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Live! Israel bombs Gaza tunnel; 4 Hamas militants killed

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November 01, 2013

23:55  Obama meets Maliki as war still tears Iraq:  President Barack Obama welcomes Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to the White House today, as sectarian violence in the country hits its deadliest peak since April 2008. 

The Oval Office talks take place nearly two years after the last American troops left Iraq following an eight-year occupation and as a wave of Al-Qaeda attacks sows terror in the Iraqi Shiite community.
23:54  Israel bombs Gaza tunnel; 4 Hamas militants killed:  Israeli aircraft bombed what the military described as a "terror tunnel" used by Hamas in Gaza and the militant Palestinian group said three of its fighters were killed in the strike early Friday.

The military said it carried out the strike after five of its soldiers were wounded as they tried to demolish another tunnel used by the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza. That incident drew Israeli fire that killed one Hamas militant.
23:24  Gunfire reported at Los Angeles airport:  Ritu Jha reports: A shooting has been reported at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Southern California, early Friday morning.

According to news published in Los Angeles Times, a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) employee has been shot and several wounded.

According to preliminary reports the incident happened at terminal 3,when an armed man with a rifle opened fire.

The suspect is in custody.
22:25  Pak Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud killed in drone strike: Dawn :   Dawn reports: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a United States drone strike in North Waziristan tribal agency today, intelligence officials said.

Five militants, including Abdullah Bahar Mehsud and Tariq Mehsud, both key militant commanders and close aides of the TTP chief, were also killed in the drone strike.

Read the full report here

21:35  Odisha teacher who was set on fire dies :  Battling for life for five days, an Odisha teacher who was set ablaze for refusing to withdraw a complaint of molestation in Raygada district, died today.

The 36-year-old teacher posted in an upper primary school at Tikri and admitted to a hospital in Visakhapatnam in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh with 90 per cent burns after being set on fire by a man on Sunday night, died during the day, Rayagada district collector Dr S B Padhi said.

With the death sparking a statewide outcry, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the CID, Crime Branch to investigate the incident.
21:01  India's maiden mission to be launched on Nov 5:   NDTV reports: ISRO today cleared launch of India's maiden mission to Mars on Nov 5.

The Mangalyaan was to be launched as early as October 28, but was postponed because of rough weather in the Pacific Ocean.   
20:32  PM reviews infrastructure along China, Pakistan borders:  Measures being taken to improve infrastructure along the border with China and Pakistan and the maritime boundary are understood to have been discussed ata high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.   

The meeting of National Security Council was attended by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Defence Minister A K Antony and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, sources said.   

Senior officials of defence and home ministries also attended the meeting which deliberated upon infrastructure along the border and its management, they said.   

The meeting comes in the wake of India signing a pact with China for avoiding flare-ups between troops of the two sides with both of them coming closer to each other due to development of border infrastructure.
19:23  Live! Lata Mangeshkar: Hope Narendra Modi becomes PM:  Narendra Modi at the inauguration of the Dinanath Mangeshkar hospital in Pune, dedicated to Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle's father. Paying tribute to the Mangeshkar family, he says Didi (Lata Mangeshkar) called him to inaugurate the hospital and wrote him a touching letter, which is a big gift for him.

Lata in turn says she hopes Modi becomes PM.
19:03  FM confident of pushing insurance Bill in Winter session:  The government will push the long pending insurance bill, which seeks to raise FDI cap in the sector to 49 per cent from 26 per cent in the Winter session of Parliament, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.

He said the government has secured the support of the principal opposition party (BJP) for the passage of the insurance Bill.

"The opposition parties have promised me they will pass the insurance Bill...  Most parties, including the principal opposition party, have expressed their support for insurance bill. I hope with majority support, if not unanimous support, we will be able to pass the insurance bill," he said.
19:01  My close encounter with Somalia's whip-wielding al-Shabab. Read
18:59  Prez's award winning headmaster suspended for molesting minor student:  A President's award winning headmaster of a school in Odisha's Malkangiri district has been suspended on the charge of molesting a minor girl student of his school.
18:44  Asaram: I'm not Dracula who drinks children's blood:   Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, currently lodged in a jail in Gujarat, has once again lost a petition seeking to restrain the media from reporting on sexual assault allegations against him.

