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Befriending Meiyappan led to rise in Vindoo's fortunes

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May 23, 2013

23:32  Befriending Meiyappan led to rise in Vindoo's fortunes:  

Even as Gurunath Meiyappan, the principal of Chennai Super Kings has sought more time to appear before the Mumbai Crime Branch, the police are likely to call Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf for questioning in the ongoing betting racket. Meanwhile, the interrogation of Vindoo Dara Singh has revealed that the actor did earn money on betting only after he became friends with Mr. Meiyappan.


Mr. Singh, also known in betting circles as Jack, is a habitual bookie and had placed bets on last five Indian Premier League matches and suffered heavy losses in all five editions of IPL. "He became friends with Meiyappan two years ago and according to his confession made to us, he had earned more than Rs. 17 lakh in this IPL for the first time,' said an investigating officer.


The officers are probing the possible reasons behind actor's sudden success in betting only after his "introduction with the CSK boss. "We have not drawn any conclusions. But we are investigating reasons behind his sudden success in betting,' an officer said.


Read the full report on The Hindu

21:58  HC notice to Azam Khan over Jaya Prada's plea:  The Allahabad high court today sought a response from Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan and some others on a petition filed by actress-turned-MP Jaya Prada in connection with the removal of the red beacon from her vehicle.        

A division bench comprising Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Bharat Bhushan asked Azam, besides the additional regional transport officer of Rampur and the in-charge of Civil Lines Police station of the district, to file their personal affidavits by July 7.
21:56  Delhi reels under power cuts in scorching heat:  Delhi's hottest day of the season turned even worse for residents, as several areas across the city today suffered prolonged power cuts of up to six hours, due to technical glitches in the transmission network.        

Residents in various areas of West Delhi were the worst affected as a 220 KV transmission line of Delhi Transco Ltd in Pappankalan area tripped in the afternoon.
21:30  IPL: More rackets busted; Delhi, Mum cops to share info:  Andhra Pradesh police today claimed to have busted two IPL betting rackets with the arrest of 13 people in separate raids in Hyderabad and Nellore.        

Saroornagar police raided an apartment in Tirumala Nagar late last night and arrested seven persons. The police team seized four laptops, 18 cellphones, a TV set t,betting slips and Rs 19,600 in cash, DCP C Ravi Varma said.
21:26  Ready to provide spot-fixing info to Delhi cops: Mumbai police :  Amid reports that it was not cooperating with Delhi police in the IPL spot-fixing scandal probe, Mumbai police today said it was willing to provide all necessary information to its counterpart after the due legal procedure.        

"We both -- Mumbai and Delhi Police -- are extending full cooperation to each other in the probe. But there is certain information that Delhi police sought from us and for that our counterpart needed to take court permission," said Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Himanshu Roy.
21:25  Chennai Super Kings CEO seeks time to appear before cops:  Chennai Super Kings CEO Gurunath Meiyappan today sought time till Monday to appear before Mumbai police for questioning in connection with the IPL betting scandal, police said.        

Sources in the crime branch, probing the racket, said the request from Meiyappan for allowing him to appear on Monday was received this evening, hours after he was issued the summons.
21:24  UPA's performance chart a post-mortem report: Sukhbir :  Punjab Deputy Chief Minster and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today dismissed the 'report card' issued by the UPA-II as "a post-mortem report and a listless obituary."        

"Everybody knows that the UPA has been lying in mortuary for many years now. They are trying to hide the Congress under this camouflage, which has proved to be a desperate but failed publicity gimmick," he said.
21:23  BJD weakens Odisha's case for special category status: Centre:  The Centre today accused the ruling BJD in Odisha of weakening the state's case for getting special category status by giving wrong data on poverty.       

"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik diluted Odisha's case for special category state status by providing wrong and contradictory data on the number of poor and painting a robust picture of the state's economy," Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena told reporters.
21:22  Rahul meets Congress leaders over Delhi polls:  With assembly elections just months away, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today asked party leaders in Delhi to work unitedly to ensure the fourth successive victory for the party in the polls and sent out a clear message that indiscipline will not be tolerated by him.        

