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Live! Chandrababu slams Cong, blames Sonia over Telangana

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October 03, 2013

23:20  Chandrababu slams Cong, blames Sonia over Telangana:  Terming the Union Cabinet's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh as "high-handed", Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu today accused Congress of resorting to "worst politics" and said Sonia Gandhi would remain as the "first culprit" in the issue.

Addressing a press conference at his residence late tonight, Chandrababu attacked the Centre over the manner in which it sought to go ahead with the bifurcation process without addressing the concerns of the people of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

"It's a high-handed decision. It (Centre) has never engaged both sides in discussion to sort out the problems despite a strong people's agitation in Seemaandhra for the last 65 days. The Centre behaved as if it didn't care about the people," the former chief minister alleged.

Chandrababu recalled that senior BJP leader L K Advani too wanted justice to be done to both sides before going ahead with the division.

"The Congress took the decision to divide AP only to serve its political vested interests. It has never cared about the national interests or the people's interests. Congress has only contributed to enhancement of animosity between Telugu people," he said.
22:17  Suicide attack on pro-government warlord, 15 killed:  A Taliban suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the headquarters of a pro-government militant commander in northwest Pakistan today, killing at least 15 people. 

The bomber targeted the office of warlord Mullah Nabi Hanafi in Orakzai tribal region. Hanafi was not in the compound at the time of the attack.
22:16  Death toll in migrant boat shipwreck rises to 114:  A ship carrying African migrants to Europe caught fire and capsized today off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, killing at least 114 people as hundreds were dumped into the sea, officials said. 

Over 150 people were rescued but about the same number were still unaccounted for.
21:59  Massive celebrations at Telangana Martyrs Memorial:  The Gun Park or Telangana Martyrs Memorial opposite the State Assembly in the heart of Hyderabad has turned into a massive celebration centre.   

Telangana supporters and leaders of the separate state movement came out in large numbers to remember the people who laid down their lives for the sake of a state of their own.   

Gun Park was built in the memory of nearly four hundred youngsters and students who were killed in the Telangana agitation of 1969-70.    

During the current agitation the place was sealed and closed with barbed wire to prevent people from gathering in large numbers. 
21:50  APNGOs Association calls for 48 hours strike :  The association president Ashok Babu, who is leading the 52-day strike by government employees, appealed to the people to make the strike successful. Don't allow even central government offices to work from tomorrow. 

He demanded that all the ministers from Seema-andhra regions should resign. 
21:29  Pakistani authorities ban Skype, Whatsapp:  Authorities in Pakistan's southern Sindh province today banned Skype, Whatsapp and Viber to facilitate security operations, triggering angry reactions from numerous users of the instant messaging applications. 

The decision to enforce the ban for three months was made at a meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to review the law and order situation. Following the meeting, provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon announced the ban on the use of Skype, Whatspp, Tango and Viber.
21:24  Jagan joins call for 72-hour strike in Seema-andhra regions:  Mohammed Siddique reports: 

An angry YSR Congress President Jaganmohan Reddy has also joined the call for a 72-hour strike in Seema-andhra regions to protest against the decision of the Union Cabinet to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.  "How dare they take this decision?" he asked.    

Jagan blamed his bete noire Telugu Desam Party Pesident N Chandrababu Naidu for the bifurcation of the state.      
20:40  Telangana fallout: Cabinet minister threatens to quit:  
Union Ministers of State Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Pallam Raju, both from Andhra Pradesh have reportedly decided to resign from their posts in protest against the Cabinet decision to divide Andhra Pradesh. 

The two ministers had come out of the Cabinet meeting mid way in the evening. They along with other central ministers from Seema-andhra were under tremendous pressure from the protestors to quit. 
20:37  Telangana supporters celebrate Cabinet decision:  Mohammed Siddique reports: Thousands of supporters of Telangana have gathered at the Telangana Rashtra Samithi office at Banjara Hills to celebrate the decision of the Union Cabinet.   

They were shouting slogans of 'Jai Telangana', bursting crackers, distributing sweets and garlanding their leaders.   News of celebrations are coming in from all parts of Telangana, right from Adilabad in the north, to Khammam in the east and Mehbubnagar down south. 
19:43  Live! Cabinet clears formation of Telangana:  

News is just coming in that the Union Cabinet has approved the formation of GoM for creation of Telangana.   Hyderabad is set to be the joint capital for the two states.  


