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Live! First bodies pulled from submerged Korean ferry

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April 19, 2014


23:35  First bodies pulled from submerged Korean ferry:  Divers today retrieved the first bodies from the submerged South Korean ferry that capsized nearly four days ago, marking a grim new stage in the search and recovery process. 

"Divers broke through the window of a passenger cabin just before midnight and pulled out three bodies," a coastguard official said. All three were wearing lifejackets, the official said, adding that two were male while the gender of the third was not immediately confirmed.
22:11  Obama signs into law 'terrorist' UN envoy visa ban:  President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure that would bar entry to any UN ambassador whom the US says has engaged in "terrorist activity".

The law came as a response to Iran's pick of a UN envoy linked to the student militants who overran the US embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The US has already denied Hamid Aboutalebi a visa, and Mr Obama said he would treat the new law as "advisory".
21:59  4 French journalists held hostage in Syria freed:  Four French journalists held hostage in Syria for 10 months have been released, officials said today, the latest batch of reporters to be freed in what has become the world's deadliest conflict for the media. 

President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement that he felt "immense relief" over the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, all said to be in good health in neighboring Turkey despite the "very trying conditions" of their captivity.
21:50  Over 100 killed in South Sudan cattle raid: minister:  Over 100 people have been killed in a cattle raid in South Sudan's Warrap state, a local information minister told UN radio, the latest atrocity in the war-torn nation. 

"We lost about 28 civilians" in a remote cattle herders' camp in the remote northern state, Warrap state Information Minister Bol Dhel told the UN-backed Miraya FM radio, adding that police and soldiers then chased the attackers, killing 85.
21:46  Ukraine calls Easter truce as separatists hold firm:  The Ukrainian government said it will not attack pro-Russian separatists over the Easter weekend as its US ally threatened Moscow with new sanctions if it fails to persuade the militants to surrender. 

Kremlin denies having control over gunmen who want their eastern regions to follow Crimea in being annexed by Russia. Moscow scolded Washington for treating Russia like a "guilty schoolboy" following their agreement in Geneva on Thursday that Ukrainian militants should disarm and vacate occupied buildings. 
20:33  UNSC expresses 'outrage' over South Sudan base attack:  The UN Security Council has voiced its outrage at the recent attacks by armed groups in South Sudan purposefully targetting civilians as well as the United Nations peacekeeping mission sites and personnel, with two Indian soldiers getting injured in one of the attacks. 

The 15-member body highlighted in particular the April 17 attack against the compound of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, that resulted in scores of dead and injured, including those seeking the UN's shelter and protection.
20:27  4 questions about missing Malaysian plane answered:  Samuel Rogers, a 20-year-old German on a backpacking trip, in Bangkok and on his way to Malaysia.He asked: "Why did the Malaysian military see the plane on their radar but not report it immediately?'

A: The Malaysian Air Force's official line is that its radar operators spotted the plane but didn't have any reason to suspect it. This is why they didn't attempt to contact the plane or scramble jets to intercept it. Many aviation and defense experts say there are grounds to doubt this. 

They speculate the air force failed to spot the unidentified plane entering its airspace, or if it did, didn't respond to what could potentially have been a national security threat. Admitting that would be a highly embarrassing and sensitive for any air force, and could be the reason for the delay in publicly confirming that the plane did turn back.

Read more
20:14  70 per cent polling during re-poll in 34 polling booths:  Over seventy per cent voting was recorded in Arunachal Pradesh during re-polling conducted in 34 polling stations across the state today. The re-polling which started at 6 am ended at 2 pm in a peaceful note without any incidents of violence, election office sources said.
20:11  Gul Panag campaigns in favour of AAP candidate from Amritsar:  Actor-turned-AAP candidate from Chandigarh Gul Panag today campaigned in favour of her party's Amritsar nominee Daljit Singh, and exhorted the people to cast their votes in favour of AAP to "get rid" of SAD, BJP and Congress. 

