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LIVE! 'Rambo' gunman injures 6 at FedEx facility, kills self

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April 29, 2014

23:15  UN lifts ban on diamond imports from Ivory Coast:  The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to lift a ban on importing rough diamonds from Ivory Coast. A resolution adopted today immediately terminates sanctions imposed in 2005 on diamond imports.
22:44  'Rambo' gunman injures 6 at FedEx facility, kills self:  A package handler decked out "Rambo-style," with an assault rifle and bullets strapped to his chest, opened fire on fellow employees at a FedEx facility in suburban Atlanta early Tuesday, wounding six people -- three critically -- before killing himself.

The man, dressed all in black, entered the 500,000-square-foot warehouse and began shooting at 5.54 am, said Sgt Dana Pierce of the Cobb County Police Department. Police declined to name the shooter.
22:40  US wants Egypt to succeed as a democracy: Kerry:  Secretary of State John Kerry said today that Egypt has made some progress in its democratic transition but must address serious challenges and recent "disturbing" developments if its government is to have the confidence of the Egyptian people and others. 

The comments came as a key lawmaker said he wouldn't allow the release of any US aid to Egypt until the government proves it is committed to the rule of law.
22:34  UN rejects rights mandate for Western Sahara mission:  The UN Security Council today approved a resolution calling for greater efforts to improve human rights in Western Sahara, but stopped short of widening the mandate of its peacekeeping mission. 

The north African territory is controlled by Morocco and claimed by Polisario Front separatists backed by Algeria. Rights groups had pressed the United Nations to task the peacekeepers of the UN Mission in the Western Sahara, MINURSO, with human rights monitoring -- a move fiercely opposed by Morocco.
22:10  PMO under Manmohan cleanest; Vajpayee's most infamous: Cong:   Unfazed by BJP's frequent attacks on the Prime Minister and his office, Congress today said the PMO under Manmohan Singh was the "cleanest and most spotless since Independence".

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi also dubbed the PMO during Atal Bihari Vajpayee's time as the "most infamous ever", and alleged BJP was suffering from selective amnesia. Asked about Narendra Modi's remarks against Farooq Abdullah that his late father Sheikh Abdullah had damaged secularism the most, the Congress leader said the track record of the BJP is that of practising communalism for 60-70 years and that his party counts Abdullah as part of secular forces.

Singhvi also hit out at Modi for his "ye dil mange more" remarks, and said the people of India see the largeheartedness of a person before fulfilling any such wish and Modi lags far behind as far as this quality is concerned.

He also dismissed BJP candidate Smriti Irani's attack on Priyanka Gandhi as a "small subtext of larger frustration" in the BJP camp.
21:30  Navy men arrested for molestation remanded to judicial custody:  A local court today remanded five Indian Navy men, arrested for allegedly molesting a young female banker and attacking her husband in a pub in suburban Khar on Saturday night, to judicial custody until May 12.

The Khar police in suburban Mumbai had on Sunday arrested Maheshwar Mahendra Singh, 26, Ashish Jaikishan, 29, Tirthnath Dilpanath, 25, Sham Bhandare, 29, and Chandan Mishra, 26, -- all Class IV Indian Navy personnel.

The accused were booked for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation and wrongful constraint. According to the police, one of the accused allegedly made lewd remarks at the banker after which a heated argument ensued between them and her husband.
21:03  CD of Modi's speech at Serampore sent to EC:  The CD of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's controversial speech at Serampore in West Bengal has been sent to the Election Commission, which had asked for it, to examine if it violated the model code of conduct.

