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LIVE! CVC rejected Chaturvedi's name twice: Vardhan

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August 22, 2014

23:28  NIA files charge sheet against 10 people in connection with blasts at Narendra Modi's rally in Patna.
22:46  CVC rejected Chaturvedi's name twice: Vardhan:  Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today termed as a "fine farce" the controversy surrounding the removal of AIIMS CVO Sanjeev Chaturvedi, and defended the government decision saying the CVC had rejected his name twice and his continuation as CVO was irregular and indefensible.

"Sanjeev Chaturvedi (was) twice rejected by CVC. His continuation as CVO irregular and indefensible. CVC's unattended concerns addressed at last," Vardhan posted on Twitter.

Chaturvedi was removed from his post on August 20 with the Health Ministry citing no reason for his removal. The charge of his office has been assigned to Joint Secretary and CVO of the Union Health Ministry Vishwas Mehta.

In another post on Twitter, Vardhan said "Fine farce over AIIMS CVO reprofiling.... More in offing. Wait and watch (sic)", indicating more changes in the AIIMS administration. The tenure of Chaturvedi was fixed for four years and was to have lasted till June 2016.
21:29  Hamas executes 18 informers for Israel:  Israel today launched fresh offesive against Hamas in Gaza, killing at least five Palestinians, even as the militant group publicly executed 18 suspected spies for the Jewish state following the killing of its three top commanders.

Hamas gunmen executed 11 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel at an abandoned police station in Gaza earlier in the day, Hamas security officials said. Shortly afterward Hamas shot seven more Palestinians in front of hundreds of people in a central Gaza square, witnesses said.

Hamas warned the same punishment will be imposed soon on others. The executions came a day after Israel killed three top Hamas commanders - Mohammed Abu Shamala, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar who were key to Hamas operations including smuggling, tunnel construction and also played a role in capturing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

Hours after the targeted strike on the Hamas commanders, Ismail Haniyeh, the former head of the Hamas regime in Gaza, said, "After a senior operative is killed, we immediately continue on our path without hesitating or stepping back".

Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, has warned that Israel will "pay the price" for killing the high-ranking leaders of its military wing, the Qassam Brigades.
20:08  Supreme Court extends Madani's bail by a month:  The Supreme Court extended the bail to Abdul Nazir Madani, prime accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial bomb blast case, by a month on health grounds. A bench of justices J Chelameswar and A K Sikri said it was not interfering with its order after the Karnataka government objected to Madani's plea to allow him to continue on bail. The apex court, on July 11, had granted one-month bail to Madani. He has been behind bars for the last four years and is suffering from diabetes and vision-threatening ailment in both eyes. The apex court had earlier directed the Karnataka government to provide medical treatment to him.
20:05  New eight-member body to replace scrapped planning commission:  The planning commission will now be replaced with an eight-member think-tank that will include top economists, a social activist and a scientist. Sources say that the think-tank will have a chairman and eight members, sources say. Four of these members will be permanent and the rest, revolving. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the end of the planning commission in his Independence Day speech on Friday. 
19:30  All is well again? Hooda meets PM three days after he was jeered:   An easing of hostilities? Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda called on the PM today, just three days after he was booed at a rally where both them shared a stage, forcing him to vow that he would never share a dais with the PM again.

Hooda is understood to have discussed with Modi issues related to his state.

Hooda, a Congress leader, was left fuming as a hostile crowd hooted at a function in Modi's presence in Kaithal in Haryana. Upset at the jeering, Hooda said he will not attend any function of the Prime Minister or union ministers if the Haryana BJP leadership did not change its attitude. Hooda was booed in the presence of Modi at a stone-laying ceremony at Kaithal, Haryana. Thereafter, the Congress leadership has asked party chief ministers to draw 'protocol lakshman rekha' whenever Modi visits their states. A Congress leader said the decision was taken after the leadership and some CMs felt "Modi is stage-managing humiliation of Congress chief ministers during their joint appearances". Hooda has said he would never allow his workers to 'do something like this."
19:19  Madhu Kishwar tweets: What good will aerial survey do 4 Rajnath Singh when Google Earth can give u same images sitting in ur office?Go travel by road, meet people.

The home minister made an aerial survey of flood-hit UP today.
19:15  SC issues notice to Centre on tenure of jail term for life convict:   The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea of a life convict alleging that definition of life sentence till death is violative of the Constitution and issued notice to the Centre.

