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Mursi declares emergency in 3 cities

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January 28, 2013


23:53  Mursi declares emergency in 3 cities:  Egypt's main opposition coalition today rejected as 'waste of time' a call by Muhammed Mursi for a national dialogue to end a wave of unrest, a day after the embattled president declared an emergency in three riot-hit provinces following the death of nearly 50 people.

As a month-long state of emergency in the provinces of Port Said, Suez and Ismailiya was declared, Egypt's senate today ratified a law that would grant the armed forces powers of arrest, the official MENA news agency reported.

The Cabinet earlier had approved the draft law empowering the army to behave like a police force in 'preserving security and protecting vital establishments'.

Nobel laureate Mohamed Elbaradei, after a meeting of the main opposition coalition National Salvation Front, said they would not participate in a dialogue that is 'empty of content'.
22:39  Come clean after Aziz's revelations: Cong to Pak:  The Congress today asked Pakistan to come clean whether they intend to maintain friendship with India in the wake of revelations of a retired Pakistani General that army regulars took part in the 1999 Kargil conflict.

"Now Pakistan needs to come forward and should prove that it really wants friendship with us. We want friendship with all countries including Pakistan but that should not be construed as our weakness," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters at a AICC briefing.
21:57  Top military award for PLA's Tibet regiment:  China's new leader Xi Jinping today conferred the top military award to People's Liberation Army's Tibet regiment for effectively coping with high-altitude conditions in the remote Himalayan region.               

Xi, who is the head of the military by virtue of being the Chairman of the Central Military Commission, awarded the title of 'Model Company for Garrisoning the Country's Frontier on the Plateau' to the Military Sub-command in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
21:56  Brother of Tripura Congress chief held:  The elder brother of Tripura PCC president Sudip Roy Burman was arrested from Champaknagar, about 20 km from Agartala, on the charge of carrying unlicenced arms and Bangladeshi money today, about a fortnight before the state assembly polls.              

Sandip Roy Burman and two others were arrested during a joint raid by Tripura police and Assam Rifles on his brick kiln at Champaknagar during the day, said the police.               

A revolver, some live cartridges and Bangladeshi currency were seized from them and the three men were handed over to the Jirania police, the police said.
21:55  Appoint Lokayukta in 2 months: HC to Rajasthan govt:  The Rajasthan high court today directed the state government to appoint a Lokayukta in two months. 

It also directed the petitioner to file a fresh writ petition in case the state government failed to appoint the Lokayukta within the specified time-limit.       

The order was passed by a Division Bench comprising Justice N K Jain and Justice J K Ranka on a PIL filed by one Krishan Murari Lal Asthana.
21:54  Owner of doomed Brazil nightclub arrested:  The owner of the nightclub, where a devastating blaze killed 233 people on Sunday night in Santa Maria, Brazil, has been arrested.

The police have also arrested two members of the band that was performing at the nightclub.
21:51  Somali pirates hiring English interpretors: Hostages:  Somali pirates are hiring interpreters to overcome the English language barrier so as to communicate with their hostages and negotiate with respective governments to arrive at a ransom amount for the release of captives.               

This was revealed by five Indian sailors, who were held hostage on-board the merchant vessel Iceberg I for about three years, before their release in December.               

The sea brigands reward these interpreters with the handsome 10-15% share of the total ransom money they secure for releasing the hostages.
21:04  MK Stalin to visit US embassy to demand sanctions on SL:  A correspondent from Delhi reports: DMK leader MK Stalin will visit the US embassy in Delhi over the alleged massacre of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. He will urge the US administration to impose economic sanctions on the island nation.

Stalin will also visit Estonia and Italian embassies on the same issue.
20:14  BJP demands arrest of Nandy for remarks at JLF:  

Strongly condemning the controversial remarks made by sociologist Ashish Nandy over SC and ST communities, BJP Anusuchit(SC) Jaati Morcha today demanded that the author be immediately booked and put behind the bars.         "A comment by an intellectual author is a crime for which Ashish Nandy should be immediately booked and put behind the bars," state president, BJP AJM, Surinder Bhagat told reporters in Jammu.        

 

Bhagat said that whatever has been said by Nandy has insulted the people of OBC, SC and ST communities across the country and there is wide spread resentment and anger against him.        

 

Nandy had kicked up a storm at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday with his remarks that "most of the corrupt come from the OBCs, SCs and STs", drawing the ire of many prominent figures including BSP chief Mayawati. An FIR was also lodged against him following his statement.        

 

Nandy had later issued a clarification, saying he was trying to make the point that corruption among Dalits was noticeable, while that of the rich was not.

20:12  Somali pirates hiring English interpretors: Hostages:  

Somali pirates are hiring interpreters to overcome the English language barrier so as to communicate with their hostages and negotiate with respective governments to arrive at a ransom amount for the release of captives.        

 

This was revealed by five Indian sailors, who were held hostage on-board the merchant vessel 'Iceberg I' for about three years, before their release last month.        

 

The sea brigands reward these interpreters with the handsome 10-15% share of the total ransom money they secure for releasing the hostages. "It was through interpretors that we were told that the ransom amount was kept at USD 10 million", said Ganesh Mohite, one of the hostages, at a press conference held in Mumbai.

19:52  HC asks NIA whether Sadhvi will be treated at Tata Hospital:  

The Bombay High Court today sought to know from National Investigation Agency whether Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, would be provided treatment at Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai.        