At the five-hour long interaction with separate groups of Congress workers, Gandhi underlined the need for better coordination between the party and the government while asking MLAs, MPs and senior leaders to start preparations for the polls slated for November.
20:18  London attack: Cameron says UK will never give in to terror:  British police today carried out raids to probe the murder of a soldier who was butchered and beheaded on a busy London street by two suspected Islamist extremists, as Prime Minister David Cameron vowed the country would remain resolute in its opposition to terrorism. 

After chairing an emergency meeting of the high-level COBRA crisis group, Cameron said Britain's communities would unite in condemning yesterday's attack which he described as a "betrayal of Islam".
19:53  Chechen killed by FBI in Boston probe 'not violent': Father:  A Chechen man shot dead by the FBI during questioning on his links to the Boston bombers was not violent, his father said in an interview broadcast today, speaking from his home town of Grozny in Chechnya. 

Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot by the FBI in Florida yesterday after he stabbed an agent during questioning on his possible involvement with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple homicide that took place before the Boston bombings, local media reported. 

Todashev's father, Abdulbaki Todashev, told Kremlin-funded RT television that his son knew Tsarnaev when he lived in Boston.
19:49  Court rejects parole bid from Pussy Riot hunger striker:  A court in Russia's Urals today rejected a request for parole by hunger-striking Pussy Riot punk rocker Maria Alyokhina, despite support from music luminaries including Paul McCartney. 

The hearing in the town of Berezniki stalled for several hours as judge Mikhail Shagalov searched for a new legal representative for the 24-year-old convict, who launched a hunger strike over not being allowed to be present personally in the court room.
19:34  Malaysian charged with sedition, 3 more arrested:  Malaysian authorities detained three anti-government figures, charged a student activist with sedition and seized hundreds of opposition newspapers today, raising political tensions after recent national elections triggered claims of fraud.
19:21  25 killed in 2 simultaneous car bombs in Niger:  Suicide bombers in Niger detonated two car bombs simultaneously today, one inside a military camp in the city of Agadez and another in the remote town of Arlit inside a French-operated uranium mine, killing a total of 25 people and injuring 29, according to the ministry of defence. 

The timing of the attacks, which occurred at the same moment more than 100 miles apart, and the fact that the bombers were able to penetrate both a well-guarded military installation and a sensitive, foreign-operated uranium mine, highlight the growing reach and sophistication of the Islamic extremists based in neighbouring Mali.
19:18  R K Mathur gets additional charge of defence secretary:  Secretary (Defence Production) Radha Krishna Mathur was today given the additional charge of Defence Secretary for three months after Shashikant Sharma was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). 

"R K Mathur was today given the additional charge of Defence Secretary for three months by the Government," an official said.
19:09  North Korea says willing to take China's advice to start talks:  North Korea is willing to take China's advice and enter into talks, Chinese state television cited an envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as saying, following weeks of tension on the Korean peninsula after the North's latest nuclear test.

However, that prospect seems unlikely as North Korea has repeatedly said it will not abandon nuclear weapons while the United States insists North Korea must take meaningful steps on denuclearization before there can be talks.
18:51  Delhi Metro stations to be under increased intel surveillance:  Security agencies have decided to bring Delhi metro stations under increased surveillance cover and share intelligence in case of any untoward activity to the facilities in the wake of recent incidents of firing and people organising protests on rail tracks. 

During a meeting of top Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh police, CISF, central security agencies and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials, it was decided to exchange more "intelligence" on suspicious movements towards Delhi Metro stations and ensure quick deployment of "unarmed" security personnel at the entry of these facilities.
18:43  ICC pulls out Pak umpire from Champions Trophy:  ICC has withdrawn Pakistan umpire Asad Rauf from the Champions Trophy starting June 6.  

The decision came after Rauf was being investigated by the Mumbai police. The cops are expected to question him for receiving gifts from a bookie. 

"In the wake of reports that the Mumbai Police are conducting an investigation into Asad Rauf's activities, we feel that it is in Asad's best interests as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy," Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, said.
18:27  Bookie gave Chandila Rs 12 lakh to fix last year's IPL matches:   Bookie Sunil Bhatia gave Rs 12 lakh to Ajit Chandila for fixing IPL-5 matches last year, claims the Delhi Police. Chandila failed to deliver and was asked to return the money. He returned Rs 4 lakh, while cheques for the remaining amount bounced.

