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UNSC imposes new sanctions on North Korea

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March 07, 2013

22:40  UNSC imposes new sanctions on North Korea:  

The UN Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution against the recent North Korean nuclear tests, which adds to the sanctions already imposed on the reclusive nation.        


The resolution co-sponsored by the United States and China imposes new financial sanctions to block financial transactions in support of illicit North Korean activity, crack down on bulk cash transfers, and further restrict ties to North Korea's financial sector, if there is a link to its illicit activity.        


"Acting unanimously and agreeing on effective and credible measures, the Security Council has sent an unequivocal message to the DPRK that the international community will not tolerate its pursuit of nuclear weapons and related acts," said a statement attributable to the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.        


"The Council action also demonstrates a firm commitment to upholding the global norm against any nuclear tests and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime," he said. Calling North Korea and other countries to fully comply with the resolution, Ban said he remains deeply concerned about heightened tension on the Korean Peninsula. He urged the DPRK to refrain from any further destabilising steps or bellicose rhetoric.        

22:30  Internet video shows UN peacekeepers seized in Syria:  Video footage posted on the Internet today shows some of a group of 21 Filipino UN peacekeepers seized by Syrian rebels the previous day, with one of them saying they were safe and being cared for. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted the video which shows six uniformed members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and an officer who identifies himself as a member of the Filipino battalion of the UN. The men had been patrolling the sensitive Golan armistice line with Israel yesterday when they were seized.
21:38  Berlusconi convicted in wiretap case:  Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi was convicted Thursday over the illegal publication in a newspaper owned by his media empire of wiretapped conversations related to a bank takeover attempt.

A Milan court found Berlusconi guilty of breach of confidentiality and sentenced him to one year in jail, though it did not issue an order on carrying out the sentence. In Italy, it is rare for anyone to be put behind bars pending a possible appeal except in the case of very serious crimes like murder.

The verdict, the first of three expected for Berlusconi in the coming weeks, comes at a moment of political uncertainty for the country after February national elections failed to elect a clear winner. Berlusconi's center-right coalition finished second.
21:03  Zardari to visit Iran for pipeline groundbreaking ceremony:  Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will visit Iran on Monday for the groundbreaking of a much delayed USD 7.5 billion bilateral gas pipeline, with the two countries deciding to ahead with the project despite threats of sanctions by the US. 

This will be Zardari's second visit to Iran since February 27 and officials said a consortium will start work on the Pakistani section of the pipeline on March 11 despite US warnings of possible sanctions.
20:53  At Chavez's coffin, Venezuelans vow more revolution:  Saluting, clenching fists and making the Catholic sign of the cross over his open casket, Venezuelans flocked on Thursday to see their deceased leader one last time and pledge that his socialist revolution will not die.

Tens of thousands of grieving supporters stood in lines that snaked around a grandiose military academy in an mass show of respect for Chavez, who died on Tuesday at age 58 after a two-year battle with cancer.
20:00  Sachin Pilot to represent India at Chavez's funeral:  Corporate Affairs Minister SachinPilot will represent India at the state funeral of Hugo Chavez, former president of Venezuela, in Caracas tomorrow.    

Pilot has already left for Venezuela and would be accompanied by officials of the External Affairs Ministry at the funeral, officials said.    

Chavez, who died at the age of 58 on Tuesday after a two-year struggle with cancer, was in power for about 14years. He was elected for his third six-year term in October last year.
19:05  Del gang rape: Forensic experts testify on exhibits:  The two forensic experts, who had provided scientific support and services in the investigation into the December 16 gang rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in New Delhi, testified as prosecution witnesses before the fast-track court today.

The two officials from Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), who had examined the exhibits forwarded by the Delhi Police investigation team, deposed before the court.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna during in-camera proceedings recorded the experts' statements, who appeared for the prosecution witness.

The CFSL experts examined the exhibits forwarded by the investigating agencies and rendered expert opinion and substantiate their opinions in the courts through their testimony and evidence.

The two will be cross-examined tomorrow by the counsel for five adults accused in the case.
18:55  Sachin Tendulkar gets a pat from Desmond Tutu:  South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu was all praise for Sachin Tendular saying he was not only a great cricketer but also a model human being. Addressing a function here, the Archbishop said normally when success goes to their head, people become arrogant. But Sachin has stayed 'remarkably humble'. He said South Africa's leading player Hashim Amla is of Indian origin and quipped "he plays cricket like your (Sachin) Tendulkar".
18:39  Jayalalithaa to PM: Sri Lanka intimidating India:  In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday alleged that Sri Lanka is attempting to "intimidate" India not to raise its voice against the atrocities on Tamils in that country by arresting Indian fishermen.

