23:57 Syria calls on Morsi to step down:
The Syrian regime, which is seeking to crush a more than two-year-old revolt against its own rule, is urging Egypt's president to step down in line with his people's wishes.
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi says the only way Egypt can overcome its crisis is if President Mohamed Morsi realises that the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people reject his presence and want him out.
22:46 Mursi aide says coup under way in Egypt:
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi's national security adviser said a military coup was under way on Wednesday after an army deadline for the Islamist leader to yield to street protests passed without any agreement.
In a show of force, several hundred soldiers with armored vehicles staged a parade on a main road near the presidential palace, and security sources said Mursi and the entire senior leadership of his Muslim Brotherhood were banned from leaving the country.
22:16 Live! Slain SP had sought reinforcements just before ambush:
Just before being gunned down by Maoists along with five other policemen in Dumka district yesterday, Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar had called for reinforcements from the nearest police station.
"The SP phoned me to rush with additional forces. After informing the sub-divisional police officer and the state police headquarters, we rushed to the spot yesterday," Ranjit Minz, in-charge of Amarapara police station in Pakur district, told mediapersons.
21:33 Live! Situation on border with Pak tense: Army:
Firing, ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts from across the border have increased and the situation along the LoC is tense, the army said today.
"The situation on the border (with Pakistan) is tense but under control," General Officer Commanding 16 Corps, Lt Gen D S Hooda, told reporters.
"Firing (from across the border) has increased in the past two to three months. Ceasefire violations have increased. The situation on the border is tense," he said.
The GOC was replying to a volley of questions on the situation along LoC on the sidelines of a function to remember Brigadier Mohd Usman who attained martyrdom while defending the country during 1947-48 operations in Naoshera sector.
"Whatever you say on the ground is true. Infiltration attempts are going on. Two attempts -- one in Keri (Rajouri) and another in Poonch have been foiled recently," Hooda said
20:14 I am the most abused person on social media: Digvijaya:
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh, who has been appointed the in-charge of the party's Goa unit by the All India Congress Committee, said today that he was the most abused man on social networking websites.
Singh said that the Congress will "aggressively venture into the social media arena" to counter the campaign by BJP's election campaign manager Narendra Modi.
"You will see the difference within three months, although Digvijaya Singh is the most abused person on social media," he said, referring to the Congress party's plan to opt for a social media campaign.
20:14 Uttarakhand CM wants speedier relief work:
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna today directed officials to expedite relief operations in affected areas of the state and distribute compensation among flood-hit people.
The CM today reviewed relief efforts at Luxor in Haridwar district after his return from a tour of affected areas.
20:12 Foreign scribes seek permission to cover Delhi rape case:
A group of foreign correspondents today approached the Delhi high court, seeking permission to cover the day-to-day trial of the December 16 Delhi gangrape case.
Filing an application through counsel Meenakshi Lekhi and Harish Pandey, the members of the Foreign Correspondents' Club urged the court to review its March 22 order, allowing the national print and electronic media to cover the trial, saying that they were registered with the Press Information of Bureau, the government of India and are reporting to various foreign media as responsible journalists.
20:02 FIR lodged against UP MLA, 6 others in murder case :
An FIR was today registered against sitting Uttar Pradesh MLA Mukhtar Ansari and six others after a distant cousin of his rival and don Brijesh Singh was today allegedly shot dead in Varanasi, a senior police official said.
Satish Singh, 45, who was a history-sheeter, was shot dead by four motorcycle-borne persons while he was going to buy newspaper this morning in Darhara Bazar in Chaubeypur area, IG, law and order, R K Vishwakarma told reporters.
He said that Singh was a distant cousin of don Brijesh Singh, who is currently lodged in jail.
20:01 'Internet-based biz to touch $100 bn by 2015':
Internet-based businesses such as online advertising and e-commerce are slated to touch $100 billion by 2015, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit has said.
"Even in India, where only 10 per cent of the population is online, 1.6 per cent of GDP is attributed to the rise of the Internet. This is expected to double by 2015 to be worth $100 billion, the same size as the nation's healthcare industry today," the report said.
19:58 Left attacks govt over Food Bill ordinance:
The Left Front today attacked the government for taking the ordinance route to implement the Food Security Bill, saying UPA-II has shown contempt for Parliament.
"This is a totally unnecessary step. The government has shown contempt for Parliament where such a major legislation should have been discussed and adopted," said CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat.
Maintaining that the present legislation had serious flaws, he said, "We have a lot of criticism about the Bill (in its present form). We will move amendments to the legislation".
19:38 2G case: CBI moves SC for cancelling Chandra's bail :
The CBI has moved the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of bail of Sanjay Chandra, MD of Unitech Ltd, who is an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The agency alleged that he tried to "sabotage the trial".
