22:17 Cong moves EC on Modi's interview on India TV:
Congress today moved the Election Commission seeking stern action against Narendra Modi and BJP, dubbing as "paid news" "Aap ki Adalat" programme on India TV featuring the BJP PM candidate.
"The sole purpose, as can be concluded from tone and tenor of the questions put to him, and the entire programme, was to give unfair and undue electoral advantage to Modi."
"The programme was calculated, conceived and comprehended by and on behalf of BJP and Shri Modi for electoral gains. It was scribled for Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate", K C Mittal, secretary, AICC legal department, told the EC.
Claiming the programme was in "utter disregard" and violation of the model code of conduct and guidelines issued by the EC, Mittal noted veteran journalist Qumar Wahid Nakvi, who was holding a senior position in India TV, has resigned.
Mittal claimed the journalist quit "in protest against the programme, which would further "the manner of misuse of the channel by BJP and Shri Modi for their election propaganda."
"It is not only a paid news but total misuse of the channel by BJP for their election campaign", he told the EC, insisting that the programme was designed for election campaign for Modi and BJP and "not as a news item or routine programme".
21:05 EC action is an insult to me, SP will benefit from it: Mulayam:
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today came down heavily on the Election Commission for serving notice on him over his rape remarks and barring senior party leader Azam Khan from addressing rallies, saying these actions were "violation of fundamental rights".
"The EC has banned Azam from delivering speeches and campaigning... I have been given notice on a false case of insulting women... This is my insult... We respect women and had fought for it and went to jail many times... I have sent poor woman Phulan Devi to Parliament... The actions of EC are violation of fundamental rights," Yadav said while addressing an election rally in Shahjahanpur district.
"No one can stop us from expressing our views... Due to EC action, there is resentment among people... SP is going to benefit from this," Yadav added.
Attacking Congress, Yadav said there is an atmosphere of disappointment in the Congress camp and it has realised that it is going to face defeat in this polls.
19:57 Raj Cong buying fake 'likes' on Facebook: BJP:
The BJP in Rajasthan today accused the Congress of buying fake 'likes' for its official Facebook page to gain popularity on the social media platform in the general elections.
A BJP Minister said that 'likes' on the Facebook page of 'Rajasthan PCC' shot up to over 80,000 within 19 days and most of the 'likes' were from Istanbul in Turkey which indicates that it was fake.
"The page had 3,965 'likes' from March 10 to March 16 which went up to 80,303 from April 7 to April 13. Presently, the page is getting 10,000 'likes' per day. The page's 'most popular city' feature showed that most of the followers were from Istanbul in Turkey," said Arun Chaturvedi, Raj MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment.
19:50 Vice Admiral Dhowan likely to be next navy vhief:
Vice Admiral R K Dhowan may be the next Navy chief as the Defence Ministry has recommended his name to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the post which has been lying vacant for nearly two months since D K Joshi quit suddenly in the wake of a series of mishaps.
Dhowan, who has been the acting navy chief since Joshi's exit, was in contention for the top job along with Western Navy Commander Shekhar Sinha and Eastern Commander Anil Chopra.
Vice Admiral Sinha is the seniormost among the three but he has been edged out of the race, apparently because majority of the 14 mishaps, including two major submarine accidents, took place under his command during the last 10 months.
"The defence ministry has recommended the name of Acting chief Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan for the appointment and the Prime Minister's Office will go through the file before taking a final decision on the matter," top government sources said here.
18:53 Petrol prices cut by 70 p/litre, diesel unchanged:
The price of petrol was on Tuesday cut by 70 paise per litre - the second reduction in six months. The prices of diesel were left unchanged. The reduction, effective midnight, excludes local sales tax or VAT and the actual cut will be higher, varying from city to city. The price of petrol was last cut by 75 paise on March 31.
18:29 Petrol price cut by 70 paise per litre with effect from midnight tonight.
18:10 LIVE! Rahul: It's battle of love vs ideology of Nathuram Godse :
Rahul Gandhi takes off from where his sister Priyanka left off. Ideology. Addressing a rally in Hingoli, today, Rahul said, "This election is a battle of two ideologies. It is the battle of love vs the ideology of Nathuram Godse. "Call it Gujarat Model or Toffee Model, but certainly this is not the model for the poor, it is the model only for one person," he said.
