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Live! Why is Advani fighting with Modi? None will become PM: Lalu

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September 12, 2013

22:59  Why is Advani fighting with Modi? None will become PM: Lalu:  

Describing the reported spat between LK Advani and Narendra Modi on the issue of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate as a fight between "guru and chela", RJD President Lalu Prasad today wondered whether there was any chance of either of them entering that office.        


"Advani, who has been a guru (teacher) to Modi on communal politics is today fighting his own 'chela' (disciple)," the RJD president said. "But is there any chance of either of them becoming Prime Minister, (the post) for which they are clashing," Prasad told reporters here.        


Apprehending that the 2014 polls would be a "dangerous" one due to the "divisive" politics of BJP and RSS, Prasad urged Congress and other secular forces to come together to defeat such elements.

21:54  J K Rowling to turn screenwriter for wizardry movie:  J K Rowling's world of wizardry is coming back to the big screen but without Harry Potter. 

Film studio Warner Bros announced Thursday that Rowling will write the screenplay for a movie based on "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," her textbook to the magical universe she created in the boy wizard's stories. 

The story will focus on the book's fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and is anticipated to be the first in a series.
21:42  Syria crisis: Assad confirms chemical weapons plan:  Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has appeared on Russian TV to confirm that his country's chemical weapons will be placed under international control.

His comments, to Rossiya 24, came as US and Russian foreign ministers prepared to meet in Geneva to discuss the plan, proposed by Russia earlier this week.

Mr Assad insisted that the move was a result of the Russian initiative and not the threat of US military action.
20:59  Principal of Christ Church school in Kolkata arrested:  Massive protests by parents after a 11-year-old girl died after she was given an injection by a psychiatrist at Christ Church school in Kolkata, has led to the arrest of the school principal.  

The principal of Christ Church school in Kolkata had apologized to angry parents. 
20:46  Syria crisis: Assad hails Russia; Kerry, Lavrov meet in Geneva:  Efforts to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control began today with top US and Russian diplomats meeting in Geneva to discuss the issue, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin made a personal appeal to war-weary Americans over the looming crisis. 

Talks in Geneva between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on a four-step plan, which includes Syria joining the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will last till tomorrow, and could be extended to Saturday.
20:44  J&K govt replaces CRPF with state armed police in Shopian:  Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar reports:   

The state government has ordered the replacement of the paramilitary, central reserve police force personnel with Jammu and Kashmir armed police in the Gagran camp of south Kashmir Shopian district immediately.                      

This decision follows days of protests against the killing of four youth in a firing incident on Saturday, hours before the high profile Zubin Mehta concert at the Shalimar garden.   

The CRPF personnel of the camp again fired at a protesting mob on Wednesday afternoon killing a 25-year-old youth and wounding eight others.   The locals of Shopian had been demanding the shifting of the camp from the area. 
19:29  China backs Russian plan to end crisis over Syria weapons:  Backing a Russian initiative to resolve the crisis over Syria's chemical weapons, China today suggested a second international conference to debate the issue at an early date.

Asked to comment on the US and Russian foreign ministers' meeting in Geneva on the implementation of Moscow's proposal to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international controls, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lie said  today that China supports reaching a consensus on the implementation of the initiative through consultation.

Hong welcomed Russia's proposal and praised it as "providing an important chance" to relieve the current tension, reiterating China's position on the use of chemical weapons and a political solution on Syria.

"Important opportunities have emerged on easing tension in Syria. We hope all parties can grasp the opportunities, make a positive and rational response," he said, reacting to French government's comments that it has kept open the military option to act in Syria if a diplomatic solution fails.

Hong again urged for a solution on Syria through political and diplomatic means to preserve peace and stability in the country and the region.
18:41  Business remains dull as Muzaffarnagar limps back to normalcy:  Shopkeepers continue to remain affected due to slow business despite normalcy returning in riot-hit areas of the district with huge losses incurred during curfew last week.

Even though large queues are being witnessed during curfew relaxation, shopkeepers claim that the business is nowhere near to what it was before the communal clashes.
18:40  Mamata expresses concern at UP communal flare-up:   West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gets self-righteous and says her government would not allow anyone to create communal disharmony in the state.