The 75-year-old had moved the court to stop two TV channels from airing allegedly slanderous reports about him saying they were projecting him as a "dracula who drank children's blood." Read more
18:18  Saddam's former Basra palace faces new life as Iraqi cultural hub:  Work nears completion on Basra Museum, Saddam's former palace, which will display antiquities from Iraq's Assyrian, Babylonian and Arabic past. Read
18:03  105 Black Cat commandos, 7 bomb disposal squads for Modi's Patna rally:   When Narendra Modi arrives in Patna tonight, the security organised for him will be unprecedented in the 64-year-old's political career, and similar to what is arranged for the Prime Minister.

On Sunday, Modi addressed a massive rally in Patna after a series of bombs exploded in and around the venue, killing six people and injuring nearly 80.

The BJP's candidate for prime minister was unharmed; tomorrow, he will visit the families of those who died. Read
17:55  No beautiful wife, no bungalow: The many regrets of India's terror chief:  Yasin Bhatkal, the chief of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen who was recently arrested by Indian security agencies, came across as extremely bitter and disillusioned about his mentor -- the Inter Services Intelligence -- during his interrogation. Read
17:33  Fire at firecracker unit in Kumbakonam:  Just in: There's been a fire at a firecracker unit at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu killing at least nine and injuring four. Details awaited.
17:32  If you want to build statue of unity, build it in your heart: Sibal tells Modi:   Communications and Information Technology (IT) Minister Kapil Sibal today lashed out at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, saying he was desperate to occupy the country's topmost post.

"If you want to build a 'Statue of Unity' build it in you heart and show to the people that the 'Statue of Unity' is there in my heart and I apologise for all my wrong deeds (2002 riots) then it will appear that you want unity," he said.

Sibal alleged that Modi is always angry and uses the language which is against the Indian tradition.

"It's not part of the culture of India to use the kind of language that he uses. He is always angry, always upset, always acrimonious, always attacking and talks of the 'Statue of Unity',' he said.

Modi had earlier on Thursday laid the foundation stone of India's first Home Minister Sardar Vallabbhai Patel's statue along with senior BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani on the banks of Narmada river in Ahmedabad.

The statue, is being called the 'Statue of Unity' will be double the size of the 'Statue of Liberty' in the United States
17:22  Digvijay admits delay in declaring Cong nominees for MP polls:  Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today admitted that there had been a delay in declaring the party's list of candidates for the November 25 Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.

"I have no hesitation in admitting that the release of the list of candidates for the elections has been delayed," Digvijay said after his son, Jaiwardhan Singh, filed his nomination papers here today.

Incidentally, the party had announced some time back that tickets for the Assembly elections would be handed out three months in advance.

The Congress has been putting up a show of unity in the BJP- ruled state, but sources said that leaders in the faction- ridden party have not been seeing eye-to-eye on the issue of poll tickets. The filing of nominations for the state polls began today.
17:17  Muzaffarnagar violence: Eight accused sent to judicial custody:  Eight persons, arrested in connection with the latest round of violence in Budhana area of Muzaffarnagar, have been sent to 14 days' judicial custody. The accused were produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate K P Singh last evening and sent to judicial custody till November 13.
17:13  Sahara Subrata Roy can go abroad, says SC:  The Supreme Court today allowed Sahara Chief Subrata Roy to go abroad and modified its order restraining him from leaving the country till the group hands over title deeds of Rs 20,000 crore to SEBI.
16:48  Andhra accident: Bus manufacturer Volvo says fuel tank explosion unlikely:   Volvo, manufacturers of thousands of buses running on Indian roads, said the blaze that charred to death 45 passengers on the Bangalore-Hyderabad bus, might not have been caused by a fuel tank explosion, forcing authorities to look at other angles. Read
16:20  Live! Chidambaram cautions markets against excessive exuberance:  India's current account deficit is likely to be $60 bln or less, finance minister P. Chidambaram said Friday, thanks to rising exports, along with measures taken by the government to control imports and encourage investment inflows.  He also  cautions markets against "excessive exuberance".

