23:48 'There is a Tejpal lurking in many offices':
Reacting to the arrest of Tehelka
editor Tarun Tejpal by a Goa court today, retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi said, "It is a very strong message to all Tejpals in all offices."
"There is always a Tejpal lurking in many many offices.They have been feared so far. They have not got exposed," she said, adding in the present case, the victim has been consistent.
23:28 Guj: Congress leader Suresh Kotadia joins BJP:
Congress leader Suresh Kotadia, son of former Union minister late Manubhai Kotadia, today crossed over to BJP and slammed the Congress for "ignoring" its party workers, and being "directionless".
"Gujarat is progressing well under the able leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and people of the country also want to see him as the prime minister," said Suresh Kotadia.
He joined the saffron party along with scores of his supporters at a function organised in presence of a number of BJP leaders.
23:27 India won't rest till implementation of 13th amendment: PC :
India today asserted that it would not rest till Sri Lanka implemented the 13th amendment and insisted on an "elaborate, independent and genuine probe" acceptable to the international community into the 'genocide' by that government during the civil war in 2009.
"There are attempts being made there for not implementing the 13th amendment in the Sri Lankan Constitution. Efforts are being made to dilute many provisions by the Rajapaksa government. The Tamil National Alliance is opposing it...the 13th amendment cannot be diluted. India has been and will continue to insist for its implementation," Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.
23:25 Visit by Emperor not aimed at countering China: Japan:
Japan today described as "non-political" the visit of its Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko to Delhi and said the six-day India trip, the first to any South Asian country by the royal couple, was not aimed at "countering" China.
"The visit should not be interpreted as an effort to counter China. There is no intention whatsoever to counter China through the visit. The visit is non-political," said Sakutaro Tanino, press secretary to the Emperor.
23:24 India needs a decisive government: Rangarajan :
Dr C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, today said that India needed a decisive government as the next decade will be crucial for the country.
"I would like to say that India needs a decisive government," Rangarajan said while answering a question on the current state of politics in the country.
23:23 BJP youth wing leader held for Sunil Joshi's murder:
A leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, was arrested from Mhow town today by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the murder of former RSS pracharak
"Jitendra Sharma, vice-president of BJYM Indore district rural Unit, was taken into custody from Mhow this morning by a NIA team and after a lengthy interrogation till evening, he was arrested," a police officer said today.
Joshi, himself a suspect in the Samjhauta Express blast case, was killed at Dewas on December 29, 2007.
22:06 Land largesse to Shukla: BJP writes to Maha CM :
The BJP today demanded scrapping of the allotment of two plots of prime land in Andheri, reserved fora primary school, to a firm of Union minister Rajiv Shukla for a "paltry" amount.
In a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said, "It is shocking that the Maharashtra government allotted two plots worth more than Rs 100 crores for just Rs 98,735."
However, Shukla rejected Somaiya's charges, saying there was no question of any favour done by the government or anyone. He, in fact, said the government could take back the land if it feels any favour has been done.
22:05 Pune: Whistleblower Vijay Pandhare retires, set to join politics:
Maharashtra Water Resources Department Chief Engineer Vijay Pandhare, the whistle-blower of the alleged multi-crore irrigation scam in the state, today retired from government service.
Pandhare later told a news channel that he wanted to join politics.
He alleged that in the last thirty years, he had seen both the Congress as well as the BJP indulging in corrupt practices.
22:04 JD-U-BJP split not real: Rabri Devi :
The split between the JD-U and the BJP was not real and was intended to fool the people in the run-up to next year's Lok Sabha elections, senior RJD leader Rabri Devi said today.
The JD-U and the BJP went their separate ways under a calibrated plan to divide the people of Bihar on secular and communal lines for electoral benefits with a pledge to join hands again after the general elections, she claimed.