The agency alleged that Chandra misused the relief given to him and has violated the terms and conditions of bail.
The CBI alleged that the conduct of Chandra was questionable during the period of bail as he had approached prosecutor A K Singh and was found discussing crucial witnesses.
19:36 Pak PM asks ISI to tackle violence in Balochistan :
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the ISI and the Intelligence Bureau to arrest those involved in the deadly bombings in Quetta and join hands with the Balochistan government to end violence in the restive province.
"I have directed the ISI and IB officers to arrest the culprits involved in recent bombings to make it as a test case," Sharif said after attending a high-level meeting in Quetta.
19:10 BJP demands strong anti-Naxal policy :
The BJP today said the Maoist strike in Jharkhand, in which an IPS officer was killed, shows that no lessons have been learnt from the Chhattisgarh attack in May and demanded that a strong anti-Naxal policy should be formulated and implemented.
"The killing of six police officers, including the SP, is a matter of serious concern. These men were martyred in the Naxal attack. This proves that no lessons have been learnt from the Darbaghati Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh in May," BJP spokesperson Vijay Sonkar Shastri told reporters.
19:09 Surprised that IB officer not named in chargesheet: Lawyer:
The lawyer of one of the four people killed in a police encounter in the Ishrat Jahan case, which the CBI established as fake today, expressed surprise that Rajinder Kumar, a Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau, was not named in its first chargesheet itself.
Mukul Sinha, lawyer for Javed Shaikh alias Pranesh Pillai, alleged that there was political pressure behind Kumar not being made an accused in the first chargesheet submitted in the 2004 Ishar Jahan encounter case.
"I am surprised his (Kumar) name was not there," he added.
18:39 Cabinet clears ordinance on Food Security Bill:
The Cabinet has cleared the Food Ordinance. The government called for a cabinet meeting and cleared the ordinance, believed to be top most on its agenda. Facing opposition from allies and opposition parties the Samajwadi Party, the Left parties and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on June 13 deferred a proposal to consider the ordinance route to give effect to the bill for its passage in parliament.
The bill aims to give legal rights to 67% of the population over a uniform quantity of five kilos of food grains per individual per month at a fixed price of Rs 1 to Rs 3 a kilo through ration shops. The bill goes further than what the public distribution system (PDS) now provides by giving food grains cheap and by taking the individual as the basis for deciding the quantity of food grains given
18:24 Cabinet clears food ordinance:
The other big news story of the day: The Cabinet has cleared the Food Ordinance. The government called for a cabinet meeting and
cleared the ordinance, believed to be top most on its agenda. Facing opposition from allies and opposition parties the Samajwadi
Party, the Left parties and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh had on June 13 deferred a proposal to consider the
ordinance route to give effect to the bill for its passage in
18:17 BJP spokesperson Niramala Sitharaman reacts to the CBI chargesheet on the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
17:56 CBI: Ishrat chargesheet based on evidence, not politics:
Criminal conspiracy, abduction, murder, illegal confinement: The charges against the cops in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
The CBI chargesheet says the four were bundled into a vehicle and then summarily killed at the encounter site. The four were kept in separate farmhouses before the execution.
The CBI tells NDTV that the chargesheet was based on evidence not politics.
17:42 Apart from former IPS officer DG Vanzara, other policemen charged are GL Singhal, PP Pande, Tarun Barot, JJ Parmar, NK Amin and Anajid Choudhary. The CBI today filed the first and preliminary chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case after it was handed over the probe was handed over in 2011. The Gujarat High Court, which is monitoring the investigation, had asked the CBI to probe whether the encounter was fake and whether Ishrat and the others were terrorists or not. The CBI today said the encounter was fake, but remained silent on whether the four were terrorists.
Pic: The mother of Ishrat Jahan, takes her daughter's body from a hospital morgue in Ahmedabad, in June 18, 2002. Amit Dave/Reuters
17:21 CBI: Weapons planted on Ishrat, others after they were killed:
The chargesheet also states that Gujarat IPS officer DG Vanzara and others took arms from the Intelligence Bureau office and planted them on Ishrat and the others' bodies after they were killed, to make it look like an encounter.
Remember, the CBI chargesheet is still silent on whether Ishrat and the three others were terrorists.
17:15 The victims in the case:Ishrat Jahan was a 19-year-old Mumbai college student who was shot dead along with three others by the Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June, 2004.
Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Sheikh was a Mumbai-based petty criminal involved in counterfeit currency and smuggling.
Amjad Ali Rana, believed to be a Pakistani, but no documentary evidence to prove it.