"The incidents of arrests of fishermen and the recent firing should be viewed as an indirect attempt to intimidate the government of India and browbeat it into not raising its voice against Sri Lankan atrocities on innocent Sri Lankan Tamilians in the international forum," she said. Jayalalithaa was referring to the firing by the Lankan navy at Indian fishermen on Wednesday and said it was "highly unacceptable".
18:35  President to be chief guest at Mauritius national day:   President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest at the national day celebrations of Mauritius on March 12 as part of his second state visit abroad. India and Mauritius will also sign several bilateral pacts in social sectors, including health and tourism, during Mukherjee's visit to the Indian Ocean island nation.
18:22  Purulia case: Denmark asks India for fresh extradition proposal:  Just in: Denmark asks India to give a fresh proposal for the extradition of Purulia arms drop case key accused Kim Davy. The earlier proposal was rejected because "Indian jails were not good enough."
18:20  In Tamil Nadu, domestic violence cases rise:  Tamil Nadu boasts some of the best indicators in India when it comes to women.The southern state's female literacy rate is 73.9 percent, well above the national average of 65.5 percent, according to the 2011 census. It has also one of the narrowest gender gaps in India, having 995 women for every 1,000 men. Read
17:58  Mouthing, 'I want to live', Chavez had heart attack:  President Hugo Chavez died of a massive heart attack after great suffering and inaudibly mouthed his desire to live, the head of Venezuela's presidential guard said late Wednesday."He couldn't speak but he said it with his lips ... 'I don't want to die. Please don't let me die,' because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country," Gen. Jose Ornella told The Associated Press.  Read
17:54  Why Time Warner had to spin off its magazine unit :  Time Warner announced Wednesday it is spinning off Time, Inc., its magazine unit, to existing shareholders as a separate company. Effectively, the parent company is cutting ties with the original, founding division of the company. Time, Inc.'s stock will trade separately, with its own management. More
17:50  'Culprits behind child's rape identified; will be nabbed':   The culprits behind the rape of a three-year old girl at tirur in this district had been identified and would be nabbed very soon, Kerala home minister said today. "The police probe into the incident was progressing satisfactorily and that all out efforts are being made to nab the culprits," the home minister said.

Police had stated yesterday that the culprits had been identified and would be trapped soon and the dragnet had been spread to neighbouring states to nab them. The three-year-old girl was raped by some persons and later abandoned in Tirur on March 5.
17:28  Not everyone surprised at Oscar Pistorius' fall from grace. Read
17:23  Bangladesh: Wave of violent attacks against Hindu minority:  Read: The Amnesty International report the "wave of violent attacks against Bangladesh's minority Hindu community shows the urgent need for authorities to provide them with better protection..Over the past week, individuals taking part in strikes called for by Islamic parties have vandalised more than 40 Hindu temples across Bangladesh.Scores of shops and houses belonging to the Hindu community have also been burned down, leaving hundreds of people homeless. More
17:13  The influence of Hugo Chavez:   A must-read for Sachin Pilot before he heads to Venezuela. Venezuela's oil money has brought better living standards for the country's poorest citizens. It has also given Hugo Chvez the means to buy influence with his neighbors, usually at the expense of the United States. Read more 
17:09  Sachin Pilot to represent India at Hugo Chavez's funeral:  MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweets that corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot will represent India at the funeral of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to be held tomorrow. 
17:05  Italy's former PM sentenced to a year in jail :  An Italian court on Thursday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to a one-year jail term for making public the taped contents of a confidential phone call in a case related to a 2005 banking scandal.

The sentence, which was read in court by the judge, came as Berlusconi is facing two other trials for alleged tax fraud and paying for sex with an underage prostitute.

Read more
16:40   NIA arrests suspected right-wing terrorist Mafat Lal from Vadodara in connection with 2007 Ajmer blasts.
16:38  DSP murder: CBI names Raja Bhaiya in FIR :  The CBI has named former MLA of the Samajwadi Party in its FIR in connection with the killings of a DSP and two others in Uttar Pradesh and related violence: The CBI today filed its four FIRs in the DSP murder case.
16:35  Khurshid to host lunch for Pak PM during Ajmer visit:  Just in: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to host lunch for Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf during his one-day private visit on Saturday. The Pakistani Prime Minister will come to India on a pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif, official sources said. The Pakistani prime minister is scheduled to visit Ajmer to offer prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
16:32  Court dismisses Kejriwal's petition against Vadra:   Just in: The Allahabad High Court dismisses the petition seeking a probe into allegations against Robert Vadra levelled by IAC member Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal had alleged that Vadra was favoured by realty major DLF, a charge denied by both. He has also alleged that Vadra had bought property worth crores of rupees between 2007-2010 with an unsecured interest free loan given by DLF.
16:12  Why isnt India spending more on its military?:  India, as FP's James Traub recently discovered, is comfortable living with contradictions. A country that is the world's largest, and possibly its most competitive, democracy has seen its national politics dominated by a single party. A rising international player, India often appears less willing than ever to exercise its power globally. And while India's economy feels like it's in the doldrums, it has more than doubled in size over the past seven years. Read
16:09  Ma, I don't want to get married, says Rahul:  The first and last bachelor to be elected the President of the United States was James Buchanan. That was all the way back in 1857. Since then every serious candidate for the American presidency has had to flourish his "perfect family' like a trophy. Whether it's  Barack Obama sending out doe-eyed love notes to his wife in his big convention speeches, or the Romneys crowding on stage around Mitt like the Church of the Latter Day Family Von Trapp singers,  a well-groomed photogenic family is the first item on any ambitious politician's checklist. More
16:02   Furious over sanctions, North Korea vows to nuke US:  North Korea today vowed to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the United States, amplifying its threatening rhetoric hours ahead of a vote by UN diplomats on whether to level new sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear test.

