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Live! Enough evidence to go to trial against Modi: Zakia's lawyer

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July 18, 2013


23:21  Indian found unconscious at UAE airport, battling for life:  A 51-year-old Indian expatriate is battling for life after he was found unconscious at Sharjah International Airport, 15 hours after his flight took off. Sambandan Siva is currently in a coma at Dubai's Rashid Hospital.

His condition is critical, his employers said. Siva, who works with the UAE-based Al Huraiz Group, had taken a month's leave to go to Chennai as he was not keeping well.

He was booked on an Air Arabia flight on the evening of July 2. His employers said Siva had completed check-in and immigration and was waiting to board his flight when he fell unconscious. But it was not until the next morning that he was discovered in that state.
23:15  Enough evidence to go to trial against Modi: Zakia's lawyer:   Citing amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran's report, Zakia Jafri today claimed there was enough evidence to warrant a probe and trial against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots despite a clean chit by the SIT.

"There is sufficient evidence to proceed for a triable case, a case in which trial needs to be conducted," Jafri's lawyer Mihir Desai said, quoting from Ramachandran's report.

Jafri, whose husband and Congress leader Ehsan Jafri was killed in the riots, has challenged the Special Investigation Team's closure report before the magistrate's cour.
22:49  Live! Modi holds one-on-one meeting with Advani:   Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today held a one-on-one meeting with senior BJP leader L K Advani, with whom he is not on the best of terms since the party patriarch opposed his elevation as poll campaign head.

Soon after the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting at the party headquarters here, Modi drove to Advani's residence and held an hour-long meeting with him.

Incidentally, the two leaders were seated next to each other at the head of the table during the Parliamentary Board meeting. However, their interaction was limited, sources said.
22:20  Ishrat case: HC judge recuses self from Amin's bail petition:   A judge of the Gujarat high court today recused himself from hearing the bail application filed by suspended Indian Police Service officer N K Amin, arrested in Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

Justice A J Desai did not give any reason for pulling out of the hearing. Amin had yesterday moved the high court against the special CBI court's order refusing him bail. He has sought bail on the ground that CBI's charge sheet was incomplete and so he be granted bail `by default'.
22:16  Mid-day meal deaths could have been prevented: UNICEF:   The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund on Thursday said the deaths in mid-day meals in Bihar could have been prevented with strict adherence to protocols for preparing the meal. UNICEF said it is in touch with the concerned authorities to understand what happened and find ways to prevent such incidents from taking place in future.

"While acknowledging that India's mid-day meal scheme is the largest school feeding programme in the world and that the government is working to strengthen and improve its management, UNICEF considers that increased actions must be urgently taken," the UN agency said in a release in New Delhi.
21:46  Pranabs signs ordinance to give more powers to SEBI :  President Pranab Mukherjee today promulgated the ordinance to give more powers to SEBI to deal with ponzi schemes. This gives the regulatory body powers to access phone call records of persons being probed for violations in securities market.
20:27  'Congress ministers will become beggars after LS polls':  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today alleged the Congress was always"bad-mouthing" the party and claimed that they would become"beggars" after the next year's Lok Sabha elections.   

"Congress ministers (from Bengal) are always bad mouthing us. They should not forget that today they are ministers only because of our support," Banerjee said.   

"Everyone knows that they are going to lose the next Lok Sabha polls and after that will all become beggars," Banerjee claimed at a panchayat election rally here in Murshidabad district, considered a stronghold of Minister of state for Railways Adhir Choudhury.
19:20  Omar condemns killing of protesters in Ramban:  

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today condemned the killing of protestors in Ramban area of Jammu region and said such incidents had the potential to jeopardise the peaceful atmosphere in the state.     

 

"It is highly unacceptable to shoot at unarmed protesters just because they were reportedly protesting manhandling of an Imam of their area" Omar said in a statement.        

 

He said there was no justification or rationalisation of this "deplorable" act. "This shocking act warrants and demands the severest of condemnation in the strongest possible terms," he said.        