Sometimes a simple 1 minute video has the potential to deliver a message that can resonate with millions. Despite the stereotype, it's a good film. Watch.
17:05 Quote of the day:
Priyanka invokes the Gandhi name...
"My father died for the unity of this country. I cannot disrespect that for anybody, even if it were my own child. "
She made this statement moments after her cousin Varun Gandhi filed his nomination papers from Sultanpur, revisiting her earlier comment that Varun was on the other side of the ideological spectrum.
16:55 Rahul accuses Modi of tapping women's phones in Gujarat:
In an apparent reference to the snooping scandal, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today attacked Narendra Modi alleging that the Gujarat Chief Minister, who spoke about women empowerment, was "tapping" phones of women in the state.
"The Gujarat Chief Minister taps phones of women. The police in the state stalk women. They should first learn to respect women before talking about their empowerment," Rahul said while addressing an election rally in Pune in support of Congress candidate Vishwajeet Kadam.
Claiming that the BJP-ruled states had a dismal record of women welfare in contrast with that of Congress, Rahul alleged that 20,000 women had "disappeared" from Chhattisgarh.
"We have endeavoured to empower women, but the BJP opposed the women's reservation bill," he contended.
16:37 CBI is 'Department of Dirty Tricks': Gopal Gandhi lectures CBI:
The CBI was in for some harsh words today when former Governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi said the central probe agency had gained notoriety as "government's hatchet" and "Department of Dirty Tricks" which was clothed in "opacity" with perfume of "mystery". Gandhi, who was CBI's guest speaker, minced no words while batting for bringing the agency within the purview of Right to Information Act (RTI) and making it "spectacularly" and not "sensationally" autonomous.
"It is seen as government's hatchet, rather than honesty's ally. It is often called DDT -- meaning not the dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, the colourless, tasteless, odourless insecticide it should be, but the Department of Dirty Trick"," he said at the function where the entire CBI rank and file led by its Director Ranjit Sinha were present.
Referring to the issue of corruption, 69-year-old Gandhi, who is at present Chairman of Indian Institute of Advance Studies (IIAS), said CBI has a "mixed" image, not all of which was "flattering", and it will have to "change".
He said the "RTI-trained" public will expect, prod and make the CBI an "instrument of change". "The CBI is clothed in opacity, then ornamented by secrecy and finally perfumed by mystery."
16:37 Varanasi fears polarisation as Kejriwal hits campaign trail:
As political pitch gets stronger in this city of temples and weavers with the arrival of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, leaders across party lines are fearing a highly polarised scenario on religious lines ahead of Lok Sabha polls next month.
While senior leaders from BJP dismiss the impact of any anti-Modi polarisation among Muslims, who account for about 18 per cent votes in Varanasi and close to 30 per cent in urban areas, local leaders from various parties including the saffron party said there was a high probability of Muslim votes being polarised towards the strongest candidate against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Local leaders from various parties including Congress, SP and BSP, also accused Kejriwal of trying to influence Muslims by projecting himself as the strongest candidate against Modi.
Soon after arriving in Varanasi this morning, Kejriwal met Benares Shahar-e-Kazi Ghulam Nasir and sought his support. According to AAP leaders here, Nasir told Kejriwal that he would pray for his success.
16:18 Cong protests outside Swamy's house for calling Priyanka drunk:
Congress workers protest outside BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy's residence in Delhi. They want Swamy to take back his comments on Priyanka Gandhi and say they will complain to the Election Commission as well.
Swamy on Monday said that Gandhi would have been thrashed if she had contested the polls as she drinks too much alcohol and has a bad name.
"They saved her. She would have got a thrashing. She is very unpopular, she drinks too much alcohol and she has a bad name, her husband has a bad name," said Swamy.
Yesterday, Swamy had called Gandhi an ungrateful daughter for going to see the prisoners in jail who assassinated her own father.
16:08 William Dalrymple tweets: Just got a call out of the blue from Aamir Khan who has finished Last Mughal and loved it! Now there's the man who should make that movie...
15:53 Patriarch in Pathos:
And this: At 90, he is presiding over a disintegrating dynasty, and this election could be the last electoral battle of a man who scripted some sensational moments in Dravidian politics. The agony (not ecstasy) of being M Karunanidhi. Read
15:50 LIVE! Modi: Reading Baru's book I realise why PM hasn't smiled for 10 years :
Sanjaya Baru's book, The Accidental Prime Minister, is new-found ammunition for the attack on the Congress.
