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LIVE! Perth base at heart of Malaysia Airlines MH370 search

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April 01, 2014


22:20  Perth base at heart of Malaysia Airlines MH370 search:  It has been more than three weeks since Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing - and despite intensive search efforts no definitive trace of the plane has been found.

The man responsible for co-ordinating the search from Australia warned on Tuesday that the search could take weeks and was the "most challenging" ever seen.

Read more
22:08  Malaysia face fresh criticism after release of full transcript:  Malaysia today came under fresh criticism from aviation experts after it released the full transcript of the communications between flight MH370 and air traffic control, 24 days after the plane vanished mysteriously. 

The transcript shows the last voice transmission from the doomed Boeing 777-200 plane was "Good night Malaysian three- seven-zero," not the "All right, good night" transmission authorities had previously used.
22:06  Turkish police use water cannon against rally:  Turkish police today deployed water cannon against protesters who alleged vote-rigging in weekend local polls in which the Islamic-rooted party of Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed sweeping victories. 

About 2,000 supporters of the main secular opposition party had massed outside the elections authority in the capital Ankara, chanting "Thief Tayyip!" and "Ankara, don't sleep. Stand up for your vote!"
22:04  BJP protests after dist admin refuse nod to Modi's rally:  Scores of BJP workers held protest today at a venue, where Narendra Modi is to address a rally, after district administration refused to grant permission to the meeting citing security reason. 

However, later senior district officials, including District Magistrate and SSP reached the spot and budged before the protesters and granted permission.
20:55  Katara murder case: HC to pronounce verdict tomorrow:  Nearly a year after reserving its verdict, the Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce tomorrow the judgement on appeals of three convicts against a lower court order awarding rigorous life imprisonment to them for abducting and killing Nitish Katara in 2002. 

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha had reserved the verdict on appeals of Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Yadav on April 16, last year after hearing final arguments.
20:54  Modi sufficient to put Pak in its right place: Amit Shah:  Pakistan would never dare to behead any Indian soldier and no Chinese chopper would ever "land" in Arunachal Pradesh if Narendra Modi is elected prime minister, BJP leader Amit Shah said today. 

"Pakistan would not dare to chop off head of any soldier like Hemraj on Indian borders if Modi comes to power," he said after inaugurating Modi's election office in Sigra locality.
20:53  HC declines Jindal's plea for stay on Zee TV news about him:  The Delhi High Court today refused to grant industrialist and lawmaker Naveen Jindal's plea for a blanket order restraining Zee TV from airing news reports which were allegedly defamatory in their content. 

Justice V K Shali said Jindal and his company Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) "have not been able to satisfy that they have got a prima facie good case" and disposed of their plea.
20:33  DGCA asks SpiceJet to immediately stop Re 1 ticket offer:  Terming SpiceJet's offer of rupee one fare across its domestic network as "predatory" and a "malpractice", aviation regulator DGCA today came down heavily on the no-frill carrier and asked it to stop such pricing immediately. 

Hours after SpiceJet offered fares as low as rupee one valid for domestic travel till next year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shot off a strongly-worded directive to the airline asking it to stop the three-day offer "immediately".
20:11  Only 43% of Malaysians content with MH370 handling: poll:  Just 43 per cent of Malaysians are satisfied with their government's handling of the missing-plane mystery while 50 per cent are dissatisfied, according to a survey released today. 

The Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, Malaysia's leading polling firm, said the survey of more than 1,000 people was conducted from March 13 to 20.
20:10  Chinese arms manufacturer's role in supplying arms under probe:  Extradition of Thai gun-runner Willy Naru to India is expected to throw more light on the suspected role of a Chinese arms manufacturer, believed to have been supplying arms to northeast insurgent groups, including NSCN-IM and ULFA.
20:09  Pak Christian man appeals against death sentence for blasphemy:  A Pakistani Christian man convicted for blasphemy today challenged his death sentence in the Lahore High Court. 

Sawan Masih was sentenced by additional district and sessions judge Lahore Chaudhry Ghulam Mustafa here last Thursday for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammad during a conversation with a Muslim friend in Joseph Christian colony in March last year.
19:46  Narendra Modi sees conspiracy in flight delays:  Narendra Modi today alleged a conspiracy after his private flights from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh were delayed, reportedly due to lack of clearances. 

