21:41 Pakistan trains guns on India during flag meet:
In an apparent case of pot calling kettle black, Pakistan Rangers today questioned their border-guarding counterpart BSF as to why they were "blatantly firing on Pakistani positions" defying ceasefire protocol.
At a commandant-level flag meeting between BSF and Rangers at Nikowal border outpost along the International Border (IB) in Pargwal sub-sector of Akhnoor in Jammu district, Indian officials were surprised when the opposite side raised the issue, sources said.
Pakistan Rangers also sent an officer for the meeting from a sector that is unaffected by the recent ceasefire violations, they said.
"Our officers were surprised that there were no Ranger officials from the sector opposite R S Pora where the maximum ceasefire violations are taking place. Those who came questioned BSF as to why were they were firing indiscriminately defying ceasefire protocol," a top source here said.
According to BSF, firing by Pakistani forces along International Border (IB) in the past 45 days was possibly the "heaviest" since the 1971 war. There have been 95 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and it has also breached the ceasefire pact 25 times on the International Border in recent months.
"So, in totality, there was no positive movement that could have ended the present situation of ceasefire violations that has emerged from Pakistan's side over the last few days. The meeting achieved no result," the source said.
21:34 Could Guntur be the new Andhra Pradesh capital?:
Guntur district is one of the preferred locations for the new capital of successor state of Andhra Pradesh as an expert committee, set up to recommend a site for it, submitted its report to the Home Ministry today.
The five-member committee, headed by former Union Urban Development Secretary K Sivaramakrishnan, is believed to have suggested Guntur district as one of the ideal locations apart from two other places, including a coastal town, for the new
capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Sources said the committee has not suggested any particular place for the new capital but given some options.
It suggested that except secretariat staff, other state government offices should be spread over at least four other places which could be developed simultaneously, sources said.
The expert committee was constituted in the wake of creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
Hyderabad, which will be the capital of Telangana, will be the joint capital of the two states for ten years and within that period the residuary state will have to build a new capital.
19:58 LPG consumers can avail 12 cylinder quota at anytime of year:
In a relief to consumers, the Cabinet today lifted the restriction of supply of only one subsidised cooking gas LPG cylinder to a household in a month, saying consumers can avail their quota of 12 bottles at anytime of the year.
While raising quota of subsidised 14.2-kg LPG cylinders that a household can avail in a year to 12 from previous nine, the government had in February put a restriction of one cylinder per month.
"The Cabinet today came to a conclusion that this system is causing problem to the people. Sometimes people do not need one, sometimes during festive season demand is more. So there was a feeling that if someone has not taken one cylinder on a given month, then in remaining months he wont get it," Telecom and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Briefing reporters about the decision taken by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said the restriction has been done away with.
"Today at the Cabinet meeting, looking at the benefit of people, that condition has been done away with. Now they will get 12 cylinders at subsidised rate," he said.
"This decision has been taken in order to remove the difficulty of people in India and consumers in particular."
19:55 HC refuses to entertain PIL on scrapping of CSAT in prelims:
The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking relief including the scrapping of Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), saying that the issue fell within the domain of central government.
A bench of justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul, however, asked the DoPT to consider the petition, which was dismissed as withdrawn, as a representation and take decision, if necessary.
"Such a representation is to be made before the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), if required, it will consult
the UPSC. It will try to consider it," the bench said adding that moreover, the apex court has already dealt with the issue and the reliefs prayed cannot be granted for this year as the prelims exams are already over.
During the brief hearing, the bench asked Vikramjeet Singh Ranga, an advocate who filed the PIL, whether he has made any representation to the government that the CSAT question papers should be in all regional languages mentioned in the schedule
VIII of the Constitution.
"You should have done that. It is a subject matter of the government. It is their domain. It is a policy decision," it said.
18:49 15 top industrialists to accompany Modi to Japan :
Mukesh Ambani, Gautam Adani and 15 other leading industrialists will be part of the delegation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first major bilateral visit, outside the sub-continent, to Japan this week.
The industrialists will take part in a bilateral meeting under the aegis of India-Japan Business Leaders' Forum on September 1 which would be co-chaired by Chairman of Bharat Forge Baba Kalyani, sources said.
The meeting, coinciding with Modi's visit, assumes high importance as the two countries are trying to forge a strong multifaceted strategic partnership with economic relations as a crucial component. Bilateral trade between the two reached $18.61 billion in 2012-13.
