23:52 Lata Mangeshkar gets Yash Chopra memorial award:
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was today conferred with the first Yash Chopra Memorial Award for her contribution to cinema. She was presented the award by Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari at a function in Mumbai.
Lata, who has been unwell for the last three days, made it a point to attend the function where industrialist-politician T Subbarami Reddy, who produced Hindi films like 'Vijay
' and 'Lamhe
', announced a national award in the memory of the legendary filmmaker.
"I am unwell since three days...I have got fever and doctors have asked me to take rest and not go out anywhere. But I wanted to come here...I have not come here for the award and Rs 10 lakh.
Yashji was special and close to my heart...We did not meet always but we were close as we loved each other," Lata said, adding she felt sad as she could not meet Yashji before his demise last year.
Chopra's wife Pamela was also present and became emotional while talking about her late husband.
23:17 Chargesheet filed in BJP office blast case; 14 accused named:
Three terror suspects arrested for their alleged roles in the 2011 Advani pipe bomb case are among the 14 accused named in the charge sheet filed before a court here today in connection with a blast in front of the BJP office here in April this year.
Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik, arrested in a joint operation by Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh police at border town of Puttur on October 5, and 'Police' Fakruddin, nabbed a day earlier, have been named in the charge sheet filed before the first additional chief metropolitan magistrate's court.
The charge sheet was filed after examining 260 witnesses and is in three volumes with 7,445 pages of material and 201 documents, the police said.
22:00 Malegaon blasts: ATS, CBI to file replies on discharge pleas:
The special NIA court here today directed the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and the CBI to file replies on the discharge pleas of nine Muslims, arrested in the 2006 Malegoan blasts case.
The order came after one of the accused, suspected to have links with Hindu extremists and arrested in this case subsequently by the National Investigation Agency, filed an application saying that the court should summon ATS and CBI officials who had named members of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movemennt of India as accused.
While the ATS and CBI initially blamed Muslim terrorists, the NIA subsequently arrested four persons with Hindu right wing links. Manohar Singh, arrested by NIA, has opposed discharge pleas of nine Muslim accused. NIA has not objected to these discharge pleas.
21:22 Military intervention in Syria will exacerbate conflict: PM:
Warning against any external military intervention in Syria, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it would only exacerbate the conflict and pressed the urgent need for promoting a political settlement to the issue.
He said the Geneva-2 Conference should be convened at the earliest as the conflict in Syria could have broader economic and security consequences for the region.
"It is not only a tragedy for the people of that country, but it also threatens the stability and security of the region," Singh said in an interview to the Russian media ahead of his visit there beginning tomorrow.
"India has always held that there is no military solution to this conflict, and has consistently maintained that external military intervention will only exacerbate the conflict," he said.
20:43 No Diwali gifts, donate money in relief fund, PM urges well-wishers:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today urged his well-wishers to donate money in the PM's National Relief Fund instead of sending gifts to him on the occasion of Diwali.
"He has appealed to his well wishers to make donations to the Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund instead of sending gifts for him," a Prime Minister's Office statement said.
The prime minister's statement comes at a time when natural disasters have struck Uttarakhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in the last few months and large-scale rehabilitation and relief work is being carried out there.
The prime minister also conveyed his heartfelt thanks to all those who are sending him greetings and good wishes on the occasion of Diwali.
20:01 Even circus shows fetch good crowd: Cong on Modi rallies:
Launching a blistering attack on Narendra Modi, Congress today compared his rallies with circus shows "which also fetch crowd" and questioned his understanding of foreign affairs.
"Do not measure one's strength from one's obesity. Famous filmstar Raj Kumar had once said that a lot clapping is made and a large crowd gathers even when some circus comes in the town," party spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary told reporters.
Ridiculing Modi for his yesterday's assertions in Chennai on foreign policy issues, Chowdhary said that it was "very very bizarre" and that the Gujarat Chief Minister has "no idea of foreign policy, has no clue.
"He will come out in a Rambo style and shoot at everyone. That does not happen in foreign policy," she said.