An unidentified spokesman for Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry said the North will exercise its right for "pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors" because Washington is pushing to start a nuclear war against the North.

Although North Korea boasts of nuclear bombs and pre-emptive strikes, it is not thought to have mastered the ability to produce a warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US It is believed to have enough nuclear fuel, however, for a handful of crude nuclear devices.

Such inflammatory rhetoric is common from North Korea, but it has been coming regularly in recent days. North Korea is angry over the possible sanctions and over upcoming US-South Korean military drills.
15:46  Expedite probe against Raj Thackeray: Court tells police:  A court here today directed the Delhi Police to expedite its investigation in the FIR lodged against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly branding Bihar natives in Mumbai as infiltrators.

The order was passed after the police filed a report on the status of the probe in the FIR and said it has issued notices to chief editors of various newspapers and news channels seeking certified copies of news reports of Thackeray's speech in which he had allegedly branded Bihar natives as infiltrators in Mumbai and threatened to throw them out of the state.
15:38  Free roaming services likely before October: Sibal:  Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday expressed hope that free roaming services will start before October this year.

"Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued consultation paper in this regard. So when Trai''s recommendations come and after that, we will try to start free roaming before October," Sibal told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of National Internet Registry (NIR) in New Delhi.

Free roaming services were supposed to have been launched by February.
15:30  Murder-accused Amit Shah may be BJP general secy:  After its national executive meet (and what a diatribe of a meet it was), the BJP is now busy finalising the 12 members of the Parliamentary Board. The board has a  51-member strong national executive with nine vice presidents and 10 general secretaries. The probable names for General Secretary seem to be Amit Shah, who it may be recalled was dropped from the Narendra Modi ministry, though he is an MLA. A complete list is expected between March 15 and March 18. 
15:19  Women scibes to sip Darjeeling tea with the Prez tomorrow:  Our sources in Delhi tell us that President Pranab Mukherjee has invited New Delhi-based women journalists to celebrate Women's Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan over high tea. He is likely to speak to the senior women journalists at this event organised by the Women's press corps. 
15:02  Will Meira Kumar be Rahul's Manmohan?:  While it would be wonderful to have a bright young politician like Sachin Pilot or Jyotiraditya Scindia as Rahul's premier, the chances are that Rahul will opt for Symbolism over Competence and Youth.And what more potent symbol than a Dalit Lady Leader, asks Heptanesia Mumbaikar. Read
14:56  The great Wharton dust-up:  A few themes emerge, if confused, from recent happenings at Wharton: freedom of expression, a possible insult to the nation, horrible regimes that the US is friends with. All worth addressing. Read
14:54  Woman gang-raped, dumped in front of her residence:  A daily wage worker, mother of two daughters, was raped allegedly by three persons who then dumped her in front of her residence in Magadi taulk on Tuesday night.The accused persons allegedly threatened the woman of killing her daughters if she disclosed the matter to anyone.

However, the woman along with her mother, informed the local police and filed a complaint of gang rape, police said. The crime occurred between 7 pm and 9 pm but came to light at 10.30 pm after the woman gained consciousness. The victim narrated her ordeal to her relatives. More
14:44  Manic Mamata loses trusty aide Saugata Roy:   Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy has resigned as adviser to the West Bengal Government's Commerce, Industries and IT Ministry over alleged differences with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"Yes, Saugata Roy has resigned from the post of adviser to the state government's commerce, industries and IT department," a senior TMC leader said on condition of anonymity. Roy who was in Delhi could not be contacted. His resignation came days after he questioned the possibility of setting up large industries in the state.