The Sensex rose to an intra-day high of 21205.44 compared to the all-time high of 21206.77 recorded in January 2008. The bench-mark index gained by130.55 points to close at 21164.52.

He said gold imports in October rose slightly to 23.5 tonnes. Chidambaram also expects momentum that was seen in exports to continue until the end of March. -- Reuters
15:58  Live! Modi in Pune: 10 months ago BJP gave an exam in Gujarat and passed:  Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Pune, where he will inaugurate the Deenanath Mangeshkar Super Speciality Hospital.

He said: "I tell political pundits to decide parameters and it is within those parameters that they should see what the state did and under which party. 

"When this happens, there will never be a question about whether the BJP will be victorious or not. It is the BJP is responsible that is responsible for development in this country.

"Wherever the BJP has got a chance to serve people, they have done so and tried to fulfill the aspirations of the people.   

"There were governments by Morarji Desai and Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- governments where the prices were kept under check.  But whenever the Congress formed the government or supported a government, the nation and the poor suffered due to price rise.    

"Should a government give answers to the people or not? Do people not have right to know. Take the speeches of UPA leaders in last nine years... have they ever answered the people about what they did in their tenure?  

"The PM is theirs, the government is theirs, still they ask Modi for answers. The elections are for the Lok Sabha.  I assure the people of India in 2014, when you bless the BJP, that we will give answers to you every year.  We will be accountable.

"Dilli me shasak nahi sevak baithna chahiye. Koi nath nahi, janata ke das hone chahiye.  They keep saying let Gujarat answer. In 2012 December, Gujarat voted. Congress did same thing there for five years, money was spent.

"But the people of Gujarat saw the work of the BJP government and they were not influenced by the Congress's lies. For the 3rd time we had a 2/3rd majority.    

"Ten months ago we gave the exam, my Congress friends. People are the best examiners. So, please do not mislead them. You will get nothing by misleading the people on Gujarat."

15:39  Aamir, Priyanka, Ranbir at Nita Ambani's 50th birthday bash:  The who's who of Bollywood including Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and politicians, media barons, cricketers attended the 50th birthday bash of Nita Ambani, wife of India's richest man Mukesh Ambani's in Jodhpur.

The birthday venue was decorated with exotic flowers from Florence. 'Dhoom 3' star Aamir Khan arrives at the Jodhpur airport with 'Besharam' actor Ranbir Kapoor on Thursday. See
15:28  Review: Krrish 3 is a colossal waste:   Raja Sen says the only superpower Krrish has is that of boring the audience. Read
15:22  Adhar card must not be made compulsory: Mamata:   West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the Adhar card must not be made compulsory to receive LPG gas subsidy and called for immediate review of the Oil Ministry's move.

"Adhar Card must not be made compulsory. Only 15 to 20 per cent of the people have received the card," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

"I am told that there is a verdict of the Supreme Court that it cannot be made compulsory by the government for obtaining benefits and subsidies," she said.
15:17  Aishwarya turns 40, donates money to cancer patients:  Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan turned 40 today and celebrated the occasion by donating cash for cancer patients.

"Heartfelt thank you to everyone for the wishes. It's a good coincidence that my birthday comes with Diwali... It's a celebration time. I am thankful to God for this life... Thankful to my parents for this gift of life. It means a lot to me. I embrace everything that life gives me," Aishwarya said.
14:27  Nitish takes on BJP for Patna victims 'ash yatra':  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has censured his political rival, the BJP,  whose party workers are marching to the Ganga with the ashes of six people who were killed in Sunday's blasts ahead of a rally held by Narendra Modi in Patna.

Modi is the BJP's candidate for prime minister. He will land in Patna tonight; tomorrow, he will visit the homes of those who died. Read
14:17  Security beefed up ahead of Modis rally in Pune:  The security personnel have made tight security arrangements for BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rally in Pune today against the backdrop of Sunday's serial blasts in Patna.

According to reports, Modi, who will arrive here around 1.30 pm, will be received by Maharashtra BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis.

Several other senior Maharashtra BJP leaders will also be present at today's rally.