Aviation ministry sources, however, said the company that was flying Modi had messed up."My helicopter was not allowed to take off for over three hours in Bareilly. I want the Election Commission to investigate," he said at a rally in Madhya Pradesh, apologising to people for arriving late.

Read more
19:30  CBI to soon quiz Kumar Mangalam Birla, Parakh:  After examining senior PMO official T K A Nair, CBI is likely to quiz industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and former Coal Secretary P C Parakh soon in the coal blocks allocation scam. 

CBI had registered a case naming 46-year-old Birla, Parakh and unknown officials of Hindalco and coal ministry last year under various sections pertaining to criminal conspiracy and corruption for alleged irregularities in the allocation of two coal blocks nine years back.
19:11  LIVE! Modi, Akhilesh ROAR over lions :  BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav were today involved in a catfight over lions.

The lions were at the heart of a roaring debate when Modi took a dig at Akhilesh during his rally in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, saying that his government was unable to handle lions from Gujarat.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also invited the Yadav family to visit his state to see how the lions at the Gir National Park roamed freely.

"Your chief minister was asking us for lions. We gave them lions. We had hoped they may draw some strength from seeing the lions. But they could not handle the Gujarat lions. The lions had to be caged. Netaji, your son, your daughter-in-law, your brother, please come to Gir forests and see how lions roam freely," Modi told the rally.

Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is Akhilesh Yadav's father, is often called 'Netaji' by his supporters.

Hitting back at Modi over his dig at him, Akhilesh said said such statements were not required from BJP's PM candidate as the lions had been given to the state as "political courtesy."
18:38  Congress did remarkably well, insists Rahul:  Will Cong's 'remarkably well' performance work for it? Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today said that the UPA government did remarkably well during its decade-long governance at the Centre, while the BJP talked divisive politics.

Stating that the "Gujarat model" would not be applicable in the entire country, Gandhi told an election meeting in Jharkhand, "The UPA government has performed remarkably well... and don't get misguided by tall promises, and vote for the Congress candidates."

The Congress spoke about the poor and the common people, he said. "The Congress has always worked for unity and development of the country." Gandhi's second meeting was cancelled after his helicopter developed a technical snag at the Ranchi airport.
18:32  Malaysia releases MH370 cockpit transcriipt: Nothing 'abnormal':  Malaysian authorities on Tuesday released the full transcript of communications between the pilots of missing Flight MH370 and air traffic controllers, saying the exchanges showed nothing unusual.

"There is no indication of anything abnormal in the transcript," a statement by defence and transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

The 43 separate transmissions over nearly 54 minutes are thick with air-traffic and navigational jargon and give no hint of trouble aboard the ill-fated plane, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

The transcript concludes with Malaysian air traffic control first bidding MH370 "good night", as it instructs the pilots next to contact controllers in Vietnam, over which the plane was due to fly.
18:09  LIVE! Bombay HC: BEST workers have to end strike NOW :   Just in: The Bombay High Court has asked striking BEST workers to join work immediately. The BEST management had moved the court saying the workers were holding the city to ransom. BEST says 50 lakh students have been affected due to the strike.

Bus services were paralysed since early morning in the city, affecting office-goers and school children appearing for exams the most. Commuters were stranded and many had to opt for autos for travel to place of work.

Around 40 per cent of the staffers had accepted the new scheduling system and even filled up forms, sources said. However, unions decided to go on flash strike as they are opposed to the 12-13-hour work schedule for 20 per cent of the staffers and want the earlier manual system of scheduling to continue.
17:47  Just 25 km separate Nitish, Modi mega rallies in Bihar tomorrow :  Bihar's Nawada district is all set to witness an action packed face-off tomorrow between rivals Nitish Kumar and BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tomorrow as campaigning for the impending Lok Sabha elections gathered momentum. But, their rallies are separated by about three hours.

Nitish will hold a rally at Nadriganj, about 25 km from district headquarters at 11:30 am while Modi's meeting is scheduled at 2:30 pm in Nawada town. The two meeting points are separated by about 25 km.
17:43   Operation launched over militants' movements in Kathua:  Police and security forces today launched a massive combing operation in forest belts in Kathua region of Jammu and Kashmir after reported sightings of armed militants' movements in the area. There was information by some locals about the movements of some armed militants donning Army uniform in Ghatti forest belt in border district of Kathua.
16:54  No sahara: March salary for staff may get delayed:   Under pressure from a long-running investor refund battle with Sebi, the Sahara group has informed its staff that their salaries may get delayed due to prevailing adverse situation, including attachment of its bank accounts.