Sources said Modi keen on meeting his counterpart Shinzo Abe whose leadership he deeply respects and sees the visit as an opportunity to take ties with Japan to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields. To leverage the ever-growing trade and investment between the two countries and for greater co-operation between their businesses, IJBLF was constituted with prominent business leaders from India as its members.
The forum has been re-constituted recently and Modi re-nominated Kalyani as the co-chair of the forum from the Indian side.
18:05 Indo-Pak flag meet ends amid ceasefire violations :
The flag meet between India and Pakistan has ended. Rakesh Sharma, IG BSF, says it has been decided in the flag meet that both countries will take talks forward.
The sector commander-level flag meeting between India and Pakistan began today, a day after New Delhi lodged a severe protest with the hostile neighbour over escalating tension due to repeated ceasefire violations by its troops along the international border.
According to reports, the meeting is being held at Nikowal Border Outpost (BOP) in the Akhnoor sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
17:22 Panda 'may have faked pregnancy' for more buns, bamboo:
A giant panda intended to be the star of the first ever live broadcast of the birth of panda cubs has lost the role -- after it was discovered the bear is not pregnant after all, Chinese state media reported.
Not only was it a phantom pregnancy but zookeepers suspect the panda, Ai Hin, may have been faking it to improve her quality of life, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding told Xinhua on Monday. Read
17:15 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket:
With the world having now run out of humans to take the ALS ice bucket challenge, the charity drive has now moved on to fictional characters, with The Simpsons posting a video of Homer doing it albeit with a patricidal twist. Read
17:13 PM Narendra Modi sets up a committee to identify obsolete laws within a time frame of three months.
17:00 Just in: PM Narendra Modi sets up a committee to identify obsolete laws within a time frame of three months.
16:59 All reports against few ministers and Rajnath Singh's son are baseless: Amit Shah, BJP President.
16:43 Sensex,Nifty hit new peaks on Eurozone stimulus hopes, US data:
Indian stocks rose for the fifth day with benchmark Sensex today vaulting 117.34 points to a new closing peak for the third session in a row on hopes of fresh stimulus in Eurozone and positive Asian cues after investors welcomed data indicating the US economy is back on track.
16:35 Indo-Pak flag meet begins at Nikowal border outpost.
16:17 BJP veterans should not be sidelined: MP CM:
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today rejected suggestions that the BJP has sidelined its founder leaders Atal Bijari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi by dropping them from the Parliamentary Board and said they are "guides and philosophers" for the party.
"This question does not arise. They - party founders Atal Behari Vajpayee, L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi - are guides and philosophers of ours," Chouhan, here to woo investors for the Global Investors Meet to be held in Madhya Pradesh in October, told reporters.
16:16 Kalyan boy who joined ISIS may have been killed in Iraq:
Arif Fayyaz Majeed, one of the four young men from Kalyan who were
believed to have joined Sunni insurgents in Iraq, is reported to have
been killed in the fighting, reports the Indian Express.
Arif, an engineering student, was one of four men from Thane who went
missing from their homes in May. Arifs family along with the
families of the other three men, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Aman Naim Tandel
and Shaheen Farooqi Tanki went to the police some days after they
Read: Kalyan youth may be part of ISIS tech team
16:13 IMF chief Lagarde under investigation in France:
IMF chief Christine Lagarde today said she is under official investigation for negligence in a French corruption probe that dates back to her days as finance minister.
In a statement after a fourth round of questioning before magistrates, Lagarde said she was returning to her work in Washington later in the day and said the decision was "without basis."
She and her former chief of staff face questions about their role in a 400 million-euro (USD 531 million) payment to a businessman. The payment was made to Bernard Tapie in a dispute with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the botched sale of sportswear company Adidas. Critics have said the deal was too generous, and was symptomatic of the cozy relationship between money and power in France.
16:04 Lalit Modi's lawyer: All previous orders have been set aside :
Lalit Modi's lawyer says he is likely to return to India soon. His passport was revoked in March 2011 after he was sacked as IPL chief following charges of financial irregularities. His lawyer says all previous orders have been set aside.
15:57 'Why is internal dispute betweeen BJP netas being sorted out by PMO?':
Arvind Kejriwal has a point. The AAP chief tweets on the PMO's statement absolving Rajnath Singh of any wrongdoing regarding his son.