Meanwhile, six bookies have been held from Nellore.
17:56  Mumbai police: Filmstars named by Vindoo may not be summoned:  Some Bollywood superstar(s?) somewhere is breathing a sigh of relief. The Mumbai police has said that it will not summon Bollywood stars for questioning just because Vindoo has named them in the spot-fixing scandal. The police also believe that CSK CEO will respond to summons and surrender by the 5 pm deadline tomorrow.
17:40  Vindoo tells cop: Glad dad is not alive, he would have felt bad :   Vindoo Dara Singh has apparently told Mumbai cops who arrested him on Tuesday, that it was "good that my father is not alive, otherwise he would have felt very bad."

Vindoo is the son of the late Dara Singh and has been arrested for heavy betting (so far) in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
17:09  Enforcement Directorate begins money laundering probe in IPL:  The Enforcement Directorate begins a money laundering probe in the IPL spot-fixing case. A criminal case has been registered. The Income Tax department has already joined the probe. A senior official in the Revenue department under the Finance Ministry said the agencies will focus on the illegal cash and transactions being routed by bookies and hawala dealers and will take the final plunge of registering separate cases after finishing their preliminary enquiries.
16:42   SC agrees to hear PIL challenging appointment of Sharma as CAG:  The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a PIL challenging appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra, however, said there is no urgency in taking up the matter during vacation and posted the case for hearing in July. Sharma was today sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee.
16:25  CSK CEO will be declared FUGITIVE, has to surrender tomorrow:   The deadline for CSK CEO Gurunath Meiyappan to surrender has been amended to tomorrow. The summons furnished by the Mumbai police state that he has to surrender between 11 am and 5 pm on Friday and if he fails to do so, he will be declared a fugitive. The Mumbai police pasted the summons at Meiyappan's  residence this afternoon, since he was not at home. For now, Meiyappan remains untraceable. 
16:01  23,473 killed by Mumbai suburban trains in 11 yrs:   Train accidents on suburban Mumbai local routes has claimed 23,473 lives in the past 11 years, information sought under the RTI has revealed.

"As per information given by Central Railway, in the last 11 years (till 2012) a total of 23,473 people lost their lives in various train accidents on suburban Mumbai routes," RTI activist and president of Thane District Railway Passengers Association, Om Prakash Sharma, who sought this information from Central Railway, told reporters here today.

"Out of the total number of victims, 14,554 were killed while they were crossing the tracks," Sharma said. The Mumbai Central Railway suburban locals run on various routes between the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Karjat, Kasara, Panvel, among others.

Sharma said that 4,561 commuters died after they fell from speeding trains; 253 died after being hit by poles located along the tracks, while 90 people died by falling in the gap between the train and the platform.
15:45  Group of Ministers on CBI autonomy to meet today:  The Group of Ministers (GoM) appointed to discuss modalities for ensuring greater independence for the Central Bureau of Investigation will meet on Thursday in Finance Minister P Chidambaram's office. According to a television channel report, the government had set up the GoM after the Supreme Court had pulled it over the lack of functional autonomy to the CBI. The Supreme Court in its order has asked the government to bring a law which gives the central agency a functional autonomy and also stops interference in its functioning.
15:32  Cops have nothing on Meiyappan, only want to question him:  Even as the police approach Guru Meiyappan, they are careful not to suggest that he was part of any fixing racket.

"The problem is the high stake bets in which he is allegedly involved and that is what we will question him about,' said an investigating officer to

"Apart from the call records that we have with us to suggest that there was a lot of conversation between Vindoo Dara Singh and Meiyappan, there are other questions that we need to ask him,' police officials informed.
15:30  Cops summon CSK CEO for questioning to Mumbai by Monday:  The Mumbai police have summoned CSK CEO Gurunath Meiyappan for questioning to Mumbai by Monday. The summons were pasted at Meiyappan's residence since he was not at home. 
15:28  Wife commits suicide before husband's eyes in Mumbai:  A 27-year-old woman committed suicide by hanging herself while her horrified husband watched the incident on a webcam. According to media reports, the incident took place in Mumbai's Ville Parle area, while the couple were chatting over the internet.

The woman was upset and arguing with her husband, whose parents had sent her back refusing to accept their marriage. The husband immediately called the woman''s family members but no one was able to reach in time.