19:37 India's Mars mission launch delayed by about a week:
Launch of India's Mars Orbiter Mission has been delayed by almost a week and a decision on the new date would be taken on October 22, ISRO said today.
The launch window for the MOM mission was earlier slated from October 28 to November 19 and a decision on the launch date was to be taken today. "The decision on the date of launch of MOM was postponed due to bad weather in the South Pacific Ocean.
The ship-borne communication terminals were on their way there," an ISRO spokesman told PTI here.
The two ships SCI Yamuna and SCI Nalanda -- leased from the Shipping Corporation of India to study the crucial period when the rocket ejects the spacecraft into space -- left for the South Pacific Ocean in mid-September from Visakhapatnam.
The American NASA/JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) is also providing communications and navigation support to this mission with their deep space network facilities.
19:25 Death-row convict Rajoana to field sister from Patiala:
Balwant Singh Rajoana, the death-row convict in the Beant Singh assassination case, has decided to field his sister Kamaldeep Kaur from Patiala Lok Sabha seat against Union minister Preneet Kaur.
Kamaldeep would fight the election as an independent candidate against the three-time Congress MP, Rajoana said in a letter written from the Central Jail here where he is lodged.
On why Rajoana was fielding her as a candidate instead of of supporting any party or group, Kamaldeep said he was upset with the government and political parties over the policies, particularly those relating to Sikh issues, and had taken this decision.
18:37 For many leaders, youth is a means to power: Modi:
Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today targeted Congress saying that for many leaders, youth is the means to attain power.
"For many leaders, youth is a means to power but for me, youth is for empowerment," Modi said without naming anyone after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi recently stated that the new UPA after the elections, will see a young government.
The BJP strongman was speaking at the convocation ceremony of Pandit Dindayal Petroleum University run by the Reliance Industries. Sharing the stage with Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, British Petroleum Group CEO Bob
Dudley, he listed out things his government did in energy sector and for youths comparing that with alleged inactions of the UPA government. He also mocked at the prevailing energy scene in the country by raising the issue of missing coal files.
He said that it was extremely unfortunate that some states of India face power shortage.
18:15 'Probe against Musharraf to be completed in 6 weeks':
Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency today said it would complete a probe into the 2007 emergency imposed by former President Pervez Musharraf in six weeks.
FIA Director General Saud Mirza said the statements of some bureaucrats had been recorded as part of the probe, the Dawn newspaper reported on its website.
The investigation will be completed within six weeks, he said.
Mirza said the probe was launched on the directives of the Interior Minister and Musharraf's statement would soon be recorded.
Though the government ordered the inquiry in late June, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on October 12 that he had asked the FIA to fast-track the case of high treason against Musharraf and to take the matter to a logical conclusion in six weeks.
The case was registered against Musharraf for subverting the Constitution by imposing emergency in November 2007. The emergency lasted until December 15 of the same year.
In July 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the military strongman's decision to impose emergency was unconstitutional and illegal.
17:00 Pakistan claims BSF killed civilian not intruder:
Pakistan today said a civilian was killed and two others were injured in alleged "unprovoked firing" across the border by the Border Security Force.
A Pakistani military official here said a civilian was killed and two others were injured "due to unprovoked firing of heavy weapons, including mortars", by BSF personnel near Sialkot city in Punjab.
On Thursday, Pakistan had said a paramilitary Rangers personnel was killed in "unprovoked" firing by the BSF in the same area.
An Indian soldier was killed on Tuesday in firing by Pakistani troops.
Tensions also simmered at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir over the past two months despite a ceasefire agreement.
Both sides claimed that they had not violated the ceasefire on the LoC and were only responding to unprovoked firing.
16:47 Court orders political ban for Italy's Berlusconi:
A court in Milan today ordered a two-year ban from parliament and elections for scandal-tainted former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in the latest twist in his legal saga.
The ruling is part of the tax fraud case against the billionaire tycoon -- his first ever definitive criminal conviction -- in which he faces a year of community service or house arrest.
The 77-year-old Berlusconi was not present at today's hearing and his defence lawyers have the right to appeal the verdict, although it was not immediately clear whether they would.