 

Justice R C Chavan also asked the agency to file a reply by February 5 on Sadhvi's bail application and inform whether it had any objection in granting bail to her on medical grounds.        

 

NIA counsel Rohini Salian submitted that even if they were prepared to provide treatment to her at the city-based premier government hospital, Sadhvi should be willing to undergo the medical care there.        

 

Sadhvi's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani has maintained that his client needed bail to get herself treated in hospital. She did not want to undergo treatment in police custody.

19:14  'Why is media concerned about BJP's PM candidate?':  

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said in Sehore today that BJP will decide its prime ministerial candidate at an appropriate time and expressed surprise over the media's curiosity on the issue.         

 

"Why is the media concerned about it? We had stated earlier also that the party would take an appropriate decision on the issue when the time comes," Swaraj told reporters when asked about BJP's prime ministerial candidate.  

 

Earlier today, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had remarked that he wants Gujarat CM Narendra Modi to be named BJP's PM candidate, snubbing Nitish Kumar's reservations against him.

19:04  Mamata hits back at Buddhadeb:  

A day after CPI-M Politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharya criticised the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal for 'unnecessarily' spending public money on fairs and festivals, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit back today saying her government will keep on doing so as it provided livelihood to various people.        

 

"When I was coming here, Mukul Roy told me that somebody yesterday had said in a meeting that the government doesn't have money but it is conducting fairs and festivals. I told Mukul to tell them what shall we do -- shall we conduct sharadh ceremony or create a vultures den?"        

 

"They (CPI-M) have siphoned all the money and have used it to give money to their cadres. If I conduct a festival what is wrong in it? Earlier too festivals were conducted. But those festivals were not lively. The festivals organised by us have life in it," she said at a programme in Siliguri.        

 

Banerjee's comments came a day after Bhattacharya, also former chief minister, had criticised the Trinamool Congress regime for spending public money 'unnecessarily' on fairs and festivals.

19:03  Court examines Owaisi brothers in 2005 case:  

A local court today examined MIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, his younger brother and jailed party MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, besides four party legislators in connection with a 2005 case filed against them for preventing government officials from performing their duties.        

 

Asaduddin and four party legislators attended the court of judicial first class magistrate here, while Akbaruddin, who is lodged in Adilabad district jail in an alleged hate speech case, was produced by the police.        

 

The Owaisi brothers and others, including four party MLAs were booked by Patancheru police in Medak district for allegedly obstructing the then Medak district Collector and other officials from discharging their duties in 2005.         The court questioned the six accused on the allegations mentioned in the charge sheet. Owaisi brothers and four MLAs, however, denied all the allegations and said they wanted to proceed with the trial.        

 

The court, then posted the matter to February 8 for examination of witnesses. Earlier, NBWs were issued against the Owaisi brothers after they "failed" to appear before the court.

19:01  Aam Aadmi Party's UK chapter launched:  

Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal has launched its UK Chapter in London. The launch, which coincided with the Republic Day, was marked by patriotic songs and the signing of a 15-point oath at Tavistock Square in central London.        

 

"Each point commits and re-affirms our resolve and determination to strive and be the change we want to see in India -- a fair and just India where the fruits of development are shared equally by all citizens," said AAP-UK coordinator Raj Redij-Gill.        

 

NRIs from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Milton Keynes were joined by tourists at the square, which has London's biggest bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi as its centrepiece.

19:00  Mullaperiyar row: Final hearing in SC from Apr 9:  

The final hearing on the legal battle between Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the controversial Mullaperiyar dam will be held from April 9 in the Supreme Court.   

 

A five-judge Constitution Bench of justices R M Lodha, H L Dattu, C K Prasad, Madan B Lokur and M Y Eqbal directed both the states to exchange all documents and findings of the expert committee by March 15 and posted the matter for final day-to-day hearing from April 9.   

 

There has been tension between the two states over the safety of the dam. While Tamil Nadu contends that the dam is safe and its water level has to be raised from 132 ft to 136 ft, Kerala says the structure is weak and it has to be replaced with a new one.

18:42  'Wasting money on building Taj Mahal unjustified':  

Terming the money spent on building the Taj Mahal as "unjustified", Uttar Pradesh's Urban Development minister Azam Khan said that he would have led the mob had they decided to bring it down.        

 

The minister said that the riots after the Babri Masjid demolition saddened him, but he would have led mob if they decided to bring down the 17th century white marble wonder, created by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved.        

 

"Had people decided to demolish the Taj Mahal instead of the Babri mosque, I would have led them," Azam Khan, who was in Muzzafarnagar to distribute cheques to beneficiaries of different government schemes said on Sunday.         Khan, known to be a close confidant of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh

 

Yadav, apparently comparing the wonder with to the monuments and statues built by former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said, "Shah Jahan had no right to squander crores of public funds in the memory of his wife and sweetheart".  

17:55  Coal mine explosion kills 8 in Balochistan:  

A gas explosion in a coal mine in southwestern Pakistan today killed eight workers, officials said. The explosion occurred in Loralai district of Balochistan province, 600 km from Islamabad. It was caused by an accumulation of methane gas.         

 

Eight workers were killed instantly and two injured persons were taken to a nearby hospital, officials said. About 200 men were working more than 600 metres underground when the explosion occurred.         

 

The coal mines in Balochistan have a very poor safety record and dozens have died in accidents in recent years.

17:54  Army and IAF officials meet Arunachal CM:  

Top officials of the Army and Air Force today called on Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki to discuss core issues related to Army and IAF activities in the state.   

