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Live! US Cong to vote next week on Syria strike, key politicians back Obama

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September 03, 2013


22:27  Air fares likely to increase by 10 to 15 per cent:   Air fares are likely to increase by 10-15 per cent from current levels in the immediate future following a steep hike in jet fuel prices, according to travel industry players.

"Fare hike is imminent. The only question is who takes the lead. I would expect a 10-15 per cent increase in fares in the coming days," said Travel Agents Federation of India immediate Past President Ajay Prakash today.
22:23  US Cong to vote next week on Syria strike, key politicians back Obama:  United States President Barack Obama has won backing from key US political figures on his plans for a military strike on Syria.

Obama said a "limited" strike was needed to degrade President Bashar al-Assad's capabilities, in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.

Key Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor both signalled their support for military action. Congress is expected to vote next week, reports BBC.
21:57  Cong on Vanzaras letter: Fake encounters were Modis policy :   The Congress on Tuesday used the resignation of D G Vanzara to attack Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying the Indian Police Service officer's statement proves that fake encounters were a policy of the state government.

Party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said the statements of Vanzara after he tendered his resignation show that "everybody, including the highest post in that state, was in conscious knowledge of what was happening."
21:41  PM meets Sushma, Jailtley, Advani over coal issue:  PM meets BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and L K Advani over coal issue. 
21:25  26/11 case: Pakistani judicial commission's visit delayed:  The visit of an eight-member Pakistani Judicial Commission to India to cross-examine witnesses of the Mumbai terror attacks has been delayed by four days due to "non availability of flight".   

"We were supposed to leave on September 7 but the PIA flight on that day has been cancelled. Hence, we would be leaving on September 11," Riaz Akram Cheema, part of the teamdefending the accused, told PTI.   

He said the anti-terrorism court in Islamabad will beinformed tomorrow during the hearing.
21:11  Agnivesh slams Asaram, demands CBI inquiry in the case:  Attacking Asaram Bapu, activist Swami Agnivesh today demanded a CBI probe into sexual assault allegation against the self-styled godman and trial by a fast track court, saying the case was mere a "tip of the iceberg".

"We see the arrest albeit delayed as moral victory over blind faith and superstition perpetrated by godmen of the likes of Asaram. "But, it is only a tip of the iceberg. Emboldened by this arrest, more victims will now come out, more skeletons will now tumble out of the closet," Agnivesh said.
20:50  PM calls Advani, assures him on missing coal files:  Ahead of the meeting at his residence, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to BJP patriarch L K Advani over the phone. He assured Advani that the government is and will do its best to bring the missing coal files back.
20:48  LoC incident raised doubts about Pakistan's sincerity: Envoy:   India on Tuesday said recent developments on the Line of Control raised "doubts on Pakistan's sincerity" and stressed the need for both countries to forge a common policy for combating terrorism.

India's position was conveyed to Pakistan by High Commissioner T C A Raghavan during a courtesy call on Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Apparently referring to the killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops last month, Raghavan said he viewed the incident on the LoC as a "setback" to the bilateral dialogue process.
20:39  PM invites Jaitley, Sushma, Advani to end coal-gate logjam: Sources:  The BJP top brass -- Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and LK Advani -- will be arriving at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 7 Racecourse residence at 9.30 pm.   

Sources said the agenda is to end the stand-off with the opposition over the coal scam so that important legislation can be cleared before this Parliament session, which ends on Friday, reports NDTV.
20:15  Obama confident Congress will vote to strike Syria:  President Obama said Tuesday he believes Congress will vote to authorize military action against Syria, and that he is willing to work with lawmakers on the wording of a specific resolution.

"We have high confidence that Syria used -- in an indiscriminate fashion -- chemical weapons that killed thousands of people, including over 400 children," Obama told reporters before meeting with members of Congress at the White House.
20:03  British Prime Minister to focus on Syria at G20 in Russia:  Syria will dominate the bilateral agenda between Britain and other countries attending the G20 summit in Russia later this week. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to push Russia and others to back a diplomatic solution to the Syrian conflict as well as a tougher UN response at the St Petersburg summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
20:01  PM invites senior BJP leaders to end stand-off:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls up BJP leader L KAdvani amid stand-off over coal files issue. 

