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Pak another complicated reality on nukes: Hagel

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January 31, 2013

23:54  Electricity to cost more in Delhi:  Delhites will have to shell out more money for electricity from tomorrow with power regulator DERC effecting upto three per cent hike in tariff to adjust the power purchase cost of distribution companies.

The hike will be three per cent for consumers of BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd while the increase for those getting electricity from Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd is 1.5 per cent.

"We have effected a three per cent hike in tariff for BYPL and BRPL consumers. The hike has been fixed at 1.5 per cent for TPDDL customers," DERC Secretary Jayashree Raghuraman told PTI.

The hike will come into effect from tomorrow for next three months, following which DERC is likely to review the increase based on cost of buying power by the distribution companies.
23:52  Why was Owaisi not allowed to hold rally at Aurangabad: HC:  The Bombay high court today asked the city police commissioner to file an affidavit explaining the rationale behind the order prohibiting MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi from addressing public meetings in Aurangabad.

The division bench here of justices P V Hardas and S B Deshmukh adjourned the hearing for a week. Owaisi was to address rallies today and tomorrow. After the Maharashtra police handed over a notice to Owaisi asking him not to address the public meetings, local organisers moved the high court. 

The notice, served to Owaisi in Hyderabad, also said he had been prohibited from entering Aurangabad city. Advocate S S Quadri appeared for MIM, whereas Advocate S P Kurundkar represented the government.
23:44  Pak another complicated reality on nukes: Hagel:  Terming Pakistan as a 'real nuclear power and quite unpredictable', Chuck Hagel, picked to lead the Pentagon, today said that the nation is a very complicated reality in terms of atomic weapons and American assistance to Islamabad should not be 'unconditional'.

His remarks on Pakistan came while he was responding to a question on the threat posed to the US by Iranian's contested nuclear weapon programme in which he said that it poses a threat to the US. North Korea, he said, is "beyond" a threat.

"It's a real nuclear power and quite unpredictable. I think Pakistan is another very complicated reality," Hagel told US lawmakers while responding to the question, without giving any further explanation on his Pakistan remarks.

Earlier in his written answers submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hagel said the US assistance to Pakistan should not be 'unconditional'.
22:04  Hate speech: Another case against Akbaruddin Owaisi:   Another case related to his alleged hate speech has been filed against jailed MIM legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi, this time in Kurnool district of AndhraPradesh, following a court directive.     

Atmakur police in Kurnool district on Wednesday registered a case against the MIM leader under sections 121 (waging war against the government of India), 153A (promoting enmity) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
21:24  Notices against TRS chief for comments against Sonia, PM:  The Andhra Pradesh Legal Services Authority today served notices on TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and Telangana Political JAC chairman Kodandaram, asking them to appear before it on February 15, on a plea accusing them of making derogatory comments against Congress leaders.               

The petition in this regard was filed by Samaikhaya (United) Andhra students JAC convener Uma Maheshwar Rao, seeking action against the duo for their alleged disrespectful remarks about Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and delivering provocative speeches at different locations.
21:21  Karuna dares Jaya to initiate legal proceedings:  DMK Chief M Karunanidhi today dared Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to initiate legal proceedings against him for his remarks.

Karunanidhi had claimed that she had written a letter to AIADMK founder M G R criticising Tamil film actor Kamal Haasan. 

"I have enough evidence. I am ready to produce them in the court when the chief minister files a complaint," said Karunanidhi in a statement, after Jayalalithaa said she would initiate legal proceedings against him.
21:19  Gadkari questioned by I-T officials:  BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Thursday appeared before I-T authorities in connection with charges of dubious transactions in the Purti Group.
20:29  Cabinet approves 'diluted' Lokpal Bill:  Sheela Bhatt reports: The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011. The original provisions of the Bill have been diluted to such an extent that in a candid admission, a minister the ruling UPA confessed smilingly to, "It is nimbu-paani (lime juice)!"

The amended Bill virtually has no power over the CBI.
20:13  TN pushes water ministry over Cauvery row:  

A correspondent from Delhi reports: Congress's Cuddalore MP KS Azhagiri met Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat today to press for the early notification of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal's final award.  


The water resources ministry is awaiting a response from the law ministry.   Rawat rold Azhagiri that his department would act after it gets the requisite response from the law ministry.  


Since the next hearing of the Cauvery case in Supreme Court is on February 4, a quick response from the central government is expected.

20:12  Kejriwal set to 'expose' Sheila Dikshit:  

A correspondent from Delhi reports: Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal and National Executive Member Prashant Bhushan are all set to 'expose' the connivance between Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and electricity companies.  


The press conference by Kejriwal and Bhushan will be held at the Deputy Speaker Hall, Constitution Club Annexe on Friday.

20:05  India pledges $1 mn to UN-backed mission to Mali:  

India has pledged $1 million to the African-led International Support Missions to Mali, which is witnessing violence by militants.        