"Definition of life sentence till death is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India as the reading of Sections 57 and 58 of IPC which was amended in the year 1956 clearly distinguishes the same and therefore, the sentence of whole life is further violative of Article 21 of the Constitution," the petition said.
18:55  UR Ananthamurthy dies of kidney failure in Bangalore:   Jnanpith awardee and renowned Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy died at a hospital in Bangalore, where he was undergoing treatment for kidney failure. The 81-year-old was said to be in critical condition and was on multi-monitor support. He was hospitalised for infection and fever 10 days ago.
18:19  VK Singh differs with Gogoi's view on border dispute:   A day after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi blamed lack of infrastructure as one of the major issues for inter-state border disputes, DoNER Minister Gen (retd) V K Singh today disagreed with him.

"Rifts on borders do not take place because of the infrastructure," Singh said on the last day of conference of Chief Ministers of North East.

He, however, did not elaborate on the issues that create border problems between two states in North East.

While giving his speech yesterday at the same conference, Gogoi had cited lack of infrastructure as one of the main problems for ongoing inter-state boundary disputes in the entire North East.
18:11  HC grants bail to FTIL's Jignesh Shah in NSEL scam case:  The Bombay High Court today granted conditional bail to FTIL founder Jignesh Shah in the Rs 5000 crore NSEL scam over three months after he was arrested in the case.
17:37  Arvind Subramanian likely to be PM's chief economic advisor:  Noted economist Arvind Subramanian is favoured as the choice for the government's Chief Economic Advisor (CEA).  It has been vacant since Raghuram Rajan resigned almost a year before, to become governor of the Reserve Bank. His name is learnt to have gone to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for approval.

Subramanian is presently a senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics and Centre for Global Development, based in the US. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine had named him one of the world's top 100 global thinkers.
17:25  Actions not conducive to talks: MEA on cancelled Indo-Pak meet :  MEA on Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level level talks being called off: "We felt it wouldn't serve any purpose, series of actions were taken which was not conducive to it," says spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. 
17:18  Undisclosed income of Rs 90,000-cr detected in 2013-14:  Undisclosed income to the tune of Rs 90,000 crore was detected during 2013-14 in various searches and surveys conducted by the Income Tax department, a top official from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said today.
17:15  WHO, Health Ministry working on 'preparedness plan' on Ebola:  The World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with the Health Ministry to formulate a "preparedness plan" to deal with Ebola, just in case there is an outbreak in the country.

"Preparation is a very critical aspect. WHO is working with the Ministry of Family Welfare and Planning to ensure that we put into place preparedness measures. It doesn't mean it is going to happen, but we are prepared if it happens," Asheena Khalakdina, Team Leader, Communicable Disease, WHO Country office for India said.
16:45  FYI: EAM Sushma Swaraj will be visiting Vietnam and Philippines from 23 to 31 August. 
16:40  West Bengal BJP leader, Anil Gope shot dead:  A local BJP leader was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Friday, when he went out for a morning walk at Baghmundi in west Bengal.Anil Gope, BJP Bagmundi Block President, died on the spot when gunmen shot at him from point blank range near his home at Raghunathdihi village, close to the Jharkhand border, on Friday morning
16:32  Kejriwal demands Harshvardhan's head for sacking AIIMS officer :  Arvind Kejriwal at the presser which is being held right now, demands that AIIMS chief vigilance Sanjiv Chaturvedi be reinstated and the matter be probed by the CBI. Dr Harsh Vardhan must resign or he should be dismissed, he says.