Addressing a rally in Bhagalpur, Narendra Modi says, "I used to wonder that in the last 10 years, I have never seen the PM smile. Now, after reading Baru's book I realize he had nothing to smile about. But the Prime Minister is being slammed because of the deeds of mother-son duo."
Targetting the youth, he says, "18-28 years is your golden period. Do you want to squander your next five years doing nothing?"
15:23 Tweets from a woman trying to buy a house in Jaipur:
The builder says: Kitne hi acche log hon lekin Musalmaan ko bechne ka to sawaal hi nahin utthta. Name plate bhi nahin lagna chahiye. Modi ko aane deejiye, sab saaf ho jaayega."
15:22 A father fights an election for a dead son:
Driving a Tata Nano covered with banners about his son's killing by the Mumbai police, Kundan Prasad Singh is fighting his first election to get justice for a dead child. Read
the report on Rediff.com.
15:11 Jolt to Nitish, Kisanganj candidate withdraws in Cong favour:
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today suffered a jolt as JD(U) candidate from Kisanganj withdrew in favour of Congress nominee in the parliamentary election.
"I have decided to withdraw myself from election in favour of sitting Congress candidate to check split of minority votes," JD(U) candidate Akhtarul Iman said.
Congress candidate Maulana Asrarul Haque is seeking re-election from the minority dominated Kisanganj Lok Sabha seat.
15:04 Just in: BSP MP Dhananjay Singh has been granted interim bail till May 20 by a Delhi court in connection with a rape case lodged against him.
14:59 LIVE! Dabangg, action hero Modi most suitable PM candidate: Shatrughan:
In a chat with Rediff.com
contributor Upasna Pandey,
BJP senior leader and Lok Sabha candidate from the Patna Sahib seat, Shatrughan Sinha, described Narendra Modi as the most suitable PM candidate as he is a "dabangg and an action hero."
Asked if the Dabangg star and his daughter Sonakshi would campaign for him, Sinha said, "My daughter has been performing very well and has been quite dignified as an actor and she is fortunate to have been blessed with so much fame in Bollywood. We are very proud of her.
"My wife and sons, Luv and Kush, have been with me here in Patna, Sona is welcome to join me but she need not campaign for me. People are coming up in crowds to see me, I think there would be too much crowds if Sona also joined me. In fact I don't need any Bollywood stars or superstars to join my campaign."
14:51 Confidential: Letter to Sonia complains of union minister's land grab:
A three-page confidential letter from a former Union Minister has been sent to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Corroborated by documentary evidence it talks about the son of a senior union minister who has grabbed prime property belonging to the Congress in Tenampet -- the heart of Chennai city. The market value of the property is between Rs 12 and 15 crore.
The letter also explains how rentals since 1984 were not increased for commercial shops which paid huge cash to the Trustees of Tenampet Congess Grounds Trust.
Soon after the Lok Sabha elections apprehension is expressed in the letter that there shall be a takeover of the TNCC trust by the son of the Union Minister.
14:27 Woman governor fearing sacking wants to quit before LS results :
Our sources in Delhi tell us that three governors are keen to demit office in mid May, soon after the Lok Sabha results amid apprehensions that the new government would not like to work with them. A governor, a woman, recently got in touch with 10 Janpath and expressed her readiness to quit office much before the Lok Sabha results since she believes she would be unceremoniously sacked. Also read:
Modi at loggerheads with Gujarat Governor over Lokayukta appointment
14:21 Third Front will form stable govt with Cong support: Akhilesh:
Stating that democracy has matured in the country, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today claimed that Third Front will form a "stable government" with Congress' support after this Lok Sabha elections.
"The way in which election trend appears, BJP will not be able to reach the magic figure and form government. Congress will emerge weakest after elections...The parties associated with Third Front will get maximum number of seats and will form the next government", Yadav said in an interview.
On being asked whether Third Front government will be stable as earlier experiences were not good, Yadav said that democracy has matured in India.
13:55 Libya: Jordanian envoy kidnapped in attack:
The Jordanian ambassador to Libya has been kidnapped in the capital Tripoli, in an attack that left his driver wounded, BBC reports.
Libya's foreign ministry confirmed the kidnapping to the BBC, adding that the driver was in hospital.