Unequivocally condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said the fight against the scourge of militancy should be unrelenting.        


He also said India has pledged $1million at the donors' conference which was held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, earlier this week.        


The money raised at the conference will go into a United Nations trust fund for AFISMA and for training and equipping the Malian army.

20:04  Court summons Kejriwal in defamation case:  

A court in New Delhi today issued summons against activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on a criminal defamation case filed against him by the political advisor of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for allegedly making "baseless" allegations against her.        


Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shailender Malik summoned Kejriwal as an accused for March 20 on the complaint which said he had used "false and filthy" language against the chief minister in a television show.        


"Due to politically motivated and malafide reasons, mischievous and absolutely false and baseless allegations have been intentionally made in a filthy and foul language through convoluted information to gain scandalising impact, at a platform where the same could not be rebutted, as Sheila Dikshit or the office of the Chief Minister of Delhi was not represented.

19:04  Sensational Palghar Facebook case closed:  

Ram Parmar reports: The Palghar judicial magistrate on Thursday accepted the closure report filed by the Palghar police in the sensational Facebook controversy where two Palghar women commented on the bandh after the death of the Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray in November 2012.  


The Sena had had filed a protest petition before the Palghar court praying to take cognisance of the offence and also to issue summons to the two girls, Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan,which was rejected by the court on Thursday and accepted the police closure summary report.

18:38  Film row: Centre to have relook at Cinema Act:  

Amid a raging row over Kamal Haasan's film "Vishwaroopam", the Centre today decided to have a "relook" at the Cinematograph Act and set up a committee to make the law more robust to ensure movies do not get stuck after clearances by the film certification board.        


Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari noted that the Act needed to be revisited to remove uncertainty with regard to a movie even after it has been cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification.    


He told reporters that he has asked the Information and Broadcasting Secretary to form a committee to have a relook at the Act and see if there is a need to amend it.   Tewari said the Committee will look into whether there is a need to make the "statutory architecture or the regulatory framework" of the Act more "robust" to ensure that the CBFC decision is implemented by the states.

18:31  Pak SC issues contempt of court notice to NAB chief:  

Head of Pakistan's anti-corruption watchdog was today served with a contempt of court notice by the supreme court for writing a letter to the president in which he had complained about the apex court's alleged interference in ongoing investigations into several scams.         


A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry issued the notice to National Accountability Bureau Chairman Fasih Bokhari and summoned him to personally appear in court on February 4. Bokhari was directed to submit a reply before the next hearing.

17:46  Pakistan cabinet approves Gwadar port transfer to China:  The Pakistan cabinet has approved the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, as well as a deal transferring the management of the Gwadar port from Singapore to China was also given the go-ahead. 

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the cabinet gave approval to transfer Gwadar port operations from Port of Singapore to Chinese Overseas Port Holdings Limited, adding that the decision was taken to meet the country''s soaring energy requirements, reports the Express Tribune

He, however, did not give a timetable for the transfer. 
17:33  Won't contest 2014 LS poll; Cong may return to power: Pawar:  
Sheela Bhatt reports: Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has reiterated that he will not be contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. 

Speaking to media persons in New Delhi, he said: "I am not going to contest the next election. Naye logon ko lena achcha hoga (it will be good to pick new people). I will continue as head of the party. I want to be away from my parliamentary party. I don't know what will happen to us. This is my desire. My successor will be decided by my party." 

When someone mentioned Praful Patel's name, Pawar said: "Yes, Praful can take over; (on prodding) I am saying Praful CAN take over from me."

Making his assessment on the Lok Sabha election outcome, Pawar said: "The party that will get 170/180 seats will form the next government in New Delhi. There is a possibility that Congress might reach that number!"
17:25  MNS rally jams arterial Mumbai roads:  Update from   

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena is holding a rally against the RTO to protest vehicles carrying more than the authorised capacity.   

All major corridors: Western Express Highway going south, BKC both directions, LBS marg going south, Eastern Express Highway going south until Sion junction, are jammed.   Commuters are advised to take local trains instead of travelling on these roads to avoid major delays.   

Call traffic helpline on 9223 111 000 for further updates.
17:03  Are you a superachiever? Find out:  What is a superachiever like? 

According to journalist Camille Sweeney, who, along with co-author Josh Gosfield, interviewed dozens of highly accomplished men and women for a new book, The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well, here's a checklist:

'Superachievers might look like loners -- at the top of the mountain, by themselves. But they all found ways to connect themselves to people who would support their dreams and their goals. Everybody had this skill of active listening, when you're taking in what another person's saying and processing it, listening for information that you're going to put into action. That's something that's surprising for very successful people -- you would imagine that they don't want to be told (what to do), because they know everything. You wouldn't think that Tony Hsieh, the CEO of, or Martina Navratilova, has to listen, but that is what they're doing.'