The Election Commission, after taking suo motu cognizance of the speech, yesterday sought the CD and a transcript of Modi's speech in which he questioned high price paid for a painting of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

"Yesterday we sought the CD and transcript of Modi's speech at Serampore in West Bengal from the Hooghly DM, who immediately submitted the CD to the state Chief Electoral Officer Sunil Gupta. The CD was then sent to the Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi promptly," the OSD in CEO's office Amit Roy Chowdhury said today.
19:49  Two doctors to pay Rs 17 L for negligence in baby's delivery:  A Noida-based private maternity care centre along with its two doctors have been directed by the apex consumer commission to pay a compensation of Rs 17 lakh for "negligence" while delivering a baby who became permanently disabled.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission upheld the order of the UP Consumer Commission and directed Singhal Maternity and Medical Centre along with its two owners Dr Pratibha Singhal and Dr RK Singhal to pay the compensation amount to Noida residents, Bijender Varma and his wife Renu whose son was left paralysed at the time of his birth in 2002 due to medical negligence.

"It is clear that as far as the ante-natal care checks are concerned, despite being well qualified doctors, they did not exercise the reasonable degree of care and skill that was required in the instant case both in terms of conducting the ante-natal checks and the diagnosis thereof.
19:29  Pawan Kalyan booked for remarks against TRS chief:  A case was today registered against Jana Sena president and Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan for his alleged derogatory comments against TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, police said. The case was registered in Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh against.

Based on a private complaint, a local court in Nizamabad had yesterday directed the police to probe the matter. Accordingly, Dichpally police booked a case against Pawan Kalyan under relevant sections of the IPC, Police Inspector Venkateshwarlu said. The film star was booked under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and under section 506 (criminal intimidation), the police officer said.

Ravi Kumar, an advocate had filed a petition with the JFCM-II court in this case and urged the court to take necessary action in this regard.
19:09  Linking Modi with Fatta shows Cong's desperation: Jaitley:  

BJP leader Arun Jaitley today attacked Congress for linking Narendra Modi with Afroz Fatta, arrested in connection with a hawala racket, and said it shows "desperation" of the party.        


"Fatta was part of a delegation which had come to meet Modi. So, how can Modi be liable for the crime committed by Fatta"? he said.        

"The Enforcement Directorate is under the central government and it has said that there is no connection between Fatta and Modi," Jaitely told a press conference here.        


Congress had yesterday released a CD purportedly showing Narendra Modi in pictures with one Afroz Fatta arrested in connection with a Rs 1000-crore hawala racket and dared the BJP PM candidate to submit himself to an independent probe.        


Asked what action would BJP take against Priyanka Gandhi's husband Robert Vadra for his alleged land dealings, he said, "let the (Model) Code of Conduct get over and then we will look into it."        


The Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, who is contesting from Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, also targeted his rival and Congress candidate Amarinder Singh and alleged he had no vision for the constituency and had done and raised personality politics and issues.

18:53   6 injured after shooting at a Georgia FedEx facility; shooter dead:  Six people have been injured during a shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Georgia, before the gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

One of the injured is in a critical condition, according to media reports. According to CNN, the injured were hospitalised, where one of them was undergoing an operation.
18:19  Rebels storm regional Ukraine HQ:  

A large crowd of pro-Russian activists has stormed the regional administration's headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk. Hundreds of people, led by about 20 youths armed with metal bars, were attempting to take over the building.


Read more on BBC

18:18  Gandhi's great grandson backs AAP's Vishwas in Amethi:  

Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Srikrishna Kulkarni today came out in support of AAP candidate Kumar Vishwas, saying he was a "self-made" man taking on the "corruption-based dynastic rule" in Amethi.        


Kulkarni, a Banglore-based robotics engineer, is in Amethi campaigning for Vishwas. Kulkarni's mother is daughter of Mahatma Gandhi's son Ramdas Gandhi.        


Speaking over the phone, Kulkarni said he has come to Amethi to support the courageous campaign by Vishwas against the dynastic rule in Amethi.   


"I was not invited by anyone...I came on my own to support Vishwas who has been courageous to contest from one of the most difficult constituencies in the country," he said.        


Praising Vishwas, he said the AAP leader was a self-made man who had taken up the commendable task of rooting out dynastic politics in Amethi.         Accusing the Gandhi family of misusing the surname of the father of the nation, Kulkarni termed the Congress as "napunsak" (impotent) and said the party had become synonymous to evils such as corruption.

