23:28 Iraq forces hit Fallujah as attacks kill seven:
Attacks in Iraq killed seven people today and the army said it had killed militants in a combined air and artillery attack on the militant-held city of Fallujah.
Iraq has just concluded its deadliest month in nearly six years, with more than 1,000 people killed in January, as it grapples with a surge in bloodshed and a deadly stand-off with anti-government fighters on Baghdad's doorstep.
23:26 NATO leaders say Afghan troops need more training:
Afghanistan's police force and army still need more training to handle the country's security on their own, making it critical for a new security agreement to be signed to allow international forces to remain after 2014, NATO's top two leaders said today.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has so far refused to sign the security agreement that could allow some 10,000 US troops and 6,000 troops from allied nations to stay in Afghanistan after the end of this year, largely to help train Afghan forces.
23:26 Oppn demands CBI probe in mining scam, Naveen's resignation:
The opposition Congress and BJP today demanded resignation of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the reported leak of the 'excerpts of Justice M B Shah Comission of Inquiry' on a news portal.
"The state should hand over the case to CBI immediately and Naveen Patnaik should face action for his government's involvement in the multi-crore mining scam," senior Congress leader and former minister Sarat Rout told reporters here.
23:01 Omar refutes breakup talks in NC-Cong alliance:
Refuting speculations of split in the alliance between Congress and National Conference (NC), Omar Abdullah said his party has no intention of leaving the alliance. Omar said that both the parties have agreed on the point that they will stay in the alliance till the very end.
22:52 Syria rejected US talks bid without Kerry apology: FM:
Syria's foreign minister said today his delegation had rejected a US request for direct talks unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologised for his remarks at the Geneva II talks.
"The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux," Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on the plane home from 10 days of peace talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva.
22:52 Major volcanic eruption kills at least 14 in Indonesia:
An Indonesian volcano that has been rumbling for months unleashed a major eruption on Saturday, killing 14 people just a day after the authorities allowed thousands of villagers who had been evacuated to return to its slopes, saying that activity was decreasing, officials said.
Among the dead on Mount Sinabung were a local television journalist and four high-school students and their teacher who were visiting the mountain to see the eruptions up close, said a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. At least three other people were injured, and the authorities said they feared that the death toll would rise.
22:49 Pak: 8 killed in Karachi violence:
Eight people were killed in violence in Pakistan's biggest city today including a police officer and three militants.
Paramilitary Rangers and police killed three militants during encounters in different parts of the city since last night while police official, Muhammad Iqbal was shot dead in in Orangi town.
22:32 Rawat praises Bahuguna, vows to carry forward his good work:
Shortly after being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat today showered praises on his predecessor Vijay Bahuguna, saying he salutes him for doing an exemplary job during the mid-June natural calamity that shook the whole nation.
22:08 Russian Embassy fumes over cancellation of music fest in Goa:
A last-minute withdrawal of consent by the Goa government for holding an international music festival has sparked a diplomatic row, with the Russian Embassy terming the decision as an "insolent and starkly unfriendly gesture" of the state authorities.
The two-day 'Great Live Music Festival' organised by a Russian company was to start in Goa yesterday, but state government withdrew its consent at short notice.
21:07 Middleman asked AgustaWestland to target Sonia aides for chopper deal:
There's a new twist in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam that is bound to be a big embarrassment for the Congress. CNN-IBN
has accessed a copy of a letter by key middleman Christian Michel produced in an Italian Court.
The letter was written by Michel to the India head of AgustaWestland in March 2008 saying the key aides of UPA Chairperson Sania Gandhi need to be targeted to push the deal through.
20:58 Death of Arunachal student, remarks on nurses obnoxious: Lekhi:
BJP today termed as "obnoxious" and "totally unacceptable" the death of a student from Arunachal Pradesh in the national capital after alleged racial assault and the remarks against Kerala nurses by an AAP leader.
The incident relating to the death of the student, Nido Tania, son of a Congress MLA, was "sad and very wrong", BJP Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters here. "We are one nation, one people," she said.
