rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! Modi to visit Nepal tomorrow with hope to open new chapter

Write a comment

August 02, 2014


20:53  8 killed as landslide hits Nepal:  At least eight persons were killed today in a massive landslide that blocked Sunkoshi river in Sindhupalchowk district in Nepal, turning the river into a lake and putting several villages at risk of flash floods.

A huge hill had suddenly collapsed at 2 am, burying 40 homes before dumping mud and stones into the Sunkoshi river at Mankha village, 75 km northeast of the capital Kathmandu, police spokesperson Ganesh K C said. After the river was blocked by the landslide, a big pond was created in the area and the people residing in the nearby villages ran away to safer places fearing for their lives. Eight bodies were recovered during a joint rescue operation carried out by army and police with the help of the local people, the official said.

A special team of the Nepal Army used explosives to break the dam like structure created due to the landslide and the river started to flow on its normal course, according to sources in the Nepal army headquarters.
20:53  Modi to visit Nepal tomorrow with hope to open new chapter:  Vowing to continue India's support to Nepal's developmental efforts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a visit there tomorrow about which he is "excited" and hopes to "open a new chapter" in ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership.

He said today that he looks forward to working with the Nepalese leadership to forge a "new relationship" by identifying steps to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key sectors, including trade and investment, hydropower, agriculture and agro-processing, environment, tourism, education, culture and sports.

Modi, who will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and address business leaders, said he will be discussing how to harness the full potential of the new digital age to empower and create new opportunities for the youth of the two countries.
19:49  China expands world's deepest 'dark matter' lab :  China has begun expanding the world's deepest underground lab in southwest Sichuan Province, where scientists are conducting experiments on mysterious "dark matter". The second-phase of construction of the Jinping Underground Laboratory, located at 2,400 metres under the surface of Jinping Hydropower Station, was launched yesterday by Tsinghua University and Yalong River Hydropower Development Company, the university told state-run Xinhua.

The construction, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, will increase the lab's space to 120,000 cubic metres, allowing more experiments to be carried out simultaneously, the university said.
18:51  Rape accused DIG says no to polygraph test:  Senior Maharashtra IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, accused of raping and molesting a model-turned -actress, has declined to undergo a polygraph test while the victim expressed readiness to face the scientific examination.

To conduct the test, the consent of person/persons in question is required and hence police had written to both Paraskar and the survivor seeking their consent to subject them to the examination, commonly known as lie detector test. "My client has refused to undergo the polygraph test. We gave our response in writing (to the police)," Rizwan Merchant, the counsel for Paraskar, said today.

The police maintained the DIG-level officer and the model were not forthcoming about some questions posed to them during recording of their statements. Hence, investigators pushed for subjecting the duo to polygraph test.
17:19  LeT operative Abdul Subhan sent to custody:  Suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives Abdul Subhan and his nephew Asahbuddin, arrested for their alleged roles in conspiring to carry out terror strikes in Delhi and adjoining areas, were today remanded to police custody till August 12 by a court.

Subhan and Asahbuddin were produced before the court on expiry of their remand and the special cell of the Delhi police sought extension of their custody by 15 days saying they were required to be confronted with co-accused Arshad, a Pakistani national lodged in Kolkata jail in connection with the shoe baron Partha Roy Burman kidnapping case of 2001.

The special cell told the judge that Arshad was likely to be brought here as production warrant has already been issued against him by the court for August 5.
17:11  Egyptian initiative 'real chance' to end Gaza crisis: Sisi:  President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi today said the Egyptian ceasefire initiative is a "real chance" to end the crisis in the beseiged Gaza Strip, where Israel and Hamas are locked in an intense fighting for the past 26 days.

"The Egyptian proposal is the real chance to find a solution to the crisis in Gaza and to end the bloodshed," Sisi told reporters during a news conference attended by visiting Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "We proposed the ceasefire initiative before the Israeli military started a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip and the number of deaths was much more less than today.

The initiative is the way to end violence in Gaza," said Sisi. When the latest Gaza clashes erupted last month, Egypt --the traditional broker in such conflicts -- put together a truce plan, which was immediately backed by Israel, Arab governments, the US and the UN, but brushed off by Hamas.
16:29  Pro-Maharashtra sign board issue: Kannada outfit leader detained:  The leader and activists of Kannada outfit Karnataka Rakshana Vediki were detained at Hubli in north Karnataka today as they were trying to move towards border district of Belgaum to stage a protest on the pro- Maharashtra sign board issue.