Yesterday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan defended the removal of Chaturvedi saying he was "not eligible" for the post. "He was not at all eligible for the post that he was holding at AIIMS. We were informed that without the approval of the Central Vigilance Commission, nobody can be assigned the post of CVO anywhere."
16:19  AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal holds a press conference in support of shunted AIIMS vigilance officer. Not a byte on CNN IBN for obvious reasons.  
16:09  A democracy of armed soldiers:  Irom Sharmila and her inner battle against human rights abuse in Manipur. Read
16:06  Celebrating Chennai's 375th birthday on Take a look.
16:01  Your cell phone is killing you:  Dangerous, not dangerous, dangerous... Here we go again...Your cellphone is killing you: What people don't want you to know about electromagnetic fields. Read
15:54  Union cabinet nod for Pune metro, finally!:  Raise a toast to this, if you are a Punekar. The Pune Metro project will get the Union Cabinet nod soon, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said today. Naidu informed the Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, during a meeting at the state government's Sahyadri guest house in south Mumbai.
15:35  Cong has nothong to do now, so they sit on dharnas: BJP :  Poor comeback from BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi on Arun Jaitley's insensitive comment on the Delhi gang rape. "They (Cong) have nothing to do now so they are sitting on dharnas against Arun Jaitley ji, he has clarified his statement."
15:33  70 ISIS jihadists killed in Syria clashes: monitor:  At least 70 Islamic State jihadist fighters have been killed in 48 hours of clashes with Syrian army troops in the northern province of Raqa, a monitoring group said today.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said IS had launched a major push late Tuesday on Tabqa military airport, the last remaining army stronghold in Raqa, which has been largely overrun by the jihadists.
15:31  And some amity as Teesta's depiction of ISIS militants and Hindu Gods draws blood on Twitter and an FIR.

A photograph of an ancient Shiva temple built by Shah Jahan. Live and let live. 
15:28  JD(U) suspends party MLA Rajiv Ranjan for 6 years:  JD(U) today supended Islampur MLA Rajiv Ranjan from the party for six years accusing him of "anti-party activities", days after he attacked his party's government in Bihar over "unabated corruption" after having earlier opposed a tie-up with Lalu Prasad's RJD.

"Party President Sharad Yadav has suspended Islampur MLA Rajiv Ranjan for six years considering his activities as anti-party. Yadav has directed all party leaders to maintain discipline and fight for social justice. There is no place for any kind of anti-party activities," JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said in a statement.

Rajiv Ranjan, who is an MLA from Islampur that falls in former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's home district Nalanda, had earlier written a letter to the state JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh in which he opposed a tie-up between JD(U) and RJD expressing strong reservation against the tie-up with RJD, which he alleged had created "jungle raj" (lawlessness) in Bihar during its tenure.
15:15  An FIR has been filed at the Bhowanipore Police station, Kolkata, against Teesta Setalvad, for hurting religious sentiments. 
15:07  Teesta apologises for depiction of ISIS militants :   Civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad, is in apparent trouble over a tweet, (now deleted), where she seems to have equated ISIS militants with Hindu gods. The picture shows an ISIS militant with a sudarshan chakra and an image of Kali superimposed with the head of a militant.

She is now trending on Twitter with tweets asking, in a sense, for her head.

Teesta has apologised saying, "Image was still be worked upon put by mistake no intention to upset anyone apologies."

Teesta who is secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace, is a co petitioner seeking trial of Narendra Modi, and other politicians and government officials for complicity in the Gujarat violence of 2002.
15:03  Doordarshan News issues a correction: Noted Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy is critical.

DD had earlier tweeted that he had in fact passed away.
14:46  Modi's two big mistakes:  If the Narendra Modi government wanted to dismay and embarrass many of its supporters even before completing a hundred days in office, it could not have done so more effectively than by announcing two major decisions: Cancelling the foreign secretary-level meeting with Pakistan scheduled for August 25, and abolishing the Planning Commission at home.

These are the government's first two big blunders of commission, as distinct from its errors of omission. Both reflect prejudice and short-sightedness peculiar to Mr Modi's way of thinking.

And both will cause a great deal of damage to the public interest -- the first by creating uncertainties and insecurities in the neighbourhood, the second by destroying a valuable institution and distorting decision-making processes in public finance, development projects and Centre-state relations.  Read Praful Bidwai's column on
14:43  India's Sanam Singh lost to Andreas Beck (Ger) 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in the Qualifiers 2nd round of the US Open 2014. 
14:33  A petition is being filed to take action against Teesta Setalvad for hurting religious sentiments by equating ISIS to Hindu Gods.
14:31  I refuse to believe India does not have talent: Modi to IITs:  Asking IITs to come together to find innovative solutions to the problems of the common man, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said they should take up the challenge of making products for which India is critically dependent on imports.

"Science is universal. Technology must be local," the PM said, calling upon IITs to bring about a "positive change" in the quality of life of the people in the country.

