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Russia PM switches to helicopter for daily commute

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March 27, 2013

22:11  Russia PM switches to helicopter for daily commute:  Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has switched to using a helicopter rather than a car for his trip to work from his suburban residence and other travel around Moscow, a spokeswoman said today. 

The move appears to be a bid by the premier, who lives in his suburban Gorki residence west of Moscow, to placate irate drivers who are forced to face massive traffic snarls every time his long motorcade swings by. 

"He will always do this (take the helicopter) whenever the weather allows," Natalya Timakova told AFP.
21:58  World Bank welcomes establishment of BRICS Bank:  Welcoming the establishment of a BRICS Bank, the World Bank today said it is ready to work closely with the new player to end poverty and build shared prosperity throughout the developing world. 

"We welcome the announcement of the establishment of a BRICS development bank and stand ready to work closely with the new bank to end poverty and build shared prosperity throughout the developing world," the Bank said in a statement. 

The World Bank Group, the spokesperson said, already works with all the BRICS countries sharing our knowledge and making available financial resources.
20:55  Pre-dawn operation removes part of Berlin:  Work crews backed by about 250 police personnel removed parts of the Berlin Wall known as the East Side Gallery before dawn today to make way for an upscale building project, despite demands that the site be preserved. 

Residents of the area expressed shock at the move, which followed several protests including one attended by American celebrity David Hasselhoff. 

Police spokesman Alexander Toennies said there were no incidents as work began about 5 am to remove four sections of the wall, each about 1.2m wide. That will make way for an access route to the planned high-rise luxury apartments along the nearby Spree River.
20:11  Assad urges BRICS help to 'stop the violence' in Syria:  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urged the BRICS nations today to help "stop the violence" in his country and put an end to the suffering of his people he said is caused by international sanctions. 

At the same time, rights watchdog Amnesty International said the world must apply pressure "to all parties in the Syrian conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and human rights law". 

"I call on the BRICS leaders to work together to immediately stop the violence in Syria in order to guarantee the success of a political solution," Assad said of the group of emerging powers.
20:05  Deputy sarpanch shot at in Kashmir:  A deputy sarpanch was allegedly shot at and injured by militants in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, police said today.

Noor Mohammad Khan (50), deputy sarpanch from Bongamin Kupwara, reported at a police station in Kupwara after he was shot this morning, a police spokesman said.
19:44  UN calls on Taliban to join peace process :  The UN envoy to Afghanistan called on the Taliban today to join peace efforts as the bulk of NATO combat troops prepare to leave the country by the end of next year. 

"My message to the insurgency is basically a sort of long-term message: you are Afghans, you care, I assume, about your country, you care about peaceful stable future of the country," Jan Kubis told a news conference. 

The withdrawal and next year's presidential election, when President Hamid Karzai will step down after 13 years in power, have lent urgency to the search for a negotiated settlement to end Afghanistan's decades of conflict.
19:39  Vaiko seeks criminal prosecution of Lankan envoy:  MDMK chief Vaiko today sought criminal prosecution of a Sri Lankan envoy under sedition charges for allegedly trying to instigate north Indians against the people of Tamil Nadu. 

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam has blatantly violated "diplomatic immunity" by reportedly sending email to media houses recently in which he claimed Sinhalese have their origin in Odisha and West Bengal, he said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
19:09  Strong quake kills one, injures 86 in Taiwan:  A strong earthquake killed one person and injured at least 86 others in Taiwan today as violent shock waves damaged buildings and triggered two blazes, emergency officials said. 

The US Geological Survey measured the quake at magnitude 6.0 and said it struck at 10:03 am (local time), 48 kilometres east of Nantou county in central Taiwan at a depth of 20.7 kilometres. 

Taiwan's central weather bureau put the magnitude at 6.1, saying it was the largest quake this year and was felt across the island. Five aftershocks measuring from 3.7-4.3 in magnitude occurred in the two hours after the main tremor, it said.
18:37  North Korea says it has cut key military hotline:   Raising tensions with South Korea yet again, North Korea cut a military hotline that has been essential in operating the last major symbol of inter-Korean cooperation: an industrial complex in the North that employs hundreds of workers from the South.