Several activists of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, including its President T A Narayana Gowda were detained on the Pune-Bangalore highway near Hubli as they were moving towards Belgaum, from where they had organised march towards Yellur village that witnessed violence over removal of a pro-Maharashtra sign board few days ago.

"If government feels that they can stop our agitation by arresting me it is their foolishness, they can't stop us," Gowda told reporters as he was being detained.
16:13   I would introduce Gita in std 1: SC judge:  Supreme Court judge Justice A R Dave today said that Indians should revert to their ancient traditions, and texts such as Mahabharata and Bhagwad Gita should be introduced to children at an early age.

"Our old tradition such as `Guru Shishya parampara' is lost, if it had been there, we would not have had all these problems (violence and terrorism) in our country," Justice Dave said, speaking at an international conference on `contemporary issues and challenges of human rights in the era of globalisation'.

"Now we see terrorism in countries. Most of the countries are democratic....If everybody in a democratic country is good then they would naturally elect somebody who is very good. And that person will never think of damaging anybody else," he said.
16:01  Bihar orders immediate evacuation in four districts due to imminent flood in Kosi: Disaster Management Department.
15:22   From our correspondent A Ganesh Nadar: Fishermen took part in a rally in Rameshwaram to the harbour on Saturday and have threatened to sit on a dharna on the controversial island Kachchatheevu. India had forcibly recognised the Sri Lankan ownership to the island on a conditional agreement in 1974.

The fishermen are expected to be arrested before they board their boats, according to Royappan, president of the country boat owners in Rameswaram. Fishermen have been on strike for a week now protesting against indiscriminate arrests at sea by the Sri Lankan navy. The dharna at Kathchathievu was supposed to be the culmination of their protest.
15:21  Kerala Tourism signs historic agreement with UNESCO:  Kerala Tourism has signed an agreement with UNESCO to begin a historic cooperation between the state and the world's foremost cultural organisation in promoting and protecting the ancient Spice Route heritage.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Kerala Tourism Secretary, Suman Billa, and UNESCO Director and Representative to India, Shigeru Aoyagi, in the presence of State Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar and K M Chandrasekhar, Vice Chairman, Kerala State Planning Board.

The MoU signed yesterday seeks to formalise a framework of cooperation in the areas of cultural heritage protection and promotion in the state. "The Spice Route project is a new milestone in the growth of tourism in Kerala. It is a revival of the ancient spice route that connected 31 countries," Anil Kumar said.
14:45  CBI registers a case against former Union Minister P C Gupta and his son in connection with the coal scam.
14:44   First time BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh have learnt an art of silencing the Samajwadi Party MPs.

SP MP Dharmendra Yadav Badaun is quite vocal, and whenever he asks a question or debates, the first time BJP MPs murmur Akhilesh ne kya kiya? (What did Akhilesh do in UP?).

Needless to say, the answer is just morose looks from not only Dharmendra Yadav but also from Akhilesh's father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
14:38   If one was to view from the press gallery of the Rajya Sabha, and interpret politically -- the Congress MPs in the upper house are in large numbers, but divided. Many don't even talk to each other.   The effect of Lok Sabha defeat of the Congress is felt in  Rajya Sabha.

There are four or five groups. Rajiv Satyavrat Sukhla belongs to Ambika Soni's group, while Anand Sharma heads another, with only three or four MPs to his  credit.

But one thing in common -- all groups want Anand Sharma to speak faster -- not to tatter or stumble with his pukka English accent.
14:32  65 killed, over 100 injured in explosion at factory in China:  Sixty-five workers were killed and over 100 others injured today when an explosion ripped through a metal factory in China's eastern Jiangsu Province, causing widespread damage to the sprawling industrial unit.

The blast in Kunshan, a city in the province of Jiangsu near Shanghai, took place this morning inside a wheel hub polishing workshop owned by the Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Products Co. Ltd, the city government said. More than 200 workers were at the site when the explosion rocked the plant.

Rescuers pulled out over 40 bodies while about 20 others died in hospitals, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. An initial probe indicated that the explosion might have been caused by "dust" which ignited inside the workshop, officials said.
14:28   Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Pappu Yadav is a habitual shouter and protests on each and every issue. Yadav can only be silenced by two persons inside the Lok Sabha -- one is his wife Ranjit Ranjan Singh -- the other is Home Minister Rajnath SIngh. One gesture from Singh, and Yadav lowers his head quietly, folds his hands and walks back to his seat.
14:11  Just in: Thirty six AIADMK MPs sit together in Lok Sabha. They better be seen together and not gossiping with MPs from other parties.