22:03 BJP leader who defaced Shoma Chaudhury's nameplate questioned:
Delhi BJP leader Vijay Jolly was today questioned for the second day in a row by police in connection with the defacing of the nameplate outside the residence of Tehelka's ex-Managing Editor Shoma Chaudhury.
Jolly, who was questioned for around 3 hours, alleged that he was being targeted by the police under a "conspiracy" to keep him away from the assembly polls.
"I am being targeted despite apologising in this matter.It is a conspiracy to keep me away from the elections. It is politically motivated, I condemn this," Jolly said.
22:01 Jayalalithaa should apologise to Kanchi seers: Swamy:
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa should apologise to the Kanchi Mutt seers after a Puducherry court acquitted them of murder charges.
Swamy has consistently campaigned against the Tamil Nadu government for allegedly foisting a false murder case against the Acharyas.
22:00 Telangana leaders caution Naveen against Jagan Mohan Reddy :
Seeking the support of the BJD for the formation of a separate state by dividing Andhra Pradesh, a delegation of Telangana leaders today cautioned Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to be 'careful' with YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy.
"Please be careful with him and do not give support to a corrupt person," Rajya Sabha MP V Hanumantha Rao said in a memorandum to Patnaik.
21:40 Tarun Tejpal to be grilled by Goa police tonight?:
Tarun Tejpal has been taken into custody by Goa police after his plea for anticipatory bail in a case of sexual assault was rejected by a local sessions court.
Investigating Officer Sunita Sawant had earlier said, "We will arrest Tejpal shortly".
Sources in Goa police claimed that Tejpal may be interrogated "all night".
20:55 Congress is NOT shielding Tejpal: Jaiswal:
The Congress today trashed BJP's allegations that it was shielding Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague, saying that the law will take its course in the matter and the guilty will be punished.
"The BJP has run out of issues, this is why they are levelling such baseless allegations. The Congress has nothing to do with Tarun Tejpal and if he is guilty, action will be taken against him as per law," Congress leader and Union minister Shriprakash Jaiswal said today.
20:42 Tejpal will face 'custodial interrogation': Goa police: Tehelka
founder Tarun Tejpal will be arrested as soon as Goa police receive a copy of the session court judge's order rejecting his interim bail plea, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, Tejpal's lawyer told the media, "We are waiting for the detailed order. We are cooperating with police".
Goa police officials stated that Tejpal would be subjected to "custodial interrogation" about the alleged sexual assault on a colleague.
20:21 Tejpal likely to be arrested at Crime Branch office:
A sessions court in Goa on Saturday rejected Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal's anticipatory bail petition in connection with the sexual assault case against him.
Tejpal is likely to be taken into custody at the Crime Branch office.
Goa police have not officially arrested Tejpal yet.
In case Tejpal is arrested today, he will be produced before a court on Monday, where the Crime Branch is expected to seek additional remand.
On Friday, the court had given the Tehelka editor interim protection till Saturday morning against arrest in the case of alleged sexual assault on a woman colleague during an event in Goa.
20:02 Modi's speeches are like a stand up comedy show: Congress:
The Congress today ridiculed Narendra Modi as a "poorly-educated" man who was "talking foolish" in his attempt to rival the "highly educated" Prime Minster Manmohan Singh.
AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed also claimed that Modi taking over the command of the BJP's campaign in Delhi shows that the local leadership of that party has realised that they cannot defeat Sheila Dikshit on their own.
"Modi's speeches are becoming like a stand up comedy circus show. It is becoming monotonous. However, even then the BJP leaders of Delhi have fielded him in Delhi," said a Congress leader.
20:01 Cobrapost sting: FIR lodged against IT firms:
Police today lodged an FIR against some IT firms on a complaint based on the sting operation by news portal Cobrapost
, which had claimed misuse of social media platforms during online campaigning for elections.
The FIR was lodged by IPS officer Amitabh Thakur, who alleged that many IT companies were making "criminal" and "improper" use of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter,Youtube etc to sway the minds of common people and electorate to cheat them, police said.
