23:51 Kerry heading to Europe to discuss Syria:
US Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to Europe to garner support from key American allies for a military strike against Syria and discuss efforts to negotiate a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians.
Beginning September 6, Kerry would travel to Lithunia, which currently hold the presidency of European Union; France and Britain, his spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters on September 6.
Kerry in Lithunia will meet with the EU Foreign Ministers in informal session, hosted by the Lithuanians, to discuss the Middle East, including Syria, Egypt, and ongoing direct, final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, she said.
Kerry will travel to France on September 7. While in Paris, he will meet with senior French government officials to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues.
On September 8, Kerry will meet with representatives of the Arab League, she added. The Secretary of State will then travel to the United Kingdom.
22:52 Padmabhushan recipient surgeon L H Hiranandani passes away:
Eminent ENT surgeon, educationist and Padmabhushan recipient L H Hiranandani passed away at his residence here this evening. He was 96. He is survived by his wife Kanta and two sons, Niranjan and Surendra, who are well-known real estate developers.
His body will be kept at Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital Powai from 9.30 am to 10.30 am tomorrow to enable people pay their last respects, family sources said.
His last rites will be performed at Chandanwadi crematorium on September 6.
22:10 Now Air India hikes fares by 25 pc:
Air India today hiked passenger fares by 23 to 25 per cent on all
domestic routes, following a sharp increase in the price of aviation
turbine fuel. The carrier may also raise fares on international
The hike comes a day after Jet Airways and SpiceJet announced similar hikes in their airfares.
22:04 Parliament approves amendments to Sebi Act:
Parliament today approved amendments to the Sebi Act that will widen the pool of eligible candidates for the post of presiding officer at the Securities Appellate Tribunal.
The Rajya Sabha today passed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, 2013 which was earlier approved by the Lok Sabha.
21:40 Bill to protect street vendors introduced in Lok Sabha:
A bill to protect the rights of urban street vendors -- including against harassment by the police and other authorities -- as well as to regulate street vending activities was today moved for discussion and passage in the Lok Sabha.
Moving for discussion and passage the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2012, in the Lok Sabha, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Girija Vyas said it seeks to protect the rights of urban street vendors from harassment by the police, municipal authorities and others.
21:32 Bill on disqualification of lawmakers deferred in RS:
Consideration of a bill which seeks to negate a Supreme Court judgement on immediate disqualification of lawmakers upon conviction by the Rajya Sabha was deferred today as the opposition pressed for detailed discussion on the crucial issue. The bill will now be taken up tomorrow.
21:31 Pak PM Sharif hosts farewell lunch for President Zardari:
Setting aside the rivalry that has characterised their relations in recent years, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today hosted a farewell lunch for outgoing President Asif Ali Zardari. Sharif described the event as "historic" as for the first time in the country's 66-year history, an elected premier was bidding farewell to an elected president who is completing his five-year tenure.
"This is an unprecedented golden chapter being added to the annals of our history. It's a new history in the making," said Sharif, the head of the ruling PML-N.
21:29 Sanjeev Bhatt forged evidence to malign Gujarat govt: SIT:
The lawyer of the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court to probe the 2002 Gujarat riots today contended that Sanjeev Bhatt, suspended IPS officer, forged evidence to malign the state government.
"Sanjeev Bhatt has claimed that he had alerted chief minister's office of impending riots...through fax messeges,but during our investigation it was found that many of thosemessages were forged," said advocate R S Jamuar, arguing before Metropolitan Magistrate B J Ganatra in Ahmedabad.
Men make history but few talk of the way the women helped them make it, opines Shiv Visvanathan in The Asia Age.
20:40 PM at G20 Summit: RBI will accelerate reform process:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at G20 Summit: New RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has indicated important changes in banking regulations. The RBI will accelerate the reform process. Introduced a number of reforms and and intend to do more in the future. Reforms that lie ahead are more difficult.
20:31 Govt defers RTI Act: Anita Katyal
reports: Taking a cue from the prevailing public mood against the political class, the Congress leadership -- Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi -- are said to have clinched the argument in favour of deferring the amendment to the Right to Information Act Act, which seeks to keep political parties out of the ambit of the transparency law.
