of the agency.        

Sources said a non-bailable warrant had been issuedagainst him by a special NIA court in Delhi last year.
22:10  Shiv Sena leader calls Mumbai a 'dirty city':   Stating that unauthorised slums in the metropolis are creating big problems, senior Shiv Sena leader and former Maharashtra chief minister today called Mumbai a 'dirty city'. "Mumbai is a dirty city today.

Many people who live here have no civic sense," Joshi, who was also Mumbai city's former mayor, said during an interactive programme -- 'Mumbai's Development: Shiv Sena's perspective".

He, however, refrained from holding the Shiv Sena responsible for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's state of affairs, though his party has held power at the corporation in alliance with its coalition partner BJP for more than two decades.
21:35  Pak govt withdraws plea seeking review of SC order:  The Pakistan government today withdrew a petition seeking a review of a Supreme Court order directing authorities to take action against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other suspects for alleged corruption in power projects.

The petition was withdrawn by Wasim Sajjad, the premier's counsel. He said the petition was being withdrawn on the directive of Ashraf.
21:09  Gadkari launches BJP's toll-free number in UP:  To establish a direct and easy dialogue with people and the party workers in Uttar Pradesh, BJP president Nitin Gadkari today launched a toll-free number during Atal Shankhnaad rally here.

Gadkari launched the number, 18001022024, on the occasion of the merger of Kalayan Singh's Jankranti Party (Rashtrawadi) with the BJP. The party has launched the service in a bid to regain its lost base in the politically sensitive state ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The number is meant to get suggestions and complaints from people and party workers.
20:54  Cauvery: TN intensifies legal battle against Karna:  Opening another front in its legal battle with Karnataka on the Cauvery row, Tamil Nadu today decided to move the Supreme Court seeking damages from it for loss of crops caused by the neighbouring state's 'adamant approach' in not releasing water.

Upping the ante, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced she has ordered officials to file a suit in the apex court claiming damages to compensate for the loss of Kuruvai (short-term) and Samba (long-term) paddy crops in the state.

In spite of directions by the Supreme Court and Cauvery Monitoring Committee, Karnataka had not released water in 'appropriate way', following which the crops have been 'largely affected', Jayalalithaa said, citing various petitions filed by her government.
20:45  Japan PM confirms 7 deaths in Algeria crisis:  Japan's prime minister today said seven Japanese deaths had been confirmed in the Algerian hostage crisis, the first official confirmation from Tokyo that any of its nationals had died.

"I was informed by vice foreign minister (Minoru) Kiuchi that as a result of identifications of bodies at a hospital in In Amenas, seven were confirmed to be Japanese employees of JGC," Shinzo Abe told his ministers.
20:35  Gadkari seeks more time from IT department:  Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari has sought more time from the IT department. He has been asked to appear on February 1.

Gadkari is at the centre of a raging controversy over funding of PPSL with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by Ideal Road Builders group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when the BJP chief was the public works department minister in Maharashtra. 
20:26  Algeria siege: 37 foreigners died, says PM:  Algeria's Prime Minister has said 37 foreigners from eight nationalities were killed during the siege at a gas plant in the east of the country.

In a statement, PM Abdelmalek Sellal said one Canadian was among the militants who seized the plant and took hostages near the town of In Amenas.

He said 29 of the militants had been killed and three were captured alive.The four-day siege ended on Sunday. As many as 48 hostages, including Algerians, are thought to have died.
19:49  Algeria siege: Hostage takers 'came from Mali':  Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has said the 32 militants who took dozens of people hostage at a gas plant had "come from northern Mali'.

As many as 48 hostages - including foreigners - are thought to have died at the site near the town of In Amenas.About 20 captives remain unaccounted for after the four-day siege, which ended on Sunday.

The militants said they took hostages in retaliation for French intervention against Islamists in Mali.
19:26  Berlusconi sex-for-hire verdict after Italy vote:  Judges hearing ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire trial today pushed back the verdict and the sentencing in the case until after Italy's Feb 24-25 national election. Prosecutors, meanwhile, pressed to make sure they can give their closing arguments, which include their sentencing demands, before the vote, in which Berlusconi is heading a center-right coalition. 