20:15 Preet Bharara wrong on facts and law: Khobragade's lawyer:
Devyani Khobragade's lawyer today rejected US prosecutor Preet Bharara's assertion that the Indian diplomat does not have immunity from prosecution and should face charges of visa fraud, saying the court will decide such issues.
20:14 Ananth Kumar slaps legal notice to Kejriwal:
Slapping a legal notice on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for including him in the list of "most corrupt", BJP leader Ananth Kumar today asked him to withdraw the charge or apologise within three days. Kumar is the second BJP leader to issue legal notice to the AAP leader after former party President Nitin Gadkari.
20:11 Death raises jail security poser:
The death of an undertrial of Birsa Munda Central Jail has brought back the focus on security arrangements at the state's largest prison with his relatives claiming that he had been burnt by a fellow inmate and did not commit suicide as claimed by the authorities.
Mokhtar Alam,27, who was arrested and forwarded to judicial custody three months ago for allegedly setting his 22-year-old wife, Gulnar Parveen, on fire for dowry, was found with severe burns in the jail's bathroom on January 23.
20:10 The other side of fear:
The recent spate of visits by Japanese dignitaries paid flattering tribute to India's international consequence. But there's always a pattern and a purpose to such gestures.
Both were outlined by a key member of the American strategic establishment four years before Thailand and its neighbours convinced themselves they had invented the Association of South-east Asian Nations.
Not only did Russell H. Fifield's Southeast Asia in United States Policy propose Asean (even the acronym) but he wanted India, Japan and Asean to cooperate as a counterweight to China.
20:09 Give them a fighting chance:
In the midst of the raging debate over the Aam Aadmi Party's actions, inaction and reaction to various events, some fundamentals are getting buried. Some of these fundamentals have a direct relationship to questions of women's safety and their status.
The intense media scrutiny to which AAP has been subjected, and which some would argue is unfair and excessive, has raised many issues that go beyond the future of this one fledgling party.
19:29 BJP dubs AAP list of corrupt as "cheap publicity":
Slamming AAP for its list of "corrupt leaders", senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu today said it was "cheap publicity" and questioned the moral right of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in including president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Nitin Gadkari in it.
"The day AAP formed the government with Congress help (in Delhi), they have lost their moral compass and therefore they don't have any right to raise fingers against others," he told reporters at "Chaaiwala my PM" campaign here.
19:27 Harish Rawat sworn in as new Uttarakhand CM:
Harish Rawat, a Union Minister, was today sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, succeeding Vijay Bahuguna who was asked by the Congress high command to step down in a bid to boost the party's prospects ahead of the April-May Lok Sabha polls.
19:27 Slogans against Kejriwal's corrupt list; effigy burnt in TN:
Scores of Congress activists today staged a protest against Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in many parts of Tamil Nadu for releasing a list of corrupt leaders, calling it an attempt for "cheap publicity."
In Chennai, the activists protested in front of the AAP state office in Kilpauk and burnt the effigy of Kejriwal, police said.
18:34 Morsi in court for inciting killing of protesters:
Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi today appeared in a court for trial on charges of inciting the killing of anti-government protesters in 2012. Morsi and 14 co-defendants faced charges of inciting murder and violence outside the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace.
18:33 Explosions, firing in Bangkok on eve of polls, 7 injured:
Explosions and several shots were heard in the Thai capital today as opposition activists bent on disrupting Sunday's controversial snap polls clashed with government supporters, leaving seven persons injured.
The political rivals clashed with pistols and assault rifles despite tight security put in place to thwart the opposition's attempts to scuttle the vote, including the deployment of over 2,00,000 security personnel.
18:03 BJP indulging in 'zeher ki kheti': Sonia:
Attacking BJP and its PM candidate Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused them of indulging in divisive politics by "sowing seeds of poison" (zeher ki kheti) and instigating violence.
"This is an area which was the 'karmabhoomi' of Sufi saints and a symbol of composite culture of the country. I firmly believe that you will not allow those who sow the seeds of poison, who don't believe in secular credentials and who play the politics of instigating violence to succeed," the UPA Chairperson said in her address at a public rally in northern Karnataka.
17:37 Student's death: Protestors call off strike:
Students from the Northeast, who staged a protest against the death of a student from Arunachal Pradesh after being allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar, have called off their strike.