"Riots are dangerous. It takes lives of so many people. You have seen how many people have died in Uttar Pradesh in riots. There were also riots in Assam some time back and we have helped giving shelter (to the refugees from Assam and provide them with food and other necessities," she said.
18:18  Live! Yasin Bhatkal interrogation confirms Pak ISI funds, manages IM:  The interogation of Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Yasin Bhatkal has revealed that the terror outfit IM was formed, funded and managed by the ISI to give the impression that it was a home-grown terror outfit, reports CNN IBN.

Bhatkal also said confessed to his role in 10 blasts and said the IM was planning more blasts.

Also read:'s report -- You will hang me even if I don't speak: Yasin Bhatkal
18:06  Most common and hackable passwords on the internet:  They are the keys that keep our emails, personal information and financial details safe, yet guessing someone else's password is probably easier than you think. Read
17:58  With all eyes riveted on the court which will decide the fate of the four Dec 16 gang-rape convicts, the Delhi High Court today voiced concern over the rising crimes in the city despite its instructions in the wake of the 'brutal' incident, and asked the police to pull up its socks.

"Despite several directions of this court earlier while taking suo motu cognisance on the December 16 brutal gang-rape case, the incidents are taking place. Implementation of such directions is the real issue and you (police) need to improve the working mechanism," the bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said.

"Implementation of court order is the real issue...," the bench also comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said and asked Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan to furnish details about the number of vacant positions in the police force.

It asked Delhi police to file an affidavit disclosing the number of vacancies of Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), Sub-Inspectors and Inspectors including the number of women personnel.
17:47  IIP grows 2.6 per cent in July after two months of contraction:  After declining for two consecutive months, India's Index of Industrial Production, a measure of factory output, grew at 2.6 per cent in July. The index was in the negative zone in May and June, reading minus 2.9 per cent and minus 2.2 per cent, consecutively. The number came in much higher than a Reuters forecast of minus 0.8 per cent. More
17:38  BJP a 'confused' party with internal conflicts: Congress:  Congress today taunted BJP terming it as a "confused" party for "not being able to handle its internal conflict" over naming Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate and said that Gujarat Chief Minister is "not politically relevant outside" that state.

"The entire country is watching what kind of pulls and pressures are happening within the BJP. A party, which is trying to come power to rule the country, is not being able to handle its internal conflicts.

"It's a confused party with a confused agenda and confused people. Those who are confused behave only this way," party spokesperson Meem Afzal said.

BJP President Rajnath Singh, who had a 30-minute meeting with Advani to persuade him on Modi's candidature but failed to get an assurance, today claimed that "nobody in BJP is unhappy and nobody has put any conditions" (on declaring Modi as PM candidate).
17:20  Minor pregnant after gangrape in MP; five held:  A 14-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by five youths following which she got pregnant and reported the matter to police today. The minor was sexually assaulted about five months back when she went to a forest for rearing her goats in Raisen, Madhya Pradesh.
16:48  School principal apologises for death of girl locked up in toilet :  The principal of Christ Church school in Kolkata apologizes to the angry parents of the 11-year-old girl, who died after she was bullied and locked up in the school's bathroom. The girl who was depressed after the incident was given an injection by a psychiatrist, after which she died. This morning, the parents and other protestors ransacked some classrooms of the all-girls school. 
16:21  Live! UP riots: SC notice to Centre, state; steps taken NOT adequate:  The Supreme Court has served a notice to the Centre and the UP government over the riots in Muzaffarnagar. The SC says the UP government did not take adequate steps to control the riots. It said that the Centre also has a role to play in maintaining peace.
16:17  Mmemories of Muzaffarnagar :  Since the Samajwadi Party came to power in March 2012, there has been over a 100 communal clashes in Uttar Pradesh. How political mobilisations divided communities with a shared past. Read
16:15  Such a long journey:  Shekhar Gupta on finding Tamil guerilla camps in 1984 to checking up on lost friends last week in Colombo. Read
16:14  India's super-rich club now numbers 7,850 millionaires :  What slowdown ? India's super-rich wouldn't know, for they have recorded the highest increase in their ranks among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations in the last 12 months.
Read more here
16:01  Dec 16 gang-rape convicts would have killed me too: Carpenter:  A man, who was robbed by the December 16 gang-rape case convicts before they targeted the 23-year-old girl, today told a Delhi court that he too could have been killed if he was not thrown out of the moving bus by them.

