23:14 Egypt army attacks Sinai militants:
BBC: The Egyptian army has launched a major offensive against militants in Sinai. Eyewitnesses told the BBC that tanks, armoured vehicles and troops - backed by Apache helicopters - had attacked the militants in towns along the border with the Gaza Strip.
The operation is said to be the biggest of its kind in recent years in Sinai. Meanwhile, Egyptian soldiers have discovered mortars and other explosives on a railway line near the Suez Canal, the state news agency reports.
There have been frequent attacks on pipelines and security forces since the uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
21:12 Live! It's for BJP to decide on Modi, says RSS:
Amid the talk of a decision on Narendra Modi being projected as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate anytime soon, RSS today said it has already made its position clear on the key issue and it was for BJP to take a decision on it. The remarks by Sangh assume significance as they came ahead of a two-day high-level meeting of RSS, VHP and BJP leaders where Modi will also be present.
Modi has already been made BJP's election campaign committee and speculation is rife of his being made the BJP's Prime Ministerial face ahead of the 2014 general elections.
"The Sangh has already made its position clear. Sangh has already informed the party. The party knows it. It is for the party to decide who to declare and when to decide so. I will not say this here," RSS Spokesperson Manmohan Vaidya said on projection of Modi as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate.
20:19 Live! Mamata condemns killing of Sushmita in Afghanistan:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today condemned the killing of author Sushmita Banerjee in Afghanistan and said an initiative was taken to bring her body back to Kolkata.
Stating that she was "shocked" with the incident, the chief minister said a letter had been sent to the External Affairs Ministry urging it to take steps to bring the body of the slain author back to the city.
She said the Trinamool Congress MPs had raised the matter in Parliament yesterday. The author's brother Gopal Banerjee called on the chief minister at the state secretariat during the day.
19:23 Live! Nasheed takes early lead in Maldives' prez poll:
Former President Mohamed Nasheed today gained an initial lead in the Maldives' second multiparty presidential election by garnering 42 per cent of the vote, according to initial results reported by local media.
Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected President who resigned in February last year, was followed by Abdulla Yamin who got 27 per cent of votes.
However, there was no official announcement from the Election Commission on voting trends. Counting began at 4.30 pm at some polling booths even as voting was going on at other places.
A total of 64 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in the polling, which was described by Election Commission President Fuwad Taufeeq as smooth.
18:35 Live! Communal violence incidents have increased: Shinde:
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today admitted that incidents of communal violence have increased in the country and cautioned all states to remain alert and foil any attempt to disturb peace ahead of the general elections.
"Communal violence incidents have increased since last year. While 410 incidents occurred in the country last year, this year, till now, 451 incidents have taken place," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Shinde said all states have been "alerted" in view of this and he has personally called up Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today and discussed the subject.
Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth had yesterday directed all states to firmly deal with incidents of communal violence and warned that communal polarisation may vitiate the country's social fabric ahead of general elections.
18:07 Live! Rahul Gandhi will be ideal for PM's post after 2014: PM:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi would be ideal for the prime minister's position after the 2014 elections. "I would be very happy to work for the Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,' the PM added.
Have to factor in harsh ground realities like terrorism issue before a final decision is taken on meeting Pakistan PM in New York, the PM also said.
"I have not prevented anybody from looking at my conduct,' he said on allegations by opposition parties.
16:59 11 policemen among 13 hurt in Pulwama grenade atatck:
Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Srinagar: At least 13 persons, including 11 policemen, were injured in a powerful hand grenade explosion in south Kashmir's Pulwama town on Saturday afternoon.
A senior police officer said unidentified militants hurled a grenade at a posse of the local police in Pulwama town which exploded injuring 11 policemen and two civilians.
"All the injured persons were evacuated to hospital for treatment," the officer said.
The area was immediately surrounded for searches.
16:52 Karan Johar receives extortion threat:
Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar has received an extortion threat allegedly from underworld goon Ravi Pujari, police said today.
"A text message was received by Karan on his phone from an international number some days ago. The sender demanded money," said a police officer but refused to divulge the exact amount demanded by the sender.
Police indicated that it was the handiwork of Pujari, a fugitive gangster who makes threat calls and sends text messages using internet telephony, making it difficult for the cops to trace the caller's address.
Following this, the producer-director has been provided with security at his residence in suburban Khar here, police said.
Recently, Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor had also received death threats over the phone from an unidentified person, who was also suspected to be linked to Pujari's gang.
15:19 Major security breach at Buckingham Palace, 2 held:
Two men have been arrested after a trespassing and burglary incident at Buckingham Palace -- the official residence of the British monarch -- the most serious security breaches at the building in decades.
British authorities today said the shocking break-in incident took place on Monday night in which at least one man climbed a wall and kicked open a door to gain entry to the high-security palace.
The man evaded at least three layers of security to make his way into the palace in what appears to be the worst breach of its security since 1982 when Michael Fagan was arrested in the Queen's bedroom after she raised the alarm.
The palace is filled with magnificent paintings, sculpture and antique furniture. It is also the administrative centre for the British royal household. Police said the man was found "in an area currently open to the public during the day" and arrested for burglary, trespass and criminal damage.