Citing examples of a range of defence and health sector equipment and sensitive and security-related items like currency ink and tear gas which are imported, he exuded confidence that India has the talent to produce them indigenously. "I refuse to believe that India does not have the talent to make these things" the PM said, asking the IITs to take up such challenges.
14:27   Delhi: A group of Arab Journalists meet Information & Broadcasting Minister, Prakash Javadekar. A cordial meeting, such interactions enhance mutual understanding, he says.
14:20  Teenage girl gangraped in MP; BJP leader's son, 5 others held:  An 18-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by six persons including a BJP leader's son near Pipaljhopa forest area in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh, police said today.

Those arrested include BJP former MLA Dalsingh Solanki's son, Nanguda alias Santosh, Ekka, Nanu, Thavaria, Bila and Kalria, Rawat said adding all of them were residents of Pipaljhopa village.

The victim, who belongs to village Badya said in her complaint that Ekka had lured her into the forest on the pretext of marrying her yesterday and later raped her along with five of his associates.

Also, they threatened to kill her if she revealed the matter to anyone, the complaint said.
13:59  Koala given mouth to mouth:  A wildlife rescuer has saved the life of a koala by giving it CPR after a dramatic rescue in which the animal was flung from a tall tree to its waiting rescuers.The koala was hit by a vehicle while crossing a road in Langwarrin, in Melbourne's southeast, on Thursday night. It then scurried up a tree and passed out. Read
13:54  James Foley's family releases final email sent by his killers:  Isis said journalist would be put to death because of US air strikes and claimed it would have taken ransom or prisoner swap. Read
13:45  Lanka suspends on-arrival visa facility for 4 African nations:  Sri Lanka has suspended on-arrival visa facility for visitors from four African countries in the wake of Ebola epidemic in Africa, officials said.

External Affairs Ministry officials said privilege to obtain visa on arrival has been suspended for visitors from Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with immediate effect.

The decision to suspend on arrival visa to visitors from these countries were taken after request made by the Health Ministry.
13:29  Journalist killing: Net closes on 'Jihadi John' :  An NHS doctor from east London who was previously accused of kidnapping Western journalists in Syria may hold the key to identifying the jihadi who beheaded James Foley, intelligence sources have disclosed.

Shajul Islam was arrested and charged with kidnapping a British journalist, John Cantlie, in 2012 but was released after his trial collapsed when Cantlie was unable to give evidence.He had always protested his innocence, saying he went to Syria to use his medical skills to treat victims of the civil war. Read
13:18  Congress leader Anand Sharma on Arun Jaitley's remark putting a price tag to the Delhi gang rape: All political leaders occupying important positions in government should be careful while commenting over such incidents.
13:16  Irom Sharmila will be force fed through her nose: Police:  Manipur ADG (Intelligence) Santosh Macherla, said on re-arresting Irom Sharmila: "The court released her for her past act. Now she is again refusing to take food and water and resisting any medical check-up as well. Her health is deteriorating and now she will be kept at the same Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital ward where she was kept earlier." Her medical check-up will be done and she will be force fed once again through nose, he said.
12:56  The navy and economic growth:  Modi made it clear in his address that the acquisition of more teeth by the navy was inextricably connected with India's growth story. Read
12:39  Kerala bars start losing licenses by the hundreds:  The Kerala government is moving quickly to start implementing a policy that is meant to deliver the state into prohibition in 10 years. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced today that nearly 300 bars in non-five-star hotels will have to close down.

Yesterday, the government said that starting next year, bars will have to be hosted in five-stars.  400 stand-alone bars which have lost their licenses in the last year for failing to meet basic standards cannot petition for renewal, the chief minister had announced. Read more
12:26  Why still no leader of opposition? SC demands answers :   The Supreme Court today told the government that it is concerned about the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha remaining vacant. Judges said the position "conveys a voice different from the government's" and is therefore crucial. The Centre has been given four weeks to furnish its response.

The SC has agreed to interpret the Leader of Opposition provision for
purpose of appointment of Lokpal in which LoP is a selection
committee member. 

The SC said that the LoP conveys the voice different from the government in the House. The SC says the issue cannot be prolonged and the act cannot be put in cold storage, posts the case for final disposal for
September 9.
12:25  Soon! Plastic currency notes in India :  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is planning to introduce plastic currency notes next year on a pilot basis and improve security features to defeat the efforts of counterfeiters. It also aims to set up a national bill payments system that could eliminate middlemen and bring in efficiencies.

