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LIVE! Jet to stop low-cost services, to merge them with parent

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August 11, 2014

23:27  Jet to stop low-cost services, to merge them with parent:  Jet Airways, which reported Rs 217 crore net loss in the June quarter, today said it will be exiting low-cost services and will merge its two no-frills brands with parent full service carrier. 

"By the end of this year, there will be no JetLite and Jet Konnect brands and all the aircraft will have business class and economy class seats," group chairman Naresh Goyal told reporters after the company's AGM.
22:36  Foreign media protest Hamas harassment in Gaza:  The Foreign Press Association today lodged a strong protest accusing the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas of harassment and of threatening foreign reporters working in Gaza. 

The association for journalists working in Israel and the Palestinian territories said Hamas authorities and their representatives employed "blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods" against visiting international journalists covering the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.
22:02  Mickey Rourke proudly wears Putin T-shirt:  Hollywood star Mickey Rourke became the latest actor to offer his praise to Russian President Vladimir Putin when he sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the leader's face at a publicity event. "I like this guy," said the 61-year-old star of Iron Man 2, pointing to his new gray T-shirt featuring Putin in a navy cap and surrounded by flowers. "I am going to wear it everywhere," said Rourke after stripping off his own clothes and putting on the Putin shirt in GUM, Russia's oldest department store across from the Kremlin. 

Image: Reuters
21:39  United Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines almost collide in Kolkata:  A mid-air collision was averted between United Airways enroute Dhaka and Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft in Kolkata air space. 

Waiting for more details. 
21:11  Italian PM calls Modi on resolving marines situation:  Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoping the Indian government resolved the marines issue in a quick and speedy manner. Two Italian marines -- Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone -- have been accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast. Sources said Renzi requested Modi for a speedy decision in the matter. 
20:37  Yale responds to Smriti Irani's graduate claims:   A day after Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani claimed that she had a degree from the prestigious Yale University in the United States, the college in question has issued a statement confirming her presence at their leadership program. 

The statement issued by Yale read, "Smriti Zubin Irani attended the 7th India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program from June 19-27, 2013, held on the Yale University campus in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, with additional meetings in New York City. 

"More than 80 members of India's Parliament from 15 different political parties drawn from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha have attended the program since it was established in 2007. Participants have included 27 current or former Union ministers, chief ministers, party spokespersons, and senior party leaders. At the conclusion of the program, Smriti Irani received a certificate of participation that that acknowledged and recognised her participation in the program. Smriti Irani's participation and contribution to the 2013 program was distinguished particularly in regard to issues related to social development, gender, and governance."

The statement does not mention anything about a graduation and simply states that she had attended their program. 
20:35  Elections for Deputy Speaker's post in Lok Sabha on Wednesday:  Sources have revealed to PTI that the election for the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker's post will be held on Wednesday and the process of nomination will be undertaken tomorrow. 
19:25  Govt alert about communally-sensitive incidents in UP: CM:  The state government is on alert about communally-sensitive incidents in Uttar Pradesh and intelligence mechanism has been made "pro-active" in this regard, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said.

Read: The Nirbhayas we forgot
19:21  UPA-II completed projects in JK but gifted these to NDA: Omar:   Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said his big complaint with the UPA-II is that it had completed several projects in Jammu and Kashmir but the then Premier Manmohan Singh could not find time to inaugurate and handed these as gift to Narendra Modi. Omar's remarks come a day before Prime Minister Modi's scheduled inauguration of 44 MW Chutak hydro-electric project in Kargil district and the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo project in Leh.
19:19  There are politicians to do the work of the Parl, if Sachin Tendulkar asked for a leave he deserves that: Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena
18:53  Bill to scrap collegium system introduced in LS:  Keen to scrap the collegium system, government today introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha to establish a six-member body for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the High Courts. Besides the Constitutional Amendment Bill, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced an enabling bill -- the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014.

While The Constitution (121st Amendment) Bill, 2014 seeks to put the proposed Commission and its entire composition in the Constitution, the other legislation lays down the procedure to be followed by the proposed body for appointment of Supreme Court judges and transfer and appointment of Chief Justices and other judges of the High Courts.