Zeeshan Johar, also believed to be a Pakistani. Zeeshan is said to have been handed over to Gujarat police by IB officials before the encounter.
17:11 CBI: Ishrat, others illegally confined, sedated, killed :
The CBI has asked the trial court for more time to gather evidence and prove whether there was in fact, a conspiracy. The CBI says Gujarat cops were deployed in different places to manage the encounter.
The chargesheet says that Ishrat and the others were illegally confined before being killed in a staged encounter. The CBI says it has the evidence to prove it.
CBI does not mention whether Ishrat and the three others the three - Pranesh Pillai alias Javed Shaikh, Amjad Ali Rana and Zeeshan Johar - were terrorists or otherwise. However, it says that Ishrat and the three others, were sedated before being killed in cold blood.
The chargesheet does not name Gujarat CM Narendra Modi or then home minister Amit Shah. -- CNN IBN
17:05 The CBI says that DG Vanzara and seven cops planted weapons on Ishrat and the others. Vanzara and the Gujarat cops have been charged with murder.
17:04 CBI: Ishrat killed in fake encounter, murder charges against IB, Gujarat cops :
The CBI has filed its first chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. The CBI filed the chargesheet in the case before the Gujarat high court today. Ishrat was a 19-year-old Mumbai college student who was shot dead along with three others by the Gujarat Police on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on 15 June, 2004.
Early reports say that the chargesheet calls the encounter fake and was a joint operation between the IB and the Gujarat police. Murder charges have been slapped on both.
It says further investigation is required in the role of IB official Rajinder Kumar, an accused in the case. Earlier reports on the what the chargesheet would hold had mentioned that there would be a reference to Kumar, but it would be limited.
16:47 Y H Ramesh appointed as Pakur SP:
YH Ramesh was today appointed as the new police chief of Jharkhand's Pakur district, a day after his predecessor Amarjit Balihar was killed in an ambush by Maoists.
A 2010 batch IPS officer, Ramesh would take charge today, official sources here. Hitherto posted as Tandua sub-divisional police officer in Maoist-hit Chatra district, Ramesh said his priority would be to bring the culprits to justice. Balihar was killed along with five others in the attack in Dumka district yesterday.
16:21 President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Shriniwas Dadasaheb Patil as the Governor of Sikkim with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
16:13 In figures, the rescue and rehabilitation operations in Uttarakhand by the Indian Army.
Even as the government has announced that evacuations have ended in the state foot patrols are providing relief in Elagad,
Tawaghat, Sobala, Chirkilla, Bugdyar, Dharchula, Gothi, Dedang, Jibti
where stretches of road and bridges have been washed away.
Relief camps and seven medical camps established by the Army will remain deployed to these places.
12 Helicopters of the Army aviation wing has flown 774 sorties to evacuate stranded citizens.
15:56 India has bizarre rules for airline operations: Tony Fernandes:
Indicating its intentions to fly abroad very soon, proposed airline AirAsia India today trashed the "bizarre" policy of allowing carriers to operate international flights only after five years of domestic operations.
"These are bizarre rules ... that you can't fly abroad before five years and 20 aircraft (fleet). ... That rule makes no sense. It is a negative for the Indian airlines.
"I, as a one-plane airline in Malaysia, can fly to India. India is the only country which has such a rule," Air Asia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said today.
Maintaining that the Indian airline industry has "not done a good job" to explain to the government the importance of aviation for the economy, he said "it is a shame that India has lost many years. See what new airlines in the region have done. India has lost because of vested interests even though it has a lot of talent and economic activities."
15:48 EC gears up for state polls, summons electoral officers:
The Election Commission has summoned the Chief Electoral Officers of Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to New Delhi to gear up for the upcoming state assembly polls. The Chief Electoral Officers of these states are to make a power point presentation before the three-member bench of the EC where V S Sampath, HV Brahma and Nazim Zaidi will be present.
There is a likelihood of V S Sampath going to Madhya Pradesh in the first week of August, while HV Brahma will go to Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in mid August. Zaidi will overlook the Delhi assembly poll preparations in the first week of August.
15:15 Income tax notice to Gopinath Munde for Rs 8-cr poll spending remark:
BJP leader Gopinath Munde's public admission of having spent Rs 8 crore on his 2009 parliamentary election campaign has earned him a notice from the income tax department. His candid statement once again highlights the ridiculously low election expense limits and their perverse impact on our electoral politics.
15:03 Recent incidents in Valley have brought AFSPA in focus: Omar:
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said some incidents in the Valley over the past 10 days have lent credence to voices both against and for revocation of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.