The central bank floated a tender for plastic currency notes in January after years of deliberation. Depending on the trial, the notes should be introduced widely next year.
11:56  Bihar CM tells Dalit youth to go for inter-caste marriage to push up numbers :  Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi, who is himself a Dalit, has stirred up fresh controversy by asking Dalit youths to marry outside their caste to become a political force in Bihar.

The CM, who was addressing Dalit students at a function at a welfare hostel in the state capital Thursday evening said: "Dalit youths should go for more and more inter-caste marriage. If we have to become a political force, we need to take our population from 16 to 22 per cent."

Read more

11:48  AI flight forced to land in Jaipur after engine trouble:  An Air India flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad carrying 104 passengers made an emergency landing in Jaipur after a problem in one of its engines.

The Airbus 321, which left Delhi at 6 am, landed safely at 7:25 am in Jaipur.

The pilot informed the Jaipur ATC about some technical problem in the aircraft following which it was diverted and allowed to land in Jaipur. The passengers have been taken to Ahmedabad by another aircraft.
11:46  Vinay Tewari quits Network 18:  Adding to the list of the latest exits from Network 18, CNN-IBN and IBN7 managing editor Vinay Tewari has quit the company.

Confirming the news to, Tewari said that he is evaluating his future course of action. Unconfirmed media reports state that he may be joining Headlines Today.

Tewari has been associated with the network for nearly a decade.

Prior to that, he was with TV today for three years, The Times of India for eight years and The Pioneer. 

At Network 18, he was responsible for all special projects and news gathering operations. Initially Tewari was handling just the English channel but after Ashutosh quit as managing editor of IBN7 earlier this year to join the Aam Aadmi Party, Tewari was given the mandate of the Hindi channel as well.
11:33  Jaitley apologises for rape remark :  Jaitley has since apologised for the statement saying that he regretted that, "My speech was construed, or some word that I used was construed as insensitive, that was not my intention." 
11:31  Jaitley puts a cost to Dec 16 gang rape :  Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's recent statement that the 2012 Delhi gang-rape case has hit the tourism sector, causing loss of millions of dollars, has severely disappointed Nirbhaya's father who, on Friday, termed the BJP leader's remark as 'irresponsible'.

Terming Jaitley's statement as irresponsible, he said the comments made by the Finance Minister has deeply disappointed him.

Further criticising the Union Finance Minister for his irresponsible remark, Nirbhaya's father said such a statement encourages those who commit such crimes.

The aggrieved father questioned the Finance Minister for linking the gruesome incident to the losses incurred by the tourism industry.

"A honest citizen lost her life, isn't that a loss to the nation?' he asked.

Reactions from Nirbhaya's father came after Jaitley said on Thursday that the December 16 gang-rape incident had cost India tourism industry millions of dollars. Jaitley said, "One incident of rape in Delhi was enough to cost million dollars in terms of lower number of tourists. We have national responsibility and God has given us everything which tourists wants to see, we just have to catalyse that process and make sure of that we take right step."
11:28  Force-feeding Sena MPs won't be disqualified: Court :  Just in: Delhi HC dismisses PIL seeking direction to disqualify 11 Shiv Sena MPs for allegedly force-feeding a fasting Muslim employee in the city.
11:27  Jaipur: Air India flight makes emergency landing
11:10  Sharmila refused medical examination last night :   There is heavy police bandobast at the venue.

The arrest was expected ever since Sharmila, late last night refused to let doctors examine her. Ever since her release two days ago, she has maintained that she would not allow a medical check-up nor allow doctors to force feed her. 

In fact, when the doctors and the police had arrived last night to examine her, it was well after 10 pm, and she was asleep. 
10:52  Irom: Determined to carry on protest:  Sharmila was dragged from the tin shed where she is protesting in Imphal by the police. They said they were taking her for a medical check-up, which has refused. Her mother, who was also there with her, tried to stop the police from hauling away Sharmila, but in vain.
10:45  Manipur activist Irom Sharmila arrested yet again:  
Manipur activist Irom Sharmila has yet again been arrested while she was protesting against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in Imphal. 

When the police arrived at the protest venue on Friday morning, Irom and her mother resisted arrest, following which the police forcibly picked her up and took her away in a police van.

Soon after her release, Irom refused a medical examination. The court order on her release had said that the state will be responsible for her health and must feed her through a nasal tube if necessary.

There was heavy police presence at the protest site in Imphal where she continued her hunger strike.