"This is the latest piece in a mosaic that aims to eliminate the leader of 10 million Italians from the political scene and is destined to fail," said Renato Schifani, the chief senator from Berlusconi's People of Freedom party.
15:11 Tripura CPM leader sleeps on bed of cash to fulfil dream:
A CPI-M leader in Marxist-ruled Tripura who lay on a bed of cash withdrawn from his own bank account to fulfil a long cherished dream, is in deep trouble with his party.
Jogendranagar committee member of the CPI-M in Agartala, Samar Acharjee, a contractor by profession, was shown lying on bundles of currency notes on television footage.
Acharjee was heard in the footage saying "I have withdrawn 20 lakhs from my bank account and fulfilled my long cherished dream of sleeping on a bed of money."
But more damagingly, the CPI(M) leader said in the telecast last Thursday "I am not a hypocrite like other party members who depict themselves as proletariat, yet have a huge amount of money."
CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar told PTI today "Preliminary investigation by the party shows that Acharjee himself took the footage on his own mobile phone which was leaked to a television channel by his friend."
Dhar said, the Agartala sadar divisional committee of the party has completed investigation and the matter would be discussed at a meeting which would suggest action against Acharjee.
14:54 Raja Bhaiya is UP Food and Civil Supplies minister:
Controversial independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who was sworn in as the minister recently, was today given charge of Food and Civil Supplies department.
"In consultation with the Chief Minister, Governor has directed to allocate portfolio of Food and Civil Supplies to Raja Bhaiya," a notification issued by Chief Secretary Javed Usmani said.
Till now SP spokesman and Prison Minister Rajendra Chaudhary was holding the additional charge of the department.
Raja Bhaiya, who had to resign from the cabinet after killing of DSP Zia-ul-Haq in Pratapgarh, was reinducted in the Uttar Pradesh ministry on October 11.
14:51 Ceasefire violations a matter of great concern: Khurshid:
Terming the ceasefire violations on the LoC as a matter of serious concern, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said it is not just an issue of diplomacy but also of military relations and maintained that the government is giving it high priority.
"This is the very thing we want to address. This is not just an issue of diplomacy. This is an issue of military relations. The actual on the ground situation is known to the military on both sides," Khurshid told reporters.
Expressing full confidence in the defence forces, the minister said, "We owe a tremendous gratitude to them, both for showing restraint, firmness, determination and for total preparedness to face any onslaught."
Two BSF jawans were yesterday injured as Pakistani troops opened fire at ten border out posts and civilian areas along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts.
13:48 BCCI bans pacer Pradeep Sangwan for 18 months:
Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Pradeep Sangwan was today slapped with an 18-month ban from cricket after being found guilty of consuming a banned anabolic steroid by the BCCI's Anti-Doping Tribunal.
The ban on the 23-year-old Delhi cricketer has been imposed with retrospective effect from May this year when the IPL took place.
"The anti-doping case initiated against the Player Pradeep Sangwan by the BCCI before the Anti-Doping Tribunal constituted under the BCCI Anti-Doping Code, was concluded on 1st October 2013, and the written Decision issued by the Anti-Doping Tribunal was received on 18th October 2013," the BCCI said in a statement.
"The Tribunal has found that the Player has committed an Anti-Doping Violation under Article 2.1 of the Code for the presence of the Prohibited Substance Stanozolol, an Anabolic Steroid," it added.
13:38 Toll in hooch tragedy climbs to 35; excise officials suspended:
With 13 more deaths, the toll in the hooch tragedy in several villages of Mubarakpur area today climbed to 35 even as UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav took serious note of the incident and suspended five excise department officials.
Thirteen people have died since last night after consuming spurious liquor, police said today.
Yesterday, 22 people had died and seven others were taken ill after consuming spurious liquor in several villages of Mubarakpur area, leading to suspension of six policemen.
People in eight villages of Mubarakpur area had consumed country-made liquor after which they were taken ill, Superintendent of Police Arvind Sen had said.
