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LIVE! Stranded Hemkunt Sahib pilgrims evacuated: Trust

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June 23, 2013

21:02  LIVE! Stranded Hemkunt Sahib pilgrims evacuated: Trust:  All the Hemkunt Sahib pilgrims taking shelter in the two gurdwaras in flood-ravaged Uttrakhand have been evacuated, and they are on way back to their respective places.

Vice Chairman of Shi Hemkund Sahib Management Trust, Narinderjit Singh Bindra, said this today. He told PTI over phone that the last sortie to rescue pilgrims from Gurdwara Govind Ghat, which is en-route to Hemkunt Sahib, was carried out this evening.

"There were only 70 pilgrims left yesterday, and the choppers carried out sorties throughout the day yesterday to rescue them to Gurdwara Govind Ghat," Bindra said.

He said that over 14,000 pilgrims have been evacuated from Gurdwara Govind Ghat and Gurdwara Govind Dham during the last six days.

Image: The Hemkunt Sahib Lake
Photograph: Mridula Dwivedi
19:12  LIVE! HK allows US whistleblower Edward Snowden to flee:  The Chinese-controlled Hong Kong administration today rejected a US request for the arrest of American whistleblower Edward Snowden, after which the ex-CIA operative left the former British colony to seek asylum in Cuba or Venezuela.

"Snowden has left Hong Kong through legal and normal means for a third country," the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said in a statement.

"The HKSAR government has informed the US government ofSnowden's departure from Hong Kong," Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.

The US government's request for the Hong Kong government to issue a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden did not fully comply with the city's legal requirements, the statement said.
18:48  LIVE! Modi wants to become a 'Rambo': Manish Tewari:   As politics played out over Uttarakhand floods, Congress today targeted Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying he wants to become a "Rambo", dismissing reports he had helped in evacuation of 15,000 stranded people from Uttarakhand in two days.

Accusing Modi of milking the tragedy in Uttarakhand for political reasons, Congress leader and I&B minister Manish Tewari said that after making a "tourist detour" via the deluge affected state to reach Pathankot some people were tom-tomming "myths" they had rescued thousands of people.

The BJP, however, rejected the Congress assessment with its leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying it had the habit of faulting opposition leaders when they tried to do their bit at times of national crisis.
18:19  LIVE! John Kerry arrives in India on three-day visit:   Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in New Delhi onto participate in the fourth round of Indo-US strategic dialogue even as US announced to invest $100 million in India's burgeoning clean energy sector.

Kerry, 69, accompanied by a high-level delegation arrived here on a three-day visit, the first one after assuming the charge of the State Department earlier this year. He will co-chair the India-US strategic dialogue with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid during which key issues like bilateral trade, defence and security cooperation besides energy and higher education would be discussed.

Ahead of his visit Kerry described India as a strategic partner in South Asia with whom the US has one of the defining partnership of the 21st century.
17:17  'Earth's temperature rise equals four Hiroshima atomic bombs':  The earth has been building up temperatures at a rate equal to heat generated by four Hiroshima nuclear bombs every second, a climate scientist has warned.

According to John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, humans are emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other time in history of humankind.

"All these heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere mean our planet has been building up heat at the rate of about four Hiroshima bombs every second - consider that going continuously for several decades," said Cook.

Cook said about 90 per cent of global warming was going into the oceans, which act like a natural thermometer along with changes in land, ice, and animal species, AAP reported.

He warned that distributions of trees are shifting towards cooler areas of the earth such as the poles or mountains, and animal species are responding to global warming by mating
15:56  LIVE! Narayanasamy to give Rs 10 lakh, salary to flood victims:  Union Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy today said he would contribute one month's salary and Rs 10 lakh from out of the Member of Parliament Local Area Development fund to Uttarakhand Flood Relief Fund.

He said this was in response to appeals made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for contributions by Members of Parliament for the victims of flood-ravaged Uttrakhand.

The minister also justified the decision to disinvest five per cent shares in Neyveli Lignite Corporation stating that the funds accruing through disinvestment would be ploughed back for development of the undertaking and also for funding several developmental activities in the country.