As per reports, the duo had secretly married in court. But the two were living separately as the man''s parents allegedly demanded a dowry of Rs 20 lakh. The police have registered a case of dowry and have begun investigations
15:26  WB govt decides to take over 2 TV channels of Saradha Group :  The West Bengal government today decided to take over two television channels of scam-tainted Saradha Group which are facing closure. Announcing the decision, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at Writers' Buildings that the decision was taken following an appeal by employees of Tara News and Tara Muzic channels for government intervention.

She said that 168 employees of the channels would get an ex-gratia payment of Rs 16,000 each from this month. The state government would provide Rs 26 lakh from the CM's relief fund to run the channels.

The government would, however, not take the liability of the channels which amounted to Rs 6 crore, she said.

Noting that legislation was required for the purpose, she said the state government would decide whether it should convene a special session of the Assembly or promulgate an ordinance since the Assembly was not in session now. Saradha group allegedly cheated thousands of small investors through ponzi schemes.
15:22  Mumbai police leave CSK CEO's residence empty handed:   The Mumbai police are at CSK CEO Gurunath Meiyappan's residence in Chennai. Meiyappan is BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law. The police were made to wait outside and then were allowed inside the house by servants. They were told Meiyappan was not at home and is likely to return to Chennai either this evening or tomorrow. The police have pasted a copy of the summons at the residence. Difficult to believe that the Mumbai cops did not check ahead of arrival whether Meiyappan would be home.

Pic: Guru Meiyappan with MS Dhoni from his Twitter handle
14:55  Shashi Kant Sharma sworn in as CAG:  Shashi Kant Sharma was today sworn in as CAG by President Pranab Mukherjee in the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. The 61-year old 1976 Bihar cadre IAS officer replaced Vinod Rai, who superannuated yesterday after a five-and-a-half year eventful tenure as the head of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

"Shashi Kant Sharma will have a tenure up to September 24, 2017," an official statement said. He was holding the post of Defence Secretary prior to this new assignment.

Sharma's appointment comes at a time when the CAG has come under sharp attack from the government and ruling party for its reports on assessment of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in allocation of 2G spectrum.
14:30  Sushma puts Advani in PM race:  Sushma Swaraj today said the BJP would take an "appropriate decision at an appropriate time" on its prime ministerial candidate for 2014 but added the call would be taken in consultation with allies and stressed that L.K. Advani was a contender. Read
14:25  Sonia, Nooyi among worlds top 100 Most Powerful' women:  UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and India-origin PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi figure among the top 10 in the list of most powerful women globally. Gandhi is ranked ninth, while Nooyi is ranked at 10th on the list of world's 100 most powerful women leaders compiled by Forbes magazine for 2013.

ICICI Bank Managing Director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar is ranked 65th and Biocon Founder Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has secured the 85th position on the global list.Cisco Systems Chief Technology and Strategy Officer India-born Padmasree Warrior is ranked 57th.
13:48  Bomb threat at IIM Bangalore suspected to be hoax :   A call threatening to blow up the Indian Institute of Management campus, Bangalore, has created a furor. A call made to the IIM reception threatens to blow up the premises between 1.30 pm and 2 pm today.

The police were informed who rushed to the spot and evacuated everyone from the building. A bomb disposal squad and a dog squad have been pressed into service and a thorough search of the campus is being conducted.

The management however suspects that it could be a prank, but decided not to take any chances and informed the police. -- Vicky Nanjappa
13:40  Why the Sino-Pak alliance is economically worthless:  Pakistan's leaders love using laughably outrageous metaphors in describing the country's relationship with China, yet the truth is that this so-called alliance means almost nothing positive for the Pakistani economy. Read
13:38  Why IPL critics are mean AND wrong:  The uproar about the IPL following the 'revelations' about S. Sreesanth and his erring teammates threatens to become farcical. Sting-meister Aniruddha Bahal of Cobrapost suggested on a television show that franchises ought to be punished for the misdemeanours of contracted players.  Read Mukul Kesavan's piece for the Telegraph.
13:36  How to make the elephant dance:  Rumours are that former president Pervez Musharraf is getting ready for a safe exit from the country. Many believe this to be a compromise and the PML-N leadership would earnestly avoid the dilemma of taking on the former dictator. Read the full report.
13:18  Sakshi Dhoni tweets: Kuch to log kahenge... :   ABP News reports that the Mumbai Police is likely to question Chennai Super King's skipper MS Dhoni's wife Sakshi in the match fixing probe.