"I won't talk about AFSPA right now. Last 10 days, we have seen two incidents which have given evidence both for presence and revocation of AFSPA," he told reporters after inaugurating a three-day National Summit organised by National Rural Health Mission in Srinagar.
Omar said the advocates of continuation of AFSPA in the state cite the example of attack on Army convoy in Srinagar on June 24 in which eight soldiers were killed and a dozen others were injured.
"They say that AFSPA cannot be revoked when such incidents take place. Those who want the Act to go cite the Sumbal incident, saying there was wrong use of powers ... which led to death of two youths. If there was no AFSPA it would not have happened," he said.
14:38 Bolivia leader's jet diverted 'amid Snowden suspicions':
Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane had to be diverted to Austria amid suspicion that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board, the Bolivian foreign minister has said.Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said Mr Snowden was not on the plane.France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the Moscow-Bolivia flight to cross their airspace. Read
14:27 Govt to make efforts to restore original glory of Kedarnath:
Update on the Uttarakhand disaster: The Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand was "partially destroyed" and suffered serious damages in the recent floods, but government would make all efforts to restore it to its "original glory", Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch today said.
A team of ASI officials and experts was sent to Uttarakhand to visit the temple and assess the damage. However, the chopper carrying the team could not land due to bad weather, she said.
"After the natural calamity in Uttarakhand, the Kedarnath Temple was partially destroyed. We had sent a team to assess the damage and how we could restore it... Unfortunately, due to bad weather they could not reach the site," Katoch said.
The minister maintained that the team will be sent as soon as the weather clears. Rescue and rehabilitation as well as construction of roads are the priority at the moment, she said. "The team will have to assess the damages and what would be the expenditure to restore it. We want to start work as soon as we get the clearance from the state government," she said. She maintained that the temple has suffered a "lot of damage".
The Uttarakhand government has meanwhile told the Supreme Court that rescue operations in the state were over.
14:22 Rajasthan Royals may be left without first name:
There could be more trouble in store for the beleaguered Rajasthan Royals. As if the spot-fixing and betting troubles are not enough, the Jaipur-based IPL franchise might soon have to fight a legal battle to save their name. That is, if they do not get the BCCI boot from the premier domestic Twenty20 tournament. Read
14:04 CBI autonomy affidavit: Only President can sack chief, Centre can't influence probe:
The Centre has filed a 41-page affidavit in the Supreme Court spelling out steps to bring autonomy in the functioning of the body. The Centre says the affidavit has been filed to place on record recommendations of the Group of Ministers on making CBI autonomous.
The affidavits says:
1. Appointment of CBI director is to be made by a committee comprising PM, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and CJI or an SC judge
2. The CBI director will be removed from office only by order of the President and only on charges of misconduct.
3. The CBI director to hold post for not more than two years.
4. The CBI director cannot be transferred without the consent of the committee headed by PM, Centre to SC.
5. Centre not to influence in any manner, the probe conducted by the CBI.
6. The Centre proposes the setting up of an accountability commission to inquire into allegations against CBI officials. The Prime Minister will be the chairman of the committee.
The Supreme Court had called the CBI a caged parrot answering to its political masters.
13:47 Sharad Yadav choses to stay mum over rail bribery scam chargesheet:
Asserting that the CBI works under
government pressure, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav on Wednesday
said that his party would make any comment on the railway bribery case
once the probe is over.
"CBI always acts under pressure and this is a give away also something
for everyone to see. He is not running away anywhere, so with time
things will come to the fore," he said, when asked that the CBI has not
named former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in its chargesheet.
13:37 China calling: Nawaz Sharif leaves for 5-day official visit:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif departed from Islamabad on Wednesday for a five-day official visit to China.Nawaz is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today to discuss new policies for Pakistan.He will also meet Chinese companies to discuss the underground transport system in Pakistan. Read more
13:35 Ishrat Jahan case: CBI to file diluted chargesheet today:
The Central Bureau of Investigation is all set to file its first chargesheet in the controversial Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case before a court in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. While many are waiting to see the contents of the chargesheet, it is expected to be a bit 'watered down' as the probe agency says that this would only be the first of the many chargesheets it would file in the case. More
13:30 Pakistan declares NYT journalist persona non grata:
Declan Walsh, The New York Times Pakistan bureau chief, has officially been placed in category A of the Black List (BL), with the government declaring him persona non grata, documents available with The Express Tribune reveal. Read
13:00 Savita remembered: Ireland backs historic bill to legalise abortion:
Lawmakers in Ireland, a pre-dominantly Catholic country, have overwhelmingly backed a bill that would pave the way for legalising abortion in life-threatening cases, after widespread outrage over the death of an Indian dentist following a miscarriage last year.