16:56  Varanasi bahubali announces support for Cong:  Gangster-turned-politician and UP MLA Mukhtar Ansari has decided to back Congress' Ajay Rai in Varanasi. Ansari has decided that his Quami Ekta Dal will back the Congress candidate against BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal.   Ansari has some support base in certain pockets of Varanasi.
16:26  Black money case: Govt gives to SC details of 18 a/c holders:  

The government has placed before the Supreme Court18 names and documents of account holders in Liechtenstein Bank in Germany in a sealed cover.  


In all 18 cases Income Tax probe is complete, prosecution has been launched in 17 while one person has died, the government has told the apex court.   The court has said that it will discuss the content of documents and hear the matter on Thursday.

16:12  Punjab's harvest of intoxicants:  
In constituency after constituency in Punjab, angry people are asking candidates how they plan to tackle the drug problem that threatens an entire generation

To read more, click HERE
16:06  Radia tapes: SC to first hear issue of right to privacy:  
The Supreme Court on Tuesday segregated the issues of illegality and criminality arising out of the controversial taped conversations of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with others and decided to first hear right to privacy concern raised by then Tata chief Ratan Tata.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice H.L. Dattu said it was of the view to segregate the issues in two parts as otherwise, it would be an unending exercise.

The bench said in the first part it will hear the aspects concerning right to privacy i.e. right to privacy vis-a-vis government, right to privacy vis-a-vis press and right to know information.

The bench also comprising justices J.S. Khehar and R.K. Agarwal said that the other issues with regard to criminality or illegality in awarding various contracts to private parties coming out in recorded conversations of one person with another will be taken by them after completing the first three issues relating to right to privacy.

The bench made it clear that it will not permit the concerned parties to go beyond these issues.

The bench said that it will hear from August 26-28 the issue of privacy.

It also directed that the status report received by CBI in a sealed cover shall not be opened without courts order.
16:04  It's a wave for AAP: Yogendra Yadav:  
Yogendra Yadav on Twitter: "AAP can win up to 8 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab if money liquor and force is neutralised. It's a wave for AAP."
16:03  The man who took on Srini:  Wan to know how the secretary of the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar brought the mighty BCCI to its knees?

Click HERE to read

15:55  Modi, an energetic politician and a riveting orator:  
Modi is an energetic politician and a superb orator; both qualities count in an election, and have brought him much publicity. 

But most of the commentators base their judgment on Modi on the performance of Gujarat. 

It is good in some areas, poor in others. 

But it is futile to look for a correlation between a chief minister and the economic or social performance of a state: too many variables determine performance, of which the identity of the chief minister is one.

Read more HERE
15:48  CAB to push for Srinivasan's exclusion from ICC:  
The Cricket Association of Bihar, the petitioner in the ongoing Supreme Court case against the BCCI, says it will seek a bar on N Srinivasan representing the board at the ICC, and will even look at taking the legal fight on that front outside India.

The case next comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Click HERE to read
14:52  BJP's hooligans terrorising Varanasi: Kejriwal:  
A day after some Aam Aadmi Party volunteers were allegedly beaten by the BJP members in Varanasi, party convener Arvind Kejriwal hit out on Sunday saying the city is being terrorised by the saffron party. 

"Earlier only I was being attacked, but now even common people are being attacked by BJP's hooligans," he alleged.

He also said that the temple town is being terrorised by the BJP. "We need more security for the people of Varanasi," Kejriwal said.

Claiming that people are scared to vote in Varanasi, he said, "Central forces need to be deployed here."
14:48  Reliance gas dispute: SC appoints foreign arbitrator:  
The Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed Michael Hudson McHugh, former Judge of the High Court of Australia, as the third arbitrator who will head the board of arbitrators to solve the KG basin dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries and the government.