The group is working hard to normalise things despite adverse conditions, it said, adding that staff salaries for March, 2014, scheduled to be released tomorrow, may get delayed because of "unforeseen reasons".
16:41  LIVE! Uddhav's claim that I wanted to join NDA is joke of the year: Pawar:  NCP chief Sharad Pawar says that Uddhav Thackeray's allegation that he wanted to join the NDA is the joke of the year. Uddhav Thackeray, the Shiv Sena chief said today that Congress ally Sharad Pawar wanted to cross over to the NDA this year, but he stopped it.

"Pawar always keeps a door open in every election to change sides. He was open to discussing both pre-poll and post-poll alliance with the NDA. But not just me, BJP's Gopinath Munde and other Maharashtra leaders also said that if he joins, we want out," Thackeray told NDTV.
16:35  BEST flash strike leaves thousands stranded across Mumbai:   Thousands of commuters were stranded across Mumbai today as drivers and conductors of the the city's public bus service, BEST, went on a flash strike to protest the new computerised scheduling system.

Bus services were paralysed since early morning in the city, affecting office-goers and school children appearing for exams the most.

Commuters were stranded and many had to opt for autos for travel to place of work. Around 40 per cent of the staffers had accepted the new scheduling system and even filled up forms, sources said. However, unions decided to go on flash strike as they are opposed to the 12-13-hour work schedule for 20 per cent of the staffers ad want the earlier manual system of scheduling to continue.

Buses were damaged across the city, this one, at suburban Kandivali. Pic/Sahil Salvi
16:16  To Be Poor and Sick in India:  Here's what we already know, but read what a foreigner has to say about public health care in India: "I first became interested in India's government hospitals after my son was born last May at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai, one of the city's well-regarded private hospitals. The care was exceptional, but a stay at a private hospital is a luxury that only a small percentage of Mumbai residents can afford." Here's more 
16:01  Politics is teaching me to think beyond myself: Moon Moon:   Moon Moon Sen learnt she was the TMC candidate when she was out shopping for curtains. Read an extensive interview with the party's star candidate from Bankura, who fears that the heat and dust of the campaign trail may wipe off the glamour.

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
15:52  Jolie to head rape summit at London :  Four day rape summit will bring together 141 countries to improve investigation of large scale sexual violence during conflict. Read
15:43  Kejri's Chandni Chowk rally is a nightmare for commuters :  Arvind Kejriwal's road show in Britannia chowk area of Chandni Chowk constituency, nine days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, drew enthusiastic crowd which had gathered to catch a glimpse of the Aam Aadmi Party chief.

As the convoy of more than 20 cars passed through the lanes and bylanes of the congested area, residents peered out from the roofs and windows of their houses waving and cheering for the former Delhi Chief Minister.

However, the road show disrupted traffic which left commuters reeling under chaos on a weekday and passersby had a tough time reaching their destinations.

The convoy was led by an open jeep in which Kejriwal along with AAP's Chandni Chowk constituency candidate Ashutosh waved to the crowd and also shook hands with some residents.

Many residents who moved along with the convoy even garlanded Kejriwal as he moved ahead.

"We will vote for Kejriwal. He has a clean image and he deserves a chance," said 62-year-old Rishi Kumar.
15:37  Supreme Court stands by decision to spare Rajiv killers from hanging:  Three men from Tamil Nadu convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi will not hang, the Supreme court reiterated today.

On February 18, the Supreme Court said the three men, Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan, would not hang but will serve life terms because of an 11-year delay in a decision on their mercy petitions.

The Centre had challenged this in its review petition, and said that the issue should have been decided by a judge of a Constitution bench.

The top court said there was no merit in the petition.

Four other convicts including Murugan's wife Nalini Sriharan are serving life terms.

The seven people have spent over 20 years in jail. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. 
15:34  RBI governor warns of turmoil in mkts if polls unable to deliver stable govt:   Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the markets have built up high hopes of the elections delivering a stable Government, but cautioned against "some turmoil" in the equity, and perhaps the bond and forex markets, if an unstable dispensation comes to power.