As per the proposal, Chief Justice of India will head the NJAC. Besides the CJI, the judiciary would be represented by two senior judges of the Supreme Court. Two eminent personalities and the Law Minister will be the other members of the proposed body.
18:45  And this picture of Jawaharlal Nehru being congratulated by C Rajagopalachari after Nehru was conferred the Bharat Ratna. Looking on his India's first president, Rajendra Prasad.  
18:42  Saluting the Ratnas :  Amid the intense speculation on Sunday that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose may be awarded the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, here's a look at one of the greats -- Maharashi Dhondo Keshav Karve. The picture shows India's first president Rajendra Prasad conferring the honour. 
18:38  BJP MP Anurag Thakur in Lok Sabha today said how the Congress and a
Kashmiri pandit from the party was not ready to talk on the issue of Kashmir Pandits. While many were left wondering whom Thakur was referring to, nobody asked. It was only much later that MPs realised that the person was Rahul Gandhi. 
18:24  Election Commission website needs attention:  The Election Commission of India website needs attention. There is a link called, "Future Elections" where upcoming elections of Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Maharashtra are listed. The dates when the polls begins, in all the four states, are wrong.

And another major blooper is that the site does not mention India's 29th state - Telangana -- anywhere at all. 
18:09  It's busy days ahead for Amit Shah :  The list of BJP office bearers is ready and is expected to be announced on Thursday. The list is believed to be entirely Amit Shah's choice since he was given complete freedom to select his team.

For Shah, it's been a busy first month since he assumed office as party president, last month.

He has been visiting Haryana and keeping his options open with leaders like Om Prakash Chautala, HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi and also breakaway groups of the Congress.

Rebel Congress leader Choudhary Birendra Singh is likely to join the BJP on 16th August.

Next on the cards are visits to Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Tirupati this month. 
18:07  Amit Shah to meet Pranab Mukherjee:   In what is being termed a courtesy call, BJP president Amit Shah is meeting President Pranab Mukherjee. Shah said he would be meeting the president since he took over as head of the ruling party. "It is my duty to pay my respects to the first citizen and hence I sought an appointment," said Amit Shah.
17:41  Judge appointment bill tabled :   Just in: The government tables the Constitution Amendment Bill for judicial reforms. The Bill will replace the collegium system of appointment of
judges. All the parties have supported the BJP on this, apart from the Congress. Centre also tables judges appointment bill.
17:28  LIVE! RSS chief: Original name of India is Hindustan -- land of Hindus:  At a function on Sunday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, waded into another controversy. "The entire world recognizes Indians as Hindus therefore India is a Hindu state. This is a very simple thing, if inhabitants of England are English, those of Germany are Germans and USA are Americans, all those who live in Hindustan are known as Hindus."

He also said "the cultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture."

RSS ideologue MG Vaidya added that the original name of India is Hindustan, which means it's the land of Hindus. In April, this year, Vaidya kicked off a fresh storm by saying that Muslims should have willingly relinquished claim in favour of Hindus over the land where the felled Babri masjid once stood. He also justified the demolition of the disputed structure in 1992, which he claimed represented "an invader's arrogance".Vaidya's claim, however, is historically incorrect.

According to Wiki, Hindustan is derived from the Persian word Hindu -- from the region beyond the Indus River.  This combined with the Iranic suffix -- stan -- results in Hindustan, "land of the Hindus" -- or Land of the Indus. It does not refer to the religion, Hindu.
16:35  Manmohan kept Bose speakers, Piaget watch, reveals RTI query:  From a fancy Bose music system to a glittering Piaget ladies wrist watch, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh took home some 101 unique pieces of gift items that were given to him by heads of states whose countries he visited in his official capacity, an RTI query has revealed. Read
16:30  Haryana Congress rebel Birender Singh likely to join the BJP... Details awaited.  
16:22  Bombay High Court asks the Maharashtra government to raise the minimum age of Govindas to 18 years; restrict height of Dahi Handis to 20 feet. 
15:55  Telangana CM's daughter booked for sedition :  An FIR has been filed against TRS MP and Telangana CM Kavitha on charges of sedition. Last month Kavitha compared and equated the issues of Telangana and Kashmir and argued that both were separate countries but were forcibly merged with India after Independence.