Roy had said that the possibility of setting up large industries in the state was very bleak and the future of the state depended on small and medium-scale industries.
14:37  Govt under attack in LS over plight of ethnic Tamils:  Government today came under attack in the Lok Sabha from its friends and foes over the plight of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka, with demands that India should take a lead in ensuring passage of a resolution against the island nation at an upcoming UN meet.

During a debate on the issue, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said India should also caution other neighbours against interfering in the Sri Lankan affairs or Indo-Sri Lankan relations.

"Let India not merely vote ... in the UNHRC but take the lead in drafting the resolution and carry it through the UNHRC," said Sinha, a former External Affairs Minister.
14:31  Hawaii passes the Steven Tyler Act:   Legislation in the name of the lead singer of Aerosmith that seeks to protect celebrities' privacy has been passed in Hawaii. Read
14:13  Nobody should die to be honoured: SRK on Delhi girl:  Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan feels that women should be rewarded at every point for their achievements, and no one should die to get an honour.

He was reacting after the United States selected the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim for the prestigious International Women of Courage Award, for inspiring people to fight against gender-based violence.

US First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will present the award posthumously tomorrow on International Womens' Day.

"Its good that they are honouring her. But I would not want to die to get honour... I hope no one be it men or women should lose their lives to get honour... in fact they should get award for their achievements," Shah Rukh said.
14:02  No, the CIA did NOT give Hugo Chavez cancer:  There is absolutely zero evidence to suggest the United States had a hand in the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chvez, but that hasn't put a stop to a cascade of conspiracy theories about US agents somehow infecting the charismatic leader with cancer. Read
13:56  Skiing Kashmirs Snow-Swept Peaks:  On a frigid night in Gulmarg, a Himalayan outpost deep in Kashmir, a friend and I sipped sweet tea and warmed ourselves next to a wood stove while a local ski guide named Javed stood in front of us, roaring like a bear.

"Baah! Baah!' he shouted, his hands outstretched like claws. "I thought it was going to kill us,' Javed said of the Asiatic black bear he had encountered a few days before while skiing in the backcountry. Read
13:53  Indias Economic Growth:  India's ambassador to the U.S., Nirupama Rao, wrote a letter to the editor, taking issue with a Feb. 10 editorial in The New York Times, titled "India in the Slow Lane.'  Read
13:50  Deconstructing world's friendliest people (yes, India figures):  Which country has the world's friendliest people? It's a preposterous question for many reasons. Yet writers, guidebooks and travelers can't seem to stop asking it. Admit it, you've returned from a place and declared to your friends that its people have got to be the friendliest (or nicest! or most wonderful!) people on the planet. I certainly have.  Read
13:49  UN to vote on new North Korea sanctions today:  The UN Security Council, ignoring threats from North Korea, is set to impose a fourth round of even tougher sanctions against Pyongyang in a fresh attempt to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the current council president, said the council will vote on the draft sanctions resolution today morning.

The resolution was drafted by and the United States and China, North Korea's closest ally. The success of a new round of sanctions could depend on enforcement by China, where most of the companies and banks that North Korea is believed to work with are based.

The council's agreement to put the resolution to a vote just 48 hours later signaled that it would almost certainly have the support of all 15 council members.
13:38  Family of royal hoax Indian nurse denied legal aid:  The family of the nurse who apparently took her own life after answering the Duchess of Cambridge hoax call has been denied legal aid for her inquest, The Independent can disclose.Relatives of Jacintha Saldanha, who will struggle to meet the legal bills, fear the move will prevent them finding out the circumstances surrounding her death. Read
13:36  Time Inc. separates from Time Warner:  What do you do with a group of celebrated magazines that no one seems to want?Time Warner found its answer on Wednesday. It announced it would spin off its Time Inc. magazine unit into a separate, publicly traded company, a move that will allow the media conglomerate to focus entirely on its cable television and film businesses. Read
13:27  'No salt, no red meat, and fish soup for breakfast':  Red meat was out, but prawns and chicken were all right. Salt was frowned upon and monosodium glutamate was a strict no-no.

The resident of 54 University Avenue was also very concerned about putting on weight.A newly published book, written by the former cook for the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has revealed some of the tastes and concerns of the Burmese democracy leader. Read
13:18  Love sausages, bacon? You're 44% more likely to get cancer:  Biggest consumers of food such as ham, bacon and sausages are 44% more likely to die prematurely, according to research. Read
13:05  Paul Theroux's travel wish list:  "WE travel for pleasure, for a door-slamming sense of "I'm outta here,' for a change of air, for edification, for the big vulgar boast of being distant, for the possibility of being transformed, for the voyeuristic romance of gawping at the exotic; and sometimes we travel because we have been banished. I was banished once, and it fortified me."  The inimitable Paul Theroux on the places he still wants to see. Read
12:48  Revealed: Pentagon's link to Iraqi torture centres:  The Pentagon sent a US veteran of the "dirty wars" in Central America to oversee sectarian police commando units in Iraq that set up secret detention and torture centres to get information from insurgents.