"Now is the time to give them a 'karara jawab' (strong reply)," she said. AAP will follow its clean politics and walk the path of truth without fear, she claimed.
19:24  Captain and 2 crew members arrested in Korean ferry sinking:  The captain and two crew members of a ferry that capsized, leaving more than 270 people '" most of them students '" missing, were arrested early Saturday, the authorities said.

The captain, Lee Jun-seok, 69, was charged with abandoning the boat and its passengers at a time of crisis, among other counts, according to prosecutors. 

Lee as well as the third mate, a 26-year-old woman who the authorities said was steering the ship at the time of accident on Wednesday, and another crew member were taken to jail with their hands cuffed after a judge approved their arrest warrants. The crew members also faced numerous charges.
19:11  Baba Ramdev is a money launderer, says Digvijay:  Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today lashed out at yoga guru Baba Ramdev calling him a "money launderer". "Those who could not believe when I said Ramdev is a thug, are grudgingly admiring me now! :) Ramdev is money launderer," Digvijay said in a tweet.
18:38  Boy among three dead in Belgium shooting:  A couple and a young boy were shot dead in an overnight attack near the eastern Belgian city of Liege, media reports said today. 

The woman was seriously wounded in the attack near the local sports ground in Vise, and died early today of her injuries, the Belga news agency said. The boy, whose age was given as nine or 10, was the woman's nephew and godson.
18:28  Senior Pak journalist Hamid Mir shot, injured in Karachi:   Geo News senior anchorperson Hamid Mir was injured in a firing incident in Karachi on Saturday, Geo News reported. 

According to reports, unknown armed men ambushed Mir's vehicle at Natha Khan bridge. He received bullet injuries and was shifted to a private hospital. 

Geo News reporter Afzal Nadeem Dogar said Hamid Mir was traveling from Karachi airport to the Geo office when he was attacked. 

Four gunmen riding two motorcycles opened fire on Hamid Mir's car a few kilometers away from the Airport police station.
18:19  BJP seeks apology from Syed Ali Geelani for 'mischievous' claims:  The BJP Saturday sought an apology from hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani over his claims that two people had approached him as Narendra Modi's emissaries, saying such remarks were mischievous and aimed at creating confusion among people.

Referring to Geelani's remarks, the Bharatiya Janata Party said Kashmir was an integral part of the country and there was no room for deliberations on the issue. 

"The BJP categorically rejects these reports. They are mischievous, without basis and are aimed at creating confusion among people," the party said in a release. Narendra Modi is the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP.
18:17  Plane hunt at 'critical juncture' as search continues:  A robotic mini-submarine today continued to scour the remote depths of the Indian Ocean for signs of wreckage of the missing Malaysian jet even as Malaysia said the search was at a "critical juncture". 

"The narrowing of the search for today and tomorrow is at a critical juncture," said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, adding that the search area for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has narrowed and that the Bluefin-21 would finish searching the area within the next week.
18:15  Will Kamal Pandey be the new principal secretary?:  Kamal Pandey, former cabinet secretary in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, who was unceremoniously shunted out by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh may be a likely candidate for the post of principal secretary.   

Senior BJP leaders like LK Advani want Kamal Pandey to be decorated with this top slot. N Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner, Ashok Chawla, former finance secretary - both from Gujarat Cadre are considered close to Modi, are likely candidates too. 

Former agriculture secretary PK Misra and RN Das, former food secretary, are other likely options.
17:32  President arranges shamiana at Rashtrapathi for Delhi TV media:  A communique from President Pranab Mukherjee will be released at 4 pm everyday from May 17th onwards till a new next government is installed. To keep the countrymen informed of the delegations of political parties that meet the Rashtrapathi, and the subsequent decisions taken, will be mentioned in the despatch.   

About 350 news channels and newsmen have sought permission from the Secretariat to use the open lawns and forecourt of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan for live telecast of the political events.  The presidential direction to Venu Rajamoni, the press secretary, is very exhaustive.  