An official spokesman said in Lucknow that the Chief Minister has taken serious note of the incident and suspended five excise department staff, including the district excise officer.
12:59 BSF foils infiltration bid in Samba, intruder killed:
Border troops today foiled an infiltration bid along the Indo-Pak border in Samba district, killing an intruder.
There was movement of suspected persons along the International Border in Kulian-Suchetpur Border Out Posts in Samba district in the wee hours, police said.
BSF troops of 09 Battalion challenged them and opened fire following which Pakistani troops fired at Indian forward posts to give cover fire to the infiltrators.
There was heavy exchange of fire between the two sides in which an infiltrator was killed, they said.
12:27 Adnan Sami now under service tax scanner:
In further trouble for Adnan Sami after the visa row, the Service Tax department has issued the Pakistani singer-composer summons asking him to appear on Monday for questioning in connection with alleged tax evasion.
Sources in the Service Tax department today said they booked a case against the musician on October 15 for allegedly evading service tax on assignments and projects he has undertaken.
"We have not been able to consolidate the exact figure of evasion. Sami will be grilled on Monday and then only we would be able to ascertain the amount," a Service Tax official said.
Tax officials have also directed the 44-year-old to bring all the records pertaining to his work on Monday.
Sami, who has made India his second home for the past several years, landed in a visa controversy when he was issued a notice on Tuesday by the Mumbai Police, which sought explanation from him for overstaying in the country after its expiry October 6.
11:31 Working on evidence not on a dream: Govt on gold dig:
Ministry of Culture on Saturday clarified its stand on the ongoing excavation of gold in Unnao by the Archaeological Survey of India and said that the excavation is being carrying after ascertaining facts.
A statement issued by the Ministry said that the excavation is being done after the Geological Survey of India's report and not because of a Sadhu's dream.
According to the government, the GSI had reported of possible non-conducting metallic contents or alloys at 5-20 meters below the surface and suggested excavation.
"The Geological Survey of India had been asked to conduct an enquiry including GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar Survey). On the basis of GSI report it was decided by ASI to undertake excavations at the site to try to unearth and determine the nature of the reported deposits. It is also noteworthy to mention that this is reported to be an ancient settlement site which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location," the statement said.
It also said, "this is reported to be an ancient settlement site which may have the potential of being an important archaeological location. The SA (Lucknow Circle) was conveyed permission on October 10, 2013 to undertake the trial exploration/excavations by deputing a full team from his office. Preparatory arrangements have been made by ASI Lucknow Circle, including preliminary survey of the area, establishing camp office, removal of vegetation, etc. The local administration has been informed about this and security arrangements have also been provided."
10:58 Beta radiation soars at crippled Fukushima nuke plant:
Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) has confirmed that radiation levels in groundwater under the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are soaring.
Tepco detected 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium, on Thursday in water samples taken from the observation well located 15 meters from a storage tank, which leaked about 300 tons of highly radioactive water in August, the Japan Times reports.
The level of becquerels was up 6,500-fold from Wednesday sampling, which stood at 61 becquerels, the report added.
According to the report, Tepco has been planning to pump groundwater from different wells, at a distance of about 100 meters from the leaky tank, for release into the Pacific Ocean, before the water flows into the damaged reactor buildings and becomes heavily contaminated with radioactive materials.
09:59 Kalam on ASI's gold dig: 'There must be some logic':
Dr Sayed Jamal Hasan, Archeological Survey of India Director of Exploration, to CNN IBN on the Unnao gold dig: "Whatever work we have done on exploration of various places, based on that I doubt there is a possibility of finding any treasure over here."
Former President AP J Abdul Kalam: "According to me science doesn't allow any guess. It must have some logical conclusion."
09:47 VHP meet today to discuss UP government's crackdown on Yatra:
A two-day meeting of the governing body of VHP saints will begin in New Delhi on Saturday to discuss their response in the wake of Uttar Pradesh government banning two of its programmes in the state since August as well as construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya.
"The steps taken by the UP government will come up for discussion during the meeting," said a Vishwa Hindu Parishad official said.