 

Extending his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, the Chief Minister cautioned the people that some vested interests would like to exploit the situation.        

 

"Many amongst us wait for such incidents to occur in order to exploit such situations," he said without naming any separatist or political group.  

19:18  Live! Talked to Raja, Kani about cabinet formation: Radia:  

Former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia today told a special court that she had talked about Cabinet formation to former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi who are facing trial in the 2G spectrum case.        

 

Radia, who was deposing as a prosecution witness in the case, also said she had attended meetings on behalf of Tatas with Raja at his residential office here during November 2008.        

 

"It is correct that during these meetings, I saw some businessmen waiting for a meeting with A Raja and it was quite normal for A Raja to have such meetings," she said.        

 

She said the then Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata had in November 2007 given her a sealed cover for handing it over to DMK supremo M Karunanidhi but she was not aware of its contents.        

 

"Since I had not read the contents of the sealed cover, I cannot say if it came in public domain or not. It is correct that a letter written by Ratan Tata came in public domain in which he praised the leadership of A Raja," she said.        

 

On being shown the transcripts of her recorded telephonic conversations by the CBI prosecutor, Radia said this has to be seen in its entirety.

18:49  Veteran Tamil lyricist Vaali passes away in Chennai:  Lyricist Vaali, one of the veterans of the Tamil film industry, breathed his last today evening after a prolonged period of illness and hospitalisation in Chennai. He was 82, and is survived by his son. 

Vaali, who composed songs for Tamil films at a time when Kannadasan strode the stage like a colossus, managed to more than hold his own.

In fact, a lot of former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran's film success -- which paved the way for his political brilliance -- can be traced to Vaali's memorable songs. But that did not prevent him for churning out equally memorable lyrics for thespian Sivaji Ganesan or even the younger-day heroes. 

Vaali, born S Rangarajan in Tiruchi, was an arts college student as well an amateur theatre director. Landing in Chennai in search of offers to write lyrics for Tamil films, and after a period of struggle, found his groove.

In Tamil film industry, where titles are de rigueur, Vaali was titled the Vaaliba Kavignar (youthful poet). 
18:38  Kashmir valley tense, curfew imposed after BSF, locals clash leaving 4 dead :   Curefew has been imposed in Ramban district this evening, says Deputy Commissioner of police Vinod Meena.

Four people were killed and several others, including security personnel, injured in stone-pelting and the resultant firing today when a mob attacked a BSF camp in Ramban district over alleged high-handedness by a patrolling party.

The patrolling party of BSF deployed for the security of the (railway) project intercepted a youth roaming under suspicious circumstances in the Daram belt of Gool tehsil at around 1 am today, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo said.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has ordered a probe into the incident and said any use of excessive force or irresponsible action will be dealt with strictly.
18:14  Jahar's world:  What the much-talked about Rolling Stones story on the Boston bomber says. Read 
18:10  Something to chew on: Bihar, one of the most impoverished in India, had the worst satisfaction rates of the states surveyed, with only 22.1% of children saying they were content with the food supplied under the programme.The other states had satisfaction rates of between 76% and 99.5%. Read
18:09  How Bihar's mid-day meal programme works:  India's program to provide free lunches for poor schoolchildren to supplement their diet and keep them in school has good intentions. A report by the Planning Commission published in 2010 found that it had been successful in reducing classroom hunger. Read
17:47  Rolling Stones Boston bomber cover is brilliant:  Rolling Stone has unveiled its next cover, featuring a dreamy photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and many people have erupted in outrage.
The Slate, on why the cover is in fact, brilliant. Read
17:34  Families of Bihar mid-day meal victims won't allow school to reopen:  The principal of the government school in Chhapra where 23 children died in the mid-day meal tragedy suspected to have been caused by poisoned food is still absconding.

No arrests have been made, two days after the incident, as a mass grave outside the primary school at Dharmasati Gandavan village where the dead were buried bore mute testimony to the tragedy.