19:59 Mayawati promises UP 'model of social engineering' in Delhi :
Promising to replicate her "UP model" of social engineering in Delhi, BSP chief Mayawati today accused the Sheila Dikshit government of being "corrupt" and not doing anything for migrants in the national capital.
Addressing a poll rally in Nanakpura in South Delhi, Mayawati said the BSP will ensure the welfare of sarv samaj, which is inclusive of people from all castes and religion.
"If you want the same development to take place in Delhi like UP where we built houses for the poorest of the poor and gave employment to youths, then vote for the BSP. If you want to live with dignity and not allowances, then support us," she said.
19:58 Inclusive settlement must for Afghanistan: PM Sharif:
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today pledged his support for Afghanistan's efforts to seek peace with the Taliban, saying a solution could be found only through an "inclusive political settlement".
Addressing a joint press conference in Kabul after talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Sharif said, "The key to sustainable peace in Afghanistan in 2014 and beyond is an inclusive political settlement. I urge all the stakeholders to seize this moment and join hands to support peace efforts. It is imperative to reverse the destructive cycle of conflict".
19:56 Dalit student gangrape: HC upholds life term for 5 teachers :
The Gujarat high court today upheld the life imprisonment of five out of six teachers for repeatedly raping a 19-year-old Dalit girl student of their college in Patan.
The high court reduced the punishment of the sixth teacher from life term to ten years' imprisonment.
A two-judge bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Z K Saiyed confirmed the life imprisonment for Manish Parmar, Mahendra Prajapati, Ashwin Parmar, Kiran Patel and Suresh Patel -- all teachers of Patan's government-run Primary Teachers' Training College -- but reduced the term of the sixth convict, Atul Patel.
19:55 CBI officer who led Ishrat Jahan encounter probe retires:
K Saleem Ali, special director of the CBI who headed the probe in sensitive encounter cases, including those related to the killing of Ishrat Jahan and Sadiq Jamal in Gujarat, today retired after a 35-year long police service.
An IPS officer of the 1978 batch Manipur-Tripura cadre, Ali had joined the CBI as an additional director on September 28, 2011 and was promoted as special director of the CBI on May 24, 2012.
19:53 Naxals attack train, kill 3 jawans in Bihar:
Three jawans of the Government Railway Police have been killed in an attack by the Naxals on the Sahibganj-Danapur intercity train in Bihar, reports CNN-IBN.
The incident took place in the running train near a tunnel between Jamalpur and Ashikpur railway stations today evening, Jamalpur's Railway Superintendent of Police Amitabh Kumar Das said.
Two other GRP jawans sustained bullet injuries, he said.
19:30 Will Tarun Tejpal get bail?:
After hearing both the prosecution and defence counsel's arguments on the anticipatory bail plea of Tehelka
editor Tarun Tejpal, District and
Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai. has retired to her chamber to decide on the plea.
Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a colleague at an event in Goa.
Earlier, Tejpal visited the Crime Branch office in Panaji and said he was cooperating in the investigation.
Police sources said Tejpal was not quizzed and stayed for 10 minutes.
"We have joined the investigation started by the Crime Branch yesterday. We will join today also," Tejpal told reporters.
19:20 BlackBerry to offer free apps:
Canadian handset maker BlackBerry is betting on the apps ecosystem to turn around its fortunes with free and discounted apps across categories like games, music and productivity for users of its BB10 platform.
"BlackBerry is kicking off the winter festive season with a variety of offers on some of its most popular apps on the BlackBerry World. The offers will roll out throughout the month of December 2013," a BlackBerry spokesperson told PTI.
19:20 Probe political link in question paper scam: Mehbooba:
PDP President Mehbooba Mufti today demanded a probe into a possible "political nexus" in the recently-unearthed question paper scam in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The investigation must look beyond Mushtaq Peer (former chairman of the Board of Professional Entrance Examinations) to find out facts about possible political connections to the scandal," Mehbooba said.