Vindoo Dara Singh was pictured watching CSK matches with Sakshi seated next to him. The police are likely to question her on her friend Sakshi Jhala, who is S Sreesanth's girlfriend. Jhala has been close to Sreesanth for the last four years and was introduced to Sreesanth by Sakshi Dhoni. Jhala, who lives in Jaipur, was was gifted a Z-10 Blackberry phone by arrested cricketer S Sreesanth. She and her family were questioned yesterday.

And here's what Sakshi Singh Dhoni tweets: @SaakshiSRawat: For hindi song lovers....kuch toh log kahengay...logo ka kaam hai kehnaa.
13:04  Movie on bra designers behind Apollo space programme:  A team of bra and girdle designers, who build the iconic spacesuit for Apollo space programme, are getting a movie on their life. Warner Bros has hired Richard Cordiner to script 'Spacesuit'. Based on the book by Nicholas de Monchaux, the film tells the true story of the team from Playtex who successfully built the iconic spacesuit that enabled Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to walk on the moon, the Deadline reported. This unusual team was led by a former TV repairman, a car mechanic, and their crew seamstresses as they build the spacesuit.
12:49  Superb slideshow on the Telegraph: Red carpet faux pas. Watch
12:39  It was like bereavement, says Dravid on spot-fixing :  Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid says dealing with the turmoil caused by the spot-fixing scandal, which has left his team's reputation in tatters, has turned out to be as tough as handling "bereavement in some ways" Read
12:35  Nirbhaya mango: We really don't know where to draw the line :  Well-deserved flak on Twitter for naming a mango Nirbhaya after the Delhi gang-rape victim.

Eccentricandhow: Mango named after Nirbhaya? Ironically, that somehow goes on to show the true plight of 'Aam' admi.

Simply Scouse! ‏First a train, then an award and now a mango named after Nirbhaya. Tribute is okay, how about some justice now?

Navneet Nagpal ‏Are you serious ? Sick !! Absurd !! A new mango variety has been named 'Nirbhaya' after Delhi gangrape victim

Saumya Baijal Is this a tasteless,absurd joke? Is this the respect we have for a girl who was mutilated and died? Justice? Naming a Mango after Nirbhaya!

Nilofer A Shaikh ‏Could it be more disgraceful than this?
"Now, mango named after Delhi gangrape victim."
12:24  CSK CEO to be questioned:   A Mumbai police team is in Chennai to question Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan who is also the co-owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, reports Vicky Nanjappa.

The police will question Meiyappan following a statement by Vindoo Dara Singh that he was in touch with the man who is also the team principal of CSK.

Vindoo was arrested on charges of betting and the police had picked up on intercepts of his calls made to a bookie by the name Ramesh Vyas. Vindoo was spotted at a number of matches played by the Chennai Super Kings and his calls to Meiyappan has only led the police to believe that there is something more to this.

The case against Vindoo Dara Singh is circumstantial in nature- at least for the moment. The investigators have leads to suggest that he had taken part in betting which is illegal in India. The police during their questioning of Meiyappan would try and find out why so many calls were made by Vindoo and if he was aware of a betting racket and also did he have anything to do with it.
11:58  In Yerwada jail, Sanjay Dutt is qaidi number 16656:  In his third innings at Yerawada Central Prison, 53-year-old actor Sanjay Dutt will be identified as qaidi number 16656. Brought to Yerawada early Wednesday morning, the actor has been lodged in a separate cell in security barrack number three, which officials say has a "pleasant natural setting" with lots of trees dotting the open area around it. Read the full story here.
11:49   Nawaz Sharif seeks civil-nuclear technology from China:  Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif today sought civil nuclear technology to overcome Pakistan's energy crisis during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Sharif called on Li at a hotel here this morning and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations in different fields. He focussed on civil nuclear technology, trade and foreign investment during his talks with Li, Geo News channel quoted its sources as saying.
11:45  Indian is First Female Amputee up Everest:  Almost two years to the day since a moving train severed Arunima Sinha's left leg just below the knee, the 26-year-old Indian arrived at Everest base camp ready to climb the world's highest mountain.On Tuesday morning just before 11 o'clock she became the first female amputee to reach the summit. Read
11:19  Bizarre! New mango named after Delhi gang-rape victim:  A new variety of mango, harvested at Uttar Pradesh's famous mango centre Malihabad, has been named Nirbhaya after the 23-year-old Delhi girl who was brutally gang-raped on December 16 last year and died of her injuries two weeks later. The new variety, its grower Kaleemullah Khan said, was his way of honouring the bravery and spirit of the young physiotherapist, whose rape and death galvanised the entire nation. Read more
11:16  Araceli Roiz pregnant with Phaneesh Murthy's child, will sue him:  iGate's ousted CEO Phaneesh Murthy will face court action for sexually harassing the company's investor relations head Araceli Roiz, Roiz's law firm said in a press release issued late on Wednesday night. The California-based law firm, Aiman-Smith & Marcy, said that Roiz was pregnant with Murthy's child.