"An internal dispute between BJP netas is being sorted out by @PMOIndia . Why is PMO doing Amit Shah's job? UPA used the office of the Prime Minister for political purposes. We expect NDA govt to keep the PMO away from politics."
Why I'm deeply grateful for the Ice Bucket Challenge. Read
15:30 Former IPL Chief Lalit Modi's passport restored, can now fly to India :
The Delhi high court today restored sacked
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi's passport. Modi who is facing an Enforcement Directorate probe into
allegations of financial irregularities, can now fly to India.
Modi, who is now in London had been summoned several times by the ED
in the past, had moved the high court in November 2012 against the
decision of chief passport officer in Delhi who had upheld the revocation of
his passport by Mumbai Regional Passport Officer.
15:20 What the Air India Rs 100 sale is about :
If you still want to have a go at the Air India sale, but can't log on, this is what the offer is all about: Air India is offering tickets at Rs 100 (excluding fuel surcharge, taxes and fees) for five days beginning Wednesday, to celebrate the merger anniversary of Air India with Indian Airlines.
Tickets will be sold only through the Air India website from August 27-31 and for travel during August 27-September 30."Air India will be observing August 27 as Air India Day, the day erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India were amalgamated into one airline. This is the first time that the airline will be celebrating the Air India Day," the airline said on Tuesday.
15:17 Modi wants to be Patel, but may end up being Indira:
The PMO's statement defending Rajnath Singh, is at best unusual. Rarely has the PMO made a statement dissing rumours or otherwise.
This is what Ashis Nandy writes on the Modi government. "It is obvious within these two months that in many ways Narendra Modi has a great degree of resemblance with Indira Gandhi. The same style of management of power. The same kind of attempt to reduce a large section of the political leadership into, if not spectators, bureaucrats. His leaders are taking orders from him and executing those orders." Read more
14:57 Air India website crashes minutes after Rs 100 sale offer :
The website of Air India on Wednesday went down minutes after the national carrier offered discounted tickets for Rs 100 for a limited period to celebrate its merger with erstwhile Indian Airlines. The national carried had announced to celebrate August 27 as 'Air India Day' as it had amalgamated with erstwhile Indian Airlines into one airline as "Air India' in 2007.
14:50 The reports are baseless, there is absolutely no truth in it : Shahnawaz Hussain, BJP on Rajnath Singh.
14:15 Caught out :
And an interesting read from the Indian Express last week, from a column by Coomi Kapoor.
"In Gujarat, Modi kept a close watch on what his Cabinet colleagues and others in the party were up to. The PM seems to have developed an effective feedback mechanism in Delhi as well. Recently, the son of a minister was reportedly asked to come to Modi's residence. The PM praised him for his good work, but then slipped in a remark that had the young man rattled. Modi said it had come to his knowledge that some money had exchanged hands for the posting of an official. Modi asked him to return the money. The son and his father certainly got the message."
14:07 Minister Rajnath Singh moves BJP brass over his son 'rumours' :
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, upset with a ministerial colleague for spreading what Singh says are malicious and false stories about his son, has raised the matter with the highest echelons of BJP and RSS.
This episode indicates divisions at the high table of the Modi government. Senior BJP leaders say this is a reflection of "a power struggle".
For a few weeks now, talk that the home minister's son, Pankaj Singh, was recently ticked off by the prime minister for unsavory political conduct has swirled around Delhi's political circles, allegations that have raised hackles of Singh who sees it as the handiwork of a party rival, an influential BJP leader.
"If someone raises questions about my family's integrity and honour, I'm not going to take it lying down. God will punish those who are playing this dirty game," Singh is believed to have told close aides in the party.
-- The Economic Times
14:04 PM: Reports on home minister's son are motivated:
The PMO has released a statement on reports appearing in sections of the media mentioning the PM and the conduct of Union Ministers and the Home minister's son. The PMO says that the reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the government. Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied, says the PMO in a statement released just now.
13:58 Can Modi's babus meet former UPA mantris?:
Should top civil servants privately meet former union ministers in the UPA government at their residences?
Few instances have come to the notice of the government, which are now being verified.
Questions now being asked are whether the babus took permission from the government for such meetings or are they considered private?
Probity demands that top civil servants maintain decorum.
Rumours about Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth meeting former Union Ministers is rife, but it is believed he has got a nod from the powers that be.
