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LIVE: Alia Bhatt's master move

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August 28, 2014


21:21  Alia Bhatt's master move:  
Shobhaa De on NDTV: "In one stroke, Alia Bhatt has managed to change her image from being the dumbest doll in Bollywood to that of a spunky, spirited, sporting girl who can laugh at herself and come out on top of her game. Now it's the turn of her critics and detractors to look totally stupid. Well done!"

Read more HERE
20:02  IS executes 'more than 160' Syria troops in new atrocity:  
Islamic State jihadists have executed more then 160 fleeing Syrian soldiers, a monitor said today, the latest in a string of brutal abuses alarming Western powers who fear a global spread of the terror.

News of the killings comes as US President Barack Obama is reportedly weighing air strikes on IS positions in Syria and coming closer to greenlighting a mission to aid Shiite Turkmen trapped in an Iraqi town by the jihadists. 

Syrian regime air strikes killed six IS leaders today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, but Washington has so far baulked at cooperating with Damascus against the jihadists. 

French President Francois Hollande added his voice to the disquiet that has been growing since the jihadists marauded through Iraq and beheaded US journalist James Foley. 

The latest killings took place in the Syrian province of Raqa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the victims were soldiers fleeing towards government-held territory to the west after the jihadists overran their base at Tabqa.

The jihadists boasted on Twitter that they had killed 200 defeated troops and posted video of what they said was the
garrison in headlong flight.

"IS executed more than 160 Syrian soldiers in three different places in Raqa province yesterday and at dawn today," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
19:56  Lalu back to his usual witty self post surgery:  
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was taken off ventilator today, a day after he underwent cardiac surgery at a private hospital in suburban Mumbai, and his vital parameters are within a normal range, according to a senior official.

"Lalu Prasad Yadav has been taken off the ventilator support system and all his vital parameters, like blood pressure, oxygen level and heart beat, are in a normal range. He is not on any support system now and has been allowed to take minimal liquids orally," Dr Vijay D'Silva, Director, Medical Affairs and Critical Care, Asian Heart Institute, told PTI.

The 66-year-old former Bihar chief minister, diagnosed with 'aortic stenosis', was operated on by a team of 20 doctors under the supervision of well-known cardiac surgeon Ramakanta Panda yesterday. He was admitted to the Institute on Monday.

During the surgery, which lasted for over six hours, Lalu underwent AVR-aortic valve replacement, aortic repair and repair of a 3 mm hole in his heart. 

"Lalu is back to his usual witty self, is talking and laughing with his visitors," Dr D'Silva said. 
19:54  Karuna now has over 2 lakh FB followers: DMK:  
The official Facebook page of DMK president M Karunanidhi now has over two lakh followers and steps are on to revamp websites of both the party and that of its chief ahead of 2016 assembly polls, the party said today.

"Party president Kalaignar Karunanidhi's Facebook page now has over two lakh followers and it is remarkable," a party headquarters press release said. 

Karunandihi's account "Kalaignar89" in social networking (https://www.facebook.com/Kalaignar89) site Facebook was launched in 2012. 

On his followers crossing the 2,00,000 mark, Karunanidhi, a prolific writer, hailed the party cadres for being the "veins" of DMK that makes it a "fort" and thanked them for their support.

Efforts are afoot to revamp and expand Karunanidhi's website www.kalaignarkarunanidhi.com and that of the party http://www.dmk.in/, the DMK said.
19:21  After 9 years together, Brangelina marry in France :  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are now married.

The couple, who are parents to six children together, tied the knot at Chateau Miraval in France on Saturday, said a spokesman for the couple. They were wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends.

They have been together for nine years but had previously refused to get married until gay marriage was legal in the US.


19:03  Pak army chief meets Sharif to discuss political turmoil:  For the second time in three days, Pakistan's powerful Army Chief Raheel Sharif today met beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the over two weeks-long political turmoil in the country.

The government did not issue any details of the meeting but after their previous meeting on Tuesday, the PM's office had said they agreed on the need for a quick resolution of the deadlock.