Do you think it describes you?

Read on for more, here.
16:55  Chinese court convicts monk, nephew for inciting immolations:  A Tibetan monk was given a suspended death sentence and his nephew sent to 10 years in prison for inciting self-immolation protests against Chinese rule, that have shaken the Himalayan region in recent months. 

Monk Lorang Konchok, 40, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and has been stripped of his political rights for life, in what was seen as a deterrent punishment in the region hit by unrest. 

His nephew, Lorang Tsering, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and has been stripped of his political rights for three years, state-run Xinhua quoted the court verdict as saying.
16:54  NYT says victim of Chinese hackers, China denies:  The New York Times today said Chinese hackers have carried out sustained attacks on its computer systems, breaking in and stealing the passwords of reporters, including in India, after the paper's expose of vast wealth amassed by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's family. 

"Security experts hired by the Times to detect and block the computer attacks gathered digital evidence that Chinese hackers, using methods that some consultants have associated with the Chinese military in the past, breached the Times's network," the New York Times said. 

"They broke into the e-mail accounts of its Shanghai bureau chief, David Barboza, who wrote the reports on Mr Wen's relatives, and Jim Yardley, the Times's South Asia bureau chief in India, who previously worked as bureau chief in Beijing," the paper said. 

Reacting to the charge, China categorically dismissed New York Times's claims that Chinese hackers have persistently attacked computer systems of the paper for the last four months after it carried the story of the family of Wen accumulating over USD 2.7 billion assets.
16:52  Just In: The government fixes floor price of OIL stake sale at Rs 510 a share; auction tomorrow.
16:51  PML-Nawaz seeks probe into Pak Kargil defeat:  Pakistan's main opposition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz today demanded a judicial inquiry into the 1999 Kargil conflict with India. 

The demand came in the wake of a retired general's revelation that the operation to send regular troops across the Line of Control was masterminded by former army chief Pervez Musharraf. 

"Following the latest revelations by a close aide of Musharraf, there is no option but to seek the formation of a judicial commission to conduct an inquiry into the Kargil episode," senior PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters outside parliament. 

"Though more than 500 Pakistani soldiers, including young and senior officers, were killed in Kargil, there has been no inquiry till today," he said. 

 In contrast, India had already carried out an inquiry into the incident and made its report public years ago, he remarked.
16:21  Telangana: Cong MPs threaten to send resignations to Speaker:  Congress MPs from Telangana have threatened to send their resignations to Speaker Meira Kumar if urgent steps were not taken for formation of a separate state. 

"It was our collective decision to resign. Seven of us, including Madhu Goud Yakshi, who later said there was no need to resign, had signed this letter after a thorough discussion on the issue for two days," one of the signatories, Sukhender Reddy, said. 

"We will continue with our protest and send resignation to Speaker as well, if a decision is not taken for creation of Telangana," Reddy said.
16:20  Shivraj Chauhan rising star of Indian politics: Naidu:  Hailing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his "able governance", senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu today termed him as "the rising star of Indian politics and a man of competence". 

"Chouhan is the rising star of Indian politics. He is the man of character, capacity, capability and competence," Venkaiah said while addressing the Skill Summit organised by the state technical education and skill development department in Bhopal.

Venkaiah said agriculture growth at 18 per cent in Madhya Pradesh was the highest in the country and has even surpassed Gujarat which registered 12 per cent growth. 

"With his able governance, Chouhan has proved his capability and Madhya Pradesh has now become a role model. I felt very proud when President Pranab Mukherjee honoured Chouhan recently in New Delhi for this achievement", Venkaiah said.
16:18  Just In: Need patience on Telangana issue: Union Minister ManishTewari.
15:58  Abhishek Bachchan tweets: Offended by a film or its contents? simple solution'don't buy the ticket to see the film? Let the audience decide for themselves.

And yes, we agree.
15:39  Anna raises question on Modi as PM:  Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare today questioned Narendra Modi as a prime ministerial candidate in the next general elections, saying the Gujarat chief minister was not sincere about rooting out corruption as he has not taken steps for setting up a Lokayukta, a post lying vacant since 2003 in the state. 

"I want to ask Modi why has he not made Gujarat corruption-free and why did he not bring a bill for setting up Lokayukta in his state," he said in reply to questions by reporters. 

So many complaints of corruption have been coming from Gujarat, he said. "People are tossing his (Modi's) name for the PM's post ... If he is so good a candidate why did he not bring a strong Lokayukta bill?" Hazare, who launched his 'Janatantra Morcha' here yesterday, said. 

 "This proves that Modi is not interested in making a corruption-free India," the Gandhian said.
15:36  2 members of polio vaccination team killed in Pakistan:  Two members of a polio vaccination team were killed when their motorcycle hit a bomb in the restive Kurram tribal region of Pakistan today, the latest in a string of attacks targeting volunteers engaged in a drive against the crippling disease. 

