23:41 PM has no scope of going scot-free: BJP:
With the CBI writing to the Prime Minister's Office seeking all records related to the allocation of coal block to Hindalco, BJP today said the PM should resign.
"The CBI has demanded all files related to coal block allocation from the PMO. Now what is the PM waiting for? Is he waiting to be quizzed by the agency?" BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
He alleged that at the time when scam took place the coal ministry was with the PM and therefore the entire responsibility was his.
"He must resign. There is no scope of him going scot-free," he said.
Javadekar said that in the CWG scam, Suresh Kalmadi was held responsible because the files were finally signed by him and the same goes for the then Telecom minister A Raja for the 2G scam.
He alleged that the PM finally signed files relating to coal block allotment to 140 companies, then why he was not being held responsible.
23:39 Brisk ticket sale despite doubts over 5th India-Aus ODI:
Even as heavy rains cast doubts over the fate of the fifth ODI between India and Australia in Cuttack on Saturday, cricket enthusiasts today waited in long queues in front of Barabati stadium to purchase tickets for the match.
Even as the city has been witnessing heavy downpour for the last three days and more rains predicted in next two days casting doubts over the fate of the match, diehard enthusiasts arrived here since last night to stand in the queue for the tickets.
Although the ticket counters opened half-an-hour later than the scheduled time, more than 12,000 tickets were sold today, sources said, adding the remaining 4000 tickets would be sold tomorrow morning.
23:36 Russia drops piracy charges against Greenpeace activists:
Russia has dropped piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists, replacing them with hooliganism charges, according to officials.
The new charge has a maximum penalty of seven years rather than 15, Russian news website Lenta reports.
22:10 Britain's Prince George baptised at private ceremony:
A bonny and chubby Prince George, a future British monarch, was today baptised into the Christian faith with holy water from the River Jordan, at a private ceremony.
The christening ceremony of the three-month-old prince, third-in-line to the throne, was only attended by senior royals apart from parents Prince William and his wife Kate, including Queen Elizabeth II and husband Prince Philip, while four members of the Middleton family, seven godparents and their spouses were among the 22 guests at the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace.
22:09 US, NATO, Afghanistan confident on post-2014 troop accord:
The United States, its NATO partners and Afghanistan voiced confidence today that an agreement will soon be reached to allow some alliance troops to remain after next year's withdrawal.
The US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is intended to lay out out the role and legal framework for US soldiers to stay in Afghanistan as part of a NATO training and advisory mission, but has been bogged down in disagreement over troop immunity.
22:08 US, Israel differ on how to resolve Iranian nuclear issue:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the Iranian nuclear issue can be resolved diplomatically, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu is calling for the dismantlement of Iran's controversial program.
The two men made their remarks Wednesday in Rome as they began talks expected to also focus on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and the crisis in Syria.
22:07 NATO, Russia could play role in eliminating Syrian chemical arms:
NATO and Russia could play a role in eliminating Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles if they were asked to do so by the United Nations, said U.S., NATO and Russian officials on Wednesday.
The destruction of Syria's chemical weapons was discussed at a meeting of NATO and Russian defence ministers in Brussels, the first such meeting in two years.
That raised the possibility that Russia and NATO, which usually regard each other with suspicion, could end up cooperating in tackling the problem.
22:06 Vatican suspends 'bishop of bling' Tebartz-van Elst:
The Vatican has suspended a senior German Church leader dubbed the "bishop of bling" by the media over his alleged lavish spending.
Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is accused of spending more than 31m euros (26m; $42m) on renovating his official residence.The Vatican said it deemed "appropriate... a period of leave from the diocese" for the bishop.
21:40 White House fires Twitter critic:
President Obama's staff has unmasked and fired a national security official who tweeted critical comments under a pseudonym.
Jofi Joseph, tweeting under the handle @natsecwonk, once wrote: "I'm a fan of Obama, but his continuing reliance and dependence upon a vacuous cipher like Valerie Jarrett concerns me."
Foreign Policy reports that Joseph "is under investigation by the Justice Department for his alleged social media activities -- both as @NatSecWonk and also possibly as @DCHobbyist, a Twitter account devoted largely to the exploits of North American escorts."
21:20 Berlusconi faces new trial for bribing senator:
An Italian judge today ordered Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial for allegedly bribing a senator to join his party's ranks, in the latest legal woe for the former prime minister.