PM invites Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley formeeting tonight to end stand-off. 
19:29  Pakistani jets leave for wargame in China:  A contingent of Pakistan Air Force fighter jets today left for China to participate in a joint exercise, the first time that any country will join manoeuvres in Chinese airspace. 

The Shaheen-II exercise will be conducted by the PAF and People's Liberation Army Air Force during September 3-22. The PAF's Mirage and F-7PG aircraft are taking part in the wargame.
19:29  O' Brien appeals to MPs to pledge their bodies:  Espousing the cause for human organ donation, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O' Brien today appealed to members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to pledge their bodies and save hundreds of lives in the country. 

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, he said that involving oneself to such cause would not only help in reducing the illegal trade of organs but eliminate black market.
18:58  Al Jazeera, three other TV channels banned in Egypt:  An Egyptian court today ordered the closure of four television channels, including Al-Jazeera's local affiliate and one run by Muslim Brotherhood, accusing them of being sympathetic to deposed President Mohammed Morsi. 

The administrative court also banned news channel Ahrar 25, a network belonging to the Brotherhood, and two other Islamist broadcasters - Al-Yarmuk and Al-Quds.
18:36  CRPF jawan killed in Naxal encounter in Jharkhand:  A CRPF commando was today killed in a gunfight with Naxalites in Jharkhand's Chaibasa district. Sources said a joint squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and state police had begun an operation in the jungles of the district last night in hunt of some top Naxal commanders.
18:31  Trainee at multi-national commits suicide, 10 arrested for ragging:  Ten graduates interning at a multi-national company in Nasik in Maharashtra have been arrested after a young girl working as a trainee with them died in hospital today. 

Two nights ago, 19-year-old Pranali Rahane slit her wrist and tried to hang herself in her bedroom; she was rescued by her parents who rushed her to hospital. However, she died of her injuries today.

The police said the 10 graduates she named in her note were arrested today under anti-ragging laws. Rahane started training with the multi-national two years ago.
18:05  Saradha scam: Accused remanded in police custody:  Debjani Mukherjee, Saradha group director and a co-accused in the ponzi scam alongwith its chairman Sudipto Sen, and in-charge of the Durgapur branch of the company Manoj Negel, were today remanded in six days police custody by a court.
17:45   Pakistan Army chief visits LoC to assess situation:   Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani today visited the LoC to assess the security situation in the wake of violations of a ceasefire in the region over the past few weeks.

Kayani visited Kotli sector of the Line of Control, an area that has witnessed heavy exchanges of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops.

Official sources said the powerful army chief visited the LoC to personally assess the security situation and to be briefed by top commanders.

Kayani also met soldiers posted along the LoC and appreciated their bravery, the sources said.
17:33  Video Shows Iran's Ex-President Criticizing Damascus Over Chemical Attack:  A video has surfaced that shows former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani clearly blaming Damascus for chemical attacks, despite the Iranian government's claim that the media had wrongly reported his remarks. Read
17:21  India to act as watchdog over developing Syria crisis: Khurshid:  External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said New Delhi would keep a close watch on the developing crisis in Syria, as there was a possibility of a potential U.S. military strike.

"The situation in Syria is very critical. We are keeping a close watch. We are in touch with our mission there. We have lines of credit and various investments that obviously will come under question if there is a war-like situation in Syria.

"But all we can do today is to keep a watch. There isn't much we can do directly, but we are keeping a watch, keeping ourselves informed and at least life will not be danger if anything was to happen," he said.
17:17  Javadekar denies allegations in fake encounter case, says evidence flimsy:  BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday denied allegations levelled against him in a Public Interest Litigation filed by a journalist, which accuses him of being caught on camera discussing how to protect former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah in connection with the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case of 2006, and added that the evidence produced was doctored.

"Congress has charged and demanded a CBI probe based on an unauthenticated and a probably doctored CD. It is the bankruptcy of the Congress to depend on such flimsy evidences. We completely deny having anything to do with obstructing the judicial process,' Javadekar said.
17:08  US had intel on chemical strike before it was launched. Read
17:01  The MEA responds to the situation in Syria. Read
16:54  Rivals in states have got together to bail out Cong: Yechury:  A "new political alignment" is in the offing in national politics with parties like SP, BSP, RJD and JD(U) vying with each other to support Congress in Parliament, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said today.

"Rivals in the states have got together to bail out the Congress... They don't see eye to eye in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," he said while referring to these parties voting in favour of the Congress-led government in the Rajya Sabha on the Food Security Bill.
16:48  Israel says it carried out joint missile test with US in Mediterranean :  Israel has acknowledged conducting a joint missile test with the United States in the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, responding to reports that Russian radar had detected a missile launch in the direction of the eastern Mediterranean.

The Israeli Defence Ministry confirmed to Reuters that the test was conducted at approximately 9:15 a.m. Israel Daylight Time (2:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time) Tuesday, about the same time that Russia's Interfax news agency reported that the launch was detected by a radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea. 

Russia's state-owned news agency RIA originally reported Tuesday that radar detected two ballistic 'objects' that were fired from the central Mediterranean Sea.

Originally, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military told Reuters that Israel was "not aware of such an event having occurred."

However, approximately an hour later, Israel acknowledged testing a so-called "anchor" target missile used in a U.S.-funded anti-missile system. Read more
16:39  Syria warns 'regional war' over attack, McCain backs Obama:  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that any military attack against his embattled regime would lead to a regional war, as US President Barack Obama today won backing from two hawkish senators for his bid to get a Congressional nod for a strike against Syria.

"Chaos and extremism will spread" if the US and its Western allies decide to attack Syria, Assad said, adding "everyone will lose control of the situation once the powder keg explodes".

"The risk of a regional war exists," he said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro.
16:30  Live! Sohrabuddin fake encounter tainted cop Vanzara resigns :   Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt reporting from New Delhi:

In a surprise move, the accused of  the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and jailed Gujarat police officer DG Vanzara has written a 10-page letter to the Home department of Gujarat alleging that the Narendra Modi government has done to save him for the ordeal that he is currently facing.

He has, reportedly, submitted his resignation from the police force. Although the details of the letter are not yet known, the source in Gandhinagar said that Vanzara has been frustrated since a long because he felt that his seniors and the political leadership that he served had let him down. Vanzara has reportedly accused the Modi government of protecting former home minister Amit Shah while dumping police officials in encounter cases.
16:06  Live! December 16 Delhi gang-rape verdict on September 10:   Just In: Verdict on four accused of 16 Dec Delhi gang-rape case due on Sept 10, says judge. The juvenile accused in the December 16 gang rape case was on Saturday found guilty of murder and rape of the 23-year-old girl, but he got away with a maximum of three years imprisonment mandated under the juvenile law.The juvenile who was six months short of 18 years was, however, acquitted by the Juvenile Justice Board of attempt to murder of the paramedic's male friend, who was the sole eye witness to the dastardly incident that shook the nation.The verdict came under attack from the mother of the victim who said it was not acceptable to her.
15:48  Live! LeT bomb expert Tunda sent to 5-day police custody :   Top Lashkar-e-Toiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda remanded in five-day police custody by Delhi court.
15:42  Syria crisis: Vladimir Putin under growing pressure:  Russian president to be urged at G20 summit to come closer to accepting that Bashar al-Assad has to stand aside. Read
15:37   Indian market falls by over 500 points after reports of a missile strike on Syria. The BSE Sensex closed at 18206, down 680 points while the Nifty closed down 213 points at 5337.
15:35  No US planes or ships have launched missiles in the Mediterranean, US official says following ballistic objects report, says CBS News.
15:29  UN refugee agency says more than 20 lalkh have fled Syria:   More than two million Syrians are now refugees, with the total going up by a million in six months, the UN says. At least 700,000 have fled to Lebanon, and more Syrians are now displaced than any other nationality, the UNHCR says.
15:01  Update: Israeli military not aware of any missile launch in eastern Mediterranean, spokeswoman says.
14:57  Reports of missile attack on Syria FALSE: Russian embassy :   Russian radar detected the launch of two ballistic "objects" towards the eastern Mediterranean from the central part of the sea on Tuesday, Russian news agencies quoted the Defence Ministry as saying.

However, the Russian embassy in Syria says there is no sign of a missile attack or explosions in Damascus.

Interfax news agency quoted a ministry spokesman as saying the launch was detected at 10:16 am Moscow time (0616 GMT) by an early warning radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea, which is designed to detect missiles from Europe and Iran.

The agencies did not say who had carried out the launch and whether any impact had been detected. The ministry declined comment to Reuters.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had informed President Vladimir Putin of the launch.

"The trajectory of these objects goes from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea toward the eastern part of the Mediterranean coast," Interfax quoted the spokesman as saying. -- Reuters
14:42  Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has called for a all-party meet to end the logjam in Parliament. 
14:39  Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha adjourned till 3 pm as BJP, Left members create uproar over PM's statement on missing coal files
14:28  Live! Goldman Sachs cuts India GDP to 4% :  Goldman Sachs joins the downgrading bandwagon, sharply cutting India's GDP forecast to 4 percent from 6 percent for FY14 and to 5.4 percent from 6.8 percent for FY15. Read
14:22  The search for Suleiman the Magnificent's heart:  Later this month a team of Hungarian researchers will publish a report on the whereabouts of the heart of one of Ottoman Turkey's most famous sultans. But why has this become such an important historical riddle to solve? Read
14:14  Delhi and Beijing work on 'practical' ways to avoid misunderstanding. Read
14:07  Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for 15 minutes after it resumed work at 2 pm. Uproar in the Lok Sabha over PM's statement on the missing coal files. Members demand a clarification. 
14:04  No more tears: Onion prices may ease soon as South India crop hits mkt:  Onion prices, which continues to rule at an unaffordable level of Rs 60-70 per kg, are expected to cool down in the coming days as new crop from south India has started hitting the market, the government said today. Since the last one and half months, retail price of onion skyrocketed up to Rs 80 per kg in most parts of the country, affecting consumer budget and forcing the government to curb exports and allow imports.
13:45  India is still waiting for Superman:  The Indian economy is facing a rout. The latest data, which show growth slowing sharply, and a plunging currency have laid bare the fragility of the economy. Raghuram Rajan, who takes over at the helm of India's central bank this week, is being heralded as the savior the country needs. Read
13:34  Live! Nelson Mandela remains critical: SA President :  BBC Breaking News: Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition; receiving care at home from same medical team as hospital, South African President Jacob Zuma says.

South Africans on Monday welcomed Nelson Mandela's discharge from a hospital after nearly three months of treatment amid concerns that his health remains so poor that he still must receive intensive care at home.

An ambulance returned the 95-year-old leader of the anti-apartheid movement to his home in the leafy Johannesburg neighbourhood of Houghton on Sunday.

The office of South African President said Mandela remains in critical and sometimes unstable condition and will receive the same level of care that he did in the  hospital, administered by the same doctors. More


13:05  PM evading issue, screams BJP:   The PM said the files would be handed over to the CBI as per the stipulated time, but BJP senior leader Venkaiah Naidu, would have none of it. Uproar from the Opposition benches forces the deputy chairman of the house, PJ Kurien, to adjourns the house.  
12:49  The BJP says the PM has not answered the charges and is trying to evade the issue.

The chair says the demand is not justified. The PM was asked to speak, he did. He cannot be expected to reply in the way the opposition wants him to.

The chair adjourns the house till 2 pm. 
12:47  Live! PM to Parliament: Too early to say coal files are missing :  The PM says it's too early to say some files have gone missing. The fact that 1 lakh files have already been handed over to the CBI, shows the intent of the government.

"If some files are really missing, we will punish the guilty, says the PM. "Don't draw hasty conclusions, let the House function," he says.


And that's it. The speech ends and expectedly, there is an uproar from the Opposition benches.
12:42  Live! PM on missing coal files: Govt has NOTHING to hide:  The Prime Minister addressing the Rajya Sabha on the missing coal files. The PM says the government making all efforts to locate the missing files. "The government has nothing to hide and will carry out a thorough investigation and punish the guilty," he says. "The government is providing all help to the CBI," he says. One lakh files have already been given to the CBI.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley listening intently.
12:37  The political overlords of a violent underclass:  Skewed growth is pushing the marginalised into the arms of waiting netas who turn them into tools of violence. Read
12:34  The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm. 
12:34  Asaram's security excessive, says SC:  In an apparent reference to religious preacher Asaram Bapu, who was arrested on Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting a schoolgirl, the Supreme Court today slammed the 'hordes' of security around him. Read
12:31  Towards a lower trajectory:  In a rare confidence-building exercise, the Prime Minister on Friday assured Parliament that his government would strictly adhere to pre-stated fiscal consolidation norms and was committed to putting the economy back on 'the path of stable, sustainable growth.'  Read
12:27  How the Yasin Bhatkal's are financed:  Yasin Bhatkal was 22 when he had his first tryst with terror. The same is the case of his boss Riyaz Bhatkal too. What motivates these operatives? Is it money or ideology? Read
12:24   Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for 10 minutes before the PM attempts to speak on the missing coal files. 
12:12  PM to make statement in RS on missing coal files:   Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will make a statement in Rajya Sabha today immediately after the Zero Hour on the issue of missing files relating to allocation of coal blocks.

This was announced in the House by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla in response to Opposition's demand for Singh's statement on the multi-crore coal block allocation scam.

BJP has been demanding for a statement from the Prime Minister, who earlier held the coal portfolio from 2006 to 2009 when the coal blocks were allocated.
12:02  PM must address I-20 before G-20: Venkaiah:  Accusing the Congress-led UPA Government of trying to cover up the issue of the missing coal files, BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must address I-120 (India 120 crore people) over the issue before leaving for the G-20 Summit in Moscow.

"The government is trying to cover up the issue of missing files of the coal allegations. This is a very serious issue. The parliament session is going on. The government has not only failed to take the house into confidence, but is also making every effort to cover-up their failures and guilt,' Naidu said. 
11:46  Smoke emanates from Spicejet flight, passengers safe:  The passengers of Chennai-Tuticorin Spicejet flight had a narrow escape this morning after smoke emanated from one of its engines before landing here, airport sources said.

The flight with about 70 passengers on board left Chennai around 7.30 am and when it was about to land around 8:25 pm, smoke was noticed from one of its engines. The pilot landed the aircraft safely and fire tenders contained the smoke by spraying water laced with foam at the aircraft.

All the passengers were safely disembarked, airport sources said. The Spicejet has cancelled the return flight from Tuticorin to Chennai.
11:37  The Rajya Sabha is discussing the increasing number of crimes against women.

Delhi's Lt Governor Najeeb Jung said yesterday that he was dissatisfied by the quantum of punishment handed out to the juvenile in the Delhi gang rape of December 16.
11:35  Gang-raped by same men at Shakti Mills, says a Mumbai woman :   A woman has complained that she was raped at Shakti Mills by three of the five men accused of raping a young photographer there earlier this month.

The police has registered a case based on the new complaint. 

The woman says she was gang-raped at the deserted textile mill on July 31.

That is where, on August 22, a photographer and her male colleague were on assignment when they were accosted by a group of men. 

The photographer, 22, was then gang-raped while her colleague was tied up with belts. She left hospital last week.