The two volunteers were on their way to administer polio drops to children in Mali Khel area of Kurram Agency when their motorcycle hit the bomb buried under the road. They were killed instantly, officials of the local political administration said.
15:36  The famous Baritone sings live for peace:  Megastar Amitabh Bachchan sang the song Rang De Basanti 'live' at a concert last night in Mumbai aimed at promoting peace. 

Bachchan sang the song along with music director Aadesh Srivastava at the concert, 'Global Sounds of Peace', organised at the Andheri Sports Complex last night. 

"I want to thank the public for attending the concert. Normally the concerts related to films have a different ambience and music. But looking at the presence of people out here I did not know that they like such music too... as it was a little classical," Bachchan told reporters. 

"Performing live is always tough. It involves a lot of hard work. Live music and audience makes it tough," he said.
15:34  What Rahul Gandhi needs to do:  'In the run-up to the 2014 polls, Rahul  Gandhi could test the waters by supporting privatising a loss-making state firm such as Air India. Or he could call for relaxing India's onerous labor laws that impede growth in manufacturing,' suggests Sadanand Dhume in the Wall Street Journalhere.

Is the Congress party's new vice president reading it?
15:31  Simplifying the Verma Committee report :  Writing in IndiaRealTime, the Wall Street Journal's India blog, Aditi Malhotra, Saptarishi Dutta and Tripti Lahiri have pored over the Justice AS Verma report so that you don't have to, and have shortlisted 10 key crimes with regards to which the Verma report 'differs from or resembles current law and proposed legislation'.

You can read their amazing work here.
15:01  RSS, VHP plans to revive Ram Mandir movement :  Our Correspondent reports from Delhi: Before the possible arrival of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to New Delhi ahead of the 2014 general election, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have decided to rake up the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue again.They have planned six major events in 2013 to try and bring the Ram Mandir issue to the national centre-stage.

More details soon on
14:56  Lokpal Bill with amendments cleared, Parliament next halt:  The amended Lokpal Bill, which delinks the central government from creation of state Lokayuktas, was today approved by the Union Cabinet, paving the way for its consideration by Parliament. 

The revised bill incorporates a number of changes recommended by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee, including appointment of the Director of Prosecution by the CVC. 

The government, however, has not accepted a key recommendation of the panel that an official facing an inquiry by the Lokpal should not be given an opportunity to be heard at the stage of the preliminary inquiry.
14:50  China building armed forces to win high intensity military ops:  China is building and strengthening its armed forces to fight and win high-intensity regional military operations of short duration, US Defence Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel has told lawmakers. 

"China is pursuing a long-term, comprehensive military modernisation programme designed to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win high-intensity regional military operations of short duration," Hagel said. 

"I understand that Taiwan contingencies remain the principal focus of much of this modernisation, but there are growing indications that China is developing capabilities for missions that go beyond China's immediate territorial concerns, such as its counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa and noncombatant evacuation operations from Libya," he said in written answers to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee.
14:26  SC dismisses plea against TN govt's decision to shift assembly:  The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea challenging the AIADMK government's decision to shift the legislative assembly-cum-secretariat complex back to its old building at Fort St George in Chennai. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir refused to set aside the state government's decision which was taken after the AIADMK came back to power in May 2011. 

The bench said these issues should be raised before another forum and the court should not adjudicate them after it was pleaded that the decision was taken only to override the earlier decision taken by the DMK government to shift the assembly to the new building at Omandurar Government Estate in Chennai.
14:22  Rushdie incident has demeaned Kolkata's prestige: Mahasweta:  Condemning the West Bengal government for failing to provide security to writer Salman Rushdie, octogenarian Magsaysay award-winning author Mahasweta Devi today said the fiasco had demeaned the prestige of the city. 

"I have heard about the incident. I condemn it. The state government should have welcomed Rushdie and should have made all arrangements for his stay. But what happened had actually demeaned the city's cultural heritage and Kolkata's prestige in the world forum," Mahasweta Devi, once close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said.
14:16  FIR against Chate Classes owner for molestation:  The Mumbai police have registered an FIR against a coaching class owner for allegedly molesting a 17-year-old student, police sources said today. 

Machindra Chate (48), owner of Chate Coaching Classes in Dadar, was booked for offences under sections 354 (assault or criminal force with intent to outrage modesty of woman) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC following a complaint filed by the victim with Bhoiwada police yesterday, sources said. 

However, Chate has not yet been arrested, they said. 
14:02  Viet Cong smoke in helicopter attack by Maoists:  'Indian Air Force investigators probing the January 18 incident in Chhattisgarh in which an Mi 17 was riddled with bullets by suspected Naxalites are studying if the rebels used a Viet Cong-style "false-flag' tactic to lure the helicopter within the range of their firearms,' reports The Telegraph, Kolkata, here.
13:57  Polish is now England's second most spoken language:   It is a no-brainer that the largest spoken language in England would be English, but which would be the second largest spoken language in queen's country?