There was no immediate word about what cutting one of the few remaining official North-South links would mean for South Korean workers who were at the Kaesong industrial complex. When the link was last cut, in 2009, many South Koreans were stranded in the North.
17:57  Musharraf to contest polls from Chitral in north Pak:  Former President Pervez Musharraf will contest the upcoming general election from a parliamentary constituency in Chitral in northern Pakistan, members of his political party announced today. 

Musharraf will file nomination papers for the constituency in Chitral area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province tomorrow, said Shahzada Khalid Pervez, a leader of the All Pakistan Muslim League.
17:56  Karuna joins issue with Jaya on Katchatheevu:  Joining issue with his arch rival and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, DMK president M Karunanidhi today said the tiny islet of Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka by the Indira Gandhi government in 1974 despite strong protest from the then ruling DMK. 

"The DMK government had expressed strong opposition to the government's decision to cede Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka. Despite that, it was ceded and upon our insistence various provisions on traditional rights of fishing, drying nets and pilgrimage were added," he said in a letter to partymen.
17:54  Kerala CM offers support to KCA to host IPL:   Kerala government today expressed readiness to host IPL games in case of shift in venue from Chennai in the wake of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa opposing participation of Sri Lankan players and support staff in matches in her state. 

"We welcome the matches. Government would offer full support to Kerala Cricket Association if the need arose to conduct matches at Kochi," Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters after a cabinet meeting here.
17:15  How the star escaped TADA:  His other co-accused have all been convicted under the stringent anti-terrorist law on evidence much less damning. Ashish Khetan and Harinder Baweja unearth court records that point to Sanjay's exact role.

Read the full article here
16:58  War room leak case: Accused loses extradition appeal:   Naval War Room leak case accused Ravi Shankaran today lost his appeal against being extradited to India to stand trial.     

District Judge Nicholas Evans at Westminster Magistrates Court in London said in his ruling today that he had been presented with no evidence to prove that there wasn't a "case to answer".     

The case will now be sent to the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, who will decide on ordering Shankaran's extradition to India.
15:43  B'desh orders shoot at sight during opposition strike:  Bangladeshi authorities today issued "shoot at sight" orders as main opposition BNP and its allies in 18-party coalition enforced a nationwide 36-hour strike demanding resignation of the ruling Awami League government.

"Orders have been issued to shoot at sight the saboteurs who will be seen setting on fire the trains or buses or carrying out sabotages of different other types as Home Minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir met with senior officers of police and other law enforcement agencies ahead of the hartal," the mass circulation Prothom Alo newspaper reported.
15:41  1 Indian among two killed by French troops in C Africa:  An Indian and a Nepali man were the two people killed by French troops when they opened fire on vehicles approaching the airport in the capital of the Central African Republic, Indian authorities confirmed today. 

Earlier it was reported that two Indians were killed in the incident on Monday but Indian authorities confirmed that an Indian from Karnataka's port city of Mangalore was killed and the other victim was a Nepali man whose wife was Indian, hailing from Lucknow.
15:40  Chargesheet filed against six for Swiss woman's gangrape:  The Datia police have filed a chargesheet against six accused in a local court, for allegedly gangraping a Swiss woman on March 16 in a forest, the police said. 

It was perhaps for the first time that a chargesheet in a gangrape case was filed without any test identification parade (TIP) of the accused.
15:39  TDP MLAs' hunger strike continues for second day:  About 24 TDP MLAs continued their indefinite hunger-strike for the second day here today demanding immediate withdrawal of Andhra Pradesh government's proposal to enhance power tariff and also take urgent steps to mitigate the grave electricity crisis. 

The TDP legislators launched the indefinite hunger-strike last night after the budget session of Assembly was adjourned sine die at the end of a 11-hour-long debate on the power crisis.
14:13  Apple in court in China over 'Siri' claim:  Apple appeared in a Shanghai court today, accused by a Chinese firm of copying software used for the "Siri" personal assistant on its hugely popular iPhones. 

The Californian company's products are big sellers in China, and chief executive Tim Cook said in January he expects it to surpass the US as the firm's largest market, but the relationship is sometimes troubled. 

