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LIVE! Germany Compares US Bugging to 'Cold War'

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June 30, 2013

20:45  Germany Compares US Bugging to 'Cold War':  Senior European officials expressed concern Sunday at reports that U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, with some leftist lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington.

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by German news weekly Der Spiegel.
19:53  Pak Hindus victims of "religious apartheid": Hindu group:  Hindus in Pakistan are not equal citizens of the state but victims of a "religious apartheid", a newly formed Hindu group has said, demanding a special session of Parliament to probe persecution of Hindus and other minorities in the country.

Hindu community feels insecure in this country due to continued acts of injustice and atrocities against them, especially women, Mohan Manjiani, president of All Hindu Rights Forum said.
19:49  Vociferous anti-Mursi protests sweep Egypt :  Egypt was on the edge today as protest rallies demanding Mohammed Mursi's ouster and early elections kicked off across the deeply polarised country on the first anniversary of his presidency, raising fears of an escalation in violence. 

The grassroots Tamarod ('Rebellion' in Arabic) movement is driving the protest campaign with a petition of signatures seeking Mursi's ouster and a snap election, which has united liberal and secular opposition groups, including the National Salvation Front.
19:47  Obama 'deeply humbled' by Mandela prison visit:  US President Barack Obama said he was "deeply humbled" by a visit today to the Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela spent some of his darkest days in jail. 

"On behalf of our family we're deeply humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield," Obama wrote in a message in the visitors book co-signed by his wife Michelle.
18:58  PDP condemns death of youths in Bandipora:  Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) today condemned the killing of two youth in north Kashmir's Bandipora district saying the incident has once again exposed the sorry state of affairs prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir. 

"Army's firing in the area was totally unwarranted and reflected how deeply the culture of impunity has become entrenched in the state," PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said while addressing a workers' convention in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.
18:57  Mumbai: IAF pilot who died in U'khand buried with full honours:  Wing Commander Darryl Castelino of the Indian Air Force, who died in the line of duty during Uttarakhand rescue operations, was laid to rest here this afternoon with full military honours. 

Castelino was piloting the ill-fated Mi-17 rescue helicopter that crashed in Gaurikund in the rain-ravaged Uttarakhand on June 25.
18:21  Last fugitive of Xinjiang attack captured in China:  Stepping up security in the ethnically-divided Xinjiang province, Chinese police today said they arrested the "only rioter at large" after a series of violent clashes killed at least 35 people. 

"Police in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Sunday captured the only rioter at large after a violent terrorist attack", state-run Xinhua news agency said. Reports said China poured security forces for rounf-the-clock security to prevent riots from spreading in the troubled region.
18:20  200 pilgrims rescued, 500 still stuck in Badrinath:  Over 200 pilgrims were taken to safety from Badrinath today with the Uttarakhand government saying that only 500 more remained there with adequate food and medical care even as disposal of bodies in affected areas and transportation of relief material posed a fresh challenge. 

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said a 200-member team consisting of officials of various departments, including police, health, animal husbandry experts and sanitation, is being sent along with equipment provided by the NDRF to both Kedarnath and Rambada to extricate the bodies from the debris and expedite the process of their disposal.
18:00  Shed GDP obsession, return to Marxism, Xi tells CPC cadres:  Officials of ruling Communist Party of China should shed the obsession with GDP numbers to get promotions and return to principles of Marxism, which suffered an ideological meltdown in the course of the country's economic reforms, President Xi Jinping said today. 

The party should adopt more comprehensive criteria for assessing the performance of its officials other than judging them from GDP numbers, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC told a meeting on the eve of the 92nd founding anniversary of the party which has ruled the country since 1949.
17:59  Sharif to send Pak Power Min to India to tackle energy crisis:  Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his Water and Power Minister to visit India to address the severe energy crisis facing the country. 

"We are facing acute electricity shortage and any assistance in the power sector will help us in addressing the problem," Sharif said while speaking to members of the Pak-India Joint Business Council at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday.
17:10  UK's Cameron pledges to 'stand together' with Pak on terrorism:  Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron today promised to "stand together" with Pakistan in the war against terrorism and nudged his counterpart Nawaz Sharif to help clinch a peace deal with Afghanistan before NATO's withdrawal from the war-torn nation next year. 

Cameron, who became the first western leader to visit Islamabad since election of Sharif in May, said Britain and Pakistan had a shared interest in the "battle against terrorism".
16:50  Pakistan 'blasphemy' girl moves to Canada:  A Pakistani Christian girl who was arrested for alleged blasphemy last year and forced into hiding for fear of her life has moved to Canada, an activist said today. 

Rimsha Masih could have faced life in prison if convicted over allegations that she set fire to pages of the Koran in the poor, run-down neighbourhood where she lived on the edge of Islamabad.
16:27  Heavy rains lash UP, major rivers flowing above danger mark:  Heavy rainfall lashed various parts of Uttar Pradesh during the past 24 hours, causing water level in major rivers including Ghaghra, Sharda, Quano, Rapti and Budhi Rapti to rise. 

