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LIVE! Lakshmi Mittal's bid to buy UK mountain sparks protests

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August 03, 2014

21:35  Mittal mountain? Steel baron bids to buy mountain:  Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has bid for an iconic mountain range in Britain, sparking protests from local people who believe the move could make the area a playground for the super-rich. The 2,850ft-high Blencathra mountain, which towers above the Northern Fells in the picturesque Lake District region of Cumbria, was put on the market by Earl of Lonsdale Hugh Lowther in May, with an 1.75 million pounds asking price. Funds from the sale of the 2,676-acre plot will go towards paying off the reported 9 million tax he owes from his father's inheritance, who died eight years ago. Concerned that the announcement of the sale would see the mountain become a playground for the super-rich, 'the Friends of Blencathra' local residents group put in a bid for the mountain, and applied to Eden District Council to make the area a community asset to secure it from private hands.
20:44  40 Dhruv choppers grounded:  The Indian Air Force has grounded its fleet of around 40 Advanced Light Helicopters Dhruv helicopters in view of the recent crash, in which seven of its personnel were killed. The ALH Dhruv choppers in IAF fleet will not fly till thorough checks are carried out on them, IAF sources said. The Army, which uses the ALH for its high altitude operations is also learnt to have taken similar precautions before allowing its pilots to fly them.
19:41  Strife in Libya claims life of Indian:  In what is being described as the worst violence Libya has seen since the 2011 civil war that toppled dictator Moammar Gadhafi, an Indian died today. Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin tweeted, "Strife in Libya sadly takes toll of an Indian life. May he RIP!"
19:08  Jwala-Ashwini settle for silver in women's double:  
After the high of the first men's singles gold medal in 32 years, India faced disappointment is the women's double Badminton event as Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost in the final.

The Indian pair lost 17-21, 21-23 to the Malaysian combine of Khe Wei Koon and Vivian Kah Moon Hoo, despite having five game points in the second.
18:47  Men's Indian hockey team loses to Australia:   It's an encore as Australia thrashed India 4-0 to win the men's hockey gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It is the fourth time the world champions have won gold at the CWG. Australia had thrashed India 7-1 in the final of the last CWG Games in New Delhi in 2010.

18:02  P Kashyap beats Singapore's Dereck Wong to win gold:   P Kashyap beat Singapore's Dereck Wong 21-14,11-21, 21-19 to bag the gold medal in the Badminton Men's singles event at the Commonwealth Games. Kashyap had won the bronze medal in 2010. This is India's first singles gold medal in Badminton since 1982. This is India's 15th gold medal. India's Guru Sai Dutt had earlier won the bronze.
17:55  26 people dead after strong earthquake hits China's Yunnan province:  A strong earthquake in southwestern China has killed at least 26 people and injured 79. The US Geological Survey says the magnitude-6.1 quake hit Yunnan province on Sunday. Communications have been seriously affected and rescuers are rushing to the scene. The state broadcaster CCTV said Sunday's quake was the strongest to hit Yunnan in 14 years.
17:10   Modi also announced that India will extend a $1 billion line of credit to Nepal to be used according to Nepal's priorities. 
17:05  Modi's plan to make Nepal a hit:  During his address in Nepal's Parliament, Modi said that he wanted to see Nepal become a powerful nation and was ready to work with it in all its efforts. He said, "Nepal needs highways. We will support you that. There should be bridges between Nepal and India." He further added, "We have decided to launch a SAARC satellite to help the SAARC nations in the field of health and education. We are so close. Still it took 17 years to come. I assure you this will not happen again. I am coming back again for SAARC summit." 
He also said, "We should speak to the mobile service providers. ISD rates between Nepal and India need to be lower.'
16:49  'Our only wish is that Nepal's progress reaches as high as the Himalayas':   Talking about Nepal's progress, Modi says, "We have always believed that it is not our work to interfere in what you do but to support you in the path you decide to take. Our only wish is that Nepal's progress reaches as high as the Himalayas. Being your neighbour and seeing our experience as a democracy we feel happy at the direction in which you are going."
16:45  Nepal's Constitution will pave way for peace: Modi:  Praising the Nepalese Constitution, Modi says, "The world will learn and walk towards peace from this land. Your Constitution will pave way for that. A Constitution always integrates, it never divides. It should be such that it pleases all and should be for all."
16:43  "King Asoka went in search of peace. I congratulate you all that you chose the path of 'Budha' rather than 'yudha'."
16:37  PM Modi addresses Nepals lawmakers:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Nepal Parliament during his two-day visit to the state. "I am the first guest in your Parliament who has been invited to speak. This is an honour for all Indians."  