French? Italian? German? Spanish?

How about none of the above? How about -- Polish?

After a decade of huge East European migration, reports The Times, London, Polish is now the second largest spoken language in England.

'Fifty million people speak English as their main language, according to census figures. Almost as many people now speak Polish (546,000) as Welsh (562,000), with the west London borough of Ealing having the highest proportion of Polish speakers at 6 per cent of the population,' says the newspaper. 

The 2011 census  has recorded more than 100 different languages, including 49 main languages spoken by over 15,000 speakers. 

According to the census, while 50 million speak English, Polish and Welsh have almost as many speakers. Interestingly for India, the next popular languages are Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Gujarati.
13:42  Why is armoury in Mumbai's CST covered by OSA, asks HC:  When journalist, P K Trivedi  aka Akela wrote a report on June 28, 2010, exposing the poor storage of sophisticated weapons in an armoury at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus -- one of the targets of the 26/11 terror attacks -- he perhaps expected plaudits for his investigative reporting skills. What he got instead was an FIR against him for violating the Official Secrets act.   

He filed a case in the Bombay high court for quashing the case, and a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice AP Bhangale on Wednesday asked the state government for its exact stand on the application of the OSA, and on what basis the said armoury was a prohibited place.   

Clearly, the last word on the subject is a long way from being written...
13:33  Jayalalithaa defends ban on Viswaroopam:   In an ongoing press conference in Chennai, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has defended the ban on Kamal Haasan's Viswaroopam. "As chief minister, I have to maintain law and order," she said.

"Twentyfour Muslim groups had petitioned my government against Viswaroopam," she disclosed, and "we feared violence if the film was released." We acted sensibly by preventing violence before it occurred, she said. elaborate details of the number of the state's police force, its responsibilities, duty hours etc, she sought to convey how thinly the force was already stretched, making it impossible to divert a block of them for providing security for Viswaroopam's release.

"We don't have valuable manpower," she said.

Turning to actor Kamal Haasan's comment about a dhoti-clad prime minister, a comment that many believe earned the Tamil Nadu CM's wrath, Jayalalitha also said the actor does not choose the prime minister. She also clarified that she had no personal or commercial interest in banning Kamal Haasan's film.

"Why should I have any grudge against Mr Kamal Haasan?" she asked. "Nor is he my rival in any way."

Turning to the view that a state government does not have the power to ban a film, Jayalalitha said under Section 7 of the Tamil Nadu Cinamas Regulation Act, the state government was fully empowered to ban a film.

About the actor's statement that he has pledged all his properties to produce the film and a loss would wipe him out, Jayalalitha said he was almost 60 years old, a responsible adult. If he has decided to produce an expensive film, how can the government be held responsible for his actions, she asked.

Striking an amicable note, she also said if Kamal Haasan and Muslim organisations can work out a peaceful arrangement, her government would be happy to facilitate it.
13:31  Just In: Economic growth rate for 2011-12 revised downward to 6.2 per cent from 6.5 per cent estimated earlier.
13:06  Rajapakse to visit India for 2 days on Feb 8:  Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse will be on a two-day state visit to India from February 8 to discuss bilateral and international issues. 

During his stay, Rajapakse will meet Pranab Mukherjee and join the meeting of the Indo-Sri Lanka joint commission. 

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is expected to raise the Sri Lankan government's treatment of Tamils in the north-eastern part of the country.
12:51  Want all my fans to fully support Haasan: Salman:  
Salman Khan has joined in the list of celebrities who have come out in support of superstar Kamal Haasan, who is currently facing a ban on his big-budget film Vishwaroopam.

"It is just a movie and there are only two kinds of movies good or bad, hit and flop and only people who decide are ones who buy tickets. Hope each and every fan of his supports him like I am doing and want all my fans to fully support him," Salman posted on micro-blogging site Twitter. 

The 47-year-old also requested people to stand outside cinema halls and insist on watching the movie. 

"Then go stand out side the cinema hall and insist on seeing the film, its a movie dude, entertainment, what law and order problem on a movie? Go there insist that you wanna see it, there is a supreme court judgement after the film is censored no body can stop it." 

Members of the film fraternity like Shah Rukh Khan, Mahesh Bhatt and Karan Johar have also supported Haasan. 
12:33  My phone is being tapped, says Kamal Haasan:  'Vishwaroop is my child. Politics is my nemesis. They want to abort my child. I am supposed to talk to Christians, Muslims and politicians to save my child. Why would I address my creativity to fascism?'

Actor Kamal Haasan, in the midst of his court battle over his pet project Viswaroopam, talks to Mid-Day about why he is being targeted, and by who. Read the interview here.
12:30  Yeddyurappa confident of winning K'taka poll:  
Vicky Nanjappa reports from Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday said that he is confident of forming the government after the next elections. 