Six people were killed and 83 injured in the low intensity blasts that rocked Patna between 9.30 am and 12.45 pm on Sunday shortly before Modi's address to a 'Hunkar rally' in Gandhi Maidan.

However, the BJP had accused Nitish Kumar-led Bihar Government for failing to provide adequate security for Modi''s Patna rally.

BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that Modi is a serious target of many terror groups, and added that the Bihar police have completely failed in ensuring proper security arrangements.
14:06  NDA edging towards 200-seat mark in LS polls: Survey:  The CNN-IBN-THE WEEK pre-poll survey conducted by CSDS projects the National Democratic Alliance edging towards 200-seat mark in Lok Sabha polls.

The NDA tally is projected to rise between 187 and 195 Lok Sabha seats just by gains in four states whereas United Progressive Alliance tally is projected to slip to between 134 and 142 Lok Sabha seats just by losses in four states. Read
14:04  CBI registers case against JD(U) MP over fraudulent LTC claims:  CBI has registered a case against Janata Dal (United) Rajya Sabha MP Anil Kumar Sahani for alleged filing of fraudulent Leave Travel Concession claims using forged air tickets and boarding passes and carried out searches today at Rajya Sabha Secretariat and other locations.

CBI sources said that, after registering an FIR, agency teams today carried out searches at Rajya Sabha Secretariat, his Muzaffarpur residence in Bihar and at his office.

Sahani was not available for comments and did not respond to calls made to obtain his response. The sources said more cases could be registered soon in connection with the LTC scam.
14:00  Delhi Metro to halt services at 8 pm on Diwali:   Delhi Metro will stop services at 8 pm on Sunday on account of Diwali, said an official release on Friday.

The last of Metro train on Sunday will start at 8 pm from the terminal stations of all the six lines - Dilshad Garden-Rithala, Jahangirpuri-HUDA City Centre, Noida City Centre-Dwarka Sector-21, Yamuna Bank-Vaishali, Inderlok-Mundka and Central Secretariat-Badarpur Metro station."Metro train services will run as usual for rest of the day on Diwali from 6 am. onwards," said the release.-- NDTV
13:54  'UPA record of commemorating Sardar Patel better than NDA's':  As Congress and BJP battle it out over the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, I&B minister Manish Tewari hit out at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying UPA's record in issuing advertisements to commemorate Patel was far better than that of its rival NDA.

In a tweet, Tewari alleged that for three years -- 1999, 2000 and 2001 -- its government was at power at the Centre from 1999 and 2004, NDA had not issued any advertisements to commemorate Patel.

Comparing that with UPA's achievement in this regard, Tewari said from 2004 and 2013, barring in 2008, advertisements had been issued every year by the Centre.

"Sardar Patel Advertisements - NDA (1999-04), 3 Years - 99, 2000 and 2001, no ads. UPA (2004-13), 1 year - 2008, no ads. Why Gujarat CM always economical with truth?," Tewari said.
13:26  Takeshi Shudo, creator of Pokmon, dies at 61:  Many might not be familiar with the name of Takeshi Shudo but children and adults alike recognize and adore his creation, Pokmon. Takeshi Shudo breathed his last due to subarachnoid hemorrhage in Japan. Read
13:17  Narendra Modi to address a rally in Pune shortly. 
13:13  Sibal challenges Modi to a debate: Any language, any subject, any place.:   Sibal says it is being propagated that the Congress has destroyed India, we speak with facts and data not claims. And yes, Kapil Sibal, challenges Narendra Modi to a debate: Any language, any subject, any place.
12:41  Narendra Modi can't be blamed for post-Godhra riots: KPS Gill:   Former DGP of Punjab KPS Gill, who had served as security advisor to the Gujarat Chief Minister in 2002, has said that Narendra Modi cannot be blamed for post-Godhra riots as it is the job of the police leadership to respond to law and order situations. 
12:41  Live! Sibal mocks Modi on 'Takshila in Bihar': What books does he read?!:  And so it goes on. IT minister Kapil Sibal's turn to slam Narendra Modi today.