That coalition is facing the center-left Democratic Party, which is leading in the polls, and centrist parties united under a financial reform agenda led by Premier Mario Monti. Berlusconi has long accused Milan magistrates of mounting politically inspired campaign against him an allegation they deny.
19:25  Two alleged Indians arrested in Pak on spying charges:  Five persons, including two alleged Indian nationals, have been arrested on charges of spying in the Cantonment area of this eastern Pakistani city, police sources said today. The sources told PTI that Military Intelligence had arrested the two alleged Indians nationals near the Pakistan Rangers headquarters within Lahore Cantonment a week ago. 

"During interrogation, the suspects revealed that three Pakistanis had helped them cross the border. Today, police arrested the three Pakistanis in Hudiara village and took to an undisclosed place for interrogation," a police source said.
19:09  Govt decision on Telangana likely this week :  The Union government is expected to announce its decision on the Telangana statehood issue on January 24 or 27, as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is travelling to Bangladesh from 27th to 29th.

The UPA Coordination Commitee is meeting on Wednesday and on the 25th the Congress Core Committee will meet to discuss the Telangana issue. 

Andhra leaders have got the PM's appointment at 11 am on Tuesday. However, the condition before them for appointment is that the delegation should not exceed five.
18:35  Bangalore gears up to host Aero India 2013:  Defence Minister A K Antony would inaugurate the Ninth Edition of  Aero India on February 6 at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bangalore.

Organised by Department of Defence Production this biennial event provides a significant platform for Indian and foreign vendors.

The five-day show aims at promoting products and services being offered by defence industry in the international market and providing exposure to the armed forces and research and development personnel to the latest in aviation and the aerospace industry.
18:33  BJP's Rajnath seeks scrapping of Pakistan border ceasefire Read :  Days after his party colleague Sushma Swaraj demanded 10 Pakistani heads in revenge for the beheading of an Indian soldier, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh has sought to scrap the ceasefire on the Line of Control, and "junk" sporting and cultural ties between the two nations. Read more
18:32  Home is where the Harley is:  One of the last male bastions is falling to women who juggle work, home and children - and still find time to ride superbikes. The Harley Davidson, the ultimate boy toy, is becoming a favoured female acquisition, and not all women who show up at the Harley Owners Group (HOG) ride pillion. Increasingly, a number of them are in the driver's seat. Read more
18:08  Martina: Lance shouldn't be able to compete ever :  Martina Navratilova says only a "big ego" could have driven Lance Armstrong to lie about doping for so many years, and thinks he should never be allowed to compete in any sport again.

The 18-time Grand Slam singles champion said she didn't watch Armstrong's US TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, during which he admitted to doping during his seven Tour de France wins, because she'd already made up her mind about him.

"There is no justification for what he did," Navratilova said. "Lying about it with such conviction for so many years, suing people and winning and just denying it so many times, I mean, it takes some serious ego to be able to do that. Clearly, he has a big ego.

"He should never be able to compete anywhere at any level. If it was just a one-time deal, OK, but every year he raced, he was cheating. It's unimaginable."
17:55  Mangalore police defend action against TV reporters :   The arrest of yet another journalist in the homestay party raid case in Mangalore and the rejection of Naveen Soorinje's bail application casts a cloud over independent news-gathering, says Geeta Seshu. Read
17:53  Still NO arrests in Arunachal journalist's murder:  It was in July 2012 that Itanagar-based Associate Editor with The Arunachal Times, Tongam Rina, was shot at while entering her office. Despite public protests and support from across India, all she gets are empty assurances. An indifferent state administration has only added insult to the injuries she sustained. Read
17:51  Frothing at the Mouth:  Television news is fast becoming the most dangerous extremist in India's civil society. Read the report on the Economic and Political Weekly.
17:44  Hafiz Saeed seeks to exploit Shinde's remarks:   Mumbai attacks mastermind and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed today sought to exploit Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's jibe against RSS and BJP saying Indian "propaganda" against Pakistani organisations of spreading terror now stood "exposed".