14:55 Oppn forces Sibal to apologise in RS:
The Opposition on Saturday forced Law Minister Kapil Sibal to apologise in Rajya Sabha for failing to get a Constitution Amendment Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, alleging that he "misled" the Upper House while getting it passed in "haste".
Attacking Sibal for not sending the bill to the Standing Committee as desired by majority of members in Rajya Sabha, BJP created ruckus leading to two adjournments soon after the House met for the day. BJP also charged the government with not doing its home work.
"I say once again that despite our best efforts, I am sorry that the bill could not be passed in the Lok Sabha. I regret it," Sibal said silencing the opposition which was not allowing the House to function till he apologised.
Sibal had earlier had expressed regret saying, "I am deeply anguished with the fact that Constitutional Amendment Bill could not be taken up by Lok Sabha."
Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP), however, said, "Home work was not done. We were misled into passing it...The Minister has committed a mistake, he should feel sorry for his act. Law Minister should apologise to the House. He must apologise, anguish would not do."
14:30 31 infants die in BC Roy hospital in 4 days:
In a shocking revelation, 31 infants have died at the state-run B C Roy hospital in Kolkata in the past four days, official sources said.
Health department sources said that terminally-ill infants were brought from private hospital or nursing home to this hospital and "in some cases nothing can be done".
They ruled out any negligence on the part of the hospital.
"Everyday 70/80 infants who are terminally ill were admitted to this hospital. We try our best to provide best treatment. There is no negligence on the part of the hospital", the sources said.
14:24 Terrorists target CRPF camp in Shopian; 2 killed:
Mukhtar Ahmad reports from Kashmir: Two persons have been reported killed in a terror attack on a Central Reserve Police Force camp in Gagran locality of South Kashmir's Shopian district.
More details are awaited.
13:55 Modi to give speech from 'Red Fort' today:
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will address a rally in Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh on Saturday, in the run-up to assembly elections to be held in the state later this year.
The rally will be held from 3 pm, and is a part of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh's state-wide "Vikas Yatra".
Modi will address participants from the ramparts of a replica of Delhi's Red Fort.
Ambikapur is located in the state's Sarguja District, and is about 250 kilometers from state capital Raipur.
On September 5, Modi said his main priority is to serve the people of Gujarat till 2017.
13:38 Pro-Telangana students pelt stones on cops; 3 hurt:
At least three policemen were injured when pro-Telangana students today pelted stones at cops at the Osmania University campus and near the Nizam College hostel after they were prevented from taking out rallies, police said here.
At least three policemen were injured in the incident, police said, adding that several students near Nizam college hostel were also taken into preventive custody.
Scores of pro-Telangana students argued with police and tried to remove the barricades after they were stopped near the NCC gate on the OU campus when they attempted to take out rally towards L B Stadium in protest against the APNGOs meeting, which is scheduled this afternoon, they said.
After being prevented from taking out the rally, the protesting students started pelting stones at police resulting in injuries to at least three policemen, a senior police official said, adding the situation is tense but under control.
Police fired teargas shells to disperse the protesting students on the OU campus. Another group of pro-Telangana students also hurled stones at police near the Nizam College hostel, however, police personnel immediately swung into action and took several protesting students into preventive custody.
13:15 NASA spacecraft lifts off to probe lunar dust:
An unmanned Minotaur 5 rocket blasted off from the Virginia coast on Friday to send a small NASA science satellite on its way to the moon, officials said.
The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft, known as LADEE, was designed to look for dust rising from the lunar surface, a phenomenon reported by the Apollo astronauts decades ago.
"For the first time in 40 years, we have the opportunity to address that mystery," project scientist Richard Elphic, with NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, said during a launch broadcast on NASA TV.
From an orbit as low as about 31 miles (50 km) above the lunar surface, LADEE also will probe the thin pocket of gases surrounding the moon. The tenuous atmosphere, which contains argon, helium, sodium, potassium and other elements, may hold clues about how water came to be trapped inside craters on the moon's frozen poles.
12:09 PM leaves for India after G20 Summit:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday left for India after attending the G20 Summit where he said the movement of labour should be free across nations without restrictions as it can otherwise stifle growth.
"International labour mobility in high end skills has become an important aspect of global integration across countries," the Prime Minister said on Friday.
"Pending the evolution of international agreements in this area, we must do whatever we can to avoid new restrictive measures, which can stifle a sector that can contribute to global growth in the years ahead."
12:08 Now, Asaram's obscene MMS recovered:
Zee News reports: In another scandalous revelation, it has been reported that police have recovered a video clip of controversial spiritual guru Asaram Bapu in which the self-styled godman is shown rubbing his hand on a woman's body.
According to a news channel, Shiva, the caretaker of Asaram, had recorded the video. The aide has reportedly made a CD of a number of obscene video clips of Asaram.
Meanwhile, the police have raided the Ahmedabad-based ashram of Asaram to recover the CD.