Political stalemate has continued for the last two weeks with Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehreek  refusing to budge from their demand of the Prime Minister's resignation over allegations of rigging in last year's general election and killing of 14 PAT supporters in Lahore on June 17.
18:56  Sania enters World Badminton Championship QF:  India's badminton ace Saina Nehwal beats Japan's Sayaka Takahashi 14-21, 21-18, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Badminton Championship.
18:32  Pakistan to register FIR against PM Sharif, others :  NDTV reports: The Pakistan government today conceded a key demand of anti-government protestors and said it would register a case of murder against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and 20 others, for their alleged role in the clashes that killed 14 supporters of the cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri.

"A process for the FIR has started and the government will not appeal against court orders," Pakistan's defence minister Khawaja Asif said during a debate in Pakistan's national assembly.
18:10  HC seeks to know steps taken by govt to tackle Ebola virus:  Expressing concern over a large number of Indians returning home after suspecting to have contracted Ebola virus in African countries, the Bombay high court today asked the Centre and the Maharashtra government to file a reply on September 2 stating what steps had been taken by them to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.      

The direction was given by a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and G S Kulkarni which asked both the governments to inform whether India was fully equipped to treat the people who had contracted the 'Ebola' virus.     

The court also sought to know what measures had been taken so far to prevent the spread of the virus which was considered a life-threatening disease. 

The judges observed this was a serious matter and the government must ensure that enough steps were taken to ensure that the 'Ebola' virus does not spread in India.
17:46  The PM's itinerary in Japan:  PM Narendra Modi's visit to Japan begins on August 30. His first stop is at Kyoto, a heritage city. Japan PM Shinzo Abe will fly down to Kyoto to host Modi and the next day he will head to Tokyo. Modi will have an important round table meet with top business heads and visit an elementary school and a college as well. Besides, the bilateral meet, he will also meet Emperor Akhito and Empress Michiko.  
17:11  PM: Women will bless us, if they are able to open bank accounts :  PM Narendra Modi launches the Jan Dhan Yojna. "Ab mere Gareeb ke paas bhi debit card hoga. It will bridge the gap between the poor and richer of the nation. The poor of the nation will get strength to fight poverty with this scheme. This entire effort is for poor, to eradicate poverty from the nation. The poor are going to get renewed strength to fight poverty. Even after 68 years of independence, 68 per cent of population not connected with banking.

"Women of the nation will bless us, if they are able to open bank accounts easily. To eradicate poverty, we must get rid of financial untouchability. If we have to eradicate poverty from the nation, we'll have to make our nation free from financial untouchability."  
16:43  Scheme for bank account for all Indians launched :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Jan Dhan Yojana that entails providing a bank account to every Indian family. The major initiative, which is his brain child, will help the government to save billions of rupees on social spending.

"There is an urgency to this exercise as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability," he had tweeted.

Under the banking scheme, account holders would get a debit card and accident insurance cover of up to Rs 1 lakh and an overdraft facility of up to Rs 5,000 and would cover 1.5 crore households. 
16:24  Rajnath refuses to pinpoint blame about 'rumours' on son:  Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today refused to point fingers as to who could be behind "rumours" of his son being ticked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an alleged "misconduct", which have been denied by the PMO.

"You are investigative journalist and you should find out who is the rumour mongerer," was his curt reply to queries by reporters on whether he suspected any person or leader to be behind the "rumours".

Singh had yesterday asserted that he would quit politics if even "prima facie" it is proved that any of his family member had been involved in any misconduct following reports which claimed that his son Pankaj had been ticked off by the Prime Minister for an alleged "misconduct".
16:02  Mary Kom gets a U certificate :  Actress Priyanka Chopra-starrer 'Mary Kom' biopic has finally got a 'U' certificate from the Central Borad of Film Certification. The sports drama, which is based on the life of the Olympic bronze medal winner, was earlier issued U/A certificate by the board.
15:58  JUST IN: Swami Aseemanand, accused in the Samjhauta Express blast case, granted bail by Punjab and Haryana High Court.
15:53  Janardhan Dwivedi says senior leaders must not hold active posts :  Congress leader Janardhan Dwivedi has set the cat among the pigeons with his statement that politicians must have a retirement age and senior leaders should not be on active posts. He said youth should be given preference in active politics and that a generational change is essential in politics. 