"This school will not run... we will not allow it," said Rakeshwar Mahato who lost his grand-daughter in the tragedy. "This is where our children were murdered," he said, defending the decision to bury the children just outside the school premises as a mark of protest by the families.
17:29  The IB Test:  Hartosh Singh Bal on the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case and the claim that patriotism is not about dying for the country but murdering for it. Read
17:24  The HRD ministry on the mid-day meal horror:  The HRD Ministry has announced setting up a new committee to go into the quality aspect of the mid-day meal scheme nationwide. Here's what union HRD minister Dr Pallam Raju said.
17:16  'Lifestyle diseases more common among poor than rich in India':  The poor in India don't suffer from fewer "lifestyle diseases" than the rich -- they just don't know it. A new study shows that the actual prevalence of common non-communicable diseases is far higher among the poor than they report, and is as high if not higher among the poor than among the rich. Read
17:00  Militants attack, injure J-K's top cardiologist, bodyguards killed :   Kashmir Valley's leading cardiologist Dr Sheikh Jalal was injured and his two police guards killed in a militant attack in the saffron-rich Pompore town in Pulwama district, this afternoon, reports our correspondent, Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar.

A senior police officer said that Dr Jalal is now being taken to a hospital in the area. Jalal (64), former Director of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, and his security guards were targeted by militants near his residence at Namblabal in Pampore, 16 kms from Srinagar, on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

While Jalal's two police guards died on-the-spot, the cardiologist was hit by a bullet in the left eye and was rushed to Soura medical institute in a critical condition, they said.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. Police, assisted by security forces, have cordoned off the area and a hunt has been launched to nab the assailants, police said.
16:50  PayPal 'credits' US man $92 quadrillion in error:   Online payments broker PayPal has admitted it erroneously credited a man with $92 quadrillion. Chris Reynolds, 56, of Pennsylvania, found the amount when he opened his monthly statement. But the error was quickly recognised and his account had returned to zero by the time he had logged in. Read
16:38  Hemant Soren wins floor test to become new Jharkhand CM:  Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren wins floor test. The newly-appointed CM moved a vote of confidence motion in the state Assembly and won the floor test.

In the 82-member House, the JMM has 42 members backing the motion as the High Court yesterday dismissed a petition of JMM MLA Nalin Soren requesting for a stay on a non-bailable arrest warrant. The non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against him by the special vigilance court in connection with the seed scam that surfaced when he was a state minister between 2006 and 2008. More
16:23  Bihar govt promises to build storage rooms to reduce contamination:  Amardeep Sinha, Principal Secretary, Bihar government, said the state was committed to building kitchen sheds and storage rooms to ensure contamination would not happen again. However, there were at least 13,500 schools in the state that had no land where a kitchen shed could be constructed.

He also blamed the principal of the school, who has been absconding since the incident, for insisting that the cook use continue to use the contaminated oil even when the cook had said there was something wrong with it.
16:09  34 students taken ill after drinking contaminated water:  At least 34 students, including 13 girls, fell ill after allegedly consuming contaminated water in Dhule district in Maharashtra. The water was allegedly supplied by a tanker to the private Kasturbai Ashram school in Shind Kheda taluka of north Maharashtra's Dhule district.

The students upon drinking the water started vomiting and complained of diarrhoea late on July 16 night.

A medical team from Dhule civil hospital rushed to the school and provided treatment to the affected students, who were in the age group of 8 to 12 years.
Two of the children who were taken ill were admitted to hospital.
15:30  Mid-day meal horror: Neyveli schoolgirls complained of nausea :  Another update on the Neyveli mid-day meal incident: NDTV puts the figure as 102, not 66, girls affected. The girls were from a government school in Neyvelli in Tamil Nadu and were hospitalised after their mid-day meal left them sick. The girls had complained of giddiness and nausea soon after they ate lunch.
15:19  Despite poisoning deaths, Indias school lunch program must go on:  Questions that need to be asked from the Chhapra mid-day meal horror: "If the food tasted odd, why did the children continue to eat it? That is the question that haunts me, even though I know the answer: because they were hungry; because it was probably the only meal they would get that day; because the lunch was what brought them to school; because they were used to eating poor quality food."  Read more 
15:12  Worms, insects in mid-day meal in Amritsar:  Update on the insects and worms found in a mid-day meal in Amritsar. CNN IBN reports that the food in a mid-day meal kitchen in Amritsar was found to be contaminated with worms, during an inspection that happened in the aftermath of the Chhapra incident.