Berlusconi was formally charged along with his former associate, Valter Lavitola, who is accused by prosecutors of acting as an intermediary in the 3.0-million euro (USD 4.0-million) bribe.
20:54 Court rejects Talwars' petition to summon Nalini, CBI officer:
The CBI court hearing the Aarushi case today rejected a petition of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar seeking summoning of journalist Nalini Singh and CBI DSP Anuj Arya as court witnesses, and said it was a delaying tactic.
The special court asked the defence to initiate final arguments on its part from tomorrow.
20:29 Pawar turns blogger; answers critics:
NCP president Sharad Pawar has turned blogger and in his maiden post sought to reply critics questioning his contribution as the agriculture minister. "What has Mr Sharad Pawar done in the field of agriculture?" or "what is Mr Sharad Pawar's contribution to India's agricultural growth?" Such verbal missiles are often targeted at me. Good questions. Let's address them," the veteran leader said.
"Agriculture is an immensely complex proposition in a country known for its diversity," he said, adding that abundant diversity in soil and weather condition lead to variations in productivity from one region to another.
"Notwithstanding good production, the escalating import bills of pulses and edible oil has been a matter of concern. The tangle can be resolved by optimizing the resources by way of better input supply, adoption of technology, extension and R&D, vigorous marketing and remunerative prices," he said.
"I also believe that the scientific community should be given greater autonomy. This would enable scientists to make farming a viable proposition," the minister said.
"When UPA-1 assumed office, I volunteered to take charge of the agriculture portfolio as I had a blueprint in my mind to enhance the food yield in the country. The country's food grain production stood in the range of 200 million tonnes, barely sufficient to meet the domestic requirement," he said.
19:26 Mizoram assembly poll advanced to Nov 25, counting on Dec 9:
The Election Commission todaychanged the Mizoram assembly election schedule by advancingthe polling on November 25 and postponing the counting by a day to December 9.
The polls to elect the 40-member state assembly wereearlier slated on December 4 and counting was to take place onDecember 8.
Kanchan Gupta: Rahul Gandhi's prattle on Punjab's Khalistani phase, terrorism, Mrs Gandhi's and Rajiv's assassination shows how ill-informed he is.Read
what Rahul said at the Rajasthan rally today.
18:44 Phailin: Naveen demands 3 lakh more IAY houses, Rs 500 cr :
With the cyclone Phailin rendering lakhs of people homeless in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded that the Centre allot at least three lakh additional houses under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and a package of Rs 500 crore labour budget under MGNREGA.In pictures:
How Phailin left 2.5 lakh marooned in Odisha
A testimony to Kolkata street food. Watch
18:32 BJP: Very mean of Rahul to talk about family's sacrifices:
The BJP today attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for making an emotional pitch to garner votes and claimed he had been compelled to do so as he had nothing to drive home about UPA government's performance.
"It is very unfortunate that Rahul has spoken about the assassination of his grandmother and illness of his mother during electioneering and made an emotional appeal to the people to vote for Congress," senior BJP leader Ravishanker Prasad said.
"It's very mean on the part of the Congress Vice-President to harp on the sacrifices made by his family about which the country already knows," he said, adding the emotional appeal made by Rahul at the same time "explains the fact that he has nothing positive to talk about the performance of UPA government for nearly two terms".
"It (Rahul's speech in Churu, Rajasthan) also explains that your government has nothing to offer as far as the problems of modern India is concerned," the senior BJP leader said.
18:03 Fitting reply to be given against Pak firing: Shinde:
Angry over the killing of a BSF jawan in overnight firing by Pakistani troops, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said a fitting reply would be given against such unprovoked acts from across the border.
Shinde said additional BSF troops were being sent to man the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of continuing ceasefire violations.
"We will give a fitting reply to Pakistan," Shinde told reporters in his reaction to yesterday's firing by Pakistani troops on 50 BSF outposts along IB.
The firing came on the heels of a visit by Shinde to the Jammu region yesterday to review the situation along the border and discuss ways to deal with ceasefire violations.
Altogether, more than 130 ceasefire violations have been reported so far this year, the highest for the past eight years. Pakistani Rangers had on Monday opened fire at 10 border posts and heavily shelled over 50 border outposts the following night, killing a head constable of BSF.
17:42 Can foreigners be editors of Indian newspapers? HC ruling on Nov 8:
A Delhi high court bench has decided to settle the question of law raised by a public interest litigation filed by Subramanian Swamy -- whether a foreign national can be the editor of an Indian newspaper.