According to Central Water Commission, Quano was flowing 1 m above the danger mark at Chandradeepghat in Gonda and has crossed red mark at Mukhlispur in Sant Kabir Nagar.
15:57  Ailing elephant Bijlee dies:  Bijlee, the 58-year-old ailing elephant rescued by individuals and NGOs sometime back, died in Mumbai today. 

"Bijlee's end came at 5.58 am today. The animal was critical for the last two days and did not respond to treatment yesterday. Our volunteers were maintaining a 24-hour vigil on it," Pawan Sharma, the representative of NGO RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare), said.
15:56  Anti-Naxal ops: CRPF grounds mine-protected vehicles:  Central Reserve Police Force has stopped using mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) deployed for carrying troops to minimise causalities resulting from IED blasts in Naxal-affected areas. 

This is the first time that the country's largest paramilitary force has issued a complete ban on the use of these four-wheeled armoured vehicles. Close to 50 such armoured vehicles in Maoist hotbeds of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar have been rolled inside CRPF camps. These MPVs will be used in rare instances only.
15:14  14 killed in Pakistan blast:  At least 14 people, including three children, were killed and many others injured when a remote-controlled blast today targeted a convoy of security forces in Peshawar city in northwest Pakistan. 

The blast, believed to be an IED explosion, targeted the convoy of security forces on their way to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's capital Peshawar from Kohat district. Officials said 40-kg explosive was used in the blast that also destroyed 10 vehicles and several shops.
14:20  We will never know the exact number of dead: Bahuguna:  The exact number of people dead or washed away may never be known, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said today as estimates of casualties in the worst natural disaster in the state run from several hundreds to several thousands. 

"We will never know the exact number of those dead and the number of people who have been buried or washed away," he told PTI in an interview.
14:18  Cong candidate Pratibha Singh wins Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll:  Congress candidate Pratibha Singh today won the Mandi Lok Sabha by-election, defeating her nearest BJP rival Jai Ram Thakur by a massive margin of over 1.36 lakh votes. 

The polling was held in sixteen assembly segments on June 23, while the exercise was held in rain-hit Kinnaur tribal segment on June 27. Repoll in one booth was held yesterday. 

As many as 5,82,081 voters out of 11,13,938 voters cast their votes of which Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, polled 60.67 per cent votes while Jai Ram Thakur got 37.24 per cent votes.
14:10  17 containers slip from ship in Guj waters, alert sounded:  An alert has been sounded by the Gujarat Maritime Board for ships approaching Gulf of Kutch, after 17 containers on board vessel MV Rajeev Gandhi slipped off Okha West and began floating in the sea, a GMB official said. 

"About 17 containers slipped from MV Rajeev Gandhi, a vessel container of Shipping Corporation of India, off Okha West coast on June 27 when it was on way to Mundra port," Chief Nautical Officer, GMB, S C Mathur said.
13:58  Philippines accuses China of military buildup at sea:  The Philippines accused China today of a "massive" military buildup in the disputed South China Sea, warning at a regional security forum that the Asian giant's tactics were a threat to peace. 

The statement by Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario ensured that the growing row over rival claims to the strategically vital and potentially resource-rich sea would again be a key focus of the annual four-day Asia-Pacific talks.
13:40  Congress retains Himachal Pradesh Lok Sabha seat:  Congress candidate Pratibha Singh Sunday won the Mandi parliamentary bypoll with a margin of over 1.36 lakh votes, election officials said. She defeated her nearest rival Jai Ram Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and former cabinet minister. 

Earlier, this seat was represented by Pratibha Singh's husband and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who resigned following his election to the state assembly in December 2012. The main contest was between the Congress and the BJP.
12:57  Rahul Gandhi wants 50% women in Congress central body:  Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi proposes to build a corporate-like system in the party headquarters for proper coordination and  communication between party leaders and ground workers. 

At his first interaction with party's newly appointed office-bearers, Rahul said he wanted the AICC headquarters to work as an "integrated unit'. Laying stress on communication upgrade in the AICC, he asked office-bearers to work together for success in the forthcoming state and the Lok Sabha elections.
12:55  IndiGo may face an exodus of its commanders to AirAsia:  IndiGo Airlines may lose a good chunk of its commanders to AirAsia India as around 100 of its pilots have applied for jobs with the proposed carrier, say sources. 

Besides a hefty package that AirAsia India is offering to the pilots, there are other reasons, like better working conditions, for these pilots to move out, say Indigo sources. "

As many as 100 commanders have sought jobs with AirAsia India. And this is not only for higher packages, but also for better working conditions," airline sources told PTI. 
12:14  India has 40 per cent of world's malnourished: Expert:  India constitutes 40 per cent of the world's malnourished population and the highest rate of underweight children due to improper implementation of government policies, a global health expert has said.