These units conducted some of the worst acts of torture during the US occupation and accelerated the country's descent into full-scale civil war. Read
12:47  Titans meet: Bachchan to attend grand bash for Spielberg:  Amitabh Bachchan, who is currently in Bhopal shooting for Prakash Jha's Satyagraha, will literally be airlifted to Mumbai to attend a grand bash organised in honour of veteran Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Read more
12:41  Mother Teresa's Indian followers lash out at criticism :  Mother Teresa may have been painted as far from saintly by academics Serge Larivie and Genevieve Chenard, but those who knew her dismiss their new study. Read more
12:34  Chopper deal: Former Aeromatrix board member questioned by CBI:  CBI today quuestioned advocate Gautam Khaitan, former board member of Aeromatrix, in connection with the bribery allegations in Rs 3600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

CBI sources said Khaitan arrived at agency headquarters in New Delhi at around 10 am and was being examined in connection with the deal. The agency has already questioned executives of Indian arms of Aeromatrix and IDS Infotech -- companies through which alleged bribes were routed from Mauritius and Tunisia in the garb of payments for engineering contracts.

A reference to Khaitan was made in the Italian prosecutor's report filed in a court there. However, Khaitan has refuted all the allegations. CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against 11 persons including former IAF chief SP Tyagi.
12:30  Four rapes every day! Delhi secure as crime capital:  Delhi's shameful status as the rape capital has been confirmed yet again with three more rape cases being reported over the past 24 hours from different parts of the city. Statistics released in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday reveal that four rape cases have been reported every day in the Capital this year. Read more
12:28  Kindly cop reunites missing deaf-mute girl :  They say that every cloud has a silver lining. And the story of Galiman, a speech and hearing-impaired girl from Assam, would seem to bear that out.Now a young woman, she was separated from her family after accidentally boarding the wrong bus in India's crowded capital when she was 15 years old.Today, after 12 long years apart, she and her brother Jalil Ahmad can hold each at last thanks to the help and generosity of a Delhi police officer. Read more
12:19  The hunt for India bank licenses:  A new Indian bank could be coming your way, but who will get a license to operate in this potentially lucrative sector? In a bid to expand the banking sector, India's central bank last month allowed private and state-run companies to apply for licenses. More
12:16  Cabinet approves Bill for time-bound services to citizens:  The government today gave its nod to a Bill aimed at providing time-bound delivery of services like passports, pensions and birth and death certificates, among others, to the citizens.

The Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, was approved by Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here. The Bill envisages penalty of upto Rs 50,000 against a government official failing to provide his or her duties, official sources said.
12:03  After assault parents ask: Are schools safe?:  In recent days, parents in the Delhi neighborhood of Mangolpuri have been pondering a serious question: Is it a good idea to send their daughters to school?After a sex assault on a seven-year old girl at a government-run primary school was reported to school officials and the police on Friday, many parents in the area say they fear for their own children. Read
11:58  CBI takes over Kunda DSP murder case :   The central government hands over the Pratapgarh DSP murder case for a CBI probe. Yesterday, the CBI constituted a special crack team to visit Kunda to initiate murder case investigations into the killing of Deputy SP Zia-Ul-Haq and two others. The case has been given to a special crime team of CBI that will visit Kunda soon.

This came on a day when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited the family of the murdered village pradhan. The Gram Pradhan and his brother were killed along with Deputy SP Zia-Ul-Haque on Saturday.

Akhilesh assured strong steps by the state government to nab the culprits. "We have given Rs 20 lakh to the widows of the slain gram pradhan and his brother. The government will take strong steps to nab the culprits. We have referred the case to the CBI," Akhilesh Yadav said.