More details are awaited.

19:27  Live! Modi has insulted Hindus, slams Togadia:  

VHP leader Pravin Togadia today slammed BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his reported statement that constructing toilets should take precedence over building temples.        


"We are stunned and shocked to hear about the unnecessary mention of temples by Narendra Modi in a statement wherein he was talking about the need for better sanitation facilities in the country," the VHP international working president said in a statement.        


"We too believe in the need for better hygiene. But the way temples were dragged in the matter was uncalled for. "It is nothing short of an insult to the Hindu society," Togadia said.

18:46  Court reserves order on Kanda's plea for bail extension:   A Delhi court today reserved its order on the plea for extension of interim bail by former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, accused of abetting the suicide of a former airhostess.

Additional Sessions Judge MC Gupta reserved till tommorow his orders on the application moved by Kanda, who was granted interim bail till October 4.
18:38  LIVE! Rahul on ordinance: My mom told me words I used were too strong:   Yet another attempt by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to be disarmingly honest, it seems.  

Speaking about the convicted MPs ordinance, Rahul, who is in Ahmedabad said, "My mother told me the words I used was perhanps too strong. In hindsight, the language was strong, but the sentiment was honest. I was flabbergasted by the ordinance and had to express my opinion.

"If Rajiv Gandhi were alive today, the Congress would have been a wholly different party.

"The problem with the Congress is too much centralisation, too few people run this company," he says.

Rahul faced a huge amount of criticism and the normally reticent PM said he was surprised at the manner in which Rahul had trashed the ordinance.

The National Conference and the NCP had both criticised the manner in which Rahul had hijacked Ajay Maken's press conference and said the ordinance was nonsense and should be torn up and thrown away.

Rahul today said his comments have hurt allies. "My comments and sentiment are detrimental and have hurt the alliance with allies," he said.
18:24  Poll dates may be announced on Oct 5:  The Election Commission is likely to announce dates for the Delhi Assembly elections, including four other states, on October 5.

Sources in the Delhi electoral office say the expected date for polling in the national capital may fall on November 25 or 26 as the last poll was held on November 29 in the year 2008.

Moments after the announcement of the date, the model code of conduct will be implemented in the city and all ceremonies of laying foundation stones or inaugurating projects will be stopped. Read more
18:12  Army funds not misused in Kashmir, says Gen V K Singh:  Former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, who sparked a political storm by claiming that certain Jammu and Kashmir ministers received funds from the Army, today said the money was used only to bring harmony and stability in the state and not misused.

"Let me clarify categorically. No Army funds have been misused in Kashmir. They have been used in Kashmir to bring in harmony, to ensure stability in that state,to ensure youth get involved in activities which are beneficial for them and for the state and for development and infrastructure," he said.

Asked by reporters later if he had 'let out a secret' by publicy mentioning the funds, Singh said whatever he had stated had already been revealed by former US Ambassador to India David Mulford in 2011, which was reported in an English daily.
17:59  Mamata announces monthly dole to unemployed youth in WB:  The West Bengal government today launched a scheme under which a monthly dole of Rs 1,500 will be provided to the unemployed youth in the state.

Inaugurating the 'Yuvashree' scheme, Banerjee said 1 lakh youth enrolled in employment exchanges would receive the amount every month in the first phase, while maintaining that it was not an unemployment allowance but "assistance" for them to meet their expenses.
17:49  Deadly giant hornets kill 42 people in China, injure over 1,500:   Swarms of aggressive hornets, in their fall mating season, are inflicting a deadly toll in a central Chinese province.Hornets have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 people in three cities in Shaanxi province since July, according to the local government. Thirty-seven patients remain in critical or serious condition. Read
17:48  10 things you must know about Telangana. Read
17:44  United Andhra protestors break barricades outside 7 Racecourse Road where the Cabinet meeting is on. 
17:42  LIVE! Cabinet to OK Telangana statehood today :   In a move bound to create a major political storm in Andhra Pradesh, the Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has reportedly signed the cabinet note okaying the formation of the Telangana state, reports's Mohammed Siddique from Hyderabad.