Shanghai's Zhizhen Network Technology Co. claims Apple infringed its patent for voice recognition software, and the two companies will exchange evidence at a pre-trial hearing, representatives of the Chinese firm said.
14:12  Facebook chief Zuckerberg tackling politics: report :  Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is helping form a group to lobby for US political reform in areas such as education and immigration policy, according to US media reports spreading online. 

The San Francisco Chronicle, Politico, and the Wall Street Journal were among outlets reporting yesterdy that the 28-year-old co-founder of the world's leading social network was helping unite technology industry in a political action group. News reports cited unnamed sources and Facebook would not comment.
14:09  Notice issued to RS Deputy Chairman P J Kurien:  A sessions court issues notice to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien and four others on revision plea filed by Suriyanelli rape victim.
13:17  Jayalalithaa moves anti-Lanka resolution:  
The Tamil Nadu Assembly has adopted a resolution asking the Centre to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country.

The resolution moved by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa calls for referendum on separate Eelam among Tamils in Sri Lanka and Lankan Tamils abroad. 
13:11  Accused in Delhi Metro station shooting kills self:  The man who shot dead his wife at the entrance of a metro station in New Delhi yesterday has allegedly committed suicide. 

His body was found hanging from a tree near a railway station at Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh today. Pawan Kumar had yesterday shot at his wife and his father-in-law while they were on an escalator at the entrance of the Karkardooma metro station in east Delhi. 

The two were rushed to a hospital where the woman succumbed to her injuries. Her father is still critical in the ICU.

Read more
13:06  Suu Kyi makes symbolic debut at Myanmar army parade:  Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today made a symbol-laden appearance at an annual military parade for the first time, underscoring the country's startling transformation. 

Her attendance at the Armed Forces Day parade in the capital Naypyidaw came as the military reaffirmed its role in national politics, two years after the generals ceded power to a reformist government. 

The show of strength comes as the government of President Thein Sein -- a former general -- grapples with spreading Buddhist-Muslim violence that has left 40 people dead in the past week.
13:05  Kejriwal's fast enters fifth day:  AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal's indefinite fast against "inflated" power bills entered the fifth day today, even as the party said that his health "deteriorated". In a statement, Aam Aadmi Party claimed Kejriwal's health has "deteriorated further". 

His blood pressure is 114/70, pulse 74 and sugar 108. His weight has fallen from 65 kgs on Day 1 and is now 59.5 kgs. The Ketone in his urine sample is 4+, the medical team said. 

It also claimed that 82,726 people yesterday signed protest letters pledging not to pay the "inflated" power and water bills, taking the total to over the 2.69 lakh mark.
12:55  Ex CIA head says sorry in first speech since quitting:  Former CIA chief David Petraeus apologized for the "mistake" that triggered his resignation last year, in his first public speech since quitting due to an extramarital affair. 

Addressing a military audience in Los Angeles, the four-star general voiced regret for the "pain" caused by his relationship with his biographer Paula Broadwell, pledging to try to "make amends to those I have hurt and let down."

"I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago," Petraeus told over 600 veterans and Reserve Officers' Training Corps students hosted by the University of Southern California (USC).
11:57  BSP leader shot dead: Cops release CCTV footage:   The Delhi Police has released video footage that it says is from CCTV cameras at the farmhouse where BSP leader and real estate tycoon Deepak Bhardwaj was shot dead this morning.

The 27-second clip shows a grey Skoda car drive up to the farmhouse gate. Two men follow, one brandishing a revolver, apparently to threaten the security guard, and open the gate. 

The gun-toting man turns briefly and his face is visible for a few seconds before the two follow the car out of the farmhouse. The camera clock shows 9.14 in the morning.

Read more
11:22  Gunmen attack villages in northern Nigeria, 28 killed:  At least 28 people have been killed in an attack by unidentified gunmen, who also set ablaze houses in Nigeria's northern state of Plateau, officials said. 

The gunmen attacked the villages in Ganawuri district in Plateau under Riyom local government area on Monday, shooting indiscriminately and setting ablaze houses, they said yesterday. 

They said houses and churches in villages of DaJak, Attakar, Zadien, Luka and Marid were set on fire by the attackers forcing the villagers to flee to neighbouring Kaduna State.
11:21  Strong earthquake sways buildings in Taiwan:  A strong earthquake has been felt throughout Taiwan, but no casualties or damage has been reported yet. The Central Weather Bureau says the quake today registered at magnitude 6.1. 