The top court had earlier withdrawn its order appointing Australian Judge James Spigelman as an arbitrator between the government and Reliance in the KG basin dispute.

This happened after the Centre pointed out that the arbitrator appointed by the top court figures in the Reliance's list of ordered arbitrator and hence someone else should be appointed.

The Supreme Court had said it was a mistake and withdrew the order.
14:46  Sonia, Modi have tacit understanding: Kejriwal:  
Launching a direct attack on Sonia Gandhi and Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday accused the duo of having a tacit pre-poll understanding. 

The Aam Aadmi Party chief asked why the Congress president and the BJP's prime ministerial candidate had refrained from campaigning in each other's constituencies. 

While Sonia is contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh, Modi is fighting from two seats -- Vadodara in Gujarat and Varanasi in UP. Kejriwal himself is a candidate from Varanasi.
Taking up the Robert Vadra controversy, Kejriwal asked why has the BJP failed to register an FIR against Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law despite levelling allegations against him. 

"We registered five FIRs against Sheila Dikshit in 49 days. Why can't the BJP in Rajasthan register an FIR against Vadra?" he asked, as reported by a newspaper.
14:23  Sisodia dubs Rahul's tenure in Amethi as 'worst':  
Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, AAP leader Manish Sisodia today claimed that the last ten years of the Congress vice president in Amethi has been the "worst tenure" for the people of the constituency. 

Speaking at a programme in Salon area of the district, Sisodia said people of Amethi had been kept away from even the most basic amenities in the last ten years and appealed to the voters to defeat the Congress vice president from this NehruGandhi bastion.

When asked who were the key opponents of AAP in Amethi, Sisodia said, "It is Rahul Gandhi." 

"BSP is no where in the electoral battle and BJP has fixed its match with Congress," he alleged. 

Sisodia said both BJP and Congress were "corrupt" parties and must be defeated to save the nation. 
13:58  Obama warns China, backs Philippines:  
US President Barack Obama ended an Asian tour today with a warning to China against using force to resolve territorial disputes, and an "ironclad" promise of military support for the Philippines. 

Obama used an address to US and Filipino troops in Manila to again voice concern over the increasingly tense maritime rows between China and US allies in the region, an issue that has dominated his four-nation trip. 

"We believe that nations and peoples have the right to live in security and peace, to have their sovereignty and territorial integrity respected," Obama said. 

"We believe that international law must be upheld, that freedom of navigation must be preserved and commerce must not be impeded. We believe that disputes must be resolved peacefully and not by intimidation or force." 

The Philippines has been embroiled in one of the highest-profile territorial disputes with China, over tiny islets, reefs and rocks in the South China Sea. 
13:36  SC reserves order on constituting panel to probe Srini, others:  
The Supreme Court today reserved its order on constituting a probe panel to investigate allegations against N Srinivasan and 12 cricketers in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. 

A bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik, which had suggested that the probe be conducted by the Justice Mudgal Committee, reserved the order after BCCI and Srinivasan opposed further investigation by the committee and pleaded for setting up a fresh panel. 

The bench said it cannot come to any findings regarding the allegations levelled by the Mudgal committee report against Srinivasan and 12 others until a duly constituted probe committee looks into the allegations. 

The court said that it had suggested further probe by the Mudgal Committee itself to maintain confidentiality of the allegations. It said that the allegations would be known to other people if a fresh panel comprising new members is allowed to conduct the probe. 
12:44  Tornadoes kill 26 in US:  
Tornadoes flattened homes and businesses, flipped trucks over on highways and bent telephone poles into 45-degree angles as they barreled through Alabama and Mississippi, part of a storm system that killed at least nine people in the South and brought the overall death toll from two days of severe weather in the country to at least 26. 

Tens of thousands of customers were without power in Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi, and thousands more hunkered down in basements and shelters as The National Weather Service issued watches and warnings for more tornadoes throughout the night in Alabama. 

Radar images showed a twister heading toward the city of Birmingham. 