Shinde signed the papers just before the scheduled meeting of the Union Cabinet, which is on right now at the PM's residence at 7 RCR after he received the green signal from Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

There are indications that the note will come up for consideration by the Union Cabinet today.

Sources said that the note contained the proposal for the formation of the Telangana state comprising 10 districts with Hyderabad as its capital.

Earlier in the day, Shinde had dismissed reports that cabinet would discuss the Telangana note today.
17:11  Rabri: Have not received justice from lower court :   Lalu Prasad Yadav's wife, Rabri Devi says they haven't received justice from the lower court and would appeal in the high court.

The RJD chief was today sentenced to five years in jail after he was convicted in the fodder scam on Monday.
17:02  Scores dead after boat sinks off Italian island of Lampedusa:  At least 94 people, including a pregnant woman and two children, died when a boat capsized and caught fire off the island of Lampedusa, the Italian coast guard told CNN on Thursday. The coast guard has been able to save at least 151 people, and the rescue operation is ongoing. Read
16:52  RBI still addresses Dr Subramanian Swamy a minister though he has ceased being one 22 years ago! See
16:45  Gobi Manchurian vs Sichuan sauce:  A look at how Beijing and New Delhi are spinning events across their border. Read
16:34  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been playing his cards close to his chest as he ponders over whom to appoint as successor to Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne retiring this week as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Read
16:22  Sena chief's son, Aditya Thackeray, seeks 'chilling time' for Mumbai:  Aditya Thackeray, the 23-year-old president of the Shiv Sena's youth wing or Yuva Sena, has a plan for Mumbai.  He wants the city to have 24-hour cafes, restaurants and convenience stores for "some chilling time post work."

The young college graduate's proposal has been cleared by the city's municipal corporation, which is run by the Sena, which is headed by Thackeray's father, Uddhav. Read
16:16  Who killed John Wilkes Booth?:  Luscious read: A murdered president. A fleeing assassin. A dead man's vertebrae. A deathbed confession and a ghastly suicide. A family's disgrace. Conspiracy theories and courtroom battles. Secret burials and an unmarked grave. An aborted exhumation and a hopeful DNA analysis. Oh, and then there's the riddle of that missing mummy. Read
16:08  '5 years in jail will severely impact Lalu and RJD':   Why RJD and Lalu's prospects will be very, very, weak after his five-year jail term. Read 
16:02  The still stunning Padma Lakshmi teaches her daughter to ride a tricycle. See
15:55  Kiran Bedi tweets: Lalu's gets 5 yrs in jail with fine of 25 Lakhs. This is not enough. We must recover proceeds of crime too! Only then crime will stop paying.
15:51  BCCI rubbishes report about Tendulkar being asked to retire:  Rubbishing reports that Sachin Tendulkar has been asked by the BCCI to retire after his 200th Test, the Board's Secretary Sanjay Patel today said it was the senior batsman's prerogative to decide on his future.

"That is is absolutely absurd and rubbish. Let me tell you, it will be the prerogative of Mr Sachin Tendulkar.

Board has not talked or asked him to resign (retire) and the Board is never going to do it because he is such a great player," BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said.
15:50  Rajan meets FM; discusses economic situation ahead of RBI board meet tomorrow:   In other news: Ahead of the RBI's central board meet, the central bank chief Raghuram Rajan today met Finance Minister P Chidambaram and is understood to have discussed economic issues.

"Our meeting was part of regular interaction that takes place between RBI and Finance Ministry," Rajan said after his hour long meeting with the Minister and Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram.

The Central Board of Reserve Bank will meet in Raipur tomorrow to discuss key economic and financial developments. The RBI board meets at least once every quarter.
15:38  Reactions coming in:

Congress: We are not in alliance since 2009. Of course his four MPs support the UPA govt but everyone is equal before the law.

BJP's Ravishankar Prasad: This judgment is a lesson - Those who commit corruption with impunity, the law will catch up with them.
15:31  Who else is sentenced in fodder scam:  Six other politicians and four IAS officers, among the convicted, were also sentenced to prison terms for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury when Prasad was heading the RJD government in the early 1990s.

Of the 45 convicts, the judge had delivered the sentence against eight of them on September 30 itself.

Earlier today, arguments on the quantum of sentence Prasad and 36 other convicts were completed in the special court here with CBI seeking maximum prison term of up to seven years for them.