11:34  Panel wants army law defanged:  A high-level panel has recommended dilution of a law that gives special powers to the armed forces at a time Manipur crusader Irom Sharmila has drawn worldwide attention and the decree has failed to resolve militancy, sources said. Read
11:22  Does marriage make economic sense?:  In India, family is at the heart of everyday life and getting married is probably one of the most important occasions in the lives of most young people and their parents. If television is any indicator of what people care about, all you have to do is randomly tune in to one of the many serialized dramas invariably devoted to intrigue within the family, often featuring a sinister mother-in-law and her tearful but possibly scheming "bahu,' or daughter-in-law. Read
11:19  Tariq Ali: Hugo Chavez and me :  The late president of Venezuela, who I have met many times, will be remembered by his supporters as a lover of literature, a fiery speaker and a man who fought for his people and won, says author and columnist Tariq Ali. Read
11:15  If Rahul Gandhi says no, who will be his Manmohan Singh?:  There is a danger of reading too much into Rahul Gandhi's statement that becoming prime minister is not his priority: In fact, Congress-watchers believe he will eventually be prevailed upon to take up the most important job in the country, should the situation arise. Read
11:11  Full text of the Verma Commission report 
11:04  For the women of India, Parliament must speak:  A brave young woman died a brutal death in the heart of the nation's capital. And Parliament must speak. Today. Tomorrow. Or, the day after. But speak it must. More
11:02  Rahul and his cup of poison:  Rahul Gandhi's assertion that his priority is to strengthen the organisation and not run for Prime Minister is per se unexceptionable. No leader of any standing would publicly place his own ambitions above the party. Nor can Rahul of his own accord admit to being in the prime ministerial race. Read
11:00  Hugo Chavez: The passing of a giant:  President Hugo Chvez of Venezuela, who died of cancer in Caracas on Tuesday, was not just a visionary committed to improving the lives of the great majority of his people but a masterly politician who knew how to achieve that end. Read the obit on the Hindu.
10:58  Rahul slips into Sonia's shoes:  The transition of power in the Congress is taking place gradually as its less than two-month-old vice-president has begun to take regular meetings with the organisation's functionaries and MPs, presiding over meetings that the party president -- and his mother -- Sonia Gandhi held till recently. Read
10:51  Indian fisherman injured in firing by Lankan Navy:  In yet another attack, an Indian fisherman was today injured when Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly fired at some fishing boats off Kodiakarai coast, about 200 km from Rameswaram, fisheries department officials said.

The 40-year-old fisherman from Karaikal in Union Territory of Puducherry, part of a group of fishermen who had put to sea from Kodiakarai in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district, was injured in the shoulder, Assistant Director of Fisheries at Nagapattinam, Gunasekaran said. The Lankan naval men had opened fire in the air and then at the fishing boats, causing extensive damage to the boats also, the official said.

The fishermen said they were fishing in Indian waters when they were fired at. The injured fisherman has been admitted to Nagapattinam Government Hospital.
10:49  Watch out, paedophiles! School buses to have CCTVs:  In the wake of growing incidents of child molestation by conductors, the Mumbai police have asked all schools in the metropolis to install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in their buses which ferry students.

Police have also asked school authorities to ensure regular check-up of drivers' eye sight every six months, besides having drivers' and conductors' antecedents verified.

"The CCTVs with at least 15 days recording facility should be installed in school buses," said a police officer. School authorities hiring private buses for children should also go through details of the vehicles such as registration number, road permit, driver's license, insurance and vehicle fitness.

Bus windows should be fitted with horizontal grills. Surprise checks may be conducted to see whether the driver and conductor have consumed alcohol, the official said.

Two molestation incidents came to the fore recently in the city, which prompted police to take a slew of measures to curb the menace. In January, a 35-year-old school bus conductor was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a four-year-old nursery student of a premier Juhu school on a moving school bus.

A month later, a 24-year-old school bus cleaner was arrested on charges of molesting a three-year-old girl in suburban Malad.
10:33  Cabinet did NOT discuss anti-rape bill:  CNN-IBN reports: After weeks of promising strong legislation to curb crime against women, it seems the Cabinet is dithering on the new anti-rape law. The bill was not discussed by the Cabinet on Thursday after some amendments proposed by the home ministry ran into opposition.

CNN-IBN has learnt that the Law Ministry has sent some recommendations and has reservations about replacing the word sexual harassment with rape saying that this limits it to just women-related crimes.

Sources said that there is also no consensus to bringing voyuerism under sexual abuse and reducing the age of consensual sex from 18 to 16 which were part of recommendations by the Justice JS Verma committee.

Read the full story here
10:11  Davy extradition: Danish team arrives in Delhi:  Denmark has sent a high-level delegation to hold talks with India to find ways to extradite prime accused in Purulia arms drop case Kim Davy to face trial.

A 6-member Danish team, which landed in New Delhi,  is led by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Justice Ministry Jens Christian Bulow, who will hold talks with the Indian team headed by Special Secretary (Internal Secretary) in the Home Ministry S Jayaraman and explore options to bring back Davy to face trial in an Indian court in the 18 year-old case today.
09:33  UP cop murder: CBI may register 4 FIRs, say sources:  CNN-IBN reports: A new development is likely in the probe over the killing of Uttar Pradesh DSP Zia-ul-Haque in Pratapgarh. CBI sources say they are likely to register four FIRs in the matter.

One will be regarding the murder of the DSP on the basis of his wife's complaint to the UP Police.The other FIRS will be regarding the deaths of Gram Pradhan Nanhe Yadav and his brother and to probe the rioting and violence that took place in Kunda.