The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill passed its first hurdle after a 138 to 24 vote in favour, clearing up decades of confusion over the right of women to have abortions in extreme circumstances.
The bill will now come up for final passage next week. The debate around the European nation's stringent anti-abortion laws was reignited following the death of 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, who died from septicaemia following a miscarriage in October last year. Her inquest in April heard how she was repeatedly denied a potentially life-saving abortion.Also read:
Ireland's abortion law finally under scrutiny
12:54 Tearful farewell for SP slain by Naxals:
Slain Pakur SP Amarjit Balihar was today given a tearful farewell at the Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) premises with Governor Syed Ahmed and several senior government officials placing wreaths on the body.
After the bugle was sounded the last post, Ahmed consoled the slain police officer's wife and two sobbing daughters at the JAP-I premises at Doranda here.
12:53 How much cash did the NIA, I-Tax dept seize?:
So, how much cash, gold and diamonds, did the Income Tax Department and National Investigation Agency personnel seize from four trucks in Mumbai yesterday.
Interestingly, while the Press Trust of India put the figure at Rs 2500 crore,
the Times of India
said the haul was worth Rs 200 crore. The Indian Express, says the figure is Rs 10 crore.
All reports, however, agree that the haul is being billed as the biggest operation of its kind.
The trucks were apprehended from outside Mumbai Central railway station, stumping the investigators who suspect a terror angle, a top IT official, requesting anonymity said on Tuesday. According to sources, each truck with around 15 people on board, was carrying around 35 bags, allegedly stuffed with cash and valuables.
So, what's the story behind the diminishing returns?
12:31 Firing along J&K border as cops collect Pak intruder's remains:
Jammu and Kashmir police officials were fired upon from across the border as they were returning after collecting the remains of the Pakistani intruder killed in an IED explosion along the LoC in Poonch sector.
According to an official, a police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operations) Javaid Naaz was returning last night after collecting the remains of the Pakistani intruder killed on July 1 when there was a small firing at Nallah post area along the LoC. No one was injured injured as only 6-7 rounds were fired.
The firing took place between 7.30 pm and 8 pm he said. A Pakistani intruder was killed along the Line of Control in Poonch sector on Monday when the Army foiled an infiltration bid by firing at him, resulting in detonation of explosives carried by him.
The incident took place in Saujiyan sector of Poonch at 04:30 am when troops noted a movement from across the border into the Indian territory. In an exchange of fire, a blast was heard by the troops and the intruder was blown to pieces as the grenades carried by him had detonated.
12:23 Senior Cong leaders meet Sonia on govt formation in Jharkhand:
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today held consultations with senior party leaders, including A K Antony, as talks for an alliance with JMM for the next Lok Sabha polls and formation of a coalition government in Jharkhand reached the final stage.
Defence Minister Antony, who chairs the sub-group on alliances for the next general elections, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B K Hariprasad, AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed, PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat and CLP leader Rajendra Singh met Gandhi this morning to apprise her of the progress of the talks with JMM so far.
Earlier, Bhagat, Singh and senior state Congress leader Sarfaraz Ahmed met RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Singh said he was 100 per cent sure that the RJD would back the new government in Jharkhand. Congress has agreed to have a JMM Chief Minister in the state which in lieu has consented to give a lion's share of the 14 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress, sources said.
12:17 Detained journalist of German radio network leaves without meeting Kudankulam protestors:
A South Asian correspondent of a German radio network and her colleague, who were detained for trying to go to Idinthakarai, the hub of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, had called SP Udaykumar, the leader of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energey (PMANE) for a meeting.
Rediff.com's Ganesh Nadar reports that Udaykumar advised Sandra Peterson and her friend Anuj to inform the Kudankulam police before meeting him in Idinthakarai, where he is holed up for the past one year.
The two were kept waiting all day at the police station and finally told to get permission from the Inspector General of Police.
This morning, Udaykumar told Rediff.com that Peterson had left for Delhi without meeting him. When we called Peterson she replied, "Everything is fine, everthing is under control. We are not here to stir up controversy. There is no controversy. I do not want to meet you. There is no story here."
The controversial project, dogged by delays since December last following protests by locals over safety concerns, was given the go ahead by the Supreme Court on May 6, which said it is safe and there is no basis to say it would have an adverse impact on the environment and people living nearby.
The apex court said nuclear plants are the need of the hour and are required for sustained economic development of the country.
Almost 90 per cent of the fire has been doused, and right now, thick smoke emerges from the building. The fire is believed to have been caused by a short circuit in an air-conditioning duct. The building has around 13 government offices in the building.