Sibal begins with asking what kind of books of Modi reads if he doesn't even know that Chandragupta Maurya did not belong to the Gupta dynasty. 

"If Modi leaves Bihar why doesn't he leave the Shiv Sena (alliance)? asks Sibal on Modi's insistence that Biharis should develop their own state.

"He claims he evacuated 15,000 Gujaratis in Uttarkhand, there has to be a limit to lies," says Sibal.  "He doesn't know Takshila is in Pakistan," says Sibal mocking Modi's statement that Takshila was in Bihar.

He says the country's future cannot be made by one person, it is made by policies. He has no vision on education, technology, cyberspace, security... what will he bring to the nation, he asks.
12:08  Jaya demands rollback in diesel price hike:  Decrying the hike in diesel prices, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today urged the Centre to roll back the increase. The hike would lead to increase in prices and affect people, she said in a statement here and reiterated her demand for withdrawing powers vested with oil companies to regulate fuel prices.

Jayalalithaa said people are agitated over fuel price hike and cautioned they are prepared to vote out the UPA government at the Centre in the coming General Election.
11:56  The Diwali Deficit:  During the Hindu festival of lights, devotees worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Diwali is usually the time of year that shop owners and vendors await most eagerly as sales escalate and customers feel most confident about spending on themselves and others. Read
11:46  Gujarat move to charge lower telecom rental challenged in High Court:  The Narendra Modi government's decision to charge 20% lower rent for cables being laid in Gujarat by 4G service providers such as Reliance JioInfocom, as well as a uniform rental for towers built on municipal land, has been challenged in the high court by a local Congress leader Abdul Hamid Bhatti. Read more
11:41  2 villages get a 1000 cops as Muzaffarnagar remains tense :   Thousands of policemen are standing guard at two villages of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh after four killings have revived fears of riots that led to nearly 60 deaths last month.

Senior police officers have gathered for a long vigil at the villages Hussainpur and Mohmadpur, where tension is simmering after the killing of three young men and a woman in separate incidents on Wednesday.
11:28  Rediscovering Patel:  In the past few days, political parties have vied with each other to lay claim to the political legacy of India's first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and to build their own partisan narratives around the beliefs that are thought to have defined him. Read
11:26  The rise and rise of Smriti Irani from TV Bahu to Modi confidante:  "I have an ideological umbilical cord with the BJP...we are three generation party supporters... my grandfather was a swayamsevak, my mother, a BJP booth activist". That's Smriti Irani (37), vice-president, BJP, emphasizing that her ties with the party are old, tested and wound in family tradition. Read more
11:20  Land grab bid behind fresh violence in Muzaffarnagar?:   Diwali was meant to be a happy day for many families in Hussainpur. It was decided, says village pradhan Shaista's husband, Shahnawaz Khan, that some Muslims who had taken shelter from the neighbouring Mohammadpur-Raisingh village during the recent riots would go back to their homes shortly after the festival of lights on coming Sunday. Read
11:04  Just in: BCCI chief N Srinivasan, an accused in graft case involving Jaganmohan Reddy, appears before CBI court in Hyderabad.
11:04  I want to see egos of BJP leaders crushed: Vajpayee's niece:  Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's niece Karuna Shukla is a bitter person today. She resigned from the Bharatiya Janata Party last week, putting an end to a three-decade old association. The incident failed to create any ripples in the saffron party; neither did anybody take notice of her resignation nor did any one rush to placate her. Read
10:52  Records of ad spending puncture hole in Modis claims on UPA ignoring Sardar Patel:   BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's claim that UPA had forgotten Sardar Patel till this year is far off the mark. The government's publicity arm, directorate of advertising and visual publicity (DAVP), has spent Rs 8.5 crore in advertisements to commemorate Sardar Patel's birth anniversary over the last four years.

Ironically, the shoe may be on the other foot. Here's why
10:42  In Bihar, Muslims seals lips on Modi :   The tea arrived quickly, with slices of lime and freshly fried savouries. Beyond that, there was nothing on offer on the bare patio of Nafees Haider's home in Bisunpur. "Kaahe ko mushkil mein daalte hain? (Why do you want us in trouble?)' Reclined in a charpoy in a near corner, Haider's wizened uncle, Khudabaksh, spoke into the silence, but only to buttress it. Read more
10:19  Sensex touches all-time high, opens at 21,230:  
The BSE Sensex on Friday hit an all-time high of 21,230.67 on strong foreign inflows and gains led by IT, metal, banking and Auto sector. 