"The issue is that the markets right now are anticipating a stable government and rapid policy actions. To the extent markets are disappointed, it will reflect on stock markets, perhaps on bond markets, perhaps on exchange markets. We have to be prepared for some turmoil," he said, speaking at the customary post-policy press conference.
15:16  Goa's lone woman candidate hops on to bikes to reach electorate:  Swati Kerkar, the lone woman candidate in the Goa Lok Sabha elections, uses buses or hops on to a bike to meet her voters.

Kerkar, an unemployed woman, from a humble background, is now the centre of attraction for voters as she hops on bikes and pillion rides to their doorsteps seeking votes.

Dressed in traditional 'churidars', Swati (39), the daughter of Goan freedom fighter Sridhar Kerkar, is a much known face in South Goa district from where she is contesting on the Aam Aadmi Party ticket. She is the only woman candidate in poll fray in both the parliamentary constituencies of the state.

"I was travelling by bus even after I was supposed to file the candidature but my colleagues told me it is not safe. You might be kidnapped," said Kerkar.
15:05  Rajnath, Modi assured MNS won't be part of Mahayuti: Uddhav:  Stating that long standing ties with its saffron ally have been normalised, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray today said BJP chief Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi have assured him that MNS will not be included in the 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance).

"MNS will not be included in the alliance at any cost and an assurance to this effect has been given by Rajnath Singh and Narendra Modi. There is no need to fear split in votes because people will vote for a stable and strong government and show the door to spoilers," Uddhav said in the last part of his interview to 'Saamana'.

Pic: The Hindu's cartoon on hate speeches.
14:54  Who will be South Bangalore's Biwi No 1?:  Nandan Nilekani's wife Rohini and Ananth Kumar's wife Tesjaswini add a new dimension to the tough electoral race for South Bangalore. Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa joins the two on the campaign trail. Read
14:53  What do Indians care about? Not just the economy, stupid:  The Congress party's prospects have plummeted because Indians are unhappy with the economy, right? Well, not exactly. Read
14:51  Links between the Delhi and Mumbai rape cases:  The two crimes were strikingly similar: Young, ambitious women gang-raped by a group of impoverished men -- in Delhi and Mumbai. But their connection didn't end there. Read
14:33  VK Singh slams Shazia for comparing his candidature with Pakistan :   Former Army chief and BJP candidate General VK Singh has hit back at AAP Ghaziabad candidate Shazia Ilmi for her remarks against him.

General Singh said that the AAP is making irresponsible statements without knowing the facts.

This came after Shazia Ilmi on Monday took on the BJP for giving a Lok Sabha ticket to General Singh, saying it had set a wrong precedent. Ilmi said that although every citizen has a right to get involved in active politics after retirement, the way the BJP was projecting Singh "is posing a dangerous trend".  Read more

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
14:21  Uma clarifies 'Modi is not as good a orator as Vajpayee' comment :  If you are a politician, learn to be a wordsmith. Learn from Uma Bharti.

Firebrand BJP leader Umar Bharti today maintained that the party's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi does not have the oratorical skills of A B Vajpayee, but said the Gujarat Chief Minister was a "unique person" who draws massive crowd.

Addressing party workers at Kunj Vatika last night, Bharti had said, "Vajpayeeji was a very good orator.. it is said that there has been no other orator like him in Indian politics. "If you have observed minutely you would have found that Modi is not a good orator but still people are coming to his rallies not to listen but to tell him that they want him to change this country and they support him," she said.

Seeking to clarify her statement today, Bharti said Modi is country's "anokha" (unique) person who draws massive crowd.