11:56 Fire broke out in the Narcotics Control Office :
The police and fire department say the situation is under control and everyone has been evacuated. The fire broke out on the third floor of the Narcotics Control Office and spread to the top floor. A person who works in the office said they smelt the smoke and rushed out of the building. The building houses central government offices.
Times Now reports that everyone in the building has been evacuated. No reports of injuries, says the fire brigade. The fire broke out on the third floor of the building.
11:49 Fire in govt office building in Ballard Pier, Mumbai :
NDTV reports that a government office building in the Ballard Pier in south Mumbai is on fire.
Fire fighters are putting out the fire with smoke emanating from the third floor -- the top floor of the building. The building is most likely an early 20th century one and Ballard Pier itself is almost entirely an office area.
The building is called Exchange Building and luckily enough is not congested which means the fire engines can get access. There are five fire tenders at the spot now. No information on whether anyone is trapped inside or the cause behind the fire. Details awaited
Pic: The Exchange Building in Ballard Pier in flames. Photo courtesy ANI/Twitter
11:33 Why India shut the door on Snowden:
The Indian government's decision to refuse political asylum to the ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden is perfectly understandable. Such decisions are almost always political and the government has arrived at the decision weighing its pros and cons for the foreign-policy imperatives. Read
Head in sand on Snowden
11:32 FICCI sets up task force for Uttarakhand:
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has set up an industry Task Force chaired by Sudha Pillai, former Member-Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India, to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation of the flood-ravaged State of Uttarakhand.
FICCI will focus on affordable housing, provision of clean drinking water, improved sanitation and other forms of civic amenities through its active partnership with various Science & Technology institutes and R&D centres.
FICCI has received contributions of over Rs 40 crore from member organizations.
11:24 Heavy rains predicted in Uttarakhand:
The Met has predicted heavy rains for Uttarakhand today. At least 200 people are still left to be evacuated, though officially all evacuation ended yesterday.
Our colleague who, is from Pauri in Uttarakhand, says after the disaster, people are trying to pick up the pieces and begin a new life. Schools in the state reopen on June 20 and many students after appearing for their Std 10 and Std 12 exams head to small towns like Srinagar and Joshimath to make a quick buck for a few months before that happens. Their families have been waiting anxiously in their villages since most of these children are were in towns badly affected by the floods. There are countless families who have lost their only bread winners and Uttarakhand has become a state of widows.
11:02 Mulayam not even fit to sweep PM's residence: Beni Prasad:
Union minister Beni Prasad Verma kicked up another controversy on Tuesday with his barbs at friend-turned foe Mulayam Singh Yadav, saying that the SP chief was not even fit to sweep the Prime Minister's residence, drawing instant rebuke from the Congress.
"Yadav wants to become Prime Minister. He should first try to get the job of a sweeper at the residence of the PM," 77-year Verma said at a programme in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad.
He prefaced his remark by alleging that the SP was a party based on "lies and fraud" and that it will be finished by the Congress. Verma was once a close confidant of the Samajwadi Party supremo, but was gradually sidelined after Amar Singh came into the picture. The Kurmi leader quit the party in 2007 and joined the Congress before 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
10:42 It's a boy! SRK's surrogate baby born to mystery mother:
The month-long wait for details of actor Shah Rukh Khan's third baby, born with the help of a surrogate mother, is over.
BMC officials have received a birth report with details that a baby boy was born on May 27 to parents listed as Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Shah Rukh Khan at Masrani Hospital for Women in Andheri.
The child was born at 34 weeks of pregnancy and weighed 1.5kg at birth, said BMC executive health officer Dr Arun Bamne. Read
10:35 Ishrat was not a terrorist: CBI chargesheet:
Even as the chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case is to be filed today, here is a preliminary peek at what it says: Ishrat Jahan was not a terrorist, but the three others killed along with her in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ahmedabad nine years ago had alleged terror links. Read
10:19 Quake in Indonesia kills 22, injures more than 200:
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake shook northwestern Indonesia on Tuesday, killing 22 people, injuring more than 200 and damaging thousands of homes, authorities said. The death and destruction was concentrated in the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra.
The two hardest-hit districts were Bener Meriah and Central Aceh, where landslides cut off some major roads, the country's National Disaster Management Agency said. People ran out of their homes when the quake struck, and many residents were hesitant to return for fear of aftershocks, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the agency.
In 2004, a 9.1-magnitude underwater earthquake off the coast of Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. The majority of the deaths were in Indonesia, with Aceh bearing the brunt. Tuesday's quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) in a mountainous area near Sumatra's northwestern tip, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was followed by at least two aftershocks of magnitude 5.2 and 5.3.