Weather satellites from space showed tumultuous clouds arcing across much of the South over the course of the day yesterday.

The system is the latest onslaught of severe weather a day after a half-mile-wide tornado carved a 130-kilometre path of destruction through the suburbs of Little Rock, Arkansas, killing at least 15.
12:32  Yeh dil mange more... give us 300 lotuses: Modi:  
Narendra Modi in Himachal Pradesh: 

"Yeh Dil Mange More... give us 300 lotuses and I want all 4 seats from HP. We will give India a strong government: Narendra Modi." 

"PM says money does not grow on trees but in the orchard of 1 man not apples but money grew. We need to free nation from corruption"

"I do not like saying it but Congress is a party that betrays people. It is a dhokhebaaz party"

"I am asking you for 60 months to serve you. I assure you that we will fulfill your dreams that lie broken in last decade"
12:12  Telecom tribunal quashes penalties on Airtel, Idea, Voda:  Just In: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal rules in favour of telecom operators. 3G intra-circle roaming does not violate condition of licence agreement, it says.

TDSAT also quashes all penalties imposed by Department of Telecom on Bharti Airtel, Idea and Vodafone.
11:27  VHP fears suicide attack on Narendra Modi, writes to President:  
Zee News reports: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has approached President Pranab Mukherjee seeking enhanced security cover for BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. 

Ashok Singhal, patron of VHP, claimed that suicide bombers may target Modi, on the lines of the assassination of former PM Rajiv Gandhi by the LTTE. 

This is to request your highest offices to ensure immediately through your government and the State Governments an upgraded, comprehensive and foolproof security cover for the safety of the BJPs prime ministerial candidate Shri Narendra Modi. The country in general and his supporters in particular are concerned over a possible attack being made on him, Singhal said in the letter to the President, Monday. 

Read more HERE
11:26  Relief for Giriraj Singh; court stays arrest till May 3:  
In a reprieve to Giriraj Singh, a Deoghar court has told police not to arrest the BJP leader till the next hearing, which is scheduled on May 3. 

The relief came a day after another Jharkhand court denied anticipatory bail to Singh for his hate speech during campaigning.

A Bokaro court had issued an arrest warrant on April 23 against the Bharatiya Janata Party leader for his speech. 

Two FIRs were lodged against Giriraj Singh - one in Bokaro district and the second in Deoghar district of the state - on the instructions of the Election Commission. 

Singh said in his speech on April 18 while campaigning in Jharkhand: "Those who are opposing BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are supporters of Pakistan." 
11:25  Sensex drops on selling in morning trade, down 131 pts:  
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex pared initial gains to drop 130.97 points on sustained selling pressure in metal, banking, capital goods, FMCG and auto sectors amid cautiousness following slowdown in foreign institutional inflows.

The Sensex opened higher at 22,654.28 and advanced further to 22,681.89 before declining to 22,470.43. 

It was quoting at 22,500.64 at 1005 hrs, showing a loss of 130.97 points, or 0.58 per cent, from its last close. 

The NSE 50-share Nifty also fell 38.15 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 6,723.15 at 1005 hrs in early trade. 

Major losers were Tata Steel (3.22 per cent), Hindalco (1.95 per cent), ICICI Bank (1.36 per cent), Bajaj Auto (1.27 per cent) and HDFC Bank (1.22 per cent). 

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 77.02 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. 

Asian stocks were trading mixed as investors weighed corporate earnings.
10:15  Sensex recovers over 45 points in early trade:  
The benchmark BSE Sensex recovered over 45 points in early trade today on emergence of buying by funds and retail investors in select stocks on encouraging earnings amid a firming trend overseas. 

The 30-share barometer, which had lost almost 245 points in the previous two sessions, rose 45.03 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 22,676.64 on the back of recovery in healthcare, tech, consumer durables and oil & gas sector stocks. 