13:39 100 days: Modi fails in diplomacy:
As the Narendra Modi government marks its hundred days shortly, its glaring shortcoming in foreign policy is an appalling deficiency of intellectual inputs in the making of that policy. Over decades, for better or worse, the edifice of India's foreign policy under successive governments has come to be built around one individual: the seat of that individual has shifted from time to time between the Prime Minister's Office and the ministry of external affairs. In recent years, the PMO has decisively influenced the framing of policy. Rare exceptions to this rule include J.N. Dixit, easily the most powerful of foreign secretaries in recent memory, who also had a vision of India's place and role in the world even in shifting circumstances.
-- KP Nayar's must-read column
on 100 days of the Modi government.
13:35 100 days of Modi: His best moment and his worst :
So, what was Narendra Modi's big moment in the 100 days he has been in office? Sources tell us there were two big moments -- the PSLV launch on June 30 at Sriharikota and of course, May 26, the day he was sworn in as the prime minister in the presence of SAARC leaders.
And the worst? Well, sources tell us that he was disappointed to see Congress vice-president sloganeering in the well of the house on the second day of the Monsoon session of Parliament over the UPSC row. Modi is believed to have opined that Rahul should follow in the footsteps of Congress leaders like Pranab Mukherjee, or his grandmother Indira Gandhi or his father Rajiv Gandhi.
13:25 Lords XI go in to bat against Vatican :
A former University of Oxford cricketer who is now a vicar has been chosen to lead a Church of England XI in the first ecumenical Twenty20 match against the Vatican City, reports The Times, London. The Rev Jez Barnes, vicar of St Stephen's, Twickenham, has been given the honour of representing the Archbishop of Canterbury against the best that the Pope can muster in a match on September 19 at Kent's county ground in Canterbury.
13:04 Sonia fears she may be jeered in Modi's presence :
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday met President Pranab Mukherjee
to discuss the political situation in the country.
Our sources tell us that Sonia Gandhi met the President to simply invite him as the Chief Guest of a mega function by the Jawaharlal Memorial Trust. The meeting lasted for just 10 minutes and there was no discussion on the AK Antony report or to recast the AICC.
An important decision pending before Sonia Gandhi, who is the chairperson of the Nehru Memorial Trust, is whether PM Narendra Modi should be invited to the November 14, memorial lecture.
Elders in the Congress have given it their nod, and seemed to have convinced a reluctant Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia is particularly reluctant after Congress CMs like Hooda and Prithviraj Chavan were jeered in Modi's presence and she expects a similar occurrence at the memorial lecture.
It's a difficult decision indeed especially since Sonia Gandhi sits in Parliament in such a way that she does not come eyeball to eyeball with the PM.
12:54 Five tips to avoid Ebola:
Thirteen Indian nationals, who arrived in Delhi from Liberia on Tuesday, have been cleared after being screened for the Ebola virus, the health ministry said. Here are Five top tips to avoid the deadly virus. Read
12:47 Ratan Tata invests in Snapdeal.com:
Ratan Tata, Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus, has invested in online marketplace Snapdeal.com. "Mr Tata has made a personal investment in the company," Snapdeal cofounder and CEO Kunal Bahl said. The investment amount, however, was not disclosed. "This stands testimony to the growth and success that we have seen in a short span of 4 years," Bahl said. Snapdeal, which has raised about USD 400 million since its inception, has invested about USD 100 million in logistics and operations to expand its presence in the USD 3 billion Indian eCommerce market.
12:38 Lalu undergoes two major heart surgeries:
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad is undergoing two major heart surgeries - one to replace an aortic valve and the other to repair the aorta, at a hospital in Mumbai today.
"The surgery began this morning," a spokesperson for the Asian Heart Institute, located in suburban Bandra Kurla complex, said.
Two days ago, the RJD-JDU and Congress won 10 seats in the bypolls.
The former Bihar Chief Minister has been diagnosed with 'aortic stenosis'. Asian Heart Institute Medical Director Vijay D'Silva had said yesterday that the surgical procedure will take over five hours.
Institute head Dr Ramakanta Panda, who had operated on former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh five years ago, said the decision to perform the surgery followed a series of medical tests and evaluation on the 66-year-old leader, who was admitted to the institute on Monday.
12:30 26/11 security umbrella takes shape :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate a joint command of apex security agencies at a facility in Gurgaon shortly before marking the sixth year of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. The command was initially planned to be up and ready by 2011. Read
12:08 Reactions to the SC decision not to disqualify ministers with criminal cases.