"If I was not thrown, I would have been killed by the accused," Ram Adhar, a carpenter by profession, told the Additional Sessions Judge Daya Prakash during his deposition as a prosecution witness in the case.

Ram Adhar had earlier identified the four adult accused -- Mukesh (26), Vinay Sharma (20), Pawan Gupta (19) and Akshay Singh Thakur (28) -- who were present in the courtroom and had said they had beaten and robbed him.

The accused allegedly lured Ram Adhar into the bus and robbed him before raping and assaulting the girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16 last year. The girl died in a Singapore hospital on December 29. The sentencing of the four accused is tomorrow. 
15:52  Would you have touched me had I joined Congress, asks Yogendra Yadav:  The Centre singled me out for action while ignoring the case of conflict of interest against 100 MPs who own or run higher educational institutions, says AAP's Yogendra Yadav. Read
15:49  When India wants the rapists hanged:  Indians seem to want the perpetrators of the violent gang rape to be sentenced to death this Friday. But what will that solve asks Dilip D'Souza? Read
15:44  Scientiest rule out real-life Jurassic Park :  The title of the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park series may have just been announced, but already scientists have poured cold water on any hopes that dinosaurs can be resurrected in the way they are in the films. Read
15:35  Faith shaken: Some Asaram supporters want donated land back:  Ever since the self styled godmanAsaram Bapu got mired in controversy for allegedly raping a girl in his ashram, his supporters have gone berserk, with many indulging in violent protests. But, that is just one side of the coin. There are some who are distressed and have distanced themselves from him. Read
15:30  Sartaj Aziz, Khurshid to meet in Bishkek tomorrow:  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's top foreign policy aide Sartaj Aziz will meet External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the margins of a SCO meeting in Bishkek, Pakistan, tomorrow to discuss bilateral relations.

Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security, and Khurshid are expected to try to schedule a meeting between the premiers of the two countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month.
15:24  A postcard from Jharkhand:  "Early on a damp, rainy morning in late August, I sauntered toward a chai shop on Purulia Road in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state. That day's edition of Prabhat Khabar tucked under my arm, an umbrella in hand, I took four men by surprise as I approached."

Read the report on Jharkhand.
15:17  Goodbye, Ms Brown:  Tina Brown steps down after tumultuous tenure at Daily Beast. Brown, who oversaw disastrous merger with and subsequent divorce from Newsweek, leaves to set up new media company. Read
15:10  I will beat Shah Rukh's record with my next film: Salman :  They hugged and made up recently at an iftaar party but Salman Khan is in no mood to relent when it comes to their box office rivalry and claims he will outdo Shah Rukh Khan with his next film.

Salman acknowledged that SRK starrer beat the box office records set by him but is not too worried about "Chennai Express" earning Rs 225.67 crore.

"I hugged Shah Rukh during Ramadan because it was a pious month and it's not only me who should show such gestures to friends but all should do that. It's a being human act.

"I don't have any personal enmity with him and I know his release broke all my records. If I have any problem then I want to beat the person through my work. My next release will be an answer to all the new records which are going to happen at the box-office be it Aamir's 'Dhoom 3' or new actor Ranbir's next film," Salman said during a press conference for 'Bigg Boss' season 7.
14:59  Women in India: Learning to kill or wearing a bikini:  Extracts from award-winning film-maker Nisha Pahuja's new feature-length documentary, The World Before Her. Pahuja's film examines the contradictory realities between a Hindu nationalist training camp where girls are trained to kill in self-defence and the bikini-clad women of the Miss India pageant. Tradition and modernity are on collision course. Watch
14:54  Where have India's females gone?:  The New Delhi rape case left the whole world wondering why India is treating its women so badly. In fact, discrimination against women already starts in the womb: India has some of the most distorted sex-ratios in the world.