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty, gained 13.40 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 6,774.65.
Brokers said selective buying by participants on the back of encouraging earnings announced by some companies and a firming trend in the global markets helped sentiments to improve. 

Stocks of Idea Cellular rose 2.59 per cent to Rs 144.40 after the company yesterday posted over 91 per cent jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 589.77 crore for the last quarter of 2013-14.

Bharti Airtel also found buying support and gained 0.18 per cent to Rs 338.50 ahead of its fourth quarter results to be announced today.
09:54  Rupee up 8 paise against dollar in early trade:  
The rupee recovered by 8 paise to 60.57 against the dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on selling of dollars by exporters and banks. 

A higher opening in the domestic equity market and a weak dollar against euro overseas also supported the gain in the rupee, forex dealers said. 

The rupee had closed 5 paise lower at 60.65 against the dollar in yesterday's trade on sudden demand for the US currency from importers, mainly oil refiners. 

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex recovered by 45.03 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 22,676.64 in early trade today. 
09:41  Has missing Malaysian plane been traced? :  
An Australian marine exploration company has claimed that it has found the wreckage of the crashed Malaysian plane in the Bay of Bengal, 5,000 km away from the current search location in the Indian Ocean. 

Adelaide-based GeoResonance on Monday said that it had begun its own search for the missing flight MH370 on March 10 and that it has detected possible wreckage in the Bay of Bengal, 5000km away from the current search location, the Star newspaper reported.

GeoResonance's search covered 2,000,000 square kilometres of the possible crash zone, using images obtained from satellites and aircraft, with company scientists focusing their efforts north of plane's last known location, using over 20 technologies to analyse the data including a nuclear reactor, company spokesperson David Pope said.

He claimed his company used technology originally designed to find nuclear warheads and submarines. 

Pope said GeoResonance compared their findings with images taken on March 5, three days before MH370 went missing, and did not find what they had detected at the spot.
09:24  Surprises in preliminary Afghan election results:  
The preliminary results of Afghanistan's presidential election are in, and reveal several surprises. 

Read about them HERE
09:22  Modi, on balance:  
Wondering what to overlook and what to watch out for in the prospect of a Modi government?

Click HERE to read
09:21  The two sides of Modi's Maninagar:  
Maninagar has seen infrastructure projects such as BRTS, flyover, malls and hotels coming up in the last 12 years, but pockets like Millatnagar that do not fall under the BJPs vote bank have been ignored, say local residents.

During the last one decade, Maninagar has also witnessed a retail revolution, but the civic infrastructure is yet to keep pace with it. 

Read more HERE
08:44  Google doodles Ustad Alla Rakha's 95th birthday:  
The two Os on the Google logo turn into a tabla to commemorate the 95th birth anniversary of one of the greatest players of the Indian musical instrument. 

With the trademark smile on his lips Ustad Alla Rakha appears on the Google India home page tapping a taal.

Reverentially called Abbaji, Alla Rakha was born on April 29, 1919 in Phagwal, Jammu. 

His full name is Allarakha Qureshi Khansaheb.

He traced his musical lineage to the the Punjab gharana and was responsible for bringing the tabla to the non-Indian audiences while as an accompanist to another Indian musical legend, Ravi Shankar.
08:43  SC hearing on increasing number of seats in nursery admission today:  
The Supreme Court on Tuesday will continue the hearing, a day after asking the Delhi government's education department to explore the possibility if five to six seats each could be increased in the nurseries of private schools to accommodate entrants under the inter-state category. 

A bench of Justice HL Dattu, Justice MY Eqbal and Justice SA Bobde had on Monday asked the education department to get back after speaking to private schools. 

Senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for the education department, had told the court that the admissions in nursery sections have to take place in private schools only and urged it to pass an order directing creation of additional five to six seats in each school to accommodate toddlers under the inter-state category. 