In 2010, Kavitha had been booked for threatening to disrupt the screening of the Junior NTR-starrer 'Adurs' over Telangana.
15:18  19-yr-old youth dies after 'Dahi-handi' rehearsal:  A 19-year-old youth today died after participating in 'Dahi-handi' rehearsals in suburban Jogeshwari, Mumbai, police said.

Rushikesh Sadashiv Patil, a resident of Gandhi Nagar in Behrambaug, participated in the practice session on Saturday, following which he complained of giddiness, police said.

He complained of uneasiness while interacting with his team members soon after the human pyramid practice, Senior PI Subhash Vele at Oshiwara Police station said, adding, he was rushed to nearby Cooper Hospital where he was declared dead at about 11.40 pm.

Police have registered a case of accidental death in this connection as the cause of death is yet to be ascertained and also because the youth did not sustain any injuries during the 'Dahi-handi' practice.
15:13  Ganesh Versus the Third Reich:  Will this awaken religious Nazis? A confrontational piece by a learning-disabled ensemble recounts Ganesha's visit to Hitler's Germany to reclaim the swastika. Read
15:07  Michael Jackson 'lived in filth and urinated on the floor' his maids claim :  Michael Jackson's picturesque Neverland Ranch was a world away from the fairy-tale ideal his fans believed it to be. At least according to five of the King of Pop's former maids, who described the singer as "the dirtiest, most unsanitary person in Hollywood" who lived in a house of filth and urinated on the floor. Read
14:49  Life stirs in Gaza as new 72-hour truce takes hold:  A 72-hour ceasefire took hold in Gaza today, as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators headed to Cairo in search of a long-term solution to end over a month of deadly fighting. The truce which began just after midnight was the fruit of days of Egyptian-brokered mediation to stem more than four weeks of violence which has killed 1,939 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since July 8.
14:33  Reactions to Lalu-Nitish alliance:  They (Lalu-Nitish) will become a danger and a challenge to each other very soon, there is no danger to BJP: MA Naqvi.

They (Lalu-Nitish) have come together out of political helplessness not for the sake of development; shows how scared they are of us: LJP chief Chirag Paswan.

Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, both former chief ministers of Bihar, shared a stage at a political event when they begin their joint campaign for the state by-polls today. 
14:17  Why Natwar Singh's disclosures sound hollow:  Natwar Singh's book is un-illuminating, largely self-justificatory, often contradictory, and at times tendentious. He is too preoccupied with depicting himself as a victim of the Congress party's machinations, says Praful Bidwai.
14:11  Smriti Irani's Yale 'degree' trends on Twitter :  The controversy over HRD minister Smriti Irani's educational qualifications has taken a new turn with her assertion that she also has a degree from the prestigious Yale University in the US.

Irani (38) made the remark when pressed by a questioner at the India Today Woman Summit 2014 in Delhi to clear the "mystery" over her educational degrees. Read

Pic: A meme on Twitter.
13:43  MIA Sachin :  As Sachin Tendulkar gets leave from attending Parliament, an interesting read on why the cricketer is setting a bad example. Read
13:41  Books that best capture India: flags off its Independence Day celebrations, looking at the books that best capture the weft and warp of the wonder that is India. Read
13:22  Hillary Clinton attacks Barack Obama over foreign policy:  Hillary Clinton -- former Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate -- describes decision not to intervene early in Syria as a failure. Read
13:14  Mumbai man suspected to have contracted Ebola virus:  A 31-year-old man from Mumbai who has returned from Nigeria is suspected to be infected with the deadly Ebola vius, the worst outbreak of which is raging in four countries in West Africa. The man, who was in Nigeria for some work, returned to Mumbai from West Africa after the Ebola outbreak. But soon afterwards, he began experiencing body pains and diarrhoea, and got in touch with the Health Department. Read more
12:53  Rajya Sabha waiver for Sachin, gets leave from attending parliament :  Deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien has granted Sachin Tendulkar leave from the house. Sachin had asked for leave from attending the RS citing personal and professional reasons.