V Narayansamy, Minister of state for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions today informed the Lok Sabha that the government had decided to send the RTI Amendment Bill to the Parliamentary standing committee for greater scrutiny. "We will introduce the Bill after we receive inputs from all political parties,' Narayansamy told rediff.com
20:23 India is a Hindu nation, says Goa CM:
In an interview, which has been carried by The New York Time
s, Goa Chief Minister said: India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense. A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally because his practices don't match with Catholics in Brazil except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic's way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu's.
19:37 Live! Lok Sabha passes Land Bill:
Lok Sabha has passed the Land Bill with amendments.
Reports also suggest that Judicial Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.
18:56 Live! Indian author Sushmita Banerjee shot dead by militants in Afghanistan:
The BBC reports: The book about her dramatic escape in 1995 became a best-seller in India and was made into a Bollywood film in 2003.
Ms Banerjee had recently moved back to Afghanistan to live with her husband. A senior police official told the BBC's Jafar Haand that Ms Banerjee, who was also known as Sayed Kamala, was working as a health worker in the province and had been filming the lives of local women as part of her work.
Police said Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital, Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Ms Banerjee out and shot her.
They dumped her body near a religious school, police added. No group has yet said it carried out the attack. 'Taliban interrogation' Ms Banerjee, 49, became well-known in India for her memoir, A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife, which recounted her life in Afghanistan with her husband Jaanbaz Khan.and her escape.
She was the subject of the 2003 Bollywood film, Escape From Taliban. Starring actress Manisha Koirala, the film described itself as a "story of a woman who dares [the] Taliban".
18:18 1965 Indo-Pak war ammunition recovered near LoC in Jammu:
Police have recovered a cache of ammunition dating back to the 1965 Indo-Pak war from Trota area along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu district.
Police dug out over 1,300 rounds of ammunition, which included 564 rounds of SLR and 813 rounds of Carbine, besides a hand grenade, in the presence of the army from the Trota area of Jourian in Akhnoor tehsil of the district yesterday, a police officer said.
17:19 Just in: One dead in firing at Saket, Delhi. The police suspect gang rivalry.
The Parliament Monsoon session has been extended by one day, till Saturday.
16:42 Live! Govt defers RTI Bill, no consensus among parties for amendments:
Just in: The government has deferred the crucial RTI Bill. The Bill will now be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee and will come up for discussion in the Winter Session.
The amendments to the Bill was opposed by the TMC, BJD and CPI and the government decided to defer it due to lack of consensus.
16:12 Congress taking our votes for granted: Muslim forums:
Congress today came under strong criticism from two forums for Muslim intellectuals here after none of its central ministers turned up for a seminar organised by the latter last week in New Delhi.
In a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the organisers said that the party was moving away from its "core ideology of secularism" and taking the Muslim community for granted.
For fans of Raghuram Rajan, who may or may not understand what a repo rate is. Read:
10 reasons why markets are cheering Raghuram Rajan
15:47 Peeved over Asaram row, sadhu chops off genitals in UP:
Apparently peeved at the allegations against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, a 50-year-old sadhu chopped off his genitals in Madhavpur village in Amethi, police said today.
"I am not a follower of Asaram but I am peeved with such allegations against a saint. These allegations are a blot on the fraternity of saints," police sources quoted Sant Baba Premdas of Udaseen Math as having said after his extreme act.
15:36 India's new Central bank leader may have short honeymoon:
Indian newspapers have been gushing about the new governor of the central bank, Raghuram Rajan, in terms usually reserved for Bollywood film stars: his trim physique, his long-distance running, even his "rather photogenic appeal," as The Mumbai Mirror tabloid wrote this week. This may not last long. Read
15:31 Iran orders release of the Indian oil tanker after 24 days of detention.
15:25 Live! 'Pak PM Sharif will meet Manmohan Singh at UNGA meet':
Pakistan interlocutor Shahriyar Khan has told CNN INB that the meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meet is on. Dr Singh is to address the UNGA meet on September 28, a day after Sharif's address. This is the first time that Sharif will meet the PM after he took office. Also read:
Indo-Pak PM envoys hold secret meet in Dubai
15:09 Mayawati demands probe into charges levelled by Vanzara:
Demanding a high-level probe into the charges levelled by IPS officer D G Vanzara against the Gujarat government, BSP today said the matter should also be discussed in both Houses of Parliament.
"Our party's opinion is that it (Vanzara allegations) should be discussed in both Houses. At the same time there should be a high-level inquiry into it, because it is a serious issue," BSP chief Mayawati told reporters outside Parliament.
15:01 Head for a caffeine boost this weekend. Bandra gets its first Starbucks today and over the weekend Pune will get its first one too in Koregaon Park.