The children in the school have been saying that the water used to cook the food is bitter and they have found worms in food served to them.

In the school in Nevyeli, the 66 students who fainted are said to be stable. A medical team has rushed from Cuddalore.
15:01  Oils not well: Puri, sabzi stay off menu:  While a study by Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow has found that children love puri and sabzi, the state government has decided not to include these items in the midday meal menu.

The decision has been taken as an inspection by the education department has revealed that purchase of unpacked edible oil from the market by the school authorities exposes the children to the hazards of adulteration. Read
14:55  Chhapra mid-day meal horror: Postmortem report says insecticide in food or oil:  Some of the postmortem reports on the children who died in Chhapra, Bihar, this week after an insecticide-laced mid-day meal is out. A preliminary report  says that the insecticide was either in the food or the cooking oil. A chemical analysis of the ingredients seized from the school is still pending. 
14:52  Now, 66 students faint after eating mid-day meal in Tamil Nadu:  Another mid-day meal horror: Insects and worms have been found in a mid-day meal kitchen in Amritsar. And another: Sixty-six students faint after consuming a mid-day meal in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, reports CNN IBN. Details awaited.
14:40  What poisoned Bihar schoolchildren?:  And another story on the mid-day meal horror. Officials say initial investigations show the food that killed at least 23 children from a school in the eastern Indian state of Bihar was contaminated with organophosphorus. Read what the WSJ has to say.
14:34  Home minister orders probe into BSF firing, slams 'excessive force':  Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde orders a probe into the firing incident in Ramban in J-K. Shinde says any use of excessive force or irresponsible action will be dealt with strictly.

Three people were killed and several others, including security personnel, injured in stone-pelting and the resultant firing today when a mob attacked a BSF camp in Ramban district over alleged high-handedness by a patrolling party. The patrolling party of BSF deployed for the security of the (railway) project intercepted a youth roaming under suspicious circumstances in the Daram belt of Gool tehsil at around 1 am today, Minister of State for Home, Sajjad Ahmed Kitchloo said.

The youth, identified as one Shabir, was questioned about his presence in the area and may have been beaten up by the security personnel, Kitchloo said.
The disturbance was fuelled by statements from a moulvi of a local madrasa who denounced the action of the security personnel as having been sacrilegious, thereby allegedly inciting the people, Kitchloo said.
14:31  Snow white union minister leaves cabinet tittering :  A certain union minister known for his affinity to talcum powder and face cream was the target of much sniggering at the cabinet meeting when he appeared looking more bleached than he usually does.

In fact, the murmurs were so loud that the stoic Prime Minister turned around to find out what was happening. The cabinet meeting got over on a lighter vein, but not before ministers commented that the changed look of the unuion minister was because he was due to appear for a press briefing on the food security bill. 
14:25  Rolling Stone's controversial Dzohkhar Tsarnaev cover ignites heated debate:  Pharmacy chain CVS declines to sell Rolling Stone magazine amid criticism over glamorous cover image of Boston bombing suspect with story titled 'Jahar's World'. Read
14:24  India's deadly problem with school meals:  Nitish Kumar's Bihar government has released a prominent ad in newspapers instructing the principal and cook in every school to first taste the free mid-day meal before it is served to children. Officials in charge of checking the meals will also have to taste the food and record the quality.