19:19 President remembers Kohima war heroes :
President Pranab Mukherjee today remembered over 2,300 bravehearts of the Kohima battle who had laid down their lives while fighting the Japanese forces.
Mukherjee, who arrived in Arunchal Pradesh today, laid a wreath at the Kohima war memorial.
Many of those who lost their life in the battle still remain unknown.
19:11 India has ruled out death penalty for marines: Italy :
India has ruled out the death penalty for two Italian marines facing trial for murdering two Indian fishermen, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has said amid reports that the Indian investigators have sought capital punishment for the duo.
Citing a statement by the ministry of external affairs, Bonino said the Indian government has made it clear that Italian marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- will not face the death penalty over the killings.
19:10 Amit Shah tries to woo Mamata:
In an overture to Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, BJP leader Amit Shah, who is visiting Kolkata, today said if his party formed the next government at the Centre it would give "due right" to the people of West Bengal.
"If BJP forms the next government at the Centre, it will give Bengal its due right for the development of the state," Shah said.
"We don't believe in alms. We believe in equal rights and equal development. Bengal has moved backward due to the misrule of the Left," he said.
19:09 Justice Ganguly to decide whether to quit as WBHRC chief :
Accused by a young law intern of sexually harassing her, former judge of the Supreme Court Justice A K Ganguly today declined to say whether he would resign as chief of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission.
"I am not saying anything on this now," he said in reply to a question on whether he would quit the post, a demand made by Trinamool Congress leaders in the wake of the girl naming him as her tormentor.
"I have not yet decided anything. I have denied the allegations. I am shocked and shattered," Ganguly said about his future course of action.
17:34 Congress for stern action against Lekhi for revealing Tehelka victim's surname:
Congress women's wing chief Shobha Oza on Saturday demanded stern action against Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi, for revealing the surname of the victim of the sexual assault case involving former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal on Twitter .
"This is the most unfortunate part that the BJP which calls itself a serious party, one is its members had done this. Meenakshi Lekhi is a senior leader, a woman, and above all she is a lawyer. If she had spoken about it by mistake, it was still acceptable considering it to be a slip of tongue. But she exposed the aggrieved journalist's last name on her twitter page, and she should be punished for such an irresponsible behaviour," she said.
Earlier in the day, Lekhi denied revealing the victim's last name, and said that a person, who is aware of the law, would never attempt such an act.
"I never made any statement at the first place as I am well aware of the consequences, and a person who is aware of it will never attempt such an act. I clarified my stand and maintained what I had to. I have been the front-runner and helped NCW and such organization," she said.
17:05 Punching PIN must for debit card deals from Sunday:
Debit card holders will from tomorrow be required to punch in their PIN numbers every time they use the card, a move aimed at minimising frauds.
In June, the Reserve Bank had extended the deadline for implementation of mandatory PIN punching at Point-of-Sales (PoS) and merchant outlets till November 30 following representation of banks.
"Our back-end system is in place and we have made changes in all our PoS and merchant outlets to accept PIN (basically ATM PIN) from tomorrow," said Parag Rao, HDFC Bank's head card payment products and merchant acquiring service.
"We have around 3 lakh PoS terminals across the country," he said, adding that the bank has informed all its customers through all channels including SMS and mailers.
As part of awareness drive, SBI has in a notice asked its customers not to handover ATM-cum-Debit card to any person.
It also advised the customers that they should not keep any records of the PIN in physical form.
16:18 Crew of detained US ship moves HC seeking bail:
The crew of detained US ship, arrested on October 18 for illegally carrying arms and straying into Indian waters, have moved the Madras High Court seeking bail claiming they were "lured into Tuticorin port by treachery" and they were innocent.