BJP's Subramanian Swamy: SC was wise to go by law, they have done the second best thing of appealing to conscience of PM.
Rakesh Dwivedi, Supreme Court lawyer and amicus curiae in the case said it was not a suggestion. The SC has clearly stated that the framers of the constitution must ensure
The PM had promised the people that he would have a clean cabinet.
11:55 BJP considers party as family,seeing 'Margdarshak Mandal' as unimportant body is appalling, says Sambit Patra on the BJP Parl Board.
11:50 Goodbye, Mr Sankaranarayanan:
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan at the former Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan's farewell. He was given the guard of honor. Sankarnarayanan quit after a post-midnight presidential communique announcing his transfer to Mizoram. He put
in his papers, refusing to accept the new assignment. Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao was appointed the new governor yesterday.
11:22 PM is repository of all constitutional values: SC:
While the SC has dismissed the petition, two judges in the five judge constitutional panel struck a dissenting note. They said PM and CMs should not include people with criminal antecedents in their cabinet, but the decision rests with them. Majority verdict was that the decision should rest with the prime minister. The concurring judgment was given by three of the five judges. SC says it expects CMs and the PM not to appoint netas with criminal backgrounds. "The PM should decide if those with criminal background should stay in the cabinet, the SC said.
11:09 Constitution reposes immense trust in PM, CMs: SC:
The Supreme Court says the Constitution reposes immense trust in the PM and CMs and they are expected to act with responsibility and with
constitutional morality. Those in conflict with law and involved in offences of moral turpitude and corruption should not be allowed to discharge duty as ministers. PM and CMs should not include people with criminal
antecedents in their cabinet, says the SC.
11:02 SC refuses to disqualify criminal netas, puts onus on PM, CMs :
Refusing to disqualify tainted netas, the Supreme Court said that, "No disqualification can be prescribed. It is expected that the PM will not appoint persons against whom charges have been framed and he is facing trial. The PM and Chief Ministers should decide."
11:00 Achche din aa gaye: Criminal netas can continue as ministers:
Narendra Modi's cabinet has 14 ministers with police cases against them.
Uma Bharti, the minister for Water Resources, has 13 cases against her, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has four cases against him, Upendra Kushwaha and Raosaheb Dadarao Danve each face four cases.
10:55 SC: PM to decide whether criminal netas can be ministers :
The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition on whether cabinet ministers with criminal cases can continue in the government. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, delivering its verdict this morning, said it would leave the decision to keep or sack ministers to the Prime Minister.
The Centre has argued that removing ministers is against the Constitutional prerogative of Parliament and the will of the people, and that "once a person is an MP, he is entitled to be in the council of ministers, if the Prime Minister decides."
10:47 Space-stung navy eyes WWII airbase :
The Indian Navy is working to revive a World War II airbase that was the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) largest after Lahore in South Asia.
Bobbili, just north of Visakhapatnam, is part of a larger expansion plan of the navy that includes opening a base for conventional and nuclear assets south of Vizag, the chief of the Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Satish Soni, said in an interview. Read the report here.
10:46 Just in: GVK awards 1.17 million sq/ft of commercially developable area of Mumbai airport to Oasis Realty for Rs 580 crore.
10:33 A 16-year-old girl was executed by militants of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit faction in the state's Chirang district on August 20.
Militants dragged the teenager out of her house in a village on the Indo-Bhutan border in broad daylight, before beating her badly and then shooting her at least nine times, point blank, according to media reports.
The family of the girl was made to watch the shooting, and forced not to turn their eyes away as the girl was killed.
10:20 Rajnath conveys concerns to RSS over BJP rivals targetting his son:
Home Minister and former BJP President Rajnath Singh has expressed concerns to the RSS leadership over false stories being spread about his son Pankaj Singh by his rivals in the party, say sources.
Sources say Rajnath is upset at media reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't want a ticket given to his son due to reports to unsavoury conduct.
He has conveyed to the RSS nothing that is being reported about his son is true, say sources.Pankaj Singh has been ignored by Modi in the UP bypolls seat list even as he was being seen as a frontrunner for the Noida seat.
09:50 No Ebola case in India, says health minister:
NDTV reports: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said there is no suspected case of Ebola in India, one of the deadliest diseases known to man.
