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I want to come clean; party interest first: Gadkari

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January 22, 2013

22:36  Happy party has shown trust in me: Rajnath Singh :  After senior BJP leaders arrived at a consensus on Rajnath Singh as the next BJP chief he said, "I am happy that the party has show this kind of trust on me."   
22:28  BJP's Ananth Kumar, Ram Lal at Rajnath Singh's residence:  Senior BJP leaders Ananth Kumar and Ram Lal have reached the residence of Rajnath Singh, who is likely to be the next president of the party.   
22:10  I want to come clean; party interest first: Gadkari:   Announcing his resignation from the president post, Gadkari tells media persons: "There are allegations against me and I want to come clean. I dont wish this should in anyway affect the interest of the party. I have therefore decided not to seek a second term as BJP president."
21:55  Agni-5 to be star attraction of DRDO tableau:  
Long Range Ballistic Missile Agni-5 and Airborne Early Warning and Control System will be some of the major attractions of the DRDO tableau during the Republic Day parade.

DRDO had successfully test fired the Agni-5 in April last year and had entered the elite club of nations to possess the capability.

"DRDO contingent consists of Agni-5 missile, Armoured Amphibious Dozer (AAD) and two tableau, one depicting the Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System and the other one depicting advanced Sonars developed for the Indian Navy," a DRDO release said in New Delhi on Tuesday

The contingent will be led by Lt Colonel Jagvir Singh
21:44  Gadkari quits as BJP prez, Rajnath set to take over:   In a late night development, Nitin Gadkari has walked out of the BJP presidential polls.

According to sources, Rajnath Singh is set to take over the post.

Growing opposition to Gadkari probably forced the party to rethink on the issue.

A camp led by BJP patriarch L K Advani was against Gadkari's candidature after he was accused of financial impropriety. In fact, the name of Sushma Swaraj was also doing the rounds but a consensus seemed to have emerged on the name of Rajnath as he acceptable to all factions, including the RSS. 

Rajnath Singh has been a former BJP president and has been considered to be one of the most successful of them all. He has also been a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. 
20:07  4 armed men detained outside Zardari's house:  Four armed men were detained from outside the home of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari in a posh locality in Karachi, police said today.   

The four men were riding in a car when they were stopped by security personnel on duty outside Bilawal House in Clifton area and when questioned they pulled out weapons on the security officials refusing to come out of the car, a policeofficial said.   

"They have been detained and moved for further interrogation," the official said.
19:51  Govt official's kin eyes on Purti raids:  Reports our correspondent from New Delhi: The brother of a private secretary to a Union minister is meeting Central Board of Direct Taxes officials to pick up juicy details about the IT raids in shell companies related to Nitin Gadkari's Purti Group today.

He is also said to be showing these documents to media in Delhi, Nagpur and Mumbai.
18:40  Have evidence of RSS link to blasts, says home secy:  Just In: We have names of at least 10 persons involved in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah Sharif blasts who were associated with the RSS, says Home Secretary R K Singh, and added, "We have evidence against them."
18:38  NCP says Shinde wrong to call it 'Hindu terror':  The Nationalist Congress Party, a key Congress ally, today termed as "wrong" and "improper" Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remarks linking the BJP and RSS to Hindu terrorism. 

"The use of such words is not only wrong but also improper," NCP General Secretary D P Tripathi told reporters when asked to comment on Shinde's remarks.
18:36  Muslim bodies demand ban on Kamal's 'Viswaroopam':  Various Muslim organisations in Tamil Nadu today demanded a ban on the screening of actor-producer Kamal Haasan's Viswaroopam, saying "it will affect social harmony" in the state. 

M H Jawahirullah, MLA, and president, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, said representatives of various Muslim organisations met the city police commissioner S George today demanding that the screening of the movie be banned. 

"The screening of the movie will affect social harmony in the state. We plan to meet the home secretary, besides moving the Censor Board," he said. 

Jawahirullah replied in the affirmative when asked if they planned to move the court if required.
18:34  Former Mr India commits suicide in Kerala:  Former 'Mr India' Rex Varghese allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling of his house in Thrissur today, the police said. 

The body of the 34-year-old was found hanging at his house at Koratty near Thrissur this morning, they said. 

Rex, a bachelor, won the 'Mr India' title in 2007 and worked in Railways for a short period. Presently he was unemployed. 

Investigations are on to ascertain the reason of suicide.
18:13  Fareed Zakaria's free-wheeling interview to NY Times blog:  Well-know Indian-American journalist Fareed Zakaria in a free-wheeling interview with the New York Times blog, India Ink, discusses the Delhi rape case and India's Arab Spring, America's economics.