The counsel of Yadav, Mishra, sitting JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma, former legislator R K Rana and others had pleaded for lesser sentence.

Former Development Commissioner Phoolchand Singh, former Science and Technology Secretary Mahesh Prasad, former AHD Secretary Beck Juleus, former Income Tax Commissioner Adhip Chandra Choudhary, former Class I officers Gouri Shankar Prasad, Brajnandan Sharma, K M Prasad (all three were with the Animal Husbandry Department) and other officials, suppliers were among those found guilty.

A sitting MP from Jahanabad, Sharma also faces disqualification in the wake of a Supreme Court judgement that an MP or MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more and under some other laws even without jail sentence.
15:21   We have always known this: the kitsch was a facade. Lalu in power, the jesting monarch of Pataliputra, played it out to maximum effect. Read more.

Incidentally, Lalu Yadav has instructed his wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi not to make public statements on behalf of the party. On Monday, when Lalu was convicted, Rabri said if Sonia and Rahul can run the Congress so can she and Tejaswi. The RJD has now said it was a slip-of-tongue and she did not mean it.
15:09  Lalu's ex-secretary dodging CBI for 17 years, 'enjoying life' :  RJD chief Lalu Prasad's private secretary during 1990-96 and his partner in crime in the fodder scam has continued to dodge the CBI for 17 years, even though he was seen reportedly "enjoying life" in Dehradun in Uttarakhand state.

Lalu Prasad is among the 45 people convicted Sep 30 in a fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi. His secretary Mukul Kishore Kapoor disappeared after the scam was unearthed. Read
15:06  Nine more cases on fodder scam yet to be decided:  

Although Lalu has been convicted and sentenced, the fodder scam cases are by no means over. In all there were 54 cases, and nine more are yet to be decided. In all more than there were more than 600 accused, of whom more than 500 have been convicted so far.

When Bihar was bifurcated to form Jharkhand, 52 of the cases went to Ranchi, and only two remained with Bihar. 

All that you need to know on the fodder scam. Read

14:59  Lalu remains our leader: RJD:  Desperate reality check needed: Raghuvansh Prasad of RJD tells CNN IBN that he has given Lalu a copy of the Gita to read in jail.  "All he has to do is read a few paras and he will get bail."

The RJD has reiterated (first reactions on the Monday, when Lalu was convicted) that there is no leadership crisis, Lalu remains the leader.
14:54  RJD will appeal in high court:  Lalu Yadav's RJD says the party will appeal in the higher court. Former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra has been sentenced to four years in the case. The prosecution had pushed for a maximum sentence of seven years in the case.

Also read: Arun Jaitley on why Lalu's conviction is a defining moment in politics.
14:46  Lalu Yadav sentenced to five years in fodder scam :   Lalu Prasad Yadav gets five years in the fodder scam along with a fine of Rs 25 lakh. He was convicted for criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption in the case. The immediate fallout is that Lalu stands disqualified as a member of Parliament. Lalu was convicted on Monday in the multi-crore scam.

Also on Monday, Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader, Rasheed Masood, became the first MP to lose his seat after the recent Supreme Court judgement had removed the immunity for convicted lawmakers.
14:40  Lalu sentencing soon:   The CBI Court will announce the quantum of punishment for RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, any time now.  
14:35  Asian superpowers jostle to join the aircraft carrier club:  Want to be an Asian superpower? Then an aircraft carrier, it seems, is the minimum requirement for joining this elite club. Remember, the Vikrant? Read
14:23  LIVE! Lalu's lawyers argue he is very old, suffers diseases; sentencing today:  Lalu Prasad's lawyers today argued that he was too old and suffered from many diseases, to counter the CBI's plea for maximum punishment of seven years in jail for the Bihar politician in the fodder scam case. Read more
14:11  Europes Holi War:  Holi parties are springing up from England to South Africa, luring big-hearted partygoers touting an intoxicating blend of Woodstock and Bollywood, the gatherings can draw more than 10,000 people. Read
14:09  Not again, Mr Shinde :  Sushil Kumar Shinde would help the cause of Muslims a lot more if he spoke a little less. In February this year, the Union Home Minister declaimed on 'Hindu terror,' when the correct expression should have been Hindutva-linked terror. Read
13:58  Earthquake measuring 5 on Richter scale jolts Sikkim:  An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale jolted Sikkim today, Regional Seismological Centre said. The quake struck at 11:43 am. 