This comes just days after the BJP shunted stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, from its highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board.
15:10  India has a special place in my heart: Japan PM responds to Modi:  Japan PM Shinzo Abe responds to PM Modi's tweet. "India has a special place in my heart, eagerly waiting for your arrival in Kyoto. Together we can do a lot for peace and prosperity in the world. Your first visit to Japan as Indian PM will add new chapter to our strategic partnership."

Tech-savvy Narendra Modi reached to Japan ahead of his five-day visit to the country on Saturday -- his first major bilateral tour since his visit to Nepal -- by tweeting in Japanese.

In one of his tweets addressed to Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Modi says, "Japan's friendship with India is time tested. We are 2 vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace & prosperity in the world. Am particularly excited to meet PM @AbeShinzo . I deeply respect his leadership & enjoy a warm relationship with him from previous meetings."
14:55  Hyderabad teen gangraped, filmed and terrorised with a snake :  An 18-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by a group of criminals in Hyderabad who reportedly used a snake to terrorise her. The gang also thrashed her fiance and allegedly filmed the act.

The Hyderabad police on Thursday arrested nine mebers of the gang and have revealed that it had been conducting local darbars to terrorise people and indulge in extortion for the last 4-5 years.

Police said they would make a video of their misdeeds. Some of those videos were found in their mobile phones.The group, which operated in Pahadishareef area of Hyderabad, also reportedly bribed local police officials, a senior official said.

Further interrogation of the nine arrested members of the gang is on.
14:38  Seeds of Doubt:   An activist's controversial crusade against genetically modified crops. Readthe NYT piece on Vandana Shiva.
14:29  How NDTV's Claims about "Love Jihad" Don't Add Up. Read
14:15  52 Powerful Photos Of Women Who Changed History Forever:  This is a must-see -- 52 powerful photos of women who changed history forever. And don't miss the last photograph.
13:54  We know what you did yesterday, Mr CM:   Hmmmm. So, we know what the Maharashtra CM was doing yesterday.
Prithviraj Chavan tweets: Watched a well made #Mardaani last night at a screening arranged by Women & Child Devl Dept, thought provoking.
13:53  The Jammu and Kashmir assembly passes a resolution calling for the Centre to resume talks with Pakistan. 
13:50  Payment default case: Interim relief for Kingfisher:   As Kingfisher scion Sid Mallya keeps himself busy doing this: Sid: ‏"I may have fiiiiiinally mastered the art of taking a selfie haha." , the Delhi High Court today set aside a Punjab National Bank notice to the extent that Kingfisher airlines and its guarantors, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) and Vijay Mallya, will be deemed as willful defaulters in the event of no reply to the bank's notice within seven days from August 21.
13:41  Demands to suspended TMC MLA grow :  Demands for Haldar's head grows and calls for his suspension from the party.

If you recollect the the Tapas Pal episode, it is extremely unlikely that the West Bengal CM will suspend Haldar.

After Pal's 's unconditional apology for his controversial statement on rape, Mamata Banerjee, while facing questions regarding TMC's apparent inaction against him, said, "What do you want me to do about him, kill him?" She claimed that Pal made a blunder by giving the statement which has maligned the party image, not only in West Bengal but in the whole country. "He committed a blunder. He has been cautioned by the party. What else do you want me to do?"

So Haldar, much like Pal, will remain in the party.
12:59  TMC MLA justifies rising crime graph in WB saying rapes will happen:  The TMC obviously doesn't believe in learning from its mistakes. MLA Dipak Haldar, who was elected from Diamond Harbour in Kolkata, made an outrageous statement recently while addressing a rally, where he touched upon the criticism the Mamata government has faced over rising crimes against women in West Bengal. As the crowd cheered him on, Haldar tried to justify the breakdown of law and order saying,  "As long as Earth exists, there will be rapes."