A sample: The urban issue has become a national issue. This is a reflection of the rise of a much bigger middle class. Urban India has generally been seen as a place where politicians extract resources. Rural India is the place where they get the votes. That's changing.

Read the full interview here.
17:56  Veteran journalist Prabhu Chawla tweets: Just for those who don't know. A persn with 12 year old #BJPmembrshp can contest Presdetship only after getting nomntions from five states.
17:51  Just In: BJP leader Yashwant Sinha may enter fray for post of partyPresident
17:49  Dhoni hit on thumb again, survives injury scare:  India survived an injury scare ahead of the penultimate one-dayer against England with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni being hit on the thumb yet again during the team's practice session, in Mohali today. 

Dhoni was hit on the thumb after a delivery from Manpreet Gony rose awkwardly, leaving him in pain for a brief period. He was attended by the team physio and gave up the batting session for a while, before resuming net practice again.
17:48  Terror has no religion, says Congress:  Just In: The Congress party on Tuesday distanced itself from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's remark on Hindu terrorism, and says terror has no religion.Details soon.
17:46  Scientists claim new breakthrough in HIV research:  Researchers have decoded a system that renders certain types of immune cells impervious to HIV infection, paving the way for its possible eradication from the body. 

The researchers say the discovery points toward a new approach to eradicating HIV from the body, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported. 

"For decades, we've seen conflicting reports on whether each of these components helped protect cells from viruses," said James Stivers, from the Johns Hopkins University. "By plotting how much of each are found in different types of cells, as well as the cells' response to HIV, we learned that both are needed to get the protective effect," Stivers said in a statement.
17:33  Andhra court denies bail to Asaduddin Owaisi:  A local court in Andhra Pradesh today dismissed the bail petition of MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in connection with a 2005 case against him for allegedly obstructing the then collector and other officials from discharging their duties. 

Asaduddin, who was yesterday sent to judicial remand till February 2 in the case by the judicial first class magistrate and prohibition and excise special court in Sangareddy town, had filed a bail application. After hearing the arguments and counter-arguments from the defence and prosecution, the court in Sangareddy town of Medak district dismissed Asaduddin's bail plea, a senior police officer said.
17:23  Notice in Kashmir warns people of nuke/chemical war:  Civil defence officials in Kashmir have warned residents to build bomb-proof basements, collect two weeks' worth of food and water and be prepared for a possible nuclear war.

The notice, that appeared in Greater Kashmir newspaper on Monday, advises people to construct basements in their house in which they can stay for a fortnight; stock the shelter with non-perishable foods and water; build toilet facilities.

It also tells residents not to move out of the shelter unless instructed by the authorities to do so; not to move out without proper protection to breathing passages at least during the first 24 hours of the blast; and not to allow contaminated persons in the basements. 

The notice, which is unusually vivid for officialdom, also describes the after-effects of a blast, and goes on to warn the people of chemical and biological warfare.

The notice is issued by the inspector general of police and the head of the state disaster response force. 

The official in question, Yoginder Kaul, in an interview to Greater Kashmir newspaper, described it as a routine one, a normal exercise to create awareness among the people. "It has nothing to do with anything and should not be connected to anything,' he said.

However, coming as it does on the heels of the India-Pakistan tension over the beheading of Indian soldiers by the latter and the instances of cross-border firing which have collectively put a halt to the peace initiatives between the two nations, the notice could not have come at a wrong time.

You can read the notice here.
16:43  Digvijaya Singh's brother returns to Congress:  Laxman Singh, younger brother of Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, officially returned to the Congress fold at the party headquarters in New Delhi. 

AICC general secretary in-charge of Madhya Pradesh, B K Hariprasad, confirmed that Laxman re-joined the party in the national capital yesterday. 

Laxman's return to the party was cleared by the Congress high command, after which his elder brother Digvijaya Singh proposed his membership which was then accepted by Hariprasad. 

Laxman, who had left the party in 2003 after the Congress lost the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, had joined the BJP and won the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, but lost in 2009. He was later expelled by the BJP for anti-party activities after he criticised the party president Nitin Gadkari for making some remarks against his family. 

"I will work for the party with full dedication and strength," Laxman said, adding that there was a lot of pressure from the Congress workers to join the party.
16:28  Deadly car bombings in Iraq kill 16:  

Car bombings in and around the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more, police say. In one attack, a car packed with explosives exploded near an army checkpoint in the town of Mahmoudiya, south of the capital, killing five.


Shortly after, a car bomb was detonated in the northern Baghdad suburb of Taji, killing six, officials said.