Asaram, 72, is currently lodged in Jodhpur Central Jail after a Rajasthan court in Jodhpur city on Monday sent him to 14-day judicial custody.
11:09 United AP, Telangana outfits set for Saturday showdown:
The stage is set for a showdown between the proponents of united Andhra and separate Telangana here on Saturday.
While the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association (APNGOs) is going ahead with its plan to hold 'Save Andhra Pradesh' meeting, the pro-Telangana outfits have given a call for a 24-hour bandh to be observed from the midnight of Friday.
On the other hand, the Osmania University Joint Action Committee has given a separate call for blocking all rail and road routes leading to the state capital from Andhra and Rayalaseema (combinedly being called as Seemandhra) regions. The Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi, an organisation of Dalits, had also given a call for Hyderabad bandh on Saturday.
According to the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman M Kodandaram, the bandh call has been given to protest against the "anti-Telangana attitude" of chief minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy. He contended that the state government had gone out of the way in granting permission for APNGOs to hold the meeting while at the same time rejecting the application of the TJAC for holding a peace rally on the same day.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma, however, said the permission was given on a first-come, first-served basis. The APNGOs applied for permission on August 20 and other groups applied later.
10:52 Zubin Mehta set to enthral all in Kashmir today:
Despite threats, India-born world renowned conductor Zubin Mehta is all set to enthral the Kashmir Valley with the power of music on Saturday.
On Friday, Mehta said "Kashmir chose me" as he braced up to conduct a 90-minute concert in the 17th century Shalimar Mughal Garden on the banks of the Dal Lake.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Srinagar were working at breakneck speed to make the Bavarian State Orchestra's concert a grand success.
The orchestra is one of the oldest in Germany and its origins can be traced to 1523.
Mehta's "Ehsaas-e-Kashmir" (The feel of Kashmir) concert has been facing opposition from separatist politicians.
A civil society group has announced it would hold a parallel concert in Srinagar on on Saturday to oppose the Zubin Mehta's concert.
10:52 Key IOC session formally opened in Buenos Aires:
The International Olympic Committee formally opened its most decisive session of recent years late on Friday in Buenos Aires.
IOC members face three major tasks through Tuesday.
On Saturday, they are to choose the host city of the 2020 Games from among Tokyo, Istanbul and Madrid. A day later, they are to grant a spot in the 2020 Olympic programme to either squash, wrestling or a joint bid of softball and baseball, and on Tuesday delegates will elect the successor to IOC president Jacques Rogge from a list of six candidates.
Rogge presided over the ceremony in Buenos Airess renowned opera house Teatro Colon, along with Mayor Mauricio Macri and Argentine Olympic Committee president Gerardo Werthein.
"That long commitments to the Olympic movement makes Buenos Aires a fitting place for discussions and decisions that will help chart the future of the Olympic movement," Rogge said.
Opening the last session of his 12 years as IOC president, the Belgian looked to the future and reflected on his successor's tasks.
"I cannot predict who the next IOC president will be. But I am certain of this: whoever it is will have the experience of a lifetime," Rogge said.
10:50 Crucial BJP-Sangh meet amidst 'Narendra Modi for PM' buzz on Sunday:
CNN-IBN reports: Will Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party campaign committee chief Narendra Modi be declared the party's Prime Ministerial candidate ahead of the next elections?
That is the buzz ahead of the crucial co-ordination committee meeting of the RSS, BJP, VHP and other Sangh Parivar outfits being held in Delhi on Sunday. Sources say senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj have already made clear to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat their opposition to Modi's elevation ahead of assembly polls.
Sources told CNN-IBN that Advani and Sushma, who met the RSS chief to discuss Modi's anointment, also conveyed that the party wants to consult Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan before naming him as party's prime ministerial candidate.
10:46 Pope leads fasting and prayer day for Syria:
The Catholic Church has called for a global day of fasting and prayer today for peace in Syria and against any armed intervention, with Pope Francis scheduled to host a mass vigil on St Peter's Square.
The Argentine pope has called for a "cry for peace" from the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, Christians as a whole, believers from other faiths and atheists.
Syria's Sunni Muslim leader, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, has called for Syrians to join in the prayers and the patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox, has said he is also backing the initiative.
A giant peace flag will also be raised in Assisi, the hometown of the patron saint of peace St Francis whose name the pope adopted when he was elected in March.
There has been a giant mobilisation of Catholic churches worldwide -- through traditional homilies at mass as well as via social media -- for the faithful to pray for peace and engage in some form of fasting.
The four-hour prayer vigil in the Vatican starts at 2230 IST but there will be similar smaller initiatives around the world from Baghdad to Jerusalem, from Mumbai to Buenos Aires, from Washington DC to Beirut.
00:10 Obama rejects G20 pressure to abandon Syria air strike plan:
Reuters reports: US President Barack Obama has resisted pressure Friday to
abandon plans for air strikes against Syria and enlisted the support of
10 fellow leaders for a "strong" response to a chemical weapons attack.
Obama refused to blink after Russian President Vladimir Putin led a
campaign to talk him out of military intervention at a two-day summit of
the Group of Twenty developed and developing economies in St