In July this year, Trinamool Congress MP, Tapas Pal, had to apologise and has been AWOL from Parliament after he made a statement inciting violence and rape against CPM workers and women, threatening murder, destruction of homes of CPM men.
12:32  Gowda says son falsely implicated in rape case:  Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, against whose son Karnataka Police registered a case of rape, today said his son has been "falsely implicated" in the matter. "Law will take its own course. I will not interfere in the matter", he said when asked about the complaint filed against his son Karthik by a small-time Kannada model and actress yesterday. "It is a personal matter. It is a falsely implicated complaint. As a Minister I am here", Gowda told reporters.
12:30  Fans share a rare moment as Mary Kom weeps after momentous win. Read
12:08  Herald case: Court to hear matter against Sonia, Rahul on Dec 9:   A Delhi court today fixed December 9 for hearing the complaint case, in which it had issued summons against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, on the issue of acquisition of National Herald daily.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha postponed the matter after the counsel appearing for Sonia Gandhi and others informed the court that Delhi High Court had stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court till September 3.

The complaint case in the matter was filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
12:04  This is what wannabe Jihadists order on Amazon before leaving for Syria. Read
11:58  Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's son accused of rape, cheating:   Bangalore-based model on Wednesday filed a case against Karthik Gowda, son of Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda under section 420, 376 and 406 (charges relating to cheating and dishonesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

The model claims that she got married to Karthik Gowda on June 5, 2014 after meeting him on May 8, 2014. The model alleges, "We know each other from May 8, 2014. This was after the election and before the results. We became very close friends. We met because my family was looking for a groom, so for that reason I met Karthik. So he promised me that he will marry me. So he got married to me on June 5 2014 in his Mangalore house."

She added, "His mother was not there. Both us were present and the driver was there,' she added. The model also said that she wanted his family to accept her as their daughter-in-law. "I will be a very good daughter-in-law," she said.

Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda, however, refuted the allegations saying, "Shocked to see this report, it hurts me. My personal and public life is an open book."

He also said that since the news came right after his son Karthik Gowda's engagement, it raises suspicion. "Suddenly after engagement, if a girl claims such things it leads to suspicion,' said Gowda. 
11:37  India is itself partly responsible for the Hurriyat blowback :  Pakistan created an abnormal situation by asking its high commissioner to meet the Hurriyat leaders despite the Indian foreign secretary's "advice' against such a move.

Advice like this is not given normally to a foreign envoy unless an issue of high political sensitivity to the host government is involved. But, if given, the expectation is that it will be accepted.

A foreign envoy has to maintain a functional relationship with his host government that can be seriously impaired if a confrontational choice is made.

Read the full column here.
11:31  Bishnoi: BJP has a history of betraying people :  The Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress on Thursday decided to snap its ties with the BJP, putting an end to the prolonged tussle between the two parties which have been in an alliance for three years now. "We tried our level best to keep the alliance working... made sincere efforts...They (BJP) are not ready to stick to agreed alliance principles. So we have taken a decision," a top HJC leader said.
11:27   Modi's media plan under spotlight after Rajnath episode. Read
11:08  Modi: Friends from Japan asked me to talk directly in Japanese:  Visitors to Narendra Modi's Twitter page were greeted by eight tweets in Japanese this morning. After moments of complete incomprehension, the PM tweeted saying, "Friends from Japan asked me to talk to the people of Japan directly in Japanese. I also thank them for helping with the the translation."
 
The tech-savvy PM's reach-out to Japan comes ahead of his five-day visit to the country on Saturday -- his first major bilateral tour since his visit to Nepal.

In one of his tweets addressed to Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Modi says, "Japan's friendship with India is time tested. We are 2 vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace & prosperity in the world. Am particularly excited to meet PM @AbeShinzo . I deeply respect his leadership & enjoy a warm relationship with him from previous meetings."
10:54  The Supreme Court agrees to hear ex-Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran's plea for restraining CBI from filing charge sheet in Aircel- Maxis deal.
10:44  PM Narendra Modi tweets in Japanese, says he looking forward to meet Japan PM Shinzo Abe and respects Abe's leadership.
10:32  Australia to help US in Iraq air strikes:  Australia has expressed willingness to contribute its Super Hornet fighter jets to help United States-led air strikes in Iraq. Defence Minister David Johnston said that Australia was ready to assist the US with air strikes targeting IS terrorists in Iraq. He said the US was already carrying out air strikes in Iraq with the purpose of preserving civilian lives. "If this situation continues, I think it's incumbent upon nations that have a strong, clear and understandable reputation and sense of right and wrong to do the right thing here and assist a stable Iraqi government if we can get one to defend itself and to retake and assert some reasonable level of legitimate control over these villages," he said.
10:10  Satellite phone reveals new data on Flight MH370:  A failed satellite phone call suggests Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may have turned south earlier than previously thought, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said. He explained that after Flight 370 dropped off the radar on March 8, Malaysia Airlines ground staff tried to make contact with the plane using a satellite phone. The attempt was unsuccessful, Truss added, but subsequent analysis of the failed call has given experts a better idea of the aircraft's position and where it was travelling.
09:47  Modi bats for vegetarianism, holistic healing, non-violence:  In a video message to Jains on the occasion of Paryushana parva, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised them for their simple living. He also said that while the world has now began to celebrate vegetarianism, it was the Jains who had begun this practice long ago. He also said that it was time that we moved away from violence and moved towards love and non-violence. He said that as a nation we needed to get rid of the emotions of hatred and move towards love. At the end of the video, he wished them 'michchami dukkdam' and also wished them for the upcoming Ganeshotsav. 