Read more on BBC

16:12  Teenager raped, killed in MP village:  

A 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped and killed by a youth in a village in MP's Bhind district, police said today.        


The minor was raped and killed by Dau Baghel in a field yesterday when she went out of her home at Tudila village under Malanpur police station limits in the district.        


The villagers caught hold of the accused and beat him up before handing him to police. A case has been registered against the accused under relevant sections, police added.

16:11  Sonia Gandhi to choose new Gujarat CLP leader:  

Gujarat Congress MLAs, who held a meeting in Gandhinagar today, passed a resolution that the party president Sonia Gandhi will decide about the new state Congress Legislature Party leader.        


The meeting of elected Congress MLAs, first since the declaration of results, was held here in the state Assembly in the presence of central party observers -- Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and party's state in-charge Mohan Prakash.         During the meet, all the newly-elected Congress legislators passed a resolution authorising Sonia Gandhi to choose the new leader.        

16:07  Vice principal of Pune school held for misbehaviour:  

Police have arrested the vice president of the Don Bosco School in Pune over charges of misbehaviour.  


Four schoolgirls have alleged that the vice president used to call them in his room and misbehave with them.

16:01  Auto-rickshaw driver's girl from Mumbai tops CA exam:  Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, daughter of a Mumbai-based auto-rickshaw driver, has topped the All India Chartered Accountancy examination.

Residing in a crammed one-room chawl in suburban Malad with her parents and brother, the 24-year-old said she was ecstatic to have secured the first rank in the examination conducted in November 2012 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, results of which were announced on Monday.

"It's my lifetime achievement. For me, the key to success is hard work," an elated Prema said. 

Her family, originally from Tamil Nadu, is settled for the last several years in Mumbai where her father Jayakumar Perumal drives an auto-rickshaw for a living.
16:00  Classical vocalist does 36-hour long singing marathon:  A musical marathon was performed by noted classical singer Pandit Ramesh Narayan who gave a 36-hour-long concert in the premises of Film and Television Institute of India in Pune. 

Narayan, a disciple of eminent vocalist Pandit Jasraj, started his recital in the early hours of January 19 and continued for next 36 hours rendering all types of ragas of Hindustani classical music, FTII spokesman KG Soman, who coordinated the programme, said. 

Narayan bettered his own record of continuous 30 hours recital which he performed in Thiruvananthapuram in 1994, he added.
15:58  BJP MLA drops bombshell over Goa schoolgirl's rape:  A ruling BJP legislator in Goa has alleged that the accused in the school girl rape case might be known to the headmistress. 

"I guess the accused is known to the headmistress and the guard. It is not possible for an unknown person to enter into the school premises," BJP legislator Vishnu Wagh told reporters last evening. 

Wagh's statement comes against the backdrop of reports that the accused in the rape case has been arrested in Bangalore and was related to the headmistress. However, deputy inspector general of police O P Mishra said there were no such arrests from Bangalore.
15:46  Won't act in haste over LoC killings: Khurshid:  

Union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khursheed said on Tuesday that India will not take any decision in haste on dealing with Pakistan in the wake of beheading incident.  


Khurshid also backed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his right-wing terror remarks, saying there are elements who are engaged in nefarious activities.   Terror has no religion and colour; religion should not be associated with terror, he added.

15:32  India, SL to double bilateral trade to $10 bn till 2016:  

Recognising the need to build a special economic partnership framework to achieve the shared goals of poverty alleviation, job creation and economic development for the people of the two countries, India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to encourage closer economic and trade linkages between all stakeholders with a view to doubling bilateral trade to $10 billion in the next three years.  


In this context, a Ministry of External Affairs release said that it was also agreed to initiate a dialogue between the Commerce Secretary of India and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of Sri Lanka at an early date to evolve a framework for a special economic partnership between the two countries.  


The decision was taken during the eighth meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission here today. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Sri Lankan counterpart Prof G L Peiris. The Joint Commission Meeting was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting at the level of the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries on Monday.  

15:30  Eight envoys present their credentials to President:  

Eight envoys presented their credentials to President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.   


A release issued from the press secretary's office of Rashtrapati Bhavan said that the envoys who presented their credentials were: Ali Abd-Al-Aziz-Isawi, ambassador of Libya, Rizali Wilmar Indrakesuma, ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Gholamreza Ansari, ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ndubuisi Vitus Amaku, high commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Daniele Mancini, ambassador of the Republic of Italy, Viljar Lubi, ambassador of the Republic of Estonia, Wei Wei, ambassador of the People Republic of China and Patrick Michael Suckling, high commissioner of Australia.