Tendulkar on Friday said there was a medical emergency in his family that kept him away from Delhi."My absence in Delhi has been discussed rather too much. I don't mean to disrespect any institution," he said, hours after members in the Rajya Sabha raked up his prolonged absence from the House and demanded his participation in its business.

Senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla last week questioned the point behind Tendulkar's nomination to the Upper House saying if he was not going to attend it.

Shukla said that he has spoken to Tendulkar last week and he had promised he will attend more regularly. He was nominated to Rajya Sabha in 2012.

According to records, Tendulkar has only 3 per cent attendance last year, having attended Parliament only three times. He has not attended a single session of Rajya Sabha this year.
12:22  The future is a stronger form of smartphone:   After many false dawns over the past two decades, mobile phones that not only look good, but can also handle the most extreme of conditions are about to hit critical mass. Read
12:13  INS Kolkata is NOT fighting fit :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to commission the Indian Navy's "most powerful" destroyer, the INS Kolkata, in Mumbai on August 16 in a photo-op that gels with his powerful image. But the warship is riddled with crippling inadequacies that fall grossly short of the demands placed on it. Read
12:03  The best Parliamentarian Award will be given tomorrow to Arun Jaitley, Sharad Yadav and Karan Singh.  
11:53  Kolkata policewoman's dance with SRK draws criticism:  Politicians on Sunday criticized a woman police officer for dancing in uniform alongside Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan at an event in Kolkata.

They pointed fingers at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was also present.

Sub-inspector Sampa Haldar was seen dancing to a popular number from the Khan-starrer "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" as a host of top police officers and Banerjee watched from the gallery at "Jai Ho", the Kolkata Police's annual cultural programme at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Former city police Commissioner Nirupam Som said the officer has belittled the sanctity of the police uniform. Read more
11:36  INS Kolkata joins the Navy on August 16:  On August 16, INS Kolkata will join the Indian Navy, further enhancing its capability. It has been built at the Mumbai-based Mazgaon Docks, a defence Public Sector Unit.
11:30  Remembering Samar Sen, an extraordinary diplomat :  He deserves remembrance for services rendered, for the standards by which he lived and worked, perhaps most of all for being such a delight.

In Tynan's striking phrase for those remarkable character-actors who made otherwise unremarkable works lively and admirable, Tinoo Sen was one of those "forgotten irreplaceables' who never sought matinee-idol stardom (even refusing the foreign secretaryship) but who, in role after role, raised their stature and effect. Read more
11:26  Man found dead at former union minister Selja's residence:   A 42-year-old man was found dead at the residence of former Union minister and Congress leader Kumari Selja in Sunehri Bagh here this morning, police said.

The deceased identified as Sanjay was the husband of a maid working at Selja's residence.

Police got a PCR call around 8 am about the incident following which local police, crime and forensic teams rushed to the spot.

The body was found in the servant quarters of Selja's residence. "The death is unnatural, we are investigating the case," said Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) SBS Tyagi.
11:18  Sachin, Rekha have company:  The attendance record of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and actor Rekha might have raised questions about the role and relevance of celebrity MPs in the Rajya Sabha, but many of their elected counterparts do no better. Read
11:15  The unenviable task of the Ratna hunt:   Suggestions that the Centre is set to announce a Bharat Ratna for Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Independence Day have opened the floodgates on a host of names.

The BJP has long been demanding the highest civilian honour for the former Prime Minister. Last December, it made such a request to President Pranab Mukherjee on Christmas Day, which happens to be Vajpayee's birthday.

Vajpayee would become the 44th Ratna awardee if such an announcement is made on I-Day. BJP sources said the late Bahujan Samaj Party leader Kanshi Ram was also being considered. Read more
11:12  Mumbai police warns of strict action over child govindas :  Police commissioner Rakesh Maria has said that action would be taken against govinda mandals that violate a Bombay high court order banning young children from participating in human pyramids.