The protestors met Joint CP and DCP South and submitted a memorandum of three demands. The police have promised action.
17:29 Shots fired during clash on eve of Thai polls:
Violence broke out in the Thai capital on the eve of disputed snap polls after shots were fired during a clash between pro-government supporters and opposition activists determined to scuttle the election.
Several shots and a minor explosion were heard as the clash broke out despite tight security measures put in place for Sunday's vote, including the deployment of over 2,00,000 security personnel.
17:17 NTPC threatens to cut power supply in Delhi from Feb 11: Just In:
National Thermal Power Corporation has issued a notice to BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd threatening to regulate the electricity supply from February 11.
This may impact electricity supply to over 32 lakh customers spread across southern, eastern, central and western parts of Delhi.
17:10 Kejriwal has lost his way: Ramdev:
Hitting out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for calling leaders corrupt "without any proof", yoga guru Ramdev today said the Aam Aadmi Party leader who had set out to cleanse the system has "lost his way".
"We should give proof while levelling allegations. It is the biggest dishonesty to label people as dishonest and defend your own corrupt people like Somnath Bharti, who has created uproar in the country with his acts," he told reporters.
Describing Kejriwal as his "former associate", Ramdev said they had backed him on the issue of war against corruption "but he is deflecting from his mission. There is difference between his words and deeds now. I feel sorry for him.... He has got derailed from the path. It pains us."
"AAP has lost its sense and also Kejriwal, who labelled (BJP leader Nitin) Gadkari as corrupt in order to prove himself as honest person. He is trying to portray himself as honest and all other leaders as dishonest. That is bad".
16:24 Pak cricketer Umar Akmal misbehaves with traffic cop, arrested:
Pakistan cricketer Umar Akmal was today arrested for allegedly thrashing a traffic warden and tearing his uniform after he was stopped for violating a signal, Lahore.
Police said the cricketer had a face-off with traffic warden Zeshan at Gulberg's Firdous market area.
Umar, 23, the youngest of the Akmal brothers, was challaned for the offence by the warden, which led to the argument.
"He (Umar) caught him by the neck and also tore his (traffic warden's) uniform," Tariq Aziz, SSP Gulberg station, told reporters.
Akmal was taken to the police station and case under sections 186, 279 and 353 of Pakistan Penal Code (for obstructing in the official work, tearing police uniform, and misbehaving and hurling threats) was registered against him.
"It is a very serious offence to assault an officer on duty and tear his uniform. We have registered a case against Umar under three sections," he said.
Umar, on the other hand, counter-alleged that the warden had abused and slapped him.
16:18 Will resign if Kejriwal shows proof of me being corrupt: Sibal:
Union minister Kapil Sibal has said he would resign and quit politics if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal provided proof to corroborate his corruption allegations against him.
On Friday, Kejriwal had named Sibal in his "India's most corrupt" leaders' list.
"I am surprised that a person holding the chief minister's post is making such allegations. I will give him two days' time. If he is able to prove allegations against me, I will resign and quit politics. If he can't, he must leave his position. It is his responsibility to prove all the charges made by him," Sibal said.
He added that Kejriwal was a "trickster in politics."
16:16 Just In: Senior Uttarakhand Congress leader Harish Rawat slaps party worker in Dehradun, reports CNN-IBN
15:54 Cheating case: Lookout notice issued against Yash Birla:
A lookout notice has been issued against industrialist Yash Birla in connection with a cheating case registered here against his firm Birla Power Solutions, police said today.
The Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police issued the lookout notice yesterday, said a police officer.
The case was first reported on December 31, 2013 when the Marine Drive police registered a cheating case against Birla Power Solutions Pvt Ltd for allegedly duping a Worli-based businessman of Rs one crore by not repaying his fixed deposit investment on maturity.
The case was later transferred to the EOW. So far, 28 investors have approached EOW saying they have been cheated of a total of Rs 20 crore.
Police have already arrested Birla Power's former Managing Director PVR Murthi in the case.
The Look Out notice is a circular sent at all immigration checks at international borders (like International airports or sea ports) and as soon as the person is spotted, the authorities concerned are notified.