15:00 IMF grants USD 6.7 bn conditional loan to Pakistan:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a 6.7 billion dollar loan to Pakistan for the latter to resolve its economic crisis.
Pakistan has been asked to introduce reforms to increase growth, bring down the budget deficit and improve the rate of tax collection to receive the funds, the BBC reports.
The loan amount will be paid out over a period of three years, beginning with the release of 540 million dollars.
14:52 Girl raped by father, younger brother for nine years:
A 25-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father and younger brother for over nine years with the tacit consent of her mother in the Krishna Nagar locality in Lucknow, police said.
The stunning allegation was made straight to none other than Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav by the victim at his "Janta Darshan" programme yesterday.
The girl, a beautician, was thereafter sent to a women's police station where a report was registered and the father (about 57 years old) and brother (23) subsequently arrested, police said. The mother of the victim was also arrested under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC for giving her tacit consent to the alleged crime, they said.
14:36 The Great Escape: India's unsung war heroes:
Three Indian Air Force fighter pilots held as Prisoners of War in a jail in Rawalipindi made a heroic escape. They reached as far as the Pak-Afghan border in Pakistan's Wild West -- within sniffing distance of freedom -- only to realise that they had finally met their match.
Or so it seemed.
The three escapees were never feted for their audacious attempt 41 years ago and truly deserve official recognition. Why not honour them at least now, says MP Anil Kumar in the second part of his brilliant account of that Great Escape. Read
14:30 Goa Catholics culturally Hindus, India a Hindu nation: Parrikar:
Catholics in Goa are culturally Hindu and India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense, chief minister Manohar Parrikar has said.
"India is a Hindu nation in the cultural sense. A Catholic in Goa is also Hindu culturally because his practices don't match with Catholics in Brazil except in the religious aspect, a Goan Catholic's way of thinking and practice matches a Hindu's," Parrikar said in an interview to New York Times' India blog published on Wednesday. Read
14:20 Russia to highlight Syria strike risks at UN nuclear meet:
Russia today said it would warn a meeting of the UN's atomic watchdog next week that any US military strikes in Syria could hit a nuclear research reactor there.
"Russia will for sure raise this topic at the autumn session of the board of governors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opening on September 9 in Vienna," a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.
Russia warned yesterday that US military strikes in Syria could have "catastrophic" consequences for nuclear safety if they hits a research reactor in the suburbs of Damascus.
14:06 Live! BJP slams Chidambaram for blaming Pranab for economic crisis:
Opposition today attacked Finance Minister P Chidambaram for blaming his predecessor for the ills facing the economy and told the government to get out if it cannot rescue the country from the "irretrievable" situation created by its "incompetence and corruption".
Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Supplementary Demands for Grants (General), BJP leader Ananth Kumar dubbed Chidambaram as 'anartha shastri' (expert in creating chaos) and held him responsible for the current economic situation which was "irretrievable".
"If they are not capable of leading...govern or get out. ...The people's dreams of a robust and prosperous economy have been ruined by the incompetence and corruption of this government," he said.Read
: Rift between Pranab, PC grows wider
13:49 Rape victim's identity: disclosure for whom?:
When and how a sexual assault victim chooses to reveal her identity is a product of complex factors. It takes immense courage to stand up and fight, but the decision must remain hers, not the media's. Laxmi Murthy responds to Bachi Karkaria's "Don't make her lose her face". Read
13:34 Land Bill back in LS for fresh approval:
The Land Acquisition Bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha last night, was today returned to Lok Sabha to seek its approval for the fresh amendments passed by the Upper House.
Lok Sabha Secretary General A Bal Shekar informed the House that the Rajya Sabha has returned the bill with amendments.
The fresh amendments include one on dilution of retrospective clause with regard to acquisition of land for irrigation projects.
13:24 Geetika suicide case: Gopal Kanda gets bail:
Former Haryana minister Gopal Kanda, an accused in air hostess Geetika Sharma's suicide case, has been granted interim bail from a Delhi court to attend the state assembly session.
13:21 Live! Modi: Don't want to be PM, priority is to serve Gujarat:
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's first statement on the presumption that he is the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 polls. Speaking at a Teachers' Day function in the state, the CM said he had no intention to be the prime minister, CNN IBN reports.
"I want to work for the people of my state. They have chosen me to serve them till 2017 and that is my priority. I don't want to be PM," Modi said.