14:56  Iran kills 2 robbers for 'waging war against God':  Two men in Iran were publicly executed after they posted a video on YouTube committing an armed robbery.

The pair, Alireza Mafiha and Mohammad Ali Sarvari, was paraded before a crowd of 300 in a public park in Tehran, before being executed for robbery.

Amid the howls of grief and rage, a judge recounted their crime and delivered the verdict, that they would be hanged for 'waging war against God,' the Daily Mail reports.

Sarvari seemed stoical, but the desperate Mafiha broke down and laid his head on the shoulder of a balaclava-clad Iranian police officer who put an arm around his back.

Moments later nooses were looped around their necks as a group of women at the front of the crowd begged their captors for forgiveness, but the pleas went unheard.

As the sun came up on Sunday morning, the executioners pressed the buttons to trigger their deaths.
14:43  Politicians will think ten times before doing corruption:  

 Haryana Janhit Congress chief Kuldeep Bishnoi on Tuesday welcomed a Delhi court's verdict of awarding a 10-year jail term to former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and others in connection with the JBT teacher recruitment case.  


"I welcome the decision given by the court. It is a historical decision. It will impact on the future politics of the country,' Bishnoi said.   "After this, any politician will think ten times before doing corruption,' he added.

14:37  India's arms trade, and the US-Russia:  'Russia's President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack OBama have both signaled that they will renew their political engagement with Asia. From the Indian perspective, it is advantageous to attract interest from both countries and to maintain a diverse array of arms suppliers,' writes Joseph Hammond in The European. Read his article here.
14:18  Rajya Sabha TV gets new Editor:  Rakhi Bakshi has resigned as media adviser to the Lok Sabha Speaker's office to join as Editor of Rajya Sabha TV. Till 2009 she was a popular anchor on DD News.
14:08  Kashmir continues to shiver as mercury dips:  Kashmir Valley continues to shiver as minimum temperatures plummeted several degrees below the freezing point, resulting in the formation of a layer of ice on water bodies during the night.             

Most of the water bodies across the valley, including the world famous Dal Lake, have partially frozen due to the drop in temperature.            

The motorists also faced a tough time while driving early in the morning as the roads had become slippery due to the  formation of a layer of ice on the roads.
14:06  Policeman arrested for molesting woman in Goa:  A policeman was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman on the pretext of conducting an investigation at her residence in Mapusa town near Panaji, said the police.             

Constable Prashant Dawaskar, 30, was arrested on Monday after a woman lodged a complaint with the Mapusa police that he, along with four other civilians, ransacked her flat and molested her, while trying to conduct a probe on a complaint against her husband, said the police.             

The woman and her six-year-old daughter were at home when the alleged offence took place, while her husband was out on duty.
13:48  Goa cop arrested for molesting woman:  A policeman was arrested for allegedly molesting a woman on the pretext of conducting an investigation at her residence in Mapusa town near Panaji, the police said today. 

Constable Prashant Dawaskar, 30, was arrested yesterday after a woman lodged a complaint with the Mapusa police that he, along with four other civilians, ransacked her flat and molested her, while trying to conduct a probe on a complaint against her husband, the police said. 

The woman and her six-year-old daughter were at home when the alleged offence took place, while her husband was out on his duty.
13:46  Big Mac loses case over non-halal food, to pay $700k:  Food giant McDonald's and one of its franchise owners has agreed to pay 700,000 dollars to members of the Muslim community, following allegations that a Detroit-based restaurant had falsely advertised that its food is being prepared according to the Islamic dietary law. 

Michigan resident Ahmed Ahmed had sued the food chain and Finley's Management Co in view of allegations that Ahmed had bought a chicken sandwich in 2011, which was later found out to be non-halal, reports the Telegraph

Along with Ahmed, a Detroit health clinic, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and lawyers, will also be partners in the money from the settlement. 
13:42  Bhutan's Jigme Wangchuk to be chief guest at R-Day:  Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck will be the chief guest at India's Republic Day parade this year. 

An official release said the king and queen of Bhutan will pay a state visit to India from January 23 to 30. He has been invited by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. 

During his visit, the Bhutan king will meet with President Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.  

He will also meet External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.  

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai will also call on the King of Bhutan.
13:31  Just In: The income-tax department conducts on-field inquiry at nine locations of BJP President Nitin Gadkari's Purti Group-related companies in Mumbai.
13:30  12 TN fishermen attacked in Sri Lankan waters:  Twelve fishermen were injured today when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel for fishing in Lankan territorial waters, officials said. It was a mistake by the fishermen who had gone as far as Iranatheevu, once a camp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to net fish there, officials said. 