The President has asked for a shamiana to be erected in the forecourt with water bottles and air cooling facilities for the media contingent considering the summer heat. 
16:54  BJP, Modi are dividing India like the British: Rahul:  
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today accused the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of instigating people to divide the country like the British. 

In his fourth visit to the state for poll campaigning, the Congress leader blasted the BJP for allegedly "dividing the country like the British Raj" and talking about love and unity. 

"Like the British Raj, the opposition and Modi also believe in the divide and rule policy. Modi goes to Maharashtra and instigates people there, women in Karnataka are beaten up," he asserted.

Continuing his tirade, Rahul said, "The opposition only criticises and never speaks good of anyone." 

"We are not aggressive. We talk of love, brotherhood and unity. Like Sri Sankardeb (14th century socio-religious reformer) in Assam, Gandhiji worked for unity in the entire country," he said.
15:49  Modi critics will have to move to Pakistan: BJP leader:  
NDTV reports: In remarks that are bound to create a big political storm, a BJP leader from Bihar suggested at a rally today that those who oppose his party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will have to leave India and move to Pakistan after the results of the general election are announced.

"Those who want to stop Narendra Modi (from becoming prime minister) are looking towards Pakistan. In the coming days, they will have no place in India. They will only have place in Pakistan," Giriraj Singh said while addressing a gathering in Godda district of Jharkhand.

Singh made the remarks in the presence of senior party leader and former president Nitin Gadkari. He is the party's candidate from Nawada in Bihar.

The BJP, under prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, is expected to win the maximum seats in the national election.

See the video HERE
14:34  J&K: Security forces rescue 140 stranded passengers:  
Nearly 140 passengers who were stuck in the snowfall in Kupwara district of Kashmir were rescued by security forces, a defence spokesman said today. 

Several vehicles, carrying nearly 140 passengers including women and children, were stranded at Nasta Chun Pass on Kupwara-Tangdhar road on Thursday evening due to severe snowfall in the area. 

A team of army was deployed and the passengers were taken to the safety. 

"The passengers were facing grave threat to their lives due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather. Despite inhospitable and inclement weather conditions, avalanche rescue team of an Army Unit posted nearby sprung into action and rescued the stranded passengers," defence official said.

A snow-clearing dozer was pressed into service by the Border Roads Organisation to clear the road off the snow for allowing the traffic to move out of the danger area, official added.
13:49  We have to work together, Sharif tells armed forces:  
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today praised the powerful Army and its chief Gen Raheel Sharif and stressed on the need to work together for a strong economy, democracy and containment of terrorism. 

"Let me remind you that without a strong economy, democracy, rule of law and containment of terrorism, a credible defence system cannot be sustained. We therefore have to work together as a nation to achieve these goals," he said. 

Sharif's address at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad came hours after Defence Minister Khwaja Asif on friday night issued a statement praising the force and clarifying his position to soothe the nerves of the powerful Army which is upset with certain remarks made by members of ruling party. 

"You must also keep in your mind the lives and conduct of officers like Gen Raheel Sharif, who are only known for their professionalism, patriotism, dedication and commitment to their motherland," Sharif said in a rare praise of army chief.
13:29  Gold being stolen from Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple?:  
CNN-IBN reports: Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram which has gold worth over Rs 1 lakh crore is in the news again. 

The Supreme Court appointed Amicus Curie and former Solicitor General of India Gopal Subramanian has made some startling revelations in his report to the Apex court.

According his report, gold plating machines were found inside the temple leading to suspicion that gold at the temple is systematically being stolen by some 'very influential' people.

The report suggests that some people at the highest echelons of the temple administration may have something to do with it.

It also raises serious questions over the manner in which the Travancore royal family is administering the temple.

Read more HERE
13:21  Modi wave will turn into a tsunami soon: Amit Shah:  
Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will file his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi constituency on April 24, his close aide Amit Shah said on Saturday. 

While addressing a press conference, Shah further said that the nation is witnessing the Modi wave which will soon turn into a tsunami. 