A day after Shinde accused BJP and RSS of running terror camps and indulging in Hindu terror, he went to the extend of levelling an accusation that Indian organisations were "involved in all kinds of terrorism in Pakistan".

Saeed, for whom the US has announced a USD 10 million bounty, told a press conference in Lahore that India always resorted to propaganda against Pakistani organisations but it now stood "exposed".

He claimed: "India tried to involve us in the Mumbai attacks but after a passage of five years, nothing has been established against us in the courts". Saeed, who now heads JuD, also made a ridiculous demand asking the Pakistan government to take steps to get India declared "a terrorist state" by the UN Security Council.
17:07  Govt hikes import duty on gold, platinum to 6 pc:  The government hikes import duty on gold and platinum to 6 per cent from 4 per cent with immediate effect.
17:04  Dalai Lama to attend Jaipur literary fest:  This year, the much-anticipated Jaipur Literature Festival will have a special touch of spirituality with an underlying theme of Buddha's influence on the literary. And who better than the Dalai Lama to throw open this discussion.

The Tibetan spiritual leader will grace the festival this year and will share with the attendees his pearls of wisdom and philosophy. The five-day literary event will discuss through a series of sessions this year the influence of Buddhism on philosophy and literature and how writers view the influence of this ancient religion on their writings.
17:02  BBC: Lance Armstrong leaves a legacy of mistrust in his wake. Read
16:55  Lance Armstrong finds door to redemption:  The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said on Saturday that it might re-examine disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban from sport.

However, its chief said the "show-business confession" was not enough: the cyclist would need to give detailed evidence. The statement was a small sign that the cyclist's carefully choreographed television confession could pay dividends.  Read
16:39  Bal Thackeray will remain Pramukh, Uddhav gets Sena chief :  Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray will be formally elected as party president in the national executive meeting to be held on January 23, party sources said.

"Uddhavji, who is now overseeing the work of Shiv Sena as executive president, will be elected as party president," a party functionary close to Thackeray said.

The decision to this effect would be taken in the national executive meeting slated to be held on January 23 at the Shiv Sena Bhawan, party's headquarters at Dadar in central Mumbai. Even after Uddhav being made the Sena chief, party patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray will always remain Shiv Sena 'pramukh'.
16:31  RUMOR: Apple will release 3 new iPhones this year :  There's a report out of Asia tonight that Apple is working on three new iPhone models, two of which will be out by June. Read more
16:25   Update on the Delhi gang-rape case: The Special court will hear arguments on charges in the gang-rape case from January 24.
16:17  In-camera trial begins in Delhi gang-rape case :  The case has been assigned to the fast track court where the day-to-day proceedings will begin from today. There are six accused in the case including a juvenile. The five other accused -- Ram Singh, his brother Mukesh and their accomplices Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur -- have been charge with the offences of murder, gang rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping, unnatural offences, dacoity, hurting in committing robbery, destruction of evidence, criminal conspiracy and common intention under IPC.

All the accused had gang-raped the 23-year-old student in a moving bus on December 16. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
16:14  In-camera trial begins in Delhi gang-rape case :  Hearing on the Delhi gang rape case begins at the fast-track court. The court invokes in-camera proceedings in the case.
16:07  Rapists should be jailed till death: Minister:  Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said today that rapists should be jailed till their death, as another "very shameful" case came up in Punjab's Bhatinda.

She said that there was a need to look into why crimes against women were on increase despite the country having some tough laws in place.

"Till death they should remain in jail. It shouldn't happen that they come out on parole or after finishing the life imprisonment term of 14 years, that should not happen.

"We have to make this law effective. I have talked about this with the Home Minister," Tirath said when asked about gang rape of a nurse in Bathinda after she was abducted in a car.
16:06  The woman who lost her family in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Read the Washington Post story. 
15:54  Why inaugural speeches mostly fail:  The inaugural addresses of US presidents are, for the most part, a wasteland of howling rhetoric and dried-out inspiration. Read
15:52  Crowd of 800,000 to welcome Obama to 2nd half of presidency:  A day after formally beginning his second term, President Barack Obama on Monday takes part in the full trappings of his inauguration by reciting the oath of office in front of a crowd expected to number between 800,00 and 900,000 people.

