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LIVE! Delhi's hottest day in 12 years

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August 25, 2014

23:07  Russia shutters first McDonald's outside Moscow:  
Russian authorities today closed the first McDonald's restaurant outside the capital over alleged sanitary violations in a move seen as retaliation for Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

Consumer safety agency Rospotrebnadzor said it had temporarily closed a McDonald's restaurant in the southern city of Stavropol, citing unspecified sanitary violations. 

Russia last week shut three McDonald's in Moscow and launched inspections of the company's more than 400 restaurants across the country. 

McDonald's Russian unit was not immediately available for comment on Monday evening. 

While ostensibly for health reasons, the move against the US burger chain came close on the heels of the West ratcheting up sanctions on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis -- and Russia banning most US and EU food imports in retaliation.

Russia has a long history of using sudden food safety concerns as a political weapon against unfriendly states.
21:17  Indian Army to raise ceasefire violations in DGMO-level talks tomorrow:   The Indian Army is likely to raise the issue of ceasefire violations during the DGMO-level talks scheduled tomorrow.

The two DGMOs hold talks every Tuesday over the hotline during which they discuss various issues between the two forces along the Line of Control and other areas. During talks, the Indian side is likely to raise the issue of frequent ceasefire violations and lodge protest over the issue, army sources said.
21:12  At 39 degree C, Delhi sizzles :   The national capital today witnessed the hottest day of August in the last 12 years as the mercury breached the 39 degree Celsius mark.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 39.1 degree Celsius at the Safdarjung observatory. It was five degrees above the season's average making it the hottest August since 2002.

At Palam, the mercury touched at 40.7 degree Celsius, making it the hottest place in the city. Apart from Palam, Ridge, Ayanagar, and Najafgarh also recorded temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.
21:08  Rajnath to attend SAARC home minister's meet in Nepal:   Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Nepal next month to attend the SAARC home ministers' conference.

During the visit, apart from attending the SAARC home/ interior ministers conference, Singh will have bilateral meeting with his counterparts of other SAARC member countries.

The home minister is likely to have separate meetings with Nepal deputy prime minister, who is also country's home minister, Bamdev Gautam, Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan besides others on the sidelines of the SAARC convention, official sources said.
19:42  Shooter at Virginia's Fort Lee, military base on lock down:  An active shooter has been reported at Fort Lee, Virginia, and the United States army installation has been locked down, the base said on its Facebook page today.

The incident was reported at the base's Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters, Building 5020, the statement said.
19:38  Petrol pumps in Maharashtra to remain open :   A statewide bandh called by the Federation of All Maharashtra Petrol Dealers' Association has been called off, according to media reports.

The petrol dealers' association had earlier announced a strike from Tuesday seeking uniformity in taxes on petrol and diesel across the state and reduction in local body tax to 0.1 per cent.
19:04  Egyptian army kills 14 militants in North Sinai:  Fourteen militants were killed and over 32 structures, including a tunnel between Rafah and Gaza, were destroyed by Egyptian security forces in restive North Sinai in the latest military operations.

The militants were killed yesterday in a fire exchange with the security forces in North Sinai, Egyptian army spokesperson Brigadier General Mohamed Samir said today.

In the military operation, a dreaded militant named Suleiman Mohamed Sallem Salama was also arrested.

A field hospital and bomb workshop used by the militants were destroyed in the operation, the army spokesperson said. In another operation on Saturday, four militants were held in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah, 30 kilometers south of Gaza.

The security forces also destroyed a tunnel between Rafah and Gaza, he said in a statement today.
18:46  We accept people's verdict, their mandate, will review shortcomings : Sushil Modi on bypoll results.
18:33  When Smriti Irani didnt do the dandiya:  Incredible but true! A dandiya raas workshop brought the Congress and the BJP closer in New Delhi. Given that Navratri is just a month away, HRD Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated a dandiya training workshop at Sardar Patel school in the capital -- the workshop was organised by Sandeep Dikshit, son of former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, and his wife Mona. But as you can see from the image, the minister was a tad shy of demonstrating her dandiya skills.
18:30  CBI will not file chargesheet against 5 accused in Badaun murder:  Just in: In the latest development in the Badaun double murder case, the CBI has said that it will not to file a chargesheet against the five accused arrested by UP Police. If the CBI does not file the chargesheet then that essentially means is that all the accused in the case will get bail.