The Karnataka Janatha Party will get a majority and will form the government, Yeddyurappa said at a press conference in Bengaluru.

His press conference came a day after 13 former BJP MLAs formally joined the KJP. 

Yeddyurappa did not indicate if there would be more exodus from the BJP into his party, but added that those who wished for the betterment of Karnataka were free to join him. 

On the survival of the BJP government in Karnataka, he refused to comment, but hinted that some more legislators may join him soon. 
12:28  Manu Joseph: A Paradise for Those Who Take Offense:  'India is a paradise for those who take offense because the first reaction of the state is to appease those who claim to have been offended. The law itself favors those who claim to be offended. And the police, who are so often reluctant to press charges against politicians accused of murder or men accused of rape are quick to arrive at the doorsteps of intellectuals, movie stars and other public figures who have allegedly offended people by words, actions or photographs. The fact is that India's intellectual elite is one of the few oppressed castes left in the country today,' writes Manu Joseph in the New York Times. Read him here.
12:18  Jet, Etihad top-brass meet Ajit Singh:  Top Etihad Airways and Jet Airways executives today met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh amid the possibility of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier picking up 24 per cent stake in the premier Indian airline. 

The Etihad delegation was led by its CEO James Hogan at the meeting, which was also attended by Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal. 

While neither Hogan, nor Goyal spoke about the meeting, Singh said both airlines have been "in consultation (over possible stake sale). So the Etihad delegation was here today. They were discussing details with Goyal."
12:16  Cops faced maximum suspensions after BJP came to power in Goa:  Seventy-five government servants, nearly half of them policemen, had to face suspension on various counts after the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government took over reins in Goa last year. 

According to details tabled by the chief minister in the ongoing assembly session, the police department suffered maximum number of suspensions since March 8, 2012, when the BJP came to power in Goa, replacing the Digambar Kamat government after a massive victory in the assembly polls. 

Two deputy superintendents of police -- Shamba Sawant and Chandrakant Salgaoncar -- and 35 subordinate police officials were suspended on various grounds.
11:41  21 killed in road accident in Gujarat:  
At least 21 people, including eight children and eight women, were killed in a road accident in Patan district of Gujarat when a minibus lost control and collided with a stationary state road transport bus on Wednesday night. 

All the victims were from Gilasan village of Mehsana district and had gone to Sami for a religious function. 

The driver of the minibus lost control after one of its tyres burst and collided with the bus. 
11:40  Just In: The Delhi high court has asked the city government to issue a direction to all hospitals in the capital that they should not deny treatment to rape and road accident victims.
11:39  Not going to SC, talks still underway: Kamal Haasan:  
NDTV reports: "I am still hurt. But I am calm," said Kamal Haasan on Thursday morning in Chennai before flying to Mumbai for the release of the Hindi version of his 95-crore thriller, Vishwaroopam.

On Wednesday, in a surprise development, Haasan agreed to edit out words and scenes that were identified as problematic by Muslim leaders who say that without those changes, the film reinforces negative stereotypes about Muslims.

Haasan wants to wait to see if a breakthrough is reached in talks before he appeals to the Supreme Court to rescind the ban, which expires on Wednesday, February 6.
11:05  1965 Indo-Pak war ammo cache recovered from Barmer:  
The Border Security Force has recovered a huge cache of explosives dating back to the 1965 India-Pakistan war buried safely under the ground from Barmer district of Rajasthan.

Officials of the BSF successfully conducted Operation Alert in Barmer during which bombs dating back to 1965 were discovered during an excavation.

A senior official spoke to media persons about the recovery.

"We undertook an excavation and found 60-65 bombs, they are highly explosive and have a direct impact radius of 700 metre," said Vinay Kumar, a security official.

Soon after successful completion of the recovery the officials were seen examining the explosives.
11:04  Just In: Defence Minister A K Antony says that Pakistan's claim that its soldiers were beheaded by the Indian Army in the past is 'totally baseless'.
10:39  'Vishwaroopam' ban: Centre takes on TN govt:  
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has expressed his views on the ban being re-imposed on Kamal Haasan's spy-thriller Vishwaroopam by the Madras High Court.

The minister indicated that the government might consider amending the Cinematograph Law.

Emphasising on the need to revisit the existing law, Tewari tweeted, "Time Cinematograph Act revisited to ensure implementation integrity certification decisions Otherwise each state would be its own censor (sic)."

Reports suggest that Tewari will set up a committee to discuss core issue regarding the amendment.

Importantly, Haasan's lawyers may approach the Supreme Court today against the HC ban.

The Centre's support is important for Kamal as he fights to release his mega budget film Vishwaroopam in Tamil Nadu.
10:27  NASA launches communication satellite:  
NASA today launched a new communication satellite to stay in touch with its space station astronauts and relay more Hubble telescope images. 