The nation's first African-American president also will become only the 17th U.S. leader to deliver a second inaugural address before leading the traditional parade up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. More
15:38  BJP wants Shinde sacked over Hindu terror comments:  Just in: The BJP wants Congress president Sonia Gandhi and PM Dr Manmohan Singh to tender an unconditional apology for the 'anti-India' comments by home minister Sushilkumar Shinde. The party also wants to Shinde to be sacked over this comment: "We have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this."
15:21  Do Pakistan's nukes face threat from army insiders?:  The threat to Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is from within the Pakistani army and there's no way external powers can destroy or seize these as long as Islamabad doesn't make the mistake of attacking India, writes MIT-educated Pakistani nuclear scientist Pervez Hoodbhoy in his book, "Confronting the Bomb". Read
15:16  The New York cop who saved Martin Luther King, Jr's life:  As the US inauguration day coincides with Martin Luther King Day, what has been  America's progress on racism, regression and gun violence. Read
15:05  What Obama can learn Lincoln:  The second inaugural address is always more difficult than the first. When a president-elect first steps onto the national stage, he still enjoys a certain degree of innocence and hope. Americans are waiting to see if the new president will be different. When a new president delivers his speech, voters don't yet have a record that might make them cynical. What Obama can learn Lincoln. Read
15:03  Juat in: Tamil Nadu to move Supreme Court seeking damages from Karnataka on the Cauvery water release issue, says Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
14:52  Will tourism be affected by Delhi gang rape?:  For the prospective traveler, India conjures up several images: the iconic Taj Mahal, the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas, the bustling chaos of crowded cities, the gorgeous architecture of the temples of south India. But these enchanting scenes might be overshadowed by another picture of India, one that is far grimmer -- rape.  Read
14:27  Sushilkumar Shinde is a darling of terrorists: RSS:   By accusing the opposition BJP and its ideological mentor, the RSS, of promoting terrorism, the Home Minister has created a controversy that's resonating in Pakistan as well.

Yesterday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, "We have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this.

"The RSS said today that his comments have made the minister "a darling of terrorists." 

The RSS and the BJP say that the Home Minister's remarks allow Pakistan and terror groups based there to pass the buck for attacks in India.
14:17  Jaipur Lit Fest: Won't be bullied by fringe group:   Sanjoy Roy, convenor of the Jaipur Literature Fest says the organisers have not received any threat from the a panel of Islamic clerics and scholars during a national conference on "Azmat -E-Namoos -E-Rasool" (Respect and Honour of Prophet Muhammad) on Sunday. Roy said the organisers will not give heed to fringe groups intent on war mongering, but admitted that Pakistani authors will attend the Fest. 

JLF-2013 will take place from January 24 to 28 at Diggi Palace in Jaipur.  Four authors created a furor last year when they read out passages from Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in public to express their support to Rushdie, whose visit to JLF-2012 had been opposed by the Muslim hardliners.
14:08  The gamble called Rahul Gandhi:  During the first general election of 1952, a candidate of the Rama Rajya Parishad who was standing against Pandit Nehru asked him asked him why he did not support a ban on cow slaughter. "Don't you love cows?' he asked. Nehru replied with his British sense of humour, "I love horses too." That was his way of putting the distance between loving an animal and deifying it. Read
14:02  Rahul is willing:  Rahul Gandhi has finally assumed the number two slot in the Congress '" a role that has been his for the asking. Yet in the time-honoured tradition of the First Family, he resisted the inevitable. For years, Rahul displayed an aloofness and disinterest that drove Congresspersons to the edge of despair. Not surprisingly, there was unbound joy when the expected happened at the party's conclave in Jaipur on Saturday. Read
13:59  LPG cap raised from nine to 12:  And goodies pour in ahead of election year. It's good news for BPL cardholders and other marginalised sections as the Delhi Government today decided to increase the number of subsidised LPG cylinder for them from nine to 12. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as part of the 'kerosene-free programme' of the Delhi Government.
13:53   INS Saryu commissioned near Andaman & Nicobar islands:  The Indian navy today commissioned its largest off shore patrol vessel INS Saryu for maritime surveillance around Andaman and Nicobar islands. Built at Goa Shipyard Limited, the 105-meter vessel is the first of the four new class naval off shore patrol vessels (NOPVs) that would be commissioned by the Indian Navy over next one-and-half year.
13:48  Saddened' Federer says Armstrong doping hurt every sport:  Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer has sad he is saddened by the entire Lance Armstrong doping scandal, adding that the American's doping confession has not only hurt cycling, but every sport. Federer claimed Armstrong's confession that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France titles would leave a negative impact on every sport, the Daily Mail reports.