According to the law, an accused can get bail if CBI fails to file a chargesheet against them within 90 days that ends on August 28.

On August 20, the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) had ruled out sexual assault on the teenage girls whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in May.
17:58  Workplace ethics and the third sex:  The battle for LGBT rights in the workplace advances in the face of an uneasy corporate world. Read more
17:42  Rupa Subramanya tweets: Why are English speaking elites in India always so surprised when someone non-Anglicised speaks fluent English?

To contextualise her comment, this is what Hindu editor Malini Parthasarathy had tweeted a while ago: "Met Prime Minister Modi this morning. Speaking in fluent English, PM unveiled his priorities, clearly very earnest!"
17:35  Lalu's doc: Detailed investigations on :  Dr Ramakanta Panda, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Asian Heart Institute, on the latest on Lalu Prasad Yadav's condition. "We are in the middle of detailed investigations on Shri Lalu's case... My team will take a call on what course to take ahead at 11 am tomorrow."

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was today admitted to the hospital for medical evaluation. "This is a scheduled medical evaluation. There is no cause to panic," a spokesperson for the Asian Heart Institute, located in suburban Bandra Kurla complex, had said.

Asked if the 66-year-old leader would undergo a heart surgery, the spokesperson said, "That would be decided only after medical evaluation."
17:22  Fire breaks out in Chandnichowk area:   A fire broke out in the narrow bylanes of Chandni Chowk area in Delhi this afternoon leaving several shops gutted although no casualty has been reported so far, Delhi Fire Service officials said. Around 25 fire tenders and at least 50 fire fighters were pressed into service to douse the flames.

Earlier, in the day, there was another fire at Connaught Place. Luckily, there were no casualties in either incident.
17:11  Malini Parthasarathy, editor, Hindu, tweets a picture of her meeting with the PM: 'Met Prime Minister Modi this morning. Speaking in fluent English, PM unveiled his priorities, clearly very earnest!

She is possibly the first editor Narendra Modi met with since he became PM.
17:08  Friends with benefits: Lalu, Nitish win Bihar bypolls:  In Bihar, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad have come a long way from being bitter rivals for over two decades to friends with benefits.

Their grand alliance along with the Congress has won them six of the 10 assembly seats in the by-elections on Monday.  Clearly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's magic, which helped the Bharatiya Janata Party wrest victory in the Lok Sabha elections, has failed in the Bihar with the party bagging four seats.  

"I am thankful to the people of Bihar, who voted for a secular alliance committed for development with justice and communal harmony,' said Nitish at a press meet in Patna after the by-polls results. Slamming the BJP, he added that it had made wild allegations against Lalu and him.

Read more
16:44  R N Ravi appointed new chief of Joint Intelligence Committee:  The government has cleared the name of R N Ravi as the new chief of Joint Intelligence Committee, a body tasked to assess intelligence gathhereered by various intelligence agencies including IB and RAW.

Ravi, who was a columnist for (read his columns here and here) is a 1976 batch IPS officer from Kerala, who retired in 2012 as Special Director of Intelligence Bureau.

He will hold the charge for next three years in the rank and pay of a Secretary to the Government. The JIC functions under the National Security Council Secretariat. The post had fallen vacant after the retirement of Ajit Lal on July 31. 
15:54  Tank up if you're in Mumbai: Indefinite petrol pump strike:   Maharashtra state petrol dealers association declares indefinite strike demanding reduction in LBT (Local Body Tax) & VAT from midnight. The association has claimed that Rs 5 to Rs 6 per litre can be reduced for both petrol and diesel if the government agrees to address the issue.
15:30  '24' season 2 will be as thrilling as first one: Anil Kapoor:   Actor Anil Kapoor says they are working on the second season of his popular TV show '24' which will be as thrilling as the first one.