12:50 The Raghuram Rajan effect: Sensex zooms past 19,000:
The rupee rallied and shares surged on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) chief unveiled a slew of measures to support the ailing currency and open markets, providing a shot of confidence for investors unnerved by the country's worst economic crisis in two decades. ReadAlso read:
12 interesting facts about Rajan
12:41 PM still keen to work with Pak:
Manmohan Singh has always been eager to arrive at some kind of workable relationship with Pakistan. This aim has been a key element of his foreign policy initiatives in spite of strong criticisms from ultra nationalist quarters. Reports suggest that the prime minister retains his keenness to engage with Pakistan. Read
12:38 Vanzara stirs up Rajya Sabha:
Rajya Sabha today witnessed uproar by Left, SP and JD-U members over charges by jailed IPS officer DG Vanzara against Narendra Modi and his aide Amit Shah.
Members belonging to Left parties staged a walkout after they were not allowed to raise the issue.
As soon as the House met for the day, Left, SP and JD-U members were on their feet shouting slogans, demanding that the issue be taken up for discussion immediately.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurein, who was in the Chair, however, rejected their demand leading to more protests. The House was adjourned for 15 minutes, but is now back in session.
12:32 Aruna Roy slams UPA government on RTI amendments :
A bill seeking to amend the Right To Information (RTI) Act to shield political parties from providing information under the transparency law is scheduled to come up for discussion in Lok Sabha on Monday.
The government has proposed an amendment in Section 2 of the act, which defines public authority, to shield the political parties.
The proposed amendments, if accepted by Parliament, will make it clear that the definition of public authority shall not include any political party registered under the Representation of the People Act, officials said.
Activist Aruna Roy has urged people to 1) Email the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar. She has the power to refer this Bill to a standing committee and ensure that the public is consulted.
Below is a sample email you can send her (email@example.com) with a copy to the Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org).Dear Madam,
I am writing this email to express my anguish over the proposed amendment to the RTI Act. The RTI Act has been a powerful tool for fighting corruption and I feel it is undemocratic to amend it without hearing the concerns of citizens. I therefore request you to refer this bill to a Standing Committee and thus enable more public discussion on this issue.
12:11 A profoundly just order:
By recalling its directions and declarations issued a year ago on the appointment of Information Commissioners under the Right to Information Act, the Supreme Court has ensured that there will be no frustrating complications in the working of this path-breaking law. Read
11:57 Three months after U'khand disaster, 64 more bodies found under rubble :
With the weather clear at most places across Uttarakhand over the past few days, 64 more bodies were found lying over the ridges in Kedarnath valley and cremated with necessary rituals, a senior police officer said today.
"These bodies seem to be of devotees who climbed up the ridges out of fear after the mid June calamity to save themselves and perished due to extreme cold conditions there," IG R S Meena said.
A total of 64 bodies have been consigned to flames over the past two days between Rambada and Kedarnath shrine, he said.
11:41 Asaram often met women alone at night to 'heal' them, aide tells police:
Asaram Bapu regularly met women alone at night in his 'dhyan ki kutiya' (meditation hut) to "heal" them, Shiva, the personal attendant of the religious guru has told the police, Rajasthan additional advocate general Anand Purohit informed the sessions and district magistrate (rural) on Wednesday. Read
11:34 Vanzara, the mutiny of a loyal soldier :
In the good old days, DG Vanzara could just pick up the phone and dial the chief minister. Such was his "extra-hierarchical access' to Narendra Modi before the alleged extra-judicial killings landed the Gujarat encounter cop in prison in 2007. Read
11:32 20 lakh children go hungry in Uttar Pradesh:
Uttar Pradesh, India's bread basket state, has no money to provide mid-day meals to more than 2 million schoolchildren. Teetering on the edge of a financial meltdown, the Punjab government has now ended its mid-day meal scheme for 21 lakh schoolchildren by the simple expedient of turning off the tap. Read more
11:28 Fallen God:
The 10-page resignation letter of suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer DG Vanzara -- one among over 30 policemen currently in jail in connection with a chain of post-2002 encounter murders -- is so much a case of damning with 'high' praise that on a first reading it could be misunderstood as a defence of Narendra Modi and his government. Read
11:20 Rajya Sabha adjourned for 15 minutes after JD-U, SP uproar over charges against Narendra Modi by jailed IPS officer D G Vanzara.