Irom Sharmila was released on Wednesday after a Manipur court decriminalised her protest, dismissing the attempted suicide charge against her. 

Irom Sharmila was in custody for over 14 years and force fed through a tube to deter her hunger strike.

Irom had, upon her release on Wednesday, said that she wouldn't allow anybody to force-feed her. 

"I will not take any force feed this time. I will not allow any medical set up. I don't feel hungry. What I feel is an emptiness," she said.
10:18  2008 Bangalore blasts: SC to hear Madani's bail plea today:  
The Supreme Court will on Friday hear the bail plea of Muslim political leader from Kerala Abdul Nasser Madani. 

Madani is the main accused in the 2008 Bangalore serial blast case that killed 2 and injured 20. A series of nine bombs were detonated across various locations in Bangalore in July 2008.

Based on the confession of LeT suspect T Naseer, Madani was listed as the 31st accused in the additional chargesheet in the Bangalore blasts on July 25, 2008.

The Karnataka Police had charged Abdul Nasser Madani for treason, terrorism and attempt to murder. They had also alleged that Madani was part of the planning of the blast and helped terrorists.
10:01  Punjabi film on Indira Gandhi assassination won't release today:  
A Punjabi film on the assassination of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi will not be released on Friday, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said.

Leaders from the Congress and the BJP from Punjab had warned that the film could endanger public peace in the state because it portrays the Sikh bodyguards who shot Mrs Gandhi as heroes.

On Thursday, sources in the Home Ministry also reportedly sought clarifications on whether the makers of the film are among a group of producers who allegedly bribed the head of the censorship board to get clearances for screening. Rakesh Kumar, the chief executive of the censorship board, was arrested on Monday in Mumbai.

Kaum De Heere, or "Diamonds of the Community" tells the story of Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards who shot her in 1984 in revenge for Operation Bluestar which saw soldiers entering the Golden Temple, Sikhism's most holy shrine, to flush out militants holed up there.
09:57  Last force-fed on Wednesday, Irom Sharmila refuses medical check-up:  
Inside a tin shack not far from a jail hospital from where she was released on Wednesday, Irom Sharmila continues her 14-year fast in protest against army atrocities in Manipur.

It is almost 40 hours since she was last force-fed through a nasal tube, and her supporters are increasingly worried.

In late night drama on Thursday, the frail 42-year-old activist refused to let doctors examine her and a team of policemen failed to persuade her.

"I have said I will not allow a medical check-up. I don't know why they are disturbing me," said Sharmila, who was sleeping when the doctor and the police arrived, after 10 pm.

Read more HERE
09:02  Top Vatican official in row over senseless child abuse comments:  
Australia's leading Catholic cleric George Pell, a top Vatican official, came under fire Friday after drawing an analogy between the church's response to child abuse and a trucking company.
Cardinal Pell, a former archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney before taking up a high-powered job this year as head of a new Vatican finance ministry after being handpicked by Pope Francis, made the comments Thursday. 

He acknowledged to a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Melbourne that the church had a moral obligation to the victims of paedophile priests. 

But he suggested that when it came to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests were not necessarily the fault of the church, citing the hypothetical example of a woman being molested by a truck driver. 

"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," he said via video link from Rome. 

"Similarly with the church and the head of any other organisation. If every precaution has been taken, no warning has been given, it is, I think, not appropriate for legal culpability to be foisted on the authority figure." 

The comments outraged support groups, who said Pell was displaying a lack of compassion for victims of abuse. 
08:55  Pakistan troops violate ceasefire again, target BSF posts in RS Pura sector:  
Despite concerns expressed by the Narendra Modi government over repeated ceasefire violations by the neighbouring Pakistan, its troops once again resorted to unprovoked firing last night, targeting two Border Security Force (BSF) posts in the RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to initial reports, Pakistan Rangers fired mortar shells at around midnight targetting BSF posts. 

The Indian side also retaliated to the unprovoked firing from the Pakistan Rangers.

No casualties were reported. 
08:53  US slaps sanctions on Taliban commander, financing company:  
The US has slapped sanctions on a Taliban commander and a Pakistan-based financing company and its owner for funding the terrorist outfit. 

The Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on hawala or money transfer business, Haji Basir and Zarjmil Company (Basir Zarjmil Hawala) and designated its owner, Haji Abdul Basir, as a global terrorist for providing financial services or other support to the Taliban. 