Kapoor, 57, made his television debut with the Indian adaptation of the hit international TV series '24', which was aired on Colors channel.

"24 is very special to me. The feedback I have received, from viewers across all strata of society and age groups, has been very heartening and truly encouraging. I am excited to share that while viewers once again relish Season 1 of the show, we are already working towards season 2 which will be as thrilling and edge-of-the-seat as the first season," Kapoor said.
15:21  BJP MP Kirit Somaiya booked for assaulting cop:  An FIR has been registered against BJP MP Kirit Somaiya for allegedly assaulting and threatening an inspector inside a police station in suburban Mulund, police said today.

The FIR was registered last night against Somaiya, BJP MP from Mumbai North East, under IPC sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from his duty) and 506 (criminal intimidation) at the Navghar police station, Deputy Police Commissioner Vinay Rathod said.

Somaiya had allegedly indulged in a heated argument with police inspector Sampath Munde at Navghar police station and later assaulted him on August 21, DCP Rathod said.

The BJP leader had gone that day to the police station for the release of his aide, who had been summoned in an unlawful assembly case registered in April this year.
15:12  Yuvi's father gets bail:  Panchkula sessions court issues bail to Yograj Singh (Yuvraj Singh's father) who was arrested after getting into a scuffle over car parking.
15:11  Amit Shah in J-K: Pak will be given a befitting reply for ceasefire violations:  BJP President Amit Shah addressing a rally in Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir). Shah strikes a strident note saying, "Golibari hogi toh BJP ki sarkar aur Bharat ki sena jawab zaroor degi. Pakistan would be given a "befitting reply" for the ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir."

Shah visited the RS Pora area of Jammu district and met villagers living near the international border. The area has been witnessing heavy Pakistan firing and mortar shelling for the past one week. The BJP president said that the union home minister,  Rajnath Singh has clearly said that if "Pakistan resorts to firing we will give a befitting reply to them."

He assured the villagers that government would look into the problems faced by the villagers.

Hundreds of villagers have migrated out of their homes close to the international border in Jammu district in past three days.

-- Mukhtar Ahmad
14:34  The coal blocks allocated are in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. These were allotted to private companies between 2004 to March 2011. The petitions alleged these blocks were given in violation of the guidelines.
14:33  SC: Coal allocations illegal, unfair, arbitrary :  The SC says further hearing is required to determine whether there is a need for cancelling 218 coal block allocations. While pronouncing its judgment on a batch of petitions seeking quashing of 194 coal blocks allocations during the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance regime, the apex court said no objective criteria was followed and guidelines were breached in coal block allocations.

"Coal block allocation done by screening committee was not fair and transparent," SC said. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that mining licences were given arbitrarily to private companies close to the ruling party for several years, without a transparent bidding process.
14:30  SC: Coal allocation from 1993 arbitrary:  The Supreme Court has now pronounced its verdict on issues relating to the cancellation of coal allocation blocks and to de-allocate of those blocks which did not have environmental clearance.

The SC stopped short of deallocation of coal blocks but says allocations from 1993 were arbitrary, not transparent.    

The SC says coal block allocation done by screening committees were not fair and transparent. All allocations were done in illegal manner and it suffers from vice of arbitrariness
14:13  Malala Yousafzai: 'People are listening to me. But I know that might change'
13:55  How the web lost its way and its founding principles:   When Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web 24 years ago he thought he'd created an egalitarian tool that would share information for the greater good. But it hasn't quite worked out like that. What went wrong? Read
13:50  Scindia school student was ragged :  A probe in the attempted suicide of a student of Scindia school in Gwalior has revealed that the boy was indeed ragged.

The condition of the 14-year-old boy, the son of a Bihar minister, who is now admitted in Apollo hospital in New Delhi, is critical.