Armstrong admitted in a televised interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey this week to using banned performance-enhancing substances to establish himself as one of the biggest names in sport.

Federer said it saddens him to see that Armstrong cheated everyone for such a long time, adding that the banned cyclist has hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning.
13:42  Women turn to martial arts after Delhi gang rape :  Arko Chatterjee, a 14-year-old national karate champion, has, for over six years, urged his elder sister to sign up for martial arts classes.

But his 17-year-old sister routinely turned down his requests, dismissing martial arts as a sport "too manly' for her liking, he said. Last month, however, Sneha Chatterjee finally set foot in her first ever martial arts class: a month-long self defense program.

The brutal gang rape of a young woman in New Delhi on Dec. 16, she said, pushed her to enroll for the course."I was terrified,'said Chatterjee, a high school science student."What if it was me?"  Read
13:35  Muslim groups warn Jaipur Literature Festival against 4 authors:   Muslims groups have warned the organizers of Jaipur Literature Festival against allowing four authors - who read out passages from the banned book 'Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie - to participate in this year's Jaipur Lit Fest. Read more
13:06  Gang-rape accused lawyer: Judge shouldn't be biased:  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear tomorrow a plea of one of the six accused in the December 16 gang rape and murder case for shifting the trial to a place outside Delhi.  

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir listed the matter for Tuesday, after M L Sharma, the lawyer for accused Mukesh Singh, pleaded for an urgent hearing on the grounds that a free and fair hearing is not possible in Delhi because of the strong public sentiment against him.  

Mukesh, who has been charged with murder, gang rape and unnatural offences, submitted in his petition that in view of the regular agitation, police and judicial officials are allegedly under pressure to pass orders according to the demands of the agitators.  

He referred to protests that are held regularly at Jantar Mantar where students and activists are calling for swift justice and tougher anti-rape laws.  

Sharma had earlier said that the statements issued by the Prime Minister, other leaders and officials, have given direct message to the judicial authorities about what they should do and how they should handle the case.  

"I need a judge to hear the matter, who is himself not biased. The judge should not sit for a trial if he or she has sympathy for the victim. I have no objection about anyone having sentimental feelings for the victim, but there should be no bias,' said Sharma.  

"Despite our repeated requests that they should not be handcuffed, the court is disagreeing to that. If the judiciary is under pressure, people are under pressure, then I cannot get a fair trial for my client Mukesh,' he added.  

Meanwhile the trial of five accused begins in a fast-track court from today. The special court is expected to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis in the case. 
12:58  IAF Chief Browne in Israel to deepen defence ties:  Amid deepening ties between India and Israel, Chief of Air Staff N A K Browne has held strategic talks with his Israeli counterpart and will meet defence top brass, furthering the ongoing bilateral military cooperation.

"This is a part of routine reciprocal visits between chiefs of various wings of the defence forces of the two countries", a defence source said. However, "the visit underlines a very strong strategic relationship between the two countries where cooperation with India would probably rank only second to the United States", the source said.

Browne was India's first defence attache to Israel and is credited with setting up the defence wing at the Indian mission in 1997.
12:51  Austerity out, junkets in: MPs to go globetrotting:  Junkets are back. After the Congress' self-imposed austerity measures a couple of years ago, the government has decided to send high-level delegations of Members of Parliament to six countries to keep MPs in high spirits (no pun intended).

This seems to be the brainchild of Urban Development minister Kamal Nath, who presented a background paper on the subject, which was approved by the political leadership.

