October 20, 2013
Odisha government today sought Rs 4,242.41 crore from the Centre towards repair and restoration work following the devastation caused by Cyclone Phailin and the subsequent flood.
"The state government has given a memorandum showing a loss of Rs 4,242.41 crore due to the cyclone and the floods. The damages are substantial...I have visited a limited areas in cyclone-hit Ganjam district," Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar.
"We will examine the memorandum given by the state government before releasing assistance to the state. I have suggested to the Odisha chief secretary to take advantage of different central government schemes for long term rehabilitation of the affected people," he said.
Both the state government and central government had worked in tandem which resulted in reducing human casulty in the calamity, Goswami said, adding his priority was to set up an inter-ministerial team comprising representatives of different central ministries which would soon visit the state and access the damage.
Police today raided an ashram of controversial godman Asaram Bapu at Bil village near Vadodara suspecting that some aides of his fugitive son Narayan Sai, wanted in connection with a sexual assault case, were hiding there. The associates of Narayan, however, were not found at the ashram, sources said.
The raid was carried out by a joint team of the Surat and Vadodara Police, apparently on the inputs given by Narayan Sai's aide Dharmendra Pariyar alias Dharmesh (28) who was arrested from Rajendra Nagar in Delhi on Friday.
Two Surat-based sisters had accused the self-styled spiritual leader and his son Narayan of repeatedly sexually assaulting them at their ashrams in Ahmedabad and Surat.
Congress' main contender during next year's general elections will be Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said today, calling BJP "just a mask". "Congress' main fight in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be with RSS. BJP is just a mask," Ramesh said while addressing a rally at Dumariyaganj in Siddharthnagar district.
There were six to seven states where the contest is with RSS, he said. Ramesh alleged that BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party Uttar Pradesh incharge Amit Shah were sowing seeds of hatred through their rallies.
He alleged that they were showing a dream of development to the people by projecting Gujarat as a model, but there were several social problems in the state. Ramesh said Congress always wanted social harmony and development in the country.
Legal hitches appear to have cropped up in the plans to set up two new reactors in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and a commercial agreement on it is unlikely to be signed at the Annual Summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow tomorrow.
Government sources said all issues except one on the liability clause is yet to be resolved and lawyers on both sides are working on it.
"In any case it (agreement) won't be signed during the visit because it is a commercial agreement between NPCIL and Rosatom. They would like to do it separately," they said.
Russia, with whose collaboration the KNPP has been set up, is opposed to the project coming under the ambit of the Nuclear Civil Liability Law of India and wants it to be covered under the Inter-governmental agreement on the issue.
Following Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif's controversial statement where he urged United States to intervene and help resolve the Kashmir issue -- something which both India and US are against -- reactions have started pouring in.
Poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar said on microblogging site Twitter: Mr Nawaz sharif. Today you have signed the death warrant of any possible reconciliation. You have proved our worst fears right.
The Madhya Pradesh unit of Congress has demanded a ban on 'Shivraj App' and 'Modi Run' applications for promoting the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
The apps violate the model code of conduct in the poll-bound state, it has said.
In a complaint with the Election Commission, Congress spokesman Narendra Saluja has said that the Shivraj app uses a song which had been made originally for the state government, at the exchequer's expense, and BJP has appropriated it.
The app provides details of welfare schemes funded by the government, and this violates the Code of Conduct, Saluja has said.
Further, the app displays Chouhan's picture and BJP's symbol 'lotus' which can mislead the voters, he has said. Congress has also alleged that BJP is posting anti-Congress messages on social media platforms including Whats App and Facebook.
Days ahead of his meeting with US President Barack Obama, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today sought US intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue.
Sharif said during his US visit in July 1999 amid Kargil conflict, he had clearly told then President Bill Clinton that if the US intervened, Kashmir issue could be resolved.
"I told him if he spends 10 per cent of the time he was spending on Middle East, the Kashmir issue between two countries would resolve," state-run APP news agency quoted the prime minister as saying. Sharif made the remarks in London during a stopover while on his way to US wherein he will meet Obama on Wednesday.
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales as Australian firefighters battle bushfires that have already destroyed more than 200 homes. The announcement comes as conditions look set to deteriorate with soaring temperatures and strong winds expected to fan the flames in the coming days.
The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, has been the worst-hit region with some fires still raging out of control. State officials say they are the most dangerous conditions in 40 years. New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell said the declaration would give emergency services additional powers over the next 30 days which could include cutting gas and power supplies if needed.