"We are carefully screening all passengers coming from Ebola infected countries at the airport itself. As of today there is no suspected case of Ebola in India," the health minister said in Indore.
All but one of the people who arrived in India since Monday night from Ebola-hit Liberia have tested negative for the virus. One person, who is suffering from a sore throat and fever, has been kept quarantined in Delhi. Altogether, 112 people from Liberia had returned to India since Monday night.
NDTV reports: The Supreme Court is likely to deliver its verdict today on whether cabinet ministers with criminal background can continue as ministers.
Lawyers had argued that this was against the constitutional prerogative and the will of the people as members of Parliament are elected through a democratic process.In the present Narendra Modi cabinet, there are 14 ministers who have police cases against them.
09:35 UP police arrest RTI activist believed to be dead:
Noida: The Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested RTI activist Chandra Mohan Sharma, who was believed to be dead three months ago.
Three months ago a charred body in a burnt car in Greater Noida was claimed to be the activist's body.The police say that Sharma had run away. The body in the car was of someone else, said the police.
The wife of the activist, however, claims that the person arrested by the police is not her husband.
09:21 Upendra Kushwaha, appointed as minister of state for rural development, panchayati raj, drinking water and sanitation, also has a case related to bribery against him.
Similarly, Ram Vilas Paswan, who has been handed the ministries of consumer affairs, food and public distribution, also has a case of bribery registered againt him.
09:21 Uma Bharti, who now heads the water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation portfolios, has a case related to attempt to murder registered against her.
In addition to that, she also has a case of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language against her. Another case of illegal payments in connection to an election has also been filed against her.
09:14 Seven countries join US in arming Kurds against ISIs:
Seven countries, including Italy,France and the UK, have joined the American effort to arm the Kurdish forces in northern Iraq against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist outfit that has gained control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.
"In addition to support from the US and the central government of Iraq in Baghdad, seven additional nations -- Albania, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom -- have committed to helping provide Kurdish forces urgently needed arms and equipment," US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.
He said the United States appreciated the willingness of more and more of its allies and partners to support the Iraqi people in their fight against the Islamic State.
It was two weeks ago that commissioned a US-led working group to accelerate resupply efforts to the embattled Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.
08:57 Rape accused Maharashtra top cop Paraskar suspended:
reports: Deputy Inspector General of Mumbai Police Sunil Paraskar was suspended on Wednesday after Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday signed his suspension papers.
Paraskar has been accused of rape and molestation by a city model.Earlier in the day, the state home department had proposed his suspension.
07:55 Husband of national level shooter Tara Sahdev arrested: IBN
reports:In a breakthrough in the alleged forcible conversion case, a joint team of the Delhi and Jharkhand Police arrested the husband of national level shooter Tara Sahdev.
Ranjit Kohli alias Raqibul Hasan was arrested from Dwarka in Delhi.Sahdev had accused Kohli of misleading her into marriage on a fake identity and then forcing her to convert to Islam.Following the incident, right-wing outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad had held massive protests across Jharkhand.
The home ministry had sought a report over the matter.
07:53 First American jihadi dies fighting for ISIL in Syria:
California-born Douglas McAuthur McCain has become the first American jihadi to have died in Syria while fighting for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist outfit that has gained control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.
The death of the 33-year-old American has left many top US officials seriously concerned. "We were aware of US Citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain's presence in Syria and can confirm his death. We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from travelling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return," Caitlin Hayden, spokesperson of the National Security Council, the White House said.
According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, McCain died in a battle between rival extremist groups in the suburbs of Aleppo, the commercial capital and largest city of Syria. His uncle, Ken McCain told the CNN
that Douglas McCain converted from Christianity to Islam several years ago.
The fact that he became a jihadi left his family "devastated" and "just as surprised as the country," the uncle said.
07:52 WB: Gas leak in abandoned godown in Asansol leaves 2 dead:
Two women on Tuesday night after inhaling poisonous gas leaking from the godown of a closed factory in Asansol in West Bengal. More than 20 people were also hospitalised.
The condition of at least seven of them is critical. Sources claimed that the godown was being used as a garage and several cylinders of gas were being used for welding were stored in the premise.
07:37 Pakistan continues to be a safe heaven for terrorists:US:
The pentagon has said Pakistan continues to be a safe heaven for terrorists while lauding the efforts of the country's military to eliminate extremism, which it described as a "common threat" for both the countries.