This is because Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa keenly follows Lok Sabha proceedings. The MPs are expected to thump the desk each time Amma's name is uttered.   
14:01  Why Trinamool leader complained to Mamata about Sonia:  Sonia Gandhi prefers to share her thoughts with Trinamool Congress MPs rather than those from her own party in Lok Sabha.

The Congress chief would consult Trinamool's Saugata Roy on rules and regulations of Lok Sabha. This irked Sudip Bandyopadhyay, leader of
TMC in Lok Sabha. He complained to Mamata Banerjee and asked her watch the live proceedings on Lok Sabha TV.
13:54  Kharge, Scindia rivalry in Lok Sabha :  Congress MPs from Karnataka and Kerala look to Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge for directions each time there is a turmoil in Lok Sabha. Many MPs, especially from Kerala, do not give Jyotiraditya Scindia, the party's chief whip in the House, his due.  

This was visible yesterday when Scindia went to the well of Lok Sabha to protest against the BJP's handling of the Pune landslide tragedy. No Congress leader joined Scindia.

As a chief whip, he better protest from his seat, Kharge reportedly said. 
13:46  Sonia upset as Pappu Yadav occupies her seat in Parliament:  Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was upset when she saw RJD MP Pappu Yadav occupy her seat when she entered Parliament. A miffed Sonia sat in the second row.

Congress's Jyotiraditya Scindia asked Yadav to move to the fourth row; he even apologised to Gandhi.     
13:40  Former Congress MP Naveen Jindal to join BJP? :  Tremors of the Natwar Singh book bomb are being felt in the state units of the Congress, especially in Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana.

The former external affairs minister tell-all autobiography One Life Is Not Enough, which released on Friday, makes controversial claims about the Gandhis.  

Former MP and leading industrialist Navin Jindal has been often spotted with BJP leaders especially Nishikant Dubey,  the outspoken MP from Jharkhand.

Jindal may be keen to leave the Congress and join  the BJP, say sources. Will the BJP admit him ahead of the Haryana assembly polls which will be held before the end of October?    
13:14  Truth in accusations must come out: Aaditya Thackeray:  After an outrage over an editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana onsenior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, who is accused of rape, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray wrote on Twitter: A channel is running a sensational 'Shiv Sena backs rape accused' headlines, which is false and defamatory, and twisted for sensationalism.

The edit, which can be found on saamana.com clearly states, "there isnt a question of siding anyone but media trials are wrong." It states that those guilty of rape, like in the Nirbhaya Case, or Shakti Mills case, must face harshest punishment irrespective of creed, he tweeted.

"There r examples of families broken, people committing suicide n people defamed due to media trials, even though they stand acquitted later. The edit is a comprehensive argument on why "rape", although 1 of the worst crimes, shld be carefully tried in courts, not in the media."  

"Rape laws have to be strict, rapists must be given harshest punishment, women must be free and safe, but truth in accusations must come out," he added.
13:02  8 killed in Nepal landslide:  At least eight persons were killed today in a massive landslide that blocked Sunkoshi river in Sindhupal chowk district in Nepal, turning the river into a lake and putting several villages at risk of flash floods.   

A huge hill had suddenly collapsed at 2 am (local time), burying two dozen homes before dumping mud and stones into the Sunkoshi river at Mankha village, 75 km northeast of the capita lKathmandu, police spokesperson Ganesh K C said.   

Eight bodies were recovered during a joint rescue operation carried out by the army and police with the help of the local people, the official said.   

The death toll is expected to rise as several people are feared to have gone missing in the landslide.
12:54  Haryana guv seeks reply from Hooda govt over officers' appointment :   NDTV reports: Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki has sought a reply from the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government over the controversial appointment of five senior officers which allegedly violated protocol.

The governor has given the government 15 days to reply.

Solanki had just taken charge on Sunday as the new governor of the state when Hooda swore in five important officers to serve on the Right to Information and Right to Service Commissions which are meant to empower citizens by helping them access information about government decisions.

But a senior bureaucrat Pradeep Kasni has red-flagged that as an unabashed violation of protocol.
12:24  PK's poster will incite sexual violence: Lawyer:   A lawyer moved court against Bollywood star Aamir Khan and a Hindi daily for publishing an "obscene" poster of his upcoming movie PK.