There are regions where fewer than 800 girls are born for every 1,000 boys. For many reasons Indian culture prefers sons.

An expensive bride-price, or dowry, is only one of them. Read
14:49  Businessworld may announce deal next week:  ABP Pvt. Ltd is close to signing a deal with a media group to sell Businessworld , the 32-year-old business magazine that saw its brightest period in the early 2000s when it modelled itself as a cheerleader for the new economy. Read
14:36  Playing to the power of music:  Renowned conductor Zubin Mehta says he wants to perform in Ramallah and respects the Indian government for staying away from an Israel-like settlements policy in Kashmir. Read

Also read: Music, mistrust and a maestro's love for Kashmir
14:34  Read:Restaurant feedback forms from Sonia Gandhi, the PM, Robert Vadra, MS Aiyar and co. Hilarious!
14:10  Live! Advani to protest at Narendra Modi's coronation tomorrow :  Senior BJP leader LK Advani, who will be present at the party's Parliamentary Board meeting in New Delhi tomorrow, will be there to register his protest over Narendra Modi's anointment as the party's PM candidate. -- CNN IBN. 
14:04  Minor rape victim undergoes operation, still critical:  The two-and-a-half-year-old girl, who was allegedly gang-raped in a slum area in Punjab's Ludhiana district, underwent an operation at PGIMER in Chandigarh, even as her condition continued to remain serious.
13:54  Desperate efforts to persuade Advani to accept Modi's candidature:  It may be recalled that LK Advani is appearing to be a stumbling block for the BJP in finalising the name of Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate and hectic efforts were underway to convince him to give up his opposition.

Senior BJP leaders have held meetings with Advani to bring him on board to declare Narendra Modi's name.

BJP President Rajnath Singh held a half an hour meeting with Advani on Wednesday, while former party president Nitin Gadkari had met the party's parliamentary party chief on Tuesday as an emissary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. More
13:50  BJP to announce Modi for PM at 12:15 pm tomorrow:  Big day for the BJP tomorrow, as party president Rajnath Singh presides over the Parliamentary Board meeting in New Delhi.

The meeting which is scheduled at 12:15 pm at the party office at Ashoka Road, will be followed by senior leaders briefing the press.

That is when Rajnath Singh is expected to announce Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. He will also convey that Modi is the overwhelming and universal choice as the PM candidate.

The time, 12:15 pm, on Friday, was chosen specifically for the anointment. Rahu Kaal, an inauspicious time, is between 10:30 am to 12 pm, so astrologers have proposed 12:15 pm, which was also endorsed by Rajnath Singh's personal astrologer.

On Thursday morning, Rajnath spoke to Modi and got his approval. Modi's friends in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, have already begun organising pujas at the Ambe temple in Gujarat. 
13:37  Live! Mulayam: Justice will be done in UP, unlike Gujarat:   Mulayam Singh says strong action will be taken against those found guilty of inciting violence in Muzaffarpur.

Taking a potshot at the BJP and Narendra Modi in particular, Mulayam says justice was not done in Gujarat, but will be done in UP. "I don't play communal politics," he says.
13:26  Live! Mulayam: Azam Khan can NEVER be upset with me :  Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh addressing the media in Lucknow. He says Azam Khan can never be upset with him. "If he is upset with the state government, it's between the two of them," he said.

Khan had criticised his own government's handling of Muzaffarnagar riots and had been sulking off and on various issues ever since the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2011. SP has come under all-round attack over its handling of the communal riots that has claimed 48 lives.

Mulayam briefed the media on the party meeting saying it was about the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
12:58  Live! Russia president Vladimir Putin addresses the American people :  "RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

"Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization -- the United Nations -- was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again."

Read Vladimir Putin's column for the New York Times 
12:41  RLD chief Ajit Singh detained near Ghaziabad. Details awaited.
12:39  Parents of girl bullied to death in toilet ransack school :  Anger spilled on to the campus of Christ Church School on the outskirts of Kolkata on Thursday following the death of a student on Wednesday days after she was allegedly harassed by her seniors.