Watch the video HERE.
09:04  VK Singh slams Musharraf's anti-Muslim Modi rant, calls him a 'sick man':  Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf in an interview to a Pakistani channel slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling him anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan. He said, "As far as my opinion is concerned about Narendra Modi, his attitude clearly shows that he is anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan and there is no doubt about it. However, he has been elected as the prime minister of India and till now hasn't shown his cards." Hours after the comments were made by the former president, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said that Musharraf shouldn't be bothered with, as he is sick at the moment and is undergoing treatment. "Pervez Musharraf is undergoing treatment. A sick man can say anything why should we bother about it?"
08:54  Ebola-hit countries isolated as airlines stop flights:  The three nations at the centre of the west African Ebola outbreak were left increasingly isolated on Wednesday as more airlines suspended flights to the crisis zone. On Wednesday, Air France agreed to Paris's request for a "temporary suspension" of services to Sierra Leone. The decision comes a day after British Airways said it was suspending flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone until next year due to Ebola concerns. Authorities are scrambling to contain the worst outbreak of the lethal tropical virus in history, which has killed more than 1,400 people since it erupted in west Africa early this year.
08:34  Hours after flag meeting, Pakistan violates ceasefire again:  Hours after India and Pakistan held a flag meeting near the International Border in Jammu to diffuse the tension along the border, there has been a fresh ceasefire violation. Pakistani rangers targetted a BSF jawan on Deora international border of Akhnoor sector. The violation was made in the same area of Akhnoor sector where the flag meeting was held. There have been over 23 violations by Pakistan in August alone.
08:04  Woman files case of sexual exploitation cheating against Gowda's son:  Hours after he got engaged, a case of rape and cheating was filed against Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's son, Karthik late on Wednesday night. The complainant, an actress in regional films, claims Karthik Gowda married her. Bangalore Police Commissioner MN Reddi said, "She has filed a complaint in RT Nagar police station against Karthik Gowda, Sadananda Gowda's son, for allegedly raping and cheating her." The complainant alleged that she was in a relationship with Karthik for several months. She claimed that he wanted to have a physical relationship with her but she refused as they weren't married. She further added that Karthik then took her to a temple in Bangalore on June 5 and tied a thread soaked in turmeric around her neck to formalise a nuptial as per Hindu customs.
01:13  Revealed: Yazidis are still stranded on Mount Sinjar:  
For the US and its allies, Mount Sinjar is a success story: a humanitarian disaster alleviated by US air power.

But hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqis -- mostly sick and old -- remain atop the mountain, with no relief on its way.

Satellite images taken on August 21 by the firm ImageSat International and interviews with members of the Yazidi religious minority still on the mountain indicate a humanitarian emergency continuing to unfold. 

While thousands have fled down the mountains north face, making a dangerous trek into Iraqi Kurdistan through Syria, those on the southern side remain in crisis.

Read more HERE
01:09  Russian forces leading major new offensive in east: Ukraine:  
Tanks, artillery and infantry have crossed from Russia into an unbreached part of eastern Ukraine in recent days, attacking Ukrainian forces and causing panic and wholesale retreat not only in this small border town but a wide swath of territory, in what Ukrainian and Western military officials described on Wednesday as a stealth invasion.