The countries where the lucky MPs will be visiting include Turkey, Vietnam, the US (Washington), France (Paris) and China.

At least 200 MPs will receive this largesse and get to spend between 10 to 15 days this summer (while the rest of us wilt in the sesring Delhi heat). On the anvil are discussions and deliberations to ensure India gets a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Polls are likely to be announced by September  2013, which is when the work actually begins. An union minister is believed to have told Kamal Nath, "what  an idea. sirji!" 
12:24  MIM MP Owaisi surrenders; to join brother in jail? :  Just in: Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi has surrendered before a court over a case filed against him in 2005.

Owaisi in 2005 had obstructed a road widening project in Medak district in Andhra Pradesh and threatened the then district collector with dire consequences after police said a place of worship had to be removed.

Cases were filed against the Owaisi brothers (MLA Akbaruddin) and after the duo surrendered before police and obtained bail, they briefly appeared before court, but stopped appearing after 2010.

It may be recalled that his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi is already in jail over the hate-speech case.

Asaduddin has applied for bail.
12:18  Has gang-rape led to fall in FDI in India?:  Our sources in Delhi tell us that foreign investments in India have slowed down seemingly after the gang-rape incident and the carpet-bombing reportage in Indian and foreign media.

If reports from various Indian missions are to be believed, the UPA2 has to focus much more on the negative publicity the government has received and resolve it. Diplomatic circles have also begun to comment that UPA2 has failed in many areas of international relations.

Another question being asked to Indian diplomatsis whether Narendra Modi will in fact, be the BJP's Prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 polls.
12:05  With Rahul as VP, new, young stars likely to shine :   It wasn't so much an if, but a when, and it happened on Saturday. Rahul Gandhi was elevated to number two position in the party at the Chintan Shivir, and is now the Congress vice president.

The new headquarters for Rahul will be at 15 Gurudwara Rekhabganj Road, which incidentally is also the war room for the Congress ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Rahul will be a regular to this bungalow in the days to come and will spend at least two to three hours every day here to strategise for the campaigns ahead. So far, he has been meeting senior union ministers and his presence obviously means that the security  has been upped.

The party vice president has indicated that he does not want to have a political secretary at this juncture. In the days to come however Rahul will take inputs from four or five confidantes like Jairam Ramesh, Sachin Pilot, Jiten Prasada
and Deepender Singh Hooda.

Insiders at 24 Akbar Road say that they are happy that the role of occupants of  Raisina Hills could now be on the decline. 
11:47  Indonesia judge to face tribunal over rape 'joke':   A senior Indonesian judge will face an ethics tribunal for saying rape victims enjoyed the act, an official said today, after a judicial commission recommended his dismissal.

The commission, which monitors judges' conduct and professionalism, decided on Friday that High Court judge Daming Sunusi's comments during a hearing for a Supreme Court position were "disgraceful", spokesman Asep Rahmat Fajar told AFP.

"The commission questioned him last week. We concluded he had breached the judicial code of ethics with respect to the proper conduct of judges," he said. "We recommended a heavy sanction, that he be dismissed from his profession as a judge. He will now face the ethics tribunal where he has the opportunity to defend himself," Fajar added, saying the tribunal would be held "as soon as possible".
11:40  In Delhi gang-rape case, a seasoned prosecutor:  Rajiv Mohan has little time to spare. The trial of five men accused in the fatal gang rape of a young woman in the national capital last month, begins today. The defendants could potentially face the death penalty, and Mr. Mohan's job is to make sure they are convicted. Read
11:31  In a very rare move, Rahul gets personal:  Rahul Gandhi, a reticent man who guards his privacy and rarely grants access to media, hasn't offered many glimpses into his personal life or childhood. But he did on Sunday in his first big speech as the Congress party's No 2 official. He gave a riveting account of the assassination of his grandmother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1984 and how he and his father dealt with it. Read more
11:27  Girl gang-raped, filmed and thrown out of moving car in Punjab:  Another incident of gang rape came to light in north India when a woman was thrown out of a moving car after being forced upon for two days in Punjab.  

A man and two women kidnapped the victim, who had gone to Chandigarh for a job interview, on Friday (January 18) on the pretext of asking directions, after which she was drugged and raped at a deserted location.  