Of the five men arrested for the gang-rape, one is a juvenile.  The police says that the others have confessed to raping two other women at the same location.-- NDTV
11:23  23-year-old girl travelling alone in auto harassed by bikers in Mumbai:  Less than a week after a TV actor and her friend were assaulted by three men who snatched their purse as a crowd of 10-15 people looked on in Oshiwara, a 23-year-old fashion stylist travelling alone in an autorickshaw was harassed by two men on a bike in Malad on Saturday evening. Read
11:08  The Delhi Police moves the high court against trial court order for lodging FIR against CM Sheila Dikshit for allegedly misusing funds ahead of the 2008 polls.
11:05  The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea of 2G accused challenging its direction barring them from filing an appeal in the high court against the trial court order. The SC says its two orders are in larger public interest and in the interest of accused for speedy trial in the case. 
11:03  Live! Air fares set to rise steeply next month:  Get set for skyhigh air fares from next month when the peak travel period kicks off with the festive season. Oil companies have hiked aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by 7%, taking the prices of jet fuel -- which is the single largest component of an airline's operating cost -- to an all-time high. Read
10:52  Microsoft to acquire Nokia handset business for $7.2 bn:  Microsoft Corp on Tuesday said it would buy Nokia's mobile phone business for 5.44 billion euros, and the Finnish firm said its CEO, Stephen Elop, would join Microsoft when the transaction closed.

Finland's Nokia, once the undisputed leader in mobile phones, has been struggling to respond to the challenge from smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung. Read
10:46  Microsoft to acquire Nokia's handset business for USD 7.17 billion. Details awaited. 
10:46  Asaram cleared potency test without any drugs:   The virility of the controversial 72-year-old godman Asaram Bapu surprised the team of three doctors who conducted a potency test on him after he agreed to be subjected to it. Read
10:11  Teacher arrested for sexually assaulting 8-yr-old student:  
A 57-year-old teacher of a government school in Puudherry was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old girl student. 

Harikrishnan was arrested on Monday under Section 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act after the girl's parents along with residents of Irulanchanthai and Kirumambakkam villages staged a road roko seeking action against the teacher, police said on Tuesday. 

The parents had earlier approached the school authorities for action with the girl narrating the incident to them. 

However, since the school authorities did not respond to their plea, the parents along with the villagers staged road roko protesting the inaction on the part of the school. 
09:59  Rupee falls 50 paise; Sensex up over 121 points:  
The rupee today further depreciated by 50 paise to 66.50 against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market due to renewed dollar demand from importers and appreciation of the US currency overseas. 

Forex dealers said besides dollar's gains against the yen and euro on improved economic data, increased demand from importers for the American currency also put pressure on the rupee.

They said, however, rupee's decline was restricted by persistent rise in domestic equities. 

The rupee fell by 30 paise to close at 66 against the US currency in the previous session. 

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex rose by 121.18 points, or 0.64 per cent, to trade above 19,000 at 19,007.31 in early trade today. 
09:58  Now, Rs 18 crore fine on Asaram's Surat ashram:  
CNN-IBN reports: There are more tough days for Asaram who will spend the next fortnight in the custody for alleged sexual assault on a minor girl. 

The Gujarat government on Monday has moved to levy a Rs 18 crore fine on Asaram's Jahangirpura Ashram in Surat. 

The self-styled godman has been accused of encroaching on land which was reserved for a water harvesting project.

Asaram has allegedly encroached a 34,000 sq metre land in Surat's Jahangirpura for his ashram. 

The Surat collector has now moved to slap a fine of Rs 18 crore on Asaram. Asaram has been fined for not paying rent to the Gujarat government for the period between 1996 and 2010.

Read more HERE
09:23  Will Asaram Bapu get bail today?:  
The bail petition of self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Jodhpur, will come up for hearing on Tuesday morning. 

Asaram was behind bars on Monday after he was remanded in 14-day judicial custody by a local court.