"All that I said about Narendra Modi, I will repeat it again. The same thing that A B Vajpayee was a good orator but Narendra Modi is country's 'anokha' (unique) person after years in whose support lakhs and lakhs turn up. This is what I had said," she said.
14:15  Ask Modi that one RIGHT question:  Everyone, it seems, has a question to ask the BJP's prime ministerial candidate these days .Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt asked some well-known Indians what they would like to ask Narendra Modi, to gauge what emotions he evokes in them. Read

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
14:12  "Congress said we will crush Modi... then they said BJP wont get allies. Picture from Kashmir to Kanyakumari suggests otherwise! -- Narendra Modi tweets.
14:05  Caustic king Subramanian Swamy: Chidambaram should first improve Sonia Gandhi's Hindi before commenting on NaMo.
14:01  For those of you tracking Mr Modi's every moment, here's the latest: Kirandeep IBN7 @raydeep Narendra Modi's departure from Bareily delayed, ATC Delhi has not given permission. @narendramodi is still sitting in his plane.
13:54  LIVE! Modi in UP: For Congress, every day is April Fools day :  
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed  a rally in Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh today, followed by another one in Madhya Pradesh later during the day.

Modi began his speech by apologising to the people for arriving late at the venue since they had to wait in the sun. "I assure you I will try my best to see that your expectations do not go waste," he said.

Modi said that he had a special connection with Bareilly. "The manjhaa used for the kites in our state's kite festival come from Bareilly. Without the manjhaa from Bareilly, kites in Gujarat cannot fly," he said.

Hitting out at the Congress he sai, "Jab chunaav aata hai toh Congress waale mantr japna shuru kar dete hain 'gareeb gareeb gareeb gareeb'. (When the elections are nearing, the Congress begins chanting the mantra of poverty).

Since the rally is on All Fools Day, Modi said that for the Congress, 365 days are April Fools day."

"They keep talking about the poor only before the elections and their leaders says poverty is a state of mind," he said.

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
13:36  In the name of the family... Smriti slams Gandhis:  Another hot quote from Smriti Irani, the BJP candidate from Amethi: "In the name of the 'family', the people of Amethi have been kept away from the fruits of development for too long. I think it is an extreme shame."
13:30  2002 hit-and-run case: Salman Khans re-trial fails to begin, case deferred to April 28:  The re-trial in the hit-and-run case involving actor Salman Khan was today deferred till April 28 by a sessions court as the prosecution sought time to produce witnesses in view of police deployment on election duty.

Investigating officer Rajendra Kane informed the court that police were deployed on election duty and hence they were not yet prepared to go ahead with the trial which was to commence today.

Sessions Judge D W Deshpande asked the prosecution to produce on April 28 the first witness who was injured in the mishap in which the actor was involved, followed by eyewitnesses in May.  Read more
13:26  Ahead of competitors by at least a lakh votes: Mayank Gandhi:  AAP leader Mayank Gandhi said its chief Arvind Kejriwal's resignation as Delhi Chief Minister would not affect the party's poll prospects, even as the party candidate from North West Mumbai parliamentary seat claimed to have an edge over his competitors in the Lok Sabha elections.

"It was a legitimate political decision. The country at this time needs institutional reforms. We quit the national capital for larger institutional games," Gandhi said.

He also denied that the party would bear the brunt of Kejriwal's decision to resign from chief ministership of Delhi in just 49 days. Gandhi said that they chose to go back to the people only for reforms. "Should the country wait for 5 more years for a Jan Lokpal? It was better we resigned from government and came back with a strong mandate and pass a strong anti-corruption law," he added.
13:05  Seven portions of fruit and veggies -- NOT five:  Lunchtime gyan, except that you may not want to digest this.

Five portions of fruit and vegetables a day -- a familiar mantra for those concerned about their own and their children's health -- may not, after all, be enough, according to a new report by scientists, who suggest we should instead be aiming for seven a day, and mostly vegetables at that.

Alarmingly for some who thought they were doing the right thing, tinned and frozen fruit may not be helpful at all.  Read more
13:03  A Candidate with 'Nil' Assets :  The Odisha candidate who has ZERO assets.

Jagabandhu Godangi might end up being the poorest contestant in Odisha elections this time. At least by his own claims, he is. The movable assets column on his affidavit reads "nil', so does the immovable assets column.

Contesting from Chitrakonda Assembly segment, the 34-year-old Jagabandhu's possessions and that of his family members  draw a zero. "I have nothing,' declares the candidate of Samrudha Odisha, a political party that made its debut in the polls in 2009. Read more

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
12:54  Feminists want equality for everyone :  A mindset change? Think again. "You were drinking, what did you expect?" Those were the first words that I heard when I went to someone I trusted for support after my roommate's boyfriend raped me eight years ago. Read
12:43  Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalitha has directed all Lok Sabha candidates of AIADMK in Tamil Nadu to file their nomination papers on Tuesday, which is considered to be auspicious. The time: between 12:30 pm an 1:15 pm -- fixed by a well known Kerala Namboodri astrologer who has been predicting the chances of AIADMK winning since the 2009 elections. This astrologer had predicted that AIADMK will win 30 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu.