Of the 664 boats, 600 had ventured into several points within Lankan territorial waters, including Iranatheevu, Kundu and Talaimannar, the officials said.
13:10  'Shaddad' believed to be behind jihadist attack:  Reporting in the Independent newspaper of London, Daniel Howden writes that Canada 'was investigating an allegation by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal that one of its citizens co-ordinated the terror raid at the Saharan gas plant in which dozens of hostages were killed'. 

'A French jihadist, previously unknown to authorities, and two Canadians are suspected to have been involved in the hostage-taking, and reports also claim that a man with a Western accent was among the extremists who lured terrified gas workers from their rooms during the hostage crisis,' reports the newspaper. 

The paper further adds: Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters that a man, judged "by his English accent' to have been Canadian, was among the 32 Islamists whose raid on the Algerian refinery prompted a global crisis. One of the Canadians, identified only as "Shaddad', is alleged to have played a leading role in the attack which left 58 hostages -- including 37 Westerners -- dead after a four-day battle with Algerian forces. Five further Western workers are still unaccounted for. 'A Canadian was among the militants,' Mr Sellal said. "He was co-ordinating the attack.' 

The newspaper also quotes a spokeswoman for Canada's foreign affairs ministry as saying that they were still seeking clarity on a possible Canadian connection to the raid. 

'We are in close contact with Algerian authorities, but nothing [has been] confirmed yet,' the Independent quoted Chrystiane Roy as telling Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. 

Read the chilling report here.
12:57  Akbaruddin's judicial custody extended till Feb 5:   A munsif magistrate's court in Nirmal, about 200 km from Hyderabad, on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Akbaruddin Owaisi till February 5 in connection with a hate speech case.

Owaisi had earlier been in custody for a period of 14 days from January 8. That period of custody ended on Tuesday, and the police produced him before a court in Nirmal which extended it further. Owaisi has been sent to the district jail in Adilabad town, about 90 km from Nirmal.

Owaisi was arrested on January 8 for making a hate speech at a public meeting at Nirmal last month. He was placed in judicial custody on January 9. 

Owaisi represents the Chandrayangutta assembly constituency in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. He is facing charges of sedition, waging war against the nation and criminal conspiracy.
12:53  Tribal girl from M'rashtra among 22 to get R-Day bravery award:  A 15-year-old tribal girl, who showed exemplary courage while saving her elder sister from the clutches of a panther in Sahapur taluka in Maharashtra, has been selected for the 2012 National Bravery Awards. 

The young braveheart, Hali Raghunath Baraf, will receive the 'Veer Bapuji Gadhani Rashtriya Balveer Puraskar' from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in New Delhi on January 26. She is among the 22 children who will be honoured on  Republic Day. 

The girl works in a dairy at Jamnacha Pada near Nandgaon on the Adgaon-Tansa road in Sahapur. Last year, Hali along with her sister had gone to collect firewood in the Tansa sanctuary, when a panther attacked her sister and dragged her inside the jungle. Horrified, Hali hurled huge stones at the panther, chasing it away and rescued her pregnant sister. 

In recognition of the courage shown by the teenager, her name was recommended by the district administration to the Centre for the award. Hali said she was "extremely happy" to learn about the award.
12:41  SC wants to know how govt will protect small farmers:  Just In: The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to file a response on how it intends to safeguard the interests of small traders after FDI is allowed in the retail sector. Some regulatory measures should be there to protect their interests, says the apex court.

More details soon.
12:36  One of the earliest civil society activists in the country, MS Udhayamurthy, founder of Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam, passes away in Chennai. Read his obit here.
12:34  How Rahul Gandhi blew the Delhi rape crisis:  'The politician who once braved a crowded Mumbai train hunkered down at home. Was he frightened? Annoyed? Busy? Lazy? Indifferent? Whatever. In the end, he managed to prove he was just the same as every other politician who came up with their own empty platitudes. As his mother proved, too.'

Dilip D'Souza'a trenchant critique of how Congress heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi blew the Delhi rape crisis. Read it here.
12:29  I took Taliban 'out of the game', confirms Prince Harry:  Having flown on deadly sorties during his five-month military deployment, Prince Harry has confirmed that he killed Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, taking them "out of the game", much like other soldiers fighting with him. 

The 28-year-old, known as Captain Wales in the Army, is returning to the UK after his second deployment to the war-torn country. As a gunner in Apache attack helicopters, Harry flew on scores of missions with his fingers on the triggers of deadly rockets, missiles and a 30-mm cannon. 

"Yeah, so lots of people have," he replied when asked if he killed from the cockpit. "The squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount," he said.
12:16  GQ mag calls Frieda Pinto 'hottest Indian chick':  Slumdog Millionaire star Freida Pinto has been crowned the 'Hottest Indian Chick' in GQ magazine's US edition. 