15:05 Nitish Kumar leads initiative to form 'Third Front':
With the Lok Sabha elections approaching fast, efforts are underway to cobble up alliances and emerge as a credible force before the electorate.
In an effort to provide a third alternative to the voters apart from the ruling UPA and opposition NDA, regional parties are leaving no stone unturned in a bid to stitch together a Third Front.
And the latest initiative has been taken by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
As per reports, Kumar is holding talks with Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and JD(S) head HD Deve Gowda. The aim is to bring together 14 regional parties and form a federal front.
On February 5, the top leaders of these 14 parties are meeting here to hold talks on intricacies of such an alliance.
Part of the agenda will also be to join hands to scuttle any populist move which the ruling UPA government could be planing to announce during the upcoming Parliament session called to pass the Vote on Account.
14:54 Northeast students protest death of Arunachal student:
A group of students from the Northeast on Saturday staged a protest here against the death of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA's son after being allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar.
The 19-year-old student Nido Tania, son of Congress MLA and Parliamentary Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Department Nido Pavitra, was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers following an altercation sparked by their taunts on his hairstyle.
"Police should take swift action in the case. We would not remain silent till the culprits are sent to jail," said Dhapo, a protestor.
Protestors in large numbers today gathered outside the Lajpat Nagar Police Station and raised slogans against the police.
Police have registered a case of murder under section 302 of IPC and are probing the matter. A magisterial inquiry has also been ordered
14:32 22 chargesheets filed in Muzaffarnagar riots:
The Uttar Pradesh police have filed chargesheets in 22 cases in Muzaffarnagar riots, an official said on Saturday.
These chargesheets have been filed by the Special Investigation Team after investigations into the charges against the accused.
A total of 6,261 people have been named in 543 cases in Muzaffarnagar communal riots that left 63 dead and rendered thousands homeless.
Police said investigating officer had added names of 162 people in the original list of accused after which the total number of accused went up to 6,423.
Allegations against 683 have been found to be correct and as many as 242 people have been jailed. The police is on the lookout for others who are absconding, while 47 have so far surrendered.
14:21 Narendra Modi free to apply for visa: US:
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was free to apply for an American visa and a decision on it would be made on the process that we have in place, according to a senior US official.
"We said he (Modi) is free to apply for a visa, and we'll make a decision based on the process that we have in place here," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at her daily news conference yesterday.
In 2005, the State Department had revoked a visa that Modi had for travelling to the US in the wake of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
The US has repeatedly said there is no change in its long-standing visa policy relating to Modi but he is free to apply for a visa and await a review like any other applicant.
13:50 Anand suffers shock defeat:
Former world champion Viswanathan Anand struggled with his form for the second consecutive day today as he suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the second round of the Zurich Chess Challenge.
Having lost to Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first round, this turned out to be a double blow for Anand who now finds himself at the last spot in the highest category event.
World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway played out a draw with Aronian while Fabiano Caruana of Italy hung on to get his draw with Boris Gelfand of Israel in the other games of this six-player round-robin tournament.
With three rounds in Classical and five rounds in rapid chess still remaining, Carlsen, Aronian and Nakamura share the lead on three points under the special scoring system that gives two points for a win in Classical and one in the rapid format.
With two draws in two games, Caruana is in fourth spot on two points while Gelfand now has one point. Anand is yet to open his account.
13:39 There is no question of apologizing to Gadkari: Ashutosh:
Reacting to a legal notice sent by former Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari against the Aam Aadmi Party, party spokesperson Ashutosh on Saturday said there was no question of his party apologizing to Gadkari, and that he should rather ask the BJP to apologize because they were the first ones to label him a corrupt leader.
"There is no question of our party apologizing to him. His party itself thought that he was corrupt, and hence, they did not give him a second term (as BJP president), and, that is when Rajnath Singh came in his place," said Ashutosh.
"Gadkari should send a notice to his party, as they were the first ones to call him corrupt. Before the elections, Gadkari had issued a notice in which he had said that before the elections such allegations were being made on him, but the party did not give him a second term, as they knew he was corrupt," he said.
"He should ask the BJP to apologize instead of taking out his anger on the AAP. We are no one to certify someone as corrupt, but the public is, and, they are angry against prevailing corruption," he added.