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
12:36  Oppn will fail to score on Adarsh;party,family backs me:Chavan:  Hitting back at Narendra Modi, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said the party wanted him to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Nanded due to the anti-incumbency factor and that he had the backing of his family including sitting MP and brother-in-law Bhaskarrao Patil.

"They (my family) are with me (for campaigning). I was surprised over his (Modi's) remarks. The sitting MP from here himself said he does not want to contest (the polls).

Party took the decision considering the anti-incumbency factor," Chavan told select journalists at his residence. "I was consulted by the party high-command before taking the decision (on giving the ticket)," he stated.
12:30  Ahead of competitors by atleast a lakh votes: Mayank Gandhi:  AAP leader Mayank Gandhi said its chief Arvind Kejriwal's resignation as Delhi Chief Minister would not affect the party's poll prospects, even as the party candidate from North West Mumbai parliamentary seat claimed to have an edge over his competitors in the Lok Sabha elections.

"It was a legitimate political decision. The country at this time needs institutional reforms. We quit the national capital for larger institutional games," Gandhi said.

He also denied that the party would bear the brunt of Kejriwal's decision to resign from chief ministership of Delhi in just 49 days.

Gandhi said that they choose to go back to the people only for reforms. "Should the country wait for 5 more years for a Jan Lokpal? It was better we resigned from government and came back with a strong mandate and pass a strong anti-corruption law," he added.
12:16  MH370: Fesh debris dismissed, but search will go on:  Update on the search of MH370: Orange objects turn out to be fishing equipment, but Oz PM says: 'We can keep searching for quite some time." Read
12:02  Smriti: Kumar Vishwas has a history of disrespecting women:   And so, the soap opera in Amethi begins.

Smriti Irani says the fight in Ametihi is between the Congress and the BJP  and not the B Team of the Congress. On her opponent, AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas, Smriti Irani says, he has a history of disrespecting women.

Earlier in the day, Vishwas said Amethi was fed up of actors. "Amethi was already fed up of an actor who used to come, wave hands and go, and now we have an actress as well."

Exuding confidence in his candidature, the AAP leader said, "Ab Irani aaye, ya Pakistani aaye, ya Italian aaye, ya American aaye, Amethi ki janta nirney kar chuki hai.'

'Sympathising' with Smriti Irani for being fielded against him and Rahul Gandhi, Vishwas stated, "I have my sympathies with Smriti-ji, maybe some in the BJP are unfavorable towards her."
11:48  Exit mode: Prime minister Manmohan Singh cuts work hours:  Prime minister Manmohan Singh has a month-and-a-half or at the most two left in office. And his hands are, in a way, tied because the model code of conduct is in place.

Big-ticket decisions are beyond the pale; what remains are the mundane, and the routine. That said, there's isn't much that has changed. It's the same man, so his daily routine is set.

True, there are no overseas trips in the itinerary, nor are there any foundations to be laid. But there's lots of work left unfinished, and the government machinery grinds on, inexorably.

His working hours have reduced to a commendable 11 from an outstanding 18. Surprisingly, contrary to popular belief, Singh is politically much in demand.  Read
11:33  UN's poverty index shows 41% of Gujarat is poor: Congress:  Maharashtra Congress said the United Nations' multi-dimensional poverty index developed in 2013 showed that 41 per cent of people in Gujarat were poor.

"Out of 41 per cent of the poor, 18.5 per cent live in severe poverty. How can a state where every fifth person lives in abject poverty and 41 per cent in poverty claim to be a model for anyone," Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant said at a press conference.  
11:19  LIVE!: Comic relief in Lucknow: AAP fields Javed Jafferi:  No, it's not an All Fools Day joke. Rajnath Singh, the president of the BJP, who is running for Parliament from Lucknow, has a new opponent as of today. The Aam Aadmi Party has announced its candidate is actor-comedian and reality show judge Javed Jafferi.