In their bail plea yesterday, the crew of M V Seaman Guard Ohio, alleged "the vessel was asked to come to the port for taking shelter to escape from the cyclonic weather conditions in the Bay of Bengal. On reaching the port, as many 25 officials from eight different agencies barged into the vessel and confined all the 35 crew and falsely claimed as if they intercepted the vessel".
The matter will come up for hearing on Monday.
They said they were not involved in any activity prejudicial to the safety and security of the country and come under the doctrine of innocent passage as envisaged in Section 3 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea-1982 and hence no charge could be levelled against them or the vessel for violating the rules and regulations in India.
16:17 Democracy worst form of government, but there's nothing better: PC:
The run-up to the 2014 general election promises to keep the economy on the edge.
The growth outlook remains volatile as do big-ticket projects, jobs and execution of planned investments. What is worse is that the domestic business mood is at an all-time low.
In an interview, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram talks on all the issues plaguing the economy.
In the particular case of India Inc complaining about a CBI witch-hunt that may be dampening sentiment, Chidambaram is most surprised at the reactions of company owners and CEOs. He believes investigations are taking a normal course and no investor in his/her right mind will abandon the India opportunity in such fear
16:12 Army chief or soap opera?:
Was it the advent of the messiah the nation awaited or something less spectacular? From the media frenzy surrounding the appointment of the new army chief it indeed seemed as if a fresh revelation on Mount Sinai was at hand.
This was the media and the glum faces of commentators and analysts who pass for evening entertainment in this country (then we say this is getting to be a sick societywith such entertainment, why shouldnt it be a sick society?) What about the tomato, onion and potato-hit public of Pakistan? With more pressing matters to attend to, was it really bothered who the next army chief was going to be?
Gen Musharraf is about to be tried for treason. If there was any justice in the world he would be tried for the freedom he gave the Pakistani media, not that anyone in the media would acknowledge this. The fiction that the media holds close to its heart is that it struggled mightily for the space it has. Pray, where is that sacred spot where all that blood was spilled for the freedom which allowed private television channels to proliferate?
14:22 Chidambaram mocks Modi for 'first lesson in economics':
Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday took potshots at Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi over his remarks allegedly made at an election rally in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district.
While addressing a rally in Sardarpura, Jodhpur, Moid had said that the Finance Minister has attributed inflation to buying gold.
Strongly rebutting Modi's remarks, Chidambaram has sent a letter to the Gujarat Chief Minister, details of which are:
After his lessons in history, Shri Narendra Modi has delivered his first lesson in economics. As reported by the Indian Express, he said at Jodhpur: The Finance Minister attributes inflation to buying gold. I am not as educated as him.but I know inflation is not because of buying gold but due to corruption.
I recall having said on many occasions that buying gold which is almost entirely imported worsens the Current Account Deficit (CAD). I don't recall saying that buying gold causes inflation. Anyway, all economists may take note of the new lesson.
14:21 Congress leaders are arrogant: Modi:
Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate and star campaigner Narendra Modi on Saturday mocked at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram over rising prices at an election rally in Delhi on Saturday.
Addressing a rally in Delhi, Modi said that this time the elections are being fought by the people.
Describing elections as festivals of democracy, the BJP leader said that what can be better than the people themselves fighting the elections.
Raising the poll pitch in the national capital, BJPs PM nominee said that political parties must give answers to the people and tell the public what they did during their regime.
Coming down hard at the Congress, Modi said, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and Madhya Pradesh CM ShivrajSingh Chouhan went between the people and informed them about the work they did in their respective states. But Congress leaders of Delhi and Rajasthan are arrogant as they are not willing to answer the people.
Modi asked the gathering, Delhi has such big leaders of the Centre. Should they not meet you, address you and talk to you.
Further attacking the Congress, Modi said that it has become a fashion for the grand old party to demand answers from Gujarat even if elections are in any other state.
14:00 AFSPA extended for a year in insurgency-hit Manipur:
Barring seven assembly constituencies within Imphal Municipal area, the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 will be extended for another year in insurgency-hit Manipur from tomorrow.