The CBI will then move to take custody of the two already arrested by UP Police.This comes as government doctors claim the DSP could have been saved if he had been taken to hospital within 30 minutes of being shot.

Eyewitnesses and local police say the first attempt to save a life was made for the brother of gram pradhan Nanhe Yadav who was also killed that day. 

Questions are also being raised as to why the DSP's own force did not take him to the hospital on time and where were they when he was being attacked.

Read the full story here
09:24  Cabinet likely to discuss anti-rape Bill today:  CNN-IBN reports: After the brutal Delhi gang-rape incident, the government faced pressure to come up with stringent anti-rape laws to curb sexual violence against women.

The Justice JS Verma committee proposed certain amendments in the existing rape laws. The Home Ministry now has proposed a few changes in the ordinance.The new anti-rape law accepts Justice Verma's recommendation to lower the age for consensual sex from 18 years to 16 years.

Instead of the term sexual assault, the new anti-rape law brings back the word rape, thereby not making it gender-neutral. However, the new law rejects marital rape.

read the full story here
08:54  Ghaziabad: 19-year-old allegedly gang-raped in auto:  
CNN-IBN reports: A 19-year old girl in Delhi has alleged that she was gang-raped by three men in Ghaziabad. The Delhi girl has alleged that she was gang-raped by three men with whom she shared an autorickshaw.

The girl claimed she was taken to an isolated area near Dasna in Ghaziabad and gang-raped. The incident took place on March 2. According to her complaint, the autorickshaw changed direction and moved towards Dasna.

Read the full story here
08:05  UP DSP was beaten up, shot dead: Autopsy report:  CNN-IBN reports: Autopsy reports have confirmed deep wounds were inflicted on Uttar Pradesh DSP Zia-ul-Haq before he was shot dead. 

The post-mortem report says that deep woulds were found on the eyebrows, fingers and ears of the DSP. As many as 12 wounds were found on the body. His wife has also claimed that Haq  was severely beaten up and shot multiple times.

On the other hand, the UP police is sidestepping these findings.

More details are awaited.

07:54  Australia blocks North Korean embassy plan:  Australia has decided to scrap North Korea's plan to reopen an embassy in Canberra. Foreign Minister Bob Carr said today that the hermit kingdom's proposal, which he initially supported, is no longer going ahead.

"This is in response to their recent nuclear test," quoting Carr's spokesman, AAP news agency reported today. "It would among other things allow us to communicate more directly with them on human rights. But it is in abeyance until further notice while we work in the United Nations Security Council on the response to North Korea's recent nuclear activity," the spokesman said.
07:44  Denis Napthine sworn in as Victorian premier:  Denis Napthine has taken over as the new Victorian premier today following the resignation of Ted Baillieu. 

According to media reports, the state government was facing pressure after controversial Frankston Member of Parliament Geoff Shaw announced his exit from the Liberal Party stating 'a general loss of confidence' Victorians were feeling towards the government's leadership.

Baillieu quit last evening and former leader Denis Napthine took over leadership. Baillieu, whose exit was effective immediately, in his address said his decision was made, 'in the best interests of the government', but that he would remain in Parliament.

He assured his full support to the new leader Napthine, who was sworn in as Premier at the government house last night.
01:28  Israel accused of abusing detained children:  

Palestinian children detained by Israeli authorities face systematic abuse that violates international law, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said in a report.


UNICEF estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged between 12 and 17 were arrested by Israeli security forces every year in the occupied West Bank. The world organisation said it had identified some examples of practices that "amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention against Torture".


According to the report, which was released on Wednesday, most of the youths are taken into custody for throwing stones at Israeli security forces. Tel Aviv says it takes such incidents seriously, noting that rock-throwing has caused Israeli deaths.


Ill-treatment of Palestinian minors typically begins with the arrest itself, often carried out in the middle of the night by heavily armed soldiers, and continues all the way through prosecution and sentencing, according to the report.


Read the full story on Al Jazera

01:26  New 'superbug' causes alarm:  Watch the video on CNN
01:24  'Snowquester' shuts down Washington, snarls air travel:  

They're calling it "snowquester."


A winter storm that set snowfall records in Chicago arrived in the capital region early Wednesday, forcing federal offices in Washington and school districts around the area to close -- hence the play on "sequester," the forced spending cuts making the rounds in government.


The electricity was going out in places, too, thanks to the wet, heavy snow downing trees and power lines. Nearly 188,000 homes and businesses had no power -- most of them in Virginia and West Virginia, but also in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Ohio, utilities reported around noon. That was down from an earlier peak of 253,000. Washington could see a crippling 10 inches of snow, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said. Snow totals could exceed a foot west of the city, while some places in northern Virginia and West Virginia could see as much as 30 inches, he said.