The Akhilesh Yadav government had banned VHP's "Sankalp Sabha" scheduled for Friday at Ayodhya.
09:46 Order on 2008 cash-for-votes scam likely today:
A Delhi court is likely to pronounce its order on Saturday on framing of charges in the 2008 cash-for-votes scam against former Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh.
Special Judge Narottam Kaushal reserved his order on framing of charges for October 19.
In the first chargesheet filed by Delhi police Singh and Advani's former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni were accused of conspiring to bribe MPs ahead of a confidence vote in the Lok Sabha.
09:45 Andhra Pradesh bifurcation row: GoM meet today:
Amid the raging protests over Telangana issue, the GoM, set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, will deliberate issues concerning sharing of river water, power, distribution of assets and boundaries at its second meeting here on Saturday.
The high-powered ministerial panel will also look into the legal and administrative measures required to ensure that both Telangana and residuary state of Andhra Pradesh can function efficiently from Hyderabad as the common capital for 10 years
The GoM, headed by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, was constituted to address all the issues that need resolution at the central and state government levels in the matter.
After its first meeting on October 11, the GoM had said that it would address all concerns of the people of Andhra Pradesh with "fairness and objectivity".
The GoM has already discussed the approach and methodology to be adopted by it and said it would take opinion of stakeholders on all important subjects while formulating its recommendations.
09:44 Asaram's police custody ends today:
The police custody of self-styled godman Asaram Bapuu, in the alleged sexual assault case by Surat sisters, will end on Saturday.
The controversial godman was remanded to police custody after two Surat sisters lodged a complaint against him and his son Narayan Sai.
The 72-year-old Asaram also reportedly tested positive on the second potency test. He had earlier tested positive for the potency test conducted on him in Jodhpur last month.
Police in its remand application had sought 14 days custody of Asaram citing various reasons, including interrogation of the accused regarding the alleged crime, his medical check up and seizure of things related to the crime.
09:43 Modi to address his maiden rally in UP today:
Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address his maiden rally in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday.
Elaborative arrangements have been set in place to make Modi's Kanpur rally a huge hit.
A vaastu compliant stage that is 100-feet long, astrologers propitiating the gods and invitations sent through social networking sites -- the BJP has pulled out all stops to make its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's maiden rally in Uttar Pradesh at Kanpur Oct 19 a success.
The selection of the venue to be addressed by Modi is interesting as Kanpur is represented by three-time MP and central coal minister Shri Prakash Jaiswal. Party sources say six other rallies will be held with Modi at different places in the state in the run up to the Lok Sabha election due next year.
09:31 US debt increases to $17 trillion:
The public debt of United States has increased to a whopping USD 17 trillion after the Congress increase the debt ceiling this week.
The Department of Treasury, on yesterday, reported that the public debt stands at USD 17.076 trillion, an increase of $329 billion from the USD 6.747 trillion debt on Wednesday, when the Congress lifted the debt ceiling.
Under the bipartisan debt ceiling deal, the Treasury can borrow money necessary to meet the government expenses till February 7 next year.
During the Obama Administration, so far, $6.5 trillion has been added to the American debt.
"For the first time in our nation's history, our national debt has topped USD 17 trillion. This is unacceptable," Republican Senator Ted Cruz tweeted after the Treasury released the latest figures.
03:54 Norway investigates possible assailant in Kenya mall siege:
The trail in the investigation of the deadly attack on a Kenyan shopping mall last month leads all the way to Scandinavia, where the Norwegian police have identified a man who may have been among the assailants.
Investigators are questioning relatives and friends of Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, 23, a Norwegian citizen born in Somalia, to try to determine whether he was one of the four militants captured on surveillance footage inside the mall in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, calmly killing shoppers on a Saturday afternoon.
03:51 Turkey outing of Mossad a betrayal, say former spies:
Turkey's outing of agents for Israel spying on Iran is a major blow to Western agencies trying to gather intelligence on an Iranian nuclear bomb and shows the NATO member is no longer trustworthy, says a former chief of the Mossad, Israel's spy agency.