The order, as dictated in the open court, says, "the larger issue raised by the PIL needs to be considered'.
Swamy's case was that Siddharth Varadarajan was ineligible to be the editor of The Hindu because he is a US citizen.
Varadarajan resigned on Monday. Accepting that the editorship of Varadarajan has now become a "non-issue' as he "has since resigned from the position', the court will now hear only the issue of foreign editors in Indian newspapers.
The matter will be heard on 8 November. More
17:32 NGT notice to Govt,others for plea to demolish Asaram's Ashram:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today issued notices to the Centre, Delhi government, police chief and Asaram Bapu's trust on a petition seeking direction to demolish an alleged illegal 'ashram' constructed by the self-styled godman in the ridge area here.
17:18 HC tells police to probe allegations that Jiah was killed:
The Bombay High Court today asked police to carry out further investigations on allegations made by the mother of actress Jiah Khan in a petition that the latter had been murdered and had not committed suicide.
The judges asked police to carry out further investigations on the material furnished before the court that the actor had been killed.
17:00 Kanchan Gupta tweets: Families want Zaibunissa Kazi and Sanjay Dutt back home. So touching! What about 250 killed in the bombings who will never return home.
16:48 Both Harsh Vardhan, PM soft on tackling corruption: AAPs Sisodia:
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that he found no difference between the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi elections, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, both of whom were known to be soft on tackling corruption.
"The way Manmohan Singh was named as PM by the Congress, the BJP has named Harsh Vardhan. The way Manmohan Singhji keeps quiet at the corruption of Congress, Harsh Vardhanji does not raise a voice against (the) BJP's corruption,' he said.
Expressing confidence about the Aam Aadmi Party's victory in the December 4 Delhi assembly polls, Sisodia said Harsh Vardhan's selection as BJP chief ministerial candidate, proves that the BJP does not have a strong enough candidate to take on three-time Congress Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on various issues bedeviling the national capital.
16:18 Live! MHA asks Maha govt: Should Sanjay Dutt's sentence be reduced?:
Just in: Home Ministry seeks the opinion of the Maharashtra Government on reducing sentence of actor Sanjay Dutt.
Dutt, 53, is serving the remaining 42-month jail term for possessing illegal firearms, part of the cache of weapons which were supposed to be used during the 1993 bombings.
He was shifted to Yerawada jail from Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail on May 22 in a hush-hush pre-dawn operation. In its March 21 verdict, the Supreme Court had reduced Dutt's jail term from six years to five.
The actor had already served 18 months behind bars. On May 10, the Supreme Court had dismissed Dutt's plea seeking review of its judgement on his conviction and the five-year jail sentence.
16:15 Parties to bear all expenses of star campaigners: EC:
Political parties will have to bear the expenses on inviting star campaigners but in case a candidate shares dais with the star or exhibits his photo or poster with his name, the money spent will be included in his account, Delhi Election Commission said.
Moreover, if star campaigner travels with the candidate, then 50 per cent of the travel expenses will be apportioned to the expenditure of candidate.
In case the advertisement for general party propaganda with photo or appeal of the star campaigner is made in the print or the electronic media without any reference to any candidate, expenditure on such general advertisement will be included in the account of the political party.
15:56 I have Narendra Modi's support: Harsh Vardhan:
Harsh Vardhan also said that he has the support of the party's PM candidate, Narendra Modi. "Modi has never ignored me. I have the support of all my seniors," he told CNN IBN.
15:53 Live! Harsh Vardhan: BJP has taken a strategic decision by naming me:
BJP's Delhi CM candidate, Dr Harsh Vardhan, speaking to CNN IBN says Vijay Goel is a capable colleague and has not been dumped, but the BJP has taken a strategic decision by naming him. He says the BJP has always put the people first in Delhi.
Slamming AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, Harsh Vardhan says he is not like Kejriwal, who has a habit of abusing everyone. On Kejriwal's charge that he had praised Delhi CM Sheila Dixit, he says that he was just being civil as he was at same function with her.
15:47 MCA doesn't have right to name club after Sachin: Sena:
Terming as illegal the decision of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to christen its newly built suburban Kandivali club house after Sachin Tendulkar, the Shiv Sena has sought municipal commissioner's intervention in the matter.