10:49 Live! 700-litre per month petrol quota for ministers!:
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit believes the onus of cutting fuel consumption lies on the aam admi. "Fuel is precious, it must not be wasted. Use public transport," she counsels and insists the 700-litre a month petrol quota she and her ministers get for official use is sufficient. Read
10:43 Obama, Singh to meet as per schedule on September 27 in US:
The White House meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President Barack Obama will be held as per schedule on September 27, despite the latter being busy due to ongoing Syrian crisis.
While no formal bilateral Obama-Singh meeting has been planned on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in St Petersburg, Russia, the two leaders are expected to interact on its margins this week.
10:41 Gas-guzzling government talks austerity, burns crores:
While ministers toy with all kinds of ideas to curb consumption of oil, including bizarre ones such as shutting down petrol pumps at night, it might help if they looked inwards. For, the biggest and most profligate oil consumer in the country is the government itself. Read
10:35 Raghuram Rajan has to take some tough calls:
The markets may be cheering Raghuram Rajan, the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India, but the former IMF chief economist has an unenviable job ahead.
Faced with the task of taking some tough decisions to rescue the economy, the former chief economic adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may have to take some unpopular decisions.
10:31 100-km, nine-day long traffic jam in China:
A 100-km long traffic jam on a highway in China has kept thousands of drivers and vehicles stranded for an unbelievable nine days.
And they may continue to be in a jam for the unforeseeable future, thanks to the vehicular log jam cuased by "insufficient traffic capacity caused by maintenance construction".
09:41 Are we being over-pessimistic about the economy?:
Indians may or may not have a proclivity towards 'self-flagellation', as alleged by Union minister Jairam Ramesh, but we are
being more pessimistic about the current economic downturn than need be.
09:38 Economic woes have exposed India's chronic problems:
The economic slowdown in India has exposed some of its chronic problems that were conveniently swept under the rug during the boom period. These include sluggish public sector units, dismal infrastructure, rigid land regulations, exorbitant real estate costs and many more.
09:24 Pakistan facing serious economic challenges: IMF :
Pakistan is facing 'serious economic challenges' and it needs to carry out a set of comprehensive economic reforms, the International Monetary Fund has said, hours after it approved financial assistance of $6.7 billion to prevent the nation from the brink of an economic collapse.
"Pakistan is facing serious economic challenges. Overall vulnerabilities and crisis risks are high, with sub-par growth and unsustainable fiscal and balance of payments positions,"said IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Nemat Shafik.
09:23 Obama gets closer to launching military strike in Syria:
US President Barack Obama's plan to launch military strikes on Syria has cleared the first hurdle with a key Senate committee voting to authorise him to take action against the Assad regime.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after more than six hours of deliberations spread over two days, voted 10-7 to approve the authorisation resolution in this regard.
The war resolution allows US a time-frame of 60 days to achieve its objective to degrade chemical weapons capabilities of the Assad regime, but prevents the use of troops on ground.
01:42 Stay on executions cannot be linked to Taliban: Zardari:
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today said maintaining moratorium on death penalties is the European Union's condition for granting preferential market access to Pakistan and should not be linked to dealing with Taliban militants.
Speaking during a dinner hosted by Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah in his honour, he said Taliban were non-state elements.
However, there was no harm in negotiating with them, the Dawn quoted him as saying. European Union Ambassador to Pakistan Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, had said that the European Commission had no condition linking abolition of death penalty to grant of preferential market access to the country.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had scrapped a five-year moratorium on the death penalty in June in a bid to crackdown on criminals and militants in the violence-torn country.
Hangings were due to resume last week until a temporary stay was ordered following objections from the President and rights groups.
President Zardari, who is set to vacate the Presidency on September 8, said stopping the announced and planned executions was not aimed at any specific segment of the society.
00:05 Assad will regret retaliating against US strike:Kerry:
The Obama Administration today cautioned the Assad regime not to retaliate against its military strike, warning that it would regret if it tried to escalate it.
"Let me say again unequivocally, bluntly: If Assad is arrogant enough and foolish enough to retaliate to the consequences of his own criminal activity, the United States and our allies have ample ways to make him regret that decision without going to war," Kerry told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.
"Even Assad supporters, Russia and Iran, say publicly that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. And guess what? Even Iran and Syria itself acknowledge that these weapons were used. They just pretend that the other guys, who don't even have the capacity to do it, somehow did it," he said, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Kerry asserted that this is not the time for armchair isolationism.