 A report from Gangtok in Sikkim said some buildings had developed cracks and people were out on the streets.

Some schools announced holiday and a massive traffic jam was reported from there.

A report from Siliguri said the tremor was also felt in Siliguri and people came out of their houses in panic.
13:56  Indian woman killed in parasailing accident in Thai beach:  A 36-year-old Indian woman has died in a freak accident in Thailand's popular beach town of Pattaya, where she was celebrating her wedding anniversary, after her parasail failed to launch.

Police said Shilpi Agarwal, 36, and her husband had hired a speedboat to parasail yesterday, but it failed to launch. She fell into water and the boat's driver reversed to retrieve her but the boats rotating blade killed her, they said.

Police plans to charge the operator for causing death by careless action, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years or a fine of USD 638.

The boat's insurance company will give the woman's family compensation of USD 6,383, they added.
13:52  Indias first radio station for the gay community:  Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi' fades away and a male voice says "Q Radio '" out and proud' before the sexually evocative lyrics of Bollywood number 'Choli Ke Peeche' (Under the Blouse) begin to blare out of the speakers.

Q Radio is India's first radio station tailored to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender audience and has been broadcasting around the clock from Bangalore since September. Read
13:50  President in Belgium:  President Pranab Mukherjee on being received by King Philippe of Belgium upon his arrival in Brussels. This is the first visit by an Indian head of state to Belgium, says the MEA. 
13:42  Star, ESPN bag BCCI sponsorship rights for 2013-14 season for Rs 2 cr:  The BCCI today awarded the title sponsorship for all international series and the domestic tournaments in India for the year 2013-14 to Star Private Ltd. and ESPN at the base price of Rs 2 crore per fixture, considerably low compared to their previous deal with Airtel.

"The Marketing Committee of the BCCI met at the Cricket Centre, Mumbai, earlier today, to receive the bids made for Title Sponsorship of International Series and Domestic Tournaments to be played in India in the 2013-14 season," BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a statement.

"The Marketing Committee has awarded the Title Sponsorship Rights for all series to be played in India in the 2013-14 season to Star India Pvt. Ltd and ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, at a fee of Rs 2 crore per international match," he added.

Patel said bidders had the option of "bidding for either the series between India and Australia, or the series between India and the West Indies, or both."

There are two international series currently scheduled during the period -- the seven-match ODI series and a T20 game between India and Australia, followed by two Tests and three ODIs against the West Indies.
13:10  Pakistan denies reports of infiltration :   Just in: The Pakistan Army denies as baseless, reports of infiltration attempts from across the LoC into Jammu and Kashmir.

 The army has launched a major anti-infiltration operation against militants and suspected Pakistan special troops holed up in an area in Keran sector along Line of Control in which five Indian soldiers have been injured. Read
12:54  Why India will never be Hitler's Germany:   In this country of 1.2 billion, there may be a few Indians who might dislike Muslims and wish them ill. But the vast majority of Indians remain secular, no matter how grave Hindu-Muslim tensions,' says Amberish Kathewad Diwanji. Read

Also read: The last surviving stretch of German autobahn built under Hitler is set to disappear, almost 80 years after it was first constructed.
12:47  Lifer for ALL convicts in Kandhamal murder case :   A Bhubaneshwar court has sentenced all eight convicts to a life sentence in the murder of Hindu seer Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others in Kandhamal district in 2008.

Unidentified gunmen shot dead Saraswati and four others, including a woman, at his ashram at Jalespeta in Tumudibandh during Janmashtami celebrations on August 23, 2008, triggering widespread ethno-communal riots leaving at least 38 dead and thousands homeless.
12:38  I am a follower of the Mahatma and his ideas, says Rahul in Modi land :   Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today began his two-day Gujarat tour as part of the Lok Sabha election preparations, by visiting Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

Rahul spent almost half-an-hour in the ashram, from where the Mahatma had spearheaded the non-violent freedom movement of the country till he left for Dandi yatra.

"Its always an honour for me to come to the ashram. I am a follower of Gandhi and his ideas. Thank you," Rahul wrote in the visitor's book at the ashram.