An unmanned Atlas V rocket blasted into the starry night sky carrying the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite. This is the 11th TDRS satellite to be launched by NASA. The space agency uses the orbiting network to communicate with astronauts living on the International Space Station. 

The first TDRS spacecraft flew in 1983; it recently was retired along with No 4. The second was lost aboard space shuttle Challenger in 1986; Monday marked the 27th anniversary of the launch disaster. This newest third-generation TDRS carries the letter K designation. 

Once it begins working, it will become TDRS-11. It will take two weeks for the satellite to reach its intended 22,300-mile-high orbit. Testing will last a few months.
10:25  Sensex falls 23 points in early trade:  
The BSE benchmark Sensex fell nearly 23 points in early trade today ahead of current month expiry in the derivatives segment amid a weak Asian trend. 

The 30-share index shed 22.72 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 19,982.28 with stocks of oil and gas, capital goods and auto leading the fall. The index had gained 14.10 points in the previous session.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty down 4.30 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 6,051.45. 

Brokers said squaring-up of positions by participants as today being the last session of current month expiry in the derivatives segment, mainly dampened the sentiments. 

Besides, a weak trend in the Asian region following overnight losses at the US markets after data showed the world's biggest economy unexpectedly shrank in the last quarter of 2012, too, had its shadow, they said.
09:50  I live and work according to my limitations: PC:  
In an interview with the Financial Times, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has spoken of his determination to control pre-election public spending, support for foreign investment and plans for further financial liberalisation.

He also told Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times, and James Blitz, diplomatic editor, of his political ambitions. 

Click HERE to read
09:25  Lokpal Bill: Union Cabinet to mull over key changes:  
The much-talked about Lokpal Bill is expected to return to the centrestage with the Union Cabinet set to discuss key amendments to the anti-graft legislation on Thursday. 

According to reports, the Union Cabinet will discuss the key amendments proposed to the bill by the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha, where the bill is pending since last year. 

The committee was formed to look into the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha members for the Lokpall Bill. 

On Wednesday, the Centre had agreed to delink state Lokayukta from the Central legislation and to the appointment of the Director of Prosecution by the Central Vigilance Commission or CVC, accepting some of the key recommendations of the Select Committee. 

However, it has not favoured another key recommendation of the panel that an official facing an inquiry from the Lokpal not be given an opportunity to be heard at the stage of the preliminary enquiry. 

The proposal of the Department of Personnel is however, silent on the appointment of the CBI chief by an independent collegium comprising the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. 
09:23  Indian student Souvik Pal's body to arrive today:  
The body of Indian student Souvik Pal, who died under mysterious circumstances in Manchester would be arriving in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The boy's father Santanu Pal would be bringing the body, they said. 

"Santanu Pal will arrive with Souvik's body at the Bengaluru International Airport Limited," a close family friend of Sanatu Pal said. The last rites of 19-year-old Souvik would be performed at Hebbal Crematorium.

Souvik, a student of Manchester Metropolitan University, was missing since a New Year's Eve party in Manchester. His body was found by specialist officers in Bridgewater Canal, near Manchester United's Old Trafford football ground on January 22.

Souvik had enrolled for product design course at Manchester Metropolitan University. He disappeared on a night out at the Warehouse Project in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
09:21  Rahul to meet AICC office-bearers today:  
Rahul Gandhi will hold a meeting with AICC office-bearers on Thursday, his first formal interaction after taking over as party vice president more than a week ago. 

The closed-door meeting will be attended by over 50 office-bearers of the party including AICC general secretaries, AICC secretaries, in-charges of states and chiefs of all the frontal wings of the party including Youth Congress, NSUI, Mahila Congress and Seva Dal.

The meeting is significant since this will be the first formal interaction of Gandhi with party leaders after he was appointed as Congress vice president during its two-day 'chintan shivir' in Jaipur on January 19.

He formally took over his position in the AICC on January 23.

In his brief interaction with the media after joining his new office in the AICC then, Gandhi had made a strong pitch for positive politics promising to make Congress an "instrument of change".
09:10  Nothing anti-Muslim about Vishwaroopam:  
Kamal Haasan, who upset exhibitors with his plans to release Vishwaroopam first on DTH, had to back off in the face of threats from cinema theatres not to screen his film. 

But the ban and the charge that the 'unity of the country could be affected' by Vishwaroopam has been the last straw. 

"MF Hussain had to leave, now Haasan will have to," the actor told the media, adding, "Tamil Nadu does not want me."

One of Tamil Nadu's most celebrated sons now wants to move out of the state to a more "secular state" or even leave India, if it cannot accommodate an artist like him. 

It is shameful for Tamil Nadu as well as India.

Read more about it HERE
03:44  6.7 magnitude quake hits northern Chile: USGS:  AFP reports: A strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake jolted northern Chile today, US monitors said, knocking out electricity and local telecom services but no immediate tsunami warning was issued.