There was nothing wrong to effect disinvestment in an undertaking. "Such disinvestments had been done in the past in ONGC, Bharath Petroleum, Indian Oil Corporation, BHEL and SAIL".
15:26  LIVE! UP clerics seek to campaign for Polio vaccination in Pak:   Amid reports of killing of several polio campaigners in Pakistan, especially in Taliban affected areas, clerics from Uttar Pradesh have offered to spread awareness about the benefits of vaccination in that region.

Rotary Ulama Committee, which has helped in eradicating misconceptions related to polio vaccination in UP to a large extent has proposed to Rotary International that it can campaign in Taliban affected areas of Pakistan.            

Executive member of the committee Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali told PTI that during a meeting between Rotary chairman Bob Scott and Ulama last month, concerns were expressed over attacks on polio campaign volunteers in various parts of Pakistan specially Taliban strongholds.
14:42  LIVE! Advani pushes for repealing of Article 370:  Senior BJP leader L K Advani today pushed for repealing Article 370 of the Constitution, saying it would help Jammu and Kashmir's full integration with India.

"The country eagerly awaits the day when Article 370 would be repealed and the two vidhans (Constitution) also would become one," Advani wrote in his blog to commemorate the 60th death anniversary of party's founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee.

Article 370 accords special Constitutional status on J&K and its abolition has been one of BJP's core demands.

The party had put the issue on back burner in its attempt to woo more allies, most of whom are wary of its Hindutva agenda.

In his blog titled 'Independent India's First Martyr for National Integration', the veteran leader said Mookerjee's death in controversial circumstances triggered a series of developments which significantly promoted the process of national integration.
13:53  LIVE! Modi starts poll campaign in Pathankot:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first public rally at Madhopur in Punjab's Pathankot district today.

Slamming the Congress government, Modi praised  Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee, whose 60th death anniversary coincides with the rally. 
13:23  LIVE! Coal scam: Jindal may be questioned this week:  The CBI is likely to question Congress MP Naveen Jindal this week in connection with its FIR against him and his company for alleged cheating while applying for coal block.

CBI sources said Jindal, who has been named as accused along with the former Minister for State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao in its 13th FIR, would be questioned this week.

According to the FIR, Jindal Steel and Power Limited and Gagan Sponge Iron Ltd, also a firm belonging to Jindal, had bagged Amarkonda Murgadangal coal block in Jharkhand in 2008 by alleged misrepresentation of facts when Rao was the Minister of State for Coal.
12:56  LIVE! US made intensive hacking attacks on China: Snowden:   Edward Snowden, a former private contractor with the CIA who leaked the controversial US secret surveillance programme, today made fresh claims about America's cyber espionage against China, including intensive hacking attacks on a top university in Beijing.

The Tsinghua University, widely regarded as China's top education and research institute, was the target of extensive hacking by the US spies this year, Snowden said in his latest claims to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.
12:32  LIVE! Air sorties suspended, ground relief on: ITBP chief:  IBNLive reports: Indo Tibetan Border Police chief Ajay Chadha says air sorties have been suspended but relief work on ground continues. "Air sorties have been suspended. Ground relief is on.

Not much rain, but the low clouds are causing problem. We are making attempts to fly. Around 60-70 people are still left in Kedarnath. 600-700 are left in Jungle Chatti. Some are at Bhairon Chatti. Food packets are being dropped there.

Read the full story here
11:40  LIVE! More landslides likely, army advises people not to panic:  IBNLive reports: The death toll in Uttarakhand floods has reached 1000 and continues to rise. It is a race against time now to save thousands who are still stranded in the valley before the heavy rains that are expected in less than 24 hours

Read the full story here
00:08  Uttarakhand: CRPF, CISF men donate one day's salary:  
Troops of paramilitary forces CRPF and CISF have decided to donate their one-day salary totalling about Rs 28 crore for the victims of Uttarakhand floods.

The forces, rendering internal security duties in the country, will deposit the money in the Prime Ministers Relief Fund by the next week. 

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) contribution will be about Rs 18 crore while another 10 crore would be pitched in by the jawans and officers of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which guards 59 Indian civil airports. 