The accused then drugged her again and threw her out of a moving car near Bathinda on Sunday (January 20), where she was found and taken to a local hospital.   The traumatized victim recounted the horror she had faced, alleging that two women had helped the rapists.
11:23  Notification out, Gadkari set to get 2nd term:  Even as Nitin Gadkari looks set to get second consecutive term as the BJP president on January 23, virtually putting to rest speculation about him leading the party into the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the face of charges of business irregularities. The nominations for the post will be filed and Gadkari is expected to be declared the chief by afternoon. He will hold the post for three years.  More
11:04  Mahesh Jethmalani wants to contest BJP prez polls:  BJP leader Mahesh Jethmalani today reportedly threatened to contest for the post of party presidentship if Nitin Gadkari was given a second chance. Mahesh Jethmalani is opposed to reappointment of Nitin Gadkari as the party chief as he faces corruption charges. However the BJP constitution makes it difficult for Jethmalani to officially contest the polls since the name should be proposed by at least 20 members of the electoral college. More of that here.
10:56  Delhi gang-rape hearing: DNA, body swabs crucial:  A DNA investigation of bloodstained clothes and body swabs has linked all five men and a juvenile accused of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapist in New Delhi to the crime providing evidence the prosecution claims will be enough to convict them.

Prosecutors say their case will also hinge on cellphone records and on testimony from the dying woman and a male companion who was attacked with her on a moving bus in the Indian capital on Dec. 1. More
10:50  Blood is offered, by doting Rahul Gandhi brigade, for him:  Rahul Gandhi may like his appointment as Congress vice-president to be seen as the rise of youth and a harbinger of change in the party. However, at the AICC meeting on Sunday at least, it was hard to spot either.In their speeches, Youth Congress as well as NSUI leaders showed unmistakable continuity in the culture of sycophancy in the ruling party. Read more here
10:10  Warne fined for breach of conduct in Big Bash:  

Australian spin legend Shane Warne was today Aus$ 5000 for breaching Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour in the domestic Big Bash League. CA said Warne was fined for failing to list himself as captain during the Melbourne Stars' semi-final loss against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA last week in an effort to dodge penalty for slow over-rate.   


Warne did not appear in the hearing today and was instead represented by Melbourne Stars CEO Clint Cooper and team manager Ben Robertson.    


"On 5 December 2012, KFC T20 Big Bash League teams were sent a memo by Cricket Australia," a Cricket Australia statement said. "Under the heading 'Over Rates', the memo stated that, 'If a team's official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the Spirit of Cricket and may attract a Code of Behaviour charge'."    


Warne's team-mate James Faulkner was listed on the Melbourne Stars team sheet as captain for the clash against the Scorchers and took part in the coin toss with Perth Scorchers skipper Simon Katich.

09:59  Oxfam says world's rich could end poverty :  

The UK-based charity says the world's 100 richest people earned enough in 2012 to end global poverty four times over.


Read more on Al Jazeera

09:58  Daughter of man killed in Dhoble raid dies:  

The daughter of the hawker who died during an anti-encroachment drive led by Mumbai ACP Vasant Dhoble too died on Sunday of a heart attack. Radha Jaiswal had been admitted to the KEM hospital after the death of her father.


Her brother told reporters, "When my sister came to know that our father had passed away, she fell ill and lost her will to live." Following the death of the hawker, Dhoble was transferred out of Mumbai, even though medical reports confirmed that he had died of a heart attack.


Read more on CNN-IBN

09:54  Rahul vs Modi a media joke: Digvijaya Singh:  

Even as the clamour in the Congress to declare Rahul Gandhi the candidate for Prime Minister for next year's elections reached a fevered pitch at the party's poll strategy meet in Jaipur over the weekend, senior Congress leaders quickly pointed out that the party traditionally does not name a leader.


Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh told NDTV, "The Congress party does not declare the PM candidate because we don't want to take away the right of newly-elected legislators to choose their leader. This is basic in parliamentary democracy. Therefore, we don't declare our leaders for PM candidate."