The angry parents of the 11-year-old victim girl barged into the principal's room along with many others. They allegedly ransacked some classrooms of the all-girls school.The relatives of the schoolgirl attack the principal, left, of Christ Church School in Kolkata. Read
12:25  CoalMin may give final list of untraced files by tomorrow:   The Coal Ministry is likely to send the final list of files pertaining to coal blocks allocation which could not be located by tomorrow.

"We may send the final reply to CBI with regards to files which could not be traced, by Friday," a source close to the development said.

"The CBI can take action after that," the source added. The deadline set by the Supreme Court for handing of the files to the investigative agency expires next week.
12:10  Curfew reimposed in Shopian town:   Curfew was today reimposed in Shopian town of south Kashmir following death of a youth in firing by security forces yesterday that took the death toll in the area to five since Saturday.
12:07  Mulayam trying to be the Narendra Modi of UP, says Ajit Singh:  As Muzaffarnagar town in Uttar Pradesh tried to come to grips with the aftermath of communal clashes in which 38 people have died, clashes in neighboring Baghpat brought fresh trouble for the struggling Samajwadi Party government.

Union minister Ajit Singh, the elected representative from Baghpat constituency, today accused the Samajwadi Party of trying to polarize voters ahead of national polls due in May. Read
12:00  Gandhi meets the grotesque in court.:  Inside the Saket fast-track court yesterday, defence lawyers quote Gandhi. Read
11:55   Does higher intelligence make people less religious?:  New meta-analysis checks the correlation between intelligence and faith. First systematic analysis of its kind even proposes reasons for the negative correlation. Read
11:52  Mitu's story:  One Indian doctor is making legal history in her attempt to strengthen the law which forbids fetal gender testing. Read
11:50  Muzaffarnagar calm, curfew relaxed for seven hours:  With normalcy returning to riot-hit areas of the district, curfew was relaxed for seven hours today -- from 10 am to 5 pm. 

Though the shops opened, all schools and colleges would remained closed till September 15. Strict vigil was being maintained during the relaxation period and police and paramilitary forces are on high alert.
11:35  Royal glimpse of life as a footman:  Badar Azim, the former footman who hit the global spotlight by helping place the formal proclamation of the birth of the royal baby on an easel near the gates of Buckingham Palace in July, broke his silence to a classroom full of juniors at his institute. Read
11:32  Heading to Nepal for a holiday? Read this:  Normal life came to a standstill today in Nepal's capital and eastern parts of the country due to a strike called by 33-party alliance led by CPN-Maoist, demanding to postpone the November 19 election.

Owing to the strike, transportation service has come to a grinding halt and academic institutions, major markets, and most of the factories have been shut down in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts of Kathmandu valley and about a dozen districts in eastern Nepal.

However, tourist buses, ambulances and vehicles belonging to the press were allowed to operate during the strike.
11:30  Live! SP: Azam Khan's behaviour lowers his stature in party :  Hardening its stand against senior UP Minister Mohammad Azam Khan who skipped the party national executive meeting, Samajwadi Party today said either he should have attended the meet or resigned.

SP national general secretary Ramgopal Yadav said the absence of Khan, the Muslim face of the Samajwadi Party, was not felt at the meeting yesterday.

"It is a national executive meeting and all prominent leaders are present here...he was not here, but its does not make any difference and his absence was not felt," he said, adding, "With such a behaviour a person lowers his own stature." "Either he should not remain the office-bearer and resign or he should have come," Yadav said.
11:16  Indias bank chief cant work miracles:  Indian investors evidently think Raghuram Rajan is a powerful man. Since the internationally renowned economist assumed charge of India's central bank last Wednesday, stocks have surged nearly 8%. Bank shareholders are particular fans: The banking sector is up about 16% since last Wednesday. Read
11:11  Hang my rapists, Mumbai girl says:   "I was born in Mumbai and grew up in this city, but never felt unsafe here even for a moment. After that day my faith is shattered," said the teen survivor of the gang rape at Shakti Mills.

A call-centre employee, she visited the mill with her boyfriend on the evening of July 31that and was raped by five men, three of whom were involved in the gangrape of a 22-year-old photojournalist in the same mill in August.