It said that when Murthy discovered this, he pressured Roiz to have an abortion. "When she refused, he told her to leave the company, quietly, to protect his position as CEO," the law firm said. Read
11:15  Meet on MGNREGA on May 29:   The Public Accounts Committee to take up MGNREGA on May 29 for a scrutiny of the allocation of funds. Dr MM Joshi, who is chairperson of the PAC wants senior officials of rural development ministry to be present for the audit and accountability of spending funds. Insiders in government may brazen it out, but Opposition will try to make MGNREGA a mini 2G scam. It certainly looms large as a poll issue. 
10:54  Sree's girlfriend gifted tiger poster in exchange for Blackberry:   The family of Sakshi Jhala at Hawa Sadak locality in Jaipur was astonished at the way their daughter was projected a day after it was found that the special cell of Delhi Police recovered a Z-10 Blackberry phone gifted to her by arrested cricketer S Sreesanth.  Read more
10:48  Eye-for-an-eye said attackers as they beheaded victim:  Update on the London terror attack: A British broadcaster ran a video taken on a cellphone of what appeared to be one of the attackers, his hands covered in blood, making political statements about "an eye for an eye" as a body lay behind him.  Read more
10:43  India in a dilemma over Afghan arms plea :   Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked India for weapons and equipment for his country's military, immediately putting New Delhi in a quandary. The Afghan request comes as the country prepares for a drawdown of US troops in 2014, Pakistan has just elected a new Prime Minister in Nawaz Sharif who has shown positive vibes to India and Karzai himself has become tired of the presidency. Read
10:15  India's popularity nosedives, Germany tops list:  
Germany is the most positively viewed nation in the world in this year's annual Country Ratings Poll for the BBC World Service.

More than 26,000 people were surveyed internationally for the poll.

They were asked to rate 16 countries and the European Union on whether their influence in the world was "mainly positive" or "mainly negative".

The poll also indicates that positive views of China and India have fallen sharply around the world over the last year. After improving for several years, views of China have sunk to their lowest level since polling began in 2005, putting it in ninth position.

India is ranked 12th, with negative views (35%) slightly outnumbering positive ones (34%) for the first time.

Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran came out worst in terms of how they are viewed globally. Only 15% of respondents said they saw Iran as having a mainly positive influence.
09:24  Shashi Kant Sharma to take oath as CAG today:  
Shashi Kant Sharma will take over as the Comptroller and Auditor General today, succeeding Vinod Rai who demitted office on Wednesday after an eventful five-and-a-half years during which the audit body was locked in confrontations with the government. 

The 61-year old Sharma would be administered oath of office and secrecy by President Pranab Mukherjee 

Sharma a 1976-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer is currently the Defence Secretary. Sharma holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of York.

Like Rai, Sharma too has served as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services. He has spent over 10 years in the Defence Ministry in various capacities.

The CAG is appointed for a term of six years or till the incumbent attains the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
09:22  Dec 16 gang rape case: Court summons lady officer:  
Pratibha Sharma, the investigating officer, who was initially heading the probe in the December 16 gang rape, has been summoned today by a fast track court to record her crucial testimony in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna directed that summons be issued for Thursday to the lady sub-inspector who was heading the probe, which was later transferred to her senior.

The court has also summoned P K Gautam, an official from CFSL, CBI on Thursday as prosecution witness. He had on December 17 taken photographs of the bus in which the 23-year-old paramedic student was allegedly gangraped.

Gautam has been summoned as a witness on a plea of Delhi Police following deposition of a CFSL scientific officer, who had compared the bus depicted in the CCTV footage with the photographs taken by Gautam.