Rahul will interact with party office-bearers in Ahmedabad and Rajkot during his visit to the state, guiding them how to take on the BJP led by Modi government in his home turf in the next general elections.
12:29  'Churchill wanted to gas Indian tribes during colonial rule':  Winston Churchill wanted chemical weapons to be used against "troublesome" tribes in north India during British colonial rule to suppress them, a noted historian has claimed citing an official memo.

Giles Milton, who has written a number of non-fiction historical books, has illustrated Churchill's commitment to the use of chemical weapons, explaining that he had supported their use against rebellious Indian tribes in early 20th century when he was not the Prime Minister.

"What I found really shocking was when he (Churchill) wrote this internal memo to the India Office, along the lines of 'we should use it against the tribes on the North West front. They're really troublesome, let's gas them," Giles was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"There's a line in the memo that says, 'I really don't understand this squeamishness about poison gas'. Today that reads pretty badly," Milton said.
12:18  If you can't go to the Taj, the Taj will come to you:   If you can't go to Taj Mahal, Taj Mahal will come to you, virtually.

The Archaeological Survey of India is signing a memorandum of understanding with Google tomorrow that will allow the Internet services company to host panoramic images of 100 Indian monuments, including the Taj and the Red Fort.

The tagline for the project is: "Taking heritage online.' The idea is to take the monument as close as possible to people who cannot visit it. Read
12:12  LIVE! Judgment day for Amar Singh in cash-for-vote scam on Oct 19:   A Delhi court today reserved its order on framing of charges in the 2008 cash-for-vote-scam involving former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and two BJP MPs. Special Judge Narottam Kaushal reserved for October 19 order on framing of charges.
12:08  Protecting convicted MPs: BJP wanted it, alleges government:  The government, engulfed in controversy over a botched attempt to protect convicted MPs, claims that both the BJP and the Left, supported its move till as recently as August, and offers the minutes of two different meetings of political parties as proof of its allegations. Read
11:56  Sukanya Verma's Besharam Review: What a shame, Ranbir!:  Besharam is so unbelievably sloppy and senseless, not even the best actors in the business can redeem it no matter how hard they try. Sukanya Verma pronounces her judgement on the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer. Read before you go
11:47  Pak militant escapes in Srinagar gunfight:  A suspected Pakistani militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba, who engaged the Police and Central Reserve Police in a fierce gun battle after getting trapped in Ahmednagar, in the periphery of Srinagar city, has escaped from the cordoned area. Read more
11:43  Casino ship owned by Kanda's company towed away:  Some good news: The Goa government has towed away the casino ship of a firm belonging to former Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda, accused of abetting suicide of an ex-airhostess, for failing to pay Rs 12 crore fees to authorities.
11:35  Mumbai: IPS officer Ranjit Sahay succumbs to burns:  Senior IPS officer Ranjit Sahay, who was hospitalised with severe burns after he allegedly attempted suicide at his residence, on Thursday succumbed to his injuries in Mumbai. Read
11:33  Dont pick nose in public, China tells its travellers:   China has come out with a code of conduct for Chinese travellers which includes advice about not picking their noses in public. The government has issued a 64-page handbook to stop Chinese tourists from damaging the country's image abroad. Read
11:32  Aam Aadmi Party turns one, questions on its efficacy remain:  The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) turned one on Wednesday. But the question everyone seems to be asking is, will the party provide an alternative to the two national parties in Delhi and will the support it has been getting translate into votes?

Political pundits agree that AAP has been able to make its presence felt in the country. Read
11:24  LIVE! Delhi gang rape: Juvenile wasn't 'most brutal', says Board :   In a startling disclosure, the Juvenile Justice Board in it's order on the Nirbhaya case has made it clear that in their testimonies, neither Nirbhaya nor her male friend singled out the juvenile as the person who had brutally assaulted her with a rod, resulting in an injury that led to her death within a fortnight last December. Read
11:08  US shutdown shadow falls on Gandhi:  The shutdown of the American federal government has not spared Mahatma Gandhi. But the shutdown has been ideologically undiscriminating and the late Deendayal Upadhyaya's memory also suffered in the Republican crusade against President Barack Obama's healthcare law. Read
11:02  US govt shutdown: No progress on stalemate:   The political impasse in the US Congress over budget showed no signs of easing as the first meeting between President Barack Obama and lawmakers since a budget deadlock shut wide swaths of the federal government failed to yield any result.