The Jordanian embassy in Tripoli also confirmed the attack, without providing any further details.Libya has been plagued by instability since armed groups toppled Muammar Gaddafi from power in 2011.
13:45 "Earlier BJP used to take decisions by consulting elder leaders. Now one person is controlling the decision process," Rahul says at his rally.
13:41 Opinion: How compelling could Priyanka, the politician, be?:
Speculation about Priyanka Gandhi joining politics is perennial. Many in the Congress, including senior leaders, say they hope she takes charge as her brother, Rahul Gandhi, has proved a disappointment.
There are both negative and positive reasons for this wish. The negative reason is the party old guard - including senior counsellors of his mother, Sonia Gandhi, the Congress president - doesn't quite get along with Rahul. Read
13:28 Namewise, 'Singh is king' for leaders in Lok Sabha fray:
Poll gupshup: When it comes to names of leaders fighting ongoing Lok Sabha polls, 'Singh' appears to be the most prevalent and forms part of names for at least 218 candidates fielded by major national and state parties so far.
Among the major parties, Congress, BJP and Aam Aadmi Party have fielded nearly 50 candidates each with 'Singh' being part of their names, while Mayawati-led BSP has also got more than 30 candidates with this word in their names.
Other major parties with candidates having 'Singh' as part of their names include Samajwadi Party (over 15), while Rashtriya Janta Dal, CPI(M), CPI and NCP also have 5-10 candidates each with 'Singh' in their names.
The word 'Kumar', which is used as a middle name, surname and first name as well by Indians, finds mention for at least 42 times in the candidate list of AAP, while the same for Congress and BJP stand at 23 and 15 times respectively.
Among other surnames, Yadav is also quite common, while there are also quite a few candidates with 'Khan' and 'Ali' as their last names.
13:17 India's election won't be decided on old lines:
Last week, India embarked on what has repeatedly been hailed as the biggest electoral exercise in history.
But the bigger grinding noise seemed to come from hundreds of electoral pundits as they cranked up the machinery of received ideas.
India's future, these portentous commentators declared, would be decided by the winner of the three-way clash between Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal.
Or the older battle between secularism and Hindu nationalism. Or the one between free-market capitalism and socialism. Read
Pankaj Mishra's piece
13:04 LIVE! Varun at Sultanpur rally: I concede I am here because of my surname:
At the Narendra Modi rally in Hazaribag:
On the outcome of the polls: "After elections, you will need a High Resolution camera to see Congress representatives in Parliament," says Modi.
On Sanjaya Baru's book: "PM's daughter said that Sanjaya Baru turned out to be a traitor...this means that what he said was true."
On Rahul: In BJP we have a galaxy of senior and able leaders, while on the other side there is a childish leader who talks of balloons and toffees.
And at Varun Gandhi's rally, Priyanka's cousin says: "I concede that I am here because my surname is Gandhi. Consider me your son, and not leader. It will not benefit us if we speak ill about our opponents."
12:53 Just in: The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the death penalty in the Dec 16 gang-rape case if the dying declaration of the victim is found satisfactory.
12:46 Afghan deputy minister kidnapped: officials:
An senior Afghan government official was kidnapped along with his driver on his way to work in Kabul today, an interior ministry official said. Ahmad Shah Waheed, deputy minister for public works, was taken by gunmen at around 7 am from the Khairkhana neighbourhood of the capital, said the official who declined to be named. He did not elaborate, saying more information could harm efforts to recover the men.
12:42 LIVE! Priyanka reacts to Baru's book: Manmohan is a SUPER PM:
Priyanka Gandhi reacts to Sanjaya Baru's book and says Manmohan Singh is a super PM. Reacting to the criticism of UPA president Sonia Gandhi's speech to the nation yesterday, Priyanka said what her mother said was 'heartfelt'.
Priyanka also told news channels that she has no regrets over this weekend's leak of a
video in which she was seen criticizing Varun. "This is not a family
tea-party... it's an ideological war," she said.
12:26 'Is Modi a good actor, or is he really so genuine?':
'One very interesting thing happened when I was going around Vadnagar. One lady was there, doing some domestic work. The people who were taking me around introduced me, saying I was writing a book on Narendrabhai. So she said warmly, 'Oh, come to my house.' She said she also knew him well, that her son and Narendrabhai were in the same class and were very good friends. She told me how Narendra would come for all their family functions. Every marriage and every family occasion, he would be there. In short, she said she knows him much more because he was a good friend of her son.' 'Yes, she was a Muslim.'
Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt unearths some never revealed before details of Narendra Modi's early life. Read.
12:16 Modi becoming PM is a fantasy: Mamata :
The venerable lady of Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said yesterday that Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister is a "fantasy", and dismissed any comparisons with her state and Gujarat as a comparison between a rich, privileged child and an undernourished, neglected one. She also said that a Federal Front government will be formed after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
12:14 The inexplicable reticence of Mr Modi:
As a candidate in the 2002, 2007 and then the 2012 elections for the Gujarat Assembly, Narendra Modi chose not to make his marital status clear in his nomination papers. What caused consternation in this case was why Mr. Modi should have
suppressed for so long the fact that he was married. Further, in a
country where women have a robust public presence, keeping his wife
hidden away from the public eye, suggested a regressive view on Mr.
Modis part of a womans place in this country. Read
the Hindu editorial.
12:08 The Supreme Court has refused to stay the trial court proceedings in a defamation case against Arvind Kejriwal and two other AAP leaders.
12:01 Modi missing in Varun's posters :
The AAP tweet comes in this context: Party workers showered 34-year-old Varun with flower petals and greeted him with the beating of drums as he led a huge procession of supporters towards the district collectorate to file his nomination.
However, the road show was cut short after he covered a distance of 1.5 km as the local administration at Sahganj chowk said permission was taken only for filing nomination and not for the roadshow. The procession, which was supposed to cover five km before reaching the collectorate, could not reach the main city areas.
Varun, who represented Pilibhit Parliamentary constituency in 2009 has shifted to Sultanpur this time where he is locked in a quadrangular contest with Sultanpur MP Sanjay Singh's wife Amita Singh (Congress), Shakeel Ahmed (SP) and Pawan Pandey (BSP).
Significantly, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's name was missing from the hoardings which Varun's supporters carried in the procession.
The hoardings had a big picture of Varun in the centre.Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani adorned the top corners of the hoardings while the bottom corners had pictures of local leaders. The party symbol 'lotus', however, was widely used in the procession with BJP flags hoisted on top of vehicles which were a part of the roadshow.
The supporters were raising slogans like 'Varun nahin yeh Aandhi hai, Sultanpur ka Gandhi hai'( Varun is a storm, he is Sultanpur's Gandhi).
11:55 BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy tweets: Good luck to Varun. One Nehru whose blood is 100 percent Hindustaniyat. No wonder Booze and Buddhu jealous.
11:54 A tweet from AAP: Thousands walking 12 km with Kumar Vishwas shows Amethi's strong support to AAP. They won't fall for fancy car rallies & rose petals.
11:25 India is the first country to recognise transgenders as the third sex. However, remember that Supreme Court last year, declared gay sex an offence punishable up
to life imprisonment.
11:09 LIVE! SC recognises transgenders as the third sex :
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has recognised transgenders at the third sex. This comes after a petition, which sought several directions from the Court, including granting of equal rights and protection to transgender persons; inclusion of a third category in recording one's sex/gender in identity documents like the election card, passport, driving license and ration card; and for admission in educational institutions, hospitals, access to toilets, amongst others.
The SC has given its nod for the provision of job and education quotas and medical facilities for transgenders and says transgenders to be treated on par with socially and economically backward sections.
Read more on the case here.
10:54 Priyanka says Varun has 'gone astray' :
To bring you up to speed, the Gandhi dynasty was locked in bitter exchanges on Sunday after Priyanka Gandhi said her cousin Varun Gandhi had gone "astray" and suggested that voters in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh from where he is BJP's Lok Sabha candidate should not vote for him.
Varun's mother and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi today hit out at Priyanka, saying the country will decide who has gone on the wrong path.
"If he has gone astray while serving the country, the country will decide," she said when asked for her reaction to Priyanka's comment. At a meeting with Congress workers in Amethi on Saturday, Priyanka appeared to ask people not to vote for the BJP leader, who is contesting from the adjacent Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat in UP. Varun is a sitting MP from Pilbhit.