The publication has become embroiled in a racism row after it included a series of new race-specific categories to its '100 Sexiest Women of the 21st Century' poll, the Daily Mail reported. 

Critics have slammed the lads' glossy for suggesting some women 'are only attractive in the context of their own ethnicity' after awarding titles for 'Sexiest Chinese Chick', 'Sexiest Indian Chick' and, most tenuous of all, 'Sexiest Pregnant Sri Lankan'. 

However, Critics argue that while there is nothing wrong in principle with saying somebody is an 'attractive Chinese or Indian woman', singling some out for their ethnic roots and others not suggests they 'are not beautiful simply because they are beautiful... but are only attractive in the context of their own ethnicity.' 

For example, while Pinto was crowned 'Hottest Indian Chick', there is no mention of Beyonce's African-American heritage, Mila Kunis's Ukrainian roots or Kim Kardashian's Armenian ancestry.
12:14  Lady Gaga keeps up her shocking antics on tour:  Lady Gaga shocked fans when she decided to climb out of what appeared to be a giant vagina on the first night of her Born This Way Ball tour at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

One fan, posting under the name Catherine Yi, wrote: 'Real unicorns and an inflatable vagina. Only at a @LadyGaga show.' 

Gaga even wore a replica of her infamous meat dress before feeding herself into a meat grinder, the Mirror reported. 

One lucky backing dancer also had her bum firmly groped by Gaga. 

It's only been a week since she suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when her latex pants split and exposed her derriere. 

She is rumoured to headline a private party for members of Barack Obama's presidential campaign staff on Tuesday night.
12:07  Teachers recruitment scam: Chautalas get 10 years in jail:  A Delhi court on Tuesday awarded 10 years imprisonment to former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay in connection with the illegal recruitment of junior basic trained teachers.The court has also barred the father-son duo from standing in elections.

IAS officers Sanjiv Kumar and Vidya Dhar, the other co-accused, have also been given 10 years imprisonment by the court.

Chautala, his son Ajay and 53 others have been convicted by a Delhi court for illegal hiring of over 3,000 teachers in the teachers recruitment scam. The teachers were recruited in 1999-2000 during Chautala's tenure. 

The CBI filed its first chargesheet in the case in 2006 alleging that Rs 3 to 4 lakhs was paid as bribe for selection of each of 3,032 candidates.

Just after the sentence was pronounced, thousands of supporters of Chautalas gathered outside the Rohini court and clashed with policemen and threw crude bombs into the court premises. The police tried to disperse the slogan shouting crowds, and also closed the main gates of the premises. 

The police fired teargas shells at slogan-shouting Indian National Lok Dal supporters outside the court to disperse them.

All the roads leading to the court complex were full of cars and SUVs belonging to Chautala's supporters and party workers.

Other than the 55 accused, their counsel, prosecutors and the court staff, the judge has not allowed anyone to enter the courtroom during the hearing.
11:50  Gandhi theme park to come up at Sewagram ashram:  Sewagram ashram in Wardha district, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed for six years after Dandi March, is all set to become a major tourist attraction with a 'Gandhi for Tomorrow' theme park being developed there at an estimated cost of Rs 62 crore. 

The major attraction of 'Gandhi for Tomorrow' is an international convention centre worth Rs 95 crore. This will be an appropriate memorial when the place is celebrating 75 years of Gandhiji's stay in the area, Wardha district collector Nawin Sona said. 

He said the district administration was in the process of acquiring 10 acres of land for the theme park and the Maharashtra government has already released Rs 1.2 crores from the budgeted funds. 

 The theme park will depict that Gandhi was in favour of appropriate technology and not against technology.
11:44  Choreographer and film director Farah Khan tweets: so nice 2 read sm good news in the papers after very long! Prema jaykumar,a ricksha driver's daughter,tops the CA exams nationally!BRAVO !

We like:)
11:32  Dharavi slum goes up in flames, no casualties so far:  A raging inferno engulfed the Dharavi slum area in Mumbai on Tuesday, causing extensive damage to godowns and houses. More than eight godowns were gutted along with good worth several lakhs of rupees. 

The fire was noticed at around 2:15 am, when most of the people were asleep in their shanties. Due to the plastic goods in the godowns, the fire rapidly spread to the nearby houses and godowns. 

One woman and two children were taken to a local hospital as they fell sick due to suffocation. The firemen were struggling till morning to douse the fire completely. 

"The godown (where the fire broke out) had mostly plastic and empty oil drums, which is why the fire spread rapidly. But now it is under control," said Mumbai Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni. 