Asking the department to explore the possibility of creating more seats in the schools with nursery sections, the court took strong exception for changing of the entire criteria spelt out in the first notification issued in December 2013.
08:42  Minor fire reported at PMO:  
A minor fire was reported at the Prime Minister's Office located in South Block in the wee hours of Tuesday. 
At least six fire tenders have been rushed to douse the fire. Top officials of the city administration, Delhi Police and the Fire Brigade Department have also been rushed to the PMO to take stock of the situation. 

What caused the fire is yet to be ascertained, however, the fire is believed to be under control
08:41  North Korea to hold sea border live-fire drill:  
North Korea readied a live-fire drill near its maritime border with South Korea today -- one month after a similar exercise triggered the exchange of hundreds of artillery shells across the disputed boundary. 

"The North notified us there would be live-fire drills today north of the (border) near Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

"Our military is fully prepared," the spokesman said, adding that South Korean fishing vessels had already been told to withdraw from the area.

North Korea carried out a similar drill on March 31 during which a number of shells dropped into South Korean territorial waters. 

The South responded, and the two rivals traded hundreds of rounds of live artillery fire, forcing South Korean islanders to take shelter. 

The exchange was limited to untargeted shelling into the sea, but fuelled tensions that had already risen after North Korea threatened to carry out a nuclear test.
04:02  No sign Russia set to invade Ukraine: German FM:  German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said that there was no sign of an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, despite a massive deployment along the border of the two countries. 

"We do not have for the moment any sign indicating that there is an imminent risk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine," Steinmeier yesterday said at a press conference in Oslo, while adding that the military buildup was a "threat".
04:01  Poll: Americans support sanctions, not arms for Ukraine:  Research Center Poll finds, but they oppose by more than 2-1 the idea of sending arms or military supplies to the Ukrainian government to bolster its defenses against Russian forces.

The survey was released Monday as the White House announced a freeze on assets and bans on travel targeting seven Russian officials and 17 firms close to President Vladimir Putin. Additional restrictions were imposed on 13 other Russian companies, and the administration moved to block some high-tech exports to Russia.
02:32  US-Egypt ties 'turbulent,' Egyptian FM says:  Egypt-US relations remain difficult and "honest" talks are needed to put them back on track, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy warned today, even as the White House blasted a court's mass death sentence. 

Speaking on the eve of high-level meetings in Washington, Fahmy admitted ties had gone through "and may still go through turbulent times" since the 2011 revolution and the army's subsequent ouster of democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi last year.
01:52  Iraq attacks kill 57 as security forces vote:  Attacks including a spate of suicide bombings killed 57 people today as soldiers and policemen cast their votes in Iraq's first parliamentary election since US troops withdrew. 

The bombings in Baghdad and the north and west raise serious concerns about the security forces' ability to protect ordinary voters on polling day on Wednesday, when more than 20 million are eligible to take part.
01:45  Malaysia search shifts from surface to ocean floor:  The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is shifting entirely to the Indian Ocean floor and away from possible surface debris, Australian officials announced Monday.

The surface search is being curtailed because debris from the Boeing 777-200ER that disappeared March 8 with 239 people aboard should have become waterlogged and sunk by now, according to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
01:41  Obama vigorously defends foreign policy record:  President Barack Obama vigorously defended his foreign policy record today, arguing that his cautious approach to global problems has avoided the type of missteps that contributed to a "disastrous" decade of war for the United States. 

Obama's expansive comments came at the end of a weeklong Asia trip that exposed growing White House frustration with critics who cast the president as weak and ineffectual on the world stage.
01:40  German diplomat wounded evading Yemen kidnap: Security :  A German diplomat was wounded in the Yemeni capital today as he evaded an attempt by gunmen to kidnap him, a security official said. The German foreign ministry confirmed that an embassy vehicle came under fire, adding that all passengers were "safe." 

The gunmen travelling in a 4x4 vehicle attempted to stop the diplomat's car in the Hadda district of Sanaa, which is home to many embassies, the official said, adding that the diplomat was wounded as he sped away.
01:38  Local court orders inquiry into Ramdev's 'honeymoon' remark:  A local court here ordered an inquiry into yoga guru Ramdev's controversial "honeymoon" remarks against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. 