The lawyer alleged that the film's poster would incite "sexual violence" and encourage "obscenity." Court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate G K Bharti has set the August 7 as the next date of hearing.
12:14  Kounsar Nag yatra row: Prohibitory orders in parts of Srinagar:  Prohibitory orders were today imposed in parts Srinagar in the wake of a strike call by hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani over the issue of Kounsar Nag yatra in South Kashmir.

"Restrictions have been imposed in five police station areas of Srinagar city," a police spokesman said.

He said the restrictions on gathering of people under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed in Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rainawari, M R Gunj and Safakadal police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure.

Security forces have been deployed in strength in sensitive areas to prevent any law and order situation, he said.
12:10  Fishermen to go ahead with sail to Katchatheevu agitation :  In Rameshwaram, fishermen have taken out a rally to the fishing harbour of Katchatheevu. They have threatened to sit on a dharna on the disputed island.

The fishermen are expected to be arrested before they go ahead with their 'sail to Katchatheevu agitation. They have been on strike since July 24, protesting against the continued arrest of fishermen by Sri Lankan navy and confiscation of their boats.

In 1974, India forcibly recognised the Sri Lankan ownership to the island on a conditional agreement.
11:14  Shiv Sena supports DIG accused of rape :  The Shiv Sena today came out in support of senior Indian Police Service officer Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of rape by a Mumbai-based model.

In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamna, the Shiv Sena asked whether it has become fashionable these days to level rape charges. "Today, has it become a fashion to level rape charges? This question is now in people's minds," the party said, writing on the case involving DIG Paraskar.

The editorial questions the six-month delay in filing of the case. 

The Congress has demanded an apology from the Sena.
10:41  Massive landslide near Kathmandu:  BBC reports: A massive landslide has buried dozens of homes in Nepal, with four people confirmed dead so far, say police.

The landslide has blocked the Sunkoshi river, east of the capital Kathmandu, forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes and move to higher ground.

Read the full report here

10:24  Facebook users dial 911 after network crashes:  On Friday morning Facebook suffered its second brief outage in two months.

Some users in Los Angeles, after getting an error message, called 911, prompting LA County Sheriff sergeant Burton Brink to shoot off the following tweet: #Facebook is now a Law Enforcement issue, please don't call us about it being down. we don't know when FB will be back up!  
10:08  UPSC row: NSUI demands release of detained protesters :  National Students' Union of India members are holding a protest outside Home Minister Rajnath Singh's residence over the Union Public Service Commission CSAT examination row. They are demanding the release of students who were detained while staging a protest.

In a setback to the protesting aspirants, the Arvind Verma committee report submitted to the government has recommended that no change should be made in the civil service aptitude test as it is a scientifically formed exam and shouldn't be tinkered with, CNN-IBN reports. 

According to sources, the committee has recommended that the quality of English to Hindi translations in CSAT paper should be improved. There are 20 marks of English comprehension which are of class 10th level and sources said that future civil servants are expected to have that level of knowledge.

Image: Delhi police detain a protestor outside Rajnath Singh's residence. Photograph: ANI/Twitter

09:37  PM to address UN General Assembly on Sep 27:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, giving his first global speech to an audience of nearly 200 world leaders and foreign ministers at the annual gathering of the world body's policy-making organ.

According to a first provisional list of speakers released at the United Nations, India's 'head of government' is scheduled to address the General Debate of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on the morning of September 27.

The UN General Debate, where presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and foreign ministers address the General Assembly, is scheduled from September 24 to October 1.
09:34  Indian wrestlers return home from CWG, get hero's welcome :  Indian wrestlers return home from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. They received a hero's welcome at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.

India has one 13 medals in wrestling at the event -- 5 gold, six silver and two bronze.

Sushil Kumar won the gold in the men's freestyle 75 kg event, Yogeshwar Dutt in the 65 kg event and Amit Kumar won the gold in men's freestyle 57 kg event.

19-year-old Vinesh Phogat won the gold in women's freestyle 48 kg event and Babita Kumar in the 55 kg event.

Rajeev Tomar won the medal in the men's freestyle 125 kg event.  

     
09:22  Fate of Israeli soldier unknown:  Hamas says it does not know the whereabouts of an Israeli soldier it had been accused of capturing in Gaza, reports BBC.

The Islamist group's military wing says it lost contact with some fighters in the area and that they and Hadar Goldin, 23, may have been killed.