The student, is believed to have attempted suicide he was ragged. He was admitted to the hospital at around 8.30 am on Friday and has been put on a ventilator. The boy Kumar had consumed some poisonous substance on Wednesday night and was admitted to a hospital in the city by the school authorities, reports said. He was moved to Delhi when his condition turned critical.
13:18  Rajdeep Sardesai tweets: CSDS post poll  shows about one in four of those who voted for BJP said they would not have voted for BJP if Modi was not their leader.
13:17  Just in: Happy New Year producer Morani brothers of Cineyug get extortion threats; gangsters fire on their BMW parked at Morani's Juhu bungalow.
13:03  Yuvraj Singh's father detained in brawl over car parking :  Yograj Singh, father of Yuvraj Singh, has been detained for trespassing and criminal intimidation by Panchkula Police for a brawl.

Yograj's sister and her family had a scuffle with their neighbours over car parking, following which the police detained both parties. Yograj, who had gone to the police station to arrive at a compromise was also detained under IPC 323.
12:49  He will be missed by all who step out and fight for justice:  U R Ananthamurthy was one among the most creative triumvirate of Modernist Kannada literature of the late sixties and seventies (the other two being the late P Lankesh and K Poornachandra Tejaswi). He will be missed by all who care to step out and fight for justice and human rights of ordinary people in India despite being surrounded by the consumerist fog, says Shivanand Kanavi. Read the column on
12:37  Bihar bypolls: BJP candidate Ramnarayan Mandal wins Banka bypoll, BJP's Rashmi Verma wins Narkatiaganj seat, RJD candidate Ramavtar Paswan wins from Rajnagar.
12:33  Richard Attenborough: saying goodbye to a lifetime of roles. Read
12:32   Guj Govt to monitor classroom attendance of teachers, students:  Going one step ahead of biometric-based attendance system, the Gujarat Education Department has decided to implement a broader system to monitor physical presence of students and teachers in state-run schools as well as colleges with the help of 'live web streaming' of video or photographs of classrooms.

To find out the feasibility and other technicalities about integrating the bio-metric attendance machines with 'live' monitoring system, the State Education Department has called a meeting of all the interested parties on September 5 before floating a tender for the same.
12:19  Why Richard Attenborough is irreplaceable:  In the entire history of British film, there was never such a prodigious multi-tasker as Richard Attenborough. A tenacious and successful producer, he used his considerable reserves of charm and persuasion to bring into existence several films that might not have otherwise have been made. Read
12:03  Yuvraj Singh's father has been detained in a scuffle over parking.
11:53  Will Sheila finally quit?:  Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit meets home minister Rajnath Singh ahead of her meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee. According to sources, the Home Secretary asked her to quit as Governor after the NDA government took over from the UPA. Dikshit has so far remained defiant, refusing to quit within months of her being appointed as Kerala Governor in March earlier this year. 
11:39  Panthers Party MLA marshalled out from JK Assembly:  An MLA of Opposition National Panthers Party was today marshalled out from the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly after he disrupted the proceedings of the House over the issue of ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops.

Balwant Singh Mankotia raised the issue of ceasefire violations by Pakistan and the difficulties faced by people living in border areas.

However, Speaker Mubarak Gul asked the MLA to allow the obituary references and bring in a motion for discussion on the issue.

Mankotia remained adamant and stormed into the Well of the House accusing the state government of neglecting and ignoring the suffering of border people.

The speaker then directed the marshals of the assembly to take out Mankotia from the House. "His behavior has been worst. I appeal to people of his constituency to teach him a lesson," Gul remarked.
11:26  Fully Human: UR Ananthamurthy: 1932-2014 :  Mukul Kesavan pays tribute to UR Ananthamurthy: "I first met U.R. Ananthamurthy in 2001, at a literary festival in a small town in south-western France, Villeneuve-sur-Lot. It was a festival with an Indian focus, so there were several Indian writers gathered there: Nirmal Verma, Allan Sealy, Amitav Ghosh, Ambai and many others." Read more
11:20  Fire at Connaught place :  A massive fire broke out early today at Rama Building of Delhi's Connaught Place area. Fire tenders are at work; no casualties have been reported so far.
11:08  Antony dropped the ball like India did at Old Trafford:  "The problem is that what AK Antony believes to be the truth might not actually be true. He may believe that India needs the Congress, and that the Congress in turn needs the Nehru-Gandhi family, but that does not mean that India shares those articles of faith," says T V R Shenoy.