"That (Rahul Gandhi vs Narendra Modi in the 2014 elections) is a big joke made by the media," Mr Singh added.


Read more on NDTV

09:46  Sensex up 67 points in early trade:  

Extending gains for the third straight session, the BSE benchmark Sensex today rose by nearly 67 points in early trade on the back of a smart rally in Reliance Industries shares, after the company posted better-than-expected third quarter earnings.         


The 30-share index, which had gained over 221 points in the previous two sessions, rose by 66.79 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 20,105.83 in early trade, led by stocks of oil and gas, power, capital goods and realty sectors.          Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 11.60 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6,076.00         


Buying activity gathered momentum after better-than-expected third quarter earnings by Reliance Industries, brokers said.


Shares of RIL traded over 6 per cent higher at Rs 954.80 in early trade, after the company reported 24 per cent jump in the third quarter net profits, the first increase after four quarters of declining returns, on the back of record earnings form oil refining business.         


Meanwhile, in the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was, however, down by 0.28 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei Index shed 0.85 per cent in the morning trade today. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.39 per cent higher in previous session on Friday.

09:29  Suicide bombing, gunfire rock Kabul:  

AFP: A suicide car-bombing followed by several other explosions and gunfire rocked western Kabul around dawn today, police and witnesses said. A large pall of smoke was rising from the vicinity of a border police complex on the road to the parliament and the road had been sealed off, residents in the area told AFP.         


A local police official told AFP the first large explosion was a suicide car bomb and was followed by several other blasts and gunfire. Last week, a squad of suicide bombers attacked the Afghan intelligence agency headquarters in heavily fortified central Kabul, killing at least one guard and wounding dozens of civilians.         

08:44  The death of a reporter:  In the television newsroom, the promoter's fancies and political preferences have taken precedence over editorial judgement, notes Sandeep Bhushan. Read his opinion published in The Hindu.
08:41  Barfi, Kahaani emerge winners at Filmfare awards:  

It was Ranbir Kapoor's 'Barfi' and Vidya Balan starrer 'Kahaani' that led the awards night bagging maximum Filmfare awards.         


These two unusual films -- Anurag Basu's directorial venture 'Barfi', Sujoy  Ghosh directed 'Kahaani' -- and John Abraham's maiden home production film 'Vicky Donor' won not only audience hearts but awards as well at the 58th Filmfare awards that were held tonight at the Yash Raj Films studio in Andheri in suburban Mumbai.         


Ranbir Kapoor's deaf and mute act won him yet another best actor award at Filmfare, while the best film award was given to 'Barfi' and best debut award (Female) was bagged by Ileana D'cruz for 'Barfi'.         


The Best Background Score and Best Music Director awards went to Pritam for 'Barfi', and award for Best Production Design went to Rajat Podar for the same film.         


Vidya Balan continued her winning spree in the best actress category with Filmfare best actress category award. Best director award was handed over to Sujoy Ghosh, while Best Sound Design award went to Sanjay Maurya and Allwin Rego.         


Two major awards for 'Kahaani' came from Namrata Rao bagging the Best Editing title and Sethu winning Best Cinematography. In the best actor supporting role (male) category, the award went to Annu Kapoor for his portrayal of Dr Chaddha in 'Vicky Donor'. Writer of the film Juhi Chaturvedi earned the Best Story award.

08:37  Delhi gang rape case to begin in fast-track court:  

The fast-tracked trial of five men over the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman is due to start in Delhi. A sixth suspect, who is thought to be 17, is expected to be tried in a juvenile court.


The case has shocked India and sparked a debate about the treatment of women. If convicted, the men could face the death penalty. A lawyer for one of the accused says he plans to petition the Supreme Court to transfer the case out of Delhi.


Read more on BBC

08:35  Top headlines at this hour:  

Rahul: Last night, my mother came to my room and cried

Congress is my life, I will fight with all I have: Rahul

Young ministers offer to quit and work with Rahul

Rahul's appointment takes PM by surprise

Rahul's elevation is dynastic democracy, says Jaitley

Congress' Jaipur Declaration: Key points

Terrorists held in JK with special fuel used by Pak army

Goa rape: School principal held for negligence

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