"He (Varun Gandhi) is definitely from my family, he is my brother. But he has gone astray. When a young one in the family chooses the wrong path, then the elders show them the right path, the right way. I urge all of you to show my brother the right path," Priyanka had said in what could probably be one of the first attacks by her on her estranged cousin Varun.
"In order to move forward, he has to unite people with a good heart. I have come to ask you to vote with your heart to vote for the unity of the country, vote for Sultanpur. But also introspect what kind of elections are being held this time. Do not just think about your region but about the whole country this time. And this time vote wisely to show the right path to a young member of the family," she added.
10:42 Tarun Tejpal's daughter speaks out :
In the thick of the elections, an update on a story that's off the front pages. The Tarun Tejpal case. Tejpal's daughter Tiya fights back: It was 100 seconds of lift time, please judge for yourself if this is 'rape'. Read
09:48 Chinese legislator detained for organised sex trade:
A Chinese legislator has been detained for his suspected involvement in organised prostitution in southern Dongguan City, police said. Liang Yaohui, a deputy to the National People's Congress, was expected to be removed from his post as the Provincial Council of Guangdong recommended action against him for "serious violation of laws".
09:36 Missing flight MH370: Robotic sub first mission cut short:
A robotic submarine deployed to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean has had its first mission cut short.
The Bluefin-21 was sent to search the sea floor for wreckage after signals believed to be consistent with "black box" flight recorders were detected.
But the drone exceeded its operating limit of 4,500m (15,000ft) and was brought back to the surface.It is due to be relaunched in the next few hours if weather conditions permit.
09:29 Posters mock Arvind Kejriwal as he arrives in Varanasi:
On 'Mission Lok Sabha', Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal arrived here on Tuesday morning. The Aam Aadmi Party convenor will kickstart a month-long campaign against Bharataiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi from today.
Kejriwal will spend majority of his time in Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, until the constituency goes to polls on May 12, the last day of the 10-phase Lok Sabha election. The AAP leader had yesterday told a news channel that he would now shuttle between Amethi, from where his party member Kumar Vishwas is pitted against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, and Varanasi.
09:00 Baru's book 'mischievous, unethical' exercise, says PM's daughter:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's eldest daughter has hit out at his former media advisor Sanjaya Baru over his book saying he has betrayed the trust of the PM and "pieced together gossip and unverified quotes"
In an account of his years in the Prime Minister's Office, The Accidental Prime Minister '" The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh, Baru has detailed the complex relationship between the PM and Sonia Gandhi.Baru has written about the PM's allies and antagonists in the cabinet, exposed the policy battles in the PMO and said there was jostling to give credit to the party instead of the PM for policy initiatives.
08:59 'All irregular forces in Ukraine need to lay down their arms':
Expressing grave concern over Russia's support for separatists groups in Ukraine, US President Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that all irregular forces in Ukraine need to lay down their arms.
"The President emphasised that all irregular forces in the country need to lay down their arms, and he urged President Putin to use his influence with these armed, pro-Russian groups to convince them to depart the buildings they have seized," the White House said in readout of the call yesterday.
08:50 Did Sonia Gandhi trespass into uncharted territory of the PMO?:
Already battered by the rising popularity of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the debate on who had the final word in the UPA '" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress president Sonia Gandhi '" could not have come at a worse time for the Congress party.
Two books, one by Singh's former media adviser Sanjaya Baru and another by former coal secretary PC Parakh, criticise the Congress party and the prime minister for undermining the institution of the PMO. While Parakh deals particularly with how transparency was compromised in allocating coal blocks leading to the coal scam, Baru's book focusses on how the prime minister played a subservient role to his political boss ignoring the sanctity of his chair.
08:13 Feds charge woman in Hillary Clinton shoe-throw:
US federal authorities have lodged two criminal charges against a woman accused of throwing a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton while she gave a convention speech at a Las Vegas Strip resort.
Alison Michelle Ernst, 36, didn't respond to a phone message yesterday about the charges of trespassing and violence against a person in a restricted building, which were filed Sunday in US District Court in Las Vegas.
08:13 US Army denies clemency for WikiLeaks source Manning:
A US Army general has denied clemency to the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, upholding a 35-year sentence.
Major General Jeffrey Buchanan, the convening authority in Manning's court-martial, approved the August findings and sentence of military Judge Denise Lind last week, but his decision was only made public yesterday.
08:11 India-born poet Vijay Seshadri wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize:
India-born poet Vijay Seshadri has won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems "3 Sections." The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music were announced yesterday by Columbia University.