Read the full report on CNN
10:09 J&K separatists placed under house arrest ahead of protest march:
Top separatist leaders were today placed under house arrest ahead of their march to a village in north Kashmir's Bandipora district where two youths were killed in alleged army firing on Sunday.
The leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik were placed under house arrest ahead of the march towards Markundal village in Sumbal area, police said.
A police spokesman said restrictions on the movement of people were put in place in many areas of Bandipora district to maintain law and order. Life is rest of the Kashmir Valley was normal with schools, colleges and businesses opening as usual.
09:34 Landslide on Goa-K'taka link route; traffic disrupted:
Incessant rains triggered a major landslide on the Goa-Karnataka border in the wee hours today, disrupting traffic flow on the crucial Anmod Ghat that links the two states.
Officials said that mud and boulders fell on the road in the ghat section, around six kilometres away from the Goa check post. "The incident occurred at 2 am, as heavy rains lashed the Anmod Ghat section along with Goa last night. The road, which serves as a link between Goa and Karnataka, has been disconnected," a district administration official said.
A thick layer (approximately 3 metres) of mud is lying on the road along with huge boulders, the official added. Collem Police, led by inspector Jivba Dalvi, has rushed to the site to control the traffic.
District Collector N D Agarwal, along with the disaster management team, has also reached the spot to initiate the task of clearing the road. This route is used by several hundred vehicles everyday.
09:16 Live! Saudi ruler extends 'Nitaqat' deadline by 4 months:
In a breather to thousands of undocumented expats including Keralites, Saudi ruler King Abdullah has extended the 'Nitaqat' grace period and given them four more months to have their status corrected. A royal order cited by a Ministry of Interior statement and carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday said the three-month grace period, which ends on July 4, will be extended to the end of the current Hijra year 1434, that is November 4, 2013.
Once the new deadline expires, inspections by appropriate agencies such as the labour and interior ministries, will resume in various regions of the kingdom and all penalties will apply to violators, the statement said. This is the second time the kingdom has given relief to the expatriates, as 'Nitaqat' was originally supposed to end in March and the King had given a three-month extension.
Read the full report on New Indian Express
09:10 Snowden on plane 'total lie', says Bolivian minister:
Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane has been diverted to Austria amid suspicion that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is on board, the Bolivian foreign minister has said. David Choquehuanca said it was a "total lie" that Mr Snowden was on the plane, adding that "someone wants to hurt our county".
France and Portugal reportedly refused to allow the Bolivia-bound flight to cross their airspace. Mr Snowden is said to have applied for asylum in 21 countries to avoid extradition to the US.
Read the full report on BBC
09:01 Live! Ishrat case: CBI to submit its first chargesheet today:
The Central Bureau of Investigation is expected to file its chargesheet in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case in a special court in Ahmedabad today. The chargesheet is likely to include names of only those policemen who were at the scene of crime, sources have told NDTV.
Gujarat encounter cops DG Vanzara, Tarun Barot, JG Parmar and NK Amin are likely to be made the main accused in the CBI's chargesheet. Senior police officers PP Pandey and Kumar Kaushik are not expected to be named.Sources said that the CBI will seek more time from the court today to probe the 'conspiracy' angle behind the fake encounter.
Read the full report on NDTV
08:42 Live! Khurshid to begin Singapore visit today:
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will begin his first visit to Singapore from today, the foreign ministry has said.
Khurshid's July 3-5 visit is at the invitation of Singapore's Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam, it said, adding that the External Affairs Minister will be accompanied by senior officials of his ministry. He will today call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean.
Khurshid will also deliver a public lecture today on 'India and Southeast Asia: Today and Tomorrow' organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies.
03:43 Snowdens worst-case scenario: What If No Countries Take Him?:
Edward Snowden, the U.S. leaker who's been holed up so long inside the transit zone of a Moscow airport that reporters and pundits are drawing comparisons to The Terminal, the 2004 comedy-drama starring Tom Hanks, wants out.
After Russia insisted that Snowden could stay only on the condition that he muzzled himself and stopped "harming' the U.S, the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks announced on July 2 that Snowden filed 21 requests for asylum around the world, signaling his intent to find a more permanent home.
03:34 Mandela grandson to face charges over burial site dispute:
It is Nelson Mandela's wish '" to be buried in a family plot, with his children, in the rolling rural hills of the Eastern Cape. In Qunu, South Africa, the village where he grew up and where he retired until ill health forced him back to Johannesburg.
But while 94-year-old Mandela struggles in hospital for a 25th day, his family battles over his children's bones; a bizarre and unseemly family feud.
03:33 Senegal remands ex-Chad dictator over war crimes charges:
Senegalese authorities charged former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre with genocide and crimes against humanity and remanded him in custody today in a prosecution seen by many as a milestone for African justice.