"We are not opposed to naming the club house after Sachin. We are against the procedure. The plot on which it has come up belongs to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and has been leased to MCA."
15:17 And more reactions on Rahul's rally...
Nikhil Narayanan: Rahul Gandhi is that guy who would talk about office politics, and parents' illness during an appraisal, and ask for a promotion.
Sensible Sarcasm: Why do Rahul Gandhi's speeches only consist of how his family members died, how they will die? Ridiculous..
QueenBee: People though today #RahulGandhi may speak on biology after his brilliant speeches on hindi (rani ki jhansi ) and physics (escape velocity).
15:15 Reactions to Rahul Gandhi's speech in Churu, Rajasthan...
Lily D'Penha: Truly PM potential. "@firstpostin:Rahul Gandhi: The youth will be able to go to countries abroad like Australia & take the nation forward."
Shuvankar Mukherjee: Rahul Gandhi is right about his unhappy childhood.. is liye kehta hun, pappu - family business chodo, apna kuch shuru karo..
Pallavi Kamat: "I need to tell you about the future & foresight as well.your children will go abroad & make India proud": Rahul Gandhi. Why abroad Bhaiyya?
Aria: Rahul Gandhi has hired a Saas-Bahu soap speech writer. If he really gets killed as he claims he'll make a comeback and get double sympathy.
15:08 Live! SC gives VK Singh four weeks to reply to 'contemptous' remarks :
The Supreme Court has begun contempt proceedings over the remarks that former Army Chief General VK Singh made against the apex court on September 22 in connection with his age row case in a report that was published in The Indian Express.
The General had attacked the SC saying that the court had not gone into the merits of the arguments that he had given on the issue during the proceedings.
The SC after hearing the issue had asked the retired general to either withdraw his petition or invite an adverse judgement.
15:00 China rolls out red carpet for Prime Minister Singh:
Rolling out the red carpet for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chinese leadership today conveyed a message of friendship, serving him some exotic Chinese dishes mixed with Bollywood and Western music.
As the two countries signed nine agreements, including one on strengthening the cooperation on the trans-border rivers, the Chinese military band played Flowing River as the background music for the well laid out banquet hosted by Premier Li Keqiang in honour of Singh.
There were other old Bollywood numbers - the likes of 'Mera Naam Choon Choon', 'Baar Baar Dekho', 'Gore Gore' - to strike a chord with music loving Indians.
Also, the background music played 'Red Dates for Family' topping it with 'Our Life Full of Sunshine'.
The banquet had some interesting quintessential Chinese dishes Sponge Bamboo and Mushroom soup, Bean curd with vegetable topped, Grouper to provide a taste of ancient Chinese cuisine.
In many ways Singh's visit, dominated by strategic issues like border differences, had a striking informality. Besides meetings, it was marked by back-to-back banquets hosted by both Li and President Xi Jinping.
14:58 BJP will do well in Delhi polls under Harsh Vardhan: Modi:
Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today expressed confidence that the party will do well in Delhi Assembly polls under the leadership of Harsh Vardhan.
"Congratulations to Dr. Harsh Vardhan on being named BJP's CM candidate for upcoming Delhi elections. My best wishes," Modi said on twitter.
"As Health Minister, his (Harsh Vardhan's) trend-setting polio eradication drive made Delhi polio-free & now I am sure he will free Delhi from misgovernance," he further said.
He wrote that "under the leadership of Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Shri Vijay Goyal, I am confident BJP will do great in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha Elections."
14:57 US ship's foreign crew shifted to Chennai:
Twenty-two foreign nationals among the 35 arrested crew of detained US-based private ship were today shifted from the Central Prison at Palayamkottai here to Chennai while a court remanded three others to police custody for seven days, officials said.
14:32 Live! Rahul invokes Rajiv, Indira in Raj rally: I played with grandmother's assassins :
Rahul Gandhi's gets emotional at the rally in Churu, Rajasthan. Says he understands the pain of loss. "I have faced this twice, they killed my grandmother and my father, they might kill me too. But I'm not afraid. I used to play with the men who killed my grandmother," he says and adds that Indira Gandhi's assassins wanted to kill her on Diwali.
On to the anti-BJP rhetoric: The BJP sets fires, the Congress douses fires. BJP plays with the anger of people, vitiates the atmosphere.
13:58 Live! China lays out eight-course lunch for PM after nine-MoU deal:
Indian and China on Wednesday morning signed the Border Defence Co-operation Agreement in Beijing in a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People. The agreement is a step forward in one of India's most important bilateral relations, and one of the most complex as well.
Immediately after the meeting, China's Premier Li Keqiang hosted a lunch for PM Dr Manmohan Singh. We are privy to the menu, exclusively created for the PM. The prime ministers's wife Gursharan Kaur was absent since the delegation went directly on to lunch.
The eight-course lunch began with Hors d'oeuvres, followed by sponge Bamboo and Mushroom Soup, Curry-flavoured prawns, Beancurd with vegetables, Grilled Grouper and a dessert selection of Sweet Potato Cream, Pastries and Fruit.
13:37 Live! Veggie Mukesh Ambani enters chicken fastfood biz :
Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries plans to run an exclusive chicken restaurant chain in India in partnership with a UK-based company as he seeks a bite of the quick service restaurant (QSR) pie, which is pegged to grow at 30% per annum.
Given that Ambani is a strict vegetarian, it is a clear sign that business decisions can be separated from an individual's dietary and lifestyle choices.
The chain, to be called 'Chicken came First' will directly compete with KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain. -- TOI
13:15 Talwars want journalist, CBI officer as witness:
In a fresh petition before the special CBI court hearing the Aarushi-Hemraj murder trial, dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar on Tuesday sought summoning of journalist Nalini Singh and CBI officer Anuj Arya as court witnesses in the case. Read
12:26 BSF personnel killed, seven injured in Pak firing, shelling:
In other news: A BSF head constable was killed and seven security personnel injured as Pakistani troops opened fire and heavily shelled over 50 border outposts along the International Border overnight, in the biggest-ever provocative act from across the border in recent times.
The heavy shelling and fresh ceasefire violation come close on the heels of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's visit to areas long the IB yesterday to review the security situation arising out of ceasefire violations since October 14, in which two jawans have been killed and 18 people injured.
BSF officers said Pakistani Rangers opened fire with automatic weapons and attacked over 5O border posts (BOPs) along IB in Jammu frontier belt with mortar shells since last night.
12:14 Hash Vardhan-Vijay Goel's mithai moment :
Rajnath says Vijay Goel backed the party's decision to name Dr Harsh Vardhan as the CM candidate. Harsh Vardhan is a four-time MLA and former health minister.
The BJP's website says that in Dr Harsh Vardhan's capacity as the Health Minister, he had launched the Polio Eradication Plan in October 1994.
He was re-elected to the Second Legislative Assembly in the general elections held in November 1998, reelected MLA in 2003 and in 2008 in the 4th Delhi Legislative Assembly.
LK Advani also echoes much of Rajnath Singh's speech and praises the work done by the Vijay Goel as well, who lost out in the race to be CM candidate.
Photo-op now with Harsh Vardhan and Vijay Goel feeding each other sweets. A hug from Sushma Swaraj and Goel and other senior leaders garland Harsh Vardhan.
12:04 Dr Harsh Vardhan right person to lead the party to victory in Delhi:
All senior BJP leaders at the press briefing in New Delhi to announce the CM candidate for Delhi. BJP president Rajnath Singh says he had called a Central Parliamentary Board meeting to decide on the CM candidate. Rajnath Singh says Harsh Vardhan is the right person to lead the party to victory in Delhi.
12:02 Live! It's official: Dr Harsh Vardhan is BJP's Delhi CM candidate :
Ending uncertainty, BJP has announced the name of former Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan as its Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly polls notwithstanding strong opposition from its city unit head
Vijay Goel. The decision on Vardhan's name was taken by the party's parliamentary board today.
Goel has already been informed about the party's move to nominate the four-time MLA for the top post. Goel had reportedly threatened to resign from the post of Delhi unit president when told about the likelihood of Harsh Vardhan being made the Chief Ministerial candidate.
Goel had on Monday sought an early decision on the issue but remained non-committal on supporting Vardhan if the former health minister was named for the post.
11:58 BJP President Rajnath Singh to announce Dr Harsh Vardhan's candidature shortly after the Parliamentary Board meeting ends.
11:54 Reports indicate that Vijay Goel has agreed to support Dr Harsh Vardhan's candidature as the BJP's Delhi CM candidate.
11:49 Dr Harsh Vardhan likely to be announced BJP's CM candidate :
BJP's Parliamentary Board meeting is underway. Ending uncertainty, BJP is likely to announce the name of former Health Minister Harsh Vardhan as its Chief Ministerial candidate for Delhi Assembly polls notwithstanding strong opposition from its city unit head Vijay Goel.
Sources in the party said a decision on Vardhan's name is likely to be taken by the party's parliamentary board today. They said Goel has already been informed about the party's move to nominate the four-time MLA for the top post.
11:33 Kejriwal: Harshvardhan actually praised Sheila Dikshit in 2010:
Harshvardhan enjoys the support of the RSS -- the BJP's parent body -- as well as most senior leaders including former president Nitin Gadkari, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley.
Meanwhile, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweets: In 2010, Dr HarshVardhan actually praised Mrs Dikshit and said Delhiites were v fortunate to have her. Why fighting against her now? Read
11:19 Staple pinch puts off visa pact with China :
In a typical "two steps forward, one step back" pirouette that characterises the current relationship between Asia's two giants, India is set to sign a significant Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) among other deals with China tomorrow but will not ink the visa liberalisation pact that the host country was particularly keen on. Read
11:11 Sharif to meet Obama today, to raise drone and Kashmir issues:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet President Barack Obama today at the White House, where he intends to raise the issue of drone attacks in Pakistan and seek America's help in resolving the Kashmir issue.
The officials on both sides said the two leaders would chalk out an action plan to not only address their differences, but to also put their ties on a strong footing.
Obama and Sharif are scheduled to meet for about 90 minutes, which has components of both delegation level talks and provision of one-on-one meeting between the two leaders.
11:08 Water agreements signed between India, China:
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Water Resources, the Republic of India and the Ministry of Water Resources, the People's Republic of China on Strengthening Cooperation on Trans-border Rivers has been signed. Read
10:53 Live! When India and China shake hands the world notices: PM in Beijing :
"When India and China shake hands, the world notices," says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. India and China sign nine agreements including one on trans-border rivers. The two nations have resolved to realise the full promise of their partnership and maintain the friendliest of relations.
10:42 The BJP Parliamentary Board meeting to announce the chief ministerial candidate for the Delhi polls at 11:20 am.
10:39 Sharif faced tough questions on 26/11 in US: Sources: NDTV
reports: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is on a visit to Washington,
was, according to sources, reportedly questioned today by the US House
Foreign Affairs Committee on terror-related issues, including Hafiz
Saeed, the Lashkar e Taiba and their role in the Mumbai attacks of 2008
in which 166 people, including six Americans were killed.
Read the full report here
09:56 Simplify visa process for Chinese travellers: PM tells Li :
Bringing up the visa issue in Beijing the PM said, "To foster mutual understanding, we have decided to encourage provincial exchanges. I communicated to premier Li to simplify the visa process for Chinese travellers. Hopefully, China will do the same. When India and China join hands, the world looks safe."
09:53 Peace at our borders should remain foundation of ties: PM in China:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the media in Beijing after signing the border agreement with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. "I'm touched by the warm welcome and generous hospitality in China. Prosperity and progress would be a major factor Asian resurgence and global prosperity."
"Peace at our borders should remain the foundation of our relationship. As large neighbours relationship with other nations should not become a concern. The agreement on border defence cooperation will ensure peace, stability on our borders," he said
The PM said he appreciated China's cooperation in the development of Nalanda University. "We have just agreed to hold talks to full promise of our relationship and friendship. We have agreed that peace at the border should be the foundation of our relationship, We decided to institutionalise greater exchanges between the armed forces of India and China. We are taking forward the suggestion made by premier Li in Delhi of a Chinese industrial park," he said.
Bringing up the visa issue he said he expected China's cooperation in the matter.
09:52 India-China border pact signed:
In Beijing, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signs agreement on border defence. MoUs on water resources, power and development on Nalanda University also signed.
"The border agreement has been signed to increase communication to solve counter terrorism," said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He said he chose Indian as his first destination after assuming office.
08:30 Sharif again seeks US mediation on Kashmir issue:
A day after controversy over reports that Nawaz Sharif hinted at United States intervention to resolve the Kashmir dispute, the Pakistan Prime Minister again asked for America's help to settle outstanding issues with India, including the "core" dispute of Kashmir.
"With its growing influence in India, the US now has the capacity to do more to help the two sides resolve their core disputes, including Kashmir, and in promoting a culture of cooperation," Sharif said on the eve of his meeting with President Barack Obama.