So far no casualties have been reported from the site of fire. Nearly 12 fire engines and tankers were brought in to control the blaze
11:28  Prince Harry says sorry for naked antics in Las Vegas:  Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about his naked antics in Las Vegas last year, as he expresses regret over the whole fiasco. However, he has also launched a scathing attack against the media and their treatment of him and his family, calling them an "unstoppable force".

Speaking at Camp Bastion during his five-month tour, Captain Harry Wales argued his naked antics in America's Sin City were "probably a classic example of me being too much 'Army' and not enough 'prince', it's a simple case of that,' Sky News reported. 

The prince was pictured frolicking in the nude with an unnamed woman, and the photos were published on websites around the world. "At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down and let other people down, but I was in a private area and there should have been a certain amount of privacy that one should expect,' he said. 

But the 28-year-old believes some sections of the media behaved irresponsibly when the naked photographs of him emerged.
11:25  India, Pak clash in UNSC over observers status:  India and Pakistan got into a verbal exchange at the United Nations Security Council on the relevance of the UN observer group at LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, with India stressing the force's role has been "overtaken" by subsequent agreements signed by the two nations under which they resolved to settle differences "through bilateral negotiations". 

The exchange occurred during a Security Council open debate on peacekeeping, which was organised by Pakistan under its current Presidency of the 15-nation powerful UN body.
10:59  Nifty crosses 6100 points after 2 years:  Government's reforms push and better corporate earnings have pushed National Stock Exchange's index Nifty to 6100 points level after a gap of 2 years. Last week Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex hit two-year high and ended above 20,000.
10:30  Delhi gang-rape: SC to hear plea on shifting trial:  

The Supreme Court will hear today a petition by one of the six December 16, 2012 gang-rape accused seeking transfer of the trial to a place outside Delhi. The matter will be taken up for hearing by a bench presided over by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir. 


The bench fixed the hearing 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, gangrape 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.

10:10  It's time to finish what we started: Obama:  

 After taking over for a second term, US President Barack Obama lauded the "resilience" and "fundamental goodness" of the American people and promised his supporters to try his best to achieve the goals he set out four years ago.          "Now it's time to finish what we started -- let's get going," Obama said in an email to his supporters.         


51-year-old Obama is the first African American to hold the office. He was re-elected for the second four year term in the November presidential elections, defeating Mitt Romney of the Republican Party.         


Obama's second term started on January 20 noon, which happened to be a Sunday when all the federal offices are closed, hence the ceremonial inauguration was held yesterday.         


"I just renewed my oath of office to serve as your President for four more years. Thank you for making this possible. It's an honour to be your President," Obama said in his email yesterday. 

10:00  Chautala supporters clash with police outside court:  

Supporters of former Haryana chief minister and Indian National Lok Dal Om Prakash Chautala have clashed with police outside a Delhi court. Police had to resort to lathicharge to tackle the situation. Tear gas shells were also hurled.


A Delhi court will will pronounce the quantum of sentence against Chautala and his MLA son Ajay in the illegal teacher recruitment scam case. The Chautalas were taken into custody on January 16 after they were found guilty of illegally recruiting more than 3,000 Junior Basic Trained teachers in 1999-2000.

09:50  Sensex hits 2-year high; up 25 pts in early trade:  

The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose by over 25 points in early trade to touch a new two-year high of 20,128.58 on sustained buying by funds on strong third quarter earnings posted by corporates amid a firming trend in the Asian region.         


The 30-share index, which had gained nearly 284 points in the previous three sessions, rose by 26.76 points, or 0.13 per cent, to trade at a new two-year high of 20,128.58.         


Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 6.80 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 6,089.10. Brokers said sustained buying by funds as well as retail investors driven by announcement of encouraging third quarter results by blue-chip companies, buoyed the trading sentiments.   


However, stocks of gold trading companies such as Titan Industries, P C Jewellers, Rajesh Exports and Gitanjali Gems were under pressure and lost up to two per cent, after the government hiked the import duty on gold and platinum to six per cent from 4 per cent yesterday.         


In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index and Japan's Nikkei were marginally up in the morning trade today.

09:47  Traffic jam on Mumbai's Western Highway:  Rajesh Karkera reports that there's a heavy traffic jam on the Western Highway in Mumbai. Our correspondent could also see fire engines rushing from Kandivli, a western suburb.
08:38  Recruitment scam: Chautalas to be sentenced today:  

A Delhi court will pronounce the quantum of sentence against former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay in the illegal teacher recruitment scam case.