The 50-share Nifty index, 35 points short of touching its all time high, was trading at 6,322 points.

Stock brokers said sentiments remained bullish on continued foreign funds inflow and the RBI easing liquidity situation by cutting marginal standing facility (MSF) to 8.75 percent in its monetary policy on Tuesday.

The Sensex gained 9.2 percent in October, its biggest monthly gain since January 2012 on strong foreign inflows as a delay in the US Federal Reserve's tapering of monetary stimulus led to a surge of money in risk assets.
09:42  Narendra Modi to get PM-like security finally:  
Zee News reports: Days after serial blasts rocked Narendra Modi's rally in Patna, the Central government has decided to provide the Advance Security Liaison (ASL) to Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate. 

Other than the PM, only few VVIPs are accorded such type of high level security. 

This comes after six blasts took place on Sunday at Patna's Gandhi Maidan before the Gujarat Chief Minister was to address 'Hunkar' rally. The seventh explosion was at the railway station. 

Later, few live bombs were found at the venue, which were defused by the security officials. 

Modi, at present has Z-plus security cover provided by the National Security Guard (NSG), will now get PM-like security. 
09:00  Patna blasts suspect Tarique dies of injuries:  
Ainul alias Tarique, one of the main accused in the Patna blasts targeting Narendra Modi's rally, has succumbed to injuries.

was injured when the first of the seven bombs exploded at the Patna railway station on Sunday. He had been in coma at the city's Indira Gandhi Medical Institute since then.

He and another accused, Imtiaz Ansari, were assembling bombs in the toilet at the station when loud ringing on a Chinese-made mobile phone in the next stall startled them. Ainul panicked and allegedly dropped the bomb in the toilet cistern, causing it to explode. He was critically injured.

Imtiaz Ansari was caught while trying to escape with a bag containing explosives. The police say he was the mastermind of the attack. Ansari and Ainul were believed to be members of the Ranchi module of the terror group Indian Mujahideen.

Six people were killed and 83 injured in the blasts that took place at Gandhi Maidan, the venue of Narendra Modi's 'Hunkar rally' on Sunday.
08:59  Akhilesh Yadav ministry to be expanded today:  
The 19-month old Akhilesh Yadav ministry in Uttar Pradesh will be expanded on Friday with the induction of a minister, the fifth such exercise since the formation of the government in March last year. 

Official sources said the new minister will be administered oath in the Raj Bhawan. The party, however, did not disclose the name of the person. 

The last expansion of the ministry was held on October 11 when Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya was re-inducted after the CBI gave a clean chit to him in Deputy SP Zia-ul-Haq murder case in Kunda. 

With a total of 59 ministers, one Cabinet berth is still vacant. At present there are 22 Cabinet ministers, including the chief minister, six state ministers with independent charge and 31 ministers of state. 

The possibility of elevating one or two junior ministers to Cabinet rank was also not ruled out by the ruling Samajwadi Party.
08:59  Former UP minister dies of cardiac arrest:  
Former Uttar Pradesh minister and three-time legislator from Vishwanathganj seat in the state's Pratapgarh district, Raja Ram Pandey died late Thursday following a massive heart attack. 

The 58-year-old leader had held the portfolio of Khadi and Gramudyog in the Akhilesh Yadav government. He was removed from the state cabinet April 15 this year over his alleged sexist remarks about woman officials which sparked off national outrage. 

Pandey, amid talks of cabinet expansion Friday, had gone to meet the chief minister. Soon after returning to his Raj Bhawan colony residence, he began vomiting and collapsed. His staff said that as he was rushed to the Civil hospital around midnight, but he had a massive cardiac arrest and died on the way.

He was said to be an affable politician, who got along well with his colleagues, officials and media.
03:49  Indonesia summons Australian envoy over embassy spying claims:  The Indonesian government has summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta to give an official explanation of reports about Australia's spying activities in the country.