He also directed all the 93 police stations to sensitize the mandals on the issue.

The HC had on Friday told the state government to urgently decide on restricting the height of human pyramids for the Janmashtami festival, saying it would save the lives of participants.

Maria's directive comes a day after Kiran Talekar, a 14-year-old Sanpada resident, allegedly died after falling from the fifth level of a human pyramid while practicing. -- The Times of India
10:59  Japanese ate Indian PoWs, used them as live targets in WWII:  On April 2, 1946, the Reuters correspondent in Melbourne, Australia, cabled a short message, which was carried by all newspapers a day later, including The Times of India. It read: "The Japanese Lieutenant Hisata Tomiyasu found guilty of the murder of 14 Indian soldiers and of cannibalism at Wewak (New Guinea) in 1944 has been sentenced to death by hanging, it is learned from Rabaul." Read
10:01  Is there a divide in the Sangh parivar? :   NDTV reports: The BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has sent political circles buzzing with a comment that appears to contradict Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said yesterday that the BJP won the election because the common man wanted change, a day after PM Modi credited his party's victory to its new chief Amit Shah.

"The same individuals and the party existed earlier also. Why were not they voted to power," he questioned, adding that if people are not happy, they will change this government too.

"Some people say the success was due to the party. Others say it was because of some individuals. This change was not due to some individual, party or organisation. The common man wanted change," Bhagwat said at an event in Bhuvaneswar.

The Congress see this as a divide in the parivar. "Paradox schisms between the RSS/ BJP already manifesting? PM attributes election results to one man while Mohan ji Bhagwat credits people," Congress leader Manish Tewari tweeted this morning.
09:40  Body found at Congress leader Kumari Selja's residence:   A body of a 42-year-old has been found at Congress leader Kumari Selja's residence in New Delhi. The police and a forensic team has rushed to spot.

The police are unclear if it is a natural death, suicide or murder. The house help found the body.

More details are waited.     
09:15  Israel, Palestinians agree to another 72-hour ceasefire:  Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas today accepted a new 72-hour Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in yet another attempt to resume efforts to end the deadly month-long fighting that has killed over 2,000 people in the Gaza Strip. 

After tense talks that both sides had threatened to abandon, the surprise truce announcement came late today. "Israel has accepted Egypt's proposal for a 72-hourceasefire," a senior Israeli official said.
09:03  Iraq crisis: Embattled PM Nouri Maliki in show of force:  BBC reports: Security forces loyal to Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki have appeared in force in the capital Baghdad after he went on state TV to criticise the president.

Maliki is seeking a third term but has faced calls to step down amid the jihadist insurgency in the north. The US, which has urged Iraq to form an inclusive government, issued a statement backing President Fuad Masum.

Earlier, Iraqi Kurds appealed for international military aid to help defeat the Islamist militants.

The US has already launched four rounds of air strikes targeting Islamic State  fighters near Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
08:46  Have a degree for Yale: Education Minister Smriti Irani:  The controversy over Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani's educational qualifications has taken a new turn with her asserting that she holds a degree from Yale University in the US.

Irani, 38, made the remark when pressed by a questioner at a summit in Delhi.    

Soon after the Lok Sabha results were announced on May 16, Irani was at the centre of a raging controversy over her educational qualifications after it emerged that she had made contradictory declarations in her election affidavits.
08:39  Pak fires at 10 BSF posts in Jammu, 2 jawans hurt:   Two Border Security Force jawans were injured in firing by Pakistani troops in the Arania sector of Jammu.

The Pakistan Rangers used heavy mortar while targeting around 10 posts of the BSF along the international border. The gunbattle between the two armies is on since 2 am.

This comes a day after Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif expressed his desire to reset ties with India. 
08:34  Top headlines in the last 24 hours:  
Bharat Ratna for Vajpayee, Netaji, Malviya, Dhyan Chand and Kanshi Ram?

Netaji's family doesn't want Bharat Ratna for the freedom fighter

Chhattisgarh: 2 CRPF personnel killed in encounter with Maoists

Lalu, Nitish to campaign together after 23 years

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