The 70-year-old was also charged with war crimes and torture during his eight years in power in Chad, where rights groups say 40,000 people were killed under his rule, a court source and his lawyers told AFP.
02:41 Officials: Bombs, clashes kill at least 60 in Iraq:
Insurgents unleashed a new wave of attacks today in Iraq, killing at least 53 people, officials said, the latest in a surge in violence across the country that has raised concerns over a return to sectarian bloodshed.
Also, seven militants were killed. There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, mostly car bombs in Shiite areas. Al-Qaeda's Iraq branch, which has been gaining strength in recent months, frequently targets Shiites, security forces and civil servants in an effort to undermine the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
02:40 Children among 19 dead in Siberia helicopter crash:
Nineteen people, including children, died today when a MI-8 helicopter crashed in the nearly impassable taiga in eastern Siberia, the latest disaster to hit Russia's accident-prone aviation industry.
A Moscow-based aviation committee, citing the surviving crew, said 19 of the 28 people on board were killed, but the emergencies ministry refused to confirm the toll.
02:40 2 face terror charges after Canada day bombs found:
Police in Canada have arrested and charged a man and woman with terrorism for attempting to leave pressure cooker bombs at British Columbia's provincial legislature on Canada Day, when thousands of people were expected to be there.
John Stewart Nuttall and Amanda Marie Korody were inspired by al-Qaida ideology but were self-radicalized, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said Tuesday. He called it a domestic threat without international connections.
01:36 Snowden's asylum options dwindle:
Edward Snowden's hopes of finding asylum from U.S. prosecution on espionage charges appeared to dim Tuesday as country after country denied his request or said he would have to find a way to travel to their territory to apply.
While Bolivia and Venezuela seemed supportive, 11 of the 21 countries he's applied to, including Ecuador and Iceland, have said they can't consider his request until he shows up at one of their embassies or on their borders. Three have denied the request outright -- Brazil, India and Poland.
01:09 3 Indians killed in Taliban attack in Kabul:
Three Indians were today killed in a Taliban suicide attack on a NATO supply company's compound in Kabul. The three Indians were working in a housing compound, when the Taliban attack began with a suicide bomb in a large truck.
Two or three insurgents fought guards for about 30-40 minutes before all the attackers were killed. "India's Mission is providing all assistance in completion of legal formalities for repatriation of bodies of three Indians killed in Kabul attack," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
00:53 Egypt: Army to suspend constitution, legislature:
Egypt's state news agency says the military has drawn up a plan to suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated legislature, and set up an interim administration if President Mohammed Morsi fails to reach a solution with his opponents.
The agency's report today provides the first details of the road map the military has said it will implement if a deadline it set for Wednesday runs out with no solution. A retired army general with close ties to the military confirmed the report.
00:32 Mandela family seeks criminal charges in grave rift:
Nelson Mandela's family sought criminal charges of grave tampering against the former South African president's oldest grandson today amid an escalating row linked to the eventual burial site of the ailing anti-apartheid hero.
The grandson Mandla allegedly had the remains of three of Mandela's children moved from the revered leader's ancestral village of Qunu in 2011 without the rest of the family's consent.
00:31 Taliban attack on NATO compound leaves 7 dead:
Taliban attackers set off a bomb at a NATO supply company's compound in Afghanistan early on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and injuring several others.
Before dawn on Tuesday, a suicide bomber blew up a small truck outside the compound in Kabul,according to The Los Angeles Times. The explosion killed two nearby Afghan truck drivers. Four Nepalese guards and another Afghan guard were killed amid gunfire when four other suicide bombers ran into the compound.
00:28 Probe into private copter rescue 'racket':
The Uttarakhand government is probing allegations against private chopper operators accused of pocketing lakhs of rupees for rescue operations from relatives of stranded Kedarnath and Badrinath pilgrims.
Confirming the probe, chief secretary Subhash Kumar said: "An aviation department probe has been ordered to fi nd out the veracity of the allegations."
The state government move comes after aviation minister Ajit Singh wrote to the Uttrakhand CM about a private operator reportedly charging money from kin of a family stranded in Badrinath. After fl ash fl oods ravaged Kedarnath, private choppers were the first to reach the spot.
00:25 BJP blames President's rule for spurt in Maoist violence:
BJP today demanded removal of Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed accusing the administration in the state under President's rule of failing to rein in left-wing extremism and dealing with other law and order matters.
"We are deeply shocked and grieved at the death of police personnel in the Maoist attack in Dumka. A district police captain falling to bullets shows the total failure of the state administration under President's rule,' BJP's state unit President Ravindra Rai told reporters here.