Gadkari on Friday had sent a legal notice to the AAP and to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for calling him corrupt.
According to the notice, Kejriwal's remark against Gadkari was aimed at tarnishing his image and amounted to be a case of defamation.
12:36 Cold wave eases in Kashmir Valley:
There was a slight respite from the cold wave in Kashmir Valley as the minimum temperature rose in most places, even as the mercury in Kargil, in the frontier region of Ladakh, settled at minus 19 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, same as the previous night's, an official of the MeT Department said in Srinagar.
Mercury in Qazigund - the gateway town to Kashmir valley - settled at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius, up by one degree from minus 9.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, an increase of over one degree from the previous nights minus 10.6 degrees Celsius.
The mercury in the tourist resort of Pahalgam recorded a minimum of minus 10 degrees Celsius, over a degree up from minus 11.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The mercury in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg also increased by over a degree to register a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 6.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
11:43 CAG audit will tell where the money went: Kejriwal on power tariff hike:
Reacting to the hike in power rates, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the Comptroller and Auditor General's report on discoms would ascertain the lack of funds as stated by power distribution companies.
"They are saying they don't have funds. Where did all the money go? CAG audit will tell us where the money went. Let us wait for the report," he said.
Earlier on Friday, the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission announced a hike in the power tariff ranging from 6 to 8 percent applicable from February 1 onwards.
According to press statement issued by the DERC, rates of BSES Yamuna were hiked by 8 percent, of NDPL by 7 percent and of BSES Rajdhani by 6 percent.
"The hike in power rates will be applicable for three months starting from February 1," the statement added.
Discom BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL) had earlier warned that it would be forced to resort to daily power cuts of up to 10 hours from February because it has no funds to pay public sector generation units for power supplies.
The Reliance-backed Discom has written to Delhi government saying it could lose over 500mw of supply if the generation units do not extend credit and give it more time to clear its dues.
11:30 Uttarakhand to get new CM today:
The Congress Legislature Party will meet in Dehradun on Saturday to choose the next chief minister of the state.
Union Minister Harish Rawat and state minister Pritam Singh have emerged as the frontrunners for the top job in the hilly state.
The meeting is taking place after Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna resigned from his post on Friday.
Addressing the press, Bahuguna said he has submitted his resignation to the state Governor. He added that he was merely following the wishes of his party.
The decision to replace Bahuguna was taken at a meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had with senior party leaders on Thursday. Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and AICC general secretaries - Janardan Dwivedi and Ambika Soni, who is in charge of party affairs in the state - are being sent there as central observers for the changeover, PTI had quoted highly-placed Congress sources as saying.
Rawat and Pritam Singh, who is Food and Civil Supplies Minister in the Bahuguna Cabinet, are the frontrunners, they said.
Others in the race include state Finance Minister Indira Hridayesh.
Bahuguna had been under pressure ever since he was appointed. The flash floods that hit Uttarakhand last year and the massive rescue and rehabilitation work they entailed also brought his leadership skills into question.
11:27 US prosecutors challenge Khobragade's claim of immunity:
NDTV reports: Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat whose December arrest led to a major international dispute, holds no immunity from US prosecution and should continue to faces charges of visa fraud, Manhattan federal prosecutors said in court papers filed on Friday.
Khobragade was arrested on December 12 on charges that she lied to US authorities about what she paid her housekeeper.
She was stripped-searched while detained in Manhattan federal courthouse, which led to a diplomatic firestorm between India and the United States that continued for weeks.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara's office argues in the court filings that Ms Khobragade is a former diplomat and not immune from prosecution.
11:04 Delhi Police denies dropping Arunachal boy back at shop:
CNN-IBN reports: The Delhi Police has denied reports that it dropped a young Arunachal student back at a sweet shop in south Delhi where he had earlier been beaten
Nido Taniam, the son of a Congress MLA in Arunachal Pradesh, was found dead inside his room on Thursday. He had allegedly been beaten up by workers at a sweet shop after he broke a window pane there when he was mocked over his hair.
Eyewitnesses and Taniam's friends had claimed that the police, after taking Rs 10,000 from Taniam to pay for the damages, dropped him back at the shop where he was beaten up again.