The earthquake occurred at 13.45 IST, at the relatively shallow depth of 47.5 kilometres and the epicenter was located 102 kilometres from the mining town of Copiapo, the US Geological Service said.

That is about 800 km, north of the capital Santiago. Chilean authorities did not immediately report any fatalities.

The quake, which lasted longer than a minute, downed phone service and power in cities in the region, local officials said.
01:50  Girl who performed for Obama shot dead in Chicago:  AFP reports: A 15-year-old girl who performed at President Barack Obama's inauguration last week was shot dead in Chicago by a gunman who opened fire on a group of kids hanging out in a park, police said today.

"It is believed that the offender mistook the group for gang members and fired at them," Chicago police office Laura Kubiak told AFP.

Hadiya Pendleton -- described by a relative as a 'walking angel' -- was sheltering from the rain under a canopy with about 10 or 12 other teenagers yesterday when the gunman leaped over a fence, opened fire and then jumped into a getaway car at 2:30 pm.
01:26  Prince Charles takes rare ride on London's subway:  AP reports: Royalty means rarely having to mind the gap. Britain's Prince Charles took a ride on the London subway today for the first time in a quarter century.

Charles and his wife Camilla joined transit officials and commuters to mark the 150th anniversary of the Underground, the world's first subway system. The subway system, which sees 3.5 million journeys a day, is well known for announcements warning passengers to 'mind the gap between the train and the platform'.

The royal couple travelled one stop, from Farringdon to King's Cross on the Metropolitan Line, the oldest section of the subway system, opened in 1863. 

Charles last travelled by subway in 1986, when he and the late Princess Diana took the Tube to Heathrow Airport to open a new terminal.
01:04  Shooting at Phoenix office complex wounds 5:   USA Today reports:

At least five people are injured after a shooting occurred at a north central Phoenix office complex Wednesday morning, officials said.Around 10:30 a.m., officials reported that three people had suffered gunshot wounds in a building on the 7300 block of 16th Street, near Glendale Avenue, officials said.

It is unknown if the shooter is in custody.
00:56  India moves closer to the nuclear triad?:  Jaideep A Prabhu writes: The day after its Republic Day, India conducted the 12th test of its sea launched ballistic missile that has alternatively been called the K-15, Sagarika, and B-05 in its latest incarnation.The missile was tested for its full range of 700 kilometres, launched from a pontoon rigged to simulate a launch from India's nuclear submarine, the Arihant.

Despite the braggadocio of the media and the Defence Research and Development Organisation that India has completed its nuclear triad, such an occurrence is still at least a decade away.

The successful test-firing of the Sagarika by the DRDO is certainly a milestone, albeit overdue, but India remains a little way off the nuclear triad green. When India does genuinely deploy SLBMs, it would join a select group of countries with such capabilities -- the US, Russia, France, and China.

Read the full article here
00:47  Why making Rahul heir apparent is a big mistake:  Sumit Ganguly writes in ForeignAffairs: In late January, Rahul Gandhi, the grandson of famed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was named vice president of India's Congress Party.

No such position had previously existed. The role's creation -- and Gandhi's elevation to it -- was an effort to solidify his status as the party's second-in-command and heir apparent of Sonia Gandhi, the current party leader and his mother.

It was also an effort to shore up the Congress Party's standing as national elections approach. In a maturing Indian democracy, though, such tricks may no longer work.

Read the full article here
00:45  Power of Goals key to tackle extreme poverty: Bill Gates:  Bill Gates in his annual letter: Today I am launching my Annual Letter. This year, I concentrate on the power of clear goals and accurate measurement 'simple concepts really' to improve the lives of the poorest people around the globe. It may not be the sexiest of themes, but the proof of its impact is undeniable.

The lives of the poorest have improved more rapidly in the last 15 years than ever before.

During that time, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been reduced by half extraordinary progress in a short period of time.

Read the full letter here

00:42  Pakistan approves port transfer to China:  AFP reports: Pakistan on Wednesday approved a deal transferring from Singapore to China the management of the strategically located deep-sea Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.

China provided about 75 percent of the initial $250 million in funding for the construction of the port in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan.It is currently being operated by Singapore's PSA International, but needs further development work to become fully operational.

According to PSA's Gwadar website, there has been no ship in the port since November."The cabinet today gave approval to transfer Gwadar port operations from Port of Singapore to Chinese Overseas Port Holdings Limited," Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters.

Read the full story here
00:32  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Delhi gang-rape: Are our juvenile laws robust enough?

Open to alliance with Raj, says Uddhav

A most unusual swayamvaram

'India should be sensible. Pakistan is very dysfunctional'

Rahul's plans to revamp Congress make many leaders jittery

Gang-rape case: Chargesheet filed against 5 Jamia students

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