M G Venkatesh Mannar, president of Canada-based NGO Micronutrient Initiative, said India's condition despite being an emerging economy was bad in terms of health and nutrition as compared to other countries like Brazil, Nepal, Bangladesh and China.
12:12  Grenades lobbed at school complexes in Manipur:  Suspected militants lobbed powerful grenades at two educational institutions in Manipur's Thoubal and Imphal West districts, but no one was injured as the ammunitions failed to explode, police said today. 

A powerful grenade was hurled at Comet English School at Changangei area at Airport road in Imphal West district yesterday, sources said. Following the incident, enraged students, teachers and local residents launched a sit-in at the local community hall. 

"Do not disturb the educational institute", "Make education a free zone", read the placards put up at the sit-in site last evening, official reports said.
11:33  Indians in Saudi Arabia asked to get final exit visa:  India has asked its nationals living in Saudi Arabia, who have received their Emergency Certificates (ECs), to get their final exit visa immediately from the Saudi authorities. 

The Indian embassy in Riyadh said that it has completed the process of issuing ECs to all those applicants who have verified their personal particulars with the mission. The new Saudi labour law called 'Nitaqat' makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
11:33  Indians in Saudi Arabia asked to get final exit visa:  India has asked its nationals living in Saudi Arabia, who have received their Emergency Certificates (ECs), to get their final exit visa immediately from the Saudi authorities. 

The Indian embassy in Riyadh said that it has completed the process of issuing ECs to all those applicants who have verified their personal particulars with the mission. The new Saudi labour law called 'Nitaqat' makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers.
11:19  CPI becomes first party to respond to RTI application:  CPI has become the first political outfit to respond to an RTI application after a CIC order declared parties as public authorities but underlined that it does not come under the transparency law. 

Responding to an RTI application, Communist Party of India has said it supplies information to I-T authorities and the Election Commission on regular basis and stands for "transparency of income and sources of income" and added that it has not appointed any Public Information Officer so far.
11:07  IFS officer moves Delhi HC for anticipatory bail in rape case:  The Delhi High Court has sought response from police on the anticipatory bail plea of an IFS officer, currently posted in China, in a case registered by a woman last year for allegedly raping her on the pretext of marriage. 

Issuing notice to police, Justice Siddharth Mridul sought the reply by July 5 on the plea of the officer, a 2010 batch IFS officer who is currently a probationer in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and based in Beijing.
11:05  In Death Valley, the beret matters:  Last week, led by their commanding officer, the bandana-strapped Colonel Sandip Chatterjee, the men of the 6 and 7 Paras, along with rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), had lopped off some trees, uprooted electricity poles and planted explosives in the jagged rocks and blasted them to hew a helipad out of nowhere.

Read more here
09:43  Two youths killed in army firing in Kashmir:  Two youths were killed allegedly in army firing in the wee hours today in Sumbal area of north Kashmir's Bandipora district, leading to protests by the local residents. 

"Two youth have been killed in army firing this morning. It is a very unfortunate incident," Minister for Higher Education Mohammad Akbar Lone, who is also the local MLA, said. 

The deceased youth have been identified as Irfan Ahmad Ganaie and Irshad Ahmad Dar, both residents of Markundal village in Sumbal area, 25 km from Srinagar. 

Local residents staged a protest against the killings, which took place at around 3.30 am, alleging that the army firing was unprovoked.
00:15  Uttarakhand rescue operations reach last leg:   CNN IBN reports: The rescue operations in flood-hit Uttarakhand have reached their last stages and security forces are now focusing on saving around 2,000 people who are reported to be still trapped in the upper reaches.

Yesterday, Harsil was fully evacuated and 842 more people were airlifted from Badrinath as operations resumed after weather improved in the state.
00:15  Pakistani 'blasphemy' girl flees to Canada:  BBC reports: A Pakistani Christian girl who was falsely accused of blasphemy has fled to Canada with her family, a Christian organisation says. Rimsha Masih, aged 14, was detained in a maximum security prison for several weeks in August 2012, accused of burning pages from the Koran

Read the full story here

00:09  Suspended IPS officer D G Vanzara admitted to hospital:   Suspended Indian Police Service officer D G Vanzara, an accused in a string of fake encounter killing cases, was admitted to a hospital in Ahemdabad on Saturday after he complained of chest pain. He was admitted to U N Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre according to a source in the hospital.

Vanzara is an accused in the cases relating to alleged fake encounter killing of Soharabuddin Sheikh, Tulsi Prajapati and college student Ishrat Jahan.
00:09  Top headlines in the last 24 hours :  
Uttarakhand speaker pegs death toll at 10,000; Shinde says 900

EC slaps notice on Munde for Rs 8-crore poll expense remark

Suryanelli rape case: Plea against Congress leader Kurien dismissed

UPA bluffing nation over Uttarakhand death toll: Rajnath

Uttarakhand disaster tales: The good, bad and greedy

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