Wearing a white dhoti and kurta and a red cap, the controversial 72-year-old Asaram was produced amid tight security yesterday before the district and sessions court where the magistrate Manoj Kumar ordered to send him to judicial custody till September 15. 

The counsel for Asaram moved an application for bail yesterday. Asaram was brought to the court in a police bus escorted by a police vehicle. He was remanded in one-day police custody on Sunday after being grilled for four hours. 
09:19  Climate at five minutes to midnight: IPCC:  
Humanity has pushed the world's climate system to the brink, leaving itself only scant time to act, the head of the UN's group of climate scientists said today. 

"We have five minutes before midnight," warned Rajendra Pachauri, whose organisation will this month release the first volume of a new assessment of global warming and its impacts. 

"We may utilise the gifts of nature just as we choose, but in our books the debits are always equal to the credits," Pachauri told a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the environmental organisation Green Cross International, quoting fellow Indian Mahatma Gandhi. 

"May I submit that humanity has completely ignored, disregarded and been totally indifferent to the debits? 

"Today we have the knowledge to be able to map out the debits and to understand what we have done to the condition of this planet," Pachauri said. 
09:19  Delhi shame: Minor rapes 10-year old inside toilet:  
In another horrific incident, a 10-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by her 16-year-old neighbour, police said. 

The incident took place in RK Puram area of South Delhi. 

"The 16-year-old took the girl inside the toilet of her house and inserted a water pipe in her vagina. The minor got scared when the girl started crying and fled," a news website quoted police as saying. 

"He has been sent to juvenile home after being produced before the Juvenile Justice Board," a police official said. The girl was immediately rushed to Safdurjung hospital. A minor surgery was performed on her. She is out of danger but in shock. 
02:56  160 people killed, 5.4 million people affected by floods:   As many as 160 people have died and 5.4 million others affected due to floods in Bihar this year, a Disaster Management official said today.

The Disaster Management Department Officer on Special Duty Vipin Kumar Rai said that as many as 20 districts of Bihar have been affected with floods of which the river Ganga has wreaked havoc in 10 districts such as Patna, Bhojpur, Buxar, Saran, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Vaishali, Begusarai.

The Disaster Management Department has provided compensation to the kins of victims of floods, while the affected people have been shifted to safer places, he said.

Relief and rehabilitation works have been launched on war footing and one quintal foodgrain provided to each family in 20 flood-affected districts, Rai said, adding till date 2.9 lakh quintal foodgrain has been distributed among the affected people.
00:31  Food Bill, a 'half-hearted' attempt by UPA govt: BJP:  After the Rajya Sabha gave its nod to the Food Security Bill, BJP attacked the government saying it has made a "half-hearted" attempt and the shortcomings will be rectified if the party comes to power.

"It is a half-hearted move by the government...They had made the promise in 2009 and it took them four and a half years to fulfil it. This is a clear example of their intention. Elections are around that is why they have brought this Bill at this time," said BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu.

He said his party supported the Bill and brought some amendments to remove the shortcomings in it, but the government did not allow any of them to be passed.

"We supported the Bill and gave certain amendments to bring improvements in it as it suffered from some lacunas. But the government did not accept our amendments. When we will win election and come to power, we will try to make improvements in the Bill," he said.
00:25  Cong dividing AP without knowing people's concerns: YSRCP:   YSR Congress party leader Sharmila, sister of party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, today formally began her bus yatra in support of united Andhra Pradesh with a public meeting from the temple town.

Addressing a public meeting, Sharmila said the ruling Congress has set about dividing the state without taking into consideration the concerns of the people.

The ruling Congress and the main opposition TDP were only interested in political mileage without doing anything concrete for the people of Seemandhra region.

Earlier, Sharmila, her mother and YSRCP honorary president Y S Vijayamma and other family members, party leaders paid homage to late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on his death anniversary at the family estate in Kadapa district.

YSRCP has come out openly in support of united Andhra Pradesh. However, the party had earlier said that status quo should be maintained if the Centre fails to do equal justice to all the regions.
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