Read the full story on CNN

01:23  Sarkozy considering return to French politics:  

CNN: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will consider returning to politics to save his floundering center-right party, not because he wants to but because of patriotic "duty," according to an article to be published Thursday in a right-leaning magazine.


In an eight-page special called "In the head of Nicolas Sarkozy," the former president discusses his political future in public for the first time. He is quoted as saying in Valeurs Actuelles magazine that he has no desire to return to politics, a world that "bores him to death," and balks at the task of "picking up France in the state where the Socialist Party will leave it."


But, Sarkozy said, "there will be unfortunately a moment when the question will no longer be: 'Do you want to?' but 'Do you have a choice?'"

00:56  Kenyans celebrate 'boring' elections:  

There was something delightfully tedious about Kenya's election day. We spent it in Kisumu in the far west of the country, at the city's biggest sports grounds, where thousands of voters queued in scorching heat to cast their ballot.


When we arrived soon after the polls opened at 6:00am local time, the people at the front of the lines said they had turned up at 1.30am and sat through the night. It turned out to be a smart move '" latecomers (and by that I mean those who were lazy enough to arrive by 5:00am) had to wait up to nine hours to get to the ballot boxes. And throughout the day, as the lines inched their way across the hot, dusty fields, it was spectacularly routine.


People chatted, enterprising businessmen sold water and ice creams, and occasionally, when someone tried to jump the queue, the crowd shouted and jeered.


Read Peter Greste's full blog on Al Jazeera

00:54  Costa Concordia reveals its darkest secrets:  

The shock of seeing the forlorn hulk of the Costa Concordia hasn't been dimmed by time. I'm here once again on the pristine little Italian island of Giglio, made famous not for its beauty, but for the tragedy on its shores.


The Concordia is illuminated by salvage vessels in the inky dark March night. Plans are well advanced to move the vessel, but for now it remains stranded, a macabre beacon at the entrance to the island's main port.


Read the full story on CNN

00:14  Seven killed in Karachi violence:  

At least seven people were killed in separate incidents of violence in Pakistan's biggest city and financial hub Karachi, while businesses were forced to close down across the city at gunpoint by unidentified gunmen.        


Panic and fear spread across the metropolis as reports poured in of unidentified gunmen firing in many parts of the city, forcefully closing down businesses and blocking roads. Unknown individuals also torched vehicles and set tyres on fire in the worst affected areas.        


Soon after the violence began the Mutthaida Qaumi Movement, the single largest party in Karachi, also appealed that businesses and public transport remain shut in the city until those responsible for the Abbas town bombings three days back which killed 48 people and left around 135 injured were arrested.

00:12  Mumbai rave party chargesheet names Sharma, Parnell:  

The Mumbai police on Wednesday filed a chargesheet in `a rave party' case, wherein IPL player Rahul Sharma, actor couple Apoorva Agnihotri and Shilpa Agnihotri, and others had been rounded up after a raid on a suburban hotel.      South African cricketer Wayne Parnell has been showed as a wanted accused in the chargesheet.     


The police had conducted a raid in May last year on a party at a hotel in suburban Juhu, where drugs were allegedly being consumed, and rounded up around 86 persons.     


"We have filed a 1,200-page chargesheet against 86 persons while 35 accused, mostly foreigners, have been shown as wanted," said a police official. The wanted accused include foreigners who left the country after the medical examination.     


The chargesheet names Vishay Handa, the Director of the hotel, DJs Deepesh Sharma and Rakesh Sharma, Agnihotris, and Sharma, among others. The special NDPS Act court will first take cognisance of the chargesheet and then issue summons to the accused.

00:10  Syria rebels 'hold' UN Golan team:  

BBC: About 20 UN observers have been detained by about 30 armed fighters in the Golan Heights on the Syria-Israel border, the UN has confirmed. A video posted earlier on the internet showed men claiming to be Syrian rebels standing next to vehicles with the letters "UN" written on them.


The UN said the observers were monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel. A team is being despatched from the UN mission to assess the situation.

00:08  Top headlines at this hour:  

PM's dig on BJP: 'Jo garajte hain, wo baraste nahin'

PHOTOS: Curfew in parts of Kashmir; 22 injured in clashes

Hyd blasts: Toll rises to 17 as another victim dies

Not right time to repeal AFSPA in JK

Egypt court suspends parliamentary elections

CBI all set to probe UP DSP murder case

Maldives politics to remain charged up till next polls

Create better environment to further ties: PM to Pak

India maintains suspense on UN resolution on Lanka

No irregularities in farm debt waiver scheme: Pawar

Best MPs: Jaitley, Karan Singh, Sharad Yadav

Girl Mamata called 'Maoist' wants to join the system

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