The police now say that they had handed the victim over to his uncle. "This was done after a written compromise between the boy and the shopkeepers was reached," they said.
A protest and prayer meeting has been announced by Arunachal student groups at 12 noon at the spot where the incident happened.
10:18 Delhi power tariff rises upto 8 per cent:
Delhi's power tariff will increase six to eight percent starting Saturday as power distribution companies hiked their surcharge.
The Kejriwal government condemned the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission decision and said such a move should not have been taken when the accounts of private distribution companies are being audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
The move came even as BSES said the company is hopeful of avoiding a major power cut in Delhi and requested the government to step in to defuse the crisis. BSES sources said bank holding back funds is leading to a payment problem after NTPC, which supplies over 50 per cent of power to the national capital, rejected Delhi government's plea to continue power supply to BSES Yamuna Power Limited. If the crisis continues residents of East Delhi and Central Delhi may face eight to 10 hours of power cuts in February.
According to the DERC, the BSES Yamuna Power Limited increased its tariff eight percent, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited by six percent and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited by seven percent.
The DERC said the decision was taken following the assessment of the private distribution company's quarterly revenue of surcharge.
"On the basis of scrutiny of documents of the discoms and also considering the fact that power from some of the stations has been regulated in case of BYPL and no generation from the Bawana plant... the commission has approved the surcharge," the DERC said.
BYPL distributes power to the central and eastern parts of Delhi.
BYPL, BRPL and TPDDL distribute electricity to nearly five million homes in the state.
10:18 102-yr-old French cyclist rides 16.7 miles in 1 hr to break own record:
A 102-year old French man has reportedly broken his own record in the over-100s category by riding 16.7 miles in one hour, more than 2.5 kilometers better than his previous best time in the race against the clock two years ago.
A retired firefighter and logger, Robert Marchand also holds the record for someone over the age of 100 riding 62 miles, which he did in four hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds in 2012.
According to Fox News, the current overall world record for one hour is 30.882 miles set by Czech Ondrej Sosenka in 2005.
The report mentioned that Marchand received a standing ovation at the finish line in France's new 100 million-dollar National Velodrome, and he smiled and raised his arms at the finish, supported by two assistants.
Stating that the race became very hard for him at the end, Marchand said that he could not have completed the race without the public's support, adding that it feels incredible that people came from 600 kilometres away just to watch him race
10:13 Mumbai monorail to be inaugurated today:
The much-awaited Mumbai monorail will be inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar today. It will open to the public on Sunday, making Mumbai the first city in India to use a monorail.
The part that opens on Sunday is 8.93 km long. It will run between Wadala and Chembur in the eastern fringes of Mumbai.
The monorail will be linked to major local train stations. So the station at Chembur is connected with a skywalk to the monorail station near it.
To start with, the monorail will run every 15 minutes between 7 am and 3 pm.
When the entire monorail project is completed, it will be 20 km long and connect Jacob Circle in south Mumbai to Chembur in eastern Mumbai.
All coaches of the monorail trains are air-conditioned; each train will carry 560 passengers. Tickets are priced between Rs. 5 and Rs. 11 with six stations on the way. There will no monthly passes like the ones on Mumbai's lifeline, the local trains, but there will be a system of smart cards.
10:03 Mumbai: CCTV footage shows murdered techie with man:
The Mumbai Police have made some headway in the Esther Anuhya murder case after the CCTV footage showed her deboarding the train at Kurla Railway Terminus with an unidentified man.
Police are treating the man as a suspect in the murder of the female software engineer and efforts are being made to trace him.
The CCTV footage of the man is a crucial evidence in the case as so far the police had no concrete lead.
They had questioned victim's colleagues and even detained several taxi drivers at the station but could not come across any leads in the case.
The phone, bag and laptop of the victim are yet to be found.
The burnt body of 23-year-old techie from Andhra Pradesh was found on January 16 in Kanjurmarg locality of the city, eleven days after she went missing.
10:00 US warships off to Black Sea before Olympics begin:
US officials say the first of two American warships heading into the Black Sea in advance of the Olympic Games has sailed from Italy.