Clarifying his stand on the the controversial 'revenge remark', the BJP leader said that it was not his intention to break the model code of conduct and that a bowler sometimes delivers a no ball as well. 

He further said that he respects the Election Commission (EC) and that if it sends anyone a notice then it is one's duty to respond to it. He added that the issue is over now and everyone should move on.
 
The BJP leader was recently banned from holding public meetings, processions or roadshows in Uttar Pradesh by the EC after the 'revenge remark'. 
13:19  Modi didn't send emissaries to Kashmir: BJP:  
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday dismissed the claims of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani that its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had sent emissaries to meet the Hurriyat conference leader. 

It's being reported that NDA's PM candidate Narendra Modi sent emissaries to meet SAS Geelani. BJP categorically rejects these reports, the BJP said in a statement today. 

Mr Geelani's statements are nothing but a bunch of lies with malicious intent, the statement added. 

Reports are mischievous, without basis, and are aimed at creating confusion among people. 

Late last night also, the BJP had in a tweet posted on its Twitter account said that Geelani's claims were 'false and mischievous'. 
12:53  Fahad Fazil wins Kerala government's best actor award:  
New generation actor Fahad Fazil scored the best actor prize, which he shared with Lal at the Kerala government film awards.

In the award, which were announced today, Suraj Venjaramood, who surprised film buffs by winning the national award for the best actor along with Rajkumar Rao, was chosen as the best comedian by the seven-member state jury headed by veteran director P Bharatiraja.

Ann Augustine was adjudged the best female actor for her role in 'Artist.'

'CR No: 89', directed by P P Sudevan which had garnered good critical reviews, won the award for the best film for the year 2013 and Shyama Prasad adjudged the best director for 'Artist.'

Fazil, who caught the imagination of the youth by doing any role that came by him with ease and grace, bagged the award for his roles in 'Artist' and 'North 24 Katham' while Lal was chosen to share the prize for his performance in 'Ayal' and 'Sakhariyayude Garbhinikal.' 

Suraj ended up with 'best comedian' award for movies 'Daivathinte Swantham Cletus' and 'Pullippulikalum Attinkuttikalum.'

Anil Radhakrishnan-directed 'North 24 Katham' bagged the 'second best film' title.

Ashok Kumar ('CR No: 89') and Lena ('Left Right Left' and 'Kanyaka Talkies') won awards for the 'second best actors'. 

While Karthik (Orissa) and Vaikom Vijayalakshmi (Nadan) were selected as best male and female singers. Ousepachan was adjudged 'best music director' (Nadan). 

Prabha Varma and Madhu Vasudev shared the award for the 'best lyricist' for songs in 'Nadan'. 

Bijibal won recognition for the 'best background score' for the movie 'Balyakalasakhi'.
11:41  EC notice to Mulayam for violating model code of conduct:  
The Election Commission has issued a show cause notice to Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for allegedly threatening contractual government teachers to vote for his party to retain their jobs.

According to the EC, Yadav has violated the model code of conduct.

Yadav, during a rally in Uttar Pradesh had threatened contractual government teachers that if they did not vote for his party they would their jobs
11:36  IAF unearths 1000 pound WWII bomb:  
Air Force officials unearthed a suspect 1000 pound (lb) World War II bomb at a site while routine clearing of land in Midnapore district of West Bengal.

A 1000-pound bomb is suspected to be dropped during World War II and will be defused soon. It was found near Kalaikunda Air Force base near west Midnapore.

Police bomb squads moved in, carefully, to dismantle the bomb. Authorities said it was simply too big to explode in place, which is usually the safest option in such circumstances.

The device is believed to have been dropped during World War two and will be soon defused as it was unearthed by Indian Air Force.
09:50  'Game of Thrones' breaks piracy record:  
Fantasy drama series Game of Thrones has broken its own record as one of the most illegally downloaded episodes of all time. 