The traumatised couple fled to Chhattisgarh after the incident, where they got married. The crime was reported only after the couple returned to the city on August 3. Read
11:01  Jaisalmer plans to set up crematoriums by caste:  For the dead in the desert town of Jaisalmer, their caste tag lives on. A government agency for urban affairs in the western Rajasthan district has sanctioned separate and clearly marked cremation grounds for different castes and communities. Read
10:55  After Muzaffarnagar riots, thousands rely on kindness of strangers. Read
10:29  Modi-for-PM announcement to be a disaster: Advani tells Rajnath :  L K Advani has reportedly told BJP president Rajnath Singh that fronting Narendra Modi as the party's candidate for prime minister will be a "disaster" and will "destroy the party's prospects" in the general elections next year, reports NDTV.

Read the full report here

10:21  Will Mulayam fire Azam Khan for skipping SP executive meet? :  Senior Samajwadi Party leader and Minority Welfare MinisterAzam Khan is now facing the heat of the Samajwadi Party leaders after he skip the national executive meet yesterday.

Senior party leaders Ramgopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal have called for action against Khan. "No one is bigger than the party," Mulayam Singh should take action against him, said Agarwal.

"If Yadav does not understand the dignity of the post, he must resign," said Yadav.

Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will address the press later in the day. 
10:08  Muzzafarnagar divide may help BJP in 2014:  Sudha Pai reports the conscious political mobilisation has been responsible for communal divide in Muzzafarnagar.

The emergence of communal faultlines between the Jats and Muslims will affect the Congress-RLD alliance, which is dependent on the support of these communities. But it could help the BJP in western UP in the 2014 national elections.

Read the full report on Indian Express
09:59  Curfew relaxed in riot-hit Muzzafarnagar:  Curfew has been relaxed in Uttar Pradesh's riot-hit Muzzafarnagar. Shops and markets will be open for business today.

The death toll in the Muzzafarnagar communal clashes has touched 48.
n the Muzaffarnagar communal clashes

Read more at:
09:54  Sensex up 54 points ahead of IIP data:  The BSE benchmark Sensex today gained over 54 points to trade above 20,000 level in early trade on buying by funds and retailers ahead of industrial output data amid further strength in the rupee. The 30-share index rose by 54.60 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 20,052,05 points in early trade.
09:50  Rupee rises to 62.92 against dollar, highest since August:   The rupee traded at its highest since August 1. The partially convertible rupee traded at 62.92 per dollar, up 0.7 per cent as against Wednesday's close of 63.38, reports NDTV.

Read the full report here
09:40  Modi to campaign in Tampa for 2014:  Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will address party supporters and members of the Overseas Friends of BJP during its annual convention in Tampa later this month as part of his efforts to garner support ahead of 2014 general elections.

In a statement, OFBJP, a US body whose members associate themselves with, and support the BJP in India, said Modi will be addressing their convention in Tampa on September 21 through satellite.
09:37  Change in venue for Goa's smashing 'Sunburn' festival:  Even as Goa's popular 'Sunburn' festival is poised for a change in venue from Candolim to some other beach, the state tourism department has backed the event as a driver for tourism promotion and revenue generation.

The annual festival is facing problems related to its venue because it causes traffic congestion at Candolim beach, 9 kms away from Panaji in North Goa. The locals have also complained about the chaos created during the musical extravaganza.

During the event, an estimated 30,000 people throng the venue every day.
08:42  Congress urged to remove India specific immigration barriers:  Five former United States ambassadors to India have requested the Congress to remove India-specific discriminatory provisions in immigration reform, underscoring that continuation of such steps would have an adverse impact on the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

In a letter to top lawmakers, these former envoys observed that American competitiveness and vitality depend heavily on robust US-India commercial ties They further said any comprehensive immigration reform legislation approved by the Congress needs to appreciate the mutual benefit of deepening the bilateral partnership, which is vitally important to the two countries and global economy.