Continue reading the main story Analysis Jon Donnison BBC News, Sydney New South Wales's worst fires in more than a decade look to be far from over. After several cooler days giving firefighters some respite, hot weather has returned with temperatures expected to rise. The coming week will be difficult and dangerous. Hopes of rain seem to have vanished. Predicted high winds pose a particular threat allowing fires to jump containment lines. The state of emergency will allow authorities to force people to leave their homes if necessary.
The division bench of Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a petition filed by Sana Khan, seeking quashing of the case registered by the neighbouring Navi Mumbai police. "How can you say you are not connected when your BMW vehicle has been used? How can we quash this complaint?" the bench said.
Additional public prosecutor Purnima Kantharia said that investigation was almost over and chargesheet would be filed within a week. Following this, Sana's lawyer, advocate Ashok Sarogi, sought to withdraw the petition.
The court allowed it, saying that if Khan was named as an accused in the chargesheet, "then she may adopt alternate remedies available to challenge it".According to Sanpada police, Khan's nephew Naved Khan (18) and the 15-year-old complainant girl became friends on social network in November, and then started meeting.After a few months Naved proposed a marriage to her but the girl refused.
On April 30, when the girl was returning home in Sanpada, Naved, riding in BMW driven by Sana and accompanied by three of his friends, caught up with her. They allegedly tried to drag her in, but she managed to escape.
Former BJP strongman and Karnataka Janatha Party president B S Yeddyurappa, who asked BJP and its partner to consider making his party an alliance partner of the BJP-led coalition, NDA, reiterated his stand while speaking exclusively to TIMES NOW.
Yeddyurappa said that KJP and the BJP are the same and that he has already announced that he will join NDA. Yedyurappa also said that he is eagerly awaiting a response from the BJP on the potential alliance.
If the only evidence of a hidden treasure in Daundia Khera is the sadhus dream, the ASI is making a laughing stock of itself. If no gold is found, how will the ASI and the UPA explain themselves?
It is curious that the Hindalco chairman was named after Mohan Kumaramangalam, the charismatic Communist-turned-Congressman who presided over coal nationalization and other socialist excesses. Today, to take liberties with Karl Marx, the fawning of an earlier generation must be weighing "like a nightmare on the brains of the living."
Indian companies have acquired land more than nine times the size of Delhi on foreign shores, as cultivable land at home is lost to urbanisation, industry and infrastructure projects.
Land Matrix, a global land monitoring initiative that tracks land dealings worldwide, placed India among the top 10 countries that have acquired large tracts of land abroad, primarily for agriculture, in Africa and Asia.
The country ranks eighth, next to China, in the list which has US, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and UK among the top buyers. Of the total 848 deals concluded globally since 2008, 80 involve Indian companies that have invested in 65 deals to grow foodg rains, sugarcane, oil seeds, tea and flowers.
The Obama administration has decided to release more than $1.6 billion in aid to Pakistan, a senior administration official said. The official told CNN foreign affairs reporter Elise Labott that the decision was made because of improved relations over the past year.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was elected in May, is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday. "The visit will highlight the importance and resilience of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship," a White House statement said. Tensions with Pakistan escalated after the U.S. military raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. Pakistan expelled some American military trainers, and some U.S. aid was halted that year.
The former Coal Secretary, P.C. Parakh, embroiled in a controversy over coal block allocation, has defended his joining the Hyderabad-based Navbharat Power as Director in 2007, post-retirement.
He contended that Navbharat Power did not get a mine when he was heading the Ministry and hence there could be no quid pro quo. However, the CBI doesn't seem totally convinced and claims to be in possession of more evidence "which will be revealed later.'
A top CBI source said the agency had enough prima facie material based on which the FIR was filed against Mr. Parakh. The source was quick to add that only further investigation would establish criminality substantively. "It is also possible that criminality is not established eventually and the case goes for a closure. This has happened in many cases,' said the CBI source.
US banking giant JP Morgan is set for a record $13bn (8bn) fine to settle investigations into its mortgage-backed securities, US media reports say. A tentative deal is believed to have been reached in talks with senior US justice department officials.
The sale of overvalued mortgage-backed securities was blamed for the near-collapse of the banking system in 2007. Last month, JP Morgan was fined almost $1bn in a separate case over the "London Whale" trading debacle.
Indicating that the proposed border cooperation agreement with China will top the agenda during his visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he will discuss the issue with Premier Li Keqiang with a forward- looking and problem-solving approach.
In a statement before leaving on a five-day visit to Russia and China, he, however, made no reference to negotiations on a deal for setting up of two new nuclear reactors in the Russian-aided Kudankulam power project.
"India and China have historical issues and there are areas of concern. The two governments are addressing them with sincerity and maturity, without letting them affect the overall atmosphere of friendship and cooperation," Singh said.