The tremor struck a rural township in Nantou County, about 250 kilometers south of Taipei where it swayed buildings. Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage.
11:21  North Korea to hold meeting of top leaders: report:  North Korea's top leaders are to meet in the coming days to decide on an unspecified "important" issue, official media said today, as tensions simmer on the Korean peninsula. 

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party's Central Committee will convene its plenary meeting before the end of March to "discuss and decide an important issue for victoriously advancing the Korean revolution", the Korean Central News Agency said. 

KCNA did not specify the date for the meeting, which will also reportedly make a "drastic turn" in accomplishing the North's Juche (self-reliance) revolutionary cause.
11:18  Kudankulam I will be operational next month: Manmohan Singh :  The controversial Kudankulam Unit I of the atomic power reactor in Tamil Nadu will become operational by next month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said. He gave this assurance to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two met here late last night on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. 

"I am pleased to inform you that Kudankulam I will become operational and critical by next month. As for Units III and IV we have secured all internal approvals and we hope to operationalise our cooperation on Unit III and IV," Singh told Putin.
03:44  Myanmar communal riots prompt more curfews:  

Curfews have been imposed on three more Burmese towns as attacks on Muslim communities spread closer to Rangoon. Mosques and other Muslim buildings have been attacked by crowds of Buddhists in towns on the road from Rangoon to Pyay, about 200km (125 miles) to the north.


The US has warned its citizens to avoid travel to parts of Burma due to the violence, which began a week ago. A state of emergency is in force in the central town of Meiktila, where some 40 deaths have been reported.


Read the full report on BBC

03:42  Who really killed Osama bin Laden?:  

CNN exclusive: A member of the secretive SEAL Team 6 tells CNN that a previous account of Osama bin Laden's shooting is completely wrong.


Read the complete story here

02:12  Kudankulam operational by April: PM to Putin:  Sheela Bhatt reports from Durban: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing BRICS Summit, has promised the latter that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district will be operational by next month.
01:15  BBC suspends Lanka broadcasts after 'interference':  

BBC World Service has suspended all its broadcasts in Sri Lanka due to "continued interruption and interference" in its Tamil programming.        


"We regret the disruption in service to our loyal audiences in Sri Lanka, but such targeted interference in our programmes is a serious breach of trust with those audiences, which the BBC cannot allow," said Peter Horrocks, World Service director.        


Both English language and Tamil services broadcast via the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation will be stopped with immediate effect, Britain's premier broadcasting agency said, after its FM relay programmes between March 16 and 18 were jammed and further disruption occurred yesterday.

00:26  Najam Sethi's name approved as Punjab interim CM:  

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Tuesday approved the name of journalist Najam Sethi for the Punjab caretaker chief minister slot.


Hours before the matter would have gone to the Election Commission of Pakistan for a final solution, the PML-N, after a grand review meeting finalised the name of the award winning journalist.


Read the full report on Express Tribune


Read here the Real Story behind Daniel Pearl kidnapping on Foreign Policy

00:08  5.5 earthquake hits Mexico's Pacific coast:  CNN: A 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico's Pacific coast in the southern state of Oaxaca Tuesday morning, near the city of Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.  
00:07  PM meets Putin on BRICS summit sidelines:  External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin has just tweeted the picture of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the ongoing BRICS Summit in Durban.
00:06  Top headlines at this hour:  

Italian Foreign Minister resigns over marines' issue

Colonel, 164 soldiers to face tough action for Ladakh fracas

Amar Singh, Jaya Prada seek pardon for Sanjay Dutt

ONLY Rahul Gandhi will become PM: Congress

Badal terms Third Front talk a 'figment of imagination'

Why is UPA silent on China-Pak bonhomie, asks BJP

Kejriwal's fast into 4th day, health on 'decline'

France probes death of two Indians in Central African Republic

India supports Japan's freedom of navigation on high seas

BSP politician killed in shootout at Delhi farmhouse

Lankan IPL players NOT ALLOWED in TN: Jaya to PM

VIDEO: Woman shot dead at Delhi Metro station

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