The letters were addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives John A Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The letter was jointly signed by former US Ambassadors to India -- Thomas Pickering, Frank Wisner, Richard Celeste, David Mulford and Robert Blackwill.
08:35  Modi for PM? Advani wants announcement to wait till assembly polls in Nov:  Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L K Advani has refused to support Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He wants the Modi-for-PM announcement to be delayed till after Assembly elections in five states in November, reports NDTV.

Read the full story here
03:40  40 years after Chile's 9/11 :  

Former and current student activists reflect on General Augusto Pinochet's lasting legacy.


Read the Al Jazeera special feature here

03:37  Syria crisis: UN powers discuss Russia chemicals plan:  

Envoys of the five permanent UN Security Council members are meeting in New York to discuss a Russian plan for making safe Syria's chemical weapons.


The UK, US and France are eager to frame a binding resolution but Russia prefers a non-binding declaration. Russia and the US will hold key bilateral talks in Geneva on Thursday. Syria has backed Russia's plan to place the chemical arms under international control. The US says it will hold off military strikes to pursue diplomacy.


Read more on BBC

02:14  Live! Advani should gauge public mood on NaMo: Sushil Modi:  

Amid efforts to convince L K Advani on declaring Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, party leader from Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi today said the veteran leader had failed to gauge the public mood in this regard.  


The former Bihar deputy chief minister said Advani had declared Atal Behari Vajpayee as the party's face in the past and he could have done the same for Narendra Modi today.  


"Advaniji has failed to gauge the public mood. Advaniji himself declared Atalji as PM candidate. Now also he could have done the same for Namo," Modi said on Twitter.  

02:12  Could US have stopped Syria's chemical attack?:  

We recently learned that U.S. intelligence agencies had at least three days' warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was preparing to launch a chemical attack on his own people, but wasn't able to stop it. At least that's what an intelligence briefing from the White House reveals.


With the combined abilities of our national intelligence apparatus -- the CIA, National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and all the rest -- it's not surprising that we had advance notice. It's not known whether the U.S. shared what it knew. More interestingly, the U.S. government did not choose to act on that knowledge (for example, launch a pre-emptive strike), which left some wondering why.


Read the full report on CNN

02:11  Syria crisis: Russia 'hands chemical arms plan to US':  

Russia has now handed over to the US its plans for making Syria's chemical weapons safe, Russian media say. Russia announced its plans for placing Syria's stockpile under international control on Monday and Syria said it welcomed the initiative.


The proposal led US President Barack Obama to put military action against Syria on hold in favour of diplomacy. Tense negotiations will now follow at the United Nations on the nature of any Security Council resolution.


Read more on BBC

01:23  Live! Kolkata: Girl jumps before Metro as lover commits suicide:  

A girl allegedly tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a speeding train in Metro Railway in Kolkata on Wednesday after hearing the news that her lover had jumped from the Howrah Bridge, the police said.   She was admitted to a hospital near Kalighat after she sustained injuries when hit by the train in Kalighat metro station, the police said.  


She took the extreme step Wednesday evening after hearing that her lover had jumped into the Hooghly river from Howrah Bridge following a quarrel with her over telephone, the police said.  


The boy has been missing since jumping into the river on Wednesday and River Traffic Police personnel have been carrying out search and rescue operations, sources said.

00:08  Q&A: The Oslo Accords, Syria, and 'responsibility to protect':  Noam Chomsky discusses the Palestinian Authority's weakness and the implications of a US strike on Syria.Read the full interview on Al Jazeera
00:06  Seemandhra electricity employees strike to begin from midnight:  

Contradicting the claim by the Chief Minister's Office, the Joint Action Committee of electricity employees of Andhra-Rayalaseema region announced late on Wednesday night that it would launch a 72-hour strike from midnight on Thursday protesting the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.     


The Chief Minister's Office in the evening had issued a statement, saying that electricity employees had agreed to defer their indefinite strike from Thursday. The JAC leaders, however, clarified subsequently that they would observe a 72-hour strike from midnight today.     


"We are not concerned with the CMO statement. We are going on strike but will ensure power supply to railways, hospitals and water supply schemes," the JAC leaders said.     


Earlier, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy held talks with the Joint Action Committee leaders at his camp residence this evening and asked them to call off the strike.

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