The Act will be enforced in all the districts of the state except seven assembly constituencies of Wangkhei, Yaiskul, Thangmeiband, Uripok, Sagolband, Shingjamei and Khurai, all in Imphal municipal areas.
The decision to extend the act was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Government Spokesman M Okendro said.
The Act has been enforced in the state for more than two decades after it was extended annually. The duration of the last extension expires this evening.
The Act was removed from the seven assembly constituencies about a year ago following intense agitation demanding its withdrawal from the entire state.
12:17 Tejpal has been changing colours like a chameleon: Prosecution:
Public Prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar argued that prima facie a case is established against Tejpal and so the police want his custodial interrogation.
"The accused has been changing colours like a chameleon through different statements," he said.
The PP noted that the victim has been consistent in her statements.
12:10 Tejpal won't tamper with witness or evidence: Lawyer:
Tejpal's lawyer Geeta Luthra says Tejpal is ready to stay in Goa till the time it was required by the investigating agency.
She said he will also not visit Mumbai, where the victim is currently residing.
"There should not be any fear that he (Tejpal) will tamper with witnesses or evidence," the defence lawyer said.
Luthra also ruled out the possibility of Tejpal fleeing the country saying he has not fled before the FIR or after that.
"My client cannot tamper with the aggrieved girl as she will stand by her statement," the lawyer said.
11:59 Prosecution says CCTV footage as evidence is enough to confirm rape
11:08 Allahabad-bound train derails near Lucknow, passengers injured:
Allahabad-bound Haridwar Express today derailed on the outskirts of Lucknow, leaving some passengers injured.
The last three bogies of the train derailed near Nigoha area at about 3.30 AM when the train was going to Allahabad from Haridwar, Circle officer, Government railway police (GRP), RD Yadav said.
He said that some passengers received minor injuries in the incident.
Traffic was soon restored on the track.
10:12 Will Tejpal get anticipatory bail from Goa court?:
The bail hearing of Tarun Tejpal, accused of rape, has begun.
Tejpal will be arrested if he does not get anticipatory bail by the court today.
Ahead of his bail hearing, Tejpal visited the Goa Crime Branch office this morning and told reporters present outside that he is willing to cooperate with the investigations. Yesterday, he was interrogated in the Goa crime branch office for over an hour.
10:08 Tejpal's bail hearing to begin shortly:
The Crime Branch team reaches Goa Sessions Court before the hearing begins.
Security has been tightened outside the North Goa District and Sessions court ahead of bail plea hearing of Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, who faces allegations of sexual assault.
09:42 No need for me to be in court: Tejpal:
Just In: Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal has just left the Goa Crime Branch office. Outside the office, Tejpal tells reporters that he would do whatever his lawyers seem fit. He further vowed to cooperate with investigation. The magazine editor adds that he does not need to make an appearance in the court. "I just need to join the crime branch investigation, which I have done, says Tejpal.
The sessions court had yesterday granted Tejpal interim relief till 10 am today.
04:02 Obama to release new national security strategy in 2014:
US President Barack Obama today announced that he would release a new national security strategy, updating a similar document he issued in 2010, in which he had describe on building "strategic relationship" with India.
"I am writing to inform you of my intent to release a new National Security Strategy in early 2014," Obama said in a letter sent to the top Congressional leadership.
04:01 UN draws attention to plight of Syrian refugee children:
Syria's conflict is creating a generation of damaged children, the United Nations warned Friday in a report on the plight of more than a million children who are refugees in neighboring countries, many of them deprived of access to education and of any semblance of a normal family life or childhood.
"The world must act to save a generation of traumatized, isolated and suffering children from catastrophe,' the United Nations refugee agency warned in the report."If we do not move quickly, this generation of innocents will become lasting casualties of war.'