On Thursday Fairfax Media published allegations about an operation codenamed Stateroom, which was said to involve tapping phones and intercepting radio and internet traffic and was being run in embassies in Indonesia.

Indonesia's foreign ministry released a statement saying the Australian ambassador, Greg Moriarty, was expected to report to the government on Friday.
03:48  Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had affair, phone-hacking trial hears:  Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were having an affair for at least six years from the late 1990s, the phone-hacking trial has heard.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said he was disclosing the affair because it showed how much the pair trusted each other."What Mr Coulson knew, Mrs Brooks knew too. What Mrs Brooks knew, Mr Coulson knew too," he said. "That's the point."

Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson deny charges, including conspiracy to phone hack.
03:47  Israeli planes strike Syrian military base, US official says:   Israeli warplanes struck a military base near the Syrian port city of Latakia this week, an Obama administration official told CNN on Thursday.

An explosion at a missile storage site in the area was reported in the Middle Eastern press, but an attack has not been confirmed by the Israeli government.

The target, according to the Obama administration official, was missiles and related equipment the Israelis felt might be transferred to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information.
01:45  Obama launches fresh effort to attract foreign investments:  Buoyed by a recent report that US has surged past countries like India and China to become a nation with the top FDI prospects, President Barack Obama today launched a fresh effort to attract foreign investments, saying America is a land of opportunities where "you can do business".
01:41  Lowe, father of IBM personal computer, dies at 72:  William C Lowe had a bold idea: IBM should develop a personal computer that could be mass marketed, expanding the company's reach beyond businesses and into people's homes. 

That was in 1980. One year later, the IBM 5150 personal computer was selling out at stores for USD 1,565, not including a monitor.
01:34  US man gets life without parole in killings of 8:  A US man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killings of his father and seven others beaten to death inside the mobile home they all shared. 

Guy Heinze Jr. was sentenced today less than a week after a jury found him guilty of malice murder in the August 2009 deaths. Prosecutors spared 26-year-old Heinze from a possible death sentence last week as part of a deal with defence attorneys.
00:37  Iraq attacks, including car bombs, kill 26:  Five car bombs north of Baghdad killed 19 people today, while attacks elsewhere in Iraq left seven more dead, officials said, the latest casualties in a nationwide spike in unrest. 

The attacks, which wounded dozens, come as Iraq witnesses its worst violence since 2008, a surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 5,400 people this year despite authorities having carried out a swathe of operations and implemented tightened security measures.
00:36  US envoy to Germany says no laws broken in spy affair:  The US ambassador to Berlin said today that he is unaware of any illegal activity linked to US espionage operations that have sparked a major rift in transatlantic ties. 

John Emerson was asked by German public broadcaster ZDF about reports that the National Security Agency conducted mass surveillance of German communications including tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone over several years.
00:36  US 'confident' Syria chem arms destroyed by mid-2014:  The United States believes that Syria's large stock of chemical weapons will be destroyed on schedule by the end of June 2014, US officials said today. 

"I am increasingly confident that we will be able to complete this task, the elimination of the Syria's chemical weapons program, within the target date of June 30th of next year," said Thomas Countryman, assistant secretary for international security and non-proliferation.
00:20  Iraq PM urges global fight on Al-Qaeda:  Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today pleaded for a major international effort to combat Al-Qaeda and terror networks, likening the fight to a third world war. 

In Washington for a series of meetings hoping to drum up more support for Iraq, Maliki said that with US help his country had defeated Al-Qaeda.
00:19  Snowdens lawyer says he has a new job in Russia:  Edward J Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor living in asylum in Russia, now has a job at one of the country's major Internet companies, a lawyer who has represented him since he arrived here as a fugitive from American prosecution four months ago said Thursday. 

Snowden, whose whereabouts here have remained closely held and a matter of intense speculation, will begin working on Friday at a company that the lawyer, Anatoly G. Kucherena, would not disclose. He declined to discuss details of Mr. Snowden's life in exile, he said, "because the level of threat from the U.S. government structures is still very high.'
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