In another sign of US efforts to protect Americans at the Winter Games, the FBI says at least two dozen agents are going to Sochi, Russia.
Islamic militants have threatened to derail the Winter Games, which run from Feb. 7-23.
The USS Mount Whitney got underway yesterday from Gaeta, Italy, and the Navy frigate USS Taylor is expected to leave from Naples, Italy, today.
The officials spoke about the warships on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly disclose ship movements.
FBI Director James Comey told reporters in New Mexico yesterday that the FBI is in constant contact with Russian authorities as the Games approach. Comey says he spoke earlier in the day to the head of the Russian Federal Security Service.
Comey says Russian authorities face a serious threat and he wants the FBI to be ready to help.
10:00 US warns China against new air defence zone:
The United States warned has China against any move to declare a new air defence zone over parts of the South China Sea including disputed islands.
The Asahi Shimbun daily of Japan reported that Chinese air force officials have drafted proposals for the next Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) that could place the Paracel Islands at its core.
Any such move would be seen "as a provocative and unilateral act that would raise tensions and call into serious question China's commitment to diplomatically managing territorial disputes," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf yesterday told reporters.
She stressed, however, that the reports were "unconfirmed" at this time.
Beijing claims the South China Sea almost in its entirety, even areas a long way from its shoreline.
Late last year, it caused a storm when it abruptly declared an ADIZ above the East China Sea, including islands at the heart of a sovereignty row with Tokyo.
02:29 Are Syria, Iran playing Obama for a fool?:
Remember Syria's chemical weapons? Yes, those, the ones the Syrian regime agreed to give up after President Obama threatened to bomb. All of the "priority one" the most dangerous of those weapons, were supposed to be gone by December 31 last year. They're not.
Almost all of them -- more than 95% -- are still in Syria despite a commitment by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to get rid of his deadly arsenal. The deal to remove Syria's stock of WMD was the one tangible accomplishment of the Obama administration's approach to the Middle East's multiple crises. Now that deal looks to be failing, even as red flags also start flying along the path to a deal with Iran. Frida Ghitis It's hard to escape the impression that Iran and its close ally, Syria, are toying with the U.S.
Read more on CNN
01:06 India's inclusive, mind-boggling polls:
A thriving and vibrant electoral democracy has been India's distinct and durable identity, long before it asserted itself as an economic, nuclear or information technology major. Over the past 63 years, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had delivered 15 elections to the Lok Sabha (the Lower House) and more than 350 elections to state legislative assemblies, facilitating peaceful, orderly and democratic transfer of power.
The statistics of today's Indian elections may be mind boggling, even if you look at them purely as numbers. There are around 780 million electors on the Electoral Roll of India, as of Jan 1, which is more than the population of both the North and South American continents taken together or all the countries of Europe or of Africa combined. The last elections to the Indian Parliament, held in 2009, could be described as the biggest humanly- managed event in the world.
Read S Y Quraishi's column on The New Straits Times
01:05 Nearly 1,900 killed in Syria since Geneva talks began:
Nearly 1,900 people have been killed in Syria since the Geneva talks between the government and the opposition began just over a week ago, it was reported on Friday, as the UN mediator admitted there had been "no progress to speak of" so far.
The casualty figures were published by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based pro-opposition group. It said at least 498 of the dead were civilians, 850 were fighters from mainstream or extremist rebel groups and 515 were on the government side.
An estimated 130,000 people have died since the conflict erupted nearly three years ago. Each side blamed the other for the impasse at the end of the first round of Geneva negotiations, with both insisting they would not shift position.
Read more on The Guardian
00:13 7 children escape from remand home in Bhopal:
PTI: Seven inmates of a children's remand home in Jehangirabad area in Bhopal escaped after burrowing through a wall, police said. The incident took place last night. These seven children were sent to remand home on the charges of murder, attempt to murder and rape, police said.
Acting on the complaint of the remand home employees, police launched a hunt to nab them, though none of them has been caught so far.
Among these seven, three are from Bhopal, two from Vidisha and one each from Rajgarh and Raisen, police said. "Search is on to nab them. Howerver, none of them has been traced, till this evening," police said.