'The Lion and the Rose' -- dubbed the Purple Wedding by fans -- broke the record for most people sharing a file simultaneously on the program, reported Independent online. 

Shortly after it was uploaded, the torrent was shared by 193,418 people, while 145,594 were uploading a complete copy and 47,824 others were downloading. 

The previous record was held by the Game of Thrones season three finale, with 171,572 users. 

Including similarly available torrents, approximately 1.5 million downloads of the episode took place in 24 hours. 

Game of Thrones director Alex Graves recently described the fourth season finale as "the episode to end all episodes". 
09:44  Repoll underway in 37 Arunachal Pradesh booths:  
Re-polling is underway in 37 polling stations across Arunachal Pradesh where voting was suspended on April 9 due to damage of EVMs and other poll-related violence. 

The timings of re-polling are 6 am-2 pm. 

The districts where re-polling is being held are Kurung Kumey (12 booths in 3 Assembly constituencies), East Kameng (11 booths, 3 Assembly constituencies), Upper Subansiri (9 booths in 3 Assembly constituencies), West Siang (4 booths in one Assembly constituency) and East Siang (1 booth in one Assembly constituency), the sources said.

The state unit of the BJP had opposed the recommendation for re-polling at Sodrik polling station under Raga Assembly constituency in Upper Subansiri district. 

In a letter to the State Chief Electoral Officer earlier this week, the party claimed that the order was unjustified as polling had been peaceful.
09:43  Plane spotted in Iran is registered to Utah bank:  
An airplane that mysteriously ended up in Iran is registered to a Utah bank under an arrangement for aviation ownership that has prompted two warnings from a government watchdog in the past year. 

The Bombardier CL-600 became the subject of international intrigue after the New York Times revealed its presence in Iran at Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, along with a picture of the jet, its tail number and a small American flag affixed to the side.

Government officials are not saying how and why the plane traveled to Iran. 

Except for some approved activities by the US Department of Treasury, federal regulations generally prohibit economic activity between the US and Iran, according to the US Department of State. 

Aviation records show the plane is registered to the Bank of Utah through an arrangement in which the bank serves as a trustee for aircraft owners.
09:42  S Korea ferry captain arrested, divers 'glimpse' bodies:  
Investigators have arrested the captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized three days ago with 476 people on board, as divers finally accessed the submerged vessel and spotted what they believed to be bodies.

Coastguard officials said captain Lee Joon-Seok and two of his crew were taken into police custody in the early hours of the morning. 

The Yonhap news agency said Lee faced five charges, ranging from criminal negligence to violation of maritime law. 

Lee, 69, has been severely criticised for abandoning his ship as it sank Wednesday morning off the southwest coast while hundreds remained trapped on board, most of them children on a high school holiday trip.

Twenty-nine people have been confirmed dead in the disaster, but 273 are still missing. 

The coastguard revised the figures slightly overnight, citing counting errors. 

As the arrests were being made, dive teams who had spent two days vainly battling powerful currents and near zero visibility, finally penetrated the lower decks of the 6,825-tonne Sewol.
09:42  SpaceX launches supplies to space station:  
The SpaceX company returned to orbit today, launching fresh supplies to the International Space Station after more than a month's delay. 

The Dragon cargo ship will reach the orbiting lab on Sunday Easter morning. That pushes urgent spacewalking repairs to Wednesday; NASA wants a bad computer replaced before something else breaks.

This was the second launch attempt this week for SpaceX. NASA's commercial supplier had a leaky rocket valve Monday. 

The valve was replaced, and the company aimed for a liftoff today despite a bad forecast. Storms cleared out of Cape Canaveral just in time for the afternoon launch. 

The unmanned cargo ship contains 2 tons of station supplies, including material originally intended for the spacewalking repairs. 

A critical backup computer failed outside the space station last Friday. The primary computer is working fine, but numerous systems would be seriously compromised if it broke, too. A double failure also would hinder visits by the Dragon and other vessels.
09:41   Good Morning.... 

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