The Chautalas were taken into custody on January 16 after they were found guilty of illegally recruiting more than 3,000 Junior Basic Trained teachers in 1999-2000. Apart from the Chautalas, Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty, Vidya Dhar, and Sher Singh Badshami, political advisor to the then Haryana chief minister were convicted by the court in the case.


Read more on CNN-IBN

04:17  Why Obama's historic use of the word 'gay' matters:  
When President Obama said that 'our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law', he made history by becoming the first president to advocate for gay rights in an inaugural address.

The remark was a reflection of shifting attitudes toward the issue of gay marriage. It was also a reminder of how far the presidents own position has moved.

It wasnt too long ago that Obama, who now favors the right of same-sex couples to marry, was only in favor of civil unions. The Daily Beast published a useful chronological rundown of Obama’s positions last year, dating back to his 2004 Senate campaign.

Click HERE to read further...
02:20  Deadly bomb rocks wealthy Damascus district:  
A powerful explosion rocked the upscale Damascus district of Dumar on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding the blast caused an unknown number of deaths.

Another blast, caused by a car bomb, targeted a building used by pro-regime militiamen in town of Salmiyeh in the central province of Hama, the Britain-based watchdog said, adding there were initial reports of casualties.

State news agency SANA also reported the second blast, saying that "a terrorist suicide car bomb was detonated in the heart of Salmiyeh, leaving a number of people killed and others wounded".

Dumar is one of seven wealthier districts that straddle Damascus from northwest to southeast.

The rebel Free Syrian Army has no presence in these districts, which are populated by higher income groups who fear instability and want to preserve their economic interests.
00:54  Phone calls that often lead to murder:  
Although he gets a phone call threatening his life every other day, the man maintains the composure of someone from a military background.
"You are a Shia, an infidel. Your doom is nearing," says an ominous voice from the other end of the phone.
Initially, he thought it was a joke. "I would simply laugh it off. 'Oh really, so I am an infidel. Let's meet up'," he would say to the caller. 

But the threats just would not stop. In fact, it became a whole lot more serious.

Click HERE to read how
00:41  In Rumtek, a generation of Buddhist monks loses hope:  
In their 13th year of waiting for their spiritual leader, the Tibetan Buddhist monks at a mountainside monastery in Sikkim are starting to give up hope.

The person the monks are eager to see is Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 27-year-old man deemed to be the leader of the Kagyu order of Buddhism, one of the four main schools in Tibetan Buddhism.

The inability to meet him is nothing less than a tragedy for these Tibetan Buddhists.

Click HERE to read further...
00:24  The historic serendipity of Obama and MLK:  
When it comes to US President Obama and the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior, the stars always seem to be aligned. 

Something of significance for one always seems to coincide brilliantly and movingly with something of significance for the other.

Click HERE to read more
00:19  Obamas inaugural speech a sign of more to come?:  
President Obama's second inaugural address may have been the most unabashedly progressive speech he has given as president. To date, at least. The tenor of the speech suggests that there may be more to come.

His theme was that we, as Americans, are all in this together. He gave a nod to individual initiative as one of the qualities that make the nation great. But he added, "We do not believe in this country that freedom is reserved for the lucky or happiness for the few".

Click HERE to read more
00:16  Obama offers few specifics in inaugural address:  
United States President Barack Obama, declaring that "our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it," used his second inaugural address to make an impassioned appeal to defend the social safety net that was at the heart of his reelection campaign.

Click HERE to read the Daily Beast's analysis of Obama's speech
00:14  Ram Jethmalani booked over Lord Ram remarks:  
Acting on a local court's directive, the police today registered a case against BJP MP Ram Jethmalani for his controversial remarks on Lord Ram during a function in Delhi last year.

The court, hearing a petition filed by advocate Navin Kumar who claimed the former Union law minister's remarks on Lord Ram had hurt religious feelings of a particular community, had asked the Neredmet police to investigate the matter and lodge an FIR.

Accordingly, a case was registered under IPC Section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) against Jethmalani, police said. 

Speaking at a book launch function in New Delhi on November 8, the noted criminal lawyer had described Lord Ram as a "bad husband".

The Jeedimetla police in Hyderabad had earlier filed a separate case against the 89-year-old lawyer-politician over the same remarks. 
00:11  Top headlines at this hour!:  Barack Obama takes oath for second term 

We are made for this moment; we'll seize it: Obama tells Americans

Gujarat HC reserves order in Naroda rioting case

Gold may become COSTLIER by Rs 700 per 10 gm

Kumble appointed chief mentor of Mumbai Indians 

No women's World Cup ties at Wankhede, MIG Club

To read earlier updates, CLICK HERE

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