Here's what the Guardian says on the mid-day meal tragedy. Read
14:20  Appeasing the majority?:  Pitched political battles are being waged between the votaries of secularism (the Congress) and those who complain about minority appeasement (the BJP). Read
14:19  The CIA's New Black Bag Is Digital:  When the NSA can't break into your computer, these guys break into your house. Read the eye-opener of a piece on Foreign Policy.
14:17  Biden's visit to improve business links:  US vice president Joe Biden arrives in India Monday for a visit focused on improving the business climate between the two nations, a spokesman for the US Embassy in New Delhi said. Here's what else is on the agenda. Read
14:12  India's decision on FDI a positive step: US defense industry:  India's decision to increase FDI in defence is seen as a long-awaited positive move in the US, but major American defense industry players noted that there is unlikely to be a rush towards the country unless New Delhi is ready with fairly applied regulations.

Read: Multi-brand retail FDI policy riders might be eased
13:50  Why India's chief justice designate will be sworn in at 9:30 am :  President Pranab Mukherjee called P Sathasivam to congratulate him on his elevation as Chief Justice of India. During the conversation, Sathasivam requested Mukherjee to allow him to take the oath at 9:30 am on Friday, instead of 11 am.

The chief justice says the working hours of the Supreme Court will not be disturbed on Friday if swearing-in ceremony is held at 9:30 am and the second reason, is the "inauspicious time of Rahu Kalam on Friday is between 10:30 and 12:00 pm." The president has agreed. 
13:34  Gavaskar buys stake in IBL's Mumbai franchise:  The Indian Badminton League's glamour quotient has gone up by quite a few notches with a consortium involving former cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar and Telugu actor Nagarjuna buying the event's Mumbai franchise. The consortium also includes former manager of the Indian cricket team and businessman Vankina Chamundeswaranath. The team will be called Mumbai Masters.
13:29   Saradha chit fund: SC notice to Centre and WB for CBI probe:   The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre and West Bengal government on a PIL seeking CBI probe in Saradha chit fund scam.

A bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir also issued notice to other state governments and the Centre on the petitioners' pleas for empowering Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to regulate chit fund schemes in the country. 
13:20  Live! Six killed in BSF firing in J-K, religious leader allegedly beaten up :  Update on the firing in Jammu and Kashmir. The number of casualties is believed to be six, says NDTV. They were killed when the BSF fired at protestors outside their camp in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district today. Several people were also injured as in the incident.

Locals say an imam had been allegedly roughed up by the BSF yesterday leading to the protests.
13:02  Go-ahead to China-specific force:  The government today cleared the raising of a China-specific mountain strike corps that is set to be the largest formation in the Indian Army eventually. Rs 64,000 crore has been earmarked for the new formation with more than 40,000 troops. Read
12:59  The chimera of Dalit capitalism:   The recent launch of the first Dalit venture fund occasions an examination of the moral and ethical emptiness of capitalism. Read
12:54  What protects women against domestic violence?:  Very often the most dangerous place for a woman in India is right in her own home. The alleged battery of Vijayalakshmi by her husband, the well-known Kannada film actor Thoogudeep Darshan, has once again brought attention to the issue of domestic violence against women. Read
12:49  Q&A: Ship of Theseus director Anand Gandhi:   The posters of the upcoming release Ship of Theseus may be beautiful, but what is the film really about? Read the interview with the director.

Here's the official trailer of the film. Watch
12:41  Live! BSF-Imam clashes leave four dead in Srinagar :  Just in: Four people have died in an altercation between BSF jawans and locals in Srinagar. The BSF jawans allegedly opened fire on locals who attacked their camp. The locals say the jawans had desecrated a mosque and an imam was allegedly beaten up in the clashes. Top officials have rushed to the area. Details awaited.  
12:27  Kiran Bedi makes a valid point. "Why should the accused not pay for acid crime? State may pay only if accused cannot. Criminal must be made to pay for his sins. Crime perpetrators must be made to pay for crimes committed not only by going to jail and be on bail, but compensate financially too!
12:24  Frame guidelines to regulate acid sale, SC tells states :   Now, the Supreme Court has asked states to frame rules within three months to regulate retail sale of acid and other corrosive substances.The SC has ruled that acid cannot be sold to minors, while a fine of Rs 50,000 will be slapped on those violating acid sale guidelines.