"Extremists and the safe haven pose a challenge and the sanctuary that they continue to enjoy in Pakistan, but the Pakistani military has taken action against some of those extremist threats inside their own country. They've conducted operations not too long ago, just this summer," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said.
He said the US wanted to continue to work with Pakistan "to deal with what we believe is a common challenge and a common threat faced by both our countries and by Afghanistan, as well," he said.
01:12 How you can be tracked anywhere in the world:
Surveillance companies are marketing systems to governments worldwide that are capable of pulling location data out of global cellular networks, even if you are traveling in another country.
These systems are designed so that neither cellphone users nor their carriers detect the tracking.
That could allow government officials to potentially sidestep court review or other systems designed to protect the rights of people targeted for surveillance.
00:58 Model rape case: Mumbai DIG Sunil Paraskar suspended:
Deputy Inspector General of Mumbai Police Sunil Paraskar was suspended on Tuesday night after Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan signed his suspension papers.
Paraskar has been accused of rape and molestation by a city model.
Earlier in the day, the state Home Department had proposed his suspension.
"The proposal to suspend Paraskar was sent to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. The file regarding Paraskar's suspension was received in the afternoon in the Chief Minister office and Chavan has given approval to the action," he said.
A court in Mumbai had recently granted Paraskar pre-arrest bail, observing the complainant's behaviour and her email exchange with him suggested consent.
Paraskar filed pre-arrest bail application on July 25, a week after an FIR was registered against him by suburban Malwani police under sections 376(2)(rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354(D) (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.
The complainant, a 25-year-old model, has alleged Paraskar (57) had molested and sexually assaulted her on two occasions in December 2013. According to her, she had met Paraskar first in 2012 when he was Additional Commissioner of Police with regard to a case.
Paraskar's lawyer argued that the allegations were false and pointed to the delay in registration of FIR.
00:56 US is and will be only indispensable nation in world: Obama:
Asserting that the US is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world, President Barack Obama has said that country has to use its power wisely to sustain this leadership.
"The United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world. Now, sustaining our leadership, keeping America strong and secure means we have to use our power wisely," Obama said in his address to the American Legion in North Carolina.
"History teaches us of the dangers of overreaching and spreading ourselves too thin and trying to go it alone without international support or rushing into military adventures without thinking through the consequences," he said.
The US, he said, has to lead with strength and confidence and wisdom.
"That's why after incredible sacrifice by so many of our men and women in uniform, we removed more than 140,000 troops from Iraq and welcomed those troops home. It was the right thing to do," he noted.
"While we refocused our efforts in Afghanistan and went after Al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, driving the Taliban out of its strongholds and training Afghan forces, which are now in the lead for their own security," he said.
00:53 WB: 43 students ill after having poisonous drink:
At least 43 students, including 23 girls, were taken ill after having poisonous drink during tiffin hours at primary school in West Bengal's Howrah district on Tuesday.
The students of Chengale Chowktashi primary school have been admitted to the Uluberia hospital where they have been declared out of danger, officials said.
Uluberia (East) MLA and minister Haider Ajid and parliamentary secretary Pulak Ray visited the hospital and took stock of the situation.
The lady hawker who sold the drink have been detained for interrogation.
A probe has been ordered into the incident.
00:52 CNN broadcasts alleged audio of black US teen's shooting:
A previously undisclosed sound recording captured the shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer, CNN reported Tuesday, as it broadcast what it said appeared to be audio from the gunfire that killed the unarmed black teen.
The FBI, contacted today by AFP, refused to comment on the authenticity of the recording, reportedly made by a resident of Ferguson, the Missouri town where the fatal shooting took place.
The man was said to have been recording a Skype conversation at the same time as the deadly encounter nearby between Brown and the police officer, CNN said.
Six gunshots are heard on the brief recording broadcast by CNN, followed by a brief pause, then four more shots.
The man who made the recording wishes to remain anonymous, said his lawyer Lopa Blumenthal, who said it could have "huge relevance" in the case -- particularly the pause in the shooting.
"It's not just the number of gunshots, it's how they're fired," Blumenthal said.
"That has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up."
A grand jury is hearing evidence to determine whether police officer Darren Wilson, 28, used excessive force in fatally shooing Brown, who autopsies found had been shot six times.
Accounts of the shooting differ greatly, with police alleging Brown was trying to grab Wilson's gun.