The attacks outside this city and in an area to the north essentially have opened a new, third front in the war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, along with the fighting outside the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Exhausted, filthy and dismayed, Ukrainian soldiers staggering out of Novoazovsk for safer territory said Tuesday they were cannon fodder for the forces coming from Russia. As they spoke, tank shells whistled in from the east and exploded nearby.

Click HERE to read more
01:03  Meet the guy who makes $1000 an hour teaching kids of Fortune 500 CEOs over Skype:  
Every morning, Anthony Green wakes up in his Manhattan apartment and walks around the block to get a cup of coffee and maybe an omelet from the diner he tells me makes the "best in the East Village, maybe even New York."

Then from 7:30am to 5 or 6pm, he's sitting at his kitchen table in front of a computer, helping high school kids master the verbal and mathematical skills they'll need if they want a shot at being admitted to the country's best colleges.

Green is one of the premiere SAT and ACT tutors in New York. His company, Test Prep Authority, serves some of the richest kids in America.

Read more HERE

01:03  The murky world of hostage negotiations: is the price ever right?:  
Hostage-taking is big business for the pirates and terrorists who increasingly use it as a lucrative source of revenue. 

But, more surprisingly, business is also booming for risk management experts trying to counter it and western insurance companies.

Read more HERE

01:03  Made for China:  
As US audiences tire of big budget spectacle, Hollywood designs its blockbuster product for the ever-expanding Chinese market

It matters that Superman is a white man, even though hes not human but an alien from the planet Krypton. It matters that Batman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Wolverine, Thor, and Captain America are all white men -- even though most of them are only kind of human.

It matters that when we sit silently in a movie theater, reverently observing the glowing screen with our thirteen dollar tickets and buckets of popcorn in hand, we watch white men saving the world again and again.

It matters too, then, that quietly, without fanfare, the race of one of the mutants in X-Men: Days of Future Past was changed. Blink is white in the original comic books. In the movie, shes Asian, played by Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.

Read more HERE
01:02  US Air Force jet crashes in Virginia:  
A US Air Force jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday, shaking the ground and frightening residents, and officials said the pilot's status was unknown. 

No injuries were reported on the ground, but authorities were still trying to reach the crash site located through its heavy smoke coming from a mountainside on today. 

The pilot of the single-seat aircraft was with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard in Westfield, spokesman Maj. Matthew Mutti said. 

The jet was on a standard training exercise with no munition onboard, Mutti said. He didn't say where it was headed or release the pilot's name. 

Military officials in Washington told local authorities in Augusta County that they had lost communication with a jet, according to Augusta County dispatcher Becky Coynter. 

She said witnesses reported an explosion-like noise just before 9 am. "It's the loudest noise I've ever heard," 63-year-old Rebecca Shinaberry, who lives on a farm about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away, told The Associated Press. "(It) just shook the ground and from my house we could just see a big plume of smoke.
01:01  Obama looks forward to meet Modi: White House:  
India and the US share a rich and robust relationship and President Barack Obama looks forward to building on that when he meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Washington, the White House said today. 

"As you know, the President after the election of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, invited him to Washington. We're still working on locking down a date. The president does look forward to meeting with the Prime Minister at a mutually convenient time," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference. 

Referring to the recent India trip by Secretary of State John Kerry and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel during which they not only met their Indian counterparts but also Modi, Earnest said they discussed the very broad relationship between the United States and India. 

Obama was briefed on these visits when Kerry and Hagel met him at the White House on Tuesday and Monday respectively. "Items on the agenda included national security and counter-terrorism cooperation for sure. There were also discussions about the economic ties and trade relationship that exists between India and the United States," Earnest said.

"So, there is a rich, robust relationship between the United States and India that was on display when the (US) President hosted Prime Minister Modi's predecessor for a State Dinner here at the White House early in the first term of this
administration. And the President looks forward to building on that relationship when he meets with Prime Minister Modi at a time sometime soon," he said.
01:00  Top headlines at this hour::  Cardiff ODI: Raina ton helps India trounce England by 133 runs

After 45-minute talks at border, India and Pakistan only agree to talk more

Imran calls off talks, says Nawaz Sharif must go

Indian ISIS fighter dead in Iraq?

Courts have treated me like an ordinary citizen: Salman tells SC

Air India's website crashes after Rs 100 fare offer

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