Seshadri's '3 Sections' is a "compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless," the announcement said.
08:08 US not engaged in a Cold War with Russia: White House:
The United States is not locked in a Cold War with Russia, the White House has said asserting that the situation and ground realities are now quite different from those of the earlier era.
"We're not in a Cold War because I think it's important to remember what the dynamics of the Cold War were. (Then) you had two superpowers. You had two economic blocs. You had two military blocs. There aren't two of any of those things today.
03:21 Putin rewards Crimea PM with post of governor:
AFP: Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed the current premier of Crimea as the peninsula's acting governor today, another step towards its establishment as a region of Russia.
Sergei Aksyonov, who has been prime minister since the start of the region's drive to separate from Ukraine, will hold the post until elections, according to a decree published on the Kremlin's website.
As the two met at the president's Moscow-region residence, Putin thanked Aksyonov for his help in making Crimea a Russian region, telling him: "It is first and foremost your accomplishment."
Aksyonov promised Putin he would not let him down. The pro-Moscow Aksyonov has been the peninsula's acting premier since late February. Crimea's prime minister Anatoliy Mohilyov was ousted after armed men took over the council of ministers building, and lawmakers later elected the 41-year-old Aksyonov to the post.
The leader of Russian Unity -- a Crimean party that had previously enjoyed little success in the polls -- Aksyonov became an outspoken proponent of bringing the peninsula under Moscow's rule and was one of the organisers of the controversial March 16 referendum.
03:20 Facebook prepares to launch e-money transfer service in Europe:
Facebook is preparing a money transfer service in Europe that would allow it to compete with the likes of Western Union, while giving users the option of storing money with the social network or buying items online.
The US tech firm is seeking regulatory approval in its European base in Ireland for "e-money" status, which would see it issue digital credits that can be converted into cash by recipients.
The firm already has permission for some forms of money transfer in the US, which allow payments within apps, including the Candy Crush Saga and Farmville games, from which Facebook takes a 30% cut.
The company facilitated $2.1bn (1.3bn) in transactions across Facebook in 2013, primarily to games publishers. Approval in Ireland would allow Facebook to operate an e-money service throughout Europe using "passporting", which allows digital payments to be used across EU member states without having to gain regulatory approval from each one.
Read more on The Guardian
03:17 Ukraine crisis: EU, US mull further sanctions on Russia:
The EU and the US say they will impose "further costs" on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, as unrest continues in the east of the country. EU foreign ministers said on Monday they would expand a list of names targeted by EU sanctions.
Tension has been rising in Ukraine, with pro-Russian activists occupying buildings in more eastern towns. Also on Monday, the US said a Russian fighter jet repeated close-range passes over a US warship in the Black Sea. US President Barack Obama spoke by phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday evening, Mr Putin's office said.
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02:08 US: Russian jet made close-range passes :
A Russian fighter jet has made close-range passes for more than 90 minutes near an American warship in the Black Sea amid diplomatic tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine.
Pentagon said on Monday that the Russian Fencer made 12 passes and flew within 900 metres of the destroyer USS Donald Cook on Saturday at about 150 metres above sea level.
"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between out militaries," Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said.
The fighter appeared to be unarmed and never was in danger of coming in contact with the ship, said the officials, but it did not respond to radio queries and warnings used by the US warship. The passes ended without incident.
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01:11 Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations:
The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency's surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.
The award, announced in New York on Monday, comes 10 months after the Guardian published the first report based on the leaks from Snowden, revealing the agency's bulk collection of US citizens' phone records.
In the series of articles that ensued, teams of journalists at the Guardian and the Washington Post published the most substantial disclosures of US government secrets since the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war in 1971.
The Pulitzer committee praised the Guardian for its "revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy".
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00:17 Oscar Pistorius trial: Prosecutor queries tears:
The prosecutor at the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has suggested the South African athlete is using his emotions "as an escape". He broke down in tears four times on Monday and has also vomited in court.
"Now you trying to be emotional and it's not working," said prosecutor Gerrie Nel. Mr Pistorius admits killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February last year, but says he fired his gun after mistaking her for an intruder. Mr Nel said the Olympic sprinter, 27, had deliberately shot Ms Steenkamp, a model, after the couple had had an argument.
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