 

While Shillong based Eastern Air Command Air Vice Marshal Praveen Bhatt discussed issues related to DM (Designated Marskman) range of the IAF and other activities in the frontier state, Tezpur based 4 Corp GoC Lt Gen C A Krishnan took up the issues of land requisition and road communication in the border state for Army activities, official sources said.         

 

Assuring cooperation from the state government for Army and IAF activities in the state, Tuki reiterated his appeal for taking into confidence the local populace wherever the Indian Armed Force operated or were based. Taking note of the raising of the second battalion of Arunachal Scouts, he requested the Army to recruit as many local youths as possible.

17:53  Darjeeling to be awarded for excellence in MNREGS:  

Darjeeling district in West Bengal has been selected for the National Award for Excellence under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the year 2012.        

 

Giving the information, Darjeeling district magistrate Soumitra Mohan said that under the scheme jobs had been provided to workers for 65 out of 100 days.        

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will give away the prize in New Delhi on February 2. Six districts in the country have been selected for the award including the Darjeeling district.

17:50  UAE puts 94 people on trial for plotting to overthrow regime:  

In a crackdown on Islamist groups in the country, the UAE has put 94 people with suspected links to the radical Muslim Brotherhood on trial for plotting to overthrow the Gulf regime and seize power.

 

UAE Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said 94 suspects have been referred to the Federal Supreme Court for trial. "Investigations revealed that the arrested people launched, established and ran an organisation seeking to oppose the basic principles of the UAE system of governance and to seize power," state-run WAM news agency quoted Kubaish as saying yesterday.        

 

The official did not name the suspects, but authorities have arrested perceived dissidents for months. The crackdown on Islamists has raised tensions with Egypt, which is ruled by Muslim Brotherhood member President Mohammed Mursi. 

 

The agency yesterday quoted Kubaish as saying that the suspects built a secret network to plan and raised money through real estate and other deals. He also said that the suspects had links to the Muslim Brotherhood and others for expertise and financial support.

17:24  Estimated growth rate may fall below 5.8 pc: RBI:  Economic growth in the current fiscal likely to fall below estimate of 5.8 per cent, Reserve Bank of India has said.
17:13  Seven Telangana Cong MPs threaten to resign:  

Seven Congress MPs from Telangana region have threatened to resign. The MPs said they will send their resignations to Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday.  

 

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said on Sunday that decision on Telangana will be taken only after more consultations. The much-anticipated announcement has irked the pro-Telangana activists, who term it as 'betrayal'.

16:59  6th accused in gang-rape case minor: Juvenile board:  

The sixth accused in the Delhi gang-rape case has been declared as a juvenile, the Juvenile Justice Board has declared. The board stated that there's no doubt over his date of birth, June 4, 1995, as per his school records.    

 

Demand for the bone testing of the sixth accused has been rejected by the board. The maximum punishment for a juvenile under law is 3 years imprisonment.    

16:45  Modi should be BJP's PM candidate: Yashwant Sinha:  

Onkar Singh reports from New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha has asked newly-appointed party president Rajnath Singh to name Gujarat Chief Minister Narender Modi as the party's official prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

 

"If Nitish Kumar (Bihar CM and leader of JD-U, crucial alliance partner of BJP-led NDA) is not happy let him quit the alliance. Modi can lead the way," Sinha said.  

 

Singh also clarified that he would have been forced to contest for BJP presidentship if Nitin Gadkari decided to go for a second time.  He said either the whole party is communal or not, but only one individual (Modi) should not be dubbed as communal.

16:07  French-led troops surround fabled Timbuktu:  
French-led troops surrounded Mali's fabled desert city of Timbuktu today after seizing its airport in a lightning advance against Islamists who have been driven from key northern strongholds.

French paratroopers swooped in to block any fleeing Islamists while ground troops coming from the south seized the airport in the ancient city which has been one of the bastions of the extremists who have controlled the north for 10 months. 

"We control the airport at Timbuktu," a senior officer with the Malian army told AFP. "We did not encounter any resistance."

French army spokesman Colonel Thierry Burkhard told AFP the troops, backed up by helicopters, had seized control of the so-called Niger Loop -- the area alongside the curve of the Niger River flowing between Timbuktu and Gao -- in less than 48 hours. 

A fabled caravan town on the edge of the Sahara desert, Timbuktu was for centuries a key centre of Islamic learning and has become a byword for exotic remoteness in the Western imagination.
15:54  Won't apologise to politicians, says Ashis Nandy:  
Zee News report: In an interview, eminent writer and professor Ashis Nandy said that he was not ready to apologise to political leaders regarding his statement that fuelled a massive controversy at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival 2013. 

Nandy's statement, that sparked a storm in Jaipur, said, "The fact is that most of the corrupt come from the OBC, the Scheduled castes and now increasingly STs, and as long as it was the case, the Indian Republic would survive."

Nandy elucidated his statement with an example, "The state of least corruption is West Bengal. In the last 100 years, nobody from the backward classes and the SC and ST groups have come anywhere near power in West Bengal. It is an absolutely clean state."

Nandy clarified his stand, saying that his words were taken out of context and that he was ready to fight it all out -- go the whole hog, and be jailed, if necessary. However, it was due to extreme family pressure, from his daughter, son-in-law and brother that Professor Nandy had to leave Jaipur and return to Delhi.
15:23  Shinde, PC cheated Telangana, book them: AP court:  
A court in Andhra Pradesh's Rangareddy district on Monday directed the police to register a case of cheating against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Finance Minister P Chidambaram for going back on the government's promise to create a separate Telangana state.