"The CRPF rank and file have decided to donate one day's salary to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund. The amount will be over Rs 18 crore," a statement from the force said. 
00:07  US warns Taliban as envoy heads to Qatar:  
The United States has warned that it could call on the Taliban to close an office in Qatar unless it shows more commitment to reconciliation in Afghanistan. 

US special envoy James Dobbins arrived in the Gulf Arab monarchy and was taking part in talks with Qatar alongside Secretary of State John Kerry. 

But Kerry said that the United States was not yet ready to meet the Taliban and accused the rebels of failing to live up to their side of peace efforts. 

"It is our hope that this could ultimately be an important step in reconciliation if it's possible. We know that it may well not be possible," Kerry told reporters in Doha. 

If the Taliban do not address concerns, "We may have to consider whether or not the office has to be closed." 

"It is really up to the Taliban to make that choice," he said, calling a feud in the past week "the first real test of whether the Taliban are prepared to do their part". 

The rebels opened the mission in Doha on Tuesday under the name the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", and raised the white Taliban flag. 
00:06  British spying allegations 'nightmare out of Hollywood': Germany:  
Germany's justice minister has said that allegations of British intelligence services tapping world phone calls and Internet traffic were a "nightmare out of Hollywood."

If confirmed, the allegations released by a US ex-intelligence technician who also exposed secret US data gathering programmes, would be a "catastrophe," said Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

"The allegations against Great Britain sound like a nightmare out of Hollywood," she said. 

"European institutions should shed light on this immediately."

The Guardian on Saturday published claims that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has started processing vast amounts of personal information -- including Facebook posts, emails, Internet histories and phone calls -- and is sharing it with its US partner the National Security Agency
00:06  Snowden extradition battle could take years: experts:  
Attempts to extradite ex-intelligence technician Edward Snowden, charged with espionage by US authorities, will result in a protracted legal battle in Hong Kong that could last years, experts have said. 

Hong Kong, a former British colony that retained a separate legal system when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, has a long-standing extradition treaty with the US, but Beijing has the potential to veto any ruling. 

However, Beijing has appeared to distance itself from any decision on the possible extradition of Snowden, who is in hiding in the southern Chinese city after blowing the lid on vast US surveillance programmes targeting phone calls and Internet traffic.

Hong Kong officials remained tight-lipped on Saturday as to whether they will hold Snowden a day after Washington charged the former CIA contractor with espionage, theft and "conversion of government property".

Hong Kong lawmaker Alan Leong said that if local authorities proceed with extradition, it could result in a lengthy legal battle. 

"If every appeal opportunity is taken, I suppose the process will last between three and five years" at the very least, he told AFP.
00:06  Sonia to flag off relief material for U'khand on Monday:  
Pushing the party machinery into the relief work for Uttarakhand flood victims,  Congress President Sonia Gandhi will flag off relief material from the party headquarters in New Delhi on Monday while two senior leaders will be sent to oversee relief work in Dehradun on Monday.

"Party treasurer Motilal Vora and AICC general secretary and incharge of Congress President's Office Ambika Soni are visiting Congress Control Room in Uttarakhand to oversee relief operations and coordinate with PCC sending relief materials," party's Communication Department in-charge Ajay Maken said. 

Vora told PTI that he and Soni will leave for Dehradun on Sunday morning to oversee distribution of relief material that reach there from PCCs.

In a press release, Maken said both the leaders are going to further coordinate relief work and related logistics there. 

The party set up a PCC control room at Dehradun to accelerate the relief work. AICC Secretary Sanjay Kapoor and the party's wing Seva Dal's chief Mahendra Joshi have already been sent to Dehradun to monitor the work. 
00:04  Top headlines at this hour:  Uttarakhand: Families turning restless, helplines flooded

40,000 await help as rain threat looms in the hills 

IAF deploys the 'Big Boys' in Uttarakhand

Kedarnath turn into ghost town

Please ignore post-Godhra riots now: Rajnath to Muslims

Time to repent for turning Uttarakhand into honeymoon spot: Dwarka Shankaracharya

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