In addition, Taliban commander Qari Rahmat has also been designated as a global terrorist for acting for or on behalf of the Taliban, an official statement said. 

Rahmat has been a Taliban commander since at least February 2010 and has collected taxes and bribes on behalf of the Taliban, the US Treasury Department said. 

"The Taliban continues to conduct terrorist attacks against US forces and innocent civilians, posing a direct threat to US national security interests," said David Cohen, the Treasury's under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement. 

"Designating and isolating individuals who are directly involved in financing and supporting Taliban attacks remains a key Treasury Department objective. We will continue to work to deprive terrorists of the funds necessary to sustain and
perpetrate terrorist operations," Cohen said. 
01:54  Lost passenger sparks security scare Geneva airport:  A lost passenger sparked a security alert at Geneva airport today that forced staff to halt boarding and caused disruption to several flights, a spokesman said. "It's down to someone mixing up doors. 

A passenger who got lost in the airport went through a staff-only door, which set off an alarm," Bertrand Staempfli said. The passenger, whose nationality and flight destination Staempfli declined to reveal, was questioned by airport police.
01:34  More British muslims fight for Islamic state than Britain:  t is likely that there are now more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for Britain's military.Britain's Ministry of Defense confirmed to USA TODAY that there are approximately 600 British Muslim service members in its armed forces of almost 200,000 people. 

Official government estimates put the number of British Islamic State fighters operating in Syria and Iraq at up to 800. The Foreign Office cautioned Thursday that it is difficult to provide precise numbers.
01:33  Hunt for German neo-Nazis was 'complete disaster':  Police and security services in Germany's eastern state of Thuringia bungled the hunt for three neo-Nazis, who years later turned out to be the main suspects in a far-right murder spree, according to an official report published today. 

A panel of lawmakers in the state assembly examined thousands of case files and interviewed dozens of former investigators, concluding that efforts to find the fugitive trio between 1998 and 2003 were a "complete disaster."
01:33  Hunt for German neo-Nazis was 'complete disaster':  Police and security services in Germany's eastern state of Thuringia bungled the hunt for three neo-Nazis, who years later turned out to be the main suspects in a far-right murder spree, according to an official report published today. 

A panel of lawmakers in the state assembly examined thousands of case files and interviewed dozens of former investigators, concluding that efforts to find the fugitive trio between 1998 and 2003 were a "complete disaster."
00:41  ISIS: What it will take to beat terror group:  "We need long-term to take out ISIS' leadership, to degrade their operational capabilities, to cut off their financing sources, to go after them in a comprehensive way to cut off their ability to do the things we've seen them do."

Those were the words of State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday -- suggesting the Obama Administration is preparing to do much more against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq than deprive it of the Mosul Dam. They sounded much like the checklist used to degrade al Qaeda over a decade.

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00:25  Turkish foreign minister named next prime minister:  Turkey's ruling AK Party has chosen Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as its next prime minister.

The party's central committee announced its choice Thursday, fulfilling widely-held expectations that Davutoglu, President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan's first choice, would win the seat.

Erdogan has been prime minister for the past nine years and is scheduled to become president on August 28.
00:24  Sharif rules out use of force against protesters:  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today ruled out use of force to dislodge the protesters, led by Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahirul Qadri, camping in the heart of the Pakistani capital. 

Talking to senior journalists in Islamabad, he offered to resolve the political deadlock through talks and showed willingness to enter into a dialogue with the protesting leaders.
00:11  'Boko Haram takes over another Nigeria town':  Boko Haram has seized control of a town in northeastern Nigeria, the latest to fall into Islamist hands in the crisis-hit region and an indication of the group's increasing territorial ambitions. 

The seizure of towns suggests a significant shift in strategy, more in keeping with their stated goal of carving out a strict Islamic state in northeastern Nigeria.
00:10  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  Hemant Soren describes hooting as 'rape of democracy'
Heckling of CMs planned conspiracy of BJP, RSS: Cong
Film on Indira Gandhi's assassins WON'T release on Friday
Kerala to shut down 700 bars, Sundays to be dry days
3 top Hamas militants among 19 killed in Israeli strikes
Imran Khan suspends talks with govt; vows to fight 'till last ball'
Flood fury grips Uttar Pradesh as death toll rises to 90
Salman's hit-and-run case: Original statement documents go missing
Assam resembles GHOST town as bandh cripples normal life

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