03:50 Lebanese Shia pilgrims held hostages in Syria 'freed':
Nine Lebanese Shia pilgrims held hostage in Syria have been freed, Lebanon's interior minster has said.
The pilgrims have crossed over into southern Turkey, and will arrive back in Lebanon soon, according to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
The nine were part of a group of 11 who were seized while making their way back to Lebanon in May 2012 after a tour of holy sites in Iran.
Two of the group were subsequently released.
03:48 Fire hits up to 300,000 tons of sugar at Brazil port:
A fire destroyed up to 300,000 tons of sugar at several warehouses in the southern Brazilian port of Santos today before it was contained, authorities said.
Four people were injured in the blaze, which erupted in warehouses owned by Copersucar, the world's largest sugar trader, the Port of Santos said in a statement.
02:40 Italian court convicts ex-Nazi for WWII slayings:
Rome's military tribunal today convicted a 90-year-old ex-Nazi in absentia for his role in the 1943 execution of 120 Italian officers on the Greek island of Kefalonia and sentenced him to life in prison.
Alfred Stork's conviction was the first in Italy for the Kefalonia massacres in which thousands of Italian soldiers were killed in September 1943.
01:36 Out-of-fuel European satellite to come crashing down:
A satellite monitoring Earth's gravity field since 2009 will run out of fuel "in the coming days" and eventually crash, with little risk to humans, the European Space Agency said today.
About 40 to 50 fragments with a combined mass of 250 kilogrammes are projected to hit our planet within weeks of the GOCE satellite running out of fuel, according to spacecraft operations manager Christoph Steiger.
01:35 Iraq violence including Baghdad car bomb kills 19:
A car bomb near an ice-cream shop in Baghdad killed 12 people today, while seven died in other attacks, officials said, bringing the October death toll to more than 420.
The car bomb in the Mashtal area of east Baghdad also wounded 23 people, interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan told AFP.
01:33 Obama, Congress at odds over Iran sanctions relief:
The Obama administration is considering helping Iran recoup billions of dollars in frozen overseas assets if Tehran scales back its nuclear program.
But Congress is determined to set a high bar for any relief for Iran. Officials say the proposal is under consideration to spur nuclear negotiations.
01:32 Boeing cuts 747 jumbo production again:
Boeing today said it would cut production of its 747-8 jumbo aircraft for a second time this year, citing weaker demand for big aircraft. The Chicago-based aerospace giant said 747-8 production rate would be reduced from 1.75 airplanes per month to 1.5 airplanes per month "because of lower market demand for large passenger and freighter airplanes."
00:17 Jets bomb Syrian city after intelligence general killed:
Syrian air force jets bombarded the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Friday after heavy overnight clashes and the killing of one of President Bashar al-Assad's top military intelligence officers, activists said.
General Jama'a Jama'a was shot dead on Thursday by snipers in the midst of a battle with rebels including forces linked to al Qaeda, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
00:17 Gunman briefly holds four hostage at Paris bank:
An armed man with a history of mental health issues held four people hostage for two hours at a Paris bank today, demanding social housing for himself and his son before surrendering to police.
"He gave himself up after negotiations," releasing a final female hostage he had kept after giving up three others, a police source said.
00:16 After Westgate Mall attack: Al Shabab penetrates even to Kenya high schools:
Norwegian and Kenyan authorities are now seeking to uncover the networks of a well-known Al Shabab militant '" said to hail from the Scandinavian nation '" found dead in the bloody rubble of Westgate Mall.
But new leaks in Nairobi suggest the radical jihadi message of the Somali-based group is being promulgated much closer to home: In local madrassas and even in some prominent mainstream Kenyan high schools.
00:15 'No notification' of Saudi Arabia snub - UN chief Ban:
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has received no notification from Saudi Arabia that it will turn down a seat on the UN Security Council.
Earlier the Saudi foreign ministry said it had turned down the non-permanent seat, accusing the world body of "double standards".
The ministry said the UN needs to be reformed first.It said the Security Council had failed in its duties towards Syria as well as in other world conflicts.