The SC has also asked the Centre, states and UTs to make acid attack offences non-bailable. Of the Rs 3 lakh compensation to be given to the victim, Rs 1 lakh has to be paid within 15 days. The total payout, however, is Rs 3 lakh.

12:07  Acid to be treated as poison, sale regulated:  Acid attack victims, grappling with trauma and deformity for life, have welcomed the Centre's announcement to regulate sale of the chemical. The demand for regulating acid sale gained momentum after a 25-year-old woman from Delhi died after an acid attack at Bandra Terminus in May. Experts say that about 60 per cent of the victims are women, followed by children and then men.

After years of coaxing from the Supreme Court, the Centre on Tuesday finally said it would now treat acid as 'poison' and use a mechanism to regulate the sale.  The stores selling acid would be legally bound to demand from a buyer his identity proof, residential address, telephone number and the purpose for which he was making the purchase. Moreover, the acid sold in retail from now on would be mild and would not have corroding effect on humans. 
11:58  SC: Medical, rehab costs of acid attack victims to be borne by state :  The Supreme Court's verdict on acid attacks is out. The court has ruled that medical treatment and rehabilitation costs of victims will be borne by the state government. A compensation of Rs 1 lakh will be paid within 15 days of the attack. The state government also has to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the victim. Details awaited.

The Supreme Court had then warned that it will intervene and pass orders if the government failed to frame a policy to curb the sale of acid in order to prevent chemical attacks. "Seriousness is not seen on the part of government in handling the issue," the bench headed by Justice RM Lodha had said.

In February this year, the court had directed the Centre to convene within six weeks a meeting of Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories to hold discussion for enacting a law to regulate the sale of acids and a policy for treatment, compensation and care and rehabilitation of acid attack victims.
11:41  Mandela and the Mahatma:   The depth of oppression in South Africa created Nelson Mandela, a revolutionary par excellence, and many others like him: Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Albert Lutuli, Yusuf Dadoo and Robert Sobukwe -- all men of extraordinary courage, wisdom, and generosity. Read

Anti-apartheid icon and one of the world's most beloved leaders, Nelson Mandela, turns 95 today. Read the tribute on Rediff.com
11:38  The Supreme Court verdict says that this year's medical admissions will not be disturbed, but medical and dental colleges will continue to hold their own exams henceforth and the MCI cannot conduct a common exam. 
11:29  Setback for students agitating for NEET:  The SC said that medical and dental colleges will continue with their own exams and barred the Medical Council of India from conducting a common exam.

The stand-off between the private medical colleges and the Medical Council of India (MCI) over NEET had left the future of nearly 4 lakh students in limbo. These students had appeared for the NEET on May 5 for admission to MBBS and BDS courses. The Medical Council of India (MCI) had brought in NEET to be applicable from the academic year 2013-14 to curb malpractices like capitation fee in admission to medical courses.
11:15  Live! SC: NO common entrance exam for medical, dental seats:  The Supreme Court has quashed the common entrance eligibility test for admission in medical colleges. The SC holds as ultra vires the notification for National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) by 2:1 verdict. Justice A R Dave differs with the verdict of CJI Altamas Kabir and Justice Vikramajit Sen. Justice Dave held that holding a single entrance test is legal.

This will decide the process for admissions into all medical and dental  courses. In an interim order passed in May this year, the apex court had directed the Medical Council of India and all private colleges to start their admission process, as per the old guidelines where the MCI, state governments and private colleges conduct their separate exams.

Aspiring medicos have been arguing that a single NEET will make the admission process simpler and more transparent.

10:59  India's poisoned plate:  The fatal consequences of having a routine midday meal for at least 22 children in Bihar's Saran district expose the chronic neglect of school education in a large part of India.