He added, "Our relations with Nepal are as old as the Himalayas and the Ganga." "There is a temple in Kashi where priests are from Nepal, and there is a temple in Nepal where priests are Indian, such is our bond." 

Amid much applause Modi said, "Not only people of Nepal but also those who believe in the power of democracy are looking at Nepal and this Assembly."
16:08  Madhu Kishwar tweets on Gita row:  A day after outrage poured in after Supreme Court judge Justice A R Dave said that if he was a dictator, he would introduce Gita in std I, Madhu Kishwar has tweeted on the issue. She wrote, "Mahabharata not religious text like Quran or Bible. It is not commandment giving nor claims divine origin. U can study it as epic like Iliad."
15:45  Finding all details on the matter: IOA president:  Following the arrest of two Indian CWG officials in Glasgow for alleged assault, the Indian Olympic Association president said that he had asked officials to look into the matter and gather all details in the incident. He also said that it is unfair to jump to conclusions and that the wrestling official who had been arrested was not a part of the Indian contingent.  

Read the full story HERE
15:03  PM Modi meets Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey:  Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Pandey paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefly discussed some bilateral issues, including hydro-power, trade, energy and security. The meeting took place at a five star hotel an hour after Modi arrived here on a two-day trip to Nepal. "The talks were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere," Pandey said. "He (Modi) speaks less but he is result oriented. During my meeting, I felt whatever he says he believes in doing it," he said when asked about his meeting with the PM.
13:43  30 killed after Israel renews shelling in Gaza:  Renewed Israeli shelling killed at least 30 people in Gaza on Sunday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to keep up pressure on Hamas even after the army completes its core mission of destroying a tunnel network that extends into Israel. In Cairo, a Palestinian delegation arrived for new truce talks. Turning its back on those negotiations after previous attempts to end the conflict failed, Israel said it would not send envoys as scheduled.
13:24  President Mukherjee's daughter takes a dig at Natwar Singh:  President Pranab Mukherjee's daughter Sharmistha took a dig at Natwar Singh's book, saying that her father would not do the same and reveal what transpired during his tenure in the Congress and the government in an interview to CNN-IBN. "My father has a diary for over 40 years. It has lots of sensitive information. The diary is with me but he keeps scratching out the sensitive information. He says there are some private conversations which should not be known." She added, "I don't think one should breach trust."
12:19  Two Indian CWG officials arrested in Glasgow:  Two senior members of the Indian contingent for the Commonwealth Games have been arrested in Glasgow. Indian Olympic Association general secretary Rajiv Mehta and wrestling referee Virender Malik were arrested on charges of assault and would be produced before a Glasgow magistrate on Monday.
11:47  Home Minister assures Bihar CM of help after flood alert:  The Bihar government has issued a high alert and evacuated 20,000 people living along the embankment of the Kosi River as a 10-metre high wall of water is expected to sweep down the river from Nepal soon, officials said. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and assured him of all help in light of the situtation. 
11:23  Thousands evacuated from Bihar after high alert over Kosi flood threat:  With the danger of flood looming large in the Kosi belt along the Bihar-Nepal border, the state government has put its personnel on alert and begun evacuation of people inhabiting the embankment area. Bihar Disaster Management Department principal secretary Vyasji said the state government has put its personnel on alert and instructed the affected districts to make arrangements to evacuate 1.5 lakh people in eight districts along the Kosi as 10-metre high wave of water is expected to sweep down the Kosi river through Nepal.
10:54  PM Modi lands in Nepal:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Nepal today for a two-day official trip. This will be the first bilateral visit by a PM to Kathmandu in 17 years. Sources say that Modi has taken a team of less than 50 people, with no minister being a part of his delegation. 
10:41  Modi first PM to go on bilateral Nepal in 17 years:   Prime Minister Narendra Modi today embarked on a visit to Nepal to forge a new relationship with it and start a "new chapter" in bilateral ties that will serve as a model and catalyst for regional partnership. 

During his two-day visit, Modi will be holding talks with his counterpart Sushil Koirala and meet other political leaders. 

He will also have the rare honour of addressing Nepal's Constituent Assembly.
10:40  Toll in Malin landslide toll is 87, 160 more feared buried in debris:  With the recovery of five more bodies, the toll in the Malin village landslide has climbed to 87, even as more that 160 persons are still feared to be trapped under the debris. 

The dead included, 33 men, 42 women and 12 children, the district control room said today. 

Unfavourable weather conditions impeded the movement of heavy machinery pressed into service during the rescue operations, while the National Disaster Response Force personnel raced against time to clear the massive debris on the fifth day after the tragedy struck on July 30, it said.

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