Obama told lawmakers that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills Congress has already incurred, the White House said after the meeting.

Also read: Shutdown 'extremely damaging' to U.S. intelligence operations
10:57  In Cong, the veep is never made to weep :   A VP storms a roadshow, rolls up his sleeves, calls his bosses' blueprint "complete nonsense' and declares it should be torn up and thrown away. If the VP works for a company, chances are the pink slip will hit him before he returns to his cubicle. Read
10:51  Nightlong gunbattle near Srinagar as LoC encounter enters 10th day:  There was heavy exchange of fire through the night between terrorists and security forces in the outskirts of Srinagar on Wednesday, hours after the army revealed that its troops had been engaged in an encounter with Pakistani forces since a massive infiltration attempt by at least 30 terrorists last week. Read
10:44  LIVE! Tiled toilet, TV, khaini for qaidi No. 3312 Lalu Prasad:  From the uncrowned king of Bihar to "qaidi no 3312" at Birsa Munda Central Jail, it has been a steep descent for RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

More worrying for him is the sentencing on Thursday as the CBI is seeking a minimum of three to a maximum of seven years imprisonment for the former CM held guilty in the animal husbandry fodder scam case.

Also the conviction comes when the ordinance protecting convicted netas has been thrown out, and there will be no trappings for them in prison. Read
10:29  Be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi: Ban Ki-moon:  
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday urged the world to be inspired by the courage shown by Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of non-violence who was born on this day in 1869.

"Today we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence," Ban said in a statement. 
"Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred. His example has inspired many other history-makers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Vclav Havel, Rigoberta Mench Tum and Nelson Mandela," he said.
10:24  Just In: Suicide bomber kills 12 people in northwestern Pakistan.
10:10  Sonu Niigaam alleges threat from Chhota Shakeel:  
CNN-IBN reports: Singer-turned-actor Sonu Niigaam has approached the police alleging he has got threat calls from underworld don Chhota Shakeel. 

He has told police that Shakeel, a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang, made several threat calls asking him to change the event management company that will handle his 2014 world tour. 

Sources say if necessary police will provide him security after ascertaining facts from him.
10:04  Rahul to visit Sabarmati Ashram today:  
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will begin his two-day visit to Gujarat from Thursday. 

Rahul will visit Mahatma Gandhi's historic Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad today and later hold a meeting of office-bearers of district and block Congress committees. 

This will be followed by a meeting of the national executive of the National Students Union of India, the Congress' student's wing, and elected members of local self government institutions. 

The following day, Gandhi will travel to Rajkot, the former Assembly constituency of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, it said. 
09:58  Rupee up 31 paise Vs dollar in early trade:  
The rupee rose by 31 paise to 62.15 in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange as the dollar weakened against other major overseas currencies. 

Besides, increased dollar selling by exporters and a higher opening in the domestic equity market also supported the rupee, forex dealers said. 

The rupee had gained 14 paise to close at 62.46 against the dollar in previous session on Tuesday, supported by a better-than-expected current account deficit data. 

The forex market remained closed yesterday on account of "Gandhi Jayanti". 

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex rose by 156.43 points, or 0.80 per cent, to 19,673.58 in early trade today. 
09:52  Lalu to be sentenced via video-conferencing today:  
A special CBI court on Thursday will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, held guilty for illegal withdrawal of millions of rupees from the then undivided Bihar's animal husbandry department in the early 1990s, in what is popularly known as the fodder scam. 

The sentence will be pronounced through video-conferencing. Lalu Prasad is currently in Birsa Munda central jail in Ranchi. 

On Monday, the court had brought to end one of India's longest-running corruption cases when it convicted Lalu and 44 others for forgery, cheating, falsification of accounts and conspiracy, among other offences, and offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

The former Bihar chief minister faces a maximum of seven-year jail. 

Special Judge Pravas Kumar Singh will pronounce the quantum of sentence against Lalu Prasad and 37 convicts today. Eight convicts were sentenced on Monday itself. 
09:52  Assam: 28 labourers killed in truck-bus collision:  
28 people, including 13 children and five women, have been killed and another 20 people injured when the truck they were travelling in rammed into two minivans carrying brick kiln workers in Barpeta district, 150 kilometres from Assam's capital

Police said the 10-wheeler truck slammed into the oncoming minivans just after dawn today. 

The minivans had been carrying workers, some with their children, to a local brick kiln. The truck was travelling to the neighbouring state of West Bengal. 

Local TV broadcasts showed a huge crowd surrounding 28 bodies covered in white sheets and lined up on green grass. 

Police have yet to account for the truck driver, though one of two people who were in the truck is believed to be among the dead. 
09:08  Toilets first, temples later, says Modi:  
Speaking at a function organised in New Delhi for the youth on Tuesday, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi gave a new slogan: Build toilets first and temples later. 

Modi said he dared to say so even though his image as a Hindutva leader did not allow him.

"I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit me to say so, but I dare to say. My real thought is 'Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya' (toilets first, temples later)," he said. 

The Gujarat Chief Minister's comment could well stoke a controversy from within his party and sister organisations, which are keen to rake up the "temple issue" again ahead of next general elections. 

A similar comment on toilets from Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh that the country needs more toilets than temples had stirred a row with a large number of women organisations and NGOs protesting against the remark. 

Touting the slogan of development that could take the country on the path of speedy progress, Modi said lakhs of rupees were spent on temples in villages, but there were no toilets there.
09:05  New leak at crippled Fukushima nuclear plant: TEPCO:  
A new radioactive water leak has been discovered at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator -- Tokyo Electric Power -- has said. 

TEPCO said the highly radioactive water had leaked at the Fukushima No 1 plant from a different storage tank to the one where a similar leak was found in August, Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported.

It was not clear how much water had leaked from the 450-ton tank. TEPCO said it had determined that contaminated water had accumulated within barriers around the tank, and may have flowed past the barriers. 

The barriers were installed to block water from spreading when a leak occurs in the storage tanks at the plant, which was heavily damaged by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 

In August, some 300 tons of toxic water was discovered to have leaked from a separate tank, with part of it believed to have flowed into the Pacific Ocean. 
09:04  Congress lying; BJP opposed ordinance: Swaraj:  
Charging Congress with spreading "complete falsehood" about her party's stand on the controversial legislation on convicted lawmakers, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has said that her party has consistently opposed both the Bill and the ordinance.

In a series of posts on the social networking site Twitter, Swaraj said that at an all-party meeting held to discuss the proposed legislation, four choices were placed before the leaders but there were divergent views and no consensus could emerge. 

In her tweets, she further said that after the all-party meeting, Finance minister P Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had told her that all the four options should be sent to the Standing Committee for thorough deliberation. 

"After the Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha, (Law Minister) Kapil Sibal met Arun (Jaitley) and me in my Chamber and we made our opposition very categoric and clear. We told Kapil Sibal that the Bill was wrong and unconstitutional. It was because of our opposition that the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee," Swaraj said. 

"We said the ordinance was immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. We opposed the Bill. We opposed the ordinance. What Congress is spreading since morning is complete falsehood," Swaraj tweeted.
08:58  Obama warns Wall Street over fiscal crisis:  
President Barack Obama has sent Wall Street a blunt warning that it should be very worried about a political crisis that has shut down the government and could trigger a US debt default. 

Obama said he was "exasperated" by the budget impasse in Congress, in an interview with CNBC apparently designed to pressure Republicans by targeting the financial community moments after markets closed.

The president then met Republican and Democratic leaders for their first talks since the US government money's ran out and it slumped into a shutdown now well into its second day. 

But few informed observers held out much hope for a sudden breakthrough. 

Obama was asked in the interview whether Washington was simply gripped by just the latest in a series of political and fiscal crises which reliably get solved at the last minute. 
08:53  Hyderabad to be Telangana's capital?:  
CNN IBN reports: A Cabinet note on Telangana was prepared on Wednesday night, according to sources. Sources have told CNN-IBN that the note says Hyderabad will be Telangana's capital. 

The note leaves the option open for Andhra Pradesh. 

The government has called for a Cabinet meeting on Thursday evening to discuss Telangana. 

Sources say that the Cabinet is likely to form a Group of Ministers who will work on the modalities of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Also, the note prepared by the Home Ministry is likely to be circulated.
08:42  Top headlines at this hour:  Rahul power: Cabinet withdraws ordinance, bill on lawmakers

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