Should provide for some comic relief. Read more

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
11:11  No respite for borrowers, RBI keeps rates unchanged :   The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday kept the key interest rates unchanged in its monetary policy review as retail inflation, especially in food items, is yet to show definite signs of moderation.Overlooking demands of the industry, the RBI left the short-term lending (repo) rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) steady at 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively.In a bid to curb inflation, RBI in January raised the key repo rate by 0.25 percent to 8 percent.Strengthening of the rupee against dollar in the past few days following inflow of foreign currency has put pressure on exports.

In addition, unseasonal rains in March may end up stoking food inflation in the near term.The annual rate of inflation, based on the monthly Wholesale Price Index, was 4.68 percent in February. Retail inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index, was at 25-month low of 8.1 percent. Read more
11:06  'Bring Narendra Modi, see how things change for India': Rare praise from Advani :  Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, has finally won public endorsement from party patriarch LK Advani, who has openly disagreed with him for months.While campaigning for BJP candidate Dilip Gandhi in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar on Monday,  Advani told a crowd that  Modi would bring change in India. Read more

Follow our poll coverage here @RediffElections
11:00  SpiceJet goes for Re 1 base fare:   Signalling yet another fare war, low cost carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday announced a three-day-only sale for domestic flights with fares starting at Re 1 (statutory taxes and fees extra) from July 1.

"The sale will be applicable only on direct flights of SpiceJet's new domestic network. Tickets can be booked via SpiceJet website (www.spicejet.com), and through travel portals and travel agents," the airline said in a statement.
10:58  It is Smriti Irani vs Rahul Gandhi in Amethi:  So, the rumours were not unfounded. TV star-turned-BJP politician Smriti Irani will take on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi turning the contest into a high profile clash with Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas already in the fray.

Irani will spice up the contest with Vishwas camping in Amethi in a bid to challenge the Congress leader who has won elections from Amethi in 2004 and 2009 and continues to be the favourite.

But BJP has not found a high profile candidate to contest against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli and has settled for Ajay Agarwal, a Supreme Court advocate who has filed PILs on cases like Bofors and Telgi scams. Read more
10:54  Malaysia got MH370 pilot's last words wrong :  Multinational search teams were racing against time to locate the black box of the crashed airliner, as Malaysia revised the account of the critical final communication received from the jet. The last words from the cockpit of the crashed Malaysian plane were a standard "Good night Malaysian three seven zero" and not the more casual "All right, good night", Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation said in a statement.
09:56  Sensex begins FY15 on promising note, gains 75 points:   Commencing the new fiscal 2014-15 on a positive note, the BSE Sensex today gained over 75 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retail investors ahead of the RBI's policy review.

Continuing its winning streak, the 30-share index rose further by 75.48 points, or 0.34 per cent, to trade at 22,461.75 points, with all sectoral indices led by consumer durables, oil and gas and auto trading in positive zone with gains up to 1.34 per cent.
09:30  No differences with Powell: Obama administration:  US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell's resignation is not related to any tension or any recent situation, the Obama administration asserted today refuting all such media reports in this regard.

"It is in no way related to any tension, any recent situations. There's no big behind the scenes story here," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters when asked about Powell's announcement in New Delhi that she has sent her resignation to President Barack Obama.

"She announced today that she has submitted her resignation to President Obama, as has been planned for some time, and she will retire to her home in Delaware before the end of May," Harf said.
08:53  BEST buses go off roads, Mumbaikars left stranded :  After an extended weekend, Mumbaikars woke up to a chaotic Tuesday as the BEST drivers and conductors went on flash strike to protest against the new computerised scheduling system.

Office-goers and school children, many of whom have examinations, were stranded, reported The Times of India.


The buses were lying idle at 25 depots across the city and only 16 workers had reported to duty in the morning.

Read the full report here
 
08:41  Top headlines in the last 24 hours :  
US ambassador to India Nancy Powell resigns

There are deep flaws in Modi's character: Chidambaram


What Modi really means by Congress-free Bharat

PHOTOS: The 2014 Padma Award winners

India, Russia sign Rs 2,600 cr deal for anti-tank ammo

Rashid Alvi writes to Sonia; wants to take on Modi in Varanasi

Vote for change, vote for Modi: Advani

AAP nominee against Khurshid quits, claims corruption in party

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