Ahmedabad Rural Court Magistrate M C Bhatt ordered the Election Commission and the concerned investigative agency to present the video or audio tapes of Ramdev's remarks made in Lucknow for an inquiry into its contents. The court has posted the case for next hearing on May 6.
01:36  SAfrica celebrates Mandela, 20 years of democracy:  South Africa's president urged voters to head to the polls next week in the spirit of "democracy and freedom" as he unveiled a large bronze bust of the country's most famous anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in front of Parliament today. 

"May the spirit of Madiba also inspire all South Africans as they vote yet again on the 7th of May," President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town, referring to Mandela by his clan name and revealing a bronze sculpture on a granite plinth standing more than 2 meters (yards) high.
00:35  White House, UN 'troubled' by death verdicts in Egypt:  The United States is "deeply troubled" by an Egypt court's death sentence for theleader of the Muslim Brotherhood and hundreds of supporters, the White House said on Monday, condemning the country's use of mass trials.

"Today's verdict, like the one last month, defies even the most basic standards of international justice. 

The Egyptian government has the responsibility to ensure that every citizen is afforded due process, including the right to a fair trial in which evidence is clearly presented, and access to an attorney," the White House said in a statement.
00:34  Thousands march at Auschwitz to honour Holocaust dead:  Several thousand Jewish youths from Israel and other countries marched today in honour of Holocaust victims at the former Nazi German Auschwitz- Birkenau death camp in southern Poland. 

The annual March of the Living was held this year for the 23rd time and dedicated to the many Hungarian Jews killed at the camp 70 years ago, as well as to the late Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who saved thousands of Budapest Jews.
00:32  Britain freezes Ukraine assets, begins money-laundering probe:  British authorities today launched a money-laundering investigation linked to possible corruption in Ukraine and froze USD 23 million (17 million euros) in assets. 

The announcement came a day before international talks in London aimed at recovering assets which may have been looted under the regime of deposed pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych. Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it had "opened a criminal investigation into possible money laundering arising from suspicions of corruption in Ukraine."
00:31  US troops land in Estonia amid Ukraine crisis:  American troops landed in Estonia today, rounding out the 600-man force sent by Washington to Poland and the Baltic states to allay concerns over the escalating Ukraine crisis. 

"The transatlantic link is not something that Estonians take for granted. Rather, we see it as a vital element of security in an unsecure world," Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at the welcome ceremony. "This is why we so appreciate Allied boots on the ground here."
00:31  Twisters kill at least 16, including 14 in Arkansas:  Tornadoes have killed at least 16 people '" including 10 in one small Arkansas community '" from a line of severe thunderstorms now threatening to bring high winds, hail and possible twisters to southern Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

The dead included a father and two daughters in Arkansas's Pulaski County.
00:30  Ukraine mayor in critical condition after he was shot in the back:  In a sign of the deepening destabilization of eastern Ukraine, the popular mayor of Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, was shot in the back on Monday, authorities said.

Mayor Gennady Kernes was in critical condition after undergoing surgery at a local clinic, said Dr. Valery Boiko, who performed the two-hour operation.
00:24  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  

EC seeks CD of Modi's speech; Mamata hits back 
Sharad Pawar takes oath as Rajya Sabha member 
Congress releases CD of Modi with 'hawala' operator 
I choose to reject 'gifts' of criticism, says Priyanka on attacks on husband 
Trinamool's anti-Modi tirade continues, says his hands 'blood-stained'
Egypt court sentences Brotherhood chief, 682 others to death 
Rahul a specimen; listen to him speak to relieve stress: Modi 

Bihar minister files case against Ramdev 

Modi, in rare Gujarati interview, says of Advani: "We are all colleagues"
Giriraj's anticipatory bail rejected 
Major Varadarajan cremated with full state honours 

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