The court order came on a petition seeking registration of case against Shinde and his predecessor Chidambaram under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. It asked the LB Nagar Police to register a case of cheating.

The petitioner had accused Shinde and Chidambaram of cheating people of Telangana region by going back on their promises to announce the government's decision on the controversial statehood issue.

Chidambaram headed the home ministry when the Centre had on December 9, 2009 announced that the steps for formation of Telangana would be initiated.
15:17  RIL hits overseas debt markets again:  
Reliance Industries, which is sitting on over Rs 75,000 crore in surplus cash, has launched an issue of bonds in Hong Kong and Singapore markets to raise a minimum USD 500 million (around Rs 2,700 crore), company sources said.

This is the fifth time that the Mukesh Ambani-led company is raising long-term debt this fiscal. So far, it has raised USD 4 billion from overseas in the current financial year. 

"The company is planning to raise at least USD 500 million by issuing perpetual bonds. The issue hit the markets today and the final amount will depend on the investor appetite. The initial pricing is 6 per cent over the US treasury," an RIL official who did not wish to be named told PTI.

Perpetual bonds are those with no maturity date, therefore, it may be treated as equity, not as debt. Perpetual bonds pay coupons forever and the issuer does not have to redeem them. Their cash flows are, therefore, those of a perpetuity.

However, he expressed hope that the final pricing will be much below the guidance because of the strong fundamentals of the company. 

When asked why it is raising debt despite sitting on over Rs 75,000 crore surplus cash, the official said, the interest rates are at historical lows and hence it's a good time for Reliance to raise long term money and that the long term nature of the bond is in line with the long term assets of the company.
15:15  DMK plans mega bash for MK Alagiri:  Delhi Buzz: Union Minister of Fertilisers MK Alagiri will turn 63 on January 30.

To mark the occasion, his party, the DMK has put up in huge posters in New Delhi. 

Also coming up is a birthday bash on Febraury 4 where senior Congress leaders are expected to greet Alagiri.
15:08  Modi has task cut out after meeting Rajnath:  
Delhi Buzz: The news of BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi meeting speaks heavily on the possibilities. 

First and foremost is to have a general council of the BJP where Rajnath Singh's appointment will be formalised. Modi wants the BJP general council to be held in Gandhinagar. But seniors want it to be held at Bengaluru, where the party is facing serious infighting. 

Modi will also be talking to Yeddyurappa, the prime motive being to avoid the latter going Congress way. 

Another major task for Modi is to bring new allies to the NDA. He has taken the responsibility of talking to leaders of two political parties with whom he shares good rapport.
15:04  Long queue to meet BJP president Rajnath Singh:  Delhi Buzz: BJP's new president, Rajnath Singh has so far received 286 requests for a one-to-one meeting.

Interestingly, besides BJP chief ministers and state leaders, those who sought an appointment are many ambassadors and high commissioners of 24 countries, retired bureaucrats, diplomats and retired judges.

Rajnath Singh wants to spread this out in one month's time-say before Parliament and Budget session commences.
14:41  S C Jamir not to contest the Nagaland polls:  
Veteran Congress leader S C Jamir will not contest the Nagaland assembly elections and continue to play a 'more effective role' during the entire poll campaign.

Jamir, a former state Chief Minister, said in a statement that he took the decision after AICC president Sonia Gandhi asked him not to contest the polls and a play more effective role in the party and the state.

"Hence, I will be more visible in the electioneering at all important places," he said.

Jamir said that he had served the state and the nation for over six decades and that as a disciplined Congressman he would abide by the decision of the Congress high command. 

Jamir, is a member of the Naga Peoples Convention that was instrumental in the creation of Nagaland in 1963. 

He served as Chief Minister on four occasions -- 1980, 1982-1986, 1989-90 and 1993-2003.

His last assignment was as the Governor of Goa and Maharashtra from 2005 to 2010.
14:30  Comatose former Israeli PM shows 'significant brain activity':  
After remaining in a vegetative state for seven years following a devastating stroke, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has shown "significant signs" of brain activity, doctors have said. 

Doctors at Beersheba's Soroka Medical Center said that "significant brain activity was detected during tests" performed on 84-year-old Sharon. 

This activity was detected during each of the MRI scans and in the "matching" areas of the brain, Ynetnews quoted doctors as saying.

Sharon suffered a stroke seven years ago in 2006. Since then, he has been in a vegetative state, connected to a respirator.

Sharon was tested at Soroka with a Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) machine on Thursday. 

During the two-hour examination, Sharon was shown photos of family members and doctors played a recording of his son Gilad's voice in order to check if and to what extent his brain responds to external stimulation.

The tests' findings showed "significant" brain activity. 

Additional tests were performed to determine Sharon's awareness to his surroundings, but they did not give a clear indication that he is in fact aware of his surroundings. 
14:04  Sonia, Rahul may visit Maha Kumbh in February:  
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi are likely to visit the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation here next month. 

Local Congress leader Abhay Awasthi, who received party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi during "an unscheduled and confidential visit to the city last evening" to take stock of preparations in regard to their visit, said, "Sonia ji and Rahul Ji are likely to come, separately, between February 5 and February 9".