His supposed capture and the violence that followed ended a 72-hour ceasefire just hours after it had begun.
03:44  US accuses Hamas of Gaza truce breach :  

US president Barack Obama blamed Hamas for the swift collapse of the latest Gaza ceasefire, accusing the Palestinian group of launching a "barbaric" attack. President Obama said on Friday it would be "very hard" to get another truce in the Gaza Strip unless Hamas showed it was serious about laying down its arms and could be trusted to keep its word.

 

"If they are serious about trying to trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released, as soon as possible," Obama told a surprise press conference.

 

"I think it's going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a ceasefire commitment."

 

But Obama also insisted that the deaths of "innocent civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience and we have to do more to protect them." A three-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza collapsed only hours after it began amid a deadly new wave of violence.

 

Read more on Al Jazeera

03:38  NASA's next Mars rover will make oxygen, look for farmland:  

For 17 years, NASA rovers have laid down tire tracks on Mars. But details the space agency divulged this week about its next Martian exploration vehicle underscored NASA's ultimate goal. Footprints are to follow someday.

 

The last three rovers -- Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity -- confirmed the Red Planet's ability to support life and searched for signs of past life. The Mars rover of the next decade will hone in on ways to sustain future life there, human life.

 

"The 2020 rover will help answer questions about the Martian environment that astronauts will face and test technologies they need before landing on, exploring and returning from the Red Planet," said NASA's William Gerstenmaier who works on human missions. This will include experiments that convert carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into oxygen "for human respiration."

 

Read more on CNN

03:36  Ebola crisis: Virus spreading too fast, says WHO:  

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is spreading faster than efforts to control it, World Health Organization (WHO) head Margaret Chan has said. She told a summit of regional leaders that failure to contain Ebola could be "catastrophic" in terms of lives lost.

 

But she said the virus, which has claimed 729 lives in four West African countries since February, could be stopped if well managed. Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected. It spreads by contact with infected blood, bodily fluids, organs - or contaminated environments. Patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

 

Read more on BBC

00:14  Brief Facebook outage prompts complaints on Twitter:  A brief Facebook outage today prompted a flurry of complaints and comments on Twitter less than two months after a similar incident affecting users worldwide. 

According to the website downdetector.com, the outage began around 1600 GMT, and appeared to last less than an hour. In that time, thousands of users complained they could not access the world's biggest social network.
00:13  Ebola outbreak: WHO says it can be stopped but warns of catastrophe:  The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is out of control but can be stopped, the head of the World Health Organization chief said on Friday.

"This outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it," Margaret Chan told the presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone at a meeting in Guinea's capital Conakry.

"If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries," she said, according to a WHO transcript.
00:12  Israeli soldier's capture may escalate Gaza conflict:  Three years after it released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a captured soldier, Israel could face a repeat of that drawn-out process after one of its officers appears to have been abducted in a raid Friday morning in southern Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces suspects 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, was kidnapped and dragged into a Hamas tunnel during a battle that killed two Israeli soldiers. The abduction risks a major escalation in the nearly 4-week-old conflict, considering the extraordinary lengths Israel has gone to get back captured soldiers.
00:10  Uganda court scraps new anti-gay law:  Uganda's constitutional court today overturned tough new anti-gay laws that had been branded draconian and "abominable" by rights groups, saying they had been wrongly passed by parliament. 

The legislation was signed by Uganda's veteran President Yoweri Museveni in February, recommending that homosexuals be jailed for life. It also outlawed the promotion of homosexuality and obliged Ugandans to denounce gays to the authorities.
00:10  Experts finally gather more remains at MH17 site in Ukraine:  Dutch and Australian experts gathered more remains from the crash site of downed flight MH17 in east Ukraine, as they scrambled to make up for lost time amid deadly clashes between government troops and pro-Russian rebels. 

Seventy police investigators, by far the largest number to reach the location so far finally managed to comb the scattered wreckage in the fields where the Malaysia Airlines plane was downed two weeks ago killing all 298 people on board.
00:06  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  Pune village landslide toll reaches 70
Four militants gunned down near LoC in Kashmir
Gaza truce collapses, Israeli solider abducted
Article against Jayalalithaa triggers storm, Sri Lanka tenders apology
58 nurses on way back, govt again asks Indians to leave Libya
Manmohan has left behind no legacy: Natwar Singh
50 Congressmen called to congratulate me: Natwar
CIA apologises for spying on US senators
Is Narendra Modi's charisma beginning to fade already?

Yesterday's Live commentary

Stars spotted!  What's this?

Spotted: L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurthy at Dubai airport
Reader S Prabhu Dev sends us a photograph.

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos