21:34 Praveen Kumar, Mahabharat's Bheem, joins Kejriwal's party:
Praveen Kumar, who portrayed the character of the mighty Bheem in iconic TV serial Mahabharat,
joined Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party today.
According to a press release by the AAP, "Kumar was inducted in the party in a massive public rally held in Sonia Vihar, which was attended by more than 5,000 people".
21:30 Pranab miffed at Chidambaram's comment: From a correspondent in Delhi:
Congress leaders are concerned over the recent anguish expressed by President Pranab Mukheree over the state of the Indian economy and the deteriorating value of the Rupee.
Mukherjee has reportedly not taken too kindly to views expressed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament about the "2009-2012 era", during which the now President was in charge of the finance ministry.
A senior Congress functionary is set to apprise Vice President Rahul Gandhi about Chidambaram repeatedly mentioning this in the media and trying to tar Mukherjee's era.
Gandhi is likely to call on President Pranab to sort out the differences which are building up between the President and the government.
21:23 Explained: WHY India needs a new land bill:
Parliament has passed, with an overwhelming majority, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Bill.
The bill seeks to give a fair deal to farmers losing their land, especially multi-crop land, to industrial needs. But India Inc has complained that the law would push cost and time-frame for setting up new enterprises.
21:23 PM heading the United Progressive 'Apology' Government: BJP: From a correspondent in Delhi:
An analysis of the monsoon session of Rajya Sabha, if done, will reveal the five most serious items that were subsequently expunged from records.
These include Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari remarks about "anarchists", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh berating the opposition for saying "PM is chor", Law Minister Kapil Sibal's comments about a monumental blunder in the Judicial Accountability Bill and Congress leader Girija Vyas slamming the Opposition for stalling the Street Vendors Bill.
The Chair had ticked off Vyas, saying it was her mistake and she should not blame the opposition, after which the Congress leader had apologised.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad observed that Dr Singh was heading the United Progressive 'Apology' Government, drawing some boisterous laughter.
20:41 Jairam Ramesh to resign soon: From a correspondent in Delhi:
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh plans to resign from the Union government in the first week of October, having accomplished the task assigned to him by Rahul Gandhi -- to get the Land Acquisition Bill passed in Parliament. Ramesh's next stop is the Congress War Room.
Ramesh will get the rules framed for the land bill and get them operationalised by October 2, the birth day of Mahatma Gandhi.
Congress wants to name the Land Bill as the Rajiv Gandhi Land Acquisition Bill.
20:38 DMK MPs angry at T R Baalu: From a correspondent in Delhi:
DMK MPs, including Kanimozhi, fear that the party will face a severe defeat in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. The MPs squarely blame T R Baalu for this crisis.
The DMK walked out of the UPA several months ago. T R Baalu, Leader of DMK's Parliamentary Party, has not submitted any party MPs' names for inclusion in the Standing Committee and in any of the Consultative Committees. Baalu also told the Congress that the DMK does not want to be part of the JPC probing the 2G scam.
Former minister A Raja even had an argument with DMK chief Karunanidhi about T R Baalu.
20:34 Why a former Congress minister thanked a BJP leader: From a correspondent in Delhi:
Former law minister Ashwini Kumar was the happiest leader in the Congress when his successor Kapil Sibal had to apologise in the Rajya Sabha for making a "blunder of giving wrong inputs" in the Judicial Accountability Bill, which had been passed in Rajya Sabha on September 6.
While watching on TV the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP and CPI-M took on Sibal over his mistakes, Kumar kept up a running commentary, "Look at the Treasury Bench. None of them went to support Sibal. Even Finance Minister P Chidambaram is telling Kapil to apologise so that the House is allowed to function".
Kumar reportedly believes that Sibal planted stories in the media against him and forced the prime minister to accept his resignation.
On spotting BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, Kumar walked up to him and profusely thanked him, purportedly for putting Sibal in his place.
20:25 Modi as PM will be dangerous and damaging: Farooq:
Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah today said that having Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the prime minister will be "dangerous and damaging" for the nation's secular ethos.
"The National Conference has nothing to do with either Modi or BJP or the Sangh (Parivar). We want to stay far and would not get into any agreements with them. That (Modi as PM) will be dangerous and damaging for the Indian secular ethos," Abdullah told reporters.
19:26 Mulayam meets CM over Muzaffarnagar violence:
Facing flak from the opposition over the communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today held a meeting with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, ministers and senior officials while the army staged a flag march in the strife-torn district.
Yadav held the meeting at his residence today afternoon, in which Chief Secretary Javed Usmani, Principal Secretary Home RM Srivastava and several ministers were also present, sources said.
Expressing displeasure over the spurt in violence, Yadav asked them to ensure that law and order is maintained in the state.
19:03 UK delivered Syria chemicals needed for killer gas:
Britain has for the first time acknowledged that UK firms were allowed to export deadly chemicals to Syria, allowing the Bashar al-Assad's regime to produce nerve gas Sarin, which was allegedly used in an attack that killed nearly 1,500 people.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills granted a number of licences to specialist firms, allowing them to deliver sodium fluoride to Syria before the current conflict and European Union sanctions.
19:00 India single most important country for Maldives: Nasheed:
In a strong message of friendship, former President Mohammed Nasheed today asserted that India is the "single most important country" for Maldivian people.
"I think our neighbour India is probably the single most important country for Maldivian people...We come from the same stock, we listen to the same music, we read the same books and we eat the same food, so it is difficult to say otherwise, even if sentimentally we would like to come out with another," said Nasheed, the winner of the first round of presidential election.
18:59 Cong to 'wait and watch' on PM's TMC tie-up hint :
The West Bengal Congress will adopt a "wait and watch policy" on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observation -- that an electoral alliance with the TMC in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls has not been ruled out.
Party leader Manas Bhunia today said that no communication in this regard had reached the party unit in West Bengal yet, but the party would watch the development.
"We have not yet received any direction in this regard from the AICC. We are only asked to strengthen the party organisation in the state. We shall rather wait and watch the development," said Bhunia, a former WBPCC president.
18:29 Obama, Kerry push for military action on Syria:
President Barack Obama today tried to rally Congressional support for possible US military action against Syria, ahead of a vote expected over the issue, as his top diplomat launched parallel efforts to drum up support from key European allies and Arab leaders.
Obama administration officials are struggling to assuage lawmakers who are hearing from war-weary constituents that say they should reject the President's call for limited military action in Syria.
Just back from a European trip, in which he failed to forge a consensus among global leaders, Obama launched a campaign on radio and television to try to convince a skeptical US public and Congress.
18:28 Syria gas victims secretly flown to UK for tests: Report:
Britain's definitive claims -- that the deadly gas Sarin was used in Syria -- have been linked to a secret fact-finding mission.
A senior Syrian opposition leader has revealed that some of the victims of the alleged chemical attack in the country were secretly flown to the UK for medical tests.
According to a Sunday Times report, Ahmad Asi al-Jarba, the president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, has claimed that traces of Sarin were found in up to three people hit by the attack in Ghouta in eastern Damascus on August 21.
17:02 'Panicky' Gehlot misusing public money for election: Raje :
The Congress government in Rajasthan is "blatantly misusing" public money for election purposes and doling out freebies, as it is worried over the "success" of the BJP's state-wide yatra, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje alleged today.
"Public funds are being used for elections by the present government. It has never happened anywhere before," Raje said, adding, "The Congress-led government is frustrated and panic stricken over the success of the Suraj Sankalp Yatra ahead of the assembly polls slated for later this year".
17:00 BSP's regime better than SP, says Digvijaya:
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh today hit out at the Akhilesh Yadav government in the wake of the communal violence in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district, in which at least 12 people were killed.
"The SP government's track-record in this tenure is bad. Haven't been able to control communal forces in Uttar Pradesh, even BSP's was better," Singh wrote on micro blogging website Twitter.
The Congress leader also attacked the BJP, saying non-BJP ruled states need to be "more careful" in the wake of communalviolence.
16:59 'If mandals have to protect women, why do we need cops':
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has criticised Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh's statement -- that Ganesh mandals should protect women devotees who come to seek blessings.
"If Ganesh mandals have to protect the women devotees, then why is there a need for the police," Uddhav was quoted as saying in a statement.
Satyapal Singh had said that "It is the responsibility of the pandal organisers to ensure that female devotees, who would flock to take blessings of the Ganesha, should not be eve-teased or molested. If any incident like this occurs, it would go against pandal organisers".
15:13 In India, children get a raw deal:
The population of children in India accounts for 43 per cent of the total populace but budgetary allocation for this segment is a mere 4.6 per cent for 2013-14, research and advocacy body Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability has found.
According to the report, total allocation for children in the 2013-14 Union Budget has marginally come down to 4.6 per cent from previous year's 4.8 per cent and the sector wise distribution of resources is "skewed", with key areas like child health getting a meager three per cent of the funds.
15:11 Successful Olympic bid to boost Japan economy: PM:
Japan's successful bid for the 2020 Olympics will act as a trigger and bring economic benefits to the world's third largest economy, affected by deflation for the past 15 years, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said.
"I'm hoping that the hosting of the Olympics will act as a trigger for breaking with a shrinking economy that has been hit by deflation for the past 15 years," a beaming Abe told a press conference after the International Olympic Committee picked Tokyo as the host city.
15:10 50 per cent mobile towers in Mumbai illegal: BMC:
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has admitted that nearly 50 per cent mobile towers across the city are illegal.
"Fifty per cent mobile towers in the city are illegal. However, we have no locus-standi to act against the telecom towers for the excessive amount of radiation from them," BMC Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said during a meeting with Congress MP Priya Dutt along with the corporators from her party.
The BMC had earlier carried out a drive to demolish the illegal mobile towers.
However, the telecom companies approached the court, which gave a stay.
15:09 Muzaffarnagar violence: High alert sounded in Uttarakhand:
In the wake of communal tension in Muzaffarnagar in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, a high alert has been sounded across Uttarakhand.
Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar has asked the administration and the police force to be vigilant especially in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar districts, which border Uttar Pradesh, in view of the volatile situation in Muzaffarnagar, official sources said today.
14:13 Bangladesh Premier Hasina's India visit uncertain?:
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's planned visit to India later in September has become uncertain as India has "failed" to ensure signing of the Teesta water sharing deal and passage of the land boundary agreement.
According to diplomatic sources, Hasina's second bilateral visit "will be fruitless because India has nothing to offer though she has addressed India's major concerns and created an opportunity to take the relationship to the next level".
The Daily Star newspaper, quoting sources, said Hasina might cancel her New Delhi tour as "India failed to ensure signing of the (much expected) Teesta water sharing deal and passage of the land boundary agreement in Parliament".
14:12 Water level of rivers in Arunachal fall, 2 districts cut off :
With improvement in the weather, the water level of major rivers in Eastern Arunachal showed a receding trend, even as West and Upper Siang districts in the state remained cut off due to massive landslides triggered by torrential rain.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Saturday undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas, officials said today.
13:25 Buckingham Palace guards pointed guns at Prince Andrew: Report :
In a case of mistaken identity, armed police pointed guns at Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II's son, and ordered him to put his hands up in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, a media report said today.
For a tense half a minute, the Queen's 53-year-old son was in danger of being shot dead by officers paid to protect him and his family, the Daily Express reported.
An internal inquiry is being carried out into the extraordinary incident, which took place last Wednesday, two days after a trespassing and burglary incident took place at Buckingham Palace.
Royal protection officers were said be "jittery" after a genuine intruder had been found in the Palace's state rooms two days earlier.
13:24 NASA joins Instagram with stunning Moon pictures:
NASA has joined the world of Instagram and has already attracted an incredible 56,374 followers within hours of posting its first pictures on the social media site.
The US space agency posted two images for its debut. One of the images was a detailed picture of the Moon and its grey, pock-marked surface.
The second one was a stunning Earth-rise. NASA promised many more photos would be posted soon.
13:23 Vijay Mallya blames policy paralysis for slowdown :
Industrialist Vijay Mallya, whose group is in the midst of financial troubles, has blamed "policy paralysis" for India's slow growth, saying the economic slowdown has dampened even the spirits industry.
He has also said that the overall mood of the Indian consumer remains subdued, while rupee depreciation, coupled with crippling inflation, is taking its toll on an already sluggish economy and a weak consumer market.
Blaming the "revenue-hungry" state governments and the sugar lobby for the rising costs in the spirits business, Mallya said that the overall economic environment in the country has been "challenging, to say the least".
13:22 Will Modi be anointed PM candidate at BJP-RSS meet?:
The two-day high level Samanvay Baithak
meeting of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders is set to begin in Delhi today amid speculations that BJP poll panel chief Narendra Modi likely to be declared as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani, Party president Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley will attend the meet.
According to reports, Rajnath Singh, who held back the announcement in the hope of achieving unanimity on Modi, has decided to go ahead despite reservations from a couple of senior leaders.
11:57 Can new Team RBI make a difference?:
New RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has brought to the table the critical three Cs: Comprehension, Confidence and Clarity. But will he be able to carry out his reforms in an election year, which is typically marked with irrationality and populist measures.
11:53 Nasheed wins first round of Maldives' presidential election:
Former President Mohammed Nasheed emerged as a clear leader today in the first round of Maldives' presidential election, receiving 45 per cent votes, but fell short of an outright majority, resulting in a run-off between the top two candidates scheduled for later this month.
The Election Commission announced results on Sunday morning after a night-long counting, declaring Nasheed a clear winner in the first round of polls, with 95,224 votes.
11:52 JK: Curfew in parts of Shopian, Kulgam districts :
Curfew was imposed today in parts of Shopian and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir, following the killing of four people in a firing incident on Saturday, police said.
Curfew has been imposed in police station areas of Shopian, Zainapora and Kulgam as a precautionary measure, a police spokesman said.
11:52 India made 8 user data requests daily to Yahoo!:
Software giant Yahoo has revealed that the Indian government, on an average, made nearly eight user data requests daily between January and June 2013, most of which were in connection with criminal investigations.
The US-based firm, in its first transparency report, said that the Indian government made a total of 1,490 user data requests in connection with 2,704 user accounts.
11:50 US Senate panel releases videos of Syria chemical attack :
A US Senate intelligence panel has released 13 videos showing images of the chemical attack in Syria allegedly carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, as the White House pressed its case for military action in the strife-torn country.
Some of the graphic images of the chemical attack have been shown in the videos, which come days ahead of the debate and vote in the Senate on the resolution to authorise US President Barack Obama to launch "limited" military strikes against the Assad regime.
The videos, played to the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday were first leaked to CNN, which many media outlets said is part of an effort to build public opinion on the Syria attack.
00:05 Who are the Syrian rebels? :
The Syrian civil war has birthed rebel groups across a wide ideological and geographic spectrum. Some are nationalists bent on liberating their country from a ruthless regime. Others view the conflict as a springboard to a global jihad. A number are active only in their home province, while others are present throughout the country.
Read the full article on CNN