During his visit, Dwivedi met Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati at Mankameshwar temple on the banks of the Yamuna and later also went to the camp of Swami Avadheshanand Giri, a Mahamandaleshwar of Joona Akhara, at the Maha Kumbh ground. 
14:01  Karnataka needs Cauvery water more than TN: SC:  
In a major setback to Tamil Nadu government led by J Jayalalithaa, the Supreme Court on Monday said that the need to supply drinking water to millions in Karnataka is more important than its own irrigational needs. 

According to reports, the apex court made its observation while hearing a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government on January 22 seeking compensation for the damages to the crops caused by Karnatakas failure to release water as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award. 

The apex court said that the drinking water needs of the Karnataka must get precedence over the irrigational needs of the Tamil Nadu. 

However, the apex court also asked the Karnataka government to make a submission on its annual drinking water usage by tomorrow. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had earlier filed a civil suit seeking compensation from Karnataka on the basis of findings of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee that suggested Karnataka failed to release Tamil Nadu's share of water.
13:59  Will get Lokpal Bill passes in Budget session: Sonia to Anna:  
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote a letter to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with assurance that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the upcoming Budget Session.

The Lokpal Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, but could not be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha due to shortage of time. Since then the government has not brought the Lokpal Bill to Parliament.

Sonia's assurance came two days before Hazare is set to begin his nationwide tour for strengthening the organisation of farmers. 

Hazare announced on January 16 that he would begin his nationwide tour from Bihar on January 30.

He said that following failure of farmers' organisations to unite, it has led to neglect of agriculture sector by the rulers.

"Keeping in mind the need to strengthen farmers' organisations, I decided to start nationwide tour for one and half years and sit for satyagraha before Lok Sabha polls at Ramleela Maidan, New Delhi," he said.
13:22  Police to question Nandy over 'casteist remarks':  
CNN-IBN reports: Despite a clarification and an apology, Ashis Nandy, one of India's most famous academicians, remains engulfed in a controversy over his remarks on corruption among tribals and Dalits at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

A police team from Jaipur might be sent to question Nandy in Delhi, sources said on Monday. 

The police, which scrutinised video footage of Mr Nandy's comments yesterday, is also likely to question the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, they said. 

On Saturday, Nandy said in a panel discussion at the festival, that, "Most corrupt people come from Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes." 

There was much furore and Nandy soon issued a clarification saying he was trying to make the point that corruption among Dalits was noticeable, while that of the rich was not. 

"I also said that if people like me or Richard Sorabjee want to be corrupt, I shall possibly send his son to Harvard giving him a fellowship and he can send my daughter to Oxford. No one will think it to be corruption. Indeed, it will look like supporting talent.  But when Dalits, tribals and the OBCs are corrupt, it looks very corrupt indeed," Nandy said in his statement.
12:49  Australian hoax call radio show taken off air:  
The Australian radio show, whose royal prank call to a British hospital went awry and created a furore when it led an Indian nurse to commit suicide, has been junked by the radio network.

The Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) network has decided to permanently take the 'Hot 30' show off air and has even announced a replacement show called 'The Bump', a report in the AAP said.

It all started with what was supposed to be a prank call to a British hospital that was treating a pregnant Kate Middleton.

Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was the duty nurse when DJs Mel and Michael called the King Edward VII hospital pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, asking about the Duchess's condition. 

She forwarded the call to another nurse, who divulged confidential medical information about Kate. 

The prank was broadcast by 2Day FM within hours, and made headlines around the world.

Saldanha was found dead on December 7 in the nurses' quarters three days later, having hanged herself with a scarf. 
12:47  Argo sets the tone for Orscars, wins big at SAG awards:  
Ben Affleck's hostage drama Argo added another trophy to its collection of awards this season by winning the best film ensemble at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards where Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence were recognised in the acting categories.

The film, which revolves around CIA's attempt to free six US diplomats during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, is critics favourite to win some major trophies at the upcoming Oscars where it has seven nominations. Argo has already won two Golden Globes. 

"I'm really amazed and stunned," Affleck said while accepting the trophy.

Lawrence was named outstanding film actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. The young actress thanked director David O Russell and co-star Bradley Cooper for helping her in her performance. 

The film also stars Indian actor Anupam Kher as Dr Cliff Patel. Kher was nominated along with the star cast of Sliver Linings Playbook in the best film ensemble but the award went to Argo. Other nominees were Les Miserables, Lincoln and India-shot drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
12:43  Call it censorship, not social justice:  
Yogendra Yadav, a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies where Ashis Nandy is senior honorary fellow, on the controversy triggered by the author:

The real tragedy is not that one of our finest scholars is caught in a case of mistaken identity of an argument. 

The real tragedy is that the leaders and friends of the Dalit-bahujan movement find it difficult to distinguish between their friends and foes, between what works for and what works against them. 

This, Nandy would say, is the real curse of social marginality.

Read this column HERE
12:36  War of words on Manmohan Singh's red lines:  
A war of words in on between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's former media advisor Sanjaya Baru and Communist Party of India-Marxist General Secretary Prakash Karat.

In a column on January 23, Baru had stated that despite political constraints, the Prime Minister has jealously guarded his turf on foreign policy and national security.

He said, 'The many expressions of surprise, accompanied by gratuitous remarks about Dr Singh's 'uncharacteristic' toughness, ignore the fact that on vital national security and foreign policy issues, the Prime Minister has always drawn red lines and stuck to them. These red lines have been drawn both with respect to political parties and ministerial colleagues at home and foreign governments.'

Three days later, countering Baru claim that Dr Singh had threatened to impose Presidents rule in West Bengal if the State government failed to discharge its constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order, Karat termed the story as half-truth.

'Unlike what Mr Baru believes, the only 'red lines' drawn by the Prime Minister, were the ones to protect the pro-US tilt in foreign policy,' he said
12:21  'Bunty chor' flown down to Kerala:  
Devinder Singh alias 'Bunty chor', who was arrested in Pune on Saturday, was on Monday brought to the city as he is wanted by Kerala Police in connection with a burglary at an NRI's house last week. 

He was brought to Thiruvananthapuram from Mumbai by flight by a team of Kerala Police, which had rushed to Pune after his arrest from a hotel in that city.

After completing the legal formalities, investigators would grill him to ascertain all the details of the theft he committed in the city, after which he drove off in a luxury car he lifted from the house he broke into, police said.

They would also find out whether his visit to Kerala had any motives other than committing the burglary, they said.

Delhi-based Devinder was arrested from the hotel after a receptionist there recognised him from the CC camera images released by Kerala Police shortly after the burglary. 

Devinder broke into the house of the NRI on Jan 21, breaking its high-tech security systems like intruder alarm. After lifting a laptop computer and some other costly gadgets, he decamped in the luxury car parked in the house.

The hidden camera installed in the house, however, got a clear image of the thief and police identified him as Devinder, as he is known as a skilled conman and had even appeared in a television reality show some time back. 

A couple of days later, Devinder was spotted on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border, fuelling speculation of his arrest. He, however, gave the slip to police by abandoning the car he had stolen.
12:05  Meet officials for Vishwaroopam solution, HC to Haasan:  
The Madras High Court on Monday asked actor Kamal Haasan to meet government officials in Tamil Nadu and look for a possible solution to the row over his latest film Vishwaroopam after its release was put on hold in the state.

The judge, who saw the film on Sunday will hear the case on Tuesday now.

Kamal Haasan landed in Chennai late on Sunday night from Los Angeles, but refused to comment on the matter.

Vishwaroopam ran into trouble last week after Muslim groups protested over the alleged portrayal of the community as terrorists and the film's release was banned in Tamil Nadu.

In Kerala, the movie screening was stopped in several centres on Friday evening following protests.

In Hyderabad, morning screenings were not disturbed, but subsequent shows were interrupted. 

In Karnataka, distributors had put off the release. Vishwaroopam was scheduled to be released on January 25.
11:28  Fish shortage in Goa as trawlers stay on ground:  
Goa is staring at a severe fish shortage as the strike by owners of fishing trawlers to protest the hike in diesel prices by the Central government entered the third day opn Monday.

Over 1,200 trawlers (mechanised fishing boats) in the state are anchored since Saturday. 

All Goa Fishermen's Federation president John Mendes said the fish markets too would be closed tomorrow, as a part of the protest. 

"Diesel is an important component for the fishing business. The fishing business is already running on minimal profits. If there is extra expense on diesel, then we will be making losses," Mendes said. 

After mining and tourism, fishing is the third largest economic activity in the state. Fish is also a staple food for many Goans. 

Mendes said a delegation of trawler owners will meet Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Delhi on Tuesday, seeking his intervention.
11:16  Obama does 'skeet shooting all the time':  
President Barack Obama has revealed that he made time for shooting during retreats amid a push from the White House and progressive Democrats for tighter gun control laws.

The revelation came in an interview in which the president was asked if he had ever held a gun.

He responded to the New Republic that he has picked up a gun at Camp David and did skeet shooting all the time.

According to ABC News, he said that he has profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations.
11:11  Congress betrayed Telangana cause and people: BJP:  
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused the Congress-led UPA government of betraying people fighting for the Telangana cause.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde made it clear on Sunday that a decision on the contentious Telangana statehood demand will be delayed further, as the government needed more time to arrive at a final decision on the issue.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said: "It is complete betrayal of the Telangana cause and people. The Congress-led UPA Government is not ready to give Telangana and they are regularly fooling people over the issue. There is complete policy paralysis. I assure of full NDA support in the Parliament on the issue."

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi has threatened to intensify its stir for a separate state a day after Centre deferred its own January 28 deadline, evoking sharp reactions from the pro-Telanaga groups.

Shinde had set a one-month deadline for a decision in December when he had invited two representatives from each party to know their views afresh on the Telangana issue in New Delhi.
11:02  BJP to seek disqualification of rebel MLAs:  
Launching a counter attack on the the 13 party MLAs who have announced their decision to quit their assembly membership, the ruling BJP on Monday decided to seek their disqualification for 'anti-party' activities.

Sources in the BJP said a petition would be filed today with the Assembly Speaker K G Bopahiah, seeking their disqualification on the charge of 'anti-party' activities. 

They said the BJP would also urge the Speaker not to accept the resignation of the 13 MLAs. 

The MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief and former BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa are likely to meet the Speaker tomorrow to submit their resignation letters. 

Their attempt to submit their resignations to the Speaker on Jan 23 came to nought as was not in station, an issue which irked them and made them petition Governor H R Bhardwaj to whom they submitted copies of their resignation letters.
09:53  Sensex up 41 points in early trade:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday rose over 41 points in early trade on sustained buying by participants on hopes Reserve Bank of India will cut interest rate tomorrow and better-than-expected corporate earnings. 

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 179.75 points in the previous session on Friday, rose by 41.10 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 20,144.63, with realty, banking  and auto sector stocks leading the rise.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty gained 9.40 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,084.05. 

Brokers said increased buying by funds on hopes that the RBI may announce a rate cut in its monetary policy review on Tuesday, influenced the trading sentiments. 

Besides, better-than-expected quarterly earnings by Maruti and Reliance Power and a firming trend in the Asian region also had a positive impact, they said. 
09:51  Delhi gang-rape: Ruling on juvenile plea today:  
A magistrate at Delhi's Juvenile Justice Board is on Monday expected to decide whether the school certificate of the sixth accused in the Delhi gang-rape case is valid or not. 

The suspect has claimed to be a little over 17-years-old. 

The Delhi Police had earlier filed a plea seeking a bone ossification test to determine his exact age. 

According to a certificate presented by his school, the suspect is 17-years-old. 

If the Juvenile Board rules that the certificate is valid, he be will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act for the crime, and faces a much lighter sentence -- up to a maximum of three years in jail -- than the other five accused in the case who could get life terms,  

The six men are accused of gang-raping and brutally assaulting a medical student on December 16 last year. The incident sparked outrage in the country and people took to the streets to demand the most stringent punishment for the accused.
09:46  Verdict on Kamal Haasan's 'Vishwaroopam' today:  
The Chennai High Court on Monday is expected to pronounce its verdict on Kamal Haasan's controversial film Vishwaroopam and whether it can be released in Tamil Nadu. 

The actor-director landed in Chennai late at night from Los Angeles but refused to comment on the matter.

'Viswaroopam' was banned last week after Muslim groups protested over the alleged portrayal of the community as terrorists, and a high court judge viewed the film over the weekend. 'Viswaroopam' was scheduled to be released on January 25.

Meanwhile, the release of the film scheduled for Sunday in Karnataka, has been put on hold pending clearance from police in the wake of protests against its screening in some places of the state.

Kamal Haasan has, however, denied these allegations. He described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and the movie as "Muslim-friendly." He also held a special screening of the film for the protesting groups but failed to win their approval
09:42  K'taka CM gets a breather after meeting Rajnath:  
Newly-appointed BJP President Rajnath Singh met Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar early on Monday morning. Rajnath Singh is confident that there is no threat to the BJP government in the state.

Rajnath's assurance comes after an hour-long meeting with the Karnataka CM Jagadish Shetttar in the capital. While Rajnath termed the visit as a courtesy call, he sounded optimistic that the BJP will complete its tenure. 

"There is no threat to our Karnataka government. Our state government in Karnataka will complete its tenure. This was a courtesy call," Rajnath Singh said.

"There is no crisis in Karnataka, nothing to worry. No MLA has technically resigned till now, so we have to wait," Shettar said.

Shettar's meeting was precipitated after the 13 MLAs, who resigned last week, said that they will meet the Speaker with their resignation letters on Monday. If the Speaker accepts their letters, the BJP strength comes down to 105, which is just two seats more than what the Opposition has.
09:22  Messi hits four and breaks another record:  
Lionel Messi became the first player to score in eleven consecutive La Liga matches when he hit four as leaders Barcelona eased past a ten-man Osasuna with a 5-1 victory. 

Pedro Rodriguez got the other and Raoul Loe got a consolation for Osasuna, who played for more than an hour with ten men after Alejandro Arribas was harshly sent-off after two handball incidents on Sunday.

Barcelona remain 15 points ahead of Real Madrid in third position and move eleven ahead of Atletico Madrid, who play later on Sunday at Athletic Bilbao.

Osasuna remain in the relegation zone on 18 points, two from safety.

Messi now has 33 goals for the season, 12 more than Cristiano Ronaldo, who earlier on Sunday hit a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Getafe 4-0. 
09:14  India's booming land values spark family feuds:  
The dramatic rise in the value of land in India has resulted in a growing number of families of Indian origin returning from the UK to cash in on their inheritances. 

But many discover that the land is either sold, occupied or disputed - resulting in bitter feuds and lengthy legal battles.

Read more on this HERE
09:12  Signals from Pak to Hurriyat: Avoid talks with India:  
The Hurriyat leaders have come back from Pakistan with 'advice' from the Pakistan Army to not start any direct negotiations with the Indian government for at least another year, signalling the onset of a season of mixed signals from across the border.

The seven-member delegation of Kashmiri separatist leaders led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, had detailed discussions on this with both Pakistani Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as well as ISI DG Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam during their visit last month.

It is learnt that the Kashmiri separatists pushed for a role in the ongoing talks between the two countries, urging the Pakistan Army to go back to former Pakistan president Gen Pervez Musharraf's four-point formula. 

Click HERE to read further
09:09  Indias benign constitutional revolution:  
Here is the story of how and why the framers of the Constitution of India deliberately designed a procedural error in the adoption of the new Constitution with a view to severing the seamless transition of legal authority from the British Crown-in-Parliament to the new Republic of India. 

The deliberate procedural error consisted in a deviation from the Constitution making procedure prescribed by the Indian Independence Act, 1947 -- the law enacted by the British Parliament granting India independence and formally authorising the Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution for the newly liberated state.

Click HERE to read further
09:05  New extradition treaty with Bangladesh in offing:  
India is all set to sign a liberalised visa agreement and an extradition treaty with Bangladesh during Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's two-day visit to Dhaka beginning on Monday.

The new visa pact, named revised travel arrangement, will remove restrictions on visit of each other's businesspersons, students, patients, senior citizens above 65 years and children below 12 years on the lines of the liberalised visa regime between India and Pakistan. 

"Both the treaties will be signed during the home minister's visit to Bangladesh," a Home Ministry official said.

The extradition treaty will pave the way for deportation of jailed ULFA 'general secretary' Anup Chetia, Tripura insurgent leader Vishwa Mohan Deb Barman, NDFB leader Thulunga alias Tensu Narzery and many other insurgents from the northeast who have been hiding in Bangladesh. 

Similarly, it will also help Dhaka in getting back its criminals who are currently lodged in Indian jails. India has been pressing for Chetia's deportation since long. The ULFA leader has been in a Dhaka jail following his arrest in 1997 on the charge of entering Bangladesh without valid documents.
09:01  Why Verma report is insightful and path-breaking:  
Although it has left some crucial questions unanswered, the Justice Verma Committee report is a big step forward in the struggle for womens rights.

Its recommendations can be converted into longstanding gains if the present struggles are linked to political interventions that force the government to act on them. 

It cannot be allowed to meet the same fate as the 15-year-old Womens Reservation Bill which remains an ornament to be dusted and displayed before every election.

Read more on this HERE
08:59  Blockade starves Manipur of fuel:  
Manipur is fast running out of fuel as a result of the blockade imposed on the states supply routes by the Kuki State Demand Committee, which is calling for carving out a new state from the hill districts.

The demand committee resumed its 'public blockade' on Thursday to mount pressure on the Centre to start talks regarding creation of the Kuki state, which it is demanding to be carved out of areas comprising the whole of Churachandpur and Chandel districts along with Kuki-inhabited parts of Senapati, Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts.

Such is the crunch that only a few petrol pumps opened on Sunday.

Official sources said arrangements were being made to send oil tankers with security escorts from Monday
08:56  Worried K'taka CM to meet BJP prez today:  
Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar is likely to meet BJP president Rajnath Singh on Monday to discuss the future course of action in the wake of 13 MLAs loyal to B S Yeddyurappa announcing their decision to quit.

The meeting comes in wake of Singh making clear to Shettar last Friday not to compromise on the BJP's principles even if it threatens the survival of the government in the southern state.

The party has, however, claimed that it is confident of overcoming the crisis. 

Thirteen MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief Yeddyurappa had gone in a delegation last Wednesday to meet Speaker K G Bopaiah to submit their resignation from Assembly membership. As Bopaiah was not present, they had later submitted copies of their resignation letters to Governor H R Bhardwaj. 
08:56  No room for nuance in this fragile republic:  
A complaint under the Prevention of Atrocities Act was on Sunday filed by a citizen against author Ashis Nandy for his controversial comments that people from OBC, SC and ST communities were the "most corrupt", which he made at the Jaipur Literary Festival.

But in the rush to condemn Nandy and demand that he be jailed, no one bothered to understand what exactly he had said about corruption and caste

Clamping down on nuanced utterances and elliptical statements of the kind Nandy made will only make us a poorer democracy and Republic.

Read more on this HERE
08:44  Egypt clashes claim 42 lives, over 700 injured:  
The death toll in fierce clashes in Egypt rose to 42 with over 700 injured as President Muhammed Mursi declared emergency in riot-hit towns after fresh violence erupted during the funeral of the people killed in unrest triggered by death sentences given to 21 football fans.

Mursi declared a 30-day state of emergency in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia, the three governorates which have witnessed deadly clashes since the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution on January 25. 

"I have said I am against any emergency measures but I have said that if I must stop bloodshed and protect the people then I will act," Mursi said. 

He warned that he was ready to take further measures if the deadly violence did not end. 

"If I must I will do much more for the sake of Egypt. This is my duty and I will not hesitate," the President said. 

Mursi also invited Egyptian opposition leaders for talks on Monday
08:43  Brazil delays World Cup event over fire tragedy:  
Brazil has postponed an event dubbed "500 Days until World Cup-2014" set for Monday in Brasilia after a deadly nightclub fire in the country's south killed at least 245 people, officials said. 

"As a sign of mourning due to the tragedy in Santa Maria (in Rio Grande do Sul state), Federal District governor Agnelo Queiroz, who is deeply saddened, has decided to push back the event that had been scheduled for National Stadium" in the federal capital, his office said on Sunday. 

At least 245 people died early yesterday when a fire gutted a nightclub packed with university students who desperately tried to exit doors that were locked, in the southern college town of Santa Maria, police said. The city has a population of just over a quarter million people.
08:41  After tobacco, Turkey bans hookah in public places:  
After banning smoking in public places, the Turkish government has gone one step further by clamping down on an ancient tradition -- the hookah, or water pipe.

As of today it is no longer permitted to smoke the "hubbly-bubbly" in cafes, bars or restaurants as the conservative Islamic government cracks down on use of tobacco. 

In 2009 the government made it illegal to smoke in public places, but only barred use of the hookah by minors, and cafes continued to offer fruity tobacco mixes in water pipes, drawing the wrath of health authorities.

The hookah, or narghile, was very popular under the Ottoman Empire but was eclipsed by the new-fangled cigarettes under the Turkish Republic from 1923. 

In recent years it has regained its popularity in big cities.
08:40  Top headlines at this hour:  We will unite forces and pull down the state govt: TRS 

Kargil war a disaster, Musharraf tried to cover it up: Pak General 

245 killed in devastating fire at Brazil nightclub

Never threatened I-T dept, this is a conspiracy: Gadkari

BAN RSS, BJP if we are terrorists: Rajnath dares Shinde 

Dhoni showers big praise on Ishant, Jadeja despite loss

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