That governments cannot find a small piece of land for a school and are unable to store food materials without the risk of contamination is a telling commentary on their commitment to universal primary education. Read
10:58  Wife has right to ex-husband's inheritance:  A wife will have a share in her husband's inherited or inheritable marital property on divorce, though the exact quantum of the compensation has been left to the discretion of the judge, according to a legislation that was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. Read
10:55  Why didn't Chhapra school do the taste test?:  Taste midday meal every day, record findings on the chakhni panji, and then feed children. Had this norm been followed, yesterday's midday meal tragedy in Bihar's Saran district, where the toll of children has climbed to 22 today due to insecticide found in food, could have been averted. The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan manual has stated that every school should have a chakhni panji(tasting register) for the midday meal. Read
10:13  Modi meets Rajnath, discusses BJP's LS campaign:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi met BJP president Rajnath Singh on Wednesday night to discuss issues related to the party's campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Modi was recently elevated to the position of the BJP's Campaign Committee chief.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley was also present at the meeting.

The two leaders also discussed issues on which the party could attack the ruling Congress.
09:17  US Olympic Committee dismisses calls for Olympic boycott :  The US Olympic Committee and the White House today dismissed a call by an influential American Senator asking athletes to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia if Moscow gives asylum to whistle-blower Edward Snowden.        

"If there are any lessons to be learned from the American boycott of 1980, it is that Olympic boycotts do not work,"said Patrick Sandusky, US Olympic Committee spokesman, amid reports that Senator Lindsey Graham has called for boycotting the Olympics in Russia next year if Snowden is given asylum.
09:16  Obama wishes Mandela on his 95th birthday :  US President Barack Obama has expressed his best wishes to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday as the former South African president continued to battle for his life in a hospital.        

"On behalf of our family and the people of the United States, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes and prayers to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 95th birthday, as well as to Graca Machel, the Mandela family, and the government and people of South Africa as they mark the fifth annual Nelson Mandela International Day," Obama said in a statement.
09:15  717 people died in Pakistan in religious violence:  At least 717 people were killed and 1,108 injured in 203 cases of targeted violence against religious communities in Pakistan since January last year, a report released by a Congress established independent commission has said.        

Among those killed included two Hindus and one Sikh, said the 'Pakistan Religious Violence Project' report released by the US Commission for International Religious Freedom, which tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 18 months.
02:15  The BJP debate: Why shouldn't Modi fight from Bihar?:  According to our source at the BJP headquarters, there is a debate going on, this is keeping in view the Nitish Kumar-NDA fallout, as to why shouldn't Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi fight the Lok Sabha elections from Bihar, instead of Uttar Pradesh.

It is also being debated if Muzaffarpur, which is JD-U leader George Fernandes' constituency, would be suitable for Mod.
01:01  Planning fresh campaign on Ayodhya temple demand: VHP:   The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has planned to soon organise a nation-wide mobilisation campaign to garner support for their demand for a new temple in Ayodhya, veteran leader Ashok Singhal said on Wednesday.

"Religious leaders from all over the country will take part in marches in Ayodhya in August to press their demand for a temple," Singhal said.

The marches in the Ayodhya area will begin on August 25 and continue till September 13, Singhal said.

The marching supporters will cover the districts surrounding Ayodhya, Singhal said, adding that a second cycle of marches beginning September 25 would see participation by supporters from southern India.

The second phase of marches would continue till October 13, Singhal added.   Singhal urged Parliament to take up the Ayodhya issue in the upcoming monsoon session, failing which a massive meeting would be organised on the banks of the Saryu in Ayodhya on October 18 in support of the temple demand.

Singhal said that if the temple came to be constructed in Ayodhya, it would be due more to the efforts of the VHP and other Hindu groups than any attempts made by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
00:25  Hazare seeks PM's resignation over coal scam:   Social activist Anna Hazare today demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should step down from his post, accepting "moral responsibility" for the coal blocks allocation scam.

"The picture is very clear in the coal scam. The truth of the scam is coming out, so Manmohan Singh should not continue as prime minister. He should resign accepting moral responsibility (for the scam)," he said here at Press Club.

To a question, the anti-corruption crusader said, "It is absolutely wrong to say that I am against Congress. I have nothing to do with either BJP or Congress. But my question is why BJP did not oppose the coal scam in Parliament in a forceful way?"
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