11:06  Preneet Kaur wins Patiala bypoll:   Congress leader and former union minister Preneet Kaur today won the Patiala Assembly seat defeating her nearest SAD rival Bhagwan Dass Juneja.

Kaur, wife of former chief minister Amarinder Singh, won by a margin of over 23,282 votes, an election office spokesman said.

The seat fell vacant after Amarinder got elected to Lok Sabha from Amritsar.

The Patiala seat was retained by Congress. Kaur polled 52,967 votes, SAD nominee Bhagwan Dass Juneja 29,685 and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Harjit S Adaltiwala 5724 votes.
11:01  Counting of votes for Assembly bypolls begins in Karnataka:   Counting of votes for the Aug 21bye-elections to the three Assembly seats in Karnataka began this morning. Chikkodi-Sadalga, Shikaripura and Bellary Rural went to the polls after Prakash Hukkeri (Congress) and former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu (both BJP) vacated their seats respectively following their election to Lok Sabha.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the counting centres with observers supervising and overseeing the process which began at 8 am, officials said.

Twenty-two candidates are in the fray for the by-polls which are the first popular test in the state after the Lok Sabha polls.
10:24  Border sees violence after Amit Shah's visit:  Clashes broke out between workers of the ruling National Conference and Bharatiya Janata Party after BJP chief Amit Shah visited RS Pura sector in Jammu this morning. Shah and BJP spokesperson Ram Madhav visited border camps in the morning following repeated ceasefire violation by the Pakistani Army. Clashes between NC and BJP workers soon followed.
10:09  US journalist freed after being held in Syria for two years:  An American journalist abducted by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria was released on Sunday after, just a week after James Foley, another journalist, was killed by his captors. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Peter Theo Curtis, who was kidnapped by militants near the Syria-Turkey border in October 2012, "is now safe outside of Syria".
09:56  MP Somaiya accused of harassing police inspector:  Bharatiya Janata Party's Kirit Somaiya has been booked in Mumbai for allegedly manhandling a policeman. Somaiya, who represents the Mumbai North-East constituency, has been accused of harassing a police inspector at the Navghar police station last week. Somaiya and his supporters had allegedly gone to the police station to demand the release of an aide of the MP.
09:27  Juhu-Lonavala sea plane service to be launched today:  The Juhu-Lonavala commercial sea-plane service is scheduled to be launched today. The first flight will take off around 9:30 am from Juhu beach in Mumbai and will land at the Pawana dam near Lonavala. The journey from Mumbai to Lonavala takes about two and a half hours by road, and now travelers can cover the distance within 30 minutes.
09:07  Lalu rushed to Mumbai following serious illness:   Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has been rushed to a Mumbai hospital after he took ill this morning. This is a crucial day for Lalu as results for the election 10 by-poll seats in Bihar will be out today.
08:29  Sir Richard Attenborough dies aged 90:   British actor and film director Richard Attenborough died on Sunday at the age of 90 after a long illness. Attenborough, who appeared in movies such as Brighton Rock, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park, in a career spanning six decades, died on Sunday lunchtime, his son said. He was most renowned for directing the critically-acclaimed biopic on Mahatma Gandhi, which won him an Oscar. Lord Attenborough had been in a nursing home with his wife for a number of years. He had also been in a wheelchair since falling down stairs six years ago. His family is expected to make a full statement today. Paying his tribute, British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted, "His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning - Richard Attenborough was one of the greats of cinema."
08:00  Stampede in Madhya Pradesh kills 9:  Nine pilgrims, including 5 women, were killed following a stampede at Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh's Satna district in the wee hours on Monday. Pilgrims had gathered in large numbers due to Somvati Amavasya on Monday.
07:52  California earthquake is area's strongest in 25 years:  The strongest earthquake in 25 years in Northern California struck early Sunday, injuring dozens of people, damaging historic buildings in downtown Napa and turning fireplaces into rubble.The 6.0-magnitude quake struck just six miles southwest of Napa, California's famed wine country. California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in order to deal with the effects of the quake.

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