03:42 Mozambique passenger plane carrying 34 missing: airline:
A Mozambican Airlines airplane carrying 28 passengers and six crew members has gone missing en route from Mozambique to Angola, the airline said. Flight TM470 took off from Maputo at 1456 IST yesterday and had been due to land in the Angolan capital Luanda at 1840 IST, but never arrived, the airline said in a statement.
03:35 Iraq violence: Eighteen killed after being abducted:
The bodies of 18 people have been found near a town to the north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, hours after they were abducted from their homes, police say.
The corpses - with gunshots to the head - were found near the town of Tarmiya.
At least one army officer was among those killed.Execution-style killings have been on the rise in Iraq, correspondents say, alongside a wave of bomb attacks.
01:49 Egypt police arrest nearly 200 over illegal protests:
Egyptian police arrested nearly 200 people today, clamping down harshly on Islamists defying a new law banning unauthorised demonstrations that has also angered prominent secular activists.
Despite the law decreed on Sunday, the Muslim Brotherhood vowed to go ahead with protests it has organised after weekly prayers ever since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.
01:48 US exempts India, China from Iranian sanctions:
US today exempted some countries, including India and China, from the tough Iranian sanctions act as they continue to reduce their dependence on Iranian oil.
"I am pleased to announce that, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of their purchases of Iranian crude oil, China, India, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions...(under) the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
01:07 Pakistan leader to visit Kabul in peace push:
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to visit Kabul on Saturday, a trip that aims to push forward the Afghan government's stalled talks with the Taliban and spur joint economic projects that could ease Pakistan's chronic electricity crisis.
Sharif's visit'"his first to neighboring Afghanistan since taking office in June'"comes just as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is embroiled in a deepening crisis with the US, refusing to sign promptly a security agreement that would allow for some American troops to remain in Afghanistan after next year.
00:53 Saatchi has 'no proof' Nigella Lawson took drugs:
Multi-millionaire art dealer Charles Saatchi told a British court today he had no proof that his celebrity chef ex-wife Nigella Lawson took drugs - but admitted he had sent an email claiming she was "off her head".
Saatchi, 70, said he was "utterly bereft" that a private email he sent to Lawson referring to her alleged drug use had been made public.
00:28 Opposition calls fresh 72-hour blockade across Bangladesh:
Opposition parties in Bangladesh today called for a 72-hour nationwide blockade from tomorrow to push for the postponement of the general election, even as 16 of its activists, including two top leaders, were charged for a deadly arson attack on a bus.
Police filed a case against 16 BNP leaders, including the party's acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, in connection with yesterday's arson attack on the bus during a 71-hour protest in which two persons were killed and 16 others injured.
00:26 Top US commander apologises for Afghan airstrike:
The top US commander in Afghanistan apologized to President Hamid Karzai for a drone strike that killed a child and NATO promised an investigation Friday as rising tensions threatened efforts to persuade the Afghan leader to sign a long-delayed security agreement.
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford called Karzai late Thursday to express "deep regrets for the incident and any civilian casualties," the commander's spokesman said.Karzai condemned the attack, which also wounded two women earlier Thursday, and said all airstrikes and foreign raids on Afghan homes must stop if the United States expects him to sign the pact that would allow thousands of Americans to stay in the country beyond a 2014 withdrawal deadline.
00:25 Thai protesters storm army HQ seeking miltiary support:
Thai protesters briefly stormed into army headquarters in Bangkok in a bid to get the military to join their efforts to topple the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
More than 1,000 opposition supporters left the compound peacefully Friday after about two hours.
Army Commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha later urged protesters not to force the army to take sides.
00:24 China scrambles jets to new defense zone, eyes US, Japan flights:
China scrambled jets on Friday in response to two U.S. spy planes and 10 Japanese aircraft, including F-15 fighters, entering its new air defense zone over the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said, raising the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea.
The jets were scrambled for effective monitoring, Xinhua cited air force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying. The report gave no further details.