These photographs were not submitted in the court by the Investigating Officer and the defence counsel argued that it was negligence on part of IO. 
09:21  PM to unveil India's first military studies university:  
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will today lay the foundation stone of the country's first dedicated university for military studies at Gurgaon near New Delhi.

The Indian National Defence University (INDU) was recommended to be set up by a committee formed after the Kargil conflict in 1999 stressing on the need for an institution to deal exclusively with defence and strategic matters.

"The Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the INDU at Binola in Gurgaon. The aim of INDU would be to provide military leadership and other civilian officials concerned with emerging security challenges through scholarly research and training," the Defence Ministry said here. 

"The INDU will develop and propagate higher education in defence studies, defence management, defence science and technology and promote policy oriented research related to national defence," it said.
03:43  Are the dark days returning to Iraq?:  

According to the United Nations' mission in Iraq, 712 Iraqis were violently killed in April 2013. This is both normal and extraordinary. It is normal because it pales into comparison beside the monthly death toll in the worst years of the country's civil war. It is extraordinary because it is the highest such figure since that civil war subsided five years ago.


Understanding the violence requires grasping three confluent trends: the increasingly authoritarian streak of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the rise of both peaceful and violent protest among Iraq's aggrieved Sunni minority (a fifth of the population), and, finally, a regional trend of worsening sectarian tensions between Shia and Sunni Muslims.


Read Shashank Joshi's full analysis on CNN

03:39  US admits drones killed four Americans in Yemen, Pak:  

The US has killed four of its own citizens in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, the Barack Obama administration has formally acknowledged. Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, said in a letter addressed to congressional leaders on Wednesday that three of those killed were not targets of the strikes involving drones in Yemen and elsewhere.


Holder named the four dead US citizens in a letter to members of Congress one day before President Obama is scheduled to deliver an address on the use of drones. The letter defends the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the one dead American who was an intended target of a drone strike in September 2011, the letter said.  


Read the full report on Al Jazeera 

Image: An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is pictured as it flies over the aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

01:13  Swedish capital shaken by 3 nights of rioting:  

Rioting has broken out for the past three nights in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, with scores of cars set alight and violent clashes between police and youths. The shooting death of a man by police is blamed for the demonstrations.


More than 100 vehicles were set on fire Sunday night just in the northern suburb of Husby, Stockholm police press officer Kjell Lindgren told CNN on Wednesday. Another 29 were set on fire Tuesday night in the wider district, he said. Eight people were arrested in Husby Tuesday night, which was quieter than the previous two nights, he said.


Read the full report on CNN

01:12  London murder suspect caught on camera?:  

A man thought to be a serving British soldier was killed by two armed men in a frenzied attack on a London street Wednesday, in what the government is treating as a suspected act of terrorism.


Witnesses told of a gruesome scene in which the man was hit by a car, then hacked with cleavers and his body dumped in the middle of the road in Woolwich, southeast London. The two suspects in the killing were injured in a confrontation with police and have been taken to two hospitals, where they are being treated.


CNN affiliate ITN aired a video showing a man with bloody hands and holding a meat cleaver, who says, "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."


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Photograph: Video grab of the London murder suspect, courtesy

00:30  Man 'linked to Boston suspect' killed by FBI:  

Al Jazeera: An FBI agent has shot and killed a Florida man who "turned violent" while being questioned about the Boston Marathon bombings, the bureau has said.A friend of the dead man told the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando television stations that he was 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev of Orlando, a Chechen who had previously lived in Boston.


Two brothers identified by the FBI as suspects in the April 15 bombings were also of Chechen origin. The FBI said in a statement that a special agent, "acting on the imminent threat posed by the individual, responded with deadly force. The individual was killed and the special agent was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries".


Photograph: Reuters

00:26  Top headlines at this hour:  

PIX: 'Soldier beheaded' in suspected terror attack in London

Amidst controversies, UPA paints rosy picture of government

China, Pakistan ink trade, border agreements

Sonia, PM attack BJP for disrupting Parliament, stalling bills

Mulayam absent at UPA II's last lap function

No rift with PM, we all stand by him: Sonia

PM on UPA's fourth anniversary: We have taken India forward

Ishrat case: CBI seeks police's help to trace senior cop

CBI files charge-sheet in assets case against Madhu Koda

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