08:28 India-China talks begin as Dr Singh meets Li:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has begun talks with his Chinese counterpart premier Li Keqiang to discuss various bilateral and international issues.
Earlier Dr Singh was received at the Great Hall of the People and accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour, after which the two leaders met for restricted delegation talks followed by another meeting with full delegations from both sides.
08:01 Pak fires on 15 Indian posts, 1 BSF jawan killed:
One Border Security Force jawan was killed after Pakistan opened fire on 15 Indian posts along the LoC in RS Pura sector in Jammu.
The attack came after Home Minister SushiklKumar Shinde and J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reviewed the security situation in the state.
There have been more than 200 ceasefire violations along the border this year.
More details are awaited.
02:23 Apple launches new thinner, lighter iPad Air:
Apple Inc is refreshing its iPad lineup and slashing the price of its Mac computers ahead of the holiday shopping season, as it faces an eroding tablet market share and growing competition from rival gadget makers.
Apple unveiled a new, thinner, lighter tablet called the "iPad Air" along with a slew of new Macs today at an event in San Francisco. The iPad Air weighs just 0.45 kilogram, compared with 0.64 kilogram for the previous version.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the tablet a "screaming fast iPad." He said it is eight times faster than the original iPad that came out in 2010.
The iPad Air will go on sale November 1 and start at $499 for a model with 16 gigabytes of memory. Apple plans to phase out its third and fourth generation iPads while the iPad 2, which launched in 2011, continues selling at $399. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at $399 for a 16-gigabyte model.
The iPad's market share has been eroding compared with cheaper rivals running Google Inc's Android operating system.
Research firm Gartner Inc estimates that Android tablets will end 2013 with a 50 per cent share of the worldwide market versus 49 per cent for the iPad. Just two years ago, the iPad commanded a 65 per cent market share compared to 30 per cent for Android tablets.
Apple also refreshed its computer lineup. A new, 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is thinner and lighter, Schiller said, adding that the laptop has up to 9 hours of battery life, enough to "watch the entire trilogy of 'The Black Knight' on one charge." The notebook's new price is lower: $1,299, compared with $1,499 for the previous version.
02:11 Saudi clerics protest women driving, blame US:
Around 150 clerics and religious scholars held a rare protest outside the Saudi king's palace today against fresh efforts by women seeking the right to drive, highlighting the struggle faced by reformers in the ultraconservative kingdom.
Some of the senior religious leaders who protested outside the palace in the Red Sea port of Jiddah said the United States was behind a campaign calling for women to drive on October 26 that claims to have garnered 16,000 signatures.
The government has not cracked down on the driving campaign, and King Abdullah is believed to favor some social reforms. The protest by clerics, who are among the most influential voices in Saudi Arabia, shows the challenge he faces in pushing gently for change without antagonising conservative segments of the population.
The hard-line Saudi religious establishment has sway over the courts and oversees the often zealous religious police, run by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which enforces strict segregation of the sexes and other restrictive interpretations of Islamic Shariah laws.
02:11 Drone strikes comply with international law: US:
The US today denied its drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere infringed international law and said it did all it could to avoid civilian casualities.
The comments followed the publication of reports on the US drone war by two human rights groups, and came a day before Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to bring up concerns about the US tactic at White House talks.
"We are reviewing these reports carefully," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
"To the extent these reports claim that the US has acted contrary to international law, we would strongly disagree. The administration has repeatedly emphasised the extraordinary care that we take to make sure counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable law."
Carney also said that by deciding to use drone aircraft against terror suspects, rather than sending in troops or using other weapons, Washington was "choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life."
02:10 Money doesn't grow on trees but gold just might: study:
Researchers said today they had found a surprising marker for deep-buried gold, miniscule traces in the leaves of Eucalyptus trees growing over veins of the yellow metal.
The unusual finding may prove a boon for prospectors in a time of dwindling gold reserves and skyrocketing prices, with new discoveries down 45 per cent in the past decade, according to a study in the journal Nature Communications.
"This link between... vegetation growth and buried gold deposits could prove instrumental in developing new technologies for mineral exploration," said a press summary.
Eucalyptus trees can send their roots deep into the ground in search of water in dry areas, even breaking into gold-rich zones where they absorb microscopic metal particles as they drink.
A team of scientists from Australia said they have now shown that gold can be absorbed by the roots and travel through the tree, all the way to its leaves, though in negligible concentrations.